Bekka, Terry and I sat in a booth at the Hi-Lo, the bar of residence for the San Diego (Dago) chapter of the Hell's Angels. Also in the booth was an Angel named Fatso, a rail-thin gent in his forties, generally considered to be the most cerebral of the Angels. He was building a tall and ornate tower on the table using dominoes. Bekka and I were sipping our Millers and watching his progress. Terry was reading a letter, our teenage ward Jane's latest missive from Europe. She was touring Western Europe, Great Britan, and Ireland that summer in the company of a seventy-eight year old man, Don Vito Ventimiglia of Bel Air. The Don was the outgoing head of the Southern California mafia, richer than Croesus, and absolutely devoted to Jane, a blue-haired punk rock girl who would be starting her senior year of high school in the fall. Don Vito's affection for Jane was two-fold: to him, he was a granddaughter he had never had, but also a true friend and confidante. The Don appreciated Jane's intelligence, self-confidence, and energy, he said being around her had added ten years to his life. In turn, Jane loved "Uncle Vito" for his dapper style, genteel manners, and overall gentlemanly behavior. The two had more fun together than one would guess. They both loved riding their Harley Sportsters, the Don was teaching Jane how to play tennis and cribbage, and she was teaching him how to play electric bass. Quite a pair.
Terry chuckled and set the letter down. "Fuckin' crazy," she said. "Jane is the only person I've ever known in my fuckin' life who has ever been to Europe. The bastards I'm used to think visiting Ensanada is international travel. And she's with that dude Don Vito? The one with the mansion in Bel Air? Holy fuckin' shit, they must be doing things first class."
Bekka responded, "Jane has mentioned that the Don has a thing for chartering private jets to get around. As impressive as the European rail system is, I doubt Jane will have any direct experience with it. When traveling by land, the Don rents the largest Mercedes he can find and hands the keys to Jane, who does all the driving.... Apparently nude, if they will be in the car for a half hour or longer. Jane and Vito visited a nudist resort in Italy, the retirement home for some of Vito's friends, and Jane has declared she is now a nudist, so we'd better get used to seeing her constantly naked at home. Anyways, yes, they are staying in five star hotel suites, eating at the best restaurants, doing anything they please, and generally living large across most of the Continent."
"So, uh, what's the relationship between Jane and this Vito dude like?" frowned Terry. "Ain't he old enough to be her fuckin' grandfather? Are they, you know...?"
I chuckled. "I guess you missed that letter. Yes they have, while on this trip. They spent one night together, agreed it had been wonderful, and decided to not continue, their friendship will remain platonic. According to Jane, Don Vito is in far, far better shape than people think. At seventy-eight, he had the energy to go three times in one night, and showed good endurance each time. She ended a twelve year dry spell for the Don, apparently, so I don't blame him. And Jane was the one to make the offer to him.
"When the Don first became enamored of Jane, he felt she was a granddaughter or grand-niece he had never had. The more time they spent around each other, the more they got to understand the other person as a person, and their friendship became deeper and more complex. It's kinda weird, a seventeen year old punk chick and a seventy-eight year old mob boss have this incredible synchronicity, their communication is amazing. Couples that have been married fifty years don't express themselves as well as those two do. When they slept together, I guarantee it wasn't an old man fucking a young girl, it was two people who hold a lot of mutual trust, and they just wanted to find out what it was like. Don Vito and Jane could honestly care less about the differences in age, they are friends, period."
Balancing another tile, Fatso commented, "I'm guessing they are not bothered by the slings and arrows of observers who don't know them both."
"While they travel, he is Uncle Vito, and she is Jane, his grand-niece. That's what they tell people. A couple folks have accused Jane of being Vito's paid play-thing. Jane has responded to this by pulling her knife on them. At home, anyone connected with the family is getting to know who Jane is, and they'd goddamn better accept it. Don Vito will not hear a single negative word about Jane, or about their friendship. I would go so far as to say that anyone making rude and disparaging remarks in public about Jane probably wouldn't live for another twenty-four hours. She can do no wrong in his eyes.... And for her part, she wouldn't do anything that would disappoint Vito. He is very aware of Jane's turbocharged sex drive, and accepts it as a natural part of Jane's personality. While she was definitely on the prowl at the nudist resort --- unsuccessfully, her aggression was just scaring the shit out of these young Italian dudes she'd flirt with --- she's not going to sport-fuck her way across Europe. Don Vito knows at home, Jane has her boyfriend Lance and also me, and is fine with that.
"They do make an unusual pair in public. Here's a man in his late seventies wearing a $3000 Italian suit, holding hands with a spiky blue-haired teenage girl, wearing leather pants, Doc Martens, and a bustier. They engage in no public displays of affection: they hold hands, they chastely hug, they kiss each other on the cheek. When he sees her in the morning, the first thing Don Vito does is kiss Jane's hand. Jane puts her arm around Vito's waist when they walk into a bar or restaurant. And I honestly think neither of them could give a ripe fuck what anyone thinks of them, or their friendship."
Terry said, "I really fuckin' wanna meet this dude Vito, but at the same time, I want some warning, so I can kinda look nice. No sense in the motherfucker writing me off as white trash straight off the bat."
It should be noted that Terry is five foot six of solid gold Biker Bitch. Boots, tight black jeans (which she has the butt for), tight Harley Davidson t-shirts (ditto for her tits), long dark hair held back with a bandana, a vocabulary that would embarrass a sailor, and a love for both Budweiser and methamphetamine. Terry is also quick, has excellent reflexes, is very intelligent, and completely fearless of anything on the planet. That's why Bekka and I hired her to be Bekka's part-time bodyguard, for days when I'm not around, and sometimes even when I am.
Terry is also quite pretty --- on the occasions she bothers with makeup, she is stunning --- gentle, thoughtful, an incredible lover, and very feminine. She has been a scooter tramp since she was thirteen, and learned to hide large chunks of her personality from the world. Her entire post-pubescent life has been spent playing it tough, and her act is so good that most people think she really is just a crude, foul-mouthed bitch, classic white trash. When I hired Terry on as my personal assistant while we were making the movie 'Succubus,' people openly questioned my decision. To be the P.A. for a movie producer, you have to be very much on the ball, keeping notes, organizing things, and having your thumb on a thousand minor details every day. Almost everyone at the studio thought Terry was just too plain stupid to handle the job.
Terry proved everyone wrong, she was stellar. A turning point came one day at lunch, during a shoot. A couple female performers and Eddie the Jew were talking, Terry was sitting to one side eating her sandwich. Eddie said, "Dammit, who was it that said, 'That which does not kill me makes me stronger?'"
Terry immediately piped up with, "That's Friedrich fuckin' Nietzsche, dude."
Eddie (who was thoroughly revolted by Terry) intoned, "The best minds of my generation destroyed by madness...."
"Allen Ginsburg, 'Howl,'" smiled Terry.
"I think, therefore I am."
Eddie eyed Terry curiously. "So, where did you pick that stuff up from? Did you go to college?"
"Naw," Terry replied. "When you're broke and unemployed, libraries are the fuckin' shit to keep yourself entertained all day. I like reading."
Eddie had already told me he only appreciated Terry's employment at Inana for two reasons: she was a talented fluffer, and when she was fluffing, her mouth was full, so she couldn't speak. Her presence two days at the studio was an affront to Eddie's sensibilities. The fact that she was my shadow for nearly a month while we shot 'Succubus' out in Imperial Valley horrified him. While Eddie was already confused by having a punk three years his junior as his boss, he came to accept me, we had mutual respect and were friends. During production, not only was he dealing with his boss, the gun-toting punk rocker, his boss was attended to by a woman whose style, fashion sense, dialogue, sense of humor, social tribe, and basic sense of how the world worked were not only foreign, but also offensive. There is no room in Jewish idiom for outlaw biker babes, and Terry was such a prime example of the breed they should have put her in a vault in France, next to the kilo. Terry was an archetype.
