The Eviction Fiasco (part 18)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 9]

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Subject: Excellent visit with my attorney.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 11, 2022 at 2:24 PM

Enclosed is the reply form in my defense…go through the whole thing, notice which statements have been checked off. She essentially said their attorney agrees they have no case regarding the dogs, but the landlord wants to sit on it awhile longer. Ms. Elvensborn says she’s not worried about my lawsuit, I should be fine, and that the landlord will probably wind up waiving the issue before it would ever go to court. More details on our conversation later today or tomorrow. Hope your day is going well…this humidity has me worn down a bit. I need to lunch and relax.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: “So your building manager, this Kevin, is the asshole in all this?”…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 11, 2022 at 11:10 PM

…queried my attorney after I explained in further detail what I’m up against, and the players involved.

“Yes!” I heartily agreed. “And the mistake the landlord and his lawyer made was taking Kevin’s word for it, rather than check things out for themselves and speak with me. So they ARE guilty of harassment by proxy.”

Ms. Elvensborn kindly reassured me she’s handled eviction cases far worse than mine, and her clients came out unscathed.

“I’m sure you have!” I concurred, then went on about how I’m dealing with dysfunctional creeps from BOTH directions: Deek’s bipolar tantrums, and the horrific mistreatment by the building manager and his several cohorts who reside here. I also brought up the possibility of Kevin being senile, which DOES explain his see-saw regard for the dogs: one day petting them and smiling, then another hollering at them to shut up.

“I’m between a rock and a hard place, I’m dealing with CHILDREN!” I exclaimed. Though not without some pride, as I acknowledged being coerced into speaking on behalf of the homeless in a legal matter…which I consider an HONOR.

“So I’m not really complaining,” I continued, “it’s just that it’s unPLEASANT dealing with, errrr…unpleasant people! But my greatest concern is for the dogs; I have no CHOICE but to fight for their well-being. So filing a civil lawsuit will most likely be in the cards, to get there. Unless by some miracle they DROP the case AND tell me I can bring the dogs back inside.”

We went over the Final Reply, in preparation for a possible court session. IOW this is not something their attorney gets to see UNLESS this case goes before a judge. My summation of the offenses against yours truly are thus:

The charges against me are grossly exaggerated and false claims, and I was SITTING the dogs two or three days a week, with the manager’s tacit approval…I see nothing wrong in doing that, in a pet friendly building. It was NOT a violation of my rental agreement. And they’ve provided ZILCH proof of anyone being bitten.

Magdalena explained that not ALL offenses checked off may stick, but it’s best to cover a wide ground since it is far more difficult to ADD any further offenses later on. I suspect she is not telling me certain things, in that I don’t NEED to know. For she is kind of SCARING them to back off…and confiding to me about this would not be sage. She knows what she’s doing.

I informed her I’m writing down my eviction tales for later release on the web.

“But not until this case is done. There are sixteen chapters already, so it’s gonna be Book 7 of my Brindlekin Tales. I also use psuedonyms for all parties involved…the name I chose for YOU is Magdalena Elvensborn.”

“Oh, why did you choose THAT name?” she grinned.

“Well,” I replied, “I like to mix Catholic and pagan themes. So your first name is Magdalena, and your last name means ‘born of elves.'”

I SHOULD have added (but neglected to) that I chose Magdalena because it reflects her dedication to truly good causes…a lawyer with a conscience does NOT make the big bucks, and they deal with MANY tragic cases each month. And “born of elves” is a nod to her Viking heritage. Having said (and not said) all that, dear doctor, I decided to present my Bodhisattva Premise:

“Now what I’m about to tell you, please consider a side note, and nothing to bring up in my case. It’s amusing, hopeful, though may be nothing more than the meandering thoughts of a borderline schizophrenic.”

I then described the building manager, the landord and their attorney may merely be PLAYING my enemies, but are actually putting me through an initiation that is the culmination of my decades of activism, a prelude to celebration. Which also implies that Deek is in on it, too, along with some other residents of Hotel California North, and a number of homeless people who are friends of Deek.

“Of course that ALSO suggests you may be in on it, too.” She remained silent to that, so I finished with:

“In other words, they’re punking me. They have every intention of my winning the case…it was a setup all along to make me the hero. They are giving me WONderful stories to tell, in the process. Everyone love’s a great story of heroism, or a good horror flick…but no one REALLY wants to go THROUGH what the HERO has gone through to get to a victorious outcome. But I AM in the middle of it, and I AM the hero, and I MUST turn this all into a happy ending for the darling hounds more than anyone else. Besides, EVERYone loves a doggy tale! It’s all too perfect, it’s more like a SCRIPT than anything that could happen in real life!”

Ms. Elvensborn made absolutely NO comment on my theory, but kept respectfully (and, I hope, delightedly) receptive.

Oh, almost forgot: she asked if that cop who came to my door ever got back in touch with me. I told her no, he did not, even though I requested via text, that he send me the pic of the so-called injury, and the video of the so-called vicious attack…or a link TO it, if it was too big for my email client to handle.

