The Eviction Fiasco (part 21)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 12]

Re: Latest Deek Update (you were warned)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 29, 2022 at 10:57 PM

> Ha! Excellent move, reminding Deek that he’s the biggest beneficiary of your largess and generosity!

Of course. He thinks I’m not REALLY helping the homeless by helping him. What an ingrate. He fabricates false accusations and guilt trips out of thin air, his repertoire is infinite, he’ll never run out of conjuries…it’s a bad path to trod. But one way or another, I’m sure he’ll finally change his ways for the better. In his case, however, he may have to go through a rude awakening, first. I just hope Lucky & Flaco will be fine through it all.

> An old friend of mine who’s a lawyer has offered to help me as much as he can with Van’s widow. She has an old DMV problem hanging over her head (she sold Dan’s car after he died and never transferred the title) that he says can be cleared up with the proper forms. He also said he’ll help with Social Services stuff. Gotta get her off my back one way or another.

Finally, another hero steps into your life to aid your OWN heroic struggles. I am SO happy to hear such good news, for YOUR sake, Wattson! I KNEW a breakthrough would happen, but I thought it would be sooner.

Deek is outside right now, but I’ll hold off on my update until the morrow…I doubt I’ll have much to report, which is a good thing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Another letter from Superior Court arrived today…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2022 at 2:57 PM

…but I have no idea what it’s about, as the address is correct, but the defendant is “Kristina Shamolyn,” and the plaintiff is “Conrad Hart.” I don’t know WHO those people are but the letter is addressed to my correct room number and street address.

I emailed a copy of this same notice to my attorney, who should be back in her office by today. Will send you a Deek update shortly.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Another letter from Superior Court arrived today…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2022 at 3:55 PM

> Bizarre, and more than a little fishy.

It’s a clown show. I got an immediate, automatic reply from my attorney, that she won’t be back in her office for three more days. So I forwarded it to one of her two colleagues whose email she gave me in case anything urgent happens, though unlikely. So I got all bases covered.

Subject: Deek update: not too bad lately! (part 1)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2022 at 11:40 AM

Not much to report, very little drama these days. He did tease me a bit one afternoon, though definitely NOT a hissy fit:

“The speaker’s not fully charged yet? I told ya, ya got slow electricity. I can take this to any other outlet and charge it up to FULL in a half hour!”

“Deek,” I replied, “that’s a heavyy battery, no way you can bring it to a full charge in a half hour…more like four or five hours.”

He turned his back to me and stepped a few more feet away, then folded his arms and looked up at the clouds:

“I don’t wanna hear it, bitch!”

“You’re LYING,” I blurted out. “You make this shit up just to be a pest. See this?” I then pointed at the speaker’s AC adapter port, tried to explain that charging with a USB cord is MUCH slower, but he continued to drown me out, so I paused for a moment, then said:

“Wow, I just gave you another fifty dollars, fed the pups, brought you more dog food and charged your devices, and you call me a bitch? I do all these nice things for you, and you call me a bitch? You need your head examined!”

He then stepped several more feet away to face the ATMs, and his reflection in their glass panels: “That’s right, you’re a BITCH, you don’t even let me drop over any more. What kind of friend does that?”

“You gotta be off your rocker,” I snapped. “Why would I EVER allow a looney nut job like you step inside and fuck up my living situation? You are TRULY insane!”

Deek yammered on for a few more minutes while I decided to ignore him and lavish my attention upon the pups. Once he quieted down, he asked if I mind watching the dogs for twenty minutes or so while he runs an errand.

“Fine with me, you piece of shit,” I calmly replied while hugging the mutts.

He gave a light grin at that and, when I stood up, saw by his smile this was all a game, he was not offended in the least by my expletive, in fact he seemed amused. As if he WANTED me to say something mean to him and now that I have, he’s happy. So I smiled back and said:

“Go ahead now, I’ll sit with the dogs, you blasphemous load of bull crap.”

I had a lovely visit with the pups, some nice lady brought me a few apples, another person presented me with two tangerines, and a couple of cops parked nearby to order some tacos to go, paused to admire Lucky:

“That’s a sweet lookin’ doggy ya got!” said one of San Francisco’s finest. I don’t think he saw Flaco, who was sheltered beneath the cart.

“His sister’s curled up right over there,” I said while pointing at her. I explained they’re not REALLY my dogs, I’m not homeless myself, but the hounds’ owner is, and we’ve been friends for more than a decade.

