Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

TOTCWhat a cast of characters.

 Mary Ann is not coming home and she hopes not to be the same. In a Safeway supermarket she meets a man in Lurex knickers and glitter wedges who discusses ‘Which is the best oil to use?’ – for what? Coke? I am on a diet.

Connie says that this city loosens people up

Mrs. Madrigal offers ‘something from my garden to welcome you’ to Barbary Lane. ‘It beats the shit out of Tarot cards.’ She hates soggy joints being passed around.

 Robert: ‘The hell of it that the whole goddam town talks about relating and communicating and all that Age of Aquarius shit and most of us are still trying to look like something we aren’t.’

Jerry brings Danny home and after smoking a joint he talks about saving the whales

Brian complains that ‘Nobody’s from here.’ And he thinks that Mary Ann probably reads condensed books from readers’ Digest and dots her Is with little circles.

 Michael (Mouse) at a nude beach thinks that it is probably less windy down the gay end. ‘I am paranoid about my breath, not yours.’ – re cleaning teeth in morning. ‘Cruising is like hitch hiking – dress like the people you want’ to pick you up. Straight people still longed for the summer of love. ‘Oh, that part’s OK. I like all the tacky lights and the mob scenes and the plastic reindeer. It’s the . . . gooey part that drives me up the wall.’ ‘The gooey part?’ ‘It’s a conspiracy. Christmas is a conspiracy to make single people feel lonely.’ ‘Friends go home. And Christmas Eve is the most horrible night of the year to go to bed alone. . . because when you wake up it’s not I going to be one of those Kodak commercials with kids in bunny slippers. . . It’s going to be just like any other goddamned day of the year!’  He tells Connie that a brass cock ring – ‘it’s an ornament’.

Mona thinks that she probably doesn’t know any straight men any more.  ‘Christ, Mary Ann! No wonder you’re miserable. You sit around on your butt all day expecting life to be one great big Hallmark card. Well, I’ve got news for you. There’s not a single goddamn soul out there who cares enough to send the very best.’  ‘So what point is there in…’  ‘You’ve got to make things work for you, Mary Ann. When you’re down to the seeds and stems, get out there and grab life by the. . . Get a pencil. Take down this address…’

At Mona’s church: ‘Chairman Jesus loves you! He loves all of us! The black and the brown and the yellow and the white.. . and the lavender!’ The last color was directed to the man in the prom gown.

Norman’s tie comes off in Mary Ann’s hand. She corrects him with ‘gay’ when he says ‘queer’.

On a streetcar, there’s a cloud of Woolworth’s cologne.

There’s a bar called ‘The Toilet’

Some women go to a gay gynecologist because he’s objective but there’s the tiniest hope that they might drive him mad.

At a sauna, the desperates take their towels off. The orgy room empties during Marty Hartman. Someone Xeroxed their privates using the enlarger.

Then the cliffhanger – a detective investigating Mrs. Madrigal – an accident not reported.

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