The Final Chapter (part 21)

September 25, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17u]

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Subject: Newspaper in lieu of tarp looks just fine…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 1:32 PM

…as you can see by the enclosed photo. That’ll save me some moolah: four tarps (that I have to replace every time after bug treatment) = $31, newspaper (readily available all over the place) = $00 (and is easier to lay out on the floor, and replace whenever). The throw rugs do a fine job of beautifying my hovel, and hold down the paper sheets better than they did the tarps. The Bay Area Reporter, the most widely circulated LGBT newspaper in the world, has suddenly become even MORE indispensable than ever…right here in the Castro, the Heart of the Heart of Gay Mecca. Huzzah!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Newspaper in lieu of tarp looks just fine…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 4:03 PM

> I think there’s a definite aesthetic to newspapers on the floor! Colorful funny papers would work well, too. Do they even have funny papers any more????

I believe so, but colorful cartoons are not included in any free publication I know of. They’re mostly Sunday comics anyway, and thus a teensy part of the entire publication. IOW not practical. Besides which: these cheap, Amazon throw rugs provide the multi-hued impact my eyeballs so crave. I am content.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin.
To: My Dear Wattson.
Date: September 10, 2021 8:32 PM.

He showed up for his allowance, asked for a razor and more dog food. When he asks for dog food, that means he’s not planning to let the pups visit…and will disappear for three or more days. And then he started talking about getting Flaco pregnant, and collecting $1,500 for the beautiful pups she’ll produce. Said that some people through his SF connections got wind of Flaco, and are looking to mate their own dog with another diminutive one. They’re driving down from up north right now, and he’s arranged to meet them later on tonight.

I tried reasoning with him, told him that’s not love, that’s animal abuse…you can’t raise puppies on the streets, Flaco could die or get very sick, and so could the puppies. He said he has places where she’ll be indoors, why am I making a big deal out of this.

“It’s MY plan, Zeke, not yours.”

“Well it’s a bad plan,” I said, “a horrible idea.”

I then knelt down again, to pet Lucky & Flaco, seeing as they kept dancing around me.

“Why not let the pooches stay with me tonight,” I queried. “It’s been awhile. They love me, and they know I love them, and they love visiting.”

“Well, you’re seeing them now,” was his thoughtless reply. At that point, I had a strong urge to slam him onto the concrete. But I held my tongue, and kept that violent urge under wraps.

After hugging the pooches and enjoying their friendly greets for a few more minutes, I returned hovel to pack up a fresh supply of doggy vittles, and bring him another $60 and a razor. Upon my return, I spoke the following:

“Oh, you’re not gonna do that to her, you just love fucking with my head, you like to make me worry. Here’s the food and your money and the razor…god bless you all, have a beautiful evening.”

And off they went, as I lingered in that spot, watching them grow smaller as the distance grew larger, until they turned a corner two blocks down Noe Street. Gone. After barely a seven minute visit: gone! Again.

When I spoke against turning Flaco into his own puppy mill, he blurted out how one of his friends is in the hospital because of a fentanyl overdose, and he’s gonna get a leg cut off if he doesn’t come up with the money. Obviously, he made that up right on the spot, as justification to make that sweet little angel pregnant. I told him that, too.

“I don’t wanna her your phony excuses, Deek. That’s just bullshit. It breaks my heart to even hear you talk like this.”

“Why would I even make that kinda stuff up?” he retorted, playing the innocent lamb quite poorly.

“I don’t know, but you do, from time to time,” I stated. Then he changed the subject:

“She’s gonna have babies, and you’ll get one of the puppies…you’ll be so happy!”

“No I won’t, I’ll be devastated. I don’t WANT a puppy, I want Flaco & Lucky to stay in my life, they’re my friends! No other dogs can replace them in my heart.”

So many days of misery seem to lie ahead for me, now. Thanks for nothing, Deek! However, knowing how bodhisattvas play a tough game at times, I realize it is my responsibility towards myself, to NOT allow the demons of sorrow, grief and despair best me. He is NOT gonna do any such thing, this is just another bipolar mood swing. Nowhere NEAR as bad as the last one, which was back in January when I took charge of the dogs for a few months, but not without major brouhaha and getting the cops involved.

He as much as admitted his bodhisattva nature several days back, by commending me on my incredible patience, courage and keeping a calm manner during that cycle of altercations with the building manager and Myrtle & son. Of which I’ve told him VERY LITTLE. (So where he got that information is certainly NOT from yours truly.) But what he showed me then, was he knows more about my adventures than he lets on. Indicating that he is, indeed, my spiritual guide, and that this is all scripted…they are acting out roles that make me into the hero of this play they’ve conjured up. THEY ARE ALL IN ON THIS! Deek KNOWS Myrtle and Adisa, the building manager, Dieter, and so on. And I bet he knows Arwyn, too…who, as you know, I accuse of being the AUTHOR of this script that is my life these days.

Plus they (the bodhisattvas) enjoy seeing me act nobly when a crisis erupts, so they toss one in now and then. This evening’s nastiness is just the latest.

I was about to step out to pick up my afternoon java, when Deek showed up. I was already almost at the gate, when he called up to my window. But right at the gate was a fire department medic, so I had to yell through him to get Deek’s attention. Don’t know why the fellow was there, but I’m guessing some medical emergency with Dennis or Dieter. He didn’t say, I just let him in.

Then, when I stepped back out with the dog food, etc., that same medic appeared in the hallway, asked me if we have an in-house manager. I said yes, his name is Kevin Bond, and directed him to his apartment. Figures my bodhisattva devils would throw in this extra curve ball in the middle of my latest conflict with Deek! It’s like all of a sudden, this flurry of crises swirled around me.

Of course I’m sad not to have the dogs over, sad for Flaco, and ANGRY at Deek for throwing this vulgarity in my face. It is my habit to purchase two Mounds candy bars every other night, to enjoy while watching some Alfred Hitchcock episodes, or a horror film or two. It’s become an important symbol of staying positive in the face of gloom or dashed hopes, regardless of all the ups and downs I go through. I ALMOST decided to skip the treat tonight, because of the sorrow Deek just nailed into my heart. But no, I concluded, that’s caving in to the demons. Be of good cheer, get your center back, enjoy the evening regardless, DO NOT WORRY, all shall be fine. Lucky & Flaco shall remain in good spirits and health. Deek is simply screwing with me (again).

That’s it for now, Wattson…wish I had better news to report. Oh, yeah, one more thing: amid all this arguing, he mentioned how there’ll soon be a THIRD dog in his charge.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 11:22 PM

> Oh, God. The fucking, fucking asshole. To even spin a tale about getting Flaco knocked up, selling the puppies, getting a third dog, all of it–he KNEW how it would upset you, but he did it anyway, premeditatively. On purpose, to hurt you. And his “friend” getting a leg amputated because of a Fentanyl overdose? Pure baloney. Never heard of an overdose-related amputation. A Fentanyl overdose means you’re dead, period.

He’s having a bipolar attack, though a mild one thank god. He’ll get over it soon enough.

> He’s mean, and he’s a liar.

His meanness and lying are part of his bipolar swing. Most of the time he’s NOT like that…as clearly evidenced by sharing the pups with me, among many other examples. He’s mostly stabilized at this point. He’s been growing out of it in leaps and bounds; this is a temporary setback. What is so extraordinary, is something he said several days back, that I meant to tell you in my last missive. But here it is now:

He so much as admitted his out-of-control mood swing in January (which included screaming about giving up the pups) was WRONG. He couched this confession in describing how he defended me to his street friends, told them something like:

“Look, Zeke felt he was doing what’s best for the dogs in taking them over for awhile. He’s my uncle and a good friend, so I give him that patience in return.”

At least, this is what he told me when his “friends” recently questioned why he still trusts someone who tried to “steal” the dogs. He wasn’t quite ready to admit to them that HE was wrong, and that I didn’t steal them…but he made an important step in the right direction. I just listened, didn’t respond at all, though was sorely tempted to say:

“You were talkin’ crazy, ranting like a wild man about giving up the pups. Your crazy behavior made me fear for the dogs’ well-being. You scared the shit out of me, so I took them to protect them from YOU! And keep them FOR you. You AGREED to that!”

Because I already TOLD him precisely that, some months back, and saw no point in repeating it. He knows.

> How I wish you could get the dogs from him and evict him from your life.

That’s impossible, so I don’t even dwell on it. If such an opportunity occurs, I’ll consider that a miracle. He WILL come to his senses, shortly. I guess my bodhisattva authors decided another cliffhanger this late in the trilogy would get my readers back on the edge of their seats…a final climax before the happy outcome unfolds.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 11, 2021 2:08 PM

> I know, I know: but I’m expressing how it makes me feel when he pulls this crap.

I feel the same way, too, Wattson. But daydreaming about running away with the pups gets me nowhere.

> I’ve dealt with many a mentally ill person in my life, including bipolars, as well as other “disorders,” and I’m always disturbed by the mean, destructive elements in their personalities that get turned loose when conditions are just so. Knowing that it’s an irresistible compulsion doesn’t make it any easier for the target of these fits to endure.

I think a huge proportion of humanity is “bipolar,” just look at the Trumpturds, neo-Nazis and Christo-fascists all over the place! Yes, it hurts having to humor them, and sweating through worry over a potential tragedy they may cause. But I can’t even afford to allow myself THAT angst, as it just gets in the way. The only REAL answer is to find a way to stay centered, and trust the fates. NEVER allow such insane conflicts to destroy your ability to find happiness, and spread it to others. Self-fulfillment, or at least parts thereof, should not always remain somewhere in the future, like the proverbial, elusive butterfly.

> Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty horrific psychological abuse,

Oh, I believe you, good doctor. Your kind advice and words of wisdom reflect that very well.

> and there’s a certain glee in the perps’ eyes and demeanor. “I can’t help doing this, so it’s not my fault.” Maybe so.

I question THAT assumption, as I think many bipolar people do NOT think that way…IOW, they really can’t help themselves. Deek certainly fits that category. He has NEVER pulled that game on me.

> But the fact that they harbor such shitty cruelty within is deeply troubling.

It is the kind of family and community he grew up in; in fact the kind of SOCIETY he grew up in. Yet he possesses incredible saving graces. Which are now blossoming. It is therefore my own responsibility to rise above the miasma for my own well being, as well as for his…AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR THE SAKE OF THE DOGGIES.

The pups are my anchor, the light that guides my path. And that is what makes the entire situation so incredible and inspiring. I KNOW I am on my Hero’s Quest, so of course scary challenges pop up now and then. I should neither be surprised over that, nor cave in to nihilism. We will see what goes down, next time Deek shows up. I’m sure it will be a MUCH better meetup.

And I certainly couldn’t have gotten through all these horrendous conflicts without YOU cheering me on, old chap! And ONE major reason why I remain strong through my present dilemma.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The hint was there, six days before.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 11, 2021 7:10 PM

In my speaking about the bodhisattva nature in their context as guardians and teachers, I’ve mentioned several times, that they ALWAYS drop a clue either some time before, or some time after, they manifest a conflict in your world. The clue being something that gives you a spark of hope, or that lightens the blow…or in some other way suggests you’re being tested, and that what appears an imminent tragedy will NOT turn out that way at all. A clue which they plant in your mind like a seed, that will sprout at just the right moment. But until then, it remains a subtle, nascent twinge that you’ll barely notice.

In this recent conflict over Deek claiming he’s going to make Flaco pregnant, six days earlier he threw a tremendous compliment in my direction. Not that it stood out like a beacon, blinding me to everything else, at that moment. It was a sentence he softly slipped into our conversation (about how well I handled a string of conflicts in my building, earlier this year) that he knew would sink in later. And so it did. Though at the time I let it flow by and get swallowed up in the larger flood of conversation. I’ve already mentioned his unexpected praise to you, but that was yet beFORE he pulled the rug from under my feet.

It struck me just this morning, that he had planned to throw me for another loop soon, so dropped me a positive hint some days prior, knowing it would well up in my mind as a comforting counterbalance TO the shock. And so it did, only a day later. But between then and now, I made a point of sweeping away any negative scenario that popped in my head, by counting my blessings. Including how much incredible support Morey has given me over many months, regarding the pups and my difficult dealings with their master. As has Dieter, and, of course, YOU, Wattson! So I made this my time to recoup my forces, lick my wounds, and rise above my latest descent into Abaddon.

In fact, I visited Morey a short while ago, to pick up my two Mounds bars, and he suddenly blurted:

“Something really weird happened to me today!”

Of course I said, “Oh, and what was that?”

He then went on about how this young fellow, well dressed and with an expensive dog on a leash, stepped into the shop and asked Morey for fifty cents to finish his laundry, and he would reimburse him later that day. He left his debit card at home, or something like that. But Morey was put off by this strange encounter…he never saw him before, and it certainly wasn’t any kind of emergency. So he just replied:

“Sorry, I do not loan money out.”

I told him that WAS strange, and it doesn’t make any sense.

“And he had a Pomeranian,” he emphasized, “that’s an expensive dog!”

I didn’t challenge him on that, even though I thought, well, it COULD’ve been a rescue dog. My point being that, it was very nice of him to share one of his own funny incidents with me, after my doing same so many times! I would’ve given the stranger two quarters and be done with it, were I in his shoes. However, it’s HIS shop, and he went by sound intuition.

Upon departing, I deliberated further on so many GOOD things having come my way, as a result of Deek bringing Lucky & Flaco into my life. (A very GENEROUS and KIND act on anyone’s part, I’d say…let alone from someone living on the street without a penny to his name.) Then I reminded myself how important it is to be patient and kind no matter what, and that the universe always makes up for any seeming misfortune, one way or another.

No sooner had that thought arisen in my psyche, than I looked down to discover a crumpled bill by my left foot! I didn’t snatch it up immediately, but wondered if it was more than a dollar…say, five or even ten. Upon unfolding it, to my surprise, it turned out to be a twenty!

Not than money in any amount could ever make up for thoughtless abuse of my beloved brindlekin, or other heartbreak…but I took it as a bit of cheerful kindness by my bodhisattva guardians. And a reassurance that my fears are illusory.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: The hint was there, six days before.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 12, 2021 7:36 PM

> A nice little gift of $$ from the universe!

The right place, the right time.

> Something a lot like that happened to me. Attached is a piece I wrote a few years back, a letter to a friend.

Love the tale…shot with adrenaline throughout, I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. Almost down to the dollar, exactly the price for one, cheap motel room. With a Pakistani running it…so, I dunno…stereotypically expected for Los Angeles’ vast, outlying regions? How everything fell into place for you and Erwyn, like a funky old Victorian steam engine that worked, but barely. Just crankin’ along, stop-go, stop-go, stop-go. Eventually gets the job done, but not without some blood, sweat and tears. How things went, before electricity.

> And tomorrow, I’ll tell you about further developments in the magic cat-calling incantation dep’t.

I trust you didn’t summon Yog Sothoth! Or use a monkey’s paw! Can’t wait to get the update…I’ll lose sleep tonight, anticipating.

I’m in the middle of watching a thriller, “Frailty,” that came out in 2002. A father becomes a murderer because he thinks angels gave him these instructions…and forces his two sons to participate. The younger son becomes a mass murderer as a result. Stars Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 13, 2021 10:34 PM

After all these years! Don’t miss my reply to her!

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Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 1:17 PM

> Sweet!!

And it couldn’t have come at a better time, in light of my present anxiety over Deek’s pups. Another bodhisattva clue to boost my faith? Of course! What makes it so striking, is its spiritual aspect, in that Snackboy is long dead, yet his spirit came forth just at the moment such support is most relevant and appreciated. For my memorializing him on the web, and preserving his remarkable, pre-Youtube videos…he just returned the favor!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Snackboy: click here to watch his videos.

Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 5:15 PM

> On 9/14/2021 1:17 PM, Ezekiel Krahlin wrote:
>> he just returned the favor!
> Indeed he did!!
> Meant to tell you the rest of the magic cat incantation saga. Couldn’t get to it yesterday.

Oh, I was on tenterhooks waiting to hear about it.

> So: A few days ago, we had some out-of-town visitors. They showed up with their dog, a rescue who’d led a sad life chained in a yard for years and years. I was a teensy bit put out, because this is, after all, a kitty sanctuary and general temple of cat worship, and these people knew that, but they didn’t mention that they were bringing a dog, and when they arrived, they just sort of let the dog, Midnight, loose in the yard. He and Surely made friends quickly, as dogs do, though it wasn’t that instant passion you sometimes see when dogs meet and sample one another’s pheromones. But they got along fine. But you never know how a dog is going to be around cats. It can be very tricky. The orange kitten, a bold and confidant creature, touched noses with the dog, she on the steps and he below so they were face to face. The kitten fluffed up a little, but was not overly perturbed and held her ground, and Midnight behaved. All seemed to be well, so I relaxed. Though I did have to lay down the law when they brought Midnight into the house. I explained that our other cat, Ernie, is nowhere near the cool customer the kitten is, and if he popped through his cat door and encountered a strange dog in his house, he’d totally freak out, and he’d recently disappeared for 36 hours and I didn’t want it to happen again. They complied, and put Midnight outside.
> About an hour later, we heard a sharp bark; one of our human guests stepped out just in time to see Midnight lunging at the kitten, who streaked away, fast as a bullet. They got Midnight under control, and put him in their car (in the shade, of course) to keep him out of further trouble. Meanwhile, we couldn’t find the kitten. She’s deaf, so calling is useless. She’d been seen streaking toward the front gate, but then everyone’s attention was on the dog, so no one saw where she actually went.
> For the next hour, we fanned out, looking for her. Erwyn and I were plunged into despair; as Erwyn said to one of the guests: “We’d rather have the house burn down than lose that cat.” We were all grim and silent, thinking our private thoughts. Mine ran along the lines of: If that kitten is gone, you people are on my shit list forever and ever. I didn’t blame Midnight; I’m definitely of the school of thought that there are no bad dogs (well, maybe a few), just bad owners.
> I stood in the yard, and the thought occurred to me: Maybe it’s time for a repeat of that incantation. I got my memory into gear, and was reconstructing the sequence of words in my mind, when PLOP! The kitten dropped down out of a tree onto a lower branch, about ten feet away from me.

I’ll just skip making any remarks about the thoughtlessness of your guests, how they made the cat disappear again, and say:

Well that was INCREDIBLE! I don’t believe in spell casting, prayers or meditation, except as an aid in calming oneself down, and focusing on what’s important. However, they sometimes DO seem to work, but I don’t write it off to synchonicity. It’s more like our bodhisattva guardians have a sweet nature, and a sense of humor. So sometimes they’ll play it that way.

I also think those who are gifted with spiritual abilities, CAN successfully use tarot cards, crystal balls, or whatever. But ONLY as a tool for focus, for the power always resides in the heart, and not in any object. We CAN impart meaning into objects, even those that are otherwise mundane. Such as a coffee mug left behind by a dearly departed one…it has REAL value to you, thanks to the loving hands that once caressed it so many times.

Then, maybe, something could happen TO or AROUND it, that directly relates to the now deceased person…whereas there’d be no significance of said event occurring to, or around, any other item. For example, maybe his or her special pen shows up in that particular mug one day. You’d rightfully take that as a sign that he or she is communicating to you; they they’re alright, their spirit is with you. How the pen got there may not be unusual, as perhaps a visitor picked it up in another part of the house, and later plunked it into the mug, without you being present, and without knowing the importance of either the mug or the pen, TO you. The guest departs and later that evening, you notice the pen in the cup.

In sum, I do NOT believe any incantation or prayer is necessary for a heartfelt wish to be answered. The cat would’ve shown up both times, regardless. It’s just that bodhisattvas love to put some magic in our lives, now and then. And they ARE quite mischievous. We’re like children, to them…albeit most beloved. They already know existence IS magic, just not in the superficial way some people take it.

I advise you, though, to never again allow a guest with a dog, free rein of your place, including outside. I’m sure your visitors ruined their welcome.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 7:07 PM

> Neither do I. But these precise, sharp-as-a scalpel coincidences do get a person’s attention. That these coincidences occur in our huge, sloppy universe is the point here, and indicate that what we might think of as “magic” is simply the manifestation of hidden empirical processes…

That’s how I see it, too, Wattson. I have this theory that certain properties of reality are intentionally hidden from us, until we have reached a certain point of knowledge, awareness and/or experience. Both on a personal level, and on a species level. Regarding the personal, there is obviously a diverse range of awareness. In a way, I think that the phony enlightened ones (spellcasters, exorcists and the like) play an important role in shielding higher awareness from those who are not ready to deal with it. They get sucked into a trap.

And that, I believe, is why so many sages throughout the ages have stated that our lives are illusions…they don’t mean it metaphorically, but literally. Life is actually a two-level affair…rather poetic in the interplay. Each person’s life is a string of parables, one after the other after the other, and one within another, within another.

There IS a secret society of sorts, of more advanced humans…though nothing you’d find in the conventional scheme of things. I have suggested as such in “Free Me From This Bond.” And if my conjecture is correct, these are incredibly loving and humorous folks, whom I whimsically call “our reptilian overlords.”

Well, I’ve already covered much ground on these “spiritual” matters in my Brindlekin Tales…so I’ll stop here, as I would just be repeating my conclusions, along with my analyses.

> Nope. I usually don’t, but made an exception.

Great, glad to know that…I have enough to worry about. :)

Our pets are not just pets (“dumb animals” like some believe) but our guardians and soulmates. Our lifeline to Avalon, so to speak.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: More Grievous Behavior from Deek!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 17, 2021 9:17 AM

Everything seemed to be going just dandy, when he returned to pick up the pups…he thanked me for everything I do, and I thanked him for his kindness in sharing them with me. I made it clear he’s already burned through his entire allowance for the month, and will have to wait two weeks for it to resume. He was fine with that. (Though I did add I’ll try to muster up another $60, but he’ll have to wait a week before I can do that, if at all…no promises.)

I reminded him that doesn’t mean I won’t have dog food for him at any time he needs it, and that whenever he wants a break from the doggies (whether for just an hour or two, or longer), he can still drop them off. IOW: I emphasized to not let lack of allowance be an excuse to not pick up more food, or have them visit me. He was fine with that, too. We’ll see; I do have my doubts he’ll abide without squawking, before this month is over. Or that he’ll probably not have the pups stay with me, if money isn’t involved.

After that brief but friendly meetup, I wished them all a very good night, and, since I was already outdoors, decided to take my nightly stroll up Noe Street, to Duboce Park and back. He was still there when I returned, though wrapping things up to go. So I approached, and chatted a bit more, being in the good mood I was. I remarked at how well Flaco and Lucky have adapted to being indoors, that they no longer get upset when it’s not a time to visit me, though dropping by outside (for Deek to pick up more food, or receive some cash).

He then erupted, said, “Why do you call her Flaco? Her name is LA Flaco, she’s a female.”

I told him that was the first I heard him call her that, he’s always addressed her as “Flaco,” never “La Flaco”…and besides, in Spanish her name should end in an A, not an O, as in “La Flaca.” He then griped how I always ruin a nice visit by saying stupid stuff, he’s always called her “La Flaco,” what’s wrong with me?

With that, he turned on his recharged speaker, with the volume just loud enough to block my voice. So I pressed the off button, which perturbed him as well, and declared, “I’m talking to you, Deek, please respect that.”

Suddenly the doggies barked up a storm at a dog passing by, pulled on their leashes attached to a bicycle flung loosely atop a pile of junk in his cart, and it began to slide off. But I grabbed onto it, so it wouldn’t crash to the sidewalk and possibly injure the pups.

He yelled at them: “Lucky! Flaco! Stop it!”

“You just called her Flaco, Deek,” I remarked, then admonished, “Please don’t yell at them, there’s no need to.”

At any rate, I said I hope they have a lovely night, then quickly departed hovel. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I realized he needs to be admonished for tying the dogs up like that. I’ve seen his bike come crashing to the ground more than once, and the doggies quickly pulled away as far as their leashes would allow. This could injure them, even break their necks!

So, not feeling very good after his fucked-up behavior. He always manages to pull some NEW ugly trick out of his hat, to keep the misery flowing! Realizing as well, that he’ll continue to tether them to whatever bicycle he has at the moment, no matter what I say. Just as he’s never stopped forcing them to lie directly down on, or even sleep on, the filthy concrete…even though there’s plenty of clean cardboard available on just about every block in the city.

I am hoping, of course, this is a temporary setback in his behavior…the tail end of his latest mood swing, that is actually MILD compared to his last one in January. So it’s really NOT fair of me to claim he ALWAYS manages to inject misery in my life, as it’s been a rather long spell free of anxiety. Hopefully, last night’s outburst is just a momentary glitch.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: More Grievous Behavior from Deek!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 17, 2021 4:00 PM

> I get it. But I hate the way he treats you. It’s downright abusive.

Nothing compared to what so many other people are going through. The pups come first, I’ll deal with whatever else is hurled at me, by Deek or anyone else for that matter. Look at the shit I’ve already been through, all because of these angels…the nicest thing to ever happen to me. You’d think I’m some knight on a quest for the Holy Grail, and found it…so now the demons swoop down on me in their attempts to thwart my almost-completed holy mission. These are just two little doggies, and I’m an old man on Social Security, living in an SRO! Change of topic:

In speaking with Dieter yesterday, as he slowly struggled up the stairs with that portable wheelchair, he mentioned all the setbacks he’s gone through in the recent past. Not just the VA dragging its feet to get him a place at that Veterans home in Vacaville, but their turning him down for full knee surgery plus some other crises. Including the bedbugs, which he said forced him to get rid of most of his possessions. He was gonna fix up his room (paint the walls and so forth) but all these setbacks have wiped him out, both financially and emotionally.

What struck me most was his getting rid of his possessions! I haven’t been required to do that; they just treat the whole room as it is! Don’t know whether to mention that to him or not, seeing as that could get me embroiled again with the building manager. With whom he’s friends, AFAIK. And another thing that just came up:

As I entered the building after returning from the laundromat with another load to heat treat (just one more to go in this cycle; I put off the last two loads for a week), a repairman was on the phone to his office, remarking how he’s not gonna even touch the box, it’s screwed up! He was referring to the electronic security system’s circuit box nailed into the lobby wall. It’s all digital, and keeps tabs on the hallway sprinklers, the smoke alarms and the elevator doors.

I paused halfway up the stairs to eavesdrop, and it seems that installing the new elevator disrupted the safety circuitry, and nothing can be done to secure it again, until PG&E shows up to finish the job. Which won’t be till some time next month, at the earliest! I could be wrong about this, but that’s what I think is going on. The electrician was obviously frustrated. I don’t know, maybe he WAS from PG&E…or perhaps the company that sold the box to Ablahblah Realty. Anyway, I ran upstairs to fetch my spy pen, and recorded a snippet of the conversation. Annoyingly, a resident coming down the stairs interrupted my eavesdropping, so I had to end it. Here is what I got (just 36 seconds, can’t really discern much, except that something’s wrong).

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The Hero’s Journey Is My Own
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 20, 2021 1:26 PM

Just a quick rundown, based on Joseph Campbell’s findings. My own comments are contained with square brackets. From URL:


Campbell describes 17 stages of the monomyth. Not all monomyths necessarily contain all 17 stages explicitly; some myths may focus on only one of the stages, while others may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. In the terminology of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the stages are the individual mythemes which are “bundled” or assembled into the structure of the monomyth.

The 17 stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three “acts” or sections:

1. Departure (also Separation),
2. Initiation (sometimes subdivided into A. Descent and B. Initiation) and
3. Return.

In the departure part of the narrative, the hero or protagonist lives in the ordinary world and receives a call to go on an adventure. The hero is reluctant to follow the call but is helped by a mentor figure.

[My call was meeting Deek’s newly adopted dog, Lucky, which call I resisted for some time, but decided to accept…thus resumed our broken friendship, for the sake of the pup. My mentor figure is YOU, Wattson. This journey began around two years back.]

The initiation section begins with the hero then traversing the threshold to an unknown or “special world”, where he faces tasks or trials, either alone or with the assistance of helpers.

[This special world is Deek’s own world, which twisted paths and numerous obstacles I’ve learned to traverse. But not without much trepidation and grief…though the central, and major, influence is the brilliant love and friendship of first one, then two, doggies. Helpers have popped up now and then, from the most unexpected places and timing. Needless to say, there is a strong, supernatural aspect to entering this “special” world.]

The hero eventually reaches “the innermost cave” or the central crisis of his adventure, where he must undergo “the ordeal” where he overcomes the main obstacle or enemy, undergoing “apotheosis” and gaining his reward (a treasure or “elixir”).

[I believe I have just reached that crescendo, which has yet to peak, but will, very soon. My reward, of course, is the salvation of all three: the two dogs as well as Deek. Who plays the terrifying dragon of this innermost cave…whom I must befriend, not slay…I must win his complete trust.]

The hero must then return to the ordinary world with his reward. He may be pursued by the guardians of the special world, or he may be reluctant to return and maybe rescued or forced to return by intervention from the outside.

[How this end part will play out, remains to be seen. But I think it will be a rather smooth transition, because joyful.]

In the return section, the hero again traverses the threshold between the worlds, returning to the ordinary world with the treasure or elixir he gained, which he may now use for the benefit of his fellow man. The hero himself is transformed by the adventure and gains wisdom or spiritual power over both worlds.

[I benefit my fellow man by sharing my Brindlekin Tales…my very own, remarkable hero’s journey.]


Subject: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 20, 2021 8:20 PM

Early this afternoon I looked out the window to see a black and white van parked out front, with large block letters painted on the side: “San Francisco Medical Examiner.” I assumed it was Dennis…which was affirmed a little while later when I stepped into the hallway and overheard the medics speaking from the next flight up. Dennis’s apartment is right next to the top of those stairs leading from the second to the third floor.

Shortly after that, I stepped out to stroll along Noe Street, and seated myself on one of those concrete stools two block up, where trees overhang, and provide some cool shade; it was a short-sleeve day, almost hot. Along comes Arwyn some moments later, across the street and heading towards the Castro. I know he saw me. Interesting that I only saw a week prior, crossing Church & 15th Streets on my way to pick up another loaf of raisin bread.

He’s THE most important character in my hero’s journey (in a greater arc of time and adventures), so I guess he’s preparing to reenter my world, by first appearing before me for short moments, more and more frequently. He’s not without a sense of humor.

I’m expecting Deek and pups to show up again, come tomorrow or Wednesday…the day I said I’ll have another $60 to hand him. Though he JUST might show up early tonight.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 11:54 AM

> Jeez. I wonder who discovered the body.

From what I overheard in the hallway, it was a friend who discovered him. But I think all who knew him were prepared well in advance, in light of his decline the past few months. I really know nothing about him, he’s always kept to himself. Moved into this building in 1997.

> The plot thickens!

Like a slow-growing mold, and twice as boring.

> Here’s hoping.

It’s an agony and an ecstasy. No way around that; the only solution is to accept the situation as it is…grow stronger, stay balanced…do not collapse into grief, anger or nihilism. Do NOT worry. All easier said than done.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 1:37 PM

I just encountered Dieter on the stairs, as we were both stepping out. Told him that Dennis just passed on. “Dennis?” he queried, not sure who I meant. So I added, “Dennis Simms.” He then knew who I meant, and said that’s a shame.

“At least he died in peace, with little pain…and in his own home.”

“Yes that’s true,” he remarked. He then informed that Dennis was the winner of the Bare Chest Calendar contest some years back. Which must’ve been decades ago, as you’d never know it by his appearance since he took up residency here back in ’97.

Anyway, once we got down to the lobby, I pointed out the sign by the elevator, about his death. Which he would not have otherwise noticed until his return, since his bad knees do not inspire him to turn around 180 degrees unless urgent. He can’t even walk without using his folding, portable wheelchair for support.

Dieter also told me the good news, that the Veterans Home in Yountville will soon have a room for him, in the new wing they recently built. So that’ll be in three or four months, that he’ll depart from 9666 Market Street.

“So, another long term resident leaving our distinguished manor!” I exclaimed.

“Yes!” he quipped, “they’re getting rid of us all!”

We then wished each other a good day as I held the gate open for him, while standing in the blazing beams of the early afternoon sun. Second uncomfortably hot day in a row, here in San Franshit sco.

“The pups will love hanging out here, with my fan turned on,” I thought, as I slogged my way up Noe Street to make a few mundane purchases. “Once they show up.”

Click here for a larger view.

Re: The Hero’s Journey Is My Own
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 6:41 PM

> This is fascinating, and provides a highly useful lens through which one can view one’s travails. I’m looking at my own trials in a Campbell-ian way after reading this.

It’s based on, and an extension of, Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes. They go hand in hand. As you know, Campbell is Jung’s greatest disciple. The hero is one of the major archetypes.

Jung’s teaching of archetypes, including the shadow self, pretty much bailed me out of a chaotic mindset and saved my sanity. Everything clicked in for me, once I exposed myself to this theory. And Campbell is frosting on the cake.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Another Showdown with Deek Coming Up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 12:54 AM

Much as I wish it didn’t have to be this way, I have already begun admonishing him on certain matters, because my conscience calls me to it. Even though he’ll probably threaten to take himself and the dogs away from my world. This is what makes him a very scary fellow…to hold the pups over my head as a strategy to keep me too afraid to speak out. But my speaking out has already begun, as of tonight.

After I brought the pups to him, he decided to linger at the ATM alcove right below my window, for a couple of hours. Fine with me, as he was quiet…however, it weirds me out when he camps right outside, after we say our farewells for the evening. IOW he’s still there, but I’m not welcome! Well, his loitering nearby is not really the issue, but I sensed something was up.

Around 11 PM I decided to step out for some air and a short walk, before hitting the hay. I assumed Deek had departed some while ago, but no, there he was sitting with the pups by the ATMs. Flaco & Lucky, once more, were forced to lie down on the dirty sidewalk. I actually tried to slip away towards Noe Street, hoping the pups wouldn’t spot me…but Flaco began her little barks, to demand I come back and say hello.

So I did just that, which is when Deek asked me for a cup of hot tea and a razor. I told him okay, but I thought we already said our goodbyes earlier, and I’m really not ready to wait on him some more. He said never mind, but I waved it away, said no, I’ll make you some tea. So several minutes later I returned with his cherry-berry tea and a razor.

There were several other people hanging about the ATMs, with one actually withdrawing some money. They were NOT homeless, but a friendly and gentle little gathering. Anyway, I noticed what appeared to be a black leather sheath about a foot long, sticking out from under one of Deek’s legs. “Is that a machete?” I thought. So I pointed at it, and said:

“Is that a knife, Deek?”

He seemed distraught that I should bring it up, and slid it entirely under his leg. I reached down as if to pull it back out (not really intending to, but to work his nerves a bit), but he blocked access with a hand.

“No, there’s nothing in it, it’s empty.” He remarked.

“You’ve told me more than once over the years, that you never carry a knife,” I persisted. “Why do you have one now?”

“I don’t, it’s empty.” He seemed nervous that the folks hanging around us might overhear.

“Well, I’m curious anyway, let me see it.” Of course he refused, because I’m sure there really WAS a knife there.

So I dropped the subject, and pet the pups for a few moments, then told him that my $215 monthly food stamp allotment is temporary, it will only last so many months, because it’s just a boost during this pandemic. But by the time I’m back to a measly $19 a month, I hope I’ll come up with some other way to still give him an extra $40 per week. Then I brought up the cardboard:

“It breaks my heart, Deek, that you don’t love and respect these doggies enough to make sure they don’t have to rest on the filthy concrete. How do you think Flaco got that gum in her lovely fur?”

“I have no idea,” he replied.

“Well, the sidewalk is dirty, they get that crap in their fur, and lick it later on. It’s so easy to find clean cardboard no matter where you are.”

He continued to brush me off. Neither of us raised our voices through this, BTW…it was a “soft” argument, I suppose.

“You should also keep your bike tethered to the shopping cart, so it doesn’t slip.”

“What bike?” he asked (as if he didn’t know what I was talking about, the snarky punk).

“When you HAVE a bike, I mean. I’ve seen it come crashing down many times, and almost hit your dogs. Bikes are heavy enough to injure them, if they land on their little bodies.”

“Oh, okay, I hear ya. I’ll tie down the bike from now on.” But I did not find his agreement so reassuring, as just a wish to brush me off.

“Well, Deek,” I embellished, “It breaks my heart that I even have to tell you these things! I don’t understand why you don’t already cherish them enough…that you force me into a situation where I have to bring this up in the first place.”

“Alright, whatever, those are good suggestions, I’ll follow up for now on,” he replied in a rather insincere tone.

Then the conversation went to the pregnancy issue:

“I’ve bred pit bulls for twenty years, I know what I’m doing! I raised seven in one litter, and the money I got for them helped me keep a roof over my head.”

I told him I don’t believe any of that, and that any professional breeder would tell you how dangerous it is to breed a dog while you’re living on the streets. And that Flaco is a sweet little dog who should NEVER be turned into a puppy mill. And how badly your even suggesting you will, breaks my heart. She could easily die from your foolishness. What would you do in an emergency, if a pup gets stuck? You’ll need a vet on hand, and you just can’t afford that.

Then he ranted on how Flaco already gave birth to pups TWICE before he adopted her…and that she’s actually almost six years old now. I told him now that’s a lie…she’s barely three, and when you got her, she was barely six months old, she couldn’t possibly have gotten pregnant. Her nipples were perfectly flat.

He continued to talk smack, while preparing to leave. Told me to stop worrying about everything. I told him I’m not worried, that’s not the issue…I’m trying to keep you from heading down a dark path.

Before parting ways, I told him I’m not gonna bring him tea or a razor any more, until he makes sure they have some cardboard to rest on every night, if not something more cozy. After he left, I strolled about and thought some more on this:

No, I’m not gonna give him that extra $40/week so long as he doesn’t promise me he won’t get her pregnant, and so long as he continues to not use cardboard, and not lash his bike securely onto the cart. What this will lead to, I don’t know…but I’m hoping it will nip this crap in the bud, and that he’ll continue to bring the pups over. Though he just might walk away for good. But I can NOT smother my conscience in this serious matter.

I can NOT let fear of the pups disappearing from my life, block me from saying what he NEEDS to hear. He promised me around five months ago, that so long as he was homeless, he would not get Flaco pregnant.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Another Showdown with Deek Coming Up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 1:52 PM

> He’s canny, devious and slippery.

In a rather amateurish way. We’ve had serious confrontations before, and he’s always backed off and followed through with my suggestions…eventually.

> You’re right to be firm, but it’s a nerve-wracking balancing act on a high, high tightrope.

It’s terrible, Wattson. He sucks the happiness from anyone around him. Soon as you overcome his latest BS, he tosses you another left curve. I love the little angels with all my heart, yet the Sword of Damocles dangles over my head on a thin string.

> Your own well being is top priority, for obvious reasons, plus you are the doggies’ only advocate in this world.

I’m well aware of that, I will not let his devious nature get the better of me, health-wise or in any other way. From the bodhisattva perspective, he is challenging me not to allow fear to rule my roost. I would LOSE if I kept my mouth shut about the pregnancy issue, along with forcing them to lie down on concrete, and not lashing down his bike. I have already spoken out on all three, so the Dragon of Fear has been slain.

I will continue to emphasize these points, whenever it seems necessary…withOUT anger. For one, I will remind him that starting a puppy mill on the streets is a serious crime, someone will report him, and the dogs will be taken away…he’ll go to jail for quite a long time. Or if he DOES get away with it, he’ll be stuck with the pups, no one will purchase them, he can’t afford to feed them all, they’ll most likely die, and so might Flaco.

Before I give him the extra $40/week, he’ll need to promise (again) that he won’t get Flaco pregnant, so long as he’s living on the streets…as well as provide them cushioning from the sidewalks, and lash that damn bike down.

Jesus fukkin christ!

Anyway, I used my EBT card for the first time, at a local health food store…all went well. Morey’s shop does NOT take food stamps, and I feel awful having to take my business elsewhere, for the most part. I’ll still buy dry goods there.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 8:31 PM

He was hanging with two other vagrants behind my building. So I told him my concerns about Deek’s intention to turn Flaco into a puppy mill. He agreed that it’s a crime, and it could easily turn into a tragedy. But he added that Deek has never brought this up to him.

I also told him about the pups being forced to sleep on the concrete, and putting their lives in harm’s way by not lashing down his bike. Joe did NOT offer to talk to Deek about this, however I pointed out that others need to address the issue besides myself. It’s called peer pressure.

At any rate, he listened well, though I don’t know if it will go anywhere that would give Deek serious thought. And, dammit, I FORGOT to tell him the most important thing of all: that if anything should happen to Deek where he’s separated from the pups (such as a sudden arrest or hospitalization), the doggies should not be left stranded or adopted by anyone on the streets, but be brought to me ASAP…they have safe haven with me. Artemis only knows when I’ll have that chance again! It’s been several months since I last spoke with him.

Ironically, Deek’s cousin Dominic was there, crouched against a wall and wrapped in a blanket. His bare feet stuck out, and one toe looked badly infected. I just nodded at him, as I didn’t want to get sucked into HIS drama, which he does all the time, even worse than Deek!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 10:03 PM

> I think you’ll get another chance to talk to Hollywood.

I sure hope so, but he said some disappointing things today, such as “the dogs seem to be happy with Deek.” As if that means it’s okay to allow his bike to keep slipping off the cart, or sleep on the dirty, cold sidewalk, or turn a sweet little doggy into a puppy mill.

> Deek has a cousin on the scene??? Oy!

I’ve mentioned him many times in past posts…though that was mostly in my earlier tales, including pre-Brindlekin. He also has some OTHER relation (which I didn’t know about) whom I ran into last year, and asked what I’m doing with his dogs. I mentioned that to you, also…said he’s Deek’s brother…the resemblance was uncanny. Never saw him again, except for that one time. San Frinshitsco is the kind of place where creepy people will suddenly show up out of nowhere, and get right up in your face. Scumbags you’ve never SEEN before, let alone even heard about.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I just realized I miscalculated when I told Deek I’m gonna give him an extra $40/week, in the same breath I told him I can give him another $100/month. It should be $25/week. So I inadvertently set myself up for him to snarl at me for aNOTHER foolish reason.

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 12:04 AM

During my meetup with Boulevard Joe, I glimpsed atop a scattered pile of possessions by his feet, a rather LARGE knife, the blade multi-notched on one side. It was slightly curved like a machete, of burnished silver, shiny new in appearance, and with a thick, short handle of lacquered wood or dense plastic. And then it struck me: that blade would fit perfectly into the scabbard Deek had with him last night, which he claimed was empty. I did NOT ask Joe about it, nor even let him think I noticed the pretentious shank. It looked very much like this:

Click here for a larger view.

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 12:52 PM

> Kinda ominous, nyet?

Oh I’m sure he just uses it to pick his teeth and shave his balls.

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 1:30 PM

> In that order, j’espaire…

Votre espoir est écrasé…judging by his breath, I think not.

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 11:04 PM

Boulevard Joe seems to have an idiotic penchant for large blades. A couple years back, a cop shot a rubber bullet into his hand, for brandishing a sword while galumphing down Market Street, and being ordered by said cop to put it down (though he didn’t, hence bravely suffered the predictable consequence). But the resultant wound made him eligible to get a hotel room for an indefinite period of time…so that worked out nicely. Joe seems to believe it’s his constitutional right to bear a knife…but I don’t think he quite grasps that waving it around and causing alarm in his vicinity is NOT part of that right. But the length of the blade IS not legal if beyond two inches in length or so, here in the city. Quote:

“California Fixed Blade Knife Laws Pocket knives under 2 inches are generally legal without any restrictions. Other types of fixed blade knives like Dirks and Daggers are heavily restricted with regards to where and how they can be carried, but both types are still legal to own.”

And to address the question of carrying a sheathed knife in public:

“It is an offense to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place, with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is 7.62 cm (3 inches) or less. However, possession of a lock knife in a public place without good reason is an offense.”

I tried to tell Joe these things, several years back, but he’d have none of it. So, yeah, he’s kinda nuts…and scary.

Anyway, THE DOGGIES ARE BACK, and snoozing away to their little hearts’ content. Before Deek departed, I emphasized that running a puppy mill is a crime, and you can go to jail a long time for it. And I DON’T want that to happen to him, he’d lose Flaco & Lucky forever. He didn’t care to hear me out, so just snarled a bit and took off. But I will persist, with periodic admonishments…and NO increase in his allowance until he affirms the promise he originally made seven months ago, about not getting Flaco pregnant so long as he remains living on the streets.

– Zeke K-Holmes

The Final Chapter (part 20)

September 3, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17t]

Texting with Wattson – 8/20/21 to 8/21/21

Pic: flaco sleeping

Pic: lucky sleeping

Pic: chicken-salmon entree

Subject: The shroud of dachshund actually DID come to me unbidden!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 1:45 PM

I was neither searching for some image to use, nor even participating in a forum that had anything to DO with dogs, shrouds, or anything else in a vein related TO this pic. It just popped up five days ago, in the midst of a thread discussing the pandemic. Unfortunately, I can’t track down that particular Reddit sub, much to my frustration, because I now realize the value of documenting how I stumbled upon it.

At any rate, someone uploaded the image without indicating why it was even relevant to the topic at hand. Then someone else wise-cracked, “Isn’t that the Shroud of Turin?” As if to make SURE I didn’t miss it…as if I had a bodhisattva guide IN that discussion, to present me with the perfect visage that I HAD been wishing to find, though kept it in the back of my mind for a future search. (Recall that I originally came up with the concept of a wiener cerement in February…and figured I’d get around to it some months later, to include in my upcoming Sherlockian spoof, “The Hounds of Basketville.”)

It could EASILY have been any other breed, but no, it’s definitely a dachshund, and a LONG-HAIRED one at that. It never even occurred to me, in trying to locate a suitable shroud-like image depicting a dachshund (if such a peculiar find is even out there), that a long-haired version would make the perfect doggy Jebus! But there it suddenly was, staring right back at me in the most surprising moment!

A classic example of what Carl Jung calls “synchronicity,” or actual, supermundane communiqué? I hesitate to conclude the former, as it strikes me as just way TOO synchronistic for its own good. FYI, initial reverse image searches coughed up ZILCH to help me discover its source, or any reference TO it. Curses! However, today I tried such searches outside of Google and Tineye, and came up with curiously inexplicable and vague results, mostly to do with one Eduardo Nieves from Mexico, who uses the image for an avatar. Also, references to “Eduardo Cachorro Meme” show up, such as this video with spooky background music:

“Cachorro” means “puppy” in Spanish. “Eduardo” seems to be a popular meme in Mexico, but I can’t learn anything more about it. Makes me wonder if I’m barking up the wrong tree [badda-bing badda-boom].

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: And, guess what…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 7:35 PM

…doggies are back again! Deek mumbled something about how sometimes Flaco gets annoyed with Lucky one moment, then the next, she’s all happy with him…then about how he’d like to go bike riding, maybe into the night. So perhaps he’ll ask me to sit them till sunrise. I believe he will, but I’ll know for sure later this eve, when he picks up his resurrected devices.

I suspect those were just excuses for a further act of kindness, that I spend even more time with the pups. Seeing as Flaco and Lucky are typical brother and sister, getting on each others’ nerves now and then…but otherwise a very loving relationship. May also be the nonstop chaos of the streets–especially since Deek is in the middle of it all, by necessity and preference–which could make the pups irritable at times. And are they getting enough sleep out there? I doubt it.

At any rate, they certainly earned their keep yesterday! There’s this filthy, angry vagrant been hanging out in front of my building for the last few days…often sitting down RIGHT BESIDE THE FRONT GATE! Screeching obscenities at the top of his lungs for HOURS, whether seated or marching up and down the street. Epithets like “f*ggots” and “n*ggers,” threatening to injure people if they don’t give him food money, and so on. Imagine having to put up with this, right below my window…and having to STEP OUT with the pups when he’s there! Well, for the most part when I emerge with them, he’s not right beside the gate, but further down the block. Until yesterday afternoon, that is.

As I approached the entryway, I saw his back was pushed up against the stationary half of the gate. And he was howling his usual threats to anyone strolling by, as well as to customers already seated outdoors. So I shortened my grip on their leashes to keep the pups close by my side, knowing of course they’re gonna go full-throttle manic on him. Sure enough, soon as I pushed my way out, they got right in his face with the most insane snarls, baring of teeth and feral barks you can imagine! Everything short of actually biting him…they put on a really spectacular show of raw ferocity!

The crazy dude freaked out immediately, snarled at me and the brindlekin (for which I scowled right back) while snatching up his meager possessions…then ran off to parts unknown, shrieking like the Furies themselves were about to rip him a new one! Within seconds, the sidewalk outside was pacific once more, while grateful customers applauded the doggies as we commenced our afternoon stroll.

Now contrast THAT with another vagrant I met one day prior: fifty-four or so, a bit portly, of jovial spirit and neatly clothed, including tightly lashed bedroll and knapsack without a stain or speck of dirt to show. He saw me with the pups, and greeted them kindly:

“Hey, little doggies, how-ya doin’ today?”

Of course they barked up a minor squall until he held out his hand, whence they grew quiet and sniffed away. Well THAT lasted but a moment or two, before they backed off and resumed their strident barks. Which is their usual wont with ANY stranger no matter HOW gentle, or even with someone they know, but don’t often see. I suspect their behavior in such scenarios would be uneventful, were just ONE of the mutts in my company. For I surmise their protective instinct towards each other (as brother and sister) kicks in, when together. At any rate, he got a good laugh out of it.

I DON’T know the fellow’s name, but I imagine he’s seen Deek with the dogs more than once, and enjoys their company now and then. It’s really NICE to meet a homeless person who is NOT scary, crazy or filthy, and whose company I could actually APPRECIATE. So if I see him again, I will make a point of asking his name, and engaging him in conversation.

Chihuahua man’s name is Samuel, BTW.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 9:38 PM

…that Deek wanted the pups back, instead of letting them stay overnight. He also said he needs a fresh supply of dog food, even though I already gave him that just two days ago. This is the THIRD time in a month he said it was stolen! I told him he’s been asking for more dog food TWICE as often than ever before, and I can’t afford to keep this up. Until recently, I’ve been allotting him 5 cans of wet food, and two gallon-sized bags of kibble, once a week. But he’s DOUBLED that, over the past five weeks! The idea here is that I SUPPLEMENT his dog food expenses, not cover them totally! Very frustrating.

Regardless, he was mellow through it all, apologized and promised to not lean on me so much for the puppy vittles. I’m still PO’d at him for yelling at Flaco yesterday, and yanking on her leash. This was in response to her pulling forcefully in the other direction, towards my home…rather than go back outside with him. He was ANGRY at her for that! Unbelievable!

I told him in no soft terms: “DON’T yell at her, it’s not necessary. And NEVER yank on their leashes!” He immediately said, “Okay.” No resistance to my reprimand, but still: WHY do I have to keep chastising him for abusing those sweet little pups? What the FUCK is wrong with him? I HATE the idea that I’m gonna have to get harsh with him again, but his THICK skull is hurting Flaco & Lucky! I refuse to believe he’s that stupid. Doesn’t he realize that repeated yanking on their necks could cause serious damage?

I’m STUCK in a situation where everything between us is a public spectacle, where I can’t just lash out at him for his abuse, THOUGH IT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDS AT THIS POINT. But I can’t catch him alone, especially when he always seems to be in a rush to go elsewhere, whenever he stops by.

I’m at wit’s end.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: And, guess what…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 11:02 PM

> Yay to the pups for chasing off the obnoxious lunatic!

Indeed. They took care of the problem with impressive expedience.

> Dachshunds are fierce little things when they need to be!

And I got to see it firsthand. Inches from his face, sharp little razor teeth exposed and ready to shred up that snarling, spittle-spewing mug. Grrrrr!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 23, 2021 12:02 AM

> I suspect he was jealous when Flaco spontaneously demonstrated that she’d rather be with you. People who live on the street often have a fragile sense of worth, and lording it over their animals, whom they see as lower on the totem pole than themselves, gives them a temporary ego-boost.

I understand, but he should know better…and not just for the doggies’ sake, but for his own conscience in the long run. Should he lose them by his own hand of ignorance, he’ll burn to death in his own, personal hell. And I WON’T be there to assuage his guilt; the friendship would be OVER. For at that point, if I remained by his side, he’d eventually adopt aNOTHER dog or two, and put me through the same, horrid, slow disaster.

So he HAS to know better. I just can’t do this on my own; OTHER people need to join in and call him to the carpet. Not a single one of his homeless friends seems to be any help in this matter. I was hoping that Boulevard Joe would listen to me, and see to it that Deek take better care of his pooches, but he’s kinda fizzled out on me over the last two years, to become an acquaintance from the past, rather than a regular friend in the present. Yet I’m perturbed that he hasn’t bothered to take it upon his OWN shoulders, of his own accord! HE should know better, as well.

> And it’s unconscionable that he should ever use you as any sort of figurative punching-bag. No good deed, etc….

He knows I like tea, and gave me a box of loose black tea he found tonight, still sealed in the pouch. Nice of him to think of me, but honestly I’d MUCH rather do without ANY thoughtful gifts from him, in exchange for treating the pups with love and patience ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the time.

Lucky & Flaco are the most emotionally stable, kind dogs I’ve ever met…they are SO EASY to care for, not the least bit neurotic, moody or short tempered. It was VERY SAD to see Flaco look back at me with longing, after Deek’s burst of anger and pulling her forcefully onward. No wonder she’d prefer to stay with me!

As Deek prepared to leave, instead of returning hovel promptly, I held the dogs’ leashes until he was ready to go. This way, Flaco wouldn’t start tugging on her leash to return to me (because I was still with her). And, once he was ready, both dogs happily pranced alongside, and Flaco didn’t even look back once.

THEY parted ways before I did: a happy solution. So I showed Deek a loving strategy, using kindness in contrast to his short-tempered burst. Previously, he was always in such a rush to leave, he didn’t give me time to assist their departure, but preferred I return home promptly. Thus my abrupt breakaway from Flaco caused her some dismay.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 23, 2021 1:12 PM

> Oh, I’m not excusing him. Just an observation. I see it all the time with homeless people here.

Some with roofs over their heads aren’t any better, as you well know, good doctor. They want a vulnerable, innocent creature to kick around. It’s sick as fuck. I will find a way to drive home to Deek, how massively ugly it is to express anger at the pups for ANY reason, and to yank on their leashes is even MORE deplorable. I just DON’T understand why this remains a problem, since he’s pretty much improved in all other ways.

> And I agree–if anything happens to them under his watch, cut him loose forever.

I would not tolerate his presence anywhere near me, I’d drive him out of the Castro. But I pray it will never come to that.

> Sweet, sweet little doggy angels…

I consider their care a sacred calling. If God is love, then dogs have it in spades. As for Samuel a.k.a. “chihuahua man,” I learned his name just last night when I stepped out for some air. I saw him returning with his own barkies; he smiled and I addressed him:

“So you know my name, what’s yours?”

“Samuel,” he answered while kneeling down to scoop a dollop of chihuahua plop off the sidewalk.

“Oh, well that’s a good name” I replied, for lack of something better to say.

I then wished him a good evening and went on my way. So that was a nice exchange, if somewhat brief. I was careful not to impose upon him…and I guess he’s ashamed for his screechy behavior previously, so I’m also cautious not to hold that over his head. Or even mention it.

Now, Flaco still tends to pick up food off the ground, while Lucky seems to have gotten over it. Three incidents in the past week:

I caught her with a flat, dried out wedge of luncheon meat between her jaws…about the size of two credit cards, though triangular and twice as thick. She resisted as I held firmly onto her prize, but waving a ducky treat over her nose quickly resolved the matter. Couple days later, I suddenly found her with a large hunk of baguette in her mouth. She was looking up at me, as if awaiting my approval, that is: she did not gobble it right down. The moment I grabbed onto the bread, she let go…no doggy snack required. That was a nice surprise!

