white teeth 2-ag真人试玩平台


white teeth 2. teething trouble-2

yet strangely, and possibly because of jehovah's well documented penchant for moving in a

mysterious manner, it was in performing the business of the lord that clara met ryan

topps face to face. the youth group of the lambeth kingdom hall had been sent door stepping on

a sunday morning, separating the sheep from the goats (matthew 25:31-46), and clara, detesting

the young witness men with their bad ties and softly spoken voices, had set off alone with her own

to ring bells along creighton road. the first few doors she received the usual pained faces:

nice women shooing her away as as possible, making sure they didn't get too close, scared

they might catch religion like an . as she got into the poorer end of the street, the reaction

became more ; shouts came from windows or behind closed doors.

"if that's the bloody jehovah's witnesses, tell 'em to piss off!"

or, more imaginatively, "sorry, love, don't you know what day it is? it's sunday, in nit i'm

knackered. i've spent all week creating the land and oceans. it's me day of rest."

at no. 75 she spent an hour with a fourteen-year-old physics whizz called colin who wanted to

intellectually disprove the existence of god while looking up her skirt. then she rang no. 87. and

ryan topps answered.


he stood there in all his red-headed, black polo-necked glory, his lip curled in a snarl.


she tried to forget what she was wearing: a white shirt complete with throat-ruffle,

plaid knee-length skirt and sash that proudly stated nearer my god to thee.

"you want som mink said ryan, a fierce drag of a dying cigarette. "or som mink

clara tried her widest, buck-toothed smile and went on to auto-pilot. "marnin' to you, sir. i am

from de lambet kingdom hall, where we, de witnesses of jehovah, are waitin' for de lord to come

and grace us wid his holy presence once more; as he did briefly hot sadly, invisibly in de year of

our farder, 1914. we believe dat when he makes himself known he will be bringing wid 'im de

tree-fold fires of hell in armageddon, dat day when precious few will be saved. are you int' rested



clara, close to tears at the shame of it, tried again. "are you int' rested in de tea chins of


"you wot?"

"in jehovah in de tea chins of d'lord. you see, it like a ." clara's last resort was always

her mother's metaphor of the holy steps. "i see dat you walkin' down and der's a missin' step comin'.

i'm just tellin' you: watch your step! me jus wan'

share heaven wid you. me nah wan' fe see you bruk-up your legs."

ryan topps leant against the door frame and looked at her for a long time through his red .

clara felt she was closing in on herself, like a . it was only moments, surely, before she

disappeared entirely.

"i 'ave some materials of readin' for your perusal' she fumbled with the lock of the ,

flipped the catch with her thumb but neglected to hold the other side of the case. fifty copies of the

watchtawer spilled over the .

"bwoy, me ky ant do nuttin' right today '

she fell to the ground in a rush to pick them up and scraped the skin off her left knee. "owl"

"your name's clara," said ryan slowly. "you're from my school, ain't ya?"

"yes, man," said clara, so jubilant he remembered her name that she forgot the pain. "st.


"i know wot it's called."

clara went as red as black people get and looked at the floor.

"hopeless causes. saint of," said ryan, picking something surreptitiously from his nose and

nicking it into a flowerpot. "ira. the lot of'em."

ryan surveyed the long figure of clara once more, spending an inordinate amount of time on

two sizeable breasts, the outline of their raised nipples just discernible through white polyester.

"you best come in," he said finally, lowering his gaze to inspect the bleeding knee. "put

somefin' on that."

that very afternoon there were furtive rumblings on ryan's couch (which went a good deal

further than one might expect of a christian girl) and the devil won another easy hand in god's

poker game. things were tweaked, and pushed and pulled; and by the time the bell rang for end of

school monday ryan topps and clara bowden (much to their school's disgust) were

more or less an item; as the st. jude's phraseology went,

they were '' with each other. was it everything that clara, in all her sweaty adolescent

invention, had imagined?

well, '' with ryan turned out to consist of three major pastimes (in order of importance):

admiring ryan's scooter, admiring ryan's records, admiring ryan. but though other girls might

have balked at dates that took place in ryan's and consisted entirely of watching him pore

over the engine of a scooter, eulogizing its intricacies and complexities, to clara there was nothing

more thrilling. she learnt quickly that ryan was a man of few words and that the rare

conversations they had would only ever concern ryan: his hopes, his fears (all scooter-related) and

his peculiar belief that he and his scooter would not live long. for some reason, ryan was

convinced of the ageing fifties motto "live fast, die young', and, though his scooter didn't do more

than 22 mph. downhill, he liked to warn clara in grim tones not to get 'too involved', for he

