The Rum Diary / Ромовий щоденник: vol 1

Оригінал англійською Переклад українською

My rider of the bright eyes,

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Мій вершнику яскравих очей,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:16

What happened you yesterday?

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Що трапилось з тобою вчора?

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:17

I thought you in my heart,

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Я думала ти в серці моїм,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:18

When I bought your fine clothes,

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Коли купила я красивий одяг,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:21

A man the world could not slay.

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Людині, яку світ не зміг убить.

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:13

— Dark Eileen O'Connell, 1773

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— Ейлін Оконнелл, 1773

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:20

San Juan, Winter of 1958

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Сан Хуан, зима 1958 року

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 14:00

In the early Fifties, when San Juan first became a tourist town, an ex-jockey

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named Al Arbonito built a bar in the patio behind his house on Calle O'Leary. He

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called itAl's Backyard and hung a sign above his doorway on the street, with an

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arrow pointing between two ramshackle buildings to the patio in back. At first he

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served nothing but beer, at twenty cents a bottle, and rum, at a dime a shot or fifteen

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cents with ice. After several months he began serving hamburgers, which he made

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himself.

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It was a pleasant place to drink, especially in the mornings when the sun was

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still cool and the salt mist came up from the ocean to give the air a crisp, healthy

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smell that for a few early hours would hold its own against the steaming, sweaty heat

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that clamps San Juan at noon and remains until long after sundown.

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It was good in the evenings, too, but not so cool. Sometimes there would be a

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breeze andAl's would usually catch it because of the fine location — at the very top of

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Calle O'Leary hill, so high that if the patio had windows you could look down on the

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whole city. But there is a thick wall around the patio, and all you can see is the sky

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and a few plantain trees.

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As time passed, Al bought a new cash register, then he bought wood umbrella-

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tables for the patio; and finally moved his family out of the house on Calle O'Leary,

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out in the suburbs to a new urban-izacion near the airport. He hired a large negro

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named Sweep, who washed the dishes and carried hamburgers and eventually learned

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to cook.

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He turned his old living room into a small piano bar, and got a pianist from

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Miami, a thin, sad-faced man called Nelson Otto. The piano was midway between the

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cocktail lounge and the patio. It was an old baby-grand, painted light grey and

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covered with special shellac to keep the salt air from ruining the finish — and seven

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nights a week, through all twelve months of the endless Caribbean summer, Nelson

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Otto sat down at the keyboard to mingle his sweat with the weary chords of his music.

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At the Tourist Bureau they talk about the cooling trade winds that caress the

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shores of Puerto Rico every day and night of the year — but Nelson Otto was a man

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the trade winds never seemed to touch. Hour after muggy hour, through a tired

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repertoire of blues and sentimental ballads, the sweat dripped from his chin and

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soaked the armpits of his flowered cotton sportshirts. He cursed the "goddamn

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shitting heat" with such violence and such hatred that it sometimes ruined the

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atmosphere of the place, and people would get up and walk down the street to the

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Flamboyan Lounge, where a bottle of beer cost sixty cents and a sirloin steak was

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three -fifty.

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When an ex-communist named Lotterman came down from Florida to start the

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San Juan Daily News, Al's Backyard became the English-language press club,

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because none of the drifters and the dreamers who came to work for Lotterman 's new

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paper could afford the high-price "New York" bars that were springing up all over

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the city like a rash of neon toadstools. The day-shift reporters and deskmen straggled

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in about seven, and the night-shift types -- sports people, proofreaders and make-up

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men -- usually arrived en masse around midnight. Once in a while someone had a

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