Vienna Dolorosa by Mykola Dementiuk is a full-length historical novel set in Vienna, Austria, in an inner city hotel managed by a transvestite and doubling as a brothel for men who like boys dressed up as girls. The entire book takes place during a one-day time period — March 12, 1938, the day Hitler “invades” Austria. Told from the perspectives of twelve different characters including various hotel personnel, hotel guests, brothel employees and brothel clientele, we also have a talkative Viennese official, German police, Nazi SS, and a darling street boy.
Synergy Press 2007
Frau Friska came down the main stairs and glanced out the curtained front window of the hotel. A few Brownshirt-clad men and boys staggered through the quiet street, either hung-over or exhausted from their night’s revelries, yet unwilling to go home and sleep it off lest they miss another celebration, another attack, another expression of their German-ness. She wished she had heeded Kurt’s advice that they install a rolling metal gate over the hotel entrance as the shopkeeper next to the Mozarthaus had done.
Where is Kurt anyway? She glanced at a wall clock and walked across the empty hotel lobby to the small office behind the reception desk. The role of hotel proprietress suited her; its professional and somewhat official standing gave her a sense of legitimacy and respect she would never have achieved as simply a madam of boys.
And it was a perfect cover, though a well-worn theme: a house of prostitution for the cognoscenti and a working hotel for the unwary; the trick was to keep the two identities separate and distinct. Houses for boys might be common knowledge in Berlin or London, but in Vienna, whatever depravity lurked beneath its cultured façade kept its passions and lusts hidden under a veneer of proper appearance, proper decorum, and proper respectability. As long as one acted, dressed and presented oneself in a manner correspondent to one’s social class, who would look or care what lay covered by the cravats and dining coats, the pressed pants and gowns and gleaming shoes, the neatly coiffed hair and polished fingernails?
It was all appearance and not much more. Frau Friska Bielinska passed easily in her proper feminine attire and respectful Viennese demeanor. Vienna and Austria had been her salvation, just as Berlin and Germany once were; but after Hitler’s coming to power and the orders to clean up the depraved Kürfurstendamm — the night raids, the shredded clothing, the shorn-off hair, the forced sodomy and fellatio, the beatings and pummelings, the long train ride to the frontier with stops along the way for local Party members to express their own outrage on the vile pansies — any city or country would have appeared a haven from the sickness Germany had infected on itself and was now spreading to Vienna, and to Frau Friska’s Hotel Redl.
She sighed and shook her head and bent over the ledger Helmut had worked on. With Kurt’s disappearance Helmut had taken it on himself to reconcile the accounts, and though it was a simple task of adding a few columns of figures, deducting the loss of unpaid-for rooms (the evicted guests were told there’d be no charge) from the expected earnings (one guest demanded he pay his bill in full and be done with the hotel for good), Helmut had made a total shambles of the simple arithmetic, coming up with a figure of profits earned in one night that was more than the hotel made in a month of full occupancy. He had not comprehended the impossibility of the gain or discrepancy of his count. He probably thinks we’re rich, Friska smiled to herself and quickly recalculated the sums in her head; Kurt could make the corrections later.
She pushed aside the balance book, retrieved a small key-ring from her skirt pocket, opened a locked bottom desk drawer, and pulled out a ledger book, much larger and thicker than the one for the hotel accounts, but already more than a quarter filled with columns of numbers, dates, names and cubicle assignments. She opened the book and glanced at last night’s appointments. Except for Kaufmann, not one of the other clients had shown and only a few of the scheduled boys appeared.
Like Kaufmann, the clients were probably nervous wrecks — in hiding, scurrying out of Vienna, or else, like Kurt, marauding through the streets in a frenzy of beer-guzzling, store-looting and Jew-beating. Friska had dismissed the boys who did show up, though a couple of the clearly effeminate ones decided against venturing out again at night, and she took the new boy from the streets, Petya (who had appeared unannounced), to her quarters.
Most of Frau Friska’s boys were recruited from the canal walkways, the Prater paths, and the alleys of the Leopoldstadt, though she did take on boys who lived at home with working or middle-class families but who showed a natural proclivity and willingness to dress up. Unlike the other houses in Vienna which catered to men seeking boys, hers was distinct in that the majority of her clients did not want the boys as boys but boys as girls. This Friska gave them. Because Friska knew, after all her years of dressing up and living as a woman, that there was a clear distinction between homosexuality and transvestitism, between male longing for another male, and male desire for a male as female.
It was all a matter of control: males in female clothing destroyed the mask of male pretense, the societal image of masculinity as assuredness, as dominance, as control, and allowed the privilege of sensitivity, of gentleness, of playfulness, of femininity. The donning of makeup, of skirts, of bras, of stockings, stripped aside male delusions of male power and control. If clothes make the man, clothes certainly undo the woman in the man. But would the man dressed as a woman be allowed to accomplish half as much as he had dressed as a man?
For Friska, if there had been a surgical procedure to dispose of her penis and open a vagina, to implant breasts, to mold and soften the sculpture of her masculine self, she would not have hesitated to undergo the altering and correcting operations. It was a mistake of nature to have been born a male; all her proclivities were to be female, all her aversions were the daily intrusions of her masculinity. It was no help to her gender identification and acceptance that as a child she was introduced to the little-girl-fashion of long bowed hair, satin dresses, lace stockings and frills so common of upper-class Central European women in attiring and adorning their young sons.
Whether her mother had wanted a daughter instead, Friska never learned, since her father one day caught the mother in bed with a lover, a woman, and killed them both, then took his own life, leaving Friska to be placed in an orphanage for girls. There it was soon discovered the girl, Franziska, was a boy, Franz. He was immediately stripped of his pretty laces, shorn of his beautiful tresses, and transferred to a boy’s orphanage where he was forced into a mode of behavior he knew nothing about.
Of course it didn’t take long for the other orphaned boys to recognize his difference too, and by the time Friska left the orphanage four years later (fleeing with the staff from the approaching Red and White Russian armies battling their civil war) she was sixteen years old. Not only had she lost her physical, mental, and emotional virginity, but she had mastered the feminine stance and attitude of being a girl in a world of boys, as well as being a girl with certain indulgent staff members who found her pubescence as enticing, alluring, and erotic as that of any young school girl or flirtatious daughter of their own.
Though her first sexual experience was rape, forced sodomy, and fellatio, she quickly learned and mastered the female art of teasing, withholding, offering, and drawing back. But it seldom worked; a blow to the head dropped her to her knees where she forgot her feminine cock-teasing intent and complied with the brutal cock-pumping in and out of her mouth.
As a refugee she plodded her way across the hodgepodge borsht-and-kasha dullness of Central Europe until she reached Berlin. Within a month she was again dressed as a girl, with identity papers proving the same, installed in a house on the exclusive Kürfurstendamm. She had attained not only her maturity, but her sexual destiny. There was no going back, because there was nothing and nowhere to go back to.
Frau Friska flipped a page of her ledger to the evening’s appointments. Much like her other boys, Suze’s name appeared twice: once for a seven o’clock appointment with the banker Kessell and then at ten for the counselor Waldmann. Friska doubted either of those respectable gentlemen would show; still, telephone calls had to be made canceling tonight’s and all future dates. Business was business and Friska was one to hold to proprieties. She studied a few of the Jewish-sounding names (who knew there were so many Jews if the Nazis hadn’t pointed it out?). Would the Nazis have already occupied the telephone company?
She reached for a city directory and heard the heavy thud of boots pounding down the stairs and across the lobby. Helmut was stepping behind the reception desk, his face red, his brow pursed, his breathing staccatoed. Wanda and her tits, Friska frowned, and moved her chair from her desk, certain the oil-dry wheel squeaks would draw him in. Helmut entered the office. Friska glanced at the bulge at the side of his crotch and pulled back her shoulders, her fabricated bosom rising slightly and puffing out at the front her blouse.
Helmut approached and stared at her breasts. Friska remained still; Helmut reached out and gently cupped a breast, his fingers slowly pulsing around the soft pliant cloth. Friska sighed, and Helmut leaned and pressed his crotch against her other breast. She regretted they weren’t as big or real as Wanda’s. Friska shut her eyes; Helmut ejaculated.
HOLY COMMUNION is a rite-of-passage novel that follows a seven-year-old’s first communion preparations and celebration. Throughout the four-day period the boy deals with cruel nuns, sadistic babysitters, his mother’s unfortunate accident,a drunken father, plus a pedophile or two, but he finds a way to cope in the midst of so much tragedy — first by indifference, later by defiance and rebellion. He also discovers that his urban surroundings in New York City give him autonomy, comfort, and satisfaction. HOLY COMMUNION is full of the boy’s despair and self-questioning, along with author Mykola Dementiuk’s powerful insights into the human condition.
Holy Communion A Novel
Synergy Press 2009 (April 1, 2009)
Brownish streaks smeared the pillowcase where the blood from the wounds on his lips and nose had opened and seeped during the night. He scratched at the dried streaks of blood and touched his nose. It was large and tender. His entire face seemed different. When he moved his mouth, the lips felt numb and awkward; when he blinked his eyes, the eyeballs felt puffed out; when he tweaked his nose, the nostrils twinged to drip and sniffle; when he moved his jaw and neck, it was as if a new layer of heavy skin had grown over his head in the night.
His father was always complaining about some racket or other. Many times he would sit clutching his head, his face in a gruesome grimace, tormented by an inner noise that shook him with violent headaches and explosive anger. It seemed things were always too loud for him: the radio was tuned up too loudly; the woman spoke too loudly; the upstairs neighbor paced too loudly; the boy played too loudly. Yet the man seemed to have an inconsistent need for silence: he wanted things quiet, yet when he was drunk, created the greatest uproar of all.
The boy bounded into the dim cubicle and the door slammed behind him. He focused his eyes to the hazy darkness, and saw a contorted figure of Jesus hung from a crucifix on the wall. The booth seemed more like a hopeless coffin than a redeeming confessional. It was stifling; the air heavy and stagnant, smelling like a fart. One would come to this booth not to reveal, but to hide. There was no prospect of salvation here.
The boy knelt and stared at the grille before him. The dim figure of the priest was visible through the pale yellowish grille; he was softly intoning to himself. The boy made the sign of the cross.
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” he whispered. “This is my first confession and these are the sins I have committed.”
His voice was dry and hesitant. He felt afraid and did not want to be here. He wanted his mother. He wanted to get away from this dark dreadful booth before everything became a lie.
He began a recital of the sins that came to mind. He told the priest of some early lies he had told his parents (where he had not been and who he was not with), and the time he glanced over and spotted a different spelling of a test word on a neighbor’s exam paper and wrote it on his own (it turned out to be wrong), of some chalk he had stolen from the blackboard and marked up the building wall across from school (someone else was blamed), of the girl he had struck seated behind him (this only because the old priest had witnessed him do so).
He whispered how bad he was and that he was sorry he had hurt Jesus and he wanted so much for God to take away his sins and forgive him. He also wanted to scream and protest that it was not his fault, that he did not know why these things were happening, why everything was going wrong. He wanted to shout that his mother was in the hospital, that he made in his pants, that he was not allowed on the class trip, that a man had kissed him, that girls did things to him, that his father was drunk and did things to his godmother.
Oh, he wanted to tell of things that were hurting him, that were pushing and pulling him away from the people who were confusing and tormenting him. He wanted God — Oh, please, Jesus! — to come and ease him, to stroke his head in love, to make him a good boy. He wanted to cry out and tell everything: the sins, the lies, the truth.
He grimaced and jerked and doubled over and clutched his belly as a trickle of urine escaped his penis, running down his leg. He crouched on his knees, his face beaded in sweat, and rocked back and forth. At any moment he would no longer be able to hold it in and it would erupt in his pants.
He looked about him. Beneath the prie-dieu on which he knelt a plush red carpet lined the booth. He glanced at the figure behind the grille, then un-zippered his pants and pulled out his penis and began to urinate against the wall of the confessional. The liquid spewed refreshingly out and ran down to the carpet. He felt calm and relaxed.
On the other side the priest began his homily to the boy, telling him, by rote, the importance of penance and redemption. The boy felt at peace, relieved, all anxiety having left him.
He strained and pushed out a few remaining drops, then zippered his pants and surveyed the room. The urine had spread to the carpet beneath the prie-dieu but the darkness of the confessional hid the stain from showing too readily. A warm brothy smell hovered about the dingy booth. The boy crossed himself and thanked the priest for his benediction, then glanced indifferently at the carpet and exited the room.
He did not look at the girls on line but walked briskly to the front of the church and joined the group of scattered children kneeling before the altar and saying their penance. He wondered how long he should remain kneeling and pretend to pray for forgiveness. He had not heard what the priest told him to do to atone for his sins, and he wasn’t certain what exactly was required of him.
He crossed himself and bowed his head. A boy kneeling nearby rose and walked away. How long had he been there? He recited an Our Father to himself. Too short. He said another one. Two Hail Marys wouldn’t hurt. He saw another boy rise and depart. He was certain the boy had come to the altar after him. He recited one more Hail Mary, then crossed himself and walked away.
He spotted the nun. She stood in the center aisle, next to the few remaining children in the quickly emptying pews, sternly surveying the constant movement of the other children throughout the church. The boy bowed his head and walked quietly down the aisle. The weaving bottom of the nun’s black habit and the cracked leather toes of her worn black shoes appeared in a corner of his eyes. He walked past and was almost free of the vision when she suddenly grabbed and spun him around.
“Do you still have to go to the bathroom or have you made in your pants?” the
nun bellowed and shook his shoulder.
“No, Sister,” he stammered.
“I don’t have to go,” he said quietly.
The nun stooped down and groped between his legs. He squirmed and tried to break away, but she held him tightly. “Just make sure you behave until tomorrow,” she hissed, and slapped him on his backside, propelling him away from her.
He shoved past the gawking children and rushed to the rear, pushing open the heavy doors of the dark church. Sunlight struck his wet eyes. Behind him a girl squealed in disgust and a din arose from the few remaining girls on line. He turned and saw a girl pointing at the floor of the confessional he had been in as the nun raced down the aisle. His eyes widened, and he turned and bolted through the door, leaping down the steep church steps.
He darted past a few lingering children at the bottom of the steps and ran up the street, legs and arms pumping, his lungs aching, his bruised chest hurting and pulsing, but his cadence smooth and even, till the church was far behind him.
Times Queer is a graphic, dark, coming-of-age story set in New York’s infamous Times Square during the 1950s and 60s. Introduced to sexual feelings at an early age, protagonist Richard Kozlovsky continues on a path shared by many children who have been touched in a sexual way by an adult, a path of frequent masturbation, exhibitionism, and other precocious sexual behavior. Ricky grows up in spite of his hard life in a Catholic school, teasing by his classmates, and trying to survive on the streets of Manhattan with sexual predators at every turn.
Frequenting the Times Square movie theaters as a teen, Ricky finds a way to supplement his meager existence and later meets the woman who will introduce him to the world of women, intimacy, and love. In between he questions his sexuality: is he a faggot? is he a whore? where does he fit in?
Synergy Press (2008)
Chapter Two ~ Times Queer
It was always known to me as Times Queer. Where else could you get blown or jerked off at 4 am, or 2 pm, or midnight, or whatever time of the day it was? The Queer wasn’t a state of mind, but an actual location, 42nd Street and Broadway, one that came to be synonymous with hidden sex. Hidden because it was done in secret. In shadows, in movie seats, in balconies, in bliss.
It must have been forty, fifty years earlier. I was a little kid and traveling on the subway with my parents. The train was packed with people like us, going uptown. We got on at 14th Street to a crowd of happy Sunday people.
Not wanting to be in the confines of my parents, I snuck over to the end of the car, where the doors were open and a wind of black tunnels poured in. Unlike when we traveled to Coney Island, there wasn’t much to see, just lights, shadows, and glimpses of other people in the next car.
On 34th Street a person got up, leaving a seat. There being no one around I took it. A man was sitting there but made a move to give me room. Sitting next to him, I felt a hand slide up my thigh and circle round my crotch. I remained still but my crotch grew hard. He began to fumble with my zipper, using his other hand to hold my flap open, and he inserted his hand. But he fumbled again trying to find the underwear flap.
I didn’t know what was going on. At the age of seven there’s little you can think of except following elders.
Suddenly the train pulled into Times Square and the man let me go and stood up. For a moment I thought of standing up, too, but I remained sitting and watched him go. He walked firmly, like he owned the world and had done nothing wrong.
The doors closed and I slunk back to my parents, ashamed of something, but I wasn’t sure what? My father was joking with my mother, laughing at the people in the station passing by.
“Times Queer,” he laughed. “That’s what they should call this place, Times Queer!”
I felt very embarrassed but glad this place had a name. I was determined to come back.
Chapter Three ~ Movies
We were going to the movies on Broadway, something most of the class had not done before. It was our first trip uptown, so we were very excited and happy, but in some ways, it was also a nervous time. A few guys joked about the “nellies that will get you, if you don’t watch out,” but I just smiled and pretended to laugh it off.
“Nellie,” I joked, “scratch the belly!” I raised my voice to a high-pitched yell which got off the girls who laughed hysterically.
“Oh Ricky,” one of them laughed. “You sound just like a nellie!” I joined in the laughter until the teacher turned and angrily walked back toward us.
“What’s going on here!?” the nun screamed, spotting me. “Richard Kozlovsky, what did you do now!?”
I stood there cowering, weakened and shamed by her screams, like I was the one who deserved her wrath.
“I can’t take you anywhere!” she screamed, grabbing me painfully by the hair. “Stand still!” she shouted at my frenetic jerks, as she forcefully pulled my hair at the skull. “You hear me? I said, ‘stand still!’”
I began to cry shamefully, the eyes of the kids boring into me as if they would attack.
“Stand still!” the nun repeated to me, “Will you stand still?!”
All the kids gathered around us but the nun held onto my hair as if that was preventing her from letting me go.
“You’re disgusting!” she finally screamed, and pushed me away from her.
“Disgusting boy. I can’t let you go anywhere! You’ll just have to wait outside for us!”
With that she bustled the kids into the movie theater with stern looks from the passers by. I sheepishly followed, thinking I could get in that way, but the nun saw me and yelled out, “I thought I told you ‘No!’ Stay here, where you belong!” She continued to escort the kids in and she held a conversation with the ticket-taker, who was as ugly as the nun. Through my tears I saw them and hated them, would hate them forever. “It’ll be all right, Sister,” I could hear the ticket-taker say. “We don’t fool around.”
With that the nun was gone after my classmates, and I was left all alone with the ticket-taker who seemed to be unconcerned with me. As a matter of fact, I noticed, he paid me no mind, for which I was very grateful.
I walked around the lobby, taking in the soda machines and movie posters, one with Marilyn Monroe wearing a baby top and looking as seductive as ever. As usual, I got a hard-on which would make me piss, like it did in the morning, or so I thought.
With the ticket-taker ignoring me, I stepped to the side and went into the men’s room. I knew it best to keep the image of Marilyn in my mind and enjoy it when I heard the door opening. Quickly I moved to the urinal to cover myself. My dick was still hard. I hoped the man wouldn’t stay long so I could get back to looking at it and imagining Marilyn.
Suddenly he began to touch me. I froze, and pressed myself closer to the urinal walls. But he kept on, forcing an opening between us for his hand to reach in and feel me. My little prick was big and hard; I didn’t know what he would do with it.
He circled his fingers round my cock and gently began an up and down motion.
It was bliss; I felt myself melting and not caring what was to happen.
He began to stroke my cock a little faster. I felt myself melt a little more with innocent expectation. Suddenly the euphoria gripped me, like something was exploding inside me. My cares melted away. Still, in this ecstasy, I felt the man let go of me, heard the bathroom door opening and closing, and stood there all alone, not caring if I stood there forever.
It was the first time I had come and I felt totally new, like I was some new baby or new boy destined for bigger and better things. Now I couldn’t wait for the traitorous classmates so I could rejoin them and go home, where I could be alone. Now I knew what had to be done with my prick, and it wasn’t solely to take a piss. I could play with it, too.