The FINAL Final Final Chapter (part 23)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 19w]

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Subject: Medi-Cal notice sent out to ACP
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 17, 2022 at 11:43 AM

Pic 1 shows the official notice from Medi-Cal. Pic 2 shows that I’ve been recertified. Though I am confused about the “expiration date” of Nov. 17th, which is today! Does that mean I’ve fulfilled the renewal requirement, so no need to use that page anymore? I can’t phone in for my status, as ACP requires the last four digits of my security number, along WITH my ACP 10-digit ID. They didn’t ask for those four digits when I signed up, and for some reason I can’t update my account to include that now.

I am also confused about this recertification, because it only took a few minutes to show my ACP has been renewed, from the moment I uploaded the Medi-Cal certificate. (I logged out, then back in.) How could it have been approved so fast, since they require a real human to check it out? Perhaps they have some AI bot that recognizes official Medicaid notices? I find that hard to believe.

At the Medi-Cal office I told the woman who handled my dilemma: “I’m surprised you haven’t had a flood of clients to get their ACP renewed, it’s like I’m the only person on the planet who has to deal with it this way, since they don’t accept the Medi-Cal card as proof like they did the first time around.”

She just shrugged her shoulders, explaining that Medi-Cal renewal is automatic this year, due to pandemic rules. I told her yes, I’m aware of that, but the ACP apparently is not, and why I’m here. They have a disconnect in processing recertification, as a result. But Medi-Cal SHOULD be aware of that in order to provide an expedient way through this maze. Such as sending us a renewal notice anyway, instead of requiring each client to request one.

Again, she shrugged. That’s right, keep me in the dark, nothing to see here, move along now! So I am STILL not sure my recertification is a slam dunk, and that’s why I took a screenshot of my ACP statement, in case I have to fight further.

Deek hasn’t dropped by last night OR this morning…which is good because I didn’t want to have to deal with BOTH nuisances at the same time. While out on my Medi-Cal errand, I imagined him hanging around my building, hollering up “I know you’re up there!” and other, more choice lines, disturbing the residents in the process.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Deek and 2 others below my window right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 17, 2022 at 8:56 PM

He showed up about an hour ago and gave me five devices to charge. Then I prepared the pups’ meal, got them water and Deek a cup of blueberry tea per his request. He laid down a couple of old jackets for the dogs to rest on. In the pic, they are in the lower right corner, though hard to make out in the darkness. Not a peep out of him over money, not even one iota of drama about anything. He thanked me when I brought down the food, and thanked me again when I later delivered a new pair of doggy sweaters. He said “Here, I’ll put them on,” He usually asks me to do that, but I said okay and returned hovel.

When I stepped out to refill the water bowl some minutes later I saw one sweater flung over his leg, and a black felt pen in his hand. He was writing “Lucky” on it in large, chunky letters, like a rap star. I presume he’ll do the same for Flaco. As these sweaters are solid maroon instead of camouflage, I guess he figured lettering them would stand out nicely. And it does, from what I saw.

Well, let’s see how the rest of his visit goes, as the next time he mentions greenbacks, I will make it very clear that his threat to commit violence on me has cost him an entire month’s salary. And if he does it again, he’ll forfeit another month. And if he screams at me or the dogs, I’ll skip his next allowance. If he puts up a stink, I’ll tell him:

“It’s either that or put a restraining order on you and you’ll be banned from the Castro. So don’t try me.”

But I think he intuits all that, and is not about to rattle my cage for some time to come.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He just left…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 17, 2022 at 9:22 PM

…only a few minutes after I posted you my last missive. He told me to bring everything down, plus a C cord. Soon as I opened the gate he was there to collect his devices, then thanked me and wished me a good night. God bless, I answered back and returned hovel. I looked out the window to see the pups ready to move on in their little sweaters, as their master got things sorted in his cart. Then I realized Flaco was looking straight up at me, even though I made no sound that would summon her attention. I threw her some kisses as she continued to gaze upward. Then it was time to depart; they trotted behind Deek and his cart, leashes dragging behind them untethered. I hope for many MORE peaceful meetups from hereon in.

And tomorrow night Marshall reads another Brindlekin Tale over the airwaves!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: 3 more tents behind my building!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 18, 2022 at 1:47 PM

Been there the past two days. Amusing that the large green one looks just like mine, may even be the exact same model.

Boy did I sleep well last night…even after waking up around 4 AM with a bout of nonstop hacking from acid reflux. It didn’t last long, maybe five minutes. (I’ve been popping one omeprazole pill each day, and it’s working.) Then I lied down again, resumed listening to horror tales on my backup smartphone, then zonked out and didn’t wake up until 11:20 AM! Though through it all I felt very much at peace, thanks to a friendly meetup with Deek yesterday evening. He didn’t even keep me up late, but left well before 10 PM. His behavior was superb all the way around, so I guess he wanted to show me he’s capable of acting like a decent human being.

Which suggests my suspicion is correct: he’s a bodhisattva guardian (or “shaman”) putting me through my paces. And the solution was to forfeit his allowance as leverage, rather than cave into fear. I think it’s safe, then, to resume his usual stipend of $100/week, split in two portions. But NO retroactive payment, it’s gone for good thanks to his threat of violence. I’ll make sure he knows this, and that I will not hesitate to charge him $50 every time he threatens me, and $20 every time he screams at me or the pups…or lashes them to a standing bike, or lets them shiver or rest directly on the filthy, cold sidewalk. I’m sure he’ll comply, and why shouldn’t he; his life will be so much better as a result. As will the dogs’, and mine as well.

I was feeling crappy yesterday before our favorable meetup; perhaps the covid/flu shots played a part, though worry over Deek’s shitty behavior and what I’m gonna do about it didn’t help. Not to mention the very reason I was visiting Medi-Cal in the first place: anxiety over losing my Internet service. It was a dreary gray morning stroll on my way to the Medi-Cal office on Harrison Street…a tight crisscross of busy roads all the way, and o’erlong, tiresome blocks to traverse. With the persistent rush of traffic and clusters of homeless tents here and there, some so thick I had to veer around by either crossing the street or walking off-curb.

Oddly enough, the Medi-Cal building is in the same locale as the gay bars South of Market, including Hole in the Wall Saloon where I first met Arwyn and My Great Odyssey began. The walk back was equally glum, though with a spark of hope that the letter from Medi-Cal would resolve my ACP quagmire. I felt like a PTSD-riddled Knight of the Round Table who finally discovered the Holy Grail in the form of a letter now secured in my backpack, yet with a NEW fear: I might be mugged, and the grail stolen before I arrived safely hovel.

Needless to say, I rushed swiftly homeward, rode the underground Metro most of the way, and wasn’t in a calm state of mind until I whipped out the letter and took a snapshot of it, then copied it to my laptop whence I uploaded it to my ACP account. Imagine if, just before I got a chance to take a pic of that paper worth its weight in souls, a sudden breeze blew through my window and swept it outside! So of course I was careful to prevent such a sad outcome by first shutting the window.

And THAT, dear Wattson, is my latest Brindlekin Tale! Though far from the last.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: OH THANK GLOB!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 18, 2022 at 4:08 PM

This just came in the mail:


Re: Deek and 2 others below my window right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 18, 2022 at 6:53 PM

> That’s quite a pic. Great photography.

Aw, shucks. That’s Destiny’s hand, not mine.


Re: OH THANK GLOB!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 18, 2022 at 8:50 PM

> Glob is good!

The first time I heard the use of “Glob” instead of “God” was from that amazing children’s deep-future cartoon series, “Adventure Time.” I think they originated it. And that term stuck with me ever since…because, well, that’s what globs do.

ADDENDUM:

It’s 8.5 minutes, so when you have the time. Your world will change for the watching of it:


Subject: Deek’s Allowance Resumed
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 19, 2022 at 11:55 AM

[Two pics attached: one shows Sean visiting with Deek, and the hounds at rest in their maroon sweaters. The second pic is just a closeup of my brindlekin.]

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

I handed Deek the usual Chase envelope containing two 20’s and a 10…and told him:

“Why should I give money to someone who’s threatened me with violence? So you lost $250 dollars for doing that, and if you threaten me again, it’ll cost you fifty each time, and if you scream at me or the dogs, it’ll cost you twenty. New rules. Got it?”

He said “Yeah, yeah,” with his head lowered and face turned away from me. Then he piped up with the claim he’s never threatened me, I’m just imagining things.

“No I’m not,” I replied. “You threatened to have your buddies beat me up in front of a witness, and screaming at me.”

“I did? When was that?” queried the smart-ass.

“Oh, three, four weeks back,” I clarified. “And you know you did, so drop it, please or you’ll lose MORE money.”

He turned away from me again with lowered noggin and muttered something about my taking him too seriously, he doesn’t mean it. I just remained silent, and he offered no more opposition, but asked me to watch the pups for ten minutes so he can purchase a snack and a drink at the Chevron station nearby. I said of course, so off he went, and I sat down upon the sidewalk to embrace the little angels and cherish their company. Noticing that he did NOT draw Flaco’s sweater with her name. Maybe the ink ran out, because he filled in the fat letters on Lucky’s sweater, instead of just drawing outlines. I certainly HOPE it doesn’t mean he loves her less!

Except for that confrontation, the entire meetup was amicable. He only had a “new” phone for me to charge and upload music because all his previous devices were stolen. I suspect, however, he sold or traded them, but no point arguing. Because what’s really important is seeing to Lucky & Flaco’s health and happiness, so that’s my focus.

Upon his departure I told him that, in spite of my criticisms I hold against him, he’s actually doing spectacularly. I then crouched down to pet and kiss the pups one more time, then turned away to walk back hovel…and Deek’s parting words were “Thank you.” I can imagine my “tough love” strategy struck him right in the heart, and he got a good taste how his world would be without me in it. Though Boudicca forbid he admit it and apologize! Now, onto last night’s Memo of the Weird presentation:

I listened from right when it started, 9 PM, until 1 AM, during which time he didn’t read my tale, and I was too tired to enjoy it any further, and crashed out…resigned to having to wait until the next evening when the podcast is up. But I awakened with another bout of acid-reflux hacking at precisely 2:13 AM, and a little birdie told me to play the show again, ’cause who knows, he might be in the middle of narrating my tale. At first I thought, “Nah, what are the odds!” and lay back down to resume listening to my horror stories on the Blu smartphone. But after another minute I decided to switch back to Memo of the Weird, and wouldn’t you know it, Wattson:

I caught him reading my latest tale almost from the beginning, say, two or three paragraphs in! He even paused to admire a hilarious passage from it, which I will splice out and send to you, as I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it. It’s only around ten seconds, but you’ll have to wait until this evening, when I can get my hands on the podcast. In conclusion:

I am quite pleased and at peace now, after winning my simultaneous battles (with the ACP debacle, and Deek’s foul behavior). Because both turned out victorious, thanks to my persistent uphill struggles, and the calm bravado in which I dealt with each. Per the wise instructions of my Bodhisattva Premise. Kudos to the SFPD as well, for moving me in that direction.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: OH THANK GLOB!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 19, 2022 at 8:52 PM

> I’m not the same person I was before I watched this!

No one is. Simple quantum theory. The purple, floating blob thing who speaks like a valley girl is called “Lumpy Space Princess.”


Subject: Marshall’s Amused Comment
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 19, 2022 at 10:11 PM

I know you’ll get a kick out of it, from his narration of my latest tale. 50 seconds:

Transcription (with Marshall’s interjections in brackets; imagine him stifling guffaws throughout):

“A short while later some screeching crackhead made his presence known all along this block of Market Street preaching hellfire, brimstone, the sins of faggotry and flying saucers…

“[Oh, that is a delightful string of words, I’ll have to use that for the title of a show one time. Hellfire, brimstone, the sins of faggotry and flying saucers…huh…he continues:]

“that we may all heed his dire warnings and not boink him in the ass without first being anointed by The Sacred Hooby-Heeby.

“[This is inspired! I like this better then the other ones! He goes on:]

“The bane of insomnia has not…

“[THE SACRED HOOBY-HEEBY!]”


Re: OH THANK GLOB!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 20, 2022 at 11:48 PM

> But I thought _I_ was the lumpy space princess!!

You’re due vast, lumpy residuals then.


Re: Marshall’s Amused Comment
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 20, 2022 at 11:56 PM

> Wonderful!!

Oh he reads my stories with gusto…no greater compliment than that.


Subject: Deek’s Rotten Behavior Continues
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 21, 2022 at 11:06 PM

Even though I resumed his allowance by giving him $50 on Saturday, for Sunday’s payment, when he dropped by last night he said:

“Can I get last Sunday’s payment now?”

“Last Sunday?” I replied, “I already gave it to you on Saturday. Your next payday is Thursday, as usual.”

