You’re at the beach, at last, and doing all
to try and get a proper tan.
you the unnatural orange spray
makes you look like Colleen Rooney on
really rubbish day; that’s not the way
Englishmen abroad behave. So what
acquired a rather rubicund
laughably resembling an
infection more commonly
to as: Lobster Face? Think of it
apoplectic rage meets terminal
and we have the general picture
you look like at the end of Day One.
Day Two arrives, and what is this we see?
It’s not a pretty sight,
when the sunburn’s kept you up
half the night. If anything, it’s worse
Day One’s Lobster Miracle: you are
beetroot. Look into the mirror for
evidence empirical, and weep.
sunbathing must keep until tomorrow,
the meantime, drown your sunburn sorrow
drinking from the bar a beer
or ten and then collapse upon
sunbed for a sleep till God knows when.
thus we leave Day Two: sunburnt, hungover,
Quintessential Englishman Abroad.
Days Three and Four and Five go by in quick
drink too much, eat too much, sun
and lack of sex, predictable
at the thought of going home
days’ time. But wait: at least you seem
what might pass for a tan. In Swindon.
Day Six: the day before you travel back,
before you have to pack, the
which you might have said, “Farewell,” to friends
didn’t make. You dwell upon the post-cards
not-yet-sent, the budget which
overspent, the novel which you meant
read, the tourist tat you didn’t need,
then the thought pops up from nowhere:
week has been a microcosm of
life. You stop, surprised at this rare bout
insight. You reflect upon your life:
like five fifteen in the afternoon,
This unwelcome rumination
to nag at you How did it come
this? The highlight of your year: a week
doing nothing, going on the piss,
ending up hating yourself... because.
Day Seven. Spare us all the details. It’s
late to salvage anything of worth.
wave of clarity and you
to end it all; the holiday,
is. You leave the hotel, catch the first
home and, once again, surprise your girlfriend
premature arrival. She looks
askance and tell you that you’re peeling.