The Final Chapter (part 23)

October 14, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17w]

Subject: Disappointing, But Okay
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 10, 2021 11:56 AM

Purchased coffee, then strolled up Noe Street where the artists were setting up their wares. Only several early birds were present, including Miriam. I sat on the narrow concrete ledge by the community garden, while she and two others chatted about this and that, from fifteen feet away. Lovely morning and all that, but I felt disconnected because they barely said hello, as if I were intruding. Not that they ignored me totally, they did afford me a bit of conversation…but it was clear they preferred to enjoy their usual get together, of which I’m not a part.

But I don’t blame them, that’s alright by me, as they have their own long-term associates who enjoy shooting the bull upon arriving…sipping coffee and noshing on fast-food snacks. A party crasher I am not, so just enjoyed sitting quietly nearby, watching and listening, but not really eavesdropping, just enjoying the ambience.

After ten minutes or so, I got up and walked further down Noe Street, sat on a concrete stump across Morey’s shop for awhile, which wouldn’t open for another hour. Then returned to the street artist scene, which had grown by two or three more sellers in that short time. Walked by Miriam and her two friends, wished them good sales, said I’ll be back later, and proceeded on hovel.

Now, just a moment after typing the previous paragraph, Deek dropped by to collect his allowance, along with a sandwich bag that he requested. The pups were with him, but not his shopping cart which, I figured, was somewhere nearby…up the block, across the street, or wherever. I handed him three Jacksons, one of which he observed was slightly torn on one edge, maybe a quarter of an inch. It was a clean tear that I had not noticed. I offered to run back upstairs and repair it with tape. He said never mind, that’s okay. Then off they went, towards Castro Street. I decided to just stand there near the corner, until they were far enough from the front gate in the other direction, so the pups would not be disappointed. IOW, I didn’t want to reenter my building while they were still close by.

Now I’ve broken my fast with a banana smoothie, and am ready to step out again, to check out all the artwork along Noe Street, and see if anything else ensues. Oh, one more thing:

Miriam had exclaimed how filthy and trashed out Castro Street was, on her way to pick up a few items at Walgreens…human feces and garbage everywhere. I said I rarely visit that street any more, it’s been years. But I’ll check it out tomorrow morning, with my camera. She said they clean everything up pretty early, before most people step out for the day. I’m guessing she means before eight AM. I’ll find out tomorrow.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: My 2nd Rendezvous w/Artists Today: Much Better
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson <ecooney@mcn.org>Add contact
Date: October 10, 2021 1:11 PM

Took a bunch of shots, talked with some of the creators…lovely day, and their work is impressive. So much so, they’ve turned that block of Noe Street into a sacred ground for the day. I’ll step out one more time today, and hand out my Brindlekin cards…of which I have but 16 remaining! Meanwhile, I have to prepare all these photos for my next blog entry. Attached is one, with artists sketching a live model. The woman with her back turned to the camera, in an orange T-shirt, is Miriam.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: As I returned hovel after taking those pics of the Noe Street artists and their works, I came upon Samuel and his chihuahuas, who had just stepped outside. So I approached him, thanked him profusely for his patience with my dogs, asked if his own pups were okay with the impromptu meeting. He said it’s just fine, they weren’t upset in the least…and it was a good idea of mine to have treats at the ready. The day’s off to a great start, good physician! So here’s my page with 25 scenes from today’s art fair.


Subject: Well, I’m disappointed!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 10, 2021 4:55 PM

Miriam just brushed me off, several times as I walked by and said hello, and admired some of her paintings. Even when she was not particularly busy. She struck me as the gregarious type who’d introduce me to others…but no, she did not, even though she did the first time around (last week). I wasn’t intrusive in any way, but picked off-moments when she wasn’t preoccupied with potential buyers. Oh, well. I’m now wondering if Arwyn saw her later on, after he passed by and they greeted each other, and spoke badly of me.

Anyway, I had some friendly talks with other artists, so it was, overall, a good day. But this “Noe Art Mart” only started earlier this year, and will end on the last Sunday of this month, which is Halloween. Or maybe their last day will be next week, to avoid the holiday mischief. This weekly event was founded during the pandemic, and hosts LGBT artists. According to one vendor, Michael, the City seems to like the way it went first time around, thus is likely to continue the program. I sure hope so!

I also had a nice conversation with Jesse, whose table displayed original tarot cards, and sparkling, small paintings of a metaphysical nature. I brought up Carl Jung’s teachings, and those of his disciple, Joseph Campbell. She really liked that, for it turned out she is also an avid admirer of those two great thinkers. I gave my Brindlekin card to her, as I did two other artists.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Well, I’m disappointed!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 10, 2021 6:40 PM

> Well, to hell with Miriam. WTF is wrong with people?? Quite possible Arwyn did some Iago-type whispering in her ear. Too bad she’s susceptible.

Not wise to jump to conclusions, though. It is also possible she actually READ “Free Me From This Bond” (or parts therein) and was offended over my portrayal of him. Or maybe she has a bee in her bonnet that has nothing to do with Arwyn, such as my living on disability all these years, or some other unconventional aspect of yours truly, which ARE brought up in many of my tales, not just FMFTB. Though I DO suspect it’s probably his backstabbing me. That seems more likely than any other conjecture. A final thought:

Taking the bodhisattva spin, she’s just giving me a bit of a hard time. Or maybe Arwyn is doing it THROUGH her. I’ll just let it slide, like water off a duck’s back. Only one or two more times to go, anyway, before the Art Mart project ends.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Terror at the Front Gate!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 10, 2021 12:05 AM

Maybe “terror’s” an exaggeration, perhaps call it “disruption.” At any rate, Deek showed up around 10 PM, to leave the pups with me. As I exited the building and came up to him he said, “You just let everyone in the city inside,” and pointed beyond me. Turned out this tall, muscular black homeless dude had blocked the gate from closing by plunking a huge speaker (3 feet high and two feed wide) that kept it wide open. He was garbed in a long, brown coat, and blocked the entryway while boogying up a storm. Another vagrant was also there beside him, though standing still.

I don’t know where they came from, as no one was around when I stepped out, then suddenly there they were. Deek told me to bring his stash of dog food back upstairs. It was heavy, and the gate was still obstructed, so I told him I’ll take the food first, hold onto the pups for a minute. I knew I had to deal with the assholes, and I didn’t want the pooches with me. Glad to see his friend had departed, I came up to him and grabbed onto the edge of the open gate, whereby he stepped away. He didn’t remove the speaker, so I just stood there and, glaring directly at the goof, said:

“This gate needs to be closed, so please move your boombox.”

To my surprise, he gave me no grief, and followed through. So I deposited the three bags of dog food in my hovel, and returned outside to get the dogs. The transient was still close to the gate and dancing like mad, while Flaco & Lucky barked up a storm. Suddenly, the dude hollered, “the revolution is coming!” as he kicked the shit out of the gate. For some reason, our gate is often kicked by vagrants. I guess because it’s made of a tough metal grill that invites such actions by wandering idiots.

Instead of moving back, he remained in that spot and antagonized the pups with wild gestures and screeching sounds. But once I brought them closer to the gate (and him) he backed off…because you just never know, the pups are fearless and put up a good show, and they just might take a few chunks out of his calves. Or leap up and tear into his throat. I opened the gate, and they immediately grew quiet upon entry. During this annoying encounter, Deek was hollering at the dogs from twenty feet away, ordering them to quiet down. Which didn’t help matters much, as it made my calming them down that more difficult.

After settling them in, I was curious what kind of dog food he gave me, in those three plastic grocery bags. It was the food I gave him: 12 cans and three gallon-size Ziploc bags stuffed with kibble! So this means when I asked him yesterday if he needs more dog food and he said yes, he really didn’t. So I’ll only return five cans and two bags of kibble. One of the packages of kibble was wide open, instead of resealed to keep it fresh. This really ticks me off because I’ve told him numerous times, to keep the kibble sealed in their bags, as you don’t want the food to spoil. So for now on I’m gonna check his cart for dog food, to see if he really DOES need a fresh supply, and make sure that bag is sealed.

Stupid drama! But at least the brindlekin are safe with me for the night. Maybe longer.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Terror at the Front Gate!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2021 2:13 PM

> I happen to know that dachshunds are extremely pound-for-pound ferocious when they need to be! I knew a guy here who had four of them, and some of his friends were scared to visit because the doxies would “pack up” and get VERY protective!

Ha ha, I’d loved to see that up close! They are fearless. For example: Dachshund fends off bear to protect owner and her son.

Flaco & Lucky put on an awesome show of ferocity, when they feel the need to do just that. They bark like rabid wolverines (and Lucky’s bark is of a dog 20 pounds heavier: deep and LOUD, it would scare any intruder away), snarl and snap at each other at whiplash speed to demonstrate their viciousness, as a warning to others: “do you really want US two demons to rip you a new ass?” I’d love to get it on video, but one can’t just whip out his smartphone, set it to video, then start shooting, in the middle of a potential fracas.

I imagine they’ve developed this strategy of putting on a vicious front, due to living on the streets and encountering so many fuck-ups each and every day. Most people crack up when they see this, for it really is quite funny, and they really wouldn’t harm a flea. Lucky can, however, place such a firm grip with those little jaws on your shoe or pant cuff, you’d fall flat on your face were you already in motion, or not be able to take another step. It’s like dragging a 25-pound weight on your foot. I know, because he does it all the time when I take him for a walk, usually on our way back when he gets really playful. I don’t discourage him, I just play along:

“Oh ya got me now, tough guy!”

And I’ll slowly drag the trapped foot forward with much force, one exhausting step after another, until we finally get across the street, or half a block or so further. He’ll stop after awhile, to then play-attack Flaco. They get themselves wound up in their leashes really fast, doing that…so I have to unravel them quickly, if I ever expect to get back hovel in a reasonable amount of time.

> I love the image of the big strapping crazy vagrant backing off while heroic little Flaco and Lucky give him what-for!

Me, too…it puts the fear of the dachshund in them. But don’t forget: they’re also part terrier, which breed also makes s great guard dog. Pretty much a perfect mix in their case!

> So sorry you have to endure such crap.

It’s really shitty, because it happens so often. There are more than a few street bums who like to fuck with people’s little doggies. Remember that skateboarding fool in blackface who harassed my pups? Disgusting. These are sick people. You know they’d NEVER consider taunting a German shepherd, Pitbull or Rottweiler! I hate bullies, they’re the bane of existence. Testosterone meat heads. Meanwhile:

Flaco was not the least big hungry this morning, turns out she had stomach issues. She puked a few times today, nothing serious, she didn’t seem at all out of sorts, emotionally. But she wouldn’t even touch her treats! I had laid out triple-sheets of newspaper all over the floor, to make cleanup easy. I think it’s almost all over, as she’s stepped out of the box a few times to sit where she could regurgitate cleanly…but nothing happened each time, and she just returned to the box. When sitting there, she’ll look up at me to let me know she might puke…and I crouch down to her level, pet her generously and say what a good doggy she is.

Earlier, she’d relax on the bed, then jump down when it was time to vomit again…but she finally decided to remain on the floor, by resting in the box. She also knows now to seek out newspaper whenever she feels the gastric urge. I don’t even need to be home, and my floor would still be untouched. But why would I ever dream of leaving her alone through this little ordeal, or any other? These pooches are impressively fastidious! Even if there’s just a single sheet of newspaper nearby, they’ll immediately go for that, rather than sit directly on the sidewalk, if Deek allows them. But he often doesn’t notice, and their leashes aren’t long enough to reach the paper on their own. They don’t even bark or grow restless or mess with anything when I leave them alone in my room! They remain totally calm, and delighted to see me upon my return!

So two hours ago, Flaco suddenly started pacing the floor, then sat down and looked up at me. Her signal that she had to go poop. Which caught me off guard, because I only took them for their last walk less than an hour before. But she’s been puking, so obviously her constitution is out of sorts today. So I hurriedly got them outside, but as we rushed down the stairs, she puked a bit on a step. Not much, was mostly water, and not stinky in the least. But I couldn’t just bring them back hovel to clean it up right away, so continued on outside, where both did their thing in less than ten minutes. Upon returning, I observed that the discharge was barely visible. I returned to that step with some damp paper towels and cleaned it all up in a jiff. No muss, no fuss, no stain…whew! The last thing I need is to see the building manager standing on the stairs, pointing at the mess and saying with a frown, “Did one of your dogs do this?” Then my having to explain I couldn’t clean it up immediately, because Flaco needed to poop really bad, so I just had to put that on hold until my return. What choice did I have?

So here she is right now, still not hungry, just patiently waiting to recover from a sour stomach. I hope this will all be over by this evening, so she can enjoy her dinner.

Click here for a larger view.

Lucky’s fine, no stomach issues today, and seems rather blasé about his sister’s irregularity.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Flaco Still Not Eating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 11, 2021 8:18 PM

Though she appears and behaves otherwise fine and in good spirits…she certainly LOOKS healthy. She’s stopped vomiting, and had a touch of diarrhea on our afternoon walk. So I think whatever’s been upsetting her stomach has been fully purged. She simply chooses to take it easy, just resting on my cozy, buried beneath the comforters. I prepared them dinner a short while ago…she ate nothing, and Lucky only finished half. I hate to tell Deek this, nor do I think it will do any good anyway, but:

The stress on these little doggies of living on the streets can easily cause digestive issues. Not getting regular sleep hours, confronting crazy vagrants so often, the cold night, and so on. They are still with me, so perhaps Deek won’t show up until tomorrow. I hope so, because I really don’t want Flaco back out there until she regains her appetite.

Jeez, can you believe this shit? Just when I completed the paragraph above, Deek dropped by to pick up the pups. But I stepped out by myself, leaving them upstairs, and suggested I keep Flaco overnight. I explained to her about her upset stomach, that she’s over it, but still not hungry. Anyway, he went off on an ugly rant about how the pesticides are poisoning them, and neither dog has had stomach issues with him. I told him that’s not true, he’s told me TWICE they have. Then he said he hopes I’m not doing anything weird with them, as Flaco’s nipples were swollen when he brought them over, but now they’ve shrunk. I told him that’s false pregnancy, she’s had it before some months back. He said other shitty things to me, so I finally told him to get out of my face, your behavior is disgusting, after all the good things I do for him and the pups.

“Well, that’s the only thing I could think of,” he retorted (referring to the pesticides).

I told him no, that’s NOT the only thing he can think of, that’s just what the devil put in your head. Dogs often have stomach issues, especially the little ones, for all kinds of reasons.

Then I told him someone’s gonna smack him to the ground, he has it coming, so you’d better stop fuckin’ with me, Deek.

Around eight months back when he was talking about making Flaco pregnant I said, well if she pops ’em out in my place, I’ll just flush ’em down the toilet. He thought that was horrible, I’m not a dog lover, blah blah blah. Well, he brought it up again tonight, so I tried to tell him poor people do that all the time. But I had to fight him down to shut up and hear me out. So I explain poor people can’t afford to fix their dog, so if they have puppies, they just drown ’em, because they can’t afford THEM either.

“No! Not here in America, no one does that!” he exclaimed.

“Oh yes they do, it happens all the time, Deek,” I countered. “Especially where you come from, the Deep South.”

He backed off then, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, I’ll bring the dogs down. And wish you all a lovely night, and may god grant you many blessings.”

Now, he’s sitting out front almost below my window, quietly, thank god…hugging and kissing the pooches. I just wish he would camp out elsewhere. What a fuckin’ pain in the ass.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Flaco Still Not Eating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 12, 2021 8:56 PM

> Ugh. Awful. If it’s as cold and windy there as it is here, that’s not good.

No, tonight is mildly cool, no blustery winds. But the winter and rains are coming up, and I’m afraid the pups won’t survive beyond January, thanks to Deek’s ignorance. He hardly ever gives me a chance to hold any conversation with him. He always has some excuse to rush off, after he delivers or retrieves the dogs. Thus it takes months, if not years sometimes, to get a point across…snatching a bit of time here and there over that span, before my message is complete. Unbelievably frustrating, especially on top of OTHER difficult trials that press on me. Even when he IS camped somewhere in my vicinity, serious conversation is impossible due to others congregating with him and shooting the bull.

> Poor little girl. if she could have stayed with you, she would have completely recovered by tomorrow.

