Fed Up with FedEx

July 30, 2017

Created at:Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 5:45 AM (Delivered after 0 seconds)
From: US Micro Corp – Amazon Marketplace
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject:
RE: Order delivery inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)

————- Customer message:

FedEx is giving me a hard time.

On Friday, they attempted their second delivery. I was home to receive the item, but they did not buzz my apartment number. I went downstairs to get some air, to discover they left a receipt! So I contacted FedEx’s customer service, asking them to send it instead to a local FedEx office. They said the only way they could do this, is if the seller indicated the changed address. I don’t get it, as I have proof that I am the intended recipient. I don’t know how you arrange change of shipment address, I’ve never been a seller.

————- Reply message:

We would be happy to assist you with this. Please call us for further assistance as that is the quickest way to address any issues with an order/item. Our customer support team would be happy to help you when you call. We can be reached at 855-876-4276 Monday – Friday 8A-4P EST. Please call us during these hours and we would be happy to assist you. We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you,
US Micro Corp


Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:18:16
Subject:
Re: Fwd: Order delivery inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 12:32 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Jesus. You’d think the FedEx delivery person could PHONE you and say, “Come on down.” I mean, they always ask for your phone number. Why not use it?? }}

The dirty little secret about these major delivery services, is they
really don’t want to bother with residential customers…their profits
are mostly from businesses that always have someone there, to receive the package. This happened to me once before, three years ago. The item’s value was $59. The delivery person never bothered to buzz me, after the first attempt. I wasted two whole days staying in my little SRO!

It got shipped back, so the seller reimbursed me…but I never got my money refunded. Because they go through Amazon…which sent me an email about a week later, saying that I have received my refund in full. Yet /no/ deposit showed up in my bank account records. And there is no link, no forum, no recourse whatsoever, to inform Amazon that they did /not/ reimburse my loss.

So they talk a big talk over how well they protect the customer, but
when push comes to shove, they do /not/.

I went to a FedEx office downtown, and told them I’m afraid I won’t get my package, so I’d like to have them leave it at a local branch, for me to pick up. They guy was nice enough, told me to call their 1-800 number, and they’ll arrange it. So I thanked him and stepped out…four blocks distant, it hit me:

“Why didn’t he just offer to set things up for me, right there…it
/is/ a FedEx outlet after all!”

I called customer service when I got home, but it was all automated voice recognition, which options did not apply to my dilemma…and I could not come up with any combination of words to reach an authentic, non-replicant human being. Yet somehow, some way, just before I was about to hang up, a real live agent spoke (or at least I think so, you never know these days):

“Hello, this is Enrico, how may I help you?”

He explained that to make this change of address, I’d need to get the seller’s signed permission first. What? They don’t just keep the package at a local station for a few days or so, that the customer may get it there? That’s what the USPS does. (Besides, this is /not/ really a COA request.) So here’s how it’s probably gonna go down:

I’ll call the seller, and they’ll offer to reimburse me. But I’ll say:
“Then I may as well kiss my $188 goodbye!” And explain to them that
this happened to me once before, and the refund never arrived, in
spite of Amazon’s claim that it did. And I had no recourse to register
my complaint.

I doubt they’ll offer to reship via USPS, even though I’m willing
to pay the fee. Because it all goes through Amazon, and they have
things semi-automated re. which delivery service they use. They can’t
step outside of the Amazon circle, to accommodate any customer.

And I’ll also be out of another $35 for the extra battery I ordered,
and the keyboard skin.

Well, online purchasing is a rich person’s game, and these services
never expect to deal with low income people. I shoulda learned my
lesson the first time around, and stopped buying through the Internet
when Amazon stole my $59. But I have gotten excellent deals on
computers and accessories online, that I can’t possibly find here in
SF. And not having a car, I can’t drive out to stores like Fry’s in
the East Bay, and other hi-tech outlets that offer excellent bargains.
Taking public transit is out of the question…I tried it once, and I
have to transfer twice, then walk almost a mile. Takes all friggin’
day, and carrying a package that announces “laptop” all over it, makes
me vulnerable to getting mugged. Standing around in unfamiliar
territory, waiting for a bus that may or may not come, does not suit
me.

I also found great gifts to get Larkin and my other friends, online.
This really sucks!


Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:27:35
Subject:
Re: Fwd: Order delivery inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Furthermore:

They were supposed to make a third (and final) delivery attempt on Saturday. But since I didn’t wanna hang out god-knows-how-long in my room, not knowing if they’ll buzz me or not, I ignored it and went to my usual coffeehouses to get online. Once I got home, there was no receipt showing delivery attempt in the lobby, nor was there any message on my answering machine! (AT&T will have to pry that land line out of my cold, dead fingers, FYI.)

Oh, and their receipt doesn’t provide a space to check off to just leave
it in the lobby. I went to their web site and registered, in hopes I can do something there. Well, you can’t change the delivery address unless you’re the seller! There is /nothing/ provided to clear up the situation they put me in…and I’m sure I’m not the first person this has happened to. Now they have my debit card number. What BS. I’m gonna unsubscribe now.

As for ordering online elsewhere: fuggedaboudit. I’d have to see
whether or not they use FedEx, blah blah blah. I’m pissed.


Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:31:03
Subject:
Re: Fwd: Order delivery inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 1:26 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ They’re also getting famous for just leaving packages on doorsteps, etc. They can get away with that up here, but in the city, POOF! It’s ripped off. }}

Our building manager told me they sometimes /do/ leave packages
sitting right outside the front gate. Can you believe that…smack dab in the middle of a highly trafficked artery! But I don’t think any of these
major delivery outfits are any good. I’ve had headaches with USPS and
UPS, too.

Amazon is run by right-wingers and libertarians, so it’s just as well.
Good riddance to ’em all!


Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:35:49
Subject:
A happy ending!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Listen with your own ears: click here.

(Answering machine message from FedEx headquarters in San Mateo basically says they have my package, and offered to ship it to a local branch for pick-up.)


Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:06:27
Subject:
Unbelievable! They forgot to include the power supply.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Love my new refurbished system, but…

Now I gotta deal with FedEx delivery BS all over again. So it’ll be at
least a week (prolly 10 days) before I can even use the Lenovo x230.
This is torture, I should report the incident to Homoland Security.


Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:49:54
Subject:
Re: Unbelievable! They forgot to include the power supply.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:09 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Oh, fer chrissake. }}

Checking out that FedEx station near my SRO residency, while browsing the web, I was glad to learn they’re open until 11 PM. (Hurrah! I would not have to wait until tomorrow morning!) So I waited until 8:30, to avoid a long line. Wondering along the way if it will actually be there, or if I’ll have to go through more bullshit…maybe they shipped it back to the seller instead.

“Dammit,” I grumbled through the opposing flow of pedestrians, “That’s supposed to be the laptop I’ll be using when I skyrocket to fame!”

Once I stepped inside 1967 Market, I was pleased to see only one other customer, already closing his transaction with the Gyro-Gearloose-looking cashier. But then he started asking generalized information about their other services, after the employee handed him back his ID card, with the receipt. This went on for several minutes, during which time I grew impatient, and a little voice in my head echoed:

“You should start pounding your chest and screaming your lungs raw, for god’s sake!”

But I sensibly thought better of it, now that I was so close to (possibly? probably?) receiving My Elusive Holy Grail X230. The inconsiderate customer (whom I was glaring at like a gypsy’s evil eye) finally picked up his items and waddled into the gray twilight. My own transaction went smooth as a greased baby’s bum on a downsloping monorail track.

I was tickled pink to receive the carton, and opened it to insert the
notebook in my backpack, then departed with the box. As I marched
back hovel, it struck me square in the balls:

“Hey wait a minute, I didn’t see the AC adapter!”

Then I started to chuckle:

“C’mon, Zeke, you’re just suffering residual anxiety from this FedEx fiasco. It’s most likely somewhere in this box, taped to a cardboard flap or something. You’ll find it when you get home, no point in stopping now to check it out.”

I figured that’s indeed the case, thinking how absurd it would be to throw such a monkey wrench into the works at this point. Tossing the now-lightweight carton onto my bed, I removed my jacket and hat, peed down the hallway, then returned to reopen the package. I was in disbelief to discover the adapter was nowhere to be found. I felt like a sucker.

Somewhere in hell, a devil is laughing.


Created at: Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 7:18 AM (Delivered after 1 seconds)
From: US Micro Corp – Amazon Marketplace
To: Zeke Krahlin
Subject:
RE: Inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)

————- Customer message:

NO POWER SUPPLY! Finally, after much wrangling with FedEx (who claimed to have made 3 delivery attempts, but never bothered to buzz my apartment whenever they showed up), I got the item today, July 27. Very very nice, but sadly, you neglected to include the power supply!

————- Reply message:

Good Morning. We apologize for any inconvenience. We can either create an order to have one shipped to you or refund you $20.00 and you can purchase one from a local computer supply store. Please let us know how you wish to proceed.
Thank you,
US Micro Corp


Created at: Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 12:54 PM (Delivered after 0 seconds)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: US Micro Corp – Amazon Marketplace
Subject:
Re: Inquiry from Amazon customer Ezekiel Krahlin (Order: 113-9357168-9361006)

Oh, just ship it please. It isn’t the end of the world…you sent me a
superb refurbished notebook, and I’ll just worship it on a makeshift
altar with flowers and candles, until the adapter finally arrives.


Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:06:52
Subject:
Rubbing it in my face
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Got this printout in the USPS mail today, from FedEx. See attachment.

Dear Ezekiel Krahlin:

Thank you for registering for FedEx Delivery Manager. Customized delivery options are now in your hands.

With FedEx Delivery Manager, you get packages your way. You can:

– Manage when, where and how your packages are delivered.
– Get notifications through the delivery process.
– View all your incoming and outgoing packages in calendar or list formats.
– Request changes to delivery instructions while your package is in transit.

And, that’s just the beginning. Check out these features and many more at fedex.com/delivery.


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Larkin’s Cubes

July 15, 2017

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 16:30:10
Subject:
Those Scooby-Doo Cubes Arrived Yesterday!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

So I put together my gift package for Larkin, see attachment 1. The
story cubes packet has been wrapped up in a man’s tie, and a very attractive tie it is. If you recall, I like to wrap my extra-special
offerings to Larkin, in a tie. He commented on that three years ago, said:

“Those are very nice ties you give me!”

There’s the card: a Peanuts theme starring Woodstock, standing in his nest on a blustery day, and chirping exclamation points.

Reminiscent of the illustration for chapter 1 of my novel, “Free Me From This Bond.” Remember that remarkable pillowcase I discovered while perusing Amazon for some relevant Scooby-Doo gift, back in March of 2015? I had no idea such a design existed, I was simply searching for “scooby-doo bedroom” stuff, on a whim. Here’s the image, to refresh your memory:

Of course, what makes it so remarkable is its uncanny resemblance to
the illustration in chapter 1: Scooby-Doo instead of Snoopy, crashing
at his doghouse. In that image (so lovingly drawn by S. Rohan),
appears Woodstock, apparently flustered over Snoopy’s unexpected
replacement. Again, to refresh your memory:

Open the card to see a blank space awaiting my pen, and I wrote: “THAR SHE BLOWS” in fat, outlined uppercase letters. That is one of Larkin’s trademark expressions, along with “Aargh!” The lovely, dark blue gift bag rests just beneath that card. I also inserted a folded printout of my email to Twin Peaks Tavern, seeing as I have yet to actually hand it to him… though I’ve tried, carrying it about in my pocket as I stroll the ‘hood. It will, of course, happen, but in such a way as to underline Larkin’s flair for the theatrical.

In addition, I printed out my recent tale, “Rays of Emerald,” and placed it in a legal sized envelope that I inserted into the gift bag. Attached are two more images: one, showing the Scooby-Doo story cubes wrapped up; the other, how the completed gift will appear in Larkin’s hands.

My final embellishment was to tape some small Scooby-Doo images to
both envelopes…pics which I copied offa Google Images and printed
out.

I will soon post a blog entry about this latest present to My Avuncular Ankylosaurus, showing more detail of each component. Now all I need do is walk around with this colorful token of love until our paths cross once more. I feel like a bower bird, decorating the entrance to his little nest with pretty geegaws, to attract a mate. Larkin’s such a sucker for thoughtful, diminutive gifts, especially when it includes a Scooby-Doo treat!


Hug of the Century

June 14, 2017

[ Exculpatory Reader: finally, Larkin asked me for a hug…the first time he’s ever done that, actually! Previously, he’d just come up and hug me, or say, “gimme a hug, Zeke!” or I would ask him. But as you know, the hugs became rare, once he resurfaced in the Castro…and I always had to ask…sometimes beg him, even. The last time we hugged was more than two years ago. Until late last night. ]

The point is this: he never asked before. It was an extraordinary encounter, around 1:15am. But let me describe the events earlier that evening (Sunday, June 11th), which led up to it.

Really hurting to see him again, even a glimpse, these past few days. In fact, I was speaking to him in my mind, with words like: “Listen buddy, I’m begging you…so much time has passed and I still reach out to you. My life ain’t so great, and my soul is utterly crushed at this point. Can’t you please, please, please, stop this game and start being the awesome friend I know you truly are?”

I think that a lot of my grief comes not from this Trump era, my bad teeth, or any other trial…that it actually is the lovesickness I’ve carried in my heart for him these many, many years. So I heard My Wily Wyvern’s booming voice from across the street, around 9:30pm…looked out the window, and saw his huge, incredible self joking around with some ladies on their way to whatever Castro venue. He showed off by a powerful karate kick on the traffic sign opposite the one by my edifice.

I thought to holler out, “I heard that, Larkin!” or something, but decided to keep quiet and just watch. He did some funny dance, twirled around, and the girls guffawed. Then he waved them goodbye and continued towards Castro Street, his lanky arms waving in the air as he marched on into the stygian veil. I then looked at my unprepared meal, and decided to eat later on. For I was itching to glimpse him once more.

I put my sneakers on, a warm jacket, and a black knitted cap with a ring of large snowflakes atop (which I found left behind on a Metro seat three weeks back…old Chinese ladies seem to love these hats), and meandered down Market to Castro, then left on 18th. He suddenly popped out of The Mix, same direction as yours truly…who was now barely 20 feet behind his strapping presence. I don’t think he saw me; I almost called out but chose to remain incognito…as I watched him cut diagonally across 18th Street and onwards to Moby Dick, which is almost catty-corner from the Mix.

Some folks seemed to be arguing further down the sidewalk on my side of 18th, and Larkin heard them. So he paused before entering the other bar, and hollered to them:

“Don’t be mad, be glad!”

“Humph,” I thought, “what a hypocrite.” So I then bolted my voice in his direction:

“You should follow your own advice!” He seemed to not hear (though I’m sure he did), so I repeated my declaration before he disappeared through the doorway.

I walked by Moby Dick several times, but his back was facing the street, so I don’t really know if he saw me. Though I suspect he did; I finally returned hovel.

I prepared my simple supper of packaged brown and red rice w/herbs and veggies that only takes 90 seconds in the microwave. After my first few bites, I started itching once more to get out there, and see if maybe I could get another glimpse of my inamorato (as Marco so aptly calls him). To my disappointment, he was no longer hanging at Moby Dick…nor the Mix, nor Beaux. So I stepped back inside for some minutes, but grew restless again, and decided to have a smoke or two from my small collection of today’s snipes…outside, by the bus shelter.

“Is that Larkin?” I thought, reacting to a boisterous holler further down the street, probably outside Beaux. I squinted to see if I could find his silhouette among the crowd of shadows gathered there, out front. After a minute or so, I made him out, and saw his form begin to saunter in my direction.

He didn’t spot me, as I made sure to hide behind the inner wall of the shelter. Once he kicked the signpost, I called out my usual “I heard that!”

He paused then, and peered up at my window, which now has that lovely, scent diffusing lamp placed on the ledge and glowing its spectrum of juicy colors, slowly and one by one. At the moment, it shone a radiant lavender. He tilted his head, waiting for me to poke my face out the window, I guess, then said:

“Where are you?”

“Ha!” I chuckled to myself, “He thinks I’m upstairs.”

So I called to him once more: “I’m right here, Larkin!”

Yet he still gazed up, thinking my voice came from above. So I clarified to his booze addled sensibilities:

“I’m right here, dawg, by the bus stop!”

He looked his beautiful self upon approaching; I noticed some thin streaks of silver in those thick, close-cut waves of dark auburn. He came up really close, his face barely three inches from mine, and declared:

“You need to get out of my life!”

I just looked into those glorious, aureate eyes and that Blarney-kissed mug which never fails to astound me. Then he spit a big wad of saliva, right on my left cheek and nose. I stood my ground in utter calm and remarked:

“Good to see you again, Larkin.”

“Aargh!” he raised his arms in exasperation and moved a few feet away from me. I cannot really capture in words, the brilliant scenario he obviously prepared in advance, he is such an excellent trickster! So I’ll just attempt to list his various antics, which took up a generous 15 or 20 minutes in total…the longest time we’ve spent together in almost three, difficult years!

Fidgeting with his cell phone as he leaned against the bus shelter, he cursed and confided that he’s a mess, and needs help. I watched as he kept pressing different parts of the cell phone’s screen, which displayed a handsome, naked blonde fellow in the background. He seemed to have trouble finding a number or app, as he kept tapping away in frustration.

“I hate cell phones,” I interjected.

Then he muttered how he hates computers, and something about failing a computer test. Seeing as I’m a PC hobbyist, well versed in this field of technology, I offered to help him, at no cost.

“Fuck that,” he spoke with scorn, “I don’t want your help.” He grumbled further: “Life sucks and then you die.”

“But I’m here for you, Larkin, you don’t need to feel so bad.”

Then he started ranting once more how I need to extricate myself from his world, put his face quite close to mine (again) and spat on me (again). I was not phased in the least, as I know his mischief, and had no reason to respond with anger. In fact, I greatly appreciated this scripted scenario of an outrageously handsome, superbly talented dude so cray-cray in love with me, he’s stupefied. Very cute.

He raised his arms to the sky, then turned away and began to walk off, as I stood there in silence, allowing the saliva to drip down my cheek, some of which touched my lips. It was a gorgeous night, BTW, cool ocean breezes kissed the balmy air, and the bold, gibbous moon a wan yellow. I decided to praise him:

“You’re a good man, Larkin.”

Upon those words, he looked down at his feet and muttered: “Oh I know I’m a good man, it’s you I wonder about.”

(“Jeez, he’s really rubbing the shit in my face tonight,” I mused with a repressed chuckle.)

“In fact,” he looked directly into my eyes from 10 feet away, “you’re a royal fuck up. A big, fat, royal son of a bitch fuck up.”

I said nothing, because I knew this is a game and I love him very much…so just enjoy the ride. He then stepped up and double-finger tapped me firmly on the chest:

“Oh, you are such a fuck up, I’m sorry you’ve ever been in my life, even for a minute!”

“So he wants to play angry daddy to my bad boy,” I thought. “Okay, I’ll go along with it, it’s kinda fun.”

“You know, Zeke,” he confided, bent down with our noses almost touching, his ember-smoky eyes zoomed into mine, “I really thought you were the one for me. Really! For quite a while, I truly believed you were my Mr. Right, my best buddy of all time…my SOULMATE!”

He suddenly withdrew, stood erect with that crestfallen visage looming down on me like a thundercloud:

“But you had to go and fuck everything up. Didn’t you.”

“Oh, right,” I mused, “I’m a baaaad boy, it’s all my fault, and nothing will ever make up for that. I was soooo close to having him, now I must roast in Gehenna for the rest of my sorry life. Ha-ha.” But I was touched by him even admitting he felt that way for me. I relished the heck out of his sweet, silly reprimands that were his unique way of professing great admiration towards this trembling Pilgrim Of Love’s Long Journey.

Larkin twisted his lips in scorn: “You ruined my life!” He spoke those accusatory words with arms extended and hands cupped like a medieval mendicant. His forehead squiggled like a whimpering Shar-Pei.

“No I didn’t,” I replied matter-of-factly.

“Yes you did!”

Then came a pregnant pause, as if he were expecting yours truly to pick up the next line in a script. I felt like I was playing into some kind of riddle, like a knock-knock joke. So I exhaled, then spoke the following words, right on cue:

“Okay, I’ll bite: how did I ruin your life, Larkin?”

His reply was prompt…no doubt because he wrote the damned script in the first place!

“You got me kicked out of Twin Peaks!”

I pondered a few moments as he stood there, frozen in that tableau of utter destitution. Then I shrugged my shoulders and held out my hands in equal hopelessness, to echo:

“I’m…sorry?”

He then vigorously waved his Samsung in my direction:

“DON’T say you’re sorry!”

[ I guess the point there was (Concupiscent Reader): had I not stood up to him (and defended myself with pepper spray, to stop his shoving me), he would not respect me. I believe he intended me to do just that, by setting up the scenario in the first place…waiting to see how much pushing me around it would take, before I got fed up. Just two, FYI. ]

Larkin stepped up his whining over all the friends he made there, and what a POS I am. While I just stood there, lips sealed, picturing his cornucopia of new-found “friends” (mostly elderly, some ready to topple over with their final breath…there’s a reason locals call that place “the glass coffin”). Whose fat wallets inspired him to cozy up and charm them to pieces with all his witty tales and words of affection. Accompanied, of course, with equally affectionate touches. They’d gratefully return his ministrations by showering him with free drinks, 10 and 20 spots, and god only knows whatever additional services he offered, such as escort, companion, errand boy, housekeeper and so forth.

[ I doubt, however, he provided any sexual favors. But so handsome and talented a hustler he is! I do not begrudge one smidgeon, his adept ability to thrive, financially, in this difficult world. I only am laughing at his keen wit and robust presentation through whatever challenges that would make most independent rogues eventually wither away in despair, by the time they hit middle age. And Larkin is now 54! So please, Embryonic Reader, be clear about one thing, at the very least: my laughter is born of joyful admiration. ]

He finally paused to relieve his lungs, thus providing me with the rare opportunity to interject a retort in my defense:

“Well, you ruined my life, too!”

Then he came up close once more, with a lowered head and a hand upon my shoulder:

“Look, Zeke, you can spit on me as much as you want, I don’t care. Go ahead, hock a loogie on me!”

“He’s my lovebird, though, so why would I spit back?” I thought…and I know he heard, even though I kept my mouth shut.

As he pulled away, he emphasized once more:

“But you really need to get out of my life!”

I then released these words bottled up inside my yearning corazón:

“Some years back, you said the nicest thing to me, nicer than anyone else has ever said, or ever will!”

Of course, I meant that day back in May of 2014, when he lowered his frame, placed his hands on both my shoulders, looked right into my eyes and confided:

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

I wanted to further state that I’m answering to that, and have been, ever since he made such a divine revelation…but of course he interrupted with pomp and circumcision, drowning any further words of mine in the process. But I refused to get frustrated at this, as I realize he’s been testing me, so to speak, testing my fidelity and will…over a span of ten-plus years! Maybe not a test so much as a kind of shamanic initiation.

He then came up to me again, glaring down at my black ski cap encircled with a halo of large, white snowflakes :

“Are you stupid?”

I said nothing.

“Are you stupid?”

I still kept mum.

“ARE you stupid?”

“No,” I finally ejaculated.

Then he demanded I lean against the shelter’s back wall, beside him where he resumed tapping at the cell phone. So I did. He insisted I place my back against that wall, and put my hands in my pockets, as he moved to lean against the plate glass window of the Super Duper hot dog bistro, and light a cigarette. He fumbled in his pockets, but could not find them.

“Fuck, where’s my cancer? I can’t find my cancer, now!”

With that, he came forward and started to punch my chest with his fist. Not too hard, mind you. But I flinched each time, a natural reflex.

“C’mon, you can take it!” He tried to shame me. “Nah, run back to your little cave now, like a pussy!”

I ignored him by staying put, whereby he delivered a few more, semi-tough punches, and reiterated that I’m free to run back into the building like a wuss. I did no such thing, of course…I was drooling over all this attention! Throughout these little dramas, folks walked by, pausing a bit to discern whether or not they should intervene on my behalf. Including a Mexican worker who was toting a wheely garbage bin to the curb. But they moved on, seeing this was more play than danger.

Larkin then ordered me to stay put for five minutes against the shelter’s wall, and not speak a word.

“Can you do that? Can you just shut up for five minutes? I bet you can’t!”

Keeping my lips sealed, I nodded.

“Really, can you do that? Just keep quiet for five fuckin’ minutes?”

I knew he was trying to get me to speak, but I remained steadfast and silent. He then discovered his cigarette pack, of which two tobacco sticks remained…but he had trouble getting one lit. I held out my own lighter, but he rejected the offer. Several minutes passed, with my standing in one spot, and him mumbling all sorts of silly things, trying to look as outraged as a firehose drenched cat.

[ Before he lit the “cancer,” he came right up to me with the cigarette dangling from those yummy lips. Then, with his mug real close to mine, he started “gurning” them, which displaced the ciggie, moving it around at ridiculous angles and positions, sometimes even between the nose and upper lip. The cigarette appeared to move about with a life of its own, sometimes twirling in one direction, then the next! Crossing his eyes and rolling them awkwardly only served to enhance the absurd spectacle. I swear, Avuncular Reader, I do not see how he did that, without assistance from at least a finger or two! (The ciggie I mean, not the eyes…hardy har har.) Truly hilarious…it was all I could do to keep from busting out in guffaws and collapsing, helpless, onto the concrete. But I somehow managed to keep a poker face through it all. ]

Once he discarded the smoldering butt, he came up and grabbed my coat to pull me forward. He semi dragged me from the shelter, to the front gate of 2306…I resisted only slightly. All the while saying things like:

“I am not your savior any more, Zeke, hear me? I am not your savior!”

Once we got to the gate, he tried to make me promise I’d stay out of his life, for once and for all. My reply?

“But Larkin, I already am out of your life, and have been for at least two years. It’s only when our paths cross that I say hi and speak kind words to you!”

Of course, it’s always been him showing up in my life, often by whacking with a powerful karate kick, the street sign below my window, to alert me. Though of course he feigns otherwise, as if that were the only metallic signpost in the city. Nonetheless, I always poke my noggin out the window and holler: “I heard that!” To which he usually never reacts (except for this latest episode when he halted to look up at my room and speak to me). Though once in a while he flips me the bird without looking back, and I bellow this or that nonsense, something playful such as “Is that a cock in your pocket or are you gonna shoot me?” or “Help me Larkin, I’m made of mostly water!” or “I lost my mojo, sweetheart, have you seen it anywhere?” Silly stuff like that.

But I’ve already reported all those events of our encounters in previous posts, that apparently he planned all by his lone some, while pawning it all off on me…being the brilliant jokester that he is.

Then he held up a fist so I could bump it…as some sort of agreement that I’d do just that: remove myself from his world, for good. But I don’t do fist bumps…certainly not with one I love so much! For they strike me as an insult, ’cause we should be hugging each other, instead. I refuse to be demoted to just a trivial acquaintance! So I ignored the extended fist, and remarked:

“We live in the same neighborhood, Larkin. Our paths will keep crossing!”

He then lowered his fist, dropped his arms to his sides, stood up tall as he could (and at 6-foot-4, that’s quite a length) and sighed:

“Hug me, please?”

I looked up at that glorious Celtic mug and said: “Yes, I’d love to hug you, Larkin.”

But he didn’t put his arms out to encircle me, so I knew it would be a one-way hug. Fine with me; I raised myself up, wrapped my arms about those noble shoulders, and laid my head upon his chest for about half a minute. I was in Umpteenth Heaven!

