The Condom Vending Machine

Levi wasn’t the type who would have ever imagined himself to be in this sort of position. He was usually always so prepared. So ready to fuck even though the opportunity never presented itself. And now, here he was in Fuck City (better known as Paris) without a condom to his name. Luckily, Europe was far more forward-thinking about sex than the U.S., even his porn-oriented hometown of L.A. Because you certainly weren’t going to find condom vending machines there. Not even on Hollywood Boulevard, where they ought to be. To be fair, of course, that’s what a twenty-four-hour Walgreens was for in America. There was no “point” to a vending machine because the country was always open for business. It being the self-made mascot for capitalism and all.

And fine, maybe they weren’t always “condom vending machines” in Europe—instead passed off as “Pharma24H” vending machines. But everybody knew what “health” meant to most people still out prowling at a particular hour: bagging it up. Making sure that the pleasure gained avoided any painful STD fallout. Levi, being extremely perspicacious with regard to his hygiene, was not about to surrender to the temptation of the woman he had met at, of all places, Dirty Dick around approximately 00:45. He knew, with his kind of “fortune,” she was probably a prostitute taking advantage of the desperate at a particular hour.

This was Pigalle, after all—Levi hadn’t been naïve when he selected what part of town he wanted to stay in… Perhaps “subconsciously” hoping to encounter such a scenario. Not that he wanted to automatically assume that, because Éloïse was much more attractive than himself, she must be a whore. Nonetheless, if it looks like a whore and walks like a whore, it probably is. And oh, how Éloïse could walk, strutting in as Angèle’s “Démons” swelled with as much force as the erection he hoped he was covering/staving off with his cold drink. In red heels with fishnets, a short leather skirt with a slit down the side and a white blouse partially unbuttoned at the top, Levi couldn’t take his eyes off her. Nor could he determine if she was deliberately going for something like “businesswoman’s drag” with this ensemble. But whatever she was trying to aim for, it worked like a charm on Levi.

He couldn’t understand much of what she was saying through that thick accent, but she indicated quite quickly that she wanted to go home with him. Regardless of whether that “home” was actually a hotel room. Maybe she wasn’t a prostitute, anyway. Because what sort of seasoned hooker wouldn’t have an array of prophylactics on hand to choose from? Unless this was part of some kind of schadenfreude she got off on—withholding condoms so she could see clients stalk the darkened streets in search of a vending machine like an animal in heat. To be sure, that’s what Levi was. He hadn’t had sex with a human woman (in contrast to others, he didn’t count blow-up dolls) in almost two years. His gonads ached all the time. There was no substitute for what he had been missing for so long. Nothing was going to stand in his way now—save for the rubber that needed to stand between his dick and her “egress.”

Having taken Éloïse up to his hotel room to get her situated, Levi had been running up and down various streets for ten minutes until he saw one secreted down a particularly obscure street. Salvation. Or so he thought until he caught sight of a homeless, overweight woman who looked not unlike the Pigeon Lady in Home Alone 2. But more uninviting than that was the presence of a bald man wearing a trench coat shaking the machine as though he were raping it. How long was this going to take? More importantly, how long would Éloïse wait? What if she was already calculating how much money Levi had caused her to lose thus far and finally said fuck it, and just went back to the same bar to pluck a new fish?

The trench coat man continued grunting in anger at the machine, as the homeless woman appeared to watch in something like aroused fascination. One imagines it does turn homeless people on to see those with money not getting what they want either. The trench coat man, sensing the homeless woman’s delight, suddenly focused his attention on her as he reached for her neck to wrap his hand around it and demand, “You think this is funny, huh?”

Obviously, the woman could say nothing in response, just hoping his fit of fury would pass. Until it did, Levi took the opportunity to put his own money in and grab what he needed, stirring trench coat man out of his violent trance long enough to refocus on Levi. “Hey! How’d you get that to work?!”

He shrugged as he started sprinting down the street as urgently as his legs would take him. In the distance, he could hear the trench coat man screaming something to the effect of, “Hope your dick falls off after you fuck her!” Or was he being paranoid? And also, it was so European to assume the gender of who he would be fucking.

Back within the safe confines of the hotel, Levi felt better already. There was a spring in his step as he jumped into the elevator and pressed the button for the ninth floor. A spring that faded once he approached the door to his room and saw that it was slightly ajar. What fuckery was this? Inching closer, he pushed it gently open to find the entire space ransacked, including the safe, which, in her prostitute’s wisdom, Éloïse must have known how to open. That was where his passport and stacks of cash had been—the very cash he would have used to pay her if she had been “generous” enough to wait and do her job. Lazy fuckin’ Frenchies.

Deflated in every way, Levi sat on the bed with the futile box of condoms in hand. So this was Paris, just another city of disappointment.

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