The FINAL Final Final Chapter (part 14)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 19n]

Subject: Still waiting on the cops!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 7:06 PM

Can’t figure out why my phone no longer alerts me, but I just checked the history to discover I missed a call about 20 minutes ago. An Officer Gomez left a voicemail and said he doesn’t know what the police can do for me, but call back when I can. My phone shows that number to be “restricted,” so he doesn’t WANT me to call him back directly. Which means I’ll have to dial the non-emergency number again and wait until they answer.

So I called non-emergency again, and they said they came over, but I wasn’t around…but the can try again. I said thank you, I appreciate that. Meanwhile, I switched my phone to cell service only, turned off wifi, and made sure the ringer was on, and loud. I stepped outside and made a call to myself, and yes, the cell service works. So now I’m waiting on the police to arrive.

But when I walked down the stairs a few moments ago, I saw that someone had washed off the blood stain on the wall! However, blood drops still remain by the gate, and in the lobby. I have just downloaded the pic of the blood stain onto my phone, so I can show them.

I think they should do a wellness check on Karlsen, to see if he’s been stabbed. Then they should contact the building manager and ask what this blood trail is all about.

Will keep you updated. Ta-ta!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Still waiting on the cops!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 7:49 PM

> Jeeziz!!!!

I know! Between the frustration with getting the blood trail missive posted to you, my phone flaking out, the cops missing me, and now the blood smear being washed away…I’d say the poltergeist of Hotel California North are having a hearty laugh at my expense. Oh, and one more thing:

Scooter showed up a half hour ago, and whistled up to Karlsen’s window! He’s not loud or shrill about summoning him anymore, but still…who wants the fuckhead around?

Still waiting on the cops.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: New blood streak…unbelievable!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 10:19 PM

I KNOW it wasn’t there before, I surely would have noticed it, it’s right in your face! Located on the wall halfway between the first landing and the lobby. I was about to step out to pick up some groceries, when I turned the stairway corner and BLAM there it was! So I returned hovel to get my Power Shot camera and take this pic. What the fuck is going on?

Another resident just entered the lobby after I took that photo: don’t know her name, but she’s M2F transgender, is very nice and has lived here for at least two decades. So I asked her if she knows anything about that blood stain on the wall, the one that disappeared earlier today. She said no she didn’t, and I pointed out the blood spots on the lobby floor, and outside the gate.

I then pointed at this NEW stain and said it just appeared less than an hour ago. She said THAT wasn’t there before, affirming my sanity. Upon departing for the gate, I said sorry to bother you and she replied, no that’s fine honey, you have a lovely night.

Well, at least I have another wall stain to show the cops if they ever drop by. Which is unlikely at this point, and I’m not gonna bother calling them again.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: New blood streak…unbelievable! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 10:33 PM

The clot thickens.


Subject: SFPD just called me, but…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 18, 2022 at 10:33 PM

…after hearing my story, she said it’s not an actual crime that would be something the police would look into. I told her well, I understand but thanks for calling. She made a few lame suggestions about talking with the building manager or a neighbor or two. I explained I can’t speak with the manager due to a lawsuit, and that I DID talk to two residents, but they didn’t seem the least bit alarmed, let alone curious. She ended by telling me if anything else comes up that appears suspicious, give them a call anyway.

Maybe I’m overreacting here, maybe someone’s just smearing the walls with strawberry jam, and I’m a monkey’s aunt. At least I know my phone is working again.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Now this outside my window, looking up at me.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2022 at 11:11 PM

Don’t know what to make of it, I don’t even have any idea with the OB stands for. It’s funny though.


Subject: Yet aNOTHER blood streak this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 10:04 AM

…as I walked down the hallway; this appeared on a neighbor’s door. Things are gettin’ too damned serious for THIS nerve-jangled pilgrim! Even weirder, someone had washed it off less than an hour later.


Re: New blood streak…unbelievable!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 2:41 PM

> Sure looks like actual blood. has that slight rusty tinge, and the smear looks unplanned.

It’s also kinda high up, like from someone’s head, or arm/hand raised. Maybe someone is intentionally smearing the walls? Otherwise it looks like the victim was staggering on the way up (or down), pressed against the wall. Perhaps trying to fend off the attacker.

Well, our handyman, Victor, just washed it off after noting it wasn’t there before yesterday. Which I find VERY strange, because that indicates a repeat incident. Something hokey about that idea, though.