My hug ended way too soon, but I respect him too much to force him to linger in my arms…a subtle way, I guess, to display my sincerest affections. So as soon as I regretfully withdrew, he resumed his rants about how screwed up I am, and I absolutely must banish my pathetic self from his kingdom. Meanwhile I’m standing patiently by the front gate, Larkin obstructing my ability to step inside. So I interjected while he kept babbling away:

“If you move aside a skosh so I can insert this key into the lock, that would be awesome.”

But he ignored me and rattled on while I happily remained in sweet proximity, wishing this to endure till the bovines return.


[ Before I forget, Zooflagellate Reader: I left out some parts that I will now include, then complete the tale:

While stating how miserable his life is, I told him mine is pretty bad, too. Then he mumbled something about leaving San Francisco, the people are so mean.

“They’re mean to me, too, Larkin,” I agreed. “It’s a cruel city.” Then I added: “If you move, Larkin, I will miss you so much!”

Which was an understatement…I’d probably fall flat on my face and die in a few months, or sooner, after his departure. Until that fatal moment, I’ll probably be looking for him everywhere I go, poking my head out the window several times each day, in hopes of seeing him come striding down Market Street. Keeping my ears alert for his boisterous hollers through the chill night air: a glorious timbre like cathedral bells to my eardrums.

I’d refuse to believe he’s really gone, that he’s just testing my mettle…which scenario I’ve already written down in my tale, “But It Won’t Make Me Happy.” Upon which you, Eleanor, remarked:

“Inspired! It’s as if you’re channeling a parallel dream-world, which is striving to become the real world! The more detailed your vision, the more you create a portal for that dream world to find its way into this world and become as real as the rocks and trees!”

Marco McClean read that piece, BTW, on April 18th, though he excluded the addendum, and thus, your comment therein.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/but-it-wont-make-me-happy/

Now, during Larkin’s chest punching antics, he suddenly slammed the bus shelter’s thermoplastic wall right beside my head. Gave me a start, but again that was a normal reflex, had nothing to do with fear. In fact, I was totally at peace–overjoyed, even–at the mischievous attentions he bestowed upon me last night. He knows I carry pepper spray (all too well, as I actually sprayed him once, that night I got him 86’d from Twin Peaks Tavern two Christmas Eves ago), even though he insisted I place my hands in my pockets. I could’ve whipped it out to defend myself from his blows, or grabbing onto my jacket and pulling me to the front gate. But this was an act of trust on both our parts, and, quite probably, a test on my emotional status: to see whether or not I allowed any fear or hatred to seep into my psyche during these little challenges. He did look deep into my eyes several times, I guess to discern any negative content.

During one of his rants against me, he strode back and forth along the length of the shelter, waving his arms and cussing me out with some of the most colorful language I’ve ever heard…like that foul mouthed cockatoo on Youtube!

I interrupted him at this point, in a steady though bemused tone of voice:

“You really want me out of your life…then why are you still here, why didn’t you just dismiss me and keep on truckin’?” I swept my hands, palms up, towards Noe Street, as if to nudge him on his way, express delivery. Larkin scowled: I swear I could see fumes wafting from those darling Irish ears.

At least four times, he must’ve repeated that I should not intrude myself into his life any more. And upon the second or third time, I spoke the following observation:

“How can I promise not to do something that I’ve never done in the first place?”

He almost blew up at that, playing the enraged daddy to his disobedient brat of a son, to a T.

I had come up with a new pet title for him, “Captain Galaxy,” and I finally had the chance to use it last night. In one of those moments he turned to head for parts unknown, I called out:

“Captain Galaxy!”

He acted quite annoyed, which caused him to turn heel and come back…but he bumped into a gaggle of bar goers while screaming expletives at me, the same time. He stopped abruptly, and gave them a profuse apology…they laughed, “oh it’s okay, you have a good night, sir.” While catching his breath, I took that moment to express the remainder of my rehearsed bon mot:

“Oh, Captain Galaxy, you have made my world so wonderful, I can’t thank you enough!”

Well, that really ticked him off, so he decided to linger and rage at me a while longer. Much to my delicious elation. ]


After our one-way hug I watched him depart while holding the gate half open. Almost at the corner, he turned and called to me:

“So we’re good now, you stay out of my life, promise?”

I spoke no word, just smiled at My Demented Diplodocus with immense gratitude, wondering if he’s gonna come back for one more drama-queen bout. But he did not, and, instead of shutting the gate and returning upstairs to my SRO, I decided to follow him from a safe distance, after he turned left up Noe Street, heading for Duboce Park. I heard his voice boom at someone from around the corner…or maybe he was just exclaiming his usual nonsense to the invisible spirits of the air. I waited until his sonorous echoes diminished a bit, before turning that corner and proceeding in such a way that the parked cars would hide my view from his eagle vision, should he turn to look back. Judging by his nonstop, public ranting (like some comical werewolf or rhinoceros in heat), he must’ve been almost two blocks ahead.

After traversing almost another block and a half, he suddenly ceased; and I trembled at the thought that he spotted me, or suspected my whereabouts, and was about to run back to give me a quasi-thrashing. But that did not occur, to my relief. Figuring he was still not so far gone, that he couldn’t hear me if I yelled, I decided to do just that. Though I hesitated:

“Now, what words can I say to be sure he’d know it was my voice calling out, and no one else’s?” I thought in desperation, fearing he may be too distant already. Then it hit me: “Use the Mr. Ed voice!”

[ Bituminous Reader: the Mr. Ed. voice, BTW, is something Larkin came up with back in 2007, as a subtle acknowledgement that he read a tale I delivered to him via the post. Which story, “The Exalted Land of Andor,” included a humorous reference to Mr. Ed. ]

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-exalted-land-of-andor/

So I neighed like an old horse, echoing dramatically through the crisp, night air, like hollering down a canyon, the famous moniker from that old sitcom:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

Did Larkin respond? Yes he did, and with not a hint or note of anger. Just pure exhilaration:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Five seconds later, I did it again:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

And, once more, he responded:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Elated that I found some way to cap our latest episode with a sterling finale, I turned about and marched home.

Some reflections on last night’s adventure:

After Larkin smashed the signpost and I called out, “I heard that,” he paused below my window to look up and call back. He’s never done that before; he’s always just walked on by without paying any attention.

I’m glad he looked up to my windows, to see the new curtains, and the elegant lamp now resting on the sill. For a couple years back he visited me in my abode, and remarked on the crummy condition of my habitat…out of concern for my health. I wanted him to see that I have finally begun overhauling the SRO, and that the lamp in the window symbolizes my burning ardor for He Who Is The Glorious Flame Of My Own Puzzled Life.

Assuming he’s telepathic, he knew I wanted badly to see him, even though I convinced myself to be satisfied with glimpsing him two times that night. But he wanted to surprise me by showing up in person and putting on an amazing, and hilarious, show! I suspect he planned this days in advance. It’s like he writes these scripts for me, then acts them out…and that has been true now, for more than 11 years and many, many adventures. I also suspect that he knew I was standing outside all along, and that his thinking I was stationed at the window was just part of the act.

