Facebook Flash Drama

For the past decade and a half (Good gawd, it’s been that long!), I’ve been working on an open-ended fiction project that I like to refer to as Facebook Flash Fiction. I gave the characters in my stories social media pages and write through their posts. Originally, I was only writing through the four core characters in my books (Margo, Brian, Christy, and Kathy), 30+ years after the stories in the books, as adults, but as time passed, I worked other characters into the storyline, namely Christy’s grown daughter Maura and Maura’s family (wife Tanya and kids Eva and Mikey), and, most recently, Christy’s college-aged daughter Maggie, along with other spouses, inlaws, friends, and coworkers.

While I call these works “flash fiction,” that term probably doesn’t fit. “Flash Fiction” implies to me a compressed short story; these character posts are less stories than they are rough drafts for some currently-indeterminate larger work, which means that, eventually, I need to compile, cull, and assemble these short pieces into a larger work of some kind.

But not now.

I realized recently that a lot of these character posts are actually “flash drama:” little scenes comprised largely (and sometimes only) of dialogue between two or more characters. I guess it reflects my love of dialogue. It certainly doesn’t reflect the way most people post on social media. Oh, well.

Below is a gallery of screenshots of some of the “dialogue” Flash Fiction pieces I’ve written just over the past year or so.

And click these links for…
more Facebook Flash Fiction pieces;
excerpts from my books;
other stories featuring these characters;
a chronological timeline of my fiction; and
just posts about my writing and my books in general.

Inspiration all around…

One of the writing mysteries that non-writers wonder about is “where do writers get their ideas?”

I can’t speak for EVERY writer, but usually the fiction I write is grounded in something that actually happened. I seldom write about it verbatim, but usually something I’ve experienced is the kernel for a story: I live through something, and then I think “How would (my character or characters) react to this?”

This afternoon is a perfect example. I was at the thrift shop and there was only one register of four open, and I was second person in a line that was maybe five people long. When a second register opened, I turned to my left to see that a pair of women had hopped the line to the front. I said “The line is behind me.” One of the women said “They said they’d help us next” and I said “well, there’s a long line of people who have been waiting longer than you have.”

And the other woman said “WHY DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT YOU?”

I felt stupified, didn’t know what to say to that, but at that point yet another register opened, and I was next in line, so I stepped up as they muttered to themselves.

As soon as I left the thrift shop, first I thought of all the things I would have LIKED to have said to those two women… but then the next thing I thought was “How would this have played out with one of my characters… say… Maura?” My 39 year old mom of two living in Stowe. I started parsing it through: “OK… the thrift shops near Stowe aren’t big enough to have multiple registers, so WHERE would it play out? Kinney Drug has the ‘one line waiting for the next available cashier’ system… so… she would be at Kinney Drug… now… how would her having the kids with her (an 11 year old girl and a six year old boy) have affected her reaction? How would it have played out with not just her, but the kids there, watching this woman jump into the front of the line out of nowhere and giving HER (Maura) crap for pointing it out?”

So that’s where the “Facebook Flash Fiction” piece in the two screenshots below came from.

The first screenshot is pretty much “as it happened,” right up to WHY DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT YOU? and the second is where I took the story in imagination given the characters.

What I’ll DO with it is another question entirely (that’s always the question with these “Facebook Flash Fiction” pieces). It’ll probably end up as a vignette in a longer work, or, if nothing else, in an issue of METANOIA (where I feature a handful of new “flash fiction” pieces every issue).

Anyway… this is just an example of where THIS writer gets ideas… 😉



What is METANOIA, and why haven’t you asked me to send you a copy?

The picture above, as they used to say at print newspapers, is my “morgue”: all back issues of my print only ‘zine METANOIA.

I’ve had contact with a couple people who, when I asked if they wanted me to send it to them every couple weeks, seemed to balk, for whatever reason. These aren’t strangers; they’re people whom I consider friends, and yet they seemed hesitant– scared?– to just say “Yeah, send me a copy,” as if NEXT I’d be pestering them for payment, or expecting FEEDBACK of some kind, or they wanted me to send them a link (read again: PRINT ONLY. NO ONLINE!!) or who knows what else… 


This is usually a single page or two pages, two columns, front and back.

So what is it?

The title of this is METANOIA; it means “a radical transformation.” I like the word and I try to embody it in my life and as a writer, so that’s the title I gave it.

I do it for these reasons:

* I am a writer, and writers write.

* Writing, though, is not just putting words on paper or screen. It’s honing a piece, editing it, getting it published, and connecting with readers.

* I’d reached a point, a few years back, where I was writing in my journal and online (mainly through my characters) but not PUBLISHING. 

* I also didn’t like that online writing was ephemeral, too easily ignored.

* I also love getting physical mail: letters, magazines, packages, cards, postcards. I like to hold a piece of paper in my hand that someone thought enough of to send me.

* I also know and have “met” via social media a lot of like-minded people who have given me of themselves in every way imaginable, and I wanted to give them something back. And “gold or silver I cannot offer thee, but that which I have, I will give you freely.” (Or something like that. 😉 ) And as a writer, what I have to give is my writing.

* With all this in mind, two years ago this week, as the first wave of the pandemic hit, I decided to publish this ‘zine.

It would be a writing discipline– I would write, finish, edit, and publish new writing every couple weeks and PUT IT OUT THERE for readers.

It would be print only– that way it wouldn’t get lost in the online weeds of links and blogs and websites– and I would mail those physical copies to people who expressed an interest in me or my writing, or vice versa. 

I didn’t stick strictly to the “every two weeks” schedule the past year or so, as health issues overtook me, but I’m back on that schedule. Issue 31 came out last week; issue 32 will come out NEXT week.

People have paid for it and that is appreciated and it helps me cover the necessary expenses of postage, paper, envelopes, toner, and stuff like this website, but if you want to read it and can’t pay or don’t want to, you’re under NO OBLIGATION to pay.

It’s not a burden on me. It is MY PLEASURE to create this and share it with you.

If you like ME and what I post on social media and on this website, or liked my books, or like my radio show, you will like METANOIA. Each issue contains, generally, an article on something that interests me, a metaphysical article of some kind, fiction pieces from my ongoing character fiction project on social media, a cartoon (yes, I draw that, too; see my posts on The Twins for samples), and whatever quotes I can fit in to fill space.

