Day 1 — Get haircut.
Day 2 — Enjoy haircut. Delight in standing in the breeze, wind moving over your ears, making you feel clean and aerodynamic.
Day 3 — Realize problems with haircut.
Day 4 — Spill entire glass of milk on the floor. Marvel at the sheer amount of milk to sop up and how absurd yet effective a rag is as a medium of milk conveyance.
Day 5 — Hate haircut. Ears look too big, for one thing. Head seems lopsided. Makes you look like a 26-year-old eight-year-old.
Day 6 — Buy stylish leather shoes on sale, dismissing worries about quality of non-stitched sole.
Day 7 — Don’t shower.
Day 8 — Enjoy shower at higher-than-normal levels because body feels especially dirty, and then clean. While showering, consider that humans have lost touch with joy of bathing because routine has rendered it mundane. Daydream about how people must have smelled in the Dark Ages.
Day 9 — Mosey into fine-food store you happen to pass and spend fortune on cheese, olives, and paté.
Day 10 — Wake up with higher-than-normal levels of anxiety that persist throughout the day. Realize as you fall asleep that this kind of free-floating fear, which you’ve had since you were eighteen, will forever prevent you from being a newspaper editor, entrepreneur, company president, or anything requiring full engagement with each horrifying day.
Day 11 — Almost fall down stairs, experiencing burst of adrenaline that makes you feel frightened yet exhilarated.
Day 12 — While walking to dentist’s, come to grips with the fact that new shoes are too small, tight even in thin socks. While in dentist’s waiting room, inspect shoes and notice a hairline crack creeping across the right sole. Berate self for being “such an idiot.”
Day 13 — Feel right-wing mood take hold after lunching with a friend who works in banking (he pays). Take on a full-blooded love of wealth, even extreme wealth. Look on the world as a garden whose fruits will come to those who persevere in earnest cultivation. Look on the have-nots not with pity, but with a wise understanding that they have simply chosen their life of TV dinners and hoped-for lottery winnings. Feel wealthy, even though you are not.
Day 14 — Experience sobering move towards center. View world as a diverse garden, with lush patches as well as dry, harsh deserts. Recognize that some will always have a bigger store of fruit than others, but that no person should go without.
Day 15 — Throw out hardly-touched paté and cheese.
Day 16 — Mutter words “Jesus Christ” upon finding very few socks in dresser. Become annoyed, then intrigued, by steady loss of socks, as though your dresser has a slow, persistent leak.
Day 17 — Wake up with sore throat but feel fine by 10 am.
Day 18 — Assume left-wing attitude after seeing young man zooming around a child-filled neighborhood in a German sports car. Return to garden analogy, thinking that the world’s trees are too tall, their nourishing fruit out of ordinary reach, and that greedy opportunists have humped their way up the trunk of each tree, sitting contentedly in the foliated tops, gorging on lychee and mango while throwing hard coconuts onto the heads of the rightfully confused, innocent, and gently weak underclass.
Day 19 — Have steak for dinner. Become put off by policy wonks featured on televised political discussion show. Mumble “Fuck politics” as you cut into juicy steak.
Day 20 — Accept fact that sole of the right leather shoe is badly fractured, rendering pair unwearable. Place shoes into empty green garbage bag. While doing so, reflect on the solitary, abandoned shoes that litter highway medians and river banks. Wonder about the original wearers and where the other shoe is. Realize it’s because of moments like these that mother says you are a dreamer (and not in the visionary, you-could-be-the-next-Bill-Gates sense of the term).
Day 21 — Have fond memories of high-school friend triggered by gum ad on bus. Resolve to phone friend long-distance later that night, but get absorbed in a TV show and forget.
Day 22 — Remember that you forgot to phone high-school friend last night, and resolve to do it tonight. But forget.
Day 23 — Throw out olives (totally untouched).