The Eviction Fiasco (part 5)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 5: Chapter 22]

Subject: Just heard from Mx. Victoria via email, a moment ago.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 2, 2022 at 1:01 PM

Here’s what they said:

“Yeah something is wrong with my phone regarding the voicemail. Ugh. I just wanted to let you know I referred your case so keep an eye out for a call from Bay Area Legal Aid. If they don’t get ahold of you within a couple business days let me know.”

And my reply:

“Will do, thanks! No 30-day notice delivered yet…I’m sweating beads here. But my writing is prolific of late, and it keeps me grounded, with much joy at the satisfaction of coming up with one true tale after another, like popcorn.”

Today’s Thursday, so “a couple of business days” means I’ll have to wait all the way to Tuesday to contact Thea, if they don’t get in touch with me by Monday.

Re: Just heard from Mx. Victoria via email, a moment ago.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 2, 2022 at 1:42 PM

> But are you safe in the meantime???

I just pinched myself: yes, yes I’m safe! Now, this thought just occurred to me a la my Bodhisattva Premise:

If all this brouhaha is indeed a big fat joke, an initiation so to speak…and the manager, Ablahblah Realty, building residents, local vagrants and so forth were all in on it, being as they are bodhisattva guardians…and if DEEK were one of the players:

Then of COURSE he’d make jokes about my being evicted (that I should hold an eviction party, that he should visit me for a few minutes since this may be our last chance, etc.)! I know *I* would if the tables were turned.

I’ve churned out four long, exquisite chapters since I got my 3-day notice Friday. FOUR CHAPTERS IN ONE WEEK! Each taking an average 40 minutes to read. I’m a wordsmith juggernaut!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: No 30-day notice delivered yet, and I’m wondering…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 2, 2022 at 6:19 PM

…if Ablahblah Realty plans to pull something sneaky on me. The building manager could claim he hand delivered it to me today, but he really didn’t. Just like his letter ten days before, claiming one of the dogs bit a resident:

It was hand delivered, no third-party witness, and it wasn’t sent certified by snail mail. Had I not responded to that letter via email to him, he’d have had no PROOF he ever delivered it. Maybe I should’ve just ignored it.

Or what if they don’t sent me a 30-day notice until another week or two from now…is that legit? But if it’s dated June 2nd, how can I prove I didn’t receive it until many days later?

So let’s say another week has passed without a 30-day notice yet delivered. Would I be in the clear? But what’s to stop Kevin from claiming he DID hand deliver it, or taped it to my door on June 2nd? How can I prove he didn’t?

I shall pose that question to Mx. Victoria tomorrow, via email.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: No 30-day notice delivered yet, and I’m wondering…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 2, 2022 at 8:45 PM

> You need to be on solid ground with the answers to these questions. I wouldn’t put it past any of them to conspire to send the Sheriff to your door. That must NOT happen.

Well I’m SHAFTED w/o a defense attorney, should they pull that on me. I posted my query to Mx. Victoria an hour ago: it’s at the end of this email.

Right. I need a spy cam in my room…but it’s an extra expense when I need to hold on to as much money as I can. And I am NOT going to stop giving Deek his allowance.

They could plant drugs in my room, too! Or mess with my laptop or tablet…maybe steal it. Okay, here comes the spy cam, I’m ordering it soon as my soc. sec. deposit arrives, usually after midnight. It has good customer reviews, and Amazon Fakespot and Reviewmeta both rate the customer reviews as legit.

I’m almost always home, except when I step out for groceries. But I may have to go to some office at least once, for legal help. So, yeah, the spy cam is a must.

Now here’s my email to Mx. Victoria:


Subject: 6:20 PM, no 30-day notice delivered yet, and I’m wondering…

…if Ablahblah Realty plans to pull something sneaky on me. The building manager could claim he hand delivered it to me today, but he really didn’t. Just like his letter ten days before, claiming one of the dogs bit a resident:

It was taped to my door, no third-party witness, and it wasn’t sent certified by snail mail. Proof I received it was provided by my response to him via email.

What if they don’t send me a 30-day notice until another week or two from now…is that legit? But if it’s dated June 2nd, how can I prove I didn’t receive it until many days later?

So let’s say another week has passed without a 30-day notice yet delivered. Would I be in the clear? But what’s to stop the building manager from claiming he DID hand deliver it, or taped it to my door on June 2nd? How can I prove he didn’t?

Without a defense attorney to contact Ablahblah Realty’s attorney I would be at a gross disadvantage, simply claiming I never received that notice in the first place.

Thanks for your thoughtful attention, Mx. Victoria.


Re: No 30-day notice delivered yet, and I’m wondering…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 2, 2022 at 9:28 PM

> Okay. You’re doing everything right. And staying calm. Spycam excellent idea.

