The Shaman’s Way

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 7]

Subject: No More Cowfish!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 3:33 PM

I just received a call from an unknown number, so passed it through Google Screener, which requested whomever to describe the purpose of this rude disruption (my words, not theirs). Instead of the mystery caller hanging up at that point (the usual scenario), it spit out a stream of text, which I guess is the gov’t’s way of getting the info through:

The translation leaves much to be desired, but I got the gist of it: no more cowfish for Zeke after March of this year! Well, just a little, maybe $22 worth each month instead of $220. Don’t know how I’ll live without my cowfish!

Re: No More Cowfish!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 7:41 PM

> Ha! This is hilarious, right up there with the garbled directions that come with Chinese implements!

I imagine the Google Screener bot did its very best to transcribe the voice of a Chinese accented American English speaker.

> Do cowfish swim with gefilte fish??

Only if it doesn’t mind contracting “regular calf rashes.” Which mangled phrase I guess means “regular cash raises.”

I didn’t notice the “Rate transcription quality” option at the top until it was too late ’cause I deleted the chat session. Dammit.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: You’re not acquainted with the food stamp subsidy, so you may not have figured out that “cowfish” and “cow finish” actually stand for “CalFresh.”

Subject: The JBL beast is dead, long live the Flintstones!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 20, 2023 at 11:56 PM

No more purgatory drama lugging the hefty, gangsta-rap pig of Satan up and down the stairs. “Free at last, free at last, thank Dagon almighty I am free at last!” What’d I say, Wattson? That he wouldn’t be able to hold onto it by his birthday, which is two days from now. Of course he claimed it was stolen, though I suspect otherwise. This time around he gave me a pair of matching speakers to charge. They look just like large rocks, so naturally I call them the Flintstone speakers. I’m sure you would too, Wattson, they just BEG the name! See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

They are actually BOTH the same, dark tone as the one in back. It’s just the sunlight only cast its rays on the one in front, so that’s how the camera saw it.

I bet he bartered them for the JBL Partybox 300. Imagine that: trading a $500 speaker spectaculaire for a pair that couldn’t have cost more than $55 new. Though at this point his JBL was so badly banged up, its value was greatly reduced to just about zilch.

Now, with such an expensive month due to my having to purchase a passel of sleeping bags and doggy sweaters, I did NOT appreciate the zipper breaking on my only winter coat two days ago! I had it for over three years and it still looks good, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. However, I can’t afford to buy a new one at this time…I’ll TRY to repair the zipper. It’s called a Sherpa jacket, which has a nice, white fluffy inner lining and an attractive, plaid-type, fuzzy and thick outer shell with a hood. I decided my next winter coat will fasten with buttons instead of a zipper, but such an option was scant in my price range ($30-40). In fact, what few button-downs WERE available, had lousy customer ratings.

Of course I can get by just fine, wearing two sweaters instead of one, covered with one of two hoodies I recently purchased. But thanks to Deek, I need not have worried. For when he moved on, he left behind a few discarded items including a sweater jacket that (get this, good doctor) had BUTTONS instead of a zipper. See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

Isn’t that a lovely jacket? In pristine condition, looks brand new. I imagine Deek dumped it because it ain’t his style…too “gay” (in his dimwitted appraisal). Nothing but gangsta rap style for my NOLA bitch! And, since he’s held onto BOTH sleeping bags so far (the new one he got that’s ultra warm and fluffy, and the last one I gave him that barely suffices for these icy-chill nights), I guess to add that sweater jacket for the doggies’ warmth would be redundant.

So his trashing it in front of me is as if he read my mind: that I needed a new winter coat…one with buttons instead of a zipper! This is the way of the shaman, when presenting you with a gift: they do so in an offhand manner, often making it look like they just happened to throw it on the ground in your presence. Without ever first saying “Do you need this, I don’t want it.”

ALSO intriguing is that I had fantasized yesterday, asking Deek to find a winter coat for me because the zipper broke on my present one. But then I said to myself nah, he’ll just make a big complication over it, get the wrong size or there’ll be something else about it that will put me off…or even try to squeeze more moolah from me for doing this favor.

It is HEAVY, and toasty warm! At first I thought to hold onto it, for a time when the pups had nothing for comfort like they do now. And as the weeks pass, hopefully I’ll have a growing collection of similar items that will serve in place of sleeping bags that I usually can’t afford. But then I realized it’s a PERFECT replacement for my Sherpa jacket, which will serve the pups quite well, never mind the zipper! And I don’t REALLY need a hood, as I wear a knitted watch cap when it’s cold outside.

Deek showed up this afternoon in a snit, I won’t go into any details ’cause it’s the same old baggage of false accusations and insults. Don’t know how he lost the cover for his smartphone, but it’s a shame since here come the broken screen and glitches from dropping it a dozen times a day…blaming me, of course, for the shoddy outcome. Unless he has enough sense in his noggin to invest in a new cover.

The rest of the meetup was calm (until towards the end), and he laid down that excellent sleeping bag right off the bat, so the mutts could be comfy and warm. I fed the little angels a meal and water, and got to recline beside them for a good ten minutes before returning hovel. At first, Lucky was seated along one edge of the bag, while his sister was sprawled out in the middle.

“Move Flaco further up, so Lucky can have some room; he wants to lie down!” said their master.

I thought Lucky had ample space to do that, but realized that’s why he’s still sitting up by my feet, instead of lying down: patiently waiting for someone to notice. He’s SO polite and respectful towards his sister, he’d never dream of demanding she move! If worse came to worse, he’d just remain sitting there without so much as a yelp. That’s how kind he is to her. He doesn’t mind at all if she tries to push him away from my affections…instead, he’ll start massaging her shoulder with his teeth, which stills her immediately in doggy bliss while I scratch his back. Or he’ll approach me from a different angle so as not to be in her way, yet still receive my caresses.

So I gently grabbed Flaco and slid her a foot further up, then patted on the newly vacant spot and said to her brother: “Here ya go, Lucky, get cozy!” He then gazed down at my hand in hesitation, as if wondering whether or not Flaco would mind. “It’s okay, Lucky, c’mon over!” I assured the sweet love muffin. And so he did, and curled up between myself and his sibling as the warm rays of the sun bathed us all.

Deek smiled down at us while this was going on, which revealed a kinder nature than he usually conveys. I don’t think he knew I noticed that, as my face was turned away from him and focused on his charges.

Later in the day a chill breeze kicked in and, when I stepped out again, asked Deek if I could throw the other sleeping bag over them, not knowing if he’d bite my head off in another burst of faux rage. To my surprise he did not, and just said okay. But had he defied me, I would’ve simply returned upstairs, grabbed a child size sleeping bag and brought it outside and tossed it over the doggies, whether their master liked it or not.

Then when it came time to leave a couple hours later, he went into another hissy fit, declared no real friend would ever call the cops on him, and why do I keep accusing him of lying ’cause all the time we’ve known each other he’s never lied to me even once. My response, Wattson?

“That’s the biggest lie you’ve said yet, on top of all the others, Deek!”

I then wished him and the little quadrupeds a wonderful night and, as I walked towards the front gate, he hissed and fumed words that didn’t quite reach my ears. But just before I entered Hotel California North, I turned back to him and called: “God bless!”

So I’d say it was another excellent visit with my Cajun trickster, overall. I’ve noticed for the past few months, he rarely keeps me up late (that is, past ten o’clock), but usually departs around 7, 8, maybe 9 PM. Allowing me to get a truly good rest, easing into my nocturnal hours watching a movie or some scary Youtube videos, listening to a podcast or browsing the Interwebs. Then it’s off to sleep I go, with low-volume scary tales wafting into my ears.

I think perhaps the short days have shifted him into departing earlier…or maybe he’s just being thoughtful by giving me that time for myself. While composing this missive I’ve also been listening to Memo of the Weird streaming live. Friday night has become my favorite time of the week, thanks to Marshall. And once more I must say:


– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: I left something out from yesterday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 20, 2023 at 9:15 AM

…nothing to do with Deek, but with lowlife Scooter. When I stepped out to use the restroom some time in the early afternoon, there he was, dressed in white pajamas and walking up the stairs. I involuntarily nodded my head in greeting as I always do whenever I see another person in the hallway, not realizing till a split second later who it is.

“Dammit,” I thought as I proceeded down the side hallway, with no further communication. A few minutes later upon returning hovel, there he was in my hallway about ten feet from where I turned the corner, and he raised his arm in what I assumed was a gesture to get my attention. I didn’t look at him but just vocalized a stern “Nope!” and entered my room. I was busy tending to Deek and pups, and didn’t care for this disturbance, nor did I care to assist a vagrant stranger roaming the halls.

If he had to relieve himself, too bad, I’m not here to unlock bathroom doors for whichever homeless person appears, and should NOT be living here. Too bad, he can poop in a plastic bag if need be. Fortunately, he didn’t call to me or (god forbid) knock on my door, so that was that.

No point in complaining to the building manager, who’s probably still in the hospital or dead by now, anyway. ‘Cause I haven’t crossed his path since I-don’t-know-who-but-think-it-was-Kevin was carried off to the ambulance out front eight days ago. May Karlsen soon join him in the afterworld, so Scooter be driven away.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: [MCN-Discussion]- Tanya Merang: did you get my email in response to yours?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Tanya Merang
Date: January 23, 2023 at 1:20 PM

On 2023-01-23 11:31, Tanya Merang wrote:

> The dachshunds are on page 2 and 3 of the dog breeds:

They are all lovely, two are out of stock, and the other two don’t show the larger pic when I click on the image in the menu. At any rate, I love ’em all, so any dachshund pendant I’d treasure. Out of fear of losing it if I wear it (I have bad luck wearing any jewelry), I’ll hang it by my laptop, as a decoration where I can see it every day. I already checked out her Instagram page, to see more of your SIL Daisie’s jewelry. Absolutely incredible.

> She has a fair number more not on the site (she keeps a bunch for shows…) but if you have a favorite color, let me know, and I’ll send you an email with a picture.

Just send pics of the dachshund ones, if no trouble, thanks! But I don’t need to see any more, as every piece is exquisite. Daisie is a remarkable woman, going by that Corgi Town video I watched.

She does a lot of charity work, including for the LGBT community. Obviously not from your Christian fundamentalist branch of the family.

> The logo at the top of the site was hand painted by yours truly…

Absolutely Delightful!

Click here for a larger view.

> The blond corgi is Zoey, and she’s crossed the rainbow bridge… miss her tons.

I’m sure you do! Dogs are so radiant with loving kindness.

> If there’s a picture of your pups that you’re particularly fond of and would like to see them in the imaginary world of your choice, describe the world and send me the pic of yer Liebehunde, and I’ll be happy to paint a background for your favorite electronic device.

I have so many pics I don’t know where to begin, Tanya! I’ll have to go through them to come up with a favorite. Have you actually seen any of my plethora of doggy videos, to see just how darling they are? If you haven’t, here are four (well under 1 min. each):

At a children’s playground shut down during the pandemic

The Howling (fire engine siren just blew by)

Box Play

Greeting the pups with their homeless master (heartbreaking)

You can view more (tons more) on my doggies playlist, if you are so inclined.

Glad we got the email connection going!

