WARNING:this story has content which may be offensive to some; it contains graphic sexual content and language which may not be suitable for the sensibilities of some readers. It is absolutely inappropriate for readers under eighteen years of age, and for many over that age as well.
a short story by Mark Kolke
April 4, 2011
He’s not the same today – nice for a change.
He was acting like acharacter in one of those erectile dysfunction TV ads, where there is something different, nobody can figure out what is going on . . . maybe he’s taking the magic blue-pill?
He usually wields words like a sword; two-edged, one razor sharp for beheadings and body swipes, the other - wide and blunt for bludgeoning skull shattering blows or for knee-capping.No Mongol warlord or mob hitman; worse, he’s my editor . . . at a mediocre one-movie-a-week porn flick factory in the valley.Hell, I’m getting cavalier about this. It’s crap. It’s all crap, but that’s what I’ve been doing for the last nine months and I’ve become numb to it.
But, for some reason, he’s softer, low-energy today, like a sluggish engine down a quart.His usual demeanor – which is to say, the more intense he gets, de-meaner he gets . . . is muted. Hmm.
That’s Frank – editor (usually bully-editor … or maybe that’s how all writers view all editors, even when they’re family), occasional mentor, brother-in-law and, since I moved out here with one suitcase and my laptop, my landlord too.
His college day wide-receiver physique is long gone, sporting a pear-shaped belly by Budweiser and anything but a tight-end, his stray brown turned-gray follicles imitate a wiry comb-over, consistency of a worn-out brillo pad, those piercing blue eyes are all that is left of what my half-sister Louella first saw as her dreamy hunk. She was gorgeous in those days – she could have anybody she wanted with a simple glance. She had a beaming smile and luscious body to match. But, she had eyes for nobody else.She told me once, when she was a little bit drunk at a wedding, that it was his brains and skills in the sack that did it for her. And I thought it was just guys with a one-track mind!
Focus Seth . . .
I didn’t think it was such a big deal – I knew we were shooting borderline hard-core porn with second rate porn-actors . . . I didn’t think inserting something artful, would be such a tough sell. Really, how bad could it be, given what we were working with?
I’m not sure what was going through Frank’s mind. Like I said, I think he’s distracted by something.
Is he sick, are he and Louella having troubles, is Louella sick, is there a problem with the kids?Maybe it’s just this outwardly scarcely respectable inwardly disgusting, business wearing him down. I know how weary I am of it, and I’ve been doing it nine months; he’s been sucked into its vortex for nine years. Poor buggar.
He hasn’t really been his normal snarly self lately, except - when he does get cranked up with somebody about something – he has been over the top, irrational. I don’t understand that but, since I’ve not seen him much in the last ten years since he moved out here to the porn-valley, the San Fernando Valley, California . . . I wasn’t sure what transformation had occurred. But I was sure there had been one. He seemed hardened.Not bitter, perhaps resigned.
Frank was doing alright out here – at first. They’d moved out here from a rat infested rent-controlled SunsetPark sublet in Brooklyn. He started out, like me, as a serious writer. He wrote some pretty good off-off-Broadway plays that didn’t immediately close. But, without critical acclaim, things went downhill, got lean for them; Frank couldn’t find work, Louella had just delivered their third baby in five years, and her art wasn’t selling as well as it used to . . . so L.A.’s promise beckoned them both.
Some short stints out here writing sitcom pilots washed out for Frank. Within a year he was relegated to writing three word sentences for porn scripts - back in the day when the industry was still making serious money – not like it is now, when any guy with a half-hot girlfriend, a cam-corder and an internet account could be serious porn-flick competition.
Anyway, getting back to today’s Frank – wrangle, as I like to call our set-to’s, I’d been writing a narrative for this scene. It was my notion to have Max Fichera, the male character in the scene do a voice over . . . so, on-screen there is only action and heat.I just wanted to give it a touch of class.
Our little meeting went like this:
Frank:You need dialogue buddy.
Seth:What, like that Will-porn Shakespeare-ish “ooh-ah .. fuck me again” shit you edited-in to my script last week? . . .The problem with these p-flicks is they don’t have plot worth shit. It’s all just tits, ass, blow-jobs, cum-shots . . and to the guys who buy it, it might as well have the Lone Ranger theme playing in the background so he can get off quick and easy before his Monday night football comes on; he just has to pause it till half-time and he can resume without missing a stroke. Dialogue in this drivel is meaningless. I bet half the customers turn it right down and put on some CD that gets them hot.I know it won’t matter to the success of this thing - in English or any other sorry-ass language they translate it to.I just want to give one scene, c’mon Frank .. just one fucking scene, if you’ll pardon the pun, in one of these pieces of shit to give it just a tiny bit of class .. just one scene brother-in-law o’ mine. C’mon …. how tough can it be to get one porn actor to read a few sentences of prose for a voice-over? Who knows, somebody in the REAL MOVIE business might see it and say – hey, let me talk to the guy Seth who wrote that scene!. . . . and since when am I your buddy? What’s going on?Are you going soft on me?
Frank: Idiot!I’m not saying it’s not good writing or not a good idea – I’m telling you the guy we are working for won’t buy it. Tony is a nice guy, but pretty classless. He wouldn’t know good taste if it was spread on one of his porn-star’s pussy and trimmed in whipped cream.He would lap it up, but wouldn’t understand it.
Seth:Listen, Frank, I appreciate your help – you gave me a job and a place to live in the bonus room over your garage when I needed it, and you didn’t have to help me at all. I know, blood is thicker than water but your third wife being my half-sister hardly fits the definition of close family. Would you just give this a read – seriously man – just give it a chance, puullleeze!
FRANK:Tonight. OK, I’ll read it tonight, OK – are you satisfied?Listen, Seth, I’m not always a hard-ass. I know how tough it is for a serious writer to crank out this crap week after week. It’s doubly hard to edit it, but it’s a living and right now – for both of us – we don’t have a lot of other options. Trust me, if it’s good, I’ll pitch it to Tony tomorrow – we’re meeting for breakfast to go over the budget and casting for this week’s flick. I’ll tell him you’ve been doing a good job. Actually, I was skeptical at first. I didn’t think you could do this.I thought … ‘out of work Madison Avenue jingle writer’ doesn’t have a hope in hell writing this stuff, or tolerating the ‘culture’ of it, if I dare use that word. Lou talked me into offering you the job, but I didn’t think you’d be able to stomach it. Seth – slice us open and we, you and I, are pretty much the same – out of work writers, or at least . . . out of the work we want, pandering to the lowest of lowest common denominators. But hey, it keeps Louella in grocery money and that’s better than welfare.
I was bagged. Needed to get my second wind. I told Frank I’d e-mail him my final draft of that piece so he could present it to Tony in the morning. Frank stayed, pushing paper.He’s office manager too.
I left the office about six.I’d packed my laptop, slung it behind the front seat of the old silver Olds (just clicked over 125,000 miles the other day) and made my way to Rubio’s Baja Grill on Plummer Street in Northridge.It was Tuesday night - date night and Celina’s choice. Shit, it’s always Celina’s choice, but what the hell . . . she’s buying, so I guess it’s only fair that she gets to pick.
When I first met her I was trying so hard - not so much to impress her, but to make the relationship work, because for the first time in a long while, I thought I’d found someone with great chemistry and potential.
Lately though, things aren’t working as well.
She’s been distracted – unfocused, and I think she’s having a difficult time of it at work.Her new boss, Darren, seems to be giving her a particularly hard time.Maybe she’s not performing up to expectations, but to hear her tell it, he’s just a nasty prick.It seems her workload hasn’t changed much but her smile is missing, she’s grinding her teeth again in her sleep and the lightness we had – well, it’s gone and I don’t know where to find it.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe I’m not up to par, but she hasn’t been complaining.
The other night, I made her some fantastic sea bass with green grape and tomato salsa – she scarfed down every last bit, then dragged me off to a candle-lined tub for a hot oily bath before taking me to bed for some serious humping.Was that an act, or the real deal? I’ve been wondering.
It’s been nearly four months.Maybe it’s run its course for her and she just doesn’t know how to tell me.
I took my laptop into the restaurant with me – good thing, she was late as usual; I’d barely sat down at a quiet table in the corner by the courtyard when my cell phone rang: ‘Sorry Seth, but that prick Darren has me working late again. I should be out of here soon. You don’t mind waiting an hour do you?’ she whispered, as if she couldn’t speak in a normal tone for fear of being overheard.‘Sure, I’ll order some tapas to nibble on and work on that script – we’ll order when you get here.’, I whispered in reply.
And so it ended, like it was scripted – same way too many late-for-dinner calls have been lately, since Darren blew into town last month, taking the job Celina thought she was a shoo-in to get.
I had that scene on a thumb-drive; plugged it in, booted it up, asked my comely waitress (note to self – I should get Frank to bring Tony here to meet this Marguerita) for a virgin Margarita.
She laughed. Hmmm.
No Seth!! …
Focus.Celina will be here in an hour, you have just enough time to polish this piece . . . so quit flirting with the waitress.
The action – Part 1 :Fichera curbs his hybrid Lexus, gets out, looks around, fidgeting so as not to be seen – then, as the coast was clear, he goes in the front door of Tip to Toe Massage and Wellness on South La Cienega in Beverly Hills where he is greeted by a nymph in a sheer red baby doll. Her shoulder length blonde curls get tossed as she grins, takes him by the hand, then leads him to room that looks like a scene from an Arabian Nights movie.She chats with him while he begins softly mauling her ample tits, flicking her nipples with his thumbs while she grabs him by the ass-cheek.She finds his wallet to give his a tug and a reminder that he has to pay before he gets to play. He doesn’t say a word – simply stuffs folded bills in her hand.She sends him to the shower, instructs him to come back to the bed/massage table when he is done. She uses the toilet, stuffs the cash in her purse, comes out wearing a thong and a smile.While he’s showering she adjusts the lighting, lights scented candles, puts on a stack of CD’s and sprawls herself, face down, on the massage table.
Max Fichera voice over – Part 1 :I’ve been here before – too many times it seems – in search of something I’m missing in my life . . . soft touch, warmth and to get my rocks off, of course. But it’s not the sex any more; sure, I enjoy that, but I can take care of business just as easy myself. Hell, I’ve been masturbating since I was eleven.Before I met Courtney, it was just an endless series of meaningless encounters in hotel rooms and massage parlors, girls on street corners and meaningless office affairs.They all meant nothing, it was the touching that mattered.Courtney was so sweet – did everything I’ve ever asked.I remember, the second time I saw her – made an appointment and requested her.When I arrived I had a problem – I’d forgotten my wallet. All I had in my pocket was $90.She asked what I wanted – I told her I wanted a massage, wanted my cock sucked and wanted to screw – but since I only had $90 I could likely only get a ½ hour massage and a hand job.She laughed, said we should do it all and $90 would be just fine – this time!It was fabulous, some of the best sex I’d ever had, but that’s not why I keep coming back to see her.She lets me talk to her, she touches me everywhere and she brushes her arms with that soft blonde hair against my arm . . . and I’m back in my childhood, brushing against a girl’s arm for the first time. It is so hot.
The action – Part 2 :Fichera exits the shower area, wraps himself in a towel,walks into the room – sees Courtney on the table and walks over to her.She loosens his towel and pulls him toward her.[at this point, let them go completely unscripted, just let her work him over on the massage table, then get him worked up . . standard fare stages of stroking him, him fingering her – get this shot simultaneously from four cameras . . . don’t worry about synchronization because there is no recorded dialogue - just the voice-over - so we can edit this a hundred different ways for impact; but, lets NOT do the usual cum-shot in the face routine - have them do lots of good old fashioned screwing, experiment with a few positions and have her get him off . .. maybe cum on her belly for the finale; or, better yet, have her finish him with a two-handed hand-job, let it spill over her fingers …., then fade out]
Max Fichera voice over – Part 2 :When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9, I was on vacation with my folks, we were visiting family and I had the first experience – sitting in the back seat of the car, a bunch of kids crammed in there, next to one of my girl cousins – having her bare arm brush against mine. I couldn’t move a muscle, it felt so good. She didn’t move a muscle either, just looked ahead, saying nothing. When I touch Courtney, when she touches me, that all comes back to me. That feeling, that bliss of childhood. I hadn’t been touched much or fussed over as a kid.My parents weren’t into that.I was a shy kid too; nuts about girls, but didn’t have the nerve to talk to them.I got past that, of course – I married, divorced, had kids of my own . . . but I’d been missing the touch I’d been missing since that summer, I had never matched that feeling – until I started spending time with Courtney. She’s just a kid herself . . maybe 24, from Cornwall, Ontario up in Canada – came out here to try to get into movies or television, a bad boyfriend got her whoring for him on the side when she wasn’t working at this place, putting half her income up her nose – but she got free of that. Sure, I realize she’s just putting on a pro-show for me, but I don’t care – she’s here for me whenever I call to book her . . . and each time I call, I wonder, if one day they’ll say ‘sorry, Courtney’s gone . . . what will I do then? [The voice over should be paced slowly over the length of the scene – once edited – so the softness of the words play opposite the robustness of the action on screen.For background music, something the guys who watch this will identify with – try Ravel’s Bolero – they’ve all seen ‘TEN’, right? ]
‘Senor . . .did you want another virgin Margarita?’ … it was Marguerita breaking me away … I was so engrossed in that piece
I hadn’t noticed it was getting dark outside, and now … candle light on the table radiated off her face. I debated chatting her up, but decided against it as it was time to turn off my computer and, hopefully have Celina join me for dinner.
‘Si. Another, por favor – muchos gracias muy hermosa mujer’, I mumbled, humble Spanish I scarcely remember now from Brooklyn days in Sunset Park when being white and English speaking was one of the loneliest places to be – solitary regardless the size of those crowds of 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants.
Back to my script . .got it right now, I think. Yeah ‘OK, then,File close, e-mail to Frank, attach file – browse …
C:/MAX-FACKED-HER/workingtitle.rubandtug.script/scene3 – that’s it, click, send ….shut down ...’
I was done.
Where the hell is Celina?
‘Hi honey . . . !’ , I could hear her bold voice the minute she broke through the door.
‘Where have you been . . . ?’, anxiously, but not urgently … I queried.
Her day came spilling out, classic Celina – motor mouth excitement, but I wondered if she was covering - just telling me all that detail of how she had to go over all those underwriting reports with Darren . . . with the usual embellishments about how much she hated him.
I was tired – said so; we quickly ordered the special of the day … crab enchiladas; they were huge, we each ate about half our order - then got Marguerita to wrap the remainder to go . . one of those aluminum creations to look like a chicken, and we were off.
It was late . . we each showered, brushed our teeth and slumped into bed. Her wet platinum hair was cool on my shoulder . . . her warm back pushed into my chest, her hand reached around to find the root cause of my male being . . . but after a few strokes it was clear that I wasn’t responsive as usual. She suggested I take a pill . . . one of those fucking pathetic pills . . . but I couldn’t stand the thought of an erection that would far outlast my interest.
My alarm, set for 6AM as usual got my eyes open. I was amazingly refreshed – feeling great, billy-goat randy . . . or was it just morning wood?I debated rousing Celina for wake-up sex, but thought it better to let her sleep.
I tiptoed from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen; I put coffee on, pulled in the morning paper and sat down at the keyboard to check my overnight emails.
There were four:one from Frank, one from Louella, one from Tony and one from Celina.
Huh?When did she send that? 2:18AM…… ?
Which to read first . . .
Tuesday, October 16, 2007 9:30pm
your script Idea
Seth – great piece.Effing phenomenal piece. I really liked it. I e-mailed it to Tony .. told him I think it’s great.I asked him to give it a read and let me know his thoughts at breakfast.
And, sorry about being testy with you today. I’ve been on edge lately, but I’m feeling much better now. Thanks!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:48pm
Hey baby bro.
Free rent for you next month!
Seth, you had no way of knowing, but Frank and I have been having a rough time in the sack lately.
Tonight he asked me to read your script idea after he’d sent it over to Tony.
I got so hot reading that . . . well, one thing led to another – you get my meaning – and we had the best roll in the hay we’ve had in years.
All thanks to my little bro Sethy!
hug + kiss, Lou
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 12:31am
Max Facked-Her script
seth … paysan . .
OMG . . fantastic - smooth … just what we need to put a cleaner richer artsy image on our material.I told Frank to give you a big raise and we’ll put you on the credits as co-executive producer.
You’re da man!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 02:18am
Time to write the last scene
I couldn’t sleep.And I couldn’t talk to you.
I hate to do this, but I can’t keep faking it any longer – and I’ve wrestled with how to tell you.
Your snoring is melodic in the other room, like a well oiled Husqvarna chainsaw.
I’m going to miss that.Not much, but I’ll miss it.
I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to tell you – that was my plan tonight, at the restaurant., but we were both tired and you kept ogling the waitress, so I said phfuckitt. … and then, later, in bed, I thought we might have a farewell hump - because I knew – once I tell you what I am about to tell you, that you won’t ride me again . . . . and I suppose I couldn’t blame you.
It’s been good – and you’ve been very good to me, but it’s over for me.
Let me explain.
I’ve been lying to you.
Darren isn’t miserable.
He is fabulous.He works hard, plays hard . . in fact, he’s always hard.I’ve been doing him twice a week since he came to town.At first it was just me being mad at you – working with those porn-chicks all day.
I wanted something hot , exciting, dirty .. for me.I got past that, and he started to really open up and talk to me.He wasn’t closed and bitter like you’ve been lately.
I know you are pissed that you are living over Frank and Lou’s garage, that you . . .the off-off-Broadway writer wannabe . .stuck here in the valley, writing porn scripts.
We had a great beginning – youthrilled me, moved me, scared me, challenged me and pushed me – but I needed to be clear, to separate the thrill of being chased from the fear of being caught.As I separated the giddy feelings from the real ones, it became clear to me that we can’tgo on.
I can’t be with a porn-flick writer, I can’t be with somebody who lives over a garage, I can’t be with someone whose lifestyle is so far removed from the one I want.
I hope you write a best seller one of these days. I really do.You deserve it – and I’m sorry to say, I’m not going to stay with you like a good partner should.I don’t know if Darren is my dream-man for life, but I’ve become convinced that you aren’t.
Good luck and happy trails . . . it was good while it lasted, but we’ve both been putting off ending it for too long. The time has come.
If you don’t mind, I’d prefer if you leave in the morning while I’m still sleeping. I’ll pack your things and send them over to your office tomorrow.