1. Wake up.
2. Fold covers once, then again.
3. Get out of bed.
4. Walk one circle, then two semi-circles, in the centre of the room.
5. Open blind.
6. Look at landscape outside; if the fountain and the tree aren’t beside each other, and the old lady in the lion pelt is screaming in tongues, you’re dreaming. Repeat steps 1 through 5.
7. Choose from the plastic-wrapped clothes of the corresponding month in the wardrobe.
8. Put on left sock.
9. Put on shirt.
10. Put on right sock, but pull up only to heel.
11. Put on jeans.
12. Finish pulling up right sock.
13. Put on belt (note: belt must be the colour opposite to the jeans in the colour wheel. If not, remove clothes and repeat steps 4 through 8).
14. Sing to fish (note: song must be from Kate Bush’s album Hounds of Love, and must be the track AFTER the one sung the morning previous [i.e. if yesterday was Cloudbursting, then today would be And Dream of Sleep]).
15. Feed fish.
16. Go downstairs, making sure to count each step. If stair number 7 has a clump of dust on the right side, go back to bed, as it won’t be safe outside today (dust on stair 8 means that The Men are coming – beware).
17. Retrieve mug.
18. Put coffee powder in mug (100 granules EXACTLY. 99 and you’ll be dead in the water, 101 and you’ll be up all night worrying about the house sinking into the earth).
19. Pour lukewarm water into mug.
20. Stir once clockwise, then nine times anticlockwise (be careful not to add sugar: beetles can live inside the sugar bags).
21. Carefully drink coffee.
22. Carefully finish coffee.
23. Carefully wash mug (Don’t use a brillo pad, unless you want your hands shredded into pieces. Shredded hands are unproductive hands.)
24. Use tweezers to part venetian blinds.
25. Peek out of said blinds.
26. Watch for at least five minutes, making sure that The Men aren’t North, Northeast or Northwest. If they’re hiding in the South, then the house will provide enough protection for you to leave (but they’re always watching).
27. Retrieve newspaper from driveway. If the paperboy hasn’t put it on the special blanket to avoid gravel, then leave it – it is never worth getting gravel in the house just to read the newspaper.
28. Read headlines.
30. Hide newspaper so that you can’t consider it again.
31. Go back upstairs.
32. Say goodnight to fish.
33. Remove clothes.
34. Go back to bed.
35. Realise that you can’t sleep because of the coffee (and The Men may have followed you inside; leave the light on).
36. Remember an exaggerated version of the newspaper headlines where every worldly disaster involves you somehow.
37. Worry more.
38. Consider that it’s only safe inside.
39. Call work and tell them you can’t make it in today.