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  • Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

    1年前 エルサレムでレンタカーを借りた

  • One year ago, I rented a car in Jerusalem

    一度も会ったことのない でも僕の人生を変えた

  • to go find a man I'd never met


  • but who had changed my life.

    連絡を取りようにも 電話番号を知らなかったし

  • I didn't have a phone number to call to say I was coming.


  • I didn't have an exact address,

    分かっていたのは アベッドという名前と

  • but I knew his name, Abed,

    人口15,000人のクファカラという町に 住んでいるということ

  • I knew that he lived in a town of 15,000, Kfar Kara,

    21年前に この聖なる街すぐ外で

  • and I knew that, 21 years before, just outside this holy city,


  • he broke my neck.

    1月のあるどんよりした朝 北へ向かった

  • And so, on an overcast morning in January, I headed north

    シルバーのシボレーで アベッドを探しに そして心の平静を求めて

  • off in a silver Chevy to find a man and some peace.

    下り道にさしかかり エルサレムの街を出た

  • The road dropped and I exited Jerusalem.

    そして あの曲がり角を曲がった

  • I then rounded the very bend where his blue truck,

    アベットの運転する 4トンもの床タイルを載せたトラックが

  • heavy with four tons of floor tiles,

    ものすごいスピードで 僕が乗っていたミニバスの

  • had borne down with great speed onto the back left corner


  • of the minibus where I sat.


  • I was then 19 years old.

    当時の僕は 8ヶ月で13cmも背が伸びて

  • I'd grown five inches and done some 20,000 pushups

    腕立ては8ヶ月で2万回 事故が起きる前の晩には

  • in eight months, and the night before the crash,

    鍛え上げた身体で 明け方まで

  • I delighted in my new body,


  • playing basketball with friends


  • into the wee hours of a May morning.

    僕は大きな右手で ボールをつかめたし

  • I palmed the ball in my large right hand,

    その手がリングに届くときなど 向かうところ敵無しだと思えた

  • and when that hand reached the rim, I felt invincible.

    僕はバスケで勝ち取ったピザを買おうと バスに乗っていた

  • I was off in the bus to get the pizza I'd won on the court.


  • I didn't see Abed coming.

    バスの席から 真昼の太陽に照らされた

  • From my seat, I was looking up at a stone town


  • on a hilltop, bright in the noontime sun,

    そのとき後ろで ものすごい音がした

  • when from behind there was a great bang,

    爆弾にやられたかのような 激しく大きな音だった

  • as loud and violent as a bomb.


  • My head snapped back over my red seat.

    鼓膜は破れ 靴も吹き飛んだ

  • My eardrum blew. My shoes flew off.

    僕は身体ごと吹き飛ばされ 首は折れ頭はグラグラして

  • I flew too, my head bobbing on broken bones,

    地面に叩きつけられたときは 両手両足が不自由になっていた

  • and when I landed, I was a quadriplegic.

    事故から数ヶ月後 自力で呼吸できるようになった

  • Over the coming months, I learned to breathe on my own,

    座って 立って 歩けるようにもなった

  • then to sit and to stand and to walk,

    でも 僕の身体は真っ二つに分かれたままだった

  • but my body was now divided vertically.


  • I was a hemiplegic, and back home in New York,

    大学時代を通して4年間 車椅子生活をした

  • I used a wheelchair for four years, all through college.

    大学卒業後 1年間エルサレムに戻った

  • College ended and I returned to Jerusalem for a year.


  • There I rose from my chair for good,

    杖で歩けるようになったので 事故について調べ始め

  • I leaned on my cane, and I looked back,

    事故の写真から バスに乗り合わせた

  • finding all from my fellow passengers in the bus


  • to photographs of the crash,

    そして 僕が事故の写真に見たものは

  • and when I saw this photograph,


  • I didn't see a bloody and unmoving body.

    僕はその写真に写る 健康的で立派な左肩の筋肉を見て

  • I saw the healthy bulk of a left deltoid,


  • and I mourned that it was lost,


  • mourned all I had not yet done,


  • but was now impossible.


  • It was then I read the testimony that Abed gave


  • the morning after the crash,

    エルサレムに向かう高速の右車線を 走行中の様子だった

  • of driving down the right lane of a highway toward Jerusalem.


  • Reading his words, I welled with anger.

    アベッドに対して怒りを覚えたのは そのときが初めてだった

  • It was the first time I'd felt anger toward this man,

    もし事故が起こっていなかったら と-

  • and it came from magical thinking.


