July 29, 2012

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 5:09pm
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Thomas Keske
Subject: Thomas, I am immersed!

Derrick, my dreaming stallion.

Only a few moments ago, my darling friend, almost immediately after posting you my latest e-mail (just before this one), I suddenly experienced a tremendous wave of epiphany! And which is still occurring at this very moment, as I compose this missive.

These angelic guardians tell me: “Zeke! You have done /so/ much good for your homeless brothers, especially those who’ve suffered disastrous family violence, and addiction to hard drugs.”

“I am /so/ awesomely honored!” is the only response I can think of; I am /that/ humbled.

“No, Zeke, you don’t understand. Love is yours NOW, and we want you to /feel/ just how sweet is such revery! So go ahead, our most affectionate brother Zeke. Let go of /everything/ and feel our love.”

So, Thomas, I guess I am in a state of “rapture”…perhaps much like St. Francis of Assisi…or St. Teresa, whose encounters with God were absolutely /orgasmic/. For reference, see:

I’ve brought so many of my street brothers into a /much/ better life: dump the speed/crystal/heroin/whatever, and know that God loves you as much as His Own Son.

I can only reach these downtrodden heros, via Christian mythos. Obviously, because we live in a highly Christianized society. And yet, behind the facade, I apply mostly Buddhist and Pagan beliefs, in order to elevate these magnificent souls.

Just last night, J.J. came back to me, and apologised /profusely/ for being so fukked up the last times he dropped over. I am /very/ impressed, to say the least, Thomas! (Note: since my original post about J.J., I’ve learned his real name is “Derrick”, though he prefers to go by “D.J.”.)

It was, shall I say, one of the most /lovely/ nights of my life. We simply lay beside each other, while we stared directly into one another’s eyes.

“Did I already tell you how much I love you, Derrick?”

I ask, with my face’s left side pressed into a hypo-allergenic pillow that D.J. brought over under the premise that he “bought it” for me. I sincerely doubt that this Sweet Man of Physical and Spiritual Perfection actually had the money to buy a pillow. It was, however, in its original cellophane wrapping, and perfectly clean with a fresh scent of grass. IOW: whether actually purchased or found, the gift was most thoughtful, and reflective of brotherly love returned.

The other “gift” he brought me, was a half-gallon of lemon-scented ammonia! For which I thanked him profusely, but the next morning (after he left on wing-ed feet), I deposited the stinky product on the back porch; in case another resident of 2306 might benefit. Aargh! Sometimes my street friends’ gifts leave much to be desired.

“Oh yes, you have, at least a dozen times today alone!”

Derrick responds from the other pillows, which are two in number, of an autumn-leaf motif. He favors those pillows over mine (the one he “bought” me). They are best used together, as these pillows are otherwise rather flat. But he identifies them with the first time he stayed over. (Have I already told you, that D.J. is quite the darling?)

“And I know you also love /me/ very much, Derrick,” I continue with such divine revelation, I can barely contain myself from embracing him from head to foot, from my arms to my legs to my soul.

But Derrick is no longer into hugging or kisses, during his transition from addiction to freedom. Fair enough, I muse.

“Yes, I do, Zeke. Like the Rock of Gibralter,” he sweetly replies.

And then, a dark deep sleep of profound compassion descends upon us both, and we drift off together to Dreamland.

And in the very wee hours of the night, he graces me with his angelic caresses over my resting body twice. I just need not bring this up in the daytime hours. Enjoy the ride Zeke, you deserve it!

Blessings to you and Danny,

– Ezekiel

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 5:09pm
From: Thomas Keske
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!


You are blessed to find such excellent comfort in this troubled world.

I find the most peace in nature, green living things. Green leaves in the sun have a consciousness like
Buddhist monks, emptied of distractions, anxieties, lusts, negative feelings. If I could translate plant-language to human language, the closest equivalent to what they are quietly chanting in unison is “Praise God”.

The sky above is always divine artwork, no matter what warfare madness on the ground.

Nature and music – two of Life’s incorruptibles, no matter how wicked the world.

Regards, Tom

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 5:21pm
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Thomas Keske
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

On 7/30/12, Tom Keske wrote:
> Ezekiel,
> You are blessed to find such excellent
> comfort in this troubled world.

Yes, indeed Thomas! The epiphany of this most recent breakthrough over my beloved friend “Derrick” is stlll sailing clear! Perhaps this revelation shall ALWAYS keep me steering steady at the helm.

> Nature and music – two of Life’s incorruptibles,
> no matter how wicked the world.

Well, Thomas, as usual, you have expressed a most eloquent thought born of outrage. My breath is taken away, by your brazen benevolence! I am truly HONORED to know your gracious spirit these many years (since 1997!), especially with so much turmoil in my struggles to wake up our community, as to the utterly DIABOLICAL agenda that is “homophobia” or perhaps in another equally-righteous term: “machismo”.

Your good friend,

– Ezekiel

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 12:59am
From: Thomas Keske
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!


Did I ever show you the picture of myself as a toddler, literally hugging a tree? I was too innocent then to know that “tree hugger” was a pejorative.

I was not hugging it like a teddy bear, as a substitute for anything else. I was hugging it because I felt the tree’s life and loved it.

My first encounter with a love that dare not speak its name. It does not take a child long to learn, “You are not supposed to do that. It looks peculiar. It is not ‘normal’. ”

Of course we should encourage that to recapture something so natural and right.

Regards, Tom

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 1:40am
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Thomas Keske
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

On 7/31/12, Tom Keske wrote:
> Ezekiel,
> Did I ever show you the picture of myself as
> a toddler, literally hugging a tree?

No! Send it to me, please.

So when I woke up this morning, there was Derrick sitting up beside me, ready to place a hunk of hash brownie onto my tongue. He got me /way/ stoned on excellent medicinal bud last night…and now, /this/ sweet surprise!

He said he wants to sleep with me under the stars. Who’s complaining? You’ve /seen/ how gorgeous this man is, Thomas. If he isn’t one of Goddess’s own angels, I’ll eat my hat. With monkey puke all over it.

– Ezekiel, the happy camper

Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 1:55am
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Thomas Keske
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

Thomas, I should add now, that Derrick is on a 3-year probation that is up in less than three months. He is nervous about missing his next appointment, Aug. 2nd, and about missing any more.

So I gave him my humble place to stay, for every night up to his next meeting. I figure this would be a great idea, to ease his anxieties. He’s afraid of being sent back to the clink. I told him: “You are /not/ going back to jail. You have /nothing/ to worry about; you’re doing just fine. God loves you, just keep that in mind. Plus: don’t panic over /anything/. Worry never does any good, no matter how
painful the crisis.”

I took his kind hands into mine, and explained further: “Don’t you ever despair, and think your life has been a waste, or that you should commit suicide. You always have me to lean on. It would crush my soul, should you leave this world. I’d either die of heartbreak, or become so crippled in spirit, I’d be just an empty shell of my old self.”

He is most grateful for my friendship, and shows it constantly. He’s really mellowed out since the first cycle of his visits. This man is incredibly beautiful, and to have him love me so much is beyond my dreams. Yet, this is precisely what is coming down.

Derrick is not the only street denizen who is now a devoted friend (and even lover) to yours truly. Remember my visions of some years back, about my acquiring handsome men as bodyguards and amours? This is prophecy of a most personal nature, bearing fruit!

And this is how I know my destiny is secure, and consequently, that of our LGBT family. Our bedraggled community shall soon release my writings in lovely comic-book-novel format, and send me a chunk of the royalties. They may likely do same for you! Someday soon, the Gideon bible across every motel and hotel in Amerika, will indeed be replaced by “The Faggot Bible“.

Cheerz and joy, and love your boy,


From: Zeke Krahlin
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 6:08 AM
To: Tom Keske
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:32 AM, Tom Keske wrote:

> Anything to get the Old Testament out of hotel
> rooms is the work of angels.

Better still: you’re /in/ my Bible as a Star Prophet. Ta-da!

> What total madness
> it is to live in a world where language like that-
> “They are abominations worthy of death and
> their blood shall be upon land”- is not even considered
> an issue. If it were Jews or blacks, it would be unthinkable.

“Disgusting” and “abhorrent” are two of the kinder words to describe this.

> To think that even gay people are so accustomed to
> that kind of attitude that they don’t have a reaction,
> is beyond pathetic. It is a kind of societal insanity.

H.G. Wells’ great novel, “The Time Machine” described a distant future where humans split into two races: the Eloi (who live aboveground) and the Morlochs (who live underneath).

The Eloi were a very childlike, frail people who lived most comfortably off the surviving technology of a long-dead but incredible civilization. (Unfortunately, they were also rounded up each eve under some kind of siren-hypnosis, and eaten by their herders, the Morlochs).

The time-traveling hero of this tale noticed an Eloi being swept downriver, while all the others continued merrily splashing away, oblivious to the imminent danger. They had no sense of any need to save the life of one of their own. So the hero rescued the drowning swimmer himself.

Don’t you sometimes feel like that hero, surrounded by Elois and Morlochs? I sure do!