I had a good talk with him; turns out he also removed the other stain, by the landing. So I asked him if he knows how the blood got there, ’cause it looks to me by the blood drops outside and in the lobby, that a tenant got stabbed while entering the building.

He agreed with my theory, but admitted he has no idea what went on. Did you talk to Kevin about this, I asked, and he said no he didn’t (who BTW I haven’t seen hide or hair of for the past four days). Then I explained I can’t speak with him myself, due to my current lawsuit, which I then described in a quick outline. I told him he might be going senile, as other residents are upset at him, though for different reasons. And guess what, Wattson: he agreed! Well, Kevin HAS spoken harsh words to him at least once, which I’ve witnessed…and that was around four years ago.

I then told him about Karlsen’s “friend,” Scooter, and how dangerous his friend is, due to a combination of smoking meth and a short, explosive temper. And I suspect the blood trail was the result of Scooter stabbing Karlsen. Victor also agree about the sketchiness of those two, and listened to my tale wholeheartedly. So I requested that he speak to Kevin about the blood stains, and Kevin’s friend Michael…seeing as I can’t talk to him myself.

“The important thing is what’s been recorded by the lobby camera, so bring that up with Kevin, too, if you can. Before too many days pass and the incident gets erased.”

I thanked Victor very much for listening, and added that if he doesn’t feel comfortable bringing any of this up to Kevin, don’t worry, I’ll understand. I also told him I contacted the police, hoping they’d drop by to check out the blood trail and talk with Kevin and, perhaps, Karlsen. But another officer called me a few hours later to cancel the visit because it’s not an actual crime I’ve witnessed.

I’m VERY glad I got to talk with Victor about this, as two residents I’ve already addressed on this matter weren’t the least bit interested. But dammit, if law enforcement had bothered to drop by, no question they’d demand the video recording to see for themselves!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Now this outside my window, looking up at me.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 2:33 PM

> Things are getting beyond weird in your zone!!!!!

Well it WAS twilight.

> I think it stands for “obese.”

Fat chance.


Re: Yet aNOTHER blood streak this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 2:44 PM

> INSIDE your building??????? Fucking Christ.

IT WAS A JOKE! I downloaded the image from a web page, certain you’d get the movie reference right off the bat. Or are you pulling MY leg now?


Re: Yet aNOTHER blood streak this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 4:13 PM

> Guess I missed the movie reference!

I am devastated. Here:


Re: Yet aNOTHER blood streak this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 5:08 PM

> Ah. I actually thought of Redrum and The Shining, but figured whoever had written it inside your building was imitating that!

My joke backfired, my world is crumbling before my very eyes.


Re: Yet aNOTHER blood streak this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2022 at 5:42 PM

> Au contraire! It was a stunning success!!

Aw shucks, you blew my cover, Morticia. Nonetheless:

My world was meant to crumble…’cause there’s a better one just around the corner. And for many others, as well. A tofu chicken in every pot, and pop-up tents for every tot!


Subject: Here’s the tent I finally went with.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:27 AM

Not a pop-up, but quick to assemble, 2-person tent by Coleman. Got it for $49 instead of the standard $79 because it has cosmetic imperfections. I think it’s a great deal. Also bought a $7 can of Coleman’s Seam Sealer to make extra sure I won’t suffer leakage during a heavy downpour. Though this model tests out very well for rainy weather, as one Youtuber and camping enthusiast has demonstrated:

I’ll do some practice runs in my room, setting up the tent, so I can assemble it outside ASAP. I’m more worried about Deek’s impatient nature, than I am about beating the rain. “C’mon, I gotta go, I’m in a rush, get the fuckin’ tent up already!”

I’ve actually discovered a new pastime: watching people set up their tents! I love the quirky personalities, the remarkable variety of tents, and overall joyfulness in their camping endeavors.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Just canceled Coleman tent order!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:22 PM

I looked over my Amazon order list this morning to discover the tent I purchased is for THREE people, not two…my mistake or theirs, I have no idea! But since it was just shipped (arrival in two more days) I couldn’t actually select “cancel,” but had to choose “return.” So now I gotta wait till it arrives, then march on down to UPS to send it back. Then it will take up to a week for my refund to show up in my account. THEN, and only then, will I order another tent. I decided to opt for a pop-up that is highly rated, and costs $122.

