Mr. Nobody Saves the Day.

I go hiking with Bernie and Lou at Malibu Creek State Park, the three of us sufficiently stoned after hotboxing Bernie’s Civic coupe.

The trail begins like any other in Los Angeles with clearly defined dirt paths, soaring views of the city, sprawling canyons, and in this case, the shimmering Pacific. But all that is just a prelude, something to get the blood pumping. The real hike begins two miles in at the top of a dam marked by a chain link fence and signs warning, “Danger,” and “No Access.” Sure, it might look like a dead end, but nobody’s patrolling and there’s a wide, human shaped hole cut into the fence as if to say, go ahead, we dare you to enter.

We make it to the trailhead at the top of the Dam.  Bernie drops his water bottle for the third time and this time it falls down the ladder shaft. A strong wind comes and blows Lou’s hat right off, knocking it too down the shaft.  Needless to say we were off to a rocky start. Then a woman approaches us, panicked about the legitimacy of this "trail" and the safety of her son who had run off ahead of her and into one of the many tunnels created by the giant boulders.

Tough break, Lady.

We take off, descending the ladder, the cliffside enveloping us until only a sliver of blue sky remains. A murky creek guides our way, and we hop rock to rock, scaling and scrambling for thirty minutes before taking a break to eat some fruit, take a few photos, and pass another joint.  Suddenly, we’re flanked by half a dozen lost and confused high school kids who heard about this trail through the rumor mill and decided on a whim to give it a whirl. Seems it was harder than they expected. They end up tagging behind us and we lead them the remainder of the way to the final hurdle: the gorge, where you’re left with two options, either jump in and swim to shore, or boulder the perimeter.  

There, the three of us tested and experienced hikers quickly climb our way across the natural pumice wall surrounding the water, surely impressing the teens with our skill and grace.  We make it back onto land, and there waiting impatiently is a group of modern L.A. tropes dressed in overpriced athleisure wear and designer sunglasses, the girls with perfectly plastic faces done up in full makeup and the guys with groomed stubble and coiffed hair.

The leader, a pseudo alpha male in an unbuttoned red and black flannel and aviators, yells at one of the girls in the group. “Goddamnit, Stacy! I told you to keep your fucking feet out of the mud; your shoes need to be bone dry or else you’re gonna slip. And put your fucking phone away before I throw it in the water!”

With swelling arrogance the pseudo alpha forges ahead, leading his friends while the teenagers struggle to get their footing. I join Lou in a prime position to watch the impending collision while Bernie stays by the wall, vainly guiding those he can see.

Lou, being a better man than me, calls out to them. "I don't think you guys should go yet,” he says. “There’s another group coming the opposite way."

Pseudo alpha responds, "Hey bro, you ever been here before?"

Lou says, “Uh, Yeah, I’m here right now, in fact."

"Oh, Yeah?” he says. “Well I've been coming here for twenty years, pal, but thanks for the referee."

Incredulous, Lou just waves at him and through his teeth he says, "Sure, no problem." 

I see Bernie from afar and he's ecstatic, pointing in the direction of the pseudo alpha, making a look as if to say, ‘would ya get a load of this guy.’  Eventually he jogs over to us, and out of breath he says,  "Holy shit, can you believe who’s here?"

"Who?" Both Lou and I ask in unison.

Bernie points.  "That guy, right there."

"The douchebag?" I say?

"Bro, that's fucking Jared Leto," he says.

“You’re kidding,” I say.

“I swear to God,” says Bernie.

Just then, the high schoolers make the connection. The girls squeal and one of the guys rubbernecks so hard he slips off the rocks and into the algae covered water.

"Well, I’ll be damned," says Lou. “I love Jared Leto. I always knew he was a prick.”   

That’s a profound moment. A chance meeting with a prolific actor only to discover they’re a real asshole supremo. I guess I wouldn’t expect anything less in this town. Hows that old saying go again, the one about meeting your heroes?

“Let’s get out of here,” I say, and as we walk off I take one last look back and see Jared explaining to the kids how to get across, where to put their hands and feet, showing them not to be afraid. He was teaching them instead of just leaving them like we did. Imagine that. I guess that makes us the real assholes of the day.

In the end, the joke’s on us.




LAX is in turmoil.

Flights are being delayed here and then rerouted there as a constant tide of irate commuters haul their luggage back and forth.  I’m flying to Phoenix to shoot for the company Nimble Films.  My flight is unsurprisingly delayed, which wouldn’t usually be much of a problem except for the fact that I’ve never been this high at an airport before in my entire life.   Earlier, my buddy—let’s call him Bud—shared his very potent edible with me, a decision I knew I’d later regret, but I went ahead and ate it anyway because; well, why the hell not?  Meanwhile, my eyes are now drying up exponentially and my tongue feels like sandpaper. I go and buy a bottle of water at Starbucks, and, giving in to temptation, I also get a vanilla latte and a slice of banana walnut bread. The water cleans, the warm coffee soothes, and the caffeine sharpens.  I can feel the high subsiding.  I am back in control.

Soon my flight boards and I apprehensively take my assigned window seat and strap in, putting in my headphones and closing my eyes.  Twenty minutes later we reach our cruising altitude and I reopen them, releasing my death grip from the hand rests.  The flight attendant begins her rounds for drink orders.  All is as it should be, and yet, I can’t help but think something terrible is about to happen.                                                                                                                       Suddenly there’s turbulence and the cabin violently shakes as we drop 1,000 feet in altitude at the blink of an eye.  Overhead luggage falls out of the bins and topples to the floor, knocking out the flight attendant as she tries to calm the passengers.  The plane banks ninety degrees toward the earth and plummets. Thinking quickly, I rip off my tray-table, and elbow a hole through my window.  The rupture causes a massive tear in the plane, sucking other poor souls out into the sky.  I unbuckle my seatbelt, mount my tray-table, and take a leap of faith, sailing through the sky like the silver surfer toward an oncoming mountain peak.  I land with grace and snowboard down the steep Cliffside, dodging trees and boulders as the plane crashes nearby in a fiery eruption, causing an avalanche.  I expertly avoid the onslaught of twisted metal and make it safely to the bottom where a butterscotch blonde is conveniently waiting for me in the passenger seat of a convertible Porsche 911.  I hop in and she immediately unzips my pants. I floor the pedal and together we drive off toward the horizon.

The ding of the fasten Seatbelts sign breaks me of this fantasy, and reality returns.  The plane makes its expected final descent toward Phoenix.


Today I’m on set with the hard-bodied, Scarlet Glam, and newcomer, Mia Foxx.  

The plot: Mia wants to work for Nimble Films and Scarlet, being their respective casting agent, has just the tool to test Mia’s ability: my cock.  On action, I lay naked on the couch and receive a double blowjob. The girls spit and slobber, Scarlet instructing the “naïve” Mia on how to properly tease and deep throat.  Scarlet straddles Mia’s face while I fuck Mia in missionary. Then I fuck Mia doggy-style as she hungrily laps at Scarlet.  Mia bounces on me in reverse cowgirl while Scarlet licks her pussy and occasionally sucks me off.  Then we return to the original double blowjob position and the girls milk me dry.  They share a gloriously gooey kiss before kissing the camera goodbye.  Cut. Print.

Afterward, Mia returns to makeup to get a quick touch up before shooting a solo scene.  Her and I don’t speak much after that, but as I climb the red Arizona rocks that lie adjacent to the Nimble Films’ house, I peer down and admire her as she sits poolside, playing with herself for the camera.

During a quick break, she playfully calls out to me and yells, “You’re so weird!”

“Yeah, but you like it,” I call back.

She giggles and blows me a kiss.     

I can see the future now: boy and girl will spend quality time together, revealing secrets about one another.  They will embrace in one night of passion and fall asleep with their bodies intertwined. The rising sun will wake them as it gleams through the bedroom window.  The two will roll around between the sheets, showering each other in kisses.  While admiring his little foxx, as he will affectionately call her, the boy will run his hands over her warmth, feeling every curve of her perfect shape.  He will kiss her back and caress her shoulders, nibbling her skin as she relaxes her body, letting it melt into his.  She will offer her neck, beckoning him to take a bite.  He will sink his teeth into her, sending shivers down her spine.  She will turn to him and he’ll cup her face, gazing into her beautiful brown eyes.  The boy will be in love, but as usual, he will be thinking with his little head instead of his big head.

Sometimes the attraction shared between scene partners is so strong that it just feels natural to be in love, but I have to remind myself to remain professional.  We had a good day at work, and that’s all it was and all it probably ever will be.  They can’t all love me, although I wouldn’t be against such a thing. It’s nice to feel wanted outside the parameters of porn.  I enjoy knowing my partner craves me when they aren’t forced to pretend.  It makes me feel a little less like a monster, and more like a person again, a quality I think I have been missing for some time now.   

The Way Out is Through: Parts 1 & 2.

The Way Out is Through.

Part One.


In the beginning, we remained under the covers, rolling between the sheets, showered in diffused amber sunlight. 

In the end, static from the car radio stole my attention.  Once again, I was preoccupied with something more important.  I fidgeted with the knobs and she yelled, but of course, her words were lost on me.  Fed up, I punched the plastic interface and wailing feedback blared through the speakers.  The wheel drifted and we slid seamlessly.  Oncoming headlights filled the car with a blinding incandescence, but by the time I even cared to notice it was already too late.


My eyelids twitched.  The morning sunlight shrunk my pupils, and the world around me slowly came into focus.  I was home.  Home and hung-over, having passed out in front of my typewriter again.  The bottle laid next to me, headless and drained.  I peeled my face from my desk, shielding my eyes from the light while massaging my inflated skull.                                                                                      

Damn.  It'd been two weeks and I still couldn't get that dream out of my head.  It was more like a nightmare; her screams still reverberated. 

I slapped myself to life and willed the courage to stand, stumbling my way into the bathroom.  I splashed cold water on my face and rinsed with mouthwash to cleanse myself of the night, to move on, to forget.  I was able to mask the liquor, but her taste still remained; her memory, it seemed, was permanent.            

I didn't want to dwell, or maybe I just didn’t care enough to understand, but once again I was preoccupied with more important things, like the fact that I hadn't written anything worth a good goddamn since my grandiose self-imposed write-or-die shut-in.  I was supposed to write the great American novel.  I was supposed to become something, a somebody, a big, bright, beautiful, shining star, but instead I'd been plagued with crippling writer's block and haunted by a repeating nightmare.

Oh, and let us not forget that the well was now dry as of last night.  There was no more booze to speak of, but that was okay, I would be fine; who needed it anyway? Only hacks use liquid courage.  This would be a good thing for me; I was planning to cut back as it were.

The real bad news, however, was that I was down to my last can of tuna fish.  After today I would have nothing left in my cabinets and cupboards except coffee, salt, and breadcrumbs, and nothing in the refrigerator except condiments.  I would have to become very resourceful if I hoped to continue eating. 

You know, I sometimes wonder if I could go on without it, if I could rid my body of its biological need for food.  What’s that old cliché, "Mind over matter," right?  I actually remember once reading a story about a kid who did just that, and like a drug, he quit cold turkey.  After a few weeks he ended up in the hospital yanking out his feeding tube before finally dropping dead on the cold tile floor.  Pity.  I would’ve done better.  But enough of that.  I get so easily sidetracked, spending too much time wondering and daydreaming and not nearly enough time working.  Right now what I needed was a good old fashion fire under my ass.                                             

I walked into my neglected kitchen (add it to my tab) and opened a cabinet containing the aforementioned tuna, one cylinder of breadcrumbs, and one crumbled foil bag of coffee—Coffee: the sweet, sweet nectar of life.  I reached in, and with fingertips, I softly picked up the bag of grounds, being careful not to crush the sensitive foil as I set it upon the counter.  I grabbed the coffee pot, rinsed it out, and filled it with cold tap.  I added a new pristine white filter and replaced the glass pot, all the while keeping my eyes glued on the crumpled, deformed foil.  Resting my hands on the counter, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.  I whispered to myself: “This is no longer an empty bag, rather it is supple and fragrant.”  I steadied my nose above the opening of the bag and took a savoring whiff.  I continued, “The potent smell of hazelnut will flood my senses with overwhelming euphoria.”  The palms of my hands began to sweat and I licked my perpetually dry lips.  I opened my eyes and stared at the label of the bag, "La Colombe."  My favorite.  I outstretched my hands and rounded its perimeter.  Breathing through my mouth, I cautiously peeled the foil, counting down from three, each number feeling a mile away from the last. 

“Three…Two…One—" BOOM BOOM BOOM.  A pounding from my front door shot fear and panic up my spine, causing my hands to clench, crushing the hollow bag.  Goddamnit; it was empty all along.  I should have known better.                                         

BOOM BOOM BOOM.                                                                                  

"All right, I fucking hear you!" I wanted to say, but I kept my mouth shut.  I was on the fringe of hysteria, and if I lost my cool I was liable to say or do just about anything                                 

BOOM BOOM BOOM.                                                                                   

I repeated this month's mantra to myself, my assigned, "words of greatness," as my psychiatrist liked to call them: “Innocuous.  Invisible.  Immaculate,” I said, fixing my gaze on the door.  “Innocuous.  Invisible.  Immaculate.”

I slowly came back to my senses.  In control, I figured maybe if I quietly approached I could sneak a peek at whoever or whatever might be lurking on the other side.  I tiptoed to the peephole and peered through.  The undesirable happened to be none other than my rotund landlord, Francis Garland.  He was steaming, red in the face and wiping his shiny bald head with a rag while muttering to himself.  Again he pounded against my door, nearly bending the wood this time.  Jesus, his mitts were as big as lunchboxes. 

“Anybody home?”  He called.  “It’s already the 10th of the month!”                                                        

Shit.  I was late on rent again, yet another unchecked item on my endless to-do list.  It’s funny the things you tend to neglect when you’re, when you’re…well, when you’re preoccupied.                    

“Little prick,” I heard him say under his breath.  He took a folded piece of paper--probably an eviction notice--and a roll of scotch tape out of his coat pocket, sticking the paper onto my door.  He boomed one final time.  “Deadbeat!”  He said, waddling away, wheezing as he called the elevator.                       

The coast was soon clear.  I could've opened the door and grabbed the notice, but I had to be cautious.  Francis was a grade-A grease ball; surely one of his lackey goons would be posted by my door, waiting for me to slip up and show my face.  Better to be safe than sorry, I thought.  So long as that notice remained untouched, I could say I never saw it.  “Sorry, Francis, don’t know what you’re talking about,” I would say.  Out of sight, out of mind.                                                                     

I felt lightheaded, struck by a small dizzy-spell; these were becoming more frequent as of late.  I took the hint and trudged back into the kitchen for the Starkist smorgasbord.  I drained the metallic juice and plopped the treated pink puck onto a plate.  I scoured the fridge for any curious flourishes or final touches, settling on a dollop of expired spicy mustard.  Bon appetite.  I slowly forked my last meal while longingly staring at the pathetic crushed foil bag on the counter-top.  A cup of coffee would’ve been the perfect compliment, a good friend on a lonely night, a reminder that there is indeed a God.

Somewhere in the background of my fantasy, I heard the drop of a keychain and then the unmistakable sound of steel teeth chewing through a lock.  It was Francis, it had to be; the fucking whale was trying to force himself and his pathetic agenda into my apartment, force himself into my world, into my safe haven.                      

