Reconciliation with Tanya Merang

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 6]

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Subject: Some dog sitting, then the rain returns!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 5:16 PM

Deek dropped by around 2 PM, asked me to watch the pups for a half hour, maybe as long as an hour, after I lugged the speaker upstairs. I said fine, and he was gone in a flash, leaving me to feed the angels, and set up a comfy nest. See attached pics. Dogs ain’t wearin’ the new sweaters I gave them yesterday…the idiot wastes my money like a vacuum cleaner on an open wallet! But worse than that: he neglects the pups.

He returned just forty minutes later with a large cup of iced coffee. “Here, put some sugar in it!”

“I don’t use sugar, Deek,” I replied. “I have honey, but stirring it up will take a while, ’cause it’s an iced drink.”

“Okay, just do it,” he replied.

When I returned downstairs I asked him: “They didn’t have any sugar where you bought it?”

“They do, but I didn’t have the time,” was his dumb excuse. Unbelievable!

So he’s now camped outside, waiting for his speaker to reach full charge…and it started to rain almost an hour ago. See video:

Don’t know where he got that huge tarp, but I’m glad he did. Though I imagine the cardboard sheets are soaked up like a sponge by now, which I had originally covered with that tarp. If only I had used a few trash bags instead!

The rain didn’t last long, it’s already stopped, and I hope he departs before the next deluge. Our entire meetup (so far) has been amicable, nonetheless…not an angry chirp out of the Cajun fuck-up. And while I was sitting the pups, a gentleman who parked nearby called me over to hand me a Jackson. I said thanks so much, I’m not homeless myself, but my friend is who owns these dogs, and I help out. But guess what, Wattson:

HE’S NEVER GONNA SEE THAT TWENTY! ‘Cause he keeps wasting my money over sweaters and sleeping bags, so I’ll use that bill to purchase another bag. For now on any cash some kind person offers me while I’m watching the mutts will never reach Deek’s grubby hands.

So the JBL Partybox 300 is now blinking on the fifth, and final, row of lights, which means it’ll be fully charged within the hour.

I ordered another supply of groceries from Amazon, around $42 this time…so long as I order over $35 I pay no delivery fee. I saved a lot of money over what I’d spend at corner stores, on canned/wrapped items such as pinto beans, roasted bell pepper, sliced black olives, cheese, etc. Compare $3.29 for a can of pintos from around the corner, to $1.79 from Amazon. I stocked up on canned and bottled goods to last me the rest of the month.

A half-pound bag of shredded mozzarrella is almost half the price from Amazon…so I ordered two. And I got my absolute favorite brand of raisin bread: Ezekiel’s, which bakes with sprouted grains only, and their bread is multi-grain. Haven’t enjoyed that brand in years! BETTER than Alvarado Street, though more expensive. I also purchased a 1-pound bag of frozen, mixed berries for just $3.99! Now I can afford berries again, which are so good for a person…and frozen, they’ll make a great smoothie.

I can’t stock up on perishables, of course, and since the minimum order to avoid delivery fee is $35, I’m outta luck when it comes to ordering milk and such. Besides, customer ratings show that delivery of fresh food often leaves much to be desired: mushy or hard-as-rock avocados, overripe bananas and so on. I hardly touch fresh produce anyway, except bananas…and potatoes, onion and garlic, to make my veggie stews. Canned and frozen are more nutritional as it turns out, as crops are picked at the peak of ripeness…whereas so-called “fresh” produce takes time to get to the stores, and then sits for days in the bins and shelves.

I even got a 1-pound bag of red lentils for a dollar less than my local health food store sells in bulk. For some reason I couldn’t order two bags, which I wanted. There was only an option to order one in the drop-down list. Regardless, the savings on groceries are much appreciated.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I’ll be looking into what dental services are out there for me, after February 17th, which is when my new Medi-Cal option kicks in. I had to choose between the San Francisco Health Plan and Anthem Blue Cross. I went for the former, as this city has been good to me. The services are pretty identical, though there are SOME advantages for the SF plan over Anthem. But I guess many clients don’t care to be limited to their home county for their health insurance needs.


Re: New Post: The Muffin Chapter
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 8:12 PM

> Love the muffin pic. Were those your actual muffins??

No, I ripped it from a search. You’ll never see me eat off a black dish.

> I’m SO jealous. The place in FB is out of them. Struggling along with substitutes.

Good thing Safeway has an acceptable muffin backup!

> Wish I could order food from Amazon. Doubt there’s delivery up here in the wilderness.