Well, he’s jealous of how fond she is of me. The guy’s a fuckin’ idiot…seeing as the kindest regard possible is BEST for these pups. They, and he, have a great ally in me.

> But I’m glad you were candid with him.

Little good that will do.

[So, I stopped writing this missive after the line above, and have only resumed this morning. A little reflection and hindsight is a good thing. Allow me to elaborate, good doctor:]

Some time after dealing with Deek’s stupidity, I stepped out for a walk. He and the dogs were right outside, parked by the lamppost, with possessions scattered all about in a semi-organized mess. The dogs were comfortably settled on some plush, fluffy jackets. Lucky looked up the moment he heard the gate shut…no way, then, was I going to ignore him. I gave both doggies some assuring pats and light scritches as I told Deek:

“I’m gonna take a walk now, to burn off the anger I’ve built up, after all the nasty things you’ve said to me. Have a lovely night, all of you.”

He was very calm, just nodded his head while fussing about with some unknown, small items in his lap. Upon returning a short while later, I approached again and asked him:

“Do you remember last week you were out here, with a few others hanging around?”

He shrugged his shoulders, “Not really.” I guess he thought I was about to admonish him further. But that was not my intent. I continued:

“Well, I was impressed. No one was loud, and it looked to me like quite a friendly gathering. I had NO problem with that, in fact I enjoyed seeing that right outside my window. And I’m glad to see you DO know some good people.”

He didn’t reply to that, but remained silent. I think my confronting his BS earlier that evening put him in a more humble space. Though my bodhisattva premise gives a totally DIFFERENT spin, which I will bring up at the end of this message. I do want to point out how all our arguing was low key, no yelling or even raised voices…mostly for the sake of the pooches, though also to avoid complaints from my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway, who seems to have his ears aimed at the street-facing window 24/7. Guess he can’t afford Netflix.

Apparently, Deek intended to park out front for the entire three hours his electronics were charging upstairs. When I returned with the gadgets, he had shifted his spot to the ATM alcove. Three other houseless dudes were hanging by the front gate, so close I had to squeeze by and make sure no one would slip inside, or keep the gate open like last time. They were really no problem, just sketchy…not like the polite group from last week.

I softly spoke with Deek not to do this again, don’t call me downstairs when vagrants are gathered around the gate; just wait till they disperse. For NUMEROUS reasons, not the least of which is my own safety. But also his: they may turn on him out of jealousy, seeing they have a housed friend stepping in and out the building, running errands for him…and giving him MONEY. They should NOT know our business, including where I live. IOW: stop broadcasting to every stranger on the street, my relationship with him. He said okay, but I doubt he’ll bother to make the change…he’ll just keep exposing me to potential harm. Not caring to realize it could impact him as well, along with the pups, in a bad way.

The brindlekin were curled up in a corner of the alcove, comfortably reposed upon those warm coats. Flaco got up and approached me for some hugs and kisses, then returned to her sleepy spot beside Lucky, after a few loving moments. It’s like she knows what I’m going through for their sake, and wanted to reassure me that everything will be fine. What a thoughtful doggy! Doesn’t Deek realize yet, what REMARKABLE canines these are?

He checked out his two battery packs and asked if I would mind charging them for another hour. It was only 10 PM, so I said fine, and returned back hovel to plug them in again. Upon my return shortly after 11, Deek was packing up, and the doggies ran up to me in their usual, joyful greets. I knelt on one knee to give Flaco hugs and smooches as she stood on hind legs, gazing sweetly into my eyes. At the same time, Lucky flopped himself on his back, right beside my feet, playfully squirming about while I rubbed his belly.

Before he departed, I reminded him it was ME who cleared out the jackasses from the smoke shop next door, who were hostile towards him…it was ME who drove out some dangerous residents who threatened the dog’s safety…it was ME who got the building manager to back off from his needless animosity and abuse of power…and it was ME who suffered several threats upon me, all for the sake of caring for Flaco & Lucky.

“So give me some credit here, Deek, show me some respect, stop your shitty accusations against me,” I concluded, with a finally statement: “GROW UP! It’s EASY!”

He said not a word, but kept his head lowered, while an unlit cigarette dangled from his mouth.

“Do you have a cigarette?” I asked. (Yes, Wattson, I DO enjoy a smoke now and then, which Deek brings me sometimes: a cancer stick here, a cancer stick there.)

“Uh, no,” he softly answered.

“Really?” I exclaimed. “You’ve got one right between those lips!”

He sighed and then removed it, and began to quickly wave the flame of his lighter beneath the filter.

“What are you doing?” I demanded, but then realized he was sterilizing it.

Upon presenting me with the Marlboro 100, I lit it and took a few, satisfying puffs.

“C’mon, get me the chip!” he interrupted my nicotine bliss. I had forgotten to bring him back that 32 gigabyte micro card he just purchased at Walgreens, on which I had copied his entire collection of rap music.

“Nah, ya gotta wait, Deek, I wanna enjoy this smoke first.” I retorted. “Now I’m gonna get away from this riffraff crowded around me, and smoke in peace further down the block. THEN I’ll get you that chip. It won’t kill you to wait a few more minutes, asshole.”

I then strutted away into the dark, and did just that. When I returned with the chip, the dogs of course tugged on their leashes in the direction of the front gate. So I walked with Deek a short while, in order to ease their departure. I stopped after thirty feet, wished them well, and sadly watched them vanish into the void. But just before they did, Flaco gazed back at me with sweet regret.

[Hours have passed since I wrote the above paragraph. A flood of thoughts over last night’s meetup took me some time to sort through and compose. And I needed to just chillax, so spent the afternoon reclined on the fluffy bedding while some Youtube videos of the introspective, philosophical type played in the background. Then I went for a walk (it was lovely outside) purchased a small container of hummus, a bulb of garlic and an onion. They were out of bell peppers, so I’ll just have to cook my lentil-rice veggie stew without it. I checked out the avocados and they were all half rotten. Damn. After that delicious, perfectly ripe one I enjoyed a few evenings back, I foolishly thought I could come across a decent avocado at this or that local corner store. Silly me. I am now back hovel, to complete this rather lengthy missive:]

This morning on my stroll up Market Street towards Church, I ran into Boulevard Joe. A medium sized paper grocery sack hung from his fingers by those looped handles made of twine. It was smartly creased and appeared to hold a considerable weight. He said it contained breakfast for himself and two others. I was about to lean on him again, regarding Deek’s latest difficult behavior, but I thought better of it; this was not the time. Instead threw him a compliment on how great he looked the other day, when he was accompanying Deek and watching over the pups:

“You looked like a classy security guard for a celebrity. You were sparkling, I was impressed!”

He smiled and thanked me. “Oh that was the day I wore my blue shirt and red tie. Thanks.”

“Well, you were absolutely glowing,” I gushed. Which is true: I’ve never seen him look so good before.

He then excused himself, “I need to bring this food back while it’s still warm.”

I said sure, and we wished each other a good day. He had an air of confidence and joy that fit him well, like a new suit. Best of all: his sudden appearance and friendly demeanor had a calming effect on me, and my worries over Deek and the pups quickly dissipated.

So I think my harsh reprimands toward Deek gave him a taste of how awful his life would be without my friendship…or as I call it: “putting the fear of god in him.” For he was very polite to me, the rest of the night. In my disgust, I even attempted to return the devices, saying I’m not gonna charge them when he’s being so vulgar. I wound up taking them back, though…I just wanted to shock some sense into him.

But I’ve also noticed him being a lot more affectionate to the dogs, these past three weeks. As well as providing them with blankets, instead of forcing them to rest on concrete. So what the fuck is REALLY going on? Here comes the bodhisattva premise to explain it all:

They’re all actors, Wattson, making me into the hero of my world…as I’ve often said before. My surprise encounter with Boulevard Joe this morning served the purpose of soothing my soul, after the latest barrage of horror. And Deek’s disgusting accusations are nothing more than words from a script, to, again, provide additional opportunities for me to play the champion. But this act is all way too drawn out for me, I’m exhausted and wish it were over, curtain closed. But that’s how they play it, they know what they’re doing, and I must hang in there, for the Final Act will be superb.

And Arwyn, whom I believe is the author of this play, has begun showing up more frequently in my life…like an Alfred Hitchcock appearing for a brief moment in his films. Surprises lay ahead, let’s see how Miriam behaves this next Sunday.

I’m amazed at my own resiliency, that I could emerge from last night’s frightening visit with Deek, yet wind up feeling pretty damned good today, so soon after. It was Boulevard Joe who lifted my cross.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: It just got better!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2021 12:51 PM

Some time around 9:30 PM last night, I decided I should get that yummy looking tub of halvah (with pistachios) I saw earlier that day, on the snack shelf of the corner store that takes EBT. (I decided I can just remove the nut pieces, grind them up in my coffee mill, and mix them back in.) Which establishment is simply called “17th & Noe Market.” I wasn’t even sure they were open that late, but it’s only a one-block walk, the pups are sleeping, and it was a lovely night anyway. Before exiting, I donned the only colorful mask I have, one among many I found left discarded on the sidewalk. I’ve never looked closely at it, just liked the design in general.

The shop is run by an Arab family: very friendly, great sense of humor, and one of the clerks is an absolute doll! He looks to be all of seventeen, and is just as friendly and outgoing as the rest of ’em. I first met him a few days back, while looking for an item in the dairy section. He slipped right by me to stack and price some goods in a corner barely three feet distant. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so turned to him and asked:

“Do you sell any margarine in a tub?”

He paused and looked over the same shelves I was focused on, where they kept the milk, cream, butter, and the like…then grabbed a brand that I thought was soft butter, but wasn’t. It was “Country Crock” margarine. I said thank you, then asked:

“Could you please read the ingredients for me, I don’t have my glasses on.”

Without so much as a twinge of hesitation, the handsome boy grabbed the package and looked down at the label, to read aloud the following:

“Purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, lecithin (soy), vinegar, natural flavors, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene…” he then paused to look up at me. “Oh, that’s just the color.”

“Yes, I know that,” I replied, “go on.”

He lowered his head again (while I imagined running my fingers through through those dense shocks of tousled, raven-black hair) to finish with: “…and vitamin D.”

As he politely handed back the container, I made another request: “Could you read that once more for me?”

Again, without batting an eye he was about to take it from my hand, when I drew back and said: “Just kidding! I only wanted to be sure it didn’t contain hydrogenated oil. Thanks very much for reading this; you’re too kind.”

“Glad I could help!” he replied, then returned to his work price-stamping cans and boxes.

So that’s the kind of relationship I have with them, gregarious and with a goodly dose of humor. More THEIR doing than mine, I want to point out. How fortuitous that my switching which corner store I shop at (foisted upon me by a food stamp windfall) turned out to be such a winning formula. Now, back to last night:

That jet-haloed seraphim was working the counter this time and, as I plunked the halvah down, I declared:

“I didn’t even know you were open this late, but the halvah called me back.”

“Yes, we’re open till 10 PM every day of the week including Saturday and Sunday,” he informed me. Then, after a quick perusal of my face, he added: “I like your mask!

“Really? Thanks.” I replied. “I just picked it off the ground, like I do all my masks…then disinfect them, rinse them out, then wash in hot, soapy water, rinse again, and hang to dry.”

“May as well,” he kindly agreed. “I like it because that’s where I’m from!”

Confused at exactly what he meant, I pointed to the halvah, because it’s a Middle Eastern treat, and the label says “Made in Syria.”

“Do you mean this?” I queried.

“No, your mask, it has the flag of Palestine on it!” he clarified.

“Incredible, I had no idea,” I replied. “I like the colors, but never looked it over up close.”

I then pulled the mask a few inches away from my face (it was attached by two elastic strings that encircled my neck), so I could take a glimpse. Sure enough, there were the green and red stripes behind a revolutionary Arab flashing the peace symbol. Even better: the words “Free Palestine” encircled the image.

“Well that’s amazing,” I exclaimed. “And I am DEFINITELY pro-Palestine.”

“I’m glad you are,” he said. I then wished him an excellent evening and stepped back out into the cool, calm night kissed with a light flurry of ocean breezes…this time almost walking on air thanks to such a friendly exchange with a sparkling gem of a closure.

Thus the day ended on a most magical note: at the last minute a glorious emerald placed in the center of the crown Boulevard Joe so graciously set upon my pate earlier that day.

Now, here are three pics of that bless-ed mask, including an image of the Dome of the Rock on the left-cheek side:

Click here for a larger view.

Needless to say, it’s now become my favorite pandemic mask, and it will be a sad day when it becomes too worn out to wear any longer. But I assure you, good doctor, if the strap should ever break, yet the mask is otherwise still good, I will promptly make that simple repair.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: It just got better!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2021 3:36 PM

> Oh, that mask is a beauty!! And so was your adventure!!

Without that particular mask (which I didn’t make any fuss over at all, nor even knew its message) there wouldn’t have been that particular adventure. What were the odds? I am amazed. And yes, it is truly a spectacular mask. It certainly brought me good fortune last night, in more ways than one!

> I have a mask that says Harvard Medical School on it. Haven’t worn it in public yet. Even though I am, of course, a doctor…

Hardy har har, Dr. Wattson! More good news BTW:

Deek returned with the pups early this morning, asking me for an “advance,” and to take the pups. Well, his $40 allotment is supposed to be on Thursday, but Wednesday is okay be me, so I gave him the full amount. Hopefully, he’ll wait till Sunday, which is his $60 payday, instead of begging me for yet another advance.

He said that Flaco still barely eats, and her diarrhea looked and smelled like the kind one of his dogs from years back had, when it came down with parvo. So I said, while holding onto the leashes as the doggies eagerly scratched on the doors through the partly opened gate, DYING to step in:

“Oh, don’t make me sad, Deek!”

“But she seems fine now, just needs to get her appetite back.”

“Okay, I’ll feed them in an hour, after they’ve gotten some rest,” I assured him.

“Thanks again, Zeke, you’re a godsend. I could never do this without you.” And off he went, and God only knows what he’ll spend that money on.

With that, I opened the doors and released the hounds. They happily dashed up the stairs and right into my room, passing by an elevator worker as if he were invisible. But Lucky stepped backed out and into the hallway, thoughtfully waiting for me to catch up…even though he COULD’ve just crashed onto the comfy bedding, like Flaco does. Incredible dogs!

So Flaco & Lucky are now blissfully snoozing away…neither with any desire to step out for a poop yet, though it’s been awhile since they ate. I fed than almost four hours ago. Lucky ate his entire meal, but Flaco only a third. At least she’s eatin’ again…and more than just one or two bites! The little angel seems otherwise in great health, glossy fur, sparkly brown eyes, cold wet nose and all.

I’ve started taking them out for SEPARATE walks, as they bark a lot less than when together. And it’s easier that way to quiet them down, when the other is not around to distract. That way, when I DO walk them as a team again, I think they’ll be a lot calmer than before, when having to pass through the narrow gauntlet of stairs and hallway. Neither has any problem being left alone in the hovel, when the other’s out with me. And I’m only gone for fifteen minutes at most, anyway.

Deek’s decent behavior this morning showed me he’s listened to everything I said in our previous meetup (rocky as that was), has thought it all through, and appreciates my firm stance over the important matter of caring for his dogs. On another note:

I’m concerned about Dieter, as I haven’t seen him for three days now…and I’m used to our crossing paths once or twice a day! Six days ago, I saw him at the Mediterranean restaurant around the corner, which he frequents almost daily, where he wines or dines alone till friends join him later on. He was in considerable pain, and didn’t step out at all the previous day because of that. So I sat and talked with him for just a bit, then wished him a speedy recovery before departing.

The next day I greeted him as he exited the building, and I entered with my usual morning java in hand. He was in better spirits, and I told him how glad I am to hear that. But I haven’t seen him since!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Damn, she puked again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2021 8:13 PM

This was just moments ago. I served them dinner around 6 PM…Lucky ate all of his meal, but Flaco wouldn’t even touch it. She DID eat a bit this morning, a third of her breakfast. At any rate, the vomit looks clean, that is, just light brown, the color of the canned food and kibble mixed together. She only vomited once, then returned to the cot and curled up. Flaco shows NO sign of discomfort, she is otherwise content. And earlier today when I took her for a walk, her poop was quite normal…not runny in the least, nor any weird color.

