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Lesson Learned, A
|Clay Smithson was a staff-writer for the a political gay magazine. Normally, he reported on lifestyle, political and social issues for gay men -- civil unions, TV shows aimed at a queer audience, etc. He was pretty young -- late 20s. A very serious man -- not your typical gay man in NYC. Instead, he fancied himself a scholar, an intellectual, an academic. Not unattractive, but definitely not a peacock -- he didn’t spend much time on grooming, clothes, his body. Far from the image of the typical Chelsea boy. He didn’t go clubbing, didn’t drink too much, do drugs at all, didn’t belong to a gym, dressed conservatively, had few friends, no boyfriends, never sex partners -- he was focused on his career, which was definitely in his early stages. He was driven, though, and was determined to make a big stir.
He got his chance when a high-profile gay fashion designer -- one of New York’s latest “It-boys”who was basking in his new-found celebrity and attention -- died from an overdose after a heavy night of partying, drug-use and dancing at the one of the city’s superclubs. This gave Clay the opportunity he was waiting for -- he covered the story for the magazine, interviewed the designers friends for a feature, and then after much pleading with his editors, he wrote the op ed piece that was to make his career.
It was a scathing indictment of the Chelsea gay scene -- condemning the superficiality of the muscle-, drug- and sex-obsessed Chelsea boy, the Chelsea c lub scene. A rant and taunt against the mindlessness of the Chelsea boy lifestyle -- all image, and no substance. He also condemned -- in many cases, using names -- the businessmen who made massive profits off of a lifestyle that led to unhappiness, drug overdose, dangerous sex which led to HIV and AIDS, and ruined thousands of lives in pursuit of the newest high.
Not surprisingly, it gained the attention of most of the major dailies and TV news and morning shows-- the Times followed his article with a major expose on substance addiction stories and statistics, followed by a New York magazine expose on crystal meth sex parties amongst gay men in NYC. He was on 60 Minutes where he more scathingly attacked the party industry which appealed to gay men, and the gay men who were suckered into the empty and ruinous lifestyle. He became a fixture on TV -- a conservative gay columnist who made an appearance whenever the press wanted to present the more responsible, yet heavily moralistic, side of the gay community.
All these interviews caught the attention -- not surprisingly -- of one Bob Shoreham, gay NYC’s most successful club and bar promoter. He owned three out of the 10 gay bars in Chelsea, owned one of its most successful gay clubs, and promoted gay nights in many other clubs in the city. He had made millions off of gay men, and he was singled out for the Clay’s scorn in that first op-ed piece and in many a follow-up interview. Shoreham lived in a palatial penthouse suite -- three floors -- at the top of the new AOL Time Warner building. It was one of the largest apartments in NYC and one of the newest -- therefore one of the most expensive -- and also one of the most private. Few people had ever seen the inside of the space, constructed specifically to Shoreham’s desires and instructions.
In there, one day, Shoreham happened to catch Clay on Charlie Rose -- and had had it.
“This is fucking enough of this kid,” he bellowed. “Someone get him in here -- I have to deal with this.”
He spoke into an intercom,”Bruce, we need a plan to deal with this kid. I want him out of the picture.”
*** *** ***
Clay received a message on his cell phone later that day from a Bruce Carlson, special assistant to Robert Shoreham, asking him to call him back. Strange, Clay thought, I never give out this number to anyone work-related. Only a few people have it -- my sister, and, hmm, who else -- hardly anyone. How did they get it? Still, Robert Shoreham’s office! Finally he had gotten the attention of someone who mattered in this scene -- he must have angered someone! His ego rose at the thought of pissing off the biggest businessman on the gay scene. I’ll give him a call, he thought. Maybe we can talk -- see what he thinks of my piece. Ego at its best.
He spoke to Bruce Carlson later that day --
“Mr. Shoreham would like to invite you over to his penthouse for drinks. He’s been very intrigued by your article and all the ensuing publicity you’ve received,” he said.
I’m sure he has - scoffed Clay to himself.
But the idea of meeting with the big cheese was irresistible to Clay, so he moved around his schedule a bit, and arranged to meet with him the next evening around 8.
*** *** ***
Arriving at the penthouse, Clay was ushered into Shoreham’s living room -- a three story, glass-walled room facing over Central Park -- by two huge, muscled security guards.
A bit much, Clay thought to himself. The essence of tacky -- the guards and the room.
You sells drinks, peddle drugs and trance music, and promote parties, he scoffed, and yet you get this much money out of this. Something is wrong with this world.
A few minutes of waiting and Shoreham came out of a side door -- pleasant, jolly and generosity itself.
“Welcome, welcome, Mr. Smithson. I am so pleased to meet you at last -- I have been following your career with great interest of late.”
Clay was determined that it would not be an evening of pleasant, but meaningless conversation, and did not avoid the subjec t on both men’s minds.
“Well, yes, of course, being condemned in a national publication for ruining men’s lives sort of leads one to pay attention, doesn’t it?”
“Ah, yes... of course. So this isn’t going to be easy, is it? You won’t let it -- I’ve done my research, heard that about you. Tough as all nails, right?”
“I like to think so.”
“Mr. Smithson, hmmm, have you ever gone to one of my parties, clubs or bars -- besides doing work for stories, of course? Oh, and please, have a drink. Here...”
And he handed Clay a drink.
“No, Mr. Shoreham, I haven’t. Its not my scene -- I’m a stay-at-home kind of guy -- I prefer the calmness of my own apartment -- reading a book, drinking a nice glass of wine, listening to some classical music on my stereo.”
“Oh, it sounds heavenly, and honestly, that is usually what I prefer doing myself -- I spend much of my time here, and who wouldn’t? But there is a segment of the populatioin -- a rather large segment of the population, if we are to be realistic, that doesn’t like to stay at home -- who moved to NYC for the excitement -- for the nightlife -- and let’s be blunt, to meet other gay men, party, get high, and have sex with other men. Am I to condemn them because they don’t agree with me? More importantly, as a businessman, which I am foremost, am I to ignore the profits to be made from that industry -- and it is an industry, Mr. Smithson -- and let someone else, someone less creative, less entrepreneurial than myself reap the financial benefits.”
He got excited and slammed down his glass on the table.
“No, sir, I saw an opportunity and I took it -- and I do not appreciate your besmerching my name in the press at every chance you get. I am a businessman, and it is my business to provide this service -- whether you value it -- an its moralistic elements -- or not.”
Shoreham was angry and his voice was raised -- Clay thought the tension in the room was getting to him -- the heat as well. This was not going as planned. He had thought he would be able to make a few choice words -- offend his host quickly, and get out just as quickly so he could go home to the book on his nightstand. It did not seem like that would be a possibility. Plus, the room was so hot, so stuffy, he had to sit down. Now he had Shoreham standing right over him, he could hardly take in what the fool was saying. Everything was a blur, he felt ill, so ill, in such a daze, he couldn’t take it in. He slumped over into the sofa, spilling his drink on the white sofa.
Shoreham stopped speaking -- looked down.
“Okay boys, take him into the back - it worked. And call someone IMMEDIATELY about getting that drink stain off my sofa!”
*** *** ***
The room was hot, stuffy, and he was laying on a mattress when he woke up. He didn’t know where he was -- except for that the room was without windows, and was relatively small. Probably about 20 x 20. It looked like there were TV screens and mirrors on every wall, but nothing was on the screens. They were all black. Besides the flat mattress on the floor, there was a full gym in one corner of the room -- free weights and machines. And on a table, there was a pile of books. He was groggy and tried to take in all in. He looked down at himself -- he was wearing a muscle shirt and a pair of gym shorts. His clothes and his identification and wallet were gone. He had nothing on him. His brown floppy hair was shaved -- he could see this in the mirror -- and he had a crew-cut with fake-blond tips. Very odd -- he normally didn’t look or dress like this.
