9.17.2014 Journal Prompt

Photo by Martin Munkacsi
Photo by Martin Munkacsi

September 17, 2014: When they met…

One Reply to “9.17.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. I heard it called the city of lovers and I seen films made there and all the music lilting and soft, and girls looking pretty everywhere you turned and men looking pretty, too. And Caroline said she wanted to go there and she wanted to go there with me.

    Caroline’s maybe ten or eleven years older than me and she’s been married before but now she’s with me. She’s a looker is what I know, and men stare at her in the street and I can see them undressing her with their eyes. And she wears her clothes a little tight and her underwear a size smaller than she should so her tits are all pushed up and pinched when really they are a little slack and heavy. I don’t mind.

    We’ve been together now for a year and I’d do anything for her. So when she said she wanted to go with me to the city of lovers, well I was down booking tickets that very afternoon. I got us a week in a hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower, that’s what it said. And I asked for there to be wine in a bucket of ice for when we arrived and flowers arranged in a vase. I thought if it was the city of lovers then I should maybe act the way lovers act.

    It was hot the first night and sticky and I couldn’t sleep. If the window was open then the noise from the street was a thunder in my ears, but with the window closed it was suffocating in the room. Caroline was all excited at the start, what with the wine and the flowers, and she kept kissing me for no reason. But she slept badly, too, and maybe that was why we were short and snappy with each other the next day and the days after.

    The view of the Eiffel Tower was not what you’d think. Sure we could see it, but only just, its head poking above the roofs of Paris, and it was far off. The street outside the hotel was lined with trees and I guess that made it look pretty. And there were girls on scooters and men kissing the cheeks of men when they met and a café spilling chairs and tables onto the street. It was warm enough you could drink coffee in the open air but the prices were a bit high.

    ‘So, what’s the plan?’ Caroline said.

    And the thing is, I didn’t really have a plan. She’d said she wanted to be with me in the city of lovers and making the booking and buying the tickets was as much as I’d done. In my head we’d spend a week in bed, being lovers, and all the city swirling in a rush around us. I shrugged and I said I was happy doing whatever she wanted. We walked till our feet were sore that first day and soon enough one street was just like any other.

    Down by the river Seine we kissed. It was something she wanted to do. It was on a flight of stone steps leading down to the water and in my head music was playing, like in the films I’d seen. I reached one hand under her coat and I touched her tits and she got cross and swore and she said couldn’t I just kiss and that be enough.

    And that’s how it was for the first three days, and nothing I did was right, till she said she wanted time to herself.

    I was approached by a girl on a street near Montmartre. She said her name was Mireille and if I liked she had a room nearby. She was pretty enough though her make-up was applied a little heavy. I shrugged and thought why not. She asked me if it was my first time in Paris and she asked me what I thought of the city. Her room smelled a little sour and the bed was unmade and the dishes unwashed. She offered me a drink, warm white wine in a cloudy glass. Then she was kissing me and running her fingers through my hair and unbuttoning my trousers and putting my hand under her blouse.

    Afterwards, I asked if we could just lie for a bit in her bed, just me holding her and Mireille holding me, like we were lovers and all the sounds from the street filling the room. She said it would cost extra for that. I said ok.

    It wasn’t the same as holding Caroline, but it was something.

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