Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Slashers, Dancers and a Couple of Goons Part 1

Steering away from my Memoirs of making a movie, I thought I'd write about other stuff too.

I grew up in the eighties. Apple Computers were just introducing the Macintoshs. Izod and his gator were sporting their bright pink shirt and getting away with it and Reagan was running a stunningly peaceful country with the exception of a slight cold war with the USSR. It was good times and great entertainment.
I was watching Miami Vice and Cheers on the television and hitting the theatre for Raiders, Star Wars and even snuck into Platoon. I was also going to my friend, Russ Russells house a lot on the weekends and pulling the sleepover. We were good friends and he had twin sisters that were hot and flirted with me a lot so I was always enjoying a chance to go over there. I saw many of my most influential movies of my life with my buddy, Russ. There were the Goonies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, The Temple of Doom, Pretty in Pink and yes, his sisters even got us to Dirty Dancing, (which Im still not ashamed to say I loved.) He, also at his house had what they called a HBO Box. Back then it wasnt really a household name. It was an expensive form of not having to go to the theatre and was a little more expensive than it is now. Never the less this piece of machinery contained R-rated movies in it. And after dark on Saturday nights, you could catch movies like My Bloody Valentine, Near Dark, Cujo and Halloween. I was never affected by the rabid dogs, zombies, psycho-horror movie genres, but at the sight of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, or Freddy Krueger, I would deficate myself everytime. Russ lived in his basement. I guess thats where all boys with basements live. I wouldnt know and honestly after a night of HBO After Dark in Russ basement, Im glad I didnt. The first encounters of the slasher flick genre were a back-to-back dose of the drowned and deformed boy, Jason. It was Part 2, followed by the Final Chapter, meaning I never caught the transition between the bag and the hockey mask. That night it didnt matter. As I tried to sleep on the couch down in that dark, quiet, basement, I could not stop seeing Jason popping out of the dark with that terrifying bag on his head. I had two choices: Run upstairs and sleep with his sisters and totally embarrass myself, plus ruin my aura I felt I had built with them or just stay under that cover, listening to Russ snore, hoping my homeboy Voorhees would get him first. After that night, for seven years I would never go back in the woods alone. I had no problems before and honestly, I still can get creeped out in the perfect situation now, but after the scars of the first HBO After Dark healed, Russ and I were back in the ring and I mean, every other weekend I was spending the night and we were getting horror movied up. My parents were completely against me seeing these movies, so I had to keep my excitement, fears, and reasons of why I always wanted to spend the night over there to myself. We indulged ourselves on Michael Myers, Killing Santa Claus, Freddy Kruegers, men with womens skin on their faces and any others they would show. We did it all and everyone scared me even more.

The horror movie craze subsided as Footloose, Dirty Dancing and lighter movies of that genre made their debut. I will completely admit that I own both of those movies,(well, I did, until some closet queer bag, stole them from me.)

I am thirty years old and still have my Friday the 13th Marathon weekends. I have traveled to Lake Lure and found every location set that was used for Dirty Dancing. These kind of movies still take me back to a time less trying and simple. The adventures in the Goonies, I wish I could experience still today, but I know that will not happen, but maybe some how I can relive it in a movie. Maybe.

The four states surrounding North Carolina, have small towns USA throughout their landscapes. Little towns that resemble Crystal Lake and Astoria every twenty miles and man Id love to capture a small 80 esque film in one of each of those places.

About six years ago, I was in one of my moods and started thinking about what films would be like in late 2000. Would there still be a retro fill or would it be more state of the art, new shit and a fuck the old bastards kind of attitude? I thought, would it be possible in this days economy and marketplace, to shoot a small $2 million dollar slasher flick in small town America? I mean, of course, slasher flicks have been demoted to B grade cinema, which is fine, but instead of hacking an already done slasher flick, what if you created your own slasher and shot it as if it were the eighties. Twenty years later, would it be hip to shoot a slasher flick in the woods or old town suburbia, and make it look and feel like an eighties film. Would it be possible not to stylize and schmancy up the story, effects, or weaponry? Would it be possible to make it that way and let your audience know, thus being innovative?

