Stepping Into Dark Waters

From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor
Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 15:32:41
Stepping Into Dark Waters

After many weeks/months deliberating over whether or not to mail my letter to bar owners (about Larkin’s bad behavior and possibly being a drug dealer), I finally did the deed. Plunked five envelopes into the postal box outside my building, one for each of the bars he most likely still frequents. There are 14 bars total in the Castro, and the outcome of these first missives will determine if I should or shouldn’t send out further alerts. Looks to me like he no longer hangs out at either The Mix or Twin Peaks Tavern…as walking by these spots gives no clue that he does any more. Perhaps he is laying low from me and/or preparing to leave Dodge. Or maybe I flatter myself too much, thinking I’m having any real impact on him. But if he ain’t a dealer, why this elusive turn?

I know for sure he still attends The Cafe. And The Lookout (right across 16th Street from my building)…’cause I saw him enter that place twice in the past two weeks. May be doing odd jobs there, as he does at other bars. Don’t know if he’s still going to Pilsner Inn, either. But those are all five bars just mentioned, where I sent my letter. To “Owner” care of each bar. Which is not an ideal address, due to highly probable intervention by a manager or barkeep who may keep it from ever reaching the owner. Which may or may not be a good thing, but since City Hall has failed in its duty to get me owners’ addresses and names, I had no other option.

The bad thing is the possibility that my letter will fall into the wrong hands, that is: an ally to Larkin that believes everything My Duplicitous Diplodocus says, and does everything he commands. I therefore could be bullied big time, even injured or harassed in such a nasty manner as to be made homeless. Even one or more owners could be on Larkin’s side…and they have the cash to pay off bullies and even take legal action (albeit via false witness).

The good thing, however, could result in a whole /bunch/ of good things:

  • if Larkin does commerce in hard drugs, he could feel coerced to clean up his act before he gets busted.
  • His friends a.k.a. “customers” may freak out and disassociate themselves from him, even get him permanently 86’d.
  • If my letter is intercepted and read by at least one bartender or manager, it might spread like wildfire and wind up turning my novel into a best seller…based on the gossip appeal alone! Or some might be so touched by my concern, and compassionate approach (to promote him as a party mixer for gay events), they’ll do exactly that, starting with paying for Larkin’s sorely needed dental care. This would also have the likely result of my novel hitting the big time.
  • Betting on the possibility that Larkin heads a secret gay society that has been grooming me for leadership (and I feel very strongly I’m right on target about this): I pass this latest and most difficult test of proving to them I’d make an excellent leader for the LGBT family all around the world. For I am not only brave enough to stand up against bullies twice my size…even if I love them dearly and hate the idea of retaliation for their bad deeds, fearing loss of their affections as a result…and even if I must risk sacrificing my own well-being (even my own life) in so doing!
  • There is also /this/ to consider: if indeed my letter or postcard ruffles some feathers and causes vermin to step out of the woodwork to give me grief, and assuming Larkin loves me and wants no harm to come my way…he will be /compelled/ to defend and protect yours truly. And /that/ would surely make me one heckuva happy camper! (I would also have completed my mission to assist Detective Kelsey in rounding up the remainder of a most dangerous cult, by playing the decoy.)

As the Good Gay Shaman I am, I realize that the most potent way to impact society is to make yourself totally vulnerable and exposed for the sake of an important truth. Everyone either knows where I reside (or can easily find out), it’s easy to get into my building, my windows face Market Street, and I really have not one single friend or ally to defend me. So there ya go, El!

This past Monday our paths crossed once more, which I already told you about. He was walking a dog to Duboce Park as we both turned the corner from opposite directions and almost collided. But later that day, around 7 PM or so, I almost bumped into him again! I was walking up Market Street on the other side of my abode, planning to check out Twin Peaks as usual, to see if he’s there. Suddenly, halfway down the block, I looked up and there he was: his arms in a big stretch to the sky with a small plastic bag dangling from his right arm as he looked down at me with a thick blanket of fog way off in the background and hovering atop the hills of Twin Peaks.

We stopped about three yards apart, facing each other. Larkin dropped his arms and I spoke: “Oh, I thought you were gonna hug me…finally.” Obviously, he loves to tease me with what I call “air hugs,” knowing how I so much adore his /real/ hugs which he’s denied me since late December 2012. He then came up close to me and I leaned my back into a shop window.

“Larkin, I hate playing this game you’ve forced upon me, I’ll sure be glad when it’s over.” To which he replied (jabbing a single finger at my face):

“This is /not/ a game, this is what is in your own head!” Of course I knew better, and that an important part of this game is for him to deny it. A test (or training or initiation if you will) of my own emotional and intellectual stability. To cave into his accusations would mean failure.

“Well that’s how /I/ deal with it,” I retorted while staring into those aureate orbs. With hindsight I realize he likes to stare into my eyes to gauge my level of anxiety…and I haven’t given him the chance to do so in recent months. For my shame over his vile behavior makes me avert looking directly at him from close up. This time, he actually bent way down to place his mug in direct opposition to mine, to get a clear view.

Still crouching to my level he turned his pointing hand into a fist and pressed it gentle-but-firm upon my sternum (probably to check my heartbeat, which was steady and solid, not rapid in the least). And commanded: “Look, you leave me alone, Zeke. Do not follow me!”

Of course he’s shown me long ago and over many encounters, that he often speaks opposite to what he means, and that is part of this “game” for me to figure out whether to comply or oppose. And in placing me in such a position where fighting for our friendship seems the only option available to /this/ lovestruck little gay lamb…I know I must oppose any demand to forget about him and just move on…or be totally alone in this world once more, antagonized by creepy pinheads who fawn over Larkin’s every word (that I am a stalker, a crazy crackhead, etc., that I may be threatened and driven out of my neighborhood for over 30 years).

My Surly Amigo then turned about in depart…but no sooner than he took six or seven strides, he returned to my side, bent over once more to look me directly in the eyes and proclaimed:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!”

He spoke these sweet words with great exuberance and many gestures of appreciation, his lanky arms spread out then closed in as if to embrace (several times over), though never went there (to my sadness as usual). Then he jumped back and walked away, as I hollered:

“You bullied me, you slandered me, you drove me out of the bars!”

“I did no such thing!” he screamed back w/o turning his head towards me. “You’re an idiot! You’re a stupid idiot!”

By this time, passersby stopped to watch our antics, probably a bit alarmed. I yelled further as he crossed Noe Street and stopped to clean some trash from the potted plants outside the corner restaurant:

“Get the hell outta the Castro! Drug dealer!”

I decided then to follow him awhile, so crossed and lingered some distance back, where I could quickly stand behind a lamppost or slip in a doorway, that he may not notice. By the next corner I crossed to continue my pursuit on the other side of Market. I think he did spot me as I scooted opposite, but he seemed not to care that much…even, perhaps, appreciated my stubborn will. He paused to warn the owner of a pickup truck that he’ll get ticketed if he stays parked there. I observed the exchange: Larkin sounded cheerful in his warning, even jubilant. Then he resumed his stroll, but suddenly turned left and down the subway stairs.

“Why didn’t dipwad just go to Castro Station, just one block in the other direction from where we met?” Then I figured he’s eluding me, and will probably emerge in a little while, hoping I’ve finally departed. So I waited around several minutes when, sure enough, he rose back into daylight…but then crossed the street in my direction, as if to approach me! I just stood there in a casual pose, expecting some sort of additional confrontation. But no, he just skimmed by from 30 feet away, acting as if he didn’t see me, and ran for the 22 Fillmore before its doors shut. As the bus pulled away, I stood there to see if he’d look back through the window. He was seated up front, but he never did. I only saw the back of his ruddy head as it vanished down Church Street and turned left up 16th.

“Maybe he’s gonna get off a few blocks up and backtrack his way to Pilsner Inn?” I surmised, so crossed Market Street and hiked down Church in the direction of the bus route. But no, no Larkin. Then it hit me: “That route takes him into South of Market, where he /could/ have decided to go to the Eagle Tavern…one of the two main bars in SOMA where we both hanged out some years back. The other bar, Hole in the Wall Saloon, is unlikely, as he’s been permanently 86’d from there by the owners!”

So I marched on down 16th, up Folsom, and down 12th and into the Eagle Tavern. “No Larkin. Well, I gotta have a couple stiff drinks after /that/ encounter, so I’ll hang out anywayz.”

It was the usual boring hangout for a weekday evening, but it gave me respite in memories of “the early years,” Larkin’s antics and my endearment. Though I was sad to learn that the manager Ron had departed several months back, to live and work up in Guerneville, a Russian River resort town for gays. Sad because Ron was so kind to me as bartender, and even was instrumental in bringing Larkin and myself together. I wound up imbibing three vodka tonics before leaving, then decided to poke my head into Hole in the Wall, maybe having one final drink. I was not only awash with alcohol: I was awash with nostalgia.

“Zeke, you can’t come in, get out!” Such was the greeting from barkeep Matty, one of the Hole’s workers who seems to despise me. How funny, I thought, how ironic.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were on duty, Matty, I’ll go right now.” I saw he had on a Viking’s helmet (like in a Wagner opera), horns and all. So before disappearing beyond the leather curtain, I turned my head back and called: “Ragnarok!”

So I just went two doors down to a very seedy bar with naked hot dudes fuKking on several TV screens suspended from corners where wall meets ceiling. Ordered another tonic, hanged out by my lonely old faggy self for a half hour or so, then meandered on home. It wasn’t till the next day that Larkin’s noble declaration struck me full force:


I realized then, how important it is to acknowledge such kindly elocution…especially in light of an embattled friendship that I wish more than anything else in the world, to heal, preserve, and blossom. And he /knew/ those words wouldn’t sink in till some time later…as he blurred my clarity by surrounding them with outrageously /mean/ declarations. This man does /every/ thing with complete awareness, he doesn’t miss a beat, he’s a master at the Game of Life, and is teaching me great lessons of endurance, devotion and self-worth. At least, that’s /my/ conclusion after all the ups and downs he’s intentionally put me through.

It’s like Larkin’s training me for Psy Ops, to become the best detective assistant ever…jogging my emotions back and forth, challenging my perception of what’s really true…in sum, building up my own mental acuity, that all weak points of my mind are removed and replaced with a solid foundation. So I composed the following brief note, with his image (the only pic I have of him, grainy because it’s actually a frame from a short video I shot of him eight years ago). See attachment at the end of this email.

I mailed it two days before I posted my letter to bar owners. Now, I’ll hold off on mailing the postcards (to Larkin, c/o said bars) for at least a week. For they reveal Larkin’s treachery, with proof of a friendly association, plus a link to my trilogy, that those who view the card, may also view our history together. I figure if bartenders saw my postcard while the letter was still about and waiting for the owner’s pickup, they’d sabotage my strategy. First line on the postcard will say: “Dear Kelsey Larkinelvyn: you really need to cease your smear campaign against me, telling everyone I’m your stalker to get me 86’d from all the bars.”

I’ll also send the same postcard to his residential address…seeing as he absolutely /forbid/ me from sending him mail either there, or to any bar. This is clearly an example of when I /oppose/ his wishes. And since he violated my trust in him (and our friendship) many times over–and I have been most patient for a very /long/ time in offering him chances to rectify his wrongs–he has not a leg to stand upon should he declare me “wrong” in taking this action. In fact, I believe he set the whole thing up, even encouraged me to go down this path of retaliation. Why? That I may prove to him, to our witnesses, and even to myself, that I have the love and courage to do the right thing by someone I hold so dear, no matter the flaming dragon that stands between myself and the cavern that contains My Very Own Holy Gay Grail.

Here is the full text of the postcard BTW (which I will print out in tiny font and tape to the back):

Dear Kelsey Larkinelvyn: you really need to cease your smear campaign against me, telling everyone I’m your stalker to get me 86’d from all the bars. (God only knows what other hateful gossip you’ve spread against me.) I’ve always been kind to you, even pub’d a book about our friendship (in which your name is “Arwyn Miles”):

I can even prove our friendly association to anyone who asks by pointing to your signed permission to use your true name in my second book:

Besides, the owners of Hole in the Wall Saloon 86’d you permanently; they must have a good reason. I am worried about your well-being, as well as suspect your sudden backstabbing that began in Jan. 2013 suggests you’ve become a drug dealer, and can’t afford to have anyone get too close to you. I don’t want to lose you to prison, but it looks like you’re well on the path to self destruction. I’m probably the only real friend you have.

That’s it for now, El…all in a day’s work!

– Zeke


From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor
Date: Sun, 25 May 2014 03:09:04
So I decided…

…to print out a copy of my latest blog post, “Stepping Into Dark Waters” and send if off to Larkin. So he can see my plan of retaliation, and how it comes out of great regard for his destiny. He’ll know then, I’ve already mailed my letter to 5 bar owners, and that in about a week from today, followed by 6 postcards (the additional card going to his residence). I am quite intrigued how he’ll deal with that. I promise to give you a blow-by-blow report (Freudian pun intended).

This will allow him plenty of time to scrub his apartment clean of any drug residue (if he indeed is a dealer), that he won’t get busted. At the last minute I decided to decorate the back of the envelope, as shown in the attached photo. Inspired by this music video sweetly sung by Selena Gomez. Two purple-heart stamps grace the envelope’s front…quite appropriate, don’t you agree?

I am become hero to my hero. Praise the Dragons of Avalon!

– Zeke

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