The ADAM LEVINE Novels
translated from the original text by Kate Shapiro Adam Levine’s facebook feed these days were full of people he’d done coke with five years ago. “Why stop now?” He said, taking another line. He only felt bad early in the mornings.
PART I 1.
Adam Levine sat on the floor of his kitchen. It was 5 AM. His roommate, Gene, called Jesse to come deal with him but Jesse was busy. What the fuck did Jesse have to do? Adam WAS Maroon 5. He was pretty sure nobody knew Maroon 5 had any other members not to mention Jesse fucking Carmichael. Adam leaned back against the kitchen island and played with a frayed corner of his wifebeater. The minute Blake brought over vanilla flavored tequila Adam should have known something like this would happen. Vanilla flavored tequila should be illegal. When Adam drank tequila he got aggressiveâ€”something Behati had just reminded him of moments ago. You would think that after he became a millionaire he would have better luck with women. He had told himself over 10 years ago that once he was a rock star he would find a nice supermodel to do coke with and she wouldn't ask him any questions. Things never turn out the way you think they will, do they? Behati spent most of her time in Paris and when she was around she'd kiss his cheek and touch his hand and act like his fucking girlfriend until the end of the night when he finally his big move she would say "We can never ever be together" like some goddamned Taylor Swift song. Tonight he was going to say something. He had grabbed her arm on his way out but he was too drunk to find the right words and reallyâ€” were there any right words or was that a myth too? It always came so easy when he was writing OvereXposed but real life isn't like "Payphone feat. Wiz Khalifa" is it? That's when she called him aggressive and pathetic. She told him "Just get over it, Adam. We're in different places in our lives" like he wasn't a judge on NBC's The Voice. So Adam sat on the floor of his kitchen quietly crying and clutching the tequila bottle. The entire night he had been secretly blowing lines of Ridalin in the bathroom so he wasn't going to sleep anytime soon. Behati had just left him there. He vaguely wondered if she would come back if she saw him lying on the floor with his cheek on the cool tile through his giant bay windows. She didn't. She had this way of making him feel like he was a loser instead of the Grammy Award Winning Artist that he was. He hated her for that. He was Adam fucking Levine and some mean supermodel was making him feel like he was nothing. She was so dumb. Profoundly dumb. Why did he love her? It was a question Blake asked him time and time again. Fucking Blake. Adam honestly didn't know what it was about her. He wanted to quit her. He just couldn't. All he knew at this moment leaning against his Viking Stove was this: he wanted to ruin her life like she ruined his. He stood up, a little uneasy, and walked through the kitchen into the garage. He stumbled into the front seat of his car. She thought he was aggressive? Just wait until he drove his vintage Porche through her goddamn front door. He would show her aggressive. He smiled. Things would be better after this. He turned on the ignition.
Adam Levine sat with his hand on Amanda Setton's leg but he didn't know why. He was too drunk to make out what her friends were saying but he could tell it was boring. It occurred to him that after the club he was expected to take Amanda home and make love to her. He took another sip of his scotch and soda. When Adam had sex with women he got this funny out-of-body experience where he heard dozens of voices talking all at once so he could never make out what they were saying. He liked women. He imagined settling down with a woman one day. They'd tape their favorite television episodes and watch reruns of NCIS on the weekends. They would take long walks. They would sit in the living room for hours without talking, she would fuck around on the internet while he wrote poetry. They wouldn't have to talk to each other because they knew what the other was thinking without asking. He and this beautiful, perfect woman would be in love. He wasn't gay. He knew that. Adam loved women. He loved breasts and asses. Especially asses. What Adam didn't understand was why he had to have sex with the women he loved. Intercourse felt, well, icky. He had never gotten what the big deal was. He had never understood why it was the only way to show someone how you felt about them. He'd had sex with a LOT of women but he never felt very comfortable with the whole fluid-filled experience. He preferred jerking off by himself in a hot shower. It was private and it was his. Just his. Amanda said something but he wasn't listening. He would give anything in the world to never have to mention his fucking fragrance line ever again. Why wasn't it okay to enjoy making millions of dollars for creating bullshit products nobody wanted? Wasn't the American dream accumulating as many mansions as possible? Adam got up. Amanda asked him if he felt okay. He told her he had to take a shit. She laughed and glanced at her friends nervously. He walked towards the bathroom but changed his mind and exited out the fire door. The alarm went off. He kept walking. He walked right onto Sunset and booked himself a hotel room because why not? He'd order a bottle of scotch and some premo blow. He'd sit on the balcony with his feet dangling over the railing, chain-smoke and watch the sun rise. That sounded a lot better than having sex with Amanda.