Six years ago, I also wrote a treatment for this movie, but thats a different story. Ill get to that in Chapter 2.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Chapter 10 - Flying Solo

With Cutter off doing his next get rich quick project and Wade under a rock somewhere, I was given the task of carrying this forward on my lonesome. I had already told Ryan that I was going to make this porn so for once in a long time; I was going to keep my word. Wade had fallen off the wagon after nearly a year of sobriety. He was great at what he did. He was an artist. A genius in the Photoshop and Flash department would be an understatement to say about him. I thought it to be amazing that even being hammered by two o clock in the afternoon by two in the afternoon he could teach himself all these platforms. His wife had thrown him out after coming home late with a hint of J&B scotch on his breath. He had said we were at a late night business meeting, which prompted a call from her to my house. She laid into me about influencing him to drink again. I kind of screwed up by telling her the truth.
Garrick! You should be ashamed of yourself. How dare you put him in that situation, she yelled.
I gave her my annoyed stock reply,
Janice, what the fuck are talking about?
Hes been drinking. He said hes been at the office. The office! I know Cutter has a little wet bar there and you of all people, I thought would be a little more responsible, she growled.
Janice, Ive been working from home for the past three weeks. My baby was born a week ago, which by the way, you have not come by to see, and I havent seen Cutter nor Wade in at least a week.
Then what she was saying hit me.
Wait a minute. Hes been drinking?
Yes. He said he hadnt been, but cmon. Ive known him long enough to know when his breath smells like alcohol.
Where is he now?
I threw him out. Im not going through that again. I refuse.
I didnt know what to tell her. I had done the intervention and driven him to Black Mountain for his 28 days in the dehydrator.
You guys didnt go out and party?
Janice, now that Ive blown his cover, do you think I would deny that to you and not at least bullshit to save his ass. If I were going to cover for him, I wouldnt sell him out to save myself. I dont have a drinking problem, I carefully stated.

She paused.

I can go look for him if it will make you feel any better.
No. I dont want him here. Ive been seeing somebody else anyway and I dont care if everybody knows it. With the exception of the past nine months, that man has made me miserable and I was just waiting for an excuse to get out. I just found it. If you find the rock hes under, tell him I said that.

She hung up on me. I didnt blame her. He had been the biggest pain in the ass of a friend a guy could have. The only thing I had to him was loyalty. There were years where our group of friends would come up with excuses to not hang out with him. He must have thought we were the busiest group of twenty year olds on the face of the planet.
I felt bad, but it didnt really surprise nor faze me. Like Janice, all I needed was to have to invest another night of counseling or fist fighting with him to get thrown outta the bar so that he couldnt drink anymore, to write him off.

SoHere I was. A business proposal, a dream and everything in place besides the most important element of all of it all, the money. I rounded up some potential names I had in my big brown bag, but would not be able to meet with them this month due to our conflicting schedules so I just continued using the phone and corresponding with Ryan.

I told him what I was dealing with and told me, if I could raise my budget to twelve thousand, I could fly out to LA and shoot the whole thing, with big names, big productions and connections out the wahzoo. I told him I would see.

I didnt possibly know how I was gonna see. I couldnt see an investor that would be willing to give me five bucks let alone twelve thousand. I mean I had two budgets. One that allowed me to import a couple of well knowns, from wherever to bookend the other unknowns from here in the five scene structure of XXX gonzo videos. My first option was pushing around eight grand already. Of course, the alternate option was what I had aimed for to get and that was a six grand, all local talent amateur four scener. If I managed to achieve that, I would decide for myself where to go from there.

I sat at my office desk, feeding Payton and just letting the whole make a porn idea roll around in my head. The thought of making the porn right here in North Carolina was the whole reason I did this in the first place. If I were to go to Los Angeles with a hunk of money in my pocket and shoot the thing out there under the tutelage of the man himself and in the place where a porn doesnt seem quite so far fetched, what was the point besides being able to say I shot a porn?

I looked down at Payton. She didnt have any words of wisdom for me.

Then it came to me.

So what if I did not shoot the thing in North Carolina? I still lived there and Ryan of course was right by suggesting that I do it that way. If I raised twelve grand and flew to LA, shot the movie, came home and edited it, sent it back out to Ryan, the chance of getting a quick sells numbers would sky rocket. I mean, this may not have the schtick that making a porn in the bible belt would have, but it would be, (for the investors and my nerves,) the easiest way to continue the plan.

