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

(a true tale from the castro; eat your heart out armistead)

© 2015 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

May 8th

Dear Dastardly Dragon:

I mailed you my belated Easter gift weeks ago, and only today did I find it returned to my mailbox. Sent back because I did not include "P.O. box" before the number! So due to this unexpected return, I really have no choice but to post to you via the conventional method, in spite of all other parcels and mail getting to you per your eccentric request. Below is a photo of the returned package.

I was planning to not mail you anything more, ever, considering all the crude BS you've dumped on my shoulders recently. But it's such a nice gift and I want you to have it, 'cause I know you'll really love it...I had to break my new rule. Curse you, Larkin Kelsey!

You are such a headache...and sometimes, an expense! You are a high maintenance boyfriend, that's for sure.

I saw you yesterday, just as I disembarked from the N Judah at Duboce Park, around a quarter to six. You were on the opposite side of the street with the cell phone pressed against your ear. Two hours later I finally broke down and cried.

[ Klebsiellian Reader: if you'd like to know the content of my sorely-belated Easter present to Larkin, please click here. I planned to insert a printout of the above letter into a new bubble-wrap envelope, along with my uber-belated gifts. (I say "gifts," not "gift," since it really contained not just that Scooby-Doo/Snoopy pillowcase, but a little book of comics called "The Wages of Sin II: Portrait of Hell," a 3-page printout of Scooby-Doo trivia that I got off the web, and two of my most recent blog of which was the above "click here" link and another called "Ray Revisited." Which latter piece is a torrid tale of same-sex lust that I'm sure Larkin would truly enjoy. Or freak out over. Whatever.)

BTW, you need to know that three months after Larkin brutally shoved me in January 2013, he gave me a non-residential address by which I may communicate.

(Seeing as he otherwise made it impossible for me to speak with him whenever our paths do cross, and got me kicked out of all the bars in The Castro by calling me his stalker. Plus, he moved into my neighborhood just four-five years ago, and but a block away at that...yet I can never visit him or dial him up 'cause he refuses to give me his phone number.)

Like so:


(The "xxxx" string of course substitutes for the actual last four digits that I care not to publicly reveal.)

No street address, just what was obviously the full 9-digit zip code. So for many months I sent him letters and gifts via the following address:

Larkin Kelsey

Which worked for many moons until one day a postal clerk insisted that I need to include the street address too, or he won't send it. Which street he revealed to me, was "101 Hyde." And that it is actually a post office branch located in the Tenderloin. So I did just that, and the mail continued to go through. Until this Latest Passenger flew back into its cage.

Imagine how I felt: this lovely gift so important to me that he receive it, back in my hands weeks later, and unopen! Is he now refusing any more mail from yours truly? (I thought to nobody in particular except perhaps a reptilian guardian or two.) Did he give up this P.O. box? My heart sunk as I lay it tenderly upon Desk #1, and drew a deep sigh:

"Why do so many kind acts of mine to Larkin backfire? All these years reaching out to him, only to result in this quasi-Greek tragedy?" Then it struck me: "Hold on buckaroo, I sent him several postcards since then, and they've never been returned!" With a spark of hope rekindled, I procured the packet again, unto my trembling palms, and peered closer. And there it was, a wiry scrawl at the bottom of the front side and obviously writ by a postal worker:

"Please remove the street
address and add 'P.O. Box'
before the number."

"What's really going on here?" I thought later the next day. Then an energy-smart light bulb illuminated This Haunted Cranium: "Of course! Larkin's challenges involve many other people who are part of this secret cabal, some of whom must be USPS droids! They're taking me for a ride..or to put things more bluntly: fukkin with my head." ]

So with a sigh in This Little Sparrow's Yearning Breast I decided to leave the original parcel home, and march to Walgreens empty handed. Yet the moment I touched the doorknob to exit, a disembodied voice prodded my cerebral cortex:

"No Zeke, bring the package! Just in case Larkin is there."

Well, I figured even if he were there, he'd be too hostile to accept My Latest Message Of Gratitude, but what the hey. For I also reminded myself that Larkin always accepts my gifts with honor, no matter how rocky the ride. At least, he has thus far.

