Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel. Chapter Twenty Seven.

Chapter Twenty Seven

 

It all happened quickly, almost as if some higher intelligence took control of Zev and shoved him in a different direction. He didn’t have to think much about it. There was no other choice. Zev bought the yacht from the old man and drove to Oxnard to give him cash. The old man was friendly enough. He was going to die soon and he figured it was time for him to get rid of his beloved Sammy. Zev made a mental note to change the name of the yacht. The old man took his time showing Zev around the yacht. He walked with a hunch and a chronic rattle. Zev was a tall man. He had to slightly bend inside the yacht. He could feel the strain on his lower back. The kitchen seemed to be the only space where Zev could stand tall inside the old yacht. There were two downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom. The old man told Zev that the toilet sometimes stunk when you flushed it. But none of it went out into the water, which was good. All fecal and urinary matter would get flushed into a large container beneath one of the bedroom’s beds. Every week or so Zev would have to pay someone to pump out the waste matter so that the container didn’t back up and overflow. It was a real mess when that happened. The old man would give Zev a number of a pump out person. It was just part of boat life, the old man told Zev. The shower worked well.

The old man asked Zev if he would be driving the yacht and Zev told the old man that he had no idea how to steer his own ship let alone another ship. It was meant to be a clever response. The old man didn’t get it and gave Zev an awkward smile. Zev felt like telling the old man that he was going through a separation from his wife. Maybe the old man had something comforting to say. Instead, Zev told the old man that he intended to live on the yacht and not take it out to sea. He would use it as a kind of houseboat. The old man told Zev that that was probably a good idea since Sammy was old and unreliable but would float forever. The old man had already moved all of his things off the yacht, so the yacht was immediately ready for Zev to move in. Zev told the old man that he loved all the large windows that looked out onto the water. And he loved all the redwood paneling and how nicely it had been preserved. The old man told Zev that he loved these things about her as well but it was time for him to go. Every relationship must end, nothing lasts forever he told Zev. Zev wasn’t yet ready to accept this. The old man was happy that a younger man was moving into his girl. He thought they would be a good fit and he gave Zev his blessing. Zev gave the old man the money for his yacht and the old man told Zev to take good care of his girl. Zev assured him he would. When the old man left, Zev noticed he forgot his reading glasses. Zev tried them on, felt a strong magnifying effect and decided he would use them for reading.

Zev sat down on the yachts built in couch. He looked out the window at all the boats and water and space. The sky trailed on forever. He felt a sadness in his chest but he knew that this was the right thing for him to do. He had to move out. Living with Amy was going to kill him. He didn’t want to move out. He didn’t want to lose his house and the company of a beautiful woman. But everything was bad. He was falling to shit. He didn’t even care if his underwear smelled anymore. His finger nails collected dirt. He took a deep breath and could smell the oil from the engine which was under the yacht’s floorboards. Zev looked around the yacht. He was going to live here. It was quiet. He could hear birds and seals. The ocean was far away and he could smell the sea air coming in through the opened windows. He knew that the grief that would come from moving out of his home and away from Amy would be strong. It could be strong enough to kill him and the serenity of living on a boat could help him survive. Zev smoked a cigarette and noticed one of his neighbors looking at him. Zev probably looked like a freak to all these people who wore flip flops and shorts. But like Zev, all the people who came to live on boats wanted to remove themselves from society.

After exploring the area around his yacht, Zev drove back to Silverlake later that afternoon. What should have been an hour and a half drive took almost three hours. Zev didn’t care about the traffic. He smoked cigarettes and listened to Roxy Music. Some of Brian Ferry’s lyrics reminded him of what he was going through. Zev thought about how he would tell Amy. Would she be upset? He didn’t care what she thought and he didn’t care if she felt like he was going to be leaving her hanging with the house. He needed to go. She didn’t want to be with him anymore and she was dating Arthur. To hell with her. He needed to go. This is what Zev Bauhaus kept telling himself as he crawled along in late afternoon Los Angeles traffic. Zev thought about how there were too many people.

When Zev arrived back at his Silverlake home he felt sadness overcome him. This was not his home anymore. He was leaving. The fact that the front yard and the inside of the home were a mess didn’t bother him. It wasn’t his problem anymore. But it felt strange how something that once felt so much a part of him was now just a distant and meaningless thing. When Zev walked into the kitchen he noticed Amy quietly sitting at the kitchen table, typing on her laptop. She had just added purple highlights to her black hair and she was wearing a color of lipstick Zev had not seen before. Zev thought she looked pretty. Amy told Zev that the essay she was editing was horrible and she had to do too much work on it. Zev didn’t care. WORD meant nothing to him. These literary magazines attracted idiot writers like Arthur and Zev wanted to have nothing to do with the trendiness of it all. Zev looked in the refrigerator and drank from an opened a kombucha. He turned around and faced Amy. Amy was annoyed by Zev’s cigarette smell but she continued to smile. She told Zev that he should remember to drink water. Zev didn’t believe that she cared about him.

Zev sat down at the other side of the table. He didn’t want to get too close to Amy. This caught Amy by surprise since Zev didn’t often sit down at the table when she was working. She thought it was strange that Zev hadn’t mentioned anything about how messy the kitchen was. Zev didn’t care. He told Amy that he was moving out. Amy stared at him. She was perplexed. Zev was moving out? Was it really happening? She had been convinced that Zev would never be able to leave. She didn’t know how she was going to get him to move out. She couldn’t kick him out even though the home was legally hers. But she was hoping that Zev would find a way to start his life over again someplace else. Zev of course wasn’t aware of this. He thought Amy would be very sad to see him go.

Zev told Amy about the yacht. He told her about the color and condition of the yacht and he told her how much he paid for it. He told Amy that he needed to do something different. The life he was living had been killing him. If she didn’t want him, he would go. Amy wanted to tell Zev that it wasn’t that way, but she abstained. Things felt like they could be beginning to go in a more positive direction. Amy had never known anyone who lived on a boat. She had never thought much about it. Zev was accustomed to many comforts. How was he going to tolerate living on a boat at the edge of the sea? Amy didn’t think it was a good idea to shut his studio down and quit painting but it wasn’t her problem anymore. She loved Zev and she wanted him to do whatever was going to be best for him. Zev told Amy that he was going to move all his stuff out within the next day or two. Amy asked if she could come visit him once he got settled. Zev felt a pain in his gut because Amy wasn’t resisting. He hoped she would. Zev remembered the old man saying nothing lasts.

Amy struggled to get to sleep that evening. She thought about Zev moving out. Would she have enough money to make it on her own? Should she have Zev pay half the bills? Should he still have to pay for some of the houses expenses? What about their credit card bills that were in her name? She also thought about how she knew that Zev liked Oxnard. Living there might give him some peace and quiet away from the world of art and culture. She knew how hard their breakup and her ensuing affair with Arthur had been on Zev. She felt bad for it and probably would feel bad for it for the rest of her life. But she felt happy that Zev was making a move. It was a good thing for both of them.

Zev rented a small U-Haul truck the following day and filled it with some of his things. He took his Eames lounge chair, record player, speakers, records, desk, desk light, Pendleton blankets, plates, bowls, air filters, pillows, clothes, books, radio and anything else he thought he might need. He also took pens and paper for drawing. Zev didn’t have to burden himself with the move. He could have bought all new things. He could have paid people to move his stuff. But Zev wanted to save as much money as he could since he imagined he would have to give Amy half and live off the rest for a long time to come. He had no idea what he would do for an income once his money ran out. He hadn’t invested in stocks and he hadn’t bought any property. He didn’t want to play that scumbag capitalist game. The money he had was the money he had until he ran out. He assumed he could just auction paintings if he needed to but he really didn’t want to have anything more to do with the mainstream art world.

Amy was nice enough to help Zev move his stuff. They didn’t talk much as they passed each other in the front walk way. Zev was stoned and kept to himself. Amy asked him various questions and Zev gave brief and mumbled answers. Amy knew that Zev was not happy with her. She only hoped that he wouldn’t end up hating her. She was sad to let him go but was looking forward to having the house to herself to live in. Zev had been a miserable man to live with and she felt like she was breaking free from his negative energy. Amy made them some bacon sandwiches for lunch. They ate quietly. Would this be their final meal together? Once they finished loading the truck Zev took a final walk through the house to see if there was anything else he wanted to take. He saw Amy’s $800.00 camera which she never used. He stuck it in the bag he carried. She would never know it went missing, Zev told himself. Besides, she was taking his home from him. It was only fair that he should get the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Twenty Six

Chapter Twenty Six

 

 

Zev Bauhaus made a conscious decision to destroy what he built. It wasn’t so much destruction as it was letting things fall apart. He didn’t want to be a painter anymore and he didn’t want to continue to live the life he was living. He felt stuck and he needed to make a change. One can only resist change long enough until the body starts to collapse under the pressure of resistance. He had not been returning Marissa’s phone calls and he didn’t fulfill obligations to the galleries he was supposed to have shown at. Zev Bauhaus completely disappeared from the art world at a time when his career was in its greatest stage. Zev Bauhaus had become a famous contemporary painter and now he wasn’t fulfilling his responsibilities towards that career. No one could get in touch with him. Several people who had commissioned him for paintings were leaving angry messages. Marissa’s only communication with Zev was through text.

Zev didn’t care. He had become apathetic about almost everything. He didn’t want to do any of it anymore. He had enough of that life. Now that Amy was with another man and didn’t want to be married anymore, what was the point of anything? Most of what he did he did to support their lifestyle. The marriage gave him a reason to keep doing the things he was doing. But he hated being a successful painter. He hated what he had become even though he could now afford nice things. The thing about selling out is that you have to talk to people you would never want to talk with if you didn’t have to. You have to behave in ways that you wouldn’t if you didn’t have to. When a man sell out he agrees to pretend. He agrees to become a fake because he is not able to make it as the man he wants to be. Zev hated this about his job. He hated having to talk enthusiastically on the phone with various curators, gallery owners and private buyers. He hated the hands he had to shake and the smile he had to wear on his face. It caused Zev to loath himself. Now he had the opportunity to get out. There wasn’t much point in going on. But he was afraid. He was afraid of being unstable and alone.

Zev texted with Marissa telling her to keep the studio going as long as she could. He would pay her to send out the final commissions and wrap things up. But he wanted the studio completely shut down within two months. He wasn’t going to paint anymore. He didn’t know what he was going to do but he wasn’t going to paint. He was just trying to stay alive at this point. His body was already beginning to reject him. The stress had caused his rash to be reoccurring. He had developed a buzzing sensation all over his body, which refused to go away. He was tired all the time and there were shooting pains in his stomach more. Zev had been suffering for a long time but this elevation in his suffering was wearing him down. He could only cope with so much. He tried to lift his mood by going to see a Godspeed You! Black Emperor concert. But it only depressed him further. It was strange to be there alone. He didn’t like not having Amy to share the experience with. He cried. What a pathetic man Zev Bauhaus had become.

Zev decided to take a drive to Oxnard. Amy was gone. She didn’t work at home as much anymore. She was out a lot more. He felt like she was intentionally trying to avoid him. That it was unpleasant to be around him. The house was a mess but Zev didn’t care. He didn’t see his house as his house anymore. It was Amy’s house now. There was a strange detachment between himself and the place he used to call home. He walked through the home like a ghost. None of it felt real.  On his way to Oxnard he stopped at a café and got a double cappuccino. When he used the bathroom to take a piss he noticed he looked like a bum. His hair was a mess and he hadn’t shaved in months. It was his new grunge style. An I don’t care but still care kind of style. He wore all black and his sixty-dollar t-shirt had a hole in it. He picked up his cappuccino and walked through a crowd of bumbling idiots to get to his car. This was the advantage to being a famous contemporary painter- no one knew who you were when out in public.

When Zev got out to his car he noticed that he left his door unlocked and forgot to take the keys out of the ignition. He called himself an idiot as he backed his car out of the parking lot. He drove and smoked a cigarette as he drank his cappuccino. It was sunny but he didn’t have sunglasses on. He loved how the mixture of coffee and cigarettes tasted. He listened to Outside The Dream Syndicate as he drove and he thought about all the ways that Amy could be deceiving him. What didn’t he know about? How was it that she didn’t want to be with him anymore? It just didn’t make any sense. They had such a good life together. How could she want to be with this guy Arthur? He was a literary nerd. It didn’t make any sense. Zev checked his phone to see if Amy had texted him. This depressed him since Amy didn’t text him. He didn’t know it then but this would become a regular part of his life. Waiting for texts from Amy. Getting depressed when a day would go by without any texts from her. Zev Bauhaus didn’t have any friends. He surrendered all his friendships for his career and for his marriage. He didn’t get many texts now that Amy had slowed down on texting him. His phone was becoming an hourly reminder of his isolation.

It was sunny in Oxnard. Zev wasn’t sure why he had come. It was a quiet town. People loafing around and fishing boats slowly moving out to sea. Zev liked the tranquility of the place. There was the smell of fish and salt water in the air. Zev walked around looking at boats and birds and everything else that made its way into his field of vision. He walked down to the beach and stood in front of the ocean. The expansiveness of the ocean made him feel better. His problems seemed irrelevant in comparison. Nothing mattered except the present moment when standing in front of the sea. Oxnard felt like a strange place to Zev. The kind of place where David Lynch could film a movie. It was a quiet beach town where you could go to be forgotten. And it was only an hour or so drive from downtown LA where everyone was trying to be known. Zev sat on a bench and smoked. He looked out over an inlet with various people fishing from the rocks. It was a bit chilly out but the sky was devoid of almost all clouds. Zev Bauhaus thought about what he was going to do with his life. He didn’t want to do anything. He couldn’t believe that he and Amy were over. They had died. He felt sick inside.

As Zev walked along one of the marinas he noticed an old wood yacht for sale. The yacht looked like it was from the fifties or sixties. Old and worn down by time and salt water. The white paint was chipping away and some of the wood seemed to be rotting. Zev walked as close to the yacht as he could but he couldn’t get into the area where the boats were parked because of a locked gate. Inside the yacht it looked like there was a lot of mahogany or redwood. The yacht looked like it refused to lose its dignity and it floated with grace and class. It could be the perfect place for him to live. He knew that people lived on boats. Why couldn’t he do that? He had never lived on a boat before. He didn’t know the first thing about boats. But he thought that an old yacht would be a good enough place for him to restart. How much could it possibly cost to live on a boat? He had a good enough amount of money in his bank. Zev took a close look at the For Sale sign. It said the yacht was $20,000. That wasn’t bad. Less then he would have thought. Zev wrote down the phone number.

On his way back to Silverlake he thought about living on the old yacht. He saw himself as a kind of old man living on the sea. He could retreat from the world and live off the grid. He could start a new life while living on a boat. Draw his cartoons, make the paintings he wanted to make, read, listen to music and maybe write a novel. It would become a good way for him to hide out from the world. No one would be able to find him. He could disappear from his current life. Being by the ocean calmed him. He had always envied people who lived close to the ocean. He felt like he breathed better in the salt water air. It didn’t relieve his depression but it was nice breathing fresher air. Zev hadn’t called anyone in months but he called the number that was on the For Sale sign. He made an appointment to see the old yacht with the man who currently owned it. The man had owned the boat since it was brand new. It was a 1959 Chris Craft. Zev assumed the man was very old.

Zev was stuck in traffic. But he didn’t care this time. He smoked weed and thought about the yacht. Amy texted Zev asking if he wanted to have dinner. She would make something. He was happy to hear from her. It was strange to Zev that Amy still wanted to cook him dinner, would still have sex with him if he wanted to and was still generally friendly towards him. It gave Zev the impression that she was unsure about not wanting to be with him. Maybe he still had a chance to get her back. But when a woman makes up her mind it is like a name written into dried concrete. The decision is there for good. A woman rarely decides to retract her rejection of a man. She is nice only because of her guilt. She feels bad for what she is putting the heartbroken man through and gives her body and favors in a futile attempt to compensate for the pain she has caused. Women are by nature nurturers they say. This must mean that they feel responsible when they see someone they love in pain. Amy still did things for Zev not because she was interested in him or indecisive about her decision to separate but because she felt bad about the man Zev had become as a result of her not wanting to be with him anymore.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Five

Chapter Twenty Five

 

It’s not easy falling into nothing. Nothingness takes over and refuses to release its grip. It holds you tightly between its black fingers. During Amy’s absence, Zev was gripped by nothingness. But he wasn’t threatened by it. He embraced it. Leaned into it. It was a nothingness that was permeated by a pervasive sense of pleasurable inertia. It was a kind of nihilistic Buddhist emptiness. Zev reached states of complete atrophy by not moving much and smoking copious amounts of weed. Zev finally suffered the final blow of his depression. He had withered. Zev wouldn’t shower for days. He wore the same clothes. He walked slowly down hallways with his hand in the back of his pants. Sometimes he walked around with his hand down the front of his pants, fondling his limp penis. He had fallen apart.

Zev thought about nothing but Amy. He thought about how much she was deceiving him. He thought about how betrayed he felt. He thought about what he thought she was doing. There was an elaborate idea in his brain that she was very in love with Arthur but she was keeping the extent of her feelings from him. She loved Arthur, Zev was sure of it. The thoughts about how deceived he felt kept him up at night. It’s like being knocked over the back of the head without knowing. You didn’t see it coming. You’re startled and trying to come back into your senses but the pain stifles you. Zev couldn’t believe that Amy had done this to him. Amy had become one of those deceptive women and he was the one with a broken heart. Deceived by the woman he loved. How could this happen at the height of his career?

