Hug of the Century

June 14, 2017

[ Exculpatory Reader: finally, Larkin asked me for a hug…the first time he’s ever done that, actually! Previously, he’d just come up and hug me, or say, “gimme a hug, Zeke!” or I would ask him. But as you know, the hugs became rare, once he resurfaced in the Castro…and I always had to ask…sometimes beg him, even. The last time we hugged was more than two years ago. Until late last night. ]

The point is this: he never asked before. It was an extraordinary encounter, around 1:15am. But let me describe the events earlier that evening (Sunday, June 11th), which led up to it.

Really hurting to see him again, even a glimpse, these past few days. In fact, I was speaking to him in my mind, with words like: “Listen buddy, I’m begging you…so much time has passed and I still reach out to you. My life ain’t so great, and my soul is utterly crushed at this point. Can’t you please, please, please, stop this game and start being the awesome friend I know you truly are?”

I think that a lot of my grief comes not from this Trump era, my bad teeth, or any other trial…that it actually is the lovesickness I’ve carried in my heart for him these many, many years. So I heard My Wily Wyvern’s booming voice from across the street, around 9:30pm…looked out the window, and saw his huge, incredible self joking around with some ladies on their way to whatever Castro venue. He showed off by a powerful karate kick on the traffic sign opposite the one by my edifice.

I thought to holler out, “I heard that, Larkin!” or something, but decided to keep quiet and just watch. He did some funny dance, twirled around, and the girls guffawed. Then he waved them goodbye and continued towards Castro Street, his lanky arms waving in the air as he marched on into the stygian veil. I then looked at my unprepared meal, and decided to eat later on. For I was itching to glimpse him once more.

I put my sneakers on, a warm jacket, and a black knitted cap with a ring of large snowflakes atop (which I found left behind on a Metro seat three weeks back…old Chinese ladies seem to love these hats), and meandered down Market to Castro, then left on 18th. He suddenly popped out of The Mix, same direction as yours truly…who was now barely 20 feet behind his strapping presence. I don’t think he saw me; I almost called out but chose to remain incognito…as I watched him cut diagonally across 18th Street and onwards to Moby Dick, which is almost catty-corner from the Mix.

Some folks seemed to be arguing further down the sidewalk on my side of 18th, and Larkin heard them. So he paused before entering the other bar, and hollered to them:

“Don’t be mad, be glad!”

“Humph,” I thought, “what a hypocrite.” So I then bolted my voice in his direction:

“You should follow your own advice!” He seemed to not hear (though I’m sure he did), so I repeated my declaration before he disappeared through the doorway.

I walked by Moby Dick several times, but his back was facing the street, so I don’t really know if he saw me. Though I suspect he did; I finally returned hovel.

I prepared my simple supper of packaged brown and red rice w/herbs and veggies that only takes 90 seconds in the microwave. After my first few bites, I started itching once more to get out there, and see if maybe I could get another glimpse of my inamorato (as Marco so aptly calls him). To my disappointment, he was no longer hanging at Moby Dick…nor the Mix, nor Beaux. So I stepped back inside for some minutes, but grew restless again, and decided to have a smoke or two from my small collection of today’s snipes…outside, by the bus shelter.

“Is that Larkin?” I thought, reacting to a boisterous holler further down the street, probably outside Beaux. I squinted to see if I could find his silhouette among the crowd of shadows gathered there, out front. After a minute or so, I made him out, and saw his form begin to saunter in my direction.

He didn’t spot me, as I made sure to hide behind the inner wall of the shelter. Once he kicked the signpost, I called out my usual “I heard that!”

He paused then, and peered up at my window, which now has that lovely, scent diffusing lamp placed on the ledge and glowing its spectrum of juicy colors, slowly and one by one. At the moment, it shone a radiant lavender. He tilted his head, waiting for me to poke my face out the window, I guess, then said:

“Where are you?”

“Ha!” I chuckled to myself, “He thinks I’m upstairs.”

So I called to him once more: “I’m right here, Larkin!”

Yet he still gazed up, thinking my voice came from above. So I clarified to his booze addled sensibilities:

“I’m right here, dawg, by the bus stop!”

He looked his beautiful self upon approaching; I noticed some thin streaks of silver in those thick, close-cut waves of dark auburn. He came up really close, his face barely three inches from mine, and declared:

“You need to get out of my life!”

I just looked into those glorious, aureate eyes and that Blarney-kissed mug which never fails to astound me. Then he spit a big wad of saliva, right on my left cheek and nose. I stood my ground in utter calm and remarked:

“Good to see you again, Larkin.”

“Aargh!” he raised his arms in exasperation and moved a few feet away from me. I cannot really capture in words, the brilliant scenario he obviously prepared in advance, he is such an excellent trickster! So I’ll just attempt to list his various antics, which took up a generous 15 or 20 minutes in total…the longest time we’ve spent together in almost three, difficult years!

Fidgeting with his cell phone as he leaned against the bus shelter, he cursed and confided that he’s a mess, and needs help. I watched as he kept pressing different parts of the cell phone’s screen, which displayed a handsome, naked blonde fellow in the background. He seemed to have trouble finding a number or app, as he kept tapping away in frustration.

“I hate cell phones,” I interjected.

Then he muttered how he hates computers, and something about failing a computer test. Seeing as I’m a PC hobbyist, well versed in this field of technology, I offered to help him, at no cost.

“Fuck that,” he spoke with scorn, “I don’t want your help.” He grumbled further: “Life sucks and then you die.”

“But I’m here for you, Larkin, you don’t need to feel so bad.”

Then he started ranting once more how I need to extricate myself from his world, put his face quite close to mine (again) and spat on me (again). I was not phased in the least, as I know his mischief, and had no reason to respond with anger. In fact, I greatly appreciated this scripted scenario of an outrageously handsome, superbly talented dude so cray-cray in love with me, he’s stupefied. Very cute.

He raised his arms to the sky, then turned away and began to walk off, as I stood there in silence, allowing the saliva to drip down my cheek, some of which touched my lips. It was a gorgeous night, BTW, cool ocean breezes kissed the balmy air, and the bold, gibbous moon a wan yellow. I decided to praise him:

“You’re a good man, Larkin.”

Upon those words, he looked down at his feet and muttered: “Oh I know I’m a good man, it’s you I wonder about.”

(“Jeez, he’s really rubbing the shit in my face tonight,” I mused with a repressed chuckle.)

“In fact,” he looked directly into my eyes from 10 feet away, “you’re a royal fuck up. A big, fat, royal son of a bitch fuck up.”

I said nothing, because I knew this is a game and I love him very much…so just enjoy the ride. He then stepped up and double-finger tapped me firmly on the chest:

“Oh, you are such a fuck up, I’m sorry you’ve ever been in my life, even for a minute!”

“So he wants to play angry daddy to my bad boy,” I thought. “Okay, I’ll go along with it, it’s kinda fun.”

“You know, Zeke,” he confided, bent down with our noses almost touching, his ember-smoky eyes zoomed into mine, “I really thought you were the one for me. Really! For quite a while, I truly believed you were my Mr. Right, my best buddy of all time…my SOULMATE!”

He suddenly withdrew, stood erect with that crestfallen visage looming down on me like a thundercloud:

“But you had to go and fuck everything up. Didn’t you.”

“Oh, right,” I mused, “I’m a baaaad boy, it’s all my fault, and nothing will ever make up for that. I was soooo close to having him, now I must roast in Gehenna for the rest of my sorry life. Ha-ha.” But I was touched by him even admitting he felt that way for me. I relished the heck out of his sweet, silly reprimands that were his unique way of professing great admiration towards this trembling Pilgrim Of Love’s Long Journey.

Larkin twisted his lips in scorn: “You ruined my life!” He spoke those accusatory words with arms extended and hands cupped like a medieval mendicant. His forehead squiggled like a whimpering Shar-Pei.

“No I didn’t,” I replied matter-of-factly.

“Yes you did!”

Then came a pregnant pause, as if he were expecting yours truly to pick up the next line in a script. I felt like I was playing into some kind of riddle, like a knock-knock joke. So I exhaled, then spoke the following words, right on cue:

“Okay, I’ll bite: how did I ruin your life, Larkin?”

