She looks at me, but she can’t seem to hold eye contact. Her eyes start to wander over my body, stopping at my hip. Her gaze lingers on the small birthmark shaped like California, and her mouth drops open.
“What . . .” she says, her voice trailing off as if her mind is somewhere else.
I snap my fingers in front of her face to get her attention. “What is going on with you?”
She hesitates. Whatever it is bears a heavy weight that makes her shoulders droop.
“I can’t help you unless you tell me,” I say.
Taking a deep breath, she lets her head fall into her hands. “I’m so sorry.” She looks up at the acoustic tiles on the ceiling and winces. I’m actually a little afraid of what she’s about to say. With as much twisting and turning as she’s doing in her seat, it can’t be good. “I was sitting behind Serena and Chad and they were watching this video . . .”
She’d mentioned them watching videos before, but the way she says it now leaves no doubt as to which video she’s talking about. Squeezing my lips together, I stand straight as if my vertebrae has been soldered together. It was only a matter of time before someone found the old movie. I hoped it would be long after I’d retired, but luck doesn’t seem to be on my side. At the time, when the porno was first made, it seemed like a needle in a haystack that someone I knew would come across it. It was made in a tiny back-alley studio. The company was professional enough to test for STDs prior to production and it paid well, but as these types of companies go, it was like a mom-and-pop thing. The director wrote the script, did the lighting himself, and ran cameras, while his wife and brother ran the others. I had no idea they’d have the kind of distribution to keep videos out in the world after all these years.
Now it has finally come back to bite me in the ass.
“Who all knows about the video?” I ask, sounding angrier than I should. It’s not like it’s her fault that the students in my class found it, and I can’t blame her for being curious enough to watch it. If the shoe were on the other foot and I found a video of Georgia, I would definitely check it out.
“As far as I know, just us,” she says. “They were hesitant to even show me, but I’d already seen enough to realize what they were watching. I don’t think they’ll tell anyone.”
“No,” I say, resigned. Looking out the window at the clear sky, I see my entire career—all those years of late-night study sessions and horrible part-time jobs in greasy fast-food joints to earn tuition flash before my eyes.
That’s why I’d resulted to porn, because there were no part-time jobs that paid enough. I was going through the job section of the newspaper one day when I saw the ad for porn actors. I was young and thought, fuck for money? Hell yeah, I can do that. But it wasn’t at all how I thought it would be. I showed up at the studio and met my co-star, who, at the time, was smoking a joint because she couldn’t bear to have sex with me sober. She was twenty-six years old and had already starred in over fifty movies, some of them so extreme, according to her, that they had to have a medic on set just in case. After that I was afraid, to say the least. There was nothing sexy about any of it. She immediately went into the rules, what she was willing and not willing to do. I was then instructed to lie on a bed with all eyes on me. With the heat from the lights blazing down on me, and the cold mechanics of the whole thing, I struggled to stay hard. They made me pop a little blue pill and threated to kick me out and not pay me if I couldn’t perform. Somehow I managed, but despite my hard cock, I wasn’t turned on one bit. Once I came, I was so glad it was over I decided never to do it again, even after receiving a nice paycheck. It just wasn’t worth it. And now, everything I’ve worked for, all of it could be gone because I had sex for money on camera ten years ago.