wouldn't be here long; he was 'going out' early and with a 'bang'. she imagined herself the

bleeding ryan in her arms, him finally declare his undying love; she saw herself as mod

widow, wearing black polo-necks for a year and demanding "waterloo sunset' be played at his

funeral. clara's dedication to ryan topps knew no bounds. it transcended his bad

looks, personality and unsightly personal habits. essentially, it transcended ryan, for

whatever hortense claimed, clara was a teenage girl like any other; the object of her passion was

only an ory" title="n.附件;帮凶 a.附属的">ory to the passion itself, a passion that through its long suppression was now

asserting itself with necessity. over the ensuing months clara's mind changed, clara's

clothes changed, clara's walk changed, clara's soul changed. all over the world girls were

this change donny osmond or michael jackson or the bay city rollers. clara chose to call it ryan


there were no dates, in the normal sense. no flowers or restaurants, movies or parties.

occasionally, when more weed

was required, ryan would take her to visit a large squat in north london where an eighth came

cheap and people too stoned to make out the features on your face acted like your best friends. here,

ryan would ensconce himself in a , and, after a few joints, progress from his usual

monosyllabic to the entirely catatonic. clara, who didn't smoke, sat at his feet, admired him, and

tried to keep up with the general conversation around her. she had no tales to tell like the others,

not like merlin, like clive, like leo, petronia, wan-si and the others. no anecdotes of lsd trips, of

police brutality or marching on trafalgar square. but clara made friends. a resourceful girl, she

used what she had to amuse and an assorted company of hippies, flakes, freaks and funky

folk: a different kind of ; tales of hellfire and damnation, of the devil's love of faeces, his

passion for stripping skin, for red-hot-poke ring eyeballs and the flaying of genitals all the elaborate

plans of lucifer, that most of fallen angels, that were set for i january 1975.

naturally, the thing called ryan topps began to push the end of the world further and further

into the back-rooms of clara's . so many other things were presenting themselves to

her, so much new in life! if it were possible, she felt like one of the anointed right now, right here

in lambeth. the more she felt on earth, the more rarely she turned her thoughts towards

heaven. in the end, it was the epic feat of long division that clara simply couldn't figure. so many

unsaved. out of eight million jehovah's witnesses, only 144,000 men could join christ in heaven.

the good women and good-enough men would gain paradise on earth not a bad booby prize all

things considered but that still left a few million who failed to make the grade. add that to the

heathens; to the jews, catholics, muslims; to the poor men in the amazon whom clara had

wept for as a child; so many unsaved. the witnesses prided themselves on the absence of hell in

their the punishment was torture, unimaginable torture on the final day, and then the grave

was the grave. but to clara, this seemed worse the thought of the great crowd, enjoying

themselves in paradise, while the tortured, mutilated skeletons of the lost lay just under the


on the one side stood all the quantities of people on the globe, unacquainted with the

teachings of the watchtower (some with no to a postbox), unable to contact the lambeth

kingdom hall and receive helpful reading material about the road to redemption. on the other side,

hortense, her hair all wrapped up in iron rollers, tossing and turning in her sheets, gleefully

awaiting the rains of sulphur to pour down upon the sinners, particularly the woman at no. 53.

hortense tried to explain: "dem dat died wid out de knowing de lord, will be resurrected and dem

will have an udder chance." but to clara, it was still an inequitable . unbalanceable books.

faith is hard to achieve, easy to lose. she became more and more to leave the impress of

her knees in the red cushions in the kingdom hall. she would not wear sashes, carry banners or

give out leaflets. she would not tell anyone about missing steps. she discovered dope, forgot the

and began the lift.

october 1974. a detention. held back forty-five minutes after school (for claiming, in a music

lesson, that roger daltrey was a greater than joharm sebastian bach) and as a result,

clara missed her four o'clock meeting with ryan on the corner of leenan street. it was freezing

cold and getting dark by the time she got out; she ran through piles of putrefying autumn leaves,

searched the length and of leenan, but there was no sign. it was with dread that she

approached her own front door, up to god a multitude of silent contracts (i'll never have

sex, iii never smoke another joint, i'll never wear another skin above the knee) if only he could

assure her that ryan topps had not rung her mother's doorbell looking for shelter from the wind.

"clara! come out of de cold."

it was the voice hortense put on when she had company an over-compensation of all the

consonants the voice she used for pastors and white women.

clara closed the front door behind her, and walked in a kind of terror through the living room,

past the framed hologram of jesus who wept (and then didn't), and into the kitchen.

"dear lord, she look like so meting de cat dragged in, hmm?"

