The Marijuana Eulogies

I would like to talk with you about my marijuana addiction. Actually, I am in the process of shedding this addiction like a tree shedding its leaves. Sorry for the terrible cliche but it is mid-afternoon and I am tired.

I would like to think that I am no longer addicted to marijuana but I still think about getting high each and every day. Last night while watching an episode of the marvelous show The New Pope, I was craving getting stoned out of my mind while watching a scene filled with nudity, sex and drugs. How I will miss those degenerate evenings of getting as high as I could while engaging in all sorts of lascivious sexual acts. But, oh well. All good things must end. My life was falling apart. Literally.

Today is day what without weed? Let me consult my calendar. Day 19. That is pretty good but I assume it is just the beginning.

I am telling you about my addiction, or my attempt to no longer be addicted to marijuana, because no one else cares. No one checks in on me to see how I am doing with it. This may be because I have only told a few people that I am stopping the grass. But even they fail to check in and see how I am doing. Such is the nature of human beings- we really only care about ourselves while pretending to care about others when there is something in it for us. If there is nothing in it for us- out of sight, out of mind.

So I am writing this to you instead. You being a nebulous reader. I need to talk about this with someone and Zoom Marijuana Anonymous meetings just doesn’t appeal to me. But it may soon if this drudgery gets any worse.

It has been hard. Very hard. I don’t recommend it to anyone, quitting marijuana that is, unless you have a good therapist or meditation practice or will of steal to guider you through. For awhile there I was high all day, every day. I was even waking up in the middle of the night and getting high so I could try to interrupt the ascension of my insomnia.

At one time I loved getting high. There were few more pleasurable moments than acquiring a new batch of marijuana. Oh the smell of that fresh green! I would lite up and everything would be swell again. I was in love with the high in the same way an arrogant bastard is in love with the illusion of himself/herself. But I had to quit. Every building at some point must lose its scaffolding if it is not to be torn down by the city it stands in. It just looks too ugly to keep up. Marijuana had become my scaffolding and it was not a good look. I laughed too much and talked too enthusiastically. I forgot everything. I wrote and read terribly. I tolerated too much bullshit. I could experience no pleasure without being high. Even a walk to my car was too banal to suffer without my beloved pipe in my pocket.

So here I am, sober and free of the marijuana servitude. But it is not fun. Not fun at all. Life is much less supreme. I want to sit on my bed with my hand on my crotch and watch episodic shows while itching my anus. I have no desire to fuck or even yack on my dandy. I don’t want to talk to anyone. Walking and reading (activities I once loved) are drudgery and I am not sleeping any better. My mood is more slacking and my motivation even less robust. I am as interested in doing things as our current president is in peace. Nothing is happening for me. When I was high all the time I had many more things going on. More of a will to live.

So why do this to myself? Especially when the end of the world is near.

I don’t know. Marijuana stopped being fun. The paranoia was taking its toll. One evening I jumped headfirst off the boat (and into the water) I was living on and almost gave myself a heart attack because I was convinced FBI agents were coming after me for posting negative rants about Trump on Instagram and Facebook. I was neglecting my responsibilities (which I still am) and I was doing my work high. That is not good considering the kind of business I am in. This was causing me to hate myself.

(Hating oneself is a real thing. I didn’t believe it at the time. But now that I do not hate myself as much I can see how real it was.)

Basically I was dependent on marijuana to be in a better mood. The lovely plant had become my dependable scaffolding but it is scaffolding I don’t want anymore. So I quit the weed in the hopes that I would eventually reclaim some semblance of my pre-weed, more prolific self.

And what would reclaiming some semblance of myself mean? Maybe it will mean that I will do more of the things I want to do. Maybe it will mean that I will get more fit. Maybe it will mean that I will live less out-of-alignment with my values (whatever they may be). Maybe it will mean that I will have healthier relationships. Maybe it will mean that my comprehension skills will improve. Maybe it will mean that my depression will subside. Maybe it will mean that I will get myself out of the mess that I was and still am in. Maybe it will mean that I will at the very least get a good night’s sleep, a few nights in a row.

