How’s Mars by Red Jordan Arobateau

cover of the book How's MarsHow’s Mars by Red Jordan Arobateau
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year: 1975
Published: 1993
Publisher: Red Jordan Arobateau
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Format: Trade Paperback
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No. of Pages: 196
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No. In Series:
ISBN: 970323719
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Three white sisters in Greenwich Village party from gay bar to gay bar — while fleeing from the Mafia. Gay life snapshots. Fights. Drama. The author’s ear for dialogue is terrific! circa 1960. From the Publisher The book opens with the scene of 3 hungover dikes who have hitched a ride from two nameless men just released from prison. Their car radio blasting: ‘TROPICAL, THE FOURTH! $. 80. $4. 20, AND $3. 60. AT HIALEAH, THE DAILY DOUBLE. . . . ‘ Boomed down the dusty streets of Philadelphia, out of the four open windows of a two-bit black car; shaky-frame, as it skimmed down the ancient neighborhood of the downtown district. ‘ It’s the early 1960’s when gay was still the love that dare not speak its name. –But it definitely did Carry On, in the bars, parks, restaurants and streets regardless! ‘The ones in the back seat, they’d been up drinken’ all night. –The three girls, so they were hot, and dizzy. Their three heads line the backseat window. In the middle, jauntily, a red beehive of hair teased to nearly a foot in height. The starlet, striking in her toreador pants, high backless cocktail hour slippers. It is Lois. Who looks like Elizabeth Taylor. To her left, a platinum blond, a butch hairdo, but beautyshop done, short cropped hair, so her pink smooth chubby neck showed thru the tail, it was JoAnne, in white khakis, gymshoes, and a blue shirt. And to the other hand, is Ursula. A plainfaced girl, medium length brown hair messy. Nondescript. ‘ They arrive at the hotel and Lois, the Star, tries to work the two men into paying for their hotel room, but the two are broke and refuse. Lois responds: ‘FAGGOTS! GET LOST YOU BIG TWO BIT PHONIES. . . FAGS! NOTHING BUT FAGS!’ The car drove off fast. ‘ So Ursula, who works an honest job for a living must pay for the room. Lois complains: ‘It’s Fucken’ demented! Look at the fucking demented wallpaper!’ The threesome have a discussion as they unpack their things, revealing their past. Also, that plain, simple Ursula has a mad crush on both the blond butch JoAnne & her snappy showgirl femme Lois. Distanced herself from the Blah Ursula, Lois primps in the mirror complaining to Jo something about ‘the night before. ‘ Subsequently it is revealed that Lois has left New York City in a hurry, because she is on the run from a Mafia loanshark. –And what he is going to do to her if she doesn’t give back his money– with BIG interest. Chapter three flashes back to NYC, Friday, where the 3 are seen going frantically between gay restaurants and infamous Mafia owned dike bars; from one to the next: ‘We’ll find that money before the day is out today. . . . ‘ Promised little Ursula, and put her arm tight about Lois. ‘ The first in a sequence of rapid scenes, like a macabre Fellini picture, or a portrait of Dante’s inferno is when Lois gets in a altercation in Greenwich Village restaurant with a hooker friend– to whom Lois also owes money, in which this pretty would-be movie star receives her first slap of the evening. A portraiture of street characters. Gay girls & their baby face butches: ‘Good. I left her. She wouldn’t listen to reason. She’s going berserk. OH! That Dederia! She’s so Demented! Did ya see her in there! The cops’ll get her!’ Lois stood, a fashion model of these streets, in front of Pam Pam’s. Night had fallen. Now, neon decked the streets multi-colored as a Christmas Tree. The neon winked on and off behind them. . . . . ‘Why that syndicate punk is going to kill me if I don’t get him his money. Ursula, I HAVE to have that money this Week! She can do without her lousy fix more then me without my face! That Wench slapped me! . . . . Already he’s bothering me! He MADE me give him everything I had. . . He twisted my friggen’ arm half off! That lousy four dollars! He was gonna kill me! Then, WACK! Just like that! WACK! She really slapped me! Oh it hurts! Fuck!’ The trio repairs to the next tavern, a gaygirl/sissyboy/hustling bar. in which Lois receives a slap from the barman’s towel for trying to clip a male tricks wallet. More fights follow in more locations: ‘And now we have Miss Ricki. A real lesbian. Ex-hustler, of the burglary variety. Face fixed with a bit of make up, wearing the very popular butch hairdo–stripped to the roots of color, and thus turned platinum blond, like Joanne’s. As Ricki sauntered along the bar talking to the kids, a drink sloshing in hand, nodding and greeting folks, out of the corner of her eye she caught something familiar. Ricki turns– there, before her eyes, Lois stands–pressing Donna into the wall with a straight arm. Surrounded by a crowd of hostile people. ‘GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY GIRL!’ Ricki howled, leaping across the room, upsetting tables. She snatched Lois by her blouse and covered her face with slaps, screaming, ‘FUCKER! MOTHERFUCKER!’ Lois snatched herself away. . . Ricki went at her again. ‘FIGHT! FIGHT!’ Cried the women, cheering, howling and laughing. Another girl grabbed Ricki from behind. The two fell, squirming on the floor her skirt up, holding the other down, arms and legs wrapped around her like a crab. ‘ Friday night is filed with wild antics, altercations, in which the poor starlet is slapped dozens of times, but she is fearful of a far worse fate at the hands of the syndicate stooge. Until finally as the night is endings, tho still unsuccessful to find money, they escape by Greyhound bus to Philly intending to continue the non-stop party at a gay bar there, newly opened– when night falls Saturday. They find themselves disembarked in the stony caverns of downtown Philly, hail their ‘cab’ and the story continues to its exciting climax! As all of Arobateau’s work, the reader will never fail to be entertained by this underground street drama worthy of it’s place in gay history. Book Review provided by RED JORDAN PRESS 2005.
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