“I’m in porn.” He’d said it quickly, in a clipped voice, while looking away, like he’d wanted the words off him, shooed away. I gave him a stilled look at which he grinned teasingly, masking unease. “Well, alright. I’m getting into porn, I should say. I’ve been in one clip so far.”
“Uh-huh. What film? What’s its title?” Rick laughed again, and shook his head. I felt like an idiot, stalling with questions to conceal my blushes.
“What film? I don’t know, man. Who cares…what film? Big dicks. It’s called ‘Big dicks’. There. I just gave it a title.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to—”
“Nah, it’s cool. I don’t know why I’m giving attitude, actually. I’ve got a name, if that means anything. Kane—Kane Able. How do you like it?”
“A play on…I suppose.”
“That’s good,” I lied.
So I asked about plot. About the film with no name: I asked if his clip contained any plot, or acting, or even theme. Surprisingly, Rick, or Kane—was pretty sure I’d not make the shift on this one—said there was. Firefighting, he said, not surprisingly. His part, as in his role, was that of a firefighter who has entered a burning building to rescue a trapped woman, who is feebly crying out (I imagined the acting) until the hero arrives, ready to spare her. The room is very hot, about which the performers comment wittily, and then the room gets hotter, and soon they don’t care so much about the fire and…well, you get the picture.
“Any dialogue?” I asked. Rick looked at me as if I were reading from a book of stupid questions.
“I ad-libbed this one line as I came: ‘fire in the hole, baby’, I said.” This time I said nothing. “I know, don’t tell me,” Rick lamented. “Pretty dumb, huh?”
“Did she say anything, have any lines, ad lib or scripted?”
Rick shook his head, uttered a dismissive noise, like I’d asked whether the props spoke on set. I blew air through my teeth, and thought of Lira.
“That’s typical. It goes to show there just aren’t enough good roles for women these days.”
— a passage from Venus Looks Down On A Prairie Vole
An example of parody in my mischief novel: the name Kane Abel is a play on words, of course, common to porn actors. My favorite from the real world of porn? Peter North. Subtle, right? Anyway, Kane is otherwise Rick, a young man whom Daniel Pierce meets while living at a sober living house, wherein he’s in retreat from a fraught personal and professional life. Rick’s day job is in a seafood restaurant, as a chef. There he causes trouble, disturbing his boss and Daniel’s temp boss, Jimbo, by stirring unrest, harassing female staff, flirting with nubile customers, doing very little cooking, it seems, while strutting his sex like a farmyard stud. Rick likely thinks his place in the service industry has layered meaning. He’s the kind of man who feels entitled to promiscuity, who feels offended, let down by another man’s diffidence, thinking that humankind benefits from the indiscriminate sharing of seed. He’ll try to re-ignite something in Daniel, provoke a libidinal return in the grieving, wilted psychologist. That last line, Daniel’s teasing of a feminist complaint, glides over Rick’s head, not so much because of stupidity, but rather self-absorption.
The role of women. What indeed is the role of women?
**image by Philip Lawson