Pluses and minuses whether you live the urban or rural life.

> Did the Rudi’s muffins arrive frozen?

Yes.

> From the post:

> “There’s a small but howling lynchmob faction who would drag me out of my house and tar and feather me if they knew you’re on the list because of me! I just sit back like the Empress Wu and watch the tiny mortals scurry about.”

> This seems sort of like a dead giveaway, though, nyet? I don’t think we should tip our hand.

People on the lists already know that someone who lives in your county is “My Dear Wattson,” if they bothered to read that post. And I informed them I have SEVERAL friends up there, who’ve invited me to join the MCN list server, just to keep them off the track. As far as they’re concerned, it could be Marshall. Or Alvin. Or Mel Porter, or Timothy Dipalma, or one of three women on the announcement list who’ve expressed their enjoyment of my posts, including Lisa Harwood. Also, no one on either list has expressed any kind of vengeance towards anyone promoting me, including Marshall. So I don’t think that passage is anything to worry about. It never occurred to me that would be a problem for you. My apologies, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 9:48 PM

The sleeping bag was sopping wet, so I took that upstairs to hang dry, told him I’d come back down with a dry one…the last I had still in its plastic wrapper. But I forgot to bring it back down, and in his hurry to pack up and leave, he didn’t ask where it is, but wished me a good night and took off towards Castro Street. I was very pleased with this meetup, as he was patient and friendly all the way through, in spite of him sitting out the downpour. When I went back hovel to replace the soggy newspaper I had already laid down, I saw that new sleeping bag on my cot, and realized then I forgot about it.

So I quickly donned my jacket, grabbed the bag and rushed up Market Street, hoping to find them. And I did: they were crossing the intersection where I had several seconds to dash across before the light would change.

“Deek! Deek!” I called to him so he’d stop and turn around, then handed him the bag. “Glad I found you!”

He smiled and said, “You didn’t need to do that!”

“Ah, but I wanted to,” I replied then marched on back home. But barely a half hour later I hear his angry hollers right outside, as I’m sure did everyone else on this side of the building. So I looked out the window, he glared up at me and demanded I get down there NOW. As I descended down the stairs I heard him yelling: “WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LO-ONG?”

As I stepped out the front gate I said, “Yeah, what’s the problem now?” I suspected (and feared) his expensive speaker stopped functioning and, despite how badly he’s banged it around over the days, and walked with it through nasty downpours, he was about to blame me. But as it turned out, it had to do with his smartphone:

“ALL MY MUSIC’S GONE, WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“Here, let me look at it, I did nothing but charge it.”

He handed it to me and as I walked up the stairs I turned the screen back on to find a white window that popped up, telling me I need to update my phone. I couldn’t swipe it away, but there was a “clear” button on the bottom right which I tapped and voila! the home screen appeared. So I then tapped on the music icon and up came all his songs, upon which unexpected success I turned around and stepped outside to where Deek was sitting at the bus stop.

“Nothing wrong with it, Deek,” I declared while handing it back to him. “All your music is there, so enjoy.”

Nonetheless he persisted in blaming me, although I tried to make it clear the REAL problem is he’s never bothered to learn the basics of using a smartphone.

“I WALKED ALL THE WAY BACK FROM THE CIVIC CENTER BECAUSE IT COULDN’T FIND THE MUSIC! WHAT SHOULD I DO IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN? I’M ALL UPSET!”

“Just press on the ‘clear’ button on that window that blocks access to your music,” I told him.

He didn’t understand what I was talking about, so I added: “Sometimes the phone doesn’t recognize the extra storage chip, which is a glitch. Just restart the phone and it should clear up.”

“HOW’D YOU FIX IT SO FAST, WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“There was nothing to fix, Deek,” I replied. “I didn’t even get halfway up the stairs before I got your music back up. You just don’t understand how to use a smartphone, and refuse to let me teach you. You’d rather come back with another excuse to scream at me.”

“YOU CAN GO NOW, I’M STILL PISSED AT YOU!”

“Well, you shouldn’t be, I did nothing wrong,” I calmly replied while petting the doggies. “Okay, I’m going now, hope you have a good night. And next time something like that happens, try restarting your phone before you start screaming in front of my building, please.”