Adam Levine sat in the greenroom of The Voice hours after the last interns had gone home. He changed white t-shirts until he felt comfortable. Sometimes, late at night he would stumble out of bed. Leaving Amanda or Anne or Behati or whoever and step into his large, granite shower. He'd turn the heat up until it hurt to stand there and stare down at his dick. He'd pull it this way and that. Would it look any different if he was sick? Adam's therapist told him that he didn't really have an STD, that it was just
society telling him he should have one because Adam slept with so many models. What Adam didn't tell his therapist, though, was just how many models he slept with. He had lost count of the women (and sometimes men) he slept with years ago. He never wore a condom. From the beginning of The Voice alone it had to be over 5,000 people. The entire concept of The Voice gave Adam the opportunity to gather several desperate, fame-hungry women together and "coach" them. Oh, Adam "coached" them alright. He "coached" them on how to properly lick his balls. Don't worry, Adam already hated himself. Adam smoked a cigarette and scrolled through the Reddit subthread where people posted pictures of ingrown hairs and asked if they was herpes. Adam had a skintag on one of his balls. Was that herpes? The skin-tag didn't hurt or swell but some women mentioned its existence from time to time. Adam threw out the ones who did at 5 AM without cab money or their cell phones. Even if they brought it up at 10 PM he would wait until it was dangerous to throw them out on the street. That would teach them a lesson. Adam hated that his own body was a mystery to him. He could be walking around with HIV all day and not even know it. The feeling that he might have an incurable disease made Adam curl into a ball and cry on the white tile surrounding his sunken, indoor hot tub. When he finally finished crying he would watch Oscar acceptance speeches to make himself feel better. Three 6 Mafia's cheered him up. If things got really awfulâ€” he would watch reruns of the first season of The Voice. Rebecca Loebe did this great thing with her tongue. Adam was a huge fan. Sometimes he felt a tight, balled-up fist where his heart should be. He has come to recognize that feeling as crippling loneliness. What did it matter if America loved Adam if he didn't love himself ? These are the things he thought lying in the green room of The Voice late at night. He took four sleeping pills and rolled over. Whatever.
Adam Levine was lying down on a California King in Cabo San Lucas. He was sipping Patron out of the bottle and watching reruns of The Voice. Caroline Glaser was singing and Adam didn't turn his chair around. "You fucking idiot," he said aloud, "Look at those blowjob lips!" Adam knocked over a plate of egg rolls as he swung out of bed. He was surrounded by half-eaten plates of room service. He thought he couldn't decide on what to eat but after some under-cooked Chicken Quesadillas he decided that it wasn't his indecision that made him re-order plates and plates of food, it was just that this food fucking sucked. He had called the fifteen year-old concierge and told her that multiple times. He had screamed and screamed at her until she wept but that was hours ago and it was just a vague memory now. Adam stepped out onto the balcony of his bungalow and watched the many lights of boats dotting the horizon. They must be fishing boats making their morning runs. He remembered what Blake and Shakira had said when he told them he was going to Cabo this weekend. Blake scoffed and asked "Why are you always going out of town,
Adam?" Adam wanted to tell Blake to go fuck himself. He went out of town because he was rich and famous and he could do whatever he wanted. He never said that though. He just laughed and said it was for his fragrance or he was taking a special lady out. Adam had no special lady and he could give a shit about his fragrance Women wanted to fuck him but he wasn't interested anymore. He remembered Jane and the way they'd smoke weed in his shitty apartment in Echo Park and watch episodes of Gilmore Girls. She'd laugh until she cried and he would put his arm around her and kiss her hair. He loved the way her shoulders shook when she laughed. He couldn't think about that now though. Jane was gone and Adam was famous. Now his weekends consisted of doing cocaine in club bathrooms with vacant looking supermodels. It had its perks but he missed feeling warm inside. Adam didn't want to tell Blake that he went on vacation all the time because he was so profoundly lonely. Adam felt like he didn't particularly like anyone in LA. He liked strangers. He liked shooting the shit with young people who worked for NGOs in dour hotel bars. He hated that Blake teased him though. It made Adam feel like he didn't have a home. Adam sometimes worried he liked traveling so much because he couldn't commit to one person, one home, one job. Adam supposed he technically had two homes. One in Beverly Hills and one in Hollywood Hills. Why did he have two homes in the same fucking city? He wanted to find somewhere real: a place where he felt comfortable, but Adam was afraid that place didn't exist. Adam hit a bowl of weed laced with the tiniest hint of PCP. He had to remind himself that it was the drugs that made him rethink his life and that’s not what he really thought when was sober. He stared at the boats receding in the gloomy pre-dawn mist. He hoped that was true at least. 5.
Adam Levine liked watching teen cam girls because he liked the little teen trinkets in their bedrooms. He liked the neon bras hanging over the backs of chairs and the pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal cut out of magazines taped to their bureau. He liked the half-eaten burritos sitting abandoned on the desk next to their shitty laptops. He liked watching a life in motion more than he liked watching pixelated girls twerk poorly to obscure Ace Hood songs. It had been a long day. Adam went to work, smoked weed and said things on TV that made absolutely no sense but nobody called him out on it so it didn’t really matter. He sometimes played a game with himself where he would purposely spout non-sequiters to see how long it would take for Carson Daly to stop him. Adam sat up in bed. He had been watching a British TV drama about people who couldn’t be together because of tragic, heart-breaking reasons. He hadn’t had sex in a month. He could feel the blood churning beneath his paper-thin skin. He wanted to sleep beside someone at night. He fantasized about a perfect women meeting his parents and having to answer a slew of Spanish Inquisition style questions from his mom. He also fantasized about having sex with one of the high school interns at NBC. He would push her up against the wall of the private unisex bathroom and shove his hand up her shirt. He wanted to fuck someone forbidden. He hugged his pillow to his body. He wanted to do something. He snap-chatted a picture of his balls to CeeLo Green to see if that would help cheer him up. It didn’t.
He took a swig of nyquill and a swig of tussin. He had a cough that wouldn’t quit so he rationalized abusing over the counter drugs as self-medication. Plus, he had ran out of Promethezine and was too lazy to call Josue and get more. Josue always lingered in Adam’s house to play Call of Duty and drink Stellas. Josue might be the only person on Earth more lonely than Adam. It was easier to send his bitchy assistant, Amy, to Duane Reade. Amy gave him a Look when he did drugs. He would fuck Amy too if she wasn’t such a judgmental cunt. She made him want to take a shower. He closed his Mac Book Pro and laid down on his side. He enjoyed the peaceful lapse of time between being sober and the horrifying half-conscious dreams the nyquill wouldn’t let him wake up from. He deserved to be unhappy.
Adam Levine lay in bed at 2:30 AM as his roommate, Gene, screamed in the living room. Gene had broken a glass and couldn’t find the broom. Adam and Gene didn’t have a broom. Gene didn’t know this because Gene was drunk. Adam could get up and help him but Adam could also do a lot of things. He rolled over and hugged his pillow tight to his chest. Adam had smoked a joint hoping it would help him sleep. It had been a long time since Adam had slept without the aid of booze and Xanax. He was trying to get into better habits. So, tonight Adam lay awake regretting smoking weed, wondering why he smoked weed in the first place, because all it did was make him uncomfortable in his own skin. Adam often wondered why the socially acceptable form of courtship was going to an overpriced bar and having a few drinks with a stranger while they assessed if they wanted to bang each other or not. Sometimes a girl would say something Adam didn’t like such as “Why would you want to drink a 40 on your porch?” or “I love the website College Humor!” and Adam would immediately dismiss them. He told himself that not everyone could be like him but deep down he wondered: why couldn’t they? Adam wished he could get to know a girl without the pressure of sex and intimacy. Adam couldn’t face rejection in any form. Adam got upset when girls he didn’t even like in the first place rejected him. It sent him in a tailspin of calling them at 5 AM until they broke under his overwhelming fame and good looks. Adam genuinely felt that
everyone ought to like him and if they didn’t he would make them like him. This was how he woke up in bed next to some model named Irina last night with a pounding headache and a profound sense of remorse. Adam had read in a fucking gossip magazine of all places that Miranda Lambert had told Blake that he was a “bad influence” and that Usher was a “great role model.” He knew it was probably a lie but Miranda was such a horrible bitch that it might be true. Adam liked to think he had a good head on his shoulders. So what if he and Blake sometimes snorted ADHD medication before the battle round episodes of The Voice? Who didn’t? Miranda was a judgmental whore. He hated having dinner with her because after his second glass of wine she would go “Oh! Another? Really? Don’t you have to drive home, Adam?” Adam was a fucking millionaire. He’d call a cab if he had too much to drink. If there was something Adam couldn’t stand it was when people were passive aggressive. Usher a great role model? Usher had fucked every single intern on the show and insisted he shouldn’t have to wear a condom because it felt like “slapping a Big Mac wrapper on his dick.” Gene was calling Adam’s name now. Adam didn’t move. If he got out of bed he knew he would never go back to sleep and Adam detested the thoughts he had after 2 AM. After he was sure Gene was passed out on the bathroom floor he opened his laptop and navigated to the “Adam Levine is so hot” facebook page and flipped through various pictures of himself shirtless. At least somebody loved him unconditionally. 7.
It was 5:30 AM and Adam Levine sat in the corner of his hotel room clutching a bottle of bourbon. Earlier he had texted his assistant to say that he loved her and she said “Good night, Adam.” He already knew how this was going to go. She would deliver his dry-cleaning tomorrow and tell him their conversation last night was “weird” and she was “really worried” about him as if it was completely incomprehensible for people to say something “weird” after four bottles of desert wine in a hotel room with four strippers. Earlier that night one stripper named Desiree had blown Adam after three hours of flirty eyes. Halfway a passible but not memorable beej— the other members of Maroon 5 had banged on his door until he put some pants on and opened it to give them some blow. They all did a line and dispersed to their respective hotel rooms. He and Desiree kissed sweetly on his balcony watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the ghostly 1 AM light. Before she left she had asked Adam if he wanted her to stay but he said no, that he had things to do. Now he was sitting in the corner of the room in his boxer shorts, wide-eyed with blow with half a boner. He liked it there in the corner of his hotel room. He wondered how many people had sat there before him thinking the same things. Adam liked Paris but he didn’t like the people there. He appreciated the valuables the French had stolen from other civilizations throughout the years but he hated the long rows of government buildings near the Louve. Row after row of embassies with
no cafes or stores or places people would go to have a pleasant afternoon. He would watch the cars speed past on the wide avenues and the tourists take pictures on the wide sidewalks wondering why they were all there. Even the gardens felt cold, like there should be an army goose-stepping past. It all made him feel small and Adam hated to feel small. Adam thought about Jane all the time. He sat there in the corner of his hotel room trying to ascertain what exactly he thought about. He thought about how jealous she was of whatever he was doing at any given moment. Adam thought about how much he loved her, how much he hated her, and all the memories that were— at this point, ten years later— half-imagination. He thought about a lot of things but really, deep down, Adam just wished they talked more, or at least, had something to talk about. Adam stood up and walked to the balcony. He watched two middle-aged women in a deserted 24 hour cafe chain-smoke and drink cheap beer. They sat in front of two glittering slot machines and the light danced off their pale faces. They looked happy or if not happy at least they didn’t look bored. He was sure his assistant would try to set him up with one of her model friends tomorrow out of pity. Adam would accept but in all honesty— he couldn’t remember what you even did on a date anymore. Adam returned to his bed and lay very still thinking that if he lie still long enough he might drift off to sleep.