"mmm," said ryan, who was happily shovelling a plate of ackee and salt fish into his mouth on

the other side of the tiny kitchen table.

clara stuttered, her buck teeth cutting shapes into her bottom lip. "what are you doing here?"

"ha!" cried hortense, almost . "you tink you can hide your friends from me for ever?

de bwoy was cold, i letim in, we been havin' a nice chat, haven't we young man?"

"mmm, yes, mrs. bowden."

"well, don' look so shock. you'd tink i was gwan eatim up or so meting eh ryan?" said

hortense, glowing in a manner clara had never seen before.

"yeah, right," smirked ryan. and together, ryan topps and clara's mother began to laugh.

is there anything more likely to take the shine off an affair than when the lover strikes up a

convivial with the lo vee mother? as the nights got darker and shorter and it became

harder to pick ryan out of the crowd who milled outside the school gates each day at three thirty, a

clara would make the long walk home only to find her lover once more in the kitchen,

chatting happily with hortense, devouring the bowden household's cornucopia of goodies: ackee

and salt fish beef jerky, chicken-rice-and-peas, cake and ices.

these conversations, lively as they sounded when clara turned the key in the door, always fell

silent as she approached the kitchen. like children caught out, they would become , then

, then ryan would make his excuses and leave. there was also a look, she noticed, that

they had begun to give her, a look of sympathy, of condescension; and not only that they began to

comment on her clothing, which had become steadily more youthful, more ; and ryan

what was to ryan? shed his polo-neck, avoided her in school, bought a tie.

of course, like the mother of a drug addict or the neighbour of a serial killer, clara was the last

to know. she had once known everything about ryan before ryan himself knew it she had been a

ryan expert. now she was reduced to over the irish girls assert that clara bowden and ryan

topps were not with each other definitively, definitely not with each other oh no,

not any more.

if clara realized what was , she wouldn't allow herself to believe it. on the occasion

she spotted ryan at the kitchen table, surrounded by leaflets and hortense them

up and shoving them into her apron pocket clara willed herself to forget it. later that month, when

clara persuaded a ryan to go through the motions with her in the disabled , she

squinted so she couldn't see what she didn't want to see. but it was there, underneath his ,

there as he leant back on the sink was the glint of silver, its gleam hardly visible in the light

it couldn't be, but it was the silver glint of a tiny silver cross.

it couldn't be, but it was. that is how people describe a miracle. somehow the opposites of

hortense and ryan had met at their extremes, their predilection for the pain and

death of others meeting like points on some morbid horizon. suddenly the saved and

the unsaved had come a full circle. hortense and ryan were now to save her.

"get on the bike."

clara had just stepped out of school into the dusk and it was ryan, his scooter coming to a

sharp halt at her feet.

"claz, get on the bike."

"go ask my mudder if she wan' get on de bike!"

"please," said ryan, pr the spare scooter helmet. "simportant. need to talk to you. ain't

much time left."

"why?" snapped clara, rocking petulantly on her platform heels. "you goin' someplace?"

"you and me both," murmured ryan. the right place, ope fully


"please, claz."


"please. "simportant. life or death."

"man.. all right. but me nah wearin' dat ting' she passed back the helmet and got astride the

scooter 'not mussin' up me hair."

ryan drove her across london and up to hampstead heath, the very top of parliament hill,

where, looking down from that peak on to the orange fluorescence of the city, carefully,

tortuously, and in language that was not his own, he put forward his case. the bottom line of which

was this: there was only a month until the end of the world.

"and the ring is, herself and myself, we're just '


"your mum your mum and myself mumbled ryan, 'we're worried. "bout you. there ain't that

many wot will survive the last days. you been wiv a bad crowd, claz '

"man," said clara, shaking her head and sucking her teeth, "i don' believe dis biznezz. dem

were your friends."

"no, no, they ain't. not no more. the weed the weed is evil. and all that lot wan-si, petronia."

"dey my friends!"

"they ain't nice girls, clara. they should be with their families, not dressing like they do and

doing things with them men in that house. you yourself shouldn't be doin' that, neither. and

dressing like, like, like '

"like what?"

"like a whore!" said ryan, the word exploding from him like it was a relief to be rid of it.

"like a loose woman!"

"oh bwoy, i heard every ting now .. . take me home, man."

"they're going to get theirs," said ryan, nodding to himself, his arm stretched and gesturing

over london from chiswick to archway. "there's still time for you. who do you want to be with,

claz? who d'ya want to be with? with the 144,000, in heaven, ruling with christ? or do you want

to be one of the great crowd, living in paradise, which is all right but.. . or are you going to

be one of them who get it in the neck, torture and death. eh? i'm just separating the sheep from the

goats, claz, the sheep from the goats. that's matthew. and i think you yourself are a sheep, in nit

"lemme tell you so meting said clara, walking back over to the scooter and the back

seat, "i'm a goat. i like being' a goat. i wanna be a goat. an' i'd rather be sizzling in de rains of

sulphur wid my friends than sittin' in heaven, bored to tears, wid darcus, my mudder and you!"

