Rays of Emerald

July 7, 2017

Since Larkin’s incredible scenario of June 11th (the last time our auras clashed) I’ve been carrying around a folded printout of my email to Twin Peaks Tavern, asking them to welcome him back. (See my blog entry previous to this, called “Hug of the Century,” linked above…the email is at the very end.) It’s a great letter, and optimizes the odds in Larkin’s favor. Though since I am convinced this is a joke being played upon me by many members of the Castro scene, Twin Peaks will soon have him back, anywayz…with “moi,” The Most Welcome Guest Of All. I do suspect they’ve already made copies of my email, and are passing it around the bar, having a good guffaw, as they no doubt did with my postcard flurry two years back. And I’m sure Larkin is there, too, tickled pink (or whatever color a Reptilian Starship Commander’s scales turn to, when he’s highly amused).

{{ By now you’ve concluded that I’m pissing-in-my-pants eager to get that copy of the email to Larkin ASAP, even though I haven’t spoken such in this report you’re now reading. Until this, my eighth sentence. Yes, My Excrescent Reader, I’m securing the letter to my person or backpack (or, occasionally, a tote bag) every time I step out, awaiting the moment My Perplexing Plesiosaur appears before me once again, like a vision from Triassic Eden. And that moment just occurred short minutes ago: 9:05 PM, as precisely as I can guess. After running upstairs then bumping into my neighbor Michael and chatting him up about Larkin for a spell, and finally entering my room and looking at the Sony clock radio’s digital display: 9:14. }}

It has been almost three weeks since I emailed that request, just four or five days longer than the time I’ve been carrying that printout! But this evening, This Frabjous Evening, no sooner had I exited through the front gate, than here he comes barreling down the sidewalk. Hunched up and all slinky like and kinda shabbily clothed, tonight…I guess he was in one of those “incognito” (or “shadow chameleon”) moods. Especially as regards yours truly, for whom he desires not to notice his presence, quite often. Yet, frankly: deep within that widdle heart, I’m sure he craves the opposite. I’ve never seen him with a ruddy face before…though I’ve certainly seem him hostile more than just this one time! It honestly isn’t part of the look I’ve come to adore in all his varied expressions. Don’t know why, but it jars me.

So there he was, looming large in my reality, then passing by as swiftly as possible…though the partying throngs scattered about as they lingered between bars and clubs, made for a slow passage. I was momentarily stunned by his ghostly tentacles (like some deceased cephalopod come to haunt me), but I was by now immune to his venomous discharge. Thus I speedily recovered with more than enough split seconds to call loudly from behind:

“That was quite a spectacular roasting you gave me the other night!” Sucking in my breath to exhale the second part like a demon exorcised, I embellished: “You deserve an Oscar!”

Larkin had barely progressed more than twenty feet beyond where I first sighted him, the clots of revelers were that thick. Yet (with hindsight) I can’t help but believe he intentionally slowed down to grant me just enough time to blurt out my prepared bon mot, before drifting beyond my orbit.

I still had yet to hand him the copy of My Papal Dispensation, and he was about to cross 16th Street!

I managed to encroach amid the dense throng another few steps, then bellow these words towards Larkin who now stood balancing his feet on the curb, eager to distance himself as soon as the light changed. Or perhaps waiting patiently for me to speak my last three lines:

“Hey, I got a gift for you! It’s a printout of the email I sent to…”

It was a brief scene he had scripted this time around, and my dialogue a mere five sentences. In fact, I was the only character with any spoken words at all, if you don’t count the outdoor revelers whose voices were blurred background ambience, anyway. I knelt down halfway to retrieve the baggie-sealed envelope from my tote, while I arched my neck upwards to project my voice over and beyond the fluctuating wall of flesh:

“…I sent to Twin Peaks Tavern…”

I stopped, realizing that the light had just turned green, and the crowd was now surging forward, along with Larkin. So I quickly stood erect once more, this time with The Exculpatory Missive in hand, waving it at a receding Larkin who refused to glance back. I boomed forcefully above the din of traffic and laughter:

“…asking them to welcome you back!”

By now Larkin was more than halfway across to Noe Street, and I had barely progressed another yard. But my lungs are strong, my words carry far, and surely he heard:

“I hope it works!”

