In Mykola Dementiuk's The Facialist, it’s New York City in the 1950’s. Timmy discovers his own sexuality. But he’s aroused by men and women, which confuses him. Then Timmy meets Dickie, who likes to take young men under his wing and teach them the arts of fellatio, and Dickie's current young protégé, Shelly.
But Dickie is abusive, much like the men who have used Timmy for their own sexual release since he was a child. His attraction turns to Shelly, but who wants nothing to do with him.
Timmy is also seduced by an older Polish woman, an acquaintance of his mother’s. Confused by his own desires, Timmy returns to his favorite activity -- cruising the pathways of Tompkins Square Park.
Will Timmy accept his sexuality without fear or shame? Or does he risk losing himself to his own hungry desires?
- JMS Press/CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 16, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1478197501
- ISBN-13: 978-1478197508
I was going to the restroom, even though I didn’t have to pee.
On Coney Island the bathrooms were under the boardwalk, so a user would have to walk over the beach,descend the stairs, and step down into the solitude, away from the peopled, sandy beach. I remember I was wearing a black cowboy hat—won from some carnie booth—with nothing else on but a tight black bathing suit.
My parents had laid their blanket on the beach in the Ukrainian Village, a spot so called because it teemed with Ukrainians, just as other areas along the beach were known as German Village, or Swedish, or Polish, or Greek, or Turkish. It was the early 1950s, and people flocked to the beaches. There was no need to mention where I was going. Toilet Village—the term was unsaid and hushed; a misnomer that no one said too loudly. So I took my hat and walked to where I had to go. I was a boy, so why couldn’t I do it in the ocean like all the other people—kids, men and women—were obviously doing? No, I walked straight ahead to the restrooms of Toilet Village. After all,I was a gentleman. I was almost ten years old and certainly old enough to know where I was going.
I entered the crisply clean restroom with other men who came down from the boardwalk, took their leaks with a jiggle, and returned upstairs to continue their sunny afternoon strolls. I was barefoot, clad only in a bathing suit and cowboy hat. A few of the men, standing and peeing, looked at me curiously as I made my way past the urinals, past a few stalls, and entered the last, door-less cubicle of the restroom. How did I know where I was going? Had I been there before? There was nothing to do but take a seat. I lowered my bathing suit all the way to my feet and roosted fully naked, still wearing my black cowboy hat. My little prick was fully erect and rising up from between my legs, aching for a release, but from what, I didn’t know or understand.
I sat there maybe two, three, four minutes, listening to the sounds of men coming and going, constantly flushing urinals and going back outside. Then I heard footsteps coming closer to my cubicle. Tension gripped my belly. I looked up at the surprised face of elderly man looking at me. Was he was so elderly or maybe I was so young? He turned back to look at the urinals he passed, still flushing, then he stepped into my stall. I was uneasy, but wondering about the nervous tingling sensation in my belly.
The man smiled faintly at me, I smiled back at him and lowered my eyes as if I was a shy, good boy, which I was at the time. Suddenly, he touched my shoulder. I looked up at him. He raised a hand up to his lips with his forefinger, showing I shouldn’t make a sound. I nodded my head, agreeing to his silent instructions. The rubbing of my shoulders grew stronger and more forceful as he bent down and reached between my legs. I assumed he wanted to rinse them in the toilet water, so I spread wider, my stiff little penis poking up. His mouth opened, his eyes widened, and I felt his hand gently grip the hairless erection and start to squeeze, moving his fingers to the scrotum, and jerking his hand up and down. Somehow my legs had dropped out of my bathing suit and went around the man’s legs; the cowboy hat had eased itself off my head and hung from my neck by a slim colored cord. The man straightened up and bit his lips, standing before me as if undecided what to do.
We looked at each other; our mouths open, then the man lowered his zipper and reached in for his penis. I watched mesmerized as the muscle rose up and out of the material of his pants. Big and red and explosive it hung before me and he quietly said, “You want a big surprise?” and winked at me. I nodded. “Remember, keep your eyes closed or the secret may not work, okay?”
I nervously looked at the man. What could it be, I thought, this big surprise? I nodded and shut my eyes. Something brushed against the side of my lips and pulsed against my nose. I wanted to look but remembered what he said that it may not work…I heard constant, repetitive, beating, fumbling before me.
“Keep them closed,” he muttered. “Yes, like that, closed. Remember, a surprise…”
Whatever was brushing against my face and lips suddenly ejected a moist watery wetness, like the cooling sprinkle of a soda pop shimmering across my face.
“Oh, God! Keep them closed, kid, don’t look,” the voice reminded me. “Oh, honey, yes!”
I don’t know what it was: the soothing voice telling me to keep my eyes shut or the constant flush of the urinals, but I suddenly felt and smelled the awesome, wonderful scent of freshness and soothing peace, very much like morning dew, rising up to my face I was overcome by it.
Then the thing left the vicinity of my mouth and brushed the sides of my face. His hesitant voice said, “Closed, keep then closed, kid,” and I heard footsteps hurrying out my stall, pitterpatter past the urinals, and vanish through the opening-closing front door. I sat there with my eyes shut, waiting for him to return with my big surprise. I felt something oozing down my face.
Suddenly, I heard the door opening and footsteps slowly moving nearer. I heard a flush, then steps slowly moved across the restroom to where I was sitting, my eyes shut and my stiff penis poking out before me.
“Can I open them now?” I meekly asked.
