The Girl Who Couldn’t Give Her Citizenship Away

Imogen couldn’t remember when her fetish for British men first began. She supposed it might have started, like all obsessions, with Bowie. Or maybe it was sometime in the womb, when her mother had decided to call her something as decidedly British as Imogen. In any case, all she could distinctly remember about the concrete development of her “predilection” was upon learning that Bowie was born in Brixton, the place she would make her first point of interest on her maiden voyage to the U.K., where all inaugural journeys seem to begin in London. She went by herself, and unbeknownst to both her parents in the summer of 2007, when they instead took her at her word upon her informing them that she would be going on a school-organized retreat to Nova Scotia. She picked the lie of the milieu for its picturesqueness, therefore assumed “safeness.” Imogen already learned long ago that depravity has no boundaries, and that something atrocious could happen in any location, regardless of city size. Granted, it certainly helped one’s untouchability to live in a place like, say, Lockerbie, Scotland. But oh, even there does the terrorist-helmed plane crash. There’s no controlling the erratic actions of those who despise the Western values of money and pop culture. The point being, in Imogen’s mind, that nothing could possibly happen to her as comeuppance for telling this small, assuaging untruth to her parents as a means to get to London unhindered.

Taking into account that Imogen had not jumped on the bandwagon of adapting any sort of online presence or profile, she felt added security in getting by unscathed and undetected by her progenitors. They would never know the difference, she reasoned, boarding the plane for her first transatlantic journey with unbounded confidence. Feeling as though, finally, she would be at one with her true countrymen. Her kindreds not by blood, but in spirit. As the plane reached the above ten thousand feet mark, she played Coldplay’s X&Y on her iPod, starting it from “Fix You,” recognizing that only a British man could do just that.

***

When she arrived at her expectedly foul hostel in the bowel called Central London, Imogen was rejuvenated, her thirst momentarily quenched with the satiation of being among so many Brits, as though they were coursing through her pores to, in turn, lend her a touch of Englishness. But she wouldn’t feel truly satisfied until she got a British boy to fall madly in love with her, to offer her marriage and finally get her the English citizenship she so desperately craved. Though she could have made it a point to get citizenship in the EU as a result of her father’s Portuguese heritage (Imogen’s last name was, in overt contrast to her first, Matos), she wanted to gain it by British love interest means, and was so sure that she could with enough eyelash batting at the right pub. As it turned out, however, no one in the pub was much paying attention to any bird, unless it was Blake Fielder-Civil to Amy Winehouse. And even that was cursory attention, at best. As the days went by, crawling to the middle of July, it occurred to Imogen that maybe she ought to start changing her methods. As opposed to relying on slutwear and the constant mention of The Office UK being leaps and bounds above the slop that the U.S. just premiered, maybe she simply ought to just buy them a drink. What Englishman could say no to free lager? Turned out, however, it was an affront for a woman to offer a prideful bloke a drink, came across as an insult rather than a desperate come-on.

Feeling like a loser, feeling like a bum–as Marina and the Diamonds would sing five years later–Imogen walked along Westminster Bridge, gazing grudgingly at Big Ben as though he was taunting her for not having procured any such large phallic piece inside of herself this entire time. Her “retreat” would soon be over, for she had told her parents that she would return by July 16th (she wanted the length of the journey to be realistic, and also she was fast running out of her stores of babysitting money). And what did she have to show for it, other than destitution and reinforced sentiments of inadequacy? She had to act quickly, lest her costly trip all be for nought other than to see Bowie’s birthplace and catch a glimpse of a man she was almost ninety percent sure was Alex Turner in Camden Town (on a side note, she would have to come back in October, she insisted to herself, to see the Whatever People Say I Am Tour–there’s just something superior about seeing a British band in their natural environment as opposed to the U.S.).

Over the next few days, she found herself pursuing the ugliest of men–which is saying something to call an already generally unattractive nationality as such. But nothing. It was as though the scent of her desperation was repellent. And at last, on that fateful July 7th, she crawled out from the pub she had fallen asleep in (hoping to bang the barman, he instead put her to rest in the back room) and boarded the double decker bus that would end up being bombed in Tavistock Square. At least, she supposed, she managed to sit at the front to avoid any maiming. Unfortunately, when footage of the evacuating passengers made international news, her parents contacted the authorities in London to reach her–berating her endlessly as opposed to expressing much concern for her emotional and physical well-being. So it was that Imogen was hurried back to the United States before she fully utilized her chance to have sex with a real live Brit in his natural habitat, exiled to the horridness of her American life on July 9th, seven entire days earlier than she originally planned. Leaving her always to wonder: Could I have banged if not for that terrorist attack?

