After a morning of cocaine and vigorous sex, we decided to come down to earth and take care of the mundane task of buying some groceries. Our faceless benefactor had given us instructions to the nearest Kroger in his note; we assumed (correctly) that Kroger was a grocery store. We made a list, did a "small" line, and rolled out.
We figured dinner would invariably be in a restaurant, so we loaded up on staples for breakfast and lunch: bread, eggs, bacon, cereal, lunch meat, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, the usual stuff. We were nearly done when Bekka exclaimed, "Shit! I need lube!"
We went down the "Feminine Hygiene" aisle. No luck. We checked a couple other aisles that made sense, and struck out on those too. I suggested we just ask, which made the most sense. We stepped up to the customer service desk and asked where to find Astroglide.
"What is Astroglide?" we were asked.
"You know, lube," said Bekka.
The woman at the desk said, "Oh. You'll find it at the end of aisle thirteen."
We went to aisle thirteen to find we were surrounded by auto supplies.
"Wanna try somewhere else?" I asked. "There's gotta be a drug store around."
"Yeah, but let's hurry. I don't want the ice cream to melt."
We went next door to a CVS and located it immediately.... Inside a locked Plexiglas cabinet. I collared a clerk only to be told that pharmacy staff were the only ones with a key. So off to the pharmacy counter we went.
We were confronted by a pious looking old bastard. Bekka said, "Hi, there's a locked cabinet over there and we need to get into it. We were told you have the key."
"What product do you need?" he asked.
"Astroglide. The tall one."
The old guy didn't move, just staring unblinking at the two of us. "What do you need it for?"
"What do you think we need it for?"
"Nothing says we are required to serve sodomites in this store. Are you sodomites?"
"Um, no. Look, can we get the key?"
"I will open the cabinet and wait while you make your selection.".
So the old bastard shuffled out from behind his tall counter and wanders up the aisle. He ponderously sorted through a wad of keys and, after a pause to mutter something about sodomites again, opened the cabinet. Bekka reached in and grabbed a bottle, handing it off to me.
I'd said before how I'd promised to not antagonize the locals without cause. He'd shown cause. So I asked him, "What is your opinion of pornographers, sir?"
"They are a threat to the decency of this nation."
"You hear that, Bekka? We're a threat to the country."
"I believe it. Everybody is too busy yanking it to get any work done because of us."
The old bastard looked affronted. "Are you pornographers?"
Bekka told him, "Not only that, but we're from California. We got our lube, though, so we're happy. Any objections?"
He turned purple and said, "You're more sodomites, aren't you? Aren't you?"
"Sir, there are so many reasons you can hate us what we do in bed together is the least of your concern. We're sodomites, we make dirty movies, we abuse hard drugs, we drive too fast, and we swear a whole fuckin' lot. Which way to check out.?"
"Never come back to my store!"
"Up front, of course. Thank you, and good day."
"You will destroy this nation and laugh while you're doing it!"
"We only destroy nations as a hobby, and we're on vacation right now. We're going back to the mansion we're staying in so we can abuse more drugs and have really kinky sex. I hope your day goes as you wish, sir."
He stomped back to the pharmacy and slammed the little door behind him.
I asked the cashier about Captain Happy and his anti-sodomite crusade. She explained in a low voice, "This store is a franchise store. He's the owner. The only reason we have condoms in stock is corporate forced him to. As it is, there's a few pending lawsuits over his refusal to ever hire Cubans. He's convinced they're all closet Communists, waiting to take over Florida."
"Too wild. How do you you stand it?"
She smiled and said, "He's my grandfather."
Driving back to the mansion, I asked Bekka about something that had been on my mind. She had a guy hit on her after throwing up on her. That takes determination on the guy's part. When did she first realize she was beautiful, and when did she first start having to fend off advances from boys and men?
"First of all, I don't consider myself beautiful. I am passably good looking, and I'm not fishing for compliments right now."
