Sunday, April 3, 2016

Celebrity (Part 4)

     Over the weekend, we agreed that on Monday we would go for a ride up to Julian for an early dinner.  Bekka and I would meet Jane at her school, then ride out to Poway, where there was a gun shop and shooting range we wanted to visit.  The shop actually had spare clips for Bekka's Colt Defender, which she'd wanted for a while.  We would spend some time working out with our respective pistols, then jump back on the Sportsters and head up the hill to Julian.  A pleasant afternoon.

     One of the stipulations about meeting Jane at Carlsbad High was that she wanted to show off Bekka some.  Jane had always been closed-mouthed about the people she lived with and what they did for a living, but considering how much of an impact Bekka was having on the world, Jane wanted to brag a little bit.  Obviously Lance knew, now Jane wanted to share with other people, particularly certain girls who'd gotten the Becky Page haircut.  Jane approached them quite simply: "Hey, you're a Becky Page fan, right?  That's who I live with.  How'd you like to meet her on Monday after school?  Just find my motorcycle in the parking lot, that's where she'll be.  We're going for a ride."
     Several told Jame she was full of shit, which only made Jane smile and suggest that how full of shit Jane was could be settled with the simple act of walking out into the campus parking lot after classes on Monday afternoon.  When asked what Jane (and Becky) would gain from this, Jane claimed pure altruism.  There are all these fans of Becky Page, right?  Shouldn't some of them get autographs?  Becky doesn't mind signing autographs, so long as she's not pressured.  Becky figures that since she lives right in the neighborhood, she should provide some fan service for her fans who are least likely to see her otherwise.  Not a lot to be done about that: after all, she's a porn star, and except for some seniors, we're all underage.
     We arrived at the school around 2:15, ten minutes before the final bell of the day.  We located Jane's Sportster and nestled our own bikes into the same space.  Engines off, we dismounted and lit cigarettes, hanging our helmets off our handlebars.  Soon enough the final bell rang and what appeared to be a cresting wave of students began to emerge from the school itself.  We watched for Jane, a slight challenge.  You'd think she'd be easy to spot with her Popsicle-blue hair, but she's only five foot five, so she's down behind other people a lot of the time.  We finally saw her, walking and holding hands with Lance, being trailed by a few of her fellow punk rock residents of the smoking area.  Also a couple of headbanger chicks, as evidenced by their respective Testament and Ozzy Osbourne t-shirts. A couple more who had vague approximations of the Becky Page haircut.  Their boyfriends loped along behind, not sure what to make of this little excursion.
     Jane walked forward of this small crowd towards where we stood.  They drew up short when they saw their hero Becky Page standing there.  Jane stepped towards us and gave us each a hug, then said, "Hey guys, these are friends o mine, and they're all fans of Becky.  This is --- let's see if I can do this --- Dom, Feather, Hope, Mallet, Oddball, Janet, Ashley, Smiley, Rick, Brittany, and Dawn.  There's some boyfriends hanging around in the back, but I'm not sure who they are.  Anyway, these are people who I've tried to explain who I live with to, and some of them seemed doubtful.  Hopefully this will clear up any questions about how I live the way I do."
     A punk with a safety pin through her cheek (oh, how hardcore) said, "Holy shit, it really is you, isn't it?"
     Bekka replied, "I sure hope so.  I'd hate to have a crisis of identity this far from a bar."  This line prompted laughter.  Bekka asked the hardcore girl, "So how did you get to be familiar with Becky Page?"
     The punk answered, "My dad is always beating off to your videos.  We only got the one TV in the house, so there's nothing else to watch.  I just sit behind him so I don't have to watch him beat off.  My dad thinks you're sexy, but seems totally unaware of just how awesome you are.  My mom hates you, because my dad would rather beat off to your videos than fuck her."
     Bekka said to a gangly punk, "You, with the spikes.  How do you know who I am?"
     The kid grinned and said, "My dad is terrified that I'm gonna turn out queer, so he's always buying porn for me.  I got all your videos through my dad.  I've never asked him why he assumes I'm going to turn out to be a nancy boy, but hey, free porn.  I just plain think you're awesome, you're the most beautiful woman on the whole fuckin' planet.  It says something about my restraint that I haven't started tearing my clothes off yet and begging you to join me."  The punk next to him punched him in the arm.
     Indicating the girl in the Testament t-shirt, Bekka said, "And how do you know me, metal girl?"
     "My dad is a big fan.  Fortunately, he doesn't play with himself in front of me.  But you've been the source of friction between him and Mom.  He had your centerfolds from Hustler and Gallery up in the garage, and she trashed them.  He was pissed for a week.  Like her dad, he knows you're sexy, but doesn't realize just how much you kick ass.  I totally want to live like you when I'm older.  You ride a motorcycle and you get paid to fuck.  That is just too cool."
     Bekka said, "Is there anyone here whose familiarity with me is not based around their parents owning my videos or magazines?"
     There was a lot of glancing around.  Slowly, one hand raised.  It was attached to Smiley, Jane's friend from the auto shop.  He said, "I've never seen your videos.  It's just, you were nice to me when we met on the night of the parent-teacher conference, and I wanted to see you again.  That's all.  I knew you were famous from what Jane said, but I didn't know you were that famous."
     "Thank you Smiley, I'm glad to see you too.  Do you still want a shot at tuning up my Plymouth?  Let Jane know when would be a good time."
     Smiley brightened.  "Hey, that would be awesome.  I'll check my roster and let her know the best day to bring it in.  I'll have it for a few days, I hope that's okay...."
     "That's fine," Bekka smiled.  "I'll just ride the purple machine here until you're done."
     "Hey, I can tune up that one too!"
     I said, "There are two men who are allowed within five feet of that machine with a wrench, they're both in East County, and they're both a lot meaner than you.  One project at a time."
     "Becky, could I get your autograph?" asked the hardcore girl.  She held out a spiral notebook to be signed.
     "Sure, honey.  What's your name?" asked Bekka, pulling her trusty Sharpie out of her purse.
     The hardcore girl said, "Call me Feather.  Do you think you could help me break into doing porn?  I think I'd rip at it.  I'll be eighteen in four more months, I'd like to start making good money so I can get the fuck out of my parents' house.  It's psycho city around there."
     Bekka paused in her writing.  "Why do you think you'd be good at doing porn?"
     "Because I take it in the ass, I can take a load on my face while smiling, and I can make a dead man come.  Getting paid to fuck would be so awesome."
     Rolling her eyes, Bekka handed Feather her notebook and an Inana business card.  "Give us a call at that number after your eighteenth birthday, not before.  I don't feel like giving you the lecture about what a bad idea your plan is today."
     "It's my tits, isn't it?" said Feather.  "I know they're not big, but they look really nice when I'm topless."
     "It's not your tits.  Hell, if you do anal, you could be flat as a board and still get gigs.  It's just....  Look, the day after your birthday, give us a call and we'll explain to you why your idea sucks.  Making porn isn't what you think it is."
     The girl in the Ozzy shirt horned in with, "Hey, don't go trying to get her to set you up with a job.  Dammit, I want to do the same thing.  I'd rule at making porn."
     "And how old are you, honey?" asked Bekka.
     "I'm sixteen right now.  Is it that big of a difference?  So we just, y'know, don't tell people how old I really am."
     I began to point and laugh, resting one hand on Bekka's shoulder for balance.  Bekka said, "Hear that sound?  That's the sound of the man who will go to prison if we put you in front of a camera naked.  Because of what his job entails, he's very familiar with what happens to those who put jail bait in front of video cameras and have them fuck, or even take their clothes off.  He's not going to go to jail for you.  Do you understand?  Now, do you want an autograph?"
     The girl settled for an autograph.
     There was an outer layer of students around the selection of punks and stoners right around us.  These were kids who saw the crowd and wandered over out of curiosity, wondering what was captivating the attention of a bunch of the campus losers.  Whether any of them recognized Bekka, I don't know.  But this crowd attracted more people, which attracted more, all of whom were gawking at the woman with the severe haircut and startling makeup as she casually signed autographs and answered questions.
     A golf cart, that vehicle of officialdom on a high school campus, came whizzing up.  It bore two people, the campus security officer --- sort of a no-calorie version of a real cop --- and vice principal Kendrick, who I already knew would be displeased with my presence.  When Jane got in a fight with a football player after he grabbed her ass, I had the temerity to ask what the problem was: Jane was protecting her honor, something both I and my extended family, the mafia, take very seriously.  Kendrick was displeased when I told him, in so many words, that Jane would receive no punishment at home, that she'd do her two days of detention at school and be done with it.  To me, her only real crime was getting caught.  Some dumb jock and impugned her honor, which she had defended.  In the eyes of both myself and her "uncles" in la Cosa Nostra, Jane was completely innocent.
     Kendrick and the rent-a-cop managed to push their way through the crowd and see what the attraction was.  He found Bekka calmly signing a sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper for a punk named Mallet.  "Just what is going on here?" he demanded.
     "Are you talking to me?" Bekka asked Kendrick as she accepted another folder with a piece of paper on it to sign.
     "Yes I am.  What are you doing on my campus?  Who are you?  Why have you drawn this crowd?"
     Bekka grinned and gave her innocent doe-eyed look.  "Well, I'm here to meet Jane.  I'm her unofficial guardian, and we're riding our putts up to Julian for dinner.  This small group are friends of hers, who are also fans of mine.  They wanted autographs and to ask a few questions.  I don't know what the rest of these kids want, they're all keeping their distance."
     "Your fans?  Who are you?" Kendrick asked.
     "Well, my performing name is Becky Page.  That's the name they know me by, anyway."
     "I'm not familiar with your name.  What do you do?"
     This last question prompted loud snickers and guffaws from the assembled losers.  Bekka calmly replied, "I make adult video.  I've gained a degree of fame since early summer.  Through their parents, these students are familiar with my features.  How in-depth did you want me to go?"
     Kendrick's jaw went a little wobbly.  He said, "By adult video, you mean, uh...."
     "She makes porn!" exclaimed Feather.  "Really good porn, too.  My dad watches it all the time, so I've seen it all.  And as soon as I turn eighteen, I'm gonna start making porn too, Mr. Kendrick!"
     "Oh Buddha," I muttered, holding my face in my hands.
     "Thank you, Feather," said Kendrick.  "Ma'am, did you intend to be such a disruptive influence when you arrived?  Was that your goal?"
     "Of course not," said Bekka.  "I initially had maybe a dozen students around me while I signed autographs and talked.  Like I said, I have no clue what the rest of those kids wanted.  They just stood there and stared at me.  Smiley, you're last, what did you want me to sign?"
     Smiley said, "I don't want an autograph.  I want a hug."
     Bekka's face split into a wide grin.  "And so you shall have one."  She held out her arms, and her and Smiley embraced.  Smiley had a look on his face like he was shaking hands with Christ.
     "Hey, I want a hug too!" declared Feather.
     "Me too!" said the girl in the Ozzy t-shirt.
     So Bekka began giving out hugs to all those who remained.  I distracted Kendrick by explaining, "See, early last summer Becky here starred in a movie called 'Bewitched,' which I wrote and produced.  It has been incredibly successful.  In fact, right now it's the most popular, best selling adult feature of all time, beating out 'Deep Throat.'  With two more out since, and us about to start production on another one, Becky has gained quite a bit of popularity.  These kids here, they've seen their parents' copies of our features and were impressed with what they saw.  Not to toot my own horn, but I'm kind of the George Lucas of smut.  I made a movie everyone wanted to see, over and over.  And Becky was the lynch-pin in my cast."
     Kendrick said, "I'm familiar with 'Bewitched.'  It's a porn movie, right?  Are you telling me that you and this Becky person here make porn?"
     "I prefer the term 'adult video.'  We make features whose content is aimed and geared specifically for an adult audience.  I know these students are too young to be legally considered adults, but their families seem to have no issue with them watching my videos.  That's how they became enamored of Becky.  We're doing nothing distasteful by allowing them to get autographs from Becky.  And as Jane's guardians, we have every bit as much right to be here as any of the parents lined up in the yellow zone over there, waiting for their kids.  If you want to solve the mystery, ask the kids who weren't gathered around Becky just what was so bleedin' interesting.  Hell,, I'm curious myself.  Who knows, maybe they weren't looking at Becky at all, but at her motorcycle.  It's the purple one.  Damn pretty, huh?"
     "I'm not comfortable with Jane living in this kind of environment.  Not comfortable at all."
     "What environment?" I asked.  "Our house is just a normal house.  We keep our work life and home life very separate.  Hey Jane, come here for a second."
     Jane separated herself from the people she was talking with and came towards me, wrapping an arm around my waist.  "What's up, Lenny darling?" she asked.
     "Have you ever seen anything strange or unusual during the time you've lived with me and Becky?"
     Jane considered.  "Well....  I did witness you buying an 'old man' car like a Fleetwood a while back, that was pretty unusual.  Beyond that, no.  Not even when I visit you at the studio do I see anything weird."
     Kendrick said, "I still don't believe Jane should be around such things.  I've half a mind to contact CPS."
     Jane turned on Kendrick, sparks in her eyes.  She said, "And you'd just be wasting your breath.  You're forgetting I'm an emancipated minor, living independently of my parents.  I wouldn't be enrolled in school at all if it weren't for the emancipation.  It doesn't matter what you're comfortable with, I have the legal right and responsibility to determine whether I'm in a healthy living situation or not.  Bekka --- Becky --- and Lenny treat me wonderfully.  I am my own overseer.  CPS can't touch me."
     Looking a bit taken aback by this, Kendrick said, "Are you sure you're happy with them?"
     Jane said, "Mr. Kendrick, I have my own room in a house on the beach.  I am fed, I am comfortable, I am well-adjusted, I have wonderful people who love me looking after me.  If my home life was fu-- messed up, would I have made the honor roll this past semester, even after missing the first three weeks of classes?  Do not concern yourself with how Lenny and, um, Becky earn a living.  They are warm caring people who have my best interests at heart."
     The large crowd of observers had begun to dissipate with the arrival of Kendrick, and was now gone completely.  The original cluster of punks and stoners was still standing around, talking with Bekka and each other.  Interesting.  Two disparate social tribes --- punk rockers and headbangers --- had found common ground, and were actually communicating.  Bekka was apparently bragging about my abilities as a husband.  She called over to Jane, "Hey Jane, what's the most important part of being in a relationship?"
     Jane responded, "Learning to relax your throat muscles!"  This prompted peals of laughter.
     "Try again," said Bekka.
     "Good girl."
     Kendrick rolled his eyes at this exchange; I wouldn't have been surprised if he hadn't gotten the reference.  He asked me, "So do your plans include nothing but hanging around in my parking lot all afternoon?"
     I answered, "No.  Like I said, we're going for a ride up to Julian.  Just a good way of working the kinks out.  The next six weeks of my life are going to be very busy, as I make a new feature.  But I'm happy with the script and our steps into pre-production are going well.  This new one is going to be an office comedy.  We're going to to make an adult feature that is actually funny on purpose.  It's strange: we've done drama, we've done suspense, we've done fantasy, we've done slice-of-life, we've done action, now we're about to do comedy.  I'm quickly running out of base styles to make movies in.  I'll just have to start repeating myself, I guess.  But I'm rambling.  Don't worry, we'll be out of your hair for the day in a little while."
     I wandered over to Bekka, who was expounding to Feather and another girl, "Just the physical demands are a challenge.  Okay, you like getting fucked, fine.  Now imagine getting fucked, with a big dick, pretty much nonstop, for three hours or so.  It starts off as a thrill, then you sort of go numb, then you start to hurt.  With a bit of luck that soreness goes away over the following day, so you can get back to work without being in pain.  I haven't mentioned the leg cramps from some of the more acrobatic positions you'll find yourself in, or the raw-feeling throat from taking dicks down there.
     "And answer yourself honestly.  Right now you fuck a guy because you like him.  How do you feel about fucking a guy who you've met briefly ten minutes earlier, whose name might be Mike or Mark, you're not sure which, and who has struck you as an egotistical prick?  And now you get to spend a few hours pretending to have the best sex of your life with a dude you don't know and don't like.  Please don't tell me you're that cynical at your age.  I at least waited until I was twenty, and had a few shitty relationships to draw some cynicism from."
     "But you say you're hopelessly in love with your husband.  How can you be so, well, clinical, and at the same time love a man like you say you do?" asked the other girl.
