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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!)

© 1997 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

     The following letter I sent to my "new" building manager,
Dork Upchuck, who took over the premises about two years ago.
(That's not his real name, but it should be.)  I had posted
several small signs, announcing a community meeting for
concerned neighbors regarding local installation of microwave
antennae. Mr. Upchuck saw this as an excuse to bully me,
claiming the glue I used (to stick on my notices) is harmful,
and that he'll evict me if I don't remove my four signs
immediately.  (He pounded on my door, which frightened the
bejeebers out of me...and when I opened it, he yelled threats,
then stormed off.) In fact, the glue is easily removed with a
damp sponge, and better than tape...and my half-page size
notes were posted in the usual places all residents tack
announcements.  Since Dork's insane outburst, I no longer
trust him or assistants with my rent check...instead I now
mail my rent directly to the property owner. I waited three
months for an apology, but it never came...hence, this letter
of outrage.  Enjoy!


                                   July 21, 1996

To Dork Upchuck:

     Dork, I hope by now you realize it is not wise to take
out your neuroses on me, with threats such as evicting me.
There was never any real apology from you, other than a quick
brush off at the elevator as you rapidly walked away from me.
I advise you to never again pull such a stunt...including
loudly banging on my door.  If anything like this ever happens
again, you'll see just how fast you'll be shunted back to Los
Angeles...and wind up working as a janitor for minimum wage in
East L.A.

     I gave you ample time to figure things out and conclude
that you should give a decent apology to me.  You have not,
even though Terence interceded on my behalf, and pointed out
the error of your way.  At this point, the only real apology
I'd accept from you, is two months' free rent (or monetary
equivalent).  After all, since in your world, money
talks...then that would seem to be the only equitable
solution, and clearing of your karma.

     As far as your slur about my not respecting
property...good heavens man, you have it all bass ackwards!
It is the property owner who is guilty of neglect and abuse
upon this building and its inhabitants.  If San Francisco
really enforced its building and health codes, this property
would be shut down immediately, and the owner would be hustled
off to the Gulag posthaste.  (This may even come to pass!)

     I also want you to know that I don't appreciate your
assistant Floyd's rude behavior he showed me, when I came to
pay my rent.  As you know, I require a receipt when I hand
over the money order.  This is because--should the money order
get lost in the shuffle (blow out the window or otherwise)--I
will be the one to get shafted, not you.  While money orders
are traceable, their presence cannot be known should they get
lost prior to depositing them.  I attempted to pay my rent on
the third of July...but since no one was in the office (though
it was open), I did not leave my payment.  I noticed payments
from other renters sitting on the desk; a vulnerable
situation, as opposed to placing them in a locked file cabinet
or safe.  Numerous times from the third to the fifth, I tried
to pay my rent.  But either no one was in the office, or the
office was closed.  I even left a message on the answering
machine to the effect that I am trying to pay my rent; and
when will someone be there to sign a receipt?  No one ever
called back.

     On Friday, the fifth, someone was there, but he said he's
not authorized to give me a receipt.  So I walked out, then
later bumped into Floyd at Walgreen's.  I told him my
situation, and he said not to worry...just bring it in Monday.
Well, Monday was a different story, as Floyd lectured and
belittled me about getting my rent here on time!  He made
crude statements such as:  "Tenants are lucky to even get a
receipt within a week."  (I should have responded, "Those damn
peons!", but I wasn't quick enough.)  I explained to him that
my rent was on time, and waiting for him in my room...and that
he has a duty to make rent payment reasonably easy for all
residents.  He knows where I live, and could easily have come
to my door, in the event no one was in the office whenever I
tried to pay rent.

     In a nutshell:  I hold great disfavor to a person who is
all sweet and smiley one day, then turns on you the next.  I
choose to keep such inconsistent, and unloyal, people out of
my life. Unfortunately, I am subject to dealing with Floyd
because he holds the rent log.  Please set him "straight"
about what professional behavior should be; and how to apply
it to all clients.

     I have lived here since January 1, 1983; and have always
paid my rent.  In addition, I have fought the worst of the
drug addicts and other violent creeps, who occupied this
building for about eight years.  I even went to court on
behalf of this building--in the presence of the property
owners--in order to evict a resident from hell.  I have also
been attacked with a large butcher's knife by a former
resident...whom I attempted to keep in jail, but could not.  I
have a long history of positive input into this
residence...and you, new kid on the block, should not get so
uppity when it comes to my rights as a better human being than
you could ever hope to be.

     Also--while you may not be aware of this--I have
contributed greatly to our lesbian/gay community; even on a
global level.  Among my good achievements, is my support of
the Marines in Somalia, in loving memory of Randolph Louis
Taylor...a military hero, a gay rights hero, and my lover.
Though I am not sucking up to the media in every direction, I
am well known in this city; and have been for over 15 years. I
am not only a major leader in the civil rights movement for
gay folk...but I am one of San Francisco's best kept secrets.
Newcomers like you should step lightly when settling in.

     To tune you in to some of my latest activities, I enclose
three of my latest "poems"...two of which were originally
written as letters to the editor...and actually mailed to the
places indicated therein. (You see, as an artist, I consider
reality itself to be the ultimate I regard my
letters to newspapers as brush strokes.)  As a result, some
unusual activity may ensue at this address...such as
(possibly) a queer militia takeover, interrogation or arrest
by the FBI, mass media focus on my activities, and the return
of my fine lover...or nothing much at all.  It depends how my
brush strokes blend in with the scenery...and how the audience
chooses to respond. Randolph...whom I just discovered (quite
happily so) did not die, but was detained from getting in
touch with me over an issue of betrayal by certain nihilistic
elements of the queer community.


                                   Ezekiel J. Krahlin

enclosures:  three poems
             name change declaration


P.S.:  Please notice I never use the medieval terms "landlord"
and "tenant", as they smack of serfdom and slavery.  I always
use descriptors like "property owner" and "resident" (or
"renter")...which are much more appropriate in this 20th
century, in this democracy.  To do otherwise, is to regard
other people as less worthy to live than oneself.

The building in question...
click on image for a treat. ---finis ADDENDUM: There is justice in this world (sometimes)! One year and six months after composing my complaint, the following article appeared in the local gay press, regarding Dork Upchuck's harassment towards another individual. Click on the link below, read on, and smile: Upchuck's Upbraiding...204kb scanned article.