Where was he? What had he been doing before? He looked down at his watch -- it was early morning, the day after... Oh, it started to come back -- Shoreham’s apartment, feeling ill, and fainting. What had Shoreham been saying before he fainted. He couldn’t remember.
He tried to get someone’s attention -- screaming, kicking the walls -- there were no apparent doors in this room. He sat there for a while. What to do? There was only so much screaming he could do -- he had no idea where he was, who would be listening, and if anyone even cared.
He moved over to the table of books -- at least he could entertain himself with those, he thought.
Picking one up he got the most horrible electric shock which went through his entire body, he fell to his knees and dropped the book on the table.
“Fuck! What was that?”
He was winded -- and though he wanted to read a bit to pass the time until someone came in, he was terrified at the thought of another such gut-wrenchingly painful shock. So he turned away from the books, and laid down on the mattress. Slept for a little while, then stared out into space. The mattress only worked for a little while -- dull, and only so much thought and imagination could be had from the mind of a man who was literal, concrete, and of this world. He soon grew bored. What else was there to do -- the weights. Ugh. Weights. He supposed if he was going to be there for a while, he ought to remain limber. For a man unfamiliar to the gym, a weight machine was a terrifying thing. But he could do small weights and easy exercises, just to pass the time.
Around noon time, a little slot opened up in the wall, and a tray was passed through -- Clay tried to scream at the person at the other end, but the door was quickly slammed in his face.
On the tray were a chicken breast, some spinach, egg whites, and what looked like a protein shake. As he hadn’t eaten in about twelve hours, this would have to do, though, it was very unpalatable for him. Though it wasn’t tasty, he devoured it all -- even the protein shake. There must have been something in the shake, though, because he passed out again on the mattress.
He awoke to the sound of the TV monitors switching on -- everywhere he looked, on every screen was Robert Shoreham. Looking straight at him.
“Mr. Smithson, good afternoon. I hope you enjoyed your lunch. I’m sorry about last night -- you turned a little ill, and we thought we should take you here.”
Clay looked up and started yelling.
“No point in yelling, Mr. Smithson, no one can hear you. You are in my suite still -- the walls to your cell are sound-proof, and no one from the outside world will hear from you for another year. No, that’s not correct -- they won’t hear from you. But the outside world will hear from Clay Smithson. In fact, your editor, family, and your few friends have already received emails from you, telling them that you needed a holiday and are off to Ibiza, gay clubbing paradise, for the next three weeks. They’re all a bit surprised, I’m sure. But this will be the least of their surprises over the next year or so. You see, Mr. Smithson, you were a nuisance. A nuisance I needed to get rid of -- remove, you see. But I didn’t want to harm you -- I thought I would just diffuse you as a danger -- and allow you to actually enjoy yourself for the first time in your life. So let me lay out my little design so you’re aware of what we’re going for here -- you will stay in that room for the next year (don’t worry, there is a bathroom, and someone will maintain your grooming and teach you how to do it appropriately) -- and you will be training to be the uber-Chelsea boy. Don’t contest this, Mr. Smithson. We will mentally, emotionally and physically transform you so that when we release you to the world next year after your year spent clubbing in Ibiza, Thailand, Sydney, the Greek islands, and various White Parties, you will be unrecognizable as the old Clay Smithson, and the new Clay Smithson will point out what a hypocrite and also a stupid, dumb muscle whore Clay Smithson has become. Of course, this will be publicized (through my connections) in all the major publications and TV shows that earlier featured you -- but you won’t care, because all you’ll want to do is dance, lift weights, get high and have orgies with other muscle guys. I will show the world that Clay Smithson is not only a hypocrite, but is unable himself to resist the pleasures of the gay world that Shoreham Events facilitates.
“How will we get you to agree to this? Well, I don’t want to give away any of our secrets -- but let’s just say its a mix of mental manipulation, genetic manipulation not allowed in the public scientific community, and the mix of intense physical activity and the dearth of mental activity that you will experience in this room over the next year. Horribly unethical, of course, but rather amusing. I’ve controlled much in my business enterprises, but never to such an extent the psyche and physical body of one man in the way that I will control yours.
“I’m telling you this now because I really just want taunt you -- but it won’t damage my plans because you won’t remember it. I’ve arranged for that.”
With all his focus on the horror of what Shoreham was saying, Clay hadn’t noticed that someone had come into the room by a door from behind him and snuck up on him until he felt the jab in his neck from a syringe. Everything blacked out. Oh, no, not again, Clay thought, right before his head hit the mattress.
*** *** ***
When Clay woke up again, he didn’t know where he was -- it took him a minute to recognize this as his bedroom / training room. Of course, and he had taken a nap. But dinner was there! Great! Oh, just what he wanted -- a boiled chicken breast, spinach and egg-whites. And a protein shake. He devoured it -- he was so hungry. Then he looked around the room again -- the weights and a table with books. He felt like reading -- he went over and picked up a book. It sent a painful electric shock through his entire body, causing him to drop the book and fall to his knees. Oh, god, he thought, no books. Not now.
Sitting around for a minute, he thought, oh, I’ll work out. He spent about two hours working out and lifting weights, tiring himself out. After that he took a nap -- at about 11 pm, according to his watch, he looked up and saw that the TV monitors were on -- silently, each screen was playing video of hugely muscled, clean-cut jocks having sex with each other -- sucking each other off, fucking each other, fisting each other, water sports. Some were in pairs, others were in groups. Some had leather, chains, other tools. Others were engaged in your basic fucking. At the same moment, music turned on in the room -- loud, pulsing, throbbing techno music from clubs. How horrible, he thought. The sight on the video and the music -- too much. What torture was this?
Hmm. The books -- too risky, too painful.
The gym machines -- yeah, I guess that’s it -- work out. At least to pass the time. The music actually facilitated the workout -- something he was loathe to admit at first. But it got him into a rhythm, and he got into a groove. Then again, he was tired. But the music and the video were still playing -- he laid down on the mattress, and looking up, found himself aroused by the sights. He jerked himself off to sleep.
*** *** ***
This went on for months -- after a while of continually trying to pick up the books and getting shocked, Clay never thought about the books. He just avoided them completely and focus on the weights. He would wake up, work out for four or five hours, take his lunch -- the chicken, spinach and egg-whites with protein shake -- and spend the rest of the afternoon working out, too. His muscles grew very large -- it wasn’t just the workouts, though. While he slept at night, every night someone entered the room and injected him with a growth hormone that went directly into his muscle structure instead of his blood stream.
Dinners were the same as lunch -- only steak instead of chicken. They were trying to bulk him up. In the first three months, he went from only gradually from his original 155. The injections didn’t work as well those first few months -- then from 3 to 6, he went up to 255. A hundred pounds from where he started. He never contested anything anymore, though. The injections also had some sort of mind-numbing effect on him. Shoreham also sent in a hypnotist once a week, which Clay never remembered. The hypnotist slowly hypnotised him into becoming obsessed with muscle -- on himself and others. In his cell, his sole focus was in becoming more massive, becoming a monster. He would yell about it at night -- in his sleep. The hypnotist also hypnotised him into believing that he was not the intelligent, academic well-versed writer -- instead, he cared nothing for reading, writing, expressing himself. He was, moreover, a dumb, ignorant party-boy who only cared about his latest high, fucking other muscle queens, and dancing until the morning. His language abilities languished -- until he was on a 9 year old level. Short, one syllable words, grunts, nothing more. He spoke in a hip-hop lingo. He make Clay believe that he was obsessed with piercing and tattoos -- so that whenever anyone would listen, Clay would beg for a tattoo or a piercing. They got someone in to pierce his ears with large diamond studs. His tongue and labret were pierced, as were his nipples and his cockhead. He begged for tattoos on his biceps, from his shoulder to his elbow -- large black abstract designs. Also on his shoulders, his nape and his lower back.
