Marshall Resumes Reading My Tales

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 17]

Re: A Scammer & A Scooter
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 10, 2022 at 10:56 PM

> Another fine piece of work.

Thanks! I had an especially fun time describing my artsy-fartsy shopping cart (were I homeless), and my pariah status thanks to the simpletons all around me, who are financially privileged.

> Scooter looks sinister even from behind.

Indeed he does. And he often glances up at my window, whenever he’s out front calling up to the Bohemian POS. At least he doesn’t holler my name out, too…he tried that once, but I ignored him. And he does not approach me when he sees me coming or going, or hangin’ with the pups, even when Deek is not around. I think I sufficiently scared him off, as he sees I’m not the type to be pushed around and WILL take action if need be.

> Karlsen appears to be a sad wreck of a human being. The short videos and pics are fascinating glimpses.

He’s still not back and with any luck, he’ll give up the phantom while at UCSF Medical Center. That means no more Scooter, either. Unless he sees my building as a honeypot and tries to hook up with someone else who lives there (unlikely, TG)…or has come to favor this neighborhood and my corner in particular. *shudder*

Seeing as Karlsen is highly stressed out by Scooter’s persistent intrusion on his world, such pressure may be what pushes him over the edge and into the grave. In which case I’d say Scooter is serving a useful purpose, like a scavenging hyena on Wild Kingdom. Or a Grim Reaper proxy from the Twilight Zone, ready to escort a foolish man to the depths of Gehenna. Maybe Karlsen faked an emergency and called 911 just to get away from him! Particularly satisfying was hearing one EMT who placed Karlsen into the ambulance say to Scooter:

“Oh, no, you can’t visit him because of the covid restrictions.”

And what was that trail of blood in my building all about, anyway? The Friendly Ghost Detective Agency needs to know!

Deek has not dropped by yesterday or today, and I’m concerned he may be in an ungodly snit about the “missing” $20. Though he’d be faking it, if that were the case, in an attempt to bully extra cash outta me. Which will NEVER happen, even if he brings some dumb lug along to intimidate me. Besides that:

He’s not gonna like it one whit when my food stamp supplement drops back down to $20/month from $220, and I’ll have to reduce his allowance accordingly: to $80/week instead of $100. But I told him very clearly when I increased his stipend, that it’s only temporary, and why. It’s quite possible the reduction has already begun, this month…but I won’t know until November arrives. The nights and days are getting cold again, and I weep for Flaco & Lucky, for the unkind master they are leashed to.

My swivel chair broke last night…the right-side armrest suddenly snapped, making the seat wobbly and difficult to sit upon without falling over. So I’m now perched upon the 5-gallon tub I purchased last year from Amazon, the one with a toilet seat lid. Hopefully, I’ll be able to scrounge up a decent chair soon, one discarded on the street somewhere. A metal folding chair would be nice, as it will hold me over until someone dumps another cushy swivel chair in reasonably good condition, outside their home. King Zeke needs his throne!

I just watched a Youtube video called “Why the Internet Makes Us Lonely,” and it made some good points. So I decided to reply to one person’s thoughtful comment, like so:

> It's also been shown that internet interaction does not compare to or replace face-to-face interaction.

That explains why, as an activist for the homeless for more than 4 decades, I have wound up having friends who all live on the streets. They're the only group of people for whom the Internet does not play a large role in their lives, and still base their world on face-to-face interaction.

One thing to be grateful for, though:

At least that damn skin tag on my neck has finally disappeared, hopefully for good! Once it got down to a tiny nub, it took forever to diminish into nothing as I dabbed a spot of tea tree lotion onto it twice a day. Would be just my luck if another one starts growing, this time on my nose. It would be the pièce de résistance that completes the village folks’ suspicion they’ve had all along, that I’m a witch! Well, at least I’ll have a place to hang my keys where they’ll always be in sight.

And my tales are more fantabulous than ever! Glad to delight a kindred soul like you, Morticia, with these stories, as a balm to ease your OWN ridiculous burdens. Some day, they will touch many other hearts.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: What a Mess!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2022 at 1:03 PM

Here’s a pic of what I’m talking about:

Click here for a larger view.

Scampy is on the right, but I don’t know who the other person is, though I’ve seen him around. What DID catch my eye among the rubbish is a folding deck chair…which will do in a pinch for my own chair-ful need until I get something better! However, in the last hour or so since I took that snapshot, they’re still out there and Scampy is sitting on that chair. With any luck, it’ll be left behind later in the day and I can procure the goods. I keep checking via the hallway window to see if they’ve left, but they’re still out there. Several indigents have parked there for the past two days, who’ve set up what I call a hobo street sale. Looks like they’re having another sale this afternoon, though they didn’t camp out there last night. Here’s what’s going on right now, three street people moving junk around down there, rather pointlessly it seems:

And for your delectation, I thought I’d throw in a video of yet another lost soul talking to himself (or an imaginary companion) below my window:

What a nuisance to wake up to, and ruin an otherwise quiet morning! No jackhammers, no huge delivery truck vrooming outside, no rap music blasting…just this asshole.

Oh, regarding the appointment I made with VetSOS for Deek’s dog Lucky: it’s scheduled for November 14th. But seeing as he’s required to bring a signed note from a social worker this time around, which he refuses to do, I canceled it, with the following email I posted three days ago:

“I was disappointed to learn that Deek has not followed up with finding a social worker, and refuses to do so per our conversation yesterday. Perhaps he’ll have a change of heart, but I don’t think so, as he’s quite stubborn. So go ahead and cancel the appointment. I know there’s only so much your organization can do, and understand this restriction. Thanks again for your compassionate work. Fortunately, the doggies are just fine, his worry was unfounded.”

Not that Deek even bothered to ask if I got an appointment set up for him, nor have I even brought it up. November 14th’s an awfully long way off for an emergency, anyway…obviously they only do vaccinations, medications and checkups. His ONLY option, as I said before, is to rush over to the ASPCA emergency clinic. You don’t need a social worker’s approval for that.

I was sure Deek would wake me up today, but no, and the whereabouts of him and pups remain unknown. But I’ll bet you dollars to donuts he’s conjuring up another flimsy justification for demanding a hundred buckazoids advance payment, which would make this the third time in a row. NOT gonna happen, no matter the hissy fit he’ll probably play out. He swore he wouldn’t do it again the last time around, and I’ll hold him to it. But you never know: he just might decide to not give me any grief over this, and resume our usual meetups in peace. THAT would be a relief beyond measure!

Last night it occurred to me that my Scooter piece is another scary tale that Youtube narrator Skeptical Crow may enjoy reading and posting to her channel! So I’ll get on top of this later today. I’m gonna call it:

“Scooter & the Trail of Blood (a true scary tale of recent vintage with no resolution at hand; maybe there’ll be a second part and I’ll still be alive to tell it).”

Now get this, Wattson: last night a couple of hours after I had removed my defunct office chair and replaced it with that bucket, I stood up to peer out my window ’cause I heard a dog bark that sounded like Flaco. Alas, it wasn’t her, so I returned to my work station and plunked myself down into the chair that was no longer present, and fell off the bucket with a resounding “thunk” onto the splintery, filthy old softwood floor! Fortunately, I’m in the envious possession of a solid, firm derrière that absorbed the entire shock like a plush cushion, and I came out of it unscathed and pain free.

“Gee, thanks for nothing!” I spoke aloud to my invisible bodhisattva guardians as I stood back up and set the bucket aright. No doubt they were having a most hearty laugh over pulling the seat from under me! How much longer is this going to happen, I wonder, whenever I’m in a drowsy state of mind? The need for a new chair is indubitably urgent, good doctor!

And finally, two remarks about me from Marshall McGee on his latest “Memo of the Weird” podcasts, the first being constructive criticism on his show dated September 30th, like so:

“Okay, um, Ezekiel…wrote…and I haven’t read anything on the air by Ezekiel for such a long time because he has his own folder in my, uh, email program because he sends like, you know, two or three dozen posts to the announce list serve every day, and it’s just…it’s frustrating because he’s not STUPID. I don’t know what the thing is, he doesn’t seem to…why? And most of the posts are just a link to some article that he liked. Put it all together and send it all in one post! You get the same job done and don’t bug anybody.”

The second remark aimed towards yours truly came on his next show one week later: highly complimentary though preceded by a wrist slap, like so:

“Another exception I’ve been making to embracing people’s total chaotic freedom to paint MY world with their own shit has been Ezekiel, who for all his faults never struck me as dangerous or scary, just lonely and working through trauma and genuinely CREATIVE. So I’ll be reading another of his stories of his current life, and travails in dog and homeless person fellowship a little later on in the show, and probably next week too, and the week after that, put him on the air in person if we ever get the phone thing fixed.”

