Fundraiser for a Fun-Raising Guy

[ Profligate Reader: I just emailed the following letter to four major gay newspapers in San Francisco (Bay Area Reporter, SF Bay Times, Castro Courier and Castro Biscuit.) As well as snail-mailed it to the managers of six bars in the Castro, which Larkin frequents. I will discuss the strategy of this compassionate maneuver after you read the letter. ]

June 5, 2014

Dear [Editor/Manager],

I want to bring to your attention an excellent (and fairly new) member of our community here in the Castro. His name is Larkin Kelsey, and we’ve been best friends since we first met at Hole in the Wall Saloon back in 2006. Three years ago I was delighted to discover he’s moved into the Castro–my neighborhood since 1983–thanks to the kindness of another longterm buddy. Larkin is an outstanding social mixer at our gay bars, reaching out to those who are disabled, elderly, or living with a difficult malady such as AIDS, cancer or Alzheimer’s. He is charismatically handsome, talented and gregarious, putting smiles on many faces of those for whom life is not so good. And he does it all out of sheer compassion and devotion to the LGBT spirit. But like me, he is low-income and losing his teeth because he can’t afford dental care. I want so badly to see that winning smile again, that it finally occurred to me:

Why not appeal to the many bar patrons who appreciate Larkin’s sweet outreach to needful souls that might otherwise be seated alone? Not every customer is too financially strapped to start a fundraiser whereby Larkin may have his teeth restored. Furthermore, since he can work a crowd like nobody’s business, it’s obvious to me he’d make an excellent social mixer for gay parties and other events. I think it would be incredibly noble for our community to return Larkin’s many years volunteering his own good will without any expectation beyond lightening hearts.

This darling fellow has shared so many kind words and hugs with me over the years. But his startling declaration two Mondays ago really knocked my jockstrap off. He ran up to me on Market Street near Noe, crouched down to look me directly in the eyes (he is after all, six-foot-four) and declared: “Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!” Now, I don’t mean to pitch my own talents here, but you are welcome to learn more about this fine man by reading a book I recently published about our adventures together, called “Free Me From This Bond.” Which novel is my thank-you gift to Larkin for being such a great amigo. Always free to read in web format at:

Most sincerely,

Zeke Krahlin
SF gay activist since 1983


First off I don’t want you to think I’m smarter than I really am. For the cunning impact of this letter did not strike me till a couple hours after I wrote and sent it off. For I simply thought this brainstorm a wonderful response to Larkin’s recent confession that our friendship is a godsend. And probably a great resolution to our ongoing conflict that started January 2013, instigated by His Own Dragonly Claw.

Should my letter get published (or it inspires one or more managers or patrons), what will they think if Larkin continues to spew animosity by calling me his stalker, thus maintaining my ban from every bar in the Castro? In fact, what will they think if I remain away from his side, while he garners all their generosity and support? I don’t think Larkin will be seen in a very good light, nor would it benefit him to keep me invisible. Thus, I’d inadvertently come up with the perfect solution to nip his scandalous behavior in the bud, and resurrect my reputation in everyone’s eyes. I have long concluded that public shaming is the most effective strategy for getting a person to change his ways. Or leave Dodge (which I certainly don’t want to happen; I’d be miserable unto death).

Larkin seems very well loved by many patrons. Which begs the question:

If bar patrons appreciate Larkin’s company so much, how come they’ve never bothered to get his rotting teeth fixed…and why don’t they see his outstanding potential to become a professional party mixer? Some customers who share merry badinage with The Good Man are quite affluent (they all have perfect teeth), so you’d think they’d wanna give him a leg up for all his kind regards and putting so much joy into their dreary little lives. Or do they want to keep him under their thumbs, for their own selfish amusement? Block him from having any real friends, then discard him like a used trick rag when his youthful beauty fades? Thus, the public shame also falls on the patrons. {And if my letter does get printed, and they don’t do as I suggest, things will never be the same in those bars again…to put it mildly.)

Will my letter even get published in any one of those newspapers? Will even one bar manager respond by organizing a fundraiser for Larkin’s benefit? Will Larkin even read my letter; will sidekick “Skinny Jake?” Ah, there’s the rub. Seems that every good effort I’ve made in my life–especially in regards to Larkin–backfires in the ugliest way! And I am left to drift alone into eternal isolation, despised by many. In a very tangible way, Larkin has cast me into a hell I don’t deserve. My life is indeed a comedy of terrors.

But since our friendship is a godsend, I realize that is not the truth, nor the final outcome. And the happy ending to this trilogy I call “Free Me From This Bond” is now within sight of these clairvoyant eyes. For we truly have no enemies, only teachers (as the Buddha once declared). Larkin is my teacher, My Guardian Dragon. And those who play the villain, likewise. He has not “framed” me, but set me up to become his hero this time around. He knew I could take the duress, the months and months of rejection, hostility, humiliation. He knows I’m strong in spirit and yearned for a Great Odyssey that would lead me back into his arms. But not without a warrior’s fight to claim The Holy Grail of My Heart’s Ultimate Desire.

And he knew I would find my way through This Minotaur Labyrinth of Love’s Corridor, soon enough. For he is the architect, and his faith in me is boundless.

In sum: the dragons have my back. And so does Larkin, Greatest Dragon Of Them All. So next time my path crosses the devil (walking a little doggie or whatever) I’ll say: “You’re one beautiful man, Larkin Kelsey. I’d rather die thinking of you, than live without you. Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it!”

[ The moral of my tale, Ichorous Reader? If you really-really-really care about someone, you will find a way to his heart. No matter the tribulations that seem endless with no promise of abatement. But the real gist of the challenge is this: do you honestly care enough to be in it over the long haul? If not, then you don’t deserve the happiness you seek, and may a thousand times a thousand fleas infest your armpits for a thousand times a thousand years. And beyond. Stay tuned as the joyous plot unfolds, with more twists than a Mel Brooks extravaganza. ]

2 Responses to Fundraiser for a Fun-Raising Guy

  1. Eleanor Cooney says:

    Did Larkin really say those words to you????

  2. ZekeBlog says:

    Yes ma’am, he sure did! (I just posted this blog entry barely a minute ago…you’re fast!)

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