Letter to my Brother, 8/15/16

August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

Dear Vince (& Darcy),

First off, I want to thank you for the gift money. Now I can get a decent pair of sandals and still have lucre left over for something else nice…like a yummy veggie burger w/aioli sauce or a couple of argyle sweaters from a district locals call Junkietown West. Payless has good prices. I’ve had bad luck these past two years finding a decent pair of sandals from dead (or almost dead) hobos. Hard enough to get the right size, but too often either the odor prohibits me from boarding the bus or commiserating in an LGBTIFRC (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, furry, reptilian or curious) bar; or a strap breaks prematurely, due to the lifeless (or almost lifeless) vagrant’s gangrenous moisture soaked into the leather. Two-plus years being forced to wear Chinatown socks and free-box sneakers even in the warmest weather is more than this esoteric wanderer can handle!

Now that I’ve shocked you properly, please let me be clear: that was a joke.

Vince, after you left for Charleston and your first semester at The Citadel, I found a lovely book mom had packed away with your other stuff. A black and white cartoon collection called “Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley.” After a quick perusal, I had to have it, and so placed it in my room as one of my more cherished possessions. I never told you about that book; perhaps you don’t even remember owning it. The tales revolved around a little boy and his imaginary fairy godfather, Mr. O’Malley; and took place in a town somewhere in America during World War Two.

The stories are populated with various other delightful characters, both fictional and real, such as: Gus the Ghost, Launcelot McSnoyd the Invisible Leprechaun, Atlas the Mental Giant, his parents Mr. & Mrs. Baxter, Jane the girl who moved in down the block, and his faithful (talking) dog, Gorgon (and his father, Rover). As the years passed and I went off to college myself, that treasured novel escaped from my world somehow, and I rarely thought of it again. Till four years ago, when it suddenly popped out of my memory bank.

“Gee, I’d love to have that book again,” I thought, “maybe amazon dot com has it.”

Sure enough they did, but for a pretty penny due to its “collectible” status: $32.49. But I bought it, and once it arrived I reread every single ink-drawn page with immense pleasure. To this day I still have it, though currently packed away in one of my several storage boxes on the loft. It is almost time, though, to pore over it again with renewed delight. It certainly has staying power, and I’m glad you left it behind.

Since we first got in touch after many years–due to our parent’s departure and your role as executor of their will–I’ve thought now and then to tell you about this book. So here I am doing just that, in this letter. Enclosed are two separate printouts of illustrations from that sweet opus, that I got off the Internet…The Crockett Johnson Home Page. Enjoy! Maybe they will sweep you with childhood memories from the early years at 8 Shawnee Drive…or perhaps Monroe Street.

Love as always,

Eugene


[ Querulous Reader: click on either image below for a larger view. ]


[ On the back of the envelope, I taped this: ]

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Letter to my Brother, 8/4/16

August 4, 2016

[ Flaboromous Reader: printed out and sent by snail mail, including the image at top. ]


August 4, 2016

Hey there, Vince and Darcy!

Well this is awkward, my brother, as regards your printout sent to me. I googled “obamacare after 76” only to call up a ton of sites claiming this is a hoax that has been running around the Internet since 2009. But I already thought it might be, since the statement “make 20 copies and send to others” set off a little alarm in the back of my head. For this is a common phrase (or one similar) used in chain mail. Be that as it may, there are plenty of justified grievances against Obamacare that I see no reason to make anything up. Bad enough my own struggle to expose expanded Medicaid’s exorbitant share of cost as a death sentence to millions…only to be accused of being a liar and even a right-wing saboteur, by many. But there are folks out there who hear me, and appreciate my courage and efforts to bring out the truth despite difficult odds. So I am making headway.

Regarding my “No PrEP for the Poor” letter in the Castro Courier: the remarkable thing about their publishing it, is that rarely does a newspaper print a letter to the editor that is longer than two paragraphs. But if they really like what you have to say, they usually either pare it down themselves, or contact the author and request he do that himself. This may be vain to declare, but I like to think that whatever I have to say is important to the world, and that I’ve already condensed my essay in as few words as possible to the point where any further subtraction would be detrimental.