So far it doesn’t mean shit because I don’t feel any better. But the bullshit posts online that I read suggest that I should keep going. That after six months or a year I will be so elated that I quit. I will live in a way that I could never imagine now. So I am believing people that I do not know and would not want to know in this attempt to get some semblance of control over my life back. Some feeling of control over myself even though I am well aware that all is chaos.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel. Chapter Thirty.

Chapter Thirty

 

Arthur was spending a lot of his time at Amy’s house. It was much better than spending the night at his shitty apartment in Koreatown. Arthur had expected to make more money with the release of his new book but not that much money entered his pockets. The book of essays sold well. Young thinking people were hungry for an intelligent and absurd literary approach to life. Thinking people in America were starving for substantial intellectual sustenance. Netflix and reading things on-line didn’t seem to be filling the void. A book of literary essays written by a young and good looking man, deconstructing what most people took as normal and commonplace, was ravenously desired by young (and older) intellectuals. They were slowly and gradually rotting from inside out because of the intellectual banality of this American life.

As often happens in America, the labors of the individual worker feed those in charge. Even though The Fantastic Life Of A Disappearing Man was selling well, it was the publishing company that was benefiting. They farted out a few bucks to Arthur and promised him that at some point in the future a lot more was to come. Just be happy people are reading your book and be patient, the publishing company’s lawyer wrote to him in an email. Arthur was planning on not having to teach or find another form of work. He was hopeful that he would make enough money with his new book to be able to possibly buy a small house. Maybe he would have much more money in his bank account and be able to live as a writer. Maybe he would be able to do what most others had told him was impossible- write the books he wanted to write for a living.

Arthur liked spending more time at Amy’s place. He was satisfied not having to feel like Zev was going to come home. He could relax. It was a nice house. The kind of house he would like to own someday. He thought it was possible since Zev Bauhaus had achieved it as a painter. Why couldn’t a writer like himself also achieve it? Amy hadn’t told Arthur that the house belonged to her. That it was given to her by her parents. Zev Bauhaus played no part in the ownership of it. She didn’t tell anyone this because she didn’t want to make Zev look bad. Arthur, like everyone else, was under the impression that Zev was the owner of a very nice house. He must be successful. Arthur just assumed, like everyone else. He knew that Zev moved onto a yacht in some town he had never heard of, but he assumed that Zev still owned the house and that Amy would probably get it with the divorce settlement. Arthur didn’t realize that Zev was living on an old yacht because eventually Amy was going to ask him to leave. It was inevitable. The house wasn’t his. He didn’t have a choice. The old yacht was his home. The Silverlake home was now just a storage space for memories and objects that Zev once owned. All the furniture, books, thousands of records, paintings, stereo equipment, bikes, magazines, cassette tapes, framed photographs with other famous artists, sculptures and on and on- Zev planned to leave it all behind. It was time to move on. A man was only as rich as how little he owned.

In the beginning, after Zev’s quick exodus, Arthur stayed at Amy’s house three or four nights a week. They had fun together. They watched stupid movies in bed. They played video games for hours. They took showers and baths together. Amy would drink and Arthur would smoke pot. Sometimes they would have sex but sometimes they would just have fun together. They would make dinner and dance after. Arthur would have Amy dress up in sexy outfits and dance around in them for him as he played with his cock. He would tell Amy all about his life. Problems with friends, annoyances with work, issues with parents and economic struggles. He had a tendency to talk and talk and sometimes Amy wondered if Arthur was autistic. Amy began to find Arthur’s company somewhat draining but once he fucked her she quickly forgot about her grievances. She loved the way Arthur fucked her. He worked hard for her and fucked her as hard as she wanted so that she could orgasm. Sometimes she would force Arthur to make her orgasm two or three times. Arthur would be sweating. He would work harder than he did at the gym but he wanted to do whatever he could to keep Amy pleased. The moment she lost interest in fucking him, he knew would be the moment he was rendered obsolete. Amy was just that kind of girl. She used people for what she needed and Arthur was aware of something that kept him concerned. He didn’t talk to Amy about it but he knew that the prestige, fame and cultural legitimacy Amy received by being in relationship with Zev Bauhaus was nothing he could compete with. He was a lot younger and wasn’t making much money. He had to fuck Amy as hard and long as he could. He had to pleasure her vagina as much as he possible could. It was the only real advantage he had. That and his youth.

The days Arthur was gone, Amy began to enjoy. She liked being home alone without any interference from men. Over the years she hadn’t spent much time alone in her house. Zev was always coming home in the early evenings, disturbing her peace. This caused her to feel continual anxiety about making sure the house looked a certain way. Were the front and back yards in decent shape? Was the house clean enough? Had she forgotten to put anything away? Were there dishes in the sink or urine and tissue paper still in the toilet? When Amy was home alone, it didn’t feel like she was really alone. She had to worry about keeping things in a way that Zev would agree with so as not to upset him when he came home from work. Zev Bauhaus was a very temperamental man, Amy thought. Now that Zev had moved out, the house all hers. She enjoyed not having to share. She could leave things wherever she wanted. She could lay around in bed for as long as she wanted. She could do whatever she wanted with the back and front yard. She could live exactly as she wanted without having to hear Zev tell her that she needed to exercise more, organize more or do something more productive with her life. Now that Amy had the Silverlake home all to herself, she felt liberated. As sad as she was that Zev was gone, she loved her freedom. She felt a kind of peace that she hadn’t felt in a long time. This feeling of peace she would often prefer over Arthur’s company.

Amy felt happy during her days spent alone at home. She hadn’t felt happy in a very long time despite the fact that she was good at faking happiness. Amy had misunderstood happiness, just as most extroverts do. Happiness for Amy had become a kind of drunken hyper-stimulation, which caused a strong feeling of excitement to boil up in her. She loved this feeling of excitement that she felt when in the company of others. She felt excited whenever the opportunity for sex arose. She was sometimes excited by the work she was doing and the books she was editing. She also felt excited about her relationship with Arthur. It was exciting to be having a passionate affair with a younger man. Excitement was what she unknowingly mistook for happiness. Excitement was a kind of coping mechanism for the banality and stress of maintaining the American dream. Excitement was what allowed her to excel at her job. During Amy’s initial days spent alone at home, she learned about what happiness really was. It was a kind of satisfaction in the present moment. She was satisfied with her life alone. She loved the peace. Zev had gotten in the way of this because Zev Bauhaus could never be satisfied.

As the weeks went on, Amy wanted to spend more of her time alone in her house. To her it felt like she was living an entirely new kind of life. Because she didn’t need to leave her home for work, she could stay home. She ordered her food and other essential items on Amazon. Sometimes she ordered pizza or had sushi delivered. The only thing she needed to go out for was liquor and the occasional times she had to go into WORD for a work meeting. Otherwise she could live in her own universe while home alone. For the first time in her life she was enjoying being alone. It’s a common thing people discover when a stressful relationship ends. Amy still had Arthur coming over. Arthur wanted to come over all the time. He was even hopeful that he could move some of his stuff in and stay there awhile. But Amy didn’t need him as much as she once did. Once or twice a week felt like enough for her. Now that she was more satisfied in her life she didn’t need to lose herself in earth shattering orgasms as much. There was no longer as much of a thrill in it all, as there once was. Her sadistic tendencies seemed to be thawing out now that Zev was annoying less of the time.

