Marusya Tatarovich is a girl from a good Soviet family. Her parents were not careerists: the historical circumstances of the Soviet system, which destroyed the best people, forced the father and mother to occupy vacant seats, and by the end of the labor biography they were firmly established in the middle-level nomenclature. Marusi had everything for happiness: a grand piano, a color TV, a policeman on duty at the house. After graduating from school, she easily entered the Institute of Culture, was surrounded by the appropriate grade of the fans. The payment for family happiness fell on Tatarovich in the person of a Jew with a hopeless name Tsehnovitser, whom Marousia fell in love with in the nineteenth year. Parents did not consider themselves anti-Semites, but to imagine their grandchildren as Jews for them was a disaster. With incredible efforts they “switched” Marusya to the son of General Fedorov, whom she also fell in love with. The young people got married. Dima Fedorov was a pedant and quickly tired of Marusya. From boredom she began to change it illegibly and continuously. Soon the young couple divorced. Marusya again became a bride, a girl from a good family. She fell in love with the famous conductor Kazhdan, then – the famous artist Sharafutdinov, then – the illustrious illustrious Mabis. All of them left Marusia. At the same time, only one Kazhdan left her life delicately: after poisoning with lampreys,
By this time, Marousa was at thirty. She was worried, knowing that another two or three years, and it would be too late to give birth. And then on its horizon arose famous pop singer Bronislav Razadalov. At Marousi, he turned out to be something like a civil marriage. Together they went on tour, Marusya led concerts. Soon, she not without reason began to suspect Razdalov of adultery. Friends joked: “Razdalov wants to fuck everything that moves…” Marusya first thought: how to live on? Pleasures generated a sense of guilt. Disinterested acts were rewarded with humiliation. It was a vicious circle… In a year she had a boy. Razdalov went on tour. Confronted with another treachery, he justified himself: “Understand, I need an impulse as an artist…” Marousia was in despair.
Here, as in the tale appeared Tsehnovitser. He gave Marus read the “Gulag Archipelago” and strongly advised her to emigrate. At this time many people left. After experiencing a dramatic explanation with her parents, Marusya fictitiously registered with Tsekhnovitser. Three months later they were in Austria. “Spouse” went to Israel. Having waited for the American visa, sixteen days later Maroussia landed at the Kennedy airport. Levushka’s son, seeing two Negroes, burst into tears. Marusya was met by a cousin of Laura’s mother with her husband Fima. Marusya and her son settled with them. The trap was identified in the kindergarten. At first he cried. A week later I spoke English. Marusya began to look for work. Her attention was attracted by the advertising of jewelry courses – knowledge of English was not necessary at the same time. And in the jewelry Marusya understood.
New York inspired Marusa with a feeling of irritation and fear. She wanted to be self-confident, like everyone around her, but she only envied children, beggars, policemen – everyone who felt part of the city. Classes at the courses stopped soon. Marusya dropped the red-hot brass plate into her boot, then left home and decided not to return. So she became a housewife.
To her stretched, like flies to honey, the male part of the Russian colony. The dissident Karavaev suggested that she jointly fight for a new Russia. Marousia refused. Publisher Drucker also called for a struggle – for the unity of emigration. Taxi drivers acted more resolutely: Pertsovich urged to go somewhere in Florida. Eselevsky offered a cheaper option – a motel. Being rejected, they seemed to sigh with relief… Baranov behaved best. Earning seven hundred dollars a week, he offered a hundred of them to give Marusa just like that. It was even profitable for him: he would drink less. The religious figure of Lemkus presented the Bible in English, promising good conditions in the afterlife. The owner of the store “Dnepr” Zyama Pivovarov whispered: “Fresh buns are received, the exact copy is you…” The days were the same,
By this time the narrator is already familiar with Marusya Tatarovich. She lives in a rented flat, almost always without money. One day Marusya calls the author and asks to come complaining that she was beaten by a new fan, Latin American Raphael, Rafa. They began to live a strange and turbulent life: Rafa then disappeared, then appeared where he took money from, it was not clear, because all his enrichment projects were pure delirium. Marousia considered him a complete fool, who only had a cot on his mind. True, he loved her son Levushka, with whom he felt himself on an equal footing. When the author comes to Marousia, she finds her with a bruise under her eye and a broken lip. Marusya complains about his boyfriend, soon he comes himself – all bandaged, smelling of iodine. The circumstances of the quarrel appear clearly: Rafa defended himself against the angry Marousi. Calling, if not pity, he looks at Marusya with devoted and shining eyes. For a bottle of rum, in the presence of the author and on his advice, Marusya and Rafa are reconciled.
Women of the Russian colony believed that in the Marusya situation it was necessary to be pathetic and dependent. Then they would sympathize with her. But Marusya did not make an impression hammered and humiliated: she drove a jeep, spending money in expensive stores. On the birthday of Rafah gave her a parrot Lolo, who ate sardines. “A hundred times I was convinced that poverty is an innate quality, wealth is also whatsoever.” Everyone chooses what he likes best, and strangely enough, many prefer poverty. “Rafael and Musa preferred wealth.”
Maroussia suddenly decides to return to his homeland. But communication with officials of the Soviet consulate is cooling her fervor. The final point in her doubts is the arrival in America on the tour of Razadalov: this messenger of the past is afraid to meet his own son.
Marusya and Rafa are going to the whole Russian colony. Numerous relatives of Rafa roll on a limousine, intended to the groom as a gift. The bride is serenaded. Among the gifts – a white double bed and welded cast-iron cage for Lolo. Everyone is waiting for a living author, at the sight of which Marusya is crying…