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Summer 2001.

Much Ado About Fluffing

by Norman Kee

"Liar."

"No, fluffer."

"You're a liar," Barry insisted.

"I am a fluffer," I corrected.

"Fluffers are girls." He paused. "Do gay flicks use fluffers?" Barry seemed to be genuinely intrigued and momentarily distracted by his own question.

I started to explain. "Alan hired me to work on his next movie-"

"Clam's Casino. That's gonna be all-girl. I'm cinematographer on that one. It's gonna be hot."

"So, Alan hired me to work with the girls."

Barry was about to say something, but judging by his facial expression, words were failing him, fundamentally. He scrunched up his face as if the answer was written on the inside right bridge of his nose. Just as he was about to cross his eyes again, apparently forgetting the risk that they might stay that way, Alan called from the other room. "OK, let's go!"

"I gotta go shoot. Don't go anywhere."

Where could I go? Really, I didn't even know where I was. About the only thing I could say for certain is that it was way after midnight, I was in a pretty expensive house up in some hills a long cab ride's distance from LAX. I was tired, very tired, despite sleeping in this morning. Just over 12 hours ago, I was in Albany, taking the last final of my junior year (by credits, not by calendar), trying to concentrate on the influence of Russia on Sino-American relations in the 1950s, rather than wondering why I was going out to see Barry, a high school friend I had barely been in touch with since graduation. Now I was in a house full of lights, cameras, and action. When Barry had said to come on out, and that he thought he could find me a summer job with his film crew, I should have asked a few more questions.

One question I wished I had asked, not of Barry, but of Alan, the director, was 'just what the hell am I supposed to do?' I thought Alan was hiring me to help write the script for Clam's Casino, only to find that he wanted me to be a fluffer for the actresses. I knew a bit about writing scripts; I knew almost nothing about fluffing. I only knew what people who read a lot and looked up the words they didn't know knew, or what folks who watched Jerry Springer learned without leaving their chair. Fluffers were the women who worked with male porn stars in between action shots to keep them ready for action. There had never been a male counterpart. I might know how to keep a woman who was turned on in the mood for sex, but I couldn't say that I was great at it, and now I was working with people for whom sex was acting. Should I try to keep them in the emotional state that they were supposed to be in, or should I run lines and offer advice? And if it was the former, how the hell was I supposed to keep a woman aroused, if she even had been in the first place? 'Alan, I need some direction.' I wasn't getting any.

* * * *

"You look tired." It was the woman, the fluffer whose work I had been admiring before.

"I am. I'm real tired." My honesty surprised me. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to see her at work again, but not for the reasons I ever thought I would.

"Honey, you do look really tired. Would some coke help?" I started to wonder, would she get mad if I copied her moves?

"Umm, you know, . that would be great. Is it, you know, OK?" Is there even a way I could copy her? Is there even a way that hitting a line at a porn site could not be OK?

She gave me a little pouch of paper, a seal, full but not overfull of coke, not overstuffed, not huge, not made with purple cardstock, not store-bought with a picture of a seal, just a normal old seal, made from a page from a normal magazine, maybe TV Guide. Oddly, the sheer normality of the seal made the experience of a quite attractive woman offering me cocaine on the set of a porn film seem safe, quaint, and OK. A couple of quick bumps, my first in at least a year, were also OK, they were all right, reintroducing themselves to my bloodstream like they were three drinks into their high school reunion.

All right. Yeah. I think I'm gonna make it after all.

"Thank you very much."

"Sure. I'm Crystal."

Suddenly, there was laughter and voices in my head. I was momentarily distracted by the image of Dean Knowles, the kid who thought he was the funniest fuck in my third grade class, and Groucho Marx trading lines in an odd, internal cranial duet.

'I know it is, but who are you?' Dean was quick, though rarely clever.

'You certainly are.' Groucho could be both.

'He who smelt it dealt it.'

That last one didn't really fit, but Dean was never very smart, nor really was he ever very funny. Luckily, the coke had managed to stimulate my restraint nodes just enough to drown out the centers of ridiculousness. I left Dean making fart noises with his armpit for Groucho, and returned to reality.

"Crystal, thank you. I'm, umm, I'm Evan."

* * * *

I had been watching Crystal, and I was about to start watching her in a whole new way. She was wicked cute, and despite being on a porn set, she really stood out. Her hair was a bunch of colors that averaged out to off-blonde, much like a shag carpet averages out to burnt orange, only beautiful, and a welcome relief among the processed minions. Her bottom front teeth all pointed inward, as if both sides were excitedly pointing at their chipped right front friend in the top row, but her nose curved to the left to balance that out. To me, she was stunning. And a valuable resource and peer.

I had been watching Crystal work over Barry's shoulder as he talked to me between shots. She was a fluffer all right, and if results were any measure, a quite good one. Barry seemed to have indulged in his own chemical kickstart, and thus his tongue and arms were weaving and waving cloverleafs of LA stories. Just as he was hitting high-gear on the story of the stuff he found in one of Ron Jeremy's old apartments, he exited off to tell us about this stock tip he got from his sister's new boyfriend, and by the way, an aside to me, she still always asks about me, and then he was picking up speed and moving back into the Ron Jeremy tale. All this time, Crystal had been talking, laughing, and, well, sucking with T'Angelo, who was waiting for his scene to resume with Xplorer, an actress who was new but quite hot at the moment.

Alan called everyone back, but much to my disappointment, he also asked Crystal to stay there on the set. This particular scene was about to come to a climax, and Alan was explaining to T'Angelo and Xplorer the choreography. Filming resumed, and within seconds T'Angelo and Xplorer were right back into the it, as if there had been no ten minute break, as if Xplorer hadn't just been sipping a gin and tonic and reading Spin, as if T'Angelo hadn't just been having seemingly goofy fun with Crystal. It seems foolish to call what they were doing acting, well maybe not what Xplorer was doing, but they seemed supremely turned on and in the moment, present as if all the lights and cameras and Barrys and Alans in the world would have been wasting their time trying to distract them.

"Hold on. Barry, check the light level over there." Alan also modified the blocking with Xplorer and T'Angelo, and just as quickly as the groove had gotten on, it got off, which oddly means the opposite of what it usually does. Just as quickly, Crystal was right there, darn near duplicating Xplorer's moves of a few minutes ago. However, I think I was the only one still watching. T'Angelo was listening to Alan, nodding, asking questions with his hands. Crystal wasn't keeping him in character, just maintaining motivation for his penis. Just as quickly, Xplorer replaced Crystal, the cameras started rolling, and moans and facial twisting replacing T'Angelo and Alan's "uh-uh's" and nods of a moment ago. This wasn't sex, it was porn. It required a camera or some portal for observation. What Crystal was doing wasn't sex, and even if you added in enthusiasm, whether real or feigned, it wasn't porn. Take away the camera, and it's just fluffing. It's methadone.

* * * *

Later, finally, I got to talk with Crystal, who really seemed pretty cool. She seemed damn normal, well not normal-normal, but not fucked up. I told Crystal I was going to be a fluffer on Clam's Casino.

"Wow. Good luck. Wow." She laughed and shook her head. "Good luck."

At last, some one who understood what I was getting myself into.

* * * *

My first day on the 'job' was a disaster, a disaster so grievous that even God took notice and felt the need to call it quits. The same God who had let floods, droughts, fires, and earthquakes ravage the LA Basin unchecked had seen enough horror by my third hour of work that he herded a long thin finger of rolling blackout far enough south to snuff out production for the day.

The actresses had been very excited about my presence on the set that morning. Well, not exactly my presence, but by the presence of a 'fluffer', a guy who would attend to their needs as so many women, some of them among them, had done for so many male porn stars in the past. Truthfully, I think they were more titillated by the notion of receiving equal treatment than they were by the actual mechanics of the situation.

My first crack at flufferdom proved this latter point out. Alexis deNile, who somehow embodied all the elements and nuances of both her name and profession, was my first client.

"So you're the fluffer. Ever since Alan mentioned you I've been looking forward to this. You're not a pervert, are you? 'Cause if you're paying to do this rather than getting paid, I want a cut, and then I'm out of here."

"No. I'm not a pervert." She had no real reaction. "I'm getting paid to do this. Really." I didn't sound very convincing to me, but it seemed to work for her.

"Good. So what are you going to do?"

"Well, umm, what do you want me to do?"

"Well, what do you got?"

That afternoon, I had spent more than I usually did on a semester of books purchasing various creams, lotions, beads, dildos, and vibrators, along with a bag full of C, D, and AA batteries. "Umm, I got all of this stuff."

Alexis looked at them, and picked up a couple of things. She scrunched her nose a few times as she read directions. "How's this work?"

The device's use struck me as self-evident, and the directions reflected this, being along the'lather-rinse-repeat' line. "This takes D cells. The end unscrews and - "

"For Christ's sake, I'm not an idiot. I mean how well does it work! Will it make me cum?"

"I don't know. I never used it."

She paused. She picked up a few things, then she said, "Thanks. I think I'm OK for now."

* * * *

"THAT'S a dildo?"

A strongly worded question can make me doubt even the most obvious of truths, chasing all the innate and acquired knowledge ever stored clear out of my head.

"Well, it's like a vibrator, but it doesn't take batteries. So, it's a dildo, right?"

"Jesus Fucking H-Christ!!! How big a fuckin' idiot are you? Do you think I'm stupid?" Two more of those obvious, yet oh-so-difficult questions. At least this time I knew they were rhetorical.

"Right now there's probably a million guys jerking-off over me. I can get a table in any fucking restaurant in LA! Do you really think I don't know what a dildo is?"

I now counted three. "Sorry."

"You fucking are sorry, you shit-fuck! Alan!"

Luckily, before Anita Mann could get Alan, there was the sound like a sleeping dog moaning, then the AC disappeared, the lights went out, and the cameras stopped. Filming was done for the day. I'm not sure whom the patron saint of fluffers is, but I'm going to find out.

* * * *

Thankfully, when I got back to Barry's there was a message on the machine from Crystal. She said a bunch of people was going out and to meet them when I got out of work. The blackout didn't stop cabs and I got home early, early enough to take a nap, a shower, and try to figure out what I was doing. Barry was on a shoot in Santa Monica, and I heard that they didn't lose power.

Too bad for him.

* * * *

When Crystal said we were going to see a band that a few ex-porn set crew guys had put together, I was a bit wary, especially when she said they were conceptual, and that their name was 'Creme de la Crème'. Now I love the bad pun-dantry that is rife in porn. Hell, I was working on an all-female feature that was supposed to take place in Vegas called Clam's Casino. It's just that for me, the fun was dependant on the context; move the puns out of the realm of pornography and they are just plain coarse and un-clever. Additionally, I have always been disappointed by attempts to mix rock and roll with porn, despite their apparently easily co-catalytic qualities. The home videos of rock stars and their wives and/or girlfriends, some of whom are from the business, should have stayed snuggly buried in the back of a dresser drawer. The frequent dating of porn stars by musicians seemed to be more about symbolism than sex, a sign of some 'thing' rather than the thing itself, almost akin to urban lawyers driving SUVs. Moreover, all attempts thus far at porn-rock have proved to be neither or bad at both. And conceptual rock ... if there ever was any good in it, it was killed by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and regularly updates since from the likes of Iron Maiden and Queensryche confirmed that, like Francisco Franco, it was still dead. However, it occurred to me that I was looking forward to seeing Crystal, so I was into the night's activities.

I met Crystal and her friends at a place called Mais Oui, and despite being in LA for less than three days, I recognized a lot of people in her group. Alexis was there, the camera guys from my first night, and Bunny, who despite her name was just all kinds of all-right. If the place burned down there could be no more porn made for years, or at least until the next bus from Iowa came in.

As it turned out, Creme de la Creme was nothing short of revelatory. Their concept was all right there, right in their name. The set opened with a bang, or more literally with a yell from Lance Luther, the singer, a long 'yeaaaaa' whose 'y' leapt from his belly as if aimed for his skull, then proceeded to wind through a William Blake-ian cavalcade of heaven, hell, and elsewhere, all fast cars, jump cuts and smoke, the last 'a' seeming to use every last O2 molecule not just in his lungs but on earth. Somehow, the drummer, bassist and guitarist independently knew just when he had burned his last bridge, punctuating its inferno with a power chord 'fuck you', then pausing and repeating it in case you didn't hear them the first time. Wow. Recognizing that in a mere 20 seconds, using no known words and three chords, they had us all revved up and ready to go, Creme de la Creme vamped a few bars, then came the performance's one and only line: "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss." Then came five crashes from the band, the last one fading out and dovetailing with the rising approval from the audience. It was beautiful. No synth noodling, no too-hard to live up to choruses, just truly the best moments of "Won't Get Fooled Again".

Lance thanked everyone for coming out, ran his fingers through his hair and eased up to the mic with closed eyes. "Nothin's worrying . me-eeee-eee." The drummer gave two quick and light downbeats, and then Crème de la Crème, who not 60 seconds earlier had been rocking hard enough to peel the paint, deftly shifted into a cha-cha that would have kept them working Holiday Inn's all'70s long. Lex, Lance's brother and foil, proved that he had a great ear for tone and rhythm, his guitar work every bit as tasteful in this song as it had been over-the-top in the opener. The real killer was Lance, pulling out a trumpet and a mute, riding the killer coda to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" for all it was worth. Two songs, two dropped jaws from me. These guys were fucking great.

Lex and Lance were brothers and clearly so. Crystal and the group filled me in a bit on them. They were apparently quite bright, or at least

able to catch on to things very quickly. They had arrived in L.A. together, gotten jobs on a porn set soon thereafter, and quite quickly became very sought after light and soundmen. I couldn't vouch for their filmmaking talents, but they were great musicians with a great sense of both the sublime and the ridiculous. Their rhythm section weren't brothers, but they certainly were a unit. Dubbing themselves Mack E. Valley and Stix Dynamite, they dressed in complimentary, or at least similar, purple and orange glampire-meets-Judaic-gypsy outfits. Their playing was everything their appearance was not: subtle, efficient, and in-place, not a pulse more or less than perfect.

Crystal introduced me to everyone, and they were all quite nice and a lot of fun. She kindly introduced me as 'her friend', and her endorsement seemed to carry some weight. She was obviously much liked by these people, and for good reasons. I appreciated her helping me out by introducing me in the manner she did. We were having a great time talking together and digging the band, and I found her presence comforting and grounding in my new surroundings.

Lex whispered something in Lance's ear and they both just burst out laughing. Someone in the crowd shouted, "What's so funny?" Lance seemed surprised, but he went back to the mic and said, "You know what's so funny? You know what Lex just said to me?" He paused about a second, and then sung, "I'm a bitch, I'm your lover.." Shit, the place went nuts! If I hadn't had Meredith Brooks' one hit drilled through my mind by mondo-heavy rotation on every station of every format, I might not have recognized it over the din.

What gives? Do these people really love this song so much? Let's face it, the 'crème' of this cut is at most a doubled chorus. What I didn't know was what was coming, and they, the crowd, did and they were damn happy. Right at the end of the second chorus (natch), Stix did a fill like he was trying to cover for someone else's mistake, crashing his floor tom and thudding the cymbals. It might have sounded awkward, had the rest of the band not played along. Lance didn't miss a beat - he missed about a beat and two-thirds, exactly the right amount of time to let the band say their goodbyes to "Bitch" before he purred, "I'm a bitch. I'm a slut. I'm a blue movie." Talk about shooting fish in a barrel! While maybe no one in the room could have given you the correct title, everyone knew Berlin's "Sex (I'm a .)" most of the guys looked old enough to know it from when Berlin was a hot touring act, while most of the girls must have learned it from its second life on 'The Buzz', or 'The Beat', or whatever the'80's and Beyond' station in their hometown was. Crème de la Crème worked that fucker, Mack wisely deciding not to try to mimic the frantic sequenced keyboard bassline of the original, instead finding a slinky path that would have made INXS jealous. Lex not only could play that guitar, he could work the pedals, coaxing and smearing sound like Pollack. Lance's muted trumpet approximated synth washes, and sounded even better. Two verses, back-to-back, the last line, "We make love together" being sung along by everyone in Mais Oui, some with future vision, some relishing a past passion, some just singing along.

Lex let it all rip on the solo, and the band went with him, leaving "Sex" behind, but not letting us, or at least me, in on the secret of where they were going. It got crunchier, rockier, until Stix seemed as if he were quieting the group and calling the meeting to order with a'1-and/2-and/3-and/4-and' gavel rap. Lance, of course, knew to expect this, and he carried on the theme: "I can bitch, I can bitch, 'cause I'm better than you." They not only out Elton-ed Elton, they out Elton-ed Axl Rose. The band pitched in on the 'Bi-itch, Bi-itch. The Bitch is back' background vocals, and Lance again took out the trumpet, playing a punchy accompanying line that would have made his high school band teacher proud, assuming he

made it to high school. Lex and Mack started to strip down and toughen their parts, minimizing the changes until they were basically turning out a Chuck Berry-ish one-chord chug, with only pull-offs and passing notes alluding to the song now seemingly left behind. Meanwhile, Lance started to come back in a little louder on the trumpet, letting that punchy line get a little more bump and grind, shaping toward something I knew that I knew but couldn't quite place. I finally recalled it about two measures before Lance got there; Crème de la Crème was working the beejeezus out of the instrumental outro of The Rolling Stones' "Bitch," Stix turning the beat around just like Charlie Watts did, not because Charlie did it, but because it was the right thing to do. Without guidance, the whole of Mais Oui was singing the 'yeah, yeah, yeah'-s of the song's ending like it was mantra to bring all that was good, Stix beating the snare and floor tom as hard as he could to try to hear himself over them. At last he gave up, and gave the fill that brought this stampede to a controlled end. It was like sex, or a roller coaster, or cocaine; I wanted more, I wanted all of it, again, right now.

* * * *

Crystal asked me if I wanted to go out to the parking lot to talk between sets. It had cooled off, and the night was pretty nice. She asked me how my day went, and when I told her about the dildos, the scoldings, and the blackout, she just laughed in a way that made me laugh too.

"When I told you 'Good Luck' I knew you were going to need it!"

"Thanks a lot," I said.

"No, Evan, it's not that, not you. No, not that at all. It just that, well, girls aren't like guys. Your job is going to be a lot tougher than mine."

"Well, why? I mean we're both fluffers, right?"

"Honey, to get a man interested in sex all you need to do is mention it, and the only thing you need to do to keep him interested is to do more of it. I don't think it's that way with girls. My job's the easiest thing in the world; they're already having sex, and they're guys. It's like they're all dogs and I'm Pavlov. You though, you got it tough. Women are a lot harder."

"I knew that even before today."

"I think guys fall for the sex first, then they fall in love to compensate for it, or to sort of justify it. Like, if they meet a really hot chick, they will find some way to love her, no matter what, where as girls fall in love with a guy, and then somehow find a way to find him sexy, whether he's fat, or bald, or mean, or whatever."

"What do I do? I mean, how do I do what you do? I can't just, like, you know, go give them head."

"Well, they might like that, but I think they know it would set a bad example if they let you do it for free. I think the thing you got to do is talk to them."

"Talk dirty?"

"No. No, silly. Just talk about stuff, normal stuff. Just talk to them like you're talking to me now."

Talk to them? I had a small fortune in sex toys and extra batteries that I didn't want to waste. I'm a kid from upstate New York working with some stunning women who have the eye and attention of many a man, and I'm supposed to get and keep them turned on by talk alone? Surely there had to be some other thing, some secret that Crystal would let me in on.

"Oh, yeah. There's one other thing." Great, maybe she knows some sort of herb, or a special sensitive spot that she'll break her no-boys-allowed oath and share with me. "Listen, too."

* * * *

The next afternoon as I was driving a newly rented car to the set, I realized that I couldn't just show up the day after my mondo-embarrassment as if nothing had happened. I also could not just show up with no toys, lotions, or batteries, as if I decided I didn't need them based on the strength of my first day performance. I came up with what I thought was a classic 'L.A.' story; namely that someone had stolen my box of sex aids out of my car. I ran through about a dozen possible cross-examinations to my story, and decided I thought I could stick to it, and hopefully, could make it stick. I wasn't sure why I was putting so much trust in Crystal's suggestion, especially considering it was so terrifying, but somehow she had convinced me it would be possible, and it just seemed like she wouldn't let me down, even if I did.

Boomer Preston was my first appointment. I liked her right off; liked her name, and she seemed regal and optimistic, but thankfully not too spunky.

"Do you know where the coffee is?" she asked.

I did, and I got her some. All ready, things were going better than yesterday.

"One of the girls told me you had a bunch of dildos and stuff with you."

'Uh-oh. Come on blackout,' I thought.

"Well, I did yesterday, but on my way here, I stopped to buy a creamsicle, you know, just cause I wanted one, and I guess I didn't lock the car right because when I got back someone had stolen the box of them right off the back seat."

"Oh my God, that happened to me too!"

Wow. I was either being had or I was really lucky.

"The first time ."

The first time?

".I was helping my Mom move and that's all they took! What's up with this city?"

"It's something, isn't it? Where are you from originally?"

The next 15 minutes flew by. We talked about Lawrence, Kansas, where she grew up, and how her older sister used to date the bassist of The Mortal Micronotz, who were also from there. She said she never talked to William Burroughs when he lived there, but she used to see him all the time. He would come in the K-Mart where she worked to buy ammo. We were both disappointed when she called back to the set.

"Will you be around later?"

I promised her I would be.

* * * *

I was nervous about my rematch with Anita Mann, but she seemed in better spirits, perhaps because she really enjoyed having a laugh at my expense when I told her about how I lost the dildos. She told me what a rube I was, and how I better learn a lot fast if I was going to make it here in L.A. Then, she said something odd, something both unguarded and disarming:

"But, I know what you mean. I'm a sucker for a creamsicle myself."

I saw an opening and I went for it. "You got enough time before shooting starts again. Why don't we drive down to the 7-11 and get a couple?" To my surprise, she agreed. She put a London Fog on over her cocktail waitress costume, and we went out to my car.

To my embarrassment, I had left the tape I was listening to in the deck, so when I started up the car, Anita was greeted by a big blast of Gordon Lightfoot, "Carefree Highway" specifically. I held my breath, waiting for the ridicule.

"God, I love Gordon Lightfoot. Did you know that he was one of the best fucks I ever had?"

The next half-hour flew by.

* * * *

I couldn't wait to talk to Crystal that night, to let her know just how right-on her advice had been. It was weird, because whenever I got nervous with one of the girls on the set, I just thought about what she said, and just tried to remember to listen. It wasn't as easy with any of them as it was with her, but I just thought that was because Crystal was so smart, or cool, or insightful or something. Anyway, I couldn't wait to talk to her.

It was disappointing when I got a hold of her. It wasn't all disappointing. She was very excited for me, and said that she had kept wondering how my day was going. I told her all about the creamsicle bit, and the Gordon Lightfoot. My disappointment was that she had to be on the set early the next morning, so we couldn't get together, which was too bad, because I really wanted to take her out for a drink or something, to show my appreciation. The flick she was working on was a big-budget affair, and there was a sunrise scene that the director insisted on shooting at sunrise rather than at sunset. Apparently he was a stickler for continuity, and since his Dad was laundering money by producing the movie, he could do whatever he wanted. According to Crystal, outdoor shots, especially in the cold,

were when she tended to get relied on the most. I told her that my little experience with those cold and outdoor 'love' confirmed that that would be so, and she just laughed the sweetest laugh.

* * * *

The next morning, I threw my acoustic guitar and a few books in the car at the last minute, because I had heard that shooting would be slow that day. I had promised Crystal I would give her a wake up call to be sure she didn't oversleep, so I had been up for a while. She sounded groggy, which on her was quite becoming. She gave me a bit of a pep talk, and told me to relax. Actually, the books and guitar were her idea; she said even if I was busy they were good props. Let me tell you, her word was gold with me.

Anita was the first in. She didn't have a scene for a while, but told me that it was a hot one, and that I had better get to work on her. I felt my heart and stomach drop out my ass. If I had been a cartoon, I would have turned blue and the back of my drawers would scrape the ground as I walked. Then, as if the same blackout-giving patron saint was listening, she asked, "Is that your guitar? Do you play?"

I didn't say anything, just picked it up and started to noodle a bit. I collected myself, thought of what Crystal's advice might have been, and then started to sing along with my strumming. "If you read my mind, love/what a tale my thoughts would tell." It was perfect. Every time I couldn't come up with the next line, Anita chimed in. Her voice was pretty good, and very distinctive. As she sang, she got out of her chair and came over to sit next to me on the table. I started "Rainy Day People", and before I could start she jumped in on the vocals. I harmonized as best I could, and when I hit a particularly wrong note, she just laughed and mussed my hair.

"You don't sing so good, sometimes."

"I just brought the guitar today because I heard I might not have a lot to do." Sad, but that was the best thing I could think of to say.

"Do you know any Joni?"

I pleaded that I didn't, but then we stumbled our way through "Raised on Robbery" as best we could.

I had to ask. "Are you Canadian?"

Anita just laughed. "My mother was half French and half Egyptian. My Dad was a South Boston guy, a 'South' before there was such a thing."

"So, do you just dig the Canadian singer-songwriters?"

"We moved a lot. I really don't know why we did. The longest we ever lived was in this small town in New York, up north. It was called Clayton; it sucked. The only radio station we really got was from Kingston, Ontario, this AM station that went for miles. It was just before I moved out here. Me and my friends from school would just go out driving, maybe park, drink beers, get high, just, you know, kids' stuff. I wanted to hear music. I was always saying, 'Put on CKLC'. They played a lot of Canadian singers and I liked some of them."

"Anita - get your ass out here," Alan called from the other room.

"My ass, that's all he cares about." I felt bad for her. I mean, she was a bitch, but she was way more than ass. I'm sure, or at least hoped, he didn't mean it the way she took it.

"Evan, come on out, check out the scene. Maybe you should see the results of your work."

I followed Anita out, and we were greeted by a few hoots and hollers from the crew. She flipped them the bird as naturally as I count change before buying a newspaper, and got onto the couch at the center of the set. I stood over next to Barry, who was trying to make his job seem as much like joyless work and as little as awesome voyeurism as he could. The scene started at a point that I hoped was halfway, or at least some percentage-way in, since when Alan yelled "action," Alexis deNile had her head buried in Anita's doggy-posed outstretched ass.

Anita looked up at the camera, for a second, then she looked at me. She didn't move her face, except that her mouth and eyes got a little wider, then a little more small. She looked like she was making noise, but she wasn't.

"Fuck." Barry could be astute at times. "She's motherfuckin' hot" he whispered.

I looked back to Anita. She moaned, then gasped, then moaned, then smiled.

Then, she winked at me.

I took 'Psy 101'. I took both 'Psychoanalytic Case Studies in Literature' and a 'Freudian Analysis of Shakespeare'. I read The White Hotel at least 3 times. I knew a bit about transference, and this was transference.

I couldn't wait to see Crystal.

To be continued...

NORMAN KEE is not really a porn star. As far as we know