Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.
Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.
No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?
And I’m already rambling.
So how on Earth do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.
And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.
Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.
His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-nine-years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely-tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen. Accolades and Oscars.
As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand scenes to-date. Yeah, no kidding.
And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in-hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?
Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.
Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.
But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…
I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.
I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.
This was Come’s first porn star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in: welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.
We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.
I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.
What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?
I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.
I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.
I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.
Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.
Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound. Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.
Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.
As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss, Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.
“How are the interview questions going?”
Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.
“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”
I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.
“Awesome,” she said, pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”
“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.
“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”
“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, three-thousand scenes. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t constantly sore. I wonder if dick-fatigue is a thing.”
“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”
“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”
While, of course, still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a stain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.
Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.
Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?