Then just yesterday she proudly wielded a drumstick that appeared out of nowhere, but again gazed up at me for a yea or nay. Of course it was “nay,” though for a moment I considered letting her enjoy the roasted flesh, as it was all in one, intact piece. The moment I grabbed it between forefinger and thumb, she let go. I tossed it into a nearby bin, so other dogs may not be tempted.

All these times I’ve had to remove found morsels from her mouth, Lucky paid no mind. As if he knows not to interfere, that I always act on what’s best for them. They BOTH know I’ve got their back, as I know they have mine.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek dropped by with the pups for several minutes, then…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 12:20 AM

…they all left. After he collected his $60 weekly allowance, of course. And after the doggies smothered me with their boundless affection…Lucky nipping away at my jacket’s right sleeve, up and down and up and down, like a barber’s electric razor, his little white teeth creating a temporary pleat in the process. I’ve never seen a dog do that before; he’s so silly! And all this time I cradled Flaco in the crook of my left arm, with my face pressed against hers. She radiated happiness to be with me again!

“Oh, I can’t have the dogs over tonight?” I coyly begged. He said maybe tomorrow, he’s got to get going, some business to tend to. (I can’t imagine what kind of mission that would be, if the pooches need to be with him. He’s just making it up…asserting his “ownership” over them.)

He said the doggies are okay, and they now have a little tent. All this is fine, and he was polite, mellow, clean appearance. It’s a delicate, cool night anyway, perfect doggy weather…and Flaco & Lucky appeared to be in great health and spirits, as usual. I did remind him that the dogs LOVE to visit, and I love having them, and they deserve their little breaks from the street.

But he didn’t cave in, and I didn’t care to force the issue, as he nonetheless came off serene and collected. And I’m sure Flaco & Lucky adore their new tent!

He also asked me to break a twenty, which was a nuisance because I don’t have the bills for that upstairs…so marched on over to Rosenberg’s, whence the clerk gave me two fivers twice. I hate putting shopkeepers out like this, it’s just not my style. It may be Deek’s, but it’s not mine. Just as it’s not my habit to hold conversations out my window, where every Tom, Dick, Jane and Harry knows my business. Deek sometimes starts talking to me at length while I’m at the window to signal that I’m home…which annoys me no end. So I have to gesture “hold on, I’ll be right down,” then when I step out I remind him NOT to start a dialog while I’m still upstairs.

No one looks out their window any more, so sometimes passersby glare up at me, like it’s the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen. And to this day I wonder WHY looking out one’s window no longer seems to be the proper thing to do, unless you’re some crippled, aging shut-in staring out a grimy porthole. Whatever happened to the public commons?

Once I handed the bills over, he and dogs and shopping cart rambled back up Market Street, towards downtown. Though their final destination may only be a couple of overlong blocks further up, where many homeless gather at night on that corner. Seated, slumped, camped out,  twitching, snoozing, unconscious or OD’d atop the tiered, concrete steps that open to a tundra-scale parking lot scattered with Safeway shopping carts and the vehicles of revenent patrons. Or perhaps Deek was traversing a few blocks further bay-wards, by the Civic Center, another late-night hot spot for the ungrateful undead.

Flaco looked back a couple of times while I stood there and watched them vanish into the sultry-cool night.

I expelled a sigh of disappointment (though not so much, because my three angels are doing VERY well), then returned hovel. Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson, but guess who was back at the front gate, sitting right beside it? That disgusting, stinky cussing vagrant! It’s like he just popped out of nowhere; he wasn’t there when I stepped out! At least he was sitting quietly for the nonce, but he always asks me–and anyone else who enters and exits–for spare change. He’s barely two feet away, and I can only turn that key so fast in my haste to distance myself. I always ignore him totally, but ready to spritz him with capsaicin, should he try something.

The REAL problem, is that at least TWO residents of this building actually hand him a blanket and some cash now and then, while he’s slouched right by the gate! Don’t they give a flying fuck about how that will just EMBED him there? Doesn’t his screaming anti-gay and racist slurs bother them at all? Well, I know at least ONE of them lives at the back of the edifice, facing 16th Street, so isn’t subjected to the idiot’s foul screeching. But I am, as are many others!

I KNOW the building manager would not appreciate any residents coddling these fuck-ups right outside the front gate. They COULD be violent, or cause other havoc in the vicinity, not to mention all those bigoted expletives!


Well, sixteen minutes or so have passed since I completed that previous paragraph. (Note I said “sixteen,” rather than “fifteen” or some other number divisible by five or ten, as is customary in literature…so I just decided to break with that convention for one solitary moment.) I took a short break to stroll a few blocks up and down Noe Street, and meditate upon my latest meetup with Deek. Oh, and that putrescent derelict was no longer by the gate, or anywhere else nearby…thank the enslaved Shoggoths who rose up against their cruel masters, the Elder Things.

I am so pleased with Deek’s newfound good manners and spirit these days, that my letdown at not having the pups visit tonight is a mere blip on my astral radar. For in my overwhelming efforts of many months, to protect the doggies as best I can, I have also achieved a remarkable transformation in Deek’s behavior and attitude! For which I am ALSO transformed…and it’s all been through my devoted efforts to move this situation towards a benevolent outcome!

All credit DOES go, however, not to yours truly, but to Lucky & Flaco: two astoundingly sweet-natured, kind and joyful little darlings who’ve ignited the spark of love in my heart like a blazing lanthorn! I look forward to the next time the mutts camp out with me; I’m sure it will be soon, perhaps tomorrow. However, I am just as jubilant over Deek’s progress, so much so that I know I can trust him implicitly with the mutts…that I need never worry about their happiness and well-being, ever again.

This has been the GREATEST lesson in my entire life, and my hope that sharing these Brindlekin Tales with the world will also put that same spark in my readers’ hearts, that the bowwows have in mine.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: They’re back! <3 <3 <3
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 12:01 PM

9:30 AM Deek showed up with the pups, he said they’ve been up all night, so will probably crash out right away. He gave me three items to recharge…will pick them up in a couple of hours, but the dogs can stay. He looked great, smiling and effervescent. So this affirms my last post, where I concluded he’s finally on an even keel, no choppy waters, and sailing in a positive direction. I thanked him profusely, and off he went on his bike.

Click here for a larger view.

As you can see, Lucky & Flaco are resting like a boss, after having enjoyed a full meal and lots of belly rubs, neck scritches and group hugs. Couldn’t have a better morning, with my brindlekin for company (knowing Deek is glowing with confidence), and a refreshing mug o’ java from Rosenberg’s…and listening to Randi Rhodes’ latest podcast. That gal rocks! If you haven’t heard of her before, I highly recommend you check her out.

I discovered her back in the early two thousands on the now-defunct Air America progressive radio network. I keep myself in the best company, every day…among whom YOU stand out like the north star!

Flaco has a small splotch of gum stuck to her side, which I will carefully remove in a short time from now. My little angels!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: They’re back! <3 <3 <3
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 1:58 PM

> Oh, yeah! Randi rocks, for sure!!!

Air America Radio Network also featured Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy, Al Franken, Nicole Sandler and Ron Reagan. I loved that show, and was SO sad when it ended…it aired on “Green 960,” just a short dial turn up from KGO’s 810 AM. Especially since they were a perfect replacement for the old, local KGO channel whose fantastic hosts got peremptorily kicked off once Cumulus took over. That was back in 2011. I’d fall asleep listening to Ray Taliaferro and his callers, some of whom became celebrities in their own right. Here’s an article about that tragic event, with interesting reader comments.

Well, now I’m confused because Wikipedia says the original KGO died in 2011, and Air America went off the air in 2010! I distinctly remember discovering Randi Rhodes et al, some months after Ray Taliaferro et al were wiped out! Maybe they were all reruns, and I didn’t know it? Hmm, I’ve gotta look into this some more.

I just finished removing the gum from Flaco’s golden coat…rubbed in a dot of margarine, let it sit for several minutes, then picked it all out with my fingernails. Here she is now, lookin’ pretty for the camera.

Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.

Re: Another article on lack of dental care in this country!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 29, 2021 1:57 PM

> Great quote from the article:
> “We say in America there is no such thing as class; when mouths open it will dispose of that myth. Full human dignity includes dental care.”

Yes, excellent wording. Though it’s devastating that we remain in the grip of medieval, Catholic notions of poverty and wealth. The idea that God frowns on the poor and exalts the wealthy, and other BS like that. We still use the words “landlord” and “tenant” for cripes sake! My prediction: the bogeyman of communism will turn out to be Santa Claus in our time.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: I just gave Deek the remainder of his allowance…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 31, 2021 9:35 AM

…instead of withholding. He asked for a $20 advance three days ago. When I handed him the rest this morning, I told him I’m out of dog food. He said people are always offering him dog food, but it’s not the same brand I use, and they wind up pooping all over the place. He didn’t give me a chance to suggest he give me back $20 so I can buy more cans of canine vittles…he just said thanks and zipped off on his bike, leaving the pups with me again.

He did ask if having them stay with me so often were okay, no problems with other residents. I told him no, it’s fine, they love the doggies. Which is quite true. Then he rattled on about how he’s looking for housing, food stamps, whatever he is eligible for, but remarked how they keep turning him down because he’s not a total derelict, alcoholic, crippled and in a wheelchair, over 60 years old, etc., etc. That sounds about right to me! But he’s persistent, and that’s what really counts. I gave him such a positive boost by expressing what a remarkable act of kindness his sharing the pups with me is…and reinforcing that point now and then!

So I’m not gonna get him wrapped up in my budget woes, or get upset that he didn’t allow me to use part of his allowance to purchase more doggy chow. He’s actually doing fantastic, and I DO have four cans of food left, plus $43 in my bank account. So, just four days of marginal misery, and I’ll come out at the other end all shiny and new! I’m gonna hate shoving a twenty into the laundromat’s change machine, but I at LEAST gotta run the two large sleeping bags through the drier, so the pups will have SOME comfort before I can afford to do the rest of my laundry. Which will be on the third, when my next Social Security payment arrives.

It’ll cost me less than three dollars to process those sleeping bags…the rest of the change ($16) will go to more dog food. Wait a minute, I’m not thinking: I may as well purchase the dog chow first, and use a smaller bill to get my laundry quarters. I’ll still have $20 to “play” with…either for food for yours truly, or more food for the pups. The cans are $1.79 each (plus tax) whereas via Amazon, they’re less than $1 each, when purchased in lots of 10. So Amazon screwed me over twice this month…first by package theft, then by an unexpectedly SLOW delivery of canned dog food.

I almost canceled that order, but then remembered a few other times, when the estimated arrival seemed excessively distant…but the items wound up at my address in just three or four days, anyway. I hate the stress of this budget bullshit, and the utter stupidity of how society puts low income people into such pointless, often horrific, scenarios. We’re just a joke to the powers that be!

Oh, yeah, and the OTHER problem is, though Morey’s has the same brand of canned dog food, most of the cans are the mushy meat, instead of chunky…they may not even have any of the latter remaining, after my 3-can purchase yesterday. Infuriating!

I’m sure I could run up credit at that shop, but I refuse to go that direction, if only because I went out on a limb recently in order to squelch potential violence at their shop. So I don’t want to make them feel put out in any way, by asking that favor. That would create an awkward association well into the future.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Just how TRUE Deek’s story is, about him going hither and yon to procure whatever assistance he can, is another kit and caboodle. He may be up to something else. However, his excellent attitude these days, mostly neat appearance, and taking such good care of the doggies (obviously) is quite impressive, nonetheless. IOW:

What, me worry?

Subject: Every time I turn my head around…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 31, 2021 8:32 PM

…the pups are back again! Deek dropped them off about three hours ago. He was with this little guy yapping away in a friendly manner about SOMEthing, I don’t know what. Deek had his mini-bike with him, so I guess he wanted to scoot around awhile, ride with the wind and all that.

A couple weeks back, when I was sound asleep with Flaco & Lucky curled up beside me, Deek’s “Yo!” repeated several times woke me up. (But not the dogs, they were in deep snooze mode.) It was half-past five!

But I was not so bothered, considering all the good energy between us these days. Upon opening the front gate he said, “I’ll try not to make a habit of this.” I just laughed, glad that we now have this amicable relationship established for once and for all (no backsliding any more). Don’t remember what he needed at that time, did not want the dogs back.

Didn’t want any of his charged devices back, or money. Maybe he gave me another device to recharge; but still, that wouldn’t motivate him to disturb my sleep. I just can’t remember. Whatever it was, it must’ve been important to him…and I was back in dreamland a minute later.

Perhaps I dreamt it?

-Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: UPDATE: Elevator – Dennis – Building Mgr.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 1, 2021 8:32 PM

Elevator is ready to go, just waiting on PG&E to hook it all up. However, they won’t budge from moving their appointment any earlier than some day in October. Jeez!

Early last night I saw Dennis sitting on the stairway, just a few steps up from the lobby floor. Obviously, his fall was not serious enough to warrant overnight care…or maybe it did, but COVID patients got in the way! I said hello, don’t move I can get around you, have a lovely night. He had just finished speaking with someone on his smartphone, when I stepped in…guessing it’s his nurse’s aide. An hour later I stepped out to go to the back porch, and saw him now sitting on the stairs just off my floor. That means he moved barely 15 steps since I encountered him in the lobby!

Another resident came up the stairs, asked if he’s okay, if he needs any help. Dennis just said he’s alright, but thanks. I don’t know what happened since, though by this morning he wasn’t anywhere on the stairs, though one of his hospital shoes was lying there in the hallway.

I took the doggies out for their walk about an hour ago, and the building manager was stepping inside as I came down the stairs. The pups were hesitant in proceeding down each step…not because someone was in the lobby, but because they sometimes do that, in order to heel themselves. Which is a nuisance when they keep close while using the stairs; their polite manners sometimes don’t work as intended. They proceed a couple of steps, then pause until I “catch up” by squeezing my feet between them on the same step. They they repeat. I’d prefer they just go on ahead and remain several steps in advance of my own presence, which sometimes they do, especially when I say, “Mush! Mush!”

So I tapped each one on the butt: “C’mon, you can do this!” They didn’t bark once as we reached the lobby and walked right up to Kevin. They just stood around, patiently waiting for me to open the gate. We had a very nice talk, he informed me about the elevator’s readiness (which I shared with you above), and wished me and the mutts a pleasant stroll. But the most important aspect of this encounter was how QUIET the dogs were…and right in front of the manager, and in the lobby, a spot where they are most likely to bark up a storm.

They have also crossed paths TWICE in the past week, with residents and their dogs…and neither Flaco nor Lucky barked very much, or loudly. Closer to woofs than barks, and just a few seconds’ outburst. And all this without my having to distract them with a doggy treat, including today’s encounter with Kevin!

I also told him how well Deek is doing these days, growing in leaps and bounds. And that it looks like my getting the police involved was the necessary shock to make these changes for the better. I don’t think he cared for me to update him in this matter…though I DO think he’s impressed. But if not, so be it, for I am nonetheless:

In awe of myself, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 10:51 AM

This gives me all day and tomorrow morning to strip down my room, and get most heat treatment done at the laundromat. He apologized for taking so long to return, I said that’s fine and I’m glad he had such a nice adventure. Which was crazy stuff about getting lost across the bridge, up there in Marin County, and a whole lotta BS about drug dealers, girlfriends and ex-cons from some secret gov’t prison, and other nonsense that I’ve already forgotten.

Otherwise, he appears to be perfectly stable and in great spirits. The pups were happy to be with him again, totally mellow about departing my sanctuary. He’ll be back later today, to pick up two gizmos that are now plugged in for the usual recharge.

Earlier, as I returned hovel from walking the pooches, there was Kevin standing outside as if waiting for someone to pick him up (maybe a cab). The dogs were perfectly quiet as we approached, I told them to say hello, and Lucky stood up on his hind legs, with upper paws pressing upon his knee. He smiled and pet them.

A good start to my day, and I have managed to enjoy my two cups of java daily, keep the doggies well fed, provide for my own victuals, get all my clothing and bedding heat treated…and STILL have seven dollars remaining! Gee, what will I spend it on, my cup already runneth over.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 1:29 PM

> All quiet on the western front!

With a friendly “quack” echoing across the pond.

Re: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 2:06 PM

> What a thoughtful, intelligent-looking duck!

He stood right out of the flock (of images) when searching for “duck”…maybe had something to do with it. Then, when he suddenly spoke upon my first glimpse of his friendly face, “Say hi to Wattson for me!” I knew he was the right duck for the job.

Subject: Laundry’s done, but I’m ready to drop!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 5:40 PM

Back and forth, back and forth, four blocks each way, running one load after another on high heat for 40 minutes a pop. I usually stretch it out AFTER the bug treatment is done, as I don’t NEED so many fluffy blankets, and would rather NOT put that much stress on me. But I did it for the doggies’ sake…I want them to have as much cushy comfort as possible, and as soon as possible, once they return.

In order to accomplish this, I went without breakfast until after the laundromat closed, which was 3:30 PM. Just now I finished dining on two slices of Alvarado Street Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Never tasted so good! And generously slathered with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, to boot! Plus, a piping hot cup of Barry’s Afternoon Irish Tea. That’s the tea Deek gave me several evenings back…and it’s quite delish! Speaking of Deek:

After handing me the devices to be recharged, he bandied about what time he’ll show up to get them. I told him if I don’t answer at the window, he can find me at the laundromat. But then I added: after three-thirty is great, ’cause I’ll definitely be done with the laundry by then, that’s when they close.

So off he goes with the pooches, and off I go to bring my first load to the laundromat. No sooner had I gotten there and cashed in my five-spot for twenty quarters, than I heard a voice call out to me: “Zeke! What are you doing here?”

I turned around and saw Deek poking his head through the door. “I’m in a rush, don’t wanna wait any longer, I wanna get my stuff!”

I hollered back to just wait a minute, let me put my things in the dryer.

“C’mon, I gotta hurry. No one’s gonna steal your laundry!”

I then reminded him from across three rows of washing machines (no one else was there, thank Hera), that I’m not about to dance for him every time he snaps a finger. Having said that, I ignored the rest of his blabber and shoved eight, mismatched skinny throw rugs into the drier, along with the duffel bag used to carry them here. Which took all of twenty-two seconds. Jeez! I wasn’t about to do yet aNOTHER back-and-forth run just for one of his whims.

I bet he didn’t imagine I was gonna do more than that one load today…it’s all about his gangsta rap music. Nothing else matters.

He and the pups escorted me back hovel, whereby I ran upstairs to get the smartphone and Bluetooth speaker. Once more they departed, and I returned upstairs. Figures he’d pull that on me, knowing how busy I am today! I DID spot a mischievous gleam in his eye. Lucky playfully grabbed onto my pant cuff numerous times along the way, as Flaco and Deek happily tagged along.

Now, all that remains is getting rid of the tarps, and moving my workstation laptop, external monitor, two peripheral hard drives, a keyboard and a mouse to the closet area, so the exterminator has easy access to that section of the room. I can do all that tomorrow, with plenty of time to spare before he arrives, suited up like an astronaut.

BTW, Deek thanked me again, profusely, for all the good things I do, especially for helping with the pups. I told him their company is ALWAYS a blessing and an honor. He’s really happy as a clam these days! This is a wonderful outcome, n’est-ce pas? Maybe my trilogy should end here, or do you think, perhaps, I should wait until I’m crowned emperor of earth, which should take just a few more chapters, anyway.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Do you think this pepper is hot?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 8:27 PM

Found it by the curb on Noe Street last night, while walking the pups. No doubt a stray, left behind by our weekly Castro Farmers Market. I haven’t cut it open yet, to sample a piece, but wondering if you are familiar with this particular variety. I’m thinking of dicing it up and tossing it into my lentil stew tonight. Since I’m out of moolah to buy veggies for this evening’s dish, which I’m about to prepare.


Those white, crumply-plastic grocery bags are just the right size and durability for packing the dog food I give to Deek once or twice a week: five cans of wet chow, and two 1-gallon Ziploc bags of kibble. But I never need to bag my groceries since I always carry a backpack for that. I used to NOT wear my pack on those times I need another bag for Deek’s dog vittles, as an excuse to get one. But recently it occurred to me to just pick a clean one off the sidewalk, as such a find is often at my toe-tips.

Yesterday afternoon while returning from Morey’s I found just such a bag, checked it for cleanliness, saw it was good to go, so folded and stuffed it into a pocket. Almost back home after crossing 16th Street, a kind fellow walking towards me called out:

“Your bag just flew out of your pocket!”

I turned to him and said, “Oh, thanks…uh, where did it go?”

He pointed to the intersection of Market, 16th & Noe, with traffic whooshing by. And yep, there it was, fluttering along the curb of the MUNI island, stationary for the moment. It was then I decided that risking my life for the sake of a lousy plastic bag that I can easily replace in a dragonfly’s heartbeat is not worth it.

So I turned back around towards my building, leaving the renegade sack to its own, likely sorry, fate.


Two days ago as I stepped out with the pooches, I spotted Dieter seated alone at the outdoor dining parklet around the corner: a small restaurant that serves Mediterranean style food. I often see him there, almost every day it seems, sometimes alone, but usually with a friend or two (or three). This is a great spot for him, as it’s just around the corner, and his bad knees make it difficult to walk very far. For which reason he’s always seen outdoors with a portable, folding wheelchair that he uses more as a walker than a seat.

Whenever he’s by himself, and the dogs are with me, I bring them over so he can pet and admire them, which he greatly enjoys. After a solid ten minutes of badinage, I wished him a good meal, and began to depart. But I was halted by the obstruction of a handsome fellow holding a chihuahua in his arms, and a homeless person with a shopping cart right beside. Not that they knew each other, it’s just how the stars aligned at that moment. So I remained close to Dieter to assess the situation, and decided to wait until one or the other passed by, rather than squeezing myself and the pups between them. For surely they would bark at the rattling of the cart’s wheels, as they are wont to do, when accompanied by an obvious vagrant. That particular combination really gets the brindlekin all snarled up.

But they remained in that one spot, so I figured I could walk around them, on the right side, furthest from the street bum. Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson: the moment I proceeded forward, the vagrant became animated and started pushing the cart in our direction…and the mutts vocalized their wrath in HIS direction!

I turned to Dieter and said: “See that? This goes on all the time, some homeless person in a nasty mood SEES an opportunity to cause a ruckus and WAITS until everything falls into place, then does his thing.”

Dieter nodded in agreement and, just at that moment, the strapping young fellow with the chihuahua addresses me (we are now within several feet of each other):

“See? It’s okay for a dog to be a dog now and then!”

I saw then, he was accompanied by a young woman, also carrying a chihuahua in her arms. I smiled back and replied:

“Oh, I don’t think my dogs are barking at yours, it’s the shopping cart rattling by.”

“Yes, I think so! Your dogs are very cute, what are their names?”

I very much enjoyed his gregarious spirit, and we had a delightful conversation. Turns out his/their chihuahuas were rescued from a meth lab! I told him a bit of my own story about Lucky & Flaco (that a meth dealer still owns them but he’s a nice guy, blah blah blah). They both were amazed, and wished me a happy outcome in the long run.

Before they departed, I told them these pups are so inspiring, I’m writing about our adventures on my blog, they are always free to read, just google “brindlekin tales,” brindle and kin are one word.

“But watch out,” I warned, “it’s already turned into a trilogy!”

Then off they went, and I, likewise. A few seconds later I realized I had my wallet on me, and in it are several of my brindlekin cards. So I turned about, rushed up to them and said:

“Excuse me, I have something for you!”

I extracted my card and held it out to them. The moment they saw the image and title, they were charmed, and thanked me for the card.

Who knows where this could lead to? These doggies have given me SUCH incredible aspiration!

Re: Do you think this pepper is hot?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 10:40 PM

> I’d be careful. The littler they are, the more lethally hot they tend to be!!

I just sampled it…not so much as a blush of heat. Though, immediately after thoroughly masticating a pinky-nail-sized piece and swallowing it, it occurred to me that it might be a fruit from an ornamental kind of pepper plant, containing some toxic substance that could put me in the box and six feet under. Upon that realization, my last thought, I keeled over and ordered one of my infinite doppelgangers to compose this missive, and all future ones. Hopefully, he learned his lesson by observing my sudden dismissal from this plane of existence, and tossed it away.

> A sensible decision, old chap. You can be sure the plastic bag would not risk its life for you!

I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath, Wattson!

> Serendippity-doo!!!!

Reminds me of the time, years and years ago, I came across an arrangement of doggy poo that was an exact replica of Stonehenge. I quickly ran home (just another SRO like this one) to obtain an old shoebox filled with assorted weird trinkets I absconded from the Archeology Department’s trash bin (including a collection of counterfeit scarabs and not-so-Native-American beadwork), emptied the contents onto my desk, then ran back to the miraculous discovery and gingerly slid it into the box. I had no idea how to preserve it, as it was rather moist and stunk to high heaven!

After considerable deliberation as it sat on my bed smelling up not just my own room, but the entire floor and the one above, I decided to dehydrate it in one of the ovens located in an area of the basement that served for a communal kitchen. So again, I carefully moved the extraordinary canine diorama, this time onto a cookie sheet…and inserted it into the gas oven set at approximately 165 degrees.

I kept close watch as the minutes passed into, well, more minutes…and it seemed to be drying out like you’d expect proper hound turds would. Then, after around 25 minutes, the house mom stepped in through the alleyway door that opened right into the basement, and its kitchen quarters. He was a burly, tall Swede…accent and all, and a handsome brute of a blond, who was the boyfriend of (and later impregnated) my college campus friend, Kate Krahling, whose name I adopted as my own, decades later…minus the G.

“Jesus Mary & Joseph, what is that STINK in here?”

I looked up at him from the large, communal table, like an uninvited guest to The Last Supper, whose sudden appearance caused everyone else to flee in great haste, including the guest of honor.

“Umm,” I drew out my reply in order to come up with some credible excuse. “It’s a science experiment?”

He glared at me: “Whatever you’re doing, STOP IT NOW, it’s stinking up the whole house! Take it to a lab, do your experiments there!”

And with that, he spun around and departed with a loud slam of the door. At that moment, my Stonehenge replica collapsed like a soufflé, and my heart was crushed. I never had a chance to photograph it before its unexpected fall from grace, so of course no one believed my story. As I’m sure you don’t either!

The Final Chapter (part 19)

August 19, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17s]

Subject: A Friendly Greet with the Building Manager
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 8, 2021 12:25 PM

Just this morning, returning from Rosenberg’s with my java, I politely held the gate open for Kevin, and said “good morning.” He replied in kind, so I queried about the compost situation…told him I was careful walking down the stairs, to dispose of my week’s worth of food scraps. He explained that several steps need to be replaced, and the job should be done within two or three days. I gave him a hearty thank-you, and we went our separate ways.

So that was good: no sign of annoyance on his part; in fact, he came off amicably. I’m glad I had that moment to show kindness; it’s the little things that truly count. Meanwhile, I just found this article about Carl Jung and his take on Tarot cards.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: A Friendly Greet with the Building Manager
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 8, 2021 4:03 PM

> I agree with Jung: we could predict the future if we fully understood the past. We would be able to know how things would culminate. Of course, such an ability would have to be factored in.

That ability seems to be an aspect of the creative force…and, probably, the result of a person having studied a subject in depth that deals with history, sociology, politics, anthropology or other interests that require extensive knowledge of the past. For it makes one more perceptive, thus able to make predictions based on previous cycles of the human story. Some are so good at it they come off as possessing psychic powers! Take Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale,” that so concisely foretold today’s horrific social eruptions. The same can be said for numerous other authors and great thinkers.

But since such a talent is more rare than common, it can be a curse for those so gifted, as Cassandra knew so well! I can certainly relate, as I seem to likewise possess that ability, to some extent…thanks to my lifelong dedication to sexual minorities and the homeless (plus other interests such as anthropology and world religions and mythologies). The antagonism from others less aware never stops! Though it DOES seem to be subsiding, finally…which is amazing in and of itself. You are also so gifted, being the creative muse you clearly are, good doctor.