     Bekka grinned and said, "I fuck other guys.  Lenny is the man I make love with.  And if you don't know the difference between the two, you're really not ready for this industry.  You can't pretend to love without knowing how to do the real thing."
     Feather asked, "Doesn't it bother Lenny at all that you two are married but you fuck other guys?  Not even a little?"
     "It's all he's ever known from me," shrugged Bekka.  "It's what I was doing when we first met, and later became friends.  When we fell in love, it's still what I was doing.  It's what I was doing when he proposed, and when we got married.  Like I said, I may fuck other guys, but Lenny is the one I make love with.  There's a saying in the industry: it's not sex, it's performance.  That applies perfectly to me.  The men I have sex with on camera mean nothing to me, physically or emotionally.  Me conveying interest is entirely performance, it's me using what acting skills I've been blessed with to make like I'm having a good time.  Oh, hello Lenny, I didn't see you standing there.  I was just talking about you."
     "So I gathered.  Hopefully something flattering," I said.
     "I think so.  I was explaining how I got the only decent man in the entire industry to marry me.  They were wondering how I could be married and do what I do.  I was about to explain how gun-shy of relationships I was when we first got together.  Remember that?"
     "Oh Jesus," I said.  "We were dating, but refused to call it such.  We were, by Becky's edict, just good friends.  Good friends who had a lot of sex together, and kissed hello, and walked on the beach holding hands, and knew each others deepest joys.  But we weren't dating, heaven forbid."
     Bekka said, "I'd been fucked around so many times I decided I wasn't going to date Lenny at all.  It's like I was protected if I didn't call it dating.  I knew he loved me, so my recalcitrance was only making him miserable.  And I finally had to admit to both myself and him that I was in love with him.  I realized I loved him after he got shot rescuing a friend of ours from a rapist.  He got shot, and kept fighting.  The next day in the hospital I realized I had a man who was that selfless who was totally devoted to me.  The sacrifice he made for our friend just showed me what a beautiful person he was.  And I wanted to push him away.  I cried for two hours straight, until my eyes were so swollen I could barely see.  I was an idiota."
     I smiled at her, and bent down to kiss her neck.  I said, "And right there is a good example of how we understand each other, sort of.  I know if she's talking to me in Italian, that means I've done something stupid and she is currently cussing me out for it.  I've learned to recognize a couple phrases, though.  If I hear cazzo puzzola I know she's just called me a fucking skunk.  Cazzo donnola is a fucking weasel.  But I have to wait until she lapses back into English before I can find out what I fucked up."
     "Hey, you two ought to make a video together.  That would be really cool," said the other girl.
     Bekka and I both chuckled at this.  Bekka said, "When we first got together, I suggested Lenny become a performer, he's built for it."
     I was eyed with respect and curiosity by the two girls, who simply commented, "Whoa."
     "It was self-consciousness that prevented him from ever taking that plunge.  And after we got together, I realized one of the things I valued about sex with Lenny is that it is private.  Given what I do for a living, not having an audience is a blessing, it needs to be cherished.  Neither of us has the urge to document things when we fuck.  We feel a lot more free that way."
     Feather said, "Taking everything you've said into account, I'm still not sure me doing porn is a bad idea.  I mean, it must be worth it for the money, right?  How much would I make?"
     I said, "Okay, you're eighteen, or you will be, and you take it in the ass?  You'd get paid $1000 for a loop, not bad for a morning's work.  Between your youth and the fact that you do anal, you're worth some money.  You'd have to get rid of the safety pin, and grow your hair out to a more feminine length."
     She looked inspired.  "So I'd get a grand for how many hours work?"
     "Including makeup, about four and a half."
     "And how much can I work?"
     I shrugged.  "All depends on what's going on.  If we're cutting loops, a few times a week.  You'd want and need the time off as an anal queen, just to rest up and avoid getting injured.  Still, that's three grand a week...."
     Bekka elbowed me sharply in the ribs.  "Donnola," she said.  "Here I am trying to convince her that she has better options than porn, and and here you are talking about the good money and short work weeks she'll have.  You're not helping."
     I gave Bekka an evil grin.  "Wasn't fat money and sixteen hour weeks the precise reasons you got involved in the business?  Or am I thinking of a different job you dropped out of college to pursue?"
     "Cazzo puzzola," Bekka swore at me.  "That was totally different.  My mother was sick.  This girl just wants to get the money to get out of her house."
     "Have you explained to her what would be demanded of her if she tries to hook up with Inana?"
     "In great detail.  She remains the embodiment of confidence."
     Feather said, "Becky explained that it's hard work, and I can totally hack that.  From ten to fifteen I had two paper routes.  From fifteen and a half to just a couple months ago I worked at the Jack In The Box in Oceanside, twenty-four hours a week.  That was as much as they'd give me, being underage.  Then some dicks from corporate came through and decided I looked too funny for their image.  Never mind that I was usually working the fryer, and the pubic never saw me.  They cut my hours down to eight a week, and when I complained  I got cut down to a single four hour shift.  I said, 'fuck you,' and here I am.  Not too big a deal, my mom wanted me to think more of school anyway, what with this being my senior year."
     "You seem to have one hell of a work ethic," I said.  "What did you do with your money?"
     Shrugging and looking away, Feather said, "It went into the household.  My dad doesn't work enough."
     "What does your dad do?"
     "He's a realtor.  Mom works at Nordstrom's.  Between the two of them, there's no way I'd hold a job where I was reliant on commission.  That's why porn has so much appeal, I'd get paid for what I did, and know what I was making beforehand."
     Bekka sighed and rubbed her nose.  "Fine, give us a call in four months, we'll put you through the interview process and blood test.  Get that piece of metal out of your cheek and grow out enough hair for our stylist to have something to work with.  You ever do a DP?"
     "Double penetration?" said Feather.  "Nah.  Never met two guys I wanted to fuck at the same time."
     I said to Bekka, "She's so damn confident, I say we put her with Eddie for her screen test.  That should definitely be the acid test.
     "Who's Eddie?"
     I expanded, "Eddie the Big-Dicked Jew.  By way of reference, he played Lavery in 'Dangerous Desires,' the weaselly street hustler.  Eddie is packing nine inches.  No matter where he puts it, he will challenge you.  He is a gentleman, but just by dint of his size, he will challenge you."
     With a slightly evil grin, Bekka said, "Little girl, you claim you have fantastic throat control?  We'll find out.  You say you like taking big dudes up your ass?  We'll find out.  There's not faking it with Eddie."
     With the confidence only borne into teenage girls, Feather crossed her arms and said, "Nine inches, huh?  I can handle him.   I'll make him come like a fire hose.  I'll spoil him."
     "Bold talk, Feather," said Jane, who had been eavesdropping for the last few minutes.  "Don't worry, Eddie is a cool guy.  I've never seen his dick except on video, though.  You could get matched up with worse guys, too.  Like Vince.  He's not bad, he's just stupid.  Ugh, I just imagined Vince with Eddie's dick.  He's too stupid to not use it like a battering ram."
     Kendrick had finished talking with the rent-a-cop and wandered in our direction.  "What's like a battering ram?" he asked Jane.
     "Oh!" said a slightly rattled Jane.  "Um, Bek-- Becky's car.  It's a 1970 Plymouth Sport Fury, a big old monster."
     "Weren't you riding to Julian today?" asked Kendrick.
     "Of course we are.  We just thought we'd wait on the second bus, since we've got all these people here who missed the first one.  We're just hanging out, talking.  Once everybody's on the bus we'll head out."
     As if on cue, a yellow Bluebird rolled into the lot and pulled up in the loading zone.  Backpacks and satchels were scooped up and the assorted punks and stoners headed for the bus, tribal barriers broken down for the time being.  I noticed a punk named Dom and the girl in the Ozzy t-shirt talking in a very friendly manner, and wondered if cross-tribal romance was in the works.  Bekka handed out more hugs to anyone in reach as they got on the bus.  Then the doors closed and they took off, leaving me, Jane, and Bekka alone with vice principal Kendrick.  We began walking towards the bikes, Kendrick tagging along.
     "Good kids, " I commented out loud.
     "They're trouble," commented Kendrick right back.
     "How so?" I asked.
     "They're rebelling, and they don't even know what against."
     I laughed.  "Dude, that's called being a teenager.  Everybody does that routine.  The so-called good kids just wait until they're at college, preferably hundreds of miles away from their parents, to go through that sort of self-exploration.  Me, I got it over with in high school, and now I'm on my way to being a millionaire.  Don't discount the punks and the headbangers.  Figure out what interests them, and cultivate it."
     "What seems to interest these particular kids is a pornographic actress named Becky Page.  Okay, I understand how they're seeing those videos.  I'm still unclear as to the why.  Why do you, Becky, hold so much fascination for people?"
     Bekka chuckled and buried her face in her hands.  "Oh, Christ.  I have no answer for you.  I have no understanding of my own allure or mystique.  Why are Women's Studies classes closely examining my films?  Why does a magazine like People find it necessary to run an article on me?  Why are teenage girls getting their hair cut like mine?  Why do men, complete strangers, propose marriage to me on the street?  Apparently there's more to me than meets the eye, but I don't have a clue as to what it is.  The only consensus I've gotten so far is that I kick ass.  Period.  Oh, and I'm a sex goddess.  I don't know, I don't feel very good at ass-kicking or sex goddess-ing."
     Jane said, "You need to go back and watch your movies again.  You play characters who always have a handle on the situation, no matter what comes up.  Look at Ursula the witch...."
     "Ursula was insane," Bekka pointed out.
     "But she was always in charge, and unafraid.  Think about it.  Of all the main characters in 'Bewitched,' Ursula has the least sex, but is the character everyone talks about the most.  That's how much strength you brought to the character."
     "Lenny wrote me a good part.  He always writes me good parts.  Hell, look at 'Dangerous Desires.'  He created a character that was interesting from what was, ultimately, a glorified gun moll.  My character, Diane, shouldn't have done anything more interesting than fire a gun and fuck.  But Lenny gave her a persona and some great lines, and she lived.  I wouldn't be shit if I didn't have good material to work with."
     "You're having a crisis of identity, and you don't need to," said Jane.  "You were wondering how you kick ass.  You kick ass in everything, woman.  You wonder why you're supposed to be so confident?  Why shouldn't you be?  Becky Page rules."
     Kendrick said, "You speak of her as though in the third person."
     Bekka laughed tiredly.  "As well she should.  Becky Page is a construct, a figment.  Me, I'm Bekka Schneider, wife to Lenny.  Becky Page has been around for eight years, but really came into flower over the summer, and has grown ever since.  She is my alter ego, the porn slut that has made me rich and has set tongues to wagging all over the country.  Dammit, I just wish I understood her a little better.  That's why I was asking your friends about where they'd first seen me.  I was hoping for a bit of light to be shined on just who this Becky broad is."
     I said, "I'll have to write a movie about your crisis of identity in order to help you solve your crisis of identity.  It'll come up after the 'Bewitched' sequel."
     "What are you calling the sequel?" Bekka asked.
     "'Bewitched II: Stroke of Luck.'  You're going to be spending a lot of time on screen with Eddie.  I finally thought up a constructive use for Eddie's talents."
     "What's the plot outline?"
     I chuckled.  "No damn clue.  I'm not even sure if Eddie will be your partner or your nemesis.  But he'll be playing a nightclub magician who is deeply cynical about his own work.  He knows it's just sleight of hand.  He doesn't believe there is such a thing as magic, until you show him there is.  There, that's what I know about the next movie so far.  I'm hoping an idea rattles loose on the ride today.  Speaking of, let's get the hell out of here."
     I swung into the saddle, pulled on my helmet, and hit the starter.  The engine came alive.  Jane and Bekka did the same thing with their machines.  Kendrick trotted through the lot and onto the sidewalk, as though one of the bikes might spontaneously explode.  He didn't like Harley-Davidsons, they were an affront to what is decent in the world.  Of course, in his opinion, so were we: smut-peddling weirdos out to seduce the youth of America.  And we'd already started.  There was no room in his psyche for the concept that teenagers are sexual beings (and how).  Becky Page was merely a symptom of something that was tens of thousands of years old.
     I clicked into first, opened up the throttle, and let the clutch out. The girls followed suit.  We roared onto the street.

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