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As soon as they got in the door the guy grabbed her ass. Goddamnit, cant youwait, pushing him away. She staggered and leaned against the wall, the guy leaning over her kissing her neck as she yanked open a closet door looking for a bottle, then slammed it shut when no bottle could be found. She looked around trying to figure out what was wrong. Somethin was wrong. Maybe her husband came home. She called. Called again and still no answer. She pushed the guy away and staggered into the bedroom to see if he was there, but he wasnt. Guess he aint here. Somethin sure as hells wrong. Then she remembered her kids. They should be here. She looked in their room and called, but the were gone. Shit, whered them little bastads go. I toldem to stay put. She went back to the kitchen, the guy behind her pulling her coat off and grabbing her ass. She looked around the kitchen and the living room, reaching behind her and bouncing the guys balls with her fingertips, the guy slobbering over her, groping and mumbling. Finally she saw the note left by the Police. Well, fuckem then. They can stay the night. She went back to the bedroom, the guy behind her. They undressed, fell onto the bed and fucked.
—Hubert Selby Jr., from Last Exit To Brooklyn” (Grove Press, 1964)


Hubert Selby Jr. was born and raised in Brooklyn. He graduated from P.S. 102 and two years later fulfilled a lifelong dream by shipping out to sea. He worked in the merchant marine at sea for several years before he contracted tuberculosis in Germany and spent three years in the hospital. Since then, he has worked at various jobs— copy holder, wire boy, clerk, secretary, typist— to support himself while devoting most of him time to writing. His work has appeared in Black Mountain Review, New Directions Annual, Provincetown Review, Kulchur and other magazines. He is presently at work on a new novel.

This passage is from the last, “Landsend” chapter of Last Exit, set in Red Hook; by coincidence as happy homage, the last chapter of Geoffrey O’Brien’s Dreamtime: Chapters From the Sixties is titled “Lands End,” and is set in California. The author bio is that from the back of the first edition hardcover. P.S. 102 , of course, is on 72nd Street in Bay Ridge, between 3rd Ave and Colonial Road. I  had to take the photo myself and I’m no photographer. I’m presently at work on a sausage and egg biscuit, coffee and orange juice.
— Kenny Wisdom

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