Rainer Merkel’s novel presents scenes from a dying love story. A man is on the way to the airport. He is in a rush but his memories hold him up. Here in New York, he has met up with his long-term girlfriend. One last time. He takes more and more run-ups, his thoughts encircling the centre of the catastrophe. He remembers the dramatic events of the past months. A journey through California that ends in a nameless hotel in the middle of the desert. In his memory, this night seems gaudy and over-exposed, and the search for truth becomes a sexual admission, an admission without a listener, a monologue without an audience. Just before his return flight he suddenly realises there would have been a way to save everything.
‘What remains of the nights you spend together? I have to count back. Night by night. In a systematic effort of memory, and if I go through everything one more time I might find that decisive moment, the very point I’ve been looking for all along.’