Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just A Day At Work (Part 9)

Amazing things can happen in a Days Inn.  Friends can become closer, jokes can be made, life-changing sexual experiences can come (so to speak) to fruition.

Hearts can be broken.

Hearts can also be mended.

Sometimes these two events can happen within the space of minutes.

"I know what we talked about at the restaurant, and I'm perfectly fine with it.  Don't worry," I said.  Bekka replied, "My job to worry, though.  Tell me the truth about something."
"No problem."
"Lenny, do you have a crush on me?"
"Yes, I do.  Absolutely."
She jumped up from the bed and spun towards me.  Her face was a mask of rage.  "Jesus!  Fuck you!  Asshole!  Why!?"
What was weird was that I was expecting a bad reaction from her, if the subject ever came up, whether she was dating or single.  I wasn't quite expecting the Tourette's-like outburst, but still....

I told her, "You wanna keep cussing at me, or did you want an answer?  The swearing is pretty entertaining, you get a seriously 'Exorcist'-style face when you have outbursts like that."
"Oh, shut the fuck up, Lenny," Bekka said, sitting on the corner of the bed and facing away from me.
She asked me to shut up, so I did.After a minute, she said, "Well?"
"Well what?"
"You gonna answer me, or not?"
"If you want me to, sure, but since you told me to shut up, I did.  But I have no goddamn fucking trouble ignoring contradictions, so fine.  I have a crush on you because you're beautiful and sexy and clever and smart, and you're able to make me come with your mouth ---- that's a fairly new reason --- and you usually have a lot of common sense, but this isn't one of those times because the fact that I have a crush on you should have been motherfucking obvious for a while now, and the fact that I don't follow you around like a puppy dog or a psycho stalker should have been just a little bit of a tip-off that I refuse to let my crush fuck up a really good friendship, that I never expected it to go anywhere at all, much less us ending up fucking in a motel room, and to be frank I'd rather put on my clothes and leave right now and have us remain friends, if that's what would work.
"But you know what?  You can't do anything about the crush, and neither can I, because I'll still find you beautiful and sexy and clever and smart.  The crush will just sit there like that can of off-brand chili no one will eat in your household, gathering dust, totally ignored, except for every now and then someone will pull it off the shelf, look it over, and put it back.  It's a non-entity, really.  No use to anyone.  It means nothing."

Bekka turned and looked at me; I'd been talking to her back all that time.  Tears were pouring down her face, but she was silent: she wouldn't let her crying show if she could help it.
"You fucker," she said.I stared at her.She began yelling at me. 
"C'mon, you pussy!  Slap me!  Call me a cunt!  What's wrong with you!?  I've been slowly breaking your heart, I know I have, and you're not gonna react?  The fuck is the matter with you!?"
I stood up and walked over, standing in front of her.  She had an expression that was both fear and triumph.  "Yeah?" she said.
I bent down and scooped her up in my arms.  She began kicking and squirming, so I held her tighter.  I carried her around the side of the bed, and gently laid her down in the middle of the bed.  Then I lay down next to her and held her close.
She started squirming, but I wouldn't let her go.  She croaked, "What are you doing?"
"My friend is very unhappy, and I don't know what to do about it.  So I'm holding her close, to let her know she is loved."
She froze for a moment.  Then she wrapped her arms around me, and cried and cried and cried.

After a long while she was quiet.  Her eyes were barely open, but they moved to follow my movement.  I got up and grabbed a towel from the bathroom, so she could dry her face and wipe her nose.
"Here he is again, fucking Galahad," Bekka said.
"That, and I didn't want you snottin' up my side of the bed.  Not everything I do is completely selfless," I replied, and sat on the edge of the bed.  She gave me a small smile.
She asked, "So why don't you hate me?"
"I didn't know it was required.  Besides, hate you for what?  Not having a romantic interest in me?  I can't lie: I had it bad for you.  In a way I still do.  But you know what?  Them's the breaks.  I've had my heart broken before, and much worse.... I've been victim of acts of cruelty at the hands of women that should have turned me into a misogynist, a rapist, or gay.  And strangely enough, it was anger that kept those from happening: I refused to let them win.  They were individuals that hurt me, not 'women'.
"How and why you broke my heart were not acts of vicious cruelty.... Or if they were, they were really damn incompetent.  I wanted something you did not.  As much as that hurt, I refuse to reach for the razor blades, y'know?  Besides, I still have a good friend....
"....Don't I?"
She crawled to the edge of the bed and sat next to me.  "You do.  You have a friend, a lover, a model, and someone who'll let you drive their hot rod when you want to.  You even have someone who will walk on the beach with you when we're both high on MDMA."
I said, "The walking on the beach thing is cool, but the hot rod lending, that's the clincher."
"Quiet you, or I'll remove 'lover' from the list.  Specifically, the oral sex aspects."
"Eeeep!  Yes ma'am!"
We hugged, the sort of hug that can only come from true trust and affection.

Oh, and we skipped walking on the beach in favor of sex, microwave popcorn and sodas in front of the TV, and more sex.  Later, we decided to watch a pay-per-view porn, to see how the "big kids" did it.  Our stuff would never make pay-per-view.  We ended up muting the sound and filling in the dialogue on our own, laughing our heads off as we did.  It just seemed like the right thing to do, somehow.


"So how are the grits?"

"Pretty good, for California.  Keep in mind, Mom was from Alabama."

"I'm a native Californian, third generation.  Grits are just a weird-ass version of Cream O' Wheat to me."

I poked at my plate with my fork.  "Their chorizo is only fair.  C'mon, an hour drive from the border, and they can't have kick-ass chorizo?"

She smirked and said, "That would only frighten the tourists."

"Yeah, fair enough."

We ate in silence for a while.

I set my fork down and said, "Tell me.  Last night we were talking about getting our hearts broken.  Have you ever.... Y'know.... Lost, badly?

Bekka paused, her spoon hovering in the air.  Then she set it down.  "Yeah.  And almost all after I started in porn."

That surprised me.  I figured any guy dating a porn star would treat her like a princess.  I told her that.

"Hah!" she said.  "This last clown, the incompetent apartment-wrecker?  Kinda typical.  He thought we'd be sucking and fucking like in the videos, and got all bugged when I wanted nice mellow sex."

"If the sex we had last night was mellow, my life may be at risk if you decide you wanna go wild."

She gave me an evil grin.  "I could break your tiny little mind.... Baby."

She ate more of her grits and sighed.  "The guys that confuse porn with sex never really hurt me.  I know this sounds cynical, but the dudes like that are just bed-warmers for me.  The break-up with Captain Incompetence hurt a little, but was more an aggravation.  Two dudes stand out in my mind, though.

