Yu. V. Trifonov
The action takes place in Moscow. Several months have passed since Sergei Afanasievich Troitsky died. His wife, Olga, a biologist, still can not recover from the loss of her husband, who died at the age of forty-two from a heart attack. She still lives in the same apartment with his mother Alexandra Prokofievna, a woman of the old school. Alexandra Prokofievna is a lawyer by profession, a pensioner, but she gives advice in the newspaper. In the death of Sergei, she blames Olga Vasilievna, reproaching her for the fact that Olga Vasilyevna bought a new TV, and this shows, in her opinion, that the daughter-in-law is not very saddened by her husband’s death and is not going to deny herself entertainment. She does not recognize her right to suffer.
However, Alexandra Prokofyevna had uneasy relations with her son. Olga Vassilyevna vindictively remembers that he did not like the superfluous straightforwardness of the mother, to whom she was proud, her categorical, bordering on intolerance. This intolerance manifests itself in relations with the sixteen-year-old granddaughter Irina. Grandmother promised her money for winter boots, but does not give only because Irina is going to buy them from speculators. The daughter is indignant, Olga Vasilievna feels sorry for Irina, so early left without her father, but she also knows her character, as strange as Sergei’s: something unsettled, tough…
Everything that surrounds
Even then, Olga Vasilievna began to catch in his character something shaky, which later became for her a matter of special anxiety and caused a lot of suffering – primarily because of the fear of losing Sergei. It seemed to her that thanks to this particular property, another woman could take him away. Olga Vasilievna was jealous not only of the new women who appeared on the horizon of Sergei, but also to those that were before her. One of them named Svetlanka appeared immediately after their return from the south and blackmailed Sergei with imaginary pregnancy. However, Olga Vasilievna managed to overcome this test, as she herself determined the rival’s pressure. And a month later there was a wedding.
At first they lived at the mother of Olga Vasilyevna and her stepfather, artist Georgy Maximovich. Once Georgi Maximovich studied in Paris, he was called “Russian Van Gogh”. He destroyed the old jobs and now it is quite tolerably, drawing ponds and groves, being a member of the purchasing commission, etc. The man is gentle and kind, George Maksimovich once showed firmness. Olga Vasilievna then became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion, because the circumstances did not matter: Sergei quarreled with the director of the museum and wanted to leave, she worked at school, to go to work was far away, money was bad. Georgy Maksimovich, accidentally recognizing, banned categorically, thanks to which Irenka appeared. In that house, Olga Vasilievna also had problems, in particular, because of the wife of the artist Vasin Ziki. Sergei often ran to Vasin, especially in moments of longing, because he left the museum and did not know where to put himself. Olga Vasilyevna was jealous of Sergei for Zike, they often quarreled because of her. With Zika herself, after a short friendship, Olga Vasilievna established hostile relations. Soon Sister Sergey died, and they moved to their mother-in-law to Shabolovka.
Remembering, Olga Vassilyevna asks herself, what was really life with them – good, bad? And is there really her fault in his death? When he was alive, she felt rich, especially next to her best friend Faina, whose personal life did not develop. Faina, she said that yes, good. And what was it really like? One thing is clear to her: it was their life and together they formed a single organism.
After forty, Sergei, as Olga Vasilievna believes, like many men at this age, spiritual turmoil has taken hold. At the same institute, where his friend Fedya Praskukhin was dragged, it began: promises, hopes, projects, passions, groupings, dangers at every turn. She seems to have been thrown off by throwing. He was fond of, then cooled and was eager for something new. Failures deprived him of his strength, he bent, weakened, but some rod inside him remained untouched.
For a long time Sergei was busy with the book “Moscow in the eighteenth year,” he wanted to publish, but nothing happened. Then there was a new theme: the February Revolution, the tsarist secret police. After the death of Sergei to Olga Vasilyevna came from the institute and asked to find a folder with materials – allegedly in order to prepare the work of Sergei for publication. These materials, including lists of secret agents of the Moscow secret police, are unique. To confirm their authenticity, Sergei was looking for people connected with those who appeared on the lists, and even found one of the former agents – Koshelkov, born in 1891 – alive and well. Olga Vasilievna went with Sergei to the village near Moscow, where this Purses lived.
Sergei was looking for threads that connected the past with an even farther past and with the future. Man for him was a thread that stretched through time, the thinnest nerve of history, which can be split off, isolated and – to define a lot on it. He called his method “tearing the graves”, in fact it was a touch to the thread, and he started with his own life, from his father, after a civil figure of enlightenment, a student of the Moscow University who participated in a commission that examined archives of the gendarmerie. Here was the source of Sergei’s passion. In his ancestors and in himself he found something common – disagreement.
Sergei hotly engaged in a new study, but everything began to change drastically after the death of his friend Fedya Praskuhina, the scientist-secretary of the institute, who died in a car accident. Olga Vasilievna then did not let Sergei with him and another of his old friend Geno Klimuk to the south. Klimuk, who was also in the car, was alive, he took the place of the academic secretary instead of Fedya, but their relationship with Sergei from the friends quickly became hostile. Klimuk turned out to be an intriguer, he and Sergey called to create together with him his “small, cozy bando”. Once there was an opportunity to go on a tourist trip to France. For Sergei it was not only an opportunity to see Paris and Marseilles, but also to scour for the materials necessary for the work. Much depended on Klimuk. They invited him and his wife to a dacha in Vasilkovo. Klimuk arrived, bringing with them a deputy director of the Kislovsky Institute with some girl. Klimuk asked to allow those to spend the night. Olga Vasilievna has opposed. At the same time, a furious argument about historical expediency sprang up between the tipsy Klimuk and Sergei, which Sergey denied, jokingly joking: “I wonder who will be, determine what is expedient and what is not?” The Academic Council by a majority vote? “
But even after this clash Sergei continued to hope for a trip to France. Some of the money promised to give Georgy Maximovich, who decided solemnly to arrange the delivery of the amount, since he had nostalgic memories connected with Paris. Olga Vasilyevna and Sergei went to see him, but it all ended almost with a scandal. Irritated by the testimony of his father-in-law, Sergei unexpectedly refused money. Soon the question of the trip was dropped: the group contracted, and Sergei, it seems, had cooled down. Shortly before the discussion of the dissertation, Klimuk persuaded Sergei to give some of the materials to Kislovsky, whom they needed for the doctor’s. Sergei refused. The first discussion of the thesis failed. This meant that the protection was postponed indefinitely.
Then there was Daria Mamedovna, an interesting woman, a philosopher, a psychologist, an expert in parapsychology, about which she was told that she was cleverly unusual. Sergei was carried away by parapsychology, hoping to extract something useful for his research. Once they together with Olga Vasilevna participated in a spiritualistic session, after which Olga Vasilyevna had a conversation with Darya Mamedovna. She was worried about Sergei, his relationship with this woman, and Darya Mamedovna was interested in the problems of biological incompatibility, which were dealt with as a biochemist Olga Vasilievna. The main thing was that Sergei retreated, he lived his life, and it hurt Olga Vasilievna.
After the death of Sergei Olga Vasilievna it seems that life is over, only emptiness and cold have remained. However, unexpectedly for her comes another life: there is a person with whom she has a close relationship. He has a family, but they meet, go for a walk in Spassky-Lykovo, talk about everything. This man is dear to Olga Vasilievna. And she thinks that her fault is not, because the other life is around.