I’m goin’ wit da Blink brand!

I sometimes forget how much hatred is targeted against me by spoiled queers who see me chewin’ the fat with hobos, Deek in particular. Out there hanging with him and the dogs for a few minutes, taking his gadgets inside then later bringing them out. His calling up to my window (not loud anymore, but there still WAS his recent screaming bouts, and the dogs’ raucous barks last Saturday night). But he seems to have gotten them to be more subdued…difficult to accomplish on a block with heavy foot traffic.

As I stepped outside to visit, the pups of course were crazy to see me…Deek handed me their leashes and told me to tie them to the cart. I gave the sweethearts some hugs and comforting words, then left them there as I walked to Deek’s other side to collect a batch of small gizmos, SEVEN this time.

Flaco finagled her way around the cart’s front wheels, such that she was pulling on the leash to get beside me, she had no more slack. She pressed her head so firmly against my hand with the most sincere fondness, my heart wept. The weight of her head was like 15 pounds, she forced herself against me that hard! She misses me so much…they both do.

Nowadays I only spend a quick minute or two with them. Not because Deek is being a prick, but because we both know it’s best to not give them the impression I’m about to take them inside. So our meetups are brief.

Sometimes when you love someone, ya gotta let them go!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Mx. Victoria’s Reply
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 3, 2022 at 10:08 AM

Thea posted:

“There really is no way to specifically know what their intentions are. Hopefully they accept that you cured the 3DN and don’t pursue any further action. If the 3DN was cured they have no reason to give you any other notice right now. Hopefully Bay Area Legal Aid reaches out to you soon. Try to relax and not worry too much, you have some people on your side right now.”

So I replied:

“Thank you. Relaxing is the order of the day.”

Re: Mx. Victoria’s Reply
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 3, 2022 at 1:09 PM

> Okay. I’ll try to relax, too.

THAT’S the challenge, per my Bodhisattva Premise: “Relax, have faith in the midst of crises…and you shall be a stronger and better person for it.”

So it’s a test, like EVERY crisis in life. And I can’t think of a more DIFFICULT test to go through, when two innocent little doggies are in the middle of it. I believe that this eviction fiasco swirling around me will transform many people within my proximity. And somehow, some way, the pups will soon have a REAL home where both Deek and I can still enjoy their company on a frequent basis. Just because *I* can’t conceive how this will come to pass, does not mean it WON’T come to pass. Meanwhile, the hounds will be okay, happy, healthy and safe regardless of Deek’s less than sterling care, and the sketchy conditions that go with two darling mutts living on the streets. Regardless:

Being thrust into the limelight so often, making me the center of attention to folks around here, is excruciatingly awkward, and not what I would ever seek out. But that, too, is part of the script crafted by my brilliant guardians…with Arwyn at the helm, of course. It will make my good works over the decades KNOWN, and trigger a change of heart in many. Who will then broadcast my achievements and kind outreach to the LGBT homeless to others…including across cyberspace. Eventually (and probably very soon) the queer community will offer to publish my tales, for which a percentage of the profits will be funneled to yours truly. Or, as I envisioned decades ago: they’ll skip the offer and just dive right into the publishing process! For they know very well (through some of my stories, essays and letters), that’s been my dream all along: that the greater percentage of the profits go towards LGBT organizations in order to empower them by an extraordinary degree.

They just might SURPRISE me with this project, and perhaps honor me at the upcoming Pride March…handing out HUNDREDS of my novels as the parade advances along Market Street like an army of angels, ending at the Civic Center with a ginormous celebration.

Couldn’t come any sooner, in light of the imminent threat of conquest by the Christo-Fascist blue meanies.

Deek is handling this situation with impressive maturity. The several times he almost exploded in my face the past two weeks, he caught himself and simmered down. Last night upon his departure from my locale, he politely asked if he could show up tomorrow morning after 10 to pick up Sunday’s allowance. POLITELY. I said of course, and we parted ways…me rushing back upstairs to grab the moolah I already had withdrawn two days earlier, then hurried back outside where he was still fussing with his cart by the corner. So I called to him from the open gate.

He looked up in my direction, saw me waving the folded envelope above my head. I wanted him to come to me, so I wouldn’t reignite the pups’ wild desire to return hovel by my immediate presence. Deek understood. A jubilant smile was plastered across his Cajun mug as he approached and accepted the early boon, and we bumped elbows. He then returned to doggies and cart and, soon enough, they were gone…with a fresh supply of five cans of doggy beef stew, and two large baggies of kibble.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: No 30-day notice delivered yet, and I’m wondering…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 3, 2022 at 1:31 PM

> But these circumstances are beyond painful.

