Larkin, My Friend

December 15, 2014

11 December 2014

Larkin, My Friend:

You’re looking rather dumpy and haggard in your old age. I don’t think you’ll be able to hustle much longer…I’d give you six more months at the most. Especially with the rotten condition of your teeth. But you shall always remain a wonderful and beautiful man to me, no matter how fat and homely you become.

So please do not despair. If you ever feel so downtrodden and lost on life, please don’t consider ending it. Please come to me; I will always love you no matter what. You have a true friend in me, more than (I’m sure) Zachary or anyone else.

I’ve been through this with Randolph, who wound up dead or disappeared, instead of contacting me. The last time I’ve heard from him was way back in 1992.

I’ve been treated like shit since the day I was born, starting with a cold family life which I was more than happy to run away from once I turned 17. Rare moments they have been, that I have known sweet friendship, and sometimes even lovers. Otherwise, people treat me like crap, including here in the Castro…which I’m sure you have witnessed.

You are the only person in my life who has shown great compassion, albeit sporadic. You’ve even hugged me numerous times, and put hope and joy in my heart over many encounters. And those moments have been so glorious, they give me great motivation to keep reaching out to you. In spite of your recent maliciousness, which I can’t help but believe are tribulations you’ve imparted, that I grow stronger and wiser.

For the Buddha hath said, “We have no enemies, only teachers.” And of course, Jesus’ wise proclamation: “Love your enemy.”

My love for you is sincere, and I am greatly concerned for your well being in the long run. Please know that it gives me great honor and pride, to be here for you no matter what. Do not ever think your life is over, because of some changes or downturns that may put you in crisis.

My life is hell without you, so I think it’s time you find it in your heart to renew our friendship. And I promise:

I will make you really happy forever, and always be the most loyal friend you’ll ever know.

All my love,

Zeke (a.k.a. Eugene)

P.S.: As long you need to hustle to survive, we can work together…such that I’ll be an asset who’ll greatly increase your customer base. I can even be a good friend to Zachary, if that will help.


The Little Match Boy

December 8, 2014

It was terribly chill with a thick Pacific fog. Rain pelted like bullets, and the sky was almost pitch. Nighttime approached, the last dark shade of the year. In the Stygian dank a poor young man, in a soaked-through hoodie and wet denims and ragged old running shoes he found on a doorstep, was meandering the streets of The Castro. In the bitter morning air when he had departed from Martin de Porres’ free oatmeal breakfast, he had Zorries on, but what good did they serve? They had a very large footprint, way too awkward for him, for they were procured from an old, drunk Mexican lying in the gutter. The lonely young fellow had lost them running across Mission Street, where a MUNI bus had rumbled by in great haste. One Zorrie he failed to regain, and a mongrel had scooted away with the other, for a chew toy.

And so the handsome waif plodded on with bare feet, which were freezing crimson until he found those sneakers. In his left coat pocket he carried two spare books of matches sealed in a baggie, along with one stashed in his shirt that he used to offer a light to anyone rummaging for his Bic. This was his way of striking up a conversation, and hopefully finding a warm place and body for the night. But no one had accepted a light all day long, and no one had given him solace.

Trembling with cold and loneliness, he wandered throughout The Castro, an image of destitution, a sad young man! The raindrops fell on his scraggly black hair, which cascaded in matted locks over his neck. In all the homes Christmas tree lights glittered through windows, and there was a delightful scent of homemade meals and dessert, for it was New Year’s Eve. Yes, he longed for a full belly and companionship!

On Collingwood Street across from the park, he sat down on a doorstep and drew up his rain-drenched legs. He grew colder and colder, but did not dare move on, for he had found not a single kind soul to take him in that day, and despair sank into his bones like an old, dying man.

His hands were numb with cold. Oh, how much one kind hug from a gentle man might warm his soul! If he could only meet a friendly gay comrade to offer a match, and be swept up in his arms and taken home to a hot meal and a warm bed! He grew feverish and began to hallucinate. A ghostly male of kind and sweet demeanor approached him and asked for a light. The stranded boy’s heart leapt for joy, and he withdrew a matchbook and lit the Winston.

The match sputtered like a Roman candle, to imbue his sudden companion’s face like an angel. Had he finally found His One True Love, who would heal his every wound, and keep him safe and happy forevermore? The man’s gray eyes sparkled, and his smile warmed the wanderer’s grieving soul like a gas-flame hearth!

(I must mention here, that the young straggler’s name was Seth, and he was just seventeen. Quite the gorgeous dude, though barely 5-foot-4. He was a very good man, though a refugee from a broken family out of Montana. He never messed with hard drugs or alcohol, though nonetheless could never find another homeless friend here in San Francisco, who could fulfill his desperate need for camaraderie and trust. He often wished he were straight, to increase those odds.)

The kind man’s face glowed with compassion, as Seth held the match to his cigarette. But it gave off a weird flame! It really appeared to the lost boy as if he were sitting before God’s Judgment, and was deemed innocent. How wonderful Seth felt in the warmth of This Man’s Smile! His heart beat with fulfillment! The young man gazed up at his companion with reverence, as a warm rush of happiness brushed away the last vestige of cold from every cell in his body. But then the match snuffed out, the man vanished, and Seth found himself once more shivering in the icy wet as he sat alone, on a doorstep with no destiny.

He struck another match, hoping to restore that vision. It shimmered intensely, and when the light fell upon the wall behind him, it became transparent like glass, and he could look beyond and into the dining room. On the table a holiday linen was spread, and on it rested a bountiful array of roasted vegetables, turkey, ham, loin pork and lasagna. The dishes seemed to glow with a supernatural luminosity, as they tempted Seth to reach through the windows to enjoy a feast beyond any he has ever known.

But the match blew out, and only the thick, cold wall loomed before him. He ignited a second match. Whence he found himself seated beneath a glimmering Christmas tree radiant with gold and silver ornaments. It was much more grand and lovely than the one he had viewed last Christmas through the doorway of Grace Cathedral. Myriad LEDs lit the pine branches, and miniature gilt icons like those in Ukrainian art museums danced like sprites before his wondering eyes. Seth extended both arms in their direction. Then the second match went out. But the Christmas lights grew more intense. He now viewed them as bright stars in the heavenly vault. One of them descended like a shooting star, and left behind a trail of sparks.

“Now someone has died,” thought the forgotten boy, for his kindly grandmother, the only person who ever loved him (and accepted him unconditionally the moment he confessed his gay desires), but who passed away two years ago, had taught him that whenever a star descends to earth, a soul goes up to God.

He struck yet a third match against the Edwardian structure. And in the flaming light his grandmother appeared in a pale cerulean gown, and with wings that touched the sky.

“Grandma!” cried the child. “Bring me home! I fear you will vanish when the match burns out. You will disappear like the sweet man who asked me for a light, and the ginormous New Year’s dinner, and that amazing Christmas tree!”

He desperately extracted the two other matchbooks and struck the whole bundle, for he yearned to keep his grandmother in his sight. The matches flamed with such intensity, they surpassed daylight. His beloved grandmother had never before appeared so gracious. She embraced Seth warmly in her arms, and they flew as one beyond this troubled world, to where there was neither hatred, loneliness, starvation, nor a God without compassion.

But on that Collingwood doorstep, rested the young man Seth with a peaceful visage and calm repose, dead from pneumonia…and the heartless reception of gay homeowners who’ve never known the blight of alienation, nor its consequent outcome. The New Year’s sun shone upon a good man who never knew love, homeless and rejected. He sat there, numb and frozen, holding the matchbooks, of which not a single match remained unlit.

“He wanted to warm himself,” Castro residents declared, to appease their own guilt. Not a one gave any thought to this man’s compassionate dreams of love and friendship, and how gladly his soul departed, at last, to find peace in the shade of his grandmother’s wings.


Men with PTSD

January 8, 2014

September 19, 2013

Arwyn,

A few nights ago our paths crossed and you hollered, “Oh, you’re still alive!” Is this your attempt to start righting your wrongs against me? Or is it just a continuation of your ugly mindfuks, that is: treating me like a joke for your own sadistic amusement? Here is the list of your offenses, in case you’ve forgotten (though I doubt it):

1. I was having a friendly conversation with a lesbian patron at Pilsner Inn some months back. Then you intervened with declaration: “Leave her alone!” For whatever ugly reason, it shows me you’re trying to turn people against me by making me look like a crazy goofball who shouldn’t be allowed in any gay bars.

2. You tell everyone you can that I’m your stalker, which causes fear and hatred against me, and bans me from enjoying any camaraderie I could have, in these bars. You’ve gotten me expelled from Pilsner Inn, Twin Peaks Tavern and The Mix. I’m sure you’ll commit same against me at any other bar you frequent, such as Moby Dick.

3. You shoved me really hard, causing me to almost fall flat on the concrete. I resisted and caught my balance at the last moment…which resulted in lower back injury and considerable pain for several weeks. Your so-called “apology” accused me of being half-responsible. Simply because I confronted you after you crudely brushed me off several times within two difficult weeks. Your excuse was “I was feeling bad.” News flash: I never attack my friends just because I feel bad. In fact, I /appreciate/ them even more, during my difficult passages. (But since I really /don’t/ have any friends, I am denied even /that/ comfort.)

4. You flicked a lit cigarette into my lap, cinders flew about and could have easily caught my shirt on fire. I reported your offense to Brian, the manager of Pilsner Inn, but they did not have a recording of the incident on their camera. If you saw me or anyone flick a lit cigarette at a patron, I’m sure you’d have /them/ kicked out, right? Shows me what a /hypocrite/ you are.

After reaching out to you for more than seven years and trying to be the best friend possible, your unexpectedly vulgar actions starting in January have caused me terrible grief that curses me every waking moment.

