"Did you get that mescaline?"

"No, no. Changed my mind." They smiled at the words. Sitvar took Frishta by the arm. "Shall we jump in front of a car?" he cackled. He propelled them towards the traffic lanes. Frishta smiled tightly, excited. But there were no moving cars. There was no one, just electricity, light glinting, night glinting and blinking colors like an electronic sentry, an electrical expanse of insulated shop fronts and glowing arteries of transportation and the glow of the city, the nimbus concealing the sky. Sitvar and Frishta walked beneath, along the bare asphalt of a tire path in the street. Tires had crushed the snow beneath them to lick the asphalt black, a black now glistening with the encroachment of new ice, substanceless blue. They marched hunched down in their upturned collars, straining for heat, hands deep in pockets.

Frishta had one hand in her won pocket and one hand in Sitvar's tight pocket, warm under his hand, pressed against his thing so that her fingers moved back and flat, back and flat, as he strode. He looked straight ahead, and would not catch her eye as she looked at him. She bent the fingers of her hand to dig her figernails into his thing. He pressed her hand flat again, and pinned it, so that she could not move it. He did not look at her. Frishta bent near his ear, in confidence. "Brian went to Glastonbury. He left last week. He wanted to see a flying saucer."

Sitvar chuckled. "Did he. But there aren't any. He should have stayed here."

"Yes, he could have seen one here just as easily. After all, do you remember, he saw . . ." She looked at the frozen road with furrowed brow. "Who was it, he saw? Do you remember?"


"No, I only heard about it. I forget. Someone. It was a long time ago." He mused. "We first met at Brian's, remember? Such a long time. Brian, and Phil was just there, I think. Do you remember?"

She bent her neck so that she was very near him, her eyes near his mouth. She asked softly, as if tired, "Does it matter?"

He drew his head back to see her face. "I don't suppose it does matter." She was grinning nervously and would not look at him. Near her ear he said gloating, "But I remember. It was at Brian's and Phil as there."

"No, Sitvar, that was another time."

"When was it, then?"

"I don't remember. What does it matter?"

"It matters because I want to know."

"Don't be tedious. You can't know. Have we ever met?"

"Don't be ridiculous. I simply can't remember when."

"Do you understand? We haven't met." Frishta looked at him smugly.