I mean, I would hate and go behind all my staff here who are doing such a great job and then actually pay the guy I thought I would never be in a position to pay, I thought. God, may this be the crossroads where our paths cross again. Maybe this was how it was suppose to transpire.

The plan: I find an investor for twelve thousand, guarantee their money back within two months, wave a couple of hot well known actresses names in their face, and give them the exclusive ticket to come out and see all the action take place. Who could resist that deal?

This was my ticket back to LA. If this plan went through it would position me to visit and stay in LA at least once a month while still having my life here. Raising twelve thousand dollars was going to be no easy task, but then again finding good help to try and raise eight was no easy task either.

Ill fly solo. Ill fly to LA. Ill fly to the opportunity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Chapter 9 - The Three of Us

Mandi and I met in late 2001. She began working at the Texas Roadhouse a little while after me. I had been close to transitioning myself back out west. I had scheduled the trip to be about a month after we met. I hated her. I thought her to be a mouthy, bitch. She didnt think me to be much either despite my popularity being at its pinnacle amongst the restaurant at the time. Upon returning from my quick trip to LA, I had a two-week turnaround before making the permanent drive back. A financial issue would destroy that deadline; inadvertently changing my life forever.
Our relationship began very wildly. Cutter and I had a party at our house where, like normal restaurant bullshit, my co-workers all ended up attending. What started as a drunken wrestling match between Mandi and I turned into a quick, (and mean quick,) passionate romp in my room. After that night, there were others, much longer of course. Soon our late night booty calls became all night conversations. The next thing you know we were only banging each other and we were at work, labeled a couple. I will be honest, and she will tell you that I had really kept my distance from her at first. I did not want anything ruining my plans to return to where I belonged.

It almost worked.

I left for Porn Valley again only to return after a month. Mandi had moved into our house and as I said earlier, my roommates had really dropped the ball, leaving me know choice but to return. A little secret between you and me is that I did in fact miss Mandis companionship as well, but nevertheless, that was the return to NC that would sink my plans and I for years after would tell you that I should have just walked away from it. After having to settle back in my NC life, I still ran from the serious relationship with Mandi or anybody else. I had felt that if I was not going to return to LA, I should probably decide what the fuck I was going to do with my life and I knew it would suck if I stayed where I was. My hometown and I had too much past and it was a factory town, so in my line of business, I had no business being there. I traveled to Raleigh after the debacle of the house. I did not have enough money to get back to LA and my parents had grown tired of lending me money to do so. I had a childhood friend there that was letting me crash until I found a job that would give me savings and a ticket back to the desert. But something happened on the way to the forum. Being away from that party house and all the bullshit suddenly made me realize, just how much I missed Mandi. I could not believe it. After three months of commuting back and forth, I bit the bullet and moved in with her. I was back in my hometown again. I knew it would be an uphill battle from there.

Our relationship at this time was not the best. I had become thoroughly frustrated with the direction my life was going and I almost felt trapped. I chose not to call any of my friends out west because the one time I did, I broke out crying after hanging up the phone. I chose not to add any more depression on myself. I continued to wait tables and barely scraping by. To add to that, deep down where the sane mental brain does not care to explore, I had a vendetta brewing for Mandi. I had found out that she had cheated on me a couple of times while I was in Raleigh. I guess it was deserved, since I just jetted out of town one day. She would later claim that we werent together so it was not wrong. I was driving three hours every weekend to be with her and she was going out during the week and doing that to me? I hated her. I didnt care. These elements in mind did not make me a very good boyfriend. You can assume when Mandi stopped coming home at night, that she could be appropriately labeled as a bad girlfriend as well. Our relationship took a dump and neither of us had stopped to take enough time to wipe it up. We had different agendas, so we parted our separate ways.

