The FINAL Final Final Chapter (part 21)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 19u]

Subject: Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 28, 2022 at 10:58 PM

That’s the name of a great martyr of the Sikh religion, I have just learned. So the first two lines of Pallas’s scribble compose one man’s name (and title, “Shaheed,” which can appear in front of his name as well as after). Shaheed means “martyr.” Here’s a link about the fellow’s life. Seems he’s famous for avenging a Sikh desecrated shrine, even after the enemy chopped off his head. He came out of retirement to do that!


Subject: Hari Singh Nalwa
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 29, 2022 at 11:05 AM

So a short while ago I stepped into Rosenberg’s to show Pallas an image of Baba Deep Singh Ji with his bloody head in his arms, that I had downloaded to my smartphone and turned into wallpaper. (Don’t worry, Flaco, your image will be back up later today.) Told him I read about his glorious Sikh history last night. And how since he declared to his people he was ready to be decapitated if need be, to preserve the Sikh way of life (“Give me liberty or give me death,” in other words), he was thus given the title “Shaheed” (martyr) while still alive. Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy…he lost his head over it. That’s a bit too beyond the pale for THIS life affirming pilgrim.

Pallas was delighted I took the time to learn about this great martyr and devotee, so jotted down another name for me to learn about: Hari Singh Nalua. Enclosed pic is a portrait of the dude: most feared warrior among the Sikh, and I suppose, their Afghan enemies! Judging by his fierce demeanor, I strongly doubt his love making was anything to write home about. Imagine waking up to THAT every morning. More likely he was an incel (or perhaps a closet queer), which would explain his ferocious, vengeful take on life. Notice the phallic placement of the sword. But how else are great macho heroes made? Here’s a choice factoid about the unhinged dude:

“He was given the title of Nalwa which was attached to his name as he killed a tiger at a very young age. He was also called Bagh Maar for the very same reason.”

“Nalwa” means “tiger” and “bagh maar” means “tiger killer.” Certainly, the legend, albeit dubious, of slaughtering a tiger with one’s bare hands is the mark of a true hero in the male-supremacist, patriarchal tradition. The Labors of Hercules is a classic example of this, in the western world…and his first labor was to kill a lion. Though he slaughtered a number of mythological creatures and humans as well, including a passel of man-eating birds. Alfred Hitchcock must be rolling over in his grave right now.

So I wonder, Wattson: what happened to the public image of the Sikh as a peace-loving people, because Pallas is showing me a rather different spin! I’m assuming at this point he’s Sikh himself, which is no surprise seeing as Punjab is a region in India (and the world) with the highest population of Sikhs. They even wear a toy sword as a symbol for their religion, called a “khanda.” Considering the implication of bloodshed in such an icon I am reminded of the Orwellian phrase, “War is peace.”

Even Buddhism, arguably denoted as the most peaceful religion on earth, has its own brutal history of war and terrorism. Take, for example, today’s barbaric attacks by Buddhists upon the Islamic population of Myanmar. At best, one could claim that Buddhism is the LEAST violent of all religions, though violence there be. Others declare that religion is the source of most violence in the world, and in history. However, wars and strife seem no less frequent or severe due to OTHER, nonreligious ideologies that are more political or cultural in nature. I think the problem here is ideological fanaticism of ANY stripe. The fear of “different” playing a major role.

Homophobia is a perfect example of that, and explains why even atheists (approximately twenty percent of them) revile LGBTs. The founder and leader of American Atheists, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was notoriously anti-queer because it’s “not natural.” Which has since been proven wrong by biologists, but there ya go. Her life came to a bad end, by the way, so there’s SOME satisfaction in that. She and her son and granddaughter were all kidnapped, killed and dismembered by David Roland Waters, a felon with a grisly past who had once been employed by American Atheists. Maybe he was gay, I dunno.

And on THAT cheerful note, I bid you adieu for the nonce, goodly physician!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Hari Singh Nalwa [INSERT]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 29, 2022 at 12:38 PM

Right after the sentence:

“More likely he was an incel (or perhaps a closet queer), which would explain his ferocious, vengeful take on life.”

Insert the following:

“Notice the phallic placement of the sword.”