Adam Levine was on his fifth hour of porn on Saturday afternoon at 3:45 PM. He was watching “Horny Cops Who Fuck Their Prisoners” again. He watched a guy with frosted tips bury his face in the vagina of a female prison guard. He knew it wasn’t real but he still had goose bumps. Adam couldn’t watch hardcore porn anymore. He wondered what it was like to fake-fuck a girl. Did the experience somehow feel more authentic because you tried so hard to replicate a real orgasm? He wrapped his arms around his body. The fact that it wasn’t real made him feel safe. Adam knows he called Nina at around 3:30 AM on Friday night. He doesn’t know what he said. In fact: Adam may have called Nina more than once but he was too scared to check the call history on his phone in greater detail. He had checked his text messages warily and was absurdly relieved to find he hadn’t sent any. Nevertheless— he was worried that Drunk Adam may have deleted incriminating texts the night before knowing Sober Adam would regret sending them. Sometimes he thought Drunk Adam might be smarter than Sober Adam. Adam watched a Japanese girl shoot milk out of her nipples into a young boy’s outstretched hands. He would not speak to Nina anymore that was for sure. He felt good about it. His therapist would be proud at how mellow Adam was acting about the entire thing. He hadn’t called her to apologize for being drunk. He hadn’t asked Blake what she had said to her friends who knew his friends. He hadn’t checked her instagram. He had resigned— with little qualms— to the fact that he and Nina would never be together.
He had drunk dialed her and things would never be the same. At least this had happened before he had developed any real feelings for her. He thought of Jane and shuddered. He was 34. He didn’t have time anymore to spend years in a state of crippling regret. Adam watched a pair of sisters named Kylie and Karly fart in tandem. His temple throbbed. He was caught between being mildly turned on and deeply disgusted. Adam hadn’t called his mother in a month. She kept sending him increasingly more distressed pins on Pinterest. She had texted his roommate, Gene, a picture of the family dog. Adam’s brother, Sam, had called him to say he found Adam’s credit card in his car and used it to buy some Dr. Dre headphones. He said Adam owed him for the elegant quills he had given Adam for Christmas. Sam apparently thought Christmas presents were a favor you needed to return in kind. Adam had bought Sam a motorcycle for Christmas. He probably just liked Nina because he was bored. He would feel more upset if that wasn’t the case. He closed his laptop. He thought of something an old Chinese man had said to him once: “And so Frodo reached the mountain top, but maybe he didn’t go that far just because he had to, maybe he was just bored.” Adam got up and ordered delivery. He had a hankering for a falafel.
Adam Levine took a big swig of aged Scotch and scowled at someone from his high school’s facebook. He had created a dummy account for himself under the name “Mickey Madden” (who was a member of Maroon 5 nobody cared about) so he could hate stalk members of his high school when he was drunk. A “Cool And Hip” rich white girl from high school with no familial ties to either Jews or Palestinians kept posting statuses calling the world to “Free Palestine!” She had posted a link to an article called “Snake Hiding in Toilet Bites Israeli Man’s Penis” and posted a comment saying “Karma.” This was taking things too far for Adam. He remembered this girl vaguely in high school. She used to make fun of him for not drinking 40s at a 29 year-old named Charles’s house every afternoon during 5th period English. It hurt Adam. He just wanted to fit in. Why did she post so much about Palestinians? She grew up in a mansion. What did she know about oppression and suffering? He wanted to donate millions of dollars to “Enslave Palestine!” just to hinder any pathetic progress she had made for a cause she knew nothing about seeing as she was a rich, privileged white art school grad. He didn’t even want to enslave Palestine. She was just so goddamn annoying on facebook. Adam popped two Xanax and tried not to cry. What the hell was wrong with him? It had been almost 20 years since he was in high school but this shit still got to him. He knew he wasn’t the most popular guy in high school but he was the most popular guy in the real world. Isn’t that what counted? What if it wasn’t? He asked himself constantly when he would finally feel accepted and now he was worried he would never feel that. Would he always feel less cool than the kids drinking 40s at Charles’s and buying cigarettes off homeless people? He just wanted it to end.
