I standing in the queue at Lidl, in Paris, when SUDDENLY! I was hit by a





mid-life crises.

I’m really not sure how that can happen, considering I’m 21. But to me the fact that it was a mid-life crisis was a clear as day. What had I done with my life?! What a habit I was living! Nobody really loves me, we all just love template-people! Star Wars A New Hope is a bad movie!

Now, regarding such a dilemma, my understanding of mid-life crises is that they last for several years and can influence drastic, even life-changing, actions.

However, as I have a unique ability to self-inspect at a freakishly fast rate, my mid-life crisis only lasted about 5 seconds before I realised I was having one and could then immediately cut it off by presenting to myself the argument that since the feelings of mid-life crises have been categorised, they have become over-abundant, and thus no longer have a credible impact or value. So as soon as I cut off the crisis, I wisely checked my watch.

The time was 1:38 p.m, and 22 seconds. It was the 17th of May, 2017.

The queue at Lidl was pretty long so I took out my phone and opened its calculator.

Now considering I am 21, and was born on the 3rd of September ’95… I recall a story of my father rushing out of work to reach the hospital, and he arrived five minutes late… He finished work at 5… Google Maps estimates it would take 32 minutes to drive from Dundalk to Drogheda hospital… Let’s assume it takes him 5 minutes to get from the parking lot to the hospital room… It’s rough, I know, but I can say I was born around 5.40 p.m.

It was straightforward from there.

There are 365.25 days in a year. I am 259 days over 21 years old. In total I’ve lived 7929.25 days. 24 hrs a day… 60 minutes an hour… 60 seconds a minute… 685,087,200 seconds, plus the number of seconds between midnight last night and the time of my crisis… 49,102… That number can’t be right. No time to check, queue’s dwindling. I moved to a longer queue. In total I lived 685,136,302 seconds up until my midlife crisis. x2, that’s 1,370,272,604 seconds. This number will be my total life-span. Fuck, was there a simpler way of doing that? How do I convert that back into time and date… Err… Divided by seconds, minutes, hours, years…

Okay so according to the time of my mid-life crisis, I’ll be 43 when I die, meaning it’ll be 2039, and the sum gives me a remainder of .4213186047… Oh God what does that number mean?

There was only about 3 people in the queue ahead of me. One of the workers at Lidl, a woman, approached the queue and asked the man at its front: ‘Cartaybown?’

Alright so the remainder means… it’s… Err, seconds after 43 years, right? No, that’s retarded, you’re retarded Nate.

The man at the front shook his head. ‘Non madame.’ The woman asked the girl second from the front of the line. ‘Cartaybown?’

Oh God she’s asking everyone. Hurry up.

What’s the number, what’s it mean?!

IT’S A DECIMAL OF ONE YEAR! Obviously! Stupid!

I need my death measured down to the second. Number of seconds in a year, 31,557,600. Times the remainder… 31,557,600 x .4213186047…

The girl answers the question. ‘Non.’

To the fat bull in front of me, ‘cartaybown?’

What’s the word, what’s it mean?! Just say no, Nate, just say no!




I looked up. The middle-aged woman was staring at me expectantly. Someone behind me peaked out from the queue, I could sense their eyes burning into me.

‘Umm… Ehh…’

‘Cartaybown?’ she repeated.

‘Eh – errr… J- … J- … Je ne comprends pas!’

The woman stared at me in silence, and rolled her eyes. She continued on her way.

Damn it… Why didn’t I just say no?

I looked around and everyone seemed to be looking their own way, ignoring me. The line moved forwards.

I looked down to my phone. The numbers on it made no sense to me. My other hand was holding my notebook and pencil, and I’d jotted down more non-nonsensical numbers. My hands were trembling.

I put it all away. The line had moved. The bull in front of me was fishing around his fat wallet for cash.

I looked to my left. There was a second queue, and a woman there was paying by card.


Oh wait…

Carte bancaire.

Bank card.

… Yeah, that was kind of obvious.

Fuck, I really need to learn French.


((Actually it did happen, I just can’t remember what I was thinking about.))