Ahead of the Curve

[ Free Me From This Bond (the sequel): Chapter 4 ]

Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:49:26
Subject:
“The Burgler Who Liked to Quote Kipling”
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

That’s the title of a book I found in a free box during my hike up and down these hills. Author is Lawrence Block, and the book’s subtitle: “A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery.” (Notice I’ve begun the new habit of placing periods/commas/etc. within quotes, seeing as my preferred style of punctuating is British, and thus considered errors by Twosome Press proofreaders. Odd when you consider they, too, use British punctuation, hailing as they do from Canada.) Anywayz:

The book is actually a galley of uncorrected proofs. (Did I use “galley” correctly, here?) I love finding books no one else has even heard of. At the old SF library (now the Asian Art Museum), I used to wander the stacks and search for books that no one has opened in 30 or more years. Whenever I found such a prize, I’d caress it, smell the ancient leaves and dust on the edges.

Then I’d tell the soul who created this book, that he (or she) is not yet forgotten. Leaf through it, check out any illustrations, and read a paragraph here and there.

But instead of checking it out, I’d place it back on the shelf and search for my next treasure.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 01:36:32
Subject:
Do you know Isabel Allende?
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Just asking because of yet another intense vision I had yesterday. Like so:

You, Eleanor a.k.a. Morticia, post me an email where you type: “I’m going to put you in contact with a famous author.”

“Incredible! Who would that be?” I post back.

You: “It’s a surprise, so you’ll just have to wait. She’ll phone you in a day or two.”

Well, at least I now know the author is female. The next day I receive a phone call from a lady with a sweet, angelic voice and a hint of Spanish accent.

“Hello Mr. Krahlin,” she begins. “This is Isabel Allende. How are you today?”

I am so ecstatic that I forget to speak. Isabel Allende!

“Mr. Krahlin? Are you there?” she giggles.

“Oh, oh, I’m here alright. Had to pinch myself to make sure this isn’t a dream.”

Isabel continues: “Our mutual friend Eleanor Cooney has been in touch with me for some months about your superb tales on WordPress.”

“Oh fantastic,” I exclaim to catch my breath. “This is a tremendous honor, Ms. Allende!”

“Please call me Isabel. I’d like that.”

“Then you must call me Zeke. I’d like that very much, Isabel.”

“Alright Zeke. Now, I understand you are going to soon self-publish your first book called “˜Free Me From This Bond’?”

“Correct, and I’m so excited to hold it in my hand. I don’t think I’ll ever let go of it, once I do!”

Isabel laughs like wind chimes: “Zeke, I’ve read your book, the online version of course. You are an exquisitely talented author!”

I am delirious from her compliment, but somehow manage to unchoke my vocal chords to respond: “I think Larkin has something to do with that, so we both thank you with great joy.”

“Well, Mr. Krahlin…oops, Zeke…” her voice hovers about my right ear like a hummingbird. “I will make sure you get published, even if “˜Free Me From This Bond’ doesn’t make many sales. You are such a treasure, that I’m determined to get the ball rolling, if needed. The entire world needs to hear your message that comes through so lovely and honest from your pen.”

I take a deep gulp as my heart beats rapidly: “Oh Isabel, you’ve made my dreams come true! How can I ever thank you?”

“Oh that’s easy. Once I return from vacation to my home in Tiburon, let’s get together. We’ll have a British style tea party at my place, with a few other guests whose company I’m certain you’ll enjoy.”

“I’d love to meet you, Isabel. How soon can that happen?”

“I’ll return home in a week. So really soon. I’ll contact you again by that time, to set the date.”

“Thank you so much Isabel!”

“It is you who should be thanked, Zeke!” Isabel’s laughter is a balm to my ears. “One day soon the world will fall in love with you, Zeke. I already love you.”

Then we say our goodbyes, and I contact you via email to tell you all about my unforgettable conversation with Isabel Allende.

Am I ahead of the curve, or what?

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 01:36:32
Subject:
Do you know Isabel Allende?
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ If I did know Isabel Allende, I would certainly introduce you to her. }}

My visions are always quite potent, and never wrong or inaccurate. Though at times the characters or places or items in them are metaphorical. I therefore assume the latter, in your case. For you are a very kind person, the salt of the earth so to speak…as is Ms. Allende. Therefore, I surmise:

You, myself and Allende are connected in the spiritual sense. Interesting that her writing is described as “…written in the style of magic realism, which uses fantasy and myth to override time and place.” This from:

http://tinyurl.com/ia-biography

For I, too, use fantasy and myth to embellish my true tales. Her early life is filled with tragedy, as was mine. Another quote from same link:

“Several months after her uncle’s assassination and the overthrow of Chile’s coalition government in 1973, Allende left Chile and found refuge in Venezuela.”