I need to impress upon Deek, the importance of having them sit or rest on a sheet of cardboard, rather than directly on the sidewalk. ‘Cause that’s how they can pick up gum or other sludgy waste, that they later attempt to lick off, which can be harmful to their health. So it’s not enough to just provide them with a cushy blanket to sleep on (or in, during cold nights), but to keep them from direct exposure to the concrete at any other time, as well. Cardboard is plentiful, and will do the trick just fine.

I’m also wondering if the sudden change to colder nights may have also disrupted her digestion. These are little doggies, fer crissake!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Damn, she puked again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 13, 2021 10:15 PM

> As long as she’s acting normal, not lethargic or anything, she’s likely okay.

This time around.

> Does Deek let them wear jackets in the winter?

No, he stopped providing jackets for them last winter, and has never gotten them jackets since. I think he’d rather blow the expense on meth. He doesn’t keep them dry and sheltered from the rain…just lets them get sopping wet like him. He’s on some stupid fantasy about doing it all on the streets, and the dogs gotta live like that too. We’re all tough guys, see?

When I bought doggy jackets he kept “losing” them in less than a week, so I can’t afford to do that any more. I’ve bought so many, and kind people have donated so many, but that’s all over with. This is why I’m trying so hard to turn them into mascots of the Castro…so that others will help care for them.

I suspect that Flaco is just sick and tired of living on the streets. They BOTH should be housed, this is too much. IT’S FUKKIN INSANE, AND I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, WITH MY HANDS TIED! THIS IS MADNESS. Deek will probably get pissed at me when I bring up (again) the “forcing-them-to-rest-on-the-filthy-sidewalk” matter. He’ll make it IMPOSSIBLE for me to explain WHY he needs to use cardboard. EVERYthing is always a hundred times MORE dificult to do, if Zach has a finger in it. But these are two, sweet LIVES in the middle of it all, they’re not pieces of furniture.

I tried bringing this up with Boulevard Joe, but he doesn’t really see anything wrong with forcing two little dogs to live on the streets. He’s great up to a point, but neither he nor anyone else on the streets who knows Deek, is gonna encourage him to treat the pups better. They think I’M the monster because Deek told everyone I tried to steal his dogs. THIS IS A FUKKIN NIGHTMARE.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Flaco has the blahs.

Subject: Pups still here, Flaco still not hungry…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 12:03 PM

…she even turns down her ducky treats! On our morning walk, you could tell she was a little sad, so I pet her a lot to reassure her that she’s loved. Her poop was normal, though scant…because she hasn’t eaten much for three days now.

Lucky ate his entire breakfast, but Flaco only took a few nibbles, then gave up and hopped back onto the cot.

She’s got the blahs, and I guess I would too, with an upset tummy. All she really wants to do is curl up and rest on the cot, though sometimes she’ll walk over to the box, and rest there awhile. She’s still affectionate and all that, wags her tail and kisses me, etc. So it doesn’t seem to be anything serious. Once Deek returns, I’ll try to convince him to let her continue staying with me, until her appetite comes back. Right now, she just needs a quiet, cozy sanctuary in which to recover. Lucky’s fine, though.

Last night, I planned to walk them separately, so first took Lucky outside for 20 minutes or so. But when I returned to leash up Flaco, she wouldn’t budge! I tugged lightly to see if she’d hopped down from the cot…but nope, she stubbornly refused. Obviously, she did NOT need to poop or pee, and preferred to continue chillaxing on the cozy comforters. Fine with me.

She slept close to me all night long, repositioning herself now and then in my arms…very sweet. Lucky even decided to join the huddle, and moved up close, plunking himself right up against Flaco. So I hugged them both for hours! Dearest little pooches in the galaxy!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups still here, Flaco still not hungry…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 1:59 PM

> Poor baby.

Good news now: her appetite’s kickin’ in! A short while ago, Lucky informed me in his own doggy way, that he needs to go poop again. I figured Flaco would prefer to remain hovel, but as it turned out she jumped off the cot and wagged her tail, eager to accompany us!

Further up Noe Street, after Lucky relieved himself and kicked up the imaginary dirt to cover it all, I decided to see if she’d like a treat, though didn’t have great expectations. But sure enough, she snatched it out of my hand, plus several more, hallelujah! She was also quite perky when we exited the gate, barking at passersby as if to announce her return from wherever she was in her mind: “I’m here again, I’ve come back to life, troublemakers beware!” They were happy barks, both hers and Lucky’s.

Once we got hovel, I offered both mutts some more treats, offering Flaco twice the amount in larger chunks. But they decided they didn’t want that flavor anymore. (I have two snacks for them: the duck breast jerky wedges, and the softer, chicken-applesauce disks.) Those were the chicken goodies they turned down (even though they just enjoyed them a moment ago, outside), so I switched to the ducky treats, and they gobbled them up. Flaco, of course, consumed the larger portion, per my intent.

Still, my little angel has barely touched her morning dish, except for a nibble here and and a nibble there. It’ll remain on the floor another hour, in hopes she’ll finally indulge. But if not, suppertime around 6 PM may turn the tide. I sure hope so! At least she’s started getting some real food in her belly again. Those treats are wholesome, packed with nutrients!

I have this vision that, once Arwyn returns to my world, he’ll learn of my situation with Deek and the dogs, and instill some real FEAR in him that’ll make him clean up his act PRONTO, and treat the pups in every kind and responsible way possible. Enough so that, rather than sweat beads over Arwyn’s possible rage in seeing he’s STILL not doing enough, Deek will decide to hand them over to me, for once and for all.

Wouldn’t that be fantastic, good physician!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Flaco’s Feeling Better
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 2:41 PM

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

Re: Flaco’s Feeling Better
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 4:41 PM

> Aw! Little sweetheart!

And her darling brother right beside.

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

Re: Flaco’s Feeling Better
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 5:51 PM

Now neither of them is touching their food. I just set out two bowls, and each has only taken a few nibbles out of it. Arrgh!

They’re both in good spirits and all that, but they just won’t eat tonight! Maybe they’ll decide to nosh some more a little later on; the bowls will be waiting. Right now, Flaco has burrowed under the comforters and is scratching away at the bottomost sleeping bag, while Lucky is licking away at the self-inflating nylon pouch I use for a pillow. It’s for camping out, but I prefer it over the plushy types. They love licking heavy gauge nylon, whether it’s part of a jacket, backpack, or whatever else have you.

This is a dog’s world…I can’t relate, only watch and enjoy. Deek’s not back yet. Woof, woof, woof!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Flaco’s Feeling Better
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 14, 2021 6:08 PM

Here she is, peeking through the blanket.

Click here for a larger view.


The Final Chapter (part 22)

October 10, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17v]

Lucky loves the fluff, and tonight is no exception. Such a delight just watching him fluff stuff up!

Subject: More Dog Barking!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2021 10:22 AM

The pups have begun barking more frequently these past two weeks, going up and down the stairs. I think because they haven’t been dropping over as frequently, thus are more accustomed to dealing with strangers on the streets, and protecting Deek. And the hallways remain quiet as a church and vacant most of the time, so for them to see another person in the building still perturbs them. Though for MOST of these encounters, they do not bark at all.

Yesterday, they barked up a storm all the way down and into the lobby, because they heard someone down there. It was the mail person! Even though I held them short on their leashes, she moved to a far corner, cowering and eyes wide open. Rather overdramatic I’d say, as anyone can see they’re harmless, just like to make a big show of it at times. They wouldn’t stop barking until we stepped outside.

That evening, same day, right after we exited my hovel, again they started to bark like wild. I got them to quiet down somewhat, but then my new neighbor appeared coming up the stairs, so they resumed their loud barks as I held them back, so she could pass. But then Flaco escaped her collar and ran to the top of the stairs to block her way. So I knelt down to pull her back. The neighbor had a nasty scowl throughout the encounter; and the pooches didn’t stop barking until she entered her apartment.

So I’m sure she’ll complain to the manager, rather than allow the dogs to meet her, so they’ll calm down. These barking incidents are rare, but the timing yesterday was not good.

Most of the time when they bark at a resident, that person will just laugh and talk to them kindly. But some people choose to be assholes. Ironically enough, my new neighbor is almost the spittin’ image of Myrtle: close-cropped dirty blond, straight hair, petite in size, pinched face, and not particularly friendly. I’ve opened the gate for her a few times, since she moved in five months ago…not once has she said thanks.

Anyway, Deek dropped by last night, just wanted me to charge his new Bluetooth speaker, said I could keep the dogs over for a second night. He was quite congenial. He parked himself outside my building, where a few other homeless congregated…interesting they all had bikes. This gathering lasted a bit over two hours, and they were friendly and quiet throughout. Nor did they leave any trash behind. Impressive!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: More Dog Barking!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2021 7:18 PM

> Doggies are protective of you. And they might have sensed something “off” about the new tenant in that way they have.

Of course. But some people look for every excuse they can to fuck with me; that is my Castro experience writ large. Picking on the dogs is their latest game, because I love them so much. The wicked always strike at the heart, first.

> At least they’re little dogs, so no one has to be actually scared of them. They’re not exactly Presa Canarios.

Not even close. I’ll never forget the day, years ago, someone stepped into our long defunct laundromat-around-the-corner, with a Presa C. Some people use their dogs to terrorize others…they’re fucked up. It wasn’t even on a leash! I got outta there fast, left my laundry in the washing machine for a good hour, before returning when it was safe again.

> Speaking of which, I was discussing the Diane Whipple case with Greg, the guy I wrote the Iraq book for. Greg worked as a guard at Folsom Prison for a while. He met all kinds of “celebrities” there, including Charlie Manson. You may remember a scene in the book where Greg recalls Manson and a big hulking Aryan Nation brute named “Cornfed” getting into a fight (insitigated by Cornfed; Charlie was a 5’2″ pipsqueak and physical coward). Greg pulled his service revolver, and aimed at one guy and then the other, considering his options: He could go down in history as the guy who shot Charlie Manson, or he could shoot the entirely un-famous Cornfed. He chose Cornfed, wounding him in the leg, ending the fight.

Wow, that’s quite a story, Wattson! Greg should write another book, this time around his time as a prison guard. I’m sure he’d have a lot to say.

> Well–when Greg and I were talking about the horrible bloody lethal dog attack on Diane Whipple in the hallway of her apartment building, Greg said that the lawyer couple across the hall who lived with the dogs and failed to control them not only knew Cornfed–they had “adopted” him as their “son,” and that the dogs actually belonged to Cornfed. How’s that for a bizarre twist?

Terribly bizarre. But I did know about that aspect, already, as it was in the news about their association with Cornfed. The whole scenario was ghastly. I firmly believe that couple was homophobic, and planned Ms. Whipple’s horrendous demise. And got away with it, for the most part. Here is an article that covers this twisted tragedy:

The Unbelievable True Story of Bane the Nazi Hellhound, ‘Cornfed’ Schneider and the Dog-Mauling Case That Made Kimberly Guilfoyle Famous

In there, it says: “Not to mention, one of the prosecutors on it was Kimberly Guilfoyle, who now spends her time on TV defending white supremacists like her boyfriend’s father, President Trump.”

As you know, Ms. Guilfoyle was married to Gavin Newsom during his term as SF Mayor. Unbelievable!

Noel or Knoller also had sex with their Presas, BTW.

–quote:

Noel told a reporter from Rolling Stone all about how impressed he was with the hellhound’s enormous dick, “Bane was confident, proud, handsome. Bane had an eye for ladies. He sees Marjorie, rolls over on his back and, bam, that big red arrow popped out. He had a hard-on that big. Boy, was that dog hung.” Later, in the same article, a former prison guard recalled how much Noel was impressed by Bane’s genitals, “I’d get on the phone with Bob to ask him about a case. And all he did was talk about how big Bane’s balls were.”

–end

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: More Dog Barking!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2021 10:17 PM

> Sick, sick, sickety sick sick.

In all directions, and on every level. The attorney who wrote that article linked in my last post, also wrote: “Finding Meaning in Diane Whipple’s Death.” The next-to-last paragraph is worth serious consideration…however, NOTHING has been changed regarding more sensible dog safety laws:

–quote:

Society needs to look again at the usual prejudice against breed specific legislation. If dog owners really are entitled to have any kind of dog that they want, including Presa Canario dogs, and if dog owners can have any kind of dog in any kind of surroundings, including a crowded urban area and even a crowded apartment building like that in which Knoller, Noel and Whipple lived, then why was it fair for the Whipple prosecutor to condemn Knoller and Noel for owning those dogs? The Whipple trial was in many ways a breed specific prosecution. We should not permit this double standard to exist. Either we are for breed-based restrictions, or we are against them. We cannot tell dog owners that they can get any kind of dog that they want, but “throw the book at them” for having those dogs. It is hypocritical and will do nothing to end the dog bite epidemic.

–end

But the final paragraph irks me, regarding his reference to heterosexuals in a rather strange context:

–quote:

It should also be noted that Whipple’s death — specifically, the wrongful death lawsuit of Sharon Smith — raised issues that affect not only gays and lesbians, but mothers, fathers and other heterosexual people of the state. The resolution of those issues added another level of meaning to the horrible death of Diane Whipple.

–end


Re: More Dog Barking! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 26, 2021 11:32 PM

> That last paragraph is vexing. I’m going to have to tease it apart tomorrow with a fresh brain (so to speak.)

I’d be most interested in what you DO conclude about such a bizarre statement. To me, it smacks of heterosupremacy.

> I’m still haunted, imagining what Diane Whipple experienced as she was being torn to pieces in that apartment building hall.

It’s always stuck with me, as well. Just this morning I crossed the street to avoid an owner walking his massive, bulky pit bull.

> Quite different, to my mind, from the case of Tatiana the Siberian tiger, who escaped from the pit at the SF zoo and killed one of the punks who’d been taunting her, throwing things at her and such. She leapt up, ignored other people, headed straight for the kid, found him, and killed him.

Disgusting people who abuse animals. They should all just drop dead, AFAIC.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: More Dog Barking! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2021 1:19 PM

> I had an old lady friend here, Gwen, a British ex-pat old enough to have been in London during the Blitz as a young adult. She was crusty, funny, and wonderfully acerbic. I remember telling her about the kid killed by the tiger at the zoo after he’d been throwing bottles at her and taunting her and such. Without missing a beat, Gwen just said, in her clipped British accent: “Good!”

My kinda gal! I would cherish having a cuppa with her, whenever she’d like.


Re: More Dog Barking! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2021 1:26 PM

> He could have made his point about the dog-bite laws that came about in the wake of Diane’s death being beneficial to everyone WITHOUT putting the gratuitous word “heterosexual” into it. It was sort of like those “riders” legislators attach to bills–completely irrelevant, but hitching a ride.

I think he has a problem with justice for LGBTs, as did the prosecution. And which I believe is why Noel and Knoeller got off so lightly. The way he inserted that bizarre and awkward “heterosexual” phrase suggests a level of discomfort re. gay people, that should have no place in the legal system.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Lucky & Flaco Crashing Here Tonight!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 27, 2021 9:12 PM

So, Kismet has seen fit to put a little FEAR in his heart, over the pooches’ safety. Things should go much better, now. He handed me a sheet of paper filled on both sides with a sea of small type, asked me to check it out. So I took a steady glance, to discover someone’s spreading COVID conspiracy shit. I told him so, that it’s garbage and he shouldn’t give it any more attention. But the GOOD part of this, is he’s started asking me profound questions in recent days, about politics and social trends. I can only give him rough outlines, because he has so LITTLE basic knowledge, it would take HOURS just to fully answer ONE of his many queries.

Flaco & Lucky were DEE-LIGHTED to visit my sanctuary once more. They ate and drank heartily, group hugs, kisses and belly rubs all around, and now they’re snoozing like there’s no tomorrow. But there IS tomorrow, and each day will get better from here on in.


Re: Lucky & Flaco Crashing Here Tonight!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 28, 2021 2:05 PM

> What an opportunity!!!!

I wonder, though…as I suspect he knows a LOT more than he lets on. IOW I think he PLAYS dumb. He reveals startling glimpses of insight now and then, that blows my mind. Thus I conjecture: he’s an actor, a bodhisattva guardian, a thespian on the stage we call life. The flyer he handed me included mention of the Jim Jones Massacre, and he asked me how rich black people wound up giving Jones all their money and property. So I explained to him a bit about religious cults.

> Little love machines!!!!

