Rehabilitation

Translated by Nikita Pavlov

Without boasting, I can say that when Volodya hit me upside the the ear and spat at my forehead, I whacked him so hard that he wonít ever forget it. It was afterwards that I was beating him with a kettle Ė and beating with the iron was much later in the evening. So he didnít exactly die right away. That is absolutely no proof that I cut off his leg in the afternoon. He was still alive then. And my killing of Andrey at that point was purely inertial, so I canít blame myself for it. I mean, who asked Andrey with his Elizaveta Antonovna to get in my way when I was all fired up? They had no reason to get out of their room. Iím being accused of barbarism, of drinking human blood, but that isnít true, I was merely licking up the bloody puddles and stains; it is a natural instinct of a man to eliminate the traces of his, albeit insignificant, crime. And I can tell you that I did not rape Elizaveta Antonovna. Firstly, she was no longer a virgin, and secondly, she was already a corpse, so she has nothing to complain about. So what that she was due with a baby? I pulled out the child, didnít I? And it was certainly no fault of mine that he wasnít meant to survive in this world. I never ripped off his head Ė that happened because he had a scrawny neck. He wasnít created for this world, thatís all. Very well, I will admit that I smeared their little mutt all over the floor with my boot. But thatís just sacrilege, accusing me of killing a dog when three human lives, you might say, had been ended right there. The baby doesnít count. Okay, very well, I will admit (looking at things objectively) that one might be tempted to discern certain harshness on my behalf. But to consider a crime the fact that I sat down and defecated onto my victims Ė thatís just absurd, if you will excuse me. Defecation is a necessity that is inborn, and therefore by no means criminal. And so, I understand the doubts of my lawyer, but I still dare to hope for a full pardon.

Daniel Kharms
June 10, 1941

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