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.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

 

Amy and Zev decided to have another home sex show. It’s what they liked to do when boredom creeped into their lives. They drank gin, ate dinner and flipped through Tinder together looking for some stray and horny guy to invite over. They referred to the guy as bait. None of the men Amy made contact with seemed willing to take the risk of coming to her home to have sex. Amy felt like it was too much work to get a young man to come over to their house. At least this is what she told Zev. She took a shower and told Zev that she would keep looking for someone. But she really wanted to have Arthur come over. These home sex shows were just another opportunity for Amy to be with Arthur and she wanted to take every opportunity she could get. Amy texted Arthur asking him if he was free to come over and have sex quickly. She told him Zev would not be home for a few more hours. Even though Arthur was nervous about being in Amy’s house close to a time that Zev was expected home, he told her he would be right over. He had been masturbating anyways.

When Amy got out of the shower she decided to not put any close on. They would soon be coming off anyways. She would answer the door naked when Arthur arrived. Amy understood that she had about an hour to do her sex show because Zev didn’t want to wait out in the cold for much longer than that. In the summer time the shows were longer but in the winter things needed to happen quickly. Amy applied make-up to cover the ravaged zits on her body. She plucked a few hairs down by her vagina and covered the reddish swelling with make-up. She dried her hair and made it nice and curly. She also applied a thick layer of red lipstick. She enjoyed these sex shows. She knew it turned Zev on. But in her mind, it wasn’t really for Zev. It was a way for her to have permissible sex with other men without feeling like she was cheating.

Zev grabbed his binoculars from his home studio. He had been using them to look out his windows at the various birds which would comingle in the trees. He would also spy into the windows of some of his neighbors. He would watch them for a while and think about how we all had our own private hells to contend with. Zev put on a thick parka to protect him from the cold. He gathered his marijuana and cigarettes and stuck them in the pocket of his coat. He then walked out into the front room where Amy was getting things ready. She was straightening pillows and lighting candles. She turned on the fireplace. Zev put a Suicide record on the turn table, which Amy had requested. Zev looked at Amy walking around nude. He thought about what a nice body she had. Her belly button piercing. Her polished toe nails and round ass. Her breasts which had yet to be defeated by gravity. She looked nearly perfect in the nude but if he looked closely he could see all the signs of aging.

Before going into the backyard Zev put on gloves. He told Amy to have sex on a part of the couch that allowed him to see better from outside. Amy wanted to put on a good show and was more than happy to do anything that he liked. She asked him if he wanted her to do anything else. Zev told Amy that he wanted her to gag on the guy’s dick and give him a good sucking. He also told Amy that he wanted to see her have anal sex without a condom. Zev knew that this was risky but the extreme perversity of it turned him on. Amy pretended to be cautious about having sex without a condom. She didn’t know if it was a good idea. But this was all an act. It was one of the reasons why she preferred having Arthur come over for these sex shows. She knew Zev liked watching her have sex without a condom and she had already been having sex with Arthur without a condom for a long while. It was the safest bet.

Zev kissed Amy goodbye and smacked her on the ass. He also grabbed one of her breasts. He felt turned on. He told Amy to slut it up and he walked out into the backyard a few minutes before Arthur was expected to arrive. Zev situated himself by the garden box and made sure he had a good view of the couch from where he stood. Then he took a few puffs of marijuana and smoked a cigarette. He always enjoyed the combination of the two. Zev pulled over a garden chair and sat in it for a moment. He knew that what he was doing was nuts but that is why he enjoyed it. He heard dogs barking in the distance and he checked his phone for the time. It was almost 11pm.

Arthur and Amy immediately started having sex on the couch. When Amy answered the door in the nude Arthur threw himself at her. He forced her down onto the couch and started kissing her. They kissed deeply and this concerned Zev. Amy didn’t normally kiss guys like that and they certainly didn’t kiss that way. Arthur then went down on Amy and buried his face in her vagina. He rubbed his lips around her clit and stuck his tongue inside of her. Amy stretched out her arms, curled her spine and screamed out in pleasure. Zev didn’t like this as well. As he watched through his binoculars he noticed that he started to feel very pissed off. He wanted to kill Arthur as Arthur continued to pleasure his wife. Zev noticed that the more angered he became the more erect his dick became. Even though he didn’t want to, he had no choice but to pull his dick out and start masturbating. Amy was on top of Arthur. Zev could hear Suicide playing inside. He could hear their pleasure screams. Amy wasn’t using a condom and this turned him on. He hoped she would let Arthur cum inside of him even though he knew it was a reckless idea.

