Six Months Ago, 5:00 a.m.
I pull Marnie out into the parking lot with a sense of urgency, but once we get out there, I’m hazy as to why. It must have seemed like a good idea moments ago, but I’m buzzed as fuck, and right now, any possible logic to my thinking escapes me. I don’t waste much time trying to figure it out. Who cares about the past, even if it was only moments ago? I’m here for the here and now. Right here, right now, I have Marnie, and a stiff dick. That’s plenty to work with. More than enough, in fact—the two of us together is a recipe for a good time. Every time.
The next thing I know, I’m fucking her from behind on the hood of somebody’s car. A Porsche, I think. Maybe Hunter’s? I make a mental note to apologize when I speak to him next, but all I can think about is the feel of Marnie wrapped around me. The sex is off the hook, as always. Emotionally detached and hotter than Hades. Just how I like it. That has always been what keeps us coming back for more. Well, for me anyway.
I’m lost in the ever-pleasant feeling of being inside her; there’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now than here. The world around me is a dim blur, screened out so I can focus totally on giving and receiving pleasure, but somewhere in the depths of my addled consciousness, I become dimly aware of a commotion overhead. What the hell is that? A plane? A UFO? The nuclear apocalypse? Wait… it’s a fucking drone. Damn the paparazzi. Just when you think you know what you’re dealing with, they find new depths to sink to. I lose my shit, yelling and screaming, even though I know it’s futile.
I’m playing right into their hands, standing there with my dick on display, carrying on like a crazy person, but even knowing that, I can’t seem to stop. Someone—Hunter—intervenes, shoving me into my ride while I stuff myself back into my pants. Hunter is a legend. I make a note to thank him for saving my ass, as well as apologize for violating his luxury baby. Marnie follows me into the back seat, and as we speed off into the night, I try to put the pieces together, and work out how we got here….
Six Months Ago, 1:00 a.m. (Four Hours Earlier)
The sleek town car snakes through the gated lot and pulls up to the back door of my club, 12AM Mass (Midnight Mass). As ever, I’m thankful for the private and secluded entrance, away from the baying crowds and paparazzi scrum at the front of the club. I’ll never regret the huge success I’ve had with this business, but sometimes the trappings of fame and notoriety can wear thin. Having just seen my bandmate, and one of my closest friends, carted off to rehab again, today is definitely one of those days.
Dressed to kill in my trademark skintight black jeans, formfitting black T-shirt, black leather jacket, and dark glasses, I have one aim in mind. I’m on a mission to mourn the postponement of our Cold, Hard, & Heartless tour by getting as fucked up as humanly possible, and then getting as fucked as humanly possible. If I can swing both at the same time, even better. I like to be efficient.
Admittedly, this is not my best thinking. In the cold light of day, even a monkey can see that. Knowing the tour issues stem from Stevie’s tendency to overindulge in every way possible at every given occasion, walking off a plane and doing the same thing is worse than stupid. It’s reckless, destructive, and irresponsible. But then, that’s me.
In my defense, I’m borderline delirious with jet lag and physically and mentally strung out from months of endless touring and all Stevie’s drama. Most of all, though it’s rare for me to admit it even to myself, I’m fucking lonely. The last thing I want to do now is to head back to my giant soulless pad alone—except for Luke, and he hardly counts—and look at the plain white walls. When I feel this way, my solution has always been to get wasted and then get laid. Rinse and repeat. It’s worked for me so far, and if it ain’t broke….
We draw to a stop, and I head inside to quickly take care of some business, before I can take care of business. As I enter, I’m met by Hunter, my club manager. He’s expecting me—I called him from our jet and told him I’d be heading there directly from the airport. There are a few things I need to discuss with him before I can finally be off duty for the night. I also had some “requirements” I wanted him to take care of before I arrived. I don’t want to have to wait to get the party started once our work is done.
As I approach, Hunter reaches out to give me a firm handshake before leaning forward for the bro hug. I’m genuinely glad to see him. He may be my employee, but the two of us are tight, which is why our shit works. I always enjoy his company, and with months on the road behind me, it’s been a while.
