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。

彼との思い出:
彼をこの小説の舞台となった屋根付き橋に案内し到着し、家に帰って食事をし、ブランデイとコーヒーを飲んで彼は帰っていきました。

The Bridges of Tuesday (1)

Robert Kincaid drove past Richard Johnson’s mailbox an hour before dawn, alternately chewing on a Milky Way and taking bites from an apple, squeezing the coffee cup on the seat between his thighs to keep it from tipping over. He looked up at the white house standing in thin, late moonlight as he passed and shook his head at the stupidity of men, some men, most men. They could at least drink the brandy and not bang the screen door on their way out.
Francesca heard the out-of-tune pickup go by. She lay there in bed, having slept naked for the first time as far back as she could remember. She could imagine Kincaid, hair blowing in the wind curling through the truck window, one hand on the wheel, the other holding a Camel.
She listened as the sound of his wheels faded toward Roseman Bridge. And she began to roll words over in her mind from Yeats poem: “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head …” Her rendering of it fell somewhere between that of teacher and supplicant.


解説:

Robert Kincaid drove past Richard Johnson’s mailbox an hour before dawn(夜明け), alternately(かわるがわる) chewing(かんで食べる) on a Milky Way and taking bites from an apple, squeezing(締め付ける) the coffee cup on the seat between his thighs to keep it from tipping over.
■Robert Kincaid drove past Richard Johnson’s mailbox:Robert KincaidはRoseman Bridge に向けて走っていますが、右手にこのmailboxが見え、それを右に曲がって砂利道(graveled lane)を走っていくとRichard Johnsonの家があります。
■Milky Way:アメリカのチョコレート菓子
■tip over:ひっくり返る

He looked up at the white house standing in thin, late moonlight as he passed and shook his head at the stupidity(愚かさ) of men, some men, most men.
■the white house:Richard Johnsonの家のこと。
■as:同時であることを示す接続詞。

They could at least drink the brandy and not bang(バタンと閉める) the screen door(虫よけ網戸) on their way out.
■on one’s way out:出る途中で。
■They:menを受けています。
■could:ここでは所謂「仮定法過去」。「やろうとすれば出来る」
■not bang(バタンと閉める):本当の自信はありませんが、「バタンと閉めない」という1つの動詞扱いをしていると思います。出る途中で虫よけ網戸を閉めないと虫が入ってきてしまいます(虫よけ網戸を閉めないこと=愚かなこと)。この文全体の意味は(確たる自信はありませんが)「男どもは少なくとも女との食後のブランデイを飲んで、その後ロマンスに発展しないで女の家を後にすることができる愚かさを持ち合わせている」即ちFrancescaと一緒にブランデイを飲んだのに何もしないで帰ったことを惜しい事をしたと思っているわけです・

Francesca heard the out-of-tune pickup go by. She lay there in bed, having slept naked for the first time as far back as she could remember. She could imagine Kincaid, hair blowing in the wind curling(カーブする) through the truck window, one hand on the wheel, the other holding a Camel.
She listened as the sound of his wheels faded toward Roseman Bridge.

And she began to roll words over in her mind from Yeats poem: “I went out to the hazel(ハシバミ) wood, because a fire was in my head …”
■roll … over:を転がす

Her rendering(表現) of it fell somewhere between that of teacher and supplicant(哀願する人).