Somehow, we got along fine with Tuan and whiled away the hours busting balls, joking, and maybe learning a thing or two. We laughed so hard that we wished we could stop because it hurt our faces.
We were all just beginning puberty and I had almost no hair on my body (except my head) to speak of. My arms and legs and most importantly, armpits, were lily white and hair free. There are no words to convey the jealousy I had of Darius for the swaths of thick dark hair underneath his arms and also, albeit to a lesser extent, the hair on the back of his hands and the small tufts of hair that grew on the joints of his fingers. I couldn’t believe it! Boys get hair there? Oh, will nature make a man of me yet? I looked at my baby bottom smooth hands and wondered every night when hair would start sprouting. I’d close one eye, squint, and tilt my hand horizontally, but natta--not even one lousy mosquito leg. Shit, I’m still looking.
Tuan, though he didn’t possess much of the language, was a natural comic--he conveyed sarcasm with a subtle twinkle of his eyes, something he learned deep in the jungles of Vietnam, I supposed. His specialty was drawings. He would draw self-portraits and give himself the biggest, vein-bursting, bulbous penis that you could possibly imagine fitting on a single notebook page. It was his way of connecting with his new classmates. While Mrs. Zarana was conducting a lesson he’d surreptitiously slide his binder over to Darius and Tuan would giggle at Darius’ reaction while I waited for Darius to slide it over to me. Every drawing was a variation on the penis-with-a-man-hanging-from-it theme. Look, there’s Tuan using his dong as a firehose to put out a blaze at the CN Tower; look, there’s Tuan at the beach with a gaggle of bikini clad beauties applying sun tan lotion to his cock. Ah, the universal language of laughter.
Every now and then, Mrs. Zarana would separate us, when our rowdy antics became too disruptive to the natural course of learning basic grammar (maybe that’s why I only recently conquered they’re, their, & there). But the next day we’d be seated right back at the same crude circle of desks pushed together. Mrs. Zarana could sense that Tuan got along with me and Darius and she didn’t want to plop him down at some other group and worry about his assimilation being disrupted. Ironically, Tuan became the one to assimilate Darius and myself--dun, dun, dun--
As the school year progressed the three of us took the next step in our relationship and started hanging together outside of school. Tuan told us to come by his house one weekend because he had something to show us. It was a quaint townhouse in a newly developed section of Brampton, but the Do’s, or the Tuan Do’s, or the Quac’s, had successfully carved out a slice of the Canadian Dream for themselves. Darius and myself immediately headed downstairs to Tuan’s small unfinished bedroom that only had three walls, which means no door, and took a seat on his bed while Tuan rifled through his sock drawer. He produced a VHS tape and popped it in his VCR.
Darius and myself sat in silent anticipation while Tuan fast-forwarded through the opening credits. Unrecognizable names flashed by in the blink of an eye. As soon as two actors, a man and a woman--a vivacious, busty woman--appeared on the screen, Tuan let go of the fast forward button and took a seat on the bed with us. The quality of the camera along with the hairdos and clothing told us me this was a dated film; probably the early 80’s. The three musketeers sat on the edge of the bed, legs dangling, and watched the bedroom scene unfold. I can’t speak for Darius but I for one had never seen a porno before. My interest in girls was only starting to blossom--I had a crush on a couple girls in school, but the crushes were still in prepubescent bloom, bursting with the colours of wholesome innocence. I didn’t even know what I liked about these girls; there was an overall pleasant sensation that swept over me when thinking about them compared to all the other girls.
The actors began sucking some serious face. Real dirty, too: inappropriate groping and way too much tongue. Not at all like Kelly Kapowski kissing Zach Morris. Shortly thereafter the embrace was broken but instead of cutting to commercial, or the next scene, the camera focused on the woman, who on a whim decided to disrobe. This is odd, I thought. She doffed her impossibly tight tank top and the cameraman zoomed in on her embarrassingly large fake breasts, mathematically round, with pencil eraser nipples. All six of our eyeballs collectively bulged out of their sockets and we laughed at the shock and impropriety of it all. It was all so brand new.
There was a quick cut and now the woman was sloppily fellating the guy and we all burst out laughing. This guy had such a massive purple headed donger, we just couldn’t believe it! Wow! So that’s what girls do with our penises? Take it down their throat to the root and gag all over it. What a life! (Though I was steadfastly focused on the woman sucking on the dick I couldn’t help but notice the man had a thick thatch of hair under his arms and I said a silent prayer to the armpit hair Gods)
She worked at his junk more and more frantically until he leaned back and with a final emphatic moan covered her face with a dollop of his gobbledegook while she sat at his feet, relieved the whole sordid affair is over.
The video quality squiggles and fuzzes--another scene coming into focus. The setting is an Oktoberfest event somewhere in Switzerland or Germany. There is a whale of a woman laying on a table with her dressed pulled up while four men in lederhosen, merrily swing one of their smaller, naked, brethren back and forth, one man per limb, heave-ho-ing him into this beast of a woman. Did not see that coming when I woke up that morning. Memories!
Predictably, we broke out laughing at this unlikely scene, too. What a way to be introduced to sex. In my young mind, I thought that if I eventually married an obese woman, I’d need four good friends to help me have sex. It would be an expensive honeymoon.
It was late summer, early September, right before school starts again. We were young, dumb, and full of marijuana. And cum.
Jessie and myself were smoking his dad’s pot that he grew bushels of on his farm. Jessie skimmed a little off the top. But when you skim from 30 pound bags, well, it fills a large Ziploc bag. For stoner kids with limited financial means it was a blessing of the highest order that we had a renewable resource of the stuff.
Freshly baked and looking for something to do, we absent-mindedly thumbed through the classifieds section in the Star. I came across an ad that was soliciting male ‘performers’ for an upcoming adult film. First timers were welcome; no experience necessary. Call Mirna. Hmmm…this seemed interesting.
“Why don’t you give ‘em a call?” Jessie asked mischievously. It seemed good for a laugh, so I picked up the phone and told the lady on the other end that I was an eighteen year old man looking to get into the ‘business’. No, I didn’t have any previous experience I told her. The call was short and curt, and an interview was set for the following day. I scribbled down the address and hung up the phone.
I looked over at Jessie, “You’re looking at the next Dirk Diggler,” I said with a smirk. “I have to be at some house in Scarborough tomorrow at 10am. Think you can drive me?”
Being warm blooded, heterosexual suburban teenage males, how could we not be fascinated by the strange and distant land that is pornography; porn stars didn’t even seem real to us. They were some type of subspecies with a sheen of sleaze, living the high life in the California sun. FTP. Fuck. Tan. Party. Shit, it’s better than grade 10 general math.
The next day Jessie picked me up and we left the ‘burbs of Brampton en route to the GTA’s mildly retarded gay cousin with a chinstrap: Scarborough (I hope the Galloway Boys don’t read this). Jessie sparked up a joint and offered it to me but I declined, wanting to be clear headed for my big interview.
“I changed outfits three or four times in my room before you showed up. I don’t really know what kind of clothing is appropriate for a porn interview.”
“You look fine, dude, relax…even if it does look like you‘re auditioning for a Christian Mingle commercial,” Jessie said, but I was still unconvinced. I had on jeans and a long sleeve grey sweater. “I think it gives me a ‘boy next door’ quality,” I said, trying to convince myself, my nerves torn and frayed. I knew I was in over my head on this one. What was I doing? I just wanted to get stoned with Jessie and watch The Simpsons or Mr. Show. Why am I going to some sketchy house in Scarborough for a porn interview? What the hell am I going to do if I actually get the job? Morph into Tay D. Trousermeat?
Dreams of living in the hills of Hollywood were dancing through my head--doodooloo-doodooloo-doodooloo-doodooloo). And there I am, high-fiving Ron Jeremy as we skewer a former playmate of the year, looking out at the mirage of twinkling lights below, the City of Angels.
We’re almost there; I flip down the visor mirror and contort my face in faux orgasm, practicing my cumsies face. Not bad. Not bad at all, kid.
“I guess I’ll need a catchphrase when I shoot my load…”
Jessie offers, “Oh yeah! Swallow my unborn kids!”
I contemplate some alternatives until we arrive at a nondescript townhouse. In a dramatic tone, I warn Jessie that, “If I’m not out in half an hour call the cops.”
I skip up the steps and pause at the door, lick my index finger, then thumb, and smooth out my eyebrows. I take a deep breathe…exhale, and open the door, now entering the point of no return. My eyes take a moment to adjust to the dim interior; no immediate signs of porn sleaziness and debauchery. I didn’t see any other aspiring ‘performers’ in the living room, I seemed to be alone, which made me feel half an inch taller. The last thing I wanted was to walk into my first porn interview, the rookie, and find ten knee-bucklingly handsome guys with bulges in their boxer-briefs, thick as thermoses, sizing me up and taking me apart with their eyes.
I walk up to the receptionist, who was right out of the top drawer, and say, “Hi, my name’s Taylor, I’m here to see Mirna at 11.” She looks me over with no emotion, her eyes like a dead china doll, then looks at her computer screen to confirm the appointment, and with her gaze still planted on the screen, tells me to have a seat.
I saunter over to a leather couch and plunk myself down into a well worn ass groove. The t.v. is on without sound and the whole living room of the house is uncomfortably silent. What is on the t.v. you ask? It was not CP24 but hardcore porn, of course.
I sat in silence and kept one eye on the generic boy/girl scene and one on the cute secretary. Got two eyeballs full. What is a boy to do? I was much too nervous to even think about achieving wood, not that I was trying to. Pornography’s powers are rendered impotent when experienced with others. It’s a decidedly solo sport--like tennis. Just You vs. Penis. The semi-awkward silence is broken by the sound of the front door opening. Great… I’m thinking, some competition. But the way this man walked in, so casually, and said hi to the receptionist, calling her by name, I knew he was not vying for my job. Seemed like he was important, maybe calling the shots around here. He was a dead ringer for Luis Guzman, the short, pudgy Latino actor from Traffic and Boogie Nights. He oozed both sleaze and chest hair. Around his neck was a large gold chain with Jesus on the cross, and believe me, the saviour needed a machete if he was to make it out of this jungle. He glanced in my direction and I managed a feeble nod of the head, praying to god that I’m not inserted into some interracial threesome scene with him, but Porno Guzman didn’t acknowledge me. Okay then. I turned back to the t.v. and pretended to be enraptured by the proceedings. I was glad the sound was off, because the fake plastic woman was screaming her lungs out at what I’m sure was ear-piercing decibel levels. I quickly checked my right armpit to see if I was sweating. No pit puddles. Okay. Good.
“Taylor?” A shapely, exotic woman appeared in a doorway wearing glasses and sassy business attire, the skirt just that much shorter and her top with just one too many buttons undone.
I sat down opposite her in the office, and by all appearances it was like any other job interview, except in this case there was no way to forget my resume. Mirna got right down to it. She asked me if I would have trouble maintaining an erection while on camera with a crew watching mere feet away.
“No,” I lied, or at least it felt like a lie; I’d never had sex on camera before, so technically it wasn’t a lie, only a sound guesstimation.
Mirna goes on to tell me that because of my age, thin build, and meek attitude, I would be perfect for an upcoming boy-next-door type movie. She grabbed hold of her screen, and with some effort turned the fifteen pound box monitor to face me. “You’ll be working with Gia,” she said.
I gazed at this airbrushed silicone beauty, fake as the day is long. Whoa, whoa whoa. I’m supposed to stick my D in her P? I start getting excited, like I’ve made it into the business, and I blurt out that I’ve acted before, only in high school movies, but still I got an A. I can memorize lines, I’m totally your man.
“Because you have no experience, we’ll have to set up a photo shoot just to see what kind of chemistry the two of you have.”
“Yeah, yeah, definitely, a photo shoot is definitely in order.”
“How does next Tuesday sound?”
“Oh, next Tuesday’s fine. Terrific.”
“Great. It will cost $500 so we can have a professional portfolio of you for future projects. Is that a problem?”
It was like thinking you won Lotto 649, and even after checking the numbers over and over, the floor plan of your beach house complete, only to find that it was a prank pulled by your friends. My heart sank into gut.
“Oh, okay,” a pause, mulling it over, “I have to pay for the photo session?”
“Yes, because you’re new to the business and you don’t have a portfolio yet. Once you do that, you’re set, and you can get work with us and launch a career.”
“Right. Okay. Tuesday at 11am.”
I just wanted to get the F out.
I left the office and the house, smiling at the receptionist on my way out, feeling more like the chump next door, and into the golden summer sun. Bet she thinks I don’t know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad! I was so confused. Was this a scam or a legitimate business? If she thought I was perfect for an upcoming part, why would I have to pay? Aren’t they supposed to pay me? Tom Cruise doesn’t pay to be in Mission Impossible does he?
I opened the passenger door to Jessie’s car with mixed emotions and stained pits. Sitting idle in the car for the last half an hour he was clearly eager for me to spill my guts.
“Well, I don’t know for sure. They want me to be in some movie but I have to pay $500 for a photo shoot because I don’t have any kind of portfolio.”
“What!? Dude, that sounds like total bullshit. You‘re not supposed to pay. They pay you-- for like, sex and stuff.”
“Yeah, it does sound suspicious. I have an appointment for Tuesday but there’s no way I’m going to pay them $500 for this,” I say, pointing at my naughty bits. “They got their priorities all jumbled. I’ll cancel tomorrow.” Resigned, I stare out the window while Jessie puts the car in reverse, putting his arm around the back of my chair, checking the traffic in back of him.
All roads lead to Brampton.
I look one last time at the door of the house where all my porno glory lies, a blinding Stargate to another universe.
It’s back to the ‘burbs, school starts on Monday.