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Act 3. A dark, empty stage.
My eyes went blank. That's how it goes when
you have been doubly knocked flat on your back
in half an hour. He went, he went,
he went, he went, he went, the bloody scoundrel,
abducting Charlotte! Oh, how much I loved her!
A mortal man is not to love like that
a mortal woman. Oh, how I cherished
her look, her smile, her touch, her kiss, her hug.
A king of misers must be caring less
his treasures. I remember when she said
she loves and cherish too, the day was written
by stanzas and my dream was iambic too:
the curtains, the last year's almanac,
birds, flowers, harlequins on the wallpapers,
the vintage trunk, the saucer for a cat
in the bedchamber’s corner and the Sun
like golden puddles on the wooden floor.
Love is an optical effect as if
you saw things through a magnifying glass,
abruptly noticed that it snows, that
the chilled and speechless houses cuddle up
and the succinic, elongated gleams
of their lights are mirrored in the river.
You go and see. Here’s a sightless tramp
gingerly tries the icy way with his
blind instrument and suddenly he sees
the light! Alas, he did not pass the test
of snowy weather and I see his stick
strike down the bollard’s snowy hats. The funny
old man in open coat, beardhead,
carries a kitten in the shoebox, smiling.
On your way back from happy dating, you
think of the nature of the happiness
and, entering the home, you see it’s home.
Surprise! She took a cab to overtake you.
That’s how the Moon makes fun of the moongazer,
arising in the sky at the wrong time.
Sometimes your love takes on such big proportions,
that you can’t wrap your arms around it
as if it was the old thick oak which
was growing up near the house where
I came into the world; you can’t imagine
what “I fell out of love with you” could mean.
She went away. She even looked me back
but didn’t turn into a pillar of salt:
it's no big deal, to put horns on the lover.
Burn, burn in hell, insidious contender!
You saw him: thin lips smiling and the eyes
of simpleton, but there is none more tricky
than thin lips men. I’m thin lips man as well:
I've put his name among the others sentenced
to death and soon the snowy fiancée
turned into black one…
Four unmeaning days
have passed since I last saw you. Walking past,
you slashed my heart with steely eyes as if
it was a knife and may such metaphor
be trivial, the heart still bleeds. Since then,
I have been drowning the remembrances
in wine like kittens in a bowl of water.
What’s that? Footsteps? Oh, suddenly I feel
an otherworldly shyness. I’m afraid
of the confusion of my own feelings
as if I really dream of all of this:
the night, the stage and someone else's dreams
afloating in the darkness like the ghosts
of vessels in the fog. He left his mask?
I’ll put in on.
(Marat puts mask on. Charlotte enters, sleepwalking, oblivious to Marat)
My love, your soul, wandering
the most distant corners of the dream,
sent me a sign of hope – this moonbeam
which guided me. But where are you, my dear?
We must have missed each other once again.
Oh, Charlotte, why? Why do you walk alone
at night dressed only in your shirt?
turned my red shirt into the black. The butcher
said: “The assassins wear red before
I read in one of ancient books
that death is just a cheat, a tricky juggler:
deceiving our eyes, he swaps the life’s
illusion for a new one, afterlif’s.
The mesmerized, we wander darkest ways
of the unconsciousness and the flashbacks
from our life seem real people’s echoes
to us. You are an echo.
Dead or alive – the difference is scant.
This echo, though, reminds me of a one
I used to love, to fall out of love
and to assassinate. I came to him.
The sleepy guards let pass me through the rooms
as usual. I entered. He was taking
a nap in a lukewarm bath with a sheet
of paper in his hand and with a towel
around his head. I stabbed his chest. The knife
slid through his ribs so easily as if
I hit a vacuum, not a human heart.
What are you saying, Charlotte?!
He just cried:
«A moi, ma chère amie!*» That’s how a nap
turned into a death sleep. Soon after that,
hands grabbed me, beat me, dragged me. Tour du Temple,
a moody morning and a heavy blade
between two columns. I must go now.
We are all doomed to roam mysterious ways
before me meet the lover.
I am here!
We met! I’m here, dear Charlotte! Dead
or, may be, not, who cares, we will be
together for eternity! The Moon
and the moonbeam, the ocean and the wave,
the sugar and the water.
I must go.
(taking off mask)
Look, it is me!
I do not know you.
* (fr.) To me, my dear friend!
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