1:00 PM and still no Deek, but I got a ton of writing done in the past two+ days during his troubling absence. I hope he comes around ASAP. No one else can deal with his bullshit except THIS pro-transient, intransigent pilgrim! Besides, I miss the brindle mutts already…as I always start to do mere seconds after they depart for the nonce.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Jeez, look how clean they left it, quite impressive. You wouldn’t even know anyone was ever there, and held a hobo sale to boot:

Click here for a larger view.

But I missed the chance to snap up that deck chair! Oh, well, they probably needed it. And I just got this reply from VetSOS:

“Thank you for letting me know and for looking after your friend and his dog.”

So I just posted back:

“Oh, I’m very inspired: [link inserted to my Brindlekin Tales page].”

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

Subject: GOT MY CHAIR!! (see pic)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2022 at 7:27 PM

It’s the cheapest kinda chair you can get, but hey, it’s a step above a bucket! It will do for now, that I can bide my time waiting for a cushy swivel chair to manifest. The chair’s now covered with a decorative cloth, but it’s so lightweight I wouldn’t dream of just plunking my ass on it, like dropping a bowling ball onto a Tonka truck!

There were actually two OTHER chairs out there, believe it or not, but the one I picked was the best of the lot. The second one was all metal, with a concave, meshed back, but it was way rusty. And the third chair sported a cushion seat, though ragged and filthy. So the folding chair was just right, and Goldilocks Zeke made herself home in it!

What’s so funny is I also found a pristine pair of sneakers on my way to the bank, shortly before I returned hovel to discover a suitable chair in the ATM nook. I saw them lying beneath a tree, picked them up for a sniff: no stink at all. Then sat down on a doorstep and tried them on: perfect fit! So I dropped them into my backpack and continued my short trek, elated for the find.

Upon my return from the bank, I stopped by Morey’s corner store to purchase a couple of items. As he rung ’em up, I stood back with outstretched arms and asked if he likes my military look, for I was wearing the khaki jacket Deek gave me.

“Is that from Russia?” he queried. (Amusing first question to ask, eh, good doctor?)

“I have no idea,” I replied. “It’s a gift from Deek, so god only knows WHERE he got it, maybe in the Mission or UN Plaza, probably black market ’cause he does a lot of wheeling and dealing on the streets. I never ask him ANY questions when it comes to whatever gift he brings my way!” (Not to mention the myriad devices he has me charge.)

I then told Morey it doesn’t close in front, it’s too narrow but I didn’t have the heart to tell Deek since he presented it to me in honor of a soldier I once loved.

“Is there a label in the back?” he persisted.

So I removed it to discover a label not on the back, but on the lining side of the right pocket.

“I can’t read it though,” I said while holding it before my squinting eyes, “not without my spectacles!”

Morey then whipped out a magnifying glass from below the till (hmm, a touch of the Sherlock in that fellow, too!), and told me to lay it down on the counter so he could take a closer look. But as you can see by the pic, it only states instructions on how to keep the jacket in tip-top shape, and nothing else. Well, so much for its Russian origin!

But my whole reason for wearing that coat was to make a statement to Morey that I’m not REALLY a prisoner of Deek’s demands, as there is more to it than that, which includes kindness. And I figured VISUAL proof would have a better impact over VERBAL. After all, Wattson:

One picture IS worth a thousand words!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Well THAT was a corny ending to this missive, but I like it anyway. Please pass the borscht, comrade Wattson.

Re: He’s not stupid!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2022 at 7:36 PM

> Damn! Pretty good advice!

I don’t know about that…I did it to stir up the boobies. He has no idea the kind of crap I have to put up with in the discussion list, and then there are the anti-vaxxers and other assorted fruitcakes on the announcement list. The ONLY reason I decided to cease and desist, was because Marshall’s offer was too great a boon to turn down. But I DO think the way he went about it was hilarious, and worth a transcript in my latest chapter.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Spare Change of Heart
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2022 at 9:04 PM

I just might give him the “twenny dollah” as he calls it. And here’s how it will go down:

He’ll make some wise crack about my ripping him off of a Jackson, and I will answer back thusly:

“All this fuss over a lousy twenty dollar bill, even though I give you THOUSANDS of dollars a year? I don’t know, Deek, you sound awfully childish to me!”

And he’ll make some kind of indignant comeback, to which I will respond:

“Well, tell ya what, Deek. Hows about I return that military jacket so you can sell it. After all, you said you could get at LEAST $20 for it. Does that work for you?”

He’ll probably lower his head and mutter something like, “Nah, I don’t wanna do that. It’s a gift I really want you to have.”

Though he just possibly might catch me off guard and say, “Okay, I can roll with that!”

In which case I’ll reply: “Hmm, I have a better idea,” and then proceed as I had planned anyway:

“I still don’t believe I gypped you out of your money, but I’m gonna let it slide and give it to you just the same, and for a very good reason you can’t imagine.”

“Oh, what reason is that?” he’ll ask, perplexed.

“Because during our argument, you did not raise your voice one single time in front of the dogs. And THAT, my brother, is worth twenty dollars to me! Though realize this is a very tight month for me, budget wise, because I have to pay my publisher $69 every October to keep my book on the shelves.”

This solution is under the assumption, of course, that he won’t be screaming at me when he DOES finally show up and rag about what a shyster I am. I’ll have to play this by ear, Wattson. But don’t I always?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: GOT MY CHAIR!! (see pic)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2022 at 11:12 PM

> “Insist on it being properly pressed!” Oh, I love that!!

Sergeant 1st Class Orville P. Snorkel’s orders.

> Cannot believe those shoes. They look brand new.

Some wear shows inside, but not much. And I didn’t realize they’re Nikes till a couple hours later…NOT a cheap brand. Deek ALWAYS notices a person’s shoes, and he’ll see these on my feet and wonder where I got ’em. He won’t believe me when I say I found them, he’ll think I have plenty of money and accuse me of lying. End of day 3 since I’ve last seen him and the doggies.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Ha-ha!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 12, 2022 at 12:00 AM

I just noticed the sticker on the folding chair’s backrest: “Quality cannabis for quality people.” I was so preoccupied with just having a chair, any old chair, I didn’t pay attention to that detail until now, and I had covered it with a bolt of cloth anyway.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Fuck, he’s back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 12, 2022 at 12:41 PM

That’s Karlsen, in the red hat sitting at the bus stop. I looked out my window just a moment ago and was MOST disappointed to see his unsavory visage once again. The nightmare continues.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The $20 Fiasco Resolved!
From: Ezekiel Krahli
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2022 at 11:59 PM

Not the way I had planned, but in a similar vein albeit unexpected. And he did not even fly into a fury, but remained impressively stable. I was glad to see him and the pooches after a three-day absence. The first thing he said to me was:

“You short changed me twenny dollah!”

“No I didn’t,” I replied, and then he went off on a tangent how badly he NEEDS “the full amount” (his words) of Sunday’s allowance in advance. Which SHOULD mean $50 ’cause that’s what I allot him gratis twice a week, Sunday and Thursday.

“No, no, no, Deek, that’s WAY too soon! Ya gotta wait till Sunday, and that’s four days from now.”

Well, he kept pushing, finally making it clear that by “full amount” he meant a hundred, not fifty!

“NOT gonna happen,” I answered back. “Look, how ’bout I return that lovely military jacket so you can sell it?”

“No, I don’t want it back,” he stated, then abruptly got up to leave in anger, yanking the pups from the large, plush pillows someone had placed in the ATM alcove yesterday.

“DON’T do that, Deek,” I ordered. “Don’t take it out on the dogs, that’s just wicked!”

I could see they were confused, as they thought they were gonna have a nice, comfy rest on those pillows, and they hadn’t even gotten settled in when he crudely pulled them off. He then looked at my feet:

“New shoes! Where’d you get the Nikes?”

“I FOUND them, on my way to the bank yesterday,” I replied.

“They look new. I gotta have ’em, I NEED them!” he exclaimed. “How ’bout giving them to me, plus fitty dollah?”

“Seriously?” I queried. “That’ll work for you?”

He said yeah, so I bolted upstairs to change back into my ratty old sneakers, shoved my wallet into a pocket (so I could go to my bank to withdraw fifty), then flew back downstairs to present him with the Nikes. I was surprised how delighted he was with this arrangement. And that it came down to giving him SOMEthing I had in the way of apparel to please him. Wattson, I shoulda known it would be the Nikes instead of the jacket, as he always goes NUTS over that brand of footwear. But for some reason I never thought of that, even though I told you in a previous missive he always notices a person’s shoes.

After returning from the bank I handed him the cash in the usual Chase envelope and told him to count it out, to verify it’s the right amount. He did, then asked me to watch the dogs today, which I was hoping he would. Then off to the races he went, and I got the mutts settled in for what turned out to be another lovely day. Perfect weather, too: sunny and slightly warm with a light, cool ocean breeze.

I first watered and fed the pups, and when I was upstairs preparing their meal, I heard two old ladies’ voices gushing sweet words over them:

“Oh, aren’t you a darling. What a sweety pie! Yes, I love you too-oo!”

Turns out they know Deek, and I explained I live in this building, have been his friend for many years and dog sit for him several days a week, so he can run other errands without being slowed down by the pups, and take a break now and then so he can ride his bicycle around the city.

“He’s a good man,” said one of the both-plump lesbian couples in silver hair. Then she paused and added with a frown: “I hope he’s not so fucked up now, like he used to be!”

“No, he isn’t,” I replied, “But he IS a challenge ’cause he needs to make MORE changes.”

She nodded her head and smiled with appreciation at my comment. They doted on the hounds a few more minutes, then bid me adieu and hopped into their vehicle and varoomed up Market Street. That’s when I wished I had brought my Canon Powershot downstairs: I could’ve gotten some great pics of the two ladies so colorfully attired while standing by their car and chatting merrily, before they took off!

So when I returned upstairs to use the restroom, I made sure to return with a camera. And the first pic I took, and a video, was of a friendly African-American dude who was homeless, and settled in at the opposite end of the ATM alcove:

I just met him today while sitting in the ATM alcove below my window, dog sitting for Deek. He showed up about about two hours after I set up camp, gave a kind smile and hello, then plunked himself down and started grooming his legs, feet and toes. His name is Deonte, and I felt very comfortable in his company.

Some time later a young Japanese woman came by to compliment me over how well I take care of Deek’s charges. I see her a lot these days, and she tends to show up only when the dogs are around, whether with Deek or yours truly. VERY nice person, always encouraging Deek to take better care of the hounds, but never in a conflicting manner. I really appreciate her! Don’t know her name yet, but I’ll be sure to find out next time we meet. She even kept Flaco company while I took her brother for a brief poopy walk up and down the block, and did the same when I switched doggies.

“You’re an angel!” she told me before departing towards Noe Street.

“These sweet little dogs bring out the best in me!” I called back with a friendly wave.

Here’s a pic of the poochies resting on those pillows:

Click here for a larger view.

The cardboard laid out on the right of the snapshot is what I put down for my own comfort and hygiene. I felt very secure with Deonte nearby and even lied down on my side with Flaco in one arm, and my right hand reaching out to pet Lucky and scratch his neck. I didn’t fall asleep, not my intention anyway, but was quite relaxed reclining there in such a position that my right hip didn’t press down on the hard surface. I was actually surprised how cozy I felt! Those corrugated cardboard sheets really make a difference.

After about an hour or so I sat back up to see Deonte still there, and the sky had darkened into late noon, the air a bit chilly, though not unpleasantly so. I decided then to put the pups’ sweaters back on, a clean pair I had stashed away on my loft, so I returned upstairs to retrieve them. The older pair Deek had given me to wash this morning, and were now hanging by a cord reaching from closet to shelf, to dry out.

It was only after I put their little garments on, that I paid closer attention to two posters that had been plastered over the boards yesterday, where the ATMs once stood. I was both astonished and elated to discover their message, which you can view for yourself in the following video:

The ATM station below my window has been a mini-haven for the local homeless for many years. Finally, customer complaints to Wells Fargo recently led to the money machines being removed and boarded over. I was worried they’d also close up the entire nook as well, but to my surprise it’s remained available for street people to continue to congregate, and sometimes sleep. It’s also a great shelter from the rain. That’s when I realized the plan to shut down the ATM depot has backfired in a way, because it wound up being a MORE accommodating spot for vagrants to gather…no longer disturbed and frowned upon by those wanting to withdraw cash, and sometimes even chased away by the po po. In fact, there are now two pro-homeless posters where the ATMs once stood!

You can pause the video at some point for each poster, and read the title at bottom. But just to make things easy, I’ll type them here:

Poster on the left: “Caledonia Street homeless encampment group photograph.”

Poster on the right: “Alberto and Jaime unhoused couple.”

Dare I say this little alcove that once housed automated teller machines for more than three decades has morphed into a shrine and gathering spot solely for the indigent? I’d sure like to find out which person or people put those elegant posters up, and shake their hand!

Now here’s a delightful video I took a bit later after recording the posters, of Lucky during one of his “fluffier” moments:

I dog sat for my homeless friend Deek today, where we settled into the ATM nook below my window. This is a charming scene of Lucky attempting to fluff up a large, fat pillow, but it doesn’t go anywhere. His sister Flaco is in the foreground. Watch the entire piece (it’s just one minute), you’re in for a treat…and you’ll know what I mean when you see it. It’s close to the end, starts at 46 seconds and lasts just three.


He showed up around 6:30 PM with Wes (who greeted me joyfully: “Someone just gave me a skateboard, Zeke!”) and a large, floppy orange pop-up tent wobbling from a fiberglass rod in one hand! I was flummoxed, because he doesn’t know I recently bought a rainproof pop-up tent of my own, to protect the doggies during soggy spells. And today I was thinking if it would fit in the ATM station, imagining myself and the pups snug within! As if he could read my mind, and was having fun with it…just as he did this morning by accepting some apparel in lieu of $20, which I only thought about while he was gone for three days. Here’s a pic of the tent:

Click here for a larger view.

I shot it from behind the tree in front of the gate, and at such an angle Deek couldn’t see me. I’m sure he’d have a conniption if I tried to take a photo of him with his knowledge…thus I can’t share with you the complete image of that tent. It’s more of a sun shade than a real tent, though it serves his needs just fine, in light of the fair weather. Flaco immediately stepped into it the moment he set it down, but a few seconds later realized the lining was too thin for comfort, atop the cold concrete without any additional cushioning…so returned to the plush (though dirty) pillow in the corner.

“Would you like me to put the pillows inside the tent?” I asked Deek who was already seated within, beside his large Bluetooth speaker. But the idiot said no, so the dogs remained several feet away from him, rather than snuggled beside their master. Which I’m sure they’d prefer, along with the plump cushion for a bed!

At any rate, I had yet another lovely day, and some adventure (as you predicted) sitting the dogs for the fifth time since this started. And learned something new:

That more people than I realized are aware of Deek and the doggies, and go out of their way to pet them and say hi to him. And as a result of my outdoor presence as Deek’s friend and dog sitter, more folks are becoming aware of MY role in this. Which is exactly what I’ve been working towards, that Flaco & Lucky become the mascots of the Castro, and protecting and watching over them become a community project. Seeing as Deek is not the best master he should be, so surrounding him with caring residents will work in my favor, and that of the dogs. There are helping hands out there, and their number can only increase.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: one more pic, this time a view from where I sit on the ground in the ATM alcove, wearing my worn out old sneakers instead of the Nikes I thought would be mine:

Click here for a larger view.

You can’t see this, but both heels have been partially chewed up by Lucky when the mutts used to visit me upstairs, the right heel more badly mauled than the left. Those shoes were his chew toys…and they still are sometimes when I take him for a walk and he suddenly clamps down on my heel like a curly-tailed stealth ninja, and I drag one leg along with great effort for a block or more, and passersby laugh as I say to Lucky: “Oh ya got me now, ya got me now!” Flaco, on the other hand, couldn’t be the least bit interested in shoes, but it’s just her little beating heart’s delight to be in my company. The feeling is, of course, totally mutual.


I almost forgot: Scooter showed up while I was out there today with the doggies. I was walking Lucky, so was about thirty feet from the ATM alcove, when he attempted to stand inside it while waiting for Karlsen. But Flaco, resting on a pillow, would have none of it and jumped up and started to bark wildly at him until he stepped back onto the sidewalk. She continued to harangue him until he moved further away and out of sight, by the bus stop. Had her leash not been secured to that rusty metal chair, I’m sure she would’ve chased him down the road until he crossed the intersection.

Then he saw me return with Lucky, but did not show any desire to intimidate me, or even talk. He wisely kept his distance, mouth shut…and a few minutes later Karlsen stepped out whereby the meth duo departed from my area, crossed Noe Street and disappeared around the corner. Good!


I decided the other chair, the one with a cushion on the seat and backrest, was better than the flimsy folding chair I took hovel yesterday. Because it is heavier and more solid, something I could feel more relaxed in. And besides, while it looks kinda seedy, covering it with a decorative length of cloth eliminates the eyesore.

So I deliberated on WHEN I should lug it upstairs: nighttime I concluded, so as less likely to run into any snoopy resident who might panic that I’m bringing in bedbugs. But I checked the chair thoroughly: no fecal or blood specks or crud, no tiny brown critters scurrying about: it was “clean” in that sense. But I thought if I waited so long to claim it, some street person might walk by and take it. So I finally decided to bring it inside right away, and just keep my fingers crossed that I’d meet no one on my trek up the stairs and into my room.

I opened the front gate with the chair tucked partly beneath my arm: the lobby was empty and so was the first flight of stairs. So far, so good. It was, however, in the back of my mind that the exterminator might still be around, as about two hours earlier I espied one of his pesticide spray canisters set down in my hallway by a neighbor’s door. I felt victorious halfway up the next level of stairs and to my hovel when suddenly someone greeted me at the next landing up. Of course it was the exterminator who I was afraid would notice the scrappiness of the chair and stop me with questions, and ask to look it over. Or possibly, just report it to the manager.

At any rate, I figured the best strategy was to rush on by and tell him I’m busy right now, watching my friend’s dogs outside. Thankfully, that worked, he said good to see you again and have a nice day. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not he snitches on me.

I took the folding chair downstairs with me and returned it to the place I found it: in the opposite corner of the ATM nook, from where the pups and I sat. A few minutes later some boisterous, mop-headed vagrant barged right on into the alcove, spotted that chair and kicked it around a few times (upon which the dogs stood up and commenced to bark like mad) before marching off with it.

Re: The $20 Fiasco Resolved! [ONE MORE THING]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2022 at 4:06 PM

> And the beat goes on!

Ha-ha. Nice touch, insinuating the exterminator into the scene of my dragging a beat up old chair upstairs. I’m tellin’ ya Wattson, this is all SCRIPTED! Another mini-masterpiece coming up shortly, stay tuned!

Re: The Schnoz
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2022 at 5:48 PM

> I have the same jacket for Surely!

Who can resist a camouflage jacket for a little doggy? Seems to be the only way to go.

Subject: Just Work With Me Here
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2022 at 7:34 PM

Deek showed up early, 8:30 AM in fact. He called up to my window, but I was already in the lobby on my way to Rosenberg’s, so I startled him upon opening the front gate.

He demanded I sit the pups NOW ’cause he’s off to work collecting recyclables. I tried to set up a schedule to make things less stressful for me, while giving him ample free time away from the pups. A generous arrangement of six hours every other day, then two or three every day in between. Which would allow me enough hours in the week to continue my writing and Internet activities (though I’d have to cease SOME aspects of it, such as posting so much to the MCN mailing lists).

Yes, he could even break up the six-hour days into two separate time slots totaling six. But I couldn’t get any further than “Let’s set up a schedule, here’s my idea…” before he rudely interrupted and ranted on how I’m not doing my fair share, and he’ll have to give the dogs up if things go on this way!

I told him the mutts are a blessing, he knows it and is just using them to play me.

“I can’t get anything done, when they’re with me I just sit around, bored out of my skull!” he exclaimed. “There’s a lotta things I need to do, and they’re tying me down, Zeke.”

“Oh please. Stop the drama. The more love you show the dogs, the better your life will be, and you know it.” I replied. “I didn’t say I won’t watch them again right now, glad to do it. I just want to establish some sort of schedule that works for us both. Otherwise, I’ll get exhausted and won’t have time to write more stories and make that breakthrough.”

“Exhausted?” he snapped back. “All you do is sit around all day, so how could you ever get exhausted?”

“It’s MENTAL, Deek, and it’s REAL,” I retorted. “Just because you don’t understand does not justify bossing me around. Dealing with that ALONE is an exhausting proposition.”

I also told him he was fine on his own with the hounds before they started visiting me, and I’m now giving him plenty of time each week to do his errands on his own, and his bike riding for recreation. Well, Wattson, he refused to listen, all the blame is mine, blah blah blah. Then he said:

“Gotta go now, the dogs are yours!”

“How soon will you be back,” I called to him as he dropped the leashes and swiftly moved on towards Castro Street.

“I don’t know!” he called out, with a large sack of aluminum cans and glass bottles rattling against his shoulder blades and butt. Two things are going on here:

1. He knows how much I adore the pooches, so he holds that over my head, threatening to get rid of them unless I do this or that.

2. Everything is leverage to him: whatever he possesses or conjures up in his mind is always geared to manipulating the other person so he’ll get his way, or at least TRY to. And the pups are simply one of those possessions.

Though I must admit: every time I sit the canines I have a really nice day; but it IS a bit nerve-racking sometimes, such as when a speed freak parks his fundament in the alcove and acts sketchy, or whenever I have to return to my hovel to fix a meal, use the bathroom, etc…because they’re out there without protection for whatever craziness may come down the road while I’m upstairs.

Wes showed up today, still with that skateboard, and we had an incredible conversation…talking about street shamans, Terence McKenna and his brother Dennis, Alan Watts, Carl Jung, Buddhist teaching, and other topics that made our meetup a total woo fest! Before departing, he said:

“You’re an outstanding man, Zeke, and I understand and agree with everything you’ve just told me…I’m a bodhisattva guardian myself! But I have appointments today, and many forms to fill out, so I gotta leave you now.”

I wished him an excellent afternoon, and said next time we get together I’ll let HIM take the stage, as I babbled on too much about my own theories of the world.

One bonus I get out of this newfound camaraderie is that he’s friends with Deek, and thus an excellent tempering link for Deek’s mood swings regarding how he treats me. But the other bonuses I get have nothing to DO with Deek, which are: he’s intelligent, conversational, attuned to the world in a spiritual way, optimistic, outgoing and cheerful. I’m sure Wes’s company will be an outstanding boost in my world on many levels. Another bodhisattva guardian (and he even admits it) not as an adversary but a compassionate ally. What a relief, eh, after all these crises and challenges over many moons?

Later on a Castro tour guide with a cortege of rubberneckers magically appeared before the ATM nook, where I sat with the hounds, typing away on my tablet with some difficulty due to solar glare and lack of a real keyboard. When the guide (lesbian and 60-something-ish) saw this mini-oasis occupied by two assumed-to-be-transient men (the second being Deonte, who had slept here overnight and was still recumbent), turned to her brood, sighed and said:

“Just work with me here.”

Humph, I thought, considering my decades of dedicated activism for LGBT rights here in San Franshitsco, and our homeless family in particular, *I* should be part of the tour! Yet here I sit, perceived as some old codger down on his luck with nothing worthwhile to say, or know about him. No golden years he! Rather than brushing me off, I wish the lady WOULD have declared with immense pride:

“And now may I introduce you to our local LGBT advocate of many years, Zeke Krahlin, who focuses on our homeless and is presently dog sitting for a long-term friend who lives on the streets. Mr. Krahlin himself is still housed, though it is indeed a most humble cell he occupies. Living many years in a rent controlled, single room whose two windows you can see right above the front gate here, has allowed him to dedicate a considerable chunk of his Social Security stipend towards helping his indigent companion and these delightful pooches.”

At any rate I recorded a snippet of her talk, which you may now watch and listen to here:

While I was sitting Deek’s pups this morning, our fabulous Castro tour guide whose name I don’t recall, paused before me for a few minutes with a gaggle of eager neophytes. So I decided to shoot a brief video of this momentous moment when they totally ignored yours truly, regarding me as a hopeless old vagrant instead of a dedicated activist of many years, for our LGBT houseless. She really should make me part of the tour! What she said in that clip, in case her raspy, pot smoker’s voice was too blurred from the murmur of traffic for you to discern, was the following: “…sexuality. For instance, I know several female-to-males that still date lesbians. How did Lou Sullivan identify that they were transsexual?”

Scampy also showed up today, said hi where’s Deek, and I told her collecting bottles and cans…and then she noticed the pro-homeless posters in the ATM nook and exclaimed:

“Wow, that’s awesome. Who put those signs up there?”

“I’d like to know that myself,” I replied, “and shake their hand. But there’s only the title and nothing else to indicate the photographer’s name or the person or group who put them up.”

Her recognition of those posters, and appreciation OF them, really impressed me, good doctor. Makes me realize how easily a homeless person, especially one with obvious psychological issues, can be underestimated! Scampy has her act together more than I realized. Guess I’m guilty of underestimating the indigent, myself. I suspect she’s yet one more bodhisattva angel in the guise of a vagrant. But they’re SUCH good actors, it’s easy to forget.

Deek returned three hours and some minutes later from the time he departed…not bad at all. I think he likes to keep me guessing, the little snot. I really don’t mind his getting me out of bed at cock’s crow and passes the doggy leashes to me, even though I haven’t had my coffee yet…I just prefer to start each day slow and calm. But with my Cajun devil it’s like boot camp where you have to move your arse pretty quick once you arise, and it’s an ORDER to jump out of bed, not a leisurely decision on your part. I’ll just have to adapt, as it IS all about the brindlekin: a most worthy mission that warms my heart. One final note worth your interest:

After Deek returned he laid out some mixed wet and dry dog food on a folded trash bag. I was about to tell him I don’t think they’re hungry yet, but then I realized he’s no longer forcing them to eat off the sidewalk. Which pleased me no end, so I kept my trap shut. He does indeed listen to me!

– Zeke K-Holmes

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