I stood watching as he reached the corner where Noe, 16th and Market intersect on the northwest point, expecting him to vanish in another moment. Suddenly he paused, turned around to look directly back to where I was standing by the bus shelter, still waving. I smiled with unbridled joy while he stared back, either poker faced or peeved…it was too far to tell. Though his button eyes ran a straight target to my own. Just as suddenly, after maybe three seconds of unabashed glaring, he turned away and took several steps before (guess what?)…

He did an about face and ogled me again! (Is “ogle” the right word here? I sure hope so!) Though he still was not too distant to hear me speak if I belted out my words like a platoon sergeant, I simply waved once more, and smiled. Finally, he turned away and disappered around the corner, and I rushed home to write it all down. That’s when I bumped into my neighbor Michael, on the carpeted stairway.

{{ FYI, My Drupaceous Reader, I write down every encounter with Larkin, as a matter of record. For his spirit is momentous, as is our association…at least in my universe. Everything’s an adventure of the highest order with My Brassy Brachiosaurus, and I just can’t keep my quill resting in the well, thanks to his inspiration. Imagine having someone in your life who always makes you feel like the luckiest sentient being in all possible universes. I rest my case. }}

“Michael! Michael! I just saw Larkin!”

Standing midstairs, Michael turned back towards me and grinned, waiting for me to share new information that he could take to Starship Central next time they beam him up (which is in a day or two, so, really really really soon). So I emit data…that is: I blabber on.

“Larkin did this and I did that, then I did this and Larkin didn’t do that, then he did both this and that simultaneously, so I was stuck holding the Old Maid card as usual, because I, in non-response, did neither this nor that…I did other! What choice did I have?”

Though I took all of several minutes just to tell Michael what it took me only those two sentences above to write down, and he had to go to work. Even though I had him in stitches. Well, at least I kick-started his night with a burst of sunshine and positivity…in my own, weird, gay-gothic cyberpunk sci-fi way.

I finally ascended hovel (that’s what I lovingly call my SRO, the SRO I’ve been living in since January first, 1983: “hovel” instead of “home”), and the first thing I do is check the time. Nine fourteen. I then seat myself before my Lenovo 100-S notebook, which found a new home barely two months back, perched upon my octagonal cabinet. Which is maybe 25, 26, 27 inches high, with just enough room atop to include a mouse and a dinner plate or bowl. As I began to type out a report of the preceding ten minutes (that is: “my latest Larkin encounter”), the visage of Larkin’s two rosy cheeks floated into my thoughts.

“He’s never had rag-doll cheeks before,” I mused. “It is so not Larkin!”

An icy shudder gripped my spine, then ran up and down in sickening waves, as realization struck me like a horse!

“That may not have been Larkin!”

What with being stoned out of my cranium on some quality strain I just purchased from mask-vendor Billy two mornings ago, and how this encounter was more like a blur, it went so fast. Did I really mistake another dude of the same, general morphology and facial cues, for Larkin? Was it actually wishful thinking so potent, I stepped into a parallel world of my own making, for a scant 48 seconds?

And if it wasn’t him, what the fuk was he thinking, glaring back at me–not once, but twice–glaring back at me from across a pedestrian-packed crosswalk?

Those damned apple cheeks! I get it: he’s throwing me off the track by putting some makeup on his face, like a drag queen. Rouge! Setting me up to begin doubting that was him, as memory of the episode sinks deeper into my twin hemispheres. After further pondering, I began to feel relieved as I reminded myself that Larkin glancing back at me–not once, but twice mind you–was his signal to reassure me that, yes, this is, indeed, My Larkin. For he has done this before, in previous adventures. He wouldn’t have stopped and gazed back at me two times (the second, to drive the message home), unless he already surmised that doubts would come to surface.

My relief was, alas, short lived. For a new doubt arose in my psyche, in the image of an irate stranger looking back at me, wondering if he should return to smack me around. An angel must’ve been watching over me (if my conjecture that he’s not Larkin, is true), for he thought strongly of assaulting me, twice, before something turned him away.

Or perhaps it’s all Larkin, for his shamanic sorcery is stupendously powerful, and infinitely clever. Surely more than up to the challenge of shifting his appearance in subtle ways, and controlling his behavior in a certain manner, as to make me think of the “stranger” theory in the first place! I’d know his voice anywhere, which makes it crystal clear as to why he didn’t utter so much as a syllable. Yet a stranger probably would…so this is a second clue that this rogue is, indeed, Mr. Kelsey. Then again, on the other hand…?

Thus, I’m stuck in some sort of temporal purgatory, still wondering if that really was He Who Lights My Path With Rays of Emerald, or not.


