This is an awesome text by Dmitriy Gorchev. I, as a post-soviet person, born in the largest, now nonexistant country in the world, enjoyed it a lot, and decided to translate it to English for you, not-harsh-enough foreign people. (Kidding, i love you guys!) I had to add some notes, tho. Russian, unlike English, is a complicated language with lots and lots of awesome names and hidden meanings, so yeah. The notes are in italic.
btw: here’s the original in Russian, if you can read that, do so! http://gorchev.lib.ru/txt/by1/lom.shtml
Since the Communists left us, our lives lack order and causality.
When the Communists, for example, cut off the heating, then they cut off the electricity right afterwards, so nobody would turn their electric heaters on – and disabled the gas. Because it is understandable that, while they haven’t announced communism on the radio, somewhere out there are some irresponsible bastards, who’ll start to warm their asses by turning on the oven, instead of sending this gas, for example, to orderly Finnish bourgeois or buying our beloved ladies Finnish boots, so that our beloved ladies’s legs wouldn’t freeze, and so that our beloved ladies’s genitals wouldn’t freeze, so that our beloved ladies would give birth (literally – spawn births, as in – en masse) to healthy children, and lots of them, otherwise all of USSR would be overrun by Uzbeks – but i have to add that i don’t have anything against Uzbeks, they grow great cotton for our soldier’s clothing, and for sargeant’s coats and officer’s suits.
These days, nobody knows how to think this globally.
And if someone had frozen deeply, he just could’ve taken a crowbar and crushed the ice on and around his porch (remember that we’re speaking about apartment buildings here, no private houses) : then he wouldn’t break his arm over there, the next day, neighbors will be happy as well – and just think how warm you’ll feel, while doing this. And afterwards, you’d come home, light a candle, pull the self-made sauerkraut (what sort of a stupid name this is? I mean, they are just…err…acidified cabbage) – possibly with added cranberries - out of the green enamelled bucket that’s on your balcony to eat while you’re drinking ice-cold vodka, and afterwards you could sing and dance, and afterwards you could fuck you wife under а quilt blanket, and still go to work on the next day. And it’s great in the workplace: there’s both light and warmth, and you’ll get a glass of whipped cream in the buffet, just pull your cog, grind your teeth more, and draw your design plan make it huge, clean and awesome, like the Flying Island of Sun! And they’ll make a generalized plate out of it, like the one on the front of the pedagogue institute, with a sledgehammer and a divider.
But nobody uses a crowbar anymore, utterly no one.
But earlier, millions of people were walking around with a crowbar, a pick (and two other tools, which i seriously don’t know how to translate in russian, so i hope someone will help me out.)
By the way, can anyone of you break the ice around your porch properly? Fuck. No one. But in earlier days, everyone could do that, and everyone sung and went to the parades, and gave birth to healthy children. And lots of them.
And we were born healthy as well.
When we were born, we screamed in bass, sucked thick fingers and ground tree branches with our teeth. And then we stooped, wrinkled, put glasses on our noses, our hair got grizzled and we became frustrated neurotics and latent schizophrenics. How’s life? – they ask us. Wel, all’s well, we answer.
This…is mostly understandable, if you at least have soviet-born parents. My dad used to tell me stories about the live in USSR. And the movies are quite nice too. We like it here.
Hope you enjoyed this mumbling. Thank you, Ieva, for letting me stay at your place for these two early pre-work hours, for my dad is a bastard, and i was freezing on the street otherwise.