We are in This Fight Together

[ Free Me From This Bond (the sequel): Chapter 8 ]

Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 17:21:49
Subject:
Bending Some Rules
From: Zeke
To: Potrzebie School of Slack alumni

I have now decided to overlook those email exchanges that require me to make alterations from email into conventional print. Such as revamping emphasized words or phrases from surrounding “/” demarcations into italics, or changing uppercase emotional declarations into lowercase (and converting them into italics). Et cetera. Grin and bear it if you must, but I truly doubt any difficulty in comprehending the gist of these messages. Of course, I shall continue to correct any egregious typos, that you may read these electronic communiques with reasonable ease.


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 17:29:04
Subject:
Re: Bending Some Rules
From: Alfred E. Neuman
To: Zeke

Zeke wrote:

{{ Grin and bear it if you must }}

What, me worry?


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 17:58:36
Subject:
Re: Pass 1?
From: Zeke
To: Beatrice (Twosome Press)

I have years’ experience proofreading myself, so I’ll just skip that offer. Also: I make up a lot of new words and phrases, which might confound a proofreader other than myself. Also, I write using the “common tongue”…which includes typing “who” even though “whom” is grammatically correct, et cetera.

There is also the matter of emails composing a large part of my chapters. I like to keep the original errors in many cases, for the sake of authenticity. This helps to clearly distinguish email passages from the conventional literary passages.

I also prefer to break other rules of grammar–such as sentence structure–as a playful way of challenging my readers. Those who are well versed in English appreciate how I convolute these parameters to come up with original styles and phrases…some of which will eventually be incorporated into our lexicon. A la Lewis Carroll.

So much for my bragging.

But even if I felt an outside proofreader would be a boon, I cannot afford any additional fees at this time. However, if my first novel becomes a bestseller, I will certainly take that into account for future publications.

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 19:01:19
Subject:
2nd Reminder!
From: Zeke
To: Keith

I really really hope you can make it tomorrow, Darling Keith! Love to treat you to a nice lunch before we hop on over to glorious SOMA. That means you’d need to show up at 2306 by 1 PM (instead of 2). This would also mean dining at either of two places:

1) Chinese restaurant on Church Street near Market, where I enjoy once in a blue moon, their Sweet&Sour Fish. Though the plate is twice as large as I can consume. What I’m suggesting here, is we split a plate to give us each a modest lunch. Of course, I will gladly cover the price of your own drink, along with the tip. I do have the extra moolah, and I know you are living on unemployment.

2) A really neat Belgian bistro on Valencia Street, which not only serves amazing waffles, but wholesome crepes made of buckwheat and filled with European cheeses and freshly grilled veggies.

Either place is on the way to SOMA, assuming we walk there.

Sound good to you? Just so you know: I’d be TREMENDOUSLY HONORED to show you a wonderful day, then bring you back to amazing Gus, your personal guardian angel!

If you invite me in for coffee, tea or wine for a half hour or so before we end the day, that would be a plus!

– Zeke

PS: Larkin is now showing signs of remorse. Suffice it to say that I got him by the balls now, and it’s only a matter of E=mc[2] before he caves in totally, and pleads with tears for my hand in marriage. For the details, you must wait until I release Chapter 8 of the sequel. In 3 or 4 or 5 days from now.


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 19:01:19
Subject:
You might get a letter…
From: Zeke
To: Carmen (Twosome Press)

…from my wonderful lover, Larkin. It is his signed permission as “Larkin Kelsey.” But I only found this out today, many days after I revamped the novel to give him a new name (Arwyn Miles), convert him from Irish to Welsh, make him three inches taller so he’s now 6-foot-7 (seeing as his amazing height is intrinsic to the storyline, I certainly couldn’t make him shorter), gave him a bold dragon tattoo that wraps about his neck and shoulders, and turned his hair from fiery auburn to copper gold.

Anywayz, I think you might get a permission form from him shortly. Unless, of course, he decides to hand or mail it to me. What can I say? Larkin constantly throws challenges at my feet, to make me a better man. Including (obviously) a better author.

I almost like Arwyn better than Larkin…because the taller the fellow, the more passionate my urges…ha-ha! So please let me know ASAP if my Magic Detective sends you that slip. Then I must decide whether or not to bury Arwyn and resurrect Larkin; or just simply keep things as they are right now. Which is the fictitious character.

Love is king.

– Zeke

PS: This email and its exchanges will likely appear in the sequel…of which 8 chapters I have thus far completed. Much to my delight. Love truly /is/ wing-ed!


Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 09:43:24
Subject:
Re: You might get a letter…
From: Zeke
To: Carmen (Twosome Press)

Carmen wrote:

{{ It is great that you managed to so effectively create a new character! }}

Two Larkins are better than one! 0_o


Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 11:27:06
Subject:
Re: 2nd Reminder!
From: Keith
To: Zeke

Dear Zeke, I am a little nervous about going out to the bar right now, even though (or maybe because, haha) it’s daylight out. I don’t want to flake completely though, so I would like to invite you to come over for some iced tea or hot tea (or water or juice) in the backyard before you head out to soma. I’m sorry it’s such short notice. I think very soon (I hope, haha) I will be less nervous about being out around people in public. i need to get up the nerve so I can go swimming when the pool opens up, since I am quitting the castro gym. Then I will be able to go out to bars anytime someone asks and I feel like going.


Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 12:16:02
Subject:
Re: 2nd Reminder!
From: Zeke
To: Keith

Keith wrote:

{{ Dear Zeke, I am a little nervous about going out to the bar right now, even though (or maybe because, haha) it’s daylight out. }}

That’s why I enjoy the darkness of Satan’s Lair…oops, I mean “Hole in the Wall.” (How did /that/ ever slip out?) I, too, am photophobic. And I think that’s because we contain in our genes, the stuff of fairytales…in which certain magical beings come out at night and rest or sleep by day.

So it’s okay if you don’t want go out with me today.

{{ I don’t want to flake completely though, so I would like to invite you to come over for some iced tea or hot tea (or water or juice) in the backyard before you head out to SOMA. }}

Sure, I’d love to. Just let me shut down the ol’ computer (this wonderful invention that has enabled me to reach out to the entire world, in spite of my very low income), get my shoes and shirt on, and I’ll be there! In 15 minutes.

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2013 19:56:09
Subject:
Re: Wedding Vision Makeover
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ It’s quite an intense and lovely vision. Not just a beautiful gay wedding, but a plural gay wedding! That’ll make some pointy heads spin!!!!

Meanwhile, here’s this:. Roger Ebert was a good friend of mine. I knew him back before he was famous. Just recently, we’d had a great renaissance of our friendship, and he was posting links to my writing on his Twitter (800,000 “followers”) and Facebook (100,000 “friends”). Thanks to Roger, I was getting all sorts of wonderful attention and morale-boosting. Today was his funeral in Chicago, alas, and look who wanted to crash it:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/westboro-baptist-church-picket-roger-434594 }}

In a sort of bizaare way (though /significantly/ so) I’d be HONORED if my own funeral were picketed by those Westboro Baptist Deviants. AAMOF I’ll conclude right now that I must’ve done something /wrong/ if they don’t!


Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 17:27:34
Subject:
Forgot to tell you…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…that upon my latest encounter with Larkin, he sincerely and with great gentleness, took my hand and placed another green chit between my fingers. (In fact he leaned his gaunt six-foot-four frame into me and sighed.) It contained that same number that I believe is actually a San Diego zip code. Not that it really matters to me, since I already saved the number to my hard drive.

So I purchased a post card this afternoon, at a Haight Street gift shop. Attached to this email are two images: front and back of said card. Several days later I will ask Larkin if he got it, and what I wrote on the back. Let’s see how things go down.

Of course, the card’s reference to “Junkie” is an implication that his recent, mean behavior is due to his use of meth, or other hard drug. Larkin has quite a sharp mind, so I doubt he’ll miss the connection.

El, I truly hate to think this is the end of a many-years’ friendship with much adventure and divine revelation. But I believe that if he’s really sincere about making things up to me (after shoving me so hard), he’d at least buy me a drink at Twin Peaks or Pilsner inn, as well as phone me and/or send a lovely letter.

But so far I’ve received zilch in that regard. Also: he continued to treat me like a nuisance at Pilsner. Though with /some/ concern…but only enough to raise my hopes without any real commitment. For he never invited me to join his friends on the patio, nor reached out to me when I watched him play billiards.

It is especially difficult in my case to drop someone I love so much, when all signs indicate I should. I have no true friends, only several kind acquaintances. To be honest, I have better friends via cyberspace (such as yourself and Carlyle Lambourne) than I do in meat space. This has been the case since Destiny eradicated my best friend Marvin and my beloved Randolph in the same year: 1992. Since then it has been impossible to make new friends, other than those who are merely passing through San Francisco, or those who reside here for one or two years, then move on.

If Larkin ultimately fails me, I must regard this as my “last hurrah.” In the sense that courting another man for a friend or lover, will be something relegated to the dust bin. I am not the type who can live on w/o any real friends after so many years of rejection, isolation and (I must admit) real violence or threat thereof.

Should I move to Portland, I will nonetheless be rather lonely. With only my fantasies to sustain me. Though at this point, even my fantasies wear thin.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:02:26
Subject:
More hard work ahead…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…possibly. Even if the book gets pub’d with a fictitious name for Larkin, I’d still appreciate his signed permission. Which he said he would give me, two days ago (another confrontation I’ll tell you about this evening)…and he’d mail it off to Twosome Press. But since I’m sending out the finalized manuscript in two days, I really don’t have the energy to revamp his real name/description back into the tome.

Nonetheless, his signed permission will then allow me to keep his /real/ name in the online version. Otherwise I must pick apart 14 chapters and convert him into Arwyn Miles. No easy task, since I cannot simply copy-and-paste from the manuscript.


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:14:55
Subject:
Important revision to New Author Questionnaire
From: Zeke
To: Beatrice (Twosome Press)

Larkin can’t decide whether or not to use his real name, so we agreed to go the fictitious route. He is now “Arwyn Miles.” The only change remaining, is the first paragraph of the “About the Book” section. Like so:

This novel is an epic real-life adventure/bromance about a gay street activist from San Francisco (Ezekiel Krahlin), who falls in love with (and becomes a sidekick to) a remarkable and incredibly handsome gay male (Arwyn Miles) who the author eventually concludes is a detective out of Orange County, California…and perhaps even his guardian “dragon.” Whether this is fact or not remains to be seen, as the adventure continues beyond the book’s conclusion. However, the many true tales woven around these two (mostly instigated by Arwyn himself) certainly gives credence to the author’s interpretation.


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:27:55
Subject:
Important revision to New Author Questionnaire
From: Zeke
To: Beatrice (Twosome Press)

Beatrice wrote:

{{ Thanks, Zeke. I have gone in and made the change in your About the Book text. }}

Supercalifragilistic-fantastic!


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:42:39
Subject:
wow thirty (30) unread e-mails
From: Sean H.
To: Zeke

I’ve finally gotten the computer fixed (@7 replaced with XP) and gotten my crippled connection speed back. It was only 14 kbps. Now it’s 49. The combo of a corrupt OS and infected memory stick hampered the modem apparently. Horde wouldn’t even let me access my e-mail.

As much as I appreciate GOCT, they’re a little screwy.


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:44:05
Subject:
Re: wow thirty (30) unread e-mails
From: Zeke
To: Sean H.

Sean wrote:

{{ I’ve finally gotten the computer fixed (@7 replaced with XP) }}

Excellent. I do hope it’s the “tablet” version, so you can still draw directly on the screen. Enjoy my messages.

Wondering if you’d be interested in drawing 3-7 illustrations for my “special edition”. I want to create a 2nd heavily illustrated version, with a different artist for each chapter. The images will be small, 3×2 inches or close to that.

You see, my illustrator has not completed all her drawings, and today is the absolute deadline. For I /must/ upload the finalized manuscript by April 12. So I decided that it would be really /hot/ to publish a special edition with her illustrations at the top of each chapter, and other artists’ work scattered about within each chapter. This of course, assumes my first book will be a bestseller.

I would pay you in advance, of course: $20/per. Plus an equivalent percentage of the royalties, based on the number of images. For example: 2% of my profits in perpetuity (for as long as the book sells).

But that’s still some time in the future, a few months to a year from now. I’d just like you to think about it.


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 17:01:42
Subject:
Re: wow thirty (30) unread e-mails
From: Zeke
To: Sean H.

Sean wrote:

{{ and gotten my crippled connection speed back. It was only 14 kbps. Now it’s 49. The combo of a corrupt OS and infected memory stick hampered the modem apparently. Horde wouldn’t even let me access my e-mail. }}

I don’t understand why so much malware infects your system, Sean. I use Avira antivirus, which is most excellent…and absolutely free. Porn sites are the greatest offenders, though with Avira you shouldn’t have a problem.

Works on Windoze XP. Here’s the URL for the freeware version:

http://www.avira.com/en/download/product/avira-free-antivirus

{{ As much as I appreciate GOCT, they’re a little screwy. }}

Just a little. Remember: they work on a shoestring budget, and it’s very difficult these days to find an inexpensive ISP that still provides dialup connections.

At any rate, the bimbo that put Windoze 7 on your system should be drawn and quartered. I don’t care how much /better/ that OS version is…it is still a very /bad/ idea to install it on a system designed for XP.

Anywayz, /so/ glad to have you back in cyberspace!

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:09:24
Subject:
So two days ago…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…another confrontation with Larkin ensued.

Crossing Market Street towards Twin Peaks Tavern I see him hanging outside, assuaging his frequent nicotine obsession. So I walk by him just as if he doesn’t exist anymore. Yet he smiles broadly, stretching an arm out to give me the ol’ knuckle-bump between buddies.

“Hmm,” I think, “no hug, just a fist bump. How very /not/ sincere, as if we are mere acquaintances and nothing more.”

So I move on to the corner and wait for the traffic light to turn green. Doing all I possibly can to keep from breaking down in a flood of tears amid a flurry of crisscrossing pedestrians who don’t give a flying fuk about who I am or what I’m going through. He calls to me:

“Zeke! Wait! Please wait!” he pleads.

My legs tremble. I am so sad and flustered that I suddenly lean hard against the 3-foot concrete divider that demarcates Jane Warner Plaza. He comes right up beside me. I look straight ahead through my dollar shades, because I cannot bear to look him in the eye.

“Zeke, I’m /so/ sorry for pushing you. I was feeling rotten and really needed to be alone.”

For this moment, my heart leaps in stifled joy. But just as quickly I come crashing down when he adds in the next breath:

“But you refused to leave. You screamed at me for 15 minutes. FIFTEEN minutes!”

I lower my head in grief, staring down at my knuckles pressed against the cold stone divider: they are red with fury. And declare to no one in particular:

“I DID /NOT/ YELL!” (Except of course the last five seconds when he ran back to Twin Peaks and I hollered, “You’ll never see me again! You’ll never see me again!” At which point he flipped me the bird and shut the door behind him.)

“Fifteen minutes,” I think to myself. “Like that means anything compared to hours spent each day at Twin Peaks and other places among your so-called friends. Asshole.”.

“YOU PUT FEAR OF YOU IN MY HEART!” I blurt into the windy air. I catch his recoil to this utterance from the corner of my eye. Breaks my soul to speak such bitter truth. My tears begin to flow.

“So you won’t accept my apology?”

“That was no apology, Larkin. I had EVERY GOOD REASON to confront you!” I yank off my sunglasses to wipe away the tears, then quickly put them back on.

He then extracts from an inside pocket, a small rectangle of green paper with nine digits on it. And hands it to me. The chit reads:

“92142-xxxx”

He explains: “That’s my address. You do have my name?”

“What a stupid thing to say,” I think. But reply: “Of course. Larkin Kelsey.”

“Good. Just write my name and this number, and the post office will get it to me.”

“The post office will do that?” I query, “without any real street address?”

“Yes. I have your package, and your letters,” assures Larkin. “But please DO NOT send anything else to Twin Peaks. Or it will be returned to you with the word ‘deceased’ stamped on it.” (The package BTW contains the first five chapters of my sequel to “Free Me From This Bond.”)

“No, that’s mail fraud,” I comment, looking straight ahead at a woman crossing the street with four yapping chihuahuahs. “Better to cross out the address and write ‘return to sender’.”

“Look Zeke, this is my little spot in the Castro. Please don’t blow it for me.”

Of course my reaction is the following, though I did not speak it aloud: “You /deserve/ to be booted outta there, for the awful way you’ve treated me recently. I have /no/ ‘little spot’ to enjoy the day. People are mean to me and do not allow me any respite, unless I return to my crummy room and keep to my own idle wishes.”

Instead I blurt with great anger: “THIS IS /MY/ TURF BEFORE IT’S EVER YOURS OR ANYONE ELSE’S!” Ready to punch him in the face, I continue in a thundering declaration:

“Your turf is SOMA. I’m /fighting/ to bring you back there!”

Again taken aback, Larkin pauses then remarks: “Do /not/ send me one more fukkin letter to Twin Peaks!”

Pocketing the green slip he handed me, I shrug: “Oh, not to worry. I have nothing more to send you. Our friendship is OVER.”

Larkin suddenly vanishes, no doubt stepped back inside the bar. I wait for the green light, but when it changes, decide to purchase another pack of ciggies at the shop two doors down from Twin Peaks, same side of the street. (FYI: I gave up smoking 30 years ago, but resumed in early 2012. And I really /enjoy/ tobacco more than ever…along with getting a little drunk each day. Blame it on Larkin’s nerve wracking challenges, or blame it on the Marines: I’m thinking here of Randolph Taylor.) I then walk by his tavern once more on my way hovel. Hoping of course, that Larkin would run back out again, stop me and /sincerely/ apologize this time. But what /would/ I accept for an apology? This:

That he stop treating me like a pariah, invite me into Twin Peaks and introduce me to the bartenders and any friends that might be there. He should be damned /proud/ of me at this point, El! In fact, he should be the happiest man on the planet, for my devoted friendship. And that he no longer avoid me, that he’s /always/ glad to see me whenever our paths cross. That he call me up frequently because I make him /so/ happy. That he invite me out once or twice per week, where we can spend quality time over a cup of caffeine or cocoa. A half hour each week would be a good start.

Of course, he never does run back out, and I slog on back to 2306, and the dump I call home. To tell you the truth, El (and this is a funny thing to say): I wouldn’t have it any other way! For I know /exactly/ what this trickster is doing:

Creating our first lover’s quarrel, that I may stand proud in my own dignity, and establish authority over what needs to be declared. And just what is this declaration? That I love him so much, my heart breaks over the thought, the possibility, that I might lose this darling vixen forever. If this man is not wondrously loved by yours truly, I’ll eat all my hats, and those of everyone else in the world.

But get this: he actually /did/ step out and yell some things to me which I don’t remember in my vexation. As I walked away with my back to him (not even turning around for a nanosecond) I hollered:

“I’M MOVING TO PORTLAND IN TWO MONTHS! GOOD RIDDANCE! GOOD RIDDANCE!” And waved my right hand several times behind me, for emphasis.

Upon returning to my SRO I googled the number “92142-xxxx” to discover that it’s a San Diego zip code.

“The little devil,” I think, “Sending him any letters to that address will just be returned to me! That must be his old address from when he lived in Orange County. Or worse yet, their police department! I can just imagine what they’d think: “˜Oh, Larkin has a new boyfriend!'”

I first decide to put my sandals back on, and confront him once more. Then I think better of it, and conclude:

“No way. He’s not worth the trouble.”

But some minutes later I muster up the chutzpah and march back on down to Twin Peaks Tavern (green slip w/zip code in my left pocket). He’s not in the Tavern, but then I see him marching some old drunk queer back up Castro Street, speaking:

“You’re too drunk, young man. Get back in the bar and we’ll call a taxi!” Then he sees me and adds:

“Ignore him! Just keep moving! Ignore that man!”

I yank out the green slip and assert: “Larkin, this is a San Diego zip code! Ha ha, very funny. A barrel full of monkeys!”

He crouches down to look me in the eyes through my sunglasses. (Once again I almost swoon at those smokey orange irises.) And I declare:

“Can’t you give me a /real/ address for god’s sake?”

He pauses, grabs the chit from my hand and remonstrates (pointing at the numbers):

“Look, this is a /box/ number. You can send me anything to this number, and I’ll get it!”

“Well,” I admonish, “you certainly didn’t explain yourself very well!”

“Honest, Zeke. It’s a mailbox number!” he replies and attempts to place the green slip back in my hand. I refuse, so he tosses it onto the sidewalk and departs into Twin Peaks, drunk geriatric on his arm.

Upon returning hovel, I realize I shoulda saved that green chit and scanned it for my next blog entry. Then it occurs to me to check out my Firefox browser’s “history” sidebar. Lo and behold: there it is! The number in this email is /precisely/ the one Larkin gave me. So tell me this, El:

Do you think it’s even /remotely/ possible that this is a real P.O. (or other) box number? I think it would be a terribly /weird/ coincidence that a mailbox number would be an exact match for a zip code address! He also told me this (in our latest encounter, and of which I am highly suspicious):

“I will sign your request to use your real name, and mail it off to your agent.”

Told My Vexing Sweetheart that the finalized manuscript will be uploaded by April 12 (four days from then). So obviously, it’s too late to change back to his real name. Though by the next day I figured out his real motive:

Larkin wants to /trick/ me into believing I have legal agreement to use his real name. In hopes I’d go ahead and use his true monicker, even though I have no /real/ proof of permission. Then, he can sue me in a most facile manner. The nasty cur! Yet– strange as this may sound–I’m enjoying the /heck/ out of his trickery! What a /brilliant/ game player of life! So, El, here is what I think is /really/ going on:

My Angelic Devil is acting according to script: creating a romantic drama that I may compose the most /wonderful/ love story to ever grace this struggling planet! Of course he loves me with intense passion. He just wants to give me the greatest ride of my life. And I love him /so/ much more for that!

