The Miracle Has Happened!

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 8]

Re: Good Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 11:50 AM

> Good report. Since you’re having a second Rudi’s, so will I!

Glob bless Rudi’s muffins…they’re a saving grace in an unappetizing world. Meanwhile:

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT JUST OCCURED between my last post and your reply…and it’s WONDERFUL! I’m in the middle of composing that missive, which you will receive shortly. It will bring tears of joy to your eyes, guaranteed.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 12:58 PM

Around 11:15 AM homeless outreach picked up Deek and pups in a taxi to deliver them to indoor housing at 33 Gough Street. Here’s what led up to it:

I heard him talking with someone outside, so I peered out the window to see a man and a woman from HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) speaking with him. The woman said something about 33 Gough Street, just a few blocks up. I decided then to take a snapshot (see attachment #1) and stay inside until Deek called me down. A few minutes later she handed him her phone so he could converse with, I guess, someone who helps run a long-term shelter at that address.

Finally, Deek called me down where he and doggies were standing at the corner by the bus stop, accompanied by the HOT couple. I heard the woman say to him, “This is where the taxi will pick you up.” Deek asked me to watch his stuff, which meant I’d have to stash all his junk upstairs till god knows when (see attachment #2).

Fortunately, it’s just a baby buggy stuffed with a small, fluffy black rug (like something you’d throw on a couch) and a bunch of clothing including two jackets. All the contents were dry, so I tossed them into a large trash bag. There’s also two bags crammed with crushed soda cans and plastic bottles. I will have to rearrange my loft to store his useless detritus, but since the carriage doesn’t fold it’ll have to stay down here to occupy an inconvenient amount of floor space. But the way I look at it, Wattson:

What a small price I’ll gladly pay for Deek and pups to finally get a roof over their noggins. And, I’m sure he’ll soon tell me I can toss all that crap, since he really doesn’t need any of it.

Deek gestured he didn’t want me involved, not even just to give the poochies a hug, so I kept my distance and tended to cleaning up his campsite. Soon, the taxi cab arrived, mutts and master hopped in, and off they went to the races! I didn’t even bother to wave goodbye with a happy, thumbs-up cheer, out of respect for his desire to go through this all on his own. It was a sweetly poignant scenario seeing them take off like that, for THIS tattered old pilgrim. As if I were saying goodbye to My Brindlekin forever.

But hasn’t it always been like that, every time they depart, for the last three-plus years? And haven’t they always returned? And isn’t this how chapter 1, book 1, began these awesome tales of friendship and canine love…that I feared I’d never see Flaco & Lucky again? And haven’t my bodhisattva guardians done a GREAT job of creating all these amazing scenarios that have led to this best-of-all-worlds conclusion?

I had almost completed cleaning up Deek’s ragtag possessions when the taxi departed, leaving behind just that woman. As she walked in my direction I addressed her, said hello, then exclaimed:

“Thanks for the good work you do. Deek and I have been friends for almost fifteen years. And when you live on the streets for so long, it’s hard to trust. If it’s appropriate I’ll be glad to give you my name and phone number for a reference.”

She smiled then, and replied, “Oh, that’s not necessary, but thanks. I’m sure he’ll be visiting you soon, he just needs some time setting up his new digs.”

“I’m SO pleased to see that finally happening for him,” I expressed with much gratitude. “Again, thanks for the good work you do, I know it ain’t easy!”

I still had a bit more cleanup to do, once she moved on. Lo and behold, the “artiste” from last night suddenly appeared…this time quite amenable. He even helped me finish cleaning up the sidewalk. There was a sealed packet of two, thin cigars in that stroller, which Deek left behind…something he often purchases from the Hohokum smoke and gift shop. So I offered it to “Artiste:”

“Here, would you like this?”

“Oh, sure,” he replied with a grin. “Funny, because I bought that for Po’ Boy last night!”

“Well, he just got a roof over his head,” I explained. “I’m sure he won’t miss it. I’ll buy him another if need be. Enjoy!”

