Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

[ Free Me From This Bond (the sequel): Chapter 16 ]

Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 07:43:22
Subject:
Reason for the ladybugs…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…in that Howard Johnson’s piece, is to honor my deceased mother (she passed away almost six years ago; my father in 2010). My favorite creature as a child was the ladybug. In fact, Mom bought me jammies with ladybugs printed all over. I simply adored these pajamas. Well, some months later those same PJs wound up getting sliced into many little swatches. Here’s what transpired:

I was six years old, and watching Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” on the family TV. Mom had given me a small can of moist and sweetened coconut to enjoy while watching the film. (The evil witch really scared the daylights out of me. I’ll never forget the scene where she presented a poison apple to Princess Aurora. And she fainted dead away.) A little later, it was time for bed.

Around 1 AM, I suddenly awoke with the sharpest pains in my tummy that I’ve ever experienced, even unto this day (and I will turn 63 July first). It felt just like a metal box w/razor-sharp edges tumbling about my stomach. By the time our family doctor arrived (a terribly handsome man by name of Dr. Labovsky. I always looked forward to his gazing down upon my skyclad little body, while feeling me up on the exam table. Such big blue Polish eyes!), the pain had finally disappeared.

They rushed me off to Syosset Hospital where they performed general exploration surgery by slitting open my abdomen. The prep nurses moved really fast, and had to cut up my ladybug PJs.

Turned out my appendix was ready to burst, so they removed it and I swiftly recovered. Mom and Aunt Jean tenderly stitched my pajamas back together. Don’t know to this day why she didn’t just purchase new jammies. Guess ladybug patterns were scarce.

And for more than 30 years hence I shunned coconut in any way, shape or form.

A year before my mother passed on she sent me a gift of a small painting created by one of her neighbors. Depicting a delicate spray of orange daisies, one lone butterfly, and six tiny ladybugs scattered upon those flowers. See attached photo. Been more than two years since I gazed upon that watercolor which I keep stashed away in desk #1, beneath a pile of papers and return address labels.

And for the first time I wept because I miss my mother.

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:54:10
Subject:
Re: Reason for the ladybugs…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

And so I am suddenly walloped by yet one more vision, as I gaze upon my mother’s ultimate gift. Like the fairy godmother in Cinderella, she appears beside me. But unlike that fairy godmother, she’s neither hovering nor has wings. (Wait a minute: she doesn’t even own a wand! I guess austerity has even hit the celestial sphere, too. As on earth, so above.)

Worse yet: she isn’t even visible! But I feel her presence as strong as a sudden and severe drop in barometric pressure. Egads, she doesn’t even have a voice! It is her /thoughts/ that haunt my vexed cerebrum:

“Eugene. Larkin is a wonderful man, for he truly is your guardian angel! He knows /exactly/ what he is doing each and every single moment.”

“Yeah,” I mumble back, “he’s a sociopath with an IQ of 370. The Father of All Assholes.” She giggles:

“You’ve always had such a wacky sense of humor! Always the wisecracker, we figured you’d become a standup comic.”

“But here I am instead, weeping at my desk over a man I love more than even death itself. A man who’s inspired and delighted my every waking moment, just at the thought of his glorious smile.” Then I sigh:

“And now he’s leaving soon for San Diego. I may never see him again. Or talk with him. Or hold him in my CTS arms.”

“No!” she interjects, “that is /not/ going to happen. And that is precisely why I’m here. To tell you…”

So my dear mother describes how this latest drama is nothing more than one of Larkin’s /best/ pranks of all.

“He’s hurt your feelings so that you may compose the greatest love story ever told…”

“Whoa!” i interject with an index finger raised to the sky. “Does this mean I’m gonna eclipse even Jesus the Messiah?”

Then slowly, I lower my arm as the implication hits me full head on:

“Kewl!”

She then waves her glittery wand to show me all the recent (and grievous) scenarios Larkin’s put me through.

[ Yes, Virtuous Reader, I know: she did /not/ hold a wand when she first “appeared.” Now, she does. Perhaps it was stashed in her Maidenform all along. Oh, fer chrissake, she just popped out those gossamer wings as I type this very sentence. God is no Cecil B. DeMille, let me tell you: his pranks are too cheesy! ]

And I envision right then and there, millions of devoted zekeophiles (thanks to Book 1) reading chapter after chapter until they reach 16, pining with every beat of their little lamb hearts:

“Oh dear, is he going to lose Larkin? This’ll kill him!”

IOW: a real cliffhanger (except for the chapter about Joseph).

Mom further explains: “If you thought even for a moment that all this was an act–that you will /never/ lose his friendship–you would not have evoked such strong emotions of grief and prayerfulness. You would never have been /compelled/ to write with such breadth and depth of heart.”

“But he shoved me, Mom!” I almost yell at her, I am so discombobulated. “That’s going too far, no matter /how/ compassionate the prank! There is /never/ any good excuse for violence unbidden!”

[ OMFG, Jaded Reader, now she’s actually /floating/! I can glimpse a hot-pink Victoria’s Secret garter as some august breeze flaps her gown like Marilyn Monroe. This is /most/ embarrassing. She’s my Mom! ]

“You forget, Eugene, that he’s a detective,” she gently admonishes, “and like all good detectives, Larkin is well trained in martial arts. His was a very /controlled/ shove: just hard enough to almost topple you over, but not quite.”

“Your prayer for God’s intercession is kaput,” she finishes, then amscrays like a midge to an electric zapper.

I am stunned as Revelation grows in my heart. Then I break down in tears of joy, my head bowed to these folded arms upon my dingy desk.

“Thank you Mom, thank you.”


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:03:19
Subject:
You won’t believe this…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…but what just occurred earlier this afternoon absolutely confirms my incredible visions and prophetic musings. Here goes, dulce corazon:

Of course I print out my “Mom Vision” to share w/My Amazing Dragon Larkin. Put it in an envelope sealed with my Pegasus sticker, and write on the front in bold black Sharpie:

Lovely Luscious Larkin

Eager to find him, I hurry downstairs. But first, I check the snail mail. Just a junk flyer for “Smart Cremation.” (Well, sure beats “Green Cremation” or “Energy Star Cremation,” I ponder.) About to tear it up, something stops my hand.

“Oh this is funny. I’ll take it with me,” I muse, and laugh heartily on my exit from 2306.

I rush to Twin Peaks Tavern, but My Silly Belov-ed Goose is nowhere around. Which does not surprise me, as it is still early in the day. So I hop on a Boston streetcar to Van Ness Avenue, then depart underground to catch the N Judah in the opposite direction.

Looking up at the Metro schedule on the overhead LCD screen, I discover just 8 minutes for the next N Judah. So the L Taraval comes and goes, then another train whose destination I forget. Then the M Oceanview rolls up, and I look over the passengers, since I am such an avid people watcher.

No one is there that I recognize. But it’s always sweet to gaze upon whatever handsome warlock presents himself. So I look away for a brief moment, then glance back:

Lo and behold, there’s My Larkin standing with his powerful back to the open door.

“OMFG,” I declare to myself, “he knows I have a wonderful letter to give him!”

So I rush into the car just before it closes, look up at his cherished mug, and say:

“Larkin, I have a letter to give you, that I know you’ll enjoy very much!”

With that, I drop my backpack to the floor, and unzip the main panel which contains my latest gift. Suddenly, the train lurches. I almost fall over except for Larkin’s protective arm. Then a handsome and slightly chubby young Latino rises from his seat just inches away, and offers me the spot.

“Oh no,” I declare, “I’m getting off at the next stop. Thanks, though.”

But then I realize he just got up because he’s about to exit, too, and I’m blocking his egrets [ typo intended ].

“Okay, you’re right,” I tell him, “I’ll sit down. Thank you so much.”

So I accept the offer and rest my butt, yanking the backpack towards my new position. And speak to Larkin while gazing upon his wondrous face (and smile):

“I’m still learning to be a good listener!”

