The lights of Paris

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

It was the first time Geoff and I had ever stayed in such luxurious surroundings. Ornate furnishings, a marble sink and endless lengths of cascading fabric filled our Paris hotel suite. Of particular note were the plush velvet curtains that reached clear up to the 14-foot ceilings.


After our first full day of sightseeing, we were eager to get some sleep.

We tucked ourselves under the blankets and turned off the bedside lamps only to find the room still flooded with light. We must have missed a switch, I thought while getting up to find it. Then I realized… the light was coming from outside our room.


As it turned out, we were positioned at the precise location of the hotel sign, which was awash with intense, white light. It was so bright; we could have performed open-heart surgery (had we the tools, knowledge or patient).


“It is the city of lights,” Geoff joked.

I was not amused.

Because he knows me well, Geoff proceeded to do what he could to make the brightness go away.

He dragged the hotel table to the window and on it, placed a chair, followed by the firmest cushion we could find. Using the wall as balance, he ascended the makeshift tower and began shoving blankets and pillows at the top edge of the curtains, to seal off the light.

Slowly, our room was transformed from luxurious retreat to rock star party aftermath.

Just as Geoff was placing the last bolster, the lights went off - automatically - just as they did every night thereafter. Precisely… at one minute past midnight.  

No, really.

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