OMG they are SUCH sweethearts. They constantly express much gratitude towards me, in such endearing ways, it breaks my heart. People smile as we walk by, and I frequently receive compliments on their cuteness. I just want so badly for their brindlekin magic to spread across the Castro, that they become local canine celebrities!

Deek came by this morning to pick up his electronics, said he’ll return later to retrieve the pups. He gave me a little grief over the large speaker, and a new android tablet…called me back downstairs THREE times to make some pointless gripes. But it wasn’t anywhere NEAR serious, and he thanked me profusely and wished me a good day before parting for the nonce.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Oh for god’s sake…more barking!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 28, 2021 5:02 PM

About an hour ago I took the pups out for their afternoon poop-stroll, and no sooner had we exited my hovel, Wattson, than a neighbor’s door opened, and Flaco & Lucky began vociferating wildly. A tall fellow was standing at the entrance, blocking his dog, which is medium sized and totally calm. I pulled on the brindlekin’a leashes to move them downstairs, but they BOTH escaped their tethers and stood around the open door, still barking.

“Oh, no, they got out of their collars!” I commented matter-of-factly…then called them to me, and told them to quiet down (in a deep, calm tone, almost sotto voce), as I placed their collars back on. Which they did, almost immediately. I looked up at the dude, said “thanks for your patience,” and the pups and I continued our descent to the outside world.

The neighbor did NOT appear friendly at all, just stared at me. This is the SAME apartment where that woman also resides, whom the dogs barked at three days ago. It would be nice if these residents with their own dogs would offer to let my pups socialize with them for a few minutes here and there…because then their barking would cease, because no longer strangers. Otherwise, it will take longer for them to acclimate to seeing other mongrels in the building.

But at least that dog owner saw they do not bite, only bark, and they are obedient to me. Though I fear he may be one of those Castro queers who loves to scowl and find any excuse to be mean to another who is not part of whatever clique he claims for himself. Everybody wants to keep to themselves in this building, and they tend to be small-minded and selfish. They’d rather not HAVE anything to do with anyone else in the building, if they can avoid it…least of all an old queer with bad teeth who is the center of gossip in these parts.

I can imagine their shock and chagrin after seeing me come and go with the pups for weeks, then suddenly one day spotting them with Deek! “What? He’s letting two homeless dogs live here? How does the manager even allow that!”

At any rate, I know how to deal with whatever ridiculous conflict they may choose to invent: with patience, friendliness and an unyielding stance, like a bulwark against all storms.

Deek’s doggies have been more “barky” these days, because he’s been keeping them outside for greater spells of time, than he has been previously. Thus, they’re a bit more agitated having to deal with the crazies on the street without frequent breaks. I spoke about this to Deek, after he remarked how they’re more jumpy and irritable lately. Told him they are always calmer after visiting with me, and having them stay over once a week, for one or two nights in a row, should calm them down nicely.

Some of the tweekers out there have been teasing and harassing the pups, especially two nights ago. I don’t know if they got ANY sleep. He agreed to have them stay overnight more frequently, after I suggested they do just that. He’s worried about losing them, because of the chaos of living outdoors. Finally! I’m sure he now realizes why it’s a TERRIBLE idea to get Flaco pregnant (especially while still on the streets), and a GREAT idea to let them stay with me for longer spells.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Manager Seems Cool About It
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2021 10:58 AM

Walking up the stairs with the pups, after their morning ablutions, I encountered Kevin on the first landing. The doggies barked a bit, but turned the corner towards my room, and quieted down in seconds. As we walked by him, he said something to me, which at first I thought was “Can I speak with you?” and he’d say another resident complained. But that’s not what he said at all.

He just asked if the exterminator could check my room for bugs, around 2 PM today. I said sure, that’s fine…and with that, returned hovel. So the good thing is, he didn’t react towards the dog barks at all, just treated it like a normal thing (which it is). The bad thing is, I know the bedbugs have returned; in fact, I don’t think they ever left! Maybe reduced in numbers, but not entirely eradicated. I’ve been seeing a few every day, and yesterday about a dozen! I used the sticky side of electric tape wrapped about the handle end of a broomstick, to remove them from the wall by my bed. This seems to be the pattern ever since treatments began over a decade ago: that they never really go away. It’s just that barely a month ago, did the exterminator do my room last time.

But that’s another headache to deal with; I’m immensely glad he didn’t harp on the pooches. This is a major breakthrough.

BTW, Morey continues to be VERY supportive of my caring about the dogs. There are some good people here and there, and thank god for that.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Yet Another Breakthrough
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2021 3:57 PM

Returning from our afternoon walk, the pups starting barking halfway up the stairs…and when I reached my floor, there was Samuel (“chihuahua man”) standing with his doggies halfway down the hall. Flaco & Lucky continued to bark, but nowhere nearly as raucously as before (still loud though). I told them to quiet down, while holding a treat before their noses. I then led them around the corner and into my hovel, during which time they ceased the cacophony. As I passed them from about ten feet away, I said, “Sorry!”

Samuel kindly replied, “That’s alright.”

“Thanks, they’re getting better!” I replied, then disappeared.

So I’m very happy about this more positive rapport. Anyway, the exterminator dropped by two hours ago. Turns out he wasn’t here for a room check, but to actually do another treatment. For which I was totally unprepared, seeing as Kevin only mentioned a room check. Exterminator was cordial, said he’ll set up a date with the manager, and we can take it from there.

The dogs were present, and barked for awhile, mainly because he wore an orange and white gas mask that covered most of his face, with a fat filtration knob over each cheek! But the pups calmed down in another minute, and he got to pet them, told me what cute dogs they are.

We stepped back out right after that, as, surprisingly, Lucky informed me that he had to poop again. Two blocks up Noe Street was one of the hard hats that have been doing work on the house right next to Morey’s shop. The dogs would always step back and bark whenever he crouched down and extended a hand for them to sniff. But this time I gave him a few puppy treats, to see if that would change their tune. It did. And, fifteen minutes later as I looped back towards home, brought the pooches over again, to find out whether or not they’d bark, this time around. They didn’t. Instead, they looked up at him forlornly, in hope of another treat.

Don’t know why Deek hasn’t returned yet, as two nights have passed since he dropped them off. He’s done this before, though, so we’ll see. It would, however, be MOST unusual if he lets a third night go by.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek picked up the dogs earlier this evening.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 29, 2021 9:28 PM

He looked great, well scrubbed and dressed…organized, neat shopping cart, too. He didn’t stop to chat at all, just picked up the pups and a fresh supply of dog food…then off he went, after thanking me with genuine appreciation. Not a bit of snark dripping off his tongue.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Deek picked up the dogs earlier this evening.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 30, 2021 2:16 PM

> That is my heart’s desire as well.

But it’s still quite a long shot, my keeping the dogs here. I don’t have a leg to stand on, if the property owner/manager really demands I get rid of them. Then there’s the matter of Deek signing them over to me. We’d have to go to the SPCA together, and fill out some forms. How could I get him to do that? Besides, only Lucky is registered to him, whereas Flaco is not on anyone’s records.

If he DOES hand the pups over to me, he may refuse to actually let me own them outright. Which means he can take them back whenever he wants, and I have no say in it.

So, the manager has yet to set up my next bug treatment day. If I don’t hear from him by early evening, I’ll contact Paolo (the exterminator) to see what’s up. Kevin made that appointment with the exterminator w/o telling me, except the same day…but made it look like just a room check (because that’s what he called it), in which case I wouldn’t have the room prepped. Which is exactly what happened. He’s supposed to first suggest a date at least two days in advance, and if it’s not good for my schedule, we come up with a day that DOES work for me.

So the manager could keep this up, claiming he’s told me each time, several days in advance, but I’m not complying. IOW: this could be a setup to threaten my residency. That’s why I will phone Paolo later today, if Kevin doesn’t contact me. So if my next treatment HAS been arranged, Paolo will tell me the date.

My OTHER concern is that I share my wall with the same neighbors who are upset with my dogs barking at them, or their dog. So they may eventually blame me for the frequent bedbug infestations, even though it’s obviously the half-assed extermination method.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek dropped the pups off this morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 1, 2021 6:21 PM

A hot day, so they are now chillaxin’ like a boss. Deek told me the homeless outreach folks don’t even come up to him anymore, regarding getting a roof over his head. He’s approached them on his own, several times over the past several months, but they keep giving him the runaround, says they’re going out of their way to help all the REALLY crazy ones, but seem to have no desire to give HIM a helping hand.

We talked about a few other matters, nothing urgent. Suffice it to say he’s stable and neat appearing…and that’s what really counts. I gave him a bit of a pep talk, before we parted ways. Though I did tell him my room will be treated again, this Wednesday…and I’ll remind him once more, as the day approaches.

So glad the day’s finally cooling down, for the pups’ sake as well as mine. Their appetite is back, which hot weather works against.


Re: Deek dropped the pups off this morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 1, 2021 11:28 PM

> Dankeschön for a most excellent report!!

It gets even better! Earlier tonight I took the pups for a stroll, and they started to bark as we passed by a homeless person sitting on the doorsteps of a house on Noe & Beaver Street (a block down from Morey’s shop). The fellow chuckled, said “woof woof” back at them. He’s a crusty, gray-bearded old fellow of slight build who showed up in the Castro around six years ago. I’ve never talked to him, but tonight after walking past him about twenty feet, I decided I would. So I turned around and came up to him, while the pups kept barking, but not too much.

He laughed and reached out a hand, which they both sniffed, then backed off and barked some more. So I grabbed a couple of pieces of broken up treats and offered them to him: “Here, give ’em this.”

He first gave one to Flaco, then I pulled her back a bit, so he could give the remaining piece to Lucky. If I didn’t distance her somewhat, she would have snatched it up before her brother had a chance at it. The vagrant was delighted, so I asked his name.

“Roger,” he said.

“Please to meet you, Roger,” I replied. “See? They’re not barking any more!” Indeed they weren’t, but gazed up at him instead with mournful brown eyes, in hope of another treat.

I withdrew two more pieces of duck jerky from my pocket and handed them to Roger.

And so he fed them a second round. Then I wished him a lovely night, and off we vanished into the shadowy night beyond. After ten more minutes or so, we returned hovel, but before we entered the front gate, I decided to do the same thing to another homeless person sitting nearby and playing plastic buckets like drums. The pooches, of course, were barking at him.

“Would you like to give them a treat?” I asked. So he did, and Flaco & Lucky quieted down. I repeated the gesture, to his delight, as well as the dogs’. Then I told him:

“You were so friendly when we stepped out, offering to get up and move a bit further from the gate, so as not to upset them. So I thought I’d be nice back.”

I did not ask him his name, but will, next time. He showed up barely two weeks ago, with his makeshift instruments…and drops by every evening for an hour or two, and plays them right below my window! Coincidence, or am I more well known than I realize…among the homeless? And does Deek have anything to do with this?

Now, it’s a couple of hours later, I’ve had my supper and decided to step out for a short, night-time stroll by myself, while the doggies snooze away in comfort. The air was deliciously cool, a refreshing balm for the lungs. The word that comes to mind that best describes it is CLEANSING!

A peaceful, cheery ambience permeated the Castro, and, while hoofing it up Noe Street and back again, I imagined this scene with Deek:

He was sitting on the sidewalk by the bus stop, waiting to pick up the dogs. Down the stairs I came, with tethered pups at my heels. He sat there kind of morose, or maybe just somewhat bored, so I addressed him:

“You should be really happy at this point in your life, Deek, what with all the good things I’ve been doing for you for so many years…not to mention what delightful friends you have with these two angels!”

“Well,” he began, looking straight ahead into traffic, with chin resting in both hands, and elbows upon his knees. He said no more, just shrugged his shoulders.

“I got you figured out, Deek,” I went on. “You’re doing this all for me!”

“All what?” he asked in a rather dreary tone.

“Well, for one, these dogs,” I pointed at them, parked now beside him in blissful camaraderie. “They’re your gift to me, for being a friend.”

He didn’t speak a word back, but just continued to look directly forward as a passenger bus rumbled up to the stop, paused for a few seconds to regurgitate several passengers, then chugged along to the end of the line at Market & Castro.

“You knew about me months before we ever met, Deek! You set things up by making a point of walking back and forth through my neighborhood until I finally introduced myself.”

He still said nothing, but a grin began to emerge on his countenance. So I continued:

“You did this all for me: the dramas, the crises, the being the pain in the ass so many times. All to guide me, to grow me into the better person I am now.”

Soon as I said that, he tilted his head and looked directly at me, with a wry sparkle in those hazel eyes. But only for one or two seconds before he resumed his vacant stare into an unknown distance.

“You’re my guardian angel, Deek.”

So that’s the daydream, Wattson. And I think I’ll tell him that next time we meet. For I have a hunch it will make him VERY happy, no matter how nonsensical my proclamation may strike him. It will certainly strike his funny bone!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Encounter with a friendly hardhat!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 2, 2021 10:37 AM

This morning, as the pups and I approached Morey’s shop on Noe Street, a repairman working on something below the street (a cable, probably, as my bank’s ATM servuce a block away was down yesterday, as was Morey’s electronic payment system) called to me:

“Those are very cute doggies!” He was around 55 years old, 5-foot-9 with close-cropped ginger hair and beard.

So I brought them right to the worker. Of course they barked, but that soon stopped as I gave him some treats to feed them. I told him a bit of my story, that they actually belong to a homeless friend, and it’s been up and down, joy and grief, all along. How I tried to take ownership, but the cops got involved, and I had to find another way to work with Deek. Told him that I hope to turn them into the mascots of the Castro, that there be helping hands throughout the district.

He was very impressed, said, “At least you get to be with them on a regular basis!”

“Yes, that’s true,” I replied. “It’s like a fairy tale.” Then I described how I’m the knight in shining armor, the dogs are the princess captured by a dragon, and the dragon is Deek’s bipolar mood swings. But to rescue the princess, I must also rescue the dragon, not slay it, by friending it as well as the pooches. I also went into the conflicts I’ve had in my building, over the dogs…and how I’ve stood my ground and won my battles.

This is the first time I’ve told a stranger who admired Flaco & Lucky, that they’re not really my dogs, but a homeless person’s.

So here’s my new routine: bring treats whenever we go for a walk, and invite people (including the homeless, if they appear friendly) to feed them a couple of goodies, that the pups become less barky, and feel more welcome. And, over the weeks, this is how they become mascots. Here come the helping hands!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: An AMAZING Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 3, 2021 9:56 AM

The pups are back with Deek, so I went dogless to Rosenberg’s for my morning coffee. The street artists began to show up for their weekly sales on Noe Street, which covers the length of a block, with cars banned. One of the first artists to show up, a painter, said good morning to me, where I sat sipping my java, on a concrete ledge bordering our community garden.

We talked about this and that for a few minutes, when along came Dominic (Deek’s cousin) hobbling along with an electric bike he copped from Lyft. It had no battery, but was rideable. Some of the homeless adapt such bikes, without having to pay to ride them. They’re all over the city.

Miriam, the friendly painter, knows him, and asked how he is today. So Dominic sounded off with his usual gripes, which he always does whenever he sees an opportunity to squeeze money out of someone. The many times I’ve asked him how he is, he’s always come up with this or that serious malady, all feigned. Though this time around, he was wearing medical shoes that keep his feet mostly bare…to reveal a right foot with two toes badly twisted from bunions (the big toe and the one right next to it).

So I let them talk, with Dominic detailing his woes, for which Miriam handed him a ten-dollar bill. Some moments later, who should ALSO come moseying on by, but Arwyn! She knows him too, and said hi. He gave both her and Dominic (whom he knows well) a warm greeting in kind, though kept on walking, disappearing around the corner moments later. Of course he didn’t acknowledge me, nor I him.

Dominic finally moved on (thank god), at which time I pointed out to Miriam that he ALWAYS is filled with woes to share, whenever someone asks how he is…it’s his way of procuring money. He never speaks with good cheer, as that would crimp his style. Then I told her a bit about Arwyn. She knows him very well, especially from the past when he was considerably more reckless.

I told her he’s one of the two heroes in my book, “Free Me From This Bond,” and how he and I have had quite a history for almost a decade, so far. But since he moved to the Castro, he ignores me. I described further my philosophy about all this a.k.a. the “bohisattva premise,” making it clear that I have no hatred towards him or any others who’ve turned on me. She was acutely interested in my stories, including Brindlekin Tales. She’s seen me with the doggies several times over the past months.

