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  • On September 10, the morning of my seventh birthday,

    譯者: Suet Mei Hau 審譯者: Adrienne Lin

  • I came downstairs to the kitchen, where my mother was washing the dishes

    在九月十日, 我七歲生日的那個早上

  • and my father was reading the paper or something,

    我從樓上走到廚房, 我媽媽在那裡洗著盤子

  • and I sort of presented myself to them in the doorway, and they said,


  • "Hey, happy birthday!" And I said, "I'm seven."

    我故意的在門前讓他們看到我, 接著他們說:

  • And my father smiled and said,

    『嘿, 生日快樂!』 我說: 『我七歲了!』

  • "Well, you know what that means, don't you?"


  • And I said, "Yeah, that I'm going to have a party


  • and a cake and get a lot of presents?"

    我說: 『對, 我會有個生日派對和生日蛋糕!

  • And my dad said, "Well, yes.

    還有許多禮物!』我爸爸說: 『唔, 對!

  • But more importantly,

    但, 更重要的是, 七歲代表你已經到可以「明白事理」的年紀了,

  • being seven means that you've reached the age of reason,


  • and you're now capable of committing any and all sins against God and man."


  • (Laughter)


  • Now, I had heard this phrase, "age of reason," before.

    Mary Kevin修女已經在我二年級時

  • Sister Mary Kevin had been bandying it about


  • my second-grade class at school.


  • But when she said it,


  • the phrase seemed all caught up in the excitement of preparations


  • for our first communion and our first confession,

    我其實並不是太在意那句: 「明白事理的年紀」

  • and everybody knew that was really all about the white dress

    於是, 我說:『 好, 對, 明白事理的年紀, 究竟意思是什麼?』

  • and the white veil.

    我爸爸接著說: 『對, 我們都相信天主教

  • And anyway, I hadn't really paid all that much attention


  • to that phrase, "age of reason."

    但當你到了七歲, 你應該可以理解對和錯的分別。

  • So, I said, "Yeah, yeah, age of reason. What does that mean again?"

    所以, 你長大了, 也到了明白事理的年紀, 現在

  • And my dad said, "Well, we believe, in the Catholic Church,

    神會開始紀錄你所作的事, 並且會永遠保存下來』

  • that God knows that little kids don't know the difference between right and wrong,


  • but when you're seven, you're old enough to know better.

    我說:『 等等, 你的意思是, 今天以前的所有時間,

  • So, you've grown up and reached the age of reason,

    以前我做過好的事, 神都沒有留意得到?』

  • and now God will start keeping notes on you,

    接著我媽媽說: 『對, 但我有留意的』

  • and begin your permanent record."


  • (Laughter)

    我在想: 『為什麼我之前不知道這情況?

  • And I said, "Oh ...

    為什麼當他們告訴我的時候, 我一直沒有掌握到?

  • Wait a minute.

    原來我所作的好事, 並沒有真正的奬賞。

  • You mean all that time, up till today,

    可是, 最糟的是, 為什麼我一直沒有發現這個重要的訊息

  • all that time I was so good, God didn't notice it?"

    直到這天, 知道這訊息已經對我毫無用處了。』

  • And my mom said, "Well, I noticed it."

    我說, 『好吧, 爸媽, 那聖誕老人又怎樣?

  • (Laughter)

    我是說, 聖誕老人會知道你是乖不乖, 對嗎?』

  • And I thought, "How could I not have known this before?

    我爸爸說: 『對, 但親愛的

  • How could it not have sunk in when they'd been telling me?


  • All that being good and no real credit for it.

    跟著我媽媽說: 『噢, 巴比, 停吧, 直接告訴她吧

  • And worst of all, how could I not have realized

    她已經七歲了, Julie, 聖誕老人不存在的。』

  • this very important information


  • until the very day that it was basically useless to me?"

    直到這裡, 我都還可以接受

  • So I said, "Well, Mom and Dad, what about Santa Claus?


