Chloe complains about the bathroom. She complains about this room. I keep hoping that we’ll leave here and go outside. Chloe keeps promising to show me the bust of Rodin’s Balzac. She says that it sits where Boulevard Raspail meets Boulevard du Montparnasse. Boulevard Raspail makes me think of Hemingway writing The Sun Also Rises. I tell Chloe that I would like to go and see the bust. I tell her that I would like to visit the Rodin Museum and the Musee Picasso, and take a long walk along the Left Bank. We have not seen the Seine yet. Chloe has but that was years ago. She says that we will go. We will go to the museums and we will walk along the Seine. Chloe says that I will love crepes. A big man like you, she says, as I hold her cigarette while she smears Camembert on an old baguette; a big man like you will enjoy crepes. We will get crepes, Chloe says. But we have not left the room.
Chloe uses the bathroom and she complains. She says that she cannot use the bathroom in a room as small as this one. She says this to me because I booked the room and I chose to stay here. I did not know it would be as small as it is. Chloe says that I can hear her piss and shit. I tell her that I can’t and when she goes into the bathroom to do either, I turn on the television to the BBC World News, and I keep the volume up. Someone pounds on the wall of the room whenever Chloe uses the bathroom, but I am helpless. I do not want her to think that I can hear. I do not want to hear her. It is enough of a fantasy for me to imagine Chloe wiping her cunt after she pisses. I think of her squat with childlike embarrassment on the toilet bowl, skirt pulled up and panties at the ankles, legs pressed together, and one hand between them. I think of Chloe like that and it is enough.
I use the bathroom whenever Chloe is finished. She lights a cigarette and tells me that I am disgusting. What if I’d taken a shit? She asks. What if? I tell her that I cannot help it. I tell her that I’d like to leave the room when I am done in the bathroom. I have addresses in my bag, I tell Chloe, as she glares at me and smokes. I have the addresses where writers and painters lived. We can see where Picasso painted Guernica, I tell her. We can see where Beckett lived and where Henry Miller stayed. Chloe says that she has already been to Villa Seurat. But that was years ago. She says that she will take me to La Rotonde after we’ve seen the Balzac bust. Your precious Picasso drank at La Rotonde, Chloe says, between drags her on cigarette. She takes a bite on the old baguette. There is Camembert on the corner of Chloe’s mouth. I will not tell her about it. I go into the bathroom and the toilet seat is up. Chloe always leaves the toilet seat up when she is finished. She is like a man in this way. I want to say something to her about it. She will do nothing but shrug as I speak. Chloe will look at me and smoke her cigarette. When I am done speaking she will tell me that a big man like me will enjoy crepes. Then Chloe will complain about the bathroom again.