Marek looking for biznis?

Originally published on June 6, 2007.

Or looking for me? You decide.

The day after I whistled at him on the street Marek was outside Montys, also owned by the Pinocchio mob (cough, cough) sters, calling Arssi out onto the street, he asked him if he thinks it’s a good idea for him to peddle his ass in P’s.

Minutes later Arssi was back at the flat, waking me up and telling me the news. That was probably the only thing that could get my tipsy self out of bed at that point, even though it was still early.

Why did he say he was there? I asked Arssi.

No money, no eat, no sleep, Arssi replied.

It’s amazing how conflicted I can feel with one simple pronouncement. I fought between saying, “Stupid boy,” and feeling crushed and guilty for his current predicament. I got dressed quickly and made off to Monty’s, where Bryan and a couple other friends were waiting for me. They repeated the news.

“So where is he now?” I asked them. They figured Pinocchio. They told me that in the interim between Arssi’s departure and my arrival Marek had peeked in the windows of Monty’s again. He had not come in. They didn’t know where he went afterward.

I was afraid. I wasn’t sure I could go in Pinocchio and not appear like I was either gloating or sharking for him. That place, a rent-boy bar, was not where I wanted to reengage him. I waited a while in Monty’s and then when faced with the fact that everyone else wanted to leave, balked again. Bryan offered to go scout for me.

What I would do if I learned he was in there, I didn’t know.

The decision was taken out of my hands because just as me, Arssi and Laco were walking by P’s on our way to U Rudolfa, Bryan came out to report that Marek wasn’t in there. And neither was anyone else. The place was dead. It could be that the management wouldn’t let Marek in. As I’ve already reported, Pinocchio has a loosely enforced ban against gypsies but especially against any boy who looks like he’s homeless or a station denizen. (How they justify Toothless Zdenek’s regular appearance there I don’t know. I can’t imagine a more category-defining boy than him, unless it’s Egon.)

No one I’ve talked to believes his showing up at Montys was coincidence but the cynical side of me keeps insisting I need to keep a level head about it. Plus do I really want him running to me out of desperation? I know Marek: He’s independent and proud and a survivor. What would have to die in him to ask me to come back? Probably something both of us value.

Probably something worth preserving.

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