His reply was prompt…no doubt because he wrote the damned script in the first place!

“You got me kicked out of Twin Peaks!”

I pondered a few moments as he stood there, frozen in that tableau of utter destitution. Then I shrugged my shoulders and held out my hands in equal hopelessness, to echo:

“I’m…sorry?”

He then vigorously waved his Samsung in my direction:

“DON’T say you’re sorry!”

[ I guess the point there was (Concupiscent Reader): had I not stood up to him (and defended myself with pepper spray, to stop his shoving me), he would not respect me. I believe he intended me to do just that, by setting up the scenario in the first place…waiting to see how much pushing me around it would take, before I got fed up. Just two, FYI. ]

Larkin stepped up his whining over all the friends he made there, and what a POS I am. While I just stood there, lips sealed, picturing his cornucopia of new-found “friends” (mostly elderly, some ready to topple over with their final breath…there’s a reason locals call that place “the glass coffin”). Whose fat wallets inspired him to cozy up and charm them to pieces with all his witty tales and words of affection. Accompanied, of course, with equally affectionate touches. They’d gratefully return his ministrations by showering him with free drinks, 10 and 20 spots, and god only knows whatever additional services he offered, such as escort, companion, errand boy, housekeeper and so forth.

[ I doubt, however, he provided any sexual favors. But so handsome and talented a hustler he is! I do not begrudge one smidgeon, his adept ability to thrive, financially, in this difficult world. I only am laughing at his keen wit and robust presentation through whatever challenges that would make most independent rogues eventually wither away in despair, by the time they hit middle age. And Larkin is now 54! So please, Embryonic Reader, be clear about one thing, at the very least: my laughter is born of joyful admiration. ]

He finally paused to relieve his lungs, thus providing me with the rare opportunity to interject a retort in my defense:

“Well, you ruined my life, too!”

Then he came up close once more, with a lowered head and a hand upon my shoulder:

“Look, Zeke, you can spit on me as much as you want, I don’t care. Go ahead, hock a loogie on me!”

“He’s my lovebird, though, so why would I spit back?” I thought…and I know he heard, even though I kept my mouth shut.

As he pulled away, he emphasized once more:

“But you really need to get out of my life!”

I then released these words bottled up inside my yearning corazón:

“Some years back, you said the nicest thing to me, nicer than anyone else has ever said, or ever will!”

Of course, I meant that day back in May of 2014, when he lowered his frame, placed his hands on both my shoulders, looked right into my eyes and confided:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!”

I wanted to further state that I’m answering to that, and have been, ever since he made such a divine revelation…but of course he interrupted with pomp and circumcision, drowning any further words of mine in the process. But I refused to get frustrated at this, as I realize he’s been testing me, so to speak, testing my fidelity and will…over a span of ten-plus years! Maybe not a test so much as a kind of shamanic initiation.

He then came up to me again, glaring down at my black ski cap encircled with a halo of large, white snowflakes :

“Are you stupid?”

I said nothing.

“Are you stupid?”

I still kept mum.

“ARE you stupid?”

“No,” I finally ejaculated.

Then he demanded I lean against the shelter’s back wall, beside him where he resumed tapping at the cell phone. So I did. He insisted I place my back against that wall, and put my hands in my pockets, as he moved to lean against the plate glass window of the Super Duper hot dog bistro, and light a cigarette. He fumbled in his pockets, but could not find them.

“Fuck, where’s my cancer? I can’t find my cancer, now!”

With that, he came forward and started to punch my chest with his fist. Not too hard, mind you. But I flinched each time, a natural reflex.

“C’mon, you can take it!” He tried to shame me. “Nah, run back to your little cave now, like a pussy!”

I ignored him by staying put, whereby he delivered a few more, semi-tough punches, and reiterated that I’m free to run back into the building like a wuss. I did no such thing, of course…I was drooling over all this attention! Throughout these little dramas, folks walked by, pausing a bit to discern whether or not they should intervene on my behalf. Including a Mexican worker who was toting a wheely garbage bin to the curb. But they moved on, seeing this was more play than danger.

Larkin then ordered me to stay put for five minutes against the shelter’s wall, and not speak a word.

“Can you do that? Can you just shut up for five minutes? I bet you can’t!”

Keeping my lips sealed, I nodded.

“Really, can you do that? Just keep quiet for five fuckin’ minutes?”

I knew he was trying to get me to speak, but I remained steadfast and silent. He then discovered his cigarette pack, of which two tobacco sticks remained…but he had trouble getting one lit. I held out my own lighter, but he rejected the offer. Several minutes passed, with my standing in one spot, and him mumbling all sorts of silly things, trying to look as outraged as a firehose drenched cat.

[ Before he lit the “cancer,” he came right up to me with the cigarette dangling from those yummy lips. Then, with his mug real close to mine, he started “gurning” them, which displaced the ciggie, moving it around at ridiculous angles and positions, sometimes even between the nose and upper lip. The cigarette appeared to move about with a life of its own, sometimes twirling in one direction, then the next! Crossing his eyes and rolling them awkwardly only served to enhance the absurd spectacle. I swear, Avuncular Reader, I do not see how he did that, without assistance from at least a finger or two! (The ciggie I mean, not the eyes…hardy har har.) Truly hilarious…it was all I could do to keep from busting out in guffaws and collapsing, helpless, onto the concrete. But I somehow managed to keep a poker face through it all. ]

Once he discarded the smoldering butt, he came up and grabbed my coat to pull me forward. He semi dragged me from the shelter, to the front gate of 2306…I resisted only slightly. All the while saying things like:

“I am not your savior any more, Zeke, hear me? I am not your savior!”

Once we got to the gate, he tried to make me promise I’d stay out of his life, for once and for all. My reply?

“But Larkin, I already am out of your life, and have been for at least two years. It’s only when our paths cross that I say hi and speak kind words to you!”

Of course, it’s always been him showing up in my life, often by whacking with a powerful karate kick, the street sign below my window, to alert me. Though of course he feigns otherwise, as if that were the only metallic signpost in the city. Nonetheless, I always poke my noggin out the window and holler: “I heard that!” To which he usually never reacts (except for this latest episode when he halted to look up at my room and speak to me). Though once in a while he flips me the bird without looking back, and I bellow this or that nonsense, something playful such as “Is that a cock in your pocket or are you gonna shoot me?” or “Help me Larkin, I’m made of mostly water!” or “I lost my mojo, sweetheart, have you seen it anywhere?” Silly stuff like that.

But I’ve already reported all those events of our encounters in previous posts, that apparently he planned all by his lone some, while pawning it all off on me…being the brilliant jokester that he is.

Then he held up a fist so I could bump it…as some sort of agreement that I’d do just that: remove myself from his world, for good. But I don’t do fist bumps…certainly not with one I love so much! For they strike me as an insult, ’cause we should be hugging each other, instead. I refuse to be demoted to just a trivial acquaintance! So I ignored the extended fist, and remarked:

“We live in the same neighborhood, Larkin. Our paths will keep crossing!”

He then lowered his fist, dropped his arms to his sides, stood up tall as he could (and at 6-foot-4, that’s quite a length) and sighed:

“Hug me, please?”

I looked up at that glorious Celtic mug and said: “Yes, I’d love to hug you, Larkin.”

But he didn’t put his arms out to encircle me, so I knew it would be a one-way hug. Fine with me; I raised myself up, wrapped my arms about those noble shoulders, and laid my head upon his chest for about half a minute. I was in Umpteenth Heaven!

My hug ended way too soon, but I respect him too much to force him to linger in my arms…a subtle way, I guess, to display my sincerest affections. So as soon as I regretfully withdrew, he resumed his rants about how screwed up I am, and I absolutely must banish my pathetic self from his kingdom. Meanwhile I’m standing patiently by the front gate, Larkin obstructing my ability to step inside. So I interjected while he kept babbling away:

“If you move aside a skosh so I can insert this key into the lock, that would be awesome.”

But he ignored me and rattled on while I happily remained in sweet proximity, wishing this to endure till the bovines return.


