Raphael Preview

Originally published on June 16, 2007.

Camp Chris, two of his British friends who were staying in one of Bob’s rooms, and I had spotted a cute slim, bleached-blonde boy at hlavní nádraží, Prague’s main train station, a couple days ago. It was late and he was obviously for sale, but none of us approached him. He was wearing acid-washed jeans, some kind of sporty sweatshirt, and big white athletic sneakers. He was at least six feet, broad- shouldered and slim with an angular face and slightly crooked front teeth.

Chris and I saw him again a couple of days later and decided to try to buy him a beer. So, I bought a Cola light for Chris, a pivo for me and a pivo for the boy. Soft drinks and bottled water are more expensive than beer in the Czech Republic, so the two beers were about $1.20 and the Cola about the same.

We ambled on over and Chris offered him a pivo, which he wasn’t interested in, but took the cola. Over the course of a short conversation of abbreviated sentences and phrases that lasted longer than they needed to, we found out his name (Raphael in English; in Polish it’s spelled in a
way I don’t know hat to type), and that he was from a small town in Poland, had been in Prague a week, was an auto mechanic but had no money and no work, other than “the business.”

“The Business,” or simply biznis is a very common code word for the sex trade in Eastern Europe. If a street kid knows no English at all he usually knows what “business” means.

Raphael showed us his arm tattoo: a samurai on his arm; and then, he pulled down his shirt collar to offer a brief glimpse of a tat on his left pec. He garbled an English-sounding word, but we didn’t understand. We didn’t find out until later than the word he was saying (“allens”) was actually “aliens” – he had a Ridley-Scott alien menacing on his chest.Chris suggested an order of business: meander back to his apartment, on the way check to see what movies were playing at the Kino, let Raphael declothe to take a shower so that I could get a look at the goods; then I would have to take off for an apartment-viewing while Chris had him for the afternoon.

On the way back from seeing the apartment I ran into Raphael again. He had just been with Chris, was on his way to the train station to possibly hook up with a female client (very uncommon but it happens). I suggested we hook up at the station the next day to do some biznis. I told him I also wanted to take some pictures of him and he provided the usual response: “No problem.”

The boys are very accustomed to getting their pictures taken. Not many are used to video though.

Well, I’m runnin’ out of battery life here and I still have a ton of stuff to tell ya. In a couple days I’ll have my own apartment and be able to update more regularly. Meanwhile, here’s a tease of Raphael.

Regrettably, I lost all the photos from this period, either from getting my camera stolen by a muscular Slovak rent boy, having to sell off my MacBook to survive, or getting my external hard drive stolen by George.

The sordid details of that are told in Part Two. Although they were on the original blog, cloud storage wasn’t common in those days, so when I couldn’t afford to pay for hosting, I lost them all.

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