The end…

Originally published on June 6, 2007.

Predictably enough.

But honestly, I couldn’t have predicted it. Not with this boy.

He was absolutely the least gold-digging station boy I’ve ever met. When I would give him pocket money — no more than 300 Kč — he would sometimes ask me why or give me back a hundred, saying he only needed one or two. Then when he returned from buying gum or candy, he would put the change on the table and would not pick it up again unless he asked my permission. Drove me crazy.

He also hated to hear me talk about money. One of our many passive-aggressive episodes was prompted by him being angry at me for mentioning that I was picking up my weekly stipend from my sponsor, Chris-Tan. He told me he didn’t want to hear about it.

“You money; you no money. Ne vadí.”

If you have money, if you don’t have money. It doesn’t matter.

But in the middle of the morning he walked out of the flat with my phone while I was asleep. Along with Arssi.

They both left by climbing out a window in the other bedroom where Arssi sleeps. I usually lock the front door from the inside as a universal precaution but the flat is on the first floor so if either of them had wanted to steal something before, it would have been equally easy. Breederboy‘s computer and monitor, also in Arssi’s room, were not touched. Neither was my wallet nor the money inside, just as available for the taking as the phone was. He took nothing except the phone.

He was angry and disappointed with me and I think that he believed I had the theft coming to me. He thought he saw something ugly in me that he really did not like. And maybe his assessment was accurate.

It began with Arssi, a problem in the house from the beginning. I have made, and stated clearly, a policy in the flat that, although I will buy food and Arssi can sleep there for free, I will not give Arssi any money or buy him clothes or anything else for that matter. If he wanted money he could bloody well go get a job or go pimp at the station, as he was doing before I took him in. Where are all his very good Czech friends, I wonder, when he needs money?

I said several times, both to Marek and to Arssi, that my money is for Marek and me. I’m not a fucking millionaire to be able to take care of 3 people. But ultimately, I don’t want to. Taking care of Marek was a pleasure. I had no desire to take care of Arssi, who stayed in my flat either sleeping until 4 or using the PlayStation.

In addition, over the time I’ve known Arssi I’ve passed him four different phones — crappy but working, old ones of mine. The longest he’s managed to keep one was 4 days. The last time was a couple weeks ago. In two days it was gone to the bazaar. I made up my mind then that I was giving him nothing else. For the most part I’ve stuck with it but he still kept asking for money.

The. day before yesterday he asked for 200 Kč so he could go to Pinocchio and try to get biznis. I said no initially but then relented and gave him enough money for one beer. He practically threw it back at me. I know boys who go to Pino with only enough for one cola and yet go because they need money. I didn’t see why Arssi deserved 200 when he hadn’t done anything to merit it. Plus I didn’t consider it a good investment. He’s few people’s type really and his hair is a mop at the moment.

Yesterday he asked for 100 to go the sex shop because, he said, he was horny. Yeah, okay, I’m responsible for your orgasms. I wanted to say, go fuck yourself, but instead reiterated my policy, both to Marek and Arssi. You want money? Go work. Then Arssi changed his reason for going and said that maybe he could get biznis. More probable in that seedy place than in Pinocchio, but I still said no. As soon as I start giving him money it would not stop. Hell, I’d already said no before and he’s still continued to ask.

Marek tried to persuade me. He reminded me that the day before I had promised to take Arssi to the drug store to buy some cream for his hand. (He’d burned himself cooking a couple days ago.) I apologized and said that it would be no problem, but why hadn’t Arssi reminded me while we were out earlier in the day.

The argument became heated and Arssi stormed out of the room, throwing shit around and kicking chairs, etc., saying that he was going to leave Prague. (Good, I thought to myself, give me and Marek some privacy.) Finally, after a half hour of being reasonable, I angrily said to Marek (Arssi was sulking in his bedroom), Okay, I”m such a bad man, why don’t you and Arssi pay for the flat next time. I’ll go sleep in the park and you and Arssi can take over. How’s that? Do you have 20,000 for rent?

You see, I brought up money and a change came over Marek. He didn’t become stoic thug-boy but I saw him visibly withdraw. He shook his head a couple times and then said to me in Czech, “Rick, do you know what you just said to me?”

I did and I could tell by the way he was acting that it was not something I could apologize for. One of the compromises he’s made with me is allowing himself to become dependent. Rubbing his nose in it was certainly not the best way to maintain trust and rapport. I’ve made this mistake before with other street boys and it has precipitated the exact same reaction: Withdrawal, repudiation, extreme assertions of independence.

Yet I made it again.

Furious in a dry, controlled way, Marek put on his coat and made to leave. Before he did, he turned around to me and said, “Rick, I think you good man. You help me. But it only 100 crowns!”

Arssi went after him and brought him back in about ten minutes. By this time Ovidiu had returned and he and I were talking about the drama that had just occurred. Marek came in, said hello to Ovi and sat in the chair next to my sofa. No acknowledgment of me.

I made my second mistake. I continued to talk to Ovi about what had happened. In English, of course. I asked Ovi if he thought I should give in. (To be honest, I had melodramatically opened the conversation by asking him what he thought of me.) Being the independent type, he said that he didn’t understand why I would give either of them money.

Marek sat there silent and staring up at the ceiling the whole time. He’d already admitted to me a couple days ago that although he wasn’t exactly jealous of Ovi, he was envious of the way we were able to communicate in English. This admission took place during one of several, satisfying conversations Marek and I have had over the past few days. Mostly in bed and in between sex-play. In fact, the last two days were some of the best I’ve spent with Marek since I met him. No teasing, no violence, plenty of affection in and out of bed.

At one point lying in bed with him on top of me, I told him, “Kiss me, Mark.”

He did and then said, “Crazy. Two years [ago] you speak ‘Kiss me Mark’ and you hospital. Stoh percentTed’ pusa no problem.”

Now a kiss is no problem.

And he proved it.

We are far away from that moment now. Finally, I got too tired and sad to speak and said good night to Ovi. I asked Marek where he was sleeping; he just continued to sit there staring at the ceiling, popping his gum. I heard him popping for at least 20 minutes after I’d gotten into bed.

Normally, what he and I have both done in these situations, once the lights were out and enough stew-time had elapsed, is to eventually invite the pissed-off party back into the bedroom to sleep. Maybe I made my third mistake but this time I didn’t follow our pattern. I just lay there quietly letting him do what he wanted, which, apparently was stew even more than usual.

I must have dozed off because I didn’t see him come in. I only noticed when he lay down next to me on the bed. He said nothing but I moved to cup his head in my hand and stroke. Our typical make-up gesture. He didn’t respond but didn’t push me away either. I turned over after a couple of minutes. He didn’t move but I moved back to stroke him and try to persuade him to get under the covers. He didn’t and I gave up.

I fell asleep.

I didn’t know how much time had passed when I awoke to find him leaving the room. He noticed I was awake and said he needed to use the restroom and would return to sleep with me in a few minutes. I had almost immediately drifted back to sleep when I heard a couple of unfamiliar clicks, soft slams, and bangs and didn’t recognize them for what they were: He and Arssi climbing out the window. But it was too late to go after them.

If it was pre-meditated it was by only an hour and it was a direct response to what he perceived as my mistreatment of Arssi but also, I’m sure, for flaunting Marek’s dependence on me.

As Breederboy said to me just a few minutes ago: Oh, you’re doing good, only two excuses so far!

But there really is no excuse for what he did but there is a context. He’s not a bad kid nor do I think he would have stolen from me under ordinary circumstances. For what it’s worth, I believe he gave the phone to Arssi. They would only get 300 Kč maximum at a bazaar, if the bazaar would even take an English-only phone without a charger. It was not really about money but about a certain revenge.

Typically, what I hate most is that I wasn’t able to transfer all the pix of Marek to my flickr account. He’d gotten his hair cut recently and looked a lot cuter, and even more butch, if that’s possible.

Ironically, yesterday Marek asked Ovi to take a picture of us together, the only one that exists. Ovi tried three times in the low light and finally got a decent one. How does he look in the photo? A partial visual interpretation of his expression and body language: He looks like a boy trying very hard not to be himself.

But also, trying something else.

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