- Get in, I'll tell you on the way, why I need all this stuff, but now... Let's drive!
We crush through the wall of rain, leaves fly in the cabin and fall upon the back-screen. She is strained and frightened - the piece of highway we see in front of us is as long as the distance we make every second.
- What the hell are you doing? Why?
- I don't know, I just play by inertia, one that's left... of the bright life, yeah, at least for those whove ever dreamt of it. And colorful, dynamic.
- Till both of you met, you want to say?
- Bad humor. To be exact there were several ones more - several lives I've lived not thinking about twenty things a minute, not gathering women, not searching everywhere. Not a multicolored life - one color, white. And black too. It seems neither black nor white now, and all the more not gray.
- Stop it, please. It may be the last day we see each other.
- What do you mean? That if you found a beautiful dangerous thing on the coast youd prefer to throw it away into the sea?
- Is it by inertia too?
- No, it's my manner to speak when I have not enough strength for sincerity. Not consciously, it's automatic.
The wind howls in rearview mirrors, the gray mist falls from the sky and streams of water pour down to the road. We stop on the median strip.
- I wanna go with you. May I ever say to you a normal sentence?
- Oh, God, do you want to drown in this swamp too?
- Swamp?..
- I don't mean drugs or psychic disarrays. Just the extraordinarity you expect, its nothing but decay and blankness.
- I know.
- That means youve drowned already. Everybody hopes for me to be what I seem to be, all in vain. It always ends with desperation, first for you, then for me.
There are shadows of heavy clouds on the windscreen, shadows on her face, shadows of black in my mind. The wind puts our hair to the nightmare dance as we tear through the endless dark.
- ...If there is a trace of innuendo that you may return that 'your' time, you forget all but this, right?
- Right.
- Nothing to exclude. On your phrase about desperation.
- No, there are some things of the absolute nature, not probabilistic.
The skidding car stops rightside-forth on the roadside. It's the flash of bright life, no despair, no fears, no love or hate but driving, which took my attention while the mist was swallowing the tire squeal. I open the door at her side.
- The end.
- Will return?
- Maybe.
She stays on the road and I open the throttle full. The motor is roaring as it accelerates the car. Road signs that I don't notice rush backwards in the veil of rain where people wave their hands and shout something. The end of the road is denoted with red-and-white shields and swirling lamps. I push the gas pedal into the floor - I am scudding to a summer gate.

1996 24