I didn’t think of this until a few days ago, but: anything larger, and Deek will probably try to get in the tent with me, declaring he’s not entering my building, so it’s okay. He’ll most likely be pushy about it, even with a 2-man tent. So THAT’S a problem I know I’ll have to deal with. He may even try to slip in late at night, while I’m sleeping (or at least trying to). Let’s hope he won’t retaliate to my firm “NOPE, dogs only!” by refusing to allow the pups sanctuary in my new tent. Which is stupid, because he’d benefit by letting me dog sit on NON-rainy nights so he can enjoy his solo bike rides. So a tent wouldn’t be JUST for the rains, but for cold days as well, or whenever he’d like a break from the dogs.

I also had to cancel my seam-sealant order, because it’s for the wrong material. The Coleman tent is nylon/polyester, while the Teton is taffeta.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Just canceled Coleman tent order!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2022 at 2:02 PM

> You’re absolutely right–that’s EXACTLY what he’d try to do. Maybe some bear spray? Kidding, kidding.

He’d probably force his way in, I’d have to push him out at which point he’ll start screaming I’m trying to rape him, or something akin to that. Which he kinda just did a coupla days ago…more on that later today. So I’d have to exit the tent, and he’d wind up walking off with it, and if the police showed up he’d claim it’s his, not mine. He’d make them think I tried to barge in on HIM and the pooches!

> Too bad, because a three-man (or three-wombyn) tent would be a great size.

Well, other reasons for not going larger than 2-person: takes longer to set up, cops frown on tents they perceive as too large and tell you to take it down, sticks out like a sore thumb when ya really wanna be discreet, more susceptible to windy gusts, more difficult (or impossible) to warm up w/your own body heat, greater potential for tears due to larger surface area, more floor space to cover up with comforters (so doggies won’t scratch it up), impossible to practice assembling it in my hovel.

> Still, I think the tent idea is truly inspired! And I still think it will result in great adventures!

Not if Deek acts shitty about it, as he does over so many things. I have been harboring much hatred towards him for so long…and all for good reason. He never lets up with the bullshit, doesn’t care to realize he’s just screwing himself over in the long run…and the sweet mutts as well, who are totally innocent and deserve better.

Well, let’s see how it goes, I’m getting a tent come hell or high water!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH HIS CRAP!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2022 at 4:44 PM

Jeez, I can’t believe I inadvertently posted this to the MCN discussion and announcement lists! Anyway, here’s the latest missive:

He came by a short while ago, asked me to watch the pups again, I said okay, but then he exploded and accused me of horrible things, screaming at me for over an hour, while the dogs shivered and huddled beside me in fear. He started by talking about the police driving all the homeless outta the Castro, people approaching him and saying those dogs need to be rescued off the streets, he’s not taking proper care of them.

I tried to tell him he needs to not let idiots upset his world, he can handle things better. Then he lashed into blaming me for being a phony activist, if I cared about him I’d have him staying over, blah blah blah.

I just sat there while he went on and on and on, sometimes interjecting doesn’t he have some chores to do, the pups’ll be fine with me. I also said he’s talking bullshit, playing the drama queen again, blaming others for their cruelty when he, himself, has also been VERY mean to me from time to time.

Then he said when I talk “phony” like that, he wants to kick the shit out of me, and ranted on LOUD for another half hour.

“You think this is a GAME, don’t you?” he scowled, “Well it’s NOT, and I don’t think I can take everyone’s bullshit any more, especially YOURS!”

He also accused me of hanging out in my room while the doggies were outside, which isn’t true. Told me his homeless friends said they didn’t see me with them at all. I rebutted by saying it’s a lie, and he’s making all that up.

Deek even screamed that he’s gonna get me evicted, even if he has to go to jail for doing that…and a whole bunch of OTHER horrid stuff.

I told him several times to stop screaming, he’s hurting the dogs. “I DON’T CARE! I DON’T CARE!” he hollered back.

“Well you should,” I replied, which holding Flaco and Lucky close to me.

He FINALLY departed, and I ran upstairs to take a piss and bring a couple of doggy blankets back down. Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson, he came back while I was upstairs and started hollering: “Zeke! Zeke Krahlin!” several times before I stepped back outside, and saw him riding off on his bike, with doggies in tow. So I called out:

“I just had to use the bathroom, Deek!”

“Fuck you! Fuck you!” was his only response as he disappeared up Market Street. His way of wanting to ACCUSE me of leaving the dogs out there by themselves.

