Fidel Castro died today, so in his honour I present an ancient piece of short fiction I wrote when an undergraduate. It is set in Cuba and outrageously inspired by the dirty, dirty, DIRTY book Dirty Havana Trilogy by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. This story was published in my university’s student magazine and is included in my filthy eBook: Tell Me About Love: The Blood, Come and Vomit-Splattered Provincial Writings of S. Manley Hadley.
Yes, I know what follows is deeply offensive, but at the time I wanted to be the next Bret Easton Ellis (“‘Brit’ Easton Ellis” was the interview headline I fantasised about), or a pulpier Ryu Murakami. This is meant to be like American Psycho, In the Miso Soup and of course Dirty Havana Trilogy. It was the first piece of mine to be printed on actual paper and distributed by someone else (and, alas, still one of very few), so it has a special place in my black, evil, compassionless heart.
Cuban prostitutes fuck you hard, but Cuban prostitutes do not fuck you fast. There is a commonly held conception that whores – I’m not talking escorts or call girls here, I’m talking street-walkers, hookers, whores – it is a commonly held belief which is most of the time correct – that cheap whores want you to come as quickly as possible. Because with a cheap whore you are paying for the come – you are paying them to bring it out of you, whereas with an escort or a call girl you’re paying, by the hour, for a woman’s company – with your choice of pastime. My mother’s fag brother told me when I was fifteen that the way no one outside of the family knew he was a fag was because every Friday night he would take a beautiful escort out to a well known, centre city restaurant and make eyes at her over a long meal. Then he’d send her to her home and pick up a teenager in denim and leather to take to his. He paid for their time, and what he did with it was exert masculinity. He just chose to use something very different to release that masculinity into.
Now, cheap whores are not selling you their time, they are selling you your pleasure. My first night in Havana I wandered into Chinatown – West of the tourist spots, full of the beautiful black Hispanics I had gone to the country for – and fucked a pregnant drunk in an alley behind a restaurant. We were next to over-flowing bins of industry waste, and though there was not a Chinaman in sight, there were so many Chinese restaurants that I was shin deep in unwanted egg fried rice as I swopped a little crisis for twenty Cuban Convertible Pesos. Which converts, incidentally, to about eight pounds.
Because across the board Cuban whores – and my last was an overweight black woman on the harbour walls of Habana Vieja, who demanded I fuck her the moment I tried to slip a finger inside – seemed to be trying to take as much pleasure from the sex as I was. They weren’t ever rushing me – almost frustratingly sometimes – and they weren’t ever goading me to come. One of my many encounters handed me back a note after I’d paid claiming that she’d charged me too much. It was only a peso and I think it was mainly a gesture, but it still felt good and got me hard enough to fuck her a second time. The whores want you to have a good time, but they want to make sure that they do as well. It really felt like some of these women weren’t just fucking tourists for the money, but also for the dick. And though they all had imperfect English and my Spanish was dire, I could communicate perfectly with every last one of them, because I almost always had what they wanted – money and a hard-on – and they were almost always willing to give me their minds and their cunts for ten minutes in exchange.
NB: I do not write material like this now, and nor do I want to. This is kinda why I’m floundering whenever I sit down to write fiction. I spent YEARS practising how to write dirt – nasty, aggressive, dirt – and now I understand the inherent problems with the publication of more material like this, I’m a bit stuck for what to do. Now I just write about my own body for the Huffington Post. Is that progress? In a way, maybe, in a way…