Friday, August 5, 2016

Angels (Part 7)

     Several days later we're down at the Hi-Lo in National City again.  We have switched from our previous location at the bar to a booth near the pinball machine and a pool table.  Roach, Bekka and I are knocking back burritos along with our draft beer.  Roach is happy and proud tonight, he won a bet with Small Steve.  Roach claimed he could perform in two loops in a day, and still do well in both.... Including the money shot.   Steve said no way: while yeah, at nineteen Roach would recover to perform just fine during lunch hour, the human body did not produce semen fast enough to have a decent money shot four hours later.  Roach told Steve that it was worth $300 to settle, and Steve accepted.  That afternoon, what was going to be a three way turned into a two-on-two, Roach working with Pill.

     After two and a half hours of suck and fuck, the guys started getting ready to finish.  They didn't need to sync up, they were being taped as two separate money shots.  The other couple, Chip and Gayla, went first, with Chip getting jerked off onto Gayla's tits.  Over to Pill and Roach.  It must be noted that Pill really liked collecting that $200 bounty I put up on facials.  Basically, if a girl took a facial during a money shot, she got an extra $200, cash, collectable from me as soon as she was out of the shower.  Every damn time she worked, Pill went home with extra cash.  Other girls took the bounty off and on.  Not Pill, it didn't bother her like it bothered other women.  She didn't get off on it, she just didn't see what the big deal was.
     So Roach is straddling Pill's chest while she works him with her mouth and hands to bring him off.  Small Steve is confident this damn kid will be giving him some grocery money in a little while.  Roach finishes....  And coats Pill's face.  After another thirty seconds of filming, Small Steve yells "Cut and wrap!"  Pill reaches for a pre-stationed towel, but Small Steve is yelling, "Don't wipe your face, don't wipe your face!  Come here."
     Small Steve and Pill walk up to where Chip and Gayla are standing and Steve demands of them, "Is that enough volume to count as a decent money shot?  I'm not sure."
     "Looks fine to me," says Gayla.  Chip concurs.
     Pill dragged a finger on her cheek, then stuck it in her mouth.  "It's thin," she commented.
     Roach walked up, grinning.  "Where's my money, Steve?"
     "Just hold on, I want a few more opinions," Steve protested, and they walked over to where Mickey and Sally are coiling cables.  Steve presents Pill to the two of them, demanding, "So what kind of money shot is that?  I say it's weak."
     Mickey frowned and stared at Pill.  "No, good volume, but it's got a low sperm count.  Somebody already came once today."
     Sally said, "She looks pretty drenched to me.  You're not gonna try and re-shoot that, are you?"
     Roach is standing there with a smile on his face and his arms crossed.  He leans down at Steve and said, "I'll be showered and downstairs in Lenny's office in fifteen minutes.  Have my money.  Thank you."
     Pill said, "Steve, can I wipe my fucking face now?"
     Steve waved his hand dismissively, then checked his wallet.  About seventy bucks.  Shit.  Well, that damn brat will have to wait until lunch tomorrow, when Steve can go to the bank.  Of course, Steve did promise the money to Roach today, but Steve never thought he'd have to pay up.  Damn brat, wannabe criminal.  Running around on a motorcycle, and a member of the Hell's Angels, the worst of all those gangs.  Those bastards would stomp anything in their way.
     It suddenly occurred to Small Steve that he was considering stiffing, however temporarily, a member of the Hell's Angels for $300.
     There were flaws in that plan.
     Steve ran out of the sound stage and downstairs to Lenny's office, to see about getting a very short-term loan out of petty cash, it was important.

     We finished our burritos and were considering a round of Jack Daniels when Big Ugly and Spike appeared at the booth.  Spike slid onto the seat next to Roach, and Big Ugly knelt on the floor at the end of the table.  "Hey kiddies, what's occupying your time tonight?" asked Spike.