While we were making 'Succubus,' Terry let her crush on me be known, quite directly. There's not a lot of room for interpretation when a woman walks up to you and asks if she can suck your dick. Her crush on the boss was more than circumstantial, over the month we worked together she saw aspects of me that she was very intrigued by. I could be tough, but didn't live or act like a tough guy. I was far more patient with people than she was used to from any male. The fact that I was not an outlaw also had appeal to her. While I was white trash in a general sort of way, my attitudes and behaviors were far removed from outlaw bikers. To her, I was the guy who rescued her from poverty, giving her a job that paid a grand a week, not too shabby for two days work. Over a more extended period of time, I also managed to instill a sense of self-worth in Terry. Okay, being a fluff girl at a porn studio is not a job that calls for much initiative. Or personal dignity. Or ambition. Or sobriety. But it is still a pertinent part of the crew, and I'd made it crystal clear to everyone at Inana that their fellow employees will be treated with respect, even if you think their job is a joke and they hae the personal charm of a Viking. So Terry was always treated with good manners, even if almost everybody was terrified of her. (The exceptions were me, Bekka, Roach, and Dawn.)
Then, when I made her my P.A. (a seven day a week job) Terry was around constantly, and usually at the boss's side. Everyone's opinion of Terry slowly improved, as like Eddie, they would get glimpses of The Real Terry Patton. People quickly realized that she was handling her job with consummate ease, proof positive that she was no slouch in the brains department. When it was learned that Donna's birthday was coming up, Terry was the one to go out and pick up a card for everyone to sign, and also made sure there was cake on our location the day of. Since boredom is a common malady while making a movie, peope would try to find any diversion. Crossword puzzles were a big one. Terry never worked them ("They just ain't fun for me") but proved herself something of a savant when it came to solving clues. Someone would get frustrated with a clue, and yell it out to everyone in the area. Terry would be first and most accurate in responding with the word. One afternoon I realized she had inadvertently helped Pill solve about a third of a Friday New York Times puzzle. If asked, she would steadfastly deny any sort of academic curiosity in her life.... But she sure seemed to have an impressive stack of knowledge to lean back on.
With Bekka's blessing, Terry became Extramarital Lover Number Three for me, while we were making "Succubus." Bekka didn't want any unrequited angst, on anyone's part, jamming up any part of what was a long, tight, and stressful shoot schedule. Terry considered sucking dick to be only marginally more of a personal act than saying "good morning" to someone, but was fairly choosy about who she actually had sex with, an unusual trait in a biker bitch with no attachments. What I came to understand was that if Terry shared her body with someone, she would also share her private self, and she knew from experience that any outlaw meeting The Real Terry Patton would be utterly confused by the distance between The Real Terry and her persona. Me, she was open with, and I saw aspects of her she hid well. Her sharing with me was a measure of both her trust in me and her crush.
Terry knew Bekka and I were tight, even if Bekka routinely arranged for me to have sex with women that weren't her. Bekka's attitude was that her entire career was based on having sex with men that weren't her husband, so her demanding marital fidelity from me was both cruel and hypocritical. First Bekka arranged Jane, then Sue, then Terry. Terry was different from the other two on a couple counts. First, she had openly pursued me. And second, she wished things were very, very different. It truly hurt Terry that I was married, and happily. While Terry and Bekka were friends, I'm sure Terry would have found a silver lining if, say, Bekka died in a freak laundry accident: Lenny would be available. While Terry was impressed with my success, she wasn't after my money, she really did think a punk rock pornographer named Lenny Schneider was the most awesome dude to walk the earth. While I may have shared certain habits and instincts with outlaw bikers, my world view, problem-solving methodologies, thought processes, and reasoning were very different. Terry considered this a breath of fresh air. Here was a guy who could rage all night and hold his own in a brawl, but also would be patient and gentle. Ambition, that was another thing. Lenny got rich revolutionizing the world of adult video, but continues to work and strive, sure he can do things even better. Terry was used to guys whose idea of "forward thinking" was remembering to not wear his "Fuck The Law" t-shirt the day he meets with his parole officer.