After the break up I chose only to stay in Hickory for about a month. I moved to my best friend and his wifes house in Asheville. I acquired a job at a marketing company that would change my professional life forever. For the next year I traveled the East Coast making commercials, video promotionals and even a Nationwide Insurance commercial in South Bend, Indiana. From there, it only got better. I found myself in a doublewide trailer on the back lot of CMTs studio, to sleep in before I shot some B Camera for the Kenny Chesney video, I Go Back. From there, I traveled down to Miami to shoot the VMAS. It was the high life and even though my boss would hold out on my per diem money, I didnt care. This was the life. I thought about Mandi quite a bit. I would call her occasionally on the road to brag about my job and would stop by and visit her grandmother who I adored, while I was in town.

Then I would return to North Carolina to do a thirty-minute infomercial for Keffer Dodge in Charlotte that again, would alter my life. I had used the same crew out of Asheville on every one of my excursions. We were a well-oiled machine and I had grown comfortable with our abilities. For the Charlotte shoot, my boss, didnt want to pay everybody so I had to hire my high school friends to help out. At the last minute, my boss had also opted to come to the shoot and direct. I was not keen on the idea. We had always disagreed on the direction of our shoots, but he would always drop the argument when the client was ecstatic about the finished product. It should have told him something. That day it did not. After shooting a line up of used cars and interviewing employees, my boss decided to wrap it up. I had stated to him three times earlier in the day that we had not shot enough coverage. By the time he was sending the cars back to their spots I came to him again and stated we hadnt shot enough coverage. He assured me that we had and made it perfectly clear that he was the boss and I was the employee. I packed it up.
A week later I had cut all the footage I could use and looped it all twice and it still came up six minutes short. An infomercial has to come in at twenty-eight minutes and thirty seconds. Six minutes was a lot of dead air. I went to the local TV 46 and explained my situation. The guy assured me that he could cover the six minutes with past commercials and infomercials of theirs. I told the guy I owed him and left the master tape. He did not and for six over priced minutes of Keffer Dodges advertising budget, ran the dreaded color bars. After that incident, my boss brought me in the office and very nicely, stated that he could not afford me anymore. He wanted to come to an agreement that I would be a contracted employee, meaning I would not be getting my salary and benefits, but I would receive all the jobs that came through the office for a flat rate. I agreed under one condition and that was: Pay me the $3500.00 he owed me for my per diem pay from all the traveling in the last two months. He agreed.
He never called me again for a job. By this time, there was such a bad taste in my mouth with him, I did not care. All I knew was that I had worn out my welcome again in North Carolina. I had been on hiatus from the west coast for almost three years. I was going to take my $3500, pack my son, Vinyard, into my Jeep and get the fuck out of dodge. I moved in with my good friend, Doug, and slept on his couch. The stay was just long enough to get my money.
But then Something happened. Mandi tracked me down. Seemed fitting She had completely forgotten all about me for the last four months and here she is at the worst possible time for me, coming back into my life. We met up and hung out a little at first. I tried to keep her at arms reach, because I was not going to let anything mess up my plan.
It almost work.

We were back together. And it seemed much better this time around. It was very different and even to this day I cannot put my finger what it was. The money my boss owed me never came. In fact, he had found a loophole in business practices to prevent me from going after him in court. Once again, Garrick gets SCREWED OUTTA SOME MONEY. I decided that if Mandi and I were to be together, there was no way we were staying in Hickory. I had to go and seeing as the cost of living in Los Angeles had gone up, there was not going to be a year of saving before I could think about going back. Because I had enjoyed Miami so much when I was down there, I aimed for that beach instead. It was not as far as LA and still had the appeal. Mandi refused Miami. Here I was again sacrificing my plans. But at the same time I was trying to figure out where to go, I received an offer at Sunshine Network, down in Orlando. That was the place we agreed on. I grabbed a shit hole job at a factory to save enough to get us down there and we were off.
Orlando was nice. Mandi acquired a good position at one of the biggest hotels down there and I did my television/editing thing. I could tell Mandi missed her family. With my new position, I blossomed at my career. I learned more than I had ever and began thinking that I had arrived to the point with my talents, that I could do it anywhere. I would no longer have to worry that I didnt know enough, to do a job. I was Bruce Wayne in the mountains Learning everything I needed to know and when I was ready, I would return to make my stake.
One Wednesday night, Mandi had been quiet. Extremely quiet And then she said it,
Lets go get a pregnancy test. I jumped right up. I had been ready for years, despite the life on the road I had established for myself. We dropped into Walgreens and grabbed a three pack.
The first one was all we needed to see. The line was there and it wasnt just a faded line. That sunuvabitch was jumping off the test itself. We called everybody. We were pregnant.
After a month, we had both agreed that it would be smart to stay in Orlando until she was eight months and then move back to North Carolina to have the baby and live for awhile, due to our vast support group we had there. I agreed to that, but did not agree to Hickory. I was thinking Charlotte or Winston; anywhere, but Hickory!!!

