E. S. Wentzel
Director of the Institute of Information Machines Professor Marya Kovaleva, who lives with two adult sons-obwitus, feels that she is tired of everyday life, and decides to somehow diversify her existence, for example, to cut her hair. Waiting for the queue at the barbershop, Marya Vladimirovna reflects on how she will start a new life (her dad, until death, liked to say “I’ll cut my hair and start it”) – you can go to Novosibirsk and get a one-room apartment there, or you can marry a friend of youth, in love with her, and go to him to Yevpatoria… Suddenly she hears a “sharp boyish voice”, offering ladies from the queue “to be served.” It turns out that this is not a master, but an intern, a boy of eighteen “with a tuft on the top of his head.” On the turn, he looks contemptuously, and he himself ” all not just skinny, but narrow: a narrow pale face, thin, bare elbows
to sharp elbows, and on a pale, wild face, burning dark eyes. It’s either a deer, or a wolf. “None of the women wants to go to him, but Marya Vladimirovna decides:” Let’s spoil. “The boy laughs, and she is surprised to find that there is” something wild not only in her eyes him, but also in a smile. The teeth are sharp, bright white. “However, Vitali (so his name is) is a first-class hairdresser, an artist, he makes Marya Vladimirovna an amazing hairdo, but she must be regularly maintained in shape, which is why Marya Vladimirovna starts going to Vitaly every week, and gradually they become friends. “Marya Vladimirovna learns that Vitaly, in order not to sit on his stepmother’s stepmother and drinking father, was able to graduate only seven classes, but feels a desire for education and “over his general development” works according to plan: he reads, for example, the Complete Works of Belinsky and dreams of going to college. Vitaly, strangely enough, is interested in dialectical materialism, he is fond of politics and feels that he would have brought benefits
in this area (“Curious guy!” Thinks Marya Vladimirovna). He has a peculiar, rather formal style of speech and at the same time – an extraordinary seriousness, a love of work and knowledge. One day Vitaly tells Marya Vladimirovna that she spent her childhood in the orphanage, where one glorious woman, Anna Grigoryevna, wanted to take him, but later his father, sister and stepmother (his mother, “rumored”, intelligent woman, died when he was absolutely small) and took it, and he longed for Anna Grigorievna, who now does not even want to see him. Even Marya Vladimirovna unexpectedly discovers that Vitali has amazing musical abilities, but Vitali himself, knowing this, notes: “… in order to acquire a piano, you must first of all be a secured area.”
At work, Marya Vladimirovna is a very strict and sharp boss, whose deputy, Lebedev, is an “absurd, talkative old man”, and the secretary is a beautiful but stupid girl named Galya (“not a secretary, but a grief… a burden”); Marya Vladimirovna does not find a common language with Galya, who is keen not only for work, but for young people, movies, rags and dances, but the boss and secretary are still tied to each other. On the day when Marya Vladimirovna, to the amazement of her colleagues, comes with a new haircut, Galya once again goes to the store for a scarce commodity, Lebedev has a conflict, and the director stays alone in the workplace, but despite this, for the first time in a long time (apparently, under the influence of haircuts) has time to solve a complex scientific problem.
After some time, Galya, embarrassed, asks Mary Vladimirovna, who is cutting her so beautifully, and she sends her to Vitaly, who by this time passed the exam for the master and became a very popular hairdresser with a “solid” clientele. On a youth evening in Galya’s club with Vitali come together, and Gali has a beautiful hairstyle that turns her from a pretty girl to a beauty. After this evening, Galya and Vitaly begin to meet. Every three or four days Galya comes to work with a new hairstyle and with a happy face, but it does not last long, and one day Marya Vladimirovna finds her in tears. It turns out that Galya fell in love with Vitaly seriously, and he is indifferent to her. Maria Vladimirovna offers Gala to talk with Vitali, and she gladly agrees. Vitali also explains to Marya Vladimirovna that ” he was interested in Galya as a suitable material for the hairstyle, “and now he” exhausted her head. “In addition, Vitali says that he and Galya do not have any living space, that they are not ready for marriage” either by age or economically. “Marya Vladimirina finds this approach cynical: in her opinion, the most important thing is whether Vitaly Galya loves this question, which puts Vitaly at a dead end, because he is still young and does not understand what it means to love. “Marya Vladimirovna believes that love is a constant sense of the presence of a person Vitali “fully understands” this is interpreted and comes to the conclusion that “in this sense” he does not like Galya.
And at work in Vitaly’s trouble: his employee dies, the oldest hairdresser Moses Borisovich, and in his place comes the vulgar painted blonde Luba, “large, heavy, like bitoyug.” She immediately disliked Vitali, who beat off all the clientele. There are other envious women at the professional ladies’ master, and one day Marya Vladimirovna finds him already in tears, not Galya. It turns out that many do not like that Vitali formed his clientele and that he serves not all in a row, but only those who can “get it for his development”; as a result, Vitaly steals a notebook, where the addresses and phone numbers of clients are recorded, and they transfer it “to the trade union organization to parse the case.” Marya Vladimirovna wants to help and calls the head of the sector of local hairdressing Matyunin, but in vain (later it turns out that Matyunin expects from all employees, including from Vitaly, a monthly bribe). Vitali decides to leave the hairdressers – among other things, tired of “depend on the good wishes of customers, which I do not even always respect.” Marya Vladimirovna advises him not to hurry, but soon he arranges for the factory as a pupil of a locksmith, deciding to turn over “for a ten-year period, then for an institute,” but she promises to always serve Mary.
Marya Vladimirovna herself does not know whether to rejoice over her or upset her news. There is a vague feeling that she “overlooked something” here, although in general she hopes that something good has happened and mentally wishes her good friend Vitaly a happy journey…