[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 5: Chapter 12]
Texting with Wattson: 3/14/22
Texting with Wattson: 3/15/22 – 3/16/22
Subject: My Rabid Treatise
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 16, 2022 at 8:52 PM
Deek was absolutely terrible this morning, but let me describe the events these past few days first, and I’ll get back to that towards the final part of this missive.
THIS WAS SUNDAY NIGHT (day before the Vet SOS appointment):
Deek showed up around 11:30 PM, handed me a new smartphone (“new” only because he just acquired it, but was most likely a stolen or lost device) and said he really needs it fully charged with music tonight, as he has nothing else.
“But you KNOW I hit the sack by midnight, Deek!” I objected. He is well aware that when the clock strikes twelve, he is not to bother me until any time AFTER ten the next morning. So if I’m charging anything and the hour hand reaches full erection, he MUST pick it up by then, or retrieve it the following day.
“Oh it won’t hurt you to stay up an extra hour, just once,” he mumbled. Deek has NO grasp of how important a good sleep is for some, and NEVER takes my wish to have just THAT every night, one whit seriously. He actually thinks it’s funny. Just ONE good reason I don’t allow ANY speed queens into my life, but for one exception! Can you imagine having TWO of ’em for friends?
No sooner would you get one to leave, and it’s already past midnight, than the OTHER would appear, calling up to your window or, worse yet, tossing pebbles at it. You just could NOT ignore him in hopes he’d give up and depart in a few minutes, for he would not. Forcing you to get back out of bed, just to call down from your second floor hovel, and tell him you’re trying to get some shuteye. Then instead of saying “okay, sorry” and departing, he’d engage you in conversation that awakened all the occupants on this side of the building, gazing up at you with glassy-eyed fervor, and pleading:
“C’mon, Zeke, let me in, it’s not THAT late.” Then he’d make an obscene gesture with two fingers pumping fast and furious between his teeth, indicating a really nice blow job awaits in return for your troubles. Though you knew better: his gobbies were NEVER that great (except just TWICE in all the years he was comin’ around, and boy howdy were they spectacular). Such scant pressure with the lips you hardly feel it, and parchment dry to boot! What good is a hummer, Wattson, if you wind up having to use your own, spit-moistened hand to finally achieve Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria’s Most Divine Epiphany? You grow angry when you think of all the penile pleasures he’s denied you by his lacklustre performances that comprised the overwhelming majority of his wee-night visits! And losing sleep on top of that? No way, Jose! But I digress.
“Yes it will,” I insisted. “Besides, that’s only an hour and a half from now, and your phone is at zero charge. So you’ll have maybe thiry percent by then, especially since it will be on slow charge while I’m copying the songs over, and that will take around twenty minutes.”
“That’s alright, Zeke,” said the persistant little cuss. “Thirty percent is thirty percent, it’ll do.”
I finally caved in and said okay, keeping in mind the dogs are to (hopefully) be vaccinated tomorrow, and I don’t want any argument to crop up that may sabotage my exhaustive efforts over the span of many months.
So I climbed back upstairs with eyes already drooping in nocturnal habitude, plugged in the phone to my multi-USB charger, and kicked back to watch several scary, animated Youtube videos and a couple of Hellfreezer’s hilarious narrations of human foibles writ by his fans. The doggies lay beside me on the cot, already deep in dreamland for at least three hours. With the occasional leap to the floor to either lap up water from the bowl, or change their sleeping spot from bed to box. And later on, back to the bed and into my arms or nestled in the crook of my legs.
I guess I should count my blessings that insomnia no longer curses my world, and I actually enjoy the luxury of feeling DROWSY every night, that so many others take for granted. Still a relatively new experience for me, as my almost-constantly wakeful state of decades came to a liberating close barely three years ago. And the pups’ angelic descent into my world several months later only serves to enHANCE my somnifacient respite.
Around 12:45 AM, during which preceding time I occasionally nodded off in my cushioned swivel chair for a minute or two, Deek called up to me and gestured I step back outside and leave the phone charging.
“You’re right, thirty percent’s not much of a charge,” he insightfully declared. “I’ll just pick it up in the morning. You have a good night now.”
Gee, thanks for nothing, Deek, I thought. As it turns out, I stayed up for another hour and a half. I heard the front gate slam shut, shortly after 2 AM…so out of curiosity poked my head out to see who it was. The building manger! Heading towards god knows where as I watched him cross Market Street and disappear around the corner. I often see him RETURNING to our dilapidated castle around 12:30 AM…always that same time! I have no idea what he’s up to, but it’s been going on for years. Though I DO make a point of walking the dogs well before then, for their last poop run of the day. So as to not have a run-in with Kevin because I never know whether he’ll harass me about the pups, or be civil. But his 2 AM departure is new to me, as this was the first time I’ve seen him do that.
I find it amusing to discover this novel twist in my tales, right in the middle of my latest Deek report. He’s old and doddering at this point in his life, and walks with a hunched back and head drooping like an overly mature mango still on the branch. Which makes his mysterious late-night activities of noteworthy intrigue to anyone with gummy shoes. After all, why would someone of such advanced years NOT be long settled in bed before that late hour? Alas, it’s a separate story-within-a-story that I must set aside until a future time. The Startling Case of the Nocturnal Innkeeper must be shelved for the nonce. Just as well, because there scarcely exists more than one piece of a puzzle that may turn out to be quite elaborate. Or just provide comedic filler, a spotty appearance now and then as my tales progress.
THIS WAS MONDAY MORNING (day of the Vet SOS appointment)
I brought the dogs down to him, where he waited in that ATM alcove right below. Plus dog food and a blank card with the address “24 Florida Street” I had handprinted with a black marker just minutes before.
“Do you know where Best Buy is?” I asked, because it’s a prominent landmark in that neighborhood, sticking out like a huge, square thumb you could see from blocks away. He nodded yes. “Well, the pop-up clinic is just a few blocks further up. It’s in the SPCA parking lot.”
“Which parking lot…is that where they walk their dogs?” he queried.
“I don’t know, Deek, probably,” I replied. “Just go up 14th Street to Harrison, and you’re almost there.”
He KNOWS where the SPCA is located, as he’s gone there many times to pick up dog food and whatever else they hand out for homeless pets. I just wanted to be absolutely sure he’ll find the pop-up clinic, and after the directions I presented, I was confident he would. IF he decided to show up at all. That STILL remained up in the air, especially since he then exploded in a string of ear-aching rants:
“Yeah, I’ll show up but they’ll turn me down because Flaco isn’t fixed!”
(I assured him that won’t happen, as I double-checked with them this morning, and they said no problem, she’ll get her shots. I did NOT mention they’ll refuse their services any further, so long as Flaco remains intact. Because THAT would give him the perfect excuse to skip out.)
“I HATE these ‘free’ services because they always have strings attached, they suck you into their world with unfair demands that turn you into a puppet. YOU CAN’T LIVE YOUR LIFE!”
(He declared this with impressive fury, and I really can’t blame him because from HIS perspective, he’s correct! Like giving you a free room, but it’s infested with cockroaches and bedbugs, and houses some rather dangerous clients in the mix. Vast improvements HAVE been made for free housing in the past few years, but under the condition of being assigned to a social worker and going through whatever therapy and interviews they require. Even Vet SOS wants verification that one really IS houseless, before they do anything beyond a single visit to get one’s pet vaccinated. It’s a form they handed Deek, entitled “Vet SOS Eligibility Letter” that needs to be filled out by a service provider or case manager. Which Deek doesn’t have, nor do a considerable number of OTHER street folks, I imagine. So I kinda fibbed, told him they are NOT like that, Vet SOS is NOT part of the SPCA, they are very kind and really CARE about homeless pets…so just go there, you’ll be surprised and happy you did…PLEASE.”
“How do you KNOW they’re nice people, you’ve never met them!”
(I told him I’ve talked to them over the phone and via email several times, and they were very helpful. The dogs WILL get their shots, and that is one of the most impportant things to get done in your life, at this time. That is, if you really love these sweet little doggies that have brought so much joy and friendship into your world. “If you’re saying you’re not gonna show up,” I said, “I’ll just go upstairs now and cancel the appointment.” I then turned towards the gate to do just that, when he stopped me, and said he didn’t say he wasn’t gonna go. “Oh, I see,” I replied, “You still haven’t made your mind up yet. Okay, I won’t cancel.”)
“So when I go there, it’s just for their rabies shots and nothing else? Seems like a lot of trouble for nothing!”
(Even though at this point I was ready to go ballistic into the exosphere, I calmly replied “Getting their rabies booster is NOT nothing, Deek. It’s a terrible infection and they’ll have to be put down if they catch it. But they’ll also give them one or two OTHER shots that protect them from several deadly diseases besides rabies, that they can also catch, especially since they live on the streets and are more exposed than house dogs.”)
I’ll leave out the rest of his pathetic rants for the sake of sanity; suffice it to say this crap went on for almost a half hour befofe he mellowed out a bit and asked for some ginger ale. As I returned with the soda and bent down to hand it to him, suddenly the cup slipped from my hand and the liquid splashed all over.
“Goddamit Zeke,” he hollered, “You did that on purpose!”
I observed with relief that none of his devices were impacted by the splash, they remained perfectly dry. Strange, because they were right in the circle where the spill occurred, but no part of the soda splash touched them.
“Look, Deek, no harm was done,” I exclaimed, “your electronics are fine. And no, I did NOT do it on purpose, I have no idea how that happened. What else can I say but the devil hates friendship?”
I then took the now-empty cup back hovel for a refill. As I climbed the stairs I thought what a stupid thing to happen just before the dog’s appointment; it could turn Deek against showing up!
Returning with the replehished cup, plus a disposable plastic bowl filled with water for the brindlekin, I asked if he’d like me to come back downstairs when it’s twelve o’clock, in case he fell asleep and could miss the appointment. Which by then was just two hours away. He said yes, thank you, and I finally left him and the dogs alone to tend to my own morning routine, including breakfast.
The clock struck twelve and I returned outside to discover Deek was now in the company of three other homeless dudes chatting away. Pleased to see Filipino Kai was one of them, we greeted each other with a “Hey!” then I turned to Deek who looked up at me with some impatience.
“Beep beep, it’s twelve o’clock!” I crowed.
He immediately brushed me off with a wave of the hand: “Yeah, yeah, I know what time it is,” followed by insulting words I didn’t bother to address, but simply told him “You ASKED me to come back downstairs to tell you it’s twelve o’clock,” then declared before them all:
“I love how Deek disses me after I do him another favor, instead of just saying thanks!”
Deek retorted that he never agreed to the appointment, I just went ahead and set it up, so he may not go there after all.
“That’s not true, Deek,” I replied. “I asked you every step of the way, and you agreed to EVERYthing. Stop making me look bad before your friends!” Then added for extra drama: “I’ve had enough of your little temper tantrums for one morning. You guys can take over now, I’m done with it.”
And with that, I turned around and opened the gate, but looked back at him with a parting shot before I completely vanished: “You either do the right thing, Deek, or fuck yourself up big time!”
Deek hollered back god only knows what, so I drowned him out with “Blah blah blah, waah waah waah,” then shut the gate and returned to my room, now dogless.
About ten minutes later he called me down again and asked me to charge a small battery pack he held in his hand. Deek seemed quite stable and friendly, as if no commotion had ever occurred a short while before. By then his company had departed, and I wondered if Kai had given him a few choice words before he, himself, had left. I dropped the gizmo into my pocket and wished him and the pooches a lovely day and, once more, returned upstairs.
Hours passed, then he finally returned with the pups, bag of doggy medication, and the rabies tags and papers! As you already know via my texts, I praised him to the heavens for his courage to keep his appointment, and get the doggies their shots.
THIS WAS TUESDAY (day after the Vet SOS appointment)
He requested his $50 reward I promised, for getting the pups vaccinated. I said sure, so rushed off to my Chase branch to collect the money and bring it right TO him. He also wanted the bike I had stored for him upstairs. But he told me wait five minutes, which confused me for a moment until he broke out in tears over the horrible night he had, falling asleep while riding BART towards Daly City. He overshot his stop into unfamiliar territory. Something about two dudes with a gun, and he was with a friend, and he managed to escape but his friend did not, so maybe he’s dead now. Ran and ran and ran till he reached a gas station where they refused to let him in for protection, and call the cops. Few minutes later saw a police car coming in his direction, so he waved them down, told them his situation but they said they can’t help him because of Covid-19, and drove off to leave him stranded.
Of course I didn’t believe ANY of it, but just played along, told him I’m so sorry that happened, and I’m glad he came out of it unharmed.
“I’m glad the dogs weren’t with me!” he exclaimed.
“No kidding,” I replied, though so annoyed over his latest drama queen ploy ruining the good vibes of yesterday’s glorious achievement, I could literally scream to the depths of dark eternity. But I held my tongue and even my facial expression with which I feigned a deep concern for his well-being. In truth, I could barely keep from punching him out into a bloody pulp.
“This is the worst year of my life!” he proclaimed with tears aflow, but quickly wiped them away with a sleeve.
“Maybe the worst WEEK, but not the whole year, Deek,” I rejoined. “Maybe not even a week, but a single day, because you did something absolutely WONderful for your dogs just yesterday afternoon. You’ve also had many great things happen to you this year.”
“Oh, that,” he said, meaning the Vet SOS appointment. “I was gonna get around to taking them to a vet soon, anyway.” (Oh sure you were, Deek, and the moon is made of green cheese, I thought.)
Growing tired of his BS tale, the crocodile tears and the insults, I asked him if he wants the bike now. He said okay, but he’s gotta go to the Chevron station first, to pick up a snack. Now why can’t he just take the bike now, and ride it there, I thought. But I knew better than to state the obvious, as he’d probably spew another shower of nonsense and insults over a non-issue. So I climbed back upstairs and spent a few minutes hugging and playing with the pooches before maneuvering the bike from its makeshift nook, and carefully guiding the unwieldy beast down the stairs, one ginger step after another.
So now I was standing outside with the bike tilted upon the ATM alcove’s rail, not knowing how long he’d take to return, and he’s already kept me away from the brindlekin too many times today, for no fair reason. Fortunately, only four or five minutes passed before he reappeared with a tall drink in his hand (what, no sandwich, burrito or tacos?).
“You removed the tinsel!” he remarked, admiring the now pristine gears as I handed him the bike.
“Yeah, took a whole hour pick pick picking away at it, but I got it done,” I proudly declared. But then I noticed the right pedal, which still had tinsel raveled around its crank arm. So I crouched down to start working out the strands, but after removing maybe half, Deek said that’s okay, he’ll do the rest.
I was relieved to think he’s about to depart, and I could return hovel to get back to the mutts and my work station…but that was not to be. Instead, he exploded in aNOTHER rant about the Chevron cashier charging him seven dollars when it was supposed to be three, because of the deal on their poster. She refused to reimburse him, then threw his snack on the floor and told him to never come back. Now, did this really happen? I strongly doubt it, but held my anger in reserve and simply replied:
“Wow, what a bitch!”
Now, let’s see next time he collects his allowance, whether or not he says he’s gonna pick up a bite to eat at the Chevron station. He probably will, but make up some story first about a different cashier before taking off to buy whatever junk his stomach craves that day.
The rest of the day was a pleasant interlude of my usual walking, feeding and loving the pups, and doing my thing on the Internet. 10:30 came around, and I decided it’s time to take the canines out for their late-night poopies. As we approached Noe and Market on the way home, here came Deek on his bike to greet us. The doggies were glad to see him of course, and they stood up and danced around his legs as he pet them and said how healthy they look. To my astonishment, he expressed GREAT appreciation for my tending to the pups (“I couldn’t have done all this without you”), and thanked me profusely. “Looks like the shots have done them a lot of good,” he noted before wishing us a good night and peddling up Noe Street towards Duboce Park and the Haight.
Just when I was settling down for the night, about to lie down, Lucky suddenly leapt from the cot and started to pace around like Speedy Gonzalez, with little moans and woofs that clearly expressed a desperate urge to defecate. It was almost 1 AM. Needless to say, I moved posthaste to get him outside. Flaco was just fine with remaining indoors, as I told her “stay” and she perfectly understood. I feared he might lose control and foul up the carpeting before we got to the gate, but that did not happen, thank Ganesha.
Soon as we exited, Lucky pulled me forward on the leash with reckless force, quickly leading me up 16th Street behind the building, in search of a tree, a plot of dirt. I was surprised that he just didn’t poop anywhere on the sidewalk, ASAP…but I guess his meticulous nature remained in full command despite the urgency. I must admit it was very cute watching his chunky-butt hind legs propel him onward in a kind of macho wiggle, like he really means business, outta my way! I had to trot to keep pace with him, and not tug back and slow him down…no casual strolling or pausing to sniff the grass and flowers for US tonight, we’re on a mission!
He suddenly veered right and took me across the street to a tree outside the Bonita Taqueria Rotisseria where I order that roast chicken. A couple of workers were busy spraying down mats and wiping tables and chairs while Lucky expelled an impressively generous glob of mustard yellow feces onto a square of cardboard that lay by the tree. Seeing as that was NOT amenable to scooping up into a poop bag, I just flipped the cardboard over and moved on. I figured he may not be quite done yet, so we walked uphill on that side of 16th Street.
Only to have Lucky suddenly bark at two dudes standing inside a recess that led to someone’s shed through a short alleyway (if you had the key to the door, that is). They were hidden behind some tall shrubs, so easy to miss for a hooman. I tried coarcing Lucky forward, but he was frozen to the spot, barking away like a guard dog in a drug cartel compound.
“Hey there, Lucky!” spoke the shorter fellow with black, shaggy hair. To my surprise, it was Filipino Kai once again. We exchanged our usual, friendly greetings, followed by his praise of how well I care for Deek and the mutts.
“I keep telling him, that’s ONE man you always need to respect!” he said, meaning yours truly.
“Thank you,” I replied. “See that blue tag on Lucky’s collar? That’s his rabies tag!”
I proudly pointed at it, so Kai could see for himself that Deek did, indeed, get them their shots yesterday afternoon. “I’ve been after him for MONTHS to get this done and he finally followed through.”
“Incredible!” he emoted with a broad smile that exposed some missing teeth. “But where’s Flaco?”
“Oh, she’s back home sleeping,” I answered. “This is an emergency run. Lucky suddenly had to take a big dump, and he just did, so here we are!”
He guffawed at that, then pet Lucky who had quieted down as we parlayed. “Well, you have an excellent night, Zeke.”
“Surely I will, and the same to you, Kai!”
I then continued walking Lucky up 16th Street, then down the other side. By the time we reached Market Street, it appeared the emergency had passed, so we returned hovel and all three of us had a most pleasant rest-of-the-night in Doggy Dreamland.
THIS IS TODAY (2 days after the Vet SOS appointment)
Got up an hour later than usual, thanks to DST, so the brindlekin didn’t go for their morning walk until 9:50 AM, and they seemed fine with that. Though as it turned out, Deek wasn’t. As he showed up right at 10 (the earliest he could see me per my request a few weeks back) and I wasn’t home. Instead of correctly assuming I was taking the pooches for their morning stroll, he panicked and kept hollering up to my window, on and off for a good fifteen minutes until I arrived back home.
I didn’t KNOW that was him screeching, as I was too far away to make out who it was. I heard SOMEone hollering from three blocks away, but could not recognize the voice as belonging to Deek. For it sounded to me like your typical crazy person disturbing the peace, which happens quite often in this bedraggled neck of the woods. The pups DID stop to look back with perky ears, but they’d do that with anyone screaming. So I assumed it wasn’t their master, and continued our meandering about for ten or so minutes longer, before guiding them back towards Market Street.
We were still a block and a half away from Market when I saw Deek hollering at us while walking his bike in our direction. He was spittin’ and fumin’, said he thought I ran off with the dogs.
“That’s ridiculous, Deek,” I admonished. “You know I’d NEVER do that, and I don’t appreciate your screaming like a madman in front of my building. You know if I’m not home I ALWAYS show up a short time later.”
“Short time? More like a half hour,” he exclaimed. “I almost threw a brick in your window.”
“Now why would you do that?” I countered. “You ruin my living situation and you ruin your own. Where would the dogs go for sanctuary, if I’m no longer there? Who would give you a weekly allowance, if I disappear? Who would you lean on like a good friend when no one else puts up with your crap? Get a grip, asshole.”
He suddenly calmed down and said all he needs right now is a razor and dog food. Okay, I said, give me a minute, and closed the gate behind me as he and the brindlekin stood outside.
“Oh, and the jackets!” he added while I was still within earshot. He actually meant “sweaters,” but I wasn’t about to give him an excuse to conjure up yet one more of his notorious rants, by correcting him. I handwashed them two nights before, and another pair arrived from Amazon yesterday, so let’s see if he holds onto each pair for a sensibly long time. I don’t expect him to, but the little furry angels come first no matter what.
He did ask if I gave them their meds yet, so I lied and said yes. “I bought two chicken breasts and broiled them, then mixed the meds in. They gobbled it all up.” I also told him the flea and tick treatment is NOT necessary, as they never catch them…ALL short haired dogs are like that. “If they DO get fleas, I assure you I’d know about it the moment they visit. And I’ve never found a tick on either, nor have you.” But he refused to admit that, asking why then do they scratch themselves so much?
“But they DON’T,” I replied. “They only scratch on their collar because it itches, and Lucky loves to scratch his own sides by pressing into a rough wall like stucco or bricks, then walk in one direction and then the other, until he’s satisfied. That ain’t fleas, that just FEELS good!”
But he persisted in keeping up the flea and tick meds, so I just dropped it. I don’t see any point in putting needless chemicals into a pet’s system. I’ll just order the heartworm medication and skip the flea and tick stuff, but tell him otherwise.
The bag of food was ready to go, as I had prepared it last night. So I tossed in another space blanket and the sweaters, and came back outside. He was caressing both dogs and snarled at me with some accusation that Lucky’s too skinny and his sister’s too fat, what am I doing, favoring Flaco over Lucky?
“I’ve seen you reach out to Flaco many times, and ignore Lucky!” he spewed.
“That’s not true, Deek, please stop inventing false charges against me, it’s childish,” I retorted. “They both look fine, I make sure they get an equal share of their meals, and my attention. I love them both, equally and infinitely.”
But he continued to gripe his foolish accusations, so in disgust I ran back to the front gate and flipped him the bird before disappearing into the bowels of Hotel California North (as I like to call it).
So now you’re up to date, good physician. It’s been an exhausting ordeal trying to reason with Deek, as well as composing my latest report, thanks to so much that has happened in a few, short days. But the truly important thing to remember is:
THEY GOT THEIR VACCINATIONS!
Allow me now to muse a bit, upon the Bodhisattva Premise interpretation, which puts an entirely different and POSITIVE spin on my report:
In the world of shamans, whenever one shaman achieves some remarkable accomplishment, instead of being praised and feted, his brother shamans deride and insult him with tremendous hostility that goes on for days, weeks, or even months. Sort of like an initiation. The spirit of their harassment being that this shaman’s achievement is SO wonderful and graced with god’s love, that it puts the rest of them to shame, making them look SUBhuman by comparison. So they ACT subhuman in recognition of this shaman’s outstanding work. They dare NOT approach him as an equal for a considerable time to come. Just how LONG the initiation lasts is based on how extraordinary this shaman’s achievement actually was, and the tradition of their particular tribe.
Deek, as my main bodhisattva guardian these days, is carrying OUT that particular ritual of what might be called “backdoor honor” or “reverse celebration.” And since my victory has been such a grand one, the hostility is comparably intense.
And I’ve also conjectured in the past, that there may be MANY shamans (or bodhisattvas) among the homeless. Certainly, Filipino Kai showing up more frequently at just the right moments, as witness and friend, lends credibility to this idea. He plays the role of helping hand and confidante…and he does that quite well, I should note. There have been OTHER houseless people congregating around Deek these past several months whenever we have our meetups…so they, too, serve as friendly witnesses.
I’d say that Deek’s horrific antics are nothing more than aiding me to keep moving in the right direction, as well as having some fun at my expense. And the less anger or worry I feel over his latest rants leads me closer to the final resolution that one might call “enlightenment,” “self-realization,” “spiritual epiphany” or some other equivalent term. His showing up one day with a bicycle and its gears jammed up with gold tinsel was a BRILLIANT retort to my declaration just a short time before, that “I spin all mine enemies’ toxic dross into strands of pure gold.”
So, just as I ultimately refused to fret over whether or not Deek shows up for his vet appointment, but joyfully put my trust in the hands of the Great Spirit, likewise I do NOT grow upset over this morning’s outrageously nasty attack. In fact, I should rest in faith, that this, too, shall have a POSITIVE result in due time.
Sorry about such a LENGTHY missive, but I DO hope you’ve enjoyed the ride immensely!
– Zeke K-Holmes
Subject: They’re back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 17, 2022 at 9:15 AM
8:45 AM, Deek woke me up to take the pups inside. Asked if I’m alright once I got up and peered out the window…I nodded yes. Then he said:
“Take your time. They were up all night walkin’ around, so they really need to sleep right now!”
I took a quick piss, donned my slippers and rushed downstairs to collect the angels. When he handed the leashes over, Flaco slipped out of her collar in a flash and ran to the gate, dancing and wagging her tail in delighted expectation. Lucky gave a little “woof” at her as I held him back, waiting for Deek to extract two smartphones and a small battery pack from his pockets.
So here’s a pic of them now, getting some serious shuteye. And I’m about to step out for my Rosenberg java and thank my Lucky stars. Or is it my Flaco stars? I’m guessing it’s both!
– Zeke K-Holmes
Re: They’re back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 17, 2022 at 1:50 PM
> All tuckered out!!
Flaco has since transported herself to the box, while Lucky remains in his cushy nest on the cot. I set down their breakfast an hour ago, and they both awoke and dined with gusto…than back to sleep.
Deek stopped by again a few moments ago to pick up two recharged smartphones and a small battery pack. He was on his bike out front, so just collected his devices and zipped away. But before he departed, he asked how the dogs are doing, and I told him “Excellent, they had a hearty meal and are now resting.” Then he said the nicest thing to me that he’s never said before:
“Thanks, and have a blessed day!”
Let THAT sink in, like honey on spongecake.
> Scanned last night’s rabid rant, enjoyed it a lot! More soon when I have a break.
Another labor of love, written with a sad end because the superb resolution that followed came later next day…that is, this morning. I’m sailing on a cloud.
– Zeke K-Holmes
P.S.: But of course SOMEthing had to throw a monkey wrench into the happy outcome, though this time it was NOT Deek’s doing. It arrived in the mail, just after his quick visit. See pics. I have concluded the devil runs San Franshitsco…no wonder there are so many Satan worshipers in this accursed backwater burg! Why, urban legend has it that Aleister Crowley himself occupied the turret apartment on the top floor of this building early last century!
Subject: Rain later today, so pups may be back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 18, 2022 at 2:47 PM
Light rain predicted for this afternoon, from around 1-3 PM. Deek may return as a result, to shelter the doggies…I hope so! Though his desire to have their company may win out, regardless of Flaco & Lucky’s well-being, since he just let them stay with me for two days. There is hope, though, in light of his many positive changes of recent mint. When he picked up the brindlekin yesterday morning, he was nicely dressed and clean looking, and quite amicable. No drama queen antics whatsoever!