[ Before I forget, Zooflagellate Reader: I left out some parts that I will now include, then complete the tale:

While stating how miserable his life is, I told him mine is pretty bad, too. Then he mumbled something about leaving San Francisco, the people are so mean.

“They’re mean to me, too, Larkin,” I agreed. “It’s a cruel city.” Then I added: “If you move, Larkin, I will miss you so much!”

Which was an understatement…I’d probably fall flat on my face and die in a few months, or sooner, after his departure. Until that fatal moment, I’ll probably be looking for him everywhere I go, poking my head out the window several times each day, in hopes of seeing him come striding down Market Street. Keeping my ears alert for his boisterous hollers through the chill night air: a glorious timbre like cathedral bells to my eardrums.

I’d refuse to believe he’s really gone, that he’s just testing my mettle…which scenario I’ve already written down in my tale, “But It Won’t Make Me Happy.” Upon which you, Eleanor, remarked:

“Inspired! It’s as if you’re channeling a parallel dream-world, which is striving to become the real world! The more detailed your vision, the more you create a portal for that dream world to find its way into this world and become as real as the rocks and trees!”

Marco McClean read that piece, BTW, on April 18th, though he excluded the addendum, and thus, your comment therein.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/but-it-wont-make-me-happy/

Now, during Larkin’s chest punching antics, he suddenly slammed the bus shelter’s thermoplastic wall right beside my head. Gave me a start, but again that was a normal reflex, had nothing to do with fear. In fact, I was totally at peace–overjoyed, even–at the mischievous attentions he bestowed upon me last night. He knows I carry pepper spray (all too well, as I actually sprayed him once, that night I got him 86’d from Twin Peaks Tavern two Christmas Eves ago), even though he insisted I place my hands in my pockets. I could’ve whipped it out to defend myself from his blows, or grabbing onto my jacket and pulling me to the front gate. But this was an act of trust on both our parts, and, quite probably, a test on my emotional status: to see whether or not I allowed any fear or hatred to seep into my psyche during these little challenges. He did look deep into my eyes several times, I guess to discern any negative content.

During one of his rants against me, he strode back and forth along the length of the shelter, waving his arms and cussing me out with some of the most colorful language I’ve ever heard…like that foul mouthed cockatoo on Youtube!

I interrupted him at this point, in a steady though bemused tone of voice:

“You really want me out of your life…then why are you still here, why didn’t you just dismiss me and keep on truckin’?” I swept my hands, palms up, towards Noe Street, as if to nudge him on his way, express delivery. Larkin scowled: I swear I could see fumes wafting from those darling Irish ears.

At least four times, he must’ve repeated that I should not intrude myself into his life any more. And upon the second or fourth time, I spoke the following observation:

“How can I promise not to do something that I’ve never done in the first place?”

He almost blew up at that, playing the enraged daddy to his disobedient brat of a son, to a T.

I had come up with a new pet title for him, “Captain Galaxy,” and I finally had the chance to use it last night. In one of those moments he turned to head for parts unknown, I called out:

“Captain Galaxy!”

He acted quite annoyed, which caused him to turn heel and come back…but he bumped into a gaggle of bar goers while screaming expletives at me, the same time. He stopped abruptly, and gave them a profuse apology…they laughed, “oh it’s okay, you have a good night, sir.” While catching his breath, I took that moment to express the remainder of my rehearsed bon mot:

“Oh, Captain Galaxy, you have made my world so wonderful, I can’t thank you enough!”

Well, that really ticked him off, so he decided to linger and rage at me a while longer. Much to my delicious elation. ]


After our one-way hug I watched him depart while holding the gate half open. Almost at the corner, he turned and called to me:

“So we’re good now, you stay out of my life, promise?”

I spoke no word, just smiled at My Demented Diplodocus with immense gratitude, wondering if he’s gonna come back for one more drama-queen bout. But he did not, and, instead of shutting the gate and returning upstairs to my SRO, I decided to follow him from a safe distance, after he turned left up Noe Street, heading for Duboce Park. I heard his voice boom at someone from around the corner…or maybe he was just exclaiming his usual nonsense to the invisible spirits of the air. I waited until his sonorous echoes diminished a bit, before turning that corner and proceeding in such a way that the parked cars would hide my view from his eagle vision, should he turn to look back. Judging by his nonstop, public ranting (like some comical werewolf or rhinoceros in heat), he must’ve been almost two blocks ahead.

After traversing almost another block and a half, he suddenly ceased; and I trembled at the thought that he spotted me, or suspected my whereabouts, and was about to run back to give me a quasi-thrashing. But that did not occur, to my relief. Figuring he was still not so far gone, that he couldn’t hear me if I yelled, I decided to do just that. Though I hesitated:

“Now, what words can I say to be sure he’d know it was my voice calling out, and no one else’s?” I thought in desperation, fearing he may be too distant already. Then it hit me: “Use the Mr. Ed voice!”

[ Bituminous Reader: the Mr. Ed. voice, BTW, is something Larkin came up with back in 2007, as a subtle acknowledgement that he read a tale I delivered to him via the post. Which story, “The Exalted Land of Andor,” included a humorous reference to Mr. Ed. ]

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-exalted-land-of-andor/

So I neighed like an old horse, echoing dramatically through the crisp, night air, like hollering down a canyon, the famous moniker from that old sitcom:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

Did Larkin respond? Yes he did, and with not a hint or note of anger. Just pure exhilaration:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Five seconds later, I did it again:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

And, once more, he responded:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Elated that I found some way to cap our latest episode with a sterling finale, I turned about and marched home.

Some reflections on last night’s adventure:

After Larkin smashed the signpost and I called out, “I heard that,” he paused below my window to look up and call back. He’s never done that before; he’s always just walked on by without paying any attention.

I’m glad he looked up to my windows, to see the new curtains, and the elegant lamp now resting on the sill. For a couple years back he visited me in my abode, and remarked on the crummy condition of my habitat…out of concern for my health. I wanted him to see that I have finally begun overhauling the SRO, and that the lamp in the window symbolizes my burning ardor for He Who Is The Glorious Flame Of My Own Puzzled Life.

Assuming he’s telepathic, he knew I wanted badly to see him, even though I convinced myself to be satisfied with glimpsing him two times that night. But he wanted to surprise me by showing up in person and putting on an amazing, and hilarious, show! I suspect he planned this days in advance. It’s like he writes these scripts for me, then acts them out…and that has been true now, for more than 11 years and many, many adventures. I also suspect that he knew I was standing outside all along, and that his thinking I was stationed at the window was just part of the act.

His calling out to me with a friendly “aargh” in response to my “wilbur,” was his sweet way of assuring me that our friendship is solid, and his appreciation and love quite true. I swear on a stack of gay bibles, Ellie, if angels do exist, Larkin is the perfect vision of one! And how he creates these incredible scenarios, as if he prepared them all ahead of time, only grants validity to my heavenly conjecture. If nothing else, Larkin is closer to any angel I could ever imagine…which makes me an incredibly lucky fellow.

Interesting side note: on Friday night, just two days before our latest encounter, I was listening to Marco Angelo McClean’s radio show via KNYO’s streaming web page. (Fortunately, my wifi connection picked up again, after wimping out on me for almost three weeks.) Since he usually reads my tales later in the show, I tend to doze off and either miss my piece entirely, or suddenly wake up when he states my name. This time around, I had nodded off just before the reading, but heard my name. Still half asleep, I sensed someone else in the room, lying down on a cot: it was Larkin, enjoying my company and listening to Marco. FYI, there is no cot in my room: that was part of the dream (nor any Larkin of course, inflated or real.) So when I finally awoke in full a few moments later, I felt refreshed and comforted by the presence of Larkin’s ghost, and Marco’s intelligent voice coming through the speakers.