Amy managed to turn herself around and have anal sex with Arthur right in the spot Zev had asked her to. As Arthur forcefully pumped himself into Amy, Zev felt incredibly turned on. He masturbated in the darkness of his backyard garden. Kale and lettuce grew right under his dick and he didn’t care if he orgasmed on them. He figured semen was good for the soil. He masturbated and masturbated until he realized that Arthur and Amy were orgasming at the same time. Amy and Arthur both yelled out and screamed various profanities as their bodies wiggled in orgasmic pleasure. She had let Arthur cum inside of her! This angered Zev so much that when he orgasmed his semen flew several feet over to where the beets and radishes were growing. Zev also screamed out in pleasure, exploding his semen all over the vegetables he and Amy were growing. Arthur and Amy collapsed into one another and Zev sat down in the garden chair with his pants still down. He was breathing heavy as he lit a cigarette. It was one of the best orgasms he had had in a long time. But once the high of the orgasm faded the anger started to creep back in. Something was not right between Arthur and Amy. The amount of jealousy that he felt was telling him something. But he tried to ignore it.

Zev walked back inside just after Arthur left. He watched Arthur and Amy kiss goodbye and didn’t like it at all. Amy was still sitting on the couch naked and she asked Zev if he orgasmed. He told her that he came on the vegetables. Amy laughed. She asked Zev for a cigarette and Zev sat down beside her. Zev told her that it was a great show. Completely hot even though he knew it was a terrible idea to have Arthur orgasm inside of her anal cavity. Even though there was no risk of pregnancy, Zev knew the risks of disease. But his carnal perversions always got the best of his better judgement.

Zev felt suspicious of Amy as she sat there stroking her clit on the couch. Questions began to take shape in his mind. She asked Zev if he wanted to have sex but he told her he was worn out. Zev asked Amy if she liked the guy she had just had sex with. He told Amy that he noticed she kept having the same guy back to their house and wondered if there was anything going on. Amy thought the suggestion was ridiculous. Just some boy toy that she liked to fuck, is what she told Zev. How stupid of him for even suggesting that idea. Amy didn’t tell Zev that she was having Arthur over to their house several times a week. She didn’t tell him that she was editing his book of essays. She didn’t tell him that they were in love. She couldn’t do that because she had too much to lose. And Zev didn’t notice Arthur was the same guy who he had seen walking out of their front gate a few months ago.

`        Zev knew that something didn’t feel right but he tried to let it go. When Amy got in bed next to him he felt this urge to ask her if she was in love with that guy. The way they were sexual together, the way their bodies interacted, the pleasure in her face- it all suggested signs of two people in love. Zev kept his question to himself. He knew that it was a ridiculous thing to ask even though it felt right. It was as if there was a part of Zev’s brain which was now convinced that Amy was in love with that guy. He couldn’t get rid of the feeling. He knew that if he asked Amy she would only become defensive. She was about to fall asleep anyways. Zev turned out his bedside light and then gradually fell asleep as the fire in his head subsided. That night Amy and Zev fell asleep on opposite sides of the bed. They didn’t tell each other that they loved each other before falling away into the dark void of sleep.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen

Amy was sitting at the kitchen table. She was working on editing a short story that would be published in WORD. You could see the lines in her forehead created by aging and an overabundance of concentration. When Zev walked into the room she didn’t look up. She didn’t even really hear him. Zev placed the deodorant container and the empty package of razors on the counter. He stood there looking down on Amy. Amy looked up at Zev and could immediately tell that something was wrong. His look was indignant and afraid. In a tone that exposed underlying anxiety, Zev asked her why these things were in the trash. Amy played dumb and acted like she knew nothing about it. When Zev told Amy that he had never used these low-life men’s product and didn’t understand how they got in the bathroom trash, she said that there was no way she could know.

Amy had to think fast. Her anxiety and heart rate increased. She was close to the point of being caught and if she was caught her entire life would come crumbling down. Zev would leave her and seek revenge. He would reveal her sexual secrets and be socially humiliated by the man who was once her husband. Her career would be irrevocably damaged, if not destroyed. This is what she feared at least. It was only when Amy was up against deadlines that she would really get the job done. She was not a self-motivator. Her genius needed to be shifted into high gear by circumstances or someone else. Amy worked best when under pressure. She had a mind that worked faster than Zev’s mind. She knew she could out smart him when she needed.

Amy told Zev that some of the writers who came to the house for meetings would use the bathroom before they left. This was not uncommon. Maybe one of them had used the razors and deodorant and then placed it in the trash? This was a reasonable explanation in Zev’s mind. It was a scenario that could believably occur. Zev asked why she didn’t notice that when one of the writers came out of the bathroom with a cleanly shaved face, that he obviously must have just shaved in the bathroom. How could she not know that someone was shaving in their bathroom? Amy told Zev that she didn’t notice that sort of thing. She told Zev that she wasn’t interested in what the writers she worked with looked like. She was too busy for that sort of thing. Work was work. Zev had a hard time believing it. Zev told her that it all seemed a little strange and Amy asked him in a rude tone if he thought she was fucking someone. Zev told her that sometimes it seemed like that but that he didn’t know. Amy felt enraged that Zev would question her integrity even though her integrity was not one of her stronger points. She yelled at Zev for even suggesting that she would be fucking one of the writers she worked with. That would never happen, she told him. How dare he. Amy had enough vitriol in her face to convince a charging army to turn the other way.