He wanted to delete her on facebook, he wanted to yell at her for being so smug, he wanted to tell her nobody wanted her help. He wanted to tell her that HE WAS FUCKING RICH AND FAMOUS AND PEOPLE WOULD REMEMBER HIM FOREVER AND SHE WOULD DIE ALONE. Instead he did none of these things. A gust of hot air blew off the desert. He felt woozy from the heat, the pills and the booze. He clumsily dialed his phone and put it to his face. He fell asleep for a moment and dreamed momentarily of the desert lizards he saw that morning morphing into BBWs. "Hello?" She said uneasily as if she was unsure about something. "Will you marry me?" He blurted out. What would all the kids from high school think if he got married to a fucking 20 year-old Victoria’s Secret model? They’d shit their pants in jealousy. "Oh my God…" She breathed, "Adam, yes! Yes! One thousand times yes!" She started crying. Adam smiled to himself. His dick was huge. "I knew you’d come around. I knew our break-up was only temporary. I knew you still loved me no matter what you said!" Adam paused for a moment as dread washed over him like the tsunami from that Japanese earthquake in 2011. "What?" He said in a small voice. "I said I knew you still loved me!" She cried, "I have to call my mom. I have to call my publicist. I’ve always adored spring weddings." Adam felt the sweat dripping off his back. He slowly took the phone away from his ear and looked at it. The caller ID read “Behati Prinsloo DO NOT ANSWER” Adam gulped. The last time he had seen Behati she had ran her Porsche into the bay window of his Malibu house. He had meant to call Nina. He heard her crying on the phone. He threw it as far away from him as he could and huddled into the fetal position in the big lawn chair. He threw the whiskey bottle too and heard it shatter in the distance. He whimpered. He would never drink again. 10.
Adam sat at his glass dining room table completely motionless, paralyzed in fear that he may have ruined everything although he wasn’t so sure what “everything” was. He had been sober since he accidentally proposed to Behati on a wayward bender but maybe it was time for him to take up heavy drinking again until he died in his mom’s closet at 45. That seemed like a nice life, or at least nicer than the one he was living right now. He hadn’t shaved or bathed in months. He had gained 10 pounds. Every time Behati asked him to “step out” for a “photo op” he conveniently said he had cancer. She laughed and said “Adam, you’re so funny.” He tried to tell her once he never wanted to see her again and this was all a colossal mistake but she just texted back to say “:/” and then asked him if he liked roses or carnations. What is a :/? Adam asked himself again and again. He stared hard at his hands, which had begun to shake again. He hadn’t had any purple drank in a month. He had two secret seizures alone in his basement in the past two weeks. He thought his brain wasn’t broken but he wasn’t 100% on that. He mostly sat in the dark and watched reruns of Pretty Little Liars. His roommate Gene walked in. "Hey Adam," He said, "Behati dropped by and asked for your credit card to buy a Maserati and a show dog. I gave it to her." He was putting away groceries when Adam screamed "WHAT?" Gene dropped a cucumber and sat down. "Are you okay, bro?" He asked evenly. Adam broke down in tears and told him about the mistaken proposal. “My life is over,” Adam said burying his face in his hands. "Dude, you’re not 23 anymore." Gene said, laughing. He picked up the cucumber. "Making Greek salad if you want any." Gene disappeared into the kitchen humming a Guns N Roses song.
Adam sat motionless for another moment and then said to himself “Wait, I’m 34.” The words seemed to reverberate off of the bay windows. A sense of relief washed through him. He was 34. This was some young kid shit. He walked around in circles as the panic that had taken root in his soul evaporated like it had never been there in the first place. He felt like his old self again. He wasn’t someone who listened to punk music and obsessively consumed photo-sets of Vladimir Putin on hunting trips. He pulled out his cell phone and called Behati. "Sweetie!" She screeched. "Listen, bitch, because I’m saying this once and only once." Gene appeared in the doorway and watched. "We can get married because it’s good for my career and I’ll bang you when I’m drunk and knock you up with a Levine baby but I can bang whoever I want to and you can’t say SHIT. I’m having my lawyer draft a contract where you’re not eligible to receive ANY of my money not even for child support when I decide to leave you and by the way— I will decide to leave you. You won’t know when, you won’t know where, but I’m Adam fucking Levine and I do what I want." There was silence for a moment. Gene smiled. "Can the tabloids at least say I left you?" Behati finally said. "Yeah, sure, whatever. I don’t care." Adam said, and he didn’t. He really didn’t, mostly because he was rich, famous and awesome. "OK," Behati said. Adam hung up. He threw his phone against the wall in celebration. It shattered all over the floor. He picked up a bottle of scotch from the cabinet and chugged. He pulled a drawer out and found his favorite cocaine dish. He did a line and then another and then took another swig of scotch. He threw his fists up in victory. "Glad to have you back," Gene said, patting his back. "Glad to fucking be back." He borrowed Gene’s phone and called his new assistant Amy. He told her to come over immediately. It was a butt fucking night.