[ Vexatious Reader: other than correcting any typos, and possibly changing or rearranging a few words here and there, I’m not going to “improve” upon this story, to make it more “eloquent.” This, out of humility for the amazing spirit that is Larkin Kelsey, a most talented, beautiful, exuberant, witty, brave and rare specimen of a man! My own writings pale in comparison to the unbelievable adventures he concocts in real life 3-D. Considerable credit must go to Larkin, for such inspiration! Can’t wait to see how things ensue these next few days and weeks. His amazing antics of last night give every indication that he has many more tricks up his sleeve…of a rewarding nature, finally (as opposed to a decade of tribulations). I have every expectation they may start as soon as later today. I feel like a kid in a candy store…or perhaps more succulently: like a dragon in a monastery. ]


AFTERGLOW

I did nothing else on the Internet today, except to write down my
latest Larkin tale. Once completed, I packed things up and departed
from Uncle Benny’s Donuts & Bagels (located in SF’s second largest Chinese community) and decided, at first, to skip my usual stopover at a nearby Goodwill thrift store, on my way to the N Judah. But a little birdie told me:

“No, Zeke, you must go to Goodwill, there’s something very special
for you, to celebrate last night’s grace-filled encounter! You will
recognize the item that’s intended just for you…there’ll be no doubt, once you lay peepers on it!”

So off I sped to Goodwill three blocks west, as I’ve done each and every day so far, since I’ve made Uncle Benny’s my afternoon hangout. I strolled to the back of the store, in the far left corner, where all the electronic devices are, and other interesting geegaws. And there it was, shining like a beacon! See attached photo.

It’s a stained glass objet d’arte. Real glass and lead, in other words: not a plastic knockoff. Kinda big, too, diameter of, oh, fourteen inches or thereabout. And that it depicts the Hindu symbol for peace, “om shanti,” makes it very special, indeed.

Best of all, guess what it cost: just $2.99!

FYI: I believe that this little bird who told me to go to Goodwill this afternoon, was Larkin’s telepathy. As I believe it has been in other, previous and amazing episodes since we first met in 2006.



Radio Debut

March 7, 2017

Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 09:49
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
My brother’s a Republican!

Just found that out during our phone conversation moments ago. (Both our parents were Democrats, BTW.) But he’s not a crazy, fanatic Republican, says both parties are a bunch of BS. It basically came down to this:

If more Republicans were like him, this would be a better world. And if more Democrats were like me, likewise.

It was a very good conversation, glad I called him.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 11:32
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: My brother’s a Republican!

On Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 9:57 AM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Whew. Did he vote for the pussygrabber? }}

I believe he did, I didn’t ask him directly. “Give him a chance, if he doesn’t live up to his promises, then throw the bum out.” He also seems to be caught up with RW conspiracy theories, much like Tom Cahill. He believes that Social Security is in danger, which it is not.

He is hopeful that Trump will bring the jobs home, I said “I don’t think so.” That’s when he said “give him a chance.” So I pretty much kept my mouth shut. I have a feeling that most of the extended family is Republican.

And he never calls me or sends a letter, or emails. I’m always the one who contacts him. For that reason, we haven’t spoken to each other since I last called, eight months ago. So, there’s still that downside. Blech.

But, he has no problem with gays, hippies, etc. He seems to be pretty much open-minded. And, he’s been very nice to me over the phone, as well as handling my share of our parents’ inheritance.

Oh, yeah, he definitely wanted Bernie Sanders for president. So his heart’s in the right place.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 13:22
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Was that your Mitch on the air last night?

Listening to the podcast right now…quite a grim evaluation of these Trump times, gut-wrenchingly honest. Way too true to be denied. He mentioned his Facebook page, so I visited, found the piece he recited on KNYO:


Somebody hit me in the back of the head with what felt like a dumbbell or some other heavy, unyielding iron thing, as I slept last night. The blow pushed my face into the mattress, and I said, “I’m losing consciousness.” In a millisecond, I changed that to: “I’m dead. Somebody has killed me. I can’t defend myself. I can’t protect Ellie.” I thought about famous bad people who have been here to Mendocino–Charlie Manson & family, Jim Jones & his doomed family, Lake & Ng, the California Sierra-Nevada torturers and murderers who were sexually aroused by the suffering of people when their bodies were carved up and violated, when they were forced to watch their wives, husbands, babies and toddlers under slow torture. They are the people I lock my door against as the world descends into hell, why I own things for self-defense and keep them close. It was no use. I was murdered. But, another millisecond went by: “You’re brain is still working. You’re not dead.”

I woke up, tried to sort things out, and found no injury nor any clue to what had happened. The sense of being brained included no preceding dream. It came from nowhere.

Today the chainsaw I just got back from the repair shop didn’t work. Ditto the lawnmower I just retrieved from the same repair shop. I took the chainsaw in and, for the first time in the 15 years I’ve been buying my Husqvarna tools and gardening supplies there, I made a scene. I’ve spent my life thinking if you are loyal and steadfast with a merchant, they will value your business and take care of your needs. I was furious and said all that and made a scene, which, more than an hour later, still has me vibrating. So I confront the news with an angry mind. I learn that the new President and his new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, visited a Catholic “charter” school in Florida. Charter schools are a lousy idea shoved down our gullets as a great idea, when, in fact, they are the perfect scheme for making education in the United States of America a private, profitable business to favor the wealthy and short-change kids who aren’t rich.

Betsy DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, who used his family’s enormous wealth to create a civilian army to privatize the military. In Iraq, Blackwater did mass murder, rape, torture and all the things that make war awful, without the accounting–a very loose, readily overridden accounting- that our armies are supposed to honor under international conventions–because they were “Private Enterprise,” the gold standard for American capitalists. So horrendous were Blackwater’s offenses in Iraq and in the flooded, devastated streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Erik changed his company’s name to “Xe Services” and then the lofty “Academi.” He has been denounced for his crimes in the small media and given trivial notice in the major media. The Princes and DeVos belong to a harebrained Christian cult beloved by right wing, profit-mad one-percenters, and this is the “base” that Trump and DeVos were championing in their Florida tour. Prince and DeVos, in a reasonable world, would be strung up, but in this insane period, are celebrated, rewarded and given tremendous power.

That I have to point out that these are not good Americans (or even good humans) is past tiresome to me. That I have to keep telling people I love to open their eyes is past exhausting to me. It is a kind of existential hell, speaking obvious truth to people who shouldn’t need to have the obvious pointed out to them. DeVos and Prince and Trump are the sort of malformed creatures that hold sway in the land of the free. They should be in cages at the city gates. They torment my sleep and make me a strident, frustrated old man in my waking. I can’t bear it.

It didn’t occur to me he might be /your/ Mitch, until Marco told him at the end of their talk: “Say hello to Ellie for me.”

In case you didn’t stay up last night, to hear Mitch, you can get the podcast:

tinyurl.com/zekeread

Discussion begins at 1:02:40.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 13:53
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: Was that your Mitch on the air last night?

On Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 1:26 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Yep. That was Mitch. If he’d consulted me first, I’d have advised him against sounding quite so drunk and despairing… }}

Ha! I’m glad you didn’t, as many others go through such difficult waters, and his sharing this from deep in his heart, will actually have a cathartic impact. Or not.

Now what /you/ need to do, is prepare for an onslaught of concerned neighbors and more distant members of the Mendo Community bringing food and laughter, to cheer him up…starting with Marcos’s visit come Monday. Maybe they’ll hold a mock funeral in his honor.

I guess you’ll now have to put up with town folk asking how Mitch is, whenever you shop for groceries and run other errands around and about The Mysterious Masonic Temple..for the next few weeks or longer.

Maybe you should were a garlic necklace until the embarrassing scandal blows over.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 15:08
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: Was that your Mitch on the air last night?

On Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 2:28 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ You probably noticed how gracious and kind Marco was. That’s Marco for you. He can also be ferocious, slicing and dicing right-wingers and other fools on the local list serve, toying with them, making fools of them with his impish wit…. }}

He’s an Ascended Master of the Order of Mendocino Mages.

{{ This isn’t the first time Mitch has called Marco’s show and gauntly unloaded. It’s okay–I’m used to it, and so is Marco and listeners. It’ll be fun to see him on Monday. }}

You should see what I posted to Mitch on his FB page.

{{ In case you’re wondering what Marco looks like, he could easily make a living as a Jesus impersonator–tall, lanky, long dark hair and beard (with nary a trace of gray though he’s 58), dark, dark eyes set in deep shady caves. }}

I pictured him with a silver-gray crewcut, tall and lanky (got that part right), looking more like a harbor seal than a messiah. This coming Friday should be a hoot!