"One guy, Cliff, was an absolute sweetheart.  A perfect gentleman.  I mean, you have high points for thoughtfulness and kindness, but Cliff broke the scale: for chrissakes, when we went somewhere and he was driving, when we arrived he'd sprint around to my side of the car and open my door for me."
I said, "And I will never do that.  It's bullshit, it's a bit of supposed manners that assumes women are these fragile objects that can't pull the latch and swing the door of a goddamn Celica."
"Yeah, but that was his style.  Also, he was a Christian."
"Hoo boy."
"At first, it was no big deal.  I mean, we were fucking, we'd have drinks when we'd go to a restaurant.... I figured he went to some fairly mellow church like the Methodists or the Episcopals.  He asked me to go with him one Sunday, I said no, and the subject was dropped."
I said, "I sense an 'And then one day....' coming on."
Bekka said, "Right you are.... And it was psycho city.  For about a week, I'd been having to practically beg him for sex, which was a one-eighty for him.  He was no naive choirboy, believe me.  Then, out of the blue, he's tired all the time.
"We were set to go out one Saturday night.  He says, 'Hey, I wanna swing by a friend's house.  You'll really like them.  Okay no big deal.
"We get there, walk in, and there's like fifteen dudes all sitting around.  And they're all staring at me.  I stepped back and got my heel in the door, because the first thing through my mind was 'gang rape.'  I got my hand on my butterfly knife in my purse --- I didn't have the .38 yet --- and told Cliff I'd wait in the car.  Then I realize all these fools are holdinig Bibles; Cliff tells me, 'We don't want to hurt you, we want to save you.'
"It was a fucking intervention, basically.  Cliff was a member of some conservative yahoo Bible-whackin' church, and had let it slip to someone that the girl he was dating was in porn.  Hey, major fucking score for them!  Just get me to repent against my evil ways or whatever.
"Okay, I didn't have my heel in the door anymore, but it wasn't locked, and like I said, I had my knife if things got really hectic.  One of these dickheads starts reading from Romans, I think.... Something written by Paul, I know that, because of the focus on debauchery.  I put up with them for a couple minutes and said, 'Look.  You don't like my videos?  The easy solution is to not buy them.  You don't like what I do for a living?  Tough shit: nobody forced me into the business, I like the work, I like the money even better, and it's none of your business.  I'm not breaking any laws.  You don't like me because of my career?  Fuck you.  So you think I'm a bad person because I fuck and suck in front of a camera?' --- they quietly freaked when I said that, because proper ladies don't speak like that! --- 'Who the fuck are you to judge me?  Only God can do that, you assholes sure can't.'
:"'You know who is a bad person?'  And I pointed at Cliff.  'Anyone who lies to the woman he says he loves, who forces her into a bullshit situation like this, and thinks that a kidnapping is gonna get someone closer to the Lord, you're dealing with a bad person right there."
"So what was their reaction to all this?  They drop to the ground and start speaking in tongues?"
"No, it was weird.  They just sat there with their mouths open.  It's like they never even considered that the person --- the woman --- they'd do this to would be ragingly pissed off, and tell them to go fuck themselves.  It may be connected to Cliff's Politenessman routine: either I'd just say, 'Gosh, I see the error of my ways!  Praise Jesus!' or I'd hit the ground sobbing, confessing my sins and begging forgiveness from everyone from God to Milton Berle, who's the same age.
I told them, 'Somebody call Coast Cab, I've got fare, and I'll wait outside.'  The leader-type guy, some fat fuck with thick glasses, says, 'I'm afraid we can't do that, we must save you from the cycle of debauchery and sin you are trapped in.'  I asked him, 'Is that front door locked?'  He says yes, so I ask him, 'How long did you plan on keeping me here?  You're aware this is a kidnapping, right?'  One of the other ones says, 'As long as is needed.'
"Okay, it's now officially fight-and-flight time.  I told them, 'I can see to it I'm out of here in under half an hour.'  I pulled out my butterfly and spun it open and told them, 'See, you're going to call Coast Cab, and you're going to unlock that door, open it, and keep it open.  Anyone gets closer to me than I'm comfortable with, and I start carving chunks out of people, anyone I can reach.  Big ones.  When the ambulance shows up, I leave with them.  I'm not a big fan of Solana Beach PD, but I'd rather be around them than you.'  They all just sort of sat there, totally unsure, so I screamed, 'Phone!  Coast Cab!  Now!'  Then I did something I knew would cause trouble for Cliff.  I walked over to him and loudly said, 'I can't believe I ever sucked your dick, much less let you stick it in me.'  I had a hunch that would fracture his standing in the church: he'd engaged in premarital relations, and acts of sodomy, with a woman who appears in pornographic films!  He's soiled!
"The cab took ten minutes.  Before I left, I told Cliff, 'I want you to call me in the morning.  I want to learn why a man I loved and cared about, and I thought cared about me, could do something as cruel as this.  And any answer which involves the concept of 'doing God's work' doesn't count.
"'Oh, and the rest of you fuckheads?  If I see you anywhere near me, ever, I'm flagging down a cop and calling you out as a stalker.'
"As I was headed out the door, one of God's bullies says to me, 'All you're doing is guaranteeing God's wrath.'  I turned to him and said, 'No, I don't think so .  My god is is a gentle, loving, forgiving god.  Shit, my god sent his son down to forgive mankind for the sins of the world, and that got him killed.  My god mourned, but let it go.  Sorry your god is such a dick.'  The taxi honked and I ran like hell."
Bekka pushed away her bowl.  "Cliff did call the next day, with the unmitigated gall to complain how I'd ruined his standing with his church.  It would seem that fucking girls in porn, or any girls you aren't attached to, is a big no-no.  Color me surprised.  So I pointed out that the real reason for his anger was that he got caught.  He sputtered for a minute, 'cos he knew that was the real truth of it, then said, 'My ultimate goal was to save you!'
"I told him, 'Yeah, all that action we saw in bed together, you hated every minute of it, right?  You were only fucking me to gain my trust.  Total fuckin' miracle you didn't die of shame every time I sucked your dick.'