[ Though I must point out, Proaccelerin Reader, that quite often he also sets me up to think he'll spurn my latest prize. This most recent fiasco being no exception. ]

I also carried the new letter which I sealed in an envelope entitled "Why this gift is so belated," intending to insert it in that second mailer. Taped to the reverse side of this envelope was the following image (captions are mine):

Then just before I opened the door, my cardboard sign stapled to a shoestring that read

"I am not Larkin's stalker.
I'm his boyfriend."

caught my eye. So I snatched it off the hook (where it rested upon My Shaman Jacket), flung it about my neck, and departed onto Market Street with the now-somewhat-wrinkled packet under my left arm.

Wouldn't you know it, but there was My Nerve Wracking Nephili standing about Jane Warner Plaza and puffing on his usual ciggie. Yet just before I spotted him, I bumped into Harold (my newest street friend) on that same side of Market and Castro. He's a tad too rednecky and hippie-dippie for my taste, though I must admit he's quite handsome and a fantastic roll in the hay.

[ Thick shocks of sandy-brown hair cut rather short, square jaw complementing a bold, snub-nosed visage. I tell you, Quinquennial Reader, Harold's body is quite buff at 5-foot-9, with a strong, wrestly back, sterling chest I could lick for days, chiseled waist, 8-inch fat, yummy wanger, hefty testicles and a solid butt that never quits. Those sturdy, full thighs and calves are but frosting on the kok! He also speaks Lakota. ]

As we approached, I stopped before him and declared: "I think I have us figured out."

He smiled and touched my arm. "No, Zeke, it's okay, I understand."

But I waved a hand as if shooing away a midge: "It is okay, but I do have us figured out, so I'd like to explain." He shrugged gently as a chill Pacific breeze swirled cellophane and paper wrappers about our feet, and traffic blasted by:

"You like to party hard; I don't. So if you're really snockered and high on meth--or both--don't come over."

"Yeah, I gotcha Zeke."

"Consider my room a place you can mellow out, and have a friendly time. Don't come here when you're lookin' or actin' wild. I'll still provide the hooch, but don't expect me to partake! And if there's any left in the morning, you can take it with you. I just think you drink and smoke speed too much, and need to slow down."

I knew I was right about that, 'cause I've seen him more than once looking like a dead coyote flattened on Route 66. So I was concerned about his overindulgence, that he might OD if he doesn't take control. But he's been lookin' his robust, healthy self of late. Thus my worries are, happily, for naught. (Perhaps I've become a positive influence in such a brief time, I can't believe!)

Harold placed his hands in those gritty Levi pockets, smiled and said: "Uh-huh."

Then I drew closer, draped an arm about his shoulder, and breathed into the left ear (which, by the way, was burning): "But I'll still blow your joystick and do all those other nice things I did to you that night. I had an amazing time, and finally got to realize what a sweet man you are."

Again he shrugged those powerful, smooth shoulders and blushed a bit: "Well you are too, Zeke!"

"So how are you this evening, how's your day been?" I pulled back while placing both hands astride his neck with soft caresses, gazing into those smokey eyes.

"Oh, pretty good," he sighed. "I made a new friend, really like the guy, but neither of us has a phone and we're supposed to hook up tonight."

"Well, Harold, I hope somehow you find him, that you have a great night together."

He thanked me with tenderness. I almost squirted semen when we embraced like beloved Twin Spirits, then departed on different paths. Now off to cross 17th Street and on to Larkin:

To my astonishment, no sooner had I turned away from Harold, than I saw Larkin standing on the corner right out front of TPT and puffing on a Camel 99! As if he expected me to show up, to accept my latest gift (as has always been the case, in spite of my dread). Yet his back was turned to me.

So I moseyed on up and called: "Truce, Larkin, please!"

He lowered the cigarette, turned to me and scowled: "Get the fuk away from me!" Then hustled five yards down the 17th Street sidewalk, again with his round little derriere in my frontal view. (Well, not so little except when compared to his colossal frame.) So I stepped forward without hesitation, to declare:

"This is a really nice gift I want you to have, but it got sent back."

My Cloven-Hoofed Chameleon swiftly spun 'round to address me while jabbing a half-burnt Camel in my direction: "You put the street address on that package, so of course it got returned!"

Now how did he know that?

"No!" I replied, but he drowned me out by his antagonistic clamor:

"You're a stupid man. A stupid, stupid man!"

With that, I raised my left hand as if to swear an oath, and declared: "Insult me all you want, my brother. Just know that I love you!"

Silence commanded the next few seconds as I gazed upon his glorious visage (ready to burst out in hilarity, I might note). Then I broke the revery with these words: "Okay, I'll just resend the package."

But the moment I turned tail to march on down to Walgreens, he ran up to me and vociferated: "No, here, I'll take it!"

Thus my latest--and beloved--gift flew from my hands unto his.

"Wait, Larkin, this letter now goes with it." And so he readily accepted that, too, placing it thoughtfully upon the bubble mailer.

"Now get outta here. Get the fuk away from me!" he commanded.

"No problem," I replied, for the last thing I desired was for him to return my latest love offering before he even opens it...or worse: that he toss it into the trash bin right beside the 24 Divisadero bus stop.

Yet he breathed down my back as I departed, spewing "Get outta here! Get outta here!"

But the stoplight had just turned red, and I had no choice but to stand there for another minute or so. He turned back to his spot by the newsstand while I simply admired what a piece of work is My Larkin. And then I realized:

My sign! Did Larkin see my sign?

I then grabbed the cardboard between thumb and forefinger, and began jiggling it to catch his attention. He immediately returned and thumped my chest with his fist, then swiped the sign from my neck, causing it to fall face down near the gutter. I almost pissed my Chinatown boxer briefs!

"Now pick that up and take it home!" he demanded.

I chuckled: "I'm not gonna pick it up!"

So Larkin bent down to collect it himself, slipping it between my gift bundle and letter. Then stepped away to commiserate with three handsome and young homeless dudes congregated at Jane Warner Plaza...and who obviously enjoyed witnessing this foolish banter between two grown men who should know better.

One of them (wearing a striped stocking cap, graced in glossy blond hair and a darling face) chided: "He really likes you, Larkin!"

I watched as My Devious Dimetrodon leaned forward towards the trespasser (about to grab his collar, or so it seemed) to dictate:

"Zeke doesn't like me, he loves me!"

A stern grimace covered Larkin's entire mug, and my heart melted with gratitude.

"And Larkin loves me!" I hollered in their direction, with a hand cupped about my mouth.

Then I heard him declare: "He's been [ .......... ...... ... ] for fifteen years! Fifteen years!" Accompanied with broad gestures of kind exasperation.

Sadly--due to the traffic din--I did not hear part of that sentence. Maybe it was "stalking me" (which I doubt) or "reaching out to me" or "chasing me," or something else akin to honoring my persistent regard. So I yelled back:

"Fifteen years? Where did you get that number? It's nine years, nine!"

The light then changed green, and I had to cross. But I turned back when halfway over, to bellow: "Thanks for the adventure! I love you, Larkin!"

To my delight, he did not oppose my declaration, including when I pronounced him to be my lover. Once stepping onto the opposite sidewalk I looked back a final time to see Larkin attempting to thrust my packet into anyone else's hand who'd accept. The potential recipients all raised their forearms in refusal as if to say:

"Uh-uh, pal, that's just for you, I'm not touchin' it!"

I then turned about, fearing he might reject my latest gift one way or another, if I continued to remain in view. So I ambled on down to Walgreens. But just before I stepped inside, I realized:

"Hey, that's not right. Larkin accepted my gift, so I don't need to buy a new mailer."

Thus I proceeded on hovel to sit beside Desk #2, where I drank in Goddess's Good Grace without any intrusion from radio, television, or Internet. I slept very well that night, better and more content than I have in many years.

ADDENDUM (message to Larkin):

There's nothing left in my appeals to your divine friendship, but to shower you with jokes. After Bernie, you deserve the utmost respect, joy and kindness. I am here for you always, Larkin. You have borne a terrible cross for so painfully long, and handled it with such great nobility and outgoing cheer, that I am hella proud of you! And what an outstanding blessing it is, to know that yours truly (and nobody else) can make you so joyful that all the many crosses you bear shall be flung into oblivion and never recalled...the moment we hug once more (2-1/2 years since our last embrace, and still counting. Previous to this, you made me suffer seven terrible years before our affections resumed)!

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