Everyone’s Life is Falling Apart

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 17]

Subject: THEY’RE GOING FOR THE JUGULAR! (re. the lawsuit)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 29, 2023 at 6:09 PM

Just got a summons that I must reply to within 20 days. Ridiculous, horrific, false accusations. 10 pages in all, which links I will send to my attorney in a moment. I’ll probably have to come into her office tomorrow so she can make photocopies. It showed up in my mailbox today.

Subject: Now get this!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 29, 2023 at 7:48 PM

Just minutes before I found that summons in my mailbox, Deek & pups showed up. He called up his usual “Yo!” to my window, so I poked my head out and he said: “He’s back!”

“Who?” I queried.

“Your manager,” he replied, then pointed to my right, at an old codger who just hobbled out of a car and was escorted by some young fellow. Sure enough, it was Kevin! I was certainly annoyed at Deek saying that right in front of them, and POINTING no less. But my Cajun Drifter has a way of putting me in an awkward state before I even realize it, and this was just the latest.

“Oh that’s just dandy,” I thought with a sour spirit. “Now I’ll have to pass the decrepit old dolt on the way downstairs!” Seeing as Deek would grow impatient if I waited for Kevin and helpmate to reach the second flight of stairs before I left my room.

Kevin was deeply bowed with an arm around his escort, ambling up the first flight, slow as a turtle. So all I saw was his bald, blotchy pate…didn’t know whether or not to bother saying hello, so I didn’t. He may not have seen my face anyway, as he was staring straight down to lift each foot one at a time, like dead weights. I must admit I wasn’t pleased to see him again in his corporeal form, good physician. As I got close to them I pressed myself against the left-side wall (’cause the other side has the handrail) and maneuvered beyond them like a breeze.

“Boy, that was great timing!” I said to Deek upon opening the gate.

“What do you mean?” he asked in puzzlement.

“Your showing up at the same time as the manager!”

He seemed to not get it, so I dropped the subject right then and there. He already has a new bike and cart (as opposed to the bike and cart he acquired only three days ago), so I exclaimed:

“Another bike already? The cart’s as good as the last one, maybe even better!” For it had a sloping cage over it, shaped like an upside-down rain drop and about three feet high over the cart floor, which was three feet long and two-and-a-half wide.

“I just came by for more dog food,” he explained, “and you can put new music on my chip.”

I embraced the pups who were jumping for my hugs, so glad to see me again. But they were soaking wet, so I guess he had them out in the rain earlier today. He told me to hurry up, make it snappy, but I told him to stop it, I can’t go any faster than I already do.

“Gimme two minutes, please,” I said. “You shoulda dropped by a few minutes earlier, I don’t cotton to people telling me to hurry up.”

Once back hovel, I grabbed two clean rags and called to Deek:

“Dry them off!”

The rags landed on the sidewalk but instead of grabbing them he scowled at me and kicked them aside:

“Bullshit, I gotta get somewhere and it’s gonna rain again soon!” (Neither of which was true, FYI.)

I wasn’t gonna put up with that, so rushed back downstairs, collected the rags and started to wipe the rain off their fur…upon which he started to scream furiously. I cut him off and told him:

“YOU’RE the one slowing things down! I wanted you to dry off the dogs while I was upstairs getting things ready!”

He continued to put up a stink, even though I handed him back the rags, which he took. But instead of using them on the pups he began to polish an extra pair of sneakers that were stored in the cart.

“I only need one, Deek,” I said and held out my hand. He quieted down by then (almost seeming a bit ashamed for his behavior) and gave me one of the rags so I could finish drying off the brindlekin before returning upstairs.

As I was getting the supply of doggy vittles packed away, he called up to my window again: “You may as well bring them a meal, they’re actin’ like they’re hungry!”

I said okay and did that, too, brought out their meals and a bowl of water first.

“Where’s the dog food supply and my chip?” he queried.

“I don’t have five arms, Deek, just wait two more minutes please,” I replied and returned to my room, gathered up the items and brought them downstairs, whereupon I hugged and pet the mutts once more, seeing as it was such a brief visit this time around. Deek was still fussing with those sneakers. He seemed glad to give me a bit more time to adore Flaco & Lucky.