Amy was hopeful she could maintain a close friendship with Zev. She never stopped admiring him. She still loved him very much and couldn’t imagine a life without him in it. She just didn’t want to be married to Zev anymore. He had become too miserable. Selling out had made him a miserable man. She couldn’t live with that kind of negative energy anymore. To be free of it in her day to day life was wonderful and she couldn’t imagine ever letting Zev Bauhaus move back in. But Amy still hoped to remain close to Zev Bauhaus. She didn’t even want to get a divorce. They could just stay married even though she no longer referred to Zev as her husband. Marriage was just a bureaucratic thing anyways. Why go through all the difficulty of getting a divorce? Why not just stay married legally but be divorced psychologically? Then they wouldn’t have to deal with all the bureaucratic bullshit and Amy could still legitimately keep Zev’s last name. After all, no last name would benefit her more in her life. Bauhaus was the perfect last name for her. It gave her credibility. Amy would do what she could to keep Zev in her life. She would fuck him. She would suck his dick as much as he wanted. She would hang out with him. She would return his texts promptly and try to show some interest in his life. She would handle his financial situation. It was a difficult balance to figure out because she didn’t want to give Zev the impression that she wanted to be back in a relationship with him. She didn’t want to lead him on. More importantly, she didn’t want to make herself vulnerable to a feeling she was trying hard to keep repressed- the feeling of wanting Zev Bauhaus back. What a mess that would be.

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel (Bitch). Chapter Twenty Nine (Bitch).

Chapter Twenty Nine

 

Zev Bauhaus knew that he needed to be free of Amy. He couldn’t see her anymore. No more fucking. It was difficult for him to imagine his life without her blowjobs, her nudity, her beauty. But he knew that it was what needed to be done if he was going to escape insanity. He had been rendered obsolete. He was no longer capable of much. He had just enough energy to take care of basic things like eating, cleaning up and listening to music. Even his cartoons dried up. There was no creative ambition in him. When a man obsesses about a woman, everything else falls away. Many of men have lost their lives and livelihoods because of a woman. Some men who you see degenerate and deranged on Los Angeles street corners were once happily married, middle-class men. Love can destroy a man and often does. Women seem to be more resilient when it comes to the decimation of love. This is what Zev told himself. But his defenses were weak. Even though he knew that he needed to free himself from the sharp and seductive claws of Amy’s grip, he couldn’t stop thinking about her.

He had some pornography on his phone that he made with Amy when they would have sex on their couch or in bed. Zev always enjoyed filming their sexual interactions. He had several videos of Amy sucking his dick. She was so good at that. He also had some videos that he made during their home sex shows. As he was standing in the backyard watching Amy have sex with another man, he would get as close as he could to the window so that the video would be clear on his phone. He would capture Amy in her most skillful moments of fucking, but he never told her he filmed her. Zev would masturbate to these various videos every night. Amy expertly sucking his dick. Amy riding on top of a naked man on their couch. Zev would be on his back in bed and jack off while watching the videos on his phone. The light from the screen would illuminate the pleasure on his face. Sometimes it didn’t take him long to orgasm. Sometimes it took longer because he had smoked too much weed and swallowed too much whiskey. Zev didn’t mind when it would take him longer to orgasm. He could watch more than one video. Being intoxicated and naked in bed while jacking off to homemade pornography was one of his only pleasures in life. But it also kept Zev thinking about Amy.

Zev had a difficult time getting to sleep. He would lay in bed with his mind obsessing about various things. The yacht would be rocking back and forth in motion with the ocean’s currents, causing the yacht to make all sorts of creaking sounds. Sometimes, if the currents were strong, it sounded as if the wood yacht would split in half. He could feel solitude enveloping him in a way that provoked his anxiety. There were not many neighbors around. The world was far away and an enormous ocean with all of its promises for obscurity was just a stone’s throw away. In this solitude Zev would listen to the sounds. He lay on his back with his head on his pillow. He would stare up at the ceiling even though he couldn’t see anything in the darkness. He took hits from the weed pipe he held in his hands and fell asleep with each night. Zev would think about Amy fucking Arthur. He would think about all the ways Amy had screwed him over. How she had betrayed him. He would think about how he didn’t see it coming. What a horrible person she had turned out to be. Just another superficial love addict. But Zev also realized that he was not without fault. He had neglected Amy for years. He was always complaining and getting agitated with her. Nothing was good enough for him. She was always too fast or too slow. Too skinny or too fat. To energetic or not energetic enough. He loved her by breaking her down. That was how he knew how to love. It was how his father loved him. The cycle repeats.

