Hitting Bottom

[ Free Me From This Bond (the sequel): Chapter 15 ]

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 18:09:12
Subject:
Dearest Randolph
From: Zeke
To: Randolph Louis Taylor

[ Ravenous Reader: I just discovered this lost file in my “quicknotes” folder. Forgot /all/ about it! ]

12 September 2012

My Most Beloved Randolph,

It has been many many years since I last wrote to you. Now at this point, I’m not even sure if the address via your cousin Kitty is good any more. But I need to speak to you from my heart once more, after such a long passage of time. Even if this letter never goes beyond my failing hard drive.

There are new loves in my life (all homeless but one, Arwyn), who most likely will be taken away from me in a few months’ time or a bit longer…as this is my usual fate. Yet, I always come back to you, even if it’s just an image from a Washington Post news article dated 1985.

I now have a wonderful and most handsome young man in my life, named Derrik. He is but 32 years old, but already has so much wisdom and love to offer the world, I am amazed. Did you bring him to me, to ease this terrible cross? I suspect so.

He is so sweet and kind to me. Yet, due to his jobless/homeless plight, my budget is totally drained, what with feeding him and treating him to one or two restaurant meals per month, in order to give him joy. It is not right that I must be so financially devastated, just for the simple act of love and friendship. Not to mention possible eviction due to his sometimes-erratic behavior, or his feigned craving for poon-tang: a most insulting and grievous burden to place upon /any/ gay person, let alone a dedicated LGBT activist.

So why bring him to me, when the homophobic BS contines to oppress my spirit? Why on earth would you crush my soul, when you know very well that the last thing I need is this nasty intrusion upon my gay-dedicated soul?

I have been ripped off by “gay” speed freaks, of my android tablet and portable laptop. I have been drained of my care for gay brothers, by methamphetamine and general thievery. My opportunity to become published and lucrative enough to aid my gay street pals has been sabotaged by the ignorance and greed of both gay and hetero brothers.

So why on God’s fukkin green earth, did you bring me such a beautiful, sweet man, only to result in sabotage and conflict once more? Why have you also brought me Zack, only to take him away from me in due time, thanks to his desire to return to his home town of New Orleans?

So much time has passed since I flew to D.C. to pull you out of utter desperation. Yet I remain obsessed by your needfulness, and my love for you. I feel very much like a waste of life, thanks to your failure to return /anything/ even remotely resembling friendship or love.

I must therefore make this demand: quit allowing my difficult life to be riddled with undeserved failure and disappointment, and do something really good for me, for a change.

You’re an asshole, Randolph. I hope your Nam Vet buddies have been sodomizing you with bayonets ever since you died and went to hell.

With much love lost,

Zeke


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 18:44:46
Subject:
$$$ For Keith
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

El: I just sent a sweet friendship card to my platonic lover, Keith, with a check for $300. And the following hand printed letter on loose-leaf (Click on letter for larger view):

And gosh darn it, El, since my multifunction printer broke down, I can’t scan that lovely hand printed letter to enhance my blog entry, which will be composed of this email, and become part of a chapter in Book 3. Aargh!

[ Insatiable Reader: I have since purchased a scanner and hand printed my letter to Keith all over again, before posting this entry. I am /so/ anal retentive I’d even give Exlax a “run” for the money! ]

For context, Mi Musa Increible, now read over this email I posted him earlier today:

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:16:29 -0700
Subject:
You need to understand…
From: Zeke
To: Keith

…why I exploded at you in an earlier email, and why I cut us off from that form of communique for a time. But please, Keith, I’m telling you with all the love I can muster up.

My soul is wracked with grief right now as I type. I break down and cry often these days, because Arwyn is so beautiful and wonderful to me: the /best/, most kind friend I have ever known in my entire, pathetic and lonely life. Since he turned on me with hatred and violence these last few months, I have been struck down mightily by an evil so profound I wish I were dead but for one reason:

to be here for Arwyn no matter what, even if I must be relegated to loving him from a afar. Including if that’s the way it must remain for eternity.

For even /that/ outcome I’d prefer, rather than him going insane and/or dying from a brain tumor. Or whatever the malady is that has caused such a profound and wicked change in his personality. A personality (I might add) that has been so brilliant, so talented, so gracious, and so sweet you wouldn’t believe! And focused it all on me, for almost eight years before disaster wiped it all out.

I have no real friends, just acquaintances. Real friends see each other regularly, in person…they do not limit their association to mostly email. Especially if they harbor great affection for each other. The love is there between us Keith, of this I have no doubt, and /greatly/ appreciate. But the friendship lingers on the back burner like leftover oatmeal.

Yesterday I bumped into one acquaintance, Tony, when I stepped off the N Judah at Duboce Park. I haven’t seen him for years, BTW, since the Pendulum shut down; it was SF’s only gay bar that catered to African Americans. So I told him about my present tragedy. He just chuckled and suggested:

“Be with your friends, they’ll give you support.” I almost smacked him:

“I have no friends, just acquaintances.” He just smiled and laughed:

“Get Arwyn to a therapist, they’ll give him the right medication for his mood swings.” I was shocked at his jerkwad comments:

“He doesn’t /need/ a therapist, he needs to be rushed to a hospital, get an MRI scan and whatever else is necessary to track down the problem. Which I believe is most likely a brain tumor!” Then I added:

“And /I/ don’t need /you/ to play therapist with me!”

He just laughed some more, said his goodbyes and proceeded home. I was dumbstruck: no compassion, not even a hug. Just a bunch of armchair advice. You’d think if he had any heart, he’d offer to be /my/ friend, go out for coffee, allow me some respite from this momentous tragedy. But no:

Just like everyone else I know, he too keeps his distance and never bothers to be a real friend. And returns to his happy little life with all his /other/ friends. All except me.

In the past three weeks, I met and had passionate sex with a rather good-looking fellow named Nat. He seemed very sweet, I cried in his arms like a baby, and he held me. I truly felt buoyed in spirit from his kindness (at least, I perceived him as kind; I was desperate for affection and hugs). But the next morning after he departed, I discovered my digital camera was gone.

I really don’t understand why very nice folks I’ve met (such as yourself and Gus, but there are others) do not stand by me through this tragedy of immense proportion. Since I know full well you both have other friends whom you’d support with great love and friendship, through their own sorrowful crises. I have NO ONE upon whose shoulder I could lean. NO ONE who invites me out for walks, coffee, or to their home.

Certainly, I understand your kind of severe PTSD, thus your rare invites. But Gus? He knows my situation too, and could invite me over or hang out over coffee now and then. I just don’t grasp what seems to me, a gross lack of sensitivity towards someone who he claims to greatly admire.

I enjoyed very much the rare times when I was invited to your flat: had a lovely evening (except that first, because of a horrid TV show blasting throughout the living room and stifling my ability to reach out to you, and vice versa). You’d think that–knowing now the awful challenge dumped on me–there would be more than enough concern to touch bases with me, invite me over, say once or twice per week…that my suffering would be eased.

