“Excuse me, can I ask you something?”
Sean turns around to see where that voice came from. When he does, his jaw nearly drops.
“Um, pardon me? Are you talking to me?” Sean asks.
On this chilly late November evening, Sean had no intention of being bothered by anyone. Thanksgiving is in two days and he still hasn’t bought the ingredients necessary to make the pecan pie his mother told him to make. Sean’s a big boy, but mommy’s guilt-inducing passive aggressive behavior still cuts deep into his soul.
Sean’s business on this evening was simple. Go to the store and buy what he needs to make this pie. Little did he expect to be accosted by a complete stranger during the short 10-minute walk to his neighborhood market. And especially by this kind of a stranger.
“Yes, I’m talking to you, silly! Who else would I be speaking to?” She looks around and points out that there is absolutely no one else on the sidewalk at this time of night.
This woman, who looks to be anywhere between 30 and 35, is wearing a long wolf grey fur coat that covers her entire figure. With a bright red wool beanie on her head, a lock of blonde hair rests along her left cheek. Her pretty face looks harder around the edges than most women Sean has ever seen. She has a raspy voice that’s husky but unquestionably feminine at the same time.
“You’re right. You wouldn’t be talking to anyone. So, what’s your question?” Sean says.
The woman approaches Sean. He subtly backs away – not out of fear, but out of instinct. He can’t quite put his finger on it, but there was something very intimidating about her. She’s nearly his height and doesn’t appear to be hostile, but she gave off an aura of…intimidation.
“It’s a very unorthodox question, but I must preface it with this: You know what’s happening this Thursday, right?”
“Uh, yes. This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Is that what you’re referring to?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m referring to. Thanksgiving is, of course, a day for giving thanks, wouldn’t you agree?” A creepy smile flashes across her beautiful face. Can he trust her?
“Thanksgiving is indeed a day of giving thanks, yes,” Sean replies.
“Good. Recently, I decided I wanted to experiment with something. I want to do a favor for you. I want to give you a reason to say “thanks” when this day is over. I want to do something nice for you, even though we’ve never met and you have no reason to trust me,” she says.
No reason to trust her? She’s got that right! Who the hell is she–
“What’s your name?” she asks.
“Sean. Sean Kimura. What’s your name, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“I don’t mind at all. My name is Bridgette. Pleased to meet you.” She extends her hand and Sean shakes it. Her firm grip surprises him. Wow! She’s strong! Sean has never met a woman with such a powerful handshake.
“Likewise, Bridgette. It’s chilly out here, so I don’t want to be standing outside for long. What’s the favor you want to do for me?”
“The favor I want to do for you can be summarized in the question I’d like to ask you.”
Amused by her stalling tactics, Sean grins back. While it is chilly outside, it’s not as unbearably cold as he suggested. He just wants to see where this unusual conversation is going.
“Ask me the question. If you take any longer, this day may end without me saying “thanks” to you,” Sean jokes. Bridgette chuckles.
“Alright. Will you have sex with me?”
Sean nearly falls over on the sidewalk. Luckily for him, he successfully keeps his balance.
“Uh, excuse me? Did I hear you correctly?”
“Yes, you heard that as clearly as you could possibly hear it. It’s a simple question. Will you have sex with me?”
Sean is silent. Bridgette senses his astonishment and decides to take the lead in this exchange.
“Look, I understand this probably sounds like a joke. But it’s not a joke. I want to have sex with someone tonight. A complete stranger. No strings attached. We don’t have to exchange phone numbers. In fact, we didn’t even have to exchange names. Just a simple roll in the hay. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s as simple as it sounds.” A sudden gust of wind roars by and sweeps the lock of hair across her nose. Watching Bridgette twitch her nose somewhat turns him on.
“Who are you? A philanthropic prostitute?”
Bridgette laughs. Then she suddenly stops and grabs Sean by the shoulders. Demonstrating her strength, Sean is pulled against her and he is helpless to escape her grasp.
“Nice use of alliteration. But I’m not a whore. If you call me a whore again, I swear I’ll kick the living shit out of you, understand?” Sean nods in agreement. Sensing his fear, Bridgette releases him and he almost falls backward.
