Goodbye ATM Sanctuary

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 6: Chapter 19]

Subject: Thank you, Marshall McGee, and about that missing text:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announcement list
Date: October 18, 2022 at 8:53 PM

I emailed you the following via my gmail account a few days ago. But since I don’t know when you’ll get around to reading it, I thought I’d post a copy to the announcement list. Here goes:

I checked the pdf file you printed from, and it looks like you left out pages 3 and 4, because the last line before the missing text, and the first line after it, perfectly match what sentences embrace the body of text left out. My hunch is that either the printer skipped over those two pages, or they slipped out of your Friday night folder.

Nonetheless, an excellent narration and thank you immensely.

Click here for a larger view..

Subject: They’re sealing off the ATM alcove!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 11:45 AM

As you can see by the attached image. So THAT sanctuary is now kaput. And there’s a lot of roadwork going on behind my building, so that’s ALSO kaput for the time being…hopefully until later today. It’s the only doggy rest station in my vicinity that provides shade for these sunny, warm days. The bus stop out front offers little, if any…unless the pups scoot under the floppy “Diane Feinstein” seats. They’re called that because while she was Mayor, she replaced the old above-ground transit butt-rests with ones vagrants couldn’t sleep on. At least she thought they couldn’t, but they do because they found a way to adjust their bodies to accommodate the new situation.

Nature’s ability to adapt under almost any major alteration in the environment is extraordinary! Or as the saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. Stay tuned for further updates on my field work studying the local environs of Homeless sapiens. Ha, “Gorillas Revisited” has NOTHING over me; eat your heart out, David Attenborough!

Most of the time Deek’s shopping cart provides the shade when parked by the bus stop…if he has one at the moment, and if it’s stuffed with enough junk to block the sunlight. Well, I guess when it isn’t, I can bring one of my five-by-seven-foot plastic tarps down and fling it over the cart. Easy peasy.

Deek did NOT drop by at all yesterday, nor has he shown up today, so far. But I’m fine with watching the dogs again right now, except for the construction work going on around the corner, eliminating a shady refuge for the nonce. So I hope he holds off for another day, or at least till late afternoon.

Doesn’t look like Marshall is gonna narrate those two missing pages from my Paris tale, so I’m preparing to read them myself, and splice them into the audio file. Fine by me, should make for an interesting listener experience, anyway. But I’ll have to wait till eventide when the street cacophony simmers down. I can even do it on my Chromebook while in the tent, minus any interruptions like I had two nights ago.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thank you, Marshall McGee, and about that missing text:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Marshall McGee
Date: October 19, 2022 at 12:01 PM

On 2022-10-18 17:30, Marshall McGee wrote:

> I’ll read another of your stories this Friday. Thanks for sending them.

Awesome. Obviously you’re picking them from the announcement list, so I won’t bother to send you a link to my latest piece anymore. They’re in chronological order, easy to figure out by the date of the first part of each file in case you get them mixed up. And it looks like the pdf format works for you. Have a great Friday, and I’ll listen to your podcast the next few evenings while relaxing with the pups in my Teton pop-up tent.

I could never give enough praise for our mutual friend, My Dear Wattson, for her many years as my greatest confidante and booster of my talent as an author. She’s the sister I’ve never had!

– Zeke

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thank you, Marshall McGee, and about that missing text:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 12:31 PM

> Nicely done, old chap!

I propose altering the Skunk Train route to extend all the way to San Franshitsco, right in front of my building. That way, I can finally visit you, and other amazing folks way up yonder in Unicorn Valley.

Subject: Too much activity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 2:28 PM

1) Sidewalk maintenance behind my building:

Click here for a larger view.

Looks like they’re wrapping things up, thank Polyphemus. That isn’t even a real vagrant you see sitting down on the left. He’s a long-term resident of the Castro, a disturbed individual always roaming about like a zombie, sometimes screaming into thin air. Has two other equally screwy brothers…all raised by a mentally deficient couple in their 90s by now. What’s gonna happen to them when their procreators perish…will they increase the local houseless population by three? I haven’t seen their father in over two years, so I presume he’s already departed from Crazyville.

2) Installing a plywood wall over the ATM alcove:

Click here for a larger view.

The fire engine behind him is part of an unrelated though simultaneous event, which you will learn about right now.

3) Karlsen being escorted off to ER once again:

Click here for a larger view.

First time I’ve seen him WALKING to the ambulance, though, instead of recumbent on a gurney! Just minutes before EMTs drove up, I saw Scooter standing around outside, but he was gone shortly. Though the day’s still young!

4) Now for an overlap between the above two events: our building maintenance man, Victor, talking to an EMT. No idea why:

Click here for a larger view.

But he IS one of three workers boarding up the ATM sanctuary. His scowling at me the other day was most revealing. He’s never done that before; in fact he’s always been amicable. Like so many Latinos who flee to the United States for freedom, sanctuary and a decent income, they turn into Republican ass-wipes once they get those greens to fatten their wallet.

Well, everything’s calmed down since I took the snapshots and started composing this email. And we have a nice little spot of shade pooling by the bus stop, as the afternoon progresses:

Click here for a larger view.

84 degrees outside right now. No Deek yet, which is good.

I thought I’d throw in this picture, too. Suffice it to say it shows San Franshitsco still lives up to its Lonely Planet downgraded rating. It’s a honey bucket world out here:

Funny how Deek has left me alone all day yesterday, and continues to do so today…right when I’m wrapped up in a writing frenzy…when I haven’t even talked to him yet about granting me alternate days freed up from pup sitting. It’s like he can read my mind. Another clue he’s one of my bodhisattva guardians, thus knows me inside and out without a word from yours truly.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thank you, Marshall McGee, and about that missing text:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 2:46 PM

> It yoosta be possible (though before my day) to travel by train from here to Bay Area. Skunk train to Willits, then connect with north-south passenger line. The tracks are still intact. There’s a sad little never-used railroad station right by 101 at Cloverdale, built about 30 years ago when there was talk of reviving passenger train service. It never happened, of course, so there it sits, like a Cargo Cult airstrip, built in hopes of luring trains to come down the tracks…

In which case I hope Timothy Dipalma’s prediction of a wormhole teleportation tunnel from my building to downtown Mendocino will come to pass very soon! I need a fukkin break. I could abscond with the doggies, then shut down the tunnel before Deek discovers it. God, that’s all we need is for him to show up there and make it his new stomping grounds! But at least you’d get to meet his furry angels.

Or even worse: all the meth freaks, crack heads and other assorted vagrants come funneling through the wormhole to deposit themselves in Mendoland! In which case I’ll arrive as well, and set up my Teton pop-up tent right in front of the Masonic Temple. That would be a hoot. You’d drop by now and then to join me in canine revelry! We can howl to the moon together…all four of us.

It’s awfully quiet now in the ‘hood, not a single indigent to be seen in any direction. I hope the local businesses and homeowners aren’t overly serious about pushing them ALL out…that would be devastating for Deek and those darling little hounds. If such be the case, my tent will become a political statement, as I will continue setting it up behind my building come hell or high H2O. Maybe it’s time to speak with Boulevard Joe about this, see what he has to say.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek stuck me with the pups again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 3:46 PM

> It’s an astounding saga, and bound to be a classic, along the lines of Orwell’s Down and Out in London and Paris. Seriously!! What gives your story an extra dimension is the fact that two sweet little dogs are at the heart of it. They are the reason for it all. A beautiful story in a heartless world.

I cannot be more pleased with what the Fates have handed to my trust. It IS astounding, and on so many levels. The very inspiration from these stories–not to mention the manifestation of such wonderful scenarios that inspire me to take keyboard to screen–strongly suggests intervention from a higher power. And who doesn’t love a good doggy tale…or two, or three, or hundreds?

> But 13 hours?? He’s taking grotesque advantage of you.

It’s part of the saga, and for that reason makes sense. I trust things will balance out shortly, and he’s already left me alone for all of yesterday, and most of today. So that’s a good start.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek stuck me with the pups again! [FURTHERMORE]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 6:00 PM

I like to think of my tales with more of O. Henry/Damon Runyon vibes than those of Orwell. Though I DID write that piece, “Down & Out in San Franshitsco,” so there ya go.

The humble lives of the poor, their loves, giving of gifts found on the streets that nonetheless come from the heart, their struggles to survive yet still retain integrity, goodness that flows from their hands in the face of abject poverty. their dreams still intact…all the marks of an O. Henry treasure.

Then there are the Runyon characters: softhearted gangsters (drug dealers in my case), ex-cons who’ve mended their ways and spread kindness to others, simpleminded folks with hearts of gold.

There are also religious strains running through my stories. My camping out to support a homeless friend and his dogs is akin to Jesus or the Buddha turning their backs on the privileged, and mingling with the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden and the disenfranchised.

Of course there are many OTHER literary and religious influences running threads through my Brindlekin Tales to form an exquisite tapestry of the human saga through a queer perspective. But I’ll leave it to those analysts qualified to dig out the myriad influences and references in my opus, for most of them come unbidden to my mind, like a rush of epiphanies which deeper implications I myself do not often grok, except maybe with hindsight, after they’ve been written down. Otherwise I’m at a loss, so must rely on the Zeke-Krahlinology experts who have yet to be born or manifest on this earthly plane. But when they do, I assure you, Wattson, I’ll be hounding them with TONS of questions!

It is also a story of friendship, as our emails carry on through the Hallowed Halls of Time, to some day inspire millions…and then billions as my works expand through the solar system and beyond. Then trillions, quadrillions, etc. Off they will go to intermingle with sapient populations across the infinite and eternal cosmos, with Arwyn at the helm. Unless he decides he’d rather remain here on earth and continue his employment at Molly Stone’s…in which case I’ll keep in touch via hyperdiaperphone (an invention I may decide to claim as my own, though I will actually steal it from the future, it’s a teensy, paper-thin device you stick to one or the other butt cheek, whichever is shown to be the most receptive…but we’re getting way too far ahead here for our own, puny hominid brains to comprehend).

Now here’s a snapshot of the just boarded up ATM money pod, to get us BOTH back down to earth (though I hope not to stay here very long and get back to the Brindlekin Windmills of My Mind):

Click here for a larger view.

Well, THAT shrine to the homeless decorated with two incredible posters didn’t last very long, did it, Wattson? It will be interesting to see what kind of graffiti gets scrawled upon the plywood…or other posters/pictures. Maybe it will even be turned into a mural. But my main concern is that its closure may drive the rougher type around the corner and take over my little doggy-tent refuge. And then where would we go?

I’ve also been meaning to point out my gay-bible web host for quite some time now. Don’t you think it’s incredible they’ve kept their free service up for activists like me, for so many years now? As if it was set up mainly for yours truly, long before I even dreamed of putting up such a site. Part of the bodhisattva game plan, perhaps? I wouldn’t put it past them, good doctor.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Deek stuck me with the pups again! [FURTHERMORE]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 11:24 PM

> Oh, I wasn’t comparing you to Orwell literarily. Only that, like him, you’ve gone into the heart of the beast and told the truth about what you saw.

That’s what Julia Vinograd once said to me about her poems: “I just write what I see.” I was a bit offended at first because I thought, “And I don’t?” But she never really knew me as an author, our association was superficial…she had her clique and I wasn’t part of it, though came close on one special day at Cafe Mediterraneum, when her literary circle invited me to their table, absent Julia. And perused my homemade book, “The Fag Bible.”

I thought of another book two days ago, “Black Like Me,” where the Caucasian author made himself appear African-American to see the world from their eyes. In my case, since I’ve been sitting on the sidewalk with two little pups these days, it’s “Homeless Like Me.” At the equivalent of almost six books total by now, my Brindlekin Tales sure cover a lot of ground, eh, Wattson?

> I KNEW that ATM alcove wouldn’t last more than a few minutes. Can’t have the houseless be safe, dry and comfortable, now can we?

They should revolt: set up their tents smack dab on Market Street, block traffic. Or congregate behind my building and spread out up and down Noe and 16th Streets, have cookouts, play music, sing songs. Free speech, bro! I’m gonna see what Blvd. Joe thinks of that idea.

So, no Deek all day today, which makes this two days in a row he’s been invisible. But I’m SURE he’ll show up early tomorrow and ask for his Sunday allowance in advance. Maybe he feels bad about leaving me out there so many hours both days, and figured he’d give me a break. He needs to know a full day dog sitting is FINE with me, so long as it’s not two days back-to-back…every other day is an excellent compromise. I’m actually meeting people and they listen to my story, how I’m not homeless myself, but my friend who owns these dogs is. This can lead to increasing support for the pups and their owner.

I just uploaded Marshall’s reading of my Paris piece, inserting a digital narration of those two missing pages. And I did not erase where he says some text is missing, kept it in there ’cause it’s got character…and the narration suddenly jumps to a digital voice to read the missing text, then later Marshall takes over again.

The Paris tale is a 23-minute reading. So I’m gonna keep my KNYO pieces to a length of between 20 to 35 minutes max. I’ve gauged the size of my text files so I’ll know where to stop. My original plan was for him to read an entire chapter, but they’re too long for his show: 45 minutes on average, a few go as high as an hour-plus! So Marshall reading selections from my chapters works out very well. The next piece coming up on the airwaves is “A Scammer & A Scooter,” which delves into the trail of blood mystery. He’s gonna love reading that!

Unfortunately, because of two pages missing, he didn’t get to read this:

I hadn’t even begun to break fast with my usual toasted Orowheat whole wheat English muffin slathered with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! No rest for the wicked, even less for the good. Or as Marshall likes to say on his show whenever someone calls in: “What fresh hell is this?”

But he DID enjoy reading another reference about him, where I call him “Marshall McGee,” and his show “Memo of the Weird.”

Though my chapters are a multimedia experience, I’ve adjusted my writing so that the listener of Memo of the Weird doesn’t feel like she’s missing anything, though may be curious enough to check out my blog…and my Youtube channel. Providing them to Marshall in pdf format maintains the links to pics and videos, which he can just skip over, while those MCN subscribers who read them, can copy and paste the links to get the whole enchilada. Pdf is also nice because it displays all the special characters that do not come through correctly on the text-only MCN lists. And the printouts do the same, thus more accommodating for Marshall to narrate.

Obviously he’s enthusiastic about narrating my tales every week from now on…an excellent sign that others will spread the word, and my writings will fan out in various media formats. Assuming I become famous, I guess he’ll be going along for the ride…and you, too, Morticia! And (good gawd) Deek!

So my court case is still out there floating around in the ether, which is most intriguing as it ties in with my Brindlekin Tales and LGBT homeless activism. Let’s see how the pot mixes all that into a savory curry in the long run! Fuck the tofu.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Deek and pups showed up right when I was about to email you this missive. Will tell more tomorrow, other than he’s not behaving like a jackass.

Subject: One Alone
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2022 at 2:39 PM

[Wattson: If you’re pressed for time, jump down to “part 2” about the SFPD speaking with me, and “part 3” where I take the first step toward driving Deek outta my world, and possibly calling Animal Control to take the pups.]

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


First pic shows Deonte sleeping by the closed ATM nook, who’s only been on this block for less than two weeks, and found tenuous refuge in the ATM alcove until yesterday. Second shows him later that day, slumped down on a discarded office chair.

A young black fellow, couldn’t be more than 25, god only knows what HIS childhood was like, his family, schooling, and what depressing situation drove him onto the streets. Like so many houseless, he smokes meth, which helps blunt a harsh reality, makes life somewhat palatable. Deonte still smiles now and then, and when he does, it’s radiant. He still has all his teeth, and white as pearls. This is no lost soul. Not yet.

Once the ATM nook was boarded up by late afternoon yesterday, he showed up on my corner, seated in a cushioned swivel office chair by the bus stop and nodding his dreary head while the mellow, golden rays of the sun warmed him like a blanket. That blue sleeping bag you see cocooning him in the photo, he’s had since the first day he arrived on my block.

Funny that I’m looking for exactly that kind of chair to replace the one that finally broke at the armrest, and became dangerously wobbly as a result! But he needs it more than I do, obviously, so I wouldn’t dream of talking him out of it with a 20 dollar bill. Which I can’t afford anyway, as my October budget is tighter than a dying man’s grip on his gigolo’s collar.

Here’s a 17-second video commentary I shot below my window and in front of the now shuttered ATM homeless refuge, which piece I sarcastically call “Ebony & Ivory” because it depicts two homeless vagrants sleeping alongside each other, one white, one black:

After recording that video I proceeded to Rosenberg’s but stopped when I saw torn up chicken meat and bones strewn beneath the bus stop’s floppy black seats. All those tiny, splintery bones that tempt little doggies to scarf them up and possibly choke to death, or pierce their stomach lining and bleed out! Right where Deek usually parks his furry charges.

“I’ll pick them up when I return with my coffee,” I thought to myself, but a moment later decided to clean everything up now. I used the torn, greasy paper bag that still held some chicken parts, to grab as many pieces as possible and toss them into the garbage bin. I did this two more times before the sidewalk was clean of all chicken debris, and was pleased to have possibly saved a dog’s life, not just Flaco and Lucky’s.

It was only several minutes after I arrived hovel with my java and was ready to toast an English muffin when Deek called up to my window, shopping cart and hounds in tow (plus his new wagon piled high with whatever). He wanted me to bring down his hefty speaker I had charged overnight, and watch the dogs and cart. I told him fine, but I’m nervous about the police telling me to move on, in light of the recent sweep and banning shopping carts. So maybe he could check up on me in a few hours. Well guess what, Wattson, and I’m sure you can because so predictable:

He scoffed at my concern and request, just as he did last night when I told him I can sit the pups every OTHER day, and no more. Considering he’s been having me watch over them for 10 to 12 hours at a stretch the last couple of times, so I’ll need the following day free to myself. Otherwise, I cannot possibly handle the stress.

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT,” he scowled. “You’re no friend, you don’t really care about the dogs, I’ll just take ’em with me now, screw you! Just watch my cart, then!”

