I tend to think about credit card debt at first. You have X amount owing, which take X many repayments if you repay at X amount each time. But what about interest on that amount owing? You need to factor that in, so its going to take even longer! How much longer? Along time, methinks. How could you get yourself in this situation? What did you spend that money on? Was it worth it?
Then I move on to walking the route of the weekly shop around Tesco's. First, get the cash out from the machine outside to pay for it all. Quite depressing? Do I really need all this stuff? Well I think I eat reasonably well, its all healthy stuff other than the crisps. Then begin in the vegetable section; always three courgettes, they go in virtually everything. Four onions (two red, two white), root ginger, fresh chilli's and coriander too. Bag of potatoes (preferrably Maris Piper), and mixed peppers. Brocolli and green beans and carrots, then on to the fruit aisle. Bag of oranges and some apples. Its got to be Braeburn apples, they pay for themselves. Cheap apples taste of shame and failure. Bananas - have weekly pang of anxiety that this is the week that the crate that I plunge my hand into will contain a stunned tropical spider that in a split-second act of pure self defence will sink its fangs into my vulnerable hand. What a hideous and pathetic death. Having naviagated this potential faux-pas its on to the spices - do I need any? Always seem to be low on black pepper corns so in they go. Rounding the corner its straight into the bakery department. Better get a baguette to make some garlic bread tonight, plus I'm going to need rolls for lunch for the rest of the week and a load. They always seem to have run out before they've even got going. Naan bread - is it really necessary? I could make a bit of a saving here if I avoided it, but they really do make a good curry. In they go. The slide into fat, soft, weak comfort is something we're all born with. Next aisle: household chemicals. Dishwasher tablets, cling film, conditioner, washing machine tablets, liquid soap, toilet cleaner, kitchen cleaner: what is all this essential unessential shite that I'm piling into the trolley? Its brimming with the stuff. And what fragrance is it to be? If my clothes dont smell of a springtime Alpine meadow somewhere in the rolling Austrian Tyrol then I am truly less than scum. Tooth paste. Mouthwash. Swerve wildly into the chillled products lane - halfway house, all downhill from here, stay focus and it'll be over soon. Fresh pasta. Tofu pieces. Organic milk. Own-brand yogurts. Selection of 2 for £3 fruit juices. Try not to get the same as last week but inevitably do. Fresh salmon fillet from fresh fish counter to entertain some notion of being vaguely connected with nature. Final three aisles feel strangely quiet and dry, like the woods when it hasn't rained in a while. Less shoppers now, risen above them through strength and perserverance. Own-brand honey-nut shreddies. Choice of multipack of crisps I dont particularly like but theres no other choice and buying individual packs each day is just fucking stupid. Thats what they want you to do. Eggs. Why are they here? It seems against the flow of the central planning of how the supermarket is laid out in order to influence your purchasing decisions as you gracefully meander around the predetermined circuit. Cordial. Avoid alcohol aisle because thats where the accidents happen. Pay. Get bus home. Unpack. Consume over course of next seven days. Repeat.
By this time hopefully I've been distracted long enough to have lasted a reasonable amount of time, so now for a final flourish, suddenly focusing entirely on the moment. The end.
*Thinking about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre is not permitted.