ADDENDUM

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 00:16:47
Subject:
A Peek Preview: RAYS OF EMERALD!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

I started to type an email to you, but then decided to make it into a
story first. So, know this is to you, though it’s already a completed
tale. So you get to read it first! (It’s brief, just 3-1/3
pages…but I’m so PROUD of it, you’ll see why.) It’s in a temporary
folder for now. I still need to find some cute images for it, before
uploading it to my blog account.

http://gay-bible.org/temp/RAYS-OF-EMERALD.htm

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 22:47:01
Subject:
Re: A Peek Preview: RAYS OF EMERALD!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Quite a story! }}

Thank you…lotsa fun comin’ up with unique metaphors. A bit of Lewis Carrol in there, and Lovecraft, and Jurassic Park: I’m sure you got ’em all. I had planned to lay out the whole dialogue I had with Michael while on the stairs: many interesting ideas were expressed. But the story came together without that, I knew it was perfect at a certain point…and I just had to let go.

{{ So, in retrospect, what do you think? Was it Larkin, or a doppelganger? Or both? }}

Oh, I’m sure it was Larkin. Just like him to suddenly appear so I could tell him about that email, if I couldn’t actually hand him the printout. He had kept me waiting o’erlong (almost two weeks). But when he really busts his gonads to evoke an extra-extra-special encounter, he then allows more than the usual time to pass, before we meet once more. That is so I can spend sufficient days to savor the delicious scenario, like sampling a fine chocolate truffle that you swirl about on your tongue in such a way as to delay its mournful dissolution.

And so like him to put that mysterious twist into the encounter, making me seriously ponder if it was someone else…whom I weirded out as a consequence. And that is why he did not speak…his voice would’ve blown his cover right off the lid. I’m wondering if some, or much, of the crowd that night were hired actors who followed Larkin’s script to create this latest mini-adventure. I suspect so, seeing as there’s way too much synchronicity /not/ to be contrived by human intent. Ergo I also wonder about all our previous magical encounters…were there actors helping shape the scenario?

Larkin /playing/ his doppelganger. Clever.

Speaking of the idea that Larkin may work with actors to create some of these adventures:

Back in the days of the ol’ Hole in the Wall Saloon, Larkin had his own following, “groupies.” They’d either show up with him leading the pack, or show up on their own and wait for him to make his appearance a short while later. Well, one afternoon I experienced a multi-doppelganger right out of one of the most popular episodes in that old sitcom, “Cheers.”

This is the one where the episode opens with lookalikes of all the regular actors…who looked kinda like them, but you could tell they were fakes. Norm was replaced by another, as were all the main stars. It was very funny. Instead of “Hi, Norm” when his doppelganger stepped in, they said, “Hi, Fred” (or whatever name they used; I forgot).

Well the same thing happened to me at The Hole! In steps this tall, handsome lanky dude the same height as Larkin, and looking like his brother! All the groupies were also doppelgangers of Larkin’s own followers. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Even the bartender, Gary, was replaced by a replica.

This lasted about 45 minutes, then they all swarmed on outta there. I had no one to share this bizarre event with, to ask about. Nor did anyone approach me that same day or any day after, to reveal the hilarious scheme.

Now, Eleanor, how could something like that just happen outta the blue? Of course it didn’t, it was scripted and rehearsed by those hired to perform. Which also suggests that the LGBT community (or a significant portion thereof) regards me highly…or they wouldn’t go through such an amazing dupe.

– Zeke

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Hug of the Century

June 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Don’t be mad, be glad!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where are you?”

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

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

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

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

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

“You need to get out of my life!”

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

“Good to see you again, Larkin.”

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

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

“I hate cell phones,” I interjected.

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re a good man, Larkin.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes you did!”

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

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

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

“You got me kicked out of Twin Peaks!”

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

“I’m…sorry?”

He then vigorously waved his Samsung in my direction:

“DON’T say you’re sorry!”

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

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

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

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

“Well, you ruined my life, too!”

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

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

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

As he pulled away, he emphasized once more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you stupid?”

I said nothing.

“Are you stupid?”

I still kept mum.

“ARE you stupid?”

“No,” I finally ejaculated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping my lips sealed, I nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hug me, please?”

