About a month ago I was drunk in a pub in Wivenhoe, Essex, and I went to the toilet and stared at my face, a face that has begun to take on the look and texture of a washed-out red flannel. What a face. You wouldn’t want that face. I wouldn’t want that face. I’ve got that face. As I stood and stared I thought: “I’m going to drink myself to death.” I may have even said it. I wasn’t planning on drinking myself to death that night, but over a period of months and years, I thought, possibly said, I was going to increase my alcohol intake to the point where it would one day end up killing me.
Sometimes you have to make a decision and stick to it. That’s not a decision I’ll be sticking to, I don’t think. Nor, probably, is this: on Wednesday I applied to join the French Foreign Legion. I say applied, although that’s a slightly grand way of putting it. I made an enquiry though, and asked the administrators to clarify one or two of the enrolment guidelines. For an afternoon I was whisked away and seduced by the idea of joining up, of relinquishing my identity and emerging in five years fit and strong and, in name at least, a different man. That dream evaporated over the following evening and died yesterday when I received a reply. It was in French. I couldn’t understand it. There’s a lesson there, somewhere, and I don’t think it’s that I should learn French.
Adieu. Enjoy your weekends.