Love (5)

A typist on salary scale 9 gets 60 roubles a month. Of course her lover keeps her in silk stockings, but think what she has to put up with in exchange for silk. He won’t just want to make the usual sort of love to her, he’ll make her do it the French way. They’re a lot of bastards, those Frenchmen, if you ask me – though they know how to stuff their guts all right, and red wine with everything. (…) She’s got a patch on the top of her right lung, she’s having her period, she’s had her pay docked at work and they feed her with any old muck at the canteen, poor girl…
There she goes now, running into the doorway in her lover’s stockings. Cold legs, and the wind blows up her belly because even though she has some hair on it like mine she wears such cold, thin, lacy little pants – just to please her lover. If she tried to wear flannel ones he’d soon bawl her out for looking a frump. ‘My girl bores me’, he’ll say, ‘I’m fed up with those flannel knickers of hers, to hell with her.’

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog, Soviet Union, 1925

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