Porno For The Lord

By Rob Rosen

Dolores del Dunning and her triple D's, the sign glowed. Dolores was thrilled to finally see her name in lights. Granted, a few of those lights were flickering and the sign hung over a so-so strip club that took up most of the nearly deserted alleyway; still, she was the headliner. The star. The performer they were all paying to see.  And for that reason, she glowed even brighter than the sign that hung overhead.

"If they could see me now," she said as she grandly entered the club.

Then again, they'd have no idea who Dolores del Dunning was. Neither her name nor her physical attributes even remotely resembled the girl who left her hometown in Georgia nearly five years earlier. Shirley Keller had been a mousy brunette. Average looking at best. And yet, deep down inside, there was a star just waiting to emerge. Sure, she knew it would be tough. Sure, she knew she'd have to make some changes to herself. And sure, she knew there'd be a few concessions that would have to be made along the way. But in the end, she also knew that it would be worth all the sacrifices.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles wasn't anything Shirley had expected. It was grimy. It was smoggy. It was way too crowded and loud. And, more significantly, it was full of women just like herself, all with a dream and a desire to make it in the big city. So after six months of endless cattle calls and a few auditions that went nowhere, Shirley emerged not as a star, but as a cocktail waitress at a sleazy downtown bar. It paid the bills, but not much else. It was degrading and it was tiresome. And yet Shirley held on to her dreams, however postponed they might have become.

She worked at the club for about a year and even managed to save up a little money. That's when she found she had a choice to make. She could move back home to Georgia, find a husband, have some kids, and settle down; or she could use the money to buy some boobs. Boredom or boobs, as she liked to put it.

Naturally, she chose the latter. Boobs, it seemed, were all the rage in Hollywood. And she knew it would help, monetarily speaking. Tipping, she'd seen time and time again, was proportionately related to breast size. The bigger the tits, the bigger the tips. So she went full hog. Triple D's. They cost her every last penny she had, but they were something to behold.

Then she dyed her hair platinum blonde, joined a gym, and, before she knew it, she had a new job at one the swankiest clubs on the strip. The money started rolling in. And though Shirley was happier than she'd been in along while, she still wasn't fulfilled. Her dream, it seemed, was languishing on the vine. Busty, blonde waitresses were a dime a dozen in LaLa Land. Stardom skyrocketed you into a whole other realm. And that's where Shirley longed to be.

Still, she was thrown for a loop when a casting director told her she simply didn't have the talent and that she should try her luck in porn. There, apparently, you didn't need any other skills except for what nature gave you. Nature or a good plastic surgeon, as was the case. Shirley told the director in no uncertain terms what he could do with his advice, and then she stormed out of his office.

"What does he know, anyway," she told herself as she settled into her car. Then again, what did she know? She'd been in Hollywood for well over a year and hadn't had one acting gig. Not even a bite. And porn was acting, right? Maybe, she figured, the guy had a point. After all, she now had the body and the looks for it. And she certainly had the jugs. Plus, she had heard that the money and the hours were great. So, sitting there in the car that day as she pondered her options, Dolores del Dunning was born and Shirley Keller was no more.

Within six months she starred in five movies, the third of which got her name in bold letters on the video box. She was, if not a star, than at least an actress. For it did take quite a bit of acting to do what she had to do in order to make it in the industry. The men, after all, weren't exactly lookers. There were no Brad Pitts doing porn, she found. Though there were a lot of Adam Sandlers. She did like the people she met, though. Most were actors and actresses like herself who couldn't find work in legitimate movies. And there was a certain comradery amongst her peers. They were in the same boat. Sex, after all, did make them closer than your average coworkers. And yes, as she had heard, the money was terrific, especially for the hours she had to put into it. She made even more doing personal appearances. That she liked best. She loved being ogled at. Loved signing her autograph. Loved the elation she felt when someone recognized her.

And that's how she found herself that fateful day as she sauntered into the club that broadcast her name in lights: happy as a clam to be doing something that brought others as well as herself so much joy. She was a star, even if only in certain circles, and she was ready to perform for her fans.

At least that's what she had planned. She didn't, unfortunately, get that far. Just as she was making her way on stage, through the dense crowd of admiring men, someone spilled their drink on the floor, and her shiny, black stilettos fell out from under her. She went down like a sack of bricks. Her head smacked hard against the back of a chair and she was out cold.

Though she wasn't completely unconscious. She was, if anything, acutely aware of her being. Her soul, if you will. And this was neither a scary nor unpleasant feeling. It felt like she was floating on air. Then, in the distance of her vision, for she could see the space around her, came a bright, white light. It grew and grew until it completely engulfed her, bathing her in its warmth. And from this light came a voice that permeated the very fiber of her being. It said, succinctly and with a great roaring boom, "Dolores, use your talents in my name." And that was all that was said. A moment later Dolores batted her eyelids and found herself surrounded by the club's employees and patrons.

She knew in an instant what had happened. She had slipped. She had been knocked out. God had spoken to her. She was as certain of the last thing as she was of the first two. Felt it down to her very bones. But God called her Dolores, not Shirley. What could that mean? There was no time to think of an answer, however. Within seconds an ambulance arrived and she was carried out on a stretcher, much to her embarrassment. The management had insisted. If she was hurt, they were liable. But, in truth, Dolores felt fine. Radiant, even. At peace.

As she suspected, they found nothing wrong with her at the hospital and she was released. She told no one about her encounter with God. They would have probably locked her up for safekeeping. So she kept it to herself. Though she knew she had to do something. When God speaks to you, you listen. And, more importantly, you act. But therein laid the problem. Just what was she supposed to do? Her resumé didn't exactly shine. Washed out cocktail waitresses and budding porn stars weren't exactly heralded as appropriate messengers for the Lord, Mary Magdalene perhaps being the exception.

But then again, the Lord did tell her to use her talents. And what talents did she have if not as an actress? And where else could she act except in pornos? A conundrum if ever there was one. After all, you couldn't exactly preach the teachings of the Lord with your legs spread from East to West. Who would listen? And who pay to watch such a thing? Of course, the alternative was to ignore the word of God, so Dolores would just have to think of something.

It turned out she didn't have long to wait. She got her first idea on the set of her very next picture. In it, she played a door-to-door saleswoman, like an Avon lady who gave really great head, and right away she knew she had a way to act on the Lord's command. Porn flicks aren't based on strict dialogues like real movies. Generally, the actors are given premises and ideas for dialogue, but there's a whole lot of ad-libbing going on once the cameras start rolling. So Dolores pulled the director over to the side and suggested that it would be more controversial to make her a door-to-door minister that went around asking for charitable donations. That kind of thing had never been done before, she persuaded. It would be the first of its kind and they would be mavericks.

"Fine. Whatever. Just shake the jugs a lot," the director said with a shrug and then walked away.

Dolores was tickled pink. And when the Director yelled, "Shoot", she rang the doorbell and preached to the toweled man that answered. Oh sure, there was still all the sex and everything that quickly ensued, but this time when she shouted, "Oh God", in the throws of passion, she really meant it.

Aahs For The Poor was released later that summer and was an instant success. No one had ever thrown sex and religion into a porn movie like that before. It was salacious. It was controversial. And it was hot. Sunday school had never been so enthralling.

The press came knocking on her door almost immediately. The director, who was not the brightest bulb on the tree, failed to realize the ingenuity of the idea and gave Dolores all the credit. Religion was now newsworthy, what with the recent election and the rise of the evangelical Christians to power, not to mention a certain Mel Gibson movie. And Dolores was now thrust, for lack of a better word, into the forefront of a cultural revolution. She was, of course, pleasantly surprised at all the attention she now garnered.

"Miss Dunning, how did you come up with the idea for Aahs For The Poor?" the first reporter shouted from her front doorstep one morning when she was on her way to a shoot.

"Miss Dunning, are you a Catholic?" A second one shouted.

"Miss Dunning, do your parents know what you do for a living?" A third asked.

Dolores was, for an instant, thrown back by the barrage, but quickly regained her composure and answered the questions with honesty.

"The Lord," she said, "works in mysterious ways. And, occasionally, through even more mysterious messengers. And no, I'm not a Catholic. Though I do believe in God and his teachings. I believe in preaching his love by giving love. And yes, my parents know what I do for a living and they have always been proud of their daughter." Dolores smiled warmly for the cameras that now amassed on her lawn. Media attention was even better than sex. Every cell in her body was practically pulsating with joy.

She then waved for the cameras and drove to work. She'd already written the premise for her next movie, at the request of the producers. This one was entitled "Jesus Is Coming". Jesus, though, was pronounced "Hay-Seuss", and was played by a well-endowed Latino. In it, the two preached tolerance and then copulated in a homeless shelter, a '76 Chevy Impala, and a deserted warehouse, where they then gave a sermon to the homeless who were all, not too surprisingly, somewhat on the sexy side and in different states on undress. After all, it was still a porn movie, albeit one with a heavenly message.

It also sold more copies than any movie of its kind in the last decade. The reaction by the press, and the subsequent uproar by the Catholic Church, sent copies flying off the shelves; and sent Dolores into the stratosphere of super-stardom.

She quickly became a media darling, appearing on entertainment news shows and magazines all across the country. She preached love. She preached tolerance. And she preached the message of the Lord. Love thy neighbor had never had so much veiled significance before. And in her next film, "Point The Finger", love thyself took on a whole new meaning.

Of course, it wasn't long before Hollywood finally came calling. Porn star or not, Dolores was now a celebrity. And a commodity. Her image appeared everywhere. Even a few churches, those with less conservative viewpoints, invited her to sermonize. The people turned out in droves to catch a glimpse of her. To perhaps touch her. And, most importantly, to listen to her. For she did speak, from the heart, the message of the Lord. So it wasn't too surprising that the movie moguls now wanted a piece of her. But is that what Dolores wanted?

See, it turned out that Dolores really enjoyed the mission God gave her. The smiles she triggered on the faces of her admirers, both in person and, she assumed, behind closed doors, was exactly the reaction she had always wanted as an actress. Only now, as an envoy of the Lord, she was also touching people on a profoundly deeper level. Could Hollywood offer such similar satisfaction?

So Dolores held a press conference, and hundreds of reporters, both national and international, turned out. All the networks were there. There were also a few thousand fans. By then, that's the kind of response Dolores incurred.

She appeared in an all white gown, cut low so that her moneymakers shared the spotlight with her. The press had called them her apostles and named them, appropriately, Lefty and Righty. She smiled coyly for the cameras and began her speech. This one she had memorized, though by then she was a pretty experienced ad-libber.

"My friends, members of the distinguished press, and people of all religions, I welcome you to this press conference. I am honored and blessed by your outpouring of love." The crowd applauded appreciatively and Dolores nodded and flashed her pearly whites. She continued, "Now, as many of you no doubt have been reading lately, Hollywood has been knocking on my door asking me to make so-called legitimate movies." A few boos went out through the crowd. "Yes," Dolores said, with a certain self-satisfaction, " I couldn't agree with you more. Considering the sales of my last few movies, I'd say I was already making legitimate movies." The crowd erupted in applause. Dolores waited for them to simmer down. "Still, that is not the reason for this conference. I leave the Hollywood bashing to the respected journalists seated here today. No, the reason for this little get-together is to announce my retirement."

The crowd jumped to their feet and a storm of flashbulbs and shouts erupted from the dense crowd. Dolores just sat quietly in her seat and smiled down at the throng. She felt truly serene at that moment. The joy of finally reaching the heights she so longed to reach, mixed with the knowledge she was about to impart, filled her with a profound inner peace. So when the noise in the auditorium at last subsided, she was ready to make her announcement.

"As you all know by now, I have endeavored to preach the ministry of the Lord in my own special way. And that, I must say, has been profoundly enriching and enjoyable, hopefully for not only myself." Again the crowd whistled and cheered appreciatively. "But even I know that I'm reaching just a mere fraction of my potential audience. And what will happen to my videos and my message when you get tired of watching them?"

On cue, two men that had been standing behind her reached for the sheet that had been covering the wall and each gave a hard yank downwards. A picture of Dolores with her hands held skyward was printed on the large poster that was now visible for all to see. In it, Dolores smiled radiantly and was surrounded by a halo of light, like the one she'd seen that day back in the club. And across the top of the poster it was printed in bold letters, The Gospel According To Dolores.

"My friends, this room you sit in today will be, starting this very Sunday, the site of my new church. I invite you all to attend. Oh, and before I forget," she said, with a sly smirk, "clothing is optional."

Again the crowd erupted, but Dolores simply smiled, waved, and walked offstage. And, as promised, that very Sunday her first service was given. The crowds filled the auditorium and spilled out clear around the block. Dolores was wise enough to install outdoor speakers so all could hear the message of love that she preached. And for all those waiting and listening outside, a warm glow was cast down from the sign that hung above the doors to the building - Dolores del Dunning and her triple D's: Devotion, Devoutness, and Decency. All are Welcome. And truly, all were.

 

Rob Rosen lives, loves, and works in San Francisco. His first novel, "Sparkle", was published in 2001 to critical acclaim. His short stories appear regularly on more than forty literary sites worldwide, and have been published in the literary anthologies Mentsh (Alyson, 2004), I Do/I Don't (Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004), Travel a Time Historic (Cyber Pulp, 2005), Short Attention Span Mysteries (Kerlak Publishing, 2005), Brotherhood (Alyson, 2005), and Modern Magic, Wizards, and Witches (Kerlak Publishing, 2005). Rob was also the winner of the 2005 Muse Apprentice Guild's Annual Chapbook Competition for Best Prose and will have a collection of his short stories published in the spring of 2005. Feel free to visit him at his website www.therobrosen.com or email him at robrosen@therobrosen.com


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