Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sisters (Part 4)

     Jane had a routine down.  No matter what classes she had in the morning, she would be at Haas for her undergrad classes every day.  Her classes started at 1:30, and she was invariably out of her last morning class at just after noon.  She'd hit one of the small restaurants on Oxford Ave. for a bite to eat, get a large coffee, then walk to the business school, where she'd park on the small grassy area just outside the business library.  She would sip coffee, smoke Newports, double-check any work she needed for her class that day, then thumb through her reading material.  She read Barron's, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal.  The only time she broke this routine was when she would head straight home to meet either Kristen or Nadir for a quick nooner.

     The other Haas business students were adjusting, slowly, to her presence.  Her piercings, blue mohawk, and sex bomb fashion sense made her stick out at Haas School of Business; other students dressed like they were vacationing investment bankers.  She was the subject of plenty of gossip, due to a couple incidents.  Number one was on the first day of her Analytics class, when she explained there was already a job waiting for her after graduation: running a high-end escort service in LA.  It was true, Don Vito told Jane the woman currently running the business would be retiring around the same time Jane graduated.
     The other was in Business Administration 10.  The class had been told to come up with an independent business that would double in size within five years, while not increasing its debt load.  Jane turned in a five year plan for opening a brothel in New South Wales, Australia (brothels are legal there).  The professor thought she was taking the piss, and called her out on it in front of the class.  Jane explained she was very serious, deflating every objection the professor lobbed at her.  Both the professor and her fellow class-mates were amazed at how well thought-out her plan was....  And more than a little shocked an eighteen year old punk rock girl would be making serious plans to open a whorehouse in a foreign country.  The professor asked if sex permeated all her thinking.  Jane answered yes, and is there a problem with that?
     So Jane would be settled in her usual spot on the lawn patch, thumbing through the WSJ and smoking a Newport.  (She'd figured out the business library had fully private bathrooms: a locking door and no stalls.  She could go in one, lock the door, and hit her glass pipe a few dimes on days she wanted a lift.  Meth smoke billowed out of the potty's exhaust blower.)  Other students would walk by and call a greeting, but not many would actually stop and chat.  Topics of discussion Jane felt perfectly comfortable with were the sorts of things other students only felt comfortable with talking about behind closed doors, with close friends.
     Now, it turned out there were more than a few guys at UC Berkeley who knew Jane quite intimately.  She had made four hardcore loops over the summer for Inana, and they appeared in the studio's series of "Naughty Novices" tapes.  Inana's videotapes sold like beer at a football game, if a tape had the words "Inana Productions" on it, the public bought it.  So some male students had seen the easily-recognizable Jane sucking and fucking in porn loops.  They's spot her and stammeringly ask if she'd ever, uh, you know, made a dirty movie at some point.  Or several dirty movies.  Jane would smile and respond, "You mean the 'Naughty Novices' videos?  Yeah, that's me.  And they weren't dirty at all, personal hygiene is job one on a porn set.  So, what did you think?"
     "Ahh....  Wow.  That really was you, huh.  Um, I liked it...."
     "Thanks!  I had a lot of fun making those loops, easy work and good money.  I got $3000 for about sixteen hours work, not too bad.  Oh, I'm also gonna be a semi-regular in a series of Inana videos called 'Duane and Dolly.'  The first tapes are already out, they're great.  Good comedic stuff about horny suburban stoners.  My first appearance will be on shelves in another two weeks."
     "So....  You're still making porn?  While you go to school?" she'd be asked.
     Jane explained, "Yeah, I fly down to San Diego, where the studio is, on Friday evening, spend Saturday working, then fly back up here Sunday night.  I'll do two short fuck scenes plus the dialogue, and we'll wrap around four in the afternoon.  Then, off to party with my friends!  The fuck scenes are pretty short, so I'm getting $1200 for a full day.  Heh, I might be the only UCB undergrad whose bank balance goes up over the course of the school year."
     "You really like making porn?"
     "Oh yeah!  It's fun....  And not 'fun' like how you're thinking, either.  I'm a really horny person, but I'm not a nympho.  Doing hardcore is really just a very specialized acting skill, at least doing it well.  It's fun the way being in an improv group is fun, you know?"
     The guy would briefly digest this, then say, "Wow.... Um, I'll see you in class," and walk off.
     On this day, she was reading the newest Fortune magazine and feeling amped from the meth she'd smoked ten minutes earlier.  Two dudes, jock types, were walking past slowly.  One elbowed the other and said in a not-low-enough voice, "See?  There she is!  Let's go talk to her!"
     They approached Jane, who immediately assigned them the names "Biff" and "Tank."  They strolled over to her, Biff saying, "Hey, uh, are you a student here?"
     "At Haas?" Jane responded.  "Yep.  My Business Admin 10 class starts in about a half hour.  You're also Haas students?"
     "Yeah....  Hey, have you ever, uh, worked in show business?"
     "More or less.  I made a few hardcore porn loops over the summer for Inana Productions, they showed up on a series of tapes called 'Naughty Novices.'  And I'm gonna be a semi-regular in a series of episodes of the series 'Duane and Dolly,' my first appearance will be on a tape that'll be out in a couple more weeks.  Is that what you meant?"
     Tank and Biff chuckled a bit nervously and nodded their heads.  Tank said, "So you're a porn star, and you go to Haas?"
     "I'm a bit loath to call myself a 'star,'" Jane smirked.  "I'll wait until I can't walk down Telegraph Avenue without being asked for autographs before I call myself a star.  But hey, it's easy work, it's fun, they pay me well, and it's an excuse to fly home on weekends."
     "Would you work for me?" asked Biff.  Tank brayed with laughter.
     Jane cocked an eyebrow and queried, "You have a studio?  What's the name of it?  Where do you do your production?  Are you knocking out loops, or do you produce any features?"
     Biff wasn't expecting this line of questioning, and took a moment to respond.  "Um.... Yeah!  We have a studio, right here in Berkeley!  We're, uh, Epsilon Delta Productions."
     Detecting bullshit, Jane rolled her eyes and said, "Uh huh.  Is that so.  Never heard of you.  Who's your distributor?"
     "We're just starting out," said Tank.  "But we want to start filming right away."
     "Where are you doing your production?" Jane repeated.
     "Over on Warring Street, near Channing.  It's a big house...."
     "It's a frat," Jane said flatly.  She let a few beats pass, then asked, "So, you're going to make porn in a fraternity house.  You're aware you're setting off my bullshit detector, right?  Do you have equipment and lights?  Who's directing, who's producing?  Do you have studs with experience?"
     "Oh, I got experience!" crowed Biff.
     "Really?  I don't recognize you.  Tell you what, bring me a copy of your CV in the industry along with a performance proposal.  I'll read it, then talk to your director and producer.  We'll go from there."
     This was not the direction Biff and Tank were expecting the conversation to go in.  Some slut with a mohawk was acting like making porn was....  like a normal business.  They glanced at each other, then Biff pressed forward.  "Oh, uh, I'm directing and producing.  You'd be working with the two of us."
     With more sarcasm in her voice, Jane replied, "Really, now.  Tell me, is your name Paul Thomas?  Or Joey Silvera?"
     "Huh?  Um....  no...."
     "Then you won't mind me questioning your ability to produce quality video.  Those two, especially Paul Thomas, can handle performance, directing, and producing all at once.  They've been in the industry for years, they know what they're doing.  Gosh, if I didn't know better, I'd assume you two just want to get into my pants, and thought you'd found an excuse.  Am I off my mark?"
     Trying to play along, Tank said, "Hey, we're totally serious!  We've got a video camera, we're ready to go!"
      Jane shook her head slightly with a pitying smile.  "All right.  So, a two-in-one scene with you two.  I don't do anal, so it would be a two-in-one, not a DP scene.  What are you paying?"
     "A hundred bucks!" Biff announced proudly.
     There was a brief pause while Jane stared at Biff.  Then she began laughing loudly, and continued for about ten seconds.  She stopped, lit a fresh cigarette, and cackled. "One hundred dollars?  That's enough to get me to take my boots off for a half hour.  You've got to be kidding.  Have you been able to find any other girl to work for that money, and how desperate of a situation was she in?  Try again, add a zero to that amount and we'll talk.  And I'd want to see where we'd be working before I'll sign a contract.  Oh!  We'll also need to exchange blood test results, too.  I'll assume you already have a private lab on contract.  You know, since you're producing professional adult video."
     "Blood tests?" exclaimed Tank.  "What the fuck for?"
     "Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, HPV, hepatitis A through C, and of course HIV/AIDS.  The usual."
     "AIDS?  What, you think we're faggots?"
     The amusement was disappearing from this conversation.  Jane responded, "No, I think you're a couple of horny idiots.  And you're goddamn right I want blood test results.  John Holmes was straight, and he died of AIDS.  Or there's Ryan White, who was diagnosed when he was thirteen and a virgin.  You exchange fluids with someone, you're at risk, period.  Both Ryan White and Elizabeth Glaser contracted from blood transfusions.  Glaser passed the disease on to her unborn daughter, who died in 1988.  Why the fuck am I explaining this to UC Berkeley students?  I thought you had to be smart to get into this school."  She purposely blew a plume of smoke up at Biff and said, "Look, this has been amusing, but you're wasting my time.  I'm a performer, not a prostitute.  Drop the bullshit and aim your dicks somewhere else."
     With hostility, Tank said, "You're not a whore?  You have sex for money, what else would you be?"
     "And you just confirmed my suspicion that neither of you know shit about making hardcore," Jane shot back.  "Would you little boys like me to give you the Cliff Notes version of how producing a fuck scene works?  I'll warn you now, you may not want to learn, especially if you really enjoy porn.  Porn is like hot dogs.  If you enjoy either one, never watch them being made.  And just for reference, any continued assertions that I'm a whore will guarantee your day really goes to shit, get me?"
     "Oh yeah?  What are you gonna do?" sneered Biff.
     Jane gave him a psychotic look and answered, "Pull out seven of your teeth.  And pull out seven of his teeth, too.  Not right now, but it would happen in the near future.  Wouldn't that suck?"
     The two bros understood what Jane meant, the tale of the four frat brothers who'd all had teeth pulled out was still a topic of discussion around Fraternity Row.  They glanced at each other, then Tank said, "You're one nutty bitch."
     "Please, explain your conclusion," Jane said with tinkling laughter.  "I may be something of a bitch, fair enough.  It only comes out when I'm annoyed.  And why am I nuts?  You two tried to pretend you were interested in doing business with me, tried to give me a song and dance about doing some performance work.  You only want in my pants, and that'll never happen.  I've rather selective of who I fuck, and neither of you meet my criteria.  So if I'm a nutty bitch, you two are horny dimwit jocks, and pathological liars.  I'm a nutty bitch, you two are moronic creeps.  I'd say we're even."
     Now Biff and Tank were in uncharted territory.  Here was a female, and obviously a freshman, who didn't get upset when insulted.  She shot back insults, instead, and put her mind to the task.  They had no response, this was outside their lexicon of understanding.  To fill the time, Jane attempted a bit of diplomatic distraction by asking, "So, where are you in your studies?  Are you both aiming for MBAs?"
     "Uh, yeah," Biff answered.  "You're a freshman?"
     "Yep.  Just cutting my teeth.  Any plans for after you graduate?  What year are you both in?"
     Tank was eyeing Jane with genuine curiosity.  "We're both juniors.  I'm planning on aerospace as a career...."
     "I'm going into investment," said Biff.  "My dad is a fund manager, so I kinda understand the mutual funds market already.  How about you?"
     Jane began snickering.  "If I tell you, you'll get the wrong idea," she said.
     "You're gonna start a porn studio," smirked Tank.
     "Nope.  I'll be starting off running an escort service in Los Angeles, the job is mine as soon as I graduate.  The service is owned by a family friend, and he wants me behind the big desk as soon as I have my MBA.  High class place, $1200 for an evening, and that doesn't include special services.  But you're getting a very high class woman.  She will be able to talk about the stock market, sports cars, the Forty-Niners, and politics.  She knows which fork to use, she's dressed to the nines, and she'll be gorgeous.  The business office is in Beverley Hills for a reason."
     Now they both looked amazed.  "Whoa....  Are you serious?  $1200 for a night?"
     "Uh huh," Jane grinned.  "And as I mentioned, special services aren't included in that.  Count on another $1200 if you want her next to you when you wake up in the morning."
     "So, like, these are high-end prostitutes?" asked Biff.
     "When you're spending that amount of money, you're not getting a prostitute.  I prefer the word 'courtesan.'  And the agency does not condone any such activity on the part of its escorts.  If some arrangement is made between the escort and the client, it's their business, not the agency's.....  Although the girls provide a fifteen percent 'gratuity' to the agency when these private arrangements happen.  It's on the honor system, but the girls are good about putting in their vigorish.  The agency takes good care of them, in too many ways.  We process credit cards for the girls, when the client wants to, ahem, 'tip' them.  And if a client tips a thousand dollars, what business is it of the agency?
     "This is not an agency someone would call up just because they're horny.  When you have some sort of social event where you want a beautiful, intelligent, well-mannered woman at your side,   Patrician Escorts of Beverley Hills has been in business since the mid-Seventies.  We've been investigated on several occasions, but no employee or contractor has spend one minute in jail because of the investigations.  We run a legitimate business."
