The FINAL Final Final Chapter (part 24)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 19x]

Subject: Marshall’s Pithy Summation of my Brindlekin Tales
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 27, 2022 at 12:34 PM

This was last Friday night, about 12 minutes before the actual narration. It cracked me up.

[Transcription: “Humph! A little music and then more Memo of the Air Goodnight Radio on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and then I’ll read to you this week’s installment of Ezekiel Krahlin’s story about dog-sitting and, uh, being manipulated by crackheads and so on in the big city to the south of where we all are happy to live. So, don’t go away.”]


Re: Marshall’s Pithy Summation of my Brindlekin Tales
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 27, 2022 at 2:40 PM

> Classic!

I know,right? I inserted that passage (with 5 seconds of silence appended to it) right before the actual narration I’ll upload to my Youtube channel in a few minutes. His side comments are delightful embellishments to my tales, which make them a tad more succulent. Good news to report about Deek, will email the update later today.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Latest Deek Update: Smooth Sailing with a Brief Squall
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 27, 2022 at 10:12 PM

Good visit last night, peaceful and not a whiff of drama…and again this morning. Before his arrival I meditated a bit ’cause I still felt down about his continued lack of doggy kindness, closed my eyes and said to myself:

“Okay, stop the gloomy ideation, think of something nice and be grateful for another day.”

With that, two specific images popped up in my mind: one of Lucky, months before Flaco entered my world. He was leashed to the cart, tugging on it as he stood on his hind legs waving his paws furiously and going “arf! arf! arf!”…eager for my attention. But I stood twenty feet distant commiserating with Deek, unaware of Lucky’s summons. Deek interrupted my gab and pointed at the happy hound: “Go ahead, Lucky wants to say hi!” So I ran up to him, crouched down and felt his boundless joy squirm in my embrace.

The other image was of Flaco on that night of October 30th, 2020, where she happily sat in a hole she dug in the corner garden on Noe and Market. The night I wrote my first Brindlekin Tale, grieving over whether or not I’d ever see her and Lucky again. Her eyes sparkled as she gazed at me from between the long, vertical leaves of a shrub, as if telling me that I need never worry, she and her darling brother will always be here for me…so be joyful, do not despair.

I felt much better for the meditation–albeit barely a half minute long–and began my morning routine of awakening my smartphone, X230 laptop and my HP Chromebook. Minutes later, Deek called up to my window.

The moment I stepped outside he began apologizing for his threat against me five weeks back: “I would never hit an old person, that’s just whack, what would I gain from that, I’d go to jail anyway.”

He was actually more eloquent than that, and the apology went on for many sentences. I just listened while serving the pups breakfast, and crouched down to pet them. I sat with the wee hounds while Deek scurried off to Chevron for a cheap burrito and coffee, seeing as I just handed him another hundred buckazoids. Upon returning he said “Time is money, gotta rush off now, thanks for everything.”

He also gave me the two doggy sweaters the mutts were wearing for the past week, said they’re dirty, please clean them…and he’ll be back tonight for that new pair I said arrived yesterday. Then off they went.

Now, it’s 8 o’clock and he’s been lounging below my window since 6:30. I stepped outside to put the new sweaters on, water the pups and give ’em some love. Tonight he has me charging that expensive Bluetooth speaker, two smartphones and a pair of earbuds (also Bluetooth). Some scrawny, dirty-blond vagrant was seated near him, though Deek didn’t seem particularly interested in his company. I can see why: he’s the sketchy, edgy type in heavy makeup who is known to fly off the handle in a meth rage. But most of the time, friendly enough.

Lucky was tethered to the shopping cart by the curb, curled up on a scant white sweater that Deek had tossed down…nothing cushy about it, but at least he wasn’t directly on the cold sidewalk. Flaco was resting beside her master, atop an old, fluffy coat. Yet neither dog was covered for shelter from the chill air, though their master’s cart bulged with a dense pile of clothing: vests, jackets, pants, shirts, sweaters. This bothered me, so about an hour later I went downstairs to beg him to cloak the pooches.

By the time I stepped outside, he and his guest were arguing: “Get outta here,” Deek growled, “Just leave, I don’t want you around me, you stole my sandwich!” The pilferer did not put up a fight, but packed things up and swiftly departed.

During this brief fracas I laid down a white bed pillow I found on the back porch minutes earlier, for Lucky to rest upon. With a new, dark green trash bag beneath the pillow to keep it clean. I took the sweater he was laying upon and placed it over him, glad that now he’d enjoy some real warmth.

Once the scrawny fellow left, I asked Deek if there’s anything in the cart I could take to throw over Flaco. With that, he flew into a rage, albeit milder than past outbursts:

“Can’t you see I’m pissed? Get outta my face!”

I just stood there and replied: “That’s no excuse for neglecting these sweet doggies, Deek. It’s cold outside and she needs to be covered. Surely there’s SOMEthing in the cart that would work.”

