The FINAL Final Chapter (part 13)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18m]

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Subject: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 3:20 PM

…they keep piling up! You’ll see in the attached jpeg, three vagrants parked below my window; the one on the left is Deek. He is very orange-y today…shirt matching the wheeled storage bin alongside! Reminds me of the rich, saffron-hued robes of Siddartha’s devotees. I believe this is no accident, that he knows what he’s doing and thus, I have grossly underestimated his wisdom by a long shot. But that was the plan all along: to play the role of a know-nothing Cajun cracker from the bayou, that I can then step in as his liberator, with all the challenges that entails and with it, my own spiritual growth.

Remember when he so proudly wore that Buddha medallion he gifted to me, but later asked to wear it himself? That was last year in April, and here’s a pic from a video I shot around that time, to refresh your memory (see 2nd attachment). Notice that his facial expression conveys a prescience that hints of a newfound awareness on my part, almost a year later (meaning TODAY). Furthermore, the past two months or so he’s been sporting a shaved head with either a sparsely stranded ponytail or a thick stump of hair in the back: the common fashion of a Krishna disciple.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, good doctor, but countless other events in our association (meaning Deek and myself) that have occurred over the past two years suggest I’m not. Good thing I am documenting all this, for if I AM correct, an astounding story will be told for all the world to ponder, and cherish! That would make you my Prince Arjuna, I suppose. But only because you PLAY that role, as Deek does his…and as THIS bipolar pilgrim does with hilarious ineptitude.

And, just to temper my ego, I consider my OWN self-proclaimed destiny as simply one that ANYONE can achieve when on the 8-fold path, and sticks to it. IOW: we are ALL Krishna (or Buddha, or Jesus, or Muhamet, or the female equivalent thereof) in the long run. Which implies that NO ONE shall fall short of this final transformation when all is said and done…though may be hard to imagine with people like Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and my building manager in this world! Speaking of whom:

Kevin suddenly appeared on the second floor as Flaco & Lucky bounded out the door for our afternoon stroll. They barked up a storm while he hollered “Shut the fuck up!” at them, several times. Lucky escaped his collar, but did NOT move from his spot right beside me (about ten feet from Kevin) and allowed me to place the collar back on. As I knelt to pet both dogs in hopes of calming them down, I raised my voice above the din:

“You’re blocking the stairs! If you move back a foot I can rush them outside and all will be quiet again.”

He ignored my request, which was clearly intentional…and thus, the pups continued to bark until he slowly doddered down the steps and disappeared ’round the corner. I waited until I heard the front gate slam shut before taking the pups downstairs themselves.

He hollered something else at me before vanishing, which I only partly heard above the canine cacophony, which was:

“You need to…[indecipherable blurts]…or I’m gonna have to…[indecipherable blurts]…!”

I need to what, Wattson…get rid of the pooches? Or he’s gonna have to what…evict me? Call animal control? So easy for him to be kind to the brindlekin, but instead he continues to harasss, ever since Myrtle Haversak and son triggered Kevin’s spiteful abuse many moons ago. Not that he’s been particularly amenable to me before then, as he’s been far less tolerant of my presence all the years he’s been manager, than to other residents who pay through the nose to live here in Nosferatu’s Second Castle. Yet I must, as one who practices compassion, regard him with patience, and as an equal. For I presume he’s merely continuing to play his role as antagonist, that I have additional opportunities to remain gracious, even to my perceived enemies. Nothing horrible will come of this, and he’s likely to keel over soon, anyway. Wow, then who will we have for our NEXT innkeeper…Olga the Terrible? In case you don’t know about her:

I didn’t either, until one eerie night in 1964 playing on a ouija board with a boyhood neighbor (who lived directly behind my house, separated by a fence between mutual backyards). I asked which spirit was here, and the board spelled out “Olga the Terrible.” Then the overhead light in his bedroom abruptly went out, and we were left in the dark. That was the last time I ever messed with a ouija board, FYI. Or visited Donny in his house.

I have since learned about this Olga, and now you will, too, a bit (if you haven’t already on your own), via Wikipedia. Note she ruled over Kiev, a.k.a. “Kiev Rus” back in the day. So this is part of UKRAINIAN history:

--quote:

After Igor's death in 945, Olga ruled Kievan Rus' as regent on behalf of their son Sviatoslav. She was the first woman to rule Kievan Rus'. Little is known about Olga's tenure as ruler of Kiev, but the Primary Chronicle does give an account of her accession to the throne and her bloody revenge on the Drevlians for the murder of her husband as well as some insight into her role as civil leader of the Kievan people....

After Igor's death at the hands of the Drevlians, Olga assumed the throne because her three-year-old son Sviatoslav was too young to rule. The Drevlians, emboldened by their success in ambushing and killing the king, sent a messenger to Olga proposing that she marry his murderer, Prince Mal. Twenty Drevlian negotiators boated to Kiev to pass along their king's message and to ensure Olga's compliance. They arrived in her court and told the queen why they were in Kiev: "to report that they had slain her husband...and that Olga should come and marry their Prince Mal." Olga responded:

"Your proposal is pleasing to me, indeed, my husband cannot rise again from the dead. But I desire to honor you tomorrow in the presence of my people. Return now to your boat, and remain there with an aspect of arrogance. I shall send for you on the morrow, and you shall say, "We will not ride on horses nor go on foot, carry us in our boat." And you shall be carried in your boat."

When the Drevlians returned the next day, they waited outside Olga's court to receive the honor she had promised. When they repeated the words she had told them to say, the people of Kiev rose up, carrying the Drevlians in their boat. The ambassadors believed this was a great honor as if they were being carried by palanquin. The people brought them into the court where they were dropped into a trench that had been dug the day before under Olga's orders where the ambassadors were buried alive. It is written that Olga bent down to watch them as they were buried and "inquired whether they found the honor to their taste."

Olga then sent a message to the Drevlians that they should send "their distinguished men to her in Kiev, so that she might go to their Prince with due honor." The Drevlians, unaware of the fate of the first diplomatic party, gathered another party of men to send "the best men who governed the land of Dereva." When they arrived, Olga commanded her people to draw them a bath and invited the men to appear before her after they had bathed. When the Drevlians entered the bathhouse, Olga had it set on fire from the doors, so that all the Drevlians within burned to death.