In the darkness Zev also thought about what he was going to do with his life. He was starting all over again. How could he permanently break free from Amy? He would live on the yacht. He wouldn’t work. He had enough money to live for a few years. Maybe even a lifetime if he was frugal with every cent he spent. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the art world anymore. That he knew for certain. Being a well-known contemporary abstract painter had ruined his life. He hated the work. He would have never imagined. When he used to paint all the time in his studio apartment or in the small studio space he rented in an old warehouse in Oakland, it was his dream to be a successful painter. That was what he was working for. He knew that there were hundreds of painters out there painting longer and working harder than he was. This drove him to paint all hours of the day. He wanted to make it. Everyone had told him it was the wrong decision. There was no money in painting. He waited tables and tended bar. He taught art in a high school. One day he would be free from all this drudgery, he would continually tell himself. He believed that painting was his way out. He just needed to keep working. Eventually he would find his way. The naivety of youth.

Zev looked back on those distant days as a better time in his life. There was less pressure to conform and very few people wanted anything from him. Even though he was poor and had to work servile and dehumanizing jobs, he was free. He could be himself. He spent his free time painting, reading and chasing whores. A lot of what little money he had was spent on mental health in a derelict San Francisco strip club. Every week, and when his sex addiction was at its peak twice a week, he would go to the Market Street Cinema after a day of painting. He would save up for the occasion and felt excited when he handed his red ticket to the fat bouncer smoking a cigarette who tore half of it off and handed the other half back to him. The theatre was filled with all sorts of women dressed in underwear and lingerie. Some wore nothing at all and tried to seduce men into coming into one of the many rooms with them. Sometime a whore would just start sucking a guy’s dick out on the floor. Zev would fulfill all his degenerate sexual fantasies in that sex cinema and come back out at 2 or 3 in the morning a happier but poorer man.

Now Zev was alone, betrayed, middle-aged and discouraged by life. He blamed it on his success as a painter. It made him miserable. Having to associate with all those pretentious and arrogant fucks. Having to pretend to be interested in people. Having to talk about things that he could care nothing about. Having to act like he believed in the work he was doing. He hated that he had to sell paintings to wealthy people whom he considered the filth of the earth. Entitled children. Malicious gluttons. Rarely he would sell a painting to a wealthy person that he respected. He once sold a painting to Nick Cave. He had always respected Nick Cave. He felt a great honor that Nick Cave wanted to own one of his abstract paintings. Nick Cave, like many, had learned about Zev Bauhaus from the BOMB magazine article. But like most other rich people, Nick Cave gradually became a self-absorbed parody of himself. Zev had gradually lost respect for the mythical man who became famous for making sad albums about his middle-aged misfortunes. Maybe not unlike Nick Cave, becoming famous had made Zev Bauhaus more miserable than he would have ever imagined. All that time and effort to become caged. One works so hard just to eventually sell out. It made no sense to Zev.

On an almost daily basis Amy would text Zev. She would ask him financial questions or questions about certain bills. Amy had always overseen their finances. She paid all the bills. Zev wanted to have nothing to do with bills or bureaucracy. He needed to focus on his art and Amy agreed to her position as the couple’s accountant. She handled all his studio accounts, expenses and she paid the employees. When Zev vanished onto what Amy started to condescendingly call his boat, he didn’t think to take care of anything having to do with his career. Zev left Amy with the mess. It is what she deserved, Zev thought. Amy had to notify various collectors and dealers that Zev was shutting down shop. She had to give the landlord a month’s notice and take responsibility for closing down the studio. She answered emails and calls from people enquiring about what had happened to Zev. She posted things on social media. Amy even called Marissa to basically tell her she wasn’t needed anymore.

