In 1918 Vladimir brought his beloved Olga a bouquet of asters. At this time, they give their loved ones mainly flour and millet, and bags, like corpses, lie under beds of Karelian birch. Tinting her lips with a gold gerlenov pencil, Olga is interested in her boyfriend, can it happen that Moscow can not get French paint for lips. She is perplexed: how to live then?
In Stoleshnikov Lane, the confectionery shops are being destroyed, signs on the Kuznetsky Bridge are torn off from the “bourgeois” shops: they will now be given out on the cards makhorka. Olga’s parents emigrated, advising their daughter to marry a Bolshevik, in order to save the apartment. Olga is amazed at the oddities of the revolution: instead of putting a guillotine on the Execution Ground, the Bolsheviks banned the sale of ice cream… Money for life is obtained by selling their jewelry.
Olga’s brother, a nineteen-year-old, sweet young man, Goga, is leaving for the Don, a white
army. He loves his homeland and is happy to give his life for her. Olga explains Gogino’s behavior by not completing high school.
Vladimir once came to Moscow from Penza. Now, in the revolution, he lives by selling rare books from his library. His elder brother, Sergei, is a Bolshevik. He manages water transport (being an archaeologist) and lives in the Metropole. He dines with two potatoes, fried on the imagination of the cook. Vladimir tells his brother that a happy love is more important than a socialist revolution.
Having come to Olga, Vladimir finds her lying on the couch. On his anxious inquiries about the state of health and the offer to read to her aloud “Satyricon” Petronia Olga responds that she had constipation, and asks to give her a clyster. Vladimir no longer asks himself if he loves Olga: he understands that love, which was not strangled by the rubber gut from the enema, is immortal. At night he cries for love.
Revolutionary life continues. In Vologda, the meeting of communists issued a resolution that it is necessary to destroy the class of the bourgeoisie and thus
to rid the world of parasites. Vladimir makes a proposal to Olga, and she accepts it, explaining that the two will be warmer to sleep in the winter. Vladimir moves to Olga, leaving furniture in his former apartment: the house committee forbids him to take a bed with him, because according to the laws of the revolution, the husband and wife must sleep in the same bed. On the first night, Olga tells him that she was out for him by calculation, but it turned out – for love. At night, Vladimir wanders along the street, having lost a dream of happiness and love of Olga. He is ready to strike the bells so that the whole city knows about such a great event as his love.
Olga says she wants to work for the Soviet regime. Vladimir leads her to her brother Sergei. Since it turns out that Olga does not know how to do anything, Sergei arranges it for a responsible position. Olga forms agitation trains, she has a personal secretary, Comrade Mamashev. Sergei often comes to Vladimir and Olga: he drinks tea, examines photographs of White Guard Gogi. Brother Sergei, with his blue kind eyes, seems to Vladimir mysterious, like a dark bottle of wine.
Once, when she came home from work, Olga casually informs her husband that she has betrayed him. Vladimir seems that his throat became a narrow broken straw. However, he calmly asks his wife to take a bath.
Vladimir wants to throw himself off the seventh floor. But, glancing down, notices that he will fall on a pile of garbage. He becomes disgusted, and he renounces his intention. Disgust, he inherited from the old woman. Lover of Olga – Vladimir’s brother Sergei. Often she goes to him from the service, warning her husband that tonight he sleeps at the Metropole. From grief, Vladimir drinks, then converges with his servant Marfusha.
Sergei gives Vladimir a note to Lunacharsky, on which he is taken back to privat-docents. Sergei himself in his own saloon car from the former tsarist train leaves for the front. Olga and Vladimir buy him warm socks on Sukharevka. The famine is rampant in Russia, cannibalism is increasing in the villages. In Moscow – NEP. From a letter to Sergei, Olga learns that he shot her brother Goga. Soon Sergey comes back from the front because of concussion.
Olga is starting a new lover – a rich Nepman Ilya Petrovich Dokuchaev, a former peasant from the village of Tyrkivka. It seems interesting to him to give him for fifteen thousand dollars, which, incidentally, she attributes to the Committee for Assistance to the Hungry. In 1917, Dokuchaev speculated with products, diamonds, a manufactory, drugs. Now about
He is a
tenant of a textile factory, a supplier of the Red Army, a stockbroker, the owner of several luxury shops in Moscow. Ilya Petrovich “is rather interested in hunger” as an unusual commercial prospect. His constantly pregnant wife lives in the village. When she arrives, Dokuchaev beats her.
Becoming the mistress of Dokuchaev, Olga leads a luxurious life. She spends the money that Dokuchaev gives her, without putting off on a “rainy day.” Vladimir remains her husband, and Sergei – a lover. Once, Dokoutchaev boasts of Vladimir’s successful trading fraud. Vladimir tells Sergei about this, he tells “where to go.” Dokoutchaev was arrested. After hearing the news of his arrest, Olga continues to eat favorite sweets “drunk cherry”, donated by Dokuchaev.
Sergei is expelled from the party. Olga does not want to see him. She does not read Dokuchaev’s letters from the camp. At night she lies on the couch and smokes. A friend and colleague of Vladimir, who came by chance, says: “Everything in your own words is called… inside out… and all sorts of other things are out… then look, you’ll show bare asses – and coldness! And sadness…” Olga says to Vladimir that she is vain and that she wants to at least believe in something. Looking at Olga’s empty and sad eyes, Vladimir recalls the story of a gangster mother. Asked why he was sitting, he answered: for having misunderstood the revolution. Vladimir understands that his love for Olga is worse than madness. He begins to think about Olga’s death and is afraid of her thoughts.
One day Olga calls Vladimir at the university, where he works, and reports that he shoots in five minutes. Angry, he wishes her a happy journey, and a minute later rushes in a cab around Moscow, begging for time to stop and accusing himself of the fact that he has ruined love with a bluff. Running into the apartment, Vladimir finds Olga in bed. She eats sweets, next to the Browning is a box with a “drunken cherry.” Olga smiles, Vladimir sighs with relief, but immediately sees that the bed is soaked with blood. The bullet got stuck in Olga’s spine. The operation is done without chloroform. The last words of Olga, which Vladimir hears: “I’m just a bit disgusted to lie with unmarked lips…”
Olga died, and as if nothing had happened on the ground.