Olga sent another message to the Drevlians, this time ordering them to "prepare great quantities of mead in the city where you killed my husband, that I may weep over his grave and hold a funeral feast for him." When Olga and a small group of attendants arrived at Igor's tomb, she did indeed weep and hold a funeral feast. The Drevlians sat down to join them and began to drink heavily. When the Drevlians were drunk, she ordered her followers to kill them, "and went about herself egging on her retinue to the massacre of the Drevlians." According to the Primary Chronicle, five thousand Drevlians were killed on this night, but Olga returned to Kiev to prepare an army to finish off the survivors.

The initial conflict between the armies of the two nations went very well for the forces of Kievan Rus', who won the battle handily and drove the survivors back into their cities. Olga then led her army to Iskorosten (what is today Korosten), the city where her husband had been slain, and laid siege to the city. The siege lasted for a year without success when Olga thought of a plan to trick the Drevlians. She sent them a message: "Why do you persist in holding out? All your cities have surrendered to me and submitted to tribute, so that the inhabitants now cultivate their fields and their lands in peace. But you had rather die of hunger, without submitting to tribute." The Drevlians responded that they would submit to tribute, but that they were afraid she was still intent on avenging her husband. Olga answered that the murder of the messengers sent to Kiev, as well as the events of the feast night, had been enough for her. She then asked them for a small request: "Give me three pigeons...and three sparrows from each house." The Drevlians rejoiced at the prospect of the siege ending for so small a price, and did as she asked.

Olga then instructed her army to attach a piece of sulphur bound with small pieces of cloth to each bird. At nightfall, Olga told her soldiers to set the pieces aflame and release the birds. They returned to their nests within the city, which subsequently set the city ablaze. As the Primary Chronicle tells it: "There was not a house that was not consumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught fire at once." As the people fled the burning city, Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them, killing some of them and giving the others as slaves to her followers. She left the remnant to pay tribute.

--end

Sounds like a woman after the Iron Empress’s own heart! But I severely (and unforgivably) digress, so let’s get back to Deek, who has NOTHING to do with Olga the Terrible, to the best of my knowledge:

After rising from my cot to start a new day, I glimpsed out my window, looked down to see three vagrants camped out by the ATM nook. As you know, one of them was Deek. Another was some scruffy dude who’s been around for maybe a decade, and is friendly enough. Never been a problem. The other was a female, Deek’s “ex” in fact, who they call “Shorty.” She’s really out there, often screeching up and down the sidewalks, mostly nonsensical diatribes. Though from time to time, what she blurts out DOES make sense, in that it comes off as a rather pithy wisecrack that makes me laugh. But this morning she was mostly quiet, and thus not a nuisance to myself or other residents who frequently suffer her nerve-racking shrieks.

It was almost 8:30 AM, I was about to take the golden mutts out for their morning poopies, so I was chagrined that he’s right by my gate, even though he knows not to drop by before 10 AM. But something told me “be kewl,” even though I could NOT avoid him once I stepped out, because the pups wouldn’t allow it. Since I assumed he’d collect the dogs at this time, I decided to don their sweaters, rather than stuff them into a bag along with a fresh supply of doggy vittles he’d no doubt request. The air was certainly chill enough to justify it, though not by much.

Once I opened the gate, Lucky & Flaco immediately pounced upon Deek with waggy-tail joy, knocking over or pushing aside the debris that surrounded him…including a large, empty steel dog bowl and a dark-gray backpack in like-new condition which I found on the street two days ago. A warm smile blossomed on his face as he kissed and hugged them with much fondness, then looked up at me:

“Sorry if we disturbed you so early in the day,” he spoke contritely. This told me he was cognizant of his pre-10 AM arrival, which I much appreciated.

“No you didn’t,” I replied. “But I knew you were here when I looked out the window.”

“You might as well take them for their walk, I’ll be here when you return,” he kindly offered, which again I appreciated.

“Okay, sounds good,” I declared, then gently tugged the pups off his lap to proceed towards Noe Street.

“Just don’t take a whole twenty minutes,” he called to me. “If they don’t poop before then, they don’t need to go, anyway.”

“Okay, will do,” I answered back, though tempted to argue the point. But as it turned out, Flaco relieved herself a few minutes later, and Lucky did likewise, a short time after that. So it must’ve been less than all of fifteen minutes before I returned to surrender them to their master. (Used to break my heart every time I did so, but now not so much, as I’ve gained greater trust in kismet, and in Deek.)

He was standing up by now, sorting through his stuff in that orange and white storage bin (think Good Humor ice cream’s signature orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream “humorette;” that color combo ALWAYS reminds me of it).

I released the dogs from my hand, and Deek guided them to sit on a voluminous, bulky comforter he had tossed in a corner of the ATM alcove. It was white with some ancient dirt streaks on it…and (glad to see) dry as a bone.

Lucky immediately took to it like bird-to-nest, while Flaco preferred to stand alongside, delighted to bask in the company of us both. Her brown eyes sparkled in that sweet, little canine visage of pure innocence, as she glanced back and forth at our faces, as if following our conversation with keen interest. (Who knows, perhaps she was!)

“So, did you have some good rap sessions?” I queried.

He raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders, saying something like yeah though some dumb stuff went on, too, but I had a pretty good time overall. At least, that’s the gist of what I got out of his mumbly persiflage. That damn, soft-spoken Loo-siana accent confounds my ear, sometimes! Not to mention the ever-present rumble of traffic just yards away. But the REAL point in telling you this, is: he seemed to appreciate my asking.

Several times during this latest meetup, Deek thanked me for all the good things I do for the dogs, in a genuinely grateful tone of voice! After returning downstairs with a fresh sack of chow,  I pet the doggies one more time.

“Thank you, angels, for another wonderful visit!” I told them as they joyfully beamed right back at me. Deek was, at that moment, standing before an ATM machine and using its glossy black housing for a mirror as he ran a disposable razor across his jawline. He is basically hairless below the scalp (he is part Choctaw, I think), so a little touchup here and there and now and then serves him well.

Soon as I pulled back from the dogs, Flaco stood up to plunk her dainty front paws on my thigh: an extra “thank you” straight from the heart! So I began to scratch behind her ears, when Deek  lowered his razor and turned around.

“See? You’re favoring her over Lucky again!” he declared.

“Right, Deek,” I replied with a touch of frustration. “I was petting them BOTH when your back was turned…leave it to you not to see THAT part of it.”

