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风雨中飘摇的大树(十一)

纪实小说 昌达空间 988℃ 0评论

    买下的那所房子,简直就像八十岁的老太太,又旧又矮,进出先弯腰,生怕碰着额头。每逢多雨季节,一家人犯愁,外边下大雨,屋里下小雨,大小盆子都派上了用场。人住嫌破旧,老鼠却很理想。刚入睡,一会儿撞倒油瓶子,一会儿发出“吱吱”的交流声,一会儿又传来啃家具的咯嘣声,一会儿又蹬落房顶的泥土,整夜不得安宁,好端端的家具被啃得遍体鳞伤。所以,每晚睡觉前,必须把食品用瓷盆扣起来,以免招引鼠辈偷食。为了彻底改变居住环境,父亲拼命干活,母亲连吃药的钱都不舍得花。三年之中,父母没有添过一件新衣服,能凑合就凑合,往往一件衣服补了又补,缝了又缝。1975年初秋,家中那头大猪卖了近百元,前后积蓄五百多块钱。父母决定扒掉老房子,原址重建。
  中秋时节,东北还不算冷,每年一季的农活基本结束。生产队抽出八九个社员,帮助我们建新房。按照本地习俗,上大梁当天中午要吃一顿好饭,犒劳大伙儿,一则表示主家心意,二则期望大伙儿继续用心用力。大饼子自然不行,但公社的食堂里又买不到馒头,所以,只有坐火车到县城(郑家屯,现在的双辽市)去买。玻璃山到县城36公里,母亲有病,另外家中也离不开人,父亲更离不开。
  前一天傍晚,父亲和母亲商量:“明早的车来不及,现在我就去车站看看有没有货车。要是有的话,扒货车连夜去郑家屯。明天上午9点之前,就能赶回来。”
  “9点之前没票车。如果扒不上货车怎么办?郑家屯是大车站,不一定就能顺顺利利地坐上。”母亲觉得不合适,扔掉手中的麻绳,喉咙里连续发出“嘿儿—嘿儿”声。
  父亲看看母亲:“坐下歇会吧。”
  母亲绷紧嘴,憋着干咳,对父亲说:“你一走,那么多人干活,一会要这一会要那,我一个人顾不过来。”

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  我虽然不满11岁,但却很要强。平时,父亲干活早出晚归,整天不在家,母亲又病恹恹的。穷人的孩子早当家,生于苦中不觉苦。每逢星期六下午,学校休课,整整一个下午就是带弟弟;第二天像是出笼的鸟儿,伙同苏小三(苏志生,苏木匠的三儿子)、张拍儿去地里挖野菜,喂猪喂鸡。
  铁路西的农田里有成片成片的猪毛菜。如果再远走二里,就能挖到上等的野菜,比如青母菜、马齿菜、灰灰菜、刺苋菜。青母菜就是苦麻菜,这种菜蘸酱吃,口感鲜嫩;马齿菜掺面烙饼子,略酸带香;灰灰菜蒸包子,软香可口。为了节省粮食,很多时候,这些菜都用来充饥。至于家畜,能吃到这些野菜就像吃到了粮食一样。
  带一条布袋,拿一把铲子,像淘金一样,总要跑的远些,去那偏僻的庄稼地。那里远离村庄,地块大,生产队打理不过来。里面杂草纵生,野菜成片,半天就能把布袋塞满。到家后,好菜挑出来人吃,剩下的统统放入大锅里煮熟,然后倒进缸里发酵。喂猪时,撒点大青盐或苞米皮,猪喜欢吃,也上膘快。
  家里喂养一大一小两头猪,一袋子野菜可以维持三四天。所以,星期天挖一袋子,到星期五才喂完,大致也能跟上。父亲答应我,等大猪卖了变钱,就给我买一件的确凉衬衫。在我心里,即便不买衬衫,也不愿意在家里带弟弟。带孩子太麻烦,又是扛,又是背,丝毫不对他就哭。母亲听到弟弟哭,就瞪着眼冲我发火,又是打又是骂,还不如出力干活。自从母亲患病之后,性格变得越来越怪异,动不动就发脾气。我最害怕母亲生气的样子,所以,自愿承担起三分之一的家务。担水,担不动就担半桶;做饭,灶台高就站在板凳上…….这些活我都能干,也喜欢学。因此,也常常得到父母的夸奖。不管怎样,母亲不发脾气就行。

