Polly Trope introduces us to her new book Cured Meat – Tale of a Psychiatric Runaway

indieberlin is very proud to be able to introduce you to Polly Trope and her brand new book Cured Meat: a story of a 90s Berlin teenager who was thrown in an asylum in New York before running away and becoming a heroin addict and prostitute. Polly is crowdfunding her book on indiegogo: Check it out and see what you think… Here’s a taste of the book…

My school days finished at about half five, when high booted, latex corseted, platinum-blonde-extensioned ladies were already standing in line waiting to be picked up by clients in dark, metallic cars. I didn’t know back then, that I would one day be all of these characters: the hooker, the junkie, the hobo, the tattooed woman in shades smoking and listening to the radio blazing, inside a speeding sports car. Fringing the scene were alcoholics on benches ending the day slowly with their dogs, were gazing at business suits, biker jackets, leather trousered crotches and nonchalant cigarettes flitting by, and I was very hungry for the lives of others. The canal, the ships, the parks, shabby bars and down-an-outs on benches, people sitting in their cars waiting, smoking, and business suits out for lunch, all this life I couldn’t be part of.

There was always, in those days, an atmosphere of apocalypse hanging over the school, perhaps because the neighbourhood where it was located, a red light district near a traditionally gay neighbourhood, increasingly was crowded by street walkers and a washed-out army of narcotic faces. Syringes on the floor adorned the way to school and our teachers were pulling all the strings possible to make sure we knew we were living a tale of two cities and not allowed into that street’s reality, only to the reality of our big and weighty books, long standing traditions and the best of bourgeois living. Of that old Berlin, only one darkened image stuck in my mind. It’s an accordion player in the dark, on the iron bridge over the canal. The canal water is so black, it seems oily, like petrol, and it glistens in the night, in the white lights of gas lamps. In the freezing winter, with sirens and trains hissing, roaring, leafless trees are pointing their black and emaciated fingers erratically upward, poking into heavy snow clouds. Stones on the bridge are crackling under my glum footsteps as I try to shine light into the darkened landscapes of my imagination.The windows on the street were dark. Old women’s apartments that I knew were behind those windows, full of dated china, fur gloves and embroidered table napkins, black and white photographs of the beloved, the dead, and colour frames of those who are alive and well, but hardly come for visits any more. Chipped cups and turquoise bathrooms, and that smell of life’s evening, where stories don’t matter any more, only the objects that stay in the house, these old-fashioned, crook-shaped, strangely solid products, oak chairs, velvet curtains on iron rings, porcelain flowers, octagonal amulets, copper clocks, indestructible kitchen pans, thick grey carpet floors and wallpaper, and drinking glasses with steel rim.

Handmade dresses and socks in drawers, preciously kept letters from the front, and on the walls, oil-painted idylls and landscapes. A sharp-edged melancholy rolled itself through my veins. I felt for the first time that I was not myself, but a bitter intruder, gatherer of stories. I had something in me that made people want to impress their stories on me and trust me with their memory. In my life I have heard many stories, told by many people. But Jonathan’s, I could not yet quite piece together how it all happened, there were many blind spots. We went back to the school, back to the old west side, past Slumberland and the Metropol, Big Sexyland and Tropicana, sex toys and neon, circled by old Benz’s, and latex, latex and more latex in displays, up the concrete stairs to the top floor. Someone was always playing Oasis or Bob Marley on the guitar, drumming, or singing Californication on that roof, looking over Berlin’s horizon, then full of cranes, wondering how it could look so blue, so gentle and so silent from here. In the 1990s, I was a teenager in Berlin. In the decade that followed, I moved to London, and then later, New York. My novel, which is also as a short story collection (i.e. people can dip in and out, and start and stop reading wherever they want to), is about porno kings, gay queens, mafia princes, and evil geniuses; no, it’s the story of how I went to America and got sent to mental hospital; and the story about how I ran away from mental hospital and became a heroin addict; it’s also about how I was a prostitute and became a cokehead… With “Cured Meat : Memoir of a Psychiatric Runaway”, you get a big package of colourful, extreme, and deeply urban tales from Berlin, London and New York. And a big love story…

by Polly TropePolly Trope is self-publishing to cut out the middle men and retain more rights and freedom to write and publish exactly what she wants to, but she has mobilized a fantastic team of professionals to give her book the editorial and design kick necessary to make it a top quality product. You can pre-order or read more by visiting her indiegogo site http://tinyurl.com/curedmeat 


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