But no, that doesn’t happen. Nor does it happen with anyone else I’ve met who seems really nice. Therefore in my desperation I’ve appealed to the SF gay community at large, for compassion and friendship. And if nothing comes of that, all I can say is:

“Woe to our community.”

For they would prefer that Arwyn die (and I perish in mysery), than do such a simple thing as be a friend.

My great hope then, is that this disaster is but another test, that I grow in spirit and /prove/ to the warlocks among us (especially in the SOMA district), that I am a such a righteous man that indeed, I will liberate us all.

That Arwyn is merely /feigning/ a brain tumor to put me through my paces. That I learn to walk a very fine line between love for another, and responsibility towards my own self.

That these warlocks witness my selfless compassion towards Arwyn, by declaring I will /always/ love that outstanding man, even if it must be from far away, even if it must be forever.

That I stand proud before even those who accuse me of playing the drama queen for my own self glory.

That as a healer, I’m also being tested on ability to analyze a tragic situation and move as rapidly as possible in resolving it. Without ever being vindictive, violent or just tossing up my hands and walking away from a calamity that threatens to consume one whom I love dearly, into a dark hole of evil. Thus leaving Arwyn completely alone to perish.

I would also assume, then, that both you and Gus number among these warlocks. And that keeping your distance (rather than reaching out in kind hugs and visits) is a necessary component of this test. And therefore you share my grief, especially since you are both forbidden from showering me with compassion.

I suppose then, that the shutting down of my printer–along with failed (and expensive) results at a copy center–are all part of this test. There is a very /important/ reason I still need to print out my tales and letters. Only /one/ reason and no other:

That I may continue to love Arwyn (though from a distance), by gifting him with additional stories and love letters. Now, here’s a good sign regarding the printer issue:

I just logged on to amazon.com to look for a new printer. Lo and behold I found one for under $30: the HP Deskjet 1000. No bells and whistles, no multifunction (such as scanner and photocopier). Reviews on this product are outstanding. So I just ordered this device, plus additional ink (which is also quite affordable).

I got a bundle deal for under $51 (extra ink cartridge and USB connector). Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see. Of course, I’ll now need to purchase a scanner, too, as my now-defunct printer was multifunction. But scanners are dirt cheap these days. It is /so/ important that I have access to a printer, simply for the sake of a man who means /everything/ to me. For if Arwyn dies (or goes insane, or the surgery causes major brain damage):

The fabulous wealth and fame that is due soon to come my way, will mean NOTHING. Absolutely zilch. I will be the unhappiest person on the planet, and likely perish from heartbreak. But the upside to all this, is that I will acquire more than enough money to cover /all/ of Arwyn’s medical expenses, housing, and even a lucrative career as a professional party mixer for gay events.

Book 3, then, starts with my discovery of a possible brain tumor, and how I deal with it. And my desperate search for friendship and support…to the point where I bare my soul to the entire LGBT community. I’ve done /all/ I possibly can to reach out and save Arwyn’s soul…with incredible sacrifice in the process. At this point, should no one in Our Gay Family rush in to join me in this battle against the demons–and Arwyn pass away as a result–the onus will be on everyone /other/ than myself.

Those who wallow in their own sorrows and tribulations, or in their own selfish lives, will pay a GREAT price indeed. They will have their parties, visit their friends, and enjoy all sorts of fun by what this affluent city provides in abundance. Good for them. But those who do not offer /some/ level of support, compassion or action (even in the smallest degree) are doomed souls.

I guess it is not just /me/ who’s being tested, eh?

I never realized till a few days ago: “Hey, I’m writing not just one book, but a trilogy!” It is my most fervent prayer that Book 3 turn out to have the happiest ending of all possible happiest endings. But that hopeful turnout seems to be outta my own hands at this point.

All my love to you, Keith (in spite of this crushing weight on my sorry little soul). Please say a prayer for My Darling Dragon. And if you’re not too exhausted after that, say one for me, too.

– Zeke

Gosh darn it again, El! Since my only camera has been lifted, I can’t take a snapshot of this lovely card, and the nice hummingbird stickers I stuck to the back of the cream-yellow envelope. So I’ll have to REpurchase same card, and duplicate the entire envelope and card. Once my /next/ camera arrives, then I’ll take snapshots for the blog entry.

[ Opulent Reader: I have likewise purchased a new digital camera before posting this entry. So now, the pics: ]


Click on above image for larger view.

Is it too much to beg Fate to stop battering me? I’ve been crying “uncle” for decades! Maybe my mistake is not crying “aunt.”

– Zeke


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:16:29 -0700
Subject:
Re: $$$ For Keith.
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ God, that’s wonderful! Don’t you just love giving $$ away? I do. There’ve been times when I had plenty, and it was so much fun to be “Michael Anthony” on a small scale. }}

I truly enjoyed buying my street buddies a meal, handing out over $2,000 worth of excellent ganja, and being able to self-publish.

{{ Your camera?? That’s an unpardonable crime. It’s no use to him anyway, without the software that goes with it. Christ!!!!!!!! Well, as soon as you get your next $$, snag yourself a camera. Life is not livable, in my opinion without a camera!!!!!!!!!! }}

Actually, you don’t need any software…that’s just “extras” such as image editing, photo album software, etc. The pics are stored on a memory card. Just extract it and plug it into your PC’s slot and you’re good to go.

I ordered another camera already, should arrive in less than a week.

Yes, life w/o a camera at hand sux.

I decided to handwrite my letter to Keith all over again, so I can scan it and put it into my blog. God, the sacrifices I go through just to be the world’s greatest gay activist ever! You’d think that the Munificent Spaghetti Monster would make things at least a /tad/ easier, considering my benevolent cause. *sigh*

– Zeke

PS: I really lucked out w/Diego! Not only is he extremely handsome, he has a perfect body (every square inch), and speaking of wanger: talk about inches! Let’s just say I can now throw away my yardstick. Badda-boom badda-bing. No, seriously folks, take my domestic partner, please! He also has a voice that really turns me on. He tastes exquisite /everywhere/. And he has such a sweet nature, devoted to his friends. This’ll really help me over my struggles to regain Arwyn’s love and get that damned tumor removed. Or whatever the curse might be.


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:33:43
Subject:
If you found evidence…
From: Zeke
To: Bryan of Pilsner Inn

…of Arwyn tossing a lit cigarette at me via a security camera, please save it. And if at all possible, email that splice of the video to me. Or press it onto a DVD, whence I can pick it up, or you can snail-mail it.

I need it as evidence in case he further threatens or attacks me. At which point I will have no choice but to press charges, place a restraining order on him, etc. NOT something I ever wish to do (I’m already dog paddling in a sea of sorrow), but it may be the /only/ way I get him to go through an MRI scan, as well as protect myself.