He has made such a charge against me several times before…only because he loves to taunt me with false accusations, and not because he actually believes them himself. He fabricates insults on the spot, at moments I least expect…right outta left field! My favoring Flaco is just one of his more RECENT brickbats. But THIS time around he kindly backed off:

“Oh, I know you love them both!”

“Yep, I sure do, Deek,” I asserted my high regard for these lovely brindlekin: “They are medicine for the soul.”

I then told him I’m gonna go get my coffee now, and wished them all an excellent day. And Deek did same, in a manner that reflects true comity, while two other houseless people witnessed (I should note). But right when I turned away, he added: “Don’t know if it’s gonna rain today, looks like it might. If it does I’ll bring ’em right back!”

“Of course,” I affirmed, “They’re ALWAYS welcome here, for any reason under the sun, Deek…or when there IS no sun!” And off I went, walking on a cloud for such a superb meetup, and that those rabies tags continue to clink like fairy bells, blessing all within their merry circle. But wait, there’s more:

Upon returning with Rosenberg’s java in hand, I was hoping to avoid Deek if he was still there by my building. Assuming he and mutts would be seated withIN the alcove, I could possibly enter through the gate without being heard or seen, if I kept close to the wall once I crossed 16th Street. This was out of respect for allowing Deek his OWN precious time with the furry angels, instead of my hogging things up by expecting yet one MORE interlude with them.

I could NOT tell if they were still there as I neared the gate. But right when I turned the key in the lock, Deek popped just outside the ATM niche to thank me again. The pups, however, did not, so I guess they were comfortably resting now, within the comforter’s plush, warm folds…and I’m glad for that.

“My pleasure, Deek!” I answered softly while passing through the gate, so as not to distract the pooches. Just before it shut, I added:

“It’s an honor!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 3:20 PM

> Thanks for the great report,

Yes, it was a STUPENDOUS report. I’d say that getting the dogs their shots marked a MAJOR milestone in my friendship with Deek, kicking everything up a notch or two…or three or four or five or…

> and thank you for introducing me to Olga the Terrible!

Oh, you’re quite welcome, Wattson. I knew you’d enjoy learning about this amazing lady of dark, medieval, bloody intrigue!

> Perhaps the Iron Empress will invite her to post a guest entry on her blog!

That would be fantastic. But maybe you should first invite her to your virtual soiree via a ouija board chat. Just have a candle nearby in case the lights go out in your place, too!

THIS MORNING’S UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE: MY “NEW” $75 CHROMEBOOK!

Got it from Boulevard Joe, who I ran into several hours ago. We had a delightful conversation when I asked him about Chromebooks, and he positively  GUSHED with technical expertise. Turned out he had TWO used ones in his backpack. The smaller had cracks all over the screen, but the larger, 14″ HP did not.

At first I told him I’m not yet ready yet purchase another device, but I promise I’ll check in with him first, should I decide on a Chromebook, or another Android tablet. But a little bit later after departing, I double-checked my bank account to realize I COULD afford that Chromebook, so stepped back out to tell him I want it, just wait till I return from the bank with da moolah. Which barely took all of ten minutes, since the Chase branch was just two blocks away!

IT WORKS GREAT! Seeing as the book only has one USB port, I decided to try connecting it to an old USB hub I thought I’d never use again. But VOILA it works! Now I can add up to SIX peripherals. Delighted to discover the Chromebook handled ALL these external devices like a boss: DVD player, wireless keyboard, backup hard drive that also contains movies and TV shows I download, and a 64 GB mini flash drive that barely sticks out, which I now use to expand the Chromebook’s paltry 16 GB main drive. See the 4 pics enclosed:

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I’ll have to do some cleanup of the lid and bottom, obviously…but maybe not. Plus the keyboard has an awful smudge on it that DEFINITELY needs removal.

“You can clean that all off,” said Joe regarding the sloppy scribbles on both sides of the clamshell notebook.

“Actually, I don’t mind that at all,” I chirped in response. “People in coffeehouses will think I’m some tough old hacker who’s come to scan all their personal information and steal their souls! Or, on a better note, maybe setting up a DDOS attack on high-security Russian networks, to dismantle their nuclear arsenal!”

The system itself works flawlessly, and the screen quality is superb! Here’s a video of it playing a Youtube clip, to see what I mean. The sound comes from a small Bluetooth speaker I was using on the tablet (which I guess is now obsolete in my world).Joe didn’t know what the EOL date is for this model, but I took my chances anyway. Once I opened the settings and entered the “advanced” section and scrolled down a bit, I happily discovered its expiration date to be 2027!

Another plus AFIC, is it has neither a camera, nor a touch screen. How copacetic that just when I was seriously considering investing in a low-end Chromebook, Boulevard Joe should show up at the PERFECT time. Coincidence, or:

BODHISAATVA INTRIGUE!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 11:58 PM

> Between the scribblings and the splotch, I sense a sad story….

Yes, and the previous owner’s account was still active on the system, along with a second account. So I did a factory reset (what Chromebook calls a “power wash”) and both accounts were permanently erased. I’d hate to run into the owner, ’cause he’d recognize his graffiti right off the bat. I don’t think I can actually clean all that off without harming the plastic casing. So I’m thinking of using a self-adhesive skin over the whole shebang, maybe this one.

> But such a deal!!!!

It sure is. Boulevard Joe is an honest hawker…a lot of bang for the buck. I got an excellent smartphone from him about five years ago, for just $20, brand new, with the manual that included instructions to register it with Tracfone. But back then, I didn’t use cell service, so it was just a pocket size tablet for me. I lost it, though, about a year later: must’ve fallen out of a loose coat pocket on the Metro light rail.

Well, Deek showed up this evening with the dogs free-roaming; he lost their leashes but thank god not the collars with the rabies tags. I have NO spare leashes or even rope or cord I could use in a pinch. But I DO have a couple of extra extension cords that will just have to do.

“It’s kinda cold and damp tonight,” he said through the gate as the dogs restlessly waited for me to open the inner door so they could dash upstairs. “So I’m sure they’d love to stay over this evening.”

“Yes, that’s great, thanks!” I replied, then handed him an envelope containing his $50 allowance for this Sunday. He acted surprised, like he forgot what day it was. Usually he’d’ve asked for it by now, if not a day earlier. We didn’t talk long, as I wanted to get the pups into my room pronto, before someone came down the stairs or tried to enter.