Two days ago he also started screaming at the top of his lungs, when I told him he needs to not let the dogs shiver at night. He told me to shut up, he doesn’t wanna hear it, get outta his face. I did NOT, I just stood there and pointed to Flaco:

“You’re scaring her, Deek, with your screaming!”

I then stopped down to pet her, but he yanked her away and screamed: “Don’t touch my dogs, faggot!”

I admonished him, “DON’T DO THAT TO HER, SHE’S A SWEET DOGGY! THAT’S A FUCKED UP THING TO DO!”

Then he started screeching: “NO I DON’T WANNA SUCK YOUR DICK! GET AWAY FROM ME, I’M NOT A FAGGOT!” Which he repeated several times.

“Oh yes you are a faggot,” I replied, not in a holler, but loud enough to hear me above the din of traffic.

He then leapt up and tossed a faux swing at my head; I ducked with an arm held up…but refused to go. So he then picked up the two meals I brought the doggies, the bowl of water, and set the mutts atop his cushioned cart and marched off in anger. He didn’t notice he dropped his small battery pack in the street, so I ran up to grab it, then caught up with him and said “You dropped this.”

He said thank you, but kept pushing forward like a madman.

There’s a whole bunch of other things I plan to report, but Deek is moving so fast in a bad direction, I can’t keep up with it. So I just churned this out to get SOMEthing to you.

Oh, yeah, he also tossed into the mix how he can’t do a lot of things with the dogs always around, he loves them very much, but he’s gotta give ’em up. Accused me of making up the lawsuit ’cause I don’t really want to have the dogs over anymore.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH HIS CRAP!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2022 at 11:40 PM

> Well, it’s painful for me…

I guess SOME pain is always part of such ugly conflicts, but my point is to not let it rule the roost. Deek came back two hours later, I told him he didn’t need to depart in anger, I just had to go upstairs to take a piss. He was definitely more mellow, and this time I sat with the pups for a spell. QUITE a spell as it turned out, because he didn’t return until 11:15 PM…almost five fuckin’ hours! Unfortunately, he started ragging on me again, and I said I’m not gonna listen to his crap, I hope he has a good night. Again, he threatened to get me evicted, so I replied: “That’ll backfire on you, Deek.”

I actually had a very pleasant time before he returned, lying down with the dogs on the sidewalk…covered in a spare comforter I found on the streets a few weeks ago, the pooches were comfy and warm. I met some really nice people out there, too. But details will have to wait till tomorrow…I need to eat now and hit the hay.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Camping Out W/The Doggies Thursday Night: Lovely!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 1, 2022 at 2:10 PM

Before I begin my tale, check out the attached photo of the ATM station below my hovel. NO MORE ATMs! I heard through Deek they intend to seal off the alcove as well. End of an era, I suppose.

CAMPING OUT W/THE DOGGIES THURSDAY NIGHT: LOVELY!

Even Cerberus honored me with a quick hello in passing. About two hours into the campout behind my building, a stumpy, middle-aged Mexican fellow barreled ’round the corner with THREE large German shepherds, and with that, the pups rousted themselves from their warm covers and barked like there’s no tomorrow! I held their leashes so they couldn’t extend beyond a short radius. The shepherds did NOT make a sound, but were very curious, with one managing to get its nose within inches of Lucky’s as their owner pulled them forward with much effort and a boisterous “¡ÁNDALE! ¡ÁNDALE!

When I first began sitting the pups (around 6:30 PM), we just had some cardboard sheets to sit on, and a bowl of water. To my surprise, someone who had been my stalker and harasser years ago (though has avoided me since then, thank god) approached me from higher up the hill, where a dirty orange dome tent had been set up several days hence. And politely (get it? politely!) asked me if he knew the guy living in that tent, because he thinks that’s where a friend of his might be.

I looked up from where I sat and saw DEAN bent over me! I told him no, sorry, I have no idea who lives there. He then said thanks, and left. I was pleased to see no animosity coming from either his visage or body language. So that’s the first nice encounter I had while camped outside yesterday, with two more to go. After that brief exchange I returned upstairs to gather those four puppy blankets I recently purchased.

But before that occurred, and it was still daylight, someone who knows Deek (new friend I suppose) came by to say hello, as he did a few days earlier. His name is Wes, and he was looking for Deek because he sells “good bud” (his words, not mine, as I think otherwise, though perhaps Deek has upped his game lately). The guy’s average in height, slender, sports a ginger beard and bushy hair and wears eyeglasses and a blue baseball cap.

