Vuelve Radovan

Originally published on June 6, 2007.

I haven’t seen Radovan for over a month, not since I kicked him out of my apartment — not for being unrepentantly, if sporadically, aggressive and hostile, but because he kept making inappropriate sexual advances to my female roommate. He squeezed her tit once and bruised it!

While searching for a new restaurant called Mirage near Metro Anděl, recommended by the Prague Post, I turned to find Radovan standing nearby, squinting his eyes, and shuffling his feet outside a trafika, a tobacco shop.

We exchanged bland questions and neutral answers, then we went off to drink some beers together. (I was surprised he agreed; when I last saw him, he told me I could no longer call him by his first name but from now on had to call him, Mr. Hruby) He tells me he’s sleeping on benches getting his phones stolen. He’s homeless because he was getting fondled by the older Russian guy who had offered him a bed and had sworn he wouldn’t touch him. 

“Everywhere I go there are gay people. Why isn’t anyone normal?”

Now he stares into his Staropramen like it was the deep blue sea holding all the answers to the mysteries of the world, the origins of life. And maybe it does.  Despite his basic fucked-up nature (instigated by early childhood sexual abuse and being too long and too early in Prague’s sex biznis) he’s also the only Czech person I completely trust: with money, with doing what he says he’s going to do, with promises made. It hurt me and worried me to kick him out, but he had a job at the time and I knew he would land on his feet. He always does. I just couldn’t handle any more butt- and titty-pinches. I was close to calling the cops on him.

Right now, he’s drinking in some random hospoda while I’m writing this. I promised to look in on him before I left the area, and I will. I made him eat some food earlier and we downed four pivos apiece. We talked about Miki, my great lost love who went back to his girlfriend, and Eric, his, Radovan’s, American business partner/buddy who ended up raping my George and getting fired from his job at Marcus Evans for being a crazy asshole who, instead of adapting to life in a foreign country, had tried to make everyone adapt to his Southern Belle mores. (Someday, when I get the courage, I have more stories to tell about that idiot.) [Rick’s note in 2021: I have only a vague idea who this is…although in my mind I see a bleached-blonde chubby queen with slinky eyes and a Georgia accent.]

Regardless, he’s still Radovan and I still admire him for his resilience, even as I avoid his company for his pushy neediness.  I can’t blame him. At 12 he was taken to the forested outskirts of Prague and butt-fucked for the first time by some fat German tourist who deserves to be publicly castrated.

Like the liberal bleeding-heart that I am sometimes I think the world owes Radovan something. He’s a bright, friendly, and possibly talented kid who seems to have never been given a break, but who seems bent on busting into pieces every chance he gets. (Sound like anyone else you know?)

You’d be self-destructive too if, when asked if you were bisexual naturally or if the sex business warped your perceptions, you replied, “How am I supposed to know that?”

I don’t have a photo of Radovan of my own to serve as the featured image, although I used to have a lot of them back in the day. (They slipped away along with all the other lost and stolen things.)

He was one of the first rent boys in Prague that I palled around with, and the first one I trusted, as far as that kind of thing goes.

But I searched for him on Facebook and found him. I don’t have the heart to directly steal one, and he deserves his privacy anyway; so, I added a few filters to one of the older pics he’s shared there — when he was still young, but not as innocent as he looked.

When I met him in Pinocchio Prague in 2003, he was wearing a motorcycle jacket, kickin’ Doc Martens, drinking absinthe, and grinning at me wildly like he wanted me to feel what he was feeling at all costs.

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