A few minutes later he inserted the updated chip into his speaker and announced, “Okay, we gotta go now. I sure wish you could gimme ten or twenny dollah today!”

“I wish I could too,” I replied. “But the well is dry until next month, I only have food in my pantry and fridge to last me till my next deposit.”

Deek sighed and said, “That’s okay, no problem.”

“Yes it is a problem,” I japed. “For BOTH of us!”

I then said, “But it’s always good to see you and the dogs,” and wished ’em happy trails.

They took off in a flash, towards Noe Street and, I guess, beyond…maybe back to his cabin. Upon returning hovel I stopped to check my mailbox, and that’s when I discovered a thickly stuffed, legal-sized envelope from “Camero & Shields, PC” at 1870 Market Street, Suite 1043. Had no idea who that is, nor did I think it had anything to do with my lawsuit. I didn’t open it till I got inside my room, to discover that blasphemous summons. So there ya go, Wattson.

And I STILL have to catch up with my reports from Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Coming up soon.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Darn it, I left a choice part out of today’s meetup. Here goes:

Before they took off I told Deek I purchased a gift for him from Amazon, and it should arrive in two days.

“Really, what? A jumpsuit like the one you gave me last year?” (He really liked that gear though it wasn’t a jumpsuit, it was a jogger’s outfit. He saw me wearing it one day…jet black, shiny jacket and pants with bright orange piping…and begged for it day and night until I passed it on to him. Needless to say, he no longer had it four days later, and I never got to see him wearing it.)

“Nope. It’s a surprise, you’ll just have to wait,” I replied. “It woulda made a GREAT birthday gift had I thought of it months ago. But maybe it’s just as well because you were still out on the streets and you’d lose it in a few days.”

“Whaddya mean by that?” he queried. So I stated the obvious:

“Since you now have a homestead, you won’t lose stuff so much. And I’d really like you to keep this gift I bought you for a good, long time.”

“So is it clothing of some kind,” he continued, “like a jacket, T-shirt…”

“Nope. But quit guessing, I’m not gonna give you anymore clues,” I said as I held the front gate open, about to enter. “But I KNOW you’re gonna like it!” I added before shutting the gate and disappearing from their world. He was still calling to me with questions, but I ignored him as I climbed the stairs.

The gift, Watsson, is a bicycle toolkit in a pouch, has all the tools you need. He asked if I had a wrench the other day, but no I didn’t. He needs to work on his bike, and has to ask around the streets for this or that tool before he can do anything. This is what I got him, just $18.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S. (ha-ha, a PS to an addendum!): I just came back from Morey’s shop to pick up a packet of frozen ravioli, then on my return homeward I bumped into Heimdall, the friendly Viking vagrant! Told him how good it is to see him again, asked how he’s doing, and he responded in kind. When he asked how my day went I gave him a quick outline of this dude trying to sue me for the false claim he was attacked and bitten by the pups. He picked up on it right away, said: “Another drama queen! Stupid fucker, tell ‘im to turn that frown upside down!” I agreed with him, said I’ll get workin’ on it pronto. He said he had to get somewhere, so we wished each other a lovely night and parted ways. Our sudden meetup was as if he, as my bodhisattva guardian, appeared at just the right time to give me a boost. He also asked how Deek’s doing, which was nice, too. I felt like he was waiting right at that corner for me to show up. ‘Cause that’s where he was, just standing there playing his music.

Re: THEY’RE GOING FOR THE JUGULAR! (re. the lawsuit)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 29, 2023 at 8:48 PM

> The bastard is trying to claim all sorts of “emotional” damage. Aiming for big bucks. Vaccine shots? For fuck’s sake.

A blatantly frivolous lawsuit. Were he so badly injured, he would’ve taken action swiftly, and not file a grievance ten months later. I’m just concerned a crooked lawyer and/or judge could rule against me anyway. That would wreck everything I have going with Deek, and all the immense work I’ve put into helping him. It would wreck everything for BOTH of us.

