The Ration Ticket

Excerpt from the diary of Jules Flegmon.

32 June . -- One must truly admit that time has as yet unknown perspectives. What a puzzle! Yesterday morning, I entered a store to buy a newspaper. It bore the date of June 31.

"Well, well," I said, "The month has thirty-one days?"

The saleslady, whom I've known for years, looked at me without seeming to understand. I glanced at the newspaper headlines and I read:

"M. Churchill will be in New York between June 39 and 45."

In the street, I caught a snatch of conversation between two men:

"I've got to be in Orléans on the 37th," said one of them.

A little farther on, I came upon Bonrivage who was taking a walk and looking haggard. He informed me of his stupefaction. I tried to comfort him. There's nothing to do but take things as they come. By the middle of the afternoon, I had noticed the following: the full-time livers are not aware of any anomaly in the flow of time. The people of my category, who fraudulently let themselves into this prolongation of the month of June, are the only ones who are disconcerted. Maleffroi, when I shared my astonishment with him, understood nothing and thought I was a crackpot. But what do I care about this budding of the duration? Since last night, I am madly in love. In fact, I met her at Maleffroi's. We saw each other, and at first sight, we loved each other. Adorable Elisa.

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Copyright 1997 Karen Reshkin
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