Monday, February 18, 2013

Always Looking excerpt Mykola Dementiuk

In Mick Dementiuk's Always Looking, the main character admits "I started going out early with girls and guys, not for sex because at that age, who the hell knew what sex was?"

With those words, Danny's coming-of-age begins. From the gloomy, stifling hallways of high school in the 1960's to the vast expanse of 1970's New York, young Danny explores the complexities of love and lust in the arms of Luba, a girl he believes himself in love with, and then in the company of various men, from whom he learns his true nature.

Raised by a poor, single mother whose upcoming marriage to a second husband threatens Danny's shaky world, Danny finds that accepting -- and ultimately embracing -- the unpredictability and promise of his future means letting go of the past and taking the leap of faith he knows he needs in his journey to maturity.

Always Looking
JMS Books (January, 2013)
ISBN: 9781611524215


I walked up the stairs, keeping my head up and looking ahead of me. Near the third floor a balding man’s head looked down at me, wearing a little yarmulke and a suit and tie. I paused.

“Sorry, I was looking for Yankel,” I said.

The man stood, disappointed.

“No, I’m Yankel. Don’t you even recognize me?” He shook his head.

I looked up. It really was Yankel! The suit and tie with a yarmulke certainly threw me off, but as I came up the stairs, I recognized him for what he was: a grieving Jewish man. I didn’t know if bothering him was the proper thing to do.

“I know you said next week, but I was just in the area and thought I’d stop by. Hope its okay?”

“Come in, come in. Don’t be foolish. Of course it’s okay. You’re always welcome.” He shut the door behind me and immediately reached for my crotch. I dropped the small parcel I had been holding, letting him paw and grope me and slide my pants zipper down. I heard a voice.

“Well, well, what have we here?”

I stiffened in shock. His brother stepped out of the other room. Yankel let go of me.

“This is the handsome young man I was with when you interrupted me.” Again he reached for my crotch.

I pushed his hand away, but again he tried to grab me.

“Shlomo’s just like me,” Yankel said, “a queer. Just like you are. No, so don’t resist. We are a family.”

“I’m not a queer,” I shamefully muttered, turning red.

Shlomo stood with his arms akimbo.

“Mitromem mizdayen batahat,” he muttered.

Yankel looked angrily at him and put his arm around my shoulder.

“Don’t you say such a thing. He’s very nice boy -- looks to be the nicest one I’ve had up here in a long time.”

Shlomo shrugged and lit a cigarette.

“I simply asked if the boy was an ass-fucker. Nothing wrong in that.” He looked at us and blew the smoke in our direction.

Yankel angrily erupted and began to say something in Hebrew.

“Sholom,” I simply sighed, trying to bring peace (sholom being the only Jewish word I knew) and removed my T-shirt and began to undo my pants. Yankel and Shlomo watched me, open-mouthed. I’d always been fascinated by being undressed before men. My earliest remembered dreams were of just that -- being on display and shown off like a circus animal or perhaps even like a chunk of meat everyone pawed and fingered until I was chosen for a repast and was carried home. I didn’t know where the dream came from, but it was there, and it was mine. I stood nude before them, my head lowered.

“Mein Gott, he’s hairless!” exclaimed Shlomo, shaking his head.

“But when did that happen,” Yankel muttered. “You were hairy when we first met?”

I shrugged; I wasn’t going to tell them who shaved me.

“Was too hot, the humidity was very bad, so I took it off.”

Yankel did not say anything -- just stared and licked his lips.

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Guest blog by Mykola Dementiuk– January 13, 2013
Posted by JMS Books LLC at 2:00 PM

It seems that more and more in my attempt at gay writing I open myself up and admit to things I wasn't aware of before. Like events I may have forgotten or chose not to remember, but in the process of writing it down they are resuscitated to where I'm forced to admit, "Yes, these things did happen!"

A blowjob, a handjob, what difference does it make?

"Hush, don't let anyone know ..."

In my earlier book, The Facialist, many things came out which were buried decades ago, not only were they too painful or shocking to admit, but I had blocked them out of my memory. For whatever reason but I can admit it now, it was "Shame." Not only over what I was doing but also the secret satisfaction that I might be caught. I enjoyed it, the hunt and the stalking away but was scared of being exposed, still very pleased and liking it, too. A little masochism never hurt, I always thought, and still do.

When I was younger I loved to jerk off, seven, eight times a day. I adored masturbation, which much later it brought me to those who enjoyed it just as well. There is nothing like mutual masturbation, with another man doing it to you while you're doing it to him. But that still raises the emotion of Bliss! I fondly recall when five men were sitting in chairs in a circle and each held the others cock in his hand, all of us jerking the other off and never once touching ourselves, that is until we got home.

"The circle of life," I like to call it. Oh, what bliss!

In Always Looking, my recent semi-biographical novella (for what part of a writer's work isn't it biographical?), names and events were left alone, letting the guilty or non-guilty suffer the pangs of memory, not that there are bad memories just vague uncertain vestiges of questionable feelings.

"Did I really do that?" a guilty conscience might ask.

"Yes, you did that!" an accusing voice will nod.

Be that as it may, life goes on, marching as the hoof beats of soldiers trailing along. But how much guilt and bad feelings can you accuse them of, and of course, how much can I, too, be pointed out?

I learned to just write it, relate the story, tell the truth, wince and remember, smile and grow. Life is better, lots better than your go-nowhere bad memories might feebly stress. I've learned to put it in my books.

And as the hero of my novella stresses, I, too, am Always Looking.

Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk


Victor J. Banis said...

Mick, you are absolutely right - put it in the book and then let it go. Nice piece and interesting blog.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Victor, Can you imagine what my existence in Times Square or NYC may have been like in the 1960s, 70s and 80s? As futile and confused as I present myself to be. You go through life, or does life go through you, showing that you are nothing but a meaningless worm, toad, drivel? I've calmed myself greatly by the 90s, and I know you wouldn't want to know myself back then, that's for sure, but I must add that I also didn't know myself most of all! So I suppose 'he' and I are squared evenly when it comes down to it. I sure hope so ;)

Jaime Samms said...

I'm getting to know your voice as I read your books, Mick. You never fail to hold my attention :)

Anonymous said...

Nice excerpt, Mick. I enjoyed reading it.

Joe DeMarco