The Hopelessness of Hope

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 15]

Subject: 6 doggy sweaters instead of 4! (part 2 of 2)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2023 at 7:50 PM

“Are you busy?” he said.

“Yes I am,” I replied.

“Oh c’mon, really?” he exclaimed with annoyance.

I saw no way to just make him vanish, so consigned myself to stepping outside and have a talk, which started with:

“Yes Vince, I’m busy trying to fix supper and go to bed, I’ve been up since 5 AM after a VERY exhausting day. Then YOU show up. Don’t EVER holler up to my window again, that’s the LAST thing I need, you have no idea what I’ve been going through these past months!” (Please note my exaggerated explication in order to discourage his dropping by.)

“But this is the first time I’ve ever done that,” he replied with a hint of belligerence.

“Right,” I rebutted with greater belligerence, “and this is the first time I’ve ever told you NOT to do that!”

As you can imagine, Wattson, I was really pissed for this intrusion and his snotty, meth inspired behavior (with assistance from a pint of cheap vodka swinging from his hand). I had to make it absolutely CLEAR to him (as I have in the past) that NO, he’s not coming upstairs to visit, I don’t HAVE anyone visit me anymore, not for at least the past three years, nothing personal, that goes for everyone, including Deek (who he knows, albeit casually).

“Oh, Deek,” he scowled, “I saw him the other night, arguing with that whore who clings onto him like a tick. I was gonna say hi, but didn’t wanna get into THAT! I don’t see why you bother with the dude.”

Of course Vince spoke about him that way ’cause jealous I spend so much time with My Cajun Baggage, and not him. But I made sure to correct his rude remark about Scampy, that she’s not a whore, but troubled and in great need of shelter and kindness. And Deek is one of the few folks on the streets who IS kind to her. He apologized, said he didn’t mean it that way, and I replied I understand, he’s just expressing frustration.

Some time during this unpleasant conversation he blurted out: “Well, I’m gonna find SOME way to get into your building!”

I nearly exploded: “NO you’re not, unless you wanna go to jail. That’s breaking and entering, and this is a private residence. So no, no, NO!”

I reminded him he entered this building alREADY without my permission last year, bumped into the manager who asked where he’s going.

“And you said you’re here to visit ME,” I further admonished, “even though I told you twice before I’m NOT having visitors anymore. So when I heard the commotion I opened my door to see you and the manager in the hallway…he asked if you’re here to see me and I said no, he’s not welcome, and he knows it. So he drove you back outside, with you giving him backtalk all the way down the stairs.”

I then paused, took a deep breath and continued: “The REASON I don’t have visitors, and I’ve alREADY explained this to you in the past, is thanks to the ongoing bedbug infestation, the coronavirus and some other issues. “

“Other issues?” he interrupted with a scornful mask.

“Yes!” I replied. “In YOUR case it was the last time you visited, which was when…over four years ago? When it was time for you to leave, instead of going straight downstairs to the lobby you skipped to the back porch and stole an LCD monitor someone had tossed away, and THEN left. I wouldn’t even have KNOWN you did that except a few weeks later you came up to me and BRAGGED about it. Now, how do you think doing shit like that affects me, as a paying resident? There are CAMERAS on the porches.”

“Oh, er…” he mumbled.

“YOU’RE A NUT JOB, VINCE,” I exclaimed, “and I already have one in my life, that’s Deek, so I’m not gonna put up with TWO meth freaks in my life. One is bad enough. So if you step into this building again I won’t hesitate to sic the cops on you! Just who the FUCK do you think you are, Vince, to talk like that? You’re outta control!”

Now, I must note at this point, good physician, he’s absolutely NO danger, he’s a scrawny little thing (about 5-foot-4), and his belligerence was of the mild sort. His main gripe was that he doesn’t get to see me anymore, upon which I reminded him we exchanged emails and phone numbers in the past, but it’s HE who didn’t contact me back, and there’s no way I can afford surprise visits by anyone, including yelling up at my window. I’m just too BUSY for any of that nonsense. So he requested my email and number again, but I said nope, not gonna happen, I learned my lesson last time around.

“You dropped by once, when I was camped outside with the pups,” I reminded the fool. “That was fine, but since the homeless sweep I can’t do that anymore. You’re welcome to hang with me whenever you see me outside with the dogs, which I still do from time to time, though without a tent.”

“Homeless sweep?” he queried.

Oh Glob, I thought, doesn’t the idiot know ANYthing about what’s going on around him? He’s in his own world of crystal palaces and booze-gushing fountains. And all THIS exhausted pilgrim wanted was to return hovel, enjoy my dinner in peace, and crash out…jeez Louise! Nonetheless, in spite of my growling tummy, I took the time to fill him in on the sweep. But just before I did that, who should walk by with a nod of the head, then enter the building? SCOOTER! At least he had the good sense to not intrude. Yet aNOTHER wackadoodle dopehead! So now I got THREE of ’em imposing their unsavory selves in my world! Though I make exception for just ONE, thanks to the wee hounds.

Somehow, some way, I finally extricated myself from Vince’s tentacles a few minutes later, wishing him well as he did same, and got down to supper and bed. Now, for a final thought re. Scooter…grab those smelling salts!

