Thick Rick: Pornstar Romance
“Maureen, there’s got to be some other story that I can write.” I tried not to sound desperate, but I was very, very desperate. My mind could go wherever it needed to, save for a select few things. This was one of those things. My legs were curled around the chair opposite her desk, threatening to cramp. I willed myself to relax them before they seized up. The stress was building, manifesting physically.
I was beginning to think that Desperation would be the title of my autobiography. People might confuse mine with the Stephen King book, but maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. Accidental success was better than intentional failure. I wouldn’t exactly say my life was champagne wishes and caviar dreams since moving to Los Angeles.
A big fish in a small pond. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I could probably afford my rent. That might be the sole reason I left Portland six months ago. This fish had grown just too big for Portland. I definitely wasn’t too big for L.A. I felt small all the time, actually.
She looked past me into the busy office behind. I could hear the incessant typing of writers all better than me. How could they all write jammed together in one office? There were endless beautiful places in the city, and they wanted to stare at cream colored walls?
Maureen’s words snapped me back to the conversation at hand. “I could give this assignment to anyone out there. In fact, I know some of the guys would kill for a story of this…caliber.” She could see that I wasn’t impressed with that. “Look, Bethany. You’re a great writer. Really you are. You have this incredible voice that just leaps off the screen. I think your view of things is so fresh in L.A. This piece is guaranteed to be big. This kind of stuff gets picked up by the Huff Post all the time. From there, who knows? Everyone is going to read this. An intimate look inside the porn industry? Come on, that’s gold.”
I knew she was right, but that wasn’t the point. I couldn’t count all the ways I was uncomfortable writing a story about the porn industry. I have to wear a hazmat suit just to shake hands with somebody. How was I supposed to interview some blonde bimbo who probably couldn’t count to twenty-five? The amount of journalistic freedom was going to be high. High enough to dip into gonzo journalism or straight up fiction.
Yes, I had many reservations about the piece, but one of them stuck out more than any others. “I really appreciate the offer, Maureen, but I just don’t think I’m…qualified enough to write about this.” It sounded more like a question than a statement.
A smile slowly grew on Maureen’s face. Her crow’s feet really show themselves, making you wonder exactly how old she was. This was L.A. Always impossible to guess anyone’s age. “I see, I see. It’s not a religious objection, is it?”
I shook my head. Maureen watched me, and I knew I had given myself away without saying a word.
The managing editor of Sling stood up. She came around the desk. I twisted in my chair and watched as she gave her office door a shove. By the time she made it back to her side of the desk, the door clicked shut.
“Are you uncomfortable talking about sex, because if so, I think you’re living in the wrong city.”
I raised a hand in an attempt to play things off. “No. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable—“
“It’s worse than I thought.” Maureen cut me off. “It’s not that you’re uncomfortable. It’s that you’re out of your element?”………………………
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