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中英双语杂志2002/07/08
 

Panic on the Highway 山路历险记 (1)

"Fear is a fact of life everyone faces from time to time. In most cases fearis a healthy reaction to a dangerous situation. But sometimes fear can be so extreme, so overwhelming, that it interferes with normal living. That is what happened to me driving cross-country last summer.

[2] I'd agreed to help my brother, Mac, move from the East Coast to California. He would drive a rental truck loaded with his belongings and I would follow him in his sedan, then fly back. We figured it would be a simple trip, with four or five motel stops along the way.

[3] Living and working in coastal Georgia for most of my life, I did not have a great deal of long-distance driving experience. Looking back on it today, I can see that I'd always felt a twinge of fear when driving over small bridges and along hilly highways. And as I was getting ready for the trip I had a vague concern about the steep mountain roads that lay ahead. But I thought I would get used to them.

[4] As we crossed some high bridges near the Blue Ridge Mountains on the first leg of our trip, a kind of breathlessness gripped me, a sinking, rolling sensation in the pit of my stomach. I tended to veer slightly away from the edge of the roadway and the drop-off beyond. My knuckles whitened from my tense grip on the steering wheel. At the end of each bridge, a great rush of relief would come over me, only to be replaced in short order by fear of the next obstacle.

[5] When we stopped in Nashville the first night, I mentioned my feelings to Mac, who is the practical sort. "Oh, that's nothing," he said cheerfully . "Lots of people hate driving on mountain roads and high bridges. Just turn up the music on your radio and focus on that. Keep your mind occupied."

心惊胆颤的事情人人在生活中都偶尔会碰到。惊恐大都是对危险倩况的一种积极反应。不过,有时惊恐会达到极端、不堪承受的程度,以至干扰正常的生活。这正是我去年夏天在驾车横穿北美大陆途中所经历的情况。

[2]我答应帮弟弟麦克从东海岸把家搬到加利福尼亚州。到时他将开租来的卡车拉上全部家什,我跟在后面帮他把小车开过去,然后乘飞机返回。我们估计这趟旅行很简单,中途在四五家汽车旅馆落落脚就行了。

[3]我长这么大,大多生活和工作在沿海的佐治亚州,没有多少长途驾驶的经验。今天回想起来,其实我每逢开车过小桥、走山路时都提心吊胆。在为此行作准备时,我心里就开始为即将面对的山路忐忑不安。不过当时我以为自己能够适应。

[4]上路后的第一程,我们就碰上了蓝脊山脉附近高悬的大桥。我简直紧张得透不过气来,心头发紧,有种人仰马翻的感觉。我极力想把车开向里侧一些,躲开那可能滑下陡坡的边沿。我紧紧地握着方向盘,手指关节绷得没有了血色。每穿过一座高桥我就会大大地舒一口气,可等在前面的是又一个令人畏惧的关口。

[5]旅程的第一天晚上,我们停在了纳什维尔。我对麦克谈了自己的感受。他是那种务实的人。“哦,没关系,”他兴致勃勃地说,“许多人害怕走山路、过高桥。只要打开收音机专心听音乐就行。不要胡思乱想。”

 

 
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