Amy was convincing enough in her defense. Zev picked up the package and empty deodorant container and stuck it in the trash. He told her to please not let the people she worked with in their home shave in their bathroom. He found that revolting and disgusting. Zev was not a fan of anyone else’s presence in his house. He was repulsed by the mere suggestion that one of those pathetic and trendy contemporary writers was sitting on his toilet. Amy agreed to be more stringent about her guidelines for using the bathroom and Zev was satisfied with that. Zev told Amy that he was sorry for the misunderstanding and Amy told him that it was ok. Zev left the room with an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was the kind of gnawing feeling a person gets when they can’t seem to find resolution within themselves, no matter how much they want it.

Amy sat at the kitchen table looking dumbly into her computer. She texted Arthur that she couldn’t meet with him that night. Something came up and she needed to lay low for a bit. Arthur responded concerned and upset. Amy told Arthur to never leave any of his shit in her garbage ever again. When Arthur asked her what she meant she told him about what Zev had found. It was then that Arthur remembered putting those things in the trash. He felt a wave of fear come over him. Had he blown it? He asked Amy if everything was alright and Amy told him that he was getting too comfortable at her house and he needed to stay on his game. Arthur told her that he would and that he felt like an idiot. Amy said that it was ok. It wasn’t his fault. She would see him in two days. They already had their next date made. She told Arthur that she had just averted catastrophe. She didn’t bother telling him that she had just deceived and pathologically lied to her husband. Arthur would not have minded that.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen

 

 

The essay about Zev Bauhaus came out in the most recent issue of BOMB Magazine. The essay was written by the well-established contemporary art critic and essayist Hanna Hartman. She had written several long essays on feminism, Jungian analysis and contemporary thought in art and popular culture which had attracted much critical attention. In the essay on Zev Bauhaus Hanna focused on the ideas behind Zev’s paintings. Hanna lived in Buenos Aires and interviewed Zev several times over the phone. Zev was stoned when he talked to her and he talked about his art in a way that he would not have if he was not stoned. When not stoned he had little to say about his art because he wasn’t sure what it all meant. He was just making pretty paintings for rich people to buy, is what he thought.

Zev told Hanna that the ideas for his paintings came from a place that light does not reach. When she asked him about this he told her that it was from the realm of the unconscious that his ideas came. In her essay, Hanna tied together Jungian ideas about the unconscious with the ideas behind Zev’s images. She wrote about how a major transformation is continually happening in the abstract paintings of Zev Bauhaus. It was a continual and perpetual transformation occurring before the viewer’s eyes. The abstracted images offered transformative ideas about oneself in relation to the blank space of our inner universe. A new way of envisioning our personal experience as human beings was expressed through the paintings. Once Zev’s ideas reach the surface, they set off a series of reactions that eventually take form where we can experience it with our own minds. Hanna eloquently and in a postmodern vernacular wrote about how she was no artist but as a non-artist she could still grasp the ideas behind the process. The best ideas that appear are the ones that come out from the dark and this why Zev Bauhaus’s paintings were of important inherent value as a modern object. We need these ideas to keep us human in inhuman capitalistic times, Hanna concluded.

Zev liked the essay. Amy had read it first. She always read essays and articles about Zev’s work first to make sure that there was nothing in it that would upset Zev. When Zev first came to be known as a painter he read many negative reviews and essays about his work. They upset him because Zev was sensitive towards what others thought of his work. He would become depressed and angry for extended periods of time, so Amy had gotten into the habit of checking the articles and essays first. Zev didn’t even bother with watching the numerous YouTube videos about his work. Amy thought the essay was flattering and she respected Hanna Hartman as a writer and contemporary thinker. She would write Hanna an email complementing her on her essay about Zev. Hanna and Amy would begin a correspondence with Amy eventually editing some of her essays. When Zev had finished reading the essay, he felt relieved. He always anticipated that people were going to write negative things about his work. Hanna didn’t do this.

A day or so after the BOMB essay came out, Zev started receiving a tidal wave of emails and phone calls. People wrote to tell him how much they appreciated his work. Others wanted to interview him. Galleries wanted him to have a one man show. A few modern art museums contacted him, interested in buying and archiving his work. Zev didn’t have a manager or agent to do his busy work. Marissa helped him with some of it but he was the one who had to return phone calls and send emails. He hated this part of his job and neglected a large chunk of it. Zev was an opportunist so he took advantage of the increase in opportunities coming his way. He agreed to sell one of his paintings to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was going to have a one man show at a very prestigious modern art gallery in Buenos Aires. He was also going to have another one at a New York City modern art gallery. The essay had certainly put a kick in Zev’s career. He was unwillingly moving to the next level. But Zev went along with the momentum. He was getting older now and felt he should do what he needed to do to keep the money coming in.

When I make my paintings, I must have faith in time. I must believe that time is on my side, Zev told one interviewer as he toured him around his studio space. These images take time to appear. I have to give them this space to grow in. I always want to paint what I want to paint, the way I want to paint it. I think about the next steps later on. As Zev told the interviewer this, he didn’t believe himself. He felt like an imposter. He wondered if he was really painting what he wanted to paint or if that was just a lie he was telling himself and others. Was he painting what he wanted to paint or just doing what was safe?