So I told her they’re not really MY pooches, but belong to Deek who is, strangely enough, Dominic’s cousin. I ran back hovel to return with my Brindlekin Prayer Card, and she was excited about reading my works. Said she LOVES to read, and it’s fascinating that it’s about people she knows, and the Castro. She then unfolded a chair, placed a cushion on it, and told me to have a seat.

Other artists had shown up by then, to set up their wares for the day. She introduced me to four of them, and they invited me to partake of some yummy fast food and coffee…which was awfully nice, though I turned down their gracious offer. But we talked some more about various things, all to my interests (women’s rights, alcohol in gay events, etc.). Upon departing, I said to Miriam:

“There’s a REASON we met, and both Dominic and Arwyn came by at the same time!”

“Yes, that’s extraordinary,” she replied.

“And a lot of why this is happening is explained in my book, ‘Free Me From This Bond,'” I proudly embellished.

Then I returned home, absolutely gobsmacked over this incredible turn of events, and wrote you this missive. She and all the other artists are out there right now, and will be until the late afternoon…and every Sunday (until the rains come, I guess). So I can pop over later today, to visit with them again, and do so every Sunday.

Told you Arwyn would start showing up in my world again, with greater and greater frequency! And now I have new friends to help spread the Brindlekin Gospel!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: An AMAZING Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 3, 2021 12:41 PM

> Now, that’s what I call sin-crow-nissitee!!!

I suspect bodhisattva manipulation has more to do with it…though, yes, from our human perspective, one may call it synchronicity, and be correct.

> Truly extraordinary!!!!!!!

I first was sitting by myself, no one around, just sippin’ on my good ol’ java…and had decided to say hello to any passerby, as part of my new program to become known as a neighborhood asset and icon. And do that every single friggin day for now on.

So, shortly after three hellos over the course of ten minutes, all the action unfolded. Coincidence? I think not!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: An AMAZING Morning! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 3, 2021 1:36 PM

I was busy (on this hot, sweaty day) getting a pile of my laundry washed and heat treated ahead of time…so I won’t have to rush like a maniac the day before the exterminator arrives. This gives me the luxury of also WASHING them, rather than just running them through the driers. The pups, if they stay over again before that time, will just have to do without the comforters. Instead, I’ll toss a few fluffy jackets down. There will also be no throw rugs, just newspaper and some cardboard flats. ‘Cause I’m doing the rugs today, too, which means I’ll have to bag them until Wednesday night, after the bug eradication that afternoon. Because of this morning’s excellent scenario, I am HIGHLY motivated to get through this prep, as I now can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The bedbugs are part of the challenges that teach me how to better deal with life’s frustrations and disappointments. That is: they are bodhisattvas themselves, in a way. And once I make that long-sought-after breakthrough, they, too, shall be gone. For good. This breakthrough is, of course, my own personal liberation that involves securing the pups’ lives and that of Deek’s. Along with momentous life changes for people around me, and LGBT rights overall. IOW:

This latest manic cycle bubbling up in my psyche will spill over to everyone around me! It will not just be an internal eruption, but part of a greater destiny. I can now see how others in the Castro will help care for the pups, and for improving Deek’s life as well. Which compassionate expressions will expand beyond just my own goals, but do much for many other homeless who call this neighborhood home.

I came to realize several days ago, that I am becoming quite the local celebrity, what with my walking the cute-as-a-button pups that everyone oohs and aahs over, the confrontations in my building that I have successfully overcome, and my helping to squelch the threat of any further nasty attacks upon Morey’s shop by Myrtle’s son and his punk lackeys. Once I realized that, I figured I should start saying hello to people during my strolls, and carry treats for them to bond with Lucky and Flaco. That is: BUILD UPON my budding reputation.

And then, this awesome morning event happened, like the sun’s rays bursting through a cloud! Can’t wait till Arwyn resumes our stupendous association. For it is HE who once stopped me and said: “Our friendship, our being brought together, is an INCREDIBLE godsend!” That was in May of 2014. So glad I’ve documented all this, over the many years. For things are now falling into place quite amazingly, and my documentation gives evidence, like holy scripture. GAY holy scripture, that is.

You know what, good doctor? These artists I met this morning are in on it…that is, my bodhisattvas as well. I’m sure of it. All the world’s a stage. Let’s see how this newest act unfolds. I will be dropping by to see Miriam again, later today.

– Zeke K-Holmes


RE: Ohio added to California travel ban list due to anti-LGBTQ+ law
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Carlyle Lambourne
Date: October 5, 2021 11:04 AM

On 2021-10-05 05:38, Carlyle Lambourne wrote:

> You know, it is a funny thing about covid-19, that for years when I was harvesting “word salads” for poetic expression, which I believe had been placed on internet intentionally, with a purpose, just for me to find and act as a kind of “messenger boy”, or “avenging angel” boy, as the case may be, I noticed that many of them were filled with morbid references of calculated nonsense, mixed with relatively sophisticated references to microbiology, etc., indicating that the nonsense was really not merely nonsense, but more just playing “mind games”, perhaps to make the picture more visual of a world slipping into madness, and/or to highlight the fear factor of our not really being able to know what is going on, and where we are going, but that something is very dangerous and wrong.

The gift of prophecy is often not discerned by the prophet himself, except with hindsight…often when someone else who reads or hears the prophet’s words points it out. At least, that has been the case for me. Though the prophet IS sometimes conscious of the prophecy at the moment he calls it up. (That was quite a sentence there, BTW.)

> As I showed you once, when I searched my own, old material, particular;y one called “Death in a Cave”, long before covid, it did even have reference to coronavirus experimentation. It also referred to the biowar scientist, Frank Olsen, who had been murdered by the CIA, and whose son I had some brief email discussion, improbably enough, shortly before covid.

That is indeed HIGHLY improbable, thus a strong indication that something ELSE is going on, of a hidden nature. How did you come to have communication with Olsen’s son, anyway? What brought you to him? I found “Death in a Cave” (dated 2007) here, and have just read it again:

Particularly stunning is your “Poet’s Postscript,” especially Sheila Lynch’s mysterious and sudden death…and a description of the most likely kind of bioterror virus to manifest: one that is not just so widespread as to make quarantine impossible, but one which symptoms are not evident until considerable time has passed, yet is highly contagious during said time. And that is exactly what has happened with COVID-19.

> That poetic surrealism was posted around the time that Boston was first contemplating putting a level 4 biosafety lab in the city, which I had thought was a bad idea, for the very same reason as Wuhan.

It certainly raised the alarms in your OWN psyche!

> Ironically, if the powers-that-be had taken seriously the message in that “poem” of sorts, they might have even avoided the covid pandemic.

Money, power and greed get in the way…in addition to plain old shortsightedness. You can be a scientific genius, yet still lack certain abilities to plan things out with great care. Though things are even more complicated than that.

> I had said repeatedly, out loud, long before covid, that these “rogue agents” or whatever you want to call them, that had hypnotic “mind control” ability, were hinting at retaliation in the form of biological warfare.

Too many cooks spoil the broth, so to speak.

> It has made me wonder all along if covid-19 could be a revenge against the Trump supporters, against the Republicans, against the whole country for not having enough decent and sensible people to prevent a sick, fascist bully like Trump from gaining power. A way of saying “enough is enough”, if they want to be like that, we can just starting pulling the whole temple down.

That may very well be the case…knowing that right-wing fools would get caught up in their anti-vax tomfoolery, as to wind up dying en masse…whereas the more intelligent, progressive types would not succumb to idiocy. Thus, COVID-19 becomes the world’s first “anti-stupid” virus. With more capable, better targeted, engineered “anti-stupid” pathogens on the way.

> Since that time, I even found similar “word salad” material related to covid, specifically, that I’ve been sitting on, and haven’t done anything with it, yet.

As I said earlier in this response: prophecy is often discovered with hindsight. Thus, such gifted people usually suffer the Curse of Cassandra. And I don’t mean “prophecy” in the biblical sense, but as more broadly defined via pre-Abrahamic and native cultures (such as Celtic, Native American, shamanic, and so forth). We need to reclaim many of the ideas that Christianity has stolen and claimed as their own. In those ancient times, poets were often the mouthpieces of “the gods,” or whatever else you choose to call these greater forces that bind us all.

But as I’ve learned over the years, via Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabalism and native belief systems: no matter what era you live in, no matter how violent and chaotic your present existence or reality or world may be, it is always the better path that chooses to be steady, balanced and calm. Thus, learning how to rid oneself of horrid scenarios conjured up in one’s mind (though they may be triggered by outside, even distant, events, such as what we get from the news), is a vital process of what the Buddha called “right-mindedness.”

For only then can you figure out the best way to proceed, whenever a REAL crisis emerges in your life. You will be better prepared to squelch whatever demonic scenario confronts you, and tries to scare the shit out of you, with threats of utter destruction and misery upon your person.

Which is really the great lesson (among others) in my seemingly mundane “Brindlekin Tales.” Which stories will go a LONG way in liberating LGBTs, no matter where on the planet they reside, including the most homophobic regions.

– Ezekiel


Subject: Pups in a Blanket
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 5, 2021 6:54 PM

Deek is keeping the doggies away, so I can prep my hovel. Surprisingly, I came across them yesterday morning, on the corner of Noe & Beaver Streets, barely a block up from Rosenberg’s. I was on the other side of the street, with fresh java in hand. He saw me, and I waved at him, and he waved back. Around twelve minutes later I strolled up the other side of Noe and, as I approached, placed a finger on my lips, in hopes of being able to pass by without waking Flaco and Lucky. Deek had company: another homeless dude who appeared well dressed and friendly.

Alas, Lucky raised his head as I passed…guess he smelled my presence, because they BOTH were asleep. So I crouched down to pet him. Flaco then began to stand up, but I eased her back down with some petting, said, “Don’t get up on my account, please keep resting!” She understood and lay back down as I rubbed her belly. Her eyes were half open in that adorable, drowsy gaze. Best of all: they were lying down on a lovely, thick comforter, velvet to the touch, with ornate designs in maroon and black. “Well done, Deek!” I thought.

Not much talking went on, it was a most peaceful visit, albeit brief. Upon departing, I wished them all a good day, and Lucky raised his head again, as I moved on. As if to say, “Oh, I wish you could stay!” Such a thoughtful little doggy! They both are.

My room is pretty much fully prepped; just a few more things to arrange tomorrow, to complete the task. I could even have the pups over tonight, should Deek drop by and ask me to watch them. So long as he shows up the next day, by noon. We’ve done that once before, and he was prompt in picking up the pooches.

The bedbug treatment is scheduled for tomorrow, between 2 and 4 PM. So I won’t be able to reenter my hovel till some time around 8. But I’m gonna go right back there, shortly after the exterminator is done, in order to snatch that horrible notice from my door, that announces to everyone who passes by (and most every resident does, because no working elevator yet) that this unit has just been sprayed for pests. I never see such a sign posted on anyone else’s door! What a fuckin’ insult to do this to me! It’s as if Kismet persists in portraying me as the local weirdo, the witch at the end of a twisted path on the edge of the village, by constantly setting me up with humiliating scenarios.

Once I dispose of that notice, I’ll step back out again, and take the N Judah to the Inner Sunset, where I’ll while away two or three hours. BTW, two nights ago I saw that homeless guy who plays drums on discarded containers. He was directly across the ATMs and sat right against the lamppost. Soon as he saw me, I smiled and approached him…this time, without the doggies in tow. He asked if he was making too much noise. So I replied:

“Nope, it’s not the kind of noise I find bothersome…play away! Just don’t do it when it’s after midnight.” It was around 9:30 PM at the moment.

He said that, further down the block, someone threw a bottle at him. So I told him that’s terrible, because he’s very polite and affable. I then asked him his name.

“Chris,” he said, “what’s yours?”

I told him “Zeke,” then wished him a lovely night and took off for my late-hour stroll up Noe Street. The pseudo-drums resumed beating in the background, their staccato rhythm.

Also, yesterday I had a friendly chat with my new neighbor across the hall, who has a little chihuahua. His name is Donnie, and he lives with his girlfriend. I think they were occupying a unit on the third or fourth floor, and moved down here two months ago. I told him about my dog’s barking whenever they see another canine in the hallways, and suggested I give him some treats to get acquainted with them. He made it clear he has no problem with Flaco & Lucky, and will be glad to introduce himself to them, next time their paths cross.

So that’s good!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups in a Blanket
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 5, 2021 9:11 PM

> All is calm, all is bright….

Well, I put a lot of psychological elbow grease to get there. Kismet has forced me into many conflicts these past months, that I never really brought upon myself. But as a result, I put others around me through changes, because I held firm, while remaining calm and friendly through it all. This can’t HELP but ripple outward with a positive impact. It eventually doesn’t remain within my own bubble of existence. Or, look at it another way, and you can say my bubble has dramatically expanded!

I can’t help but be astounded at how supportive Morey has been to my dog rescue project! He’s a bodhisattva who plays my ally.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Republican Calls For A Holy War
From: Carlyle Lambourne
To: Zeke’s Mailing List
Date: October 6, 2021 7:32 AM

Ezekiel,

Conversely, we should have shock troops to take down Steve Bannon.

That creep had been down in Brazil, plugging for the election of Jair Bolsonaro, who said he would want a gay son dead. Bolsonaro also only praised how the U.S. had wiped out indigenous people and now “did not have a problem with them”,
as “Brazil did”. Under Bolsonaro, indigenous people have suffered a sharp increase in attacks, enough to bring charges of genocide. There has been been increased decimation of rain-forest under Bolsonaro’s Trump-like “screw the
environment”, money-hungry attitude.

Similiarly, Bannon praised Judge Roy Moore to the stars, calling him “righteous”, no matter how Moore had called gays “indescribably evil.” The mainstream media to my knowledge never even mentioned the detail, how Moore had links on this web-site to Christian Reconstructionists who wanted death for gays.

Bannon has also expressed admiration for Italian fascists. The worst fascists of all are the “philosophical fascists,” who don’t see themselves as just thugs and power-grabbers and haters, but as intellectual deep-thinkers of what is best for society.

Bolsonaro, the good Catholic, like many dictators before him, touts “family values” as a cue from the U.S right-wing game plan.

We should not go peacefully into that night. People like Bannon, Moore, Bolsonaro should all have bullets in them, same attitude toward them as they take toward us. These people are far, far too gone to even think of reasoning with them. With Christian, gibbering freaks, you can hardly have a meaningful exchange of a single sentence, much less a rational discussion. If these people are not put in their place at the ballot box, this would become the reality thrust upon us: gruesome battle in which we suffer and die, or living as crawling worms under the thumbs of fascist thugs.

Regards, Carlyle


Re: Pups in a Blanket
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 6, 2021 11:49 AM

> Damned right you did!

Today’s bedbug treatment day, gotta be outta here in two hours. Stress level is less than it’s ever been in previous prep cycles, despite the stupidity of the whole scenario. So I’m kinda proud of how I’ve come to deal with it: just another challenge to overcome re. not getting caught up in anger or depression. I am nonetheless a bit exhausted.


Subject: Deek just saw Arwyn a Few Minutes Ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 6, 2021 11:09 PM

Though it was nighttime, and Arwyn was a half block away and diminishing fast, with his back to us. Still, distinctive enough for Deek to recognize him at any time in the future.

I had just stepped out to deliver another sack of dog food to Deek, who was across the street. We have this new policy I came up with, to keep the pups a good distance from my hovel, if he doesn’t plan to let them visit. This way I won’t feel like I’m teasing them with high expectations of coming over, if they’re near the front gate.

As I approached my corner, I espied Arwyn who just turned left up Noe, so as Deek crossed Market Street to pick up the goods, I said while pointing: “Look, that’s Arwyn!”

“Where, where is he?” Deek gasped.

“There! There!” I desperately joggled my pointing arm several times for emphasis…and Deek’s eyes followed. “He’s wearing a white shirt, see? And he always keeps a jacket tied around his waist.”

I figured that, between Arwyn’s habit of securing a jacket upon his hips, and his extraordinary height, Deek would have NO problem spotting him again, on his own.

And I firmly believe Arwyn set that up, timing and all…plus he wore a white dress shirt to make it easy for me to identify him from a distance.