Once back hovel, I realized I forgot to tell Deek something important, so I hurried back outside, but didn’t see him anywhere. Another bedbug treatment is scheduled for this Monday, per my conversation with Kevin today, He said my neighbor in 206 found a bug this morning. But I’m sure Deek will return by Saturday at the latest, though MAYBE Sunday.

Actually, his dropping the pooches off tonight is perfect timing re. the upcoming treatment, since their master rarely has them stay with me more than two nights in a row. I can do this.

Ironically, I discovered just a week ago (by checking the names on the lobby mailboxes) that the resident who complained about Kevin’s poor management via a sealed letter taped to everyone’s door, is the one in 206, RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO ME!

Oh, and that homeless dude I don’t care to see anymore and who slipped into the building and knocked on my door some days ago, showed up AGAIN this afternoon, even though I told him LAST time I no longer allow visits. But this time when he knocked and I opened the door, there was the bedbug exterminator, the maintenance man AND the manager standing about in the hallway, watching. All with stern faces.

Turns out they were suspicious about his presence, as he sneaked through the front gate behind one of them, and was asked who he’s visiting. Of course he said “Zeke.” But the moment I opened my door and saw him, I reiterated that he should NOT try to visit me, I do NOT have any visitors over any more.

I didn’t see the manager and the other two at that moment, until I looked beyond the unwelcome intruder. They heard what I said, and so Kevin told him he has to leave, NOW. He acted a bit resentful when they followed him closely down the stairs, and said “I know the way out, you don’t need to breathe on my back!”

Later, when Kevin called me about arranging a day for bedbug treatment, I informed him the guy’s harmless, but I hadn’t seen him for more than three years, and I told him back THEN “no more visits, please.” And that I’m pissed he’s entered this building without permission.

That’s all I need, right, Wattson? Some clueless A-hole to stir up shit in my life, when I’m already dealing with Deek and the dogs!

As it turns out I can’t order heart worm medication withOUT a vet’s prescription! And unless Flaco gets spayed, neither Vet SOS nor the SPCA will help me. But heart worms are not really a problem here in SF (because no mosquitoes) and besides, the active ingredient is Ivermectin…and that strikes me as somewhat toxic, as even certain breeds should not touch it.

But Deek is needlessly worried over this, so I figured a safe spray for dogs that repels mosquitoes will do the trick. I just have to choose a product that stays effective the longest…and I found one. You need only apply it twice a week. It ALSO repels ticks and fleas…kill three birds with one stone, eh? Such as this.

But again, they are not a problem, because short haired canines do NOT get afflicted with those pests…with rare exception I suppose.

Nonetheless, I have to humor Deek one way or another.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Trashing the Trash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 24, 2022 at 2:28 AM

Shortly after 2 AM I heard someone screeching expletives outside, so I looked out the window to see this homeless idiot punk knocking over everything along the way. He was across the street at first, but then came storming over to MY side and knocked over our the trash bins out front, taking special care to spew it around while continuing to scream like the psycho bitch he is. By the time I picked up the smartphone to take a quick video, he was already barreling further up towards Noe and beyond. So I took this pic instead.

The goons at the Hohokum smoke shop have been getting rowdy and loud late into the night again, these past several months. I can’t believe residents haven’t set their foot down and complained to the manager. Well, they probably have, but he looks the other way…which may be ONE of several reasons my neighbor in 206 has gotten fed up enough to rally the troops and form a tenants union. I have no idea if he’s actually gotten that off the ground, though. ‘Cause I’m not interested in joining the union if they’re gonna turn on me because of my ultra-cheap rent, like what happened in that lawsuit many years back!

At least I got the pups and my new chromebook for cheap, thanks to Blvd. Joe…and Deek’s incredible progress. The world may be crumbling before our eyes, but I’m doing just great! Thanks in large part to YOUR kind friendship, good physician.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Homemade Leash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 25, 2022 at 3:13 PM

This morning I just used the clothesline I already had for hanging my shirts and underwear after running them through my R2D2 washing machine. Because I decided against using the spare extension cords. Well, they were not the most convenient leashes, just a double line for each dog, with not much to grip, unless I wrap one end around my hand…but it did the trick.

I came up with a better solution, as you can see by the pic. Since the nylon cord I ordered from Amazon would not arrive for another few days, I hopped on down to Cliff’s Variety and purchased a skein in dark moss. Knotted loops along the entire length should add more tensile strength to the leash, and the end is easier to grip. At any rate, for now on I’ll be sure to keep a supply of cord for any further leash-loss emergencies.

Also enclosed are five other pics I took on my coffee run to Rosenberg’s, featuring the mini-tent village set up on Noe Street last night. The last shot shows a collapsed, dark green tent on the left, that is Boulevard Joe’s little spot. More of a large tarp than a real tent. He was setting it up as we chatted a bit before I continued my walk to Golden Produce on Church Street, where I get my raisin bread and raw honey. I told him how pleased I am with my new Chromebook, after diddling with it all day long.

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Texting with Wattson: 3/25/22

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Subject: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM

…and the bedbug treatment is scheduled for tomorrow some time after 2 PM. I didn’t have a chance to tell him when he delivered the pups two evenings ago, since again he feigned being in a hurry to get somewhere. Hopefully he’ll show up sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning!

Because if he doesn’t, I really can’t go anywhere, as he’ll wonder where I am when he calls up to my window, and I don’t answer. I’ll have to hang out nearby with the dogs, in case he shows up. And if he doesn’t I’ll be forced to keep them outdoors for five or six hours. And if I have to step inside to use the restroom, the dogs’ll be confused and disappointed when I don’t bring them back into our sanctuary…but to the WC, then back outside again!

I can’t sit with the dogs in the side hall beside my room, because Flaco will make a big stink about that. I know, because I did a test run some months back. Lucky was fine with nesting down on a small comforter, but his sister acted hurt that she couldn’t go back onto the cot, instead of being stuck right outside. Regardless: both dogs will bark up a tempest every time someone walks up or down the stairs, or down the hall. And one of them is bound to be Kevin!

I’ll have to stash dog food and water in my backpack, along with two disposable bowls, if we’re forced outdoors for so many hours! And I won’t be able to take the N Judah to Tart to Tart, to relax for a few hours, playing with my new Chromebook. I’d bring the doggies with me, except that Deek would freak out, should he drop by to pick them up, and I’m not there…and won’t be for an hour or two or three! I’ve always told him if I’m not home when he show up, just be patient, ’cause I will be in ten or twenty minutes.

