The Eviction Fiasco (part 20)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 11]

Subject: Boulevard Joe shown in ABC News video!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 12:01 AM

I just checked out the following news video to suddenly see Boulevard Joe right at 1:11. Leaning against a wall and dressed in camouflage. You also see him again at 1:24:

Why SF Castro residents want library to turn off Wi-Fi at night

Ah yes, the good ol’ fucked up Harvey Milk Public Library!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Then there’s THIS news video again about the Castro:

‘Out of control’: Amid SF homeless crisis, drug problem worsens in Castro District

At 1:55 you’ll see homeless goon “Dane” described as harassing people. Remember how he did the same to me some years back? And he’s still around! Looking much older, too, with a thick white beard.

And yet one MORE ABC News video re. the Castro and homelessness!

Castro merchants threaten civil disobedience over ongoing homeless problem in SF

The tension she is piling up like a tall French twist beehive hairdo!

Subject: Found some quality kibble on my return home…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 4:23 PM

…from the laundromat (last two loads which completes the latest bedbug round). As you can see by the pic, it’s unopen. I take that as a good sign my association with the pups will continue, that Deek WILL calm down in the long run. I’m gonna mix some of it in with the regular kibble, about one cup per every five until I run out…rather than just pass the bag on to Deek, because he’ll probably waste most of it.

I saw Boulevard Joe this afternoon, right by the local library. Told him I saw him on the news yesterday, and he DIDN’T know about it! So I explained what it was about, then brought up Deek’s frightening behavior and my concern about his dogs’ well-being. I described Deek’s throwing water into my face, fake story about a broken hand run over by a car, his calling me faggot, badmouthing me to others on the street, and my refusal to charge his devices as a result. He didn’t say he’ll talk to him, but you never know. I can only put the word out and hope for the best.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Found some quality kibble on my return home…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 7:29 PM

> Beef, pumpkin and quinoa? Makes me hungry!!!

Tasty AND healthy! A bit of an ordeal running two sleeping bags and a thick bed cover through the dryers today. I had taken a three-day break from heat-treating these remaining items, and by the time I opened the sealed trash bags to drop them into the dryer, a whole lot more bedbugs appeared than just the dozen or so that were in there when I bagged them up. Jeez! Last thing I needed was for anyone to see those black dots moving around as the dryer spun.

So I sat down facing the dryer to see if the bugs would dissipate through the spinning sieve in a short while. They did for the most part, but sometimes an upturned corner of a sleeping bag would reveal itself and, since the inner lining is white, the dark brown encrustation of insect poop showed up, along with some bugs. To my chagrin, a customer decided to toss her laundry into a dryer right next to mine, even though almost ALL the other dryers were free.

But those revealing corners soon buried themselves within the tumbling folds, and only peeped out now and then. There were also two Asian workers walking about, but every time they passed my dryer, those corners were not exposed. A lot of tense moments for me!

I dried everything on high heat for 45 minutes…MORE than enough time to thoroughly desiccate all the bugs and their eggs. In fact, previous experiments of mine showed that just fifteen minutes will do the trick. But I always want to play this EXTRA safe.

Unfortunately, after drying was done and I dumped the items onto a counter, the brown encrustations left dark stains behind. Which means I’ll actually have to give them a good wash in the near future, for appearance’s sake re. the habitability of my room. I’d hate to throw such dirty looking covers onto my cot! Hopefully, the stains will wash out, but if not, I guess it’s time to purchase new blankets.

I can imagine the remaining live bedbugs discarded with the trash bags may come crawling out of the laundromat’s wastebasket where I disposed of them! But with a little luck, it won’t happen and all garbage will be disposed of in a larger bin shortly after they close. Otherwise, they might put two and two together and ban me! But what is a girl to do, when instructions for bedbug infestations include treating clothes, bedding etc. with high heat from a spinning dryer! I’m sure I’m not the ONLY denizen of this shitty burg to bring infested laundry to your nearby laundromat, per instruction by every pest expert on the planet.

So, if Deek will let me TALK to him and not drown me out, I’ve decided to express how important caring for the dogs is (and kindness in every way)…so much so I consider that far MORE important than his ceasing to insult and badmouth yours truly. So (if he’ll bother to hear me out) I’ll try to strike a deal with him:

If he displays better treatment of Flaco & Lucky (including no more leash yanking, and always throwing something cushy on the ground for them to rest upon, and keeping them warm at night)…he can call me whatever nasty thing he wants, and badmouth me to everyone he meets, too. ‘Cause if that’s what it takes to improve the puppers’ lot, I’ll be fine with it. But NO MORE SCREAMING… that will NOT be part of the deal. For I will deDUCT ten dollars from his next payment every time he does. If he wants to test me on this, he’ll learn the hard way.