Soon to metamorphose into “beyond extraordinary.”

Re: 14 year old dog builds up the energy to jump on the couch again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 3, 2022 at 7:08 PM

> Yesssss!!!!!!

Dogs have more than enough love to spare, to heal this planet and liberate humanity…and provide every poor homeless soul with a woof over their head.

Click here for a larger view.

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 4, 2022 at 12:42 PM

My rent check refused per directive of Ablablah Realty’s attorney. I will inform Mx. Victoria immediately, though I don’t expect them to respond until Monday at the earliest. Though they DID tell me to let them know of any additional notices delivered, immediately.

I was in the middle of my latest tale when this happened, which should be completed within an hour or two from now.

JUST WHEN I WAS STARTING TO FEEL TRULY RELAXED AGAIN! Oh well, I’ll take a few deep breaths and hold steady to the wheel, to navigate through this Moby Dick-ian tempest and onto safe harbor.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 4, 2022 at 2:22 PM

> Oh, fuck.

And I say to my self…what a furshluginner w-o-o-o-r-ld!

Kind Warlock just emailed me with a brief comment that Coyote is his totem. Here’s my reply:


On 2022-06-04 12:44, Kind Warlock wrote:

> The coyote/wolf is my primary totem.

I thought it might be the raven, as it’s proudly displayed in the header image on your FB page. Be that as it may, coyote is a FINE and EXTRAORDINARY prince among princes. Both a trickster and “BFF” (best friend forever) to those who appreciate his quirky-but-loving personality…and have suffered many slings and arrows on behalf of justice in whatever form that takes.

IOW, Coyote just doesn’t select you for his protection and help, solely because you like (or even love) him. ONLY if you’ve already made great and noble sacrifices to prove you’re worthy of his kindest regards.

I believe he is MY main guardian, as well. (Or the wolf, also a magnificent totem.) For I DO have the same quirks as he does, including trickster and an eccentric spirit. My affectionate nickname for him is “Yote,” pronounced “yoh-tay,” the same as “coyote” minus the “co” part. Enjoy this very brief tale I wrote about him, many years ago:

My Best Friend Yote

BTW my present crisis around this eviction threat has taken a difficult turn just today…as I was delivered a notice by the building manager of refusal to accept my rent check per the landlord’s attorney. Prior to this, I thought things were going in my favor, since I have yet to receive a 30-day-notice, which my legal counsel took as their possibly dropping the case since I HAVE cured their complaint, which was removing the pups from my residence.

This is because the 3-day notice to quit the premises arrived
two Fridays ago (May 24th). And they’re supposed to give you a 30-day notice once those three days have passed. Having not received that 30-day warning yet, seemed hopeful. But now this!

I must correct what I said to you earlier, that I found a superb attorney. Actually, they’re a “Right to Counsel Coordinator,” and their job is to assess the level of urgency of your situation, and refer you to the best attorney possible. My counselor’s name is quite extraordinary, “Thea Victoria,” who is also either transgender or nonbinary, thus their preferred pronouns are “they/their/them/Mx.”

Mx. Victoria said my case is urgent, and they have referred me to Bay Area Legal Aid, and to expect a phone call from them by this Monday or Tuesday. But if I don’t hear from them by then, to give them (Thea) a call or email. They also told me if I receive any further notices delivered by hand or taped to my door, give them a call immediately. Thea’s voicemail box is full, so I posted an email instead. I doubt they’ll bother to call me back until Monday.

I am exhausted typing out all the details of this fiasco, both to my confidante My Dear Wattson, as well as to my Brindlekin Tales blog. Rather than answering the many questions you most likely have, may I refer to you my recent chapters on this matter, that appear on my WordPress blog? For they will answer MOST of the queries you are likely to ask.

Otherwise, we’ll have to play things by ear…and I understand your reasonable explanation as to certain difficulties you have as regards reading anything with an attentive approach. Believe it or not, I am the same way on many types of reading…but writing things out is a horse of a different color, and MOST important for me to do. Not just in light of this current legal imbroglio, but in getting my messages out to the world, for I know they will help MILLIONS in these troubled times.

Please keep in mind that I am NOT in panic mode, as this is just a test…of what you may ask? Of my ability to stay on an even keel, enjoy each day regardless, count my blessings, and have faith that all shall work out in my favor. I tell ya, Charlie, if I haven’t learned that lesson YET, at the advanced age of 71, I’d be a lost soul for sure!

