Spending so much personal time with Evy-B has dulled some of his shine. I’m starting to realize the billionaire barista does not exist, at least not full time. And I can’t lie, my reverence may be dwindling.
What’s impressive is he doesn’t start making excuses of why he has a day job. It’s purely strategic, he needs it to fund his art career. Any stupid shame about jobs considered “beneath” is self-generated—as is all shame.
It’s clear from the intermittent conversations we share during the 10:15 AM to 10:55 AM lull—before the self-employed night owls come in for their americanos and cortados with oat milk—that Everhet is a purist.
His catalog is undeniable. Inconsistent quality. Highly consistent quantity. And for the time being, unregulated, until the FMCA cycles again. The date the new rules come into play are always off by one or two days depending on who you talk to.
My Uber drops me off in the part of the city without streetlights. The arts district. The owners of the buildings fought to not have them put in for a reason. I can name few things which are objectively good that live in concealment.
After pulling on a few unmarked doors that wouldn’t open I descend the stairs of Rosetju.
At the bottom of the stairs everything is red.
A bouncer at the bottom of the stairs with a huge bolt through his nose says, “I.D.”
I hand him my driver’s license.
He slides the the barcode under the scanner and I wonder if he’s seeing my web history. Even though I have VPNs to protect me from that, I still wonder if they’re actually working.
As I’m mid-panic over the abject terror of the government knowing I watched AMATEUR CUM SEX PARTY WITH JIZZED COUGAR AND TEENAGERS AND CUM SWAP on my computer earlier, I notice something about the doorman.
As he inspects my license I say, “I’m sorry. But, are you Lugnut?”
He looks up from my card with raised eyebrows, making two triangles, and eventually smiles.
One isn’t usually an openly big Lugnut fan.
He didn’t champion a belief, and he sported aggressive accessories (i.e., the 7/16” bolt that’s surgically drilled through his nasal root and frontal sinus), so people assumed what he believed. And therefore was suss to all.
He crosses my name off the list.
Then hands my license back to me between two fingers. “No cover.” He says as he chuckles, “You’re who I fuck for.”
Cool. I’m on a list. Or was.
Rosetju is known as a “lounge”, yet there’s dancing. It’s overflooded with individuals talking different forms of slang with various accents. It feels like an ocean of people. When one person breathes another exhales.
I have to constantly remind myself that what we’re doing here is illegal for now, so I’m surprised it’s so well attended.
When porn was legal it was safer in some people’s opinion. People didn’t need to act out fantasies. They could watch them on the internet for free. But there were plenty who saw it as digital fuel for the demented. Either could be true.
A press release last week cited a recent government study that showed that within the United States alone there are roughly 208 gigabytes of homemade porn being uploaded every second.
That’s 0.208 terabytes a second.
That’s 12.5 terabytes a minute.
That’s 750 terabytes an hour.
That’s 18,000 terabytes a day.
One terabyte can hold up to 500 hours of high definition video.
That’s nine million hours of HD video uploaded a day.
That’s 375,000 days of pornographic content uploaded a day.
And that was just to one site.
The insights of the study highlighted that most victims of emotional and sexual abuse are women and children. But what I took away from it was all the money that should have been mine, and how much more deserving of it I am.
I mean, if you think about it, the most watched videos are five minutes long. That’s 108,000,000 five-minute videos created a day.
And there’s money in every click. It’s an adjustable ratio so it’s hard to calculate exactly how much, but it can easily land at $0.12 a click.
Well, two clicks actually.
The switch in the mouse or track pad clicks once when you press, and clicks again when you let go.
Turns out somebody had my idea for a hub to gather all the traffic through one platform. But I’m still holding out to make the hub for the hubs. Or even a hub for the hub for the hubs.
Ideas aren’t even the big selling point anymore anyway, it’s all about the experience. Send you to your fantasy like some travel agency for the mind.
I don’t see Everhet anywhere so I get a PBR tall boy and go to a corner. Pull out my phone and make sure I’m putting in my time on dating apps so if love never finds me I can know it’s not from lack of trying.
Swipe left. Right. Left. Right. Right. Ding!
This Morgen A. chick matched with me. All three of her profile photos are the exact same picture of her in a full business suit with her arms folded. The kind you get professionally done to put on your LinkedIn.
She’s not great at being cute in the chat. Very demanding like an unsocialized robot. I message her asking when she’d be free to meet, and she says whenever I’m free. And I say I’m free every night, which I immediately regret saying.
The red lights in the bar dim.
The projector shoots a perfect striking white square on the exposed brick wall on the far side of the room. The projector is not securely attached to a board. It’s one of the exposed wooden rafter type ceilings so you can see what is holding up the floor above.
All the chevron planks making triangles.
The V’s again…
Cheers and hoots float over the clapping in the darkness.
The people standing on the clandestine dancefloor and the people laying on long couches give full attention.
The video starts playing.
Premiere edits are around five to seven minutes. Like theatrical trailers for upcoming DPZ content. The first two trailers are coma blurs of swooshing biceps and asses.
I can’t believe we’re watching this in public.
After the third video it felt like we were cheering for each other. Proud of those who did it. Who had the courage to be who they were authentically and do it on camera. To be the living embodiment of a taboo for the better of humankind. To manifest the disruption necessary for the growth of the species. To be a goddam pornographer.
The screen flicks blue then flicks to the mirrored screen of someone’s computer desktop followed by laughing and boos.
The background of said laptop is an image I recognize. Copernicus with two beams shooting from his fingers to the same spot on his forehead forming a triangle. Signifying knowledge of humanity if the palm of your hand.