Does our blazing relationship remind you of Ignatz the Mouse and Krazy Kat? Where, of course, I play Krazy Kat.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:50:53
Subject:
Xmas Letter
From: Zeke
To: Joyful Reader

Jeez, how could I forget to include this letter to Larkin that I enclosed with my Xmas 2012 gift. Which I presented to him while standing just outside Twin Peaks Tavern, Xmas eve:

My Sweetest Friend of All Eternity:

Every time I see you, I think upon it later and wonder: “Is this the last time I will ever get to gaze upon his wondrous mug?” So I guess you’re right, Larkin.

Life does, indeed, suck.

The very thought of you ever leaving my world for good, just tears me apart. I really can’t imagine how I’d ever go on without Your Darling Presence…even if just now and then, or once in a blue moon.

This is all I have ever known: those I dearly love are soon stolen from me, either because of survival issues or the demons of despair intervene. With my every breath, I pray that our friendship will be the exception, finally. But I have indeed prayed such, for many elegant and heroic men that came before you…including My Incredible Randolph Louis Taylor.

Thus far, Satan has always won.

I guess we are in this fight together.

I hope this doesn’t come off like a guilt trip. But I sense very STRONGLY in my heart, how important it is to tell you this, right now.

Should I be ashamed or proud? Perhaps the final answer to that, lies within your own Dragonly Soul. But you do have a way of bringing out the very best and most divine in me. So because of this, I’m pretty damn sure I’ve been doing the right things all along.

Kisses & wishes with a whole lotta fishes,

Your Beloved Gene/Zeke from Holy Ghost in the Wall.

PS: Just getting a hug from you is the most wonderful dream I could ever imagine, you are that lovely and inspiring to me! Heaven is most certainly, in your arms. Clothing optional. So hold me in your sweet embrace, Larkin, next time and EVERY TIME you see me. I promise: you will only have my uttermost love and friendship ALWAYS. It will only get better, never worse. And it will last for all ETERNITY. I will NOT disappoint. Or money-back guarantee!

But if you should decide you want nothing more to do with me, I will have no choice but to wish you the very best. Though I assure : I shall weep a mighty waterfall every single fukkin day for the rest of my sorry life.

So there you have it. Don’t you wish you had a lover like me?

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:13:13
Subject:
Re: Dinosaur Joke
From: S. Rohan
To: Zeke

Zeke wrote:

{{ Everyone loves a good dinosaur joke!

Q: What do you call a gay triceratops?

A: Tricerabottom.

(badda boom, badda bing) }}

Good one. So what do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros? ELEPH-I-NO!!

I had to pick up a new scanner, should have it fired up here in a minute! I’m pretty excited…


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:27:11
Subject:
Re: Dinosaur Joke
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

“S.” wrote:

{{ I had to pick up a new scanner, should have it fired up here in a minute! I’m pretty excited… }}

Sorry to tell you, but today is your deadline date: April 10. I will send out my finalized manuscript in a few hours…without your fantastic illustrations.

As I noted earlier: I think Destiny prefers that I stand alone with my first publication…for reasons which have to do with getting the recognition I so well deserve.

But (as I also mentioned previously), I want to publish a “special edition” that will include your images, along with that of various other authors. Assuming of course, that my first book becomes a bestseller.

Which I’m sure it will!

Now, you can complete your drawings with no pressure whatsoever. When you’re ready, I will be tremendously honored to receive them. And will make sure that you also get the recognition you so strongly deserve, being the struggling artist you are.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 20:45:33
Subject:
Re: So two days ago…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ 92142 is indeed a San Diego zip code. Doesn’t make any sense at all. Does he have a mailbox in San Diego? Maybe he does, and stuff gets forwarded to him in SF. Did he used to live down there?? }}

Yes he did, Dear (and I only call you “Dear” with the greatest affection and respect). Larkin lived in San Diego until his lover died of virulent cancer. So you can see why he behaves w/bitterness whenever someone tries to get close to him (including yours truly, I might interject).

{{ The encounter sounds sad and exciting at the same time. God, but you “expose” yourself to Life (with a capital “L,”) don’t you? But that’s why you’re the writer that you are. }}

I am /so/ blessed to have such a fine friendship with you, El! I look /so/ forward to meeting you in person, some day very soon.

Most sincerely,

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 22:49:23
Subject:
Re: images 1-3
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

Pretty nice. But none of them match up to the quality of the “draft” version you showed me of “Snoopy-Doo.” I can only conjecture that your recent tragedies have thwarted your artistic talents for a time. BUT LET ME SAY THIS:

You now have all the time in the world to complete every illustration with the brilliance you showed me, in your drafts!

I really mean this, Sid: I will publish a “second edition” that will feature your work above and beyond anyone else’s.