But most likely, Deek will drown me out or walk away before I get the chance to speak my mind. In which case I’ll try to tell someone who knows him (Filipino Kai or Blvd. Joe come immediately to mind) to pass on to him, my proposition. I just don’t why those two–or anyone else who associates with him–won’t speak out when necessary, against his mistreatment of the pooches. Perhaps some do, and I just don’t hear about it. Possibly, Anna would make an excellent messenger to deliver my words to Deek. Though Glob only knows when I’ll see THEM again!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Then there’s THIS news video again about the Castro!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 8:52 PM

> Watched both. Stark, fascinating. Homelessness and drug addiction and mental illness are nothing new, but there have never been so many of us before, and never have people been so mercilessly squeezed since Dickensian times.

And LONG before that: ancient Rome with its squalor and seething masses. But at least they had better plumbing and water flow for the most part. But speak of the devil:

Deek just showed up, right when I finished typing my previous missive, but only posted it once I returned minutes ago. He called out a soft “Yo!” (I have good ears) and when I peeked out the window, he gestured rubbing thumb and fingers with one hand: his request for his next “advance” payment. He was in the company of an attractive, gaunt young lad, nicely dressed and peaceful. NOT Anna BTW, but someone else I’ve seen him with several times before. I don’t know his name and we have yet to talk.

Deek was laid back as well, with three large, sticky bundles of sweet smelling bud that is clearly not the CHEAP variety. He appeared busy breaking it up into smaller portions, I presume for later sale tonight. He had his newest speaker slung over his shoulder, this one cylindrical and flashing pink, blue and white…though not playing anything that I could hear. He didn’t ask me to charge it, and I’m glad he didn’t, or I’d have to speak my peace in his companion’s presence. Who seems a nice fellow, and kind to the hounds.

After I handed him the folded envelope containing $50, I spent a couple minutes tousling with the mutts; of course they were delighted to see me, with Flaco snuggling into my arm and Lucky playfully gnawing away at my shirt sleeve. Then I stood up, about to return hovel, but first asked if he’s ready for more dog food. He said yes, so upstairs I collected three cans and filled a Ziploc gallon bag with kibble, then brought it downstairs along with a disposable plastic bowl of water.

“I can fix them a meal, too, if you’d like,” I suggested. Deek agreed to that as well, so I returned with two paper bowls filled to the brim. Along with a matching pair of doggy sweaters I had ordered from Amazon some time last month. And I said:

“Here’s two more sweaters for them,” upon which Deek looked up to see them in my hand, still in their plastic casing which I had cut open for his convenience. “I’ll put them in the bag with the dog food.” I did just that, then said “Okay, I’ll leave you with your company now. God bless and good night!”

And upon returning hovel for the third time in less than ten minutes, I composed this second missive to you, this evening. Maybe another post will arrive in your emailbox tonight, though I have NO idea whether Deek will call me down later. In which case I’ll confront him re. the issues I brought up in my
previous message to you…assuming, of course, his company has departed, and no one else appears in his place.

I DO sense though, that Deek realizes he’s pushed the envelope WAY too far, and would rather respect my demands (sensing exactly what they are) by submitting TO them henceforth…rather than suffer my rebukes. We shall see about that, Wattson. And you will be glad to know (as I am) that Deek’s shopping cart now contains one thick, plaid blanket which will do an excellent job of keeping the dogs toasty warm while they sleep.


As one of my guardians, Deek was testing me all along with his insults and disgraceful treatment of Flaco. I passed with a high score, so the worst is over and our association will vastly improve. And THAT was why Filipino Kai did not step in to side with me over Deek’s “buggy jacket” rant: the frustration I experienced in his not doing so was part of the test. Anna’s amazing blurt out of the blue three days ago, about homeless prophets, prepared me for this latest challenge, gave me greater confidence than I would otherwise have had. But rest assure:

My bodhisattva theory does NOT mean I will simply assume Deek has gotten his act together, as I’ll be ready at any moment to address the matter of leash yanking and spewing insults at me. It is possible he will show by his actions, he’s following through. He already has in a way, by not bothering to ask me to charge his speaker OR his phone, or anything else. But if he does so later on this evening, THEN I will have words that’ll curl his ears.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He’s already gone!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 10:03 PM

About 20 minutes ago I heard Lucky’s distinctive bark…but it sounded from afar, like down the block or across the street. So I peered out the window to discover their water and dog food bowls were no longer there, placed as they were an hour ago, just on the outer edge of the ATM nook. I heard no voices, either…though that didn’t mean anything since they were quiet all along. Curious to see if they really HAD departed, or just that the bowls were moved into the alcove proper, I donned a jacket and stepped outside. Yep, all gone!

But just before I turned towards the front gate, something colorful caught my eye: a lovely little painting on the concrete, on the further side of the ATM station! When I stepped closer to see what it was, I was delighted by the revelation! “Wattson’s gotta see this,” was the first thought that struck me, so I rushed back hovel to grab my Canon Powershot, and took a couple of pictures. Here it is from a distance. See if you can discern what it is:

Click here for a larger view.

Okay, you’ve deliberated long enough. Maybe you HAVE figured out exactly what the image depicts. Still, it’s a pleasure to gaze upon close up:

Click here for a larger view.