Had I the respite of friendship by one or more others, it would not be so terrible for me to bear. But that is not the case: I have no regular friends, but the rare visitor just passing through SF for a day or two or three. And thanks to you, I can no longer hang out at Pilsner Inn, The Mix (and so forth) where I /did/ get to befriend a nice person on occasion. In fact, there is a very nice person at the Mix who’s been so good to me…but now, I can’t see her any more. Thanks, again, to your bullshit slander.

IOW: you’ve effectively wiped out most any chance I had to ease my loneliness. It was your kindness over considerable years that inspired much gratitude and the composing of a novel in your honor (“Free Me From This Bond”). But you’ve done an excellent job of obliterating the nicest friendship I’ve ever known. Were I an advocate of the Black Arts, I’d congratulate you on a job well done.

You’ve successfully used vulgar slander to drive me out of what few places I had to (hopefully) find friendship. As well as put my life in harm’s way by causing bartenders and patrons alike to hate and fear me. You’ve turned the Castro into a dangerous place for me to even stroll around. Which causes me to believe you are out to cause me injury, even death. Which, I guess, is equivalent to a declaration of war. Perhaps I should “fight fire with fire” like so:

Enter these bars during non-anti-Zeke hours and spread slander against /you/. Tell folks that while you’re a very gregarious and fun-loving man on the surface, you’re actually a dangerous dealer of hard drugs. And the only reason you seem so nice is to maintain and expand your drug ring. And that anyone who actually gets close to you is in great danger. Which explains why the only “friends” you /do/ have are pointless airheads who lick your ass every chance they get.

That’s just an example of the damage I could achieve, that you would no longer have your “little spot in the Castro” (Twin Peaks Tavern), or any other local gay bar. After all, I have no “little spot” any more, thanks to your wicked gossip.

Do you realize I can’t even go to bars South of Market any more, either? Because one Hole in the Wall regular suddenly accused me of threatening to stab him in the gut some years back? His name I think is Willow (or Wooly), and he’s native American. Strange thing is that he’s always been friendly to me previous times I hanged out there. And the person who witnessed his false slander, Gerard (whom you know), did /nothing/ to reprimand him. In fact, not only are they still “friends”: Gerard has spread hatred against me among many /other/ patrons.

Willow’s accussation against me occurred at the Eagle Tavern. Thus, I now realize if I go there any more, I will eventually be driven out. So, between yourself and Willow, I have been villified with the ugliest slander that only serves to isolate me, and make me a victim of hatred by many.

And here, my original intent of returning to SOMA bars, was to help pave your return to the Hole in the Wall. Boy, do I feel stupid for caring so much.

My book will come out very soon…late October or November. My intent was for the novel to be a great joy and blessing for you, for me, and for LGBTs everywhere. That is how /inspiring/ you have been to me. But as things have turned out, the book has become a grief and a curse that will haunt me forever.

Don’t think for a moment I will present you with this book. If you want to read it, you’ll have to purchase it for yourself. Anyways, you are “Arwyn Miles,” and I will claim whenever asked, that this character is a composite of different dudes, and that this person named Arwyn is definitely /not/ one of them.

I have absolutely no faith you will actually make things up to me, at this sad point in time. For what is required to achieve such a renewal of friendship is most likely far more demanding than a jackass like you could ever pull off. You are neither man enough, nor the good person I thought you were…for a truly /decent/ fellow would /never/ commit the sins you have.

So you have a happy gay rest-of-your-life without me. Our paths will most likely cross several more times before I’m out of your life for good…which I’m sure will come as a great relief to you. So if our paths /do/ cross again two or more times from now: no need to address me, or acknowledge me in any way whatsoever. In fact, I wish you wouldn’t.

But realizing now what a creep you truly are, I don’t expect you to respect even /that/ wish of mine. Seeing as “mindfuk” is your finest talent.

I am such a fool for ever reaching out to you, it will be a grief I’ll take all the way to the grave.

Your once good friend,

Zeke

PS: I guess Jack Brody was right about you, God rest his soul! Oh, and has barkeep Frankie ever bothered to show you the letter I snail-mailed to her, some months back?


Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2013 22:56:59
Subject:
My Final Pitch
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

My path has crossed Arwyn’s three times since I mailed him my letter of reprimand. The first time, I looked up at him walking towards me as I stood outside my building. I just looked up as he strolled by. When he passed, he murmured, “I got your letter.”

This told me he admits I’m right, but is not quite ready to sincerely apologize. Were he not in agreement, he would’ve either ignored me or just snarled. So I called back:

“Thank you.”

He seemed to nod his head as he crossed the street, so I added:

“Take care.”

Upon crossing the street, he looked back to see me watching him from a distance.

The second time our paths crossed (about a week ago) I had traversed the street from Harvey Milk Plaza towards Twin Peaks Tavern. He was standing outside having his usual smoke. I walked past him and said, rather dejectedly: “Hey, Arwyn.”

He scowled and nodded his head with a grunt. A few more steps and I turned my head back to declare: “My book is out now.”

He scowled in return, with a confused look on his mug. So I walked another ten steps and paused for a few minutes about a half block down. He stood at his spot, never paying me any mind…or at least, acted that way. Then I continued my walk home. Hope and sadness mingled in this troubled heart.

The third time (three nights ago) I crossed in front of Twin Peaks, as Arwyn passed. It happened really quick, and neither acknowledged the other. When I reached HM Plaza, I gazed back but he had already vanished down either 17th or Market.

Now, just a few moments ago, I typed a letter and enclosed it in a packet with the hardcover version of “Free Me From This Bond.” (I had already sent him the paperback w/o signing it or enclosing a letter. This time though, I signed the following on the inside cover: “Arwyn, you are the /true/ author. Gene Catalano”.) I will mail it this Thursday. Here is what I said:

December 5, 2013

My Beloved Friend Arwyn,

I cannot cover up your offenses against me, but I can do this: be a good friend to you (even from a distance) and hope that you will finally make things up. I see no reason why you won’t, eventually, considering how very kind you’ve been to me many times over. And the great spirit I know you are will surely overcome any fears, ill will or resentment.

Yes, I still love you very much, and so admire what a unique, affectionate and astounding person you are. Please let me be very clear about my affections towards you: I am in no way sexually attracted to you, and wish for resuming a very warm and platonic friendship. Not that you aren’t terribly handsome and sexy; I just do not think we’d make great lovers. But great friends? Yes. (Nor do I have any erotic fantasies over you.)

It has been my experience that sometimes friends who become enemies for a time, turn out to grow really close, and turn into endearing friends forever, once the difficult hurdle has passed. That is my sincere hope. And once that happens (if it does), I won’t hold past misdeeds over your head, or make you feel in the least bit guilty. For that would be manipulative. I have no desire for vengeance. Nor do I have any wish to be regarded as your “sidekick.” We should be equal.

I do not believe you’d ever respect me, had I not confronted you for the ongoing BS you’ve dumped on me for many months (since January in fact). I find you a most remarkable man, among the finest on this planet. And I do apologize immensely for speaking such mean words to you, that is: “I’m glad your parents are dead.” But before that moment, you’ve been terribly wicked towards me, so my only option was to dish it back, for a while. I don’t think you’d ever respect me, had I not…had I been submissive to your unkind dogma. At least, this is the best I can figure out how to deal with your unprovoked attacks.

You left a message on my answering machine: “Hello Zeke. You’re a nice man and have always been good to me.” Yet only moments after you spoke those kind words, you shoved me really hard. This is heartbreak. I would not love you so much simply for your remarkable good looks (and you are indeed a blessing to the eyes). I knew for some time now, that you are a man who’s suffered tragedy…probably more than one. And that is the main reason I’ve persisted in reaching out to you over many years.The particulars of your traged(y)(ies) were not important to me, for I sensed that you really need a good friend in your life. And I have done the best I possibly can, to be that. Though like everyone else in the world, I am not perfect.

I’m very sorry (and grieved), if you perceive me as a pest, some dumb flake you’d prefer to no longer have in your difficult existence. I have been treated badly by most people in my life…starting with my family, and including how Randolph finally regarded me. But I do not take any of this personally, for I conclude that God has chosen for me a most trying path, that I may eventually become one of his very best soldiers. So if you decide to exclude me from your life forever, I have no choice but to accept that painful fate. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will never meet a man so beautiful, inspiring, witty and compassionate as yourself.

I told Randolph numerous times (in spite of his unexpected backstabbing) that I’d always be here for him, keep the same phone number, until we are back together again. So many years have passed since then, yet now I feel it is utterly important to tell you the same.

No matter how much time (years even), I am proud to be here for you, as a good friend and confidante. I am the hopelessly romantic type, and will never change. I know this because I have tried to change…but always failed. But if I must say goodbye (if that is what you truly want), I say “goodbye” now. But not a day has passed that I don’t pray for a return of our sparkling friendship. And not a day shall pass till the moment I die that I will not wish such.

This is not an easy world, not by any measure. I so much enjoyed bringing you gifts, and will miss the end of that, if such be my fate. So this is my final gift (the hardcover version of my book), after which you will no longer receive any more mail from me, nor visits to wherever you hang out. Unless you have a change of heart.

I wish you only the best in your life, and that (of course) God somehow, some way, liberates me from a miserable outcome. If not you, it shall be some other. Though I certainly hope not.

All my love and friendship,

Gene Catalano

My Gawd, he’s a ball buster!

– Zeke</FONT>


Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2013 19:51:16
Subject:
Men with PTSD
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

I learned much about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in my troubled relations with Randolph Taylor. It is also clear to me that Arwyn suffers same (as I do, myself, though not as severe as Randolph). One of the symptoms is fear of getting close to anyone, which triggers terror of losing them for whatever reason. So when you push the envelope, he will do something to drive you away.