Interesting encounter at Rosenberg’s this morning. As I began to pour some half-n-half into my coffee cup some friendly fellow of around 55-58 stepped in, squeezed past me and stopped inches away from my elbow:
“Oh, they have cream here, I didn’t know that!” he remarked.
“Ha! That’s what I thought too, for the first few weeks,” I replied. “So I just added milk when I got home. Then one blissful morning I discovered the half-n-half right beside this coffee pot, and said the same thing myself!”
I then extracted two pink packets of Sweet ‘N Low from my coat pocket and poured the powdery contents over the half-n-half, then filled the cup with steaming hot, golden-brown elixir and sealed it with a lid I procured from a stack leaning against another stack, this one comprised of paper cups that tilted in a disturbingly precarious manner, like out of a Max Fleisher reel. (How’s THAT for a sentence?)
Observing that he continued to engage me in conversation, I stepped aside by a foot or so, rather than walk immediately to the cashier.
“So, Dieter’s no longer here,” he continued, “but he HAD to move, considering his medical condition,”
Oh, he lives in my building, I thought…but I’ve never noticed him before.
“Yes,” I agreed, “but I hear the Veterans Home in Yountville is a pretty sweet arrangement.”
“It is in most ways,” he reflected, “but he can’t come out there!”
“What? He hasn’t moved IN there yet?” My mind was boggled; I couldn’t imagine where he was living now, during the interim.
“NO,” he shot back, “I mean ‘come out’ as in GAY!”
“Wow,” I exclaimed, “sorry to hear that. I had no idea.”
“Well, what choice did he have?” he elaborated. “He needs the care they provide, and he had no other option. But he’s queer as a three-dollar bill.”
“I knew two other gay veterans who stayed there for awhile,” I replied, “but they never mentioned anything about homophobia in the ranks. And they seemed happy while there.”
“Dieter’s been living in that room for years!” he exclaimed. “His rent was dirt cheap, under $300 I think, he should’ve KEPT it.”
I shrugged my shoulders and raised a hand palm up in a “well whaddya gonna do” kind of gesture. Now that I think about it, his keeping that unit would probably work against his veterans benefits, including his move to Yountville. I was about to tell him I’ve lived here even LONGER than Dieter, so MY rent’s quite low, too…but I thought better of it and bit my tongue. I wonder, though, how his rent could be lower than $300, as mine is eleven dollars more…so you’d think his moving in years later after me, it would be closer to four hundred. My new acquaintance suddenly changed topic:
“They still haven’t fixed the damn elevator. We should’ve proceeded with a lawsuit over this.”
I nodded my head in agreement: “Ridiculous how it’s gone on for so long. They shoulda replaced it fifty years ago.”
Again I bit my tongue rather than tell him about the actual lawsuit I and twelve others went through and WON, around fourteen years ago. And how we each got $14,000 instead of the proposed $44,000 by the time it was all over. Mainly because they resented that yours truly, the black sheep of Hotel California North, would collect that much money, when the REST of them held down jobs and I didn’t. So they settled for the lower amount, cutting their noses off as it were, to spite their surly faces.
We finally paid for our mud and stepped outside to continue the badinage a bit longer. I told him I enjoyed my talking with Dieter whenever I’d go upstairs to visit with my old friend, Sean, who lived in the room right next door for 24 years. And that I remember when Dieter moved in. Then I reflected further on the topic of vets:
“Whenever someone brings up veterans issues, I always think of one gay vet I supported after he shot himself by The Wall and survived,” I rattled on for another minute or two about Randolph, but concluded that some of his activism was a needless drama that I got sucked into…thus I question his motives now that so many years have passed. I ended my abbreviated tale with:
“Human beings are drama queens! What can I say?”
He chuckled at that and said, “Well I gotta get back to work now,” then turned away to walk up Noe Street. I presume he’s employed at the new cannabis shop several doors up, where I stop by outside every time I walk the dogs so the greeter can say hi to the furry angels, and pet them.
“So what is your name?” I called to him. He looked back at me, said “Ryan,” and I told him mine. I watched to see which doorway he’d enter, but for some reason I turned my head away for no reason I can recall. It was only for a second, but when I returned to look in his direction he had already vanished.
So, I have a newfound association with another resident of 9666 Market Street. But I have no idea how much he knows about me, especially regarding my caring for two homeless pups. We’ll just have to wait and see, Wattson.
Last night I straightened out my floor with a fresh edition of The Bay Area Reporter (the most popular and widely circulated LGBT news media of all time), and found the perfect box to replace the one that was on its last legs after the doggies’ working it over with their repeated, frantic scratching in their fruitless attempts to “fluff it up a bit.” Like Lucky has started doing with my cushioned swivel chair. Attached is a pic of my hovel from just outside the door, after I laid down the throw rugs atop fresh paper. I like the comfy ambience and sunlight pouring through the blue curtains.
Also enclosed is a pic of the new box, with “Chewy (where pet lovers shop)” printed on one side. That’s an online pet store, in case you didn’t know. How appropriate for the purpose it now serves! I found it on the back porch, all flattened out. Instead of resurrecting it with box tape, I decided to just close one end by overlapping each flap upon the other. Sturdy enough with less fuss, and no waste of expensive tape! A tad larger than the previous box, I’m sure the pooches will go nuts over it.
– Zeke K-Holmes
P.S.: It just occurred to me that Ryan may have been one of the people seated with Dieter from time to time, at the Mediterranean restaurant parklet around the corner…where he often hanged out starting around six months ago, until his transition to Yountville. If so, he most likely has seen the brindlekin, and knows some other things about me that Dieter might have shared.
Re: Rain later today, so pups may be back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 18, 2022 at 5:50 PM
> I took a tour of the Vets’ Home in Yountville about 25 years ago, with the idea of bringing my father here from NYC. It didn’t happen, but I got a good look at the place. And went there again a few years later with some friends who were visiting a guy in his 90s, a friend of theirs. The grounds and the buildings are kind of wonderful–a long, long tree-shaded drive leads to the place. It’s a sprawling complex; the buildings are big, graceful, with some really attractive old-style California architecture. There are gardens, lawns, old trees, rose bushes, vineyards, courtyards. The interior is less attractive–institutional linoleum floors, fluorescent lighting, the usual. But the residents I talked to said they loved the place, the care was superb, the food fine. There was a mass shooting there a few years ago (you doubtless heard about it), and they said they were going to close the place down permanently, but later changed their minds.
Even in a homophobic environment, there CAN be beauty! A shaky reassurance, as I know how anti-gay the military culture remains, especially when it comes to older veterans. I went through this while visiting Randolph in the nation’s capitol and in general, speaking for him now and then on the media, and in meetings with, or letters to, certain mucky-mucks (like the director of the V.A. hospital there).
> Wise of you to resist saying too much to your new acquaintance.
I think so! I certainly don’t want to wind up being a target once more, of elitist, wealthy queers. Though he DOES know now, I moved in here well before Dieter. At that point he probably put two and two together and figures I’m paying dirt cheap rent, also.
Well, it’s damp and chill outside, and Deek has NOT returned. Good thing the pups have their sweaters! I saw the three of them last night, about an hour after the dogs left my sanctuary. Deek was pushing his cart up the sidewalk at a rapid clip, while the doggies trotted alongside, looking up at him quite often with attentive and loving regard. Their constant sweetness humbles me, especially when they have a master who should treat them better.
– Zeke K-Holmes
Subject: Trickster Deek at it Again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 2:42 PM
He woke me up at 2:40 this morning! For what reason, you ask? To hand me two micro SD cards still in their bubble-wrap packages…something he could’ve EASILY waited till after 10 AM to give me. I told him in the past, the only time it’s okay to disturb my sleep, is to bring the dogs inside. So THAT’S what I thought he was gonna do, considering the chill, damp night air, and that he “lost” the doggy sweaters already.
However, once I reached the lobby, a homeless black person was there, standing about with his backpack and bedroll, not a peep out of him. Since he was silent and appeared to be harmless (though a big fellow) I ignored him for the moment and went right to the front gate without opening it.
“You know it’s almost three AM, don’t you?” I groused. Actually, I was still up, though just about to crash when Deek appeared…but he doesn’t need to know that. I CHERISH my quiet time, as I’m sure you do as well, Wattson.
You should know I sleep in my day clothes, so perhaps Deek has concluded I’m still up and about at such a wee hour…thus no big deal to drop by then, no matter my claim otherwise. I need to correct him on this, and will do so next time around: that I DON’T change into pajamas.
“Oh, sorry,” he contritely meowed, “I didn’t realize how late it was.”
SURE he didn’t, I thought to myself, while noticing the brindlekin were nowhere to be seen or heard. He then passed two thin packets to me through the gate’s bars, and queried:
“Are these the right size for my music?”
One card was 32GB, the other 128. Since I know his total rap collection now comes to just less than 23 gigabytes, I affirmed they are. I presume the cards were filched from Walgreens just two blocks from here only moments ago, either by Deek himself or one of his errant errand boys tweaking his ass off on Scooby snax.
Deek then just stood there looking at me, and after 20 seconds of dead air, I spoke up:
“I’d LIKE to go back to bed now.”
He then pointed at the intruder just feet behind me:
“Who is he? Does he live here?”
“Shhh, Deek,” I softly reprimanded, “Don’t talk about him while he’s standing right there!”
I then turned to the mystery fellow who finally spoke up: “Can’t I stay here tonight, it’s cold outside.”
He spoke in a feminine tone, which told me not only is he gay, but quite pacifist and friendly. So I felt bad when I had to say:
“No, there’s a camera over there,” and directed a finger to a spot just above the derelict elevator. I certainly did NOT care to be reprimanded by the building manager for allowing a stranger to linger all night long in the lobby, which could readily be proven by the camera’s digital evidence.
He offered no objection, and politely grabbed his possessions and exited out the gate while I held the inner door ajar for an easy passage. But during the short time he moved to leave, Deek whispered to me with a dismissive sweep of the hand:
“Go to bed, goodnight now!”
I peered directly at him, but did not move a muscle nor even speak as I waited for the kindly pilgrim to depart. But Deek persisted, this time with a slight scowl on his face:
“Everything’s fine, go back to sleep, okay?”
Again, I did not respond to his off-putting demand (how dare he, I’M the one who lives here, not him), but remained mum. For I was not about to simply return upstairs without first seeing to it that the lobby be vacated.
The exit accomplished, I wished him a good night, and saw to it that the gate would shut in full, with my own force if need be, instead of halting with the latch poised in front of the plate instead of securing itself with a resounding “click.” Sure enough, the gate did NOT close, but remained resting upon the plate until I yanked it shut with my hand!
This latest problem with the gate not locking properly (which happens about twice a year) started barely two weeks ago, but still, the manager usually gets it fixed within a few days. In fact, he only added the plate back in 2018, to keep potential break-ins at bay. Imagine that! Our castle so vulnerable for decades, before something was done about it. But this “something” is more a band-aid than a real solution, for the lock is NOT a deadbolt! The cheapness of semi-slumlord Ablahblah Realty is legendary.
This explains why someone else I know (but whose name I have long forgotten) who is living on the streets but don’t want over anymore, suddenly came knocking at my door several nights back. I had no idea who it was until I opened the door. Haven’t seen him for almost three years, and hoped never to see again. Not that he’s a problem, but nothing he talks about is of interest to me…and most of it is just babbling conspiracy nonsense or wacky fantasies. Besides, since this pandemic began I refuse to let most ANYone step inside my hovel. Fortunately, he gave me no grief when I told him I stopped having visitors years ago, that I’ll see him outside, but right now I’m busy. I espied him through my window later that evening, across the street and chatting with Deek. Go figure.
But even without a malfunctioning lock, it’s still easy for anyone to sneak inside, by piggybacking on a resident, delivery person or repairman (such as a plumber or electrician) who just entered, since the gate is slow to swing shut, and some people don’t bother to see if anyone is right behind them. Not to mention that SOME deliveries of a major sort, or residents moving in or out, or contracted building workers (such as the elevator crew) usually leave the gate wide open for an hour or longer.
LIVING ON ONE OF THE BUSIEST STREETS IN THE ENTIRE CITY DOESN’T HELP MUCH, EITHER!
Upon returning hovel and finally hitting the sack, I realized Deek’s encouraging me to rush back upstairs was his attempt to keep the front gate unlocked. For what purpose? I suspect he actually KNOWS the polite intruder but pretended otherwise, to throw me off. What was he planning to do…invite OTHERS on the streets to sleep in the lobby? THAT would be a disaster, and I’d have the wrath of the manager and all residents come down on me.
I guess word is out on the streets by now, regarding the wonky gate lock (thanks to my trickster friend with the two doggies). To add a further complication, aNOTHER homeless person (who I don’t know and appears rather sketchy to say the least) was sitting right out front by the curb, wrapped in a dirty blanket and watching the entire scenario unfold. Now HE knows about the gate, too!
So unless the manager gets this fixed pronto we MAY have a problem on our hands. I think I’ll mention it to Deek, next time he shows up, say something like:
“Nice attempt trying to keep the gate open, buddy! Wanna give it another shot?”
Before all this happened, Deek dropped by much earlier, to give me two “new” speakers to charge, said he’ll pick them up the next morning. That’s when I saw the pups weren’t wearing their sweaters, in spite of the chilly air.
“Where are their sweaters, Deek,” I asked, “Did you lose them already?”
“Nah,” he replied. “They kept pulling them off because it makes them itchy.”
“That’s weird,” I remarked, “They don’t seem to mind the sweaters when I put them on.”