It was difficult for Marissa to talk with Amy on the phone. She had been putting it off all day. A part of her felt responsible for all of this. Maybe she should have kept her mouth closed. But Zev would have found out anyway. It wasn’t her fault. She was in love with him. Always had been and so she did what she felt was best for Zev. She was suffering inside and had been ever since Zev stopped coming around the studio and responding to her texts. When she finally did return Amy’s call, Amy didn’t sound sad or distress at all. Amy sounded uplifted. Almost happy. She told Marissa that she would send her her final check and then once all the final payments for paintings came in she would send her a commissions check. Marissa wanted to ask Amy about Zev. She wanted to ask her how Zev was doing but felt hesitant to indulge someone who was causing Zev so much pain. Amy told Marissa that Zev was finished with painting for now and that he had moved onto his boatin Oxnard. Their conversation was brief and Amy thanked her for all her help. She told Marissa that this is how life went sometimes. After Marissa hung up the phone she chastised herself for not telling Amy that it was horrible and wrong what she was doing to Zev. Marissa was cowardly, always trying to avoid conflict.

Amy liked to think of herself in a particular way. She wanted a lifestyle that was different from the norm. She liked to think of herself as the non-traditional type but she kept falling into more traditional kinds of relationships. Maybe this is why she ended up cheating on every man she was in a serious relationship with. She wasn’t being true to what she wanted and what she wanted was not loyalty to only one man. Amy had fervently read Sade’s Justine. She liked to think of herself as someone who was hopeful, someone with abnormal values, someone who was intelligent and accomplished, someone who was against monogamy, someone who was proudly slutty and bisexual and as someone who didn’t want to be in a traditional relationship ever again. This is what Amy told herself. Now that Zev was gone, she could live closer to her truth. Even though she had to do more work to maintain the house and finances, she felt freed from Zev’s tyranny. Why did she get married in the first place? Amy was happy to clean up Zev’s mess, if it meant that she no longer had to live with that miserable man. But she couldn’t understand why she still missed him and longed to be with him. It didn’t make any sense, so she drank more to help relieve her inner conflict.

 

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel. Chapter Twenty Eight

Chapter Twenty Eight

 

 

Zev had a stomach ache. Again. He had had a lot of stomach aches over the past months. Zev once prided himself on never getting stomach aches. He had a solid stomach and could digest anything. He could even digest his miserable father if he had to. But his stomach had fallen weak from all the yelling, worrying, accusing and hurting. Now he got stabbing pains in his guts. Sometimes these pains would cause Zev to think he could die. Everything would go blank. It was an sharp pain. A pain that wanted Zev dead. He was getting these stomach aches on an almost daily basis now. He assumed it was all the distress he had been under. But when a person is in the kind of distress Zev was in, pain becomes a constant companion.

Zev hadn’t slept much on his first night on the yacht. Zev rarely slept well is strange environments. His stomach pains kept him up most of the night. There would be a stabbing pain that would last for a few seconds and then it would vanish. Sometimes the pain would be so fierce that Zev would clench his fists and curl into a ball. Once the pain subsided Zev would try and get some sleep but his mind would be racing. His thoughts refused to let him be. They were like rain pouring down. Zev tried to focus his attention on his breathing but that didn’t do any good. It was impossible to get away from his thoughts since they were happening inside his own head. Zev got out of bed and walked around several times. He smoked cigarettes and weed. He looked out into the darkness and wondered if listening to music or the radio would help. He felt waves of anxiety overcome him. Was he going to die alone out here? Was Amy missing him or was she with Arthur? Would everyone hate him for quitting the art world? What was Marissa going to do? He needed to call her back but it was so hard to talk with anyone. At a certain point Zev realized the attempt to sleep was futile. He lay in bed for hours staring into the darkness. The yacht rocked back and forth along with the sea currents and the continual rocking made him dizzy. He could smell a terrible odor. It wasn’t a good night.

While sitting on the toilet in the morning, Zev smoked pot. He had a long wood pipe that he used to smoke marijuana. The high made him feel more awake and less consumed by a feeling of fear, betrayal and heartbreak. He felt his mood enlighten. When he flushed the toilet he smelled the odor fill the entire bathroom. He assumed it must be the sewage. He would have to buy several air fresheners to mitigate the horrible odor. Zev hadn’t brought any coffee with him but he remembered seeing a café not far from his yacht. Zev put on his black jeans and a black sweatshirt along with black socks and black Doc Martins. He put on a black wool coat and a black cap to keep his ears and head warm. He took another hit from his pipe and then ventured out into the cold morning.

