My Sex Work Friends in Athens
One room. Always dark.
It is a room of voices and shadows.
This is Greece.
But this time, nothing works.
Male prostitution in Greece is legal.
Risto was a waiter. Out of business.
Stefan was a teacher. Out of business.
Tellus was a student. Out of business.
Life in Greece has been hard.
Risto, Stefan, and Tellus share a room.
Tellus isn’t legal. He’s not 15. Yet. 15 is legal. Nothing works.
Most of the young kids turning tricks are from other countries. No way they’re 15. This scene is tough. Everyone hates the Russians.
There is hunger in Athens.
Drugs. Everywhere. Whatever.
I want to talk to Syrian boys. Most of them on the street are homeless. It’s not like they’re hard to spot.
The room has a mattress on the floor.
My greek sex work friends know all about HIV. They’re educated. So much for education.
The kids from other countries don’t know shit about HIV and they don’t care.
They turn tricks for coffee, food. You can literally fuck them for a euro.
I wanted to see how bad it was.
I wanted to see if I could find a place where Nizar could stay.
Back to the one room again.
And now there are four.
Five if you count me.
Don’t. I’m not staying.
They can’t afford to lose income from the mattress on the floor.
Stefan misses teaching.
Tellus was his student.
Their families cannot support them.
They give what money they can to their fathers.
No one asks.
Nizar throws up in the dark.
He’s sixteen. He weighs eighty pounds.
The smell of vomit in the heat is unbearable.
Stefan and I go out into the street. We watch traffic.
We watch the sunrise and the brown air begins another day.
They know where Giza is.
Need a guide.
By noon, Nizar has found a trick. Hungarian.
You can buy a passport for fifty bucks. American.
Not that anyone would do such a thing. Who the fuck would want to get out of Greece.
A fake passport would be illegal.
The Canadians are drinking beer day and night. They’re kinda rowdy.
The Canadians want blow jobs. Fuck Russia.
Sucking dick. Swallow.