Zev would sit in his backyard garden and smoke cigarettes. His thoughts were all crumpled together like a piece of crunched up binder paper. Zev had stopped rolling his own cigarettes because it had gotten too hard. Now he smoked the ones that come in a pack. It only made him smoke more and when he showed up at the liquor store to buy more cigarettes for the second time that day, he looked like some aged nineties shoegazer who refused to outgrow his youth. You don’t see many of those often. When back at home he would pass the day smoking cigarettes in the backyard. He couldn’t concentrate much. He was running from everything. He couldn’t even handle the burden of rolling cigarettes. There were moments when Zev was so high when he wondered if he had gone insane. Had the shock of Amy’s betrayal knocked him over into some mentally ill realm? Had he lost his mind? He was ignoring everything and thinking continuously. He was playing with his cock too much and started talking to himself. The music he listened to was music made by madmen. It sounded like walking on hands and knees through underground tunnels. One album he had on repeat was Tape Loop Meditations by Blood Stereo. The sound matched his inner state.

Zev lost track of time. He ate when he wanted to. His nothingness had become him. The marijuana cushioned him within a cotton like numbness. There was no world out there. Marijuana freed him from the ordinary and banal constraints of his mind. It made sounds tunnel through his ears and magnify in his head. It made bats fly in front of his face even though they weren’t really there. There was the continual sound of squishing a wet rag in the background. Zev couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe spirits were talking with him. Had the same thing happened to him that happened to Artaud? Zev would hallucinate images of Amy sucking Arthur’s cock and Amy taking it from behind. Just like he had watched through binoculars during their home sex shows. Zev saw vaginas and he desperately wanted to stick his mouth on one. When stoned he became possessed by an erotic urge and ended his torment by masturbating in the bathroom while watching Pornhub. He had his food and weed delivered and bought beer and cigarettes at the liquor store. Zev knew that nothing would ever be the same for him.

When Amy entered the house, she was startled by the smell of cigarettes and marijuana. She heard strange sounds coming from Zev’s home studio. She wasn’t surprised that Zev was still there. She knew he wouldn’t leave. Where would he go? She put her bags down and checked her phone to see if Arthur had texted even though they were just together. She then looked in the refrigerator for something to drink. She wasn’t happy to be home. She felt like she was back in the drudgery. It was incredibly difficult living around Zev. He was getting in the way of her joy and becoming an imposition. Why couldn’t he get his life together? Why couldn’t he accept that most marriages don’t last forever and move on with his life? He had the money. When Amy knocked on Zev’s door he was startled. He yelled as if his home was under attack. Amy told Zev that it was just her. Zev had lost track of the day. He had lost track of time. He didn’t expect Amy but he jumped off the couch and told her to come in. He walked over and gave her a hug. Amy hugged Zev back.

Zev was happy that Amy was home. He had missed her immensely without knowing the nothingness he had been experiencing was a result of the grief consuming him during Amy’s absence. And to some extent Amy missed Zev. She wasn’t unhappy hugging him. She looked around the studio which was a mess. Records everywhere. Books on the floor. Cups filled with dead cigarettes and ash on the floor. Zev’s hair was a mess and he was dressed in black sweat pants and a black t-shirt with ash stains on it. He wore black wool socks which had a hole in one of the toes. The room reeked of tobacco and weed. Amy asked Zev why he couldn’t go outside to smoke. The patio door was right there. He told Amy that he was too lazy and Amy knew he wasn’t in good shape. But she didn’t want to be inconvenienced. She was in a good mood. Zev Bauhaus was a grown man and could figure himself out. He wasn’t her problem anymore. Amy told Zev that he should take a shower.

Zev had set up a bed in his home studio. He and Amy no longer slept together. His home studio had become his bedroom and their bedroom had now become Amy’s bedroom. She made the bedroom her own by bringing in more plants and hanging art she liked on the walls. She moved the bed to a different location. While Amy was putting her clothes away into her closet and drawers Zev walked in. He sat down on the bed and used a towel to dry his hair. Amy asked him if the shower was nice. Zev asked Amy about her trip and Amy didn’t have much to say. She told Zev that she had a good time. That she had a lot of fun. Zev felt angry but tried to keep it down. He wanted to ask about her and Arthur but he kept it to himself. He wanted to get along with Amy tonight. Maybe they could watch a movie or something. Amy made them something to eat and they sat at the kitchen table together. They didn’t talk much. Zev told her that he hadn’t been doing anything. Amy agreed to watch a movie and said that sounded nice. They watched the The Joker on Amy’s bed, the bed Zev had slept on for years. But now he had been exiled from his bed and his previous life. He would sleep in this bed no more. The organic mattress that he and Amy had bought together was now hers. He was sleeping on a shit mattress from Ikea and had lost the right to sleep in what was once his marital bed.

As Amy and Zev watched The Joker with their backs propped up against the wall, Zev thought about asking Amy if she wanted to have sex. He wanted to stick his dick inside her. He had a pulsating erection. But he got the sense that Amy wasn’t into it and he didn’t feel very attractive. He felt embarrassed being the only one in this pathetic shape. Amy seemed to be doing fine. Maybe she didn’t ever love him as much as he thought she did. Amy fell asleep halfway through the film. It was three hours later for her and she was all sexed out. Zev turned off the television and then shut Amy’s door. He went into the bathroom and masturbated into the sink before struggling to fall asleep.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Four

 

 

Amy was going away for three nights. To New York for the publication party of The Fantastic Nobody Life Of A Disappearing Man. Arthur and her had finished their work together and now the book was ready for readers. During the last stage of their editing work, Arthur would have his hand on Amy’s tit or he would try and reach down her pants and get a finger in her cunt. Sometimes Amy would purposefully lean over the table so that Arthur could grab her ass with his hand. They worked and played. Worked and played. Amy would reach for Arthur’s cock as they read through the manuscript. She would gently jack him off without unbuttoning his pants. Her nipples would be erect and his dick hard during most of the time they worked together. Sexual pleasure relieves the pain and boredom of work. It felt like they were back in high school.

There would be a party at the Ritz Carlton. There would be a lecture at NYU and at The New School. There would be a few independent bookstore readings which ended up having small lines out the door. Arthur’s career was looking up and he was making his way towards the pinnacle of popularity with younger intellectual and liberal readers. It was an exciting time for him. He was discovering a kind of confidence he hadn’t felt before. He seemed to be receiving a good amount of recognition as a writer and a very attractive and prominent editor was in love with him. He assumed he must be doing something right. Amy felt better than she felt in a long time. The stress of her and Zev felt gone. She was elated that she could contribute to Arthur’s success. It was a high to watch him prevail as a writer. This is what Amy loved most about love. She loved receiving the adoration, devotion and control that came from helping the object of her love to become a better person. This is what she did best. It’s how she won over a person without them ever seeing the cruelty and selfishness that lived inside of her.

Amy didn’t tell Zev exactly why she was going to New York. She said it was for work and that she had to attend to publication parties. It wasn’t an absolute lie. When Zev asked her if the publication parties were for Arthur’s book she told him that one of them was. She could tell that Zev was furious about this and she assured him that it was not a romantic vacation. She was not sharing a room with Arthur. She didn’t even know if she would see him. They would be working most of the time and Arthur was going to be very busy. Zev hated Arthur. Arthur was getting in his way. He hated what he was becoming because of Arthur. He considered asking Amy to swear on her life that she wasn’t going to be sharing a room with Arthur but he decided not to. He was certain that Amy would be with Arthur more than she was telling him. Amy would lie about anything to avoid conflict. She liked to have her own secrets. Her secrets turned her on. They turned Zev on as well. Before Amy left, Zev turned her around and pulled down her pants and underwear. He forced her onto their bed because he could. Amy rested her arms on her suitcase, which was open on the bed. Zev was fully erect before he could get his pants off. When he stuck his dick inside Amy she was already wet. He didn’t have to try. The resentment and bitterness between them was enough to make her horny. Zev fucked Amy from behind for a few minutes. He called her a slut. A little lying slut, is what he said. Amy agreed with him. She told him that she was a little whore. She couldn’t help it. She stuck out her tongue and Zev caught a glimpse of it from the side. She kept calling herself a whore and a little slut. She loved being penetrated. Zev orgasmed deep inside of her. All his seminal fluid was emptied out into the deepest parts of her. Zev fell back into the chair and Amy fell flat on the suitcase. Zev didn’t care if Amy had orgasmed or not. He never really did.

Zev pulled up his pants and Amy turned around. He asked her if she wanted a towel and she said no thanks. She said she liked the idea of traveling to New York with cum in her. Zev told her to do as she wished. He had fucked her not because he loved her but because he was completely turned on by how slutty she was. She was the whore he always wanted. Amy tried to hug Zev before she left but Zev pulled back. He knew she was going to New York with Arthur. That bitch. He told her that he would be gone when she got back. He would find some other place to stay. It was not right what she was doing with Arthur. It was cruel and unfair. How could she think it was ok to go to New York with Arthur? How could she think that doing so would not end their marriage? Amy wasn’t happy that Zev would be gone when she came back but she understood. She knew this was the risk she was taking. She would figure out the financial aspects of things later. Amy told Zev that she wanted him to do whatever he needed to do to take care of himself. Zev turned around and walked away before Amy was out the door and he felt bad about it. What if she died in a plane crash? Their final moment together would be him turning away from her as she left. So much love in the beginning and so much despair at the ending. The thought pained him. Amy took an Uber to Arthur’s apartment and Arthur and Amy travelled to New York together.