He had a shopping cart with him, though sparsely filled. I asked if he still has the sweaters, he said yes, just look in the cart. But I could see they were NOT there without moving any of his several items around. So I just said never mind, wished them all a lovely night, and returned upstairs with the two speakers.
I have a hunch he lost them, but doesn’t want to admit it. I should’ve come back downstairs with the second pair I bought, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. GLAD to see, however, their rabies tags still clinking on the collars, good physician. What do ya wanna bet he’s so PROUD of those tags, he’ll NEVER lose them! Maybe I’m a tad too optimistic.
Funny thing about that 128GB SD card:
I’m planning to purchase a refurbished Chromebook to replace my old x60s Thinkpad that has finally kicked the trash bin a few months ago. This would be for taking outside to coffeehouses, and for emergency computer backup if it ever comes to that. I can get a decent Chromebook, used, for cheap: anywhere between $79 and $150. I can even replace the system with Linux or one of a few Chrome-style OS’s that are free, and designed to work beyond the device’s expiration date…which is when Google decides to cease updates. And my VPN service works great with Chrome devices!
But since these low-end notebooks have very little storage built in, I figured to buy a 128GB card to increase capacity via a media slot that comes with many of the newer Chromebooks. Now, Deek doesn’t know anything about this, yet here he shows up with EXACTLY what I need! Seeing as he does not require that many gigabytes for his OWN music, I’ll just replace it with a 32GB card that I already have, lying around.
So was his late-night intrusion worth it, for the card? Umm, not really.
– Zeke K-Holmes
Re: Trickster Deek at it Again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 7:50 PM
> Jesus, I would KILL anybody who woke me up at that hour!
Not if there were a sweet doggy or two hanging in the balance.
> But you handled it perfectly.
The pups bring it out in me.
> And those extra gigabytes are better than a sharp stick in the eye.
That reminds me of Futurama’s “eyePhone” episode.
The scene I’m thinking of starts at 1:55, in case that link doesn’t take you right to it…you might have to skip a commercial before you get there, if you don’t use a Youtube ad blocker. There should be a “skip” link in the lower right of the video, after the first five seconds. At any rate:
Deek showed up this afternoon to pick up his gadgets. We had an interesting, and rather fun, conversation…part of which revealed I was WRONG about some things that went on last night re. the mystery visitor in the lobby, the gate’s flaky lock, and the doggy sweaters. I’m working on that email right now, have been for over two hours…will be ready in 30 minutes or so. You’ll love it!
– Zeke K-Holmes
Subject: I WAS WRONG (I guess)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 10:31 PM
Deek FINALLY came by to pick up his gizmos, just twenty minutes ago. The pups were there, too. Soon as I brought down the Bluetooth speakers he said:
“And the chips?” Meaning those two SD cards. I decided to give him a bit of a worry, just to get back at him for last night’s thoughtless interruption:
“I didn’t think you’d wanna USE them on speakers, Deek. In fact you specifically said wait till you get another smartphone.”
“What?” he exploded, knowing it takes almost an hour and a half to copy his ENTIRE collection, for each card. “You had all night long to copy them over, you could’ve got it going before you went back to sleep!”
“You didn’t say ANYthing about using them for the speakers, Deek.” Which was true, he didn’t.
So I reminded him that with thousands of songs on each chip, and no visual menu like on a smartphone, it was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to pick the songs you want. He’s been through this before, and I thought he understood how frustrating such a setup can be. BECAUSE HE’S BEEN THROUGH IT MORE THAN ONCE!
“I told you before, Deek, that playing music from a card in a speaker is only intended for a SMALL number of files like a hundred or less; otherwise it’ll drive you crazy.”
Well, Wattson, a couple of hours after I woke up this morning, it occurred to me he just might WANT to use those chips on the speakers, regardless of the frustration involved. Or he just forgot about that part, which is more likely. (He might not be blonde, but he sure can be dumb as one, sometimes; I blame Louisiana more than the meth.) So I went ahead and copied all his music while puttering about in cyberspace and listening to Marshall McCoy’s latest “Memo of the Weird” podcast…hoping the Cajun dimwit wouldn’t show up before all songs were transferred.
“Are you kidding?” he proclaimed in horrendous disbelief, like I had just told him World War Three is on, and we gotta get to shelter in the underground Metro in less than ten minutes or we’ll be nuclear dust.
[Come to think of it, I don’t believe he has a CLUE what’s going on these days between The Russia and Ukraine (intended reversal of “the”). All he has to do is look at the headlines in passing, while rummaging through the bins for gawd sake! I have yet to bring it up, just like I haven’t all the tales, videos and pics of him and the pups that are out there in cyberspace. Which do you think will come first, Wattson: the bombs or the bestseller of all time and space? I’m betting on the latter.]
“You mean I’m STILL gonna have to wait THREE FUKKIN HOURS before I can play my songs…after all the time I already gave you between this morning and now, to get it done?” He was fuming at this point, couldn’t even look at me, but stood facing the wall of the ATM alcove. Meanwhile, I knelt down to belly-rub and cuddle the darling pooches, who were SO elated as always, to see me. And I, them. Their glittery blue rabies tags jangled a merry tune: elvin bells and fairy chimes!
“Oh calm down, Deek,” I stood up then and stretched. “I transferred ALL your music to both chips this morning, figuring to get that job out of the way. But I really had no idea you planned to use them on the speakers.”
He turned around and faced me upon hearing the good news. “Hurry up and get them, I don’t have all day!” he snapped.
“Now, now, not until I see you chill out,” I advised him like a wise brother. “Take a deep breath.”
He did just that, while mumbling something about thinking I might have refused to copy his songs to those chips, out of anger for his disrupting my sleep. I certainly led him on to consider that, for an unhappy minute or two! Just before I departed to procure the objects of his rap-musical lust, I added:
“I’m NOT gonna hurry up, for your information. I’m gonna take my sweet fukkin time. Maybe dump a log first, then wipe my ass with a whole roll of TP, tissue square by tissue square, and relish every moment. So just grin and bear it, I’m NOT your Stepin Fetchit!”
Before I vanished back into the building, he requested I also bring down a bowl of H2O for the pups. “I’ll get there when I get there!” I called back, and the gate slammed shut.
I quickly filled a plastic dispsoable bowl with water, then carefully placed the micro cards that were already inserted into their larger SD sleeves, into a clean envelope, folded it then ran back downstairs.
“Here you are,” I declared. Next I set the bowl down and carried Flaco’s sweet little quadripedal soul away from the gate and beside Lucky, who was already lapping away.
He opened the envelope and extracted one of the SD cards, examining it with some confusion: “Where’s the tiny chip, this is too big!” (There’s that dumb blonde coming out again.)
“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I answered with patient exasperation. “You’ve been through this several times already, you should KNOW where it is by now…just work it out with your fingernails from that slot along the top edge.”
But before he did that, he posed another question: “Which is the 128 gig?”