But what I prognosticate is the BLOSSOMING of humanity (rather than its annihilation) during this time of fomenting turmoil, with a victorious transformation of LGBT rights leading the way. I can envision, in part, just HOW this will come about. The big picture shines clearly in my mind, though many pieces of the puzzle are not apparent, nor is the timeline as accurate as I’d like. I tend to predict things occurring sooner than they do, by years if not decades. But they DO come true, just in Kismet’s time and not my own.

What is so amazing about all this, is that behind LGBTs and leading THEM–as well as the entire race of homo sapiens–into this golden era is not some great statesman, earth shaking event, or even that blockbuster TV series “Rick and Morty,” but instead (and hold onto your seat):

two perfectly sweet little doggies.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: A Friendly Greet with the Building Manager
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 8, 2021 5:15 PM

> “but instead (and hold onto your seat): two perfectly sweet little
> doggies.”
> I think it makes perfect sense!

I hate to break the news to you this way, Wattson, but you’re not normal.

Subject: A genuine smile in the Castro made my day!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 11, 2021 12:13 PM

Since the pandemic took off like a harridan, I ceased my morning coffee walks through the Castro, to simply return hovel. But yesterday morning when I stepped out of Rosenberg’s with java in hand, I decided to resume my neighborhood stroll, at least for one day. So I first crossed Market to reach the shady side of the street, as the weather was warming up and the piercing beams of Old Man Sol would otherwise be stabbing into my eye sockets like an ice pick. (I know: that was over-the-top dramatic, so suffice it to say I’m not a sun worshiper by any means.)

As I approached Castro Street and the tacky Chevron station that also sells cigarettes, sour coffee and cheap, packaged snacks, along came this mellow, large black dude with thick, curly black hair, and holding half a pizza flat with trinkets he found along the way. Obviously homeless, though of somewhat neat appearance and friendly demeanor. As I swerved to my right and by the curb to grant him easy passage, he suddenly beamed a bright smile at me and said, “Good morning, God bless you!”

Well that perked me up, so I turned back towards him and replied: “Thank you! Good morning and God bless you, too…you just made my day!” That was a genuine wish on his part, and it made me glow inside. As we each continued our strolls in opposite directions, I noticed that Subway sandwiches was boarded up and closed, and I wondered how long it’s been that way. Nonetheless, he DID make my day, his smile like the promise of better times ahead. Thus, rather than walking with my friendly ghosts from “Castro Past” as I traversed a broad swath of the valley, I thought of my recent adventures with a grateful heart, knowing they will all lead to benevolent outcomes, each and every one. Some already have.

Upon nearing hovel after looping around (and meandering through) several long blocks, I also reached the end of my cup, barely two sips remained. Just before swigging down the final drops of my aureate elixir, a skinny elderly gentleman in blue jeans and yellow-striped, white shirt passed by, greeting me with a gentle “good morning.” I cheerfully responded as well, and observed him and his teensy long-haired dachshund continue their merry stroll towards 18th Street. The little sausage wanted to greet me, of course, but I thought the owner might be wary about that, so I just gave a friendly wave before turning homeward.

Later that day, around 4:30 PM, Deek showed up to hand over the pups and collect his allowance. As well as leave me with three devices to charge up: another new Bluetooth speaker (this one vertical, like a small tower), a battery pack, and a fancy-schmancy Samsung phone that he actually purchased new about a week ago…no doubt through the black market because better price. He returned a few hours later for his gizmos, told me to keep the mutts overnight, he’ll pick them up tomorrow or the next.

I am so pleased at how calm and high spirited he is these days! Before departing last night, he reminded me to show them love. I assured him I always do, and that Lucky favors neck scritches, while Flaco her belly rubs. He agreed with a flashy smile: I could see his teeth are still white and whole, now that his smiles have resumed after many frown-laden months. He then wished me a good night and took off. THERE HAS BEEN NOT AN IOTA OF DEVILMENT ON HIS PART FOR OVER THREE MONTHS NOW! Which only gives further credence to my Bodhisattva Premise:

That this is all scripted, and Deek is in on it. That his situation with the pups is not all it appears to be…they are better off when with him, than one would think. IOW, they probably have another place to stay and keep safe, warm and happy. The pups’ behavior all along gives indication they are mostly housed; not to mention how spotlessly clean they always are. And he, himself, is not truly homeless. Others are in on the game, too, such as the building manager, chihuahua man, my “quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway,” Myrtle & son, Morey’s corner store, and even the SFPD! But since I’ve already elaborated upon my conjecture in previous posts, I won’t belabor the point, and just stop here with this new revelation:

Deek’s transformation is my own transformation.

Here are two new videos of Lucky, that I just took this morning…delightful as always (great thumbnails BTW):

As for my latest howling video I just texted you: I wish I could’ve caught the whole thing, starting with Lucky’s sitting up once they hear the siren, waiting to see if Flaco would decide to howl, before joining in, himself. Capturing only the tail end does not do justice to such a precious little scenario!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: A genuine smile in the Castro made my day!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 11, 2021 3:11 PM

> How great to get those friendly smiles! I have transcendent experiences with strangers fairly often. Truly memorable.

Unusual for the Castro, at least for me it is. That’s what made it so great. Like waking up to a new, and better, reality.

> When I lived in town, and heard the fire siren, I always knew that within seconds there would be a chorus of doggy howls joining in. It would come from all directions, dogs many blocks apart singing together. It was wonderful.

They are the voices of love, nature’s church bells.

> Some dogs have a musical ear, an inheritance from their wolfy ancestors!

As you’ve probably noticed, Lucky has this amusing, halfhearted warble that is a counterpoint to Flaco’s more resonant howls. He never instigates the baying, but prefers to accompany his sister, once she begins her song. She really gets into it, as if to say: “Listen to me! This is immense!” And I do give her my rapt attention, because it’s an honor to do so, for all the kindness she gives.

> Great videos.

Charming little video vérité vignettes! One day, my Brindlekin Tales will warm many hearts.

> And of course, I got sucked into watching others.

Of course. Doggy time is always lovey-dovey time.

> here’s a heartwarmer.

TRULY soul-touching!

One comment there: “Whoever tried to abandon the dog AFTER SAVING HER: Satan’s children.”

I totally agree; what nasty people, attempting to dump that sweet, trusting pup when its new master was sound asleep. Thank god he awoke soon enough, and was not so far away to recover her promptly. And that wonderful person who kept the pooch for five months, much longer than she expected him to be gone, before returning to retrieve her. I can’t imagine the logistics of getting permission to allow the dog to get through customs and to her forever home. Amazing true tale from deep in the heart of the Amazon!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject:They’re Playing Me!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 11, 2021 8:28 PM

Upon returning from walking the pups an hour ago, I enter the front gate only to discover that BOTH the building manager (Kevin) and my quasi-fascist neighbor (Moe) are chatting on the first landing, which is in clear view from the lobby. IOW, I see them and they see me, so there is NO way I can step back out and wait until they disperse elsewhere. I already have two ducky treats at hand (as is my habit these days), to distract the mutts from barking, especially in tight quarters going up or down the narrow stairs. Which works up to a point; they still bark, but it’s brief and nowhere near as cacophonous as before.

But THIS, dear Wattson, is a worst-case scenario straight outta the Devil’s Playbook, in light of WHICH two residents they are, forcing me to squeeze by with the doggies, come hell or high water. I was hoping such an inevitable confrontation would NOT occur until a little further down the line, when the pups would be even tamer, that is: more adjusted to this building’s foot traffic. GOD-DAMN-STILL-OUT-OF-ORDER ELEVATOR!

Had the lift been in operation by now, none of this barking “problem” would even be a thing. Though I’ve considered it a non-issue all along, as MOST residents are charmed by the pups, and find their boisterous show hilarious, because of how diminutive and obviously harmless they are. And that, eventually, they’d adapt and the barks would subside soon enough. But no, Kevin has to be a byatch about it, due most likely to my debacle with him over the Myrtle-and-son fiasco earlier this year, which I WON hands down. While at the same time giving him a well deserved black eye in my complaint to Ablahblah Realty.

So of course I play it cool and barge right on up the stairs, holding the treats over their noses to guide them directly through the narrow (but imposing) gauntlet of my two, greatest arch enemies occupying 9666 Market Street! They stand aside barely enough for THIS hapless trio to scamper through, as the pups go into barking frenzy mode, and I keep one hand forward, saying a couple of times: “Keep your eyes on the treat!” To my relief that works, as they sound off a scant three seconds…the time it took to pass through this “second gate.” So they barked a total of five consecutive steps: two just before, and two just after. Perfectly silent, otherwise. I hope they were impressed…any SANE person would be. But get this, good doctor:

Moe had said something to the pooches as we slipped by, but I was too preoccupied with keeping them quiet as possible, to give it any attention until a few minutes later, when his words echoed in my skull:

“I bet if I gave you some treats, you wouldn’t bark!”

That surprised me in a pleasant manner, especially since his tone of voice was calm and friendly. So once more my Bodhisatvva Premise kicks in:

They’re playing me, Wattson! As sort of evil stepsisters to my Cinderella, that I stand out as hero by my dedication to the dogs’ well-being regardless of any animosity or threats flung my way. And doing so while keeping an amicable face towards mine enemies…”right thinking,” the way of the Buddha! Moe’s kind words were one of those bodhisattva hints I’ve spoken of, that they toss in now and then in the midst of one’s struggles…a bit of affirmation to lift your spirits. For they are compassionate at heart, though some play your adversary for a time, that you grow in spirit by accepting their challenges and learning to rise above them. Furthermore:

These hints begin to flow fast and thick, once you reach the end of your struggles with a successful score of one hundred percent. IOW, they are about to drop their devilish mask and reveal themselves as the angels they truly are. And shower you with accolades for a job well done.

Assuming my theory is correct, then OF COURSE Deek is in on it with them, and numerous others who’ve played my foe in one way or another, to a greater or lesser extent. Including Arwyn, whom I strongly suspect of composing this script from beginning to end…long and drawn out, that it may encompass an incredible number of amazing true tales! While scarcely an actor in my Brindlekin Tales trilogy–unlike when he was the star of my previous novel–he remains the major force, albeit behind the scenes.

Like a brilliant puppeteer.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: THREE TIMES TODAY, people have complimented upon the beauty of these pups. One occurence was from the wraparound deck of Lookout: a gay bar on the second floor and right on the corner of Noe & 16th. As I crossed the street with Flaco & Lucky, they hooted and whistled down at us, saying things like “lovely pooches,” “cute doggies” and stuff like that. The pups looked up and barked back with glee, until we finally passed under them, and beyond.

Then about a block further down (on Noe Street) some sprightly old lady walking in the middle of the street (which was closed to traffic, as Wednesdays are our Castro Market days, when local farmers sell their fresh, organic produce), called to me:

“Oh, what lovely, sweet dogs!”

“Thank you,” I called back, “they’re half dachshund and half terrier…and all bundle of love!”

She stood there a moment to admire them from twenty feet away, then departed with the words:

“You’re a very lucky man!”

“Yes I am,” I replied. “And THIS dog here is even named Lucky!”

On my way back, a lesbian couple in a large makeshift stall used in the afternoons by Jefferey’s Natural Pet Foods for dog training classes, called me over to comment on how gorgeous my brindlekin are. I thanked them, told them their names, and a bit about how I acquired them.

“They’re REAL rescue dogs, right off the street!”

They asked if they could give them a little treat and I said, sure. The pups were very polite, and graciously accepted the handout. The couple thanked me profusely for allowing them to admire the pooches, then got back to their class, which contained five other people and their dogs. A lot of barking, and jovial human voices.

It was a sunny, warm day with a cool breeze that brought out the best in people, apparently.

What do you want to bet, Wattson, that the building manager and my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall, read my Brindlekin blog tales faithfully? Makes sense if my Bodhisattva Premise is true. Which means they will have a good laugh reading today’s encounter between them and my pooches, in my upcoming chapter. Which should be out in a week or so. This ALSO implies that even some at Ablahblah Realty read them, too! As I guess do Myrtle & son, plus the folks at Morey’s corner store.

I should start carrying a few of my Brindlekin Tales cards, now that more people are noticing them these days! I’ll try to save up a bit of money to print out another batch by the end of the month…I only have about fifteen left! And here’s a video I just took of Lucky fluffing up his blanket before settling in. Lit only by my portable LED lamp, which suddenly blacked out during the recording. Couldn’t have happened at a worse time, drats!

Subject: Putting 2 + 2 together…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 12, 2021 10:22 AM

…and coming up with a solid 4.

Dieter and I get along very well, and he loves the pups, and is friends with the building manager…they even live on the same floor, just a couple of doors away from each other. What better person could I have, to vouch for the pups’ kindness and good behavior? Why this realization didn’t occur to me earlier is beyond me, old chap!

Plus, every time I spoke to Dieter about my frustrations with Kevin, it was never with hatred, but concern…and stating that I always meet antagonism with compassion, as that is the Buddhist path. He is aware of my clash with Kevin over the Myrtle-&-son conflict, has seen the video of Adisa and lackeys harassing me at the front gate, and has also read Kevin’s wicked letter that falsely accused the dogs of biting Adisa, as well as declaring the most prejudicial, anti-homeless rant I’ve seen in a long time.

Dieter IS, by the way, another homeless advocate; he’s friends with a few of them himself. Not that he is a full-blown activist on their behalf, but clearly grasps how I’ve suffered years of hostility by my fellow queers…the spoiled ones that is, those flush with money and who flaunt their prosperity like they’re the Gay God’s Chosen. Most of whom, of course, are either Republican or Libertarian. Little diff between the two, except one party is anti-marijuana, and the other is pro.

He has often brought this up, this sharp turn to the right by our LGBT community, expressing much disgust over how things have changed for the worst over the years, in this once-affordable and welcome mecca for gays, the poor and eccentric outsiders (many of whom were artists driven out of the city years ago, due to costly gentrification and increasing enmity against our kind).

Amazing how I’ve survived it all: escaping from a dysfunctional family, evading the draft without penalty, dodging the AIDS bullet, as well as not succumbing to either hard drugs or mandatory psychiatric doping. Nowadays, there’s Trumpism, COVID-19, and looming economic and climate disaster to deal with. Thank God for Flaco and Lucky and their incredible master, Deek! For they are key to my ongoing survival, and more: THRIVING through it all.

Yes, of course, you deserve MUCH credit as well, for you came before them, and paved my way to where I am today: not just a legend in my own mind, but a global super hero!

Good morning Wattson! Another day has begun, and I hope yours is SPECTACULAR.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: They’re Playing Me!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 12, 2021 2:12 PM

> “people have complimented upon the beauty of these pups.”
> This is lovely.

Well on their way to becoming the mascots of the Castro. What I’ve been struggling for all along!

Deek collected the pooches yesterday evening. Just came by today, so I could charge his smartphone and speaker. Then he said he’ll be right around the corner, and will return to pick up the devices later. Which I guesstimate will be in about two hours. But the important aspect of all this is:

HE’S REALLY MELLOW THESE DAYS! I have finally won the dragon’s trust, as I described my challenge to ensure the pups have a happy, long life. A fairy tale analogy, where I compare his dangerous bipolarity to a dragon, and the doggies to a fair maiden imprisoned in the leviathan’s lair. And I, the knight in shining armor, who has concluded he must also befriend the wyvern (rather than slaughter it), in order to free the maiden. A happy ending for all parties involved, no one excluded. This is quite Jungian, what with the archetypal layer.

You know how Arab shopkeepers like to address their customers as “boss?” I recall the first time that happened to me (years ago of course), and I found it quite witty. Well, this morning when I entered Rosenberg’s, Charlie greeted me with the usual, “Good morning, boss, how are you?”

I said just fine, thanks, then proceeded to pour my coffee (it’s self-serve). As I did so, another customer entered the store, and Charlie addressed him as well: “Good morning, boss, how are you?”

A moment later I stepped up to pay, and remarked: “I just learned something!”

“Yes, what’s that?” he queried.

“I’m not the only one you call ‘boss!'”

That cracked him up, as was my intent.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Catching Up (odds & ends)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 15, 2021 7:33 PM

Yesterday, Jack and wife who run that friendly corner shop with Morey, offered me all the fresh, organic plums I want. They were gathered from a relative’s backyard, and now fill a large carton bursting with sweet, purple-dark drupes! I gladly snatched up an armful, and thanked them profusely. So things are flourishing once more with them, in spite of that vile attack two weeks ago by Adisa and lackeys. The punks have NOT returned to cause more chaos, and Jack has quickly bounced back to excellent health, and he looks it. I know they greatly appreciate my nipping a potential tragedy in the bud…glad, though, no one’s making a big deal of it.

Over five weeks ago, the Snap Program has granted me a princely sum of $20 per month in food stamps, though they have yet to send me the magnetized card that will permit me to spend it. Yet they continue to update me with email notices, such as one stating an extra sum has been added to my account, thanks to the pandemic. They didn’t say how much, but I presume it’s based on a percentage of what I’m already receiving. So my guesstimate is around one or two dollars…though it could be as little as a dime. I’ll have to call their office about the missing plastic, though I strongly doubt plodding through their phone menu tree will achieve the goal of actually procuring said card.

Since I’ve begun giving Lucky copious neck scritches as of several weeks back, he now vies with Flaco to scramble onto my skinny lap. Nonetheless, she persists in pushing him aside with surprising force that, were it not for my own, stronger arm, she’d accomplish. My solution is to embrace them simultaneously, while calling out: “Group hugs! Group hugs!” Then I sort out the belly rubs (which Flaco favors) from the neck scritches, with a separate hand dedicated to each purpose. (Did I say that right? It kinda sounds like I’m an octopus.) It’s a tough assignment, but someone’s gotta do it!

Much to my happy astonishment, I continue to doze off like a log, and wake up each morning totally refreshed some time around 7:30! This is NOT the Zeke I’ve known since childhood, living out my pupate phase in the youthful know-nothingness of suburbia’s gray cocoon. Certainly, the doggos’ delightful company has restored in me that superb state of inner peace. When visiting, they always greet each morning with incredible joie de vivre, starring myself as their hero…and continue such high spirits throughout the day and unto sleepy time once more!

Regarding Medicaid’s astronomical share of cost, causing lack of dental care (as well as that for ear and eye exams/treatment) even though you ARE eligible to receive such on paper: I HAVE BEEN HEARD, after years of speaking out! First, as of late last year, Governor Newsom declared Medi-Cal services to be free for all recipients, starting some time in 2021…eventually settling on April for the kickoff month. And now, Democrats are pushing for dental coverage (and hearing and eye care) under Medicare’s umbrella. This is how it should have been all along, but I’m elated it’s finally coming true. I’m not saying “I have been heard” literally; it’s just that I’ve been struggling to get the Dems to realize what a serious issue this is, and needs to be rectified ASAP. Whether or not these vital services finally get absorbed into Medicare (the GOP will fight it tooth and nail), it is sufficient to me that our party CLEARLY UNDERSTANDS this tragedy, and is now taking up arms. I NO LONGER STAND ALONE! My wish has come true, so to speak. Whether or not my OWN words in cyberspace had anything to do with it, may never be known. But I’m glad I put them out there, just the same.

There seems to be a much greater awareness of yours truly, among the Castro’s homeless population. Which I’d say was triggered seven months ago by Deek’s running around like Chicken Little and telling everyone I stole his pups. (If only it were that simple!) Then witnessing further developments as they saw me helping him care for the pooches, and how amicably this arrangement has turned out. Including his showing up more frequently with a street friend or two, during our meetups. Which is fine with me, at this point. In fact, several days ago two buddies were tagging along when I stepped out to hand over the pups (after a good, long rest), and a fresh supply of dog food. One of them gave me a cordial hello and a smile. Of course I returned the kindness, but it wasn’t till some time later when I returned hovel, that I realized it was that same, large black dude who said “good morning” and “god bless you” in passing (during my coffee stroll through the Castro) just two days before!

We have all learned, recently, that bandannas are NOT a good masking option. I sure wish these “experts” had told us right from the git-go! We have always known that N95 masks are the best way to go…and now, we understand that three-layered cloth masks come in second place (with silk right at the top, followed by cotton, then polyester). But I still had to figure out which cloth masks are the best, among the myriad offered on Amazon…rifling through negative reviews, as well as positive. For some buyers, the ear straps pop off easily, or they’re too loose or too tight. Or the masks are tinted with a toxic dye, or they have a chemical stink or make your skin break out in rashes, and so forth. And even some of the expensive N95 brands may be counterfeit!

So rather than waste my money and time trying out first one brand, then another, till I find the right fit or whatever, a couple of hundred dollars later, I came upon a perfect solution: just pluck ’em off the sidewalk. Folks are dropping them everywhere! Yesterday, I acquired three in exactly that manner. They all looked brand new anyway, and are definitely reusable. Once hovel, I smudged hand sanitizer all over each mask, swooshed them around in warm, soapy water for a good minute or so, then rinsed them thoroughly and hung them up to dry overnight. Voila! Free, quality masks which I’ll never run out of, because just there for the picking. Like some weird manna from heaven.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson – 8/11/21 to 8/16/21

Video: pups howling

Pic: pups snoozing 1

Video: homeless hang out

Pic: wattson’s doorway 1

Pic: wattson’s doorway 2

Pic: pups snoozing 2

Pic: deek snoozing 1

Pic: wattson’s pup “surely”

Pic: deek snoozing 2

Pic: deek & pups snoozing 1

Pic: deek & pups snoozing 2

Pic: deek & pups snoozing 3

Pic: deek & pups snoozing 4

Pic: reddit advertisement

Subject: Dogs are back, snoozin’ like there’s no tomorrow!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 18, 2021 7:02 PM

OMG they were dying to get inside, Flaco was almost in a panic at the gate, where Deek forced us to linger while he insisted on shooting the bull…until I finally said, “Enough!” But here’s the best thing out of this:

As we stumbled inside, a resident was standing in the lobby, diddling with his smartphone…yet the dogs did NOT bark, ignored him entirely. All they wanted, desperately, was to get to my sanctuary ASAP. In their excitement, they barked a bit going up the stairs.

Whence we crossed paths with a friendly, young fellow who walked down slowly while leaning against the wall, due to a sprained ankle or somethin’ like that. I said, as I maneuvered the pups around him: “They don’t bite, just bark sometimes!” He replied he knows, they’re wonderful doggies (as he’s encountered them several days back, with delight). Pooches were really no problem, and it was funny to see how eager they were to hop onto that cot and crash out. After all, they don’t know how much time they have for each visit (nor do I, because, as you know, Deek can sometimes be quite an A-hole), so take full advantage of each opportunity to rest up.

Which they did, immediately. Didn’t even go for the bowl of water I set out. Flaco wasn’t even in the mood for some ducky treats, though Lucky was. However, he remained supine on the bedding, expecting me to serve him tidbits like he was the King of Siam. And ASFAIC, he is! My conclusion:

Too many residents here now love the mutts, and wouldn’t think kindly of chihuahua man or the building manager, for any meanspirited gossip about them.

Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.

Re: Dogs are back, snoozin’ like there’s no tomorrow!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 18, 2021 7:25 PM

> Excellent report.

Yes indeed.

> And those pics! Even asleep, the doggies are actively enjoying the comfort and luxury.

Their golden, brindle luminosity is Goodness Canine-ized. My humble monkish cell is transformed into a Dachshund Epiphany whenever they’re present. And it is all thanks to Deek. Now that’s just amazing, especially when you look back at how it all started, and the progress made since. Deek returned to collect his newly charged phone, told me to keep the pups overnight. Another doggy sleepover…yay! Time for their din-din.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: And to top it all off, just this morning at the crack of dawn, with sunlight streaming in silver rivulets through the worn seams of my curtain, I was gifted this amazing find, a sacred relic lost in the bowwows of deep antiquity: The Shroud of Dachshund! This is truly a Dogsend that has fallen into my trembling, undeserving hands!

My taloned associate, Pterry Pterodactyl, appeared on the lamppost perch astride my hovel, tapping her leathery wings upon the window pane, and clasping this archaic cloth between her beaks. She knows the whole story, not just how she discovered it, but how it came to be in the first place…and promises to reveal EVERYTHING to me, in due time. I’m guessing around Brindlefest, at year’s end. The suspense is hounding me already!

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: And yet MORE good news from the Castro trenches!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 18, 2021 10:13 PM

I stepped out a short while ago for some fresh air, leaving the pups to slumber on. Upon reaching the gate, there was chihuahua man on the other side, fumbling with the keys to get in. So I called out: “I got it!” And held the gate open so he and his pooches could enter with ease.

He said, “Thank you, Zeke. I hope your evening is going well, and that you have a lovely night.”

“Likewise for you,” I replied, “have a great evening!”

Whaddiditellya, Wattson? They’re PLAYING me…but in a good way, getting me to rise above twitches of anxiety, learning to not worry about anything at all. I think they’ve done a damned good job of it too, what say you? In conclusion:

The manager NEVER had any plans to make me get rid of the pups. It was a CHALLENGE for me to accept, and figure out how to resolve as compassionately as possible.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Dogs are back, snoozin’ like there’s no tomorrow!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 18, 2021 11:02 PM

> “The Shroud of Dachshund!”
> He is risen!

The greatest shaggy dog story ever told.

Re: And yet MORE good news from the Castro trenches!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 18, 2021 11:48 PM

> And perhaps soon they will be yours all the time.

I was thinking more in terms of them being adopted by the entire building…our mascots! I’d take the dogs for visits with our three or four elderly residents, who are mostly confined to their rooms. People could chip in for veterinary costs, doggy sweaters, food, toys, etc. This group adoption would then expand to the entire neighborhood, thus the brindlekin would be well protected and cared for every minute of every day, for the rest of their lovely little lives. Just as I have been praying for, all along…ever since October 30th 2020.

Now we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the joyful conclusion to my long-winded epoch, a win/win outcome for all parties involved. There’ll be some news coverage as well, at least locally…but one can easily imagine how that could go viral around the world. On the heels of the pandemic, sweeping away all grief that came before. Curly tail-waggin’ joy for everyone! Thus a new holiday shall be born from the ashes of Exmass.


– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Chihuahua Man Update
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 19, 2021 10:19 PM

Last night around 10:30 PM, I was returning hovel after a short stroll in the cool night air (pups were asleep upstairs), and saw chihuahua man walking his two arf-arfs in my direction. He addressed me, apologizing for one of his doggies peeing in my hallway, and he’ll clean it up soon as he returns. He didn’t want me to slip on it. Conveniently, the pooch had peed on the long plastic sheet by the elevator door, rather than directly on the carpet. I told him no problem, thanks for the alert and have a lovely night. Upon returning hovel, I grabbed some paper towels and mopped up the tiny puddle in a flash. Goodwill is dogwill.

– Zeke K-Holmes

The Final Chapter (part 18)

August 8, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17r]

Subject: Well lookee here: Adisa’s Mom has a FB page!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 8:38 PM

So I just messaged her this:

Click here for a larger view.

I will also text Myrtle’s FB page URL to Morey and Jack in a few moments, and let them know I’ve informed her of the incident. Meanwhile:

Deek finally dropped by this morning to collect the brindlekin. He showed me a little doggy bicycle cart enclosed with a zip-up tent and lashed to the bike, that the pups may ride with him. I’m sure they’ll love it, though Flaco may be unwilling to stay inside the contraption…seeing as he can never get her to sit in the shopping cart with Lucky. But we’ll see.

I gave him twenty more dollars, told him I really had to squeeze this out of my end-of-the-month budget, and I now have only three dollars left for four days. Which is not true, but he doesn’t need to know that. I actually have $55 remaining…bad enough, but I’m good.

He gratefully accepted the Jackson, saying: “Aw c’mon, don’t make me feel bad about it,” and offered it back. I said no, it’s fine, glad to do it, I have plenty of food to last me.

Then I told him something sad happened yesterday, has nothing to do with the dogs. That was the altercation at Morey’s shop. He was surprised to hear the cops didn’t track them down and at least reprimand them. Told him I was, too, because they were both responsive and effective when I called 911 over MY altercation with Adisa and punks.