Random House was trying to attract a younger and more intellectual consumer base. They were publishing more hip, young writers. Intellectual and nerdy types. Writers obsessed with gender terms, race relations, sexual equality and pretending to be weirder than they were. Arthur’s book of essays was expected to be a big seller for Random House. He was going to be the new Bret Easton Ellis. They had high hopes for Arthur’s book so they paid him quit a lot for the rights to his book. They also paid for two first class tickets to New York and a five night stay at The Ritz Carleton. Amy and Arthur felt like they made it in the literary world. This was it. On the plane ride, they slept covered in soft wool blankets and they drank top shelf liquor. Arthur wasn’t a big drinker but he couldn’t resist the Hendrick’s Gin Amy kept ordering. They watched episodes of The Office, laughed and Amy kept her hand on Arthur’s cock for a lot of the way. It made them both less nervous.

Arthur and Amy shared the same room at The Ritz Carlton. They did almost everything together. It was as if they were attached by a string. Amy wanted to be there with Arthur and Arthur wanted Amy there. They went to investigate areas were Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground hung out. They went by the spot were CBGB used to be. They walked around Greenwich Village. They walked around Times Square and went into one of the last remaining sex shops with a porn movie theatre inside. They ate in seedy Asian restaurants and ate fast food. Amy went to Arthurs various readings and lectures. She went to cocktail parties with him. She went to the publication party at the Ritz and was by Arthur’s side the entire time. Everyone assumed that Arthur and Amy were together and many wondered about what had happened with Zev Bauhaus. But nobody asked her and Amy had forgotten that she was even married. Zev wasn’t texting her and she wasn’t about to text him. She removed her ring in the Uber before getting to Arthur’s apartment. This was time for Arthur and Amy to be together. Zev Bauhaus spent most of his time home alone. He didn’t go anywhere.

It’s The Only Way I Will Write This Novel

I have paid someone to come and point a gun at me. I am paying him $60.00 a session to keep the gun pointed at me until I finish a chapter. I have instructed this gun pointer that I must write one chapter while he is here. This means I must write it, edit it and then post it on my blog. If I am not able to do all of this for any reason, I have instructed the gun owner to shoot me. I have also instructed him to come shoot me if he does not hear from me in seven days in a row because that means I quit writing the novel (I had to pay him an advance for this). It’s the only way I will write this novel.

 

Every time I want the gun pointer to come and point his gun at me, I just need to send him a text and give him about an hour or so. When he does get here I have a chair prepared for him. He likes where I have placed the chair because it gets a lot of sun as he sits pointing his gun at me. The chair is a comfortable chair, which I have placed right besides my desk. I have no idea what kind of gun he points at me. It seems to be a different one each week. Today he had a shotgun but I don’t know the make. So far I have spent over two thousand dollars on this project. I presume I will spend at least a thousand more. It’s the only way I will write this novel.

 

The gun pointer asked me if it bothered me that he was just sitting there pointing a gun at me as I typed. I told him that it didn’t bother me much. By chapter eleven I had gotten used to his presence. The gun pointer does smoke and so do I, so that works out well. The gun pointer keeps asking me how much longer I will need him for. I tell him I don’t know. I need his presence for however long it takes. He needs to be here when I text. It’s the only way I will write this novel.

 

I’ve explained to the gun pointer that writing a novel is very challenging work for me. It exhausts me and takes just about everything I have. Even writing and editing three or four pages. I assume this is because of the subject matter of Sell Out Man. It is a difficult novel to write. I tell the gun pointer that if he is not here I will do everything I can to avoid writing this novel. I will kayak around. I will organize. I will go for walks. I will look at naked photos of women on Twitter. I will read. I will sleep. I will give in to my resistance and that is why I need him here. I have a story to tell that I don’t really want to tell but need to tell. It’s the only way I will write this novel.

 

I think the gun pointer thinks I am nuts. Maybe I am. Maybe I have lost my mind. I don’t really know. Maybe a writer needs to lose their mind to write a decent novel. I don’t even know if my novel is any good but I continue to write. I have a story to tell and if I don’t tell it now I never will. This is the essence of all good literature, I tell the gun pointer. He tells me that he is a simple man. He lives on his boat with his dog. He doesn’t get involved in these kind of affairs. I tell him that is ok. He is probably better off and I appreciate his presence. I need him to want to be here. It’s the only way I will write this novel.

 

He’s doing it for the money, he tells me. He could care less about me. I am already a has been. I mean nothing to this world. Who care about novels like Sell Out Man. What a waste of time. Why not do something more productive and useful? Sometimes I think he dislikes me enough to shoot me. I get slightly concerned but that is ok. It’s the only way I will write this novel.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Three

 

Chapter Twenty Three

 

 

A famous contemporary painter who suddenly disappears from the art scene can’t escape the scrutiny of the public for long. People were taking notice of Zev Bauhaus’s absence. In the quarterly art journal Art Texta brief article was written about how Zev Bauhaus no longer had the prestige he once did. The article exposed the cancellation of several of Zev’s upcoming shows. This article brought more attention to Zev. Not the kind of attention anyone would want. In The Sokal Hoax, a literary and art magazine, the prominent cultural critic Dorothy Niken wrote a scathing article about how Zev Bauhaus had been partly responsible for shaping the work of so many contemporary abstract painters but that he no longer held that elevated position anymore. She wrote about how the quality of Zev’s work had been in steep decline over the years and now with his disappearance from the art world he had exposed himself as the burnout he had become. The article was called A Fall From Abstract Grace.

There was an article written in Higher Superstition, a very hip cultural magazine, which suggested that Zev Bauhaus was a scapegoat being used to divert attention away from the sad state of contemporary abstract art. Marissa read these various articles but Zev did not. He didn’t care and he didn’t want to know. Why would he care about such things when his life was falling apart? Zev didn’t understand then, and he wouldn’t understand for a long time, that his life was falling apart because he could not stop obsessing about Amy and what she had done to him. Zev had forgotten about himself. He had ceased all forms of exercise and didn’t care about what he ate. His quality of dress greatly declined. He no longer cared if he wore the same black jeans for days in a row and didn’t take much time combing his hair. He often neglected shaving. The times that Zev did come into the studio, Marissa noticed how shitty he looked. He had lost weight and looked like a skeleton of his former self. Marissa couldn’t help feeling responsible for this. Something in her knew that Zev Bauhaus was on the verge of closing the studio. He would retreat into some other world and it was her fault. But Zev would be free and she couldn’t help but see this as an opportunity.

Marissa was masturbating more frequently. Work at the studio had become more languorous and dull. Zev wasn’t working much anymore and there was nothing to do. Unfinished paintings stood around like forgotten relics. She would come home at night, make herself dinner and read while on her couch. It happened every time. As she read she would gradually start to pleasure herself. She couldn’t read for more than ten minutes without putting her fingers on her wet pussy. She had been feeling unusually horny but assumed it was because she was not getting laid. It was better that she was pleasuring herself than dealing with some guy. Guys were so much work. As she ran her fingers through her pussy she would visualize Zev. Why Zev? He looked terrible. In her mind she would see him in his disheveled and degenerate state and this turned her on. She liked guys who looked beaten up and grungy. It was a cool nineties look. She would imagine Zev on top, vigorously penetrating her as she looked up at him. Or she would visualize herself giving Zev oral sex and this imagine almost always made her cum. She was certain he had a nice penis. Why was she so obsessed with Zev? Especially now in his miserable state. Was something wrong with her? After Marissa orgasmed she would brush her teeth and fall asleep alone in bed. Sometimes she thought she might die this way.

Zev and Amy spent Saturday together. They drove into the industrial section of the Arts District in Downtown LA and tried out a new outdoor bar. There were cactuses and fire pits everywhere. People could smoke there. Zev ordered an IPA and Amy ordered a cocktail. They sat under an umbrella, listened to the music being played and didn’t talk much to each other. There was a palpable tension between them but they were trying to do something fun together. They both smoked cigarettes and drank their first drinks quickly. Amy got up and bought them another round. The alcohol buzz was gradually loosening them up and they started to talk. Not about anything in particular. Just about bullshit. But Zev was angry. It was hard for him to casually talk with Amy. He felt like she should be making more of an effort to be affectionate with him considering what she was putting him through. She wasn’t holding his hand. She wasn’t rubbing his back. She wasn’t giving him a kiss. There was a real distance between them that he didn’t like. He was sure she wasn’t like this with Arthur.