Zev started working a lot more at his studio. He would be there from early in the morning till late at night, six days a week. Sometimes he would sleep in the bedroom at the studio. Zev wasn’t particularly happy about this increase in work but he was getting into it. When he was home he would always be angry at Amy. He felt like she was neglecting things. Dinners didn’t taste as good and the house wasn’t as clean as it was in the past. Since Amy was the one home most of the time it was Zev’s expectation that she keep their home looking nice. He wanted to come home and find everything in its right place. He wanted scented candles to be lit and nice music playing. Fresh flowers would help. But none of this was happening anymore. Amy straightened up around the house as much as she could but she didn’t care as much anymore. Her mind was on Arthur and work. Most of her energy was going into these places and this caused her to be more neglectful in her life with Zev. Zev’s anger pushed her further away.

Amy was happy that Zev was working more. She felt better when he was not around. She could be herself more and do the things she needed to do. When Zev was around he took up so much space. He was such a drag most of the time, especially recently. Amy was sick of Zev’s behavior and resented him. She resented him for not coming on to her more. She resented him for not taking control of her and giving her the pleasure she deserved. She resented him for not making her feel beautiful. She resented him for his desire to possess her like a wet sponge or something. She resented him for always being angry and unhappy despite all the wealth around him. She could hardly stand to be around the guy anymore and was happy that he was gone more now.

Amy decided to take more risks in Zev’s absence. She would have Arthur over for lunch or early dinners. When Zev told Amy that he was staying the night at the studio she would have Arthur come over and spend the night. This started to happen more and more. Arthur and Amy talked about their plans to be together. They talked about living in an apartment closer to the beach or maybe someday Arthur would live in the Silverlake house. Amy didn’t mean these things when she said them. She knew Arthur would never live in the Silverlake house. She couldn’t imagine that but she got caught up in the fantasy of her love affair and let all hesitation go. She was living in the dream that lovers live in.

Arthur knew that he would have to wait patiently. He told himself that he would just keep waiting things out. Eventually Amy would be with him. But she couldn’t be with him now. She was married to Zev Bauhaus and Arthur didn’t make the kind of money he would need to contribute to the lifestyle she was accustomed to. She couldn’t completely leave Zev for Arthur. Not now at least. But she told Arthur that one day they would be together. She talked to Arthur about her problems with Zev and used him as a sounding board. She would tell Arthur about how critical Zev was of her and how he didn’t want to have sex with her much of the time. She would tell him about how miserable it can be to be around Zev and Arthur did his best to listen and support her. But he was also trying get as much information from Amy about Zev because someday he thought he might write about him. She never told Arthur about the sex shows she had used him as a prop in. She felt this would give her away as the deceitful woman she was.

Arthur took shits in the same toilet that Zev shit in. He was sleeping in the bed right were Zev slept. He shaved in the sink that Zev shaved in. He showered in the shower that Zev showered in. He ate at the table that Zev ate at. He washed dishes in the sink that Zev washed dishes in. He sat on the couch were Zev sat. He was even allowed to wonder around in Zev’s studio and he sat in the lounge chair that Zev would sit in. Zev was being gradually replaced by the opposite version of himself. And he could feel this gradual erasure of himself whenever he was home. Amy almost seemed to not see him sometimes and he couldn’t resist the feeling that something was up. It was this feeling that caused him to think about checking the trash as he was shaving one morning. Evidence always appeared in the trash. That’s where people would forget. Zev finished shaving, dried his face and bent over to go through the small trash can that sat by the toilet. Zev found a wrapper for men’s Gillette razors. Zev never used Gillette razors before and he knew this MAGAPACK wasn’t for Amy because just under the razors was a discarded Old Spice deodorant container. Old Spice? He and Amy never used that crap. Who would think a discarded package of razors and a deodorant container could forever change a man’s life.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

 

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.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen

 

Marissa decided to break up with Evan. He just didn’t seem like the right fit for her even though she liked having sex with him. He was young and unimpressive, good enough to pass the time but up until a point. He didn’t like Kim Gordon or Olivia Nuetron-John (her two favorites). This didn’t feel right to her. She wanted to move on to newer things but what she wasn’t sure about. Maybe she would just focus on her art and try and get her art career moving in a more serious direction. She had been neglecting all aspects of her art making practice as of late, especially the more business aspects which every artist hates. Or maybe she would just focus on being Zev Bauhaus’s head studio assistant and spend the rest of her time reading and dating. She always wanted to be more sexually liberated but never seemed to take the time to pursue it. Marissa knew she was in her prime, but also felt ashamed about possibly being perceived as a slut. After seeing Amy with another man, she had been thinking about taking more risks herself. She would never be this young or this free again.

Evan didn’t take the break-up well. He was in love with Marissa even though he tried hard not to be. He loved having sex with her and thought she was a cool girl to hang out with. Like most women should do, Marissa made Evan look better. She made him feel better about the limbo like direction his life had turned towards. He was stranded in a sea of indecision and not knowing what he was going to do with his life. He was terrified of having to lose himself and conform to the defeat most adults seemed to accept. He worked minimum wage jobs and spent the rest of his time drinking, listening to contemporary progressive music, socializing, sleeping and worrying about what he was going to do with his life. He argued a lot with his parents because he had arrived at a still-point most men who resist conformity arrive at in their late twenties. Being upset about Marissa leaving him gave him some other miserable thing to obsess about.

