[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 2: Chapter 15]
[Note: feel free to leave a comment below this blog entry, especially if you know Deek, and/or ARE houseless, yourself…but please wait until you’ve read this entire letter in my defense. FYI, if you are NOT living on the streets, and do NOT know who Deek is, you are STILL welcome to post a comment.]
This message is addressed to my homeless friend’s other brothers and sisters who also live on the streets, and who may have been led to believe that I have stolen his dogs, instead of our verbal agreement that I am their new owner, in exchange for monetary compensation. Which verbal agreement I have video recorded and uploaded here. But first you should know that, for more than four decades, I’ve been a homeless advocate and LGBT activist (mainly for those who are poor, homeless, or disenfranchised by society in some other way). I was even homeless myself, for a time, back in the mid-70s. Evidence of my history as a dedicated defender of these two groups can easily be proven by a perusal of these two websites:
Here are just TWO pro-homeless examples among MANY:
Adopt the Homeless
The Little Match Boy
And TWO pro-LGBT examples:
Hetero Shame Week
Oh Tremble Amerika
MY FRIENDSHIP WITH DEEK
“Deek” is not his real name, but for the sake of public exposure issues, that is what I call him in my tales. I believe his street name is “Po’ Boy.” Deek and I have known each other for more than ten years, but, since his mother passed on around six years ago, he’s developed a mean streak like you wouldn’t believe. In spite of that, I remain a good friend to him…which, I must say, is extremely difficult any more. As far as I can tell, he has almost NEVER spoken well of me to any of his street friends, despite my MANY good deeds I’ve done for him, and the MANY sacrifices I’ve made for his own happiness and betterment. Now, here’s a brief rundown of our history:
I have helped him with a weekly allowance that has increased to $60 per week, or $240-$300 monthly. I also gave him HALF of each stimulus check I’ve received (which would be $600 the first round, and $300 the second.) I’ve also done other nice things for him (and later, the pups) which cost me additional sums ranging from an extra $100 to $200 per month. I am not rich by any means, as I live humbly in a single room, and solely on Social Security (which monthly payment is now $1,345). It is rent control that, thank God, has kept my housing cost down to $310 per month…allowing me to financially assist someone who lives on the streets; and it is Deek whom I chose to focus on. Because he is, essentially, a REALLY good person.
That is, I’ve provided him with a decent allowance UNTIL adopting his dogs, for the sake of their safety, well-being and happiness…meaning that, the expenses incurred by my full-time care of the pooches make my also giving Deek a weekly allowance (or other expenditures) impossible. I have been here for him when his mother died; I have been here for him no matter WHAT the crisis. Though for a time he became so nasty towards me, that he began to threaten me with violence (such as when he said, “I should throw bleach in your face”). Which threats cross the line as far as I’m concerned, thus I broke off our friendship for almost a year. Resuming only when I saw he had acquired Lucky, and realized that, without my help, he’d lose that sweet little doggie within months, due to his unstable personality…which includes outrageous mood swings, indicative of a bipolar nature. Around six months later (much to my concern) he also acquired Flaco.
I, too, have been borderline bipolar and schizophrenic for a large chunk of my life, but now, at age 70, I have long since overcome those horrid curses through many years’ struggles and withOUT medication of any sort. Having experienced such long term mental disruptions (which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy) has enabled me to assist SOME houseless people to better deal, psychologically, with their most difficult existence, in a society that is utterly MEAN and HEARTLESS towards those without a roof over their heads. I want to point out here, that the harshness of living on the streets could make ANYone “bipolar,” or mentally unstable in other ways…through no fault of their own.
DEEK’S MANY OFFENSES
Deek will get there, too, as regards overcoming bipolarity. But in my observation, handing the dogs back over to him at this time would result in a tragic outcome. As the darling mutts’ return to living on the streets with him, will make them highly vulnerable towards injury, abduction, or grave illness, infection and even death. For any number of reasons: which include so many nasty folks out there (some are houseless, others housed), along with Deek’s own severe mood swings that sometimes cause him to be neglectful or abusive towards Flaco and Lucky. I have witnessed such neglect and abuse dozens of times, which has caused me MUCH agony and prayerful nights…never knowing from one day to the next, whether or not his pups have been stolen or injured, or in some other way made to feel miserable and unwanted. Some examples of this abuse:
– Forcing them to sleep on the cold, hard concrete during wintry or rainy weather. As well as when they must sit or lie down for long periods of time, during the day. I have invested in doggie blankets as often as I could, to help ameliorate their discomfort, but Deek seems to “lose” the blankets within a day or two…and I just can’t keep up such a rapid turnover, financially. These blankets are actually kids’ sleeping bags I purchase on Amazon for around $20 each…they are both BETTER and CHEAPER than actual doggie blankets.
