My first time to Florida, and my first time ever on an airplane. Both events I greeted with excitement and trepidation.
Bekka was shocked and amused that I'd never flown before. "There's nothing to be afraid of, it's safer than driving, and I know how much you love to drive."
"Yeah, I know the statistics, but dammit, something that size shouldn't be in the air. It's unnatural."
"Bring a book, because except for takeoff and landing, flying is actually pretty dull. You don't have a thing to worry about."
"Are you sure you'll be okay carrying the speed?"
We'd agreed that we wanted drugs with us, but were unsure as to how we'd transport them. The Ecstasy was simple enough, just put it in an aspirin bottle and send it through with our checked luggage. The speed was another matter. Bekka finally said she'd double-bag it and carry it the same place women have been hiding things for millennia. I was concerned about her comfort and having the bag rip. She insisted she'd be fine, and that's why we were double-bagging it. Problem solved.
We were flying from San Diego's Lindbergh Field to Fort Lauderdale, with a 45 minute layover in Dallas to change planes. We made friends on the plane almost immediately. A couple around our age, maybe a little older, was in front of us.... And the guy recognized Bekka.
"Saaay.... Do you work in porno?"
"Jeff, shush." (They'd spent time in the airport bar.)
Jeff shushed her back, saying, "I'm just askin'."
Bekka gave a thousand-watt smile --- we'd taken a couple of Boss' pills --- and said, "Yes, I'm Becky Page."
"Pleased to meet you! I'm Jeff Ackerman and this is my wife Darla. Tell me, how easy is it to get a gig doing porn? I've always wanted to try."
"Jeff, you're embarrassing me...." This from Darla.
"I guess you get asked this all the time, huh?"
I told him, "I interview thirty or thirty-five guys a month, and will sign on one. Some months I don't sign any. It's not just the ability to maintain an erection and a full-body tan. I demand a good attitude and respect from my male performers. And the physical demands are strenuous. If you think it's an easy job you're fooling yourself. I won't, I can't do it. Did you want to perform with your wife?"
"Does she want to be a performer? Darla, did you want to have sex in front of cameras?"
"Um, I guess so. He's always saying how much fun it would be."
Bekka and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. Bekka said, "Oh, boy! No, making porn is work, and hard work at that. It's like making a movie or TV show: what you see as the end product has nothing to do with what happens on the sound-stage during filming. It's not just getting naked and fucking. Imagine having sex, only there's five or eight people in the room who keep interrupting you, and telling you what to do next and for how long. You have to stop to get your makeup touched up, both of you. And the people watching could care less about what you're doing, because they've seen it all before.
"There is a degree of fun, but like I said, it's mostly hard work. Hate to shatter your illusions, but that's how it goes. Still interested?"
Jeff looked glum. "I'd never thought of it that way. So wait, if you're not in front of the cameras---" this was directed at me " --- what is it you do?"
"I run the business end of things. I do the hiring, help write scripts, audition performers, sign the checks.... All the shit that has to be done to keep a business going. Other than getting an 'Executive Producer' credit on the videos, I don't have any screen time. Becky here is our star."
Darla asked Bekka, "How do you stand the work? The way you described it, it sounds miserable."
Bekka responded, "Well, it pays well. And I didn't want to give the impression that it's misery. If you enjoy acting it can be a lot of fun. But people approach the job like it's one big fuck-fest, and it's not. Like we said, it's hard work."
"Well.... Thanks for your advice," said Jeff. They turned back in their seats and began muttering to each other, with Darla leading off: "I told you it was a dumb idea." I pulled out a deck of cards and we started a marathon game of gin rummy.
Forty minutes out from Lauderdale we hear this happy message over the intercom: "The captain reports we will be expecting turbulence ahead. Please return to your seats and fasten your belts. Thank you."
No sooner had we finished following these instructions than the plane did a twenty-foot elevator drop, then began bucking around like a mechanical bull. I looked over to Bekka, who had a maniacal grin on her face, the same one she has when we drive way too fast on the freeway. I grinned back and exclaimed, "Cool! We're gonna die!"
"Fuck you, turbulence rules. Better than any roller coaster."
I turned slightly in my seat and slid my hand up her thigh, into her skirt.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"If I'm gonna die, I'm going out happy, and they'll notice if we got naked."
She stroked my crotch, then removed my hand. "If that was the case, I'd demand you go down on me, at the very least."
"I could live with that."
I looked out the window and could see nothing but deep gray. Water was streaming off the glass. One of the attendants walked past, checking to make sure people had their belts on correctly, so I asked her if beverage service was over.