The topics these past two years have ranged from… let’s see… my uncle Ed, metaphysical lessons in STAR TREK, online shopping, Thoreau’s journal as his TRUE literary magnum opus, John Burns (the “hero of Gettysburg”), the Beatles’ LET IT BE remaster, 60s misogyny in the “good old days,” character development in M*A*S*H, dealing with “Writer’s block,” Penn State football, the silliness of record collecting, how online interactions can sometimes destroy friendships, parenting, French and American cultural norms and faux pas, my process of learning to play a seeming impossible song on the piano, PEANUTS and Charles Schulz and “canon” in story, the lives of blue jays, why I hate the phone, along with the writers and thinkers who stoke me: Neville Goddard, Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Henry Miller, Jacques Tati, Orson Welles, and Thoreau (did I mention Thoreau? He is my favorite and appears frequently, even if it’s just a quote).

The metaphysical stuff simply reflects my ongoing life work of reconciling the spiritual with the world. Isn’t that what most of us are trying to do?

Anything in that incomplete topic list that interests you?


It’s print only.

If you’d like to read a copy, here’s the complicated, convoluted process:

Send me your snail mail address and I will send you the latest issue.

That’s all.

If you want a back issue and saw a topic in the list above that interests you, mention that and I’ll send it along. If you want to go random, pick a number between 1 and 31 and I’ll send that back issue.

You are under no obligation to PAY or BUY anything. If you want to subscribe formally (several people have), it’s a buck an issue in the USA. If you want to donate via my ko-fi page, great. If you want to send stamps (as a couple people have), great.

If not any of the above, great.

You’re not even required to READ IT. One of the most bizarre exchanges I’ve had was with someone whom I’d quoted liberally in an issue, and I messaged him telling him and asking if he’d like a copy, since he was quoted in it, and if so just send me his snail mail address and I’d pop it in the mailbox for him. After five or six messages, he didn’t seem to get that I just wanted to give him this. Further, the tone of his replies made me feel like he saw this as ONE MORE ADDED OBLIGATION IN HIS ALREADY BUSY LIFE.

No. This is a gift, from me to you.

If you’re interested, email me (maxshenkwrites@gmail.com) or use the submit comment feature on this website, or, if you want to pay, you can either get a subscription by becoming a monthy donor or buy back issues.

That’s all there is to it. Honestly.

As my buddy Skip Heller said once about giving away his music on MP3s, a musician’s job is to make music, and a listener’s job is to listen.

As a writer, my job is to write. The reader’s job is to read.

Become a reader of METANOIA!

METANOIA – A print only ‘zine

IMG_20200328_133037_hdrMetanoia is my new print only ‘zine. It contains original work which hasn’t appeared and won’t appear online in any form. The range of topics I’ll cover runs the gamut from metaphysics to music, from Neville Goddard to Mr. Spock, writing process to prayer method, nature, record collecting… all the things that I’m interested in. For as long as I’ve considered myself a writer, I’ve not only always had my work in print (school newspapers and literary magazines, then, later, writing for local and regional newspapers, and, of course, my books); I’ve also always self-published newsletters and ‘zines of some kind, going way back to my Beatles/music newsletter Revolver and in college with my Temple Free Paper, and then the revival of Revolver in the 90s. I enjoy writing online and enjoy blogging, but I missed the physical process of producing a print ‘zine/newsletter: setting a deadline, hashing through rough drafts, laying it out, editing it for style and space, then, finally, printing out copies and distributing them. I also lamented the fact that so much online writing is ephemeral. So I decided to create a new ‘zine: Metanoia. The word, which I learned from Neville Goddard’s teachings, is a Greek word meaning a radical change of attitude. Metanoia will be published roughly every two weeks (I’m aiming for every other Friday), one page, four columns, with a little bit of everything that interests me, plus a cartoon and some very short fiction (pieces from my Facebook Flash Fiction project). I decided to make it print only, so I still didn’t quite solve the ephemeral problem. But I think you’ll understand.

Metanoia is a dollar per issue in the USA and two dollars per issue everywhere else, and, yes, you can subscribe!

To receive the latest issue of it, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Max Shenk 39 South Main St, rm 138 White River Junction, VT 05001 OR You can go to my shop at Ko-fi.com, where you can get either a subscription or back issues. Or both!

“In a theater? Are you kidding?”

What answer do you get when you ask a former porn star which X rated movies she saw in a theater?


The former porn star is Rebecca Christy, the porn pseudonym used by my character Christy Kelly when she went into “the business.”

This blurb is from one of my current works-in-progress, Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star. The book will be structured as a fictitious oral history, comprised of “first hand accounts” from the characters in the form of interviews, articles, letters, emails, and Facebook posts.

If you want to read some excerpts that have already been published, look for the books Interviews With A Porn Star  and Colloquium: Further Interviews With A Porn Star. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for more information on these two titles. –Max

Q – What X-rated movies did you see in the theater?

RC – None.

Q – None?

RC – In a theater? Are you kidding? I NEVER went to see them in a theater.

Q – Really?

RC – Oh, no. No way. No… those theaters… they were gross. Scary. (laughs) Plus there wasn’t one nearby. I think the nearest one may have been in Mt. Holly, which was 20 miles away, and otherwise you had to go all the way to Harrisburg, to York, or down to The Block, to Baltimore, or Philly. And if there HAD been one in town… I mean, just that it was in town would’ve been enough of a deterrent. I mean, maybe see someone you knew? From church? Some adult? I don’t think so.

Q – So no X rated theaters nearby?

RC – Well, there was one drive-in nearby, at Strinestown, and my friends, my boyfriend and me, we always joked about going, but we never did. Now my SISTER, Kath, SHE went a couple times with her boyfriend– Marty’s big brother, Davy– and she said… (laughs) She said one time that they went, he wanted to walk around the lot and peek in on people screwing in their cars, right? And she said “YOU can. Go on ahead!” And so he did: he got out of the car and went tromping around the lot of this drive-in while the movie was playing, looking in peoples’ car windows, while Kath sat in her VW with the doors locked and the windows up, watching this movie that, in her words, was just this dick going in and out of a pussy the size of a house.

Well, she starts to nod off waiting for him to get back, and just as she’s about to fall asleep, she hears this commotion outside and then this pounding on the window: “Kath! Get the door! Come on!” It was Davy, and he’d peeked into the wrong car window, apparently, and the guy he saw jumped out and started chasing after him. So Kath lets him in and he gets the door locked just as this guy makes it to the car and starts pounding on the window. “I’m gonna KILL you, you little son-of-a-bitch!” Trying to get in or break the windows, right? Well, Davy’s all shrunken down in his seat, Kath said, like he’s gonna crap himself, and Kath was like “Fuck me,” and she unlocks her door and stands up and looks at this guy and says “Do you wanna know who my father is?” And this guy froze like he didn’t wanna find out, and he went back to his car. Kath said “That was the closest I ever came to playing the ‘Daddy’s in the senate’ card.”

Anyway… yeah. I never went. But I kinda wish I had. I always felt like I missed out on all the fun.


There are two volumes of Interviews With A Porn Star…

INterviews coverFront cover v 5


Interviews With A Porn Star (left) 


Colloquium: Further Interviews With A Porn Star (right).



Both of these are excerpts from my work-in-progress Rebecca: An Oral History of a Porn Star.

For more information on these works and to read further excerpts, click here.

(Confused? Read this post about the timeline in my books and stories…)



Why proofreading is important…

One of the projects I’m working on a little bit at a time is an expanded book version of my articles about Vermont’s soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg, and part of that book will include the text of an 1864 Vermont soldier’s memoir entitled The Second Brigade.

I’m about 2/3 through the slow process of formatting that manuscript; my source for the text is a New York City Public Library scan of the original 1864 book: JPG files which I ran through an online text conversion (OCR) program.

Here is a scan of the first page of chapter one:

second brigade

When I ran this page through the photo-to-text conversion program, here’s what I got:

Each valley, each sequestered glen,
Mustered its little horde of men,
That met as torrents from the height
In highland dales their streams unite,
Till at the rendezvous they stood
By hundreds. prompt for blowszdtr.CoTT.

Amazingly, I have seen many, many online documents like this, and in fact have also bought several Kindle edition e-books, where the text was apparently converted from a JPG scan using an OCR program and NOT edited or proofread.

But, you know, as blowszdtr.CoTT said, Tivilorethnt’fon,tirt.irlinotnsfrong.

“The unspoken message of porn” — An excerpt from “Colloquium”

Front cover v 5One of my works-in-progress, one that has been placed on the back burner the last couple years, is a novel that brings several of the characters in my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson into adulthood. Rebecca: The Oral History of a Former Porn Star will tell the story of Christy Kelly’s foray into adult entertainment, first as an undergrad at Penn State in the 80s, then as a single mom struggling through grad school in the 90s, and finally as a grown woman returning to the business as an “amazing MILF stripper.” (It didn’t take me long to learn the lingo of the business.)

I’ve written much of the story via Christy’s Facebook page, but every now and then, I’ll have a burst of creativity and crank out a piece of writing that’s too long to be contained in a Facebook post or even “memo.”

And that’s what my new Kindle short, Colloquium, is. The premise is that a professor in the Penn State sociology department has been interviewing the recently-retired Christy (Rebecca) for a book he’s writing about the industry, and invites her to appear as a featured speaker in a department lunchtime colloquium series. Colloquium is just a “transcript” of that question-and-answer session, with Christy taking questions from a moderator and from audience members in front of a live audience.

Of course, if all of the questions were softball questions, pieces like this would be easy for me to write… but in a university setting, it only makes sense that a former porn star would get grilled about whether or not her experiences “reinforce the connection between sexual violence and porn.”

In this excerpt, right after answering a question about first being date raped as an undergrad and then later being approached sexually by a family member– men who “knew about Rebecca” and tried to use Christy’s porn career as an “I know you want it” excuse for their behavior– Christy fields and does her best answering the inevitable question.

Moderator – We have another question?

Question – Yeah, hi. And I guess what I wanted to ask really ties directly into what you were just talking about, which is pornography and rape culture. I know a lot of people in the business say that they don’t really condone that, but isn’t what you just talked about… doesn’t that kind of reinforce the connection between sexual violence and porn?  (applause)

Rebecca – No. I think it reinforces the connection between assholes and porn. (audience laughter) I mean, seriously. These were… the guy who came at me, and not to speak badly of an extended family member, but… they were both kind of jerks who were looking for an excuse to behave badly. And they used Rebecca as an excuse to, you know…

Just… no. Whatever the message of what I did was, it wasn’t “you can fuck me any time you want, even if I say I don’t want to.” (applause) You know?

Q – But the unspoken message of porn seems to be that women are available and subservient–

516146381R – I don’t know if that’s true. All I know is that in order for me to be available for Tom, the guy who date raped me, he first had to get me drunk on screwdrivers and a couple glasses of grain alcohol fruit punch, and then literally push me down and get on top of me. I don’t know how that’s sending him a message that I was available or subservient.

Q – But in your porn, wasn’t that the unspoken message?

R – No. Not that I’m aware of. Basically we just got in front of the camera and screwed. There was no message to it. The message was “Hey! This’ll get you off.”

Q – But don’t you think–

R – I don’t think there was any… I’m sorry. Don’t I think what?

Q – Don’t you think that the way that women are depicted in porn puts them in a degraded or subservient position?

R – No, not necessarily. I think it really depends on what porn you watch. I mean, clearly you’re dealing with an entertainment form that’s divorced from reality in a lot of ways. Reality, as far as good sex goes between a healthy happy couple, is nothing like porn. And if the point in a lot of porn seems to be that the women do whatever the men want them to, it’s probably because the intended audience is men who can’t find a woman to do what they want them to. (audience laughter) You know?

I’m not making excuses and I can’t speak for all porn. But I never felt like I was in a subservient or degraded position. Only one time did a shoot ever get out of hand like that, and it really didn’t get out of hand because I gave the safe sign and stopped it, and we all took a breath and reined it back in.

M – It might help if you told what the safe sign is.

R – Yeah. Right. Sorry. In a shoot, if you feel like the action is getting out of hand, there’s a signal you give and when the director sees it, he stops the action, no questions asked. I think that’s pretty standard. I don’t know if everyone calls it a safe sign, but that was what Roger and Gerry called it. And in all the shoots I did, I only ever had to do that once. That’s over sixty shoots and only one time I felt like I was out of my comfort zone, meaning that I felt the way you said, like I was being… well, maybe not degraded, but I felt like it was getting out of hand and that the guy in question needed to take a time out.

I just… I don’t mean to punt, but I really don’t feel like I can address the larger world of porn. I hate to sound like that, because really, doing this sort of chat, I feel like that’s what I’m expected to do. Answer questions. But I can’t, really, speak to any experience except my own. And I never felt degraded or anything like that. I was a consenting adult with eyes wide open.

M – But did it bother you what people might think once it was out there?

R – No. It seems to me that there are two kinds of people when it comes to this. They either get off on it, or they don’t…. Those who like it can’t understand for the life of them why those who don’t like it, what their hangup is. And people who don’t like it will find every reason in the world to justify not liking it. Usually it’s an intellectual or a philosophical reason, which, of course, is as far away from sexual feeling as you can probably get. You’re not going to rationalize anything having to do with sex, or sexual desire.

I get the objections. But I never felt them and I certainly never felt the way you’re saying. If I had, I wouldn’t have participated.

M – But part of her question is whether or not it encourages that sort of thinking societally?

hooters_protestR – Well, societally, and in pop culture in particular, I think there are bigger problems than the overt sex in porn. (applause) I mean, really. A lot of people have the attitude that this woman is asking about and they’ve never seen a bit of porn. Did all these people who voted for Donald Trump knowing he said that about grabbing a woman’s pussy and they were still perfectly all right with him becoming President… did THEY all get their attitudes about how to treat women from porn? (applause) So where do they get it? Not just from TV, advertising, movies, pop culture, but all sorts of places that don’t go anywhere NEAR porn. Parents, family… professional sports… as a recovering Catholic, let me add “religion”… I mean… (applause) And none of these present themselves as being harmful to women… in fact most of them would say “Oh, WE’RE not anything like porn… ” But meanwhile either they take you as close to the line as they can get or the poison is so embedded in the message that you can’t discern it. (applause)

Hip Hop culture… not to pick on hip hop, but a lot of what I hear from that music and culture is misogynistic in a more disturbing way than any porn is. (applause) Because… look… porn is what it is. It’s doesn’t pretend to be anything but explicit sexual entertainment. It’s not pretending to be wholesome or nice or whatever. You know, porn doesn’t start out as an episode of “The Waltons” and then all of a sudden there’s a gangbang. (audience laughter)

M – Actually, in the 70s, that movie might have gotten made. (audience laughter)

R – (laughs) But you get what I’m saying? With porn you know what you’re getting. It’s not veiling the sex or anything that comes with the sex. It says that it’s sexually explicit entertainment and that’s what it is and it’s not pretending to be anything else. And I don’t have a problem with that. I DO have a problem with entertainment that professes to be something else and yet it’s really about that. I think THAT’S where you need to look. Because adult entertainment is what it is and what it’s always been. Movies and pictures of sex. Period. I don’t think anyone expects anything else. The problem with the other stuff is that THAT’S the stuff that tries to normalize the attitudes that she’s talking about. (applause)

Even innocent places. I mean, a couple days ago Marty was playing this old Everly Brothers record, “Don’t Blame Me.” And I mean, it’s a sweet song and all… (sings) “Don’t blame me, for falling in love with you.” You know?

M – You have a beautiful singing voice.

R – Well, maybe that’s next. Anyway… he was playing this song, and I never thought of the words… but he sang “Don’t blame me, for forcing myself on you.” (audience laughter) You know? I mean, obviously that wasn’t what they were singing, but the whole theme of the song is “I love you and I want you and I can’t help it.” Well… take that to the nth degree. Now is that song porn? And yet you hear that attitude in popular entertainment and our culture, society all the time. “It’s not my fault she’s so damned hot.” You know? It’s the whole thinking behind the burqa. Guys can’t be held responsible, so girls, cover up! (applause) That’s not porn, is it? It’s our whole… freakin’ culture.

So I’d say: of course you find it in porn. But maybe that’s not the place you should be looking for it.

M- You know…

R – I just…you know, there’s one other thing too, and that’s… the other thing that the “porn depicts women as subservient to men” thing tends to overlook is that really, the nature of a LOT of porn, the trap of it, as I’m sure Marty could tell you, is that it makes you think that you CAN get any kind of sex you want at any time. And that’s not because the women are being depicted as subservient so much as it’s just so easy to get into the mindset of sex not being an interaction, but a voyeur-exhibitionist thing. You know? And that you can kind of dial in what you want and just get it. You know? Think of how most people look for porn. Type in “lesbians”? Yeah. Busty teens? Yeah. Busty teen lesbians? Yeah. I mean… THAT’S even too general. “I want to see a busty blonde milf strip outdoors and then piss in public and then finger herself till she cums.” You know? You just type that into Redtube or Planetsuzy, and there you’ll have page after page of search results, probably. Including a couple of mine. (audience laughter)

But ask most busty blonde wives if they’ll do that and see what reply you get.

I know Ross and I have talked about this and I think once again, and I bet this pisses a few feminists off, but… to me that’s just another example of how, when you really think about it, the ones who get exploited in porn aren’t the women who perform in it, but the people who view it addictively. The producers have those people right where they want them. I would guess that a lot of the people who are hooked on porn probably are very isolated and don’t have any truly intimate emotional relationships, because porn has given them a warped sense of what sex and relationships are about.

Q – So basically you’re agreeing with me.

R – No, because what you’re saying is that the type of sex that’s shown in porn necessarily depicts women as subservient and that’s the problem. Right?

Q – Yes.

R – Well, what I’m saying is that to someone who’s addicted to it, the very fact of the nature of porn–not the CONTENT of it, but the sort of “I can see whoever I want doing whatever I want whenever I want” dynamic of it, especially since online porn took over… THAT is what’s warped and what makes a person’s understanding of all these things skewed. Sex, relationships, men, women, human nature. The on-demand expectation that someone gets from porn. That’s how porn isn’t like real sex. Real sex is a communication and a negotiation, like any aspect of a relationship. There’s none of that in the REAL relationship in porn, which is not between the people on the screen, but between the people on the screen and the viewer. Or the user. I have a counselor friend who insists that people who watch porn are users the same as an alcoholic or a heroin addict.

I don’t know if I gave the answer you were looking for, but…

Q – No. I mean, it’s OK. Thanks.

R – Sure. (applause)

Look, the other thing… as far as encouraging someone to… you know. She said that my experience kind of ties into the connection between porn and sexual violence. And even as someone who had that perpetrated on her, I don’t agree. Really… I think someone who already thinks that way might be inclined to use it as an excuse. But in the end they’ve got to take responsibility for their own actions. (applause) I mean, Tom, the guy who date raped me, or my brother in law saying that they knew about Rebecca, that I’d done porn, and therefore they figured that meant I wanted it… I mean, that’s just kind of a poor excuse, isn’t it? I mean, really… if someone does that to a woman and then they say, “Well, the porn made me do it.” Oh, really?

I mean, it’s like my counselor friend after this happened. “Christy, with Tom it had nothing to do with Rebecca. If this had happened three years ago, it would have been about how much he liked seeing you in your bathing suit. If it’d happened two years ago, it would have been about your short nudie skirts.” You know? Blaming something on the outside. Which is really like the thinking that says it’s up to a woman to prevent rape by not looking hot. Which… that’s bullshit. Sorry. (applause)

Anyway… really. Thanks for asking the question. I don’t know if that’s the answer you wanted, but… praise Jeebus. (audience laughter) Is that all?

Q – Yeah… thanks.

R – No, thank you. I think it’s something that needs to be asked and discussed, but I would just say: broaden your field of vision. If you want to find the problems with societal attitudes about sex and violence toward women, you might find some answers in porn. But think about the number of people who really watch porn compared to, oh, I don’t know, mainstream movies or TV or hip hop or whatever. That’s where you’ll find the really disturbing answers, I think. Advertising. I mean, targeting porn is easy. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course you’ll hit something. Go broader. That’s what I’d say.

Anyway. I’m done answering now. (audience laughter) How much time do we have left?

M – Still twenty-five minutes.

R – Good. This is fun. And I liked that question. Don’t think I mind you asking that. Jesus Mary Joseph, if you only knew how many times I still ask myself stuff like that. So I hope I’m not making excuses.

M – I thought you said you were done answering that one.

R – I am now. OK? Next…

Colloquium is now available as an eBook in Amazon’s Kindle store.

 For more information on Colloquium and to read a free preview edition of the story, click here.

INterviews coverColloquium is actually the second book of excerpts from this work in progress. The first book, Interviews With A Porn Star, was published in 2013. Click here for information about that book. 

“Oui. Y-E-S. Oui!”

Meeting Margo is a prequel novella to You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson and my other stories. Meeting Margo tells the story of how Brian and Margo met on the first day of second grade and eventually became best friends. It’s now available in eBook and print editions. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more info!

In this excerpt , from chapter three, we see Brian’s first real conversation with Margo, on the playground, first day of second grade, Quaker Valley, Pennsylvania, August, 1967. They’ve already seen each other and felt at first glance like they knew each other already; they’ve gone out to recess and gone down the sliding board and even gotten in trouble together; Brian knows that Margo is from Canada, but other than that, his soon-to-be-best-friend is a mystery to him.

They take a few turns on the merry-go-round, and then…

We were on our way over to the swingset, but Margo muttered “Zut! Pebble!” and sat down on the ground to take off her right sneaker. I sat down next to her, squinting from the hot bright morning sunlight reflecting off the windowpanes of the school.

O.K. Time for answers.

“So… you’re from Canada?” I said.

fr_dictionary“Oui,” she said.

“Wee?” I repeated.

“Oui,” she said, untying her shoelaces. “Y-E-S. Oui.”

“Does ‘oui’ mean yes?”

Margo giggled. “Ouais.”



Way… wee… God… this wasn’t going to be easy.

“What’s wee?” I said.

Margo pulled her shoe off, smirking. “You mean you don’t know what wee is, Bri?”

“No… I mean, that’s ‘yes’ in Canadian?”

“No,” Margo said impatiently, “in French. There’s no such thing as Canadian.”

That’s right. French. She said already.

“How come they speak French in Canada?” I said.

Margo looked like this was the first time anyone had ever posed the question.

“I don’t know, Bri,” she said at last.

I noticed that Margo was calling me “Bri.” Oddly enough, nobody’d ever called me “Bri” before, but it just rolled off Margo’s tongue like it was my given name.

“But your Dad speaks French?” I said.

“No… Mom does. She’s from Quebec. That’s a French speaking province.” Margo had her white sweatsock rolled all the way down over her heel; somehow a small stone had worked its way inside. She picked it between her thumb and index finger and flicked it off into the grass, then pulled her sock back up. “Dad’s from Ontario,” she continued as she gave her sneaker an upside-down insurance shake and then pulled it on. “He speaks mainly English. He tries speaking French, and Mom tries speaking English, but a lot of times they just look at each other. They‑‑”


I reached down to help Margo up. “Come on!” I said, and we ran hand-in-hand over to get in line, Margo’s two long white shoelace ends flopping against the macadam with each step.


“What, Bri?”

“Your shoelace is untied.”

Margo grinned as she bent down to tie her lace. “That,” she said, “is the oldest trick in the book.”


About Meeting Margo

Cover front

A prequel to my coming-of-age novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson, Meeting Margo tells the story of how seven-year-old Brian Pressley met and became best friends with Quebecoise tomboy Margo LeDoux.

Click here to order the print edition from Amazon.

Click here to buy and download the PDF e-book from my Selz.com store. 



Meeting Fran and Tom…

cover-frontThis is an excerpt from my new novella, Meeting Margo. Scroll down for more information or click here.

It’s December 1967, and seven-year-old Margo LeDoux’s family, just moved to the states from Canada, is living in a rented house in nearby Biglerville PA while their new home is built. In this scene, Margo and her best friend (the narrator) Brian Pressley sit quietly while Margo’s parents, Francoise and Tom LeDoux, tell Brian’s parents how they met each other.


After dinner, Danny and John-Paul ran upstairs to John-Paul’s room to play, and Margo’s Mom got the grownups coffee, and while Margo and I both had a second piece of Jewish Apple Cake, her parents told us how they met.

1950_nick_bb-rMr. LeDoux was an all-Ontario high school basketball player– “Never could play hockey. I always looked like a giraffe out there on those skates” –and was courted by Syracuse, Temple, and North Carolina, but decided to stay north and attend Carleton, a college in Ottawa. In February of his freshman year, Carleton traveled to Quebec for a game against LaVal, and about midway through the second half of the game, he went to the line for a two-shot foul and spotted 18-year-old Quebecoise freshman beauty Francoise Trudeau sitting in the student seats, a few rows up from the floor, right behind the bucket.

“I saw her and I was totally distracted,” Mr. LeDoux said. “Tanked both foul shots. Well, that was it… later in the game, they’re fouling us to stop the clock, and of course they had my number… I mean, they were givin’ away fouls to me, and I just… as soon as I touched the ball, they’d foul me and up to the line in front of Fran I’d go. Trying not to look at her, but still…” He feigned taking foul shots as he talked. “Airball… rim… iron… rim… airball. I think I went up there six times… made one shot, the front end of a one-and-one, and I missed the second half of that one.”

“You sure she wasn’t planted there?” Dad said.

“Oh, like a rose… believe me.” Mr. LeDoux smiled as Margo’s Mom patted his hand lightly. “And I tried to not look at her… then I tried looking right at her, which just made it worse.” He looked down, shy. “I felt so weird. I mean, I’d never seen this girl before, but I felt like I’d met her someplace already.”

Wow. Just like I felt when I met Margo.

“Moi, aussi… me too,” Margo’s Mom whispered.

Mr. LeDoux shifted in his seat. “And, I mean, there it was… the middle of a game… we needed that win… I didn’t know what to do…”

“You had to make your foul shots,” Mrs. LeDoux said.

Mr. LeDoux shook his head, like the memory of those missed shots and that loss still smarted. “I know, I know…” He took another sip of his coffee and set his mug back on the table. “Anyway, the game ends… we lost… if I’d made just two of those free throws…” He sighed “…anyway… we’re goin’ back to the locker room, and on our way off the floor, all the kids are milling around, the fans, you know… so I kinda veeeeeeer off to the left, over to the bleachers, and there she is, standing at the baseline, buttoning up her overcoat. And she looks at me and she smiles, and I smile back… and I say, ‘Bon jour,’ ‘cause, you know, we were in Quebec… and she says ‘Bon jour’ back, and we both laugh. O.K. So I go, ‘I’m Tom. Tom LeDoux.’”

Mrs. LeDoux took a sip of her coffee and sat sideways. “I think, ‘That was a name…’” she said, “so I say, ‘Je m’appelle Francoise Trudeau,’ and Thomas says, ‘Francoise,’ and we both are nodding our heads… and so I say, ‘Je suis désolés que votre équipe ait perdu’… I am sorry that you lost the game, even though I was happy. And Thomas, he smiles. Very sweet smile. But it was the look you get when you speak to a tourist. No French.”

“And Fran ne a parlais pas anglais,” Mr. LeDoux said, obviously impressed with himself that, no matter what else, he could at least say Can’t speak English in French. “So there we stand… under the bucket… lookin’ at each other… and meanwhile, Coach… Coach wasn’t all that tickled with me anyway, ‘cause I blew it at the line, but then he looks over and sees me standing there with this LaVal coed… I’m surprised he didn’t come over and throttle me, you know?” Mr. LeDoux chuckled to himself. “Well, he really let me have it when I got back into the locker room. But really, I didn’t care. I mean, I cared, ‘cause we lost, but… you know. Fran was the one. This was my chance.” He took a sip of his coffee.

“What’d you do?” Mom said.

“Well,” Mr. LeDoux said, setting his cup back down on the saucer, “there was this… guy… standing there next to Fran… leather jacket… looked kind of James Dean-ish… and I thought, ‘He looks like he speaks English,’ so I said, ‘Hey buddy… you wanna translate here for us?’”

Mrs. LeDoux took a sip of her coffee. “And that ‘buddy’ was my date. Raymond.”

Dad laughed. “Did he translate for you?”

Mr. LeDoux chuckled. “Nohhhh… no, he… he wasn’t too keen on that idea,” he said, tapping the handle of his fork against his plate as he paused. “No, but there was this other co-ed there, you know… and she… she said, ‘I’ll translate…’ So we exchange… write down names and addresses on the back of a roster card… and, God, I don’t know what happened, but somewhere between the locker room at Laval and the locker room at Carleton, I lost it.”

“Oh, no!” Dad said.

“Yeah, yeah… It must have been at Laval, because… you know, I got back in the locker room and coach was just perched like a falcon waiting for me.” Mr. LeDoux raised his voice a half-octave. “‘We just lost a game and there you are, huntin’ down….’” He stopped himself again. “I mean, it was up, down, all around… ten minutes… names, words I couldn’t repeat here… and I deserved it, but…” He just smiled as Mrs. LeDoux patted his hand. “So anyway… I don’t know where I lost it, but when we got back to Carleton, I didn’t have it. I went back out in the cold… I searched the bus… me and my buddy Pat Palmer, we were out in the snow with flashlights… Nothing. Nothing. I was… I was suicidal. For a week. Seriously. I wanted to kill myself.”

“I’m glad you didn’t, Dad,” Margo said.

“Me, too, little girl,” Mr. LeDoux said.

“Well, then, how’d you end up getting a hold of her?” Mom said.

“Well,” Mrs. LeDoux said, “some of us do not lose important papers…” She mimicked removing the address from down between her cleavage “…and so I go back to the dormitory… I write Thomas a small letter…” She took a sip of her coffee. “I did not want to wait… but I did not also want to look…” She bit her lip as she thought, then looked at my Mom. “Unladylike?” she said.

“Ouais,” Mom said.

“Unladylike,” Mrs. LeDoux repeated, a little more confidently. “I did not want to look unladylike, but also I did not want to wait. So I write a letter.”

“And meanwhile,” Mr. LeDoux said, “there I am at Carleton, mopin’ around… thinkin’, ‘Man, my dream girl, and I blew it…’ And then after practice the following Wednesday, I got the mail… and as soon as I saw the envelope with ‘LaVal University’ on it, I knew who it was from.”

“Raymond,” Mrs. LeDoux said, straightfaced.

Mr. LeDoux slapped her hand lightly. “Raymond,” he laughed, and he sat forward and reached into his back pocket for his wallet. “No… it was…” He opened his wallet and took out a perfectly-preserved deckle-edged black-and-white yearbook photo of a 17-year-old Mrs. LeDoux “…this.” He handed the picture across to my Dad, who looked at the front, then the back.

“‘Je capote sur vous,’” Dad read as best he could. “What’s that?”

“Well,” Mom said as she took the picture from Dad, “it means ‘I’m crazy for you.’ That’s not literal, but that’s what it means. I’m crazy for you.”

“I write that later,” Mrs. LeDoux said. “When I send it, nothing on the back. Just my name. And the letter. I said it was nice to meet you, and I would like to meet you again… and gave my number, the telephone…”

Mom was still looking at the picture, holding it up and comparing it to Margo. “You look so much like your Mommy, Margo,” she said.

Margo looked down. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“So,” Dad said, looking at Margo’s Dad, “you got Fran’s letter…”

“…I got Fran’s letter,” Mr. LeDoux said, “and I swear… I screamed ‘YIPPEE!’ for a week. I bet… I bet I had a letter in the mail within two hours.”

“In both English and French,” Mrs. LeDoux said. “Did Pat Palmer write the French for you?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Mr. LeDoux said, nodding. “I wrote the original and he translated.”

“So… why did you not bring him along for the marriage?” Mrs. LeDoux said, smirking.

I do all right with French,” Mr. LeDoux said, as indignantly as he could manage.

“Ehhhh… quelquefois,” Mrs. LeDoux tittered, taking a sip of her coffee.

“Quelquefois,” Mr. LeDoux repeated, like he knew that one. “See,” he continued, taking his wife’s hand above the table, “she knows I can’t say anything, because her English is a lot better than my French.”

Mrs. LeDoux nodded. “Marguerite speaks both. Jompaw too.”

“Really?” Dad said.

“Yeah,” Mr. LeDoux said, looking at Margo. “She translates for us sometimes.”

Dad looked at Margo. “How’s it feel to know both, Margo?”

Margo thought for a couple seconds.

“Lucky,” she said at last.

Mom was leaning forward, her chin in her hands, with her elbows on the table!

Why didn’t I have a camera when I needed one?

“So… how’d you two finally meet?” Mom cooed. “Where? When?”

“Well, Thomas, he calls,” Mrs. LeDoux said, “and we try to talk. Somehow… we agree to meet in Montreal for coffee Easter Saturday.” She laughed gently. “Is amazing one of us did not end up in Newfoundland.”

“Really,” Mr. LeDoux said. “We could barely communicate. Until we met, of course… and even then…” He shook his head. “So anyway, we met again when the term was over, and then Mom and Dad let me have Fran up to the cottage at the lake in July, and that weekend…” He smiled big as he looked down. “…that was it.” He looked at his wife. “I just… I remember us sitting on the deck after dinner the night before she was going to go back to St. Hyacinthe, thinking, ‘You know, I could transfer to LaVal and play there,’ and just as that thought crossed my mind, Fran says, ‘Thomas… maybe I go to Carleton.’”

“Which was not as easy as it sounded on the porch,” Mrs. LeDoux said. “My Mother… very old Quebec… she did not want me to move to an English school. But I did anyway. To Carleton, with Thomas. And then three weeks into the term, we marry. Niagara Falls…” She tittered and looked at her husband. “…slowwwwwly we turn… step by step… inch by inch…”

Mr. LeDoux chuckled as he took a sip of his coffee. “And then a couple weeks before Halloween, Fran found out that she was pregnant with Margo.”

Margo popped the last forkful of cake into her mouth.

“And here I am!”


About Meeting Margo

Cover front

A prequel to my coming-of-age novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson, Meeting Margo tells the story of how seven-year-old Brian Pressley met and became best friends with Quebecoise tomboy Margo LeDoux.

Click here to order the print edition from Amazon.

Click here to buy and download the PDF e-book from my Selz.com store. 



“Do you ever feel like you’re too old? I don’t think you ARE…” (explicit)

968962_587819084571659_790040646_nExcerpt from a work-in-progress

One of the two novels I’m drafting right now is entitled Rebecca: An Oral History of a Former Porn Star. 

The book will be assembled as a fictitious oral history, structured so that the story is told through multiple character reminiscences (often differing points-of-view of the same events). The raw material for these reminiscences is character “interviews,” which I’ll edit down and assemble to form a narrative.

(Some of these “interviews” have been published, under the title “Interviews with a Porn Star,” ISBN 978-1494265519).

This piece is an interview with the title character, Rebecca, a 54-year-old former porn star who started doing stripclub appearances at age 52. If she sounds a little familiar, it’s because she’s Christy from my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson. She’s been doing appearances at a local “private gentlemen’s club” called Back Room (“What happens in the Back Room stays in the Back Room”), but also teaching a striptease and exotic dance class at the local community center…


Rebecca – Something I’ve just been thinking about, that just… it hit me a couple Mondays ago with the striptease class. I just remember standing up there, we were working with veils… I was teaching them a little bit of bellydancing, right? And as I’m standing here watching these ladies whip these colorful veils around in the air, I looked at the one girl, who really IS a girl, just 22, you know, and she’s about four months pregnant so she’s got this teeny little bump just starting to show. And I’m looking at her rubbing this veil back and forth across her belly, smiling, like she’s thinking of that baby inside her, and I just… something about seeing her do that made me think “Wow, O.K. You know, my time is done now.” You know? It was just a flash. But it was a strong feeling.

Q – When was this?

R – Third class, so, like, two weeks ago.
And then afterwards, we all… these girls, these women, even though they’re PAYING me to take this class, still, they always insist on taking me out to the diner afterwards, and we all get this big table in the back room– Back Room, I just thought of THAT… isn’t THAT funny?– but in the back room of this place, and we sit and have a late supper and we talk and laugh and all that. Right? Just fun. But it always seems to turn into grilling me… you think these INTERVIEWS are putting me on the spot? (laughs) Anyway, so this Monday night… one of these women, she’s about 35, I’d say, Leanne… just a beautiful woman, with this wavy reddish brown hair but also these kind of tired, sad eyes. Scared eyes, kind of. Like she can’t quite figure out what she’s doing there but there she is, right? I figured she’s one of those people like Marty, you know, who kind of sits there in a group looking like he’s off in his own world, but then he’ll speak up and you realize he’s been right there all along, and you want to say “Put yourself out there more,” right? Anyway, when we all introduced ourselves in the first class and I asked the women why they were taking the class, she said “I just want to put on some moves for my boyfriend.” Right? That’s what I figured most of the women were there for. That’s what most of them say. But you know… she was just a LITTLE red in the face when she said that, and I kind of suspected there was more going on. Like Marty. Right? More going on in there than what he’s LETTING on.
So this night in the diner, we’re talking and they’re grilling me, “how did you get into this? How did you get into doing porn? How did you get up the nerve to pose nude in the first place?” And I went through it all, you know, seeing the ads on campus, thinking “That might be fun,” the human sexuality classes and my study sessions with Eddie– they loved THAT: “What class is that again?” You know? But basically telling them how all of these things together just made it kind of feel right, and from there (laughs) it was kind of a slippery slope.
10603859_666659886795947_1744543580198717220_oAnyway, I said, “But still, if someone told me in high school that I’d be 54 years old and stripping at a men’s club as a former porn star, I don’t think I would have thought that it FELT the way that it feels.”
Well, Leanne just sits forward and blurts out “Do you ever feel like you’re too old?” And her face got REALLY red, and she said “Just asking. I don’t think you are.” And I said “No… I like it, it’s fun, I love the charge of it, I love the sexual performance, same as doing shoots but this is in front of a crowd so you get THAT energy,” blah blah blah, all that. Right?
And I don’t think she was SAYING “you’re too old for this,” but… somehow… that’s how it felt. That I was too old, and why am I doing this? Right? So there was that.
Anyway… THAT got me thinking about the first time I’d really felt that way, the last time I stripped at Back Room, December, about how something about it just didn’t feel… it felt OFF. You know? And I realized as I was telling them this that that was the first time I’d really really felt like it WASN’T right, like maybe I WAS too old. ”
WE talked about this, right?

Q – Not really.

