Zev Bauhaus considered himself a disciple of Rimbaud. He especially practiced Rimbaud’s belief in the derangement of the senses. Zev enjoyed deranging his senses in any way he could. His regular state of misery and depression was too unpleasant. He assumed it was mental illness. He couldn’t stand being himself when sober. He had used heroin, cocaine and copious amounts of sex and marijuana to disappear from himself in the past. He drank too much and deranged his senses strongly, too much of the time. It made him a better painter. But now he had responsibilities. He couldn’t do some of that stuff anymore. He still deranged his senses as often as possible but now he had to stick to more functional intoxicants like weed, cigarettes, coffee and the occasional working woman. The conformity fame required was better tolerated when under the influence of something. In his mind, Zev would invoke men like Ken Kessey, Tim Leary and Brion Gysin as examples of accomplished artists and thinkers who were intoxicated all the time. It allowed him to feel better about the choices he made.
The more successful Zev became the more he masturbated. He had been a masturbator for as long as he knew what his erection was for, but now there was more pressure to release. The tension of his marriage and the demands of his work made him feel more tense and unhappy much of the time. Masturbation had become a form of therapeutic medication. Zev wasn’t able to come on to Amy as much as he would have wanted. He didn’t come on to her at all. He felt indignant towards her. He started to feel like she was harboring some sort of secret. Her distancing had caused him to distance himself as well. He was pissed off at her most of the time and being pissed off was not conducive to wanting to have sex with Amy. Zev should have come on to her more but he wasn’t able. He wasn’t aware that he was feeling the fear of getting hurt. Like a coward, he waited for her to come on to him. Deep down he knew he would eventually lose Amy because of his inability to desire her as much as he should.
Zev had two different ways of masturbating. When Amy was out he would go into his home studio, turn on Throbbing Gristle or some contemporary electronic musician and take off his clothes. He would sit down in his lounge chair, put his feet up and put porn on the big screen television. He would watch young and horny girls give blow jobs and be harshly fucked by various well sculpted young men. Zev would always jack off with a paper towel in his hand. He was stoned when masturbating because it made the orgasm feel better. He could get into the porn when stoned and not feel bad about the situation these young women were in. The weed helped him to eroticize women. He hated that he felt bad about enjoying pornography but knew that it was societies conditioning getting in his way. These porn actresses were liberated women doing what they were born to be doing, Zev would think. It wouldn’t take Zev long to orgasm but the pot helped him to last longer. When he finally did orgasm he would shoot his semen wherever it wanted to go. Much of it shot into the air and landed on his chest. Some would get on his legs or land on the floor. Sometimes semen would even land on his face. He particularly enjoyed this. As soon as he got the last of his semen out of him he would clean it up with the paper towel, turn the porn off and get dressed.
If Amy was home Zev would masturbate in one of their five bathroom sinks. He preferred the bathroom that was in the back of the house because it was the least used and had a dark sort of deviant but luxurious feeling. Zev would pull his pants down and watch porn on his iPhone. Or he would think about the sex shows he and Amy had had. He would use all his mental capacities to recall images of Amy having sex with a guy on their couch. He would try to remember her sucking the guy’s dick. This was his favorite way to masturbate- thinking about Amy having sex with others. When he orgasmed into the bathroom sink he would make a deep, primal sound. It was the best feeling Zev Bauhaus was able to organically create. When he was finished, he would pull his pants back up and wash the semen down the drain with soap and water. He would leave no trace of anything degenerate happening in there.
Zev also started to go to a certain strip club more. The more Amy pulled away from him the more he sought connection with strippers. He would go to a particular club not far from his home. It was just off Sunset Blvd, down an alley. The strippers were mostly young and attractive. Most of them knew who Zev Bauhaus was. Word spreads between girls. He was also one of the more attractive men to enter the place and captured the girl’s attention. The strippers would swarm Zev and offer to have sex with him and suck on his balls in the backroom. Zev would tell them that he only had one ball. Most would find this surprising and ask him how that had happened. He would tell them that it was a result of a fight where someone had crushed one of his testicles. In truth, he had lost his ball to a bad infection when he was younger. The strippers were often excited by the idea of sucking on a singular ball. Some begged to let them try. Zev assumed such behavior was because these women were desperate for something different.
Zev would normally be stoned when he was in the club, which gave him more tolerance of the bad music and the continual solicitations. He would tell the strippers who approached him that he just wanted to hang out for a little while and watch the show. Maybe later he would be interested in something. Zev would order a mineral water from some sexy cocktail waitress he knew he couldn’t have sex with. He would drink his mineral water and watch naked women display their vaginas, asses and tits on the stage. They would crawl around on hands and knees. He would watch the flashing lights and the stripper’s naked body reflected in the mirrors. It was one of his favorite ways to pass the time. He was able to forget about the work he was trapped in. He could forget about all the stupid responsibilities he had. He could forget about being duped by himself into becoming a member of the conformist world.
Strippers would ask Zev if he was leaving when he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. He told them has wasn’t and sometimes they would let him touch their ass. Zev was always stepping out for a cigarette, giving the libidinal tension time to build. When he stood outside on the sidewalk he would think about which stripper he wanted to get with. He would think about not fucking anyone and just watching the show. Even though Zev had plenty of money he still felt guilty about spending two hundred dollars to have a sexual experience with a stripper. He knew he could sleep with women without having to pay them. This wasn’t too difficult for a man like Zev Bauhaus. But he wasn’t interested in that arrangement. He wanted to meet a woman and get right down to seeing her naked. No strings attached. He didn’t have patience to make conversation.
Zev would end up having sex with a stripper in the back room. After watching the strippers dance naked on stage for an hour or so, Zev was too horny to go home without a deviant sexual experience. He never picked the same woman twice and one of the reasons he liked this club was because of its continual variety. He would go into one of the back booths with a stripper of his choice. As he walked hand and hand with the stripper into the back, all the other strippers had a look of jealousy on their face. They momentarily hated the girl who had won Zev Bauhaus. Once in the back, Zev would take off his clothes and hand the girl two hundred dollars. He would sit down on the leather bench in the darkness and the stripper would straddle him. It was always the same. He would tell her to take off her top and bottom. The stripper would get down on her knees and suck on his testicle, as she put a condom on his erect dick. She would then suck his dick for a short time before getting on top of him and fucking him till he orgasmed. Zev enjoyed looking up at these beautiful whores as they moved up and down on top of him. They were the only thing he worshipped.
After Zev orgasmed, the stripper would climb off him and hand him a tissue for the now debased condom. He would thank her and tell her how good the experience was. He wanted the strippers to feel respected for the work they were doing. Some would give him a kiss on the lips before leaving the sinful room. Zev would throw the condom in the trash, clean himself off and then get dressed. He would feel a mountain of release as he walked out of the room. Strippers sat in chairs and against walls and would watch him as he walked back through the club and out the front door. Zev would get in his Audi, turn music on and smoke a cigarette as he drove home. It was always the same general routine.
Amy was starting to feel more certain that she was in love with Arthur. She would think a lot about it and couldn’t doubt it anymore. Arthur would tell her how much she had melted her way into his soul. Amy loved hearing shit like this. She would tell him how much he was her savoir. Arthur started telling Amy that he loved her and after a few weeks Amy started doing the same. She was in love with another man. But she also loved Zev, just not in the same way. She strategized about what she would do. Amy’s intellect was fierce and she felt capable of manipulating anyone into anything. If she could keep her big secret from Zev, life could go on as usual. No painful alterations would have to be made. She could have the passionate relationship she wanted while also maintaining a more ordinary kind of marriage with Zev. This was her plan and she would do all she could to make it work. She needed Zev’s money to help her live the lifestyle she was accustomed to living. She also gained credibility for having Zev as a husband. But she loved Arthur with all her heart. She adored him and everything he did. Amy was so confident in her ability to strategize and manipulate, that she thought she could keep these dual relationships going indefinably. A part of her hoped she would get caught because then she could then get out of this dreadful relationship with Zev Bauhaus and be with the man she wanted to be with. But she tried not to think about that.