The plaintiff was behaving absolutely hysterical, as any nasty drama queen would! Anyway, I posted my email to my attorney, who said we can talk tomorrow. Don’t know if she’s looked over those summons pages yet. I posted back to her and said okay, what time should I call you or drop on by. So I’m waiting on that, and wondering if she’ll say I need a different lawyer for this complaint, as HER agency is focused on eviction matters. Funny thing, though, she said she didn’t receive that email with all the links, just the second one I sent because I forgot to include the cover page. So I posted the first email again.

Ablablah Realty is also listed as a defendant, so they have a vested interest in standing up for me…at least, I hope so! I can’t be sued but THEY can. Well, I’m sure Ms. Elvensborn will look into the plaintiff’s attorney and maybe find some dirt, as she did for Ablablah’s attorney. Ya know what, Wattson?

I don’t think our punky little plaintiff is being HONEST to the attorney he’s selected…and when he (or she) finds that out I DON’T think they’ll be pleased.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: To my chagrin, I’m gonna have to leave the details of these new lawsuit matters outta my tales for now. Dammit. But since I’ve changed the names of all parties involved, perhaps I can get away with it. Let me think about this.

Subject: Last Friday night (a non-Deek report):
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 12:29 AM

Whilst listening to the latest Memo of the Weird podcast and preparing my evening repast of whole wheat pita bread stuffed with Swiss cheese, roasted bell pepper strips and pitted Kalamata olives, I suddenly realized I was OUTTA SODA…but since I skip the musical interludes anyway I bided my time till the next melody played its catchy tune, then dashed outside to Rosenberg’s to purchase a two liter bottle of Canada Dry Zero Sugar Ginger Ale, but guess who was there sprawled aslant on the bus stall’s floppy seats in the dark of night, diddling with a smartphone, and who glanced up at me through thick lenses as I approached, though I had hoped it would’ve been otherwise? Please note:

‘Tis impossible NOT to approach the stall since there was no other route to avoid walking BY that spot, if you’ve made Hotel California North your home and Rosenberg’s liquor, snack and sundry almost-corner shop your destination. Well, you COULD exit via the back door on 16th Street, but I was not aware there was someone right outside for whom it would be wise to avoid, until it was too late to reverse my steps. And ya gotta return through the front gate anyway unless you keep the back door ajar somehow, maybe with an empty soda can…but I’ve never been bold enough to try that, thanks to the security camera roosting on a window ledge nearby. So, just who WAS this scalawag I had wished to steer clear of that night (or any OTHER night, or day, for that matter)?

SCOOTER…lucky me!

Now, this foolish fellow had exited my building a few days prior, accompanied by another, while I sat outside under the setting sun with the pups, and he waved at me in passing:

“Hey, there, buddy, how’s it goin’?” he greeted in a jovial manner.

Put off by his faux display of amity, I nonetheless raised a hand back in greeting, said “Oh just fine, thanks,” and resumed scritching Flaco’s belly, grateful he didn’t waste my time further in pointless badinage.

So, last Friday night when I stepped out to buy soda and he caught me in the headlights (so to speak), I decided to play the same hail-fellow-well-met ruse right back AT him, giving Jolly Old Saint Nick a run for his money to boot!

“Oh ho, looky here, it’s Scooter!” I cheerfully exclaimed as I drew near. “What are YOU doing outside this cold night, instead of hangin’ indoors with Karlsen?”

But he had already resumed staring into his Android device once he spotted me, and did not look back up when I approached. Instead, he mumbled something I could NOT comprehend, so asked:

“What did you say? I didn’t hear you.”

Again he mumbled, so again I asked him to repeat himself, and he finally looked up at me for a brief second and stated, clearly this time:

“My whole life is falling apart!”

WHAM! Instantly I realized he’s setting me up. Typical speed queen ploy, with which I am WAY too familiar thanks to Deek’s frequent, imposing machinations over many years. Manufacturing a crisis in a maneuver to soften my heart…and ultimately, my wallet. Playing on the homeless factor for good measure.

“Really? Sorry to hear that,” I replied, feigning concern. I was tempted to spew a clever retort such as, “EVERYone’s life is falling apart, haven’t you noticed? Welcome to the club!” or “My life fell apart years ago, and I’ll be picking up the pieces till the day I die!”

