From the Publisher
Judy McGuire Paper A potty mouth with a heart of gold.
Natasha Stovall The Village Voice Lopez catches fire to three-chord punk rock, splattering her psychic guts all over the page, leaving nothing to the imagination.
Patricia Holt San Francisco Chronicle Lopez gives Tomato an outlaw integrity that Thelma and Louise only hinted at. Tomato's quest for identity and freedom actually becomes our own.
Karen Helfrich Lambda Book Report There's a sizable, rebelliously tasteless portion of our reading public who will soon want to make Lopez their cartoonist pillow queen.
James S. Howard The Fresno Bee It's a fun, fast, and fabulous first novel.
Feminist Bookstore News Not for the faint of heart....Racy, raunchy, riotously funny, and hilariously incisive.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Joline "Tomato" Rodriguez, Lopez's high-energy heroine from Flaming Iguanas, returns in this sequel, a digressive stand-up routine masquerading, with qualified success, as a novel. The first half consists of excuses to let Tomato joyride her mouth on sundry topics, such as her adventures as an entrepreneur making and selling fake penises. The plot, such as it is, hinges on her girlfriend, Hooter (with the attributes you'd expect), who declares her undying fidelity while she and Tomato wait to get tested for HIV. Hooter takes this opportunity to confess being a former heroin user--and to demonstrate (by removing her partial bridge) that she has lost most of her front teeth. She has even less pleasant secrets in store, involving infidelity, and when Tomato discovers them, she plans to kidnap and drug her paramour, write something humiliating in pen on Hooter's bottom and leave her to find her way home. The plan backfires, and Tomato ends up in prison charged with murder. Lopez clearly relishes the prison scenes, using them as a springboard for Tomato's reminiscences of adolescence. Happily, Tomato is finally let go, and we can only hope she will continue to bebop inimitably around the Bay area, joyfully recounting her bad sexual experiences. Author tour. (Nov.) FYI: Erika Lopez is a cartoonist for the San Francisco Bay Times, and has illustrated the novel with her cartoons.
Read an Excerpt
Magdalena and I are gonna cross America on two motorcycles. We're gonna be so fucking cool, mirrors and windows will break when we pass by. We'll have our own hardcore theme music that makes us throw our heads back and bite the sky, and women wearing pink foam curlers in passing RVs will desire us and we'll slowly turn to them at seventy-five miles an hour and mouth "hello" back. Bugs may stick to my burgundy lipstick, but I'll just spit them back and they'll look all the prettier for it.
Yeah / cooool. Two party bags of drugstore ice on motorcyces. The sun wouldn't dare melt us because it would be a big, huge, major mistake.
We're gonna ride from armpit to armpit across the chest of America, joyride full-throttle down the crack of Tennessee's ass. Bite a Grand Teton and goose Amarillo, Texas.
Bypass Florida altogether because you get old there like real fast.
Sloppy kiss the greasy lips of Louisiana.
Caress the cool, clean underside of a butcherblock from a slaughterhouse somewhere in Montana.
Hey, there are a zillion ways to say you're going cross-country and Hallmark has a card just for you.
We'll be riding the cheapest motorcycles we can find / stopping every forty-five minutes for gas. Truck stop waitresses will wink and jam dollar bills in our happy little beautifully tanned fists, but we'll whisper "no thanks," because we don't need it / we'll live off the fumes from our estrogen.
And we'll be spitting out mango pits like fucking bullets if anyone says anything about our huge Latin American breasts.
Copyright © 1997 by Erika Lopez
Chapter Seven: Sweating Jealously into the Future
Ever since I was a kid, I'd tried to live vicariously through the hocker-in-the-wind adventures of Kerouac, Hunter Thompson, and Henry Miller. But I could never finish any of the books. Maybe because I just couldn't identify with the fact that they were guys who had women around to make the coffee and wash the skid marks out of their shorts while they complained, called themselves angry young men, and screwed each other with their existential penises.
Erica Jong was there for me in my mother's bookshelf between Vaginal Politics and The Second Sex, unapologetically running around the world in heat with her panties stretched taut around her ankles. But I never identified with her being tied to relationships like a dog to a tree / like a tongue to its mouth.
The high theater of romantic loves burns just too fucking much oil for my reality, and I spend my time trying to elevate myself above romance's trappings of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, and regressing to an amoebalike state.
I'd love to have the kind of relationship that's immediately like being together five years, making supper and watching TV on the sofa under a cozy blanket.
I / I am a girl who feels too American for love...they say I'm a child of an AT&T café olé telephone-commercial future where your nose is not flat enough to offend/and not pointy enough to cut the glass ceiling.
Future child, that's me. Hello. It's nice to meet you.
I don't feel white, gay, bisexual, black, or like a brokenhearted Puerto Rican in West Side Story, but sometimes I feel like all of them. Sometimes I feel so white I want to speak in twang and belong to the KKK, experience the brotherhood and simplicity of opinions.
Sometimes I want to feel so heterosexual, hit the headboard to the point of concussion, and have my crotch smell like bad sperm the morning after. I want the kid, the folding stroller. Please, let me stand forever in a line with my expensive offspring at Disney World. /
Sometimes I want to be so black, my hair in skinny long braids, that black guys nod and say "hey, sister" when they pass me by in the street. / I want the story, the rhythm, the myths that come with the color.
Sometimes I want to live with my hand inside of a woman so I can hear her beat, wake up with her smell all over me in the morning, and still feel as clean as I did the morning before/I want her to talk about her childhood until I go insane from pretending I didn't stop listening four hours ago.
Other times I wish I was born speaking Spanish so I could sound like I look without curly-hair apologies.
But I try all that and I quit it, and I try again. Really, I want to get this individualistic-thing down. I want to walk across the football field alone without looking like the last one picked to play soccer. I never was a cheerleader, I was a slut on my own with the thinking that if a tree has a good time and no one's around to hear it, it's not a slut. But sometimes you do need another tree around to double-dare you, or else you might end up doing nothing but watching TV when no one's around.
Copyright © 1997 by Erika Lopez