My relationship with the UK is a bit like the kind of relationship you might have with a duty-free aftershave. It lingers, even if you don’t know how you feel about it. I like my country. But at a distance. Like how one observes a swan, no closer than a nice two-hour Ryanair flight away from the long-necked nutjob.
But that swan (my country), for me (me), is now a distant speck on the horizon.
My future is presently being gently caressed by the soft, wrinkly and unelected hands of the House of Lords. That future of mine will soon be sent back to the soft, slightly less wrinkly, dirty mitts in the House of Commons. Passed back and forth like a yeast infection.
We’ll give your lot the right to live here when your lot give Jake the right to live there, they’ll say. I should note here that I’ve used my name collectively to refer to all UK citizens in the EU and not just me, whose name is actually Jake (although I fancied myself more of a Clive).
The UK is soon to the roll the dice in the biggest game of monopoly the world has ever seen, making the transition from Great Britain to Alright Britain. And just like with your average game of monopoly, someone is bound to lose their nut and trash the board about half an hour into the two-year negotiation timeframe.
I don’t want to play. Even if I get to be the hat, I don’t want to play. I’ll just watch, thanks.
If memory serves, living in the UK plays out thusly; you run down to the Spar on a rainy Sunday night to scout out a dented tin of beans in the reduced aisle and then you run back past a row of closed shops, dodging hordes of trembling elderly people and immigrants, before slamming your bedroom door and cracking into the newly purchased beans with an unclean plastic spoon whilst watching Netflix on your laptop which is actually just an old takeaway pizza box propped open against twelve bottles of piss. Rinse (if you can afford soap, you toff) and repeat.
Some of the details may be a little off. It’s been almost three years since I lived there.
Yet, contrary to what the Brexit press would have you believe, life isn’t all that peachy here on the continent. We do have great peaches, though. No, when I turned 26, my all-access public transport card went up from 20 EUR a month to 54 EUR. I kid you not. And, if anything, the people are too welcoming. Creepy.
Brexit is on the tip of everyone’s tongues, lest ye forget.
The other day, I bumped into to my head of HR in the lift heading to my job, where I work so I can pay taxes (the only difference being that I pay for Marisol’s new dentures, rather than Moira’s. Unless there’s a woman called Moira on the Costa del Sol who’s just got a new set of teeth, then I paid for Moira’s too, in that case). She greeted me in Spanish and caught my gaze (also in Spanish) and pulled the air through her teeth in that way that lets your interlocutor know you’re about to say the B-word.
“Hopefully they’ll figure something out, they have two years, I’m quietly hopeful,” I said, anticipating what she was about to say.
“Everything going well James? Sorry, two years? For what?” she said.
“It’s Jake, and nevermi- I thought you were going to mention- nevermind. ” I replied, wishing I had said Clive instead.