“When he visited with me, he said he saw the video and it shows that the dogs are inDEED vicious and dangerous,” I mused. “But NO dogs so small and with tiny, weak jaws could EVER be regarded as such, even if they WERE biters, which they are not!”

I told her he also had an email address by which I could contact him, in addition to his phone number.

“But guess what the address was,” I prodded with a twisted smile. “ I wasn’t ABOUT to use that address, because it’s kind of an adMISSION that the mutts actually ARE vicious and dangerous! You’d think if they had any fair-minded sense, that address would be more like”

Before departing, she introduced me to one of two attorneys who will be here for me, in case I have questions while she’s gone…or something else urgent comes up regarding my lawsuit, albeit unlikely. The other attorney was not in the building today. I am VERY impressed and pleased with today’s entire visit.

Now here’s a list of all the points my attorney checked off in “Answer Final.” Not that I understand what every one of these points actually stands for, but it’s heartening to read them in a glance, rather than scrolling through pages to discover each one, like scattered jujubes:

– Defendent generally denies each statement of the complaint and of the Mandatory Cover Sheet and Supplement Allegations.

– Defendant did not receive plaintiff’s Mandatory Cover Sheet and Supplemental Allegations.

– Plaintiff waived, changed, or canceled the notice to quit.

– Plaintiff served defendant with the notice to quit or filed the complaint to retaliate against defendant.

– By serving defendant with the notice to quit or filing the complaint, plaintiff is arbitrarily discriminating against the defendant in violation of the Constitution or the laws of the United States or California.

– Plaintiff’s demand for possession violates the local rent control or eviction control ordinance.

– Defendant has a disability and plaintiff refused to provide a reasonable accommodation that was requested.

– The fair rental value of the premises alleged in the complaint is excessive.

– Defendant requests that plaintiff be ordered to (1) make repairs and correct the conditions that constitute a breach of warranty to provide habitable premises and (2) reduce the monthly rent to a reasonable rental value until the conditions are corrected.

That’s it for now, Wattson. I also have an update re. Deek and Filipino Kai, but I should rest now. Expect another email some time tomorrow, probably late in the day. Hard to keep up with all the intrigue!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: “So your building manager, this Kevin, is the asshole in all this?”…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 12, 2022 at 3:16 PM

> Well, that’s great. Really, really good work, on your part and hers!

Venimus, vidimus, vicimus.

> I found the part where you told her about the Bodhisattva Premise (whoa, what a great book title that would make!) wonderfully compelling. Was she thinking: Uh-oh, crazy talk, or was she thinking: He’s on to me!

She remained cordially mum…a respectful approach no matter what. My take on Ms. Elvensborn’s impression of me is one of admiration, delight and reverence. I DID add this (with a wry grin):

“Of course, feel free to regard this fantasy as a symptom of borderline schizophrenia, triggered by the stress of my eviction crisis, if you think that would help my lawsuit. But since I haven’t even SEEN a therapist for over twenty years, I don’t know how well that would go over.”

I also told Magdalena about my use of a spycam on Ablablah Realty’s attorney…how under certain circumstances California law DOES allow it.

“Three prerequisites must be met: that you are part of the conversation, that you believe you are under some threat, and that you’re both in a location where reasonable privacy is NOT expected, such as in a bathroom or bedroom. He was in the hallway outside my door, which is NOT a place where privacy is expected.”

She replied that she only meant the law in most cases. I said I understand, and I had already checked up on my rights in this matter, before setting up my laptop as a spycam.

“So I’ll continue doing that, as I have since that woman’s son down the hallway started harassing me, along with his friends. The video I’m referring to gives proof there’s no intent to evict me, as the lawyer’s apologetic demeanor and words so indicated. It may be useful for my defense.”

Magdalena agreed, and also commended me for doing such a great job keeping records and notes through it all.

“You’re very organized!” she exclaimed.

“I have to be, my life is on the line…I’m doing this all for the dogs, I’m GOING to the dogs!” I quipped.

One final point, Wattson. I claimed this threat of eviction is attempt to MURDER, as winding up homeless would be a death sentence in my case. There just won’t be any visible blood on their hands.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The likely outcome as I see it…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 13, 2022 at 10:16 PM

…has nothing to do with my attorney’s suggestions, other than my own speculation upon our last conversation and the items she checked off on the “Answer Final” document. Except she DID say that in THIS round, it would hurt my case to bring up having the dogs return. Yet she declared in a tone of voice implying she understands how important that is to me, but just be patient.

Ablahblah Realty will drop the lawsuit, agreeing to an out-of-court settlement whereby they will give me a temporary place to live while they put my hovel through an industrial overhaul…making it liveable once again, according to law. They will also grant me rights to allow the dogs to live with me, no limit on how many days per week. They will NOT fire or penalize the building manager in any other way (including eviction), but request he cease spreading gossip against me, as well as rectify the wrongful claims he’s made about me, to those residents he’s subjected TO such hearsay. A signed apology TO me by the manager, and by the landlord and their attorney, will be posted in the lobby for one entire month. They will also forgive all back rent I owe, as a result of their attempt to evict me.

In exchange I will waive all offenses made against me and the dogs, and they will take to heart my wish that they treat their lower income residents with kindness and respect. I won’t hold them to it, but hope their consciences will abide.

This possible outcome will put me in a MUCH better situation than before, since the dogs will become officially welcomed into this building, and the hateful gossip will end. It is also my hope that a non-hostile retaliation on my part will impress Kevin (and his minions), and lead to a better association. Though I think he SHOULD retire at this point, but I’ll leave that up to his employer.

With this agreement, their attoreny will likely NOT be disbarred again, nor will Ablablah Realty be harshly penalized in one way or another. Needless to say, if they DON’T agree to my terms I WILL push with all my might for a countersuit against ALL offenses made against me.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: The likely outcome as I see it…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 14, 2022 at 5:23 PM

> I’d add: and Deek will turn the dogs over to you completely and permanently.

One could always employ the services of a hit man to resolve THAT nasty little matter!

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Re: The likely outcome as I see it…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 14, 2022 at 8:06 PM

> I like the way you think!

My sense of justice is strong…especially when it comes to the happiness and health of two, sweet little doggies. Meanwhile, I stumbled onto THREE large, velvety, olive-green curtains cast on the sidewalk across the street from Morey’s shop! They have a heftiness to them, and I realized they’d make GREAT blankets for the pups, that they can fluff up to their heart’s content.

I figured after shopping at Morey’s I’ll have to rush hovel and return with a couple of lawn-size trash bags in which to stuff the curtains and lug ’em home.

“I hope no one takes them before I return,” I thought. “But wait-a-minute, that’s why I’m going to Morey’s in the first place: to purchase those trash bags…how conveniently synchronistic!”

For you see, Wattson, tomorrow is another bedbug treatment day, and I need more of those bags to store my laundered clothes.

As you see in the photo, it’s a good size to bed down BOTH dogs, and they’re THICK…and I have two to spare! I already gave Deek a large, fluffy bed cover several days back, and am glad to see he’s been holding onto it, as he set it down by the bus stop last night, where they could rest. The mutts love it…you should see how they languidly stretch out on it and breathe a doggy sigh of pleasure. Lucky is the REAL fluffer in the family, boy does he go at it for MINUTES till he’s satisfied with the results. Such a delight to watch! Flaco lets him do all the work, then she flops right down on a choice spot that her brother just plumped up.

Deek had a few more angry fits this week, though nowhere near as extreme as two-and-a-half weeks back…that was a DOOZY, and in front of other vagrants, too, including ex-girlfriend Scampy! For example:

Last night he was supposed to pick up his charged gizmos by midnight, but when I saw it was a quarter after, I poked my head out the window to see if he were anywhere outside. He was, leaning against my building near the corner, puffing with satisfaction upon a cigar. So I collected his electronics and stepped outside to deliver them.

He scowled at me: “Hey, it’s not midnight yet, it’s barely after eleven!”

“No, Deek,” I replied, “It’s a quarter after twelve.”

“No it isn’t,” he growled, “you just wanna go to bed early!”

The problem here, Wattson, was that the digital clock on the bus stop stall was smashed to pieces some days ago, so he can no longer check the time when he’s nearby. Still, why play such a childish game on me? Because he’s always on the lookout for whatever reason he can justify guilt-tripping yours truly. And THIS was the perfect setup!

“Nope, it’s twelve fifteen, Deek,” I reiterated.

“Oh we’ll see about that,” he exclaimed, then asked a passerby what time it was. But he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sorry, I don’t know.” Soon after, another person walked by and, when Deek queried him, he whipped out his smartphone, glanced at it and said, “A quarter past midnight.”

Far be it for the Cajun cracker to apologize…he just muttered on about how I can easily have him over for a few minutes, no skin off my teeth:

“Everyone else in your building has visitors, and the dogs will be fine out here for that short a time! You just all of a sudden decided one day not to have me over anymore! C’mon, no one’s gonna mind if I drop by for a few minutes.”

“I’ve already explained to you more than once, why I don’t have you or ANYone else visit me anymore,” I shot back, “so I’m NOT gonna get into it again. It just ain’t gonna happen. And no, it wasn’t all-of-a-sudden.”

“Well fuck you, Zeke,” he snarled.

“Fuck you too, punk,” I snapped back, then returned hovel after having spent several sweet minutes adoring the hounds and basically ignoring their surly master.

I figured our meetup was over for the night, as I seated myself by my workstation to continue watching a movie. But several minutes later he called up to my window, asked for a C-cord and a regular cord. So once more I stepped out to do him another little favor. He had the dogs with him, leashed up and barely two feet from the front gate. They were wagging their tales, assuming they’re finally gonna step inside after such a long time away.

“Please don’t bring ’em so close to the gate, Deek,” I begged him for the umpteenth time. “That’s cruel.”

