“To the Proprietors of Fisteria,” by Jill Adams

May 18th, 2022 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Sirs,

Let me say straight away that I have no problem living next door to a gay club, even one such as yours that boasts a fisting room in the back. I am a single, straight woman who has had minimal experience in that area, but unless someone is attempting to ram home a tractor, I fail to comprehend the intense groaning and outright wailing that comes directly up our shared air shaft and into my tiny kitchen.

I am a translator by profession, and it has always been my preference to work at night, which is fortunate as the general mayhem in the street outside my second-storey flat is not much of a bother for me; in fact, it can be a welcome diversion from wrestling Goytisolo, who himself was gay—or gay-ish, as he once had a wife—into the English language.

I know you have had some complaints about public displays of fellatio outside your establishment, but I think your doorman may be getting on top of that now. Only once did I witness such action and that was while I was struggling with The Garden of Secrets, a veritable torture, believe me, so it provided some relief. I suppose it’s the age we live in but without thinking I snapped a photo on my iPhone, which came out exceptionally well. If you might care to post it on your wall—and I am talking about the literal wall of your club as I notice it is full of hardcore photos—then I would be glad to pass it on to you.

The music is not that far from my taste. Who doesn’t like Queen? Who doesn’t like Cher or Madonna or Lady Gaga? But don’t you think it might be wise to ease up on these tired standards and bring in something new? I hear you added some Lizzo a while ago, which even gets my booty going, and Adele for chill, but there is so much more out there. I would be happy to devise a playlist, one that goes easy on the bass.

The Garden of Secrets, by the way, is composed of 28 tales—one for each letter in the Arabic alphabet—each of which probes the fate of a fictional friend of Lorca’s, who was himself as gay as they come. My neighbors upstairs and downstairs are also gay, which perhaps you already know as they are Friday night regulars. I am surrounded by a sea of gayness, as it were. It’s not exactly easy to meet a man around here—one not repulsed by vaginas, that is—but that is not your problem.

My only complaint as would concern you is the frightening sound that emanates from your backroom, the peak hour being around 2a.m. If I happen to be in the kitchen rummaging around for a slice of smoked salmon or fetching more wine, then it can be quite harrowing. Last week, I received some deep and painful scratches as my cat, who I was holding at the time, felt frightened for her life, and without thinking dug her long claws into my arms in her eagerness to flee. Which is what prompts me to write this letter. I realize that posting a sign on the wall to curb the noise would go against the anything-goes policy of your backroom, but I’m thinking a little soundproofing would go a long way in enabling us all to live in peace.

I should like to add that Goytisolo was not averse to fisting. He liked it rough, like his mentor Genet. Though I can’t imagine either man raising the roof over it. I mean, maybe I’m wrong, what do I know? But after having spent so much time with him via his texts, I can’t see it. He came from a horribly repressed background and fought and kicked against that oppression all his adult life, true, but—and perhaps it’s a generational variance—I would venture to say he kept a lid on it. Goytisolo’s one oddity was his refusal to have sex with men who wore ties or were Christian. I think that would leave your bar wide open to him were he alive today, but when he was young he preferred to scour the slums and the docks for sex. He would find Fisteria far too bourgeois for his taste, I’m afraid. He would, however, appreciate the freedom that is yours to enjoy today. As do I. But on a somewhat quieter note, if you would be so kind.

Your neighbor,
Ellie Katz


Jill Adams is an English language and literature teacher in Barcelona, Spain, where she also edits and publishes The Barcelona Review: www.barcelonareview.com. Her short fiction has been published in The Rumpus, Gargoyle, The Del Sol Review, Rabble Lit, Aethlon Journal of Sport Literature, and Camas, among others. Of necessity, she has recently been spending time in Florida, where she hopes to eventually get a grip on her culture shock.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.