Evan did all he could to get Marissa back. He just went about it in a pathetic way. He texted Marissa continually that he loved her. That he was thinking about her. That he wanted to be with her. That he knew she was in love with someone else. He was relentless with regards to trying to find out if there was someone else. Marissa kept telling him no but he didn’t believe her. Why would she leave him for no one? He would come by Marissa’s apartment unannounced, in a sorry state. Sometimes Marissa would make the mistake of letting him in. She felt bad that she was causing him all this grief. Evan’s perilous behavior made Marissa even more aware of not wanting to be with him but she cared about him and wanted to do what she could to help. When she would let Evan in they would sit on her couch and talk for hours. Evan would continue to talk about how hurt he was and what a terrible mistake she was making. Sometimes they would fight and sometimes they would fuck.

Even though Marissa wanted out of a relationship with Evan she kept fucking him. She knew it was wrong but it was also an easy and convenient way for her to have sex. If someone attractive wanted to have sex with her and this someone was right there in her room she would not hesitate to do it. She liked sex and would not say no if it looked good enough. She felt bad about using Evan in this way but she also felt like it wasn’t her responsibility. He was making the choice knowing full well she didn’t want to be his girlfriend. Marissa was telling Zev this as she helped him work on a new series of large abstract paintings. Zev was gessoing the large canvas’s because he wanted the foundational texture to be a certain way. This didn’t require much focused thought from him so he had more mental space available to talk with Marissa. He told her that she should stop having sex with the poor guy. She was stringing him along. But Marissa disagreed. She thought that Evan was an adult and knew full well what he was getting into. It wasn’t her responsibility anymore. Zev didn’t disagree. He felt like Evan was acting desperate and pushing Marissa further away. He told Marissa that she was still very young and shouldn’t get locked into anything serious anyways. Especially not with someone who was crazy about her. She should just have fun and enjoy her youth. She had a lifetime to still be brutalized by the nightmares of love and serious relationships. The more he seeks the more she will hide, he told Marissa. Marissa didn’t disagree.

They talked about the San Francisco opening and other studio related things. Zev asked Amy how her painting career was going and she told him that it wasn’t right now. Zev told her not to worry about it. He was in the same situation at her age. Just keep painting and gradually things will happen. But never when you think they should. When things do finally happen, you won’t want it anymore is what Zev told Marissa. Marissa thought this was a bleak futuristic view but it was probably true. Zev was a famous painter and he was miserable. When he finally got what he wanted he didn’t want it anymore. Would the same thing happen to her? What was the point of anything then? This is what Marissa thought about as she talked and worked with Zev Bauhaus.

Marissa thought about how much she liked Zev. He was such a cool guy. Yes, he was a lot older than her but people often told her that she had an old soul. She could be with an older man. She like how honest and free spoken Zev was with her. He would talk about anything (accept the things that could get him in trouble with Amy). Marissa wanted to be able to be like that someday. Free-flowing in her talk about herself. But for now she was too afraid. She was too afraid of what people might think of her if she was honest about everything she thought and felt. This idea terrified her and it’s what kept her from putting her art more into the world. She didn’t even think her paintings were that good because everything she painted was limited by her fear of self-expression. But she knew Zev did the same thing. He was unhappy because he was not able to freely express himself in his paintings. He had to do what sold and stick to a particular style that he could easily reproduce. Maybe this was just a part of being a successful contemporary artist. The ability to hold back and make less self-revealing art.

Marissa wondered if she should tell Zev about seeing Amy with another man. Did they have a polyamorous relationship? Did he know that Amy was seeing other men? If she told him would he not care or could it destroy his life? Always trying to do the right thing, Marissa thought about the actions she took. Nothing went unplanned, if possible. If she told Zev, maybe she would have more of an opportunity to be with him. Maybe once Zev grew further away from Amy he would move closer to her. She knew she liked him a lot and she knew that he knew she really liked him. Sometimes she could feel the sexual tension and so could Zev. She was an attractive young girl after all and Zev was a decent looking famous painter. It was surprising they hadn’t fucked yet. But Zev’s loyalty to Amy got in the way. Maybe if she told Zev about what she saw, his loyalty would fall apart. Marissa respected Amy for her sexual prowess but at the same time she saw an opportunity to sell her out. But she also knew she would be a terrible person for doing so. Marissa was torn. She nervously shook her legs and picked at her hair. She felt uncomfortably restless as Zev asked her to hand him another wide paintbrush. She decided to wait until she was certain and looked down at the street and saw a black man in overalls wearing a straw hat.