  此时,我正在看小人书。听到父母为买馒头一事犯愁,我转身趴在父亲腿上,仰脸对父亲说:“我去郑家屯买馒头吧?”
  “呵呵,你?”父亲看看我,笑了笑,没当回事儿。
  母亲放下家什,伸了伸疲惫的腰,干咳两声,说:“你一个人去县城?你知道路?还不把自己丢了?!”
  我赶忙辩解:“我去郑家屯都好几回了,我知道路。玻璃山车站8点半上车,车头朝南。郑家屯回来是11点多,车头朝北。”我跟着父亲去过郑家屯。下去站台50米,左侧有很多高耸的白杨树,那个食堂就在右侧。毕竟去过一次,我记得很清楚。
  “你能找到那家食堂?”父亲有些认真了。
  “能啊。我记得很清楚,下站台就找到了。”我怕父亲不信,又详细地叙述了一遍。
  父亲犹犹豫豫,又和母亲商量几句,最终信了我。

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  一斤馒头需要两毛一分钱和一斤粮票,父亲给我二块钱和五斤粮票,买30个馒头用不完。第二天早上,我身背军用包,信心十足地来到火车站。父亲千叮咛万嘱咐,好像我一定要丢了似的,怀着忐忑的心情把我送上了火车。
  到了郑家屯,我不敢迟疑,挤在人流中钻出验票口,径直往饭店跑去。那个饭店生意好,进进出出的人很多,站在后边排队等待。看着这个饭店,脑海里想起了父亲讲的一个故事:几年前,父亲就在这个饭店,排队取饭。突然,感觉有人翻动自己的裤袋,扭脸一看,一个20来岁的小伙子正在掏自己的钱包,父亲反应快,伸手抓住那小伙子的衣领。那人猜测父亲不是本地人,猛地挣脱出去,拔出小刀,准备动武。父亲不到40岁,在部队曾受过专业训练,哪会害怕一个小毛贼,飞起一脚,正好踢到那人的小肚子,那人当即就蹲在了地上,连声求饶。父亲神气威武的形象浮现在我的眼前。我也要学父亲,做个威武的男子汉。
  今天排队的人太多了,错过钟点就坐不上车了。我顾不得再多想,弯腰挤到窗口旁,踮着脚,把钱票递了进去。排队的人看我是小孩,都笑了笑也没言语。不敢误点,挎上包一路小跑来到车站验票口,挤进站台。向北望,正好有一辆绿色票车,车头朝北,旅客们正在上车呐。车头朝北,这趟车肯定是去玻璃山的,我也跟着上了车。列车轰轰启动,我坐在座上喜滋滋的:“到家后,爹妈一定夸奖我!”

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  列车疾驶,隔一会儿我就向窗外看看,观望那曾经熟悉的景象。走了好一阵子,感觉越来越不对劲,沿途景象和车站我都没见过。没有见到熟悉的大土山,也没有看见卧虎屯呀,一种恐慌的感觉涌上心头,跑到车厢门前,向窗外仔细察看:之前跟父亲进城路过的那种景象,一点也没看见,不由得害怕起来:“完了,完了,这回可完了。”父亲接不到我,他会去哪儿找我?
  情急之下,憋出了一个办法,我来到乘务员门旁,“呜—呜”哭起来。这招果然很灵,惊动了女乘务员,她拉开门嚷嚷:“谁家的小孩呀?哭啥呀,你家大人呢?”
  “我自个儿。”
  “你去哪儿呀?”
  “我去玻璃山,回家。”我眼泪哗哗的望着她,祈求她能帮助我。
  “这趟车是去通辽的,都向西走60公里了。玻璃山是朝北开。小孩,你坐错车了。现在都快到大林站了。”乘务员面带同情,唠叨着“让小孩自己坐车,大人也放心?”
  我大哭起来。女乘务员慌忙把我带进乘务室内,让我坐在她的身边,擦去我脸上的泪水,劝我别哭,答应帮我想办法。
  列车很快到了大林车站。女乘务员把我领下车,托付给车站的信号员,上车走了。

  大林站那个信号员身材魁梧,面目黝黑,手握两只旗子,冲着列车摆了又摆,转过身来看我一眼,说:“来吧—-”,把我领进值班室,让我坐在炉子旁。太阳西斜时,好像信号员换班,又把我托付给另一个人。这个人三十多岁,瘦高个子,也不爱多说话。慢悠悠转过身来,心不在焉地打量一番,说:“坐错车了?”
  “嗯呐。”我呆板地回答。
  “去玻璃山?”
  “是的,去玻璃山。”我带着一种求助的口吻。
  等了好长时间,机务段一辆专用车去郑家屯。他把我送上车,嘱咐司机,顺便把我送回郑家屯。
  这趟车只有一个车头,是机务段的大机。一路上走走停停,模模糊糊过了好长时间,我才被送回郑家屯车站。