So when I send a letter out to this or that publication, I just don’t give a fuk whether or not they think the piece is too long. And, more often than not, I have my way. Besides, all my letters to editors are also posted to my WordPress blog (embellished with eye-catching images, as you already know), my Facebook wall, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn update, my Gay Bible site, and my emailing list.

I certainly hope someone is listening, regarding the import of my letter, and that it will reach and influence the proper channels to right this tragic wrong. But I have long ago concluded that belief in yourself should never be allowed to wither on the vine, simply because the results you seek from any effort are not fulfilled. Or better said: “are not apparent.” No matter how much you busted your cojones. For it is an absurd notion to believe that God does not answer all worthy prayers. Of course He does, just not in your own time, but His. Which leads me into the topic of what I think is the best way to pray:

Prayer is only effective when backed with action. Such as when you, Vince, show your kindness to neighbors by plowing snow from their driveways. But it is also good to set aside some time every night in silent, traditional prayer. Though I think many folks get this wrong…for in their praying they obsess over someone’s worst case scenario every time they kneel down to plead for God’s intercession. Here is what I think is a better way:

The first time you pray for someone suffering tragedy, I guess it’s okay to fantasize “what if” horrid outcomes. But really, worry does no one any good, it only causes further stress and spreads anxiety to others, including perhaps the person for whom you pray. Besides, it only shows one’s lack of faith that God does, indeed, fulfill all compassionate wishes. So after that first prayer–and every prayer thereafter–one ought to thank God ahead of time for answering your prayer. And in so thanking, place an image in your mind of that person’s recovery, and a joyful outcome all around. The rest is in God’s hands, and I assure you: those hands are Grace personified.

Tip straight from Gabriel’s mouth: humor is always a great balm to one who is suffering, when done with kindness.

Please allow me to clarify, though, by saying that, if you sometimes fall back into a worst-case scenario fear while you pray, by no means will God fail you in your time of grief. Nor will your heartfelt plea be any less heard for that. To believe otherwise is, simply, superstition. For praying should never be seen as appeasing God; it is, actually, your soul’s willful desire to share the cross of another. Even if you don’t pray, God know’s the ache in your heart, and is already on it, with the commission of his merciful angels.

It is easy to get bitter, especially if your prayer is not answered in the time you think due. Or “does not seem to be answered,” I should say. For I have found that prayers are oftentimes answered in secret, even to the one who prays. And that is why I know I’ve done a good thing with my letter to the editor…with all my letters to the editor over the years. And why I thank God for answering every one of them, although I may not discern the outcome in this lifetime.

Yet I have been blessed from time to time, with a prayer here or a prayer there, being answered rather quickly, and which I witness with my own eyes. Most recently, regarding my adventures with Zach…but also with Larkin.

My sincerest prayers are with Darcy, that her arthritis clear up promptly. And that she find a long term solution towards easing its ravages, and the pain that goes with it. No matter the source, or how surprising.

In loving memory of Mom and Dad,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


Contact Form

July 16, 2016


Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 16:11:36
Subject: Fwd: [Contact Form]
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Osmium Empress

Honorable Osmium Empress:

Thought you’d enjoy my response to a mother whose daughter just came out to her. She posted me via my web site’s contact page. Maybe I’ll post this as a blog entry entitled “Yes, Whitney, There is a Zeke Krahlin.”

———- Forwarded message ———-

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:40 AM, Caitlyn Rossi ( noreply AT 123contactform.com ) wrote:

*Name* Caitlyn Rossi
*Email* crossi@anokacountysocial.org
*Phone #*
*Message* I’m writing to you on behalf of my daughter, Whitney. She recently came out to me and said your page, gay-bible.org/links/index.htm, had been a great help to her. Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and encouragement on behalf of the gay community.