Well not today, you fuck.                                                                          

I sprinted to the door, practically throwing myself against it to keep it shut.  I looked through the peephole, eagerly darting from side to side, but to my surprise I saw nothing, no Francis, nor anyone else.  Much like the sad and sorry bag of coffee, the hallway was also empty.  God was dead.        

Angry and fed up with his constant teasing, I boomed my fist against the door.  “Show yourself!” I yelled, half-heartedly, waiting with tense knuckles, but nothing stirred; nothing dared stir.  For my sake, at least.

As I turned to walk away I noticed between my feet a small folded piece of paper.  Son-of-a-bitch must’ve tricked me, I thought, diverted my attention somehow and slipped it beneath my door.  The sneaky fuck.  “Coward,” I said, picking up the paper and unfolding it. 

It was a crumpled piece of white computer paper, and written in the center with what looked like smeared oily red lipstick were the words, “Wake Up.”                                                                                     

I scoffed and tore the note to shreds, staining my hands red in the process.  Wake up.  Some nerve.  I was awake, thank you very much.  I was more awake than ever before.  Self-aware, I could see myself from outside, floating just beyond my physical form.  I could see everything I wished for, everything I had become, and everything I had left to die in the past.  I was conscious of it all, the last time I had a good meal, the last time I had a stiff drink, and the last time I had a proper fuck; all now fleeting luxuries from another time, another life.                                                 

Suddenly, I was struck with brilliant inspiration.  I rushed into my kitchen, opened the cabinet beneath the sink, and dumped out the neon orange Homer bucket containing my tools.  I settled on hammer and a box of nails.  Then I tore my bookshelves from the wall, scattering Miller, Bukowski and the rest of the American degenerates all over the floor.  Haphazardly, I hammered the shelves across the doorway, protecting me and securing my stay, furthering my isolation. 

“Yeah, motherfucker,” I said.  “Try and get me now."                                                 

I wiped my face with my shirt; I had worked up a pretty good sweat, and was feeling dizzy again.  I needed to cool down before I passed out.  My apartment was a relic from the 20's and didn’t possess any semblance of a ventilation system, let alone central air, so my only hope was to open a window and pray for a good cross-breeze.  Thankfully, fall had just begun, so the temperature was dropping and the air outside was crisp, or at least I hoped it would be.                

I walked to the living room window overlooking the streets below.  I moved the latch and pushed up on the wooden frame, but it didn’t budge; ancient building, sometimes this happened.  I tried again, pushing harder, but still nothing.

"Great, just one more thing I need to worry about," I said, moving on to the next one.  I unlatched it and pushed the frame.  Nothing.  The wave of panic crested behind me.  I rushed to my bedroom to try those windows.  Same story.  What the fuck?  I inspected the wood; no glue or nails or screws keeping the windows closed.  “This is impossible,” I said, pushing again through grit teeth, but to no avail; the windows were wedged for good.                                                 

“Bull-fucking-shit!” I said, storming into the living room, kicking up books and tipping a lamp as I reached for my three-pound marble ashtray my father had given me for my birthday a few years ago.  A daily reminder of the very thing that would eventually kill him.  It was the last remaining piece of him in my life, but not for long.  

I squared up with the window, wound my arm, and pitched it, hoping to shatter the glass and spray dazzling shards through the air ready to rain upon unsuspecting pedestrians.

Only it didn't break.  The window remained, impossibly intact, without even a chip or a scratch.  I stood incredulous and dumbfounded as the ashtray bounced off of the glass and rebounded toward me, striking my face with such bone crushing vengeance that I was lifted off my feet and sent flying through the air.              

I was out cold before my ass even hit the floor.  Curtains.  Good night and good luck.    


Part Two.


I felt the sensation of falling, forever tumbling over myself in mid-air, spinning on a string in a downward spiral toward the great unknown. And then,   


I came to, but I couldn’t open my eyes; they were glued, the blood thick and dry.  Damn.  How long was I out?  With my hands, I pried open my eyes, wincing through the pain as they slowly came to focus on the methodical spinning blades of my ceiling fan, their shadows dancing in and out of golden light. The sun must be setting.  It was magic hour.   

Head heavy, I lifted myself from the floor.  Suddenly struck with nausea, I stumbled to the bathroom, falling face first into the bowl.  So much for that last meal.  I washed my mouth out in the sink and flicked on the light, examining my head in the mirror.  The gash split my eyebrow, fresh blood pooling from my careless prodding.  Stitches would probably be a good idea.  I wet a rag and pressed it to the wound, the ruby water soaked my face.  “Great,” I said to myself.  “Just one more thing to worry about.”  Hm, that sounds familiar.

I wandered into the living room, hazy and half expecting to wade through a sea of shattered glass, but then I remembered what happened, or more importantly, what didn’t happen.  The window didn’t break, didn’t chip, didn’t crack; not even a hairline fracture on the fucker.  This is a joke, I thought to myself, my life a perpetual punch line.  How was this even possible? Reinforced glass?  Had Francis done this?  Came into my apartment--barged into my home when I was out one day?  He probably did it while I was at work—back when I used to work.  He could dedicate his entire day to the deed, take his time, relish being in my home without me knowing, making sure to stain everything with his greasy fat fingers.

Nausea returned, my brain pulsated against my skull.  I didn’t have time to worry about hypotheticals and logistics; I needed to get myself down the block to Urgent Care—fuck going to the E.R.  With intent, I walked to the front door ready to undo all of my earlier handiwork, ready to face the world and whoever might be posted outside in the hallway.  Ready to accept my responsibilities and my fate.

I gripped the boards and pulled, but the nails wouldn’t give.  With white knuckles I pulled, but still nothing.  Drenched in panic, I pounded my fists on the wood, cutting my skin and smearing blood across the grain.  “Francis!”  I screamed.  “You can’t do this to me!  Let me out of here!”

Winded, I peered through the peephole; half expecting to see him and his goons, their faces distorted in hysteria,  but nobody was there, the hallway was still and lifeless.  I gave up, crumbling to the floor in defeat, holding my knees to my chest.  One minute I want to lock myself away, and the next I’m in tears, begging to be let out like some sad and sorry mutt who accidentally shit the bed. 

Suddenly I heard the rustling of paper, another folded note being slipped under my door right beside me.  “Son of a bitch,” I muttered to myself, and then kicking the door, “Quit it; just leave me alone, you hear?”  But of course there was no response.  I picked up the note.  In neat typeface it read: “The way out is through.”  A riddle?  A test?  “How about I shove my boot right through your ass, fucker!” I called out.  The way out is through--utter bullshit.  If only I could get through my front door, if only I could open a window, if only the universe hadn’t aligned itself against me. 

“Enough!” I yelled, tearing the note into a dozen pieces.  “I am done playing your game.” 

I noticed the hammer, still lying idly on the floor.  I bent down and gripped the red-rubber handle, ready to destroy, ready to kill.  I hacked away at the boards, the door, and the wood frame, desperate for anything, any semblance of progress--cracks, tears, even so much as a goddamn splinter, but nothing; the wood remained immaculate, my efforts completely in vain.  Frustrated, I turned and threw the hammer like a tomahawk toward my living room wall where it miraculously stuck, the wedge driven cleanly through the drywall, suspending itself like a piece of modern art—the perfect centerpiece to my empire of shit.  

I approached the wall and yanked out the hammer, leaving behind a hole the size of a quarter.  Progress.  I put my eye to the hole—expecting what, I don’t know.  All I saw was darkness, a glimpse into nothing and a window to nowhere, but as the hair on the back of my neck sprang to attention and goose bumps littered my arms, I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone anymore.  Someone, something, was watching me from within. 

“Hello,” I called out.  “Anybody there?”  I put my ear to the hole, listening for movement, a sign of life.  I held my breath, and for a moment all I could hear was my pulse beating against my temples. 

And then, a whisper. 


What the? 

“Hello?” I called, voice cracking, body trembling.  “I hear you.”  The walls are talking to me, and here I am, talking right back.  I’ve definitely lost it now, gone mad, even, but I guess stranger things have happened.  As a wise man once said, We all go a little mad sometimes.  

Faintly, as if carried by an imaginary breeze, I heard the walls call back. “Jaaack,” they said.  “Help me, Jack.”

“Help you?”  What—how do you know my name?” I said, peering into the hole, but still I saw nobody, nothing in the dark.  “Hello? Answer me!” 

No response.  Radio Silence.

I stood there at a loss, and as feeling crept back into my body I realized the hammer was still in my hand, quivering.  The way out is through.  The way out…is through.  My fingers clamped around the red-rubber handle, and immediately it became clear to me what it was I needed to do.           

Part Three.

I raised the hammer and plunged it into the wall.  To my surprise it broke through with a soft squish, like a scalpel into flesh.  The other side of the wall felt warm, wet.  A draft of sultry air arose from the new hole like a release of stale breath.  Without thinking twice I removed the hammer and swung again, and again, and again, using every ounce of what little strength I had left.  The drywall gave way, and paint chips and splinters exploded in every direction like buckshot, the wall practically falling apart on its own.    

Panting and hands shaking, I dropped the hammer to the floor.  White feather, sawdust, asbestos, and shattered pieces of my collection of memories danced around the room like a mad storm.  With labored breaths, I stood back in amazement at what I had created.  It was a hole, all right, but it was vast, like a tunnel.  Certainly my own two hands couldn’t have created this, no; it’s as if this had been here waiting for me all along.  I had been so desperate for a way out and now I may have found one in the form of a gaping void of pure darkness leading into the unknown.

I peered into the darkness, eyes darting from side to side.  “Hello!” I called out, but the only response I got was my own voice reverberating off the walls of the cavernous tunnel.  Just a minute ago someone or something had called my name, and now where the fuck had he/she/they/IT gone?  It wasn’t my imagination.  I wasn’t crazy—at the very least I knew this to be true.

I caught my breath and examined the tunnel.  What began as broken brick and twisted metal pipes softened into a more rigid appearance and as I ran my tongue across the roof of my mouth, I suddenly realized what it reminded me of. It also possessed a gleam; something akin to gloss, and it was moist with a soft lining of film. 

Standing there, I felt a slight vibration throughout the tunnel and for a moment I swear I saw the wall pulsate as if it were breathing, but that’s impossible, that would be crazy, and I was not crazy, far from it.  In fact, I was the only sane individual left in this fucked up world.  Compared to everyone else, I was a goddamned hero and they were all villains.  I was innocent, just an unfortunate victim of circumstance. 

I savored these calming moments of reflection.  It felt good to be right. 

Enough time wasted already.  I had to act; I had to move, and although the destination of the tunnel was unknown, I had had enough of life confined within these walls.  It was time for me to leave. 

I returned to the kitchen and sifted through the overturned bucket of tools.  I grabbed a small flashlight and smacked it to life as I walked back to the living room and picked up the hammer.  With one determined step I entered the tunnel; my first step outside of the apartment, trapped and tethered no more. 

I slowly made my way deeper into the tunnel and with every passing step my heartbeat raced faster and faster, the familiar feeling of fear creeping up my spine.  Deeper and deeper, the hole in the wall became a blur and the apartment a distant memory.  Deeper and deeper, the light slowly faded until I was left with nothing but the weakening amber glow of my flashlight, the batteries yet another thing in life I had neglected.  Too late to turn back now; I had to press on, had to find what was on the other side. 

The walls tightened and the roof shrunk.  Soon I was hunched over and kneeling, crawling on all fours like a dog, my hands wet from the viscous ground, the air thick and damp.  I continued forward, slowly realizing that whatever void I had entered was vibrating again, it was grumbling. The walls, I concluded, were alive.  

The flashlight flickered once more before dying, and I was left alone in the darkness…

Cold Pizza.

Cold Pizza.


It's what I had for breakfast.  That’s probably a clear enough sign that things aren’t exactly flush at the moment.  In the movies, cold pizza is usually a sign that a character is down and out for the count, over the hill, washed up, consumed by doubt and tumbling in a wave of self-loathing.  If I sound like I'm about to rant and wail with crocodile tears, well, dear reader, it’s because I am.  The fact is I'm miserable from being consistently broke and perpetually penniless.  No matter how often I shoot, every month it  feels like I barely scrape by. Between paying rent, gas fill ups twice a week, my phone bill, Internet, groceries, bi-weekly testing, booze, pills, gym memberships, and tanning memberships I just can't seem to keep up.  Much like every other aspect of my charmed life, money, it seems, will forever remain a goddamn motherfucking mystery to me. 

At the moment I have exactly three hundred and fifty dollars in my checking account.  Three hundred and fifty that will  be reduced to two hundred later today after I pay two credit card bills (the minimum payment, of course) and do a small grocery run for the essentials--cottage cheese, seltzer water, and coffee.  Oh, and I have to pick up my bike from the shop because I had the rear tire replaced after I cracked the rim riding around the concrete trenches of Little Armenia.  My phone bill is also past-due so there's another one hundred and forty bucks gone. In twenty-four hours, I'll have less than sixty dollars to my name.  But at least I have work tomorrow.    

Oh wait, I forgot.  No sooner after calculating all this did I get a text from the producer telling me that the scene had to be cancelled because I, Max Michigan, was suddenly discovered to be on the female talent's no list, or, more specifically, the no-list for the female talent's agent--a real shitweasel of a person.  Just saying his name makes me cringe, so let's avoid going further down that rabbit hole for the time being, but rest assured, there is indeed a story behind this.  

For now, life on the blacklist continues to plague me, so work is once again cancelled, leaving me holding my dick. That reminds me, I did have something I wanted to talk about. Something I either discuss too much or not enough—I can never be sure.  It is yet another fallacy of my profession, another unwanted side effect of being a working stiff.  I want to talk about jerking off, and not in a romanticized or pornographic way, something a bit more troublesome and perhaps more than just a little pathetic.  I love jerking off, I do, but I've come to realize I spend too much time living life with my dick in my hand.

Here, Let me explain.                        

In public, I sometimes space out and the next thing I know one of my hands is in my front pocket mindlessly fidgeting with the head of my cock.  In traffic, I drive with my right hand and rub through my pants with my left.  After a hike, I sit in my kitchen at my table and bullshit with my phone while tugging from the outside of my gym shorts.  

Picture this, I went out and bought myself a second computer desk so I could have one in the living room for writing--you know, actual work, and a private one tucked away in my bedroom, reserved strictly for jerking off.  I bought the desk under the delusion that it would make me a more consistent writer and somehow accelerate my productivity.  I thought that if I had a designated workstation in front of the atrium window with gleaming sunlight and a view of the palm trees I would suddenly find the inspiration I've been so desperate for.  I'll admit, it did get me out of the bedroom, but instead of writing the next great American novel, I now draw my living room curtains during the day, and the desk has endured nothing but frequent (and furious) procrasturbation.    

In the morning--on those rare occasions when I don't have cold pizza waiting, I stumble into the bathroom, and before I even bother brushing my teeth, I sit on the lip of the tub, huddle over my phone perched on the lid of the toilet seat, and jerk off, jolting my day with a literal pop

Even on the days I am booked for a scene I still find time to hunch over my desk and glue myself to the screen, my t-shirt bunched up under my chin as I jerk, not to completion this time, but to condition myself to always remain on the cusp, ready to pop within two minutes or less after receiving the official go sign--an off-camera thumbs up.  

On set, I disappear into the bathroom and jerk off as a final token to the porn gods so I may be granted the strength to maintain the edge after I am exposed to the blinding lights and piercing cameras.  Finally, the moment of truth. Showtime. Rock and Roll.    

I fuck.  To fuck is to earn. To fuck is to identify.  To fuck is to exist. 

Tell me, of what use is a porn star that doesn’t fuck?    

Between the Sheets.


Between the Sheets.

What I enjoy most about the writing process is the moment during long sessions when I stop thinking about what to write next and just let my body be the vessel for the genius inside. That’s when I know I’ve finally cracked the code, and I can see the scene so perfectly clear in my mind’s eye. I just have to hope that my hands can keep up.

I have been writing since I was a kid. As a teenager I would craft short stories and screenplays for my friends to produce and act in. Most of those projects remained unfinished due to sheer size of scope, but those that we did complete ended up on YouTube and circulated through a few local film festivals. This eventually landed me in film school, where my writing continued to swell. In my third year, I applied to and was accepted into an internship program that would take me to Los Angeles for my spring semester. Unbeknownst to everyone else, I had an ulterior motive.

My affinity for writing was only matched by my obsession with porn; ever since my first time using the internet (back in the first days of AOL), I discovered X-rated sites and was immediately hooked. But watching wasn’t enough – I wanted to be part of the action. Before the start of my internship, I contacted multiple adult performers, who then directed me to agencies. Young and hopeful, I emailed those agencies and sent in photos. Most went unanswered, but there was one (which is no longer in commission) that liked my look and was willing to give me an opportunity. That was my in, my foot in the door. A couple months later, in January 2012, I arrived in Los Angeles and on just my second day in town was already shooting my very first scene.

Cut to: 2013. I was now a full-time male performer in the industry.  My writing hadn’t stopped, but it took a backseat while I focused on work. That’s when tragedy struck. A moratorium was called because a veteran performer had tested positive for HIV.

I remember being flooded with second thoughts and fear. Desperate for an outlet, I purged onto the page. I had a sudden realization that our time as performers in this industry is limited, and while HIV cases are incredibly rare (almost nonexistent), the fact is that it has happened and it can happen to any one of us. I made a promise to myself right then and there to document my days, to share my story, and to immortalize my experience. This led to daily journaling, which was then digitally transcribed and molded over time to finally become my autobiographical fiction novel, Between the Sheets: Rise of a Working Stiff.

Between the Sheets, as detailed in the synopsis, loosely follows my real life trajectory through adolescence up to my first full year in the business, focusing on the literal ins and outs of the industry as well as the harsh realities that result from pursuing a life of fantasy. I can’t deny the fact that when the days are good, they areexceptional, a rush unlike anything else. When I’m firing on all cylinders, I truly love my job, but that isn’t to say it is completely without baggage. There is a flipside to “living the dream;” sacrifices are made and crossroads must be faced. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge whether the moments of bliss outweigh the lifetime of stigmatization, but I know for me, the struggle is worth the story.

This is Book One of an intended three-book series. I felt the need to split everything into separate parts due to excess of material. I believe I have found the perfect length to keep readers invested and then leave them hungry for more by the end. So long as I’m in porn, my story will never be officially finished. I didn’t intend to write one giant book as an end-all-be-all, I just wanted to compile moments and experiences. With Book One, I have set the stage, created the world, and introduced all of the major players. Between the Sheets is a definitive origin story.

Who is Logan?  Get your copy today and find out.  

Shit Happens.

Shit Happens.


After getting home from another hard day at the office, my pal Mitch invites me to join him on a sunset hike at Runyon Canyon.  

I bike to the metro station at Vermont and Santa Monica, which must solely operate on a sort of honor system or something because in my experience no employees or anyone even remotely "official" ever seem to be there to check tickets or monitor the platforms.  With the nose of my bike I nudge the plastic retractable bumpers of the handicap turnstile.  The light stays red but the doors open anyway.  I pretend it's an accident, but I still go through, I always do; honor system, my ass.  I ride to Hollywood and Vine, biking the rest of the way down Hollywood Boulevard past the iO theater and the Rise and Grind Coffee toward Mitch's apartment.  Once there, he decides he wants to break a sweat of his own, so we jog about a mile or so to the trailhead off Fuller Ave. 

And that’s when I notice a curious feeling creeping into the pit of my stomach, the type that forces my skin to break out in a cold sweat and usually sends me clenching on the way to the nearest bathroom with a swelling wave of haste.  It was the feeling of diarrhea.  I take a deep breath, hoping to alleviate the tension with a few fortunate farts, and after some controlled contractions, I regain my composure and write off the occurrence as a fluke. Onward and upward. 

We press forth toward salvation, soon reaching the top and gazing out toward the Hollywood skyline cloaked in a golden haze.

"Ah, can't beat LA sunsets," Mitch says, filling his chest with pride.  "whattya say, kid?"

"What do I say?  I say..." But before I can finish my thought the gurgling in my stomach returns, and with a splash, the unwanted houseguest sinks to the bottom rung of my lower intestine.  "Shit."  I stay frozen, caught like a deer in headlights, sphincter tight as a knot. I close my eyes and slow my breathing, focusing all of my energy south.  In a moment of brevity, I'm able to shake it off and we begin our descent.  Along the way, I start analyzing the depth of the bushes to see if I’d be able to hide away if I just duck slightly off trail.  No such luck; Runyon is a place to see and be seen no matter where you are. The clock was ticking; soon, my body would triumph over my mind and purge itself, social suicide be damned.  I just hoped I’d be locked away in privacy when that time inevitably comes.  But for now, I have to press on, have to persevere.   

We make it back to the entrance where I half remember seeing a Porta-Potty nearby, but of course it was just my imagination; wishful thinking.  Back on Fuller, we now have another mile to trudge back to Mitch's apartment. Briskly, we walk along Franklin Ave, and upon nearing The Magic Castle I feel confident.  I tell Mitch we should try jogging the rest of the way, so we least we attempt to.  Less than a block later, there is another drop lower into my bowels, and I remain drenched in panic.  I trot down a side street and crouch behind some trees—No, not here.  I turn and walk down an alleyway toward a dumpster thinking I could jump inside of it or maybe I could squeeze behind it and just fucking let it rip. But I don’t. I refrain from total and complete dehumanization.

Instead, I clamp my cheeks and speed walk back to Franklin, hastily trekking every painstaking block to Mitch's building, my forehead boiling and my skin infested with goose bumps.  Three blocks, two blocks, one block; I could almost see it now, snow at the end of the rainbow. Outside the complex, inside the front door, racing up the stairs to level 2.  Key in the hole, I rush inside and Mitch tosses me a bottle of Febreeze.  I slam shut the bathroom door, drop my shorts, and for the first time in over an hour I relax--cleared for detonation, green light, Go, Go, Go!  It's a cathartic cacophony of groans, grunts and panting followed by sighs of relief, joy, and then finally, elation.

Crisis averted.  Mission complete.  The demon is exorcised, and the house is clean once again.    

But Today Wasn't like Most Days.

But Today Wasn't Like Most Days.


Most days I remain glued to the computer screen from the moment I rise to the moment I decide to fire off one last time before bed.  I usually split my time clicking between multiple Internet tabs for inspiration, and then exposing my pride on webcam, putting on a show for lucky viewers, with me, mega stud, Max Michigan, as the star, front and center, rock hard and at my finest.  And never wanting the show to end, I’ve gone lengths to fool those watching me. Sometimes I’ll nix ejaculation--I am only human, after all--in favor of spraying endless loads of well-hydrated piss. If I pinch my shaft and moan accordingly, nobody's the wiser.  Trust me; I'm a professional.        

So, there I was, naked in my bathroom, sitting on the lip of the tub with a semi-erect cock and a bladder ready to burst.  My laptop perched on the toilet seat in front of me, headphones jacked in, and porn queued up.  I was ready to play.  

I logged into Skype to call one of my regulars—a dominatrix by the name of Venus.  For the last few months I’ve been paying Venus $10 a session for Jerk off instructions, or J.O.I., as they’re commonly referred to.  I deposited $10 into her Paypal account and called with my camera aimed solely on my fevered fapping, knowing full well Venus wouldn't give two shits about seeing my face.  I anticipated her getting right down to business and jumping into character, spewing her usual stream of filth and grime, but instead she answered looking glum, sniffling while dabbing a rag over her left eye.

“I’m going to have to let you go,” she said.  "For good."  

“Awe, come on, why?” I asked, eager to play. 

“I’m going to jail,” she said.   

“Yeah, ok, whatever,” I said.  “Come on, you want me to spray or what?”

“Max." she said soberly.  "I am going to jail.  I just fucking killed a guy.  There’s blood all over my floor!” Venus craned her neck to the right, staring, contemplating, letting the rag fall.  I noticed her eye was bloodshot and the socket puffy“I have to call you back,” she said.   

Before I could say anything Venus hung up and signed out, leaving me limp and dumbfounded.

What the fuck?

She couldn’t have possibly been serious, right?  I mean, you don’t just kill someone and then immediately answer a Skype call from some fucking pervert ready to piss all over himself; that can't possibly be your first move after murder.  

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t too far fetched of an idea, Venus killing somebody.  I know for a fact she's had some violent run-ins in the past.  I remember about a month ago she was camming with a black eye and a busted lip after getting, “Jumped by some junkie,” she said.  I can only wonder if her victim was the same guy; maybe it was payback, a well thought out plan.  Or maybe it was a crime of passion, self defense; a new client who was a little overzealous, took things just one step too far, leaving Venus no choice but to fight back, and then in a daze she continued about her day as if nothing had happened, business as usual.  

Regardless, if she's telling me the truth and she actually just fucking killed somebody, chances are I’ll be getting a call from the cops.  Think about it, the two of us communicated--possibly even corroborated in their minds--me with my dick in my hand, and her with a corpse by her feet.  That kind of thing requires explanation.  Great.  Just one more thing I need to worry about; yet another turn of the screw in the misadventures of Max Michigan.  




A Taste of Your Own Medicine.

The door closed and she pushed me to the bed, straddling my waist, grinding her hips, and pressing her panties against my crotch.  She pulled my shirt up over my face and pinned my arms to the bed. 

"Don't fucking move," she warned.   

Softly, she kissed my lips, grazing her fingernails across my stubbled cheek.  She moved below to my chest and kissed my nipples and my abs, working lower toward my loins.  She traced her fingers along the outline of my visibly growing cock before giving it a healthy squeeze within my jeans.  She undid my belt, my button, and my zipper, taking it out and tracing it with her index finger, causing it to bounce involuntarily with jolts of desire. 

She removed my shirt from my face and stuck her thigh-high fishnet clad foot in my mouth. 

“Clean it," she said. 

I obeyed, licking and worshipping as she thrust it in the back of my throat. 

She climbed on top.  I reached my arms toward her, but she pushed them away.

“I told you not to fucking move,” she said. 

She gripped my shaft, teasing the head on the surface of her warm slit, letting it glide in slowly, making sure we both feel every inch of its entry.  Her body tensed, spasmed, and she moaned without inhibition. 

That’s when I took control, hauling her out of the bed and pressing her face against the glass of the hotel room window overlooking the dazzling lights of the Vegas strip, fucking doggy style, her staring at the world forty-stories below.

“I want you to drain yourself for me,” she said, falling to her knees, her mouth agape and eager for a payload of beautiful luminescence, which coated her throat, glistened on her tongue, and swayed suspended from her teeth. 

Then, with a determined look, she pointed to the floor as if to say, get on your fucking knees and open wide, bitch.   I complied, and she leaned over me, pried my lips apart, and dropped the entirety of the pearls into my mouth. 

“Now swallow it,” she demanded. 

I did as instructed.  

“Good boy,” she cooed, cupping my chin, smiling in contentment. 

And then, as a final fuck you, she slapped my face and retired to the bed, leaving me alone on the floor, licking my lips and staring out toward the horizon, reveling in the ecstasy of my orgasm.  

Death in a Flying Tin Can.

Death in a Flying Tin Can.


I left my friends on the shores of Venice and hopped in my car, gunning it toward the Hawthorne Airport to meet Sal Shooter and the rest of the Pinnacle News documentary team.  They were in town shooting a piece on a twenty-one year old female jet pilot, and at her special request, they were about to ascend into the skies with me—pseudo celebrity porn stud, Logan Pierce, as their guest of honor.     

Suddenly my car broke down without any semblance of a warning, save for the flashing battery and brake lights which had just started sporadically flashing a few days earlier--something I didn't think much of at the time what with other parts of my car's computer system already in turmoil. 

I drifted into the shoulder and threw on my hazards, parking along the 405 in front of the large green "Florence Ave" sign.  I couldn't bear the thought of sitting in my now-lifeless hunk of steel as some drunken asshole swerved onto the shoulder, so I quickly killed the engine and trotted ten yards away.  I found a small grassy knoll and sat on a tree stump surrounded by mulch, trash, weeds, and insects. My mouth was dry from the salty waters, my skin was simmering from the burning sun, and my body was hollow from the severe lack of food I hadn’t eaten. I was wearing Hurley board shorts, white flip-flops, and, in bold print, my graphic T-shirt bore the word, "Reckless.”  Go figure.     

Fifteen minutes later a tow truck arrived, but not the one my insurance said I should be expecting. This was a different truck, one that worked for the city and not for my insurance company, therefore, one that couldn’t do jack-shit for me.  The driver came and said some of his coworkers passed and saw my car.  Thinking it was abandoned because I was nowhere in sight, they called him and told him to come take a look.

“Yeah, it sounds like you got a busted alternator,” he said.  “I feel bad.  Wish I could help, I really do, but I’m sure your truck will probably come soon.” Then he walked off, leaving me alone with no food, no water, no money, and no hope.  

I know the money wasn't exactly his doing, but still, I was broke and mad as all hell about it.  What can I say?  Sometimes the money would go almost as quickly as it came.  And right now I was just another penniless porn star, drifting lower, so close my feet could almost touch bottom. 

Soon enough my truck arrived.  There were Triple-A decals strewn across the cabin doors. That should have been my first clue that something was amiss, but like most other overt foreshadowing in my life I overlooked it and regarded it as trivial.  

"But, believe me, nothing is trivial."                                                

The driver strapped up my car and we were off.  En route, he got a phone call.  It was his boss. Apparently, he just found out that I wasn't a Triple-A cardmember.  Of course, this was something I knew all along, but I chose to keep my mouth shut and hope for the best.  The result, he concluded, was that he would either have to charge me $150 for the tow, or I could call my insurance as a last ditch effort and try to figure out why they decided to call a members-only tow service.                        

I picked up the phone and dialed.  Naturally, they couldn’t seem to do a goddamn thing for me. The only thing they could offer was the option to call another tow truck. Meanwhile the current driver's boss told him to just drop me off.  So he did, leaving me in a strip-mall somewhere in Inglewood.  

And there I sat in my metal coffin, stewing like a little bitch-boy, hating the world and everyone in it when a man wearing flip-flops, plaid capris, a lavender polo, and a black fedora barreled past my car and toward the communal bathrooms.  Not reaching the door in time he suddenly spewed vomit, something putrid. It looked like jungle juice, treated red fluid and fruit chunks everywhere. Then he had the decency to recompose himself, spit one final loogie in the swamp, and saunter away as if nothing ever happened, leaving some poor unsuspecting employee with the dignified task of mopping it all up.  Maybe bottom was further from me than I thought.

Eventually I was picked up, and as I sat in the truck's cabin I considered my options.  I could have the driver take me back to my cottage in little Armenia and attempt to find a parking space big enough on the street for him to drop my car, or we could thread the truck through my shoestring driveway and then push it (in no less than five-points) into my glorified shed that served as a pathetic excuse for a garage.  Of course, I could just have the driver bring me to the nearest shop and bite the bullet by unsheathing the credit card I had been desperately trying to pay off and taking care of the problem like a grown, mature adult.  Decisions, decisions.    

Admittedly, I knew less than dick about auto-garages so I called the nearest Pepboys.  The voice on the other line informed me that a new alternator would cost an estimated $250 for both parts and labor.  Ah, not so bad, I thought, all things considered.  So we went straight to the garage.    

There, the driver dropped my car in one of the assigned "waiting" spots with practiced precision.  "Hey man, hope it works out," he said, honking his horn as he drove off.  

I went inside and talked to an employee.  He added my name to the list.

"How far down the list am I?" I asked.

"Well...if you want to wait around we could probably get to it tonight," he said.  "But it would be toward the back end, like closing time."

"What time do you close?"

"Like nine, nine-thirty depending on how much work we got."

I looked at my phone.  It was 5:30 pm.  It would be ridiculous to taxi home and then taxi back later, I thought, so what choice did I have?   

"Okay, I'll wait," I said, peering out the lobby window and spotting a McDonald's across the street, accepting my fate.  

I left my keys with the Pepboys certified auto ambassador and meandered toward the hamburger haven where I ate a Big Mac with fries and a medium iced coffee.  I wasted time scribbling in my notebook, people watching, and leafing through the current book I was reading, Portnoy's Complaint--Can't say it was a worthwhile read, but I did power through about a hundred pages that day. Not too bad.  Closing time was soon on the horizon, and I bought two McDoubles and McChicken to go.   

Back at Pepboys, a mechanic with stained hands told me my car wouldn’t be ready until the following afternoon--a bit of information that would've been helpful before I completely wasted what was left of my day.  He also hit me with a quote different from the one I received over the phone.  Now the going estimate for parts and the labor was $600.  Peachy-fuckin-keen.

I taxied home, locked my door, and drew the blinds.  I smoked a bowl of resin and hosted a pity party for myself.  The last thing I did before falling asleep was eat my last McDouble in bed after jerking off to a crappy foreign porno where a man came on a woman's face, and oddly enough, she wasn't offended by the notion; in fact, she seemed rather smitten.          

The following day I spoke to Sal on the phone.  He told me their flight had been "a bit fucking turbulent.”  Apparently, heavy clouds rolled in and forced the pilot to land prematurely.  They attempted a second round but only lasted a few minutes in the air before descent was "absolutely fucking necessary."  Sal said that for a moment he honestly thought the plane was going down.

"It was WILD, man, you should've been there."

"Yeah, I'm so sorry I missed it," I said, imagining just for a second what could've happened if I was there.  Maybe my weight would’ve made all the difference.  Maybe the plane would've lost altitude and plummeted.  I wondered if my car breaking down on the highway was what allowed us to narrowly escape death in a flying tin can.  Then I stopped because these aren't the types of things a person should think about.  

But if it were true, that would be one hell of a silver lining.  

Writers of the Road.

Writers of the Road.  


The game itself wasn't anything new.  Writers have been people watching since the first depressed son of a bitch picked up a pen instead of a bottle.  The rules were simple.  Choose somebody.  Somebody who’s interesting.  Somebody who sparks creativity. Then create a profile about them, write a story, and turn that person into a character.   

In college, my creative writing professor, Professor Pinyin, always encouraged us to go sit in a coffee shop or at a park or at a Laundromat and observe the sites.  I spent countless hours at tables in Starbucks watching people shuffle like zombies toward the counter and order the same goddamn soy caramel Macchiato with two shots of espresso.  Then they would either leave or sit quietly with their earbuds in and their eyes glued to their phone. Not very interesting material; in fact, I found it rather fucking boring. 

I like discussions, and I like having people to bounce ideas off of, so I enlisted the help of my friend Ricky, the only other writer I knew in the city that’s supposedly full of artists. 

Ricky and I had spoken about the game briefly in the past—spit-balled the idea, more like it. We thought it would be fun.  I mean, how hard could it be?  We were writers, after all.  We lived for storytelling.  Maybe we'd strike oil, or maybe it wouldn’t amount to anything, but we didn't care. We had the time, we had the minds, and we damn sure needed the material.  It'd been almost two years since either one of us had sold a screenplay, a pilot, or any significant piece of literature. Ricky had sold a little blurb to Buzzfeed back in October that landed him about $2500. That was a little victory, but now, we were in a rut. Two weeks without pay checks. Mom and dad were of no help either, Ricky's anyway. Mine were more or less dead to me, so there was little help they could offer even if I wanted it.  No, we had dug ourselves into this hole and now it was time we got ourselves out.  We were here for a reason. We came to create, to get noticed, to become somebodies. Whatever the proverbial it may be, it was here, and we were destined (desperate) to make it.

We decided to do a dry run at the mall because there are hundreds of people walking in every direction at any given point in time. Some people alone, some people with families, some people on dates, etc. The point was there would be plenty of opportunity for inspiration. 

And there we were, sitting on a bench outside of Wetzel’s Pretzels.  Ricky was munching on a cinnamon sugar pretzel while I had my notebook cracked open and my pen in hand.  Together, we peered across the courtyard and scoured for subjects.  Naturally, the first subject we chose was a pretty girl sauntering between stores, her none-too-pleased boyfriend in tow, carrying two bags from Guess, one bright pink bag from Victoria’s Secret, and one small bag from Tiffany’s.  The boyfriend was in the middle of, what appeared to be, a heated conversation with the piece of plastic he was holding to his ear. 

We heard mutterings like, “That is impossible...the money was in my account yesterday,” and, “my father is going to lose his shit if he hears about this.”  Beads of sweat boiled on his forehead; meanwhile, his significant other, the tanned and toned blonde with the daisy-dukes and the big cum-on-me tits, disappeared into Sephora.  The boyfriend stayed outside and leaned against the railing overlooking the three floors of shops below.  Ricky and I moved closer to continue our eavesdropping. 

On the phone, the boyfriend said, “You know what this means, right?  If that money is not there, I am fucking ruined. No!” he screamed.  “You listen to me!”  He lowered his voice and relaxed his breath.  “All of my cards are maxed out and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.  Today is Tara’s birthday, and we're out shopping, okay?”  

We slid closer along the railing, so close, in fact,  that I could literally reach out and grab the boyfriend’s shoulder if I felt so inclined, but I kept my composure and remained innocuous.  Suddenly, The toned blonde, who I could only imagine was the Tara in question, emerged from Sephora with a sour look on her face.  

“Tommy,” She said solemnly.  “There’s some kind of problem with your card.”   

Tommy--the boyfriend--said into his phone, “I have to call you back,” and hung up.  He turned his attention to Tara.  “Babe, what’s wrong?”  

“I don’t know,” she said.  “They told me the card was declined or something.”  

Under his breath, I could hear Tommy utter, “Motherfucker.”  

“Well, what are you going to do?” she asked.

Tommy ignored her.  “Babe, this mall sucks.  Let’s get out of here.”

“No,” she pleaded with puppy-dog eyes.  “They have the exact eyeliner I want and the most perfect cover-up. Please?”

“Fuck that,” said Tommy.  “Let's go.”

Tara stomped her foot.  “But, it’s my birthday!  I want it and it’s your job to get it for me.”

This was too much for Ricky.  He couldn’t contain himself and burst out laughing.  He tried to cover his mouth, but Tara’s whiny response was in such typical trust-fund baby fashion, that his laughs were impossible to muffle.  

Tara pouted and looked toward us.  She knew why he was laughing.  

Tommy peered over.  “Something funny?” He asked.

“Inside Joke,” I said.

Tommy approached.  “I bet this is really fucking funny, isn't it?” He said.

“That’s why we’re laughing,” I said.

Tommy toughened up.  “Got something to say, say it to my face.”

“Oh yeah?” Ricky said.  “I got something to say.”  He turned his attention to Tara, “Happy Birthday, sweetheart”

 “Yeah, and good luck with your credit card, Tommy,” I said, ushering Ricky toward the escalators

“What was that?”  Tommy called, voice cracking.

“I hope daddy can take care of it,” Ricky yelled as we descended.

We rode down to the first floor, keeping our eyes on Tommy, who didn’t make any attempt to follow.  Tara approached and put her hand on his shoulder.  He swatted it away and turned his back.  

We left the mall that day with a new story to tell, but at the risk of getting into a fight, it wasn’t nearly worth the trouble.  The main problem, we realized, was that we couldn’t openly discuss the subjects as they presented themselves in front of us; we had to remain silent observers.  That was something I resented.  I wanted the freedom to craft and speak up in the moment; that’s where the fun is, and that’s where the best ideas reside.  

In my mind, the mall was a failure.  We needed a new plan.

That’s when it hit us to take the game on the road.  Drivers have unabashed faith in their car being a sacred place where nobody can see or hear them.  In the car, a solo-motorist can listen to their music on full blast and sing and dance in their seat without worry.  Drivers and passengers can speak openly about money, relationships, and sex.  Couples can argue or even please one another without fear of eavesdropping ears or peeping eyes.  The car is a bubble; an oasis safe from the outside world, but we were about to penetrate it.

In our car, we would have total freedom to say whatever we pleased about the others on the road, being as politically correct or as ignorant as we wanted.  Who would care?  Nobody would hear us anyway.  We would be perfectly isolated in our own traveling writer’s room.  It sounded like a dream, and a perfect opportunity to make something of ourselves.

We were in Ricky’s car, on our way to the beach and passing a joint when we decided to give it a try.    

"Look out my window." Ricky said, pointing his finger and steaming from a fresh rip. "The red Tacoma with the broken window. You see it?"  

I looked and found said truck. Not only was the rear passenger side window sealed with duct tape and a trash bag, but the driver looked like a 1,000 year old Mayan with sagging leather skin and a ragged straw hat on it's head.

"What the hell is that thing?" I asked. "Looks like return of the undead cowboy."

"I was thinking Hollis Brown." Ricky said.

"Oh god, in the flesh!" I said. "Definitely Lynchian."

"Definitely Lynchian." Ricky affirmed.

"Where do you think it’s going?" I asked.

"The truck?" He asked.

"No, the thing driving it. I'm not even convinced that's a human being behind the wheel." I said.

"Going? I don't know,” he said.  “I was thinking more along the lines of where did he come from?"

"So, you think it is a man?" I asked.

"It's whatever we want it to be,” he said.  “That's the point of the game.  Maybe we could use the androgyny to our advantage."  

I thought for a moment, letting the joint rest.  "Okay. I got it!  In the middle of a sex change operation, Señor Sol, lost all of his money, and in a fit of despair he drank himself to death; except he didn't die, he just fell into a coma in the middle of the desert for 1,000 years.  He/she/it just woke up mere hours ago and is now on a crusade to find and kill the person who stole his fortune."

"Great character" Ricky said, oozing sarcasm.

"Hey, what do you expect from me. You picked him, " I said.  

"If we're going to do it, we ought to take it seriously, right?" He asked.  

"Yes sir,” I said, conceding.  

"I'm not joking," he said.  

"OK. OK.”  I said, diffusing the situation.  “Let's find a better subject. Somebody a bit more, err, unassuming."

"Pass me that joint," he said. I re-lit the joint and handed it to him.  "Here's what I'm thinking,” he continued.  “We need more traffic; these cars are moving too fast. We can't get a good look at the drivers. I say we head downtown, where the 101 meets the 110 and the 10. Traffic is hellish there. We’ll definitely find somebody worth exploring."

"Fine by me,” I said.  “Beach isn't going anywhere."  

So, we rerouted and just as we approached the exit for Central Ave., things began to slow down.  Speedometers regressed to zero and the supposed highway became a bonafide parking lot.  

Conditions were perfect.  Now it was time to play...        

The Return of The Police.

The Return of The Police.

Friday morning he wakes, brushes his teeth, puts in his eyes, makes his bed, and does fifty pushups.  He drinks a soufflé cup of ginger tea and eats an entire kiwi including the skin and half a cup of cottage cheese for breakfast. 

He pedals the Golden Dragon to Yoga and submits to Bella, the Spanish goddess yoga instructor (think Penelope Cruz) who he may or may not be secretly in love with; another story altogether. 

“Namaste mi yogis,” Bella whispers in the darkness, her students in scattered shavasanas around the studio. 

“Namaste, mi amor,” Logan whispers back.      

Pure and on a natural high, Logan bikes through Hollywood, weaving between cars crawling in midday traffic; in the land of gridlock, bikers are king.

He gets home, packs his dirty laundry, drives to the Laundromat, and dumps his clothes in the wash.  He walks across the street to Queen Bee for a steaming cappuccino and a croissant sandwich while he waits and reads Desert Solitude.  During the dry cycle, he drives to Pavilions and buys milk, produce, cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios) and two bottles of red—well, one cabernet and one rose. 

Normally, Logan wouldn’t consider buying a rose, but tonight he has something special planned.  He’s been sexting with a new female starlet by the name of Penny Sparks.  They met on Twitter because that’s how true and honest connections are made these days.  Penny is twenty-two years old and of Korean descent; her skin is a perfect butterscotch complexion. She’s been working in the industry for less than three months.  Penny is scheduled to arrive at LAX in a couple hours and has planned to spend the evening with Logan, so he took the initiative and bought a bottle of her favorite light and fruity libation.

He drives back to the Laundromat, folds his clothes, and packs them in his car alongside the groceries.  He drives home and unpacks everything.  He hangs his clothes, he vacuums the carpets, he mops the floors, dusts the appliances and window sills, cleans his cat’s litter box, scrubs the countertops, tabletops, and shower tiles (he’s trying to make a good impression, damnit).  As a coupe de grace, he stands in the middle of each room and sprays Michael Kors Cologne toward each corner of the ceiling, letting it disperse and slowly rain. 

He trims his dangly bits, showers, and soon Penny arrives.  They sip wine (rose) and chit-chat about nothing in particular; he plays piano and sings for her, he decimates her in Mancala, and he explains to her the rules of the card game Cinelinx and how it’s purely for nerds who love film—a topic about which she admittedly knows next to nothing. 

Logan asks her to sit on his lap and make-out for a few minutes; she eagerly assents and straddles him.  They suck face and dry hump and he runs his hands along her body, slipping underneath her clothes with ease.  After some adolescent debauchery they compose themselves. 

They finish their rose and Logan calls an uber to pick them up and take them downtown so they can attend Janice "Spunky" Spunkmeyer's fundraiser for her upcoming work/share art space for marginalized artists in LA.  Spunky is the proprietor of the giant pink stickers of Drake’s face seen prominently plastered across the city.  The party is held in a small gallery in Chinatown.  Provocative nude art adorns the walls.  Logan introduces Penny to Spunky and they delicately pet Spunky's micro teacup Pomeranian, delightfully named, “Dwayne Johnson.”.

“Because, he’s like def the most inspirational person to follow,” Spunky says, nuzzling Dwayne Johnson.  “And this furry ball of love inspires me to be the best me everyday.”

There is a keg of PBR in the corner and pink solo-cups stacked on top.  They have a few drinks and watch a live mock “TED Talk” about Britney Spears and her schizophrenic Instagram.  Afterword, an all female Blink-182 cover band called Pink-182 plays and everyone head bangs and sways to the sounds of nostalgic 90's punk. 

Logan and Penny step outside to get some air and smoke a joint, during which time Penny drops her cup and inexplicably faints.  Thankfully, Logan catches her before she gets a face-full of concrete.  He walks her over to a nearby bench where she comes to and claims to have no recollection of passing out.  She says she didn’t take any pills beforehand, and as far as she knows the only person to hold her cup besides her was Logan. 

“Trust me,” he says.  “I would never do something like that, not cool, not my thing.”

“Well, what about your joint?”

“Are you kidding me?  That weed was like twenty-five an eighth; mid-shelf, at best.”

“Do you think it’s because I didn’t eat any dinner?”

“…Yeah, that might have something to do with it.  All right, let's say goodbye and get some food, huh?”

They leave the party and on the way home Logan orders an extra large Garage Pizza.  At his apartment they watch It’s Always Sunny and he eats four slices while Penny eats none.

“I’m just not very hungry, you know?”

“If you say so.”

They go to bed and fuck.  They wake in the middle of the night and fuck again.  They fall back asleep naked in each other’s arms.  They wake; they fuck.        

Saturday afternoon Logan leads Penny on a hike at Griffith Park.  Afterward he takes her to brunch at the Bowery Bungalow and they (he) devour a Lebanese platter for two while sipping Turkish coffee from tiny espresso mugs. 

They get home and fuck again in the shower.  He drives her back to where she’s staying, and conveniently, she’s downtown right next to The Last Bookstore.  This is a relief from the typical fare of starlets flying in by the dozen to stay in unkempt and overcrowded Valley McMansions. 

Logan spends the afternoon with his filmmaker friend Geoff—a recent NYU Grad and the closest thing in Logan’s life to a living, breathing personification of Billy Walsh--in his newly acquired editing bay provided by the production company he recently signed with.  Together, they (Geoff) edit his latest music video in which a young boy kills and eats the family dog out of sheer curiosity.  Later the two of them discuss locations for Geoff’s upcoming short film, entitled, “Nazi Punks, Fuck Off.” 

“It’s an art piece, but nobody’s gonna fucking understand it,” whines Geoff. 

“Isn’t that the point?” Says Logan.

“I don’t even know the fuckin’ point anymore, man.  This fuckin’ oppressive sun zaps all my energy and it’s turning me into a zombie.  I just want to walk to dive bars, shoot pickle-back and get some dollar slices, but no, there’s not one fuckin’ good slice of pizza in this town and nobody fuckin’ walks anywhere.”   

“Alright, so why don’t you cry about it?”

“…I wish I could cry, man.  I wish I could.”

Saturday Night.  Fox Theater.  10:00 P.m. 

In bold black print the marquee reads:

Go away.  Nothing to See HereKeep Moving, folks.

Inside, a once forgotten about dance-punk band is playing a secret show with all of their friends around watching.  This is the band’s fifth pop-up in the last five years since their cathartic departure at Madison Square Garden in 2011, but now they’re back, and he, Logan, is there with his friend Budd, getting innocuous with the rest of the privileged few.  

The atmosphere calls for something cinematic, so, naturally, he falls in love. 

While he waits for Budd to hit the slopes and get drinks he notices her standing nearby talking to her friend, waiting for the arena to fill and the show to begin.  Out of his periphery, she reads well--petite, dark brown hair, caramel skin--but once again succumbing to his shyness out in the wild, Logan never garners the courage to crane his neck to make affirming eye contact, let alone introduce himself. 

Thankfully, Budd handles the situation and makes it look easy.  With bright eyes and flared nostrils, Budd notices her and her friend, and without even the slightest glimmer of doubt, he enters their space, and puts himself out there, stealing their attention, and it works, of course it works.  They like him, as they should.  He is genuine; forward, but harmless; loud, but complimentary.  They smile and laugh at his jokes, and suddenly their social bubbles merge, proving yet again that all it takes is eye contact, a soft smile, a small sense of affability, and the willingness to interact and play the game.  

The four of them already have something in common: they’re all fans of the band; the music is what brought them together. 

Logan shakes her hand.

“Megan,” she says, smiling.

“Megan, hi," he says.  “So, where are you from?”

“San Fernando City.”

“What would you say is your Favorite Song?”

“Umm, Pow-Pow.”

“Pow-Pow? Me too,” he says, half-lying. 

He takes a chance and asks her one of the renowned 36 questions:

“So, if you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?”

She deliberates for a moment, intrigued, willing to play along.

Charles Bukowski,” She says with earnest.

He remains silent, observing her deep brown eyes. 

“…Perfect answer,” he says, sincere.

The band soon takes the stage and for the next ninety minutes nothing matters but the beautiful lights and melancholic melodies of someone great losing his edge live in front of of die-hards, squares, social media celebrities, and porn stars.

After the hits and out front of the theater, Logan asks for Megan's number.

“We should keep in touch, go downtown sometime and hit the Last Bookstore.” 

“Yes, please.  I’ve never been.”

“Really? An LA native who actually reads and you’ve been to the Last Bookstore?”

“I’ve been bad,” she says, playfully.

“We should definitely go; I’ll give you the tour.”

“Okay.  What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow…taking you downtown?”

“Really? You want to?”

“Absolutely.  I’ll text you tomorrow.”

“Call me in the morning.  I try to avoid texting; I’m weird.”

“I like that.  Okay, cool, I’ll call you tomorrow.

They hug and part ways.  Logan struts to Budd, renewed. 

“Gotta date with her tomorrow,” he boasts.  “Gonna take her to the bookstore.”

“Oh, fuck off,” Budd Laughs. “The second I heard her say Bukowski I was like, ‘My god, I think Logan just nutted himself.’”

“Fuck yeah.  To say I’m excited right now would be the understatement of the year.” 

They get into Budd’s dented 03’ Corolla with expired plates and drive back to Hollywood, stopping first to get some celebratory fast food. 

Sunday.  Logan meets Megan out-front of the Last Bookstore and before entering they walk through the farmer’s market, wandering and absorbing the scene. Inside, they saunter the aisles and shelves and talk about their favorite authors and titles.  Logan buys copies of Choke, Into the Wild, and, Sex, Drugs, and Coco-Puffs—A book of essays, Megan's recommendation.

They leave and get lunch at Cole’s.  Over beef French dips and IPAs, Logan learns that Megan has lived in Los Angeles (the Valley) her entire life; she’s of Mexican descent and speaks fluent Spanish.  She has two back tattoos of different wilderness landscapes and a tattoo of a lighthouse on her left shoulder.  She teaches pre-school and also works as a TA for a high school teacher who once taught her and was the first adult to encourage her to read Bukowski. Megan read Women when she was fourteen; one can only imagine how that must’ve shaped her teenage years.

Eventually she asks, “So…what do you do?”

Logan sighs and asks if it’s obvious that he’s trying to avoid the conversation (or at least put it off until after she decides she likes him).  He tells her everything, his years in the business, and his “success” as a performer.  Megan is initially shocked by his admission, but it’s a pleasant surprise; it appears so, at least.  She’s eager to know the gritty details, the ins and outs, yearning for good story.

After lunch and a couple more drinks atop the Ace Hotel, they make plans to see the Dodgers play next Friday.  They share a goodbye hug and Logan gives her a kiss on the cheek.   

On his way home Logan receives a text from the 2016 AVN/XBIZ Best New female Starlet, Abella Danger; her body is a handcrafted personification of Hedone herself. 

About a week ago, Logan and Abella ran into each other on set and reminisced about the one and only time they’re worked together in the past, conjuring fantasies, stimulating the senses. 

In her text, Abella says she’s been craving him since their rendezvous.  Logan loves hearing this.  He invites Abella to come over and get intimate, the details of which will remain private, but rest assured they have a sloppy and slaphappy good time.  Abella leaves around 1 a.m. to drive back to her apartment in the valley. 

Logan lay in bed relaxed, reveling in the wake of the weekend.  Sometimes when he’s down and feels small he wonders if it’s all even worth it; if he’s just wasting his time in this business and in Los Angeles, but then he has a weekend like this, full of adventure, spontaneity, lust, love, and such prospect.  These experiences are what fulfill and nourish the spirit; he feeds off the constant and complex chemical reactions.  He relishes these moments where he can reflect on a life he never imagined possible, this life; his very own beautiful dark twisted fantasy. 

Going Out.

Going Out. 


After work he dresses in a grey suit with a periwinkle shirt and a black tie.  He gels his hair.  He takes a cab to meet his friends at a new speakeasy; it's entry: by reservation only.

Lou’s superior from his internship at Gersh made the call; their reservation being held under the name "Vincenzo Espinosa."

They approach the doorman, say the magic words and are granted access.  They walk up a derelict stairwell outlined with burning prayer candles leading them to a room resembling a shabby hotel lobby.  In the lobby is a woman dressed as a provocative bell-hop.  She greets the boys and sets the guidelines:

“No flash photography of the in-house band or the burlesque dancers, and the only exit is located on the ground floor, that is, once you go down you don’t come back up, got it?”

“Got it.”   

She opens a double door closet; in it are maroon velvet curtains. She pulls the curtains aside to reveal a dark passageway.

“Gentlemen, welcome to El Baile.”

They walk through the darkness onto a metal grate walkway; the sounds of live music reverberate off the floor and through the walls.  The music crescendos as more light reveals itself.  The walkway leads to a spiral staircase overlooking a sea of elegantly dressed patrons sipping crafted cocktails and salsa dancing as an Afro-Cuban jazz band jams on a private balcony.

 “Ay dios mio!” The boys cheer.

They descend and approach the bar.  Lou chats with a girl who’s waiting for her date to arrive.  

Yeah, but it's not like he’s here right now, sweetheart,” he coaxes.

“No thanks, Kid.”

“…Ouch,” he says, looking back at a laughing Logan and Bernie.  “Fuck it, I’m buying the first round.”

“Hey, what a guy, “ says Bernie, slapping Lou’s shoulder.

Logan leans against the bar and scans the room.  He takes note of  a  beautiful blonde just out of earshot wearing a red cocktail dress and sipping wine while swaying her hips to the music.

Woman in red, he thinks.    

Suddenly she makes eye contact.  Logan stares but he hesitates, looking away and burying his face behind Bernie’s shoulder.  

See, Logan may be a “Porn star,” and he may now define himself by his superior ability to fuck, but when he’s outside the parameter of porn, Logan lacks a certain air of confidence.  With no set to approach, no dangling paycheck, and no director telling him it’s okay to be a pervert, that he is allowed to objectify another person, that it’s time to act, Logan feels at a loss, unsure of himself, inferior. 

No matter; he forgets about it and lets the moment pass.  Onward and upward.     

The boys finish their drinks and Logan buys the next round. They wander around the bar; in the back there’s a dimly lit cigar lounge shrouded in thick clouds of Cuban tobacco smoke.  They step inside and take a collective savoring whiff.   

“You guys thinking what I’m thinking?” Says Lou.

“Stogies!” Says Logan.   

“I’m on it,” Says Bernie, already approaching the bar.    

Two minutes later they’re sitting on fashionably ripped leather chairs, legs crossed with stogies and drinks in hand.

“To the night!” They cheer, clinking glasses and gnawing cigar heads.  

Logan’s eyes widen as his woman in red returns.  With a couple friends she saunters into the backroom, and Lou, being of pure brawn, immediately perks up and gets their attention.

“Thank you, God,” Logan says to himself.

Introductions are made all around and group conversation follows.  Logan and the woman casually gravitate toward each other.  

Shaking her hand he says, “Hey, my name’s Logan.”


“…I’m sorry?”

“My name is Eira.”

“Oh…I don’t think I’ve ever heard that name before.”

“It’s Welsh.  I’m from Sylvania.”

“No shit?  Funny enough, I am from Pennsylvania.  How interesting!”

“Yes, very.”

“So, what brought you to Los Angeles?

“Oh, I’m visiting a friend in the states.”

“You said you’re moving into your own place?”

“No, I’m visiting.  You know, tourist!”

“Oh, cool.  Sorry, it’s pretty loud in here.  So, Sylvania, that’s where Dracula is from right?”

“I don’t think I know who that is.”


“No.  Um, I’m going to talk to my friend for a minute.”

“Oh, okay, cool. ”  

She turns her attention away and Logan retreats to Bernie. 

“Hey, how did that go, stud?”

“I’m fucking blowing it.  She said she’s from Sylvania and I made some stupid joke about how coincidental it is that I’m from Pennsylvania.”

“Awe, come on, man.  That’s like telling Dorothy you're not in Kansas anymore.”

“Yeah, no shit, she walked away.”

Defeated, Logan resorts to a desperate act.

“I got an idea,” he says to Bernie.

“Good luck, tiger.”

Logan approaches Eira from behind and taps her on the shoulder.  He leans in to her ear, hijacking her attention away from her friend.

“Hey, how about I get you a drink?

“…Sure,” she says.  "A glass of red wine, please.”  

“A glass of red wine. Easy.  Be right back. “

His first mistake is leaving Eira alone as he goes to the bar.  The minute he steps away another man swoops in, a taller man who Logan realizes to be better dressed, better looking, and probably in better financial standing than he.   

“Son of a bitch,” Logan mutters.

Caught up with the inconvenient arrival of the new hunk, Logan blindly orders “Sauvignon” from the bartender with a certain sense of assurance in his voice.  Then he realizes his mistake.  In horror Logan watches the bartender pour a glass of white wine, and feeling too embarrassed to admit it, he just pays for the drink, and sulks back to Eira and her new date.

Logan sheepishly hands her the glass and apologizes that it’s white, fabricating a story to make the bartender appear like the idiot.  Eira smiles and nods, returning to the taller, more attractive bastard.

Logan retreats to Bernie. 

“Wanna get out of here?” Logan asks.

“What’re you  thinking?”

“Get some food?”


“Fuck Yeah.”

“Let’s do it.”   

Logan grabs Lou, and together the three of them exit the club and reenter the city streets, back into the wild.  Soon they gorge on al pastor and carnitas and wander around the block. 

They notice a side street apartment complex with an accessible fire escape perfectly composed up the center of the building, something not too often seen in Los Angeles. 

“Man, I never thought I’d miss having a fire-escape.” Logan says. 

“Yeah, there’s something really cinematic about it.”  Says Lou, framing the shot with his hands.   

“Well…What do you say, boys?”  Says Bernie.

Logan and Lou look at each other.  Maybe it’s the alcohol, the tobacco high, or just the thrill of spontaneity that makes them primed for adventure, but without contemplation they declare, “Fuck it,” and start climbing.   

Their ascent is rewarded with a panoramic view of the Hollywood high-rises, the downtown skyline, the Griffith Observatory looming from the top of distant cliffs, and the blue hum of the Church of Scientology. 

“Damn.  Can’t beat roof access.”  Says Bernie.   

“This is peaceful.” Says Logan. 

“Yeah, LA ain’t so bad sometimes.” Says Lou.

“Take it in, boys.”  Says Bernie.  “Take it in.” 

They stand and revel, looking from outside into the chaos of bright lights, plastic faces, and false advertising, and for a moment, life is calm, just a cool breeze on a private rooftop in Hollywood.          

Big Trouble in Little Suburbia.