Those who /do/ act violently cannot be dealt with on one’s own, thus you /must/ leave them. OTOH, a burst of mild violence with no sign of escalation or repeat, indicates a strong possibility he is not so foregone that remaining persistent will /not/ bring him around to a successful friendship.

But you must also have a long term past history to aid one in deciding whether or not to hang in there. In Arwyn’s case, he /has/ been a most compassionate friend who’s displayed great kindness many times over. This includes defending me against those who’d do me harm and wish to tear us apart.

Earlier this eve, I walked past Twin Peaks Tavern on my return from Howard’s Cafe. Didn’t see him inside, but as I crossed 17th, I suddenly heard an “urrgh” type of growl, twice, from behind. Turned my head to notice Arwyn had crossed my path to enter the tavern.

Obviously, he wanted me to notice his presence. Maybe I should have shrugged my shoulders or gestured a quick wave of the hand. Instead, I walked across the street, then paused to enjoy the dark gray clouds scudding over the hills in premonition of a gloomy, cold night. I love such weather.

His two “urrgh’s” projected a kindly tone, as if to say: “You are sure a pain in the butt, but I so appreciate your caring so much, and being here for me.”

I saw Arwyn from a distance, chatting things up in Twin Peaks as usual, stretching his arms and torso before plopping on the bar stool. I knew he saw me watching him with happiness, though gave no indication he did. So I looked once more upon the brooding sky, and breathed in relief. Realizing that my ordeal of many months is now coming to an end.

I also know he’s already received the paperback version of my book, which I had sent him six days hence. Three more days from now, I’ll snail-mail the hardcover w/special letter enclosed. And I feel a tad euphoric that I did the right thing regarding the loving contents of that missive.

Just you watch, El. Book 3 shall have a happy ending, and not one that I made up as in Book 2 (that was chapter 12: “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies”).

Does he deserve me? No, we deserve each other, for we each in our own way have demonstrated strong desire for friendship of the most sterling type. I /had/ to press his buttons…and he put me in a position where I had no choice (unless I wanted to drop him entirely, which I could /not/). We put each other through a sort-of ultimate test, albeit mostly subconscious. In the /least/ physically harmful way possible.

There is also my conjecture that Arwyn is totally conscious of his every act towards me: that he leads a secret organization which has been watching over me since at least 2005 (though I think much longer), and putting me through my paces. But I won’t go into that again, as I’ve already shared with you my deliberations on this matter more than twice.

I must admit: I am strongly attracted to men who’ve been deeply wounded…the soldier type. I seek a dude who will truly appreciate me on every level, and has a keen sense of loyalty. Naturally, such a type will be most difficult to befriend in the long run…and Arwyn has provided me with every possible challenge that I may be proven worthy of meritorious action in the line of fire.

It is therefore my belief that Arwyn may have /no/ PTSD, but is acting out a scenario that I may become The Hero Of My Own Destiny. No doubt about it: he is a brilliant game player of Life. And in all honesty: he truly is the author of “Free Me From This Bond,” and I, his recording secretary.

Change of topic:

Just watched a documentary about schizophrenia and marijuana, hosted by Dr. David Suzuki. The show is called “The Downside of High,” produced by the CBC series “The Nature of Things.” I downloaded it from Kickass Torrents (kap.ph).

Turns out that, while current varieties of pot can induce schizophrenia in a small percentage of young people…those varieties with higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) actually have very effective anti-psychotic properties. Unfortunately, strains on the market have been raised that possess little or /no/ CBD.

Obviously, the solution is to make CBD-rich varieties available to consumers. The research (done in Holland, goddess bless ’em) shows /conclusively/ that minors aged 16 and under are four times more likely to trigger schizophrenia from use of marijuana (or THC, to be precise). Here is a site discussing CBD (dated 2012):

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f30/we-need-to-raise-awareness-for-cannabidiol-cbd-186505/

A poster included a list of all its benefits:

CBD works as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication.
CBD works as an anti-psychotic (the medication used by Schizophrenics and Bipolar patients).
CBD works as an anti-depressant.
CBD works at increasing alertness and attention for sufferers of ADHD.
CBD works as an anticonvulsant (for Epilepsy patients).
CBD slows down cancer cell growth.

Same poster also noted:

It is my strong belief that pharmacological companies or the government knows that this missing link is the cure to all mental illness and they purposely keep it illegal so we continue to pay big money for dangerous synthetic drugs which cause dozens of side effects that we have to take even more dangerous synthetic drugs to control.

Perhaps at this point in time, some dispensaries now provide CBD-rich pot, that I may acquire through this or that connection. We’ll see, we’ll see!

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2013 21:07:33
Subject:
So I sent the letter…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

Good news, El! The free wifi works splendidly from my humble abode: a robust 5 bars. Now, onto the gist of this mailing.

Arwyn is finally coming around, much to this little gay lamb’s fluttering heart. It happened just moments ago by Twin Peaks Tavern. Since our tragic clash in January, I’ve been lingering 3-4 days per week around Jane Warner Plaza which, as you know, immediately fronts TPT. Not just in hopes he’ll finally approach me to make amends…but also because I cannot bear him /ever/ vanishing from my troubled existence. I figure: if all I can now have is just a moment or two per week to enjoy his visage from afar, so be it. But more than that:

No way will I /ever/ let someone bully me and get away with it. Anyone who thinks they can drive me out of my own neighborhood, intimidate me and gossip awful words to get others to gang up, has got another thing comin’. So my stance was a mix of defending my rights, along with showing him how much his friendship means: that I would /not/ disappear from his world, nor act in vengeance.

For something very /strong/ in my spirit tells me to abide in faith…there is a little boy’s scared voice in Arwyn that begs me to do just this, that he truly values my patience and forbearing. It is therefore a test (I surmise) that he sorely /needs/ to put me through before he drops that shield.

About an hour ago (4:30 PM) I resume my usual post caddy-corner from TPT. Where I lean against a cement buttress 3 feet high. It’s actually part of a raised container that houses a sapling and some weedy grass. He steps out once, to enjoy a ciggie. And from 40 feet or so distant, glances at me now and then.

Oh come on Arwyn. (I beg in silence) Talk to me! (And I think further:) How can you really act so happy mingling among your associates with antics galore, after what you’ve done to me? I just don’t grasp that. Nor do I think I ever want to.

But Arwyn returns inside to schmooze with the bartender. 20 minutes later he departs and ambles down 17th towards Noe. I decide to continue my vigil, regardless. Sure enough, he comes back to Twin Peaks and kicks it with another drink. Few minutes later he dons his jacket and emerges in my direction.

Is he going to walk by me? (I wonder) Or is this the moment I’ve been waiting for, after so many patient weeks? Wait, he really /is/ coming up to me!

“Oh, he’s gonna talk to me!” I proclaim to Arwyn as he now stands just three feet distant.

“Just wanna let you know, I got your book,” states My Awesome Reptile. “A friend is now reading it, and he’s intrigued.” Then he sighs: “But I wish you used my real name.”

Of course (I think) Another Arwyn set-up months in the making!

“Arwyn, you didn’t give me permission to use your real name, I had no choice.”

“Yes I did. I signed that form and mailed it back.”

“No, that was permission to use your name in Book 2. It was too late by then for Book 1.”

As you well know by now, El, Arwyn can be a most vexatious imp at times. Remember that I asked permission to use his real name, that I’ll need his signature; and he said ‘no’? That was back in January, just several days before I confronted him and he shoved me almost to the ground.

I guess he wasn’t clear that the form he signed was for Book 2, not Book 1! Which indicates a certain level of stress that would cause one to misinterpret certain situations. Plus: some weeks before he signed for Book 2, I visited him at TPT where I told him his name in Book 1 will be Arwyn Miles. So he actually had /plenty/ of time to rectify the real-name issue. Jeez! Vexatious indeed!

But this is but one more example of why I believe he’s really playing a /game/ of challenges for me to overcome. Or a puzzle for me to solve. He is /not/ dumb, in fact he’s quite intelligent…and keenly aware of his surroundings at every moment. Therefore, chances are far less likely that stress is clouding his thoughts, than that his contrariness is born from intent.

“Oh,” he says after pause. “You could have used my first name.”

“No I couldn’t, not w/o your signed permission. That is the publisher’s demand, not mine.” After all, how many other people have “Arwyn” for a first name in this city? How many in this world, for that matter?

He waves his skinny arms in exasperation and hollers to me and the universe: “Okay! You now have my permission!”

“That won’t do!” I declare back as he drifts towards the far street corner. “I need your /signed/ permission, not spoken!”

Arwyn pauses then, to face me: “Okay, okay, I’ll mail you my written permission!” And gestures like he’s writing something on the left palm of his hand.

“No, that’s alright,” I correct, knowing that he might not do it properly. “I’ll send /you/ the form.”

He then turns about and walks toward the intersection at Castro & 17th, I guess to go home. Doesn’t give me a chance to say more. I wanted to tell him about Bound Together: how it was the /first/ book store I approached, and just 2 days later they called, said “We want to sell your novel!” I wanted to tell him about /all/ my recent pub’ing adventures, and how success seems imminent. But instead, before he got too distant, I blurted:

“Drop to your knees and blow me. That’s a command!”

Well, El, I came up with that idea yesterday, planning to evoke those silly words next time we crossed paths. The moment came, different than expected. But come it did.

He doesn’t react (either in alarm or humor) but turns once more in my direction. So I embellish:

“I want people to know it’s /you/ who gave me these adventures. That way you will be famous, and free to become a…” I hesitate a bit to recall the term. “…a, um, a professional party mixer for gay events.”

Arwyn says nothing, but remains facing me. There is respect. I finish my thought:

“That is my dream. Or, one of /many/ dreams I want to achieve with this book.”