BTW, you should know that on that same evening we had a very enjoyable get-together. The cigarette incident came totally out of the blue…but with victims of brain tumors, things can turn ugly in a flash. If it’s /not/ a tumor (though I have a very strong intuition it is), then it’s something else equally serious, for which he needs to see a doctor ASAP.

Thanks once more for your considerate attention.

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 21:28:05
Subject:
Re: If you found evidence…
From: Zeke
To: Bryan of Pilsner Inn

Bryan wrote:

{{ Unfortunately there is no video available. }}

Okay, thanks for letting me know. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arwyn gets himself booted out by some offense against another. I lectured him a week ago that he needs to profusely apologize to everyone he’s either offended or hurt. I’ll soon have tons of money, thanks to my book…and will give him $$$ so he can apologize in a variety of ways, such as taking these people out for dinner, shopping, or whatever.

Meanwhile, I’ll have to pursue other avenues in this matter. If none of his friends reach out to him soon, hopefully the fates that be will get him to a hospital in time. He might just suddenly collapse, whatever it takes.

At least you’re now aware and can keep an eye peeled. He needs /help/, not vindictiveness.

Well, you did your best. Thanks again, Bryan.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 03:07:51
Subject:
I can’t believe you, Keith!
From: Zeke
To: Keith

You looked pathetically wan and skinny like a meth head, as you entered the Posh Bagel on Castro Street. To top it off, you tossed me a terribly obsequious grin as you swiftly stepped up to the cash register. No hugs, no kisses, no sweet aura! As if I’ve suddenly become a cockroach in your baby-whatever-color-it-is eyes. Then, as you awaited your order of two gourmet bagels for yourself and Gus (I presume though it’s none of my business), you seated yourself at a table behind a “THANK YOU” trash bin just tall enough to hide your darling self from my loving sight.

To be flatly honest, My Divine Companion, I’ve never seen you look so wan and empty-husked, it sorta broke my little lamb heart! Moment your order was ready, you scooted outta there like a tween fleeing an abandoned house so the ghosts would not capture him and suck his soul dry! Again, a fawning smile before you vanished out the door. Jeez!

At the time you appeared like a surprise epiphany, I was reading my letter to the editor (the most important letter I’ve /ever/ writ in my entire life of misfortune) to one of my street pals, Ricky. Told him:

“Uh-oh, Ricky, don’t turn around when I tell you this, just look straight at me.” So Ricky held his hazel-eyed Bambi gaze upon my own vision. I explicated:

“This is platonic boyfriend #2 who just came in. I don’t want him to hear this.”

So I paused my reading until you departed like a gypsy thief. Again, no kisses, hugs or even so much as a how-do-you-do. If it was your intent to utterly destroy my faith in queerkind, you win a gold star.

At first I concluded that my previous email (“Emergency”) blew you to smithereens by its explosively raw truth. So that it wracked you with guilt so badly, it sapped all your remaining joy and strength (already severely compromised by your tragic family and career history.) But some hours later and earlier tonight, it struck me like a bolt of Zeus’s jism:

“No, he’s just humbling himself before me. Keith is part of the Warlock Circle that puts me through my paces.”

So you already /knew/ I was at the Posh Bagel, thus intentionally showed up to play this little game of “I lose, you win.”

That was an adorable little skit, Keith! You don’t fool me for a moment. Still, I crave so much your exquisite kisses and hugs, that I’m kinda pissed. Ha ha, you little scamp!

Please expect tomorrow or next day, a special friendship card I sent you two days ago.

Always tremendously in love with my brave, foxy and mischievous Scottish soldier/comrade, I remain as always,

Your best friend of all time after Gus:

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 03:39:51
Subject:
My Next Laptop
From: Zeke
To: Sean

Seeing as I’ve really pushed the envelope of late, with my only-1GB-RAM Gateway Netbook, I realized I could more easily facilitate my latest online projects by upgrading to a system with four times the memory, plus a built-in DVD drive…with a 12.1″ screen that invites portability for queer revolutionaries who may need to suddenly disappear and run off to parts unknown at the drop of a rump paddle.

Though since the elegant device has a limited hard drive of just 120 GB, I also purchased a 500 GB external hard drive, that I may save my downloaded movies and TV shows there, instead of to the main hard drive. This USB drive will also serve as the repository for all files downloaded by my Firefox browser. Better yet:

Because it’s refurbished, it only cost me $279! Tigerdirect.com has an excellent reputation for refurbished, open box and discontinued computer products…as they only sell /quality/ products, whether brand new or secondhand. Check it out:

HP Elitebook 2530p
http://tinyurl.com/hpe2530p

Now, my Gateway netbook will serve perfectly as my portable brain for connecting via public spaces such as this or that coffeehouse, and also the Eagle Tavern. The bartenders there are /so/ sweet to me, thus I return the appreciation by setting up shop at Eagle two or more days per week (late afternoon), as the Gay Community’s Author/Poet Laureate! Now that Alan Ginsberg is long deceased and rotting in his grave or cremation urn or whatever.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 23:38:20 -0700
Subject:
Fantasy Number Whatever
From: Zeke
To: My E-frenz

Okay my E-comrades, after Arwyn terrorizing me with the possibility of his suffering a brain tumor, or pranking me, I’ve reconsidered that he’s driven me away due to potential harm to my lone self. Just like he did in 2007 at the original Hole, so that I’d cease being a target of evil…or at least minimize the danger. (See Chapter 13 of Book One: “The Phone Call.”)

By Arwyn’s command I am /verboten/ from entering Twin Peaks Tavern, even when he’s not present. “WTF is going on in there?” I wonder. “Can’t be drug dealing, as that site is totally exposed to public witness due to the enormous plate glass windows on two sides that face Castro, 17th & Market streets.” I muse further:

“Definitely something serious: perhaps a sex ring or money laundering, by one or more bartenders, the manager, or even the owner(s). And the only way he knew to guarantee I keep my distance was to scare the cherub outta me. Of course he could have just /told/ me what’s going on…but then again he prefers I figure matters out for myself. Which sharpens my skills as a gumshoe’s assistant. And perhaps some other important purpose of which I am unaware.” Additional revelations bubble up:

“Arwyn has no real authority to permit or ban a person’s entry: he’s neither a bouncer nor any other type of employee there, AFAIK. Yet some days past, he vociferously demanded that I leave, the moment I entered. And in such bold voice, I’m certain the two bartenders heard (along with every single patron). Yet neither barkeep opposed him, but merely tended to their libationary chores. Ergo:

“He /must/ be a detectve embedded at Twin Peaks Tavern! Or operating in a similar capacity (such as a respected guardian of our LGBT Family).” Then I reconsider my Prankster Theory:

“Of course I’d be /greatly/ relieved to discover that his recent and crude regards were just a prank, as opposed to personality deterioration from a brain tumor! Be that as it may, such a prank is way too harsh AFAIC: not worth the grief by anyone’s measure (except the devil’s)! Which brings me back to my “brain tumor” letter to the editor:

“If a silly game it be, then I’ve exposed him to public humiliation and condemnation. It would then seem to /this/ confused little dragon, that I’ve effectively nipped in the bud, Arwyn’s ever again pulling such a heartless stunt. Especially since–and most /important/ of all–he has coerced me to reach out to /many/ trusting gay souls (mainly bartenders and patrons South of Market). Causing them /needless/ waste of their valuable time, their devoted energy, and their faith in my honesty.