I also won’t be able to find out what time I can return to my hovel, because that requires I enter the building and read the notice on my door. Which means I’d ALSO have to bring the mutts with me, as leaving them outside leashed to a post is a no-no…especially since they’ll be upset to see me step inside withOUT them.

I USED to be able to text the exterminator about what time I can return, but he no longer will respond…I think because Kevin instructed him NOT to, anymore. Well, let’s hope for the best, that things won’t turn out like that, and Deek shows up soon.

BTW I’ve been having problems texting to you the last several days. The latest is one I tried to send you two days ago, and it’s been stuck on “sending” ever since. See attached pic.

Two previous, recent texts were also delayed, with error statement that the recipient is not connected, or something like that. I was offered the option of switching to SMS/MMS, so I did and they finally got through. But this latest glitch is not giving me that choice. So being new to cell service, I’m not sure WHERE this problem is coming from. I just restarted the phone to see if that would clear things up, but no, it didn’t…the text is still in “sending” mode!

Well, it’s 6:30 PM now, Wattson…keeping my fingers crossed that Deek will soon arrive to pick up the brindlekin. I think I’ll step out and see if Boulevard Joe is around, in hopes he can track down my difficult bodhisaatva guardian, and convey the message.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 7:28 PM

So I luckily ran across Boulvard Joe, only a minute after stepping out, and conveyed my message to him, in case he comes across Deek. I walked with him to the Chevron station and back again, had a nice talk about the Chromebook he sold me, including that it has TWICE as much internal storage as he claimed: 32GB instead of a paltry 16! Then it started to RAIN.

Looking up the weather report on my Moto E, I discovered HEAVY DOWNPOUR PREDICTED TONIGHT! So, it’s UNlikely Deek will show up this evening, even if he had planned to. Fine by me, as the storm should clear up in the wee hours, and the pups shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of weather, anyway.

It would be PERFECT if he came by tomorrow morning, but I don’t have a crystal ball…just two lovely, homeless doggies who’ve broken my heart with infinite affection. Welp, time to feed them their din-din!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM

> So glad they’re with you tonight!

Yes. Had Deek shown up earlier, when there was no sign of rain comin’ up, he would’ve taken Flaco & Lucky, and then they’d be stuck out there on the cold, damp streets…or he’d just bring them right back.

> It’s raining a little here, nothing to write home about, but hoping for more.

That’s what I’m here for, Wattson: you are free to write anything you want to me, since my place is NOT your home! Is that impeccable logic or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 12:19 AM

> Another bedbug treatment??

Yep, it’s averaging every six weeks now. Insane. According to Boulevard Joe, he has some other friends who live in these large apartment buildings constructed well before the fifties…and they are ALL averaging extermination visits at a rate similar to mine. San Franchitsco’s dirty little secret is that they’re EVERYWHERE, but no one dare talk of it.

> That chicken looks absolutely delicious. I would have happily gobbled it up.

I would’ve done so myself, but eating that in front of the pups without sharing would be unspeakably cruel. As it turned out, when I returned with the roast bird sealed in a large, plastic container within a larger paper bag, the pups didn’t even twitch. They just remained in their cozy, sleepy spots. Which surprised me ’cause their noses would’ve smelled it anyway. I even opened the container in order to cool it down, setting it beside the window with an electric fan turned on and pointing down to it.

But even with the container’s lid removed and breezes wafting the savory scent throughout the room, the doggies remained lazily oblivious to the smell of chicken, everydog’s favorite dish. I was perplexed over their complete lack of gustatory enthusiasm, though I was also quite pleased. Because I felt so much less like a sadist than I would otherwise, bringing the yummy feast inside, then taking it back out again without allowing either so much as a taste.

> I wish I could be a vegetarian, but for a lot of complicated reasons, can’t…

You’re a cat woman. Say no more.

-Zeke K-Nolmes


Subject: Great! I CAN play w/my Chromebook at Tart 2 Tart!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 10:01 AM

Deek showed up a half hour ago, picked up the dogs and puppy chow.

“Perfect timing, Deek,” I greeted, “They’re gonna do another treatment on my room today. I missed telling you that, last time you dropped over, because you were in such a rush and you lost the dogs’ leashes. I ran back downstairs to tell you, but you had already disappeared.”

He said he was gonna drop by last night anyway, but the rain stopped him, and he was glad they were inside. (That’s why I said his timing was perfect.)

He had a nice little tent on wheels hooked up to his bike, and took off with Lucky & Flaco riding inside, quiet and happy as two bugs in a rug. Unexpected re. the female, as she normally does NOT care to sit in the shopping cart at all, or any OTHER moving vehicle, as far as we knew. Mesh webbing on both sides allowed them to view the world roll by.

He also asked if I had a wrench, as he needed to tighten the wheels on his bike. I said yes, you left one in the bag of dog food you returned to me a few weeks ago, so I held onto it. So I went upstairs to get it, along with a new pair doggy sweaters, and a fresh supply of kibbles and cans (of course). Then wished him a good day and returned hovel.

So now I can finish off the room prep, and take the N Judah. to Tart to Tart, with my new Chromebook. This is all good. Except I only have $22 left for the next four days. But the Chromebook is worth it.

Of course, Deek had to complain about SOMEthing. He actually screamed up at my window several times, right when I was coming down the stairs to get my Rosenberg java fix. The moment I stepped out the gate, I admonished:

“STOP screaming, you’ve been doing it a LOT these days!”

“You didn’t come to the window,” was his lame excuse.

“I heard you the first time, but I was already walking down the stairs,” I rebutted. “I wasn’t about to rush back to my room just to poke my head out the window and let you know I heard you.”

“These leashes won’t do!” he griped.

“I made them myself,” I replied. “They’re stronger than they look, you’ll be fine.”

“I thought you said you had a couple of spare leashes!” He persisted. “I would have BOUGHT some if you didn’t.” This, after just handing him another $50 in advance of Thursday, per his request…so he could BUY a pair at the dollar store, anyway.

Which moolah BTW, he slipped into a coat pocket that was slanted and shallow…a setup just BEGGING him to lose another wad of cash! I didn’t say a thing, though perhaps I should’ve.

“I did, but I was wrong,” I explained. “A reminder: I won’t be back home till after 9 PM. You’ve just gotten your complete allowance for the month. And I will be penniless for eight days.”

He said that’s okay, but what do you wanna bet he’ll start whining in a few days, Wattson? Actually, I’ll probably get this month’s gov’t deposit on the first, since the third of April falls on the weekend. But I didn’t want to get Deek’s hopes up, so didn’t mention it…for fear of suffering the wrath of his childish angst, if it turns out we’ll have to wait all the way to the third. Which is SIX days from now, not eight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Pups didn’t get their chicken, but I sure did!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 6:26 PM

How ironic, good doctor! Someone must’ve left this tasty grub out on the sidewalk for the homeless. Looks like they’re from Project Open Hands. The pic makes the meal look gray and mushy, guess that’s due to moisure collecting inside the plastic containers. Anyway, I helped myself to one: delicious! Juicy drumstick and seasoned rice with a little bok choy, celery and a chunk of roasted potato.

I wasn’t planning to buy anything to eat, that is, skipping lunch, due to my thin wallet. So I was delighted to come across THIS little windfall! Though vegetarian, I certainly never look a gift chicken in the face.

Once more, Tart to Tart’s restroom was out of order. I told the cashier it was that way last time I came here two months ago. He blurted that the cafe is gonna shut down soon, so they never bothered to repair the toilet. Jezus fukkin kryste! So I had to get up and leave sooner than planned, because nature called…and moseyed on over to the Stribing Aboretum three blocks away, where they provide a public restroom. No TP though, so thank Hermes there were those tissue-thin seat covers to use instead!

I found the chicken dinners on my walk back to Irving Street and the N Judah stop. Ate it with my fingers, as I had no other choice. Wiped them off on the edge of a large wooden border enclosing a small garden, then used a dollop of hand sanitizer to complete the job.

I’m now at Peet’s Coffee enjoying a large hot chocolate with whipped cream, as I type this email on the Chromebook. Strangely, the building manager stepped in to pick up some roasted beans. My back was to him; I’m sure he saw me here, but didn’t bother to say hi. Glad he didn’t, he’s an arse of the highest caliber.

The extermination notice on my door said I can return inside at 6:30 PM, which is only 15 minutes away! Hope your day went well…mine sure did, considering all the BS I deal with each and every day. The pups make it all so much easier.

I very much enjoyed watching John Oliver’s latest “Last Week Tonight” episode, while lingering at Tart to Tart. This Chromebook’s a delight…even has the option to install and run Linxu from a menu option! I tried it, very nice, then got rid of it because that only left me with 6 GB internal storage. But good to know this model can run Linux (’cause it has an Intel CPU), should the time come when I decide to entirely replace Chrome OS with Linux Mint or some other distro.

-Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 3/30/22

Pic 1

Pic 2


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2022 at 12:47 AM

After gifting Deek with an extra $50 for vaccinating the pups, and buying that Chromebook off Blvd. Joe for a bargain $75, you can see why I only have $2.80 remaining! But BOTH decisions were a hundred-thousand percent worth it! And get this, Wattson…I STILL have cash in my wallet, $10 to be exact, plus $13 in quarters and another $3.21 in dimes, nickels and pennies. I’m sittin’ pretty!

Been spending the past several days souping up my Chromebook, and once I get my next Soc. Sec. deposit in two days, I’ll purchase a USB-C-to-VGA converter, so I can connect it to a second monitor, just like my Thinkpad X230 is now. The idea is to duplicate my main system as best as possible, should I need backup for when it might go down (temporarily or for good). I always feel restless without a second system at hand for just such emergencies. Besides, I NEVER take my main laptop outdoors, it’s just WAY too valuable to risk theft, loss or dropping it on the sidewalk or a hard floor.

I enjoy speaking to the Chromebook, like asking search questions into the browser, or dictating my emails or stories (at least the rough drafts). Saves me the hassle of so much typing…great for alleviating repetitive stress issues. Just like the smartphone, but a much larger screen and keyboard. I find these small devices frustrating on both the hands and eyes, so I rarely use the Moto E for browsing…or games, etc.

This speaking to the system is not something one can do in Linux yet, thus I can easily see how I’ll be using the Chromebook for more than just playing videos and podcasts, or away-from-home use.

So, Xfinity is now offering its low income users DOUBLE the bandwitdh (from 50 Mbps to 100) for FREE. That’s because the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) covers $30 of your ISP expenses, and the next tier up is a penny under that. The lowest tier (which I’m on) costs $9.99/month. But it’s already quite FAST for my needs, and doubling the DL speed seems superfluous. I’m sure, though, others with a household of more than one will be tickled pink.

Along with that upgrade you also get, FREE, a TV box and a slew of channels. But what you DON’T get with that excellent deal, is an actual television. My monitor is strictly for computers, so I’d need to BUY a smart TV…which I don’t care to do. It’s just more clutter. I’m already flush with free video sources including Youtube, Internet Archives, free TV sites, and so on. Besides which, I just discovered that Linux Mint (the distro I favor) now has an app called “Hypnotix,” which streams free TV and movies as well! I haven’t explored all that’s on it, yet, but a cursory examination was impressive.

Click here for a larger view.

This world, via the ginormous media octopus, appears to be caught up in a web of war porn these days. Vladimir Putin plays a second rate Mini-Me…and equally uninspiring is Volodymyr Zelensky’s impersonation of Mighty Mouse. Millions of Ukranian women and children and elderly scattering to the four corners of the globe, another Great Diaspora in the making. The ghost of Cecil B. DeMille must be directing this grand fiasco! Nice touch sending all these extras south of the border to join the swarms of cockroach Latinos trying to get through! Of COURSE Prez Biden would make an exception for Eastern Europeans, because they’re WHITE! So GLAD I could change the channel, and I have many excellent shows to choose from. I’ve never been much for war movies and other macho-oriented flicks.

In fact, I’m enjoying right now, season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And last night I watched the latest movie adaptation of Death on the Nile…after binge watching all 10 episodes of season 1’s “Sister Boniface’s Mysteries” last week!

Deek dropped by this eve with a new smartphone and a headset for me to charge, but no doggy company. He was in a snarly mood at first, hurling absurd accusations at me…details of which serve no sane purpose to get into. Suffice it to say I remained calm and polite, pointing out to him there is NO good excuse to project anger, ever…but especially when the pups are sitting right beside him in all their sweet patience and camaraderie. He eventually mellowed down.

Their sweaters seem to be lost already, but I saw no point in mentioning that. At least he still has that little tent cart hooked up to the bike. BOTH pooches love it; they look quite cozy nestled within its dome-like structure. I found a large, plush comforter tonight, on the third-floor porch, so bagged it for laundering a few days from now. That’ll keep all THREE of ’em warm on cold nights! Though it IS a hefty bulk, so perhaps I’ll spare Deek the burden of lugging it around, and just keep it hovel, maybe tossed in a pile on the floor for the mutts to romp around in. They sure love their secret little hidey spots to burrow and sleep in!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM

> This is some might fine writin’, son!! And highly perceptive.

Thanks! I just posted that passage to the MCN lists…just for a lark(in). My perception is thanks to my “Bodhisaatva Premise,” that gives me a grander view of the world than, say, Fox News…or even John Oliver. “All the world’s a stage,” the Great Bard once wrote…though perhaps I take it a tad more literally than your average mouldy rogue.

> Gentleman Jack returns soon. Looking forward to it.

Wonderful series, I forgot all about it since their first and only season thus far, aired in 2019. Can’t WAIT for season 2! I remember gushing about that show to you.

> Asshole.

Yes ma’mm, Wattson, he can play that role to perfection from time to time. But the fact is that HE’S the one who brought such sweet little doggies into my world, and TRUSTS me with them, and allows me so much TIME to enjoy their company…I conclude there’s much more to him than meets the eye. Lucky & Flaco have changed my life so much for the better, in so many ways. And you, more than anyone else, have witnessed that transformation…my humble room’s improvement being but ONE outward and tangible example.

I forgot to mention that about a week ago Deek proclaimed I’m the ONLY person he trusts to watch over his dogs…heaping additional praise on that subject to the point where my ears almost dropped off from the melting warmth of his profuse gratitude.

[pause]

Well whaddya know, he just showed up only seconds after I composed the paragraph above! I texted you about it. Nothing to report, it was a quickie meetup, dropped off the pups and handed me a smartphone and speaker to charge…then took off on his bike with the doggy caboose, now vacant. ‘Tis a good day in Purgatory.

C;lick here and here for larger views.

Subject: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 11:46 AM

…when yesterday afternoon (shortly after Deek picked up the mutts) I saw Lucky untethered and sniffing about on the sidewalk while Deek was packing up his meager possessions, most of which he stuffed in that doggy wagon attached to his bike. Looking directly down from my window, I couldn’t see Flaco who was no doubt inside the ATM alcove…but I DEFINITELY saw a beefy pit bull approaching on a leash with its owner. Lucky just stood near the curb, watching them walk by WITHIN A FEW INCHES OF HIM, while Deek remained oblivious to the potential disaster, as his bent back was turned to the street while tending to his bike and cart. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have a split second to warn him!

The fearsome canine of massive muscle and weight walked by Lucky in all of three seconds, while my little brindlekin remained calm, though with a curious eye on the passing quadruped. Neither dog acknowledged the other, and it was all over soon as it began. NOTHING HAPPENED, THANK GOD…NOT EVEN A SINGLE WOOF!

The doggies were out of sync with their poopies two days and nights ago. Which wound up with me taking Lucky for a stroll around 1:30 AM, then Flaco two hours later! As I escorted her back to my building, there was Kevin entering the gate. I espied him far enough away as to be able to slip around the corner on 16th Street without him spotting me back, and hung out there a few minutes before returning hovel. Now what on earth was he doing out so late, Wattson? I’m tempted one day to come right up to him by surprise, and ask that very question. I’m sure that’d warm his cockles.

I’m used to seeing him return around 12:30 AM now and then, late enough to arouse my suspicion, but THIS time was a true quandary. As was that night almost three weeks past, when I witnessed his departure OUT the front gate around 2 AM…aNOTHER first! Where does he go at such an ungodly hour, and return 90 minutes later?

BTW Deek did NOT lose the sweaters, they were simply packed deep into his load of clothing and junk stuffed into the wagon. For two days back when I collected his gizmos for a recharge, it was empty but for several items, including those two sweaters. So I took them upstairs and washed them in my sink, with a squirt of lime-scented dish detergent. The water remained clear right from the start, however, so I suspect he didn’t actually put the sweaters on them during those chilly-damp nights.

This latest smartphone he gave me to put new music on, refused to let me do exactly that, even though the last time around I had no problem. Turned out the USB options were all grayed out! They weren’t before, but Deek’s habit of fidgeting with apps and settings he knew nothing about, sometimes creates issues that I usually CAN resolve, after much headache-inducing effort.

To be fair, the problem may have been MY doing…or, more accurately, a glitch in Android’s “Developer Options” that I turned on, in order to make file transfer the default once plugged into my X230 (instead of “charge only”), as well as my adjusting the settings to minimize battery drain, which he complained about (“It only runs for two hours!”).

However, after turning OFF developer options, the USB fly in the ointment remained! Perusing the Android support sites was NO help whatsoever, and this graying out of the USB options seems to be quite common, and often unresolveable. Deek would be back in less than an hour at that point, so I did not have time to try more desperate solutions, such as factory reset or disabling installed apps one by one, to see if the problem was due to a particular app recently applied.

The smartphone was only at 16 percent charge, as well…and it’s been plugged in to my USB hub for just over an hour. I guess this USB glitch also slowed down the charge rate. This was not good, and I’ll probably have to suffer the Wrath of Deek, as a result. I figured at this point I should insert a micro SD card into the phone, after first copying his music to it. So I removed the one in my tablet and, to my delight, its storage capacity was a humongous 64 gigabytes…WAY more than enough to transfer his entire collection! (The phone itself only had a 10 GB internal storage capacity, after what the system took up.)

THAT took almost 30 minutes to complete, but I got it done and inserted it into his phone with a sigh of relief. All the mp3 files on the external storage were recognized by the music app, so the phone was good to go, though charge rate was still sluggish.

“I have some good news and some bad news,” I told Deek upon his return. “I inserted a 64 gigabyte card into your phone, so ALL your music is now on it.”

“And the bad news?” he asked in reply.

“Well, for some reason the USB transfer no longer works, and your phone is only charged to 24 percent,” I explained. “I have no idea why.”

“So I’ll have to wait another hour?” he queried.

“I recommend TWO, if you can handle it,” I suggested.

To my unexpected succor, he griped about that, albeit softly, and CALMLY accepted the situation:

“Just bring the dogs down, and the dog food. I’ll wait. And a cup of soda.”

I did just that, and when I handed him the soda, said: “Here ya go: ginger ale!”

He let out a friendly “Whoop!” and gladly took it from my hand.

It was about ten minutes later as I sat upstairs at my work station doing my Internet thing while his smartphone continued to charge, when I decided to peer outside and almost had a heart attack over what I saw.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 1:45 PM

> Oh, man, that encounter with the pit bull could have gone SO badly. Good for Lucky for staying calm.

He appears better behaved when OFF the leash, than when on it. Deek pointed that out to me, some weeks back. I think when you’re pulling him on a leash, he takes that as a sign to be more on guard. Regardless, I don’t even wanna THINK of all the close encounters the dogs may have while they’re with Deek and out of my sight. Kudos to Deek for training them so well…in this matter, at least!

> You’re a goddamned saint with all that charging and fixing of Deek’s gizmos and the running up and down the stairs.

Since he had the decency to get them vaccinated, I have tremendous respect for him at this point. And that makes all his nuisances a trivial issue at this point, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, for the most part they are far less frequent and dramatic than previously.

> But I know why you do it, and I’m with you all the way.

It is a labor of love, and may very well be my greatest act of devotion that I have ever done in service to humanity since I escaped my family’s clutches way back in 1973. (And explains why I switched from journalism to cultural anthropology once I began my college adventure.)

I TRIED joining a new-age Catholic organization called “The Holy Order of Mans,” once I arrived in San Francisco, homeless but happy. But THAT didn’t work out, as they were oblivious when it came to the LGBT homeless. They had NO outreach project for that class of people, and NO intention to include it among their other good works, any time soon.

I was introduced to this group by two of their brothers while residing in Columbia, Missouri. They had an outpost there, and were aware of my presence months before I was of them. They sort of followed me around, though from a polite distance, waiting for me to approach and begin a dialogue. A couple of VERY nice fellows, I should note. Their headquarters were located in San Francisco. I’m sure that, had the Holy Order of Mans survived into the ’80s and beyond, they would’ve turned out to provide excellent aid and resources for houseless queers…and I would’ve become an active participant.

I was just about to post an addendum to my previous email, when I saw your reply already in my mailbox. So I’ll just add it here:

=====

I almost had a heart attack… ADDENDUM

The phone reached 70 percent battery charge when he decided to take it back, along with the two battery packs and two Bluetooth speakers…all of which were at full capacity by then. I quickly handed them to him, while the pups sat quietly nearby. I ignored them, wishing to NOT get their hopes up about returning hovel so soon. But as I turned to leave, he said “Flaco’s wondering why you don’t pet her goodbye before you go!” Sure enough, her ears were perked up in a touch of alarm over my departure without first acknowledging her and Lucky. So I stepped into the alcove and pet them both, wishing them a lovely day.

This was NOT Deek’s usual demeanor, thus his showing such consideration is a marked improvement. Only four evenings ago he raked me over the coals for supposedly blowing his chance to get $20 from someone who just departed from the Wells Fargo ATM two feet away, after diddling with the buttons followed by the whir of small rubber wheels that spun the bills into his hand. Accompanied by a friend, they gleefully bantered the whole time, continuing to do so as they walked off into the night, and probably to a gay bar nearby.

I had no idea WHAT they were talking about, as my attention was focused on greeting the pups, and untangling Flaco’s leash wound up in the bike that lay on its side. She wanted so badly to be held and caressed, but only had a foot of length to do so, that she tugged at with all her might. She didn’t even have enough slack to raise herself and plunk her paws on my leg, though I stood right beside. As I crouched down to free the collar and quickly make the adjustment, Deek barked at me to stop, she’s fine as she is. I went ahead anyway, said no she isn’t, and it’s easy to correct. Soon enough the collar was snapped back on, and she was in my arms with ample leash length to move around. During the short time it took to unwind the leash, the two ATM recipients had completed their transaction and, as they strolled away Deek reprimanded:

“See? They were gonna give me twenny dollah, but saw you and said never mind, he already gives me plenty of money, that’s his uncle!” Of course this was highly unlikey, and just Deek’s latest guilt-tripping prank.

“Oh stop it Deek, they did no such thing,” I shot back. “Besides, you CALLED me down here and the dogs were happy to see me again. What was I supposed to do: just stand there ten feet away and frustrate them?”

I also made it clear he has NO reason to be angry, it’s his meth induced anxiety and god only knows what else. Just as I’ve done countless times before, whenever he pulls the drama queen card out of his ass. I also reminded him:

“You’ve made everyone around here know our business, because you don’t know the meaning of DISCREET!”

At any rate, I think his calling me back to pet Lucky & Flaco before returning hovel was his way of making up for that rude outburst several days previously.

On one of those recent days he dropped by, when I arrived downstairs to meet up, he wasn’t around while the pooches patiently awaited his return in the ATM alcove, untethered. In less than a minute he popped out of the Hohokum smoke shop, griping:

“I just lost five dollah!” he exclaimed while pacing back and forth on the sidewalk. It was a sunny, lovely day and all the passersby were mellow. Except Deek, of course.

“You’re ALWAYS losing money, Deek,” I declared with some exasperation and annoyance over my having to hear his sorry tale once more…me, someone who GIVES him generous sums every week!

“No, I’m NOT making this up!” he shot back.

“Oh, I know you’re not,” I agreed. “The last time I gave you fifty dollars I saw you slip it into your coat pocket that was wide open and easy to lose anything you put in it.”

“Stop! I don’t wanna hear this!” he countered. But I went on anyway:

“The BEST place to put your money is in the front pocket of your pants. Or in any OTHER pocket that has a zipper or a button! This is just common sense, Deek.”

He placed his hands over his ears to resist my lecture, but I know he heard me when I finished with:

“You need to change your habit by paying attention to exactly WHERE you stash your bills. Losing money like this is your own fault, YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME!”

And that was that, good doctor. It is nonetheless my enormous gratitude to see how incredibly well he’s improving upon his attitudes and responsibilities at a fast pace compared to his history since adopting the dogs almost three years back. In sum:

THE PUPS GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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