CAPITAN’s LOG: ADAM LEVINE’S SIX-DAY BENDER
DAY 1: Adan went out with Gene downtown, they drank two 40s in the back of Adam’s escalade and met four random Puerto Ricans in the street. They said: “WHAT UP WHITE BOYS?” Adam said: “Do you have any weed?” They said: “Is it because we’re Spanish?” Adam shook his head because come on, guys. They all smoked blunts. Purple flavored (thats what purple tastes like, right?) swisher-sweets. Nice. Adam did not remember going to sleep. DAY 2: Adam cooked lunch steaks with Jimmy by the pool, drank some (10) afternoon Modelos, blew off Behati and her bullshit mom who Adam hated, called Nina, she didn’t want to talk to him, called her again, okay she did. She asked him to come over. He came over they talked, kissed, watched old episodes of Frasier, smoked a fat blunt, fell asleep in each other’s arms. Did not have sex that night whiskey dick but 5/10 blowjob. DAY 3: Woke up at 6 AM, was sober enough to bang Nina (anal, score!), drank more (4) beers, smoked her capri menthols on her terrace contemplated smog/sunrise/maybe he was profoundly unhappy, left for brunch with his sister and her husband. Adam was drunk again, perhaps shouldn’t have driven, had bacon, eggs, bloody mary, did not take sunglasses off the entire time. His sister danced around asking him for seed money for Palm Springs time share (barf), husband Jerry went on and on about English soccer holy shit did Adam not care. Drank additional bloody mary, went home watched x-files on couch with Gene, split six pack, drank promethezine, Gene + Adam decided to leap from Adam’s window into infinity pool, worked surprisingly well despite slightly fucked up ankle, blacked out for 2-3 hours. Called Nina drunk at 8 PM, came over, Anne V was
there kind of weird won’t lie since she was his ex too so, yes, more (1/5 of whiskey) drinks Adam got in trouble for trying to touch Nina’s waist around his ex but who cared. Nina says she is not mad about Behati but she won’t let Adam do coke off her butt so she totally is. Ugh, everyone was out to get him. Drove to buy more beers at midnight questionable decision but everyone lived, parked in Nina’s front lawn, banged her again sort of remembers it but didn’t finish because she finished before him and was like “stop” so he did he but then forgot why they stopped and asked her “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME?” hysterically then kind of lost his train of thought whatever went to sleep. DAY 4: Nina woke up early and left but he lingered in her house looking at shopping lists and girl things and underwear. He went home, watched two episodes of House of Cards, Blake called and he sort of looked at his phone for a second before burying it in the depths of his living room couch. Retired to the bedroom with a bottle of vodka. Blake probably only wanted to talk about Miranda and he always sounded so crazy like “She’s in Tallahassee so she’s definitely fucking her ex-boyfriend” and that stressed Adam out. He drank vodka and forgot to eat then Nina came over after work. Forgot he asked her to be honest. They did molly and watched the moon for a while which was beautiful with clouds and shit but then Adam had nothing to say and he knew this was supposed to feel good but it didn’t it felt overwhelming and all he wanted to do was lay in his comfortable bed motionless, alone and pretend to sleep then wake up like 8 times in a cold sweat and read political news until he was sober again. DAY 5: Adam’s brain hurt like it felt too big for his skull so he ate 2 hamburgers from Jack In The Box sourdough jacks with bacon and one of those southwest chilli bowls sweet jesus. Adam called Nina but she didn’t pick up then he texted her and she didn’t text back so he called Blake and they went to a bar in Hollywood and Adam explained the situation and asked him “What’s up with Nina?” and Blake said “Maybe it’s because you’re engaged to her model friend” and Adam went “That’s not it.” and Blake said “If she didn’t text you back she doesn’t like you,” and Adam thought on this and Nina still didn’t call him back so he decided that, Yes. Today Was A Good Day To Buy More Cocaine. He called Jose and picked up an eight ball but didn’t tell Blake or the other hoes they went to the club with later because they’d want some and were thieving whores and this was for him and him alone. Every once in a while he would just say politely “I have to go to the bathroom!” and do four bumps off his Porsche keys. Ah, yes. Things were good. Nina who? Behati who? He took a teen named Amanda out back and fucked her good and hard against the side of the club and that was the last thing he remembered. DAY 6: Woke up covered in dirt and maybe blood in some backyard in the valley, shrugged, bought a six pack of Bud Ice, shot the shit with some migrant workers on the corner sort of they didn’t know English, gave them each $500 bucks and told him to come with him, went to the strip club, bought them all lap-dances, got an OK BJ from a chick named Teena in the bathroom, did the rest of the coke with her, popped a Xanax, Jose always gave him a Xanax with coke “for the comedown” he said, he left the migrant workers, bought a car from the lot across the street in cash, it was some shitty Ford Focus, drove to Blake’s, picked him up, went to an abandoned lot off Sepulveda and killed a handle of flavored vodka, they did donuts and eventually lit the car on fire, laughing as the flames licked the air. Adam went home, huddled in the corner of the California King, drank an entire bottle of white wine by himself, put the sheet over himself and lie motionless like he was a rock, like that one part of Lord Of The Rings.
Adam fell asleep at 9:30, woke up at 10:30, ordered a pizza, forgot about it, made some tea and went back to sleep. He woke up sober for the first time in a long time. Nothing is permanent.