It was a Wednesday as well, four months later when I was in the editing room and got a call from a woman I had never met. She began telling me that I needed to get to the hotel. Mandi had been bleeding and something was wrong. I rushed down and swept her to the emergency room. After Mandi had to endure using the bathroom and seeing a glimpse of our pregnancy dropping into the toilet every time, the doctors told us the bad news. We had gone in around noon and it had taken them nearly ten hours to tell us she had miscarried.
No, shit you fucking genius, was all I could get out. I am not a patient guy and Im really not patient when my woman had to sit around upset all day just to get a definitive answer to what she already knew.
We left the hospital and it was back to life with our dogs and the forty-hour a week jobs.
Pressure mounted to get out of Orlando. This experience had really put Orlando on the shit list so to speak with Mandi. Ryan had invited us to Rhode Island and Mandi was ready to go. I went up first to get everything taken care of, but she had decided half way through the second week that she didnt want to go to Rhode Island. (We all know that story already.) By the time I got back to Orlando, Mandi was ready to go home. I wasnt but had lined up some side jobs in Hickory, so the thought of maybe being able to open my business up there had crossed my mind again. She was frustrated and did not want to see my face. I didnt blame her at that point. We were at differences of what, where and how things should be done from here. I gave her a break and journeyed back to Hickory to secure some jobs and weigh our options. When I left, I had actually been worried that Mandi wasnt going to come home and I was just going to be out of the picture from then on. I hoped that my thought was not dead on like many of my other gut instincts were. Two days after being at home, I journeyed to Cutters house to hang out and unwind when I got the call.
Garrick, you are not going to believe this, Mandi said.
I was prepared for the worst. Maybe she had found somebody else. Maybe she had decided that she wanted to be single. I didnt know.
Im pregnant.
I thought it to be a joke. We had only two months before been in the same boat. I could not believe it. The three years we were together we had not practiced safe sex and two times in the same year we managed to plant an egg? How did that work?
I laughed in joy. We received a second chance. Within the week, I showed up in Orlando with a U-Haul and brought our life back to North Carolina. I knew I had to get something together fast. I knew this one was going to work out and my frustrations with not being able to land any jobs I would enjoy in this town, made the pressure a little tighter not to wind up having to settle for a factory job or something that I would get trapped at. I started up my business while working part time at a small television station at first and before I knew it, my company was coasting. I began a stint at AEBN. It was the global leader in internet smut and as I learned the business side of the profession I dabbled in, but ducked out of time and time again, I started realizing that if I were to make some more cash why not make a porn. I continued my business and in the shadows began making preparations to do it.

FAST FORWARD four months

Mandi woke me up at 4:30am. She thought she had gas. I thought she was wrong. We took off to the hospital and by 5:30am her water had broken. That was the day. By the end of the day my life would be completely changed. I would no longer be called, man, dude, shmuck, or asshole. It would be dad from here on out. With little difficulties, Mandi gave birth to our daughter, Payton Renea Lane a little over twelve hours later. Everybody says that in that moment, it changes your life forever. I will disagree with that statement. Through all the chaos and exhaustion, I dont think it changes your life forever, until the calm after the storm and you are looking at her and shes looking at you. The room is quiet and that nine months of sympathy weight, over hormonal fights, and opening gifts of diapers, swings, baby bottles and breast pumps, is all but a memory in the back of your head. That, is when it changes your life. I looked at Payton as I held her. Mandi had deservingly taken a nap at that moment. I watched her. I thought, shes my daughter. Maybe I shouldnt pursue this porn movie anymore. I would be setting a bad example. I could hear everybody at school making fun of her. I could see her friends not coming over to hang out, because their parents disagree with what I do. I mean this is Hickory, North Carolina we are talking about. This kind of situation is as trivial as tying your shoes in the San Fernando Valley, but really, what would I say to her if she started asking. What if I did quit this quest? What if she found out I quit trying to do it? Would she think I was a quitter or an under achiever.
No, I said to myself. I wasnt going to quit. I had come too far and this could be more college money for her if I could get it off the ground. She would never have to know.
As I drifted off to sleep, I thought to my self that my intentions to get back to Los Angeles were probably a fade to black story now. I would be a North Carolina resident for at least five years and even then, where would I be in five years? I would just have to put it out of my mind for a while. I still wonder where my life would have taken me had I stayed. I would not have Payton or Mandi. Would I be married? Would I be successful?
It really didnt matter at that point. I shut it out of my mind and went to sleep after the long day. The last thought in my head was, I could still go to LA. Maybe one of the movies I am shooting would get some attention and put me in a position to have to move back. Or if not, maybe a job would send me whisking out there for a couple weeks.
That kind of positive thinking would bring me to my next story

