Flashback: 2001 (or maybe it was 2002)
It was the Barry White CD that put Candace Bergen in the mood. We were at my place, fooling around on my green leather couch. I'd switched on the ceiling fan disco light. As I kissed Candace, flashes of silver light darted around the room. I unbuttoned her shirt, then stood up and walked over to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and cracked open a Budweiser. I slugged some down. "Ahh..."
I could hear Candace rolling around on the couch. Her pants were making rubbing noises against the leather. I stuck my head out of the kitchen. "Don't start without me."
I walked back out to the living room. Candace's hair was draped over the armrest of the couch. I sat down next to her and put my hand on her leg. "You want a sip of my beer?"
She took a sip of my beer and handed it back to me. I took another sip and rubbed her leg. She looked up at me and squinted. "You know, I just figured out why you look so familiar."
"Yeah? Why's that?"
"Weren't you in that commercial? The one with the woman scrubbing the bathtub?"
"Yeah. That was me."
"And there's these guys in football uniforms, and they suddenly appear in the bathtub. They're the cleaning team."
"Yeah, that was me, baby."
Candace started laughing. "You were one of the football players."
She tried to sit up. "Which one were you?"
"I had the blue uniform on. No helmet. I was the quarterback."
"Right." She nodded her head. "But you looked so much thinner."
"It was a couple of years ago."
Candace laughed. I put my arm around her and helped her to sit up. I looked at her. "You know, I'm not really interested in commercials. They're not the right vehicle for me."
"What's the right vehicle for you?"
"I need a serious project, like a drama."
I stood up. "Come on. I'll get you a beer."
Candace lifted herself up from the couch. I steered her toward the kitchen. Barry White's voice was purring from the stereo speakers.
Candace leaned against my shoulder. "It's so dark in here."
"No problem." I walked over to the coffee table and switched on my Suzanne Somers Commemorative lava lamp. Red light oozed through the room.
"Does this help?"
Candace stepped away from me and looked at some of the photos on the wall near the kitchen. "You have so many pictures of yourself."
I finished my beer and grabbed two fresh Buds from the fridge. I handed one to Candace. We cracked our beers and took a few gulps. Candace looked around my condo.
"God, this place is like the inside of a spaceship. I feel like I'm in a UFO."
I took a sip of beer. Candace swayed for a moment. She walked out to the living room and stood over my black vinyl massage chair. "What's this?"
I walked up behind her and put my arms around her. "That's my Cool Papa massage chair. Only 3,000 of them were hand-built by Cool Papa in his lifetime."
I rubbed Candace's stomach.
"And what's that?" She pointed to my Bob Ketler smoke machine.
"Oh, that? That's my smoke machine."
"What's it for?"
"It makes smoke." I walked over and switched it on. After a few seconds, a thin mist of smoke began to waft along the floor. "Sometimes I like to set a mood."
"Come on." I took Candace's hand. "I'll show you the bedroom."
I walked her down the hall. Her bare feet stumbled in my purple shag carpeting. She looked down at her feet. "Wow, look at that. The carpet changes color as you walk on it."
"Yeah. It's static-charged."
I pushed open the wood-paneled door to my bedroom. I reached in and switched on the fluorescent track light along the left ceiling mirror. "Here we are."
Candace stepped into the bedroom. I followed her. She paused for a moment and looked down. "The floor feels weird."
"Oh yeah, it's sheet rubber. Easier to clean."
She turned to look at the full-length poster of me next to my Lucite dresser. She pointed at the poster. "You look a lot younger in that."
"Yeah, maybe. I was a lifeguard back then." I finished my beer. "You want another beer?"
Candace lifted her beer. "No, I have this."
I walked over to the mini-bar next to my night table. I reached into the cooler and grabbed a cold wet can of Budweiser. It was the last one. I cracked it open and took a sip.
Candace looked around the room. "I don't see a bed."
I jumped up. "Oh, right." I ran over to the closet doors and slid them open. I pressed the electric switch that automatically lowered my vinyl Murphy bed. The motor in the wall made a slow groaning noise as the bed lowered to the floor.
I pointed to the bed. "Here you go."
Candace tried to sit down. She lost her balance and fell off.
I reached to help her stand up. "Sorry. I forgot to tell you, it's a water bed."
"A water bed?"
"Yeah. Cool Papa built it about a year before he died. It's the only vinyl, fold-up water bed in Burbank."
Candace sat down slowly on the bed. She adjusted herself to the rhythm of the water. "Wow."
I sat down next to her. I took a sip of my beer. "How'ya feeling?"
"A little tired."
"Well, you're in the right place."
I pressed a button on my night table to lower down a pair of Velcro-leather handcuffs. "Put these on. I'll give you a massage."
Candace looked at the handcuffs for a moment. "What are these?"
"Handcuffs, baby. You know, to hold you in place."
"Are you serious?"
She looked at me for a moment. "Why don't YOU put them on?"
"Yeah. You put them on. I'll give you a massage."
"You think so?"
"Sure. I'll tie you up."
I nodded. "Let me finish my beer." I took a few more swallows and gulped down the rest of my beer. I crushed the can and tossed it through the mini-basketball hoop attached to my bathroom door.
I smiled. "You want me to take off my shirt?"
She nodded. "Yeah. Why don't you do that?"
I unzipped my shirt. For a moment the zipper caught on one of my chest hairs. I yanked hard and pulled the zipper all the way down. I threw the shirt on the floor.
Candace reached across the bed and began wrapping the leather straps around my wrists. She tightened them and closed the Velcro flaps. She looked at me. "You could get out of these if you had to, right?"
I nodded. "Sure thing. Probably take me 15 minutes. Maybe less."
Candace began walking out of the bedroom.
I called after her. "Hey, can you get me one, too?"
I waited for Candace to bring me back a beer. She seemed to be taking a while.
I tried to swing my head around toward the living room. The handcuffs were too tight. "Candy?..."
Just then I heard the front door open and close.###