     The two frat bros stood and slowly nodded, absorbing all this.  Biff finally snickered and said, "'Legitimate business,' huh?  Isn't that the phrase mobsters use to describe their businesses?"
     "And the descriptions are accurate, usually.  There may be other things happening at the businesses, but if a member of Cosa Nostra owns, say, a paint store, it's going to be a real paint store, not some empty front.  Patrician is a very profitable enterprise, and stays clean....  Mostly.  The girls aren't shaken down for that fifteen percent, it's a voluntary contribution, to help with any of a long list of problems one of the girls might run into.  Sort of like an insurance fund."
     "How do you know all this?" asked Tank.  "Are you in the mob?"  Both jocks burst into laughter.
     "Don't be silly," sane said in an airy manner.  "Do I look Italian or Sicilian?  No, I can't be part of Cosa Nostra.  I'd only be an associate....  But associates can go far.  Look at Meyer Lansky."
     "Who?" asked Biff.
     "Look him up," Jane responded.  "He was one of the pioneers in Las Vegas back in the Fifties, I'll put it that way.  He was messy, though, and far too violent.  But he did help turn Las Vegas into the town it is.... or used to be.  Now all the hotels and casinos are corporate-owned, and it's bullshit.  The mafia would steal $100, but put fifty of it back into Vegas.  The corporations steal $100 and keep it all."
     Biff and Tank still felt out of their element.  Some weirdo chick with a blue mohawk, who seemed to know a lot about some very unusual things....  The porn industry, the mafia, escort agencies, Las Vegas....  And seemed totally unafraid of them.  She seemed a little too smart, and too wise, and too brave to be a freshman.  A girl freshman, at that.
     A girl stuck her head out the door of the library and said, "Hey Jane!  Ten minute warning."
     "Thanks, Monica," Jane called back.  She started to put away her magazine and cigarettes.
     "What was that?" asked Biff.
     With a smile, Jane explained, "Ten minutes until 1:30, when my classes start every day.  Monica and I have an arrangement, she lets me know when it's time to head to class.  That way, if I'm absorbed in reading or something, I'm not late."  (Jane left out her end of the bargain: two free hits of Smiley Ecstasy every Friday for Monica.)
     As she stood and shouldered her book bag, Jane said to the bros, "Anyway, I'm going to make damn good money running Patrician, enough to start investing.  I won't bore you with the details, but I have a plan and a strategy in mind for how I invest, and what in.  Can I tell you a secret?"
     "I plan on making Warren Buffett look like he runs a shoe shine stand.  By the time I hit menopause, my goal is to have the economic and political power to play with the industrialized nations of the world like Lego.  I'n going to rule the world, for all intents and purposes."
     Both bros began to chuckle, but the sound had a nervous tint to it.  "You're gonna rule the world, huh?" said Tank.
     "The important parts of it, yes," Jane answered.  "The United States, Europe, Russia, India, Japan, Korea, much of South America, Australia....  I have no interest in any sort of 'one world government,' but my influence will be unavoidable.  No first-world nation is going to make any big decisions without consulting me first.  In the United States, I will be the final arbiter for who the Democrats and Republicans nominate for the Presidential elections.  The conflict between India and Pakistan will end, because I will tell both countries to cut the shit or suffer the consequences.  And when I finally retire, I'll buy the entire fucking Baja peninsula from Mexico as my own semi-personal ranch.  I'm not evicting the people already there.  They'll just have to adjust to a different government, a benevolent monarchy, ruled by me.
     "And when I die, you will be able to hear the collective sigh of relief from around the world.  I don't plan or marrying, or having children, and my will is going to have thousands of beneficiaries.  My legacy won't continue past me, I'm not Kim Il-Sung, and there won't be a Kim Jong-Il or Kim Jong Un.  The world will be free again --- as free as it ever has been, anyway --- and autonomy will return to the nations of the world."
     "Why do you want to rule the world?" asked Tank.
     In her airy tone, Jane said, "Oh.... You know....  Just for funsies, I guess.  I'm not a control freak, really.  I just like the idea of being able to manipulate things any way I damn well please, just because I feel like it, or it seems to be a good idea.  The nations of the fucking world will play nice, because I"m going to make them.   And maybe, when I finally die, they'll realize the peaceful relations I arm-twisted them into is actually pretty nice, and stick with it."
     Tank and Biff just stood and stared.  Jane stepped onto the concrete, saying  "Anyway, first things first.  I'm off to class.  Toodles."  She skipped towards the main building of Haas.
     Biff looked at his bro and said, "She's not a nutty bitch.  She's a scary bitch.  For real."

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