Similar to the one embossed on the hat Deek gave me some weeks back! I never noticed this sidewalk embellishment before, though it COULD have been there for days. But what a nice way to end my latest meetup with Deek, considering the calm encounter this time around: a little surprise treat, candy for my eyes and soul! That is the concrete support BTW, where Filipino Kai sat while chewing the blubber with Deek a few days ago. Could he have been the one to paint it? But Anna also sat there for a spell a day before (or maybe after; so much has happened in such a short span it’s already become a blur).

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He’s already gone!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 24, 2022 at 11:35 PM

> That’s a superb little bit of art. And the fact that it’s done on the filthy concrete only makes it more beautiful, fleeting and temporal, like a sand mandala.

It’s also where Deek set his BUTT a whole buncha times. I’m gonna ask him what he thinks of it, when he first noticed the dragon, and if he knows who painted it. His last several gifts to me (over the past six months) have all been dragon themed. It’s 11:35 now, I doubt he’ll be back this evening…and I’m glad because it means he’s not gonna wreck a good meetup we had earlier. And the hounds have sweaters and a nice, thick blanket…at least for tonight. May you have wondrous dreams.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: How Many Washes Will the Dragon Survive?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 25, 2022 at 10:06 AM

Someone painted a lovely Chinese dragon on the sidewalk a few days ago. You’ll see it as a bright, tiny splotch of colors in the lower right, at the end of this video. (The “” watermark indicates I converted this video from vertical to horizontal. I did it to avoid YT turning it into a “short,” which would eliminate the thumbnail image and the description.)

Subject: Sudden death in the castle…guess who!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 25, 2022 at 12:38 PM

Returning hovel earlier today with java in hand, I entered the lobby to see Kevin doddering down the stairs with another printout in his hand. I set my coffee on the glass-top table so I could move my shades from face to hat, then retrieved the cup and chirped “Good morning!” I obligingly stepped aside once he hobbled closer and it became obvious he was gonna post the notice above the table.

“Guess who passed away?” he said while sticking the notice onto the wall, in crooked fashion thanks to a wobbly hand. I quickly scanned the tastefully bold, cursive font and exclaimed:

“Wow! I did not expect that. He looked perfectly fine last time I saw him. We had a love-hate relationship, but I always considered him a good neighbor to have on the same floor.” (That last part was a lie of course, but I don’t believe in laying my cards on the table prematurely.)

“Yes, it was a surprise to me, too!” Kevin remarked as I ascended the steps, thinking:

“Wattson’s gotta see this pronto!” And so, with my nifty Canon Powershot recently resurrected from the dust bin, I returned to the lobby to take the following pic, with an inset for clarity:

Click here for a larger view.

As far as I’m concerned, a GREAT BURDEN has been lifted from my shoulders. Pun intended re. his notably excessive avoirdupois. Ha ha, he’ll make an exquisitely corpulent corpse, the latest phantom to haunt Hotel California North. He can wear a large cape and swoop up and down the hallways on foggy nights, with floorboard creaks and windy howls…like the rest of ’em. In sum:

My quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall is no longer an obstacle to my worthy goals! Two down (including nasty old Todd who kicked the bucket almost two years back), just one more to go. And guess who THAT third and final bottleneck is, good physician! Hint: he’s the one who taped the death notice in the lobby this morning. I’ll grant you two more clues if need be.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Sudden death in the castle…guess who!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 25, 2022 at 1:31 PM

> Was he the one who was “bitten” by the “vicious” dogs?

Nope…THAT person I hardly know, and doesn’t live on my floor. He may have even moved by now, I have no idea. And he’s Chinese American. Had he lived on the same floor as yours truly, you bet we’d’ve had many confrontations, and you’d hear about it each and every time.

This person who just died is the one I’ve been posting about for YEARS, whom I humorously called “my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway,” and used the pseudonym “Moe Fleisher” in my tales. He’s been the main gossiper against me for a long, long time, along with the building manager…and they were friends to each other, much to my detriment. Now, that diabolical fraternity of two has been BROKEN for good, by the most impenetrable barrier possible.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2022 at 12:16 PM


Do you think, perhaps, on a bodhisattva level, that my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway FAKED his death, that I may move into that corner apartment as one of the perks of my out-of-court settlement with Ablablah Realty? They’d certainly have to cover the cost of all utilities, and provide me with a completely furnished space, including a bed, kitchen table and chairs, sofa, window shades, refrigerator and a washer and dryer. No one’s gonna move into there any time soon, because the last occupant DIED. Just a funny thought.


There were already several other vagrants peaceably hanging about when Deek showed up, including Micah and Cyrus. (Micah is my pseudonym for [xxxxx], whom I have discussed in previous missives. Cyrus is someone I befriended twenty or so years ago, disappeared from the city for six years, then returned some two years back.)

There was a twin-size air mattress laid out by the curb and across from the ATM slot. No one was seated on it, but Lucky sure made the most of that cushy provision…scratching frantically on it with an eager “woof!” every few seconds, while Flaco lay comfortably upon it at one end. The mattress was tough, with a velour outer shell that was none the worst for the wear of a playful little doggy.

“Go get ’em, Lucky!” chuckled one of the vagrants (someone I have yet to meet: a burly fellow and nicely clothed like the rest presently congregated out front).