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Captain Galaxy!”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

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

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Five seconds later, I did it again:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

And, once more, he responded:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

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

Some reflections on last night’s adventure:

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

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

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

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

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

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


AFTERGLOW

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

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

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

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

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

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



Another Larkin Update

November 17, 2016

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2016 23:00:47
Subject:
Another Larkin Update
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Andromedan Cohort

I now know that Larkin hangs out at the booze den down the street, same side as my building, every Tuesday evening from around 6 PM to 9:20 or so. As luck would have it, that dive, too, has a large picture window facing the street. Just like Twin Peaks Tavern across the way. So it is now my habit to walk by there once I arrive hovel, walk slowly enough by the plate glass, to be sure he sees me…maybe even throw him a glance. Or a kiss, just to add a little spice to the grade B scenario.

So around 6:30 I approach “Beaux” (I know, stupid name for a bar); side door is open and I hear his stentorian, playful voice. But alas, his back is to the window and my mission fails. Returning on the same side of the street around ten minutes later, I do not see him anywhere; perhaps he is in the restroom. I light up a cig and hang out front several minutes, but no Larkin. Funny, though:

As I near the gate of 2306, lo and behold there’s his housemate Zachary, sitting at a taqueria table out front, perusing a magazine. He looks up as I pass within two feet: I look back and throw him a “your pathetic” chuckle. Other than a brief grimace, he does nothing. Now in front of my domicile, I lean against the bus stop shelter fifteen feet catty-corner. I watch to see if maybe Larkin will show up, but after three minutes or so, decide to enter Hotel California North, and watch some Youtube videos I downloaded this afternoon.

So time passes gazing at the LCD monitor and the various scenes that capture my attention. But not so much that I don’t wrestle with stepping out once more, to fulfill my Tuesday mission.

“No don’t bother,” my lazy self commands. “He’ll be ambling up the sidewalk soon enough, and you can either step out to greet him as he wanders by, or call out to him from your window.”

“True enough,” I ponder, “especially since His Goofiness always makes a point of acting boisterous as he crosses beneath my window. No doubt in hopes I’ll holler out, and I receive in return, the expected ‘fuk off’ remark that is, by now, his trademark greeting.”

But after watching episode six of “The Young Pope,” (very good BTW, though I don’t think Jude Law is so handsome as to play captivatingly gorgeous men, though he often does), my pixie side gets the better of me. So I don my sneakers once more, and my hoodie, and with a little tingle in my gut, step outside and walk towards Castro Street.

Nope, he’s not there at all. So I shrug my shoulders and continue my stroll until I reach the corner. Then something tells me to stop, turn around, and march back…I might get lucky this time. But I must admit: that was more my lazy half speaking, than it was the pixie.

As I near the bar once more, I see a tall, skinny man leaning against the lamppost, dressed in baggy shirt and pants, and sporting a crewcut. His back is turned to me, hunched over and diddling with a cell phone. There’s a large van parked beside him, offering to test anyone for HIV, bright light emitting from its windows and open door.

“Is that Larkin?” I wonder, though I can’t be sure.

I approach and pass, then look back. Yep, that’s the devil, alright! He is angled in such a way as to not notice me…or, I should say, to “pretend” to not notice me. Since we both know by now, he’s quite the game player and loves to trip me up. I call to him:

“Hello, Larkin!”

He looks up with a ready smile, but then when he realizes it’s his better half, scowls a bit.

“Go away, don’t bother me!” he gestures with a wave of that gangly arm.

My ambulation is slowed almost to a halt, though I continue to drift away as I speak once more:

“Well have a nice night anyway,”

He keeps gesturing those “get outta here” swipes as he replies:

“Yes, you too, have a beautiful night, just don’t bother me…aargh!”

“Thank you,” are my final words as I turn forward and leave his aura. Though I decide to pause further up the block, to have a smoke and watch him for a bit. As I do that, I think:

“I bet he was standing there all along, just out of my sight, watching me pause by the bar’s door and peek in. And I bet it was he who summoned me back, that I have the satisfaction of a mission accomplished. Once again, he tricks me into thinking I missed my chance, but at the last moment…voila!”

And he wasn’t particularly harsh, just like the last time our paths crossed (at the Castro Metro stairs), and since I had that dream of reconciliation with him and Zachary. In fact, he was gentle this time, though abrupt. But I’m concerned about Zachary, for when I saw him tonight, he looked haggard: hollow, dark bags under his eyes and way too skinny. Very elongated, drooping face, too. Like he has AIDS or something else equally serious. Cancer? Emphysema? Meth or alcohol abuse? I decided that, if I ever get the chance to speak to him, I’ll ask him if he’s alright, break through the wall of hostility Larkin created.

For my continuous reaching out to Larkin is because of all the truly /kind/ things he’s done for me, especially when he spoke these words to me in May of 2014:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is a Godsend!”