Friday, May 5, 2006

Chapter Eight - International Waters

Disclaimer: I am not an idiot writer. My writing may not be good but I know where to place quotations, commas and periods. I have been writing my book in Word and Text Wrangler and when I cut and paste them to the Myspace Blog, I lose all my periods and quotes lately. I dont know how to fix it, so bear with me. I am actually putting them in.

Jons lower leg was smashed. He had rods placed in both his top and bottom of his shin. He would be laid out for a while. I obviously wouldnt push for a meeting with the Hot Investor anytime soon. I felt so horrible about what had happened to him, I nearly forgot about his positive lead. I had been bard from the real world or on house arrest if you like, waiting on the baby to come. I didnt want to be anywhere when Mandis water broke so I chose to work from home base. I made call after call looking for a lead in the never ending unsolved mystery of finding money to shoot my movie. I had three people on the back burner. They were all friends and friends and business never work. I would almost feel alienated if they said no. I would also feel like I was taking advantage of them if they said, yeah. Its a double edged sword so friends are the last people you want to rent an office with, which leads me to the next ridiculous situation I found myself in. Cutter and I had been friends since middle school. Over the years we had witnessed and experienced a lot together. (That may be an understatement.) We dabbled in drugs, shared women, acted recklessly, but above all, dreamt big. He was the salesman. I was the visionary. Unfortunately, for visionaries, your marketability and salesmanship doesnt always go hand in hand. Unfortunately, for Cutter he made all his sales and transactions early in life leaving many bridges and their remains collecting algae at the bottom of the proverbial river. For about three years about three years ago, I had learned the art of selling myself. I could walk into a room, grab everybodys attention and keep it. I made three movies in that short amount of time, managed to get published in a magazine, got into an argument with Edward Norton over a couple of Driver Licenses and landed a meeting with Michael Deluca, (then the CEO of New Line Cinema.) Before that, Id be lucky to sell an appetizer to one of my tables at the Olive Garden, (where I worked at the time.) The after of that prosperous time Well, I just sold myself short.
Cutter was a born salesman. He could sell you desert property on Grandfather Mountain in his hay day. He could walk into a room; have the whole place sold on his idea at the time in five minutes. My fiancé still to this day does not like me going out for a night on the town with him, because she knows, hes probably the only guy in the world that I can not say no to. In these years of Cutters brilliant pitches, scams, and moneymaking ideas, he had actually managed to get people to invest in them three out of five times. He had also managed to talk friends into buying him cars, boats, motorcycles, and anything else he felt he needed. They would do this with the intent that Cutter would reimburse them. Here was the rub Four out of Five times they were not, but because he was Cutter, it was water under the bridge. Take the salesman out of him and Cutter was one of the most lovable guys you will ever meet. I have found myself hating his guts at times only to crack a smile on the mere sight of him walking in the room. He has an electric personality and if I didnt have him in my life, it would be 25% more boring than it already is.
Our friendship came to the crossroads only twice in our life. The first was the night he overdosed on heroin in the bathroom at our house. He had borrowed my guitar tuner and only in Cutter Fashion he had lost it. I was furious and stormed down the hall and busted the bathroom door open. Our other roommates and him had gone out to the bar and had been on their off time, abusing pain killers via their nostrils, so when I entered and saw his red face with one eye going one way and the other looking at his feet, I thought it was just another day at the office. I began screaming at him for a moment, in which he did not respond. (He never had, why would it be any different this time?) I bolted down the hall and my quiet stoner roommate met me trying to calm me down. I know it was just a tuner, but this kind of shit had been going on for years and I had just started playing guitar, so this was a very prized possession of mine. By the time he calmed me down, our other roommate was screaming from down the hall. I returned to the bathroom to find Cutter on the floor blue and nearly dead. A 911 call and some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and he was breathing again. He was diabetic so I figured, (being completely unaware that he had just injected heroin into his vein,) that the alcohol had sky rocketed his blood/sugar level. I was told after the ambulance picked him up what had really happened. After the smoke cleared, we had managed to get him to the hospital and he had been given another chance at life. I had expected to lose him as a friend once he returned from the hospital. With situations such as that one, everybody tells you that the best thing you can do on the way to recovery is start over. Start over by acquiring new surroundings, new friends, and a new lifestyle. I was compliant if that would be his choice, because at the time we were living a rock star lifestyle. The difference was, that I was in complete control and loved the famous image we were placing on ourselves within our town. I wasnt ready to give that up yet. To everybodys surprise, Cutter returned to the house and carried on his usual way. He figured if he could not do it this way, what kind of will does he have. Our friendship was tighter than ever.
The next crossroad was five months after the burnt spoon incident. After I left for LA, him and the other roommates decided they were not going to pay any more bills at the house. I felt with my name on the lease and a couple of the bills, (and my credit already being shot,) I would have to come back if just for a little while and take care of it. I returned with two grand in my pocket and had to blow it all to get us caught up. I guess I was naïve at the time to think I would be compensated. As I prepared for my final trip back to the West Coast, I came back to the house to find him packing up his belongings. He had been saving his money to get a new place, which was obviously fine, but I guess it was at my expense. In fact, all of the roommates had ditched leaving me to fix the place up and sink the get the hell outta dodge funds on back bills and fixing the place up, so again I was trapped at home for a little longer. That day, I said to myself, Fuck this guy, and made it abundantly clear I meant what I said by walking by him as he tried to load a couch onto a truck by himself. I didnt budge an inch and he knew I was pissed, so he didnt ask for my help. Needless to say, we didnt talk for a while. I had every right to be mad and I still defend that to this very day, but.
I had always preached that no friendship should ever be lost over money or a woman, (unless that woman was your wife of course,) so the hatchet was buried quickly and we were close friends again. We had talked for ages about making a porn, but could never be in the same town long enough to work on it. We stayed close. So close in fact, I had the proud honor of introducing him to his future wife.