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 18:53
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
OMG, he read Chapter 1 of my novel last night!

Start at 3 hours:47 minutes….he described me as a “young man,” I have to correct him about that. Maybe he read just a part of my chapter, not the whole thing. I just started listening.


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 19:03
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
No, he’s reading a part of the chapter.

…you’ll see: the part where I touch the bullet lodged in Randolph’s back. Followed by one of my poems not in the chapter per se, but a link. He’s reading the online version, different from the paper one. I just paused the audio after he read the first verse. Gonna step out, breathe the fresh, rainy air before stepping back in and, with enormous gratitude, listen to the remainder.


Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2017 19:14
From: Eleanor Cooney
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject:
Re: OMG, he read Chapter 1 of my novel last night!

Wow!

“Young man.” That’s great. Little does he know you’re eight years older than he.


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 20:12
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
I know this is a setup, El…

…and you can’t convince me otherwise.

When I stepped out for a few minutes, I walked up Market to Castro Street with my umbrella shielding me from the Goddess’s own joyful tears. I was, and still am of course, in a celebratory mood. Proceeding back to my hovel, I glanced through Beaux’s large window (that’s a gay bar) to see if Larkin were there…and maybe would step out to give me a chance to tell him about my radio adventure. After all, he’s part of it.

Alas, no Larkin. But then as I resumed my walk, there I saw him, just 10 feet ahead: commiserating in his usual, boisterous manner with another gay patron (no doubt possessing an ample bulge in his crotch; his wallet, I mean.) So I stopped about 20 feet away beneath an awning, to enjoy the view. I’m sure he was aware of my presence, but gave no overt sign. As I lingered, I soon realized that my neighbor, Mark Epstein from down the hall, was standing just several feet from me, chatting with a woman friend in a recessed doorway. He looked up, I waved. Maybe he thought I was spying on him.

Though Mark has remained a distant quasi-friend over the 18+ years he’s lived here, he has read my novel, and our lives are mystically joined by his little papillion doggie, who passed away seven years back. Skelly would visit me every evening, such sweet happiness! Trusting me with his dog like that, was Marc’s way of apologizing for a grievous wrong he committed…but no point going into that, now. Just one month ago, he finally adopted another papillion, a rescue dog 10 years old! Don’t know what took him so long, but glad to see his new companion.

Larkin eventually entered the bar with his current squeeze (wallet, I mean) for the night, and Mark-and-friend also departed a moment later. I soon followed, once the two had entered 2306, that I may not come off as a busybody. They were standing by the elevator as I swung the gate wide. We both exchanged a brief “hello” and I climbed the stairway. So now I conjecture:

You, Mitch, Marco, my brother, Larkin, Mark, Tom (Cahill), are all in cahoots: the timing, the synchronicity in this string of events in LESS THAN 24 HOURS, are beyond mundane coincidence. (Mitch calling in with an emotive masterpiece, overwhelming in its grief, the same night Marco reads my own heart wrenching tale…what are the odds!)

Now, back to hearing the rest of Marco’s narration from My Literary Labor of Love, My Own Holy Grail! What an extraordinary two days. And thank you /so/ much for being such a kind presence in my world, for so many years now.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 21:46
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Reptilian Devotees
Subject:
Listen to a reading from my novel on the radio!

Marco McClean, the host of a late-Friday-night radio show in Ft. bragg, CA, surprised me by reading from chapter one of my novel, just last night! I didn’t expect this to happen so soon. Fortunately, he saves each show as a podcast, which you may listen to by clicking on the following link:

tinyurl.com/marcozeke1

You can either left-click on the download link, to immediately start playing, or right-click on the download link, to save it to your hard drive…then play it later, at your convenience.

The reading starts at 3 hours, 47 minutes, and ends at 4 hours, 10 minutes. (There is a musical interlude in the middle; just click through it.)

If you care to leave a comment about the reading, just go to his blog entry, here:

tinyurl.com/marcozeke2

In fact, I urge you to do so, since any favorable post about me will help boost the potential for getting my word out.

Your post won’t show up immediately, as he reviews it first. I know, because I just left a comment there, myself. Here it is:


Marco: What an honor to hear you read from my novel Friday night! Certainly a surprise, as I didn’t expect that to occur so soon. I’m listening to the podcast right now, as I sit in my room and the gracious rain falls from the dark heavens. I chuckled when you introduced me as a “young man,” for I am actually 66. Clarification to my poem, “September’s Passage”: I was still Gene Catalano back then, but changed my name to Zeke Krahlin in 1996. This is mentioned in my book a little further down the line. Googling my name, Ezekiel J Krahlin, works just fine, with the second result pointing to my web site: gay-bible.org. The first result is a link to the ebook version of my novel.

I am amazed at the synchronicity of Eleanor’s partner, Mitch, pouring his heart out in a grievous recitation, on your show that same night as my own poetic lament. What were the odds? I then went to Mitch’s Facebook wall, and discovered he also posted that essay there, so commented:


You guys have all the fun, up there in Mendocino. Tremendous piece of writing, Mitch…who says your impact on the world is diminishing when you can still write like that? But now, someone needs to start kicking you in the butt until you start laughing again. Ellie’s got her work cut out for her!”

Now, back to hearing the rest of your podcast, a most enjoyable and revelatory pastime, especially since we have nothing like that any more, on San Francisco’s airwaves. Thank you so much for including me in your Mendocino County community of oddballs, dear hearts, pioneers and mystical wanderers.

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2017 23:44
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Marco McClean
Subject:
Re: In case my comment didn’t take…

On 3/4/17, Marco McClean wrote:

{{ I don’t know how to set it so it just posts things when people send them. I don’t spend a lot of time managing the weblog; it’s just a notice-board about my show. }}

Sometimes the comment shows up after posting (w/”awaiting moderation”), sometimes it doesn’t. So that’s a WordPress glitch, which only adds to the confusion. IOW, it /should/ show up right after posting, even though awaiting your moderation.

{{ Next week is a Fort Bragg week for me –I’ll be doing the show from KNYO. The number there is 707 961 3022. }}

The contact page shows 962 for the prefix, as in:

Studio: 707-962-3022

Do they need to update the number?

{{ Call any time after about 9:15 Friday (March 10) night and let it ring awhile in case I’ve put a record on so I can use the toilet, or if I’m out back getting something out of the car, or something. There’s only one phone line; if it’s busy, wait a little bit and try again. }}

No problem. I look forward to our first on-air dialogue.

{{ What makes you sound best is to have some of your work ready to read into the phone, to turn to that at the end of whatever we talk about. }}

Easy peasy. I’ll have a number of short pieces loaded and ready to go. One very funny, one political, and other stuff. I don’t know how much time you’ll allot me, but even reading just one of my pieces would be a pleasure.

I don’t have my own Internet service, so I’ll have to forego listening in real time. I tried, using the free wifi from a coffeehouse across the street (and my extended USB wifi dongle) but it wasn’t robust enough to stay connected…I had to keep clicking reload every two minutes or so. I couldn’t just sit back, close my eyes and get into the show. *sigh*

Just so you know: my diction is a bit slurred due to lack of teeth. Medi-Cal discontinued dental care for adults over a decade ago…thus began the deterioration. But when they resumed it two years back, thanks to Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid, I discovered that I still couldn’t get my teeth repaired because they want to charge me $518 per month share of cost! That’s almost half my total income. Don’t know how they get away with it, and my letter of grievance about this to numerous politicians and progressive, online news services has not gotten anyone’s attention, yet. As if I’m the only person in the country, this is happening to. It also means I can’t afford other vital services. This is being swept under the rug by the Dems, while they pat each other on the back, over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid.

