To tell you our truth, we hadn’t had much drink No kidding, you tell, Serioga!1 And if it wasn’t sawdust they make vodka from What harm could those five bottlefuls have done to us?2 A second one, we drank it right near the counter, in a nooklet But that was just for starters Then in a little public garden, that one with “mushrooms”3 And then... I can’t really remember - I came to the tipping point I’d been drinking right from the bottle being all into pieces, on an empty stomach But I was glazing sober or rather glazing over So when their carriage4 got to us We had had seven hundred5 to each snout It’s true that we forced a third one to join in6 But that was a blunder - we overdid it So what if we smashed that comrade’s glasses That was because we had made it all worse through port wine The first comrade said “You should quiet down Stop kicking the row and break up” I agreed to break at once And I broke wild and I broke loose. But if there's someone who I ran down - punish me harshly But that’s a wide stretch, you tell, Serioga! So what that I fell face flat on the ground - that was because of impaired vision I yelled not out of distress - out of impaired thinking Now let me a couple of words offtop of the report What do family and school teach us? That life itself will severely judge the ones like us. Correct? To this, we fully agree. You tell, Serioga! So he’s waking up in the morning to say for sure Let life judge, let life punish! So let us go - Bother it! Why must you meddle if life should sentence anyway! Don’t mind Seriozha’s keeping nodding He savvies, he grasps every word And if he keeps silent - that’s out of emotions Out of repentance and enlightenment Don’t lock us up, good people, the kids are crying home He’s to Khimki, I’m to Medvedki For all we care - the buses have stopped running The metro is closed, taxies don’t take us in. And yet it feels fine that we’re being respected in here Look, we’re being given a lift and a bench seat! It won’t be a rooster’s morn crowing that will wake us up But a sergeant who will rouse us like we were humans! They’ll nearly parade us out as soon as we wake up sober I’ve stashed a rouble! Hear, Serguey, we’ll have a bracer! And yet, my bro, how hard our way is! Ah, you, poor thing, go sleep, Serioga!
1 This is a monologue of a drunkard brought into a district detoxification centre and kept there overnight by a special Soviet police force who picked up drunk people in the streets in case they were lying unconscious or were out of public control. In the centre they were given medical aid if needed but mainly locked up till sobering up in the morning.
2 In the morning a police officer interviewed their "guests" and made a police report which was to be sent to the respective detainee’s workplace, which usually led to cutting down on incentives, bonuses etc. So the detained man is trying to make up and rehearse a plausible ( in his opinion) explanation to talk a police officer out of filing this report. The commonest alcoholics’ complaint was that vodka for local consumption was fake while the genuine one went for export.
3 Children’s playground had a sandy ground or ring with wooden umbrellas of a mushroom design to protect kids from the sun. It was a favoured meeting point for drinking as the playground was empty at night and locals couldn’t make out the drinking people out of their windows and call out the police because of that "mushroom" umbrella screen.
4 a Detoxication Centre van.
5 Whenever you see or hear "...hundred" without the word gramms it always refers to the amount of vodka.
6 An average drinking party was 3 as the price of a vodka bottle was 3 roubles 62 kopecks which made clubbing in easy.
© Nadia ?. Translation, 2018