***

Twelve years on, she still had to know. And so, at twenty-nine, for the second time in her life, she made that transatlantic journey, vowing, this time, to correct what had gone awry–feeling less a sense of trauma over having been at the wrong place at the wrong time on that bus, and more a sense of fate having slighted her over not allowing her to secure a romance with a Brit. And on this occasion, everything would be different. Having waited so long to return as a result of saving up the necessary funds to come back and “do it properly,” Imogen booked a somewhat indefinite stay at the Four Seasons at Park Lane, in a room overlooking Hyde Park. She reasoned that if she didn’t find a Brit to leave town with, then she might as well throw herself over one of the many bridges in the city having spent all her money anyway. Another added element to her sense of assurance on this go-around was the recent announcement of the British government’s decision to support Brexit, the referendum revealing that 51.9% voted in favor of leaving the EU. Meaning that 3.8% is all it takes to fuck up millions of lives. And increase Imogen’s odds for dangling not her pussy, but her now secured EU citizenship (she was meticulous in applying for it right after she returned from London in ’05).

What she needed was a Brit who relied on living in a country like France or Italy. Those were easy enough to find right in London as they were constantly coming back to their mothers as all men of every age and race seem to be unable to avoid cutting the goddamn umbilical cord. She would need to be at her utmost attentive while overhearing conversations in the public space–at pubs, restaurants, museums–wherever. The only piece of information she needed in order to pursue was the apprehension that the object was a Brit just in town visiting while away for the weekend or a vacation from his current place of residence: a real EU country.

And since everyone was abuzz with the conversation topic about how it would affect them or someone they knew, it wasn’t much of a challenge which Brit she would be of service to. She soon unearthed scores of options, yet, once again, was met with something of a steely exterior. What was she doing wrong? Was she simply too passionate, too wearing of her heart on her sleeve to attract their interest? And while she knew she wasn’t ugly, she started to wonder if British men simply preferred the stocky, pale aesthetic that she would genetically never be capable of serving. Once more desperate and out of control, she took to flashing her Portuguese passport lasciviously in bars without even being asked by the barman to show some identification. She could only hope that some British man in need of a peremptory solution to Brexit would be allured by the sight of it.

Then, at last, one night, it happened. A hideous and rotund Brit with jowls and the build of Bluto saw her show the passport and approached her with honeyed lines that found them back in his Shoreditch flat (he had refused to wake up in the Four Seasons, saying he would feel like “a right prat” if he did). Mistaking his horniness for tenderness and his interest in her nationality for a keen desire to want to marry her for her EU citizenship, Imogen awoke with a tragically false sense of security that was swiftly walloped when Bluto tapped her abruptly to say, “Eh, how much longer you gonna be sleeping then?”

“Umm…”

“I have some things to sort out and, well, I kind of need you to leave.”

Imogen was endlessly confused. Hadn’t he seemed magnetized by the passport? Isn’t that what got him talking to her in the first place? Why this sudden callousness? Realizing she had nothing to lose in speaking frankly with him, she stated, “I thought…you wanted to maybe…get married.” When she heard the words come out of her and reverberate back like little daggers, she suddenly understood just how insane all of her actions up to this moment had been. The entire fetish. And as he erupted into laughter, she was slapped with an awakening.

Why had she so lusted after the British anyway? They had historically always been a country of mongoloids (which, in turn, was why America one-upped them even further in terms of it being a country originally colonized by the British–for that’s all the British know how to do, politically speaking). And in the present, they were showing themselves to be even more so with this cockamamie initiative to leave everyone else in the lurch. As though they were going to do so much better on their own. So with the ringing of Bluto’s (she had never caught his actual name) laughter in her ears, she returned to the Four Seasons to collect her possessions, give up all notions of marrying an Englishman (unless it was 90s-era Damon Albarn which would take a time machine and a Justine Frischmann skin suit) and go not back to America, but her apparently true country of origin: Portugal. And it was the soundest choice she ever made, for she found herself up to her nose in uncut dick there.

 

 

 

 

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