ماه عسلی

کتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 40

ماه عسلی

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

این فصل را می‌توانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Honeymooner

Robin’s parents footed the bill for our wedding, so we were able to afford a monthlong honeymoon in Europe. We were in our midthirties, eager to start a family, and we knew this could be our last chance for a long time to see the world.

The travel agent recommended that we take our rental car on a flatbed train from Switzerland to Italy. It would save us hours on the road. And the journey was apparently a rite of passage for newlyweds.

A twinkle in his eye, the agent described three tunnels the train would pass through. The third, dubbed the Tunnel of Love, was fifty minutes long. Plenty of time for . . . you know. The twinkle in his eye started to seem kind of creepy.

Robin and I discussed it. We were both game, and when the day arrived we drove up to the designated train station in Switzerland and got in line with all the small rental cars. We were instructed to follow the flagman’s signal and drive up onto the train’s flatbed. One flatbed held three small cars bumper-to-bumper. We were situated between two other cars, my bumper kissing that of the car in front of us, the one behind us kissing mine. Engine off, emergency brake on, a lurch from the unseen locomotive way up ahead of us, and we were off.

It was July, stifling hot, and the breeze created by the speeding train was welcome. We sat in our car, windows open, sighing with pleasure at the cool breeze; when the train got up to full speed, the air whipped into the car like a tornado. The grind of metal on metal of the train’s wheels on the track and the creak of the train cars as they flexed their form around the curves created a furious cacophony.

Soon the train was in the first tunnel. The breeze became a wind. We were swept up in the whoosh and pitch darkness. A fantastic sensation.

Blasting out of the tunnel into bright daylight, coming to a stop at another train station, I looked to Robin. “That’s one,” I said. She rolled her eyes. Perhaps she wasn’t looking forward to this escapade quite as much as I was. I peered into the car behind us: two couples enjoying the ride with food and drink. I nodded hello. They waved back.

We entered tunnel two. Again, total darkness. We couldn’t see our own dashboard. We couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. Soon, wham! We were out of the tunnel, stopping at another station. “That’s two,” I whispered to my bride.

At last we were roaring into the final tunnel. We waited for total darkness, and it was go time. I climbed over the stick shift. These European rental cars were tiny, like clown cars, so removing my pants was nearly impossible. For Robin, too. She slid her seat back. I crept forward. My knee pinched her thigh against the console.

Ouch!

Sorry, sorry.

Now, my elbows—where to put them? She groaned. Oops, sorry again. I couldn’t put my arms around her, so I just raised them. I misjudged the space and knocked her in the jaw. Sorry, honey.

Robin was ready to give up, but I was no quitter. Focus, I told myself, and her. Failure is not an option. We’ve come this far. We can do this. Tunnel of Love, Robin. Tunnel of Love.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness. I was able to see Robin’s face, in surprising detail. Her expression wasn’t one of pleasure. It was one of enduring patience. The sooner this happens, the sooner it’s over, that’s how I read her. But I also read the contours of her beauty, all the contours, and thought how extraordinary, how really extraordinary, she was. And how extraordinary also is the human eye. I could see her so clearly, all the things I loved about her face were vivid and evident, and then I realized why.

WOOSH! We’d emerged from the tunnel.

The train was slowing and we were coming into the next station. What? How could that be? That wasn’t fifty minutes. It was fifteen.

I looked up from my position on top of Robin, perched on the passenger seat facing backward, and I saw the two couples I remembered nodding hello to earlier. The cars were compact, and we were bumper to bumper on the flatbed train, so they weren’t more than ten feet away. I waved apologetically. Robin covered her face. But no need. The couples laughed and whistled their approval and honked their horn. Bene, bene! Motto bene!

I heard a voice. It was coming from below. Robin. With a tight smile, she was trying to tell me something. Her tone was patient, but her meaning was precise.

Get. Off.

I fumbled back into the driver’s seat, pulling up my pants, and looked up. Three small children grinning through the back window of the car in front of us. Even Italian children have knowledge of lovemaking—they’re probably taught the basics in kindergarten. Like the English with punting.

Robin and I were both red-faced, but we were laughing, too. Well, that last tunnel was not quite the experience that was advertised.

Had the travel agent been mistaken? Or had he set us up on some kind of honeymooners’ initiation? We never found out. In the end it didn’t matter. It was an adventure. With Robin it’s all an adventure.

Robin is my partner in all things. My love. There are a million things I adore about her, but if you pressed me for my absolute favorite thing, it’s that from the moment I met her, through the twenty-seven years we’ve been married, she has maintained this incredible sense of play and wonder. A firefly makes her giddy.

Our marriage has been such a foundation for me. Whenever young actors ask me for advice, I always tell them: get your house in order. Your relationships, your health, your personal life: that’s your foundation. If your home life is sane, it allows you to go insane in your work.

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