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    Понедельник, 06.02.2023, 08:21
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              И Л Ь Я   Ч Л А К И

    DEAR BOY OF MINE (Хороший мой)

    (A Comedy)

    Translated by Joseph Hardy






    Maria (Masha)

    Pyotr (Petya)

    Lizaveta (Liza)



    A flat. Maria is singing. Alexander is listening. When the song finishes Maria starts up another.

    Alexander: You sing beautifully, Mum. Yes, really beautifully. Did Dad sing well too?

    Maria: Dad? What Dad?

    Alexander: I expect you two used to sit down together and sing in harmony.

    Maria: What are you talking about?

    Alexander: Oh, it's such a shame that I can't sing. I'd also like to... Yes, if Dad was here, the two of you together, you'd...

    Maria: There you go again, “Dad”. What's going on with you today? Where have you got all of this from?

    Alexander: You know what Mum? I really don't like the sea now.

    Maria: Now why's that?

    Alexander: Our neighbour Lyosha found out somewhere that his dad had drowned, and I thought, what if my... I can't get it out of my head. Having a bath has even become troublesome. Even when I'm having a wash, it always seems to me that... No, I certainly don't like water.

    Maria: Then what do you like?

    Alexander: I don't know, Mum.

    Maria: What do you mean you don't know? What are you saying? You don't know what you like?! Have you forgotten? Or are you not feeling well? Come here.

    Alexander: Mum, you don't understand what I'm talking about.

    Maria: Look at me, my dear boy.

    Alexander: Don't call me that.

    Maria: What? What else am I to call you?

    Alexander: Don't talk to me like a child.

    Maria: How should I talk to you? You're my child. I'm your mum. Remember that. Don't you ever forget it. I don't want to hear any more of your nonsense.

    Alexander: I'm twenty-nine years old.

    Maria: And I'm fifty-two, so what? What, eh? The thing is, my darling son, that while I'm alive, you're going to be my son. Got it? I won't let you, you big drip, I won't let you destroy me. Clever are you now? Getting talking? You're only going to love me! No?! Then I'll send you to the hospital for treatment. I'm not going to tolerate these nasty things of yours. After you brought in all that muck... All those dogs and cats.

    Alexander: They came because I loved them.

    Maria: I'm going to feed you some tablets, understand? You can only love me. Repeat after me. You can only love me!

    Alexander: I'm not going to think about cats any more.

    Maria: I told you to repeat what I said.

    Alexander: I can only love you

    Maria: And again.

    Alexander: But I do only love you.

    Maria: My word! This country... I hate it. Twenty-nine years old and he's still a child. An infant! I'll give you “cats”... I tell you, you're going to get such cats and dogs from me... What are you thinking about, eh? Tell me.

    Alexander: I don't know, not about anything...

    Maria: That bloody doctor. Can't he prescribe any proper medicine to prevent this airhead from thinking his degenerate thoughts? Oh, what a to-do. For twenty-nine years he's been taking the mickey out of me, for twenty-nine years he's only had to turn his thoughts to whatever nonsense he pleases and it just turns up here out of thin air. For twenty-nine years I've had to...

    Alexander: It's not my fault that everything's like this round here. It's not my fault that I was born in this country, that I'm a child, that I'm still a child! When I grow up, nothing will just turn up like that any more.

    Maria: Grow up?! Do you want me to die?! Don't hold your breath. When I get my hands on you...

    Alexander: I don't want you to die, I love you!

    Maria: You love me! Why have you started talking about you growing up then? Eh? Or have you forgotten again that because of that I... I... Your own mother... your mummy! You'll be the death of me, you will.

    Alexander: Mum, Mummy! I don't want you to, I don't! My darling, my kind...

    Maria: Kind!

    Alexander: I love only you.

    Maria: You don't love me.

    Alexander: I love you very much.

    Maria: Very much...

    Alexander: But of course. How could you... You were a child once too, weren't you? You said so yourself.

    Maria: Yes, I was. And I was a fool, a fool, I always dreamt of having a son. I dreamt of you, you idiotic half-wit. Because of you, you precocious louse, my mother, my mummy disappeared. You came along and at dawn she was no more. Because I didn't want to part with you; you were so small, so helpless.

    Alexander: And she disappeared?

    Maria: As if she'd never been there.

    Alexander: It was as if your mum had never been there? Wait, your mum, she's my... she's my grandma!.. My grandma disappeared. Mummy... But why?

    Maria: This country is shit, it's rotten through and through.

    Alexander: You should have left and gone to a different country.

    Maria: Why should I have to leave? This is my country. And yours. However bad it may be, it is ours. Not another word about that. What do they have out there, in other countries? Do you know? I don't know either. The whole world is shit.

    Alexander: Is it so hard for children to live everywhere?

    Maria: For children?! We mothers, we're the ones it's hard for, it's unbearable. Because every day we stand on the border between life and death. But what do you lot care? You didn't want to give a damn about anyone. This is what you wanted, this. But at dawn, we... It'll be like we never existed at all. All of my friends, where are they? They've evaporated, vanished into thin air. Oh, my lord, and I've been standing on the border between life and death. If it wasn't for the doctor... Instead of your mummy this place would be like a kennels, full of dogs. That's how it is, dear boy of mine!