When Zev was angry at Amy she had no desire to be affectionate with him. She was repelled by him. Amy knew that if she made more of an effort to be affectionate with Zev he would gradually loosen up. But she didn’t want to make the effort. She wasn’t that concerned with Zev anymore. She wasn’t going to try and alleviate his anger by doing things she didn’t want to do. It was up to Zev to be more loving with her. Zev assumed that Amy’s lack of affection was the result of it all going towards Arthur. Zev bought the next round of drinks and they ordered food from a food truck that was parked outside the bar. They ate in silence. Amy was disgusted by the chewing sounds that Zev made. It made her feel rage inside. Amy couldn’t wait to go home. She went to the bathroom for an unusually long time. Zev was convinced she was texting with Arthur and felt insulted that she would do this while out with him.

In the car ride home, they were both on the verge of drunkenness. Zev blew smoke out of the driver’s side window and played Tony Conrad’s Ten Years Alive On the Infinite Plain. Amy couldn’t stand this kind of long-durational, minimalistic music. What was the point? Zev would tell her that it was therapeutic. It put the brain in a contemplative state. But Amy was always too much on the go. She was a quick girl, racing through life. She needed more melody and tempo. Zev smoked marijuana as he drove on the highway back to their Silverlake home. He was upset that Amy still wasn’t paying much attention to him. She didn’t even talk to him about his dwindling career. She didn’t seem to show much concern about his declining health. She didn’t show much interest in him at all. Thoughts like these ran through Zev’s head and he couldn’t help but tell Amy once again that he knew she was in love with Arthur. He knew that she was in that bathroom for a long time because she was texting with her dishrag boyfriend. Zev was wrong. She had been taking naked selfies in the hip bathroom to send to Arthur at a later time.

Once they arrived back at the house, while standing in the living room, Amy told Zev that she couldn’t take it anymore. She wanted out of the marriage. They needed to separate. Something needed to change. Zev Bauhaus couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was shocked that Amy wanted to leave him. He stayed with her after her transgressions. Her lack of loyalty infuriated him. The one woman he was certain he would grow old with was telling him she wanted a divorce. How could this be? He knew it was because she was leaving him to be with Arthur. Amy was leaving him for another man. This was a thought that was impossible for Zev to comprehend. It caused cracks to form in his bones. It caused restrictions in his arteries. Most oxygen left his body and he flew into a rage. He called Amy a fucking bitch and a whore. He told her that he hoped she died. He would be better off if she was just dead. He kicked the living room coffee table piled with art books into the air. He was throwing a temper tantrum. Amy was mortified to hear that Zev wanted her dead. Was her life at risk? Zev walked quickly into his home studio and slammed the door. Things fell off the walls. Amy broke down in tears in the living room. Of course Zev didn’t want her dead. He was just very hurt and said things he didn’t mean. How else could he hurt her back?

Zev’s heart was beating fast and deliberately. What was he going to do? Amy was leaving him for a younger man. That bitch. He sat down in his Eames recliner and lit a cigarette. He smoked it quickly and lit another one. His mind was racing and he couldn’t focus. He was worried that he might have a panic attack. His eye site was pixelating and Zev did the only thing he knew how to do to calm himself when on the verge of a panic attack. He took out his cock and started masturbating. Thankfully he was alone.

 

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Two

Chapter Twenty Two

 

Zev didn’t care about anything anymore. He was wearing socks that didn’t match. He put on the same pants every day. He stopped paying bills and avoided all phone calls, even more than he had before. He didn’t talk to anyone other than Amy and Marissa. He dragged his weighted and anxious body around. He neglected his life. Maybe some would say he had fallen apart. Others might say he was ruined. Galleries and art dealers were calling. Marissa was pressuring him. He didn’t care. He was losing a lot of weight and was in a state of continual distress. He had been looking on-line about various ways to kill himself. He didn’t realize there were so many different ways to do it. But he wasn’t ready to kill himself. He would take his time. Wait for the slight feeling of hope in his gut to disappear. Then he would shoot or asphyxiate himself. For now, fear kept him stuck in the situation he was in. He was too afraid to change anything.

Zev needed some sort of consolation. He retreated into making his minimalistic cartoons. He put his thoughts and feelings in there. He was drawing his comics in cheap, black and white composition books. He used a black felt pen and bought ten composition books at a time at the dollar store. He would fill his composition books quickly. There are few things that inspire brutally honest creativity like emotional pain. Zev started to journal more. He would write about everything he was feeling and he was never convinced that journaling was a good idea. Too much self-indulgence isn’t always a good thing. He wrote a lot about Amy and what she had done. He expressed his hatred and despair through the written word. He would coach himself. He would tell himself to just be cool. Don’t be a fool. Stay strong. Emotional pain could care less about clichés. He would tell himself to accept things as they were and have his fun with Amy. He didn’t know how long his marriage would last but he wanted to find a way to stay with Amy and not be so angry all the time. They were fighting a lot and the stress was taking a toll. His chest was continually tight and his stomach in a continual state of nauseous agitation.

Zev had been in a similar position many times before. Unresolved feelings were surfacing. Every woman he had been in a serious relationship with had betrayed him. There had been three. Cari, his long-term girlfriend in his twenties, who loved it when he fucked her in the ass. She was the first girl he had penetrated from behind. She had cheated on him several times during their fifth and sixth year together. Zev spent many hours in the bushes outside of their apartment waiting to discover what was going on. Cari wasn’t dumb. She never fucked her lovers in their apartment. Liz, who he was with for four years, had fallen in love with another man and ended up marrying him shortly after leaving Zev. Kathleen, who he had been helplessly in love with, had been sleeping with both men and women even during their first week together. Zev hadn’t been lucky in love. But he never doubted that with Amy it would be different. Finally, he had found someone who would never do that to him.

Now that Amy had cheated, he was in despair. It’s what happens when the unexpected happens. He had never thought beyond this point. He had never assumed he and Amy would not be together. He didn’t have to imagine Amy with someone else. Amy understood how traumatized he had been by women in the past but she also understood how it could happen. Amy imagined that Zev was just as neglectful, mad and unpleasant to all of them as he was with her and finally they got tired of it. But of course she refrained from telling him this. She couldn’t help but wonder if what she was doing with Arthur was a kind of revenge. She didn’t like to think of herself as a vengeful woman but maybe she was. Maybe betraying Zev was how she asserted her power and got him back. Women know how to destroy men who they have had enough of.

Zev contemplated leaving Amy. He could just leave. He had enough cash in the bank. He could start over. Be free of Amy and her mess. This was his way out. He could be liberated from all the frustration she caused him. If he stayed with her things would only get worse. He would be suspicions and disdainful all the time. He would go to bed angry every night. Zev asked Amy if she was going to end things with Arthur but she could never give him a solid answer. Amy didn’t want Zev telling her what to do. Zev continually probed Amy about Arthur. Was she in love with him? Was she in love with him? Was she in love with him? Was she in love with him? Zev asked her this again and again. It didn’t stop coming because deep down Zev believed it was true. But Amy never gave him the answer he was looking for. She would tell Zev that she felt no feelings of love for Arthur. She liked fucking him. She had a good time with him. Zev kept digging. It was almost as if he wanted Amy to tell him that she was in love with Arthur and was going to be with him. This would give Zev no choice. He would have to split. But he was too afraid to do it on his own. As long as he had a choice, he sold himself out. Zev had proven this to himself by now.

If being filled with despair and hurt wasn’t enough, Zev also felt the pain of gashes in his chest created by jealousy. He was filled with jealousy. Every time Amy was out, he assumed she was with Arthur. When Amy was on her phone, he was convinced she was texting with Arthur. She was in love with another man. Another man was fucking her. He had been betrayed. Zev was in a continual low-level sweat from the high levels of cortisol being released into his body. But for some reason the jealousy turned him on. It made him want to rip Amy apart with his dick. It freed him up to treat Amy like the slut and horrible person that he thought she was. This turned him on. Zev was continually coming on to Amy. It was a new dynamic in their relationship. He was actually asking her if she wanted to fuck. He made her lick his asshole. He urinated and orgasmed in her face. He called her terrible names, pulled her hair and made her do all the work. Occasionally he would slap her in the face. Zev couldn’t help it. He liked slapping her when she was nude. Amy never liked it. It would make her angry. But Zev would tell her to shut up and to keep doing what she was doing. Amy obliged only because she knew she had to try and make up for her transgressions. Maybe Zev wouldn’t hate her as much.

Amy was now having sex with two guys. Sometimes three. There were also girls. Zev couldn’t know everything. But Amy didn’t mind things this way. She liked having sex. It was her stress relief and she could do it every day. It was the best way she had found to get away from the drudgery of her work. It made sense to her. If Zev wanted to have sex with her she wasn’t going to tell him it was a bad idea. That he should take some space. He was an adult. Zev would tell Amy that she had to stop seeing Arthur. She needed to put an end to things. But a few days would go by and Zev would change his mind. He would realize how much it turned him on that she was in love with another guy. It made him feel pathetic and for some reason this pathetic feeling stimulated his libido. He would tell Amy that he didn’t care if she kept seeing Arthur and he would try and be alright with things. Amy didn’t care either way. She was going to keep seeing Arthur whether Zev agreed or not. No man was going to tell her what she could do with her pussy.

