The FINAL Final Chapter (part 11)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18k]

Subject: Dust Mites to the Rescue!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 4, 2022 at 12:17 PM

I’m constantly concerned that someone working at the local laundromat may one day ask why I dump a load or two into the dryer, without first washing them. I don’t want to say “bedbugs,” because people are weird about the issue, and I just might be banned FROM whatever laundromat for telling the truth. “Oh no, we don’t want no bedbugs here!”

I suspect that close to a third of their patrons deal with these critters, but think they are required to first wash their items before drying…when the fact is, soapy water even at the highest temperature setting does NOT kill them. Only the more extreme heat from a dryer does. So it makes more sense to me, to run all clothes, bedding and towels through the dryers when not wet at all…especially if they’re actually still clean and DON’T need to be washed. Even so, if they’re SOMEWHAT dirty, it strikes me as a better strategy to use the dryer-first method, anyway.

For once they’re soaked through from a wash, it takes much longer to raise the temp of your load high enough, and long enough, to eradicate the insects. Say, an HOUR as opposed to as little as ten minutes if items are already dry. I’ve tested this out: ran a dry load for just ten minutes, to discover all bugs dead. There was a row of them along the seam of a duffel bag I use for a pillow by stuffing it with a few jackets. So they were easy to see. Nonetheless, I go the extra mile by running the dryer for a full twenty minutes.

At any rate, I figured if they ever question my skipping the wash, I’ll tell them I have a small washing machine at home, but no dryer. And I hang them out in my apartment for a day or two, then finish it off by using a laundromat dryer. “They’re still a bit damp,” I’d say. However, if the curious employee eyeballs my load more closely, he or she might exclaim: “But they look pretty dry to me, already!” God forbid the worker should actually TOUCH an item. Of course I’d say, “Well, I wanna be absolutely sure they’re completely dry.” But just this morning, as I wheeled a load of clothing to heat treat, a BETTER excuse suddenly occurred to me: DUST MITES!

“I’m allergic to dust mites,” I’d explain. “So even when my stuff is still clean, I run them through the dryers once a month. Heat kills them off.”

So I just searched Duckduckgo about dust mites and heat and, sure enough, that is ONE good solution!

The more you know.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 4/4/22-4/6/22

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Subject: Deek and the Unfortunate Case of the Vanishing Bills
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 7, 2022 at 6:38 PM

This happened last Friday:

He came by to pick up his electronics (pups still with me), then hollered up: “Can I get the money today? I really need it!” He blurted out his reasons, and what he’s gonna do with the moolah, but I paid no attention, just shook my head and said “No!” then started to gather up his freshly charged toys.

“But I need it, I really do!” he continued calling out to me, for all the residents living on the Market Street side to hear. “Sunday’s only two days from now!”

A little birdie then whispered in my ear: “Deek’s doing really great these days, in so many ways. He’s listening to you!”

I sighed then, and poked my head back out the window to holler: “OKAY!” But I had to go to the bank, so when I stepped out, I told him:

“I just gave you fifty dollars yesterday, Deek. This asking for money back-to-back is not good.”

“I promise I won’t do that again, I can wait, I promise,” he replied.

“But you always say that,” I retorted. “Okay, let me get to the bank…I’ll hurry but I won’t run.” I then turned around and departed in the direction of my Chase branch, three blocks northeast.

As I proceeded to cross Noe Street, Deek called to me, so I turned around to see him bicycling in my direction, with that Speaker from Hell in the crook of his left arm:

“I gotta run an errand, back in five minutes. You can wait for me over there by the benches,” he blurted as he careened past me, pointed towards Cafe Flore, then swerved right to cross Market Street. I called back to him in a loud timbre:

“In other words I won’t find you anywhere when I return!” Knowing Deek’s habits, I had good reason to assume he’d keep me lingering well beyond a handful of minutes, standing on that corner when I could simply await his return back hovel just a half block distant, and keep the pups company.

He blurted something else before he vanished around the corner, but it reached my ears in an incoherant jumble as traffic whizzed by. Upon returning with cash in pocket, I actually DID tarry by the benches abutting the cafe, but not for long. As I opened the front gate and climbed the stairs, I muttered to myself how he’s too bossy for his own good, and takes it as a sign of strength to keep a friend up in the air, never knowing what kind of mischief he’ll conjure up next…though surely he will, and with scant time to recover from his latest devilment.

It didn’t take long for him to return, though surely more than five minutes. He was in an excellent, stable mood and looked great: clean and nicely dressed…which seems to be more and more the case with him these days. So I wished Deek an excellent rest-of-the-day (“Don’t spend it all in one place, and don’t take any wooden nickels!”) and returned hovel where the pups await. Though before departing entirely I paused behind the gate and held it ajar to address him, where he sat by the curb:

“I hate saying no to you for any reason, Deek, but sometimes I have to. But I want you know I think you’re doing GREAT, your progress is MOST impressive!”

He raised his shaved head (now minus that anemic, Hare Krsna ponytail) and looked up towards me with a smile: “Well I DO try!”

“Yes, you certainly do!” I agreed, than added: “It’s a beautiful day, make the best of it!”

“Okay, will do,” he replied. But I wasn’t finished:

“Some days are shitty, other days are beautiful,” I blathered on. “But even nice days can turn out sucky…ya never know. And sucky days sometimes turn out wonderful! But you should always make the best of things, no matter what. And THAT’S the lesson!”

I then concluded NOW I’m done and can return hovel…but just as I was about to shut the gate, I decided to have a little fun with him, so blurted out this amusing one-liner that popped into my head unbidden:

“I saw my doctor yesterday, and it turns out I have a serious hemorrhoid flareup, so he sent me to a gay clinic for a therapeutic ass licking!”

Well, Wattson, THAT threw him for a loop, but the confusion on his mug promptly morphed into a face-splitting grin:

“You just made that up, didn’t you?”

“Yep, I sure did!” I shot back, then closed the gate with a ghoulish “MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!” and rushed back upstairs.

The pooches remained in happy slumber all the time I was outside, and upon my return I hugged and pet them both, thinking what a nice day this is turning out to be…in light of Deek’s greatly improved attitude over recent months, of which this latest meetup was yet one more affirmation. Around twenty minutes had passed, during which time I assumed he had already departed to spend today’s premature allowance…but then I heard someone explode outside with a barrage of “Fuck-fuck-fucks!” So I poked my head outside to discover it was Deek (of course). I watched him pace back and forth, sometimes swooshing his hands through a pool of filthy water that had gathered alongside the curb to almost five inches deep. As I watched and listened, it soon became clear he had somehow LOST the $50 I gave him just moments earlier!

I then deliberated over this unexpected twist that is bound to ruin his day, and perhaps extend days further. He is notoriously sloppy with pocketing his cash, such that it easily slips out and onto the sidewalk…or he sometimes falls asleep sitting up and holding a wad of greens in his hand, which anyone walking by could snatch. IOW: this is far from the FIRST incident of this nature that has occurred, in spite of my many admonitions that he take better care to secure what moolah he may have ON him at any given time. After several minutes thinking this over, I decided to cough up yet aNOTHER fifty dollars, as advance payment for Thursday, even though that was six days away, and the money he just lost was already a two-day advance on Sunday.

As I watched him walk about in circles of frustration, peering under and around parked cars and repeatedly dipping a hand in that greasy water, I figured to also bring down a bottle of hand sanitizer, and an old stick that once belonged to a broom which I was using to pick bedbugs off the wall by attaching wide sticky tape to one end. I should note here, that he did NOT keep up the expletives after that one, brief outburst…but WAS fuming to himself, muttering only God knows what. My point here being: he was NOT creating a noise disturbance around my building. Which was a good thing.

Nor did he bother to call up to me with a request for more cash during the time I watched him from above, like a curious, lesser god from Mt. Olympus who had nothing on his agenda that day. Likewise a good thing.

Soon as I exited the front gate I addressed him: “What’s going on, did you lose the money?”

He looked up from where he was gazing down at the pooled water, hoping to discern the two faces of Andrew Jackson and one of Alexander Hamilton floating up from the dark abyss. He was a bit startled, stared at me blankly for a second, then exclaimed: “How did you know?”

“I heard you cuss, so looked out for awhile and put two and two together,” I replied, then told him to hold out his grubby paws so I could squirt some sanitizer on them. Which he did. I then handed him the broomstick. “Here, use this instead of your hands, I don’t need it.”

He grabbed the wooden rod and waved one end of it in sweeping, horizontal motions through this microcosmic manifestation of the River Styx. It was barely ten feet in length and a foot at the widest, so he completed the job in less than a minute, then tossed it to the ground in disgust.