So please, just take a breather. Have a /beautiful/ next day, and remember:

Gloria isn’t the only good friend in your life. What say we go out for brunch some day soon (my treat including tip), and just shoot the bull…w/o anything to do with your remarkable illustrations for my book! Okay, little darlin’?

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:09:30
Subject:
Re: 8-10
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

“S.” wrote:

{{ …here’s more }}

THEY ARE NOT UP TO SNUFF, based on the drafts you showed me some weeks back! Except perhaps the delightful dragon you drew for Chapter 8 (Dragon Prophecy). Obviously–instead of stretching over the months through your trials and tribulation–you finished off most of the illustrations at the last moment.

I am way too busy finishing off my final manuscript, for spending /any/ time over your illustrations. Let it go, but know I have your success at heart. Just not for my first book, but for a “special edition.”

You know wherein your drawings have fallen short; I need not explain further. But at this point YOU HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to perfect you illustrations!

I still owe you $180 for the additional, last three drawings (chapters 14-16 I think.) Payment will quickly be forthcoming (like tomorrow).

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:17:28
Subject:
Re: 14, 15, and 16
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

Some of the images you sent are FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, some are not. And I have no more time to give you a critique on those illustrations in question. I MUST not wait any longer, to get my book out. But I want you to know:

I truly cherish all your gracious efforts to meet my deadline. And for this, I promise:

I will publish a “special edition” featuring your beautiful art. Until then, you can work on improving those images which you /know/ fall short of your very best.

I’ll get back to you in a week or two, once I process my latest requirements to become self published.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 03:57:06
Subject:
So I’m gonna get a postcard tomorrow…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…and mail it to:

Larkin Kelsey
92142-xxxx

On that postcard, I’ll just write three simple words: YOU SUCK, LARKIN!

Let’s see where it takes me! Yeah, I still gotta figure out the best postcard to use. But I’m sure it’ll show up somewhere at one of Haight Street’s boutique and hyper-touristy shops. Certainly, I can’t do “The Virgin & the Barfly” motif again!

Friendly Ghost Detective Agency at your service! “We don’t slouch when others crouch.”

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:10:51
Subject:
Last night it occurred to me…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…to just step into Twin Peaks Tavern, next time Larkin’s there. I’ll have to slip in while he’s standing outside. Otherwise, he’ll forbid me from entering.

I already had a drink there yesterday afternoon, around 4. Dream Boy wasn’t about, nor did he show up. Introduced myself as Larkin’s boyfriend:

“You know, the one who’s been sending him letters c/o this tavern!”

It did /not/ ring a bell with Barkeep Danny. So I guess it was on some other shift the letters were delivered.

Either that or Larkin made it all up.

Be that as it may, Danny said that Larkin usually comes here Thursday afternoons. Hey, that’s today. Whoopee, watch the fur and scales fly!

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:16:29
Subject:
Invite to Twin Peaks
From: Zeke
To: Keith

Keith, if you can handle it, I’d love to treat you to a drink at Twin Peaks Tavern at 3 PM today. Larkin should be there. If you can’t make it, I’ll just go in there myself. But w/o a friend to accompany “moi,” I’m afraid he’ll block the doorway.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:40:43
Subject:
Ha ha
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

Just kidding. I LOVE the illustrations, most remarkable. You also made my work a lot easier by scanning the images yourself in 300 DPI. Thanks!

All I have to do is rotate them all to be right side up…and crop out the fat white borders.

Yippee! Our stars are gonna rise together.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:05:27
Subject:
Re: Aargh, thar she blows!
From: Beatrice (Twosome Press)
To: Zeke

Zeke wrote:

{{ Manuscript is ready, I just uploaded it. Whee!

– Zeke }}

Got it!! Wooohooo!!

Now we can move forward with the Custom Cover Illustration. I have meetings this afternoon and will be out of the office, though I will start tackling that phase tomorrow when I am back in the office.

Cheers,

Beatrice


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:55:50
Subject:
INCREDIBLE!
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

I am /so/ delighted at how exquisitely you’ve rendered my visions! You will soon become a famous and highly-in-demand illustrator. You didn’t include your artist’s mark in these images, so each one will have the following caption at bottom:

Illustration by S. Rohan

Don’t have time to tell you how much I LOVE each and every drawing. You should celebrate today…for a job VERY well done.

Love ya!

– Zeke

PS: I’d love to frame the original “Snoopy-Doo” and present it (gift-wrapped) to My Magic Detective, Larkin. Either that, or a high quality printout.