Deek’s bicycle was parked by the mattress, with Flaco’s leash tethered to a peddle. I was petting her when he decided to move the bike towards the bus stop, so he began to guide it forward, but stopped upon Flaco’s resistance because she really didn’t want to leave that cozy spot.

“Oh, sorry,” Deek said and turned towards Flaco to untether the leash, hand it to me and say: “Here, bring the dogs over.”

Soon as he parked his bike thirty feet up, he told me to tie the dogs to his shopping cart and, while I was doing that (on a bottom rung for maximum slack) he flung a large, fluffy comforter at my feet. The hounds took to it immediately.

“Bring some water for them,” he further instructed, “and you can feed them another meal if you’d like.”

“Of course I’d like,” I replied with joy in my heart, “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Upon returning with vittles and H2O, I told him about the death of a resident who played a major role in trying to get me evicted.

“He was YOUR enemy, too, Deek,” I explained, “He hated the homeless and anyone like me, who reaches out to them. And now he’s dead.” I then told him to wait a moment, I’ve got something to show him…and dashed back into the lobby to retrieve the death notice that Kevin posted the day before.

I held it out to him so he could read the printout, then explained further:

“Moe Fleisher was the idiot in the apartment right there at the corner, who kept complaining about you hanging out here, and my being a friend to you. I have only ONE enemy left, and THAT’S the building manager. He’s old and doddering, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t kick the bucket before my lawsuit is even halfway over.”

Deek, in his trademark style of catty retorts, glanced at me with scorn and queried: “So what do YOU get out of all this, after fighting this lawsuit month after month after month? You get to stay in your room! Well la-dee-dah for that.”

“NO, Deek,” I replied in sighing exasperation, “it’s a drawn out process that will have inCREDible repercussions in my favor, way beyond just remaining in my dumpy room. Money has LITTLE to do with it, and is NOT the prize I have my eye on. There are BIGGER things that matter, though YOU think mucho dinero is always the answer. It is not.”

His body language response said it all: a broadly dismissive “you’re a loser” sweep of the hands, after which he turned away and began diddling with the contents in his shopping cart. I crouched down to pet the mutts one more time as they lay snuggled together on the bunched-up blanket, then returned to my monk’s abode overlooking the O’Henry-ish scene of two homeless pups and their equally indigent master. Three little outcast waifs under the flickering streetlamp that loomed above the deserted bus-stop stall like a ginormous, gaunt buzzard ready to pounce…but it was just a phantom, so couldn’t.

The bus stop may have been vacant, but Deek was far from alone, thanks to the small group of friendly vagrants hanging out around the ATM depot, which now numbered seven. In fact, he spent most of his time out there schmoozing with Cyrus and two others. I also spent a quarter hour or so in friendly convo with Cyrus. He is tall, big boned but not the least bit paunchy, with dark brown hair more than half gray these days (shoulder length and tied back into a ponytail), and originally hails from Michigan. He has been through the mill many times over (including the loss of the woman he loved from endocarditis), but obviously remains strong. I’m not sure if he’s REALLY houseless at this point; he may have a room somewhere in the Mission or the Tenderloin, or some other shelter.

He was talking local politics with two other dudes when I joined in: “Governor Newsom just quashed safe drug injection sites across the whole fukkin state! A lot of homeless people are gonna die thanks to that decision.”

A drop-dead-twice comely tall fellow (looked like a younger Mr. Clean) dressed in a long, tweed overcoat disagreed: “We have enough resources like that already. Anywhere within six blocks you can get help, but if you can’t manage to walk that short distance, it’s YOU with the problem!”

Rather than start an argument, I shrugged my shoulders to imply he knows better than myself, who does NOT live on the streets…but before I could continue the discussion Deek interrupted: “The dogs could use more water.”

When I was halfway back down the stairs with another plastic bowl wobbling with H2O I saw Lucky eagerly staring through the glass panes of the doorway behind the gate. He hadn’t spotted me yet, but it was obvious he knew I’d return shortly. Sure enough, once I reached the lobby he started to “Woof!” in friendly greets, standing on hind legs as the leash grew taught.

“See?” Deek admonished as I stepped outside. “THAT’S why people in your building complain!”

“No, Deek,” I patiently answered as other vagrants stood around half-paying-attention to me. “That’s just a handful of mean people, the dogs are perfectly fine, always have been, and Lucky is just happy to see me again.”

Never mind, Wattson, that Deek was STANDING right in front of the gate WITH the doggies, in spite of my telling him numerous times in the past, NOT to do that. It’s as if he intentionally sets me up for needless conflict, constantly cooking up whatever excuse he can to condemn THIS beleaguered pilgrim. So I was MORE than happy to have at least several witnesses with a good head on their shoulders, this time around. Deek did not press further, but guided the hounds back to the bus stop, where I set down the bowl and caressed the mutts while they lapped up the water.

Cyrus was nearby, watching, and piped up: “Animals can be your spirit guides, they have kind souls!”

“That is quite true,” I replied, looking up at him from where I was crouched. “These two little hounds are the sweetest, kindest doggies I’ve ever met!”

