I Need a Tent!

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 13]

Subject: Here come the rains…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 9:50 AM

…and I can’t provide shelter for the pups.

Re: Here come the rains…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 11:28 AM

> I was thinking the same thing. So sad, so hard. I know how I’d feel if Surely and my kitties were out in the rain and I couldn’t do anything about it. So sorry.

If worse comes to worse–and it easily could, in light of Deek’s pathetic neglect of the dog’s health–I’d have no choice but to watch those darling pups grow sick and perish. With how slow the legal process is, even if I won this lawsuit and could have the pooches stay with me again, it will take MONTHS to get there…by which time they’ll have had to live outdoors through the entire rainy season.

Which they may not even survive. In which case Deek will go berserk and blame me for everything. NOT a happy outcome. I used to love rainstorms.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Late Night Activity (18 sec. video)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 19, 2022 at 1:17 AM

Around 1 AM this morning: just below my window there’s an ATM station where all kinds of spooky activities sometimes go on late at night. Homeless tweekers and soused bar hoppers are the typical players. My homeless friend Deek sometimes crashes out there, and not even a dynamite explosion could wake him up. He was there when I shot this video, along with his two little doggies nestled in the corner atop a folded comforter. I earlier covered them with a thin blanket I pulled from his cart, so they’d stay warm and wouldn’t be noticed. I was surprised they didn’t bark up a storm with that spastic dude who showed up, but pleased they remained silent and asleep like their master. As the camera pans to the right, you can see Deek’s shopping cart that I covered with two trash bags and a wooden plank to hold them down, in case it rained later on.

Subject: Late Night Activity, part 2 (10 sec. video)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 19, 2022 at 1:42 AM

And about a half hour later after shooting the previous video, here is a small, colorful trio to share some puffs of crystal. That’s Micah with his back to the camera. I don’t know the other two, but they seem kewl.

Subject: Flaco & Lucky were warm and dry!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2022 at 11:09 AM

Deek dropped by around 8 PM three nights ago, and you will be glad to hear that the pups were warm and dry in spite of such a wet afternoon! He laid down a fluffy blanket for them in the ATM nook, then shielded them with several sheets of corrugated cardboard for walls and a roof. I brought the pups a meal and water, and charged their master’s electronics overnight because he crashed out there till 1 PM the next day.

The following morning I also fed the dogs and replenished their water while Deek remained aslumber. I tried to return his gizmos around 11 PM, but couldn’t wake him up, so brought them back upstairs. He also had a baggy of primo bud set down beside a small backpack…anyone could steal it! So I dropped the weed in his pack and took it all upstairs for safekeeping. Just wish I could’ve taken the pups with me, too! But they seemed content enough as it was; they’re such good troopers.

I tried a few times to come back downstairs and take a snapshot of Deek asleep with the mutts, but there was always one vagrant or another (at one time, several) standing about. It was close to 2 AM when I gave up on that, and went to sleep, myself. However, I woke up around 5:30 AM (which I’ve been doing for the past few weeks, but after 10 minutes or so return to Slumberville), so decided to step outside and try again, since no one seemed to be around at that time. Yet to my surprise, Deek was wide awake and munching on some bagged snacks!

I told him I couldn’t wake him up to return his devices earlier that night, and I also have his grass and backpack. He thanked me for holding onto his valuables, especially the baggy, and said yes I can bring it down now. So I did just that, then said I’m seriously going back to bed now, see ya when the sun shines.

After waking up (finally) he told me the guy who shows up to take a pic of the ATM nook from his car every evening (who I guess is contracted with Wells Fargo to do that all around the city), said to him that they’ll be shutting down this depot in two weeks, because of so many complaints about the riffraff hanging out there.

“I’m sorry to hear that these ATMs will close, ” I empathized, thinking in terms of the shelter and communal gathering spot it’s offered our local vagrants for many years now. And how convenient it’s been for my own association with Deek and pups. Now that the rainy season has commenced, I’m especially concerned for the shelter it provides the doggies whenever they drop by. What rotten timing, in light of this ongoing lawsuit that bans me from providing sanctuary! But Deek expressed quite a different attitude, much to my astonishment:

“Oh it’s gotten really bad,” he griped. “You shoulda seen the creeps who stopped by throughout the night, I hardly got any shuteye! I’m glad they’re closing it down.”

“Yeah, I saw them,” I replied. “But you’ve certainly benefited by hanging out here, as have other good people. They’re not all bad, as you know.”

I think perhaps Deek’s attitude is his way of coping with what to me will be an unfortunate change in his world: friends dropping by to keep him company, and his proximity to my hovel where I could quickly pick stuff up, bring stuff down…and knowing I’m close by through the night. Because I’ve never known him to NOT get a good night’s sleep whenever he beds down, no matter what intrusions may occur.