“Don’t apologize, kid. Just listen to me. Here’s the catch. Do you see that dark blue van parked across the street there?” She points to a dark blue van that is indeed parked across the street. Sean nods.
“Good. Inside that van is a small camera crew. Just three people. A camera operator, a sound guy and a lighting girl. The four of us aren’t from around here. We just flew in from L.A. earlier this morning. You want to know what industry we belong to?”
Sean’s head is spinning at a million miles per hour. Did he just walk into an “Inception” style dream?
“No, I have no clue what industry you belong to. What?”
“We work in the porn industry. I’m new to the field, but for the time being, I’m a pornographic actress. Before that I was a professional athlete. But you can only compete in that dog-eat-dog world for so long before you want to blow your brains out. So now I’m doing this.”
Check that. This isn’t “Inception.” This is more like “The Twilight Zone!”
“The concept of our next film project is simple. I go up to a random stranger in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood and ask him to have sex with me. You say “yes” and we then return back to our condo where we have sex on camera. Do you see this?” Bridgette points to a lapel microphone attached to her coat. The black mic blended in with her grey fur coat, so Sean didn’t notice it until now.
“This entire conversation has been recorded. In fact, our every movement has been recorded, isn’t that right, Jimmy?” She points to a hedge across the street near the van. A hand pokes out and waves to them. Sean is completely speechless. What the fuck is this all about?
“Jimmy is our cameraman. He’s been in the business for years. To make a long story short, all you have to do is sign a waiver and come with us to the condo we’re renting for the week. We do the deed and we’ll post the video on our website just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. And don’t worry. We’ll blur out your face and even mute your voice so no one will recognize that it’s you. You wouldn’t want your friends and family to know that you’ve starred in a porno, right?”
“No, that wouldn’t be something I’d like them to know about.” Whoa.
“So…what do you say? Are you in?”
Sean looks at the van and the bushes where Jimmy is staked out behind his camera. He looks back at Bridgette and sizes her up. Her big frame suggests she’s either really fat (with a remarkably skinny face) or her fur coat is tremendous in thickness. She’s probably great in bed if she’s a professional porn star. Hm. Why the hell not?
“Yes. Why the hell not? Count me in!” Sean has never been one to take risks, but after being unexpectedly dumped by his long-time girlfriend earlier this year (on Valentine’s Day, if you can believe that!), Sean is definitely in the mood to “rebel” and be a bad boy for once in his life. Enough Mr. Nice Guy. It’s time to be a bad motherfucker.
“Great! Come with us.” Bridgette turns around and leads Sean toward the van. Jimmy gets up out of his crouched position and follows them to the van carrying a large camera over his shoulder. These people are in the porn industry! Holy fuck!
Bridgette opens the van’s side door and ushers Sean inside. The driver, an overweight middle-aged balding man wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt, shakes his hand as he sits down.
“Hello. I’m Tony. I’m the sound guy.”
“Pleased to meet you, Tony. My name is Sean.” Jimmy the cameraman opens the back door and enters. Bridgette closes the door once she settles in.
“And my name is Lexie. I’m the lighting and makeup girl.” Sean looks at Lexie and sees a short and petite black girl who looks like she could still be in high school. He shakes her hand.
“Great. Now that you know everyone, let’s roll,” Bridgette orders. Tony immediately starts up the engine and drives off into the cold dark night. Sean’s fear subsides for now. These people seem very friendly…at least thus far. Once the camera starts to roll for real, who knows what this evening is going to be like?
The drive to the condo doesn’t take long. It’s in a swanky part of town that Sean rarely visits. Overseeing the ocean, the condo complex is on top of a hill and looks to be well out of his price range. Sean would go completely broke just living here for a single week!
Bridgette tells him the condo is owned by an ultra-wealthy porn enthusiast who’s out of town for the week. They got this place for free (which is why they chose to film this porno out here instead of down in L.A.) and had unlimited freedom to decorate it ask they’d like. Tony parks the van in the vast parking lot and the five of them get out. Sean marvels at the palatial building that definitely is out of his price range.