“Oh, he’s running errands,” I replied, “He’ll be back sooner or later, but I’m not sure when. I’m watching the dogs for him.”

Then he remarked how he saw the dogs sitting by themselves yesterday, and was wondering where Deek was. THAT explains Deek’s screaming at me that all his “people” claimed I never actually sit WITH the mutts, but hang out upstairs most of the time. I told him that’s a lie, I only run inside for a minute or two now and then to use the restroom, bring the pups more water or food, etc. So if any of his “people” saw them alone, it was because they didn’t bother to wait a brief while to witness my return.

I concluded that Deek was referring to Wes, who most likely spoke with him later, and Deek conflated that ONE person into MANY, just to guilt trip me, being the drama queen he is. But what I find curious is that, only a day after Deek’s accusation did that same person who informed him about the dogs sitting alone, approach me and bring it up. As if they’re playing me, as if this is a SCRIPT, and they’re having fun at my expense.

So I explained to Wes why he saw them unattended, but I never leave them alone for more than one or two minutes.

“Oh, I see,” he mused, “Well, I’ll leave you to your puppy time then.”

I told him he doesn’t have to leave right now, he’s welcome to visit. He cordially turned down the offer, but I’m glad to have touched bases with such a nice fellow, and the door is now open to have some company while I’m outdoors now and then. Flaco & Lucky take kindly to him, which is a boon. I also mentioned if he ever sees the pups stranded again, he’s also welcome to hang out there until I return.

Some time after Cerberus’s surprise visit, I decided to make myself more comfortable, along with the hounds…seeing as three hours had passed since Deek’s departure, it was now dark and the temperature had dropped to a slight chill. The mutts had those four doggy blankets to keep them warm and comfy, but I figured those thin blankets may not be enough. And we could ALL benefit by sharing that ultra large mattress cover I found a couple weeks ago and had bagged and slid beneath my cot for future use. Well, Wattson, the future had obviously arrived!

After spreading the cover over both my seated self and the pups (with ample material left over), I felt instantly warmed and lay down upon the large sheet of cardboard with my head nestled upon my folded backpack. Flaco was flush beside me, while Lucky had his head resting upon her rump. I caressed them both, scritched their necks, and sighed with delight to have them sleeping close by me again. A few minutes later Flaco stirred, so I pulled the cover over my head to see her gazing up at me through drowsy eyes, whereupon she extended herself to lick my face and ears with a thorough tongue wash.

It was a most pleasant night, partly because all the streetlamps on my block were out for some reason (and they are tonight, as well), but also because the air was delightfully clean with a chilly nip, and everyone strolling by was surprisingly mellow. Including those who passed within a few feet of me, walking up or down 16th Street, laughing and chatting merrily. I was fully hidden beneath the mattress cover, so I could be any old homeless person for all they knew.

I was amazed at how comfortable I felt, laying there on my side and peering out at the lovely sparks of various hues shimmering from traffic lights, some shop fronts and a billboard across the street. I could even see the pinpoint of a single star shimmering right above in the dark cerulean canopy. A bit later, Lucky roused himself to take some slurps of water, and finish what remained of his meal. I held up a corner of the cover to ease his return beside his darling sister. Then some few minutes later Flaco did same, and I did as well. She rolled partly over on her left side, an invite to rub her belly. Ah, this is the life!

I laid stretched out on the sidewalk like this for almost forty minutes, before I sat up again and decided to return hovel to don a warm jacket, a watch cap, and a pair of socks (for I was wearing sandals and my feet felt cold). Once I got back to my spot, I sat up with the pups nuzzled beside me beneath the weighty cover, and enjoyed the ambiance of the gentle, cool night with gleeful people passing by…as if my world had magically transitioned into a planet of peace and harmony at some point during this spontaneous campout.

Around this time, some grubby-looking fellow came walking by and grouched at me: “I can’t stand it when people leave a mess around my tent!”

So THIS was the person Dean was looking for, I realized. “Yeah, I know what you mean,” I simply replied.

He didn’t stop to chat (to my relief), but returned to his tent after discarding, I guess, what unwelcome debris he was griping about. He DID, however, drift by me several times through the evening, including one fly-by on a Lime electric scooter. Which scooters have proven to be a boon to vagrants, albeit NOT the original intent of the companies that distribute them throughout the city. After all, street folks cannot be burdened by lugging around their OWN scooters (if they could even afford them), but for a few dollars each time they get around the city with ease, whether to run chores or for sheer recreation. More efficient drug runs, too, I suppose. Hope I’m not being too judgmental here.

It was only minutes later when two, nicely dressed men (one middle-aged, the other in his thirties) approached me with a smile and an extended hand, both gay I’m sure. They wore some kind of badge on their lapels, and for a moment I thought they were going to ask me to move, but in a second flash I realized who they were before either opened his mouth: the HOT (Homeless Outreach Team)!

The older fellow, Roger, did all the talking while his companion quietly stood there with a thoughtful smile. Upon introducing themselves and their reason for being out here, I interrupted to explain I’m not really homeless, but am friends with someone who is, who owns these dogs. They were amazed at my dedication to the LGBT homeless, as I described my mission of many years and my Brindlekin Tales inspired by these two, lovely pooches. They were even kind enough to hear my “Bodhisaatva Premise” inspired by Buddha’s teachings and Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes and “hero’s journey.”

“And this is MY heroic odyssey!” I exclaimed with raised arms encompassing the circle of the bundled, snoozing pups and myself.

“You certainly have the pizzazz!” Roger remarked in a jovial spirit.

“Thank you for acknowledging that,” I replied. “But get this: my Brindlekin Tales are just the latest addition to a much larger body of works that I call–drum roll–True Tales of the Castro, Eat Your Heart Out Armistead!”

Well, THAT really cracked ’em up, Wattson. Before they departed, I invited the two gentlemen to drop on by whenever they see me out here. It hadn’t occurred to me till the next day that Kismet has deemed I sit outdoors with the hounds, that I get better known so my cause will inspire a more compassionate and effective method of reaching out to the homeless. I am ALSO amused by residents of my building seeing me camped out on the sidewalk like any OTHER houseless person. I can imagine the gossip reaching Kevin’s ear! I will make a point from now on, to bring my Brindlekin cards with me whenever I’m sitting the dogs.

Soon after the two HOT ambassadors continued on their OWN mission, I rushed back hovel to bring down a half-full bag of popcorn, some slices of extra sharp cheddar chase, and a paper cup filled with root beer. Before exiting my hovel, I glanced at the clock to see it was 10:05 PM. I had already accepted the possibility that Deek may have decided to fuck with me and wasn’t planning to show up till morning. So I figured I was in it for the long haul, but was nonetheless in an unexpectedly pleasant state of mind. Doggy love can do that to a person!

Barely two minutes into my nosh, sitting there with the hounds and enjoying the nighttime ambiance, Deek finally appeared like a vision out of Purgatory. For no sooner had I greeted him in good cheer, than he flew off the handle with a litany of hostile gripes and false accusations. I think partly because he saw how much I was enjoying myself, when he expected me to whine over how long I was stuck outside! It would be way tedious and burdensome for THIS overwhelmed pilgrim to jot down every one of his petty grievances, but here’s a quick rundown of SOME of them:

“I love these dogs but they’re stopping me from getting ahead, I can’t go anywhere with them. They’ve been banned from your building because you fucked up.”

“I have no family anymore, they’re all dead. And what happened to the kids I left behind, they could be dead, too, or in prison.”

“I’m sick of your god bless you this and god bless you that.”

“You don’t even believe in God, you were wearing that Buddha necklace.”

“You’re no real activist, you’re no wise man aiding the homeless, you’re just a sack of bullshit.”

“You think this is funny, huh? You’re going back to your cozy little room now, with your Internet, and I’m still out here on the streets, you were supposed to have millions of dollars by now and I’d have my own place to live!”

“I’m gonna get you evicted, just wait and see, even if I have to go to jail for that!”

I had been packing my things as he ranted on, including the doggy blankets. Though when I noticed he had NOTHING comfy for them in the shopping cart, and it was a chilly night, I offered him the mattress cover. He paused to say yes, thank you, amid his outbursts, so I unpacked it and laid it down beside the pups who eagerly fluffed it up and settled in again.

I DID manage to get some words in edgewise, such as:

“These wonderful doggies are a gift from God, can’t you see that? They are your heart and soul. They’d die of heartbreak if you abandoned them.”

“My family’s dead, too, except my brother, but he’s dead to me anyway.”

“I really mean it when I say god bless you and your little family.”

“Of course I believe in God, the Buddha is just a wise man.”

“There are many different ways to be an activist, Deek.”

“Well, yes, you ARE kinda funny, because you’re spewing nothing but bullshit, and I refuse to fall for it.”

“May as well cut off your own legs with an axe than get me evicted, you’ll be better off.”

It was towards the end of this meetup I took the opportunity to tell him he can scream at me all he wants, even throw water at me…just don’t do it in front of the dogs, PLEASE.

To which he responded: “But I’m NOT yelling!”

I stopped then to realize that was indeed quite true, he hadn’t raised his voice one whit throughout his latest prolonged hissy fit. His way of telling me he IS listening to that advice, and it pleased me no end, especially since neither pooch appeared distraught this time around. Now if only he’d take my OTHER advice to always keep the dogs warm and comfy…I just don’t understand why he has a problem with that.

Anyway, I finally grew tired of listening to his nonsense while standing there with my trash bag stuffed with doggy blankets and snacks. So I told him I’ve heard enough of his crap, it’s a beautiful night, I hope he can enjoy it instead of wallowing in misery. And with that I disappeared around the corner as he resumed his rants which did NOT diminish till I neared the front gate.

As I dwelt upon his phony allegations once hovel, I concluded this was all an act, a script…and he really wasn’t the least bit upset. The big clue was his bringing up the Buddha medallion, seeing as he GIFTED me with it, and even asked to wear it himself a few days later; and he sported it with pride, even adding a dragon medallion to complement the Buddha. In recalling this, we’re going back a year-and-a-half as noted by my video, “Deek & the Buddha Necklace:”

So the next day (yesterday) he dropped by with several gizmos to charge: a cheap speaker (’cause on the large size but lightweight), two battery packs and an old smartphone with several cracks on the screen. He still had the king-sized bed cover which I asked to take back so I could use it next time I dog sit…especially since his cart was now bulging with comfy material to keep the pups warm. He said fine, so I folded it up and returned hovel with that, and plugged in those four devices.

I needed to put music onto this “new” phone, so I turned it off, removed the back cover and saw I needed to first remove the battery. Then, once having snapped the phone back together, I turned it back on so I could make sure the micro card was recognized, and the music would play. But to my dismay, the device wouldn’t even start up, though its charge was 17 percent when he gave it to me! I fussed with it for awhile, hoping it would finally activate, but no luck. I knew then what was in store for me as I returned downstairs to tell Deek the bad news.

I explained to him how I turned the phone off to insert the music chip, but now it won’t turn on. Of course he went into a rage (but this time not really screaming, just like last night, thank Glob):

“I don’t need to hear this! You broke it!”

“I don’t see how I could, Deek,” I reasoned with him. “You never know when these old, worn out phones will die on you!”

He then attempted to remove the back part to see what could be done, if anything, but he was too shaky with faux rage to do that, so handed it back to me. I deftly unsnapped the device and returned it to his hand, now open.

He briefly examined it, then declared: “WHAT? There’s no battery, what did you do with it?”

I then did a face palm: “Oh, sorry, I spaced out and forgot to put the battery back in.” I then turned to enter the gate, reassuring him that everything’s hunky-dory before returning upstairs.

That was kinda funny, Wattson…though he probably thinks I did that intentionally, to work his nerves. Which of course I didn’t, but it turned out to be an excellent test of his emotional quotient. He did NOT fly into a screeching fury in spite of the possible expiration of his “new” smartphone. “I paid twenny dollah for this!” was one of his retorts when I returned with the phone…just to lay another guilt trip on me. NO WAY would someone charge him cash for a phone in such cruddy shape! Maybe a trade for a few deep puffs of pot or meth, or five cigarettes, somethin’ like that. Most likely, though, he found it in the trash or discarded on the sidewalk. Be that as it may:

The phone worked fine after I reinserted the battery: the micro chip was promptly recognized, and the rap songs played loud and clear. Deek hanged out below for an hour or so, where I brought the mutts their meal and a bowl of water. He later called up to my window to inform me he’s moving around the corner because a Wells Fargo worker had cordoned off the ATM alcove and set up a ladder.

Almost another hour had passed before I decided to fill an empty 2-liter soda bottle with water, to replenish the dog’s bowl if need be. To my delight, I saw four cleanly attired men seated around Deek and canines, about twenty feet up 16th Street. They were all on the large size, six feet or a bit taller, and appeared peaceful…one of them smiled at me and raised a hand in greeting.

Deek addressed me where I stood at the corner, beside his Safeway shopping cart. Told me the hounds still have enough water in the bowl, just set it beside the cart. So I did, then returned upstairs. My intent was not to impose myself upon his friendly powwow, but to just drop off the bottle. Mission achieved. Some time later, he picked up his electronics and took off for parts unknown.

He may not show up at all today, but if he does, at least he’s given me enough time to complete this, my latest Brindlekin Tale. Including spellcheck.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I can get a second, cheaper tent for the fair weather. Doesn’t even need to be a pop-up, as there’d be no rush to set it up because no rain to contend with. I already have three heavy duty plastic tarps, one of which I can set on the concrete, so neither the dogs nor my clothing get dirty, or exposed to any nasty gunk that may be present. It will be MUCH easier to use a tent every time I dog sit, rather than be totally “out there” on the sidewalk. I can place a second tarp onto the tent floor, then toss those doggy blankets atop that. I can then lie down or play with the doggies, or just sit up and watch the world go by. Heck, I could even bring my Chromebook down and type out my latest story or watch some videos or a movie!


Re: Camping Out W/The Doggies Thursday Night: Lovely!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 1, 2022 at 7:10 PM

> Great story.

Wasn’t it? Opening it with the sudden appearance of Cerburus was pure inspiration! The pudgy Mexican dude guiding them and calling out “¡Ándele!¡Ándele!” was a reference to Speedy Gonzalez, famous for the expression “¡Ándele! ¡Ándele! ¡Árriba! ¡Árriba!”

> I especially like the part where you lie there peacefully, getting a homeless-eye view of the world, and finding it all quite serene…

I felt SO refreshed for the adventure, with two darling pooches resting in bliss by my side.

> and the conversation with the two outreach guys!

Wasn’t THAT something else, Wattson. Right on Day 1 of my outdoor project!

> See? You’re already having great adventures.

Indeed I am, as you predicted…all unanticipated, and started right off the bat. Can’t wait to do it again! I’m changing my diet to accommodate this new reality, purchasing foods that are easy to slap together in a minute or two and take outdoors to eat. Such as whole wheat pita bread smeared with avocado-cilantro hummus I found at that Palestinian corner store. Assuming I’ll acquire a collection of homeless friends who are decent, I’ll have no worries at all about leaving the pups for brief errands to my building, since there will always be SOMEone kind to keep them company. May take a little time, though, to get the process going, but I’m off to a good start with Wes. Regarding the Homeless Outreach Team:

Therein lies the possibility of someone connected with them who also lives in the neighborhood, offering to provide the pups with indoor shelter from time to time, and a backyard to play around in. Maybe even more than one kind offer! Looks like my playing homeless with the doggies will pave the way towards their becoming the Mascots of the Castro! Local news coverage would be great, too, as word of mouth about my personalized activism spreads. People impressed by my efforts may be moved to help provide for the pooches with food, blankets, sweaters and so on.

Things may move so quickly that my being on the streets could turn out to be surprisingly brief, before Lucky & Flaco will be taken care of by dozens of locals, maybe even hundreds…and housed every night! Deek willing, that is, because he’d most likely want to spend SOME nights with his furry angels on his outdoor treks. In which case so many people will know him and the pups by then, they’ll be watched over by many, thus drastically reducing any potential harm from living outdoors.

There will also be less animosity towards Deek for being houseless, and more outreach on a compassionate level. Such goodwill can’t HELP but spill over towards OTHER homeless folks in the area…starting with his OWN friends. Which will have a tremendously STABILIZING impact on the long suffering vagrants who’ve made the Castro their home. And eventually radiate across the entire city.

There are many shamans living on the streets, and they’re waiting for me to join. Not as one more homeless person, but as a vital intermediary. They’re quite an exclusive group, and you just can’t become a member without first proving your good intentions, efforts and sacrifices. I know these past several months at least dozens of them have witnessed my constant outreach to Deek (and others, though of a lesser degree since my focus is on one person only, who takes up most of my time and energy). It will be a magnanimous HONOR to be welcomed into the fold! Especially after all the difficult tests Deek has put me through.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I forgot to mention in my previous post that when I sat outside with the pups for a couple of hours in the afternoon, three days ago, some fellow with a fancy camera on a stand showed up on the corner to take our picture. Didn’t introduce himself, but kept his distance some twenty feet away. I think he snapped several shots, then departed…but not without a quick wave of the hand before disappearing up Market Street. I wonder where those photos will show up?

ADDENDUM

And ya know what, good doctor? Deek knew EXACTLY what he was doing by leaving me out there for so many hours!

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