R – “Not really.” Fuck! (laughs) So I have to go through it for you. O.K. Well, I might as well just tell YOU what I told them, which is basically…
(deep breath)
O.K. When I came back to do the videos in the late 80s and I was just doing the pay cable stuff, you know, the videos on the local cable systems for Gerry… at that point, Maura was in grade school, I was a single mom working on my masters and trying to scrape by on just an assistantship and my share of some insurance money that we kids got when Daddy died. And I could have gotten some crappy office job but I didn’t want to do that, but I NEEDED the money. So that… what I made from those videos, those shoots, it really helped me get through those few years in a practical way, financially, so in that way, I needed to do it.
But then there was ALSO… I kind of realized after the fact that at that point in my life, there was a part of me that ALSO needed… I needed to NOT FEEL like this 32-year-old single mom struggling through grad school. You know? In all that I was doing I just felt so constrained and stressed out in so many ways– SCARED in a lot of ways– and doing those shoots, that was just… I was going to say “desperation,” but what it was was this huge shot of FREEDOM. Right? It made me feel like myself, in a way… which is weird: in order to feel more like myself, I felt like I had to be this persona, be Rebecca. Do this thing. But I NEEDED that feeling I got from being Rebecca. Right?
O.K…. so that was years ago, I got through that, I’m with Marty now, that’s what I tell myself, right? I don’t NEED to do it, it’s just fun, it’s extra money, all that… but still… I found myself kind of feeling compelled to inhabit that persona in ways that had nothing at all to do with performing. Going on Facebook and actually chatting, sexting with fans I’d met on there, taking selfies and sending them to people and getting myself off while we sexted.

Q – Really?

R – Yeah.

Q – Did Marty know?

R – Oh, Marty knows everything. I tell him everything. And I made it sound like, “oh, it’s just Rebecca being Rebecca, performing,” but, I mean, I did that a couple times and I thought “Fuck. What was THAT? That was NOT performing.” Right? It was just… it went over any line I’d EVER gone near as a PERFORMER, and when I thought about it, I could tell… I could feel that there was something there that I had to take a look at. It was exactly the same feeling I felt when I used to do the shoots when Maura was little and I was scraping money together in grad school. Like I needed to do this for other reasons that had nothing to do with the money.
So meanwhile… the last couple months, as I’m doing THAT, Maggie is starting to wonder, ask questions… she’s ALWAYS wondered, always asked questions. But her questions seemed to have more of a tone– and maybe this was just because I knew I was doing something more than just going and stripping at the club– they seemed to have a tone of “Why are you even doing this?” Not “Why did you ever do it?” but “why ARE you doing this?” And she never asked that question in that way specifically, in those words, but in my mind, I felt like it was always what ~ I ~ came back to. So there was that. “Doesn’t Dad mind you doing this?” No, he’s totally supportive, I say, after I’ve snuck up to the bedroom, to our bathroom, and locked the door and stripped down and taken a selfie for a fan and then made myself cum texting with him. With HER.
319878_382213558465547_695924174_nWell, the thing that got me, finally, was the show over Christmas, doing that show the weekend after. I flew solo, because Marty had to go up to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl. It was just… it’s like all these things converged that made me really take a look at all this and question it and how it fit into my life. They kept asking me if I was going to do anything over Christmas break, which is a big money time, tip wise, all that… and I kept putting them off, because we didn’t know… it looked like Penn State MIGHT be going to a bowl game, but nothing had been finalized, and, I mean, he’s with the band, so if he was going to a bowl game, that meant WE were going to a bowl game. Right? And I didn’t want that to conflict. So finally, Penn State is bowl eligible, but just barely, and Marty’s and my thinking was, we didn’t have a good enough season to be in a really good bowl game, so it’ll PROBABLY be the weekend or the week BEFORE Christmas. I mean, six-and-six teams do NOT go to major bowl games. We figured it’d be that week before Christmas, something like the Sonic Burger Bowl (laughs), you know? Third or fourth tier. So I called Back Room and I said “Let’s make it the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s. Saturday the 27th.” Right? Well, then the bowl bids get announced, and what was ours? The Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium, on the Saturday after Christmas. The 27th.
Well, I felt like I couldn’t back out… I’d already held them up for too long. And Marty CERTAINLY couldn’t back out of HIS commitment, I mean, for all different sorts of reasons.
So I just said, “Hey, look, no problem… I’ll just fly solo… Nina can come along with me. She’ll look out for me.” Because of course I didn’t want Marty to worry about me making that trip alone.
But in my mind that wasn’t the big concern. The big concern was Maggie. It wasn’t… of course, obviously she couldn’t come with ME to the club, but somehow it didn’t feel right to make her stay at home with a sitter. And Marty was like, “Oh, no problem, she can travel with me, we’ll have a nice father-daughter time in New York City, it’ll be fun.” Right? So that was what he did… they went up on that Friday, and I stayed back Friday and Saturday and did the Back Room gig… went with Nina.
And like I said… that whole weekend… it just felt WRONG. And I mean, I made more money that night than I EVER made stripping there– jeez, I made the twelve-hundred dollars PLUS another eleven-hundred-eighty-six in tips. Right? Twenty-three, almost twenty-four hundred bucks, right?
But I just felt awful, like I was missing something with my family– with Maggie– that was really special and would never be again. I kept thinking of the last time we went to New York City, and we went up the Empire State Building and all the things we did, and now yeah, she was having special time with her dad… but there I was, doing what? Stripping. At age 54.
I just thought “This is it.”
I just remember after the show was over and I’d stripped and did lap dances and posed and pretend-cum for four hours, fun, but in the back of my mind the whole time thinking that those two were up there as a FAMILY… and I just… Nina and I got in the car to drive home and I opened the envelope and started counting the money, and she was there watching me, and she laughed and said, “Jesus, Chris, I feel like you just robbed a bank.”
And I just… I broke down and started crying. And I said “I wish I HAD robbed a bank. Then I’d get arrested.” You know? And I just said “I should be up there with them. This is wrong. I missed them… (laughs) missed a great game. Fuck. You know? This is just wrong. What am I doing, anyway?”
And then the other thing that happened that night that I just thought of. I’d just come in and I was in the dressing room putting my gear on… (laughs) It’s GEAR. It’s not an outfit. It’s GEAR. Anyway, one of the girls, she comes in, Flash is her name, this redhead. Kind of reminds me of my sister Betsy. She’s NOT a kid…probably mid 30s, maybe? Anyway, she sees me and comes in and gives me this big hug and kisses my face, and goes “I’m so glad you’re here, Rebecca. I don’t feel like an old lady anymore.”

Q – (laughs) THAT’S nice.

R – (laughing) She was horrified as soon as she said it. “Omigod! I’m so sorry, Rebecca. I didn’t mean it like THAT. YOU know what I meant.”
And I DID know what she meant, but… then when I thought about it afterwards, I really started feeling exactly what she thought I thought she meant.

INterviews coverInterviews With A Porn Star by Max Harrick Shenk…

…gathers five unedited character “interviews” which will serve as some of the raw material for my upcoming novel Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star

For more information on this book, click here.