His calling out to me with a friendly “aargh” in response to my “wilbur,” was his sweet way of assuring me that our friendship is solid, and his appreciation and love quite true. I swear on a stack of gay bibles, Ellie, if angels do exist, Larkin is the perfect vision of one! And how he creates these incredible scenarios, as if he prepared them all ahead of time, only grants validity to my heavenly conjecture. If nothing else, Larkin is closer to any angel I could ever imagine…which makes me an incredibly lucky fellow.

Interesting side note: on Friday night, just two days before our latest encounter, I was listening to Marco Angelo McClean’s radio show via KNYO’s streaming web page. (Fortunately, my wifi connection picked up again, after wimping out on me for almost three weeks.) Since he usually reads my tales later in the show, I tend to doze off and either miss my piece entirely, or suddenly wake up when he states my name. This time around, I had nodded off just before the reading, but heard my name. Still half asleep, I sensed someone else in the room, lying down on a cot: it was Larkin, enjoying my company and listening to Marco. FYI, there is no cot in my room: that was part of the dream (nor any Larkin of course, inflated or real.) So when I finally awoke in full a few moments later, I felt refreshed and comforted by the presence of Larkin’s ghost, and Marco’s intelligent voice coming through the speakers.

[ Vexatious Reader: other than correcting any typos, and possibly changing or rearranging a few words here and there, I’m not going to “improve” upon this story, to make it more “eloquent.” This, out of humility for the amazing spirit that is Larkin Kelsey, a most talented, beautiful, exuberant, witty, brave and rare specimen of a man! My own writings pale in comparison to the unbelievable adventures he concocts in real life 3-D. Considerable credit must go to Larkin, for such inspiration! Can’t wait to see how things ensue these next few days and weeks. His amazing antics of last night give every indication that he has many more tricks up his sleeve…of a rewarding nature, finally (as opposed to a decade of tribulations). I have every expectation they may start as soon as later today. I feel like a kid in a candy store…or perhaps more succulently: like a dragon in a monastery. ]


AFTERGLOW

I did nothing else on the Internet today, except to write down my
latest Larkin tale. Once completed, I packed things up and departed
from Uncle Benny’s Donuts & Bagels (located in SF’s second largest Chinese community) and decided, at first, to skip my usual stopover at a nearby Goodwill thrift store, on my way to the N Judah. But a little birdie told me:

“No, Zeke, you must go to Goodwill, there’s something very special
for you, to celebrate last night’s grace-filled encounter! You will
recognize the item that’s intended just for you…there’ll be no doubt, once you lay peepers on it!”

So off I sped to Goodwill three blocks west, as I’ve done each and every day so far, since I’ve made Uncle Benny’s my afternoon hangout. I strolled to the back of the store, in the far left corner, where all the electronic devices are, and other interesting geegaws. And there it was, shining like a beacon! See attached photo.

It’s a stained glass objet d’arte. Real glass and lead, in other words: not a plastic knockoff. Kinda big, too, diameter of, oh, fourteen inches or thereabout. And that it depicts the Hindu symbol for peace, “om shanti,” makes it very special, indeed.

Best of all, guess what it cost: just $2.99!

FYI: I believe that this little bird who told me to go to Goodwill this afternoon, was Larkin’s telepathy. As I believe it has been in other, previous and amazing episodes since we first met in 2006.



Listen to my Queer Tales on Radio

March 6, 2017

This Friday, March 10th, Marco McClean, the host of Ft. Bragg’s KNYO weekly show, “Memo of the Air” will be interviewing me live, after which I will read several short, gay themed tales. Starting around 9:15 PM. Listen via live streaming at:

knyo.org/listen.htm

In case it’s too late to tune in by the time you read this, just log on to memooftheair.wordpress.com and play the podcast dated 2017/10/04. Start at fifteen minutes in.

Beyond that, he’ll be reading from my self-published novel, “Free Me From This Bond” every week until its end. In fact, he started narrating it last Friday. Download the podcast dated 2017/03/04 here:

tinyurl.com/marcozeke1

The reading starts at 3 hours, 47 minutes, and ends at 4 hours, 10 minutes.

This book is about my adventures as a gay street activist here in San Francisco, from around 2006 to 2012. And features my two greatest heroes: Randolph Taylor, our own community’s Nam Vet war hero (now deceased), and one Arwyn Miles who is alive and kicking.

Not his real name, by the way, but he is quite a unique character that inspires me no end. We first met in the SOMA neighborhood, but he since migrated to the Castro some years back. He is a real bar fly and good fun. The first scene read by Mr. McClean takes place in the old Hole in the Wall Saloon.


Zeke’s War Correspondence, Issue #1

November 12, 2016

Make no doubt about it, we are at war…a new civil war, a most UNcivil war. The genocide of LGBTs is about to begin…or at least, the intent will be made known the moment Donald Trump assumes the presidency. But also make no mistake:

The Democratic Party is complicit in setting up the scenario whereby sexual minorities will be scapegoated as a warning to everyone else that, should they oppose the corporate status quo, they too shall be persecuted. FOR BOTH PARTIES ARE ONE. I foresaw such an outcome on the day President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. For which I proposed the world’s first gay militia, in the following essay:

http://gay-bible.org/write/4_militia.htm

David Icke is a reptilian conspiracy theorist, whom I never took seriously until recently. Maybe he’s changed since he first started, but I’ve been astonished that, lately, he’s very much right on regarding today’s social crises. See for yourself, and tell me if you think I’m wrong:

I have also recently discovered an excellent Youtube news channel, Redacted Tonight, that uses humor in large part, to get across important messages about world and national issues. Here’s the latest episode, which I hope you’ll take the time to watch, as it is well worth it:

It is clear to me that the GOP is promoting solidarity for LGBT rights, using the threat of Muslim terrorism’s virulent homophobia to scare the gay vote away from Hillary and into their own tent. Which is why I posted the following blog entry in late July:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/the-new-gop-meme/

Since the Republican Party is owned lock, stock and barrel by Christian fundamentalists who adamantly oppose homosexuals as worse than rapists and murderers, the GOP will, of course, move with sudden force to overturn every single law protecting sexual minorities, and openly persecute them. For it is their biblical mandate to wreak terror and death upon LGBTs, or they themselves shall not enter heaven, but burn in everlasting hell.

Now, considering the Buddha’s statement that “we have no enemies, only teachers,” what purpose, then, does Donald Trump serve in the grand scheme of things? Perhaps in breaking the spirit of multitudes, as happened to Europe in WWII, we will finally reach out to each other as brothers and sisters in solidarity, to form a better nation truly living up to the ideals of the Bill of Rights. And if this is true, guess whom we have to thank?

Reporting from the front lines here in the Castro,

Zeke Krahlin, Jehovah’s Queer Witness


The Calls from County Jail

October 23, 2016

A true tale that I first posted on Reddit, in a forum asking “In the spirit of Halloween – Paranormal or not, what is the scariest, creepiest or most unsettling experience of your life?“)

Scariest experience (or at least one of my scariest) is going on right now. For the last two days when I come home, there are a bunch of messages on my answering machine from the same person, a collect call request from county jail. (BTW, this is a land line, I do not own a cell.) It goes something like this:

“Hello, this is a collect call from county jail, from…[then his voice, kinda raspy and deep: ‘Marco Espinosa’]…if you want to accept this call, press 1, if you don’t want to accept this call, hang up or press 2.”