Nor do I really think he meant it when he said these visitors were “creeps,” except perhaps that one spastic fellow who was around for less than an hour. Yet he was NOT noisy or threatening, nor was anyone else last night, which was actually quiet and nondisruptive. No, Wattson, this is just Deek’s dealing with a new reality soon to be. But I find it sad, mainly because it will probably drive the dogs further away from me.

I was hoping to report in this update, Deek’s improved behavior, but just last night he exploded in a fury. More on that in my next email. Nonetheless, his attitude the past three weeks HAS been impressive. More on that as well.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Flaco & Lucky were warm and dry!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2022 at 12:07 PM

> That’s really alarming news about the ATM closing. And with winter coming and all. God damn!!! But as long as you’re giving Deek his regular allowance, he’ll keep coming back and not just disappear over the horizon with the precious doggies.

The ATM depot has been there more than 20 years, and has ALWAYS been a vortex of disturbance and cacophony, for which I’ve cussed Wells Fargo ever since. So why didn’t all these previous complaints over such a long span of time, get them to shut it down years ago? Why now? I even told Deek how ironic it is that I’ve long wished this ATM station gone, but have come to value its presence in the past five years, because of the shelter and communion it provides the homeless, especially for HIS sake (and that of the dogs)!

So I finally got my wish, albeit belated and no longer desired. Enclosed is a pic I shot just this morning, showing Deek asleep in the ATM nook when there was a light rain falling and I had moved the basket further inside, to keep the contents dry.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2022 at 9:20 PM

[Please note: description of the attached image comes towards the end of this missive.]

As if Deek’s vulgar rants last night weren’t enough, he returned again to dump yet MORE bullshit on me. This occurred around 4:30 this afternoon, when he hollered up my window: “Zeke! Zeke Krahlin, get down here! NOW!”

I poked my head outside and gestured I’ll be right down, then donned hat, jacket and sandals and stepped outside.

“What’s the problem now?” I said, not without some annoyance because he intentionally yelled out my full name like the brat he is. He looked an absolute WRECK, Wattson: skin a ruddy scarlet, hair all disheveled, and an angry scowl on that Cajun mug. I crouched down to greet My Beloved Brindlekin as he yammered on about:

How did he get shit rubbed on his pants last night while he was sleeping? What did I do to him, I was coming back and forth behind his back? Blah blah blah.

I stood a bit closer, sniffed, and said he doesn’t smell like poop, and I don’t see any stains on his pants or anywhere else. I also told him I brought a bowl of water down for the pups, then awhile later their meals…so what’s wrong with that, I was just being kind. And when I stepped out for coffee, a drizzling rain had commenced, so I moved his basket closer to him, to keep it dry. And that’s what my “back and forth” was about, and nothing more. And it wasn’t “behind his back,” it was right in front of him, where he opened his drowsy eyes a bit each time I stooped down and said, “Here’s their water,” or “Time for the doggies’ breakfast” or “It’s starting to rain.”

I know his game, Wattson: I wasn’t about to be duped into responding with anger. I’ve been through this before, many times, though with variations in his false charges. He knows what buttons to press, but at this point in our association they are all null. At worst, I find his perpetrating such foul denunciations a bore.

Then he exclaimed he’s going away for a time, maybe weeks, maybe months, and he wants his allowance NOW. Fine with me, because the next $50 is due tomorrow anyway. Though I really doubted he’s departing these environs, so I bit my lip. And it was only last night when he showed up, this time WITHOUT THE PUPS PRESENT, that he made up a tale how the dogs were stolen, so no more pets in his life, ever again.

“Why did you bring the water down?” he queried when I stepped out with a bowl of tap water in my hands.

“I thought the dogs were with you,” I replied. (Duh.)

“They were kidnapped. $500 wasn’t enough for them, and they held a gun to my head.”

Of course I knew that was a lie, that the dogs were most likely parked somewhere nearby, around the block and tied to a cart or bike rack, or maybe just curled up on a fluffy comforter. (That remark was a reference to his sham crisis nine days back, how he needs his next $50 allotment NOW, to pay off some dealers who’ve threatened to steal his mutts, and he has to work up half a thousand before nightfall.) So, rather than react with alarm, I calmly replied with a shrug:

“I have complete faith that God will bring them back to you, unharmed, happy…and soon.” A choice thing to say, as I knew he was scamming me and, once he returns with them (no matter the story he concocts as to how he heroically reversed this tragic loss) I’d be vindicated in a most resounding way. IOW: I already popped his bubble with that response.

Turned out less than a half hour after he departed, he brought the dogs back with him and called up to my window, “You can bring the water down now!” And he did NOT bother to conjure up some cock and bull story about reclaiming the pups…I presume because I already called his bluff. And he didn’t care to be lectured about trusting God…especially with my prayer so quickly answered, and my rubbing it in his face! Anyway, back to this afternoon:

I said sure, but I have to go to the bank, whereupon he followed me all the way there. But get this, good physician:

As we began our trek my elitist queer neighbor who’s played the spy for Kevin’s gossip, came toward us with his own dog and passed by. And just to add a twist in the knife, Chihuahua Man followed quickly behind! So they BOTH got an eye and earful of Deek’s unkempt appearance and hostile behavior, before stepping through the gate. Never has the phrase “much to my chagrin” been so apropos in my entire life!

Deek persisted with his griping over my shoulder (“monkey on my back” comes to mind) all sorts of screwy accusations, including how the residents voted me off the island and want me evicted because I allowed Lucky & Flaco to run around the halls and lobby, and disturb the peace…so I fucked up, it’s all my fault. When we turned the corner of Noe & 15th, Lucky erupted in a delightful “Grrr-WOOF” at me, so I stopped to crouch down and pet him, whereby he playfully tugged on my pant cuffs.

“That’s his way of saying fuck you,” Deek remarked, to which I replied:

“Nah, he’s showing me his love!” Flaco also approached me with a waggy tail and accepted my caresses with glee. How kind of these two angels to make a point of stopping to comfort me amid their master’s berating, because Deek had not given them that chance since we began our walk to the Chase ATMs!

Deek did NOT pause, however, but thoughtlessly pulled them forward and continued squawking his nasty accusations. I refused to defend myself for the umpteenth time, so just ignored him after saying I already explained what’s going on in my building numerous times over, and he just likes to play the asshole.

“There are some shitty people in my building that I have to deal with,” I exclaimed. “But they’re in for a rude awakening, Deek; two have already died. Then, half the time when I step out I have to deal with aNOTHER shitty person, and that’s YOU!” (Ha ha, I guess “rude awakening” in the case of THOSE two deceased occupants is more like “rude asleepening.”)

I then accused him of causing MOST of the needless drama in his life, and that his desire to get away from assholes in this city is a false notion because of that.

“You’ll conjure up drama no matter WHERE you go, until you get a handle on it!” I pointed out.

To my surprise, he actually adMITTED that he often acts shitty, and creates a ton of drama! This certainly threw me for a loop, Wattson, though it really shouldn’t have. Seeing as my Bodhisattva Premise has already enlightened me as to these chaotic, rude scenarios being SCRIPTED in order to assist my own spiritual growth…a large part of which is teaching me NOT to worry. And they will attempt to discover any more buttons to press that may STILL cause me worry, and keep pressing them until I’ve learned NOT to anymore.

So Deek’s admission was a HINT that that is exactly what’s going on, and his willful part in it, as one of my guardians. And those bodhisattvas watching over us LOVE to toss a hint in the ring, now and then, just to buoy you up from all the seemingly adverse challenges they put in one’s way. Which also explains why Kevin has been greeting me kindly these past several weeks. Not that he’s doing so in hopes I won’t press charges against him, but as a CLUE that all is not as horrid as it seems, and he’s only playing the guardian’s role to toughen my spirit and get me not to worry so much. Which is VERY LITTLE these days, though obviously a bit of tweaking is still necessary here and there.

I surmise, then, that this attorney friend who has stepped out of the shadows to aid you in your difficult support with Van’s widow, is a bodhisattva type himself, a compassionate guardian to ease this burden, rather than a taskmaster. Seeing as Darly has been playing that latter role in spades, already!

So Deek waited outside as I entered the bank’s alcove to withdraw his allowance. Apparently, another customer who entered and stood by the ATM to my left, had witnessed Deek’s haranguing me, for he exclaimed while processing his account:

“Yeah, some of these homeless people have pestered me, too, and you can’t always get away from them because they sometimes stalk you!”

He said more than that about homeless harassment, but I ignored him while punching my own numbers, hoping he doesn’t witness me handing a wad of money to Deek, when I step out. How awkward! As my ex-friend Philly Chuck loved to tell me: “Living in San Franshitsco is like living in an ant farm!” He’s the one, by the way, who coined the title “San Franshitsco,” which I have come to use in my tales.

Once the ATM coughed up da moolah, I shoved it in an envelope, then exited and presented it to my indigent pest. Deek said thanks, but continued to insult me as I gave the hounds one last petting (for now) and departed while he blathered on, but was soon out of earshot once I crossed to the other side of 15th.

As I reached the close end of my block, I saw a metal wire basket that was obviously Deek’s…see pic. You can’t discern the contents very well, but it contained two unopened cans of dog food, THREE Ziploc bags of kibble, two half-full and one full, and those two camouflage doggy sweaters I gave him several days ago. This morning I saw only ONE sweater in that basket, so was glad to find he had NOT lost the other. I lugged those items back upstairs, rather than waste the doggy vittles and two perfectly good sweaters.

Which garments I immediately washed in soapy water once I returned hovel… rinsed them thrice, squeezed them in a tight roll, and hanged ’em up to dry. It was kind of a religious act of devotion for me, to do that. I felt the love of Canis familiaris emanating through those sweaters and unto my trusty hands as if awash in angels’ tears. I couldn’t have felt more blessed than had stigmata appeared! Though I am NOT a Doubting Thomas, thanks to the love of two sweet poochies.

I have yet MORE updates coming, but let’s stop here for the nonce, closing with a brief video I shot this morning:

Something I wish Deek wouldn’t do (tossing kibble on the ground), as he is quite capable of taking better care of his pups (Lucky & Flaco) in spite of his being homeless. Heck, he could just use a few sheets of newspaper, or a cardboard flap. I’ve been on his case like forever about this, yet he doesn’t listen. Awhile later I prepared their breakfast of kibble mixed with canned dog food, and brought it downstairs, along with a bowl of water. One of their camouflage doggy sweaters was lying in that basket…but what happened to the other one? I have never before met someone like Deek, who cranks out drama queen nonsense and needless crises like an assembly line factory. He’s terribly inventive, but not always in a good way.

Subject: I just saw Deek and pups from across the street…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2022 at 11:18 PM

…only a moment ago, as I removed my dinner from the microwave. He was pushing a bicycle that appeared to have a large blanket folded over the handlebar. The little doggies were trotting by his side. He didn’t bother to look in my direction as they wandered off towards Castro Street. My conclusion?

He got his fix that he couldn’t wait another day for. Hope I’m not being too judgmental here.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He’s Ba-aaack! [44 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2022 at 2:23 PM

Haven’t seen him for many months thank god…one of the more disruptive vagrants in the Castro. Fortunately, he moved on a half hour later. I sure hope not to see or hear him again for aNOTHER long stretch of time!

Re: He’s Ba-aaack! [44 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2022 at 6:12 PM

> Poor fucked up bastard…

I just wish these poor fucked up bastards wouldn’t park their sorry asses right below my window! It’s the ATM station that draws them here like a magnet, along with the conveniently spacious, sunny corner with the bus stop and fast food outlets at this end of the block. It’s a perfect storm!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Deek and pups dropped by this afternoon…all is good. More on that soon.

Subject: Emergency tent: $50
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2022 at 1:15 AM

You should know that I have been dog-sitting outside for Deek, two or three times a week these days, while he runs off to wherever. I love the time I spend with Lucky & Flaco, even when he’s gone for an hour or longer. But I sit them behind the building instead of out front, to minimize the foot traffic and possible intrusion of one bat-shit crazy indigent or another (like in the video you saw earlier). Not to mention any large canines passing by that will arouse Lucky into barking up a fury (Flaco seems to be less easily disrupted). I want them to have a good rest while their master’s gone. Be that as it may:

I was doing some thinking as to how I’d shelter the pooches during a rainy spell, should Deek bring them by. At first I perused Amazon for waterproof doggy houses. I found some nice ones made of heavy-duty plastic and easy to assemble. I could throw in a sleeping bag for comfort and warmth, and toss a tarp over it if need be. But how would I, myself, keep dry, as I certainly wouldn’t leave them out there on the sidewalk all by their lone little selves! So I pictured THIS bedraggled pilgrim standing out there through a ripping storm, donned in rain gear from head to foot, and thought: okay, that will have to do.

I could be out there for hours, maybe through the night. I’d run inside whenever I needed to relieve myself, or prepare their next meal or bring them fresh water. All my own comestibles are quick to prepare, and I could stand by the hallway window overlooking 16th Street to watch the doggies while I dine. So it’s MOST convenient that my quasi-fascist neighbor so recently kicked the bucket, as that window is right by his apartment, and it won’t be occupied again for a VERY long time! In other words: THAT jelly-belly gorilla won’t be on my back about this, or anything else for that matter, anymore! I love how things keep working out in my favor in unexpected ways.

But then, just this afternoon, it occurred to me I could get a rainproof, two-man tent where all three of us could snuggle together…and for the same cost as one of those portable dog shelters! The attached pic shows which tent I purchased, for a great price when you consider that it’s rugged, speedy to assemble, and holds up to heavy rain. Here’s a 7-minute video produced by ONE happy customer, a nice young lady who calls herself “Daredevil Girl” on her Youtube channel. You’ll be especially pleased to discover the name of that brand of tent, good doctor!

I’d toss in a couple of fluffy sleeping bags and “voila!” we’ll be a trio of happy campers. I could even bring my Chromebook and type another tale, watch a movie, read an ebook, etc., while the hounds snooze away! I already have a good tarp to set down on the sidewalk, before setting up the tent. It should arrive in three days. I might even use it EVERY time I sit the mutts, ’cause I know they’ll love it. And half the time Deek doesn’t even have anything comfy for them to rest upon, and I have to scout around for some cardboard. Of course, once Deek sees the tent he’ll try to coerce me to give it to him, but that’s DEF not gonna happen! Tents are handed out to the homeless for free, and I’ll remind him of that. In fact, less than two weeks ago he said he got himself a tent, but I’m sure it’s gone by now. Everything he owns runs through his hands like quicksilver…except the brindlekin, thank Hypatia. And he STILL has those rabies tags on their collars! As for tents: he can easily get a replacement.


Three nights ago, as you remember, he had a major hissy fit over my not being able to even start up his new smartphone.

“You broke my phone!” he howled like an air raid siren. “You unplugged it when it was updating, you’re not supposed to do that, you broke it!”

No matter I explained that couldn’t possibly have “broken” it, it just wouldn’t allow me to bypass the update because it has no cell service, and won’t let me wifi connect, so it’s stuck right at square one. The warning to keep it plugged in is to prevent the battery from running out during the update, but it had plenty of charge already, so no harm unplugging it for a few minutes, so I could step out to show him the screen, and what it’s frozen at.

This large black dude was visiting with him during this unpleasant meetup; fortunately he’s a friendly fellow and kept quiet through it all. I’ve seen him many times before, with Deek, who threatened me with all sorts of horrid acts, including how he’s gonna set his “people” on me and beat me into the concrete. As he screeched on, I saw Flaco sitting nearby and trembling in fear. Her brother, OTOH, seemed blase about his master’s rage, and was comfortably curled up on a jacket, close enough for me to pet. Flaco rose up from her spot and approached me with a sweet little tap on my leg…she wanted to comfort me!

So she sat on my lap as I stroked her, and told her everything’s fine, and what a sweet little doggy she is, as Deek continued to scream at the top of his lungs. Once he saw Flaco in my arms, he hollered:

“Get away from my dogs, don’t touch ’em, leave ’em alone or I’ll call the police on you!”

I told him in a soft voice, “No, she needs comforting now, because you’re screaming in front of them. I’m gonna stay until she’s no longer shaking. Go ahead and call the cops, they’ll see what a crazy fuck up you really are.”

He bellowed for awhile longer, including a threat to throw water in my face again. Get that, Wattson? He didn’t say “acid” or “bleach,” he said “water.” That ain’t much of a threat at all, I’d say…which suggests this is a SCRIPTED scenario, not a genuine display of hatred. Though I wish he wouldn’t “act out” with the pups around. I’m even willing to tell him he can scream and throw water at me all he wants…just not in front of the poochies, please. I’ll get around to it…I think it will do him good to hear me say that.

Though I DID manage to get some words in edgewise, to inform him his “people” are well aware of our friendship, and my caring for the mutts with pure kindness, so I doubt they’re gonna fall for his bullshit. In fact, they might even turn on HIM.

He quieted down shortly after I said that, and when I felt Flaco’s shivers cease, I gave her and Lucky a kiss, and swiftly departed.

So it was the next day (two days back) he made up some cock and bull story about getting the heck outta Dodge, and he wants his Thursday allowance in advance (which was only a day away). And escorted me to the bank, ranting in my ear for the entire journey. Including as I stepped into the ATM foyer while he sat down against a ledge with the dogs beside him, patient as angels.

The next night I spotted him across Market Street, pushing a cart with the dogs prancing along, so happy to be his guardians. Get outta Dodge, my ass…he just wanted some fresh tokes on that glass pipe! I hope I’m not being too judgmental here. Now we have finally arrived at today:

He had no more smartphone or speaker, and wanted badly to get another speaker today, so again asked for an advancement on his allowance.

“Nope,” I replied, “not until Sunday at the earliest. Which is only two days away, but that’s beside the point. He then talked me down from $50 to $35, ’cause that’s how much the speaker would cost, including tax.

So I said okay, but I have to go to the bank first. Which I did, as he and the hounds awaited my return. I was pleased to see that, by the time I got back, he had moved the dogs and his cart from the ATMs to the back of my building. Which he never did before, but left me to take care of that. So I thanked him for going through the trouble, and handed him an envelope stuffed with one Jackson and three Lincolns.

He than asked if I have a spare SD card with music on it and, if I do, he only wants the latest two rap artists on it (“J.I.” and “Lil Tjay”) that he requested several days back, and which I downloaded for the smartphone that turned out to not even boot up properly, thus his explosive tantrum the night prior.

I said yes I do, it’ll be ready for him when he returns. But he then asked if I could give him that chip now, since he wanted to start playing music soon as he bought the speaker.

“How long will that take?” he asked, knowing that almost an entire hour is required to copy his now 5,500+ songs onto a card. He really has no idea that it takes a much shorter time to copy 95 files, which is the number of songs for those two rap musicians.

“Oh,” I answered, “less than two minutes. It takes only seconds to delete all the songs, and maybe a minute to copy those two back on.”

Just as I turned to perform the simple task, he called to me: “Never mind, bring it down with all the music on it, I’m in a hurry!” He always acts like he’s in a rush whenever he drops by, but I guess he really WAS this time around, as the store might be closing soon.

He left his dogs with me…and the bike which lay atop his cart. Because he didn’t want the bicycle stolen, there was no way I could step back inside for ANY reason, say, to bring more water down for the hounds, or even go to the bathroom. But he was gone more than two hours and, sure enough, nature finally called. So I had NO choice but to lug that hefty two-wheeler up the winding stairway and into my hovel…while leaving the dogs tied up outside. They never complain or get nervous when I do that, BTW. They just patiently wait for my return, then leap with joy to see me again!

Deek didn’t return until three hours and some minutes later. I didn’t mind, though, as it was a lovely day, and spending time with my canine BFFs, no matter how long or short, is always a gift beyond price. I found a large sheet of cardboard laying nearby along the curb, for them to rest on (and for me to place my keister). I set it alongside the building’s wall for back support, and took turns holding each pup on my lap, face-up so I could scritch their bellies and give them little, shivery hugs that contents them no end.

Some time later I noticed a large, dark-green empty suitcase made of tough nylon sides discarded on the sidewalk about thirty feet up the hill. That would be a perfect nest for them, I thought, so stood up and had the pups walk with me in that direction. But I first tied their leashes to the portable city fence, before collecting the suitcase and dropping it before them, wide open.

But once I set it down, they remained standing beside the suitcase until I tapped on it and said, “C’mon, climb inside!” They promptly did that, with just enough extra space between them both to share this cozy space in comfort. It wasn’t the cleanest suitcase I’ve ever seen, but certainly nowhere near as dirty as the sidewalk.

Then I decided to bring down a fuzzy black comforter I had bagged and stashed beneath my cot, to plush up the suitcase. I found it on the back porch a couple of nights ago…among the many discards on the back porch that no doubt belonged to my recently deceased neighbor. At least he left SOMEthing nice behind, I thought. But Deek finally showed up before I had a chance to do that.

The mutts were delighted to see him again, as their master sat himself right beside them. Music was playing from a closed cooler on a dolly, that he brought back with him. He then looked up at me and said:

“There’s no music on that chip, it doesn’t play.”

“So what’s that?” I asked, pointing to the cooler blasting a funky tune.

“The radio,” he replied.

“Well, I KNOW there’s music on it,” I answered back. “So it’s your device; it doesn’t recognize the chip. That happens sometimes, and there’s no real way to prevent that. You just need to try another brand.”

“Well, get me another one,” he replied, as he pulled the current SD card from the speaker and handed it to me.

I brought down two more cards, along with the one he gave me, and he tried each one out, but with no luck. They were all microchips in an adapter, and the device only uses standard size cards…IOW no micro slot option.

“Hmm,” I remarked, “Looks like the speaker has a bad connection, can you exchange it or get your money back?”

“But it was workin’ fine yesterday!” he griped.

I didn’t know how to answer that, because I thought he just purchased it, so how could he have had it the day before? Then an idea occurred to me: maybe it doesn’t like micro cards, even when they’re in an adapter that fits?

“Wait a minute, Deek,” I said. “Here, gimme those chips and I’ll be right back.”

I then rushed upstairs to dig up a standard size SD card, of which I had two: one was 8GB, another 32. I chose the former, since it contained more than enough storage to handle a mere 95 mp3 files. Took less than a minute to copy them onto the card, upon which I brought it to Deek, with one hand behind my back, fingers crossed.


“Well, I learned something new today!” I began to tell him, but before I could say anything more (which was that some devices that accept standard SD cards can’t handle the micro versions), he smiled and declared:

“That’s all I want for now, my music. Thanks!”

“Well, maybe you want more dog food?” I queried. “I can bring some down right away, it’s ready to go.”

He said okay, so I did, along with the black comforter, both of which I dropped into his cart before wishing them all a lovely and blessed night.

What I most appreciated around this latest “conflict” was Deek’s calm repose in spite of a frustrating outcome, albeit temporary. Who would ever know the solution would be an old-school SD card? After all, all his OTHER devices that used the larger cards NEVER had a problem with the micro versions.

I also had some nice encounters as I sat outside with the pups, including a friend of Deek’s whom I’ve only met twice before, He’s very amicable it seems, and he came up to me and greeted the dogs for a few moments, then said, “Well, I’ll leave you to your puppy time!” I told him thanks, and wished him a nice day. However, I wouldn’t have minded at all if he spent some time visiting, in light of his congenial manners, and that the dogs appeared to enjoy his company.

Then, later that afternoon, a young male couple suddenly appeared before me to offer a bagged meal.

“Those are really cute dogs,” one complimented.

I said, “Thanks, I’m not homeless myself, but my friend who owns these dogs is, and I help him take care of them.”

The bag was impressively hefty, for one with food in it, so I peered inside, but did not open anything. Looked like a fat burrito wrapped in foil, and some container stuffed with other treats. Deek will like that, I thought, but I wound up giving it to a friendly, black homeless fellow dressed in a faded dark hoodie and seated around the corner across from the bus stop.

I had seen him a half hour earlier, when I got up to stretch and took the dogs by the leashes to walk them around a bit. He gestured to me:

“Could you tell Deek I’d like to buy that bike,” he said with a smile that exposed a full set of impressively white teeth. “I’ll cut you in.”

I paused, then grinned back: “Sure, I’ll be glad to tell him, and you don’t need to cut me in.”

Unfortunately, the guy had to depart before Deek arrived, which didn’t occur till more than an hour later. Other people walked by and flashed beautiful smiles at the doggies. As did drivers and their passengers on 16th Street. So it was a very nice day all around.

After Deek and canines departed and I returned hovel, is when I did my search on Amazon to find that perfect tent. And composed this, my latest missive.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Most importantly: before departing from Deek’s presence, rather than saying something like “You sure took a long time to get back, and I’m starving!” or “Would you PLEASE stop forcing your dogs to lay down on concrete?” I said: “It’s always an honor watching over Flaco & Lucky.”

Re: Emergency tent: $50
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2022 at 12:08 PM

> Oh, man, the tent is a GREAT idea!!! Next-best thing to having the dogs upstairs with you. And it’ll be an adventure for you.

Exactly. There are difficulties/sacrifices that go along with this project, but my motivation to keep the pups safe overrides everything else. They hate the rain, so they’re not about to step outside, even without their leashes secured. (Besides which, they’ll stay where you tell them to, except to poop or pee, in which case they’ll return to their spot.) And if anyone approaches who they don’t know or trust, they’ll bark up a storm. Furthermore, there has NEVER been a situation where someone has tried to abscond with them. Except for yours truly. :D

> And how can you go wrong with Night Cat??

You simply can’t, that’s all there is to it. It’s CATagorically impossible.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Cancelled tent order…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 25, 2022 at 7:11 PM

…after perusing more reviews, showing it’s not really waterproof, and the flexible poles are made of cheap fiberglass (that pierces your skin) and break easily. So I opted instead to get a small tent, the one shown in pic #1. Ample room for Flaco & Lucky, dimensions: 32″ wide, 20″ deep and 22″ high. No door flap, but I could throw a tarp over it for rain protection, as well as another on the ground. I can fold a third tarp over the floor, to allay their digging into cloth…and top it off with a couple of blankets. I order a package of four large-dog ones (instead of small, to give them extra fluffy fun), which you can see in the second image.

The tent costs $18, and the blankets $25…not bad at all. I plan to use the tent and blankets whenever I dog sit, so no more worries about them being forced to rest on concrete, and my having to search for cardboard to avoid that. They will arrive tomorrow, thanks to Prime.

I am presently checking out these newfangled pop-up tents, in hopes of finding one I can afford, and that is durable AND truly waterproof…of a larger, 2-person size where I can join the pups inside. Seeing as in an emergency due to a rainstorm, it would be much better to get the tent up pronto, rather than fussing with sliding each pole through a sleeve and hooking up the rain fly, during which time the entire tent could get soaking wet. Here’s a video of a pop-up (or “instant”) tent that would work for me, as all you need do is extract it from the storage case, then toss it away from you, and it will blossom like an alien flower.

That’s the Zenph 2-person tent, for $85. Looks I’m I’m gonna have to cough up extra moolah to find one that’s truly waterproof. I’m looking at other brands before I come up with a winner.

The IMPORTANT thing is, I can’t afford to get a big tent only to find out it’s NOT waterproof, in the middle of a nasty storm. What would I do then, to keep them warm and dry? So I’ll need a backup, such as that tiny tent I just ordered, with a protective tarp over and under it. Or a heavy-duty, plastic doghouse, like the one in pic #3. But THAT will set me back $70! I have the money, though. AND it takes a half hour to put together. Possibly, I can stash it on my loft sideways, fully assembled.

No worries, I’ll get this all figured out! I like those cheap doggy blankets, for times when I don’t find a dry, clean blanket, comforter or thick curtain on the street, I can just hand one over to Deek. This is a new expense, but it won’t kill me, at just $8 per blanket (including tax).

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Or maybe I can order a large shipping box in lieu of a pricey doghouse, and turn it into a rain shelter when the time comes, by taping two or three large trash bags around it, with a front flap. It will arrive flat, so I can easily stash it on the loft.

Re: Cancelled tent order…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 25, 2022 at 10:21 PM

> Very important that you end up with a tent you can all fit in, cozy and waterproof!!! And yes, easy to deploy.

Right, there is one tent that isn’t popup, but easy to assemble, sturdy, waterproof and uses aluminum crossover poles instead of fiberglass, for just $35 from Walmart…which store increases my options beyond Amazon. I’ve wound up doing a LOT of homework to figure this all out! What I can do before setting it up, is have the pups sit near me in a corrugated box covered in a large trash bag or two (so they’ll stay dry), while I set up the tent. Instead of having them wait in the rain.