“Oh, you said it was for LAST Thursday,” he replied, then went off on a rant how he knows I have the money to make up for SOME of the allowance I denied him…that the $50 I charged him for threatening me means I still owe him “a hunner fitty.”

“No, Deek,” I corrected him. “I was gonna penalize you an entire MONTH, but decided to resume payments starting Sunday, and I said your NEXT payment is Thursday. So you lost $150, you’ll never see it again. But from hereon in I’m gonna charge you $50 each time you threaten me, and $20 each time you scream at me or the dogs. And that’s that.”

What he doesn’t know is he actually lost $250, but that’s for him to figure out, if he does at all. But I give him credit for NOT screeching his rant, but speaking in a reasonable volume. And he finally backed off, said, “Okay, okay.”

I then took his smartphone and a cheap speaker upstairs to charge, and brought water back down for the pups. He was starting to nod out, leaving the pups no cushioning but his own body…which was not enough room for even ONE dog to comfortably lay down on; just sit up and lose sleep. Infuriating! Besides which, Flaco was not wearing her sweater, though Lucky was. I asked him where it is, and he answered:

“She removed it herself, it’s somewhere in my cart.” Which cart, of course, was piled high with lumpy debris and impossible to rummage through to find the sweater.

“I don’t believe you, Deek,” I snapped back. “She’s NEVER tried to take off her sweater, so please dig it out and put it back on. What the hell’s wrong with you?”

At that moment another vagrant strolled by and greeted Deek from the corner. “That’s the person who witnessed you threatening me,” I said in a hushed tone.

“He doesn’t know squat,” Deek replied, “he’s in his own world.”

I left it at that and returned upstairs while the other vagrant settled down beside a lamppost ten feet away, and began schmoozing with Deek.

Some time passed, maybe a half hour, and I decided to bring the doggies their meal even though Deek said they’re not hungry. Their master was totally zonked out by then and, sure enough, the pups scarfed up every last bit, so I fed them a second meal which they halfway finished. I also pulled a couple of worn jackets from the cart and set it down for Flaco and Lucky, who immediately flopped themselves onto the plush garb.

“If Deek yells at me for that,” I thought, “so be it, but I’ll tell him that’ll cost him $20 ’cause he forced them to rest on the dirty concrete.”

Back hovel I thought about the money I withheld for threatening me, and figured $250 IS rather harsh, and he’s been excoriated enough. So I’ll probably drop the penalty down to $100 and make up the difference over the next two weeks. I started by handing him $30 later that day when he woke up. “I’ll get it all sorted out,” I said, “and you’ll still get a full $50 on Thursday.” He replied by thanking me. He also didn’t say a word about my laying down some cloth for the mutts…very good!

He lingered a few more hours and moved behind the building when several other houseless folks showed up, including Scampy who lied down on the sidewalk with Flaco close by. Some time just after dusk, he moved cart and doggies out front, below my window, and called me downstairs:

“Look, I gotta go somewhere for an hour, can you watch them for me?”

“Forget it Deek, not gonna happen,” I replied and began to open the front gate to return home, but held it ajar as he rattled on about my not caring about him OR the dogs. So I caved in a bit:

“Seriously? Promise you’ll return in an hour?”

“Uh, no I can’t promise, maybe longer,” he replied with a shrug. “I don’t know.”

“FORGET IT, DEEK!” I called back, but let the gate slam shut as I approached him once more:

“The police are staying on top of the homeless sweep, I can’t risk it. If they show up and tell me to move on, where can I go? I’m not homeless myself, so they could fine me for being a public nuisance.”

He then flung a litany of guilt-trips in my face, none of which I bothered to defend, but did say: “I’m listening, Deek, but it’s all BS reaching my ears!”

BS like how other homeless are camping out nearby again (and chased away promptly, he neglected to mention), that I fucked up dog-sitting indoors, that I don’t even allow him to visit anymore (right, as if he wouldn’t WRECK my living situation if I did), that I threatened to call Animal Control if he tied up the pups to his cart and left for parts unknown (leaving me with not just the hounds, but his piled-high cart that would surely attract the police), that I’m a liar ’cause I don’t REALLY love the dogs, etc. etc. (But I suspect, Wattson, all he really planned to do was ride his bike around the city for two hours or longer.)

“You have other friends who can watch your dogs,” I admonished, “so stop the drama, please!”

Upon saying that, a delivery truck rolled up to the curb with its engine rumbling such a cacophony I became deaf to his rants. And it didn’t look like the noise was gonna stop anytime soon…so I guess it saved the day for THIS embattled pilgrim, as it offered me the perfect excuse to depart:

“I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M GOING INSIDE NOW!”

And so I did, hoping this argument was over and I’d know some peace this evening. The truck rumbled on for ten minutes more and believe me, it was no less noisy from where I sat in my room! Relieved that it finally stopped, I hoped he wouldn’t call back up to my window and try to coerce me to watch the dogs. But a few minutes later I heard his summon:

“Yo! Yo! Yo! Hello-oh!”

I braced myself for another confrontation as I walked back down the stairs and stepped outside, upon which he declared:

“Okay, I’m not going anywhere, not gonna tie the dogs up and leave ’em stranded…but I don’t understand why you’re acting this way, if you love them and say it’s always an honor to watch over them. You could even put your tent back up, they’d love that!”

“No, you understand the situation perfectly,” I replied. “You know neighbors will complain, the cops will show up again and I could get in trouble this time around. Did you just bring me back outside to gripe some more?”

“No I didn’t, I just wanna understand where you’re coming from!” he replied like some innocent lamb being sheared for the first time.

“Oh put a sock in it, I’m going back inside,” I retorted, and did exactly that.

To my surprise, he did not start screeching as I departed, and all was peaceful once again. I also want to point out here, good physician, that at no point in our argument did he raise his voice…so THAT’S an improvement! About twenty minutes later he called up to me again:

“I’m leaving the dogs here, but I’m just going around the corner, okay?”

“Sure,” I called back, to see the pups leashed to his cart and settled on a comfy nest of rumpled sweaters and jackets. Then a few minutes later I peered out the hallway window to be sure that’s where he went. And there he was, My Cajun Trickster, talking and laughing with another indigent. Whew!

I stepped back out for a minute to pet the doggies and arrange a bulky jacket so it would cover them better, as the evening air is damp and chill. Upon seeing them rest in perfect contentment, I returned hovel to fix my supper.

Some while later, Deek returned below my window and was soon chatting away with two others. Grubby in appearance (unlike Deek who was neatly dressed in a heavy khaki jacket, white cap, jeans and like-new sneakers), they shared an impressively large bubble pipe. Almost a hookah though you could still pass it from hand to hand. I wanna call it a “globe pipe;” it was the size of a tennis ball with thick, white wisps of smoke swirling within. Mesmerizing on the eyes, but that’s as far as I’D ever go! Here’s a pic of the houseless trio:

Click here for a larger view.

Deek is seated on the bottom left, with Flaco hunkered down upon his lap and thighs. She is always happiest to be close to him, as his faithful guardian from all bad spirits. She’s that way with me, too, and it touches my heart. Lucky is curled up in the blue lump beside the street lamp. And that colorful pile beside the open trash bin is Deek’s shopping cart stuffed beyond the brim with items of questionable worth and utility. I was hoping to include in my shot that stunning “globe” pipe being passed around, but they stashed it before I got the chance.

Almost another hour passed before Deek called me back down to return his devices, now recharged: a smartphone with a crack across one corner of the screen, and a cheap, black speaker in the shape of an owl (of all things) with one of its large, flat googly eyes missing. It was lightweight for its size (ten inches tall, six inches wide and five deep), and that is how I knew it was cheap. You’d be lucky to get an hour of sound at full–or even half–blast. Maybe it’s a street score, though there’s still a tag on it dangling from a gold elastic cord from its left wing.

After watching almost ten minutes of a video from my favorite Youtuber, Cyberdemon513, I was curious to see if Deek had finally moved on. Nope, he was still out there, but all packed up and ready to leave…with the pups atop the cart covered by a large, thick blanket for their comfort. VERY pleased to witness that, I returned to my work station, but the moment I sat down noticed the owl’s single googly eye staring up at me from my bed! I picked it up and felt the adhesive backing on my index finger. “No wonder it fell off,” I thought, “the stickiness is almost zilch!”

At first I figured to toss it away, but then decided to run back downstairs and bring it to Deek. When I stepped out he was at the corner speaking with someone, so when I approached and he looked back at me, I held out the eye and said:

“Here, I think this is yours!”