“Well, Deek, I don’t think you’re gonna find your money at this point, you’ve done a thorough search,” I said, and held up the bottle of hand sanitizer. “Let me bring this back upstairs and I’ll go to the bank to get you another fifty dollars.”

Before returning hovel to collect my wallet, I gave him a brief lecture once again, on placing his money in a pocket where he knows it won’t just fall out so easily…”You know, like one you can button down.” Or anywhere else on his person that is secure. “You’re always losing money because you’re sloppy about it. Pay more attention, please!”

It was to my pleasure he didn’t screech like a lunatic that whole time; instead, he kept his anger in check and listened. When I returned upstairs, the pups jumped off the cot and started to pace the floor while looking up at me with wagging tails. They needed to go poopies! So I leashed them up, grabbed some treats and a few poop bags, and stepped outside.

“We’ll be back in fifteen minutes, Deek!” I told him, then rushed off with the pups across 16th Street and up Noe. To his discredit he did NOT greet the dogs, but acted like they weren’t even around, in spite of their elation to see him again.

Long story short: he got his fifty dollars and promised he won’t ask for an advance, will wait six days, then thanked me and off he went on his bike.

Well, that was three days ago. Here’s the rest of the update:

He picked up his charges last night around 9 PM, and was happy to see I had put camouflage sweaters on them before bringing them back outside. “Got them on the Internet?” he asked. “Yep, Amazon, ten dollars each,” I replied. Filipino Jay was there with him, which I consider fortuitous, as he’s been MOST supportive of my helping Deek and the doggies, and thus is a stabilizing influence. I also brought him another sack of dog food, and a space blanket.

So the brindlekin stayed with me for three days and two nights this time around. This seems to be the new pattern Deek
has established: letting them enjoy my sanctuary more frequently. I thanked him for bringing the dogs over so often, especially since it’s still wintertime, and the nights are cold. He kindly agreed, showing that WAS his main concern, as well.

The doggie’s appetites have been fabulous, licking their bowls clean each and every meal. And Lucky’s poops are back to normal: firm, brown and copious! Hera’s in her heaven and all’s right with the world. I’ve decided to buy HALF a roast chicken once per week (instead of whole), as that’s STILL a generous amount for two little mutts, and won’t be such a hit on my wallet.

For some copacetic reason more folks in the neighborhood have been stopping to admire Lucky and his sister this past week, and I sometimes give them treats to feed them, which they really enjoy (both humans and canines). Though soon as the dogs see that’s it for the nummies, they resume barking at them while still wagging their tails in a joyful flurry. They DON’T let strangers pet them, but stand back from a safe distance…except, of course, to receive a treat or two. Then they’ll carefully but quickly snatch the treat from their hands, then gaze up at them with their adorable faces, hoping for more.

One local who admired the pups just two nights ago, was this ginormous black bouncer at the Lookout, who often sees me walk by with the pups as he greets patrons lining up to get inside. But this night he was taking a break, sitting on the corner steps several doors from the bar he watches over. I had just crossed 16th Street when the pups spotted him and started to bark away. The guy just laughed and went “woof, woof, woof” right back at them. I stopped right there and said, “They don’t bite, they just bark!” Then I pulled out several small treats and handed them to him. The pups suddenly quieted down as they accepted those morsels but, as expected, stepped back and resumed their boisterous barks soon as they realized there were no more tasty handouts coming from his direction. Well, Wattson, he very much enjoyed the encounter and wished me a lovely night before we three mongrels departed.

That same evening as we neared my hovel on the way back, Lucky looked up at two gay men seated on stools on the other side of Super Duper’s plate glass window, noshing on their burgers. Next thing I know, he’s standing on his hind legs with chunky paws pressed upon the glass and barking up a storm at them. Flaco quickly joined in, though remained on all fours. The bowsers were clearly addressing the two fellows for whatever reason, and they had a good laugh pointing back at the hounds and making silly gestures, charmed by the encounter. Once Lucky stood back down and stopped barking, I shrugged my shoulders at the two patrons, wished them a good night with a wave of the hand, and off we went home.

Just two examples of the many KIND encounters I’ve been having in recent days, with locals admiring these outstanding canines whose sweet company is a tremendous blessing in more ways than one. I guess my efforts to make my brindlekin become mascots of the Castro are finally paying off!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek just dropped by for a short while…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 7, 2022 at 9:51 PM

…asked for his folding wagon, so I lugged it down the stairs. He uses it to carry his growing heap of recyclables as he goes from one trash bin to another. Since he was starting with the bins out front, I spent that time with the pups. SO glad to see them in those sweaters I gave him yesterday, which still look spotless. The doggies appear to be in good health and spirits.

He had them lashed to the bike, which he had first set down sideways. Very glad to see that. The leashes were twisted up together, though, so I unraveled them and moved the bike closer to the bus stop seats, so me and the brindlekin could sit in comfort, instead of on the cold, hard concrete.

Took him all of five minutes to paw through the bins before taking off. I told him his Vet SOS appointment is next week, to which he replied, “Okay, but that’s a while yet.”

He didn’t convey the least bit resistance to my mentioning this upcoming responsibility. I am VERY impressed with the New Deek! Again, he was neatly dressed and clean looking, and he wasn’t pushing around a shopping cart full of junk this time. Everything about his appearance tonight reflected someone who runs an orderly, tight ship!

You’d think maybe he actually has a good home to return to, and is only preTENDing to be houseless! An ACTOR if you will, from divine origins. A conjecture of mine which you are already familiar with, good physician. Part of my Bodhisaatva Premise.

I shall sleep most BLISSFULLY tonight!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Vet SOS this Monday at 1:35pm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Vet SOS
Date: Mar 11, 2022 at 2:53 AM

Yes, I am confirming on behalf of a homeless friend. He knows the location and the time to show up four days from now, and I will remind him again, a day before. I have a few questions: will he have proof of rabies vaccine via a document, and possibly a tag to put on his dogs' collar? I would like to go with him, but that may not be possible. I'm afraid he might lose the document by the time he visits me next, even if he makes a beeline directly to my home soon as the appointment is over. I'm guessing with the unique vaccine numbers I can register proof online. Is it possible for you to send me a copy of the document, so I can scan it for my records, and store it to a hard drive...and also go through any online process for a more permanent record? He has no idea how to get online himself, doesn't even have an email address, except one I set up for him. He doesn't use it. I rarely use it, except for when it might facilitate some appointment or registration or gov't assistance he might need or want to find out about. He doesn't have a cell phone, either.

If it's possible to send me the document via email, that would work fine. And any other information related to his visit. Just use this gmail address. You can also call or text me. Thank you again for your service to houseless peoples' lovely pets.

Fwd: Re: Vet SOS this Monday at 1:35pm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 11:23 AM

> Oh, man, let’s hope he doesn’t flake…

I think he IS gonna chicken out, going by his hostile behavior this evening. When I stepped out to greet him and the pups, I saw they were tied to his folding wagon in such a manner I had to lure them over to one end, as they had only a few inches cleared where they stood on the side opposite Deek, Soon as I grasped the raveled leashes to make the adjustment, he yelled at me:

“Hey, what are you doing, DON’T grab my dogs!”

I was actually being very gentle, and I quickly freed them up for more wiggle room so I could easily hug and pet them.

“STOP it, Deek,” I snapped at him, “I just stepped out and already you’re talkin’ shit to me.” Now get this:

I had fifty dollars in my pocket to give him RIGHT NOW, seeing as I told him a few days back he could get Sunday’s allowance on Friday at the earliest. But since he showed up tonight, I figured that’s close enough. I thought he was going to ask me for it when he called up to my window, but he did not, to my astonishment.

So here I was about to extract the bills from my pocket, thinking it would be a nice surprise…but at that moment he screams and spews insults instead! Of course I held off, and flung a few choice words at him as well.

“Why are you cussing me out?” he shoved all the blame of his OWN stupidity on me. “I didn’t come here to be cussed out.”

“Well, you have it coming, Deek,” I flashed right back. “I didn’t even get a chance to say hello how are you doing tonight, before you flew off the handle like a crazy TWEAKER.”

He continued trying to make it look like he said nothing wrong, and I was the asshole, but I didn’t let him get away with such juvenile antics. He finally calmed down, told me the dogs could stay overnight (which usually turns out to be a two, or even three, day visit). I then declared he can have the fifty dollars tonight, and presented the stuffed envelope with outstretched arm.