I also told him that little section of the Castro is sort of my own outdoor sanctuary, away from the usual bullshit…and that the folks at Morey’s have become “my people” (to put it in Deek’s own street vernacular). But now a dark shadow hangs over it. I assured him though that things will work out okay, it’s just sad that such a pointless horror went down on some really nice people who appreciate me, and the pooches. Morey is very pro-homeless, as am I.

Formerly, whenever I tried to tell Deek of a sorry occurrence in my life, he’d cut me off, even shout me down. Worse: he’s also mocked me. But lately, he’s been attentive and supportive towards my own struggles. Quite an improvement, eh, Wattson?

A few weeks back there was a homeless man loitering in the ATM alcove below my window, sprawled out either drunk or drugged, and bellowing nonsense to those walking by. Which of course, was a major disturbance for me, trying to live my own life in my hovel upstairs…albeit a typically frequent nuisance, of which those Hohokum employees are no help. Deek showed up by the bus stop and, once I came downstairs, he jokingly remarked (speaking over the vagrant’s screams) what nice people hang out around my place. This observation on his part tells me he’s matured considerably, and is on my side more often than not, these days.

Before departing, he thanked me for everything, said God bless; and I, the same. Once more, he simply disappeared around the corner and, I presumed, parked himself on the back side of my building, where he’d linger peacefully for an hour or so. Though now 30 minutes later, I just peeked out the hallway window to discover no sign of him anywhere!

So that’s how my day has started. Will Myrtle reply, and what kind of response will that be, if she does? I doubt she will, but you never know. Maybe she’ll send some goons to my door, ha-ha.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Well lookee here: Adisa’s Mom has a FB page!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 1, 2021 12:56 PM

> You won’t hear back from her.

Good! Did you see what her “occupation” is? Self employed family consultant! Good god.

> But the son may hear from her.

Good! Hopefully, the impact of my message will staunch any further harassment upon Morey’s shop. Doing my best to avert tragedy. This is disgusting, that Adisa should suddenly impose further horror into my life AFTER he’s supposedly moved on…potentially destroying the only friendly association I have in my neighborhood, achieved only after many months of amicable rapport. Preceded by many years of virtual social isolation, other than what I have in cyberspace…thanks mostly to you, good doctor!

Don’t you find it suspicious I should actually witness this altercation, rather than just hear about it? This is why I believe that once more, a script created by my bodhisattva guardians is being played out. For what reason? That I become the hero in yet another scenario. Which suggests that Morey et al are in on it, too. Which would be GREAT, because then it would mean no harm actually done.

> How about the Kevin situation, the misfired text and all??

Being just another actor in this play starring Zeke, I’m sure he and coconspirators (including chihuahua man) had quite a hardy laugh. But no, nothing further has evolved in this matter, that I can see. Though Athena only knows WHAT new tricks he’s conjuring up his sleeve, to make me stumble once more. So long as I don’t lose it and go ballistic, they will always fail. He has not texted me back after my faux pas, nor did I expect him to, since the LAST thing he desires is to have ANY friendly rapport with me, on ANY level.

> Good for Deek. And good for you for your concentrated kindness to him.

Those darling pups have played a major paw in bringing this about. What an amazing story, “Brindlekin Tales.” The doggies bring such joy and inspiration into my world, and I believe that’s been Deek’s intention all along. That is true kindness, my friend!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 1, 2021 1:01 PM

> I know. I’m just hoping you’ll be extra vigilant in these barbaric times when the Philistines are in ascendance.

An assault rifle could come in handy. When in Rome…

Subject: Jack has already returned to work!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 2, 2021 8:30 PM

I went to Morey’s corner store to see him working behind the counter, just two days after the incident. Said he got my texts, and thanked me kindly. I told him if it were me, I would’ve taken at least a week before returning to work…that was quite nerve-wracking. Then I brought up some of the BS I went through while Myrtle & son were still residing in my building.

Morey thanked me too, when I returned there later in the day. I told him about my message to Myrtle, and he asked, “Can you post anonymously?”

I said nope, you can’t, not with Facebook. Though that’s not true, but it is difficult for most people to accomplish. Had I posted under a fake name, I’m sure the impact would’ve been trivial by comparison. I presume Morey was concerned for my own safety, but also impressed. Jack does show some strain for what he’s been through; I’m guessing he’s in his late seventies. He should bounce back.

At any rate, an excellent rapport has sprouted out of this. Glad to support a local business! I remain, as always, good physician:

Your friend and admirer,

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Sleeping Better than Ever Through it All!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 3, 2021 10:44 AM

An interesting observation I’ve made about my present life, is that I’m sleeping very well these days. Which started sometime after the pups had come into my life. This is regardless of any conflicts that arise; and there have been several thus far…as you well know, Wattson. In fact, I’m sleeping better than I ever have in decades! Insomnia appears to be a thing of the past, finally. So nice to actually feel drowsy by 10 or 11 PM…and if I don’t hit the sack soon thereafter, I become even drowsier! I even find myself dozing off now and then in the daytime, while partially reclined in my swivel chair and watching a video. Which is also new to me, as I’ve never been able to take a REAL nap for decades as well.

I used to be a night person until recently, staying up until 2 or 3 AM, but sometimes the whole damn night. The doggies have turned me into a morning person, because by 7:30 AM or so their need to poop is urgent. As is mine, I suppose.

Though I don’t believe the credit goes entirely to Flaco & Lucky, but to learning better not to worry about a thing per my newfound philosophy I call The Bodhisattva Premise. Yet I probably would not have gotten there in the first place, without the brindlekin’s sweet company. So I give them 99.99999 percent of the credit, leaving barely a smidgeon for any other influences that merit my gratitude. Especially since finding some way to not worry so much about them having to live on the streets, was especially difficult to overcome. As for worrying about conflicts coming out of my residency (keeping my bodhisattva theory in mind):

By interpreting their challenges as outright harassment, I am missing the boat. What they’re REALLY doing is tweaking my emotional quotient to a level where that situation, too, becomes worry-free. Thus, I am definitely on the right path by having concluded some months back, that the BEST possible way to deal with this, is to remain calm and friendly even under stress, and to staunch any anger that may arise in my heart.

Whenever fear wells up (or any other negative sentiment such as grief and anxiety) I quickly switch my thoughts to joyful ones. This is particularly helpful for the newshound in me! I keep up with EVERYTHING, so if I didn’t develop a thick skin, I’d’ve become a twitching puddle of nerves long ago. I must say, this DJ Trump reign of terror (that extends beyond his four years in the oval office, and remains with us now like a dark curse on humanity) has been MOST efficacious in accelerating my ascension into a broader realm of positivity. Or, as I like to call it, “NeoPositivity,” my precursor title to what I now dub the Bodhisattva Premise.

Common sense would conclude that this premise applies to any and ALL negative fantasies of worst-case scenarios, including worry about aging and all the imagined pitfalls that go with it. NONE OF THAT WILL HAPPEN. Though one shouldn’t even worry about worrying about it. All THAT will do is fill your days with anxiety, over things that will not manifest. Though mundane reality works very hard at trying to convince us otherwise. Which is its PURPOSE, to offer up challenge after challenge that we may learn to overcome each one. And in so doing, we become that much wiser and more jubilant.

It is even MORE joyful to realize that such difficult challenges brought about by Trumpism have likewise had a fortuitous impact on many others across the globe…albeit not yet particularly obvious. In that, millions of others have also grown into a more dynamically positive state of mind, in standing up to such adversity. In that sense, one may regard COVID-19 as nothing more than frosting on the cake. One may even find it rather hilarious, perceiving it as I do now, to be “the Idiot Remover Pandemic.” Well, enough of this. Back to the doggies:

Flaco always howls first…if howl she does whenever a fire engine or ambulance wails away nearby, which is usually NOT the case, except when the siren calls are prolonged. What happens is that, first, she will rear her head to alert, at which moment Lucky will stare at her with rapt attention, to see if she will begin her howling. If she does, then and only then will her brother join in. Otherwise, she’ll return back to rest, as will Lucky. It is as if, as her loving sibling, he is her booster, giving her first dibs to anything choice.

Several days back I found another large box to replace the one I had to discard in preparation for bedbug treatment. It was during my walk with the pooches that I came across one, left by the curb with two other, smaller boxes. Nice, ample room and clean as a whistle, as it apparently had been discarded just that morning, after being relieved of its contents! So, after looking it over inside and out, I decided to lug it home. But just when I reached for it, Flaco raised a leg and peed all over one side! Lesson learned: never look for a new box when the pups are present. Or snatch it up quickly before it gets defiled.

Well, I predict Deek and pups will show up later on today, or perhaps tomorrow, as I told him three days ago there’s no more money until my next Social Security deposit. I hope he still has that doggy cart, and that Flaco enjoys riding in it. Though I have my doubts, as she refuses to sit in the shopping cart, unlike Lucky who loves to go for the ride every chance he gets. I wonder how they’ll deal with riding inside a moving vehicle, as that will become a necessity, once San Franshitsco collapses into a Mad Max free-for-all, and you come all the way down from Mendoland to rescue us.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Arwyn Spotting Alert
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 3, 2021 2:26 PM

Saw him this morning as we each turned the same corner from opposite directions. That was at Market & Church; on my way to Molden Produce health food store to pick up another loaf of Alvarado Street Sprouted Wheat Raisin Bread. Each acting like one didn’t know the other. Happy to see he’s alive and well (though a tad gray as evidenced by the stubble on his face which, I guess, is his latest look). I’m sure he feels the same way about me. Hardy har-har. I only wish I could have brought the pups along, in all their spectacular cuteness. They would’ve charmed him to pieces, as they do most everyone else.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- (no subject)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 3, 5:39 PM

> Jeeziz.

Oh I have the perfect reply…you’ll be impressed. However, since Mr. Dewars has not also posted that email to me, I have to wait until the next list digest arrives–which will be either later today, or tomorrow–before I can respond. I’ve asked Mr. Dennis to send me the actual email, so I can study the hidden data that will reveal the IP number, and other details. If Dewars posted from a coffeehouse, that will be revealed by the IP, as well as the time and date. Then the cops can go there and check out the business’s camera footage. Assuming the establishment has that kind of security. If he emailed this from home base, that’s even better…or from anyone else’s home.

However, seeing as the goon has gotten away with bullying people online so much, with many complaints likely registered against him already, I really don’t see how my report will be of any real help. Especially in light of the law usually not regarding emails as equal to traditional phone calls, when it comes to harassment.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- (no subject)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 3, 2021 6:08

> Though it wasn’t too smart of him to publicly post his “plan” to have an airtight alibi.

He’s just trying to intimidate me. My response will be priceless…stay tuned!

Subject: Pups back again, Deek doing extraordinarily well!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 4, 2021 11:38 AM

He called up to my window shortly after 8 AM. Still with the bicycle and doggy cart, though I didn’t have a chance to ask if Flaco enjoyed it, as he was in a rush again. He handed off the dogs to me, who were furiously eager to step inside. Deek was delighted to receive his allowance a bit early, said he’ll be back later; then said well, maybe not till tomorrow. (Though I hope it won’t be until the day after that, like the last time.) Right after we said our goodbyes, and as the brindlekin were tugging on their leashes through the open gate, he added:

“I know they’re in good hands with you.”

He came off with a healthy air of confidence and a happy spirit…which seems to have become his new normal starting two or so months ago. And just getting better. I think I’ll joke with him next time around, say something like:

“You’re a really busy man these days, Deek. I guess establishing your own drug cartel is not all cake and flowers!”

We have a new neighbor across the way, and it sounds like they own a chihuahua. This could turn out very well, as the pups may finally have another doggy friend in the building.

I trust you’re off to a good start today, and every day, good doctor. It’s a cold, gray morning here, and I love it.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Pups back again, Deek doing extraordinarily well!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 4, 2021 1:14 PM

> Great news about Deek, and great news about a possible doggy friend.

Yep, it surely is. What a long road it’s been, but all worth it.

Lucky has a new habit of pressing a chunky paw on my arm whenever he wants his neck scratched. Or, when he’s not lying beside me, pushing his head firmly against my leg. I love how he holds his head up high, tilting it left and right as I scratch first here, then there, while he makes the sweetest little groans. If I stop too soon, he’ll make that clear.

> We have a busted pipe here, so no water. Temporary, but a pain in the wazoo. Plumbers cost a bloody fortune, so we are trying to fix it ourselves, alas!

Ugh. I’m sure you’ll get it repaired yourselves. I don’t see how anyone who owns their home does not wind up being totally absorbed in maintaining it, with little time for anything else, such as eating, sleeping and watering the thirsty bears coming down from the hills and into your backyard, during the drought. Forget any social life outside those walls!

> Somebody oughtta be here making a documentary about it. So, stand by!!!

Throw a cat or two into the mix, and it’s bound to go viral…at least on Youtube. Cats are magic.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- (no subject)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion list
Date: August 4, 2021 2:11 PM

On Tue, 3 Aug 2021 13:29:26 -0700 spike NAZI TROLL dewars squoinked:

> Enjoy bullying little old Asian women Your Assholiness ? We shall soon see if you can take it half as good as you dish it out. I’ll be here four hours away with an airtight alibi and no money or communication trail implicating me in anything. Done this before.

Oh, aren’t YOU Ms. Merang’s knight in shining armor! Rising to the call of defending every Asian woman on the planet. Where’s Jerry Springer when you need him?

YOU seem to not grasp that she is MANIPULATING you, using flattery to trick you into doing something dangerously illegal that will get you locked up for a good, long time. Playing the sweet little victim Asian female to the hilt. Haven’t you been through this before…with women in general, not Asian ones specifically?

Haven’t you stated more than once that most women just want a man to pay for their expenses and not carry their own weight? Haven’t you stated more than once you’ve been taken advantage of by a woman, and you’re better off going on without them? Don’t you see she’s manipulating you into a the way some ladies do so well?

Ms. Merang is playing on your own pro-Nazi proclivities to make you go into a rage and commit a horrendous crime. Even if you had every reason to hate me (which you do NOT, on any level, but let’s just ignore all that for the sake of driving home my point)…she is playing you like a fiddle. Nurturing that hatred into a tragic crescendo that will only make your world come crashing down, and put you behind bars. TANYA IS NOT YOUR FRIEND, SHE’S BOGUS.

Just a word to the wise. Have fun with that. Woo-hoo!

Re: Pups back again, Deek doing extraordinarily well!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 4, 2021 3:44 PM

> If only I actually did own this house….yes, my name is on the deed, but the true owner is the bank, which, through a series of grotesque contortions, allows me to live here, for now.

I’d say that’s true for the overwhelming majority of so-called “home owners.” Outright “owning” is rare, and mostly by the wealthy. I am in a similarly precarious living situation as a renter…which you know all about. Yet I’ve managed to hold on for decades, much to the chagrin of building managers and certain gossipy residents.

> I’m anything but financially secure, and paying professional repair people is usually prohibitive…so it’s getting very “Grey Gardens” around here, alas.

I can’t imagine how quickly costs build up when hiring professionals to maintain one’s home over this or that emergency.

> Though I never forget that I’m way, way better off than millions of people. And I know quite well that “there but for fortune go I….”

Same here, in a most unanticipated outcome of which rent control has been THE saving grace. Though other factors are involved.

> I love the description of Lucky wanting neck scratches. I love it when little animals step up and demand love.

Yeah, like that darling little otter in a Youtube video, who so clearly demonstrated its desire for a petting. Melted my heart.

> My orange kitty leaps onto the computer table like a little gymnast (which is what cats are,

Expert athletes!

> aside from serial killers and sybarites)

Which only adds to their charm, for some hilarious reason.

> and butts my typing fingers with her little head, touching me with her cold wet vibrating purring nose. I am powerless to resist. And the doggy gazes at me with his long-lashed soulful brown eyes until I give him a thorough ear and neck-scritching and a treat.

We are held captive by their charms, never wishing to escape. The only kind of prisoner worth being, because of the sweetest perks. Who can resist rubbing and kissing Flaco’s belly when she rolls on her back, front paws drooped and floppy-eared noggin coyly turned to one shoulder, with pink tongue sticking out? Irresistible! They’ve got us wrapped around their little paw.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson – 8/5/21

Pic 1 (large version): New Sign

Pic 2 (large version): Unsafe Back Stairs

Video: Coffin Express

Subject: A Bit of Drama
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 6, 2021 1:54 PM

Deek came by unexpectedly, an hour ago…asked me to watch the pups for awhile. Said that the dogs are getting out of hand, Lucky punctured a hole in someone’s cheap-ass shoe who was harassing the little pooches…threatened to kill the pups, they shouldn’t even be out here, et cetera. And his “girlfriend” (whoever the hell she is, if not a figment) after witnessing the altercation, exclaimed she wants nothing more to do with Deek, so long as the mutts are around. Then he ranted about how others, whenever they see him without Lucky & Flaco, mock him for letting a housed person take care of them, that he’s not a real street dude, et cetera.

“Why is this going on?” Deek addressed the gods through THIS patient pilgrim.

So I explained to him they’re jealous of the dogs, and having a housed friend…IOW they’re fucking with him. I patted him on the shoulder:

“Just keep your cool, I trust you, things’ll work out. For now, let me take the doggies inside.” There was even another homeless guy just several feet away, diddling with his portable radio, with his (apparently) friendly German shepherd companion stretched out on the pavement. Neither Deek’s pups nor the shepherd paid any mind to the other; all was surprisingly placid.

He ended our latest meetup by admitting I’m right, he’s just gotta work off some steam. And he stated once again that he knows they’re always safe with me. Deek was not loud at all, but spoke in a rather steady tone, while through it all, the pups were as mellow as brindlekin cucumbers. Neither seemed worse for the harassment, including Flaco, who he claimed was kicked a couple of times.

I don’t believe any of this, that it’s just another little drama Deek enjoys inventing (though when he said it’s all true cross my heart, I replied I believe you, just sorry it happened.). But it’s to my benefit, a perfect excuse to have them over. Making me the hero once again. He said they’re probably not hungry, they just ate. And he was right, as NEITHER showed any interest in having their favorite ducky treat. Instead, they crashed out with impressive elan. I don’t think they got much sleep last night. Flaco’s in the box right now, enjoying the seclusion, while Lucky’s stretched out on the cot, licking one edge of the bedding. Ah, nirvana!

Click here for a larger view.

Attached is a pic I just took of a typical, spoiled San Franshitscan seated upon some glorified motorbike and licking a soft-serve, organic ice cream cone from the Super Duper Burger joint next door. Just the kind of person who will fuck you over at the drop of a hat, if you’re poor or homeless or elderly or not good looking, or any other number of absurd and unjustified reasons. Like some of the idiots who occupy my building. But Deek has to deal with them too, for they also number among the homeless with their own pecking order.

He did give me some worry two days ago, that I did not mention in my text. He arrived with another 20-pound Bluetooth speaker…only this one loosely jerry-rigged with duct tape and wires sticking out like a rabid Medusa. The front plate was barely hanging on, and he was struggling to get the cord plugged in properly, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it once hovel. I told him let me bring the dogs in while you’re dealing with that.

While settling the pups down for their stay, I finally realized that that lead-acid powered speaker is a hazard! So upon my return a few minutes later, I told him to throw it away (even though by now he had got it to play and said “see it’s working”), that it could easily set fire or even explode…it could hurt him or the mutts. I feared he’d react belligerently and try to talk me into taking it upstairs to charge overnight. But he didn’t, he simply agreed with a swift “okay.”


– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: A Bit of Drama
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 6, 2021 3:21 PM

> The image of the dude on the blue bike contraption–wretched excess, conspicuous consumption!!

And licking an ORGANIC ice cream cone: the pièce de résistance to this textbook illustration of material gluttony.

> Great to hear of Deek’s progress. I’m starting to actually believe in it!!!

Well, Wattson, it’s all out of Kismet’s own script, as far as I can tell. His mature handling of my wresting the pups from his world (back in January) in order to spare them from potential misery, is not at all what I anticipated. Bringing them back to me so soon after I returned them via the police, trusting me with his pups…that’s actually remarkable, considering his previously bratty behavior. Assuming my Bodhisattva Premise, these harrowing little adventures are more about teaching ME to become more trusting and relaxed, than about getting Deek to grow up.

Till we’ve now reached the point where he readily, and politely, accepts any of my “no” decisions. Did he really grow up so fast, or is this all a carefully constructed play, written and staged by my bodhisattva keepers of the flame? I believe it’s the latter, and accumulating incidents just layer on that affirmation like a thick, sweet frosting.

> Love to think of the doggies in blissful, peaceful rest.

My darling, brindlekin angels…their kind nature is profound! They’ve turned my hovel into a teensy bit of Avalon on earth, in spite of repeated bedbug invasions, harassment from residents and manager alike, and cacophony spilling in from the crazy street dramas playing outside 24/7.

> Oh, the stories they could tell!!!

OMG, maybe they will someday, by some kind of new, ingenious Android app. Their innocent perception of things would be a revelation to humanity.

> “Rabid Medusa!” That’s great!

Ha ha, as if she weren’t rabid already. That shabby Bluetooth speaker veritably screamed DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson – 8/6/21

Texting with Wattson – 8/6/21 (cont’d)

Pic: Autopsy Emoji

Video: Lucky

Pic: Calamity Jane

Pic: Flaco

Video: A Quiet Morning

Video: 4 Doggies

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- (no subject)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion list
Date: August 7, 2021 4:22 PM

On Tue, 6 Aug 2021 16:32 spike NAZI TROLL dewars squoinked:

> You don’t even deserve to be alive you PARASITE, let alone to live in Mendocino. It’s not even worth working you to death as you’ve never worked. Just a bullet in the back of the head, then your body off to the rendering plant. At least we could get a couple bars of soap and a small bag of fertilizer out of you which will be the ONLY contribution you will ever make to society.

He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. So be it. Woo-hoo!

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: I don’t know what’s up with the building manager, Kevin…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 7, 2021 9:14 PM

…and the back stairs. They’ve ALWAYS been dangerous (as Dieter reminded me), but they are no MORE dangerous now, than before. By “dangerous,” I mean they are narrow, and a bit tricky when you have to turn a corner halfway down, to finally get to the basement. If you have to descend from the top floor, you must turn FOUR such corners before you reach the compost bin.

But, though wooden, they remain solid, not the least bit wobbly, and no nails or other sharp protrusions. The banister is round, smooth, and narrow enough to wrap your hand around…and NOT slippery, splintery, or even a tad rickety.

Why the building inspectors never did anything about pressuring Ablahblah Realty to upgrade those stairs decades ago, is beyond me. I think, perhaps, due to the building’s relative antiquity, grandfather laws offer shameful loopholes. At any rate:

My compost had reached the rim of my large, plastic bowl today…and Kevin never informed me, or the residents in general, where else to dump our food scraps. So I climbed down to the basement and disposed of it, knowing my breaking this new rule would be recorded, since there’s a camera for each back porch, and one in the basement. But what choice do I have?

Deek has yet to return, so the pups are still here. Fine with me, of course. A few encounters so far in which they barked, though not so raucously as in previous months. The ducky treats do their magic for the most part, except the occasional times (like this morning) when they’re already sated and have no desire to snack.

Yesterday one young, string-bean fellow came rushing down the stairs, and caught us in the middle, with little space to pass. The pups barked, but were easy to nudge on ahead, whereby they ceased their yaps promptly. The new resident just chuckled, and said, “Well, good morning to you, too!” Obviously, he saw they don’t bite, nor even grab onto a pant cuff or Lucky enjoys doing to me, when I take them out for a stroll.

And this afternoon, when I stepped into the lobby, there was Dieter about to take his first step up with wheelchair folded beside him…which he raises with his left hand, and sets down with a loud THUD on each step forward. I can hear that from my hovel, BTW…but it also sounds just like Kevin or the maintenance fellow, Jorge, lugging an overloaded trash bin from one of the back porches, down the stairs: THUMP [pause], THUMP [pause], THUMP [pause] and so on. Talk about the perfect sound effects for a haunted mansion!

Often, another tenant shows up and offers to carry the wheelchair upstairs. Which is what happened today. But then after climbing to the next floor, he stopped to talk some more with Dieter, still one flight below and barely five steps above the ground floor. Which left me and pups stuck waiting in the lobby, because we couldn’t yet pass by him. But even if we could, there was that helping-hand resident standing and yapping small talk from the second floor, which would cause the mutts to bark again as they approached.

I was worried that someone else would step in while I was constrained to the lobby…thus the dogs’ barking could ensue once more. They only barked at Dieter for around 15 seconds, and once he finally started up the stairs, I let them dash up close to him, and said:

“The dogs of terror are right behind you!”

“Yes,” he joked, “I can feel them nipping at my heels!”

Actually, the pups were silent by that point, politely allowing Dieter to take his time…he loves the dogs, and they, him. Soon as he reached the landing midway to the second floor, he allowed us to scoot on by. And, fortunately, that person porting the wheelchair had finally quit chatting and disappeared up the next flight. He’s the queeny sort, and I was wary of any drama coming from him, should the dogs have been forced to squeeze by him, too, and sound off.

A third encounter was when we exited the gate this morning: two other residents were outside, and held it open for me. The dogs barked, but just a bit…no big dealie.

One reason I am eager to have the new elevator up and running…so there won’t be so many occupants, delivery people and workers passing by, up and down the first flight stairs to disturb the brindlekin. That elevator door, by the way, HAS NO FUCKIN’ WINDOW IN IT, though the old one did! All the more reason to call it “The Coffin Express.” Though another reason for naming it such, is that installing the new lift may have cost us one life; meaning Todd who passed away back in March, perhaps because some in the elevator crew did not bother to wear a mask for a time during our lockdown. Reminds me of an old documentary I watched years ago, about building bridges or skyscrapers: there is always at least ONE worker who falls to his death…a life sacrificed in the name of progress.

That sticker is still on his door by the way, the one from the Medical Examiner’s Office warning people to not enter, at risk of being fined or jailed. I feel sorry for anyone who moves in there…it’s the room of death. Another obnoxious person died in room 209 from a heroine overdose, that was possibly a murder. That is: his two druggie friends might have bumped him off so they could steal some of his $45,000 inheritance from an uncle, a portion of which may have been wads of cash hidden in his domicile. That was back in, oh, 1987 or thereabouts. I was actually away in Santa Cruz for a week, when they discovered his corpse, due to the stink that began to permeate. I hate this building.

Well, it’s now almost 9 PM and still no Deek. Not worried about it, as I’m sure he’s figuring stuff out and keeping busy. Maybe he’s looking for part time, under-the-counter work, like washing dishes somewhere in the Mission! Low-level job opportunities aplenty have opened up, thanks to this pandemic. Or maybe he really IS starting up his own street-boutique drug cartel! If so, I’ll make it clear to him I don’t want to know anything about it. So there.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: I don’t know what’s up with the building manager, Kevin…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 7, 2021 11:38 PM

> Oh, God. The corpse moldering away in the room. That’s the city for you.

I think many of the dead are still walking about, resurrected maybe, or just Republican. I suspect some of them live right here in 9666 Market Street, including the manager.

> My mother had an apartment in NYC in the 1960s, rent-control (her rent was something like $65 a month, dirt cheap even then). An old lady who lived on the top floor, who’d been there for decades, died alone.

I wouldn’t mind dying alone…in fact I’d PREFER it when you consider the other options for a low income senior like me: nursing home from hell or drab hospital room with four others, and you have tubes stuck into you, and you can’t move, read, watch TV, use the Internet, or even defecate cleanly and w/o assistance by a low-wage aide from Jalisco.

> You know the rest of the story…so sad, so ignominious. I actually think death would be less frightening if we didn’t leave a corpse behind.

Death would be even LESS frightening if it didn’t kill you, but just your enemies.

> Wonderful doggy report and lovable pic!

That was a closeup shot of my Flaco-sweater pic I sent you earlier. She looks like a young, virgin nun! Flaco’s sweet image should be depicted in stained glass in every cathedral on the planet.

> Hope Deek stays away a long time. But that’s just me!

