Diary of a Darklady
Never in a Straight Line
Renting a car is a form of gambling. You know that chances are high you’ll get something that runs and is in good condition but, especially when you ask for an economy car, there’s never any knowing what you’ll get. One trip to LA resulted in my driving a super sexy red convertible. This last time I got a silver minivan. A sex writer in a minivan. I asked the clerk if he was sure I was being assigned the correct vehicle, because I thought that you had to have at least one toddler or school aged soccer player in order to be allowed (or forced) to drive a minivan. He assured me that I had a silver minivan waiting for me.
Once I recovered from the shock of its sheer size, I was pleased to find that other than being big as a small bus, the thing was surprisingly comfortable to drive. Given that I treat my current 13-year-old mid-sized car as though it were an Indy machine, I wasn’t likely to baby my rental. Fortunately, it was up to the task of carting me around the many highways and byways that make up the Los Angeles freeway system and its identical, daisy chained suburbs. That’s important when you’re in LA. It’s especially important if you’re going to get lost in LA, but more about that later.
Once again, I stayed with my friend Maggie Knowles, who helped found Adult Industry Medicine/AIM (http://www.aim-med.org) and still oversees its website. Alas, due to my late comings and goings, we barely had a chance to catch sight of one another. She’s an early bird and I’m a night owl. I wasn’t able to say goodbye before I returned home, so I left a bouquet of flowers, a Diet 7-Up, and some baked chicken as a gesture of appreciation. Sometimes it’s the best you can do.
I had decided to make this latest visit to the city of endless highway in order to meet with the president, sales department, and marketing department of Topco Sales (http://www.topco-sales.com), as well as speak at Hustler Hollywood’s (http://www.hustlerhollywood.com) monthly Naughty Bits and Bites night. During my March trip to LA, I’d had lunch with the event’s host, rocket scientist, former nightclub owner, and wild haired shoe fetish book writer Stan Kent (http://www.stankent.com). He’d proposed that I return and talk to the locals about writing screenplays for porn videos. I’d written one, “Unforgettable” for Sin City, starring Shay Sweet and Randy Spears, so that apparently made me an expert. So be it.
Even with the high weirdness of a silver minivan, my two scheduled appointments went very well. I very much enjoyed meeting the folks at Topco, browsing their shelves, and playing kid in the candy shop while we made a list of toys to donate for my upcoming Portland Masturbate-a-Thon (http://www.masturbate-a-thon.org). I had a genuinely fun luck with two of the staff, dropped them back off at the office, and proceeded to take what turned out to be the long route back to Maggie’s apartment. I got to drive through parts of “beautiful downtown Burbank” that I had never known existed even when I lived there as a child. Shades of things to come.
As delighted as I was to have a bag filled with flavored body whipped cream, fragrant massage oils, promotional t-shirts, “Don’t” & “Stop” wrist restraints, body warming lubricant, and a nifty, all-natural “feminine moisturizer” spray for menopausal women, I was even more pleased to have the opportunity to have dinner with Felix (http://www.ilikeunderwear.com), whom I’d met previously during my party at Gemini Manor (http://www.geminimanor.com). I’d thoroughly enjoyed letting him snap at me with a single tailed whip and poke the points of knives into my body in March, so I was looking forward to sitting down with him at a table and having a cerebral exchange over something delicious. Breaking bread with another is an ancient and honorable tradition.
Although I had to drive around the block a few times before I located the restaurant in question, once I did we had a lovely time sitting outdoors, eating savory Indian food and discussing art, S/M, and kitchen design. We adjourned for coffee and steamed vanilla milk, brought a bit of bawdy sunshine into the otherwise dreary Pasadena baristas’ lives, and then browsed the racks at Unruly (http://www.unrulyclothing.com), a retro shop owned by one of Felix’s friends. I unexpectedly found the perfect shirt to wear to my upcoming Masturbate-a-Thon. Since I was going to host the ‘thon, I needed to wear clothing that could be seen on the streets without undue notice if anything went amiss and I needed to speak with the authorities or any of the neighbors. The gray men’s shirt with long sleeves, a collar, multiple small pockets, and charming hangman’s nooses was so perfectly dark and strange that I knew it would make the perfect cover-up over my XTC Leather of NY (http://www.xtcleather.com) mini skirt and teddy. What an unexpected treasure.
After exchanged promises to stay in touch, Felix led me to the freeway overpass and I proceeded back to the Valley, where I overshot my exit and explored the various major side streets that ultimately led me back to Maggie’s. This was becoming a habit.
The next day was a lazy one for me, mostly spent working on Masturbate-a-Thon correspondence and a short story for an upcoming spanking anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (http://www.rachelkramerbussel.com). Once it was time, I gussied myself up, collected my promotional materials together, climbed into what David Aaron Clark (http://www.davidaaronclark.com) had nicknamed the “Silver Whale,” and parked in the Hustler Hollywood parking lot. The evening stretched in front of me like a languid cat asking to have its belly scratched.
LA runs about 15 minutes late a lot of the time, and such was the case with my presentation. Although I initially panicked, thinking no one would arrive to hear me speak, by the time things wound up nearly three hours later, I’d had at least 30 settle in for some naughty stories, insights, and writing tips. By the time we finished, my attentive smut scribes had torn all of the posters off of the walls and asked me to autograph them. Heh. There’s a head rush worth the price of an airline ticket and a few hours of my life on the LA freeway system.
Since the stamina of people in LA is lower than that of those from the Pacific Northwest, only one of my audience members went across the street with me to The Rainbow, a trendy nightspot where rising, falling, and forgotten rock stars strut their stuff. In addition to the human parade, they make a killer chicken vegetable soup and a stiff Long Island Iced Tea. Yum. I felt flushed with success, hope, and alcohol by the time I chatted with Rainbow regular Lemmy of Motorhead and a guy who claimed he was the band’s drummer while insisting that he and I should retire to his hotel room for some good times. But I had adventures ahead of me that he simply could not be a part of, and thus I climbed into my trusty Silver Whale to spend the next four hours exploring Malibu, Thousand Oaks, and areas with names I’ve completely forgotten and had never heard of before. Somehow for me that night, no roads led to Rome. Instead every road ran somewhere in the vicinity, but had exits that teleported me at weirder and weirder angles to my destination. Four hours is a long time to endure LA radio in a min van. It was plenty of time for me to have a long, sometimes emotional conversation with myself about sleep, my career, travel, writing, and sleep – or the lack of it. The charm had just about entirely worn off by the time I parked across from Walgreen’s and walked carefully around Maggie’s sleeping form on my way to my guest room. When I finally fell asleep at 6:20am, I was so delighted to snuggle against the pillows and under the comforter that I decided that the long, strange trip had been worth it. Let’s face it, I’ve never gotten anywhere worthwhile by the conventional route. It seems that every trip worth taking involved at least some unscheduled side-trips.
Next month: The Masturbate-a-Thon, meeting William Hung, and who knows what else.