During this time with the furry little angels, Lucky wriggled his back on the sidewalk for a few delightful minutes, tongue flopping from his smiley jaws while I scritched his tummy. And Flaco leaned her full weight against my thigh, head resting upon my lap with that wonderfully sincere spirit of hers. As if the comforting presence of yours truly gives her more happiness than anyone else in the universe. I imagine that’s quite true, Wattson.

Deek returned soon enough, maybe forty minutes had passed…but I was pleased to have spent more-than-expected precious moments with my brindlekin. I noticed he didn’t reappear with his bicycle (probably dashed off somewhere to sell it); he walked back…maybe hopped off the 8 Market streetcar a half-block up.

The UN Plaza’s just seven blocks straight up Market Street, and is where you’ll find a large, pre-twilight crowd of sketchy hawkers…the kind you’d never dare ask “was this item stolen?” Expensive cameras and bicycles pass through their hands like eels in a Chinatown fish market. And god only knows what else…jewelry I suppose, watches, smartphones, etc.; it’s quite a bizarre bazaar that I prefer to avoid! Pirates! Baritaria by the Bay! The old ways linger on, zombies have their lineage.

“So everything went down okay?” he queried with a pleasant demeanor (probably meth induced, but I am not here to judge).

“Yes, of course,” I replied with a gesture of my hand to the quasi-dachshunds now sitting by the cart watching us attentively. “Their company is ALWAYS a great joy.” I then pet them on their heads and kissed them both before departing hovel.

[Part 2 coming up soon…]

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Deek update: not too bad lately! (part 2)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2022 at 9:03 PM

Guess I was wrong when I said in my previous missive “not much to report,” as scenarios have piled up since I wrote that. Anyway, here goes:

Another nice gathering one recent night. But Deek was a bit of a brat when I brought back from my short walk, two large, fluffy black coats that someone left on a bench along Noe Street…clean as a whistle, too. Obviously, someone had discarded them, as there was not a soul anywhere nearby. As I crossed 16th Street holding the jackets in one hand, Deek looked at me with a suspicious gaze as I approached, and blurted:

“What? What is that?”

I told him I just found them, and was about to toss one down for the pups who were resting directly on the sidewalk. But Deek snatched the jacket from my hand (with Lucky eyeballing it in eager anticipation of another fluff fest), stuck his nose into the lining, then flung it atop a trash bin two feet away:

“That stinks, get it away from me!”

I went to the discarded jacket, sniffed it and said no, it doesn’t stink, it’s perfectly clean.

“You stole them!” he accused.

“Jesus Christ, Deek, sometimes I think you live and breathe just to be an asshole!” I proclaimed. “No, I didn’t steal them.”

Well, Wattson, he had none of it and thus the little doggies were denied a simple comfort once again, thanks to their master’s pointless acrimony. I placed the second jacket upon the bin, with the other, and said:

“You’ve been sitting here with the dogs for a half hour now,” I stated with some disgust, “and you don’t care enough to put something cushy for them to sit on. That’s shameful!”

He retorted he wasn’t planning to be here very long; I said that’s no excuse, they’ve been here long enough. But he ignored me so I returned the favor and knelt down to caress Lucky & Flaco. Less than a minute later he announced he’s gonna split, stood up and wandered off towards Castro street, doggies in tow. With a small cart that CLEARLY had a red blanket folded on top, one he’s had for several days now.

The next morning I realized I should’ve taken the jackets upstairs and bagged them for another day. I could kick myself for failing to do that…they would’ve been a fine addition to my growing collection of blankets (or their equivalents) already bagged and stashed beneath my cot. When I looked outside the window I saw the jackets weren’t there anymore. Dammit.

Two nights later, another small gathering…but again, the pups only had concrete to lie down upon, curled up close to Deek leaning against the lamppost out front. When I exited my building to greet him I suggested he break out the blanket, but he just rattled on nonsense with a pair of fat headphones partly over his ears. After pressing him further to use the blanket and him ignoring me, parroting gansta lyrics to drown me out, I decided to pull the blanket from the cart and lay it down. He didn’t oppose me, except to say:

“Hey, not so close!” meaning the large, white trash bag bulging with crushed aluminum cans, dangling from the shopping cart handlebar with a double knot and almost touching their heads. But the doggies seemed fine, and had already settled into the comfy folds, so I wasn’t about to disturb them. They love their fluff!

I returned hovel for a few minutes to prepare their doggy meals and bring it downstairs, then went back to my room to fill a bowl with water and bring THAT down, too. And with that, Deek started to taunt me:

“That bowlegged neighbor or yours and his friend told me yesterday oh you got your dogs back, they’re so calm and friendly now, they were so mean and wild before!”