And that faith includes, of course, that whatever totem IS my main guardian SHALL protect me and turn things around with a win/win outcome for all parties involved. I don’t care WHICH is really my primary token, for I consider ALL the spirits of Native American lore both wise and loving. I’m not a fussbudget, and will joyously accept any one of them, and be profoundly GRATEFUL no matter what. They could even be Snake or Scorpion, and I’ll still be pleased. For THEY have great wisdom, as well. Maybe I’ll be shown in a dream or vision, sometime soon. The Great Spirit only knows I am on a very heightened level of awareness at this time, thus highly receptive to such revelations.

Call me tonight after nine, if you’d like. Or another day soon.

Your newfound friend,



Subject: Just an addendum
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Kind Warlock
Date: June 4, 2022 at 4:10 PM

Well, duh, don’t know why I didn’t think to include this in my previous missive, so here goes:

I surely have the rapt attention of Coyote/Wolf thanks to my incredible devotion and many sacrifices on behalf of two members of the Canis familiaris branch: their darling brother and sister, Lucky and Flaco, who have been entrusted to me countless times by one outstanding homeless friend of more than twelve years. You wanna talk about “trickster,” then that’s their master Deek in spades! He is MOST difficult to deal with at times, just ONE mark of the trickster. Though he possesses OTHER aspects that mark him as such. I have made many videos of the dude, here’s just one, called ” Deek & the Buddha Necklace.” It’s only right at the end of the video, the necklace is revealed…which medallion he gave ME some time last year, but later asked if he could start wearing it, instead…so I gave it back to him. Seven minutes long, and you get some nice glimpses of the two little hounds:

After being gone two days and nights, Deek and pooches returned this evening. He made a really big deal over his Buddha necklace, plus a NEW necklace also of Chinese theme: a dragon this time. Enjoy the newfound camaraderie of our blossoming friendship! And the spirited, cheerful doggies, Flaco & Lucky, of course.

If you’d like, here is another video starring Deek, that you get a better idea of his nature (he LOOKS like a coyote, what with his skinny frame and sharp-lined visage). Only three minutes long, and he’s still wearing the Buddha trinket:

Deek gave me the dogs yesterday afternoon, and he didn’t return till late the next day, so I had a delightful pajama party with the pooches. When he showed up this evening he said to keep them for another night, since it’s pretty cold out here. This is the FIRST time he’s shown that kind of consideration for his dogs! He also asked me about my “spyglasses,” after my wearing them for almost three weeks. He does NOT know I’m filming him, but you’ll have to watch the video to find out how I reacted.

BTW I’ve had numerous discussions with him about Buddhism, because he seemed quite interested. One day he picked up the Buddha trinket, which I believe was left out on the street after the Chinese New Year’s celebration last year.

Now, here is but one of many delightful videos featuring Lucky & Flaco. In this one they’re howling over an ambulance siren that just drove by (45 seconds):

When the sirens go off, so do the pups!

Another delightful video, this time they’re occupying my swivel chair at the same time, much to my surprise, ’cause they’ve never done that before, it’s always been one or the other till then (42 seconds):

It was a very slow takeover. First, only Flaco began to take a liking to my chair. Then, over the next several weeks (slowly but surely) her brother, Lucky, decided he should have a piece of that real estate, too. Until now, it’s come to this!

And another sweet video of them playing in and around a cardboard box (42 seconds):

A box is all they need to have fun…look at ’em go!

Now, one video of just Flaco (20 seconds):

Flaco loves to sit up in my chair and enjoy a good belly rub.

And one of just Lucky (40 seconds):

Lucky wants everyone to be clean, and stop spreading the virus.

Last but not least, a brief video of my approaching Deek and pups who slept overnight on the corner of my block, right by the building I’ve occupied since Jan. 1st 1984 (one minute):

Deek insisted he sleep with the pups last night, right outside my building. Rather than let them enjoy a restful and safe snooze in my humble sanctuary. Infuriating! When I stepped out for my morning java, I brought them a bowl of water, and gave them hugs and kind words, while their master dozed on. This was around 9 AM.

I guess it’s time connect the face with the activist, so here’s a pic I just took of myself this afternoon. And a 4-second video with my voice included. As you can see, I’m a salty old veteran these days, after decades-long devotion towards justice for our LGBT homeless, and other causes. My teeth have seen better days, but I began losing them once Medicaid eliminated dental care for male adults back when then-president Bill Clinton made major cutbacks on health care for the poor.

Subject: I just spoke with Kevin! Awkward but rewarding.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 4, 2022 at 6:24 PM

After more than five months without Alvarado Street’s Sprouted Wheat Raisin Bread, it’s finally back on the shelves! During the time doing without my favorite morning repast, I resorted to eating their sprouted wheat burger buns, toasted and slathered with soft vegan margarine and St. Dalfour’s Wild Blueberry preserves.

