Friday, May 19, 2006

Eminent Maricones 

I have known from the South.

Dickie's mother suspected he was gay when he showed zero interest in Tonka trucks and began vacuuming the house at the age of four. He had taken complete control of the house’s decoration by age twelve, which his mother, a distracted socialite always late to some charity committee meeting, was more than happy to concede to him. He would while away most afternoons of his boyhood polishing the family silver, dusting antiques and gossiping in the kitchen with the African American maid, Pearline. When his mother reupholstered a chair in a color not to his liking he had a full scale tantrum and refused to speak to her for a week. He then crept down to the living room in the middle of the night and pulled out all of the offending upholstery's tacks. His mother sighed and started giving him a budget for redecoration projects. He was ten years old.

One time a mutual friend told me about a telephone conversation he had had with Dickie. He was in the middle of telling Dickie a story when he was interrupted by Dickie commanding, “Don’t put that there!” “Put what where?” “Oh, nothing. I wasn’t talking to you. MY MOTHER" - obviously talking to her - "was trying to put a vase where it doesn’t belong.” In high school, while the rest of his friends traveled to the beach, he spent his spring break stripping and exquisitely and meticulously refinishing the back stairs.

His family's exalted social position afforded him complete protection, and he lived in New Orleans, a city that appreciated cultured 'eccentrics.' He was wildly popular with his girl classmates because he knew how to dance, was witty in a cruel, catty way and of course could be trusted never to lay a hand on them. Dickie was a highly sought escort for debutante balls.

What exactly is a "maricone"?

I Googled it and all I can gather is it's a gay person but why that term in particular?

There's no listing in m-w.com nor at the urban dictionary so it seems to be a rare word.
I borrowed the title from Jaime Manrique's memoir about his friendship with Manuel Puig, Reinaldo Arenas and Federico Lorca.

Maricon is Spanish slang for a homosexual.
He reminds me of the dandy that took Bobby Hill under his wing.

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