  • On this xeroxed piece of paper,


  • the crash had not yet happened.


  • Abed could still turn his wheel left


  • so that I would see him whoosh by out my window


  • and I would remain whole.

    「アベッド 気を付けろ スピードを落とせ」

  • "Be careful, Abed, look out. Slow down."


  • But Abed did not slow,

    証言の紙切れの上で 僕は再び首を折って

  • and on that xeroxed piece of paper, my neck again broke,


  • and again, I was left without anger.


  • I decided to find Abed,


  • and when I finally did,

    ヘブライ語で挨拶すると 彼は平然と挨拶を返した

  • he responded to my Hebrew hello which such nonchalance,


  • it seemed he'd been awaiting my phone call.

    実際 待っていたのかも知れない

  • And maybe he had.

    アベッドの過去の運転歴には 触れなかったけど

  • I didn't mention to Abed his prior driving record --


  • 27 violations by the age of 25,

    最後の違反は あの5月の日に 坂道でローギアに入れなかったこと

  • the last, his not shifting his truck into a low gear on that May day

    僕は 自分のこれまでのことも話さなかった

  • and I didn't mention my prior record --

    肢体不自由になって カテーテルを通したこと 不安感や喪失感 -

  • the quadriplegia and the catheters,

    肢体不自由になって カテーテルを通したこと 不安感や喪失感 -

  • the insecurity and the loss

    アベッドがあの事故でひどいケガをしたと 話し出したとき

  • and when Abed went on about how hurt he was in the crash,

    警察の報告書で 彼が重傷ではなかったことを

  • I didn't say that I knew from the police report

    知ってはいたが そのことは言わなかった

  • that he'd escaped serious injury.

    僕は 会いたい と言った

  • I said I wanted to meet.

    2、3週間後 もう一度電話してくれと言われ

  • Abed said that I should call back in a few weeks,


  • and when I did, and a recording told me


  • that his number was disconnected,

    僕はアベッドに会うことをあきらめ 事故のことを忘れた

  • I let Abed and the crash go.


  • Many years passed.

    僕は杖をつき 足首に装具をつけて バックパックを背負い

  • I walked with my cane and my ankle brace and a backpack


  • on trips in six continents.

    毎週ソフトボールをするようになり オーバーハンドで投げた

  • I pitched overhand in a weekly softball game


  • that I started in Central Park,

    故郷のNYではジャーナリスト 兼 作家として

  • and home in New York, I became a journalist and an author,

    一本指で 無数の言葉をタイプした

  • typing hundreds of thousands of words with one finger.

    僕が書くものには全て 自分自身の体験が

  • A friend pointed out to me that all of my big stories

    色濃く反映されていていると 友人から指摘された

  • mirrored my own, each centering on a life

    何かをきっかけに 一瞬にして変わってしまった人生

  • that had changed in an instant,

    事故の他にも 遺産相続

  • owing, if not to a crash, then to an inheritance,

    バットのスイング カメラのシャッター音 逮捕事件

  • a swing of the bat, a click of the shutter, an arrest.

    僕の作品はどれも 人生を変える出来事の ビフォー・アフターを扱うものばかりだった

  • Each of us had a before and an after.


  • I'd been working through my lot after all.

    それでも あの事故について書くために 昨年イスラエルに戻ったとき

  • Still, Abed was far from my mind, when last year,


  • I returned to Israel to write of the crash,


  • and the book I then wrote, "Half-Life,"


  • was nearly complete when I recognized


  • that I still wanted to meet Abed,

    そしてついに アベッドに会いたい理由が分かった

  • and finally I understood why:

    アベッドに一言「ごめんなさい」と 言って欲しかったんだ

  • to hear this man say two words: "I'm sorry."


  • People apologize for less.

    アベッドが今でも 前と同じ町のどこかに

  • And so I got a cop to confirm that Abed still lived


  • somewhere in his same town,

    車に黄色いバラの鉢植えを載せて その町へ向かった

  • and I was now driving to it with a potted yellow rose in the back seat,

    でも急に 花を贈るという考えが ばかばかしく思えてきた

  • when suddenly flowers seemed a ridiculous offering.

    でも 僕の首を折った馬鹿に 何を贈ればいい?

  • But what to get the man who broke your fucking neck?


  • (Laughter)


  • I pulled into the town of Abu Ghosh,


  • and bought a brick of Turkish delight:

    ピスタチオとバラ水のゼリー 花よりはマシだ

  • pistachios glued in rosewater. Better.

    高速道路に入り アベッドとの再会を想像した

  • Back on Highway 1, I envisioned what awaited.

    アベッドは僕を抱きしめるだろうか アベッドは僕につばを吐きかけるだろうか

  • Abed would hug me. Abed would spit at me.


  • Abed would say, "I'm sorry."

    また 過去何度もしてきたように 考え始めた

  • I then began to wonder, as I had many times before,

    身体が不自由にならなければ 人生はどんなに違っただろう

  • how my life would have been different

    身体が不自由にならなければ 人生はどんなに違っただろう

  • had this man not injured me,

    僕の遺伝子は 僕に違った人生を 歩ませてくれただろうか

  • had my genes been fed a different helping of experience.


  • Who was I?

    僕は あの事故の前の僕と同じ人間なんだろうか

  • Was I who I had been before the crash,

    事故で僕の人生は 開いた本の右と左くらい 違ったものになったけれども

  • before this road divided my life like the spine of an open book?


  • Was I what had been done to me?

    僕たちは皆 その身に起きたことの 結果として存在するのか

  • Were all of us the results of things done to us, done for us,


  • the infidelity of a parent or spouse,

    受け継いだ財産 それで存在が決まるのか

  • money inherited?

    それとも 持って生まれた 強みや弱みによるのだろうか

  • Were we instead our bodies, their inborn endowments and deficits?

    遺伝と経験以外のものではないように 思われたけれど

  • It seemed that we could be nothing more than genes and experience,


  • but how to tease out the one from the other?


  • As Yeats put that same universal question,

    「あぁ、音楽にゆれる身体 あぁ、輝くまなざし

  • "O body swayed to music, o brightening glance,


  • how can we know the dancer from the dance?"


  • I'd been driving for an hour

    バックミラーを見たとき 自分の輝くまなざしに気付いた

  • when I looked in my rearview mirror and saw my own brightening glance.

    生まれたときから青い目であるように 僕がずっと目の中に宿してきた光

  • The light my eyes had carried for as long as they had been blue.


  • The predispositions and impulses that had propelled me


  • as a toddler to try and slip over a boat into a Chicago lake,

    10代の頃には ハリケーンの後

  • that had propelled me as a teen

    荒れ狂うケープコッド湾に 飛び込もうとしたものだ

  • to jump into wild Cape Cod Bay after a hurricane.

    でも同時に 鏡に映ったものは

  • But I also saw in my reflection


  • that, had Abed not injured me,


  • I would now, in all likelihood, be a doctor

    結婚して父親になっていたであろう 自分の姿だった

  • and a husband and a father.

    時間や死について 考えることもなかっただろうし

  • I would be less mindful of time and of death,


  • and, oh, I would not be disabled,

    この身に降りかかる山ほどの不幸に 苦しむこともなかっただろう

  • would not suffer the thousand slings and arrows of my fortune.


  • The frequent furl of five fingers, the chips in my teeth


  • come from biting at all the many things


  • a solitary hand cannot open.

    僕の中では ダンスとダンサーは 絶望的に絡み合っていた

  • The dancer and the dance were hopelessly entwined.

    間もなく11時という頃 アフラに向けて

  • It was approaching 11 when I exited right

    高速を右に抜け 採石場を通り過ぎ

  • toward Afula, and passed a large quarry


  • and was soon in Kfar Kara.

    急に すごく不安になった

  • I felt a pang of nerves.

    ラジオからはショパンの 美しい7つのマズルカが流れていて

  • But Chopin was on the radio, seven beautiful mazurkas,


  • and I pulled into a lot by a gas station


  • to listen and to calm.

    昔 言われたことがある アラブの街では

  • I'd been told that in an Arab town,


  • one need only mention the name of a local


  • and it will be recognized.

    そこで 街の人達に

  • And I was mentioning Abed and myself,


  • noting deliberately that I was here in peace,


  • to the people in this town,

    正午ごろ郵便局の外で モハメッドという男に会い

  • when I met Mohamed outside a post office at noon.


  • He listened to me.


  • You know, it was most often when speaking to people

    大抵の場合 それを聞いた人は

  • that I wondered where I ended and my disability began,

    誰にも話したことがない 自分自身の話をしてた

  • for many people told me what they told no one else.


  • Many cried.

    ある日 通りで出会った女性も また 同じ反応をした

  • And one day, after a woman I met on the street did the same

    涙の理由を尋ねると 彼女は

  • and I later asked her why,


  • she told me that, best she could tell, her tears

    前向きに生きていることに 感動したからであり 同時に

  • had had something to do with my being happy and strong,

    僕のもろさを感じたから と言った

  • but vulnerable too.

    彼女の言葉に聞き入った それは本心だったと思う

  • I listened to her words. I suppose they were true.

    僕は変わらず僕だったが 彼女にとっては

  • I was me,


  • but I was now me despite a limp,

    そしてまた 彼女の認識が 今の僕を僕たらしめるのだ

  • and that, I suppose, was what now made me, me.

    モハメッドは おそらく彼が今まで

  • Anyway, Mohamed told me

    他人には話したことがないと思われる話を してくれた

  • what perhaps he would not have told another stranger.

    それから漆喰の家まで僕を案内し 立ち去った

  • He led me to a house of cream stucco, then drove off.

    僕が腰を下ろし 何と切り出そうかと考えていると

  • And as I sat contemplating what to say,

    黒いローブとショールをまとった女性が 近付いてきた

  • a woman approached in a black shawl and black robe.

    僕は車から降りて ヘブライ語で挨拶をし

  • I stepped from my car and said "Shalom,"


  • and identified myself,


  • and she told me that her husband Abed


  • would be home from work in four hours.

    彼女のヘブライ語は片言で - 後から知ったんだが

  • Her Hebrew was not good, and she later confessed

    最初 僕をインターネット接続業者だと 思ってたらしい

  • that she thought that I had come to install the Internet.


  • (Laughter)

    僕は一旦その場を離れ 4時30分に戻った

  • I drove off and returned at 4:30,


  • thankful to the minaret up the road


  • that helped me find my way back.


  • And as I approached the front door,

    アベッドは僕と 僕のジーンズ フランネルの服 杖を見た

  • Abed saw me, my jeans and flannel and cane,

    僕もアベッドを見た 見た感じ ごく普通の男だった

  • and I saw Abed, an average-looking man of average size.

    彼の服装は白黒で 靴下の上にスリッパを履き

  • He wore black and white: slippers over socks,


  • pilling sweatpants, a piebald sweater,

    まだら模様のセーター 縞のスキー帽を目深にかぶっていた

  • a striped ski cap pulled down to his forehead.


  • He'd been expecting me. Mohamed had phoned.

    モハメッドが電話したんだ 僕たちはすぐに握手をして互いに微笑み

  • And so at once, we shook hands, and smiled,


  • and I gave him my gift,

    「ようこそ我が家へ」 と

  • and he told me I was a guest in his home,

    アベッドが言い 僕たちは布製のソファに並んで座った

  • and we sat beside one another on a fabric couch.


  • It was then that Abed resumed at once


  • the tale of woe he had begun over the phone


  • 16 years before.

    「つい最近 目の手術をした」 と アベッドは言った

  • He'd just had surgery on his eyes, he said.

    そしてまた 「腰と足も悪く

  • He had problems with his side and his legs too,


  • and, oh, he'd lost his teeth in the crash.

    入れ歯をとってみせようか?」 とも言った

  • Did I wish to see him remove them?

    僕が退屈しないよう テレビをつけてから

  • Abed then rose and turned on the TV


  • so that I wouldn't be alone when he left the room,


  • and returned with polaroids of the crash


  • and his old driver's license.


  • "I was handsome," he said.


  • We looked down at his laminated mug.

    ハンサムというより たくましく

  • Abed had been less handsome than substantial,

    丸顔で首は太く 髪は黒々としていた

  • with thick black hair and a full face and a wide neck.

    この若者のせいで 1990年5月16日

  • It was this youth who on May 16, 1990,


  • had broken two necks including mine,

    一人が脳挫傷を起こし 一人が命を失ったんだ

  • and bruised one brain and taken one life.

    事故から20年 アベッドは妻よりやせて

  • Twenty-one years later, he was now thinner than his wife,


  • his skin slack on his face,


  • and looking at Abed looking at his young self,

    事故の後 僕も若い頃の写真を 見ていたときの

  • I remembered looking at that photograph of my young self

    気持ちを思い出した 事故が起こる前のことを懐かしく思う気持ちを

  • after the crash, and recognized his longing.

    「あの事故で あなたの人生も僕の人生も 変わってしまった」と僕は言った

  • "The crash changed both of our lives," I said.


  • Abed then showed me a picture of his mashed truck,


  • and said that the crash was the fault of a bus driver


  • in the left lane who did not let him pass.


  • I did not want to recap the crash with Abed.

    ただ 土産のトルコ菓子を渡して