Dear Becky Page and Lenny Schneider,
Hello! This is Mick, Harry, Bess, and Shirley. We hope you remember us. We met you all a while back bowling in Clairemont. You were very friendly Becky, you talked to us about hugging, and why it was important, and how to do it. You also gave us copies of Temporary Pleasures for free, and also gave us some pills which you said would make us all feel closer to each other, and help us talk.
Boy did they! After we watched the movie we sat and talked about our lives, as individuals and couples and as long term friends. 30 years me and Bess have been neighbors with Harry and Shirley. Us and them had our own families to raise but always managed to have a little time to be friends too. It seemed like all 4 of us shared really personal things while we talked which I wouldn't feel right sharing here but I think we were all glad we did share with each other. Like even after all this time we finally all knew the other ones, really KNEW them. We all got kind of wet-eyed but it was okay, we knew everyone else would understand. And we did like you said and went up to Mt. Soledad just as the sky was getting light and stood and watched the sun come up. And yes we praised God, you were right, it was the right thing to do. Then we went to Denny's in La Jolla for breakfast, then went home. Harry and Shirley came over to our house in the afternoon and we all hugged to say "hello," we'd never done that before but you were right, hugging is the best way to greet people, especially when you're as close as us 4.
What I wanted to tell you is some BIG news. Me and Harry both retire in 2 years. Well the four of us got to talking about it and someone, I think Bess, said well heck, we're living in these houses that are way too big for us now with the kids gone, but the 4 of us would hate it if we weren't neighbors any more, so why don't we all get one big house to live in together when me and Harry retire? Between what we'd get by selling our houses plus our saving and pensions and all that, we could get a good place, and anywhere we like too. Anyway, the upshot is we sat down and hashed it out, and we're going to find a good place to buy in the Santa Barbara area after retirement. We all hope on the beach. A house big enough for all 4 of us. Each of us couples would have their own "private" space but we'd also do a lot together like meals and shopping and that sort of stuff. And we would all have fun together too. The girls told me and Harry they wanted to learn how to surf cast, they had always wanted to learn, but it seemed like something Harry and me did together so they never asked to come along. Well heck, we'll buy rods for the girls and teach them to cast and all 4 of us can go fishing together when we retire.
It's kind of weird, it's like the 4 of us are always doing things together now and not just bowling. We'll eat at each other's houses, and not as 2 of us being the guests of the other 2, but we all help make dinner together, it's much more fun like that. The girls have been teaching me and Harry what to do in a kitchen so everybody can help, we're all being useful. And we're in and out of each other's houses all the time, and we don't knock any more, we just walk on in and call hello while we do. It's like we all decided our lives should be shared, we won't have any barriers or anything, each of us are totally open with the other couple. Maybe it's sort of a warm-up for us all being under one roof I guess. But it seems like ever since that night we've all wanted to be involved with each other as much as possible, we want to share all parts of our lives, no formalities or anything. Like we all finally totally trust each other after all these years.
Before I forget we all wanted to say we love the movies you 2 have made since we saw you last. Me and Harry are big fans of Succubus, the girls love Good Girl Bad Girl. Me and Harry like that one too but the girls are the biggest fans of it. We agreed it seems a little funny that we all would become fans of "dirty movies" at all much less at our ages, but there you go. You 2 make great movies. I guess all of us had to admit to ourselves and each other that we like the "dirty" parts, only they're not dirty, they're sexy. And we're grown adults. And adults are allowed to enjoy sexy things like your movies. Oh Becky, we all were convinced it was YOU jumping around on those moving cars in Succubus, we'd just never looked at the credits at the end close enough to see it was a stunt woman and not you. We were thinking gosh, Becky Page likes to live dangerous or something, doing those stunts. I'll admit I was glad it wasn't you. I would hate to see you get hurt. Lenny we all think you are a genius. You can write all kinds of different movies and do a really good job on all of them, also producing them. Although I'll admit I'm not sure what it is exactly a producer does, but I know it's important. I should ask the others, they might know.
Anyway that's how things are. Me and Harry are counting the days until we retire and the girls say they will research real estate in the Santa Barbara area, and we'll make some weekend trips up there to get a better "feel" of what different places are like. Becky thank you so much, it's because we met you that the 4 of us are all now so close and will have our "golden years" be fun, instead of 2 couples each just getting old and lonely we'll always have close friends right there. You're right, I do love Harry and Shirley, I know it sounds kind of funny to say I love another man but you know what I mean. Please call us, me and Bess's number is 555-3387 and Harry and Shirley's number is 555-2883, we would love to hear from you, you are amazing people. I think us 4 are all better persons from having met you.
Mick and Bess Chisolm and Harry and Shirley Wallace
"This is just wonderful," Bekka beamed after we'd both read the letter. She wiped at an eye. "I'd wondered, off and on, about those people. I mean, we fed them Ecstasy and sort of turned them loose when they left the bowling alley. I wanted to know how the rest of their night had gone. I'm so happy it went well, and they really did have a shared experience. Wow, they were already close friends, now it would seem they're inseparable."
"Yeah, too cool," I said. "It's like, meeting Becky Page added a whole new vista to the dynamic the four of them already had. Between her words and her drugs, Becky helped two couples in their sixties continue to grow and develop as people. If not for Becky, the world would have two more old couples just sitting around, no real joy in their lives, plotting their days with the TV Guide. Their golden years would actually be made out of cheap plastic. Now they'll always have each others' support, and companionship, and love. They'll have some lust for life, you know? I'll bet they decide to try things they never would have before. The four of them can try skydiving together, or buy Jet-Skis, or maybe get tattoos. They'll really live life, not just endure it."
"I'm going to call them. I'll try Mick and Bess first. Um, do you mind if it's a private call? I just have this weird hunch that they're going to want to share personal stuff with me, and me in particular. You know how people want to share their secrets with Becky Page. I think they're probably going to want to do the same thing."
"No problem. I'd like to talk to them at some point, but maybe we can meet all of them and go out to dinner soon or something. We'll take them out to Evelyn's."
Bekka trotted up the stairs to use the phone in our bedroom. I bounced around the channels with the remote, sipping at an Anchor Steam, finally settling on a rerun of "Hogan's Heroes." Yes, World War II was a rollicking good time, wasn't it? Especially if you were in a POW camp. After about a half hour, Bekka came back down. She headed straight for the fridge to grab her own beer. Walking into the living room, I noticed she looked rather dewy.
"How'd it go?" I asked.
Bekka bit her lip and said, "I'm.... I'm a bit overwhelmed. Dammit, I'm a wop bitch who makes fuck films, I should not be impacting peoples' lives."
I paused, then said, "Start at the beginning."
"Okay. I call. Mick answers. I say hi, this is Becky Page, I got your letter and was glad to hear from you, so I wanted to give you a call. Mick started crying. Not really loud or hard, but he was definitely in tears. Think about what a big galoot Mick is, the foreman of a metal shop. And he goes all to pieces hearing from me?
"I ask if he's okay, and he says, 'Ms. Page, I apologize. These are tears of joy. I know how busy you are, and how much fan mail you must get, so I never really expected to hear from you. You were such an open, warm, sharing person when we met at the bowling alley, and I thought we'd never see or hear from you again, which made us a little sad. Now you're here on the phone. I can't thank you enough.' Then he cried a bit more.
"He told me to hang on, and he called for Bess to go in the bedroom and pick up the extension, that way the three of us could talk. Bess just gushed, saying how wonderful it was to hear my voice live, how they thought of me and Lenny often, and how she prayed our paths would cross again, somehow. Then she started to get a bit weepy. I didn't know what to say, it was like.... Like the same tears you'd get if I was a police detective calling a couple to tell them their missing child had been found, safe and sound.
"I finally said I didn't mean to upset them, I just wanted to see how they were doing, catch up a bit with all four of them, and am I calling at a bad time? Bess told me, 'Becky, our entire lives are different because of you. Meeting you, you sharing your wisdom, those pills you gave us, just.... Experiencing your warmth and strength as a person, feeling like you had shared your love with us, total strangers. Somehow, you brought a lot of light into our lives, we felt truly blessed you shared yourself with us.'
"In the back of my head I'm thinking, oh shit, I just wanted to chat with these people, and they sound like they've also elevated me to Christ-like status in their heads. I don't want to deal with this. I called Becky forward, so she can help, and Becky felt rattled by the situation too! I said something stupid like 'Hey, no sweat, anytime,' and tried to steer the conversation to a more pedestrian level. I told them I had read Mick's letter, and was very happy them and Harry and Shirley had come up with their plans, and how did they decide on Santa Barbara as a retirement location?
"This seemed to ground them, thank God. Mick said both couples had visited Santa Barbara on several occasions, just taking long weekends up there off and on, and they felt it was a good community, had wonderful beaches, and was less crowded and hurried than San Diego. A good environment for retirees to live in. They're going to check things out as far north as Gaviota and as far south as Carpinteria. All four of them want to have a place as close to the beach as possible, like within walking distance. They want a large enough place that each couple can have a bit of privacy. I made a couple vague hints about finding a lot to build on, and building a custom home. They said that had struck them, but even with Mick and Harry's combined purchasing power, it was a pipe dream. I guess they did sniff around at land prices in the area, and even remote locations have higher prices than in San Diego. I got the feeling that by comparison, what we spent to buy our lot here was a damn bargain."
"That's scary," I smiled. "We paid more for the lot than most people pay for their completed houses, even here in Encinitas. I was always happy we never got it into our heads to build custom in Del Mar."
Bekka smirked at me, "Oh, that would have been a great idea. Making you live surrounded by Del Mar yuppies. No, I'd have gotten tired of having to always bail you out of jail, for beating up our neighbors. Anyway, both couples are lucky, they've paid off their mortgages, they own their homes free and clear. They live in University City, so they've got homes with value which will sell quickly. But even with the money from selling both houses, it's highly unlikely they'd be able to afford to build custom up there. With land prices the way they are, plus building from the ground up, they'd have to dig into their pensions or retirement savings, and apparently they agreed to not use any of that money when buying their real estate. They will be comfortable with the pensions and retirements to spend, they don't want to be living in a mansion and eating ramen every night.
"I asked about Shirley and Harry. They're over at their son's house for dinner. Bess said I should call them tomorrow evening, they would love to hear from me. She said, in so many words, that apparently I kick-started Harry and Shirley's sex lives, to the point where Harry will go home at lunch, so they can have a quickie. Bess asked them why they were so inspired, and was told that Becky Page had shown them it's possible to turn your partner on with just a look or a touch, or a couple choice code words. Both of them were already more active thanks to my movies, but then they discovered the thrill of getting the other person worked up in any situation. While the rest of the world would just see Shirley give Harry's neck a quick stroke and say, 'A warm evening,' to Harry she may as well stuck her hand down his pants and said, 'Treat me like a dirty little slut.'"
I sighed. "More people finding hidden meanings in our movies.... Although given your talent in fuck scenes, this one would be easy to imagine. You are so seductive, and give off such a feeling of intimacy, that what you felt was just a bit of flirtatious accent would be viewed as using a gesture as communication. If I knew nothing about this industry, and nothing about Becky Page, I would watch your scenes and assume that not only are you a dynamo in bed, but you put your heart and soul into it. You don't have sex partners, you have lovers, okay? You give physical intimacy an emotional impact, and you do it in every scene, with every man. Fortunately, I do know you and the industry, and know better than to think there could be any kind of romantic or emotional connection between you and Stallion. Or Dale. Or Eddie."
"The fact that I can do a scene with Stallion without constantly rolling my eyes and sighing is proof of my acting talent. I would laugh at anyone suggesting me and Stallion have actually made love."
"But the images on the TV screens of the viewers, courtesy of your video tape, makes everyone think you have. Dale played opposite you in 'Dangerous Desires,' and while the script made allusions to you two being a long-term item, the tough private eye and his secretary-slash-moll, it was that first fuck scene that seemed to really communicate the sense that Dale was the most important thing in your life, and had been for a while. You looked comfortable and practiced with him, but was still very physically attracted The result was a fuck scene that seemed to show just how awesome the sex can be in a long-term relationship. Never mind that in reality, you find Dale as thrilling as room temperature oatmeal. If you had your druthers, you'd be reading a magazine during your scenes."
Hissing in frustration, Bekka said, "See, maybe that's an example of just how undisciplined of an actress I really am. I've only been trying to look interested, not involved. I just want to show enjoyment, not give the impression that I'm intertwining my soul with the guy I'm working with. Even watching my scenes, I still don't see where people pick up on this stuff. No, I'm not just going through the motions. But a fuck scene in a porn movie is not the place to evoke emotion from the audience, and I sure as hell aren't trying."
"It's happening anyway," I told her. "It took us a while, but when we were puzzling out how and why Becky Page entranced so strongly, we agreed it was the depth of your fuck scenes that was the key. We don't notice the emotional impact you impart, because to us, we're just doing a job. And since we know exactly what went in to making a scene, viewing the completed product after editing and music is just a chance to critique our own work. Don't lie, when you watch a scene in one of our movies, you're just analyzing every detail, trying to spot where you think you made a mistake. Every viewer in the world could watch a scene with you that they feel truly communicates pure love, an act of passion which demonstrates true emotional intimacy between two people in love. You, on the other hand, would think the scene sucks, because you spotted a flash of boom mike shadow, or your positioning while being fucked doggy style was off. You'd love to see the forest, but all these damn trees are in the way."
Frowning and staring at the carpet, Bekka said, "So.... In my effort to just keep things during a scene looking real, I somehow carry things too far, and look like I truly care about the other person? Shit, like I said, it proves I have no discipline as an actress. I have no restraint or control."
"But you're engaging in a form of acting that almost no one else can do at all. I'd like to see Carrie Fisher or Sigourney Weaver do a believable fuck scene. Your fuck scenes are not only believable, your performance --- intentional or not --- conveys emotion. No one else in porn, at any point in history, has been able to pull that off. And to be a bit cynical, what you consider to be undisciplined performance is precisely what has made us millionaires."
"All right. All right, all right. Becky Page can make the fucking in porn look like a love scene, and a very convincing one. Go me. I still don't see how viewers feel as though a lesson is being taught."
I smiled. "It's not so much a lesson, it's our viewers deciding they want the same impact and involvement in their own love lives. They get the emotional high from watching you fuck, and decide they want that same high when they fuck, too. After all, Becky Page does it, and makes it look easy. So your fans are putting a lot of emotional energy into sex. They want fucking their boyfriends or wives or husbands to have a level of psychological involvement, and at a level that only happens to most people a few times in their life. Your fans want that feeling every time they get laid."
"So Becky Page has raised the bar, so far as what people should expect out of sex," sighed Bekka. "Fucking should be both a physical and spiritual source of intense pleasure, and every damn time. I pray no fan ever asks me for advice on this subject, because I have none. I'll probably feed them some lame platitudes, and feel like a fraud."
"Once again it's an example of Becky Page getting out of our control. A two-dimensional image on a screen is sending out messages that we never intended to."
"This is making my brain hurt, I can't deal with the subject any more. So. Me and Bess and Mick just chatted some. Their daughter is expecting her second child, their son will be moved by his company from Dallas to Seattle, and he's being promoted. I gave them some nice details and gossip about making 'Good Girl/Bad Girl, along with telling a bit about what shooting 'Succubus' was like. The scale of what we accomplished absolutely wows Mick, he thinks it's far better than 'Road Warrior.' And he was happy that I did some of my own driving.
I broached the subject of the four of them having dinner with us at Evelyn's. This idea was greeted with great enthusiasm. They said they'd be happy with bologna sandwiches in the park, just so long as they got to see me again, and get a hug. I sort of chuckled and asked if they really missed my hugs that much, they only had them on one occasion. They both went quiet. Finally Bess says, 'When you hugged us at the bowling alley, you cured a lot of our ills. Not in our bodies, but in our souls. With your words, you shared your knowledge and wisdom. And with your hug, you made us feel as though we were in contact with pure love in physical form. It's kind of hard to explain. Your hug makes a person feel loved, unconditionally. And not by you, exactly, but by the world. Like now that someone has been hugged by Becky Page, their place in the world is finally ready for them, they now belong. You hugged me, and I realized later that I knew how the lepers felt after they were cured by Jesus. Someone had done something beautiful for them, and only because He wanted to share the love and strength He was capable of. Jesus was selfless, and so are you.'
"Okay, I'm getting nervous again. I told her I didn't know what to say to that, but to not compare me to Jesus, for any reason, I'm just a bitch who makes dirty movies. I'm a nice enough person, usually, but I am not pure love. I don't know how to explain what they felt when they hugged me, but beyond giving a person a bit of a comforting feeling, I just hug people because it's a nice thing to do, not to somehow impart a feeling of greater love.
"Mick says, 'But you do. Like Bess said, it's hard to explain, But there's some sort of, I dunno, spiritual energy you give off when you hug someone, and the person you're hugging receives an understanding of what love is, along with a feeling that they are loved by the world, they belong here. Everyone has inner conflict over who they are, why are they here, and all that. You make that conflict go away. The person may not have an answer to the question of who they are, but they get a feeling that whatever the answer is, they'll be just fine with it. They know they belong in this world, they have a place, and they are valid. When Becky Page hugs a person, that person is being told that the world loves them.'
"Bess chipped in with, 'It's like our souls are Rubik's Cubes, all mixed up, and there doesn't seem to be any sense of order when you look at it. Being hugged by Becky Page solves the puzzle, in a flash. We finally feel as though everything is correctly aligned, there is order.'
"Now I've gone from being nervous to scared to death. I had no idea how to respond, I just sat there. Bess finally asked if I was still there. I said yeah, and told them about when I'd hug fans at impromptu signings, a high percentage of fans would be driven to tears by the hug. Like at the La Mesa block party, a good quarter of the people I hugged began running tears down their faces. Given the demographic at the block party, I wrote it off as just histrionics, like those teenage girls at early Beatles concerts that would scream nonstop. Okay, fine, they just got hugged by Becky Page, and Becky Page is larger than life. But if I took what Mick and Bess were saying as valid.... Look, I'm a wop porn slut with a bit of acting talent, I can't provide spiritual healing to people just by hugging them, that's insane. People are just reading far too much into my videos, they're seeing things that aren't there, somehow finding wisdom and meaning from watching a Sicilian bitch fuck on screen. And right now, I'm shit scared. I can't handle the idea that I have any sort of greater power, like I can heal with my touch."