He was growing massive and dumber every day -- his pecs were huge, and he couldn’t see around them. He lost sight of his legs and calves, which themselves were massive. He stood with a wide spread because of his leg muscles and his large cock. His ass was a huge, round bubble butt. His lats spread out like wings, his shoulder muscles mixed in with his neck, which was lost in the mass of muscle. His arms hung out at angles, because the biceps and triceps fought witih his lats and pecs. He looked like the biggest, dumbest muscle thug you will ever see. And because of the hypnotism, the bigger and dumber he looked, the more he liked it.
The music played 24 hours a day now, as did the videos. He jerked off to them constantly, danced around the room a lot, and worked out. Those were his days -- until into the sixth month, when something new was introduced. Shoreham decided to introduce other real muscle jocks -- and drugs -- into the equation. For a few hours a night, the videos changed into video feed from the Roxy and other gay clubs in the city, so that Clay could feel like he was in these places that would become his new homes when he reentered society. Men came in through the secret entrance -- huge, gay muscle queens -- with crystal meth, ecstasy, and special K. They would dance, drug, fuck the entire night, and then when Clay woke up the next morning, they were gone. No one ever spoke to him -- they just danced, smoked, and fucked. And then disappeared. But Clay began to like his new routine.
*** *** ***
By the end of the year, he was monstrous. 370 pounds of pure muscle, 2% body fat, a 33 inch waist, 27 inch biceps, and a lat span of 72 inches. He was admiring himself in the mirror after a four day fucking marathon with 11 guys when the music stopped, the video screens turned off, and a hereto unseen door opened up. Out popped Bob Shoreham.
“Clay, come here, boy,” he said, smiling.
“Yo, yo, dude, what’s up?”
“You have to leave now, Clay. The year is up -- we’ve set you up handsomely, though. Contacted all your family, friends, even your old employer who wasn’t too pleased to hear that you’ve returned to NYC after your year’s clubbing holiday. In fact, he seemed rather pissed. And said he never wants to hear from you again -- but don’t worry, we found you another job. Go-go dancer at the Hole, which will end every night with just enough time for you to get to Roxy or whatever other club you want to go to -- hopefully one of mine! The publicity you’re going to give me is invaluable! That’s why we secretly released a press-release in your name, notifying all the press that you were back in town, available for interviews, and that your first NYC appearance would be at the Hole tonight. So get to your new studio apartment in Chelsea -- complete with personal gym (though you’ll probably want to work out at the gym in your neighborhood) and collection of your favorite trance and rave CDs. Go home, go through your new wardrobe, and get that thong you’ll need for tonight. Its your first performance. Oh, and just so you know, there is a rather expensive drug stash in your apartment, too -- don’t use it all up at once, and don’t give it to any of your tricks or orgy partners. Go, have fun, kid, and do me proud.”
Clay left the building, wearing some baggy cargo pants, that dropped around his waist, showing major pubic hair, a dew rag, and a tight XXL muscle shirt that still stretched across his chest. That night, to the clicking of press cameras and video, he arrived at the Hole to make his triumphant debut as pole and go-go dancer extraordinaire.
He was interviewed on TV and in the paper by a variety of organizations, but it all became too humiliatingly clear that he wasn’t up for the public exposure that he received. His name quickly became maligned and a joke -- his op ed piece something to be laughed at. His story a morality tale for all journalists or public figures who take a high moralistic ground only to fail ultimately. Clay fell more than most, though -- from such heights to such lows, at least in the public’s estimation of him. He didn’t even notice, though -- he was too busy with his party and play -- tina, special K, X -- muscle orgies, nights out until 10 a.m., the circuit party scene. He was happy -- and so was Bob Shoreham -- his new hedonistic ambassador did him proud.
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