“Oh, thanks,” he replied, then stuck it back on the blind owl’s right eye socket, that it may see again, and I swiftly departed after first giving the pups a few more hugs and kisses.

Some moments after I returned hovel, a thought sprung in my mind that gave me a chuckle:

“The Goddess of Wisdom is keeping an eye on me!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Thanksgiving with Deek (pretty good, overall)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2022 at 3:14 PM

Though three afternoons before, he regurgitated his hateful rant about my refusing to sit the dogs AND his shopping cart. He brought up friendship again, so I queried:

“How can I consider someone a friend who insults and threatens me over and over for many months?”

He paused for a moment, but then made excuses for his foul behavior, claiming I do so many horrible things, it’s all my fault. At any rate I ignored the absurd offenses against me, collected his gizmos and returned upstairs, and he soon departed. When he returned that evening he apologized for what he said earlier. I told him “No problem, it’s okay.” He didn’t show up again till yesterday, so he skipped two whole days and nights…during which time I felt rather poor in spirit due to his exhausting challenges. But nonetheless worried about him and the dogs. As if that isn’t ALWAYS the case.

Attached is a pic of him and pups outside, last night. Bad enough he creates a mess half the time when he stops by. But to leave the dogs without any protection from the dirty sidewalk is disgusting! You can see them in the center, where I lay down two sheets of white cardboard, since Deek didn’t care to give them even the scantest comfort. He did later on, but it’s a shame those sweet doggies are forced to lie in the middle of what most would call “garbage.”

Some of his houseless friends showed up, including Scampy. It was a quiet gathering of several hours, and not once did Deek throw a hissy fit. He was actually friendly throughout this latest meetup. Maybe my handing him a hundred dollars earlier had something to do with it. Though that is only my making up for not giving him any allowance for the first half of the month. $130 more dollars to go, and he’s all caught up…minus the fifty dollars I’ve deducted for his threatening rant late October.

New doggy sweaters arrived yesterday, and since the pups were not wearing the ones I already gave him last week, I told him I have a fresh pair to put on. To my pleasure, he said wait-a-minute, extracted two sweaters from his cart and handed them to me.

“Oh you held onto them, thanks!” I replied. “I’ll wash them tonight and bring down the new ones.”

That was when I brought them cardboard as well, so the hounds could know SOME comfort. I like the maroon sweaters better than the camouflage ones since they’re REAL sweaters because fuzzy and thick (and warmer), whereas the cammies are thin like polyester.

I’m glad to see that Deek had friendly company most of Thanksgiving night, and that he wasn’t an asshole. Though I DON’T care for their meth smoking (sharing the pipe again in a circle), but what can I do? Come 11:30 or so, he and mutts departed with their new sweaters and a fresh supply of vittles and a 2-liter plastic bottle of water that once held diet ginger ale. Plus a hundred dollars minus what he spent at the Chevron station while I watched Flaco & Lucky for ten minutes. He may be back later today, I don’t know…we’ll just have to wait and see how things go in our next meetup.

I’ve certainly set the bar pretty low this Thanksgiving, to be grateful for Deek not deboning my spirit on Turkey Day. Meanwhile:

Today My Food Stamp Card Got Blocked!

I attempted to change my password for my online EBT account to one that was more secure. The site accepted the new password, but when I tried to log back in, it said “wrong password or user name.” So I tried my old password, but again that error came up. Tried the new password again, then a page came up asking for my birth month and year, my EBT card number, and my EBT personal ID number. So I typed them all in CORRECTLY, but when I pressed “login” a new error popped up that said “Your card is locked!” So now I can’t use my food stamps till I get things straightened out.

But when I called the local food stamp office, a recording said “We are closed right now. Our days and hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.” But it was just twenty minutes ago that I called: 1:10 PM! And it’s Friday, so I’ll have to wait a whole three fukkin days. Jeez Louise. Guess their office was closed because of Thanksgiving weekend. I also ordered two new collars for the hounds, which package arrived today…but it only included ONE collar! Hopefully, the complaint I filed with Amazon will straighten that out.

Why do I keep getting into these Kafkaesque messes? Dealing with Deek is bad enough; he’s a gremlin!

Well, at least I got the doggies’ sweaters washed, and Marshall will be narrating another Brindlekin Tale tonight…and I can now wear my new sneakers delivered three weeks ago, since my stubbed toe no longer aches (even under the slightest pressure, like from a sock). I had to wear only open-toed sandals to avoid any pain, and they’re new, too! Until they arrived I was stuck with donning a pair of rubber bath slippers, even outdoors, from mid-October until those sandals showed up. During that time I wanted to wear a sign that read: “I’m not homeless, really!”

And what’s going on with my lawsuit? Haven’t heard from my attorney since early September, not a peep! Guess I’ll wait till late next month and email her a holiday greeting, see how she responds. How Ablahblah Realty can manage to drag things out so long is beyond THIS befuddled pilgrim’s ken!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Thanksgiving with Deek (pretty good, overall)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2022 at 6:12 PM

> Well, that’s awfully generous of you to catch him up on the allowance. I don’t think he deserves it, but I know you do it for the doggies!

Penalizing him $50 is MORE than enough to put the Cajun imp into a state of shock.

> We hunkered down and did nothing for TG, except to cook an acorn squash (baked for an hour with butter and honey), followed by pumpkin pie with whiskey-flavored whipped cream for dessert!

Why did you even do THAT much…did you have guests? Acorn squash…pumpkin pie…whiskey: BLECCH! Chinese food to go would’ve been MUCH more fun and tasty.

> Covid still stalks the landscape–

That’s what Cyberdemon531 pointed out in a recent video entitled “USA Flight Tracker Proves That Americans Value Bad Holidays Over Pandemic Safety And Lives.” Biden telling everyone the pandemic is over, is heinous. The only GOOD thing about this, is far more Trumpturds will die from it, than anyone else. But I feel SO sorry for those with immune compromised systems who do their best to protect themselves.

> a good friend of mine, with an IQ of perhaps 160, teetering on the brink of homelessness, caught it and is riding it out in a motel room. So I ain’t getting complacent or going maskless or sitting in a movie theatre anytime soon!

Then there’s Long Covid to worry about…sad that happened to a close friend. I hope they’re at least updated with all the vaccinations, including the latest “covalent” shot. That would spare him or her from the worst of the virus and give a faster recovery. Why the motel room, though, does he or she share with others?

I’m not taking chances either, though Deek HASN’T gotten any shots except the first one, he doesn’t believe in it, caught up in the anti-vax conspiracy, doesn’t give a flying fuck about my OWN health as an elder. But the saving grace for him is he lives outdoors…however, he shares his pipe with plenty of other unvaccinated houseless and does NOT socially distance himself one iota.

Good news: I just used my EBT card to make a couple of grocery purchases, and it worked! So it’s just my online account that’s locked. Don’t need it anyway, as the purchase receipt shows how much I have left.

Anyway, Deek showed up an hour ago, otherwise this missive would’ve already been sent. He’s out there now, chewing the fat with a few others. Dogs still have their sweaters on thank Glob. Well, gotta go now and work on the two new smartphones he brought…and download music by two more rap artists he requested. Hope you have a lovely night, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Thanksgiving with Deek (pretty good, overall)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2022 at 9:10 PM

> Oh, fuck, no, no guests! We watched a horror movie and chowed down. It was delish! I’m going to go scarf down another hunk o’ pumpkin pie right now!

If it were blueberry pie with a crumbly top I’d be all over it. In MY world, there’s nothing worse than pumpkin pie except rhubarb. So, what was the horror flick? I’m finding these scary podcasts and narrations much more frightening than most movies, and great as a sleep aid. I like not relying on the visual facet, and let my ears take over. One of the best podcast shows is “Let’s Not Meet.” But there are many others, well, not podcasts so much as YT channels…they’re fantastic! Curious Raven is one of my favorites of course, as are Mortis Media, Dr. No Sleep, Killer Orange Cat, Let’s Read!, Darkness Prevails and a slew of others.

> He was booted out of his extremely unstable living situation, was able to raise enough $$ to put get a new room somewhere, then came down with covid, and must isolate. Thus the motel room. He’s extremely bright and knows more about vaccines and viruses and the human body than most doctors, so he’s taking excellent care of himself. And was, of course, fully vaxxed and boosted, so his covid is relatively “light.” But he sounds raspy and stuffy, also has a heart condition, and is paying close attention to his lungs, in case pneumonia creeps in.

Jeez, so sorry to hear about his predicament, both health-wise and money-wise!