Deek was also standing close by, so I hope Cyrus’s words, and my reply, gave him heed to better respect these delightful charges, my brindlekin. And how immeasurably IMPORTANT it is to do just that, for the sake of his OWN well-being…dare I say “soul?” As for my excoriating him for yanking on Flaco’s leash five days ago:

Looks like it worked, as I’m sure he doesn’t want me yelling at him in front of others who probably would side with ME…as this present group clearly holds affection for these two doggies. One of whom was laughing at Lucky’s comical scratching of the air mattress, and asked me what their names were as I escorted them over to the bus stop. So it looks like Deek’s hangin’ out with a better crowd…or, more accurately stated:

A better crowd has come to hang out with Deek. And I hope they make frequent appearances in front of my building, as a regular “watering hole” so to speak. For the gathering was peaceful, friendly and filled with intelligent and gleeful colloquy. An ambiance MOST welcome for this troubled end of the block by many, I’m sure, and not just by this one scribe. Best of all: it would ALSO have a tempering effect on Deek’s horrid mood swings, as it proved so well that night.

I had a GREAT talk with Micah the next morning (yesterday)…which will be the theme of my next email to you, good doctor.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Give thanks to the shamans!

Subject: Excellent Talk with Micah Two Days Ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 28, 2022 at 5:35 PM

I hadn’t spoken with Micah for almost three weeks, so had planned to do that again soon, since he’s shown a keen interest in Deek’s fate, as I do. In fact, he and Deek appear to be getting along very well these days. And I think this is due to my previous convo with Micah, about my concern for the pups far outweighing Deek’s scurrilous behavior and scammy tricks. Micah understood, and thus has befriended Deek, rather than spurn him for justified reasons, one of which is stealing Micah’s backpack containing valued family photographs and other memorabilia. Which I sense wasn’t a recent caper, but happened two or more years ago. Be that as it may:

The painted dragon that appeared on the sidewalk several days back gave me the perfect excuse to strike up another conversation, for that is precisely the spot where Micah hangs out when visiting the Castro. It was shortly after my morning coffee break that I espied him below, unpacking a colorful pile of items onto the sidewalk for his usual prolonged stay of several hours or more.

Micah had a bicycle, too, plus four large, overstuffed bundles…don’t see how he gets around lugging so many possessions, I’d be exhausted in minutes, plodding over a single hill! While examining an item he just unpacked, he was bent down in that peculiar, drawn-out pose unique to meth addicts and yoga snobs: butt stuck straight up into the air, exposing ample ass-crack, and head almost touching the ground while his thick, black hair and forearms actually brushed across the concrete.

[Which bodily position I find off-putting, yet I see these crystal sniffers everywhere, maintaining that creepy posture for hours…often with NOTHING on the ground to diddle with, they just remain like that, not so much FROZEN in place, but wobbling a bit! What on earth are they obsessing over, or dreaming about? Maybe gazing into the concrete micro world of dots, bumps, stains and specks as a fortune teller would into a crystal ball, trying to discern the near future? Or perhaps they use their nose like a dog, figuring out who just walked by that spot, or hanged there awhile? Maybe some day I’ll find out, but I’m sure as heck not gonna just walk up to one and ask what they’re doing! I doubt you would either, Wattson. Here’s a funny thought for ya: maybe they see me coming, upon which they bend down to mimic a detective in a stereotype fashion, magnifying glass and nose close to the ground! A visual Sherlockian pun yet also a compliment. But are they THAT insightful, I wonder? If some are shamans, as I surmise, then indeed they are.]

He was, of course, in that same bent-over position when I stepped out to greet him: “Hey, Micah, how ya doin’ today? Good to see you!”

He turned his head from that low place to look up at me, smiled then unfolded into his full height of 5-foot-10.

I pointed to the dragon by his feet: “Nice painting, have you noticed it yet? I’d love to know the artist, it’s lovely!”

He gazed down at it, then back at me: “Ya got a dollar?”

“Uh, no, sorry,” I replied a bit awkwardly. “My budget’s already wiped out each month, caring for Deek’s pups…not just dog food, but sweaters, leashes and so on.”

“That’s okay, but you don’t need to do that,” he stated. “Those dogs are SPOILED! People come to him all the time with quality dog food and treats you wouldn’t believe.”

“Right, VERY happy to hear that, I didn’t know he’s doing so well, I’m GLAD the dogs are spoiled, they deserve it. But I have to go by what he tells me,” I explained, “or doesn’t tell. It’s an act of faith. I already KNOW he’s a liar and a scammer, but I let it slide because otherwise we’d get into arguments and he’d go away and take the hounds with him. Saving money on doggy expenses is nowhere NEAR as important as having them visit me as often as possible.”

To my gratification he grokked my words immediately and respected where I’m coming from, and we went on to further discuss Deek and my homeless advocacy. Here it all is in a rather embonpoint nutshell:

He claims that Deek IS taking better care of the mutts, and is far LESS antagonistic towards others on the streets, including himself. I did bring up his recent “injured hand” ploy to guilt-trip and manipulate me through fake drama, but he didn’t fool me one bit. Just to further assure Micah that I’m fully aware of Deek’s dark side, and have it under control, I added:

“He knows he can’t squeeze more money outta me with such pranks, so what WAS that all about, then? It was a POWER trip, but I stood strong and he fell FLAT on his face as a result.”