“Arwyn’s antics could result in a severe breach in my integrity and many years’ history as a dedicated activist! Surely, in the event this /does/ turn out to be nothing more than a trick, these excellent folks will come up with such a retaliation against Arwyn, he will forever regret his assinine abuse of my faith in him. For one: he will be summarily 86’d from every single gay bar in The City…and most likely, every LGBT bar on the planet! May even spill over to countless /hetero/ bars, too.

“Not that I don’t totally /adore/ his many pranks these past 7+ years…but he’s /never/ before played them out with even the /hint/ of violence or anger.” Though my spirit still agonizes:

“Arwyn put me between a rock and a hard place for sure! I have absolutely /no/ choice but to regard my Brain Tumor Theory as a serious possibility. For how could I ever /forgive/ myself if I did not, and it turns out he /does/ have a deadly tumor? And perishes or goes permanently insane as a result, because I failed to intervene? Breaks my long-suffering heart to think of how he must suffer from cluster headaches, paranoia, and turning on those whom he most loves…and not have the slightest clue about what’s
/really/ going on! And thus:

“I dare /not/ allow those who accuse me of conjuring up this tragedy to gain attention for my own self glory…including couch hopping at bartenders’ and studly patrons’ homes, where hot sex is a possible result (at least now and then)? But certainly, lots of passionate affection and conjugal adventure surely /would/ help raise my hopes and empower me to fight for my platonic lover’s happy survival.” I have therefore come to realize (to my surprise and joy):

“My letter to the editor covers /both/ possible bases perfectly! Either way (prank or tumor), it’s a win/win solution. What an epiphany of relief.” Yet one more astounding conclusion now dawns upon this fevered brow: the Detective Theory!

“If indeed Arwyn is a private eye hired by the SFPD to uncover a cult that lurks among our gay populace (including the PD itself), then my letter will convince the ghouls that they’ve effectively /won/ their mission, which is to break up us two love parrots for good! I have therefore inadvertently (though with perfect and unconscious intuition) assisted My Soulful Warlock in easing the risks entailed in such a diabolical case. As well as more efficaciously apprehend the culprits. No matter how you slice, dice or chop things up, we sure make for a crackerjack team!”

[ So there you have it, My Prayerful Readers: this author’s latest musing on most extraordinary events unfolding in my life like an infinitely-petaled lotus. ]

Now, I think it’s a very good idea to pause at this juncture, to enjoy my latest gleeful fantasy about My Amazing Reptile and his dedicated sidekick:

Fantasy #whatever:

Arwyn steps into the Eagle, but ignores me; seats himself from quite a distance. Later as he proceeds to exit, I holler:

“Don’t let that man leave without giving me a hug!”

Barkeep Eugene dashes to the front entrance to block Arwyn’s egress…swiftly accompanied by two burly patrons for backup. So My Mischievous Mesosaurus flees to the patio and the emergency exit.

Once more he’s obstructed, this time by four powerful dudes. With a resigned sigh he skulks in my direction as I bellow:

“And it better be a really sweet, prolonged hug or the bartenders will not let you go.” Then I add for his benefit: “And they’ll know if your hug makes me happy or not, ’cause they’re telepathic just like you!”

So Arwyn wraps his spidery arms about my trembling torso, and I melt. For one long and beatific minute I melt. His darling embrace grips me like a giant squid to Nemo’s Nautilus. His head presses warmly against mine; our ears clamp like two seashells: I hear the ocean’s distant rumble. My ecstatic tears trickle onto his polyester suit jacket, moistening the left shoulder. “He looks ‘hawt’ in plaid!”

Seconds tick by for an eternity, yet somehow the universe collapses and he pulls away. No sooner does My Bewitching Beelzebub turn aside and take his first step, than I boom my next declaration:

“What, no kiss?”

Noticing both exits still blocked, he swivels back to my own bossy self, to peck me on the left temple. I grab his jacket on the buttonhole side and reprimand:

“Whoa buddy, you call that a kiss? On the lips pal, on the lips!”

Arwyn exhales a deep groan with rolling eyes. Then lowers his Brobdignagian frame to press his mouth upon mine…for, say, 10 seconds. Then draws away. Once more he turns to depart, but I further insist:

“What? No tongue? Get your sorry ass over here buster, and show me /two/ solid minutes of French delice.” I point a commanding index finger in Tall Boy’s direction: “Then, and only then, will I permit you to leave.”

I am swept up in his arms for 120 glorious seconds. And believe you me, the bartenders keep count out loud:

“One thousand one, one thousand two…” and so on.

At last my SOMA guardians step aside from both exits as Arwyn slumps away. But after less than 5 steps I echo one more order:

“What, no blow job?” The exits are guarded once more, in a flash.

So Arwyn quickly spins heel to press against me, and releases my wolf’s-head belt buckle.

“Hardy har har sweetheart,” I chuckle, “Just joking. You can go now.”

But My Greatest Blessing persists, and now fusses with my 101 button fly.

“No way, Zeke!” he sternly opposes like a Puritan forefather about to lash his quivering son. “You’re not gonna get away with it this time. Now /whip/ out that golden rod before I do it myself!”

I squirm desperately to flee, but I’m no match for My Thundering Dragon. In my struggle to defend my virginal sanctity, the barstool topples over with a raucous “bang!”. But Arwyn catches me well before I hurt myself. Helpless before his ubermasculine potency, Arwyn drags me to the only restroom with a privacy lock.

Several seconds pass before the nasty deed is done.

Arwyn departs (this time for realz), leaving me in the wake so to speak. Seated on the toilet where the action just took place, I struggle to catch my breath, recover my boxer shorts and Levi jeans, button up my fly, and cinch the belt. Stepping out to perch my dishevelled self once more at the bar, I place my next order with barkeep Chad:

“Pour me a stiff one, handsome. Arwyn already had /his/.”

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 4 May 2013 14:07:33
Subject:
The Mysterious Case of the Vanished Text
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Had to return to Pilsner Inn today (May 3), to deliver yet one more letter to Arwyn, that got returned. Also, I need to get on the ‘net and my home wifi is down. Pilsner has the best wifi in the Castro, at least when it comes to gay bars.