“Now how can I do that?” I retorted. “Sit by the window all day? Besides, you said there’s a war on shopping carts here in the Castro,”

Well, he grouched and whined and ridiculed me some more, but then handed me their leashes and told me to get everything set up for them; they already ate so just bring down some water, he’s gotta go now. So I escorted the mutts around the corner, tied them to a thin post in one of those movable metal fences the city provides for street maintenance, told them I’ll be right back and hurried upstairs. But before I could enter the building, Deek asked why behind I put them behind the building instead of at the bus stop?

I explained to him ’cause it’s more discreet in light of his shopping cart, and I’m gonna set up the tent, so the doggies can have a good rest. The foot traffic, other dogs walking by and the occasional lunatic along Market Street rob the pooches of their sleep, but just around the corner things are more peaceful. Then I dashed upstairs while he moved the cart to where the dogs were leashed, lodging it firmly against the fence by the curb, so it couldn’t start rolling down the hill by a mere push or tug.

He griped and snarled a bit more before departing with the pups, wagon and cart, and called out to me as he traversed 16th Street:

“Thank you! Thank you!”

I looked up from where I was tethering the furry quadrupeds to the cart, and smiled back. Then ran upstairs to collect the tent, two tarps (one to lay beneath the tent, the other to place within it) and what served for bedding (a large mattress cover and two doggy blankets, ’cause the wind was a bit chilly). Lucky and his sister immediately dashed into the tent soon as I untethered them, and curled up in happy balls of brindle. I then reattached their leashes, this time to the back of the cart, said I’ll be back in a minute and rushed hovel to toast a muffin and slather some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter on the two halves. Having done that in record time, I slung my smaller backpack over a shoulder, snatched up two paper towels, my now-cold-but-still-savory coffee, and a folded sheet of cardboard to place in the tent for my own derriere (I now keep a supply of corrugated cardboard in my room to simplify matters), and hurried on down the stairs, and back to the hounds who remained at rest.

About two hours after we were settled in, a street maintenance crew drove up in a flatbed, while I had begun to secure the tent by tying cord around its fiberglass rods and the bars of a metal fence…for the wind was kickin’ up. But since the fences would soon be gone, I untied the cord, got the canines out and started to push the weighty shopping cart up the hill to a street sign with a thick, round post that could be used to lodge the cart against it.

It was then the wind blew stronger and caused the tent to roll over with all its blinkety-blankety contents! So I quickly set the cart against that post, tied the pups to it as well, and ran down to grab the tent before it started to roll further down the sidewalk and onto Market Street. Meanwhile, the crew only removed the orange, plastic fences and drove away, leaving the metal ones alone…so I didn’t have to move my camp in the first place! It was a struggle setting the tent aright with all the contents removed and dumped at my feet, because I was fighting with the wind…and the hounds were thirty feet up the hill, barking a storm. I finally got everything back into place, including the dogs, and secured two legs of the tent to the same metal fence as before. Which really made a big diff, as the tent remained stable and did not blow over when a gust of wind pummeled it every few seconds. But one nice thing came out of this:

As I prepared to move my tent back to its original location, one of the workers told me not to resettle on a particular spot (which he pointed to about ten feet away) because they were soon going to raise the rectangular concrete slab to work on some cable boxes buried therein.

“Is where I am now, okay?” I queried.

“Yes, you’re okay there,” he replied with a smile.

It was this amicable exchange that impressed me, but I did not look forward to any jackhammers or other ungodly cacophony that may soon disturb our peace. However, they never returned and thus did not get around to any kind of raucous, subsurface activity.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to access the Internet on this side of the building, even though I had an excellent connection the first time I set up camp. But what I CAN do is find out the wifi password for Super Duper, as the burger joint extends all the way to the back of the building. The connection is strong, just not accessible to me yet. I’ll just order something on the cheap side tomorrow, maybe coffee and French fries, then open my Chromebook, key in the password and I’ll be good to go from now on.

It’s now 4;45 pm, and no one’s really bothered me, no gendarme has ordered me to move on, no crazy person has harassed me. I’ve been writing this piece on and off as I hunker down in my nylon hut and, once it’s completed, will rush back hovel to send it off to you, good doctor.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot: Scampy dropped by and fussed with the contents of Deek’s cart while arguing at the air. Though she was communicable and friendly with me. She rummaged through all the items stashed there…mostly clothes and blankets. I told her please don’t take anything (as she is know to do  while Deek’s sound asleep or away from his cart), since I am responsible for watching over his possessions. She said okay and continued rearranging and folding the contents until everything looked impressively neat and orderly. I’m sure Deek will make some wild accusation about my allowing her to do that, but he can get fucked for all I care. That was just Scampy’s way of paying a friendly visit with an excuse to linger.

