The Metrics of a Day by Alice Wilson

Today I walked six thousand and thirty-nine (6,039) steps which I appraised as ‘acceptable’.

I consumed five hundred and thirty-one (531) calories for breakfast in the eating of one bagel (254) with cream cheese (100) and smoked salmon (177).

I shed twelve (12) tears whilst crying on the phone to my dad about the fundamental question: “Am I willing to be hurt in the same way by this person again?”, which I resented but had to concede was #growth.

I sent eleven (11) emails pertaining to my PhD and two (2) regarding corporation tax. Every email I send confirms that I hate emails.

I did one (1) load of washing which contained only the bathmat and I felt guilty for this because it seemed like a waste but it also seemed too gross to put anything else in with it which on reflection sounds stupid because everything is supposed to emerge clean.

I thought of you thirty-seven (37) times today.

I drank nine (9) cups of tea today which seems excessive and makes me proud.

I sat in front of my SAD lamp for four (4) hours today, the positive effects of which are likely a placebo. Placebo is a first person future indicative conjugation which literally means ‘I will be pleasing’. This feels somehow significant and I should probably bring it up with my therapist.

I avoided my reflection five (5) times today by keeping the light off in the bathroom which has no windows.

I spent forty two (42) minutes on social media apps today; twenty three (23) minutes on Instagram, six (6) minutes on Twitter, eighteen (18) minutes on messenger, six (6) minutes on Whatsapp, six (6) minutes on Airbnb and eighteen (18) minutes on email.

I felt slighted twice today, once when you asked if my dress was a dress or a dressing gown, and once when you implied that you didn’t like the colour of the soap dispenser and toothbrush holder in my bathroom. I wish I had conjured something witty and scathing to say back to you about how I can make whatever hideous decisions I want to now that I don’t live with you, but instead I just washed my bathmat which is the same colour.

I spent one hundred and seventy three pounds and twenty two pence (£173.22) today. Thirty nine pounds (£39) on an appointment with the dental hygienist for whom the next available appointment is seven weeks in the future, thirty three pounds and fifty six pence (£33.56) on a Tesco delivery upon which a four pounds (£4) ‘minimum basket value’ surcharge was added about which I am disproportionately furious, twelve pounds and ninety five pence (£12.95) on a pineapple, rum, and belgian chocolate crepe with a tea for me and a coffee for you when we went on a walk today because I was trying to feel spontaneous and full of appetite, and eighty seven pounds and seventy one pence (£87.71) on an Airbnb booking for us to go to the countryside over bonfire night because I want to stay somewhere with a kitchen so I can sit on a sofa and watch you cook for me and I can feel taken care of.

I consciously unclenched my jaw nineteen (19) times today.

I wrote six hundred and twelve (612) words today. They are here.

Today marks four thousand and forty seven (4,047) days since we met and one hundred and forty three (143) days since I left you.

I will get to cross this day off and drift into the other place somewhere between four (4) and twelve (12) hours from now. It is six (6) pm.

Alice Wilson is a PhD researcher at the University of York writing about women who build their own tiny houses. Her work has appeared in Ruminate Magazine, the Apple Valley Review, ZinDaily, and Livina Press. Her flash fiction features in the Sonder Press Best Small Fiction 2022 anthology. 

Twitter: @neither_both

Insta: @neither.both