Zev wanted to check his phone to see if Amy had texted him. But he told himself to wait. Zev walked down a long pathway mildly populated by people walking their dogs. He avoided saying hello to any of them and wondered how the hell people could live on boats with dogs. There was a large marina that ran all along the pathway and there were hundreds of different kinds of boats. Poor man’s boats and rich man’s yachts. And then there were the old yachts that belonged to those whose tastes were not overly excessive. Many people seemed to live on their boats in Oxnard. Some were outside drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Zev lit a cigarette and smoked as he walked. He sucked the warm smoke into his lungs. He saw seagulls and seals. Several seals were sprawled out on the docks, resting from a long night spent trying to stay alive.

Terrible music played on the stereo. A young girl appeared from behind the register seeming much too happy for this time of morning. Her smile immediately annoyed Zev but he tried to be nice. He ordered a large black coffee and some eggs and toast. He thought that the young girl would be attractive if she could just stop eating the pastries and lose some weight. The young girl gave Zev his coffee and his change which he told her that she could keep. When she asked him what his name was he told her that it was Zev. She couldn’t quite make sense of the name and asked him if he said Seth. Zev said Zev and the young girl said Zeb. Zev said Zev another time but this time he said it very slowly. When she finally got his name she told him it was a cool name. She never met someone with that name before. He thanked her and wished that she was a bit more attractive. Then maybe he would flirt with her.

Zev sat at a table facing the window. A few seats down from him a man sat scrolling through his phone. He was a big man. A man whose look revealed how dumb he was. He probably lived on a boat and voted for Trump, Zev thought. Whenever the meathead looking man would scroll on a video he would watch it with the sound on high. Zev immediately hated the man. He took sips of his black coffee and tried to hide his disdain for this man. Zev hated people who did this sort of thing in public. People who talked on their phone loudly in public and people who watched videos on their phones with the volume on while in public- these were the lowest kinds of people. Zev hoped that some plague would magically come along and wipe these idiots out. Zev was already mad and it wasn’t even 8am.

There were a few other people in the café scrolling around on their phones. One older man with long gray hair was working on a laptop. Zev felt a tragic sadness in his gut. He checked his phone and saw that there was texts from Marissa, his horrible father, one of his main patrons and Amy. Zev checked the text from Amy first. Amy had written that she hoped he was doing ok and having a good morning. Zev felt bad when he read the text. He wanted to tell her about his horrible stomach pain. He wanted to tell her what a whore he thought she was and he wanted to tell her about how badly she had screwed him over. Now he was alone in some café surrounded by other men who had probably been forsaken by the women they once loved. Was this Zev’s life now? Zev was about to respond to Amy when he heard the young girl call out his name. He raised his hand and she brought him his food. He told her thank you but really meant that he wanted her to quickly get away so he could eat. Zev scrolled on his phone as he quickly shoved food into his mouth. He was no better than those phone addicts he disdained.  He was just as addicted as anyone else but he wanted to get out of that café as quickly as possible.

The morning was spent smoking cigarettes and looking out at the water. Zev thought that he should get the inside of his yacht looking nice. He should clean up and take things out of boxes. There were still things in the U-Haul to be moved. Zev felt exhausted from moving the evening before. There was still more to do. Boxes piled up and things needed to be organized. He should have hired movers. He hadn’t used his muscles like this in a long time. Zev felt his body aching He didn’t want to anything. He wanted to sit there and look out the window all day long. His motivation was gone. Everything had changed. He was alone and on an old yacht by the sea. It still hadn’t really sunk in. Boats went by. People on kayak rowed past. He didn’t like anyone. He was just going to sit there and smoke cigarettes. Resign himself to inertia. He would figure out what he needed to do next later.

 

 

 

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Twenty Six

Chapter Twenty Six

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Four

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Three

 

Chapter Twenty Three

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sell Out Man, Chapter Twenty Two

Chapter Twenty Two

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Twenty

 

Chapter Twenty

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sell Out Man, A Blog Novel, Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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