Piping a remote reader into the lap of a live event may sound like a scary proposition, but [literal!] rocket scientist Stan Kent has it all figured out. And his system is a two-way street: the friendly vibes in the room came through loud and clear to me. (I'm referring to the warmth of the people assembled there at Hustler Hollywood, not to the bonhomous sex toys.)
First, I got to do a sound check. I love sound checks not only because of the technical advantage they bring, but also because it's an excuse for me to improvise tomfoolery (not that I really need an excuse). Immediately after the sound check, I actually jotted down, to the best of my recollection, what had come out of my mouth when I was prompted to "just keep talking." It went something like this:
Well, I'm here in my fedora and paisley dressing gown, and I'm extemporizing. I was intemporizing earlier, but the weather changed, so now I'm outside, extemporizing. And, of course, reading erotica, there will be moments when my voice gets soft and breathy, like this ... but then, when the dialogue becomes more dramatic, my voice may go into a slightly higher register, with more volume! But if I'm doing the voice of a female character, I may go slightly higher into the treble range ...That, apparently, was quite enough, and the sound check was declared complete.
When the call came through indicating that it was time for me to read my work, Stan began by asking what I was now wearing.
JE: Well, I took off the fedora and paisley dressing gown, and changed into the paisley dressing gown and the fedora.
SK: We can only imagine.
JE: That's good, because I'm having a little trouble.
[Or something like that.]
And then I read my story, "It Takes W-2 to Tango." Here's a small excerpt:
“Jessica. Listen to me. Every year, you fuck up my W-2. And every year, I come here so we can go over that. And every year, you ask me to come around to your side of the desk. And every year, you lean your head back against my chest. And I put a hand on your shoulder. And you lean farther back, and I stroke your breasts through your shirt and nibble the base of your neck ...”
Jessica licked her lips.
Galen proceeded. “And eventually you move my hand down to your skirt, and I work my way up your thighs to your pussy. And so on.”
“Mmm ... yeah,” she moaned. “So what’s the problem?”
“It’s a fine routine, Jessica—an excellent piece of business, as they say in vaudeville. But—damn it—I feel like I’m in a rut.”
She glanced at his crotch and smirked. “Not yet, you aren’t. But I know where to find one.”