So, once I arrived hovel with the raisin bread and a couple of other delectable items, I went to relieve myself in the shared restroom. Though I first backed into the side alcove by my room, because I heard Kevin speaking with someone on the floor above. I waited a couple of minutes until deciding the coast was clear, and proceeded toilet-ward. I didn’t hear anyone approaching, either walking down from the level above, or up from the lobby below. Relieved to have avoided the manager, I turned the bathroom key and entered.

But several minutes later and just when I stood up to hoist my pants and flush the commode, there was a gentle rap on the door.

“Be right out!” I called to whomever. Upon hearing the muffled response, “Okay, I’ll just leave the TP here,” I realized it was Kevin. Drat!

Once I fastened my belt buckle I decided to man up right then and there. I reached for the door knob, turned it and stepped out…figuring he’d have departed by now. But no, there he was standing with an armload of toilet paper, plus one roll in his hand.

“Here, I’ll put that away,” I kindly said, and he surrendered them unto my hands. Then I spoke some of the most important words in my life to anyone, to him:

“I want you to know I’m not angry or upset at anyone. It is my Buddhist belief to always be compassionate and calm, even in the middle of a crisis. I will show no anger or other negative emotion to anyone in this building, including you, of course. I don’t want ANY more stress to go on, for anyone.”

With bowed head (due to his advanced age, causing him to stand or walk with a bent-over posture most times) he mumbled a few soft words that did not reach my ears coherently. So I finished with:

“I’m sorry we’re in this clash in the first place. My goal is to make things turn out a win/win situation for all parties involved, no matter how impossible that sounds right now. But if it turns out I have to go, I’ll go…in peace, without anger towards you or anybody else. Okay?”

He replied with what seemed to be a friendly shrug, muttered something else I could not grok, then turned around and shuffled off while I reentered the bathroom to set the toilet paper rolls on the rack, and one on the holder. A sudden calm and joy overcame my spirit as I walked down the hallway and back towards my room: I felt very GOOD about that encounter, how I handled it!

Upon returning to my modest digs, I sat down at my work station and decided to type it all out and share the momentous exchange with you, good physician!

EVERYTHING’S GONNA WORK OUT JUST FINE…I’m such a nervous ninny at the drop of a hat, mistaking it for an errant missile that inexplicably rerouted itself from a kindergarten school target somewhere in Ukraine and wound up spanning the Atlantic and the entire width of America to finally explode right at THIS astounded pilgrim’s feet!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: My Brindlekin prayer cards arrived in the mailbox this afternoon. Though I had forgotten all about them, so assumed the box they came in was actually holding that Blink spy cam. Which purchase I canceled last night, BTW, as I concluded I was playing into paranoia, always a bad thing. “Hmm, it came through anyway, so I got it for free,” I thought, because Amazon already verified the cancellation. Imagine my surprise upon opening it, back upstairs!

I already handed the first one out to Anastasia two hours ago. She’s that lovely greeter at the cannabis shop just around the corner and half-a-block up Noe Street! She loves the hounds and always looks forward to giving Lucky his neck scritches, then petting his sweet little sister. I made up a story that I finally found someone with a backyard who loves Deek’s dogs, so they now take regular breaks from the streets over there where the elderly lady resides, about three blocks on the other side of Market Street. So I won’t be walking them along this part of Noe street anymore.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: One of the worst things…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 4, 2022 at 12:12 AM

…a homeless person you’ve befriended could ever say to you is something I have to deal with every once in a purple moon, and it IRKS me no end, like cautiously pulling a botfly larva out of my foot with a tweezers.

Not that I’ve ever had to DO that, nor are such alarming pests even a PROBLEM in the United States, at least not for humans as they mostly infect rodents and rabbits and, by unhappy circumstance, occasionally our beloved Canis familiaris by their attacking the aforementioned small mammals. See attached pic of one poor dog so affected. Although I HAVE read about ’em now and then about places where they ARE endemic to our own species.


Thus, for the reasons just cited above, I figure they make a SUPERB metaphor for this particular bogeyman of a nuisance regarding certain vagrants who may try to SCAM you. Though I MUST note that somewhere down the line, botflies MAY become the “parasite du jour” for people up here in northern California, thanks to rapid climate change. They’re also called “gadflies” BTW, so there ya go. Speaking of a recent human botfly incident in these dis-United States, here’s an alarming article. Quote:

“A 36-year-old woman suffering from an itchy skin lesion went to several Florida doctors two months after her honeymoon in Belize — and learned the wound was the sign of a living creature, which had burrowed into the skin on her groin, doctors say.”

One could say that Florida DESERVES a plague of botflies in light of its Christo-Fascist takeover, but that’s neither here nor there…besides which it’s not as if scads of Democrats and progressives DON’T inhabit that schlong shaped peninsula, as well.

Factoid: they’re also called “warble flies” or “heel flies,” and THEY’RE EDIBLE, widely consumed by our ancestors in Pleistocene and even premodern times. Now get this, Wattson, their consumption is even mentioned in Hebrew religious text (from Wikipedia): “The Babylonian Talmud Hullin 67b discusses whether the warble fly is kosher.”

I presume by now you are RABID with curiosity, Wattson, wondering exactly WHAT this “one of the worst things a homeless person you’ve befriended could ever say to you” is all about. If not, then I can only conclude you’re asleep at the wheel. Highly unlikely, however, as you yourself once told me in great praise, that my authorial style grips the reader in a highly caffeinated fashion, such that nodding off in boredom is impossible! At any rate, here ya go:

“Do you have a bank account?”

Deek has played that on me more than once…last time being when he tried to pull that “million dollar bill” ruse on me, six or seven months ago. And many months previous to that, he expected me to cash a covid relief check for him, if it ever arrives. (It did not, thank god, as the state of Louisiana gobbled it all up for child support.) I said no and explained why not, but he grew short-tempered, not understanding the legal logistics as to why I couldn’t, for someone living on Social Security and a Medi-Cal recipient.

Then there was another time around four months back when a clean, well-mannered vagrant shared with me his woes over some check he couldn’t cash since he lost his ID a week ago. I knew he was hinting that I should offer to cash it for him, but I avoided falling into that pit of vipers by wishing him success in finding a way through it, such as procuring a new ID card.

I can give you many OTHER examples of houseless folks attempting to scam me in this fashion over the years, but I think the examples above have made my point.

[ALERT: Just when I finished composing the paragraph above, THE BUILDING MANAGER TAPED A NOTICE TO MY DOOR, with my rent check enclosed, and stating “I am returning your rent check per directive of attorney.” So I’ve already posted you about it, and you’ve replied, and so on. Now, let me continue:]

By chance I bumped into Boulevard Joe last night, right there by the bus stop where he sat scraping cannabis oil residue from the inside edge and bottom of a small aluminum frying pan (with a folding handle, the kind used for camping out). Repeatedly inserting small gobs of it into a rubber ball the width of a quarter that he had split in half and hollowed out with the same utensil used to coax the residue onto its blade. The ball itself sported swirls of color over an otherwise pasty white surface.

I gave him a rundown over what led to my no longer sitting for the doggies…going back to Adisa & mom, till now. Then he said something I never expected, that dropped a stone into my stomach:

“Those dogs ARE vicious little beasts…they bite people all the time. I’ve been bitten at least TWICE, but I don’t care, it’s no big deal to me.”

I told him that’s NOT the case at all, and I wonder why he’s talking like that. He didn’t respond, so I dropped the matter. At any rate, he DID tell me that to serve a 30-day eviction notice, it does NOT suffice to simply hand deliver it without a witness.

“They take your picture when they deliver the notice, AND have a witness present who SIGNS the paper…then YOU have to sign it too!” he explained.

Yet in all my many searches about how a landlord should properly deliver a 30-day eviction notice, I’ve never come across anything more than filling out the form correctly. But if it’s true what Blvd. Joe said, why didn’t Mx. Victoria tell me that in her last email? For it would go a long way in soothing my jangled ganglia.

Shortly before we ended our visit, he pulled out a folded piece of paper with shiny metallic decorations on it, and said:

“Do you have a bank account?”

I immediately shuddered from head to foot and back again, upon those six horrific words, then responded:

“Oh, that’s a loaded question,” I replied, head lowered with hands resting on my knees. “I don’t see WHY I should say whether or not I do.”

He then unfolded the paper to reveal the face of Queen Elizabeth. “It’s a Canadian fifty-dollar bill!”

I didn’t realize it then, in fact only a minute ago did I bother to look up that currency, to discover her royal majesty’s image is not even ON that particular bill! See for yourself, Wattson:

At any rate I said to him: “Can’t you just cash it at any bank yourself?”

“NO I CAN’T” he burst out, “I DON’T HAVE ANY EYE-DEE!”

“Well, Joe, I hate to say this, but I can’t afford to take ANY risk with my Social Security by doing stuff like that…it all goes on record,” I explained with a gnawing in my heart. “Cashing anyone else’s check or foreign money counts as income for me, no matter what I tell them otherwise.”


“Sorry, but it’s a no go,” I countered, about ready to jump from my seat and get the fuk outta there.

“Alright, never mind,” he sighed and pocketed the shiny note. “It’s okay.”

He then stood up as if about to leave himself, but changed his mind and sat back down.

“I gotta hang here awhile longer, you have a good night,” he told me.