But that’s an issue for another time. I’ve composed several blog entries on this matter so far. Here’s the original, called “Obamacare Defecates on the poor,” which includes my letter to Nancy Pelosi:

tinyurl.com/obamadef

The embarrassment of my wretched teeth has caused me to cease doing open mic readings or gay standup…making things more difficult to promote my talents. I do /not/ want to be the Moms Mabley of queer comedy. Anyways, I think I’ll enunciate with enough clarity that every word be understood, even through the telephone lines. Since another tooth broke in half several months back, I’ve acquired a pronounced lisp. But I’ve adapted where I place my tongue, in order to soften the lisp.

I don’t consider myself a stereotype gay, yet here I am with a pronounced lisp, and thanks to my carpal tunnel syndrome, my wrists have grown limp. What next: a fungal infection on my chest that looks like a pink triangle? Take my domestic partner, please.

Friday I’m yours,

Zeke


Listen to my Queer Tales on Radio

March 6, 2017

This Friday, March 10th, Marco McClean, the host of Ft. Bragg’s KNYO weekly show, “Memo of the Air” will be interviewing me live, after which I will read several short, gay themed tales. Starting around 9:15 PM. Listen via live streaming at:

knyo.org/listen.htm

In case it’s too late to tune in by the time you read this, just log on to memooftheair.wordpress.com and play the podcast dated 2017/10/04. Start at fifteen minutes in.

Beyond that, he’ll be reading from my self-published novel, “Free Me From This Bond” every week until its end. In fact, he started narrating it last Friday. Download the podcast dated 2017/03/04 here:

tinyurl.com/marcozeke1

The reading starts at 3 hours, 47 minutes, and ends at 4 hours, 10 minutes.

This book is about my adventures as a gay street activist here in San Francisco, from around 2006 to 2012. And features my two greatest heroes: Randolph Taylor, our own community’s Nam Vet war hero (now deceased), and one Arwyn Miles who is alive and kicking.

Not his real name, by the way, but he is quite a unique character that inspires me no end. We first met in the SOMA neighborhood, but he since migrated to the Castro some years back. He is a real bar fly and good fun. The first scene read by Mr. McClean takes place in the old Hole in the Wall Saloon.


How I Discovered KNYO & How It Discovered Me

March 3, 2017

Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 12:22
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
KNYO Radio Station, Ft. Bragg

Reading Tom Cahill’s latest post to the Anderson Valley Advertiser (AVA), I came across another post that mentioned KNYO. So I checked out their web page, and decided to listen. Lo and behold, Thom Hartmann was on the air!

This is funny, because these past two months I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to him via Youtube. But YT’s streaming videos are often choppy and freeze up. But KNYO doesn’t have that problem!


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 15:12
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: KNYO Radio Station, Ft. Bragg

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 2:17 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ My good pal Marco McClean does an all-night radio show from KNYO every Friday starting at 10. Eclectic, witty, wide-ranging and every once in a while I call in and read something! }}

Excellent! Especially on those nights you have insomnia; you can even call in! Lucky for me (since I can’t do streaming from home), he saves them as podcasts. Downloading last night’s show right now, will listen tonight.

His page also provides other downloads that do not appear on the show. I’ll probably make this a habit, as there’s nothing much to listen to on the SF airwaves, any more..Clear Channel ruined that, because those shows weren’t big money makers:


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 15:26
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Just posted this to Marco…

{{ Hey, Marco! A mutual friend of ours, Eleanor Cooney, said you have quite an eclectic, all night radio show. I live in SF, but enjoy reading the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Someone mentioned KNYO, so I checked it out, and told Eleanor I’m now listening to that station; and that’s when she brought up your name. So I will download last night’s podcast and listen to it this evening…since I don’t have Internet from home, due to my low income. Like Eleanor, I am also an author, and have many fun tales on my website and blog. Though they may not be your cup of tea, they are all gay themed. But unlike any gay stories you’ve ever seen! Here’s a short piece for you to check out, when/if you have the time: https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/misfortune-is-a-cookie-named-zeke/ }}

Let’s see if or how soon he replies!


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 23:46
From: Marco McClean
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject:
ZekeBlog 2.0 Comment

Thank you for commenting on my weblog. I hope it’s okay for me to occasionally read at random from your work (book, etc.) on my radio show; I’ll be doing that unless you tell me not to. Also you can choose what I read aloud, by just pasting it as plain text in the body of an email, and I’ll be sure to read that. If there are swears, that’s fine, but I’ll wait till after 10pm to read it, to avoid agitating the weasels.

Every once in awhile I’m passing through Mendocino during normal people’s waking hours and I stop by Eleanor (Cooney)’s and Mitch’s place to visit. Any friend of theirs is a friend of mine.

Again, hi and thanks.


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 16:08
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Marco McClean
Subject:
Re: ZekeBlog 2.0 Comment

You have my permission to read /any/ of my works w/o asking beforehand. I will soon come up with a list of my best tales (outside of my book), to make things easier. Something I’ve been planning to do for awhile, now…as my blog grows and they get buried in the past.

WOW, thank you Marco! My mind is blown, by your offer. I’m sure anyone who is not a homophobe will gain much delight in listening to my weird, gay tales. Since I do not have Internet at home, my only request is that you let me know when you’ve you’ve read one of my pieces, that I may download the podcast.


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:44
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Marco McClean
Subject:
Tom Cahill is also a friend.

I’m sure you know him. I first had the honor to meet him, when he swooped down from up north, to support me for supporting Nam Vet Randolph Taylor, whose face appears on the cover of my novel. Tom’s not a close friend, as he tends to bounce around the world. But we’ve resumed contact several weeks ago and, as you probably know, he is now in a retirement home in Cluny, France. He has sent me some of his recent chapters of his autobiography in progress, along with posts from his mailing list.

Tom supported Randolph’s 1984 fast on behalf of Vietnam Veterans, by fasting himself! This was before we met, or we even knew about each other. When Randolph ended his 40-day fast, Tom continued his own fast, but changed its cause to prison rape. You may view a page on my web site, dedicated to Mr. Cahill, here:

http://www.gay-bible.org/other/cahill.htm

I’ve resumed reading the AVA, this time online, because of Tom’s posts there. But I also fell in love with Mendocino once more, as a result. I have read some of your pieces, as I searched for “Tom Cahill.” Not realizing, then, of your friendly association with Eleanor and Mitch…two excellent people, I agree.

Presently listening to your show from last night…your mom’s poem is eloquent and frightening! As was the essay, Tertullian, which I previously read on the AVA. Then a scathing critique of Hospitality House. Now, I’m hearing about Donald Trump’s possible clinical dementia/syphillis…no surprise here. You read well, excellent radio voice. I now read the AVA several times per week. Looking forward to your letters there.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 22:30
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Marco McClean
Subject:
Re: Tom Cahill is also a friend.

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 9:58 PM, Marco McClean wrote:

{{ He patched and fiberglassed my kayak in the mid-1990s. I can attest to his mid-1990s fiberglassing prowess. }}

:D

{{ Let’s talk on the phone sometime, on the air. Maybe March 10? }}

Sounds like fun to me, Marco. I have a land line only…but that’s best for call-ins, anyway. I have an LD service that only charges me a penny a minute. I presume I dial your number, whatever that is. But just in case it’s the other way around, here’s mine: 415-863-3790.


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:21
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: Fwd: ZekeBlog 2.0 Comment

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Kewl!! }}

With a capital K. Mr. McClean posted his offer via my web page’s “contact” form…which tells me he perused my web site before sending off his letter. What’s so neat about his show, is it’s livestreamed, so my stories will garner a much larger audience than just from your neck of the woods.

I’m listening to his radio show from last night, right now…he’s reading someone’s piece from the AVA about the homeless in Ft. Bragg. Scathing critique on an institution there called Hospitality House…abusing the homeless, etc. Before that, he read a brilliant essay called “Tertullian,” which I also read about a week ago in the AVA. It sent chills up my spine…did you come across it yourself?

He likes to play yodeling music, I see! Searched his name on the AVA, and realized I’ve already read some of Marcos’ contributions there, including a piece posted just above one by Tom Cahill! I bet they know each other. I’ll let him know that Tome gave me incridible support for my own efforts to help Nam Vet Randolph Taylor, who is also the main hero in my novel, that he’s going to read to his audience.

