Howard’s Pink Triangles

March 25, 2014

Just yesterday, March 5th, I noticed a feature on Howard’s Cafe’s storefront that I never noticed before, after so many years frequenting the dive:

Pink triangle tiles wrapped around the facade like a necklace…as you see in the above photo. Though more pink in real life (I use a cheap digital camera, so sue me). Upon this revelation, I entered Howard’s and addressed the two waitrons there (Bruno and Deidre):

“Say, I never noticed the pink triangles before, that decorate the front!”

Bruno smiled at me while Deidre remained absorbed in ringing up the receipts on the old-time semi-automatic cash register whose sounds are rarely heard any more in this high-tech reality: “whirrrrr, clunk-clunk, whirr!”

But I had something else on my mind, just prior to the pink triangle discovery: yesterday I handed Deidree the printout re. meeting her Dad, that I finally got around to writing. So I asked her:

“So whaddya think of my piece about your lovely dad?”

“Wow, Zeke, I really liked it! I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of it too.”

I beamed with glee: “So glad to meet your father, so glad to meet you, so glad to meet Howard’s, so glad…”

“Easy, Zeke, slow down!” She raised a hand in opposition. I simply chuckled.

“Coffee, Zeke?” asked Bruno, and I said sure, then sat in my favorite spot: the end seat on the horseshoe counter’s left side, my back to the mirrored wall.

As Bruno set down my coffee cup, napkin and utensils, I further remarked: “What’s especially interesting is those triangles are pointed upward.”

“Really now?” inquired Bruno.

“Yes. Most gays wear the pink triangle point downward, but some 17 years ago I suggested in a letter to the editor that we wear the triangle upward, to symbolize a positive perception of ourselves, and our destiny.”

Bruno: “No kidding?”

“Right. And two months later Act Up came out with their first line of T-shirts with upward-pointing triangles. They didn’t give me the credit, but I can prove it since I’ve saved that newspaper bearing my letter.”

Bruno (in his always-friendly fashion): “Looks like Howard’s summoned you here!” Then he disappeared into the kitchen.

His suggestion caused me to think: Is Howard’s a Reptilian outpost, too? Another incredible setup (like Hole in the Wall Saloon and Larkin’s unexpected arrival in the Castro), that brought me to this present place and time of miraculous destiny? I think so!

So I gazed upon Deidre and Bruno with newfound awe, realizing the glorious implications.

[ Now you, Frabjous Reader, may also deliberate over my musings while enjoying three more pics of Howard’s pink triangles (click on any image below for a larger view, as well as click here to read my letter that started it all}: ]

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Hero #3

March 19, 2014

[ Free Me From This Bond (sequel to the sequel): Chapter 7 ]

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:22:01
Subject:
You’ll be glad to know…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…that I’ve finally got rid of that ol’ bottle of urine. Seeing as I now have Caleb to sleep with. Ha ha.


Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:22:28
Subject:
Re: You’ll be glad to know…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Urine luck! }}

Strange kinda luck to have, I suppose. :)

So, didja get to see my Larkin video yet? Told ya I’d have a good pic of him in a short time. Little did I dream it would come from a forgotten video instead of my present camera ventures.

BTW, my friendship w/Caleb is blossoming. His attorney sister wants to take us out for dinner very soon. He went through a phone interview yesterday, and will soon take the next step to gain a position as financial advisor.

– Zeke


Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 17:34:07
Subject:
Re: You’ll be glad to know…
From: Eleanor
To: Zeke

Tried the YouTube, but I get an error message every time. I’m going to try again later.

BTW, I’m in the midst of putting together a website for the big China books. Wait’ll you see what I’ve done, just using one of those free sites:

http://www.courtofthelion.simplesite.com

It ain’t finished yet, but it’s getting there.


Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 17:48:47
Subject:
Re: You’ll be glad to know…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Okay, since both Larkin video links run just fine from my end, I have /no/ idea what’s going on. Except perhaps My Lizard Monitor has a telepathic hand in it.

I certainly look forward to viewing your “China Books” site. Meanwhile, Caleb’s back and we got “stuff” to do.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 13:43:16
Subject:
Both Larkin links work fine from my end….
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…but if for whatever unknown reason they remain inaccessible, I can simply upload to you, as attachment.

I had no idea El, that the publishing process would instigate so much sorrow, tragedy, frustration and wicked chaos…not just for “moi,” but for the illustrator as well. You didn’t tell me about that part!

I think after this I’ll skip publishing altogether; just stick to putting them on my blog, and hope for donations. The price to publish is just too high.

As /I/ am this very moment, stoned on some righteous scoobie-doobie.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:33:40
Subject:
Re: Both Larkin links work fine from my end….
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ I’m relieved to learn that he’s the one behind the counter, not in front of it! }}

I wouldn’t steer you wrong, El. Larkin /always/ slings the hash!

– Zeke


Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 20:41:35
Subject:
RE: A Great Day for LGBT Rights
From: Carlyle
To: Zeke

Ezekiel,

Yes, it is mind-boggling. Boy Scouts allowing gay scouts. Exodus International apologizing, shutting down, speaking of reconciliation. Now DOMA.

The tide must be turning. At this rate, can start to focus more on foreign trouble spots like Africa, Muslim countries, Russia, Jamaica.

Regards, Carlyle


Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 18:25:43
Subject:
RE: A Great Day for LGBT Rights
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle

Carlyle wrote:

{{ The tide must be turning. }}

I wouldn’t feel so confident this soon, Carlyle. A horrendous backlash is quite likely. After all, it happened to South Africa as a result of incorporating LGBT equality in their new constitution. Rape and persecution of lesbians, and equally violent regard for gay men and transgenders/transexuals. Just google “homophobia in south africa”.

I even look forward to the backlash and consequent civil war, expanding to a global reach in due time. Right now, CA Gov. Jerry Brown has just ordered /all/ counties to offer gay marriage licenses. Can you imagine the vitriolic kickback by these Xian fuktards who overrun so many of California’s inland counties? They are /bound/ to sabotage queers every step of the way…per mandate of their Satanic overlord who no doubt is a diehard Republican.

Can’t /wait/ for the hetero BS to hit the fan!

– Ezekiel


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:57:13
Subject:
Re: What inspired you to use bleach…
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle

Carlyle wrote:

{{ I’ve had things like poison ivy before, and rashes from chlorine pool, but I had noticed starting this winter that it seemed much more skin irritation than ever before. Now a reason to be a bit paranoid about it. }}

Frightening. Have you actually viewed the pics of my ankle sore on my latest blog entry?

http://tinyurl.com/wounds-euphoria

If you don’t have the time to actually read the piece, at least scroll down to view the wound…you can’t miss ’em: four in all, over a span of 8 days. Quite a shocker. I have many /smaller/ ones over my right thigh, knee and calf, which I did /not/ include in that entry. But all very deep into the tissue layers, say 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Much odor-free pus, blood and lymph fluid. They finally scabbed over, but pus still gushed out for almost two weeks when I pressed on them. I used triple antibiotic gel on the scabs and sores twice per day, which also kept them moist and allowed the toxins to drain.

Debrided the nasty sore while running under warm tap water, until all the necrotizing flesh and scabs dropped off. Which then allowed good skin to begin the healing process.

Did /not/ see any doctor, just tended them myself. Finally, it’s all clearing up…but boy what a scary ride!

{{ Also to be paranoid about tics. It is almost impossible to avoid ever being bitten, like trying never to get a mosquito bite. }}

You’re kidding! I never heard of such an infestation before! Sounds like a plague of tics artificially manufactured via our gov’t’s biowarfare devils. Surely, climate change plays a role.

{{ Have to hope more for being able to beat back infections than to avoid exposure, although I do try to slather on the repellents before hiking. }}

I’m sure there must be safer ways to repel tics than covering yourself with synthetic emollients that are most likely /also/ manufactured in biowarfare labs. Perhaps the /real/ toxins are located in OTC bug repellants, and this engineered tic infestation is the catalyst.

Time to google “natural tic repellant”.

– Ezekiel


Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 21:34:09
Subject:
Re: What inspired you to use bleach…
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle

{{ Whatever it is, probably should get to a doctor/dermatologist }}

NOT feasible. I’d be hit with an intitial $80 simply to walk in. Then additional fees for surgical etc. treatment, followup, and so on. Probably would cost in the end, around $400. I’ve run out of my trust fund, and my so-called MediCare, due to cutbacks, is no longer totally free for the low income such as myself. In fact, it’s UNAFFORDABLE.

Doctors can rot in hell for all I care. No dental work for more than six years now, almost all my teeth are gone. No more eye or hearing exams, nor psychiatric therapy to help me struggle through my difficulties. Ad nauseum.

{{ If not feasible, might also want to try a fungicide from the drugstore. Could maybe try to check symptoms online- does it itch? Does it spread when you touch it? }}

It’s definitely shingles…which unfortunately caused an exceptionally large and pus filled pock. It is healing quite nicely now, thank you. Very little pain through the ordeal, except the healthy soreness of new skin filling in the deep crater as old tissue and scabs slough off.

I’ve been treating it with triple antibiotic gel and tap water washes twice per day. Important to keep the wound moist /and/ sterile. Easily debrides due to the moisture. Totally clean now, and fresh derma is bulding up slowly. Probably will heal w/o any dent…and a pale, perfectly round scar.

{{ Probably want to launder all clothes, just to be sure. }}

As if I can /afford/ that, Carlyle! I have barely enough money for food for the rest of the month. I’ve had to recycle my underwear 3-4 times. Couldn’t have happened to me at a /worst/ time (financially) yet it did.

I don’t think you realize how badly these Social Security and MediCare cutbacks have impacted the poor, but I’ve had to stop purchasing multivitamins and minerals, and no more organic produce, juices or eating out even in the cheapest joints.

{{ I tend to use natural, herbal repellents. }}

Also beyond my budget. As are hydrocolloid dressings (which would help my particular type of sore tremendously). Oh, well…I consider this all a challenge and learning process, that I may become a better healer for /others/ who are likewise financially compromised.

{{ Also try to check my skin after very walk. Keep tweezers handy. }}

SO glad that a plague of tics is not also cursing me on top of all my other woes. I think I have more than enough challenges on my plate, at present.

– Ezekiel


Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 22:24:28
Subject:
10 Day’s Progress
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle

So here’s a ten-day span of my shingles sore, to show you how it’s healing.


Click on image for a larger view.

Thought I’d also mention what my income is these days (since the spending off of my trust fund):

Soc. Sec.: $1,099/mo.

No other income whatsoever.

EXPENSES:

Rent: $310/mo. (Lucky me, rent control…though it’s just one room, bathroom down the hallway, no kitchen…noisy neighborhood semi-dangerous…vehicle pollution living over a very busy main artery…noise at night from illegal restaurant deliveries that are not supposed to occur between 10 PM and 7 AM…drunken queers roaming the streets after hours, shrieking and starting fights, often right below my window…homophobes out for mayhem.)

Medicare Part D: $31/mo. (don’t need it, they only started charging me for it Jan. this year)

Acid reflux pills (OTC from Walgreen’s): $28/mo. (Can’t get a doctor’s prescription, as I have no Dr. and to see one via ER would nullify any savings I’d make via Part D.)

Emergency Room or Hospital Visit: $80 base price, then shoots up from there.

Well, then there’s food, transportation, clothing, sundries et. al.

How do you think /you/ could manage on such a sparse income?

FYI: I am now receiving $236 less on Soc. Sec. than I was two years ago. Due to cutbacks and elimination of many forms of urgent medical care, and increased costs of the remaining services.

Basically, a premature death sentence for the lower strata of society.

– Ezekiel


Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 00:36:27
Subject:
I think I now know how Book 3 is going to end…
From: Zeke
To: My Beleaguered Advocates

…for as I lay beside darling Caleb in his Miller’s High Life stupor and I, in my ganja paradise (thanks to a stranger in the Tenderloin who offered Caleb a joint, but he turned him down the first time though accepted the second as he thought of yours truly–just like two nights before when a stranger offered him a Mediterranean chicken salad right outside my apartment gate), sundry and brilliant visions swirl about my head like Santa’s sugar plums.

Caleb lay breathing softly in my arms while my left hand lay upon his own, and my right hand caresses those leprechaun ears and the nape of his neck. The first vision arises.

My angels deliver slumbering Caleb into my arms and speak: “God gave you one of His Own Most Beloved Seraphim, that you may finally be healed from Larkin’s travesty and meet Hero #3!”

So this trilogy is not a tale of /two/ heroes, but a tale of /three/!

Now vision number two:

The revelation comes to me like a gentle wave that buoys me like a mermaid gazing upon the firmament. Larkin drifts upon some shipwreck wood into the near past as Caleb swims to my rescue, and sweeps me up unto the halls of Valhalla…or is it Avalon? And a voice speaks:

“Love /always/ comes to you when you really, really, really need it!”

For Caleb is the /third/ hero in my trilogy! Oh I get it: it’s a trilogy because there are /3/ heroes, not 2. I’m such a dummy sometimes.

But not till Chapter Eleven of Book 3!

Caleb pushes his tousled head back whenever I press my lips upon his neck, and I do just that while aslant his napping form. Thus begins my third and final vision:

I rest within Caleb’s Sweet Soul and feel his spark of joy touch my own weary corazon.

“I am a true friend,” a voice declares, “You will /always/ be safe and happy with me, Zeke!”

Whereupon he awakens and sits up while I grasp my arms about his waist and rest my head between his shoulder blades.

“We need cigarettes,” he declares while squinting at the ceramic-cereal-bowl-turned-cigarette-tray resting upon desk #2. So I help him up and as he dons those dark gray, black and yellow sneakers, I express my concern:

“You’re already bodaciously drunk and ready to hit the sack. I’m afraid if you step out now, you might get hurt.” I pause, then add this important side note:

“I don’t mean anyone will attack you, but you might topple over!”

It is a mild night, not balmy but cool like Caleb’s belly beneath my flattened palm. I escort him out the hallway until we reach the stairs.

“You sure you don’t want me to accompany you? I’m afraid some handsome rich fellow will snap you up, you’re so cute!”

He blushes and waves a hand at me while descending the carpeted steps: “Nah!”

“Hey Caleb,” I call to him as he turns the corner and disappears. “If you find some kind and wealthy man to bed down with for the night, more power to you! Every penny counts.”

“Nah!”

(to be continued…)


Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:31:22
Subject:
RE: A Great Day for LGBT Rights
From: Sean
To: Zeke

Much ado about nothing really. This “milstone” does nothing for the poor single majority. It only panders to a wealthy organized upper class.


Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:05:38
Subject:
RE: A Great Day for LGBT Rights
From: Zeke
To: Sean

Absolutely correct, Sean. I even mentioned this to several people as I strolled Eureka Valley yesterday eve. Dating, courtship, marriage, family et al all require considerable lucre…thus eliminating the low income and poor from enjoying those privileges.

The /only/ benefit this decision may have (along with striking down DADT) is a change in perception towards homesexuals: that they are as capable as heteros are, to create a family and serve their nation. Which perception may drastically reduce the frequency of hostile attacks and other forms of prejudice.

Though there may also arise a wicked backlash, since the fundamentalists see themselves as God’s soldiers fighting a righteous battle against those Satanic faggots.

Here, check out Karel’s “DOMA Repeat Rant,” he pretty much agrees with you (it’s a video):

http://tinyurl.com/karel-doma

Also this (text based article):

DOMA & Prop 8: Victories in the Wrong War

http://tinyurl.com/doma-wrong-war

Great piece of writing. However: I feel like he’s visiting my blog and stealing my ideas. Probably not, though it sure is frustrating that as excellent an activist as I am, I’m still relegated to behind the stove, where the cockroaches nest. Even the back burner would be an improvement!

– Zeke

PS: Ha ha, you spelled “milestone” like “millstone”…perhaps a Jungian slip intended to combine both meanings.


Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:25:05
Subject:
I think I now know how Book 3 is going to end (cont’d)…
From: Zeke
To: My Beleaguered Advocates

Where were we? Ah yes, Caleb had just stepped out to bum a coupla ciggies, and perhaps scout for snipes. (A snipe FYI, is street lingo for a cigarette butt scored off the sidewalk that still has a bit of suck value remaining. The luckiest score is, of course, a full stick of tobacco accidentally dropped to the ground.)

While I’ve eliminated the cost of purchasing a pack every other day, I still scout for snipes. Which reduces my intake to approx’ly 4-6 coffin nails per diem. Eventually I will stop altogether. However, having a ‘bacco addicted buddy hang with me nightly, precludes me from enjoying a smoke-free hovel, and demands excessive discipline from picking up the habit once more. I cracked a joke about his addiction yesterday:

“You’re like a Swiss clock where a little man in lederhosen glides in and out of a portal to ring the bell. Only you step in and out of my apartment building every 10 minutes to cop another smoke. I could set my watch by you.”

So while waiting for his return, I grow antsy. A tiny voice in my cranium tells me: “Oh go buy the little Jersey runt a pack of Fortunas.”

“But I really can’t afford it,” I remark to the imp on my shoulder [ you know which side, Scandalous Reader ]. “I only have $46 left till my next check arrives on the third. That’s my FOOD money!”

“Do you really want to put up with his nicotine obsession, stepping in and out five or six times an hour?” the imp goads. “Besides, he’s a /really/ cute scamp and you both love each other.”

Still wavering in my decision, I hasten to put on my jacket and step outside to await Caleb’s return. Whereby I /might/ break down and purchase a pack, that I may enjoy his sweet company for the night w/o the vexing disturbance of Ol’ Nic’s siren call.

The evening air is cool, refreshed by a gentle breeze off the Pacific. Shrill revelers of the Supreme Court’s overturning of DOMA spew their cacophany up and down the street as they stroll by in both directions. I wish they’d disappear.

Several minutes pass before I venture west up Market Street, meandering about for a snipe or two of my own. Several shops up the block I find myself gazing upon a familiar face that I first think is Ely, but I really can’t place it.

“It’s Caleb!” I realize one moment later as he stops along the curb, smiling, with an expression like: “Hey, don’t you recognize me?” I run up to grab his fuzzy brown head and kiss him on the temple. So glad to see him, we march back to my gate with my right arm slung over his shoulders.

“What’s up Zeke?” he queries with a grin wider than ever while gazing back at me. So I tap him on that sexy sternum lodged between two breasts so neatly defined and solid I could caress them till pigs fly:

“I was being pulled by a mysterious force to that tobacco shop on Castro to buy you a pack of cigarettes,” I admonish. “But that would mean I couldn’t even treat myself to a meal at Howard’s for my birthday!” [ Which, Diaphanous Reader, you may know is just four days from this tale, and two days before my next Social Security automatic deposit. ] Thus I conclude with a series of taps on his chest:

“And you don’t want /that/ to happen, do you?”

His grin remains on that sterling Irish mug to light our path like a jack-o-lantern, all the way back towards 2306.

“No, of course not,” I sense his reply, though he utters not a word as we pass through the gate and enter my horse’s arse of an SRO.

As we settle down for the dark hours, each sucking on his mutual snipe, I place my hand on his knee and clutch it. He looks up from the bedding upon which he rests, his cerulean eyes staring into mine:

“What?” he questions as a puff of smoke floats from his lips and disperses.

“So you’re hero number three, ain’tcha Caleb?”

He shrugs but utters no word. Quietly he places his cig in the tray and raises himself a bit to embrace me where I’m seated on the cushioned swivel chair. We hold each other for a lengthy minute as our tobacco ashes grow o’erlong.

