The Souvenir

Christ, I’m exhausted.

For the last several days, I’ve been watching eight years of life together disintegrate slowly into boxes and piles as The Ex-Box and the Souvenir get on with the process of packing to move out. No matter how stoic you are (and I’m pretty fucking  stoic, Sunny Jim), there’s a hollow, echoing noise that sounds in your chest when you go to reach for something and find it gone, only to realize it’s been packed in a box to move on as part of another life.

Thank Bob for Amazon. They should have a section designed specifically for men trying to reassemble their lives after a break-up. “All the niggling little shit you’ve forgotten about, but need anyway, in one place!  Oven mitts! Kitchen shears! Paper towel holders!”

 This is a whole specific circle of Hell Dante must have missed. “Here in circle 4.2 are people who need to replace their cutlery drawer organizers because they’ve been dumped.”

On Sunday, Mischief took me away from the chaos on a day trip to Lake Arrowhead. Apart from the fact that California really doesn’t want you anywhere near the actual lake unless you’re a home/boat owner or a member of the fucking yacht club, and our disagreement over the standup comedian she loves that I… didn’t…, it was really nice.

We prowled through the shops, snickered our way through several terrible art galleries (and one very good one), ate the world’s worst excuse for a Belgian waffle ever, and had a generally terrific time. As we drove through around the mountain looking at some of the great old A-frames, she tried to convince me she really did like Corruption.

I don’t buy it.

We stopped at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse on the way home, and I discovered that the steakhouse of the same name I know from Arizona pre-dates the oldest California restaurant by a decade, and is apparently unaffiliated. I suspect it must have been at some point.

Today has been largely dedicated to chores, arranging the pickup of various pieces of furniture from myriad locations around the Valley, and going to pick up more furniture from CraigsList. After carrying a fullsize sofabed/couch solo on my back to get it to the truck, I’m a wee bit knackered.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I will be able to find a, eye of quiet in the ongoing hurricane to appease the monkey which clings eternally to my back and edit.

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 felt like I was living someone else’s life for a bit there on Friday. At the beginning of the week, Friday had been targeted as an editing day, one in which I could have the kind of sustained, uninterrupted focus I need for cutting.

Of course, by mid-week, that was all shot to hell.

When I got word that I had to spend another crapload of money on History’s Most Costly Vacation (will I never stop paying for this trip?) I decided quickly selling off some junk was more sensible.

Incidentally, if anyone is in the market for a killer V1U package, or some 12” Sideshow figures from Episodes I-III, just drop me a line.

Then Ethan Cage asked me if he and Lexi Lamour could shoot content for her site here on Friday as they had lost the location they thought was free. Sure, what the hell. Ain’t gonna interfere with posting crap on Ebay.

I decide, since I’m now not editing Friday, I should stay up Thursday night and work. This might explain some of Friday’s slightly surreal quality. Or maybe it’s a flashback from the acid I’ve never dropped.

K and her Souvenir were out bright and early Friday morning. Lexi, Ethan, Courtney Cummz and webmaster Bill Fox show up around 11:30 to do their thing.

Around 1, Mischief showed up. She’s in San Francisco this weekend, so I invited her to stop by on her way out of town for lunch. We left the porn folk to their own devices and hit the Lost Soul’s Café. Fine, but unremarkable food. The same excellent company. She’s incredibly easy to be around, this girl. Smart, sexy, warm, and so very, very familiar.

Good for the ego, too. I figured she would be anxious to hit the road, holiday traffic being in full ass-suck by the time we got back from lunch. Not so. She was anxious to find a relatively private spot to get naked and make out instead.

Which we managed to do. Briefly. Until Amelia June — a friend of 20 years who I was expecting around noon and had written off as a no-show — came up to the second level looking for us around 3.

Conceding defeat, Mischief and I got dressed. I walked her to her car, necked in front of the cold storage guys, and sent her on her way.

Amy, who worked for me at The Castle adult store in Arizona back before it was a chain, hung out until 5:30 talking relationships and break-ups and catching up and falling apart. She likes the Goth Biscuit a lot, but can’t imagine dating someone 16 years younger. Amelia June skews older in her relationships, and is just breaking up (2010: The Year We Break Contact) with a woman 15 years her senior.

By the time I fed cats, caught up with Ben Hoffman, the Photographer in the Attic, and made dinner for myself, I was sitting down to post things at 9:30.

I was still awake at 3 a.m. when Amber Rayne texted, having a meltdown (see the previous post). Finally got to sleep around 5.

Today, I’ve had other distractions. Errands to run. French photographers. Temporarily abandoned Andy San Dimases.

In a few minutes, I’m headed out to door for dinner and a movie and I dunno what with the stunning Adrianna Nicole. I’ve gotten fuck-all done again today.

And I’m okay with it.

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