elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Times Queer by Mykola Dementiuk

Times Queer is not for sure a light and sunny novel, it's instead cold and harsh as the neon lights of the Times Square (here Times Queer) of the title. At seven years old Richard Kozlowsky is going with his parents from the suburbs to central Manhattan to spend the sunday at the theater, as a lot of other people in the '50. Only that little Ricky is molested on the tram, and this episode will change forever his perspective on sex; he imprints in his mind the name "Times Queer", a place where you can find the forbidden, sex and easy money, and from that moment on for him sex will ever be something dirty and cheap, and in some strange twist of mind, to "do" in public.

Ricky is obsessed by women, from the curves of a woman's body, but the easy sex he finds with men; in the shadow of a theater, in the public men's room of the big Mananhattan parks, even with some of his friends. Blowjobs, handjobs, one time even anal sex, Ricky is always the one to receive them, always repeating in his mind like a tantra the name of some dream girl; Ricky never once questions the loneliness of these men, or that maybe there is something more in sex with a man than an easy way to get off for free. The two times he is forced (really forced with a weapon on his head) to have sex with a man from the giving side, Ricky feels sick. And when he falls in love with a woman, she is someone like him, someone who has a very strange perspective on sex.

I don't know if Ricky is straight or gay or in between; when normally young people form their "sexual" mind, Ricky was exposed to the worst side of sex, and I don't believe he had the change to develop his sexuality; he is like a beast trapped in a cage and famished, and when he has the chance to reach for "food" (sex), he does it in a frenzy and without savoring it, gobbling bite after bite, act after act, almost fearing that someone will deprive him of the next bite. And when he is satiated, for a brief moment, he regrets what he has just done, only for soon after searching for another occasion to do it again and again.

Ricky is not a stable man, he is on the verge, but sincerely I feel more pity for him than aversion. The book covers Ricky's life from child to young man, still a teen, but don't judge Ricky's action with a "modern" eyes: the book is setting in the '50 and the beginning of the '60, and 16 years old in that time are not the same of today. It's even more sad to read of modern Ricky who still wanders around Times Square, no more the Times Queer he remembers: the city is changed, is grown, and instead Ricky is still trapped in his cage.

Amazon: Times Queer

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: mykola dementiuk, genre: contemporary, length: novella, review, theme: hustlers

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