It was fair to say that he’d coasted through his life without paying much attention. Barry knew it, he’d be the first to admit it, if he noticed you making the point. Which he wouldn’t.
Lately though, he was starting to notice things.
Namely, the same things.
Over and over a-bloody-gain.
Every morning, he woke up, swore at himself in the mirror, dribbled toothpaste down his chin, swore at the milk bottle for being empty, then ate a Weetabix as if t’were a biscuit.
Then he sat in traffic, moaning to himself and shouting at the idiot man on the radio for saying idiot things to idiots who were calling in to prove they weren’t idiots, then being shown to be idiots by an idiot who didn’t know he also was an idiot.
All the while, he was eating another Weetabix as if t’were a biscuit.
When he got to the office, he said hello by way of a nod to the man on reception, then went in to make a coffee. At the same time, the same person as every morning came in at the same moment, and they exchanged the same conversation, which always ended with the same ‘another day, another dollar’ line being said at him, as they raised their mug by way of a goodbye.
Then Barry would swear at the departed person, because they had polished off the last of the milk.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d not had a black coffee.
Then around midday, his mind would go blank, and he’d have to ask the same bloody question he always asked.
“Is it Tuesday?”
And then came the same bloody answer, every bloody time.
“It is. All day.”
But today, Barry realised something he’d never realised before.
It was always bloody Tuesday.
It had been Tuesday for twenty years.
He had eaten fourteen thousand six hundred Weetabixes as if they t’were a biscuit. He’d had twice that many coffees without milk. And he’d go home and watch the same episode of Eastenders he’d seen over seven thousand times, then have the same dirty dream about Melinda Messenger he’d had over seven thousand times.
Next morning, he woke up, swore at himself in the mirror, dribbled toothpaste down his chin, swore at the milk bottle for being empty, then ate a Weetabix as if t’were a biscuit.
Fourteen thousand six hundred and one.