Your alter-ego from the Left Coast,


From: Zeke Krahlin
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:50 PM
To: Tom Keske
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:23 AM, Tom Keske wrote:
> Ezekiel,
> Actually, Danny has been a vegetarian for a
> number of years, now.

Kewl! Any favorite recipes?

> Sometimes I wonder if I already *am* experiencing
> some kind of psychic link with alien life forms.

Don’t look to Martha Stewart in that department, my good friend!

Look, Thomas: I have been encountering some of the most beautiful men on the planet, not the least of which are Larkin and Derrick. It’s not like I’ve been experiencing this over many years.

In fact, this incredible phenomenon has only begun to manifest less than four months ago!

I would have to say that my fantasies as a gay revolutionary, are coming true. Thanks no doubt, to some kind of Extraordinary Universal Mind, that has chosen for some obscure reason, to grace me with incredible planetary wisdom and love.

Sinqueerly yours,


Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 5:09pm
From: Thomas Keske
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: Thomas, I am immersed!

“Am I not a man and a brother?”


If there were any higher forms of intelligence interacting with this world in any way, it would be similar to how it would be if you could go back in a time machine to the days of slavery, men in chains, used as beasts of burden, etc.

You could hear Southerners claiming that their “peculiar institution” was really to benefit Africans, because they were better fed, had more medical care, etc, etc. That slavery was a God-ordained institution. That they treated their slaves well.

You would not buy a word of it. You would not be fooled by the propaganda. You would not consider it a minor issue. Your perspective would come from a totally different time and set of circumstances.

When a higher form of life heard that gays don’t really have it so bad, that we aren’t mistreated, they would see the gay teen suicides, the murdered gays, the psychological torture inflicted, the covert
genocide, the degrading and dehumanizing attitudes, the insane sea of hatred.

I think that any higher form of intelligence would be trying to help us as a priority issue.

Regards, Tom

Tommy Tree Hugger

I’m Begging You

July 28, 2012

Note Sweet Reader: Keith who used to live in my building for a year or two, but who moved out later, due to the “edginess” of 2306 Market (and the intolerable noise pollution on Market Street), paid me a surprise visit recently, with a little gift contained in a tiny tin for medicinal marijuana. After he left, I opened it to discover a bunch of dollar bills.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Keith, my mind is blown!
Date: Friday, July 20, 1:10pm

Of course, I thought it was just a few dollars, maybe 5 or 10, but I was shocked (in a most delightful way) to discover a total of $78!

Thank you SO much for putting your faith in me…I am greatly touched by your generous donation. And I assure you: it will all go to the right places, that will help give the Castro a boost in a most positive direction. Here’s how I’ll divvy up the funds:

$20 will go to Pow, the gay-themed street musician. He is an /excellent/ soul.

$20 will go to Peace, who watches over the homeless youth that sleep by Holy Redeemer Church.

$15 will go to yours truly, so I can afford a couple more meals at Howard’s Cafe. The folks there are /so/ nice, it has become my major hangout whenever I need to destress from my street counseling. My income has been so badly stretched, I can no longer eat at Howard’s twice per week…more like three times a month. So this boon is a great blessing for my sanity.

Still $23 remaining; what to do? Howz about I invite both you /and/ Austin (or just yourself, if that’s what you’d prefer) to Howard’s some day soon? You’ll fall in love with the place, as I have. Have you read my blog entry “Howard’s Cafe” yet? If not, here ’tis:

Printer ink can wait…more important things to spend this money on, my excellent friend.

You have no idea the good karma you’ve just injected into my day, Keith. Only two hours earlier, there was screaming and loud thumps and door slamming across the hallway, in Apt. 211. So I called 911.

Seems to be a case of gay-on-gay bashing. The resident did /not/ want to file a report, darn it. As far as I know, this has happened at least once before, about three months ago. I was walking to the bathroom, when suddenly a loud thump startled me. It came right from the wall only inches from me, just before I entered the restroom. Then screaming, and more thumps. I quickly locked myself in the restroom, took a shower, and was rather afraid to step back out.

Called Mgr. Jim today, to tell him what just occurred. Told him I’m worried that the 211 resident may not appreciate that I phoned 911. He said, “No worries, he wouldn’t do that. Thanks for keeping the building safe.”

Jim was not in the building at the time. But I wonder if he isn’t just jiving me. I certainly /remain/ concerned for my safety. How ridiculous: I’m pushed out of the Castro due to a recent violent threat, now I’m squeezed from the other direction.

But the three cops were wonderful; I gave them my card w/my blog URL…that they may be better informed about the goings on among the homeless who hang out at HM Plaza. I’d like Peace to run the street patrol, which I will name “The Blue Rose.”

Again, thank you SO much, Keith. FYI: I don’t love anyone because of money, but I love you for putting such solid faith in my/our cause. Guess what? It just occurred to me:

You may be looking at this district’s next supervisor: me!

So is it a date for Howard’s soon? Best time to go is between 9-10am, ’cause the most interesting people show up then. Maybe this Saturday?

You put me on Cloud 9,

– Zeke

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Please, Keith…
Date: Friday, July 20, 1:17pm

strike up a friendship with Peace and Pow. Once you see their photos in my blog entry “Rockin’ at the Plaza,” you’ll know who they are. Two most /excellent/ street denizens whom I know you will adore. Pow has a boyfriend named Nathan; also a most excellent soul. Tell them Zeke sent you…and just watch how they smile!

Your faith in me, is returned. Goddess speed! (Or Spaghetti Monster.) 0_o

To: Zeke Krahlin
From: Keith V.
Subject: Re: Besides KGO
Date: Friday, July 20, 1:50pm

HA! I remember all that craziness from our two years in the Crystal Palace. I was so naive before living there! I loved it, though – it’s a magical place really. I wasn’t too keen on all the drug cooking going on, and sometimes the ‘friends’ of certain residents made things feel a little scary and dangerous, but even those cracked out guys usually seemed nice (just crazy and a bit dangerous!).

Once we were booted out of our apt. for an entire day while the exterminators sprayed all of our belongings with CO2 and various chemical poisons from the imperial oil manufacturers to kill bedbugs, and I sat in the hallway for hours talking to some of the old guys who’d been in the building since the late 70s and early 80s, who’d seen all the comings and goings, all the death in the neighborhood after the First Holocaust of the 33 Year (and counting) Oil War. (When will the second round drop? There’s a whole new batch of queer youth to kill off).

I still have a book of Renaissance literature that the old gentleman named Keith gave me. I really liked him. Every time we’d place stuff out in the ‘lost and found’ (the cabinets in the 3rd floor interior stairway landing) he’d come poking around. I heard he’s left his body behind.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: Besides KGO
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:05pm

Sorry to say, Keith, but that Keith (Betza) was the reason I couldn’t befriend you and roommate/friend Austin. He had a very dark side, which included his badmouthing me in order to scare new (and old) residents from me.

We were friends, once. He had many incredible stories about his time in NYC as a cat burglar, and fringe association with many up-and-coming artists in that area, including Andy Warhol.

But he intentionally denied telling his fantastic true tales to yours truly, simply because he knew it would frustrate me. Write it off to Alzheimer’s, I guess.

Your new-found friend,


To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: I’m sure you’ve been told this many times before…
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:33pm

…but I will add myself to the list:

You are a very HOT and beautiful man!

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Please…
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:33pm

…say you’ll come with me this Saturday, to Howard’s Cafe. We can take the N Judah from Duboce Park around 9am. Bring Austin if you’d like; I can afford you both.

I’m begging you!

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: I’m begging you…
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:39pm

…with tongue hanging out, panting!

Just so you know. I’ll leave you alone now, ‘ cause I know what a pest I can be, towards glorious men like you.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: 415-863-3790
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:41pm

Just to make sure you have my number. I’m such a sucker for beautiful men, I should duck my head in a barrel of freezing water, to get over it. Or you.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: I’ll accept platonic…
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:44pm

…if that’s how you swing. I’m the King of Bromance, if nothing.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Just so you know…
Date: Friday, July 20, 2:51pm

…I have frequent erectile dysfunction, due to arthritis in my right hip, which mild pain travels down to my right testicle, and thwarts a hard-on. It will take a very /special/ man to give me a super erection, in spite of this malady.

Ha, ha, I bet you’re blushing right now.

If not…please forgive my brazen proposition.

To: Keith V.
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Just so you know…
Date: Friday, July 27, 2:25Am

On 7/27/12, Keith V. wrote:
> LI(b)tL;LUW
> :…
> 3->

Okay, Keith, I consider myself pretty savvy regarding Internet stuff, including emoticons. My weak point is, however, texting abbreviations. I cannot for the life of me, figure out line 1, except perhaps that LUW stands for “love you with”. None of the texting dictionaries have proven helpful, and I’m growing exhausted by the search.

Lines 2 and 3, though, I’m sure are emoticons for the male gender apparatus (so to speak). The first one, a side view, the second, a top view (or perhaps bottom, heh heh).

Or maybe I just have a dirty mind. You’d never suspect, by my writing. 0_o

Wait. It has to be bottom, or you couldn’t see the…oh, never mind, it’s just a silly emoticon. Yet, it seems to possess a life of its own, just like my johnson. Which (I might add) seems rather excited at the moment. Oh, the power of texting! Is there an emoticon for “lube”? Perhaps this:


Shame on me.

