Deek’s Remarkable Ability to Thrive

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 7: Chapter 1]

Subject: The Firemen and Deek’s Late Meetup
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 20, 2022 at 1:24 PM

Two afternoons ago I walked down to the lobby to retrieve an Amazon delivery, but who should be at the front gate but several firemen! They did not seem to be in a hurry when I opened the gate to let them in, and said: “I’m not the one who called, but c’mon in!”

They said thank-you, and one held the gate open, said “You stepping out?”

“Oh no,” I replied, “I just came downstairs to pick up…” then pointed at two items set down on the glass table to my right…”my packages from Amazon.”

With that, one of the firemen grinned at me (’cause I guess my simple plan to pick up my deliveries was thwarted by their arrival), while two others clambered up the stairs with a lengthening trail of a measuring tape starting from the doorway. They were soon (all four of them) on the second floor as I followed back upstairs with the two packages under my left arm…one was hefty, containing as it did a carton of canned dog food…the other was light as a feather because all it held were five micro SD cards. I was careful not to get my feet tangled in the measuring tape and, as I approached my floor, saw they had extended it all the way down the west end of the hallway and around the corner, towards (guess who) Karlsen’s abode.

Since the jerk’s moved in almost three years back, he has had firemen and/or an ambulance show up to assist him for whatever (supposedly) urgent reason, multiple times per year. “What bullshit is he up to now?” I thought as I nodded kindly to a couple of firemen before proceeding to my hovel. Of course I was highly curious as to what brought them here this time, but no way was I gonna be a nuisance and appear before them, just to find out what’s up.

So I stood in the alcove right beside my room, where they wouldn’t see me, and tried to eavesdrop…however, it was difficult to make out anything they said, nor did I hear Karlsen’s voice. Their walky-talky crackled a lot with voices and static, but provided no pertinent revelation for the situation at hand. Though when another resident came down the stairs some minutes later, I heard him ask if everything’s alright.

“Yes,” said one of the firemen. “This is just a practice run.”

Practice run, Wattson? You mean they’re using our building for some kind of rehearsal? Do they do this with OTHER old, large apartment buildings in their district? Or maybe Karlsen has become so notorious at this point, they wanted to prepare for any future emergencies he may conjure up? Else why would the measuring tape end right before HIS apartment, instead of down some OTHER side hallway…like where my deceased quasi-fascist neighbor used to reside? I can only think of one reason for the measuring tape: to record the required fire hose length to the Bohemiantard’s locus. WTF do they think might happen?

The friendly firemen departed a few minutes later, but I was no more the wiser. At least yesterday evening when Scooter showed up again and lingered around my building, he made no disturbance, not even a whistle in the direction of Karlsen’s window…and disappeared within a few minutes.

So last night I crashed out just after midnight, but barely fifteen minutes later Deek called up to me: “I just need you to charge some stuff overnight!” By now, the dogs know to gaze up at my window whenever their master stops below…even if they’re parked by the bus stop. So now all THREE look up at me these days, instead of just one stupid hooman! The doggies’ sweet little faces staring up at me with such devotion breaks my heart because I can’t bring them inside.

When I stepped outside to pick up his devices, of course I showered the pups with beloved regard, and they drank it all up, curly tales waggin’ vivace with Flaco licking my face and her brother gnawing on my shirt sleeve in happy mischief. So when I collected the gizmos, I thought to return back downstairs to spend a few more delightful minutes with My Brindlekin, but Deek popped THAT bubble:

“Can I visit you for a minute?”

I simply said, “No,” and walked towards the gate, realizing if I came back outside again, he’d pester me further and ruin my doggy interlude. Besides which, I can’t even imagine the cruelty of leaving the hounds outside while they watch me enter the building with their master! What REALLY irks me, Wattson, is he never invites me to spend a little time with the doggies when he drops by to collect or deliver his electronics. It’s always “I’m in a rush” to go elsewhere, even though he usually winds up spending 20 minutes or so down there, gabbing with another vagrant or fussing with his cart or bags of shake…or God only knows what else. So I have but a few brief moments with the pups here and there, and little more these days.

On a good note, he only asked me once and did not push further…and was otherwise polite and calm. As I began to write this missive, I had to pause because he showed up to retrieve his gadgets. Was peaceful in demeanor, and asked only that I serve the doggies’ breakfast, bring them water and a cup of soda for him. Then he said he’s gotta go.

He may harbor resentment towards me for no longer sheltering the hounds, but I didn’t sense any hateful vibes, nor were his words anything but kind. He did ask when is Christmas again, like he did two days ago, so I reminded him it’s this Sunday. “Sunday?” he queried. “Does everyone else around here know it’s Sunday?”

Strange question I thought, but I simply answered, “I’m sure they do.”

His shopping cart was loaded with a mountain of unknown contents (because covered by a drop cloth), and five lawn-sized trash bags bulging with dented cans and empty bottles tied to it on all sides except along the handlebars.

“Wow!” I remarked as he began to turn the cart around towards Noe Street, leashed pooches in tow. “That looks damn heavy, Deek! Don’t see how you do it but I’m sure it keeps you strong.” So off they went, a homeless rogue and his two angelic furries. They all looked healthy and in good spirits, glad to report.

Nice words are good reinforcement for nice behavior, eh, good doctor?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The Firemen and Deek’s Late Meetup
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 20, 2022 at 7:31 PM

> Sounds like a pretty good meetup, all in all,

Yes, things are going MUCH better over the past several weeks. Far less extreme and prolonged hissy fits than previous episodes. But also, camping out in the Castro is nigh impossible, so he doesn’t drop over for long spells anymore.

> but the sheer unadulterated hutzpah of him asking to come up for a visit! He knows perfectly well that ain’t gonna happen. And by now, he knows your resolve. So why does he do it?

Testing my fortitude, I suppose. Maybe it’s become a standing joke in his mind’s eye. Around two weeks ago he also begged to visit: “Two years!” he exclaimed. “It’s been two fukkin years since I’ve been upstairs!” As if such a guilt trip would weaken my resistance. He ALSO said then, “You don’t know this but I have a coupla OTHER friends who live here, and I visit them.” I just ignored that ’cause it’s not worth the bother.

He’s a trickster’s bag of lies, but I deal with it like a boss. Used to twist my stomach into knots, wave after wave of angst…so that’s the lesson: I no longer am the least bit phased over his hateful accusations. And as I’ve grown increasingly calm over such eruptions, he’s become more acceptingly placid in return.

> Imagine if you ever did let him in for just a “minute” how hard it would be to get rid of him.

Oh, he’d leave shortly, gets restless indoors after several minutes…but that would open the door to repeat visits, which I could NOT tolerate. And he’s likely to pilfer stuff from my room when I’m not looking or step out to use the restroom. His mood swings are unpredictable, and I certainly can’t afford his temper tantrums under my own roof! There’s also the matter of leaving the pups outside, which I would NEVER allow.

> As for the firemen, I’m wild with curiosity. Did it have something to do with YOUR building in particular, or was it, as you said, just that your building is a good “example?”

I have NO idea what all that brouhaha was about. But I enjoyed the exchange of goodwill, being the one to let them inside, and the friendly banter.

> The nattering idiocy of pop Xmas music trickles down on my head from the Muzak speakers. I can just barely tolerate it. Just barely.

Certainly not in your home! You must’ve been in a supermarket or other public space when you emailed this. Yes, Exmass music is the worst…I’d rather be subjected to rap music, and that’s saying a lot.

I will soon compose my next email to the attorney. I’ve been mulling it over for some days now, figuring out how best to use my words. I’m almost there.

Side note: Mr. Raskin’s testimony at the last Jan. 6th Committee public presentation was STOLEN by that remarkably handsome stud muffin standing behind him and to our left, in clear view of all the drooling viewers (including yours truly). I presume he’s one of the bodyguards, though perhaps Archangel Michael himself, to see to judgement’s victory. I just wonder why the committee would allow such a crotch-creaming distraction from the important words spoken by Raskin et al…HISTORY changing words in fact:

Click here for a larger view.

Re: The Firemen and Deek’s Late Meetup
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 12:01 AM

> Yes, yes, in the store. Not here!!!