With that, I returned hovel and looked up “33 Gough Street” on the web, to discover it’s another TINY HOME PROJECT! Upon which discovery my heart leapt with joy. For over the past few months I kept advising Deek to hold off until he can get a “cabin” (that’s what HE calls ’em). After all, it’s unreasonable to expect him to share a small space with another person, considering he’s already got two pups for company. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!

Those orange sleeping bags–which composed the top half of my bedding–are a skosh worse off from last night’s wear by doggies and Deek, but you bet I’ll sleep atop them as usual, regardless, with immense gratitude in my heart…for THE FATES HAVE HONORED ME! I will have the best dreams ever, with the sweet, joyful scent of two little hounds wafting about my nostrils.

Now it’s time for me to get back to preparing another Brindlekin Tale for Marshall’s next Memo of the Weird show this Friday. Which I started before this miracle took off. I will never forget this day for as long as I live…and it’s only just begun!

Oh, and here’s an article about the tiny house village at 33 Gough Street.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 1:51 PM

> ASTOUNDING!!!!! In every way. Too wonderful. And is it “for keeps?” No time limit on it?

Not for keeps, it’s transitional until a better housing situation opens up, gov’t subsidized. But no real time limit AFAIK.

> I hope you’re able to get some pics of 33 Gough St., discreet ones, from a distance, so I can get an idea of what it looks like.

I just sent you another article, with pics.

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 2:01 PM

> Okay, I just saw the link and read up. Semi-temporary, until the lot gets used for something else.

Right. It’s still a great first step…the doggies now have their own little abode! If Deek doesn’t drop by within a week, I’ll try to visit him there. He doesn’t know my phone number. It’s only about a three or four block walk from here, so I’m pretty sure he’ll show up with the pooches soon, beaming with pride about his “home.” He is much more likely to stick with the program over the long haul, than had he moved in to a single room shared by one or two others. The fact he has two dogs sort of made HOT push for a tiny house. Just another example of how lucky he is to have such sweet hounds, and that one of them is actually NAMED “Lucky!”

– Zeke K-Holmes

From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 2:37 PM

> Great, great outcome. My heart is with the dogs first, but I’m glad for Deek, too. Though he’s nowhere near as cute, sweet and lovable as L&F…

Yes indeed it’s a remarkable outcome! I just took a closer look at the 33 Gough Street article and it turns out it’s only a 1-3 month stay…during which time they supposedly will help you find a permanent residency. Hopefully he’ll hang in there, as a taste of indoors may be the perfect motivation.

I will of course still push for an out of court settlement to be allowed to have the dogs stay with me whenever. You never know if Deek will wind up on the streets again. Beside which, even when he has a little cabin or room to live in, he could then drop them off with me a day or two now and then. Also, should anything happen to him, such as going to the ER (or Glob forbid, dying) I want to be able to take the pups under my wing.

So I’m gonna give ’em my name and phone number one way or another…they don’t seem to provide an email on their site, so I can do it in person, or perhaps via snail mail. I’ll tell them he doesn’t own a cell phone, and has never memorized my phone number, so in case he wants to call me they can give him my number.

He may freak out over some of their policies, such as seeing a counselor, attending group meetings or mandatory psychiatric drugs if he wants to be classified as mentally disabled and be eligible for SSI. I really have no idea how they “stabilize” their homeless clients, how strict or permissive they actually are. There may also be the matter of a flurry of paperwork he’ll object to. Keeping my fingers crossed!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Outdoor Seating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 4:47 PM

Another pic of 33 Gough mini-housing showing outdoor seating. I guess they have communal meals there, as well as plain-ol’ schmoozing among the lucky residents. I hope Flaco & Lucky steal everyone’s hearts! I have a hunch they’ll be delirious with glee to be there! Their particular kind of puppy love is more contagious than anything Covid could throw at us.

Re: Outdoor Seating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 9:42 PM

> Jeez, it looks really civilized!!! Pups will be fantastic ambassadors of goodwill.

Jeez, what a nice thing to think about. But guess what:


…to pick up his buggy and everything else. Then left. Gave me barely two minutes with the pups. Said he won’t be back till next payday.

“When is that again?” he asked.

“Not till the third of next month,” I replied.

“Oh that’s a long time,” he snarked.

“But you already KNOW that, Deek,” I retorted.

He also requested a double supply of dog food…strange, I thought, don’t they provide meals for both humans and pets? But I didn’t bother to vocalize, as he was in another snotty mood and would likely snap at me. He said things like I’m gonna be in big trouble soon, he’s sending his gang after me, and it won’t be safe for me to step out.

“Oh stop talking like Mr. Big Shot,” I reprimanded. “You don’t HAVE a gang, except the devils screeching around in your skull. But you do you, Deek, you do you!”

“Cut out that you-do-you gay crap, I mean it,” he grouched. “You’re not a REAL friend, calling the cops on me and threatening to cut me out of your life if I get rid of the dogs, pretending you’re in a lawsuit just because you don’t wanna have ’em over anymore.”

Further nasty accusations ensued (as usual), but I was not the least bit worried as I knew it was all an act. He said they put him up way at the other end of town.

“33 Gough Street isn’t way at the other end of town, Deek,” I replied. “It’s just four blocks from here.”

“33 Gough? Where did you get THAT idea?” he queried with a snarl.

“The woman from HOT you were talking to this morning,” I explained. “I heard her say 33 Gough on the phone.”

“Who are you talking about?” he exclaimed. “I didn’t speak to any woman!”

“Yes you did, a woman and a man showed up to get you settled in,” I replied. “Then you took off with the guy in a taxi.”

“No I didn’t, that’s bullshit,” he persisted in the ruse. “I didn’t talk to anyone and I didn’t get into a cab. You’re crazy, I’m gettin’ the hell outta here!”

“Okay, Deek, you do you,” I replied as he took off towards Castro Street with an overburdened baby carriage that wobbled from the weight, and pups in tow. “Glad you got a roof over your head and god bless!”

Assuming he IS now residing in North Beach, I presume he was headed for the MUNI Metro, to take the underground back towards downtown where he’d either walk from there to North Beach, or hop on a bus.

BTW he was dressed nice, with a red cape falling from the shoulders, and a pair of shades beneath his brow. Typical NOLO midnight punk.

Are there tiny houses for the homeless in North Beach, Wattson? I don’t know, but San Francisco plans to build a lot of them and North Beach is one good location for that. And BTW, they ARE called “cabins” as well; see this article:

S.F. is finally building tiny cabins for homeless people. One reason: it may be cheaper than tents.

What a relief he’s got a place! (Though I’m not sure now if he got a cabin or just a room.) When he showed up again below my window, my heart sunk and I assumed he rejected their offer and we were back to square one. The dogs look great, even calmer than usual, as if they had a good rest indoors somewhere. So of course, being the trickster he is, he’s not about to gush with gratitude and thank me profusely…instead he did quite the opposite. For he is an “opposite shaman:” one who says things contrary to what he really means.

I don’t know how freed up I am now, to be away from hovel for a couple of hours or more. I’d like to check out the eerie downtown district and some other locales. Maybe I’ll take one-hour jaunts now and then, see how it goes. Not that I really have much interest anymore these days to go ANYwhere, and I am the furthest thing from a mall queen one can be! Shopping has NEVER been on my list of things to do to cheer me up. In fact it dePRESSES me. My coffeehouse life has ended, too, thanks to the pandemic. TIRED of wherever I hang out I have no one to chew the fat with, while everyone around seems to have that in spades. And I can’t relate to their pampered, self-obsessed world…nauseating! I’ve been that way all my life.

But isn’t it interesting the timing of the building manager’s demise, and Deek’s new digs? I guess my quasi-fascist-neighbor-down-the-hallway’s OWN death some weeks back was but a prelude.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Amazon’s grocery delivery fees just shot through the roof!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 11:22 AM

Few minutes ago I received this horrid email from Amazon, see attachment. No way can I afford such absurd increases! They say nothing about those on food stamps, such as “this does not apply to EBT customers.” There’s a new Reddit sub on this, including posts by others who are disabled and collecting food stamps. One comment says Amazon just shot themselves in the foot…I agree. It’s now considerably cheaper to shop locally, when you account for the exorbitant delivery fees and restrictions.

