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Life as a Ghost

Okay, okay, if I run after all women at once instead of concentrating on one particular
one, I might end up never catching any. It’s probably sensible to choose one from among
the crowd and run her down methodically. Maybe that’s why we fall in love (it’s just
another of those instinctual programs that survives because it bolsters its own survival).
But deep down, of course, all women are interchangeable, and all relationships evolve
exactly the same way. First you feel high, then you feel less high, then you start
wondering whether it’s serious or not, and then you break up.
Some are skinnier, some are rounder, some are fast, some are slow, but when yo u finally
get down to it, they all taste the same, all the movements are the same, and the whole
thing is just a program unwinding itself.
My problem is that I don’t see the point in the whole fucking business!
Although right now I seem to be having some other kind of problem. The needle of the
fuel- gauge has been standing steadily on zero for many kilometers already. The warning
diode has been flashing ever since I left home. I knew I should take petrol, but when my
girlfriend called, saying that it’s so urgent, I just drove there straight away without
stopping at a petrol station. After having talked and talked and talked, and when I finally
managed to dismiss her with fake half-promises and sat back into my car at last (we
hadn’t even fucked, so I really don’t know why this whole matter couldn’t just have been
settled over the phone), I was already much too annoyed to remember that I should stop
at a petrol station. Just when I entered the highway I became aware of that stupid flashing
diode once again. There aren’t so many petrol stations along the highway, and they’re
more expensive than the ones in town. I just had to hope that I would make it till the next
one.
You’ve already guessed what happened next. The engine started sputtering, I pushed the
gas harder but it didn’t respond, I pushed the clutch, and then there I was, rolling along in
silence – the engine had died.
How could I let this happen? How could I be this fucking stupid? It was all my fucking
girlfriend’s fault, of course, the stupid bitch!
I was on a bridge, there was no breakdown-lane. I switched on all four blinkers to warn
the other cars. I let the car roll as far as it would go, then I pulled the hand-brake, had a
quick look in the rearview- mirror (there was no other car nearby, luckily) and got out,
dug out the luminescent triangle from the boot while nervously looking at the road behind
me every few seconds, ran with it to a fair distance behind the car and set it up.
Now I just had to wait for some nice guy to stop and give me a lift. Luckily this happened
almost immediately. A car stopped in front of mine, a fattish, moon-faced young bloke
got out and asked if he could help. I felt so ashamed to have to admit that I had run out of
petrol! But he didn’t laugh. He asked me if I had a hose to pump some petrol from his car
into mine. I answered that I didn’t, and he said he didn’t have one either, unfortunately.
He offered me a ride till the next petrol station, and I accepted gratefully. I got into his
car which somehow smelled of old socks, and he drove off.
“This never happened to me before!” I offered with an embarrassed smile.
“Oh, you know, things like this can happen,” he answered philosophically, peering into
the dark ahead of him while he seemed to be leaning over his steering whe el. I made no
further effort at conversation, and neither did he.
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