I then turned to the cart and started pawing through it…which of course upset him, and he hollered “Get your grubby hands off my stuff! I’m not gonna throw my clothes on the sidewalk!”

“Oh c’mon, Deek, show a little love for Flaco. After all, she shows you ALL her love, ALL the time. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t set up a cozy nest for your dogs without my having to coerce you.”

He continued to berate me with words you’ve heard before, Wattson, so I’ll spare you the repetition. Somewhere in the middle of our clash he tried to hand me another smartphone to charge. But I told him no, I’m not gonna charge his phone if he doesn’t throw something warm over Flaco…and his yelling at me will cost him a $20 deduction from his next payment.

“I don’t care, I don’t care!” he hollered, meaning he doesn’t care if Flaco’s cold, or if he loses money. Which is nothing more than drama queen BS.

“Okay then, guess I’ll bring your electronics I’m already charging back downstairs right now,” I calmly replied, “Because you’re such an asshole you don’t even care about these wonderful pups who bring you so much kindness, you don’t deserve to have your devices charged, or an allowance of ANY kind.”

And with that I ignored his continued grouching and marched back upstairs. Soon as I stepped inside my hovel I peered out the window to see him rifle through his cart, grumbling to himself all the while, then extract a quilted gray vest that would fit a man thrice his size, and drape it over Flaco.

A MIRACLE, GOOD DOCTOR!

I quickly rushed back downstairs to say “Thank you, thank you, thank you, now gimme that phone so I can charge it, please!”

Wouldn’t you know, he misplaced it and now had no idea where it was. So he searched all his twelve pockets (shirt, jacket and pants), searched his cart, searched a small backpack beside Flaco, searched underneath and around Flaco: nothing! I was about to tell him to just call up to me soon as he finds it, when I decided to check that backpack myself before returning hovel.

“Is this it?” I queried while holding up a smartphone I found in the bottom of the pack.

“Oh thank god, yes, that’s it!” he breathed a big sigh of relief…as did yours truly.

Upon opening the gate I called back to him: “Thank you a hundred times over!” then slipped upstairs to plug the damned gizmo into my USB charging hub.

Well, it’s now 9:49 PM and ALL electronics reached full charge several minutes ago, upon which I brought them back outside and handed them to Deek one by one, saying “one hundred percent” for each item as I passed it into his hands. Scampy was seated near him, vigorously talking to herself over Glob only knows what. I said hello to her, wished them both a good night with a broad grin for Deek, and here I am now, polishing off my latest missive.

He’s still outside, though I suspect won’t be much longer, or call to my window again, even though midnight is still a ways off. Though if he does he does, fine with me. But I don’t think anything worth writing home about will occur between now and then. I’m just SO glad he followed through with making the hounds cozier, warmer and happier…instead of putting up a childish opposition against doing the right thing. He’s petting Flaco right now, who moved to his other side, and her master made sure she remained covered. I also noticed that Scampy tossed a warm jacket from the cart over Lucky, atop the skimpy sweater already there.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Click here for a larger view.

Thought I’d throw in a pic to go with my last email. Lucky is hidden beneath the black and white covers to the left of the cart. Flaco is buried beneath a fluffy jacket beside Deek’s knees, bottom center. You really can’t tell any doggies are around, but that’s actually a good thing because they are less easily disturbed by passing humans and canines…and sleep better, hiding in their tiny, warm caves of comfort.

Maybe Deek’s gonna sleep there overnight…though I fukkin WISH he’d not dump such an unglobly mess out front. This only angers people (including residents of my building), and gives cause for them to call the cops and chase him away. If ONLY he were tidy and took loving care of his furry charges, more people would be impressed and reach out to him.

He’s the ONLY homeless person in these parts who hangs out in the Castro for hours at a time, anymore. And is NOT discreet about it, which will only work against him. No doubt the police will eventually get on his case and drive him out…which I do NOT want to occur. How do I get through to him about this, he’s constantly resisting any good advice I give him to make his visits more welcome than opposed. And of course residents of my building see him out there, so will point their fingers at me!

When there were indigents all over the place Deek didn’t stick out so much like a sore thumb, but he sure does now! Well, I just looked out the window again to see him awake and dining on a sumptuous meal in a large to-go container he either purchased or received from a kind stranger. So maybe he’ll pack up and leave soon. We’ll see!


Subject: Nope, he didn’t leave…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 28, 2022 at 10:16 AM

…but slept the entire night below my window. I was ready to hit the sack by 1:30 AM, but first stepped out to check on the pups. Lucky remained snug atop the pillow and beneath two thick jackets which I raised in part to see him licking his paws, and felt the radiant warmth in his cloth igloo as I scritched his neck. But Flaco was NOT cloaked, as the jacket was pushed aside, maybe because she stood up earlier for a few good turns before settling down again beside her master. She was not shivering, but thanked me with a few licks on my hand as I placed the coat back over her little quadrupedal form and stroked her back and neck, then kissed her on the forehead. Deek, of course, was dead to the world…an air raid siren could go off two feet away and he wouldn’t hear it.

I slept well, but was awakened at 6:40 AM by Deek hollering: “LUCKY COME HERE! LUCKY!”

So I rolled over and thought: “Jeez, is he gonna call me downstairs at THIS ungobly hour?”

But nature called a moment later and I had to rise from my plush cot just the same. When I returned from the restroom I peered out the window to see Deek with his cart tightly packed up and ready to go. Sean, a large black fellow whom I call “the friendly giant,” was there, too. They were gone a few minutes later, and here’s a pic of what they left behind in their wake:

Click here for a larger view.

I was impressed by the almost thorough clean-up Deek et al had accomplished! Though not pleased he left the pillow behind, and that it was no longer resting on a clean plastic trash bag, but directly upon the filthy concrete. I could’ve bagged it for another time, but that was now out of the question.

That’s Scampy in the lower left, puttering about. The gray carpet she’s standing on I had actually rolled up and tossed by the garbage bin earlier, when I was tending to the dogs…but I guess she put it back for her own comfort. So I figured to dispose of it once again, after she departs. But when I looked out the window ten or so minutes later, Scampy, the pillow and the carpet had vanished! Which made my work easier when I went downstairs to clean up the few items that remained before I trotted off to Rosenberg’s for my morning coffee.

Upon entering I discovered a NEW worker behind the counter, and boy is he a doll! By his copper skin tone and jet black hair I guessed he’s also from India, possibly even Pallas’s brother. As I crossed 16th Street with java in hand, guess who I saw strolling in my direction: Deek and the doggies!

“Great job cleaning up!” I told him while stroking the pups so happy to see me again.

“Oh, well, I left some crap behind, someone else must’ve tidied up the rest.”

“That was me,” I replied, “Just a few minutes ago!”

He then muttered something about trading in his pricey speaker for a better one, as it loses its charge within a couple of hours, though it should last at least twice as long. Far be it for me to mention that constant exposure to the damp night air may have something to do with it. Or that buying a dubious brand with no track record doesn’t help much either, that he should stick to a reputable company like JBL, Sony or Anker.

“Well, good luck with that and god bless,” I replied after listening to his gadget woes. He hadn’t even stopped to speak with me, but just slowed down, so I had to grab my moment to greet the pups as he pulled them along. As if he were too busy to halt for a minute or two, that I enjoy the mutts’ company, Glob forbid.

Oh, I should mention an annoying topic he brought up last night: he wanted me to look up on the web, a dentist who’ll make his four upper front teeth gold. Then tell him what it will cost and he’ll not ask for any allowance until it builds up to the full amount. And he said this RIGHT IN FRONT of another vagrant, who now knows I provide Deek with a stipend. The one he argued with over a sandwich. The one who explodes in meth rages now and then.

“That’s expensive, Deek, probably at least $500 for each tooth!” I replied. “A waste of money, some of which you should spend on the dogs, like blankets.”

He dismissed my comment and said the price should be around “a hunner dollah” each. I then went upstairs to duckduckgo “dentist gold teeth” and couldn’t find anything under $800 per tooth. For either a gold crown or a porcelain veneer. So I stepped back outside and told him:

“What you want is something real dentists don’t do, all I found were price ranges from $800 to $1,200. You just need to ask those you meet with gold front teeth, where they got it done and what it cost. I don’t even know what good dentists are out there…I hate them and haven’t seen one in almost three decades.”

He just shrugged his shoulders and dropped the subject. Well, Wattson, I hope that nipped his latest ploy to waste a ton of moolah in the bud…MY moolah that is never intended for such absurd expenses.

Our last several meetups were nonetheless a vast improvement over previous ones, and I hope they only get even better.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Nope, he didn’t leave…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 28, 2022 at 11:11 PM

> Oh, great. He wants gold teeth. I would NEVER have gold in my mouth, in this world full of thieves and murderers…who wouldn’t hesitate to cut off his head and yank the gold. Where does he get such daft ideas?

That’s his rap star fantasy. Funny thing, though, he foolishly stated the opposite of what YOU just wrote: that with gold for teeth no one could steal it from him. It’s not gonna happen, though…not on my watch. And certainly not with my allowance. If he ever brings this up again I’ll just tell him that people flashing gold teeth to the world often wind up dead and toothless.

> So glad the dogs are warm. Mine wear double jackets on these chilly nights, even though they sleep on a cozy enclosed porch with plenty of blankets.

You mean Pluto is now comfortable wearing a doggy sweater? That didn’t take long!

> Saw my pal with covid today; I drove to Fort Bragg and picked up his heart medications for him, nitroglycerine and metoprolol, and took them to his motel. He was well enough to step outside into the sun, where we talked, ten feet apart and both of us masked.

Glad you spent some time with him…but what a grim get-together! I hope you two shared some laughable moments.

> At the pharmacy, I glimpsed two other people I know–he’s about 80 and tired and overweight, and she’s about 75 and coming down with dementia. He’s her sole caregiver. I recognized them from behind, saw them long before they saw me. Both of them were in bad shape–he from exhaustion, she from losing her marbles. She recognized me, masked though I was. Dreadfully sad.

Oh my gosh. I’d feel like the Angel of Death if I had that kind of day. I wouldn’t even wanna leave my home for a few weeks after that! BTW, do you know about a new TV series called “Wednesday?” It’s an Addam’s Family spinoff in a wonderfully macabre way…much more dark, sophisticated and spooky than the original.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Resistance is Weakening!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 30, 2022 at 11:37 PM

Deek dropped by yesterday evening and when I came downstairs the first thing I noticed (of course) is whether or not the dogs were wearing their sweaters. They weren’t.

“It’s deadly cold for little doggies, Deek,” I addressed him while caressing my angels, for whom Deek had laid down two thick jackets. “Do you still have the sweaters, I’ll put ’em on.”

I remained perfectly calm as he ranted how they hate the sweaters, keep pulling them off, and they’re too thin anyway, it’s just to make them look cute.

“That’s just not true, Deek,” I replied. “They’ve always been comfortable with the sweaters on, you’re just making this up. And these sweaters are thicker than the camouflage ones, so they DO make a real difference.”

He ranted on, told me to stop telling me how to raise his own dogs, I don’t love them anyway, it’s all a big show, I’m a phony, blah blah blah.

I then pointed to the right of where he sat against the ATM plywood: “I see you have a new speaker, but unless you get those sweaters back on, I’m not gonna charge it for you, or anything else.”

He still griped like a whiny brat as I stood up and eyed his shopping cart, which contained but a few items. However, those sweaters were right there in the middle on top, as if he only recently tossed them there…like maybe a minute before he arrived. Like maybe he did that just to raise my hackles.

“Oh here they are!” I exclaimed and grabbed them, turned around to face him again and added: “Just humor me then, and I’ll be glad to charge your electronics.”

He caved in and agreed to that so I crouched down to put the sweaters back on Lucky and his sister, who gleefully accepted my kind hands and soft words. How they look at me with such love: friends forever, always and forever! It makes Deek jealous, and that’s such a disgustingly juvenile reaction it’s all I can do to keep from slamming him to the ground.

I guess he knows I’m serious about refusing to charge his gizmos if he doesn’t comply with certain issues that are important to me…which have everything to do with the hounds’ well-being. I also guess my withholding his allowance for an excruciating two weeks–along with penalizing him $50–hit home like a sack of bricks. Mission accomplished!

After returning upstairs with three smartphones and a speaker, and fixing the pups’ dinner and bringing it to them I said: “Now what about you, would you like some tea?”

“Okay,” he replied, so back upstairs I went. But while preparing his blueberry tea I was still bothered that he neglected to toss something over them to block the chill air. So when the tea was ready I also brought two trash bags back downstairs.

“These will keep them warm on top,” I said and carefully laid a flattened bag over each one, which I know they appreciated…then scooted their dishes close to their noses so they wouldn’t have to step back out into the cold to eat.

While fixing my own dinner upstairs I ruminated over what I might have lying around that could provide better warmth than those trash bags. Then it hit me: that large, quilted mattress cover I had bundled into its own trash bag and used for a sitting-up pillow to watch my TV shows and movies at night. Deek found it weeks ago, and I used it to cover the tent floor until I could no longer set up a tent, but decided to hold onto it for when it might come in handy another time. Well, that time had come, Wattson, so I cut it up into four large squares, each of which would amply cover BOTH dogs with extra to spare, then brought one square down and laid it over them. Perfecto! Snug as two bugs in a rug!

By then, Deek had the company of two other vagrants, one being his ex, Scampy. I didn’t intrude upon their communion, but just dropped the cloth on the pooches and rushed back hovel. Deek seemed to pay me no mind…in other words he didn’t object. The remaining squares will be parceled out for those visits when their master shows up without spare material of his own to keep them warm. Shameful how he doesn’t hold loving regard for his furry companions, in light of all the sweetness and joy and kindness they bring! Some day if he doesn’t change his tune he’ll wake up, they’ll be gone and he’ll weep grievously for the rest of his life. I will, too, but through no fault of my own.

Meanwhile, I ordered two sleeping bags at $17 each, which I’ll also donate to my brindlekin during this winter season, when the time comes. I intend to order more if I don’t find equivalent solutions for free…either on the streets or this building’s back porches where residents discard items they no longer need, but figure someone else here could appreciate. Back in the day I used to find all sorts of good stuff on the porches, but pickin’s are sparse in this new era of paucity. I did find on my back porch yesterday, a larger laundry bin than mine, with its own wheels that will ease my laundromat trips considerably. I think it’s yet another discard from my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall who died some weeks back. Because his former housemate showed up yesterday afternoon to do more cleanup, I figure that’s where it came from.

As I returned the three cut-up squares into their trash bag, I discovered two doggy blankets in the bottom that I had forgotten about! I had ordered four of them for $22 a few months ago, and gave two to Deek’s pups, then bagged the remaining two with the mattress cover. They’re small, each three by four feet, and on the thin side, though adequate for the purpose of warmth. These blankets are cute, with white paw prints dappled across a mossy green, fuzzy background. So I brought them downstairs and placed one on Lucky (beneath the cloth square), and another on Flaco now curled up in Deek’s lap.

Again, he offered no objection but continued to parley with his guests while Scampy adjusted Flaco’s blanket so it covered her entirely except for the schnozzola poking out and resting upon her master’s midriff.

It was pretty much a peaceful meetup, and it looks like Deek had a very nice Thanksgiving with a small gathering of friends outside, and last night was the same. By 10:30 PM he was ready to depart, I brought down his gadgets then noticed a large dog food bowl in his cart, encrusted with damp kibble that had partly dried up and stuck to the bottom and sides.

I plucked it from the cart and said, “Here, let me clean this for you. It’ll only take a minute.”

“No thanks,” Deek scowled, “I can clean it myself, stop playing the friendly fool.”

“Seriously?” I replied. “That kibble’s old and I don’t want the dogs to get food poisoning, and I know how hard it is to clean a messy bowl when you’re on the streets.”

“Forget it!” he ordered. “I’ll clean it myself.”

So I shrugged my shoulders, said “okay” and returned the bowl to its place, then pet the doggies and wished them all happy trails and a wonderful rest of the night. Resisting the temptation to kick his sorry ass up and down Market Street, of course.

He didn’t come back tonight, and he knows I’ll be gone all day tomorrow because of bedbug treatment on my room. Unless he forgets, and winds up standing around my building for hours, wondering where the fuck I am. I love those poochies.

Now, about two hours ago I heard a woman screaming “Get offa me! Stop! Help!” and looked out my window to see two cops holding her down while she flailed. I thought it might be Scampy, so stepped out to see if she was, and maybe I could calm her down because I know she likes me. But it turned out to be some other hapless soul living on the streets. So much drama goes on in front of my building! Anyway, here’s a 10-second video of the incident:

And here’s another little drama that played out four days ago:

Another scary houseless dude screaming and wielding a large stick or a club, looking like he’s about to strike someone down unlucky enough to walk by. I didn’t catch the worst of his screeches and threatening gestures, but you get the picture.

Finally, one last scene of street drama that occurred two days prior:

So, this Friday Marshall will read the tale I call “A Good Day for Pitching a Tent,” which describes in part, the first day of my campout adventures. Not a very long chapter in my life, sad to say. Marshall doesn’t know that yet, about the SFPD putting the kibosh on it, along with the new difficulties Deek has thrust into my world.

Intriguing, my connection with Mendocino County, how it’s evolved into a story of its own. Starting with my first and so far ONLY visit up there, visiting Timothy Dipalma in his rickety old trailer deep in the woods. Who was a resident of this building for several years, where we met and became friends. And now, and for many years, the portrait he painted of me is up there, too, in his art gallery!

And long prior to that, Tom Cahill visiting me in SF to support my reaching out to Randolph Taylor…for he then lived up there along Ten Mile River.

Because of those two I developed a growing affinity with Mendoland, and then WE met online (via Alternet.org’s discussion groups) around two decades ago! Which only served to deepen my fondness for that region of the planet. And now there’s Marshall McGee of Memo of the Weird fame, reading my latest tales in regular installments! Thanks to your recommending his show to me, and suggesting I send him a story five years back.

And now, his narrating my vignettes becomes part of my Brindlekin Tales as well…thus, a weaving of Mendocino with San Francisco to create a more complex weft. Not to mention most of my apologues come through my correspondence with my all-time favorite Mendoville resident! Kind of my own Tale of Two Cities.

Just what do we make of this, Wattson? Nothing but good will come out of this, of course, and it already is. But that seems to be just a fraction of a bigger picture yet to manifest. Where is Timothy’s wormhole teleportation tunnel when we need it?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Resistance is Weakening!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 1, 2022 at 10:37 PM

> Oh, those poor lost souls–the woman screaming, the guy hallucinating. There but for fortune go I…

Likewise.

> How well I remember “Homohobo” on Alternet.

Ha ha, “Homohobo” rocks the world but nobody’s listening except you! Well, I think Marshall McGee is now, too. He loves reading my stories. I am a grain of mustard seed.

> And I remember our first couple of conversations.

They will go down in history as the turning point for humanity.

> Little did either of us know that the wormhole was about to engulf us!

Stellar way to put it. And Timothy Dipalma knows something. I have a hunch your next encounter with him will be revelatory.

Our unanticipated meeting in cyberspace and how our association evolved, is an incredible story of friendship…which comes through in my tales, including those from Free Me From This Bond. It will make many hearts joyful, hopeful and inspired once my parables fly like doves to every corner of the world. What a great thing you’ve done for me, by being such a booster for my talents and endeavors, over so many years! As I said before, and more than once: you’re the sister I never had. May you have a lovely night, Wattson: you, your furry companions and hooman partner.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Latest Email to My Attorney
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 2, 2022 at 12:51 PM

Sent this out a few minutes ago, followed by a text message that said: “I just sent you an email, nothing urgent:”

–begin:

Subject: Any guesstimate how much longer my case will drag out?

I'm thinking about opening an informal escrow account if it looks like this will drag on for three or more months. I'll do it via my own bank, as it will cost me zilch fees per month. I've opened a separate account before, for a Gofundme project that has since ended.

I'm doing very well, though my homeless friend who owns the pups can sometimes be difficult, and I worry about his dogs being exposed to so much cold weather. Since September 30th 15-minute passages from my latest tales are narrated every week on a radio station up in Mendocino County, by the host of "Memo of the Air," broadcast every Friday night from 9pm to 5am. Which also has live streaming and turns each show into a podcast, once aired. It's the only remaining nonsyndicated LOCAL radio broadcast in the entire country. Many of my stories have been read over the air on that station prior to this, but not as weekly installments like they are now. I'll also be calling in again, as I used to before a year-and-a-half gap. I snip out my own tales the host reads, as well as my call-ins, and feature them on my blog, as well as upload the links to them on the Mendocino Community Network mailing list.

That's it for now, Magdalena, and I wish you an excellent holiday season for yourself, loved ones and your dedicated associates at the SF-PLG.

Sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin

–end


Subject: Please vote no on weaponized robots in SF!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My district supervisor
Date: December 2, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Supervisor Mandelman:

I have lived in your district (the Castro) since 1983, and am vehemently against weaponized robots. The rules are way too broad for them to NOT be used inappropriately and murderously. Horrific mishaps are bound to happen, innocent residents and tourists will be caught in the crossfire, with some actually targeted. Weaponized robots will turn my lovely city from a walker’s paradise into a walker’s hell. Everyone will be scared to step outside. A potential nightmare is in the making.

Sincerely and with grave concern,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


Subject: Cold day, pups without sweaters!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 2, 2022 at 11:50 PM

Deek showed twice today, first in the morning around 10:30 AM. Evening though it was a cold day, the dogs were not wearing sweaters.

“Do you still have their sweaters in there somewhere?” I asked and pointed at the cart.

“Yeah, they’re in there,” he replied.

“Okay, just asking,” I answered back, wishing he would’ve gotten the hint. But I didn’t press him about it, since he had them sit in the sun which did provide enough warmth for the time being. I told him I’m going to my bank right now to bring him yesterday’s allowance. He didn’t say anything about an advance payment for Sunday as well, which he usually does ’cause it’s only two days away, and I certainly didn’t bring it up.

But when I got there I withdrew a hundred dollars in the sum of four Jacksons and four Lincolns…then split them evenly into two envelopes. One of which I slipped into my backpack.  I figured he’d just have to wait till Sunday for his next payment, but I wanted to have it on hand in case he DID drop by tomorrow evening and request it. Deek always makes it a battle for me to spread his monthly stipend evenly throughout the month!

Upon delivering him one envelope where he and pooches sat by the corner of my flatiron building, he peered into it and mumbled: “What about…” then caught himself and concluded with: “…never mind.”

I guess he sensed I was gonna give him opposition that he couldn’t break, knowing I WILL be adamant when I deem it necessary, so he thought better of it. Thanks to my docking him $50 and withholding further payments for two weeks because he screamed threats at me in October, he learned THAT lesson well.

I then watered and fed the hounds, took his electronics upstairs for the usual charging. Just before I did that, he said he’s leaving in a few minutes. Sure enough he did, and I was able to get some grocery shopping done and resume my Internet activities.

Dog and pups returned shortly before dusk…they still had their sweaters off even though the cold air was bitingly chill by now. He didn’t even lay down something cushiony for them, so the dogs were forced to sit on the cold concrete, and I could see Flaco shivering a bit, though not a complaint out of that sweet quadruped.

“C’mon, Deek,” I softly admonished, “It’s fukkin cold out here, let me put their sweaters on.”

“I don’t wanna hear it,” he retorted. “It’s not cold at all, I’m sweating here!”

“That’s because they don’t smoke meth like you do, and it makes you feel warm,” I reminded him. “You know better.”

As he grumbled further his diatribe against me, how I don’t really love the pups, etc., I espied one doggy sweater poking through the debris in his cart, pulled it out and slipped it on Flaco with loving care.

I then stood up and pawed through the cart to find the other sweater upon which Deek chastised me for going through his things.

“I was just looking for the other sweater,” I replied. “But never mind there’s another one upstairs, I’ll just bring it down.”

Which I promptly did and, after putting the fuzzy garment on Lucky, addressed his master once again: “You still need to place something comfy for them to sit on, Deek!” He had already told me only minutes prior that he has tons of stuff in his cart to keep them warm, yet still refused to accommodate his charges.

“I do everything opposite from what you tell me!” he exclaimed.

“Well then, don’t jump off a bridge if you can help it,” I quipped.

“You talk to me like I’m ready to let them die,” he griped. “I take good care of them, I love these dogs!”

“I don’t know, Deek,” I dubiously countered, “if you love them I’d never have to nudge you to keep them warm, and this cold is deadly to little doggies if you keep them exposed, they COULD get sick and die. And I had to beg you to stop lashing them to a standing bicycle that could EASILY crash down and injure them!”

“I only did that once!” he exclaimed with some resentment.

“Aw, not true, Deek,” I replied. “You’ve done it dozens of times in my presence for so many months I’ve lost count! And one time they almost DID get injured when that skateboarder whizzed by.”

Upon my speaking those words he stood up and yanked a hefty, ebony jacket from the cart and tossed it down. The dogs immediately went to it and gratefully curled up beside each other.

“Thank you!” I said, “Much appreciated. But you still need to cover them with something as well.”

He didn’t respond but just sat there looking up at the sky, not a peep out of him. Seeing as he obviously had no intention of extricating anything else from his cart overburdened with an impressive pile of old clothing, I decided to bring down another square of that quilted mattress cover I cut up three nights ago.

As I draped it over them I was glad to see how its large size completely covered them both with plenty of inches to spare on all sides. I knelt down to tuck them in, to assure there would be no gaping entries for the cold to invade their little textile cave.

“See, Deek?” I vocally observed. “If they didn’t feel cold they wouldn’t be so eager to hunker down beneath it and stay there. And as far as your claim they keep pulling their sweaters off, that’s totally bogus.” Then added:

“I’d like that blanket back if you don’t mind. You already have a load of warm clothing, and I could use it for another time.”

“Okay, okay,” he replied, then with a wave of his hand said, “Go now, I wanna talk with my friends!”

I looked around to see two neatly attired vagrants standing on the curb fifteen feet away, imparting smiles in his direction. “Sure, you have a nice time, I’m going now. And thanks for your patience.”

Around two hours later he called to me: “I gotta go now, bring everything down!”

He was waiting at the front gate when I arrived downstairs, so I handed him the devices and asked: “Can I get that blanket now, or do you wanna keep it?”

“I’d like keep it,” he replied, and I said “fine” as he took off. His cart and pups were parked by the far end of the bus stop, so I stepped out to hug and pet them, and wish them all a very good night. Flaco was shivering again, though just a little bit in her left shoulder. Oh how I yearned to pick her up in my arms and take her and Lucky upstairs to my warm, cozy sanctuary and see their blissful little souls zonked out in doggy dreamland! That would be MY bliss as well; I ask for nothing more. Yet what a long, grievous struggle to get there again!

Then I turned away and as I did, Deek called to me with a hearty “Thank you!” They vanished less than two minutes after I returned hovel.

I think, Wattson, that Deek is testing me with his stubborn behavior against my wish he take better care of the dogs. In that, as my bodhisattva guardian, he continues to challenge me to do the right thing, rather than remain silent. Otherwise, why thank me shortly after all the BS he put me through once more? And not press me for Sunday’s allowance? Well, I don’t mean “testing” me so much as strengthening my mettle. Or maybe he just enjoys witnessing how graciously–though with steely reserve–I deal with unpleasant confrontations. A kind of pastime for bodhisattvas.

I sure hope so, because that means he takes excellent care of them everywhere else exCEPT in my presence. Maybe they even have a real home to go to, once out of my radius…which I conjectured several times before in some of my past tales.

Oh look, it’s now 10 PM FRIDAY NIGHT, so I’d better end this missive and listen to Memo of the Weird; I’m already an hour late!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I almost forgot to mention that when I looked out the window about a half hour ago I saw Scooter standing around outside leaning on a…parked SCOOTER of all things. Don’t know how long he was out there, though I don’t think more than a few minutes. He was just looking around, seemed to be thinking about stuff. No hollering up to Karlsen, whistling, or belligerently strutting up and down the street, cussing. Totally quiet he was, and soon departed. I haven’t seen him in these parts for weeks, figuring Karlsen came to his senses and drove the fool away. Maybe Scooter is yet another of my guardians and just paying a friendly, albeit it aloof, visit. Sort of like a video game NPC in my virtual domain.

P.P.S.: Long delay in sending this out, because Deek showed up AGAIN and took up a lot of my time with setting up a new phone and troubleshooting another. The pups were VERY well sheltered from the cold, glad to report: Lucky in the cart, bundled up in wads of jackets, same for Flaco though she was resting beside Deek by the ATM plywood. He had the nerve to call me downstairs SIX TIMES in twenty minutes, thus disrupted my listening to Marshall’s show. He wanted soda, he wanted tea, he wanted a razor, he wanted a felt tip pen…he even wanted to come upstairs to visit for “just a minute, I won’t be a problem,” and of course I just ignored him though he was quite a nag about it. But I’M NOT COMPLAINING, just reporting…seeing as THE most important thing in all this is that the doggies are cozy and warm. Just a short while ago Deek brought Lucky over to rest beside his sister, and they’re all now nicely ensconced atop and beneath layers of jackets, inside a makeshift tent of thick white canvas. Here’s a snapshot:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Picked up his money and left!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 4, 2022 at 11:35 AM

A quick meetup, though it is a good sign he waited till Sunday to receive his Sunday allowance. “I just want my money, nothing else,” declared Deek the moment I opened the gate. Doggies looked great, though when Lucky squirmed on his back and I scritched his belly, he was soaking wet there (though not anywhere else).

“Here, let me bring down a clean rag to dry him off,” I requested.

“Nah, he’s fine. The dogs’ll get wet again in the next rain, anyway,” he replied matter-of-factly.

“Well, okay,” I concluded in resignation. (“What kind of answer is that?” I thought to myself.)

I have to admit, Wattson, both hounds appeared perfectly happy, healthy and glad to see me. No sign of shivering in the least.

He didn’t even have anything for me to charge, just asked me to hold onto his barrel speaker which USB port is too loose now to hold a plug.

“Here, check this out,” he said while pointing at that speaker’s port. “You broke the connection, you’re supposed to insert it carefully.”

“No I didn’t break it,” I replied. “It’s a cheap device, the connection was already loose.”

“Well it charged fine last time I used it,” he stated in a calm tone.

“That’s neither here nor there, Deek,” I countered, knowing he probably lied just to guilt-trip me. “The port was ready to go, it’s poorly built…planned obsolescence.”

Now please note he didn’t raise his voice once, was totally calm throughout to the point I can’t really say it was even an argument. He didn’t even object to my denial it was my fault.

“Just hold onto it for me,” he concluded. “I have a friend who knows how to fix a wonky USB port.”

“What about your other speaker,” I queried while pointing at it teetered atop a pile of junk and old clothes in his cart. “It’s wet, that could’ve damaged it.”

“Nah, it’s just a little damp. I gotta go now, thanks for the money,” he began pushing the cart forward as the pups followed; they looked back at me in a wish to stay longer. “I’ll be back this afternoon.”

Of course he’ll expect me to plug in his dampened devices then, which could short out and start a fire. And even explode. Or they could just short out and he’ll accuse me of breaking them. I’m also worried about this fentanyl epidemic, since the pooches could be exposed to it simply by sniffing around. It seems to be all over the place these days! Deek warned me last week about not smoking any roll-your-own butt or joint I may find on the street, because of that.

I don’t think Marshall read my latest tale last Friday night, though I haven’t listened to the entire podcast yet, just 90 percent. His laser printer crapped out, so he’s reading off an LCD screen with some difficulty, and as a result may have forgotten to read my piece. Oh well, there’s always next Friday. But I did enjoy his narration of Erwyn’s vignette on aging: stuck crawling in the bramble after fetching a eucalyptus branch for the stove…just yards away from where you were in your studio cabin talking on the phone and didn’t hear him yell out for an assist. What a minor discomfort that can morph into a tragedy when you’re up there in years!

BTW my phone rang at 3:03 AM (I forgot to set it face down before I hit the hay, to silence it). I didn’t answer, just let it go…so upon checking it this morning, I saw it was from your area code. But no voicemail was left. Couldn’t find who the caller was because all these phone lookup services wanna charge you for the privilege. Not that I mind paying one paltry dollar, but I DO mind giving them my debit card number! The ONLY thing I discovered with an online search was that it’s a land line. On the remote possibility you might recognize the number, it’s 707-511-1075.

My Moto E is charging fine again, no longer stuck in slow charge since I purchased a new, 6-foot USB cord for it. Glad that was a temporary problem cheaply rectified. It plugs in firmly, and I can pick up the phone without the cord falling out.

And I don’t mind having purchased a second phone out of panic ’cause it was cheap ($29) and I use it to play my spooky tales in bed, rather than relying on my active phone for such a trivial thing. Besides which: I now have a backup in case the Moto REALLY craps out. Good rule of thumb to go by: ALWAYS have a spare smartphone handy. It’s a BLU brand, they’re actually pretty good for a budget item. I use a protective screen and case on BOTH phones.

Well, I’ve bored you enough, good doctor…hope you have a sweet rest-of-the-day! And tell Erwyn to stay out of the bramble, please.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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