Him and his wife would venture down to Florida to see us. I would stay at their house when I would pass through. We had even considered moving into the same neighborhood, but as life leads you down unexpected roads, we ended up about thirty minutes from them. I had always wanted to start a business of some kind with Cutter, but had found myself put on the back burner due to his busy, busy job. He basically helmed a small luxury car dealership in Lake Norman, NC. The idea of making a porn had been thrown around so much by then, usually in a drunken stupor, I hardly fathomed he would want to participate. One day, though, something happened Cutter and I found ourselves at the thirty-year-old crossroad where you either get something going or you work for the man the rest of your life. My business was beginning to take off. Unfortunately, it was about five years too late, so I too was pondering which turn to make. We had become family men over night when Mandi and Garrick placed a bun in the oven. It wasnt long after that Mindy, his wife, had been impregnated with a Satan spawn as well. It was a scary thought but really made Cutter realize that there was a lot more if we got out there. We had a heart to heart and it became official: We were making a porn. I, for the first time actually believed Cutter was one hundred percent about this project. I told him, Hell, the movie is made and sold already. Everything has been put into place with the exception of the money to shoot it. You, know a lot of rich people who would be willing to invest a couple of bucks. Its that simple. Find me money. Ill shoot the movie. We split it fifty-fifty. That was his job. Nothing more. He sold Mercedes, Hummers and Porsches to rich people that lived in humongous houses on the lake. He knew everybody and everybody liked him. This should be a quick process, right?

By the beginning of April I knew there were going to be no leads. I should have known in March, when I called him and he said answering the phone, You found an investor, yet!