“I am so amazed and blessed,” I mumble into his left ear, and give it a lick. Then I bite gently down upon that warm, salty neck to feel him shiver in my arms.

(to be continued…)



Sun-kissed Caleb on the cell.

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 09:36:28
Subject:
Re: Better pic of Caleb
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Movie star! }}

Yes, he’s very sweet. But now he’s decided to leave, over a rather minor issue that I believe is unfair to me. Though I think he’ll come around in a day or two.


Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:00:39
Subject:
Re: Better pic of Caleb
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Uh-oh. }}

It’s a dumb scenario, nothing rational or justified, yet it’s happening. He acts like he doesn’t grasp anything I’m saying in my attempt to thwart the loss of our friendship, as if he’s intentionally /pretending/ to not comprehend. So it’s all shoved onto me, as if it’s all my fault, and I’m a clueless goon. He may as well be Larkin, it’s the same ol’ game of “make Zeke the scapegoat.”

Pointing out his wrongs makes me a “whiner” and a “manipulator.” He really likes me, yet acts like I’m being pushy with my affections. Which affections he very much enjoys, yet I’m supposed to be reading too much into it. How frustrating.

Told him his clothes and papers are safe here, he can take all the time he wants to pick them up, even just take one or two things and leave the rest. I also said I can’t have him stay here any more, under the conditions he expects. Which is a /withdrawal/ of any sort of physical affections. Yet this is strange:

I /know/ he loves my hugs, kisses, backrubs, etc….and that he is /not/ doing this out of manipulation. He is not even accusing me of taking advantage of his houseless situation. Totally weird and I guess, sadistic. Larkin redux!

Like trying to stop a speeding locomotive with an outstretched hand, impossible to do anything about it. Just step back and watch the train wreck.

I’m pretty sure he’ll get over this, I just don’t understand why we have to go through this in the first place. Utterly pointless.

Anywayz, it’s too soon for me to write down the details as I’m right in the middle of this BS, and rather saddened by this stupid twist of events.

– Zeke


Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:16:23
Subject:
The only thing that makes sense…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…and I mean the /only/ thing, is that I am going through an initiation perpetrated by this secret society I call “the Gay Pagan Motorcycle Club.”

Which of course implies an extraordinary revelation bordering on the impossible.

Such initiations are not unheard of by quite mundane secret groups. Whereby some time before (days/weeks/months) acceptance into the group, the initiate runs through the gauntlet of humiliation, frustration, disappointment and failure.

This is particularly true for precivilized, shamanic societies. Guess my anthropology degree is finally paying off!

– Zeke


Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 22:05:27
Subject:
Caleb returns on winged feet…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…after I kicked him out for not complying with my rather gentle and lightly erotic demands. We stepped out and parted, and I wandered the Castro feeling pretty damn lonely.

After all, he /is/ very sweet, just a bit disoriented. So I return hovel in an attempt to distract my sorrow in watching him walk up Market Street towards downtown. Tempted to follow him from a distance, I really didn’t want to lose him, BUT…

I know it is better to let him be, in order to think things through.

Yep, two hours later my phone rings and it’s Caleb, who queries:

“Can I come home?”

“I don’t know, Caleb,” I respond. “You won’t let me give you a BJ, and you won’t give me a 5-minute back rub.”

“How about a TEN minute back rub?”

Silence at my end. So he repeats:

“Can I come home? Just give me a yes or a no.”

“YES!!!”

“Be there in 45 minutes.”

As he saunters up the stairs I wait for him in he hallway. There’s my Caleb!

“So!” I command. “My handsome Irish rogue returns.”

And I run up to him, wrap my arms about his rib cage and nuzzle my head upon his chest.

“I owe you a profuse apology, Zeke. I’m really sorry.”

Anywayz, El, he’s already back as I type this, though he’s stepped out to purchase beer and cigs. So I can’t continue posting you right now. Just suffice it to say, we’re really happy to have found each other. He’s gonna do great with getting back up on his feet and finding a lucrative position as financial analyst.

And Larkin will eventually (and likewise) approach me w/profuse apologies…and love Caleb to pieces for coming to my rescue during a most grievous trial instigated by My Wily Wyvern.

Told ya I was sure Caleb would come to his senses, and back into my heart.

Sleep well my little kitten, Morticia! I know /I/ shall.

– Zeke


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:13:07
Subject:
The WiFi willies…
From: Zeke
To: My Andromedan Therapist

…have been haunting me for nigh unto three months. Ever since Fitness SF (health club across the street) switched from Comcast to Meraki. The latter is an ad-based service; an iffy proposition at best. I’m acquainted with their less-than-robust network, and am most aggrieved that Fitness SF dropped their previous provider which was, for me, speedy and efficient. What a joke:

Meraki Networks Raises $20 Million, Expands Free WiFi in San Francisco, Where Google Failed
http://tinyurl.com/meraki-sf

Now, my I-connection is often sluggish, flaky and a waste of time. So I must once more resort to coffeehouses and libraries for my wireless fix. Thank goddess Howard’s Cafe gives good e-head via the Mucky Duck bar next door!

So I decided today to bite the e-bullet and give Fitness SF a call (in spite of not being a paying customer):

“Hello, Fitness SF. This is Julia, may I help you?”

“Yes, well, I’ve been enjoying your WiFi for several months now. That is, until you switched to Meraki three weeks ago. And has proven to be most frustrating and almost useless for your customers. So I’m wondering if you intend to improve the situation any time soon.”

“Sir, did you say you’re a paying member? What is your name please?”

“Yes I am, but I’d rather not say. I just want to find out if you’re going to improve the connection shortly, or I’m afraid I’ll have to take my business elsewhere.”

“Sir, I see your phone number on the screen, and it does not match up with any customer on the database.”

“Well, umm, I’m using a land line from a friend’s place. Sorry.”

“Okay, Sir. I can post your complaint to the manager, but there’s really nothing else I can do about this, personally.”

“Excuse me Julia, this is not a complaint: it’s simply a query.”

“Alright then. Can I help you with anything else?”

“Tell me this, Julia: hasn’t any other customer pointed out the sudden deterioration of your WiFi access?”

“No, not to me, personally. This is the first time I’ve heard of any problem.”

“Okay, so tell me this, Julia. Do you, personally, use WiFi at your place of business?”

“Sorry, sir, I don’t even use the Internet.”

“Oh that figures,” I mumble to myself.

“Say what?”

“Never mind. You realize of course that most customers don’t complain, they’re just too busy. But if you should notice a drop in membership, please realize that for most folks web access is vital no matter where they are these days.”

“Thank you sir. I’ll keep that in mind.” I hear a giggle in the background, and I don’t think it’s Julia.

“Well you can’t blame a girl for trying,” I gently whisper into my Radio Shack cordless receiver I found discarded on the back porch two years ago.

“What?”

*click*


Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2013 23:20:48
Subject:
Deidre’s Dad
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Boy have I got a sweet story to tell you tonight, El. Even though my finances are currently strapped tighter than Helen of Troy’s chastity belt (which I presume she wore, considering all the Greek penises fighting over the bitch), I decide to eat out once more at Howard’s Cafe. Which means otherwise living off brown rice, oatmeal and milk for the next several days. And that I /won’t/ be able to treat myself to a Howard’s repast two days hence on July 1, my birthday.

BTW, do you realize that on the pre-Vatican II Catholic calendar, that date was enshrined as “The Feast of His Most Precious Blood.” How do I know this? Because my parents kept such a calendar hung in the coat closet located in our kitchen (of all places). The kind that has a sloping floor to accommodate the basement stairwell. You may read further about this sanguine feast at the following URL:

http://tinyurl.com/feast-of-blood

But as far as This Little Apostate is concerned, it’s simply a vampirical banquet to slake the thirst of witch hunters, fag bashers and jetset billionaires.

(Aside: right now as I type this piece, thousands of revellers just outside my window are celebrating Pink Saturday, a high point of Gay Pride Week just one day before The March. Which march itself is but one day before my birthday. I don’t care to attend noisy, rude gatherings, and thus keep to myself during this period. Some in our community have accused me of not supporting LGBT Rights by my absence. Yet here I sit composing some of the most seminal treatises on homosexual equality and spirituality ever writ, while these same celebrants dull their brains and excite their senses on booze, drugs and ecstatic fluffery. Ironic, eh?)

So here I am at Howard’s shortly after noontime, ready to dive into a plate of French fries and a side of avocado. Braden and Lloyd are there: two elderly gentlemen (the first is 65 years old, the other, 70) whom I’ve come to know as friends after many months’ badinage. Braden is skinny and tall (6-foot-1) and appears like he came straight out of the cornfields of Iowa. Lloyd, OTOH, is short, stocky and looks just like he emerged from the forests of Middle-Earth: a hobbit or, perhaps, a dwarf. They are both more than familiar at this point, with my novel soon to be published…and most supportive and excited about its release.

As it turns out, Braden is somewhat acquainted with My Larkin, as they both attend the same gay-sponsored bowling events, albeit from different leagues. Though neither has brought up the topic of Zeke between themselves, nor have I ever mentioned Braden to Larkin. But I believe it will be most interesting (to say the least) when one or the other /does/ occur.

Lloyd is a British transplant, hailing from England. He also rides a motorcycle (at his age, can you believe that). Needless to say, he’s engaged me in many discussions over gay rights, Great Britain and America. Two days ago, he graciously presented me with a 10-pence coin and a wish to go with that:

“May the nation from which this coin was minted, bring you many millions of dollars from the sale of your novel.”

Both good men had posed an intriguing question regarding my imminent fame. First, Braden:

“Will Larkin be one of those bodyguards?”

This was in response to my prediction I’d have to go underground a la Salman Rushdie, due to the highly controversial material in my novel which contains frequent passages deriding the homophobic ideology so fervently espoused by Christians, Muslims, and other zealots. But that millions of LGBT’s across the globe would rise to my defense and protection, including 10-20 bodyguards securing my safety at all times. My decisive rejoinder:

“Larkin will both interview and organize my guardians, along with other security matters.”

Now, Lloyd:

“Will you accept the honor as Grand Marshall for next year’s Gay Pride March?”

“I’m not sure about that. It will depend on what else is going on in my life at the time.”

For I frown on gay events that have outgrown their original grass-roots intent, and are now owned by the alcohol conglomerates who provide a huge chunk of funding (along with the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries). Google “alcohol industry gay pride” to find out. Plus: major events, fundraising, networking and socializing revolve around gay bars more than any other venue. What does /that/ tell you? We are squeezed in the octopus grip of substance abuse, from which the manufacturers gain tremendous profit.

Two more reasons I might balk at the opportunity to head a Gay Pride March: (1) since coming out in SF in 1973, I’ve experienced mostly derision, backstabbing, slander and exclusion among our queer populace. In spite of my many years dedication and efforts that still continue on behalf of LGBT equality. This includes gay events and gatherings, as well as bars. (2) The rejection of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshall in this year’s Gay Pride March. The conservative, Republican faction of our community has way too much clout and thus stomps upon compassionate and progressive efforts to reward such magnanimous heroes as Mr. Manning. Whose personal sacrifice is immeasurable, in answering to his conscience for exposing egregious wartime atrocities by our military.

I am also highly critical of our community’s lack of outreach and services toward our own downtrodden, poor and houseless. Including those homeless gays with AIDS who do /not/ receive even one percent of the quality care and medicine so freely available to the wealthy among us.

But it just occurred to me under what premise I /might/ accept position as Grand Marshall. I’d be standing on the foremost float, waving at all the cheering parade goers. Then–once all cameras are aimed at yours truly–I’d whip off my jacket to expose a T-shirt that proudly (and brilliantly, with much flash and glitter) boasts the phrase:

I <3 Bradley Manning!

Or something to that effect.

May as well include here another challenge Lloyd presented to me that day, regarding how I will assist the homeless population:

“I already have that figured out. I’ll open a home (and eventually, homes) for severely disabled lesbian and gay veterans, and employ people from the streets with a living wage and generous health benefits including dental.”

In sum: Lloyd and Braden are a pair of intelligent and compassionate dudes, that’s a no-brainer! So glad to have them in my life, and that Howard’s Cafe provides the amenable space where such good souls can meet.

(to be continued…)


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 10:56:04
Subject:
Author’s Dilemma
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

How does one describe an attractive ear? Caleb is quite handsome, his ears perfectly matched to his face. I love to kiss those ears and touch ’em. But the only adjective I can come up with is “leprechaun,” as in “leprechaun ears.” Only because he’s all Irish. But what, really, do leprechaun ears look like? Google Images shows them as backward pointing and pathetically large…not at all like Caleb’s.

Besides, leprechauns are defined as a variety of fairy that looks like impish old men. Again, this does not depict Caleb in the least. When I read him this passage: “my right hand caresses those leprechaun ears and the nape of his neck,” he leapt from my bedding and declared:

“Hey! I was teased as a kid for my big ears. Now you’re putting it in a book?”

He then whipped out his cell phone to show me an image his sister sent from Disneyland. She was seated in the flying Dumbo car waving at the camera. Huge elephant ears extended from both sides like large, gray wings. The implication was clear: “Thinking of you, Caleb.”

