Taxi driver

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- Are you talking to me?! Are you talking to me?!
The face in the mirror is unshaved, the picture is black and white, the voice is slightly aggressive. This thing is driving me crazy. Sperm intoxication - a phoney word, but it's to the point. It's driving me crazy and I'm driving crazy around the crazy city that never sleeps. Do you believe in miracles? I don't. But I still expect the next passenger to be a girl willing to relieve my pain. Yet, it never is.

Not this time either. A couple.
- Улица Русаковская, это возле Сокольников.
- Садитесь.

Just down the Ring, then a U-turn, coz there's no left turn there. The passengers' conversation on the back seat flows in suddenly like a radio transmission:

"... It's cold in winter - do these flats have fireplaces? Flats... You don't get it? Apartments. Yeah, do they have fireplaces... fires, you know? They do? That's good - if I get to live here I'd want a flat with a fireplace. I mean, they'll probably rent an apartment for me or somehting, but I'd rather do it myself... Not to have any obligations..."

I'm sorry for him, but I hardly believe there's one single apartment in Moscow that has a fireplace. On the other hand, that's none of my business. I just tune in the real radio. A rock singer breaks in with a song of his grandmother smoking a pipe. The back seats reacts eventually:

"...That's a crazy song... No, I don't understand it, but its crazy..."

Again, I keep to myself the comments on the song. Try to guess the couple's relationship instead.

"...I suppose I'll have a different interpreter tomorrow..."

She's probably his interpreter or guide, or something. And she probably stays for the night. I switch the radio off.

- I'm sorry to interrupt, but I suppose You have a more precise idea of where we're going? Not just the street name?
- Yeah, just go on straight forward it isn't far any more. You speak very good English, where did You learn it?
- It's a long story.
- Then You won't have time to tell it...
- That's what I thought too...
- Where are You from originaly?
- From here.
A pause occurs, then he interrupts it:
- Actually, it's on the left-hand side, but well walk across, just pull over right there behind that car...
- Ok. One more thing - this is a free ride.
- How come...?
- I'm no taxi driver, I do it for the pleasure...
- Well, I'll just leave You a tip then, how does that look?
- Not too good if You ask me...
- No, I insist - I'll leave it on the back seat... Thank You.

He left a hundred. I had no choice but to put it in my pocket. Pleasure, mon oeil. Sublimation it is. Miracles never happen. The only thing that is true, is the unshaved face in the mirror:
- Are you talking to me?!

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