It’s nearly here. Less than a week until that next big event on our calendars.

There is inevitably always an ambivalent feeling towards that ‘Special’ fourteenth day of the second month that comes around each year, but why? There are people that, for better or worse, have nobody with which to share this day and will not or cannot appreciate the chocolates, cherubs and chivalry that the day might evoke. There are other people that, again for better or worse, do have someone! These people will revel in buying and receiving pink, red and heart shaped (and often fluffy) presents, paraphernalia and panties—if you’re the saucy type. The reasons why one loves or hates this particularly ‘pretty’ day varies about as much as the amount of blood colour… I mean love coloured merchandise that can be found at the time, from Clinton’s Cards to Ann Summers. Everyone has a story, whether endearing or embarrassing, that can be given as their justification.

I have one such story, but given that it’s close to ‘that’ time of year it seems appropriate to tell it in a manner befitting such a time. So here is a poem that can be considered my justification for my slightly jaded view on Valentine’s Day.

 

One man and one woman,

Three years they have shared

A life of ‘long distance’,

Of joy and despair

But today is a day

With much burden to carry,

For they leave on a plane

Destination: Le Gai Paree

It was the last of attempts

To mend bridges now burnt,

But young and naïve

There was still much to be learnt

 Nobody loves you on any other day

The morning of their flight

Hardly a word they did utter

Nor Exchanged,

Nor Reciprocated;

Not even a mutter

But they felt that this enchanted place they were venturing

Was one which would change life for the better

But bridges, once burnt,

As they had not yet learnt

Were cinders that were ashes forever

They arrived at the airport

Nothing left to sort,

Everything double checked…

Except the passports

With hope in their hearts

And forgetting all hate

They hand over their passports

“Sir, your passport’s out of date!”

His sheer stupidity is glaring now

With the world stood staring now

But before the pain could abate in him

She could no longer wait for him

Debate with him

So to the plane she did dock…

Without him

“What a cock!” – He thought and he wrought inside

In an effort to hide his feelings and pride

beneath a mask he did feign at his inability to maintain

A valid document to board a goddamn fucking plane

He just couldn’t fit it…

So to buy a new ticket he went

With a ticket in hand and with a vague form of a plan

One hundred miles to Newport he took course,

Six hours later he emerged with a book that would purge

His guilt and wilt his pain and remorse

Twenty four hours had passed since they parted their ways

And at the airport he stood once more;

Everything approved,

Flight went perfectly smooth,

His feet now planted firmly in front of the hotel bedroom door.

He was shitting himself for sure.

Feeling infinitely deprived now,

Of any ability to derive how

to spin something positive out of these events that would surely go down as tales,

He thought to himself:

“This is all pretty bleak,

this day feels like a week,

but at least I got a trip to see Wales!”

That night was a cold night both in temperature and temperament

And such conditions allowed no more room to pretend;

Though they shared the same bed,

Said all that there could to be said

The reality was that it was in truth “the end”

Though the relationship was over the vacation was not

And two days remained until home;

From the Mona Lisa in the Louvre

To the pinnacle of the Eiffel Tower

They spent their time together but were completely alone

Over seventy two hours these events took place

And their memories, though now old, are like clay;

And ever present in their minds

firmly sedimented in time

All the more because twenty four of those hours were on Valentine’s Day

What’s your story?