     "Jack Daniels and a few games of nine ball," said Roach.  "How about you?"
     "We took acid, and were considering going to TJ for shits and giggles.  Visit the dens of iniquity, see if the strippers look any better when you're fried."
     Big Ugly said to me, "Hey, that your Falcon rod in the parking lot?  We saw it at Dirty Dan's, too."
     I said, "Actually, it's hers.  She loves souped-up Falcons.  Me, I drive a Cadillac Fleetwood."
     "That's your car, Becky?  Damn.  How quick is it?  What's the quarter mile time?"
     Bekka said, "No clue on either count.  It's not a dragster, the gearing is all wrong for that, it's a road racer.  Lenny's had it up to 145 and was still gaining, but ran into traffic and had to shut down.  Maybe sometime we'll do a midnight run to Yuma and max it out."
     "You do your own wrenching, Becky?" asked Spike.
     "No," smiled Bekka.  "Although on that one, I know the man who did.  That Falcon was a gift, it replaced one that I used to have that got destroyed."
     "Damn nice gift," said Big Ugly.  "Who gave it to you, some really rich fan?"
     "Well, he is extremely rich, and he is a fan, to an extent, but that's not why I know him.  His name is Don Vito Ventimiglia, he is the godfather of the Southern California mafia.  A very dignified, genteel man in his late seventies.  Lenny and I befriended him when he needed it badly, and the Falcon was a token of appreciation.  The Don is always welcome in our house."
     "Are you serious?" asked Spike.  "How'd you meet him?  What did you do for him?"
     I smiled and looked Bekka in the eyes.  "Hey Becky.  Tell them."
     Bekka's eyes blinked, and her face shifted.  Becky was at the controls.  She said, "How we came to meet is a very long story, but I will summarize our connection as best I can.  Simply put, Lenny here is an associate of the mafia.  He can't be a member, because he's not Italian or Sicilian.  Nonetheless, he has been a good soldier for them.  The rest of the SoCal mafia considers Lenny gifted but crazy.  He runs Inana studios and has turned it into a powerhouse, but between his drugs, his music, and his personal style, Lenny is thought to be horribly unstable.  He is also a guy who things happen to, and as his wife, sometimes I'm along for the ride.
     "Keep in mind, the mafia loves Becky Page.  I am full-blooded Sicilian.  The mafia has a crush on the beautiful Sicilian girl who makes dirty movies.  The Don has my posters up in his mansion.  As Lenny's wife, we are considered quite the team.  We have both killed for the family.  We have been through some tight scrapes together, revolving around mafia misadventures.  As I said, shit seems to happen to Lenny, his capo calls him a bullet magnet.  And because I love him, I will jump into the shit with Lenny, to help him out.  This participation got me noticed in the mafia long before I was a star.  So him and I are viewed as this strange power couple because we come out on top in situations, but they're situations nobody can imagine being in to begin with.  We are harbingers of chaos.
      "Continuing on, Don Ventimiglia turned up on our doorstep one morning, asking for shelter, just for a few days.  He was running away from home.  He was retiring, and the political posturing in the family was too much for him.  He figured we  could hide him out, and he was right.  With our meth habits and punk rock and hot rods, nobody would dream that the Don would associate with us, for any reason.  Don V. stayed with us for four days, and he had a wonderful time.  We sheltered him from the searches, he went to the zoo, he went to Sea World, he rode motorcycles, he ate well, he took Ecstasy.  After four days he returned, but he gave me a promise.  Becky Page, nee Bekka Schneider, would be the first woman mafioso, ever.  He kept his promise.  I'm a made woman.  And that is how and why I know Don Vito Ventimiglia of Bel Air, California, and why he gave me a hot rod as a gift."
     Three Hell's Angels stared at Becky, wide-eyed.  Silence reigned.  Finally Roach said, "So, is Inana a mafia business?"
     I answered, "Not really, no.  Angel Morelli, whom you've met, is lined up to be the next Don, and owns Inana Productions, along with several other businesses.  But Inana is not a mafia business.  We are on the up and up, no tax shelters, no money laundering, no drugs, no prostitution, no nothing.  I'm familiar enough with the financials at Inana I'd know if something fishy was going on.  We accomplish nothing for the mafia besides a sense of ethnic pride, in the form of Becky Page.  We also do not have the mafia as a resource.  Everything Inana has done, we've accomplished on our own."
     The two high Angels stared, large-pupiled, at Becky and me.  "Jesus Christ," said Big Ugly.  "That is some wild shit.  So how did you join the mafia, or became an associate or whatever?"
     "You don't join the mafia, the mafia chooses you," I said.  "I had just taken over at Inana, having been promoted from still photographer.  I was learning the business, both the general facts of running a business, but also the fillips and unique problems one comes across running a porn studio.  I'd already been involved in a bit of adventure with my boss and his friends.  Angel considered me intelligent, that was the main thing.  Also, he felt I had balls, I would show initiative, and I would always play it straight with the family.  He offered me the chance to be an associate, which I turned down.  Becky said if I hooked up with the guys, she'd divorce me.  She knew exactly who they were, and didn't want me involved with them.  Over time, she changed her mind, and gave her blessing.  So I called Angel and told him I was in.  He took me out to lunch, shook my hand, and that was that, I was an associate of the mafia.  My ties initially raised my standard of living, but it was Inana that made me rich.  I earned all my damn money."
     "Too crazy," said Big Ugly.  "Hey Becky, speaking of your studio, how long have you done what you do?"
     Becky grinned and said," Nine years, or a few lifetimes in this business.  Except for a few loops, I've always been with Inana.  They pay me well, they treat me well, why would I leave?  I'm not under contract, either.  But Inana, and the features it produces, have made Becky Page what she is.  I love the money, I could live without the fame.  Something that I've been enjoying about this bar is that I've been here ninety minutes and no one has approached me for an autograph.  At this point I truly cherish being left the hell alone when I'm out.  I'd like to do more of my drinking here, but you're a bit of distance from Encinitas.  Even the first night I was here, yeah, I did autographs and photos for people, but nobody was pushy about it, everyone was deferential, I didn't feel pressured to be in Fan Service mode.  And I love the Fifties architecture of this building."
     Spike said, "Yeah, we like it here.  You know, when we first heard you were hanging around, we figured you were slumming, you figured you'd get a thrill from being around those dirty Hell's Angels.  Then somebody explained the connection between you and Fucker.  Okay, the greenhorn who screws for a living claims he's friends with Becky Page.  Yeah, right.  We figured you were serious high class, what the fuck would you be doing hanging around some kid?  Nobody really believed Fucker when he said you two were friends.  Shit, if I was him, I'd have dragged you down here too.  Anyway, tell me.  What do you think about us Hell's Angels so far?"
     "Your menace has been overstated," smiled Becky.  "Really, I cannot comment on the Hell's Angels as a homogeneous mass, because to me it isn't one.  I keep meeting different people who all happen to belong to the same club.  If you're looking for a particular trait you all share, I'm sorry, I haven't spotted one, beyond a love of Harley Davidsons."
     "We persevere in the face of adversity," said Big Ugly.  "There's your common thread.  Angels will always fight back when the shit goes down, you know?  Everybody gets stomped on in this world.  Angels are some of the few to say, 'Fuck this, we're gonna live how we please,' and we do."
     Becky said, "I see.  I thought you were looking for a personality type.  You have proven to be a very disparate group, really.  Compare a ladies man like Roach --- Fucker --- to a cerebral intellectual like Fatso to a world-weary cynic like Mutt to a cheery, happy-go-lucky good ole boy like Peewee.  You are all very different people.  You may share opinions, but you do not share traits."
     "It's like trying to find commonality among porn stars," I said.  "What do our girls have in common?  They are very different people."
     "With one big exception," said Becky.  "All of them are able to be completely objective about sex and about their own bodies.  I personally believe that's a trait, that you can't learn it.  We tried to demonstrate objectivity to Cisco and Peewee, but I think we just freaked them out."
     Big Ugly began laughing.  "Yeah, I heard you measured Fucker's dick while Lenny watched!  Izzat true?"
     Becky said, "It is.  We were trying to make an object lesson to Cisco and Peewee about how performers in porn view sex, themselves, and others.  Roach, Lenny and I wanted to show that physical contact can have no meaning, that it can be done completely objectively.  The subject was the size of Roa-- Fucker's dick.  Eddie The Jew has nine inches, and claimed that Fucker was over eight.  Fucker said he'd never checked, so Lenny handed me a tape measure, I got Fucker hard, and I measured it.  Eight and a quarter inches, by the way...."
     Spike and Big Ugly looked at Roach and said, "Damn."
     Becky continued, "But the whole point of this behavior was to prove to Peewee and Cisco that physical contact can be completely objective.  Since such things need to be in his lexicon of knowledge, Lenny wanted to know how big Fucker's dick is.  As both a professional and the only woman present, it was up to me to get Roach where he needed to be for the measuring.  I could do a quicker job of it than he could have done by himself.  I used my hands to make him hard, I measured, we were done.  We had an answer to a question, which was all we wanted.  I wasn't getting a thrill, and I wasn't trying to turn Roach on, and we weren't trying to embarrass Cisco and Peewee."
     Roach added, "To me, it summed up how objective we are at work with our own bodies and others.  I knew that in order to answer a question, I had to get my dick hard.  Becky knew she could do the job quickly and easily, so it fell to her to do the heavy lifting, as it were.  I never had a feeling of, 'Oh wow, Becky Page is playing with my dick.'  I was totally in professional mode.  Another example would be my mind-frame when we're shooting a scene.  While me and the person I'm with may be physically engaged in rather energetic sex, I'm cursing myself in my head for having forgotten to buy cigarettes, and hoping I can bum one during the cut.  Any appearance I have of being involved  with the other person, and vice versa, is called acting.  We're actors, we're performers.  Becky can blow your mind with her scenes.  Her and I did one where Lenny actually had to walk away.  Becky is a talented enough actress that she actually looked like she was in a state of bliss over an ugly nineteen year old punk.  Lenny was getting the jealous fits.  I saw him leave, and I saw the look on his face, and all I could think about was that fucking cannon under his arm, his Beretta.  I was hoping he calmed down, and not estimating how much quick lime my body would need."
     I said, "Fucker and Becky had to portray two people who were very much in love.  They did a stellar job of it, which was the problem.  I just couldn't watch.  And Roach?  I never point my gun in anger."
     Spike said, "Wait, you got a gun on you?"
     "Yeah.  I always do.  You never wondered why I keep my jacket buttoned up, no matter how warm it is?"
     Becky said, "I have one too, in a waist holster.  It's a tool that I hope to never use again."
     Big Ugly frowned.  "So you thought you needed guns around here?"
     I held up my hands.  "No, not at all.  I carry a Beretta 92FS.  It goes on me as soon as I'm out of the shower in the morning, and comes off the last thing at night, and then it sits right on my bedside table.  It doesn't matter what I'm doing on any given day, I have my gun on me, no difference in where I go or who I see.  Okay, I know better than to wear it to court.  Beyond that, though, I'm wearing it."
     "I'm the same way with my Colt Defender," said Becky.  "The waist holster goes on first thing, comes off last.  It's not a comment on what I'm doing on a given day, it's that life is unpredictable, and I've already nearly been murdered once."
     Roach said apologetically, "I didn't know you guys would be bugged by them.  I see them both in their holsters all the time, I don't give it any thought.  They really do wear them day in, day out."
     "So why do you two think you need guns?" asked Big Ugly.
     I chuckled.  "Well, being involved with the fucking mafia has been a really big impetus.  The family is big on personal protection.  Also, I am --- or was --- in the bad habit of being shot at."
     "Not to mention being shot three times," said Becky.
     "You really caught lead?" said Spike.  "No way."
     I sighed and slipped out of the booth.  Standing next to Big Ugly, I removed my jacket.  Then came the holster and pistol, which went in front of Becky.  And off came the t-shirt.  I pointed at my ribs, and the ugly contusion of scar tissue.
     "That was from a nine, at point blank range.  Fragmented ribs, chunked up my lung, quite a mess.  The worst part was that right after it happened, I had to do things.  I had to hog-tie a guy with duct tape.  I had to get a neighbor to call 911.  I had to walk.  And I had to climb stairs, which sucked most of all."
     "What were you doing?" asked Big Ugly.
     "He was preventing a rape," said Becky.  "We were in San Francisco.  He had a premonition that our friend was being attacked, so he drove over there, and he was right.  He flushed the guy out and got him to fumble the gun.  They both went after it, and the rapist got to it first and fired.  But that was the only round left."
     "Now here," I said, pointing below my left shoulder, "are the scars left by .22 ammo fired through an AR-15.  I've also got similar scars on my left leg.  That was when a Bible freak attacked the studio. He was wearing body armor, Kevlar or whatever.  No worse sinking feeling than blasting at somebody with a Beretta 92 and they don't even fall down, much less bleed.  Becky was the one who stopped him, she put five shots into his chest at a distance of about three inches.  The impact and the pain caused the guy to fall backwards down the stairs, whereupon Becky began to pistol-whip him.  She thought I was dying, and wanted to kill the guy for that.
     "I've also got the scar from where I was shot in the foot, but I don't feel like dealing with the laces on my Doc Martens right now."
     "Damn," said Spike.  "You have been in some conflict."
     I said, "Yeah.  And the thing is, every time I've been shot, or shot at, it's been a completely random situation.  There have only been a few circumstances where I walked into a situation knowing full well I'd need a gun.  The rest are happenstance.  So, I carry the gun all the time, because I never know when it will be useful."
     "Ain't you worried about getting busted for it?" asked Big Ugly. "Fuckin' cops will rip you a new one if they catch you carrying concealed like you do."
     "They can't touch me," I said, dragging out my wallet and handing over my concealed carry permit.  Also the registration for the Beretta.  Big Ugly stared at them with interest.
     "The concealed carry process is the stupidest thing in the world.  You need to convince them you have an innate need to carry.  Me, I carry large amounts of cash and I'm married to a celebrity.  Becky got hers because of her celebrity, and she'd already nearly been murdered.  To them, 'personal protection' is not a valid reason to issue a permit.  Really, it should be up to them to find reasons why you shouldn't carry concealed, rather than for you  to prove that you should."
     Mutt appeared, leaning against the side of the booth.  "Hey all," he said.  Looking at me, he asked, "So how are Peewee and Cisco working out?"
     "They're great," I replied.  "They're on time, they understand what we're doing, and they're being total professionals about it.  I'm happy I got 'em."
     Becky said, "They see a little action, just enough to keep from hating the job for the boredom.  Weirdest damn thing, I've never seen it before, we've had a spate of guys walking up to us girls and whipping out their dicks.  I have no fucking clue what they hope to accomplish.  But we've had it five times in the last two signings.  I mean, they've gotta know they're gonna get nailed, with all the scary-looking people standing around.  Obvious hired goons, like Lenny.  Anyway, we've had incidents, but no real trouble."
     Mutt said, "Big Ugly, Spike, would you mind departing?  I wish to speak with Becky and Lenny alone.  Fucker, you may stay, you may have some insight on the subject matter."
     Spike and Big Ugly departed, perhaps to go to Tijuana.  Mutt sat down and said, "What I would like to learn about is what is necessary for a person to begin a career in adult video.  Basically, how does one become a porn star?"
     "Is the person male or female?" I asked.  "There's a lot of differences between the two in how things are done."
     "A female," Mutt replied.  "In fact, my girlfriend.  She is a beautiful girl, twenty-four, and she would like the boost in income.  Our only familiarity with porn is as consumers, and random bits of information gleaned from Fucker, here, talking about his day at work.  Fucker said it's difficult to work for your studio, that people have to pass a series of tests.  Is this true for both men and women?"
     "Very true.  You've seen our features, right?  Then you know Inana demands genuine acting talent out of its performers.  Acting skill is a must coming into the job.  It's the first thing we check for, and where we eliminate the most people."
     "There are three tests, we call them interviews," said Becky.  "The first is to check acting skill, working with a script, reading with a performer, usually me.  We're not looking for Catherine Hepburn or Robert DeNiro level performances out of people in a script reading, but we want them to show some ability and spark.  We're checking for literacy, inflection, and a bit of basic energy.  If it's not there, we can't use you.  Heh, we keep bringing on punks like Fucker and Pill and Feather just because punks always have a good dramatic flair.  The attitude and personal style that made them punks also makes them good performers.
     "The second interview is the applicant in front of a still camera.  This is to check that they have absolutely no shyness with their bodies, and that they can follow direction.  Simply put, we tell the girls to spread 'em and give us a lot of positions.  The third interview is a tough one.  It's full performance opposite one of the studs, while the video camera rolls.  It takes about two hours, so it's fairly grueling.  We're checking for shyness again.  Also, we want to see energy, skill, the appearance of enjoyment --- really, the ability to fake it --- and initiative.  Half the time, applicants are following direction, and the other half they're told to follow the muse, do what they think would look hot on camera.  It's possible to get through that interview and still be rejected.  In that case, they're paid cash for the day, are handed the tape, and are told good luck.
     "Oh, and you have to do your interviews stone sober.  You can't be high on anything, either in Lenny's office, or in front of the cameras.  We just send you home if you are.  And we use enough drugs on our own that we can spot it."
     Roach said, "At first I was worried about doing the final interview clean.  But I knew Lenny would spot it if I was wired, so I left it alone.  It was actually a little funny,  once me and the girl got going, I got so involved I forgot to be nervous, and I didn't mind not being high."
     "So there you have it," I said.  "Inana is not an easy company to work for, in fact we're a right royal pain in the ass compared to every other porn company out there.  But you've seen our features, so you know the results we're after.  A woman can walk into a studio in LA and have a dick in her mouth an hour after walking through the door.  It takes about a week to be hired at Inana.  But we do so much shit differently compared to everyone else, our hiring process is just another brick on the pile."
     "What else do you do differently?" asked Mutt.
     "One thing is performers do both loops and features.  We keep everyone as busy as they want to be, so they can make as much or as little money as they feel like.  A studio like Vivid will have plenty of girls around who look good fucking on camera, but can't act worth a shit, so they're doing loops.  Performers who can act appear in features.  Our performers do both, so they can stay busy and make good scratch.  Also, we treat our performers with respect, which is a rarity.  Other studios may pay higher than us, but at the cost of them calling you a stupid cunt and a dumb-ass whore.  They wouldn't even bother remembering Fucker's name, he'd just be that stunt-cock with the mohawk.  We call him Roach, because that's the name he gave us.
     "Another big difference is that performers and crew share in the wealth, to an extent.  If a feature does well, the owner will think nothing of sending out $25,000 cashier's checks to everyone involved in the project, sometimes more than once.  Between 'Dangerous Desires' and 'Temporary Pleasures' I've probably seen $250,000 in bonuses over the past six months, as producer and writer...."
     Becky interjected, "We've each received $200,000 for making 'Bewitched' alone.  Angel Morelli, the owner of Inana, is a generous man.  Other studios wonder why we keep a steady stable of performers.  That's one of the reasons: working for Inana can mean you will be very, very comfortable, quite well off.  That, and people are happy with us.  No one is under contract, but everyone sticks around.  I've been there nine years now, and can't imagine working for anyone else."
     "So there's quite a bit of money to be made in your racket," Mutt said, rubbing his chin.
     "Yes, but Inana is in a very, very unique position," said Becky.  "We are a relatively small studio, but our sales are astronomical.  Vivid or Hustler are happy to see sales of 500,000 copies or their releases.  'Bewitched' has sold over twenty million.  'Temporary Pleasures' has only been out a few months but has already moved ten million.  Porn isn't supposed to sell like that."
     I said, "We've had incredible crossover success.  People who have never bought porn in their lives own our movies.  It blows everyone's minds, including ours.  All I ever wanted to do was make porn features that didn't suck, and I seem to have ended up really tapping a nerve with the general public."
     "It helps that your leading lady is beautiful and talented," said Mutt.  "Becky Page is a striking woman.  I'm surprised to find myself sitting at a table across from her.  Tell me, why did Becky Page and her husband decide to start hanging around with Hell's Angels, anyway?"
     "You're sitting next to the reason," I said.  "Roach, or Fucker if you prefer, is a friend.  When he joined, he wanted us to meet his new friends.  We held no great interest or fascination with H.A. on our own."
     Becky said, "For me, it's nice to be able to sit in a bar and be left alone, not being harassed for autographs while I drink.  The first night I was here, I did a lot of autographs and posed for a lot of pictures, fan service.  I've been left alone since.  People stick their heads in and say hi, and that's it.  That, and a common interest in motorcycles, I suppose, but that doesn't really count.  For the people around here, their motorcycles are their lives.  To us, they're just a hobby.  Neither me or Lenny could take a wrench to one and know what we were doing.  We like to cruise on the weekends and ride to work a couple times a week, that's all.  We're casual users, we're not addicted to them like Angels are."
     Mutt chuckled at this: a rarity, as Mutt even smiling about something meant he was highly amused.  "Yes, our egos are tied closely to our machines.  No doubt about that.  What do you ride?"
     "Custom Sportsters," I said.  "They were gifts from a friend of ours named Boss, he lives out in Santee.  We'd bought a stock Sportster to share and learn on, and Boss got so excited he went out and found these beautiful machines for us.  Now our girl Jane has full-time possession of the new one, I have a chopped black one, and Becky has her purple machine."
     Becky said, "In a way, they will never be truly ours, as much as we love them.  Someone else did the customization to them, not us.  They will never be ours, the way yours belongs to you.  We're just dilettantes,  we have fun on them and that's it.  Our passion is directed elsewhere, like making dirty movies."
     Mutt smiled at this, and directed his eyes at his now-empty Budweiser.  After a few seconds, he gently slapped the table and said, "Thank you for the information.  I'll talk to my girlfriend and tell her what I've learned.  I'll see if she's up to it, I wouldn't want her to waste your time.  I'll stop wasting it, too.  Goodnight."
     He stood to leave.  Becky said, "Wait.  Here," and handed him an Inana business card.  "That's where she can reach Lenny, Tuesday through Friday, regular business hours.  We've expanded production, so we'll be able to keep her busy a few days a week.  Are you sure you wouldn't mind her doing the work?"
     "No," Mutt said.  "Cisco and Peewee were explaining to me that what happens is so objective that it doesn't matter, it means nothing.  Fucker, you'd agree, what you do is just a job, right?"
     Roach said, "Exactly.  We're just actors with very strange roles."
     "All right then.  See you around."  Mutt walked in the direction of the bar.
     Becky said, "Well. I guess our little lesson did sink in."
     "Good," said Roach.  "There's a table open.  Nine ball?"
     "Yeah, nine ball," Becky and I agreed.

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