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 I started up the engine and I lingered.
Where should I go? The night was fine, I figured.
The bonnet trembled like a nervous hound.
I shivered.
Night lit up the houses around.
The Balzac age, I felt its burning pain, Chilled to the bone, I couldn't hold my own.
The age of balsam wine mixed with champaign!.
So I looked up, and wound the window down.
They were young, two pretty-pretty fellows, wearing fur coats, looking slightly careless.
"You're free, Miss, aren't you ? Care for delight? Five hundred now.
One thousand for the night".
I flared up.
They took me for a prostitute.
My heart was jumping.
What an attitude! They want you, you're young, you're a whore! Indignant, I said "Yes", instead of "No".
The other one, so "sweet and pure", swaying his hips, looking aside, said: "Have you got a friend, as rich as you are? I, too, will take it.
A thousand for the night".
The brutes! I thought I'd better vanish! I stepped upon the gas and left the site.
My heart, however, jumped for joy and anguish! "Five hundred now.
One thousand for the night".
© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation

by Andrei Voznesensky
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