The greasy-haired man in John-John’s bed asks for money. John-John gives him $15 and the man calls him a “cheap faggot” and leaves. John-John thinks about a boy called Rocky he fell for back in Chicago. He uses a payphone to call Rocky, who does not want to talk to him. They exchange irritated words and then hang up. John-John feels unprepared to take out the Jamaican man and feels like it was part of Griselda’s plan for them to both end up dead.
There are almost no examples of happy, requited love in the novel. This is true of all the gay characters, but it is also true for the straight ones. Somewhat ironically, the only example of a lasting, stable relationship is that between Josey and Winifred.
John-John berates himself for being a “hitman with daddy issues.” He recalls the time when his father discovered his stack of gay porn magazines and called him “sick” and a “fucking dirty little faggot.” Although John-John was still very young, he pulled a gun on his father and taunted him. He left home after that. In the present, John-John finds himself back at the phone booth, leaving a stammering answerphone message for Rocky.
Once again, homosexuality, homophobia, and violence are drawn together. The implication of this passage is that John-John became violent early due to his father’s homophobia, and that this is perhaps what inadvertently led him to take up a career as a hitman.