"To me you're beautiful. And the viewing public would agree with me."
"It doesn't hurt that I'm naked."
"But see, that raises the bar. The fact that all those men out there want to see you is a tip-off. They could buy videos of anyone, but they search out yours. Like the guy on the plane: he remembered you without having to see you naked, but has seen enough of your video that it's obvious he's a fan. You can't say someone who was just passable would have that happen to them. Baby, you're beautiful, and I can get a consensus for that."
"Okay, I'll let you stroke my ego. I've been having boys and men chatting me up since I was twelve, so I've known I have sex appeal since then. What's always been vaguely disturbing is the number of older men that find me irresistible.
"Starting in high school, sure, I had plenty of guys my age asking me out, but I had older men chatting me up, asking me to dinner, trying to convince me that their wives and them had an 'understanding.' When I was nineteen I figured my husband would be fifteen years older than me, because the men who were the most interested fell into that age bracket. I looked back at high school and realized my guidance counselor put a hell of a lot of effort into helping me get into UCSD than he did anyone else. I can't tell you how lucky I feel that we fell in love, with you six years my junior and being the man you are.
"Anyway, that's how it went: I had dudes in their mid-thirties after me when I was in high school, and it never stopped. I'd have been unhappily married if I'd taken up one of their offers."
"Wow. And I feel blessed you love me, and six years isn't that much of a difference. My only concern with us being married is that with my position at Inana, and you being so talented and getting the plum roles, people with think I'm playing favorites. I've had to explain to a couple girls that you get the roles you do because you can act and have been at this for, what, seven years? Until I get some more genuine talent in there, leads go to you, Ellen, and Tawny. "
"Don't think about work, we're on our honeymoon."
"I'm trying not to. In a way, it's sort of a positive thing. This is the first job I've ever had that I've taken seriously. I truly care about doing my best for Inana, and that's a good thing, right?"
"It is, but work is three thousand miles away. Frankie is at the controls, and we know he is competent. You can relax."
"Will you allow me one call in the middle of the week, just to see how things are going?"
"One call. That's it. I want you to myself while we're out here."
"Yes ma'am. I love you."
"I love you too."
That's the advantage of automatic transmissions: you can hold hands with the person you're in love with while you drive. Probably why they were invented.
The ice cream survived the trip by some miracle. We put away groceries and flopped in front of the big TV with a bag of cheese popcorn. Bekka said, "So, we've performed our acts of responsibilities for the day. What shall we do now? More time in the hot tub? Drugs? Annoy people at the beach? Zoom around in that boat?"
"Let's check out those tourist pamphlets our benefactor left," I suggested. "Maybe we can find a good place for dinner." We leafed through them and came across one for a dinner cruise that took off not far from where we were. Like practically around the corner. This sounded like a good idea. I tossed the brochure to Bekka, who looked it over and said, "Perfect. How high shall we do this, and on what?"
"We just took Ecstasy yesterday, should we do it again? I'd say coke, but we don't have anything to carry it in.... Wait, I can fold up a bindle from one of these brochures. We'll rail up before we leave --- we can walk there --- and hit the bindle as we see fit. Jesus, I can't believe Angel's generosity. I'd like to meet the guy whose house this is."
"No you don't," said Bekka.
"For the same reason I never want you going into business with the guys. What sort of connection do you think there is between Angel and these people here in Florida? Don't go all stupid on me, Lenny."
"I just want to thank him, is all."
"We'll buy him a card. Let's just enjoy his largess and leave it at that. We're the employees of a generous man, and we'll leave it at that."
I sighed. "Fair enough. You know, Angel and Frankie and Vinny have never brought up the subject of me joining the family again."
"And be thankful for that. If they offer and you say yes, I'm throwing you out.... And after I'm done crying, I'm filing papers."
"I'd never hurt you like that, Mrs. Schneider."
"I love you the way you are: not owned by anybody. I don't think the family is taking on punk rockers right now anyway."