While she was rummaging through his things, I saw my missing puffy black jacket in there! So now I know what happened to it: I had folded it along with some blankets, around my arm and carried it upstairs. The jacket must’ve dropped to the ground by the tent, so Deek snatched it up rather than tell me I dropped something. Oh, well, I got it for free, so decided to place it back in the cart after using it for a butt cushion for awhile. Because I KNOW he’ll say he didn’t find it here, he traded for it, I’m making it up, I’m a lowdown rotten thief. Or something in that vein. Not worth touching the tar baby! Something funny happened this morning, that had to do with a new Bluetooth speaker he claims to have bought:

It was of good quality, hefty and cylindrical and could be held in one hand. He claimed it’s a hungred dollar item and I believed him, because I know quality electronics. He of course asked me to charge it for a couple of hours, and so I did, plugged it into my charging hub and left it alone while I worked on another story, downloaded a bunch of Youtube videos by my favorite news commentators (Cyberdemon 531), and watch a few of them. When the clock struck midnight it was time to bring the speaker down to him, but when I bent down to unplug it (the charger is hidden in a box under my cot), the speaker lifted right up without any resistance! Which meant it was not plugged in!

“When did that happen?” I thought. “I’m sure I plugged it in, as a red light started blinking. I guess somehow I shifted the box with my foot, causing the USB plug to fall out? Or maybe when I fussed with some other cords later on, I inadvertently loosened it? Either conjecture didn’t add up, because the plug fit tightly in the first place. Be that as it may, I knew that the speaker may not have power for very long, in which case Deek might show up and holler below my window some time around 3 or 4 AM. Surrendering to the inevitable, I handed it back to him without mentioning anything about the plug mishap. But when he arrived this morning, the first thing out of his mouth was:

“My speaker got stolen already, dammit!”

Whew, close call there, eh, Wattson?


Deek has yet to return, and it’s now 8:16 PM…AND THE COPS HAVE BEEN OVER TWICE! First time around 4 PM, one policeman who said he’s getting complaints about this tent, that I need to move everything elsewhere, away from this area because it’s been problematic (referring here to the number of homeless in general, their disruptive behavior, and their shopping carts and tents, all a detriment to local business). I explained my situation, that I live in this building, and I’m watching the dogs for a homeless friend. If I move along now, he’ll freak out because he won’t know where to find me. He said he knows about Zach, and I should talk with him about finding another spot. I asked him can he recommend a better location, but he said no he can’t do that.

I also suggested he or another cop speak to Deek, as he’ll probably accuse me of making this up, he has bipolar mood swings which make it difficult to reason with him. Then he asked when I think he’ll return to pick up the dogs and his cart, so I shrugged my shoulders and said “Any time between now and midnight.”s

I further told him I’m a homeless advocate for many years, and write about them…and offered him my Brindlekin card, but he said no, he doesn’t need to see it. He was reasonable overall, even commended me for keeping my spot so tidy. I thanked him, and he departed.

So I returned to my tent and dog sitting, took them for a poopy walk, fixed their meal, then my own. All the while deliberating upon Deek’s return and how he’s gonna handle the bad news. Then, as evening fell, I lied down beside the doggies for a peaceful rest.

[Pause: as I was typing the paragraph above, some gentleman approached my tent and offered me half a roast chicken, which I gratefully accepted. I’ll let Deek have it. Fortunately, the mutts remained asleep, that is, they didn’t smell the chicken and go nuts.]

Now, about 20 minutes ago a bright light shone through my tent…it was the SFPD again! Same dude as before (let’s call him Douglas), and a female (let’s call her Sarah). Doug was a bit perturbed, said “I talked to you four hours ago, and you’re still here.”

“Yes,” I replied, “and I told you my friend may not show up till around midnight, like the last two times he did this to me.”

Sarah interjected, wanted to know more about my situation, so I told my story like I did to Douglas, but added the following observation:

That he is neglectful and marginally abusive to the dogs, and I am seriously thinking about reporting him for animal cruelty. He doesn’t love the dogs, he wants them to adore him, but he doesn’t adore them back. And now he’s kind of abandoning them by dumping them on me, more and more often. I love these dogs, but cannot take them in where I live.

“Sounds like you’re enabling him,” Douglas declared, “You should go your way and he go his, let HIM take care of the dogs by himself.” (Jeez, how’s THAT for brazen idiocy, Wattson? Is providing assistance for the houseless “enabling?” Or feeding the starving masses loaves and fish?)