I then told him how I raked him over the coals for yanking Flaco’s collar, screaming “shame” and “disgusting” at him, up and down Market Street for several minutes.

“Deek can dish it out, but he sure can’t take it,” I concluded. “He HATES to be yelled at. I don’t think he wants me screaming at him in front of his homeless friends, because they’d likely side with ME, and there’d go his street cred, right out the window! He likes to think he’s the cock o’ the walk, but he’s not, and those poor little doggies are in the middle of it. He needs to tone things down for THEIR sake, if not his own!”

I then explained to Micah my role as an advocate for the houseless, how I never fit in with the charity groups out there because they’re thwarted from expanding their outreach by gov’t and social restrictions.

“So I befriend the homeless, and sometimes focus on ONE person, as I’ve been doing with Deek for many years now. I may be limited materially from helping out, but what benefits Deek receives from me, will also benefit those around him. And will expand FURTHER to others, like dominoes, or ripples in a pond.”

I described further how I write true stories about the homeless, with dignity and praise:

“I have VOLUMES of tales by now, out there on the web, I just need the right connections to get them published. And I think this attorney I now have over my eviction lawsuit may be the one to open those doors for me. These lawyers are dedicated to assisting the poor and downtrodden, amazing folks who’ve made many sacrifices to accomplish such good works. They are definitely NOT the kind of lawyers who make big bucks. They really CARE about the homeless! And the profit from my books will mostly go towards the homeless, as I live humbly and that will not change, once they’re published and take off.”

Our conversation wasn’t so one-sided as it appears in this missive, but I don’t want to make this piece overlong. Micah brought up the prejudices he bears for being homeless, and we both agreed that not only are such ingrates childish, they are WORSE than that…they’re INSANE! What impresses me about him, is he doesn’t whine about his circumstances, but takes pride in his ability to THRIVE amid such difficult challenges. Exactly what I conclude a SHAMAN (a.k.a. “bodhisattva”) would say. And his kind regards for Deek also suggest he is implicitly here to help me guide him along a better path, and see to it that the hounds shall suffer no harm in spite of Deek’s alarming behavior and neglect.

That’s it for now, but I still have to update you on my latest meetups with Deek. Which will arrive later today, or tomrrow.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Two volunteers for some homeless charity stepped up to us while Micah and I were standing beside the sidewalk dragon in kindred parlance. They were scrub-faced-squeaky-clean (like Moonies back in the day), and wore identical tan slacks, blue sneakers and blue windbreakers emblazoned with a small, yellow-gold insignia that represents their organization (whichever it was, I didn’t pay any mind): a young man and a woman, both still on the baby-fat side of life, both teens.

“Hello, would you like some spring water?” said the girl (her pony tail bobbing as she spoke with a tilt of her head), holding out a small plastic bottle filled with Arrowhead.

“Sure, thanks!” replied Micah, then took it.

The boy then rifled through his pockets to extricate a small bag of goldfish crackers, and another flashing gummy worms in the bright sunlight, some fused together.

“Thanks but no thanks,” said Micah; I gestured same with a brief wave of the hand. And off the two trotted on their merry way with a bounce in their step, happy to have done their good deed for the day.

“Ha-ha,” I chortled, “they think I’m homeless!”

“They’re okay,” Micah mused, “but they act like such do-gooders, it bothers me.” I knew exactly what he meant:

“You mean like they’re handing you a doggy treat, you’re not really human?” I queried.

“Kinda, yeah,” he grinned, shrugged his shoulders.

‘Nuff said, Wattson.

Re: Excellent Talk with Micah Two Days Ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 28, 2022 at 7:20 PM

> Just to let you know–am reading and enjoying all your letters! Crazy busy now, as I always am at the end of the month, scraping up Van’s widow’s rent, plus countless other burdens and obligations. But your letters are always welcome and fascinating.

I understand, thanks for the heads-up, though! I’m pretty busy myself, bumping off all my enemies one by one…it takes more time and attention to detail than I care to focus on…I just wanna relax between Deek meetups, not work like a dog on yet another project! Oh, well, the building’s turned quieter than usual these days, but I like it that way. I passed Kevin hobbling down the stairs a few moments ago…SO tempted to stick out my foot and watch him bounce down the steps like a rag doll! But I refrained, as I have OTHER, more interesting, plans for the fellow who sought to execute both the pups and yours truly!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Excellent Talk with Micah Two Days Ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 28, 2022 at 8:50 PM

> Such admirable restraint!!

The cleaning maid from El Salvador had already departed for the day.

Subject: Latest Deek Update (you were warned)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 28, 2022 at 10:47 PM

Deek showed up later the same day I spoke with Micah, so I could feed and water the mutts and charge two devices (a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker and a smartphone). Nothing much to report, other than he was amicable and provided the pups with some cushy comfort while biding his time for his electronics to charge up in my hovel.