“Okay, nice to see you again Joe,” I replied, “I got a ton of writing to do, anyway.”

The next day (this morning) I thought about it, and realized most LIKELY a regular old bank won’t exchange foreign currency, even if it’s Canadian. I could be wrong, though, but I’m not about to test it out. Besides which, what if it were FAKE…boy would I be up shit creek in a paddle then!


When he gratefully accepted my surprise delivery of his Sunday allowance in advance last Thursday night (rather than make him wait till Friday morning), he clearly stated as he scooted off:

“I’m putting it in a safe pocket right now, don’t worry!”

First time he’s ever assured me about that, and I was most pleased. I actually saw him insert the folded envelope inside the front of his jacket…presumably a pocket therein and, most hopefully, further secured with a zipper, Velcro strip or button. Woo-hoo!


A fiftiesh, friendly lady with a pleasantly puffy face began working there about a week ago…no doubt Palestinian like the rest of the crew. So today I told her I’ve been coming to Rosenberg’s for DECADES.

“Heck,” I declared, “I remember the ORIGINAL dude who owned this shop, THE Rosenberg! He passed away, when…thirty or more years ago!”

“Really?” she replied, eyes large as saucers. “That’s something else!”

“Yes it is,” I agreed. “I’ve been here many years, but YOU don’t wanna know MY history here in the Castro, it’ll just give you one heart attack after another!”

THAT really cracked her up. We then wished each other a lovely day and I departed with fresh brew in hand.


My former neighbors across the hallway, the gay couple from one of those “stan” nations in the middle east (Tajikistan perhaps): next time I see one of them, I’ll request they snail mail me a signed letter about Adisa and friends loitering for hours right outside their door. Hell, maybe that’s why they finally moved outta there! They certainly kept real quite in their apartment when those teenage scoundrels were talking ghetto there in the hallway, loud and brassy. No lights on in their apartment, no sound of any occupant within, no one exiting or entering.

It’s just a thought, he might just freak out when I ask for his help, no matter how simple to comply.


I’ve been carrying a pack of ciggies in my front shirt pocket for social lubrication among the homeless, for Zeus only knows HOW long. But almost a year ago I caved in and got hooked to the devil’s weed once again. Wound up sticking my face out the window, blowing smoke like a Lilliputian chimney. Didn’t really wanna step outside every time I had the craving, when the pups were with me. Two local election cycles ago, it’s become illegal to smoke in adjoining units, BTW, so I WAS taking a risk. The initial fine if caught is $1,000.

So I checked if anyone outside could see me at the window, who may reside here…the manager, my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway, and a few select others in particular. Or those Hohokum creeps who often lean against their parked vehicles late at night, guffawing like donkeys and relishing some puffs themselves. With yours truly in EASY sight, just fifteen feet above, and background light from my desk lamp surrounding me at night like an aura. May as well just holler at them:


I set a coffee mug filled with a little water on the ledge, and a small bowl containing a teaspoon of baking soda right beside it. The mug is for when I extinguish the butt, and the bowl is so I can snuff out the ember and return to it a minute or so later. It’s a wide, secure ledge that makes it unlikely those receptacles would fall onto the sidewalk below. And I move them back inside when I’m done with my latest smoke session, anyway.

How many urban people look out their windows anymore, for a leisurely pastime? No one that *I* know of Wattson…though it may still be going on in those low-income neighborhoods where African Americans, recently arrived Asian and latino immigrants, et al reside. My point is this: looking out my window many times a day, tends to make the curious look up and gawk: they can’t believe their eyes! So I’m afraid if I keep this up much longer, I’ll acquire a reputation as “that old fart who always stands by the window, smoking.” THAT can’t be good!

One night rather late, I was by the window doing just that, when some young vagrant dressed in rags suddenly appeared from across the street, walking towards my building, and called out:

“Hey, can you spare a cigarette?”

OMFG, I immediately dropped the cig in the mug’s water and slipped aside from the window’s frame, remaining silent and out of sight until the unwelcome inquirer moved along. Fortunately, he did not call up to me again, I presume because he got the hint.

And just several days ago Deek showed up and saw me puffing on a Fortuna Red 100! I usually am alert enough to spot him from a distance, and can hide my habit from him. But this time my luck ran out.

“Zeke, can ya toss me a cigarette?” he called up. So I did just that, realizing this could get out of hand pretty fast, if other vagabonds spot me doing this. Before ya know it I’d have an increasing number of ’em hollering at my window for a cancer stick! This is DEFINITELY not good!