(BTW, the Bay Area Reporter’s latest issue came out, and they did /not/ print my letter. Fuk ’em. Hopefully, the SF Bay Times will, but they only come out once every two weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.}

Arwyn shows up, tells me to just change the first 2 to a 4. I tell him that the PO requires a street address, too…so “correcting” a number won’t make a difference. Asked him why the address is so important, when I could just continue to hand him my gifts and letters in person. This gives me reason to believe he’s moving back to San Diego. He just walked back to the pool table. In fact, I had to /yell/ my question, he was already halfway there.

I move to the patio to discover a very important chapter passage that is long and powerful, has been erased. My online backup service also replaced that passage with the most recent text file. I had hit ctrl-x to paste it into my email, when suddenly my gmail acted weird and the netbook shut down.

DAMMIT I SHOULA HIT CTRL-C INSTEADA X AND NONA THIS WOULDA HOPPENED!!!

Totally sad over this, I move to a side bench where smoking is allowed. Suddenly this black hobo whose been stalking me in the Castro and screams at me because I refuse to give him the time of day, sits right beside me. He doesn’t address me (thank god), but babbles into the air, rolls his eyes while scrunching up his face in weird expressions, hands and arms flailing about. This is too much, so I move to another bench. A little later, Arwyn steps into the patio and walks by me. I wanted to tell him about the hobo, so he could chase him out. But I guess that’s not in the cards any more: he seems not to give a fuk about me anymore, and is tossing me to the wolves.

Why on earth Pilsner allows such an obvious creep inside, is beyond me. In a while, I move back to the end of the bar furthest from the entrance (a good spot for computer work). Arwyn by now is gone. But a few minutes later he returns to play more pool. Doesn’t acknowledge me in the least, so I do some more work until 10 or so minutes pass, then depart.

I am so sad that passage was accidentally deleted! I’m sure Arwyn did that, he has very powerful psychic gifts. I do not doubt for a moment anymore, as to the existence of a spiritual world. Nor do I mean to offend you by my perspective, but I /must/ speak the truth as I see it, and as I’ve experienced it.

The deleted section was /so/ wonderful, an exquisite piece of writing that I could /never/ recall. Took up around 18 paragraphs. Completely unrecoverable. You woulda loved it, El! Not in the trash bin. Unable to resurrect it with an undelete program. Yet, there are angels who’ve preserved my missing works. I believe the Hindus call this the Akashic Record. But it grieves me beyond measure, what I am being put through in every direction.

No one’s shoulder to lean on…not even Diego’s (Cinderella has nothing on me). He’s kinda kept forgetting to show up when he would. Seemed to have a great heart and was very affectionate, knowing my situation with Arwyn. Said whenever I needed his comfort in an emergency, he’d drop everything else and come to me. Well, El, I started really needing his handsome sweet self two nights ago. He called, and even though I told him I’m in a bad state, he didn’t bother to offer to see me. Two days later: still no Diego.

About an hour ago, I microwaved a yummy Italian dish (manicotti), and when I went to grind the pepper mill over it, suddenly the cap gave out, and dozens of peppercorns spilled into my plate. I was already feeling so bad, I felt very very hurt that God would allow my misery to not only continue, but worsen. Wait, it doesn’t end there:

So heartbroken over Arwyn, yet neither Keith nor Diego (nor any other among the few people who know what I’m going through) have reached out. I am shocked to say the least…especially over Keith, that very handsome fellow with PTSD and a /magnificent/ lover, Gus. Remember how kind I was with Keith, through his ordeal? Coulda had sex with him–more than once, even–yet I did NOT. Only because that would be taking advantage of a suffering soul (considering his frail condition), don’t you agree?

Now, I hear nary a peep out of either Keith /or/ Gus. I feel quite disgraced. Any joy that I ever had, Arwyn took away from me. I could never be happy without him in my life. And I know it’s not just a feeling that will fade in time. It’s right there in my heart, El. If that’s all that’s left of our once-heavenly friendship, I will /never/ let go of it.

So I realized I needed to pick up more manicotti entrees, slipped on out the gate and hiked over to Molly Stone’s. Naturally (as natural as dew on a rose), passing close by (very close by) Twin Peaks Tavern. Of course I didn’t see My Pagan Python there, nor did I expect to: it was after 9 o’clock, and he’s never there that late. Except once, on Xmas Eve. It was almost 10 PM that night, when I completed my latest gift packet to him. You remember:

the stuffed beanie dragon in purple and white, my earnest love letter (probably the 80th or so), talking Scooby-Doo card, black stocking cap with a dragon design in gold, one playing card with a dragon on the back (might have been the joker), some kickass weed, and I guess one or two other things.

Just on the off chance Arwyn /knew/ I had another gift for him, I trotted down Market Street to Castro, crossed Market to 17th. Then crossed /that/ street (with a wary eye on any streetcar that may suddenly lurch forward), to stare into the massive picture window and gaze at My Brave Gila Monster. For there he was indeed, grinning at me with the broadest smile, his orange-gold eyes sparkling with joy renewed!

He immediately stepped out to embrace me with all his arms and heart. And I presented him that gift. He /always/ knows!

Now, I just got back hovel from Molly Stone’s, to find a message on my answering machine. “Probably Diego again,” I thought. “He /never/ calls me when I’m home!”

So I play it back to hear: “Hey this is Donny, can ya let me in?”

Oh fuk me with a duck! My god do I want to let him in! I’ve been /dying/ to hook up with that sterling kok…er, I mean “man” for weeks! Had no idea if I’d ever see him again. And right now, when I need some authentic male compassion more than ever, I am cruelly /teased/ because he most likely won’t call again, any time soon. It’s as /if/ Arwyn’s spirit were jealous, and driving them away.

And I can’t even email this letter to you until ‘morrow morn or noon. Worse yet, the moment Arwyn dropped his dragon-butt upon the barstool right beside me, my /first/ e-missive suddenly went “poof” just when I was ready to post it! That, mi amiga muy buena, is the vanished text which Arwyn scorched away in a flash (ethereal dragon fire of course), not even a crisp remained. The Little Skunk-Wyvern! I’m surprised he didn’t belch.

In my disappeared passage, I told the story of how I prepared to meet Arwyn at Pilsner Inn, that I may place in his paw the final mail that I sent. It was a letter. Can’t recall what words they held, though it’s probably my letter to the editor. Well, whatever it contained, Arwyn need never doubt it doesn’t come from the depths of my heart, and the heights of my imagination.

But really, El, that was the most /important/ thing to do for him right now: that he get the complete collection of 2 letters and 2 packets. They /all/ came from a most urgent prayer that were washed in more than a few tears (let me tell you). It was a most intense, 3-day trial, more compelling than an orgasm at midnight under a full moon on Solstice Day.

That I got him that letter: the one folded with the same packet as the Scooby-Doo belt buckle. The one that pleaded with him to see a doctor ASAP. Accompanied by a printout of brain tumor symptoms. I believe I wrote it as compassionately and informatively as angelically possible, that he would never question if this letter were some form of vengeance. Well, you’ve read that letter El, and I’m sure you agree.

