One dude stood all afternoon at the buffet wearing just his boxers, licking the orange dust off barbecued potato chips. Next to him, a dude was scooping into the onion dip and licking the dip off the chip. The same soggy chip, scoop after scoop. Dudes have a million ways of peeing on what they claim as just their own. For craft services, we’re talking two folding tables piled with open bags of store-brand corn chips and canned sodas. Dudes getting called back to do their bit—the wrangler announces their numbers, and these performers stroll back for their money shot still chewing a mouthful of caramel corn, their fingers burning with garlic salt and sticky with the frosting from maple bars.
Some one-shot dudes, they’re just here to say they were. Us veterans, we’re here for the face time and to do Cassie a favor. Help her one more dick toward that world record. To witness history. On the buffet, they got laid out Tupperwares full of condoms next to Tupperwares of mini-pretzels. Fun-sized candy bars. Honey-roasted peanuts. On the floor, plastic wrappers from candy bars and condoms, bit and chewed open. The same hands scooping M&M’s as reaching into the fly and elastic waistband of boxers to stroke their half-hard dicks. Candy-colored fingers. Tangy ranch-flavored erections. Peanut breath. Root-beer breath. Barbecued-potato-chip breath getting panted into Cassie’s face. Tweakers scratching their arms bright red. High-school virgins wanting to lose it on camera. This one kid, Mr. 72, is looking to get deflowered and into history in the same shot. Skinny dudes keeping their T-shirts on, shirts older than some other performers here, sent out for the launch of Sex with the City a lifetime ago. Fan-club shirts from back when Cassie was starring in Lust Horizons. T-shirts older than Mr. 72, silk-screened before he was born. Loud dudes talk on cell phones, talking stock options and ground-floor opportunities at the same time they pinch and milk their foreskins. All the performers, the wrangler Magic Marker—ed their biceps with a number between one and six hundred. Their haircuts, a monument to gel and patience. Tans and fogs of cologne. The room full of metal folding chairs. To set the mood, dog-eared skin magazines. The talent wrangler is some babe, Sheila, with a clipboard, yelling for number 16, number 31, and number 211 to follow her up the stairway to the set. Dudes wearing tennis shoes. Top-Siders. Bikini briefs. Wingtips with navy-blue calf-high socks held up with those old-time garters. Beach flip-flops still coated with sand, every step gritty with it. That old joke: The way to get a babe to act in a blue movie is you offer her a million dollars. The way to get a dude is you just have to ask him . . . That’s not actually a joke. Not like a ha-ha joke. Except maybe us industry regulars, most of these nobodies saw the ad that ran in the back of Adult Video News. An open casting call. A hard-on and a doctor’s release to show you’re clean, that was the audition. That, and nobody’s shooting kiddie porn, so you had to be eighteen. We got shaved pecs and waxed pubes standing in line with a Downs-syndrome Softball team. Asian, black, and spic dudes. A wheelchair dude. Something for every market segment. The kid, dude 72, he’s holding a bouquet of white roses starting to curl, droop, the petals slack and starting to brown. The kid’s holding out one hand, words written on the back in blue ballpoint pen. Looking at them, the kid goes, “I don’t want anything, but I’ve always loved you ...” Other dudes carry around wrapped boxes fluffy with bows and trailing ribbons, boxes small enough to fit in one hand, almost hidden inside their fingers. The veteran talent wear satin bathrobes, prizefighter robes tied with a sash, while they wait their call. Professional woodsmen. Half them even dated Cassie, talked marriage, becoming the Lunts, the Desi and Lucy of adult entertainment. Wasn’t a performer at that shoot who didn’t love Cassie Wright and want to help her make history. Other dudes ain’t dicked anything but their hand, watching nothing but Cassie Wright videos. To them, it’s a kind-of fidelity. A marriage. These dudes, clutching their little gifts, for them today is their kind-of honeymoon. Consummation. Today, her last performance. The opposite of a maiden voyage. Up those stairs, to anybody after the fiftieth dude, Cassie Wright will look like a missile crater greased with Vaseline. Flesh and blood, but like something’s exploded inside her. To look at us, you’d never guess we were making history. The record to end all records. The talent wrangler comes around, calling out, “Gentlemen.” The Sheila babe pushes the glasses up her nose and goes, “When I call you, you’ll need to be camera-ready.” By that she means fully erect. Condom-ready. The closest thing that comes to how the day felt is when you wipe back to front. You’re on the toilet. You’re not thinking, and you smear shit on the back of your hanging-down wrinkled ball skin. The more you try to wipe it clean, the skin stretches and the mess keeps getting bigger. The thin layer of shit spreads into the hair and down your thighs. That’s how a day like this, how it feels to keep secret. Six hundred dudes. One porn queen. A world record for the ages. A must-have movie for every discerning collector of things erotic. Didn’t one of us on purpose set out to make a snuff movie.