一个人要有真正的心境是很难得的. 或者这太消极了. Maybe a man has peace of mind the majority of his life, 但只有在它消失时才会注意到, 当混乱被放大, during times of stress when one looks back enviously on calmer waters. These were the thoughts running through Peter Bloom’s mind as he drove through a flashing red light down the snowy Main Street of Charter Shores.
查特海岸没什么好说的. 这座城镇建于1892年, according to the wooden sign that greets summer visitors as they cross the bridge to the island – that is, 如果你能称它为岛屿的话. Charter Shores is a glorified sand bar off the coast of New Jersey. 很多人在夏天来参观. 冬天没人来. 这就是为什么当雪落在主街上, Peter Bloom wasn’t concerned about stopping at that flashing red light. He wasn’t worried about kids running across the street. 所有的商店都关门了. 没人从海滩上走回来. 5美分硬币的欢迎垫, 通常会有一层沙子, 现在被雪覆盖了. 当彼得经过5美分硬币时, 他想到了沙子和雪, 出于某种原因, 想象一个充满柔软雪花的沙漏.
Peter pulls his car into the only open store within a mile, 主街尽头的加油站. The snowpack crunches beneath his feet as waves crash on shore a few hundred yards away.
彼得18岁了. 他在爱. 雪，冰，一切都是浪漫的. 空气中弥漫着海水和汽油混合的味道. 对他来说，这就是香水.
彼得走进商店. A pile of hamburgers wrapped in foil sits under a heat-lamp. 他没有胃口. 没几天. He read somewhere that when you’re in love you release chemicals or hormones that are like a drug. 信息素或内啡肽之类的. 它们会扼杀你的食欲. 彼得喜欢这种感觉. 他希望它永远不会消失.
From behind the counter, a young blonde girl offers him a smile.
“对不起,先生?” Her hair’s pulled back into a ponytail with a white rubber band. 或者发带. 彼得不知道它叫什么. 但他很喜欢. He loves how the end of the ponytail touches her fair skin. 她的洗发水的香味飘过柜台.
“hg888皇冠手机版离开这里吧. 你没有顾客. hg888皇冠手机版就去.” He leans against the counter and fiddles with a pack of cigarettes. 她抓住他的手，把香烟放回原处.
“我不能就这样离开. 我得下班了.” The girl pauses and leans back on the wall behind her. “还有一个小时呢.”
他被她的自信迷住了. 她在他身边表现得很自然. She doesn’t seem to have as many thoughts running through her head all the time. 像他一样. They’re both 18 years old, but Peter feels as if she’s more mature.
“在雪地里? 你疯了.” She takes out the rubber band, or tie, or whatever, in her hair, and lets it fall. 然后她把头发扎回另一个马尾辫. “hg888皇冠手机版应该呆在家里. 看电视什么的. 你可以来我家.”
彼得喜欢去她家. 关于它的一切似乎都是异国情调. 她的婴儿照片挂在墙上. 这只猫总是睡在沙发上.
“好吧，这就是你的房子. We should spend as much time together as we can before you move.”
“别让我难过.” The girl pouts, jokingly pushing out her bottom lip. 但她的眼睛出卖了她. 她漫不经心的语气中有严肃的意味.
Peter grabs the cigarettes again and flips them high into the air.
雪再次落在主街上. 但查特海岸的感觉不同. 彼得·布鲁姆今年54岁.
When he took the exit for Charter Shores off the Turnpike, he’d tried to remember how long it had been since he’d driven down Main Street. 年. 他已经很少开车经过南泽西了, and he certainly wouldn’t have been in the area if Harold hadn’t moved offices at the last minute. 不管什么原因, when Peter saw his headlights illuminating the green exit sign through the snow, 他下了匝道. 黑暗的松树, 沼泽地上缺少月光, something about it had made him think of his youth. 让他开车从堤道到大桥. The snowstorm held no romance for him now, at least not in the present. 不过，他的过去有一丝微光. One simple, frozen sliver of a moment in a gas station 36 years ago. It was the only moment Peter could pinpoint where he had peace of mind. 冷静. 在那个特别的晚上, 在夜深人静的时候, it was the only moment of happiness he could remember.
The wooden sign for Charter Shores has a fresh coat of paint. 大街上新开的商店林立. 全国性连锁企业. 然而，五美分硬币仍然在营业. Bittersweet memories of buying sand toys there as a child mix with memories of buying his own kids sand toys there two decades ago. Peter’s mind isn’t interested in those two dots in time, though. Right now he’s looking to pinpoint a spot somewhere in between.
Peter pulls into 主街尽头的加油站. 便利店的外观看起来不一样, with yellow stucco incongruously suggesting the Southwest. The neon logo of the current owner casts a glow on the snowy asphalt. 虽然外观一开始并不熟悉, Peter guesses the steel tanks deep beneath the ground are probably the same ones from his youth.
The shop door shuts with a jingle, blocking out the noise of the ocean. A young brunette with stenciled eyebrows and big hoop earrings stands behind the counter. 她的肤色是深色的，橄榄色的，地中海的. Peter nervously browses the three short aisles of the store, occasionally glancing at the shoplifter mirror hanging in the corner. 他与那个女孩的倒影进行了眼神交流. 彼得迅速拿起一袋薯片, absentmindedly reading the ingredients before placing it back on the shelf. Finally, grabbing a bag of pretzels, Peter approaches the register.
At that moment, something inexplicable comes over him. 一种黑暗、空虚的感觉. An emotion that’s been welling within him for days, that forces its way to the surface. He swallows dry air as the girl looks at him inquisitively. 一个奇怪的老人，呼吸有点沉重. 她又大声说.
“什么?她不确定自己听对了. 他不回答. “你说什么?”
彼得绊跌. 有点头晕. 他的喉咙收紧.
Almost instantly a man with a tattoo on his neck appears from the back room.
“我很好. 我很好.” Peter almost loses his balance entirely, catching himself on the counter.
The tattooed man steps around a display of candy bars to help. 彼得把他推开，冲了出去.
雪下得更大. Peter’s hands shake as he fumbles with his car keys. The door finally gives way and Peter throws himself into the driver’s seat. 他的耳朵因肾上腺素而嗡嗡作响.
他知道该怎么做，只要他的手不再颤抖. He’ll call Harold and tell him to rip up the papers. 他会回到他妻子身边，请求原谅. 一切都会好的.
远处，冰冷的海浪拍打着海岸. The sound echoes off the gas station for a moment, then dies away between the falling snow.
A.E. 米尔福德港 was born and raised in Delaware, spending much of his youth at the Jersey Shore. 现在总部设在洛杉矶, 米尔福德港 co-wrote both the awardingwinning short film “Another Day, Another Dime” and the documentary film “Who Is Billy Bones?” — which recently began airing nationwide on the cable network LinkTV. His fiction has been published in the Schuylkill Valley Journal. 米尔福德港 is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and is married with one daughter.