He just showed up as I was composing this missive. I’m glad he did, and here’s why:

Should he disappear for whatever reason, I’m stuck with the pups 24/7, and would probably be legally compelled to get rid of them. By law, I would first have to get permission from the manager…but since I just live in a room, he probably would say no to ANY pet. This way, I am merely dog sitting, thus having them away on a regular basis keeps things running smoothly for me.

Expecting the manager to ALLOW not just one, but two, doggies in a single room is a long shot. Especially in light of his prejudices, including against the homeless…and his hatred towards yours truly. The rules of this pet-friendly building exclude any SRO tenant from having ANY pet, whatsoever. Though it seems they usually look the other way, because it DOES happen from time to time. But I don’t know if permission first needs to be granted, or they just play it by ear.

The fact that the manager has not already pursued forcing me to stop having the dogs over, suggests this is more of a scenario played out for my own benefit, that is: my Bodhisattva Premise. Or it may be due to his vile treatment towards me over the Myrtle/Adisa conflict…which is blatantly illegal, including his nasty letter to me, that he signed. And I’ve documented every single abusive confrontation of his. So in that sense, I have him over a barrel. Also keep in mind that Kevin KNOWS I never back off when I’m in the right, as I’ve already burned him good for his transgressions.

But I DO believe this IS a bodhisattva game in which I am already destined to be the hero in EVERY conflict that may arise. I have been, so far, which is an excellent sign of a jubilant future, including near future. Therefore, they will only go so far with threats and actions…just enough to test my mettle, and in so doing, teach me how to rise above all worry, and be as gracious as possible, no matter what.

In which case, should Deek vanish, I WOULD be allowed to keep Flaco & Lucky in my charge. But let’s not go there, for I do not believe it will come to that, which is: Deek’s sudden departure from my world, with or without the pooches. All shall turn out win-win for both of us. And the dogs shall have TWO loving masters, and a long and happy life.

When I brought the pups back to him, he asked right away how is Flaco doing. This was over his concern for her being kicked about the other night (which I don’t believe ever happened, as she appeared in her usual, glowing health, and in excellent spirits). I told him she seems great, no sign of any harm whatsoever. Anyway, he leaned on me a bit over the meanness of some people, so I commended him on how well he’s doing. That these conflicts will soon pass, and he’ll have better options in his life. God is watching over him, as well as the pups.

Just don’t let nasty people make you lose control. Never use anger to justify your actions…always find a better way to deal with crises. But he already knows that, as he pretty much embellished on my advice, injecting his responses here and there in my pep talk. In fact, in a short while I felt like I was conversing with myself!

I wished him well, he thanked me profusely, then off they went, and I, back hovel to complete this email. I am the Tarot card’s Fool On The Hill. If you’re not sure what I mean by this, visit here.

In particular, the opening section called “Fool Definition,” and the one that follows: “Upright Fool.” The third (and final) part, “The Reverse Fool” does not apply to my situation.

Notice the friendly dog by his side. The Tarot card deck is actually a collection of humanity’s most powerful archetypes, and is precisely why Carl Jung revered them so much as a powerful tool for meditation and insight (NOT for fortune telling, mind you.)

The Final Chapter (part 17)

August 1, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17q]

Subject: What a stupid day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 5:51 PM

First, the horrible threat from Spike Dewars arrives in the email, then, just a moment ago, I bump into the building manager outside, who told me someone’s complained about the pups again, and that the exterminator wants to treat my room EVERY TWO WEEKS! Triple whammy, and the day’s not over yet.

Re. the dogs’ “noise complaint,” it’s most likely the fellow with the two chihuahuas, whom I rarely see when I’m with the pups. Unfortunately, I saw him twice in the past few weeks, and the doggies barked up a storm the first time, but not so much the second. If Flaco & Lucky meet the chihuahuas several more times, I’m sure they wouldn’t bark anymore. But no, the asshole’s gotta be a drama queen, because prejudiced.

But I didn’t bring that up, I just told Kevin I’m not sure why the complaint, though they do howl when an ambulance or fire engine goes by, but not often, maybe once or twice a month, and only when the sirens linger.

As for the bed bug problem: I can’t possibly live like that, packing everything up every other week, laundering it all, then unpacking it again. It’ll drive me nuts. I’ll have to buy new tarps twice a month, because I’ll have to throw them away before each treatment. That will cost me $50 each month! Plus laundry costs. Or I’ll have to go back to the dirty, wooden floor, which wouldn’t be good for the pooches, let alone my own peace of mind.

At any rate, Kevin seemed rather reluctant to tell me about the complaint, so I doubt it will go anywhere. I’m so sick of nasty people.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: What a stupid day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 9:22 PM

> The threat from Dewars isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Ignore!

No problem. I just don’t appreciate another cycle of hostility to go through…not just from him.

> God, people who complain to the “authorities” oughtta be shot and put in a mass grave. Why can’t the fuckwad complain directly to you? Jeeziz.

He won’t because his hostility is actually against my having a homeless friend. Typical of elitist queers. I already tried talking to him several weeks back, about letting the pups meet…and he just screamed and walked away. All he’s doing is coming up with an excuse to target me, he’d rather try to make me miserable, even if it means the pups’ death. Most people find it hilarious, when the doggies act up; they put on quite a show! But it’s rare now. I can’t stand how some folks in this building set me up to feel fearful every time I exit or enter the building with these two, sweet dogs.

> The extermination business is outrageous. Can you refuse it??

No I can’t. I will be labeled as uncooperative regarding a health hazard for all residents, which can lead to my eviction. Besides, a refusal would require a lawyer’s backing, which seems impossible to get. Kevin DID politely ask if every two weeks is okay by me. I told him prepping for treatment is NEVER something I look forward to, because it’s a big hassle…but it needs to be done, so, yes, go ahead. You know, I always live in such a way as to never draw attention upon myself, but it persistently turns out opposite! The spotlight boldly glares down upon me, in spite of my quiet life.

> Every two weeks for how long? Indefinitely?

I don’t know, but I presume so. Had I an attorney on my side, things would go much better for me, in all these recent crises. But they are not amenable to individual cases that are pro bono, as I’ve since learned. Ya gotta have at least several other residents standing with you, before they’ll consider taking on the case. NO ONE is on my side in this building, because I am not of their bourgeois ilk. I’ve had to suffer ongoing gossip for decades here, and each and every time whoever was manager participated in it, if not outright provoked the enmity.

You’d think they’d have learned their lesson by now, after the recent Myrtle & son debacle…especially since the manager was part of it, and they all eventually collapsed, leaving behind BLATANT evidence of their illegal behavior. Chihuahua man knows nothing about this, so I guess that makes him think I’m a pushover. But I DID expect Kevin to cover for me, seeing as I have the goods on him, so to speak. Not only did I trigger Myrtle’s eviction, but also straightened out the disturbance coming from the Hohokum smoke shop!

Well, he’s doddering now in his old age, and may not last much longer. I see him every day with head bowed and shuffling along like a 90-year-old, though I think he’s around 74. And, as I’ve recently come to realize, all I need do is just walk the peaceful path, don’t answer hostility with same, but stand my ground in a soft-spoken manner, and trust that the Fates are on my side. They’ve never failed me before, so I doubt they will this time around.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 5:03 PM

Don’t know WHY this hadn’t occurred to me before now:

Wave a treat over their noses as we exit and enter the building. They LOVE their duck-jerkey snacks, so this just might be the ticket to get these nasty schmucks off my back. The idea just struck me a moment ago.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 5:51 PM

> So they don’t bark? Great idea!!

I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have a hunch it’ll do the trick. And as more time passes, they’ll get accustomed to encountering other dogs in the hallway…it’s just so infrequent, it’ll take more time. I think it was good ol’ Pterry Pterodactyl who whispered the suggestion in my ear. She always comes to the rescue at the last moment!

It was devastating to dwell upon being ordered to keep the dogs away, my heart was breaking. They would lose their only sanctuary, and my company; and I, theirs. An end to any happiness whatsoever until my death…I’d feel so sad for the doggies. I’d fight till the bitter end if necessary, even unto becoming homeless. But I managed to shove that worst-case scenario to the back of my mind, and relax somewhat…reminding myself to stay kind to my enemies, that SOMEthing would come up to resolve the matter. AND THANK PTERRY IT DID!

Another bodhisattva challenge flung at my feet, and resolved. Remaining calm, and free of worry as best you can, is always key. This juggling between Deek’s provocations and those within my building has been quite a reckless ride! But it looks to have come to an end. I’ve always hated roller coasters, even as a kid. I only got on once, and that was enough. I NEVER BOUGHT A TICKET, I WAS SHOVED ON!

One issue resolved; one more to go. Pterry’s in her Triassic heaven, all’s right with the planet.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 7:27 PM

> I think it’ll work.

Of course it will. And it’s only a few brief moments up or down the stairs. Better yet, when the new elevator is finally running, there’ll be considerably LESS surprise encounters to deal with. Especially from a certain, fucked up drama queen with two chihuahuas. I’m sure he’ll miss the opportunities to go running off to the manager to gripe about me.

> Truly inspired.

Thank you, but I feel pretty dumb for taking so long to come up with the OBVIOUS solution. After all, I’ve already read some online dog sites, one of which said to carry some treats with you, to distract them from barking at other pups. I just didn’t think of it as an indoor thing to do, as well.

> Back in the 70s, I took LSD with my queer (he insisted on that word) friend Michael, he of REQUIEM FOR A PASHA, which I’m pretty sure you’ve read.

Yes, I remember the tale well…and I just took a few moments to read it again. A sweet memorial so colorful and poignantly writ! Your friendship with him shines clearly through. 1990: not really so long ago. That was still my BBS and DOS game era, with my Philly friend Chuck directly over me, two flights up. Gee, I was only 40.

> We went to a big sprawling amusement park In Denver, hot summer night, LSD kicking in, surging crowds, rode the giant creaky dangerous old wooden roller coaster, our screams echoing through the universe, disembarked with faces and legs rubbery with hysteria and adrenaline, rode on the merry-go-round for about an hour to calm ourselves down.

OMG, I got nauseous just reading it! I can’t imagine being on LSD in Denver of all places! Surely you had OTHER adventures while visiting the mile-high city…when you were both MORE than a mile high!

There is a pretty tame roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, less than two blocks from the cottage I rented, while working as a teaching assistant for special needs kids at Aptos High. Every night I’d fall asleep to the distant rattle of the coaster, folks screaming with delight, the thunder of the waves crashing, and seals barking.

Chuck even visited me a few times when I lived there, usually for the weekend, from San Francisco which I had left for three years, to settled in Santa Cruz County. Even my parents visited me then, when they decided to tour a bit of the West Coast. Chuck showed up when they were there; a very nice visit was had by all. I finally got fed up with the social dullness of SC, and returned to SF…and a year later, Chuck got me a room in the same building he occupied, and in which I remain to this day.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: New Mendo listserv has a separate “zeke” category!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 24, 2021 9:56 PM

I just started listening to Marshall’s “Memo of the Weird” latest podcast, when I learned about this new mailing list, hosted at, and that the creator has set up a folder in my name. According to his email to Marshall, it’s because I post so much stuff. Apparently, this new service extracts messages from the MCN announce list. So, whatever you post to the announcement list, also goes to, and vice versa. But you also can set your account to exclude your contributions to Announce.

This Mendo list excludes all fake news, conspiracy crap and hostile comments. So already an improvement, as certain egregious folks have been banned. And I have my own special folder! I imagine when I post TO, it will not be moved to “Zeke,” but stay in whatever category I designated. So I think a good strategy is to post all my original messages (mostly political) to, knowing they’ll also go to MCN. And I’ll just reserve my Announce participation to rebutting the hostile comments directed at me, or those posts spewing anti-vax, conspiracies or right-wing or religious drivel.

I’m sure SOME idiots will be upset over having a whole “Zeke” category at the other service…but most (if not all) of them will be banned, anyway. archives all posts for five years, which makes it a nice resource. You can even download all of your own messages. It’s really a message board, which I prefer…but so does Mr. Titslaffer. Too bad, because I presume he’s one of the banned damned, as well.

You’ll need to subscribe in order to view anything there, but I’ve attached the categories list, to show you my name right at the bottom (because it starts with Z).

Click here for a larger view.

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 24, 2021 10:15 PM

…and holding the treats over them like fish bait works like a charm! All they wanted were those goodies, didn’t care about rushing up the stairs and into my hovel. But that’s not the final test, as we encountered no one along the way. But I’m confident the duck-jerky snacks will do their trick in those cases, too.

Deek dropped by with the doggies a half hour ago, asked for a $20 advance, and gave me a smartphone and small Bluetooth speaker for recharge. He told me they’ve been having the runs today, in an apologetic tone of voice…but I assured him that’s alright. One or the other has had diarrhea several times before over the past year, and they always let me know when they need to step outside, and give me ample time to put on my shoes, coat, their leashes, etc.

I wished him an excellent night, and off he went to wherever. Didn’t tell me whether he’ll let the dogs stay overnight, or take them back when he returns to pick up his gadgets. For some reason he prefers to keep me guessing. But the pooches are now totally zonked out, they really need this respite…so I’d hate to wake them up and drag them back outside later on tonight.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek “in a hurry” to…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 11:21 AM

… go around the corner, as it turned out. I woke up at 7:30 AM, and the pups remained in their dreamworld as I refreshed my pits with deodorant, brushed my ragged non-pearly off whites, and shaved my face (I never use a mirror to do that, BTW). Looked like the doggies didn’t need to go out yet, but I went ahead and prepared another sack full of dog food, because I was pretty sure Deek would ask for it upon his return. Which he said would be around 8 AM or shortly after, once he got breakfast at a church by Dolores Park, four blocks away.

“They still don’t let you inside,” he said last night, “but you can pick up the food and eat it wherever.”

Eight o’clock rolled around, which is when Rosenberg’s opens, and where I go for coffee. So I shoved six quarters in my pocket, put on my sandals, and reach for a jacket. But the moment I did, the pups suddenly popped out of bed, stretched on the floor and wagged their tails. And that is how I know, “Yep, they need to poopy.”

As we exited my room I showed them the duck treat pieces in my hand, to distract them from any possible encounter where they might bark. But again, there was nobody coming in or out. I gave them their treats anyway, once we stepped outside. Getting them into this habit is good training, anyway.

Good news: their sidewalk “gifts” were firm and otherwise normal…no runniness whatsoever. As I walked them back hovel, I heard someone call to me from a distance. Of course it was Deek; who else could it be, as pretty much no one knows me except for a small cabal of hateful people who would never DREAM of greeting me in any friendly way. He was crossing Market Street catty corner, burdened with a few items, including a coat flung over one shoulder, a small backpack, and a black, oblong Bluetooth speaker the size of a small boombox that looked brand new.

He said he’s in a hurry, just charge these items and he’ll return around noon. So he took the dogs and I returned home. But just when I opened the front gate, I looked back to see him turn the corner and disappear by the back of my building! Once I plugged in the devices he gave me, I checked to see if he really DID park himself nearby. I poked my head out the hallway window and, sure enough, there he was a third-block up, seated against the wall and chatting with another vagrant. And the dogs were lying down right on the hard concrete, dammit! He even had one of those cheap, felt blankets in a paper bag, that the churches give out. But what did he do with it? Dumped it right there on the corner, by the lamppost.

“I could’ve fed Flaco & Lucky first,” I thought, “but now they’re not gonna eat anything for hours!” Well, that’s not quite true, as he also showed up with two very LARGE, thick bones sealed in cellophane. Hopefully they’d enjoy that for the while. So he’s in a hurry for WHAT…to sit around the corner for three hours, then return to pick up his items?

Well, at least these days when he DOES hang out around my building, he remains respectfully quiet for the most part. (And that one time he WAS “noisy,” it wasn’t so bad, and it was daytime.) BTW I gave him some great compliments last night. Told him I’m so amazed by all these good changes in him, it’s almost scary. He asked what do I mean, so I first reminded him what a kind thing he’s done by bringing these pooches into my life. But he’s also growing spiritually in leaps and bounds. Rather than give him any particulars on this (which I knew would put him off, as it might remind him of his previous horrid behavior) I said:

“It’s hard to describe in words, so let me put it this way. I can just sense when someone is going through good changes, and you just shine these days.” His response?

“Thank you, I do try.”

I just stepped out to see if I could take a camera shot of Deek and pups from across the street. But his companion was awake, and I did not want to catch their attention, so put my smartphone back in my pocket and meandered back hovel. Stupidly enough, upon entering the building, Kevin the manager came walking down the stairs. I said good morning, and he responded with:

“What was all that yelling going on for a half hour outside?”

I said, “Huh?”

“It was about an hour ago, and I heard your voice.”

I had nothing to say, as I was confused over the accusation, so just shrugged my shoulders. Then, with a disgusted look on his face, he said, “Oh, never mind,” and exited, with coffee in one hand, and a small shopping bag in the other. But just before he passed through the doors, I replied in a quizzical tone, “Okay?”

I really didn’t know WHAT he was talking about, but realized some seconds later exactly what he was addressing. And that his gripe is bogus.

The thing here is that, yes, I was speaking with Deek, the meetup lasted less than five minutes, and no yelling ensued. (Kevin lives in the turret apartment, two flights up from my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher. And those two are friends, or should I say “partners in crime.”)

I had raised my voice a little, in exasperation over his request to change the songs on his phone. “I can’t do that, Deek, there are hundreds of albums now, and it would be a headache for me to figure out what songs are not on it already!”

It’s very quiet these mornings, thanks to the pandemic, and voices carry in the cool air. But Kevin’s accusation is totally unjustified. There was NO yelling going on. Should everyone just whisper outdoors now, to please his majesty? With all the screeching going on by our building late into the night, by drunks and tweekers, he’s really got his gall!

Kevin is harassing me. But I’ll just continue to wish him well whenever our paths cross, say “hello,” “good morning,” stuff like that. I suspect he’s setting me up for eviction, or some other horrible, fake grievance. It’ll backfire. Here’s what I think is really going on:

My confrontation with Myrtle & son, and Kevin’s own participation in their antagonism towards me, has caused him much animosity against THIS perplexed pilgrim. Too bad for him. I’m dealing with a child here, perhaps someone with progressive dementia. I was thinking of texting him, “We need to talk,” but I figured that would not go over well, as he persists in talking down to me, and never allowing us any REAL conversation.

I still wonder what the heck his collusion with Myrtle & son was REALLY all about…but I suspect he doesn’t want me, or anyone else, to know. He might even be afraid, and see my not keeping to myself regarding stuff that goes on in this building, as a threat to his own scurrilous activities.

But what do I know? I’m just an SRO occupant, and, as you know, single-room residents like myself are supposed to be invisible, since our kind don’t really count in their eyes.

Now, just when I was about to end this missive, Deek called up for his things, and the dog food. I didn’t bother to tell him anything about my difficulties with the manager, and chihuahua man. Seeing as HE is no longer any sort of problem, as well as not a very good listener. Nor do I want to put more stress or worry in his life. He gave me a hearty thanks, I said sure, any time, and have an excellent day. I really hope he does.

Oh: nor did I mention his being “in a hurry” to park himself around the corner was kinda silly. I could’ve fed the dogs then brought them out to him…or even let them rest a few hours more, inside. I think it’s best to leave things be, and just see how they develop. Overall, he’s doing remarkably well these days. Thus, it is NOT the time any more for criticism, as that would be “micro-managing.” And I abhor people who do that.

I just checked again: he is no longer parked behind my building, nor is his momentary comrade…whoever the heck he was, I’ve never seen him before. And that means nothing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek “in a hurry” to…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 1:10 PM

> What a morning!!

I know, okay? And right when Deek showed up this morning, I had some treats in my hand, ready to enter the gate. The pups were MOST eager to receive them, but I held back because for whatever reason, Deek is paranoid about giving them any treats. Poor Flaco kept looking up at me, craving her goody, as I walked the pups over to Deek, and comisserated with him for several minutes. She even stood up with paws on my thigh, sniffing at my coat pocket. I felt terrible, having to ignore her like that. But they DID have those huge bones to gnaw on. Or lick, because tiny jaws…but I have a hunch they didn’t care for them at all. They don’t like ANY snacks that are hard; they only go for the chewy stuff.

BTW, Kevin has yet to schedule me for that next bedbug treatment, as part of the new “every two weeks” plan. He’s actually done something like this before, late last year, that is:

Set up another treatment two or three weeks after the first one, and I said I’ll be ready. But it never happened, and the next “gassing” wasn’t till three months later. I conjecture he’s making some stuff up to try to make me break. Won’t work. Though I ALSO conjecture this is further tweaking of my emotional quotient a la my Bodhisattva Premise. Because it looks like the moment I get myself centered and calm once again, some other nuisance erupts. I can deal with it, though; I’m fine. The fact that Deek has gotten vaccinated, and is behaving so much more reasonable and friendly–and the pups continue their visits–all certainly keep my spirits aloft. Now, a little more about my complimenting him yesterday:

I also told him that I’m a pretty tough guy, but I don’t play it that way…and my physical appearance and gentle demeanor make most think I’m a chump.

“But you know better, Deek,” I noted. “I haven’t exactly gone easy on you. Nor have you gone easy on ME, for that matter!” Of course I left out the part where, had I gone easy on him, he’d stomp all over me, wreck my life and get me evicted, thus become homeless like him!

I added that he DESERVES praise at this time in his life, because he’s doing amazingly well these days. And I have grown mightily, too, thanks to all the challenges he’s tossed my way. At that point, he was eager to leave because, I think, my flattering words heaped upon him so copiously was a bit much for him to take. Or, assuming he IS my bodhisattva guardian, it is only proper to respond to such kudos with humility, and not make a fuss of it.

I therefore can NOT hold enmity towards Kevin and chihuahua man, either…for the same reason. IOW: we have no enemies, only teachers.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: New Mendo listserv has a separate “zeke” category!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 2:06 PM

> Holy cow!! What a development!!

I suspected all along there was a cow behind all this…in light of Mendoland’s rural nature. I’ve certainly made a splash up there! “Memo of the Weird” Marshall not only talked about this new board, but mentioned there’s a special section just for Zeke! I would NOT have known about this at all, had he not brought it up on his latest show. I still listen to every single one of his episodes, via podcast, in spite of his unwarranted antagonism towards me. And it sure has paid off THIS time around, like I hit the jackpot!

This message board is very well laid out, with excellent options. We should have a much better online community, without all those right-wing and conspiracy assholes…especially that Nazi lunatic (and his several admiring followers…even gyork is banned. He’s the one who spread wild gossip about me supposedly making money from my posts, and accused my puppy rescue project of being a scam).

By having my own category, folks are free to read or NOT read anything I post. Turns out that whatever I contribute to the board, goes directly to the “zeke” folder, no matter the topic. And that’s okay by me…it still gets sent to the Announcement list, so long as I don’t turn off that feature. There seems to be no automatic sorting by category, however. So I guess the administrator does it all by hand. Which takes a bit of concentrated work, I’d say.

My way of saying thank you to, was to post the following message, my very first:

Subject: God Only Knows – BBC Music
From: ezekielk
Date: Sun July 25 2021 2:54 AM

One of the loveliest songs by the Beach Boys, in a special rendering by the BBC. Let this sweet song remind us all that things of this world will reach a crescendo of seemingly insurmountable and disastrous odds before the clouds break up and the sun shines through. (Or the sunlight fades and the dark clouds come tumbling down, for us stormy weather lovers.) We’re almost there, just a few more steps!

Subject: Marshall read an excerpt from my latest tale!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 7:21 PM

Listening a fifth hour in to his podcast from last Friday night’s show, I was delighted to hear him read this excerpt I call “The Box & The Fluff.” So he’ll read excerpts I post to the Announce list, and that’s how I grab his interest for now on. I’ll just have to remember to make each one juicy, with a reading time of 4-5 minutes. No more just a paragraph or two (or three or four) whenever I announce my latest chapter!

I guess I could just post excerpts from my earlier tales once a week, between new chapter announcements. That way, Marshall’s Brindlekin narrations will accumulate into a tasty repast for the Youtube crowd. And I’ll also post links to them via my WordPress blog’s KNYO section.

BTW, I lost another “Zeke’s Mailing List” member, Millie Lasser. I know her through her homeless son I befriended over a decade ago. Her email’s bounced back twice, so far. My list never took off, though…at the most there were only four: you, Carlyle Lambourne, Chuck Kapinski and Millie. I dropped you from it, once I joined the MCN lists, ’cause you’d get the same stuff I post there, that I include on my own mailing list. So now I’m down to just ONE! But then a NEW “zeke” list has cropped up, thanks to…and it COULD turn into something interesting.

Subject: Doggy Dining with the Stars IV
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 27, 2021 6:52 PM

I just uploaded this video, which I took while feeding the pups a short while ago (4 mins.):

Watch Flaco & Lucky enjoy a hearty meal while an old ’30s, ’40s or ’50s movie plays in the background. Today I bring you “Woman on the Run,” a 1950 noir film directed by Norman Foster. Starring Ann Sheridan, Ross Elliot, Dennis O’Keefe, John Qualen, Frank Jenks and Robert Keith. Distributed by Fidelity Pictures Corporation, whoever the heck THEY were.

I love the gentle absurdity of playing an old, noir movie in the background while filming the pups noshing away.

Deek showed up around 5:40. I gave him a full $60 even though I already advanced him $20 three days prior. Told him that’s it for the month, no more money for a week, my budget’s really tight till then. Again, he said he’s in a hurry, and obviously the pups were, as well…to dash upstairs to their little sanctuary. As I turned to go, Deek hollered out: “Hey, look at this!” So I turned around halfway to the gate to see a HUGE speaker on a dolly, tethered to his latest bicycle.

“It’s just as big as the last one!” he declared with excitement.

“Wow,” I replied, “somethin’ else!” But then rushed to open the gate because I saw Kevin fast approaching, carrying a small duffel bag with those thick, round leather handles. “What the heck is in THAT,” I wondered, as I hurriedly fumbled with the keys in the same hand I clutched a Bluetooth speaker, while holding both leashes with the other hand, which was also prodding my right pocket for a couple of duck jerky treats. Deek hopped onto his bicycle, said “Thank you Zeke,” and I called back, “Thank you, too!”

And up the stairs we dashed, the doggies arf-arf-arfing with joy, all the way hovel.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson – 7/28/21

Pic 1 (large version)

Pic 2 (large version)

Pic 3 (large version)

Pic 4 (large version)


Subject: And off they go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 29, 2021 11:41 AM

Well, Wattson, another sweet Canis familiaris visit has come to an end. When I brought the doggies down to him this morning, he apologized for not showing up yesterday. Something about things may or may not be working out with “my girl,” how she either can’t or doesn’t want the pups over…not sure which, as he didn’t elaborate, and I didn’t prod. (My immediate thought was: “How could anyone NOT love those pooches? Maybe he should drop her.”) But I assured him:

“That’s fine, you know I always take good care of them, you never need to worry.”

He had a bike with a huge garbage sack bursting with recyclables tottering over the handlebars, and a trailer to lug that ginormous speaker. The moment he thanked me and said god bless you, the bag slid open and spilled cans and bottles all over the sidewalk. The dogs stood around, patiently watching him clean up the mess, as I blessed him back and told Flaco & Lucky “stay with your master now!” They understood, and neither attempted to follow me back to the gate. Though of course their loving eyes watched me until I vanished.

I was pleased with not just how calm the doggies were, but Deek, too. Not a single flash of anger when the bag disgorged its contents. He simply began putting the escaped items back into their bag, as I left them to their concrete jumble world once again, wishing them only the best.

It was a colorful, O. Henry-esque scene I wish I had bothered to record with my spy pen. However, once returned hovel, I caught two brief scenes of them departing, as I aimed my Moto E out the window. Nervous about him possibly looking up and seeing me film them, both shots were quite brief. But I stuck them together, and uploaded the result here (22 seconds):

As for continuing my test of using treats to distract them from foot traffic up and down the stairs, it has passed with flying colors twice so far: once, yesterday, and once, this morning. The first time, not a peep out of them…the second time, a couple of woofs but no more. I have yet to encounter someone with their own pet, but I think it’s all under control now.

