Ted sprinted towards the phone booth, at breakneck speed. There was one thing on his mind. 3:03. Still time enough I suppose. Not today. No.
As he crossed the street, a man in a teal sweatshirt jumped into the phone booth, hammer in one hand, hardhat on the other. I pay his salary. I think I should have priority, no? Or do I. I pay politicians’ salaries. See what they get done. Now I’ve seen it all. But I won’t be able to se my own brother. Damn these flat tires. His Ford never got a flat. Back in ‘92 though. Stray nails. They’ll be the death of me. Ted stuck his finger into his mouth, nibbling nervously on his ring finger.
A man walked by Ted, glancing at his wristwatch.
“Excuse me sir, do you happen to have the time?”
Of course I’ve got the time. Why? Unless you want British time. Time is but an illusion. Put a man in a box with no light and it ceases to exist. I’ll bet Plato said that. Or Nietzsche. Not Nietzsche. God is dead. Why else would I have a watch. For show? Maybe If I was as rich as him. Where was his watch?
“Certainly, Mr. It’s 3:04.”
“Thank you,” said the man, as he walked away, glancing back at Ted one last time.
Seemed like he knew already. Late to his meeting. 3:04. I’m already later than I was to his graduation. Traffic. Rather that than a flat tire. Takie it with a grain of salt. Seems like more than one grain, though.
Ted sat down on the bench, feeling the edges of his phone card. Suppose it’s got about fifteen minutes on it. Enough time for me. Queer of people to put a price on time. They’d bottle air if it was a lucrative market. I’ll have to bring that up with boss next meeting.
“Say boss, why don’t we bottle air?”
“Ted. You’re a genius. Here’s a raise, an assistant, a new desk, and a new chair.”
Ted glanced at the man in the phone booth. His mouth was moving, and the display caused Ted to chuckle. Hm. How inconsiderate of him. Did I put one lump or two lumps in my coffee this morning? Surely it was two. Diet time soon I think. Let’s see how this one goes. So it goes. Oh. Oh? Oh! He’s leaving!
The man shot a poisonous glance in Ted’s direction, the nails in his back pocket jangling in harmony as he walked away. Yeah, same to you. He quickly ran over to the phone booth, dialing the number inscribed on the card. He’d better answer.
“I’m sorry, your card has expired. You can renew this by--” Ted slammed on the button, trudging out of the booth dejectedly. Damn. C’est la vie I guess.
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