Well you scared me for a moment.

> I do enjoy a good rousing Handel’s Messiah, though.

Most so-called “Exmass” music isn’t in that league! They couldn’t even touch Handel’s poop. Though I’m sure if any is still around, it’s petrified.

> Not bad! Though Jamie himself is sexy in a completely different way: his brains, his nobility, his courage!

His beefy dossier! Ah loves me sum beefy dossier!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: JUST before I was about to post this email Deek showed up, asked me to watch the doggies for five minutes. I said sure, and laid down some cardboard for them that was stacked by the trash bin. I gathered both pooches into my arms for a sweet snuggle fest. He was back within ten, said he doesn’t need anything tonight, except to charge his gizmos (of course). DIDN’T ask for an advance payment for Thursday, but I bet he will tomorrow when he picks up his stuff. Dogs did NOT have sweaters or jackets on, so I asked if he still has some in his cart. He shrugged his shoulders, “I dunno,” meaning they probably were stuffed deep in his overloaded cart, but too lazy to fish them out. So I shrugged my shoulders in kind and offered to bring down a pair of jackets. He said fine, so I hurried back upstairs to retrieve them, and put them on the hounds. And that’s that, except he’s still downstairs, seated against the ATM plywood. I imagine he’ll move on shortly. Wait a sec.:

I just checked again, he’s still there and someone else has joined him. Wherever Deek parks, he quickly draws in others. How much it has to do with the meth he provides, I can only guess. Though I still don’t think he’s gonna hang out there much longer. Here’s a pic; you can see the pups in the upper left: Lucky in blue plaid, Flaco in red. Anyway, they’re quiet, and that’s what counts. Not too cold outside, thank Cthulhu.

Click here for a larger view.

So easy for him to lay down some comfy material for the pups, yet he does not! What an asshole. Sometimes he uses the excuse “Well I’m leaving in a few minutes,” but then he lingers on for a half hour or more. Well, I just have to weigh my gains and losses…at least the jackets are on.


Re: The Firemen and Deek’s Late Meetup [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 1:56 PM

> Not bad! Though Jamie himself is sexy in a completely different way: his brains, his nobility, his courage!

I SHOULD have mentioned something obvious to me, but foolishly assumed it was obvious to everyone else. In that the dapper bodyguard possesses all the attributes of the avenging angel archetype: noble brow, castigating frown towards blatant evil, tall and chisel faced, superb physique. All he lacks are wings and a flaming sword! Like so:

Click here for a larger view.

Though not always, as one can easily see Jamie Raskin’s face in this particular rendering:

Click here for a larger view.

However, in light of the somber reckoning re. the January 6th hearings, I find it stunningly synchronistic that an archetypal angel of righteousness should appear in the mix. Like in so many iconic religious paintings, especially Catholic, but also in Buddhism, Greek mythology and other belief systems: a deity of righting wrongs stands in the background of justice delivered.

As Carl Jung would say: “It’s a universal archetype!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek just dropped by with another barrage of false charges!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 2:39 PM

Just a short while ago…he’s gone now, after lingering out front for 20 minutes, seated by the lamppost with cart and pups. He asked if he could get a hundred dollars for Christmas, so I told him I may not be able to afford that, let me go upstairs and check my calendar. When I came back out with his usual $50 sealed in an envelope and handed it to him, I said:

“Well, I COULD do that, but then you’ll have to wait a whole ten days for your next payment, because it skips into the next month. Can you handle that?”

He paid me no mind but tore open the envelope and exclaimed: “I expected a hunner dollah here, not fitty! You said you had it on you, didn’t have to go to the bank!”

“Well, I thought you meant fifty, and you wanted a hundred on Christmas day, but that’s the last payday for December,” I explained, then when I was about to tell him okay, I’ll march to the bank, he cut me off:

“Look at my phone, the screen’s full of cracks, more than when I left it with you!” He waved it in my face under the bright sunlight where it glinted in my eyes.

“Nope, Deek, it was like that already, stop lying,” I calmly retorted. “You’re always dropping stuff, not my fault.”

“Oh so you’re calling me a liar?” he griped further. “Why would I lie about this?” He also rattled on about how I’m always breaking his devices just to get back at him.

“No, I would never do that,” I replied. “I swear I’m talking to the devil here. Either that, or your mind’s messed up.”

Somewhere in all of this he said he was planning to shop downtown and needed me to watch the dogs for an hour or two.

“No I can’t do that, Deek,” I objected. “The cops could come by and tell me to move on, and then where would I go? It’s just not feasible, watching both the dogs AND your cart.”

“Well, what if I just take the cart and you watch the dogs?” he suggested.

“Nope,” I replied. “I don’t trust you to leave them with me, you could decide to be gone way more than two hours. If I could still pitch a tent I’d say okay, but it’s not doable anymore, sorry.”

He then whined about how I’m making this up, the SFPD only did a homeless sweep for a few days, they won’t bother me now. So I told him not true, the sweep is ongoing, I’ve seen them force the houseless over the past few weeks to move on within a short while after they showed up. And since I’m NOT living on the streets, they can ticket me and I’d HAVE to pay a hefty fine and be registered as a public nuisance. I’m NOT interested in being a thorn in their side; that would cause hostility against me, by the po-po.

During his ridiculous ranting, I went back and forth from one end of the shopping cart to the other, to give each pooch my loving attention…for they were leashed on opposite sides. I took Deek’s BS as simply another test of my emotional maturity, so was able to listen while crouched down and petting/scritching the furry darlin’s. They enjoyed laying back, soaking up the warm rays…and I was glad this cold snap finally abated. And to see they still had their jackets on.

I had offered several times to bring them a meal and water, but he turned it down on the grounds that his veterinarian told him to not let strangers feed his dogs, and how does he know I’m not poisoning them.

“Gimme a break, Deek,” I answered with a roll of the eyes. “I’m not a stranger, and I’ve been feeding your dogs for years. Besides which, no you didn’t talk to a vet, you’re making this up on the fly.”

I also made it clear to him that no, he’s not getting a hundred dollars since he’s just spat a litany of nasty claims against me (more than I’ve bothered to mention herein, such as how I supposedly fucked up and got the dogs kicked out, etc.):

“That’s like rewarding someone for bad behavior. You’ll just have to wait till Sunday for your next allowance, and that’s that!”

It’s heartbreaking how he berates me for no justified reason, Wattson, and I told him that, too. However, the only thing that makes sense of his behavior is he’s once more testing my mettle, considering the absurdity of his charges! Which in itself is a clue that he is indeed one of my guardians putting me through my paces. And I believe I handled it well, no anger or snarkiness on my part. I finally told him I’m tired of hearing the devil’s bullshit and that I’m going back inside; if he wants me to feed the mutts just holler up.

Else why would he ask for a hundred buckazoids and the next moment explode in a salvo of insults? Nor did he start screaming up a storm or be a public nuisance in any other way. He just departed a short while after I returned hovel. Which strongly suggests it was a setup to put me through my paces regarding emotional stability, and not some uncontrollable, meth induced berserker drama.

Upon leaving him and opening the front gate, I wished Deek and hounds a lovely day and God’s blessings. Of course, he then spewed rude words about how I’m a big fat phony until I disappeared into the lobby and returned upstairs to compose this email.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The Firemen and Deek’s Late Meetup [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 3:37 PM

> Yes, indeedy! That guy has the “look,” for sure! Wonder how he concealed his wings under that suit jacket? Lotta practice, I guess!

Detachable Velcro, perhaps?

> Ol’ Carl was the MAN.

He saved my sanity with his theory of archetypes…and his dissertation on how schizophrenia is the creative force unleashed and wild, that one could learn to harness and stabilize, and turn all demonic archetypes dwelling in one’s mind into BFFs! Worked for me…in spades. In short: the devil made me do it…or at least, got me there. Jung described this struggle to break through these internal, churning forces as “the heroic journey.” How right he was!

Studying cultural anthropology also broadened my consciousness, especially those worldviews from the Asian mindset, Native American lore, and other shamanic sources. Thus, my love for mythology and fairy tales. Which spirits have always been with me since early childhood. In spite of the lowbrow family I was hobbled with. Or because of it.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek’s Remarkable Ability to Thrive
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 4:36 PM

Living on the streets as he does (and for so many decades) I am impressed how well he manages all the challenges that come with that, and how he keeps himself occupied through each day. He is rarely bored, and hardly ever complains about his life situation. What gripes he DOES have seem to all be focused on THIS bedeviled pilgrim. He’s even in good spirits when the clouds gather and dump tons of rain on him. This is no ordinary fellow, and is one good example of why I’ve concluded there are shamans among the homeless. For he is not the ONLY long-term vagrant I know who is usually of good cheer; they are just not common. This, in spite of some flaws he possesses…so I thought to bring this up after my many recent criticisms. To balance the equation.

BTW I have managed to get back into my online EBT account by using their “lost password” option, which didn’t work previously. Turns out I used a special character not included in their list…of which only SOME are allowed, but not all. I presently have $299 worth of food stamps. Huzzah! And next month comes a hefty raise in my Social Security, which will greatly ease my burden of paying Deek an allowance, and purchasing dog food at higher prices. Also:

I’m over my compulsion to keep my Brindlekin Tales a trilogy…after all, more than 80 chapters for Book 3 is FAR from reasonable! So I’ve begun the tedious process of renumbering and renaming all those chapters, which should take several weeks or longer. “Renaming” from generic, consecutive titles “The Final Chapter (parts 1-26),” “The Final Final Chapter (parts 1-26),” “The Final Final Final Chapter (parts 1-26),” and so on…based on the alphabet which has 26 letters. The new name for each chapter will be taken from the subject title of a piece contained therein.

Based on this sensible revision, we are now into Book 7, of which this email is part of chapter 1. Though when all is said and done, I may wind up with Book #8 at this point! Or even #9. Seeing as otherwise I’d have 26 chapters each for books 4-6, and that’s STILL too damn much. I have quite a chore ahead of me, Wattson! I love how I make problems for myself.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek’s Remarkable Ability to Thrive
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2022 at 11:14 PM

> I give him a ton of credit. But it riles me when he’s abusive to you. I myself have been kicked in the teeth over and over and over by people I’ve done handstands and backbends to help, so I resonate with that, and not in a good way.

He is changing for the better, though it’s been a dragged out, uphill struggle. His abusive aspect is just under the level where I’d walk away from him for good. In fact, I would’ve done that already if it weren’t for the pups. And his abuse is not beyond my control, nor does it include outright harrassment or physical attacks. He no longer lashes the doggies to an upright bike, he is more attentive to their comfort, and he no longer explodes so vociferously like he used to. Again, my love for the hounds has given me the strength to tackle Deek’s devils, and successfully subdue them. This is all going to pay off in a stellar fashion.

I don’t feel the least bit bad for our ridiculous meetup today. I feel joyful in spite of that, because I KNOW I’m doing the right things, handling the challenges with aplomb. I appreciate these challenges because they make me a better person, and having such sweet furry angels in my world is the double frosting on the cake. I’m turning the agony and the ecstasy into 100 percent ecstasy, thanks to the compassionate path of my Bodhisattva Premise.

Now I’m gonna kick back and enjoy a dish of M&Ms while watching a horror spoof movie I just discovered today, and downloaded. It’s called “The Werewolf Within.” Pleasant dreams to you and your delightful quadruped companions, and the one biped hangin’ out there, too.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek in a Santa’s Elf Cap
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2022 at 1:04 PM

Doggies still in their jackets, and green sleeping bag I gave him several days ago, laid down for their comfort. I didn’t have to ask him to do this, he had everything set up before I came downstairs. I have another sleeping bag, same type…they only cost $17 each. I can afford two more this month, plus four more sweaters ($9 each). And I’ll still have over $250 remaining this month, after deducting another $100 for the rest of his December allowance. Dog food expenses are caught up into early January. Lookin’ good!

He of course asked for an advance on this Sunday’s $50 payment, AND I JUST GAVE HIM $50 YESTERDAY…I said no, too soon, wait till Saturday Christmas Eve. “I could REALLY use it today!” he exclaimed. I just ignored that, and he did not press further, but calmly went ahead tending to his morning routines while waiting for his devices to charge upstairs.