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  天色渐渐黑了下来。我呆坐在候车大厅里,等待第二天还坐那趟火车回家。大厅里很多旅客,但冷冷清清的,十分安静,偶尔传出一声清脆的咳嗽声。我独自坐在一边,疲倦地观望着每一个旅客,期望能看见熟悉的身影。不到一刻钟,我眼前一亮,远远看见一位高大而又亲切的身影出现在候车室门口,正在四处张望。我立刻惊喜起来,“我爹!”与此同时,父亲也看到了我,疾步走到我身边,两手抓住我的肩膀:“快把你爹吓死了!傻孩子。”话音未落,泪水像珠子一样掉了下来。
  我仰脸望着爹爹:“爹,你来干啥?”我不知道我为什么说了这样一句话,也许还在逞强,也许没有脸面去面对父亲,我没有完成任务。自从发现坐错了车,我就开始发愁:已经答应社员们今天中午吃馒头,如今父母如何去弥补?我又想,今天社员们没有吃到馒头,能不能告诉大家,改成明天吃?
  父亲一双眼红红的,注视着我:“我来干啥?家里八九个人还等着吃饭哩,你还在这儿呐。”
  我很惭愧,没有资格再说话。
  父亲又问道:“你从哪儿进来了?爹一直在门口咋没有看见你?”
  “是一个司机从检票口把我领过来的。”我指指进站口。
  父亲接过包,挎在自己肩上,俯身抱起我,走出站台……

  父亲没有接到我,顿时,家里炸开了锅。父亲简直要疯了。此时,玻璃山站恰好停靠一趟运煤车,父亲扒上煤车,一个小时就到了郑家屯。他先到那家饭店,然后又找遍了车站的各个角落。在万般无奈的情况下,父亲请求车站广播室播放寻人启事。但三个小时过去了,仍没有一点音信,父亲心急如焚。播音员提醒父亲:“你去找站长,他能电话联系其它车站。”父亲似乎感觉到了希望,于是,敲开了站长办公室的门。车站站长是个年轻女人,很热心,她皱了皱眉头,拨通了保康站和通辽站的电话,说明原由,请求帮忙。转身安慰父亲:“你在车站附近没有找到你孩子,说明他坐上车了。第一是上错了车,第二可能是坐过了站。我已经联系了站点,一旦发现孩子,咱这边就会接到电话。”
  原来,我坐那趟车,是开往通辽方向的,在郑家屯10点45分发车。从郑家屯路过玻璃山那趟车,在郑家屯10点55分发车。两趟车的开车时间接近,车头也都是朝北。但开往通辽的车向北走7里,便开始向西拐弯。难怪我会弄错。
  “都怪我大意,也没详细交代他。”父亲自责不已。
  时间不长,通辽车站来了电话,说我在大林站,一趟货车会把我捎回郑家屯。女站长非常兴奋,对父亲说:“有消息了,有消息了。你儿子果真是坐错了车,现在大林站呢,晚会就会被送到咱站上。你在候车室等着吧。”
  其实,大林站原本说让我趁一辆货车回郑家屯,可是,那趟货车没在大林站停靠。等坐上机务段的车,已经是下午4点多了,这辆车走走停停,所以,一直到了傍晚6点多,才到郑家屯。

  第二天上午,父亲领着我赶回玻璃山。走到西院老李家,弟弟远远地看见我,大声叫:“哥—-哥—-哥……”那时,弟弟才两岁半,刚学会说话。那些干活的大人们看见我回来了,纷纷丢下手中的工具,兴奋得把我围在中间:“馒头不吃也不能把孩子丢了啊!”大伙儿哈哈大笑起来。那些朴实的社员们没有因为一顿饭而生气。
  从那时起,大人们一见我就会笑着逗我:“外交部长,去哪儿呀?”
  新房子盖好一月多,爷爷特意叮嘱父亲:进入腊月,老灶爷就要离开人间,上天汇报人间善恶,所以,农历十一月必须搬进新居。爷爷说十一月初七那天是黄道日,最适合搬家。遵照爷爷的吩咐,十一月初七,我们一家从临时草棚里搬入新居。新房子虽然有些潮湿,但宽敞明亮,墙面光光的,过年再糊上一层报纸,就更新了。阳光从大窗透到炕上,感觉一切都是畅快的。
  搬家那天,叔叔领着我堂弟小三也前来庆贺。叔叔也很满意,对父亲说:“没有一套家具不行。再做一对箱子,把衣服都装里面。”
  “木材太贵,缓缓再说。”父亲笑笑说。
  “找王主任呀。站台南边堆放百十根枕木,弄回来两根就行了。”

  冬春两季,母亲咳嗽的更厉害。盖房子操劳一个月,身体明显消瘦,脸色泛黄。近十几天,越发明显,体温偏高,怕冷打战。特别是午后,体温升高,咳嗽震得胸骨疼痛,看着母亲痛苦的样子,父亲十分担心,劝诫母亲说:“不舍得花钱,以后严重了,花钱不是更多吗?”
  “天暖和了,咳嗽就轻了。月子撂下的病,想彻底治好,不容易!”母亲性格偏执,不舍得花钱。
  “都两年了。如果当事治疗,现在可能都好了!”
  “家里有多少钱?日子还过不过了?”说着说着,母亲又想发火。
  1974年底,母亲实在熬不过去了。跟随父亲到保康检查,发现已经转化为肺结核。医生告诉父亲:“肺结核具有传染性,病人餐具必须专用。另外,病人必须住院治疗,否则后果不堪设想。”医生告诉父亲,目前,肺结核缺乏有效的治疗药物。注射青链霉素,也只是起到减缓作用。异烟肼是特效药,但一般人又买不到。
  天,又阴了。父亲强装笑脸,哄母亲:“你的气管炎不轻,大夫要求住院治疗。”
  “我不住院!两个孩子都在家。再说,就带二十块钱,连入院费都不够。”母亲很坚决。
  “别着急,你只管入院。我赶回去找钱!”
  “去哪里找?盖房子花了四百多块,现在家里就那百十元了,都花到医院里,年都过不去。”母亲情绪很激动“俩个孩子怎么办?谁管他们?”
  “先让咱娘照看小伟,红军也来这儿。就是不过年,也得给你治病!”
  “算了吧,我不住院,开点药先吃着。”母亲说“我惦记俩个孩子,今天咱们就回家!”
  父母两人各持己见,吵得脸红脖子粗,最后只得回家。
  季向樱知道母亲的病情之后,给大连老家写信,寄来两盒青霉素和两盒链霉素。母亲连续注射二十天,病情略有好转。

  夏初,一天天暖和起来,母亲不再咳嗽的那么厉害,脸上也有了红晕。父亲自然是心情宽松,打算去车站要两根枕木做家具。铁路财大气粗,在工区北面,替换下来的大量旧枕木,堆了好几堆,虽说是旧的,但有些和新的也没两样。铁路枕木,也叫道木,选用的木材是优质的东北松,整体裁切而成。然后做防腐处理,通体打孔,沥青浸注。这种木材锯开后,呈黄褐色,且有刺鼻的气味。条件好是不用它做家具的。
  王主任同意,但王主任说不能白天往家里扛。国家的财物,即使扔掉不用,个人也不能据为己有。得到枕木后,经南院老张头介绍,父亲请来了苏老木匠。苏老木匠家住公社南头,老家是山东莒县的。清末年间,与老乡结伴闯关东,在此扎根落户。如今已经年近古稀,但精神头不减当年,神采奕奕,是本地出了名的老木匠。
  木匠活不轻松,一根枕木要锯成五六块木板,全靠人工一锯一锯地拉。老木匠说自己年岁已高,已经拉不动大锯啦。
  晚上,父亲登门拜访,对老木匠说:“你老是山东的,我是河南的,咱都是关内的老乡。知道您岁数大,不着急,反正这季节也不忙,咱慢慢做。”
  老木匠看父亲人实诚,又是老乡,抹不开面子,也就应承下来。
  十月初开始,老木匠和父亲整整干了六七天,一对大红箱子呈现在面前。这对箱子正是时下东北最流行的样式,正面翻印一对莲花鸳鸯谱,图案清晰,色彩绚丽。抚摸箱身,手感润滑细腻,简直无法想象它的完美程度,堪称家具中的精品。唯一不足的是,木料散发出一种刺鼻的气味。

b.jpg

  十几天后,老木匠身体不适,确实无法再干,就把剩余的的活交给了儿子。
  苏木匠是老木匠的儿子,手艺比老木匠差了一点。接着又忙活了半个月,另一对箱子和一张八仙桌也做好了。这对箱子无法与那一对箱子相比,图案粗糙模糊,色彩浓淡不均,接口不严。
  苏木匠淳朴诚实,从此,两家关系非常要好。

  母亲注重整洁。平时,不管衣服再破再旧,都要浆洗干净,板板整整地叠起来,穿到身上有角有楞,就像用电熨斗烫过一样。家具做好后,屋内摆设一新,门后挂一个大镜子,右上角印着“韶山风光”,母亲喜爱打扮,这是她的专用品。
  屋内摆设整整齐齐,看似一本装帧完美的书籍。母亲勤劳肯干,从无怨言,一天擦一次,不允许有一点灰尘。桌子上摆放的日常用品,无论是热水瓶,还是一只杯子,用后必须放在原处。两个相框悬挂在八仙桌上面,里面贴满了照片,几乎全是父亲的战友。母亲虽然脾气倔强,但相当尊重父亲,所以,那两个相框也要保持清晰透明。

 

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