I also wanted to let you know about another page that Whitney thought was very useful, jimadler.com/law-resources-for-the-lgbt-community . Can you add this to your page? I thought her sharing her suggestion would help her feel like part of the online LGBTQ community and help others online. :-)

Thanks again! Any advice you might have for us, we’d love to hear.

Best,
Caitlyn (and Whitney) Rossi

The message has been sent from 208.78.25.115 (United States) at 2016-07-05
09:40:05 on Firefox 47.0
Entry ID: 8

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From: Zeke Krahlin
Date: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Contact Form]
To: Caitlyn Rossi

It is an honor, Caitlyn. I just placed the link in the “lists” subsection, here:

http://www.gay-bible.org/links/index.htm#lists

Scroll down a teensy bit, and you can’t miss it.

Advice? Well, based on my own hard-won experience, here it is:

My Dear Whitney,

Every group of people has its dark side, as well as good. Don’t let the foolish ones distract or discourage you; they are only in on it for self glory or profit. They may steal your ideas for their own greedy motives, or tell you that LGBT rights is a lost cause. STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS.

Fighting for the liberation of sexual minorities is one of the most noble causes you could choose. As you set on that path, many obstacles will suddenly appear and stand in the way. Many disappointments, many tragedies. So always keep your eye on the prize and never give up the good fight.

The Buddha’s saying, “We have no enemies, only teachers” has been a great influence on my life. For if this is true, there can be no exception…including homophobes themselves, as well as those fake participants in the LGBT movement whom I just noted above.

“If they are not really enemies, then what’s going on?” you might ask at this point. The answer I’ve come up with (and which has proven to be an anchor through rough seas each and every time), is:

They are testing your mettle, and nothing more. Respect their role in strengthening your will, and even thank them (if you possibly can) for putting you through the gauntlet. Without enemies, we’d never have the chance to resist wrongdoing, and thus grow into heroes not just before God, but in our own eyes too.

I don’t know if you believe in a creator, and if you don’t, please accept my apology, and replace the word “God” with…oh I don’t know, how about “the world.”

One more piece of advice: NEVER LOSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR, DAMMIT! So I’ll end with a joke:

Wishing you a most successful life in your worthy endeavors, and much joy,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


Letter to Pastor Dewey

July 27, 2015

This is a great video of a leader of an African American church, speaking vociferously for gay folks:

After watching the video, I posted the following message on Dewey’s Facebook page:


My Dear Pastor Dewey,

I just watched your video condemning homophobia, and I have to honor your brilliant sermon. I have been a gay street activist for more than three decades, fighting tooth and nail for my homeless LGBT sisters and brothers (no matter their skin color), in spite of my own Queer Family repressing and persecuting my efforts. Your righteous sermon brought tears of joy to my eyes, and someday soon I will embrace you with tremendous gratitude, knowing that God’s Good Grace has blessed us both.

Coretta Scott King looks down upon you with great admiration, I am sure. And I am also sure that Jesus Christ holds a very special place in His Heart for you. You are more than willing to take the flack for your courageous stance, for you know that Our Creator has called you to this momentous destiny…and you could never live with yourself if you didn’t answer to His loving request.

Most sincerely and profoundly,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin
http://www.gay-bible.org


Pillow Gossip

March 28, 2015

Subject: Hilarious Discovery
Date: Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 3:40 PM
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Sally (publishing consultant, Twosome Press)

Sal, I was shopping for another Scooby-Doo gift for Larkin (this
time for Easter), and I stumbled upon this particular pillowcase. Once
you see the design, you’ll appreciate the amazing coincidence!

Of course I had to purchase it!

– Zeke


[ Zinjanthropus Reader: if you have not been a dedicated fan of my tales for two or more years, you are most likely confused at this point. The image above is a reference to the first illustration in my book, “Free Me From This Bond,” which came out in December of 2012. (For whatever reason, Larkin is nuts about Scooby-Doo, well beyond his formative years; in fact he is now 52! So I seek out some kind of Scooby-Doo gift for him on a regular basis.) The uncanny similarity of the picture above–yet with a most humorous twist and implication to my own illustration–is most remarkable. Here it is: ]


Subject: Re: Hilarious Discovery
Date: Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 11:24 AM
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Sally (publishing consultant, Twosome Press)

Sally wrote:

{{ Zeke that is just brilliant! Did you buy it?

Best regards,

Sally
Publishing Consultant }}

Of course! Do I dare defy Destiny? (My disability budget’s shot for
the rest of March as a result, but I have grown quite accustomed over
the years to the myriad sacrifices put upon This Paltry Soul for My
Wyvern’s sake.) Larkin’s gonna go nuts over it. Every night he’ll lay
his head on This Prophetic Pillow Case and sail off into Scooby-Doo
Dreamland with yours truly at the helm!

Unfortunately (I guess), the delivery of this item won’t be any sooner
than April 16th…well after Easter has come and gone. Yet I trust the
timing of whatever Fate has in store for me. The sporadic conjunction
of my star with Larkin often contains a twist in the plot.

– Zeke

PS: Meanwhile, I decided to wear the following statement Sharpied onto
a square of cardboard and dangling from my neck by a shoelace…whenever I find Larkin seated at Twin Peaks Tavern (his frequent nighttime hangout down the block and across the street from my own residence).

I will stand outside where he can’t miss me, thanks to the plate glass windows looking out upon Castro & Market. So now–whenever he points me out to another patron and declares “that’s my stalker”–I’ll be able to counter that false accusation w/o speaking a word. And if he and a patron are standing outside at that moment, I’ll hand his companion my business card with a link to “Free Me From This Bond,” as well as a printout of his signed permission to use his real name in my tales. For it has finally dawned on me at this point, that Luciferian Larkin has set me up to promote my book by garnering the curiosity of said patrons. Maybe I’ll even strut throughout the neighborhood with This Albatross about my neck at all times of day and night, just to stir up controversy!

How much of a fool does he want me to be, for his love? I have recently acquired a new friend who is most handsome and kind…and could (frankly speaking) make me forget Larkin. Though I could never bear to allow that to happen. His name is Jerry, and he held me up when I stumbled.


[ So here we go, Fractalkine Reader! As I stand about Twin Peaks Tavern (and perhaps other spots in The Castro) while wearing this sign, I will hand out the following half-page document as a promotional stunt for My Astounding Novel: ]


Larkin’s sweet friendship has inspired me to self-publish a book about our adventures together, called “Free Me From This Bond”. Which novel is always free to read online, at:

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

Consider this my thank-you gift for Larkin’s incredible camaraderie, but also to the SF LGBT Community, and San Francisco in general. I was shocked when he started calling me his stalker starting in January 2013, for he always welcomed me to whatever bar he visited here in The Castro. Took me a while to figure out his intention, which began immediately after the last step in the publishing process. After almost a year of grief, I realized he was creating controversy around us, that bar patrons would become curious enough to read my book and spread the word. Free Me From This Bond is based on true adventures South of Market and here in The Castro. Most of the tales involve my adventures with Larkin; thus I give him credit for being the true author (and I, merely his recording secretary). Though he has humiliated and vilified me in public many times over, now and then he has performed most gracious deeds and declarations, as if to say: “Not is all as it seems. Hang in there, for I love you very much and I trust you to figure it all out in the long run.” He is a brilliant man, and loves to play The Game Of Life in most extraordinary ways. Below is a copy of his permission to use his real name, starting with Book 2 of what is turning out to be a trilogy. Before you pass judgment against me (or him), I beg you to read the book.


New Year’s Letter

December 29, 2014

29 December 2014

My Beloved Larkin,

May this letter find you well as we enter The New Year. I want to emphasize here that your declaration, “Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!” means so much to me, my gratitude is beyond measure. No gift, no other expression of compassion, no kind deed (of even the greatest magnitude) can top those awesome words…except perhaps laying down one’s life.

But I have already shown you by brave actions, that I am indeed willing and happy to surrender my existence if that’s what it takes to give you ultimate fulfillment. But such a tragic outcome is not in the cards, so let’s not go there. Suffice it for me to say:

What a terribly sweet man you are, Larkin Kelsey, for speaking those awesome words, regardless of the many times you’ve thrust a sword into this bleating heart (both before, and since, then)!