Then he stood up and walked towards the boarded up ATM nook and exclaimed that he left a bag of pot around there, and now it’s gone. I didn’t bother to respond as I figured he’s just cooking up another pretext to berate me. That is when I decided to leave, thinking to myself:

“What’d I say: he rarely allows a meetup to go peacefully from start to finish…he’s just gotta ruin it one way or another! And make those poor hounds sad and scared.” But that’s only the half of it, Wattson:

About ten minutes later I looked out the window to see he was still there, now with two other vagrants visiting, one of whom I thought was Boulevard Joe, because of the similar body type and bald head with a circle of frizzy blond hair…though I couldn’t see his face. So I decided to step out and greet him. But it wasn’t Joe, and Deek turned to me, upset about something else:

“They’re doing a sweep of the homeless throughout the Mission tonight! They’re telling us they got rooms for everyone now, and it’s illegal to refuse the offer…no one can live on the streets anymore! Look it up on your computer!”

Now I don’t know how much of what he was griping about was bullshit…probably all, I presume, as a cover-up for his outrageous “you-broke-my-smartphone” drama. Maybe a cop told him that, just to fuck with him, I just don’t know. However, I told him these homeless sweeps are illegal and unconstitutional, and City Hall is facing a big lawsuit as a result because they’re not backing off. One of the indigents visiting with Deek nodded his head in agreement.

But Deek fumed on in feigned anger as I pet the pooches to give them solace from their master’s scary behavior. Then I stood up, said to him:

“So you do realize now, don’t you, that sometimes a smartphone won’t recognize the extra chip, and you just need to restart it?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, GET OUTTA MY FACE!”

I then crouched down again to caress Flaco & Lucky once more, and calmly replied: “You need to stop acting like a shit-head, Deek. Stop the drama, please.”

He ignored me and resumed his conversation with his temporary guests, and I lingered another minute or so, then took off. Now, it’s been over an hour and he’s still out there, blasting his gansta rap…not THAT loud, but enough to be a disturbance. If only he went back to the Civic Center or wherever, anywhere except on my block!

The dogs are just sitting there on the cold, damp concrete, as patient and loyal as can be. Guess I’ll bring down some cardboard for them to sit on. [Pause.] Okay, I just got back, asked him to tone it down, and he said okay and lowered the volume. Flaco was curled up on his lap and her brother was sitting on a comfy dry jacket. So I set the cardboard beneath the bus stop seats and said this is so they won’t have to sit on the cold sidewalk, should they move from their spots.

He said thank you, I pet the dogs and returned hovel. Jeez! Force them all into housing, San Franshitsco, please, please, please! The brindlekin would have a safe, warm place to stay, and I wouldn’t be wiping out my bank account over sleeping bags and sweaters!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 11:40 PM

> This is a HUGE chronic strain on you.

Not really, it’s a strain but neither huge nor chronic. Other folks go through much worse, and I certainly have it easy compared to your devoted care for Dan’s widow, and what she puts you through. Others deal with cancer, long covid, severe disabiliy, violence, rape and so on.

> Is there any truth to the rumor that they’re going to force people off the streets? For the pups’ sake, and yours, I hope it’s so. God damn!!!

I think that is possible, thanks to the lawsuit against city hall’s homeless sweeps. For the law states if there are not enough beds for the unhoused, they canNOT force them to move along or take and destroy their possessions. But if they DO have enough spaces, that’s a different story. So city officials just might be moving fast to avoid a huge, costly judgment against them.

The problem with Deek, though, is he PREFERS his vagrant lifestyle but that era is coming to a close, and he senses it. Enough of his bull crap about how he comes from a hardworking family that NEVER accepted handouts. He certainly doesn’t mind taking handouts from yours truly, even though I am subsidized by the gummint. SO glad I didn’t hand over that $20 a kind stranger gave me today, when he saw me sitting those lovely pups.

Too many houseless people play out horrendous dramas and leave huge, filthy messes that deteriorate the quality of life in whatever neighborhood they make their stage. Granted, they are a minority among their crowd, but it only takes one screamer to destroy the peace for blocks around. They give the REST of the vagrants a bad name, and that includes Deek. I am ONLY here for him, because of the brindlekin. He is one of THE most obnoxious people I’ve ever met…thus is why I cut him outta my life a few years back, when he didn’t HAVE Flaco & Lucky.

He was also upset that Scampy and her “boyfriend” (whoever that is) just got a room, yet he still keeps getting turned down. But here I go, taking him seriously…this is all just bullshit he’s spewing to be the drama queen he is. But he doesn’t get the BIG picture, that being homeless is not his fault, and there is a better way to live on the streets, as well as work the system to his advantage where he’ll finally get a roof over his head.

