After all these years, Mavis and Karlo Duncano are quite a team. The couple met at Coney Island. It was lust at first sight and love eventually entered the picture a very short time later. They are still together, still partners and the best of friends. Mutual Muses, that they are. Through the turbulence of the last fifty odd years, they still remain quite a unique and eccentric item. He the wacky inventor/writer, she the serious artist.
Married middle aged women wistfully smiled at teenagers Mavis and Karlo while glancing over their sunglasses as they followed their determined husbands myopically searching for a patch of sand to stake out on the increasingly crowding beach.
It's the Late 1960's at Coney Island.
Mavis and Karlo made some scene. Their bodies yearned to intensify the electrified touching and sensual steamy breaths they shared while kissing and melding to each other on Mavis’ colorful beach blanket. But who cared, this was summertime in Coney Island!
Swimming in the salty ocean did nothing to dampen their passion. Something had to give and it was getting late and Mavis had to get back home to Bensonhurst. They wanted to immediately exchange bodily fluids.
As the late afternoon bled into the evening, another teenage couple couldn’t help but notice their beach blanket angst, and with sincere empathy recommended “The Fuck Pit”. Mavis and Karlo were directed by this couple to go under the boardwalk in front of the Half Moon Hotel, for some semblance of privacy.
Mary Anne Frenchezzi and Vito Spimunnilli, the empathic couple, gave an abbreviated description of the Fuck Pit as if they were giving it the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
For the rest of us:
The Fuck Pit was constructed by enterprising Coney Island teenagers. During the winter months the sand from the beach blew under the boardwalk making it only a few feet between under the actual boardwalk and the sand under the boardwalk. The Half Moon Hotel did not have any entrances or exits to the entire area under the boardwalk; therefore, the sand was not dug out.
The teens crawled into the middle of the area and dug a twenty foot by twenty foot pit, approximately ten feet deep. It was a BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) area. They even rolled in a trash basket stolen from Surf Avenue for the used condoms and empty beer bottles. Coney Island Teen lore states that the Fuck Pit existed way before the Drifter’s song “Under The Boardwalk”.
Karlo, a natural loner, was not hip at all. He did not keep a condom in his wallet like so many of his contemporaries. Back then, it was a sign of coolness to whip out your wallet and the outline of a condom showed you were sexually active and ready to go. Karlo was neither.
Problem: They spent all their money on food and drink, and had only enough for carfare to get home. How were they going to buy condoms? Both knew teens that got “into trouble” where the girl left the neighborhood and returned nine months later. Getting knocked up was a big thing, single mothers just didn’t exist back then. Socially and morally unworkable, it was.
Before and even during the sexual revolution, it was quite a terrorizing experience for a teenager to buy condoms. Back then, condoms were kept behind the druggist counter and you had to ask for them. Quite embarrassing, Karlo never purchased condoms. Did they come in sizes?
Karlo and Mavis decided to search the beach for empty soda bottles and turn them in for the cash deposits to buy condoms. But time ran out, and they had to return home without performing “it”.
Poor Karlo, he now had a serious case of blue balls. The bouncing Sea Beach Express subway on the way home really aggravated the situation. Between the pain and the beach sand rubbing his sensitive testicles against his damp bathing suit trunks; it was a very rough ride home.
Thus begun an over fifty year love affair.
Later that summer, by pure chance, they met Mary Ann and Vito at Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog stand. The couples became friends and that friendship has endured all this time. For years to come, they met Friday nights for Chinese Food at a restaurant on Brighton Beach Avenue under the elevated subway. Over the ensuing decades, Mavis and Karlo met other genuine Coney Island characters and forged long lasting relationships with them as well.
Mavis and Karlo nostalgically reflect about all these experiences from their rent controlled 1930‘s era Art Deco ninth floor apartment. The building is situated right where Ocean Parkway meets Surf Avenue facing the beach and boardwalk. They are still monitoring what’s going on in Coney Island from their sunken, parquet floored living room and the beautiful view out their window of the ocean, beach and the boardwalk.
From the urban renewal disaster of public housing, to the decay of the amusement area, to the arrival of populations determined to destroy the peaceful tranquility and change the fabric of the area and even Hurricane Sandy; Mavis and Karlo have remained and have artistically and humanly thrived.
No regrets for Karlo that he never finished any of his wacky projects. They fell to the wayside as he finished college and eventually worked for New York City in a civil service administrative job, with a nice pension.
Mavis remained a home body and artist, tenderly raising their twin children. The kids grew up to be highly educated, free thinkers and have made their way quite well in this world. A caring and dedicated special education teacher and a successful artist, that they are.
Mavis and Karlo are very satisfied with their life together. Coney Island has woven a fabric into their lives, and an extension into two more, their children. Incidentally, Mary Ann and Vito are the godparents of the twins, as are Mavis and Karlo of their kids. The fabric of Coney Island continues. All the children live in Manhattan and/or Brooklyn and get together socially.
By the way, Mavis and Karlo’s twins were intentionally conceived in, yes, you guessed it, The Fuck Pit.
Mavis and Karlo fondly remember Mavis laughingly and ecstatically screaming as they simultaneously achieved organism during conception in the Fuck Pit, in her best Seinfeld Soup Nazi imitation:
“NO BLUE BALLS FOR YOU!!!”
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