Then he skedaddles away in a flash. I rush home to compose this latest Arwyn update, and send it off to Eleanor My Muse.

Next, I must compose a thoughtful letter to Arwyn, with two forms enclosed. One is (of course), permission to tell anyone who Arwyn Miles really is. The other goes like so:

I, Arwyn Miles, grant permission to Ezekiel Krahlin, to use my real name in his novel ‘Free Me From This Bond (the sequel).’ Even though I am not presented in the most favorable light, as I was in Book 1 (‘Free Me From This Bond’).

That second sentence will be highlighted in bold, to be sure Arwyn is /clear/ about the difference between the two forms. I will also assure him that he has no obligation to sign that second letter. In which event I will redact Book 2 as a /separate/ novel instead of part of a trilogy. And change the name Arwyn Miles to some other false name. Or whatever, I haven’t thought it through yet.

This is only fair, as he indicated that he thought he signed permission for Book 1, not Book 2. And since he plays my enemy in the sequel, I have to ask permission once more…to see if he is actually /willing/ to be writ in such a bad light. If he is, that is a strong indication he will make Book 3 end happily.

So, now I must compose my letter to Mr. Mischief. Which copy I will post to you ASAP, probably later tonight.

– Zeke


17 December 2013

Okay, Arwyn: please read this letter carefully and all the way through. Everything writ herein is very important.

Enclosed are two forms for you to sign. The first gives me permission to tell anyone in the world that Arwyn Miles is actually you.

The second gives me permission to use your real name in Book 2…the sequel to “Free Me From This Bond.” You already gave me your signed go-ahead, but now I realize you thought it was for Book 1. (Or at least, this is how you choose to play it, Mr. Frustration!)

Do you realize that Book 2 starts with your pushing me, and continues through the chapters with your unkind treatment? In other words, I don’t write about you in a good light, as I did in Book 1. I am assuming you’ve read these chapters, since I handed you all of them earlier this year.

In no way do I demand you give me permission to use your actual name in Book 2. But if you are okay with my portraying you in this way, that you don’t mind taking the flack as a “bad guy” (so to speak), go ahead and sign. And if you do, I will further verify your permission with a verbal assurance.

Book 3 continues with my disgrace and grief over your unexpected betrayal. But I still have at least five more chapters to go. Hopefully, it will end happily with a best-scenario resolution of our friendship. A friendship (I may add) more important to me than life itself.

Don’t you remember I asked you way back in January, for your signed permission to use your real name? And you denied that. You do have every right not to have your real name in a book, and I respect that. Some weeks later I told you at Twin Peaks Tavern, your name in that book will be Arwyn Miles. You did not ask me to use your real name then, either. So you had plenty of time to decide whether or not I use your birth-given moniker!

So I published the book with you as Arwyn Miles. What other choice did I have? You were belligerent, frustrating and non-communicative. And caused me grief in so many ways above and beyond this real-name issue. That started in mid-January and still pretty much continues. Though I’ve pulled out of the worst of my grief about three weeks ago…and your speaking with me this afternoon has also helped.

But I think there is something else going on here, beyond the apparent. You are a very intelligent and loving man, thus I don’t believe your abusive behavior was anything but a conscious intent which ultimate goal is compassionate. In other words, I believe you are testing me (or putting me through some sort of initiation) that has to do with this secret society I spoke of in Book 1. And that you’re their leader.

I also conclude that if I’m correct, you would start making things up to me once the book gets published…seeing as your temper tantrum took off right when I began the publication process. There are other signs in my recent life events that also suggest I’m on the right track. Such as the incident last year in March that triggered the inspiration to write my book in the first place. Which was:

After not seeing you for a long time (since your departure from Hole in the Wall), you suddenly show up in the Castro. I saw you across the street on 18th, and hollered “Arwyn, I love you!” By then I had crossed to your side. Instead of ignoring me (as you did so many times before then), you came right up to me, placed a loving hand on my shoulder and escorted me to the opposite corner; told me twice to go home. Well, just after that (and you departed) a young lady came up and praised my good works over many years for the gay community, without any credit or recognition. I’ve never seen her before, she just came out of the blue.

That had to be a setup Arwyn, which you most likely created. If not you, then it was a higher force that set me/us both up. Either you have a direct hand in these astounding “setups,” or it’s destiny’s hand. Actually, I believe it is both, and furthermore I’m pretty sure you are a conscious participant and even orchestrator, of these amazing scenarios that are shaping my reality.

For which I thank you immensely. And admire the raw power and compassion that you so elegantly manipulate towards highly favorable outcomes. I can only conclude (or at least hope) then, that your harshness towards me for almost an entire year, is part of the plan that for a reason I don’t yet grasp, will lead to my soul’s fulfillment. Which does include resuming our friendship even better than before. If it doesn’t I’ll weep copious tears every single friggin day of my life until I die. And which death I pray will come very soon, as such misery is unbearable to wake up to each and every day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

The burden I still bear for Randolph’s sake is an awesome weight on this poor man’s shoulders, that has continued w/o relief since 1985. (Though your sporadic kindness for almost 7 years has been such a blessing, I can’t begin to praise enough. And that is why your sudden attack and ongoing humiliation has wiped out what happiness I did know.) To bear another man’s difficult cross with no hope for respite (such as at least one good friend in my life), on top of Randolph’s, will wear me down into unceasing depression if not my final breath. And I’d certainly prefer the latter, than live each day, each waking minute, in utter misery.

These woeful challenges you’ve tossed at my feet: haven’t I proven to you beyond a shadow of doubt, that I would never retaliate in vengeance, but stand firmly in faith that you’ll come back to me as a friend? That you can trust me in every way?

———-

I wanted to tell you the good news when we talked today, but you walked away after such a brief exchange. As always, you are a most frustrating friend to know! Anywayz:

The first independent book store I approached with my novel phoned me two days later, said: “We want to sell your book!” That’s Bound Together on Haight near Buena Vista Park. I’ve also been emailing gay-friendly churches, organizations, radio and TV stations, etc. about my novel. Also: promoting my book via Twitter, Facebook and my WordPress blog.

So things look very favorable towards this novel becoming a bestseller! Though the loss of your friendship (hopefully temporary) is a dark shadow that clouds all my efforts, and infuses each of my waking days with grief. Your resumption of friendship is the ticket to my speeding ahead with far more energy than I presently have.

But my financial resources are drained. I need to purchase a ton more books in order to provide book stores with copies to sell. As well as hand them out to others, that I may increase my chances for success. After all, word of mouth remains the most important aspect of salesmanship! And my cause is a noble one, though I’m forced to play the salesman in this capitalist society.

So as usual, I’ll be out of moolah by the end of the month, and once more will spend a lonely, penniless Christmas and New Years. Not to mention Randolph’s birthday is Dec. 30th. But I have long ago wished for nothing more than to be alone in my thoughts with him during the holidays. Though this time around I have you, too, to think about in my solitary confinement. I would love to spend some quality time with you on these three days, if only for 20 minutes. But I guess my wishes will not be granted, and I must plod along this lonesome path for a while longer, or even perhaps for many more years until my passing.

Just know that on Christmas, on Randolph’s day of birth, and on New Year’s Day, I will think of you with kindness. That, at least, is solace. Though I don’t see why I must continue to be so outcast.

Can you get me back into the gay bars, good angel? After all, it is you who drove me out. There are several good folks in our local bars who are totally supportive of my novel. But now I can’t see them, nor turn other people on to my book. Like it or not, the gay bars are an important network for activism, and without them my efforts towards success are far more difficult than need be. Such lack of access to this network may even doom me to failure!

It may be too late to undo the damage done. But I think you owe me this: that you work very hard to win the hearts and appreciation of bartenders and patrons alike toward this poor-but-determined soul. You are not loved by everyone who works in these bars, or by some patrons (to put it mildly). Rectifying your wrongs against me may be a difficult and humiliating experience for you…but it’s nothing compared to what you’ve put me through. Though I believe that those you’ve offended will be greatly impressed by your humble confession of your wrongdoing, and as a result will go out of their way to support your new approach on life. As well as give me the respect I deserve after all these years of petty backstabbing, humiliation and rejection I’ve known from my gay brothers for more than three decades. It is you who can turn all this around, if you want.

As a matter of fact, I was overjoyed to realize you were now residing in my own neighborhood. The incredible kindness you began to show me was, I hoped, the mark of a new era in my life: that I would finally be welcome and respected in those same gay bars where I had always wound up being vilified through gossip and threats. I’ve never done anything to deserve such enmity, yet I accept this as but another challenge to sharpen my mettle as an activist (and simply as a human being out of whom God expects a lot. One heck of a lot).

Of course, your finally speaking to me with an element of goodwill has caused my heart to soar with great hope for renewal of a friendly association. So what’s going down good buddy? Are you just gonna give me a few crumbs of kindness to satisfy a sadistic streak? Or are you gonna move ahead, step by step, to ultimately be the hero I pray you truly are?

I really can’t go on like this, having my hopes nurtured only to have them dashed once more. Yanking my chain and all that. I have faith in you, in spite of this difficult passage. Absolute faith. And it brings me tremendous joy to know that I am here for you, always. I just abhor feeling any shame for your behavior, when you are such a bright light in my eyes. And always will be, even if you disappear.

Oh, before I end this letter: two great things happened to me today:

You approached me in a kind manner. And free wifi in the Castro was introduced! Now I no longer have to slave sluggishly with old-school dialup, but can expedite my online promotion with ease, from the comfort of my room.

Oh, yeah, my place is totally cleaned up now. Took care of that about two weeks after your visit.

Again: love and friendship forever!

– Gene

PS: Enclosed also are my three latest blog entries, which I think you’ll enjoy.