  • I mean, Santa Claus knows if you're naughty or nice, right?"

    他們曾經跟聖誕老人討論, 以及得到他的同意

  • And my dad said, "Yeah, but, honey,


  • I think that's technically just between Thanksgiving and Christmas."


  • And my mother said, "Oh, Bob, stop it. Let's just tell her. I mean, she's seven.

    他們在聖誕早上起來的時候, 便已經收到了禮物的驚喜,

  • Julie, there is no Santa Claus."


  • (Laughter)

    如果我們的小朋友在聖誕早上九時彌撒的時候, 沒有頑皮,

  • Now, this was actually not that upsetting to me.


  • My parents had this whole elaborate story about Santa Claus:


  • how they had talked to Santa Claus himself and agreed


  • that instead of Santa delivering our presents

    我發現, 我爸爸有一種十分奇怪的包禮物方法,

  • over the night of Christmas Eve,


  • like he did for every other family who got to open their surprises

    還有, 為什麼聖誕老人還有時候走到別人的家之後

  • first thing Christmas morning,


  • our family would give Santa more time.

    在這一大堆證據之下, 只有一個解釋

  • Santa would come to our house while we were at nine o'clock high mass

    就是我們的家太奇怪, 太怪異了

  • on Christmas morning, but only if all of us kids did not make a fuss.


  • Which made me very suspicious.

    而我可憐的父母, 為了不想我們這怪異家庭

  • It was pretty obvious that it was really our parents giving us the presents.


  • I mean, my dad had a very distinctive wrapping style,

    但, 讓我們坦承吧, 他實在是太判定了!

  • and my mother's handwriting was so close to Santa's.

    所以, 去發現這世界沒有聖誕老人, 也許也是一種解脫。

  • (Laughter)


  • Plus, why would Santa save time by having to loop back


  • to our house after he'd gone to everybody else's?


  • There was only one obvious conclusion to reach from this mountain of evidence:

    對我來說, 這已經是太遲了。但我仍可以幫助其他人

  • our family was too strange and weird for even Santa Claus to come visit,


  • and my poor parents were trying to protect us from the embarrassment,


  • this humiliation of rejection by Santa, who was jolly --


  • but let's face it, he was also very judgmental.

    整個明白事理的年齡的概念, 而又未到七歲。

  • So to find out that there was no Santa Claus at all

    答案好明顯: 我的弟弟Bill, 他現在六歲。

  • was actually sort of a relief.

    好了, 我在家附近的學校遊樂場找到Bill

  • I left the kitchen not really in shock about Santa,


  • but rather, I was just dumbfounded

    他只是一個人, 對著牆邊在踢球。

  • about how I could have missed this whole age of reason thing.

    我跑上去大叫: 『Bill!

  • It was too late for me, but maybe I could help someone else,

    我剛剛發現, 當你七歲之後, 你便進了明白事理的年齡,

  • someone who could use the information.


  • They had to fit two criteria:

    Bill 說:『 那又怎樣? 』我說:

  • they had to be old enough to be able to understand

    『你只有六歲, 你還有一年的時間做所有你想做的事

  • the whole concept of the age of reason, and not yet seven.

    而神是不會跟你算賬的。』他又說: 『那又怎樣?』

  • The answer was clear: my brother Bill. He was six.

    我說:『你這什麼態度! 』我轉身想走, 我實在對他很憤怒

  • Well, I finally found Bill

    但當我準備起步時候, 我又戲劇性地回頭

  • about a block away from our house at this public school playground.

    接著說: 『還有, Bill, 世界上根本沒聖誕老人。』

  • It was a Saturday, and he was all by himself,


  • just kicking a ball against the side of a wall.

    好了, 我當時不知道

  • I ran up to him and said, "Bill!


  • I just realized that the age of reason starts when you turn seven,

    在我十三歲的生日, 我正準備跟我的女朋友開一個通宵派對,

  • and then you're capable of committing any and all sins

    在派對前的數個星期, 我媽媽忽然把我叫到一旁然後說:

  • against God and man."


  • And Bill said, "So?"

    九月十日不是你是生日, 你應該是十月十月生日的。』 我大叫:『 什麼?

  • And I said, "So, you're six.


  • You have a whole year to do anything you want to and God won't notice it."

    她說: 『聽著, 因為九月十五日出生是報讀幼稚園的分界線。』

  • And he said, "So?"


  • And I said, "So? So everything!"

    所以, 我告訴他們你的生日是在九月十日』

  • And I turned to run. I was so angry with him.


  • But when I got to the top of the steps,

    所以我便告訴你, 你的生日是九月十日。

  • I turned around dramatically and said,

    但, 茱莉, 你當時已經準備好可以上學了, 親愛的

  • "Oh, by the way, Bill -- there is no Santa Claus."

    我曾經想過, 當我四歲的時候

  • (Laughter)


  • Now, I didn't know it at the time,


  • but I really wasn't turning seven on September 10th.


  • For my 13th birthday,


  • I planned a slumber party with all of my girlfriends,

    『茱莉, 不用擔心, 我保証, 其實在每年的十月十日你生日的日子

  • but a couple of weeks beforehand my mother took me aside and said,

    但你還忘記的時候, 我保証

  • "I need to speak to you privately.


  • September 10th is not your birthday. It's October 10th."


  • And I said, "What?"

    還真欣慰喔, 但卻也讓人困擾。

  • (Laughter)

    我媽媽竟然跟我, 暗暗地慶祝我的生日。

  • And she said ...


  • (Laughter)


  • "Listen. The cut-off date to start kindergarten was September 15th."


  • (Laughter)

    最困惑的, 是這代表我竟然不是處女座。

  • "So I told them that your birthday was September 10th,


  • and then I wasn't sure

    我每天閱讀星座運勢, 明明就超準的!

  • that you weren't just going to go blab it all over the place,


  • so I started to tell you your birthday was September 10th.


  • But, Julie, you were so ready to start school, honey. You were so ready."

    於是, 我搭公車到市中心買了張新的天秤座海報。

  • I thought about it, and when I was four,


  • I was already the oldest of four children,


  • and my mother even had another child to come,


  • so what I think she -- understandably -- really meant

    這個時候, 我也是剛開始長胖的時候,

  • was that she was so ready, she was so ready.


  • Then she said, "Don't worry, Julie.

    坦白說的, 那個星座的標誌是一只大天秤

  • Every year on October 10th,


  • when it was your birthday but you didn't realize it,


  • I made sure that you ate a piece of cake that day."


  • (Laughter)

    於是, 我開始去閱讀我的天秤座星座運程,

  • Which was comforting, but troubling.

    我又吃驚的發現, 運勢所說的, 也是超準的!

  • My mother had been celebrating my birthday with me, without me.

    直到數年前, 當我回想起

  • (Laughter)


  • What was so upsetting about this new piece of information

    我才領悟到, 原來那時我還沒有到七歲

  • was not that I had to change the date of my slumber party

    當我以為我已經七歲的時候, 我還有一整個月

  • with all of my girlfriends.

    在神沒有把我的行為記帳之前, 我還可以做任何我想做的事。

  • What was most upsetting was that this meant I was not a Virgo.

    唉, 生命實在是太殘忍了!

  • I had a huge Virgo poster in my bedroom.

    有一天, 有兩個摩門教的傳教士來敲我的門。

  • And I read my horoscope every single day,


  • and it was so totally me.

    而我的住處, 剛好是整個區的開始

  • (Laughter)


  • And this meant that I was a Libra?


  • So, I took the bus downtown to get the new Libra poster.


  • The Virgo poster is a picture of a beautiful woman with long hair,

    有時, 我又會遇到那些承諾不會加入黑社會

  • sort of lounging by some water,

    和偷別人東西的年青人, 除非我願意

  • but the Libra poster is just a huge scale.


  • This was around the time that I started filling out physically,

    所以, 平常我是不會理會那些門鈴的, 但那天我應了門。

  • and I was filling out a lot more than a lot of the other girls,

    我看到門外站著兩個男孩, 大概都是十九歲吧,

  • and frankly, the whole idea that my astrological sign was a scale

    穿著白色的短袖恤衫, 身上都掛有小名牌

  • just seemed ominous and depressing.


  • (Laughter)


  • But I got the new Libra poster,

    他們說, 他們會傳達一個神的訊息給我

  • and I started to read my new Libra horoscope,

    我說: 『有一個訊息給我? 由神而來? 』 他們說: 『是的』』

  • and I was astonished to find that it was also totally me.


  • (Laughter)


  • It wasn't until years later, looking back

    我跟他們一起工作, 甚至跟他們約會過,

  • on this whole age-of-reason, change-of-birthday thing,


  • that it dawned on me:

    或是如何對外傳道, 我想, 因為出於一點好奇,

  • I wasn't turning seven when I thought I turned seven.

    於是我說: 『好, 請進來。』 他們看起來很高興,

  • I had a whole other month


  • to do anything I wanted to before God started keeping tabs on me.


  • Oh, life can be so cruel.

    我帶他們坐下來, 我還給他們水

  • One day, two Mormon missionaries came to my door.

    好吧, 我明白, 我給了他們兩杯水

  • Now, I just live off a main thoroughfare in Los Angeles,

    別碰頭髮, 就是這問題

  • and my block is -- well, it's a natural beginning


  • for people who are peddling things door to door.


  • Sometimes I get little old ladies from the Seventh Day Adventist Church


  • showing me these cartoon pictures of heaven.


  • And sometimes I get teenagers who promise me

    所以, 我帶他們坐下, 給他們兩杯水

  • that they won't join a gang and just start robbing people,

    在這些禮待之後, 他們說: 『你是否全心的相信神是愛你的?』

  • if I only buy some magazine subscriptions from them.

    我想, 『是, 當然, 我相信神

  • So normally, I just ignore the doorbell, but on this day, I answered.

    但, 你知道嗎, 我並不十分喜歡那個字眼: 全心

  • And there stood two boys, each about 19, in white, starched short-sleeved shirts,


  • and they had little name tags

    我也不喜歡那個字: 他, 因為這會性別化了神』』

  • that identified them as official representatives


  • of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

    於是, 在一段很長, 很令人不安的停頓之後, 我說

  • and they said they had a message for me, from God.

    『是的, 我是的, 感到非常的被愛』

  • I said, "A message for me? From God?" And they said, "Yes."

    他們互相對視, 然後笑著,

  • Now, I was raised in the Pacific Northwest,

    好像這正是正確的答案, 接著他們說,

  • around a lot of Church of Latter-day Saints people and, you know,


  • I've worked with them and even dated them,

    我說: 『是, 我相信, 我相信,』 所以我便放心了

  • but I never really knew the doctrine,


  • or what they said to people when they were out on a mission,

    他們說: 『好了, 我們有一個故事要告訴你。』

  • and I guess I was sort of curious, so I said, "Well, please, come in."

    於是, 他們告訴了我,關於一個名叫Lehi的男人的故事

  • And they looked really happy,


  • because I don't think this happens to them all that often.


  • (Laughter)

    每個人都很壞和邪惡, 每一個人:

  • And I sat them down, and I got them glasses of water --

    包括 男人, 女人, 兒童, 嬰兒, 胎兒

  • Ok, I got it, I got it.

    神走去跟Lehi說: 『將你的家人搬上船

  • I got them glasses of water.


  • Don't touch my hair, that's the thing.


  • (Laughter)

    我說:『 美國? 在公元前六百年坐船由耶路撒冷到美國?』

  • You can't put a video of myself in front of me

    他們說: 『是的。』

  • and expect me not to fix my hair.


  • Ok.

    跟著, 他們告訴我, Lehi 和他的子孫

  • (Laughter)

    繁殖再繁殖, 在這六百年裡

  • So I sat them down and I got them glasses of water,

    變成了兩大民族: Nephites和Lamanites

  • and after niceties, they said,

    Nephites 是完全的好,---他們每一個人都是好人--

  • "Do you believe that God loves you with all his heart?"

    而 Lamanites 是完全壞和邪惡-

  • And I thought, "Well, of course I believe in God,


  • but you know, I don't like that word 'heart,'


  • because it anthropomorphizes God,

    跟著, 當耶穌為我們的罪釘在十字架上而死後,

  • and I don't like the word, 'his,' either, because that sexualizes God."

    他升上天堂的過程中, 他停在美國, 探訪了Nephites

  • But I didn't want to argue semantics with these boys,


  • so after a very long, uncomfortable pause, I said,

    他告訴他們: 如果他們的每一個人,

  • "Yes, yes, I do. I feel very loved."


  • And they looked at each other and smiled,


  • like that was the right answer.

    但明顯的, 有些人搞砸了,

  • And then they said, "Do you believe


  • that we're all brothers and sisters on this planet?"

    當中只剩下一個人, 這個人名叫摩門,

  • And I said, "Yes, I do."


  • And I was so relieved that it was a question I could answer so quickly.


  • And they said, "Well, then we have a story to tell you."


  • And they told me this story all about this guy named Lehi,


  • who lived in Jerusalem in 600 BC.


  • Now, apparently in Jerusalem in 600 BC, everyone was completely bad and evil.

    好了, 我差不多快要從我的椅子跌下來了。

  • Every single one of them: man, woman, child, infant, fetus.


  • And God came to Lehi and said to him,

    接下來我問, 『Lamanites發生了什麼事?』

  • "Put your family on a boat and I will lead you out of here."

    他們說: 『他們變成了我們美國的印第安人。』

  • And God did lead them.

    我說, 所說, 『你相信美洲原住民是

  • He led them to America.

    那些完全邪惡的人的後代? 』他們說: 『是的。』

  • I said, "America?

    跟著他們告訴我一個名叫Joseph Smith的男人

  • (Laughter)


  • From Jerusalem to America by boat in 600 BC?"

    他也在那裡找到一塊魔法石, 當他把魔法石放在他的帽子內

  • And they said, "Yes."

    同時把他的臉埋藏在帽子內的時候, 他便可以

  • (Laughter)


  • Then they told me how Lehi and his descendants

    在這裡, 我只想給這兩個男孩

  • reproduced and reproduced, and over the course of 600 years,


  • there were two great races of them, the Nephites and the Lamanites,


  • and the Nephites were totally good -- each and every one of them --

    我想說: 『好吧, 不要由這個故事開始。』

  • and the Lamanites were totally bad and evil --

    我的意思是, 連加入山達基教也先要做性格測試

  • every single one of them just bad to the bone.


  • Then, after Jesus died on the cross for our sins,


  • on his way up to heaven,

    好了, 跟著他們說:『 你相信神會向我們說話

  • he stopped by America and visited the Nephites.

    透過他的正義的先知? 』我說: 『不, 我不信。』

  • (Laughter)

    因為, 我已經被那個 故事而弄得反感

  • And he told them that if they all remained totally, totally good --

    還有那個瘋狂的金碟的故事, 但真相是

  • each and every one of them --

    我沒有認真的想過這些, 所以我撤退了一點點, 我說:

  • they would win the war against the evil Lamanites.

    『那好, 那你所說的正義, 確實的意思是什麼?

  • But apparently somebody blew it,

    你所說的先知又是什麼? 好像, 先知可以是女人嗎?』

  • because the Lamanites were able to kill all the Nephites.

    他們說: 『不會。』我問: 『為什麼? 』他們說:

  • All but one guy, this guy named Mormon,


  • who managed to survive