Saturday, October 15, 2005

This is not a prologue (Part Two)

June 2001

She had long blonde hair and intense cheekbones. Her face was funny – sharp, in a way, like you might poke your eye out if you got too close to it. But still pretty in an odd way. And she had the most amazing knockers I’d ever seen.

Plus, she was the first one that hadn’t slapped me when I tried to tell that I was recruiting talent for pornographic films.

Instead, she had this quizzical look on her face. It was a look she gave to me, and then to my business card, and then back to me again, and then back to the business card, and on and on and on.

Her name was Karen, at least according to her nametag. It's 2:00 in the morning and I'm in the goddamn 7-Eleven because I was drunk and wanted a hot dog. I'm not sure exactly why I decided to toss out my, "Hey, do you want to be a porn star?" pitch to her, except that there was no one else around, she didn't look too dreadful under the harsh fluorescents, and because she had amazing knockers.

And, I guess, because I was drunk.

“Is this some kind of a pickup line?” she finally asked me. Her eyes were still on the business card. It read: MURPHY MIDNIGHT – DIRECTOR – ADULT FILMS.

It wasn’t my real name, obviously. It was, in fact, my porn star name – the name you get when you combine the name of your first pet with the name of the street you grew up on. The card, when you got right down to it, was a farce, but I’d approached it as seriously as possible, hitting up a friend in the printing industry to output them for me.

He’d looked at me just as strangely as the blonde-haired, intense-cheek-boned beauty was looking at me now.

“No,” I said, “it’s not just some kind of pickup line.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Because you’re kind of cute.”

“Um, thank you.”

“And if this was some kind of pickup line, you know, it might actually work for you, if you weren't quite so drunk.” She fondled the card gently, sliding it in my direction. “I mean, you’ve clearly put some effort into it.”

“I have,” I said, “but not because it’s a pickup line. Because I’m trying to put together some local, adult film talent.”

“You’re trying to make a porno film.”

“Well…yes. Pretty much.”

She met my eyes for just a second before looking down at the business card again. I wasn’t sure why she was obsessing about it, why it seemed like she couldn’t take her eyes of it. But right them, I didn’t care. I hadn’t scared her off, or inspired her to slap me or punch me in the stomach or dump her drink on my head, which pretty much encapsulated the extent of the responses I had received to my attempted proposals thus far.

“Futura,” she said, completely out of the blue.

“Pardon me?”

“It’s the typeface on your card. Futura.”

“Typeface?”

And then she laughed, a real laugh, and I jumped a little. There was something friendly in that laugh, something almost intimate, and I found it a little scary. I wasn’t sure what to say or do, because I wasn’t sure what she was talking about or laughing at. I was grateful when she continued the conversation all on her own.

“It’s the name of the font that the words on the business card are set in,” she said, sliding the card towards me. “Different fonts have different names. You know what a font is, don’t you?”

“Fuck, yeah, I know what a font is,” I said, looking down at the business card. I didn't have any idea which of the words on the card was in "Futura" and I didn't much care either..

“It’s a nice typeface,” she said smiling. “Futura. I took some design courses in university. I'm crazy about typefaces.”

She looked weirder than ever when she smiled. The skin around her cheekbones was stretched tight, like the bones underneath could just pop through the flesh at any moment. But her knockers were still incredible, and no one smiled much in porn films anyway.

“So,” I said, trying the steer the conversation away from whatever the fuck it was she was trying to talk about, “you haven't slapped me or dropped a drink on my head yet.”

“I'd have to go to the cooler and get a drink to dump one on your head. And then it'd just come out of my paycheque, so it's not really worth it, unless you really want me to?”

“No. I’d rather you didn’t. That’s how most of my interviews have gone so far, and I’m trying to stray away from that.”

“Maybe your interviews would go better if you didn’t approach lonely, vulnerable women and ask them to be in a porn film.”

She had a point. I conceded, internally, that it was something worth looking into in the future. But the future wasn’t now, and I still had this odd-but-strangely-enticing-and-attractive creature to deal with in the moment.

“Look,” I said, trying desperately to cut to the chase, “Maybe I should be sorry I brought it up, but it's brought up now, so I guess we'll just have to deal with it. Right now I just want to go and eat my hot dog, so let's just cut to the chase. Are you interested, or should I just leave before you do decide to dump a drink on my head, loss of income or not?”

She held my gaze for a terrifying length of time. After three or four minutes I desperately wanted to break our gaze, to stare at the magazine rack, or the selection of beef jerky, or the rows upon rows of cigarettes lined up behind her, or any-fucking-thing other than her stare which was trying its damndest to bore its way through my brain.

And then she broke it off for me and looked down at the business card again. “That’s your porn star name, isn’t it?”

“I’m looking to direct these films,” I said, “not star in them.”

“First pet. Street you grew up on. Right?”

I’m not sure what made me angrier – the fact that she saw through my terrible name, or the fact that I knew that if I didn’t answer her question she was going to just shrug her shoulders and our conversation would be over.

“Yeah,” I said. “You’re right.

She grabbed a pen from behind the counter and flipped my business card over, scrawling seven digits on the back. "I've got Thursday off," she said. "Call me. Buy me lunch or something. We can talk."

I'm not afraid to admit that I was so excited that I left my goddamn hot dog behind.



NOTE: This post has been midly edited, because details were missing, and parts of it just weren't sitting right with me. I think it's better now.

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