4 days from having no roommates at all

Originally published on August 28, 2006.

I’m in the first day of having no money at all. Just spent my last 29 Kč on this hour of Internet, mostly to send e-mails to potential roomies. Okay, I still have 7 Kč with which to buy, what? A bag full of rohliky  (the bland, sawdust-dry cigar-shaped tube of white bread that is a Czech staple, although I prefer houska, its burger-bun cousin); a piss in the toilets at hlavní nádraží  or maybe a candy bar of some kind. More calories there. 

I’m in this trouble because I’ve allowed George to con me (and okay he bribed me with anal sex) into waiting until the end of the month for him, Denisa and Martin to come up with the money they owe me for rent. I had to pay the difference myself after borrowing from my other straight roommate. Yesterday Martin sneaked into the house quietly trying to avoid my noticing him.  

Fat chance.  

I followed him upstairs and saw that he had 1) a brand new Nokia mobile, about 4000 Kc and 2) a new outfit, including a Nike shirt; and, even though he’s been gone for 3 days he certainly doesn’t look like he’s been sleeping on the streets. No, it’s clear he’s had the sex biznis, and good  sex biznis at that.

I was seething but I went downstairs to calm down. George came in around an hour later and he’s angry with Martin as well. I heard them arguing upstairs and then it grew quiet. Denisa was downstairs with me, cursing Martin in Czech, something about “ne ma penize,” or “no money.” Eventually George and Martin came down, buddies again, but I was still pissed. 

“Where’s my fuckin’ money, Martin?” I yelled, startling Denisa. 

“Me no money!” Martin replied. 

“Well, then give me your phone or get out,” I suggested. 

“No,” he answered flatly. 

“Then get out! NOW!” I was shouting as this point and shaking with anger. I don’t even like this boy. He’s not giving me anything except huge headaches and I see no reason why I should be his momma especially when his ass is making him money. 

George tried to intervene, but I was pissed at George too — his biznis the other night with Vern would have almost squared him with me but no, he blows it in less than 4 hours on some fat whore and overpriced cocktails. His new mobile was nowhere to be seen. No doubt back in the bazaar. 

Everyone retreated upstairs as I fumed around downstairs, flabbergasted once again at how presumptuous and brazen these Czech rent boys are with the men of whom they take advantage. This fucking mooch is refusing to leave MY flat! It was driving me over the edge. 

In a few minutes when Martin had not left the building I went upstairs to see why. George and Martin were sitting on the bed, sullen. I asked George why Martin was still here. 

“Me, Martin go biznis understand. Go hotel. Go client.” 

“Yeah, yeah, I don’t give a shit, just get him the fuck out of my apartment.” 

And he still wouldn’t go. He looked at George for permission. 

“This is NOT George’s apartment, Martin; get out NOW!” 

Finally he moved into the hallway near the staircase but stayed there looking at George for a word as to what to do next. I couldn’t believe it. What exactly had George told him about the ownership of the contract to make him so defiant of me and so deferential to George?

I turned back to George and he and I started screaming at each other — pointlessly really, as he was screaming in Czech and I was screaming in English. The only words we had in common were “Ty vole!” — until he yelled in English, “This MY apartment!” and then I felt violent and needed to shift its focus to a padded hassock, picking it up and throwing it to the ground. 

Then George said, “Please! Please!” and slapped his chest, not meaning, “please stop,” but “Go ahead and hit me.”

It was truly awful and I felt like throwing up. George was trembling and walking around nervously. When he bent down to tie his shoes his hands and his whole foot were shaking. 

“Me very nervous, Riki! Moc!” 

“Yeah, well, me too. You know I wouldn’t hit you.” 

“‘No, ‘no but please Riki, we go biznis. Come back, kom-plet money you.” 

I’d heard that before and had no more confidence in it than I’d ever had. I managed to get Martin down the stairs and he waited there, tensely, for George to come down. I stood near him with my arms crossed. George and Denisa came down the stairs and we all started outside. 

As one last, possibly unnecessary, exercise of authority I took the one high-security key we have left from under the mat and put it in my pocket, making sure George saw the gesture. 

“Me no key?” George asked. “ME NO KEY?” he repeated more loudly. 

“Kom-plet money and you can have keys,” I said. 

“Why?” 

“Because this is,” and here I encircled the door, ridiculously, like Vanna White, with my fingers and palm, “Is MY flat. You buzz, buzz to get in.” 

“Oh, Oh, Oh!” he stuttered and flung himself down to the next landing. “Riki, I have you MAXIMUM!” With this he made the universal “I’ve had it up to here with you” gesture, only with him it looked like, “I’m drowning!” slicing across the top of his head. 

I won’t go into the drama that continued outdoors until finally George walked away a little more calmly. 

I stayed out until 11:30 drinking at Rudolfa which meant no one could come home until I got back. No one came home either last night or this morning. I had a hard time sleeping and slept without ear plugs so I could hear George’s buzzing to be let in.  

He didn’t come and I hated it. 

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