While pawing through my backpack for the letter, a petite lady with a weird and incomprehensible accent asks me something like:

“Is this the K? Where do I get off to catch the K?”

At least, that is what I think she spoke, so I reply:

“No, this is /not/ the K Ingleside. Get off at the next stop, which I will do too. And I’ll make sure you get on it, if the N Judah doesn’t arrive first.” But she persists:

“This is not the K? How soon will the K arrive?”

“I have no idea,” I reply. “Once you get off, just look at the overhead screen. It will tell you how many minutes before the K arrives.” She persists:

“But the K? Where is the K?”

At this point I notice Larkin appears annoyed. And for good reason: so often when I try to have a meaningful conversation with someone I love (or am hitting up on), there always seems to appear some vexing imp that obliterates my communique. So I decide to ignore any further discussion with her…and which I believe is Larkin’s wish, via telepathic regard. To my delight, she disappears somewhere else on this yellow submarine.

So I rummage quickly through my pack to extract his letter, along with the cremation flyer. And declare:

“You will LOVE this letter, Larkin!” And hand him the “Smart Cremation” brochure. I allow him to gaze upon the envelope so his farsighted eyes can finally discern the return address. Then declare:

“Oops, wrong letter. That’s a cremation ad…been getting them since I turned 62.” Then I gaze up at those smokey-orange irises and chortle:

“I don’t think we’re ready for that, do you?”

So I extend a hand, that he may return the funereal printout…then present him with the /real/ letter.

“Look what it says on the front,” I proudly state (meaning of course the declaration “Lovely Luscious Larkin”).

He takes a gander and smiles broadly. I want so badly to hug him at that moment, and tell him how much he means to me. But obviously that is not his desire at the moment. And because I respect him so immensely, I do not force the issue.

I smile gratefully: “You always know when I have another gift for you!” He grins, and I’m ready to swoon.

“I’m on my way to Howard’s,” I declare, hoping of course he’ll show up there before me, or a little while after.

Well, buena amiga mia, the train arrives at Church Street Station, where I must depart to catch the N Judah aboveground at Duboce and Church. To my surprise, he exits right behind me. So I turn around to quip:

“Oh, stalking me again, are we?” And My Guardian Dragon snorts:

“Right!”

But he suddenly turns left, while I step right to ascend the escalator. So I fling him one more bon mot:

“If you suddenly depart for San Diego and leave me in the dust, I’ll follow you down there, believe you me!”

Almost arrived at the N Judah stop (after exiting the underground), I turn around one more time to see if Larkin is following me. To my disappointment, he is not.

Well, I finally arrive at Howard’s Cafe to discover: no Larkin! I sigh (for he has spoiled me to the point where I only expect the most wonderful). Nor does he show up at all. But I am not really disappointed.

For I now know that–beyond a shadow of a hesitation–I am truly loved by the most gorgeous dude on the planet.

So right now–as I am composing this latest missive–I’m enjoying the atmosphere at Pilsner Inn, with extra strong drinks served by the gracious hand of Enrico (a most studly and bonerific man with who I’d love to become good friends.) Perhaps I will approach him before I depart, and declare:

“Thank you so much for being such a good guy, and looking over my illustrations. I hope some day we become excellent friends.”

Or do you think, El, that I’m being too forward for my own good? After all, Larkin’s love has given me incredible confidence towards even the most gorgeous men on this planet. What a blessing, eh?

You should know that I approached Enrico when ordering my third drink (“please make it double strength with half the ice: I’ll pay whatever’s righteous, 6, 7 or 8 dollars”).

He charges me 10 (egads). I leave a dollar tip and request:

“If Larkin should show up, please tell him I’m on the patio, and will be glad to buy him his Tall Boy.”

“Okay,” he kindly replies, to which I add:

“This will always be the case when I’m here.”

Well, I’ll be at Pilsner for another hour or so…of course, hoping with all my fluttering heart that Larkin will show up. But that will not corrupt my immense love for him at this point. I will simply go home and look forward to another day.

Luv,

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:06:42
Subject:
Real Name Permission
From: Zeke
To: Zelda T. (Twosome Press)

Hello again, Zelda; and I hope you had a very nice Easter.

I have all the signed permissions ready to send to Twosome Press. But I need to know: how do you want them?

I can upload each scanned result to the file manger, if that is what you’d prefer. Otherwise, I can send them as attachments to an email. So how should I send them to you?

Thanks once more for your kind attention.

– Zeke Krahlin


Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 10:20:5
Subject:
You’re in my latest blog entry.
From: Zeke
To: robert@spokebusterforaids.org

Hey again, Robert…you’re a Real Trooper. SO glad to have met you outside of Twin Peaks Tavern yesterday. You are /so/ inspiring: it is a tremendous /honor/ to feature you in Chapter 10 of “Free Me From This Bond (the sequel)”:

http://tinyurl.com/too-soldier

I actually need to put several more images into this piece, but I thought to publish it ASAP, for your sake. I’ll just get the other images done tonight.

You can jump right down to where I write about you. Just search “robert”…duh! Your excellent son must be VERY proud of you!

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:23:10
Subject:
Re: Change one sentence
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ I know exactly what you mean about that old HoJo color combo. }}

Too bad my Barbie doll didn’t have orange hair! Just as well, though: I don’t dress up whores.

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:22:36
Subject:
Would you like to be in my next novel?
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. & Zelda T. (Jambalaya Publications)

This would be the sequel to “Free Me From This Bond,” which chapters are all based on email exchanges. I am only using your first name, plus “Jambalaya Publications.” No email address to you, is included.

Book 2 is much more heavily involved with the self-publishing process, and the adventures around that. Though I have no problem using fictitious names, even a fictitious publishing company (if that is what you prefer). I just think you deserve to be honored, plus it would be so much /fun/!

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:14:55
Subject:
*Important revision to New Author Questionnaire*
From: Zeke
To: Zelda T. (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 give credence to the author’s interpretation.

So whaddya think? If you’d enjoy appearing in Book 2, of course I’d need your signed permission with a statement such as:

I, [Sally H. / Zelda T.] give permission for Ezekiel J. Krahlin to use our real first names (and the name of our publishing outfit, which is Jambalaya Publications) in his novel “Free Me From This Bond (the sequel).”

__________________________________

Signature

__________________________________

Date


– Zeke


Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 21:14:20
Subject:
Touching Bases
From: Zeke
To: Mario

Hey there, Mario! Just posting this email so we can keep in touch, in case I don’t see you again soon, at the Hole. I think it’s time for me to include my episode w/Alexander Hamilton Post in my next chapter of the sequel to Free Me From This Bond. After all, they deserve much credit.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 23:03:05
Subject:
Oops, I forgot…
From: Zeke
To: My E-frenz

…at the bottom of Chapter 10 is a Gaelic phrase. If you can’t figure out what it says (and I sincerely doubt you can), post me back and I’ll tell you.


Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:09:01
Subject:
Re: Smoking Dragon
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

{{ Oh, that mischievous Baba! Who knows what mysteries hide in the folds of her ample skin… }}

But that dragon is LARKIN, my guardian and migraine…
And he’s /very/ much the male.
He’d better /not/ go through a sex change,
Or I’ll eat my werewolfian tale:

http://tinyurl.com/brian-were

{{ AND there’s more dragons in that panel than just the cigarette smoke… }}

OMFG, I gotta check it out…you’re AMAZING. No, BEYOND amazing! I LOVE meditating upon each and every one of your masterful illustrations. So much so, that I’m afraid I’ve fallen utterly in love with you, “S.”!

Platonically speaking, natch. I could never leave Larkin for another woman. Even if she /is/ more of a man.

You know, I wrote another dragon fable many years back, titled “The Elf of Gwynnid Cavern.” Which stars a boy and a /female/ dragon. And the little boy survives by drinking milk off her scaly teats.

You may read about it here:

http://tinyurl.com/neo-positive

It’s at the end of a rather extended essay. So just go directly to it by searching for “Gwynnid.” Read all the way down to the end. It’s short. Like me. (Talking here about my /body/ and /not/ a certain appendage, you wicked nymph!)

Oh, I need to get your signed permission to use your real name in my next book. I want to include some of our excellent email conversations…they are so intrinsic to my latest tales. And I think you deserve so much credit for your good works.

But using a fictitious name wouldn’t work anywayz, ’cause I describe you frequently as the illustrator for the first book. Plenty easy for readers to figure out who I really mean. So there’s no way around this. And if I can’t get permission, many chapters will fall apart and wreck the entire saga. So I beg your permission:

Please please please please please, with fair trade agave nectar on top!

Mazel Tov, O Genie from the Ink Well,

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:43:04
Subject:
Dragons in the tree…
From: Zeke
To: S. Rohan

…Just for you and me.
Now we’re gonna have some fun,
Just me and Baba McGhee.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:27:10
Subject:
So in using a fictitious name…
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. (Jambalaya Publishers)

…for yourself and Zelda, would you prefer that I also use an alias for Jambalaya Publishers?

I’m thinking: “Twosome Press.”

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:55:26
Subject:
Re: So in using a fictitious name…
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. (Twosome Press)

Sally wrote:

{{ I asked this, and they said it was up to you! Though “˜Twosome Press’ is very cute! }}

Thank you for looking into this, my brilliant Irish angel. I think I /will/ use “Twosome Press,” since even with name changes, there might be others at Jambalaya with those handles.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:12:08
Subject:
Re: So in using a fictitious name…
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. (Twosome Press)

Sally wrote:

{{ No problem Zeke, happy writing! }}

I envy your vocation: assisting new authors that their dreams might come true.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:15:23
Subject:
Zelda is Beatrice…
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. (Twosome Press)

…and you are Carmen.

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:33:58
Subject:
Re: Zelda is Beatrice…
From: Zeke
To: Sally H. (Twosome Press)

Sally wrote:

{{ I love it! I have a good friend called Carmen and I think it is a lovely name! I do enjoy my job! }}

Best job on the planet IMO. Getting my first book published has renewed my appreciation for the printed word…as opposed to electronic cyber-tales.

Though offering your ideas to the world via this relatively new medium, does help in a big way, for reaching many needful souls who otherwise could not afford to buy books.

It’s a two-bladed scimitar!

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 11 May 2023 16:22:34
Subject:
Letter to the Editor
From: Zeke
To: San Francisco Chronicle

Dear Editor,

I am mostly bemused by the rants in yesterday’s opinion section, regarding the so-called “robbing” of our wealthiest citizens…by anonymous hackers who’ve taken over all major financial, military, and government databases.

Will it not be a better world (a much better world), once this wealth is more evenly distributed, that the poor may eat, the homeless get housed, the sick get healed, and gays win ultimate liberation? At least, this is what I understand these mysterious hackers are all about, based on last night’s TV propaganda poised against them by Fox Network.

Already, they’ve achieved the impossible on behalf of world peace, by shutting down all computer interfaces with nuclear weapons and arsenal. And this is only day two!

Think of what we will soon achieve for the sake of brother/sisterly love and mother earth, once the starships from Andromeda land, so they can empower these charitable goals by virtue of hyper-quantum alien technology. Immortality will soon be at the fingertips of every person now alive!

I, for one, enjoy receiving a disability stipend of $150,000 per month (tax free) and full health and dental benefits of the highest quality. Instead of my former paltry income of $1,010 without any dental treatment whatsoever. And a very fragmented health care system that had no preventative services, only emergency.

Please give these celestial beings due to arrive any day now, their fair time under This Brave New Sun. In the past several years, their positive impact has already spread across the entire globe, just from anticipation alone!

Sinqueerly yours,

Ezekiel Krahlin / Larkin Kelsey
Co-Presidents of Athenia, world’s first gay nation
(formerly Northern California)

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