“Nonsense, Deek, they’re full of shit.” He stuck out his tongue:

“Nah nah nah! See? I DO know how to take care of dogs, and you don’t! Nah nah nah!” He ranted on how I let them run around the building, scaring and biting residents, and that another tenant came up to him and said the same thing last week…it’s all my fault, I’m a lousy dog sitter. I then crouched down to get right into his face:

“Those two are idiots, like some others in my building, troublemakers set on fucking over our friendship! Furthermore, no you DON’T take good care of the pups, you force them to sit on filthy concrete, you scream in front of them, you let them get sopping wet and SHIVERING in the rain!” (Notice I didn’t include yanking on their necks, ’cause it looks like THAT horrid treatment has finally come to an end.)

After that little flareup, I stood up, stretched, and stepped towards the front gate, where two homeless dudes were hangin’ out, both friendly, one black, one white. They grinned at me and the white fellow said:

“Deek sure knows how to press your buttons!”

“Not really,” I replied with a shrug. “He THINKS he’s pressing my buttons, but I never fall for it. I just wish he’d talk to me like friends…you know, like normal! But half the time he drops by, for some reason he acts like a punk.”

Suddenly, Deek blurted out the kindest words he’s ever said to me, before witnesses:

“Nah, I’m just teasing him! He helps me with everything, feeds the dogs, gives me an allowance, charges my electronics and a lot more. Best man on the planet!”

Well, Wattson, he didn’t commend me in exactly those words, but said things quite similar. I just lack that perfect memory some possess. Instead, I retain the gist of things that people say or do, much longer than average.

“Thank you!” I called back before entering the front gate, and thought: “What a 180 degree turnaround from that night he screamed in front of his vagrant pals that he’s not my bitch, and tried to get them to gang up on me!”

[Part 3 coming up soon…]

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Crazy crap outside last night! [24 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 5, 2022 at 9:56 PM

The smoke/paraphernalia shop stays open late and attracts trouble like this, which happened last night around 1:30 AM. It went on for ten minutes or so, but the cops caught up with the derelict even though he eventually ran off with his friends, around the corner. Someone supposedly smacked him in the face, perhaps one of the employees. I’m sure he deserved it. This is not The Castro I used to know. Way too much booze and meth these days. Interesting how those two white guys just stood around nonchalantly. Several other bystanders outside the frame and to the left were taking pics of them, maybe one of them dialed 911.

Re: Crazy crap outside last night! [24 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 6, 2022 at 12:34 AM

> Gorillas in the mist.

Never trust an ape with a top knot.

Subject: My attorney’s reply.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 6, 2022 at 10:42 AM

Just came in moments ago:

“That is weird. You might want to return to sender at the post office. Your landlord probably used the wrong address. I just checked the Register of Actions in your case and no amended complaint has been filed by your landlord. At this point, Plaintiff is technically too late to file an amended complaint. They had to do it within the 5 days from the order of the demurrer hearing. If the landlord serves you with an amended complaint, just please let me know ASAP and we will file a motion to strike the late filed pleading. In the meantime, I will look into the option of a separate motion to dismiss the case as well.”

Re: My attorney’s reply.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 6, 2022 at 2:26 PM

> Good!

Definitely, although I’m not gonna bother with this “return to sender” nonsense. I have NO obligation to assist Ablahblah’s legal counsel re. correct way to handle things, especially in a matter that has nothing to do with THIS persistently pertinacious pilgrim. I DID bother to scan the names on the lobby mailboxes, but very few display a moniker anymore. What handful remain, I found NO match for either plaintiff or defendant. Just as well, ’cause I have MORE than enough nut jobs to deal with, without getting ensnared into yet aNOTHER fool’s web of loony intrigue. How many residents in this building smoke meth, I wonder.

NEXT RESIDENT TO DIE PER MY OBSERVATION: details forthcoming, not who you think.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek update: not too bad lately! (part 3)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 6, 2022 at 5:34 PM

As you can see by the pic, hardly any resident’s name appears on the mailbox cubicles. Closest one contains the most: 6 out of 12. Middle section has zero, and the furthermost but one. There is a mausoleum air about those mailboxes…and the lobby overall. Now, regarding my prediction about the NEXT tenant to pass beyond this earthly veil:

That would be Karlsen, the bowlegged charlatan who first impressed me with his Bohemian flair and stalwart support of the homeless…which “support” turned out to be solely due to the crystal candy this one vagrant, Scooter, brings him daily. Just this morning I saw someone loitering outside, looking wrinkled, pale, old and shabbily dressed. Didn’t recognize him as other than your typical bum, the kind you DON’T want around as he exudes nothing but trouble. But as it turned out, that was Karlsen, an unrecognizable mess today!

