I went with a porn star to an afternoon party at the home of a famous English musician.
He lived in the hills between Los Angeles and the big valley to the north. Before they built the freeways, the San Diego and the Hollywood, you’d have to drive one of several narrow winding two-lanes to get from the big city out to the orange groves of the San Fernando Valley. The roads followed gullies we called “canyons.” These days the wealthy and the hip live in the hills off these roads, in splendid stoned isolation.
Claudia Skye took me with her to the party. She was invited because she was a beautiful porn star. I was brought along because I was her temporary amusement. Neither of us knew the English musician, and when we were introduced I tried to scare him away from Claudia. At the party, we admired the view off the deck, and we drank champagne and snorted cocaine.
Claudia was in town for the annual adult film awards banquet, and a few days earlier we’d had the cutest of meets. I was still intoxicated by her, and I didn’t know how fast things were unraveling.
She’d had a rough childhood, the kind it would not be gentlemanly of me to describe. Anyway, all I know is what she told me, and I have no way of telling if any of it was literally true. But the stories were strange and specific enough that I knew some crazy shit had happened. I wanted to shelter her from anything more, any fear, any attack. I wanted to know her mind, and teach her what I thought I knew of the beauty of the world. And I wanted us to fuck our brains out.
She was older than the other women at the party. Too old, she would say, to be a porn star. To me, those extra few years made her more beautiful. She had a mysterious way of seeming innocent and knowing at the same time. The young girls who make porno movies have seen it all, done most of it themselves, and the things that shock the community are old hat to them. But at a party when the camera is not rolling they are just little girls. Exotic, painted things, but uncertain and unknowing.
Claudia Skye was different. She’d had a life before. Real fights, real devils, real jobs, ordinary paychecks. This world of drugs and sex and breathtaking views, she could take it or leave it.
I wanted to leave. We couldn’t talk there, with the music and the mirrors and the friends we didn’t know. We drove along Mulholland in the faded early evening, and talked, almost like lovers.