But I have faith a miracle shall occur: the Angels /will/ return to me, this missing passage within a very short time! How could I /not/ believe, when given so much evidence of an afterlife (or “spirit world” if you prefer)? So long as there’s no afterArwyn! I want it to be: alwaysArwyn!

I am highly curious as to precisely /how/ they will bring it back to me. Even amused. Now, Diego just called. Just when I’m about to send off this email. He asked how I am, I said:

“Told you two days ago: I’m in a bad state.” So he simply replied:

“Okay. Hope you’re feeling better in a few days. I’ll just leave you alone, okay?”

I hung up immediately. Being in a “bad state” means he’s /supposed/ to come over, and hold me in his darling arms while I suck on his Mexican tubesteak. What’s not to like? His chest and armpits are /great/ to lick, as is every other part, every square inch of his guapo self. Told him the last night we went passionately overboard:

“Yech! I take it back.”

“/What/ do you take back,” he asks with a beatific grin on his mug, while I lick those sweet armpits. (About which he was too ticklish to touch there, the first time we played. And that was just two hay-rolls ago! Where’s my gold star, eh? I’m a trooper!)

“Remember when I told you that every part of you tastes delicious?” He nods in bliss. I continue:

“Well, that deoderant just burnt my tongue like a chemistry lab.”

“So you just brush me off like that, hey, Diego?” I thought before I smashed the cordless into its plastic cradle. What did he expect me to say: “Okay”? Besides:

Donny’s /too/ gorgeous a dude to turn away! Oh Adonai, my Donny!

So here’s the “update” appendage to The Vanished Scroll, which you’ll just have to accept until said time Goddess’s Seraphim shall deliver unto “moi,” The Ressurrected Apocrypha. (And then this email ends. Keeping my fingers crossed that Donny drops by):

=====

UPDATE: next day

So I spilled two tiny drops of milk onto the mini keyboard, wiped it up with a tissue, and guess what: now three keys don’t work! Maybe when it’s totally dry it’ll come back to life. Meanwhile, I’ve relegated it to my PC component box. $42 down the drain like a silverfish. *sigh*

I’m stuck in this hot , stuffy room waiting for a Fed Ex delivery. They left a message on my answering machine yesterday, that a package will be delivered on Friday. Of course, no two or three hour window offered: I’m supposed to just sulk in Hell’s Sauna awaiting a delivery that may never come. It’s now 1:10 PM and I’m sweating.

It is /so/ important at this time, for me to hang at Howard’s Cafe, for some sort of social respite that helps me cope. But since they close at three–and Fed Ex has yet to show up–I doubt I can get there today. (As it turns out, the Angel of Claustrophobia drove me outta my SRO by 2 PM…once done schmoozing at Howard’s, I hopped back on the N Judah in the opposite direction, to go directly to Pilsner Inn. After /that/ I then returned hovel to discover that Fed Ex /did/ show up. And guess at what time? 3PM. Same time that Howard’s closes.)

Just came back from checking the mailbox in our lobby. Yet one /more/ letter addressed to Arwyn, that’s been returned! Talk about Destiny pounding my heart with a hammer! Do I dare bring him this letter so soon after I handed him the one suggesting he has a brain tumor? I’m tellin’ you, El, this is such a misery to go through, I’d rather have never met My Dubious Dragon in the first place. And that’s a sad thing to admit.

Two times I went to P.O. Plus on Castro near 19th, to deliver those packets…and each time the clerk raised his eyebrows and queried:

“Are you sure this will get through?” So I explained with an exasperated groan:

“My lover has a brain tumor, and it’s been sheer hell reasoning with him ever since the cluster headaches began three weeks ago. He’s in San Diego now to have it surgically removed, thank God. This address he gave me, with just his name and full zip code, is the best I can get outta him.” Then a pause, then a footnote:

“What choice do I really have?”

So he accepted the packet and wished me good luck as I departed.

Almost 8 years since we first met. Same time span as My Randolph…which ended in his utter disappearance. I feel /just/ like I’m in some sort of very weird, gay soap opera. The viewers would be weeping like babes over my fate. But they just can’t wait for the next installment, eh? Break out the Kleenex, peoplez! Call up your girlfriends to shed tears over the cell, and ponder what nefarious plots are due the next few episodes. /I/ sure couldn’t tell you! (I’m under contract.)

No Eagle Tavern festivity, no proposal, no marriage by the end of Book 2. Still, I /had/ to give it a happy ending, because all the other chapters (1-11) were just a string of tearjerker beads on a thread of hope. Thus, my fictitious letter to the SF Chronicle dated 2023.

If God Himself came to me and declared: “Zeke, I can make you the best and most celebrated author in all of human history…past, present /and/ future. I’ll even throw in a bonus: to make you the richest person on the planet, wealthier even than all the biggest corporations’ total profits put together!”

Jehovah then stretches out his massive hands before me, to implore: “If you would /only/ accept Arwyn for the sacrifice. But I will /see/ to it that you find an even /better/ fellow who’ll make you so happy that you’ll forget all /about/ Arwyn. In fact, I’ll erase any memory you have of him. And if you agree to my offer, you’ll meet your new man the moment you step out for the day.”

He pauses, then adds: “Sounds like a /great/ deal to me!”

El, if Our Divine Creator offered me such a Faustian pact, I would say NO in a bedbug’s heartbeat. I know my writing is superb (and has always been so since I popped from my mother’s womb). But now it has reached an extraordinary level of excellence, thanks to the inspiration Arwyn’s friendship has brought me…starting with Book 1.

But his death or mental crippling is /not/ a price I’d /ever/ want to pay, even if Apollo himself sought my hand in marriage. I would rather /sacrifice/ my Authorian Gift, for the sake of Arwyn’s happiness. Book 3 /must/ have a happy ending, and not one I make up. It was never my intent to cause my readers so much grief. My plan was always to compose joyful tales that bespeak tremendous appreciation for My Dragon Who Descended from the Skies of Avalon to Liberate My Broken Heart.

But so far, that only seems to be true for Book 1. And here I am, already into chapter 5 of Book 3. May the fates shower me with mercy. But please, Dear Eros, bring Arwyn under this shower /with/ me. We can lather each other up with our own tears of joy and Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap!

– Zeke

PS: Now what the heck is going on? Just looked at my netbook’s desktop to discover the wallpaper is populated with jellyfish! This is Windows 7 Starter, which is a pared down OS…which does /not/ provide the option to change backgrounds! If the appearance of these sea blobs is some sort of message from the gods, I have no idea what to make of it. Poseidon, maybe?

PPS: It’s a day later as I type this addendum. Donny never /did/ return. Told ya so! And I’m gonna forget /all/ about Diego: he loves me a bit /less/ than life itself. Never dreamt I’d have to resume my old habit of scouting the streets of the Castro, in hopes of finally stumbling into my one true love. Silly me, Arwyn /is/ My One True Love! Why the heck do I need to dredge this mean sea of asphalt anymore, only to net a dead porpoise dripping with petroleum and seaweed? Because he’s got a tight blowhole?

Arwyn’s My Starfish-Dragon!

PPPS: Bought myself a pocket digital recorder at Best Buy two days ago. (That big-box store is just two blocks away and across the street from Eagle Tavern.) Seeing as my visions are coming so fast and furious, I can’t keep yanking out pen and notebook while on my power walks. It’s a real blessing just to whip out the recorder from its pouch that hangs off my belt, and jot down my ideas by voice. Though I realize that since I got this device I’m a nobody again. I no longer brandish pen and loose-leaf pad at Howard’s or anywhere else, whereby people would think, “Oh, he’s an author.” This pocket recorder is my butterfly net. Yet, the delight I should gain over this is nowhere to be found. For Arwyn has stolen all the remaining joy I once had, that he so sweetly gave me for several gracious months…then quickly erased. Walking with an electronic gadget is a poor replacement for Arwyn’s company. I hate this book, so far. Likewise Book 2 (except the final chapter).


Date: Sat, 4 May 2013 14:26:20
Subject:
What’s coming down the pike
From: Zeke
To: My E-frenz

This latest letter to Arwyn is enclosed with a gift packet of several new chapters, addressed to the satirical location shown above. To view the front of the entire packet click here. To view the back click here.

I will present this to him in 2-4 days:

Mr. Miles,

These are the first four chapters of Book 3: “Free Me From This Bond (sequel to the sequel).” I have also enclosed a form for you to give me signed permission to use your real name for Book 2. If I don’t receive it within two weeks I will go ahead and use a fictitious name and description, just like in Book 1.

You have been very nasty to me since mid-January. Besides shoving me (and wrenching out my back, causing several weeks’ agony) and flicking a lit cigarette onto my lap: you’ve driven me away at least five times when I walked up to you. Just previous to these incidents, you were very glad to see me, gave me wonderful hugs, and invited me to speak with you. Now, you cut me off the moment I open my mouth…you just do the talking and I’m forced to shut up.

You are lucky that Pilsner’s security camera did not catch you throwing a cigarette at me. Bryan went through the camera videos for that evening, and couldn’t find anything. If you saw anyone else tossing a lit cigarette at another patron, you bet you’d kick him out! So of course I hold you to the same standards. But your being such a hypocrite puts great shame in my heart. Shame and grief.

Speaking of grief: you’ve dumped a whole truckload of it onto my difficult life, these past several months. And continue to do so, by pretty much ignoring me, treating me like a scumbag, and never introducing me to your friends. You have many friends, I have none. I thought for quite some time that I actually /did/ have a friend…in you. For which I was eternally grateful. But no more…once again, I stand alone in this world, as has been my sorry lot since the day I was born.

The only reason I haven’t utterly collapsed in grief and died of a broken heart, is because I prayed to God for strength. I at least have that, now, if nothing else. Regarding the tragic death of your beloved parents (overheard at the table next to me):

After your conversation with your friends in that matter, you plunked yourself at my table, switched ashtrays so you had the more convenient one (mine was a tall container while yours a real ashtray) and addressed me:

“Did you hear that?”

I couldn’t look you in the eyes, Mr. Miles, for I am so ashamed and sad that you flicked that cigarette at me just the night before. My immediate thought was:

“How dare you think I should shower you with empathy, after all the mean things you’ve committed against me? This is One Arrogant Dragon!”

But I retorted instead:

“You already have /all/ my love, Arwyn. But you tossed a lit cigarette at me. Our friendship is over!”

I then continued tapping away at my netbook’s keyboard, while you stood up and grumbled. As you departed I spoke once more:

“No more gifts. You don’t even get the Scooby-Doo belt buckle I just bought for you.”

The whole point of this is: I wouldn’t love a man so intensely unless he has already been through many horrid tragedies (such as My Randolph for one, though there were eight others). The particulars about your tragedies are all beside the point. I felt offended that you treated me like a dumbshit who hasn’t a clue about your own suffering in this difficult world.

I am a man of my word, Miles. You will receive 51% of my profits from these three books, once I find an honest bookkeeper and attorney. This is regardless of whether or not we remain friends…which obviously is no longer the case. I could never permit a man to be my friend, who treats me so crudely for several months or more. Regardless at how much fun and loving he was for a considerable time before things turned sour.

Which is why I’m concerned that something is seriously wrong with you, medically. Sudden personality change and all that. I suffer terrible grief as a result. Yet thus far, you have done nothing to right your wrongs. Absolutely nothing. It is just so wicked of you to abruptly reject my friendship, especially so soon after you leave this message on my answering machine:

“Hello Zeke. You are a very nice man and have always been good to me.”

A few minutes after that, you shoved me. My back pains commenced several days later. Maybe I should show you my hospital bill. Or the two police reports I’ve filed about your shoving me and flicking a lit cigarette. Oh, well. I guess this is your payback: for telling me you gave my chapters to the police, and describing me to all your friends as your stalker. This is not a path I ever imagined (or wanted to) walk down. For either of us.

The only reason I still visit you anymore, is to present you with the latest chapter(s) of Book 3. After that: no more visits. For I really prefer to not see you anymore. Breaks my heart terribly to see you having so much fun with your friends, while I remain out in the cold after so many years loving you, and being your very best friend of all time. The shame and disgust I hold for you now, is immeasurable.

I can never look you in those fiery golden-orange eyes again. As much as I really want to. I could never allow you to touch or hug me ever again. As much as I really want you to.

You seem to have absolutely no conscience, no guilt over how badly you’ve treated me. Every day’s a trail of tears for me, because of the many ways you’ve mocked me, and treated me like a sick joke. Speaking about jokes:

About one week ago I came up to you at the counter, and asked: “Wanna hear a dinosaur joke?”

To which you abruptly replied: “I don’t like telling jokes,” jumped off the stool and rushed back to the pool table.

Well, that you don’t like jokes is definitely not true. You’ve always enjoyed my jokes before this. In fact, you’ve really gone way out of your way to make /me/ one big pathetic joke, haven’t you? I have no idea what you think to gain by sapping my joy over you, for the fine friendship and protection you once gave me over many years…only to turn around like a rabid wolverine and tear my soul to shreds. If you don’t have a brain tumor or something equally scary, then I have to say:

“You are a sociopath.”

Did you notice that black crazy hobo at Pilsner yesterday when I was there (Friday, May 3)? For one: I don’t comprehend why Pilsner would even serve such a freaky person who stinks, talks to himself, and stalks me. Bad for business, wouldn’t you agree? That’s right: he stalks me frequently in the Castro, even screams at me for avoiding him, and refusing to strike up conversation. Imagine the horror I felt when he suddenly showed up at Pilsner…then a few minutes later enters the patio and sits right beside me! I had to move to another bench.