When I completed my morning ablutions and stepped out for my java, someone called to me from behind:

“Hey! Hey! Hold up!”

I turned around to see that same raggedy vagrant I espied out my window, but as he addressed me further I was shocked to realize it’s Karlsen!

“Can you let me in, I forgot my keys!”

“Okay,” I replied, but not happy about it. I noticed the chubby Latino lady sweeping out front of Super Duper had flashed him el ojo del diablo as we passed. I wasn’t about to ask him what’s up with that, but he told me anyway as I turned the key to the gate:

“She thinks I’m homeless and trying to sneak in, told me to go away or she’ll call the cops.” Frankly, Wattson, I would’ve done the same in her zapatos, in light of his sketchy, downcast appearance.

He then thanked me as the gate opened, with an unwelcome pat on my shoulder. I cringed, thinking no, you are NOT my buddy, we’re not “old pals,” I barely know you and even THAT’S too much!

Just before he disappeared inside, he turned his head back out and flipped her the bird, said “Fuck you!” Great, I thought, another meth freak wrapping me up in his bullshit! Now, let’s rewind to four days back:

When I stepped out for the morning on my way to Rosenberg’s I saw Karlsen seated on the bench by Cafe Flore on Noe Street with his compadre, Scooter. It was this encounter I’m about to describe that turned me off COMPLETELY to my Bohemian neighbor. I decided to cross the street and sit down with them. That was my first mistake, for as soon as I did, I noticed Scooter toking speed on a glass pipe.

“We do everything wrong,” chuckled Karlsen as he retrieved a pint of vodka from beneath his jacket. “This is MY poison of choice.” He then offered me a swig, but of course I politely turned him down. I also covered my ass by declaring I don’t care, none of my business, I’m for legalizing ALL drugs.

“A drug?” Scooter interjected, “This is my vitamin M, it helps me deal with living on the streets, keeps the energy up!”

Before I had a chance to reply that that is exactly what Deek claims, too, he challenged me:

“So tell me, do *I* look homeless?”

Of course he did, Wattson, in those baggy striped jogging pants, worn out floppy sneakers, over-sized black jacket and cap…some dirt stains here and there. But in order to spare myself any conflict, I shook my head and said no, he didn’t. Then, to my dismay, he broke into a hateful rant about the “stupid” homeless:

“I take care of myself. See those tents over there? They’re smart, they take their business off the main road and don’t bother no one. It’s these STUPID jerks who foul up their nest and the entire neighborhood I can’t stand. They give the rest of us a bad name.” Then he took another puff on the bowl, which gave me the time to interject that homeless services are quite lacking and do little to nothing to help those people he calls “stupid.” That they are stymied from doing the outreach sorely needed due to draconian gov’t restrictions. And finished off with:

“Good thing you’re not a social worker!”

About this time Karlsen acted shocked, and addressed his sidekick: “Where is this coming from, Scooter, I’ve never heard you talk like this, you’re just arguing with yourself!” Though I think Karlsen’s rebuke was more a cover-up in my presence, rather than any sincere reply.

At any rate, Scooter resumed his nasty put-downs with much fume and spittle, never allowing me another word to defend those he calls “stupid,” so I said well that does it, I’m not gonna listen to this crap, see you guys later. And with that, I stood up and walked away in a rush to sit somewhere else, out of their view, that I may enjoy my coffee and a new day.

I have no idea how long Karlsen’s known Scooter, though I think not very…probably less than two months. And I ALSO suspect that booze is not Karlsen’s ONLY vice, but that methamphetamine also twangs his guitar. Because witnessing his rapid deterioration in just the past few days–but especially this morning–gives me good reason to conclude THIS bonehead’s not gonna be long for the world! And good for that, ’cause Scooter’s a sketchy fellow with an explosive temper, and has been hangin’ around my building quite frequently in the past two weeks, including very late at night, trying to get in.

In fact, just last night he called up to Karlsen’s window with shrill, ear-piercing whistles that went on every ten minutes or so from 5 AM until the cock’s crow! He’s been doing that in the daytime, too, as well as at night, for many days now. Sometimes he even tosses up empty containers to his window and hollers: “Ken! Ken! Let me in!”