HOW could I have missed that one, Wattson? I’m asleep at the wheel! I heard Marshall’s narration of my piece, “A Scammer & A Scooter” last night, by sheer luck. I decided to listen to some of his show live, so turned on KNYO around 11:30 PM. A half hour later, my tale began. No missing text this time, great reading as usual, loads of fun hearing it from another voice, especially one so superb as Mr. McGee’s. Knowing that someone up there in Mendoland may be up late with insomnia, listening with rapt attention and not believing their ears. George Dennis, perhaps? My favorite critic these days.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: They gotta be kidding!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 29, 2022 at 9:53 PM

> There’s a certain magic to cutting. I once had to cut 60,000 words from a 179,000-word manuscript at the insistence of an editor at a publishing house. I raged, howled, and protested, but then I did it, and the finished product was vastly better, without sacrificing art. In fact, the art was sharpened and enhanced.

My pieces are already tightly written, so for me it’s excluding potent scenes and insights, that others may remain. They play on each other, so leaving portions out weakens the overall impact, as there is little fat on that bone. But I’ll do my best. It must’ve been excruciating for you to pare dare that manuscript…glad it came out for the better.

> Brave, and the right thing to do.

Yes on both counts, thank you. He has yet to show up again, though I thought I heard the doggies bark a block up at Castro & Market an hour ago. Broke my heart. My stomach twists when I think of how he mistreats the dog…there’s a lot of justified anger there. I can NOT possibly hand him any more money as a result, nor do him other favors such as charge his electronics, bring him tea, a disposable razor and so on. I will, however, continue to give him dog food. But walking around with a shopping cart, or wagon or something of that kind has become verboten here in the Castro. People are sick of the homeless imposing their lives on everyone else, it’s gotten way out of hand. But this is what happens in a collapsing economy without any real safety net.

Though THEIR lifestyle is not something I want either: booze halls, shallow friendships, crass behavior, snobbery and backstabbing, childish mindsets, vapid goals, tacky music. Nobody gives a fuck about anyone else, it’s all about money.

I am on the Hero’s Journey, and a sense of utter gloom and failure is part of the cycle, part of the challenge as well. I saw it coming for a long time, as I’ve been through it many times before, as I’ve had many such journeys starting with Randolph Taylor. Don’t look forward to it, but just riding it through is the best way to cope. Putting Deek through such a demanding trial by ex-ing him outta my life when he is so mentally discombobulated seems cruel, but he forced my hand. He won’t ALLOW me to associate with him anymore, and thus I lose the dogs along with him.

It’s sink or swim time for the Cajun trickster. It’ll be alright in the long run, he’ll come through this a MUCH better person, and the dogs will thrive. Images of worst case scenarios threaten to tear me down, but I know they are illusions and not to pay them any mind.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Halloween Below My Window
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2022 at 4:49 PM

A grim scene. Deonte remains crashing out every night by the ATM spot. His sleeping bag is looking raggedy these days. And that chair, that damned chair…he still has it! The fukkin’ thing is taunting me, still in like-new condition! The fellow on the right is sitting on it.

I’ve seen other homeless people with it down the block, up the block, across the street. Maybe Deonte rents it out: a dollar an hour for a comfy sit. Considering the dearth of benches in the Castro because of anti-unhoused sentiment, that is credible. The wobbly wooden benches at the defunct Cafe Flore were the last to go.

Yesterday went very well, exterminator showed up shortly after 1 PM, just minutes after I stepped out…so I was able to return hovel by 5:15. In fact, I was outside barely a half hour, strolling about, when I decided to check for an Amazon delivery that was supposed to arrive today before 10 PM. Sure enough, the package with two sweatpants was dropped off in the lobby. I didn’t see any sign of Paolo, the pest man, so figured he had yet to arrive and I can just go upstairs to deposit the goods in my room. But to my (pleasant) surprise there was already a pesticide notice stuck above the doorknob, indicating how soon I can open the door. But I did, anyway, just for a flash to toss the package inside, then turned about and exited the building once more.

My stubbed toe is hardly an issue, but just enough to make for awkward perambulation, so I figured fuck it, I’ll just stay in the ‘hood and go to Peet’s Coffee a half block up. Boring atmosphere of privileged queers as usual, but I got some work done replying to comments on the MCN discussion list and listening to more of Marshall’s latest podcast through earbuds.

Two hours later I ambled up the street to Marcello’s Pizza on Castro & Market, to order a cheese slice plus a Diet Coke. But a few minutes before that, I paused near the Harvey Milquetoast Library, because I heard Flaco’s distinctive “Yip-woooo! Yip-wooo!” Her sweet doggy barks emanated from around the corner of a side street that skirted the library’s eastern half, while I stood on the west.

I wanted so badly to run up to the hounds and shower them with kindness, but I was afraid their master would react with hostile rants and expletives in front of other houseless folks gathered nearby. Or might even demand I watch them awhile as he takes off like greased lightning. So with my heart broken for the umpteenth time, I continued my stroll towards Marcello’s.

My triangular repast was not as tasty as last time, skimpy on the sauce, the slice small…their servings are inconsistent. One day you get a big, juicy slice, another not so big or juicy. Never mind, though, at least it filled my belly and I could check my phone.

Kevin had texted me: “Paolo showed up early, wants to treat your room in a few minutes. I hope this works for you, sorry for the sudden change.”

So I texted back: “Yes, that was fine. I left my room by 1pm, nice to be able to return by 5:30 instead of 7, 8 or 9. Thanks!”

The pesticide appointments no longer tell me around what time he’ll show up…they just say sometime in the afternoon of such-and-such a date. So I never know when I have to exit my abode anymore, which is just another pointless hassle. As a result, I always plan to be outta there by 1 PM. If Paolo shows up earlier, too bad. Kevin has banned him from communicating with me some months back…I have no idea why, so he never answers my texts, such as “Around what time will you be over?” and “When can I return to my room?”

Upon leaving Marcello’s I had only a half hour to go before I could return hovel. Who should I see coming my way but Boulevard Joe! Great timing, as I wanted to speak to him further about Deek.

He said he’s going that way (towards Castro Street, which was just a half block behind me), gestured for me to walk with him. So I told him how Deek’s own paranoia and macho facade have ruined my friendship with him:

“He keeps screaming at me for stupid reasons, threatens to get me beat up, tries to get others to gang up on me, and badmouths me to anyone who’ll listen. He’s abusing those dogs: feeding them chicken bones, tying them to a standing bike that can easily crash down on them, shoves them away with anger, forces them to shiver all night long, and yells at them. This behavior could get worse, and not just the police, but people walking by see that, and could wind up calling Animal Control.”

I took a deep breath as we moseyed along, and continued:

“But I have an idea that might be key towards resolving his self-destructive behavior. Here’s what I have in mind…”

Joe abruptly cut me off and scurried over to a small group of vagrants hangin’ out by the transit stop right across the street from Marcello’s, leaving me behind in the dust. It’s almost always like this, Wattson: whenever I have something important to say, Joe hardly has a moment to spare…thus I often have to wait until I see him again, which might be days or weeks later, or even months. INFURIATING!

But I waited patiently from fifteen feet away, hoping to complete my appeal and, within several minutes, he signaled me to resume our walk, which took us down Castro Street towards 18th.

“Just a few more words, Joe,” I resumed. “I’ve spoken to several of his friends about his mistreating the dogs, encouraging them to call him on it whenever they witness abuse…but I don’t think anyone’s followed through.” Needless to say this includes Blvd. Joe, though I left that part out. Then I finally came to the crux:

“The few times I’ve seen him on shrooms he’s been much more benign and cooperative. My idea is to encourage him to take shrooms more often, as it seems to be good medicine for him. Every time he takes it, his regard for the dogs is kind, and it facilitates friendly communication between us.”

To my surprise and disappointment, his response was less than hopeful:

“But then you’ll have to deal with other, bad effects of frequent shroom use!”

That aspect (if true) never occurred to me, good physician, but I thought perhaps he made that statement to discourage cutting into his meth peddling. (But couldn’t he also barter with shrooms? Though maybe not as expedient and profitable as crystal, because less demand? I just don’t know.) So I replied:

“Well, maybe encourage him to take shrooms a bit more often, instead of just once every three or four months. Perhaps like ONCE a month? THAT wouldn’t be overdoing it, right?”

He lit up, smiled and said, “Yeah, that could work!”

Upon those uplifting words (though maybe spoken just to dismiss me) I shook his hand, thanked him for listening, and finally returned to my monk’s cell at Hotel California North. Relieved to have communicated to one of Deek’s associates, a possibly lifesaving suggestion on behalf of both the doggies AND My Troublesome Trickster.