Zev had already begun to have his suspicions about Amy. At first it started out as brief thoughts about her sleeping with someone else, which he would dismiss quickly. He was curious about Arthur who he knew was sometimes at their house. But he was convinced Amy would never be too interested in him. He was too young and looked like a literary nerd. But Zev knew that something was off. She was more distant from him. She was on her phone a lot more and coming home at odd times. She started getting her vagina waxed. Was something going on? Once Zev’s suspicion kicked into gear he had a hard time thinking of anything else. But at the same time, he couldn’t believe that Amy would be cheating on him so he would try to let his suspicions go. Sometimes he would check Amy’s phone when she left it on the bed and took a shower. Or when she left it on the kitchen counter and wondered into the backyard. Amy wasn’t stupid. She left no trail of the adulterous other life she was living.

The deeper Amy got into editing Arthur’s book of essays, the further into his intellectual world she fell. They started participating in a few of the countercultural art pop groups Arthur had wrote about. They would read the same books that Arthur had wrote about. Arthur would reread the books just to be able to deepen his connection with Amy. To do something with her. They went to certain modern art museums and galleries that Arthur had written about. Arthur wanted her to experience the things that he was writing about and Amy felt completely absorbed. She was bored of Zev’s world and she always needed a man’s world to deepen her sense of self. She didn’t know who she was alone. Arthur’s world was a fresh perspective. His interests felt closer to her own. Amy loved nerdy contemporary literature, anime and graphic novels. She loved silly and intellectual stuff. The kind of stuff Zev thought was too light-hearted and lame. She liked contemporary museums but Zev refused to go. Arthur was illuminating her once again after her light had long gone dead. The world Arthur turned her onto was the world that lay dormant and unexpressed with her. She had stuffed a lot of it down to be with Zev.

Certain things are impossible to hide from a person. In time these things always bleed out because human beings communicate at a level beyond cognition. This is what Zev thought. If something was going on he would find out in time. He didn’t want to think about it now. If he approached Amy about it, where would that go? No, he would just wait. If he continued to feel the way he did then he would become more active in trying to find out. But he saw nothing on her phone to feed his suspicions and assumed it was probably all him. He was so unhappy after all. Bothered by Amy’s very presence most of the time.

The marijuana that Zev was smoking was helping his depression. He smoked it most of the time now and was also smoking a lot of cigarettes. Smoke had become a continually presence in his life but he didn’t seem to mind. He liked having smoke around in the same way people might want to have a cat or a kid around. Even though he would wake in the mornings with a slight weeze, it was only a mild inconvenience. Zev wondered if the marijuana was responsible for his suspicions about Amy. He knew that marijuana caused him to become more irrational. It caused him to zone out and think about paranoid things. If he wasn’t careful, being stoned could cause Zev to be locked inside a looping and schizophrenic cerebral state that went on for hours.

Being stoned seemed to take the angry, anxious and depressed edge off of Zev. It allowed him to feel more grounded and focused when he worked. He felt himself curious about things when he was stoned. He would read and draw more. He listened to a lot of underground music. He enjoyed simple tasks, which normally felt like drudgery. Marijuana helped him to not dread going to work and to not be in despair as he made his way through the work day. Zev was more productive when stoned and less critical towards Amy. She felt like he was a happier presence even though she knew he was stoned. Amy had less of an attraction for stoners even though she realized she advocated for Zev to start being high all the time. She would even tell him what Willie Nelson said about how if you are not going to be high all the time don’t get high at all. But now that Zev had become an around-the-clock-stoner, she had even less respect for him. He was happier in his work, he was more creative, he was more interested in things and he even read more but still Amy felt like Zev’s intellectual acuity had declined. He had become stupider and stranger as a stoner. He was clumsier and didn’t make as much sense when he talked. It was intellect that she admired most in a man. Arthur smoked weed but he was clever. And he had a nice body. And he didn’t need weed to not be in a miserable mood. Zev didn’t realize that the distance and emotional detachment he felt from Amy was because he was the less desired man.

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

 

Zev Bauhaus was continually trapped inside his head. He was always planning and scheming ways out of his current situation. He would obsess over people he felt were wronging him and he would think about all the things he had done wrong. It was a continual tornado of a negative analysis of himself and the world. Even though Zev’s San Francisco show was a success he still felt miserable. Big deal that he had sold paintings to rich people. Big deal that a musician who made terrible music owned his work. Big deal that technology icons who were destroying human freedom as we knew it had his paintings hanging on their wall. He was making work for a class of people he could not stand. The fact that these people loved his work meant nothing to him. He wanted to make work for the deviant and disenfranchised. He wanted his audience to be made up of countercultural visionaries and solitary outcasts. He had no interest in the people he was currently making art for.

Zev thought about ways he could escape into a new kind of life. He and Amy could move to Oxnard or Iceland. They could start living a different kind of life together. Their current Silverlake home put a lot of pressures on them. The house was a lot of work to maintain and their current lifestyle seemed out of balance with Zev’s deeper values. The nice clothes, cars, furniture, food and beauty products were enjoyable but Zev felt like he didn’t need them anymore. The life he was living felt hypocritical and out of balance. Even staying in this high-end hotel in San Francisco didn’t feel right to Zev. But Amy seemed happy in this life. She was living the bourgeoisie hipster life that she wanted. She liked the nice clothes and the expensive beauty products. She liked being able to liberally spend two or three hundred dollars every time she went to the market. She liked having a clean, well-organized and high design home to live in. Zev didn’t see how he could convince Amy to live a more off–the-grid minimal life.