“It’ll say on the chip once you extract it,” I replied. “But what does it matter? Same exact songs on each one, same number of songs.” Jeez Louise!
“That one-two-eight gig cost sixty dollah,” he bragged. “Not that I paid that much for it myself.”
“I didn’t think you paid for them at all, Deek,” I exclaimed. “I figure you swiped them off the shelf, ran out in a flash and didn’t want to be caught with them on you, so passed them on to ME!”
Deek then looked up at me with a twisty grin, from where he sat with the SD cards in one hand.
“You need to be careful what you THINK I do!” he retorted.
Interesting response, as he didn’t actually DENY the petty crime. I had also brought the second pair of doggy sweaters downstairs, and offered them up.
“No thank you Zeke,” he replied and pointed at the original pair lying at the bottom of his cart, beneath a blurry pile of plastic and metal parts, and clothing of some kind. So he DOES still have the sweaters after all, I thought…my bad!
“They just don’t wanna wear ’em,” he explained.
“I find that hard to believe, Deek,” I countered, “as they always act quite comfortable when I put their sweaters on. And they never take them off unless I do it FOR them.”
He didn’t respond further, so I just said okay, I’ll take this pair back upstairs. I then confronted him in an offhanded manner:
“By the way, what was that with you shooing me back upstairs so you could keep the gate unlocked? Very funny, care to give it another shot?”
“NO!” he rebounded like a snarling Super Ball. “I don’t know WHO that dude was, I wanted you to return to your room ’cause he’s homeless and might think I snitched on him!”
“Snitched on him?” I asked with genuine curiosity. “For what?”
“For getting him kicked out of your building!” was the suprising answer. “Now he could cause me trouble later on!”
Yes I suppose he could, were he not such a peaceful soul. He possibly thought I was the building manager, and Deek another resident. But this conclusion only came to me with hindsight, well AFTER our latest meetup ended. At the moment, though, I did not reflect, but blurted out like a cheesy off-off-Las-Vegas-Strip Steve Martin impersonator:
“Well excuuuuuse me for NOT running up the stairs like a frightened little bunny-rabbit, and allowing a STRANGER to lurk about the building all night long! You have my most proFUSE apologies!”
At this point our verbal swordplay seemed to have petered out, while all Flaco and Lucky wanted was to scamper back upstairs with THIS canine-worshipping pilgrim. But that was not in the stars, or at least ONE star named Deek. Before departing for good, I pet the little angels once more, told them how much I love them, then turned to Deek:
“Just a reminder: the only time it’s okay to drop by so late is to bring the dogs inside. My sleep is FAR more important than your music or anything else that does not involve them.”
He nodded at me with a cordial grumble, and I then explained that I sleep with my clothes on, and have done so for many years.
“So don’t think I’m actually up and about just because you see me dressed like this when you rudely summon me downstairs at such a late hour, and against my wishes! In other words, don’t think ‘oh he’s lying, he’s not sleepy at all.'”
So that was that, and my final words were this, before turning around to return hovel:
“You all have a lovely rest of the day, and enjoy the music!”
Thus I found myself upstairs once more, dogless…and a short while later began the arduous task of composing this, my latest missive, to you, Dear Wattson. Conclusion:
I was wrong about SOME assumptions I made, regarding Deek’s behavior last night. But that’s STILL a drop in the bucket compared to Deek’s OCEAN of wrongs that almost drown me from time to time. Yet that is NOT what’s important in all these silly street fiascos. You know what’s REALLY important, above and beyond anything else in our relationship, Wattson? This:
!!! THE POOCHES GOT THEIR SHOTS…HUZZAH !!!
– Zeke K-Holmes
Re: I WAS WRONG (I guess)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 21, 2022 at 2:55 PM
> Yes!!! A triumph, a victory, a grand achievement!
No sweeter sound to my ears than the clinking of those tags. I have a hunch Deek feels the same way, even though he’ll never admit it. His blurting out the other day that he would’ve taken them to a vet himself without my aid, anyway, was his typical trickster comeback. In the tradition of an “opposite” shaman, who often speaks contrary to what he means, especially when addressing someone who recently triumphed over impossible odds.
Pups have returned to my sanctuary as of this morning…WITH THEIR SWEATERS ON! Deek is busy now jamming on some street corner, I guess. He introduced me to a member of his rap group, who was standing with him out front, by the bus stop…waiting, I suppose, for Deek to pack things up and start today’s rap session somewhere downtown or in the Mission. He’s a ginormous black dude, and friendly. Though I was only with them for less than a minute, loaning Deek my Scotch tape to decorate his bike with thick strands of colorful plastic beads that he first had draped over a speaker. So we really didn’t get to talk.
Deek WAS somewhat pesky in this latest meetup, but nothing to write home about. At THIS point in his incredible growth in leaps and bounds, it’s become almost an HONOR for him to tweak my nerves at least a skosh…in kind memory of a prior existence. Artemis only knows how SUSPICIOUS I’d be if he did NOT fuck with my head now and then, at THIS stage of our friendship.
Of course, he requested advance payment for his Thursday allowance (“I really need it!” as if that particular phrase were some sorcerer’s spell impossible to resist). Of course I acquiesced, but not immediately. I held off for two hours before approaching him with fresh java in my hands on my return from Rosenberg’s, where he was sorting through his items behind my building. I didn’t expect to see him still hangin’ out nearby, especially since after he handed over the pups and said he’ll be back around noon to pick up the speakers. Which was when I planned to cough up da moolah, after telling him earlier no way Jose, it’s too soon.
Once I crossed 16th Street I walked up to him and said, “Would you like the money now, or later at noon?”
Surprise, surprise, Wattson, he wanted it now…plus some ginger ale. He also handed me another device to charge that I guess he already had in his cart, but forgot. Turned out to be a Phillips DVD player. Sadly, upon returning home, I discovered it doesn’t work ’cause the battery’s dead, and even when I plug it in the disc cover refuses to open.
When he returned to pick up his electronics, I told him the DVD player’s no good, and explained why. “Give it to me anyway,” he said, “Maybe I can do something about that.” In the recent past he would’ve been all over me in a hissy fit, claiming I broke it. But no drama this time around.
Nothing untoward to report, which is GREAT! Two pics enclosed: one showing his main speaker pimped out with bright, big beads. A happy remnant of his Mardi Gras/New Orleans roots.
The other pic shows Lucky enjoying the cool breeze wafting from the box fan just I turned on, thanks to the warmer weather and the direct rays of the sun striking both windows.
Flaco’s in the box, loving the private darkness therein, and the coolness that provides. Oops! She just moved from the box to the cot, and vanished under the covers. I almost sat on her one day, because I didn’t realize she was there! She’s quite the stealth ninja.
I’ll let them rest for another two hours, before taking them on their afternoon poopies, and visiting with the cannabis shop’s greeter, whoever that will be today. Usually that’s Vanessa, but could be Koby.
– Zeke K-Holmes