Of course he didn’t listen, and I had to disappoint the pooches once more by returning inside without them. He does that intentionally; he’s got a wicked streak in him. Before ascending the stairs, I looked back through the doors’ glass panes and saw Flaco gazing at me with sweet yearning.

Though I really can’t be angry at him for long, Wattson, as I know it’s difficult to not be able to let them stay with me anymore, so he can take a break from his charges, and know what a treat it is for them to visit me while he’s away. He just won’t admit it, and I think this sad arrangement doesn’t help his mood swings any. Sad all the way around: for him, for me, and (worst of all) for the pups.

Two mornings ago as I came downstairs to step out for coffee, I espied Milo standing right out front of the gate, either talking to someone, or himself. Damn, I thought, these vagrants don’t even give a flying fuck about blocking residents’ egress! But when I opened the gate I saw Filipino Kai hunkered down right against the wheeled divider that separates customers of Super Duper and the lobby entry. I gave ’em both a quick hello and scurried on to Rosenberg’s.

They were still there upon my return ten minutes later and, as I stepped back inside, Kai wished me a good day, so I wished him the same back. As I proceeded towards the stairs, I overheard him speaking to Milo about how Deek needs to respect my friendship for all the good things I’m doing on his behalf.

“Well that’s good,” I thought. “Putting the word out to other homeless people will motivate them to urge Deek to get his act together, instead of acting like a little shit so often.”

For the past three weeks there is now some goofball drummer hangin’ outside my building for HOURS, sometimes the ENTIRE DAY, whacking at plastic containers nonstop. Sometimes all evening long and late into the night. See video:

A few days ago he was right by the front gate from noon till almost midnight, never taking one single break! When I stepped out around 9 PM he said hey to me, so I told him “You’ve been making that noise ALL DAY LONG right in front of our building!” Guess what his reply was:

“Why don’t you just close your window?”

I could’ve smacked him right then and there, but instead I ceased any communication with him from that moment on. I hate when an indigent makes this part of the block their home, and my face becomes familiar…so now we’re supposed to be good ol’ pals. VERY imposing!

The only GOOD thing about this, is he usually parks himself at the corner, directly below my quasi-fascist neighbor Moe Fleisher’s window…and two stories above him, below the manager’s window. I suspect Moe thinks I have something to do with it, such as PAYING the idiot to disturb his peace. For that is exactly what he thought about Deek camping out at that spot now and then, even though NOT TRUE at all. For I NEVER wanted Deek to make one of his regular hangouts right out front, below ANYone’s window.

Oh well, let the cards fall where they may, for I have more aces, kings and queens up my sleeve than I know what to do with, at this point.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Re: The likely outcome as I see it…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 14, 2022 at 10:28 PM

> Oh, Lord. bedbug day. So sorry.

I know, right…on top of everything else. Can you believe all the shit I’m going through…and BEEN going through for quite some time? Finding bedbugs in my room meant I’d have to contact Kevin, and I really don’t care to speak with him for any reason. So I held off about a week, and slept with bugs crawling over me each night. Yesterday morning I realized I couldn’t put it off any longer and, just before I picked up my phone, he called to say my neighbor has found a bedbug on the wall we share, so he needs to schedule me in for the same day!

> And that drummer. He’s not even that good. Very fucking annoying.

It’s the stupidity of it all that bothers me. He’s a dumbfuk. It’s like Stupid doesn’t wanna leave me alone…now I gotta hear it for hours without respite. I have a monkey on my back called Stupid. Deek’s stupid, the building manager’s stupid, the residents who badmouth me are stupid. I looked out my window a short while ago because I heard some people arguing across the street and, as I squinted to see who it was, I noticed the drummer was looking right up at me! So now he knows my window. I’m drowning in an ocean of stupidity, but thankfully Bay Area Legal Aid tossed me a lifesaver!

> Glad you’re hanging tough re: not letting Deek come upstairs. Your little sanctuary is too valuable, too precious.

He’s nothing but trouble. He’ll destroy your life if you’re not careful. But he owns the doggies, so…

> Wouldn’t they just love to accuse you again of letting “homeless people take showers.”

Homeless or no, if anyone starts an argument under my own roof, they’re outta there. And Deek has done that. Too stupid to realize his nasty behavior is a great way to fuck up his OWN life…and why I so desperately want to get the dogs away from him. Yet there’s little I can do until the Fates intervene. And they will.

Imagine Kevin telling residents I bring homeless inside to take showers! What OTHER nasty gossip has he spread about me? Certainly my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway is also complicit in demonizing me. This is a witch hunt, Wattson! I will SO enjoy watching all their schemes backfire. It is plain EVIL for Kevin to call Flaco & Lucky “vicious and dangerous.” Who the fuck does he think he is? I can forgive him everything else, but THAT.

> It’ll be a great day when you and the doggies are cozily reunited. There’ll be some joy in Mudville!

Even the mud will get up and dance. A hero’s quest fulfilled…an astounding achievement every bit as profound as Robert Hooke and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek discovering microbes! Brindlekin Tales will inspire millions; it will dramatically change the world for the better! I shall be revered by both angels and devils! And BEST of all:

I will finally have my own studio apartment with backyard access for the hounds! And YOU can visit, we could have a pajama party…you, me and the pups. Wouldn’t THAT be grand!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: The likely outcome as I see it…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 15, 2022 at 2:00 PM

> I’m gonna start looking for doggie pajamas.

You’ll look scintillatingly adorable in them! I’m at the Beanery coffee roastery right now, which abuts the long-defunct Howard’s Cafe (now a drab Chinese dumpling shop). When I disembarked from the N Judah and started my stroll towards 9th Ave. where Tart to Tart is located, I never expected them to be shut down, but they are! Likewise for Starbucks across the street and a half block up.

The Beanery is a narrow venue with just seven small tables inside, and two outside. But I guess I was meant to go there today, as one of the cashiers admired my Palestinian mask. So I told him the lovely story behind it, and he thanked me for my kind support. This place is peaceful, unlike Starbucks which blasts Indie rock music to the max. I’m the only customer seated inside, which is nice.

Very sad what happened to Salman Rushdie, I hope he makes a full and rapid recovery. This world needs him! Religious fanaticism is so profoundly abhorrent…the Dark Ages still holds a grip on this planet.

I still can’t get over my friend Chuck from Philly turning into a full-blown Trumpturd! We took many long walks from the Castro, over the hill and into the Inner Sunset. We’d usually stop at the pizza parlor across from Howard’s, then hike back home. Many conversations along the way. This was through the ’80s and the early ’90s. He walked with a slight limp due to a nasty motorcycle accident he had back in the City of [cough cough] Brotherly Love. He had to wear a left shoe with a raised heel. Boy did HE come from a fucked up family…no love there!

Well, enough of my rambling. It’s a perfect day, weather wise, and my room’s going through another reboot while I’m away. Always nice, though, to take the occasional break from my neighborhood a.k.a. “Pointless Dramaville.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 15, 2022 at 6:23 PM

I just returned to the Castro shortly before 6, assuming I’ll be able to enter my room around 7 PM, but the notice posted to my door states I HAVE THREE FUKKIN HOURS TO GO, STILL! And I’m STARVING! Before senile Kevin banned the exterminator from communicating with me, I could always find out from him around which hour he’d show up, such as 2 or 4 PM. But now it’s reduced to “sometime in the afternoon,” and I can’t get it narrowed down any further. Which forces me to be totally prepped by noon, even if I won’t need to for one, two or three hours later.

The bug man once told me I don’t have to step out until he shows up, I can hang out in my room. But the idiot doesn’t realize everything’s packed away, including my work station laptops and tablet…so I HAVE NOTHING TO DO once the room’s prepped. And if I decide to fix my lunch while I’m waiting, he could show up in the middle of THAT, and I’d have to leave pronto.

Yesterday I told Deek my room will be treated tomorrow, and I won’t be home until 8 PM, so there’s THAT to deal with, too. He’ll want to pick up a second smartphone he left with me to charge overnight (and didn’t show up this morning), as well as recharge his speaker and other phone. Once I finally get back inside I’ll STILL have a load of work to do, to get my room back together…which will take about an hour beFORE I can fix my dinner.

Well, I’m stepping back outside now…I’m typing this in the alcove by my room.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 16, 2022 at 8:02 PM

[Note: I started writing this piece last night, but completed it just now, 8 PM the next day.]

> As you said in your earlier missive, you are under siege by STUPID.

And it got even stupider (I’m back now in my hovel, just got the laptops running). Before returning to my lair (and also before I knew of the 9 PM alert) I decided to have a hot cocoa at Peet’s here in the Castro, as it was only 5:30 which I figured is too soon. I forgot they close at 6 since the pandemic took off, so I was only there a short while using my Chromebook.

The coffee I had earlier was quite strong and it gave me a touch of the runs, so I figured it’s best to use Peet’s toilet rather than hold my bowels till I arrive home a block away. Soon as I slipped the backpack over my shoulders and turned towards the counter, I saw a sign that read: “Restroom closed until further notice.” But that’s okay, I thought, I’m not in urgent mode, everything will be fine. And it was. I climbed the stairs to the second floor and had a good poop in the communal loo.

Then proceeded to my shabby sanctuary and withdrew the folded paper stuck between door and jamb that boldly declared: “NOTICE OF PEST CONTROL SERVICE” (in such a large, black font that anyone walking by could clearly read it even from 20 feet away, and which similar notices I’ve NEVER seen posted to anyone ELSE’S door BTW in all the years I’ve lived here). I eagerly opened it, figuring I had around an hour before I could enter. Instead, my fagged eyeballs rolled across these words:

NO ACCESS UNTIL [then in the bug man’s sloppy scrawl:] 9pm.

It was then I slumped onto the carpeted tongue of the alcove’s maw and posted you my previous email in bummed-out frustration. But thank god for the starving children of Africa, as a refreshed awareness of their accursed lot always serves to pull me out of my latest funk, because they show me how lucky I truly am by comparison, no matter how bad MY day! Remind me to send them a thank-you card very soon, Wattson! It’s wrong of me to put it off any longer.

I decided then: why not just get a slice of pizza to stave off your hunger? It won’t cost too much. Duh. So off I went outside again, to Marcello’s on the corner of Castro and Market, near the Metro station. I ordered a plain cheese slice ($6.50) and a can of Diet Coke ($2.50, egads)…and it was good. Juicy, savory, delicious, bursts of flavorful delight upon my tongue. They didn’t skimp on the sauce OR the mozzarella…and a cold soda to wash it down really hit the spot. I felt rejuvenated!

But shortly after I departed and wondered where to stroll off to next, just to waste some time, my lower intestine rumbled: uh-oh, I gotta poop again, and soon! So no question my next destination.

“Well,” I warmly mused while speed-walking towards the castle, “that’s ONE advantage to sharing a hallway toilet: you can still use it even when banned from your room!”

Soon as I turned a key in the front gate, the pink shoelace I use for a key-chain (and have since I first began wearing it in my “Hole in the Wall” days over a decade ago) snapped apart, and four keys fell loose onto my palm.

“Drat! I don’t need this new problem right now,” I thought as my anus puckered up in resistance to an oncoming gush of rumbling, loose feces.

I quickly opened the gate, then pocketed the keys as I dashed up the stairway, two steps at a time. Passed the mini-corrider leading to my room and turned right down the side hall where the head is located. Only to discover someone was already in there, singing in the shower a sailor’s ditty!

“What the fuck am I gonna do NOW?” I wondered with alarm, and thought of all the nearby places outdoors where I could defecate. NONE! Unless you count the freestanding toilet on the corner a half block up, which may or may not be in service, or someone could be using it and/or there’s a long line, or you’d have to wait twenty minutes until it was done self-cleaning before the NEXT person could step in. With THAT stunning revelation, I felt a sudden urge between my clenched butt cheeks, possibly even a warning squirt!

“I GOTTA BREAK INTO MY ROOM, there IS no option!” I realized, and in a flash withdrew a key to open my door.

Damn, wrong key! (The keys to my hovel and shared commode look identical, FYI.) Finally, I inserted the correct key, swung the door open and closed it shut immediately as I grabbed the waste basket, unbuckled my belt, dropped my jeans and boxer briefs and squatted over the debris of tossed bottles, jars, cans, paper cups, lids and plastic wrapping. For I had not a second to lose by first replacing the sacked contents with a fresh bag and lining it with a newspaper sheet…along with grabbing a roll of toilet paper and filling a small container halfway with water for the second wipe of three, for that matter. So I skipped my usual emergency-dump preparation (for those times when the little office was occupied) and let ‘er rip!

Fortunately, there was no wet, brown stain on my undies, nor was the kitchen bag more than a third full, thus made it easy to tie a double knot at the top, and it was still small enough to easily slip into the city  wastebin out front, with no one the wiser. Except, perhaps, for some hapless indigent pawing through it late at night, in search of a still-fresh-and-tasty comestible. I then washed my hands and tossed the new loaf of raisin bread I purchased on my way hovel after disembarking from the N Judah (and that I was carrying in my pack for the past few hours) onto my now-vacant desk riser.

Again, I opened and closed the door swiftly, after first keeping an eye out for anyone coming down or up the stairs, or along the hallway (especially Kevin). The coast was clear, so I stepped outside once more, as I had thirteen more minutes to go before the clock struck nine.

Deek never showed up, so I was able to put my room back together undisturbed. I was so tired at that point, I didn’t have the energy to fix a proper meal. Instead, I settled for the remaining Lay’s Classic Potato Chips at the bottom of the bag I hadn’t reopened for almost a week, and some slices of sharp cheddar cheese, plus a cup of A&W Zero Calories Root Beer.

I attempted to type this whole story out before hitting the sack, but was only able to churn out five or six paragraphs before I gave up. It would just have to wait till tomorrow, which is now. But just before I laid down for the night, I checked my smartphone to discover a new message from Kevin:

“Paolo had an emergency and went to the hospital, but he’s okay now. A delay in treating your room, so you should not enter till 9.”

That’s what I get for leaving my phone at home, Wattson…the message was time stamped 4:11.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Deek showed up just after seven this morning, calling “Yo! Yo! Yo!” up to my window. FORCED to arise from a sorely needed sleep, I poked my head out and looked down at him through squinty eyes.


I nodded yes.


I nodded okay. The dogs weren’t there, they must’ve been parked down by the corner.


God knows how many OTHER residents on my side of the building he startled awake as well. And to what purpose? Anyhoo, I commenced my day earlier than planned, as perhaps did my neighbors. Maybe they’re taking notes on Deek’s offenses for another lawsuit in the works. Fuck ’em.

Rosenberg’s java was especially good this morning.

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 17, 2022 at 3:34 PM

…Deek screamed at me while slumped down in the ATM depot and holding his injured hand that showed bloody cracks and a swollen thumb knuckle. The pups were patiently curled up in opposite corners, and seemed to be taking it all in stride. They are not easily upset!