Instead, after waiting a moment for him to say more, which he didn’t, I then added: “I don’t know what to say, but just keep moving ahead, push forward, believe in yourself. I’ve known other people whose lives have fallen apart, but they pull out of it and wind up in a better space. Whenever I’m in the dumps ’cause somethin’ bad just happened to me I make a point of putting a SMILE on someone else’s face without burdening them with my OWN woes. I find it a useful strategy that makes climbing out of whatever rut I’m in, a lot easier.”

But Scooter just sat there, slumped over his smartphone and glaring at it with disinterest, then in a few seconds mumbled something else without looking up at me. Again, I couldn’t make out his words, so bent over to be closer to him and said:

“What was that?”

So he repeated himself, this time with clarity: “Got a cigarette?”

“Umm, no I don’t,” was my terse reply.

Then he mumbled something else and once more I had to ask him to repeat what he just said.

“Gotta coupla dollars to get me home?” he iterated.

“Nope, I do not,” I replied, then broke away, wished him a good night and skedaddled off to Rosenberg’s.

So there ya go, Wattson: he’s a big, fat phony, a bullshit artist, a scammer. Never even brought up Karlsen who he proclaimed to love so much some three weeks back, and who’s providing him with safe haven from the streets and the bad weather in spite of his own rotten health. I was tempted to ask him about Karlsen, how his health is and so on, but since he tried to coax some money outta me right off the bat (no friendly greeting, no smile, nada), I figured why bother.

And what did he mean by “to get me home?” Again, I saw no point in asking him questions of a comradely sort, though I wondered what he considers “home”…I thought he already HAD a home in my building. Is it possible these other vagrants hangin’ out with Karlsen for the past several weeks had driven him out? Maybe even by Karlsen’s own wishes? Or is he perhaps being lorded over by these transients, and has no control? There’s been absolutely ZILCH disturbance coming out of his apartment, no noise, no hallway ruckus. Glob only knows WHAT’S goin’ on with him, I’d love to be a fly on the wall. At any rate:

A few minutes after I returned to my monk’s cell I looked out my window to see a terribly handsome brown-haired fellow fling some pebbles up at Karlsen’s window after calling up to it: “Corn! Corn!” I’m tempted to step out and offer him my half-empty bag of Boom Chika Pop sea-salt popcorn and say:

“Well ya got whatcha wanted, so please shut the fuck up now, some of us are trying to sleep.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Reply from my attorney
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 11:01 AM

“I reviewed the documents Mr. Krahlin. Unfortunately this is not something our office can help with. Please contact the San Francisco Bar Association, they should have (free) attorneys for cases like this. See here for more information. You will have 30 days to respond to the Complaint.”

This is disappointing, and their attorney’s cover letter says I have 20 days to respond, not 30. I was hoping she’d hook me up with another lawyer, but I gotta do this on my own.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Just requested an attorney through San Francisco Bar Association’s web site.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 11:37 AM

They have an online form, which asks for a brief description of my issue, and my income level because they charge on a sliding scale…so considering I’m just living on Social Security, hopefully it will be pro bono.

Re: Just requested an attorney through San Francisco Bar’s web site.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 1:28 PM

> Good. Jesus, what a revoltin’ development.

You can say that again, Wattson! The summons hints at my possibly being bigoted against Asian people, so they’re playing the race card on top of everything else. However, I’m not worried, as the grievances are amateurish in their claims, anyone can see through the game being played. “Ambulance chaser” quality. So I expect the plaintiff to drop the case soon enough, once his attorney is confronted by whoever is MY attorney. Can’t find much of anything about the plaintiff’s attorney. He’s on LinkedIn, but very little is revealed. Meanwhile, I just emailed the following to my present attorney, has nothing to do with that latest summons:


Subject: Living situation update

This may or may not be relevant to my lawsuit, but in case it is, I’m sending you this update:

January 20th our building manager, Kevin Bond, was carried off in an ambulance. He didn’t return until yesterday, March 29th. I was surprised to see him still alive, as he has gotten markedly decrepit over the last two years, and walked with a shuffle and stooped shoulders. During the last month of his absence, residents went without hot water except for a few hours each day. It has since been fixed as of three days ago, shortly after a building inspector placed a notice of violation in the utility room. Our maintenance man appears to be doing his best to stay on top of things.

A resident down the hall from me (Karlsen) now has a homeless person staying with him (Scooter), and other street people hanging out there, too. They’ve all been quiet so far, and no disturbance from any of them anywhere in the building. But my concern is that Scooter has an explosive temper. Though he has yet to cause a problem in the building, prior to that he would often scream up at Karlsen’s window, start loud arguments and in general, disturb the peace late at night. This went on for several months, not every night but sporadically. So it’s a sketchy situation. I don’t care to see him in the building, or anywhere else for that matter. There are drugs involved (alcohol and meth) which doesn’t help matters.

I’ve been avoiding Scooter as best I can, which I started doing months before he ever moved into our building, for which he now has keys to the front gate and Karlsen’s apartment. He’s recently begun acting friendly towards me, including an apology for past behavior. But I suspect it’s more an act than anything sincere. I’ve seen him standing by the open gate now and then, talking to other indigents and inviting some inside. Two nights ago he asked me for a couple of bucks when our paths crossed outside, but I turned him down. I hope he’s not gonna make this a habit, it’s intimidating. I really don’t want to associate with him at all, but he’s impossible to avoid all the time, for obvious reasons.

I have no idea if the building manager knows what’s going on with Karlsen and guests, and there’s no point in telling him about this, as he’s pretty feeble these days (including long before he was rushed to the ER), possibly with senility involved. And, as you know, other residents have serious gripes against management…I’m not the only one. Mr. Bond had to be assisted up the stairs yesterday, as he can’t manage them on his own. (He lives on the third floor and our elevator’s been out of order for maybe two years now.) If he’s not on his last legs, I’ll eat my hat. And there is no sign of a replacement manager on the horizon.

Just an hour ago I applied online to see an attorney at San Francisco Bar, and they should get back to me tomorrow. Also, I am up to date with my escrow payments via BALA. Thanks for your attention, I hope this email wasn’t a waste of your time! May your day go well and enjoy the weekend.

– Ezekiel

Subject: Keeping a Steady Hand on the Tiller
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 6:43 PM

After receiving my attorney’s disappointing response, I simply replied:

“Okay, I figured I’d have to find a different lawyer, I’ll get on that right away. Thanks for checking out the summons.”

And here’s her reply to my “Living Situation update:”

“Thank you for this Mr. Krahlin. Please stay safe.”

And my response to that:

“I’ll be fine, thanks…I’ve been through much worse and have come out unscathed. I just thought this update might be relevant since it regards management (or lack thereof). My friend with the doggies now lives in a tiny cabin just four blocks away, as of two months ago…so there’s less worry about that, and it looks like he is not gonna drop out and return to the streets. His attitude is much better these days, and his mood swings far less extreme. So that’s good news. An ordeal and a half though over the years, helping him stabilize to reach this excellent point. I don’t expect you to reply, as it’s not my intent to distract you from your work.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: The next passage from Brindlekin Tales Marshall will read tomorrow I have entitled “A Crackerjack Powwow.” Two Exmass references in there (and very funny), because we’re into mid-December, so now the adventures are drifting towards the holiday season. And with that, the colorful shaman visitor who sat outside on a lovely square of cloth, and the traumatic string of atmospheric river inundations. He read last Friday’s piece with dramatic vigor, very nice.

Re: Keeping a Steady Hand on the Tiller
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 7:58 PM

> Marshall’s mother’s 94th birthday is coming up soon. We’re going to go to her house and have cake. She’s a caution!

Oh, how I wish I could be there! I love when she called in while Marshall was in the middle of reading one of my tales. Adds a sweetly unexpected dimension to the story. She’s now part of my tales…at least the audio versions. So here’s something I want to tell you that he mentioned on one of his recent shows:

He said he lives in a trailer and when the power’s down he doesn’t have any heat. As a result he doesn’t sleep too well on colder nights. Maybe some of his friends can buy him three or four sleeping bags on Amazon. There are some excellent ones for just $25-27 each. He can unzip them and use them for comforters piled onto the bed. That’s what I do.

I’d send him a couple of sleeping bags myself, but I don’t want to come off as “buying” his favor to keep reading my tales…it would be awkward for him. Here is the sleeping bag I recommend. The forest green and the ocean blue are my favorites, they look great mixed together.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Last Saturday (again a non-Deek report)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2023 at 8:46 PM

As I was stepping back inside with my morning java in hand, a USPS chap exited the gate just before I inserted the key, stopped me and asked what apartment number I’m in. I said 205, so he replied:

“I’m the person who drops your packages at your door.”

And I said, “Oh, that’s you? I always give you a high rating, click on all the boxes.”

“Well, thanks!” he said, then departed.

But what I found disturbing is that he seemed edgy, sweating a bit as if he were ready to explode in fury. Sparkly green eyes wide open like in fearful surprise. Handsome, though: jet black wiry hair nicely trimmed about the skull, seductively arched eyebrows and a light stubble of beard across jaws and chin…short in stature, maybe an inch less than me. And a tightly packed body to boot! (Or should I say “to bootie,” a pirate’s treasure indeed…aargh!)

It was only a few weeks ago I noticed Amazon packages being dropped by residents’ doors instead of in the lobby. So that’s him doing it. I just don’t like feeling my life may be on the line because a desperate, underpaid worker may go berserk and he knows where I live. Hopefully, I’ve bought some security by telling him I give good head…er, “ratings.” And should he go off his nut some time in the near future, my dump of a room may be the only unit spared from a USPS massacre.

I also want to mention here–though not pertinent to Saturday or any other day per se–that our maintainence fellow, Victor, is especially friendly to me these days. I guess because of his new responsibility as quasi-manager he appreciates me NOT being one of those cranky residents griping about this or that, through this diabolical crisis re. Kevin’s denouement. Or it may be that, without the manager present, he doesn’t have to put up with his growing senility which possibly includes an element of nastiness.

For the past two months every time our paths cross (which isn’t often, maybe once or twice a week) he addresses me with more kindness than ever before. Though Kevin’s back now (albeit not for very long I’m sure), so who knows WHAT’S comin’ down the pike for this Castle in the Castro over the next few weeks (or months, if the devil has his way)!

And that’s that…now onto Sunday’s meetup with Deek, coming up later tonight or tomorrow. Pleasant dreams, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Last Sunday’s Meetup with Deek
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 31, 2023 at 4:23 PM

That was the day I shot a video of Lucky & Flaco’s amazing lookalike, and took those pics of them in the cardboard box.

He showed up with another new bicycle, this time with a sizable cart on wheels that replaced the bike’s own rear wheel. He was proud to show off a thick shag rug for the dogs to rest upon while inside the cart: it was a pristine, ivory white, not a speck of dirt anywhere. However, at the moment the cart was already chock full of items, including his 35-pound boombox, with the rug draped over everything like a corpulent specter from a haunted house. I also noticed the bike didn’t have any pedals at the moment, so he’s just walking around with it.

“Looks like a sturdy bike to me,” I nonetheless remarked. “Plenty of space for the pups when it’s empty, or even HALF empty!”

He then pointed at a set of pedals lying in the cart and asked if I had a wrench he could use to put them on. I told him unfortunately, no, ’cause he borrowed the only one I had last year and never returned it.

He said it’s okay (Impressive! No backtalk, no hissy fit!), there’s a place called Bike Works that gives free access to their workshop once a month, just for the homeless, so he’ll go there. I have no idea how many days he’ll have to wait to do that, nor did it occur to me to suggest he purchase a spanner from the dollar store in the Mission, just several blocks away.

But it DID occur to me two days later, to look up “bicycle wrench” on Amazon and purchase one. That is when I discovered a whole array of bicycle toolkits, one of which was affordably priced for my budget, and included a wrench among a slew of other handy tools. It just arrived yesterday and I’m eager to present it to him. Along with a small can of 3-in-1 oil that’s been sitting in my room, untouched, for nigh over thirty years!

Before leaving me with the mutts he requested another advance payment, so I said “Fine, but you only have fifty dollars left for this month so you’ll have to wait eight more days for your next allotment.”

“Oh, I thought I’d get another hunner dollah,” he remarked with a grin and a shrug.

I offered to give him a breakdown of his outlay for the month, so he’d understand I’m not shortchanging him, but he politely declined with this thoughtful response:

“Nah, that’s okay, you do so much for me already, I’m sure you’re right.”

I had another fine visit with the doggies, and he returned within two-and-a-half hours.

“See? I wasn’t gone too long!” he said with a smile as I stood up to greet him…and the dogs so happy, Flaco started to climb on his lap before he was only halfway down to sitting beside the parking meter. Lucky, however, preferred to remain in the cool shade of the box. Or rather, out of kind regard for his sister, he didn’t compete to get on their master’s lap first.

The Legendary Trio departed shortly after Deek’s return, and I was so glad for such a conflict-free meetup both times that day, I was in my own heaven for the rest of the afternoon and into the night.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: The San Francisco Bar Association is closed today ’cause Cesar Chavez holiday. That’s why they didn’t get back in touch with me yet. I found that out by calling an hour before closing time, only to get a recording. So I gotta wait all the way till Monday, and the clock she is a-tickin’!


While he was talking about Bike Works and other bicycle-type things with refreshing enthusiasm, I interjected:

“You’re very industrious, I don’t see how you do it, but that’s just me!”

I figure a boost of positivity was a good thing to do at that moment, to keep him moving in the right direction. I guess he’s my little brother.

Re: Keeping a Steady Hand on the Tiller
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 31, 2023 at 4:35 PM

> Oh, I’ve been to Marshall’s trailer–it’s fabulously packed with stuff. He’s a genuine hoarder!

I imagine something like a Gyro Gearloose arrangement: electronic gizmos and such everywhere.

> And yes, I’ll get him a sleeping bag! Luckily, he has a devoted mother who will do anything for him and also a devoted wife (Carlita, down in Rohnert Park, where he spends half his time), so he’s pretty well looked after by two women who adore him.

One who calls him on the phone while he’s doing a show, the other with gentle snores in the background and the chimes of her clock every hour, for all his listeners to hear.

> I’ve known Ava, his mother, for years. She and Marshall are VERY funny together. They oughta take their act on the road!

Or at least record it and put THAT on the air, too. Local radio at its finest!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Keeping a Steady Hand on the Tiller
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 1, 2023 at 8:28 AM

> A jumble of boxes, electronic equipment, wires, tools, clothing, books. Not smelly or dirty, just…jam-packed. He has a little space with a mattress. Carlita actually lived there with him for a while.

Sounds like he basically has no more space than I do in my single room! I know he’s a wizard with electronic gadgets, and that’s why my “Gearloose” reference. These are scary times for low income renters…I hope his situation is secure.

> I’ll maybe get a pic of him and Ava this Wednesday.

I’d love it. Of course I won’t include it in my tales, or anywhere else on the ‘net.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Adendum-dum-dum
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 1, 2023 at 1:35 PM

1) That Sunday when I took those cardboard box pics, I had hurried back inside to use the restroom. Upon stepping out, the pups had exited the cool shade of their box and were barking up a storm at a tall, elderly gentleman inserting coins into the parking meter. Since they were leashed to a post they couldn’t get any closer to him than one foot. I scooped them up and set them back in the box, and said to the fellow, “Sorry about that!”

He chuckled in response, turned to me and said, “No, that’s fine, I didn’t see them there. Cute little dogs by the way!”

So there ya go, Wattson: the diff between decent people and those who go out of their way to fuck with anyone every chance they get. As the latter would’ve screamed at me and threaten to call the cops and have them taken away.

2) And last Wednesday when I tossed two rags down to Deek to dry off the pups, and he had another hissy fit instead, the drama was worse than I described. For not only did he holler at me to hurry the fuck up, but as I was drying off the pups myself (instead of rushing back upstairs to fix their meals) he grabbed his bike and cart, said he’s leaving now and began to walk away with Flaco & Lucky leashed to the handlebars. I called back to him: “C’mon, simmer down, the dogs are hungry and I can feed them if you just cool your jets!”

He then turned around and marched in the other direction in a huff and continued towards the bus stop as if making to cross Noe Street, while I pleaded with him to at least let the mutts eat something:

“But I’m not gonna open the cans if you don’t make it clear you’ll still be out front when I bring down their meals. I can’t afford such waste!”

