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Like a Dog

By Gotzeh

"Like a dog," the policeman said, looking at the dead body on the street. It was April, 14 April, and sun was rising above Jerusalem, but he couldn't see it. He -- Michal Zavorny. His parents didn't give him the name. His father even didn't know about his existence.

Michal Zavorny was born in Prague, at 9 April 1975. His mother, Bohumila Pergnerova, was born in 1949 in a little village near Brno. She came to Prague when she was eighteen, and worked as a waitress in restaurant Slavia. In 1968, after the Soviet Union invasion of Czechoslovakia, she met Russian soldier Andrey Isaakovich Dubinsky. In 1971, Andrey and Bohumila began to live together, at 1972 she asks him when will they get married. "It's too early," answers Andrey. At 1974, she asks him the same question again. "Tomorrow," he says. It's too late. That night two man enter their flat at Zvonichkova Street, and tell Andrey he is accused for collaboration with Czechoslovak dissidents. Next day Andrey Dubinsky is deported to Soviet Union. It is 15 August, and Bohumila Pergnerova will see him never again. She is pregnant but she doesn't want to have that child. She gives a birth at 9 April 1975 at home. Next week she leaves her child in front of a building at Narodni Trida Street.

I met Michal Zavorny at 20 November 1995 in the most popular gay place in Prague -- disco Riviera (Narodni Trida Street N.14). The meeting of our eyes was amazing: both of us had one green, other blue eye. Both of us lost in the world. Me, poor student from one of the countries of former Yugoslavia, came in Prague as an stipendist; he, an orphan working as a prostitute. He was too frustrated he knows nothing about his parents ("The tree that has no roots can't give fruits", he used to say), he was able to sleep only with people that he hated ("I can fuck only that idiotic rich Germans, that are good parents and husbands during the week, while at weekends they're coming to Prague to pick up some young boy for 50 Deutschmarks"), he began to work as a prostitute as a sixteen year old boy ("I had to find a way to make enough money for leaving the orphanage"), at 25 December 1996 he was afraid of his age ("Soon I'll be 22. Who would pay to have sex with someone of my age?!"), once, when I touched his left chest, I thought he has no heart ("It's on my right side. I'm a medical phenomenon"), he knew I wrote every day ("I hope I'll be in your next book," and, as you see, he was right), he didn't like his red hair, he painted it blond ("Next month it'll be purple").

At the end of January 1997 the police closed disco Riviera ("Too many children--prostitutes, too much drugs"--a title from Dnes). Michal didn't want to do prostitution in other gay bars ("I'm too old for a prostitute, anyway"). I told him I go to libraries to work on my new book A Circle Around the David's Star. He began to come with me in the library of the Jewish Museum. He began to read ("The Old Testament is the first book I ever read"), he began to be interested about Jerusalem ("I have to go there." I said it's too dangerous in Jerusalem. "Doesn't matter, I have to go there"), at the beginning of April I saw him for the last time ("Maybe I'll leave." "To where?" "I don't know." "Jerusalem?" "Maybe."). Next day I knocked on his door. He wasn't at home.

When I had a look at my face in the mirror at the morning of 14 April, I realized my eyes changed their color. I didn't have one blue, other green eye anymore. Both were something between, both were blue--green. But what happen with Michal? At 12 April he arrives in Berlin. He goes in a cheap hotel, he goes to sleep, he feels something strange around his penis, as if he misses something. He touches his penis, then he touches his testicles, and realizes: he misses the left one ("How did I lost it?"). He went that night in a gay bar and is picked up by 80 year old man ("He promised he'll pay a lot"), they went in his apartment ("A very luxurious place"), they have sex ("I hated him, so it was really good"), the old man refuses to pay for the pleasure ("He said: I didn't have too much pleasure with you"), and Michal Zavorny kills him (people that bought any German newspaper two days after the murder could read this information: "Yesterday, in his apartment at Wilhelmsaue Street was found murdered Jurgen Brickman. During the investigation of his death the police found in his apartment documents that the real name of Jurgen Brickman was Klaus Bickerman, who set up a Nazi camp near Odessa during the Second World War. The police is still looking for the murderer.").

Michal Zavorny arrives in Jerusalem with a plane at 10 p.m., on 13 April. The whole night he walks along the streets of the Holy City. In one moment, he feels someone hits his head, and Michal will open his eyes no more.

His corpse laid in the mortuary for two days, and nobody came to identify him. On the second day, an old woman, with left hand long to her ankle, the other hand to her breast, enters the mortuary. The man that worked there, opening the fridge -- coffin, almost screamed: in two days Michal's body turn into earth. The old woman wasn't surprised.

"It's my son," she said. Then she turned to the earth--body, whispering in Aramaic: "I told you already: From earth you are and earth you will be."


The above is an excerpt from "A Circle Around the David's Star," written by Gotzeh, 22, who was born in the former Yugoslavia, now citizen of Macedonia. His novel, "Bosnia Revelation," will be published later this year.
Gotzeh can be reached at smilevsk@ff.cuni.cz

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