My mind is still spinning to say the least, you do not expect your world view to change so radically within minutes. I think the last time before today was when I was a child and I saw my mother sneaking into my room to put a Christmas stocking at the end of the bed. I was six. Today I am thirty-five, and this time with the benefit of years of knowledge and experience, it is much more dreadful, how much of my life has been a lie.
It’s been crunch time at work and I have been putting in the extra hours. Yesterday, I asked my work colleague, Stuart, what day it was. It was a simple question. He told me it was Tuesday. I said it didn’t feel like a Tuesday, it felt more like a Valeday. He looked at me with an expression, probably similar to what you are pulling right now.
“What the fuck is Valeday?”
“The day before Tuesday.”
“You mean, Monday.”
“No. I mean Valeday.”
This guy, Pablo, he’s a contractor hired to help us finish our project, he was there to churn out code, probably paid way more than us, and he’d be gone before we’d find out if he was shit. Pablo piped up and asked what we were vexing about. Stuart started laughing. The way he did this made me feel crazy! I mean, the nerve of the guy.
“Valeday?” Pablo said, his chest already spasming from the brewing laughter inside.
“So, it’s Tuesday, fine,” I said, Jesus, I didn’t need that type of fucking with.
“You, okay, man, do you need a day off or two?” Pablo spoke to me like a demi-manager, when in fact he was my inferior.
I ignored him and went back to my work. When Pablo left to renew his kafe, Stuart gave me a nudge.
“Sorry about that, but it was fucking funny.”
“I must have misspoken,” I said, and tried to forget about it.
After work, a reminder popped up on my phone telling me I had fifteen minutes before I needed to leave to meet up with my father to help prepare the meat for supper. I changed into my overalls and took the short car journey to the forest behind our house. I’d always wondered why we had to do this here and not in the back yard. Never thought to ask.
While waiting for him to arrive I opened the calendar, just to sooth myself, so I’d know I wasn’t crazy. The week view was there in front of me, I stared at it for what must have been minutes. I felt a sickness brew and an overwhelming sense of dreadfire. Valeday was missing. It was Monday then Tuesday. What the fuck? Had they been messing with my phone too? That would have been near impossible. My phone had been in my trouser-lock all day. They couldn’t have snatched it and replaced it without my knowledge.
Father almost gave me a heart attack when he appeared next to my driver’s side window. He seemed amused at my frightscare.
“You ready,” he asked.
I followed him into the small outbuilding. It didn’t matter how well we cleaned it, it always smelled of sharp metal. The odor that makes the back of your throat wince.
“Dad, what day of the week is Valeday?” I asked, as he made his way over to one of the concrete pens.
“What are you talking about?” he said with a tone of whimsey.
I felt stupid for asking. It was a ridiculous question.
“What day is it today?”
“Tuesday,” he said.
“And before that?”
The gate to the pen swung open with a teeth piercing screech. Nothing came running out. I sighed a little, I hated it when they fought.
“Are you okay, son?”
“I’m fine, just answer me, please?”
“Monday is the day before Tuesday.”
That wave of sickness hit me again.
“And Valeday, when’s that?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” he said, dragging our dinner out of the pen, “I can’t have you not on your game tonight, you understand?”
I nodded and pushed my visor down before holding the arms tight. I was glad this one wasn’t bitching and moaning, I hated it when they did that. I think, secretly, my dad liked it. He always said the harder you work for something, the more satisfying it is. I didn’t really understand that. I’d been working damn hard in the office, and I’d feel no satisfaction when it was finished, just the relief it was over.
“Please, no,” the creatural whimpered. I hated it when they whimpered.
I closed my eyes and waited for father to finish. I helped him hang the carcass. He asked if I wanted to cut the steaks for tonight. I told him no.
“You never turn that down,” he said with a look of concern in his eyes.
“I’m a little off today,” I told him.
“Are you eating enough?”
“Yeah, it’s work, I think.”
“Tell them that if they keep overworking you like that then I’ll be down there to turn them into steaks.”
I laughed at this. There was something funny about him standing there in overalls covered in blood. I did enjoy this time together. Even after my new revelation today, something so small, a day of the week I swore existed, didn’t, it would take a while to get used to that. It’s Wednesday now (I’ve checked, it is). At least I still had my normal, completely ordinary time with my father.
I am wondering though, is there anything else that will disappear out of existence, anything I take for granted that isn’t right and will be taken from me?