I was so pleased with the prices, I could even afford frozen blueberries, cherries, etc. at just $3.99 per pound…yummy right outta the bag! They’d cost me $8-12 locally, so I just didn’t purchase them. Cheeses were also quite affordable, and so on. Another poster said:

“I don’t think they realize how badly this is going to backfire. I looked up Amazon Fresh alternatives immediately after I saw the email this morning. Their greed is actually impressive.”

Hopefully it WILL backfire, and they’ll go back to the lower $35 minimum for waiving a delivery fee. Here’s the Reddit sub.

Re: Amazon’s grocery delivery fees just shot through the roof!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 6:14 PM

> Gotta punish the poor for being poor!

Wouldn’t be AmeriKKKa if they didn’t. But my $220/mo. EBT bonus runs out by March, just a day after the new Amazon Fresh fees go up, anyway. Nonetheless, I was looking forward to continuing to purchase those delightful frozen berries for only $3.99/lb. with my debit card…and cheeses, etc.

I did a little research on how to possibly eliminate delivery fees, and you CAN get away with it by having them drop off your packages at an Amazon hub locker (it’s free with Prime). Nearest one is just a half block from me, at a gas station catty-corner from the Chevron station. As you can see by the attached image.

Next closest is at Whole Foods three long blocks up Market Street, directly across from Safeway. But these lockers have certain limitations, such as package size. The info on them doesn’t mention anything about storing perishables, which frozen foods definitely are. I’m guessing Amazon prohibits such items from locker storage…and I’m sure they’ll warn you the moment you click on “purchase,” and have to redo your orders.

I need to walk over to the closest one, 376 Castro Street, and look for a large, orange locker…’cause I don’t see one when I bring it up on Google Maps:

Click here for a larger view.

But maybe it’s back of the store. Notice I got “349” when I searched for “376,” so that’s a tad confusing. There’s a liquor store on that corner, too, and maybe they’re connected. I’ll know soon enough. The lockers are self-service, so I can easily rush to it soon as I get a text that my items have been delivered. But what about the hot weather, or even just warm?

This is turning out to be a big PITA (and I don’t mean flatbread). So I guess I’ll soon be dropping Amazon Fresh…as well as Prime, since I no longer need quick deliveries, as they were only for assisting Deek and his pups, prior to my perishable orders, that is. (Besides providing fast delivery, Prime is required to use Amazon Fresh.) I can always resume my Prime subscription should he ever wind up on the streets again…a very REAL possibility. Which I HOPE won’t happen, even if it means I’ll get to see the angels more often, or at all. Their well-being comes above my selfish desires…and HOUSING them is at the top of that list.

There IS the possibility that consumer backlash may make Amazon think twice, in order to accommodate the low income. But if the reasonable delivery fee is limited to EBT recipients (and not just the poor in general) I’m still screwed since my food stamps will soon drop to around $22/month.

[20 minute pause.]

I just returned from checking out 349 Castro, and THERE IS NO AMAZON LOCKER there, or anywhere else nearby (including all the way up the hill to 376 which are nothing but houses). Maybe it’s been removed…gee, I can’t imagine why: VANDALISM? THEFT? UFO ABDUCTION? After all, they are freestanding, outdoor depositories with digitally secured cubby holes you open with a temporary PIN texted to your smartphone. They are large and square, painted a bright, deep orange with the words “Amazon Locker” on it in thick, bold white font…so you can’t miss ’em. Like so:

Click here for a larger view.

Now I ask you, Wattson: who living on the streets WOULDN’T be tempted to break ’em open and snatch the contents therein? Hardly a one I’d say. Not to mention HOUSED thieves with vehicles and a crowbar…who I presume would be the major offenders, way above and beyond the indigent. Have such robberies already occurred? Here ya go (out of Portland):

Amazon Hub broken into and lockers emptied at Gresham apartment complex

I’ve also found articles about Amazon delivery drivers being robbed at gunpoint. And don’t forget about the porch pirates! At any rate, looks like my freezer ain’t up to snuff for storing more than a few products, ’cause everything’s more a semi-freeze now, rather than solid. Don’t know why because all food I put in there is already frozen! Looks like I may have to gobble up the goodies stored there sooner than I had planned. So much for my ordering-frozen-food-online adventure!

