Wedding bells?

Originally published on June 6, 2007.

I’m sitting next to Marek in the Internet cafe, currently writing while listening to my Le Tigre station on Pandora. Marek’s surfing the net as well, looking up stock-car racing and sites with profiles of Czech girls.

I can smell him. His feet anyway. A true station boy. I always know when I’m seriously in lust when a boy’s body, all parts, smell good. OK, his feet don’t smell so good — his pits do — but I don’t find either smell repellent wafting off him.

I haven’t had the funds to buy him new shoes although I bought him new socks and made him wash his feet. Today Breederboy, sweet man that he is, gave Marek the nice big quilted jacket off his back. Just because Marek said he was cold.

We’ve been sleeping in the park together for the past three nights and his presence in my life, mainly, is the reason I haven’t posted. I asked my friend Manchester Lee what I should think about a boy willing to rough it with me until I move into the flat on the 23d. Something I had just told Marek that morning. Lee said the obvious: That Marek “must be as crazy as you are.” Maybe it means that he likes me somewhat, maybe it just means that he’s without any other options.

When I first introduced Marek to Breederboy I told him that Marek was just my type. He said, “He isn’t! He’s good-looking. And doesn’t look like he wants to kill you.”

It’s true; Marek is the first boy I’ve had to fight for. Literally. Besides fending off interest at the station, two fucking Czech punters tried to poach him away from me on Thursday night at Rudolfa. Completely ignoring me, as if I didn’t exist and as if I couldn’t understand any of their Czech, they both attempted to persuade him to do biznis.

Marek was very nice to them but declined. Repeatedly. The one older punter got the hint. The younger one, a bar acquaintance, in fact, did not get the hint. He kept trying, and when Lee’s boyfriend, also Czech, suggested he be more respectful, the drunk asshole slapped him. And then tried to pull Marek’s hair. It was a crazy queen scene.

That’s when I lost it and lunged for him.

The asshole went back at me and tried to punch me. Normally, I’m used to Czechs backing down when I match their aggression. Not this guy. Although Czech-speaking, he was not born here. The boys told me later he was Arab and his name was actually Ibrahim. I know him as Pavel. Neither of which is particularly relevant except that he clearly didn’t have the traditional cultural passivity of Czechs.

The burly bartender had to step between us and the asshole would not calm down, no matter what the barman said to him. Or what anyone else said. Several people in the bar tried to get him away from our table but he wouldn’t budge. Arssi had moved around behind him, making sure I’d noticed him there, presumably to get a jump on him should he decide to try to take me.

The asshole actually tried to kick me in the balls through the big barman, which made me laugh a little, and threw several punches which the barman deflected. A silly scene. I didn’t try to hit him although initially I did and was at first ready for it. Though I quickly realized he probably would have wacked me good.

Yet he was so out of control and the mood of the room was so clearly in our favor — a nice Czech guy from another table apologized and tried to get us all to move to his table during a lull — that I decided to neither retreat nor advance, just hold my ground until he’d ratcheted it down a bit. I behaved, in other words.

Another barman got him to leave the table, got him to laugh and I had hoped it was all defused. But he kept trying to leave his side of the room and go after me. He also told Arssi to tell me to quit looking at him so I put my back to him and was counting on everyone else to run interference. Both Arssi and Marek went over to talk to him to calm him down further, which at first pissed me off.

The American way of doing things would have been to boot him out on his ass, and probably me, too, to be honest. Not placate him. Lee kept soothing me (“They’re on your side, Riki.”) but I was angry and drunk myself. Not as angry and drunk as Ibrahim but enough to begin to feel out of control when the asshole wasn’t treated in the way I thought he deserved and when he tried to again kiss Marek.

But I guess it worked out okay because Ibrahim left before we did — although not before aggressively slapping me on the top of the head — and Marek went home, homeless, with me.

He has been with me ever since.

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