The Girl on the Train to Paris

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When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

My life of decadent sensualism began with the girl on the train.

She was like a preview of Paris. When it got late we pulled down the thing you pull down so the light won’t come in, and everybody in the cabin went to sleep. Except her and me. She leaned her milky white cheek against the jiggling, green, streaky glass window (too many adjectives, non?), and then she slipped off her shoes. She wanted to put her feet up. I was sure she did.

Hallelujah! She wanted to put her feet up, and the only place to put ‘em up was right there across the cabin, next to me. She wanted to, I could tell. So I moved over just enough to leave a nice, cozy little spot where two feet could go, you know?


What do you want from me, a formal invitation? Stop toying with my emotions. I didn’t ask to fall in love with you. Is this ‘the French way?’ I though bitterly. But then I patted the seat and said something like, cough, cough, “Un seat, Mademoiselle?”(I couldn’t remember which was married, “madam” or “mademoiselle.”)

“Merci!” she said, “Merci!” If you pronounce it the way it looks, you get what I got! Merci! Merci! She had “merci” on me! And so it came to pass that she put her feet up on the seat.

But it wasn’t enough. I wanted them on my lap so I could rub her neat nylon feet while she drifted between two worlds: What should I do? she would think (only in French). Eet ees a forwardness, I know, but I like hees hands so much. I like hees crazy, sensitive, foolish face!

And then she would dream of taking me home to her little skylit flat over some bistro on the Champs d’Elysee (except it was me who was dreaming it, really), where “we’d live together in winsome sin,” I wrote in my journal,

Where the espresso machines thundered and steamed

and the barges could be seen sluggishly tugging

their way down the Seine,

where the room was lit, now dark, now lit, now dark,

and the ever-resounding crash of cymbal-light

from the orchestra of marquees outside, said,

“Oui!–but, non!–but, oui!–but, non!”

Where, despite the brooding, gothic-arched eyebrows

of the cathedral across the river,

we’d live in sin till the roof caved in!

I grew pregnant with my precious, prating fantasy — the train went into contractions. “There in Paris,” I wrote,

I’d grow stubble on my chin

and cut my hair with garden tins.

My lover and I would live

in the darkling red-black-red-black-red-black

and breath steam in each other’s faces

and have hot coffee for blood.

We’d feed each other croissants and cheese

and live like slippery, naked little children

playing house in the closet

under the woolen coats

with the smell of moth flakes in our hair.



Morning had come, and with it…


To read the next episode, click here.


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Girl on the Train to Paris

  1. henhouselady says:

    An interesting excerpt from your travel journal. I liked the way you mixed the poetry with the prose.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Pingback: My Life of Decadent Sensualism in Paris | Mitch Teemley

  3. Canuck Carl says:

    Thank you for sharing, Mitch. I was captivated, reading each line to see how this would enfold. Beautifully written, it brought me back over 40 years when a young lady would capture my attention. And I would wish so badly we would live happily ever after. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that was some fantasy! (And very entertainingly written.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. haoyando says:

    It’s so strange that sometimes a brief moment with a stranger brings more fantasy than people we grow up together. LOL. Our mind is whimsical.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. An interesting metaphoric ride with a unexpected ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds so romantic. I love that guys daydream about amazing futures with girls on trains, too. It’s not limited to females only 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Day My Decadent Life Sprang a Leak | Mitch Teemley

  9. It is impossible to hold your thoughts! Nice read on your cute fanstasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Someplace Not Here | Mitch Teemley

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