My Red Convertible

Sample Chapter from "Becoming California"

Armed with birth control, an agent and work. I started to create a weekly routine. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I traded blow jobs for cash in hotel rooms around Santa Monica for my girl and then booked my scenes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As more requests came in, Jim warned that I needed to limit my availability to two days a week - scarcity at work and I agreed. Jim was the expert. I still didn’t have a car, and coordinating rides took up so much time anyway. When Javier couldn’t drive me, I’d book taxis, but each ride to the Valley burned up at least $100 of each $1200 porn check. When I handed the dollar bills to the taxi drivers, I’d imagine how much dick I’d had to choke just to pay for the ride.

The actual work of porn began to lose its sense of strangeness. As I got ready on a Tuesday morning, alternating between gulps of Crystal Light and swipes with a purple hair straightener hurriedly through my thick brown hair, I went through a mental checklist of what I needed for the day - lingerie, extra careful shaving of all body hair, and my ID for the performer paperwork. On this specific day, I had an audition and then a scene to perform right after so I rushed aiming to make it out of the apartment by 10:30.

I learned quickly that life in LA revolved around traffic, not the other way around so I rushed to beat the 405s lunch hour creep of horns honking a messy symphony. As I swiped that hair straightener, I hoped that the camera crew would be on time so that I wouldn’t have to stay longer than a normal three hour scene. Porn was so often just like going to any other job. There are always traffic delays and co-workers who waste your time.

The taxi dropped me off at the interview late but no one in the office cared. I’d learn that in California generally, and porn specifically, meeting times serve as suggestions, not hard and fast rules. When I arrived at the studio, Seductions something, a receptionist threw performer forms into my lap and then led me into a prefab, brightly lit corporate room with a glossy white nameplate, “Director’s Room”. The Director, a big man with an expansive belly and a cheshire smile, stood up and shook my hand warmly, interrupting a meeting with a couple who were auditioning before me.

“Wendy, have a seat over there,” he said, pointing to a leather armchair in the corner. “I’m going to audition these two and then we’ll get started,” he said.

“Great!” I smiled enthusiastically, curious how other people auditioned. I pretended not to watch and looked down at the forms in my hands, trying to decipher the abbreviations on it; DP, CIM, ATM, capital letters meaning words that I didn’t know. I peeked up from behind my the clipboard and listened to the couple recount how they’d just arrived from Brazil, how they needed the money. As I stared, I caught the woman’s eyes, expecting connection but finding only an dark, blank stare, one that I would come to see in my own after sleepless nights partying. I knew what it felt like to be desperate for cash, and I rooted for them that this audition would go well.

The couple began to take their clothes off. As she slid a chipped red fingernail to pull down her thong, I could see that the woman’s only body hair was a waxed square above her pussy. Her waist bent over it and covered it as she dropped to her knees and began to blow the man she was with. Five minutes of exaggerated oohing and spit tossing, his dick still just hung there limp. Within a few more minutes, the enthusiastic sucking turned tired. She found his eye, her gaze quizzical, searching as she shook her head with annoyance. ‘What’s wrong?’ she asked, her accent burning the ends of the words so it sounds like ‘what wrong?’.

I watched captivated. I had never expressed annoyance with someone’s sexual incompetence, and I looked around, feeling like I was intruding but he just closed his eyes, shook his head and pushed her face back down onto his dick. It went inward, shriveling like a fearful turtle.

The director sat at a chair besides his desk, also watching but impatient. He looked at them and then at his watch and then at me, coughed, and then looked back at them again, resting his jowls on his fingers and tapping at his cheek. The boyfriend glanced at him and then looked quickly away, eyes darting away. The boyfriend tried another tactic, turning the woman over so that she looked face down, ass up and he swiped his dick between her butt cheeks. They looked like two perfect honeydews waiting to be opened. The boyfriend got down onto his knees now and pulled the cheeks apart, licking her ass with a choreography, tongue flicking five times, as he stroked himself and then poked the limp thing to no avail over and over, too much a show.

“Ok, you can stop,” the Director said.

As they began to protest no, he sliced his hand through the air. They shrugged, put their clothes back on and as she pulled her dress back on from over the top, I could see her face twist in anger, glare at the boyfriend. It had been his fault.  He tried to make it better, turning to the director and speaking in highly accented English. “May we come back? This isn’t normal. It never happens.” The director waved them out. “Sure, sure. Make an appointment at the front desk.”