"You know what he had the nerve to tell me?  'One must make sacrifices to save souls.'  He forgot he was talking to a christian when he said that, I suppose.  I pointed out that Christ can save souls, hypocritical shitheads from North County can't.  I rounded off by pointing out he was unable to satisfy my requirement about doing God's work.  Everything he'd said, and everything he'd done for the past week, was just so much evangelistic bullshit.  And I said the meanest thing I could think of: that God and Christ were both ashamed of him.  He slammed down the phone, and that was it.  I replaced the records I loaned him and spent a week crying, over how one man could do such a thorough job of breaking my heart, of allowing me to trust so purely, and how his own fucked up faith could let him break that trust without a second thought on his part.  I spent a while wishing I liked women more, you know?"
We had finished eating; I signaled the waitress for more coffee.  "Holy shit.  The other guy can't be as twisted."
"You guess wrong."
"Oh shit."
"This guy's name was Brent.  Now, any guy I date, or even consider dating, gets a bit of a speech from me.  I tell them precisely what I do for a living, what the work involves, and the average number of people I have intercourse with in a given week.  It does freak out a lot of guys, and I never see them again.  Some of 'em think they've scored the orgasm jackpot, and I have to tell them, 'Yeah, no.  I like my real sex to be relaxed.  You don't get to fuck my ass, come on my face, or any other of the tropes that porn videos have drilled in your head.'
"And some guys seem okay with it.  They'll ask questions about safe sex, about how partners are chosen, that sort of thing.  I think they get a kick out being able to say, 'I'm dating a porn star,' but they get it, overall. Or in this guy's case, pretend they do.
"After two months of dating, Brent decided that no one could have me but him.  And he was clever about it: he tried to ruin my career."
"How the hell could he do that?  Show up in a wig and claim to be you?"
"No, he used technology.  I realized I hadn't got a single call from the director at Inana in a week.  So I drove to the mansion and asked him, 'What's up? Did I make you angry?  If you're letting me go, please tell me so I can line up another gig.'  The producer says, 'We've been trying to call you, but when we do, we get some guy swearing at us, telling us you're no longer working, that he'll kill us all if we try to contact you.'  Okay, this is strange.  I tell the director to call my number.  He does, and I can hear Brent's voice yelling threats.  We hang up, and I call back.  The yelling starts in almost immediately.  I say, 'Brent?  This is Bekka.  What is this?'  I hear 'Oh shit!' and the phone slams down.
"What he'd done was set up a call-forwarding relay so that my line would ring at his house.  He also got one of those 'caller ID' gizmos.  If the call was coming from the mansion, he'd pick up and go into his routine.  We were spending enough time together that he'd know when I was home, and would switch the line back over if it wasn't the mansion calling.
"So I went over to his house and confronted him.  He calmly showed me his set-up; he was rather proud of it.  He honestly couldn't understand why I was angry.  'Are you going to make dirty movies your whole life?' he asked me.  I told him, 'No, but it's what I'm doing right now.'  He finally fessed up that he hated the idea of 'sharing' me with other men, and getting me out of the industry made the most sense.  It never occurred to him just how many production companies there are in Southern California.  I pointed that out to him.  He stared at me, then started screaming, 'You are mine!' and came after me.
"I managed to dodge him, get outside, and grabbed my pistol.  He saw me standing there with the gun and told me to shoot,  If I wouldn't be his alone he wanted to die.  I didn't want to kill him.... So I told him to turn around.  When he did, I brained him with the butt of the pistol and called the cops.  While I was waiting I hid the pistol in the trunk and pulled out the tire iron: I'd claim a lucky swing with the tire iron, and disavow any knowledge of any gun.
"They took him away on a 5150, a mental health hold.  For all I know, he's still in the puzzle factory."
Bekka knocked back the rest of her coffee. "The commonality here?  These were both guys who, for the first couple of months, I thought were.... It.  With both of them I thought, 'Yes!  I've found Mister Right!  This dude is perfect!  I can't go wrong!'  They weren't perfect.  They were fucking psychos.  I was too blind to see it, too dim to think, 'Maybe I'm missing something here.'  So if I seem just a teensy bit cynical about the subject, you can understand why.  Not only do I seem to attract the mentally ill, I fall in love with them, hard."
We walked up to the counter to pay.  "To be frank, Bekka?  I have no idea what to say.  Somebody make a note of the time and date, Lenny didn't have anything to say.  What first comes to mind is cheesy, and you've probably heard it before, so I won't waste your time on platitudes.  I guess what puzzles me is the incredible odds you broke."
"How so?"
"Having two dudes go all Jekyll and Hyde on you.  That's just wild."
"Don't remind me.  Am I some fucking magnet for guys with multiple personality disorder?  Or is it me?  Am I the poster girl for serious trust issues?"  She chuckled bitterly.  "I'm kinda glad you don't have anything to say.  You'd be spot on, and I'd yell at you, then I'd start crying, and you'd have to once again comfort a sobbing professional cocksucker, this time in a parking lot, so we'd have an audience.  Excluding the audience, it'd be just like last night."
I fished for my keys.  "Just so long as there are no more attempts to goad me into assaulting you.  I'd hate to break a lifelong streak of not beating up women due to a bad temper."
Bekka said, "Speaking of bad tempers, do you think Steve The Asshole is gonna work out as a director?"
"I think so.  He's totally in his element.  His attitude has completely changed.  Strictly speaking, he's easier to work with than the director.  Steve's very visually oriented, and the director is a businessman.  One has competence, the other has genuine talent."
"So he gets your thumbs up."
"Absolutely.  So far, anyway."
"Guess we'll learn more on Monday."
"Yeah.... Just a day at work."


But not quite.... CLICK HERE for an epilogue, of sorts.

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