And he spoke those words while crouched down to my level, face close to mine and one hand on my shoulder. Words full of passion and love. So he’s been fluctuating between icy hatred and sweet compassion towards me, these past four years. Forcing me to choose between the /mean/ Larkin and the /kind/ Larkin. Of course, I settled on the latter after pondering the situation for a long, long time. And I think he’s doing this intentionally, as a sort of test, or initiation, or a kind of Kung-Fu spiritual trial.

Okay, I’m gonna pause here ’cause I just noticed it’s 9:26 and I wanna step out to see if Larkin comes by. I don’t think he did yet, as he bellows and does a high karate kick on the metal sign sticking out of the curb. Which is in front of the taqueria. I’ll be back in a few…

[pause]

Okay, I’m back. You won’t believe this, here’s what happened:

Outside by the bus stop, having my smoke while gazing off towards where Larkin may be approaching, when someone startles me with a tap on my shoulder.

“Oh, sorry!”

I notice he’s a handsome, red bearded man in a funky, thick knitted light brown sweater that flows to the upper thighs. His pants look like pajama pants, with some sort of flags or rectangles in blue and yellow, on a black background and scattered about.

“No, you didn’t scare me,” I smile into those cool, gray irises. “I was lost in thought.”

He wants a light, so I hand him my Bic. He say thanks, hands it back. and saunters away. I call to him:

“That’s a wicked sweater ya got!”

He turns and says, “Thanks!” Then: “Check this out!”

I watch as he pulls up the sweater to reveal a yummy, tight torso girded in a pair of hip hugging, black boxer briefs. Sparse, light orange hairs, sweetly arranged.

“Is this what he wants to show me?” I question to myself. “Where’s this going?”

Then he yanks down a dark shirt hidden beneath that sweater, to reveal that it matches those silly pants.

“Oh, you’re wearing PJs!” I exclaim.

He smiles back, says “yeah,” then turns away to continue his march up Market Street.

No Larkin though, so I return upstairs to enjoy my dinner of thick, lentil-potato-onion-tomato soup garnished with kimchee, tamari sauce and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled in. Well, no sooner had I consumed the sixth spoonful, than I hear a “whack” on that metal sign outside. Peering out the window, I see guess who?

Larkin.

Apparently, he had ordered a bite from the taqueria, as seems to be his wont these days, after exiting *cough* “Beaux” for the night…and is prancing some kind of terpsichore on the sidewalk, with complicated steps, waving of the arms, and a broad whirligig here and there. The arms of a large, fluffy off-white jacket are tied about his waist, giving the impression of a matador. He greets anyone who passes by and receptive to his handshakes, hugs and friendly greetings.

After he dances several more vigorous minutes, I call out to him:

“I’ve seen better dancing!” He doesn’t seem to hear me, so I repeat the line. He then looks up, hollers back:

“Leave me alone, stop bothering me!”

Then he loudly mutters other words which I can’t really hear, as he positions himself behind a lamppost so I can’t see his face. I retort:

“Yet you still speak to me!”

His public antics continue as he awaits his meal, chatting to other patrons. But then I hear his conversation with someone who is apparently an employee, laughing at Larkin’s humorous quips. As I listen, I realize he’s looking for a job there, questioning the employee about who to talk to, when to show up, stuff like that. Well, Eleanor, this is /most/ intriguing, for if he /does/ start working there, he’s even /closer/ to my residence than *hack* “Beaux” his newest watering hole!

I call out to him a coupla more times, something humorous. At one point he directs a finger at me, from the end of a lanky arm, and shouts:

“Stop stalking me!”

I just laugh back: “Ha! Whatever you say.”

Well, Larkin steps into the taqueria for maybe ten minutes, before stepping back out and walking towards, and beyond, my window. I call out:

“Thanks for the show, I really appreciate it. That was very nice.”

He says not a word, but continues down the sidewalk. So I bellow:

“I hope you get the job! God bless you, Larkin, God bless you!’

So here we have a new story, El, one that Larkin had already planned for me to write about, once the scenario ensued and played out. As My Dragon Guardian has been doing since…oh, I don’t know…since we first met, I suppose.

He /knew/ I wanted to see him tonight, so what does he do? He puts on a show!

And it makes perfect sense, his showing up more frequently in my world again…as the gay holocaust is close upon us, and my destiny about to be fulfilled as a global LGBT leader, with Larkin my guardian, advisor, teacher and BFF. Just like I’ve figured all along, and even described in my novel, published in July of 2013.

