They got married for love. At least she says that she fell in love with him almost immediately after the first meeting. She was the first to notice him and did everything to introduce them. Still not to notice a tall brunette with bright blue eyes and a Roman profile. She seemed to herself an ordinary girl, without much chance of meeting someone outstanding, but here she was such a handsome man. It also gives hope for social success. However, little was considered social success at that time – just a higher education and work not in a working specialty.
The brunette studied at the university, lived with his parents in a communal apartment and drank.
But who looked at it then “drank” when almost the entire male population drank. And the men were ranked according to the degree of drunkenness: “how often does he drink, raises his hand, does he drink everything or can you get part of the salary?” And then there’s a handsome man, all her friends are jealous, mom whispers: “Come on, where else can you find this”. Yes, and she herself is in love, she looks at him – and does not see the ground under her feet.
In short, they got married. And they lived together for almost forty years.
Of these forty years alone, he drank twenty, and another twenty lay as a vegetable. There were short intervals between these numbers, when he “still” or “already” did not drink so much, but neither she nor the children remembered them very much.
Before your eyes – twenty years of a nightmare, just choose which one to watch – here you have an alcoholic one, and here you have a hospital one.
When he was expelled from the university for a drunken fight and his father got him a job at his factory, at first she was glad: it would be good to earn money, because the first child had already been born, there would be less time for drinking, still working.
Then I realized: there was more money for booze, and then you also need to “fill in” the sadness of an unrecognized genius – “I showed such promise, but they kicked me out”.
The blue-eyed brunette drank and could not stop, drunk lost his human appearance, often did not crawl to the house, and remained lying in the yard or on the stairwell, in a puddle of his own urine or vomit. Then, when sober, he lost his face, blurred, erased, smeared – what beauty can withstand almost daily washing with alcohol.
She fought, she believed that love could change everything. She begged, cried, cursed, screamed, kicked out. He said “I’m sorry” and continued to drink. Here the second child was born, they were given an apartment, she wanted, she believed that she could still build a normal family. Then he stopped apologizing at all, began to raise his hand to her so that she wouldn’t scream, wouldn’t interfere with her drinking.
Once she could not stand it, packed her things, gathered the children, wanted to leave … but found that there was nowhere. Their tiny kopeck piece with adjoining rooms could not be exchanged for anything. Her parents said: “What are you, we ourselves are cramped – and who will need you with two children?”the mother-in-law cried and asked: “Do not leave children without a father”. She unpacked her things, undressed the children and stayed.
A couple of years later he had the first stroke, then the second – and after it he no longer got up, degrading more and more.
She was offered to take him to a boarding school, at least to hire a nurse, but she did not agree. She washed him, fed him, turned him over, treated bedsores, carried a duck, cut his hair and nails. She was able to work with it. Also help adult children and their elderly parents.
When he finally died, even the funeral was fun. Well, if not cheerful, then very bright. No one mourned: everyone understood that this man died a long time ago, his body just calmed down now.
Now she lives alone. With his large portrait in the main room. If you ask her about him, why she didn’t leave, why she endured, then she says “loved”. I think that she needs to believe in it herself in order to give meaning to this torment.
And she suddenly discovered the talent to turn into beauty everything that she does not touch. The French say “green hand” about gardeners. She also had a “beautiful hand.” Because she can weave a wonderful rug out of old rags, create a necklace out of buttons and a boring scarf, draw a picture with charcoal on cardboard, design any interior, make an old stump bloom – she succeeds.
She had invented things before – either to cook porridge from an ax, or to knit-sew-make for children, or to dress herself out of nothing, all because there was always not enough money. He drank almost everything he earned, she managed to pull herself, children and an apartment with her salary. Then it was forced creativity, she didn’t even consider him a talent, she thought that she was spinning like that, because there was no way out, no money, but she wanted to look good.
And now she cannot but create, but she is very embarrassed and refuses when her work is praised and called talented.
And I look at her and think that if it weren’t for these 40 years laid on the altar of family life, she would learn a little and be a designer somewhere in Paris. But she is almost 70 years old. Vivienne Westwood works at 76, but still she started 30 years earlier.
But what is he? The same man for whom all these sacrifices were made.
What would he answer the questions – who did he love, what did he want, why did he drink everything? At least tried to become happy in the family that he created?
We will never know. Surely he had some kind of his own pain inside, which had to be drowned in a bottle like that. And maybe even she did not understand him, did not feel, did not support him. But be that as it may, she tried, and he left. First into alcohol, then into illness, and then into other worlds.
Is this story about love? About the fact that they don’t part with their loved ones and don’t leave?
For me, it’s about meaninglessness.
The senselessness of the victims and the hopelessness of the female fate, if it is built around a man. A man can be a life partner, but he cannot be life itself, its meaning and purpose.
And love – yes, a wonderful feeling, no matter for a man, a cat or a child. It fills us with strength and energy for action. Those whom you love want and enjoy doing something. They can be forgiven more, simply because you look with love even at transgressions. But love cannot take more than it gives. A moment of the state “I love” is not worth forty years of life.