Monday, March 14, 2016

Theft (Part 5)

     Tribe 8 was bringing their set to a crashing finish when Jerry collared me.  He had an overjoyed look on his face.  He said, "That stuff is something else!  I can't even describe how I feel right now.  Hey, you want to do a line of crystal?"
     "Sounds good to me," I said.  "Um, where?"
     "At my house.  I live on the end of the next block.  If we go now we won't miss any of Chromewagon's set.  I got good rock, this stuff rips.  Let's go."
     "Okay if I bring Becky along?"
     Jerry smiled.  "More the merrier."

     I located Bekka on the outskirts of the crowd and told her we were going to go do drugs with a new friend, and would be back before Chromewagon started playing.  We followed Jerry out of the club and down the street, passing a junkyard.  At the far end of the junkyard a small shack-like house sat.  Jerry guided us around the side and to the back door, where he let us in.
     It was a shrine to punk rock.
     Every wall and parts of the ceiling were covered in posters and show flyers.  Cassettes were piled haphazardly on the kitchen table, surrounding a filthy boom box.  In the living room industrial shelving stood bulging with records.  A slick-looking stereo occupied its own space, waiting for vinyl to be placed on the turntable.  The furniture looked like it had been stolen from next door and the carpet was a disgrace, but the records were all shelved in an orderly manner and alphabetized.  A nosy glance in the bathroom revealed another small boom box balanced on the sink.  This was a man who was serious about music.
     Jerry grabbed a mirror off the top of the refrigerator and put it on the kitchen table.  He thrust a hand in his pocket and pulled out a plastic zip-seal.  He dumped speed on the mirror, crushed it up with the back of a spoon, and scraped it quickly into three lines.  He made a fast food straw appear and handed it to Bekka, gesturing for her to snort up.  She did so, wincing at the burn.  She handed the straw off to me.
     "I'll have to add this to my list of achievements in life," said Jerry.  "Getting high with a porn star."
     I zipped up my line and passed off the straw to Jerry, who did up the remaining one.  He said, "See?  We won't miss any of Chromewagon.  Have you guys seen them before?"
     "Didn't know they existed until a week and a half ago," I said as we headed out the door.  "Friends of ours tipped us off to their existence, and the fact that they have a love song about Becky here.  We figured we'd come up and see them, find out what they're like for ourselves.  Who knows, we could have a mutual admiration society develop.  Their singer is displeased with my existence, though."
     "But she accepts it," said Bekka.  "I explained to Dolly that I really am in love with a punk rock boy six years younger than me.  I explained about my other options: hooking up with some crud from the industry, getting together with some stunt-cock, or trying to stick it out with any of the losers I used to date.  She still resents you for being a testosterone carrier, but she likes you and accepts our relationship.  I tried to explain to her that she's not really my type anyway.  She's too butch, and not curvy enough.  All that time on a bicycle has turned her into a serious muscle bitch.  I promised her I'd be right up front while they play.  When dealing with all the love-starved fans that I have, I'd never have guessed one would be a girl."
     We got back to the club and went in.  Chromewagon was nearly ready to start.  Bekka stationed herself right at the front of the stage.  I held back, hanging around the milling crowd near where the edge of the pit would be.  I wouldn't go in the pit, this was a girl's night out.  Dolly saw Bekka standing there and jumped off the stage to get another hug.  Then she climbed back up and got in front of her microphone, where the rest of the band was waiting for her.  She spoke.
     "Check, check.  Hello, we're Chromewagon.  Tonight I learned an important lesson about keeping fantasy separate from reality.  I also think I made a new friend, so that was good.  This song is about a girl I will always desire in my heart, and she knows it.  This song is called 'Heavy Petting Becky!'  One two three four...."
     And the band launched into motion, playing fast tight pogo punk.  The circle pit started, made up entirely of butch young women.  Dolly started singing.

Oh, you've got stars in your eyes
And you've got silken thighs
I can't tell no lie
I wanna make that porn star mine

That dark-haired girl is the tops
Oh Becky you tie me up in knots
I got the skills, I got the chops
To make you really pop

Heavy, heavy petting Becky
I know I could get you sweaty
I would borrow, sell or trade
For just one night with Becky Page

     I stood there, bobbing my head, and wondered why Bekka's male fans couldn't convey their feelings so succinctly.  Listening to Dolly belt out the lyrics, it struck me that her crush on "Becky" was the same as the ones held by fans who proposed marriage.  Both Dolly and the guys got hung up on a sex bomb, a woman whose every move and action on screen (or in a magazine) screamed of untold physical pleasure.  And they built on the sex fantasy, assigning personality traits and affectations and fillips.  Building the woman they wanted on the frame of a porn star.  The difference between Dolly and the male fans was that Dolly always kept in the back of her mind the fact that the dream woman she was building wouldn't reflect reality.  That made actually meeting the real live dream girl --- and having the dream be broken --- easier to cope with.  It was something that the male obsessives never figured out, and why I had hundreds of men hate me, because of who I married.  How dare I take Becky away.
     The song screeched to a halt.  Dolly jumped off the stage, microphone still in hand, and put a hand on Bekka's shoulder.  "I have an announcement to make," she said.  "The hottest woman in porn and the sexiest woman to ever live is here with us tonight.  People, Becky Page!"
     The crowd cheered, with plenty of wolf whistles thrown in.  When it died down, Dolly said, "Becky, I have lusted after you for a long time.  You let me know today that we are never meant to be.  But I got to know you, and I would be honored if you would allow me to call you friend.  Can I?"
     Bekka grabbed the microphone and said, "Absolutely."  The two of them hugged to applause.
     Dolly said, "Can I ask one favor?  Can I have one last kiss?  Your husband doesn't seem to mind...."
     "Of course."  Bekka and Dolly lip-locked and began kissing deeply, to the enthusiastic appreciation of the crowd.  They finally broke off the kiss, to great applause.
     "Go to your husband, he loves you.  I know he's watching this from somewhere in the room, and he's probably got that damn confident little half-grin on his face right now.  I won't try to cuckold the smug bastard, but wherever you are, hubby, you better remember to treat Becky like the goddess she is."  Dolly jumped back on stage.  "This next song is about those little skate brats that think they're tough.  It's called 'Urethane Jungle!'  One two three four...."
     Bekka walked through the pit like Ginger Rogers crossing a ballroom floor.  I yelled her name and she spotted me.  We walked into the snack bar, where Jerry was holding court with a small collection of teenage punks.  Bekka was misty-eyed.  "I broke her heart."
     "You've broken hearts before," I said.  "What's different about this time?"
     Bekka said, "You know how the other guys, like the ones who want to marry me, are delusional about who I am?  She wasn't.  If I was available she would have accepted me however she found me, and done her best to make it work.  And it was more than lust."
     I put my arm around her shoulders.  "Hey, you still have a new friend.  Don't discount that.  I know you guys will be gossiping on the phone for hours every week.  And we can come up and visit."
     Jerry's little meeting broke up.  I asked him about his fan club.
     "Oh, they're from El Cerrito.  They're house burglars.  They have a couple fences they use, both of whom operate out of Richmond.  I like to keep my ear to the ground, and they were telling me the latest gossip out of El Cerrito High.  I really like keeping my finger on the pulse of East Bay.  Information is always useful.  I collect information."
     Bekka said, "Come on, let's watch the band.  Lenny, give me a ride."
     I squatted down and Bekka climbed up my back, straddling my neck.  I grabbed her ankles and straightened back up, with her now riding my shoulders.  The three of us went into the din of the main room to watch Chromewagon belt out another song.  The crowd was pumped, the circle pit churning away.  I noticed that if anyone fell, someone would always pick them up and get them moving again.  The humane side of slam dancing, and one you didn't always see in male-dominated pits.  Nobody had enemies here.
     Chromewagon played for another half an hour.  At the end of their set, Dolly yelled into the microphone, "Thank you Berkeley!  Becky I love you!" and jumped off the stage to dispense high fives and hugs.  I began working my way in that direction, figuring I was at least owed a high five.  Dolly saw me coming and put a hand up, which I slapped palms with.  She said to me, "You heard my message, right?  You're gonna take care of this chick?"
     "Of course," I said.  "I love her.  See?  She doesn't even need to be bothered with walking under her own power."
     "Get a rickshaw," Dolly suggested.  Then she leaned up and kissed me on the cheek, saying, "I'm happy for you two.  I'm glad you have each other."
     "Thanks.  I'm glad we met.  Right now though, I have to drop my burden.  Hey hon, I need to put you down.  I'm starting to hurt."
     Bekka bent down and said, "Put me down at the t-shirt table.  I want to buy one."
     I wanted one too, so we headed over to the table.  I set Bekka down.  The girl behind the table smiled and said, "One medium and one XL, right?"
     "And a 2XL if you have one," said Bekka.  "I want a new night shirt.  Also a cassette."
     The girl rummaged around in a couple cardboard boxes and pulled out our shirts, and put the tape on top of them.  I laid down the correct amount of cash.  The girl said, "Thank you, sir.  Thank you, Ms. Page.  Um, could I get your autograph?  Please?"
      "Which one of us?" smiled Bekka.
      The girl looked confused.  "Well....  Yours.  Why would I want his autograph?"
     Bekka said, "I'm assuming you're familiar with me from my videos.  My husband here is Lenny Schneider, the producer of those videos.  He's the George Lucas of porn, he's brought adult film up to a whole new level.  I'm very proud of my husband's accomplishments."
     "I'm gonna toot my own horn," I said.  "I like to think I make adult features that people enjoy watching all the way through, not just for the sex.  And I incorporate the sex into the story lines so that they flow together naturally, nothing feels tacked on.  I'm guessing you're a fan of 'Bewitched'?"
     The girl smiled and turned a bit pink.  "Yeah.  Becky's scene with the other witch is the hottest thing I've ever seen.  I'm not into dudes at all, but I still like the whole movie.  You were the producer, huh?"
     "He produced and also wrote it," said Bekka.  "He created the most fun role I've ever had.  So do you want both of our signatures?"
     "Sure.  Here...."  The girl peeled off her Chromewagon shirt and laid it on the table, then produced a permanent marker and said, "Sign at the bottom.  This will be too cool."
     I used both hands to hold the shirt flat while Bekka wrote her usual "XXX  Kisses from Becky Page" across the lower half of the shirt.  I took the marker and simply wrote "Cheers -- Lenny Schneider" down at the bottom.  The girl thanked us and pulled her shirt back on.  Then she turned her attention to the small crowd who'd been waiting for us to finish so she could sell them shirts and tapes.  We shuffled off, only to be intercepted by Dolly, who was holding out a scrap of paper to Bekka.
     "Here's my phone number," she said.  "Give me a call."
     Bekka got in her purse and grabbed a regular pen and an Inana Productions business card.  She quickly wrote on the back of the card and handed it to Dolly, saying, "There, you've got my office and my home numbers.  Best time to get a hold of me is evenings, at home.  Don't be a stranger."
     Dolly gave a big-eyed smile and tucked the card into her chain wallet.  "I won't be, gorgeous.  We've gotta load out and take off now, but can I get one last hug?"
     Bekka smiled back and said, "Sure.  I'll even let you grab my butt if you want."
     "I'd better not.  I'll be tempted to scoop you up, throw you in the back of the van, and kidnap you.  A very kind offer, though."
     Bekka and Dolly hugged.  Then Dolly turned to me and we shook hands.  "Good meeting you, Lenny.  Keep making good porn.  And don't forget, she's the goddess."
     "She really is," I said.  "You'll see us again.  We'll come up and see you again, we'll make a long weekend of it, maybe we can hang out together.  We'll take mushrooms and wander around Golden Gate Park.  How does that sound?"