She didn't get it. "We'll be landing in twenty minutes, sir. The lounge in the airport will be open."
"Can I have another seat belt, then?"
"Or my mommy. Right now I want my mommy."
She finally figured out I was yanking her chain and gave me a formal smile. "Don't worry, we'll be on the ground in a jiffy. I apologize for the turbulence, have you never experienced it before?"
I told her the truth. "Until about nine o'clock last night, I'd never been on a plane before in my life. Does this always happen?"
"Not very often. Sometimes it's gentle, sometimes it's worse. As long as you're belted in, you can't get hurt. Enjoy your stay in Fort Lauderdale."
I turned to Bekka to find her smirking at me. The sun was just rising over the Atlantic. She said, "Feeling comforted now?"
I made a tough guy face and told her, "Ah, she had a good figure and I thought I'd find out if she wanted to earn some extra money."
"Oh, of course. Suuure you did."
"To hell with you. I'm new at this, okay? She said herself turbulence doesn't happen very often."
"I know, I shouldn't tease. Like I said, to me turbulence is better than a roller coaster. I just hold on and enjoy the ride. The only time it sucks is when the person next to you has a delicate constitution and starts pukin'. I had some businessman type go through five bags next to me due to some slight jouncing. The sixth bag ended up on me. I learned why they sell clothes in airports that day.
"The worst part? After puking on me, the guy asked me out to dinner! He wanted to make it up to me, so he said. I told him I was only nineteen and he went off on how much he loved younger women. All charm: puke on me, then hit on me."
"Hey, you're beautiful. You cloud men's minds."
"Is that why you married me?"
"Baby, you cloud my mind like it's a jar full of muddy water."
"You sweet talker, you."
We landed and retrieved our baggage and found the desk for the car rental agency. The man at the desk called for the shuttle van and told us to wait out at the curb. We stepped outside.... And both of us began gasping for breath. Florida is humid, but we weren't expecting air that could be chewed. I lit us each a cigarette in the hopes the smoke would get the water out of our lungs.
An energetic young guy, about my age, pulled up in a van emblazoned with the Alamo logo and got our luggage in for us. Driving to the lot I asked him if the air was always like this.
"Like what, sir?"
He laughed and told me, "Aw, it's really bad in October or November. Where y'all from?"
"San Diego, California."
He gawked in the rear view mirror. "Y'all live there and you came out here on vacation? I'd love to live out in Californny! Do ya ever see movie stars?"
"No, we're a couple hours too far south for that." I considered mentioning having a cigarette with Ginger Lynn at the most recent AVN event in Vegas, but decided that wasn't what he meant. Besides, this was Bible Belt country to an extent, and I'd promised myself to not piss off the locals without provocation.
With his usual generosity, Angel had reserved us a Ford Crown Victoria, not exactly a luxury model, but plenty of yacht-like comfort plus decent power. There was nothing on the exterior to hint that it was a rental, either: this was a new safety precaution on the part of the rental agencies. Thugs were targeting tourists by spotting rental cars, then shooting and robbing them. Now the cars didn't even have plate frames announcing the agency name.
We got to our temporary digs and were blown away. It was a damn mini-mansion on one of the canals that runs through "downtown" Fort Lauderdale. We could sleep in a different room each night and only repeat ourselves twice. There was a dock with a small power boat tied to it. There was also a note in handwriting I didn't recognize, welcoming us and giving us information: how the hot tub worked, letting us know the maid would be in around two every afternoon to wash dishes, make beds, and clean up any mess we'd made. It also said there was a welcome gift on the coffee table in the living room....
We found a small tin container. Upon opening it, we discovered it was full of cocaine. Far more than we could go through in ten days, especially considering I wasn't that into coke, and while Bekka liked it, also considered it a treat, not the sort of thing to do habitually. What they'd given us was the drug equivalent of being presented with forty pounds of fudge.
We stared at it, then each other. "Hand me a crisp bill," said Bekka.
I obliged, and she went about the business of setting up two foot-long lines on the coffee table. Not even ten in the morning and we're getting geeked on what smelled like very high-quality cocaine. I did up mine, and.... ZOOM. Instant good mood. Bekka finished hers, rubbing the leftovers into her gums. We stared at each other briefly, then I launched myself at her, probing my tongue into her mouth, exploring her body with my hands.
She pulled away and said, "I have an idea.."
"Let's hear it."
"First we find a couple towels. Then we find the hot tub. Then we get naked and get in. Make sense to you?"
"I find absolutely no flaws with that plan."
If this was just how the first morning of the first day of our honeymoon went, I was almost afraid to see how the next nine days would go.