A Valentine’s Story: 24 Hours in the City of Love by James Carson
24 hours in the city of love
If your relationship’s in need of rekindling, why not spend Valentine’s Day in Paris, the capital of romance!
What to bring
As a woman with a passionate nature, the most important thing you should carry on this trip is a massive grudge from last week, when you returned home early to discover your boyfriend in bed with Maxine Mullan – the woman you once called your best friend. You should also bring bags of resentment, a reserve of filthy looks and a suitcase full of bitterness.
Most airlines operate regular flights to Paris. Whichever one you choose, you’ll still be delayed when the French air traffic controllers go on strike. Those four hours waiting on the runway will fly by if you use the time constructively by conducting a show trial exposing your boyfriend’s infidelity. The other passengers will welcome the opportunity to line up and scream obscenities into his cheating face. The cabin crew may even be persuaded to beat the crap out of him. Buoyed by this show of solidarity, and three bottles of Shiraz, when you eventually take off you won’t need those tranquilisers.
Where to stay
Checking into a dingy room overlooking the recycling bins in a part of town where even the French riot police won’t go is hardly going to make up for an act of adultery with Maxine Mullan – the woman that you comforted for weeks after her first boyfriend told her he was leaving her to join the Foreign Legion. A violent tantrum of epic proportions will ensure that you are speedily transferred to a five-star hotel on the Champs Elysees.
The magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame is a good place to start your tour of the city. It’s also a good place to start sobbing loudly about infidelity and dishonesty and treating your bedroom like a knocking shop with the woman you supported after her second boyfriend told her he was leaving to discover Antarctica. As you’re forcibly ejected from the church, be sure to admire the lovely rose window.
The Louvre museum, is, another of the must-see sights of Paris. But when you arrive to find it’s closed on Tuesdays, because some useless, cheating scumbag of a boyfriend left the guidebook in the hotel bedroom, you’ll sadly miss out on seeing the Mona Lisa – another woman who managed to smile bravely while crying on the inside.
Visit the Carnavalet Museum to discover the history of Paris. The thousands who sacrificed their lives during the Napoleonic Wars might just remind you of a relationship that you’ve devoted years to, but is now writhing in agony on the battlefield of betrayal. Before you leave the museum, don’t forget to ask for a demonstration of the guillotine in the crime and punishment section.
In the afternoon, beneath the golden dome of Les Invalides, you can pay your respects at the tomb of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. One of the greatest military commanders in history, Napoleon conquered much of Europe and introduced a legal system that was adopted around the world. He was also yet another two-faced sleazebag who couldn’t keep it in his trousers.
If you’ve had enough of museums, why not take a romantic promenade along the banks of the romantic River Seine. As the rain falls romantically on your head, you can admire this most romantic of cities while contemplating how satisfying it would be to cut off your boyfriend’s balls.
Try the Left Bank for lunch at one of the city’s most expensive bistros. As your boyfriend’s face turns pale at the prices, discretely ask the waiter if they do rat poison. The desserts are especially tempting here, but you may be disappointed to find that the bombe surprise doesn’t’ explode and blow your boyfriend’s pathetic head all over the Boulevard Saint Germain.
In the evening, why not stroll romantically in stony silence towards the Marais. It’s easy to get lost in this charming old district’s web of narrow streets, especially if some unfaithful arsehole has left the map at home on the bed where he screwed that trollop Maxine Mullan – the woman that you comforted for weeks after her third boyfriend told her he was leaving her to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
As your boyfriend pauses outside a restaurant called Chez Maxine, you may want to flash him a don’t-even-think-about-it look. Or, you may want to explain to him that when you told Maxine she just needed to find another boyfriend, you didn’t mean your boyfriend. Or, you may be tempted to take off your stiletto and ram it down his throat.
After dinner, there’s just time for one more attraction, and it’s the most iconic sight of all. From the top of the Eiffel Tower, you’ll both be captivated by the breath-taking views across this romantic city. Filled with remorse, your boyfriend will sink to his knees and beg your forgiveness. Smiling sweetly, you’ll lift him gently by the ears and hurl him over the protective barrier.
As you watch him plummeting romantically to the ground, you’ll finally understand the truth of that old saying:
We’ll always have Paris.
by James Carson, February, 2016.
Love Poems & Stories
- Close Range Coulport – poem by Finola Scott
- Alan Sharp and From Greenock to Hollywood at the Glasgow Film Theatre
- To See Ourselves – film about the lead up to the Scottish Referendum in 2014
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Magic Scales by Paul Murdoch
- Cast A Cold Eye – Robbie Morrison
- Secret Wrapped in Lead by Braw Clan
- Glasgow Writers: Pauline Lynch
- Mary Irvine: Review of ‘Gods of the Crossroads’ by Robin Lloyd-Jones
- SCCAN Stories for Change – PLACE Workshop
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Review of Warp and Weft by Ann MacKinnon
- Home Grown In Glasgow – a poem for International Women’s Day by Ruby McCann
- Le Vent du Nord, Celtic Connections 2023
- Best Laid Schemes – Dexter Gordon Place
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: ‘Blackbird Singing’ – an evening with Graham Morgan
- Spark My Words – Creative Writing Sessions with Lesley O’Brien
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Review – The Way Home by Robin Scott-Elliot
- Roy’s West End View: History is bunk …and it ends just outside London
- Aye Write Three Debut Authors (interviewed by Matthew Keeley)
- The Literary Treatment of Racism – Lola Rose
- A Road Runs Through It by Frankie Gault