     "That sounds like a plan," Dolly smiled.  "I'll give you guys a good tour of the city.  Thanks again for the Ecstasy, this stuff really kicks ass.  You got a line on it?"
     "You better believe it.  You like it?  Let's step out to your van, I'll give you a few more."
     Dolly looked surprised.  "For real?  Follow me."
     We went out the side door of the club to where their van, an old hotel courtesy wagon, sat.  I scooped my hand into the bag of Ecstasy and grabbed about thirty hits or so.  I told Dolly, "Hold out your hands."
     She did.  A gasp came out of her throat as I dumped the pills.  She stared down at all the hits I'd just given her.  "These are all real?" she croaked.
     "Same as what you took tonight," I assured her.  "Enough to share, if you catch my drift."
     "Oh my god.  Thank you."  She pulled an empty weed baggie out from behind a seat and dumped the pills in, staring at amazement at them.  I mentally calculated that the street value of what she was holding was about $750....  And I had about $6500 worth in my own bag.  Dolly shoved the bag in her pocket, then leaned forward to actually hug me.  Color me surprised.
     Ginny and Ivanka came up to us as we leaned on the side of the van, smoking.  Ginny said, "So Dolly, did you and your dream girl get things settled?  Are you going to run away to San Diego so you can stalk her more easily?"
     Dolly sneered and said, "We understand each other now, thank you very much.  She has a husband she's in love with.  We each have a new friend.  She gave me her home number.  Dammit bitch, why didn't you ever tell me she was married?"
     Ginny said defensively, "I didn't know how serious your little crush was.  Besides, Ivanka's the one who knows them well, not me.  They've all known each other for a couple years.  I was around them for a week when Ivanka and I went on vacation to SoCal.  At the time, I was convinced that Lenny and Bekka were a couple of bullshit artists with a thing for guns.  Ivanka insists everything they say is true, so I'll go along with that."
     "What sort of things were they bullshitting you about?" asked Dolly.
     Eyeing me momentarily, Ginny plunged ahead.  "Like, that they have mafia ties, and they've both killed people.  Bekka --- Becky --- proved the mafia thing was true when we went to LA.  I'll just have to believe them when it comes to them being killers.  I know they both probably have guns on them right now."
     Dolly looked stunned.  "Are you really carrying a gun?" she asked Bekka.
     Bekka sighed, glared at Ginny, and swept up her blouse.  She pulled out her Colt and held it in the flat of her hand.  I pulled my Beretta, letting it dangle by a finger from the trigger guard.  We glanced at each other, not happy that Ginny had placed us in this situation.
     "Are those really real?" asked Dolly.  She gingerly poked at Bekka's Colt.
     "I know Becky's is," said Ginny.  "I've fired it."
     I said, "Yes, they're both real.  Mine is a Beretta, hers is a Colt.  Both fire 9mm ammo.  My muzzle velocity is 1250 feet per second, Bekka's Colt is a bit slower at 900 feet per second.  We both use hollow point ammunition, so we'll blow holes in anything we hit.  We've both got concealed carry permits issued by the sheriff's department of San Diego County, and we hit the range to practice once a week, on Sunday afternoons.  Any questions?"
     Still with a stunned look, Dolly asked, "Why the hell do you guys carry guns?"
     I tucked my pistol away, Bekka did the same.  She said, "Because we are in the bad habit of being shot at.  Outside of a range, neither one of us has ever pulled a trigger unless someone was trying to kill us.  We're not happy about the situation, but that's how our lives are.  If we didn't carry guns, we'd be dead already.  We know they can make people uncomfortable, so we don't bring the subject of them up on our own."  Bekka glared at Ginny again.
     Dolly's look shifted from stunned to suspicious.  "So why were people trying to kill you, anyway?"
     "Oh, various reasons," I replied.  I've had three men try to kill me because they thought God wanted them to.  One of them shot me up pretty good.  Others were just plain angry with us, they didn't like our actions."
