Corfu saturday night & there’s a party going on in my rooms, I am the host.
One solitary Englishman & all the rest Greek.
I did not plan this, nor indeed did I even realise it was happening, until that is I woke up at 3.30am on sunday morning to find my entire body covered in bites. I get out of bed and look mirror, looking back at me a medieval plague victim, I angle myself in the mirror to take a look at my ass which is particularly itchy and count fourteen bites on my lily white butt, them Greek mosquitos gone and got medieval on my ass, yep even there.
How the hell did this happen, when I went to bed there wasn’t a single mozzie in my room? As I survey the white washed walls now by lamp light every one is covered in dark little specks, all of them mozzies. Then I remember, the day before, talking to a German couple, the guy was covered in mozzie bites & I remember thinking, what a shmuck, how did he let that happen? I even told him rather arrogantly that the insect life here in Corfu is nothing compared to India, the mosquitos there are really something, how smug I was, how wrong I was, karma come back.
Theres an English expression, shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted, of taking action after the event when its all too late. Well, too late I pick up a towel and begin to exact my revenge, one after another I go round the room splatting mosquitos, in the middle of the night, counting as I go. The little fuckers have dined well – as I whack the towel on the walls I leave smears of the blood they’ve consumed, my blood. A demented loon I cary on my killing spree until every one is dead, mosquticide completed at a count of 58.
I survey my work then realise I will need to clean the walls, the cleaner is coming in the morning, she’ll think someone was murdered in my room. I spend the best part of half an hour wiping down the walls and washing the once white towel which is now blood-stained.
Feeling very ready for bed I decide on one last cigarette, a special herbal cigarette. My new neighbours who arrived yesterday are Hipsters from France, on my balcony that afternoon I detected the aroma of herb wafting on the wind from my neighbours rooms. I leant over my balcony, introduced myself in my best 1979 GCSE grade two french. Where did you get the herb? (thinking it medicinally beneficial for my arthritis I thought I might also get myself a little). We brought it with us says Bertrand, from Lyon. Sur L’avion ? I asked avec a spot of incredulity. Pas de problem the reply, we have special place to hide, where nobody finds’.
I find myself wondering, where, but not wanting to. Bertrand then places a big fat nugget of weed in my hand.
Thank-you I say, all time wondering how his grass had travelled.
So at 5am I roll myself a joint and sit on my balcony. I try not to think that maybe this weed was up a frenchman’s ass before I smoked it. A few minutes later I am feeling relaxed and ready for bed. How nice of the neighbours I think, but what happens after Brexit, will this spirit of pan-european camaraderie be gone?
I head back to bed, switch off the light & put my head on the pillow, now sleep.
Five minutes later the wall begins to throb with music. The Hipsters have just got home from a night out & are now playing music. Now this could have been a sleep aid, maybe the gentle strains of Buddha Bar to waft me to sleep, but no, Nikki Minaj is banging my walls.
“ We’re higher than a motherfucker…. jump in my hooptie hooptie hoop. ‘ I’m not sure what annoys me most, the loud music or the lyrics. WTF is a hooptie hooptie hoop?
I bury my head on the pillow, place a second over my head to keep out Nikki Minaj.
By six a.m. the Hipsters have gone to bed. The entente cordiale in tatters, but at least now I can sleep.
I lie there soaking in the silence for all of five minutes, at which point the other neighbours baby wakes and begins to scream like a wild beast. How can such a small package make such a lot of noise? I try to sleep but it’s impossible.
At this point I give up & get up, grab a towel and head to the beach, to sleep by the water with the gentle cymbals of surf for a morning lullaby.
Later when I wake I will discover that I have sunburn, call it what you will, I will call it Karma.