Earlier this evening, I stepped out for a short stroll and came across two halves of a perfectly ripe avocado left behind on the steps of someone’s home. A transparent plastic knife stuck out of one half. I gingerly touched it to discover it was at the peak of perfection, and would be a very tasty addition to my veggie-lentil stew. I looked around to see if anyone was nearby, that it might belong to. Nope. Someone just left it there. (Or maybe a resident of the house those steps belong to, had dashed inside for a moment to grab a shaker of salt or some lime wedges, to complement the avocado. I don’t know; I didn’t hang around.)

So I snatched it up and held it in one open hand and, halfway back home, found a small basket that obviously once held berries or figs from today’s Castro Farmer’s Market. I picked it up and placed the two halves of the avocado in it, with the knife still sticking out…then continued my walk home, enjoying the cool autumn air. Only an hour before had I been able to reenter my room, and I was glad to have gotten everything back into their proper places, including comforters, throw rugs and work station.

Deek had forgotten that today was my bedbug eradication day, and was waiting for me around the back. Where he was seated with the pups, and a bunch of long branches of a marijuana plant, thick with fresh “shake,” which leaves he was in the process of stripping off, in preparation for drying somewhere else, some hidden location I guess, where warm air would blow out from a vent (perhaps a laundromat).

We had a nice visit, but I told him I won’t be able to enter my room for another hour and a half…and it wouldn’t be ready for the pups for another hour after that, if he was planning to have them visit. I sat down on the slanted sidewalk to play with the doggies, who vied for my hugs and scritches. Flaco is so sincere! She stood beside me with one paw raised, looking up at me with great affection. So of course I swept her up in my arms.

Lucky took it all in stride, and just flopped down on his back beside me, and wiggled and made funny snorting sounds while I rubbed his precious belly. Deek was focused all this time on stripping and sorting out the leaves.

That veggie-lentil stew studded with dollops of fresh avocado was drool-worthy BTW!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Brindlekin Sleepover Tonight!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 7, 2021 8:05 PM

Deek dropped by a half hour ago, said I can have them over for night…it’s gotten colder outside, so they need a break. He was cordial, nicely dressed, well mannered. Not a smidgeon of erratic behavior or thought to be witnessed. The pups just enjoyed a hearty meal, and are now blissfully tucked in for the night. Flaco loves the new box I found in the basement: deeper and thus more secretive, like a tunnel. She went nuts digging away in it, soon as she entered the hovel. See pic, notice the scratched-out back. It’s dark and cozy in there, I just used some light for the photo. She’s back inside the box right now, she loves the option to hide there, or in the cupboard. Don’t know why neither doggy cares to hide under the cot, as I’ve set it up just for them: a dark, private, comfy space, too!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Finally!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 6, 2021 9:04 PM

I stepped out for a short stroll while the doggies were deep in puppy dreamland, and lo and behold, I bumped into Boulevard Joe on Noe Street, by the PG&E electric box buried beneath the sidewalk, with the cement lid removed, so he could do his thing, charging several devices.

So I FINALLY got to tell him that, if for some reason, god forbid, Deek should be suddenly carted off to jail or an emergency room, the dogs should be brought to me. Because I don’t want Flaco & Lucky stolen by someone, and they get lost to us forever. Joe said they’d probably deliver ’em to Animal Control, which is worse. I told him if that happens, I should know about that, too, so I can get them out ASAP.

We talked about other things, too, including he and several other street friends are being drawn into an artist’s graphic novel, which is presently a work in progress. I told him I’d love to see it, when it’s ready. So that was a small victory for me, Wattson, towards Deek and pups’ further protection, and I’m SO glad that was finally accomplished.

– Zeke K-Holmes


My discovery. Click here for a larger view.

Subject: You will be charmed to see what I discovered…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 8, 2021 12:09 PM

…by the N Judah stop at Duboce Park on Wednesday, on my way to the Inner Sunset. See attached photo.


Re: You will be charmed to see what I discovered…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 8, 2021 12:35 PM

> Ach, my dear old pal….

Yes! His way of saying hello to you, via my hand. I thought it might be another author by the same name, as I didn’t know he wrote any foodie book. But the list of his other publications checks out, including coauthor Gene Siskel. See attachment.

The second pic is the other booklet I found at the stop: very Sixties! Ferlinghetti saying hello to me, I suppose…representing the beat authors in general. Now I muse:

Maybe I should set up a seance table somewhere in the Castro. Perhaps with the Sunday Noe Street artists, whom I look forward to seeing again, in just two days.

A very special NEW anniversary is coming up in my life, good doctor…and really soon. Care to guess what it’s about?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Another Breakthrough!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 9, 2021 10:34 AM

The dogs have started barking like wild more often as we go up or down the stairs, even without anyone present…mostly because they are either excited to step out or return to my hovel, or because they are announcing their presence. I have been getting them to quiet down, finally, by stopping them two or three times once we’re inside, and affirming with a deep voice: “Keep quiet now! Good doggies.” The treats just don’t work anymore; glad my voice does. At any rate, something REALLY nice occurred this morning:

As we stepped out the front gate for our morning stroll, there was Samuel (chihuahua man) and his two pups (half the size of Flaco & Lucky), on the sidewalk 20 feet away. Of course, my doggies barked up a storm, while the chihuahuas remained calm and silent. I tried pulling the pups towards Noe Street, but they refused to budge…in fact, Flaco escaped her collar and ran up to Samuel’s pooches. She barked and barked, but kept two feet away. I decided at that moment, to let Lucky approach them, as well.

Samuel stood there peacefully, said “It’s alright,” as I placed the collar back on Flaco. Then I handed him some treats, so my pups would quiet down and get to know him. After snatching up the goodies from his open hand, they backed off and resumed their barking, though not quite as vociferous as before. I was able then, to guide them away and in the opposite direction.

I want to note that Samuel seemed very pleased to feed and pet the pups, going by the broad smile on his face. And his chihuahuas seemed not the least bit perturbed by the impromptu meetup. They remained pleasantly blase through it all. Oh, something else:

Yesterday, I saw Flaco pick up another chicken bone, so I got ready to grab onto it, until she’d let go…which is the way it’s been going; she no longer gives any resistance, but allows me to release the bone from her jaws. However, just before I reached out a hand towards her, she dropped the bone and moved on. Amazing!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Special Anniversary Coming Up Soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 9, 2021 6:37 PM

Like you, Wattson, I’m not one for anniversaries of any sort, not just birthdays. However, I will make one exception, and that’s for something I consider important…sacred, even. And it will soon be the FIRST anniversary of this shining event. I’m leaving you to make one guess, before I reveal it. Plus this hint: I have mentioned the date numerous times to you, and is part of my present story cycle. Moving on now:

Deek picked up the pups a few hours ago. Again, he was congenial, clean in appearance and drama free. The pups were glad to be with him once more, and settled right in by his side. It was a warm, sunny afternoon and they basked in the sun’s rays, which made their brindle coats luminous with a golden aura. I brought him more dog food, and took his devices to charge. He said some clever things in jest…forgot what they were, but the main point is his cheerful demeanor. So I complimented him once more, over how well he’s doing, and how impressed I am.

Around two hours later, he returned to pick up his electronics, and told me the dogs are right around the corner, if I want to see them. He then called to someone from twenty feet away: “The dogs are still there, right?” It was Boulevard Joe, and he said, “Yes!” Apparently, he was watching over them, standing at the corner to see both Deek and the pooches, who were located on 16th Street, behind my building.

As I approached him, I was startled to see how nicely dressed he was: spotlessly clean and glowing! “They’re right there,” he said to me, and pointed to their spot, where they sat calmly on a couple of Deek’s jackets. So I spent a few minutes with them: great joy and sweetness all around, group hugs and kisses and belly rubs abounded…as usual. But I want to mention a bit more about Joe:

He was standing there all spiffed out, like a security guard for a celebrity…as if some honorable occasion was happening, in which he played a significant role. As if my own part in this scenario were of great import. Deek HAD said to me, “There’s Boulevard Joe, if you’d like to talk to him!” Knowing I had mentioned to Deek a few times over the months, how I’ve been trying to get a hold of him, but I rarely see him, and when I do, he’s always in a rush.

“Oh, thanks,” I replied, “but I just saw him two nights ago and we had a great conversation.”

I am now purchasing groceries from a corner store OTHER than Morey’s, because they don’t take food stamps, but this one does. It’s in the opposite direction on Noe Street, one block south of Market, where 17th Street intersects. This one’s run by an Arab family, and has been for decades. They are very nice people, and not without a sense of humor. When I stepped up to pay for several items, I said, “I’ll be using my EBT card.”

“Of course you will,” the clerk quipped. I chuckled at that.

I feel bad at having to end my friendly visits at Morey’s, after all the good things that have passed between us. But I can still get sundry goods there, such as dish detergent, toilet paper, Scotch tape and the like. What’s interesting about this OTHER shop, is that is where my now-deceased friend, Carl Betza, used to visit quite frequently, to chat with them, as well as make purchases. He died in October of 2010. I have never gone to that shop since, though have done so once in a blue moon, before his passage. Carl was a long-term friend of both myself and Chuck from Pennsylvania. All three of us lived at 9666 Market, each on a different floor. Sadly, that chapter in my life is long gone. Though I DO converse in my mind with him, quite often…wondering what he’d think of all these changes in the world since he kicked the proverbial bucket. And he DOES tell me, because I have a good idea of what he would say about this pandemic, Donald Trump, Deek and the doggies (he’d LOVE them) and so on.

But let’s see how this shift in my shopping habits will cause some shift in my reality. It’s sort of a big deal for me, since my world is such a small bubble. Anyway, tomorrow is Sunday, thus the street artists will return. I look very much forward to how this second meetup will develop. Miriam is quite the character, and she knows Arwyn very well, it seems! Maybe he’ll even walk by again, like he did last week. I must make a point of actually looking over her paintings, since I neglected to do that last time around. After all, it’s NOT all about me…I’m part of something bigger, and they’re in on it, one way or another.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll have a passel to report by tomorrow’s eve.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Special Anniversary Coming Up Soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 9, 2021 11:41 PM

> Well….does the anniversary have to do with the pups??

Yes. October 30, 2020 is when I wrote and published chapter 1 of Brindlekin Tales. The eve of All Hallow’s Eve. Look how far I’ve come in such a very short time!

> So good that Boulevard Joe has probably thoroughly absorbed the message about the pups, should something happen to Deek.

Glad you picked up on that, because I did not, until some minutes after sending you that email. I’ve never seen Deek and he working together on anything. Though, as bodhisattvas, I’m sure they’ve actually been closely aligned on many missions. So, in a sense, they set up this little scenario, as their way to let me know I am heard and respected. And to affirm in a subtle way, that my suspicions about a secret society are spot on.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The Final Chapter (part 21)

September 25, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17u]

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Newspaper in lieu of tarp looks just fine…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 1:32 PM

…as you can see by the enclosed photo. That’ll save me some moolah: four tarps (that I have to replace every time after bug treatment) = $31, newspaper (readily available all over the place) = $00 (and is easier to lay out on the floor, and replace whenever). The throw rugs do a fine job of beautifying my hovel, and hold down the paper sheets better than they did the tarps. The Bay Area Reporter, the most widely circulated LGBT newspaper in the world, has suddenly become even MORE indispensable than ever…right here in the Castro, the Heart of the Heart of Gay Mecca. Huzzah!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Newspaper in lieu of tarp looks just fine…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 4:03 PM

> I think there’s a definite aesthetic to newspapers on the floor! Colorful funny papers would work well, too. Do they even have funny papers any more????

I believe so, but colorful cartoons are not included in any free publication I know of. They’re mostly Sunday comics anyway, and thus a teensy part of the entire publication. IOW not practical. Besides which: these cheap, Amazon throw rugs provide the multi-hued impact my eyeballs so crave. I am content.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin.
To: My Dear Wattson.
Date: September 10, 2021 8:32 PM.

He showed up for his allowance, asked for a razor and more dog food. When he asks for dog food, that means he’s not planning to let the pups visit…and will disappear for three or more days. And then he started talking about getting Flaco pregnant, and collecting $1,500 for the beautiful pups she’ll produce. Said that some people through his SF connections got wind of Flaco, and are looking to mate their own dog with another diminutive one. They’re driving down from up north right now, and he’s arranged to meet them later on tonight.

I tried reasoning with him, told him that’s not love, that’s animal abuse…you can’t raise puppies on the streets, Flaco could die or get very sick, and so could the puppies. He said he has places where she’ll be indoors, why am I making a big deal out of this.

“It’s MY plan, Zeke, not yours.”

“Well it’s a bad plan,” I said, “a horrible idea.”

I then knelt down again, to pet Lucky & Flaco, seeing as they kept dancing around me.

“Why not let the pooches stay with me tonight,” I queried. “It’s been awhile. They love me, and they know I love them, and they love visiting.”

“Well, you’re seeing them now,” was his thoughtless reply. At that point, I had a strong urge to slam him onto the concrete. But I held my tongue, and kept that violent urge under wraps.

After hugging the pooches and enjoying their friendly greets for a few more minutes, I returned hovel to pack up a fresh supply of doggy vittles, and bring him another $60 and a razor. Upon my return, I spoke the following:

“Oh, you’re not gonna do that to her, you just love fucking with my head, you like to make me worry. Here’s the food and your money and the razor…god bless you all, have a beautiful evening.”

And off they went, as I lingered in that spot, watching them grow smaller as the distance increased, until they turned a corner two blocks down Noe Street. Gone. After barely a seven minute visit: gone! Again.

When I spoke against turning Flaco into his own puppy mill, he blurted out how one of his friends is in the hospital because of a fentanyl overdose, and he’s gonna get a leg cut off if he doesn’t come up with the money. Obviously, he made that up right on the spot, as justification to make that sweet little angel pregnant. I told him that, too.

“I don’t wanna hear your phony excuses, Deek. That’s just bullshit. It breaks my heart that you even talk like this.”

“Why would I even make that kinda stuff up?” he retorted, playing the innocent lamb quite poorly.

“I don’t know, but you do, from time to time,” I stated. Then he changed the subject:

“She’s gonna have babies, and you’ll get one of the puppies…you’ll be so happy!”

“No I won’t, I’ll be devastated. I don’t WANT a puppy, I want Flaco & Lucky to stay in my life, they’re my friends! No other dogs can replace them in my heart.”

So many days of misery seem to lie ahead for me, now. Thanks for nothing, Deek! However, knowing how bodhisattvas play a tough game at times, I realize it is my responsibility towards myself, to NOT allow the demons of sorrow, grief and despair best me. He is NOT gonna do any such thing, this is just another bipolar mood swing. Nowhere NEAR as bad as the last one, which was back in January when I took charge of the dogs for a few months, but not without major brouhaha and getting the cops involved.

He as much as admitted his bodhisattva nature several days back, by commending me on my incredible patience, courage and keeping a calm manner during that cycle of altercations with the building manager and Myrtle & son. Of which I’ve told him VERY LITTLE. (So where he got that information is certainly NOT from yours truly.) But what he showed me then, was he knows more about my adventures than he lets on. Indicating that he is, indeed, my spiritual guide, and that this is all scripted…they are acting out roles that make me into the hero of this play they’ve conjured up. THEY ARE ALL IN ON THIS! Deek KNOWS Myrtle and Adisa, the building manager, Dieter, and so on. And I bet he knows Arwyn, too…who, as you know, I accuse of being the AUTHOR of this script that is my life these days.

Plus they (the bodhisattvas) enjoy seeing me act nobly when a crisis erupts, so they toss one in now and then. This evening’s nastiness is just the latest.

I was about to step out to pick up my afternoon java, when Deek showed up. I was already almost at the gate, when he called up to my window. But right at the gate was a fire department medic, so I had to yell through him to get Deek’s attention. Don’t know why the fellow was there, but I’m guessing some medical emergency with Dennis or Dieter. He didn’t say, I just let him in.

Then, when I stepped back out with the dog food, etc., that same medic appeared in the hallway, asked me if we have an in-house manager. I said yes, his name is Kevin Bond, and directed him to his apartment. Figures my bodhisattva devils would throw in this extra curve ball in the middle of my latest conflict with Deek! It’s like all of a sudden, this flurry of crises swirled around me.