I’ve attempted to explain these things to him many times, but he usually shuts me up before I get more than a few words out. In fact the ONLY time we’ve had a good long talk about these things was ONCE, and that was just a week ago! And now we have another homeless meth head living on and off in our building…one who seems potentially dangerous, unlike my Cajun pain-in-the-ass…AND I HAVE TO SHARE THE BATHROOM WITH HIM! Disgusting fellow, this Karlsen, this vodka guzzling, Bohemian imposter who brought Scooter into my world.

As for our building manager: haven’t seen hide nor hair of the doddering prick, but that’s not unusual if I don’t see him for three or four days. So I STILL don’t know if that was him carted into the ambulance last night. BTW I met a very attractive, friendly young guy coming down the stairs this morning, as I walked up. Never saw him before. He smiled and asked in passing, “Is it wet out there?”

“Well, it’s plenty wet but not raining right now, if that’s what you mean,” I replied as he turned the corner landing.

“Good to hear,” he called back from the lobby.

But what charmed me was his seemingly unpretentious demeanor, so unlike most good-looking, young gay guys I meet, who are usually arrogant, argumentative and full of themselves. After he passed by me and exited the building, he left an invisible cloud of grace floating around that I luxuriated in. (Maybe it was the cologne, but if so, it was one of those brands based more on pheromones than scent!) He’s around 32 years old, richly brown haired, my height, a visage terribly pleasing on the eyes, and was nicely dressed in a non-assuming fashion. I actually had a lovely roll in the hay with someone just like that, six or seven years ago…quite personable, sweet natured, great sense of humor and a body like Adonis.

Don’t get me wrong, Wattson, I have ZILCH interest in scoring another notch on my bedpost to add as my “latest conquest.” But I AM interested in befriending someone good natured and attractive, on a strictly platonic level. I sense another bodhisattva angel entering my world! I hope I hope I hope! I hop I hop I hop!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Tanya Spike Kozlowski nuptials
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 15, 2023 at 10:34 AM

On Fri, 13 Jan 2023 18:15:58 -0800 Tanya Merang posted:

> The behavior you’re describing is called generalization… It’s very common, but knowing that, you should consider the fact that it’s also irrational.

Outstanding reply, the entire post. Just wondering what took you so long, Tanya! Given the context of Mr. Kozlowski’s reprehensibly false accusations against me, when you defend my integrity, you defend the integrity of LGBTs everywhere. This is true for ANY queer person online, when attacked by homophobes, just for saying they’re a sexual minority and/or including LGBT oriented news and topics. But I suspect something else is going on:

My activist mettle is being tested by one who is actually an ally to gays, but playing the devil’s advocate. Such that, should I cave in by no longer speaking out, I have failed the challenge. And you, Tanya, are playing a similar role though from a different slant, that is: a more subtle form of homophobia to find any weak spots in my stance. We have no enemies, only teachers, as my Bodhisattva Premise claims, and explains in much detail and with many examples via my Brindlekin Tales. Which you SHOULD read, as I think you’ll be impressed…and they are written in an entertaining fashion. Even Mr. Sewers is in several of my tales, just under a pseudonym. In fact, one entire chapter is dedicated to the Nazi ass wipe:

Checkmate, Mr. Kozlowski

-----

Re: Tanya Spike Kozlowski nuptials
From: Tanya Merang
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 13, 2023 at 1:20 PM

In fact it's pretty well known in behavioral circles, a perv who goes after children doesn't see their sex, and is instead attracted to an appearance or aspect of the child independent of sex and will assault boys or girls with equal likelihood as long as they have that trait. Most pedophiles identify as heterosexual (like 95%), but may molest children of either sex. The man that attacked you wasn't gay, he was just a pedophile. Don't blame queer people for sick buggers like that. Blame sick buggers like that.

I have no idea what part of your description of Zeke comes from personal facts he may have shared and what parts you extrapolated into some glorious swamp of human unfitness. That all happened way before I came on the scene, but I can't imagine any of that was how Zeke described himself. So I'm going to make an assertion, and you can tell me if I'm completely off base. You despised Zeke, well before you defined him as this being, and in fact, you defined him as this being that precisely because you already had a rolling head of steam flying you down the track titled "I despise Zeke." Am I completely off base here?

Separating fact from story:

- Zeke came to the community list from outside of the community, and as far as you're concerned was never welcome...
- As far as you're concerned Zeke has exactly zero positive traits as a human being...
- He dominated the list with his opinions, politics, and social beliefs and you agreed with none of it, and wanting him gone in the worst possible way...
- You found solid reasons to hate every atom of him... And without too much work, you came up with plenty more...
- And now verbally beating him like a bass-fiddle is one of your favorite pastimes.