– Forcing them to suffer the cold rains without ANY cover or shelter whatsoever. We had an agreement he’d bring them over to my place, to ride out bad weather, but sometimes he wouldn’t oblige. In fact, just a couple months ago he kept them with him for a full six days of nonstop, heavy rains, in spite of having easy access to shelter, via my own abode.
– Suddenly YANKING on their leashes without first giving them a heads-up. Either or both dogs could be sound asleep, or relieving themselves when rudely yanked upon without notice…which could also damage their necks.
– SHOVING them off a low ledge or similar raised platform in anger, in spite of the fact they’d be most obedient in doing so with a simple word or two. For they are VERY good-natured dogs. Abruptly pushing them like that COULD cause them injury!
– Forcefully PUSHING them away whenever one or the other wanted to show affection by licking his face. Deek acted like that’s a disgusting behavior, so he also yells at them, making them feel like they’re “bad” doggies.
– Frequently expressing anger and frustration at the pooches, which is never a good thing. As the saying goes: “There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners.”
– Refusing to arrange to replace the rabies tags he once had for them, or to allow me to place tags on their collars with my phone number, in order to lessen the chance of them being permanently lost to him. He also refuses to work with the SPCA to get this all straightened out, including getting Flaco spayed…which would lessen her chances of developing mammary cancer, and becoming pregnant. She’d also live a longer life (1 in 4 unspayed females die of mammary cancer, by the age of 10 years). See:
– Blabbing on about how he’s planning to make Flaco pregnant…which would be a disaster to nurse and raise puppies on the street. And could cause their death, disease or infection, along with Flaco’s. FYI, a small dog impregnated by a large male can easily cause a tragic birth process, including death of the mother. Deek just brushed that off by foolishly declaring, “Oh, no problem, she’d just get a Caesarian at the SPCA.” Does he really think they’d allow him to keep the pups, after that, knowing he’s houseless, as well as irresponsible towards caring for his pets? They could easily charge him with animal abuse and starting a puppy mill ON THE STREETS! And as a consequence, take Flaco & Lucky away from him! Besides which, if a dog just gave birth to a litter, she will likely REFUSE to nurse, if she doesn’t feel she’s in a quiet, secure and hidden location…and how COULD she feel safe when constantly moved around and outdoors all the time, with noise, chaos and troublesome idiots abounding? Nor will she nurse the pups if anyone OTHER than Deek or myself touches them…since a stranger’s scent will turn off her mothering instinct.
– Blabbing on about probably SELLING the pups for $400, which almost gave me a heart attack! Those poor doggies would lose both him and myself, as their closest companions…now, what awful heartbreak that would be for these sweet little creatures. And who knows HOW they’ll be treated by their new owner (I shudder to think of it)? Why not let ME purchase them, so they’d not only finally have a safe, comfortable place to live while ALSO keeping them in the family? But he refused to do that, because he wanted the full sum right up front. Which I could NOT afford, and he turned down my offer to pay him $100 in four, monthly installments. Fortunately (and blessedly) however, the next stimulus check showed up in time for me to make the transaction according to his demands.
In addition to the abuse issues, are these following incidents that Deek has informed me about:
– He was beat up at least once, at night,while the pups were present. Fortunately, they were NOT injured as well, but such a possibility exists, should they be returned to him.
– I’ve witnessed Deek start needless arguments that could readily lead to a physical assault on his person. This, of course, puts Lucky & Flaco in danger, too. This instigation of pointless conflicts is a good example of Deek’s bipolar mood swings.
– His dogs’ excessive barking and nipping at strangers’ heels or pant cuffs has caused some passersby to threaten to report him to the SPCA and have the pups taken away. And without rabies tags, this would be quite easy to do! The streets are chaotic and ever-shifting, causing little doggies to become overly vigilant, nervous and defensive.
– A crazy, mean spirited person sometimes threatened the pooches, with kicks or swinging a large stick or other potential weapon at them.
– Deek sleeps like the dead when he crashes out on the sidewalk, thus his possessions are frequently stolen from his shopping cart. His doggies were likewise vulnerable to abduction, as even if they barked ferociously, it is unlikely that Deek would awaken…or surely, not awaken in time to rescue them. But even if he DID wake up in time, could he really fight the thief off (not to mention two or three of them, at once)?