. Uh, no. Wasnt that your job, I thought to my self.

Chalk it up to another one of Cutters big sells with no chance of a close. I mean I still love him to death and I will be there for him for the rest of his and my life. This wouldnt hurt our friendship, but I think he got to the point where he had talked so much and not produced that he would be lucky to be able to borrow sixty cent for the drink machine. The straw that broke the camels back was on April Fools Day, (how fitting,) when he called me from his beach vacation. We had not talked about the porn in sometime, but then again, we both had been real busy elsewhere I guess.
What are you doing there, rubba neck, he yelled into the receiver. That was his greeting most of the time with me. Occasionally it was cheese, but that was a whole different story.
Whats up, I replied. How original. He was drunk and I was really going to try and not get annoyed. He explained that he was down on Wrightsville Beach, NC having a great time. Then he hit me with it. I could tell in the anxiety of his breathing he had a harebrain scheme brewing.
I know where were going to shoot the movie, he exclaimed.
I had to be a smart ass.
What movie?
The Porn.
Oh yeah, where, I asked. I guess he never caught on to my sarcasm. Here it came
On International Waters he rattled. He pronounced it in the tone of voice you would hear narrating Forensic Files on Court TV.
I paused for what seemed like eternity. All I could get out was:
What the fuck are you talking about?
I have this dude down here. Man, hes cool as shit. He owns these huge boats with cabins. We could get the chicks, the camera equipment and head out to sea, he spewed in excitement.
Again I asked, What the fuck are you talking about?
He was baffled. The phone sat silent. I decided to quit the bullshit.
What the fuck would we want to shoot a porn on a boat for? We cant get one made on land. I highly doubt the open sea would increase our chances, here, I shouted. We havent raised a dime for the movie and were talking about stretching our sea legs and shooting on a yacht? Are you stoned?
I think I had busted his bubble.
What sense does that make, I asked in a try not to be so harsh kind of way.
Nobodys doing that. I thought it would be a cool gimmick, he replied.
Fifty or more movies have been done on yachts, boats, pontoons, Cutter. Hell, Digital Playground just did one and they had pirate ships.
All was quiet again.
A house would cost us six hundred dollars, tops. A brigade of yachts??? The gas alone would sink us, I retaliated.
Calm down, man, I got that covered. The yachts are free. They said they would be more than willing to help us out, he explained.

Sure they would. Who the fuck are these guys?
He commenced to tell me they just met through a friend of a friend. This all probably being that ole one too many beers talk.
This guy is going to let us use his boats. Cart us out to International Waters and let us shoot our porn. And these boats have everything we need. They have cabins, bathrooms, and most importantly electric outlets.
At least he had done his research on my needs for production. Then he hit me again
The captain said it would be no problem. We would just have to arrange a blow job from one of the girls for him.

Of course.

(What is it with the blowjob thing?)

I completely ignored the blowjob comment. I normally took offense when people solicit that shit in these kind of business meetings, but under the circumstances, I will kept my mouth shut.)

Cutter, man, we have to raise the money before we can plan where to shoot it. Wasnt that your job? Find me money? Where is all that talk of plenty of people with plenty of money? You tell that guy if he ships us off to International Waters, lets us shoot our movie with no interference, AND floats us the money to do it, tell him Ill suck his dick. Otherwise wipe that plan out of your mind.

I waited for a reply. I thought I had rendered him speechless until I heard him talking in the background to somebody else... Had he? Fuck!!!! He had missed my whole speech, talking to the first mate or something. He wasnt talking business. He was talking about which bar they were going to.

He got back on the receiver.
Let me call you back.
Before I could say, dont bother, the connection was gone.

I could not help but think, that was the last time wed discuss future plans together. All that talk about growing up and providing for our family was horseshit. It was one too many beers talk. The realization kicked in. With my little girl a week away, my time was getting thinner and I was not ready to tackle the tie and coat salesman thing. I couldnt help but think, oh God, Im in trouble. As I heard in the other room the beeps of the final seconds of my television show, 24 going off, (that I missed half of for that stupid conversation,) I couldnt help but think I had just become Jack Bauer in a sense. One man, a thousand enemies ahead in front of me, and the time was ticking

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