Before his departure, I made a point of bidding adieu to the pups. Lucky was seated on the thick cushion of a folded red blanket in the front end of the shopping cart. I saw how excitedly happy he was to ride at the helm, rarin’ to go! He glanced up at me before I bent down to kiss him, as if to say: “Look! Look, Zeke, look! I get to steer the ship and guide my master over the rough, dark seas! With MY paw at the helm, we will all be safe no matter what!”

Flaco, OTOH, was leashed to the shopping cart, as she does NOT like riding in a cart, wagon or anything else on wheels unLESS it has a roof over it, even if only a canvas cover. But she’s perfectly happy nonetheless, bringing up the rear alongside her master. I gave her a long, sweet hug that I never wanted to end, but set her back down anyway, with a loving pat on her rump to send them off.

The next day (today) they showed up again, and I was delighted to see the wee hounds in those sweaters I brought downstairs to Deek five days ago, showing me he still has them! As usual, I fed the doggies their meal and water, and charged his devices while he slummed around outside.

“Ya got a pair of scissors I can borrow?” he asked.

“Borrow?” I replied. “You never return ANYthing you borrow, so, no, I only have one pair of scissors and I don’t wanna lose ’em.”

“C’mon, Zeke, I just wanna cut my hair!” he griped. “I promise I’ll return them.”

“Promises mean nothing with you,” I snapped. But he kept imploring, and I finally caved in, ran back hovel and returned with the scissors.

“They only cost a few bucks anyway,” he said while staring at his reflection in an ATM screen as he began to clip away.

“No they cost me seven dollars,” I replied while kneeling over the pups who snuggled up to me, jockeying for closest position. I scritched behind their ears, pet, hugged and kissed them for a good five minutes, before deciding to return upstairs, noting that Deek would be awhile grooming himself with that scissors which I may or may not ever see again, regardless if he swore I would on a stack of bibles.

Ten minutes had passed while I remained upstairs before I decided to peer out the window…as it was awfully quiet down there, so I presumed he took off with the scissors. But nope, the cart was still out there, with the dogs resting alongside.

About twenty MORE minutes had passed before he called up to me: “Okay I’m done, doubting Thomas!”

Doubting Thomas my ass, I thought…it would be a MIRACLE if he actually returns something he’s “borrowed!” Yet the miracle happened just the same: he returned the scissors. Yet I shall remain wary of any FUTURE attempts on his part to “borrow” something from my limited reserve of whatever (screwdriver, wrench, hammer, masking tape, tweezers, nail clipper, even a pocket radio…NEVER seen again once his grubby hands touched ’em). Returning something ONCE after all those other times he did not–and cost me needless expense for replacement–does NOT make Deek a saint. Upon my return to retrieve the borrowed tool, he started to taunt me once again about the lawsuit:

“They’re not even gonna give you a REAL apartment with a REAL kitchen and a REAL bathroom after all they put you through!”

He went on like that for ungodly minutes, with OTHER insults that he thought would get my hackles up, but instead I lavished attention upon the hounds while ignoring his caustic tongue. Once he finished his childish diatribe, I simply replied:

“You don’t now that, Deek, it’s too soon to come to any conclusion as to how much I’ll get out of it. Furthermore, I won’t measure my victory by money or a new apartment. What matters to me is the CHANGE I’ll put them through…and that is WAY more valuable than any material gain. And having the dogs stay with me again is a PRICELESS win.”

“Pffft!” he mockingly retorted, “I won’t EVER let you bring my dogs back into this building, with such wicked people living there. You gotta be off your ROCKER if you think I will.”

“You say that now when the weather’s fair. But wait till the rainy season starts again…these pooches will NEED shelter and warmth in order to survive the winter, and not get sick. Furthermore, their wickedness will become a thing of the past, and I will have considerable clout and respect soon enough. Lucky and Flaco will be perfectly safe whenever they visit. It’s only a handful of hateful people that have caused this crisis…and TWO of them have already died. Everyone else LOVES the doggies!”

Then he switched subjects like a binary flip from one to zero:

“You don’t do anything for the homeless, you just sit in your stupid room all the time, claiming you’re such an advocate for them. Why don’t you ever come down to one of those free meal churches and mingle with us?”

I knew he was just teasing me, his shamanic way of complimenting me for all my years of good works on behalf of the downtrodden living on the streets…so I just stood up then, and pointed right at him:

“And just what are YOU?”

Meaning, of course, he’s homeless, too, and he KNEW that’s what I meant. The fact that he DOES live on the streets and I’ve been helping better his life for YEARS, certainly counts for something as an advocate for the houseless, was the implication behind my finger pointing and simple question. Which he ENTIRELY grasped, and was why he ceased his taunt right then and there.

I finally dropped my accusatory arm and said: “Okay, I’m going back upstairs to work on my computer. Call up to me when you’re ready to to pick up your gadgets.”

That was about an hour-and-a-half later. He placed his charged items in the cart and remained downstairs sorting through his stuff, while I returned hovel. Ten minutes or so passed before I saw him wandering off towards Castro Street with Lucky in tow. But I didn’t see Flaco with them, and he was almost at the far end of the block! And I KNOW she wasn’t riding in the cart, even though I couldn’t see for sure.