My audition went differently, better, but boring in comparison to the Brazilian couple. The director talked business to me, bragging about profit margins and I shook my head yes eagerly as if I knew what he meant and he patiently explained them, then slapped his knee when I raised my eyebrows at the sick shit I didn’t know people did to each other.

“DP is double penetration,” he said matter of factly. I cocked my head at him. “It means that the female performer takes two cocks at once; one in the ass and one in the vagina.”

“I definitely can’t do that!” I exclaimed. “Sometimes I can’t even get one dick to stay in me,” and I confided in him, recounting the scene that had gone wrong and how Nacho’s dick had slid out each time we tried.

“We’ll find you a smaller guy,” he promised and I high fived him, relieved.

“Thank you!” When I left, I took three peppermints from the candy dish at the front desk for lunch and waved goodbye at the receptionist.

I stood outside on the white concrete sidewalk in the never ending sun and waited for a taxi that Jim had booked me. We drove two blocks and I started to understand how small the world in the LA porn scene is, a collection of warehouses and fancy homes within a 5 mile radius of each other in the San Fernando Valley.

When I walked into the estate where the scene was set, I immediately noticed Nick. Jim had told me I’d like working with him but at first glance he was scary. His muscles bulged like an action hero’s. His skin held the orange tint of a unlimited membership of a Valley tanning salon. His hands were meaty and curled in, ready to fight, like the MMA fighter he was but too, his  smile was goofy in a cheesy Dad way and, his hair conservative, like...a Mormon?

“Wendy!” he said, seeing me looking at him. “Jim told me that you’re Mormon? Me too!”

30 minutes later, his Nick’s cock was halfway down my throat. He petted my shoulders as he eased in soft and deep, his hands holding my hips like I was a feral kitten he didn’t want to scare away. Knowing that Nick was Mormon made me wonder if this is what sex with Wyatt would be like, soft and gentle, and for once I came in scene, squirting for the camera too. How romantic this would be with my own boyfriend someday.

After we wrapped up the scene, we went out to Baja Fresh together, our religion and our sins an instant bond. He ordered a Dos Manos burrito with extra guacamole, the green sauce oozing down the side of the burrito the same way his cum had just oozed down the side of my face. He ate it in three bites, inhaling it like a survivalist. We talked like we’d known each other forever.

“Ok, so you need the money, I get that but how long have you been doing this?” he asked.

“About 90 days,” I responded, looking down nervously, while I pushed my fork around the corn chips that I’d pulled out of my salad.

“Well, God will forgive us.” he said, trailing off and I nodded.

“I don’t need God’s forgiveness,” I told him pointedly. “I’m not sure I believe in that anymore,” then added, “but I do love the Mormon people.” His eyes narrowed like they were trying to understand, but I could tell from the silence that he didn’t like that.

“Well I believe in it,” he said. “Anyway,” his face brightened, “Want a ride?”

I said yes, and as we got up to walk the 100 yards to his parking spot, he jogged ahead to open the passenger’s side door for me, then checked that my legs were all the way in before tapping it closed. When he put the key in the ignition, a Christian Rock music station spewed ‘Jeeeeeeessssus’ from the speakers. He turned it up. “I love this stuff,” he said.

As we drove, the car felt cool in a way that the taxis didn’t and he told me about tinted windows and how they saved lives in Los Angeles summers. “They were $300. Highway robbery, but worth it.” When we stopped at a stoplight, I could hear the wheels spinning, their rotation clean and oiled and his car smelled of the unmistakeable musk of Axe body spray. I felt strong around him.

When he pulled up outside my apartment, Nick leaned over the center console and stopped me before I shut the door.

“Look Wendy. Even if you don’t believe right now, you’ll change your mind and in the meantime, I’ll do anything I can to help you. It’s our duty. We’re brother and sister in heaven.” He stopped and then added, “By the way, my real name is Andre,” and stuck his hand.

“Amy,” I replied and we shook hands, meeting again. It was a common thing in porn and in hotel rooms too, to meet people by their stage name or a name they’d made up. Most I’d continue to know only by their pretend name but if the relationship moved deeper, sharing our real names was a signal that we had decided to trust each other, to show each other who we really were.

From then on, Nick and I hung out every day that I wasn’t in a hotel room. He liked cheesy jokes like me and we pinky sweared that we would do the things we dreamed of, and not get stuck in a mirage of success that was porn awards. Each time, I’d hook my thin pinky into his huge one. It was the size of a fork handle that made our promises feel bigger than they were.

“Promise me you won’t do anal,” he said. “I’ve seen some bitches with nasty issues from that shit. Shitty, but for real!!” he guffawed.

“I won’t!” I exclaimed, then stuck out my pinky and we shook. From then on, he watched out for me.

Andre gave me rides almost everywhere, picking me up in Westwood and dropping me off in the Valley on scenes and sets. He’d drive out on weekdays too, dropping me off at hotels in Santa Monica and not asking why. He’d carry my luggage bag, the one that held all of my lingerie sets and wheeled them to whatever room I’d eventually get changed in.

“You’re a princess,” he said, kissing my cheek as I unzipped my bag. I didn’t respond, hated the word ‘princess’. I didn’t want to be that. Princesses were trapped, kept things and I’d feel relief when he’d leave to go to his own sets, not staying to watch.

One night, he took me to my first porn party. I didn’t know what to wear, so I cut an ankle length church dress up to knee length and chopped the neckline to below my modesty mole, feeling bold.

When we walked up to the door, a bouncer greeted us, asking for ID. I had mine but I it told the truth, that I was only 19. The bouncer flung it back at me. “You’re too young.”

Andre put his arm between on the bouncer’s shoulder. “Dude, she’s industry.”

“Nothing I can do about that,” the bouncer said, handing me my ID back.

“Bro, let’s take a walk,” Andre said, his chest puffing out through a baby blue button down. As they marched towards the parking lot, I wrapped my hands around the bones of my shivering shoulders, trying not to notice when Andre handed him a Ziploc baggie of white powder.

When they came back, the bouncer knighted me with a wristband and told me not to drink. “You’ll fuck me if you do,” he warned.

Once inside, the sound of booming music drowned out talking. Bottle service tables held reservation signs that listed studio names. Women in tiny dresses or body paint lounged like jungle cats along the couch cushions, sucking on maraschino cherries until someone put something else in their mouths. Producers, all of them balding, middle-aged, white men with day jobs as hedge fund managers, stood on tables with pants around their ankles. The men’s balding heads shined down on me as their eyes gazed up to the ceiling searching for God, necks bent back, their mouths little ohs of ecstasy on bloated faces. But the ohs were overly dramatic. They were so obvious, pathetically peacocking as if determined to prove that they still lived lives of wildness, despite the wives and vacation homes and children’s private school tuition bills that waited for them at home.

We circled the room and Andre kept his heavy arm around my shoulder. I appreciated that his arm being there meant that no one would ask me for free blow jobs. Though I now worked in this industry, I didn’t know anyone else by their first names besides Andre. As I looked around the at the people’s faces, I saw only young women and I knew I couldn’t linger here, that this was a get in, get out, kind of business, that my time would quickly expire. At 19, I fit in but none of them looked older than 25. It renewed my sense of purpose, a reminder that I was only here to make cash and get out.

Over and over, Andre dropped me off at the bar and then disappeared for a few minutes before coming back. Men with silver and gold embossed foiled business cards approached me, telling me their names, Daves and Mikes and Sams. They’d tell me about the creative direction of their work, how they wanted to make art with my body and I’d laugh open mouth to the ceiling. I didn’t think of porn as anything more than a paycheck, a way to get farther along in the dreams of being an artist. They wanted me to make art? The wanting felt good.

Each time Andre came back to find me he’d look these small men down and they’d leave.

“You’re lovely,” they’d say before sauntering off in khaki chinos and sweaty, untucked dress shirts. I knew that we were all playing pretend, but I couldn’t help feeling like a starlet that night. The men had seen my work and they’d told me that they liked it.

Andre didn’t though. “Their opinions mean nothing,” he told me, “Want to get out of here?” he asked. Feeling out of place, I nodded yes.  

As we walked out, Andre turned to me, “Don’t forget, Amy. You’re the only classy woman I’ve seen all night. These sluts in here are just asking for it,” he added, annoyed. I hadn’t seen Andre mad before and his words surprised me, both at the fact that he referred to me as ‘a woman’ and the vehemence of his anger when he spit out ‘slut’. I knew the other girls and I weren’t different, but when I saw myself through Andre’s eyes, I was somehow less dirty like them and I wanted to stay that way.

As we drove back home, the 101 was empty for once. Business cards spilled out of my wallet and I looked through them, remembering how each name had told me that they wanted to make me famous. Maybe I wanted them to, but no I didn’t. Did I? They want to make you a porn star, I reminded myself, and that was a different star than I wanted to be. For once, I wasn’t sure if it mattered.

I started to come down off the high of recognition, talking into the dark. “What if I get stuck in this world? Is there even such a thing as a porn star becoming a real actress?”

He talked into the darkness too, both of emboldened by it. “Probably not,” he said crisply, “I’ve never heard of an actress who’s done both. Only men.”

I felt hot tears. I wasn’t going to let him see me cry. Andre carried himself strong and he liked me because I showed my strength too. I didn’t want him to know I felt fear, especially when he was intentionally cutting. He turned towards me in the dark and I quickly looked away, crying silently and using my index finger to wipe away the mascara dripping down my cheeks. As he drove, he reached one hand over and rested it on the top of my thigh. I put my hand on his and breathed. I was safe.

When we got to his house, Andre went into the kitchen and  took down a container of protein powder. He sifted his hand around in the tub to find the handle of the measuring cup. He dumped a scoop into a cup of water and then covered the cup with a lid, shaking it back and forth.

“Did I ever tell you that I went on a mission?” he asked, taking a swig from his protein cup before handing it out to me, an offering.

“No!” I responded, eager for him to go on and watching in amusement as he reached under a ratty blue Ikea couch. I sat down and leaned on it then watched with interest as he pulled a little bowl colored in psychadelic swirls of green and blue out from under it and then reached into his jacket pocket to produce a plastic bag of weed. He dipped two gigantic fingers down into the bag, picked a small bud out and then squished it into the bowl. He’d never smoked or done drugs in front of me and he knew that I didn’t use. When he lit the bowl, the weed sizzled and for the first time, I noticed the blood shot in his eyes, small red veins that revealed the human behind his Greek God facade.

He started to ramble, going on about growing up Mormon, how he’d gone to church with his dad. He strained to sound nonchalant but I knew the falseness in his voice. He wanted to convince me that he didn’t miss it but I knew he did. Our lives were so contrary to the way the church had told us to be. Neither of us had figured out how to create new moral structure to replace the church one we both kept one foot inside of. We were both testing out life anew, trying desperately to figure out what a good life meant when we didn’t believe in what we’d been told anymore. Neither of us had learned how to unshackle that guilt that the church had inculcated.

He sat down next to me and then laid his head down on my knees. I moved from the couch and then leaned my spine against a brick wall. I liked how the rough cold of the brick cut into my back. His head moved back and forth like a restless dog as he talked.

“You know it’s impossible to work the way male talent works without using drugs?” he asked me. “Sometimes I wonder, what happens if the drugs stop working?”

I’d never thought about that. I’d never considered that the male talent had a hard job too. “I don’t know.” I sighed.

“It’s not really fair though. I make only $200 a scene and the women make over a grand?”

I didn’t know how to explain how the women had it harder, how we didn’t get fist-bumps at the end of our scenes, how we rushed out of sets so that we wouldn’t be propositioned for free blowjobs or offers by a horny camera guy who wanted to pee on our faces or how we were always telling ourselves that the free blowjobs we’d given were done of our own volition, reminding ourselves that we weren’t victims.

Instead, I just said, “Sometimes when a man knocks on the door of the hotel room, I pray to Jesus that the man on the other side isn’t someone I went to church with,”

He didn’t say anything so I changed course. “Why did you leave the church? You seem to miss the Jesus part of your life?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s like I can’t be saved. I think I’m more bad than most people. I can’t seem to stay pure,” he replied.

“Well I’m only in it still because of Wyatt. I know that we’re falling away from each other but I’m too chicken shit to put an end to it. He wants someone who will stay home, and I’ll never be that. I know it’s not going to work out,” I told him, and I realized that we’d break up soon and suddenly I was indignant too.

“I mean really, this is a man’s world. I’m a woman playing by the rules of men and that’s true whether I’m in the church or porn or in the world anywhere.”

Andre laughed for the first time that night. “You’re crazy, Amy. Pussies rule. We’ll do anything for it.” and then I laughed too.