Adam Levine sat alone in a windowless room as a stripper named Desiree danced in front of him with dead eyes staring through him out the window at the Malibu coastline. He touched a pair of hook shaped scars on her ass. He loved them. Where did they come from and why did he love them? It was one of the many things about himself that puzzled him. Desiree ran her hands across her fat rippling thighs. He felt OK here right now but he usually didn’t. He always felt an urgent energy coursing through him and he didn’t think it was normal. He got upset about things that didn’t matter. His therapist would tell him those things didn’t matter and Adam knew that but it didn’t change anything. He still sat in the green room of The Voice late at night staring at the white walls wondering why he felt so restless while everyone else felt so calm. Earlier Adam had bought Crazy Stallion, a dollar beer from his youth that made him black out but in this wonderful nostalgic way. It made his brain shut up like it did on the East LA train tracks in 1997. His brain often what else-d. what next-d, what more did they want-d? He always wanted to impress this beautiful, nothing girl that only existed in his brain. He wanted to party with Drake and Blake Shelton and hoes in the club and say “Look where I am now!” but he didn’t know quite where to scream it. He didn’t know who to scream it at. Adam was sick of his friends telling him that his idiot brain was an idiot. He knew he went too fast and he felt too much but what the fuck was he supposed to do about it? Pour one out for his homies on the grimy sidewalk? Nobody had the answers but they expected him to know them anyway. Adam wanted to disappear but he knew there was nowhere to disappear to. Disappear here? That was a myth too. He watched the folds of Desiree’s ass. They were all going to die too and they were stupid to think
Adam Levine couldn’t tell you what kind of mood he was in. He sat at a large mahogany desk and stared at a portrait of himself but he couldn’t tell you if life was good or bad. He knew what mood everyone around him was in. Blake was trying to forget about Miranda so they would play darts, drink whiskey and smoke meth. They would talk all night and make music and sometimes get into fist-fights that would end in both of them sobbing quietly on the cool tile of Adam’s veranda. He knew what mood Behati was in. She was so focused on herself and her plans that if you said anything that wasn’t about Weddings or Modeling she would glare at you and then look down at her phone and text, her long fingernails making a click-clack on the screen of her iPhone. She didn’t have time for anyone’s shit. If he spent enough time with them he would become them. He would take on their mannerisms and their problems. He didn’t have his own moods anymore; they were eclipsed by the enormity everyone else’s Feelings. He was growing weary of it. He supposed he was trying to escape something but he didn’t know what. “You’re just going through something,” his sister would tell him as they watched old episodes of Frasier at their mom’s house. “What?” He would ask. She would shrug and they’d go back to watching TV in silence. He wished someone would tell him how he was supposed to feel. Adam didn’t remember how long it had been since he had a best friend. He missed drinking 40s at the swamp with Tim From High School. He missed sitting outside the Wendy’s in East LA and dipping his fries in frostys they would hop over the counter and steal when nobody was looking. He missed crying on the stoop of some random girl’s house in Brooklyn as his friends hugged him close. When Adam got blackout drunk with Tim and did something stupid, Tim would always forgive him. Nowadays if Adam did something stupid his friends would say they would stop looking at him in the eye when they talked and hold this grudge he couldn’t find a way to adequately apologize
for. Adam didn’t remember the last time someone really listened to what he said. Conversation these days just felt like everyone biding time silently, waiting for their turn to talk.
There was nothing wrong in Adam Levine’s life but that didn’t stop him from taking 12 kolonopin and dangling his feet off a 20 story balcony in West Hollywood. Adam was afraid he treated people like math problems. In high school Adam would check over his work for an hour before he turned in his Algebra homework. When he got his problem set back he would still get an F. It was because he wasn’t really checking over the answers-- his eyes would just flit over the work as he thought about skateboarding or boobs or Nine Inch Nails or whatever he thought about that week. He was like that with people. He would scrutinize his relationships, even when they were perfect, and tweak his social interactions for some desired result that never worked out. He always got an F because he sucked at math and he sucked at people. He was good at taking drugs though. He was good at lying in bed. He was good at writing frantic poetry he mostly stole from poets much better than him on his walls with oil pen. He was good at smoking weed, descending into paranoia, ruining perfectly nice family functions and Irish exiting. He was good at giving head despite what fucking Brenda said. He was good at enduring. He endured. Adam felt like his life was one long weekend. He longed to be sober. He was beginning to forget what that was like. He stood up and leaned over the edge of the balcony. It would be cool to die.
Adam Levine smoked a cigarette and surveyed his work. He took out another priceless china plate— a gift from the President of Monaco or something— and placed it carefully on top of Gene’s glass table. He let his hand drift down the shaft of an aluminum baseball bat, gripped it and smashed the plate and the table to pieces. Gene entered the room at once. "Adam, what the hell are you doing??!" He screeched but Adam didn’t answer because wasn’t it obvious? He was breaking shit. It was what he had to do because he couldn’t stop getting mad at his friends and loved ones. He had to break plates. He had to break Gene’s furniture because they were there and had to be broken because he was broken too. It was the only thing that made sense. Adam didn’t know why he was mad but he was mad and he was mad at everything. He was mad at Behati for texting her ex-boyfriend. He was mad at himself for caring. He didn’t even particularly like Behati. He was mad at her ex-boyfriend, Steve, for merely existing. He had met Steve before and Steve made some bullshit remark at Adam for smoking a cigarette on the porch at a fundraiser. “Secondhand smoke kills,” Steve had said. Fucking Steve. Steve was a fake friend and there wasn’t much Adam hated more than fake friends. That was just a list of the things he was mad about this morning. Adam broke another piece of tableware. A goblet this time. Adam was sure Steve was a nice guy. Adam was mad that other people could be happy and he couldn’t. He was mad at other people for simply being happy. He thought about all the things that made him happy: pussy, money and codine. He had a lot of those things but something was different now. Adam was different. Do you know how terrifying it is to not recognize yourself in the mirror anymore? He wanted to take a break from life for a second. He wanted to take a break from being appreciative of his friends and family. He wanted to take a break from maintaining his relationships. He wanted to take a break from going to work in the morning. He wanted to take a break from trying. He wanted to take a break from being
sad but also from being happy. He wanted to exist in some otherworld. Adam thought he had PTSD except nothing traumatic had even happened. Adam dropped the bat, got in his car even though he was still drunk and headed for the beach. It was a Jodi Picolout and tanning Sort Of Day. Fuck every other human.
Who were all of these people who thought he was the Sexiest Man Alive? Adam Levine was pacing back and forth in his living room. Should he take a sleeping pill? Should he fuck his fiance? He bristled at the thought of sex. Behati always just lay in bed impassively as he halfheartedly humped her. He would keep at it for about fifteen minutes until he finally gave up on coming that night. He would try to put his arm around her but she’d immediately go to the bathroom and take a shower. If he was the Sexiest Man Alive why did she always have to shower him off of her after intercourse? Adam kept fantasizing about meeting a girl who loved him, who he loved, but who he didn’t fuck, who understood him. It would be easy to be with her. Adam didn’t want to marry this girl or even drunkenly raw-dog her in the bathroom. He liked challenges and this girl wouldn’t be challenging. They would sit together at an outdoor cafe, split a giant margarita and shoot the shit. He would be happy there in that moment. He wouldn’t want to be somewhere else the way he always was these days around other people. He and this ideal girl would watch the sun sink into the ocean and nobody would be scared of saying things. She would carry him through life and women wouldn’t be so scary anymore. He used to know someone like that but she was gone now. He took the sleeping pill. He still wanted to have sex but he knew he’d be happier sleeping in his own bed, alone. He hugged his pillow tight to his chest. Perhaps he deserved all of this
OK, Adam had to bring up Steve. Adam wished he didn’t have to bring up Steve but he had to. Steve was a nice guy but Adam still wanted to beat him senselessly with a golf club. Steve had never done anything to Adam before but Adam still wanted to round up a gang of Puerto Ricans and jump Steve in a dark alleyway. It would be cool if Adam could just break Steve’s legs with no consequences. If Adam could just hit Steve over the head with an aluminum bat without having to worry about the police arresting him, Adam’s friends judging him or Steve pressing charges. Adam often fantasized about a world where if he wrote a persuasive enough essay on why Steve deserved to get the shit kicked out of him the law would just let Adam break all of Steve’s bones. Adam caught himself thinking terrible thoughts about Steve. Like “Everything Steve says, does and makes is mind-numbingly dull” or “Steve would be cool if he had any significant life experiences that made him compelling in some way.” Sometimes when Steve talked Adam wondered if he had somehow died in the past hour and purgatory was sitting cross-legged on the ground waiting for Steve to leave but Steve would never leave because Adam was dead and being punished for something by a cruel and spiteful God. Adam felt guilty about all of this because, really, Steve was a nice guy, and Adam was not.
Adam Levine used to think that he was severely unhappy with his life but it turns out he’s just severely hungover a majority of the time. He rescheduled everything he had to do today and fantasized, literally fantasized, about eating spaghetti later. Why did breakfast exist? Couldn’t breakfast just be dinner? Adam wished he was better at being “busy.” He didn’t understand all of these people who had “so much work to do.” Didn’t they know that everything could be rescheduled? Everything could be put off? Adam was convinced being busy was a myth. That it was some legend invented by people who Just Didn’t Want To Hang Out With You That Much. Sometimes Adam’s friends would ask him what he was doing that night, he would say “Nothing, watching Gilmore Girls reruns” and they would make this face like “Aw, that’s sad.” Why is it fucking sad? What is more important than that? What makes their shit more important than his shit? Just because someone’s unhappy doesn’t mean their experiences are more authentic. Adam Levine didn’t really believe this. He was just really, really hungover. Adam didn’t want to have sex with anyone. It would just be nice if a girl told him he was handsome and worthwhile. It had been a long time since anybody had told him he was worthwhile. Everybody took him for granted. He kept himself going by listening to One Direction songs and imagining everyone’s faces when he finally worked up the courage to tell them to fuck off. He heard somewhere that cool kids can and will die just like everybody else.
If one more person wrote “Happy Birthday!” on Adam Levine’s facebook wall he was going to completely break with reality. He wanted to call all of these people and say “YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY” but they would just say “Stop acting like such a Jew, Adam.” He just wished people would say something meaningful sometimes. Adam didn’t want to get drunk and this was more alarming to him than full-blown alcoholism. His father had sat him down and said “Son, you’re 34 and you’re finally growing up.” A single tear leaked out of his eye. Adam knew this was supposed to be a happy father-son moment but it just made him feel old. Were the days of getting drunk every single night already over? Was he going to be one of those people who went to bed sober at 9 PM after marathoning Good Wife? He liked marathoning Good Wife but only when he made himself a banana/Xanax/vodka smoothie. Was he too old for banana/Xanax/vodka smoothies? He felt like he didn’t have any energy anymore. He just wanted that youthful drive to get super fucked up and make bad decisions all the time. Except he just wanted to curl up in front of the fire underneath his mink throw, brew himself some green tea and settle down with a good book and it completely fucking terrified him. Was he supposed to have children now and annoy all of his friends with bullshit kid complaints? Is this it? It’s weird because it didn’t happen with some big life-changing Moment like he always thought it would. He at least thought somebody else would be there for it. Was it all some joke? It felt like some huge fucking joke.