The idea of hiring Terry as Bekka's personal bodyguard came to me when we were almost done in Imperial County. Angel Morelli, the owner of Inana Productions, wanted Bekka to have a bodyguard. Angel is my friend, my boss, my capo, and Don-in-training of the Southern California mafia. He is not given to panic or frivolity, and he felt Bekka should be well protected when out in public. After resistance on our part, we had agreed to try a full time bodyguard for four days. It was a disaster. Nicky, the mafia soldier chosen for the job, was so offended by how Bekka, Jane and I lived our lives there was constant friction and hostility. Jane in particular irritated Nicky, he could not stomach a sixteen year old girl with blue hair whose primary interests in life were getting high on Ecstasy, punk rock, motorcycles, and fucking. Jane knew Nicky loathed her, and amused herself by pushing his buttons, elaborating on her sexual interests, purposely dressing like a sex bomb, and rubbing her decadent lifestyle in his face. Nicky was only vaguely aware of how much Don Ventimiglia cared about Jane, and made the mistake of airing his opinions of the girl to him, along with his poor opinion of me and Bekka. The Don did not have Nicky killed for denigrating Jane, but what he did was almost as bad: Nicky got exiled to Bakersfield to run a gambling operation. In the Southern California mafia, being sent to Bakersfield meant the family was sick of your shit, and wanted you out of the way. No money, no good restaurants, no culture, no night life, and no hope of advancement.... Bakersfield was purgatory for a made man. The Don sequestered Nicky out there for a while, then made an offer: show that your attitude has adjusted in another six months, and you can come back to LA and be on the strike team, the mafia's paramilitary wing and wet ops people. Nicky was still waiting out his time.
Angel was overjoyed we had decided to get Bekka a part-time bodyguard. Then he met Terry, and asked me what the fuck kind of unfunny joke I was trying to make. We pointed out that Terry considered Bekka a friend, so she would have a personal interest in doing a good job. We got Terry a Colt Defender and a concealed carry permit. Terry feared absolutely no sentient life form anywhere in this galaxy, and would risk her own safety to protect Bekka's. And, we discovered later, Terry actually had some damn nifty martial arts training under her belt. She'd dated a martial arts freak who had taught her a bunch of different moves to put people on the ground, disarm them, or disable them. Stuff that would be incredibly handy in a brawl in a a biker bar. Terry would dispatch anyone trying to put their hands on Bekka so fast they'd never have time to be scared, only confused. And Terry would just sneer at the guy on the ground and say, "You dumb motherfucker, it's time for you to get the fuck out."
Terry and Bekka would be together three or four days a week, for six to ten hours at a time. We paid Terry $500 a day, an amount which Terry considered incredibly profligate. To her, she was just getting paid to hang out with Becky Page, wear a gun, eat at great restaurants, and occasionally get in the face of an overaggressive fan or two. We would remind her that there were some seriously unbalanced people with an interest in Becky Page: one had tried to stab Bekka at a mall, another shot our security man at the mansion in an attempt to get to Becky and Skye Tyler (Ellen).
Excluding the weekly trip to Safeway, Bekka and Terry would ride their motorcycles when they went out. Bekka had an outlaw custom Sportster, purple. Terry rode a silver and black Dyna Glide, dead stock, which she planned on changing. Her only hold-back was where to start. She wanted to open up the engine and change the gearing for zip, but also wanted to chrome out the motor, chop and extend the front, get some airbrush work done on the tank.... She was making the money to get all the work done, but was held back by indecision. I was afraid she'd show up on it one morning with the entire bike sprayed primer gray, as a protest. Anyway, Bekka and Terry would do the grocery shopping, browse in La Jolla, hang around the mall, go for cruises, hang out at the Hi-Lo, whatever. One afternoon at the Hi-Lo, an Angel from Fresno was way too drunk, and decided he was going to get friendly with Becky Page. ("You're such a swinging piece of ass, I'd like to tongue your asshole, I gotta dick like a cop's flashlight, I can smell your pussy from here....") Bekka told him to go away. Terry told him to go away. The Angel looked at Terry and said, "Mind your own business, mama." Terry smiled, stood up, and a moment later the Fresno Angel was lying on the floor about six feet away. His compatriots laughed at his misfortune. The Angel got up and started stomping towards Terry. She smiled at his approach and said, "Two outta three? Fuck it, I'm game, dude." Three seconds later the Fresno Angel was on the ground again, face down, with Terry stepping on his neck. "Now, I can do this all day, but I don't want to. In fact, if I gotta deal with your fuckin' bullshit again, I'm gonna hurt you, and I'll hurt you bad enough you can't ride a fuckin' putt for at least six weeks. And I ain't no fuckin' mama."
Grinning, a few of the Angel's fellow travelers from Fresno picked him up and escorted him over to the bar, for an infusion of Jack Daniels and dignity. One of the Fresno Angels returned to Bekka and Terry's table, bowed deeply, and said, "You will have to excuse my comrade, he is in his cups, and early in the day. Miss Page, I am an ardent supporter of your thespian endeavors, and would be deeply honored if you would grace me with an autograph." Bekka went out and signed the Angel's gas tank with her Sharpie.
Anyway.... Fatso had run out of dominoes. He briefly sat and admired his creation, then began carefully dismantling it, one piece at a time. He said to Terry, "Rumor has it that you're training to be a sniper."
Terry chuckled at this. "Naw. I took up target shooting as a hobby. I use a Colt 1911 for training and discipline, and a Beretta called an 87 Target for competition, a fuckin' .22. They have amateur competitions, shoot-offs, at my range every Wednesday night, and I've been placing every time, even winning money and shit. I was kinda fuckin' with people at first without meaning to, 'cos I was using a Beretta 92, a fuckin' cannon like Lenny carries, in competition. Everybody else is using these fancy-ass long-barreled .22s, light little fuckers with big notch sights and no kick. And they're pretty fuckin' quiet. Here I come with a big rented Beretta nine, practically annihilating the fuckin' target, and still placed, won a hundred bucks my second week. 'Member seeing me at Dirty Dan's drinking with that dude Gerald? He's another target shooter, he's been giving me a shitload of advice, like regulating your breathing while aiming and using both eyes while aiming. Shit, it seems like I'm spending half my fuckin' time shooting lately, I'm always hanging out at a place called the Gun Range in Kearney Mesa. There's cheaper hobbies, but fuck it, I got the money these days."
"You should try to find some regional competitions," said Bekka. "You're just going up against the same people every week at the Gun Range. They're probably as good as they're gonna get, and you're still technically a novice, so you can get even better."
"Yeah, I need to keep working. I've scored a few centuries while practicing, but not in competition. I wanna be able to score centuries all the damn time."
"So what are the people you're competing against like?" asked Fatso. "What sort of folks are they?"
Terry pondered this. "Um.... They're all really white bread, suburban. In all the time I've been around the Gun Range, I've seen, like, two guys who weren't white, they were Mexican, and they were off-duty cops. It's basically all guys, there's one other woman who competes. She's a total housewife type, too. All the dudes are total gun geeks, you know? They're not survivalist types, they're not rabid Second Amendment freaks, I don't think any of them even carry concealed. I know my shoulder holster is the source of a lot of fuckin' gossip. I'll explain to people, hey, I'm a fuckin' bodyguard, it's just a tool of the trade. I think some people don't believe me when I tell 'em that. Anyway, these dudes are heavy into guns, but they're really into the technical aspect of them. They know muzzle velocities, they argue sight style with each other, they can dismantle a gun to its component parts and put it back together. I know I'm gonna learn more tech stuff about what I fire as time goes by, but their conversations are kinda boring to me. They're like total wrench-heads debating gear ratios. None of them are under thirty, and I think the majority are single. Very few wedding bands, and if they have girlfriends, their old ladies don't come out to watch them compete."
Bekka chuckled. "I'll take a wild guess and say you don't blend in well. Any idea what they think of you?"
This was a highly amusing question to Terry. When she stopped laughing, she said, "Oh man. They don't know what the fuck to make of me. To them, I'm some biker bitch who showed up one day and started placing in the competitions, using a rented fuckin' Beretta 92. These people have been around the Gun Range for a while, they all know each other. I'm still an outsider. I suspect that they can't hack that I'm both an outlaw and a woman. If I was one or the other, they could probably deal with me easier. I try to tone down my act when I'm there, but I dunno, I guess I'm just visually disruptive or something. Gerald is the only one who comes up and talks to me, and even he seems a little intimidated or something." Terry smirked. "Gerald is kinda cute, but he seems really fuckin' shy, you know? I've been thinking about inviting him to my place, getting him buzzed, then coming on to him really hard. Let him know that we're friends, but I could use a good solid fuck, so mount up, baby. I figure he's the type that will either run in terror, or I'll end up with a broken pelvis from him banging me so hard, hah!"
"Oh, do it, girl!" said Bekka.
I got up and grabbed another round for everyone. Fatso scrambled the dominoes, distributed them, and we started a game.