Around 6-7 days ago I decided to sport my “I am not Larkin’s stalker, I’m his boyfriend” sign once more, in hopes of finding him at his usual Castro dive (Twin Peaks Tavern), and stirring up some more shit. Well whaddya know, he was there, and the fur flew before I knew it.
He stepped out like a disgruntled troll from under the bridge and demanded: “Get that sign off right now!”
“No, I won’t,” I countered. “If you want it removed, ya gotta do it yourself.”
So he grabbed that sign, releasing it from its fragile attachment to the cheap twine about my neck. But when he saw the cord still hanging there, he gingerly removed that, too.
I watched as he rent the sign in two, then tore it once more with both halves together. Then he combined the additional pieces into a layer of four, and tore once again as if they were tissue.
“My god, that dude is powerful!” I declared to no one but myself.
“Your tearing it up into teensy bits instead of just tossing it into the trash tells me something interesting,” I voiced my observation. (Of course what that means is: he loves me bunches, else would’ve not bothered to tediously mutilate the sign with such dramatic flair.)
“No, I’m doing it for me!” he blithely declared, then tossed the debris into my face, where it fell to the sidewalk like so much jigsaw scatter. I was quite charmed.
I can’t recall now, what other dialog ensued (save that for the upcoming blockbuster Indie film, I suppose, recorded by God’s Own Angels…and Larkin screeching “Get out of my life!” sporadically throughout our present get-together). I stepped back several yards while Larkin reentered TPT. Which allowed me time to fish through my pack to procure an identical sign, and fling it about this person. Like a featherweight albatross.
As I returned to the plate glass where Larkin could see me jiggling the duplicate sign with a mischievous hand, he stepped back out again to confront me.
“How many more ya got in your pack?” he queried, with a hand ready to unzip the bag and paw through it.
“Oh, just this one,” I replied with deft alacrity. “But I got seven more at home.”
He grabbed the sign betwixt forefinger and thumb, to declare: “Why are you wearing it?”
“Because it’s the truth!” I retorted. “So long as you keep telling people I’m your stalker, I shall wear this sign and do anything else required to defend my honor.”
“Go ahead, tear it off,” I finished. “If that makes you happy, so be it.”
Instead, Larkin let it fall back upon my chest, where it rested like a reverse Scarlet Letter.
“Stop sending postcards to the bars,” he demanded. “They’re ready to call the cops on you.”
“I know that’s not true, Larkin. If they didn’t really want my mail, they would’ve sent them back with ‘return to sender’ marked on them. And that hasn’t happened.”
[ To be honest, Impish Reader, two postcards were returned from a recent batch. But since the post office stuck a label over the addresses, I could not discern which bars they were. And nothing more has come of that…thus all 10 rules went through as planned. ]
I awaited his rebuttal, but it never came, so I embellished:
“Therefore I know I did the right thing. You, the bartenders–and god knows who else–are pranking me. You’re all pranking me. Maybe ‘prank’ isn’t the best word; perhaps ‘initiation’ is better.”
Larkin remained silent to my declaration…then proceeded to the streetcar island, and I to the corner nearby and just across. Thus we were separated by about 20 feet. And the badinage resumed:
“Take it off!” Larkin yelled at me from a civilized distance, indicating the little placard dangling from my neck.
“Take it all off!” I countermanded (with a sly grin).
“Take it off!” he insisted.
“Take it all off!” I declared once more.
Yet again he told me to take it off, and I replied once more by demanding that he take it all off. By which time he finally got it, and struck a striptease pose, both arms outstretched at a clock angle of 10:15, and one leg raised up like a stork:
“Oh, you mean like this?” he parried.
I released a guffaw, then watched as he (concluding no streetcar was due to arrive soon) departed to take the underground Metro, trotting across Castro Street and down the steps. I suddenly realized I could heckle him further if I ran down those same stairs and onto the other side. So I did just that. Standing on the opposing platform where he didn’t yet see me, I hollered:
“I love you, Larkin Kelsey. Love, love, love!”
From across the recessed tracks Larkin did his best to ignore me, while other stranded riders looked about to see who I was calling to. Some caught on and giggled. Just before his train pulled up, I hollered the same words once more, then turned about to return hovel. Where, in my own private SRO, I wept.
The bastard sure knows how to press my buttons.