A friendly company for many years gathered on Fridays at Marisha and Serge. The master of the house, Serge, talent and general pride, computed the principle of the flight of flying saucers, he was invited to a special institute as a head of department, but he preferred the freedom of an ordinary junior researcher at the Institute of the World Ocean. The company belonged to Andrei-snitch, who worked with Serge. His stutter did not frighten the audience: Andrew had to knock only during ocean expeditions, on land he did not engage. Andrei first appeared with his wife Anyuta, then with different women and finally with his new wife Nadia, an eighteen-year-old daughter of a well-to-do colonel, who resembled a spoiled schoolgirl in a kind of way, who had
Ten years passed on these drunken Fridays, fifteen, Czech, Polish, Chinese, Romanian events swept, political trials took place – all this flew past its own circle. “Sometimes the flying birds flew from other, adjacent areas of human activity” – for example, a local Valera, who had been hunted down at parties and who dreamed of the imminent arrival of a “master” like Stalin, was going to walk. Once they all loved hiking, bonfires, lived together in tents near the sea in the Crimea. All the boys, including Kolya, had been in love with Marisha since institute days, inaccessible to the priestess of love. At the end of his life Kolya left for her, abandoning his wife. Serge by that time left
The heroine is a hard man and treats everyone with a sneer. She knows that she is very intelligent, and she is sure that what she does not understand does not exist at all. She does not harbor any illusions about the future and fate of her son, as she knows that she is sick with an incurable kidney disease with progressive blindness, of which her mother recently died in terrible agony. A heartbroken father died of a heart attack shortly after his mother. Immediately after the funeral of his mother, Kolya just suggested that his wife divorce. Knowing about her imminent death, the heroine does not expect that her ex-husband will take care of the son: on his rare visits he only screams at the boy, annoyed by his untalentedness, and once struck him in the face when, after the death of his grandfather and grandmother, the child began to urinate to bed.
On Easter, the heroine invites her “circle” to visit. Easter gatherings with her and Koli were always the same tradition as Friday’s – at Marisha and Serge, and none of the company decided not to refuse. Before that day she cooked with Mom and Dad a lot of food, then her parents took Alyoshka and left for the garden site, an hour and a half drive from the city, so that the guests were comfortable eating, drinking and walking all night. In the first after the death of the parents of Easter, the heroine takes her son to the cemetery to her grandparents, without explaining to the boy what he will have to do after her death. Before the arrival of guests, she sends Alyoshka one to the summer residence. During the usual common drinking, the heroine speaks aloud about the vices of her “circle”: the former husband of Kolya leaves the bedroom to take out the sheets; Marisha looks at the apartment, as it is better to exchange; the prosperous Zhora condescendingly talks with the loser Serge; daughter Serge and Marisha Sonechka sent for the party to the son of Tanya Valkyrie, and everyone knows what these children are doing privately. And in eight years Sonechka will become the mistress of her own father, whose crazy love for her daughter “leads through life corners, back streets and dark cellars.”
The heroine in passing informs that she is going to give her son to the orphanage, which causes general indignation. Gathered at last to leave, the guests find out on the stairs under the door to Alyosha. In front of the whole company, the heroine rushes to her son and, with a wild cry, hits him in the face to the blood. Her calculation turns out to be correct: people of “their own circle,” who could safely cut each other apart, could not bear the sight of children’s blood. Indignant, Kolya takes his son, everyone is worried about the boy. Looking after them from the window, the heroine thinks that after her death all this “sentimental” company will be embarrassed not to take care of her orphaned child and he will not go on boarding schools. She managed to arrange his fate, sending him without a key to the dacha section. The boy had to return, and she played the role of the mother-monster for sure. Forever parting with his son,