Once back hovel, I put everything back in its place, which took about an hour and a half, and got on the ‘Net for awhile. I also found a clear plastic case of mixed triple and double-A batteries sitting right there in the basement, atop a bucket for tossing out your old ones. The case was sealed, as were all the batteries within, though it appeared to have gathered dust over the months, or perhaps years.

They work fine though; I used two double-A’s to illuminate my electric candle which has been sitting there unused for almost a year. Because it drains the power within a week if used every night, and I can’t afford the expense. It flickers with a soft, orange light behind a black silhouette of bare tree branches.

I need to find an electric candle or lantern that recharges via USB cord, so I won’t waste any more batteries. My only other use for disposable batteries are my two Bluetooth keyboards, for which I’d purchase a packet of four double-A’s at Rosenberg’s whenever the need arose. Expensive way to go, but the keyboards take forever to drain: four or five months of constant daily use. They are identical models (Logitech K-400+) and use two batteries each. One is for my X230 Thinkpad, the other, my HP-14 Chromebook. Too much of a nuisance to share a single keyboard between the two, since they need a USB dongle, and I switch using one or the other dozens of times each day.

This morning on my way to Rosenberg’s I saw another tent being set up behind my building. Just one fellow with a mop of black, curly hair and a bicycle laden with whatever. He seemed of good cheer, singing to himself, though I didn’t bother to strike up a conversation, or even wave my hand. The sky was a morbid gray, and a light rain had just begun which grew heavier on my return, though not by much, you could still get by without an umbrella. I decided to take a snapshot of the now fully assembled tent, which I presume contained its owner and possessions:

Click here for a larger view.

Now here’s another right-below-my-window photograph, also shot this morning:

Click here for a larger view.

Deonte’s gone, of course, thanks to the rain…only soggy cardboard remains. You can see words scribed on that narrow sheet, though upside down and poorly discerned. So here’s a right-side-up enlargement:

Click here for a larger view.

Which says:

AMAZING PEOPLE
GIVES US A MATTER
I HAVE PAYPAL

There’s also a heart in the upper right corner, and a question mark below “PAYPAL.”

The rain ceased a few hours ago, but the air remains chill. And two little doggies are out there with a sad excuse of a master, and there’s nothing I can do about it other than make continued appeals to people on the streets. The pups’ll most likely get sick and die, and I’d have a Cajun maniac on my hands attempting to get me beat up and evicted unless I sic the cops on him. What a horrid way to end my Brindlekin Tales! May the Fates conjure up a miracle, and may I vanquish The Demons Of Worst Case Scenarios from haunting my thoughts. What, me worry? It’s just another day in paradise!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Someone left this sign behind:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2022 at 10:41 AM

Which says:

“$32 away from my goal, a hotel room.
TY for being kind. [peace symbol]”

It was left on the corner of my block this morning, leaning sideways against my building. I wonder what THAT person’s story is. I wonder what EVERYone’s story is, but that would take a quantum computer of unimaginable sophistication to mash it all together and come up with the greatest horror story ever told, mine included. Is Brindlekin Tales a horror story? It very much is, I’d say…at least in part.

Though that does not exclude a possible (albeit unlikely) happy resolution. Nor does it ignore the many brilliant, inspiring and hopeful mini-tales woven throughout. Life is a mixed bag, stick your hand in at your own risk. Or your head, if you be so foolish.

And consider yourself inordinately lucky if all you lose is a finger or two when you pull your hand out. Well, even if you lose an entire hand (or worse), maybe what you’ve accomplished that cost you such a loss is greater than the thumbs of all parts! Conclusion:

I’ll stick with the positive outlooks on sapient existence, thank you very much. Anne Frank leads the way. Even a gas chamber was no match for the flame of hope in her heart. That is stunning. People forget. The human race owes her big time.

I don’t even know if what I just wrote is maudlin or not. Guess it’s up to each of my readers to decide.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I recently found an empty plastic container to replace my old piss jar, which has accumulated a thick layer of crystalluria over the years and stinks to high heaven whenever the lid is removed. So THAT’S something to celebrate. This new bottle is twice as high and wide, so it should last almost a week before I need to empty it. I HATE ambling down a brightly lit hallway in the “wee” hours (pun intended), simply because I have to urinate. Passing by all those doors in the dead of night, behind which are strangers. Always strangers. God bless the little doggies of this world, for they are NEVER that.

P.P.S.: Oh, and I just sent my latest tale to be read over the airwaves this Friday, to the magnanimous Marshall McGee! Kindness marches on.


Re: Someone left this sign behind:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2022 at 2:36 PM

> One thing humans are good for, when they do it right: pampering and protecting animals.

Oh, there are plenty of saving graces in the human struggle. But those who are kind to innocent creatures are at the top of my list. Look how Lucky & Flaco have transformed my world for the better! How could one NOT fall head over heels for those pups?

> It’s kind of your trademark–you flirt with the maudlin, but then administer a bracingly acerbic corrective, occasionally drawing blood…

Oof, can’t deny it, only pry it. Perhaps I should OFFICIALLY trademark it: no one can flirt with the maudlin except for yours truly, or if I give signed permission. I’d NEVER run out of material under such a brazen decree. Kinda like my tale, “The Future Belongs to ‘Moi’,” wherein I become a celebrated author (and sometimes painter), so financially powerful I actually ban any other artist from using a rainbow in their work! And imply that I even ordered a special chemical to be sprayed in the air (or injected into the water), that no one sees any REAL rainbow in the sky.

Amusing how, since I composed that tale, right-wingers have been banning the rainbow all over the place. Something which I never foresaw, but I guess intuited. Then there’s an essay I wrote preceding that flagitious parable by years, called “Down with the Rainbow Flag,” wherein I declare its unoriginality and lack of a true expression of our LGBT struggles for equality. So perhaps that essay was presaging my own LATER prophecy. Though now we’re dipping into the ocean of the unconscious to net some tasty fish regarding the source of visionary talent. Alas, the waters are too murky to dredge up any decisive conclusion of a Delphic nature. “Reply hazy, try again.” says the fortunetelling 8-ball! But I still wonder to this day:

Why isn’t THIS vicariously Apollonian pilgrim mentioned anywhere in the great works of Nostradamus? A Gordian Knot that may never be unraveled! For, unlike Alexander, I’d never DREAM of slicing it apart with a sword as a workable solution to my dilemma. As blunt and crude as a lobotomy!

At any rate, I’m fantasizing silly notions to shift my psyche away from dark thoughts. I just got my free Internet debacle resolved with a phone call, and finally filled out my Medi-Cal renewal form and mailed it off directly from the local post office. That’s a relief! Now I’m gonna fix me a banana smoothy and relax for an hour or so, watching a few episodes from season 4 of “Disenchantment,” Matt Groening’s latest animated series.

May your day be lovely, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Young, homeless fellow, name of Deonte, recently showed up on my block, taking refuge in the ATM alcove below my window. However, the alcove has since been boarded up, so all the indigents can no longer meet up and hang out there. Yet Deonte lingers on. He found a cushioned, swivel office chair two weeks ago, and has since embellished it with comfy bedding. Here you see him settling in for the night.

Subject: Deonte’s Chair (7 second video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2022 at 7:28 PM

I’ve also attached a pic to this missive, showing him all snug and cozy. Funny thing, though: when I opened the front gate to take this photo, there was Deek talking with him, then turned away and walked up Market Street towards the Castro. I don’t think he saw me, as I had only opened the gate a crack and peeked out to see if Deonte were still tucked in, because I didn’t want to upset him by seeing me with a camera. Or maybe Deek glimpsed me from the corner of his eye, so dashed away.

I returned upstairs for a few minutes before attempting another shot, which result you now have. I don’t want to mull over why Deek was there, or if he plans to call up to my window tonight or any time soon. He needs to stay away, and I think he knows it.

I did hear the pups bark a bit before returning downstairs, so looked out the window to see them situated quite a ways up the block. It was dark, so only saw silhouettes, though I certainly could spot one curly tail a-wagging! I don’t think they stayed there very long, maybe ten minutes. At any rate, I then stepped back outside to discover Deonte covered up once more. And no Deek nearby.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deonte’s Chair (7 second video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2022 at 10:45 PM

> That’s a powerful pic. Homeless man wrapped from head to toe, sleeping (I’m guessing) in chair on street.

I didn’t think it was that special a pic when I shot it. But now taking another gander, I’d say yes, it’s an appealing composition and balance with bright colors, shadows and texture that frame the cloaked subject. BTW:

I can tell you from personal experience: it’s a very nice chair to fall asleep in. *sigh*

> Glad to know pups are okay. Hope they stayed warm and dry during recent rain.

I hope so, too, but I have no idea. Knowing Deek, I imagine he let them shiver.