So, on my way to 349 Castro Street I approached a small homeless encampment,

Click here for a larger view.

and my heart leapt into my throat: “Oh jeez, I hope Deek and pups aren’t there!” But the occupant was obviously inside (or had walked away for a moment) as this dome tent was fully enclosed by a tarp. Items left outside included a bicycle, shopping cart loaded with possessions and a red umbrella set upside down on the sidewalk. Nothing, though, that particularly screamed “Deek’s stuff,” but nothing that screamed “NOT Deek’s stuff,” either.

As I passed by I heard voices: two men were inside, and neither sounded at all like my Cajun pest. “Surely,” I thought, “if Flaco & Lucky are there they’d’ve already sensed my approach and come running out.” To my relief, that didn’t happen.

Since the day Deek and doggies took off in a taxi I find myself peering out the window quite often, as if expecting to see them walking in my direction, from across the street or up or down the block. Sometimes I think I hear his “Yo!” or one of the mutts barking…but so far it always turns out to be another dude’s “Yo!” or some other little doggy’s bark. A habit sure is hard to break!

So I muse now, that if I never see them again I’ll become the picture of an aging old man peering out the window several times a day, month after month and year after year until the time comes when I, too, will go the way everyone else has gone, or will go, and my window vacant. But I’m already a ghost of myself in many ways, so it won’t really be that much of a change. For my loving spirit is stronger than most, and I know My Darling Furry Angels think of me all the time, as I do them. Dare I say their master does, too?

For, if you take the concept of “Opposite Shaman” to heart, Deek’s vile threats and accusations when he briefly dropped by two nights ago were HIS way of telling me he’s gobsmackingly happy to have found a home. Because the way he carried himself in that red cape and appeared to glow with pride–as well as the pups’ well-rested demeanor–indicated that the folks who run the shelter are giving him back his dignity.

As for my building manager’s likely termination: there still has not been posted anything about Kevin’s status: neither in the lobby nor anywhere else. No death announcement, nothing. I wait now for affirmation of his passing before I email another letter to my attorney. The clock is ticking!

So it’s Friday night once more, when Memo of the Weird Nighttime Radio broadcasts its latest show, and with it Marshall’s narration of another Brindlekin tale.

Life is a bowl of frozen cherries…so more people can enjoy them out of season.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: And…more good news!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 6:44 PM

Barely moments after sending you that last missive I heard a familiar, scratchy voice outside, so leapt from my chair and looked out the window:

It was Scampy! She seemed to be in good cheer as she crossed the street towards my building, then turned left up Market and towards Castro Street. I know Deek was concerned for her well-being since she disappeared just a few days after occupying a room she and her boyfriend had acquired from a homeless service.

He’ll be glad to hear the good news, and I’ll make sure he gets it, in case he didn’t hear about it before he next shows up. Which should be next week, February 3rd, at the latest.

I just can’t keep up with this stuff!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: He dropped by last night, around 10 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 28, 2023 at 11:11 PM

…with that baby carriage containing whatever, and the pups of course. Invited me to sit with ’em by the curb while he sat by himself, cross-legged against the ATM plywood. He didn’t talk, just watched people walk by and seemed to be caught up in his own thoughts. Fine with me, as I could enjoy the hounds’ company in peace. It was a cold evening, the dogs were without sweaters, and the sidewalk was uncomfortably chill…my own butt didn’t like it.

There wasn’t even cardboard for the doggies to sit upon, and I couldn’t manage BOTH in my lap at the same time, so one or the other had to sit or stand beside me with my arm wrapped about. I therefore switched their places every five minutes or so and, the third or fourth time I had Lucky rest upon my thighs, Flaco left my side and started tugging on her leash (tethered to the buggy) in her desire to cuddle with her master, for warmth.

But she also loves him, too, so there’s that. Sometimes if she’s leashed a short distance from him, she’ll eventually decide this isn’t right and bark incessantly until he brings her close to him. So it’s not always just because she wants shelter from the cold; she wants his heart. She senses his sad or angry moods and longs to ease his pangs. And shows great PRIDE in playing that role as guardian…my little bodhisattva brindlekin!

