(All Inclusive Part 2 is here)
“Have a good trip Mr. Cohen,” the man had said to me.
Well, it wasn’t the man that had said it. It was what my students were saying to me at 2:15 on Friday, just after the bell rang and they were heading out the door. The old man on the other hand walked right up to me, and passed me without saying a word. I thought for a minute that he looked right at me, probably eying my sunburn that I was slowly starting to feel.
It wasn’t that horrible surprisingly enough, but enough to make the skin on my forehead tight, leathery and dry. He continued walking gingerly away from me, and it would appear that he left his bottle of sunscreen on his chair. I didn’t take it, but I knew it was there in case I wanted it.
It was Monday afternoon and I was hot and hungry. I was tempted to go to my room and change into my bathing suit, but my game’s rules that I had decided on slowly came back to me. I decided to get up, stretch my legs, and go for a walk. I had but only taken in a small portion of the entire resort, and if I wanted to haunt that place right, I’d have to know my surroundings.
I spent the afternoon mapping it all out, pissing in a public washroom outside one of the bars, wondering what the hell I was doing. I had been there for less than 24 hours but I already put twenty times my average thinking energy into this trip. Other all-inclusive trips had their purposes, like the one I used to get over my bitch fiancé at 29, or the one that gave me my opportunity to finally swim with those dolphins and choose them over a life with kids.
This trip was about me and me alone. Me on the cusp of actual adulthood. Me on the cusp of the next stage. Life’s all about stages.
I was somehow on to the dinner stage, eating at the seafood buffet restaurant on the far south end of the beach strip. I stuffed my face and not a single staff member approached me, offered me a water refill, anything! When you’re alone, sunburned and pretending to be dead, it would appear that people would rather you just not be there.
Luckily I didn’t smell. It’s a gift. I’ve gone days without deodorant in the past and had yet to emit the slightest smell. I sweat my fare share, but I never smell.
After dinner I noticed the sign for tomorrow’s (Tuesday) Karaoke night, and proceeded to trot on down to the empty beach. Some beautiful loud girls in their twenties were taking nighttime pictures with an ocean backdrop. They looked like they had just come from the plane. It’s that all-inclusive freshness that sits on the people who just arrive and it usually goes away by the next morning. Mine was definitely gone, but that was probably because I was walking around the resort in the same clothes that I had on the night before.
Nobody said anything to me yet. I was the 24-hour local beach bum of the Sunshine Inn Resort and nobody had said a word to me yet. Usually, by that time, I would have enjoyed the peace and quiet of the first day, grown increasingly anxious and would start making conversation by then.
However, I’m the type that likes to finish something I start, and I was in no way about to talk to anyone and accept defeat in a game of my own lame design. I wouldn’t talk to the old man who waddled around the pool, the 20-something models making stupid duck faces by the water, nor anyone else. I was a man on a mission, to prove something utterly useless, just so I could go home and confirm to my friends and students just how much of a loser I truly was.
I was a loser. Always have been. Most people found it endearing. So I did what any other proud loser would do and that was to hit the free fruity drinks and go at them non-stop on a white plastic beach chair, underneath a giant standing umbrella, made of woven greenish brownish leaves. Staring right up at it, I could feel the alcohol take over my insides as the sounds of the water hitting the sand grew louder, and the pink sky got darker.
Surprisingly the girls stayed on the beach, loud and ducky as ever. I was expecting them to go off to their rooms and get in their skank-wear and hit one of the discos on site, but they proved me wrong. They were clearly cooler losers like me, minus the duck faces, enjoying the changing colours of the sky and the story the moon told over our heads. They laughed obnoxiously loud and although I was tempted to relocate, I was far too comfortable. I had gone back and forth and collected 20 glasses before.
I anchored myself down, so I had zero need to get up and go. Unless it was to pee. But I had a super human bladder anyway. Just in case, mind you, I took off my sweatpants, opened my legs and let the boys breathe slightly (navy blue boxer briefs still on). If I would pass out and piss myself in my sleep, at least I wouldn’t ruin my one pair of pants.
I did pass out. And shockingly enough I didn’t piss myself in my sleep or feel remotely hung over the next morning. Day three of my all-inclusive experiment had me people watching back at the pool, keeping an eye out for those loud girls believe it or not, stuffing my face with all three meals and anxiously awaiting karaoke night following dinner. Nothing could prepare me for what happened that night, and surely nothing could prepare me for the walk to the outdoor karaoke stage…
I saw someone I knew!