So they’re still outside now, the visitor has departed, sun is shining, the pups ate well and are warm and cozy. He just called me back down to take a small power pack upstairs for a recharge…he couldn’t find it earlier. It’s down to zero percent, so I guess he’ll be down there for two more hours or so. Fine, it’s a nice day. But he just won’t let me spend some time with the doggies while he’s out there. When I came down for the power pack, Flaco rolled over for a good belly scritching, which I gave her, along with rubbing Lucky’s neck and back. Less than a minute later Deek said, “Enough of that, just go back inside and plug in the pack!” Flaco raised her little head to gaze up at me as I opened the gate and looked back with regret.

He didn’t say anything like “C’mon back down and play with the dogs.” Most likely he resents my enjoying their company now that I can’t have them visit, and he can take a break from them. What childish behavior. But again, I must weigh my gains and losses, and it’s coming out more pluses than minuses these days. He’s even a lot neater with keeping his possessions packed together, and no tossing garbage around to make a big mess across the entire width of the sidewalk. I just wish he’d lay down a couple of trash bags before setting that sleeping bag onto the dirty concrete. Here’s a nice snapshot of the trio I call “Sunlight Respite:”

Click here for a larger view.

There’s also another vagrant several doors up the block with a makeshift tent and a wooden bookshelf he uses for displaying items to sell. I saw Deek speak with him a couple of times before returning to his own space below my window. See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Lucky Seeks Comfort & Man Builds Canopy
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 26, 2022 at 12:48 AM

Two mornings ago just after 7 AM, Deek woke me up in his eagerness to pick up his fukkin gadgets…no matter I was disturbed from a MOST restful sleep. Like he couldn’t wait another hour; he’s always acting like he’s in a hurry to go somewhere else, just to make me jump at his bidding. But as you know, Wattson, I allow him his transgressions (up to a point) for the sake of the pups, seeing as I am forbidden from providing them shelter in my hovel anymore. And I know it’s a burden on him.

Here’s a video of that morning:

I’m constantly on Deek’s back to take better care of his pups! Here is Lucky on the left, attempting to turn a stranded trash bag into a nest…with no success, of course. His sister, Flaco, is resting on the filthy, cold sidewalk. He was only there for a half hour, which was his excuse for not providing them some real, cushy respite: “I’m gonna leave in a few minutes.” How inconsiderate of him to refuse to perform the simple act of laying down that sleeping bag I gave him, which sagged uselessly in his shopping cart…or at least put some cardboard down for them. He has NO excuse! Such lovely, sweet doggies deserve all the kindness and love in the world; instead they suffer Deek’s neglect most of the time.

Jerry was there, too, you can see him seated in the upper right! Nice guy, handsome with a sweet nature. Haven’t seen him in quite awhile, and I was glad to hear he’s still living in the Henry Hotel, which is right along the Market Street edge of the Tenderloin.

And here’s a video from last night…you can hear Marshall in the background, as I was playing his podcast:

With Deek and pups crashed out there beside his shopping cart, I watched this fellow who showed up later, and formed a canopy over them. Turns out he knows Deek, and joined him beneath the canopy for smokes and badinage. The doggies apparently know and like him, as they remained snuggled in their blanket, instead of barking up a hurricane. When I stepped out a bit later (seeing as Deek was obviously now awake) to tell him I took his electronics upstairs for safekeeping, I was impressed by the friendly ambiance.Though I wish their bonding was over Mary Jane instead of that bitch, Tina.

Unfortunately, it got a bit noisy later on, as this video shows:

Small homeless gathering last night, visiting Deek camped out beneath that canopy, with his doggies happily tucked in and sound asleep. Noisy for awhile but heck, it was Exmass Eve! Notice how the juxtaposition of the sign post and the white street markings form the sign of the cross. [Insert Twilight Zone theme music here.]

Earlier that day when Deek called up to my window around 3 PM, he said I could do him a BIG favor and give him $100 instead of $50, as he needs a new speaker ’cause the one he has broke. And could I watch the pups for an hour.

“Well, okay,” I replied, “but you’ll have to wait eight days before you get any more money.”

He said that’s fine, he won’t bother me for moolah till then (yeah right, but he won’t be gettin’ any no matter the expected tantrums). So I handed him the envelope containing two Jacksons and two Lincolns that was already in my pocket, then marched off to my bank to make another withdrawal in the same amount. Upon returning he informed me he probably won’t be back till 6 PM! What a skunk, pulling that on me. I looked at the clock in the bus stop stall to see it was 3:30 PM, so I told him:

“Two and a half hours then, now get outta here so I can feed your dogs and make them comfy.”

His cart was piled high with “new” clean clothes I think he collected from the Goodwill bulk bins somewhere South of Market, as he mentioned that place about a week ago; he only discovered it then. He instructed me to just use the sleeping bag for the pups, but leave the clothing in the cart. I said sure, sure, and he left. Soon as he did, I set down the sleeping bag, then covered them with three jackets (two red, one orange) that were among the items he forbid me to touch. After all, the sleeping bag alone was not sufficient for BOTH mutts, once they bunched it up into a nest. Just look how the cart is ridiculously STUFFED with fresh apparel, and you tell me he can’t spare some for his best friends:

Click here for a larger view.

And here’s a closeup of the little darlin’s happily cocooned beside me:

Click here for a larger view.

I fed and watered the dogs, and had a most pleasant visit with my brindlekin cuddled beside me: Lucky’s warm, solid head beneath my left hand and Flaco’s more tapered, smaller noggin resting on my lap. I occupied my time watching scary videos on my backup smartphone and, an hour or so later, some amiable lady in her mid-forties approached me, said:

“Can you use this flashlight and some batteries, dear?”

I looked up, smiled and replied, “Sure, thank you.”

As she leaned down to hand me a small, orange plastic flashlight and a packet of four triple-A batteries, the hounds raised their heads to take a gander. They did not bark, but were curious, maybe to see if a snack were being offered.

“Oh what cute little doggies,” she gushed. “What are they, dachshunds?”

I explained yes, half dachshund and half terrier.

“Are they related?” she queried.

“Yes, same parents, different litters,” I replied. “This is Flaco, and this is her brother, Lucky.”

I then explained I’m not homeless: “I live right there, but I have a homeless friend and these are his dogs. I sometimes watch over them so he can run an errand or two. I even write true stories about my friend and his pups.”

With that, I rummaged through my backpack till I found a small baggy containing a handful of my brindlekin “prayer” cards, and handed her one:

“They’re free to read online, and you’ll also find my Youtube channel in the sidebar, with lotsa videos of the hounds, and their master!”

She took the card, glanced at it and chuckled: “Eat your heart out, Armistead! I love it!”

“I’m glad you caught that,” I remarked.

So meeting her was a sweet moment, Wattson, though otherwise I was left alone with the dogs. Maybe we’ll meet again somewhere down the line soon; I sure hope so!

The day had turned dark by the time she departed. I took the moment then, to bring some jerky treats down to the doggies, of which I still have plenty. So cute watching them chomp down on the tough bits, lips smacking and muzzles puffed out slightly as they chewed…then gazing up at me with delight, honey-brown eyes a-sparkle, eager for the next piece! I did this about a dozen times before telling them, “That’s all now, sorry!” While Lucky accepted this in blithe resignation and laid his head back down, Flaco started to look about the ground in desperate glances, wondering if a missed scrap or two could be found here or there, on the ground or hidden somewhere on my person. After much sniffing about, and my holding the now-empty baggy open for her to stick her snout in and discover “all gone,” she finally dropped her head upon my thigh and fell fast asleep once more.

Just minutes after 6 PM I rushed back hovel to replenish the water bowl and, upon stepping out, there was Deek in a snit over my putting those verboten jackets on the canines. No “thank you,” no appreciation whatsoever of my taking such good care of his charges, or giving him a hundred dollars, or trusting him to return on time.