So I rushed on out to discover her right downstairs, curled up in a corner of the ATM nook, where it’s shady.

“Hey, sweetie,” I addressed her, and she looked up at me with lazy eyes. “Here, come with me.” I picked up the leash and she followed till we caught up with Deek and her brother.

“What are you doing?” Deek said when he turned to me.

“Flaco was still snoozing by the ATMs, didn’t you know that?” I replied, then handed over her leash.

“Yeah, I did, but she woulda caught up on her own. I was gonna call to her once I got to the corner, don’t worry so much.”

“Okay,” I answered back, “I think she’s too warm with the sweater still on, and wants to stay in the shade. You should remove their sweaters.”

He said I can do that if I’d like and, while I’m at it, take the sweaters home and wash them, he’ll pick them up later.

“I’ll wash them right away,” I said, “though they might still be damp when you return.”

He shrugged his shoulders, said “oh well” and resumed his stroll towards Castro and beyond, this time with the pups happily cooled down for a warm afternoon.

It’s now 10:41 PM, good physician; the sweaters have long been dry but they’ve yet to return. I don’t think they’ll show up at all tonight, I guess…though Deek’s calm demeanor these past several days has eased my mind (and heart) considerably. So maybe it’s best to heed the advice he gave me earlier today:

“Don’t worry so much.”


Checked my bank balance two days ago: after deducting $906 for the last three months’ rent and Deek’s upcoming $50 advance payment, I have $358 remaining until my next Soc. Sec. payment (don’t know how I do it). So I purchased four more doggy sweaters ($44) and some Coats & Clark needles and two spools of thread, one black, one white ($13) plus three Singer threaders ($5). I have a hole in a jacket pocket, another in a pair of jeans, another in a pair of leisure pants, and a button missing from a summer shirt. Sewing is cheaper than buying new clothes, and is a good form of meditation…so long as you don’t have to do it TOO often, in which case it becomes accursedly tedious.

I also purchased last week, a USB ethernet dongle for my Chromebook. It arrived yesterday and, sure enough, my wifi speed is now considerably bumped up: 50 Mbps download via ethernet vs. 7-10 Mbps on wifi. And I’m only out $11 for that upgrade! My Chromebook has just one USB-A port, so I use a decade-old 2.0 USB hub that allows up to FIVE connected devices! The ethernet dongle shows NO loss of speed compared to a direct plug-in. To that hub are also coupled my wireless keyboard dongle and a 225GB SSD storage chip used to transfer files between my x230 and the Chromebook…mostly downloaded videos, but also personal data now and then.

Here’s a pic of the “antique” USB hub that I stashed away several years ago, thinking I’d never use it again:

Click here for a larger view.

You can see cords coming out of it on both sides. The SSD chip is on the left with a glowing red dot. On the upper right edge of the hub is the USB-A cord attached to the Chromebook. You can’t see the wireless keyboard dongle because it’s just a stub, but it’s right below that cord. The bottom-most cord is my ethernet link, connected to a second cable snapped into my Xfinity gateway at the other end.

And here is a second pic of my Chromebook/hub setup, not so close up…solely for your delectation:

Click here for a larger view.

Ah, digital life is good!

BTW you’ll notice aNOTHER laptop seated below my Chromebook. That is the Macbook Pro I found last month in the back porch waste bin, but something tells me to hold on to it…maybe it’s just my admiration for superb hi-tech ingenuity. It’s a 2010 model, I don’t even know if it works; I’d need to disassemble it and replace the old battery with a NEW one, first…and I don’t care for the expense THAT would entail for my current budget. (Actually, the cost would be around $32, and a RAM upgrade from 4GB to 8GB $25…not bad at all, but what the fuck would I do with a THIRD notebook?)

– Zeke K-Holmes


Jeez, I forgot to mention something Deek said that truly BLEW MY MIND, when he taunted me about my homeless outreach. It was immediately in response to my pointing a finger at him when I said “Just what are YOU?” implying of course that I’m already helping the homeless by helping HIM.

“Help me? No, I help YOU, you get STORIES out of this, but am I gonna see any money for that? Or are you just gonna run to the bank and vanish off the face of the earth?”

Well, Wattson, that DID throw me for quite a loop, but I speedily recovered:

“Of course, Deek, it goes both ways! Whenever you help someone, it helps you, too, one way or another. And of COURSE you’re gonna see the money, when the time comes!”

The dude’s quite a sharp cookie, but plays the dumb snotty brat so often, one tends to forget. The way of the shaman! Or, at least, ONE of the ways, this one apropos for his chosen role as a vagrant, and his relationship with yours truly that put me through the needed changes to get me to where I am now:

A homicidal lunatic acting out his revenge against all despicable parties that persist in playing his enemy! They’re a dime a dozen, and my bloodlust WILL be sated many times over. I shall HAVE that apartment where my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway once resided until a few short days ago when he mysteriously expired while his roommate was away on vacation.



– Zeke K-Holmes (or am i?)

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