4 Pearls of Wisdom

December 15, 2013

Here you see four packets (pearls of great price) containing my novel, ready to ship on Monday (two days hence). One to Constance who now lives in Sonora, and was married to my now-deceased good pal Don Ray Walz. Who passed on to the nether world six months ago; he was one of my long term homeless friends. I only wish he were still alive to witness the fulfillment of my greatest dream in literary format. One to Sweet Sue, mother of Terry Crummitt (a.k.a. “Snack Boy”) who is the topic of chapter 3. He is no longer with us, either. One to Gary Clayton, bartender at the Hole in the Wall; mentioned in chapters 1, 2, 4, and 9. And one to Tobias, former barkeep (now manager) of the Eagle Tavern. Who does not appear in this book, but does in the sequel.

I also presented my opus in person to Father Delmar (Church of the Most Holy Redeemer here in the Castro), and to Claudia (barkeep of Toad Hall on 18th Street). The Good Priest played a pivotal role in triggering My Fantastic Odyssey that culminated–after many years, starting in 1985–in this publication. He is mentioned in chapter 5. And Claudia, who I visited several times at The Mix (another bar on 18th), bought me drinks and passionately promoted my authorship by introducing me to her lesbian friends, and a bartender.

Turns out Fr. Delmar moved to Palo Alto four months ago. No wonder I haven’t seen him recently, strolling his two dogs (a half-blind papillon and a silly dachshund) down Noe Street on their way to Duboce Park! A handsome young gentleman (drool!) answered the gate and, when I told him who the gift was for, he offered to mail it himself. Even though I tried to front him the buckazoids required to post it first class. (Gotta get back to this dude, I think he can afford to take me out to dinner…he’s righteous cuuuute!)

When I entered Toad Hall around 4pm, I strolled to the bar’s end and asked the owner if Claudia still works here.

“Yeah!” he brightened up, “she’s working right now, on the patio.” And gestured that-a-ways. I approached the mini bar where she was serving up four martinis for two customers. She acknowledged my arrival with a smile and a wink.

I stood there leaning against the bar, book hidden behind me. Once the patrons received their change, she turned to me in great greet.

“Zekester, how’s it hangin’ buddy?”

I chuckled and extended my arm over the bar top to show her my book.

“Here it is, Claudia!”

She leaned forward and squinted: “Oh, that’s your novel. Congratulations!”

Claudia then graciously accepted My Own Personal Holy Grail, caressed and admired it where it still rested in a gallon-size zippered baggie, along with a “Free Me From This Bond” bookmark, postcard and two business cards.

I remarked: “I already signed it.” (Which autograph read: “Claudia, Thanks IMMENSELY for your passionate support. -Zeke, 12-14-13”.)

She held it up under the dim florescence and declared: “You’re gonna sell a lotta books!”

I grinned modestly, then shook her kind hand and departed.

[ Embellished Reader: try to imagine how I feel these days, book in hand and ready to conquer the world! I have only begun to disperse these prosaic seeds about this earthly soil, starting in my own back yard. And soon the winds of destiny shall lift them up to be scattered to all four corners.

Like dandelion fluff they shall quietly disperse across the land, across the waters. Across libraries, coffeehouses, churches, campuses and homes. Across radio, television, magazines, newspapers and word-of-mouth. Across Facebook, Twitter, online merchant stores, usenet, and torrent peer-to-peer sites. Across battlefields, city halls and town halls, senior citizen enclaves, vacation resorts and cruise ships, sweatshops, factories and museums.

Across the minds and hearts of every living soul.

And, like diadem seeds floating on the breeze, they shall come to occupy every nook, every cranny, every crack and every slip within these fertile grounds of Common Justice.

Here are three mustard seeds about to sprout: ]


Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:12:12
Subject: Re: New Novel Gives Voice to LGBT Homeless & Disenfranchised.
From: Pastor Rachel
To: Zeke Krahlin

Zeke,

Thank you for your email. I apologize for my late response.

I did skim a bit of the beginning of your book and definitely appreciate your intent. However, while the congregation I serve is, as you say, gay-friendly, I anticipate that I would encounter some difficulties in attempting to promote a book that utilizes such explicit sexual language, honestly. As well, our congregation no longer houses a library. I will keep your email, though, in case I am in conversation with individuals within the congregation who might appreciate your work.

Blessings on your Advent and Christmas celebrations!

Pastor Rachel Koski-Donnely


Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 18:27:08
Subject: First book store: SUCCESS!!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My E-frenz

Michael, co-owner of the book store on Haight Street (Bound Together: Anarchist Collective Book Store) left a message on my answering
machine today:

“Hello Zeke Krahlin, this is Michael from the book store “Bound Together” on Haight Street, and we want to sell your book. So, give me a call. If you don’t get me today, you can try Tuesday. I’ll be here at the book store all day.”

I am to drop over Tuesday. This of course is an excellent sign that
most, if not all, of the other independent book stores will also want
to sell my novel. City Lights here we come!

On another good note: I presented my book to a librarian at the local
Harvey Milk Library. She seemed highly interested, so I left her with a
copy (along w/my phone # and email). Told her I’d also be glad to do
readings. I’m sure she’ll get back to me soon.

FYI: You can keep updated re. my publishing adventure (and other
stuff) by subscribing to my blog at [ zekeblog.wordpress.com ], my
Twitter account at [ twitter.com/ez_krahlin ] or my Facebook page at [
facebook.com/zeke.krahlin ]

– Zeke.


Bound Together mural: click pic for larger view.


His Name Is Love

March 31, 2013

[ Free Me From This Bond (the sequel): Chapter 5 ]

Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:59:02
Subject:
Another vision…
From: Zeke
To: Eleanor

…though in the dream state, I was still asleep. The previous two visions were in a totally conscious waking state. Here goes:

I am with a group of folks numbering around 18, and we’re on an outing in another town. Don’t know what the outing’s about: maybe to visit a museum, watch a play, attend a convention…something like that. The town itself seems kinda small, like everything rolls up after 9 PM. But it’s a pretty town, lots of trees and little houses.

It is early evening; the sun’s still out but soon to descend below the horizon. We’re gathered in a sort of lobby or entranceway: spacious with but a few chairs and tables, and some snack bars and magazine/book stands that are now all closed (seeing as it’s after 5). The lights inside are dimmed; the ambience is mellow.

Our group mills about, chatting and in good spirits. Though it seems as if there are no particular plans for the evening, or the event (or whatever it is) was cancelled, or our guide screwed up and took us to the wrong town. I therefore feel a bit lost, though the folks are all friendly, and I’m even hitting up on a buff little dude 2-3 inches shorter than myself (I’m 5-foot-7).

I’m exceedingly hungry at this point, but all the food courts are shut down for the night. Across the street is a diner, though I hesitate to break from the group, as I fear they might vanish and leave me behind. Next thing I know, we’re all gathered on the lawn out front, still split up in small groups of two or three, merrily chit-chatting. The sky is now growing dark as the evening sets in.

Then I notice a very tall guy (Larkin’s height: 6-foot-4) smiling at me, and talking in a soft voice about something that I can’t discern from five yards away. He’s African-American, nicely dressed in a long trench coat. Comely, though more average looking than handsome. At least, that’s how he appears until I approach him, stand just a few feet distant, and look up at his face. No, he’s not average looking at all:

He’s absurdly gorgeous! Facial features all tightly arranged and spaced apart just right, with sharp, clean lines and beautifully toned skin (like really strong coffee with lots of Half-&-Half mixed in). Flawless! The more I gaze at him, the better looking he becomes. I kiss him. In my mind’s eye, that is.

We decide to check out the diner, in hopes of quieting our grumbling stomachs…so depart from our group and cross the street. Upon entering, we discover the diner closing up. The two workers there–cashier and cook–ignore us completely, so we just stand inside awhile, drooling at the yummy cakes and pies we will never taste. And then we exit.

From two blocks away we spy a corner liquor/grocery store raised upon wide steps of granite…like maybe it was a courthouse back in the days of horse and buggy. We enjoy pleasant conversation on the way there.

Alas, that shop, too, is shutting down for the day. The lone clerk is wiping away smudges from the glass counter around the cash register. She is a matronly lady of middle age, skinny, and dour. Yet friendly enough…though obviously unwilling to make a sale after-hours, no matter how desperate our hunger.

Just a few feet away and down all three aisles sits a vast array of delectable snacks and condiments: wrapped in cellophane, boxed, canned, or resting in open stainless steel trays and pots with large serving spoons and ladles poking out. These trays/pots hold the delectable remains of today’s homemade vittles: macaroni and cheese, chicken barley soup, grandma’s lasagna, egg salad for stuffing sandwiches in crunchy French rolls, wedges of iceberg lettuce slathered in four kinds of dressing, and so on. IOW:

Enough to serve a small scout troop just back from hiking the trails outside this Bradbury-an little burg.

With a heavy sigh, my new companion and I exit through the door like two defeated warriors. A bell tinkles behind us as we drag ourselves back down those lovely pink and white granite steps.

But while descending, I pause to ask his name.

“My name is Love,” he gently replies; and again, adores me with a smile.

“Love?” I swirl an index finger in my right ear, thinking I misheard him. “Did you say your name is Love?”

He grabs my arm in kindness, that I won’t stumble. And speaks once more:

“Yes. You heard me correctly. My name is Love.”

I chuckle: “Oh, I can’t call you that. No way!”

And that’s when I wake up.

What intrigues me (after a few hours’ hindsight) is that I know this man called Love is Larkin. Since I believe he is an angel, he can change his appearance whenever it suits him…and visit me in dreams and visions. In this case he appeared to me as an African-American. The evening just before this dream, I had sent my 2nd letter to Larkin, c/o Twin Peaks Tavern. But get this:

The postage stamp I used this time did not depict the American flag; instead it was a lovely image of Rosa Parks…a black woman!

