4 Postcards of the Apocalypse

July 6, 2014

July 2, 2014

As you can see in the postcard below, Pilsner Inn returned the last message I sent to Larkin, c/o their establishment. Though the previous “jumbo” card mailed some days before that one, was not.

This does not mean no one’s read my missive, nor does it mean it hasn’t also spread via gossip throughout the local gay bar network well beyond Pilsner Inn. But it certainly does suggest that Larkin has been 86’d from that particular hangout. No other bar among the five I know that Larkin frequents (though the Lookout is dubious, I think he does odd jobs there for the owner), has returned my mail. So now I guess it’s “one down and four to go.”

My Spurious Serpent has dumped a most difficult challenge onto my shoulders, though I doubt he thinks it’s beyond my muster. My birthday was yesterday, which I spent alone as usual in spite of my great expectation that he would finally come through and show me a wonderful time, to make up for such trials that are his own doings. Which of course infuriated me, and put me into a bog of depression. But I have since rallied to the battle call, and figured out how best to defeat my demons:

His intent was of course to ruffle my scales, that I would retaliate by posting further mail to these bars. And explains why he begged me below my window eight days ago, to please stop my gay bar salvos. For just like the night he shoved me a second time (June 17th), and ordered me to stop sending letters via the bars…it was really a tipoff to keep it up, that he may pull the anti-Zeke vermin out of the woodwork. (That is: I needed to press further in order to achieve the desired result; one more attack was required.) So by the time my fury to send another barrage had manifested the following four postcards, I was finally convinced this was his plan after all. And as a result, I grew calm during the process of composing my latest revenge.

[ Sententious Reader: okay, so I just came back from a half-hour stroll of the Castro, between the above paragrapah and the one that follows this lengthy, bracketed aside. Had an encounter with Kurt, the hero of my fairly recent tale, “A Kurt Affair.” Two days prior he had buzzed me around 1:30 PM and I happened to be home. Though I’ve informed him and my other houseless friends to never drop over until after 8 PM. But do they ever listen? Of course not! If I’m confined to my stuffy SRO in the afternoon, it’s because I need to do some work (usually writing or research), and can not be disturbed.

“Krahlin! Krahlin! Krahlin!” he persisted on the intercom…as if I didn’t know my last name! Finally, he spoke “Kurt!” and I picked up the phone. He knows I screen all my calls and refuse to pick up unless or until the person identifies. (FYI: I only have a land line, with answering machine and no caller ID.) It’s as if they’re actually a member of this cult out to sabotage me and Larkin, so they come up with clever ways to try to get me to stop monitoring my phone. So I was already pissed when the first thing out of his mouth was: “I just wanna drop over for a cigarette.” So I told him I’m not a tobacco vending machine and besides, I’m broke and without any cigs (which was a lie; the cig part that is). “Oh, don’t think that way,” he pleaded. “Well what am I supposed to think?” I retorted, and hung up.

He had already PO’d me some weeks back during his last visit. Tried to make me feel guilty about things I never do…some of which have to do with sexual foreplay. Such as saying “ouch” when all I did was lap my tongue across his rock-hard abs and chest. (Such delicious nipples!) But I already knew the scenario, as I’ve been through it several times before, over the years. “You need to shave, your hairs sting!” Now, even if I didn’t have a smooth-razored face (which I did ’cause I just shaved that morning), I’d think the dude would find something hot about another man’s face rubbing against his body…especially if it possessed a bit of grubby shadow. I know I do! But men who feign complaint about such, are actually comparing me to a bald pussy. Or IOW, they are pretending to be more macho than they really are. Shades of marginal homophobia!

But another act he played out to make me feel guilty (which didn’t work)–that was nonsexual–was to accuse me of almost running my swivel chair over his left foot when I shoved it forward a few inches to sit closer. Actually, it barely tapped his foot, maybe at most bumped it slightly. I’ve long ago learned that when men behave that way, it’s a form of power play to assert dominance over the other. My anthropology lessons at the University of Missouri back in ’68-’70, about alpha male markers, sure has paid off! Now let’s get back to my encounter with Kurt on the night of July 2nd around 11 PM.