Could Karlsen actually be dead, chopped up there in his own bathtub, and Scooter is just covering his butt by talking with me to fabricate an alibi? And who is this strapping, blonde dude of careworn animal magnetism, smokey bedroom eyes, solid jawline and impressive biceps, pectorals and solid rump who accompanied him into the building and, I guess, Karlsen’s apartment? Are they busy decomposing the body parts with lime and some other substance to conceal the foul stink of decay? They certainly have the advantage of an absent building manager to get away with Glob only knows. Maybe I should ask Victor, our maintenance man, to take a look-see in that unit after telling him my concern. That would be a hoot! Meanwhile, I think I’ll jack off tonight in some hot Criminal Minds fantasy with blondie…boinking him up his tight sphincter while he’s bent over the bathtub bubbling with dissolving flesh and muscle, one eyeball still floating about.

P.S.: Barely an hour after I composed the paragraph above I stepped out to empty my wastebasket, when who should I see exiting Karlsen’s pad? Scooter and blondie! I feigned a friendly hello and slipped through the back porch door to empty the basket. They were already gone when I stepped back out seconds later and returned to my humble refuge.

P.P.S.: The next day, Thursday eve, who should come lumbering up the stairs, gasping for breath, but Karlsen! Shortly followed by Scooter. Though neither spotted me, as I hid around the corner of the side hall while they drifted along towards their abode across from where Adisa and mom once lived, and vanished like the eerie spooks they are. So much for my coldblooded senicide speculation. *sigh*

P.P.P.S.: Yesterday afternoon my missing four slices of Swiss cheese magically showed up again in my fridge, right where I left them before they disappeared…and in perfectly edible condition. Will wonders never cease? My poltergeist theory must have holes in it.

Re: We SHOULD Fight against local trolls Koclownski, Titslaffer and Filcher.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce, MCN discussion
Date: March 12, 2023 at 12:51 PM

On Fri, 10 Mar 2023 14:14:30 -0800 spike NAZI FOOL kozlowski squoinked:

> Says he who has lived off a mental disability check his ENTIRE useless, meaningless, unproductive life.

You, Mr. Koclownski, are most likely the LEAST qualified of any other person on this planet to pass judgment on ANYone, let alone one who is disabled and whose life has been saved by what thread of kindness remains in our disastrously hobbled government services…thanks to vulgar morons like yourself. Who think it “manly” to poke a stick through a fence at some innocent dog born to love any human who gives it even half a chance.

The ONLY true reason for human existence is for each person to find some noble cause to grab onto and strive forward with torch lit. Regardless of their social or financial status in life, no matter how low or how high. YOU, dear Nazi reprobate, have so far FAILED to find a noble purpose. In fact you seem to have been fighting with every fiber in your body AGAINST achieving just that, for your entire life thus far. Piece of advice:

Better get cracking posthaste, for your time is limited considering your advanced age, and the many years you have already wasted. For whom does the bell toll? For each of us, in our own time. Amirite, Ms. 2-Biased? *crickets* Woo-hoo!

– Zeke

Subject: A movie that will touch your heart like no other:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 12, 2023 at 1:03 PM

Living,” a simple title for a deceptively simple tale that is quintessentially British all the way through, and reflects the very best of what The Isles have to offer to all humanity. And is why I am such a Celtophile. I watched it last night, mesmerized from beginning to end.

Audience reviews: Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon.

Re: 6 doggy sweaters instead of 4! (part 2 of 2)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 12, 2023 at 6:24 PM

> These two letters are some FINE storytelling.

Thanks, so glad you enjoyed them. I had a helluva time composing part 2, as I got stuck on just HOW I can unravel Vince’s meth-crazed litany of bullshit. So I just let go of it for a day and a half, trusting my inner demons to bring things to the prefontal-lobe fore. And they finally did. Sometimes an author needs to mull a scene over for a considerable time before putting it to pen. This is NOT writer’s block (which I never suffer anymore), but the creative process doing its thing. The real writer’s block is ANGST, and I’ve gotten very good at dissipating it promptly, thanks to dealing with Deek’s frequent hissy fits over many years.

> I’m seriously impressed by how you stood up to Vince. And you hit some great licks: “He’s in his own world of ice palaces and booze-gushing fountains…”

Thanks! I changed “ice” to “crystal” ’cause it rolls better and I think fewer readers will get the meth reference with “ice” than they would with “crystal.”

> And when Karlsen comes huffing and puffing up the stairs, right after your fantasy about chunks of his corpse dissolving in the bathtub…

You just can’t make this stuff up! It happened exactly that way, in exactly that time frame. Just another hint they’re all having fun at my expense, as My Bodhisattva Premise suggests. And I had so much FUN composing that torrid sex-crime scene, with your alter-ego Morticia in mind. Imagine when my tales are reproduced in vibrant animation via Indymedia!

Marshall did a GREAT job narrating my latest tale last Friday. More on that later. Along with a couple MORE updates. Hard to keep up whenever I go through an intense cycle of flapdoodle. I make sure, though, to draft a quick outline each day so I won’t lose any scenes to the dusty void of forgotten props in a defunct theater from yesteryear, its roof about to collapse. All the world’s a stage, but most of the shows are cancelled, or never make it to the boards in the first place!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Catching up with Deek updates and other reports.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 16, 2023 at 12:32 AM

Starting with Thursday morning, six days ago:


Stepping out of Rosenberg’s with java in hand, who should I see down the block a bit but someone in a plush hooded jacket smiling at me. Took me a few moments to realize who it was: Heimdall, Deek’s Viking friend who sold him a fabulous Bluetooth speaker at a ridiculously low price back in January! So glad to see him again, I invited him to sit with me around the corner, by the steps of “Max Muscle,” that nutritional sports outlet. Though he remained standing for the entire visit–which lasted for almost a half hour–it was a superb get-together.

He was nicely dressed as usual, this time in a nylon-shell jacket of a tawny shade, black Levi jeans and a pair of dark blue Adidas sneakers with three yellow stripes on each side, that looked spanking new (like everything else he wears). I never see him without a Bluetooth speaker of his own (usually hanging from a strap slung diagonally over his chest and one shoulder) and that morning was no exception. This one was a JBL Xtreme 2: barrel shaped and resting just above his waist. Definitely a music lover, though with a much wider range of genres than Deek’s…thank the Elder God Orryx for that. And also (unlike Deek at times) it was turned off, so our confabulation was an undisturbed pleasure.

What did we talk about? (You may be asking at this point, Wattson.) It was mostly about the different people we meet on the streets, and how we deal with conflicts from the nasty, dysfunctional types. His approach is much like mine: always be calm, patient and forgiving no matter how onerous the other’s behavior. At worst, just walk away and never be vengeful or harbor resentment.

But I already knew that about him, so well illustrated by his witnessing my chastising Deek in front of him, that night Heimdall agreed to a $200 dollar transaction for a $500 speaker. I’ll spare you the details of this argument, as I’ve already spelled them out in a previous missive. My point being that Heimdall remained peaceable and friendly during my little clash with the Cajun dufus…and did not at all express dismay later on, at Deek’s reckless treatment of that fine speaker leading to its demise only a few weeks later. The ONLY complaint Heimdall has about him is when he’s around him Deek never shuts up but chatters on aimlessly. He loves the pups though, and agrees with me that Deek is basically a decent human being, and is a great help to others surviving on the streets.

He also brought up his living situation, though in such a way that I’m not clear about whether or not he has a roof over his head NOW. He said he comes from money, but enjoys many aspects of the street life…and has a studio apartment ready for him in the near future, thanks to a social worker. I’m under the impression he has SOME safe place to return to at night, considering how well attired and impeccably neat his appearance every time I see him. Not to mention the TWO expensive smartphones he always carries around, along with a high-priced speaker that changes brand or model with surprising frequency.

His affirmation of My Bodhisattva Premise, as conveyed by how he deals with conflict, was most uplifting. Especially since it was just the night before when pesky Vince showed up with his disturbing antics that put me in a slump, worrying if he’s gonna be more of a pest these days, and how I’m gonna deal with that. It’s not like I discussed My Premise with Heimdall, seeking approval from someone (anyone), it’s more like he appeared outta the sky as one of my guardians to give me the perfect boost at just the right time.

While we were chatting, that friendly black dude in a yellow jacket strolled by again, waved at us with a hearty “Good morning!” We greeted him back in the same amicable manner, then Heimdall turned to me and declared:

“They’re not always so friendly, some are downright ugly.”

“What do you mean?” I queried, a bit puzzled at his use of “they.”

He pointed at the yellow jacket which had the words “Castro Ambassador” displayed on the back, in white. I never noticed that before. I think he was talking about some of them being prejudiced against the homeless, as they’re a black eye for tourism in our neighborhood. And, being unhoused himself (or coming off that way to some), Heimdall gets a taste of that rudeness. Though with his always-neat appearance and pleasant demeanor, I don’t see why ANYone would jump to the conclusion he’s living on the streets. Just because he carries around a cart sometimes, and blasts a speaker on his walks?

Though I’m not sure that’s what he meant, as he speaks in such a way that is difficult to understand without focusing directly on his face. His words often blur together as if he were partly deaf, or has some other hearing disorder. One is therefore tempted to say “What?” after almost every sentence…but I temper that by pretending I understand, based on the words and phrases that came before which I COULD comprehend. In sum:

Thanks to our upbeat conversation, I felt invigorated and still do. For just under my thin veneer of angst I discovered renewed energy, a positive rush of affirmation that I’m still basking in as I compose this email.


The next night (Friday) Deek showed up, though it was already 10 PM and I was settling into my nighttime routine of a late dinner and relaxing with a movie or some Youtube videos. He asked if I could watch the pups while he rode about on his bike for fifteen minutes or so. I said sure, and he was gone maybe for a half hour at most. So I laid down cardboard and a blanket for the doggies’ comfort, and we had another lovely visit there on the sidewalk below my window.

The brindlekin sensed his return from across the street; their ears perked up at a rap song blaring from his speaker. When he finally crossed the street and approached, the dogs looked up at him with waggy-tail joy and I exclaimed:

“They know your music, they recognized it from a block away!”

As he prepared to leave I saw him adjusting his Bluetooth speaker in a small baby buggy he had joined somehow to the bike’s rear axle. So I asked if he could use another bungee cord to better secure the hefty device. He wound up taking more than half what I had, from a $12 supply I ordered only three days prior! See pic. And here I assumed those many cords would last for two or three months to suit his needs.

He also had a cage connected to the bike, behind the buggy, and used the extra bungee cords to secure it. But as I watched him place the dogs in the cage it tilted the bike back and made a soft landing on the sidewalk. Both mutts remained in the cage, even though it was open, because they preferred to remain in cozy rest upon the sleeping bag also stashed therein. (I was watching all this from my window, BTW.)

He wound up extricating the pups from that cage and walking them, along with his bike, towards wherever he was destined next. I guess he didn’t call up to me to return the sleeping bag (which I suggested he use to cushion the cage), because he was planning to remain outdoors for the night, anyway.


Looks like he now has “friends” visiting and staying over in Karlsen’s tiny studio apartment. (Well, not even a studio as it has no kitchen, just a single unit with bathroom attached.) I first realized this upon exiting the front gate last Saturday afternoon when I stepped out to see Deek and brindlekin. Scooter was holding the gate open and chatting with another vagrant who appeared reasonably neat, thank Blavigus (that’s a deity I just made up; I haven’t put any thought into his purpose except that he’s male and probably of Grecian, Macedonian, or even Cretan origin).

He was blocking the exit so I said excuse me please, and he graciously stepped aside so I could squeeze my way through.

“Uh-oh,” Deek exclaimed with a chuckle. “He has the key, now everyone can get into your building!”

“Hush,” I bent over his right ear and whispered. “He says he’s paying Karlsen half the rent to stay there, and we have no manager anymore, so there’s really nothing I can do about it, except be cool.”

[Sidebar: Yeah, Wattson, I forgot to tell you about that, when Scooter and I had our first conversation outside while I was watching the pooches. I also forgot to tell you he said if anyone bothers me, let him know and he’ll take care of it. Boy do I feel safe now! My response of course was: “Thanks, much appreciated!” For I thought it wise not to play the “you’re-a-big-fat-tweeking-phony-scamming-his-way-into-the-building-since-you-know-the-manager-is-in-the-hospital-on-his-death-bed” card. I guess that’s one of the cards in a pile of cards on my imaginary “Battle of the Bodhisattvas” gameboard. I hope they’re not ALL that wordy, but only time will tell.]

So this explains why I’ve heard people calling up to Karlsen’s window for the past week…though not hollering for either him or Scooter, but someone ELSE! (For some reason I still can’t discern WHAT that name is, though definitely one syllable.) It hasn’t been frequent, or late at night…just once or twice a day between three different people as far as I know. Goodness gracious, I can’t ALWAYS be standing by my window playing Neighborhood Watch!

But that morning I heard someone hollering up at my building, “Oscar!” Loudly, but just once. I have no idea who Oscar is. He stood around awhile, halfway between my window and Karlsen’s, then departed. Didn’t get a good look at him ’cause I didn’t want him to spot THIS wary pilgrim.

Then towards evening a raggedy fellow (maybe blondie, but not sure…he was wearing a hoodie) was hollering up at Karlsen’s window, some name I couldn’t make out, but definitely not “Karlsen” or “Scooter.” Didn’t sound like “Oscar” either. He kept it up for ten minutes or so, then took off.

Then, late that night from around 2 to 3:30 AM someone kept pounding on the front gate, repetitiously, nonstop. He just would not give up, though at no time did he holler out ANYthing, just kept smashing a fist (or maybe both) on the metal gate. I tried to see who it was, but all I could make out from my window was a chunky pair of legs and butt in blue jeans, thanks to the overhang blocking my view. Small gaggles of revelers passed by during those wee hours, every few minutes or so, but not a single one stopped to challenge the gate smasher. Now get this, good doctor:

It has occurred to me that pounding on the gate for so long COULD break the lock, which has happened before. And may explain why NO yelling was involved.

Then, later Sunday morning around 9:30 I heard another person call up to the building some indecipherable name, but again, clearly NOT “Karlsen” or “Scooter.” Though I did peek out a minute later to see a bulging black duffle bag out front, but no one near it. Seconds later this scraggly old fellow and an equally scraggly (though colorfully attired) lady with a little doggie in her arms appeared, upon which he picked up the duffle bag and they entered through the front gate. Apparently, someone let them in.

So far all’s quiet with them, no real noise disturbances to speak of coming from that apartment. And I haven’t had the displeasure of crossing any of these crashers’ paths inside my building…nor do they seem to be using the shared bathroom. Maybe Scooter had the good sense to purchase a plunger from a dollar store to keep Karlsen’s OWN toilet working. I certainly hope they continue to lay low. And the lock in the front gate remains secure for the nonce. Oh so many things to be grateful for in my world!


Last Sunday evening Deek came by, asked for the rest of next Thursday’s allowance in advance ($60)…started to say something about needing to pay someone back but I cut him off:

“I don’t wanna hear your stories! I’ll just give you the money, but at this rate you’re gonna run out long before the month ends.”

In fact, he now only has $150 left, seeing as he’s already received $300 within the first two weeks! Later he asked to go inside “just for a minute,” and I told him he has a lot of NERVE asking me to do something I don’t wanna do anymore…and haven’t for at least four years at this point.

“I JUST gave you the rest of your hundred DAYS in advance, I’m being so kind to you and the dogs, you should be ASHAMED of yourself!” I exclaimed.

And believe it or not, this time (and for the first time) he actually showed a touch of remorse and didn’t push the matter! I then fed the pups, and he lingered about an hour out front. Scampy showed up, once more neatly dressed…she’s been in an amicable mood a lot since she “escaped” her shared hotel room! I see and hear her almost every day now, always cheerful. Up the block, across the street, on the corner, sometimes right below my window…she’s around here so much these days!

I remained outside while the hounds were noshing, and Scampy was crouched down along the curb beside Deek, muttering awful things to him. I suspect she has a mental debility akin to Tourette Syndrome. Anyway, she said things like “You’re a fuckin’ loser and you know it,” “A piece of shit like you shouldn’t even exist” and “I wouldn’t care if you died tomorrow.” I’m guessing she’s simply echoing the words of a dysfunctional family she fled from, and became homeless as a result. But what amazed me was how Deek handled it:

He just sat there and listened with kind patience, obviously not the least bit angered by her horrid declarations. They shared the bubble pipe and, rather than hand him back the lighter, she kept diddling with it.

“Please don’t break my lighter,” Deek softly begged. “Please don’t break it.”

According to Deek, she sometimes goes through the things in his cart and either steals or breaks them. Yet rather than show animosity, he endures her tantrums and expletives with startling grace. Never holds a grudge against her and remains a steadfast friend. So maybe THIS is why he used to explode at me so often: all that resentment bottled up!

So before returning hovel for the night I handed Deek another lighter, seeing as she still held onto the one he loaned her.

Before hitting the sack I looked out the window once more and was pleased to see Hjlemar visiting with Deek for awhile, too, before he finally departed with pups and cart about twenty minutes later.

Now, last night a rude incident occurred out front while Deek was sitting outside with the doggies bundled up in a sleeping bag. A young black dude dressed to the nines in a bulky sweater of colorful squares walked by, upon which Flaco & Lucky started to bark like wild. Deek held onto their collars, said sorry. But instead of moving on, the dude turned around and began barking back at the dogs, as if that were a funny thing to do. Causing the canines to react in a greater frenzy, of course.

Deek did not scream back at him, but calmly held the pooches in his arms until the idiot finally took off. However, he returned a minute later from the Hohokum smoke shop and handed Deek a fiver. I guess in apology, but why then did he proceed to yell at the dogs once more, before leaving for good? Be that as it may:

Just sharing with you certain incidents that show Deek’s mature handling of aggravating situations that certainly impress the heck out of yours truly. Now finally, this afternoon:

Deek showed up around 1 PM, and the first thing he said was: “What a nice day, huh?”

I agreed: after that string of gray, rainy days it sure was keen to have a sunny, warmish day at last. Again, he displayed a more sweet disposition that he hasn’t shown for years, except these past weeks since he acquired that tiny cabin.

He requested two rap artists to add to his growing collection: “Teejay3k” and “Ricky B.” Thought I’d have it all set up in just a short while…so I explained to him that’s a two or three hour project. I’d have to download each video from Youtube, then convert them all from mp4 to mp3.

“And when you’re talkin’ around a hundred songs, that takes time,” I added. “But let me see what I can find first, then I’ll let you know what to expect.”

Let me explain what’s going on, Wattson: he’s sticking to his speaker instead of a smartphone these days. In which case he only wants a small number of songs, relative to what he stores on his phone…small number being around a hundred, in contrast to thousands. Seeing as with a speaker you don’t have an LCD screen with a menu by which you can scroll to whatever song or album you want in a pinch. Instead you are relegated to the speaker playing one song after another, in alphabetical order, and you can only go blindly forward or backward one by one, by pressing a button. And having TOO many songs makes it a headache and a half if you want to switch to another rap artist. So, once or twice a week, he asks me to replace his present collection with a new one. He doesn’t ask for any particular artist (for the most part), just wants something different. After all, his library of 5,000-plus songs (and still growing) are all ones he’s personally chosen, so no matter which songs I put on the chip, he’s gonna like ’em.

When I returned to tell him I found both items he requested, he said take your time, maybe put some “Too Short” albums on his chip after deleting what’s already on it, and he’ll come back later. Now, the old Deek would never say that, or be so placid about it. He would’ve exploded in a fury, demanding he get those songs NOW. Instead, he suggested I put some different songs onto the chip that he already has in his collection, and I could do my downloading and converting at my leisure.

I said sure, that’ll work, then just as I was about to enter my building he called to me: “Um, also get me the rapper Dog Hustler and an album called “Bay Area Rap Instrumentals.”

I said okay, but that will add another hour or two for this project. He said fine, so I rushed back upstairs to delete his chip and transfer a bunch of Too Short albums onto it, which only took a few minutes. When I returned outside I handed it to him and said: “Eleven albums by Too Short, that should keep you busy and outta my hair!”

He smiled, said thanks and sat outside for another ten minutes or so before departing.

He returned just before twilight (much later than I expected), and I was glad to tell him I found ALL the songs he wanted, already downloaded to a new chip and numbered a total of 133. So we exchanged chips and he popped the new one in. It looked like he was planning to hang out front for awhile, since he just purchased a beverage and a cigar from the smoke shop and sat down beside the hounds. Since they were sitting on concrete I suggested I bring down some cardboard and a sleeping bag for the pups. Instead of griping in opposition (as was his wont until recent vintage) he simply said: “Good idea, thanks.” He also did not object when I put a new pair of sweaters on them.

Before returning hovel I pet the pups now snug in their nest and told Deek if he wants to take the sleeping bag with him, that’s fine…otherwise call up to my window when he’s about to leave so I can stash it away for another time.

About a half hour later he hollered up, told me he’s leaving now. So I went downstairs to collect the comforter and wish them all godspeed and happy trails. I watched them wander off into the distance as they crossed Noe Street, pleased as punch for yet aNOTHER peaceful meetup in this growing string of consecutive meetups. Of course, both Lucky & Flaco looked back at me a few times in kind regret.



“Corn” is the name these crashers are calling up to Karlsen’s window, I just discovered right when I was composing the third paragraph above. For once more some houseless fellow stood outside and hollered up, and this time I clearly heard him say “Corn!” several times over. What a shitty nickname to have.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Alvin’s put himself into a bad situation, it seems
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 21, 2023 at 10:47 PM

> So who is the beautiful man/boy??  What’s the rest of the story? My lip is zipped, of course.

There are three emails I sent him, previous to the one forwarded to you. It took me almost an hour to put them all together in chronological order because some were already in the trash folder, some in the sent folder, and a few in my Alvin folder. They’re all short, but I’m including them so you’ll get a good idea of how our conversation evolved. I marked the email I sent (after those three), followed by the remainder of our exchanges so far, the last one being a shocker, which may piss him off royally.

On 2023-03-21 14:34, Alvin Hope wrote:

> It’s raining cats and dogs and spiders and werewolves, so it’s a busy day in the barnyard. Lots of excitement as spring vigorously goes back to winter. What ho and high ho. Yesterday was lovely, one day of warm sunshine to keep us hoping for spring. Meanwhile, the sky has opened and you know what that means! What ho and high ho. Humpty Dumpty is back on his wall, geting ready for another plunge. Aslan is about to trap the White Witch and undo all her ice palace spells.

Send me one of those them-thar werewolves, I could use the company! Just tell him he needs to bring his own toothbrush.

On 2023-03-21 15:24, Alvin Hope wrote:

> I may be dating one right now. His obsession with Anne Rice is revelatory as are his unusual and hot facial decorations. I don’t know yet how serious he is about this but have resisted the kiss on the neck while going for all manner of other excitements.

You’ll know by the next full moon.

On 2023-03-21 15:35, Alvin Hope wrote:

> I realize I am conflating werewolves with vampires. Sorry, very sloppy on my part.

Yes, I was wondering about that. I’m not the least bit attracted to vampires, but werewolves make me howl. Explains my undying devotion to Canis familiaris.

> My friend would be appalled if he is a vampire being called a werewolf.

He’d probably accuse you of pulling the wool over his eyes.

> Anyway, he’s very beautiful and I am falling in love, not what one prudently does with either vampires or werewolves. I have always admired prudence, something I may be entirely lacking.

Prudence the vampire may enjoy hearing you say that to her face.

—–  (Here’s the email I sent you:)

On 2023-03-21 16:09, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Interesting thought. It’s coming up. I will definitely plan an evening with him during that time.

I was just joking.

> It’s an extremely complex relationship so far.

What relationship isn’t?

> Opposites attract? I am surprised how strong my feelings are for this person whom I hardly know but already want to move in with. My best friend, a woman, has us on her radar, so i feel relatively safe. Plus, he’s really a nice person underneath all the same social missteps that I have. I think we both screw up a lot. All rational signals say no but I am not rational when it comes to love, lust and sex. Just go for it. Writing about him makes me think about him and I want him here right now! My hot beautiful man/boy whom I love.

I would be cautious. I’m somewhat younger than you (72) and I would not allow anyone to get so intimate with me at this advanced age. Not that anyone’s interested, mind you…thus someone who shows interest is most likely faking it. Old queers are prey for young scoundrels, and some of them can put on a really convincing act. If he’s a homeless drifter, be extra cautious. Main point of concern: you hardly know him.

Also: you have a home, money, possessions, and your health is fragile at the moment.

– Zeke

On 2023-03-21 20:29, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Totally, thank you. I will keep your words in my heart. They provide balance. I have only shared this with my two women friends and one I can tell is in my ballpark totally and the other is vague. I am much closer to women in my life than to men right now. Where I live there is almost no gay presence. When I first met him, I told him I was gay because I wanted to end it if it weren’t possible for him. He said nothing. The second time we met, he came to my house and said he had had gay experiences, too, which opened the door. Mostly, he’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met. I love sitting with him and talking. Also, he has 7 cats. Yeah. That caught my attention right there. Warmest Greetings,

7 cats? That’s a good sign, I’d say. Personally, if I met a youngish fellow whose company I’d really enjoy, I’d shoot for a warm, platonic friendship. Sex is so messy and often wrecks the relationship. He seems nervous about the gay part anyway, so putting that kind of pressure on him might drive him away. He may be considering sex only because he needs a friend, but isn’t truly into it.

On 2023-03-21 20:07, Alvin Hope wrote:

> “He’d probably accuse you of pulling the wool over his eyes.” I sense that has a deeper meaning but I can’t figure it out.

I meant it only as a pun, considering the furriness of a werewolf.

> My Dad was a master at social, loved it, and I got to watch and learn. So, tomorrow should be a lot of fun. I’m actually not too nervous. If he wears eye makeup, warrior face makeup and spikes his hair with gel, which he likes to do, it could get very interesting. I like it a lot. My woman friend is very brave with questions and my brother is a total sweetheart, so it will go well.

Good to know, have an excellent time, all of you. Let me know how it goes, please.


On 2023-03-21 20:34, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Thank you. I will. This really helps me keep it excellent.

I hope so, and wish you the best.

> I have to give a report to someone I respect.

Well, do that first, then get back to me. :D



On 2023-03-21 20:57, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Very true and very wise words. He initiated sex with us by saying, out of the blue, one evening here, “So, do you want to fool around?” I had already told him I can’t get hard and don’t come, so there was no surprise when that all proved to be true. We have been together three times now and it’s still a mystery but not a bad one. I sense that he likes me and doesn’t know how to say it, and that this is mostly new territory for him. I am very attracted to him and have told him, so I can just relax and take it easy. I know he could leave Sonora and my life and that is a possibility I don’t like at all, so we’re still in the process of making an initial real blending if it’s going to be. Yeah, the age difference is such that I would be his grandfather, not even his father, so that’s strange for us both I suspect. He is 34 and I am 82. I think we like each other but how deeply loyalty runs remains to be seen. I initially walked up to him and said hello because a very powerful voice in my head told me to do that. So strong.

Okay. Have you met his cats?

On 2023-03-21 21:11, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Yes

Where…in his van down by the river?

YOU’RE IN DANGER, Alvin, and you shouldn’t have ever invited him to your home. HE INITIATED SEX WITH YOU…that’s to win you over. I’m guessing now my joke about him pulling the wool over your eyes was a subconscious warning bubbling up before I even knew it. But a couple of emails later it suddenly clicked in:

Psychopaths are often stunningly good looking and know how to USE those looks to their advantage. They play the scintillatingly charming fellow to perfection, they are masters at it. Depending on how deep his psychopathy goes, he’ll do anything from rob you while you’re asleep (including your wallet and laptop) to refusing to leave and force you under his will, to being violent against you and your cats, to murder.

His playing modest is an ACT, like he’s almost a virgin when it comes to gay trysts, which makes him seem tastier to his prey. His “shyness” about meeting your friends is feigned: he wants to avoid meeting anyone else at your home, at all costs…or anyone else who even KNOWS you. Hopefully, then, he WON’T show up at the arranged get-together. Though he MIGHT drop over later, or another day whenever he knows the coast is clear, sex you up a few more times before he starts to go berserk on you.

This is an absurdly CLASSIC textbook setup of a young, handsome hustler hitting up an old, gay man who lives by himself in a rural town infested with right-wing troglodytes. In fact it’s so “textbook” it’s fukkin CORNY, and I’d like to think you’re just pulling my leg. UNBELIEVABLE you could ever fall for such an obvious dupe. YOU’RE 80 FUKKIN YEARS OLD! Are you perhaps on some soothing meds for your recent surgery, that turn you all lovey-dovey like MDMA? And thus in a state of poor judgment?

WAKE UP, MR. HOPE, YOU’RE IN DANGER! And I don’t know how you’re gonna drive him away peacefully, should he persist in visiting or stalking you. It is therefore my UTMOST hope the very idea your friends are gonna show up to meet him scared him away FOR GOOD.

–end (so far)

Subject: I just sent Alvin THIS addendum:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 21, 2023 at 11:45 PM

He hasn’t replied to my previous message yet, but then I remembered his email where he said the dude is into Anne Rice’s vampire novels. So I posted the following:


Subject: And he’s into VAMPIRES!

For most, vampire tales are simply entertaining chills. Though SOME do take them very seriously…and, in light of what you’ve told me about this fellow, I’m guessing he takes vampirism as a solemn belief. So I decided this would be an excellent question to ask ChatGPT:

“How gruesome are Anne Rice’s vampires?”

And here’s the reply:

Anne Rice’s vampires are known for being very dark and gruesome. In her novels, Rice portrays vampires as tortured and tragic figures who are cursed to live forever as predators who must feed on human blood to survive.