“Ok, but the truth is that I need a car but every time I go on a car lot, everything’s so expensive. And I can tell that the lot people know that I don’t know anything so then they come over and talk to me but I get overwhelmed - everything is so expensive and they know I don’t know anything.” My voice dropped, “But I really want is a red convertible,” and I closed my eyes as I said it, “Wouldn’t that be the LA life to have something like that?”

We both got into his bed and he wrapped me in blankets. They smelled like sand and beach and I nestled into them. Andre covered himself with different blankets, separate from mine and then we spooned through our little blanket igloos, feeling large on each other, encased in so much fabric. He rubbed his thumb back and forth on the covers above the small of my back as we fell asleep. We fed a craving for a kind of touching that wasn’t artificial, burrowing into each other’s little caves of solitude. We did all the things that we didn’t do on camera, things that were boring to an audience but felt so good to a human. As we turned onto our sides for sleep, our bodies curled into each other and we fell deep asleep.

The next morning, I woke up early. Andre was up, and talking to a friend on his cell phone. I stayed still in my little blanket fort and kept my face covered with so much cloth that I couldn’t see the sun burn through the sheets. I pretended that the sky still held darkness and that maybe I lived in Alaska and maybe the cold of outside would kill me if I left this little hut. I splashed around in that fantasy until Andre came in and swooped the tops of the sheets from above my face to down low so fast that it made me gasp. Behind him, through the window, I could see curling, browning palm trees against a perfect blue sky. They hadn’t had water in a while.

“Guess what!” he said.

“What!?” I responded, leaping up out of the fort and facing him straight on.

He steepled his fingers together. “I have a friend who has a car for sale and it’s a convertible. It’s $5,000. Can you afford it?” His eyes bugged excitedly.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, “that’s how much I want to spend on it.”

“Great, he’ll meet us tomorrow. He’ll be driving it down from Seattle so you’ve got to be sure.”

“Perfect!” I laughed, and then pulled his big bear body in towards me for a hug, “You are a car angel sent from heaven and I’m so grateful for you!” He hugged me so hard back that my lungs constricted before he let me go.

The next morning, Andre met me at my apartment. I dressed up in a houndstooth print Forever 21 mini skirt and a white collared shirt that I usually only wore for schoolgirl themed nude modeling shoots. I patted the soft skirt down, and did a twirl, fancying myself for a chic business woman celebrating her first car purchase and went downstairs to meet Andre.

The sky muted a damp grey for the first time since I’d moved to Los Angeles, but inside I felt a wellspring of sunshine and joy. I couldn’t believe my luck. The car would save me time and money. All the wasted hours on buses could now be directed to the making of dollars that would get me out of the life I’d created for myself and then I could go back to the work of becoming an actress as I’d planned. This car was my freedom and I couldn’t wait to taste that, to drive to Vegas on a whim just because I felt like it.

We walked 3 blocks to Le Conte and I could see the car the moment that we turned the corner to face the Chevron gas station parking lot. There it was. I began skipping towards it, unable to contain my enthusiasm.

“Can I look at it?!” I screamed, not stopping to meet the friend who stood next to it. I danced around the car, inspecting every inch of it. Mine. “Is there a red one?” I asked hopefully and the friend laughed.

He shrugged. “This is the only one, Wendy,” That he knew me by my stage name made me go cold and my body stiffened. My porn world was on the other side of the 405, in the Valley. It was the first time someone in Westwood had called me by my stage name and I felt caught. We were so close to my church.

“OK,” I said, lowering my voice into what I hoped sounded like all business. Andre felt the mood change and he poked me in the rib. “Don’t worry, we can get it spray painted for $200. It will be red by tomorrow.”

Relieved, I laughed again and then got in, not smelling the old stale scent of cigarettes that would come to give me headaches. It was about to be mine and it was perfect. The soft, dark grey of the upholstery looked plush and the radio buttons lit up when I put the key in the ignition. I unbuckled the hood handle and pulled the top down to convertible style. I wanted to ride it away.

I got out, gave the friend the cashier’s check and he gave me the keys. Standing there, with keys in my hand, I hesitated, my mind flipping through a rolodex of all the places that I could go.

Andre brought me back to the moment. “Drive me somewhere,” he said as we waved goodbye to his friend. I drove him up the hill, the one that I’d walked just three months earlier when I had arrived in LA, when I didn’t have a place to live and I’d bumped around the streets with my suitcase. I laughed at my younger self, so naive. I believed myself wizened, my new car proof that I was successful, that I was making it. We went to Ralphs and bought Swedish Fish and Crystal Light and as I drove us home, the wind whipped my hair into a mop that covered my eyes like a fearless bird.

After we got back to my apartment, Andre and I sat downstairs by the pool, letting our legs sink into the water. We held hands but it wasn’t romantic, just friendly.

“You know, just because you have a car now,” he stopped and then cleared his throat.

“What?” I asked.

“Well, I mean. I hope you don’t stop talking to me just because you don’t need me to drive you around anymore.”

“Of course not!” I exclaimed, and I watched him hide a smile behind the nod.
“We’re brothers in heaven,” I told him, kicking at the water and watching the ripples bubble up on the other side of the pool. He sighed and then kissed my cheek. “Ok, well, I better get going. I’ve got to train. Congratulations.”  We hugged goodbye and after he left, I stayed by the pool, freed by the knowledge that I could go anywhere and content for once, to sit still.


Within a few weeks, I fell comfortably into my new independent, driving self. That was the thing about my 20s. I didn’t really know who I was and I was still trying to decide who to become. But since who I was becoming changed so often, I became chameleon-like, shedding one skin and creating another and another and another. Freshly 20 years old, I was malleable and eager to shape myself into the quintessential LA girl I’d always dreamed I’d be.

In the vein of that LA girl in my mind, I crafted Wendy James. Wendy wasn’t sweet and naive like me. She was a girl next door typecast who fucked hard and didn’t sleep over. She didn’t cuddle the way I did in real life, or spoon. She didn’t take the bus or get excited by food. When I snagged a $299 coupon deal out of the back of an Autotrader magazine, I cloaked my white car in a glossy cherry red, and then Wendy drove herself around. She was an island.

With the windows up, and the top down, the car served as my haven. I screeched along to pop songs like ‘Gravity’ by Sara Bareilles and ‘Beautiful’ by India Arie, my voice faltering each time I repeated the refrain ‘I’m gonna pack my bags and take that journey down the road’ because it was like India Arie knew my story. I drank big cups of Crystal Light lemonade and sucked on gummy worms as meals. I’d bump to Bigge and Tupac and flirt with the other drivers next to me, who were also sitting in traffic.

I fell in love with talk radio and started listening compulsively to a radio show called the Tom Leykis Show, because it felt honest like he said the things no one else wanted to say about how love was fucked and it was all a game. I’d listen eagerly during the long hours sitting in rush hour traffic on the 405 during my commute between the porn sets in Woodland Hills mansions and my apartment in Westwood, learning about men and women and how they take what they want if you’re not careful. I began to believe what Leykis preached; that the eternal struggle between men and women could be boiled down to a simple tension between competing desires for sex and money.

I began to feel sorry for women who believed in love and had sex with men for what they believed to be intimacy. In 2003, Leykis was the most popular on-air radio host in Southern California with a loyal listener demographic of 25-54 year old men, who believed him when he said that women are selfish and only want your money, the foundation for what he called the Leykis 101 principles, Cliffsnotes for men on how to get sex for as cheap as possible and why they shouldn’t trust women.

Listening to the many men who’d call in, calling Leykis ‘father’ and ‘professor’ I promised myself that I’d always charge for my sexual power. My professional skill-set was limited to an ability to deep throat, I believed Leykis when he said sex was power and I sharpened mine. No way would I be one to just give it away to a piece of shit trying to lowball me with dinner. As I listened, I learned the common pitfalls and I’d scoff at the women callers who complained that they felt taken advantage of. When men called in to boast about the lies they told women in order to get them to take their clothes off, it gave me a newfound respect for porn and sexwork. We didn’t have the pretense of love to disappoint us. Porn took all the games out of the money for sex thing and called itself what it was; transactional. I appreciated that honesty.


In my cherry red convertible, I was a bad bitch. That I had paid for my car with my own money that I made with my own body made me want to show it off as much as I could. On my first day of car ownership, I drove around going nowhere, getting lost before I pulled into the parking lot of a Barnes and Noble and bought a Thomas Guide. Over the next few months, I’d spend hours thumbing through it, finding my way from home to shoots, hotels and grocery stores, carefully folding over the corners of the pages of places I visited often, making bookmarks and something of a guide to the homes of porn sets all over town and the paths were no ones but my own. The whole time, Wyatt lingered in the back of my mind. I knew that not telling wasn’t fair and I made plans to fix that.