As for Deek’s bipolarity inspiring him to act out pointless and dramatic scenarios, as well as stab his friends in the back, here are some sad examples:
– A couple years back, he insisted on sleeping in front of my building, with his feet dangling over the curb. I kept pleading with him to pull them back and onto the sidewalk, for his own protection…but he stubbornly refused, no matter how much I begged. Two cops later strolled by as I watched out my window, to awaken him and get him to move his feet from the curb. Which he did, but only a few minutes after they departed, he poked his feet out again. Sure enough, a little while later, someone parked their car nearby and, as it pulled back to align itself, Deek started hollered, “You broke my foot! You broke my foot!” He made a horrendous scene out there, so I called 911. There was ZILCH evidence he had been injured, as the two medics that arrived could not find ANY damage to him, not even a single bruise mark. But they hauled him off to ER anyway, just to take x-rays and be sure he was fine. What I believe really went on, was that Deek was hoping to scam whatever hapless driver parked there, into squeezing some moolah out of him. And he was REALLY pissed at me for months, for my dialing 911…which strikes me as absurd, seeing as, at that time, I thought he WAS injured, and I wasn’t about to let him writhe in agony and bleed to death right there, in front of my residence! He returned with a removable cast on one leg…you know, the kind used for mild injury, like a sprain. But he played it to the hilt: pretending he really WAS severely injured with a broken leg, while nonetheless expressing bitter hatred at me for saving his life! He has never admitted he faked it…in fact, he said he was in the hospital for three months. Which is an absolute lie, as he showed up in the Castro just days after the dubious “accident,” walking about in that roam rubber cast! Furthermore, the fact that he made such a scene right in front of my building put my living there at risk…and I simply can NOT afford to just up and move!
– I never told Deek he was welcome to sleep by, or near, my residence…that it’s okay to drop by for a few minutes, and we can hang out elsewhere, such as a block or two away. You’d think that a homeless person would appreciate the help of anyone housed, and NOT go out of his way to jeopardize their living situation! For in so doing, he screws over himSELF, as well as the person being kind to him. Because he’ll LOSE all the gifts and money so generously offered without strings attached! Yet, a couple years or so after this agreed-upon arrangement, he DID start hanging out right beside my building, or very close to it. And making tons of noise LATE AT NIGHT with his Bluetooth boombox speakers, and having his friends camp out with him. No matter how often I begged him to take it elsewhere, he’d stubbornly refuse, claiming it’s his RIGHT to park anywhere he wants. Even though I explained to him, countless times, how such behavior jeopardizes me by causing animosity from other residents, including the building manager himself. It is bipolar antics like this, that Deek winds up screwing himself over, as well as a good friend, though he doesn’t seem to care or realize that some of his behavior is responsible for at least SOME of his difficulties and misfortune in his life. Isn’t just being homeless bad enough withOUT needlessly exacerbating an already horrendous situation? And how does one think he can get out of this, by fomenting further hatred upon himself, in the very neighborhood where he has chosen to settle?
– Deek usually dumps an outrageous pile of garbage wherever he parks his ass for a time, which only serves to bring outrage upon him, by those who live nearby. This includes whenever he camped out around MY building, which negatively reflects upon ME, by all the other residents. Now how is that gonna help my friendship with him at all? I have tried, time and time again, to get him to be neater, even cleaning up after others who strew their garbage about. It would certainly impress the housed who witness such a good deed, thus benefit Deek himself, in many ways. But no, he stubbornly refuses to be other than a live version of Charles Schulz’s “Pig Pen,”
– Sometimes when I approached him with one or more of his friends present, he’d start a phony argument with me, right there in front of them! As if his turning them against me would benefit HIM in some way. I kinda suspect that some who know him at least fairly well, are aware of his occasional, backstabbing behavior; thus aren’t fooled for a minute by his feigned animosity against me. Perhaps, though, they keep their mouths shut, for the “favors” Deek gives them, in the form of cheap, hard drugs such as meth and crack. “Know what MY money is, Zeke?” he once asked me. “It’s crack. I don’t use it myself, but it’s good as cash on the streets.” This explains WHY some of his associates may be willing to back him up totally, over the false allegation that I STOLE his pups, rather than made a fair exchange. And why he REALLY did NOT want me to video-record the transaction, as that would weaken his claim against me. Though, since he wanted the moolah BAD, he agreed. I am GLAD we came to an agreement, for I feared, in his desperation for his next “fix,” he’d actually SELL those sweet doggies to just about anyone…not checking out or even questioning, whether the new owner would treat them well, or abusively.
– In spite of my generosity to him, including as much cash as I could afford to part with, Deek often tried to scam me for even MORE money. Which he always failed to squeeze out of me, yet persisted in attempting to do so, regardless. I could give MANY examples of this, but I’ll stop at two:
1) I’d recharge whatever smartphones, backup portable batteries, and Bluetooth speakers he brought to me…many of which were obviously used and quite old, because in shabby condition. So sometimes they’d fail to work, or stop working shortly after I returned them to his hand. Yet he’d BLAME me for “breaking” any such device that would not function! I’m sure that at least SOME of these devices already were useless, and he knew it…but set me up for what HE thought was a brilliant ruse. THAT didn’t go over well with me, either, because I always reFUSED to compensate him for the oodles of money he claims he spent on them (another lie, clearly). An additional boon for his smartphones was that I’d transfer to them what finally amounted to HUNDREDS of rap albums that I downloaded, as that genre is his very favorite. I’d keep this music stored on an external hard drive (as well as backed up to the cloud), so that, whenever he’d bring me another phone, I’d be ready to add as many albums as would fit the device’s storage capacity.2) Deek started asking for his weekly allowance in advance and, over time, they were SO much in advance, it led to an entire MONTH in advance…which I finally put an end to. He’d accuse me of giving him “peanuts” because $60/week was nothing, he doesn’t REALLY need it anyway. Deek seems to equate saying “thank you” with kissing my ass; he even said as much, more than once!
Having now typed out in some detail, all of Deek’s bad points, I leave you with my conclusion:
DEEK IS A BIPOLAR DRAMA QUEEN WHOSE INTOLERABLE MOOD SWINGS LEAVE MUCH DAMAGE IN HIS WAKE…TO HIS FRIENDS, TO THOSE WHO TRY TO BE KIND TO HIM, AND, MOST OF ALL, TO HIMSELF! BUT WHEN A COUPLE OF ANGELIC DOGGIES GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS, THAT’S WHERE I DRAW THE LINE. NO WAY WILL I EVER GIVE THEM UP TO HIM AT THIS POINT, EVEN IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!
There are those living on the streets who would most likely agree with me. Three of them are: Hollywood, Deek’s cousin Cameron, and a friendly Philippine guy simply called “Jay” (though I have no idea WHERE he is these days…he came up to me once, and said “That guy Po’ Boy needs to show you some respect!”). There are OTHERS who roam the streets at night–some houseless, some housed–who keep a watch on Deek’s doings for two important reasons: (1) to make sure he’ll be alright through it all, and (2) to also make sure his hateful gossip against me doesn’t come to harm either myself, or the pups. Deek has NO idea who they are, nor does most anyone else, and I shall keep it that way for the foreseeable future. Just be warned:
ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO BE A PUPPET MINION FOR DEEK’S BIPOLAR MISCHIEF, SHALL REGRET DOING SO, SHOULD THEY ACTUALLY BEGIN TO TAKE ACTION TO SABOTAGE MY LIFE, INCLUDING ATTEMPTS TO STEAL THE DOGS, OR CAUSE ME MISERY IN ANY OTHER WAY. I HAVE LIVED IN THE CASTRO SINCE 1983, AND HAVE MANY SECRET ALLIES. NOT TO MENTION WELL OVER FIFTY RESIDENTS OF MY APARTMENT COMPLEX WHO HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE POOCHES, WITH WHOM YOU’LL HAVE TO CONTEND, SHOULD YOU STIR UP ANY TROUBLE.
Now having said all THAT as well, I want to declare that:
IN NO WAY DO I ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO BE HOSTILE TOWARDS DEEK. HE IS STILL MY FRIEND, AND I BELIEVE SHOWING HIM EVERY KINDNESS WITHIN YOUR MEANS IS THE BEST WAY TO GO. UNFORTUNATELY, HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHERE I AM COMING FROM, DUE TO PERCEPTIVE SHORTCOMINGS THANKS TO HIS BIPOLAR AFFLICTION AND, POSSIBLY, HIS USE OF METHAMPHETAMINE. OTHERWISE, HE’D BE WORKING WITH ME IN CARING FOR THE DOGS, EVEN WHEN I AM NOW THEIR LEGAL GUARDIAN. BUT AT THIS POINT IN OUR FRIENDSHIP I CANNOT TRUST HIM WITH WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE A MOST SACRED MISSION. COMPASSION TOWARDS HIM WILL GO A LONG WAY TOWARDS RECTIFYING HIS ERRORS AGAINST ME, AND EVENTUALLY REUNITE HIM WITH BOTH MYSELF AND THE DOGGIES…AS WELL AS GET A DECENT ROOF OVER THIS GOOD (BUT MISGUIDED) MAN’S HEAD.
MY BRINDLEKIN TALES
Since late October, I have been feverishly, joyfully writing these amazing, mostly TRUE tales about my adventures with Deek and his puppies, whom I have named “brindlekin,” a word I actually made up. They will always remain free to read online, here:
I have also created this shortened URL which is easy to remember, that you may more readily share with anyone else you’d like:
My goal is to get these tales published in a book that will become a bestseller. And in so doing, find a bona-fide HOME for myself, the doggies, and Deek as well. I should also point out that, in these tales I often speak highly of him, by bringing up his many good aspects. So I see no need to list them here, as this letter is already way lengthy. I also speak well of the homeless, for the most part, in that same book. As a matter of fact, if you want a recent example of how respectfully I speak about so-called “vagrants,” check out this piece I wrote a day or two before this past Christmas:
It IS unfortunate that Deek is working overtime aGAINST me, which only serves to make my project so much more difficult to achieve. Yet, I guess it makes for good plot material, as everybody loves a cliffhanger! And for this reason, I suspect that Deek knows EXACTLY what he’s doing by spreading hateful gossip against me. IOW: there may be more to this fellow than meets the eye. Which theory I’ve discussed in some of my Brindlekin chapters…and I call it the “Bodhisattva (or Guardian Angel) Theory.” They are AMAZING tales, inspired by two, lovely little pups that have entered my life through Deek’s most generous hands. BTW, my theory postulates that Deek had, all along, intended to present me with these beautiful mutts, and is only creating great adventures for me to write about, through his seeming animosity…making me the HERO as a consequence.
And for that reason alone (gifting me with the pooches), I feel strongly that I should always do everything possible to maintain a friendship with Deek, no matter what…even if from a distance for the time being. My success will not only directly impact him in a most benevolent way, but likewise impact all the other houseless people he knows…and, by extension (like dominoes) impact all other street folks here in San Francisco AND BEYOND! For should my book become wildly popular to such an extent I’d collect MILLIONS, or even BILLIONS, from the royalties, I promise that I shall use MOST of the money to benefit as many homeless souls as possible. With quality housing, health care, opportunities, and a monthly stipend to meet all their needs and more (like a living wage, only they won’t be required to work). And they shall all be gifted with a lovely little doggie or two, or some other pet, if they’d like. Veterinarian care of the highest quality shall be provided gratis by my “Deek & Zeke’s Doggie Foundation.” But for now, this will have to suffice:
IN ORDER TO HELP ME COVER EXPENSES FOR THE DOGGIES, I HAVE OPENED BOTH A GOFUNDME ACCOUNT, AND AN AMAZON DOGGY WISH LIST. Which I started in mid-December, before I even thought I’d actually adopt them. You will find a link for each of these charities, plus further explanation of my personal “dog rescue” project, here:
THE END IS NIGH (OF THIS LONG LETTER, THAT IS; BUT YES, THAT “OTHER” END IS NIGH, TOO…WHAT A CO-INKY-DINK)!
Regarding the African American gentleman who approached me on his bicycle on January 11th, around 2:45 PM, near the local public library:
I hope and pray you don’t fall into Deek’s bipolar trap, as you will be messing around with a VERY dangerous pair of dice…gambling on the perception that Deek is totally innocent, and a victim of my supposed betrayal of our friendship, and my supposed “theft” of Flaco & Lucky. Nothing could be further from the truth. In defending Deek in this matter, you are nothing more than a chump for the devil, in the form of Deek’s machinations. Do NOT be so convinced that you are on the right side of this battle, for you clearly are not. I will gladly speak to you further some time, if you put down your figurative sword and address me in a friendly, unthreatening manner.
An important warning, though: NEVER again raise your umbrella or any other object before my doggies, just to try to get them to stop barking. It is ALWAYS wrong to use fear or intimidation to coerce ANY innocent creature to do your bidding. Love and patience are the way to go, when it comes to one of God’s sweetest creatures…for the dog is man’s best friend, and dog spelled backwards is god. Looks to me like they were barking for a VERY good reason, which is: your brazen hostility towards yours truly.
Your proclamation that you’ve never seen Deek be abusive to them, either tells me you don’t REALLY know him very well, or that you are outright lying. For, in your own way, you displayed an abusive attitude yourSELF towards the pups, by the very act of raising a closed umbrella over them…a weapon as it were! Reflecting a rather LOW standard of the proper way to raise and care for a dog…and I’ve had MORE than enough of that, from Deek. And so have Lucky & Flaco, who are VERY happy under my care and protection.
It would be a most profound TRAGEDY, should you or anybody else manage to SABOTAGE this incredible and (what I believe to be) SACRED venture…that will not only benefit Deek, the mutts and myself, but be a remarkable BOON for so many others. On which side of history, and God’s judgment, will YOU choose to stand? Think about it, please, before you ever raise that umbrella again.