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。毎年の儀式になったRobert Kincaidから来た手紙を読み返したところです。そして彼とのことを思い出しています。この小説の舞台となった屋根付き橋に案内し到着し、家まで戻ってきました。そして冷たいお茶を出したところです。

Francesca (18)

Later, he would tell her that in ways undefinable, watching her take off her boots that day was one of the most sensual moments he could remember. What was not important. That was not the way he approached his life. “Analysis destroys wholes. Some things, magic things, are meat to stay whole. If you look at their pieces, they go away.” That’s what he had said.
She sat at the table, one leg curled under her, and pulled back strands of hair that had fallen over her face, refastening them with the tortoiseshell comb. Then, remembering, she rose and went to the end cupboard, took down an ashtray, and set it on the table where he could reach it.
With that tacit permission, he pulled out a pack of camels and held it toward her. She took one and noticed it was slightly wet from his heavy perspiring. Same routine. He held the gold Zippo, she touched his hand to steady it, felt his skin with her fingertips, and sat back. The cigarette tasted wonderful, and she smiled.
“What is it you do, exactly – I mean with the photography?”
He looked at his cigarette and spoke quietly “I’m a contract shooter – uh, photographer – for National Geographic, part of the time. I get ideas, sell them to the magazine, and do the shoot. Or they have something they want done and contact me. Not a lot of room for artistic expression, it’s a pretty conservative publication. But the pay is decent. Not great, but decent, and steady. The rest of the time I write and photograph on my own hook and send pieces to other magazines. If things get tough, I do corporate work, though I find that awfully confining.


解説:

Later, he would tell her that in ways undefinable(説明できない), watching her take off her boots that day was one of the most sensual(官能的な) moments he could remember.
■would:ここでは「過去の習慣」を表します。「よく・・・したものだ」。

What was not important.
■Whatは先行詞を含む関係代名詞。

That was not the way he approached his life. “Analysis destroys wholes(完全なもの). Some things, magic things, are meat to stay whole(まるまるの). If you look at their pieces, they go away.” That’s what he had said.
She sat at the table, one leg curled(まきつける) under her, and pulled back strands(編んだ髪) of hair that had fallen over her face, refastening them with the tortoiseshell(べっ甲) comb. Then, remembering, she rose and went to the end(端の) cupboard, took down an ashtray, and set it on the table where he could reach it.
With that tacit(暗黙の) permission, he pulled out a pack of camels and held it toward her.

She took one and noticed it was slightly wet from his heavy perspiring(汗をかくこと).
■from:ここでは「原因」を表します。

Same routine. He held the gold Zippo, she touched his hand to steady it, felt his skin with her fingertips(指先), and sat back. The cigarette tasted wonderful, and she smiled.

“What is it you do, exactly – I mean with the photography(写真撮影業)?”
■with:ここでは「・・・に関して」の意。名詞に “Kincaid Photography, Bellingham, Washington”とあったので「写真撮影業というのは正確には何をしているのですか?」と尋ねた訳です。

He looked at his cigarette and spoke quietly “I’m a contract shooter – uh, photographer – for National Geographic, part of the time.
■part of the time:全部の時間の一部(では)。「時として」。

I get ideas, sell them to the magazine, and do the shoot. Or they have something they want done and contact me.

Not a lot of room for artistic(芸術の) expression, it’s a pretty conservative publication(出版物).
■it:National Geographic

But the pay is decent(まあまあの). Not great, but decent, and steady.

The rest of the time I write and photograph on my own hook and send pieces to other magazines.
■on my own hook:自分の責任で

If things get tough, I do corporate work, though I find that awfully confining(自由を制約する,融通のきかない,きゅうくつな).
■corporate work:会社の仕事