Deek noticed him doing that, too, a couple afternoons ago, and I advised him NOT to get wrapped up with those two, they’re nothing but trouble. Yet THEY are the ones who came up to Deek some days ago and complimented him on the dogs being so peaceful, compared to when they were staying with me! Which only served to give more fuel to the fire regarding Deek’s false accusations against me.

“That guy with the glasses [meaning Scooter] wasn’t even here when the dogs were visiting me!” I replied. “And as far as I know, Mr. Bowlegged always loved seeing the mutts!”

But I tell you this, Wattson: those hounds can ALWAYS sniff out a cur! So yeah, they always barked when they saw Karlsen in the hallway, and for good reason. It was their simple desire to protect me, and their sanctuary. However, nothing harmful came of that, and Karlsen always cracked up as I guided them away from his ghoulish presence and into my hovel.

Now, since Scooter has made these local environs his latest stomping ground, thanks to hooking up with The Bowlegged Boozer, I feel somewhat in harm’s way whenever I step out, or even when standing by the window. What if he recognizes my face, and starts calling up to ME, demanding I let him in to visit Karlsen? He’s the belligerent type who I can easily imagine start doing that. What if he sees Deek calling up to me…will that give him the idea to do the same thing? What if he approaches me as I step out the gate, or enter it, expecting me to let him inside? I will HAVE to resist, and THAT may likely arouse enmity in his disturbed psyche.

I have already concluded it would NOT be wise to ask Karlsen to tell his friend to stop waking up his neighbors with his ear-splitting whistles and hollers that can go on and on and on. I suspect that he, himself, regrets ever befriending Scooter, considering he is awakened at late hours, and probably doesn’t answer back, as he wants to be left alone. But not granting him entrance only causes Scooter to prolong his disturbance. OTOH:

NO ONE should allow him inside, anyway, and I suspect he uses my shared bathroom, and explains why the rolls of toilet paper disappear so fast. And I also wonder: am *I* being blamed by certain residents for Scooter’s intrusion? Furthermore:

I have YET to encounter Scooter inside this building, and I hope to god it never comes to that. There was ONE recent day when he was standing about outside, towards the west end of the building, where Karlsen resides two stories up…and I wanted to step out to check on the pups, while Deek was crashed out by the curb. So I took a deep breath, picked up a small basin half-filled with water and two clean rags floating therein, and came downstairs to tend to the pups sequestered in the ATM stall.

To my relief, Scooter ignored (though surely noticed) me as I caressed the pooches with those rags until they were almost sopping wet. This cooled them off considerably, and they quickly cheered up from their remorseful mood due to the 90-degree weather. Then I spent a good ten minutes sitting beside them with kind words and hugs/kisses. Scooter seemed to have disappeared entirely by the time I stood back up to return upstairs. So, THAT’s a good sign he knows not to intrude upon my own important calling…and I sure as heck hope it stays that way. I do NOT need yet one more stress factor on top of all the ones already upon my shoulders!

Though this missive is mostly about Karlsen and Scooter, I consider it part of my Deek Update, as there is an obvious overlap of these two dodos into my life, and that of Deek’s…whether I like or not. And I most certainly DON’T. Besides, there was so much to tell about those two, it deserved its own segment.

Now get this, good doctor, right when I was typing the previous paragraph I heard once more, Scooter’s nerve-racking whistles somewhere outside and nearby. So I need to stay away from the windows for a time, like I’m in hiding from the bogeyman.

Were I not so on the outs with the building manager, I would certainly warn him about this potential new danger brought on by the fake-Bohemian creep with the bowed legs whom he should never have rented to. Maybe they’ll drop dead together…all three. A girl can dream, can’t she?

[Part 4 coming up soon…]

– Zeke K-Holmes

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Subject: Amazon really fucked up THIS time!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 6, 2022 at 10:36 PM

Two cases of canned dog food (12 cans per case) were delivered this afternoon. So I took the weighty box upstairs and let it sit for a few hours before unloading the contents. But to my disgust, five cans were so badly dented, that meat product and its juices were spilled all over the other cans and throughout the box!

Then I logged onto Amazon to complain, and apply for a reimbursement…but it kept looping me around into the “send back” option, where they said this item can’t be returned. Of course it can’t, but that option was actually located on a button that said “return or replace.” But there was NO real option to replace it! When I gave my reason I said cans were burst open, this is TOXIC. I also said the same in a review, in a desperate hope they’ll see it, and take the proper action. Including a photo in both reports.

I’ve been very satisfied with this dog food for a couple of years, till now. But I DID get three dented cans in a previous delivery, and they weren’t slight dents, but deep, although no leaking was apparent. I took a pic of them, too, and threw them out. Filed a complaint to Amazon and the dog food service, but nothing’s come of it.

So I spent an hour tonight discarding the five broken cans into a plastic bag, with the wrapping and box folded up, because it’s all toxic…then dumped it into a bin outside. Then I soaked all the remaining cans in hot, soapy water, peeled off the labels, thoroughly rinsed and dried them off. So I now have 19 good cans from an order of 24. Can you imagine if I had just let that carton sit for another day or two?

– Zeke K-Holmes


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The second carton, beneath the befouled one on top, seemed okay at first glance, but I washed/dried them anyway, and removed the labels. To my disgust I found yet THREE MORE seriously dented cans!

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Subject: No more dragon…penis rules!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 12, 2022 at 12:39 PM

Shot from my window. Power washing the sidewalk repeated times finally spelled the dragon’s demise. Now replaced by a penis in that general vicinity. The Castro has always been a vortex where everything spins down into its lowest common denominator. But so far, in spite of the decades I’ve occupied my hovel, I have yet to be sucked into the low-IQ morass. I’m sure two sweet little doggies have something to do with it…along with your stalwart support over the years, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: No more dragon…penis rules!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 12, 2022 at 2:29 PM

> That morass is a veritable La Brea Tar pit. It wants to suck you down into its depths to sleep with the sabretooths…

But it must be that way for those ascending into a plane of higher consciousness. You can’t just blithely slip into self-created utopia like you can a Walmart. There must be demons and dragons and monsters (“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”) along the way, so that once you reach the next level you can proudly, truthfully claim “I’ve earned it!” IOW:

Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Just don’t step on the dragon’s penis.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Another Cock & Bull Story
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 12, 2022 at 11:12 PM

This was earlier today.

“You’re gonna hate me,” Deek grimaced while he sat hunched up in a corner of the ATM depot with the pups stretched out beside him…on the dirty concrete of course, even though he had a blanket atop the shopping cart nearby.

Of course I immediately concluded it was another scam to squeeze money outta me before his next payment this Thursday. But I listened to his nonsense about how this 50-bill in his hand that he held out to me is fake, and he owes some people who’ve threatened to steal the hounds if he doesn’t pay up pronto. That bill looked real, BTW (and there was a fiver and three ones in his hand, as well)…what kind of fool does he think I am?

“Nope,” I replied in a steady voice, “You just wanna spend a hundred dollars on a new speaker, or get more drugs, so you’ve concocted this ridiculous tale.”

“Why on earth would I make up a story like that?” he declared with a shrug of his shoulders while I scritched Lucky’s belly as the doggy squirmed on his back in delight to see me again. Flaco lay quietly deep in the corner, obviously in need of her rest…otherwise, she’d’ve run to me for my affections.

“Because that’s just what dope addicts do, Deek,” I matter-of-factly replied. “Now, let me go upstairs to get the dogs some water. Do you want a cup of soda?”

“Uh, okay,” Deek answered. “I really need that fitty dollars though, or you may never see the dogs again! I won’t ask you for any more money until Sunday, I promise!”

“Yeah right,” I replied as I closed the gate behind me. A few minutes later I returned, to see he was already standing up, preparing to depart on his bike. I laid the bowl down, but the pups weren’t thirsty. Deek took the drink from my hand, guzzled it down in two gulps, wiped his mouth on a sleeve and said in a faux, grief-stricken voice:

“This is a tough one for me, Zeke. I don’t see why you’re like this. I gotta find a way to cough up the cash now, so you need to watch the dogs. I may not be back till late tonight, but I’ll try to return sooner.”

So that’s his game, I thought: he’s gonna ride around on his bike…possibly for hours, just to “teach me a lesson” that he was indeed telling the truth. And once he returns he’ll blow more jive in my ear about how scary it was to get the money, he was almost beat up, someone pointed a gun at his head, blah blah blah. Pure bullshit.

“No you won’t, Deek,” I countered. “You’ll be back soon, and I’ll take good care of the dogs in the meantime.”

As he swung a leg over the bike and began to take off I called him back: “Wait a moment, I’ll go to the bank and get you that money. Though I know your story is a load of bull crap.”

“No, no, it’s okay,” he replied. “I shouldn’t be more than an hour.”