“Jesus, what the hell?” a different voice responded.
I snapped my eyes open. Another man stood before my stall. A hint of embarrassment swept over me as I recognized the man. I had seen him many times in the area of the Ukrainian Village, walking on the beach, talking to acquaintances, and even a few times nodding to and greeting my parents. Like me, he was clad in a tight bathing suit. It shone brightly and provocatively on his well-developed, muscular, sun-tanned body. I saw that his penis was very hard. I blushed and lowered my face.
“You’re one of ours, aren’t you?” he said, in Ukrainian.
I nodded and pulled my bathing suit over my hard erection, then reached for the cowboy hat. “Uh huh,” I grunted.
Again, I felt hands on my shoulders.
“Shouldn’t you be with your parents?” he said softly. “Where are they?”
“In the Village,” I answered, feeling I was speaking too much.
He looked at me as if he wasn’t sure of what to do with me, but then he bit his lips and clutched my shoulder. “I’ll walk you back,” he said softly. “You shouldn’t be here, at least, not by yourself.” And he looked curiously at me. “What’s that on your face?” he asked, staring much closer. “Oh, God, was someone with you just now?” He looked to the front door. “What a bastard,” he mumbled as if to himself and shook his head. “And with a little kid, too.” He blinked his eyes. “Wipe that smelly gooey stuff off. It’s disgusting, all over your face and mouth.”
I brushed my face against my shoulders, and went to the sinks near the front of the restroom. I sprinkled water on myself and then we shuffled back across the sandy beach to Ukrainian Village. Strangely, I felt at peace with the Ukrainian man walking beside me and holding my hand, the other man already forgotten and receding from my memory when I saw my parents looking worried at our approach. My father leaped up and scurried to us. Though they knew each other, my parents were aloof with the man.
“He’s a faggot,” my father muttered as the man swished along and went back to reading his paper.
I don’t know what they said to each other, but we left the beach early that afternoon. Still, I couldn’t help but regret I never received a surprise for keeping my eyes closed as the man said for me to do. What could it have been? As we walked back to the subway train, I kept turning about and looking back for what I had not received.
In the next few years there often occurred incidents and accidents where a paw turned into a grope, a feel into a stroke, a touch into a clasp. What had been mine suddenly became theirs so easily because I pretty much shrugged and gave of myself, standing aloofly as their hurried feeling and groping went about my body. A kiss, a lick, a jiggle, and they’d be gone.
At a wedding that my parents took me too, I quickly grew fed up with people saying how handsome I looked in my brand new blue suit. I sulked and wandered off, and found some secretive, enclosed shut-off banquet room. I had seen Uncle Vladik drinking and toasting with the other celebrants, but now I came upon him holding a bottle in one hand and beating his penis with the other. I heard him grunting and mumbling to himself, “You slut whore, suck my dick!” He opened his eyes and saw me standing in the doorway. My first thought was to flee, to get away from him, but his face gleamed as he smiled and leered at me, “Hey, c’mere, kid, how you like this?” He jiggled his penis in his hand. “Come and get it.” I didn’t say anything, watching as if mesmerized. He swallowed a drink from the bottle and said, “C’mere, kid, don’t be afraid, you know me, I’m your Uncle Vladik.” I nodded. “Shut the door, shut the door. C’mon, I have something for you.”
“What?” I asked, shutting the door and stepping closer.
“This,” he said, pulling the skin back on his cockhead and displaying the meaty, juicy muscle. I stared open-mouthed at it. “You like? Take it in your hand. That’s it, you like? Oooh, yesss…That’s what it’s meant for, and don’t let anyone tell you different…Jerk me off, baby.”
Needless to say, I did as I was told, holding the stiff penis before me as it pulsed and prodded just inches from my face and mouth.
After a few strokes on the meaty organ he said, “You fucking whore!” and his eyes shutting, “Cocksucker!” He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me to him, all the while pounding my face and chest against his torso. “Bitch!” I felt his hand gripping my head as his spewing cock spat out on my chin. Then I smelled it, that enticing, charming dew-like fragrance of the man in Coney Island. I melted, swooning from the lovely fragrance, ready to drop, when he pushed me off. “What wrong with you, kid? Get a hold of yourself,” he said, and quickly reinserted his penis back in his pants. “You shouldn’t be doing this.” He shook his head. “You don’t know me, junior, and I don’t know you. Got that?” He sternly looked at me. I had no idea what I could’ve done. I slowly nodded. “You got some gook on your chest,” he said and pointed a finger at me. I looked down. Wet droplets were sprinkled on my new blue suit. “Just tell anyone who wants to know, you spilled soda, that’s all. Got that? Soda, nothing else.”
I nodded but asked, “Root beer? I like root beer.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever…” He looked at me and nervously bit his lip. “Now I don’t know you and you don’t know me, we weren’t together,” he repeated. “Got that, kid?” He patted my shoulder and left me behind in that room. I stood some moments listening to the party going on downstairs. I was confused and uncertain, and left the room and went back to my parents.
“What’s that,” asked my mother, “what did you spill on yourself?”
I instantly said, “Root beer, I spilled some root beer.”
“Good thing it was that,” she said, laughing and rejoining her conversation with her acquaintances. The rest of that evening, I kept looking for Uncle Vladik, but didn’t see him anywhere.
Lambda Literary Awards Winner 2013/Gay Erotica, 2009/Bisexual Fiction
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