“Well, this is a brand new situation,” I replied, “but I do let him get away with a lot of crap for the sake of these doggies, they’re wonderful.”

Sarah then asked: “When either your friend picks up the dogs, or we show up to surrender them to Animal Control, will you get rid of the tent?”

“Certainly!” I assured them both. I think they’re under pressure by local homeowners to get my tent off the sidewalk. So this has genuinely morphed into a war on the homeless. While I understand that people don’t want the unhoused around them, I also understand it is their own narrow-minded prejudices against the poor that led to this in the first place! The chickens have come home to roost, and some of them live in tents.

So what it all came down to is, they’ll return by midnight, and if Deek hasn’t shown up by then, I’ll charge him with animal cruelty, and they’ll call Animal Control to pick them up. I made it clear to them I’m ready to stand up to Deek, but my main concern is the pups find a loving home. Sarah explained that Animal Control would give me a contact number that Deek can call to arrange a meeting where he could try to get them back.

“That would be a mistake, and not just because he’s homeless,” I said. “I’d rather they be adopted into a loving home. Deek should NOT get them back.”

I told her he’s too disorganized to do that anyway, doesn’t own a cell phone, and wouldn’t know where to go. In fact, he’ll most likely fly into a rage and start screaming in front of my building, and I’ll have to call non-emergency, then probably put a restraining order on him. He’ll go mad.

How casually Sarah talked about my informing him the dogs have been carted off to Animal Control, and here’s a number he can call. As if he’ll blithely accept the situation and simply say “okay.” I’ll have to lie a bit, tell him the cops threatened to take the dogs if he doesn’t show up by midnight and pick them up themselves…rather than tell him I’ve charged him with animal abuse.

But I did inform the cops I’ve come to an impasse with him, he’s hopeless, and I’m grateful that they’ve intervened. After all, better the police call Animal Control than yours truly! It’s horrible all the way around, as the best solution is nonetheless a sad and scary one.

[Pause again. About an hour after the peace keepers left, Cyrus popped on over, wondering when Deek will be back. I told him probably midnight. Then he scowled a bit and exclaimed that Deek has a clever mind and is industrious, and really should find a way to get off the fukkin streets, he can do it. Yeah, but he’s got a wicked temper, I replied. At any rate, as Cyrus took off for parts unknown, I told him if he sees Deek, let him know the police dropped by twice about getting rid of the tent, and they threatened to turn the dogs over to animal control if he’s not back by midnight.]

Okay, it’s now almost 10:30 PM and I’m sitting by my work station. Deek returned a half hour ago and when I told him the bad news, he berated me like nobody’s business!

“You should have said NOTHING to the cops!”

“You should have told them they’re YOUR dogs!”

“You should have said there’s no law against pitching a tent!”

“Now I gotta go into hiding for weeks, lay low, you got the cops after me!”

“You’re a good-for-nothing snitch!”

He also conjured up a tall tale how he had a backpack stashed in that cart, containing $400 worth of bud, but now he’s screwed. I told him there was NO backpack that I could see, and he replied by asking why was I snooping through his stuff.

“I wasn’t,” I explained, “but when Scampy showed up and started to rearrange and fold everything, I watched with a hawk’s eye to make sure she didn’t steal anything. And there was NO backpack.”

“Why would I make this up?” he retorted in faux outrage. And the argument went on for some minutes longer (“Scampy’s not a friend, she steals from my cart all the time!”) before I managed to extricate myself from his web of lies and proceed hovel-ward.

So I guess tonight puts an end to my tent adventures, and spending any more time with My Lovely Brindlekin. Here’s the final video that closes the rather short but insightful chapter:


Soon as I woke up I checked to see if Deek and dogs were still crashed out on 16th Street, behind my building, by peering out the hallway window. Nope, all gone. However, it turned out he had simply moved around the corner to the front of Hotel California North.

First thing I saw when I stepped out for coffee was Flaco eating chicken bones. Apparently they’re from the half chicken I gave Deek last night that some kind fellow gave me. So I ran up, said:

“No, Deek, don’t let them eat chicken bones, they can splinter in their mouth and choke them!” Whereupon I bent down to collect what few bone scraps remained before she scarfed them down, too. Deek didn’t say a word.

Awhile later he called me down to stash an extra pair of shoes for him. It was a typical, damp and chilly San Franshitsco morning. Lucky & Flaco were curled up nearby, but the blanket cover didn’t reach beyond her brother, so she was shivering. I told him to please keep her warm, she’s shaking from the cold right now. Though on second thought her shivers may be solely due to his screeching rhetoric.

“SHUT UP, I DON’T CARE! SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Need I say who said that?

Flaco then attempted to jump onto his lap (probably to comfort him, she’s that sweet natured) but he knocked her back down…not THAT hard, more like a shove…just the same, it was abuse in my eyes. I told him he always should be kind to his dogs, no matter what. But again:


He then went off on a stupid diatribe how he can’t handle the dogs anymore, because he can’t get anything done with them around 24/7. And I’m a piece of shit for not watching them anymore.

I told him that’s not true, he’s playing the drama queen victim, and if he really loves these dogs he’d find a way around any obstacles. He adopted those dogs, there is no reason for his hatred towards them.

“The kinder you are to the pups, the better your life will be,” I iterated for the umpteenth time. “But you don’t really believe that, do you?”


Another vagrant dropped by to hang out with him, and he’s a more stable, mellowing influence…which is exactly what the doctor ordered in Deek’s case this morning. He’s still out there, and I can see him speaking calmly with My Trickster. And he DID arrive early enough to witness all of Deek’s verbal attacks. At any rate:

He really tore into me, accused me of not truly caring for the doggies, he’s gonna tie ’em up on a post out front and leave ’em there. I told him if he does that I’ll have Animal Control take them and report him to the police for cruelty. His visitor sat there calmly, didn’t speak a word as Deek continued harassing me, with a whole litany of false and horrid accusations. I warned him if he screamed outside my building again, I’ll call the cops. He did, so *I* did.

Am still waiting for the SFPD to show up, even though he’s finally departed and took the mutts with him (Thank god? I’m not sure anymore if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.) But before he took off, he hollered out: “Zeke, Zeke Krahlin, I’m leaving the dogs here!” Meanwhile our building’s maintenance man was outside again to further work on the ATM alcove…and probably witnessed Deek’s behavior. “That’s just great,” speaking sarcastically here.

Deek called me outside one final time, claiming I didn’t charge the speaker, it’s already down to 20 percent. I told him I don’t know what to say because it displayed a full charge by the time I got up, and I left it plugged in until he asked me to bring it downstairs. Then he flew off into another tirade, so I simply waved a hand at him in disgust, and returned hovel to complete this missive.

By the way, the woman who picked up my non-emergency call was awfully kind, said she’s a dog lover too, and thanked me for caring so much for these pooches living on the streets. I told her thank you immensely, I’ve tried everything I possibly can to turn this into a happy ending, but he keeps obstructing me every step of the way with paranoid accusations. She said she understands perfectly, and reminded me those dogs were his emotional support. For me, too, I replied, but when he turns on me with threats of violence, that’s where I draw the line. She told me if he harasses me any further, to call 911.

“Really?” I said. “I can call 911 at this point, since the crisis has accelerated?”

She said yes by all means…and wished me success in this difficult scenario.

Now, let’s drop the asshole for a moment so I can tell you about a sweet dream I had last night:

It starred my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher, who as you know played an enemy of mine (because anti-homeless) and recently passed on. In the dream he was descending the stairs from the third floor with his two papillons (both of which have long ago died, and owned in separate decades. The first one, Skellington the Third (or “Skelly”), he kindly shared with me, so I guess he’s not ALL that bad a person.

He looked young and healthy (he died at 62 and looked pretty awful), though still overweight, and gave me a warm smile as I stepped out the door to my hovel. He then approached me and laid a gentle hand on my shoulder, and spoke reassuring words that lit up my world.

What exactly those words were I can’t recall, but his impression was of great kindness. I then smiled back, said some friendly words in exchange (again, not recalled)…and that’s when I woke up. At 4:30 AM to be precise. I felt joy for the dream, taking it as a sign that my present fiasco will soon be resolved in the most positive of ways, then rolled over and resumed my slumber.

– Zeke K-Holmes


And now my phone’s dying, because it no longer charges! For the past several weeks it would only do “slow charge” even though I’m using the charger and cord it came with, which should say “AC charge” on the screen. I tried different cords, different chargers, but no cigar. THE TIMING IS TERRIBLY IRONIC in light of my need to keep in touch with the police…as well as a VERY tight budget this month. Nonetheless, I ordered a $29 Tracfone model a few minutes ago, will arrive tomorrow. But I’m freakin’ scared that setting up with “keep the same number” may have glitches in it, or delay the new setup for god only knows how long, this is the first time I’m switching to a new phone. And Tracfone is not known for its seamless service, to put it politely. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and use the new number it comes with, just to play it safe. Though I’m not sure if my service payment will carry over. My Moto E has only been lightly used, which makes this loss especially egregious.

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