Then about two months ago (again, nighttime) I checked the sidewalk below and across the street: the coast was clear so I lit up. But two minutes later I saw my quasi-fascist neighbor from down the hallway, strolling along the opposite side with a Walgreens bag dangling from one hand! I immediately exterminated the cig and wondered if he saw me. Moe is easy to spot from a distance, even in the street-lit dark…thanks not only to his mega-portly silhouette (think Hitchcock here), but because he also sports a ridiculous, fat top knot on an otherwise mostly-bald pate these days.

So yesterday I decided to end my window smokes, and only step outside for that anymore. Besides, they’re an expense I CAN’T afford, on top of my helping Deek and pups. My tobacco habit had creeped up to a half pack a day, which comes to $150 a month! Now I’m down to seven daily, seeing as stepping out for a smoke does not appeal to me more frequently than six or seven times on any given day. Which quantity, I’m sure, shall diminish over the next several weeks to ZILCH. As I KNOW I’m finally in that “easy-to-quit” zone as I was some decades back, with ultimate success. It’s all in the mind, really!


I stepped out for my fourth smoke of the day, and decided to sit on a bench on the Noe Street side of Cafe Flore: an idyllic spot with flowers and a few trees, against a couple of wide, attractively decorated windows along the outdated venue’s wall.

Someone had left an open box of pizza on the bench: three juicy slices remained, untouched! I figured that’s a good sign from the gods, that I should partake in gratitude, even if just a bite or two. So I did just that, before lighting up. Less than a minute later that friendly, large black dude I’ve told you about recently, whom I call “Samuel” for now, showed up from across the street. He was neatly dressed as always, this time in a white muslin button-down shirt, dark green slacks and a thin-woven scarf about the neck.

“How are you today?” he greeted me as he approached and stepped onto the curb, his feet adorned in off-white sandals.

“Very well, thanks!” I replied, then extended my hand palm up, over the box: “Have some pizza!”

He stepped closer to me in order to look it over with a squint: “Where’d you get it?”

“Oh, it was here when I sat down a little while ago,” I replied. “It’s still fresh, just cold.”

He then helped himself to a few bites, just like me, then set it down.

I looked up at him, shrugged my shoulders and said: “I consider it a gift from the angels.”

He just stood there for a few moments, then spoke: “Well, I’m gonna take off now, thanks for the treat!”


Needless to say.


Wasn’t it that later-in-life blind author from Argentina, Luis Borges, who coined a new literary term, “vignette,” for a super-short tale? At least, that’s what I came to learn way back in one of my Spanish classes at the University of Missouri, as taught by one Margaret Peden, my Spanish advisor and an extraordinary person to boot! Both she and her husband, an English teacher (one of whose classes I also attended) truly appreciated me in ways I could NOT comprehend until decades later. She also taught us about an initimate group of male poets in Mexico, all of whom were homosexual…in a time and place when THAT was quite a risky arrangement. But dammit, I can’t recall what they named their group that gathered most every week, in secret. And my search engine terms didn’t get me anywhere!

Just look at all the rich, amazing prose gushing through my fingertips these days, ever since the 3-day notice to quit these premises arrived! This is no coincidence, Wattson, as it looks to me very MUCH like my bodhisattva taskmasters have triggered this creative frenzy by contriving this crisis!

By figuring out how to remain calm, friendly and happy with each BOMB dropped before me, what would otherwise be manifestations of hatred, grief and fear arising from my psyche, are instead transformed into their positive OPPOSITES.

And the timing and frequency of so many charming, real-life vignettes in just a short but intense seven days is utterly remarkable! They’re ALL in on it: Ablahblah Realty, Kevin Bond, my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway (and other residents), Deek (and other orphans of the street), Mx. Victoria, etc., etc., etc. (Gotta toss in a transgender or nonbinary fer Pete’s sake; they’re COURAGEOUS!) The cadence, the rhythm, the orchestration:


My attempt to avoid Kevin failed…and why did it? Because, as one of my guardians, he knows how to manipulate himself into appearing before me no matter HOW I try to thwart him. So he got me at my most vulnerable: SEATED ON THE FUKKIN TOILET, ha ha! Forcing me at that moment to express my Buddhist strategy of nonviolence, compassion and a strong-willed dedication to turning things around so that ALL parties involved will wind up pleased as punch.

Guess what, Deek showed up a half hour ago, 11:30 PM, demanding I charge his five devices, and put new music on another phone he acquired. FORCING me to stay up until 1 AM. I appealed to him to please not do that, but he wouldn’t budge.

“C’mon, Deek, I need my rest badly,” I told him. “I’ve been working very hard all day long, struggling to win this case.’

“I’m struggling out here too, to survive,” he replied. “You can manage to stay awake until one.”

And that’s that for now, Wattson! Thank gawd.

– Zeke k-Holmes

Add to this story with your insightful comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: