圖片來源:http://www.liberty.co.uk/MurdockGrooming/article/fcp-content

 

接著我們尋覓理髮店。

我從很久以前就懷抱一個野心,希望有朝一日能在巴黎富麗堂皇的理髮店裡刮鬍子修容。

我想躺在鋪滿軟墊的理髮椅上伸展四肢,身邊圍繞著掛畫和奢華傢俱,頭頂則是繪有壁畫的牆面和鍍金拱形,柯林斯柱的景觀在我眼前連綿而去,阿拉伯香水迷醉我的感官,遠方傳來昏昏欲睡的嗡嗡聲安撫我入睡。

一小時結束,我懊悔地醒來,卻發現我的臉龐猶如嬰兒肌膚般光滑細緻。離開時,我在理髮師的頭頂舉起雙手說:「上帝保佑你,我的兒!」

 

於是我們在巴黎上上下下搜尋了兩個小時,卻遍尋不著一家理髮店,只找到假髮店。

驚悚無生命的濃密頭髮掛在上了色的蠟像頭頂,蠟像的冷冽眼睛從玻璃窗內往外凝視行經的路人,那慘白鬼魅般的容顏讓人魂飛魄散。

我們起初避開這樣的招牌,可是最後的結論是,假髮店肯定就是理髮店,因為我們怎樣都找不到真正的理髮店。我們步入一間假髮店詢問,果然。

 

我說我要刮鬍子,理髮師問我住哪裡,我說別管我住哪,我只是想要刮個鬍子—就在此時此地!

醫生說他也想刮,此話一出令兩名理髮師興奮莫名!

他們聲調激烈地商量著,隨後來回奔波,從陰暗的地方翻出剃刀,翻尋肥皂,接下來帶我們進入店面後一間小而簡陋的房間,裡頭有兩把普通的起居室椅子,我們穿著外套就座。

我長久以來的美夢就此煙消雲散!

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我挺直身子,一語不發,憂傷莊重地坐著,其中一名惡棍理髮師傅在我臉上約莫塗抹了十分鐘,最後一團肥皂泡沫還塗進我嘴裡。

我吐出味道可憎的東西,用英國國罵說:「老外,當心點!」這惡棍接著在他的靴上來回磨剃刀,一臉陰沉地將刀在我頭頂停了六秒之久,緊接著就像破壞大神般朝我俯衝進攻。

他的剃刀劃下第一刀,刮除我臉龐的皮毛,將我整個人高舉離椅,我暴怒狂吼,其他人則享受觀賞著這一幕,他們的鬍子都不濃密厚重,就讓我們結束這悲慘的一幕吧。

 

我終於屈服了,任由這名法國理髮師殘酷地剃著我的鬍子,極度痛苦的淚水不時滾滾淌下我的雙頰,但我撐過來了。這前任刺客接著端來一盆水,壞心地假裝要幫我沖掉肥皂和血水,他就著我的下巴潑濕臉龐,將水倒在我的胸膛上,水沿著後頸流下。

他用一條毛巾幫我擦臉,還打算幫我梳頭,就在這時我要他住手。我帶著難堪的諷刺說,我已經被剃夠了,就恕我不奉陪剃頭。

 

我臉上蓋著一條手帕離開,此後絕對再也不幻想富麗堂皇的巴黎理髮店。

事實上,我相信我已了解巴黎根本沒有值得稱作理髮店的地方,也沒有所謂的理髮師。

這個假理髮師帶著他的水盆和毛巾到你的住所,刻意在你的私人寓所折磨你、剝你的皮。

啊,我在巴黎受的苦真的夠多了,夠了,不過無妨我血腥復仇的日子來了。

有朝一日,一名巴黎理髮師會來到我房間替我剃鬍子,從那天起,這位理髮師的下落再也無人知曉。

  

Then we hunted for a barber-shop. From earliest infancy it had been a cherished ambition of mine to be shaved some day in a palatial barber-shop in Paris. I wished to recline at full length in a cushioned invalid chair, with pictures about me and sumptuous furniture; with frescoed walls and gilded arches above me and vistas of Corinthian columns stretching far before me; with perfumes of Araby to intoxicate my senses and the slumbrous drone of distant noises to soothe me to sleep. At the end of an hour I would wake up regretfully and find my face as smooth and as soft as an infant’s. Departing, I would lift my hands above that barber’s head and say, “Heaven bless you, my son!”

 

So we searched high and low, for a matter of two hours, but never a barber-shop could we see. We saw only wig-making establishments, with shocks of dead and repulsive hair bound upon the heads of painted waxen brigands who stared out from glass boxes upon the passer-by with their stony eyes and scared him with the ghostly white of their countenances. We shunned these signs for a time, but finally we concluded that the wig-makers must of necessity be the barbers as well, since we could find no single legitimate representative of the fraternity. We entered and asked, and found that it was even so.

  

I said I wanted to be shaved. The barber inquired where my room was. I said never mind where my room was, I wanted to be shaved—there, on the spot. The doctor said he would be shaved also. Then there was an excitement among those two barbers!

 

There was a wild consultation, and afterwards a hurrying to and fro and a feverish gathering up of razors from obscure places and a ransacking for soap. Next they took us into a little mean, shabby back room; they got two ordinary sitting-room chairs and placed us in them with our coats on. My old, old dream of bliss vanished into thin air!

 

I sat bolt upright, silent, sad, and solemn. One of the wigmaking villains lathered my face for ten terrible minutes and finished by plastering a mass of suds into my mouth. I expelled the nasty stuff with a strong English expletive and said, “Foreigner, beware!” Then this outlaw strapped his razor on his boot, hovered over me ominously for six fearful seconds, and then swooped down upon me like the genius of destruction. The first rake of his razor loosened the very hide from my face and lifted me out of the chair. I stormed and raved, and the other boys enjoyed it. Their beards are not strong and thick. Let us draw the curtain over this harrowing scene.

 

Suffice it that I submitted and went through with the cruel infliction of a shave by a French barber; tears of exquisite agony coursed down my cheeks now and then, but I survived. Then the incipient assassin held a basin of water under my chin and slopped its contents over my face, and into my bosom, and down the back of my neck, with a mean pretense of washing away the soap and blood. He dried my features with a towel and was going to comb my hair, but I asked to be excused. I said, with withering irony, that it was sufficient to be skinned—I declined to be scalped.

 

I went away from there with my handkerchief about my face, and never, never, never desired to dream of palatial Parisian barbershops anymore. The truth is, as I believe I have since found out, that they have no barber shops worthy of the name in Paris—and no barbers, either, for that matter. The impostor who does duty as a barber brings his pans and napkins and implements of torture to your residence and deliberately skins you in your private apartments. Ah, I have suffered, suffered, suffered, here in Paris, but never mind—the time is coming when I shall have a dark and bloody revenge. Someday a Parisian barber will come to my room to skin me, and from that day forth that barber will never be heard of more.

 

―摘自《美國傻子遊法國:馬克吐溫的法國觀察記(中英雙語)

 

 

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