The Final Chapter (part 26)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17z]

Re: Deek brought me another superlative gift last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 27, 2021 11:53 PM

> Wonderful letter,

Yes indeed. The extraordinary thing about that, and most of my other Brindlekin Tales, is I didn’t make any of them up…they CAME to me. I thank whoever is the TRUE author, whom I suspect is Arwyn.

> wonderful gift.

Beyond superb: profound. Entirely black, like tempered out of the void, creation itself. In my own mythos, God IS a dragon. As I wrote in “Free Me From This Bond,” chapter 8 (the online version) entitled “Dragon Prophecy.” But get this, Wattson: I just duckduckgo’d “god is a dragon” and found THIS:

Absolute Proof That The God of The Bible (Yahweh-Jehovah) is a DRAGON! (outside and IN The Bible!)

> Do you think the Welsh coal dragon is very old??

I kinda think not, considering it has a label on it that looks new. I’m guessing someone purchased it from a tourist shop in Wales (or maybe ordered one online; eBay has ’em), took it home and eventually discarded it. Hence, Deek’s discovery, probably at a thrift store because he said when he saw it, he just had to get it. Which is how someone shopping speaks.

> I’d love to know if it’s part of some established tradition!

Well, I just searched “coal dragon figurine” and came up with several sites that feature Welsh themed objects carved from coal, such as this page for dragons, and this for mining figures:

I’m under the impression it’s not from any real tradition, but something conjured up for tourism. Though now that I’ve thought some more about this, there may have been born a tradition of coal miners carving figures out of hard coal nuggets. Which eventually carried over into OTHERS doing the same thing, for the tourist trade. I DID find this:

The Art of Anthracite Coal Carving

However, it’s all about coal miners in Wyoming, not in Wales or anywhere else…except for this lone passage:

–quote:

Hard coal had now and then been carved in China and in Europe through the millennia. In 1960, an amateur archaeologist working near Williamsport, Pennsylvania, some 70 miles from the anthracite region, found a small bit of coal that had been carefully shaped and polished by a Native American perhaps three thousand years ago. This find represents one of the first known uses of coal in the New World.

–end

BTW, my Randolph’s father was a coal miner in West Virginia, who died prematurely of black lung disease.

> And good for you for giving Deek a little education.

He never gave me any chance before, to talk with him more than one or two minutes…always had to be running off elsewhere, once he got his allowance, or delivered or picked up the pups. He’s maturing, slowing down, taking more time to speak with me. After all these years. Another breakthrough!

> I, too, am a Celtophile, having spent a summer in Ireland when I was not quite 11. Ancient ruins, haunted atmosphere; it got into me and stayed. Since then I’ve been to Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Stonehenge, Tintagel Castle, Penzance…

Incredible! Something about the Celtic spirit that gets into your bones in a comfortably spooky way. Like they’re reaching out to us in the future! Where do you think all those amazing fairy tales came from?

I would LOVE to explore the British Isles for a long, long, long, long, time…like the rest of my life. And learn to be fluent in Gaelic. You are SO fortunate to have done a bit of that yourself.

> I also dug the rabbit letter.

Truly ear-y! I suspect that Deek is much more conscious of the symbolic implications of the rabbit and the dragon (and other objects he brings me, and antics he performs) than he lets on. And isn’t that what you’d expect from a street shaman? Not hitting you over the head with any message or lesson, but playfully acting it out. Knowing I’m smart enough to grasp the implications with a little hindsight.

Deek showed up tonight to pick up the brindlekin, and handed me a REALLY heavy speaker (around 60 pounds), with sturdy wheels that made it less of a chore to lug it up the stairs and into my abode. But it was STILL a royal pain in the ass. Another lead-acid battery powered monstrosity! He should pick it up some time tomorrow after letting it fully charge, which takes ten hours.

Those lead-acid battery devices are dangerous being left out in the damp weather 24/7, so I hope he doesn’t have it for very long. It could blow up or ignite, or both! I really don’t care to have this in my room.

He was hot-headed later on tonight, while hanging with a couple of other vagrants on the corner. I don’t see any point in describing the details, as they’re basically the same-old, same-old. But he finally mellowed when he saw I was NOT gonna get out of his face, but stand close to him until he calmed down. Again, this is typical of a shaman after presenting you with a thoughtful gift: next time he shows up he’ll act like a jerk. As if there were some balance to achieve…though not really, as that pattern is more of a tradition among shamans. A way of humbling himself by covering up what a really NICE person he is. They are a fraternity, and have their rules, rituals and habits.

It felt like FOREVER, getting this missive done…thanks to the little whirlwind of chaos created by Deek’s bipolar shenanigans. I had just settled down to sup and answer your email, when it all erupted in my face. A waste of almost two hours, AFAIC. But for some unknown reason, I needed to go through it, even accidentally locking myself outside because I left the keys hanging on the door during one of the numerous times I stepped out to throw sand on the flaming drama queen who calls himself Deek! So I couldn’t even get back to my meal while still warm, after the cuckoo storm blew over. Took almost twenty minutes hanging out by the front gate, before another resident stepped out, and I slipped back inside.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Homemade Doggy Raincoat!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 28, 2021 4:57 PM

Made from three plastic grocery bags, for two dogs. On the left is the coat itself. You just slide the front legs through the loops, and secure them from slipping off with a string, ribbon or even two rubber bands linked together. See how I cut a rectangle out of the bottom part, so Lucky can pee.

On the right is the head cover, made from the loop off the third bag. I just cut a half-inch wider than the width of the loop, and five inches back, to cover the neck. The loop is the perfect size for their heads. Secure it with a plain rubber band, to keep it from slipping off.

They’re a perfect fit for the size of these pups, including the head cover’s loop, which slides easily over their heads and covers their ears. The rubber band will be placed right around their ears and back of the jaws.

I already tried them out a few days ago, but they kept slipping off because tying the leg loops together with a string or ribbon, and using a rubber band over the head cover did not occur to me till a day later. But I’m sure they’ll be perfect, now that I’ve figured that out. Will try it on them very soon, and send you the pics.

Materials required: three plastic grocery bags, two feet of cord or ribbon (or four, quarter-inch wide rubbers bands), and two standard (thin) rubber bands. Cost: $0.00 minus the rubber bands, which are really cheap anyway. The cord or ribbon can be made by cutting two strips from the third bag, which also gives me two head covers.

It did NOT occur to me till yesterday, that these homemade raincoats offer a superb bonus (in addition to virtually no expense): they will fit over ANY doggy jacket or sweater!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Homemade Doggy Raincoat!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 28, 2021 6:22 PM

> This is great!! I’m gonna make one for Surely!!

Can’t wait to see the pic. I don’t know yet, if the crinkly version of those bags will work as well…as they might cause some annoyance, relative to the slippery bags. They’ll certainly be noisier! I think it’s obvious, but I should’ve spelled it out: slit open the bottom edge of the bag so his tail, butt and hind legs will pass through. This is so cute, just talking about it!


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Subject: New Bowl & Dracula
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 29, 2021 2:33 PM

I found this lovely bowl on the back porch last week. Actually, two bowls and two plates of the same motif. They replaced the plain white plates and bowls (one chipped along the edge) I’ve had for almost two years. So happy to finally trash them! Above the bowl is my tablet displaying an image of Dracula, for it is currently playing a narration of that classic horror novel. Hey, Halloween is only two days away!

This particular narrator, “Hellfreezer,” is outstanding! You can sample his distinctly British inflections by listening to any one of his unique tales, even if just for a minute or less. Here’s chapter one of Dracula.

MOST of his narrations feature stupid, embarrassing or annoying people in restaurant, hotel, office and public scenarios: true tales written by workers, customers or public witnesses/victims who send them to him. Or perhaps also acquired from Reddit storytelling subs, and related sites. A sampling of his playlists:

– COAHW (Confessions of a Hotel Worker)
– Terrific Tales of Technology
– Parables from the Pizza Oven
– Idiots in the Wild
– Neckbeards in the Wild
– Spinning Plates
– True Embarrassing Stories
– Please Hold Call Centre Stories

His anthology is extensive, and since I discovered him several months back, have become hopelessly addicted. He also has five short works by H.P. Lovecraft in this 10-tale playlist. And Edgar Allan Poe is featured here.

Halloween may be just two days away, but the first anniversary of “Brindlefest” is tomorrow! My own personal holiday this time around, but I hope it expands worldwide by same time next year. As for Deek & pups:

They’re taking advantage of this fair, warm weather since Sunday night’s “bomb cyclone” downpour, so I sit without my darling brindlekin for now. (Though they did stay over Wednesday night, so their master could enjoy another bicycle romp.) Yesterday afternoon they dropped by to say hi, and pick up a few minor things like a couple of large trash bags, a cup of soda and whatever (I forget). He had parked his charges a half block up, tethered to the telescoping handle of that ponderous Bluetooth speaker. So I sat down on the sidewalk beside them to keep them company while Deek rummaged for recyclables at the trash bins near my building.

That lasted for about fifteen minutes, during which time an employee stepped out of the adjacent office (which door was partly open, and Flaco & Lucky had poked their noses therein, summoning his attention) and offered to bring them a bowl of water.

“We usually keep a bowl out all the time!” He was handsome, young and friendly. But I told him thanks, but no, I just gave them water, and the dogs never drink from shared bowls.

“Really?” he asked in surprise. “Why not?”

“They just don’t, they turn their noses up instead,” I explained. “I guess they smell the scent of other dogs, and that puts them off. But thanks for the offer, very kind of you.”

“No problem,” he smiled. Then I explained a bit about my homeless friend just yards away, and that I’m not unhoused myself, but help him take care of the doggies. He didn’t blink an eye at that, but was most understanding. I wish I had a Brindlekin Tales card to present, as that could’ve further expanded the awareness of my plight, and desire to increase their safety when not under my watch.

Glad to report that Deek was very mellow all three times he met up with me, yesterday. He even manifested a funny little scenario, which went like so:

“Can I get two garbage bags?” he asked while I crouched down to embrace the pooches.

“Sure, I’ll be right back!” I joyfully replied, and dashed up to my room to retrieve them. And as I did so, thought:

“Now why didn’t he ask for them just a moment ago, when he requested I bring down his recharged speaker?” (Referring to a portable speaker, much smaller than his most recent acquisition, which was more like a ball and chain, than a source of musical delight.) 

The moment I returned, I handed him two, white grocery bags and said, “Now why didn’t you ask for these along with your speaker, so I wouldn’t have to make two trips?”

But he ignored that and pointed at the bags in my hand: “Those aren’t garbage bags.” I then looked down at them and declared:

“Oh for cripes sake, you’re right!” So now I had to make yet a THIRD trip to correct this faux pas!

Upon returning hovel to drop off the grocery bags and grab the CORRECT bags, I thought:

“That STILL doesn’t excuse his thoughtless disregard, it’s all about him and nobody else, not even a good friend who busts his balls for the sake of the pups and his OWN well-being. As far as DEEK is concerned, it’s all me, me, me!”

As I marched back downstairs with the edges of two, large green bags crumpled in my fist, I was determined he hear me out this time, and not just ignore. FYI, Wattson: I DID see the humor in this comic episode by then, thus I already perceived myself as playing the dupe.

Once I scurried back to Deek & mutts, I held out the trash bags and declared with righteous pomp:

“My point still stands, Deek: WHY didn’t you ask for these at the same time you asked for the speaker?”

He responded by squinting his eyes and staring up at the sky: “What? What?”

So I regurgitated my words, which only got me another two “whats” in return. I saw he was having a little fun at my expense, so I bemusedly shrugged my shoulders:

“That’s okay, Deek. I suppose I need the exercise, anyway.”

Deek then turned away to pack up his few possessions. Other than that cumbersome speaker (which DIDN’T work when not plugged in, as it turned out), he only had two bags to carry. Because he still had his bicycle, but no cart. This was earlier in the day, before I sat with the doggies down the block…by which time he had acquired a NEW cart for collecting recyclables.

A minute later, while I was petting the pups and Deek was about ready to go, a fire engine came careening down Market Street, siren at full blast. The pups sat up in alert, Lucky watching to see if Flaco would start howling. She did, and then (and only then) did her loving brother join in, as second trumpet.

I was very pleased to see Deek comfort them with a smile, while knotting up a bag: “It’s okay, babies, it’s okay!”

As for why he’s still hanging on to that derelict speaker, I figure he’s waiting to meet up again with whoever sold it to him, in hopes of a refund. Deek DID say the guy’s a trustworthy friend, and if that is true, I expect he WILL be reimbursed. I just hope he doesn’t show up again with that accursed device and demand I break it open to see if the battery is properly seated and connected! God only knows WHAT I’ll find inside the black box: gunk and corrosion no doubt.

If you never hear from me again, Wattson, you’ll know my demise was instigated by an electrical mishap…Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta be damned!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Merry Brindlefest, everyone!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Zeke’s Mailing List
Date: October 30, 2021 9:18 AM

Today is the first year anniversary of when I started to write my Brindlekin Tales. I have decided to make it my own holiday. On this day last year, I composed Chapter 1 of Book 1 of my doggy parables, and released it to the world. And now it encompasses the equivalent of FOUR wonderful books. Though I still call it a trilogy, it’s really a quaternity at this point. And a fifth book is in the making. Here is the world’s FIRST Brindlefest greeting card.

WHAT IS BRINDLEFEST?

Brindlefest (or Brindlekin Fest) is a holiday to celebrate one’s furry pet(s). Though inspired by two lovely pups in my life who have stunning brindle coats, your pet does NOT need to have any such coloring to join the festivities. And it doesn’t even need to be a dog…it can be a cat, or any other creature. Heck, it doesn’t REALLY need to be furry! Like a bird, an iguana, a turtle or even a boa constrictor!

Though if feasible, I suggest they wear something of a brindle hue on them: a sweater or jacket, a hat, whatever.  Or the OWNER does, instead!

How this holiday is otherwise celebrated, is up to each pet owner. I’m sure it will evolve naturally into a glorious, furry (or not) jubilee over the years…and hopefully, become a worldwide event. October 30th every year, back-to-back with Halloween.


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Re: Merry Brindlefest, Alvin!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Alvin Hock
Date: October 30, 2021 6:06 PM

> Great photo!

Thanks. I almost deleted it, but at the last moment realized just how poignant a story it tells. He doesn’t even know I took it. In fact, Deek doesn’t know that I’ve been writing my Brindlekin Tales. Assuming locals here in the Castro start reading them, they’ll reach out to him and the pups, and help create a more expanded, safe habitat for all three of them. That is my goal. To make the doggies mascots of the Castro.

> Illustrates how entirely different our daily lives are today.

Very different indeed!

> I live in a forest outside a small town, seldom am involved with sidewalks and all the city stuff that surrounds you. It’s a plus and minus world.

My world is, too. I think they balance out, in that one isn’t preferable over another.

> I live in pure nature but…there are things I miss so much about SF, the social places like coffee houses and the better intellectual atmosphere with great conversations.

What you miss is a time, as well as a place! I miss that time as well, because while there are still plenty of coffehouses, they lack the vibrancy of politically/socially/artistically conscious folks. They stare into their cell phones, and their careers occupy all their time. Very RARE any more, that you actually meet an interesting person, and hold a meaningful conversation with her or him.

Bad enough we have more than our share of right-wingers even in a liberal, urban region…I can’t imagine how much worse it is in more rural areas of California. I’d definitely keep to myself at any coffeehouse I visit, and keep my mouth shut. What a shame. I imagine there’s plenty of Trump signs and hats wherever you look…like living in one of hell’s circles.

> The walks and the views and the atmosphere. It’s so backward here, there is one place to go to for decent food (the others have SF prices and Sonora quality)!

I can’t afford to eat out, beCAUSE of the SF prices. However, it’s also because I funnel my excess moolah to the dogs and their master…and it isn’t that much, anyway. If I did not, I could enjoy eating out twice a week, but not really in any spectacular dining spot. It would be more like The Crepe Place and coffeehouses that have a limited menu of empanadas, burritos and other tasty items prepared elsewhere.

> and no coffeehouses that aren’t right-wing hot spots.

We’ve got ’em here, too, including bible thumpers who like to hang out at this or that coffeehouse and commiserate loudly about how the Good Lord delivered them into righteousness, and you can’t hear yourself think. Or conservative Muslim women who are totally covered, so you can’t even see their face…and they OOZE a superior air at everyone around them. Fundamentalists of any stripe suck. We also get trashy types (often homeless) who are mentally disturbed and scare the fuck out of everyone, sometimes wrecking the place before they leave.

> Still, around the house is fantastically unspoiled, like forever. I have that and my two cats who are the center of my world.

That is wonderful, Alvin. I have my own humble room where I enjoy the sweet company of Deek’s pups one, two or three times a week. And they usually stay overnight.

> We have been visited for several months by a new cat out of the forest who I am feeding, much to the distress of my Boots boy, who is in charge of everything here. I am explaining that there is enough food and we can afford one more little darling. This is the best thing going on in my life, lonely but truthfully.

Sounds like a magical little circle of friendship between two species! Loneliness can even be worse in a city, with flocks of people everywhere, yet no one to talk to. Thank god for Lucky and Flaco…and Deek who so generously trusts me with them. Otherwise, I’m all alone in this world, as what other friendly people I DO know are just regular acquintances, not anyone I actually do things with. Such as take walks or shmooze at coffeehouses.

> We all sit in the sun and all these wonderful wild animal semi-tame beings run around doing cool stuff. Baby Girl has cat magic and can appear and disappear. She’s done a couple of things that are impossible but there she is!

Yep, magical! That same sweet spirit emanates from my two, darling brindlekin. Their joy and kindness are boundless. I have incredible respect for them.

> One last story. The new cat sent me a message through the air that I got, as if he were speaking it in my ear, “Can I stay here?” It still brings me to tears. I said, in total amazement, “Of course, you have a home here now.” That’s my promise and I keep it. It feels good. I’ll admit that I could probably adopt every cat in the world.

That is a powerful love, though way too many people trivialize the extraordinary kindness of our animal brothers and sisters. And their potential to be that for all humanity. Flaco & Lucky have absolutely TRANSFORMED my life, and all for the better.

– Zeke


Subject: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 11:45 AM

These are two friends of Deek I met just this morning, while walking the pups. Not their real names FYI. I’ve actually met Jeddi several times before, and he loves the doggies. You could see that, as the brindlekin wagged their tails while they barked up a storm as we approached. Both dudes are tall, youngish, skinny, dirty-blonde and a bit scraggly in appearance, though nicely attired. Jeddi has a beard and mustache, Freddy-Tom does not. They both came off as peaceful and in good spirits.

An interesting talk about Deek then ensued:

After introducing me to Freddy-Tom, Jeddi gushed over how BLESSED Deek is, to have these pups. I agreed; he said I am too, and I again agreed. Then I brought up Deek’s shortcoming about not keeping them warm, forcing them to sleep on the sidewalk, and letting them get soaked in the rain. Even though he can always bring them to my hovel, for shelter…any time, day or night. They stay with me quite often, and just love visiting. Though I AM concerned about Deek’s neglectful treatment.

“They’re house dogs, they shouldn’t even BE living on the streets,” I exclaimed. “They’re not gonna make it through this winter if he doesn’t take better care of them!”

Jeddi concurred: “I’m always bringing them blankets, but I don’t know where they go, ’cause next time I see him, even just two days later, the blankets are gone! Jackets, too..and they’re expensive!”

I told him a bit of my own problems with him over that, then described how I took charge of them for a few months early this year, to save them from Deek’s own bipolar craziness. That he agreed to my holding on to them, and I even have his verbal acknowledgement recorded on my phone. But then what does he do: goes around telling everyone I stole the pups!

“Yeah, I heard him say that myself,” Freddy-Tom interjected.

“We’ve been friends for years, and he’s a really nice guy, I consider him my BEST bud,” Jeddi pointed out, “but boy does he go WAY off the handle, sometimes. Which USUALLY happens when he’s super-toked on meth!”

“Doesn’t everyone?” I quipped. He laughed at that. “I think the important thing here, is that others on the are watching out for his dogs, including YOU. GOD BLESS YOU for telling me that, Jeddi! Deek tells me NOTHING about his friends or anything else, claims he doesn’t HAVE any friends.”

Jeddi glowed with appreciation when I said god bless you, and reassured me the homeless around here know my situation with Deek, understand what’s REALLY going on, and in no way do they believe I stole his pooches…and are VERY aware of Deek’s mood swings.

(So much for Umbrella Man’s claim that Deek ALWAYS treats the pups well, eh, Wattson?)

I told him if anything happens to Deek, if he’s separated from the dogs, such as a sudden arrest or medical emergency, to bring them to me.

“They always have a home with me,” I emphasized, “where they are loved and well taken care of.”

“Where do you live?” he queried, “That building with the Super Duper hot dogs?”

“Yes,” I affirmed, “My window is right above the front gate. Just call for Zeke.”

Again, I thanked them profusely before departing. This is yet ANOTHER excellent breakthrough! Now, much to my joy, I can work with some of Deek’s street friends, regarding Flaco & Lucky’s protection. I haven’t decided yet, though, whether or not to inform Deek I know he has good friends out there, who are JUST as concerned about the doggies as I am…and that I just spoken with two of them. We’ll see. For now, I’ll play it by ear.

And whenever I talk to Jeddi et al, I’ll emphasize to always treat Deek with patience and kindness…no threats or harsh demands, though they be tempted. The dogs’ lives are at stake.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 12:48 PM

> This is a great development. My first reaction to the question of whether or not to mention to Deek that you spoke to his friends is don’t. Keep that under your hat. I fear he’ll find some way to twist it all around (“You’re spying on me!”) and use it against you. Yes, when he’s good, he’s very, very good, but when Mr. Hyde is at the controls, he’s a terror. And they now know to bring the dogs to you if anything happens to Deek. Very reassuring.

Excellent advice, good doctor. Thank you!

ADDENDUM

It was a superb conversation I had with Jeddi, who made many OTHER astute remarks that blew the lid off my hat. Such as:

“I told Deek those dogs are a GREAT motivation to get off the streets!”

“He used to get arrested a lot, but since he’s had the dogs he hasn’t been to jail one single time.”

“Don’t worry, a LOT of us out here are concerned for the dogs.”

“I think I should have another long talk with Deek.”

He appears to be fully cognizant of Deek’s mental aberrations that put the dogs in harm’s way. And regards Flaco & Lucky every BIT as sacred and deserving of utmost respect and care, as I do. I was gobsmacked at his TOTAL agreement with every criticism I expressed! And most PLEASED to discover he shares the same concerns withOUT one iota of anger or hatred. That is: he KNOWS the best way to inspire Deek to make the necessary changes. It’s like I met my spiritual doppelganger…and because he actually LIVES on the streets, can get to Deek in many ways that I just can NOT! Deek may be able to run away from THIS distressed pilgrim whenever I have some life-saving advice or criticism to impart, but not my spirit!

The loss of these pups (whether through absconsion or death or his foolishly selling them) would dump an unbearable cross upon MANY people on the streets, as well as myself! And DEEK would be so vilified and shamed, as to be DRIVEN out of the Castro, and beyond. NONE OF US INVOLVED NEITHER WANT THIS WORST CASE SCENARIO TO OCCUR, NOR COULD BEAR IT IF IT DID.

His bipolar antics are frightening more folks than just yours truly…so we must ALL be diligent and find some way to secure the doggies’ safety and well-being ASAP. I am glad to now learn that I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS, and the odds of our success are greatly increased. The loving spirit of Lucky & Flaco are bringing many people together, in a common cause of mercy. For we SEE the potential tragedy staring us in the face if we do not get through this ordeal in anything less than complete victory!

My “Bohisattva Premise” does, however, put a totally optimistic spin on things:

Jeddi and Freddy-Tom are NEW spiritual guides in my world, playing a role in setting up this next act, whereby all conflicts over Deek & pups are worked through amicably, and resolved to the complete happiness and satisfaction of all parties involved. No more absurd drama to get there, either. Which means the dogs are ALREADY perfectly fine, as Deek’s antics are likewise part of the script, and not the least bit real or threatening.

They are all here to shape me into a hero…though god only knows I’d rather NOT be anyone’s hero, when two sweet doggies’ lives are in the mix. Couldn’t The Playwright have come up with some LESS soul-searing scenario? But that was NOT my decision to make, thus I must accept things as they are, and soldier onward in strength, courage and, most critically of all, FAITH.

I wonder when I’ll next meet Jeddi, for we have much MORE to talk about! Or perhaps I should not worry, as the wheels of resolution are most likely turning this plot into a happier direction. For my Bodhisattva Premise assures me it is, and I don’t even have very long to wait.


Re: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom ADDENDUM 2
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 3:41 PM

I just came from a short walk while the pups were resting hovel, and spotted Jeddi, now hanging with a small group of other street people, across Noe Street and by the old Cafe Flore. Seven in all, I think. So I approached him:

“Thank you again, Jeddi, for talking with me. I was very impressed by all you said, it blew the lid off my hat!’

“I’d like to shake your hand,” he stood up from where he sat on the concrete beside a porta-potty (where another fellow was seated) and extended a hand. I gripped his hand in mine, without hesitation.

We came to an agreement that Deek can be a real shithead at times, trying to scam me even though I give him a hefty allowance, and other stuff like that.

“Let me put it this way,” he confided, “Deek’s not so much of a friend, but a good acquaintance I’ve known for years. I can count on one hand how many REAL friends I know.” He then stated:

“I don’t talk about my life much, but I spent years in prison, and saw with my own eyes how the company of a dog can transform someone’s life. I’m sure Flaco & Lucky have done the same for you!”

“Yes they have,” I readily affirmed. “I’ve even begun writing true tales about them and Deek, starting a year ago, and I call them Brindlekin Tales. Not that I’m making any money on it, but these pups are a GREAT inspiration in my life.”

I described further about Deek needing to take the pooches to one of those veterinarian pop-up clinics every few months, but he needs access to a cell phone to make the appointment first. So he keeps putting it off. And how he scares the shit out of me whenever he talks about turning Flaco into a puppy mill…which could easily kill her AND the puppies because he’d be doing it all out here on the streets! He promised he wouldn’t do that to her, so long as he doesn’t have a roof over his head…so I think he still brings it up now and then, just to fuck with my head.

I brought up how he tries to scam me from time to time, even though I help him out with money, dog food, etc. And I’m only on Social Security, and he’s draining my wallet…but the only reason I put up with his crap is for the sake of the pups.

I also described how my situation with Deek & doggies is like a fairy tale, where I’m the knight in shining armor, the kidnapped maiden is the dogs, and the dragon is Deek’s bipolar craziness. And that the key to victory is NOT to slay the dragon, but to win him over. So any effort to get Deek to treat the dogs better, is to do so with patience and kindness. If only because projecting anger or hatred towards him will also hurt the doggies, who’d witness all that.

Jeddi enjoyed my fairy tale metaphor. He then reassured me I have NOTHING to worry about, regarding the dogs…whether it’s about the pregnancy issue, vet care, sweaters, the dogs shivering from the cold and wet, or any of the other incidents I brought up. Because HE will have a good, long “talk” with Deek. I can only imagine what THAT really means. But a kindhearted, tough ex-con on the streets can be MOST helpful in rectifying ANY botheration caused by a smart-ass vagrant breaking the Golden Doggy Rule.

“I’ve seen how much the dogs love you,” he noted. “They’re a lot happier with you, than with Deek.”

In Deek’s defense I said they’re ALWAYS glad to return to him, but I think dealing with all the craziness on the streets, and being on guard-dog alert all the time with him, is exhausting. So of course they love visiting me, where they can totally relax in a quiet, friendly spot, and no chaos will suddenly erupt in the middle of their sleep.

“I’ll make SURE he get his dogs to a vet,” he reassured me, with a spark of fire in his eye. And that he treat the pups better, and so on. In short, he covered all bases.

“I don’t think he EVER says anything good about me, to anyone,” I further remarked. “I thought I was all alone in this, but you’ve shown me otherwise. Good to know that people like you are out here. You’ve lifted my cross considerably!”

We then shook hands once more, and I proceeded further up Noe Street. Just moments later and after crossing to the other side, I looked back and saw, from barely a half block away, a cop had arrived and broke up the powwow. Which vagrants were all well mannered and neat looking, BTW. And several of them within earshot of our parley, had nodded their heads in agreement over Deek’s scurrilous nature, and my efforts to spare the dogs. I have NO idea why they were forced to scatter; it was a lovely day, and an attractive spot for the penniless to congregate.

Wish I had VIDEO RECORDED my conversation with Jeddi, along with the entire circle of friendly transients camped out there. It was AWESOME!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: The dogs are still with me, in restful bliss upon the cot. They had a hearty appetite this morning; so glad they did. Last night, as well. Deek should show up shortly, to collect them…said he’d be back in a few hours, and it’s now four. I wonder what will go down, once Jeddi has a good “talk” with the clown.


Subject: Joy in the Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 1:28 PM

It was a cool, misty morning as I escorted the brindlekin outside for their first poop of the day. Across the street where Market & Noe & 16th all intersect, I saw at the far corner a large, rectangular box painted gray. It was almost the same size and shape of a coffin, and the lid was partly open. A guitar was secured atop with cord, and as I approached, discovered it was missing two strings. Not that it was unusual to see discarded items of value scattered about the city, but I DID find it strange that such an organized and sizeable bundle were not accompanied by an owner anywhere nearby. Especially since it partly rested on some sort of elongated dolly.

“Never mind,” I thought, banished the urge to look inside the box to explore its contents, and turned the corner as the pups sniffed everything along the way. Abruptly, they exploded in a whirlwind of barks.

“Oh, I know those doggies,” a raspy voice chirped from the covered parklet that served by day as a dog training class for Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods, and by night as an impromptu shelter for God’s children.

She was a black woman of indefinite age with a round, smiling face, shrouded in a hooded, black coat that touched almost to the ground, but stopped right above her dirty white sneakers. It was more a robe than a coat, though fastened with several ebony buttons the size of silver dollars. She was poised outside the parklet upon which ledge she was in the middle of rolling what I presumed was tobacco. Two robust trees thick with dark, green leaves spread across the entire width of the stall, and cast her in a second shadow.

She looked down kindly at the pups who continued to bark, and said: “Those are Deek’s dogs, right?”

“Yes they are,” I replied. “I’m his friend who helps take care of them. My name is Zeke by the way, what’s yours?”

“Joy,” she answered. “Does Deek have your number?”

I guess she was checking me out, making sure what I just said is true. Rather than elaborate about his lack of a smartphone, I simply answered:

“Yes he does.” Then I slid my hand into my jacket’s right pocket and offered to give her some nummies that she could feed the dogs, and maybe calm them down.

“Oh, not right now. Maybe later, my hands are full,” she politely stated, then greeted the mutts. “Hello there, Lucky, hi Flaco!”

She bowed partly down while holding the half-open rolling paper in both hands, as Flaco and Lucky wagged their tails in response, though did NOT cease their cacophony. Joy then stood back up and asked:

“Care for a spliff?” she gestured with one hand.

“No thanks,” I replied. “We should move along now, time for their poopies! Nice meeting you Joy, I’ll see you again, soon.”

“Yes, you too, thank you!” she concluded before turning her attention once more, to rolling the tobacco/marijuana blend into a smokable product. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could enjoy a spliff, as you have to inhale more deeply than you normally would, tobacco. Really does a harsh number on the lungs! Furthermore, my pot days are long over.

Some while later we turned back hovel and came across Joy once more, in that very same spot. Predictably, the dogs resumed barking.

“Hello again, Joy!” I called to her while she faced the other direction, gazing up Market Street while puffing on her spliff, forearms athwart the wooden divider. So I walked a few feet further and greeted her again. She then turned towards us:

“Oh, hello there!” she beamed another gracious smile.

“Would you like to give them some treats, now?” I asked.

“Yes,” she extended a hand. “That would be nice!”

I told her that Lucky doesn’t appear interested in treats today, or at least one kind. “I have two different snacks for them, so when they get tired of one, I’ll try another. Today, Lucky doesn’t seem to like these chicken-apple disks, but you can give it a try.”

Sure enough, Lucky turned it down; Flaco however snatched up all four pieces, but did not allow Joy to pet her. Thankfully, they grew quiet, though stood from a safe distance, as they do with ANYone they don’t know really well. Joy was not bothered by that, just happy to see them again, and enjoy a little puppy synergy.

“Well, Joy, I hope I see you again soon, and I wish you an excellent day!” I said before departing.

“You too, and thanks!” she answered sweetly, then turned away to continue smoking her hippie tobacco.

A half hour later, after checking my email and Youtube subscriptions, and feeding the angels (Lucky wasn’t hungry, though Flaco ate well), I stepped out again, this time for my Rosenberg java. I expected to see Joy once more, but she had vanished…as had that guitar and “coffin.”

I looked about to see if perhaps she were elsewhere nearby, and that’s when I spotted her: cater-corner and across Market Street, wheeling that hefty bundle to find some shelter in a storefront alcove. For a gentle rainfall had commenced.

So yesterday was Halloween, and the day before, Brindlefest. And I had indeed received a most splendid holiday gift in the form of one man who calls himself “Jeddi.” As well as by the homeless gathering at large…all of whom heard my woes and gave me their kind (and unexpected) aegis! And I ponder:

With so many friendly encounters with vagrants in the past few days, and their synchronous affirmation that I am on the right track regarding Deek and pups, it seems to me this most recent episode in this drama called “Zeke’s Life” (a.k.a. “Brindlekin Tales”) once more affirms my Bodhisattva Premise.

Followed by Joy this morning!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Joy in the Morning ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 1:34 PM

You probably figured this out already, but to avoid any confusion, I’m informing you that I changed the pseudonym “Jester” to “Jeddi.” I wanted to come up with a dignified name, and “Jester” falls short, I came to realize. Then the Star Wars name “Jedi” popped into my head. Though I thought that was a bit much, so inserted that extra D.


Re: Joy in the Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 8:38 PM

> All great news today! Something is definitely happening!!!!

I am in the Brindlekin Zone.


Re: Joy in the Morning A REVELATION
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 11:36 PM

I immensely relished portraying Joy as a kind, female version of the Grim Reaper. Her black skin, black robe, black buttons the size of silver dollars (hinting at Judas’s 20 pieces), the “coffin,” her judging me with a single, short question, “Does Deek have your number?” The trees veiled her in a second shadow, because she was the FIRST shadow. She came from the dark, she IS the dark.

It was not my initial intent to depict her as such…it just flowed naturally through my pen, and only with hindsight did I realize the stunning implication. Even after describing the box as almost coffin shape and size, I did not make the connection until hours later.

IOW: I blew my own mind. Which is the best way to write. And, as it turned out, she departed with an empty coffin in her keep. I was not hers to take, though the possibility was there…before she posted her only question, and I gave my answer. Which, lucky for me, was the right one.

