Here is my Thanksgiving Day gift to Larkin (which I will leave for him hidden under a newspaper at the taqueria where he works. He's busboy/dishwasher/food handler/customer-cheerer-upper there...except for me, but I'm a special case):
I got the colorful folder at Walgreens (where else). It has a "mood wheel" with six different faces (reminiscent of Snow White's seven dwarves minus one): Stoked, Happy, Confused, In Love, Mad and Wigging Out. (I have a name for missing Dwarf #7: "Out To Lunch".) The perfect gift from one manic-depressive to another.
The folder opens to reveal a book (in print-out form) I composed in his honor: "The Larkin Chronicles"...and a sparkle-turkey Thanksgiving Day card. The bright orange colors won me over: a reminder of my early days with Larkin. Back then (almost two years ago), his hair was dyed a stunning orange, looked soooo good on my Irish Guardian! Glitter really brightens a card for most occasions, don't you think? But in my case, provided an additional (and unexpected) bonus, for its rubbing scattered sparklies across the pages like fairy dust.
I never like to just "buy" a card, sign it and pack it off. Instead I prefer to embellish it with my personal touch. I address him here as "President Abraham Larkin"...not out of pure whimsy, mind you. But because for a while he had a code name, "Lincoln" so he could enter The Hole in the Wall Saloon (during weekend bartender Chris's shift) w/o the owners (who 86'd him) getting wind that "Larkin" was back. Since he is tall and skinny like Prez Lincoln--and his first name sounds so similar--it was funny. Now, Larkin has no idea I know about his "Lincoln" episode (since I was also 86'd and could only hear his goings-on via the Eagle Tavern grapevine). So my own variation on the Lincoln theme will, I hope, tickle his funny bone.
The radiant heart with a Z in the middle is my own graffiti signature. I use it often to communicate with my street buddies. It has become my unique trademark, since I started using it for a logo on my calling card:
As for the dancing silver-blue horse: that's a digital photo I glued into the card. It's from a painting on my room's transom: bleach-white yarn for the mane and tail, acrylics for the rest. It was my attempt to duplicate as best as possible, that gorgeous silver "Unicorn Without A Horn" I painted for Randolph way back in 1987. As lovely as it appears, it pales in comparison. (And I don't have any pictures of the original. *sigh*)
Finally: that's my "shaman jacket" depicted on the book's cover. Here's a close-up:
It's a camouflage jacket hanging from my front door (my only door; I live in an SRO). I painted the door fixtures in gold acrylic, BTW. The dragon was painted by a bodacious dude working out of a tiny shack by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. All honey-blond, hazel eyes, and muscles for days...he sure knew what to do with a spraygun, and where to put it! All over a plain white tank-top, that is. My gift to myself for my 33rd birthday; so that was July 1983. I was kinda worried that I might die at 33, like Jesus and Alexander the Great (among possibly other celebrated heroes). So I thought it wise--and even sensible--to treat myself to maybe my last birthday gift ever!
Months later the tank-top began to erode, but I loved the painting so much, I preserved it by cutting out the front (burnt the edges with a candle flame for effect), coated it w/clear acrylic, then attached it to a gold-leaf cloth canvas safety-pinned to my jacket. The piece-de-resistance of course are those bright red stick-on letters purchased from Cliff's Hardware. Intentionally ambiguous. The jacket's now 15 years old.
I wear my shaman coat but rarely (that's what gives it power); usually when I make my occassional appearances in the Castro, vociferating insane prose from The Faggot Bible (another creation of mine). I'll also wear it if you're a darling dude, in exchange for hootchie-cootchie. Or if you're Larkin and agree to spend 20 friendly minutes with me over coffee, once a week (no strings attached). Goes w/o saying.