Providing my own meals would be a problem, as I’d be leaving the mutts alone for the time it takes to prepare my vittles. But if I’m out there, people will think I’m homeless and maybe BUY me a meal ’cause the dogs are so cute! In which case I won’t tell them I’m NOT indigent, nor will I turn down meat when camping out. My plan is taking shape! I’m gonna be a carnivore like my little angels! GROWWRRRR!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: A Trail of Blood
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2022 at 11:12 AM

Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.
Click here for a larger view.

Pics 1 to 3, that I shot a short while ago: drops of blood by the front gate, more drops at the foot of the stairs in the lobby, blood smears on the wall by the first landing. I only noticed the smears three days ago, the drops by the gate yesterday. and the ones by the foot of the stairs just this morning when I stepped out to take these photos, after a friendly meetup with Deek. He doesn’t know about this, but I’ll point out the blood drops by the gate to him, next time he shows up…if they’re still there. Come to think of it:

Why are they still there?

Re: A Trail of Blood
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2022 at 1:52 PM

> This came through!

I just got off the phone with the SFPD non-emergency service. Told the fellow about the blood spots and smears, that they’ve been there for the past two or three days. And because I’m in a legal dispute with the resident manager, I can’t speak with him per my attorney’s advice…and I find it strange the stains haven’t been washed off yet.

I also told him that the trail of blood ends at the landing, as I’ve checked all floors and found no further stains or blots. He asked if I saw any police come to my building recently and I said not that I know of, nor I did I hear any yells for help, or other alarming noises at all. But maybe the manager or someone else already reported this, but I thought it best to call the police department just in case. I DO have my suspect, Wattson:

That would be Scooter, my Bohemian neighbor Karlsen’s meth-freak acquaintance who’s been hollering and whistling up at his window the past two weeks, and for a couple nights in a row yelling at him with threats and expletives, sauntering to and fro out front like an enraged bull. Of course I didn’t DARE step out, considering his stalking me last week, and his enraged remarks about the “stupid homeless” that day I first met him sitting on a bench beside Karlsen…where one was smoking meth, the other swigging on cheap vodka from a plastic bottle concealed in his jacket.

During all this time, Karlsen never responded to Scooter’s calls, most likely because he wants nothing to do with him anymore. For several days prior to my noticing the blood smear by the landing, Scooter had become subdued, no longer loudly calling out to Karlsen, or cussing at him…then suddenly disappeared starting the night before those blood marks showed up. Gee, what a ko-inky-dink! Yet strangely enough:

Five days ago I DID see Karlsen speaking with Scooter, out there by the ATMs as I entered my building. No argument going on, they appeared serene…but what do I know, I only saw them for a couple of seconds before slipping through the gate pronto. And had NO idea what their verbal exchange entailed. So now I wonder:

What kind of fuck-up IS this Karlsen, telling me when we first spoke some months back that he’s hiding out from a group of Hell’s Angels? Because he made some lady friend of theirs pregnant and skipped off…and then he brings this creepy Scooter guy around, intimidating and disturbing ALL the residents of this faux-castellated edifice. What a way for a new neighbor to introduce himself! Be that as it may:

Eight days ago on my way to Rosenberg’s for my early-bird java, I had the additional misfortune of discovering Scooter crashed out by my building, stretched out and snoring in that small recess of the corner eatery below, with the idiotic name of “Super Duper.” Attached is a pic of the clown. I was worried then, that he just might permanently lay down stakes on MY corner of the Castro, just my rotten luck. However, I haven’t seen him sleeping anywhere nearby, since that morning. Whew!

Click here for a larger view.

After speaking with one of SF’s finest I put down the phone and looked out the window to see Chihuahua Man enter, so I stepped into the hallway and waited for him to come upstairs. Upon which I asked him if he knows what happened to cause that blood smear by the landing. He says he has no idea, and I told him there are also blood spots just outside the front gate, and in the lobby, which he said he didn’t notice. And that I’m waiting on the police right now to look it over. He was cordial enough, but he said no more and disappeared up the stairs with his fairy pooches. Be that as it may:

Evidence suggests a resident was stabbed by the front gate, then entered and climbed up the stairs. But Kevin didn’t post any alert in the lobby, and his NOT cleaning up the blood strikes me as peculiar…and I’m sure unnerving to ALL tenants. Conclusion:

Hotel California North continues to live up to its reputation as a sketchy locale with dank overtones of Gothic horror and intrigue. And that good ol’ wobbly standing-on-his-last-legs Kevin may be hiding something.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Perhaps I won’t even bring this up to Deek, as that may cause him to fear having the pups ever stay with me again. But OTOH it may be important for him to know to stay away from Scooter, for his and the pups’ safety!

Add to this story with your insightful comment:

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: