Friday, June 24, 2016

Succubus (Part 1)

     "This is hell," said Small Steve, gazing out the passenger window of the '70 Plymouth.  "Lenny, of all people, I should have guessed you'd know where to find hell on earth."
     "And it's perfect for our needs," I said.  "We need wasteland.  Barren, uninhabited, little traveled.  How many cars have we seen in the past ten minutes?"
     "Three, I think.  I wonder what they're doing out here?"

Succubus (Part 2)

     "Good.  I'm glad you're doing what I suggested," said Bekka over dinner.
     "So where are you gonna go?" asked Jane.
     I said, "That's just it, I don't know.  The whole idea is that I just go until I get bored of driving, or see something that looks interesting, or whatever.  That's the whole idea, that I have no itinerary.  I could get as far as Merced and spend five days in a motel, watching TV and eating delivery pizza.  Whatever feels comfortable and relaxing is what I'm going to do."

Succubus (Part 3)

     For lack of a better option, I ate breakfast at Lyon's again, then headed out.  Through Grass Valley and Nevada City the 49 is four-lane freeway.  Then it drops to winding two-lane blacktop, just the sort of turf the Falcon was built for.  I pushed it through the gorge of the south fork of the Yuba River, leaning on it hard enough to get some tire noise but not actually break traction.  On the north side of the gorge I came around a curve and found myself charging up the ass of a Subaru moving twenty.  Holding second, I putted up behind this tick of a vehicle.  He refused to accelerate.  Finally, at the top, there was a passing lane.  I looked over as I went by and got the same look that all morally self-righteous people have when they're saving us from ourselves.

Succubus (Part 4)

     I spent that night, and the next two, under the roof of Crystal and Mojo.  They actually had a house a block away from the bar.  If I hadn't needed to get Hal and Jen home, we would have just gone straight there.  I had privately explained to Hank at the bar that I'd been around scammers before, and these two didn't worry me.  I'd keep my dope and my wallet on me, and the doors of the Falcon locked.  Barring them braining me with a pipe, they'd find it hard to rip me off.  They couldn't try to wheedle anything out of me, since I would be offering it up of my own volition before they could start.

Succubus (Part 5)

     After lunch we went back to the mansion.  It was lunch break, and I was able to make introductions.  I collared Roach before he and Dawn went out, telling him I'd need him on Monday morning, presuming Jolene's blood test was clear.  She was definitely in a low-risk category, so we weren't worried.  Jolene was intrigued by Roach: he had shaken her hand warmly, given her a tentative welcome aboard, and told her he looked forward to working with her.  He told her to be a few minutes early on Monday, so they could go over likes, dislikes, and if she needed to set limits.
     "Set limits?" asked Jolene.

Succubus (Part 6)

     Over the weekend we cruised around looking at apartments.  On Sunday Jolene found her dream: a one bedroom cottage behind another house in Solana Beach, two blocks from the beach.  The best part was the rent, which was only $400 a month.  The elderly couple who lived in the main house just liked the idea of having a neighbor that close, someone they could yell to if there was an emergency.  They didn't mind taking cash for the first month's rent and deposit, Jolene explaining that she was very recently separated from her husband and still needed to open a checking account of her own.  At Bekka's suggestion, she told the couple that she "worked in video production" and left it at that.

Succubus (Part 7)

     Friday was a day of telephonic exhaustion.  Gina and I fielded calls from plenty of yahoos wanting to be the sound man for a porn studio; I regretted putting the name of the studio in the ad.  Many were turned off when Gina and I explained that this was work, dull work, and their interaction with the female performers would be verbal only.  For performance, we rarely promoted from within.  Three of them seemed to get it, so I invited all three up on Tuesday to watch a shoot, talk with Small Steve and Mickey, and then be interviewed one at a time by me.  I would go with whoever seemed most dependable and would stick around for a while.

Succubus (Part 8)

     On Monday, Angel caught me on the phone just before I stepped out for lunch.  "Things moving along?" he asked.
     "Moving well," I replied.  "The government of Imperial County is being very obliging of some punk that wants to use them as a backdrop for a fuck flick."
     "Excellent, very good," he said.  There was a pause and a chuckle, then he said, "Lenny, I would like you and Bekka to come up to the trattoria for dinner tonight.  This will be a business dinner, so I would prefer if Jane does not join you."

Succubus (Part 9)

     Two weeks later and I'm tooling along through desert in my Fleetwood with Jeff Greenley of the Imperial County department of Film and Entertainment riding shotgun.  He is giving me a tour of county roads that have the wasteland vibe I want.  I am his only client, so I have his undivided attention.  He was initially surprised by me, but has adapted.  Greenley knew Inana Productions made adult video, and was familiar with (and a fan of) Becky Page's movies.  He was expecting a vaguely sleazy Hollywood type to meet him, not a twenty-three year old punk in a brand new Cadillac.  I immediately won him over by presenting him with a signed Becky Page poster to put up at home.  He assures me that everyone in county government will be cooperative with us while we are working, especially the sheriff's department.

Succubus (Part 10)

     Once the trunk was loaded, me, Bekka, and Roach got in the Fleetwood to pass around the glass pipe again.  Small Steve leaned against the front fender, smoking one of Bekka's Benson & Hedges.  While he was doing his edit of features, Steve would cadge a small line off me, like a paper match, every morning.  Otherwise he left the stuff alone.
     Crystal joined us in the car, smirking.  When the pipe came to her, she waved it off, saying.  "Doing shit like that just pisses me off.  I hit good earlier anyway, so I'm fine.  Haven't you ever banged dope?"
     I said, "No.  I'm phobic of needles to begin with.  That, and what I've noticed is that people who do bang end up having their lives revolve around it too much, you know?  I'm perfectly happy like this."
     In a belligerent tone, Crystal said, "Well, fuck me.  I started banging my shit when I was fourteen, it was the first way I'd ever gotten high.  When my sister asked if I wanted to do some dope when I was sixteen, she offered me a line, and I was all, 'What the fuck is this?'  You have to get it in your bloodstream, or you're just wasting your fuckin' time.  You're just pissing yourself off."

Succubus (Part 11)

     "What is this?" asked Jolene.
     "The band is The Jesus Lizard.  This is their album 'Head,'" I answered.
     "I've never heard anything like this in my life."
     Bekka laughed.  "We've got a shitload of music that will probably mystify you."
     We lucked out and found a space in Cyrano's small lot.  I backed the Falcon in and we got out, ignoring the stares of the two yuppies leaning against a Five-series BMW.  One of them called, "Hey man, is that your car?"
     I said, "No, it's hers," and pointed at Bekka.
     "How fast is it?"
     "I'm not sure.  I've had it up to 145, but I ran out of room to work and had to back off.  I'd want to take it to Riverside or Laguna Seca and open it up with no one else around me to find its max."

Succubus (Part 12)

     We left the RVs on the street outside the Villa Motel in El Centro.  Across the street at the Travelodge, I saw our production support vehicle, a former UPS truck, back into a space.  People piled out of all three RVs and milled around in the parking lot of the Villa.  A newish white Ford LTD parked in the lot, the woman at the wheel nearly identical to Becky Page.  This was Reina Crylos, our stunt coordinator and Bekka's double.for dangerous shots.  Bekka wasn't willing to hood-surf at eighty MPH, Reina was.  She got out and approached me, a cool smile on her lips.

Succubus (Part 13)

     Back in the RV, Terry said, "Holy fuckin' shit, I was gonna ask her about what we, y'know, talked about, but there's just no fuckin' way.  What the fuck is she so pissed about?"
     I got behind the wheel and fired up.  "No damn clue," I said.  "She acts like I'm finding excuses to be up and out.  Shit, if I was, I'd do it in a better damn town than this.  She knows I'm not one to just go tweaking around, I'm not about to hit a bar, and I'm plenty aware that I have shit to do tomorrow and need my rest.  I'd say it was jealousy, with you and me hanging out, but she's the one who proposed you as my assistant to begin with.  Hopefully, whatever it is, she has the sense to go visit with Donna or Pill or Roach instead of stewing by her lonesome."

Succubus (Part 14)

     The next morning we ate breakfast with Roach.  He seemed a bit keyed up.
     "I had an interesting phone conversation last night," Roach said.  "I was letting the club know of my payment arrangements, $200 every Sunday, and the guy I was talking to said, 'Hopefully we'll be seeing a whole lot of you.'  I was like, sure, no problem.  Then he says him and a couple other guys want to talk to me today.  I told him I'm out in Imperial County making a movie, and he just laughed and said for me to give him directions to where we'll be today, they'll ride out and we'll chat.  The long and short of it is that three Hell's Angels are going to be showing up at our location today, and they want words with me.  Honest, I have no clue as to what's going on."

Succubus (Part 15)

     I settled into a routine.  Up at six.  Shower, smoke a bowl, dress, and head for the diner for breakfast.  By 7:30 I would be piloting an RV full of porn stars out to that day's location in the desert.  While performers got their makeup, I would help Mitch and Dutch inspect the vehicles.  The stars were now driving them, all the major driving and stunt work was in the can.  We were doing our dialogue and "safe" driving scenes now.  I would be considering hitting my pipe in the biffy of one of the RVs when Terry would arrive, driving Bekka's Plymouth Sport Fury.  I'd jump in the passenger seat, we'd smoke a bowl, then make out like high school kids for a few minutes.  Performers would be running their lines.  We'd start shooting scenes, the girls of the pirate band playing their roles as intensely neurotic.  Except for the pirate queen (named Lily) not a single pirate was sane.

Succubus (Part 16)

     After lunch we got our girl/girl scenes in the can.  This time the whole (male) population of Gilmore Camp was right on the sidelines to watch the action.  Generally, they seemed more amazed than aroused.  Colson had locked up the store so he wouldn't miss a minute of fun, standing in awe as he watched Bekka and Feather (named Itsy, due to her diminutive size) make out and sixty-nine at the water's edge.  Feather was Bekka's shotgun rider in the Nova.  I had a latent guilty realization: Feather might be eighteen, but she was still in high school.  Or should be, anyway....

Succubus (Part 17)

     "I hope I'm not just being fuckin' stupid, but what the fuck is a succubus, anyway?" asked Terry.
     I answered, "A succubus is a female demon who seduces men.  Traditionally, those who have sex with succubi suffer from poor health or even death.  One thing attributed to the succubus is that since demons cannot reproduce, succubi take sperm from men and implant it in human women without their knowledge, meaning the women give birth to devil children.  Sounds like bullshit to me, since the sperm is coming from a normal human male and going into a normal human female.