> Idiot.

Yes he is, more than he realizes. Extremely difficult to deal with such a type…nor would I bother except for Lucky & Flaco. It’s a very sad arrangement, but I can’t dwell on that aspect or I’d go crazy. Deek doesn’t invite me to sit with the pups while he’s outside…prefers to schmooze with his street friends, and I understand that. However, I’m sitting upstairs for hours while the doggies are down there. So I never have more than a few minutes with ’em on any given day. They sometimes look at me with hope whenever they see me open the gate to enter…especially Flaco with her skewed, floppy ears, tilted head and bright, joyful eyes. They don’t tug on their leashes, bark, or in any other way attempt to join me inside…they accept their situation with incredible grace, and sit right there and watch me with devotion until I disappear!

Deek got a really nice Bluetooth speaker this time around, said he paid $259 for it, and I believe it. The size of a breadbox, with a hefty weight indicating an expensive lithium battery. It’s a sleek, brushed black mostly metal, with white and green blinking lights in the front. He wheeled and dealed in order to afford to spend that much money so foolishly. He’ll cough up a huge chunk of moolah for an electronic gadget he’ll loose or trade away several days later, but never spend so much as a dime on the sweetest little hounds in the universe.

> Yay!

I know, right? I hate the idea of having to slog on over to the Medi-Cal office again, so soon. That would be ridiculous, but I don’t have to so, I’m good. How easy a person can fall through the cracks these days and wind up on the streets…it’s a living nightmare that Dickens would recognize. This nation’s fast become the very shit hole that Trump called some other countries.

Low income people are now being denied life-saving meds! Not to mention stripping away a woman’s rights and declaring violence and death on LGBTs. The list goes on and on, like an IBM scroll of who shall be carted off to concentration camps.

> It’s been excellent so far.

Glad to hear it. I guess my night’s going well, too, since Deek’s been pretty mellow for a change, and he’s soon to depart with his gizmos. It’s very QUIET outside, too, as it has been yesterday. Only good thing about holidays IMO.

Well, I just stepped out for a few minutes to give goodbye hugs and kisses to the pups. Deek said thank you and wished me a good night. He’ll be out there a little while longer before the trio finally disappears up Market Street into the cold, dark nowhere.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Thanksgiving with Deek (pretty good, overall)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 26, 2022 at 12:43 AM

> Blueberry pie with a crumbly top also sounds divine! Maybe with some heavy cream poured over it!

That would work. One of my favorite treats is blueberry crumble pie with a scoop of real vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee. Blueberries are my favorite food, when they’re large, plump and sweet. An old woman that my mother used to visit and take me along, would always serve me up a bowl of such blueberries and pour cream over it. I love blueberry anything: cobbler, scone, turnover, muffin, waffle, you name it. I love berries in general. We used to have a large, wooded area across the street from my childhood home, acres and acres and acres. Blackberry brambles were everywhere, and throughout the summer I loved picking them and coming home with a bucketful. But I also love berries of all kinds, though blueberries are at the top of my list.

One of the summers I went for a two-week campout with my boyscout troop, I discovered a huge patch of blueberry bushes, so I’d get up super early to pick a gallon of ’em, so every morning we’d have blueberry pancakes smothered in more blueberries. And when I lived in Santa Cruz from ’80 to ’83, I found huckleberries growing all along the side of some train tracks, during one of my bicycle journeys. Huge, succulent huckleberries! So that spot became my twice-weekly berry pickin’ getaway!

> The flick we saw was “Ringu,” a seriously terrifying Japanese horror flick.

Okay, I watched it many years ago, but found it not in the least bit scary, let alone compelling. Maybe my mind was wandering elsewhere, though, so I’ll take a second gander. There’s also Ringu 2 and Ringu 0. Downloading them all right now. I’ll let you know what I think after a second watching.

I’m listening to Memo of the Weird right now, and Marshall just said he’ll read my latest tale after the next two songs, of my being manipulated by a drug addict while taking care of two homeless dogs…or something like that, Which is quite true. I’ll have to get his exact words tomorrow evening when the podcast is up. He read my tale shortly after midnight, then I got back to this missive after the paragraph above. Now, it’s time for me to turn off KNYO and watch some scary videos I downloaded from Youtube…then crash out. my usual late-night routine.

– Zeke K-Holmes at your service

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