Amy and Arthur drove out to Joshua Tree in Arthur’s old SAAB. They were finally getting away, alone with one another, for the first time. Amy looked over at Arthur as Arthur drove and smoked a cigarette. His youth invigorated her. She loved his glimmering black hair that still looked as if it retained all its vital nutrients. She loved his body, which he had not yet given up on.
Arthur was a 27-year-old writer. He had written two novels. One called “Man on The Ceiling” and another “The Fantastic Nobody Life Of A Disappearing Man.” “Man On The Ceiling” was more of a freshman attempt at being like his French absurdist literary heroes but “The Fantastic Nobody Life Of A Disappearing Man” did well in indie-literary markets. It won several independent book awards and caused many people to look forward to his next novel. But Arthur wasn’t writing another novel. He was writing a book of essays that Amy was editing.
Amy also worked as an editor for several independent publishing companies. She was a highly respected editor so she could pick and choose her projects. She was more like a freelance editor since the companies allowed her to come and go as she wished. She very much admired Arthur’s second novel and when she heard that he was writing a book of essays for one of the publishers she contracted for, she insisted on being his editor. She had looked at pictures of him on-line and found him very attractive. Amy wanted to sleep with everyone that she found attractive but for the longest time remained loyal to Zev. Even after years of sexual rejection. It was not soon after Amy and Arthur started working together that they also started having sex. Amy came on to Arthur. She loved seducing him. When they did have sex, Zev often came quickly and was not much interested in Amy’s sexual pleasure. Arthur cared. He wanted her to experience immense platitudes of pleasure. He fucked her for long periods of time and would make sure she had at least two orgasms. Amy felt like the sex she had with Arthur was the best she ever had. Having sex again after being in an almost sexless marriage would cause anyone to feel this way.
Arthur and Amy together at last. They checked into the small boutique motel in Joshua Tree and when they got to their room fell onto the bed. Arthur washed his hands and Amy took a piss. Amy came out of the bathroom naked and pulled down Arthur’s pants. Arthur loved this about Amy- she was always down for sex. An insatiable creature. Amy slipped Arthur’s erect dick deep into her mouth and gradually slid it down her throat. She began to suck him off vigorously and with determination. She did it like a woman who loved having a man erect in her mouth. Arthur felt like he was going to fall out of his body. He grabbed onto the blanket and screamed out as he shot his semen deep into her throat. It didn’t take long. Every time with her, it was the most amazing orgasm he had ever had. Each one kept getting better and better. When he would orgasm he would lose himself for a brief fraction of time. He would go away and be floating in a warm and cushioned void of pleasure where there was no fear or pain. A perfect dopamine hit straight to the brain.
After the blow job Amy slid up into Arthur’s chest and smelled his underarms. She licked his nipple and rested her head on his chest. It felt good to love somebody again. To feel those initial and short lived feelings of lust and adoration. Amy looked at the cactus filled window. Arthur told Amy about what a remarkable blow job that was. He told her how sexy she was and how much he appreciated her. Amy felt cared for by Arthur in ways that she never did with Zev. In a few years, she would feel the same about Arthur but currently she felt like Arthur loved her in ways that Zev didn’t. She felt accepted and appreciated by Arthur. She felt like he would do anything for her and this was a great feeling. Arthur and Amy decided to get up and go have some food and drinks. They would get drunk and have sex several times later that night.
Zev wasn’t thrilled about being alone at home for four days. He never liked it when Amy was gone. He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t stand it when she was around and he couldn’t stand it when she was gone. What was wrong with him? The house was too quiet. There was no one to do the things he needed her to do. There was no one to talk to or sleep besides in the evening. Zev wanted to think of himself as being an independent man but was in denial about the degree of his dependence on Amy. She went away and he felt lost.
He tried to keep himself preoccupied in her absence. He would read and listen to music. He would draw the seedy cartoons he liked to draw but didn’t show to anyone. He made his own food at home or went out to dinner alone. Zev didn’t have any friends because his time had been taken up with working and being with Amy. He let all his friendships go and only maintained a few superficial ones through text. It was only when Amy was gone that he felt how unpleasant being friendless was. Being alone with himself was not a fun experience. It was the opposite of stimulating. Complete and crippling boredom is what he felt when alone with himself. He longed for someone to stimulate him. He tried to call Amy several times but she would never answer. He would text her and it would take her hours to respond. Zev would look at his phone and see that no one had called or texted him. Who would think that being a famous painter could feel so lonely and barren?
Zev assumed Amy was busy. She was busy but just not in the way he thought. He was under the impression that Amy was in New York at a literary conference. It was not uncommon that she would go to literary conventions or conferences so he didn’t think anything of it. Zev would ask her continually about New York and Amy would make up stories about writers she had met, museums that she went to, galleries she visited and restaurants she ate at. Since Zev didn’t often talk to her when she was home she didn’t worry about having to maintain the lie once she returned. She knew Zev would forget. Zev was happy that Amy was at a literary conference even though he missed her. He always liked it when she took the time to refine herself. He just had no clue that she was sucking off Arthur in some desert motel room. He also had no idea that his beloved Amy was an adulterer.
Arthur new that Amy was married to Zev Bauhaus, the famous contemporary painter. He thought that was very cool and it was one of the things he felt was appealing about being with an older woman like Amy. If she was in love with him he must be significant since she was married to Zev Bauhaus! Her love and affection made him feel like a better and more important man. This woman was married to Zev Bauhaus but yet loved him. This implied to Arthur that he was even better than an accomplished man like Zev Bauhaus. What a trip! He loved her very much for the way she made him feel. Arthur always felt insecure and insignificant, even after the success of his last novel. But for the first time in his life he felt confident about himself. Finally, he was seen for the great man he was. Amy loved the gratitude she received for this. Arthur was now getting everything Zev would soon lose.
On the final evening of Amy’s absence, Zev decided to go visit a whore. He would do this every now and then when he needed some sort of stimulation. He had worked all that day and was completely sick of his job. Painting the same kind of paintings over and over again for an upcoming gallery exhibition was wearing away at him. He hated having to talk with gallery owners and potential buyers. Such a bunch a fake bullshit. He made himself dinner and drank too much red wine. He smoked some pot and realized he wanted more stimulation. He liked visiting whores because it was illegal and there are few better forms of stimulation than doing something which is illegal. He found a whore on-line who looked very attractive and was not a far drive from him. She had long brown hair, a nice thin body and promised to give the best oral sex out of anyone. The price was fair. Zev rinsed off, put on cologne, brushed his hair and drove to the motel where Anis was.
Zev found the motel room which was in the back of the Motel 6. The parking lot was well lit and he walked towards the room without hesitation. He knocked on the door and as he waited he wondered if this could be some sort of sting operation. What if the whore was really a cop? He felt a feeling of regret rise in his chest and thought about how disgraceful it would be for him if he was caught. He thought about leaving, maybe he couldn’t handle the pressures of the illegal. Just as he was about to turn away, Anis opened the door. She was young and naked except for black lace stockings that came up to her thighs. She smiled at Zev and welcomed him in. Zev immediately lost all fear and regret when he took one look at her ass.
Once in the room Anis went to check her phone. The Hobbit was on the television. She asked him how he was doing as she looked at her phone. Zev felt drunk and stoned and was struggling to articulate his words. The more he talked the more he felt like he was sounding like a total idiot. Everything felt surreal, like in a David Lynch movie. Zev loved this. He slowly took off his clothes, because he always enjoyed being naked with a woman. He sat down on the side of the bed and Anis put her phone down. Zev told her that he just wanted to watch her be naked and dance around on him and then at the end he wanted a blow job. Anis liked this request and once Zev handed her the money she immediately got down to work. Zev told her again and again what an amazing body she had and Anis smiled and would move in closer and closer to him.
As Zev was putting on his clothes and Anis was looking at her phone she asked him what he did for a living. Zev straightened out his hair since he didn’t want to look like a fool. He buttoned up his black shirt and told her that he was a cartoonist. Anis was surprised by his answer. She had never met a cartoonist before. She asked Zev what kind of cartoons he drew and he told her about them. He described them as basic drawings of a guy, one guy and his feelings about life. Anis asked him what his work meant and Zev told her it meant that life was ridiculous. Life was absurd. When she asked Zev if he had an Instagram he told her no. She seemed surprised by this and told him that he better get with the program if he wanted to be a richer artist. He told her that money wasn’t his objective at all. It felt good for Zev to not have to lie to someone about the kind of artist and man he really was. There was no more real place in the world for Zev than in a motel room with a whore at night.
When Zev got back home he felt satisfied. His dopamine receptors were fulfilled and he was receiving the residual calming effects of that. This was the high of the illegal act- getting away with it. This getting-away-with-it feeling was one of the more satiating highs a person could have. It lasted a few hours. Engaging in illegal activity allowed Zev to stay connected to the kind of artist he really wanted to be. He felt it was his duty to stay connected to illegal realms. It was only art that came from these places that really mattered anymore. It was the kind of art that interested him. Not the kind of art that was being made for the rich. This was the art of the disenfranchised. Zev didn’t know of any other ways to engage in illegal acts other than prostitution. Sometimes he drove fast or drunk or didn’t turn on his blinker, but these were boring illegal acts. Zev wasn’t going to steal, gamble or harm people so prostitution was the only illegal thing for him to do. The illegal fueled his soul.
That evening Zev fell asleep while watching the movie Inception on his MacBook Air in bed. He was stoned enough to be able to get into the movie, which he felt would have been much better if it wasn’t so action packed. He fell asleep looking forward to Amy’s return tomorrow. For a moment, he wondered why she hadn’t asked him to drive her or pick her up from the airport but he assumed she already had this taken care of.
On their final day together Amy felt sad about having to leave Arthur. It had been nice spending all their time together. Arthur dropped Amy off at her car and they hugged and kissed goodbye. She placed her hand on his heart. As she drove back to her home in Silverlake, she thought about her story. She had to mentally prepare herself for the heaviness of Zev. When she walked into the house Zev was home. It was Sunday and he had spent the morning cleaning their home. Everything looked nice and in its right place. Zev was happy to see Amy and gave her a hug and kiss hello. Amy was happy to see Zev as well and returned his affections. They sat down at the kitchen counter and began to talk about things. She told him about her trip and he told her that he had just been working a lot and that he missed her. She told him she missed him too and that he was going to have fun when he visited New York next month for his opening. Zev had no idea he was being lied to. He was thinking about how now that Amy was back home everything in their house was going to get messed up. He was thinking about how it was nice having her gone because he was able to keep everything just how he liked it.