“Well, alright,” I said, and just when I was about to walk the pooches over to the lamppost where we’d be sitting down, he changed his mind:

“Okay, you can get it, I’ll wait here.”

So I trudged three blocks down to Chase Savings, extracted a pair each of Jacksons and Lincolns, and moseyed on back hovel. Just when I started to cross 16th Street, Deek approached me on his bike. To my surprise, the mutts weren’t with him!

“Where are the dogs?” I queried, somewhat perturbed.

“They’re resting over there by the ATMs,” he explained. “Gimme the money and I’ll be back in a little while, a half hour at the most.”

He couldn’t even wait those few more seconds for me to show up, so left those sweet doggies alone! I rushed up to my building to discover them both curled up on a blanket, in the right-side corner of the ATM nook. So I picked up their leashes and blanket, and guided them over to the lamppost, where their master’s shopping cart was parked.

I also grabbed a sheet of cardboard leaning against the trash bin, to expand our resting spot, that I may also sit with them in some comfort. Flaco climbed onto my lap and started to lick my chin, while Lucky made little growls as he gnawed upon my shirt, along the torso. I was in heaven once again!

A few minutes later Karlsen’s hotheaded, meth-head “friend” Scooter showed up and stood ten feet away from us and began to holler and whistle up at Karlsen’s window:


It hurt my ears and the dogs’ too, as they suddenly sat up at attention, glaring at him and ready to bark up a storm. Scooter’s been dropping by so often, hanging around my building and loudly summoning Karlsen, it’s like he’s out there almost all the time! This includes late at night, when he wakes up this entire side of the building…sometimes as late (or early) as 5 AM. Most of the time, Karlsen never answers, thus Scooter’s hoots and earsplitting whistles continue, on-and-off every five or ten minutes for almost an hour. I am surprised no one’s screamed back at him from one of the apartments to shut the fuck up. Wish they would, as I’m not about to confront either Karlsen or Scooter, myself.

In fact, I’m trying to AVOID any further conversation with Scooter, after our first one in which he burst into a rage about “the stupid homeless”…the kind who dump garbage all around and never clean up. Which describes Deek to a T yet, much to my dismay, I saw the two congregating a few evenings ago, puffing on a shared glass pipe; and possibly a meth transaction went down. While I was sitting on the sidewalk close by, with Lucky and Flaco snuggled up beside me. Though this may work out in my favor, as Scooter now has seen I have street buddies of my own, so he might think twice about harassing me. However:

He often looks up to see me at my window, because I frequently appear there in order to use the microwave, hot plate or toaster oven. In fact, one recent night I was by the window and I saw from the corner of my eye, his gesturing at me with a “come here” reverse-flip of the hands. Obviously, he hopes I’ll be his personal doorman and let him inside whenever he wants…or knock on Karlsen’s door. No way, Jose! So I simply ignored him, pretended not to see the bozo, and moved away from the window until I was sure he was gone.

So nowadays I always have to be cautious about approaching my window, just to prepare something to eat! What an intrusion on my privacy, Wattson! May Karlsen give up the ghost soon; he looks like he’s on the way out as it is! AAMOF, his appearance is so frightening and filthy-ragged these days, he certainly can’t hide that from other residents, including the building manager. So I suspect they have their eye on him, and he’s not long for this building, if not the world. I’d be surprised if no one’s complained to Kevin about Scooter’s late-night disturbances by now, not to mention his alarming visage. The word “ghoul” comes to mind. At any rate (back to this afternoon’s dog-watching):

I got the pups to calm back down and rest, doing my utmost to ignore Scooter’s unwelcome presence, as he stood within the recess of the ATMs, muttering expletives to himself. As luck would have it, here came Kevin hobbling towards the front gate, head swung to one side. I know he saw me sitting there with my brindlekin, as he turned the key and entered. Just wish Scooter was hollering and whistling when he showed up, so he could witness the disruption with his own eyes and ears. Alas, that did NOT occur…but what DID occur was Scooter’s coming up to me, to look down at where I sat, and say with a sour expression on his mug:

“I was loud enough, wasn’t I?” Meaning, I guess, that surely Karlsen could hear him, if he were home.

Which he probably was. Though I imagine he’s trying to avoid Scooter anymore, because his newfound “friend” had become a suffocating, pushy presence intruding on his life twice or thrice or more each day (and again each night) without a single friggin break. Though I DO see them together now and then, seated at the bus stop since the benches at the Cafe Flore were recently removed after so many years! Though there is a nice concrete garden ledge right across the street on the corner, which I sincerely wish they’d choose for their meetups, instead of right out front.

“Yes, you WERE loud!” I replied (and almost expounded on how he’s disturbing everyone on this side of the building, waking us all up late at night, but I thought better of it and just bit my lip) while looking up at him, then blurt out: “Please! I don’t want to talk with you, I want to spend some quiet time with these dogs! I don’t want anything to do with you and Karlsen, you’re not part of my world!”

He did not move elsewhere, but just stood there grouching about his friend upstairs who was not answering his boisterous summons. As if I had anything to do with it! So I deliberately made a quick move as if about to stand up and shove or punch him, but all I really did was reposition myself in order to be closer to Lucky, so I could more easily reach out to pet him. It was then he returned to his corner by the ATMs and continued his foul grumbling there.

I decided at that moment to move the pups around the corner, away from Scooter and the foot traffic. So I first escorted them to a good spot where their leashes could easily be tied to the temporary metal fence the city placed there two weeks ago, to keep the homeless from sleeping alongside the building. The doggies were very compliant, as they always are with me, because we three share nothing but love and kindness…thus didn’t put up any fuss as I left them for a few moments to retrieve the shopping cart, blanket and water bowl. No more Scooter, what a relief! I thought as I tossed the blanket and cardboard down by the hounds, in our more pleasant location.

No sooner had I settled in near the corner, than Deek had returned. I told him I’d like to feed the pooches a meal now, because Lucky was dancing around me as I carried the water and set it back down. He didn’t take a sip, so that’s how I knew he thought it was food. He said okay, so off I went back hovel for a few minutes, then returned to the pups’ delight…they were QUITE hungry. I suppose because their master hadn’t fed them all day.

“Okay, I’m gonna go now,” I said.

“Alright, and thanks again,” he replied with that fake tone of voice as if to say I’m a godsend…but I know it’s all phony, he’s just happy to get some more of those ice fumes into his alveoli. I’m just wondering how he’s gonna get by for six more days because I REFUSE to give him any more cash till Sunday. But the most important thing here is:

There was absolutely NO raising his voice, screaming, ranting or threatening throughout our meetup this afternoon. And THAT is quite an improvement, I’d say; for if he’s gonna lie, I’d prefer he do so in relative peace rather than mad chaos.

[Part 4 coming up in tomorrow’s missive.]

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I stepped out tonight around 10 to pick up a box of tea at Rosenberg’s, and there was Scooter standing around by the bus stop, dammit. No way I could hide myself from his view and, as I briskly walked by, he muttered something to me, indicating he wants me to stop and speak with him. I did not, but proceeded to cross 16th Street and, as I reached Noe, I heard someone’s footsteps from close behind. So I turned around and guess who was standing barely five feet from me:

Scooter! So I gave him a sharp glare, he raised his hands and said with a frown, “Hey, calm down!”

I stood there a few more seconds glaring at him, then abruptly turned back and proceeded up Noe Street. But instead of stepping right into Rosenberg’s just two doors up, I continued my walk onto the next block and, after thirty more steps or so, paused to feign interest in the content of a box someone had left behind. But when I turned my bowed head left to see where he was, I saw him standing a half-block down. He raised his hands like before. The fucker was stalking me! So I continued up the next block to Morey’s shop, thinking it might still be open, but it was not. I then turned around to march back to Rosenberg’s and purchased some tea. Scooter was turning the corner back towards my building, by then.

As I approached the front gate, there he was, standing about by the bus stop again. This time he did not try to grab my attention. You should know at this point, good physician, I never sensed any DANGER, but simply that he’s a soul-draining NUISANCE, like Deek. And I DON’T need yet one more meth freak in my life. Well, guess what. As I was typing the paragraph above, I heard someone call my name softly, from outside. “Zeke! Zeke!”

It certainly wasn’t Deek’s voice, it was Scooter’s I presume. I did NOT step towards the window, but continued typing this email. Though a minute later I DID look out, to see the prick walking away towards Castro Street. It definitely WAS him. Jesus fukkin christ!

Subject: From Drums to Flute
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 13, 2022 at 6:17 PM

Much to my great relief, the homeless fellow playing a cacophony of makeshift drums outside my building for the past several weeks has suddenly shifted to a flute! I will make a point of complimenting him on his flute playing every chance I get, just to reinforce his using that much quieter instrument in lieu of the raucous clickity-clack of sticks on hard plastic containers that ruined many nights for me.

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