Papa, Pigalle

In the beginning, he felt strangely about it. Picking up his daughter in the late morning, taking her around town to “entertain” her as best he could (usually entailing a reliance on whatever random carousel or all-out carnival the French could always be counted on to materialize on any given street corner) and then dropping her off in hurried annoyance after spending the bulk of the day listening to her yammering on about god knows what. He certainly wouldn’t be able to recite any of the “information” she spat out at a mile a minute about Suzette doing this or Delphine getting that. He didn’t give a raton’s ass about what her friends did or said, let alone his own daughter. He was simply trying to fulfill a paternal obligation that couldn’t be legally avoided. So he obliged. But no one ever said he had to be there in spirit. All he had to do was furnish his body. Just like the girls–women (calling them girls infantilized them to the level of his daughter)–he would make a beeline for in Pigalle after dropping her off in Montmartre, back in the clutches of her cuntrag mother, feeling himself practically falling down the hill as if from heaven to the depths of hell, where the world made sense again, in order to get his nightly fix. 

Some nights it was Chérie, others it was Agnès. Some it was Eloise. Or Belle. He never liked to stick with the same broad for more than one evening. It lacked variety. And variety was the spice of life. Or at least the spice of paying for sex. And oh how Andre adored to flash the cash for this specific purpose as they flashed their flesh just a little more to titillate him into doing so. Of course, one had to be careful about which of the girls–er, women–he assumed was into this extracurricular side of the skin trade. Some of them really were just “cabaret dancers.” Nothing more, nothing less. He hated those kinds of women. So uppity, thinking they were too good to make a few extra euros. As if Paris was as cheap as it used to be in the Belle Époque, the true glory days of Pigalle. And all of Europe if a European is being honest with himself (though of course a Brit might tell you theirs were the 90s, in the age of Britpop). Yet Andre couldn’t change the time he was living in any more than he could change the fact that he had a snot-nosed daughter to be responsible for. One who would perhaps grow up to become a “dancer” herself in the future. With Andre’s luck, he would find out about it by showing up to the club during her shift, being mildly aroused and then suddenly realizing it was her before it was too late. What stage name would Hélène go by, he wondered, having unwanted visions of his daughter’s nine-year-old head attached to a voluptuous, barely clad body. He shook his head, realizing he was already in the club, and that he needn’t use his sick imagination for anything right now. No, every visual he could possibly need was already right in front of him–why did he see fit to cock it up with foul fantasies of Hélène? Hélène who had been named by her faux pretentious cuntrag mother in honor of Helen of Troy. How the hell was she ever going to live up to an expectation like that? She was already showing herself to be quite the opposite with her gangly body and hair with the texture and look of straw. 

He slapped himself in the face, catching the notice of Elodie, who cooed in his ear, “Is that what you’re into? Getting smacked around?” He nodded, slowly at first, but then eagerly. Elodie was telling him something about herself. That she was open to more than just writhing onstage, but also willing to do so behind closed doors for the right offer. That night, it was three hundred euros (he really needed to get a less expensive habit, but there wasn’t much that could thrill him for under a hundred). She took him back to one of the nearby hotels. The type of place that you prayed a blacklight never got shined on. The type of place where you could feel the energy of prostitutes past; the walls were undoubtedly still teeming with ancient splooge from the proletariat and bourgeoisie alike. For all classes are united in perversion (though the rich have the luxury of being slightly more so). 

Elodie started to undress him, as though sensing that he wanted her to do all the work while he simply watched. She caressed him where it mattered and he leaned back to enjoy. He thought about the first time he ever came to Pigalle, decades ago, when he was just fifteen. He could have gone somewhere more “sophisticated” than Pigalle for his cabaret kicks, of course. There was the eighth arrondissement “gloss” of Crazy Girls, which charged upwards of two hundred euros to watch a show with champagne, and it was guaranteed no one would fuck you. No, “Papa” (as they started to call him in Pigalle after enough regular appearances) preferred the seedy, no frills nature of this milieu when the family tourists that poked around in the day disappeared. This was a place for men. And women pretending to be evolved by showing up with a group of their friends. Sometimes, Andre could even get lucky with one of those if he laid on the charm just right, and was sure to mention that he had a daughter. Women loved it when he mentioned that. They all had a hard-on for becoming her adoptive mother without even knowing her. They certainly might have changed their minds if they knew how much the bitch could gab. 

Just as she was right now, her voice coming in and out of his head in a chattering hiss like that of a hybrid hyena-snake. Why could he still hear her talking of nothing as Elodie continued to service him dutifully? All daughters are dutiful, after all. This was something new. Something that had never happened. Typically, he forgot about having a spawn the moment he dropped her off on Sundays and immediately after fled for Pigalle to shake the simpering stink of fatherhood. Of course, he knew there were plenty of Daddies all over this neighborhood trying to do the same thing. Trying to pretend it wasn’t sick to treat women as transactional objects when they themselves had begotten one. Maybe there was a sociopathic ability in all men to separate sentimentality from the pleasure principle. But Papa didn’t want to believe he was one of them, even if he had been all too willing to engage in the sexual depravity that would allow him to momentarily forget he was somebody’s father. They say you can forget everything in those few initial seconds of orgasming. He supposed that was the real reason he was a sex addict. All he wanted was to forget. Most of all about Hélène’s entire existence. Yet here she was inside of his head, ruining his ability to cum and get his money’s worth. When the hour was up, he still hadn’t achieved “consummation.” He flung Elodie off of him in a rage. “Just forget it. Take the money and get out!” He had never been so caustic to a whore before. What the hell was happening to him? He could feel his life’s only joy slipping right through his fat fingers. Plucked from him by his own flesh and blood. Flesh and blood–that’s what he needed to dispose of. He jumped from the bed and pulled his pants on. He wasn’t going to let his daughter ruin one more thing about his life. 

***

He snuck in around midnight. He knew the apartment well after all, he was still paying the monthly rent for it thanks to that cuntrag’s lawyer. It was dark and quiet, like his soul in that instant of knowing what he was about to do. Hélène’s room was a shrine to the mind of an autistic princess, all bedecked in pink, with random tufts of tulle somehow everywhere. She wasn’t even a goddamn ballerina, so he really couldn’t fathom why the presence of this fabric was essential to her decor. And there she was, all “sweet and innocent,” dozing away. As though she didn’t have the faintest idea that she had destroyed Papa’s life. Well, Papa wasn’t going to let her take the only good thing still left in it. 

As he smothered the decaying fruit of his loins, stubbed her out of this Earth just as quickly as he had brought her in with one rush of cum, he almost instantaneously felt better, like he had taken a bow and arrow to the nagging part of the “good” conscience that hovered on one side of his shoulder. When he returned to Pigalle later that night, he had the best fuck of his life. Her name was Cerise. Or it was until, after spraying her in the face with his seed, her countenance morphed into Hélène’s. Just as every prostitute’s would for each time Papa tried to cum in the future without being haunted.

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