City of Night – John Rechy

City of nightThis is a classic but it belongs to an older generation than most of our members. They didn’t like it all whereas I thought it conjured up that past very well, especially in its use of spliced words: Horrormovie (which also appears in the film A Clockwork Orange), youngman, sexmoney, malenurse, malehustlers, spadebar, malebar, nightpeople, meanlooked, ghostfaces, ghostwords, ghostrooms,  rush-gushed and its lack of apostrophes.

Loneliness and hunger for relationship emerge in recounting the seeds of restlessness in childhood, never really knew father, remoteness towards people, craving for attention, sex turned me even more in on myself ‘You are lost, deep down in your soul.’ ‘There’s got to be some kind of morality. Not the kind they teach you in Sunday School’– gypsy woman. I appear young but inside it’s like miles of years have passed. ‘You want, very much to be loved- but you don’t want to love back.’ ‘I’ say that, when you leave, I’ll be less lonely than you.’ As a child, afraid of the dark, Orgasms have made us strangers again, Nightcities, nightlives substitute for salvation, Was religious until dog died, goes into church ands finds it empty

Rentboys are playing a game – not really for the money. Punters don’t like fems or people who read books. An acting teacher passes a boy round. Youth is a badge, beauty is a treasure, old men’s faces are bloated that were once beautiful, haunted eyes. An onlooker at the beach is ashamed when he sees screaming fairies, doesn’t flash the cash, hates the word ‘gay’

One felt seduced into violence, and later feels revulsion at what he had done –then when he apologises he is told he isn’t supposed to care. In one moment – split self sober me looking at drunk me – only one priest listens over the ‘phone and says ‘I know.’

About the scene at the time: Dancing is legal if butch dykes with fem men, no touching. If two homosexuals s don’t fancy each other they do not make eye-contact but keep looking for new men entering the bar.

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