Well, the headache can’t be anything to do with dehydration. Right now it’s: drink a cup, pee a cup, drink a cup, pee a cup. Not that I’m peeing into cups you understand. It’s just to say that it’s coming out of me as fast as it’s going in.
Apart from the drinking and the peeing, all I’ve done is typing for this hour. It’s five to one now. I’m going to stop for lunch then.
I’m not sure how long I can keep this up. Seems that all of life is commenting on what life is. That doesn’t leave any room for actually living a life. I wonder how famous diarists (yeah, I only know Pepys) managed to do so much in their day? Maybe they had servants to write their diaries for them. Or maybe they had servants to live their lives while they devoted themselves to writing about it.
Right, two minutes to one, that’s me caught up.
It must have been in this hour that I hung the washing up. Because otherwise, all I did for the entirety of this hour was wriggle my fingers up and down over a keyboard.
I wrote A Life in the Day (7-8) and A Life in the Day (8-9) and part of A Life in the Day (9-10) and then I carried on typing into the next hour.
Map > Territory.
I know exactly what I did in this hour. I wrote this: A Life in the Day (6-7). I started at 10am and posted it twenty-seven minutes later.
Then I had another (starts with p and ends with 0 and has three letters).
I might have hung the washing up after that. Or possibly I did that a little later.
I drank some more water (still have that headache hanging over my left eyebrow).
All this and I haven’t even been outside yet!
This is why I’ve never written a memoir. There are vast swathes of my life that I have no memory of having lived through. I don’t mean on a macro-level; I can remember going to school and digging a pond and visiting my nanan on a Sunday. No, I mean at the micro-level.
As far as I’m concerned, I slipped into a parallel dimension between the hours of nine and ten this morning. In that dimension, there was limitless light and not a jot of anything that you’d normally associate with life. It was empty.
Here’s what I didn’t do (that maybe I should):
- Go to B&Q and pick up some silicone sealant for the shower. I took it apart last Sunday and I need to put it back together again this weekend. And for that, I need a sealing agent (no, that’s nothing like a secret agent)
- Wash the breakfast dishes (because I did that in the previous hour (I think)). And no, they’re not still in the sink. I just checked.
- Read my book. (I don’t like the ambiguity of the word ‘read’. It could either be past tense or present tense. Don’t like it!
- Listen to music (except what was on in the background)
Pick my nose (it’s surprisingly bogie-free at the moment). Sorry, I know some people don’t like me drawing attention to bodily functions.
- Write (I didn’t start that until ten).
I think I may have looked out of the window briefly. The leaves on the tree in the front garden are a nice red colour.
Wow, a whole hour spent briefly looking out of the window? I don’t have a life!!
Oh, jeesh, what did I do then? This hour seems like a lifetime ago even though it was only this morning. Let’s see, how about I just list it out for you and you can demand more detail if you have to (don’t):
- I had some breakfast. Dairy-free cheese and tomatoes on toast if you really want to know. And then a cup of tea without any tea in it. Not even sure why I still drink this because de-caf tea is not going to kill me now is it?
- I put some washing in the machine. White Supremacy Week really paid off. I had lots of whites to wash and not so many darks and so I was able to get rid of that little pile of white clothes that had just been sat there for the previous two weeks.
- I read my ‘book’ a little. I’m reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal on Kindle (it was only 99p) because that’s what the science fiction book-club is reading this month. The meeting is on Thu so I’d best hurry up and finish it.
Surely that can’t be all I did! Can I include things like breathing and pumping blood through my veins and drinking another two cups of water (I still have that headache) and scratching my nose in this? If so, I could pump it up quite a bit …
I can see that this is going to get on top of me unless I speed it up. I’m going to give myself ten minutes to type up each hour from now on. Otherwise, the map is going to get bigger than the territory, and it’ll be, like: ‘hour three: typed up hour two’. And no-one wants that!
After I did a (three letters starts with p and ends with o) I cleaned the toilet and the bathroom and then I shaved and showered and then I listened to samples of the seven hours of dance music on Radio One last night from 7pm to 2am.
There were tie-ins with radio stations all the way across Europe with an hour devoted to the dance music of each country. I have to say that there’s not a lot of difference between any of the national offerings. In my opinion (and bear in mind I don’t listen to this kind of music much) dance music is in desperate need of an overhaul. Same kinds of sounds and beats and rising sequences and drops repeated time after time. Let have a massive change, please.
Then I let the UK offering play out (this one wasn’t bad actually because they wove a lot of pop music into the biggest set by Jax Jones) and I got dressed.
An hour? Surely I did more than that in an hour!
Well, I did my exercises: push-ups (the usual 30) and sit-ups (adding five more per day and so I’m up to 80 as of this morning).
What else, what else?
Are my ten minutes up yet?
I’ve never used my name as part of a pun, but it strikes me that maybe I should, and maybe now is the time to do so. There’s a song by The Beatles called A Day In The Life. There’s a life being lived by me. My name is Robert Colin Day. Day. So this is a Life in the Day; geddit? Hmm. Maybe that should read A Life of the Day. Otherwise, it’s, like, a life in the daytime. Ach, whatever. It’s dark at 6am, which is when this story starts, so clearly that is night and not day!