– Zeke


Thu, 28 Mar 2013 10:12:02

Subject: Re: Fukkin text editor!

From: Zeke

To: Eleanor

Eleanor wrote:

{{ I think you’ll like this:

http://redroom.com/member/eleanor-cooney/blog/she-walks-among-us }}

Like it? I deliriously, scintillatingly, madly LOVE it. It is a gem. It is a prayer. It is a treasure from the heart of Egypt, in backwater bumtown Sack O’ Tomatoes.

I feel I’ve just been washed by the sacred waters of Avalon.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re gonna have so much FUN when we finally get together. Probably late this year or early next, when my book’s a raging bestseller and Larkin is my bodyguard. I wouldn’t dream of excluding your paramour, Mitch, in any of our revelries, unless he needs to deal with other matters more important.

I’ll have 11 other bodyguards, too. All hunky, all lovers, all day and all night. And also:

all armed.

Armed to the teeth: those gorgeous pearly whites that send radiant beams of brotherly love and torrid male orgasms that shower my soul with aqua vitae. Good thing I know how to swim…or at least, doggie paddle (being the sexy werewolf that I am).

– Zeke


Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:26:33

Subject: Just a reminder…

From: Zeke

To: S. Rohan

…that the absolute deadline for your illustrations is April 10. No ifs, ands or buts. I must have my finished manuscript delivered by April 12. That gives me two days to scan and adapt your images for my book.

It has been rather tortuous for moi that you’ve dragged out your work down to the very last minute. Yet I understand, as you’ve just been through two terrible crises (death of your father and favored aunt), for which I honorably share your burden. And for which I know has helped you through this most difficult passage, by putting some joy and dignity into your life.

But there comes a time when I absolutely must release my book (with or w/o your remarkable talent), for it has to do with saving many lives. And I can not delay any further!

Should you not complete the illustrations by said date, I will nonetheless accept your drawings whenever they are done. And, assuming my first novel becomes a bestseller (which I’m sure it will, as I know my destiny), I will later publish a “special edition” that includes your images, along with additional and smaller illustrations by Jesse Balmer (whose artwork is on display at Howard’s Cafe), scattered throughout the chapters.

I have no anger towards you, “S.”: nothing but great reverence for your work, and the difficult trials that have come upon you during this time.

Much love,

Zeke


Thu, 28 Mar 2013 18:29:57

Subject: Yet another vision…

From: Zeke

To: Eleanor

…this time in the shower today, before I step out to dine at Howard’s Cafe.

Larkin has just moved into a room on my floor, that shares the same bathroom with me. I’m walking down the hallway about to take a shower, when he steps out, also ready to shower. I tell him: “Oh, you go first, I can wait.” Whence he replies:

“No, Zeke, you go first.”

“No, I insist: you go first.”

He demands: “No, Zeke, you go first.”

At which point we tussle to enter the bathroom door. Somehow, we squeeze through together, and we both disrobe to take a shower. Larkin declares:

“Maybe we should shower together. There’s a drought you know, and this will save water.”

I ignore him, draw the curtain aside, and prepare to lather up. Larkin joins me a short while after, and notices me gliding the 5-blade disposable razor across my head and chest.

“Wow! So you shave your body, eh?”

“Yes I do,” I explain. “Including my armpits once a week, and balls and butt crack each day.”

“Really?” he inquires. “Can I finish you off. That is: your balls and anus?”

“Well, okay,” I allow. “Just no funny stuff, alright?”

With that, he eagerly (but gently) shaves my balls, then tells me to lean against the wall and bend over, that he can groom my ass crack.

So I do just that, and in a moment I feel a hard, fleshy-fat knob attempting to penetrate my butt hole.

“Stop that!” I declare. “Just shave my rectum and be done with it!”

And so he does. For a few moments afterwards, we embrace and kiss, sliding boners in mutual delight as I massage his luxuriant hair with baby shampoo. Before stepping out, we cum in fountains beneath the hot pellets of water drops so kindly brought to us by the San Francisco Public Utilities Department.

After toweling off (each drying the other), and putting our bathrobes back on, he grabs my arm and compels me into his apartment just several yards down the hall, facing 16th Street. Whence he pulls me onto the bed, and embraces me in sweet affection. I weep upon his chest in cleansing tears of gratitude.

He kisses me all over, and I grow hard again. I cannot believe this is happening; my joy is beyond exquisite. And I kiss him on the lips, as his tears flow down and onto my tongue.

And that’s the end of my “shower vision.”

Barely one week ago, David (the person presently occupying that apt.) told me he found a lover, and is moving to Long Beach in less than three weeks.

In the past six years, every time Larkin has moved to another residence, he’s that much closer to my own building. Right now, he lives up 17th Street, barely a block away. So I guess the next step is to move into my building. And after that, we’ll find a nice apartment where we’ll live together. I surmise that will happen after my book is published, becomes a bestseller, and I can afford to provide for us both…with much more money to spare, that I can also manage quality health insurance for us two lovebirds.

Though I suspect that Larkin’s low income and couch hopping is merely a cover, that he can fulfill his duties as detective, and root out the scumbags that have caused much tragedy South of Market, including what they’ve done to me, which resulted in three years’ memory loss due to mild brain damage. I actually believe that Larkin is quite wealthy, due to his connections with certain affluent folks in our Gay Community. But also consider this: he is most likely one of God’s Great Angels, for whom money is not a concern. IOW: this is a grand play orchestrated by enlightened spirits, whose mission is to fulfill an incredible fantasy where I am the hero. And Larkin is the conductor.

Nonetheless, I’ve had many visions over the years, of Larkin moving into my building. This, I now realize, is not simply my own wishful thinking, but a prophetic vision that now appears to soon fulfill my incredible (and benevolent) destiny. Some years back–after his SOMA room above the old Hole in the Wall burned down (and I was kidnapped, dosed and left for dead), and he disappeared from my life under my fear that he became homeless (and for which I prayed and worried that he’d be okay)–he resurfaced right across 16th Street from my building, working as barback, to keep the place tidy and drive out anyone who presented difficulties.

How I discovered his return into my life, was because I’m in the habit of walking down the hallway to a window at the end, where I can check out the weather better than I can from my own windows.

That day when I looked out the hallway window, I saw Larkin standing on the deck of the Metro Bar (now long defunct), which was on the same level as my domicile: the second floor. To refresh your memory as to this discovery, I now refer you to this article, “A Larkin Reverie,” some years back:

http://www.gay-bible.org/zekeblog/2007/2007_02.html

But I also have this fear: that Larkin will move in and totally ignore me, like I’m just an awful pest in his life. He might shove me whenever our paths cross in the hallway, and invite all sorts of gorgeous dudes to his place, and make very loud sexual sounds that I can’t avoid but hear while using the bathroom (which is right next to the apartment that I believe he will soon occupy).

Which means further grief and tears shed on my part, at least several times per day. Egads! In such a case, hell for me will mean Larkin’s sadistic vengeance, because he rebels against my affectionate friendship. Probably because he’s been badly hurt in the past, by a lover who turned sour.

But if such be the case, I’ll slide letters under his door, declaring patience and friendship through it all. Until he softens his antagonism towards me, and realizes I’m his very best friend for all time. Though I must say:

If this is what comes down, I’m surely the most devoted friend any gay man could ever hope to have. Or I’m a big, fat fool.

With great respect and love,

– Zeke

PS: Do you think Twosome Press will censor my shower scene? Hopefully, my first published book will allow me to have free reigns over what I would like to publish next!


Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 11:05:46

Subject: Postcard to Larkin…

From: Zeke

To: Eleanor

…c/o Twin Peaks Tavern of course, since I have no other way to reach him (even person-to-person any more). Front and back attached to this missive. (Click on either image below, for a larger view.)

While blunt in my message to him, I did use a sense of humor up to a point. Just in case he was acting out a test (or initiation) per the GPMC’s strategy. (That’s what I call this mysterious group of enlightened gays South of Market: Gay Pagan Motorcycle Club…as revealed in Chapter 9 of my first book.) Which test is, in my surmisal:

To see if I have the guts to break up with one I most love, should he begin to display any sort of violence. I presume I passed w/frying crullers. 0_o Good grief, if so many great things hadn’t happened between us over the years, and if he had ever before acted abusive towards me in any way, shape or form; I would’ve dropped our friendship like a hot yam. If this be a test, they sure made it grievous to the max. Well, you helped me through by your kind patience and regard. Certainly, my angels have placed a gold star in The Book of Eleanor for that!

Glad that some good things have occurred for me, these last two days. For one: Matt approached me on 18th Street near Hartford, and apologized profusely for his foul behavior several months back. I believe I mentioned him in an earlier email: homeless dude who plays excellent keyboard and guitar. He’s now doing gigs on the street with a black dude named Derrick.

In fact, Matt was so sorry for walking around the Castro, hollering and calling me “pervert,” and trying to start a fight. I told him:

“Look, I’ll be honest. I do have sex with the homeless…but it’s rare, and only when the other person is mature and stable enough, and really wants to boink around.” I further explain:

“The queers w/roofs over their head reject me, ’cause I don’t have a car, nice apartment, or lots of cash to toss around. My only friends are those on the streets, so of course I fall in love with some of them, and we have sex.”

“I understand,” he said. “You’re actually a good guy, and again, I’m very sorry.”

This really cheered me up (in contrast to Larkin’s shoving me some days back, right around the corner). Gave him a hug, and said I’ll look for him again soon, and do a blog about his street music. Video, photos and all.

For two: I met this really neat Brit named Kevin, at Howard’s Cafe. Gave me his card; he’s a journalist for a radio station in Nottingham, England. Short in height, burly in a skinny sort of way, bald, around 38 years old and rather handsome. Of course, I talked about my upcoming novel and activist tales. Directed him to The Little Shamrock Irish pub just two blocks down from Howard’s. One of the waitrons here, Bobbie, also works at that pub…which I believe is the second oldest bar in San Francisco. Kevin mentioned visiting the gay bars here in the Castro.

“Oh,” I advised, “the gay bars South of Market are much more fun. Rough and tumble compared to the Castro, which bars are a lot more conservative and stuffed-shirt. In fact, the best gay bar on the planet is in SOMA: Hole in the Wall Saloon. All sorts of fun, you can lick a cute boy’s armpit for the price of a cheap drink.” Kevin chuckled at that. “That’s where I first met Larkn.” Then finished with:

“And the next best gay bar on the planet is also located in that same neighborhood: Eagle Tavern. It’s also the second main place where Larkin and I hanged out.”

Sadly (more for myself and SF than him), the day I met Kevin was his last day in San Francisco. He’s flying to Austin, Texas today. BTW, he also runs a blog at WordPress like myself, address:

http://nww.newsmutt.wordpress.com/

You may read his writeup about yours truly there, in the “USA 2013″³ section (see link in rightside menu bar).

So it’s Easter Sunday. This time last year, I was totally convinced Larkin would surprise me with a marriage proposal, at Dolores Park. (See Chapter 8 of “Free Me From This Bond” to learn about that scenario.) The Sisters hold an Easter festival there each year. For these past few days I wondered “should I go to the park again?” I’ve decided NO, it would just wind up being another depressing outcome. And of course if he does soon propose, I’ll have to turn him down…in light of our recent confrontation.

Well, Howard’s is open today, so I’m gonna wrap up this letter, take a shower and truck on down there.

Of course, I’ll put my clothes on first. (This is Easter after all, not my birthday!)


The Castro Sucks

January 25, 2013

So this notice from The City just appeared on the ground floor elevator of my apartment building (click on image for a larger view):

In a nutshell, here is the horrid announcement:


The Department of Public Works (DPW) will be making roadway renovations on Market Street between Castro and Guerrero staring at 9pm the night of Sunday, January 27th through February 8th, 2013.

Our crews will be grinding and paving the heaved area at the median as well as replacing sidewalk and curb damaged by tree roots.

Impacts

– This work will occur at night…

Duration: 2-weeks (Sun-Sat)

Work Hours:
9PM – 6AM

This is beyond nuisance: this is a serious health hazard to those residents who live along Market Street, in that designated stretch. So: jackhammers, steamrollers and asphalt pounders will rule the night for two nightmarish weeks…from 9pm until 6am. I guess San Franshitsco severely hates its Market Street residents, and wants to remind us all, what a bunch of losers we are, who are not affluent enough to afford nice apartments on quiet side streets.

God forbid they should repair these streets during the daytime. How dare we residents possess the arrogance to believe we have the right to peaceful habitation, simply because we don’t have millions to toss around, and temporarily rent a fancy hotel suite.

What if I suffer a stroke, heart attack, or some other grave illness as a result? At 62, this is all too possible when one considers this bombardment to our ears will go on for two weeks! Can I sue The City? Of course not: they’re totally immune to the peoples’ plea…at least, when it comes to the lower income peons.

I once had a friend’s place to visit in Cole Valley, for those times I needed to get away from such outbursts of monstrous howls, screeches and explosions so prevalent in the Castro. But that ended eleven years ago. I am, however, desperate enough to consider sleeping out in some other neighborhood, as if I were homeless. Though knowing my sleep habits, I doubt I could get a single wink. Not to mention the possibility of being driven out by the locals, or even getting arrested.

And this, right in the middle of publishing my book and working with my illustrator. Which makes this process incredibly painful (like a bullet wound or car accident), when there really should be no cause for such exhausting trauma. I really don’t understand how those with jobs in my building, could ever manage to perform their daily obligations.

Now, just two nights ago I went through a rather mean confrontation with some homophobic speed freak who stalked me for four blocks. He knows where I live ’cause he’s seen me come and go from my building, and is probably encouraged by some other homophobes in the Castro.
Which (I might add) is inundated by redneck types who think it’s God’s Great Will to terrorize and bash gay people.

It is far from difficult to discover where I live, by anyone who cares to find out, and use this info to harass me. Believe me, I’ve been through this before: creepy punks buzzing my apartment late at night, leaving threats on my answering machine. Which, of course, also wrecks my ability to get a good night’s sleep.

So I’m still all pent up and pissed over this not-uncommon (for the neighborhood) harassment. Last thing I need, is The City deciding I have no choice but to soon be tormented by unbearable noise pollution for not just several days or a week…but for fourteen unholy nights!

Which also means I can’t enjoy the company of a good friend or two for these nights, in order to ease my difficulties. Friends, sanity, quiet: all stripped away by a ruthless bureaucracy that cares only for tourists and uber-wealthy residents.

So, full of steam, I barrel on down to Walgreens to purchase some sundries. The moment I enter, some black lady pushes her stinky shopping cart behind me while screaming about judgment day, and how all the gays are gonna go to hell. No one acted like they heard a word she spoke, except for yours truly.

I turned around to stop her, and said: “Please stop screaming in our gay neighborhood. Your fundamentalist dogma is evil, unappreciated, and gays are sick of it. Show respect and quiet down. Also, please don’t drag your shopping cart inside; it’s not legal.”

Well, she stared up at me with a tight jaw and declared: “I was talking to my African American boyfriend. Stay out of this.”

Wow, there was no one around, but I realized her label “African American” was to set me up for a racist. I persisted, in a rather loud tone that the entire store could hear:

“Get the fuck outta here. If you can’t respect gay people, there are plenty of hetero areas you can go to. Leave now, with your shopping cart!”

She pushed the cart against my thighs and hollered: “Don’t touch my possessions or I’ll call the cops!”

Then some 40-something gay guy (probably wealthy and a home owner) stepped up to me and called me a bigot. So I replied:

“Fuck you, you goon. You know nothing about the Castro, probably been here less than three years, and all you care about is booze, money and fucking. What do you care about gay rights? Do you really want to defend homophobes spewing religious dogma? Why don’t you join me and drive this piece of feces out of our ‘hood? Who cares if she’s black and female? She’s an infiltrator.”

The queer goon walked out the door, and called me a “stupid goon.” I retorted:

“Better a stupid goon than a willful conspirator to crap on gay neighborhoods! Empower the homophobes is your game!”

The Walgreens employees remained silent, as if nothing unusual was happening. So I spoke to one of them:

“You shouldn’t allow homeless shopping carts in here, that’s part of the problem. You also let dogs in, even though it’s against the law. Any shops that sell food on shelves are not permitted to let dogs enter.” (I was thinking here of this ginormous rottweiler who, some years ago, ran up an aisle unleashed, and suddenly shoved its nose up my crotch. I hollered vitriol at the owner, until he finally pulled the cur away. He called me “insensitive,” and claimed his dog was well trained. Right at that moment an employee approached and told me to calm down. “Calm down?” I declared, “Why the fuck aren’t you getting this goon outta here?” This goon, BTW, was gay. Again, probably an affluent home owner.)

Then some homely dyke w/pocked face and a wool beanie who stood at the cash register nearest me, chimed in: “You’re a bigot and a racist. Leave the lady alone!”

I confronted her: “You’re a clueless lesbian who’s only been here two or three years, yet thinks she knows everything about what’s going on in the Castro. Do you really like crazy homophobes screaming up and down our streets, our stores and in our parks? Why on earth don’t you join me and drive this trash from our neighborhood?”

Then the skank with her odiferous cart spoke out: “I worked for Harvey Milk.”

“So what?” I replied. “He was a sellout to the conservative faction, and dumped all his liberal and left-wing supporters…most of whom were low income.” Then as an afterthought, added:

“I don’t believe you anyway. You’re a big, fat phony.”

The self-righteous lesbian began to exit as she exclaimed: “You’re an idiot, a bigot!”

“Oh yeah, right,” I hollered back before she disappeared into the alcohol-and-meth-laden night, “I’ve only been here since 1973, and have struggled to help my homeless gay brothers from all this street homophobia. What do you care? You got money, this is all just a playground for you, until you move on in a year or two.”

I was so fed up at this point, I dropped my few items intended for purchase on the counter, and walked out in a huff. Then meandered over to Zapata’s Taqueria for a meal. God help anyone who attempted to enter the restaurant with a shopping cart!

Fortunately (for them) no one did. So I finished most of my meal (I was too upset to finish the entire dish), and marched on home to my grubby hovel.

It is so easy to spot most of the homophobes on our streets: they are usually very scruffy and scary looking, with unkempt beards, like an army of Snuffy Smiths. Redneck for days!

Gay people are a joke to them, and the reason they flood gay precincts, is that too many of us are overly liberal (that is: “bleeding hearts”), and care not to realize that the homeless are divided into two distinct camps:

Homophobes and gays (and some gay-friendly). My goal is to network the gay street folks, empower them to find some way to drive out these disgusting ‘phobes…which would thus make the Castro far safer for all gay residents and tourists. And hopefully, inspire a foundation to house these excellent LGBT street waifs.

Why do so many gays and San Franciscans act so clueless as to this imminent horror? Which horror could easily lead to a redneck encampment where all of the Castro becomes one, big Grand Ol’ Opry, where no one remembers what the fuck a homosexual is? Well, I have the answer:

San Francisco is infested with a nihilistic cult, one branch of which is populated by self-hating gays. They walk around, hand money and other kinds of support, to these evil gay bashers. You can see elderly queers handing out 10 and 20 dollar bills to one especially nasty creep named Dane.

While he is gay, he’s a mutthuh fukkah of the worst sort. He harrases gay visitors (particularly the elderly), and stands outside the Castro Theater hollering all sorts of anti-gay, anti-Semitic and racist epithets. Yet folks standing in line ignore him, as if nothing serious was really going on. I remember one time some years back, during the theater’s Jewish Film Festival, how Dane screamed all evening about how the Jews deserved Hitler, and they should all be cremated again, to cleanse America.

If only, like me, they’d confront such bastards, and drive them outta Dodge. But no, it’s as if they desire to have him remain, to make the Castro a very unpleasant neighborhood to visit.

Why these geriatric queers shower him with money is beyond me. He is not the least bit attractive, is clothed in filth, and looks like he just crawled out of a sewer. In fact, one year ago I saw him with a well dressed and attractive gay man at Mollie Stone’s supermarket. WTF? Why on earth would such a seemingly decent queer associate with the likes of Dane? The dude is certainly good looking enough, and with considerable finances, that he could have just about any guy he wants, who is much more handsome and considerate than this poor excuse for a human.

The only answer I come up with is: The Cult.

I am thinking that this imminent noise pollution on Market Street is a design of this cult, to wear me (and other good folks) down, and even explode in frustration. Because they certainly know all about me (I’ve been here for many years at the same location; thus easily found out and sabotaged.) BTW, my expose of this cult was published on my web site way back in 2007. Entitled “Friendly Ghost Detective Agency.”

I’m not saying that the ultimate conclusion is that one is surrounded by enemies…for there is one higher level of a spiritual outcome: “We have no enemies, only teachers.”

Thus, I do realize that I am being challenged and tested to grow stronger. However, it looks to be a Monstrous Passage that I am about to go through, which I could have never foreseen. Nor does it mean I should not seek a peaceful place to sleep, till it all blows over. Though as luck would have it, I doubt this fortunate solution will manifest.

Ever since a couple weeks before Xmas, my life has been this rollicking roller coaster ride: one day, great things occur…another day, horrible things. And it looks to be ongoing for some time further.

I am really, really, really, really exhausted and burnt out. Wish I had the resources to move away. But alas, I do not. *sigh*


Latest Gift

May 20, 2012

[ Free Me From This Bond: Chapter 5 ]

Allow me to show you the latest gift I will soon present to My Beloved Arwyn (click on any image for a larger view):

Folder contains episodes from my latest novel (“Free Me From This Bond“): chapters 3 (Sweet Sue), 9 (Dragon Fire in the Hole) and 8 (Dragon Prophecy), plus addenda 3 (Tom Keske) and 4 (Arwyn in the Buff). Left out three other completed chapters because they are not pertinent to my bless-ed relationship with my Darling Guardian Dragon Arwyn Miles…and I am running low on printer ink, which is rather expensive. I am presently typing Chapter 13 (The Phone Call) which may or may not be added to this folder, depending on how soon I can deliver this gift to My Sweetheart, and whether or not there’s enough ink left in my printer.

Photo #3 shows my newest chapters in the left pocket; and in the right is a political comic book about America’s War Machine, and why it is so destructive to its citizens, and to our troubled world at large. Really, it’s intended as a gift of appreciation to Randolph Louis Taylor, and not to Arwyn Miles. For reasons which should be obvious to you, Sweet Reader, if you’ve been following my tales since Chapter 1 (Free Me From This Bond). The small white envelope contains a business card that promotes my latest novel. Click here to view it.

[ Tepid Reader: Photo 4 has come up missing, can’t find it anywhere, sorry! ]

Photo #4 is addressed to Randolph instead of Arwyn, for I know their spirits are intertwined, and that Lover #1 (Randolph) has brought Lover #2 (Arwyn), to heal my bleeding heart of great sorrow for the love of a suffering Vietnam Veteran (#1).

Don’t know if you can see this, but in photo #4, in fine-point pen I added (in the lower middle-right): “Thank you for bringing me to him.”

This is in reference to my other Great Love Randolph (for bringing Arwyn to me). But it also acknowledges a near-future prophecy, where Arwyn will bring me back to My Beloved Randolph (who suddenly disappeared from my life since 1992) through whatever magical dimension that is his power, which I call Dragon Sorcery. I really can’t speak enough praise, at what a noble and dear dragon, is My Darling Arwyn. Suffice it to say: “He is Infinitely Belov-ed by Yours Truly.”

FYI: If you still need to learn about my excellent association with Randolph Taylor, go here:

The Somalian Affair http://www.gay-bible.org/somalia/

Why it’s called “The Somalian Affair” will become evident, after a little perusal of that Dragon-Divinely Inspired Page.

Or, for a briefer account, this poem:

September’s Passage http://gay-bible.org/truetales/6_septemb.htm

Photo’s #5-6 are just the reverse side. A skull-theme bandana binds the folder. Those painted feathers BTW, were found in a curb on Noe Street, while walking home. Discarded, no doubt, after a fun day by one of numerous revelers, at San Francisco’s annual Bay to Breakers run. Wait-a-minute. Oh jeez, silly me. I almost forgot to mention the other items I’ve included in this folder. And which are very, very special (click on any image for a larger view):

On the left side are the original handwritten letters I composed in 1985, while visiting My Randolph after he shot himself, and where he was (hopefully) recuperating. There was no certain conclusion that his hospital bed at the VAMC in Washington, D.C. would not also become his death bed. Those letters were interviews I held with various other patients there, who were also Nam Vets and–after returning back from that conflict–became (like Randolph) anti-war activists.

What I did was illegal (carrying a concealed tape recorder into the building), and could have landed me in prison. Each night upon returning to my hotel room, I’d play the recordings back, and handwrite all the details. The next morning, I’d make a photocopy of this journal, and mail these duplicates to Warren Hinckle, a news reporter back in S.F., who agreed to receive my daily reports. This way, if I got caught, Warren would have at least some vital info that could blow this scandal wide open.

John H., you remember all this I’m sure…you were still residing in the same apartment building as myself…in fact, I had just moved in there two years earlier. You recall how I had no money to fly out there, until that miracle happened. My first computer ever (a Compaq “luggable”, 28 lbs.!) was stolen by those two rapscallions, who I let live with me for a week before they could move into a new rental. I was so upset, never dreaming I’d collect on my insurance. So I forgot all about it. Then, Randolph shoots himself!

A potent dream where angels instructed me to fly out to D.C., or he’ll die, made me worry how I’d ever get the moolah to do just that. “Don’t worry,” these angels affirmed, “the money will come to you at the right time.” Well, lo and behold, the insurance payment that I forgot all about did show up two months later: $2,850! More than enough to jet out to D.C., rent a budget hotel room, eat out, buy Randolph some gifts, and more.

And you remember how I trusted curly golden-haired Brian Stevens to stay in my SRO and keep things tidy. No guests whatsoever, especially not that byatch Kelly? Boy, did he make a mess of things! (Or really, I should say “she“.)

Sadly, Mr. Hinckle did nothing with my papers; in fact he never communicated with me ever again, despite my several phone calls to him when I got back. As far as I know, he is still sitting on these documents, or more likely, just tossed them into the trash.

Those letters are testimonials citing medical abuse and neglect by hospital staff, towards those soldiers who spoke out against our occupation of Vietnam. One such patient who suffered seizures, was locked away and ignored…until he finally died the next day. I believe they also intended the same fate for Randolph. Fortunately, I discovered his whereabouts thanks to the help of a local priest (Father Young, Church of the Most Holy Redeemer here in the Castro)…who had contacts back east. Ministers, priests, rabbis and the like can visit places otherwise verboten to your average citizen.

Once I blew the whistle by publicizing Randolph’s location and begging folks to send him letters and cards of concern, love and support; the hospital knew the jig was up, and they were forced to take good care of him. (How did I expose their skulduggery? By sending my grievous appeal as a letter to the editor to every major newspaper in each of our fifty states.)

On the right side of the open folder, are displayed three cards, all written to Randolph, but never really mailed. I did this sometimes, just to soothe my aching soul for lack of him. The topmost card shows a dog gazing down at a feline. Open this card to find:

This quote is an exact copy from one of Randolph’s earliest letters to me (while recuperating from that self-inflicted bullet wound)…right down to the little sketch of a cat’s head.

The bottommost card depicts two polar bears, youngster riding the back of an adult. Open this card to see:

Below my handwritten praise, you’ll find a photo of yet another card, depicting barnyard animals gathered around the manger of baby Jesus. It is a Christmas card of course, and the very last writing of any sort that Randolph sent to me. For a long time, I had it glued to a red background, and kept it hung on the wall right over my bed’s pillow. Inside, the card read: “May the sweet spirit of Christmas be with you all year long”. And signed, simply: “Randy”.

No return address, but the postal stamp indicated it was mailed from here, in San Francisco! I called the local VAMC and other hospitals, to see if I could track him down. Alas, no luck. I wept. For the umpteenth time since that dear man shot himself, I wept.

Finally, the central card depicts a luminous painting entitled: “The Knight of the Holy Grail” by Frederick Judd Waugh. My quest for Randolph’s Redemption is indeed, My Very Own Personal Holy Grail. Open the card to read:

So there you have it: my recent gift (or gifts, actually) to Beloved Arwyn. I entrust him with these papers, and those three undelivered cards. Why? Because I know in my heart, that Arwyn’s gift is to deliver me back unto Randolph…in some way which is unfathomable at this time, and is obviously no less than a Major Miracle. Randolph will receive my VAMC documents, and these cards…and thus my Great Odyssey come full circle.

Only now, not with just One Great Love in my life, but two!

I challenge anyone to defy my claim that I am the luckiest and happiest man in the entire cosmos (not just planet earth). Should you be such a one, I warn you right now: your mission is futile!


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