Beer garden? Beer garden.
You couldn’t tell from his scowl but Ice Cube had a good day once. Now and then I have a good day, too. This is probably where the similarities between me and Ice Cube end but despite our differences, there is one thing I am sure me and O’Shea Jackson Junior can agree on and that’s Tuesdays.
Tuesdays are awful. Tuesdays are really, really awful. They are nothing, nothing at all like Thursdays, the single best day there is or ever was.
With that universal truth in mind here are all the days listed in descending order from bad to good.
8th place: Tuesday.
Tuesday is Monday, basically, except worse. How is it worse? Let me tell you.
Tuesday is even worse than Monday because IT HAS ALREADY BEEN MONDAY AND LOOK WHERE YOU ARE. Tuesday. You’re still at Tuesday. You haven’t gone anywhere. It’s almost like you’ve gone backwards in time. You have to wake up, go back to work yet again, for the second day in a row may I add – how is that fair, still dreaming of the giddy delirium of the weekend and knowing you are a long, long way away from enjoying all that again.
Tuesday is that feeling of crawling through the Sahara on your hands and knees, gasping for air and for water in the relentless heat as the sun beats down on your back like a cane.
Your throat is dry and you can see nothing but the tiny particles of sand accumulating into mountains like emails every time you dig your elbows in and claw your body, limp and weary, one insignificant step closer to nowhere.
Now you are stood at the water filter in the office. It is still Tuesday. You sigh to yourself and stand there, as still as the water itself, turning this thought over in your mind, wondering how exactly it had all come to this.
The time is 9:12am and you daydream about the desert. It doesn’t seem so bad now.
7th place: Sunday
Despite what you might think and despite what you were probably told in school, Sunday is actually two days. There are eight days in the week. North Korea and South Korea aren’t one country, are they? One part is totalitarian and terrifying, and one part is idyllic and full of K-Pop, and likewise we must divide Sunday into two.
There is the good part of Sunday, the vast majority of Sunday that is so relaxed you don’t even need to get dressed, and there is the bad part. The “Sunday, bloody Sunday!” part.
The dressing gown is your suit for the day, though, and you can stumble out of bed at whenever you feel like it o’clock during the good part, firing up every ounce of strength you have left in you simply to relocate to the lounge. This is good. You can then just sink into the sofa like a human Titanic and just stay there, rusting at the bottom of the ocean as the plankton swarm, not moving and not thinking and barely even existing. That is good, too. That is really good.
Oh, look, it’s past 4pm and all the supermarkets are shut. That’s a shame isn’t it. But it’s not. That is also good. What will I do now to ensure that I don’t die? Whatever will I eat?
The thought has barely stumbled across the motor neurons in your head and you’re already on your phone, browsing takeaways, screenshotting a menu to send to your flatmate who is also sat on the sofa opposite you. The food arrives and you eat what can only be described as ‘some of it’ before it’s all too much and fold over like a deck chair to stare at your own feet until your stomach stops aching. That is good.
There is no expended energy on a Sunday, that is the rule. It’s good, it’s one good thing after another, an unheard succession of good things, actually, until, of course, it dawns on you. You are full and you are happy and you are content and then it happens. All of a sudden it happens. A doubt creeps up on you and, despite what you thought, this happiness can’t last forever. What about tomorrow? Tomorrow?
Oh god no.
6th place: Saturday
You went too hard on Friday didn’t you? You physically clocked out at 4:58pm but mentally you were gone after lunch. Those beers slid down a bit too easily and you spent the next few hours clinging onto the desk in front of you like it was pulling you along to a different world, swaying back and forth on your office chair, opening and reopening excel, typing and deleting and retyping nothing. Nothing it is then, until the planned chaos you have ready for the evening.
The clock winds on. You are Schrödinger’s cat; you are there but also, you are not.
You leave work but in a sense that is when you arrive, a force of nature only held together by flesh ready to destroy worlds and talk to strangers and spill drinks over yourself. You are beyond saving by 7pm. By 10pm you are Dumbeldore in the cave, forcing down the Drink of Despair. There’s a nearby voice you no longer recognise.
“You have to keep drinking like you said, remember?” It’s Harry Potter. You take one final drink of the potion, usually a shot of tequila, and your soul shatters into the seven Horcruxes: a lost wallet and keys, a broken phone screen, a £50 round you don’t remember, a mysterious large bruise, and two early morning WhatsApp messages, both read, both ignored.
You are he, and you shall not be named, and you will never successfully piece your soul back together again.
You wake up on Saturday morning not knowing who, or what, or where you are. Your head feels like a someone is boiling rice. You did have lunch plans. You no longer have lunch plans.
“What have I done?”, you think, and the question reverberates around your skull like Pong, complete with the noises. The bleep and the bloop. Time is a flat circle and the mantra of the damned, every single Saturday until the very end, goes back and forth, over and over and over again.
“What have I done?” bouncing around, “What do I keep doing this?” bouncing it straight back.
A wise man once told me to never be hungover on your own time. It has irreversibly changed the way I feel about Saturdays.
5th place: Wednesday
Wednesday is alright, isn’t it? Usually get something nice for lunch on a Wednesday. Wednesday isn’t bad. It’s a trier.
The Marc Albrighton of weekdays.
4th place: Friday
Is it possible to delete your entire life, you wonder? That’s Friday. That’s how Friday feels afterwards. It’s the best time of your life, and then suddenly it’s not, and then it’s the worst time.
Friday is an Instagram post in reverse, it strips you of your filter, the generous angle, your cute dog nose and your floppy dog ears and the sparkles and it leaves nothing but the cold, harsh reflection of your true self, staring back at you in the blackness, in the mirror. You’re squinting now in the light and your nose is pressed against the glass like a curious fox at a stream. Is that really me? Do I really look like that?
You didn’t on Friday. You do now. Welcome back ugly. How are you feeling? Yeah. Terrible? Yeah.
3rd place: Monday
Look, I know. I know how this looks. Controversy for controversy’s sake. But it’s true. It’s honestly true. Monday is fine. Monday is genuinely, unequivocally fine. Monday is actually pretty good.
It gets a hard time, sure, and you dread it, you dread it so much it actually overlaps and ruins half of a completely different day. It even makes you go to bed early. You can’t be tired on a Monday, you think, your fragile mind and your even more fragile body just won’t be able to take it.
The thing is though, you’ve done Mondays before. You don’t realise it, but you’ve done absolutely shitloads of them. You’ve put in the hours. Hundreds of Mondays. Thousands of Mondays. Each one less soul-destroying than the last, the unconquerable human spirit learning and growing one Monday at a time. You are, by now, a world class athlete at Mondays. You are brilliant at them.
You do them in your sleep, or at least in a semi-conscious state, it’s the only day you sit bolt upright in bed with no snooze and get straight in and then straight out of the shower with no performative meditation. All you need is a bit of caffeine, a quick flick to auto-pilot and then you are away, an empty vessel operated by satellite, vacantly blinking at other commuters and listening to ‘Porcelain’ by Moby.
You get to the office and something strange is happening. People are talking to each other. People are asking about your weekend and you are telling them it was good, even though it wasn’t and that you did things, even though you didn’t. You are pretending to be cheerful and breezy and you’re laughing and smiling and everyone else is participating in the charade too, somehow ignoring the fact that it is Monday and Mondays are meant to be terrible.
Do you see? Are you finally starting to see? The pain of experience is what brings us together.
It’s all fun and games because deep down you know, you know that this is what you live for. It’s the fall before the rise, the gradual buildup as the week progresses, the slow but sure transformation from the miserable chrysalis into glorious butterfly, ready to escape the glass windows on all sides into the inky black night. You are full of hope. You are rid of fear. You are ready to have a bev at some point this week. You know that now. You are sure, surer than you’ve ever been. I. Will. Be. Drinking. At. Some. Point. This. Week.
Mondays, you see, Mondays are the whole point. Mondays are the only reason anything else is good and the sooner you realise this the sooner you can come to terms with life itself. I am serious. Please, please stop laughing. Unscrunch your face now.
2nd place: Sunday before you realise it is Sunday
Excellent for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. Sunday is essentially a computer simulation of a day in which you get to pretend that you don’t know how to function as a real human being, as though you haven’t ever lived a single day before and have zero clue of anything, anything at all, anything that is actually going on or is generally required of you.
Showering? Cooking? Conversation? Leaving the house? Suddenly these concepts are as foreign as Brexiters think everything else is. You have no idea. You don’t even have any semblance of an idea. The only thing you know is comfort, that you must find it and embrace it, that you must seek it out in each and every way and be comfortable, excessively comfortable, so that you can let the day drift over you like warm Atlantic air drifts over the Algarve.
Life is good for a moment.
Let us sit in silence with the snooker on and fall asleep to the dull thud and the gentle caress of the balls against the cushions.
Let us wake up an hour later, order food, barely eat any of it and watch the last half of the film we’ve seen a million times.
Let us never take our slippers off again.
Let’s pretend this wonderful decadence can go on forever.
1st place: Thursday
Thursday is Friday, basically. But a day earlier. There’s an internal process that happens to everyone on and it begins with you deciding that, you know what, you are close enough to call it the weekend. You’re basically there, aren’t you? You’re pretty much there.
Remember Tuesday? That was painful wasn’t it. You stood at the water cooler for 40 minutes. That’s a long time ago now. But you made it. Here you are, at Thursday, 48 hours later at the very cusp of everything, about to burst through the door of possibility itself like a Takeshi’s Castle contestant, headfirst and determined.
It’s never the thing itself that brings us true joy, it’s always the anticipation of that thing. Nothing is ever as good as the bit immediately before the good thing, the brief period where something is just a thought, or a plan, or an idea that might or might not happen.
Sometimes it does and a lot of the time it doesn’t. But in that moment when it is first crystallised, it is limitless. Thursday is nothing but untapped potential, the oil beneath the surface, the day when anything can happen because nothing has happened. Yet.
Your phone buzzes to the beat of a hummingbird’s wings.