Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dream Fiction no. 4: Durango BrewPub Porn Shoot: "Theme Night"

         (Editor's Note: This is the latest installment of a new series in which I take content from the outline of a recent dream and flesh it out with fiction, hence the title. Rest assured, there is nothing but offices and ice machines in the Steamworks basement. For now.)


            Every time I approach Durango I’m curious what the mix of familiar/new will look like. Steamworks Brewing Company might be the ultimate microcosm of this phenomenon.

            On my last visit, I came across Jeff Baker, who was both.

            He’d moved to Denver some time ago having hung up the general-manager skates of the East Second Ave. brewpub. There he was, though, running the place again, and perhaps he was most proud of the refurbished basement, which had been notorious even pre-renovation.

            I can’t recall on which day of the week he invited me down for a tour, but the construction of an entire corridor proved far from the only thing that surprised me. In fact I couldn’t even process my surprise before the temperature of new wing widened my eyes.


            It was freezing down there, regardless of the ultramarine, wall-to-wall soundproofing and the monastral carpeting. Full-bar-equipped break rooms with extensive denim neon signage and a pair of cobalt gaming chambers joined the list, as did the feeling that I’d already lost the sliver of an idea of how to find my way back to the stairs that led back up to the outdoor patio. As quick as I was to feel astonishment at these new discoveries, shock ran over me as we arrived at the outermost (or innermost, depending on your current placement) wing of underground corridors.

            Under the tutelage of Mr. Baker, a healthy portion of the outfit’s staff members and locals were…well…making pornography.

            It’s unclear how long my face held the jaw-dropped frozen pose, but when I turned to look at my tour guide, he offered one of his signature grins that seemed to blend in well with his steel mirror shades, glaucous Polo, and Tufts lei.

            Even odder: our tour of the live action.

            Odder still: zero flinches from the sea of recognizable female talent.

            While I recognized them, not a single one seemed in place.

            I mean, I tried not to stare, but a guy’ll throw a neck out drawing back and rubbernecking in such a zoo of labial folds and spread sphincters. But we walked through, me gawking and Baker texting for most of our stroll. Gaffers gaffed; boom guys boomed. Makeup anterooms reflected predictable lighting and people exited restrooms. Director-types issued hushed hollers. Videographers swung their equipment. And everywhere I looked, people fucked. Or masturbated one another or sucked on genitalia.

            You get the picture.

            The first woman from whom I could not remove my eyes caught my attention because her extended torso and arms lay in our path. She sat (in a sense) atop her partner’s lap (who was perched in the shadows atop the corner of a bed or stool or something I could not see) and her shoulder blades rested upon the floor. I say “rested” but I imagine they were the recipients of some sort of friction burn. Regardless, when I went to step around her hands, our eyes met and she would not stop looking at me for what felt like minutes.

            At first I was embarrassed, having allowed my progress to stop and retrace the final step for the sole purpose of inspecting her face from a closer distance. And though I was quick to take note of my error, I could not pull my eyes away. Her face developed this expression that suggested arousal via eye contact. Like, she wanted me to watch her be pleasured (assuming that she was enjoying that particular take) in this odd position. Then it dawned on me: She wanted me to recognize who she was. Or both. I’m unsure. Either way, it was totally Joanne Samuel, and I totally jogged a few paces to catch up to Baker so I could slap his shoulder, only he just looked at me with this Just wait type of expression.

            “Don’t worry about it,” he said.

            For a second I stopped walking. I couldn’t figure out what she was doing in the Steamworks basement having sex on film. Even weirder: She looked like she hadn’t aged a day in 35 years; her skin was wrinkle-free and her hair as brown and frizzy as a shimmying, out-of-water bear.

            It was bizarre.

            It wasn’t as bizarre as walking into the neighboring Persian cubicle to see a naked man’s ass gyrating before us, but bizarre, nonetheless. I almost took my eyes off the sight in haste, but just as I looked at Baker, the man leaned into a skin-on-skin missionary stance and the face of his partner appeared over his right shoulder. Her aim was to kiss his neck, but just before she placed her lips upon him, she gazed at me and winked. Or maybe she was winking at Baker. I have no idea. Either way, I knew in an instant that the face -- in all of its poignant British features -- belonged to Patsy Kensit. This was all of her that I could see, but from my angle, she appeared just as slim and athletic as she had in 1989.

            “Dude,” I said to Baker, running to catch him. As I approached I realized that he’d taken a phone call; I could only follow in silence, looking back in the hopes of catching a sneak at one of those perky little tits of hers. After colliding with my tour guide, I apologized and repeated my one-word sentence.

            “What,” he said.

            “That was--

            “Goldie Hawn?” He grinned and removed an azure dugout from his blue-jeans pocket.

            “Huh?” I looked into the mirrors of his sunglasses and he responded with a nod in the direction over my shoulder.

            When I turned, I was quick to spot the face of the mother of Kate Hudson displayed on a large, wall-mounted flat screen. In the darkness of the room I could see the small, blue LED light of a cameraman’s shoulder-mount. He appeared to be filming her on a bed. She appeared to be being serviced by the hand-held device of someone behind her.

            “What the fuck?”

            “Come on,” Baker said.

            “Who you got in the next room? Jodie Foster?”

            Baker stopped and placed a forefinger to his lips.

            “Nope.” He whispered. “She’s in there.” Baker gestured with his head to the door behind him. “Not a fan of random audience members.”

            “Bullshit,” I said.

            “She’s not,” he said. “She gets pissed.”

            “No,” I said. “I mean bullshit that Jodie freaking Foster’s in that men’s room.”

            “Have a look,” he said, tapping an icon on his phone. In a matter of seconds, some grainy footage appeared, displaying the actress in some 1950s Royal ballroom gown, the hem of which fell around her waist and touched the floor beneath the weight bench upon which she laid. A pile of petticoat ruffles hid her lady parts but her 32-year-old legs shone, extending up to the shoulders of the man that stood thrusting at her waist.

            Baker made the clip vanish and put his phone away.

            “Gets better,” he said, and continued walking.

            Through an iris-shaded Plexiglas window, he pointed at Sophie Marceau, who danced a strip tease on a table top. And across the hallway Patricia Kalember assumed an orgy role.

            “Dude,” I said. “What kind of fucked-up shit is this?”

            “What,” he said. “You don’t like porn anymore?”

            “No,” I said. “Of course I still like porn.”

            “So,” he said. “It’s theme night. We do it all the time.”

            “Theme night?”

            “Yeah,” he said. “Theme night. You wanna get a beer?”

            I stood there for a minute, half shaking my head.

            “Yeah,” I said. “Sure. But…”

            “But what?” Baker eyed me with a you-know-better look. “Don’t tell me you haven’t figured it out.”

            “No,” I said. “I have. At least I think I have.”

            “So let’s hear it,” he said, pushing open a sapphire door beneath an exit sign.

            “I dunno, man. It looks like…” I shook my head and walked past him.

            “Like what?” His voice echoed inside the indigo concrete stairwell. When I reached the first landing I stopped and turned to face him.

            “It looks like you’re making a movie out of girls who’ve been love interests for Mel Gibson characters,” I said.

            Baker paused with me on the landing.

            “Nice,” he said, and proceeded toward the next half flight. “It looks like that’s what we’re doing because that’s precisely what we’re doing.”

            “What?” I watched him jog up, then turned to follow. “Who the fuck’s gonna buy that?”


            “Nobody’s gonna buy it,” he said, his voice amplified. “But a shit ton of people are gonna watch it.”