I’m using an app called Sleep as Android, which is billed as a sleep cycle tracker and smart alarm. It woke me up seven hours after I went to sleep, which is to say 6am. I paused it and slept until 6:10am then the alarm went off. I paused it for another ten minutes. It went off again. I didn’t have anything to do that I wanted to do today and I still don’t and so that’s why I spent the first half of the first hour of today in blissful ignorance of the meaninglessness of today (to me). That said, I bet that there are dozens of people for whom the day has lots of meaning. Kudos to y’all.
I woke up (each time) with a slight headache and so the first thing I did when I finally got up was to go downstairs, grab a cup and drink two helpings of water from the tap. Actually, there were lots of other things in between, like putting the radio (Radio One on the Sounds app on my phone) on, pulling on yesterday’s t-shirt, slipping my feet into my slippers, walking downstairs, turning the alarm off and walking through the living room and dining room into the kitchen. Minutiae, but who knows how the world will change in the future to make these things seem novel. And other countries have completely different set-ups too; floors might not be made of wood, windows not made of glass and dining not done on plates. And in outer space, people don’t walk. And on other planets orbiting around other suns, this might not make sense at all. Or maybe it will. Maybe there are people sat on other planets reading our internet and thinking ‘my god, they’re just like us!’
Drinking water and eating bananas move me. Well, maybe not all of me, but they certainly move a part of me. Think of a part of the body with five letters starting with b and ending with l. Hey, I bet you didn’t know that you’d get a crossword in this! Here’s another one: three letters starting with p and ending with o. Actually, when I think about it: the whole of me was moved. All of me went into a small room and sat down for a while. Yay!
And that takes us up to 7am.
Milk’s got to be cold, right? Warm milk on cereal is not nice. It’s just not. So when I came to eat my breakfast this morning, I was disappointed to find that there were only a couple of mouthfuls of milk left in the carton on the fridge and I had omitted to move a new carton from the top of the cupboard into the fridge yesterday.
I guess it was with the excitement of going to the movies. I saw IT Chapter Two last night and it didn’t finish until minutes to midnight. And by that time, the buses had finished running and it was raining and I was half an hour away from home and it was cold and did I mention that I’d just watched a scary movie and it was dark and almost midnight. Eek!
I stopped driving a few years ago. Gave the car away to my dad. He uses it but I still own it and pay the insurance and road tax and all of the that. I also own a little red sports car that I’ve never driven. But hey, if I walk everywhere then it saves the planet just a little bit, right? It cuts down on the emissions etc. etc. I’m doing my bit, yes?
So I ran home last night. I tried to make it in twelve minutes, which would have got me home before twelve, but it took me thirteen minutes and so I arrived home at a minute after midnight. Pumpkin hour; but that minute wasn’t enough time for anything to catch me before I got in and locked the door behind me. I was in bed within minutes.
But in the process of getting to bed so quickly, I didn’t think ahead to the next morning. I didn’t put milk in the fridge to get cool for my morning cereal. Which is a bit of a downer in one sense, because I’m hungry. But it’s good in another sense because while the milk is cooling in the freezer, I get a chance to write this.
Hello; good morning. Today’s going to be a great day. Enjoy!
No-one in the house when I arrive home. She left last week. A silent evening to look forward to. Dinner and a movie. Maybe a little writing. And then to bed alone.
I put the book down without marking the page. It’s not interesting. I switch on the light and take off my boots. I’m tempted to leave them on the mat; because who’s going to trip over them? Only me. But I put them in the cupboard all the same and grab my slippers in the same movement.
I walk to the sink and then I hear it. A faint buzzing. I look up and see it. A fly. It’s trying to find a way through the windowpane to the freedom of the back garden.
“Hey, hey; sorry about that. You’ll not be able to get through the glass. Let me help you. Stay calm now.”
The fly makes one last attempt and then sits on the bottom of window frame looking outwards. Taking care not to startle him with sudden movements, I undo the bottom catch.
“It’s going to be a little cold out there, but you’ll be alright. There are other flies out there; I’ve seen them. Perhaps you can mate.”
I release the top catch and push the window open.
“And there’ll be food out there. It’ll be better. There’s nothing in here for you.”
I open the window fully and the fly sits there, taking in the scents and sounds of the outside.
He’s in no hurry now. He cleans his legs and then preens his wings a little; all the while watching the garden; scanning the bounds of his freedom.
“There you go. This is all for you.”
He takes one last look; gathers his legs and then leaps into the air. His wings open and he flies; just like flies tend to do. It’s in their name and their nature. Freedom.
“Take care now. Enjoy yourself.”
I close the window.
I never had a football. I was never one of those kids who had parents that had enough money to buy me things (like a ball) that any of the other kids would envy enough for them to want to hang about with me in the hope that I would let them play with it.
Still, it saved me from taking my ball home in a fit of pique, so that’s okay.
I suppose, looking back, that I was prone to fits of pique; although it never seemed so at the time. I could be stubborn, sulky and rude and I had a tendency to ride, rough-shod, over the feelings of others; although I can’t remember any examples of this.
I wasn’t very self-aware.
Oh, wait. I do remember something. This one time, I was in a history class and I decided to whistle. I could whistle in such a way that my lips didn’t move. I told myself that no-one could tell it was me, even though everyone, including the teacher, was staring at me.
It must have seemed odd to them that I had decided to whistle in class, although no-one said anything; all except one boy who said (something like) ‘you can tell it’s him because (of some telltale clue he had picked up)’. As soon as he said this, I stopped and the class resumed.
But apart from that, I can’t remember being a right-royal-pain-in-the ass. I am now. I could give you lots of stories about me being annoying now.
Oh, and I have a football now too. But I’ve never played with it.