They step inside and see a middle-aged woman smoking a cigarette.
“This is Maggie, our producer. She has the form you need to sign,” Bridgette explains as she takes off her shoes. Tony, Jimmy and Lexie disappear inside the condo. Sean is in a daze and still cannot believe what’s happening to him. Maggie shoves a piece of paper in his face.
“Read over it and sign it. Then go upstairs for further instructions,” Maggie coldly instructs.
“Okay, yes ma’am,” Sean replies.
Maggie smirks and continues to smoke her cigarette. Sean tries to hold back a cough. He briefly skims it and silently nods in agreement.
“Everything look good? Great. Sign it.” Maggie hands him a fountain pen and he scribbles his signature on the dotted line. Maggie takes the waiver and disappears into an adjacent room. Bridgette grabs Sean’s hand and escorts him upstairs.
The walk up the long twisted staircase leaves Sean out of breath. Bridgette, on the other hand, hardly breaks a sweat. She takes him to a dressing room on the second (or is it the third or fourth?) floor. The room is filled with mirrors, light bulbs, makeup equipment, hangers, costumes, cans of hairspray and enough foundation to last a Victoria’s Secret photographer for a lifetime. She sits down on a stool and begins to reapply her eyeliner. Sean just stands there, amazed that he’s actually doing this. One moment he’s going out to buy stuff for pecan pie, the next he’s on the verge of becoming an impromptu porn star.
“Are you getting nervous?” Bridgette asks. Methodically putting on her eyeliner, Sean notices she hasn’t taken off her enormous fur coat yet. The room is unbearably hot with all the light bulbs flashing at maximum brightness. What’s her deal?
“No, I’m not nervous. Things are happening way too fast for me to become nervous. I’m more…excited,” Sean begins. “That might not be the right word. This is very surreal.”
She turns to him and smiles. Bridgette crosses her legs and bounces her dark brown furry boot up and down. Sean takes note of how large her calves are. Holy hell! Is that fat or…muscle?
“Of course this is surreal. I don’t blame you for being a little disjointed. If I were you, I’d probably freak out and run as far away from here as possible. Are you ready?” She stands up and looks at Sean eye-to-eye. He blinks twice. She chuckles.
“Uh, sure. I’m ready. Better now than never, right?”
Bridgette slaps him hard on the shoulder. The blunt force of her playful jab almost makes him tumble backward.
“Damn right! Let’s get started. My crew is usually really fast at setting up. They’re all pros. You look great. You’re a handsome boy, Sean,” she says. Sean blushes. It’s not too often that a non-Asian woman calls him “handsome.” That sort of compliment is usually reserved for the Asian girls he dates. But even among them, those kinds of comments are far and few between.
Bridgette grabs his hand and once again leads him to another room. They leave the dressing room, walk down a ridiculously long hallway, make a sharp left turn and enter a new room. The bedroom. Holy shit! This bedroom is bigger than Sean’s entire apartment! The rich sure do know how to live…
A queen sized bed sits at the end of an arched 180 degree window overlooking the seaside. Fancy curtains, tapestries, artworks and custom-made furniture adorn the room.
Sean’s eyes open wide at the sheer audacity of the bedroom. He sees Tony, Jimmy and Lexie hard at work setting up the scene. Maggie comes in and speaks to Bridgette about something. He couldn’t quite hear what they were saying. After a few moments, Jimmy announces they’re ready to begin shooting.
“Sound is ready to go,” Tony announces.
“Ditto with the lights. I’m good,” Lexie responds.
“Great! Let’s get this thing started. The great thing about reality-based pornography is that no rehearsal is necessary. Just go with the flow and follow my lead, got it?” Bridgette asks Sean. Sean can only smile and nod. Is there any other appropriate response?
Tony puts on his headset. Maggie and Lexie stand back and watch. Jimmy is behind his camera, which is now mounted on top of a tripod, and gives the “thumbs up” sign. Bridgette’s team is ready to rock and roll.
Lights. Camera. Action.