stripping it all away

STRIPPING EVERYTHING AWAY

And my mind was muddled so I asked Christie to help me out. “Here,” she said, pointing to a spot next to her. I sat down. “Close your eyes.” I closed my eyes, and I waited, and just before I began to ask Christie what I was doing she put her hand on my lap. She told me to breathe …

THE PURPOSE OF VAIL

The scene started off like this: Vail and I were on Jude’s balcony, and the sun had been down for a while and Vail, wearing something black, was humming something I didn’t recognise. “It’s so, so easy to do what’s easy,” she said. “That’s why it’s called easy.” Vail said nothing to that. She looked out, at the traffic. I …

JUDE’S GIRLFRIEND

“My girlfriend has a gut,” Jude told me in the car, “and the idiot, she doesn’t realise it. She keeps drinking, she keeps eating crap and putting photos of what she eats on Instagram. But she sleeps without her top on, so lately I’ve been videotaping her stomach as she sleeps, her gut just getting bigger and shrinking, getting bigger …

LICKING FOR FIFTY THOUSAND

We ended up hanging out with this woman who cut my hair in South Bank once. She was this loud ball of fire who loved to talk about sex and dildos a lot, and that night, in the back of an Uber, she described her dildo collection like a guy would describe his sword collection: she had this proud, dazed …

WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

“It’s my birthday soon and I’m all grown up,” I yelled to Jude over some blues track playing from his car stereo and a freestyle by Eminem streaming loudly from his friend’s phone in the back of the car somewhere. It was about two in the afternoon and Jude was speeding along some road in a suburb in Logan that …

ANNA’S PHOTO AND JUDE’S FIRST GIRL

Anna jumped in my car and we went for a drive and we parked somewhere and she went wild on me and everything seemed okay. Her mobile phone background, which used to have an image of her fiancé, had been replaced by a giant photo of a polar bear. Photos of him had vanished from her social media pages. But …

INSTAGRAM

The sun wasn’t rising and it wasn’t setting, either – it was about three in the afternoon and time was what it was. Jude was smoking and Vail was typing something on her phone. “We’ve changed, but we really haven’t, if you think about it,” Jude said. “Want to go to Alfred & Constance?” Vail asked without looking up from …

LOVE AND MONEY

“Have you ever thought about God?” The pretty hostess asked me. I was with Jude and this guy named Alfred or something, and we were in a private room with four or five or so hostesses. They were all pretty, and they made love seem so easy and so accessible for men like me. All you need for them to …

JUDE RETURNS FROM AFRICA

Jude returned from Africa on Wednesday. Nothing about him seemed that different, except that maybe he’d lost a little weight and his eye bags were deeper; he tried to hide some of it with foundation. “I saw a video online of twins making out,” Jude said after putting his drink down. “Like actual, biological twins. I mean the idea is …

JUDE GOES TO AFRICA

While everything else with Ariel was going on a lot was also going on with Jude, who, as the days went by, became more and more of a prick. “You know sometimes I wish I was someone else,” he said while driving us to some party in the west. “But then sometimes I don’t. Shit, I don’t know.” He pulled …