Pandemic Playlist. Flash fiction by Michelle Christophorou

1. I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats

It’s always daffodil-chomping goats and capering kangaroos they show cavorting in deserted streets. But if they only let the camera pan down, I bet those repulsive rodents would be everywhere. Teeming in gutters, clogging the drains, copulating in overflowing bins. If I had a semi-automatic weapon, I’d take my one permitted walk a day and blast the bastards to smithereens.

2. Manic Monday – The Bangles

Christ, this was one of Charlotte’s favourites. She’d hum it when it was her turn to do the washing up. Though it’s not all bad: the lovely Susanna singing about some bloke’s bedroom voice. Wouldn’t mind listening to hers. That would cheer me up, stop me dwelling on the obliteration of rats.

3. New Moon on Monday – Duran Duran

Which reminds me, always make sure you password-protect your virtual meetings on Zoom. Though the expression on the face of Amy-from-purchasing-who-always-comes-to-Friday-drinks was pretty priceless.

4. Monday Morning – Fleetwood Mac

… is what all day, every day, every week feels like.

5. Tuesday Morning – The Pogues

These days, it takes all my strength to have a wash and get ready each morning. But what just about motivates me to keep on brushing is the harbinger of doom that is Shane MacGowan’s teeth.

6. Love You Till Tuesday – David Bowie

Charlotte promised to love me forever. Through my lay off, through the death of my mother, through her turned-out-even-better-than-she-could-ever-have-imagined career change. Till death parted us. But she didn’t fulfil her side of the bargain. And, when she left, she did not die.

7. C U Next Tuesday – Kesha

Moving swiftly on.

8. Paper Aeroplanes – Tuesday

A bundle of letters written by Charlotte, summer break 1996. When snail mail was the thing and your heart could stop racing only after the post had been. The scratchy cream parchment she wrote on smelled — like her — of white musk and vanilla. Tickets to see Beach House, Row 35, seats 5 and 6. Wedding photos, 5th May 2003. Divorce papers. Out they sail through the open window into nothing, onto no one. But a lurking rat. Possibly.

9. Waiting for Wednesday – Lisa Loeb

The Australian secondee in the office called it Hump Day. Made me snigger at first. I always was a bit of a tosser. Now, making it halfway through the week is meaningless, there’s nothing — no boulder — to shape the days. Nothing but my own thoughts. And this playlist.

10. 7 Days – Craig David

Wonder what’s the score with Tinder now? Nothing like that phase I went through a few years ago where you’d meet up on Friday and, if you were lucky — like Craig — you’d be doing the nasty by Wednesday. Not that I’m proud of myself. When it’s all too easy, you don’t treat people right. Ghost them because they watch Happy Valley, or wear the wrong style jeans, or don’t smell of white musk and vanilla. But God, what I’d give right now for a couple of hours with Bootcut Bethany.

11. Wednesday Week – The Undertones

Did I imagine it, or did that WhatsApp sesh I just had with Friday-Nights-Amy carry undertones of something else? Something like confession, a whiff of flirtation, a dalliance with desire? Maybe I did imagine it. Maybe the confinement — and/or the 6 pm lagers — are making me crazy.

12. When It’s Night Time in Italy It’s Wednesday Over Here – The Everly Brothers

This title suggests that Messrs Everly also partook of too many 6 pm lagers.

13. Thursday – Morphine

OK, so everyone’s been having funny dreams lately, but last night’s were way off the scale. Let’s just say they may or may not have involved Friday-Nights-Amy, and they may or may not have felt like a heavenly injection in my veins. Either way, feeling pretty upbeat this morning.

14. Thursday’s Child – Eartha Kit

I was born on a Thursday. Turns out, so was Amy. We have far to go. She WhatsApped again. And I wasn’t imagining it. She said her cousin passed away and — in his honour — she was going to live every day like it was her last. No hiding, no fear. Think I’m OK with that.

15. Sweet Thursday – Johnny Mathis

Up into the early hours, chatting to Amy. Thought about a Skype but the written word’s gentler. Plus — flashback to that Zoom experience — God knows what I might be tempted to do after the 6 pm lagers. Turns out Amy had never listened to Blood on the Tracks. So we listened together — I on my device, she on hers — and it was like discovering it for myself again but under a blanket of familiarity. Like a stolen weekend with an old lover.

16. Friday I’m In Love – The Cure

OK, that’s possibly overstating it. But let’s just say that — the way I feel this morning — I could kiss a rat.


Michelle Christophorou’s short fiction has won and been placed in various competitions, most recently the Strands International Flash Fiction competition. Her work has appeared in print and online, including with Retreat West, Ellipsis Zine, Virtual Zine, Lunate, Splonk, 100 Words of Solitude and in the National Flash Fiction Day anthology 2019. In an earlier life, Michelle practised law in the City of London.

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