...It was almost too easy, which is a bit strange to say; feels almost scary, unreal; like it was only a dream. 

Jesus, I can’t believe I really just said that.  How cliché can I be?  But in a way that should be expected, right?  You accomplish something no one has ever done before and immediately you start looking for familiarity.  Clichés are often the easiest explanation, I guess.  

It may have felt like a dream, but I tell you, I have never been more conscious in my life. 

What began as an abstract idea, practically as a joke I would tell people just to gauge what kind of grotesque response I could evoke, has now become my reality.  It’s funny the way life works like that; you create something in your mind and verbalize it, depositing it into the atmosphere, the proverbial community think-space, and there it sits, growing, festering, manifesting a mind of its own.  The idea evolves into a plan; a plan of attack.  That’s when action must be taken, and that is exactly what I did.  I took action and set out to accomplish what I had been joking about for almost a year.


God, I love saying that; it makes what I did sound like a glorious feat, makes it sound like I overcame incredible odds and adversity to achieve my goal.  And I did.  I doubt many people--let alone a seventeen-year-old boy—could even theorize, contemplate, or most importantly execute with so much as a glimmer of the grace I practiced. 

I have done the unthinkable and the impossible, and I did it with my bare hands. 


*          *          *

Name: Ron Mesquit.

Age: Seventeen.

Occupation: Junior at Rally High School.


Kyle? Yeah, of course I know him; that kid’s a freaking weirdo.


He’s just, like a weird kid, you know?  I’m not trying to be a dick; I mean, look, everyone thinks he’s weird, all right?  He’s the type of kid who thinks its cool to draw dicks on his test papers or make a tinny in the middle of class and pretend he was going to light it up when the teacher turned her back.  He’s a D-wing kid.

D-wing kids are the kids who, you guessed it, spend their time in the D-wing of the first floor.  It’s the section for the shop class kids, the trailer kids, and the kids who take seven years to graduate.  I mean, come on, it's no surprise the Dean’s office is right there.  If they’re not serving in-school suspension, they’re usually perpetually sitting outside his door. 

Did I use that word right? Perpetually.  Vocab word of the day, you know?  Whatever.

Anyway, Kyle would sometimes make jokes in class, like if someone were to mispronounce something stupid or give a wrong answer he would mimic, you know, like a game show buzzer or something.  And, yeah, of course we would all laugh and the kid we were laughing at would turn red and feel dumb for a second, but that was really it.  Outside of that I barely paid attention to him.

A bully?  No, I wouldn’t say that exactly.  He is fairly intimidating, I guess—tall, thousand yard stare, wears baggy clothes.  I don’t know; maybe from a distance he looks tough, but, honestly, I would bet he has never been in an actual fight before, and I’m sure a lot of that has to do with his upbringing. 

Kyle might appear to be poor or something like that, but don’t be fooled, his parents have the biggest house in town; it’s like the house from Home Alone, it’s so big.  Kyle’s dad is an investment banker, I think, and his mom is an optometrist--I know because she’s my eye doctor.  To say Kyle’s family is well-off would be an understatement.

That being said, I know next to nothing about his home life.  I heard from a few people that Kyle’s parents are pretty strict, but then again, whose aren’t, you know?  Everyone thinks their parents are jerks if they don’t let them do whatever they want 24/7. 

Yeah...I saw something once.  I mean, call it whatever you want, but yeah I saw something. 

I was at track practice.  It was raining, so coach made us practice in the gym and run laps through the hallways and up and down the stairs.  I guess Kyle had detention or something and his dad was picking him up, or maybe his dad was called in to see a teacher about something or other, but regardless, I saw the two of them walking together.  I could hear them arguing; I don’t know what about, but his dad was pretty mad.  I saw…oh, man, I don’t want this to be like blown up or anything, you know, like, I’m not trying to make this seem bigger than it was, but I saw Kyle’s dad put his hands on him, like forcefully.  His dad pushed him to the ground.  But he picked him back up like a second later.  I’m sure it was an accident or, I don’t know, maybe his dad realized how many kids were in the hallway; witnesses, maybe?    

I don’t know if I would call that abuse or whatever, but that was definitely the moment I noticed something wasn’t right at home.         


*          *          *

That’s where things get a bit more complicated.  What do you want to hear?  That they were evil? Villainous? That I was a mere victim rebelling against their tyranny?

Sorry to disappoint you.   

The simple response is, why not?  But I guess most people have trouble living with ambiguity.  Mystery frightens most people,  Closure provides a certain level of comfort.  More like a false sense of security, if you ask me, but then again, I’m just a kid, right?  What do I know? 

For starters, I know what it feels like to exterminate.  To take what once was and turn it into nothing.  I know what it feels like to end something, someone.  I’ve watched life drain, disappear, and I’ve absorbed that moment in my mind forever.  I’ve taken what was theirs and made it my own, stole their essence, digested their energy, and assimilated their soul.  That power now belongs to me, and with it I become greater than man. 

For me, that acquisition of power is the most definitive “why.”  Everything else is just mindless fodder and a pitiful excuse for a crime.


*          *          *

Name: Rebecca Dolan.

Age: Sixteen.

Occupation: Junior at Rally High School


Oh, of course I know Kyle.  Well, okay, maybe I don’t “know” him, exactly. We’ve never hung out or anything, but I wouldn’t be totally against the idea.    

I guess he is a bit anti-social.  I never see him at any of the football games, which is kinda weird because that’s like the one thing all the students rally behind.  Football is pretty big in this town, you know? 

Oh! I did see him once at one of the school plays.  Yeah, my little brother was in it; I think the show was Charlie Brown.  Kyle was in it too.  Well, not really “in” it.  He was on stage crew.  I remember he had to wear all black all the time; I guess it’s so like the props and stuff would seem like they are magically appearing and disappearing; it’s pretty silly.  Kyle was so tall;  I recognized him right away; even in the darkness I could see him lumbering on stage.  I don’t know why of all things he did stage crew, maybe it was just really easy for him, or maybe he was forced into it.  I don’t know.  In either case, I think it was his only extra-curricular.

We have a class together; only one: English.  He’s usually pretty attentive; quiet, but he seems like he knows the material.  Meanwhile,  I’m always lost.  I don’t understand poetry and would never read books like A Farewell to Arms, or Crime and Punishment if I wasn’t being forced to.  I am always finding myself distracted.

I don’t know if I would call it admiring, but I do watch him in class.  He’s cute, I guess; in like a weird kind of way.  He’s good looking, sure, and he has a sense of humor, you know every once in a while he’ll make a joke and the class will laugh. 

I like him, but like I said, I don’t think I secretly admire him or anything, I just sometimes let my eyes rest on him for a little while I daydream.  


*          *          *

Don’t tell me you’re actually curious.  That’s an unusual feeling, isn’t it?  Intrigue.  The internal war; on the surface you are disgusted, revolted, but on the inside you are clamoring for more horror, more juicy details.  You want it to get worse, go lower, dig deeper.  You don’t want to know the monster in the closet, under the bed, but you want to feel its pain, its destruction.  Like cage-diving, you want to witness the great white fear, so close you can reach out and touch it, but you desire safety, you require a divide between you and it.  The classic battle between Man and Beast. 

You want to know the truth?  Fine, I’ll give it to you straight. 

Friday night I walked into the garage and found a hammer—black with a red rubber handle.  My dad must’ve used it a thousand times.  I always used to watch him with envy; I wanted that hammer as my own. 

Now it’s all mine. 

I took that black hammer with the red rubber handle and I walked back into the house, upstairs to my parent’s bedroom.  It was 10:00 PM and they were getting ready for bed.  My dad was putting away freshly folded clothes, and my mom was in the master bathroom.

My dad’s back was turned.


One solid blow from the blunt end to the back of the head was enough to drop him to the floor.

Almost too easy, like I said.


Another blow to his head and his skull cracked as the hammer broke through and pulverized the meat inside. 

My mom had heard my dad fall.  She heard the crushing of his bones. 

I used the hammer to push open the bathroom door, smearing blood across the wood.  She stared at me, stunned, her back against the running sink, her bathrobe halfway undone.

“…Honey, please--”


Shut up Bitch.

The metal shattered her jaw, sending blood and teeth flying across the room, dancing on the tile and linoleum.  Mom fell with her face in the sink, the water rinsing the blood, washing away her life.

I raised the hammer once more over my head and with one determined swing it was all over.  They were dead and I was more alive than ever before.

...Now, there’s nothing left to do but celebrate, of course. 

And what more appropriate way than by hosting a party?  A killer house party.  A party for the end of the world, and everyone is invited.  All of the losers, the nerds, the geeks, the freaks, the worms, the queer, the underperforming, the overachieving, the jocks, the punks, the studs, the sluts.  All of those who forgot about me, negated me, wrote me off, left me for dead—even they will have an invitation.  All are deserving of this.  All will bask in my glory, my greatness. 

Tonight, I am king, and tomorrow I will be legend.   

The Visit.

The Visit.


As promised, Logan flies Allie out to LA to celebrate Spring Break.  They spend afternoons in Venice and on the shores of Zuma Beach, they see a movie at the Landmark, have dinner at Umami, drink at The Den and The Surly Goat.  They carry on like kids in love.

Logan is invited as a special guest for a radio show called “Probing the Industry.”  The show is hosted by a flamboyant ex-performer named Roy Genoa, and staying true to his name, Roy looks as if he ate a few too many salami sandwiches.  Nowadays, Roy mainly works as the porno equivalent to a character actor—non-sex rolls--as the industry refers to them. 

Roy is proud, always raving about his show, his frequency of broadcasts, and his “millions” of viewers.  Logan figures his appearance on the show will be good press, and a great way to introduce his civilian girlfriend to the industry. 

The day of the show, Roy calls Logan.  

Through labored breaths he says, “Hey Pierce, I wanted to make sure you were bringing tail tomorrow night.”

“You want me to bring girls?”  

“Oh yeah, bring some of the new girls.”

“Well, I mean, my girlfriend is in town. I was going to bring her.”  

“Tell her to bring her friends, but only if they’re hot.”

“…It is a radio show, right?”  

“Oh yeah, but no one wants to hear a guy talk.  Bring a couple girls.  I like to have fun in the booth.”

“Right.  I’ll see what I can do, Roy.”

“Be there by 7:00.”  

“See you then.”  

That night Logan and Allie drive to the studio.  In the car, Logan prepares her for what she might expect. 

“Just be warned that people in this business tend to be a bit more, uh, hands on.”

“Hands on? Like groping and stuff?”

“No, no, not like that, just like a bit more friendly.  For example, Roy may hug you a little too long or compliment you on your body or say weird, kind of creepy things, but I promise it’s all in good fun.”


“I’m just saying I have yet to meet anyone who is a complete jerk.  Everyone is just kind of chill and super comfortable with their bodies and stuff. Just roll with whatever happens.”

“Yeah, sure.”       

They arrive at 6:45.  They take an elevator from the parking garage up to the studio.  When they enter, Roy is already in the booth, on the air, and has a naked girl sitting on his lap.  Across from him sits another girl with her tits out, attempting to fit a soda can into her mouth.  

Logan signals Roy through the glass window, but he waves him away.  Logan can’t understand why, so he signals him again.  This time Roy puts up his index finger as if to say, “Wait a minute.”

So they do.  Allie and Logan sit outside the booth for fifteen minutes before Roy opens the door to let them in.

“Oh, boy, another plaything.” Roy says to Allie, returning to his seat.  He pats his knee, and says,  “Come sit on daddy’s lap.” 

Allie throws Logan a look of confusion.  He shrugs his shoulders and raises his hands as if to say, “Don’t worry, its cool.”   

She reluctantly sits on Roy’s knee and Logan notices him resting his hands on her hips, squeezing her abdomen.  

Logan sits across the table in between the two naked girls who are now wearing silk robes.

Roy says, “Ladies, say hello to Logan.  He’s the new stud on the block.”  

The one to Logan’s left, a dark skinned girl with pink hair and a septum piercing, drapes her right leg over his left knee, exposing her pussy to Roy and Allie.  

“Hi new stud,” she says.

The girl to Logan’s right, a middle-aged blonde with fading tattoos and cesarean scars, grazes his shoulder with her long acrylic nails.  

“Cougar snack.”  She purrs.

“Hi ladies.” Logan says, casual.      

“Okay, so this is how it’ll work.”  Roy says.  “We are back in a minute and when we go on the air I’m going to talk for a bit and finish chatting with the girls.  Then I’ll introduce you and ask you a couple questions.  That’s it.”

“That’s it?” Asks Logan.  


“But, I thought--”

“Hush, hush, we’re back in 5...4...3…2” He pushes a button, the on-air sign beams red, and they are live.  

Logan puts on his headphones and listens in.

Roy lowers his voice to bedroom volume and says, “Hello, Hello, and welcome back all of you fellow perverts and pervettes.  This is the human foot long himself, Dr. Genoa, here with my analysis.  Speaking of anal, I am once again joined by my two beautiful co-stars, Tammy Cumz and Jade Jackson.  Ladies, please say something for your adoring audience.”

“Oh, god, I’m so wet,” says the punk princess.

“I’m ready for sucky-fucky,” says the M.I.L.F.  

“Also in the studio with us here today,” Roy continues, “is an alluring new starlet who’s name I have yet to receive.”  He looks at Allie and asks, “My little teeny-bopper, what is your name?”  

In a soft, unassuming tone, Allie says, “Um…well,”

Roy interjects, “Lean a little bit closer into the microphone dear.”

She leans her head down toward Roy’s microphone.

“That’s a good girl,” Roy encourages, placing a hand on the back of Allie’s head, her body tensing at his touch.  “Now, open nice and wide.  Don’t be afraid.” 

Allie continues, “Um, well, I’m not actually a performer.”

“Oh no?” Asks Roy.  He starts humping the air.  “Maybe we ought to break you in right now, eh?  What do you say, Darling?  You wanna play with Daddy?” 

The girls cackle and cheer.  Allie’s skin pales and she is speechless.  She stares at Logan with contempt.  

Roy continues, “Also here with us is new male talent, Logan Pierce.  Logan, tell the audience, did you ever harbor any naughty feelings for a family member?”  

“What!?”  Logan shrieks, taken aback.

“Maybe diddle your little sister?”  Roy asks, “The topic of the night is incest.”  

Tammy adds, “Yeah, I had a crush on my cousin and gave him a hand job when I was a kid.”  

“…Right” Logan says.  “ answer your question, Roy, no I didn’t.”  

Roy pushes a button and a buzzer goes off.  “Boo! Boring!”  He yells.  He reaches under the table and pulls out a bottle of vodka.   “You know what that means, everybody.” 

The girls cheer, “Shots! Shots! Shots!”  

Roy takes a swig of the bottle and hands it to Allie, who refuses to drink and hands it to Logan.  He can’t stand the taste of liquor, especially vodka, but he wants to be a team player.  He takes a swig and fights to swallow it.  He gags and his eyes water.  

Logan hands the bottle to Jade who says, “Awe, poor baby.”  She takes a swig and hands it to Tammy cheering, “Hot damn, baby girl!”  

Tammy holds the bottle and takes an extended gulp, theatrically spilling vodka on her face and down onto her chest.  “Whoopsie,” she says, licking her lips.  She hands the bottle back to Roy.

“Okay,” he says, “Be sure to join us tomorrow night as we probe deeper and deeper and deeper into the industry.  Goodnight, everyone.”  

He pushes another button and the on-air sign goes out.  They are off the air and the show is over.

“Wow, that was great.”  Roy says.  “Fantastic show, everybody.”  He shakes his knee, pushing Allie away.  “You can get off me now, sweetheart.” 

Roy walks over to Logan and sticks out his hand.  “Come back anytime, kid.”  

They shake.  “Uh, yeah, sure, thanks for having me,” Logan says.  

Roy shifts his attention to the girls, who have resumed drinking from the vodka bottle.  “So, my little troublemakers,” He says.  “Where shall we eat?  Daddy’s starving.”


Allie and Logan leave the studio and take the elevator down to the parking garage.  The tension is palpable.  In the car, Logan breaks the silence. 

“Look, uh…I’m sorry if that was uncomfortable.”

“I don’t want to talk about it. 

“Hey, it was weird for me too, okay?  Seriously, Fuck that guy.”

“Can we just go home, please?”

“Yes.  I mean it, though, I’m really sorry.” 

Later, in bed, they fall asleep in each other’s arms, estranged but together.  In the middle of the night they both wake, sleepy eyed and longing for affection.  They kiss, they grope, and they tear each other’s clothes off. 

Logan eagerly goes down on Allie, pinning her legs in the air, opening up the action like he would for the camera, performing his duty, his job. 

Just another day at the office.

Suddenly, he hears whimpering and looks up to see Allie fighting back tears.  The moment is lost. Allie closes her legs and turns away, embarrassed. 

Logan holds her, unsure of what else to do.   

As she cries in his arms she confesses, “I can’t get the thought of that creep out of my mind.  He was disgusting.  Is that really what you want to become?” 

“Baby, that’s nothing like me.”

“His fat fucking hands on my body.  I could feel his hot gross breath in my ear.”

“I promise I will never become like that.”

“It doesn’t even matter, those are the people you work with, that’s the company you’re in.”

“I don’t know what to-“ 

“This is wrong, okay?  I don’t…feel right.  I feel used, like you’re doing to me exactly what you would do to those random girls tonight.  Like there’s nothing special about our sex anymore.” 

Logan doesn’t have anything to say to convince her otherwise.

He should have expected this day would come sooner or later.  “It’s not cheating, its work.” Total bullshit.  Just a fabrication repeated in his mind for a false sense of security.  Of course it’s cheating, he’s having sex with other people for money.  A relationship like that can’t survive; that’s no way to treat someone he claims to love.  If he loved her he would climb out of the hole before he sinks too deep.  Then again if he cared at all he wouldn’t have exposed her in the first place, but he did anyway.  He broke what they had, and now he would have to let her go. 

What's in a Name?

What’s in a Name?


He goes to a house party in North Philly and takes shrooms for the first time.  He eats an eighth, but after thirty minutes he doesn’t feel anything so he eats another. 

Soon the graffiti stricken walls of the house are pulsating and he sinks deep into the cushions of a dirty couch.  

The next thing he remembers is his tongue inside of another person’s mouth, swirling around with their tongue.  He stops and pulls away.  He is relieved to find this person is a girl.  Cupping her face, he looks into her eyes.  In a moment of clarity, he discovers she is the most beautiful creature he has ever seen before in his life. 

“What’s your name?” He asks.


“Allie.  Do that again,” he says, pulling her lips back onto his. 

Soon one of her friends comes and grabs her, takes her out of his arms and out of reach.  Too much too soon.   

Then the drug begins to turn. 

Everyone in the house mutates into gross caricatures.  Panic sets in.  He needs air.  He stumbles around and comes face to face with his reflection in a hallway mirror.  He freezes in terror at what he sees.  Thankfully someone bumps into him, breaking his trance, giving him the strength to run outside into the night air and puke on the front stoop. 

Delirious, he discovers the city has morphed into a fiery post-apocalyptic hellhole.  Tears well and he falls to his knees, crying.  The world as he knows it disappears, and he loses all sense of time and space.  Picture fades to black. 

He wakes the next morning in a stranger’s apartment amidst half a dozen outstretched and bare skin bodies strewn across a couch and the living room floor. 

He looks down by his side and finds Allie nestled in his arms.  He can’t believe it.  He can’t remember how he got there or how she came to be with him, but he didn’t care; having her here is what is important.  He runs his fingers through her long brunette hair just to make sure she’s really there, and as her soft waking eyes look up to meet his he feels a calming sense of warmth in his stomach. 

He likes this moment.  He wants this feeling to continue.

They make plans to see each other again, then again, and again, and again. Allie and him soon become exclusive, and after two months into their relationship he figures it's time to tell her what he plans to do in Los Angeles, his porno pursuits.

It isn’t the most ideal conversation, but it's necessary.  She can’t understand what is driving him, and he can’t seem to offer her a reasonable explanation. 

Honestly, he doesn’t even have one for himself; He wishes he could verbalize why he is so drawn to Porn and what he hopes to find when he gets there, but he cant.  Not yet. 

Maybe that’s the motivation, to answer Man’s most plaguing question of, “What if?”   

He tells Allie he’s sorry, and he reassures her that this won’t affect the way he feels about her.  He tells her he’ll make enough money to fly her out anytime she wants.  He tells her they can stay together, and they can make it work; they will make it work because they are hopeful, they are idealistic, and they are in love.

He jokes, “And like, it won’t be cheating, I’ll just be doing it for work.”

Not Funny.

*          *          *

The time comes for him to leave and he realizes he has yet to pick a stage name.  It’s a task he’s been avoiding.  A name is everything; its an identity, it’s a brand, and it’s a major fucking responsibility.  He wants something memorable, distinct, and empowering, something strong and yet something warm, inviting, and casual.

He and Allie brainstorm together in his bedroom one nigh after sex.

“What do you think about Guy Pierce?”  He asks.  

“Like the actor?”

“Exactly.  Except, I would change the name to spell P-I-E-R-C-E.  You see?  Double entendre.” 

“Piercing like a sword.“

And like a cock.”

Oh yeah?  Pierce is fine, I think.  Not too crazy about the name, Guy, though. It feels so impersonal, you sound like a prop.” 

“I think that’s usually what the guys are.”

“See, Guy.  You’d just be another ‘one of the guys;’ another anonymous penis.” 

“You think it sounds too porny.”

“Too porny or too corny?  Is there even a difference?  Anyway, you’d probably get sued by the actor or something, right?” 

“I never thought about that.  I guess that’s fair.”

“You know what name I love?  Logan.  I’ve never met anyone named Logan before, but I love the way it sounds; it just rolls off the tongue.” 

“Logan.  Yeah, when I hear it I think of Wolverine.  That’s not a bad look.”

“You could pass for a Logan.” 

“You think?  Logan…Pierce?” 

“Logan Pierce: Male Performer.  Ha, Kind of has a ring to it.”

“Yeah, it sounds good; natural, a sophisticated character.” 

“The kind of guy who will take you out for wine and then bang you in the back of a dark alleyway.”

"Now that I like!” 

“Me too.”

“Logan Pierce.  I think I’ll keep it.”

“Good.  Now get out there and make it happen Mr. Pierce.”  

And just like that, he is given a name.  He is born.       

Two weeks later, he packs all of his clothes, his books, his DVD collection, his X-box and his video games into his car.  He kisses Allie goodbye and leaves, driving four days across the country toward the Pacific, diving head first into dark waters, unafraid, ready to make a splash.  

And They Tell You It's Not Natural.

I meet fellow performer, Pepper Graham.  She's Half Thai/half Oaxacan, has blonde hair, tan skin, curvy body, and fake tits.  She's a real sweetheart.  She comes over, we drink wine, and I massage her feet and legs on my couch as we watch Velvet Goldmine.

"Since you've done my feet, you should massage my legs," she says.  So I do.

"You've come this far, why not continue massaging my thighs?"  She says as she slips off her tight black yoga pants.  She caresses her own stomach and then lays her hands on top of mine, following them as I grip and rub her juicy thighs.  She lifts her foot and brings it to my mouth.

"Kiss it," she says.  I open my mouth and let her toes slide past my lips and onto my tongue.  She smiles devilishly as she thrusts it in deeper, to the back of my throat, forcing my jaw to extend and my eyes to well.

"That's right, hold it there," she says.  "That's a good boy. Now I'm ready to play."     

We move into the bedroom. There, she instructs me to remove my shirt and my pants, saying, "they're pointless, get rid of them." Then she has me wear my Siberian wolf spirit hood that I have hanging on my door. "Oh, now there's my little puppy," she coos.

She tells me to get on all fours, on my hands and knees and beg, wag my tail, worship her feet, roll over and play dead, bark and even yelp like a begging dog.

She takes off her shirt and makes me play tug of war with my mouth. Then she kneels and instructs me to worship her big fake tits with my tongue, licking and swirling around each nipple, one at a time. We embrace, kissing, exploring each other's mouths and biting each other's necks.

She pins me to the floor and climbs on top, smothering me with her sopping pussy and her ass. I eat like a hungry dog having its final meal.  Meanwhile she pulls down my boxers and swallows my manhood. I thrust up and down, feeling it poke the back of her throat, making her tear and gag in a slight retribution for my earlier submission, a small taste of things to come.

Suddenly, she jumps off and brings her face to mine, lapping her juices while whispering, "Fuck me, please."

I put her on her knees and press her against my bed frame. Penetration sends her squealing and shivering. I grip the back of her hair with my right hand, and with my left I squeeze her neck, bringing her up to me, digging my face into her neck and securing my teeth around her shoulder, fucking her hard, into oblivion.

She cums, screaming in ecstasy and falling back down onto the bed. I press her face deeper into the mattress, between the sheets, muffling her cries.

She then turns her head, looks up at me, and says, "Now I want to make you cum. I want you to drop your seed deep into this little pussy. Can you? Please, can you for that for me?  You better.  You have to. You have to cum inside my pussy like a good boy."

I lay on my back and she straddles me like a proper cowgirl, riding until eruption, filling herself with my pearly seed. As it drips out and down my shaft she laps it up, and bringing her face to mine we share a big sloppy kiss.

"That's momma's good boy," she says with sly contentment.  

She melts into my arms, and we share a calm moment of silence and recollection; a return and a resettling of nerve-endings.  We close our eyes, concentrating only on the sound of each other's breath.     




I forget her name, but she is a true to form, cold-as-ice professional; that is, she’s on the clock.  She isn’t here for the sex, only the paycheck.  

She doesn’t want to me to kiss her.  She doesn’t want me to touch her hair.  She doesn’t want to touch me if I am not already hard, and especially not until cameras are rolling.  She requests to not have to suck my dick after it is to be inserted inside of her, and to make matters even worse, my co-star is on her period, so the industry standard method of shoving a makeup sponge deep within the vaginal cavity in an effort to—um—plug the hole, has rendered her completely dry. 

My co-star’s disdain for everyone around her—particularly myself—is beyond palpable, and that tension leaves me hopeless.  I endeavor to hold a conversation with this woman—forget getting a hard-on; she is incongruous with what makes me vascular, with what transforms me into a throbbing he-man, leaving me limp and about as firm as a wet noodle. 

Everyone’s attitude changes the moment wood troubles begin on set.  The director tries to remain calm and sympathetic, but I can read between the lines; I can see the look of disappointment on his face. 

I sequester myself in the bathroom. 

"Just give me a minute!” I call out as I sit on the toilet seat trying to squeeze life back into my dick, but it’s useless.  I hear them all whispering about me, and I can’t concentrate.  I lose all interest and motivation.  I no longer feel sexy or aroused, just weak and embarrassed. 

I have never in my life thought the day would come when the communication between my mind and my manhood would be severed, especially not after giving up everything, leaving my family behind, and dropping out of college to become a bona fide, mother fucking, PORN STAR.  

            I am left unable to do my job.  

            I fail.

I go home defeated.  I think my career—or whatever semblance of a career I have established up until this point—is over. 

My mind is racing with questions like:

“Will they ever hire me again?”

“Will word spread?” 

“Am I gay?” 

Feeling less than zero, I call Mick and tell him the bad news.  He laughs at me over the phone.

“Big fucking deal.  This was bound to happen sooner or later, kid.  Everyone has bad days.”

“Not everyone.  Not me.”

“Look, they can’t all be home-runs.  But remember, you’re only as good as your last scene, you understand?  You start making this a regular thing and soon nobody is gonna book you.”

“Well, shit.  What am I supposed to do?”

“You want a guarantee?  Go pay a visit to Dr. Dose.  He’ll give you exactly what you need.”

I am nearly six-months into my porn career at this point; I haven’t exactly declared my official arrival, so to speak.  I am still new, still green.  I have to keep working; I have to keep shooting if I want to succeed.  I can’t afford to lose my edge, so I follow my agent’s advice and take out an insurance policy on my career.

Dr. Dose is the industry’s primary care physician. He runs an urgent care clinic in the armpit of the valley.  I enter his office and one of the nurses leads me to a neglected examination room.  With stale lights and stained walls it resembles something straight out of Requiem for a Dream.  I sit anxiously atop the wax paper. 

Ten minutes later the Doctor walks in.

“So, Sporto, I hear you’re in dirty movies and you want some medicine, yeah?  Well, we can get you fixed up with whatever you need: Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, even Caverject if you don’t mind jabbing a needle into yourself.”

“What? Uh, No, that’s okay, Doc, I’ll just stick with the pills—the Viagra.” 

“No problem, Sporto.  Whatever you want.  You need anything else? Xanax? Codeine?  Maybe some antibiotics; Do you have a scratchy throat?  Could be gonorrhea, you know.  A shot in the butt and a Z-pack would clear that right up for you.” 

“No thanks, Doc.  I’m fine.  Just the Viagra, please.”

“Sure, sure.  Got a script written up right here for you.”  He hands me the slip of paper.  “Just take this to any pharmacy and you’ll be good to go. “

He opens the door and shoos me out.

“Okay, have fun; take care of yourself, Sporto.  See you soon.”

I am dizzy by the time I leave his office. 

I get into my car and drive to the nearest CVS.  With my script in hand, I approach the pharmacy counter, doing my best to remain inconspicuous. 

“Hi, I just wanted to drop this off.”

“Sure, what’s your date of birth?”

“October 17th, 1990.”

“And what’s the medication?”

Under my breath I mutter, “Uh…viagra.”

“I’m sorry?”


“Right.  Okay, sir, how many pills would you like?”

“Well, how many can I get?”

“The max is ten.”

“That sounds good.”

“Just so you’re aware, the price will be $220.”

“Holy shit.  For ten pills?”

“Yes sir.”

“Uh…okay then, I guess I’ll take it.”

Thirty minutes later my prescription is filled and I leave with my first bottle of magic blue pills—my new best friends and most trusted allies in my male-performer tool belt.  Hereafter, all of my on-camera erections will grade nothing short of pharmaceutical.    


Walter Neff and The Los Angeles Narrative.

Name: ***** ************

School/Class: SCT/L.A. Plays Itself

Assignment: Walter Neff and The Los Angeles Narrative.  

Date: 20 March 2012


    The film Double Indemnity paints the picture of what should have been the perfect crime committed by the perfect criminal, but as cinema always reminds us, nothing ever goes according to plan. 

    Walter Neff had a stable career as an insurance salesman.  He lead a fairly average and maintainable lifestyle, something one could refer to as traditional.  And maybe that was his downfall.  Walter Neff found himself unhappy, found himself longing for something a bit more exciting, something darker, taboo. 

    That’s when he met femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson, and that’s when he allowed himself to be seduced by desire.  Phyllis convinces Walter to kill her husband in an attempt to acquire insurance money due to a loophole known as “double indemnity.”  And thus the stage was set for Walter Neff’s demise. 

   My story.

   Prior to entering Los Angeles I was nearly finished writing two feature screenplays – one detailing a group of survivors during the ZPocalypse, and another chronicling a duo of psychotic deviants (Hello, Man Bites Dog meets Following.)  Of course I keep trying to coax my mind into forgetting the fact that I have been writing these screenplays since early 2009. 

    Feature screenplays aside, I have actually produced some work; work I am proud to say I created.  I wrote, directed, and produced a short film entitled, One Step.  One Step observes a young man as he inexplicably decides to rid his body of its biological need for food and the fatal effect it has on his life.  One Step is to this day, my only “real” body of work.  Real in the sense that I had an idea, ran with it, and assembled like-minded budding artists to help bring the story to life.  Together we scripted, storyboarded, cast, scouted, and financed; you know, all the basic facets that go into producing a short film, hence the term, real.

    After its completion, One Step was accepted into a few local film festivals.  It didn’t win any awards or anything, but just being accepted was validation enough.  I thought I was well on my way to becoming a blossoming young filmmaker. 

    Coming off of One Step, I undertook another project, a big project, a big project that shouldn’t have been assembled in the first place, a project I started with such high hopes and charisma, a project that took over a year to shoot, with every day longer and colder and slower and less artistic than the last.  “Grey Matter,” as the film was called, soon suffocated and fell dead in its tracks.   Even today the fucking movie still sits on my hard-drive – cut up to the best of my ability, but still missing final sound effects, score, transitions, color correction, titles, and what would probably be some of worst ADR since Tommy Wiseau's, The Room.  

    Months later, I saw the short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth on Youtube.  I was enthralled by it.  In the wake, I longed to shoot a video game adaptation of my own.  Max Payne-- a brutal noir about a fugitive cop who dual wields through the night streets of New York City mercilessly searching for the killer of his wife and baby girl-- was my all-time favorite video game series, and thus my adaptation, “Max Payne: Defrayal” was born.   I went full throttle into this production with prop guns, stunt dives, bullet time, and CGI.  My team and I shot my 12-page script over the course of 3 days.  I was beyond ecstatic; I thought my story was original, faithful, and a pretty damn good attempt at an independent reimagining.  But just like that, just as headstrong as I was in the beginning, the second we wrapped principal photography the entire team disbanded. Editing was painstaking, and soon I realized I did not have the capacity to complete it.  Much Like “Grey Matter”, “Max Payne: Defrayal” was abandoned and later died a slow, painful death.   

   I wanted these projects completed, I wanted them circulated through festivals, I wanted those scripts shopped around, and like everyone else who dreams of Hollywood, I wanted to be somebody.  So then, why has Double Indemnity--a story about desire and fantasy, crime and punishment--why has it been the most relatable film to my life, and how does it so perfectly parallel my Los Angeles experience? 

  You see, I have been seduced by fantasy, entranced by the promise of women and wealth, coaxed into the underbelly of the city; the sub-market, the world everyone sees but no one discusses.   Like Walter Neff, I’ve longed for a radical change, for something raw; unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, and soon after arriving to the west coast, I found solace in the adult film industry.   I have since been working fulltime as a stiff, a swordsman, a male performer; that’s right, I am a Porn Star.   

    I suppose YOU—Reader--are the ‘Barton Keys’ in my story.  You are the one who must hear my tales, my confessions, and you are the one who must make the final conclusion, the final judgment.  Rest assured, this is not a cry for help; rather, this experience has been cathartic, awakening.

    I realize people will criticize me for my choices.  I’m sure my reputation as an “artist” will certainly be tarnished, and even perhaps later in life I will retrospectively look upon my decision with regret, but right now I don’t care.  I am experimenting.  I am having fun.  I am living out a fantasy.  Under no circumstances do I believe I have degraded myself or am a victim of any kind.  I am not afraid to admit that I enjoy what I am doing; it offers me liberation in a way I never thought possible, an escape from the parameters of the reality we are conditioned to expect and abide by.  I am ready for the consequences, and I understand this career--if that’s what you want to call it-- will be more taxing, both mentally and physically, than I may be prepared for, but at this moment I am ready for battle.  My scenes, my work, my body, and my soul are now forever stamped on the lower back of Internet, so I will embrace it.

    Now I ask you, is that a crime?

The Cool Kids.

The Cool Kids.

Part One.

I met fellow swordsman, Vincent Vanowen, on a movie set where we played brothers who swapped girlfriends for a night.

The first time the two of us hung out we tripped on shrooms and walked around Hollywood Boulevard with his girlfriend/fellow performer, Mischa Bear, and their friend, Budd--the acting drug dealer of the group.  Budd walked around with the contraband hidden in a Hello Kitty backpack.

Budd gave me his number with a wink, saying, “You know, just in case you want to party.”   

While tripping, the Hollywood stars came alive.  They transformed into a scroll of credits to the greatest movie of all time, my movie.  I was the star, front and center.  I felt invincible, and Vincent--my Sherpa--appeared to me as a God.     

Weeks later, Vincent introduced me to his poly-amorous and free-spirited Burner friend Fiona Day. Through Fiona I met her artist boyfriend, Oz.  Fiona and Oz were living together in a small one-bedroom house in the depths of the Valley in a long forgotten about town called Winnetka.

One night, Fiona and Oz invited me over for dinner.  At the table we discussed psychedelics.  Oz and Fiona reminisced about the crazy experiences they had while tripping on acid.  I admitted I never tried acid before.  Fiona said she had a few tabs left over from the previous weekend.  She suggested tonight should be the night to drop them.   

 I am cool, I thought.  If they can do it so can I.  Fuck it.

The three of us were sitting on the couch when the drug was in full effect.  My body began to feel light.  My brain surged, my eyes sharpened, and I couldn’t stop smiling.  Fiona and Oz began flirting and soon they were making out.  She began stroking him as he fingered her.  I watched the action with growing anticipation.  

Oz whispered in Fiona’s ear, “Give him some attention.”  

Fiona crawled over toward me and started playing with my cock through my jeans, making out with me while Oz ate her out from behind. Soon Oz was fucking Fiona doggystyle as she was blowing me.  Fiona turned around and pounced atop Oz.  She road him in cowgirl.

He asked, “Can you fit two?”

Fiona pulled me towards her and told me to stick my cock in her alongside Oz’s.  I entered with almost no resistance.  She could fit the two of us rather comfortably.  I was enthralled by this seemingly impossible feat.  Before I knew it both Oz and I were simultaneously fucking Fiona.  

My first private threesome ever and here I was doing double Vaginal penetration on this girl while tripping on acid.  This was unprecedented.   

Shortly thereafter, Oz began to lose wood for some reason.  Frustrated, he pushed Fiona and me away and walked into the bathroom.  As quickly as it had started, the threesome disbanded.

“Did I do something wrong?”  I asked.  

“No, you’re fine,” she reassured.  “It was my idea for him to take the lead.  He is still getting used to threesomes.  I have to go talk to him.”  Fiona walked away and left me alone on the couch.  

My body was tingling; I still felt the drug coursing through my veins. Anxiously awaiting the couple’s return, I sat on the couch and stroked myself as I listened to the faint sounds of their voices wafting from the confines of the bathroom.  I don’t know what they were arguing about, but soon their conversation escalated and the volume of their voices intensified.

I sprawled across the couch and stared at the adjacent wall toward a hanging portrait of a tranquil deserted island.  With two hands, I firmly grasped my third leg and tugged with intent.  I closed my eyes and drowned out the sounds of reality with the symphony of my mind.  I transported myself to the island.  I imagined the island to be populated by beautiful Nubian princesses and myself.  I was king and the women worshipped me properly; a dozen soft hands and wet lips caressed every square inch of my body.  The women poured red wine on my cock and lapped it all up, savoring every drop when the bathroom door suddenly burst open and Fiona stormed out and into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her, breaking me from my trance.  

As my mind returned to this planet, Oz walked into the living room and literally caught me with my pants down.  We laughed.  I got dressed and he joined me on the couch.

“You guys okay?” I asked.

“She said I embarrassed her.” Oz confided.

“I guess she just really wanted to fuck.” I said.  

“Yeah, I’m just too high for sex right now.  These days...I don’t know, man, times have been weird since I got back from Afghanistan."

“What the hell were you doing there?”

“I was a soldier.  Served for five years.”  He turned and pointed to the back of his rib cage.  “Check it out.  I was shot.”

“No shit?” I said as I reached out my finger to trace the circular wound.

Oz continued, “I was walking through a poppy field, and thwack!  It felt like a bee-sting.  Next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital.  Bullet missed my heart by an inch.”

“You were so lucky,” I said as I pressed my palm flat against his back, feeling the complex intricacies of his exercised shoulder. 

“I was discharged, flew to Cali, and now I’m just trying to focus on my art.” 

His skin grew warm in my hand.  I had a sudden urge to lean forward and kiss his back, but I suppressed it.  Oz turned to me and our eyes locked in a lingering stare.  He began to study my face. 

“Your features are so strong,” He said.  “So masculine.  Would you mind if I painted you?”

 “I’d like that.” 

Oz put on an album from the band Polica and poured himself a glass of red wine.  He sat Indian style on the floor and placed a blank canvas in his lap.  While admiring me, he painted a portrait of the face of LSD as I lay on the couch.  I remember thinking about my future, the places I’d go, and the people I’d meet.  I wondered who Logan Pierce was and what would eventually become of him on this journey.  In that moment, I was content; I had no worries.  I then closed my eyes and let the sounds and vibrations of the music carry me away on my trip. 

Her Name Was Hannah.

Her Name Was Hannah.

I was at LAX catching a flight into Phoenix to shoot for the company Nimble Films.  I don't know why they chose to set up shop in Phoenix of all places; cheap rent, I suppose.  I would have never associated Phoenix with porn, and yet, here I was flying out of state. 

I do not like airports; they make me nervous.  Really, the entire act of flying puts me on edge.  I typically like to arrive at airports with almost no time to spare, so I don’t have a chance to re-evaluate my decision to put my life in the hands of a stranger at 30,000 feet.  In either case, I arrived at the airport with twenty minutes to spare.  I only brought carry-on, and had checked in for my flight in the morning, so I made my way straight to security.  There, something caught my eye.  I spotted somebody, a pretty young girl.

She was a tanned and leggy brunette sporting a sundress and Vans sneakers.  I stared at her until she felt it burn.  She then turned in my direction and when her eyes fell upon mine I flashed her a soft smile.  She smiled back and timidly bit her lower lip.  Then she looked away, and I noticed her nonchalantly run her hand through her long brunette hair.  

Yeah, she saw me and thought I was cute.  The animal was now loose and on the prowl.  Let the games begin 

The security line moved slowly, which was great because it gave her and I plenty of time to covertly steal glances at one another.  

I noticed she was with someone – an older woman.  “Bye mom,” my leggy brunette exclaimed as she reached the TSA agents.  Interesting.  Leggy brunette’s mother accompanied her to the airport.  Maybe she’s a bit younger than I originally thought.  I mean, she’s tall, well built, and appropriately filled out; she couldn’t possibly be any younger than eighteen, right?  A freshman in college, perhaps?  She’s probably enrolled in an out of state university and was just in town, visiting family for the weekend.  Of course, that makes perfect sense, and would explain why her mother would be was waiting for her in the security line; she missed her daughter tremendously, how sweet.

I passed through security; made my way to my terminal, and found a seat.  I closed my eyes and focused on happy thoughts to keep my mind at ease.  I envisioned my leggy brunette on her college campus, wearing floral patterned summer dresses and driving all of the boys crazy.  

I opened my eyes and suddenly there she was, my leggy brunette, sitting directly across from me in my terminal.  Alright, looks like she was coming with me to Phoenix, after all, but before I could actually work up the courage to walk over and say something, our flight began boarding.  She was in the first group of boarders, so she quickly disappeared from sight along with any hope of getting her name.  Well, for what it’s worth, it was nice lookin' at you.   

As I stood waiting to board, I realized that by the time I would enter the plane all of the aisle and window seats would most certainly be occupied, leaving nothing but the dreaded bitch seats for me to choose from.  I wondered if a seat next to my leggy brunette would be available.  I doubted it, but if by some miracle I could sit next to her I had better do it, I thought.  This was not the time to be passive, remain in the safety zone and forever wonder, “what if?”  In my mind, I promised myself that I would do it.  I already knew a seat next to her wouldn’t be available, so there was no harm in taking a hypothetical vow.  

I stepped onto the plane and assessed the situation; I could either sit between the business suits, the portly gentlemen, the new parents, the elderly women, or, what’s this?  My god, there she was, my leggy brunette, and, no, that couldn't possibly be an open seat next to her--could it?  

It seemed our meeting was pre-determined.  This was no accident.  This was fate.  I sauntered through the aisle and asked the mildly attractive older woman in the aisle seat if she wouldn’t mind standing up to allow me access to the middle seat next to her--her and my leggy brunette, of course.

I did it; phase one complete.  Now all I had to do was say something.  I couldn’t even begin to recount the many experiences I’ve had on a plane where I never said a word to either one of my neighbors, but now here I was sitting next to this cute girl I had been drooling over, and I suddenly was at a loss for words.  I had to find some way to strike up a conversation without sounding like a total creep.  

The plane hit the tarmac and as we began to speed up I carefully squeezed the book I had been reading at the time—Bukowski’s, Ham on Rye-- while muttering, “Uhh, this is my least favorite part.”  I did this all in a carefully calculated effort to inform her that not only was I an avid reader, but I was also in touch with my emotions, AKA, I was a pussy.  

My leggy brunette laughed and said, “Really?  I love takeoff,” and with enthusiasm she boasted, “I especially love when planes make banking turns.”  All I could imagine was getting a clear look thirty thousand feet below toward the distant ground.  My hands clammed up at the thought.  

We reached our cruising altitude and that’s when I noticed she was reading passages from a textbook and transcribing them into a personal notebook.  I asked,

“Are you a student?”  

“Spanish Homework.”

“Oh, do you study in Los Angeles or Arizona?



“No.  Actually, I am a sophomore in high school.

Our conversation effectively came to a screeching halt.  This was dangerous territory.  My leggy brunette, as it turned out, was hard candy.

Incredulous, I tried to read my book but it was hard to keep focused.  I couldn’t contain myself and I burst out laughing.  I looked at my leggy brunette and she knew exactly why I was laughing.

I said, “So, I saw you in security.”

“And then I saw you at the terminal.” She replied.  

“I was hoping this seat would be open.”  I said.

Flattered, she asked, “Really?”  And then,  “How old did you think I was?”

“At least eighteen.” I joked.

“Almost.” She smirked.

We continued talking.  I kept the conversation light, and the two of us reminisced (well, I did anyway) about high school literature.  We talked about Lolita, The Scarlet Letter, and Othello; you know, all the appropriate English class staples.  

The plane soon landed, and as we both left to go our separate ways and continue living our separate lives, I finally introduced myself.  Her name was Hannah.   She was the first Hannah I had ever met, and for that small reason alone, our short interaction would be forever engraved in my memory.