She founded the “Isabel Allende Foundation” in 1996, which purpose is: “…guided by a vision of a world in which women have achieved social and economic justice. This vision includes empowerment of women and girls and protection of women and children.” See:

http://tinyurl.com/ia-foundation

Her inspiration for starting this foundation is (quoting from that same URL): “…to pay homage to my daughter, Paula Frias. Paula’s untimely death in 1992 broke my heart. She was only twenty-eight years old when she died, a graceful and spiritual young woman, the light of our family.”

1996 also marks the year I changed my name. Seeing as a piece of my soul departed with Randolph Taylor’s disappearance from my life; possibly his death. So Gene Catalano left along with him, and Zeke Krahlin was born.

I would not be surprised if Isabel has read some of my writings, including one or more pieces in which your name is prominent, such as “Eleanor, My Muse”, located here:

http://www.gay-bible.org/write/3_eleanor.htm

In fact, Google “eleanor my muse,” and you’ll see the link appear second from the top! Though I prefer duckduckgo.com for my search engine, which shows my “muse” piece as numero uno on the results page.

Though at this point, many of my tales and essays include your name. Which makes it even more likely that Isabel discovered Eleanor Cooney…if indeed she’s perused my works online.

My gifted tales, essays and poems after all, have been out in cyberspace since 1997…both on my gay-bible.org site and Usenet; and later, on tblog.com and WordPress. Without my knowledge, I may very well have become (over these many years) a secretly celebrated author not just by the LGBT Community, but among various authors and literary circles around the planet.

{{ Does she live in Tiburon?? }}

I believe so, if I recall correctly, from a news article I read two or three years ago. She definitely lives in Marin County. Can’t find right now, any article affirming this. In fact, I just discovered her Marin County treatise on poverty in that region, which states she resides in San Rafael:

http://www.marinij.com/ci_7621632

Though I’m certain I read she lives in Tiburon in that earlier article. Perhaps she moved a bit later?

Most curious my connection with the Allende family out of Chile. In 1972 I had won a fellowship as an anthropology major at the Univ. of Missouri (Columbia) to live among the native tribes in Tierra del Fuego, Chile…thanks to my anthropology advisor Dr. Richard Erhard Krause.

Dr. Krause was BTW, a most handsome and tall (6-foot-3) individual, half German and half Lakota. Wavy black hair, deliciously skinny frame, onyx eyes, and quite a rebellious spirit. IOW: a real boner enticement! We came very close to having a torrid affair that would’ve become the greatest scandal ever, on that campus. He was quite comely and offered me countless career opportunities, that I should’ve gotten the hint and opened my fly in gratitude. But I was still severely repressed, considering the homophobic society we live in. 0_o

Unfortunately, a short time later our gov’t had suspended all University collaboration with Chile, in retaliaton for then-Chilean-President, Salvadore Allende. For he reclaimed the rights to Chile’s copper mines that other nations, including the USA, had owned. Quote:

“According to the Popular Unity [ Unidad Popular – UP] coalition , Chile was being exploited by parasitic foreign and domestic capitalists. The government therefore moved quickly to socialize the economy, taking over the copper mines, other foreign firms, oligopolistic industries, banks, and large estates.”

See for yourself, at:

https://www.fas.org/irp/world/chile/allende.htm

Isabel Allende is a niece of Chile’s former Pres. Allende. Who was assassinated in 1973…most likely by our own CIA operatives.

Guess I should inform you at this time, I had a double major: anthropology and Spanish (w/minors in journalism and geology). In fact, it was my Spanish advisor, Dr. Margaret Peden, who introduced me to her husband William, who headed the University’s English department.

Mainly because she was most impressed by my writing skills. Ms. Peden is renowned for being the top authority on Latin American short stories and theater…including translating many excellent works from Spanish into English. While her husband, William, published what is still considered the best biography ever, of Thomas Jefferson. He is also regarded as an expert on English and American short story authors. In addition, he published his own tales with great accolades.

They acknowledged my own gift in writing, and invited me out for dinner once or twice. But at that time I was too immersed in medical issues (facial deformation brought about by a mugging in NYC, stabbed in the face numerous times, which led to gross infections for more than six years).

While William Peden passed on a decade or more ago, I believe Margaret is still alive, though probably in her 90″²s. Wikipedia has some dope on her:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Sayers_Peden

Guess this latest email missive begins Chapter 4 of “Free Me From This Bond- the sequel.”

Love ya always,

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:32:05
Subject:
Re: Do you know Isabel Allende?
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Fascinating!!!!!!!! }}

Thank you. Only today–after reviewing my past in this manner–did I come to appreciate how fascinating. I’m sure you’ll find the next two missives following the “Allende” post equally intriguing.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:58:37
Subject:
Letter to Sal
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Grist for the creative mill, I guess. Sal is a very hot and gorgeous man. Sent this letter via snail mail:


27 March 2013

My Dear Sal,

I’m most sorry to inform you that my building mgr. does not care to “get involved” re. Carl Betza. Which I find most unusual and disappointing, as he’s always been very kind to me even while others have been antagonistic. Why he doesn’t care to give me basic information about Carl’s date of death, and where he’s buried (etc.) is something I don’t understand.

You should know that Carl’s last several years on this planet were marked by a sudden turn against me…after so many years being a good friend and confidant. He did everything possible, to scare new residents away from me by spreading awful gossip. This, I believe, is why you came off as a bit hostile towards me some years back, when I saw you in the building and/or let you in to visit Carl. (Too many years have passed to remember the particulars.)

But Carl didn’t stop there: he also spread hatred against me on the streets here in the Castro. Thus making it impossible to cultivate new friendships, and keep me in further isolation. He was the remaining antagonist among a group of 2306 residents, who did much damage towards my ability to make friends. They have all ended up with most unhappy lives, some now dead, including at least one who committed suicide.

But I take the Buddhist spin: “We have no enemies, only teachers.” Thus I hold no grudge against Carl or anyone else who’s sabotaged my life. I consider them my tough task masters, that I may grow in spirit and learn how to rise above such difficulty via the compassionate route.

For this reason, I am more than happy to look into Carl’s final days, his burial place, and so on…that you may eventually write a memorial to him, and expose our corrupt health system that allows the low-income elderly to perish years before their time. After all, I am one such.

Though hopefully, my upcoming novel will become a bestseller, and I can fulfill my dreams, as well as finally have decent health care. One of these dreams is to open a home for severely disabled lesbian and gay veterans, and employ my street buddies with a living wage, including complete health care (including dental), and five weeks’ vacation every year. They can be caretakers, companions, drivers, garden and building maintainers, cooks, bookkeepers, etc.. Whatever suits them.

I just have no idea how to go about it (discovering info re. Carl’s death), yet. But I promise: I will do my best to figure out how to dig up such vital information. If you have any suggestions how to accomplish this, I’d be most grateful. For Carl was a really good friend far more years than he was an enemy.

It is interesting that at this time and space, we’ve found a common ground. Though sadly, over the death of a mutual friend. Be that as it may, I understand that life sometimes throws us a ball out of left field, for which we must take it and run. (I’m not a sports fan, so not sure if this metaphor is apt.)

I dropped into your coffeehouse several times over the past week, to assure you I’m looking into matters…but that my building mgr. has made himself quite scarce for some days. It is but several minutes ago that I finally spoke with him, only to receive an uncooperative response.

You are more than welcome to contact me in this “Betza Mystery” most any time you’d like. I really want to assure you: I am more than glad to assist you with this project, in spite of a dark association with Carl during his remaining years. I have no enemies, only teachers. Please feel free to call me at the phone number above, or write me. Or even email me at:

zeke.krahlin@gmail.com

Most sincerely,

Zeke Krahlin


Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:00:09
Subject:
2nd letter to Larkin
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Well, I’ve had to think hard and long about this one, but out it went
via snail mail:


27 March 2013

My Dear Larkin,

I know I gave you my word that I would never send you another letter c/o Twin Peaks Tavern. But because you broke an unspoken trust by shoving me the other night, I take the old saying to heart:

All’s fair in love and war.

Because you’ve given me no other way to contact you, what else can I do? But I do assure you:

You shall never receive one more letter from me, to Twin Peaks or anywhere else; it’s over.

Nonetheless: I don’t care if this second letter screws up your social life at that bar. For you’ve screwed with me in a very bad way. And if that happens, and you are angered at me as a result:

I don’t even care if you injure or kill me. I have no protection from the crazies here in the Castro, as I’ve never had a single friend to defend me. In fact, the rare times I’ve been physically attacked in my own neighborhood, people just stand by and laugh…not a single one calls 911, let alone stands in my defense, or shows compassion in any other way. At 62 years old, and with no real friends for decades (forget any lovers), I’m ready to leave the planet.

None of this is worth it. I guess only God knows my real greatness, but my rewards are in the afterlife.

I’ve enjoyed the many pranks you’ve played on me. Yet, in no other prank until this latest one, have you ever been violent to me in any way, shape or form. Shoving me so hard as you did, crosses the line. I could’ve easily fallen and injured myself, including a broken arm or rib. You are a big man, far more powerful than myself. I could never beat you back, nor would I want to. I thought you were my protector and avenger. Foolish me. I fell in love with a bully.

For some days now, I’ve thought this over. A powerful vision came to me two days ago, where I entered the Eagle Tavern, and you proposed to me. Turns out that the Eagle held a surprise party for me, where you asked my hand in marriage. And I said yes. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence performed the marriage ceremony.

Of course, your sweet message on my answering machine tipped me off that you pranked me once again. Though in my distraught feelings over our latest encounter, I erased your message after hearing it twice. If I remember correctly, it was thus:

“Hello Zeke. You are a very nice man, and have always been good to me. Just don’t do it again.”

I could kick myself for not saving that message to my computer, so I could hear it whenever. Nonetheless, you did shove me. Not only was it humiliating, but quite a heartbreak. I never dreamed you’d get physical with me, in any way that could be threatening or violent. I realize that the phrase “Just don’t do it again” was a reference to the time you pranked me at the old Hole in the Wall. Yet, soon after you left that kind message, you shoved me, as if I were just some fukked up punk on the streets giving you a hard time.

For a couple of days, I was ecstatic because of this vision (and your sweet message). But it remains a trouble in my heart, that you shoved me. And you did so after leaving me your kind message. Which phrase comes to mind: “Yanking my chain.”

Don’t know how you could ever make this up to me. Though I pray you will find an answer to just that. But at this point–should you ask to marry me–I’ll have to say NO. For if I said “yes,” it would be a signal that it’s okay to be abusive, and I’ll just stand by you, regardless. You’ve certainly put me between a rock and a hard place. Should this surprise party manifest, and you propose marriage before everyone there, I will have to turn you down, and say that because you shoved me without cause or provocation, I must say “drop dead.”

It will take 2-4 months to wean myself offa you…after which time my love for you will be dead. I guess you’re more of an asshole than I ever imagined. I cannot bear the idea of walking by Twin Peaks and pausing to remember what could have been. I was only encouraging you to think about my disappearance from your life, when I said I’m moving to Portland. Until some moments ago, I thought I could never really vanish from your existence. For I thought such an outcome would grieve you terribly.

But as it turns out, I really don’t want to have the memory of another failed friendship haunting me as I stroll through the Castro. Nor even be tormented with the memory of your short visit in my humble room. Don’t know how I’ll ever move to Portland, as (though I could afford the rent), I have no friends or connections there. Perhaps I will camp out up there for a few months, until something comes through. And perhaps I will change my name again, that you will never find me.

You are not the first man I’ve loved dearly, only to have things fall apart some months or years later. It’s the story of my life. No way will I ever bother to love another again, but finish out my life alone, drowned in books and daydreaming.

There is no reason we couldn’t have become good friends, after so many years of my reaching out to you…and the extraordinary kindnesses you have shown me. Albeit sporadic, otherwise treating me like the worst nuisance ever. After so much caring about you, is this all it comes to: telling your friends I’m your stalker? And you now live barely a block away from me. Something is really wrong with you, buddy, and it’s not for me to be your latest victim! (Unless I’m a sucker for punishment, which I am not.)

The very real fact that you shoved me–and shoved me hard–puts a monkey wrench in the entire scenario. I can’t really believe how badly I’ve been treated for over 30 years here in San Francisco, in spite of my dedication and sacrifices. Mine has been a very lonely life, and apparently, is destined to remain so. Good riddance. There is no marriage taking place, as far as I’m concerned. Good luck with the rest of your seemingly happy life. I will not ever bother with you again. And I guess that’s what you really want, though I’m sure you’ve had oodles of fun playing cat and mouse with me. That, too, is over.

Most sincerely (and with much regret),

Zeke Krahlin

PS: I still have that second set of Scooby-Doo dominoes, if you want them. Otherwise, they’re going into the trash.

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