Montmartre Photo Prompt

Black and white photo of an outdoor cafe table with blue colored bottle

Montmartre by John Althouse Cohen / CC BY 2.0

After rereading what I wrote for this self-chosen writing prompt, I’m going to rethink this approach. I didn’t edit the piece, as I’m sure you’ll be able to tell. I didn’t edit it or continue the story, because my goal was just to write…but now I’m wondering what exactly the point is. If it’s to write something that’s pretty crappy, then I’ve succeeded. But I’m pretty sure this picture deserves something a little more thought out.

Thanks to John Althouse Cohen and Flickr Creative Commons — royalty-free images from Flickr users.

It’s impossible not to be romantic in Paris. I mean, look at this cafe table. For one. It’s disgustingly cute and charming.

Of course, I’m a tourist and I’m sure that helps. All tourists find Paris beautiful and romantic. But I’d like to think there’s at least one Parisian who’s miserable and depressed. But then again, that’s romantic, too, if he’s miserable and depressed over love.

My girlfriend and I decided to travel Europe after graduation. The plan was to start here in Paris and work our way through France and move on to Spain and Italy. Being an idiot, I bought my ticket the week before she broke up with me. Soon, I was a graduate with no job and an insanely pricey, non-refundable plane ticket. There was nothing I could do but get on the plane and spend a miserable month in the City of Love.

Sure, some guys would love nothing better. I mean, come on, French chicks as far as they eye can wander? What guy in his right mind wouldn’t want that? Well, me, if you consider me being in a right mind.

I got broody, which, it turns out, is hot. If only I’d known that in high school. If only I’d known it in college.

The American girls here, I meet them in bars or museums. Once I open my mouth they completely lose interest in me. I can see it in their eyes. They nod because, well, I might be good for a free glass of wine, but that’s it. I’m not exactly exotic. Their toothy smiles and ruby red lips stay plastered on their faces, but their eyes start to drift…not around the room, like their casing the joint…but like their soul has just left their body to go do anything more exciting than talking to me. That’s when I throw in Marissa, the ticket to Paris and the dumping. I swear, it was completely self-pitying at first. I really did want to moon over her cherubic face and curly hair. But then, the free wine started pouring my way and the distant looks started boring into my soul. And each telling, Marissa became more beautiful (I’d leave out the semi-bucked teeth, she’d gain a button nose, and start smelling of wild roses) and more cold-hearted (she’d break up with me the day before the trip, then the hour before the plane left, and then at the gate).

God, the rush. The power.


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