"shouldn'ta said that, claz," said ryan , putting his helmet on. "i really wish you 'adn't

said that. for your sake. he can hear us."

"an' i'm tired of hearin' you. take me home."

"it's the truth! he can hear us!" he shouted, turning , yelling above the exhaust-pipe

noise as they revved up and scooted downhill. "he can see it all! he watches over us!"

"watch over where you goin'," clara yelled back, as they sent a cluster of hasidic jews running

in all directions. "watch de path!"

"only the few that's wot it says only the few. they'll all get it that's what it says in

dyoot-er-ronomee they'll all get what's comin' and only the few '

somewhere in the middle of ryan topps's enlightening biblical exegesis, his former false idol,

the vespa g s, right into

a 400-year-old oak tree. nature triumphed over the presumptions of . the tree

survived; the bike died; ryan was hurled one way; clara the other.

the principles of christianity and sod's law (also known as murphy's law) are the same:

everything happens to me, for me. so if a man drops a piece of toast and it lands butter-side down,

this event is interpreted as being proof of an essential truth about bad luck: that the toast

fell as it did just to prove to you, mr. unlucky, that there is a defining force in the and it is

bad luck. it's not . it could never have fallen on the right side, so the argument goes, because

that's sod's law. in short, sod's law happens to you to prove to you that there is sod's law. yet,

unlike , it is a law that does not exist whatever happens: when the toast lands on the right

side, sod's law mysteriously disappears. likewise, when clara fell, knocking the teeth out of the

top of her mouth, while ryan stood up without a scratch, ryan knew it was because god had

chosen ryan as one of the saved and clara as one of the unsaved. not because one was wearing a

helmet and the other wasn't. and had it happened the other way round, had reclaimed

ryan's teeth and sent them rolling down primrose hill like tiny snowballs, well .. . you can

bet your life that god, in ryan's mind, would have done a vanishing act.

as it was, this was the final sign ryan needed. when new year's eve rolled around, he was

there in the living room, sitting in the middle of a circle of candles with hortense, ardently praying

for clara's soul while darcus pissed into his tube and watched the generation game on bbc one.

clara, meanwhile, had put on a pair of yellow flares and a red neck top and gone to a party.

she suggested its theme, helped to paint the banner and hang it from the window; she danced and

smoked with the rest of them and felt herself, without undue , to be quite the belle of the

squat. but as midnight came and went without the horsemen of the apocalypse making

an appearance, clara surprised herself by falling into a . for ridding oneself of faith

is like boiling sea-water to retrieve the salt something is gained but something is lost. though her

friends merlin, wan-si, et al. clapped her on the back and congratulated her for exorcizing those

fervid dreams of perdition and redemption, clara quietly mourned the warmer touch she had waited

for these nineteen years, the all-enveloping bear hug of the saviour, the one who was alpha and

omega, both the beginning and the end; the man who was meant to take her away from all this,

from the listless reality of life in a ground-floor flat in lambeth. what now for clara? ryan would

find another fad; darcus need only turn to the other channel; for hortense another date would of

course materialize, along with more leaflets, ever more faith. but clara was not like hortense. yet a

residue, left over from the of clara's faith, remained. she still wished for a . she

still wished for a man to whisk her away, to choose her above others so that she might walk in

white with him: for [she] was worthy. revelation 3:4.

perhaps it is not so then, that when clara bowden met archie jones at the bottom

of some stairs the next morning she saw more in him than simply a rather short, rather chubby

white man in a badly tailored suit. clara saw archie through the grey-green eyes of

loss; her world had just disappeared, the faith she lived by had receded like a low tide, and archie,

quite by accident, had become the bloke in the joke: the last man on earth.
关键字:white teeth
  • [i´ventʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.最后,终于 四级词汇
  • [´su:tkeis, ´sju:t] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.手提箱 六级词汇
  • [ə´gresiv] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.进攻的;侵略的 四级词汇
  • [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.迷人的 n.捕获物 六级词汇
  • [´dɔ:step] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.门阶 六级词汇
  • [kə´lektiv] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.集体的 n.集体 六级词汇
  • [´peinfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.痛苦地;费力地 四级词汇
  • [´həuldiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.保持,固定,存储 六级词汇
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  • [vɔl´kænik] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.(象)火山的;爆发的 四级词汇
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