Have I pretty well captured the essence of that... minus the justifications and the stories.

So just a small observation... None of this is about Zeke. None of it. It's all about how you think, feel, and react to Zeke... This is all about you, and your response to your interpretation of Zeke. You could actually confront your own interpretation. You might not want to, or even believe you should have to. But you could. Because Zeke is just being Zeke. He doesn't "Zeke" because of you, though I will admit, he "Zekes" more just to spite you. He Zekes, because he's Zeke.

Spike, there's nothing wrong with having thoughts and feelings, political and social beliefs and certainly there's nothing wrong in pursuing what you believe is important. Isn't there a way to do that without Zeke being your backstop? Why bounce off him to make your point? Why let him use you to make his? Just cut the guy a huge berth and let him play on his side of the road.You don't like it over there anyway. What he thinks is none of your business and certainly none of your interest. There is a country mile between not giving Zeke an inch, and celebrating every inch of your own space. A little more time having a little more fun, and a little less bludgeoning might be a good change. Just thoughts to roll around.

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Re: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: My Dear Wattson
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 15, 2023 at 5:27 PM

> Oh, I’m aware that my “troubles” are trifling compared to so many people’s. I’m aware of it every moment of every day. But “trouble,” and the misery it causes, will, like an expanding gas, take up whatever space is available to it. Deek reminds me of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s (or similar dementia): His ability to self-reflect comes and goes. His words and deeds are alternately pleasant and hideous. He appears to have fits of short-term memory loss, no impulse control, and prone to infuriatingly repetitive behaviors. And aggressive paranoia.

That’s it in a nutshell!

> You are in the position of involuntary “caregiver” (because of your absolutely laudable devotion to the doggies), and are the one who must endure the infuriating behaviors.

Yep. The agony and the ecstasy.

> You are WAY better equipped than most, with your finely-tuned philosophy, to handle it,

Works for me amazingly well.

> but I do believe it “gets” to you from time to time.

Of course it does…makes me wanna hit the bottle several times a day. The bottle of kefir, that is.

> Revolting.

A totally inexcusable and despicable situation. But so far, so good…I haven’t run into Scooter since that day I let him use our restroom.

> I like the sound of that!!!!!!

Yes, he seems to be a rather genial chap that I’d enjoy spending some quality time with, now and then. But we’ll see how it goes, haven’t run into him again though it’s only been a day. Speaking of who ELSE I haven’t run into yet: the building manager. This makes day 3 since the EMTs carried someone away. Anyway, My Cajun Burden showed up two hours ago, and is now outside while the JBL speaker and his smartphone are charging. Looks like he dumped the granny cart, dammit. So now I have to lug the speaker up and down the stairs by hand, again.

The pups are warm and dry, ensconced in a large plastic box I brought downstairs, stuffed with a child-size sleeping bag. Their master is curled up beside them, and all are sheltered beneath that large blue tarp. Fortunately the rain has been barely a drizzle since they arrived. And the speaker and smartphone were only at half capacity when I plugged them in, so both will be good to go in another hour.

Also, the sleeping bag I gave him last night was only kinda wet when he showed up today, but I took it upstairs anyway to dry, and brought down the other one I hung up last night, as it’s totally dry now, and sealed in a trash bag.

When I first stepped out, there was Flaco unleashed, sitting patiently by the front gate. Deek had to call her over so I could open it. When I did, she came right up to me, stood on her hind legs all dripping wet, with so much love in her eyes as she looked up to me and I began drying her off with a clean rag. Then I did her sweet brother. After which I set up the box and they immediately curled up inside it. I know they’d love to rush upstairs and enter my sanctuary right now, more than anything else in their doggy world…yet they never complain or grow sad when it doesn’t happen. Amazing little troopers!

It was funny when I set down the box and lifted the lid with the blanket in it, ’cause Flaco promptly tried to jump into it. I gently pushed her away, but as I was doing that, her brother DID leap inside! I still had to turn the box on its side and move it below the pitched canvas. So instead of coaxing Lucky back out, I carried the box with him in it, set it beside the shopping cart, and carefully turned it over and voila! Flaco scrambled in there, too.

I am presently imbibing in a homemade smoothie with a handful of mixed frozen berries that I purchased from Amazon. I still added a banana, but instead of peanut butter I used tahini ’cause it goes better with berries. I have also started adding raw walnuts to the mix, which I first have to grind down into a paste with a small food processor before adding it to the blender. Wonderful flavor blend!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting w/Wattson: 1/17/23


Re: Reconciliation with Tanya Merang
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 17, 2023 at 4:01 PM

> Whoa! Extraordinaire!!! You-know-who must be smarting!

It’s all an act anyway, which I suspected all along, as discussed in my chapter, “Checkmate, Mr. Kuzlowski.” The script that keeps on scripting. So, yeah, he’s gonna play the crab awhile longer, ’cause it’s in the script.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Last night’s meetup was spectacular…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 17, 2023 at 11:39 PM

…even though he didn’t show up until 11:30 PM. First thing I noticed was the fabulously plump, dark green sleeping bag upon which the pups rested…much better than the ones I could afford. So I’d say its value was around $60 or more. Didn’t say where he got it, nor did I ask; I was just very pleased (as were Lucky & Flaco, of course). Soon as she saw me step out, Flaco flipped on her back and started squirming in silly delight, tongue hangin’ out. So I scritched her tummy while Lucky pressed himself against my thigh as I pet and scritched him too.

After feeding/watering the hounds, Deek said he’s gonna take a five or seven minute walk, so stay with them. So I likewise enjoyed the comfy padding of the bag while lying partly down to embrace and kiss the pups. I also brought them some doggy snacks stashed upstairs, which they enjoyed immensely, but I never do that when their master is around.

Deek returned within fifteen minutes and began talking about Scampy who was recently given a room several days ago, and shares with her boyfriend.

“She’s missing!” he exclaimed. “She doesn’t wanna stay there, so now they’re looking for her. It’s been two days now, but I’m sure she’s alright.”

“I’m sure she is too,” I replied. “But it must be hard on her boyfriend.”

“Well, he’s KIND of her boyfriend,” Deek reflected. “Scampy always keeps her options open for anyone better to come along.”

Now mind you, Wattson, Scampy is a homeless woman in her mid forties with half her teeth missing, and the other half rotting and broken! And she often babbles incoherently, and regularly bursts into screeching paroxysms against imaginary protagonists (though may indeed have been real in a more tumultuous past, which I believe is the case.) But I guess she keeps her standards up in her own convoluted way. I can’t imagine who this “boyfriend” is, what he looks like and how he behaves…and perhaps that’s for the best, speaking for my own sanity.

“She just wants to be left alone, they’re FORCING her to live indoors!” he blurted.

“I don’t think so, Deek,” I calmly disagreed. “Sounds to me like they’re doing their best to help her out. If they were forcing her, they’d put her in handcuffs and take her back. Searching for her is not FORCING her to do anything!”

“They’re driving through neighborhoods, looking for homeless people and offering them fitty or a hunner dollah to get them off the streets if they just come with them and leave all their stuff behind!” Deek continued. “I know some dudes who got a room that way, and they’re now on GA and work three days a week, three hours a day, cleaning up the streets. Some of them like it, some don’t.”

“Sounds like a good deal if you ask me!” I replied.

“I don’t wanna work, I CAN’T work!”

“They won’t PUT you on GA, Deek,” I attempted to explain, “You’ll probably get SSI instead, and be deemed UNemployable…like me!”

“But they’ll still force me to go to appointments and do other stuff I don’t wanna do!” he bristled.

“No, Deek,” I replied. “The appointments will come to YOU, and they won’t be that frequent at all. You act like they’d throw you into prison, instead of giving you a safe, warm place to live, where you’re free to come and go. You’re just afraid of change, but I bet you’ll wind up LIKing the new situation more than you think right now. You might even make FRIENDS with some others there. I know the DOGS will be crazy-happy in their new digs, and that should be important to you. Get ’em offa these cold, nasty streets, they may not survive another winter like this!”

Anyway, this went on a few more minutes before a black and skinny forty-ish dude pulled up to Deek on a bicycle, and they had their own conversation while I resumed attending to the pups cuddled by my side. And I snapped out of worry mode, reminding myself he’s gonna be just fine, things will fall into place for him soon enough. No need to feel aggravated over his notorious little dramas. They were standing just eight feet away on the other side of the shopping cart, so I could listen in if I wanted.

At one point the black fellow (let’s call him Booker) went off on a rant about the word “friend,” how it’s meaningless when so many people who play your friend turn around and stab you in the back:

“The word’s useless, there’s gotta be a better word than ‘friend’!”

“Comrade!” Deek offered up.

Booker laughed at that, said yeah, that’ll work, then proclaimed: “I’m not out here in the Castro lookin’ to make comrades, I’m lookin’ to make money!” I guess by that he meant selling drugs, maybe just pot, I don’t know…possibly pills or tabs of acid. Or that old standby, crystal.

But I liked his demeanor and his way with words, so stood up, approached him and added my own two cents:

“You’re right! First thing an evil person does is call you a friend. Then he’ll start using your name a lot to lasso you in: ‘Hey John’ this and ‘Hey John’ that. They have ruined the very essence of what friendship is.”

Our chitchat quickly turned into his stating that a lotta people think this world’s goin’ to hell in a hand basket, but he thinks things are actually improving. And I said, well, things have gotten pretty bad for many these days, but I think we’ll finally hit bottom a bit later this year…and then things will start moving fast in a better direction. But your words are right on, and I agree. There’ll be somethin’ like a rising up, an awakening.

He smiled and a gold tooth glinted under the streetlamp: “Yeah, that’s how I see it, too!”

Somewhere in our brief conversation I used the adjective “extraordinary,” to which he astutely replied:

“That’s another word that bothers me: ‘extraordinary.'”

“Well,” I replied. “It’s just two words put together, but not pronounced the way it’s spelled.”

“Yeah, but what does it really mean when you break it down…EXTRA mediocre?”

I cracked up over that witty remark, then returned to sit by the pups and thanked him for his encouraging words, for they affirmed my own visions, unbidden. Booker took off around ten minutes later and, when he did, I told Deek:

“That guy who was just here? He’s very smart! Anyone who can talk about the English language like that has gotta be.”

Though I suppose Deek is smarter than he lets on, considering his evoking the word “comrade” on the fly, as an alternative to “friend.” I suspect he intentionally dumbs it down when he’s around me, in his role as my bodhisattva trickster…to hurl one challenge at me, after another. The main one being to rise above anger and frustration which he attempts to trigger. And I think I’m doing very well these days, in that department.

It was a great meetup all in all, as he did NOT raise his voice in anger at any time, expressing his (probably fake) fears and frustrations without flying off the handle. And he listened to my input with consideration instead of cutting me off. So that is why I call last night’s visit “spectacular.”

He picked up his speaker much later today than usual, and I delivered it to him for the first time in weeks withOUT being cloaked in a trash bag. Here’s a pic of its top, where you can see the tape I placed on the upper and lower left corners, to cover those cracks from when he dropped it:

Click here for a larger view.

He left very quickly, claiming once more to be in a hurry to get somewhere…tried to get me to run up and down the stairs as I brought the pups food and water, then a fresh supply of vittles. But I took my time anyway, told him:

“Cut it out, you’re not in a rush to go anywhere. You’re not the big shot you pretend to be!”

This did NOT set him off in a tantrum, as such a retort surely would have up until the recent past. But he gave me bare SECONDS to greet the pups and give ’em hugs before they scampered off to wherever. Probably three or four blocks away where he settled down to relax awhile and deny me the brindlekin’s company. As for “Spike Kuzlowski:”

I forgot to mention he sent me two private emails within the same week, recently. He RARELY posts directly to me, but when he does it’s always some hateful, anti-gay threats and insults…until these last two, which were downright innocuous. The last one said:

“Why don’t you find a mailing list in Portland or Seattle and leave us alone?”

I forgot what his words were in the previous email, but it was equally, and surprisingly, gentle. A bodhisattva clue that soon the antagonism is coming to a close? And an implication that he and Tanya were in on this overlong harassment together…not out of genuine hostility, but to challenge and test my mettle? Needless to say, I nonetheless did NOT reply to him, but simply deleted the unwelcome mail. And just days after that, Tanya posted her clear reprimand against his constant rants and bullying.

Interesting timing, as it occurred parallel to Deek’s increasingly quiescent behavior…less and less rough bumps and more smooth sailing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Another good meetup with craziness at the end!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 11:54 SM

Yesterday: a mellow afternoon, pleasantly cool with burnished sunlight streaming down. I sat outside with the pups on their cushy sleeping bag for about an hour and a half while Deek took off to parts wherever. After I gave him $50 in advance of this Sunday’s allowance, mind you. He left his shopping cart behind, too, which made a nice backrest as I listened to some scary tales on my BLU smartphone. Which connected to my Xfinity service just fine, but I didn’t really need it as the stories were already downloaded.

So I got to enjoy their darling company again, and feed them some tasty treats. Only Flaco ate them, though, as Lucky was more interested in sleeping while snuggled deep in the folded bag. But for most of the time, brother and sister both hunkered down in comfort, with the addition of a child’s sleeping bag I brought down from my room to toss over them. Not that they needed it for the cold, as the weather was mild…but they rest better in the warm darkness of a makeshift little cave. No distractions to disturb their peace, and I guess they feel safer with a top cover to hide beneath. I know I do!

Deek returned with a bicycle and a jacket he said he purchased in Chinatown. He also said: “See? I wasn’t gone that long!”

“No you weren’t, thanks.” I replied. “You could’ve taken another hour and it still would’ve been fine with me.”

Now that he was back, my sitting was done and I returned hovel, knowing Deek would be annoyed if I remained with the dogs, since he uses the time out front to hook up with some of his street friends and/or “customers.” Sure enough, in less than a half hour two other vagrants appeared and parked close by, one stretched out across the sidewalk on Deek’s right, his upper back slanted against the cart…the other sitting cross-legged towards Deek’s left, and painting on a square, thin board set flat on the sidewalk. Nothing interesting, though, just muddy blotches of color with some burrito contents spread across it, for texture and a 3-D effect.

The pups remained curled up in the folds of the blanket through their master’s entire visit, and I was glad to see that. Some time after 7 PM Deek called to me to bring down his JBL Partybox 300 and his smartphone. Knowing it was gonna rain later that night, I covered the monster speaker with two trash bags: one from the bottom up, the other from the top down…and lugged it downstairs and out the front gate.

When he stepped forward to pick up the speaker and place it atop the shopping cart, I told him:

“It’s gonna rain tonight, so I put…”

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT!” he exploded in a fury. “YOU ALWAYS RUIN MY DAY WHEN I SEE YOU!”

Those two visiting vagrants were still around, but they were too far out of it to show any reaction to his outburst, which went on for an impressive several minutes. Said things like:

“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE WEATHER!”

“YOU SISSY FAGS GIMME A HEADACHE!”

“GET OUTTA MY FACE, DRAMA QUEEN, GO BACK UPSTAIRS!”

He really piled on the insults, mocking me with a lisp while saying he’s so sorry to have bothered “your highness,” etc. Meanwhile, through it all I remained calm while telling him HE’S the drama queen, all I did was tell him it’s gonna rain tonight, so figured I’d protect his speaker.

“Alright, I don’t care anymore about you’re fukkin speaker,” declared THIS befuddled pilgrim, and removed the trash bags.”I hope they DO get soaked.”

He demanded them back a few minutes later, but I resisted, clenching them crushed up in my hand while proceeding to enter through the front gate. But then I noticed Flaco & Lucky just standing around, looking up at me with concern, so I came up to them and gave them attentive hugs and scritches while Deek prepared to depart.

“GET OUTTA MY WAY, YOU’RE BLOCKING THE SHOPPING CART!” he ordered, so I stood back up and waved the trash bags close to his face:

“Here, take them!”

For I observed him grinning with a wry smile during his yet-another-wacky outburst, thus realized he’s just having a bit of fun at my expense. After pushing his cart a few yards forward, he stopped to finish cleaning up what debris remained.

“I’ll take care of that,” I said. “I don’t mind, just get outta here please, I don’t want a creep like YOU hangin’ out front!”

After picking up what little mess there was (including the painted canvas w/burrito guts), I saw that Deek had paused for awhile just around the corner, and Lucky was writhing on his back with glee. So I approached the dogs, sat down on the sidewalk and they clambered all over my legs and lap with delightful abandon. Their master spoke not a word to me, but continued his conversation with another indigent standing nearby.

After several minutes of this puppy tryst, I wished them all an excellent evening, upon which Deek resumed his lisping mockery. “Good night, creep,” I replied, then returned back hovel where I breathed a sigh of relief and finally got to sit down and enjoy my dinner, which by then had grown cold. About an hour later the rain commenced, at first a sprinkle but then a gully washer for twenty minutes or so before it stopped.

Merciful heaven, what an ordeal the holiday season has been, cursed as it was by a string of nine atmospheric rivers, last night’s being a final, brief gasp. SO glad it’s all over, at last. Conclusion:

Our latest meetup was again superb, overall. Or perhaps I’ve lowered my standards out of sheer exhaustion. Is this what Stockholm syndrome looks like?

– Zeke K-Holmes

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