[joe-frank-list] 'The queen of Puerto Rico'
russellbell at gmail.com
russellbell at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 06:31:33 PST 2021
Steel-band calypso (?)
0:10: Joe tells of a 17-year-old on vacation in St Thomas (the
Virgin Island). Too old to play with the other children, he doesn't
feel comfortable with the adults. He hangs out at an outside bar by
himself, drinking. He sees a beautiful woman, dressed in pink, falls
for her, never gets up the nerve to talk to her.
6:00: A polite middle-aged businessman befriends him at the
bar; the 17yo accepts the man's invitation to his house. He had
already drunk too much. The man promised marijuana; he noted he
hadn't smoked any since he had arrived at the island. (He's different
from the young man in 'At the dark end of the bar', who hadn't smoked
before.) They watch a movie (It's 'The list of Adrian Messenger').
He gets so stoned and drunk that he gets sick, passes out in a bed.
The man gets into bed with him, caresses him; he doesn't remember
anything that happens after that.
8:40: Joe is with a man in hospital who refuses to accept that
he is, thinks he's still in business.
10:00: 17yo wakes up next morning; the man is gone, but he
left a note and $400; the man professes love; the 17yo feels 'fear,
revulsion, and shame', leaves the money behind.
10:30: Back at the hotel he packs his stuff, they go to the
airport. An 'official-looking man in a uniform' diverts him to a room
where the man wants to see him again.
13:00: Every Friday an airline calls the 17yo, telling him
that there is a first-class ticket to St Thomas, or Puerto Rico, where
the man had moved, for him. Then he gets letters from the man,
telling him how much he means to the man, that if 17yo would live with
him he'd make him 'the queen of Puerto Rico' and buy him a Maserati.
17yo rejects these advances.
14:10: He takes a piece of pink costume jewelry from his
grandmother because it reminds him of the pink lady, wears it hanging
from his neck, imagines meeting her again.
16:20: He's about to graduate from high school; the tickets
and letters keep coming. 17yo asks for $15K for his Latin disco band;
the man demurs. A few months later the man's in hospital, has had a
stroke, lost some use of his limbs, worries that he's losing his mind.
18:20: After some time he's a 'junior at community college',
working at a fabric shop, partying and picking up girls; his band has
broken up. He's not getting anywhere so he moves to St Thomas.
19:40: Another day with the man in hospital; he imagines
he can make big business deals.
21:30: In St Thomas his bartender friend tells him the pink
lady has 'gone back to the States'. He takes a job at a canvas and
leather store, grows his hair long, gets a dark tan, wears clogs that
add inches to his height, wears tight jeans and cut-off t-shirts, Paco
Rabanne cologne, smokes Gaulois. He makes a point of putting on a
show in everything he does. At night he wears pale blue satin shirts
and white slacks at the clubs. 'He did everything as if he were
onstage.' He begins to use makeup, wears an earring. One night he
becomes acutely aware of a young man staring at him.
26:10: A third time with the old man in the hospital, ever
more demented. A hospital attendant comments to Joe, 'that's some car
you have in the parking lot'. An old woman, dressed in pink, in the
hospital, is physically familiar with the old man.
28:30: Joe tells of driving around old San Juan, accompanied
by the sound of a powerful engine, by the Bacardi factory. (Bacardi
has a factory near San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Cast: Joe Frank
Music: audiotag.info identifies the music as 'Morning/Midday'
(Max Roach) from 'M'Boom' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YkGfxlbi2A
Let me know what you think.
Was the old man in the hospital the middle-aged businessman
who tried to seduce the 17yo? Did Joe take up his offer of a Maserati
and become the queen of Puerto Rico?
Despite some comments, there's little similarity with 'At the
dark end of the bar'.
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