The Final Chapter (part 15)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17o]

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce list
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 9:56 AM

On Sat, 26 Jun 2021 12:35 My Dear Wattson posted:

> …who responded with such generosity last month to the rent plight of a new widow. I believe I contacted each of you individually, but if I missed anyone, please consider yourself lavishly thanked!

I have also benefited immensely from the kind and generous donations from certain announce listers, for my rescue-2-homeless-doggies project. Which has triggered a profound change for the better in my life (regarding the pups’ well-being), and for which I will be eternally grateful. These compassionate donors have been honored and remembered in my Brindlekin Tales trilogy, though of course I’ve changed their names to fictional ones.

Re: NOT to let it get to me…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 1:51 PM

> Oh, Gawd. So rude and disgusting. And you, a vegetarian, having to smell the odor of cooking flesh. Ugh!

And to think San Franshitsco was once a leader in the vegetarian movement. Now, it’s just like everywhere else in America: meat-eaters constantly mocking us. My window sucks in the cooking odor like a vacuum. The grill’s location also attracts even MORE folks around my building…thus, more noise and being forced to hear their pointless babble and insane screeches. I HATE being surrounded by fools…and the fact that, even when home, I’m still subjected to this. My sanctuary is of minimal solace.

So far, I haven’t had to take the pups out for a walk while the crowds were gathered thick as thieves. I always worry about some crazy meth head popping up out of the blue the moment I exit. It’s already happened several times, even during daylight hours. At such moments I’m like a captive prisoner with the dogs’ safety at risk.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Incorporating part of our chat in my latest chapter.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:27 PM

Took a lot of work and thinking things through re. how to incorporate a texting conversation into my tales, when it includes images, a video and voice recordings! Wattson, I believe you’ll be duly impressed by how I’ve so aptly applied my deductive skills to this uniquely 21st century challenge, for which I believe even our nemesis Professor Morgueiarty himself would be flummoxed, had he and his 4-score-and-20 DNA copies not been banished from our lovely cyber-dimension Level 188, Planet Earth version 32.014. So do read on:

WordPress doesn’t allow you to include embedded links within an image (well it does if  you’re a paying member and  use the appropriate plugin). So that’s out, though it would be the most intuitive and user friendly approach. I certainly would’ve preferred to do that, since mapping an image allows you to include as many embedments as you like.

For viewers could then click on any link within the chat image, so a larger pic would show, or a video play. My solution was to add a list of media links BELOW the image-capture of the chat session itself. Except for the voice recordings, since I can’t find a way to extract them from the chat, so I just typed them out. I had to take four screenshots to save the chat in its full length, then stitch them back together with a simple paint program.

I also changed your image icon to something other than your noble visage, seeing as exactly WHO “My Dear Wattson” is, is a bit of a secret which I’d like to keep for the entire trilogy. So, in a spare moment I invite you to see how I worked out all the kinks, to present a facile solution when image mapping is verboten. Once the page loads, jump down to “chat session” and you’ll be good to go.

I think including the occasional texting dialog within my tales is a nice touch, that keeps things modern, as well as artful. (Or should I say “ARF-ful?”) The high tech version of “belles lettres.”

I’ve also suffered behind-the-scenes glitches trying to get this chapter out. First, my site went down for nine, frustrating days. Which site I rely on for my image links (and the occasional video). I thought maybe Online Policy Group that hosts my website neglected to renew my domain name…but I checked to discover they hadn’t. Turns out that their web hosting servers were down, but they’re now back up as of yesterday.

Then, these past four days, WordPress’s home page from where I log in has gone bonkers, with no admission of any problem on their part. It was mostly text, missing images and a mess overall. I could still click on the login link, but once the dashboard loads, it’s missing the left-side bar, which includes all my menu options, including those to edit or create posts! So yesterday I described my problem on Reddit:

But they were (willfully) clueless, suggesting it’s all my own fault, and that their Reddit sub is focused on paying members, rather than us lowly freeloaders. For they are the ORGs, the privileged group, whereas I am but a useless-eater COM.

Nonetheless, I found a workaround (awkward and kludgy, but doable), whereby I can resume working on my latest chapter, and hopefully, start the next.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:40 PM

> A couple of these people blew my mind with their generosity. I have enough left over to cover half her rent for July.


> I have to figure out what to do for her in the future; she’s stubborn and has a crazy streak, but I CANNOT just let her slide into ruin and homelessness.

The sad thing is you may have no choice in the long run. Same with Deek, when it comes to saving the pups from a possible, horrid fate. Very sorry to hear she is SUCH a difficult person. That is just not right, after all the sacrifices you’ve already made.

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:56 PM

> Like you, I see it as a challenge. She can’t help being crazy. I’m mainly doing it for my poor Van. He fretted so much about what would happen to her if he died. And then he did….

I understand perfectly. Soldier on, Wattson, there is no room for doubt, or dwelling on worst-case scenarios. I hope my extraordinary tales grant you uplift and solace through this trial.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: NOT to let it get to me…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 4:02 PM

> Insane chattering chimps.

They fling poo with their words.

Re: 5 reasons to wear a mask even after you’re vaccinated
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chuck Kapinski
Date: June 27, 2021 7:46 PM

On Sunday, June 27th, 2021 at 7:42 PM, Chuck Kapinski wrote:

> I flatly refuse to wear a stupid mask. As do most of my friends in the bars. Many of us, me included, are holdouts NOT getting the toxic vaccine. The car has been in the shop for a week and it will take that long to catch up on my e-mails, videos, etc.

VERY sorry to hear you talk like that, Chuck. You took a wrong detour some time after returning to your home town. Peer pressure from old high school friends to turn towards the extreme right, along with getting caught up in conspiracy psychobabble, seems to be what happened. I was trying to avoid this outcome, but unless you have a change of heart, I am cutting off any further contact with you. You know how to reach me, if that happy change should ever occur. Bad enough I had to drive my brother out of my life for good, but then here you come, acting just as foolish. I’m sure Carl Betza is turning over in his grave right now…wherever that might be.

There is a WORSE strain of the virus coming down the pike, and you and all your misdirected friends are highly susceptible to both contracting it, and spreading it. That makes all of you angels of death. Same goes for my pathetic brother. My homeless friend, Deek (who brought those lovely pups to me, and changed my world) finally got the shots, after months of talking conspiracy shit about it. He even showed me his vaccine card, which I laminated and took a picture of, to save permanently on my laptop and backup services. I’m very proud of him. You, however, are a tragic disappointment. Talk about “friends in bars:” alcoholics almost always make poor life decisions. Drive safely! Though the direction you’re headed in looks to be a dead end with no way to back up or turn around.

Subject: “Moriarty” now “Morgueiarty”
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 10:02 PM

I’ve brought up Professor Moriarty more than once in my missives, including one I posted to you this very day, good physician. But just a moment ago, I realized I wasn’t being consistent with changing character names in a subtle but satirical manner. As I’ve already done with “Krahlin-Holmes” (or “K-Holmes”), “Dr. Wattson” and “Mrs. Hudnut.” So I deliberated for a short while on what Moriarty’s convoluted makeover ought to be, and finally deduced the obvious: “Morgueiarty.”

By good fortune (thank Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria’s specter), a quick search through my WordPress site came up with only TWO chapters wherein the name “Moriarty” is present, thus far. That would be “Letter to the Landlord (part 1)” and “Letter to the Landlord (part 2)”…a bemusing coincidence I might note, as regards the matching titles, but for one digit. It was therefore a painless update, took barely four minutes to accomplish, even with WordPress’s currently cumbersome interface faux pas.

Seeing as these characters are a premonition of my future novel, “Friendly Ghost Detective Agency”–destined to be a rollicking sci-fi spoof of the Sherlock Holmes canon–it’s best to set up whatever Doyle-ian names mentioned in my present tales, with their debased equivalent.

All in a day’s work, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 11:52 PM

> They are, in fact, an inspiration.

The best is yet to come…and soon.

Subject: One of the Hohokum Punks Just Threatened Me
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 28, 2021 11:41 PM

Strange night overall. Electricity kept going out for a second, around every 10 minutes, starting around 9 PM. So my Xfinity gateway had to reboot itself, and that took around four minutes. I checked the hallway to discover the emergency lights were on for my hall, but not for the two connecting ones. After the fourth time that happened, I stepped back out into the hallway to notice that the utility room at the landing below was open.

I overheard the manager say to someone else who was down there with him, that the circuit breaker is screwed up. So now I knew they were turning the circuit on and off, that leads to my room and several other units. So I stepped back inside, to just grin and bear it. Then the Hohokum creeps started shooting off Roman candles below my window. I first heard a few loud pops one after the other, so stepped to my window with smartphone in hand, in order to record it for possible evidence against them.

That’s when I learned it wasn’t just firecrackers, but Roman candles…because I watched one go off by the parking sign, where they had rigged a small platform. Then I saw another shoot way up into the air and seconds later saw what I thought was a shower of sparks come raining down. “They could start a fire on our roof!” I thought.

Then, the punk who ignited the candles glared up at me; the skinny one who’s always yapping his brains out, there on the sidewalk till late into the night. I looked right back at him, and he finally blurted out that I threw water on him, and he’s gonna shoot those fireworks right at my window. I hollered back:

“That wasn’t me, it came from up there!” and pointed skyward. Two of his other fucked up friends were also grimacing at me.

Well, I stepped away and decided to call the manager. His voicemail picked up my complaint. I described what just happened. that they’re out of control, I was just threatened, and to PLEASE talk to them…I really DON’T want to get the police involved and go through yet more harassment, after all the crap I’ve been through in this building already.

After I hung up I decided to see if he was still putzing around downstairs, and sure enough he was. And PLAYING BACK on his speaker, the grievance I had just sent him! I was thinking of descending the stairs to talk face to face, but decided against that, and returned to my room.

So a new threat against me has arisen, also close to home. I’m worried not just about my own safety, but more for that of the doggies. What’s it gonna be like now, whenever I come and go with them? Are these punks gonna target me? Is the building manager even gonna bother to speak with them?

Attached is a screenshot of this evening’s phone history. I called him twice, because the first time I forgot to say what KIND of fireworks they had set off tonight. I didn’t want him to think they were just firecrackers. Unfortunately, I missed taking a video because I didn’t want the punks to see me aiming a smartphone in their direction.

So on my second call I told him they were Roman candles which sparks could ignite our building. He already knew about the water splashing down, and the accusation against me.

My initial call was at 10:07 PM. Then came a missed call at 10:12. My phone never rang, so can’t figure out the problem. No message was left. My second call was at 10:36, followed by “declined” two minutes later. So he’s blocked me?

Well, tomorrow’s another day, and I’ll find out soon enough what the manager has to say about this, as I won’t back off. And if any further hassles will be forthcoming from the smoke shop goons. The manager KNOWS I’d have no qualms about bringing my complaint to Ablahblah, if he doesn’t straighten things out. Because I’ve ALREADY DONE THAT over the “Myrtle & Son” fiasco, which made HIM look bad. So I’m hoping that incident will spur him on, to get the Hohokum scum to simmer down.

Now I have NO privacy, simply due to my committing the ultimate sin of looking out my window! I’m a sitting duck, a target of hostility by the punks below, for, I guess, as long as they continue to work there. Will this mean I can no longer have the pups visit, for their own safety?

And why do I keep getting harassed over and over again, from unexpected sources, though I’m minding my own business? Looks like I’ll be wearing my spypen all the time again, for awhile! But I don’t have a working printer any more, to mail a complaint to Ablablah Realty, should I deem that necessary. I have their email and phone number, but those options may not have the desired impact, compared to a certified letter.

Can you imagine? This punk getting outraged over a little water splashed on him, for illegally shooting off fireworks, that are also a FIRE HAZARD?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Re: One of the Hohokum Punks Just Threatened Me
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 29, 2021 1:46 PM

> Those rotten punks. They live for stupid, primitive conflict, enjoy every minute of it. Not happy unless they’re stirring up shit. It gives meaning and purpose to their stupid little lives.

Couldn’t agree with you more.

> And shame on Kevin for sidestepping.

Turns out he didn’t. His voicemail came through, I just had some difficulty accessing it. I had to first inactivate wifi, then activate mobile data. Which doesn’t make sense, but there you have it. Two voicemails:

1: He suggested I report the incident to the police.

2: He asked me to write a letter of complaint and bring it to him.

I had already called the SFPD before listening to his voicemail. They said I need to phone them when it’s happening. So I’ll do just that for now on.

> Do you have any idea who threw water on them?

Nope. Whomever it was, kept silent. But it HAD to come from someone living directly above me, on the 3rd or 4th floor, or perhaps the apartment window next over from mine, or the two just above.

> Obviously, you’re not the only one being disturbed by their obnoxious shenanigans.

Yes, though I shouldn’t be the only one reporting this to the manager. But he can now check things out by asking the five suspect residents “did you toss that water,” and if they’ve been disturbed by the Hohokum employees at any time previously. IOW: the H20 dump actually works in my favor.

So let’s see how things go from here. Hopefully, it will be nipped in the bud. Though ANY complaint brought to their attention, including a police visit, will likely inspire them to scapegoat me further.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Here’s a copy of my complaint:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Pups were over for a few hours last night.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 1, 2021 12:44 PM

[But first, allow me to update you regarding the Hohokum tobacco, weed (and Aphaea only knows what OTHER drugs they sell in secret) and paraphernalia shop, Wattson. Peaceful and hassle-free last night, not a squeak out of them, no gathering out front, no raucous behavior. I have NO details on how this came about, but DO hope it remains that way.]

Deek dropped by around 9 PM, offered me the dogs, then changed his mind, then offered them back. I didn’t even bother to ask, just was friendly and ready to accept whatever he decides. Before I left with the doggies, he reprimanded:

“They’re not for you to keep, they’re just to enjoy their visits. Remember that.”

“Oh c’mon, you don’t need to tell me that!” I replied as the pups patiently sat by my feet, though I knew they were DYING to get indoors.

“Yes I do,” he pressed, describing how his street friends tell him he’s a fool for trusting me, that he should be able to take care of the dogs all on his own, blah blah blah. And for emphasis, he added:

“They’ll kill me if they think I gave ’em away!”

“They sound like horrible people,” I retorted (rather than accusing him of making this all up, which I’m sure he did…his drama is tiresome). “Just tell them I’m a good friend, an old lonely fellow who gains much happiness having your pooches over. And they’re little dogs who shouldn’t be out in the cold, damp weather all the time, so you appreciate my providing sanctuary for them.”

“I already have,” he affirmed.

I shrugged my shoulders: “They should say how lucky you are to have a friend with a roof over his head, who helps you out. Maybe they’re jealous that you do, and their so-called advice is an attempt to fuck you up. It’s really none of their business, and I wish you wouldn’t blab about our affairs to every Tom, Dick and Harry on the streets. They’re not all nice people.”

He didn’t seem the least bit antagonized by my frank rebuttal…as if he was just reciting from a script. And this is where my Bodhisattva Premise kicks in, once more:

He was TESTING me, starting with declaring I could have the pups over till he returns, then abruptly changed his mind, then just as promptly declared I could, again. The test was all about how calmly I do, or do not, respond.

“Well, they really wanna hang out with you, I can see that…so you may as well keep ’em till I return, say, in two or three hours.” Then he elaborated how he might NOT come back till the next day, etc. So I interrupted:

“They’ll be perfectly fine either way, we’ve been through this before, I know the routine. We’re going inside now, they’ve been very forbearing sitting here so peacefully, and I hope you have a nice time wherever you’re going.”

He told me they might be hungry, I said okay I’ll feed them posthaste, then he departed as I turned around and we three entered the building. Like so many times before:

As I fiddled with the main key, Flaco & Lucky jumped up and down and scratched on the gate with fervor. Soon as I opened it, they pushed with as much force as their little bodies could muster, upon the heavy doors that remain the last obstacle. Sometimes one or the other manages to squeeze partway through, but I still have to push on it myself to get them both inside.

They pulled me forward on their leashes, yapping at each other to win the race to their beloved sanctuary…but that was of course impossible, until I unleashed them a few steps up, concealed from the lobby camera’s panopticon eye. Then off they scampered. Though this time the door was NOT ajar, as a strong breeze from my open window had forced it shut. Never mind, they instead frolicked up and down the bifurcate corridor until I finally turned the key and gave them entry.

Deek had also given me three small battery packs to recharge, and a “new” smartphone to charge and load with mp3 files. Which I did, soon as the pups were settled in. I was disappointed when he DID return just before midnight, and I had to disturb the mutts from their blissful rest. They didn’t seem to mind much, though…they are TROOPERS.

Today is my 71st birthday, and I was hoping I’d get my wish: to spend that day with the dogs. However, my wish only came partly true. Good enough as far as I’m concerned, since I hate birthdays for the most part, because of all the phony expectations and obligations they impose. Besides which, I’ll have the pups’ gracious company countless times down the road, anyway. Which already makes ME a very lucky fellow.

He called up to the window: “Bring everything down!” Which I found amusing, his choice of the word “everything” to mean the dogs as well. Soon as I came up to him with “everything,” I thanked him for making my birthday wish come true, by letting me spend some time with Lucky & Flaco.

“It’s your birthday?” he queried in amicable surprise.

“Not quite, that would be tomorrow.” I specified.

“Oh, well you should keep the dogs overnight.” But then he quickly changed his mind. “No, I got stuff to do.”

“No problem,” I replied. “I’m happy to have spent some hours with them, just the same.”

“Wait a sec,” he announced, then rummaged through his shopping cart to come up with a birthday card. (Right, as if he didn’t know all along that tomorrow’s my day…conveniently coughed up an appropriate card. As I said: this is all scripted.)

I eagerly snatched up the card, read it and declared with a grin: “This is a BELATED card, but my birthday’s tomorrow.”

Click here for a larger view.

He countered: “Wait a minute then, let me find another.”

“No, no, I like the card anyway, it’s very nice!”

But he ignored me and came up with a SECOND one. So I took that, too, slipped it between thumb and fingers alongside the first.

“Read it, see what it says,” he implored.

So I held it up and recited aloud: “No supermodels, no million dollars…but we can give you a big cock.”

Click here for a larger view.

Of course the “cock” was a rooster. I chuckled: “But it’s not even a real cock, it’s a picture of one!”

He insisted I keep them both, and I thanked him for the lovely cards.

“So you’re what, 70?”

“No,” I corrected, “I’m 71. I used to think it sucks growing old, but I’ve never felt healthier and happier in my entire life, these past several months! Flaco & Lucky have certainly played a big part in that!”

He didn’t respond, just smiled and turned his cart around, to depart with the pups. But I stopped him because it struck me right then and there, that I had something rather important he should hear, good doctor. And that was:

“You’ve done the nicest thing to me anyone has done in my entire life…you shared your dogs.”

Deek humbly replied, “alright,” as he resumed his departure…the cart rattled on, with the darling brindlekin tethered to it. They looked back at me twice, with sweet regret they had to leave. It was another chill, damp night and I sorely wished they didn’t have to, either. I waved back and smiled at them, before returning hovel.

The cards are now atop my cabinet, as you can see. And they’ll be there for quite awhile, maybe forever. I think my final words to him last night really made his day, perhaps his entire life.

Now, reflecting upon what I said about never feeling better at such an advanced age, I think of all my little victories since last October. And feel pretty damn amazing for having stood up to every single challenge that had been thrust at me…and which I have won, hands down! Applying my Bodhisattva Premise once again:

This is all scripted: crises fabricated by the building manager, Myrtle & son, and the Hohokum screwballs. And of course, by Deek himself. Each and every one of them has provided me with a golden opportunity, one after another, to play the hero.

And with the boundless love of two little pups cheering me on, how could I ever lose?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Pups were over for a few hours last night.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 2, 2021 1:16 PM

> Sounds as if your birthday was a pretty good one. The noisy neanderthals quiet for now,

Well, they were noisy and screechy last night, but nowhere near as bad as all the other times. But it went on until 4 AM! NO other shop is open for blocks, they’ve become a gathering spot for riffraff, including their own friends who double park along this side of the street. Almost like tailgate parties. So I’m afraid they’ll be reasonably quiet for a short time, then resume the BS.

> Deek behaving reasonably, doggie contact…

His volunteering to get vaccinated was THE turning point for everything else to fall into place on a MUCH better level. Including his upcoming decision (per my prediction) to have Flaco spayed, thus enabling him to finally get FREE vet care for BOTH doggies.

But the pups’ visits are far less frequent, as if he’s planning to cut me out of his life for good. Maybe in long-fuming reaction to our battle earlier this year, when I attempted to become Flaco & Lucky’s new guardian. Thus, being calm and friendly in order to make his exit as smooth as possible. This, of course, is one among other fears I entertain. Though I know by now that’s wrong thinking, so I keep such imagined scenarios at bay. One can NOT possibly blank them out entirely, of course. But one CAN give them scant attention. That is DEFinitly the lesson I’m learning. Well, not so much learning as applying a more disciplined mindset.

> I hate birthdays, too, and do my best to ignore them.

So glad we’re on the same page with that. Deek is my only exception, as his sparse income does not afford him to purchase a decent gift, and birthdays mean so much to him. So whenever he brings me something thoughtful–even though scored from rubbish–I show my appreciation right away. My father was a garbage man when I was a kid (we didn’t call them “sanitation workers” back then), and he’d often bring me something nice that he rescued from the trash…after cleaning it thoroughly and making it look shiny new as possible. But only one such item remains in my memory:

A lovely, spinning globe of the earth on a small, brass stand. It was around eight inches in diameter. Like a jigsaw puzzle, different regions were removable. They were made of hard celluloid and about a sixth-inch thick and slightly curved, with a different color for each region. Totally intact but for a tiny peninsula missing on just one of the pieces. I kept it for years.

> The cards are hilarious.

Yeah, aren’t they sweet? But they are also a remarkable memento in his new change of attitude. Thus, they are far MORE than just birthday cards.

> And it’s funny that Deek seems to have one of everything in his shopping cart, including birthday cards.

Arwyn writes the latest script, and Deek simply follows. I’m sure, though, that Deek adds the occasional line or action into these scripts, as a co-author himself in these bodhisattva scenarios. I have observed considerable maturity in his behavior towards me, in recent meetups…which DO suggest it’s all an act on his part. And has been, all along, solely for my benefit and no one else’s.

> Now, there’s a children’s story: Deek and the Magic Shopping Cart.

It’s a great story for adults AND children, already. Brindlekin Tales is destined to be the lotus blossom of humanity’s fulfillment. How pretentious of me to say so!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: And this…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 3, 2021 12:37 PM

> Killer, both of those! The otter, the doggies!

These videos refresh my spirit. I make a point of spending some time on Reddit’s r/aww sub every day. Also: r/AnimalsBeingBros.

I have a feeling Deek’s next visit will be amazing…after the nice things I told him in our previous meetup. Last night was very quiet re. Hohokum creeps. Oh, and another nice incident that occurred three days back:

That nasty drama queen with the two chihuahuas finally witnessed Flaco & Lucky NOT barking, as he exited the building just before I entered. He said nothing, but I know he observed. Financially privileged people are often the biggest schmucks around. They know nothing about me, other than from the gossipy grapevine…even though I’ve lived here for YEARS. I am watching over two of the kindest, sweetest doggies in the world, but they choose to harass me anyway.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Cut me some meat, Hunca Munca!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce list
Date: July 4, 2021 8:55 PM

Zeke here. Your childishly biased regard towards me over the air is NOT appreciated. In last Friday’s show of “Memo of the Weird,” starting at 50:37 (and lasting 18 seconds), you declared:

“And poor benighted Ezekiel took being described as benighted as an insult, but I took his calling me a homophobe a year or two ago as an insult, lying down. So I’m gonna call that even, though poor means poor, and benighted means in the dark on many issues, which…aren’t we all?”

Anyone who’d like, is free to listen to the matching audio clip, here.

First of all: yes, you made a clearly homophobic remark on one of your shows while speaking over the air to Oggie Dunwich. When he said “I love you buddy,” you advised him to say “pal” instead of “buddy,” because the latter is just “kinda gay.” Here is a 39 second audio clip of that incident.

Besides noting that there is nothing more or less intrinsically gay with either word, and that your implying there is, is ABSURD. I also want to point out that Oggie has said many times prior to that night, “I love you buddy,” to which you’ve always responded, “I love you too, buddy.” So I wonder: what wild hair got up in YOUR ass that night, one or two years ago?

Some hetero folks who declare themselves “gay friendly” insist that homophobia is ONLY when someone speaks out with an anti-gay epithet, or condones violence against gays. That way, they slide by with using a term like “too gay” (or in your case, “kinda gay”) to imply something distasteful, unpleasant or just plain wrong. Which is exactly what YOU did that evening, with Oggie. I already posted my complaint about that incident, on this list, to which you never cared to respond. But obviously, it’s stuck in your craw. As well it should.

Secondly: I already addressed your snarky remark about my being “benighted,” on this announce list. (And adding the adjective “poor” to that word is underhanded.) But you went ahead and read it over the air…knowing I’ll probably hear it, which gives you the jollies. But on your most recent show, you came up with a juvenile cop-out that we ALL are benighted, so what’s my beef. Problem is: you SINGLED ME OUT as such, thus implying I am LESS knowledgeable than yourself, and many others. For the rather foolish reason that I am against space research being handed over to lunatic billionaires and private corporations.

Which I already made VERY CLEAR in my post to this list: that I am NOT against aerospace research and development, just against some of the ways we are going about it, in this country. Yet you painted me as if I were against any and all such projects, both in your response on the list, and on your radio show…in which show you deliberately excluded my distinction in this matter, including how I’d PREFER space-going ventures to be handled. Something only an Elon Muskmelonhead “fan boi” would do, which you seem to be.

But seeing that, in running your own radio show, you can paint anyone in an unfairly biased light according to your whim, there’s not much I (or anyone else you target) can do about it. It’s just a PETTY act, which only serves to diminish what quality may remain in your broadcasts.

Subject: This is SO depressing: 20 minutes w/the pups, and that’s all she wrote!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 7, 2021 8:14 PM

Deek showed up a half hour ago, the pups with hearty greets as always. I had just purchased my second cup of java, and as I crossed the intersection there he was coming in my direction with Flaco & Lucky delighted to see me. I asked how he was, and said it’s good to see you all again. He seemed fine, no drama and cleanly attired. And that’s REALLY great!

He asked for his allowance, I said of course. Wanted me to hurry in order to pay someone just around the corner. So I dashed upstairs, set my coffee down, snatched the three Jacksons I had set aside, and ran back out. Upon receiving the cash he said I could hang with the doggies for awhile, then he walked partway up the sidewalk on 16th Street (behind my building) to commiserate with some bald-headed dude seated by the curb.

So I sat down and immensely enjoyed having these lovely pooches on my lap and in my arms again. I figured they’d not be staying with me, else he’d have handed me the leash already, to take them inside. So I took what comfort I could, and in about 20 minutes he called to me, requesting I bring down dog food, a razor and a drink (which is always diet root beer). That other fellow had left some moments earlier, and Deek was fussing with rolling a joint…seemed to be in good spirits.

When I returned with the items I made a point of thanking him for the birthday cards:

“They’re on top of my cabinet now, both of them. One’s very funny, the other’s very sweet.”

As he began to shove the cart forward, I pet the pups one more time. Deek thanked me for everything I do, and added “God bless you!”

As I watched them cross the street, I blessed them back. Then he turned to me, said something about getting another phone. I think he meant one with actual cell service, like he had two months ago: whatever happened to it, I have no idea. I stood there another half minute or so, to wave to the pups each time they looked back.

Now, I’m not going to obsess over the many possible scenarios regarding his withholding the dogs from visiting me, these past almost-three weeks. For I have NO idea what he’s up to; he’s certainly keeping mum about it, as he did NOT volunteer ANYthing about his latest doings.

Does he want to wean the dogs from visiting me, out of jealousy, or perhaps seriously plans to move on (even back to Louisiana)? Is he caught up with some bad people who are manipulating him, including abolishing our friendship? Is he putting me through my paces re. his bodhisattva challenges, and will soon resume letting Lucky & Flaco stay over now and then? I hope it’s the latter, but here I go, conjecturing, and I just said I’m not gonna obsess.

But what can I do, as I love the pups so much I’m not gonna refuse to contribute any more food unless he allows me to enjoy their company once or twice a week. (I could NEVER deny the pups any generosity I can afford, no matter MY situation.) Nor am I gonna try whatever OTHER persuasive tactics I can come up with. He already KNOWS how important they are in my life, and how happy it makes them to visit. He’s ALWAYS putting me into these like-walking-on-eggshells scenarios. TEMPTING me to express frustration, anger or vengeance (or all three at once). Which would certainly be the WRONG way to go.

But I truly hate pining for them, waiting till I get to see them again next week…and just for a very short while! How long will THAT go on? Will they just not show up any more, leaving me in the dust? I like to think that his bringing up acquiring another smartphone is a clue that he has EVERY intention of remaining aligned with me…and that this agonizing chapter is but a short one, followed by one brimming with a happy resolution for all parties involved.

So many things are going my way any more: fast FREE Internet, inexpensive Tracfone, my COVID shots (and Deek’s, too; that’s just wonderful), beating back the ugly mother-and-son team, and successfully dealing with the building manager’s horrid abuse. After all those personal victories (which I handled very well, and according to Buddha’s tenets), I see no reason why my association with Deek & pups should not ALSO be favorable.

So I REFUSE to worry, and will be of good cheer, no matter WHAT demons may well up in my mind now and then, like Whack-a-Moles. ONE of those demons (a powerful one at that) is fear of being left alone, Deek and the pooches trotting off into the sunset, never to return. And I go through THAT anxiety EACH AND EVERY TIME we end our latest meetup! But especially so, now that he visits less often, and for just a few minutes at that, and without offering me the doggos for company. But I AM aware:

Deek is NOT the enemy; he never was. Just a rather DIFFICULT person to befriend, in light of his tragic background and consequent trust issues, fears and suspicions (AND superstitions). As the Buddha says, “we have no enemies, only teachers.” And as YOU even said: “Deek is also a victim of a harsh world, just as are the dogs.” I’m paraphrasing here, as it would be most tedious to dig up that particular quote, buried as it is, deeply somewhere in my earlier Brindlekin Tales (book 1 OR book 2 I think).

And that, dear Wattson, IS the lesson…albeit painful and MOST challenging, it is MOST important to learn to rise above such sad thoughts. No demon has ANY power over you, but what you yourself allow. Caveat:

Though, perhaps, he is NOT a victim in the least, but a bodhisattva PLAYING the victim, that I may learn some lessons as a result. Such a thought brings me solace…as opposed to the dark ones described above.

I hope you are having a lovely evening, that your writing is coming along splendidly, and those walking sticks are holding up like a boss.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: This is SO depressing: 20 minutes w/the pups, and that’s all she wrote!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 7, 2021 10:36 PM

> Was just going to mention the walking sticks, and thank you for them again! They’re light but very sturdy, and I feel a lot better about Mitch going off into the woods at age 82 (83 in September! Yikes!) with those sticks. A great, thoughtful gift.

So glad they’re working out so well!

> Oh, how I wish Deek wouldn’t toy with you like that. You have the best possible attitude, but I know the sadness creeps in from time to time.

He’ll come through for me…which means for the pups as well. But yes, doing good works sucks donkey butt. Isn’t it always like that, unless your “good works” are on a minor scale?

When I first laid eyes on Lucky, it was still during my separation from Deek. They were a moving silhouette across the street, for it was night, and all I could see was the black form of the cart, Deek, and Lucky. But the doggy’s sweet grace radiated through the dense veil of shadow anyway, and struck my heart:

Sitting upright in the cart, nose raised in the air and looking straight ahead, chest puffed with pride to be assigned the noble duty of guardian to this lone vagrant. Two nights later, Lucky and I finally met face to face: he was seated atop the cart once more, with a small blanket thrown over him like a nun’s habit. He took a cautious liking to me right then and there. Which surprised Deek, because I was wearing a hoodie, which garb usually aggravates the pup into wild barking. Not to mention Lucky’s hesitation with ANY stranger in the first place. But the little angel remained calm and welcomed my hugs. I fell in love for the first time in my life.

> I’m doing my “Buddha” work, too.

Indeed you are, Wattson. This is no small sacrifice.

> Yesterday, I took Darly (Van’s widow) up to the storage place in Fort Bragg, where she and Van have gone deep into the storage-rental boondoggle over the years, paying hundreds every month for TWO packed-full units, God knows how many thousands they’ve paid over the years. She desperately needs to empty those units, stop wasting hundred$ every month, but of course, she’s in the trap: no money, nowhere to put the stuff, terrible sentimental entanglement. I can’t tell you how sad it was to push those rumbling doors up and see all of those sad, sad possessions, books, furniture, boxes of manuscripts, poor Van’s handwriting everywhere, the fond hopes it all represented now just dusty old junk.

Absolutely heartbreaking. Every item must be dripping with sentimentality. Everything should go EXCEPT the manuscripts. Can they be moved ASAP to her domicile? I don’t know what else to say, but that she must ease the financial burden from your shoulders. Friendship and loyalty are immeasurably more important than possessions, no matter how sentimental.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He dropped by again, early!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 9:14 AM

7 AM, right on the dot…woke me up. Half asleep, I donned shoes, sweater, jacket, and stumbled on out to greet them all. I knelt down on the concrete to give the pups adoration, as Deek handed over a slightly battered Alcatel smartphone, two battery packs, and cylindrical speaker (NOT that heavy one any more, thank god). Said he’ll be back in two hours and outta my hair. Again, he didn’t offer me the pups. He should show up in a half hour or so…let’s see what happens next. And of course the bedbugs have returned. This is my life.

Subject: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 9:47 AM

One battery pack would NOT charge up, but he was not anxious about that in the least; and that’s good. I crouched down to pet the pups again; they looked at me with such longing in their eyes: “Can’t we come and visit you?” And then I returned hovel, after Deek saying once more, god bless you and thanks again.

Re: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 12:13 PM

> All good groundwork.

Thanks! Deek is no longer throwing hissy fits or making horrid accusations against me. I can say that with much confidence, now, since this improved, new Deek has been showing his face for at least three months w/o sliding back. I think that he has finally awakened to how poorly he’s treated me in the recent past (and for almost three years), and may be terribly embarrassed about that. Which ALSO could explain his distancing. He is my prodigal brother.

Re: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 2:35 PM

Interesting to note, is that whenever i DO require another bedbug treatment, Deek and pups conveniently disappear until two or three days later. And I NEVER inform him about bedbugs, because he’ll get all dramatic about it, and tell me to just get some pesticide, I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Or he’ll worry about the pups being exposed to chemicals. He knows NOTHING about bedbugs, that there IS no OTC solution…nor how very SAFE is the treatment used by professionals. So I just shut my trap about it. Yet somehow, some way, they all are gone on the day of treatment nonetheless, and don’t return till some days later. Well, maybe a day later at the earliest, but his timing works out perfecto for me.

Just one more reason why I think this is all scripted.

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 8:40 PM

Flaco & Lucky have only gotten to play in it three times since I found it on the back porch. But now I have to dispose of it, in preparation for tomorrow’s bedbug treatment. It’s a LARGER box than the previous ones, and they love it so much more. It’s like a doghouse for them. And boxes that size are not easy to find.

You should have seen last time they were over. Flaco entered the box and settled down after a whole lot of furious scratching to make the floor “fluffy.” She was curled up in one corner when Lucky went to join her…but at that moment she abruptly sprung into full-stretch mode with paws plunked right across the edge, as if to declare: “Stay out, this is MY turf!” Very funny, as Lucky stepped back, barked a few times, then returned to the cot to let her enjoy that hidey-spot for herself. He doesn’t ALWAYS back off, but sometimes instigates a play-fight which they both enjoy, sometimes rumbling right there in the box. It wobbles like crazy, as if haunted by poltergeist!

Well, I could’ve put off the next bug eradication for a few days, to give me time to prepare. But I decided tomorrow is fine; I just had to hustle half-a-day getting things set up. I have it down to a science, adapted as I am to these insectoid invasions.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Of course Deek would show up tonight, and ask me to watch the pups!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 11:24 PM

Right in the middle of getting my room prepared…but how could I say no? (I swear Larkin wrote this script, and Deek and god only knows who else is in on it. Of COURSE they’d pick this time to finally resume the pups’ sweet stayovers!)

I just told him to pick them up by 1 PM tomorrow, as the plumber is coming over at 2, to fix a leak that sprung in my ceiling. He released the pups (still on their leashes but tied together as one), and off they ran STRAIGHT to the gate, and made a big fuss over wanting to get inside.

Without picking up the leash, I opened the front gate, assuming the inner doors would block them. But no, they pushed really hard, and I could not stay them, because the keys from my lanyard had just come undone and spilled onto the sidewalk! I have four keys, found three of them, but didn’t discover the fourth until someone who walked by kindly pointed out it out to me (behind my right foot).

So here I was, planning to run upstairs with the pups just ahead…instead, I had to leave them be wherever they were, as my own door was locked shut. When I finally arrived on my floor, they were having an utter ball, chasing each other up and down the hallway. With only a soft yelp here and there, so no problem. I was just worried that the manger would come across them, running free.

Now they are crashed out on the cot, and I’m so delighted with their return. And with Deek.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Attached pic shows him hanging by the bus stop just out front. He’s somewhere behind the shopping cart, piled high with a mound of clothing and whatever else beneath it. I really don’t want him parking around my building, but he’s a stubborn bastard, often against his own best interests. However, he IS being quiet…snoozing, I guess. Said he’d return in a couple of hours to pick up the devices, but the dogs stay overnight. How can he “return” if he’s still here? He’ll probably sleep like a log, and I’ll have to bring the stuff down to him, myself. But if he doesn’t awaken to receive them, I’ll just bring it all back upstairs.

Click here for a larger view.

Texting with Wattson – 7/9/21

Pic 1 (large version)

Pic 2 (large version)

Pic 3 (large version)


Subject: What He Left Behind
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 9, 2021 10:10 PM

When he departed with the pups this morning, I never gave thought over how he emptied that shopping cart. Later when I stepped outside I came across THIS, to receive the answer to a question I hadn’t asked. Talk about dirtying a friend’s nest! (I even used that turn of phrase with him a year or two ago, and he rebutted: “Your nest is inside, not out here.”) However, he still deserves my kudos in spite of this, and for damn good reasons.

Click here for a larger view.

Great news…the N Judah light rail is running once more, finally! So I hopped on to hang around 9th & Irving, wishing Howard’s Cafe were still open. But I settled for Tart 2 Tart, an old fashioned, spacious coffeehouse that is good enough, but nothing like the sociable milieu of Howard’s. I lingered quite awhile, as the bedbug guy texted me that I can’t return to my hovel until 8:30 PM. So I guess he showed up closer to 4, than 2 (or maybe a bit later than planned).

I watched today’s PBS News on their Youtube channel with my Tracfone, while enjoying a fat slice of black forest cake and a cup of java. Eventually I left to stroll the promenade; this was once my favorite neighborhood in the entire city. (I guess it still is, but these days more like the LEAST grievous circle of hell among all the other circles that ring this sorry burg.) I felt cold, alienated, strolling down 9th Avenue…for it was nothing but shops and dead souls hopping from one spot to another. Howard’s was the last, true community gathering spot (other than the two bars a few blocks apart, I guess some locals would say)…so once it shut down, what fragment remained of the heart of the Inner Sunset was crushed under Moloch’s Heel.

Though I had time to kill, nothing appealed to me outdoors, not even the arboretum nearby, at the edge of Golden Gate Park. So I hopped back onto the N Judah and returned to the Castro. Almost three hours to go before I could claim my hovel as my own once again, by the time I reentered Hotel California North. So I hunkered down in the alcove right beside my room, and caught up on some of my favorite vloggers.

It actually feels good to have stripped down my monk’s cell, to clean out the cobwebs and start afresh. I just resent the drudgery it requires to get there. But why gripe? The doggies slept with me last night! I gave Deek a side hug this morning, to thank him for letting Flaco & Lucky visit me again, but he played the macho dude and brushed me away with a pseudo-grunt. So to make up for that, I told him they’re a joy and a blessing in my life, “and you are too, because of them.”

I’m sure it did his heart a lot of good, though he’d never admit it. Every time my three little angels depart, I think: I may never see them again.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: What He Left Behind
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 10, 2021 10:07 AM

> Did he just abandon all that stuff? Some of it looks useful.

Yes. Well, what is “useful” can often be a burden when you live the street life. Anything you can’t use immediately is of no worth. He has lost EVERYthing many times over, but Deek is nothing if not resilient. Had I more spacious quarters, I’d be cleaning and storing valued items for him…such as extra clothing, including what serves well for doggy comfort.

You may have noticed that tent in the background, where some homeless folks have set up camp behind my building as of several days ago. Which happens now and then…I think the steep rise of that street discourages such settlements from happening more often. When I stepped out for my morning coffee today, I decided to take a more focused shot of it; see attachment. They’ll be there for another week or even less, then move on. That’s the usual pattern.

Click here for a larger view.

> Coffee and Black Forest cake sounds divine!

They have both standard and specialty pastries, which are excellent, including key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, tiramisu, chocolate eclairs and cheesecake with thin, kiwi slices on top. Added bonus: they DON’T play loud, grating music like Starbucks and most other coffeehouses. In fact, they play NOTHING. So it’s always peaceful, easy to actually read, think and plain old relax. And very pleasant to hear and watch the N Judah cars rumble by. But since the pandemic started, I do not go there daily any more. In fact, I only visit Tart 2 Tart on my bedbug extermination days, which are maybe once every four months. I otherwise stick around my neighborhood for Deek and the pooches, more than anything else.

> I came across a great news story today: a black cat named Binx, who’d lived on the 9th floor of the collapsed tower in Florida, was found ALIVE and reunited with his people.

Wow, so happy to hear that. And Binx’s family also survived! A sweet pet is often the heart and soul of a person’s life. If it’s not, what the hell are they doing with one, in the first place?

> Here’s to more visits with the doggies, bless their pure little hearts.

MY heart and soul! In the coming days I will emphasize to Deek, just what an AMAZING fellow he is, for bringing them into my world. He’ll probably say something like he deserves more money for that. I’ll just tell him “Yes you do, but it’s beyond my financial capacity at this time.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

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