You know for us we didn’t drink a lot of vodka, I swear to god now - you say, Seryega. It’s made from sawdust - that’s why it affects us - Or else five bottles would not have wrecked us. The second bottle we drank hidden in a corner Right by the kiosk, just as a warm-up, Then we drank more sat in the kiddies’ playground, And then I blacked out after the next round. Hungover, hungry, we just necked it without glasses; I was together - well, I was plastered. And when we saw the wagon stop beside us We’d seven hundred grams each inside us. It’s true we forced the other guy to make a threesome, And that was stupid, we lost our reason. And we admit his glasses did get broken But we got port as a good-will token. Our comrade started it by saying: "Let’s go home now! Enough’s enough, guys, just let it go now." "Just let it go!" was not about to faze me - I let myself go, and I went crazy. But throw the book at me if I caused someone bother, Though that’s unlikely - you say, Seryega; It all went dim and next thing I was falling; Not grief but dimness set me off bawling. Now let me say a few words off the record, fellas - In Home And School mag what do they tell us? That life itself will punish drunks and rotters, And we accept it - you say, Seryega. He’ll wake up sober in the morning and he’ll say then: "Leave it to life to teach us a lesson!" So let us go - and do yourselves a favour. If life condemns us why should you labour? Don’t get the wrong impression from Seryega’s nodding; He’s fully conscious, taking the lot in. And he is silent through the realisation Of how he got in this situation. Our little kiddies weep back home - can’t we be set free? He lives in Khimki, I need Medvedki... But what the hell? By now we’ve missed the late bus, The metro’s shut and no cab will take us. You see, Seryega, how the people here respect us... We got a lift first, now bed and breakfast! When morning comes the cock’s crow will not wake us; Like we were humans, the sarge will shake us. They’ll almost play us on our way when we wake sober; I hid a rouble - we’ll drink hungover! But, mate, it’s hard, the road down which we totter... You poor old blighter - you sleep, Seryega.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008