The recording continues to explain various rules about collect calls from country jail, it just goes on for an insufferable amount of time, says something about if you’re a lawyer and do not want to have your call recorded, call this number [gives a 10 digit #], then rattles on about other stuff, including the option to press number 7 to block any more calls from county jail.

Of course, since these are messages already on my answering machine, picking up the phone to press 7 will get me nowhere. I don’t recognize the name, nor would I ever accept a collect call from county jail. I only have gotten such a call twice before, around eight and twelve years ago, and do not appreciate this new one at all. (One from a homeless person who did have my phone number, but I never told him to call me from jail, another was a wrong number, probably.) Very unnerving, especially since he’s been calling two times per day, and once late at night: 7:30 AM, 6:30 PM and 1:30 AM, respectively (and those are just rough estimates, he didn’t or doesn’t call right on the half hour).

The answering machine uses a chip to record, and is klutzy, in that you have to listen through the first 10 seconds of each message before you can skip to the next one (rather than hear it all the way through), or you’ll have to listen to them all over again–if even one of those messages was not played for at least 10 seconds–before you can press the “erase all messages” button. I have decided that, next time (though I hope there are no more next times), just to unplug the answering machine and plug it back in again which will delete all messages by default. Though since it doesn’t even come with a battery socket, I’ll have to reset the day, hour and minute each and every time. But I just won’t bother.

I hardly ever receive any phone calls (I have Lifeline service BTW, living on social security and no other income), but my brother from Long Island has been calling me now and then. Which means I’ll have to listen to each message, in case one is his. But I decide not to do that, it would be just too nerve-wracking. It’s times like these I wish my brother would use email to reach me…which I’ve suggested in the past, but he’s averse to Internet stuff. 70 years old, retired cop, a great man but set in his ways. His wife is very ill these days, and I feel for him. My own low income may force me to finally depart from my crummy SRO, due to gentrification or eviction ’cause the landlord’s getting out of the business, or (God forbid) fire. And I don’t even know if I can return to our family home–a humble ranch house built up a bit by my brother–after all these decades. For I am the black sheep, the weirdo, the one that everyone scapegoats whenever someone’s in a bad mood. I’d return a failure, nothing to show of my life victories in their Republican eyes.

I wouldn’t want to go back, anyway, as I’d then become absorbed by the Borg of hetero family values and become the stereotypcial gay uncle dedicated to enhancing the lives of his straight relatives, walking dogs, cleaning house, shoveling snow, planning parties, housesitting, babysitting and so forth. No more gay activism for this sorry soul stuck in a bland suburban region w/o a car or driver’s license. My only fulfilling outlet would be on the Internet. There are also the ungodly, hot and humid summers that would sap my spirit for almost six months each annum…and due to climate change, Long Island can only expect killer heat waves increasing each year, and more prolonged. Oh I’d be miserable! I would much prefer the icy winter all year long.

Then what if my brother poops out on me, and I am left stranded, no other relations caring enough to take me in? His second daughter is married into El Salvadorean people who are also Christian Evangelists. I can’t bear to go to anyone’s funeral, going to my brother’s is out of the question! What would they think of me, on top of everything else?

I have been in the habit these past 15 years or so of keeping my phone ringer turned to “off,” and my answering machine volume all the way down to “zero.” This is because, as a gay street activist, I have met numerous men down on their luck, some of whom turn out to be kinda disturbed and possibly dangerous, and others who are really nice dudes, but don’t seem to respect my request to not press my apartment building’s buzzer before 8 PM or after 11 PM. (Buzzer is connected to the phone.)

But even though I’ve had this same number since 1983, I get a wrong number once in a blue moon, and they can be pretty weird. Some from a stranger or messed up crazy just pressing buttons to try to get inside (I live on a very busy, main street, lots of foot traffic including bums.) So because of this, I keep the ringer and volume off, and just check the LED indicator on my answering machine to see if I got any calls, every hour or so. Which is frustrating, because I have four good friends whom I see a lot less, due to these strange calls that always start to occur whenever I decide that it’s okay now, to turn my ringer and answering machine volume back on. And you got it:

A good buddy I haven’t seen in more than a year, was back in town…I know because Donnie (that’s his name) buzzed me six days ago, and left a message. Two days later I decided that since no weird messages have been left on my answering machine for more than four months, it would be fine to put the ringer and volume back on. And that is when these county jail messages commenced, just two more days later! I really don’t want to miss out on seeing Donnie, he’s very sweet and good company…but I decided to go back to keeping all phone noises silent. Otherwise I’d have to be awakened every night from Marco Espinosa’s intruding run of unwelcome messages.

So for the past two mornings I don’t even bother to listen to the 20 or so messages left on my machine from the previous day and night…I just press the “listen to messages” button and let them all play through w/o hearing any of them. Once played through, I then hit the “delete all messages” button. What a hassle! That is why I finally decided that, starting today, I’ll just do the unplug/plug-back-in thingie, and be done with it. Not knowing if one or more of those calls was from Donnie or my brother, or perhaps from another person I like, and who is not an asshole.

Don’t know how this “Marco” got my number, it’s unlisted…though it may be one of those wrong calls that AT&T tosses in my direction, now and then. Perhaps he’s pressing “0” which is part of my number, instead of pressing “o”, or some other finger slip. But leaving a slew of attempted calls within the short span of 10 minutes suggests a desperate and pushy sort of personality…that’s not good. Why doesn’t he just call me once, for each of those three times per day, if he is a nice person? I also wonder:

What does he want…money? A place to crash or hide out? I am a poor person, thus not capable of providing him any help in any way, shape or form. I couldn’t even give him legal counsel or references, as I am largely alone in this world. Now elderly at 66, I realize I am prone towards ex-convict types who are known to seek out elderly queers to hole up and take advantage of. The last thing I need is some desperate bully robbing me of both sleep and finances…as well as winding up getting me evicted and even, possibly, arrested myself! Ah, the Castro, I am so sick of putting up with this crappy neighborhood, though I have accomplished much good over the decades. Enough is enough, leave me to my lonely pursuits, please. My days of street activism are long over.

Does he actually know who I am, through a mutual associate? Or has one of my enemies been handing out my number to troubled people in order to harass me? (This has happened before, though many years ago.) Is he gonna get angry at me for not picking up that phone, and track me down when he gets out? Where I live is very easy for anyone to find out, as I have occupied this edifice since 1983, my two windows face the main street, the building is not very secure, thus easy for anyone to slip in and out, especially since frequent building and service contractors leave the front gate ajar, for their convenience, often for an hour or more…and I am kind of notorious. And I do have enemies because of my decades of homeless outreach which sometimes involves confrontations with homophobes and other sorts of disturbed denizens who don’t like to see me on the streets at night, ’cause they like to think it’s their turf, even though they’ve only showed up a year or two ago, and I’ve been here since the Bronze Age.

Early this morning, BTW, around 6 AM, for some reason the ans. machine volume was turned up a couple notches and I heard Marco’s call again. So I picked up the phone and heard the recorded voice…but I already knew to press 7 to cancel any further calls. So I pressed 7, yet the recorded voice went on as if nothing happened, didn’t say anything like “Okay you pressed 7, you will receive no more calls from county jail.” Does this mean I must first wait as she drones on and on until she comes around to the “press 7” spiel before this will work? Am I cursed to have to put up with his message batches for God knows how long, that are blocking me from anyone who matters, reaching me?

Jeez, what a nightmare. And it’s still going on, AFAIK. Thank you for listening.


UPDATE 10/23/2016:

[–]keokutah – 2 points 15 hours ago:

I think all your questions could be answered if you just answered the phone and asked him what he wants. He’s in jail so it’s not like he can do anything to hurt you, and the calls are recorded so if he does threaten you they would know. And if you do feel like you are in danger, you can let the police know. Maybe it’s someone you know but the prison forces him to use his real name, and you know him by a false name?

[–]i-luv-ducks – 1 point 24 minutes ago:

I’d rather not, but thanks. Police can do very little, even if he threatens me. Picking up that phone can open up a can of worms that I’ll regret. So last night I was up when he began another string of calls…I held the receiver up to my ear until the recorded voice told me to press 7 to ban all calls from county jail. Then I pressed 7. Then the voice told me to punch in a 4 digit code, so that I could cancel the block in a future time, if I so wanted. Did that too.

A wave of relief swept over me, knowing that I’ll never be bothered again by such calls. But that relief was cut short, as his calls resumed a couple of hours later! This morning I arose to find six more identical messages on my answering machine, so I guess that “7” option is useless. So much for peace of mind. I know what to expect when I return home this evening. Happy Halloween. :(


UPDATE 10/24/2016:

Unplugging/replugging the answering machine does not remove all messages, just the date and time settings…how infuriating! So now I just turned off the answering machine and unplugged the telephone. After a week of remaining disconnected, I will resume phone and answering machine activity, to see if this “curse” has been lifted.

Donnie, where are you!


Deeper Down the Well

September 12, 2016

Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2016 17:39:39
Subject: Going Deeper Down the Well
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Serpentine Guardians

The Well is one of the remaining BBS’s around, that somehow still thrives in spite of the Internet. Located here in San Francisco, it has many interesting participants in the world of authors, artists and other intriguing characters. I decided to join them…costs a bit each month, but I figure it’s a good investment for promoting my own talents. Anywayz, after participating in several threads of varied topic, I decided to post my first promo in the “writers” conference. Now, I share with you:


writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#0 of 0: Zeke Krahlin (zeke1k) Sun 11 Sep 2016 (05:32 PM)

Hello, Wellbots! I am a gay activist and author, though not yet published in the celebrity sense…only self published one novel so far, which anyone can read for free online (minus the lovely illustrations), here:

I’ve written /many/ tales, essays, what have you, over the years, and continue to do so on my blog:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com

I decided to start reading at open mic venues here in San Francisco and Berkeley. And am wondering if anyone here can recommend the best places to go. I do /not/ own a car (never have) and live on a low income (social insecurity), so that is why I don’t seek to read my stuff in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.

My works are almost exclusively LGBT themed, though with universal appeal that all but homophobes would enjoy. (Actually, my written and spoken words are ingeniously contrived by forked-tongue alchemy to make such types crumble into friable bits of clay that can then be recycled to our local organic farms; but let’s keep that secret between thou and myself…what happens on The Well stays on The Well, okay?)

This includes my growing collection called “True Tales from the Castro (eat your heart out, armistead)”:

http://www.gay-bible.org/truetales

I write tons of hilarious stuff, most of which can be read aloud in 5 to 7 minutes. Such as:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/dont-mess-with-my-buddy/

I also offer my talents for private, individual and group readings on a sliding scale…especially appropriate due to my conspiracy theory of /gay/ reptilians that will soon descend in their lavender star ships and “straight”en everything out. And, well, you know, they’re covered in glittery, greenish-yellow SCALES that /do/ slide somewhat. (Not one of my better puns, hope it didn’t get under your skin. Come to think of it, it /is/ a poor grade of punning, so scratch it.) My most recent such tale can be viewed here, though I strongly recommend you toke up on some primo bud before diving in:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/learning-to-love-lizards/

At the end you will be graced by the light of my visual blurb as candidate for world’s first gay president of the United States and global dictator, on the ethereal plane…in both the reptilian and hominid dimensions.

Thank you for your undivided pineal attention. Here is my business card:


Keep your fingers crossed, Chthonic Dreamweavers!

– Zeke


ADDENDUM

writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#10 of 14: Peter Borke (petebork) Mon 12 Sep 2016 (06:00 PM)

You’re on the right side of history, Zeke. (you may not always be right, but time is on your side)

writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#11 of 14: I went full diva on their ass. (paulette) Mon 12 Sep 2016 (07:22 PM)

Wait, really? Allen was as delightfully gay as a birthday table cloth. Why would anyone pretend otherwise? The only time I ever saw him in real danger was when he approached a New Yorker writer asking him to sign a petition on behalf of some good cause or another (I forget what).

That New Yorker writer had lost a kid to bad dope, and held Ginsburg and the Beats personally responsible for it. It got very close to being physical.

writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#12 of 14: Zeke Krahlin (zeke1k) Mon 12 Sep 2016 (10:16 PM)

{petebork}: Thank you for reminding me of my awesome destiny that shall make the world my oyster. No matter I’m allergic to them and they make me vomit.

{paulette}: I did submit my novel to City Lights in December of 2013, but they never got back to me; and it’s, well, over two years later. You may read about that lovely adventure, here, wherein I confessed among other things: “It is my dream to have my own novel featured on the same shelf as ‘Howl and Other Poems.'”

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-letter-to-city-lights/

P.S.: One thing’s for sure: there are no angel-headed hipsters in IT!

writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#13 of 14: Ezekiel Krahlin (zeke1k) Mon 12 Sep 2016 (10:18 PM)

Oops, three years later. Flime ties.

writers 2374: Looking for open mic recommendations to read my tales in SF

#14 of 14: Zeke Krahlin (zeke1k) Mon 12 Sep 2016 (10:30 PM)

{paulette}: Homophobia’s gotten a lot worse, not better, since Allen’s time. Mainstream (read “hetero”) news still doesn’t cover much of LGBT issues. Anti-gay violence has been on a sharp increase for over a decade, now. Islam isn’t helping any, either.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/killing-gays-the-republican-agenda/

Plus, if you’re gay and low income, PrEP (the anti-HIV pill) is not accessible, even though the transit posters and other ads make the public think it is. Since Medi-Cal now charges an exorbitant monthly share of cost that only the wealthy can afford. Even in spite of Obamacare’s extended Medicaid.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/no-prep-for-the-poor/


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