I cracked up: “Caleb, you’re a handsome dude. Your ears are definitely /not/ too large, they’re just attractive in a way I can’t really describe. I couldn’t think of /any/ proper adjective, so settled for ‘leprechaun’ because your ancestors hail from the Emerald League.” I paused, then teased:

“I love to lick ’em, too. They’re delicious. /Magically/ delicious.”

“Stop that,” he begged with a wry scorn. So I hugged him.

“I’m sorry, Caleb. You’re just a charming fellow,” then pulled back to place both hands on his shoulders. “LUCKY charming!”

“Oh God,” moaned Caleb. “I’ll /never/ live this down now, ’cause it’s all going in a book.” He sighed in resignation and lowered himself back down on the thin futon.

The /other/ dilemma I have is in describing his hair. Cut relatively short (above those yummy ears), it is dense, straight and darkly brown with a few thin streaks of silver that add a glorious sparkle. But I used the adjective “fuzzy” in a previous passage…which it is not. Nor is it “tousled.” Though lacking the proper adjective, he certainly has a fine, thick head of hair that pleases my fingers no end, to run them through.

Anywayz, if you have any ideas as to how to solve these two dilemmas, I’d most appreciate.

– Zeke


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 01:27:11
Subject:
Re: Author’s Dilemma
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ The hair is lush. The ears are masterful. }}

Hmm, when I think “lush” I think thick, wavy, bushy. His type of hair doesn’t match any of this. It’s cut too short for one, and is too straight to ever be lush. As for “masterful,” his ears are not that, but actually “cute” and nicely formed.

However, that’s a good try. I think the answer in describing a character’s ears is not in the adjective itself (or two or even three), but in dedicating an entire passage to them.

Which is exactly what I accomplished in my message prior to this.

– Zeke


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 01:56:22
Subject:
Re: Author’s Dilemma
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Ah-ha! So they’re masterful, after all! }}

Who’s: his or Lawrence’s? I’d like to spritz some whipped cream in that ear and slurp it up. Maybe with a cherry on top.


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 13:29:51
Subject:
Newsgroup Censorship?
From: Carlyle Lambourne
To: Zeke

Ezekiel,

Something weird is going on with my newsgroups: cannot see any new posts on most of them, since 06/24. But I was able to post to one new group (soc.culture.irish) and see it show up. So I have basic access and connectivity.

The groups that I *mostly* use are not accessible. When I try posting to them, I get no error (not stuck in Outbox, as can happen when the newsgroup server has a temporary problem). Just don’t see anything show up – either mine, or anyone else’s.

A few of the lesser-used groups seem to be there.

Have not changed any settings, recently. I sent an email to the newsgroup service support, and waiting for response.

It smacks of censorship, because it seems unlikely that certain groups would all disappear at once, while others still work. Cannot be a basic problem with the account or availability of the server.

Any excuse that they might try to use would be pale- I think that would be pure politics and game playing, kidding no one.

Could you please looks at groups like alt.poetry and alt.conspiracy.jfk, if you have a chance, and let me know what you see? Thanks.

Regards, Carlyle


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 13:47:35
Subject:
Re: Newsgroup Censorship?
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle Lambourne

I do not have access to any newsgroup server, and haven’t now for at least three years. I haven’t even /done/ newsgroups for at least as long. The /only/ access I have to usenet is via Google Groups.

Would my checking those newsgroups via Google Groups help, or do you need me to access usenet via a news server? If you require the latter, I’ll try to find some free service: they’re still out there.

– Ezekiel


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 13:58:14
Subject:
Re: Newsgroup Censorship?
From: Carlyle Lambourne
To: Zeke

Ezekiel,

If you can see postings, e.g, on alt.poetry, that would help. If mine were at least getting through, would not care as much about whether I could receive them. Isn’t much that I care to read, anyway.

I would never quit Usenet, no matter how ugly it is. It is one of the only uncensored, uncontrolled avenues of information propagation, which is why it is under covert attack and why it must be defended at all costs.

Regards, Carlysle


Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 16:53:57
Subject:
Re: 2 more pics of Caleb…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ He has a look as if he’s been outdoors for a while. Windburned, exposed to the elements. }}

When we first met, I couldn’t resist but wish him well and put an arm around him. He told me he was living with his sister, Debbie, out by the Marina. Few days later I learn the truth:

He’s been homeless for three days, since Debbie’s hubbie is a nasty fellow, punched her in the eye. Caleb had to leave, or he’d kill the scumbag. He lost his job as financial advisor in NJ, due to the company’s collapse. So Debbie chirped:

“Come live with me and get a job here,” making it sound like all was hunky dory. She also has a daughter only 4 years old. Well, things were not as she implied. So Caleb got a good position downtown per his highly marketable skills, and made the best of things for a little over two years.

Few months back, hubbie socked her good; Caleb went ballistic and pounced on the cur, and grabbed a kitchen knife in the scuffle. Hubbie grabbed the weapon out of his hand, and forced Caleb to leave. Though he does manage to stay with sis whenever the skunk is gone for the night, or skips to Las Vegas for gambling and hookers.

Caleb’s been trying to get Debbie to separate…if not for her own protection, then for that of her daughter, which niece he loves dearly. Unfortunately (and in spite of her being an attorney, thus intelligent), Debbie is a “good Catholic.” There is another sad reason she remains with Mister Fukup: a tragedy they both shared in childhood causes her to be less than respectful of her own person. I won’t get into it, in confidence and respect towards my new-found Irish compatriot.

While Caleb claims hubbie is an excellent Dad, thus the child is /not/ in danger of abuse (which I question), I do agree wholeheartedly that Debbie should get away from him ASAP, and take the daughter with her of course. Thus, Caleb is outdoors a lot, due to lack of housing…which explains his weathered appearance. Last night he cried in my arms and thanked me with all his breath for giving him a safe and friendly space. He embraced and kissed me, and fell quickly asleep with his legs astraddle mine, and tousled head nestled in my left shoulder.

He did hold down a good job for almost two years since his move to SF. But once more he lost his position due to a company collapse. His resume and work history are impeccable, and there should be little problem in gaining employment with another business. He’s already been through a favorable phone interview, and is waiting on the next step.

Caleb has a best friend from childhood, Paula, who plans to come out to SF for several days around the July Fourth holiday. She lives in Virginia now, though they grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. She is eager to meet me, and is most grateful for my befriending Caleb.

I am honored and glad to see how much more emotinally stable he’s become, since our first encounter two weeks ago. We actually get along /very/ well, in spite of several rough bumps. Good to know that he /does/ have other friends here in the city, all of whom are excited to meet me.

Expecting him back this eve in a few hours, for the next installment of “Caleb’s Tale by Zeke.”

Today I turn 63: Howard’s Cafe gave me an IOU on a meal, since I’ll be flat broke until Wednesday.

– Zeke

UPDATE two days later: soon as Bruno stepped in (the kindly IOU waiter) I offered to pay my debt. But he brushed me off: “Oh, that’s your birthday gift.” Howard’s Cafe rocks! A real people-place.


Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 17:03:44
Subject:
Re: Newsgroup Censorship?
From: Zeke
To: Carlyle Lambourne

Google Groups search for “Carlyle Lambourne” from 10 June to 30 June shows just three posts in alt.poetry:

“Sargeant on Trial”

“County Defends DOMA”

“Lights Go Out in Amsterdam”

These three posts are all viewable.

I understand your point (about not quitting Usenet), agree with, and respect your view. However, Google Groups is so unwieldy, it makes my attempts to upload articles incredibly painstaking. To the point where I finally gave up. Perhaps if I could afford a robust connection, but alas I cannot. Must rely on flaky wifi from across Market Street.

Though obviously, upcoming publication of my controversial book will have far more impact than posting my opinions on Usenet.

Hopefully, you will soon consider doing same.

I will gladly check out any more of your recent group posts, if you would like.

– Ezekiel


Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 17:57:02
Subject:
Re: 2 more pics of Caleb…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ Today! Great Caesar’s Ghost! HB! }}

No coincidence that my birthday falls just one day after the SF LGBT march. Nor is it any coincidence either, that the Supreme Court delayed their DOMA decision until Gay Pride Week.

“We have no enemies, only teachers.” – Siddhartha Gautama

“Our time has cum.” – Jehovah’s Queer Witness

Caleb wished me a most joyful day and showered me with smooches and hugs, before departing. Best BD present ever!

– Zeke

PS: Caleb BTW, is my very /first/ boyfriend with opposable thumbs. Quite a milestone, eh?


Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2013 10:06:44
Subject:
I think I now know how Book 3 is going to end (cont’d)…
From: Zeke
To: My Beleaguered Advocates

Hmm, how do I resume this final part of my Caleb tale? So much has occurred in a brief span of days, I must be in warp speed. Let’s see now, howz ’bout I pick up the thread with “The Backrub Wars”:

“Caleb, if you stay with me, all I ask is a 5-minute backrub each night.”

He seemed to agree to that, but as the sun set and a crescent moon arose, he seemed to forget our contract altogether, and fell asleep in my arms. Which was a treat in its own right, though I did feel somewhat duped. Oh the ecstasy and the agony! I soon entered slumber myself, with legs entwined and my head resting gently upon his chest.

Night #2 came and went. Still, no backrub. That afternoon I assisted Caleb with carrying his bagged clothes, papers and one large suitcase back to my abode. It was a heavy load. But we had to wait almost an hour before we could enter his former lodgings to pick up. Since the residence was located barely a half block from Buena Vista Park (on Haight Street), we decided to rest on its grassy knoll beneath a gnarly old tree. A few people walked by–one with a frisky terrier–as we lay side by side just inches apart and shaded by the tree’s leafy crown.

Then Caleb stretched his arms, yawned and did something I never expected, right there in public: he inched up to me and nudged his head between my shoulder and chest. Clouds skudded overhead like floating marshmallows.

Twenty or so minutes later I grew chill from the ocean breeze kicking in, and suggested it may be time to pick up those bags. So we stood up under the bright sky, stretched, and ambled down the slope to the sidewalk. Caleb touched my arm to praise:

“You deserve at /least/ a great backrub tonight!”

My hopes sprang up, some from the loin’s own neighborhood. (The “at least” part really gave me a woo-hoo.) Yet as time passed and we readied for bed, Caleb bundled himself beneath the comforter without a thought for my back, and dozed off. To every action there is a reaction:

I didn’t want to hold him that night, so I tossed my half of the blanket over to his side, and slept in my coat with back turned in his direction. No touching as far as I was concerned. I was pissed, and hurt.

Two more nights passed without his offer met, so on the third night I spoke up:

“Caleb, you said you’d give me a really nice backrub three days ago, yet nothing’s come of it!”

Wed., July 10

Calling to remind you to bring your book.

In addtion, I now make the following demands:

  1. Nice 5-min. BJ, don’t care if you can’t get hard.
  2. Lick your chest and armpits 5 mins.
  3. Some french kissing…not shallow, but deep. 2 mins. minimum.
  4. You can say all the mean things you want, while I’m ravishing you. And you can play it like I’m forcing you to be my sex slave. I know better; you love me bunches like I do you. But your insults, lies, humiliation and teasing are a tiresome bore.

If you refuse to meet these rather sweet demands, you can just wander the streets for all I care.

Don’t forget the book.

Yes or no:

  • Didn’t you offer to give me a blow job the second time you dropped over?
  • Didn’t you say you’d give me a blow job if I download The Wire for You?
  • Didn’t you say you’d French kiss me if I download a good Elton John CD?
  • Didn’t you say I “deserve AT LEAST a good backrub” for helping lug your belongings to my place?
  • Didn’t you offer me a 10 minute backrub when I only asked for 5 minutes?
  • Didn’t you want to sleep naked one night?
  • Didn’t you drop your pants and show off your kok one day?
  • Didn’t you say you published a book called “My Life”?
  • Did you enjoy my cuddling up to your kisses/massaging your back and chest? (Or did you find it disgusting, but put up with it just to keep a roof over your head?)

When I said “no more sleeping together,” you just said “fine.” Why didn’t you say instead: “I really enjoy sleeping with you, I wish you wouldn’t stop that.”

I let you back in because you said you want to talk things over…and I had some hope you’d agree to my demands.

You didn’t even give me $2 today. The first dollar, you took 3 of my cigarettes in exchange…so you really gave me just a quarter. The second dollar you gave me tonight, you took my last two cigarettes, so you only gave me 50 cents. And now, you swipe a bunch of quarters from my coin stash. Subtract 75 cents from the quarters you took, and that’s what you took from me.

You also “borrowed” $2 from me about two weeks ago, claiming Cindy-Bea was gonna send you $40 or so, and you’d give me $20 out of that. Never happened.

And you say you’re an honest man?

Thurs., July 11

I thought about you all afternoon, Caleb. And while strolling the Inner Sunset on my way to Howard’s, my angels appeared before me (somewhere around 8th Ave. & Irving). And they advised me:

“Zeke! We know Caleb’s been difficult, but do you really think you can go more than one day without gazing upon that devilish mug?”

For ten seconds I try to imagine two days of negative Caleb: “No, you’re right, I can’t.”

“Go buy him some beer. He’ll be really surprised and happy.”

“Hmm,” I muse, “that /is/ a good idea. Miller High Life, right?”

“Yes! Miller High Life is his favorite.”

Before my angels vanished, one said:

“Besides, you /do/ want that pot of gold, don’t you?”

“Ha ha, yeah.” I chuckled.

Another angel tapped me on the shoulder:

“Can you spare a cigarette, Zeke?”

“Egads,” I whined to myself. “Another moocher!”

A third angel nudged the second: “Go on, give Zeke a quarter!”

So as I handed one angel a cig, he presented me with a quarter. Well, at least it /looked/ like a quarter: exact same size and silvery. But it was actually an ancient Roman coin depicting Herod. Like it came right out of my tale, “Zeke’s Last Supper.”

Then they vanished in a veil of mist, and I found myself standing before Howard’s Cafe.

I can keep Caleb happy with two quarts of Miller High Life, a pack of cigs, and the TV series “The Wire”.

“You were so generous and kind to me last night, I’ll do something for you tonight, anything you want.”

“Hmm,” I mused aloud.

“Except a blow job!”

“Ouch!” I exclaimed. “Well then, how about a 20-minute backrub?”

“20 MINUTES??!!!” he hit the roof.

“Okay, I can settle for 10. I even bought a bottle of coconut oil from the dollar store.”

That’s it for now. Caleb is beginning to get on my nerves, so guess it’s time to scope the Castro for something new…and more horizontally convivial.

– Zeke


Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:06:44
Subject:
Deidre’s Dad (cont’d)
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Well, I neglected to retell the sweet encounter I had with Deidre’s dad, 5 or 6 messages back. So here it is, finally:

Same day I had that intriguing conversation with Lloyd and Bradon, in walks this cute, skinny dude that looked like McGyver’s younger, better looking brother.

Never saw him before. Appeared to be around 52, thanks to a mop of silver-gray hair. He plopped in the seat to my immediate right and began conversing with Deidre while seeming to pay me close attention. I was flattered (and horny).

I could barely keep from guffawing my guts up, his quips were that funny. He suddenly bumped against my right arm and netbook, which I sensed was /not/ an accident.

“Oops, sorry!” he turned to me with those seraphic eyes (I forget which color, maybe blue or brown or a mix). I felt like running off with him right then and there, he was that gorgeous. Plus: I already sensed an interest in me…whether his intent was to cruise or schmooze, I wasn’t sure (certainly hoped for the former, though I /so/ enjoy a dude who’s not only bodacious, but gives good conversation).

“Quite alright,” I smiled back. “I was enjoying your Irish wit!” (How did I suspect he’s Irish? I’m a major Celtophile and just sense these things.)

Deidre then joined in and, as it turned out, put me on the spot: “That’s my dad, Zeke! Isn’t he handsome?”

I almost spit out my coffee, but managed somehow to avoid the trachea: “Oh, uh, yes, he’s a real keeper!”

“And /you’re/ pretty hot yourself,” he replied in a smily flash. I gripped my swivel chair to keep from melting into a puddle on the floor.

“His name is Lefty,” Deidre informed as if setting us up for a date. (And I sure wished that to be the case.)

I stared into my scrambled eggs (“drier than the Mojave Desert at high noon” per my order) for a moment, then resumed my gaze at that righteous mug: “You’re no youngster, but you can /still/ cut the mustard!”

“Ha! Thanks!” he chuckled in appreciation of my honest claim.

Not to let this all go to his head, I admonished (while pointing at his left arm just below the short sleeve): “But that turkey leather on your elbows gives your age away.”

Not one to shirk from repartee, he quipped: “Oh, I can clear that up with a little skin lotion.”

At that moment I closed my netbook…not because I planned to leave right then, but to give the darling hunk my undivided attention.

Lefty pointed at my diminutive PC, remarked: “You forgot to shut it down!”

“Now,” I mused in quiet, “He wouldn’t have said that unless he were eyeing me like a hawk.” So I decided to go full throttle:

“Well, Lefty, perhaps your good looks got me flustered, and I lost all sense of propriety.” I then coyly reopened the netbook to press the “off” button.

I remained at Howard’s several more minutes, enjoying Lefty’s company and badinage. I shook his hand in a hearty goodbye, wishing as I exited the door, that he’d stop to ask me what I’m doing later on. Alas, he did not (story of my life).

Some days later Deidre told me he lives in Florida (dammit), and came to San Francisco to visit her. She then showed me a photo of him on her cell, taken some 4-5 years earlier. Did not look like McGyver then, as he was heftier in the poundage department. Though nonetheless, husky in a real yummy sense of the word…a handsome brute! Through that thin shirt I could discern bracing biceps and a chest I could lick till the cows come home.

Anywayz, I know Lefty will eventually read this passage, as I promised to print a copy for Deidre who no doubt will send it off to her dad. (I blush in shame at the very thought, virgin in spirit I shall always be!)

So, Lefty, I hope this put a smile on your dreamy visage, and I wish you resided a lot closer to /this/ gay renegade…in fact, walking distance from my dumpy SRO! But life has taught me one thing if nothing else: you can’t always get what you want, oral craving notwithstanding. Put /that/ in your pot pipe and smoke it!

– Zeke


Howard’s Calendar

May 22, 2012

You may recall, Dear Reader, that I featured Howard’s Cafe in my latest novel, “Free Me From This Bond“. But did you know they also made a calendar, featuring Jesse Balmer‘s insanely hilarious cartoon sketches…as well as birthdays and factoids of their most loyal patrons?

I didn’t, thus was delightfully flabbergasted to discover this latest Howard’s Masterly Triumph of Goodwill! Annie (one of the waitresses there; and the sweetest person you could ever hope to meet) presented me with their last remaining copy, as a gift for my online praise of this most excellent Inner Sunset eatery. Designed and assembled by the loving hands of several customers and employees, this unique calendar comprises 29 pages of Howard frivolity to keep a big smile on your face each and every day of 2012.

According to Annie, the calendar was created in the old-school style of pure hard copy: not a single digital image or character to be found. I decided then, it would be awfully nice to share this calendar with the world via my blog, as well as preserve it for posterity long after the original templates have grown yellow and crumbly over time.

My apologies for the amateurish results, but my scanner is broke (as I am likewise, quasi-starving author that I be), so I had to resort to digital camera snapshots. Of course, you will need to click on each image, to get a better view. Enjoy your journey through 2012, with Howard’s Artistic Angels at the helm!


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