Strolling the Castro and headed back home, I crossed Hartford Street to check if Larkin were at Moby Dick, playing pool. (He was not.) When Kurt popped out of a doorway like a jack-in-the-box. Our conversation started off nice, but I was put off by his refusal to hug me when I stretched out my arms in greeting. Another dude was right there, who I guess was hanging with Kurt…for Kurt abruptly cut off our dialog to resume talking with him. Not one to be readily brushed off like that, I approached them and intruded myself into their conversation. Then sighed and remarked:

“Well I’ll be headed home now, since you don’t seem very welcoming.”

“No, you’re just being too loud and I need to get away from that,” Kurt replied with some resentment. (Which retort BTW is another prime example of how Kurt manipulates via guilt tripping.)

So I proceeded to mosey on hovel.

“Wait Zeke, don’t be angry, calm down!”

From twenty feet away and before turning the corner onto 18th Street, I looked back and declared:

“Oh I’m not angry, just offended that you’re not really glad to see me! ”

Then he suddenly spewed some nasty words in my direction, so I responded with finger pointed in disgust:

“Don’t ever come over again, you are no longer welcome! ”

That is when he threatened to burn down my building, and he did so right in front of that other dude (who, I might add, was also handsome, with thick black hair down to his shoulders, and sultry charcoal eyes). I walked away in a huff, but was so pissed, decided to march around the block and return to confront him. Kurt was still there, unfolding a silver bike he had parked by the tree. I walked right up to him and stood just five feet away. Waved my arms and body in an undulating gesture, and vociferated:

“Oh please please please don’t burn down my building, I don’t know where on earth I’d go!” Then clutched my head between both hands in a thespian manner to add: “Yes I do. The police. They’ll take care of me!” I spread my arms wide in glory as Kurt glared in my direction.

“Get the fuk away from me!” he demanded. (Didn’t someone else say that to me, recently? Oh yeah, Larkin.)

“No I won’t. That was a sick thing to say, that you’ll set my home on fire!” I gave him two chances to back off, but no potato. So I threatened:

“I got a big buddy who’s not gonna like what you said to me. He’s 6-foot 4, you just sealed your own fate!” My face was red with outrage, and I don’t think he wanted to push matters any further. I was ready to pulverize his guts into the concrete. I pointed a finger in judgment:

“You sure got some big anger management issues, dontcha, Kurt?”

He snarled like a Rottweiler, that dapper mug turned suddenly feral:

“Get the fuk outta my face, faggot!”

(“There’s that faggot word again,” I thought.)

“Oh so you got a problem with your gayness, huh?” I snarled back, then stabbed the dagger deep between his shoulder blades:

“You’re just angry at the world because your balls never dropped.”

His face turned ashen in a heartbeat. Without a word he mounted his bicycle and scooted away like he’d seen a ghost. That night was a restless one for me, haunted by images of Kurt sneaking into my building and setting fire outside my room. (Or chucking a Molotov cocktail through my window late at night.) But I soon regained composure, and slept a solid few winks.

Not that I don’t still harbor great contempt for Kurt’s wicked deed, but I do so on firm psychological ground. I’ve been dealing with insomnia since 1992 (the year Randolph died and which put me through physiological changes), and living on a noisy street does not help one bit. Now, Kurt’s terrorism served the intended purpose of obliterating any peace of mind I might have achieved over the years, in combatting my sleep disorder. The fukker.

Okay then, enough about Kurt, let’s get down to business: ]

Now this amazing man that I call My Guardian Dragon (or Angel) is playing a rather complex game, where I must not only figure out how the pieces fit, but discover each damned piece before I can even do that. Easiest way to lose is to simply toss in the trick rag, resign myself to his humiliating (and most public) charges that indeed I am a psycho stalker. And if I didn’t adore the prankster with such zeal, I guess that would be my Waterloo. But whenever I do consider that option, grief weighs heavy in my corazon, and despair sinks into my bones: it is a door that I should never enter. I am chained to Larkin’s love like Cerberus to the gates of hell. I am his dawg.

In this game of Larkin’s own device are many traps and dead ends. Some of which appear as a heartbreaking impasse, but upon closer inspection actually reveal a key to renewed hope and even joyful promise. Latest example: when his housemate, Zachary, declared to me that Larkin tosses my letters into the garbage without ever opening them. (See “Letter to Zachary” dated June 1st.) Of course my immediate response was one of gloom. But several days later I was given this vision:

{{ I saw Larkin ditch my letters into the kitchen trash, for Zachary to witness. Then later that day, he dug them back out while his sidekick was gone. }}

“Of course!” I speculated. “Zachary would grow too jealous if he knew the truth: that Larkin reads every single one of my missives with great honor. By leading him off our trail, I am protected from possible enmity and even harm.”

[ Though I want to point out here, Exculpatory Reader, that the mere suggestion that Larkin doesn’t read my letters, is what got me started with this postcard revery in the first place! I actually enjoyed the challenge, approaching it like an art project. Laughing to myself now, as I envision Larkin recycling my postcards into an exquisite floating mobile, decorated perhaps with a bit of tinsel here and there. ]

But Larkin also drops me a clue now and then, to spur me on with renewed vigor (sorta like finding power-ups in a computer game). The latest example being when he addressed me with a most intense joy:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!” (See “Stepping Into Dark Waters” dated May 24th.)

Now with more than several weeks hindsight since that bless-ed moment, it’s obvious that Larkin was preparing me for another series of trials. But not without the inspiration to keep me gliding as smoothly as possible, across rough waters. Guess I wouldn’t have it any other way, knowing my own strong desire to achieve the highest honors of a Gay-Spirited Soldier. Therefore, I realized it makes sense to route Larkin some personal postcards of affection and humor, to balance out those I mailed to four bars.

In humorous reference to The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I attached a “horsie” sticker to the address side of each postcard. Here we go (click on any image for a larger view):

Now, in light of my recent clash with homeless dipwad beef-butt Kurt, I also sent this message to Larkin:

I also filed the following police report re. Kurt:

Date of crime: July 2, 2014
Crime: Threat of arson (to burn down my apt. building)

Around 11 PM on Noe Street beside Moby Dick bar (on the corner of Noe & 18th) I bumped into someone I knew a bit, and who seemed friendly enough. Had him visit me twice so far, and he was pleasant company. But I was shocked when he suddenly burst out in anger and threatened to burn down my building. I gave him two chances to take that back, but he remained very hostile. Told me to fuck off, get away from him.

He is homeless, but you’d never think that, since he’s always very neat. 5-foot-8, Caucasian, around 32 years old, handsome and buff. Sports a close-cropped full beard and moustache…full head of brown hair. No identifiable body marks. Always with a bicycle, and may be a meth user (at least that’s what he told me on the streets about a week ago). I think he’s bipolar, based on his sudden mood swing.

I’m under the impression he hooks up with older gay men. But I’d say he’s a danger, since if he gets in a bad mood, threatens to burn your place down. He calls himself Kurt, I do not know if that’s his real name. Don’t know his last name.

Zeke Krahlin

And this letter to the editor emailed to Bay Area Reporter, SF Bay Times, Castro Courier and Castro Biscuit:

Subject: Possible Arsonist in the Castro

Dear Editor,

I want to alert residents and visitors to the Castro, about a possible arsonist. He is a homeless dude, though you wouldn’t think that, as he is very clean and neat in appearance. Calls himself “Kurt” (though I think he’ll change his name after seeing this letter).

He is Causcasion, very handsome, 5-foot-8 with a close-cropped full beard and moustache, and a full head of brown hair. Quite buff and around 32 years old. No identifying body marks that I know of. He hangs out by gay bars in this neighborhood, hitting up on older men, and always has a bicycle. I am a street activist focusing on the Castro, and run into all sorts of street denizens. I met Kurt about three months ago, and he seemed to be a very nice guy.

But the other night, July 2nd, I ran into him outside of Moby Dick. Our surprise encounter started out friendly, but all of a sudden he turned hostile and threatened to burn down my apartment building. All because I didn’t give him a cigarette (simply because I didn’t really have one on me).

My conclusion is that he is bipolar (considering his abrupt mood swing), which combined with meth is a very bad mix. Should you meet this fellow, please don’t tell him where you live, or allow him to follow you where he may witness you enter your residence. Because if you do, the next time he’s in a bad mood, he just might take it out on you.

I’ve filed a police report on this man, and I hope the SFPD takes seriously, his threat to set fire to my residence.


Zeke Krahlin

UNEXPECTED UPDATE (but still: “meh”)

[ Jumbo postcard addressed to Pilsner Inn finally showed up in my lobby mailbox as a “returned” (not at this address). Though it was mailed several days before the postcard shown at top of this article. Oh, well, no big dealie. That was the “Green Lantern” card. Wonder if that particular super hero holds any significance with my own Larkinesque adventure. What do you think, Oh Rapacious Reader? ]


I decided to mail the following postcard to Larkin, that he may not question my courage:

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