I remember one day about a year ago, the pups were lying down on my cot while I was working on my laptop. Whatever it was (maybe a browser glitch) I grew frustrated and banged a fist upon the desk. Flaco immediately sat up, approached me and lay a dainty paw on my hip. I instantly grabbed her up in my arms with hugs and kisses…and realized then to never display anger, no matter how slight, in either doggy’s presence again. They are just too damned sweet for that!

Flaco is a stong-willed little doggy and, before either Deek or I could stand up to bring her back to my side (she resisted my tugs on her leash), she managed to free herself from the collar and leap into her master’s lap. Her remarkable persistence was a sight to see, how she struggled against the collar with all her might…her head became a fat ball of fur until she finally escaped!

Instead of griping at me for letting her do this (as I expected), he kindly accepted her into his arms and asked me to toss him the collar. So there was Flaco contentedly curled up in her master’s lap, and Lucky resting on his back in my arms, in a shower of neck and belly scritches from my free hand.

Almost a half hour had passed before I grew uncomfortable sitting on the frigid concrete…and I also wanted to provide the pooches with a cozy, warm nest, seeing as Deek was still here even though he said he’s only dropping by for a few minutes. But I hesitated to do that since he often puts up a stink whenever I lay out cardboard and a comforter for the pups. I finally decided to risk it, and said to him (as an excuse to run upstairs and bring that stuff down):

“Would you like a cup of tea?”

To my dismay he said no thanks.

“Well then,” I said after some deliberation, “I’m gonna bring out some cardboard for ME to sit on, my butt’s too cold!”

When I stood up and made for the gate, I added: “I have another pair of those gray doggy sweaters you like, they just arrived this morning. Can I put them on the dogs?”

To my surprise he said okay…nor did he explode into a tantrum when I stepped back out and laid down a large sheet of cardboard and my orange sleeping bag for the quadrupeds. Even Flaco returned to my side for that! So I put their sweaters on with gentle hands and kind words, and they curled up together as I pet them and enjoyed my visit with them even more. Especially since their master conveyed a most restful spirit this time around. But it didn’t last.

I had maybe a full hour of peace before Deek started mumbling to himself: “Sucks! This Sucks! Suck, suck, suck!”

This went on for a few minutes, but of course I pretended not to hear. wondering if this was going to lead to something worse. It did:

“I’ve been feeling SICK since I got that room,” he declared. “Are you listening? The room’s makin’ me sick, my bones ache, I don’t feel like eating. I don’t even wanna smoke my crystal!”

I was tempted to say “Well that’s a good thing, isn’t it?” Meaning the meth of course. But I held my tongue.

Then he leaned forward a bit, and scowled: “Are you listening?”

Dammit, I thought, he’s sucking me into another round of bullshit.

“Yes, Deek, I’m listening,” I begrudgingly answered. “I just don’t know what to say. Maybe your body’s recovering from all those stormy wet days, one after another for WEEKS, and you need to rest up. You’re no youngster anymore, you’re forty-three.”

“I KNEW you’d say that!” he exclaimed, jabbing a finger in my direction. “Nobody listens to me, nobody believes me, they don’t wanna hear it! And you say you’re my friend? Ha!”

He then went off on a lengthy diatribe about the shelter where he’s staying…wherever that is, as he refuses to tell me. “You’ll never know!” he exclaimed. “Well is it a room or a cabin?” I queried. “You’ll never know!” he repeated. HIS side of the story:

Everyone there smokes fentanyl and the smoke is choking him, the couple next door are noisy all night, the air conditioning is spreading covid, the meals are shitty, he’s gonna die there, the dogs are gonna die there, five people have already died there since he’s shown up, no police are allowed inside, they just let residents drop dead like flies, no doctor, no nurse, they do covid checks every day, they jot down in a notebook whenever he takes a shit…why would he lie about this, he has never lied to me even ONCE in all the time we’ve known each other, blah blah blah.

“So you’re surrounded by drug addicts, just like on the streets!” I quipped. “You’re an addict yourself, Deek. This should not be an issue for you. These people who run the shelter deal with very disturbed folks coming in off the streets. You are an exception, but they need to handle everyone the same. It’s a first step in the right direction to more stable housing. Count your blessings they finally took you in! I bet the dogs love their new little home, sheltered from the cold, wet nights. Besides, what’s this about covid spreading? According to you it’s fake, so why all the worry now?”

Please note, Wattson, I didn’t say all that in one fell swoop…I sprinkled a statement here and there in his stream of rants as it floated by, one lotus petal at a time. At one point he lowered his head with trembling shoulders, about to burst into faux tears.

“Oh, he’s gonna cry now!” I emoted. “Here comes the sobbing, the drama, the unadulterated bullshit!”

Well THAT put a damper on his game REAL fast, lemme tell YOU! For I showed him what a doomed tactic that would be, by my caustic outburst. But what really impressed me was when he said:

“They’re FORCing me to stay there! They say I shouldn’t talk about leaving, I shouldn’t even THINK about leaving, they’re counting on me to go through the whole process, and I can’t let them down. So I’m stuck!”

Music to my ears, good doctor: he’s staying! Even though he proclaimed he may not return, but resume roughing it on the streets…more to scare me than anything else, I presume. Towards the end of our one-sided argument he asked if I could “loan” him a few dollars. I said sure and ran back upstairs to pull a fiver from my wallet. But before I opened the gate to retrieve his five-spot, I turned to him and said: “It’s very BRAVE of you to check out that shelter and place your trust in them…you’re doing great!”

Once I returned, a homeless woman I’ve seen a few times before was helping Deek pack up. She’s the stable type, friendly and always nicely dressed in a street-punk kinda way. Around thirty-two years old.

Upon her arrival Deek snapped back into a pleasant mood, thanked me for the moolah and wished me a good night. The lady smiled at me and I smiled back, and then they were gone. So I placed the cardboard I had set down for the pups by the trash bin, picked up and emptied the water bowl, retrieved my sleeping bag and returned hovel.

Oh yeah, soon as Deek showed up last night I DID remember to tell him I saw Scampy the other night.

“Oh, what’d she say?” he pressed.

“Well, I only saw her through my window, crossing the street,” I replied. “But she seemed to be in good spirits.”

But here’s the neatest thing I got out of last night’s meetup:

Again, the shaman’s oblique kind of gift giving. This time the gift was to drop by for awhile, that I may enjoy the pups’ gracious company. HE’S NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE: welcome me to join him and the pups outside, that is. Prior to this, it’s always been to ask me to sit the mutts while he GOES somewhere. For until last night he’s always wanted to be left alone with the doggies, so he’d be available for whatever vagrant comes along to join him for friendly conversatin’ or purchase a bit of his product (whether weed or meth, though I wish he’d include shrooms)…and I, of course, would be in the way.

But being the trickster he is, he had to cover up his latest gift with a wrapping of crazy rants, bound together by a cord of dubious friendship all tied up in a bow.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: He dropped by last night, around 10 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 29, 2023 at 3:47 PM

> If he’s still wheeling all his stuff around with him, it makes me wonder if the place he’s staying is a unit that’s all “his,” or if it’s one of those situations where they must clear out every morning with all their stuff and then come back at such-and-such an hour.

No I don’t think that’s the case…I believe he has his own room or cabin 24/7. But they don’t allow you to bring in stuff off the streets, as it would surely cause bedbug invasions. Perhaps they’re allowed a little storage in a separate bin, but you definitely can NOT drag stuff off the streets and into the shelter. Maybe he stashes the buggy on a side street or some other hidden spot. I think he uses it just for the doggies, when they need a break from so much walking around. All it contains is a thick, furry throw rug and a couple of warm jackets. When he took off in a taxi, all he brought with him were the dogs and his bluetooth speaker and smartphone. He wasn’t even wearing a jacket, just a T-shirt!

> Or maybe it’s just his longstanding habit to have his stuff with him.

I think so, old habits die hard. In this transition into housing, it’s like a security blanket.

> His litany of complaints are exactly what I’d expect. Also, it must be damned difficult to “adjust” to secure shelter after so many years of living on the street. Happy ending, though, for now…

I believe that’s an accurate assessment. I was just about to post to you my latest Deek report, when I saw this email. It will show up in less than a minute from now.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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