Even when I’m not touring, living in LA means my visits to the club are the exception rather than the rule. We speak on the phone and FaceTime often, but there’s no substitute for seeing the whites of someone’s eyes in the flesh, especially when that person is good people. Hunter Campbell is 150 percent good people. I’d trust him with my life, and thinking about some of the shit I’ve done in the club, I literally have.
He greets me warmly, as always. “My man, good to see you. To what do I owe this impromptu visit? Not that I’m not happy to catch up anytime, but you’re in the middle of a tour, so I’m guessing you’re not here for pleasure. What’s up?” He flashes his trademark grin.
“Man, don’t even ask. Let’s just say that Stevie needed another ‘vacay’”—I air quote, even though he can’t see me on the other end of the line—“urgently. So the rest of us are on a forced break too. I’m not gonna lie—it wasn’t pretty out there toward the end. Not at all. If the label hadn’t pulled the pin when they did, I sure as shit would have. Anyway, enough of that. I have a few things I need to talk you through, and then I want to get lit. Big. Time.”
Of all the guys, Stevie is the easiest to be around. He’s charming and affable, and he’s rarely seen without his trademark wide-mouthed grin. I challenge anyone not to feel like they’ve known him forever within minutes of meeting him. He radiates an energy the people are just drawn to. They say a great sense of humor is one of the top characteristics that women look for in men, and judging by Stevie’s strike rate, I’d definitely say that was true. Chicks fucking lap up his laidback vibe. The fact that he’s pretty easy on the eye just adds to the charm.
Of course, being the “sociable one” in a band is synonymous with partying. Our man Stevie wrote the book on working hard and playing harder. Too hard, in fact. He’s definitely always the member of the band most likely to need bailing out of some disaster scenario or other. In fact, any fucked-up situation you can name, there’s a good chance that Stevie has found himself in it at some point over the past fifteen years. Missed planes? Check. Passing out midgig? Check. Hitting on some guy’s woman and getting beaten to a pulp as a result? Check. Night sobering up in lock up? Check. Check. Check.
Hunter and I make our way into the back of house area. It has the staff rec room, changing facilities, kitchen, bathroom, and offices for me, Hunter, and his brother Hendrix, our bar manager. My office gets used a few times a year, if that, given that I’m hardly ever in town, but it’s nice to have my own space when I am.
Business quickly and efficiently dispatched with, I check that Hunter has met my requests for the night. He confirms he has and shoots me a quick wink, throwing over his shoulder almost as an afterthought as he walks away, “Be careful tonight, Arlo. It’s a jungle out there.”
Yeah, and I’m the fucking king. Let the games begin. I head for the VIP area and silently praise Hunter. He has catered exactly to my needs, as I knew he would. It’s going to be a good night.
From there on in, everything is a blur of snippets of time and activity flashing in and out of mind, small moments of clarity in a murky sea of confusion. It’s safe to assume that I indulged in the “gifts” Hunter left me, and then some. I remember women. Not specific women, but assorted women in various states of undress, various lewd positions, and various states of coital and postcoital abandon. I recall body parts and clothing flying. I have a dim memory of the lingering scent of mingling perfumes and bodily fluids. Can I recollect a specific face or name? No. I guess that’s the sign of a good time—the less you retain the next day, the better it was. By that measure, this one deserves a dedicated star in the “debauched night out” hall of fame.
At some stage in proceedings—late, I think—Marnie appears. I have no idea how or why. She also came from the airport, straight from a modeling gig in… Prague? Berlin? Barcelona? I can’t remember. Anyway, there she is, in all her supermodel glory. She’s exceptionally beautiful and always has been. She also seems to have some sort of radar for knowing exactly where I am, then being there too. It’s weird, but then I guess our “thing” is weird to anyone viewing it from the outside.
I see it as something similar to an addict going on a binge on their chosen poison. We use screwing each other’s brains out to fill a void. For me, being with her momentarily drives out the gnawing loneliness, replacing it with a high—even if it is short-lived. More often than not, as soon as I’ve come, reality kicks in and I want to kick Marnie out. It’s nothing personal, just the way it is. I love to fuck, and screwing Marnie is a whole lot easier than dealing with the hot mess that normally goes along with groupie sex. We know what buttons to push to get each other off every time, and we use each other to get what we need with no emotions involved, then move the fuck on. I haven’t figured out what it is Marnie needs, and I’ve never asked her—it’s sex, not therapy.