掉尾

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フランス人たちとDragon Speechで遊んでいた。
「きみはハチオンが悪いのではないか」と述べると、おおげさにむくれてみせる、わし家シェフ。

部屋に帰ってくる前にグラッパを1本飲んでしまった。
その前にロゼとシャブリを1本づつお終いにしているのだから、わし家の伝統どおりの、わしもまた、盛大な酔っ払いである。

(畳は沈む)
(畳は沈む)

「小さい人たち」は顔かたちもモニのものだが、なによりも燃えるような緑色の眼が母親ゆずりである。

いつか、モニが「ガメは明るい灰色の眼が好きだからな」と述べて、げげげ、なぜそれを知っている、と不思議がったことがあったが、その後の生活で、女の人にはなんでもバレてしまうものだと理解できたので、いまでは、そういうことも疑問には思わなくなった。
いったん、女の人には神秘な力が備わっているのだと判ってしまえば、男には判らないことで、それはそれで良い気がする。

(わたしどもの息子がご迷惑をおかけして)
(決して、こんなふうに育てようと思ったのではないのです)

毎年のことで、一年の終わりになると、
The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrockを暗誦してみる。
(まだ、ちゃんと憶えている)

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
               So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
               And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
               And should I then presume?
               And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head
               Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
               That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
               “That is not it at all,
               That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

まだ時間があるのさ、きみにもぼくにも
考え直してみる時間がある、
というエリオットの声に耳を澄ます。

(わたしどもの息子がご迷惑をおかけして)
(決して、こんなふうに育てようと思ったのではないのです)

(畳は沈む)

能楽ってのはさ、こんなふうに足を運ぶんだ。
ほんで、こっちがフラメンコ。
スペインと日本の文明は、あんなに異なっているのに、足運びにおいて、
ふたつの文明は途方もなく似ているとは思わないか?
なんという不思議なことだろう、と言っているのに、
フランス人たちは、半分も聞いていなくて、このあいだ買った自転車の話をしている。

ホールウェイの反対の端っこで、モニと、小さな人たちが、こっちを見ている。
三対の炎に限りなく似た緑色の眼。

来年は、コ・サムイに行こう。
名前は「寒い」でも、あの島は常夏で、しかも穏やかな夏で、
人間の魂を慰めてくれる。

Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore,
non feci mai male ad anima viva!
と言うでしょう?

あの人の科白を、われわれは笑うべきでなかった。

きみにもぼくにも「自分の生活」があって、だからこそ判りあえない。
残念だけど、でも、そんなものさ。
エズラ・パウンドに言われなくても、人間の言葉は伝達に最も向いてなくて、お互いに言いたいことを述べて、ただなんとなく相手が発声したことを理解したふりをしているだけである。

(声が絶命する)
(最期の、遠く微かな、絶叫が聞こえる)

「小さな人達」が庭の菜園からコリアンダーを摘んできて、両の手いっぱいに広げて、哄笑している。
わしかーちゃんととーちゃんが、それを見て微笑んでいる。

知ってる。
あの微笑は、死にゆくことを知っている微笑で、
自分達が、この世界を去って行くことを知っている人の笑顔である。

ぼくも。

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