The clapping dies and the room is silent as the hidden conductor moves the mouse like magick. Clicking folders inside folders until finally finding file named DPZGOD with the “.mov” suffix. It’s opened and commanded to full screen and the crowd starts cheering at the freeze frame.
This is a crucial choice on the uploaders part as it is a serious point of branding. The only choice more crucial than the thumbnail image is the title. They are the ying and yang of pornographic videos. It orients the mind of the viewer prior to watching, a primer. And the engine is ignited by the cuh-click.
On the screen, a rectangular shape shining white from the flashlight of a cellphone. A muffled giggling. The only distinguishable features being a shadow line coming up from the bottom from out of frame. And the flat horizontal U-shaped dip at the top.
People in the corner of the room cheered for one couple in the group. Apparently they were in this video. DPZ been taking unsolicited submissions lately. Seeing these sex videos of people who were there—in the crowd—watching themselves be shameless. They looked proud at themselves. I want that.
The video begins to play and I hear the bone crunch of my full beer can and feel its contents soak my hands. People near me look at me but I pretend not to notice. I just let the beer foam on my face and shirt die off naturally as if it weren’t there.
I smile and shrug to no one.
Unfortunately, my embarrassment only strengthens my desire to work out some karma. The thought of being degenerate scum pleased me, but it was even better if I denied my urge. And build up some serious karma. So I can work it out. Work the fuck out of it.
Steam some milk, if you follow.
The video is shaky. Some of Everhet’s creative decisions confused me but that is because I’m not as well-versed as he is. Along with dropping the phone all together I guess and the viewer is meant to fill in the gaps of missing images to go along with the moaning and huffing as the mic of the device muffled by bed sheet suffocation.
I knock on the bathroom door once and before my knuckles rapt a second time I hear a voice. It says, “Hey.” And all I can see is a fist in the dark rising. I see the thumb, and see it keep going behind the dark figure until it’s pointed over his shoulder. The voice in the dark says, “There’s a line.”
So I went to the women’s room instead. It was empty.
While working out my karma I stared at my divine sense of self floating in the toilet bowl. It looked so beautiful to me. Cum is a mangled ball of spiritual confusion purged from the body. A manifestation of the internal state of things in men. The female body consumes all this chaos and makes order, creates life out of it (hence: the key word in “reproductive system” is “productive”). And as I’m jizzing in the women’s bathroom of this bar I start thinking about wanting to be a father again.
I walk out refreshed and ready to go.
Now I feel no anxiety so I open my app again and see Morgen A. said she could meet in an hour. I know the place she’s talking about. But I suggest a coffee place instead. I don’t want coffee as much as I want an advantage.
She declines and says to meet her at Greener Estates subdivision off Tejas Drive. That place has been a squatter’s paradise for five years since Artos, Inc. bought the development and still haven’t announced what will be done with it.
She told me where I could pick her up. It felt like an ultimatum. It could be because I just committed a boner genocide against myself and I’m a little sensitive still, but I feel like I’m getting bully vibes right now to be honest.
I walk toward the door at the base of the stairs toward the entrance.
I look around for Evy-B.
And as I’m turning I notice the room is unusually quiet and solemn. Everyone is looking at the screen. People stand with their wrists at their hips. One or two hold themselves. Some squinting. A few squirming.
On the wall is the image of a man standing on a bucket with his ankles touching.
And his hands behind his back.
There was a recycle-bin blue scarf around his neck whose end went up above his head and out of frame.
The only way to enjoy any kind of pornography is to buy in to the fantasy that everyone on camera wants to be doing what they’re doing, and if it is unpleasant, that is fine, because they’re just acting.
No one in Rosetju so much as inhaled when a person in the video walked from behind the camera, up to the man, and kicked the bucket from under him.
As if walking through a portal without moving, everyone in the room realized we were in that horrific human territory where you have to ask yourself, “This isn’t real, is it?”
Once he dropped and started dangling people jolted in place, a simultaneous electric shock that traveled through us like a wave. And that cold minty-tingly feeling made the edges of my eyes feel cold.
As the man in the video flings his weight you can see his arms and legs are bound by what looks like wire from a lamp. Then someone in Rosetju burst a shot of air while tightening their lips like a half whistle involuntarily. Then there was another half whistle. Then a clap.
After the hanging man loosed a big helpless jerk there was a few more claps from the viewing audience. Then a shout.
There were many social commentators and tenured psychology professors who argued that the FMCA illegalizing pornography would make people go crazy. That instead of becoming more decent due to boundaries people would in fact seek out increasingly extreme experiences. Not even because they actually liked it. But because they enjoyed the side effect rebellion gives.
Full blown cheers of jubilation erupt when the man hanging from his neck finally swings still. And at the peak of screaming this death-lusting mob scared me enough to turn and walk up and out of the bar.
I’ll tell Everhet I went to his premier. He didn’t need to see me to believe I came.
He trusts me.
I hope. I want him to be my friend.
While I’m waiting for my second Uber of the night, I try to close my eyes and shake the image of the video away but it was impossible.
The restrained man trying to save himself even though he knows there’s no hope.
Or maybe delusion runs free at the moment of physical death, and he actually thought if he tried hard enough he could some how become weightless and unrestraint himself.
James Jacob Hatfield is a displaced engineer, a painter, and many other contradictions. His work has appeared in X-R-A-Y, Maudlin House, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Barely South Review, Chaleur Magazine, Havik, and others. His ekphrasis poem “torrents of lahar, No. 36” was anthologized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. He is a Sterling Fellow and a Weymouth Fellow. He is the creator and curator of the Gemini Sessions Substack. He lives in Durham, NC.