Of course I’m sad not to have the dogs over, sad for Flaco, and ANGRY at Deek for throwing this vulgarity in my face. It is my habit to purchase two Mounds candy bars every other night, to enjoy while watching some Alfred Hitchcock episodes, or a horror film or two. It’s become an important symbol of staying positive in the face of gloom or dashed hopes, regardless of all the ups and downs I go through. I ALMOST decided to skip the treat tonight, because of the sorrow Deek just nailed into my heart. But no, I concluded, that’s caving in to the demons. Be of good cheer, get your center back, enjoy the evening regardless, DO NOT WORRY, all shall be fine. Lucky & Flaco shall remain in good spirits and health. Deek is simply screwing with me (again).

That’s it for now, Wattson…wish I had better news to report. Oh, yeah, one more thing: amid all this arguing, he mentioned how there’ll soon be a THIRD dog in his charge.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 4, 2021 11:22 PM

> Oh, God. The fucking, fucking asshole. To even spin a tale about getting Flaco knocked up, selling the puppies, getting a third dog, all of it–he KNEW how it would upset you, but he did it anyway, premeditatively. On purpose, to hurt you. And his “friend” getting a leg amputated because of a Fentanyl overdose? Pure baloney. Never heard of an overdose-related amputation. A Fentanyl overdose means you’re dead, period.

He’s having a bipolar attack, though a mild one thank god. He’ll get over it soon enough.

> He’s mean, and he’s a liar.

His meanness and lying are part of his bipolar swing. Most of the time he’s NOT like that…as clearly evidenced by sharing the pups with me, among many other examples. He’s mostly stabilized at this point. He’s been growing out of it in leaps and bounds; this is a temporary setback. What is so extraordinary, is something he said several days back, that I meant to tell you in my last missive. But here it is now:

He so much as admitted his out-of-control mood swing in January (which included screaming about giving up the pups) was WRONG. He couched this confession in describing how he defended me to his street friends, told them something like:

“Look, Zeke felt he was doing what’s best for the dogs in taking them over for awhile. He’s my uncle and a good friend, so I give him that patience in return.”

At least, this is what he told me when his “friends” recently questioned why he still trusts someone who tried to “steal” the dogs. He wasn’t quite ready to admit to them that HE was wrong, and that I didn’t steal them…but he made an important step in the right direction. I just listened, didn’t respond at all, though was sorely tempted to say:

“You were talkin’ crazy, ranting like a wild man about giving up the pups. Your crazy behavior made me fear for the dogs’ well-being. You scared the shit out of me, so I took them to protect them from YOU! And keep them FOR you. You AGREED to that!”

Because I already TOLD him precisely that, some months back, and saw no point in repeating it. He knows.

> How I wish you could get the dogs from him and evict him from your life.

That’s impossible, so I don’t even dwell on it. If such an opportunity occurs, I’ll consider that a miracle. He WILL come to his senses, shortly. I guess my bodhisattva authors decided another cliffhanger this late in the trilogy would get my readers back on the edge of their seats…a final climax before the happy outcome unfolds.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek’s Shitty Meetup This Evening
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 11, 2021 2:08 PM

> I know, I know: but I’m expressing how it makes me feel when he pulls this crap.

I feel the same way, too, Wattson. But daydreaming about running away with the pups gets me nowhere.

> I’ve dealt with many a mentally ill person in my life, including bipolars, as well as other “disorders,” and I’m always disturbed by the mean, destructive elements in their personalities that get turned loose when conditions are just so. Knowing that it’s an irresistible compulsion doesn’t make it any easier for the target of these fits to endure.

I think a huge proportion of humanity is “bipolar,” just look at the Trumpturds, neo-Nazis and Christo-fascists all over the place! Yes, it hurts having to humor them, and sweating through worry over a potential tragedy they may cause. But I can’t even afford to allow myself THAT angst, as it just gets in the way. The only REAL answer is to find a way to stay centered, and trust the fates. NEVER allow such insane conflicts to destroy your ability to find happiness, and spread it to others. Self-fulfillment, or at least parts thereof, should not always remain somewhere in the future, like the proverbial, elusive butterfly.

> Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty horrific psychological abuse,

Oh, I believe you, good doctor. Your kind advice and words of wisdom reflect that very well.

> and there’s a certain glee in the perps’ eyes and demeanor. “I can’t help doing this, so it’s not my fault.” Maybe so.

I question THAT assumption, as I think many bipolar people do NOT think that way…IOW, they really can’t help themselves. Deek certainly fits that category. He has NEVER pulled that game on me.

> But the fact that they harbor such shitty cruelty within is deeply troubling.

It is the kind of family and community he grew up in; in fact the kind of SOCIETY he grew up in. Yet he possesses incredible saving graces. Which are now blossoming. It is therefore my own responsibility to rise above the miasma for my own well being, as well as for his…AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR THE SAKE OF THE DOGGIES.

The pups are my anchor, the light that guides my path. And that is what makes the entire situation so incredible and inspiring. I KNOW I am on my Hero’s Quest, so of course scary challenges pop up now and then. I should neither be surprised over that, nor cave in to nihilism. We will see what goes down, next time Deek shows up. I’m sure it will be a MUCH better meetup.

And I certainly couldn’t have gotten through all these horrendous conflicts without YOU cheering me on, old chap! And ONE major reason why I remain strong through my present dilemma.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The hint was there, six days before.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 11, 2021 7:10 PM

In my speaking about the bodhisattva nature in their context as guardians and teachers, I’ve mentioned several times, that they ALWAYS drop a clue either some time before, or some time after, they manifest a conflict in your world. The clue being something that gives you a spark of hope, or that lightens the blow…or in some other way suggests you’re being tested, and that what appears an imminent tragedy will NOT turn out that way at all. A clue which they plant in your mind like a seed, that will sprout at just the right moment. But until then, it remains a subtle, nascent twinge that you’ll barely notice.

In this recent conflict over Deek claiming he’s going to make Flaco pregnant, six days earlier he threw a tremendous compliment in my direction. Not that it stood out like a beacon, blinding me to everything else, at that moment. It was a sentence he softly slipped into our conversation (about how well I handled a string of conflicts in my building, earlier this year) that he knew would sink in later. And so it did. Though at the time I let it flow by and get swallowed up in the larger flood of conversation. I’ve already mentioned his unexpected praise to you, but that was yet beFORE he pulled the rug from under my feet.

It struck me just this morning, that he had planned to throw me for another loop soon, so dropped me a positive hint some days prior, knowing it would well up in my mind as a comforting counterbalance TO the shock. And so it did, only a day later. But between then and now, I made a point of sweeping away any negative scenario that popped in my head, by counting my blessings. Including how much incredible support Morey has given me over many months, regarding the pups and my difficult dealings with their master. As has Dieter, and, of course, YOU, Wattson! So I made this my time to recoup my forces, lick my wounds, and rise above my latest descent into Abaddon.

In fact, I visited Morey a short while ago, to pick up my two Mounds bars, and he suddenly blurted:

“Something really weird happened to me today!”

Of course I said, “Oh, and what was that?”

He then went on about how this young fellow, well dressed and with an expensive dog on a leash, stepped into the shop and asked Morey for fifty cents to finish his laundry, and he would reimburse him later that day. He left his debit card at home, or something like that. But Morey was put off by this strange encounter…he never saw him before, and it certainly wasn’t any kind of emergency. So he just replied:

“Sorry, I do not loan money out.”

I told him that WAS strange, and it doesn’t make any sense.

“And he had a Pomeranian,” he emphasized, “that’s an expensive dog!”

I didn’t challenge him on that, even though I thought, well, it COULD’ve been a rescue dog. My point being that, it was very nice of him to share one of his own funny incidents with me, after my doing same so many times! I would’ve given the stranger two quarters and be done with it, were I in his shoes. However, it’s HIS shop, and he went by sound intuition.

Upon departing, I deliberated further on so many GOOD things having come my way, as a result of Deek bringing Lucky & Flaco into my life. (A very GENEROUS and KIND act on anyone’s part, I’d say…let alone from someone living on the street without a penny to his name.) Then I reminded myself how important it is to be patient and kind no matter what, and that the universe always makes up for any seeming misfortune, one way or another.

No sooner had that thought arisen in my psyche, than I looked down to discover a crumpled bill by my left foot! I didn’t snatch it up immediately, but wondered if it was more than a dollar…say, five or even ten. Upon unfolding it, to my surprise, it turned out to be a twenty!

Not than money in any amount could ever make up for thoughtless abuse of my beloved brindlekin, or other heartbreak…but I took it as a bit of cheerful kindness by my bodhisattva guardians. And a reassurance that my fears are illusory.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The hint was there, six days before.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 12, 2021 7:36 PM

> A nice little gift of $$ from the universe!

The right place, the right time.

> Something a lot like that happened to me. Attached is a piece I wrote a few years back, a letter to a friend.

Love the tale…shot with adrenaline throughout, I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. Almost down to the dollar, exactly the price for one, cheap motel room. With a Pakistani running it…so, I dunno…stereotypically expected for Los Angeles’ vast, outlying regions? How everything fell into place for you and Erwyn, like a funky old Victorian steam engine that worked, but barely. Just crankin’ along, stop-go, stop-go, stop-go. Eventually gets the job done, but not without some blood, sweat and tears. How things went, before electricity.

> And tomorrow, I’ll tell you about further developments in the magic cat-calling incantation dep’t.

I trust you didn’t summon Yog Sothoth! Or use a monkey’s paw! Can’t wait to get the update…I’ll lose sleep tonight, anticipating.

I’m in the middle of watching a thriller, “Frailty,” that came out in 2002. A father becomes a murderer because he thinks angels gave him these instructions…and forces his two sons to participate. The younger son becomes a mass murderer as a result. Stars Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 13, 2021 10:34 PM

After all these years! Don’t miss my reply to her!

Click here for a larger view.

Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 1:17 PM

> Sweet!!

And it couldn’t have come at a better time, in light of my present anxiety over Deek’s pups. Another bodhisattva clue to boost my faith? Of course! What makes it so striking, is its spiritual aspect, in that Snackboy is long dead, yet his spirit came forth just at the moment such support is most relevant and appreciated. For my memorializing him on the web, and preserving his remarkable, pre-Youtube videos…he just returned the favor!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Snackboy: click here to watch his videos.

Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 5:15 PM

> On 9/14/2021 1:17 PM, Ezekiel Krahlin wrote:
>
>> he just returned the favor!
>
> Indeed he did!!
>
> Meant to tell you the rest of the magic cat incantation saga. Couldn’t get to it yesterday.

Oh, I was on tenterhooks waiting to hear about it.

> So: A few days ago, we had some out-of-town visitors. They showed up with their dog, a rescue who’d led a sad life chained in a yard for years and years. I was a teensy bit put out, because this is, after all, a kitty sanctuary and general temple of cat worship, and these people knew that, but they didn’t mention that they were bringing a dog, and when they arrived, they just sort of let the dog, Midnight, loose in the yard. He and Surely made friends quickly, as dogs do, though it wasn’t that instant passion you sometimes see when dogs meet and sample one another’s pheromones. But they got along fine. But you never know how a dog is going to be around cats. It can be very tricky. The orange kitten, a bold and confidant creature, touched noses with the dog, she on the steps and he below so they were face to face. The kitten fluffed up a little, but was not overly perturbed and held her ground, and Midnight behaved. All seemed to be well, so I relaxed. Though I did have to lay down the law when they brought Midnight into the house. I explained that our other cat, Ernie, is nowhere near the cool customer the kitten is, and if he popped through his cat door and encountered a strange dog in his house, he’d totally freak out, and he’d recently disappeared for 36 hours and I didn’t want it to happen again. They complied, and put Midnight outside.
>
> About an hour later, we heard a sharp bark; one of our human guests stepped out just in time to see Midnight lunging at the kitten, who streaked away, fast as a bullet. They got Midnight under control, and put him in their car (in the shade, of course) to keep him out of further trouble. Meanwhile, we couldn’t find the kitten. She’s deaf, so calling is useless. She’d been seen streaking toward the front gate, but then everyone’s attention was on the dog, so no one saw where she actually went.
>
> For the next hour, we fanned out, looking for her. Erwyn and I were plunged into despair; as Erwyn said to one of the guests: “We’d rather have the house burn down than lose that cat.” We were all grim and silent, thinking our private thoughts. Mine ran along the lines of: If that kitten is gone, you people are on my shit list forever and ever. I didn’t blame Midnight; I’m definitely of the school of thought that there are no bad dogs (well, maybe a few), just bad owners.
>
> I stood in the yard, and the thought occurred to me: Maybe it’s time for a repeat of that incantation. I got my memory into gear, and was reconstructing the sequence of words in my mind, when PLOP! The kitten dropped down out of a tree onto a lower branch, about ten feet away from me.

I’ll just skip making any remarks about the thoughtlessness of your guests, how they made the cat disappear again, and say:

Well that was INCREDIBLE! I don’t believe in spell casting, prayers or meditation, except as an aid in calming oneself down, and focusing on what’s important. However, they sometimes DO seem to work, but I don’t write it off to synchonicity. It’s more like our bodhisattva guardians have a sweet nature, and a sense of humor. So sometimes they’ll play it that way.

I also think those who are gifted with spiritual abilities, CAN successfully use tarot cards, crystal balls, or whatever. But ONLY as a tool for focus, for the power always resides in the heart, and not in any object. We CAN impart meaning into objects, even those that are otherwise mundane. Such as a coffee mug left behind by a dearly departed one…it has REAL value to you, thanks to the loving hands that once caressed it so many times.

Then, maybe, something could happen TO or AROUND it, that directly relates to the now deceased person…whereas there’d be no significance of said event occurring to, or around, any other item. For example, maybe his or her special pen shows up in that particular mug one day. You’d rightfully take that as a sign that he or she is communicating to you; they they’re alright, their spirit is with you. How the pen got there may not be unusual, as perhaps a visitor picked it up in another part of the house, and later plunked it into the mug, without you being present, and without knowing the importance of either the mug or the pen, TO you. The guest departs and later that evening, you notice the pen in the cup.

In sum, I do NOT believe any incantation or prayer is necessary for a heartfelt wish to be answered. The cat would’ve shown up both times, regardless. It’s just that bodhisattvas love to put some magic in our lives, now and then. And they ARE quite mischievous. We’re like children, to them…albeit most beloved. They already know existence IS magic, just not in the superficial way some people take it.

I advise you, though, to never again allow a guest with a dog, free rein of your place, including outside. I’m sure your visitors ruined their welcome.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: A beautiful comment to one of my Snackboy videos just showed up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 14, 2021 7:07 PM

> Neither do I. But these precise, sharp-as-a scalpel coincidences do get a person’s attention. That these coincidences occur in our huge, sloppy universe is the point here, and indicate that what we might think of as “magic” is simply the manifestation of hidden empirical processes…

That’s how I see it, too, Wattson. I have this theory that certain properties of reality are intentionally hidden from us, until we have reached a certain point of knowledge, awareness and/or experience. Both on a personal level, and on a species level. Regarding the personal, there is obviously a diverse range of awareness. In a way, I think that the phony enlightened ones (spellcasters, exorcists and the like) play an important role in shielding higher awareness from those who are not ready to deal with it. They get sucked into a trap.

And that, I believe, is why so many sages throughout the ages have stated that our lives are illusions…they don’t mean it metaphorically, but literally. Life is actually a two-level affair…rather poetic in the interplay. Each person’s life is a string of parables, one after the other after the other, and one within another, within another.

There IS a secret society of sorts, of more advanced humans…though nothing you’d find in the conventional scheme of things. I have suggested as such in “Free Me From This Bond.” And if my conjecture is correct, these are incredibly loving and humorous folks, whom I whimsically call “our reptilian overlords.”

Well, I’ve already covered much ground on these “spiritual” matters in my Brindlekin Tales…so I’ll stop here, as I would just be repeating my conclusions, along with my analyses.

> Nope. I usually don’t, but made an exception.

Great, glad to know that…I have enough to worry about. :)

Our pets are not just pets (“dumb animals” like some believe) but our guardians and soulmates. Our lifeline to Avalon, so to speak.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: More Grievous Behavior from Deek!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 17, 2021 9:17 AM

Everything seemed to be going just dandy, when he returned to pick up the pups…he thanked me for everything I do, and I thanked him for his kindness in sharing them with me. I made it clear he’s already burned through his entire allowance for the month, and will have to wait two weeks for it to resume. He was fine with that. (Though I did add I’ll try to muster up another $60, but he’ll have to wait a week before I can do that, if at all…no promises.)