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 17:53:12
Subject:
Re: INCREDIBLE!
From: S. Rohan
To: Zeke

Zeke

You almost gave me a heart attack.

I want you to love each piece and I was devastated to think you may not! I put a tremendous amount of time into each and every illustration, rendering a half-dozen drafts and studies per finished work; I did my best to incorporate a variety of styles into a cohesive body of work befitting your concepts.

A pep talk from my dad awhile back (who was a professional sculptor for many years) instilled a larger vision in me, helping me realize the larger picture which is creating something or some combination that previously did not have a presence on this plane; putting back into the collective conversation Art with my thumbprints on it. I was inspired to strive for something beyond the simple fulfillment of basic images. I want each canvas (albeit a small one) to possess the whole story it carries, yea, like the mystical Mary Poppins’ tapestry bag before it…

It was an adventure and a blessing to collaborate on this labor with you–likely more of a life-saver than I even suspect at this point. I’m thrilled to list the satisfaction of such an esteemed Creator as yourself among my accomplishments, and I so sincerely wish you all the success you can handle!! And a bit more!! ;)

I would be honored to pass on the original Scooby as a gift for your Magical Detective, just tell me the address and how you’d prefer it sent (delivery confirmation/insurance/ etc.)

Yours–

“S.”
XO


Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:20:16
Subject:
Re: INCREDIBLE!
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

“S.” wrote:

{{ You almost gave me a heart attack. }}

Just a little payback for dragging me through molasses, and not completing your illustrations until the very last moment. Ha ha. Karma’s a byatch!

{{ I want you to love each piece and I was devastated to think you may not! }}

Your eloquent style is /most/ impressive. You’ve created a modern fairytale thanks to your fantastic artist’s eye. I absolutely LOVE every single piece you’ve created. But I ESPECIALLY adore the old lady w/shopping bags. She’s like a witch out of Mother Goose!

{{ A pep talk from my dad awhile back (who was a professional sculptor for many years) instilled a larger vision in me, }}

He did a damn good job of passing on his artistic genius to you. If I were you, I’d be VERY proud. Thank you /so/ much for sharing such intimate revelations. I am TRULY honored.

{{ putting back into the collective conversation Art with my thumbprints on it. }}

How intriguing: using your thumbprint as signature. If only I knew that earlier, I would’ve mentioned that in my Foreward. But here’s what’s so amazing:

I, too, use my thumbprint in my paintings, as signature! And since I have RSI (repetitive stress injury) in both hands (focal dystonia) and arms (carpal tunnel) due to years and years of typing…I’ve decided to use my thumbprint w/magenta acrylic paint, when the time comes (and come it will, very soon) that admirers ask me to sign their book.

{{ I was inspired to strive for something beyond the simple fulfillment of basic images. }}

You did it, girlfriend, you did it!

(And I think Ms. Poppins would agree: your illustrations are supercaliforniarificexpacificocean.)

We will talk about my employing you as chief artist in the near future. Assuming this book becomes a bestseller, I can easily afford to employ you full time for, say, $100,000 annually, including quality health/dental insurance, for which I will reimburse in full any expense accrued by said insurance contract.

{{ It was an adventure and a blessing to collaborate on this labor with you–likely more of a life-saver than I even suspect at this point. }}

Yes, Sid, I am a life-saver for many folks here in the Castro and other neighborhoods. Soon–because of this extraordinary novel that is a gift directly from the fairies of Avalon–I will be a life saver for hundreds of millions on this planet. That is: gay people and/or sexual minorities. My book will trigger a global renaissance and revolution.

{{ I so sincerely wish you all the success you can handle!! And a bit more!! }}

Your wish is granted. 0_o

{{ I would be honored to pass on the original Scooby as a gift for your Magical Detective }}

I can always meet you somewhere convenient. Otherwise, mail it priority. Including an insurance of $100, and require me to sign for delivery. I will eagerly reimburse you for the cost.

BTW, I just got a money order for you, in the amount of $180. But since you are no longer living w/Gloria, I need to know how to get it to you. Perhaps we can meet somewhere soon, and I can exchange the MO for Snoopy-Doo!

Larkin and I have recently had our very first lover’s quarrel. This caused me to rebel over the excruciating wait to receive your awesome illustrations. Be that as it may, I assure you that we two queer lovebirds will work things out, and bring our heartfelt relationship to the next level.

I am shaking over the realization that I’m actually getting published…and it shall open the world’s eyes in /such/ a major way, that I’ll probably need /never/ carry any ID or moolah no matter where in the world I travel.

At least, among the LGBT Family: on a /global/ level.

Yours forever,

Zeke

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