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更新时间:2005/10/24
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In this article the author describes what happened to her one night and what happened to her one night and her feelings about it.

There's Only Luck

    My mind went numb when I saw the gun pointing against the car window as we pulled out of the garage: This can't be happening to me. Then I felt the gun, cold, against my head, and I heard my friend Jeremy saying, "What do you want? Take my wallet," but at the time I thought of nothing.
    I remember being vaguely annoyed when the gunman pulled me from the car by the hair. I remember the walk to the house - Jeremy, me, the two men with two guns. I remember the fear and anger in the gunmen's voices because Jeremy was being slow, and I remember wondering why he was being slow. I did not realize that Jeremy had thrown the keys into the shrubbery. But I remember that sound of the gun hitting Jeremy's head and the feeling as the man who had hold of my hair released me. And I remember the split second when I realized he was looking at Jeremy, and I remember wondering how far I could run before he pulled the trigger. But I was already running, and upon reaching the car across the street, I didn't crouch behind it but screamed instead.
    I remember thinking there was something absurdly melodramatic about screaming "Help, help!" at eight o'clock on a Tuesday evening in December and changing my plea to the more specific "Help, let me in, please let me in!" But the houses were cold, closed, unfriendly, and I ran on until I heard Jeremy's screams behind me announcing that our attackers had fled.
    The neighbors who had not opened their doors to us came out with baseball bats and helped Jeremy find his glasses and keys. In a group they were very brave. We waited for the cops to come until someone said to someone else that the noodles were getting cold, and I said politely, "Please go and eat. We're O.K."
    I was happy to see them go. They had been talking of stiffer sentences for criminals, of bringing back the death penalty and how the President is going to clean up the country. I was thinking, they could be saying all of this over my dead body, and I still feel that stiffer sentences wouldn't change a thing. In a rush all the rage I should have felt for my attackers was directed against these contented people standing in front of their warm, cozy homes talking about all the guns they were going to buy. What good would guns have been to Jeremy and me?
    People all over the neighborhood had called to report our screams, and the police turned out in force twenty minutes later. They were ill-tempered about what was, to them, much ado about nothing. After all, Jeremy was hardly hurt, and we were hopeless when it came to identification. "Typical," said one cop when we couldn't even agree on how tall the men were. Both of us were able to describe the guns in horrifying detail, but the two policemen who stayed to make the report didn't think that would be much help.
    The cops were matter-of-fact about the whole thing. The thin one said, "That was a stupid thing to do, throwing away the keys. When a man has a gun against your head you do what you're told." Jeremy looked properly sheepish.
    Then the fat cop same up and the thin one went to look around the outside of the house. "That was the best thing you could have done, throwing away the keys," he said. "If you had gone into the house with them…" His voice trailed off. "They would have hurt her" - he jerked his head toward me - "and killed you both." Jeremy looked happier. "Look," said the fat cop kindly, "there's no right of wrong in the situation. There's just luck."
    All that sleepless night I replayed the moment those black gloves came up to the car window. How long did the whole thing last? Three minutes, five, eight? No matter how many hours of my life I may spend reliving it, I know there is no way to prepare for the next time - no intelligent response to a gun. The fat cop was right: There's only luck. The next time I might end up dead.
    And I'm sure there will be a next time. It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. Security is an illusion; there is no safety in locks or in guns. Guns make some people feel safe and some people feel strong, but they're fooling themselves.


NEW WORDS

    numb
n.  having lost the power of feeling or moving 失去感觉的,麻木的
    garage
n.  building in which a car is kept 汽车库
    wallet
n.  leather pocket-case for paper money, cards, etc. 皮夹
    vaguely
ad. not clearly 模糊地
    vague
a.
    annoy
vt. make rather angry 使恼怒
    gunman
n.  a man armed with a gun, esp. a criminal or terrorist 持枪歹徒
    shrubbery
n.  low bushes forming a mass or group 灌木丛
    release
vt. set free 松开;释放
    split
vt. divide into parts 劈开
    split second
    very brief moment of time; instant 瞬间,一刹那
    trigger
n.  扳机
    crouch
vi. lower the body to the ground 蹲伏
    absurdly
ad. foolishly; ridiculously 愚蠢地,荒唐可笑地
    absurd
a.
    melodramatic
a.  exciting in effect, often too much so to be thought real 感情夸张;闹剧式的
    plea
n.  asking for sth. with strong feelings 恳求
    specific
a.  definite; not general 明确的;具体的
    flee
v.  run away (from) 逃走;逃离
    baseball
n.  棒球(运动)
    bat
n.  球棒,球拍
    cop
n.  (informal) policeman
    noodle
n.  (usu. pl.) 面条
    stiff
a.  severe 严厉
    criminal
n.  someone who has broken the law 罪犯
    penalty
n.  punishment 惩罚
    rage
n.  great anger 狂怒
    contented
a.  satisfied; happy 满足的
    cozy
a.  warm and comfortable 暖和舒适的
    ill-tempered
a.  (often) angry or annoyed 脾气坏的;易怒的
    ado
n.  trouble and excitement 忙乱
    hopeless
a.  giving no cause for hope; very bad or unskilled 没有希望的;无能的
    identification
n.  鉴别
    identify
vt.
    horrify
vt. frighten; shock very much 使恐怖;使震惊
    detail
n.  small, particular fact 细节
    matter-of-fact
a.  concerned with the facts; practical 注重事实的;讲究实际的
    sheepish
a.  foolish or embarrassed by awareness of a fault 局促不安的
    trail
vi. grow gradually weaker, dimmer, etc.
    jerk
vt. pull or lift suddenly 猛拉;猛抬
    replay
vt. play (match, recording, etc.) over again 重放
    glove
n.  手套
    last
vi. go on
    relive
vt. experience again, esp. in the imagination
    intelligent
a.  clever; rational 聪明的;明智的
    response
n.  action done in answer; answer 反应;回答
    respond
vi.
    security
n.  safety, freedom from danger or fear 安全,平安
    secure
a. 
    illusion
n.  false perception; (the seeing of) sth. that does not really exist 错觉;幻觉


PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS

    pull out (of)
    move out (of) (车,船等)驶出
    have (get, catch) hold of
    抓住
    bring back
    restore, reintroduce 恢复
    clean up
    clean thoroughly and remove anything unwanted 彻底打扫;整肃
    turn out
    appear; come or go out to see or do sth. 出来,出动
    in force
    in large numbers 大批地,人数众多地
    much ado about nothing
    a lot of unnecessary explaining, of excitement about things not serious or unimportant 无事生非;小题大作
    come to
    reach (a particular point) in explaining, etc. 谈到(某一点)
    agree on
    have the same opinion on
    in detail
    giving a lot of facts 详细地
    trail off
    (voice, etc.) become gradually weaker and fade into silence (声音等)逐渐变弱
    no way
    不可能
    prepare for
    get ready for
    and up 结束,告终


PROPER NAMES
 
    Ruth Reichl
    露丝.赖克尔
    Jeremy
    杰里米(男子名)

相关主题链接:
UNIT 10. Profits of Praise
UNIT 9. What Is Intelligence, Anyway?
UNIT 8. Honesty: Is It Going out of Style?
UNIT 10. Going Home
UNIT 9. The Brain
UNIT 8. Yoe Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine
UNIT 7. The Sampler
UNIT 6. Sam Adams, Industrial Engineer
UNIT 5. A Miserable, Merry Christmas
UNIT 4. Turning off TV: A Quiet Hour
UNIT 3. The Present
UNIT 2. Sailing Round the World