(You call me your stalker as some sort of mind-fuk joke, while I /really/ get stalked here in the Castro. And frequently! No one is ever there to protect and defend me. In fact, the rare times I’ve been attacked, no one bothers to call 911. They just stand there and laugh.)

If I still had your friendship, you would’ve driven him away. But I guess your protective kindness towards me is over, too. You used to guard me from such scumbags; now, you treat me just like them! You know, Mr. Miles, you were once My Lovely Sweet Dragon. Nowadays, you’re My Ugly Nasty Dragon.

Remember Cody from the old Hole, a scrappy little runt w/scooter, who despised you? He warned me:

“Don’t get close to Arwyn, he’ll kill you.”

I figure those were words of jealousy, and nothing more. Now, I wonder. Cody BTW was suffering from cancer therapy…haven’t seen him at the new Hole. I guess he passed on.

You should also know that my rising popularity involves an ever-increasing number of gay readers to my blog entries. Which entries feature each new chapter of my three novels, before they get published. And they will always be free to read online. To my surprise, looks like more and more bartenders also read my latest chapters. Nowadays when I step into a gay bar, I am often recognized immediately as the author of Free Me From This Bond, and my first drink is free.

Which means they also know /everything/ about us: the ups and the downs, the joys and the sorrows, as well as your suddenly crude behavior. You might consider suing me, but I doubt you’d want your recent abuses to be broadcast across the media empire, including Fox News. Also, since your violent offenses against me are on record in these tales, I grant myself a certain level of legal protection from any further attacks you intend. If you shove me, strike me, or do anything else violent, I can prove to the jury a previous history.

Then again, dragging me to court may be the only way I can convince you to take an MRI scan. (Perhaps it should read “force” instead of “convince.”)

I now ask: What if I shoved you, tossed a cig at you? How would you feel? Just laugh it off, or strike back or call 911? Say, for example, you break an arm in a softball game. So our paths cross (your left arm’s in a cast), I see the playing field has been leveled, and shove you with the full force of my body. And you hit the ground, smash your jaw. Or what about when I next see you seated at Pilsner Inn patio…and I flick a lit cigarette in your lap?

What if all your friends suddenly shun you, even bartenders? And the only friend you have left, is me. What if you then approach me with great humility, but I brush you off, holler:

“Go away! I don’t wanna talk with you right now!”

And what if I keep that up, five or more times we encounter each other in the Castro or elsewhere? What if I keep it up many /more/ times, as you slowly deteriorate into a rotten husk, from the Once Glorious Dragon you were?

Don’t you think that would be the Greatest Sin of All Time, to betray a beloved brother that way? Don’t you realize that is /exactly/ what you’ve done to me, Former Sweetheart? But one thing I know beyond a shade of a doubt:

Jehovah has given me tremendous strength through this grievous trial, to stand up to you, a man who is double my size and so much stronger.

Mr. Miles: I am fighting like a Bengal tiger to spare your soul from unimaginable misery! While I don’t believe in eternal hell for anyone, I do know that each person pays for his sins one way or another, in due time. Were you not such a darling friend to me for seven-plus years, I doubt I’d be so persistent in reaching out to you during this hideous phase. But you did me good. A /lot/ of good previous to these present months. More good than anyone else I’ve known. (In fact I’d say you’ve saved /my/ soul! So I guess I’m just returning the favor.) Otherwise, I would’ve dropped you like cow flop a long time ago.

So I think I owe you this.

I can’t wait till Book 3’s final chapter is complete, so I may put an end to ever seeing you any more. I doubt that I’ll ever reach out to anyone again, or even bother to strike up a friendship. At least I’ll have a decent and affordable studio apartment up there in Portland, to ease my loneliness. But I’m sure I’ll weep on my pillow every night, over loss of you…for the rest of my painful existence.

Most sincerely (and regretfully),

PS: Here’s one of many fantasies I have of us, that I now realize will never come true:

“So you’re going to San Diego, are you?” I look up at My Dragon’s Green-Gold Snout; he just landed on the stool right beside me. We’re at Pilsner Inn.

“Why do you say such a strange thing?” he puffs a wee cloud through those exquisite nostrils.

“Well, Arwyn, why else would you have a mailbox in San Diego, instead of right here?

He doesn’t respond; just gazes down upon me. No smile.

I sigh: “Well, Beloved Friend, I wish you a wonderful life down there in San Diego. And that you have many many friends who love you.”

I sigh once more, to finish with:

“Like me.”

I lower my head into my arm bent over the bar’s counter, and start to weep. I soon dry my tears, and raise my head to discover that Arwyn is gone.

“Oh well,” I shrug my astral shoulders: “What did I expect? Something /other/ than heartbreak?”

But suddenly he pops back out of the restroom and in two long strides, holds me in those valorous arms. I sob into his lapel:

“Oh, Arwyn, if you ask me to go with you, I’d say YES faster than light!”

My Ravenous Reptile moans in a shudder that warms my cockles (whatever they are, but it sounds good). At first I thought it was a rumble of passion. But then Arwyn withdraws to hold me back with a hand on each of my drooping shoulders:

“I can at least do /this/ for ya, Eugene!”

And My Dramatic Dragon spreads apart those shimmering emerald/ruby wings with pearly underside, spreading them across both ends of Pilsner Inn. I stare up at Goddess’s Most Brilliant Creation.

Then he vanishes. Maybe to San Diego. Why can’t I be with him anymore? Will I ever see him again?

I drop my head once more, to weep on my sleeve. Suddenly, a tap on my right shoulder. It’s Arwyn!

“Well whaddya waiting for, Zeke, we only got three hours to catch the train to San Diego. Get your silly ass back home and pack whatever you need. Just keep it down to three suitcases or less.”


Date: Sat, 4 May 2013 14:55:08
Subject:
Re: What’s coming down the pike
From: Zeke
To: My E-frenz

At the last moment before sealing the packet, I added this addendum by printing it seperately, cutting it out, and taping it to the end of his letter:

PPS: I also think it would be fantastic if you let me use a nice photo of you for Book 2. The caption will read: “Arwyn Miles, My Hero-Dragon.” If you already have a good snapshot you’d like me to use, just mail it to me. Or hand it over at Pilsner Inn or wherever. But I do have an excellent digital camera that I always carry around…so I can take a pic of you standing outside of Pilsner or Twin Peaks.

And this is the permission form:

I, the inimitably irresistible Arwyn Miles, hereby give permission to Ezekiel Krahlin to use my name in his novel, “Free Me From This Bond (the sequel).”

Signed,

____________________
Signature

____________________
Date

________________________________________________________

I, the stupendously handsome Arwyn Miles, also give permission to Ezekiel Krahlin to use my photograph in his novel, “Free Me From This Bond (the sequel).”

Signed,

____________________
Signature

____________________
Date

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