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KLARA AND THE SUN - KAZUO ISHIGURO, Part One - 05

Part One - 05

He was on the RPO Building side, and I estimated seventy-one years old. He was waving and calling, coming so near the edge of the sidewalk I was worried he'd step out in front of the moving taxis. Manager happened to be in the window with us just at that moment –she'd been adjusting the sign in front of our sofa –and she spotted the waving man at the same time I did. He had on a brown raincoat and its belt was dangling down one side, almost touching his ankle, but he didn't seem to notice, and kept waving and calling over to our side. A crowd of passers-by had formed right outside our store, not to look at us, but because, for a moment, the sidewalk had become so busy no one had been able to move. Then something changed, the crowd grew thinner, and I saw standing before us a small woman, her back to us, looking across the four lanes of moving taxis to the waving man. I couldn't see her face, but I estimated sixty-seven years old from her shape and posture. I named her in my mind the Coffee Cup Lady because from the back, and in her thick wool coat, she seemed small and wide and round-shouldered like the ceramic coffee cups resting upside down on the Red Shelves. Although the man kept waving and calling, and she'd clearly seen him, she didn't wave or call back. She kept completely still, even when a pair of runners came towards her, parted on either side, then joined up again, their sports shoes making small splashes down the sidewalk. Then at last she moved. She went towards the crossing –as the man had been signaling for her to do –taking slow steps at first, then hurrying. She had to stop again, to wait like everyone else at the lights, and the man stopped waving, but he was watching her so anxiously, I again thought he might step out in front of the taxis. But he calmed himself and walked towards his end of the crossing to wait for her. And as the taxis stopped, and the Coffee Cup Lady began to cross with the rest, I saw the man raise a fist to one of his eyes, in the way I'd seen some children do in the store when they got upset. Then the Coffee Cup Lady reached the RPO Building side, and she and the man were holding each other so tightly they were like one large person, and the Sun, noticing, was pouring his nourishment on them. I still couldn't see the Coffee Cup Lady's face, but the man had his eyes tightly shut, and I wasn't sure if he was very happy or very upset. ‘Those people seem so pleased to see each other,'Manager said. And I realized she'd been watching them as closely as I had. ‘Yes, they seem so happy,'I said. ‘But it's strange because they also seem upset.'‘Oh, Klara,'Manager said quietly. ‘You never miss a thing, do you?'Then Manager was silent for a long time, holding her sign in her hand and staring across the street, even after the pair had gone out of sight. Finally she said: ‘Perhaps they hadn't met for a long time. A long, long time. Perhaps when they last held each other like that, they were still young.'‘Do you mean, Manager, that they lost each other?'She was quiet for another moment. ‘Yes,'she said, eventually. ‘That must be it. They lost each other. And perhaps just now, just by chance, they found each other again.'Manager's voice wasn't like her usual one, and though her eyes were on the outside, I thought she was now looking at nothing in particular. I even started to wonder what passers-by would think to see Manager herself in the window with us for so long. Then she turned from the window and came past us, and as she did so she touched my shoulder. ‘Sometimes,'she said, ‘at special moments like that, people feel a pain alongside their happiness. I'm glad you watch everything so carefully, Klara.'Then Manager was gone, and Rosa said, ‘How strange. What could she have meant?'‘Never mind, Rosa,'I said to her. ‘She was just talking about the outside.'Rosa began to discuss something else then, but I went on thinking about the Coffee Cup Lady and her Raincoat Man, and about what Manager had said. And I tried to imagine how I would feel if Rosa and I, a long time from now, long after we'd found our different homes, saw each other again by chance on a street. Would I then feel, as Manager had put it, pain alongside my happiness? —One morning at the start of our second week in the window, I was talking to Rosa about something on the RPO Building side, then broke off when I realized Josie was standing on the sidewalk in front of us. Her mother was beside her. There was no taxi behind them this time, though it was possible they'd got out of one and it had driven off, all without my noticing, because there'd been a crowd of tourists between our window and the spot where they were standing. But now the passers-by were moving smoothly again, and Josie was beaming happily at me. Her face –I thought this again –seemed to overflow with kindness when she smiled. But she couldn't yet come to the window because the Mother was leaning down talking to her, a hand on her shoulder. The Mother was wearing a coat –a thin, dark, high-ranking one –which moved with the wind around her body, so that for a moment she reminded me of the dark birds that perched on the high traffic signals even as the winds blew fiercely. Both Josie and the Mother went on looking straight at me while they talked, and I could see Josie was impatient to come to me, but still the Mother wouldn't release her and went on talking. I knew I should keep looking at the RPO Building, in just the way Rosa was doing, but I couldn't help stealing glances at them, I was so concerned they'd vanish into the crowd. At last the Mother straightened, and though she went on staring at me, altering the tilt of her head whenever a passer-by blocked her view, she took her hand away and Josie came forward with her careful walk. I thought it encouraging the Mother should allow Josie to come by herself, yet the Mother's gaze, which never softened or wavered, and the very way she was standing there, arms crossed over her front, fingers clutching at the material of her coat, made me realize there were many signals I hadn't yet learned to understand. Then Josie was there before me on the other side of the glass. ‘Hey! How you been?'I smiled, nodded and held up a raised thumb –a gesture I'd often observed inside the interesting magazines. ‘Sorry I couldn't come back sooner,'she said. ‘I guess it's been…how long?'I held up three fingers, then added a half finger from the other hand. ‘Too long,'she said. ‘I'm sorry. Miss me?'I nodded, putting on a sad face, though I was careful to show I wasn't serious, and that I hadn't been upset. ‘I missed you too. I really thought I'd get back before this. You probably thought I'd cleared right out. Really sorry.'Then her smile weakened as she said: ‘I suppose a lot of other kids have been here to see you.'I shook my head, but Josie looked unconvinced. She glanced back to the Mother, not for reassurance, but rather to check she hadn't come any closer. Then, lowering her voice, Josie said: ‘Mom looks weird, I know, watching like that. It's because I told her you're the one I wanted. I said it had to be you, so now she's sizing you up. Sorry.'I thought I saw, as I'd done the time before, a flash of sadness. ‘You will come, right? If Mom says it's okay and everything?'I nodded encouragingly. But the uncertainty remained on her face. ‘Because I don't want you coming against your will. That wouldn't be fair. I really want you to come, but if you said, Josie, I don't want to, then I'd say to Mom, okay, we can't have her, no way. But you do want to come, right?'Again I nodded, and this time Josie appeared to be reassured. ‘That's so good.'The smile returned to her face. ‘You'll love it, I'll make sure you do.'She looked back, this time in triumph, calling: ‘Mom? See, she says she wants to come!'The Mother gave a small nod, but otherwise didn't respond. She was still staring at me, her fingers pinching at the coat material. When Josie turned back to me, her face had clouded again.



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Part One - 05

He was on the RPO Building side, and I estimated seventy-one years old. Estaba del lado del edificio RPO y calculé que tenía setenta y un años. He was waving and calling, coming so near the edge of the sidewalk I was worried he'd step out in front of the moving taxis. Estaba saludando y llamando, acercándose tanto al borde de la acera que me preocupaba que se parara frente a los taxis en movimiento. Manager happened to be in the window with us just at that moment –she'd been adjusting the sign in front of our sofa –and she spotted the waving man at the same time I did. La gerente estaba en la ventana con nosotros justo en ese momento (había estado ajustando el letrero frente a nuestro sofá) y vio al hombre que saludaba al mismo tiempo que yo. He had on a brown raincoat and its belt was dangling down one side, almost touching his ankle, but he didn't seem to notice, and kept waving and calling over to our side. Llevaba un impermeable marrón y el cinturón colgaba de un lado, casi tocándole el tobillo, pero no pareció darse cuenta, y siguió saludando y llamando a nuestro lado. A crowd of passers-by had formed right outside our store, not to look at us, but because, for a moment, the sidewalk had become so busy no one had been able to move. Una multitud de transeúntes se había formado justo afuera de nuestra tienda, no para mirarnos, sino porque, por un momento, la acera se había llenado tanto que nadie había podido moverse. Then something changed, the crowd grew thinner, and I saw standing before us a small woman, her back to us, looking across the four lanes of moving taxis to the waving man. Entonces algo cambió, la multitud se hizo más rala y vi de pie ante nosotros a una mujer pequeña, de espaldas a nosotros, mirando a través de los cuatro carriles de taxis en movimiento hacia el hombre que saludaba. I couldn't see her face, but I estimated sixty-seven years old from her shape and posture. No podía ver su rostro, pero calculé sesenta y siete años por su forma y postura. I named her in my mind the Coffee Cup Lady because from the back, and in her thick wool coat, she seemed small and wide and round-shouldered like the ceramic coffee cups resting upside down on the Red Shelves. En mi mente la llamé la Dama de la Taza de Café porque, vista de atrás y con su grueso abrigo de lana, parecía pequeña, ancha y de hombros redondos como las tazas de café de cerámica que descansan boca abajo en los Estantes Rojos. Although the man kept waving and calling, and she'd clearly seen him, she didn't wave or call back. Aunque el hombre seguía saludando y llamando, y ella claramente lo había visto, ella no saludó ni devolvió la llamada. She kept completely still, even when a pair of runners came towards her, parted on either side, then joined up again, their sports shoes making small splashes down the sidewalk. Se mantuvo completamente inmóvil, incluso cuando un par de corredores se acercaron a ella, se separaron a ambos lados y luego se unieron de nuevo, sus zapatillas deportivas salpicaban la acera. Then at last she moved. Entonces por fin se movió. She went towards the crossing –as the man had been signaling for her to do –taking slow steps at first, then hurrying. Se dirigió hacia el cruce, tal como el hombre le había estado indicando que hiciera, primero con pasos lentos, luego con prisa. She had to stop again, to wait like everyone else at the lights, and the man stopped waving, but he was watching her so anxiously, I again thought he might step out in front of the taxis. Tuvo que detenerse de nuevo, esperar como todos los demás en el semáforo, y el hombre dejó de saludar con la mano, pero la miraba con tanta ansiedad que nuevamente pensé que podría pararse frente a los taxis. But he calmed himself and walked towards his end of the crossing to wait for her. Pero se calmó y caminó hacia su final del cruce para esperarla. And as the taxis stopped, and the Coffee Cup Lady began to cross with the rest, I saw the man raise a fist to one of his eyes, in the way I'd seen some children do in the store when they got upset. Y mientras los taxis se detenían y la Señora de la Taza de Café comenzaba a cruzar con los demás, vi al hombre llevarse un puño a un ojo, como había visto hacer a algunos niños en la tienda cuando se enfadaban. Then the Coffee Cup Lady reached the RPO Building side, and she and the man were holding each other so tightly they were like one large person, and the Sun, noticing, was pouring his nourishment on them. Luego, la Dama de la Taza de Café llegó al costado del Edificio RPO, y ella y el hombre se abrazaron con tanta fuerza que eran como una persona grande, y el Sol, al darse cuenta, estaba derramando su alimento sobre ellos. I still couldn't see the Coffee Cup Lady's face, but the man had his eyes tightly shut, and I wasn't sure if he was very happy or very upset. Todavía no podía ver el rostro de la Dama de la Taza de Café, pero el hombre tenía los ojos bien cerrados y no estaba seguro de si estaba muy feliz o muy molesto. ‘Those people seem so pleased to see each other,'Manager said. "Esas personas parecen tan complacidas de verse", dijo el gerente. And I realized she'd been watching them as closely as I had. Y me di cuenta de que ella los había estado observando tan de cerca como yo. ‘Yes, they seem so happy,'I said. 'Sí, parecen tan felices', dije. ‘But it's strange because they also seem upset.'‘Oh, Klara,'Manager said quietly. "Pero es extraño porque también parecen molestos". "Oh, Klara", dijo el gerente en voz baja. ‘You never miss a thing, do you?'Then Manager was silent for a long time, holding her sign in her hand and staring across the street, even after the pair had gone out of sight. 'Nunca te pierdes nada, ¿verdad?' Entonces la Gerente se quedó en silencio durante mucho tiempo, sosteniendo su cartel en la mano y mirando al otro lado de la calle, incluso después de que la pareja se había perdido de vista. Finally she said: ‘Perhaps they hadn't met for a long time. Finalmente dijo: 'Quizás no se habían visto en mucho tiempo. A long, long time. Mucho, mucho tiempo. Perhaps when they last held each other like that, they were still young.'‘Do you mean, Manager, that they lost each other?'She was quiet for another moment. Tal vez la última vez que se abrazaron así, todavía eran jóvenes. "¿Quiere decir, Gerente, que se perdieron?" Ella se quedó callada por otro momento. ‘Yes,'she said, eventually. — Да, — сказала она наконец. ‘That must be it. Debe ser eso. They lost each other. Se perdieron el uno al otro. And perhaps just now, just by chance, they found each other again.'Manager's voice wasn't like her usual one, and though her eyes were on the outside, I thought she was now looking at nothing in particular. Y tal vez ahora, por casualidad, se encontraron de nuevo. La voz de la gerente no era como la habitual, y aunque sus ojos estaban en el exterior, pensé que ahora no estaba mirando nada en particular. I even started to wonder what passers-by would think to see Manager herself in the window with us for so long. Incluso comencé a preguntarme qué pensarían los transeúntes al ver a la Gerente en la ventana con nosotros durante tanto tiempo. Then she turned from the window and came past us, and as she did so she touched my shoulder. Luego se apartó de la ventana y pasó junto a nosotros, y al hacerlo me tocó el hombro. ‘Sometimes,'she said, ‘at special moments like that, people feel a pain alongside their happiness. 'A veces', dijo, 'en momentos especiales como ese, la gente siente un dolor junto con su felicidad. I'm glad you watch everything so carefully, Klara.'Then Manager was gone, and Rosa said, ‘How strange. Me alegro de que vigiles todo con tanto cuidado, Klara. Entonces el Gerente se fue y Rosa dijo: 'Qué extraño. What could she have meant?'‘Never mind, Rosa,'I said to her. ‘She was just talking about the outside.'Rosa began to discuss something else then, but I went on thinking about the Coffee Cup Lady and her Raincoat Man, and about what Manager had said. Sólo estaba hablando del exterior. Rosa empezó a hablar de otra cosa entonces, pero yo seguí pensando en la Señora de la Taza de Café y su Hombre de la Gabardina, y en lo que había dicho el Gerente. And I tried to imagine how I would feel if Rosa and I, a long time from now, long after we'd found our different homes, saw each other again by chance on a street. Y traté de imaginarme cómo me sentiría si Rosa y yo, mucho tiempo después, mucho después de haber encontrado nuestros diferentes hogares, nos volviéramos a ver por casualidad en una calle. Would I then feel, as Manager had put it, pain alongside my happiness? ¿Sentiría entonces, como dijo Manager, dolor junto con mi felicidad? —One morning at the start of our second week in the window, I was talking to Rosa about something on the RPO Building side, then broke off when I realized Josie was standing on the sidewalk in front of us. —Una mañana, al comienzo de nuestra segunda semana en la ventana, estaba hablando con Rosa sobre algo en el lado del edificio RPO, luego me interrumpí cuando me di cuenta de que Josie estaba parada en la acera frente a nosotros. Her mother was beside her. Su madre estaba a su lado. There was no taxi behind them this time, though it was possible they'd got out of one and it had driven off, all without my noticing, because there'd been a crowd of tourists between our window and the spot where they were standing. No había ningún taxi detrás de ellos esta vez, aunque era posible que se hubieran bajado de uno y se hubiera ido, todo sin que yo me diera cuenta, porque había una multitud de turistas entre nuestra ventana y el lugar donde estaban parados. . But now the passers-by were moving smoothly again, and Josie was beaming happily at me. Pero ahora los transeúntes volvían a moverse sin problemas y Josie me sonreía feliz. Her face –I thought this again –seemed to overflow with kindness when she smiled. Su rostro –pensé esto de nuevo– parecía desbordar bondad cuando sonreía. But she couldn't yet come to the window because the Mother was leaning down talking to her, a hand on her shoulder. Pero aún no podía acercarse a la ventana porque la Madre se inclinaba hacia ella hablándole, con una mano en su hombro. The Mother was wearing a coat –a thin, dark, high-ranking one –which moved with the wind around her body, so that for a moment she reminded me of the dark birds that perched on the high traffic signals even as the winds blew fiercely. La Madre vestía un abrigo -delgado, oscuro, de alta gama- que se movía con el viento alrededor de su cuerpo, de modo que por un momento me recordó a los pájaros oscuros que se posaban en los altos semáforos aún cuando soplaba el viento. ferozmente. Both Josie and the Mother went on looking straight at me while they talked, and I could see Josie was impatient to come to me, but still the Mother wouldn't release her and went on talking. Tanto Josie como la Madre siguieron mirándome directamente mientras hablaban, y pude ver que Josie estaba impaciente por venir a mí, pero la Madre aún no la soltaba y siguió hablando. I knew I should keep looking at the RPO Building, in just the way Rosa was doing, but I couldn't help stealing glances at them, I was so concerned they'd vanish into the crowd. Sabía que debía seguir mirando el edificio RPO, tal como lo estaba haciendo Rosa, pero no pude evitar mirarlos de reojo, estaba tan preocupada de que desaparecieran entre la multitud. Я знал, что должен продолжать смотреть на здание RPO, как это делала Роза, но я не мог не поглядывать на них украдкой, я так боялся, что они исчезнут в толпе. At last the Mother straightened, and though she went on staring at me, altering the tilt of her head whenever a passer-by blocked her view, she took her hand away and Josie came forward with her careful walk. Por fin, la Madre se enderezó y, aunque siguió mirándome fijamente, alterando la inclinación de la cabeza cada vez que un transeúnte le tapaba la vista, apartó la mano y Josie avanzó con paso cuidadoso. Наконец Мать выпрямилась, и хотя она продолжала смотреть на меня, меняя наклон головы всякий раз, когда прохожий загораживал ей обзор, она убрала руку, и Джози вышла вперед своей осторожной походкой. I thought it encouraging the Mother should allow Josie to come by herself, yet the Mother's gaze, which never softened or wavered, and the very way she was standing there, arms crossed over her front, fingers clutching at the material of her coat, made me realize there were many signals I hadn't yet learned to understand. Pensé que animar a la Madre a permitir que Josie viniera sola, sin embargo, la mirada de la Madre, que nunca se suavizó ni vaciló, y la forma en que estaba allí de pie, con los brazos cruzados sobre la frente, los dedos aferrados a la tela de su abrigo, hizo Me di cuenta de que había muchas señales que aún no había aprendido a entender. Я думал, что это ободряет Мать, если она позволяет Джози кончить одной, но взгляд Матери, который никогда не смягчался и не дрогнул, и то, как она стояла там, скрестив руки на груди, вцепившись пальцами в ткань пальто, заставили Я понимаю, что было много сигналов, которые я еще не научился понимать. Then Josie was there before me on the other side of the glass. Entonces Josie estaba allí antes que yo al otro lado del cristal. Потом Джози оказалась передо мной по ту сторону стекла. ‘Hey! How you been?'I smiled, nodded and held up a raised thumb –a gesture I'd often observed inside the interesting magazines. ¿Cómo has estado? Sonreí, asentí y levanté el pulgar, un gesto que había observado a menudo en las revistas interesantes. ‘Sorry I couldn't come back sooner,'she said. "Siento no haber podido volver antes", dijo. ‘I guess it's been…how long?'I held up three fingers, then added a half finger from the other hand. 'Supongo que ha pasado... ¿cuánto tiempo?' Levanté tres dedos, luego agregué medio dedo de la otra mano. «Я думаю, это было… как долго?» Я поднял три пальца, затем добавил половину пальца другой руки. ‘Too long,'she said. —Demasiado tiempo —dijo ella. ‘I'm sorry. Miss me?'I nodded, putting on a sad face, though I was careful to show I wasn't serious, and that I hadn't been upset. ¿Me extrañas? Asentí con la cabeza, poniendo una cara triste, aunque tuve cuidado de demostrar que no hablaba en serio y que no estaba molesto. ‘I missed you too. Yo también te extrañé. I really thought I'd get back before this. Realmente pensé que volvería antes de esto. You probably thought I'd cleared right out. Probablemente pensaste que me había ido de inmediato. Вы, наверное, думали, что я убрался прямо сейчас. Really sorry.'Then her smile weakened as she said: ‘I suppose a lot of other kids have been here to see you.'I shook my head, but Josie looked unconvinced. Realmente lo siento'. Luego su sonrisa se debilitó cuando dijo: 'Supongo que muchos otros niños han estado aquí para verte'. Negué con la cabeza, pero Josie no parecía convencida. She glanced back to the Mother, not for reassurance, but rather to check she hadn't come any closer. Volvió a mirar a la Madre, no para tranquilizarse, sino para comprobar que no se había acercado más. Then, lowering her voice, Josie said: ‘Mom looks weird, I know, watching like that. Luego, bajando la voz, Josie dijo: 'Mamá se ve rara, lo sé, mirando así. It's because I told her you're the one I wanted. Es porque le dije que tú eras el que yo quería. I said it had to be you, so now she's sizing you up. Dije que tenías que ser tú, así que ahora te está evaluando. Я сказал, что это должен был быть ты, так что теперь она оценивает тебя. Sorry.'I thought I saw, as I'd done the time before, a flash of sadness. Lo siento. Me pareció ver, como la vez anterior, un destello de tristeza. Извини. Мне показалось, что я увидел, как и в прошлый раз, вспышку печали. ‘You will come, right? 'Vendrás, ¿verdad? — Ты придешь, да? If Mom says it's okay and everything?'I nodded encouragingly. ¿Si mamá dice que está bien y todo? Asentí alentadoramente. Если мама скажет, что все в порядке и все такое? Я ободряюще кивнула. But the uncertainty remained on her face. Pero la incertidumbre permaneció en su rostro. ‘Because I don't want you coming against your will. 'Porque no quiero que vengas en contra de tu voluntad. — Потому что я не хочу, чтобы ты шел против своей воли. That wouldn't be fair. Eso no sería justo. I really want you to come, but if you said, Josie, I don't want to, then I'd say to Mom, okay, we can't have her, no way. Realmente quiero que vengas, pero si dices, Josie, no quiero, entonces le diría a mamá, está bien, no podemos tenerla, de ninguna manera. Я очень хочу, чтобы ты пришла, но если бы ты сказал, Джози, я не хочу, тогда я бы сказал маме, хорошо, мы не можем ее взять, ни в коем случае. But you do want to come, right?'Again I nodded, and this time Josie appeared to be reassured. Pero quieres venir, ¿verdad? Volví a asentir, y esta vez Josie pareció tranquilizarse. Но ты ведь хочешь пойти, верно? Я снова кивнул, и на этот раз Джози, похоже, успокоилась. ‘That's so good.'The smile returned to her face. 'Eso es tan bueno.' La sonrisa volvió a su rostro. ‘You'll love it, I'll make sure you do.'She looked back, this time in triumph, calling: ‘Mom? 'Te encantará, me aseguraré de que lo hagas'. Miró hacia atrás, esta vez triunfante, llamando: '¿Mamá? See, she says she wants to come!'The Mother gave a small nod, but otherwise didn't respond. ¡Mira, dice que quiere venir! La Madre asintió levemente, pero por lo demás no respondió. She was still staring at me, her fingers pinching at the coat material. Ella todavía me miraba fijamente, sus dedos pellizcando el material del abrigo. When Josie turned back to me, her face had clouded again. Cuando Josie se volvió hacia mí, su rostro se había nublado de nuevo.

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