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Permission granted by author for anyone to distribute this
writing free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition that no profit is made therefrom,
and that it remain intact and complete, including title and 
credit to the original author.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin

(A True Tale From The Castro. Eat your heart out, Armistead!)

© 2005 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

I walk up Castro Street these days for just one of three

1. To return or rent a DVD. (That's between Market and fact, Superstar Satellite Video is where Valley
Pride once stood! I'm SO glad that rotten meat stink is gone,
along with the screwed-up jerkwad who hanged out there all
day. Now, no more smell, no more lunatic, and it's a clean,
friendly place with a great multicultural mix of (underpaid 
with no health insurance) queer sales guys. Another wish of 
mine come true; yay!)

2. To purchase whole wheat flour and/or a quart box of "Soy
Slender Cappucino Soy Milk". (That's between 18th and
19th...the health food store on the corner, with the gorilla
mural. They are STILL so expensive, I only shop for those two

3. Nostalgia. To remember friends long own private
Ghost World. 

So earlier today, I walked up Castro Street for reasons 1 and
2. On the way to 2, I notice a familiar button in a display of
buttons at "Brand X Antiques" store. 

It was a collection of memorabilia buttons from gay (and other) events...and lo and of those buttons is mine!
It is my Gay Islam button that says "Allah is good, Allah is gay". (The one just left of center, w/sky blue background.) So it can't be more than a few years old...but perhaps more recent. How funny. I'll take a pic of it tomorrow. Maybe I'll pretend I don't know about that button, and ask the owner if he knows its history. I wonder if he'll make up some grandiose tale in an attempt to make a sale. What price does he want for it? Does it still have my pink thumbprint and gay-bible URL on the back? After all my fantasizing that some day my Faggot Bible would appear as if by magic, in bookstores across the world...and I'd be walking up Castro to see them in all the shop windows! Well, that single little button is like a bit of a SQUIRT of that fantasy, eh? I think it's incredible: this "persistance of moi"! Like bread crumbs left by my Guardian Angel, for me to follow. I'm a pioneer of a New Reality. Thus I'm carving it out, and it takes shape. I walk sometimes to the donut shop on Mission and 9th, across from Potter Hotel.
Why do I go there now, my newest hangout? Two reasons: 1. It's a street corner that is likely to bring in the intelligent rogue types I like so the crossroads of various nomadic wanderers, mostly skanks and cranks, but sometimes that rare gem, that diamond in the rough whom I seek but know not when the next one is due. More likely, a friend from the past, such as The Witt. Or even, a whole new network of a bunch of neat guys...ones that will REMAIN friends and live close by if not under the same (van) roof. 2. I fantasize that you've returned to SF and also the Potter. So I'm waiting for you to step out after work, to meet me here for coffee and shoot the bull. We joke and exchange many stories from our recent past, since you left 2306. Later, we stroll along South of Market and into South Beach.
So I have a medium coffee and two french donuts (one w/maple frosting, the other vanilla or chocolate; I love the eggy flavor and its crinkly crust w/cool, spongy interior). And I either pretend you're showing up, or Witt, or some cute guy I've never seen before, but am so glad to now meet! I leave the donut shop and continue my stroll down Folsom, then up Fourth, where I enter the Sony Metreon, walk through that, then into Yerba Buena Park. At the top of this park are long, connected benches and a panorama view of the surrounding high rises, and of course the starry sky. (Since night comes much sooner these days, it's often dark for some, or all, of my city hikes.) Sometimes I stay in the Metreon, to enjoy a Starbucks vente non-fat hot chocolate w/whipped cream, while reading the S.F. Chronicle at one of those tables by the escalators.
Why the Metreon? Why did I choose that as one of my new hangouts, besides just to get out of the Castro? Well, I started visiting the Metreon two years ago, then stopped for some months, then resumed. Originally, I went there with the 2600 hackers group. That was about four years ago. They turned out to be dysfunctional libertarian I live out my dream of being a hacker, and hanging out w/other hackers at the Metreon, and another area: the Embarcadero. That was (still is) where 2600 folks meet the first Friday of each month...and used to go to the Metreon for a while, later in the evening. So I go there myself, with an entourage of all my imaginary hacker friends. I also take on other fantasies in other areas of the city. Am I nuts? Am I caught in the past, in my own Ghost World? I don't think so, my friend. I believe I'm a reality hacker...a pioneer of the mind. And I am carving out a new reality by living my fantasies in some meditative ways. Eventually, they will manifest. My button in that antique store window is but an angel's kiss, a promise of my Faggot Bible vision.
P.S.: To a certain neighbor who recently accused me of being lost in my own fantasy world: I am NOT lost in my fantasies...I know my way around quite well, thank you! --finis