> I put two jackets on Surely, who is ten years old and doesn’t have much of a coat. He’s cozy and warm now. His appreciation when I put the jackets on him is desperately adorable.

He’s a darlin’, I know. He must look kinda plump with two jackets on! But what about Pluto, does he prefer sweaters, maybe turtleneck?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deonte’s Chair (7 second video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 3, 2022 at 11:01 AM

> I tried putting a sweater on Pluto, but he had it off within minutes. He’s insanely “active.” Gonna have to find something snug and secure that even he can’t tear it off!

Some doggies are like that…you got your work cut out for you. He’ll either adapt in the long run, or maybe accept a blanket to curl under. Or park himself near a heater. The concern, of course, is you don’t want the darlin’ to shiver. I tried putting a plastic-y raincoat on the brindlekin, but they just sat there and refused to stand up and walk. You’ve never seen such sad faces on two pooches in little raincoats! I guess I could’ve gotten them to adapt, but it was simpler to just dry them off once back home. Weren’t enough rainy days to train them, anyway. Were the gear made of soft waterproof cloth, it probably wouldn’t have been a problem. But they’re gone now. I hate moving on without them.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 11/4/22-11/5/22


Subject: Just woke up, looked out my window and…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 6, 2022 at 8:51 AM

…there was Deek pushing an overloaded shopping cart with the pups happily following behind. They look good, wish I could have taken a pic, but it happened too fast. I hear their little barks from afar now, somewhere on Castro Street. My heart is crushed; I soar on wings. It’s a lovely Sunday morning.

Then I sat back down by my work station to discover an email from Frances Leyland, about a message I posted yesterday to the announcement list, entitled: “WOW: Top Democrat wins over FOX NEWS audience and leaves hosts STUNNED.”

It was a simple “Thanks Zeke” like she emailed one time before regarding a similar, hopeful post of mine. So I responded with a single heart emoji, then watched a video waiting for me from last night that Youtube automatically loaded after I watched some other recording:

Animals Being FREED For The First Time!

That “other” recording BTW was actually Marco’s narration of my latest tale, which I had uploaded to my channel only moments earlier, then fell soundly asleep after playing it.

What an exquisite way to start the day…hounds and all! I kinda think maybe bodhisattva guardian Deek planned it that way, knew I’d be peering out the window at that very moment.

Now off to Rosenberg’s to purchase another draught of amber elixir in a small paper cup…in my new sandals and jet black denims.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Just woke up, looked out my window and…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 6, 2022 at 8:50 PM

> I’m in awe of your calm and fortitude, and courage!

Thank you for those encouraging words, Wattson. I am fully aware of my stunning inner strength, and I awe myself as a result. I am called to a great mission, and I could never shrink from that, after two sweet little pups have given me so much love and joy. I OWE it to them NOT to wallow in grief, depression or fear…for if I ever have that golden chance to save their lives, I will need to be in tip-top condition, both physically and mentally, to get there.

I can’t afford to be a malnourished, jittery soldier on THIS strange battlefield! Steadfast faith is my aegis, and courage, joy and compassion my arsenal. The gods stand with me…all of them from every culture under Apollo’s radiance! I can see why Artemis preferred hounds for companions, rather than her own kind. As Apollo’s twin, she is the goddess of empowerment among other great gifts. I AM empowered! Twinges of fear still curse me now and then, but they are far less frequent and intense than ever before. And when some NEW fear knocks me down I get right back up in record time. I suspect that’s an Olympic sport in the ethereal realms!

> It’s raining and the wind howling like a mofo up here.

Been damp and cold here, too, but not so rainy OR windy. A lotta drizzle on and off today. You should see me listening to Marshall narrate my latest tale:

I pace the floor, hanging on to every word, inflection and tone of voice. Dissecting my own ideas and prose: did I say it right, did HE say it right, how will it strike the ear of my listeners? I am learning more about myself in so doing. I listen to each reading more than once…say, three or four rounds. One of which sessions I pretend I’m a stranger hearing a Zeke tale for the first time. What comes through is pretty intense and with a lot of heart…I make what at first glance seems too trivial to write about, into something shockingly profound. Makes a person stop and think!

Marshall seems to be enjoying the heck out of reading my stories. He’s become a partner to my adventures, as YOU have been for so very long, Morticia! I wonder who will become the THIRD person to hop on the Brindlekin Train? First class only! Choo-choo!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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