Are you wearing 1)pajamas? I do not mean to begin this letter by getting personal. I was just wondering if you people leave the house anymore-something that seems to be increasingly unnecessary these days, a hundred years ago.
Are you six-feet-six? Are you fly-fishing on Mars? Are you talking on a cell phone? We are, usually.
As lovers leaving lovers say, By the time you read this, I'll be gone. Or possibly I won't. Given the way life is being prolonged these days, I - with my pig's liver, 2)titanium hips and knees, artificialheart, transplanted kidney and reconstructed DNA - could write this letter in my century and pick it up in yours.
I write you in the dead of winter from a summer village by the Atlantic Ocean. The last of the houseflies beats its body against the window, through which I watch the 3)tremors of a 4)berry bush and the shorn stoic trees. Afternoon lowers on evening; the sky is the color of 5)unpolished silver. A Cole Porter song, In the Still of the Night, goes through my head. I do not know why.
We are generally content, generally atpeace, generally optimistic, and with good reason. We are generally rich; more people have homes of their own. We are generally healthy, thanks largely to remarkable advances in medicine. People who died of certain diseases even 30 years ago are routinely saved today.
In short, we are generally OK in spite of notable low spots and areas of significant concern. Our movies are mostly silly. Our books? Mostly small. The quality of our cultural criticism is generally so low that one cannot tell how good or bad any artist is, but in literature, at least, it is highly unlikely that any writer touted as a heavyweight in our era will make it to the ring in yours. Movies that once were judged by normal artistic criteria are now valued by the amount of money they make over a weekend. For your horrified amusement, see if you can dig up a print of something called 6)Screamor The Blair Witch Project.
We enlarge and expand. We have recently found out that the entire universe is expanding more than we had 7)initially believed. We build, invent and discover at a pace that is 8)dizzying for us, perhaps turtle footed for you.
I wonder how far you have progressed. I wonder if you have figured out how to make the best use of the past. I see you looking back at us. You see us looking out at you. Because we can imagine one another, we constitute each other's dreams.
Outside, the air is cold and deep. The moon hangs in a fingernail of light. The clouds conspire and retreat to reveal your stars and ours. Come. Walk with me in the 9)chill still of the night.
我身处大西洋岸边的避暑山庄，给你写这信时，正值隆冬季节。最后的家蝇撞击着窗户，透过窗我看到摇曳的果树与修剪过的忍冬树。 下午渐去，薄暮来临 ；天空是暗银色。不知何故，我的脑海中浮想起了科尔·波特的歌《静夜》。
1) pajamas n. 睡衣，宽长裤
2) titanium n. （化学）钛注释：
3) tremor n. 震动，颤动
4) berry n. 浆果
5) unpolished a. 无光泽的
6) Scream和The Blair Witch Project是美国近年最卖座的恐怖影片。注释：
7) initially adv. 最初，开头
8) dizzying a. 令人昏乱的9) chill a. 寒冷的，扫兴的