The poor doggies, being pulled back and forth, not knowing WHAT’S goin’ on but looking up at their master and doing their very best to obey! Fortunately, Deek calmed down, moved back by the parking meter and told me okay, bring the food down, he’ll be here. The rest of the meetup was friendly and he departed ten minutes later in a better mood.


Deek and pups showed up again just when I finished the piece above. Soon as I handed him my gift he said, “What’s this? It better be nothing stupid or I won’t want it.”

“Just open it,” I said while crouched down to greet the mutts.

But when he opened it, and the case that contained the items, he said, “Bicycle tools? I don’t need this, I’ll probably just sell it.”

“Well, you asked me for a wrench, so I thought you could use it,” I replied.

“Uh, thanks anyway,” he muttered. “But it sure feels like a LONG time before my next payment, you only gave me fitty dollah.”

“That’s because when it comes to money, eight days is a long time for you,” I retorted. “Only two days now for your next payment.”

I then explained to him I base his allowance on $50 twice per week, even though I allot him a full one hundred each week, with occasional exception. “But since there was an extra Thursday last month, you got an extra fifty. But this coming Sunday spills over into April. So this Monday, on the third, you get a hundred, which includes payment for Thursday as well. And remember, I gave you a whopping $100 twice in the same week, so that threw things off.”

“So how much did this toolkit cost you?” he queried.

“Twenty dollars,” I replied, wondering if he’s gonna squawk something like “I thought you had no money left for this month.” For which I would say I can hold payment up to a week. But that didn’t happen.

“Oh, I was hopin’ for a new speaker or a battery charger, somethin’ like that!” he griped as he walked off with the pups.

Rather then enter my building right away, I watched as they moved towards the corner. Flaco looked back at me with great yearning to be with me longer. Just before I entered the gate, Deek waved at me and said thank you.

When I returned upstairs I decided to check if he had just turned the corner up 16th Street instead of crossing. Yep, he was out there behind my building where another transient was hangin’ out…and looking through his new toolkit more closely. Hopefully, he’ll keep it rather than sell or trade it. At any rate I returned home to compose this final part of my missive.

But before sending it off to you I went down to the hallway window again to see if he were still there. Nope, all gone. So I returned to finally post this email but just before I did I heard him call up to my window once again:

“I need a bungee cord!”

I only had four left, but not knowing what length he required I brought them all out and he took three. At least I had a chance to embrace and pet my brindlekin again, for one delightful minute. It was sad he didn’t show some kindness to just spend ten or so minutes with me, to bring the pups water and enjoy their company…and maybe actually share his thoughts or recent adventures. In conclusion:

Were I a self-centered ass hat I’d sure be feeling sorry for myself these days! But I’m not, I’m a trooper who forges on with a strong will and cheer in his heart. The Fool in life’s deck of cards.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: It’s a sunny warm day with a light breeze in the air. I kicked back last night to enjoy listening to Memo of the Weird. But I dozed off for a half hour or so, until his speaking my name alerted me back to consciousness. That was around 1:10 AM. I had intended to listen to the entire narration and THEN go back to sleep. But I unexpectedly zonked out a few minutes later, and didn’t wake up again until around 3 AM, whereupon I turned off his show and returned to Slumberville. Will download his podcast this evening, of course.

Re: Keeping a Steady Hand on the Tiller
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 1, 2023 at 1:46 PM

> He’s been there for a long time, does a lot of essential work for the landlord–electrical, maintenance, etc. Pretty secure, I’d say!

So relieved to hear that.

Subject: San Francisco Bar update!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2023 at 4:23 PM

Got an email from them this afternoon to call them via phone, and give them further information on my case. I just got off the phone with their screener who asked me several questions, including the name of the plaintiff, which is Chinese, so I had to spell it out. Now, I have to wait two or three more business days for someone to get back in touch with me, assuming they decide to handle my case. It will cost me a $35 fee for a half hour consultation. I have no idea what other fees will accrue, based on my income. Or even if they’re gonna take my case at all! This is nerve wracking.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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