The Rum Diary / Ромовий щоденник: vol 1

Оригінал англійською Переклад українською

My rider of the bright eyes,


Мій вершнику яскравих очей,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:16

What happened you yesterday?


Що трапилось з тобою вчора?

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:17

I thought you in my heart,


Я думала ти в серці моїм,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:18

When I bought your fine clothes,


Коли купила я красивий одяг,

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:21

A man the world could not slay.


Людині, яку світ не зміг убить.

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:13

— Dark Eileen O'Connell, 1773


— Ейлін Оконнелл, 1773

aalleexx85 28.08.17 в 17:20

San Juan, Winter of 1958


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and a few plantain trees.


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


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


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


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


to cook.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


three -fifty.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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