Rice’s vampires are often depicted as having a fierce hunger for blood, which they satisfy by brutally attacking and feeding on their victims. The process of feeding is described in graphic detail, with Rice emphasizing the violence and horror of the act.

Additionally, Rice’s vampires are also known for their physical transformations, which can be very gruesome. For example, in her novel “Interview with the Vampire,” the protagonist Louis is described as undergoing a painful transformation as his body is transformed into a vampire. This process is depicted as both physically and emotionally traumatic.

Overall, Rice’s portrayal of vampires is known for being very dark and gruesome, emphasizing the horror and tragedy of the vampire condition.

He IS a vampire, Alvin, but I mean that metaphorically. In that such types mesmerize their prey, then suck the life force outta them.

– Zeke


Subject: Further dialog with Alvin (2 emails)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 22, 2023 at 10:34 AM

On 2023-03-22 00:48, Alvin Hope wrote:

> Thanks, I’ve not thought of this but it doesn’t quite fit. Still, thank you for caring and alerting me. You have made me more accurate. I feel I’ll know more after tomorrow. Your email is like ice water. Am I woken up or frozen?

I’m not there, I haven’t met the person, and the situation is a classic setup, based on what you have reported. It fits in like a jigsaw puzzle that even a child could put together in five minutes. Of course I hope I’m wrong. Proceed with great caution. I wouldn’t even allow myself any sort of physical intimacy at my age…I’d go for a platonic friendship at best, and not reveal where I live for quite some time.

Now I’m wondering if he has so many cats because he sacrifices them?


On 2023-03-22 01:29, Alvin Hope wrote:

> This all could be true. I’ve got to be careful.

You’re already in it pretty deep.

> I’m glad my brother is coming up. He’s very low key and sweet but misses nothing. (We both are damaged in the same way by our mother who took our self-confidence away.)

Hopefully he’ll be packing heat when he arrives.

> It’s hard living up here in such loneliness. I have met two guys after I got out of the hospital, neither really able to lovingly reciprocate.

Even nice people keep their distance because you never know with strangers until it’s too late. Our society has fragmented…no more casual hangouts or hobby groups to congregate and get to know people. Except churches, gun clubs and Trump rallies: all right-wing venues. Otherwise it’s all been relegated to cyberspace, a weak alternative. The public commons has been destroyed.

> Haven’t had this problem before

Most gay people have; you’re an exception. Though I think you should’ve been aware of this dark side all along, considering all the bashing, terrorism and killing going on against LGBTs. And how most churches preach hatred against them. Been going on for centuries, some eras more violent than others, like an up and down wave on a statistical chart.

> and wonder if it’s some late life lesson I have to learn.

I doubt it. Other than an opportunity to stand up against evil…assuming my conjecture about him is correct.

> Never felt lonely and needy but do now. Wonder if it’s because I lived with so many people coming in and out of my room in hospitals for so long that I got used to it. Not sure, just different now.

Feeling lonely and needy is a state of mind, like any other emotion. I got over it some years back. Whenever such feelings well up I nip ’em in the bud, reminding myself that’s an immature reaction and I know better.

> Don’t have male friends here and miss the masculine vibe a lot. All my friends are loving sweet caring women.

I’d give my eye teeth to have a good friend in my world, male or female or anywhere in between, who I can meet up with on a frequent basis. Count your blessings, Alvin. I DO have an excellent friend, and have for years…though it’s via the Internet only, a wonderful woman. So my best friends I get to actually SEE are of a different species, and their names are Flaco & Lucky. Their owner, however, leaves much to be desired in the way of friendship.

> I may have retarded development and am going backward.

I don’t think so, it’s just that your situation with “vampire boy” is both strange and alarming. You are acting like you’re under the influence of a powerful, tranquilizing drug (with consequent poor judgment)…and I’m guessing that’s from the medication you take to heal from surgery.

> My Mom wanted to destroy me and I feel like she may be finally succeeding. Maybe that is what is going to happen. There are haters in my family so I know all about that. It’s not me and it’s not lasting. Love is lasting I know.

Time to love thyself above and beyond anyone else…this is an emergency!

> Tomorrow is a new day and will be better. I hope it warms up. I want to wake up smiling.

One can CHOOSE to wake up smiling, regardless of the weather. And regardless of anything else for that matter, in spite of one’s difficulties. Trust the Great Spirit that all crises resolve themselves peaceably, no matter how scary the situation appears. Psalm 23:4:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

BTW: what ARE this fellow’s “unusual and hot facial decorations,” as you say. What kind of symbols or designs in particular? Do they show the clean lines and solid colors of a professional tattoo artist, or do they appear more “homemade?” The latter would suggest gang member affiliation or time in prison. Though some are just into primitive self decoration without any dark background. Nonetheless, unsettling. I am sure your brother will be seriously putt off by that alone.

Does he ever speak of Buddhist, Native American or other illuminating influences? How well educated is he? I am assuming he’s homeless, maybe lives out of a vehicle, travels around…seeing as you have not divulged his living situation yet. Nothing wrong with that per se, but other things you’ve told me about him sound the alarm in my brain.

–end (for now)

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