Zev thought about other ways he could make a living. Maybe he would stop being an artist and write a novel. With a name like his he was sure he could get something published. Or maybe he could focus on his cartoons and gradually make a minimal living that way. He had enough money in the bank to buy himself time. He could have the time to figure things out if he decided to quit painting. Zev wanted to live a life that felt more congruent with his values. Values like anarchy, truth, trust, deviance and authenticity got repressed in Zev’s current role. As a famous contemporary painter, he had to be disingenuous a lot of the time. He didn’t trust anyone in the art world and he harshly judged most of the people who bought his work. It would be fair to say that he hated them. Zev was following certain rules that prevented him from being free and authentic and as a result Zev felt miserable. He felt shoved into some sort of tight box from which there was no escape. All he could do was fill the box with nice things and work.

Amy didn’t want to hear about Zev’s misery anymore. Whenever he would talk with her about how much he felt his life sucked and how much he hated his job Amy resented him. She wanted him to shut up. She thought he was such a drag. Zev had a nice life all around him. He was lucky to have a beautiful and kinky wife and live in such a nice place (the he didn’t even have to buy). His refrigerator was filled with good food and he had a highly modern studio in which to paint. He even had a sauna in his studio that he never used. Amy thought Zev was just an unhappy man. He would be unhappy in any situation he was in. Even if they moved to Oxnard or Iceland, Zev would still be the miserable person he is now. Amy thought Zev had become pathetic. A sorry excuse for a human being. He couldn’t enjoy what he had and Amy had less and less tolerance to hear about it.

Amy was happy that Zev had cheated on her that night. It concerned her that Zev’s act of infidelity made her feel relieved. It probably wasn’t a good thing that she was feeling this way. She knew that if Arthur did the same thing she would be upset even though their relationship was an open one. But with Zev she almost encouraged it. Why? Maybe it helped her to feel better about the things she was doing. Maybe it was the hope that Zev would gradually sabotage their marriage and then she wouldn’t have to be the one to end things. The fact that Zev cheated and probably cheated many times before made her feel like she could distance herself from Zev and move closer towards Arthur. It made her feel less bad about falling in love with another man.

The next morning Amy texted Arthur that she had had sex with a guy in a porno booth the night before and was thinking of him while the guy screwed her. She sent him a selfie that she took of her in the porno booth with her legs spread exposing her full vagina. She had both hands pushing up against her tits. Arthur responded immediately telling Amy that that she was such a sexy and slutty bitch. All night long he had been tormented with the thought of Amy and to hear that while he was suffering she was having sex in a porno booth with some guy really turned him on. Why did this turn him on? He should be furious but instead was overwhelmed with lust. It must be the jealousy, which Arthur knew was the strongest aphrodisiac in the world. Arthur text Amy back that he couldn’t wait to fuck her and cum all over her bitch face. He sent her a dick pic. Amy loved it and replied that soon he would have the opportunity. She told Arthur that she missed him and couldn’t wait to be with him again.

On their final day in San Francisco Zev and Amy went by the gallery and finalized all the business dealings. The gallery gave Zev a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It felt like a strong chunk of change in his hands. They then went out to lunch and spent the afternoon roaming around the Mission district and Nob Hill. They went back to their hotel room and took a nap. Zev couldn’t sleep so he smoked a cigarette on the balcony and watched daytime television in bed while Amy slept. When Amy woke up she took a shower and got dressed for dinner and the sex club. Zev watched Amy walk around naked and thought about what a beautiful body she had. Why didn’t he desire her more? Why did he need to go with her to sex clubs in order to get off? Why couldn’t he just be satisfied with having regular sex with her and then fall asleep in bed together just like everyone else does? Zev showered and got dressed. He wore black jeans, black boots, a black sweatshirt and a black jean jacket with a Sisters Of Mercy and Germs pin on it. Zev smoked a lot of weed before they left the hotel room.

When Zev was stoned Amy enjoyed his company. He was actually a stupid and spacey pleasure to be around. He no longer talked about the misery of his life but instead talked about philosophical theories, ideas, sexual degeneracy and all sorts of other strange and eccentric stuff. He was kind of like the man she had first met him as. He laughed a lot and was a lot less mean to Amy. He didn’t criticize her and he even desired her more. Amy did all she could to convince Zev that it was good that he was stoned most of the time. She felt that some people just needed to be stoned every minute of every day to be less angry, critical and depressed. She thought Zev was one of them.

After an expensive and drunken dinner at one of the best Italian food restaurants in San Francisco, Zev and Amy went to a few bars. They drank vodka martinis and smoked cigarettes. Several times people came up to Zev and told him how much they appreciated his art. They looked like yuppies. Higher class people. The freaks never approached him. But when Zev was out having a good time he seemed to appreciate the appreciation others showed him. Once it was late enough Amy and Zev took a taxi to the sex club they had heard so much about.

The Power Exchange was located in a seedier section of the Tenderloin. The streets were dark and it looked as if zombies wondered aimlessly around. People slept in doorways and all kinds of junk littered the streets. The Power Exchange was a famous sex club. It was a pervert’s paradise. The club had originally opened as a BDSM club but gradually morphed into a degenerate hangout for sexual deviants, transsexuals, swingers and habitual masturbators of all kinds. You paid a fee in the front and then walked into a dark facility that had many different levels and themed rooms. There was a large stage with different colored lights flashing, a disco ball and several stripper poles. Bad deep house music played through the speakers. Transvestites hung around on the stage and seduced the men who masturbated down below. As soon as Zev and Amy walked into the club, Amy was drawn towards the stage. She loved the bizarre and exhibionistic nature of it all. She told Zev to hang onto her purse and she went on stage and danced around. Zev wondered around the club checking out the different rooms. There were dungeon rooms with naked people strapped into strange contraptions. In some rooms men were having sex with transvestites as a small audience of men hovered around the room and watched. In a few other rooms swingers were exchanging partners and having sex with one another. Wondering around the club, Zev felt as if he had walked into a kind of dream dimension. This place didn’t feel real. It was like a degenerate sexual fantasy come to life. A zone separate from reality where people acted out everything they would normally repress.

When Zev wondered back into the main room with the stage, Amy was completely nude. A large group of men had gathered around the stage and were watching her. Some masturbated. She made out with various transvestites and let them dance with her. Zev felt turned on but afraid at the same time. Things seemed like they could get out of hand. Amy was drawing a lot of attention to her and this made Zev feel uncomfortable. He sat down in a seat in the darkness and watched Amy as she danced around. Amy had no limitations. She would do whatever she wanted. When in these sorts of situations, she seized the opportunity to take advantage of it and become the exhibitionist she enjoyed being. There was one very attractive transvestite in particular who Amy seemed to be getting along with. They seemed very turned on by one another. Amy took off her clothes and played with her dick. They kissed and let each other rub against one another. This turned Zev on even though he didn’t want it to.

Amy came down from the stage with the transvestite. She was naked and holding the woman’s hand. Amy came up to Zev and introduced him to Mellay. Mellay was completely nude as well. She had large breasts and a big dick. Her hair was long and pink and she wore a lot of make-up. She stuck out her masculine hand and Zev shook it. Mellay told Zev that he was a lucky man. That Amy was very beautiful. Amy asked Zev if he wanted to come play with them in one of the rooms. Zev felt pissed off because he had just wanted to hang out in this environment with Amy for a little while. Zev preferred being a spectator at these events. He didn’t want to bring so much attention to himself. But Amy had quickly jumped into the action and now every pervert’s eye was on her. Zev told her to go have fun and maybe he would join them later. Amy smiled and then walked off with Mellay pulling her towards one of the rooms.

Zev went out front and smoked a cigarette. He observed the desolate and depraved streets. What poverty existed in the world. There were no other attractive women for him to mess around with. He thought about doing something sexual with a transvestite but just couldn’t stomach it. He was mad that once again Amy was having all the fun. When he walked back inside he went in search of the room Amy was in. He walked down several dark flights of stairs and then he heard her loud laugh in the distance. He could hear Amy screaming out in pleasure. She loved to put on a good show. He saw one of the rooms with massive amounts of men crowding around. Most of the men were masturbating and Zev found that repulsive. He was able to get close enough to where he could look into the room and he saw Amy lying flat out in what looked like a dentist’s chair. Mellay was vigorously pumping herself into Amy as Amy had another transvestites dick in her mouth. A few of the spectators touched Amy’s tits but Mellay would tell them to keep their hands off. Zev didn’t know Amy was interested in transvestites. He knew she was bisexual but didn’t imagine she could enjoy something like this. She had never discussed it. He felt betrayed and a bit humiliated. What was she doing? But at the same time knowing that Amy was his gave him a sense of ease. He tried to relax himself and get into watching the show. Several men asked him if he was with that girl and he felt slightly ashamed when he told them he was. But he also felt pride. Amy was the star of the deviant show and she was his. He admired her for her sexual courage.

They left the club an hour or so after getting there. On their way out Amy kept asking Zev if he wanted her to suck his dick before they left. Zev wanted it but he told her not to worry about it. He wasn’t a performer like Amy was and felt awkward doing sexual things while people watched him. He preferred being the one watching. But he was also upset that he didn’t get to have any sexual fun. In the taxi back to the hotel Zev was quiet. He felt uncomfortable around Amy. Like there were aspects of her he didn’t know. For the first time in his marriage to Amy he wondered if Amy could be an entirely different person than the one he thought he knew so well. Maybe that explained all the emotional distance. But Zev didn’t express these feelings to Amy. He knew it would only cause a fight. That night Zev and Amy fell asleep on opposite sides of the bed. Amy felt like Zev always got angry at her after they did sexual things together with other people. A kind of jealousy that she found immature and lame. She knew that by the next night the jealousy would turn to lust and Zev would want to have sex with her. She just had to deal with his bad mood until then.