It brings me great joy to shower you with gifts, regardless if you do not thank me for them, or even acknowledge my offerings. For how can any of my thoughtful gifts come close to your noble confession? I am humbled and honored…and love you that much more, as a result. But I must admit:

You have a strange way of showing me your love, and which causes me incredible anxiety, grief and confusion. Yet that awesome declaration (as quoted in the first paragraph) is indeed an anchor for my soul that craves so much to be Your Sterling Companion. You are a Most Unique Fellow, as well as Divinely Beautiful to these tearful eyes! (But let me assure you: my tears are those of joy…mostly.)

It is my hope that my volley of silly postcards has brought tons of smiles to your glorious mug, as well as the occasional pang of the heart. As I’m sure you realize, the concept of sending you postcards was born of Zachary’s claim that you rarely even open my letters, let alone read them…but toss them into the garbage, or lay them down in a pile. So I have him to thank for that (ironically). For in sending you postcards, you are more likely to read the contents.

I often fantasize the day you finally phone me, or send me your first letter or card. I’m therefore sure you can imagine the torment I go through, each and every day as I anticipate such a kind return for my patience and devotion. Yet the answering machine and my mailbox remain vacant of your sweet spirit, despite the many years we have been in this prolonged and embattled association.

Wish I were a fly on the wall, to see the expression on your face as you unwrap my most recent gift. Especially my latest prize to you, for Christmas 2014…and which I heartfully presented you on December 23rd at Twin Peaks Tavern. The lovely silver tie with purple stripes, bound about that Scooby-Doo box (which originally contained 500 Scooby-Doo stickers, but which I replaced with a Scooby-Doo beanie doll dressed up as The Nutcracker).

And the other contents dropped into that blue gift-bag I purchased at Walgreens: a music CD of Irish-Celtic songs, the Yuletide dream catcher, and my “Little Match Boy” tale I composed just for you. Though my angels tell me the day will come soon, that I may view–like a DVD recording, though not really–all those moments I have been denied witness, once these trials you’ve put me through have ceased, and we are finally brought together in each other’s arms.

After some days’ hindsight, I now realize you summoned me (telepathically) to Twin Peaks, that I may present you with my latest gift in lieu of my apprehension that you wouldn’t accept. Just as you summoned me in March 2012 to Moby Dick, that I discover you now hang out in The Castro…and likewise called me to The Cafe in February 2014, as a test of our psychic link. Here’s how it went down:

Two days before I handed you my Christmas package, I attempted to gift you with it while you were seated at Twin Peaks Tavern. You saw me through the plate glass, but did not acknowledge…I guess because your housemate Zachary was there (and it was very crowded), thus accepting my gift at that moment would cause some difficulty as a result. So I did not linger more than a half minute before proceeding back hovel. “Never mind,” I thought, “I’ll try again another day when, hopefully, he sits alone.”

Three confrontations occurred between us before I could bless you with my gift…and for which reason I concluded that you most likely would turn me down. You scowled each time you saw me walking towards you, which of course broke my heart, but which also caused me to affirm my love, regardless. For I refuse to be duped by your rejections, especially since you confessed to me back in May, that “our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend.” Yet had that most kind admission never occurred, I’d still remain forthright in continuing to reach out to you! Thus the 23rd arrived, and I wrestled with my demons:

“Surely he won’t accept my gift at this point,” I mused with much angst, “But so what? After all, it’s only a material gesture, which I can mail to him post-Christmas, when my next Social Security automatic deposit arrives, January 3rd.”

As the short day diminished into night, I grew feisty:

“Wait a minute, why should I be such a coward? It’s Tuesday, the night he plays pool at The Cafe. I’ll just bring the gift there and attempt to hand it over. If he humiliates me and drives me away, I’ll just shrug my shoulders, tell him I love him anyway, and be gone!”

With that determination in mind, I marched with the blue gift-bag, across Market and up the street…then climbed the stairs to The Cafe. But the place was empty. So I sighed and ambled back down, hoping to find you seated in Twin Peaks Tavern.

Sure enough, there you were, camped on the corner stool of the bar’s short edge. chatting it up with an elderly buffoon on the lengthy side, with a vacant chair between you two. A space perfectly situated for me to drop my present, spout a few kind words and run off. But would you rebuff me with cruel retort, or accept my gift in friendly grace? I did not care at this moment, for opportunity struck, and I was not about to be a spineless turd. In face of the challenge that the last time I entered Twin Peaks to wish you a lovely evening, you turned to me and said: “Don’t ever come in here again.”

With that, I entered the tavern, dropped my gift onto the empty stool, and declared to you, My Guardian Dragon:

“Merry Christmas and God bless you!” Then pointed to the bag: “It contains a very nice Scooby-Doo gift.”

I quickly departed in order to deflect your possible rejection, and show respect for your wish to be left alone, no matter the reason. For the last thing I desired, was that you shove the Christmas present back into my hands. But to my surprise you offered no opposition. As I departed Twin Peaks and looked back at the window where you sat, I saw you reach an extended arm towards me, with an outstretched hand like a claw.

I beamed with joy and threw you an ecstatic guffaw before turning my face away and returning to my humble SRO. One thing I love so much about you, Larkin, in spite of your frequent hostility towards me, is this:

You have never turned down any gift I bring to you. In fact, you’ve accepted every single one with incredible grace. This latest being no exception, though I was cursed with doubts that arose from recent conflict. But only today have I come to realize that the argument I had with myself (whether or not to present my gift to you face-to-face) was really a telepathic communique between you and yours truly, where you assured:

“It’s okay, Zeke. I’d be delighted to receive your gift tonight. And I have set up a pleasant scenario where you can come in and bless me with your lovely present, without any harassment whatsoever.”

Sure enough, Zachary wasn’t there. Nor was the tavern crowded at all. An empty chair awaited my gift, and no one else was present to obstruct my desire to wish you a beautiful holiday season. The path was clear, as if The Angels Themselves had paved the way.

And I’m sure they did.


So this is what I taped to the back of the envelope:


Rainbow World Fund

July 18, 2014

{{ Salubrious Reader: here is a message I just posted on Wednesday, July 16th, to the Rainbow World Fund’s Facebook page. They’re located right here in San Francisco, BTW. }}

Hello, I just learned about your organization via Amazon.com’s “smile” service that donates a percentage of one’s purchases to the charity of your choice. So I searched “LGBT” and Rainbow World Fund showed up on the list. I am a gay-themed author of many tales, yet remain on Social Security Disability, at 64 years old…thus, I am very low income by San Francisco standards (I’ve lived in the Castro since 1983). I feel I can best serve the struggle for LGBT equality by remaining a writer…that perhaps this or that gay organization can profit immensely by sales of my books. And I would collect a small percentage of these profits. I just self published my first novel “Free Me From This Bond,” and it’s a romance/mystery adventure based on true events. It is actually a trilogy. You can read the book for free on the web, at:

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

At bottom of that page is the link to Book 2…which has a link to Book 3 (a work in progress that readers may enjoy as I continue adding more tales). I believe that my stories are very empowering for sexual minorities, to the point where they will change the hearts of homophobes. If you see the potential in distributing my tales as fundraisers for your organization, I will gladly work out an arrangement whereby the Rainbow World Fund will benefit greatly, in exchange for assisting me to get off disability (finally) and live a better life. (My dream, personally, is to open a home for severely disabled lesbian and gay veterans, employing homeless queers to run the place in whatever capacity suits them best.) My web site includes many gay-themed tales, poems, letters and essays, outside of this trilogy:

http://www.gay-bible.org

And my blog includes all the very latest of my intriguing stories that give dignity, hope and joy to gay people all around the world:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com

Thanks for your kind attention, and I wish you much success in your noble mission.

Most sincerely,

Zeke Krahlin


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