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Week One: Replaced lunch each day with my chosen brand of nutrient sludge.

Monday: “New Vanilla” flavour, blended with ice

An expensive cheap vanilla milkshake. A day out at the beach in England, pleasant enough to be fun, but just enough cloud to keep the joy at bay. Notes of vanilla, a dream of hospital walls, a lick of the cliffs of Dover.

Tuesday: Same, blended with ice, frozen peaches and banana

A day trip back to the holidays of yesterday, mostly unchanged. A more expensive cheap vanilla milkshake, luxuriously thicker, bananas litter the sidewalks, with the peaches a photograph of a fading memory. More notes of vanilla, the dream is the same, the taste of the cliffs remains.

Wednesday: New Vanilla, blended with frozen peaches and refrigerated overnight

The same day out, fewer bananas, the peach still a distant memory. Thin particles of chalk dust on the air, like someone cleaned a blackboard eraser nearby some minutes ago, perceptible but unseen.

Thursday: New Vanilla, blended with cocoa powder, made in the morning and refrigerated until lunch

A seventies version of a fifties diner on the sea shore, off-brand covers of rock and roll on the jukebox and quorn-burgers on the grill, a chocolate milkshake with your third-best partner and the agreement that you’ll go to the prom together if nobody else asks you.

The kid who cleans the blackboards is in the booth behind you, and you can tell.

Friday & Saturday: New Vanilla, blended with cocoa powder and frozen strawberries and fridged for a couple of hours

An actual fifties diner, a jukebox with nothing but the hits of Elvis. A promise made with haste and honour, a dance into the night. Maybe it’s you who cleans the blackboards all along, but it doesn’t matter.

Sunday: Vanilla blended with ice and Huel “Pineapple & Coconut” flavour sachet

A bright day on a sunny beach, the skies of blue and the sands of gold. The memory of a piña colada on the breeze. Hardly anyone for miles in any direction, and your “Blackboard Monitor” badge reflects the sun back on itself.

  1. Gods, but you’re funny 😀 Sympathies for the chalky beaches, but yay on the cocoa-strawb front!!

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