“Porn,” he said. He had one of those gravelly, whispery voices that made it seem like everything he was saying was at the very least confidential and quite possibly a state secret.
Billy owned a bunch of web sites where people paid to watch videos of porn actresses. He explained the business to me: “There are about 15,000 porn actresses,” Billy said. “There are another 15,000 wannabes. But there are only 15 bona fide porn stars.” One of these, who went by the name Memphis Monroe, was Billy’s crown jewel. She was one of the top girls at Hustler and Billy had some kind of ancillary rights deal with her that seemed to keep him in gambling money.
Billy wore a
Billy had flown in from
I told Billy I had just been playing at the
“In your room?” I asked.
Yeah, said Billy. “I had tickets to the big fight. I was driving my daughter back to college in
“So I took a cab to the
“I slept for a full day. When I woke up, they had taken $4000 in cash and about $8000 in jewelry. But Richard, this drug—” Billy closed his eyes and opened them again. “When I woke up I saw a piece of paper on the floor with four numbers written on it. This drug—” He smiled and shook his head like you do when you wake up and find the team you had that hunch on won in a blowout but you never put down your bet.
I tried to think of something to say but not one thing came.
Billy leaned back and smiled. “Anyway,” he said. “That’s why I don’t play at the
I thought quick. “So did they charge anything before you canceled your cards?”
He smiled and nodded slowly. “Gas,” said Billy. “The fuckers charged eight tanks of gas, one right after the other, at the same gas station. Here, give me your phone, I’ll call mine and then we’ll both have each other’s numbers.” I didn’t see any way out of it.
“So,” I said, “Tell me again about those porn stars you lie out with by the pool.” He consummated the mating of our cell phones.
“Not porn stars,” he corrected. “Porn actresses. There are only about 15 porn stars.” He smiled and winked. “And one of them is my girl.”