But he didn’t look up and raise a paw to receive it; instead, he was rummaging around in a pile of crap he deposited from a lumpy old sack, grumbling under his breath as he did so. I stood there for almost a minute, waiting for him to accept the filthy lucre, yet he continued poking through the debris, searching for whatever.

“I’m trying to give you money, Deek. TAKE IT!” I exclaimed in a frustrated tone, tired of holding it out in the air. Once he took it, I admonished further:

“Now PLEASE put it in a pocket where it won’t fall out and get lost again, like last time!”

I watched like a hawk, to witness him stuff the envelope in his leather jacket’s right-side pocket. It was wide and slanted, and not very deep.

“Are you SURE you don’t have a pocket you can zip up or button?” I queried in self defeat. “Or maybe just put it in your shoe?”

He didn’t reply, but resumed busying himself over a heap of what-nots. “Now, where is it?” he muttered while flinging away gewgaws and cloth scraps in various directions. “Ah, found it.” It was a smartphone.

In addition to that phone, he wound up handing me an old set of headphones with the cushion missing from the left cup, and a black, cylindrical speaker you could carry in one hand, though hefty…which means it’s got a good, long lasting battery.

He also wanted me to store his folding wagon again, before I bring the pups inside; and bring him a large trash bag and a cup of ginger ale. So this took me two trips: first the wagon, then the pups. But before taking Flaco & Lucky upstairs, I brought up the Vet SOS appointment again, told him the time’s been moved back a bit, to 1:35 PM. Monday. He knows where the SPCA is located, so that’s good, because Vet SOS’s popup clinic will be smack dab in the SPCA parking lot.

But Deek flung a barrage of excuses at me, in machine gun staccato…to justify NOT showing up:

“They’ll turn me away because I refuse to get Flaco spayed!”

“I’m only going there because you went through all the trouble of setting this up!”

“They’re already healthy, so they don’t NEED a checkup or extra shots!”

“You KNOW I’m not good with appointments!”

“They’ll probably make me wait HOURS once I get there!”

And so on. He insisted he’ll show up at Vet SOS anyway, but doesn’t want my company, making further excuses over why not. I concluded he never planned to follow through, but would just see me later that day or the next, and claim he went there…and he’ll either say the dogs got their shots, or they turned him away. So my going WITH him blows his scam right outta the water! But doesn’t he realize they’ll surely contact me if he fails to keep his appointment? On a good note, though:

Despite his juvenile rants, he DID hand the doggies over, and even returned what dog food remained from the latest supply I gave him withOUT my asking first…and the kibble was dry and sealed in their bags. Strange, though, he obviously did NOT feed them any of what I provided, for the sack contained the full amount I regularly offer: two 1-gallon Ziploc bags of kibble, and five cans of wet vittles. There was also a small baggie of dried food that I presume was donated from a homeless pet charity (probably the SPCA). So I’m guessing he also feeds them with donated grub, in addition to my OWN provisions.

So he’s been cooperative with some issues from the recent past, that I confronted him about. And THAT’S a good sign I may be able to convince him to keep his appointment. I certainly can’t be angry over this, as that will just inspire further resistance on his part. I will remind him that Vet SOS is NOT the SPCA, they’re very kind, and will NOT turn him away for ANY reason. And that, once he shows up for the first time, he’ll see how friendly they are, and it will be a cinch for him to return every six months for checkups. No more anxiety attacks over this!

I even told him if he returns with PROOF he showed up, such as a printout of the services he received and/or rabies tags, I will GIVE him an extra $50:

“No, it’s only money, I don’t need a reward for going there,” he poo-pooed. Can you believe it, Wattson? I bet if he fakes it, claiming he DID show up, but they didn’t give him any document or tags, he’ll DEMAND I cough up the moolah as promised, anyway. Of course I’ll refuse.

Well, it’s the next day now, and I expect Deek will drop by to pick up his electronics around 10 AM…aNOTHER recent compliance with my request he let my morning start in peace, walking and feeding the pups, sipping the java and just relaxing overall. “So please,” I asked him some weeks ago, “don’t come around earlier than ten, if you can help it, as you often stress me out with pointless drama, and I do NOT want to start my day on a bad note.” So we’ll see how things go today, and I’ll report back to you ASAP. Now, onto some lighter notes:

Two more Arwyn sightings in the past week, from a distance: the latest being Wednesday morning when I peeked out the window as I always do once I arise, to see him walking on the other side of Market Street, toward the Castro. He wore a sapphire blue jacket and jet black trousers. Snazzy!

