夫 が死んで8年。Francescaは67歳の誕生日を迎えました。昔からのド田舎の家に今も1人で住んでいます。子供たち2人は今年も母の誕生日に帰ってきませんでした。誕生日をお祝いするために来てくれた友達たちも帰って行きました。そして夕方Francescaは1人でブランデイを飲みながら、毎年の儀式になったRobert Kincaidから来た手紙を読み返します。

Francesca (4)
When she could feel his hands touching her, she opened the envelope, carefully removed three letters, a short manuscript, two photographs, and a complete issue of National Graphic along with clippings from other issues of the magazine. There, in gray light fading, she sipped her brandy, looking over the rim of her glass to the handwritten note clipped on the typed manuscript pages. The letter was on his stationery, simple stationery that said only “Robert Kincaid, Writer-Photographer” at the top in discreet lettering.

September 10, 1965

Dear Francesca,
Enclosed are two photographs. One is the shot I took of you in the pasture at sunrise. I hope you like it as much I do. The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked to it.
I sit here trolling the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over. “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?” And I struggle to bring it together. That’s why I wrote the little piece, “Falling from Dimension Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through my confusion.
I look down the barrel of a lens, and you’re at the end of it. I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by.
A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained, reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content. All of that has changed.
It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning , all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another.
The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable – it could not have been any other way a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable.
So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity.
Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime.
Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto. Let me know if you can come out here sometime – anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October.

I Love You,
Robert

P.S., The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published.



解説:

Francesca (4)

When she could feel his hands touching her, she opened the envelope, carefully removed(取り去る) three letters, a short manuscript(文書), two photographs, and a complete issue of National Graphic along with clippings from other issues of the magazine.
■along with …:「・・・のほかに」。

There, in gray light fading, she sipped her brandy, looking over the rim(縁) of her glass to the handwritten note clipped on the typed manuscript pages. The letter was on his stationery(便せん), simple stationery that said only “Robert Kincaid, Writer-Photographer” at the top in discreet(目立たない) lettering(刷り込んだ文字).

September 10, 1965

Dear Francesca,
Enclosed are two photographs.
■Enclosed are/is …:「・・・を同封しました」の意の定番表現。

One is the shot(写真) I took of you in the pasture(牧草地) at sunrise. I hope you like it as much I do.

The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked(付加する) to it.
■文字通りの意味は「もう1つは、あなたのメモを削除する前のローズマンブリッジの写真です」。具体的に何を指すのかは、今は分かりません。

I sit here trolling(捜索する) the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over. “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?”

And I struggle to bring it together.
■bring together:「まとめる」。it はevery detailを受けています。

That’s why I wrote the little piece(記事), “Falling from Dimension(側面) Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through(厳密に調べる) my confusion(混乱).

I look down the barrel(鏡胴=レンズを所定の位置に支持し、外部からの光線や空気のゆらぎを防ぐ筒) of a lens, and you’re at the end of it.
■look down:「を見下ろす」の意もありますが、ここでは「をのぞく」の意。

I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow(どういうわけか) the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by(通り過ぎる).
A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained(必要物がすべて完備した), reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly(深く) happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content.
■A few weeks ago:旅に出かける前です。

All of that has changed.
It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time.

Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless(愚かな) certainty humming(鼻歌を歌う) blithely(陽気に) along beneath our ignorance(無知) that ensured(保証する) we would come together.
■that ensured(保証する) we would come together:certaintyを修飾。
■come together:集まる

Like two solitary(連れのいない) birds flying(を飛び越える) the great prairies(大草原) by celestial(天上界の) reckoning (予測), all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another.
■one another:お互い

The road is a strange place. Shuffling along(足をひきずってよろよろ歩く), I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect(追憶), it seems inevitable(避けられない) – it could not have been any other way a case of what I call the high probability(見込み、公算) of the improbable(ありそうにもない).
So here I am walking around with another person inside of me.

Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us.
■I put it better:私はそれをもっと上手に言葉にした

And I am stalked(に忍び寄る) now by that other entity(実在するもの).
Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime.
Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto(すぐに)
. Let me know if you can come out here sometime – anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October.

I Love You,
Robert

P.S.[追伸], The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published.
■turned out:「結果として・・・となった」
■NG:National Geographic