Then the fleshy smudges in the foreground take on definition and shape. The lens is adjusting to the low light. There’s movement, moaning. You see a man’s body lying on a bed. A woman, a brunette, is going down on him, her bobbing head positioned in the center of the frame. Okay, so what’s the deal? It’s just somebody’s amateur porn.
But 12, 13 seconds into it, the woman raises her head. She looks up at her partner and smiles at him, checking his reaction. That’s when you realize this isn’t simply some random tape. There are the pouty, heart-curved lips, famously kept plump with Blistex balm. There’s the brown mole just above the left side of her upper lip. There are the eyes—large, almond-shaped and somehow, despite her life, peaceful. There’s the mermaid tattoo on her right shoulder, the tattoo they tried to hide with body makeup for her nude scenes in I’m Still Waiting but finally had to digitally conceal.
The man’s face is never seen. All you can catch are snatches of his chest, hips, thighs. His one claim to video fame: A large, wine-colored, football-shaped birthmark on the side of his average-size cock. Otherwise he’s anonymous. The fixed camera is angled to showcase Amanda Eston’s performance. The focus stays on her, in porn as in life.
Then there’s a moment when it all turns.
If you know anything about Amanda Eston, you know this is the last time she’ll be seen alive.
This isn’t porn anymore. Porn keeps you out, keeps you watching the performers as objects. But this thing, this pulls you in. This draws you into itself. This makes you feel connected to what you’re seeing, as if hidden messages are being carried through the bytes and bandwidth and are entering your body through your eyes.
It’s infused with dreamspun danger, with night and terror. You know what’s coming. You know what’s going to happen. You know that death is rushing through every frame.