The conflict between Zev and Amy got in the way of everything. There was continual fighting punctuated by fucking. Furniture was thrown. Yelling filled the hallways. Bills went unpaid. Zev would accuse Amy of being a psychopath and Amy would accuse Zev of having Borderline Personality Disorder. Zev was certain she had cheated with other men. Amy wasn’t going to reveal all her secrets. She told him some things. She told him about the guy’s dick that she sucked at their party. She told him about a girl she had made out with but really fucked. Amy was exhausted by Zev. She was falling behind on her work and drinking more at night. She even started smoking cigarettes. Zev wasn’t showing up much to work. Several galleries shows had to be cancelled. No one cared that they were falling apart.

Months passed in an unraveled state. Amy would tell Arthur all about it. Arthur hoped he never crossed paths with Zev even though he would fight him if he had to. He was younger and would probably win but Zev had rage on his side. If Amy spent too much time in the bathroom, Zev would become angry. If she wasn’t home at an early hour, Zev would become angry. If she didn’t spend as much time on the house, Zev would become angry. It was a continual uprising of the worst parts of Zev. He was being made crazed by all of this. Amy did what she could to control the anger outbreaks but she wasn’t going to stop seeing Arthur. Now she had to go over to Arthur’s apartment. Sometimes she wanted to spend longer periods of time with Arthur and would not come home till late. This would make Zev rage and Amy would get very stressed out. Her hair was falling out. But it wasn’t enough stress to make her stop doing what she wanted to be doing. Arthur’s hard working dick and adoration drew her back every time.

The stress of the relationship was gradually making Zev and Amy sick. Zev lost weight and Amy put some weight on. They were both neglecting their financial situation. And their work. Their thoughts were dark. They contracted a bacterial rash which saw an opportunity to take hold because of their lowered immunity. The rash was all over Zev’s back and it was on Amy’s face and chest. Sometimes they looked diseased. Zev’s hair had turned grayer. They were both depressed and tired most of the time. Amy was drinking more and Zev was smoking a lot of marijuana to alleviate his pain. He coughed a lot but didn’t care. His cigarette expense doubled. Amy never knew when Zev would get angry and this unpredictability gave her anxiety. But most tension between people is sexual tension. Zev and Amy needed a release. They kept fucking even though they should have stopped. Something had to change or else someone was going to eventually get killed. Fate had to take over sooner or later.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Twenty

 

Chapter Twenty

 

Marissa was getting ready for work. She showered, brushed her teeth and put on the same pair of underwear she wore the day before. She decided to wear a black dress. She didn’t often wear dresses but she liked her legs and thought she should do so more. She then put on her high-top black Doc Martins and brushed her long dirty blonde hair in the mirror. She used a brush shaped like a teddy bear. Marissa had been spending her evenings as a newly single woman doing what she wanted. She had more time to be alone and get some reading done. She didn’t have to worry about texting or calling Evan. She missed the sex but her alone time was what she needed right now. She wanted to conquer the feeling of boredom by getting more into her interests.

One of her more analogue and antiquated pleasures was listening to the radio. She had a small, mahogany Sonny radio that she kept on her kitchen table. It was on all the time. She liked listening to college and local FM radio stations. Obscure indie music was her thing. She also liked the goofy and adolescent radio show hosts. But sometimes she also liked to listen to NPR to see what some of the more liberal and bourgeoisie media sounded like. She liked some of the radio shows on NPR and she also liked listening to the news. It was how she stayed informed about the bullshit that was going on in the world. It made her feel smarter and listening to NPR had gotten Marissa interested in more contemporary politics. She had been listening to the live broadcasts of the Donald Trump impeachment trials and was getting caught up in it.

As Marissa was getting dressed she was listening to a live broadcast of an impeachment senate hearing. She couldn’t believe the people who were defending Donald Trump. It sounded like madness to her that this was even happening. It was obvious that Donald Trump was a malevolent crook and she didn’t understand how people could defend him. These were the worst people in the world, she thought. Listening to democratic senators talk about how protecting America’s true values and liberties by holding those accountable who think they are above the law, gave her hope. She hated Donald Trump with all her heart and was worried that he could end the world. He was that much of a psychotic madman, corrupted by too much wealth.

As Marissa walked to work she thought about how Amy was deceiving Zev. Listening to the impeachment trials had made her think a lot about people who deceive, betray, lie, steal and are only thinking of their own best interests. They are narcissists and Marissa suspected that Amy was one. What she was doing to Zev was pitiful. She was acting on her own selfish greed and not thinking about its effects on Zev. She was just as bad as Donald Trump and these people needed to be held accountable. There was too much injustice in the world. She should tell Zev about what she saw. She envied Amy’s sexual liberties but thought she was acting terribly.

When Zev woke up he noticed that Amy wasn’t there. She wasn’t in bed next to him? He felt the bottom drop out in his stomach. His first thought was that she was with that guy. His heart raced as he picked up the phone. It was 6:04am and there were no texts from Amy. He got up to see if Amy was at the kitchen table but she was never up this early. He texted Amy asking her where she was and if everything was ok. He texted her again and again and got nothing back. Zev smoked a cigarette and paced around in his underwear. He kept checking his phone to see if Amy texted back. Nothing. He was in agony in his helplessness.

He received a text from Amy at around 8am. She had gone back to the house she was at the night before to get her phone. She told Zev that she was ok and that she had gotten really drunk the night before and left her phone at the party she was at. She was on her way home. She emailed Zev letting him know what happened because she couldn’t remember his number. But Zev hadn’t checked his email so he didn’t know that everything was ok. He was pissed off but it took him a moment to settle down. He felt great relief that everything was ok. Amy had just gotten too drunk to drive, forgotten her phone at a party and slept at her friend Kimberlee’s house. Amy was now on her way home and everything would be fine. Zev didn’t know that she stayed the night with Arthur, fucking his brains out and sucking him dry.

When Amy did get home she looked bedraggled and beaten up. Had Zev given her a hug he would have noticed that she smelled like cum. Her hair was a mess and she was wearing the same clothes she had gone out in. She had her thick black rimmed glasses on and she told Zev she had a terrible headache and was going to bed. Zev helped her into the bedroom and she told Zev that she was sorry to worry him. She told him that she couldn’t remember his number and felt so bad. No one else had his phone number because Zev didn’t give his number out to anyone. Very few. He hated talking on the phone. Amy felt bad as Zev helped her into bed. She told him that she was very sorry and Zev went to get her some Advil and water. He was happy she was home and he told her she should rest. He would bring her back some lunch. Amy felt like she dodged a bullet, once again. The excitement turned her on.

Marissa had all the paints and brushes ready for when Zev arrived at the studio. The two paintings he needed to work on were set up and ready to go. These two paintings were going to some modern art museum in Barcelona Marissa didn’t know that name of. This was the morning she was going to tell Zev about what she knew. Her youthful idealism kicked in. She needed to do her part to fight back against the injustices and greed in the world. Zev needed to know. Zev came in late to work wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt and black boots. His hair was almost down to his shoulders and he hadn’t shaved. On his way to work he was listening to Sonic Youth and had smoked a fair amount of weed. That was the nice thing about driving a new, black Audi with tinted windows- no one suspected the driver of being a stoner.

Zev climbed down from the ladder. He had been painting the top part of the canvas a bright blue color. He came down and sat in a chair looking at it. He didn’t think it looked good but he would go with it. The marijuana helped him to have more liberated ideas. As he sat contemplating the painting Marissa came and sat next to him. Her heart was racing and she didn’t know what to say. Zev thanked her for getting everything set up well. He also noticed that he liked how she looked. Very gothic industrial. That style turned him on. Marissa decided to just come right out with it and tell Zev what she saw. Zev scratched his head as he listened and felt validated that his suspicions were true. He wasn’t crazy after all.

Zev asked Marissa many questions. Marissa told him that she was positive it was Arthur. He was one of her favorite writers. She saw Amy making out with him in The Line Hotel. They were very close and adoring of each other and she thought that he should know. Zev knew that there was more going on between the two of them. What he had felt while watching the most recent sex shows was true. Amy was in love with Arthur. He told Marissa that he had to go and Marissa felt very nervous. Had she just destroyed everything? Zev told her that he was going to confront Amy and that he wouldn’t tell her that it was Marissa who had told him so. Marissa made Zev promise. He did as he walked out the door, noticing that his high had completely turned into a low. He drove back to his Silverlake home as quickly as he could but of course there was traffic. Never had traffic sucked so much.

When he got home Amy was sitting up in bed watching television. Zev hated it when she watched television in the daytime. She should be more useful. He walked into the bedroom and confronted Amy right away. He sat down in the chair opposite the bed and was smoking a cigarette. What the fuck was going on? What was she thinking? He knew that she was in love with Arthur. Amy played dumb and asked what the hell he was talking about. Hadn’t they been through this before? Zev told her that someone he knew had told him that she saw Amy at The Line Hotel kissing and adoring Arthur. Zev told her that she was caught. He knew that she was in love with him, he kept saying over and over. Amy tried to deny it for as long as she could. She told Zev that she had just met Arthur there for a work meeting. That there was no kissing or adoring. She told him that whoever had told him about her was lying. Zev continued to tell Amy to cut the bullshit. To stop being a pathological liar. He knew. With a sigh of defeat Amy finally conceded and told Zev that he was right. That she was with Arthur but she was not in love with Arthur. Zev put his head down. What was he going to do? He wanted to kill her.

Amy told Zev that she had been seeing Arthur for a few months. That they had sex a few times a week and also worked together on editing his book of essays that was coming out in a few months. She told Zev as much as he needed to know. He couldn’t believe that she was having an affair with the guy she used for their sex shows. What kind of person was she? What had happened to his sweet and kind wife? Zev asked Amy if she ever fucked Arthur in their house and she told him of course not. She would never do that. They only fucked in the car and at his place. The only time she fucked him in their house was for their sex shows. Zev couldn’t believe it. Amy was having a love affair with Arthur. More was going on than what she was telling him. He kept asking her if she was in love with him and she replied no each time. She just liked having sex with him. He was fun to hang out with. That was it. She didn’t bother telling Zev that he blew it for not having more sexual interest in her. For not being more adoring of her. She couldn’t tell him this because she still needed Zev to help support her lifestyle. She also didn’t want him to hate her. She had her reputation to protect.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen

 

Zev asked the prostitute if he could clean his dick off with a towel in the bathroom. He had used a condom but he still wanted to make sure he was clean, just to reduce the thoughts about catching any kind of STD. When he cleaned himself off in the bathroom with hot water and Motel 6 soap, Zev felt a momentary feeling of relief. It was always enjoyable for him to have a paid sexual experience with an attractive woman. He could forget about his pain and despair for a little while and lose himself in the emotionless pleasures of the perverted flesh. When Zev walked out of the bathroom the prostitute was sitting on the bed. She was still naked as she looked through her phone. Zev assumed she was texting with a friend or setting up her next client.

Her name was Quincey and she was seventeen years old. She had told Zev that she was twenty-two but Zev thought she looked younger than that. But he didn’t care. He was happy to be able to be sexual with a younger girl. The younger the girl the tighter the flesh is what Zev thought. He was a man and as much as most men don’t want to admit it, they care about these things. A younger woman is a joy for an older man. A joy unlike any other. Quincey regularly worked out of a Motel 6 because they didn’t seem to care about the men coming and going. She saw fifteen to twenty different clients a night. Zev was the ninth person she had seen that night and he was certainly the best looking. Zev was nice to her and he didn’t fuck her that hard. Zev appreciated her body and she liked that. When Zev walked out of the bathroom she asked him what he did for a living. Zev told her he was a painter and she asked him if he painted houses.

This was a common response Zev would get. People didn’t seem to think you could make a living as a real painter. A painter who made art. And most couldn’t. But some painters were able to break through and make a good living off their art. They often had to sacrifice their souls to do it, but they could do it nonetheless. When Zev told Quincey that he was an artist, Quincey was surprised. She asked him if he was a real artist and he told her that he was. She told him that she had never met a real painter before. By real painter Quincey meant an artist who made money from their art. Zev told Quincey that now she had met one. Quincey was excited to be talking with someone different and she asked Zev more questions.

Quincey sat on the edge of the bed, by the bedside light and the digital clock. Her body was thin and beautiful. Her tits shaped just right. Her vagina was shaved and she had piercings in both of her nipples. This turned Zev on. Zev wanted a cigarette as he put his clothes back on. The sex had been good. He had sex with Quincey from behind, standing at the edge of the bed while Quincey had all fours on the bed. It was a perfect angle. She had also given him a good initial blow job. Zev was relieved that the blow job was good. He felt that Amy gave the best blow jobs he would ever receive so it was nice to know that there were girls out there who sucked dick nearly as good as Amy. For some odd reason this made him feel better.

Zev told Quincey that she had a great body and Quincey continued to ask him questions about being a painter. She was only seventeen and was yet to know that it was possible to make a career in the arts. Kids weren’t conditioned to think this way anymore. Zev told her that he hated being a painter. He told her that he made large abstract paintings that would be hung in rich people’s homes and in galleries he didn’t like. He also told her that he had some paintings in a few different museums all over the world but that he hated museums. Museums were places where dead artists got hung on walls. Paintings on museum walls seemed lifeless to Zev. The environment was too sterile. Once a painting went up on a museum wall the life was drained from it. Quincey was surprised to hear this and she told Zev that she had never been to a museum before. Zev asked Quincey if he could smoke a cigarette and she told him to do it out the window. Zev sat in a chair by the window and smoked.

Quincey got up to put on underwear and a bra and Zev watched her walk naked across the motel room. Her body looked so good to Zev. He wanted to have sex with her again. Only eighty bucks for all that fun. Maybe he would come back tomorrow night. Quincey put on red lace underwear. Then she put on her red lace bra. Her fingernails and toenails were painted red. She looked like a sinister woman. She told Zev about how she had broken her hand in a car accident but had nurtured it back to health all by herself. She was proud that she didn’t need any doctors. She asked Zev if she could read him some of her poems since she had never been around a real artist before. Zev listened to her read her poetry with a nervous tone in her voice. It was as if she had never read her poetry out loud before. Her poems were about the angels that follow her around, the universe that protects her and the love that struggles to stay in her heart. Zev listened and smoked. He thought her poems were terrible but when she finished reading he told her that they were great.

Quincey was happy that Zev liked her poems. She didn’t think they were any good. She wrote poems every day to help her get through her pain. It was something that she learned at the high school she dropped out of. Quincey was a run away. Supporting her daughter and herself all on her own. She was making her own way in this world. Since guys had been trying to have sex with her from a very young age, prostitution seemed like the most obvious avenue to financial independence. It was a way for her to not need anything from her horrible parents who cut her off because of having a child so young. Her body was hot and she had been fucking since she was twelve. At seventeen she knew the power she had over men. She knew that she could sell what she possessed. And she knew that she had had enough sex to think of herself as very skilled in her craft.

Zev felt like he and Quincey were becoming friends. She told him about her daughter and her struggles. She told him about her broken heart. Zev wondered when she was going to kick him out but he was enjoying the company for as long as he could. He knew that Amy was out for the evening and he didn’t want to go back to the house and be alone. He much preferred the company of whores and he knew that was one reason he was so attached to Amy. Amy was very whore like. Zev felt relaxed enough to tell Quincey about his struggles in his marriage. He told her that he felt like his wife was in love with someone else. Quincey told him that that must not be a fun situation to be in. She asked him how long he had been married for and why he thought his wife was in love with someone else. Zev told her that it was just a feeling and that certain things had occurred that made him think Amy was in love with another man. When Quincey asked Zev what he was going to do he told her that he didn’t know. First he needed to find out if his feeling was true. He told Quincey that he felt like his wife was doing everything she could to keep her secret from him. Suddenly Zev was not as appealing to Quincey anymore. He was just another pathetic and dumped guy. It was cool that he was a painter but he was old and seemed very defeated. She told Zev that she had to get ready for her next client. As he made his way out the motel door, Quincey gave him a hug and said that he should come back and see her another time. Zev said he would.

On his drive home Zev put on the new album by Merzbow, Keiji Haino and Balazs Pandi called Become The Discovered, Not The Discoverer. The sounds were aggressive and dark and fit the mood of driving through Los Angeles that night. Zev smoked a cigarette and noticed that he felt good. He had gone to see the prostitute hoping that he could somehow ameliorate the pain that had taken hold in his gut. Zev didn’t realize then that the pain was going nowhere. That no whore could suck it out of him. He didn’t realize that the pain was going to be with him for a long time. Zev was starting to feel even more insecure than he did before his suspicion that Amy was in love with someone else. Just the thought of her possibly being with Arthur made him feel terrible about himself. How could his wife fall in love with that guy when she had someone like him? Zev couldn’t figure it out and it just didn’t make any sense. Zev had gone to the prostitute hoping that being sexual with another woman would make him feel less angry and upset about what was going on with Amy. He was hoping to improve his confidence, and it worked for a little while. But his confidence always fell back down within a few days of real life.

The drumming was loud, the guitar sounding as if it was being played by a lunatic. The noise drowned out the thoughts in Zev’s head. Zev loved this kind of aggressive and abstract music. He was feeling that post-orgasmic bliss, one of the benefits of a quick sexual experience. There was no craving in him for a woman. There was no desire for sex. The compulsion had vanished. He didn’t care what Amy was doing. He was fully satisfied within himself. When he walked into his home, the house was dark. There was a feeling of emptiness in the house that Zev ignored. Zev turned on the lights and walked into his home studio. He put a Gary Wilson record on the turntable. He then smoked a cigarette and looked out his window at the city below. He could see lights flickering in the darkness. He didn’t care that Amy wasn’t home. He didn’t care that he suspected she was with Arthur even though she told him she was going out with friends. He didn’t care that she probably wouldn’t be home till around 4am. Zev finished his cigarette and decided he would get a good night’s sleep. A sleep not perturbed by his emotional pain. Zev felt so satisfied from his experience with Quincey that he didn’t bother brushing his teeth. He got in bed and with his head on his pillow listened to the Gary Wilson record playing in the other room before falling to sleep. Amy didn’t come home that night.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen

 

Arthur once saw a therapist who diagnosed him with autism. A child psychologist had told his parents this when he was a kid, but his parents ignored the diagnosis. Arthur grew into a man who talked too much, who struggled to wear matching socks, who could never listen and who was obnoxious in social situations. When Arthur was told for the second time that he was autistic, he was bothered by the diagnosis. How could he be autistic? Only annoying and out of control people were autistic. Could that be him? Arthur was gradually becoming a successful writer. He was almost paying all his expenses through writing. He had to work a part-time teaching job but he was managing to support himself through literature. People with autism still lived with their parents at his age. He had his own apartment and his future looked good. Autism didn’t make any sense in Arthur’s mind.

Amy would sometimes become annoyed by Arthur’s high energy. While they were working on editing Arthur’s book of essays, The Fantastic Life Of A Disappearing Man, Amy would continually have to tell Arthur to shut up and quiet down. She would become angered at him in the same way a person would feel angered by an out of control toddler. Sometimes she yelled at him, telling him what an idiot he was. Amy felt bad about these explosions of frustration but she couldn’t seem to stop it. Maybe the pressures of being in love with another man were getting to her. Arthur was always understanding of Amy’s annoyance with him. When she spit in his face in an explosion of rage, Arthur wiped away the spit from his face and told Amy that he was going to go sit in the other room for a little and let her simmer down. Arthur was always adoring and compassionate when Amy would lash out at him and this made her appreciate him more. She didn’t have to feel as bad about her terrible behavior towards Arthur because he accepted it. He loved Amy.

It wasn’t lost on Amy that she was acting mean and critical towards Arthur in a similar way Zev was with her. She was becoming more like Zev in her relationship with Arthur. Annoyed, agitated and bothered. But Amy loved being with Arthur. She loved the attention that Arthur showed her. She loved how grateful Arthur was to have sex with her and be in her company. She felt worshipped and this turned her on. It made her feel better about herself. Zev never worshipped her. Maybe in the beginning of their relationship but not anymore. Zev took advantage of her now and Amy felt that Zev was lucky to be getting her some of the time. This is how Amy rationalized having an affair with Arthur. Zev was lucky to be getting what he was getting from her and as a result she could do whatever she wanted with the rest of her time. It was the personal philosophy of a lunatic.

Amy wanted to be with Arthur more and more. She thought about him all the time and the amount she texted with him increased. They were meeting a few times a week at the WORD office and at her house to complete the final draft of The Fantastic Life Of A Disappearing Man. They were meeting with artists for cover art. They were completing the final formatting. Amy was involved in the publication process as much as she could be. It was a way for her to connect more with Arthur. If she was completely helpful and available for Arthur she knew he would appreciate her even more. She gave to get.

Zev wasn’t able to out run the feeling that Amy was possibly in love with that guy she was using as bait in their sex shows. Who was that guy? He looked familiar but couldn’t recall where he had seen him. He was young and had a nice body but his skin was pale. He was a terrible dresser and looked like a complete nerd. There was no way that Amy could be in love with a guy like this. It just wasn’t possible. Zev was crazy for even thinking so. Zev was a handsome, well-dressed, successful contemporary painter. He was at the height of his career and at the age of 41 still had a full head of long hair. There was just no way that Amy would fall in love with someone like that guy. This is what Zev told himself. Zev didn’t take into consideration that Zev was miserable and depressed all the time, he was growing older and slower, when he did fuck Amy she had to do most of the work because he was too tired and in his depression he had neglected to maintain any muscle in his upper body. Arthur had muscular arms.

No matter how much Zev told himself that he was crazy for feeling the way he did he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He started talking to Marissa. He couldn’t help it. He was an external processor who needed to talk with somebody about what was on his mind. Since he was around Marissa a lot at the studio, he talked to her. Zev would paint and Marissa would hand him brushes and paint. She would pick up after him and clean up any mess. She listened to Zev as he told her about his suspicions. Marissa listened to Zev tell her that he felt like Amy was carrying around some sort of big secret. She had felt much more detached from him. There was little affection coming from her anymore. Something was off. Something was going on and he was suspicious that she could be in love with some guy. Marissa knew who the guy was. She knew it was the author of Man On The Ceiling, which was one of her favorite books. But she refrained from telling Zev this. She didn’t know what to do so she played dumb like most do in similar situations.

A man always suffers alone. The more Zev felt the way he did, the more paranoid he became. He didn’t know what to do with his strong and annoying feelings. He needed resolution. He would ask Amy who she was texting and he would tell her that she was always on her phone and in the bathroom for longer periods of time. They would argue about this. Amy would tell him that she wasn’t on her phone that much and Zev would tell her that she was on her phone all the fucking time. When Amy wasn’t home he started going through her drawers to see if he could find any incriminating evidence. He wasn’t able to find anything specific but he did find some receipts for dinners she had not told him about. He would sometimes drive by the WORD office to see if she was there when she said she would be. While he was painting at his studio he would become convinced that Amy was with the other man in that moment. He would tell Marissa that he was going home early and he would drive back to his house as fast as he could. Zev would park his car several streets over and then walk into the bushes across the street from his house. He would sit in the bushes for an entire afternoon, getting his black pants covered in dirt. He was trying to discover what was really going on. Seeking resolution for himself. Was Amy gaslighting him? That couldn’t be. Zev didn’t want to believe Amy was a horrible person but he had always been concerned about certain psychopathic tendencies he thought she had. From the bushes and dirt he would watch Amy come and go. He would watch various authors come and go from his home. And then he noticed that guy.

Zev felt his heart race. He had to calm himself down. He watched Arthur get in his car. Arthur was wearing jeans and Daniel Johnston t-shirt. He looked like a nerdy guy. How could Amy be into him? How could this be possible? Once Arthur drove away, Zev got up out of the bushes, brushed the dirt off of himself and walked into the house. He noticed that the blinds were closed and there were some pillows on the floor. The environment wreaked of sex. When Amy walked out of the bathroom she was startled to see Zev standing in the living room. She pulled herself together, smiled and told Zev that it was nice to see him. She opened the blinds and picked up the pillows. Zev asked Amy what the hell was going on and Amy acted surprised. She asked Zev what he meant and Zev told her that he just saw that guy who she had over for sex shows leaving their house. Amy knew she was in trouble and she had to think fast. Zev asked Amy if she had just had sex with that guy and Amy told Zev that that was a ridiculous thought. The pillows were on the floor and the blinds were closed because she had been doing some exercises before Arthur came over. Zev asked Amy again who the hell that guy was and Amy told him.

Amy assured Zev that nothing was going on between her and Arthur. She hadn’t told him that Arthur was one of the writer’s she worked with because she was afraid Zev would get mad. She knew that Arthur liked her and thought he was easy bait for their sex shows. She was just using him and had absolutely no feelings towards him. She never had sex with him outside of their sex shows. She would never do that. Zev sat down on the couch and Amy went to sit down next to him. She told him that she was very sorry for not telling him about Arthur. Zev thought that Arthur was such a ridiculous name. Zev was angry at Amy for keeping this secret from him. He asked her how she could have sex with someone she was working with? There was no integrity in that. Why would she mix work with her sexual pursuits? Amy told Zev it wasn’t a big deal and Zev thought Amy was reckless and lacked all morals. But he didn’t want to fight with her. Amy asked Zev if she wanted her to make a good dinner tonight. She would go to the market and get him whatever he wanted. Zev was still angry but food was the quickest way to his heart. He told Amy that it would be nice if she made that good beef lasagna. Amy asked if he also wanted red wine and a kombucha and Zev told her that he did. Amy gave Zev a kiss on the forehead and told him not to worry. She got her purse and went to the market. Zev continued sitting on the couch processing what he had just discovered. He knew that more was obviously going on but he didn’t want to confront it. Arthur? What kind of person was Amy? Zev lit a cigarette and looked out the window. Something in him felt like everything was changing. He was horrified. As Amy drove to the market she thought about how close of a call that was. She had been fucking Arthur ten minutes before Zev walked in. Did he know? She would make Zev a nice dinner. She would offer him a blow job after dinner. She would try to be really nice to him. She would give to get.