Another masterpiece of Times Square in its gay heyday by the two-time Lambda Award winning author!
I looked out the window on to 42nd Street. The crowd was still walking up and down the crazy, forgotten boulevard. Prostitutes, transvestites, hookers and hustlers of every sort paraded and marched back and forth on the hectic sidewalk, looking for another trick as they struggled through the dawning hours.
Where would they sleep it off tonight, some shabby Single Room Occupancy where they could just pass out for a few hours of troubled sleep, or in a lavish soft Park Avenue apartment where they could relax and laze in the lovely passing warm morning hours?
New York is like that, seeming to be at one moment a successful businesswoman going after deals, while at other times a deranged whore, slut, trollop, grabbing and stealing whatever she could get from you. I suppose that's why I liked it, the uncertainty of what can suddenly happen, a kiss on the lips or a stab in the back, same difference. In the end, a shrug and another day is stretching, yawning or else going back to sleep.
I noticed the lettered reflection of the window before me, even this high up it showed off what the window contained inside but at this angle, they were all mixed up, a reverse from what they actually spelled. I smiled, The 42nd Street Club, as if someone had forgotten the Jerking-Off part.
I smiled again and yawned. Yeah sure, but that's what I'm here for, jerking off!
About the Author
Mick Mykola Dementiuk was born in 1949 of Ukrainian parents in a West German DP camp, immigrating to America when he was two. After Catholic grade school & public high school in New York City, with trips to Times Square where he found his sexual life, he eventually graduated from Columbia University in 1984.
If anyone were to ask what the greatest thing about being a reviewer is, I would have to answer that there are several but what I really enjoy is meeting writers and getting to know them through their writing. Mykola Dementiuk is a two-time Lambda Award winning writer and a “helluva” good guy who always lets me know when he has a new book out. While this may not seem like much to some people, it is for me because Mick is a special guy who types with one finger (as a result of a stroke). That stroke might have hindered the way he writes, but not how he thinks. I refer to Mick as the Laureate of the Times Square that Was, and we are lucky to have someone who can tell a story like he does. He has specialized in what was once the seedy part of New York City and reminds us that being gay was once very different than it is now.
There always seemed to be a crowd on 42nd Street. This crowd was not the kind of people we would find on, say, 5th Avenue. Here were hustlers and prostitutes, drag queens and hookers. They did not just walk the street—they worked it. Their days and nights were spent looking for those who pay for sexual pleasure. In fact, they were not just walking—they were parading.
Many of the denizens all lived in the area or had rooms there. Their lives were made up of pleasure and dreams and they represent a world of its own. The lived in a state of uncertainty, never really sure what days would bring.
Now let me just say for those unfamiliar with Mick Dementiuk’s writing might find him shocking because of the eroticism. I find him shocking when I see his literary oeuvre that continues to grow all of the time.
I have a rough time reviewing Dementiuk because anything I might say could ruin the read for someone so you will just have to take my word for it or just have a look at the title to give you an idea of what to expect.
—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen