The FINAL Final Chapter (part 6)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18f]

Subject: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 9:09 AM

…having the pups stay with me overnight, though it wasn’t until 1 AM he brought them over. He had slept by the bus stop all day long yesterday, and didn’t arise until around 6 PM! He wanted the dogs back, and dog food. I hated to bring them out in the cold, but I did, and he summoned them under the thin, dirty bedspread and bedsheet he had with him. Told me all his stuff was stolen, and the comforter I gave him was “stink ass filthy.”

Of course I told him that’s not true, I washed and dried it, and it was an excellent comforter that would’ve kept both him and the dogs warm. But I did not pursue it any further, as I’m accustomed to his crabby remarks and insults, and always “losing” stuff, and Flaco & Lucky are in the middle of it. He laid down on the sidewalk awhile longer, with the doggies curled up beside him for warmth, and beneath the shabby spread.

He finally got up and a couple of vagrants kept him company in a friendly circle. I was home during all this time, poking my head out the window now and then, to see whether or not Deek was still there. Before returning hovel, I reminded him that it’s deadly cold outside for little mutts, and if he can’t promise to keep them warm, just bring them over. He scoffed at me, said they’ll be fine, and I returned hovel in a less than cheerful mood…knowing I have a warm, cozy place to return to, but the doggies don’t.

I hit the hay a bit earlier than usual, around midnight…but was awakened an hour later by Deek’s call of “Yo!” beneath my window. So I rushed downstairs, where he told me he’s got his bike back, and wants to ride around…and gave me his charges to stay with me the rest of the night. “I’ll be back in the morning,” he said as he took off on his Cervelo P3.

The dogs of course were SO happy to be here again, and got right to the business of sleeping, after first showering me with affectionate licks and greets. So here we are, this icy cold morning, almost ready to step out for the first poop stroll of the day. But before we did, I decided to play the first twenty minutes of Marshall’s most recent “Memo of the Weird” podcast…and was delighted to hear your short piece on Stan Barr. I cracked up over your line:

“Stan Barr, a few hours before he died, he and I spoke on the phone. I was going to go over to this house that morning and get a little baggie of dope he had arranged for me to buy.”

It got even funnier when you rushed over there to pick up the, er, “dope” plus a tad more, just minutes ahead of the sheriff.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 10:22 AM

> So glad about the pups. The Stan story is 100% true, no writerly embellishments!

You procured the “dope,” that’s all that counts. Deek would be proud of you. :D

Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:25 PM

> I was proud of me!

I can see you now, driving like a bat out of hell to obtain the goods before law enforcement arrived. There’s a touch of Damon Runyon in that tale. BTW, when I took the pups out for their late afternoon stroll yesterday, and winter’s stygian curtain had already dropped, I was still wondering when Deek would finally stir…fantasizing my approaching his motionless form sprawled out there on the sidewalk to check his pulse, only to discover he bought the farm.

Fortunately, I did NOT have to go through such a creepy scenario, as upon my return he was standing up draped in a bedsheet and hollering at my window: “HELLO-O? HELLO-O?”

Can a joy also be an embarrassment?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Stan Barr

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:53 PM

> He was an odd-looking fellow, but sweet and kind, smart and funny. Real charisma. Homely though he was, women were mad for him. He had a rep for being a wonderful lover, and they could sense it.

Nice to put a face on the fellow. Charisma is everything…he was an authentic local character of the best sort. ANOTHER local character recently passed away, charismatic as well, though a real right-wing nut job whose letters to the Anderson Valley Advertiser provided MUCH amusement: Jerry Philbrick.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Jerry Philbrick

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 3:51 PM

> Philbrick was the personification of a redneck Trumpster, long before Trump ascended.

His only saving grace was his colorful use of words and turn of phrase…albeit for all the wrong reasons, but highly entertaining nonetheless. He often came off as the PERFECT satirist of right-wing idiocy. SNL would’ve loved him! In fact, when I discovered him I was convinced he was mocking Republicans…to brilliant effect. Took me awhile to believe he’s actually one of THEM.

Pups are still with me, BTW. Healthy and in great spirits with an excellent appetite…they lick their dishes clean. Just wish I could lay down the rugs, and get them another box to chillax in…AND add the remaining three sleeping bags (two kid-size and one adult). But they’re happy, anyway. I can no longer procure a box from the basement, as the smoke shop has changed its disposal methods. And I haven’t had time yet to stroll about the ‘hood and find one.

I hear tell a series of storms are soon due, starting Tuesday, and will last for three or four days. So I’m gonna try to schedule bedbug treatment AFTER the storms all pass. Bad enough that I’D be stuck outside in the rain, I can handle that…but I can’t bear the idea of the pups without shelter, too.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 11:15 PM

It’s now post-11 PM and Deek has not shown up. I am hoping because he realizes this weather is just too damned cold for little mutts to be outside. Which means he’s overcome his jealousy of them staying with me so often…and that their well-being always comes first.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 20, 2021 12:56 AM

> So glad! Get cozy and have a snuggly night! Arf!

Lucky just fluffed up a comforter and made a little cave out of it…see pic. And Flaco’s sprawled across the further end of the cot. So we’re good to go…doggy dreamland here we come!

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: This is Hekate
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2021 8:25 PM

A homeless dude’s been parking himself around the corner these past several nights…accompanied by another vagrant, and a smooth-furred dog that appears to be a pitbull/lab mix. Her name is Hekate…dark as night and sweet as honey.

“Aha…the Greek goddess of the underworld!” I exclaimed once he told me her name, as I scratched her belly while she coyly squirmed upon the sidewalk. “And what’s YOUR name?”

“Stormy,” he replied with a smile that revealed a full set of ivories, albeit crooked and stained dark yellow: his upper left incisor hung noticeably lower than its neighbors. Considering the decrepit condition of my OWN pearly grays, I felt quite at home visiting with him. He had a curly, disheveled mop of blond hair, and appeared to be in his mid-20s. His partner was still asleep, thickly wrapped and hidden in layers of bedding. I couldn’t even see his face.

Stormy coughed a jag, then joked about coronavirus, how he doesn’t have it, it’s just a death rattle from sixty years in the future. “Hmm, the guy’s smart AND witty,” I silently noted, then spoke aloud:

“Whenever a crisis occurs, the jokes soon follow!”

He knew this dog while it was still in its mother’s womb: “I’d rub her belly every day and talk to the little puppy inside her. She’s eight months old now, where does the time fly?”

As he spoke, Hekate sniffed my hand, catching my own scent mingled with that of the brindlekin…upon which she begged for my affection, so stood up on hind legs to receive my pats and strokes. Then, before long, I was crouched on one knee, hugging the darling canine.

Stormy further elaborated that Hekate was born right on the corner of Haight & Ashbury, and he chose her name by picking a card from his oracle deck. He then pulled out the deck from a fairly large, rusty tin, to show me the card. It was lovely, as you’d expect such a card to be. But more interesting was the tiny vial about the size of half your pinky, also stashed within that tin.

“That’s my grandma’s ashes,” he explained with verve while waving it under my nose. “It’s NOT cocaine, like some would think. Can you imagine snorting my granny’s ashes? Never!”

By then, Hekate was all over me with playful, soft bites and friendly moans. She kept pushing her nose around my jacket’s right-side pocket, attempting to force it inside but for my hand.

“That’s where I keep the doggy treats for our walks,” I exclaimed. “But it’s empty now, she just smells the scent.”

“Oh you have a dog, too?” asked Stormy.

“TWO pups, actually,” I replied. “You saw them last night, barking as we passed by.”

We talked a minute or two more while I semi-wrestled with Hekate before departing for Rosenberg’s and my morning coffee. But when I was barely a few yards away I placed my hand in that pocket to discover one doggy snack remaining! So I turned around to address Stormy and his partner (who by then had awakened and was sitting up):

“Hekate knew all along; I DO have a treat in my pocket. Can I give it to her?”

“Of course,” he said, and so I did. Hekate was pleased to receive it, and then returned to curl up beside her master, as if she knew there was only that single piece, a chicken-applesauce disc.

When I stepped back out with java in hand, I decided to cross the street and skirt around Stormy and friends, so as not to disturb them or spill the coffee. But once I returned hovel, I decided to return with two wedges of duck breast treats for Hekate. I also brought my smartphone to take a snapshot.

That was when I told them the brindlekin were not mine, but that of a street friend I’ve known for more than twelve years. The doggies stay with me when the weather is bad, or if he needs a break.

“I also keep a blog where I upload pics of the homeless and tell their stories, give them a voice to the world,” I said, then whipped out my Moto E. “Do you mind if I take your picture?”

Well, Wattson, he was not comfortable with that (“I don’t look my best right now; I prefer you don’t”), so I immediately assured him that’s perfectly fine.

“But can I take a shot of just your dog?”

He was fine with that, eager even (“she’s very photogenic”). And, as it turns out, indeed she is! You’ve seen her lovely image already, on your own phone.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson: 12/18/21 – 12/20/21


Subject: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 10:48 PM

Deek dropped by earlier this evening, but just to give me a new speaker to charge, and an SD card to put new music on and insert into the speaker. He had no qualms about the doggies staying with me longer. This is a brief missive, as I have yet to write about our excellent meetup two nights back. I’ll do that tomorrow. As well as tell you what ensued with him today.

Re: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 11:19 PM

> All ears. It’s pouring here.

It rained last night and into the morning, not heavily but steady. But no more rain since, and not quite as cold, a few degrees warmer. Forecast said rain through tonight and part of tomorrow, but it just may not do that here in SF.

Bedbug treatment scheduled for Wednesday the 29th, which is perfect…out of the rain zone.


Subject: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 12:58 PM

Last Sunday, the 19th, was when Deek slept all day until around 6 PM, by the bus stop…while I kept the pups with me. Though a cold and bitter night, he insisted on taking them back. Along with the mutts, I brought down another supply of dog vittles, plus that antler headdress sticking out of the sack. To which he replied with a sour visage when I pulled it out, expected him to place it on Flaco or Lucky:

“That’s not for dogs, I don’t want it!”

“Actually, it fits both of them quite well, Deek,” I replied. “I thought you’d like it, but never mind.” So I just took it back upstairs with me, knowing full well he’s always looking for an excuse to gripe, even though he loves to dress them up in festive head gear, appropriate to the season.

A couple hours later he returned with some kind of large, thick bag lined in some shiny material, to use for a doggy tent. Big enough for them both. Lucky was already secured within, curled up and warm, while Flaco sat contentedly on his lap.

We talked awhile longer before I departed, taking this time to tell him how well he’s doing, and that I’m not trying to trick him into letting me have the dogs stay with me more often.

“It’s this nasty weather, Deek,” I explained. “Winter is the worst time for little dogs, and they need to be indoors a lot more.”

To my heartwarming surprise, he calmly assured me that he realizes I’m not tricking him…and he’ll bring them over if they start to shiver, or the moment it begins to rain again. I was impressed by his sincere, non-drama disposition. Not like the old, bipolar Deek of yore!

Once I got up to leave him with the brindlekin, Deek held up Flaco’s dainty paw to wave goodbye: “Say bye-bye, Flaco!” I thought that was a nice expression of affection.

Well, Wattson, by afternoon of the next day, the rain came down. And much to my delight, he brought the pups over so I could shelter them. He dropped by for a few minutes, each of the past two days…not to collect the dogs, but to pick up his devices, or have me recharge them. I thanked him profusely for being so responsible re. the pooches, even though it may be difficult for him not to have their company.

“Oh, that doesn’t bother me so much,” he thoughtfully replied, “It’s Christmas and I miss my old family and friends. You’re the only friend I have, Zeke.”

“I understand,” I kindly replied. “I don’t have any family to be with either, but I sure as hell don’t miss them! Why do you think I don’t celebrate the holidays? It’s never been a good time of year for me, and so many are in a bad mood, so what’s the point?”

He then asked me how the dogs are doing…which he’s never done before! I told him very well, great appetite and all that. He suggested I give them a good washing, he’ll pick up some flea and tick shampoo for that. I’m sure that would be a relief for him, instead of dealing with the difficulty of bathing them outdoors.

Overall, I have to admit that Deek has been more thoughtful and responsible and considerate than ever, good doctor. And the pups remained with me for yet a third night of rain. Though it should clear up by tomorrow morning, and no doubt Deek will want them back. It will also be a few degrees warmer, just above that bone-biting chill that has me so worried for the doggies’ sake.

Neither was the least bit hungry this morning, but I’ll keep the dishes out for another few hours, just in case. They are otherwise in excellent spirits. Both had a good poop this morning, as did yours truly.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:07 PM

> Three dog-nights!! Wonderful!!

It’ll be a four dog-night, assuming they stay over till tomorrow. It’s been raining some today, and we’re supposed to have even MORE showers late into the night. Things will clear up after that.

> I’ve kept Surely’s PJ’s on him during the day, and put an extra jacket on him at night even though his little bedroom is snug. He is, after all 10 years old now, and I want to pamper him. He’s been a wonderful guard dog, very protective of the cats, which I really appreciate. And he never, ever barks unless it’s for good reason.

Sweetest doggy ever! And what a kind, wonderful life you provide for him, Wattson.

> So glad Deek is showing some sense. All thanks to you.

Thanks! He’s also taught me much in his own way, and I’ve done a lot of growing myself, as well. I forgot to mention the check he showed me last night…see the three attached pics. It’s a $277 refund from Louisiana’s State Treasury. But look at the date: June 10, 2021. Why did he only show me this now? I’ll have to ask him next time he drops by.

Of course he expected me to cash it for him, after signing it to me. I told him the bank will probably refuse, as ANYONE could sign the back. At best, they’ll probably require him to cash it himself, in person, with proper ID. Well, Wattson, telling him that unnerved him, as I guess he’s afraid of being caught in the legal net over child support, by acquiring an official ID that is traceable.

It was delivered to 100 Diamond Street, which is the address of the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, here in the Castro. They said he needs to show ID, too.

“But you said you’ll help me out with stuff like this!” he replied with a tone of resentment.

“No I did not,” I shot back. “I already explained why cashing checks and helping you with gov’t money in other ways is beyond my legal ability.”

“Okay, then, just get me a baggie and I’ll keep it with me,” he answered in frustration.

“You’ll LOSE it, Deek,” I exclaimed. “At least let me hold onto it, and maybe some time later you’ll get your ID, and can cash it then. There’s no way around this, you know. But I’ll take it to the bank tomorrow, anyway, and ask if your just making it payable to me will suffice. But I strongly doubt it.”

Of course I WON’T do that, but what he doesn’t know, won’t hurt him. I’ll just tell him he needs to show up himself, with an official ID card.

He was nowhere near as perturbed as he was the two previous times on similar money issues. At least I can say THAT’S an improvement. So I folded the check into an envelope, then placed it in a Ziploc for any future time he MIGHT get ID…or should he accuse me of cashing it myself. In which case I’ll bring it back downstairs to show him the check’s still here.

There are places that assist homeless people with getting either a San Francisco or state picture ID. Which he really needs to do. It’s just that he’s afraid to plug into the system, even in a small way. And I don’t blame him. I’d hate to get him all motivated to procure some official ID, only to be apprehended by some Louisiana child support regulation. Or something else that might be pending on his records.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:30 PM

> Those official checks usually have a six-month “shelf life.” Hope it’s not too late for this one.

Yeah, that would be aNOTHER rotten deal, if he DOES go for his ID, only to discover (once he has it) that the check is no longer viable. Here’s the page showing the requirements for getting a San Francisco ID:

For the homeless it says:

“Written verification issued by a homeless shelter that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days of residency within the last 30 days.”

Well, he doesn’t GO to shelters, so I don’t know if other homeless services count, such as the church that serves food to vagrants here in the Castro…and lets you use their location for a mailing address. But the REAL problem is Deek’s fear of legal retaliation by his home state.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Extended Rain Forecast Through Tuesday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 24, 2021 8:22 PM

…drat! Wednesday will be the first rain-free day, same day as my next bedbug treatment. As if things weren’t difficult enough already! Deek showed up (4:30 PM) right after I typed in the subject line above, asked for the pups back, and gave me a small speaker to charge. He was bummed about so much wet weather, that he’s lonely without the dogs for company. I told him I understand, but the dogs come first no matter what, so bring ’em over if he can’t keep them warm and dry.

Then he pulled a sob story over some of his friends accusing him of selling the dogs for drugs, because they’re not with him, blah blah blah. I told him ONCE MORE they’re just testing him, and surely there are others on the streets who praise my helping him care for the dogs…such as Filipino Kai. Though personally, I’m sure it’s another one of his cock and bull stories.

I handed him an envelope, told him there’s an extra $20 in it, as a Christmas bonus…so he got a whopping $80 this time around. Then he gave me some very NICE gifts: a pair of cozy slippers (“They’re new, I bought them, I hope size 10 fits, they’re just a little damp from carrying them around.”), a dainty box of “Delight Patisserie” cookies with the words “TRUST IS BUILT IN TINY MOMENTS” stamped on them, and a teensy-weensy, walking Christmas tree, which I just adore (“Here’s your Christmas tree,” he said in good humor, when he opened his palm for me to take it). I profusely thanked him for these gifts. See three pics and one video here:

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

Deek also apologized for his mood swings, for giving me a hard time now and then…which pleased me to hear. I told him he can be a most DIFFICULT friend, but learning how to deal with his bouts without anger has been an important lesson for my OWN growth. It’s made me a better person.

He then departed with mutts in tow, to purchase a meal at, I guess, the Chevron gas station at Market & Castro…or perhaps a sandwich from Walgreens a block further down. And I was back hovel, taking snapshots of his gifts, and trying on the slippers before setting them aside to dry off. Wouldn’t you know it, good physician, but rain started to pour down from the muddy sky twenty minutes later! So I figured (hoped, actually, with all my heart) he’d be back shortly, and sure enough he was.

He called his usual “Yo!” up to my window…I peered out, and he gestured to me: “Come down, just bring the speaker.”

I was so glad he decided to have the brindlekin stay with me for at least another night, and I was about to thank him for the gifts again, when he cut me off:

“I hate to bring this up,” he began while looking up to the sky while holding the pups’ leashes, “but I hope you aren’t doing anything funny with the dogs when they stay with you.”

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I bristled. “You know better, please stop with the drama.”

But he didn’t, and ranted on with terrible insults and crude implications hurled at me. As he did so, I gently took the leashes into my own hand, and finally broke in:

“You say you have those awful thoughts, Deek,” I reprimanded. “But they’re not real. The devil hates friendship, so puts bad thoughts in your head to turn you against me. Stop giving them any attention, you’re an adult.”

“Sometimes I think you’re treating them really well,” he labored on, “but other times I have nasty ideas you’re not.”

“Oh, stop being a drama queen, Deek,” I cut in, “I take excellent care of the dogs, and you know it. I was just about to thank you for the gifts, tell you how much I like them, and here you suddenly fling insults at me. So STOP IT and let me talk.”

He did, finally, so I told him it’s the best Christmas tree ever, how it walks about in circles on my desk…that the slippers are a perfect fit, not loose or tight even though my shoe size is 9…and I’ll enjoy the cookies tonight with a cup of tea, and say a prayer for him while I’m at it. And be grateful for our friendship.

You’d think that would’ve calmed him down, Wattson, but no. Instead, he lashed into me further:

“I have friends all over the STREETS watching you,” he scowled with surprising ferocity. “If you do anything bad to my pups, they’ll have your neck. They’re all I have, they’re my children!”

Well that did it, so I scowled right back at him with even GREATER hostility, and told him I have my OWN friends watching over him, including the POLICE…and if he does any harm to these pups, guess whose NECK it’s gonna be!”

Deek then turned away and proceeded towards the corner, muttering and griping like a jilted banshee. I opened the gate to get back to the doggies, but before shutting it, called to him quite forcibly: “Jesus K-rist…and a merry Christmas to you, too!”

I think he hollered merry Christmas back, but he was too distant to be heard clearly over the traffic whooshing by on the wet asphalt. It wasn’t until I returned hovel that I realized he walked off with a fresh supply of doggy chow I had given him per his request, barely a half hour ago. “What’s he gonna do with it, when the pups are with me?” I thought. So I quickly put my slider sandals back on my stockinged feet and rushed downstairs, where I saw him cross the street, earbuds stuffed in his head so he couldn’t hear me yell “Deek! Deek!” I began to trot in the cold drizzle, but a sandal slipped off, and my foot landed in a small puddle.

As I placed it back into the sandal, I saw that Deek was ambling along at a snail’s pace, snapping his fingers to the music as he dragged the small cart along. So I slowed down myself, and caught up with him in less than a minute.

“Deek!” I waved at him to catch his attention. “Give me the dog food, I’ll hold onto it.”

He removed the buds from his ears and looked at me with some chagrin. I repeated myself, adding: “You’ll just lose it or have it stolen. You can pick it up when you take the dogs back.”

So he bent down over the cart to return the two large baggies of kibble and the five cans, half of which had already spilled out of the larger bag I used to contain them all. So he placed everything back in the bag, except two cans, claiming he can use it to feed someone else’s dog.

I demanded he give me the ENTIRE supply, as I can’t afford to be feeding everyone else’s dogs, too. He immediately complied, with a demeanor of mixed guilt and gratitude…thanking me once more for watching the dogs, and have a merry Christmas.

“Okay, fine,” I said, and off I went back hovel. Now I’m wondering how much of the doggy vittles I give him go to other canines? Is he perhaps running a scam, whereby he sells or trades it…while collecting MORE than enough dog food from charity outlets? Is this why his requests for more kibble and cans have almost doubled as of six months ago?

There have been numerous times I give him a fresh supply, when he returns a day or two later, asking for more because someone supposedly walked off with his cart while he was sleeping. Guess I’ll never know the REAL story, eh?

I find it interesting that, despite his blowing up at me–and my blowing up in response, with greater verve–he has NOT demanded the pups back. So he actually TRUSTS me with the pooches, completely.

And his apology for his mood swings followed soon after by yet aNOTHER vile outburst! Time for my “Bodhisattva Premise” take on the matter:

Sometimes when a shaman gives you a very nice gift or gifts (as Deek just did today), they turn around and treat you like trash. Or when you’ve been outstandingly generous to one such, they sometimes ALSO spout vulgarities in return. It seems to be a tradition among their kind. This behavior is akin to that of the “opposite” shaman who says the exact ANTITHESIS of what he or she means. For example:

When you’ve overcome an extremely difficult challenge, possibly risking life and limb in doing so, an opposite shaman will approach you, and say: “You’ve failed miserably, and brought shame to the Great Spirit.” An opposite shaman will not let you KNOW he is one; you have to figure that out yourself.

His unexpected tantrum was also another test, or fine tuning, of my emotional balance. I think next time I’ll just start laughing and tell him how ridiculous he is. Maybe that’s what he’s waiting for me to do, rather than show ANY anger in the least, or defend myself over such an outrageously false accusation. We’ll see, soon enough.

But the IMPORTANT thing in all of this, is:

Deek had the good sense and compassion to return the pooches to my care, to protect them from another cold and rainy night…possibly for two more days, as the weather is not supposed to clear up until Wednesday.

And he gave me three, very thoughtful gifts. It’s up to me to decide which face is the real one.

Now, regarding the building manager:

I’m wondering if the exterminator, Paolo, didn’t HAVE a car accident, but that Kevin made it up, and changed the treatment date for some time later, just to fuck with me. Knowing what a grievous process prepping my room can be! Since the date’s been postponed to the 29th, I texted Paolo yesterday morning to verify the new day and time. Yet he has NOT texted back. Which is unlike him, as he’s always promptly replied. That is, until recently, when he failed to affirm the ORIGINAL date, before he supposedly had an accident some days later.

Are they in cahoots? Or has Kevin admonished Paolo to not go over his head any more, so stop communicating with me directly. Never mind he really hasn’t overstepped his bounds, but that for some reason, Kevin thinks he did.

Though I don’t see how Kevin can get away with a ruse like this, as it’s vital to eradicate each infestation ASAP, and screwing me over will only wreak further havoc on other residents, because the bugs have more time to spread. And cause Ablahblah Realty greater expense. If it IS a scam, it’s poorly planned, though one thing MIGHT explain the manager’s harassing me that way, if indeed that’s what’s going on:


No matter. Like everything else I’ve learned in life, is to never obsess over any unpleasant scenario, but remain calm and cheerful as possible.

I will now fix me a cup of black cherry tea, break out the cookies Deek gave me, and wish him well as I enjoy the treat and the sweet company of Flaco, Lucky and the dancing Christmas tree. If I could wear the slippers tonight I’d do that, too. But they’ll take another day or so to dry.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 1:26 PM

Guess he couldn’t handle my keeping the pups for such a long span of time, so he dropped over just minutes ago, to take them with him. I saw this possibility, because of the extended rain and cold forecast, so decided to give him two of the kids’ sleeping blankets to help keep them warm. I already ordered two more, plus another adult sleeping bag…as I want to have a backup of extra comforters to make post-bedbug prep a simpler process. I’ll soon have a fresh set ready to go, clean, bagged and sealed…instead of being under pressure to heat treat pronto, the ones already laid out.

He was in a crabby mood, but I made sure he heard me say it’s VERY cold outside, and it’s therefore IMPORTANT to keep the dogs warm…that this kind of biting cold can KILL little doggies in one day. And he can always bring them back at any time.

“Don’t tell me how to raise my dogs,” he grouched back, “I’ve been raising dogs for years!”

Whatever. So I’m now back hovel, knowing he’ll take good care of Flaco & Lucky in spite of his cantankerous behavior. He heard me loud and clear. At any rate:

I still have to write down what has passed between us in the last several days…very interesting and mostly hopeful. I just hate it when he flings so much crap at me, and/or moves so quickly in positive ways in a short period of time…I can barely keep up with documenting it all.

More coming up about Filipino Kai, as well. What an ally!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 2:25 PM

On top of everything else, temperature will dip down to 38 degrees tonight…and rain will continue on and off into the New Year. Between the twice-postponed bedbug treatment (which I scheduled in hopes of AVOIDing the rain and cold for the sake of the pups), this prolonged deep cold and sporadic rainfall, and Deek’s frighteningly bipolar mood swings…it’s the PERFECT STORM threatening Flaco & Lucky.

When I emphasized that it is dangerously cold outside, especially nights, Deek snarled: “This is nothing, I’m perfectly warm, I’m sweating in fact,” I reminded him that’s because he’s dressed in warm clothes and a thick jacket, and the meth makes him feel a lot less cold than it really is. He added that the mutts aren’t shivering, they’ll be fine, to which I replied:

“Yeah, they’ve only been out here a few minutes.”

At that point he threatened to never bring the dogs over again if I “keep this up.” So I told him, “I’m only being honest, Deek.”

Not knowing what else to say, I thanked him again for the yummy cookies, the snug slippers, and that silly dancing Exmass tree, then departed back hovel with considerable heartbreak and anger.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 4:23 PM

> Mr. Hyde emerges.


> So, so sorry.

The coldest part of the season has just begun. If the dogs survive this round, he’ll be smug about it. And if they don’t survive, it’ll be all my fault in his deranged world. So I’ll have a madman on my hands who’ll then try everything possible to make me homeless, until he gets arrested or dies on the streets. Good times!

Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 11:18 PM

> They’ll survive.

Yes, of course. I’m just venting. Steady as she goes! Another gauntlet for me to run through, is all. Keep the eye on the prize, with faith and optimism for my aegis. Absurd drama: my being driven out into the cold on Wednesday with nowhere to go, the little dogs also stuck outside, and jackass Deek with his juvenile behavior. All coming together in one foul pile of crap in two days.

Hokiest script ever; I’m not falling for it. Soap operas are stupid.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 1:34 PM

> And now for a word from our sponsor.

Krampus himself.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: He brought the pups back this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 3:12 PM

…around 11 AM. He was waiting by the ATMs, because I didn’t answer out the window. I was crossing Market street with a tall, plastic hamper on wheels, when I spotted him…or at least what appeared to be the same cart he had last night, there in the alcove. Though I wasn’t sure until I approached my building to discover indeed it was him, and the pups right beside. So I parked my laundry (last load to be prepped for tomorrow’s treatment) by the front gate, and stepped inside the Wells Fargo recess.

He was slumped in exhausted stupor against the wall in a corner of the alcove, while Lucky was curled up in a large baby stroller, atop one of the comforters stuffed inside. The other was draped over his master, with Flaco seated atop. She immediately leapt off his lap to greet me with bright eyes and waggy tail. Her brother, however, just looked up at me in a happy greet, preferring instead to remain in his comfy, warm nest. I certainly can’t blame him!

I was pleased to see that both were dry and warm as I pet them. Deek looked quite bedraggled, and I had to call his name loud and clear several times to awaken him.

“Where were you?” he queried with droopy eyelids and head half raised.

“At the laundromat,” I replied.

“Here, bring them back inside,” he said, and handed me the leashes. “It’s colder now than it was last night!”

“Well, that’s how the weather works,” I said. “It went down to 43 degrees by 7 AM!”

I thanked him profusely for bringing them back, said “god bless you a hundred times over,” told him to hang onto those blankets, and reminded him he’ll need to pick up the doggies tomorrow morning by 11 AM. He said okay, he’ll return this evening to check up on them, maybe take them back for the night. I told him either way works for me, then escorted the pups and my laundry inside, leaving the hamper in the lobby to recoup some minutes later.

I filled the water bowl and the two dog dishes; Flaco ate half her meal, but Lucky showed no interest, preferring to drift off into a happy sleep posthaste. His sister joined him in doggy dreamland soon enough. After I bagged and sealed my final load of laundry, broke out the ladder and placed it on the loft with the other bags, I decided it would be nice to bring a piping hot cup of honey-sweetened, blueberry tea and a cigarette down to Deek. Ignoring my resentment over yesterday’s bad behavior on his part, I admitted to myself it’s worth the extra little effort because it was TRULY good of him to bring his charges back indoors.

Upon exiting with the tea and smoke, there was someone I preferred to avoid, standing in the hallway by the stairs, breathing heavily as if he needed to catch his breath. It was my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher. He didn’t see me as he was turned away and facing the wall…so I stepped back in hiding until he finally descended down the carpeted steps and into the lobby. With labored wheezing all the way, and two long pauses during his descent.

In light of his morbid obesity and this ongoing pandemic, a delicious shiver of schadenfreude tingled down my spine. Even my arm hairs stood on end, though perhaps it was just the chill air wafting through these Lovecraftian corridors. I was hoping to hear the gate slam shut, but no, he was probably just checking his mail or procuring a delivery.

“Should I remain out of sight until he returns to his apartment, or should I just march on down and walk by?” pondered THIS reluctant pilgrim.

I opted for the latter, and as I stepped onto the lobby’s porcelain tiles, saw him raise a box under one arm, then lean against the double row of mailboxes protruding from the wall…huffing and puffing for air once again.

“Good morning!” I greeted in passing, with steaming cup and cancer stick in hand, then opened the gate and stepped outside. As you can imagine, Wattson, no friendly comeback was forthcoming from his heavily masked cake hole. Not even a nod. Maybe, though, he was in the midst of aspirational paroxysm, and thus was incapable of responding in kind…so I shouldn’t take it personally. Since he didn’t collapse to the floor, I saw no reason to linger.

“DEEK!” I called to him five times, loudly, while crouched over his slumped form. He drowsily accepted my little gifts of tea and tobacco, whereupon I said “Need a light?”

He smiled, set down the cup while inserting the Fortuna 100 between two fingers, and muttered: “No, thanks, I’m good.” Having spoken those soft words of appreciation, he promptly went back to sleep…and I, to my doggy sanctuary. Oh, I did express my immense gratitude once more (before he fully nodded off), for bringing the pups back to me, and remarked that I’m sure it was no easy task keeping them warm overnight…sending him off to slumberville with these last three words: “You’re my hero!”

If Deek allows the mutts to stay overnight the day before bedbug treatment, this will be the third time he’s done that. While it’s a worry that he might not show up to collect them, he’s arrived right on time, on the two previous occasions. Which gave an ample two hours to wrap things up before I, myself, was cast out on the streets for several hours. So I don’t expect any mishap this time around, either. The only inconvenience will be not being able to run the sleeping bags through a dryer, then bag them up, before the exterminator arrives. I’ll just have to do that the next day.

It’s now almost four hours since Deek came by, and he’s still snoozing away below my window. Alright by me. At least he and the stroller and blankets are protected from any rain that may fall, and he’s warmly bundled up for now.

We are having yet another lack-of-toilet-paper issue going on in my shared restroom. This seems to occur about once every other month. Someone is unraveling the rolls and placing the paper into the waste basket, as well as pilfering three or four other rolls set on the rack. Now, since Todd in 209 died about one year ago, I only share the toilet with ONE resident. While he frequently has guests, I find it hard to believe the problem is coming from there, as he’s been a friendly neighbor for the two-plus years he’s been living here.

Yet there is NO indication that some roving schlemiel is sneaking in and messing with the TP. So what on earth is going on? I placed two of my own rolls there on Sunday, hoping that would help, but they were gone later that same day! I can’t imagine what the building manager thinks of all this. I may be suspect, as I usually am the Castro’s favorite scapegoat.

This has turned out to NOT be such a merry Exmass…which is fine with me, as a lot more people need to care about others, than they pretend. Though I firmly believe that somewhere along the line–and very soon–this country will hit bottom, and new, truly progressive movements will erupt to save the day. Looks like I have the optimism of Ann Frank.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: 11:50 AM and Deek has yet to show up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 11:54 AM

And it’s fukkin RAINING! Where will I take the dogs if he doesn’t show up? The exterminator will have to bag the bedding himself, because the pups will be dismayed, not having a comfy place to curl up…only the dirty floor. I did a test run for just this situation a couple of months ago…Flaco REFUSED to let me bag the bedding; she kept jumping on it. Also, placing them in the side hall also causes them dismay, for they are perturbed they can’t enter my hovel.

But what am I gonna do if Deek doesn’t show up…stand in the ATM alcove until 9 PM, while the doggies shiver? If I keep them in the side hall by my room, will they be calm, or bark whenever they hear someone walk by or talk?

Hopefully, he’ll show up in time, but I wonder if the comforters I gave him will still be dry. Replacing them cost me $40. When he departed last night, the blankets were stuffed in his stroller with some other things, but he didn’t have it covered to keep the rain out. Even though I gave him extra garbage bags earlier that day, just for that purpose.

Newspaper has all been removed, so now the floor is bare. Now I have to rummage through the sealed bags to find fresh clothing. I also have to take a shower before putting them on, but I can’t do that until Deek shows up…otherwise, he could be calling up to me, and I will be in the washroom out of earshot.

This is fucked up.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 12:14 PM

And with a full size shopping cart, including those two comforters which ARE dry. But now he wants me to charge three devices until the exterminator shows up! I prefer to leave around a half hour before the scheduled time…so it’s good I told Deek the treatment is at 1 pm, when it’s really an hour later. He is someone who will either drive you bat-shit insane, or turn you into a saint.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 1:35 PM

> He’ll turn you into a bat-shit insane saint.

Yes, that makes sense. I was wrong about the comforters: they are SOPPING WET even though I gave him two 39-gallon garbage bags to keep them dry. So he just slumped off to sleep in the ATM alcove, with the doggies on the cold concrete, or sometimes on top of him. So I brought down an adult sleeping bag and said here, this’ll keep all three of you warm…but I don’t see why you couldn’t keep the blankets dry.

So there’s another $40 out the window, and I have hardly any bedding remaining. Deek’s inexcusable negligence is costing me too much! But he won’t listen, he’ll do his stupidity just the same.

I couldn’t have a complete breakfast, because how busy I am. Can’t afford to eat out, so I’ll starve till tonight. Clothes I wore today are wet, including the jacket, but I’ll have to bag them anyway. I’ll have to dry them off ASAP, meaning tomorrow morning, or the mold will take over. I have just enough moolah for the laundromat, if I don’t eat out.

And it looks like one of the two smartphones he gave me to charge is kaput…he’ll yell at me for that, no doubt, once I bring it back to him in a short while. I have NO time to take a shower, but change into fresh clothes and scram on outta here.

Wouldn’t it be frosting on the cake if the exterminator fails to show up, once more?

Well, I have to unplug my laptop and such, and stash THAT in the closet, so it’s ta-ta for now, Wattson. This is madness.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 5:20 PM

5:00 p.m., I just returned to my building, to discover my room has at last been treated, and I can step back in by 7:45 p.m. You can imagine my underlying anxiety all day, wondering whether or not the exterminator will drop by. That perhaps I’m being screwed over by the building manager, in retaliation for our clashes earlier this year, as well as sheltering the pups on a frequent basis.

Meanwhile, Deek was outside by the ATMs with the pups, getting everything packed away. He said he doesn’t need to bring them over tonight, he has other plans, and not to worry, he will keep the dogs warm and dry.

I suggested that during the dry days, he lookel for comforters, blankets even thick jackets to bring to me for later emergencies regarding cold or rainy weather. He rejected that idea because, quote: “This is bug city.” I then made it clear to him I will bag anything he brings, and launder it the next day. But he still refused.

I told him I can’t afford to keep handing out comforters, and my suggestion is a very good one. Of course he then said he never asked for that and he can keep the dogs warm and dry without my help. And that I shouldn’t give him something, then make him feel guilty about it later. In conclusion:

I can’t win for trying. Not to mention double standards!

Though I have to say Deek was calm and softly spoken this time around. I am exhausted, sitting in the alcove beside my room as I type this email. Yet I still have almost 3 hours remaining before I can enter my hovel once again.

Deek has probably departed by now, and I’m going to step outside for another stroll, for lack of anything else to do. I will post you again later tonight, once I’m back inside my hermit cave.

Texting with Wattson: 12/25/21 – 12/30/21

Pic 1

Pic 2


Click here for a larger view.

Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 30, 2021 2:39 PM

> My deepest sympathies. Being poor is to experience a cascade of contingent catastrophes.

It’s horrendous, but that’s the price I willingly pay to be a subversive flower child. I could not live with my conscience any other way.

The adult sleeping bag just arrived (see pic)…I’m not even gonna open it, but keep it sealed in its plastic wrap. Under $30 including tax. Deek may have a phobia about bugs, and would explain why he rejects scavenged bedding and such, even though it will keep the pups warm. Or he’s just being an asshole. I know he also has an aversion to hugs. Or, again, he’s being an asshole. At any rate, I will try to stash a backup of two or more new sleeping bags, unopened, for those cold nights when the doggies are forced to remain outdoors. Since they’ll still be sealed straight from the seller, he can’t whine about bugs of any sort. (“Factory bugs?” I can see him saying that.)

I didn’t foresee this extra expense through the winter months because LAST year the brindlekin stayed with ME for almost all of January and February. And I ALSO presumed he’d be responsible enough to find some bedding on his own. OTHER houseless folks manage to, as well as find some way to keep their possessions dry. But no, not Deek, ’cause he’s oh-so-special! I’ll also give him a large garbage bag each time, hoping he’ll bother to use it to keep the comforter dry. My god, he’s such an ornery cuss!

The two KIDS’ sleeping bags will arrive Tuesday (under $20 each), and they’ll be just for the doggies when they stay over. I’ll actually have FOUR kids’ bags, with those two new ones. On top of one adult sleeping bag. I’d like TWO adult bags for more plush, so I’ll see if I can budget these new expenses in January’s finances. But if need be, I’ll stretch them over into February. I only hope and pray these cold snaps will be few and far between, or that Deek changes his tune about collecting comforters off the streets (or from charities), that I can store for him.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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