I first heard him holler up to my window about two hours ago:


Pissed me off right away, his using my name, FIRST AND LAST NO LESS, loud and clear for all the residents to hear…like an ambulance siren.

[I’ll tell you the rest later on today, as it just happened and I need to relax and recoup my energy before sorting it all out. Suffice it to say that Filipino Kai finally showed up and, as usual, saved the day. He told me it’s okay, talk a walk and get some air. I thanked him with a nod of my head. They then walked off together, Deek grouching like a madman as I returned to my room and sat down to post you this email. My hat and jacket are sopping wet BTW because he flung the dog’s water bowl at me, and Kai saw that just a moment after he thankfully appeared. Stay tuned, Wattson.]

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: “I’M GONNA GET YOU EVICTED, YOU’RE NO REAL FRIEND!”… (the whole story)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 17, 2022 at 5:55 PM

His hand looks kinda bad, but not TOO swollen, and I doubt any bones are broken…which he claimed were because, supposedly, a car drove over it while he slept in the Walgreen’s parking lot. I brought a bottle of hand sanitizer downstairs and told him to rub some of it over that hand.

“What! That’ll sting like a bitch, get it away from me, that’s crazy talk!”

Then he screamed some more about what a fuck-up I am, but I managed to squeeze some words in edgewise, that the first thing he needs to do is calm down:

“Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and apply this ointment on your injuries.” I was talking about a small tube of triple antibiotic that I had brought down in place of the sanitizer. “This won’t sting at all.”

He refused to do that, and continued to rant on about how I’m no REAL friend of his, then hollered at the top of his lungs about getting me evicted…that he’ll holler “Zeke Krahlin! Zeke Krahlin!” all night long until they drive me out of the building. Accused me of not loving the dogs if I’m not willing to take them inside and risk being evicted:

“Why are you so scared of being homeless?” he scowled. “They have a nice shelter by the Bay, they’ll fix you up with a cot and free meals!”

I told him he’s being a drama queen, you can take care of your injury on your own, and keep the dogs with you. Just go down Market Street six blocks to the Tom Waddell Clinic…they’re open till 8 PM.”

“NO, I CAN’T, THEY WON’T SEE ME WITH THE DOGS!” he bellowed. “They kicked me out a few nights ago when I was sleeping by their building!”

“That’s NOT the same thing, Deek,” I replied in a steady voice. “Plenty of homeless go there for injuries like yours, and bring in their pets.”

Then he yammered sheer nonsense that I’m lying about the eviction issue, I made it all up because I don’t really love the dogs…and how much longer is the lawsuit gonna drag on, a year, two years…and why does everyone else in my building have friends over but I don’t let HIM visit [blah blah blah.]”

“Deek, I’ve explained to you a zillion times already, that I don’t have ANYone over anymore, and that’s not gonna change. But you’re gonna say whatever you want, I’m not gonna waste my time arguing with you, or stand here listening to your crap. Now, let me finish my lunch and maybe you’ll simmer down, clean your hand, and think about what to do next.”

With that, I left him in his hateful blabber and returned hovel to drink the banana smoothie I had prepared just moments before he showed up to disrupt my afternoon.”

A few times he screamed my name while I was upstairs, so I came back down again to see how he was doing. I explained to him that someone in this building just might call the cops to get him outta here, so please stop. But he went on and on about what a fake friend I am, and he’s either gonna give up the pups even though he loves them dearly, so he can get his hand treated. IOW, Wattson:

He as playing me to the hilt, a power trip that, should I cave in to, would lead to further demands now and then, that would be utterly unnecessary and put me in compromising situations. He even asked what would I do if I watched the dogs outside (as I finally offered) and he’s not back by nightfall…would I just leave them tied up outside, instead of sleep beside them? So he’s USING the threat of giving up the dogs in his attempt to control me.

“Now you’re being wicked, Deek,” I answered. “Man up and take care of your hand, you’re not gonna get rid of the dogs, and I’ll even go with you to Tom Wadell, if you’d like. I DOUBT your hand is broken.” (To tell ya the truth, I also doubt that a car really ran over his hand, he’s making this up for the drama. I told him that, and added: “Stupid place to crash out, right there in a parking lot, Deek!”)

He then fabricated other excuses NOT to agree to my accompanying him, after NOT agreeing to my watching over the pups outside until he returns. I told him I’d have to step inside to fix my meals, but they’d be leashed up right outside my window, where I could watch them…but I’d spend MOST of the day WITH them, instead of staying in my room.

“NO!” he shot back. “I don’t trust you not to just leave them out here alone, for hours.”

Many OTHER unjust accusations flew fast and thick from his mouth, which I won’t bother to relate, as I’m sure I’ve said enough for you to get the drift. Through all this craziness, I somehow got his permission to fix a meal for the pups, bring them a bowl of water, and a soda for him.

He finally said he can’t bring the dogs to me anymore, ’cause I’m not a real friend…he’ll just have one of his street pals watch ’em for the few minutes it’ll take to pick up his allowance. Which of course he ALSO asked for amid all this turmoil. And which I said sure, I’ll bring it right down.

“Well, Deek,” I said, “I’ll respect your decision on this, as even though you’re totally wrong with everything you’ve said, I know it’s a burden not being able to take a break from watching over them, it’s cruel what these nasty queens have done to us.” And since he listened that far, I finished with:

“But can I visit the dogs where your friends are keeping them?”

He then said something that surprised me, and even more surprising, he spoke these words in a calm, matter-of-fact voice:

“Yes, I’ll give you their address if it comes to that.”

He also swore he’d never abandon them…at worst, he’ll find them a good home where they’re loved. At that point he said he almost forgot, and handed me another smartphone to charge. He also asked me to bring a fresh supply of dog food:

“But not just three cans and one bag,” he instructed, “ALL the food you have upstairs, I won’t be back to see you for a LONG time.”

“Absolutely not, Deek,” I retorted, “that’s too much to carry, especially if you’re going to a clinic. You’re gonna get the usual amount.” (I can easily imagine my giving him the ENTIRE months’s supply, then he drops by two or three days later to claim it’s all been stolen…and expect me to give him even MORE doggy vittles on the spot!)

I ignored his continued demand and returned upstairs to plug in the phone and bring down three cans of dog food and one bag of kibble. Upon my return, he started screaming at me again, as he rose to depart. He didn’t really have anything with him, just a jacket and the dogs…no shopping cart, no large, stuffed bag, nothing.

It was then Filipino Kai came ambling down the sidewalk, singing boldly this or that rap song about what fools some people are (how apropos) and stopped close by me. He seemed to know exactly what’s going on, looked at Deek, then me, then back at Deek again…who declared “Zeke’s calling me a drama queen, but look at my hand, it was run over last night by a truck!”

As Deek whined on in boisterous slurs, he took the water bowl to the curb to empty it, but swiftly turned about and flung the water at my face. Right after that, Kai assured me I could go, he’ll deal with Deek, things will be okay. Not with spoken words, mind you, but with a friendly nod and an expression that said it all. In sum:

Deek’s anger at me calling him a drama queen, then doing something to PROVE my point right in front of a friendly witness, says everything Kai needed to know.

He’s gone now, has been for hours, and of course I have NO idea what to expect next. I’m gonna step outside for awhile, hoping perhaps Kai will show up to give me a report, and any advice. My conclusion:

It was all an act on Deek’s part, trying to see if he could coerce me into kowtowing to his power trip. And he saw that, even when he put the dogs’ lives on the line, I wouldn’t budge. I DO suspect Kai was in on it, too…and they both rehearsed the scenario several times before going through with it. Kai’s showing up just at the right time–with such a cocky, self-assured posture that he could HANDLE the conflict perfectly–DOES make me wonder.

Strangely, towards the end of his string of outbursts, he DID say how he appreciates all the kind things I do for him and the pups, how he couldn’t have done all this without me, etc. etc. I was hoping after THAT thoughtful admission, he was done with his string of tantrums for the day, but no, one more was still due…and that, I guess, was because he saw Kai coming in our direction, and he needed to let him play his role as mediator.

BTW I just saw Arwyn a few moments ago while typing this: across the street, truckin’ on towards Castro. In fact, I’ve seen him from a distance like that several times in the past few weeks. And I’ve dreamt of him TWICE, recently…each time he was incredibly amicable, and we engaged in a most enjoyable conversation both times. Like long-lost friends reunited.

Something’s GOTTA give in my favor, and VERY soon. This is all TOO absurd!

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 17, 2022 at 6:21 PM

Of course, when he mentioned giving up the pooches, he looked up at me with a guilt-casting gaze (dare I say puppy-dog eyes), then added: “And it’ll be all YOUR fault! Every bit of it…all YOUR fault!” To which I replied with a shrug:

“According to YOU, Deek, everything’s my fault. So yeah, I’d expect over that, too.”

And this has been my greatest fear, Wattson, ever since the pups were banished from my sanctuary: that something could happen to Deek (such as an arrest or a medical emergency, or his dying on the streets), and I couldn’t take them in, Animal Control or the SPCA would pick them up and I’d never see them again! So that’s the crux right there:

My greatest fear has been played out in a way, with this, Deek’s latest dramatic scenario. As if he KNEW the dark shadow clouding my psyche. Did THAT disruptive episode flush it out of me? I’m not sure, but I hope it did! At least, I handled things as well as possible by countering Deek’s negative projections with an assurance he’ll be fine, the dogs will be fine, stop being such a drama queen and take care of your hand…at LEAST wash it clean and apply the ointment.


They’re PUNKING me: Deek, Kai and other homeless, the building manager, the property owner, etc. I just WISH he’d stop screaming…for the doggies’ sake more than anything else. I did phone the SFPD’s non-emergency number to tell them a homeless friend keeps screaming at the top of his lungs by my building, and could they get him to move elsewhere. But they never picked up.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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