About one week after my latest face-off with My Duplicitous Diplodocus, I stepped out by 9:30 PM to discover him exiting Twin Peaks Tavern with a dark blue duffel bag slung over his back, and so enormous it was more than half his size. And Larkin is a large dude by anyone’s standards: 6-foot-4 and tremendously strong. (He is also most handsome: thick shocks of wavy auburn hair, irises of fiercely red-gold, and a skinny frame so nicely sculpted you’d think he was one of Queen Boadicea’s Own Mighty Warriors!)
He hobbled a bit–the rucksack was that heavy–as he stepped onto the sidewalk and saw my approaching form. He looked like he just got off a turnip truck, considering his overall, sloppy appearance (dirty white shirt stuck out over the waist and flapping in the breeze, and light brown floodwater pants that have seen better days). I grew alarmed:
“Larkin! Are you homeless? Did that idiot Zachary kick you out?”
He looked towards me and heaved a sigh.
“Do you need a place to crash, no funny stuff?” I pleaded with utmost sincerity as I stood just ten feet from him with imploring arms. (I couldn’t imagine how we’d ever get along, what with bed bugs still infesting my building one day before the exterminator’s subjugation, sleeping on the hard floor with barely any cushion…and my darling Louisiana boy, Zach–same moniker as Larkin’s housemate, no relation–who always showed up whenever, for our next torrid tryst. But Larkin is my dawg, no two ways about it.)
“Fuk you, Zeke,” he hollered, glaring at me like I was The Potato Famine Banshee Herself. “Get outta my face!”
[ I didn’t buy it for a moment, Perineal Reader, but remained in stolid grace before His Stunning Visage. I am hopelessly entangled in the DNA of that dude’s soul, and there is nothing I can do about it even if I so desire unto my very last breath. ]
He then rushed back into the tavern to implore the bartender while pointing in my direction: “That’s my stalker, right over there!” I stood calmly outside and lit a Fortuna as if I were a stranger to The Castro. “Sure, Larkin. You have a good night,” assuaged the barkeep.
And so Larkin reemerged in defeat while I stood nearby, relishing the Schadenfreude of tables turned. I heckled:
“Your get-outta-my-life rant last Tuesday was hilarious! One thing I can say about you, Larkin,” I paused for a satisfying puff, “is you sure know how to put on a good show!”
Well that did it. He came right up to me and shoved This Good Gay Soul; not so hard as to be a real danger, but firm enough to tic me off.
“Cut that out, Larkin!” I ordered in no soft voice.
“Yeah, that’s the way to go,” he declared, and pushed me once more, eyes glazed over like Charles Manson.
I could’ve easily run behind and pushed him over with my pinky, he was that burdened by the duffel bag (and probably a little more than slightly drunk). Instead, I reached for the pepper spray usually located in my right-side pocket, only to discover I left it home! So I hurried to the small triangle of potted shrubs on Market & Castro, which 3-foot high concrete wall kept me safe from his attack, so long as I kept on maneuvering to my left or right. We played This Musical Chairs Parody (Larkin doddering from the rucksack’s weight), twenty or so seconds before a large and obese gay fellow with a ponytail stepped up to Larkin and stated:
“You can just walk away, you know!”
I looked at his bloated jowls as if to say: “No pudgy geek’s gonna be my hero!” Instead, I addressed:
“It’s okay, he’s my boyfriend. He just loves a good brawl.” (Consider his true nature: a fighting Irishman.)
Larkin gently opposed: “I’m not his boyfriend.” (As if it hurt to say that.)
“Yeah, goofball, just walk away like the man says. I will not harm you then,” said Yours Truly with bravado.
The Wannabe Knight In Shining Armor summed up the situation, blushed and disappeared down 17th (thank gawd), seeing as he was nothing more than a pawn in Our Divine Chess Game.
Larkin then wobbled across Market towards Noe, boisterously greeting anyone walking towards him, embracing each receptive male or female with the darling hugs that are his trademark. But which he’s denied me since January 2013. I knew he was intentionally fukking with my head by this display of affection toward strangers, while I followed just 11 yards back, unrequited. So I taunted in booming words:
“That’s it, Larkin! Be nice to everyone but Zeke!”
This Inestimable Excuse Of A Delinquent Guardian Angel turned his ruddy head in my direction and groused:
“Get outta my life, you idiot!”
But I would not leave my orbit encircling him, like the moon to earth. So he stepped onto Market Street itself, where the cars veered away so as not to cause an accident. And I followed right behind, safe in the wake of His Resolute Gravity. Of course he kept hollering, “Leave me alone!” which did not influence me one whit.
As we both meandered down The Asphalt Paved Byway of Life–each screaming epithets at the other–I finally arrived near my apartment building. At which point I realized I could dash to my room, grab that pepper spray, and catch up with him. So as I unlocked the gate, I called back:
“Good night, Larkin!” to which he cussed:
“Fuk you, Zeke!” and swaggered off into the arms of Nyx.
With urgency I entered my hovel, snatched the pepper spray canister from the second drawer of Desk #1, then snagged my keychain on the doorknob upon exit. (Actually not a chain at all, but a long, pink shoelace purchased at Muhamet’s Dollar Store where everything’s no less than two GW’s and some items higher than five.) Thus losing 10 seconds as I gathered up the scattered keys and ran back downstairs to give him a piece of my mind.
So PO’d was I, that I was ready to spray him like a cornered polecat. I ran up Market all the way to Church Street, but nowhere could I find The Bastard Behemoth. Thus with a feeling of loss, I returned to my SRO and spent another sleepless night atop a plastic tarp softened with nothing more than two yoga mats gifted me by Laundromat Lady Linda.
The next night I saw my houseless friend, Hollywood, and asked: “Have you seen Larkin lately?” He said no, he had not. So I described my recent encounter, and added: “That may have been the last time I get to see him.”
I could not bear the thought of his disappearance, thus prayed for mercy in a drunken stupor that granted me the respite of a solid sleep (finally). The horror of such an outcome would shatter my soul into many irrecoverable pieces: a jigsaw puzzle of diabolical intent.
Upon awakening, these new thoughts brightened my heart: “No, he has not left the city, or even this neighborhood. He did not catch public transit: he just walked down the sidewalk instead, as if he only had a short way to go. Larkin has a fastpass, so if he were to leave, he would’ve proceeded to the underground, instead of remaining above.” More revelations quickly followed:
“The reason you couldn’t catch up with him on Market Street, was because he turned down 16th and onto that alleyway where there’s an apartment building which houses that little white doggie he walks every day. That’s where he moved to! And why you saw him with a large duffel bag filled with his meager possessions.”
Greatly relieved at this insight, I sent him a postcard, on which front I stated (in a hand printed missive taped to it):
Of course that was a joke, as he is highly intelligent and got his masters years ago in Forensic Science, being the superb private investigator that he is…and I his unconscious (though willing) assistant.
I want so badly to relieve Hollywood of his concerns over me, but I don’t know when I’ll see him again. For I have learned an important lesson of “hope” as a result of this latest crisis:
[ Hope is a lack of total faith in God’s Good Blessings. I garnered this from street artist Julia who sells her extraordinary mini-paintings at the Embarcadero, where I go every morning for breakfast at The Posh Bagel. For when I told her my story, and that Larkin most likely just moved to another rental in The Castro, she interjected: “You hope!” So I thought upon this, and concluded: “No, to have hope for one’s wishes is to grant God less than His ability to answer all good prayers with absolute finality.” I don’t “hope” that Larkin has not left my world, I “know” that he hasn’t, or ever will! With such faith in God’s kind remission, there is no way He would not answer such a heartfelt plea. Else She could never live with Herself. ]
So two nights later (Sept. 17) I espy Larkin seated at Twin Peaks Tavern, shooting the bull with his former roommate Zachary. All seemed quiet on the western front as I lit a cigarette by the tavern’s Castro Street window, in such a position that Larkin could clearly see me. Zachary turned his face in my direction for a moment, indicating to Larkin that I was nearby. (Interesting that he did not glare menacingly, but retained a calm demeanor.)
My Loverly Lizard did not gush any sort of emotion, yet did not angle his view away from me either. So I backed up into the bus stop’s glass partition where he could still view me without any snoop’s pretension. I looked back at him with a kind face: neither angry nor pleading…allowing his gentle aura to wash over me. And these thoughts flowed from my cerebral cortex:
“I thought maybe you were homeless and had to leave town. So happy that is not the case. I could never suffer your vanishing from my world. I love you that much, Larkin Kelsey.”
I stayed looking at him long enough to inhale my Fortuna cancer stick down to the stub, then moseyed on to Walgreens to purchase a box of kitchen-size garbage bags. After accomplishing this goal, I returned to that bus stop in order to smoke another cigarette and gaze upon Larkin’s 3/4 profile. Again, he did not signal any recognition of my presence, nor did he turn away. (But I knew that he was comforting me, after such a trial that made me fear I’d never see him again…thus made his appearance at the tavern so I could enjoy gazing upon That Beauteous Face, and be reassured.)
Done compromising my lungs with nicotine, I tossed the butt and wandered on hovel. Hoping he would step out and call me to his side for whatever badinage (whether hostile or friendly) before I crossed Market Street.
But he did not.
I now refer you, Drupaceous Reader, to Chapter 9 of my online novel, “Free Me From This Bond,” which is entitled “Dragon Fire in the Hole.” And in which I conclude that the SF LGBT community harbors a secret organization that selects potential future leaders (such as myself), and grooms them for a great destiny. By creating various scenarios throughout their lives–some sweet, most challenging–without their intended subjects knowing anything about this group or their shenanigans.
Of course, part of this game is kinda like an IQ test…in that the subject will eventually conclude something strange is going on (and has been for many years now). Surmising that these amazing scenarios piled up over a decade or more are no coincidence, but form a deliberate pattern that can only be constructed by the conscious will of a large group of people who operate behind the scenes. As more time passes, the subject will also reason that his life is being shaped towards an incredible outcome, by others he doesn’t even know.
Once the subject attains this level of awareness, this hidden cabal starts to make itself known, bit by intriguing little bit. And the real fun takes off! But first, The Initiation:
A shamanic tradition of ancient origin, whereby the subject is dumped upon with all sorts of misery and impossible odds…to the point where he is convinced that all hope is lost, and his visions of an amazing future are dashed like the Titanic.
And this is why My Objet d’Amour plays such a tough game that makes me out to be a fool who shall never find happiness. This secret cabal attempts in every way possible to strip me of all hope…yet since I now comprehend The Game, there is no way they could ever trick me into Ultimate Destitution. For no matter Their Dark Curses, I will never succumb to anything worse than long suffering with a Heart Of Pure Liberation. I just know too much, at this point. Including that Larkin Kelsey is chief commander of This Clandestine Camarilla.
Now: after the initiation (which for me has lingered on for two months shy of three bone-crushing years) comes infinite joy and manifestation of all my sweetest dreams. Which includes of course, secession of Northern California to form the world’s first LGBT nation with myself its first president (or despot; I don’t give a damn). Among other good things.
So today (Sept. 19) I mailed him another touristy postcard, upon which I scrawled:
On the front I taped a rectangular snippet of looseleaf paper (over a glamorous photo of Chinatown at night) that declared in my own hand:
(Referring here to an article in the S.F. Examiner six weeks ago, that the San Francisco USPS will soon shut down their Hyde Street branch. Please forgive me for not showing the actual postcard, since my old flatbed scanner does not function on Windoze 10.)
It is also possible that Larkin remains shacked up with Zachary, and thus His Duffel Bag Scenario was orchestrated solely for This Queer Acolyte’s benefit. That I may sample the idea of his vanquishment like a draught of bitter treacle…and my appreciation of his dedicated guardianship be renewed. And taste more dulcet (like a rare truffle), as a result. There is no overestimating this clever man’s strategies, I assure you.
And there you have it, Plutonic Reader: my latest Station of the Cross which burden is Larkin himself. I am astoundingly blessed.
Oh, one more thing: on 22 September I sent him yet another postcard, with these words taped to the front:
And on the address side I wrote: