The rule was war, as it was in times of peace, and as Rome fell, so fell Athens and so fell our protagonist. Jessica Doyle wakes up at 5:17pm on Tuesday, September 9th, 1984 in the middle of the westbound traffic lane on Interstate 99, naked except for a mesh-back baseball cap. She can’t speak or scream, and is neither cold nor warm. Matthew Yossarian is sitting in psychology class at Trent University. He's waiting for class to end. Laura's waiting for him in the library. Big date tonight.

Most pairers can feel the end coming. And when they feel it, they are able to say so, hard as it may seem.

It was the end, and so with little or no trepidation Jessica's hand reached towards the microwave oven and pressed the button labeled "End Time." Beep.

Life today is hurried. Encounters are brief. People tend to develop television minds, accustomed to quick, shallow exposures.

Passionate. Loving. Romantic. What a kiss. Jess began to cry.

"What is it, Jess?"

"You're leaving me. Don't leave me."

"I have to. This is something I have to do."

He turned and walked away and 24 hours later he was moving in to a dorm room on campus at Trent University.

In the beginning, it seems only politeness. No one wants to appear indifferent to a partner's wishes, after all, or self-centered about his own. It is only the courteous thing to put another’s comfort or pleasure first.

The next thing Matthew Yossarian knew, Jessica’s tongue was in his mouth, and by the tone of its voice he knew it had no intention of leaving. He played along. Let's not screw this up, Matt. Passionate. Loving. Romantic. Three things this kiss was not. After Jess had been appeased, the two embraced. Matt turned and walked away.

The stereo in the living room had been stolen two months ago when someone broke into the house.

Can you tell me where to stop? Can you tell me where to stop, time and time and time again?

Matthew and Jessica were standing on the front porch of Casa Doyle, absorbing moonlight and streetlight, and the city pulsed around them and inside them and through them and they pulsed with it.

"This is it, Jess. The end."

"I'll be waiting for you, Matt. I'll wait until the end of time... Don't leave, Matt. Don't. I can't take... Trent. Trent! Who goes to Trent, Matt? Who the fuck leaves a loving girlfriend and a comfortable life to live in solitude in Peterborough?"

The stereo in the living room blared the same song it had been blaring since the two met so long ago. Something by the Talking Heads, Jessica reckoned. Matt’s favourite band.

"I'm leaving, Jess."

The stereo in the living room blared the same song it had been blaring since the two met so long ago. Something by the Talking Heads, Matt reckoned. I hate that band. Here Matt turned around, and began to walk away.

It is fairly obvious what is going to happen next. A mutually unwanted sexual experience is about to end in a mutually nonexistant orgasm. And mutually unreal pleasure will surely be expressed.

“Do you believe love lasts forever?” Jess asked.

“Does anything last forever?”

“Love does.”

“So there you go.”

Question: is this really love? Remember that their electricity existed before they ever met.

Ideas ripped from Jim Morrison and the fine writers of "My microwave can stop time".

Quotes ripped from Pairing by Dr. George R. Bach and Ronald M. Deutsch, and "Time and Time" by P'o.

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