     "Wild shit seems to happen around us," said Bekka.  "Ask Ivanka about that.  She's been witness to the crazy stuff, was almost a victim of it on a few occasions."
     "Is true," said Ivanka.  "They rescue me from Santa Barbara, take many risks to rescue me.  A man try to kill us on the freeway, Lenny make him wreck his car.  A robber come into the diner where we eat, Lenny get his gun away, hold him for the police.  A man try to rape me, Lenny show up and save me, tie up the rapist with tape.  He got shot then, too.  Crazy things happen around Lenny and Bekka.  I understand their wish to be able to protect themselves.  Lenny has been shot three times and Bekka has been stabbed, nearly died.  Their guns do not bother me, I know why they have them."
     "Are those really real guns?" asked Dolly.  "Prove it."
     My turn to sigh deeply.  I pulled the Beretta out from under my arm and stepped into the empty street.  I drew a bead on the streetlight on the opposite corner, got into a stance, aimed, and fired.  The light went out in a shower of sparks.  I stepped back towards the van, where Dolly had moved from a stunned look to outright shock.
     "Good targeting, sweetie," said Bekka.
     "Nothing to it," I replied.
     Dolly said, "Okay, now I know to believe you two when you say something.  I also know to never, ever piss you off.  Not worth the risk."
     "We never let anger dictate our use of our guns," said Bekka.  We have a high level of responsibility.  You could call me a cunt and a porn slut and a whore and slap me, and I'd just slap you back.  If you pulled a gun or a knife on me, however, I'd have my Colt pointed at you in a second.  Lenny pointed his gun in anger once in his life, when he caught me cheating on him.  He pointed it at the guy I was with, telling him to get out of our house.  And Lenny was bugged by his own actions for weeks afterwards.  He'd done precisely what you're told to never do, which is aim a gun at something that is neither a target nor a threat.  Nobody who has any kind of anger management issues should ever carry a gun.  No, you don't need to walk on eggshells around us just because we carry certain tools."
     "Thees reminds me," said Ivanka.  "Ginny, we need to buy a gun of our own.  I enjoyed shooting the guns down at Bekka's friend's house in Los Angeles, and I wish to continue to shoot.  We must find out whether I can purchase a gun.  I don't believe I can, as I am not a citizen.  You would need to be the one to buy the gun.  I wish something powerful and accurate, like Lenny's gun.  Lenny, what do you fire?"
     "It's a Beretta 92FS, with a fifteen-round clip," I replied.
     Now it was Ginny turn to sigh.  "You know they make me nervous.  Why do I need to help you with this?  Why not just have your boss at work get you a gun?  You could tell him you want it for protection when you walk home."
     Ivanka shook her head.  "He would buy me a very small gun, like the one Bekka's friend Angela carries.  I do not wish to own a small gun.  My gun will be for sport, not protection....  Although I will keep it in the drawer of my bedside table.  I wish to never point a gun at a person, but I still wish to own one, so that we can go to the range and fire it and have fun."
     "There aren't any ranges in the city," protested Ginny.
     "We would have to drive to East Bay, or the Peninsula.  There is a place called Bay Area Firearms in Burlingame that does beginner's gun training, which is what we need.  You would no longer be scared of guns, we would both learn much.  Please, you said you would."
     "Okay....  But it's all up to you to find where to buy the gun you want, and also figuring out where we can shoot it.  Who knows, maybe I'll adjust to using a gun, like Bekka did."
     Bekka laughed at this.  "I don't recommend the circumstances under which I initially got used to handling a gun to anybody.  It was a little stressful.  We told you about that, when my friend Chrissie got kidnapped, remember?"
     "Yeah.  She was---"  Ginny was interrupted by the drummer and guitarist from Chromewagon shuttling an amplifier out the door and to the back of the van.  They swung the panel doors open and hefted it up into place.
     "Okay, time to get some work done," announced Dolly, heading for the door.
     "We'll help," I volunteered.  Bekka and I went inside to find Jane up on stage breaking down the drum kit and packing things into bags.  She smiled and waved.
     "So where's your new friend?" I asked.
     Jane rolled her eyes.  "He took off.  He lost interest in me when he learned I'm from Southern California.  He's looking for a girlfriend, not just an evening of making out.  Oh well."
     "Why did you have any interest in him to begin with?"
     She shrugged.  "Just....  getting a tiny bit wild.  Sowing my oats.  Feeling a little lonely.  I wasn't going to fuck him, I just thought he was cute and figured he might be up for a little fun.  Nope, one night stands are not for him."
     I grabbed two guitar cases and headed for the edge of the stage. I told Jane, "I'd offer my condolences but I can't.  Okay, it may have only been making out with the dude.  You're still running around behind Lance's back.  Ask Bekka how well that works.  She nearly ripped our marriage to shreds because she felt a little lonely.  If you're with somebody, you're with them.  Distance doesn't change that."  I carried the guitars out to the van.
     When I came back in to grab more stuff, Jane frowned at me and said, "I never promised monogamy to Lance."
     I laughed.  "You two are dating, it's pretty much implied that you'll be exclusive with each other.  I can guarantee Lance is making that assumption.  And don't tell me things are somehow different in Florida, because I won't believe you."
     "I'm already not monogamous with him.  What about us?" Jane asked pointedly.
     I sighed  "We're a special case.  Girl, I love you, but let's not forget who pursued who here.  What if you were into me the way you are and I didn't love you?  Think about how I'd treat you under those circumstances.  What we have is verboten in a lot of ways.  Breaking Lance's heart if he found out would be the least of our concerns, since I'd be going to jail."
     "Don't remind me," said Jane, zipping the snare into its case.  "It sucks, sixteen and twenty-three aren't that much of a difference.  I know I did throw myself pussy-first at you, though.  I figured that as an adult, you wouldn't want to play games with me, so I made it clear where I was coming from and what I was after.  At least we understood where we were coming from right away."
     I gathered the stands into one big armful and headed towards the door.  I paused and said to Jane, "One thing though.  If you cheat on Lance, you'll be losing me too.  Don't take it too personally, it's just a health thing.  Right now you're taking the cum of two guys: me, and Lance.  Lance was a virgin when you met, so I know he's healthy.  He's too hung up on you to even dream about going behind your back.  Me, I fuck Bekka, Sue, and you.  That's it.  I still avail myself of our blood tests at work every other week, just for statistical rigor or whatever.  I'm safe.
     "You going behind Lance's back wouldn't be safe.  Yeah, the odds are low of contracting something from a high school kid, whatever, blah blah blah.  It's still a risk I don't feel like taking.  So you run around on Lance, you're also running around on me.  You'd break Lance's heart.  You wouldn't break mine, but there would be a lot of diminished trust.  I'd insist on three weeks of clear blood tests before I'd even think of touching you, know what I mean?"  I headed for the side door.
     Coming back in, I found Jane had set stuff on the edge of the stage to make it easier to get at.  She asked, "You really wouldn't have anything to do with me if I slept with another guy besides Lance?"
     I clarified.  "I'm not saying you have to spend the rest of your life with Lance.  I'm saying if you cheat on him, that would be a deal-killer for me.  If you and Lance break up and you get a new boyfriend, that's fine.  Maybe he'll be another virgin.  I know you don't like condoms, so I'd set up an appointment with our lab for you and your new beau.  You get tested, confirm you're both healthy, then you can fuck like bunnies.  That's more of a process than you'd be willing to go through just to cheat, and I'd discourage you from cheating anyway.  It's a shitty thing to do.  Besides, Lance is a good guy, and I wouldn't like him to be hurt like that.  But to put it in a nutshell, cheating on Lance means you lose access to my dick.  Okay?"
     "Okay, okay," said Jane, setting the cymbal bag in front of her.  "What if I pre-planned my affair?  There's this boy called Smiley from the auto shop who thinks he's in love with me.  I think he just lusts after the Cutlass.  I'd like to take him for a test drive.  What should I do, get him a blood test and tell Lance I'm gonna fuck another boy besides him?"
     I considered.  "On the surface, those seem like the most honest solutions.  You'd have to spend a lot of time explaining to both boys that your actions are nothing personal.  You'd need to explain to Smiley that it's not that you don't trust him, just a matter of better safe than sorry, that's why he's gotta get a blood draw.  And you need to explain to Lance that it's not that you don't love him, you just think Smiley is hot, and you want to screw him out of curiosity.  A hard thing to explain to a teenage boy, especially one as devoted to you as Lance is."  I looked around the stage.  "That's it?"
     "That's all," said Jane.  "These drums, the cymbal bag, and the stick bag.  Then they're ready to go.  You know, I was a little surprised tonight.  I expected to get hit on by other girls all night, but it hardly happened."
     I grabbed stuff and said, "No big surprise.  All the dykes here tonight were of drinking age.  They could tell at a glance you're in high school.  They're smarter than me, they know better than to fool around with some high school chick."
     We brought the last of the stuff out to the van.  Ivanka had Ginny pushed up against the side of the van and they were making out.  Bekka and Dolly were sitting on the rear bumper, and Bekka was explaining why Dolly was better than the guys who would propose marriage to her.
     ".... So it's not just that I'm married.  It's not just that they've created a whole persona for me that I could never live up to.  They act so fucking shocked that I'm so blasé about turning them down.  Each guy thinks he's the first one to think up the idea of proposing to Becky Page.  If you include the ones that show up by mail, I've probably been proposed to two hundred times.  And what really--- oh, hey hon, you guys all wrapped up?"
     "We're set."  The drummer stacked the tom-toms and cymbals in a preset location, then grabbed a Frisbee from somewhere and flung it at the bassist, who stood on the far side of the street smoking a cigarette.  The disc made its way to the guitarist, then back to the drummer.  Jane positioned herself in the street between the bassist and guitarist.  When the bassist threw it to her, she kept it spinning first on her finger, then the toe of her Doc Marten.  She kicked it up, caught it, and tossed the Frisbee off to the guitarist.  Many hidden talents in that girl.
     It was time to saddle up.  We said goodbye to everyone.  Bekka assured Dolly for the tenth time that yes, that was a real phone number Bekka had given her.  Dolly gave me a chaste hug and reminded me that I was married to a goddess, and I'd better worship that goddess.  I reminded her that I already did.  How an ugly fuck-up like me ended up married to Becky Page was anyone's guess.  Damn right I worshiped her.  The hug surprised me again.  Having observed her, it struck me that Dolly was genuinely uncomfortable interacting with men in any way.  Even the geeky young punk rockers which inhabited Gilman caused her to sort of draw up and get formal.  I thought this was sad: being nervous around half the species.  I wondered if it was something in her history, or just her personality.  Either way, the hug was flattering, because it meant that Dolly liked and trusted me enough to let her guard down around me.  Who knows, maybe some day she'd stop wishing in the back of her mind that I'd die in some sort of freak laundry accident, leaving Bekka all alone (and lonely) in the world.
     We walked down Gilman St. to Seventh and turned.  We were debating on where to go for a late night snack.  On a Friday night, anyplace would be crowded, with a long wait.  Ginny claimed to know of a secret Denny's located off of the 580 that was never crowded, a breeze to get into, no drunks.  We got down to where we'd left the Cutlass to find it wasn't there.
     "You're sure we're on the right street?" asked Jane.
     "I recognize this building," said Bekka.  "Did anyone go back to the car after we arrived?"
     "No." "No."  "No."  "No."
     "Does this mean...." Ivanka said haltingly.
     "Yeah.  Somebody stole the car," said Ginny.
     "Shit," I declared.
     Jane cried and cried.  Bekka and Ginny comforted her.  Ivanka and I stared blankly at the empty space where the car had been.  After a little while we realized that hanging around on the sidewalk of an industrial neighborhood in the middle of the night would not bring the car back, so we walked back to the club, Jane still sniffling.

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