Though it’s been pretty much of a non-issue all along, I have to deal with a few mofos residing here, including the manager. They are anti-happiness personified! They seem to have their panties up in a bunch that I DARE sit for two homeless doggies…emphasis on “homeless.” What do they think I’m planning to do, run a street dog service? I can’t imagine the horrible things being said about me through the toxic grapevine! A little kindness goes a long way, but Glaucus forbid they should ever show any of THAT.

Whatever happened to the San Francisco I once loved, and was so accepting of eccentric folks like yours truly? It’s gone the way of the REST of America, culminating with our Demon President Trump. Hopefully, this surging Delta Strain will wipe out a large sum of them. But I’m not holding my breath; just wearing a mask again. What an appropriate symbol for this vile, corrupt nation: a mask!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: And off they go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 29, 2021 12:55 PM

> So glad you got extra time with them.

Always wonderful when that happens. The pups LOVE visiting me…all that cushy comfort where they know they are safe, loved, and in a peaceful, quiet setting. Their trust in me is absolute.

Woke up this morning around 7:05 AM with my left foot being anointed. Flaco was licking my heel, then moved on to the rest of my foot, doing such a prolonged, thorough job of it, including getting between the toes! Sometimes she’d grip a toe or two lightly with her sharp little teeth, for a deeper clean. While performing this sacred ritual, I pulled Lucky close to me…he sighed dreamily as I held his buff little bod between my arms.

Several minutes later, and to my surprise, she then moved on to the OTHER foot! I consider the word “anoint” preferable to “lick,” in light of my spiritual awakening to the divine spirit of the dog. And, just as the early Christians washed each other’s feet to show humility and respect for the divine in each of us, so did Flaco, the dachshund/terrier pilgrim, on our shared journey.

> I looked closely at the video, I see he has the two of them leashed together. They seem to be trotting along, just following him, but it didn’t look as though there was a lead connected to him and his bicycle…maybe there was and I just couldn’t see it. How does this rig work??

While tethered to each other, they’re otherwise off-leash. The pups have become very good at keeping to the sidewalk, and close to their master. Deek’s joining the two leashes together is a rather new thing, which he began around four months back. He fashioned the knot so well, it’s difficult for me to unravel (so I don’t bother). Which makes walking them a bit of a chore, since they often switch from one side to the other, and I have to either quickly step over the extended leash, or just drop it to the ground, step back and pick it up again. Which happens every couple of minutes or so, on each walk.

Also, with these leashes joined, I can no longer tether them to the sign post outside Morey’s corner store. At least, not in the usual manner. I have to bring a separate cord or one of the spare collars, as a workaround. Speaking of knots:

A few weeks ago I laughed at myself when I thought of what an excellent knot he used to link the pups’ leashes, recalling my discussion about knots earlier this year. I had handed him a new sack of kibble, after tying a double knot sideways instead of vertically.

“Why did you tie it like that?” he queried with a touch of annoyance.

“Because while this knot is still strong and keeps food fresh, it’s easy to untie. That way you can open and close it with little fuss.”

“Hmm,” he skeptically mused. So I elaborated:

“I know my knots, Deek. Thanks to the Boy Scouts.” Not bothering to tell him I never made it beyond Tenderfoot by the time I finally dropped out when I turned seventeen. (My right-wing, military-college-educated, Trumpturd brother had become an Eagle Scout by the time he reached that same age.) And this particular knot I didn’t learn about till many years later. IOW: mine was a hollow brag.

So after dealing with this new leash arrangement, I finally realized that’s a damn righteous knot he’s got there! Perhaps, I conjectured, in his own, unique bodhisattva style, it is his way of saying:

“See? I know knots too, Zeke!”

And he set up the joke so that it wouldn’t hit me till some weeks later.

Does that answer your question, good physician? You often ask most difficult ones without even realizing it. Or do you?

Next time the pooches visit, I will be sure to take a snapshot of Deek’s fabulous knot, and send it to you.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: This Month’s Outrageous Xfinity Bill.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 30, 2021 5:58 PM

Read it and weep.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: This Month’s Outrageous Xfinity Bill.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 12:42 AM

> Haw!

It’s highway robbery…in reverse.

The pups are back. Deek showed up just after midnight, wanted to leave them with me so he could do his night riding with a large speaker in tow. Fine with me. Now, back to watching another episode or two of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, then it’s time to hit the sack. Flaco’s stretched out in the box, and Lucky’s curled up at my feet. He loves his neck scratches BTW, often pushes his head against my leg for more.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 4:51 PM

Also, Morey’s brother was jumped, but he managed to defend himself quite well and shove off the attack, and even took a video of them further down the block. Here’s how I found out about it:

Around 2:30 PM I walked the pups up Noe Street, and noticed a commotion happening a block-and-a-half up. Saw four black teenagers, and I automatically assumed Adisa was among them, though I could not tell, visually, as I quickly scooted to the other side of the street and stood for a minute, hidden by a couple of leafy trees. Could not hear what they were saying, but tone of voices indicated intimidation and threats. There was a fellow standing by the door who looked like Morey, but I later learned that’s his brother. He was holding up his smartphone to take a video of the punks who stood further down the block, hollering back.

I then continued my walk, looking left to see if I could spot Adisa. Yep, he was definitely one of ’em, and I think he saw me, too. Anyway, I moved swiftly on and rounded the corner to get to my bank’s branch and withdraw $40. I figured not to intervene in the fracas, due to the pups’ presence, deciding instead to visit Morey’s shop upon my return, assuming the confrontation would have ended by then. It had, and there were three cops taking stock of the situation; their car was parked nearby.

Morey was not there, though his brother was…along with another clerk by name of Jack: a tall, Lebanese fellow of advanced years. Very nice man, as is his wife. They filled me in with what happened and, since Morey already knows my difficulties with Adisa and his mom (AND the building manager), I let him fill Jack in with my side of the equation.

I then offered to send them a link to my video of Adisa harassing me, via texting or email. Jack gave me his cell phone number, and some minutes later upon arriving hovel, I sent him that link, plus a copy of my complaint to Ablablah Realty, which includes their full names and other useful details.

Fortunately, I did not cross paths with the delinquents on my way home, though I feared I might, ’cause that’s the direction they headed off to, after the altercation. God forbid they should ever enter my building again! Which is quite possible, since easy to do. In fact, the front gate was held ajar for a couple of hours today, as a resident was moving out with a U-Haul truck parked nearby. AROUND THE SAME TIME Adisa et al were harassing Morey’s friends and strolling the neighborhood.

Not knowing what kind of association our building manager Kevin may still have with Myrtle & son, I’m hesitant to inform him of this horrid event. I could text him a brief alert and be done with it. At any rate, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Adisa, and the moment I see him again, will call 911.

Can you believe this, Wattson? Why is my life so frequently filled with crisis after crisis on a most local level? This is out of the ordinary. Hmm, I think I’ll march back to Morey’s corner store right now, to see if they got my video and letter, and whether or not the punks showed up again. Jack said they threatened to. As far as I know, no weapon was involved. And hopefully, that will never come to pass. Where is Myrtle in all this?

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Okay, I just texted Kevin this: “Adisa and punk friends robbed Morey’s shop this afternoon, and jumped his brother. You may want to talk to them, yourself, for the record.”

Subject: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon! UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 7:05 PM


I have yet to receive acknowledgment from Jack that he got my texted video and letter. But I thought I did, when someone texted back “Jesus!” about a half hour ago. Foolish me, I had not noticed the reply was from Kevin, not Jack. I was so eager to hear back from Morey’s coworker, that I jumped the gate. With the following sorry result:

Maybe it’s for the best, could smooth things over, as Kevin now sees I speak reasonably of him, regardless of my justified outrages against the prick. That is: I don’t gossip or spread hate. Be that as it may, I’m still waiting on Jack’s ACK. I decided NOT to walk back there so soon to get updated, as I’m afraid I might come off as a wannabe private investigator, treating their crisis like some kind of staged adventure (though I suspect it IS just that).

However, should I NOT hear from him by 7:30, THEN I’ll pay a visit, as it’s also a good time to walk the pups again. Morey’s shop closes nightly at eight.

Well, the doggies are STILL with me (hurray!), and I remembered to take a pic of Deek’s “super knot” that joins the leashes like they were fused together. Actually, two pics to show both sides.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 8:38 PM

> Be careful!!!

In light of my very low income and limited resources, no real friends nearby, easy access to this building, the manager’s (and at least two other residents’) hostility, Deek’s frighteningly incautious behavior at times, and caring for the pups against all odds…there’s little I can do as regards being careful. I’m absurdly vulnerable, and that’s just the way it is. Besides, I’ve always been careful all my life, as best to my abilities…this is nothing new.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon! UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 8:38 PM

> Oh, drat! A further complication!!

But wait, there’s more:

As I stepped out to check on Morey’s shop, I almost fell down the stairs and broke my pinky! Deek’s damn tethered leashes got caught up in my right ankle at just the moment I released the pups to go dashing down the stairs and into the lobby. Which made me fall on my keister while clutching for stability on the banister in such a way as to come close to snapping my little finger off its socket. Fortunately, I was spared, got up and started to open the doors to let the doggies out.

But they were staring back at someone coming down the steps and were about to bark up a storm. I managed to quell that with a treat held above their noses, but they resisted my nudging them to get through the gate before that person reached the lobby. I succeeded at the very last second when lo and behold, up comes a huge pit bull leashed (thank god) to its owner, and all three dogs started barking. Forcing me just to stand there until they passed, because a small crowd approaching from the left obstructed my egress. Which meant that I was probably blocking the tenant who by now wanted to step out, too.

I glanced back to discover he was NOT right behind me…then, finally, stepped further out on the sidewalk, urging the pooches to come this way, never mind the big dog looking back at them. Fifteen more steps or so, I turned around to see if that resident had exited yet, but no, he had not. I guess he just came downstairs to check the mail or pick up one or more of several packages dumped off by this or that delivery service.

We were almost at the corner when some skinny-and-tall-as-Ichobod-Crane tweeker who had just crossed the street stepped onto the curb and snarled:

“Hey, what are you doing with Deek’s dogs?”

The last thing I ever want with these types is discuss ANYthing with them, let alone have them in my presence. But some get in your face no matter what, so I bit my tongue and replied:

“I’m watching them for him, so he can go ride his bike.”

“Oh,” he said, still with suspicion written all over his meth-saturated aura.

“Deek and I have been friends for more than ten years,” I qualified, only to appease the goon. But he pushed further:

“What is your name?”

“Zeke.” I was so impatient at this point, I almost exploded in a fury of expletives.

“I think I’ve heard of you,” he mused aloud. “Well, I was just looking out for Deek.”

“That’s nice of you,” I quipped.

“No, it’s not nice,” he asserted, “it’s responsible.”

At that point I really had enough, so turned away, desperate to distance myself tout de suite from this gritty pissant. Soon as the light turned green, I did.

This is what it’s like stepping out with Flaco & Lucky sometimes: a long, drawn out drama with threatening bit actors emerging from the wings! Earlier that morning, I held the dogs back in the lobby, because some homeless lady had just stopped with her baggage RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE, and started begging! She wasn’t there a moment ago, just popped out of the blue one second before I grabbed the door handle. To the brindlekin’s credit, no barking ensued as they patiently stood by my side.

Much to my relief, she lingered no more than two minutes, and no other resident came downstairs during that time. This is the tense situation I’m in, due in no small measure to the manager’s hostility, chihuahua man and, of course, my quasi-fascist neighbor Moe. What other pin-headed doink who resides here may be in the mix? I have no idea. But I’m sure I’ll find out one way or another; gossip spreads like the Delta strain around here. Speaking of pin-heads:

There IS a new occupant who bears a remarkable resemblance to Myrtle Haversak (Adisa’s mom): 5-foot-4, petite, pale, straw-color bowl-cut hair, and often seen stepping out to jog in black spandex yoga pants and a gray pullover. Also, not a single ray of a smile ever beams from that blank-eyed countenance of hers. I’ve said hi to her now and then, and she barely acknowledges.

I came upstairs with the pups a few nights back, and there was Myrtle ver. 2.0 standing on my floor, waiting for us to pass. As we did, Flaco barked twice, but I quickly stifled that with the lure of a treat. The lady was stoic, couldn’t tell whether annoyed or pleased. God forbid she would ever say, “Cute dogs!” I know nothing about her, except she moved in about two months ago, and lives on either the third or fourth floor. But I suspect she’s just another “Nombie” (Nazi zombie). Will she go crying to the manager about “those awful dogs” barking at her? I would NOT be surprised.

Well, after all that drama simply for stepping outside, I finally arrived at the corner store. Morey was the only one there. I was saddened to hear that the cops did nothing, not even tracked them down to have a serious talk with them. Jack returned home because the old fellow’s nerves were completely shot. He suffered a stroke three years ago, and was gone for almost seven months; I thought I’d never see him again, that it was all over for him. But as it turned out, he bounced back into glowing health and cheerful spirit…he even looks HEARTIER than before!

But this assault on their shop may wind up being his demise! How can he ever show up again, and not be in constant fear of these punks making further appearances? In light of the SFPD’s failure to take any action against these reprobates, they’ll know they can get away with their crimes. They could even terrorize the entire neighborhood before any legal force comes into play!

And why the fuck is Adisa continuing to be an unwelcome presence? Where does he live now, which school does he attend, is it nearby? Morey said there’s no point in my calling 911 when I see the skunk again, as Jack has not even decided whether or not to press charges, because he fears retaliation. Which is quite possible, as they know they can get away with even more harassment. So the police will do NOTHING as it now stands. They told Morey to call 911 if they show up again. Gee, what a washed out piece of advice. And frightening.

Likewise (Morey elaborated) would posting warning notices with their mugs exposed lead to justice, and may cause further attacks upon their little shop. It could even go out of business over this hellish scenario. What a dark shadow has been cast upon this loveliest corner of The Castro…my only relatively-safe haven in the entire district.

Until now.

Who would ever have imagined, good physician, that 9666 Market Street would give birth to such a demonic manifestation? Time for another deep consultation with my loyal advisor in all things mysterious, Pterry Pterodactyl!

Upon returning hovel with the pups, someone came right up behind me and held the door open: another resident. The dogs started to bark, though not so vociferously, and I was able to quiet them down quickly, with my snack trick. Once he ascended the stairs to the second floor, I attempted to follow, but another resident came prancing DOWN and into the lobby.

Again, the pups barked, and again I squelched it. He chuckled, didn’t seem upset at all. In fact, he was pretty nice. Though I don’t really know if that’s any guarantee he won’t complain to the manager, anyway. Some of these nasty queens will smile as they stab you in the back. I would like very much for all this bullshit to end!

– Zeke K-Holmes

The Final Chapter (part 16)

July 22, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17p]

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Here’s a tear-jerker…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 11, 2021 11:20 AM

> …with a very happy ending.

Animal rescuers are the BEST! But a shame that we even NEED them in the first place. Great video, touched my heart. Poor thing had to go through even MORE trauma before comprehending she was finally in loving hands. How could ANYone neglect such a lovely darling? The owner “left the dog behind;” that’s atrocious. But she’s deliriously happy now, and that’s a victory!


When they last came over, Flaco didn’t seem to mind the box having vanished…just glad to hop onto that fluffy bedding and zonk out. After first expressing her usual sweet gratitude, and my belly rubs in return. But it has become her habit late at night, to suddenly awaken and jump off the cot to spend a private fifteen minutes or so in the box, before returning by my side. Sometimes scratching loudly on the cardboard floor before settling in. But that night there WAS no box, so she stood around wondering what to do, as she wasn’t ready to return to bed, nor lie down directly on the floor…until I tossed one of the sleeping bags down. She happily accepted, and curled up on it till early morn. Meanwhile, Lucky remained in a deep sleep, his head and upper torso pressed upon my calves in friendly comfort.

She loved the larger box, but I don’t know when I’ll find another that size. So I taped two small boxes together as a temporary solution; see attachment. I imagine she’ll appreciate the extra depth: like a burrow that will give her a sense of seclusion, while peering out at the world.

That recent stayover, I had told Deek to pick them up no later than 1 PM the next day. Not sure if he’d follow through, I was wondering how I’d finish my room prep with the pups present. Because I needed to bag all the bedding as the final step, and they’d have to stay on the floor without anything fluffy to rest upon, before we all stepped out. That’s when I learned how important that fluffy respite is to them. Because the moment Lucky jumped off the cot for a drink of water (Flaco was already on the floor, atop one of the kid’s sleeping bags), I snatched the remaining three comforters away, leaving only the two adult sleeping bags that were laid out flat. I figured they’re cushy enough, and I could now seal up those smaller comforters. But when Lucky jumped back onto the cot, he sniffed around with disapproval, then leapt back onto the floor and attempted to join Flaco…but there wasn’t quite enough room for him to enjoy a piece of the fluff she laid upon. So I tossed a second sleeping bag down, and he went right to it.

Fortunately, I needed not go through the actual difficulty of dealing with the doggies’ presence up to the last moment, since Deek showed up around 11:30 AM. Which allowed me ample time to complete preparing my hovel, with ease. I was very pleased with him, for that.

Ironically, those two smaller boxes were the final remnant of neighbor Todd’s passing. They came from a stack of cardboard flats left by his door, for packing away his material possessions: a veritable cornucopia of movie DVDs and music CDs, plus paperback and hardcover books, intriguing board games, an amazing assortment of tarot card decks, and enough sex toys for a platoon. They could fill a small warehouse; I don’t know how he fit all that junk in one, tiny room smaller than mine. They clogged up half the back porch all the way to the ceiling for several weeks. Now, nothing of his remains, no evidence that he ever existed in the first place.

I must say, Wattson, that I’ve benefited from his death far more than I ever have from his living presence. No more of his nasty glances and gossip against me, no more of his hogging up the WC, and no more having to set one’s bare feet on the restroom’s icy linoleum floor!

Yes, that last part, which annoyance I have told you about previously, though it was some time ago, and you may have forgotten. Some years back, the building manager had gifted us who share that bathroom, with a fluffy throw rug. A small but welcome comfort, that gave a homey touch to the space. However, someone had smeared a bit of human feces onto it, so the manager promptly removed the rug. Could’ve been some homeless person who sneaked into our building. But I suspected Todd had thought it was MY contribution, thus resented the rug by committing that heinous act. A few months later, the manager tried again with another rug…but the same disgusting result put an end to having ANY throw rug in our humble toilet!

Now just over a week ago, a new rug has appeared in the communal lavatory. I chuckled to myself about that: another benefit of Todd’s welcome extinction.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: A Couple of Quick Meetups
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 12, 2021 12:50 AM

9 PM Deek and pups dropped by, he asked for more doggy food, and gave me the usual electronic items to recharge. He granted me a good amount of time to sit with the doggies, eager for my hugs and attention. He was a bit edgy, but calmed down in a few minutes, after hurling a couple of insulting accusations my way. I just told him to stop picking at me, and I’m sorry he’s in a bad mood.

Flaco stood up on my lap, facing me, and gazed into my eyes with love. And I looked back at her with equal kindness. She’s amazing like that! She doesn’t move or do anything else while in that pose, and it can go on for a minute or longer…just an adoring, prolonged gaze: no licks, kisses or any other actions. While at the same time Lucky’s sharp little teeth nibbled up and down my right arm from shoulder to elbow and back again, then repeat…like a jokester who mimics gnawing upon an ear of corn. His friendliness is both passionate and silly…but always sincere.

I took this sweet visit to compliment Deek on how incredible he’s doing these days, and in the past several months.

“I guess a bit more aging under the belt has done you good,” I noted. “Experiences pile up over the years, and have their way of coming together in wisdom, further down the line.” He actually listened attentively to me, so I embellished:

“One thing life has taught me, is that everyone is testing everyone else. No matter how shitty someone behaves, they are testing you in ways that make your life better, even if you don’t realize at the time. Angels work through people, sometimes consciously, but also without that person realizing it. If an angel decides he needs to be tough with you, to lead you down a better path, then that’s what he will do. Otherwise, they are always as kind and generous as they can possibly be. As more testing goes on, and more lessons are learned, kindness will increase in your life, and harshness will decrease.”

Well, I used my words better than that, but I can’t recall verbatim, so I’m paraphrasing myself. Outside of that brief anxiety attack, Deek was calm and in good spirits…as I’ve noticed he’s been for many weeks now. He is now totally receptive to my positive reinforcement, much to my amazement and pride. And that sense of pride is for both of us.


He just dropped by again (a quarter after midnight), to ask for a cigarette lighter…which he does from time to time. But he had the dogs with him, too (instead of leaving them tied to the cart 20 feet away), and they wanted SO badly to visit! Flaco got partway through the open gate, with Lucky right behind, nudging her on. Then Deek pulled them back, said “thanks” and took off once more. The pups, of course, kept looking back at me, so I smiled and waved at them. Though I REALLY wanted to sweep them up in my arms and take them home.

BTW I’ve noticed Deek now has a healthier glow about him these days. Tonight was no exception. And he’s not been hounding me for an “advancement” on his allowance, as he used to do all the time. It’s very important he pay me visits withOUT cash in mind; our friendship is too important to be monetized, nor should my paying him for the pooches’ visits ever be a thing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 14, 2021 9:39 PM

> Great reports, both of them. Love the description of Flaco looking into your eyes. Their complete sentience is so obvious in those moments, it makes you wonder how anyone could doubt it for a second.

She’s an AWESOME pup; they both are. Sometimes when I’m hugging Lucky, she looks really sad, like I just rejected her: ears pinned back and staring intently. So I immediately draw her into my arms, too. Or she’ll come right over and plunk herself smack-dab on top of him to intercept my affections. It’s as if she’s expressing her pride in protecting me…even if it’s from her brother’s little love nips. She shows incredible gratitude for my kindness, I’m floored! It seems to make Lucky happy, that I care for her so much.

Yes, their sentience is remarkable. Not ALL dogs are that expressive; those two knock my socks off, totally opened my heart. This is a real FRIENDSHIP thing we’ve got going. And STUNNING when you think that it is Deek who’s brought such wonderful pooches into my life. There is more to this fellow than meets the eye.

> And the solution to the box problem!

It will do for now. She hasn’t explored it yet; would rather crash out on the bedding for now. It occurred to me yesterday that I could probably purchase a large box from UPS down the block (a single one, rather than a batch of ’em like what Amazon offers). So I’ll look into it tomorrow.

> Eew, the soiled rug. Ghastly. Maybe have a small rug of your own; carry it with you into the W.C., then take it with you when you leave. Keep those tootsies warm.

Well, that’s no longer a problem, since the source of the mischief is now dead.

> And I agree that Deek is making progress, even if it’s two steps forward, one step back.

Oh I’m sure of it…and so PROUD for that. For both of us, I should note. Been agonizing, I readily admit. Still is, but not so extreme any more.

Click here for a larger view.

THE PUPS ARE BACK AGAIN, BTW! As you already know via my text.

About an hour ago Deek came by to collect his weekly allowance, and said I can have them stay over, but he hasn’t decided yet whether for a few hours, or overnight. He’ll possibly be back later this evening to pick up his recharged devices. Every time previously, when he says he’s undecided, he winds up letting them stay for the night. So most likely, he’ll either just pick up his items around midnight, and leave the pups with me…or just not return until tomorrow.

I think his reducing the pups’ number of visits is his way of showing me he CAN take care of them on his own, and does a good job of it. Presumably because I gave him the challenge, and he’s following through. IOW my own interactions with him are pushing him to grow up.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 14, 2021 10:56 PM

Deek just returned to pick up his devices…said to keep the pups overnight. Hooray! Another good sign: he wasn’t the least bit upset when I told him that one of the smartphones wouldn’t let me transfer new songs over. It’s a strange model with limitations. And the other smartphone is slow to charge, only reached 55 percent after two hours. He wasn’t upset over that, either. What a great night THIS has turned out to be!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 15, 2021 12:47 PM

> Pretty magical. Are they part dachshund?

Yes, they appear to be half dachshund and half terrier…perhaps American pit bull terrier.

Flaco at rest. Click here for a larger view.

I’ve referred to their dachshund nature in previous posts, especially in my earlier Brindlekin tales. Their eyes give it away.

> Because I remember an encounter I had years ago with a dachshund. He’d come down my driveway where I was living way out in the woods. I stepped out the front door, and our eyes met. He looked at me, cautious and reserved, fifteen feet away, waiting for a sign that would let him know if I was friend or foe. I greeted him and patted my knees, and he instantly put his ears down, wagged his tail furiously and sausaged toward me. He wasn’t homeless, it turned out; he lived nearby and was just out roving around. But I’ll never forget those fully sentient eyes, looking into mine, waiting, “reading” me.

What a charming encounter! I’ve never paid much attention to that breed, but Flaco & Lucky have changed all that for me.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subjecting: Disheartening, but Not Surprised
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 15, 2021 3:54 PM

So Deek came by to pick up the pups, no drama. Gave me several devices to charge, said he’d be back later, and that was that. But before I entered the gate I looked right to see him turning the corner. Which means he’s gonna park behind my building again. Now, why wouldn’t he let the doggies stay with me longer, instead of just have them resting on the cold concrete beside him?

An hour later I looked out the hallway window to see he was still there, with a couple of other homeless folks. And the dogs sitting on the sidewalk, not even a sheet of cardboard. How many times have I told him they’re gonna develop arthritis if he keeps this up? What the hell’s wrong with him?

And there’s no point in my bringing it up again ’cause he won’t change, and he’ll just keep Flaco & Lucky away from me even longer.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Pups are back again, for the night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 12:09 AM

Deek came by, said he wants to ride his bike, so I can have the doggies again. So here we are again! It’s a cold and windy night, and I suspect he doesn’t want to admit they should be inside where it’s warm and dry. Though I may be giving him more credit than he deserves. Or not. Anyway, they were elated to drop by again, and enjoy this little sanctuary of mine. I love my 2-dog nights!

– Zeke K-Homes

Subject: He’s turned over a new leaf…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 9:33 AM

…and I’m impressed, and grateful. Deek came by earlier than I hoped (8 AM on the dot), to pick up the pooches and his gizmos. He was polite and of good cheer, said he’s gonna spend the day in the park, give ’em lots of exercise. Putting my complete trust in him is working…but boy has it been a tough haul getting there, good doctor! The dogs have changed everything between us, and for the better.

Waking up with the doggies is always amazing; their constant good cheer touches me like nothing else. The American pit bull terrier is very sweet natured (great with families and children), though often doesn’t get along with other dogs. Blend that with the dachshund, and you’ve got a winning mix! More of the pit bull is evident in Lucky’s stocky frame, while Flaco shows more of the dachshund. However, besides those glorious eyes, Lucky’s bowed, chunky legs also reveal those dachshund genes.

That first pic of Lucky, and of Deek nodding off with him (dated May 2020)–both taken well before Flaco came into our lives–reminds me of what a long way we’ve come since then!

Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.

Re: He’s turned over a new leaf….
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 2:18 PM

> I was gonna ask how it went, and now I know! Splendid portrait of Lucky. A truly noble creature.

I can’t praise enough, what a stupendous pooch he is! BOTH are utterly remarkable. Despite my remonstrations that Deek NOT get a second dog, I now must admit: I WAS WRONG, AND HE WAS RIGHT. They are constantly cheerful and affectionate, and have a real blast visiting me. Their enthusiasm is boundless as they wait for me to open the gate and let them dash upstairs to my hovel. Sometimes they’ll politely pause at the first landing, for me to catch up…they’re THAT thoughtful.

My impression of Deek’s strategy to temporarily reduce the frequency of the pups’ visits, is as if he were guiding me to a better path: one where I learn to worry less and enjoy more. Now, he’s resumed their more frequent stay-overs, as if to acknowledge “lesson learned.” As I said in an earlier email: there’s more to him than meets the eye. This fits in like hand to glove, regarding my Bodhisattva Premise!

