Thursday, May 1, 2008
Times Queer excerpt by Mykola Dementiuk
Times Queer excerpt by Mykola Dementiuk is a graphic, dark, coming-of-age story set in New York's infamous Times Square during the 1950s and 60s. Introduced to sexual feelings at an early age, protagonist Richard Kozlovsky continues on a path shared by many children who have been touched in a sexual way by an adult, a path of frequent masturbation, exhibitionism, and other precocious sexual behavior. Ricky grows up in spite of his hard life in a Catholic school, teasing by his classmates, and trying to survive on the streets of Manhattan with sexual predators at every turn.
Frequenting the Times Square movie theaters as a teen, Ricky finds a way to supplement his meager existence and later meets the woman who will introduce him to the world of women, intimacy, and love. In between he questions his sexuality: is he a faggot? is he a whore? where does he fit in?
Synergy Press (2008)
It was always known to me as Times Queer. Where else could you get blown or jerked off at 4 am, or 2 pm, or midnight, or whatever time of the day it was? The Queer wasn’t a state of mind, but an actual location, 42nd Street and Broadway, one that came to be synonymous with hidden sex. Hidden because it was done in secret. In shadows, in movie seats, in balconies, in bliss.
It must have been forty, fifty years earlier. I was a little kid and traveling on the subway with my parents. The train was packed with people like us, going uptown. We got on at 14th Street to a crowd of happy Sunday people.
Not wanting to be in the confines of my parents, I snuck over to the end of the car, where the doors were open and a wind of black tunnels poured in. Unlike when we traveled to Coney Island, there wasn’t much to see, just lights, shadows, and glimpses of other people in the next car.
On 34th Street a person got up, leaving a seat. There being no one around I took it. A man was sitting there but made a move to give me room. Sitting next to him, I felt a hand slide up my thigh and circle round my crotch. I remained still but my crotch grew hard. He began to fumble with my zipper, using his other hand to hold my flap open, and he inserted his hand. But he fumbled again trying to find the underwear flap.
I didn’t know what was going on. At the age of seven there’s little you can think of except following elders.
Suddenly the train pulled into Times Square and the man let me go and stood up. For a moment I thought of standing up, too, but I remained sitting and watched him go. He walked firmly, like he owned the world and had done nothing wrong.
The doors closed and I slunk back to my parents, ashamed of something, but I wasn’t sure what? My father was joking with my mother, laughing at the people in the station passing by.
“Times Queer,” he laughed. “That’s what they should call this place, Times Queer!”
I felt very embarrassed but glad this place had a name. I was determined to come back.
We were going to the movies on Broadway, something most of the class had not done before. It was our first trip uptown, so we were very excited and happy, but in some ways, it was also a nervous time. A few guys joked about the “nellies that will get you, if you don’t watch out,” but I just smiled and pretended to laugh it off.
"Nellie,” I joked, “scratch the belly!” I raised my voice to a high-pitched yell which got off the girls who laughed hysterically.
“Oh Ricky,” one of them laughed. “You sound just like a nellie!” I joined in the laughter until the teacher turned and angrily walked back toward us.
"What’s going on here!?” the nun screamed, spotting me. “Richard Kozlovsky, what did you do now!?”
I stood there cowering, weakened and shamed by her screams, like I was the one who deserved her wrath.
“I can’t take you anywhere!” she screamed, grabbing me painfully by the
hair. “Stand still!” she shouted at my frenetic jerks, as she forcefully pulled my hair at the skull. “You hear me? I said, ‘stand still!’”
I began to cry shamefully, the eyes of the kids boring into me as if they would attack.
“Stand still!” the nun repeated to me, “Will you stand still?!”
All the kids gathered around us but the nun held onto my hair as if that was preventing her from letting me go.
“You’re disgusting!” she finally screamed, and pushed me away from her.
“Disgusting boy. I can’t let you go anywhere! You’ll just have to wait
outside for us!”
With that she bustled the kids into the movie theater with stern looks from the passers by. I sheepishly followed, thinking I could get in that way, but the nun saw me and yelled out, “I thought I told you ‘No!’ Stay here, where you belong!” She continued to escort the kids in and she held a conversation with the ticket-taker, who was as ugly as the nun. Through my tears I saw them and hated them, would hate them forever. “It’ll be all right, Sister,” I could hear the ticket-taker say. “We don’t fool around.”
With that the nun was gone after my classmates, and I was left all alone with the ticket-taker who seemed to be unconcerned with me. As a matter of fact, I noticed, he paid me no mind, for which I was very grateful.
I walked around the lobby, taking in the soda machines and movie posters, one with Marilyn Monroe wearing a baby top and looking as seductive as ever. As usual, I got a hard-on which would make me piss, like it did in the morning, or so I thought.
With the ticket-taker ignoring me, I stepped to the side and went into the men’s room. I knew it best to keep the image of Marilyn in my mind and enjoy it when I heard the door opening. Quickly I moved to the urinal to cover myself. My dick was still hard. I hoped the man wouldn’t stay long so I could get back to looking at it and imagining Marilyn.
Suddenly he began to touch me. I froze, and pressed myself closer to the urinal walls. But he kept on, forcing an opening between us for his hand to reach in and feel me. My little prick was big and hard; I didn’t know what he would do with it.
He circled his fingers round my cock and gently began an up and down motion.
It was bliss; I felt myself melting and not caring what was to happen.
He began to stroke my cock a little faster. I felt myself melt a little more with innocent expectation. Suddenly the euphoria gripped me, like something was exploding inside me. My cares melted away. Still, in this ecstasy, I felt the man let go of me, heard the bathroom door opening and closing, and stood there all alone, not caring if I stood there forever.
It was the first time I had come and I felt totally new, like I was some new baby or new boy destined for bigger and better things. Now I couldn’t wait for the traitorous classmates so I could rejoin them and go home, where I could be alone. Now I knew what had to be done with my prick, and it wasn’t solely to take a piss. I could play with it, too.