So me and Bekka would pal around at work, and on days she didn't perform, I could count on getting a call to find out what the latest gossip was. I would talk about the two women I was seeing casually, she would talk about her idiot of a boyfriend. We were settling comfortably into friendship.
And then one day.... A Tuesday in the middle of June, the two of us out by the pool. Everything has ground to a halt due to a an equipment failure. Her and I are just gabbing, nothing important. Bekka is nude and masturbating, trying to keep the body interested in what the mind is bored with. Given what I see on a daily basis, it's easy for me to ignore her little behavioral aberration. It doesn't even interrupt our conversation.
After a while she confesses to the reason for her bad mood, which had been fluttering in and out all morning long. Her and her boyfriend were on their way to the permanent outs. It would seem he met some underage chick working in a Carl's Jr. and had to have her. Bekka's one-woman orgy throughout the extended break was her trying to keep herself distracted, not brooding over the loss of the idiot. She apologized to me for her behavior. I told her, no big deal. Hey, it was an erotic display that I really appreciated. I couldn't lie, I like watching women do that.
I swear I didn't even see her move. The next thing I know she's on top of me on the chaise lounge, looking into each other's eyes. Then we've got our tongues in each other's mouths, and are touching and rubbing and squeezing and licking, Bekka has my pants open and down to my knees and is starting to do wonderful things to me with her mouth when we're interrupted. It's Mickey, our sound man, letting us know that the tape drive has been fixed and if we value our jobs, we'll stop what we're doing (in full view of the sliding glass doors) and get inside to start working again. Damn.
Later, I broached the subject of finishing what we'd started. Bekka was hesitant. "I have things I need to resolve," she said.
"I can understand," I replied.
"Tell you what, give me till Friday. Three days. I should be able to take care of business in that amount of time."
On Thursday she came up to me and told me that things were resolved, her ex was an idiot, and why didn't we meet at the Days Inn in Encinitas the following day at six p.m.? That worked for me. We got a room for the weekend, stowed our gear, went out to dinner, then returned to the room. We then took off all our clothes and began figuring out, by trial and error, the most thrilling way of making the other person come. And that's what we did all weekend.
It wasn't all roses and joy, though.
That night Bekka asked me if I had a crush on her. Absolutely and damn right, I replied.
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....
She reiterated her question, and I answered her: because she was beautiful and sexy and clever and smart. I told her the crush was meaningless, an empty structure. She was not mollified.
Bekka sat at the foot of the bed, facing away from me. She finally turned to me and said, "You fucker. Go on, slap me! Call me a cunt! I've been slowly breaking your heart, I know I have, and you're not gonna react? What kinda pussy are you? React, dammit!"
I got up and stood in front of her. The look on her face was a contrast of terror and triumph. "Yeah?" she said.
I scooped her up in my arms. She began to flail and kick, so I squeezed her against me, carrying her around to the side of the bed. I laid her down in the middle of the bed and lay down beside her, holding her close. She began to flail again, so I held her tighter. After a little while she croaked, "What are you doing?"
I told her, "My friend is very upset and unhappy. I am showing my friend that she is loved, unconditionally."
Bekka cried and cried and cried.
Over the course of the weekend in the motel, Bekka told me why she had such a bad reaction to my crush. In a nutshell, she had been fucked over on a royal level in just about every relationship she'd ever been in. Getting thrown over in favor of jail bait from a fast food restaurant was getting off light for her. She told me about some of her exes, and I was astounded. What manner of man would treat a demigod like Bekka in such a manner? I decided North County men weren't all that bright.
So Bekka is just getting off one failed relationship, with a long string of others behind her. And here I come, glibly confessing to a fairly heavy crush. And for her, the worst part is she already knows me, and can't think of any flaws big enough to allow her to give dating me a pass. Her track record tells her that I will screw her over: I'll secretly be married, I'm a violent drunk, I'm a coprophile. No way will things work out. Dating Lenny will not happen.
And it didn't. We remained friends. Friends who had a lot of sex with each other, and kissed each other hello, and held hands while walking on the beach. But just friends. No romance here, no sirree Bob.
Deep down, we both recognized it for the charade it was. It would take a major event, my first dangerous outing with the mafia for example, to change things around. After crippling a man with a baseball bat, I was told by Bekka that she loved me, and had for a while. I reminded her that I'd never stopped loving her, and what are we to do about it? I moved in with Bekka, and we became even tighter. Our love carried us through some major shit....
.... Like our first vacation together. Inana productions shut down for about six weeks, so the interior of the mansion and the swimming pool could be restructured and rebuilt. Performers who couldn't afford to take the time off could get work, but that meant working in LA. Bekka and I could afford the time off, and to travel. Especially me. I had $12,000 or so sitting in my mattress, and not a thing I could do with it. Bekka had about nine grand laying around. We loaded up the Falcon and headed north along the water, no plan in mind.
Just as well, since it would have been interrupted almost immediately. We stopped at a chi chi hotel in Santa Barbara. On a late-night run to the ice machine, I ran into a rich drunk who bragged to me about smacking around the call girl he had in his room. As I closely identify with my own species, I put the drunk's face into the top of the ice machine and told him to lead the way to his room, his rented girl's night was now up and I wanted to make sure he tipped her as she left. Bekka joined me, as she was wondering about what could take so long to get ice.
And that was how we met our friend Ivanka.
Ivanka Kovnik, formerly of Romania, ended up getting hustled by one of those "Female Companions Wanted" scams, and ended up a sex slave in Santa Barbara. We managed to get her loose, and brought her along with us to San Francisco. She took our advice and got a gig as a stripper and booth girl in The City, making good money for short days.
We helped settle her in to life as a Californian. A California identification card was obtained, so she'd stop confusing people with her visa when asked for ID. Due to her constant influx of cash, she needed a bank account. A Wells Fargo account was created, and began housing the $800 per night she took home. And she got an apartment.
A nice little place in the shadow of Telegraph Hill. Stylish. Safe neighborhood. Within walking distance of her job. Perfect for a twenty-four year old single female. It seemed flawless.
That night, around one a.m., I woke up with a start. I am not a superstitious person, but at that moment I knew Ivanka, in her new place, was in trouble. (Bekka and I were in a motel on Lombard St.) I got up and started getting dressed, waking Bekka. I told her about my premonition; she wrote it off as paranoia and went back to sleep.
You know the chase scene from the movie Bullitt? That's how I drove from our motel to Ivanka's new apartment. Lombard St. to Bay St. to Columbus, driving on the sidewalk for three blocks because of construction, then whipping onto Filbert and gunning up the hill. I left the Falcon a half block down, anchored on the sidewalk. Turning and staring at Ivanka's place, there was nothing to be alarmed about.... Except that her front door was open, and it was not warm out. I had three items with me: an aluminum baseball bat, duct tape, and a baseball. I wasn't sure why either.
I crept up the stairs to the front door, where I could hear a man's voice saying ugly, rape-y things. Staying to one side of the door, I threw in the baseball. Gunfire answered. With few options, I yelled an insult into the apartment, prompting more bullets to fly out the door. This time I yelled as if in pain and swung underneath the steps. The rapist came out to see where the body had landed, heading down the steps. When he reached the right one I grabbed his ankle and yanked.
He fell forward, dropping his pistol. I launched back up onto the steps and went after it. He was in the process of doing the same thing, and beat me. I landed on him in a rugby tackle. He pulled the trigger of his pistol, tearing up my right side. He re-aimed and pulled the trigger again, producing silence. I swung my baseball bat like I was killing Satan and brained the guy. Then I used the duct tape to hog-tie him to the railing.
Bleeding and in severe pain, I gimped across the street and roused some neighbors, telling them to call 911 immediately. That done, the helpful neighbor and myself went back across the street. We stopped at the rapist first, who was still unconscious. The neighbor removed his ski mask, revealing him to be the property manager we'd rented the damn apartment from earlier in the day. Continuing on, I used the neighbor as a crutch so I could get upstairs to Ivanka's apartment and finally see how she was. Rattled, but okay. I'd shown up before anything terrible could happen. I remember Ivanka hugging me, causing extreme pain, then everything is a blur until the next day, when I woke up in a hospital bed at San Francisco General.
The police came and asked me questions. Apparently Ivanka was there for a while, watching me sleep. And Bekka came to see me.
She was in bad shape. She was harboring a lot of guilt over having rejected me the previous night, and her eyes were swollen nearly shut from crying. She told me her plan was to fly back down to San Diego and leave the Falcon with me, she was sure I would get it home safely. I asked her what prompted this, and she said it was because she was "just in the way" if she hung out around me.
What was eating her was that my rescue of Ivanka was just the latest in a string of incidents stretching through our vacation. People kept calling me a hero. I was having none of it, figuring I'd done the same things anyone would have in my situation. People called me a hero, and I still felt like a loser. Bekka was among those calling me a hero, which I corrected her on. She finally convinced me that I didn't have to put on a cape and a patronizing attitude, but to just accept that wild things seemed to happen around me. I convinced her to stay in San Francisco for a couple more days, until I was released from the hospital, so we could drive back south together.
That trip convinced me that Bekka and I would always be together, in one way or another. We spent a month inside cars and motels, and didn't drive each other crazy. The one tense and unhappy moment was the result of severe trauma. Of course we don't agree on everything: she cannot accept the fact that mayonnaise is a better condiment than ketchup when eating french fries. We don't' let things like this bother us.
We continue to adapt and adopt to each other's private lives. Neither of us have any figurative locked doors. And we continue to tentatively explore this thing called love.