Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mafioso (Part 1)

     Jane and I sat on a couple of high-backed chairs in the hall of Don Ventimiglia's Bel Air mansion, sharing an ashtray.  The hall was crowded with women, mafia wives, all gossiping with each other.  Jane and I mostly sat in silence, having run out of small talk to say to each other.  We didn't have much to say to the women present, either.  Introductions had been made, and that was it.  They already knew who I was anyway, I was the king of porn, the one with the drug habit.  Jane certainly intrigued them, but mutual attempts at conversation had gone nowhere.  There was no commonality: these women couldn't really relate to a blue-haired sixteen year old girl whose primary interests were (in no particular order) loud music, motorcycles, getting high on Ecstasy, and fucking.

Mafioso (Part 2)

     We entered the ballroom which was being used as a gathering space to a mood of consternation.  Don Ventimiglia, along with his chosen heir and the guest of honor of the night had all just....  Disappeared for a half hour.  No word to anybody.  When we returned, there was a lot of knowing nods and muttered gossip: of course the program is getting fucked up, Lenny The Punk is around.  I was considered a harbinger of chaos, someone who attracted trouble.  That goddamn Lenny, he's trouble looking for a place to happen.  Shot three times.  Goddamn dope fiend, too, him and his wife both.  They're hooked on crank, no wonder they're so damn crazy.  Why Angel Morelli recruited him is anybody's guess....  But he took a tiny porn studio down in San Diego and turned it into a powerhouse, so you can't say he's stupid.  Just crazy.

Mafioso (Part 3)

     I drove the Falcon back south solo, placing Jane rather unwillingly in the Fleetwood with Bekka.  The reason for this was simple: I was planning on breaking a shit-ton of traffic laws in an effort to test the limits of the new hot rod, and didn't want to set a bad example.  That, and if I got pulled over, I wanted it to be a short and simple exercise.  Jane was at the age where mouthing off to cops seems like a good idea.

Mafioso (Part 4)

     "So what are your plans for her?" Bekka asked me, as we got in the spa.
     I was dumbfounded.  "Wait, you're asking me?  You're the one who invited her up for a couple nights.  What are your plans?"
     Bekka pondered and said, "Well, it was definitely a Becky decision.  But shit, a tiny thing like her, living in her car in Ocean Beach?  Um....  Hey, I know.  We've talked about moving Rita up into being a performer.  That would leave us short one fluffer and script girl.  This chick claims to be a compulsive cocksucker, and so long as she's literate enough to read a script, she'd be fine.  She'd definitely be able to stop living in her car on $2000 a week, she could stay in the penthouse until she found a place, we could keep her high....  Yeah.  Call Rita tomorrow and tell her she's got the promotion."

Mafioso (Part 5)

     We took Dawn to Triplet's for brunch, where we insisted upon her making a pig of herself.  "I can see your damn ribs, girl," said Bekka.  "Fucking cigarettes and dope don't have any calories in them, they won't keep you alive.  Don't worry, with luck on Wednesday you'll be going to Safeway and buying some of your own groceries, and you'll have a kitchen to cook things in.
     Dawn started slow, but built momentum.  Over the course of brunch, she had waffles, eggs over easy, bacon, a ham steak, fresh melon, whole wheat toast with jam, two glasses of orange juice, three glasses of milk, and four vodka mimosas.  At first she was loath to order what she felt out of good manners, but we pressed her to have all of everything she wanted.  It was obvious even to the untrained eye she was malnourished, her using dope to kill her appetite and save on the expense of eating.

Mafioso (Part 6)

     ".... And so that's where we stand.  With Bekka as ful-fledged mafioso and me as an associate, we're the mafia's first 'power couple.'  Do you understand?"
     "So that's why you're rich," said Dawn.
     "No, that's why I have such great backing.  I got rich on my own.  I have made very canny business and creative decisions over the past year, which has led to my income leaping forward at an incredible pace.  Did you have any questions?"

Mafioso (Part 7)

     We gave Dawn an extra few minutes, and she showed up.  She looked slightly flushed, but none the worse for wear.  She was carrying her shoes, a pair of cloth "nip flips," and had her giant purse over one shoulder.  If she was satisfied from the little party she'd thrown, she didn't look it.  Dawn Nixon just plain looked wired up.

Mafioso (Part 8)

     Bekka and I made our intentions clear of heading to bed.  This distressed Dawn.  "No, come on, let's smoke some more and, y'know, hang out or whatever," she said.  "Or Jane, you wanna stay up.  You and me have never really talked."
     Jane said, "It's two right now, and I had a long and taxing day, which I had to handle totally straight.  I gotta crash out."

Mafioso (Part 9)

     They finished shooting around 12:15.  Not needing showers (merely mouthwash) Rita and Dawn came downstairs, giggling about something.  I was shocked: I'd never heard Dawn giggle about anything.  I asked what the comedy was, and Rita said, "I explain to Dawn that the men we work with are muy tonto.  And cattier than the women.  Stallion, he has this job, spends his time in the gym, yet is still jealous of Eddie, because Eddie is the one with nine inches.  And bench presses cannot change that!"

Mafioso (Part 10)

     The next morning I rode my Sportster to the mansion.  The Plymouth was sitting in front of one of the garage doors.  Going in, Gina was already in her office, who told me that the tiny girl had come from upstairs and scared the hell out of her.  "Is she living here now?" she asked.
     "Yeah, for a month or so," I said.  "Her name is Dawn, she's our new fluffer.  Rita is going to start performing.  She's had a rough patch, and needs to save up to get into an apartment.  Where is she?"
     Gina said, "I think I heard the sliding glass door, so she might be outside.  So how rough of a patch was she having?"

Mafioso (Part 11)

     The two apartment-hunters lucked out right away.  Olivehurst had several vacancies, including two two bedroom units.  My attempts to keep me and Bekka distanced from Dawn and Roach fell apart when the two began filling out their rental applications.  Bobby, the property manager, saw the words "Inana Productions" under Employer for the both of them, and knew immediately who their boss was.  Bobby let it slide, he must have figured that lightning couldn't strike twice: no way would this punk kid and the tiny woman he was with draw as much trouble as Bekka and I had.  Bobby called me the next morning to learn more about the two prospective tenants.  I attested to their quiet living, intelligence, and moral fiber.  Bobby asked me what they did for Inana.  I laughed.

Mafioso (Part 12)

     We did two read-throughs of 'Stroke of Luck' that afternoon, everyone warming to their parts.  Nearly everyone took off around four.  Bekka, Ellen and I were stuck there until Mr. Golan either showed up or called.  Willing to wait until his ETA, Dawn and Roach hung around, drinking sodas and watching the big TV in the media room.

Mafioso (Part 13)

     After a half hour the doorbell rang.  Boss leaped up and headed for the stairs.  He returned several moments later with Matthew Golan in tow.  Golan looked flustered.
     "Totally my fault," he said.  "I was messing around with the radio in that rental car and got distracted.  I started following a black Lincoln instead.  You were right, though, it was easy getting directions here."
     Bekka jumped off my lap and went to grab Golan a beer.  He'd never had Anchor Steam, and was duly impressed.  Then he fired up the tape recorder and we began talking.  Here's the article....

Mafioso (Part 14)

     Pre-production ran smoothly.  Everyone threw themselves into their parts.  Rita was practicing talking like a white girl in conversation, with decent success.  All three sound stages were dressed to our needs and according to the shoot schedule, all would be getting re-dressed as we went along.  The city of Oceanside came through with the permits for our location shots, we'd be taking over a full block of a residential street for our massive group sex scene.  I'd made it explicitly clear what we were doing, and the city didn't seem to mind: I think they were just overjoyed to get the fees.  They didn't seem to mind aiding a porn studio in production, including providing a few cops to keep people out, so long as we came up with the cash.