Conversations with Frank

Conversations with Frank are always lovely, sprawling, rangy things. Early on in the course of one (perhaps even our first), he disclosed to us that several of the Shady home’s occupants prior to our renting it had been musicians in local bands. “Oh yeah? What bands?” I’d asked, hoping to learn more. That was my first hint, I suppose: Frank, rehearsing the names of those bands. “Golden Dawn,” he’d said. “Tetragrammaton.” The latter, I knew, referred to the sacred name of god in Hebrew. I knew, too, of the longstanding prohibition in some quarters on saying that name aloud. And with that, I suppose, I began to suspect, at least on an intuitive level, that there was something odd about the home’s history, some sympathy for occult or forbidden things retained between roof and ground.

But the oddness, I soon learned, was one that preceded Frank and his musician-friends. Well before any of them had arrived on the scene, the home’s occupant was someone known around town as the Gay Wizard. If the place has a whatever-you-wanna-call-it — an ectoplasmic charge; an occult presence of some sort — that dude is, at minimum, a key link in that charge’s chain of transmission, if not its source.

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