Hmm…you discovered this author on Alternet more than a decade ago, Tom Cahill swooped down from 10 Mile to honor me re. Randolph, Anthony Serra, a friendly neighbor in my building moved up to Mendocino (where I visited him once), and now Marco wants to read my talesl!

Something about Mendocino: maybe you’re all a cabal of white witches.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:46
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: KNYO Radio Station, Ft. Bragg

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 6:37 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Marco’s a National Treasure, and the most mentally healthy person I know… }}

Mendocino seems to harbor quite a grand collection of angels.


Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 22:55
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney
Subject:
Re: Fwd: Tom Cahill is also a friend.

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 10:35 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote [after reading Marco’s invite to speak on the air]:

{{ Zowie! }}

He must have a sharp nose for sniffing out hidden gold. :D

Did you have something to do with this…calling each other up, and creating this scenario to surprise me? At any rate, you better be listening to that show when I’m on the air, or I’ll cut you out of my Misfortune Cookie(tm) franchise! If by some strange chance you bump into Anthony Senna, tell him to tune in, too! He remembers me as Gene Catalano, the one who painted “Unicorn w/o a Horn.”

This is getting silly.

– Zeke


Another Democrat Spreads the Medicaid Lie

January 12, 2017

One Alix Rosenthal, who writes a regular column for the SF Examiner, made a claim in today’s article, that Medi-Cal is totally free for the poor, who are disabled or elderly. Here is the article’s URL, which includes my reply. Since it may not be accepted, my reply is also posted below:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/republican-voters-power-save-obamacare/

–begin my reply:

Regarding your statement, “Medi-Cal — the program that pays for 100 percent of your health care costs if you are senior, poor or disabled.” That is a cruel deception. For unless you collect a Social Security amount of $600 or less, you must pay a monthly share of cost (SOC) that takes every dollar above 600. For me, that means my SOC is $518…almost half my income!

This SOC mandate was instituted under Gov. Schwarzenegger’s watch in 1989, and is based on that year’s cost of living. It has never been raised since. Our present governor, Jerry Brown, has not seen fit to rectify this unfair arrangement that rips off the poor. Even though he is a Democrat, unlike Schwarzenegger. Not all states that have accepted expanded Medicaid charge a SOC, including Massachusetts, New Mexico and Minnesota. But I suspect that the majority of the 19 states that have expanded Medicaid, charge an exorbitantly unaffordable SOC.

When Obama announced expanded Medicaid, he said he’d leave it up to each state, how to spend it. Obviously, that includes whether or not they will squeeze the wallets of those who can least afford “affordable care.” As far as I’m concerned, there should be no SOC for those so poor as to be eligible for Medicaid in the first place. Obamacare, therefore, is more like a death sentence for tens of millions of Medicaid recipients, rather than a boon. Medi-Cal’s own site used to include a statement that admitted this SOC is so exorbitant, as to be useless to a large number of their clients. They have since erased it, replacing that remark with a bunch of undecipherable operating costs. I had to go to a dental service site, to find proof of my claim, and you can find it here:

http://www.shareofcost.com/state-assistance/share-of-cost-california.html

From which I quote:

“The MNL has not changed since 1989 and is $600 for an individual. Thus, anything an individual earns over $600 a month becomes that individual’s share of cost. For example, if an individual earns $1,100 a month, that person must incur $500 in medical costs each month before receiving any coverage from the Medi-Cal program. For consumers with a high share of cost, Medi-Cal provides little more than catastrophic coverage and does not enable them to access health care services.”

(MNL stands for “maintenance need level.”)

I was shocked four months after I applied for Medi-Cal (which I dropped over a decade ago, due to so many cutbacks it became useless to me), to receive their SOC notice, declaring that $518 monthly fee! Assuming this was an error, I marched on down to their office, only to be told no, that is the correct amount. I was angered and dismayed, and they gave no explanation as to why such a ridiculous monthly charge. So I had to do my homework by searching the web. The truth is hard to track down, as Medi-Cal has intentionally obfuscated the SOC fee. Other states’ Medicaid pages seem to be hiding the truth, too. Except for those that do not charge any SOC which, in their cases, they tell you up front, there is no monthly expense.

In June of 2015 I emailed a letter of outrage to Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (along with a copy of it to other Democratic leaders and 17 major alternative/progressive online news sites). Ms. Pelosi has never responded, nor have any of the other people and organizations I posted to. You may read that letter here:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/obamacare-defecates-on-the-poor/

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party elitists pat each other on the back over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid. The Democratic Party, with President Obama at the helm, is complicit in this deadly dupe. Though I voted for him twice, I am disgusted at this deception that is the manipulation of both government and mainstream (and even alternative) media. For you, too, Ms. Rosenthal, believe this lie.

My teeth are almost all gone, and I cannot get any annual checkups to prevent or slow down blindness, due to my age, which is now 66. Many other preventative and treatable ailments are way beyond any sort of affordability. And this must be true of many others receiving Medi-Cal. Yet there is no outcry, no support groups, no political movement to bring justice to California’s poorest.


Another Larkin Update

November 17, 2016

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2016 23:00:47
Subject:
Another Larkin Update
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Andromedan Cohort

I now know that Larkin hangs out at the booze den down the street, same side as my building, every Tuesday evening from around 6 PM to 9:20 or so. As luck would have it, that dive, too, has a large picture window facing the street. Just like Twin Peaks Tavern across the way. So it is now my habit to walk by there once I arrive hovel, walk slowly enough by the plate glass, to be sure he sees me…maybe even throw him a glance. Or a kiss, just to add a little spice to the grade B scenario.

So around 6:30 I approach “Beaux” (I know, stupid name for a bar); side door is open and I hear his stentorian, playful voice. But alas, his back is to the window and my mission fails. Returning on the same side of the street around ten minutes later, I do not see him anywhere; perhaps he is in the restroom. I light up a cig and hang out front several minutes, but no Larkin. Funny, though:

As I near the gate of 2306, lo and behold there’s his housemate Zachary, sitting at a taqueria table out front, perusing a magazine. He looks up as I pass within two feet: I look back and throw him a “your pathetic” chuckle. Other than a brief grimace, he does nothing. Now in front of my domicile, I lean against the bus stop shelter fifteen feet catty-corner. I watch to see if maybe Larkin will show up, but after three minutes or so, decide to enter Hotel California North, and watch some Youtube videos I downloaded this afternoon.

So time passes gazing at the LCD monitor and the various scenes that capture my attention. But not so much that I don’t wrestle with stepping out once more, to fulfill my Tuesday mission.

“No don’t bother,” my lazy self commands. “He’ll be ambling up the sidewalk soon enough, and you can either step out to greet him as he wanders by, or call out to him from your window.”

“True enough,” I ponder, “especially since His Goofiness always makes a point of acting boisterous as he crosses beneath my window. No doubt in hopes I’ll holler out, and I receive in return, the expected ‘fuk off’ remark that is, by now, his trademark greeting.”

But after watching episode six of “The Young Pope,” (very good BTW, though I don’t think Jude Law is so handsome as to play captivatingly gorgeous men, though he often does), my pixie side gets the better of me. So I don my sneakers once more, and my hoodie, and with a little tingle in my gut, step outside and walk towards Castro Street.

Nope, he’s not there at all. So I shrug my shoulders and continue my stroll until I reach the corner. Then something tells me to stop, turn around, and march back…I might get lucky this time. But I must admit: that was more my lazy half speaking, than it was the pixie.

As I near the bar once more, I see a tall, skinny man leaning against the lamppost, dressed in baggy shirt and pants, and sporting a crewcut. His back is turned to me, hunched over and diddling with a cell phone. There’s a large van parked beside him, offering to test anyone for HIV, bright light emitting from its windows and open door.

“Is that Larkin?” I wonder, though I can’t be sure.

I approach and pass, then look back. Yep, that’s the devil, alright! He is angled in such a way as to not notice me…or, I should say, to “pretend” to not notice me. Since we both know by now, he’s quite the game player and loves to trip me up. I call to him:

“Hello, Larkin!”

He looks up with a ready smile, but then when he realizes it’s his better half, scowls a bit.

“Go away, don’t bother me!” he gestures with a wave of that gangly arm.

My ambulation is slowed almost to a halt, though I continue to drift away as I speak once more:

“Well have a nice night anyway,”

He keeps gesturing those “get outta here” swipes as he replies:

“Yes, you too, have a beautiful night, just don’t bother me…aargh!”

“Thank you,” are my final words as I turn forward and leave his aura. Though I decide to pause further up the block, to have a smoke and watch him for a bit. As I do that, I think:

“I bet he was standing there all along, just out of my sight, watching me pause by the bar’s door and peek in. And I bet it was he who summoned me back, that I have the satisfaction of a mission accomplished. Once again, he tricks me into thinking I missed my chance, but at the last moment…voila!”

And he wasn’t particularly harsh, just like the last time our paths crossed (at the Castro Metro stairs), and since I had that dream of reconciliation with him and Zachary. In fact, he was gentle this time, though abrupt. But I’m concerned about Zachary, for when I saw him tonight, he looked haggard: hollow, dark bags under his eyes and way too skinny. Very elongated, drooping face, too. Like he has AIDS or something else equally serious. Cancer? Emphysema? Meth or alcohol abuse? I decided that, if I ever get the chance to speak to him, I’ll ask him if he’s alright, break through the wall of hostility Larkin created.

For my continuous reaching out to Larkin is because of all the truly /kind/ things he’s done for me, especially when he spoke these words to me in May of 2014:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is a Godsend!”

And he spoke those words while crouched down to my level, face close to mine and one hand on my shoulder. Words full of passion and love. So he’s been fluctuating between icy hatred and sweet compassion towards me, these past four years. Forcing me to choose between the /mean/ Larkin and the /kind/ Larkin. Of course, I settled on the latter after pondering the situation for a long, long time. And I think he’s doing this intentionally, as a sort of test, or initiation, or a kind of Kung-Fu spiritual trial.

Okay, I’m gonna pause here ’cause I just noticed it’s 9:26 and I wanna step out to see if Larkin comes by. I don’t think he did yet, as he bellows and does a high karate kick on the metal sign sticking out of the curb. Which is in front of the taqueria. I’ll be back in a few…

[pause]

Okay, I’m back. You won’t believe this, here’s what happened:

Outside by the bus stop, having my smoke while gazing off towards where Larkin may be approaching, when someone startles me with a tap on my shoulder.

“Oh, sorry!”

I notice he’s a handsome, red bearded man in a funky, thick knitted light brown sweater that flows to the upper thighs. His pants look like pajama pants, with some sort of flags or rectangles in blue and yellow, on a black background and scattered about.

“No, you didn’t scare me,” I smile into those cool, gray irises. “I was lost in thought.”

He wants a light, so I hand him my Bic. He say thanks, hands it back. and saunters away. I call to him:

“That’s a wicked sweater ya got!”

He turns and says, “Thanks!” Then: “Check this out!”

I watch as he pulls up the sweater to reveal a yummy, tight torso girded in a pair of hip hugging, black boxer briefs. Sparse, light orange hairs, sweetly arranged.

“Is this what he wants to show me?” I question to myself. “Where’s this going?”

Then he yanks down a dark shirt hidden beneath that sweater, to reveal that it matches those silly pants.

“Oh, you’re wearing PJs!” I exclaim.

He smiles back, says “yeah,” then turns away to continue his march up Market Street.

No Larkin though, so I return upstairs to enjoy my dinner of thick, lentil-potato-onion-tomato soup garnished with kimchee, tamari sauce and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled in. Well, no sooner had I consumed the sixth spoonful, than I hear a “whack” on that metal sign outside. Peering out the window, I see guess who?

Larkin.

Apparently, he had ordered a bite from the taqueria, as seems to be his wont these days, after exiting *cough* “Beaux” for the night…and is prancing some kind of terpsichore on the sidewalk, with complicated steps, waving of the arms, and a broad whirligig here and there. The arms of a large, fluffy off-white jacket are tied about his waist, giving the impression of a matador. He greets anyone who passes by and receptive to his handshakes, hugs and friendly greetings.

After he dances several more vigorous minutes, I call out to him:

“I’ve seen better dancing!” He doesn’t seem to hear me, so I repeat the line. He then looks up, hollers back:

“Leave me alone, stop bothering me!”

Then he loudly mutters other words which I can’t really hear, as he positions himself behind a lamppost so I can’t see his face. I retort:

“Yet you still speak to me!”

His public antics continue as he awaits his meal, chatting to other patrons. But then I hear his conversation with someone who is apparently an employee, laughing at Larkin’s humorous quips. As I listen, I realize he’s looking for a job there, questioning the employee about who to talk to, when to show up, stuff like that. Well, Eleanor, this is /most/ intriguing, for if he /does/ start working there, he’s even /closer/ to my residence than *hack* “Beaux” his newest watering hole!

I call out to him a coupla more times, something humorous. At one point he directs a finger at me, from the end of a lanky arm, and shouts:

“Stop stalking me!”

I just laugh back: “Ha! Whatever you say.”

Well, Larkin steps into the taqueria for maybe ten minutes, before stepping back out and walking towards, and beyond, my window. I call out:

“Thanks for the show, I really appreciate it. That was very nice.”

He says not a word, but continues down the sidewalk. So I bellow:

“I hope you get the job! God bless you, Larkin, God bless you!’

So here we have a new story, El, one that Larkin had already planned for me to write about, once the scenario ensued and played out. As My Dragon Guardian has been doing since…oh, I don’t know…since we first met, I suppose.

He /knew/ I wanted to see him tonight, so what does he do? He puts on a show!

And it makes perfect sense, his showing up more frequently in my world again…as the gay holocaust is close upon us, and my destiny about to be fulfilled as a global LGBT leader, with Larkin my guardian, advisor, teacher and BFF. Just like I’ve figured all along, and even described in my novel, published in July of 2013.

Guess I’m soon to be “freed from this bond.” Like releasing the bronco from its pen, kicking and snorting for victory.

– Zeke


Zeke’s War Correspondence, Issue #1

November 12, 2016

Make no doubt about it, we are at war…a new civil war, a most UNcivil war. The genocide of LGBTs is about to begin…or at least, the intent will be made known the moment Donald Trump assumes the presidency. But also make no mistake:

The Democratic Party is complicit in setting up the scenario whereby sexual minorities will be scapegoated as a warning to everyone else that, should they oppose the corporate status quo, they too shall be persecuted. FOR BOTH PARTIES ARE ONE. I foresaw such an outcome on the day President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. For which I proposed the world’s first gay militia, in the following essay:

http://gay-bible.org/write/4_militia.htm

David Icke is a reptilian conspiracy theorist, whom I never took seriously until recently. Maybe he’s changed since he first started, but I’ve been astonished that, lately, he’s very much right on regarding today’s social crises. See for yourself, and tell me if you think I’m wrong:

I have also recently discovered an excellent Youtube news channel, Redacted Tonight, that uses humor in large part, to get across important messages about world and national issues. Here’s the latest episode, which I hope you’ll take the time to watch, as it is well worth it:

It is clear to me that the GOP is promoting solidarity for LGBT rights, using the threat of Muslim terrorism’s virulent homophobia to scare the gay vote away from Hillary and into their own tent. Which is why I posted the following blog entry in late July:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/the-new-gop-meme/

Since the Republican Party is owned lock, stock and barrel by Christian fundamentalists who adamantly oppose homosexuals as worse than rapists and murderers, the GOP will, of course, move with sudden force to overturn every single law protecting sexual minorities, and openly persecute them. For it is their biblical mandate to wreak terror and death upon LGBTs, or they themselves shall not enter heaven, but burn in everlasting hell.

Now, considering the Buddha’s statement that “we have no enemies, only teachers,” what purpose, then, does Donald Trump serve in the grand scheme of things? Perhaps in breaking the spirit of multitudes, as happened to Europe in WWII, we will finally reach out to each other as brothers and sisters in solidarity, to form a better nation truly living up to the ideals of the Bill of Rights. And if this is true, guess whom we have to thank?

Reporting from the front lines here in the Castro,

Zeke Krahlin, Jehovah’s Queer Witness


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