– Zeke (the quasi-dachshund whisperer)

Subject: Birthday Drama Bullshit
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 23, 2023 at 9:44 PM

Woke me up out of a deep sleep yesterday around 8 AM. Annoying, but I let it slide ’cause I can’t have the pups stay with me, and I know how difficult it must be to watch over them 24/7 when you live on the streets…especially with one so emotionally stunted. Okay, off to a good start I suppose, he didn’t seem upset when he called up to me, and it was a quiet morning. But just when I got to the gate, a street cleaner started up his pressure hose right out front, spraying the sidewalk with a chill cloud of mist enveloping me with a horrid cacophony of noise! If it ain’t Deek’s screams, it’s someone else blowing off my eardrums!

They were at the bus stop and as I approached, Deek exploded in a fury and dashed his drink across the sidewalk where it smashed against Super Duper’s window. Hollering how he’s ready to give up the dogs, he can’t take it anymore, someone offered him a “hunner dollah” for them, and Flaco wouldn’t let him fuck his girlfriend because she kept barking until they let her scramble between them, etc., etc. Fortunately, the gasoline motor of that pressure hose drowned out his voice to the point where it couldn’t float up to my neighbors’ windows. I had brought with me a bowl of water for the dogs and just when I moved to set it down, he whacked it outta my hands.

What a way to start the morning, eh, Wattson?

The grating noise of the pressure hose went on for almost ten more minutes while Deek played his stupid, angry drama and I crouched down to pet the doggies. Of course I didn’t buy any of his bull crap and, soon as he took a pause, I stood up, stretched out my arms and sang (in my tone deaf, flat voice):

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!”

Which really ticked him off. Nonetheless, in spite of his attempts to screech even louder, I completed that popular tune:

“Happy birthday dear Dee-eek, happy birthday to you!”

The street cleaner finally shut down his equipment and drove away, and all was reasonably quiet once more…including Deek who had toned things down to a grumble.

“Let me bring down another bowl of water,” I said. “And how ’bout I fix ’em breakfast?”

But he’d have none of it, so just packed everything back into the cart and took off with the mutts. I returned hovel, glad for some peace and quiet at last. Twenty minutes later he returned, called up to me and asked for a bowl of water and a meal for the hounds.

“Sure!” I said, relieved to see he had calmed down.

“How much do I have left for the month?” he queried as I laid down the bowls and the doggies eagerly partook.

“A hundred dollars.” I replied.

“Can I have this Thursday’s in advance?”

“Well, I suppose, but I’ll have to go to the bank,” I answered.

“How about the whole hunner dollah?” he blurted. “It’s my birthday, and I promise I won’t bother you again for the rest of the month.”

“Sure,” I shrugged my shoulders. “Just so you know, you won’t get paid again for twelve long days from now.”

He was fine with that (yeah right, we’ll see), so off I went to collect his final buckazoids for January. By the time I returned he was ready to depart again. I gave the pooches a few more sweet hugs and off they went.

Deek returned in the evening to pick up his devices, including just ONE of his pair of Flinstone speakers, because he broke the other when it dropped from his shopping cart some time last night. But it was still in his cart that morning, all smashed up; that’s how I know.

Again, he started insulting me with a variety of accusations that you have already heard about many times over. I simply ignored him and fixed the pups another meal, laid some sheets of cardboard down for them, and a spare sleeping blanket that’s part of my bedding. Since Deek is too heartless to set up a comfy nest for the dogs himself, with his own comforter.

But since he kept up his expletives I finally dished it back: “Oh, little baby Deek is upset? Does baby Deek need his diapers changed? Poor little baby Deek, he’s always crying and screaming ’cause he dropped his lollipop!” I also admonished him: “I don’t wanna hear you talk in anger about the dogs, ever again…that’s disgusting! They’re a BLESSING!”

I wouldn’t let up, so he finally packed his stuff and departed. Upon which I collected my sleeping bag and placed the cardboard by the nearby trash bin before returning upstairs. I think he just went up the block, thus denying Flaco & Lucky their cozy nest. About two hours later he returned, called to me and said to bring his gizmos down, they’ll be at the bus stop and he’s already laid down some cardboard and a blanket for the hounds. Glad to see he was contrite once more, I did as he requested, hugged and kissed the quadrupeds for a few minutes, then returned back upstairs. They left about an hour later.

He didn’t show up again until this evening, and seemed to be in a good mood. Didn’t mind at all when I brought down some cardboard and a sleeping bag for the dogs. But about an hour later, when he had a couple of other vagrants for company (including his friend also named Deek, whom I haven’t seen for over a year), he started to insult me when I stepped back outside to pick up the empty food bowls. The dogs had moved about and were no longer covered, so I went back upstairs to get a second child-size sleeping bag to lay over them…and that’s when their master got vicious.

So again I played the “baby” game on him, told him it’ll be a miracle the day he finally grows up. He kept yanking part of the second bag off them, even though both dogs were comfortably curled up and glad for the extra warmth. I kept placing the bag back over them, he kept pulling it off, but gave up and finally let them remain covered. ‘Cause he knew I wouldn’t give in.

Then, just before I rose to return hovel, he stood up and said: “I got a book to show you, it’ll prove I’m right!” Then rummaged through his shopping cart until he found it. It was a lovely coffee table book about dragons with many colorful illustrations. “See?” he said while pointing at the cover depicting a ferocious dragon spewing flames.

His point in all this was that book justified his accusation that I’m evil, because I’m a dragon myself. This goes way back to older conversations last year, if you recall.

“Doesn’t prove a thing, Deek,” I clarified. “There are good dragons as well as bad dragons, good angels and bad angels, and good people and bad people. That’s just ONE book, there are thousands of books about dragons. You’re just too stupid and uneducated to know better.”

The other Deek was grinning, holding back a guffaw. By then there was yet aNOTHER vagrant parked along the ATM plywood. So that makes THREE visitors. The third fellow was blond, skinny, attractive, well dressed and of a pleasant demeanor. Some time later I looked outside again, to see the pups still covered, though Flaco was halfway emerged, thus exposed to the cold breezes. I could see Deek nodding forward in his sleepy meth stupor, so knew it was safe for me to step back outside and arrange the comforter to cover Flaco back up.

As I exited the front gate, Deek #2 looked up at me and smiled, as I raised a finger to my lips to tell him to stay quiet. I crouched down and pet Flaco a few times, then folded a corner of the bag over her exposed half, and she hunkered back down again in happy repose.

Now I’m back upstairs, good doctor, composing this very sentence. I think I’ll stop here for now. If I have anything further to report about tonight’s meetup, you’ll be the first to know.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Birthday Drama Bullshit [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 23, 2023 at 11:28 PM

Deek left about an hour ago, so when I returned his electronics I asked if I could borrow that dragon book. “No, you can have it,” he replied. So here’s the front cover:

Click here for a larger view.

Turns out to be a gamebook for “Dungeons and Dragons.” And here is a lovely illustration somewhere in the middle:

Click here for a larger view.

Before he woke up and got ready to leave, I noticed only one homeless visitor remained, and he was tidying up Deek’s cart and stuff around it. Here’s a quick video (10 secs.):

I went back outside to cover up Flaco again, then spoke with the fellow: “I see you’re straightening out Deek’s cart, well done.”

“Yeah, thanks,” he replied. “Do you really think I did a good job?”

“I’d say so, since Deek’s so sloppy it takes a lot of focus to tidy up his cart.”

And finally, here’s Deek with some lady two afternoons ago. I forgot to include that entire little episode in my tales, but not really much to say about it. Except that he gave me a hard time when I stepped back outside to provide some cardboard and a sleeping bag for the pups. She’s on the right, in a brown coat. Deek and Flaco are in the center, and Lucky’s on the left atop the sleeping bag:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: The dragon book was a gift…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:32 AM

…of course! He knows how much I love dragons. Didn’t I just talk about how shamans (or “bodhisattva guardians,” same thing) are most obscure and sneaky when they bless you with a gift? Previous to this book, that would be the lovely sweater jacket, which he tossed to the ground like trash. But this time around he staged a hissy fit while waving the dragon book in my face. The hilarious thing about this is it didn’t hit me that it was another offertory till some time AFTER I asked to borrow it. When I was flipping through the book after taking those two photos, it struck me like running blind into a brick wall: “Duh! It’s a another gift! Of course!” Keep in mind here, Wattson, that shamans are almost always tricksters to boot. Thus, his unseemly behavior was most appropriate.

Yesterday evening I overheard a tenant speaking with his guest as they climbed up the stairs (I had just stepped outside my room to bring Deek his gadgets):

“Our building manager’s a really old man, he’s in the hospital now and may never come back.” [Side note: they were laughing boisterously at that, nothing mournful about it. Who can blame them?]

But when I told Deek what I just heard from another resident, he insisted it isn’t Kevin…he definitely saw him exit the building just minutes before the EMTs arrived.

“And that wasn’t him being carried out to the ambulance!” he added.

Now as we both know, good physician, Deek is hardly the most reliable source of information on anything, even as a witness. Who can tell whether what he saw was real or a meth induced phantasmagoria? But I did not press him on that touchy subject; I simply declared with a chuckle:

“Maybe you saw his ghost!”

As for what yours truly thinks about all this: I’m sure it was our building manager shunted off to S.F. General, no matter my Cajun monkey’s claim otherwise. After all he IS a trickster, who may indeed know it was Kevin…so what’s REALLY going on? Here’s my conjecture:

Yet another silly plot cooked up by my bodhisattva overseers…perhaps with even Kevin himself playing his role by feigning a dying man, all for my entertainment. If so, he’s probably having a good laugh right now, along with Deek, Arwyn and any other members of the pro-Zeke cabal that get together on a frequent basis to hatch their next scheme at THIS sitting-duck pilgrim’s expense! And ya know what, Wattson? I’m laughing, too, at the very idea…’cause it’s wonderful, if true. Besides which: I love ducks!

BTW Scooter was hangin’ around outside last night for a time while Deek and pups were there, leaning his butt against the hoop shaped bicycle rack and smokin’ a ciggie…RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE. So that put a damper on my stepping outside until, thank god, he finally disappeared after twenty minutes or so. I hate these fuckin’ nosy twerps who impose themselves in the middle of my own world, unwelcome and unbidden! Like they dropped from some hellish wormhole in the sky and landed right before me. Scooter’s just the most recent.

Now let’s go back to January of last year, when a tenant named “Atom” posted to my door a notice of complaint against the building manager, and that we, the residents, should form a tenants union. You remember that, I’m sure, but just in case you need a refresher, here’s a link to that document.

As you also know, Atom’s worthy proposal never went anywhere, but it wasn’t till quite recently that I realized this person is the one I’ve been calling “chihuahua man” in my tales! Who introduced himself to me some late month in 2021 as “Adam.” At least, that’s what I heard, and no one can blame me for the mistake, as he never said “Atom, as in A-T-O-M,” which I think he should do for ANYone he meets. FYI:

The ONLY reason it dawned on me his name is Atom (not Adam) was because whenever I checked the delivery packages in the lobby I kept coming across ones addressed to “Atom.” Many of which were from the online pet store “Chewy”…and he DOES own two, delightful chihuahuas. Which repetition of seeing doggy packages delivered to one “Atom,” eventually led me to this astounding breakthrough: that Adam is “Atom,” and he’s the one who tried to start a tenants union, thanks to lousy management!

I suppose Kevin’s likely demise is a victory of sorts, and that Atom may be pleased as punch about that, as I am likewise. And remember, also: he IS the person who blew up in my face, once, for Flaco & Lucky’s wild barking at him in the hallway…but who, some days later, apologized for that and has been very nice to me ever since. Not that he shows any interest in getting to know me beyond a neighborly rapport. So it’s unlikely we’ll ever discuss Kevin’s welcome disappearance, and share a few chuckles over that. However, I have this amusing theory about him:

In light of the tenants union proposal falling flat on its face, perhaps Atom came up with a NEW strategy: befriending the building manager and inviting him over for a tall glass of beer (or liquor or wine or bubbly…or a cup of tea or java) once or twice a week…slowly poisoning him a la “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

And with that delightful reverie of dark speculation, I leave you for the nonce, dear comrade Morticia, and wish you a most loverly day!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: The dragon book was a gift… [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:55 AM

Atom is chihuahua man’s real name, for which I’ve been using the pseudonym “Samuel” in my tales. The mixup of Adam and Atom is so perfect, I have no idea what pseudonyms may be out there to convey the same level of an almost identical matchup. I just duckduckgo’d the phrase “two boys names that sound identical,” with unsatisfying results. I am SO tempted to leave his true name be, but that may pose a legal problem in the future. So, the hunt is on…wish me luck!

Re: Birthday Drama Bullshit [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 2:42 PM

> Great illustrations.

Yes, lovely book to pore over. Here’s another pic:

Click here for a larger view.

> Deek can often be counted on to turn nasty with you when his pals are around, alas. Putting on a show for them. F**kinga**hole.

MOST of the time whenever a friend of his appears he turns on the charm so they won’t witness his horrendous treatment towards me. But not always, and he foolishly thinks that won’t work against him in the long run. Sets off an alarm in their OWN heads that blares: “DON’T TRUST THIS FELLOW! BE CAUTIOUS!”

Because they witness how kind I am to BOTH the pups and his own idiot self. One of his “guests” might very well up and give him what for, if he continues this charade. AFAIC I’ve already won this battle. And he DID keep the doggies covered in spite of his faux opposition. Which is a clue right there when you interpret the scenario as another bodhisattva challenge. Which is not to cave in while maintaining my cool.

> I’ll bet you can leave the name be and not have to worry about it.

That’s what I’m concluding, too. Great minds think alike.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Deek’s “friends” may also be shamans themselves, thus are players in these scenarios of his outrageous temper tantrums. They probably enjoy watching how well I handle such conflicts…like seeing their (spiritual) child grow right and strong into young adulthood. I always do my best to not assume that all is what it appears to be, and thus avoid pitfalls that come from a simpleminded perception. Either that or I’m just a jaded, wackadoodle disillusioned flower child thanks in part to (my taking to heart) the Buddha’s claim that we have no enemies, only teachers.

Uh-oh, just checked my calendar: looks like my annual membership to the Church of the Subgenius has lapsed again!

Subject: Touching Beyond These Words
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 3:58 PM

Again, this occurred during last night’s meetup. When I returned outside a second time to replace a corner of the sleeping bag over Flaco, she first looked up at me with beaming gratitude in her eyes, then turned her head towards her master with a concerned gaze. He was seated with his lower back pressed against the plywood, his head gently bobbing in a deep slumber. Then she looked back at me, as if to convey the following kind words:

“I worry about him so much, Uncle Zeke…I burst with pride to be his guardian!”

Then she lowered her little noggin between her precious forelegs as I returned a portion of the sleeping bag over her exposed front half:

“Thanks for keeping me warm, Uncle Zeke, so it’s off to sleep I go now, to stay healthy and strong for my master.”

She loves him with a thousand hearts. They both do.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: What It’s Like Tonight
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:30 PM

Here’s what it’s like right now, below my window:

Click here for a larger view.

The homeless “artiste” there in the background owns the junk in the foreground. He set up shop in less than one minute after Deek crashed out and I started getting the pups settled in. He sometimes goes into small spurts of rage as he scrapes and scratches and paints on that canvas…ah, the temperamental dauber, how fantastique! He sometimes even takes a flame to parts of the canvas with a cheap Bic lighter. I have not a whiff of doubt that some wealthy benefactor shall discover him soon while strolling the Castro, and adopt as his own talented son.

The black bundle in the center-right is Deek sound asleep…I threw a black jacket over him, from that baby stroller he has tonight in lieu of a shopping cart. Lucky was riding in it: really cute to see him so happy in his own buggy. The orange lump is the two child-size sleeping bags I laid down on some cardboard sheets, with the pups warmly burrowed within.

So I guess he no longer has that green sleeping bag I bought him, nor a couple of other comforters he acquired a few days back, seeing as the shopping cart is gone. That pic was taken an hour ago…since then, Deek wrapped the top sleeping bag around him, with Flaco hidden beneath, in his arms. Unfortunately, Lucky was not cuddled up with them, but laid atop the bag, in the crook of his master’s legs. Now how difficult would it have been for him to get Lucky under there with him and Flaco? So a few minutes ago I went downstairs with a blue jacket he left behind last week, that I had tossed in my laundry basket…and placed it over Lucky. I could tell he appreciated that!

When Deek first showed up this evening, I asked if I should bring the pups a meal. “I don’t care!” he snapped at me. “Well I care, Deek,” I replied before lugging his electronics upstairs. “And you should too.”

By the time I returned with their food and water, he was already sound asleep, sprawled right there upon the concrete and up against the plywood…while the pups were just standing about, unleashed and with only the sidewalk to sit upon. Well, I took care of their situation and made them comfy and secure posthaste. I also brought them some jerky treats, which they love, and sat down with them for a short while. Once returned hovel, I’d look out the window now and then, to see if either dog needed to be covered up again. One or the other did, a few times over the past four hours, and I stepped out each time to secure their comfort once more.

So, whether or not he wakes up before midnight remains to be seen. He just might saw wood until a wee hour, then wake me from my sleep to collect the gizmos. Or he might remain zonked out until after the sun rises. I have no control over that, but I’d actually prefer the last scenario, as then I’ll know the hounds got a solid rest, cozy and warm. And I can feed them breakfast.

It’s almost 11:30 PM now, I guess you’ve already hit the sack, and I’m about to do the same. Hopefully, my sleep won’t be disturbed by Deek calling “Yo! Yo!” at my window. But if he does, I’ll just go through the motions of bringing his toys back downstairs, give the pups some hugs and wish them all a bless-ed night. Then return to my cushy cot and thank the Fates for keeping my brindlekin alive, happy and in good health.

I sure miss having those little quadrupeds share my bed! And I’m equally sure they feel the same way.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Good Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 10:27 AM

Obviously, they crashed below my window for the entire night. Totally peaceful except for the grungy “artiste” flipping out around 1:30 AM, screeching nonsense about how he’s saving our souls from the machinations of City Hall, so we’d all better damned well respect him or else. Which aroused the pups into barking mode, so I stepped out to watch over them (Deek remained sound asleep through it all) while a Hohokum worker tried to reason with him in hopes he’ll calm down.

But he didn’t, just got crazier…thus the worker drove him away without calling the cops, though he was about to. Did it all with his words and body gestures, did not push the vagrant or touch him in any other way. Good job, I’d say! The Hohukum employees we now have seem to be a nicer group of folks, no disturbances from them for months these days. And they have adapted to the presence of vagrants in a sensible but firm manner. They certainly never give Deek and doggies a hard time; in fact they’re downright friendly.

I’m glad I brought those orange child-size sleeping bags out for the pooches, even though their master griped about it. I’m sure HE wound up appreciating the comfort as well, though he’ll never admit it. Just look at him languishing upon the fluff! Dogs have already been fed about a half hour ago, and Deek awoke to ask for a soda and his electronics.

Maybe, just maybe, he won’t explode into a snit this morning, and will depart in peace when he’s ready to start the day. Which is wonderfully sunny and on the warm side already! I’m on my second Rudi’s muffin right now.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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