Burning Angel

I’m currently sitting at the entrance to an enormous furniture warehouse filled with stuff I couldn’t even begin to afford. At the far end, Ben is taking stills of Monique Alexander on a $4,600 sofa, which she’s going to get fucked on for Naughty America. Everyone is taking a beating in this economy, and the owners of this high-dollar store are happy to get a few extra hundred for giving us the location.

I was going to post an in-depth review of Inception, which is, without doubt, one of the most spectacular and original movies I’ve seen in my lifetime. I would fuck that movie if I could. But I’m far too distracted by the knot in my gut.

Instead, I’m writing as therapy, trying to relieve the mounting stress of an increasingly ridiculous life. As I take on more and more work, consistently making less for doing more, watching the bills pile up as the income dwindles, I wonder when I will finally crack. I’m not being melodramatic. This isn’t a growing panic but rather an idle concern, like guilt over not going to the dentist.

I’m trying to pay attention to the band playing Nearer My God to Thee as I rearrange the deck chairs.

Last week I worked four of the hardest days I can remember for Burning Angel, shooting and gaffing Joanna’s Angels 3 for Joanna and James Deen. 2 16-hour days, an 18-hour day and a 20-hour day, and practically every minute of it, I was on my feet and running around. I didn’t just feel old when we wrapped, I felt ancient.

To make matters worse, I’ve agreed to edit the movie. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that I haven’t finished cutting Kiss of the Strangler, which is turning out great, but taking far too long. Hot Video have been very understanding about it, but for how long? JA3 has a rigid due date in a little over 2 weeks, so it’s going to demand every moment I can devote to it.

Except that I’m going to Florida for four days to shoot Tristan Taormino’s documentary right in the middle of that 2 weeks.

Oh, and I still have to work my NA job, just to keep body and soul together.

Okay, instead of relieving my stress, putting this in black-and-white has sharpened it to a keen edge. Bad idea.

I’m fucked.

Well, as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough go fishing, so I’m having a last gasp attempt at recreation this weekend. Tomorrow, Mischief & I are going up the coast to see a band she loves in Santa Barbara, staying overnight, and then banging around the coast until Sunday evening. We planned this over a month ago. If I had any sense I would have canceled. As it is, I’ll be curious to see if I can even pretend to relax.

Afterwards, I’m essentially going to have to tell her – and everyone else in my life – to forget that I exist for a few weeks and try to dig myself out of the hole I’m in.

Either that, or pull it in after me.

I think my body just told me to get off of its lawn.

As I mentioned, James Deen and Joanna Angel hired me to light and shoot their June feature, Doppelgänger (last I heard), a horror comedy in which Joanna’s fantastically un-lifelke blow-up doll comes to life and tries to kill her. It would be completely incorrect to say they shoot features like I do. Their approach is very different, but their passion and commitment are the same, a rare occurrence in porn, so I was happy to give it my all.

Any time you’re trying to make something good with the tiny amount of money the business affords to features, it means long, hard shoot days. It’s one of the reasons so few mainstream people can truly hack it in porn. This business is broke, and having a work ethic that means you start phoning it in at hour 13 unless someone is offering overtime just doesn’t cut it. Anyone in the business who does features will tell you that looking at the wrong side of an 18-hour day just ain’t that uncommon.

After we wrapped late last night, J&J bought us all dinner which was a great gesture. They really are good people, and I like them both a lot. We’re talking about how to make their July movie possible on the budget they have. I’m prefectly happy to take that ride with them again next month.

My body had other ideas, though. On Thursday, I shot Naughty America with Ben all day. Thursday night, Mischief & I went on an actual “date” in Hollywood; cruised Amoeba; saw Micmacs (I have a love/lethargy relationshipwith Jeunet — this one I loved); had Thai food; hit Borders; fucked like beasts. Really nice.

Friday was a 16-hour day for Burning Angel, and even though the Goth Biscuit was planning on sleeping at her place, we both decided is was a “wiser” idea for her to sleep at the Shelter so I could wake her up briefly when I got home. Yesterday was another long day of shooting, planning and humping gear. When I’m tired during a shoot, I tend to apply Newton’s laws of motion to myself: An object in motion tends to remain in motion, an object at rest tends to remain at rest.  I think during all of the production on Friday & Saturday I sat down maybe four times.

I walked in the door at around 1:30 a.m., talked to the Ex-Box, the Souvenir and the Photographer in the Attic who were all buzzing over some industry gossip in the kitchen, and then went upstairs. I sat down on the edge of the futon in my office to make some notes annnnnnd…

Yeah. Woke up five hours later, still in my clothes, a ferocious kink in my neck. Needless to say, Uncle Joe is movin’ mighty slow in the Junction today. I’m doing some organizing, maybe some editing, and then going to Allison’s place in Long Beach for the evening, where I will hopefully not be required to move anything heavy or blister my fingers. We’re still finding our way through the minefield of her past relationships, but it’s good. We click.

Tomorrow, I’m chained to the desk again, trying to make headway up the river of Kiss of the Strangler and possibly pulling an all-nighter if I can hack it. Hanging out with all these kids is great until you become an object at rest.

I have a girl sleeping in my bed.

Wait, I’m beginning at the end. Let me back up.

Thursday night, Mischief & I went to a gallery show at a club space downtown that featured art, photography, fashion. We were invited by my friend Ben Hoffman (The Photographer in the Attic) who truly is an Artist.

He is one of the more astonishing photographers I’ve ever seen. He’s currently living an art project of his own devising called Project One. The mission is to create one piece of real art every day for a year.

I’d strongly encourage you to check out his site HERE.

The show itself, with the exception of Ben’s work, was a sardonic joke. A hipster facsimile of style, taste and genuine skill. An accidental postmodern sendup of the L.A. art scene. If you could make an ironic T-shirt out of an art show and sell it at Brite Spot, this would be that shirt.

Friday night was supposed to be a solo dinner with my friends John & Brusta to catch up and discuss John’s current screenplay. With a warning that I was afraid she might be bored or feel left out when we came to the script notes, I invited the Girl to come along, and she accepted.

I needn’t have worried. John can be a lot to keep up with, and the two of us together have a hurricane-like effect, blowing over everything not oak tree-strong in the room. Mischief kept up just fine. She related the story of her ex, who had been posting shitty comments on her blog under various guises throughout the day.

When we got to the script discussions hours later, she curled up against the wall, draped a leg over me, and was perfectly happy just to be there, alone in her thoughts, but together as a unit.

Saturday, we took the Metro in to Olvera St. and wandered it thoroughly. Museums. Craft & Crap stores. A great lunch. Some illicit behavior on a hidden balcony overlooking downtown. A great afternoon.

We went home so I could load up for the Burning Angel shoot that I’ve been DPing/Gaffing. When the loadout was finally finished, we showered and I went with Mischief to one of her clubs so I could see her dance.

I’ve always liked going to clubs. I resolutely Do Not Dance. But. The people-watching is always first rate as humans are never more entertaining than when they are On Display for the benefit/antagonism/seduction of others. Peacocks preening and dancing for the other birds in the muster.

Because I cannot go anywhere in this town without bumping into someone I know, we found a hysterically tipsy Aiden Starr at the club. Talking to drunken blond munchkin women with perfect bodies makes me happy.

And then, when the drought of songs she liked finally broke, I got to see Allison dance. It was one of the more erotic experiences of my life.

It wasn’t just the intimate knowledge of being inside that gyrating body… because on that weekend, we finally fucked after weeks of abstinence for a variety of reasons.

The way she moves, the way she melds herself to each song as if it were a lover, the combination of steps and gestures built around a kind of subconscious “here I am/you can’t have me” dynamic… it made me hungry.

Sadly, I had to cut out early. I needed to get a few hours’ sleep before my call in Woodland Hills.

The Burning Angel shoot was grueling, especially on top of four hours’ sleep, but I’ve certainly done worse. Plus, James & Joanna are such great people that you just want to pull it off for them, so we all really tried to hustle.

The movie is about Joanna confronting her possessed blow-up doll from Topco, and it’s going to be really cute. Goth Biscuit & I texted each other back and forth all day like teenagers. Revolting.

Monday, the shoot continued at a loft downtown, and when we ran over and got gently bumped from our location, I offered up my place for the final sex scene. We did the company move, and Mischief got to watch the sex scene being shot, which she’d been curious about, and everyone got to meet her, which they’d been curious about.

The next oldest person on set was 13 years younger than me. When that realization hits you, especially when you’ve been up for 42 hours straight and are sleeping with a 26-year-old, it verges well into the realm of the surreal.

It is a strange, strange life, this thing I’m living.

So, I have a girl sleeping in my bed.

When I finish the things I have to do, that life and work and keeping body and soul together demand of me in the never-ending stretch of never-ending hours that seem to comprise a single, never-ending workday, I’ll slide in next to her. She’ll move to my side and curl up on top of me, like a cat, sleeping on my chest. Out cold. Safe.

We’ve known each other for less than a month – can that be right? – and since she showed up on my doorstep needing a shoulder, we’ve seen each other every day, save one.

And it feels right. It’s effortless and natural. We’re pretty confident we can work out the monogamy issue, and I’m not going to let myself be concerned about the age difference. I figure as long as we can joke about it, it’s not too creepy.

What I’m not going to do is get overwrought, or spend too much time analyzing, trying to convince myself that my own worthiness of a happy existence is constantly in doubt – the way I do – and so anything that contributes to happiness must be suspect. I’m not going to stress about how Allison will react when she finally hits the shoals of the various broken pieces of my psyche. I’m not going to presage doom.

The way I do.


Instead, I’m going to go to bed and I’m going to let that smart, sexy, dynamic, dirty girl who seems to think the world of me curl up on my chest and sleep as my fingers trace the edges of the magnificent tattoo down her right ribcage while I drift.

And I’m not going to worry about it.

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