I FINALLY GOT MY LAPTOP SCREEN WORKING AGAIN, but not in Windoze. I pretty much gave up, and managed to do without for several months since the problem began, assuming it was a hardware issue, and I can’t afford to purchase a new screen. Just as well, because the screws in the bottom of the housing are imPOSSIBLE to remove, as I discovered three years ago…so was not able to insert an extra SSD chip to double my drive’s storage. But I WAS able to upgrade the RAM from 8 GB to 16…thanks to a separate slot which screws WERE easy to extract.

I also gave up on Linux for quite awhile (just over a year), because it had crashed and I couldn’t get it to run again, and for some weird reason I couldn’t do a fresh install no matter WHICH distro I tried. However, I decided to give it another go two days back, and guess what: it worked! The trick was to install it on a chunk of the main drive, alongside Windoze, instead of on one of two peripheral SSD drives I have lying around, that ALWAYS worked before!

Glad to be running Linux again, as unlike Microslut, they don’t spy on you and harvest/resell all your personal data and online activities…or force you to deal with constant updates and worries over malware and other intrusions for which the birdbrain Windoze system is notorious. Linux is MUCH more stable and outstandingly SECURE on all counts. The distro I am running now is Linux Mint, Cinnamon edition. Which edition has built-in screen enlargement that is simple to use. The other editions require you to install a bloated service called Compiz that has so many graphic tweaks, including display zooming, they make it confusing and difficult to set up any one feature. And all I want is their magnify option, but you have to go through a ridiculous number of hoops to get it working. I don’t see WHY all OTHER Linux editions and distros don’t come with screen-zoom built right in. I hate Compiz!

So it was an UNEXPECTED BONUS to find that Linux has no problem with my laptop display! Now I have dual monitors once again, and can set aside my Android tablet, though it has served admirably as a small screen to watch my Youtube videos while tending to other activities via my 24-inch Dell display. I am tempted to just replace Windoze ENTIRELY with Linux, but I think I’ll wait a month or two before giving it further consideration. For one, my backup cloud service’s Linux setup is NOT graphical; it relies instead on a collection of scripts that you must edit various commands therein, to match up with your file locations and other settings. A headache and a half!

All my data is on an external drive (instead of under the user folder, which is the default for both Windoze and Linux), formatted as FAT32, which makes it compatible with BOTH operating systems. Thus easy to switch from one OS to another, including online storage. I can edit the same documents and play videos from that USB drive with either system.

Lucky & Flaco continue to have robust appetites…and this evening they’ll get another roast chicken surprise.

The newer smoke alarm I installed to replace the flaky one has NOT been a problem whatsoever, thus far. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that it remain silent. But I AM relieved knowing that, should it start screeching haphazardly like the previous one, at least it won’t upset the doggies. In conclusion:

Dealing with life’s ongoing nuisances is like being FORCED to play Whac-A-Mole against your wishes.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: “You broke it!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 10:22 PM

Deek dropped by earlier tonight to pick up his gadgets. His first gripe:

“Was this blue light on all the time while you were charging it?” he asked in a stern voice, referring to the cylindrical speaker now in his hands.

“Um, yeah,” I replied. “Doesn’t that indicate it’s fully charged?”

“NO, it does not,” he squawked, “Thats the Bluetooth signal. You should’ve turn the speaker OFF when you plugged it in. It lost all its charge, and I can’t use it now!”

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I admonished, “It’s the volume that drains the battery, not the Bluelight signal. At most, it lost maybe five percent of its charge, if that.”

Well, he persisted in guilt tripping me up the wazoo, but I just yawned and commented:

“You’re ridiculous, acting like a snotty nine-year-old brat. I’m going back upstairs to feed the pups, have a good night.”

He had no idea he interrupted me in the middle of preparing a half roast chicken for the brindleking, who I guess were going out of their mind for me to come back and feed them, stuck upstairs by themselves with that yummy fragrance taunting their nostrils.

As I continued peeling off the dead bird’s skin and stripping meat from bone, Deek suddenly hollered up at me once more.

“Get down here!”

I sighed and poked my noggin out the window: “Now what?”

“The phone doesn’t work, either!” he yelled, waving the device in his hand like he just caught a slippery eel.

