Anthony Burgess

13 Oct

3533507561_5e381e92e3

From the first chapter of A Clockwork Orange, (which I consider a poem ):

‘What’s it going to be then, eh?’

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry.  The Korovo Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what these mestos were like, things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being read much neither.  Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else.  They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your lfet shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg.  Or you could peet milk with knives in it, as we used to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were petting this evening I’m staring off the story with.

Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood while we counted the takings and divided by four, nor to do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry grey-haired ptitsa in a shop and go smecking off with the till’s guts.  But, as they say, money isn’t everything.

The four of us were dressed in the heighth of fashion, which in those days was a pair of black very tight tights with old jelly mould, as we called it, fitting on the crutch underneath the tights, this being to protect and also a sort of a design you could viddy clear enough in certain light, so that I had one in the shape of a spider, Pete had a rooker (a hands, that is), Georgie had a very fancy one of a flower, and poor old Dim had a very hound-and-horny one of a clown’s litso (face, that is), Dim not ever having much of an idea of things and being, beyond all shadow of a doubting thomas, the dimmest of we four.  Then we wore waisty jackets without lapels but with these very big built-up shoulders (‘pletchoes’ we called them) which were a kind of a mockery of having real shoulders like that.  Then, my brothers, we had these off-white cravats which looked like whipped-up kartoffel or spud with a sort of a design made on it with a fork.  We wore our hair not too long and we had flip horrorshow boots for kicking.

‘What’s it going to be then, eh?’

There were three devotchkas sitting at the counter all together, but there were four of us malchicks and it was usually like one for all and all for one.  These sharps were dressed in heighth of fashion too, with purple and green and orange wigs on their gullivers, each one not costing less than three or four weeks of those sharps’ wages, I should reckon, and make-up to match (rainbows round the glazzies, that is, and the rot painted very wide).  Then they had long black very straight dresses, and on the groody part of them they had little badges of like silver with different malchicks’ names on them—Joe and Mike and suchlike.  These were supposed to be the names of the different malchicks they’d spatted with before they were fourteen.  They kept looking our way and I nearly felt like saying the three of us (out of the corner of my rot, that is) should go off for a bit of pol and leave poor old Dim behind, because it would be just a matter of kupetting Dim a demi-litre of white but this time with a dollop of synthemesc in it, but that wouldn’t really have been playing like the game.  Dim was very very ugly and like his name, but he was a horrorshow filthy fighter and very handy with the boot.

‘What’s it going to be then, eh?’

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: