Friday, August 17, 2018

LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN's Tralala: A Brooklyn Teen Prostitute

Per Amazon: [Hubert Selby Jr's] Last Exit to Brooklyn remains undiminished in its awesome power and magnitude as the novel that first showed us the fierce, primal rage seething in America’s cities. Selby brings out the dope addicts, hoodlums, prostitutes, workers, and thieves brawling in the back alleys of Brooklyn. This explosive best-seller has come to be regarded as a classic of modern American writing.

And per The New York Times Book Review: "An extraordinary achievement . . . a vision of hell so stern it cannot be chuckled or raged aside."

The "novel", which was published in 1964, is divided into six stories that are set in Brooklyn. 
"Tralala" is the most relevant story for this blog as it's about Tralala, a nymphet prostitute. 

The story begins: Tralala was 15 the first time she was laid. There was no real passion. Just diversion. She hungout in the Greeks with the other neighborhood kids. Nothing to do. Sit and talk. Listen to the jukebox. Drink coffee. Bum cigarettes. Everything a drag. She said yes. In the park. [...] Getting laid was getting laid. [...] She went to the park often. [...] And she had big tits. She was built like a woman. Not like some kid. [...] She didn't tease the guys. No sense in that. No money either. [...] She always got something out of it. Theyd [sic] take her to the movies. Buy cigarettes. Go to a PIZZERIA for a pie. [...] Tralala always got her share. No tricks. All very simple. The guys had a ball and she got a few buck. If there was no room to go to there was always the Wolffe Building cellar.[...] Lay on your back. Or bend over a garage can. Better than working. And its kicks. 

In addition, Tralala was prone to rob seamen: The hell with it. She hit him over the head with the bottle. She emptied his pockets and left. She took the money out of his wallet and threw the wallet away. She counted it on the subway. 50 bucks. Not bad. 

Subsequently, Tralala met Harry, a seaman from Idaho, at the bar in Willies. Tralala plotted to rob Harry, but she spent four days with him in his hotel room. "Primarily he didn't want her to think he was offering to pay her or think he was insulting her by insinuating that she was just another prostitute." Thus, before he returned to the sea, they went shopping, dined in restaurants, and were entertained at the movies.

In the end, after several johns and being kicked out of a Times Square bar, "She stood on the corner of 42nd & Broadway cursing them and wanting to know why they let those scabby whores in but kick a nice young girl out, ya lousy bunch apricks [sic].", Tralala was dragged out of Willies the Greeks and "[...] 10 or 15 drunks dragged Tralala to a wrecked car in the lot on the corner of 57th street and yanked her clothes off and pushed her inside and a few guys fought to see who would be the first and finally a sort of line was formed [...] and more and more came 40 maybe 50 and they screwed her and went back on line [...] she passed out [...] and the kids who were watching and waiting to take a turn took out their disappointment on Tralala [...] [and] jammed a broomstick up her snatch [...]"
The film Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) is based on the "novel", but Tralala was played by 27-year-old Jennifer Jason Leigh. 

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