So I quickly washed the grease from my hands, donned shoes and coat and reluctantly ambled down the stairs and back outside once again.

Turns out the crappy phone died, but he insisted I broke it:

“It ws working fine when I gave it to you, but now it’s dead!”

I explained to him that it’s an old device, and the battery probably died. After all, I checked it after two hours’ charge to discover it was only at eleven percent. Which is a good indication it’s on its last legs.

“But it was at one hundred percent the next morning, so I unplugged it,” I added. “You know, Deek, you can’t always expect every worn out device to function well, and THAT’S not my fault.”

I then reminded him that I’ve gotten MOST of his gizmos working, even the ones that seemed hopeless. And that he treats them roughly, knocking them around, dropping them, exposing them to the damp air, and sometimes the rain.

But he ranted on just the same, at one point balling his hand into a fist and looking down it at as it turned red, as if he could barely contain his anger. What a drama queen!

I remained calm through it all, and advised him to count his blessings, he has so many GOOD things going on in his life these days. But if you wanna use this very temporary setback as an excuse to be pissed all night long, be my guest.

“You broke it, you’re always breaking my things!” he shrieked, as if that were going to make me bow before his highness and beg forgiveness. I somehow managed then, to bring up his Vet SOS appointment this Monday:

“They’re really nice people, and once you show up–IF you show up–you’ll be glad you did, and it will be an easy chore for you at that point, to bring the dogs back there for a checkup every six months.”

“Oh how would YOU know?” he snarked. “They chase me out when they see Flaco hasn’t been fixed.”

“No they won’t Deek,” I patiently explained, “They are NOT from the SPCA, they just use their parking lot to set up shop. Stop being so dramatic and just take them there! It’ll be a nice day, and you’ll have a nice visit with them.”

I further explained that I understand how difficult it as to follow up on an appointment, how the thought of getting there at the right time gives you anxiety attacks.

“I’m the same way, Deek, but sometimes ya gotta do it, for our own well-being. But in this case we’re talking about two lovely pups who deSERVE the best care possible. So do it for THEM, and stop playing mind games with yourself. That’s both SELFISH and CRUEL.”

Well, I consider this a win in spite of his feisty resistance, because he actually LISTENED instead instead of drowning me in a flood of juvenile screams.

“Now I’m going back upstairs where I’m TRYING to prepare dinner. It’s up to you whether or not your night will be miserable or fun; I did nothing to cause your tantrum, I did NOT break anything.”

I then wished him a good night with God’s blessings and returned hovel. And there were the poor doggies drooling and dancing around me, DYING to dive into that roasted chicken! At last they did, after a few more minutes of preparation. They totally enjoyed their special meal, which came to TWO dishes each, filled to the brim with juicy strips of avian flesh.

I decided to remain absolutely calm over this Vet SOS issue, even if he decides not to show up. I’ll even offer to cancel the appointment next time I see him. But I WILL let him know what a mean, heartbreaking thing he’s doing. Or perhaps he’ll let me go there myself, and see if they go ahead anyway, and give them their checkup and booster shots. I can show them a couple of videos that prove they’re his dogs, and not mine…and how difficult he can sometimes be. I might also give them the link to Brindlekin Tales.

Looks like my laptop screen is working again, even under Windows. Don’t know HOW my successfully installing Linux cleared it all up; maybe it was just a happy coincidence. Though I can’t wait till tomorrow morning, when my Friday night backup is done, and I can return to Linux.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: “You broke it!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 11:45 PM

> Gawd, you have such patience. I know it’s for the sake of the dogs, so I understand, but jayzuz, he’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

It’s not so bad now, I can deal with it, and Deek is nowhere NEAR as rancorous as he used to be! Actions speak louder than words, and he HAS been trusting me with the pups far more often, with longer stays. He’s also been making sure to return whatever doggy food I gave him that remains, without my asking. Furthermore, he still had the new sweaters I bought, which I hand washed this evening. And a second pair will arrive tomorrow, so I can wash one pair while they wear another.

Keeping my fingers crossed he actually WILL show up on time, at the clinic. He didn’t say he WON’T go, just griped a lot. Though I suspect he may be planning to lie…which is stupid, ’cause I’ll find out either way, soon enough. I think that hit home with him tonight, when I told him they’ll give each dog a rabies tag, and a certificate of proof. As for patience:

I spin all mine enemies’ toxic dross into strands of pure gold! It pays off, this patience thing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek dropped by, good meetup!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 13, 2022 at 12:57 AM

I still have the pups, though he might collect them tonight…or not, he isn’t sure. He brought me more devices to charge (of course). When I started to tell him that now-dead phone’s battery was on its last legs, and I know that because it took over two hours just to get it to eleven percent…he interrupted me and said:

“I know it’s not your fault.”

Mulling over the Vet SOS issue, I decided to not even bring it up again, just let it go, trusting he’ll do the right thing. I was even mulling over sending another email to that clinic, conveying to them my difficult situation, that he might NOT show up, due to his erratic mood swings…but it’s possible he’ll allow ME to take the dogs instead; I’m just not sure HOW this will turn out. But I decided to let THAT go, as well.

He sure seems in an excellent, stable mood tonight, the kind of affable panache that reflects someone who WILL follow through with getting the mutts their booster shots, and a checkup. (Or maybe he got hold of a primo dime of meth, and I shouldn’t keep my hopes up because by Monday he could be in a rage.)

About an hour after he departed, Flaco let me know she needs to poop, by standing at the door, looking directly at me and wagging her tail. To be sure that was her message, I sat down by my work station to see if she’d return to the cot, or lie down in the box. She didn’t do either, but remained by the door directing ALL her attention at yours truly. Yep she REALLY had to go! Didn’t surprise me in the least, as I had just taken them for a walk  a short while ago, and neither pooch took their little dump.

Lucky gave NO indication he had to relieve himself, so I left him happily snoozing away on the comforters. As we were returning home, waiting for the light to turn green, I saw Deek cross the street in our direction with folding wagon in tow and empty cans and glass bottles clinking therein. He smiled at us as he approached, then stroked Flaco who stood up with front paws on his leg, and said: “You’re just walking the girl? Careful, they might get jealous!

“Well,” I replied, “neither pooped earlier, and only a minute ago Flaco made it clear she had to go for reals…and she did!” I then extracted the stinky green bag from a pocket to show him. “Lucky didn’t, so I left him curled up on the bed.”

“Well I’m off to Haight Street to check the trash bins there,” he replied, “but I’ll be back in a few hours to pick up my electronics, and maybe the dogs.”

I said fine, either way is good, see ya then, and off he marched up Noe Street while Flaco watched him depart so surprisingly soon, a bit confused and disappointed. But she quickly cheered up, thanks to my loving attention, and we soon stepped inside where Lucky greeted her with playful pouncing and tugs on her tail. His sister disapproved with a muted, prolonged growl, upon which Lucky changed his tactics and began grooming the fur along her neck and shoulders with his little sharp teeth, snorting like a pig as he did so. This, she enjoyed. Like  a deep-tissue massage, I suppose.

So this was a MOST impressive meetup, and I don’t think Deek will disappointment me re. rabies booster shots for the brindlekin. IT IS SO IMPORTANT!

Now, a couple hours have passed between the last paragraph and this. Deek returned some minutes ago, picked up his gadgets AND the pups. I made sure to put their sweaters on, which I notice do a great job of keeping their little bodies warm. When I told him I handwashed the garments, and, while they looked clean already, before I washed them, he shoulda SEEN how black the water turned from silt that those sweaters picked up! But instead of carrying on the conversation, even if just for a New York minute, he retorted:

“Thanks, that’s very nice of you but I’m in a hurry, gotta go somewhere.”

He’s always like this: never actually holds friendly dialogs with me, except rarely. And he’s always in a rush whenever he drops by? I call BULLSHIT. Nonetheless I maintained my cool, pet the doggies on their heads, and thanked Deek for their sweet company.

Is this a sign his crystal high is starting to wear off, and the edginess is, er, edging in again? Or is he ashamed of his neglecting the dog’s vet care these many months, now that the matter stares him in the face? Or is this the Bodhisattva Premise hinting he’s just putting me through my paces re. fine tuning my positive aspect? Such that I don’t obsess over worst case scenarios haunting my cranium, just because I have ZILCH assurance that he WILL take the pups for their shots this Monday? As a practicing Buddhist myself, the answer for THIS blithe pilgrim can only be:

Do NOT focus on bad outcomes in any way, shape or form, but simply keep in good spirits, enjoy each day and shower blessings upon Deek and his furry familiars, knowing that all shall turn out well. Happy Daylight Savings Time!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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