The Ration Ticket

Excerpt from the diary of Jules Flegmon.

17 February. --Clearly my concierge already thinks I am half-alive, a phantom, a barely visible shadow from the underworld, for this morning she neglected to bring me my mail. As I came downstairs, I impressed upon her the importance of my situation. "It is," I told her, "in order to fatten up lazy pigs of your ilk that the elite is sacrificing its precious life." And deep down, itís quite true. The more I think about it, the more this decree strikes me as unjust and inequitable.

Ran into Roquenton and his young wife just now. I felt sorry for the poor old fellow. He will be entitled to no more and no less than six days of life per month, but the worst part is that Mme Roquenton, because of her young age, will be allowed fifteen days. This discrepancy has thrown the old husband into a state of wild anxiety. The girl seems to be accepting her fate more philosophically.

Over the course of the day, I met a number of people whom the decree will not affect. Their lack of understanding and their ingratitude toward those who will be sacrificed disgust me profoundly. Not only does this iniquity seem to them the most natural thing in the world, but they seem to be rejoicing over it. Human egotism shall never be chastised cruelly enough.

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Copyright 1997 Karen Reshkin
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