Death is Joy.

Though I wonder, still, about the significance of the guitar, and its two broken strings. I’m sure there is import to its presence, tied as it was TO the coffin. What make YOU of this, Wattson? I must sleep on it, myself.

As for that most excellent word, “aegis,” I was elated to find that synonym for “support,” upon looking it up. How much better that word conveys the true spirit of that congregation of outcasts in my sentence: “As well as by the homeless gathering at large…all of whom heard my woes and gave me their kind (and unexpected) aegis!”

Though the second definition of “aegis” is “protection; support,” its first is “the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its center the head of the Gorgon!”

What gods be these men who appear to me as vagrants…bodhisattva warriors?

There yet remains the guitar with its two broken strings: how does THAT fit in?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Joy in the Morning A REVELATION
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2021 12:39 PM

> Well…a hundred possible interpretations come to mind…but the simplest one seems to me to be the pithiest one: with invention, resourcefulness and flexibility, we can coax a fine tune out of a seemingly damaged/incomplete instrument. Maybe an even better tune than we’d get with all six strings.

I hesitate to assume that’s the message, only because it does not snap into place like the right piece of a jigsaw puzzle…as the other symbols do. But yes, death need not mean complete annihilation, but a replacement or tuning up of a part: the death of a certain aspect of oneself, that a new one may arise. Needs more cowbell, IMO.

So I’ll put this on the back burner, as I have a hunch it’s a delayed revelation that will NOT show itself until the right time. The image of a broken-string guitar on a coffin is a haunting one.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: It may be important to note that the box is definitely deep enough to fit an adult body.


Texting with Wattson – 10/27/21 to 11/2/21

Cabinet pic

Coffee & halvah pic

Doggy pic 1

Doggy pic 2

Doggy pic 3

Doggy pic 4


Subject: A couple of cute scenarios…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2021 6:00 PM

…that occurred recently, which really should be written down for posterity. So here they are:

1.

Several days back I stepped out to purchase more milk and another block of halvah, and left the doggies inside. As I usually do, since they are well behaved all the time, and never mess up my room or chew on anything they shouldn’t, and are totally quiet even without my company.

Upon my return, they were both on the bed (as expected), with Lucky sound asleep and Flaco stretched out across the comforters, wagging her tail and looking up at me with a happy sparkle in her eyes, and a small baggie of something between her little paws.

I looked closer to discover it was one of those Ziplocs I place a handful of yummies in, for when we step out. My custom is to give them half the treats (broken down into smaller pieces) while taking our walk, then divvy out the rest upon our return hovel.

This one contained half the amount it should normally have when first filled. Apparently, it was a forgotten bag I returned home with, but neglected to feed them the rest. Flaco must’ve found it stuffed in the pocket of a jacket I left on the cot, rolled up like a pillow as a prop for my head. I could see it now unfurled, with a pocket pulled halfway inside-out.

She could have EASILY tore open the baggie and dived right in, whence they’d disappear down her tummy in a flash. But no, she waited patiently for my return, the bag neatly placed just below her schnoz, her dainty paws on each side…guarding it like a precious jewel.

“Well, what do we have here?” I said to Flaco, as I picked up the bag and opened it. Her jet-flash eyes glinted with happy anticipation, that sweet little face with those Yoda ears impossible to resist. Of course I gave her the treats right then and there, then held her in my arms and rubbed her sated belly for a good five minutes. Lucky slept through the whole thing, but I would’ve treated him too, had he not.

2.

Just two early nights ago, another resident entered the building right behind me and the brindlekin…so of course they barked and danced around his feet, making it difficult for him to step forward. Especially with the large plate and a few to-go cartons atop that, all balanced in his hands. He started to laugh:

“Oh god, I’m under attack!”

I held the dogs back a bit, told him sorry go ahead of us. But right at that moment, Flaco slipped from her collar and rushed to the foot of the stairs, barking and blocking his access. So then I concluded I need to take them upstairs first.

I snatched Flaco’s leash from the lobby’s tile floor while nudging both pups to move their fluffy asses, with the resident right behind me, and the doggies ahead by one or two steps. They persisted in facing back down at the gift-bearing intruder, with me wedged between their barks and his guffaws! In short:

It was a drawn-out struggle getting the pups up the first flight of stairs and onto the second level, where I lived. Seeing as this tenant was enjoying the encounter with my “hounds of terror” so much, I released Lucky as well, while fussing to insert the key in my door to finally get it open.

Meanwhile, the jocular fellow stood in the hallway with plate raised high as he inched his way to the next set of stairs, and both pups danced and barked around him, nipping sometimes at his pant cuffs, with a toothy tug here, a toothy tug there. He was in such a state of hilarity at this point, I’m surprised he didn’t just crumple to the floor in spasms, scattering the snacks and cartons all over.

At last, I got the door open and rounded up the mutts posthaste, and their entranced victim proceeded upwards, unscathed but for a major giggle fit.

Imagine if the building manager were there, Wattson! So glad he wasn’t. He could sour an entire sweet creamery with just a 3-second stare!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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