Just as there are no mirrors at Castle Dracula, so too (and for the same reason) there are no calendars in Cancerland. I suppose I had better explain.
Vampires are given away by their failure to be reflected in silvered glass, which they therefore shun, and so it is also with Cancerlanders and calendars — the former cannot be made out in the latter, or only in a very dim and confusing way, and so we shun them.
Oh, there are weekly charts, and print-outs with dates on them, and little cards specifying appointments at some particular o’clock on such and such a day of such and such a month. But conventional calendars — that is, the future laid out on a grid — no, you seldom see such things. The walls here not covered with stunning photos of birds, kittens, pin-ups, bare-chested firemen, or old advertisements for bicycles, under which hang the great repeating dozen months of the never-to-be-repeated year. The calendar is a window on time to come, and time to come, in Cancerland, is a ticklish proposition. We do not voluntarily put our elbows down on that particular sill, to stare out at fog, and mist, and heat-shimmer, which are the only things we can see through that opening.
Back in the States, a year is pretty often accounted no time at all. If you meet someone after not having seen them for a year, you are not in the least surprised to hear, in answer to the question, What’s new? Oh, nothing much. Well, sure. A year’s just a hop, skip and a jump in time…just a few seasons…seems like yesterday and all that.
Back in the States, that is.
Here in Cancerland, however, a year may be a very long time indeed…a stretch to be yearned for, to be aspired to, to be dreamed about, but shyly, as if asking for a very great deal indeed. And that such an impossibly great treasure as a whole year can be compressed onto a glossy pad, decorated with sketches of puppies or wedding cakes and fitted with a little round nail-hole…well, of course, the authorities know better than to post such awful reminders as that all over the place, for any poor Cancerlander to stumble across just rounding the corner or wiping an eye.