The ‘chav’ is very much a current British phenomenon: the Burberry baseball cap pitched far back on the head, trakkies (tracksuit) and bling (heavy jewellery).  The following adjectives apply to most chavs: skiving, drugged out, drunken, homophobic, randy, dysfunctional, thick.  Nonetheless, in the poetry and music of the Streets, and in gay fantasy, there is another sort of chav – street-smart, redeemable, betrayed and sad.  Justin Macavoy, the Chav Prince, is that sort.







Michael Arram







  Holloway Road was glistening with an early-morning drizzle.  Buses and cars hissed along, splashing through the standing puddles.  Groups of school kids stood disconsolately in shop doorways, waiting for the buses.  The younger ones were squeezed out into the rain by the Year 10 and Year 11 packs, mixed groups of smoking and swearing blank-eyed or mischievous youths.  The buses came, the kids shambled on, throwing their cigarettes into the gutters, and the street was turned over to the few shoppers willing to brave a wet, cold March morning – apart, that is, from a couple of Year 10 boys who had slipped down a side alley when their colleagues had surged to the bus doors.


  ‘Useless mornin’ innit,’ complained the taller of them.  Actually, he said, ‘Fuckin’ useless cunt of a mornin’ innit,’ but the multiple expletives will just have to be understood to have been said.


  ‘Arcade?’ asked the smaller lad, wrapped up in a green parka, the inevitable Burberry ballcap perched at an angle on his head.


  ‘Nah.  Community coppers got ‘em frightened.  And you look like a kid.  No way we can pass you off as a school-leaver.’


  ‘Fuck.  Might as well have gone to school.’  They continued walking in silence.  ‘Me mam’ll be in work at eleven,’ the shorter one finally offered. ‘We could sneak in the flat.  ‘Er first shift doan’ end till mid-afternoon.  Least it’ll be dry.’


  ‘Fuckin’ good call,’ said the taller boy.  So they found a derelict garage behind some shops and sat smoking, staring out at the falling rain and sniggering at a dismembered porn magazine scattered over the rubble on the floor.


  ‘E’s well hung, that bloke, innee?’ decided the smaller boy.  ‘Mus’ be nine inches.’


  ‘E’s a freak.  Six inches is normal.’


  The smaller boy jeered, ‘So you’re normal then, innya?’


  ‘Yeah, and you’re subnormal.’


  ‘Sluts doan’ complain.  I can keep it up like I eat Viagra sandwiches.’


  ‘Who you screwin’ at the moment?’ asked the taller boy.


  ‘No one.  After I got Jade pregnant, they think I’m bad luck.’


  ‘She ‘av the kid then?’


  ‘Dunno.  ‘Er mum juss screams at me when she sees me.’


  They chatted on desultorily, swapping their sexual anecdotes, some of them even true.  The smaller boy took the lead in the conversation.  He sat on a pile of rubble, chewing gum and holding forth like a lawyer.  His face was animated and, when relaxed, not unpleasant.  Only a few spots disfigured its boyish perfection.


  The problem with it was the knowing sneer that had made its home there.  No one seeing it would make the mistake of thinking this was a nice boy, even if he was nice looking.  The looks had been so far used only as bait to the trap that was his rampant and precocious sexuality.


  His taller friend was very different: vacuous and wall-eyed.


  Finally they stirred and shambled back into the misty rain, heading for a block of fifties flats off the Seven Sisters Road.  As the smaller boy was putting his key in the lock, they became aware of two tall dark figures detaching themselves from the corners to block their retreat efficiently.  The taller boy made a bolt for it nonetheless, only to be collared by one of the men and slammed into a wall.


  The other man smiled easily down on the smaller boy, who looked resigned and had not moved.


  ‘Morning, Justin.  Didn’t make it to school, I see.’


  ‘Fuck off.’


  ‘Nice.  You’re coming along with us.  Your social worker wants a word with you, you’ve breached your last ASBO, and the magistrate’s court’s waiting for you.’




* * *




  Justin had found a spot behind the potting shed, next to the compost heap.  It was sheltered and he could have an uninterrupted gasper until he was missed.  The sound of clipping came from the other side of the shed as Nathan the Fuckwit edged the lawn with care and devotion.  What a complete tosser.  Justin hated him.  He hated the whole world and everything and everyone in it.


  The bastards had finally caught up with him, as he had sworn they never would.  He was in secure accommodation and was force-marched daily into a positive-action programme.  They even took his cigarettes off him if they could find them.  He hadn’t had a joint since February, and it was now the beginning of May.  The only sex he was getting was with his hand … which reminded him.  He got his penis out and began slowly stroking it, imagining it was stuck in those hot, slick places where he had occasionally managed to insert it.


  Justin had a powerful sexual drive, more so than most boys his age, and his penis often seemed to him to be permanently hard.  He had to jerk off at least three times a day, yet still fountained on the last round.  Sex and Justin had not been strangers since he was twelve and had first talked himself into a girl’s panties.  He did not include the earlier experiences when his second stepfather had ‘played’ with him in the bath.


  In fact, that was something he tried not to think about at all: the big man, his trousers and pants down around his ankles, holding a squirming and naked Justin on his lap.  There would be a sharp pain in the boy’s backside, followed by the tearing of the friction inside him, the grunting and the smells.  It had only stopped when his mother had found a new partner.  He had never told.


  He gave a stifled gasp and spurted his semen on the ground, six impressive jets.  He sighed, licked off what had dribbled on to his right hand, and zipped up.  He flipped his ciggy butt into the compost, picked up his trowel and slid back into the garden.


  As he reappeared, Nathan straightened and looked round.  ‘Had your fag then, Justin?’


  ‘Fuck off.’


  ‘Planning to do any work today?’


  ‘Fuck off.’


  ‘Just spread the compost around that border next to the shed.’


  ‘Fuck off.’  It amused Justin at the moment to confine himself to that single phrase when talking to Nathan.  Justin had to get his amusement where he could, and baiting this gardening apprentice was the best he could manage for the time being.  He was escorted daily to the gardening firm to which he had been assigned, where he had to spend six hours working with the staff – although he had little intention of actually performing any labour.  After three weeks he had hoped they would tell his case officer to take him away.


  Unfortunately, the boss, Mr Anderson, was persistent and had a lot of experience with hard cases.  He rotated Justin around the teams.  They played a patient game with the boy until he had got so bored that on three occasions he actually did something: clipping a hedge in a desultory fashion, digging a trench and spreading mulch.  He detested the smile on the old man’s face when Anderson had caught him at work the second time.


  With Nathan, however, Justin refused to lift a finger.  He hated the fuckwit, his clear eyes, athletic body and golden tan.  He hated his eagerness to please, his easy politeness and his willingness to get stuck in.  The boy was everything Justin despised, a walking accusation.  Then Nathan did the thing Justin hated most: he stood up and stripped off his top, exposing a well-developed chest and six-pack.  The fuckwit worked out and wanted the whole world to know it.


  Justin sneered as Nathan caught his eye.  ‘You gay, Nathan?’


  Nathan smiled.  ‘Fuck off.’


  ‘Witty bastard.’  Defiantly crossing his arms as the fuckwit got back to his edging, Justin looked round.  It was a hot May morning, the first heat wave of the year, and the temperature was climbing up into the mid-twenties.  They were on Highgate Hill, doing the long back garden of a big private house whose French windows were open on to the raised patio.  Justin reckoned it was the second time they had been there.  On the previous occasion the house had been empty, but now someone was at home.  Ghastly classical music drifted out from an open window upstairs.


  Justin strolled back past the shed to the opposite end of the garden, where he found a converted garage.  The lower floor had been turned into a fully equipped office, while the upstairs seemed to be a flat, judging by the colourful curtains at the windows.  A dark-haired, thin young man could be seen working at a computer in the office, a pencil clenched between his teeth and a phone wedged between his cheek and his shoulder.  He had his back to the window and was oblivious of Justin outside.


  Justin watched him replace the phone and make a scribbled note.  As the man was doing it another one came up silently behind him, a powerful, good-looking bloke well over six foot tall and almost as broad, who clearly had designs on the smaller man.  As Little Guy stood up and bent over to get a file, Big Guy pounced and pulled his trousers and pants down to his knees, exposing his white arse.


  Justin caught his breath.  Big Guy was only wearing shorts and a top.  These disappeared and, pushing Little Guy’s shirt up to his armpits, Big Guy thrust his invisible but obvious erection in deep.  There was laughter and a gasp, audible even outside to Justin.  Then Little Guy was being vigorously and mercilessly humped by his lover.


  Justin was transfixed.  He was seeing anal sex between two men.  God!  His own erection was splitting his pants.  He did not want to look away but, embarrassed by his fascination, finally did so with a tearing effort.  Desperate to take his mind off what he had witnessed, he knelt down and started spreading the compost, as he had been asked.


  He was sweating, and it was not because of the heat of the day.  His stomach was full of butterflies and he was light headed.  Justin had been deeply aroused in a familiar and unwelcome way for him.  To see that slight, dark man being thrust into by his powerful lover had stirred him to his foundations.  The memory of what his stepfather had done to him as a boy flooded back.  It was not the pain and the outrage that dominated this time, however.  Instead, it was the guilty pleasure he’d gotten from the big caressing hands covering his stiff ten-year-old penis and from the fullness of his strained anal sphincter.  With a sense of real horror Justin realised that he wanted it again, and badly.  His erection would not go down.


  He was still preoccupied when he was startled by a voice in his ear.  ‘Good job, lad.’


  Justin stood and looked at old man Anderson, accompanied by a blond stranger in his twenties, exactly of a height with himself.  Justin had unconsciously mulched an entire border, and had done it well.  He suddenly hated old man Anderson as much as he hated himself.


  The stranger smiled at him and said pleasantly in an American accent, ‘It really looks great, kid.’


  ‘Fuck off,’ replied Justin.