[ Free Me From This Bond: Chapter 8 ]
Easter Sunday was a strange, though extraordinarily wonderful, day for me. Here’s why: I was so certain that Larkin wanted to surprise me by holding an impromptu wedding on stage at Dolores Park (hosted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence), that I made sure to show up within the first hour of festivities. I wasn’t particularly disappointed when my great expectations didn’t pan out; in fact, Larkin was nowhere to be seen.
However: his spirit is already such a joy in my life, that nothing could ever bring me down from that exquisite height of brotherly affection that is My Darling Dragon’s trademark gift to All Man&Woman-kind. Beloved Larkin: No words could even come close to telling the world how joyously happy I’ve become, thanks to your wise friendship.
But why on Goddess’s green and blue earth, was I convinced that a surprise wedding would be held in my honor? Learn and grow wise, Little Grasshopper:
Seeing as I’ve been romancing this noble Irish deity (Mannanan Mac Lir) for more than six glorious years, and I’ve finally (recently) come to realize he harbors enormous sweetness towards me, and always has since the first day we met in 2005: boy do I feel dumb, for not realizing such a bless-ed situation right out of the gate! But when you have suffered one of the most face-deforming kinds of acne (frequently reoccurring sebaceous cysts), on top of almost constant rejection, backstabbing, and threats from others in our dysfunctional gay family…then you can understand why my amazement at finding such a darling man like yourself, Larkin, who holds nothing but the greatest affection for yours truly (at my advanced age of 61 no less).
Took me quite a few years to wake up, eh, My Sweet Reptile? Guess I should apologize for being such a helpless slowpoke, but since I have personally gone through Hades and back again many times over, for your beloved soul and happiness (as you have for me, I do acknowledge)…don’t you think I’m worth the wait, as that is precisely how I feel about you, Most Beloved Dragon Of All Possible Dimensions?
AFAICT, I’ve been courting you for well over five years, and thus I’ve begun entertaining the notion of a marriage proposal, as a logical next step in our delightfully sweet association. Here’s one scenario I’ve thought through with much deliberation:
I approach you at a local bar, perhaps Moby Dick or more likely, The Mix; and say to your wondrous self:
“Larkin, I have three short, easy to answer questions for you, that I hope you can resolve at this time, w/o imposing upon your own vital needs for establishing connections, and some truly healing R&R.”
You turn your dragonly countenance towards my own visage and remark: “Okay, Genie, shoot!” So I say:
“Question #1: How am I handling my overly-gabbiness, at least in your presence?”
Your predicated response: shrug of the shoulders.
“Question #2: With my love of eating raw garlic on almost anything: How am I handling the bad breath issue?”
Your predicated response: shrug of the shoulders.
“Okay. Question #3: Am I learning to obey you better?”
To which you also respond (as predicted) with your usual, infuriating neutral shrug of the shoulders.
“Well then: thank you for your patience, and hearing me out. I guess I should go now, and leave you to your other reveries. Okay, My Darlin’?”
To which you reply (once more: predictably and typically) with a noncommittal shrug of the shoulders.
So I turn as if to exit your presence for good, then stop in some sort of pretense of surprise. “Oh I forgot: I do have one more question for you, which I guess is question number four. Please bear with me; it’s rather important.”
To which you expel an exaggerated *sigh* and say, “Well, okay sweetheart, but just this one time.”
In response, I suck up my breath till my lungs almost burst, and announce: “LARKIN KELSEY, YOU FILTHY KUNT: WILL YOU FUCKIN’ MARRY ME FOR CHRISSAKE?”
But that’s just one, among a huge assortment of possible marriage-proposal scenarios. Here’s another:
I am walking rapidly from my SRO, in hopes of scoring some ganja from Allen, who has just returned from Arcata, in hopes of making some good sales on hash and marijuana bud. He is located on 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood, with his humble presentation of semi-precious stones displayed in two, large clam-shell halves. But before I return to his current location, I find a colorful nosegay on the sidewalk several blocks before I arrive.
So I pick it up and find it to be such a pleasing fusion of pink and purple and white blossoms, before I discover that it’s totally plastic. “Well, it’s still a lovely little bouquet, and most suitable for a proposal to Larkin at The Mix or Moby Dick.”
I therefore postpone my transaction with Allen, in hopes of coming across My Sweeter-than-Fair-Trade-Honey Larkin first, at either bar. So I enter Moby Dick (as it’s nearest), hoping to find him by the pool table (his usual milieu), so I can hand him the bouquet, then say:
“Larkin, I have this question I need you to answer: Will you marry me, you glorious hunk of dragon-hood?” Then I’d place a finger on his lips and expound, “Wait! Don’t give me your answer right away. I’m gonna go right now, a couple blocks up 18th, to score $20 worth of hashish…then I’ll come back in ten or fifteen minutes to hear your answer. Just think it over before I return.”
Alas, I could not fulfill my marriage fantasy that night, as Larkin was not present at either Moby Dick, or The Mix. Life sucks sometimes. So I move ahead, to purchase some righteous smoke from Allen. (I also present him with my colorful nosegay, which he immediately accepts, and places beside his clamshell display for some eye-catching decor.)
Allen is this absolutely gorgeous, free-spirited young man of about 25, who though entirely heterosexual through and through, nonetheless holds great love and affection for his gay brothers. What a remarkable and bless-ed spirit he is, already; right? We first met several weeks ago, when I was searching for a reliable source of marijuana. Invited him home of course (he was so damned cute, what with his golden locks of hair, and a body so buff you couldn’t even begin to know upon which part to drool)…
Turns out we had a superb conversation about the beauty of Northern California’s rain forests, and what a great blessing this world is, in spite of even the most difficult obstacles that are often placed in our way. But the most enjoyable (and important) part of our visit, was my telling of:
THE PARABLE OF THE DOLLAR-STORE BANDANA
It has been my habit these last several years or so, to wear some sort of decorative bandana bound tightly ’round my cleanly shaven skull. That night, I was wearing one such bandana only received the previous evening, as a gift from a new street buddy named Troy. It was a lightly colored camouflage bandana, with the words from Psalm 91 printed all over. I got down on one knee facing Allen, and removed the bandana from my head, in order to show him the psalm, and tell my story:
Before departing late last night, Troy left me with a gift of that bandana, exclaiming I was never to show it to anybody, and keep it to myself. Allow me to read you the entire psalm, also known as the Psalm of Protection (with my own comments interjected between square brackets, and italicized):
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
[...God has FEATHERS?
Is he some kind of super-large BIRD?
Oh I get it: He's a ginormous, wing-ed
and feathered DINOSAUR!
A feathered serpent, like the Aztec "Quetzalcoatl"!
If you can wrap your brain around THAT,
then I have to say: "You're a better man than
I am, Gunga Din!"
So much for being made in His Own Image, eh?
Now it might come as a horrid revelation
to some (actually, replace "some" with "many")
that Jehovah's original and timeless form
is that of a dinosaur: a wing-ed dinosaur
with scaly feathers.
Otherwise known as a DRAGON. ]
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
[ Yes, the Lord is my dwelling,
and I assure you, my gay bros and sis's:
He absolutely LOVES us sexual minorities,
You have no need to fear Him,
Only to give your heart to He Who Adores You
Infinitely, My Beloved Siblings!
For there is no living thing ever created
in God's Great Universe, that would ever be
condemned to eternity in Hell.
That is the devil's work, I assure you,
My Sweet Children who rose up from the dust,
to sing Life's Praise.
Nor does our Great Father require you to declare
His Son's name or worship Him as
the One, True Creator.
I worship My Lord with humor,
and with compassion.
None of this silly and frightful nonsense
About anyone burning away in Everlasting Hel.
All that Our Shepherd requires, is that you live by
The Golden Rule each and every day.
Neighbor unto neighbor: and a Good Samaritan
to boot (pun intended)!
(but don't be modest).
Hell's Bells! You can even worship
the Spaghetti Monster, for all
For after all, YHWH truly does
indeed care. ]
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
[ A tent? Even the Three Little Pigs lived
better than that! Maybe the economy
back then was as sucky as it is now, with
rolling foreclosures and skyrocket debt.
Be that as it may, I'd much prefer God's protection
from under a solid roof, than in some
skanky pop-up tent!
There's a reason I quit the Boy Scouts.
Let's just say the Scout Master was also
a Scout Masturbator,
and we sure rocked that bunk bed all night long...
and sometimes early into Sunday morn
while the other scouts attended church,
and munched on deep-throat hot dogs
and ears of roasted corn. ]
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
[ I guess this passage is just for you, Mongoose,
the most incredibly handsome and righteous
guardian of Allen! You're an absolute doll. ]
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
[ Note: I can surely appreciate using animals
as a metaphor for evil (and good).
But honestly, Dear Reader, aren't all God's
creatures divinely beautiful and good?
Whether dung beetle or gazelle,
warthog or cockatiel, angel or devil, and
anything in between. ]
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
And that is the total sum of Psalm 91, a most encouraging and blissful passage of the Old Testament. I really don’t see anything wrong with this sacred passage, that can give so much hope to so many. I consider myself BLESSED to have been presented such a beautiful psalm, in this Dollar-Store Bandana.
Which bandana–left to me by a most darling vagabond with wooly golden hair and deliciously deep indigo eyes–gave me much succor over yet one more lonely night. I fell asleep with his bandana, which, in the latest witching light of candle and flame, revealed itself as a most sacred manifestation of finely woven gold for the base cloth…along with the most delicate (but strong) stitching of this psalm in the finest linen thread, dyed in blackest ink. Every letter was completely perceived in all its curves, by a single index finger.
The raised letters were all in Hebrew; yet I could understand any Biblical phrases as if they were entirely in my native English tongue.
The following morning, I woke up with this dollar-store bandana close to my heart, and too far from the dream.