The FINAL Final Chapter (part 16)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18p]

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Subject: Vagrants at the Gate
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 15, 2022 at 12:52 PM

Originally, I was gonna call it singular (“vagrant”) because there was only ONE person there when I reentered the building with the pups. That would be the elderly black dude, on the left. But by the time I rushed back downstairs to take a snapshot, a SECOND person appeared! At any rate, the African American fellow parked his carcass by the gate last night, and remained there until 10 AM this morning.

This made it tricky (and annoying) for the several times I had to take the dogs outside and back in, between last night and this morning. NOT appreciated. SO close to the exit, I had to grip their leashes barely a foot from their necks. Awkward and, of course, they barked up a cyclone. Pulling them away was a chore.

The black vagrant seemed oblivious to the pups, as he was in semi-coma, with his head drooped down and some bags and open, plastic to-go containers strewn about. But he’s been around my building before, and is actually a pleasant sort. Don’t know his name though, but for the moment let’s call him “George.”

Once the pooches were safely returned to their cozy lair, I stepped outside again to purchase my customary Rosenberg java. Upon exiting the gate, I saw that George was sitting up and picking through some food. So I addressed him:

“Sorry about the dogs barking, but you’re so close to the gate they can’t help themselves.”

He grinned and with a wave of his hand, said: “It’s all cool, I know they’re Deek’s dogs.”

I was hoping he’d get the hint, and not camp out so close to the gate next time…or even move a few feet further left right now. I kinda already knew my wish would be futile, but that wasn’t the real point of my talking to him. Which was just to be nice, as I was to Scampy the other evening. After all, Wattson, a little kindness towards a houseless person can go a long way. I’ve seen it many times in my own outreach.

“Well thanks for understanding, and I hope you have a lovely day,” I said while closing the gate. To which George replied with a smile:

“Yes, you too, have a good day.”

It was when I returned with coffee in hand and proceeded upstairs, that it occurred to me to take his pic. And a few minutes later when I did just that, there were now TWO vagrants for the price of one. Imagine trying to get the hounds through THAT gauntlet!

Deek brought the mutts back two evenings ago, and last night when he dropped by to get his phone recharged, said some big event downtown will keep him busy collecting recyclables into the next day. Flaco had the gloopies last night, so I had to take her out again around 1:30 AM. I also took Lucky with me, just in case. Upon my return, I spotted Deek on the 16th Street side of the building, fussing with his cart. Surprised to see him so soon, I released the hounds once we reached the corner. They danced around him, jumping on his legs with boundless glee.

He smiled to see them, but it was clear he wasn’t ready to take them back. I guess because he needed to go on his bottle and can collecting run soon. After I brought them back hovel, I figured he’d like to have his smartphone returned, which was fully charged hours ago (instead of making him drop by in the daytime, to pick it up). Indeed he did.

“Well, I gotta crash out now, Deek. See you tomorrow!” I said, then off I went back home. Slept very well, but around 4 AM Flaco had to poop again! She woke me up with a few “woofs” as she restlessy paced the floor. So I quickly donned shoes and jacket, and we stepped back outside…this time without Lucky, who was quite content to remain snoozing on the cot.

I spoke to Deek two nights ago, about not waiting with the dogs in front of the gate, and expecting me to lug his gizmos under one arm at the same time. For I neither want to have another confrontation with a resident exiting the gate with the dogs barking right there, nor do I want to be burdened with carrying stuff while at the same time guiding the dogs home.

“Just wait over there or there,” I said, and pointed at spots left and right, about twenty feet away. “Like you’ve BEEN doing until recently. I’ll take the dogs upstairs first, them come right back for your electronics.”

He gave me no grief over that, just said “okay” in a calm demeanor. That same night I was pleased to see my new acquaintance, “Quest,” hanging out with Deek in the ATM alcove. (Whom I first called “Griswold” in a recent missive to you, but in light of the anti-abortion/birth control fiasco, I figured that’s a distracting pseudonym. I might change his name again; we’ll see).

He (Quest) flashed me a smile as I stepped out to talk with Deek. I grinned back, said I have to rush off to the corner grocery store before they close, so can’t talk right now. Once I got back, I looked for him to chat a bit, but by then he was gone. He strikes me as a nice fellow, and I’m glad he found Deek so soon after I mentioned him and his two pups. I think he’ll make a fine addition to Deek’s circle.