Since the eruption with police intervention back in February, instead of his completely walking out on me, he stuck it through to work things out, just as I have with him. Seeing as I love those brindlekin so much, I HAD NO CHOICE but to maintain our friendship as best as possible. It was a most painful passage of several months, exacerbated by OTHER unexpected crises…yet we both made it through all the hurdles, and came out the other end intact, and much better off for the wear.

The past several times he’s hung around my building, he’s been quiet and drama free. And mostly garbage-free, too. Things can only continue to get better, and I see a happy ending to my Brindlekin Tales on the horizon. A win-win outcome for all parties involved. In the past few months, many of his street friends have witnessed my caring for the dogs, and being a strong ally to Deek. This is all VERY good.

> I went the other day to visit my former neighbor, who has severe progressive MS and has lived for the past 5 years in the nursing home in Fort Bragg. She was bedridden even before the pandemic, and during the worst of it, was even more trapped than usual. No visitors allowed, no outings, no nothing, just bed and TV and the constant madhouse noises of the inmates, most of whom have some form of dementia, which my friend does not. Now they let you in with an appointment. She’s very goddamned stoic, I’ve gotta say. Way more than I would be if I were in her figurative shoes.

She sounds like an incredible person, but a shame she is forced to live in such surroundings. I can’t imagine her having a better friend than you, to visit her and cheer her on. My tales are writ precisely FOR such long-suffering good angels…that it gives them inspiration, delight, and a smile on their face. A lot of cliffhangers in my trilogy as well, to keep them turning the pages.

You do so much good work for people in crisis, or left out in the cold. I don’t see how you have all that stamina for more than ONE person. But you do, Wattson, and for that I am most grateful and inspired, myself.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 7:56 PM

…with delight. Deek came by a half hour ago, handed me two smartphones and a portable speaker (about 12 lbs, on a small dolly), and told me to take the dogs, too. He’ll be back later.

Once arriving hovel, I discovered he forgot to give me the cord that goes with the speaker. But he was already gone. So I backtracked to see if it had fallen onto the floor, stairs, or the sidewalk. Nothing.

“Well, this puts a cramp in things,” I thought. “Hopefully, he’ll see the cord in his cart and rush back to deliver it.”

I reflected upon the collection of cords I have, and seriously doubted that the type needed (a double-pronged, flat female end) was in my possession. But I finally decided to look anyway, so lifted the heavy storage bin that rested atop another, placed it down and opened the second one, where all the cords are stashed. Went through the entire collection and, just as I predicted, did not find the right one. Just when I was about to put the lid back on the bin I thought “wait a minute, may as well empty this bag and see for sure.” I had already examined the contents of that sack w/o opening it, as it was clear plastic…and did not see any that would fit. But upon emptying the bag, voila! There WAS the right cord after all! Much relieved, I plugged it in to the speaker, and tended to the pups.


Deek just returned, much sooner than I expected (barely an hour had passed). Told me to keep the dogs, and bring down the gizmos. He asked where the cord is, when I handed him the speaker. Told him what happened, that I found a replacement, so it’s been charged. He rummaged through his cart (now a sidecar attached to his bike with an aluminum swivel bar), and found the forgotten cord. He’s in remarkably good spirits, as he has been for weeks now. Took off for God only knows where; he never tells me. Said he’ll be back later. I’m sure he will, though hopefully it won’t be till the sun next rises.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 8:58 PM

> Hope he stays away all night.

That would be nice, as I hate disturbing the pups from their blissful rest, and taking them outside into the cold, damp air. I feel like such a heel. But I am bound to his dictates. It’s a frightening game I’m forced to play.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Greek goddess “Nemesis”

Re: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 12:17 AM

> “It’s a frightening game I’m forced to play.”
I think so.

Classic Jungian “hero’s journey” as delineated via Jung’s greatest disciple, Joseph Campbell. According to my Bodhisattva Premise, your guardian will set up the game board with many difficult challenges, some quite scary. A roll of the dice could change everything for or against you. But the trick behind this is:

It is always YOU, not the dice, that turns the outcome in your favor. Action and attitude are equally important…and when placed judiciously after much thought, give you the edge. Your thinking skills improve with each successful move.

This game I call “Battle of the Bodhisattvas” is a mind-power game. It is not a game designed to be fun, but a game of life lessons for the more evolved among us. You don’t get to play until other, more basic, lessons have been learned first. Including being totally resolved to always do good as you see it, no matter the personal risk. You are challenged to become a hero, so that is the playing piece you are given: the knight in shining armor. There is a life, or lives, to be saved…in my case, that of two dogs. Your opponent IS your guardian, whose piece is called Nemesis (or in some circles, “The Devil”).

Somewhere along the game’s path, if you’ve played your moves well thus far, it is revealed to you that Nemesis is actually your guardian angel, who creates each challenge for the sole purpose of testing your mettle, that your soul be advanced one square at a time. Until you, hopefully, reach the Gates of Avalon, and be crowned the victor.

With this realization, your win is almost guaranteed, and the end part of the game commences. Do not be so smug over your likely conquest of the board at this point…for it is a trap well concealed by the cards. Know that, at this stage of the game, you have conquered all fears but one: worry. So it is YOUR final challenge to unfetter yourself of that last curse, by feeling joy take wing in your heart while remaining vigilant on the game board, unto the very end.

Obviously, Deek plays Nemesis. Well, ’tis now midnight and the pups are still with me, so…hallelujah, I’ve played my last few moves like a pro! I shall sleep with the pups again, third night in a row.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 1:55 PM

It’s actually dark in there, but I used flashlight mode. A favorite position is with her forelegs fully extended, paws pressed against the side, and the rest of her stretched out as far as the container permits. Sometimes when she’s resting on the cot, she’ll lie close to the wall, again with forelegs thrust forward and paws pressed. Like she’s holding up the wall. And she’ll stay that way for hours.

Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 6:40 PM

> They LOVE cozy, enclosed spaces. A legacy of their evolutionary past, no doubt.

Dachshunds especially; they love to burrow. Maybe it goes all the way back to the deep past, when the first mammals had to hide from the dinosaurs, many of whom were diminutive themselves. But I love cozy, enclosed spaces, too! In fact, I live in one. Well, we humans have the same mammalian roots!

I imagine, though, that Flaco prefers to remove herself from the cacophony and chaos around her; and is why she seeks to dig a snug little hole right beside a shrub with broad leaves that hang over her in semi-seclusion. Lucky is not so hidey-hole loving, as he is an aficionado of all things fluffy.

They never complain about anything, or beg for food. They never bother me when I’m snacking, nor do they even let me know when they’re hungry! So it’s hard to tell, thus sometimes food is wasted because they won’t touch it. Usually it’s one pup or the other, rarely both. One will eat and the other couldn’t be bothered. The ONLY way I know if they’re hungry, is AFTER I set down the bowls.

If they have to go poopy, all I need do is yank a jacket from the closet. In which case they’ll either leap onto the floor, rarin’ to go, or remain on the cot if not interested.

They don’t mess up my room, or bark or whine when I’m gone. Nothing’s out of order when I return! Except, sometimes, the trash bin which Flaco gets into now and then. So I just move that to a high spot before exiting. Though I do forget from time to time, but no big deal. I never leave anything in it that would cause them harm. It’s always been Flaco who knocks over the basket, and she goes for an empty plastic soda or milk container. Whenever that occurs (and sometimes I hear the “thunk” of the bin toppling over barely seconds after I shut the door), I make no fuss, as Flaco is too sweet a girl to deserve any guilt trip.

I’ll usually say, “Oh no, someone’s gotten into the trash again!” And Flaco will be standing there in the middle of the floor, wagging her tail furiously and looking up at me with delight, brown eyes sparkling. And maybe Lucky will be busy gnawing on the bottle, the small screw-top cap removed and chewed to a pulp by the time I return. Easy to clean that stuff up; no harm, no foul.

They’re both tucked in now, close to each other. See attachment. Their evening meal will soon be ready. 6:40 PM and no Deek yet.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 8:00 PM

> So you haven’t seen Deek since last night?


> They’re making the most of their vacation from the streets!

Indeed they are. I couldn’t be happier, myself. Their company is a blessing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Governor Newsom signs $100 Billion state budget: Here’s what’s in it for you
From: Zeke Krahlin’s Mailing List
To: Chuck Kapinski
Date: July 17, 2021 8:37 PM

You sound totally bonkers, Chuck. Certainly, you’re not the Chuck Kapinski I used to know. Whatever you’re smokin’ (or drinkin’) I don’t want any. Trump has done GREAT damage to our nation, he now owns the GOP, and Trumpism is a great danger in our world. IOW Trump is far from harmless. Your misogyny is outrageous and disgusting. Do you talk like this to your female friends? You sound like a standup comedian mimicking a Boogaloo white supremacist. You are flat wrong about COVID-19 and everything else you’ve ranted. I see no good purpose in us continuing communication on any level, as you are beyond reason.

——- Original Message ——-

On Saturday, July 17th, 2021 at 11:36 PM, Chuck Kapinski wrote:

This has nothing to do with Newsom, it’s probably more about a response about Biden’s shortcomings.

“you haven’t criticized Trump” (or words to that effect)

So what? What’s the point of the obvious? Duh.

I have no respect for the largely female Trump bashing club. He poses no threat to anyone. He cut his own throat with the latinos when he called beautiful Puerto Rico a shit hole. And drug his feet on FEMA fire funds for California.

At least I’ve never heard him making any pius Xian claims. That’s something you get from dirty lyin’ Joe. I don’t remember Trump lying. He may have stated untruths, but he actually believed them. There’s a difference. I see no connection between the church crazies and Trump. He ran technically on the Republican ticket, but many long established Republicans actually voted against him. In truth he’s more of an Independent. His corporate business approach to presidential matters left many bases uncovered.

We have seen from numerous objective news sources that over 90% of covid deaths were from co-factors of already terminal patients, mostly aged. The lying Democrats allege that Trump let the pandemic get out of hand – NONSENSE. He DELEGATED management to the state level, and many a Democratic governor managed the CDC recommendations. He also initiated working on the antidotes long before Biden’s chicken little charges.

Dirty lyin’ eyes Joe USED the covid scare to pointlessly bash a man who had already cut his own throat. I am not fooled by his nonsense.

Amy Kubluchar (or whatever her name is) is desperately trying to bar Trump from a re-run. What the dumb [C-word] is missing is the fact that she is ACTUALLY promoting the belief and fear that Trump would win by a landslide if he ran again. That’s counter productive paranoia. Not to mention, she might get her fat ass shot. Wimmin are STILL stupid, and always will be. (what’s new?) To give you an idea of how retarded wimmin really are, I went to a Biden kiss ass site forum, where some woman was praising Joe’s smile. Well, I told her that she was just a menopausal bag of gas, Hitler had smiling manners to his support, and that Joe will grin as he ushers her fat ugly ass into the oven. I’m PROUD of how quickly I got banned from the site – less than twelve hours.

Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:18 AM

> Hope he doesn’t show up in the middle of the goddamned night.

I doubt he’ll do that, because he’s been respectful of my “new” schedule for over a year now. Which is: I hit the sack by midnight, instead of 1 AM. And he’s also been a lot more considerate towards me in other ways, recently. But we’ll see.

Listening to Memo of the Weird’s latest podcast right now, while enjoying Flaco & Lucky’s fluffing the hell out of the comforters. Lucky takes fluff very seriously, arranging the sleeping bags just so, by pulling on one part with his teeth, then another part…snorts of dissatisfaction until it’s all perfect in his eye. I thought he’d never settle down, it went on for well over five minutes…but then he suddenly plunked himself down with a grumbly sigh. Flaco, meanwhile, got out of her brother’s way, while plumping up her own portion, then burrowed beneath the fluff for the rest of the night, like she had just disappeared down a rabbit hole. They live for fluff! And boxes. As usual, I’ll have to slowly worm my way onto the cot, unless Flaco switches to the double-box before I hunker down. We are family!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek Woke Me Up Twice!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 10:55 AM

First time, over my smartphone. I know, I know, if he doesn’t have cell service, how did he manage to do that (you’re wondering): through another person’s phone? Well, that’s a good guess, but you forget that he doesn’t KNOW my new number, nor did he ever know my old one for that matter, because he’s never bothered to memorize it, or tattoo it somewhere on his body (such as his ass).

At 6:05 AM I was awakened by his raspy hobo impersonation coming through my LG backup phone (that I use to listen to scary tales as I nod off), screeching and making all sorts of baseless accusations! As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I realized his voice was NOT coming from the window, but from my LG. And it was that recording of our verbal contract back in January, that I now own the dogs in exchange for $300. That would be this video here, if you care to refresh your memory:

But how did this amazing invention of high technology come to play that particular video of its own accord (you are probably asking yourself this very moment)? Here’s the answer to your sensible query, Wattson (hewn over the years by your impressive perspicacity):

I have my media app set to play the next downloaded Youtube video in my “bedtime” folder until all have been played through. Which files amount to no more than three or four, usually. With each taking anywhere from a half hour to an hour to play through. Sometimes I only have one or two. In which case–and if I’m still awake by then, which is rare–I’ll switch to my “Pocket Cast” podcast app and play some more scary tales directly via wifi.

Apparently, I was wrong about the media app limiting “play next file” to just one directory. After completing those, it must’ve jumped to its own list of ALL media files stored on that phone. On which are located several videos of the pups, and that one of Deek.

Annoyed at being disturbed at such a ghastly hour, I reached for the phone on the black metal file cabinet (upon which my second LCD monitor also rests), but it slipped and fell between that cabinet, and the artfully painted hexagonal table (upon which my desk riser and X230 laptop sit). So I actually had to squirm my way around the sleeping pups in order to stand up to fetch that smartphone and silence it.

[You may be wondering at this moment, how I could simply “reach out” for my phone, when I usually sleep with my head at the end of the cot by the door, instead of at the end by my work station. Well, Wattson, something I have yet to tell you, is that I switch ends some nights, depending on whether I want to cuddle up with Lucky or Flaco. They tend to sleep at opposite ends, and are already tucked in for the night before I, myself, do the same. Furthermore, when I lie down with my head door-ward, there is no need to reach out for my phone, as it is somewhere close by, near my head or torso. But often has drifted somewhere beneath the blankets, thus sometimes a puzzle to recover. Now that your curiosity in this matter has been satisfied, do permit me to continue:]

Two hours later our flesh-and-blood Deek called to me at the window:

“Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!” Soon as I poked my cranium out the window (which took awhile, ’cause groggy), he told me to bring the pooches down, along with another supply of dog food, since all his stuff was stolen. There was no cart, stroller, or even a bag in his presence. He wasn’t even wearing a shirt. Somewhat perturbed that everyone ELSE on that side of the building could hear our business, I packed away five more cans of dog food and two large Ziploc bags of kibble, leashed up the pups, donned my sneakers, a jacket, a hat and my small backpack, and stepped outside in the bright morning sun. The air was ocean-fresh. Deek sat on the sidewalk at the far end of the bus stop.

“Another lovely visit with the pups, thank you!” I exclaimed while releasing them to their master, whom they gleefully rejoined.

He apologized for taking so long to return. Rather than tell him I prefer that–in fact, the longer the better–I just replied: “No worries, I love their company.”

He then remarked he lost another friend to opioids, that it kills far more people than COVID, and it’s been an epidemic for over a decade. I agreed, and said I’m sorry for his loss. I’m guessing he went to look some people up he hasn’t seen for some time, only to discover one had passed on from Oxycontin overdose. Though more likely, he’s just playing out another little drama for his amusement. That is: none of this really happened.

“That’s why I stay away from other drugs, just stick to crystal. Though that is sometimes laced with opioid, too.” He shook his lowered head. “I got nothing now, just me and the dogs, starting from scratch once more.”

“You always prevail,” I reminded him.

“Thanks for watching Flaco & Lucky. I’ll be gone in a minute, not gonna hang out.”

“Okay,” I said, not knowing what else to add, and walked off to Rosenberg’s. Upon returning some minutes later, I realized I should’ve spent a little more time with him, give more encouragement than I had. But when I turned the corner with java in hand on my way back, I saw they had already departed to the other end of the block, about to cross…just two little doggies and shirtless Deek. They’ll be fine, I thought, and returned hovel.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek Woke Me Up Twice!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:07 PM

> He’s been ripped off like this before, hasn’t he??

Yes, countless times. He always rebounds like a boss.

> Funny (in a grim sort of way) about the Deek video waking you up. And that it happened to be THAT video.

And the TIMING, that it should only have ever happened on this particular morning, when Deek DID show up, after being gone for a considerable while. A mark of bodhisattva mischief. They have a very TOUGH, warrior sense of humor. From THEIR side of the veil–and in their eyes–our tragedies and crises are but momentary and trivial.

> Will the loss of his stuff mean more, or fewer visits from the doggies?

Neither, it won’t make a diff. He will fully replenish his possessions within a day’s time.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:19 PM

> “Grumbly sigh!” Exactly! It’s amazing how vocally expressive some dogs are. Ours has a range of noises he makes; there’s one that sounds like the creak of a rusty gate, that he makes when he’s happily anticipating something–a walk in the woods or on the beach–and he wants you to hurry up. It’s his polite way of saying: “C’mon, let’s get going, now!”

Some little doggies have a way of stealing your heart many times over, each day.

Re: Governor Newsom signs $100 Billion state budget: Here’s what’s in it for you
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 8:24 PM

> Woo! That’s some ugly weird shit he be spewin’!

He’s bonkers in his old age.

> Guess he missed the pic of Trump holding up the bible in front of the church in DC.

No, I don’t think so. He’s bonkers. I have a lot of good memories of my friendship with him, when he lived in SF. What a sad outcome.

Subject: He’s looking good, and in good spirits!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 9:15 PM

Deek just dropped by, asked me to charge up a smartphone, a small speaker and a battery backup pack. He had a city garbage bin (blue and on wheels) loaded with empty cans and bottles, plus a sack of his own possessions…whatever they are; I think I saw a sweater in it. Dressed nicely: long T-shirt that draped almost down to his knees, with abstract black splotches and ragged stripes on it, and a rugged looking, lightweight black leather jacket over that. Dark baggy jeans, black and white sneakers and a black baseball cap completed the ensemble.

Told him I like the look, the whole thing. He was in a cheerful mood, not hyper at all, and definitely no drama or belligerence. When he took the cup of root beer from my hand, Lucky suddenly tugged on his leash, causing the drink to spill a bit. He turned to the pup, said “Whoa!” and patted him kindly…not a pinch of anger.

Of course I hugged the pups, held them in my arms for a minute or so. But that goes without saying, as that ALWAYS comes with our meetups. Deek said he’ll be back tonight to pick up the devices, so I guess that’ll be some time shortly before midnight. And as usual, sad to leave the pups behind. So much love in their eyes, as they watch me depart until the moment I disappear through the gate.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He’s looking good, and in good spirits!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 9:38 PM

> Sigh…

Sword of Damocles.

Subject: “C’mon, enough of that, she’s in heat!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 11:47 PM

Is what Deek blurted out to me as I held Flaco in my arms, rubbed her belly and held her sweet face close to mine. He had returned to pick up his items, so I sat with him on the sidewalk for a few minutes, enjoying the pups’ company.

I felt like smacking him hard, knocking him senseless, for talking to me like that. Instead, I retorted:

“By the way, I’ll be busy the next two days, taking a class on meanness.”

“What?” he said with an annoyed grimace.

So I repeated myself, and added: “Being too nice is bad, it’s evil, isn’t that true? I get your point, I really need to stop being such a nice guy, it’s not good for my health.”

He then said “C’mon, I gotta go, I’m just waiting for you to leave.” Nice guy, eh?

So I gave Flaco a few more hugs, Lucky a few more pats, then got up and told Deek: “I hope you’re in a better mood next time.” And walked away.

But I looked back as I reached the gate, and there was Flaco away from the two, as far as her leash would allow, looking up at me. Who can resist such innocence? So I returned for a few more hugs, told her I’m sorry, but she’s gotta go with her master.

What a let-down. Like you said: “Two steps forward, one step back.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

RE: Republicans Suddenly Care About “Discrimination”
From: Zeke’s Mailing List
To: Carlyle Lambourne
Date: July 19, 2021 09:35 AM

On 2021-07-19 05:19, Carlyle Lambourne wrote:

> The only qualm that I would have is that in another time, another place, if raised under a different set of circumstances, exposed to different influences, I could imagine myself being just like them, and vice-versa. It would astonish most of humanity if they could peer into alternate universes and see how easily and fluidly they could morph back and forth to opposite side of the spectrum, and become their own worst enemy.

Well of course. If we grew up in a Christian fundamentalist family, we’d most likely be pinheaded troglodytes. That shouldn’t be cause for “qualms” though. We are who we are now, and everything else is conjecture and mind games. Neville Chamberlain took the same “qualms” about the Nazis, and that certainly turned out to be a big fail. Have we learned nothing from that?

> Does that mean we need to tolerate their outrages patiently, forever?

I can’t remember a time when I’ve EVER tolerated them. It is the facade of religious piety that causes many to hesitate. It’s akin to being superstitious. And that is a major weakness that the Religious Reich takes full advantage of. Christianity is above the law, and that should never have been allowed.

> No, I don’t think so. Maybe we should be more patient than we otherwise might be, if we did not have that perspective. But somehow, also when we realize that we are making war on images of ourselves, as they would do in our shoes, it seems to be a justification. The fact that both sides think they are right in their grievances does not really mean there is an equivalence.

Were they not so blatant with their hostility and lust for violence, death and mayhem, you might have a case for more patience. But you do not.

> Symmetry of sentence structure is not equality of content. There can indeed be a situation where both sides think they are right about an objective matter, but really only one of them is. On subjective matters, there is no underlying reality that need compel anyone who does not share the subjective opinion.

They are intellectually incapable of considering the complexity of subjective vs. objective matters, and for that reason alone, are an imminent danger to our well-being and survival as a species. It is time for them to go. Hip, hip hooray for the Delta strain.

> The poor, poor Christians. There are so many things that they are not even being allowed to do, anymore.

They are not even being allowed to tell those homosexuals
that homosexuals are not allowed to get marrried,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be foster parents,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be serve the military,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be in the Boy Scouts,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be in the St. Patricks Day parade,
that homosexuals are not allowed to have a Gay Pride parade,
that homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood,
that homosexual are not allowed to be teachers,
that homosexuals are not allowed to have sex between consenting adults.

Well, it’s a start, but at the same time they’ve gained tremendous power and influence, thanks in no small part to DJ Trump. As a result, we are under threat of having ALL our rights stripped away…and it’s already begun in the red states.

> When we have been beaten, murdered, fired from jobs, blackballed, to see Christians getting coddled and pampered over the injustice of having to bake a wedding cake is a blood-curdling provocation at the profound lack of perspective.

Many gays said it’s no big deal, fussing over wedding cakes. I told them otherwise, as it’s their tactic to start with a seemingly trivial issue. Nonetheless, that supposedly insignificant victory against LGBTs shoves a wedge through a door where more serious matters of our freedom become vulnerable and under attack. The “no big deal” queers were wrong, and I was right.

If they can’t win their way outright, they’ll dig in their heels and chip away, chip away, chip away over the years, no matter how long it takes…removing one part of our rights here, another part there. The abortion issue proves that very well, it is a textbook example of how persistently devious they truly are.

Having said all of the above, my Bodhisattva Premise gives every reason to look forward to our victory, no matter the odds against us. As the Buddha said, “We have no enemies, only teachers.” And that statement holds a most profound, and joyful, promise. No need for me to explain further in this email, as I have laid it all out many times over, in my numerous tales and essays, over the years.

– Ezekiel

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Another Night of Doggie Bliss!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 20, 2021 11:38 PM

So Deek showed up accompanied by one of his street buddies…a rather nice fellow, around 75 years old. I was only there with them for a minute, when he gave me several devices to be charged. He then handed me the joined leashes and said, “Here, they can stay over!” I said “Wonderful!” and then he and his elderly friend took off for parts unknown.

Flaco & Lucky crashed out almost immediately, though first gave me their kind hellos and acted silly and playful for a little while before conking out. Though they did jump out of bed the moment I laid their filled dishes down 20 minutes later. Glad to see such a hearty appetite! Then they drank some more water and hopped back onto the blankets and zoned right back into doggy dreamland.

Deek returned two hours later, told me just to leave the pups hovel, and bring down the gizmos. He also wanted a razor and a cup of root beer to quench his thirst. Then off he went again, on his bike.

So, it was a non-eventful, friendly meetup, and the pooches are in seventh heaven to be here once more. I love the new, no-drama Deek! In spite of the occasional glitch in the updated app.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Another Night of Doggie Bliss!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 21, 2021 1:08 PM

> Dreamy!

I couldn’t be more pleased…things are mellowing out with him. More of his friends who are mentally stable and actually FRIENDLY, have seen me with him, and exactly where I live. This is good insurance, for they’ll know to bring the pups to me, should Deek vanish, be rushed to the ER or jail, or die. They all appear to be very kind to Flaco & Lucky. Hopefully, I’ll bump into one of them soon, when Deek isn’t around; whereby I’ll make it clear they should be brought to me, should he be taken from them for whatever reason. As well as helping Deek with keeping the pups in blankets and sweaters.

The brindlekin are still here right now, ate a hearty breakfast, dumped some good poops, and are resting well. I guess I could say the same for myself.

My Xfinity service has been flawless; same with Tracfone. So many legal and free TV and Movie sites out there, i now have bookmarks to: Tubi, Roku, Crackle, IMDB, Peacock, Pluto, Adult Swim and Plex. Amazon Prime, too, but the other services make their free videos unnecessary because redundant. So I think I’ll unsubscribe from Prime once more, as they really don’t do much else for me, that a plain subscription doesn’t already. IOW: I’m not a rich, spoiled twit who needs everything NOW, and I don’t shop Whole Foods.

Adult Swim has free streaming shows, including Rick & Morty! Right now, I’m binge watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents via Roku. I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all, just because I’m not a paying subscriber to such services…I’m more than saturated with quality entertainment. Youtube also provides tons of excellent videos at no cost, of course! And I’m paying NOTHING for Internet access, for god knows how long. But once that deal ends, I’ll STILL only be paying just $10/month!

All’s been quiet EVERY NIGHT outside my window, as regards the Hohokum smoke shop…since that night they set off roman candles. And NO sign of Myrtle & son for almost a month now, though her name is still on the lobby mailbox. Morey at the corner store two blocks up, told me others have said they’ve seen him still hanging out with those punks, and that “Adisa’s a nice kid, but he’s hanging out with a bad bunch, and he’s headed in a bad direction. Just be glad he’s left your building.” I thanked him for the update. He said he feels sorry for the mom, but I sure don’t! I would love to know what kind of arrangement the building manager had with her, to inspire him to be so hostile towards THIS harmless pilgrim. Though I guess it was me who triggered their eviction, by standing up to them. I’ve even entertained the thought that she was involved with dealing drugs through her son, and maybe the manager, too. Does that sound far fetched to you?

Hope your day goes loverly: you and your cats and the pup, and your male hominid!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek picked up the pups last night.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 10:25 AM

Around 10 PM. No muss, no fuss, no drama. I found a complete pack of American Spirit cigarettes (minus 1) on my walk that morning: an excellent brand that I knew he’d enjoy. So I presented it to him upon returning the dogs. Actually, I withdrew it from a pocket and held it in my hand, waving it around while updating him re. the pooches’ visit, till he could take it no more and said, “I’ll take that!”

Doggies were happy to be with him again. Two other homeless folks approached and struck up a friendly conversation with him, when I returned to bring down more doggy food, a cup of soda and a spare lighter. I pet the dogs one more time, thanked them for their company, then returned hovel. They all departed a few minutes later, when I heard Lucky’s bark right across the street, and rattling of cans as Deek resumed his nightly round of collecting recyclables. Here’s another video of them howling:

8 Recent Pics of Flaco & Lucky

July 10, 2021

Eight delightful snapshots of Flaco & Lucky taken within the past two weeks. Click on any image for a larger view. Use your browser’s back-arrow to return to this page.

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