Guess I’m soon to be “freed from this bond.” Like releasing the bronco from its pen, kicking and snorting for victory.

– Zeke


Zeke’s War Correspondence, Issue #1

November 12, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporting from the front lines here in the Castro,

Zeke Krahlin, Jehovah’s Queer Witness


The Calls from County Jail

October 23, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


UPDATE 10/23/2016:

[–]keokutah – 2 points 15 hours ago:

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

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

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

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


UPDATE 10/24/2016:

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

Donnie, where are you!


Flower Child

July 19, 2016

Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:47:07
Subject:
Flower Child
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My E-frenz

A brief conversation from the Nextdoor online forum, for residents of San Francisco, and which I recently joined. Names have been changed to protect the wonderful:

====

Random Act of Kindness [ 23h ago ]
Beverly Carver from Church and Market

Thank you to the sweet girl walking down Landers St who stopped me and my friends to hand us each a lovely flower. She said, “I want nothing in return, I’d just like to give you each a flower.” Now that’s San Francisco!

Zeke Krahlin from Duboce Triangle [ 3h ago ]

Meanwhile, the low income, the poor and people of color have been driven out in droves, and the homeless population surges. No flower for them! Yes, here comes another summer of love…go to the boutique on Haight Street and get your flower child costume before they run out!

Winnie Wentworth from Church and Market [ 2h ago ]

Zeke, somebody did something nice, and it was appreciated. Why do you have to be so snarky about it?

Beverly Carver from Church and Market [ 1h ago ]

Hi Winnie- hey the post made it for nearly 24 hours before the bitterness bubbled up. That has to be a record for NextDoor. BTW Winnie, your street garden on 15th always makes me smile.

Marlina Ravinsky from Church and Market [ 1h ago ]

Sorry Zeke. Hope you find something to make you smile.

Zeke Krahlin from Duboce Triangle [ 11m ago ]

Winnie: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…and then came the yuppies, the dot-com boom, and the IT zombies.

Beverly: I know, right?

Marlina: Didn’t say I wasn’t happy. IOW, this is /my/ San Francisco perceived with honest eyes. Random acts of kindness happen everywhere, it is not what makes this city unique. But I see I stumbled into a women’s support group, so I’ll hightail it outta here. Buy union.

=====

– Zeke


Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 23:02:17
Subject:
Re: Flower Child
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Ooh! You snake at the garden party, you!!! Hilarious. Nicely done. }}

San Francisco is my bitch.


Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:56:27
Subject:
Oops! (Flower Child followup)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My E-frenz

Winnie Wentworth from Church and Market [ 5m ago ]

…and we’re done. I’ll delete the post.

Zeke Krahlin from Duboce Triangle [ 1m ago ]

I’ve never been an old curmudgeon before, so I thought I’d try something new.


Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 21:08:46
Subject:
Oops! (Flower Child followup addendum)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My E-frenz

Winnie Wentworth from Church and Market [ 9m ago ]

It’s ok. I didn’t want this post to start controversy. Really, I was hoping that the girl who was handing out the flowers was a member of next door and would see that what she did was appreciated. But I totally understand your frustration with the evolution of the population in the city. There are so many reasons to be pissed off at the way things are in SF. NextDoor is a good place to vent the frustration. I’ve done it too and will continue to. No hard feelings.

Zeke Krahlin from Duboce Park [ 2m ago ]

Wow, what an amazing reply! You just made my day, Winnie. My comments were my own SF eccentric brand of humor. Even in my frustrations and despair, I always put a wry spin to it. Thanks for the explanation, anything for a little girl. I gladly sacrifice my outstanding wit and stellar charm for such a good cause. Delete this message too, if appropriate. And always buy union.


Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 23:06:56
Subject:
Re: Oops! (Flower Child followup addendum)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 10:59 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ “Buy union.” By gum, I will! }}

“I used to buy gum, but it kept sticking to my ribs.” – Gay Zombie Jesus


Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 23:58:04
Subject:
Re: Oops! (Flower Child followup addendum)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 11:50 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ “Just so it doesn’t stick to your shoe.” –Buddha Pest }}

“Then what’s shoeing gum for?” – Gepetto


Red Light / Green Light

January 5, 2016

!!! WARNING. ADULT MATERIAL !!!

If you are underage, or in any way forbidden by your government or religious laws from viewing X-rated subject matter, please do not go there. If, however, you are not restricted by any laws in your geographical location, by all means click on the image above, to read my salty tale.


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