The ballad of Woody & Laco, coda

Originally published on August 28, 2006.

I am sincerely sick of this topic as I was seriously sick of Woody by the end of my stay with him, Laco, and Miro in a tourist apartment in grey, grey Nusle. I can’t exactly say I dislike the man, but I found him a little bit pathetic.

[Here’s a man who is either lying about men complimenting him on his “handsome penis” or is too gullible to realize he’s been made fun of all these years. Take your pick. Neither are the attitudes of a self-aware adult. So, okay, he’s bipolar. So, okay, he got hit by a truck. So, okay, he’s diabetic. What am I supposed to do about all that?]

And his refusal to ever pay me my measly 200 Kč commission caused me to, not exactly lie, but to withhold information from him, especially when it became clear he wasn’t going to listen to my advice anyway.

In addition, all of us got teased with the possibility of an apartment or room to crash in, at least part time. It eventually became clear, however, that Woody was not going to follow through on that either, just as he did not follow through on paying me back for the little bit of monetary help I gave Laco when Woody was in Amsterdam. This, despite the fact he had promised us over the phone that he would.

So I left him to the wolves.

Laco had told both me and Miro — to Miro’s relief because he claims to be in love — that he was only staying with Woody for the money.

“No I love you, Woody; I love you money!” Laco had said to me more than once.

Well, duh.

Woody had a conversation with me about Laco and asked me what I thought about their chances together. Given that Woody had already told me that he and Laco were having sex 2 or 3 times a day, that Laco initiated it and was always hard around him, and also remembering that Laco had jumped enthusiastically into the vlaku four-way which had contained two older men, one of them me, and that Miro and Laco hadn’t had very much sex during their supposed partnership — given all that I decided it was a reasonable interpretation of those events to conjecture that Laco might be attracted to older men. Might.

This is not what I really thought and it’s not really an answer to the question “Is Laco doing this for the money?” but I was trying to work both ends against the middle, hoping eventually that even if I couldn’t get something out of this arrangement, then Laco at least might get a better life for himself. That Woody might also be happy was for me irrelevant at that point.

So came the day when Woody and Laco were to go off to Amsterdam. Woody had decided this only the night before, that he would cut his stay in Prague one day short to take Laco with him to the Netherlands to visit friends. Woody knows a hotel owner there and was sure he could find Laco a job. Laco could stay in the attic apartment over the hotel owner’s flat and work while Woody was in the United States.

Later in the year, then, Woody would investigate the possibility of buying a flat in Prague for both he and Laco. (You remember the first preposterous idea was to get Laco a visa for the U.S. and move him there. You can see the mindset of the person I was up against.)

I was so annoyed at this sudden change of plans, so typical of the way this man operates, that I didn’t tell him that I thought as soon as Woody got on the plane for the U.S. that Laco would be back on the bus headed for Prague. What was a 19-year-old Slovak rent boy who speaks minimal English, no Dutch, and certainly no Flemish going to do essentially alone in Amsterdam? Well, besides trick for money?

Miro was alternately sad and angry. Of course we had kept the nature of their relationship a secret from Woody. Of course, Miro was involved with this whole affair hoping he could get something out of it as well. But of course, he had neglected to calculate the psychic toll of hearing his boyfriend fuck a punter in the other room every night of the week. I was expecting some drama and I was disgusted with the whole thing.

I passed on saying farewell to the happy couple as they boarded their Eurolines bus for Amsterdam. Woody had reminded me earlier that morning to exchange phone numbers with him before they left but instead, I took Chris’ advice and cut myself loose. Goodbye and good luck. Don’t fall under any buses on your way out of Prague.

After we left Woody and Laco outside of Metro C on their way to Florenc bus station I could see that Miro was about to break down. He reached out to me for a hug which I dutifully gave. But then I reminded him that I had warned him about getting involved with a station rent boy.

Miro. You’re in the tunnel. The train is coming. You can see it. You can hear it coming. But you just keep walking forward. Now you are surprised that the train has hit you.”

“Yeeees but Laco say me he love me. He run away from Woody and not go Amsterdam.”

“Now why would he do that?”

“Because he love me.”

I just waved that away.

A couple hours later I thought he had resigned himself to the situation but no, he had only wound himself up even more, convincing himself that Laco had betrayed him.

“I will go at 5 o’clock and tell Woody ALL! For sure. ALL!”

“What good will that do?”

“It no important to me. Laco is fucking idiot and Woody is fucking idiot and I tell all.”

“Trust me, Miro, don’t go. It will be better if you don’t go.”

He didn’t listen to me.

But before he went, I tried to shock him out of his irrational devotion to Laco. [At least that’s one of my motivations.] I told him that Laco had had sex with someone on the train that night in the Masarykovo train yards. A visible shudder went through him, starting in his thighs and then quivering out through his rapidly blinking eyes. He was silent for a few seconds and then exploded.

“Now I go. Is sure. I tell ALL! And then I jump to Nusle!”

[This last phrase refers to our running joke that when things get bad, we’ll go to Nuselské Most, the highest bridge in Prague and the only one that spans concrete and earth rather than water, and jump off. With Miro it’s never just a joke. But then, he’s a drama queen.]

For some strange reason he didn’t ask me whom it was Laco had had sex with and I didn’t provide any other details. He shook his finger at me and stalked off to confront his tormentors.

I wandered away from the benches outside the station where we’d been having this conversation and came back about an hour later. Miro was waiting for me, looking angry. When I sat down, he quickly got up and started to walk away. Then he backed up.

“Who…who…who Laco have sex with on this train?”

I didn’t hesitate. “There was me. There was Pavel and that Czech man who…”

But he cut me off.

“I not forget. NOT.”

More finger-wagging and lip-quivering and eye-blinking as he walked off again.

No, please don’t forget. And I haven’t forgotten either how you ditched me on Christmas Eve.

I called out to him as he went, presumably to jump to Nusle: “You’re too soft, Miro. You must be hard.”

And then one last bit of shouted advice, “You cannot love these boys!”

I found out later, after Miro had calmed down a little, that he had caused a big scene at the bus station, shouting at Woody and Laco. Woody was shocked that we’d lied to him about whether or not Laco had been doing biznis: he had. Laco, of course, denied everything. Everything except for, goddess love him, having sex with me.

Then Miro “crashed his face,” meaning he’d slapped him. Then he crashed Woody’s face, the image of which I enjoyed tremendously.

When he told me this how could I help but laugh? And Miro, eventually, laughed too, though he protested that it was not funny.

Oh, but it is, Miro, the whole thing, the whole fucking thing.

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