Oh, yeah, when I opened my door to take the pups for their morning walk, they heard someone going down the last stretch of stairs and into the lobby. Definitely out of my sight, but not their hearing. Next thing I knew, Flaco escaped her collar and dashed downstairs and into the lobby, where she barked furiously. I didn’t have time to lock my door, and rushed to catch up, with Lucky leashed. Once I turned into the lobby, I saw a resident exiting the gate. He didn’t yell at them or make any other sound, just walked by and out. Thank god it wasn’t that Chinese guy! Or the building manager. I need to figure out how to keep Flaco from slipping out of her collar. I tighten it, but it seems to loosen up regardless.

I’m gonna have to leave my room unlocked, in order to get the pooches outside fast…since it’s when I turn to lock the door, they pull on their leashes and start barking. (They didn’t used to do this; it’s something new. I think they like to announce their presence soon as they step out; a territorial thing.) And sometimes I insert the wrong key, and have to fumble with the right one, which compounds the situation. Or maybe I’ll just walk the dogs separately, as it’s easier to manage. Which means they won’t get to play together, which I let them do on one of the side streets each night. I’ll figure this out.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- The obsession of a raving Nazi lunatic, Mike Sewers
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN Discussion List
Date: May 16, 2022 at 6:37 PM

On Mon, 16 May 2022 11:57:54 -0700 Tanya NAZI ENABLER Merang squoinked:

> 1. Your site reports "not secure"... if you need your site secured, please let me know, it's a simple process and will make your site's visibility much better (and a lot of people won't visit a non-secure site.)

It's a simple, old-timey http site, not https. Security alerts are often over the top, and they shouldn't frighten people away fron http sites that do NOT use interactive forms or ask for personal info. The host I use to sponsor my site is a free service for activists or activist organizations that lack the funds for paid hosts. They're called "Online Policy Group," and do NOT offer a secure layer, thus nothing I can do about it.

But they're perfectly fine to put your writing out there...and images/ audios/videos. Since my works are gay themed in large part, I have experienced my site getting shut down within a few months, by this or that paid host service. And I'm talking about the ones that promise they won't allow bigotry to influence whom they host. Unfortunately, homophobia is a stronger prejuduce than any other.  So I'm very glad to have discovered Online Policy Group, after trying five paid hosts in the span of two years. But they all wound up banning me, and did NOT even return the remainder of my yearly fee. Whereas Online Policy Group is primarily here to give LGBTs a voice. They will NEVER shut down a queer site, just because a flurry of Christian zealots complain.

So, no, I do NOT need anyone to help me set up a secure site. I KNOW how to do that, but it's not possible on my present host. I've been with them for more than 20 years, and will remain one of their grateful users so long as they last.

> 2. I noticed your link to your WordPress Blog, You should consider making your site a "WordPress Site", because of the huge amount of free
plugin software and the ease of Content Management.

That's overkill for my needs. Besides, the apps are not "free" if you already have to pay a fee to be able to use them.

> That means when people search on keywords in your meta-tags, you come up
near the top, and not at the bottom of a list of 20 million sites... It's
nice to be seen, especially if you choose to sell something on your site. 

It's a bunch of hooey, will not improve quantity of readers. Most people do NOT go out of their way to track down queer themed online venues. Also, I am NOT selling anything there. Well, there's a link to my self-published book, but all the major online bookstores (and many other second-tier ones) already show it listed in their LGBT section). In short, the whole concept of SEO methods is a crock; you'll just be throwing money away. May have worked well when the Internet was spanking new, say, from the late 90s to 2008 or so. Believe me, Ms. 2-Biased, I've done my homework on this. You actually need considerable moolah to get your site noticed, including buying ads. I don't HAVE that kind of cash.

> Increasing your readership and making a little folding money could turn out to be a nice thing.

I'm not a child.

> 3. So Zeke, when I was doing homeless outreach and working with local
support organizations to help the homeless, there were networks of support
organizations and a community of people I worked with to help those

They are NOT doing what I am doing, IOW lacking in many vital ways. Hobbled by both legal limitations of non-profit ventures, and by the elitism that goes with such groups. I have tried, numerous times, working WITH one group or another that was already well established. Never worked out for me. Getting personal with the homeless, actually befriending them and hanging out with them is SO important for what it does to boost their sense of self worth...yet NONE of these organizations really do that, except in very restricted ways.

One such group, while cutting me out of their activities, STOLE one of my gay-themed images when they were looking for a T-shirt logo. You can read about it here:

My Dispute with Queer Nation

Rather than apologize and acknowledge the design is mine, they ceased printing out those T-shirts.

The lack of true, personal relationships with the homeless, and legal restrictions with what non-profits are allowed to do, has created homeless services that are hobbled, and exclude a lot of people who NEED help. For example, if you're homless and have a pet, you can't use free vet care unless you first PROVE you're houseless. Meaning you need a signed form from a social worker. But TONS of folks living on the streets do not HAVE a social worker.

Same for getting a longterm roof over your head...PLUS you need to fulfill certain requirements to prove how desperate you are. If you don't have drug addiction, serious physical disability or severe mental issues, they keep dropping you to the bottom of the list, or exclude you outright from eligibility. But I ask you: isn't being homeless enough to qualify you, considering what a horrific situation that alone, is? So they rake in the moolah, but spend very little of it on the actul homeless, via a brutal filtering system. See:

San Francisco Rations Housing by Scoring Homeless People’s Trauma. By Design, Most Fail to Qualify.

Most people can't wrap their heads around my activism, especially homeless outreach, simply because I'm not plugged into this or that organization. You even bragged to me about all the queer friends you have, and queer organizations you've worked a hostile contrast to my OWN activism. I also experience tons of hostility by others, including LGBTs, for associating with homeless folks. They don't really know me, and have no idea what I do, and what I've already accomplished. Instead, they have this kneejerk opinion that I'm just bumming around, having a lark while THEY work so hard at their assigned profession.

After several years of doing activism my own way, I became surprised and disappointed that the non-profits out there, were not incorporating projects similar to my own. But I forged ahead over the decades in my own, unconventional manner, because I KNOW what I'm doing is right. IOW: my activism is only regarded as "unconventional" due to the failure of the official channels set up to "help" the homeless.

A kind word here and there to a houseless person goes a long way...especially when no one ever talks to them for MONTHS. Giving them back their dignity by listening to their history and dreams is MOST healing for them. It's also quite Jungian, in that he believed respecting his clients for where they are NOW, was primary. I also apply the Jungian concept of archetypes when figuring out what particular demons haunt them. Many demons of which are caused--or exacerbated by--the cruel fate of being homeless itself!

I give them psychological tools in helping them deal better with their internal battles. Not through Jungian lectures, but indirectly via befriending them, and eventually offering a grander view of their challenges that elevate them above battle mode. They often mistake their frequent anxiety attacks as attacks by others, or imaginary foes. Making them highly susceptible to conspiracy theories, much to my chagrin... largely because a homophobic mindset is often part of these ugly theories.

But I am only one person, so I focus on one person sometimes, but do have a circle of homeless allies. My friend of well over 12 years, whose two little doggies I help take care of, does much good work for other homeless people. Such as bringing them food, clothing, friendly company and a kind word. Many of his street friends are African American BTW. He's a cajun white person who grew up in a New Orleans having black friends is important to him.

Now, my helping him out in many ways spills over into helping many OTHER houseless denizens, by extension. For in giving him a big boosts] towards his own sense of self-worth, he can better assist others on the streets.

In closing, here's one of my projects I carried out back in 1992, that was NOT homeless oriented, but veteran and military focused:

The Somalian Affair

And here are three of my handful of Youtube online recipe satires, that have NOTHING to do with the queer issue:

Zeke’s EZ Toasted Raisin Bread Breakfast

Zeke’s EZ Wholesome Nut & Seed Oatmeal Breakfast

Doggy Meal Prep

For making people LAUGH is a powerful healing force, along with kindness and non-profit elbow grease.

Re: This made my day as well!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 17, 2022 at 7:39 AM

> So, so sweet…

Nothing but love to give. Deek brought the pups over two nights ago, picked ’em up the next morning around 11, then brought them back again yesterday evening…so they’re here, now. His nights are busy collecting tons of recyclables, and mine are busy snoozing with the brindlekin.

No phone call, email or text from a lawyer yet…but it’s too soon to say I’m outta the woods. I wonder if that Chinese guy is blabbing to other residents that one of my dogs bit him. That should be interesting, as a lot of people here LOVE them. And if Kevin is going around claiming how vicious they are, I’d say he’s in for a rude awakening.

I thought about the hounds’ loving impact on many homeless here in the Castro, thanks to Deek’s wide circle of friends. If I spread the word about the manager’s hostility towards his dogs, I don’t think he’ll find strolling through the neighborhood a pleasant experience any more. But I DON’T plan to do that, as then Deek would know the situation and be freakin’ out, making my life so much harder than he’s already done. Because he’ll blame it on me.

This current drama may be what triggers the doggies’ rise in popularity to become the mascots of The Castro. And, of course, the unofficial guard dogs of 9666 Market Street. Maybe I should write a letter to the editor of some local gay rag, about a wicked manager and two lovely homeless pups. And how they need a real home where they are loved instead of hated, preferably with a backyard. I wouldn’t name names, but compose it so the locals will have a good idea of which building I’m talking about. Well, those who already live at 9666 will have no doubt…especially since I’ll include a pic of the mutts.

I suspect that Kevin did NOT really send a carbon copy to Ablahblah Realty, and that his threat to contact the building’s lawyer was just an attempt to frighten me into submission. But if I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter because I’ll win anyway. I laid down all my cards: a royal flush!

– Zeke K-Holmes

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Subject: Latest Encampment by My Building
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 17, 2022 at 10:30 AM

This micro-village popped up four days ago. The occupants there don’t appear to number among Deek’s extended family. Imagine living on that side of the building on the 2nd floor, with your window just three feet above them! At least they’re quiet.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 10:56 AM

Two mornings ago a young lady was standing in the far corner of the lobby diddling with her phone as I stepped inside with the pups. They began to vociferously bark (as they always do whenever they see someone there, on the stairs or in the hallway). So I tugged the dogs close to me and we proceeded upstairs…but after the first two steps Flaco slipped out of her collar and ran up to the lady, barking her ass off.

The woman yelled “Hey!” and held one foot up to kick her, if need be. I immediately stepped back down and attempted to put the collar back on, but Flaco was too elusive. Meanwhile, I held Lucky’s leash firm who, BTW, was perfectly calm and quiet by then; no problem. When I saw that trying to place the collar back on with one hand was a lost cause, and I dare not let go of Lucky, I climbed back up the stairs and called out: “Flaco, come here!”

The little doggy look up at me, turned to the lady and barked a bit more, then ran up the stairs to where I stood. The Woman was screaming bloody murder through it all. Then, the moment I continued to climb the steps, Flaco dashed back down to the lobby where by now the woman was about to exit. She held one leg up again in that defensive kick pose.

“Are you kidding me?” she screeched.

“Flaco, up! Up here!” I called, and she suddenly turned away and joined me again.

“Are these your dogs?” she hollered back.

I nodded my head yes.

“Put a fuckin’ leash on her!” she scolded, then disappeard outside. I don’t think she heard me over Flaco’s barking, when I answered back:

“I’m putting a choke collar on her!”

Never mind I HAD a leash on her, it’s just that she slipped out of her collar. She’s done this twice before, for which reason I ordered a painless choke collar from Amazon, which arrived yesterday. Turns out the collar I was using doesn’t maintain a tighter adjustment; it’s a slide-through collar rather then the buckle type, and expands to its widest point after a few tugs. Works perfectly fine on Lucky, but Flaco’s neck is a half inch thinner in circumference. I also ordered a standard buckle collar, that should also work to keep Flaco from slipping free.

Since this fiasco occurred entirely in the lobby, it’s all on camera. The only GOOD thing about this is further proof the dogs don’t bite. I am hoping against all hope that she did NOT complain to the building manager. But how likely is that, Wattson?

Meanwhile, the choke collar works great, so no more Flaco escaping its grip. Furthermore, I realized that just picking up either dog in my arms when it begins to bark silences it completely. But that means I’ll have to take them for walks seperately. Which I’ve begun doing, and it works out just fine. Actually, I can take them BOTH out first thing in the morning, ’cause it’s so early and no one’s about (usually), and again late at night. But the two times I walk them during the day, I leave one hovel while the other’s outside. Should they begin to bark–indicating they hear someone approaching, or standing in the lobby–all I need to is pick the hound up in my arms, and all is suddenly quiet again. Or, seeing as I now have a better collar, I can just guide the dog close to me with no problem…as has been the case all along, with a few exceptions, thanks to the previous collar that wouldn’t hold its adjustment.

At any rate, I’ve tried picking up each dog soon as I exit my room, and kept Flaco or Lucky cuddled in my arms all the way down to the front gate. Both remained totally quiet, unlike their barking with excitement the first few seconds they step out my door. So the experiment is successful, and now anyone can pass by with ease, instead of my having to finagle with their leashes, or require the passerby to stand and wait in the lobby or on the stair’s landing, for me and the mutts to get through. Please realize, though, residents don’t have a problem with that, for the most part.

Nonetheless, I PREFER this new strategy, as it keeps the few screechy drama queens at bay, and gives them NO excuse to complain at the drop of a hat. Though my solution may have come too late, which would be tragic. Ablahblah Realty DOES have grounds to ban them from the building, based solely on having them over so much, which can be considered MORE than just dog sitting. All Kevin has to do is check the lobby camera data to see how often I bring the pups inside. After all, having a dog live with you DOES require permission from the building manager. But the one point in my favor is my dog sitting HAS been going on for almost two years now. Pretty much problem free.

I presume Kevin is questioning residents about the dogs, with some form he cooked up and printed out. And jotting down any further complaints, whether true or no, to build his case against me. Though SOME of the residents adore the brindlekin, which is another point in my favor. They SMILE even while being barked at, as I maneuver the pups along.

There is also the matter of god-knows-how-many tenants who are FURIOUS with the manager, as you well know. In which case, it is possible that Kevin may NOT be moving ahead to get the doggies outta here, due to that situation. Plus my OWN warning to him, about his willful harassment of me via proxy (Adisa & mom), that I WILL act upon, should he go through with his own nasty plan to get rid of the hounds.

I figure if nothing happens regarding legal action against me between today and two weeks from now, I may indeed be out of the woods. In which case: may time fly on winged feet! Though I risk eviction and possible jail time for standing up to the bastard, these dogs ARE my sacred priority. It’s downright SPOOKY wondering when the next letter from Kevin will appear, taped to my door. I think I’d have a heart attack if I saw another one. Hopefully, there will BE no more of that.

Though what do I tell Deek? I’m sure he’ll explode the moment I tell him ANYthing about this dilemma. I would like for him to keep the pooches by his side for a week…actually, TWO, but that might be a bit much for him. I’d also have to tell him if worse comes to worse, I may NEVER be allowed to have the dogs visit anymore, or I’ll be evicted. But for the time being, it’s best to keep the brindlekin out of my building, until things blow over…if they do at all. I WILL remind him about the false accusation of a dog bite that occurred late last year, which fizzled into nothing in the long run.

So of course I must remain calm through THIS latest ordeal, as well. But it sure is a whopping soul crusher this time around, good physician!

I will NOT tell him about the dog’s cornering and barking at two different residents, two different days, as he’ll just blame me for not training them properly, with red-faced screeching and epithets throughout. Instead, I’ll tell him the manager despises me, despises the homeless, and is paying some residents to wrongly accuse the dogs of biting, in order to get them outta here, and evict me as well. And that people who make false accusations like that often wind up landing themselves in jail, or worse. But Kevin’s also senile, and has angered MANY occupants.

In short, I’ll tell Deek that the manager is going bonkers, and taking it out on me, and other residents. He should’ve been fired MONTHS ago. So it’s not a good idea right now to have the doggies visit, until things right themselves in my favor, just as they did last time around. I will ALSO remind him that he’s talked about the assholes he has to deal with from time to time…and, we’ll, I’ve got some of them in my life, too.

I woke up suddenly around 4:30 AM with dry lips and shaky nerves, imagining myself telling Deek I can’t have the dogs over anymore. So I got out of bed for a few minutes, drank a half cup of soda, then laid down again, alongside my kind and joyful companions…whose days with them, I fear, are now quite limited. I otherwise slept well, which is suprising given the circumstances. Took the canines out an hour earlier than usual: 6:30 AM. Fed them at 10…Flaco ate most of her breakfast, but Lucky didn’t touch his. Which was to be expected, as he woke me up puking shortly after 6. So his tummy may be out of sorts for a few more hours.

As I walked the hounds up Noe Street, I figured it’s time to catch you up with the latest. Though I’ve been hesitant to even TELL you about it, let alone write it all down…it’s just a shattering crisis! But I finally concluded it would be a healthy, cathartic thing to do at this time. Thank Boudicca I have such a heart-warming confidant in you!

This missive will NOT appear in my Brindlekin Tales saga, until said time it’s safe to do so…that is, when things completely blow over and covered with a fresh layer of soil and wildflowers.

Of course, my Bodhisattva Premise kicks in, to reassure me this is JUST another test (we have no enemies, only teachers) and I actually have NOTHING to worry about so long as I continue to do my best under grueling circumstances. And I am. I will come out of this smelling like a rose. But if I MUST worry myself to a useless mound of flesh, go right ahead, though I DO have the inner resources to rise above ANY negative thought process…and that’s a more pleasant way go. Things will work out fine no matter what.

Sometimes life is like whistling through a graveyard. What, me worry?

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 2:46 PM

> Terrible, terrible!!! And infuriating!!!

Indeed it sucks. But I remind myself of other people throughout history who’ve gone through much WORSE ordeals, and came up the winner.

> Taking the dogs out one by one, in your arms, is an excellent idea.

The perfect solution.

> Not having them visit you for two weeks is dreadful to contemplate. You’d be in an acute state of worry, Deek would make more trouble for you, or disappear with the dogs, or some fucking thing.

No, I wouldn’t be in an acute state of worry, as I know by now that when push comes to shove, Deek is very mature in a crisis. I doubt he’d disappear, and I doubt he’d give me much grief. For whenever the bedbug treatment comes around, he’s right on top of it, and makes things as easy as possible for me. It may even be a good thing for him to keep the pups for a week or two, as he may have gotten too dependent on me for watching over them, and the challenge just might strengthen his mettle. Even if he rebels in a rage at first, I’m sure he’ll come around and be cooperative. That’s been his pattern before, when I’ve confronted him over other issues.

I will at LEAST tell him not to have the pooches over quite so much, due to the legal difference between dog sitting and permanent residency. But if I go the whole enchilada, I’ll make up a story how the manager has gone bonkers and is threatening numerous residents, not just me. That he’s paid a couple of people to harass me by banging on my door some nights, hollering, “Get rid of the dogs or you’re dead!” Don’t know who they are, but I’ve called the police for the two times it’s happened so far, and have recorded the incidents on my smartphone. That MANY residents are infuriated at Kevin, and have come together to form a tenants’ union. But at this time, I think it’s wise to keep the dogs away from my building. And, strangely enough, the dogs did not bark or even wake up when my door was being pounded on.

> But I certainly understand why you’re considering it.

Either that, or don’t tell Deek anything. It’s a painful decision either way. Hoping for a miracle sounds foolish, but look what happened with the Adisa & Mom fiasco: they suddenly upped and left, and that’s all she wrote!

Maybe an ally who lives in my building will approach me and say Kevin won’t get away with this, do not worry. Maybe Kevin will suddenly drop dead. Maybe a kind someone with a home and a backyard will open a door for Deek, where his pups can visit like they do with me. I would be MORE than glad to help out with dog food expenses and treats…and offer to walk the dogs whenever.

In previous crises in my life, I HAVE had kind souls appear out of nowhere, to recharge my batteries. Surprising, and wonderful.

> And for both of us, we’re snared because we were sincerely trying to help. Deeply, deeply fucked up.

Yet there may be a way through a horrid dilemma, using one’s wits and words…as you have done in order to save your home from your bank almost screwing you over. As you have done so many times, As I have done likewise. I’ve persisted through it all, and have a sweet setup, albeit humble, with more than sufficient money and other resources to do my activist thing.

> Your dilemma is a lot like mine,

Yes, that already occurred to me…and both our crises began on the very same day.

> we’re both boxed in, and all because of a lack of a sufficiency of a certain chemical: Money. If I had plenty of this chemical, I could solve the Dana problem just about overnight. If you suddenly had a ton of money, you could move, or bribe the building manager, whatever it took to protect yourself and the dogs. As it is, when we’re broke, we are nakedly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of this life, and problems divide and multiply exponentially.

Nonetheless, I prefer to remind myself of that Chinese saying “crisis is opportunity,” and build on that.

> And for both of us, we’re snared because we were sincerely trying to help. Deeply, deeply fucked up.

As I see it, EVERYone is snared by their existence, and it is what we do with it, how we handle our struggles, that is key. The wealthy may think they’ve escaped that, but they’re only fooling themselves. The Buddha had much good advice on dealing with life’s inequities…and they work!

Bodhisattva Premise:

Remaining calm and trusting in the good is THE foundation on which you progress towards a happy outcome. All that’s REALLY required of you is simple: stay calm. Even if you see no solution at the moment. DO NOT PANIC. Sometimes I don’t even wanna be in my own skin, it is that stressful. But I take a deep breath and make a point of taking time out several times each day, just lying down beside the pups and listening to a good podcast, or watching a video.

Thanks for your thoughtful and honest take on the doggy/Deek matter…it has helped me develop my thoughts further, and given me solace. Rather than assure me things will work out for the best, you’ve allowed me to think this through on my own. And I did. I’m ready to scream, but I’ll focus on the dream.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here to see the sign on my door.

Subject: Every day w/o an envelope taped to my door is a good day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 8:59 PM

And it HAS been a good day! Walking each pooch individually was a surprising revelation, and it wasn’t just due to the choke collar, though that certainly helped. Neither dog got needlessly excited when other mutts walked by, hardly a bark…maybe a woof or two, but mostly just stopping to stare at them. A couple of times Lucky made a half lunge and a rather milquetoast “arf!”

And today was the first time someone actually walked by me in the building while I carried a pup in my arms. Not a single bark, not a single stare, nada. It was my great luck that this person who approached and walked by, was none other than Victor, our building’s maintenance man! I said hi, and he looked up from some papers in his hand, saw Lucky cradled against my chest, chuckled and said, “Hello, good afternoon!”

I ordered a second Martingale collar yesterday (what this particular choke collar is called) and it just arrived an hour ago. So I transferred the rabies tags from the old collars onto the new ones and voila, they are ready for Deek when he picks up the hounds. While each dog is much more mellow when being walked alone, still, though more feisty when together, the new collars should have the desired effect of putting an end to their pulling on their leashes, and lunging. It will just take a bit longer. It was really nice today, walking each dog and not having to worry about anyone or their own canine getting too close!

So the collar is already having excellent results, starting from day 1, yesterday! I imagine it won’t take more than a few weeks (or even just a week) for them to temper their aggression (as harmless as it is, and cute) to the point where even screeching drama queens will find no fault. And by that time the dogs will be able to go back to wearing a standard collar.

This will also have the added perk of impressing and pleasing Deek no end!

AND THAT’S THE SCRIPT MY BODHISATTVA GUARDIANS CONJURED UP FOR ME! Getting the dogs properly trained in the nick of time…putting me on tenterhooks almost to the very last moment. Then, a progression upwards into Nirvana, that comes with having accomplished a great deed, after much excruciating and prolonged travail. And that’s their gift to me, that I will feel mighty proud for what I’ve accomplished!

Last night, as I awoke at a wee hour with a minor anxiety attack, I reminded myself that this desire to leave one’s skin, to escape my dilemma posthaste, this burdensome grief and despair that feels like death itself…is the EXACT description of one who is about to make a major transition in one’s spiritual life. First, death; then, rebirth.

Of course, I have to admit that the building manager IS one of my bodhisattvas…just playing the role of tough taskmaster. Like he also did regarding the Adisa/mom affair. Brilliant!

And those two young people in the lobby who were “attacked” by my furry elves on different days, were ALSO part of the script. THEY FUKKIN SET ME UP! Of course, the challenge is to figure out how to turn it all around into a positive result. If the Buddha hands you limes, make lime soda!

I even suspect my glorious brindlekin were in on the plot…which causes me now to look at them in a new, and wary, light! Ha ha, just kiddin’ about the “wary” part. Recall now, what I said about Flaco on that night of October 30th 2020, the eve of Halloween, when I feared I may not see her or her brother again:

She looked at me with the sweetest little face and a bright spark in her eyes as if to say: “You have nothing to worry about! Lucky and I will always be here for you, we are your friends.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The Clueless Moron doesn’t like the new collars!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 10:23 PM

He showed up just before 9 PM, handed me several small devices to recharge, then said:

“Bring the dogs down, I’m not sure yet if I wanna take them with me tonight, but I wanna see them.”

I told him okay, but from now on I’m bringing each pooch downstairs one by one.

“It works out much better that way, Deek.” I explained. And went on about how well behaved they are when I walk them individually, they’re a lot less aggressive.

“And if someone’s at the gate when I return, I just pick up the dog and carry it inside, and it’s totally quiet, no barking at all.”

He then looked at the Martingale collars: “What are these, they’re ugly.”

“They’re just training collars,” I replied, “painless choke collars that discourage them from lunging. They work very well, you’ll be amazed how effective they are, so give it a try.”

“YOU’RE the one who has problems with them lunging,” he retorted. “They never do that with me!”

“Not true, Deek,” I admonished. “They lunge at other dogs walking by when you’re sitting there, and I hear you hollering from my window, ‘Flaco, come here!’ ‘Lucky come here!'” I took a deep breath and finished with:

“You’re ALWAYS complaining about how they lunge and tug on their leashes.”

He denied that, and blamed the problem on me: “I trained them to behave well, but it’s like you untrain them after they visit you, every time.”

“Jeez,” I snapped back. “That’s totally NOT true, stop acting like an idiot.”

He then demanded the old collars back: “I don’t like these, they look stupid!” he griped. “I never asked you to get me new collars.”

“Sure, I’ll bring them downstairs, but please give these choke collars a try. They’re just for training, which’ll take only three weeks or less.”

He seemed kinda out of it, only half listening and nodding his head down close to his lap. He then started to fiddle with the snap-on part. “Please don’t remove them, Deek. And DON’T LOSE THEM either, because the rabies tags are now on them!”

Which were a bitch to install on the new collars; so I guess now I’ll have to put them back on the old collars next time the mutts stay over (he decided to keep the dogs with him tonight)…IF HE DOESN’T LOSE THE TAGS FIRST. Jesus fukkin christ! Almost half the time he drops over it’s like I get hit by a hurricane…chaos and devastation everywhere. He’s like Schulz’s Pig-Pen, only from hell.

SO glad I ordered a second pair of Martingale collars for backup just this evening…never dreaming I might need them so soon! And good thing I’m back on Amazon Prime, as they’ll arrive tomorrow. And thank god they’re only $6 each. Purchasing items for Deek is often like getting them and, soon as I unwrap the packages, throwing them away. ABSOLUTE FRUSTRATION AND NEEDLESS WASTE OF MY MONEY!

I tried to tell him of my manager going berzerk, and I’d prefer the dogs not stay with me for a week, which by then I hope will blow over. But as I said, he doesn’t seem to be very together tonight, and he waved me away: “I don’t wanna hear it, that’s YOUR problem!”

Anyway, if he doesn’t keep the choke collars, that won’t stop me from continuing to train them…it just will take a bit longer than if he used them, too.


I stepped out to purchase groceries, and peeked back at the ATM alcove to see if he and pups were still parked there. At first glance, it looked like they were gone, but then Lucky poked his head out with his fond eyes aimed at me. I turned immediately about and proceeded towards the corner. Just before I crossed, I looked back once more, and there was FLACO now gazing at me from the distance!

Upon returning, here came Deek and dogs with his small cart, intercepting me at the bus stop.

“It’s only been an hour your devices have been charging.”

“Hours?” he twisted his face as he said that.

“No, an HOUR!” I replied.

“Hour? What’s that?”

“An HOUR, Deek, as in 60 minutes! I just thought you’d like to know.”

“Uh, okay,” he said, and moved on towards Castro Street as I reached the front gate. He paused for a few moments, whereby Flaco stood facing me from about 15 feet away, looking quite concerned with her furrowed brow as if to say, “Hey! Why can’t I be with you now? I miss you already.” Lucky stood right beside her with a more stoic, though likewise endearing, demeanor. I thought “I love those dogs” while looking directly at them, and threw them both a kiss before disappearing inside.

Of course he’d give me a hard time about the collars, Wattson…that’s the role he plays, so why should I expect anything else. And after all is said and done, with all his whining about the “ugly” collars, they’re still around the doggies’ necks…not the old ones.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek decided to bring the pups back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 11:48 PM

There was some hideous black dude roaming around this part of Market Street, screaming, threatening to beat people up, sprinkled with epithets like “faggot” and “nigger.” So about 10 minutes ago, Deek decided to get outta here to distance himself from the crazy vagrant. As I carried his devices in a large Ziploc down the stairs, a handsome young fellow just entered through the gate and addressed me:

“Someone outside has your dogs!”

I mulled this over for a second, then replied, “Oh, they belong to him, but I help them out. Thanks for for telling me, though.”

“Oh I see,” he remarked with an “aha!” smile. “Sorry to have bothered you.”

“No bother at all,” I said while descending the carpeted steps. “Have a good night now.”

Deek handed the dogs over to me, plus the dog food…he was flustered and eager to move on.

“I got into a fight with that dude,” he muttered. “Did you see it?”

“No, I heard it, but didn’t know YOU were involved,” I answered. Though I heard him earlier holler out to the jerk from across Market Street:

“You walk around with a big stick like that and YOU’RE gonna get bashed!”

This really upset me, because such a direct confrontation could endanger the brindlekin.

Then he began pawing through his gizmos and, as I took the hounds away, he called out to me that he doesn’t like the collars, he’ll use the old ones. I told him to give them to me, and I’ll put the tags back on them. But he seemed to be caught up in something else, fussing with one of the two smartphones in the bag, did not hear me I guess, so I hurried the hounds upstairs, planning to run back outside to procure the collars. But when I looked out my window to see if he were still by the bus stop, I saw he was already too far up 16th Street towards the Mission, to be worth skedaddling back out and catching up with him.

And so it goes.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Every day w/o an envelope taped to my door is a good day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 20, 2022 at 12:06 AM

> Excellent!!!!

Thank you. I always do my best to rise up above whatever muck is dumped on me ASAP. I surprised myself with this one, though, because such a fast turnaround. This funny scenario played out in my head a few minutes ago:

Kevin came up to me and said: “Did you enjoy composing those two emails to me?”

“Yes,” I replied, “quite cathartic. Made me feel like a true alpha.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

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