“Too bad, Deek,” I retorted. “But you have tons of clothes here, and Flaco & Lucky deserve the comfort. The clothes didn’t get dirty, I just tossed them over the dogs. They are MORE IMPORTANT than your clothes, your music, your devices or anything else, and that’s that!”

He continued to gripe further, though I must admit he did NOT scream…and he DID show up by 6 PM as he promised…returning with a spanking new speaker of a solid weight and good quality.

I firmly and angrily told him he has NO right to start arguments right outside this building and he’d better snap out of it or I’ll call the cops and drive him away. I came right up to his face when I scorched him…enough is enough!

“I’m bringing your stuff down now,” I huffed, “And you should leave then.”

He was totally calm by the time I returned and handed him his devices, which included a hefty portable charger the size of a brick, and would charge his devices many times before needing to drop it off again. For him, that means freedom from Zeke’s admonishments…at least for longer spells. Assuming of course, he doesn’t lose it or trade it off in a few days, as is his usual pattern.

I was ready to return upstairs, but stood around another minute to watch Deek sort through his cart. To my disgust he moved the cart abruptly, forcing the pups to jump away until they saw they could settle down again. But by then, the sleeping bag was caught up in a wheel, so the pooches had very little space for their nest. Their master didn’t even bother to look their way, so I rearranged the bag that they could lie down again. Only this time, without those jackets that Deek snatched away “because it’s not that cold outside”, they had to bunch up close in order to avoid the chill concrete. One of the many incidents that instill in me a strong urge to punch his lights out.

I then retrieved the two cardboard sheets I had sat upon earlier, from beside the nearby trash bin, and laid them out for the dogs, then placed half the sleeping bag down so they could rest upon that, and still have half to keep them barely covered. It was a tight arrangement, thanks to Deek’s selfish refusal to share some of his new clothing, all of which HE GOT FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR! At least they still had their sweaters on.

I suppose when he visits the Goodwill bulk bins, when sorting through them he never thinks, “Oh, the doggies will like this!” or “Oh, they’ll love that!” Instead it’s “Oh, I can wear this,” and “Oh, that’ll look good on me!” He now has access to all these dirt cheap garments and other cloth items, so I would never need to buy them sleeping bags or blankets again…yet the stubborn idiot locks me in a situation where I STILL have to spend what little money I have for the dogs’ protection! And I know if I bring that up, he’ll abruptly cut me off before I get one sentence out. What a fuk-twit! I COULD go down there myself and see what’s what. I think I will…bypass the nasty Cajun troll at the bridge, so to speak.

Deek soon settled down beside his cart and dozed off, by which time Flaco had scrambled onto his lap, and he wrapped his arms around her. He often sleeps sitting up with his torso bent way forward, and head almost at waist level…typical posture of speed freaks in repose. Lucky wasn’t about to stir from his cozy, warm spot, fully enclosed in that sleeping bag, thank you very much.

It was around an hour later when that fellow appeared who provided the makeshift canopy, and some twenty minutes beyond that, when three others arrived…Boulevard Joe among them, and one young lady whom I’ve never seen before. By then, it was just after midnight, so I decided to bring Deek’s electronics back downstairs (since after I saw him suddenly zonk out earlier, I realized his gadgets could be stolen). It was a sociable group, and the doggies got their rest undisturbed.

The Exmass Eve gathering broke up shortly after 1 AM, and some minutes later I heard Deek call out: “Flaco, c’mere! Flaco!” I peered out the window to see her a couple trees up the block, sniffing at the base. Upon which she peed, took a little poop, then happily pranced back in his direction, floppy ears bouncing. But she passed right by her master and continued her walk in the opposite direction until she reached another tree, right by the bus stop. And took one more doggy dump, after which she finally returned to Deek’s lap and into his embrace.

Deek never bothers to clean up after the pups, which doesn’t help his relationship with the locals any (just another item on his long list of things he does wrong)…so I decided to do it myself and stepped out with a doggy bag in hand. When I exited through the front gate, Deek looked up at me and I said: “Just gonna pick up the poopies!” Which I did, for both trees, then wished him a good night and Merry Christmas before I disappeared back into my building. They were all gone a short while later; only those two sheets of cardboard remained.

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…

– Zeke K-Holmes

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