1482 La Playa

July 28, 2012

A remarkable house of artistic and mystical manifestation by Ocean Beach, San Francisco. 18 videos. Also 81 photos not shown on this page, but can be viewed by clicking here.

While snapping pictures, Carole stepped out of the house, and was most joyful about my interest. I first discovered this marvelously painted and embellished dwelling, the day I desperately searched for a functioning live DVD. Which you may read about, in my hilarious true tale called “Dimitri Saves the Day“. There is a picture of Carole in her automobile, with accompanying video, at page bottom.

Dearest Carole:

You are truly a remarkable lady full of spirit and gifts to the world. Thank you so much for inviting me to view your backyard garden…a most magical place to relax and meditate. The roosters add a greate sense of peace, charm and humor. During my filming in the backyard, the side gate suddenly slammed shut with a *bang*! Anxiety swept through me, as I wasn’t sure at first, how to extricate myself from this predicament.

Eureka! I found a ladder on this side of the gate, and was able to climb up to unlatch my way to freedom. Something fell to the ground as I climbed over…perhaps a wooden duck. My apologies for the disturbance. I hope these photos and videos do your extraordinary residence the honor it deserves. Your splendid abode is a bright candle amid the gloomy ocean fog and drab houses that seem to go on forever, row after asphalt row. 1482 La Playa is truly a beacon of joy and kindness on the edge of a continent. I simply can’t imagine what this house looks like inside! (Hydroponic pot farm? Heh.)

Again, thank you. And I certainly hope we get to meet again, sometime soon. Notice the comments link at the bottom of this page. So that my readers (including your vivacious sweet self) can post whatever remarks, stories or questions about your glorious, life-size diorama in which you and friends dwell.

Your new amigo and co-artist/shaman,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin




Give Peace a 2nd Chance!

July 24, 2012


If you are underage, or in any way forbidden by your government or religious laws from viewing X-rated subject matter, please do not go there. If, however, you are not restricted by any laws in your geographical location, by all means click on the blue rose above, to read my spicy tale. Otherwise, click here.

Rockin’ at the Plaza

July 19, 2012

Featured here among the street denizens hanging out at Harvey Milk Plaza are Pow, Nathan, and Peace. Pow is a unique musician and songwriter, who plays his own self-composed, gay rights music and lyrics. Nathan is his new amour, who rocks like nobody’s business on the guitar. Peace is a very brave, homeless man who watches over and protects his LGBT brothers and sisters who are most vulnerable. He has also become a most beloved friend of mine. Other musicians and denizens are secondary, albeit most relevant.

After all these years of street musicians in the Castro playing hetero-themed music (such as “When a Man Loves a Woman,” et al), isn’t it a refreshing change to hear truly pro-gay songs? Heck, even all the gay bars are inundated with breeder music pumping out the loudspeakers! Who cares if they’re gay icons (such as Madonna), when all they sing are lyrics celebrating the hetero myth?

Unfortunately, my mini-camcorder was stolen, so what videos I show, are without audio, *sigh*. Suffice it to say, such gay-prominent songs would greatly benefit gay tourism, if only the local residents and business folks would catch on to the significance of this remarkable gathering. They are also peace-loving, hence make the neighborhood much safer.

There has since arose a rather obnoxious group of speed freaks and homophobes who threaten this unique display of queer talent. For which reason Pow, Nathan, and some others have decided to depart to other locales. Unless, of course, a miracle happens.

Unless the Castro can somehow reclaim this group of excellent souls of pacifism and gay celebration, I recommend the removal of these benches, due to a new, and far less savory, crowd. Please read “Ess Oh Ess” and “Down with the Benches!” to learn more.

14 pics and 22 videos. Click on any image below, for a larger view:

Left to right: Roxie, Pow, Nathan.

Left to right: Derrick, Pow, Peace.

Left to right: Pow, Nathan, (unknown), Matt (playing keyboard), Derrick.

Nathan (in sunglasses w/guitar).

Left to right: Nathan, Pow, Matt, Derrick, (unknown).

Left to right: Pow, Derrick, Matt, Nathan.

Left to right: Roxie, Carl, Nathan, Pow, Derrick, Matt, (unknown).

Luke (resting, obviously). I have the hots for him! I gave him that lovely jacket now covering his torso. (Ripped or flabby, I have no idea…yet. Stay tuned, Dear Reader!)

This is not what it seems…the older man in silver hair is bent over to pet his lovely dog. Left to right: (unkown), Matt, Derrick, Pow, old man w/dog, Nathan, Carl.

Again, not what it seems. The dog appears in two of the videos below.

Foreground: Pow, Nathan, Carl.

Pow on his new washboard (generously donated by local resident, Paul).

You already know their names.

Left to right: Mural, plus feathered fans on plaza’s opposite (south) side.

And now, the marvelous videos! (BTW the man with the raggy mop of dirty blond hair who rocks like crazy on his guitar, is a great singer, and certainly is imbued with the Soul of Music like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, I do not know his name at this time.)

Down with the Benches!

July 17, 2012

Dear Castro Courier:

I read your article dated May 12th, about the controversy over the homeless at the benches above Harvey Milk Plaza. At first, I was quite offended by the negative feedback of some folks. Let me explain:

I have been a dedicated gay street activist here in the Castro (and San Francisco at large) since at least 1983. And lately, there has been a most excellent crowd, for the most part, hanging out at the benches these last few months. For that reason, I was fervent about keeping the benches up. Some of those bench dwellers have since become best friends to me. But this crowd has, for the most part, recently dispersed to Los Angeles, Seattle, and other locales. What remains is somewhat less than savory (to put things mildly).

Three evenings ago, I came across one person shooting up speed right there out in the open. His name is Manuel, and speaks with a German accent. I appealed to him, to please be discreet, and take his shooting up elsewhere, that the benches may remain for the sake of the good folks who also hang there, and do not pose any problem to residents of this district. In fact, they were a genuine asset, playing their excellent music, some of which was original and very LGBT themed. Something which would be a boon to gay tourism.

Sad to say, he ignored my plea, and even spouted psychobabble to defend his pathetic position. Then this evening, a pre-op transgender male named Rachel suddenly threatened me by accusing me of calling him a “bum” (which I did not: I was talking about some homeless, homophobic hobo out by the beach, to another person with whom I am friends.) Then, Rachel kicked some trash and spit in my direction. He/she then glared and snarled at me…so I departed in order to avoid any violent conflict.

I have always been good to Rachel (and Manuel), and certainly don’t deserve such crude disregard, let alone violent threats to my person. I have therefore come to the sound conclusion that these benches should indeed be removed. Otherwise, increased violence will ensue, and cause this area of the Castro to become a hot spot of danger.

Peace: a righteous man. (Quite the good looker, too!)

I should also add, June 30th there was a violent attack upon one decent soul named Peace, who is nothing but an excellent person who does much to protect and assist his homeless brothers (and sisters). The attacker was someone called James, who struts around like a buffoon, with a big mouth and intimidating posture. He is over six feet, dark tan (though looks caucasion), with brown hair and eyes…and always is seen with a very adorable pit bull that is tan and white. He kicked Peace hard in the knees, and stalked and threatened him with extreme violence, for over three hours.

BTW, I should add here that some of our gay brothers who are not homeless, wander late at night, over to the Holy Redeemer Church on Diamond Street, in order to procure sex with the homeless youth who sleep by that church. Peace is the only street denizen I know of, who protects these youth by chasing the predators away. Peace is such a good man, I have only kind words to say about him.

In good conscience, I can no longer support the maintenance of these benches for the sake of what worthy folks hang out there…many of whom have since moved on (bless you, Pow and Nathan, in your adventures at your new destiny of Southern California). I also wish the best for what other homeless friends I’ve made at the Plaza…who I know will manage quite well with or without the benches.

This warning and disappointment comes from a very liberal pro-gay activist, who’s lived in The City since 1973. By all means, I urgently encourage the removal of these benches, for the sake of keeping this neighborhood relatively safe. And for my own safety, I will no longer stroll or hang out in the Castro, due to the animosity directed against me by meth heads and other unsavory sorts.

If the police or the community care to hear my feedback in person, I will gladly show up at whatever meeting they arrange, to tell them the pros and cons of the homeless here in the Castro, as well as some of the low-down opportunists who happen to have a roof over their sorry heads.


Zeke Krahlin

P.S.: Please read my initial naive appeal, before I put two-and-two together.

2nd from left: Rachel, pre-op transexual “tweaker” who threatened me. Third from left: Rom (w/guitar), a closet case who gets belligerent when drunk, and picks on the decent homeless such as Peace and Vicki. Fourth from left: Danny, who did not stand up for me when Rachel spewed threats. He is my only witness. Click on image for a larger view.

8 Howard’s Factoids

July 14, 2012

Inspired by artist and frequent patron, Jesse Balmer (who orginated the “Howard’s Facts” series; click here and here to see what I mean), I’ve come up with my very own “Howard’s Factoids”. But if you haven’t yet read my original Howard’s Cafe piece, by all means do so now then return here, to continue. Otherwise, you’ll lack a sense of context about these factoids, and your enjoyment will be less than half what it should be.

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #1:

Did you know that Howard’s makes this rib-stickingly delicious oatmeal garnished with raisins, milk and brown sugar? But as the old saying goes: “The early bird catches the worm”.

‘Cause you need to get there before 10am to enjoy this hearty breakfast treat. Their menu actually declares: “Hot Oatmeal…Monday-Friday until 10am (except holidays).”

Now, who on earth enjoys eating oatmeal all day long on a holiday. The Scots? Yet one more Howard’s Mystery!

Famous quote:

“Howard’s oatmeal sticks to my ribs like the extraterrestrial alien baby embedded deep in my chest.” – Jehovah’s Queer Witness

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #2:

There is a horseshoe counter in the central part of this eatery, right beside the kitchen, and seperated by a wall. The midsection of this wall is open, with a clear view to the kitchen, where you see the cooks busy at the sizzling, smoking grill.

This counter invites neighborly conversation to anyone beside you, or two or more chairs away, and even across the waitron runway to the opposite side. But it is the swivel seats provided, that in their snug proximity to each other, add that special physical contact to whatever patron is seated right beside the chair you select.

The seats are so tight, it is literally impossible for even a skinny person to avoid rubbing one’s knee, thigh or butt against your neighbor’s own same portions. So you hear a lot of excuse-me’s, pardons, oops and sorries coming from that area of the cafe.

Of course, as a randy old homo, I most appreciate this setup whenever I find a gorgeous dude seated beside one of these empty (and seemingly innocent) stools.

Copping a hearty bump-up then, is part of the eccentricity and fun of dining at Howard’s Cafe. Especially in a non-gay college-area neighborhood filled with handsome studs that may or may not have a hard-on for other dudes. Particularly sweet for elderly queers like myself who are (if I may brag a little) very well preserved.

So thank you, Howard, for this homey touch of subtle eroticism that adds spice to every cute dish at your sterling eatery!

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #3:

The restroom at Howard’s Cafe is always immaculately clean, brightened up by a potted plant, and lightwell window beside the sink. But the hand towels are not located within the water closet proper; they are stored in a dispenser nailed to the wall on the hallway side of the door!

So once you’ve washed your hands (thoroughly, I hope), you need to grab the latch with dripping wet fingers to undo it, then the doorknob with those same watery paws in order to open the door and dry off with a paper towel or two. The solution for me, of course, is to grab two towels before entering. Unless I forget, which is more often than not.

Ah, the eccentric mysteries of Howard’s Cafe are myriad and confounding…though in their own beautiful way: joyful. For in not changing a thing about this restaurant since Howard’s passing, his memory lives on that more brightly!

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #4:

Notice one of my earlier photos showing Howard’s Cafe’s picture window from the outside. It says “Happy Easter”. That has since been replaced by another phrase, which I presume is the usual one displayed between holidays and special events. I have yet to discern its true meaning: “Go Glants“.

Just what is a glant (or are glants), you may well ask (as I often do)? Giant land ant species? An acronym like “give love and not terror, sweetheart”? Slang for “glance at your Aunt Selma”?

Perhaps it’s a misspell: they meant “glands” instead of “glants”. FYI Beloved Reader, the polite word for edible glands is “sweetbread”. Imagine that! A purely vegan term to describe a hunk of dripping, sticky carcass gland…sometimes a brain no less. Baa-aa-aa-aah! Mad cow disease never had it so good. Then again, there’s the term “sweetmeat”: a purely carnivorous title for a totally vegan treat. So I guess the score is even, then. Go figure.

Ah, the mysterious eccentricities of Howard’s Cafe pile up!

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #5:

Notice the photo below. It is a mini-mezzanine right above the picture window and doorway. Who goes up there? Anyone? And if so, how long since the last time? What’s concealed there? Howard’s life journal? Maybe even his cremains? A crystal skull? A chest of gold doubloons from a pirate shipwreck off the Farallon Islands?

Dessicated body parts of former customers discovered dining elsewhere?

*shiver* I never dine anywhere else, Kind Reader, since I’ve become enamored of this great eatery. Perhaps Howard is a centuries-old vampire that has me mesmerized by his unusually delicious ice water. (What do they put in their H2O that tastes so good? Howard?) Perhaps the employees are chained to the walls all night long, in a dank cellar just below. (A bond of perpetual loyalty, with a sinister undercurrent. How Dragonly Divine!)

I don’t even wanna know. I’ll just stay loyal and never look at another restaurant again with desirous eyes. Gastronomic adultery! Goddess forgive me.

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #6:

What do you think of those two ceramic chef figures below? Is it sort of racist, like those colored lawn boy statuettes of yon? Maybe I’m a bit too politically correct here. But I wish Howard’s employees would toss ’em out, as surely no one’s actually used them since, oh…the signing of the Magna Carta.

They stare at me. My favorite seat in the joint (with back against a large wall mirror, as I am unnerved by highly reflective surfaces; being part vampire that I am…vegan vampire I might add)…is also the best angle from which those faux-chefs can glare at me with utter impunity and dumbkoff grins. They are blank slates.

They are brandishing blank slates. Egads! What does that mean? I wonder in trepidation. That I have no future? That the food has no nutritional value? That I shouldn’t think when I dine here, so it would be wise to just leave my journal at home? That there is no hope for all ye who enter Howard’s Cafe?

I confess, Gentle Reader: these porcelain glazed homunculi unnerve me. Disguised as chefs, they have nonetheless never set foot near a grill, let alone flipped a pancake, hashed any browns, or even boiled a simple hen’s egg. They don’t fool me one bit. Not for a moment.

They are Howard’s spies. For what nefarious purpose I can only conjecture. But I don’t wanna go there. Eat your grilled cheese tuna with French fries, drink your coffee (and don’t forget all the ice water in your glass)…and shut up! a shrill voice declares inside my head. Is that you, Howard?

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #7

Is your dad a flesh-peddler? One would hope not. However, the painting now featured on Howard’s plate glass suggests that someone’s sure is! One would also wonder if pimping out Father’s Day is a help or a hindrance towards attracting new patrons into their superb dining establishment.

Do prostitutes frequent Howard’s? Not to my knowledge, but then again my knowledge about Howard’s doesn’t mount to a hill of pickle chips. Now I know this cafe is brimming over with character and myriad eccentricities (of which I’m apparently the latest), but isn’t this dubious celebration of paternal adulation carrying things a tad too far?

I would think such tacky storefront displays more appropriate for Tenderloin or Polk Street venues (or perhaps the Castro…I’ve lived there since ’83, I should know). But the heart of the Inner Sunset? Egads! Methinks Howard’s Cafe could learn a thing or two from those fine, upstanding merchants of Noe Valley. A neighborhood I haven’t visited BTW in more than eight years; they’re so vanilla-WASP.

Perhaps Howard’s is attempting to lure in new clientele, such as COYOTE, or the North Beach strip club crowd. It is always good to expand one’s customer base, but is this really the right approach for a family-friendly/starving-artist/wanderlust-gay-who-doesn’t-know-his-place eatery?

Be that as it may, I now find myself asking these days (upon seating myself at Howard’s horseshoe counter):

instead of “Who’s your waitron?”, this most jejune and sitcomical of all queries:

“Who’s your daddy?”

Click on image for a larger view.

Tip o’the pimp hat to waitress Bobbie for this factoid’s inspiration!

Howard’s Cafe Factoid #8

See those two nun-like ladies below, seated at the counter? They are Annie and Bobbie, the Friday through Sunday waitresses at Howard’s Cafe. It is these two fairy spirits that make Howard’s such a delight to visit. Always gracing their patron-charges with a kind word, a joke, or a smile and loving ministrations, they make this eatery a most special place among all cafes and restaurants, here in the City of Saint Francis.

If they are nuns, then Howard is Mother Superior. No wonder regular customers show up religiously, and partake their meals with almost fanatic fervor. Let us hope this is due to the wonderful employees, and not any sort of “secret sauce” added to the plates. Just this morning, while dining on Howard’s impeccable French toast, I learned that Annie and Bobbie are about to embark on a road trip. No doubt to spread the Good News about Howard’s Cafe up and down the west coast, from San Francisco to Vancouver and back again.

FYI: Howard’s French toast is laid out in six diagonal slices, arranged vertically with three on each side, each staggered one upon another. According to Bobbie, it is best consumed in zigzag fashion, rather than in a west-east (or east-west) or south-north manner. (North-south is also an option, though not without some inconvenience, as the slices overlap each other, with the nethermost wedge on top.)

Word of advice: don’t pour the syrup from its individual-serving cuplet; it will get quite messy and spread across the enormous oval platter like an oil slick. (Guess you could call it a “maple slick”, though whether or not the syrup is genuine or imitation, remains beyond the ken of this Howard’s tenderfoot.) So be ye not the uncouth hetero brute. Rather, dip each fork-piece in the small plastic cup of viscous delight, as you would your fingers in a Catholic church’s bowl of holy water. Bon apetit, mes chers lecteurs!

Click on image for a larger view.

Are you a devoted patron of Howard’s Cafe, or employee? If so, I welcome you to add your own factoid in the comments section below.

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