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Bird’s Nest In Your Hair

Chapter Seventeen

The air was so dry and clear outside it might well have been an evening in early fall, had it not been for the completely barren maples of February instead of the giant torches that lined each side of the street in October. The Mercedes seemed to nod in happy approval as it crossed the yellow speed bump on its way out of the garage and up a slight incline to the main street leading into the city. It took all of five minutes to get there: a gray cement box three stories high, about as wide as it was tall on all sides. Tom parked next to a white van in the small lot below a loading dock marked by a large pair of garage doors that hadn’t been used since the building ceased operations as a furniture warehouse some years before. He took a short cement stairway at the corner of the building one, quick shuffling step at a time and let himself in through the heavy steel door that was the unmarked, unwelcoming entrance to the Studio. Occasionally people referred to it as ‘Helen’s House,’ as it was in fact here that her first movies had been made. The Studio was also where the server for her website was located. Once inside Tom nodded at Jimbo, the hulking former tackle who took care of security most of the time.

A walk down a short hallway led him onto the main floor of the warehouse. In the far corner, opposite the entrance, a forklift was parked by a pile of carpeting and some office furniture that had come with the building. On the other side, about a third of the way out from the wall, a series of pillars supporting the open hallways in front of a series of showrooms that had originally been fitted out for different kinds of furniture: the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the office (even a stairway at the far end, complete with balustrade), and all of it like a giant dollhouse that could be folded out so that each room became visible and more accessible. It had been easily transformed into a film studio.

On the first floor, to the left of the staged entrance hall, was the costume room, and to the left of that, a carpeted room that had been fitted out as the employee lounge. Helen had installed a pair of long, beige leather couches, a refrigerator, a couple of microwaves, and several tables where people ate, sketched out scenes, wrote out dialogue, and practiced their lines. In front of the couches was a television, and against the far wall there was an air hockey game, provided for a few minutes of relaxation in the midst of a hard day’s work.

At the moment, however, everybody was hard at work, gathering up equipment and loading it in the van parked outside. Tom found Roger talking to a guy already wearing big, padded headphones.

Roger looked perfectly at home as the ringmaster, so at ease that it was hard to imagine that he had any illusions about his chosen career. Since Tom knew Roger socially, he knew that the sleaze was carefully oiled, making himself appear just unruly enough to inspire respect in others, with enough tattoos that once would have made him look like an ex-con – which, if true, might even have helped his image a little more.

Roger’s hair was shoulder length (although his forehead was looking more and more bare at the top) and usually worn in a simple ponytail. Long, overgrown, triangular side burns, into which the stems of his yellow aviator glasses were buried on their way to his ears. Something about the lights on the set bothered him, although he seemed to be perpetually taking the shades off and putting them back on again, twirling them around between his thumb and index while working on a decision or listening to his assistants.

When he’d finished talking he turned to Tom and said hello.

“Glad you could make it.”

“Glad to be here.”

“Okay, what we’ve got here is kind of a stealth mission – the guerilla porn unit we have is a pretty fast team. The gig is going down at a dentist office downtown. The janitor is going to be able to get us in the offices at about 7:30. Right now we’re just making sure that we’ve got everything, cause once we’re in we don’t want to be going in and out. On the double q: quickly and quietly. We’re already up to more than a dozen people, which is too many, but oh well. We’ve gotta have a party as well, ya know?”

Tom nodded along.

“Dave has the cameras. I’m putting you in charge of the reflectors, okay? Candy’s got them over in the corner there. She’ll help you out.’ He motioned towards the far end of building, where a statuesque brunette in a long, leather coat was picking up what looked like a giant diaphragm.

“Got it.”

Roger patted him on the shoulder and said “Thanks, Tom.”

“Ten minutes, everybody!” he yelled, holding up all his outspread fingers and spinning around so that everyone could see. In case nobody was listening.

It took about that long to get everything loaded up, and then it was too early to take off. Everyone stood around talking and smoking for a few minutes while Roger talked on his cell.

When he hung up he said, “All right everybody, we’re rolling! Follow me in the first van to the alley behind the building. Paul’s going to let us in to use the service elevator in back, and he thinks we can get it all up there in one trip. Do not – I repeat – Do NOT take the limo I saw out in the lot. It will attract attention, and attention is something we do not want. Everybody goes in a van. Ladies will want to take the first one with me, since there’s a couch in the back. Everybody else makes due. It’s only a five-minute drive, so you should be fine. When we get there I want you to stay in the vans until the door is open. Then we need to move very, very fast. Once we’re in we should be okay, but before then I want to look as normal as three van loads filled with a porn party can look.”

He nodded his head affirmatively and moved from right to left as spoke in order to reinforce his point. It might have looked condescending, but Roger was pretty well respected as a leader, and everybody understood that without him things wouldn’t go half as smoothly as they always did. A delicate job such as this probably wouldn’t get done at all.

For the next two minutes the parking lot was filled with quiet laughter and doors slamming as everybody got in the vehicles. Tom rode in the second truck with the cameras and lights and the other two cameramen.

The drive over went without incident and everybody stayed put until an extremely short man opened a door that had been tagged with orange paint. Whatever the name was, it continued for two or three bubbly-looking letters on either side of the doorframe. The dwarfish looking man nodded at Roger, and then went back inside for a brief moment before opening up the garage door of the loading dock.

It took them a couple of trips up the elevator, but other than a dropped item here and there, everything went off without a hitch. While Tom and the others set up cameras and the rest of the equipment in the examination rooms the performers sat on couches in the lobby, smoking more cigarettes and thumbing through copies of Highlights and Ladies Home Journal. The dwarf (or elf, or leprechaun, or whatever he was) came by and scowled, but was soon back with a ladder to disconnect the smoke alarm. Everything and everybody was ready to go.

A couple of guys in tool belts were in the final stages of clearing out one of the overhead lights, deemed an obstruction for one of the more complicated shots planned. Near the front of the examination room were two women, chatting with one man holding a huge reflector screen and another in a simple shirt and tie; the women were unusually well built, and this was obvious enough even though they were all fully clothed. The two women were wearing short, mauve skirts and white leggings – fairly decent idealizations of nurses, Tom thought. He heard the talking around him die down, then Roger yelling “Hey All!” and reluctantly he tore himself away from ogling the strip of smooth, brown skin between the double folded edge of white stocking and the short hem of a crushed cotton skirt.

After having a few words with the man wearing headphones around his neck, he raised his arms and motioned for everybody to gather round. “OK, what we’ve got here, as I think you know, is a little thing we’re calling Dental Hi Jinx. Dumb title, if you ask me. Anyway, word is Joe’s been having a little trouble with the main prop. Says he wasn’t out last night. Whatever, but usually he doesn’t have this kind of problem. Dawn and Shadow are down the hall trying to help him get some wood up – we need to get this wrapped tonight. So be patient for just a minute. We should be ready to go in a sec.”

Looking perturbed at something he had spotted in one of the other rooms, he caught his assistant’s attention and waved him over from behind the receptionist’s desk. The guy wearing headphones and holding a clipboard stood by as Roger tilted his head towards him in order to ask in a lowered tone, “What the hell is he doing?”

Sensing the seriousness of Roger’s tone, the man took a break from chewing his gum.

“Li’l Paul? He just put on his robe. You know how he is.”

“Jesus, the guy wouldn’t take a night off if we paid him. I just wanted him to get us in here. I don’t want him in the movie.”

“What can we do? The man likes to party. And let’s face it, he’s the one that got us in here.”

“Just tell him he’s not in the scene. And make sure he stays clear of everyone. I don’t want any more incidents.”

Tom looked on as the man with the clipboard walked over to the short figure in the purple robe and held out his palms in friendly supplication. The elfish looking man rolled his head from side to side in disappointment, a kind of bop and a weave, turned on the high heels of his little platform shoes, and walked back out towards the waiting room.

“What kind of incidents?” Tom asked Roger.

“Li’l Paul. He’s the one that gets us into our locations after hours, so we try to accommodate him. Likes being in front of the cameras, but all he ever does is jack off. During the last shoot the little guy just wandered onto the set, stroking it like it was a big lap dog. It’s great for the orgy scenes and all, as long as there’s a lot of people around. The size of his stick is something to behold, especially because he’s so short. He’s just not good for the, uh… more intimate scenes.”

Tom nodded and looked back towards the office. The two women stood holding party cups, waiting for the men to come on. One of the guys wearing a tool belt put a firm hand on the counter and after trying to pull it away from the wall, said “That oughtta hold now”, and walked off the scene. From off to the right the man with the clipboard walked over and spoke in a low, controlled tone.

“Roger, we have wood.”

“Wood is good,” said Roger.

A respectful silence was already falling in the examination room, and Roger clapped his hands to get everyone’s attention and yelled, “Everyone to their stations!” He leaned over as he passed by Tom and whispered in a low tone, “This balloon may have a leak, so let’s get this rolling right away.” Smiled and gave him the thumbs up, and then called out, “Cameras, know your borders!”

Looking through his viewer Tom found the chair and closed the frame down on the threesome gathering around, keeping in mind where the mobile cameraman was, off to the left.

Roger gave his signature yell, “Action, Jackson!” and then everything seemed to move effortlessly from chaos into choreographed motion. While the blond assistant, listed in the script as ‘Hygienist no. 1’, pushed the back of the chair with her right hand, the brunette began moving her shoulders and striking a pose for Joe in the chair as well as the audience – both the crew on hand and the imagined future viewers.

Hygienist no. 2 began stroking his thighs and while slowly swaying her head from side to side said, “Are you nice and relaxed, honey? Cuz I’m gonna put sumthin’ in your mouth…” She leaned on the headrest and pushed Joe into a fully reclining position. After swinging the overhead lamp away and placing her right hand on the chair between Joe’s knees for support, she then used a hidden step to make an artful climb up onto the chair. Placing her right knee on the right arm rest, she then slowly, gracefully swung her left leg up and over Joe, who was now lying at about a 160’ angle and straining to lift his head. Her left knee grazed his well groomed coiffure, and in straddling the chair the widening V of her legs naturally pushed the cotton smock up around her thighs. Once she had her left knee on the left arm rest she was able to take off the lavender piece with little more than an upward wave of her arm. She then leaned forward and down, brushing his crotch with her breasts. Joe brought his hands up and put a palm on each cheek of her ass. Every movement was controlled, almost tender, and took all of thirty seconds to complete – slow, lingering, and in its own way, tasteful. The girl had probably been a gymnast.

Tom was able to get a clear shot of her pudenda before Joe brought his head into the frame with a straining motion. The industrious hygienist had moved her hands to the sides of Joe’s knees, and was in effect finishing a push-up in order to lower herself onto him. The blond had moved to the front of Joe’s outstretched legs and was busy removing his pants. He did indeed have wood; surely a good number in the crowd did as well. Tom was a little uncomfortable himself, although his main concern had to be with the angle of his camera. He had a nice frame full of her amply displayed crotch, but could only hope that the mobile cameraman was able to get some better shots of real contact from below.

From off to the right the actor playing the dentist walked through the door. A pretty idiotic looking headlamp marked him as the one in charge, and he said (in a poor imitation of being all business), “Is this what you call an oral exam?” it unfortunately came off as pure camp.

At this point the blond stood up straight, and in voice that somewhat comically mixed surprise and seduction at the same time said, “Oh, doctor … we weren’t expecting you so soon.” Then, without any segue whatsoever she tossed her hair back over her shoulder and drew herself close to the dentist. The entire exchange looked like any medical scene ever performed on daytime television, or at least what soap doctors and nurses often seemed to be driving at. In a low growl the dentist said, “I’m just going to have to explore some cavities.”

The assistant answered with a witty remark of her own, saying, “Oh yeah, just drill me baby!” With a coquettish little laugh she led him by the hand over to the low counter at the back of the room, where she took a seat and began unbuttoning the shirt underneath his white lab coat. With nothing else to do he put his right hand on top of her head, careful to keep his left arm out of the camera angle, and guided her, pushed her really, slowly but certainly, into a kneeling position on the floor. The belt was undone, the pants were unzipped, and the assistant began assisting. After a few minutes of this the girl stood up, faced the dentist, and then slowly turned around. He slowly pushed her down onto the counter.

Tom continued to focus his attention on the two acrobats on the chair. For a moment he had been able to get a shot of all four of them going to work, but after several minutes he panned back to the chair, and soon had the woman’s inverted groin and the patient’s upturned face filling the entire frame. The tension was obviously building in the chair, and a second mobile camera moved in again for the money shot at the other end. The bodies were glistening as the girl began moving faster and faster on top of the chair, while Joe signaled with a wave of his hand that he was about to blow.

What happened next would one day became legend, even as it finished the shoot for the day. In an effort to gain a better approach at the engorged genitalia proffered from above like ripened fruit, Joe used his forearms to prop himself up a little higher in the chair and began moving like an orchard worker bobbing for apples right off the tree. In any other circumstances this would have been fine, but at that particular moment the arm rests were still firmly occupied by the knees of Hygienist #2. Not quite firmly enough, however. The vinyl surface had become fairly well slicked up with body oil and perspiration, and the jerking movement of Joe’s elbow pushed the brunette’s right knee right off chair with a motion so quick that she didn’t have time to make an adjustment. She flopped off to the side and fell in a naked heap on the floor, while Joe continued to bring himself up to see what was happening, his face contorted in a mixture of surprise and frustration. On the other side of the room the dentist and Hygienist #1 carried on as best they could, but couldn’t help but be distracted by the commotion in front of them.

Tom looked over at Roger, who looked like he didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or act angry. But at whom was he supposed to be angry? Not the actors. Not the prop people. The rest of the onlookers just tried not to make any noise; some of them looked down at the ground, and those who couldn’t help laughing turned to the side. The girl on the floor cut loose with an obscenity and stayed sitting with her arms clasped around her knees, more humiliated than hurt. Joe looked confused, wondering whether he dared to finish himself off just to ease the tension. What taboo could possibly have prevented him? The dentist and the hygienist bent over the counter finished their writhing with all the obligatory moaning and squirting required to punctuate the purple passage, Roger didn’t even bother yelling “Cut!” and soon everybody was laughing and asking each other what the hell had happened with the chair.

Hygienist #2 was clearly ticked off, while the others were doing there best to hide their laughter. Still sitting on the floor, she looked around and asked “Can I get some help here?”, at which point Joe reached over the armrest to offer her a hand. They both then joined the other two scurrying off the set and into robes held out to them by support staff, which greeted them as if they were champion swimmers stepping away from a pool.

To everyone gathering around Roger said, “Whatever. It happens. We’ll fix it up in the editing room.” Which was about all he could say. A loud “POP!” signaled that the champagne had been uncorked, glasses were passed around, and everyone cheered goodbye to another hard day’s work.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I'm afraid I'd had too much cereal before I started reading and so felt a bit unwell. Still do.

    Not sure about the use of , 'tasteful'. Again, well written, but perhaps just not my cup of tea. I haven't read a work of fiction since: 'A la recherche du temps perdus'.

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