I reminded him that doesn’t mean I won’t have dog food for him at any time he needs it, and that whenever he wants a break from the doggies (whether for just an hour or two, or longer), he can still drop them off. IOW: I emphasized to not let lack of allowance be an excuse to not pick up more food, or have them visit me. He was fine with that, too. We’ll see; I do have my doubts he’ll abide without squawking, before this month is over. Or that he’ll probably not have the pups stay with me, if money isn’t involved.

After that brief but friendly meetup, I wished them all a very good night, and, since I was already outdoors, decided to take my nightly stroll up Noe Street, to Duboce Park and back. He was still there when I returned, though wrapping things up to go. So I approached, and chatted a bit more, being in the good mood I was. I remarked at how well Flaco and Lucky have adapted to being indoors, that they no longer get upset when it’s not a time to visit me, though dropping by outside (for Deek to pick up more food, or receive some cash).

He then erupted, said, “Why do you call her Flaco? Her name is LA Flaco, she’s a female.”

I told him that was the first I heard him call her that, he’s always addressed her as “Flaco,” never “La Flaco”…and besides, in Spanish her name should end in an A, not an O, as in “La Flaca.” He then griped how I always ruin a nice visit by saying stupid stuff, he’s always called her “La Flaco,” what’s wrong with me?

With that, he turned on his recharged speaker, with the volume just loud enough to block my voice. So I pressed the off button, which perturbed him as well, and declared, “I’m talking to you, Deek, please respect that.”

Suddenly the doggies barked up a storm at a dog passing by, pulled on their leashes attached to a bicycle flung loosely atop a pile of junk in his cart, and it began to slide off. But I grabbed onto it, so it wouldn’t crash to the sidewalk and possibly injure the pups.

He yelled at them: “Lucky! Flaco! Stop it!”

“You just called her Flaco, Deek,” I remarked, then admonished, “Please don’t yell at them, there’s no need to.”

At any rate, I said I hope they have a lovely night, then quickly departed hovel. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I realized he needs to be admonished for tying the dogs up like that. I’ve seen his bike come crashing to the ground more than once, and the doggies quickly pulled away as far as their leashes would allow. This could injure them, even break their necks!

So, not feeling very good after his fucked-up behavior. He always manages to pull some NEW ugly trick out of his hat, to keep the misery flowing! Realizing as well, that he’ll continue to tether them to whatever bicycle he has at the moment, no matter what I say. Just as he’s never stopped forcing them to lie directly down on, or even sleep on, the filthy concrete…even though there’s plenty of clean cardboard available on just about every block in the city.

I am hoping, of course, this is a temporary setback in his behavior…the tail end of his latest mood swing, that is actually MILD compared to his last one in January. So it’s really NOT fair of me to claim he ALWAYS manages to inject misery in my life, as it’s been a rather long spell free of anxiety. Hopefully, last night’s outburst is just a momentary glitch.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: More Grievous Behavior from Deek!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 17, 2021 4:00 PM

> I get it. But I hate the way he treats you. It’s downright abusive.

Nothing compared to what so many other people are going through. The pups come first, I’ll deal with whatever else is hurled at me, by Deek or anyone else for that matter. Look at the shit I’ve already been through, all because of these angels…the nicest thing to ever happen to me. You’d think I’m some knight on a quest for the Holy Grail, and found it…so now the demons swoop down on me in their attempts to thwart my almost-completed holy mission. These are just two little doggies, and I’m an old man on Social Security, living in an SRO! Change of topic:

In speaking with Dieter yesterday, as he slowly struggled up the stairs with that portable wheelchair, he mentioned all the setbacks he’s gone through in the recent past. Not just the VA dragging its feet to get him a place at that Veterans home in Vacaville, but their turning him down for full knee surgery plus some other crises. Including the bedbugs, which he said forced him to get rid of most of his possessions. He was gonna fix up his room (paint the walls and so forth) but all these setbacks have wiped him out, both financially and emotionally.

What struck me most was his getting rid of his possessions! I haven’t been required to do that; they just treat the whole room as it is! Don’t know whether to mention that to him or not, seeing as that could get me embroiled again with the building manager. With whom he’s friends, AFAIK. And another thing that just came up:

As I entered the building after returning from the laundromat with another load to heat treat (just one more to go in this cycle; I put off the last two loads for a week), a repairman was on the phone to his office, remarking how he’s not gonna even touch the box, it’s screwed up! He was referring to the electronic security system’s circuit box nailed into the lobby wall. It’s all digital, and keeps tabs on the hallway sprinklers, the smoke alarms and the elevator doors.

I paused halfway up the stairs to eavesdrop, and it seems that installing the new elevator disrupted the safety circuitry, and nothing can be done to secure it again, until PG&E shows up to finish the job. Which won’t be till some time next month, at the earliest! I could be wrong about this, but that’s what I think is going on. The electrician was obviously frustrated. I don’t know, maybe he WAS from PG&E…or perhaps the company that sold the box to Ablahblah Realty. Anyway, I ran upstairs to fetch my spy pen, and recorded a snippet of the conversation. Annoyingly, a resident coming down the stairs interrupted my eavesdropping, so I had to end it. Here is what I got (just 36 seconds, can’t really discern much, except that something’s wrong).

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Hero’s Journey Is My Own
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 20, 2021 1:26 PM

Just a quick rundown, based on Joseph Campbell’s findings. My own comments are contained with square brackets. From URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey

–quote:

Campbell describes 17 stages of the monomyth. Not all monomyths necessarily contain all 17 stages explicitly; some myths may focus on only one of the stages, while others may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. In the terminology of Claude Lévi-Strauss, the stages are the individual mythemes which are “bundled” or assembled into the structure of the monomyth.

The 17 stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three “acts” or sections:

1. Departure (also Separation),
2. Initiation (sometimes subdivided into A. Descent and B. Initiation) and
3. Return.

In the departure part of the narrative, the hero or protagonist lives in the ordinary world and receives a call to go on an adventure. The hero is reluctant to follow the call but is helped by a mentor figure.

[My call was meeting Deek’s newly adopted dog, Lucky, which call I resisted for some time, but decided to accept…thus resumed our broken friendship, for the sake of the pup. My mentor figure is YOU, Wattson. This journey began around two years back.]

The initiation section begins with the hero then traversing the threshold to an unknown or “special world”, where he faces tasks or trials, either alone or with the assistance of helpers.

[This special world is Deek’s own world, which twisted paths and numerous obstacles I’ve learned to traverse. But not without much trepidation and grief…though the central, and major, influence is the brilliant love and friendship of first one, then two, doggies. Helpers have popped up now and then, from the most unexpected places and timing. Needless to say, there is a strong, supernatural aspect to entering this “special” world.]

The hero eventually reaches “the innermost cave” or the central crisis of his adventure, where he must undergo “the ordeal” where he overcomes the main obstacle or enemy, undergoing “apotheosis” and gaining his reward (a treasure or “elixir”).

[I believe I have just reached that crescendo, which has yet to peak, but will, very soon. My reward, of course, is the salvation of all three: the two dogs as well as Deek. Who plays the terrifying dragon of this innermost cave…whom I must befriend, not slay…I must win his complete trust.]

The hero must then return to the ordinary world with his reward. He may be pursued by the guardians of the special world, or he may be reluctant to return and maybe rescued or forced to return by intervention from the outside.

[How this end part will play out, remains to be seen. But I think it will be a rather smooth transition, because joyful.]

In the return section, the hero again traverses the threshold between the worlds, returning to the ordinary world with the treasure or elixir he gained, which he may now use for the benefit of his fellow man. The hero himself is transformed by the adventure and gains wisdom or spiritual power over both worlds.

[I benefit my fellow man by sharing my Brindlekin Tales…my very own, remarkable hero’s journey.]

–end


Subject: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 20, 2021 8:20 PM

Early this afternoon I looked out the window to see a black and white van parked out front, with large block letters painted on the side: “San Francisco Medical Examiner.” I assumed it was Dennis…which was affirmed a little while later when I stepped into the hallway and overheard the medics speaking from the next flight up. Dennis’s apartment is right next to the top of those stairs leading from the second to the third floor.

Shortly after that, I stepped out to stroll along Noe Street, and seated myself on one of those concrete stools two block up, where trees overhang, and provide some cool shade; it was a short-sleeve day, almost hot. Along comes Arwyn some moments later, across the street and heading towards the Castro. I know he saw me. Interesting that I only saw a week prior, crossing Church & 15th Streets on my way to pick up another loaf of raisin bread.

He’s THE most important character in my hero’s journey (in a greater arc of time and adventures), so I guess he’s preparing to reenter my world, by first appearing before me for short moments, more and more frequently. He’s not without a sense of humor.

I’m expecting Deek and pups to show up again, come tomorrow or Wednesday…the day I said I’ll have another $60 to hand him. Though he JUST might show up early tonight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 11:54 AM

> Jeez. I wonder who discovered the body.

From what I overheard in the hallway, it was a friend who discovered him. But I think all who knew him were prepared well in advance, in light of his decline the past few months. I really know nothing about him, he’s always kept to himself. Moved into this building in 1997.

> The plot thickens!

Like a slow-growing mold, and twice as boring.

> Here’s hoping.

It’s an agony and an ecstasy. No way around that; the only solution is to accept the situation as it is…grow stronger, stay balanced…do not collapse into grief, anger or nihilism. Do NOT worry. All easier said than done.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Dennis Has Died
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 1:37 PM

I just encountered Dieter on the stairs, as we were both stepping out. Told him that Dennis just passed on. “Dennis?” he queried, not sure who I meant. So I added, “Dennis Simms.” He then knew who I meant, and said that’s a shame.

“At least he died in peace, with little pain…and in his own home.”

“Yes that’s true,” he remarked. He then informed that Dennis was the winner of the Bare Chest Calendar contest some years back. Which must’ve been decades ago, as you’d never know it by his appearance since he took up residency here back in ’97.

Anyway, once we got down to the lobby, I pointed out the sign by the elevator, about his death. Which he would not have otherwise noticed until his return, since his bad knees do not inspire him to turn around 180 degrees unless urgent. He can’t even walk without using his folding, portable wheelchair for support.

Dieter also told me the good news, that the Veterans Home in Yountville will soon have a room for him, in the new wing they recently built. So that’ll be in three or four months, that he’ll depart from 9666 Market Street.

“So, another long term resident leaving our distinguished manor!” I exclaimed.

“Yes!” he quipped, “they’re getting rid of us all!”

We then wished each other a good day as I held the gate open for him, while standing in the blazing beams of the early afternoon sun. Second uncomfortably hot day in a row, here in San Franshit sco.

“The pups will love hanging out here, with my fan turned on,” I thought, as I slogged my way up Noe Street to make a few mundane purchases. “Once they show up.”

Click here for a larger view.

Re: The Hero’s Journey Is My Own
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 21, 2021 6:41 PM

> This is fascinating, and provides a highly useful lens through which one can view one’s travails. I’m looking at my own trials in a Campbell-ian way after reading this.

It’s based on, and an extension of, Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes. They go hand in hand. As you know, Campbell is Jung’s greatest disciple. The hero is one of the major archetypes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_archetypes

Jung’s teaching of archetypes, including the shadow self, pretty much bailed me out of a chaotic mindset and saved my sanity. Everything clicked in for me, once I exposed myself to this theory. And Campbell is frosting on the cake.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Another Showdown with Deek Coming Up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 12:54 AM

Much as I wish it didn’t have to be this way, I have already begun admonishing him on certain matters, because my conscience calls me to it. Even though he’ll probably threaten to take himself and the dogs away from my world. This is what makes him a very scary fellow…to hold the pups over my head as a strategy to keep me too afraid to speak out. But my speaking out has already begun, as of tonight.

After I brought the pups to him, he decided to linger at the ATM alcove right below my window, for a couple of hours. Fine with me, as he was quiet…however, it weirds me out when he camps right outside, after we say our farewells for the evening. IOW he’s still there, but I’m not welcome! Well, his loitering nearby is not really the issue, but I sensed something was up.

Around 11 PM I decided to step out for some air and a short walk, before hitting the hay. I assumed Deek had departed some while ago, but no, there he was sitting with the pups by the ATMs. Flaco & Lucky, once more, were forced to lie down on the dirty sidewalk. I actually tried to slip away towards Noe Street, hoping the pups wouldn’t spot me…but Flaco began her little barks, to demand I come back and say hello.

So I did just that, which is when Deek asked me for a cup of hot tea and a razor. I told him okay, but I thought we already said our goodbyes earlier, and I’m really not ready to wait on him some more. He said never mind, but I waved it away, said no, I’ll make you some tea. So several minutes later I returned with his cherry-berry tea and a razor.

There were several other people hanging about the ATMs, with one actually withdrawing some money. They were NOT homeless, but a friendly and gentle little gathering. Anyway, I noticed what appeared to be a black leather sheath about a foot long, sticking out from under one of Deek’s legs. “Is that a machete?” I thought. So I pointed at it, and said:

“Is that a knife, Deek?”

He seemed distraught that I should bring it up, and slid it entirely under his leg. I reached down as if to pull it back out (not really intending to, but to work his nerves a bit), but he blocked access with a hand.

“No, there’s nothing in it, it’s empty.” He remarked.

“You’ve told me more than once over the years, that you never carry a knife,” I persisted. “Why do you have one now?”

“I don’t, it’s empty.” He seemed nervous that the folks hanging around us might overhear.

“Well, I’m curious anyway, let me see it.” Of course he refused, because I’m sure there really WAS a knife there.

So I dropped the subject, and pet the pups for a few moments, then told him that my $215 monthly food stamp allotment is temporary, it will only last so many months, because it’s just a boost during this pandemic. But by the time I’m back to a measly $19 a month, I hope I’ll come up with some other way to still give him an extra $40 per week. Then I brought up the cardboard:

“It breaks my heart, Deek, that you don’t love and respect these doggies enough to make sure they don’t have to rest on the filthy concrete. How do you think Flaco got that gum in her lovely fur?”

“I have no idea,” he replied.

“Well, the sidewalk is dirty, they get that crap in their fur, and lick it later on. It’s so easy to find clean cardboard no matter where you are.”

He continued to brush me off. Neither of us raised our voices through this, BTW…it was a “soft” argument, I suppose.

“You should also keep your bike tethered to the shopping cart, so it doesn’t slip.”

“What bike?” he asked (as if he didn’t know what I was talking about, the snarky punk).

“When you HAVE a bike, I mean. I’ve seen it come crashing down many times, and almost hit your dogs. Bikes are heavy enough to injure them, if they land on their little bodies.”

“Oh, okay, I hear ya. I’ll tie down the bike from now on.” But I did not find his agreement so reassuring, as just a wish to brush me off.

“Well, Deek,” I embellished, “It breaks my heart that I even have to tell you these things! I don’t understand why you don’t already cherish them enough…that you force me into a situation where I have to bring this up in the first place.”

“Alright, whatever, those are good suggestions, I’ll follow up for now on,” he replied in a rather insincere tone.

Then the conversation went to the pregnancy issue:

“I’ve bred pit bulls for twenty years, I know what I’m doing! I raised seven in one litter, and the money I got for them helped me keep a roof over my head.”

I told him I don’t believe any of that, and that any professional breeder would tell you how dangerous it is to breed a dog while you’re living on the streets. And that Flaco is a sweet little dog who should NEVER be turned into a puppy mill. And how badly your even suggesting you will, breaks my heart. She could easily die from your foolishness. What would you do in an emergency, if a pup gets stuck? You’ll need a vet on hand, and you just can’t afford that.

Then he ranted on how Flaco already gave birth to pups TWICE before he adopted her…and that she’s actually almost six years old now. I told him now that’s a lie…she’s barely three, and when you got her, she was barely six months old, she couldn’t possibly have gotten pregnant. Her nipples were perfectly flat.

He continued to talk smack, while preparing to leave. Told me to stop worrying about everything. I told him I’m not worried, that’s not the issue…I’m trying to keep you from heading down a dark path.

Before parting ways, I told him I’m not gonna bring him tea or a razor any more, until he makes sure they have some cardboard to rest on every night, if not something more cozy. After he left, I strolled about and thought some more on this:

No, I’m not gonna give him that extra $40/week so long as he doesn’t promise me he won’t get her pregnant, and so long as he continues to not use cardboard, and not lash his bike securely onto the cart. What this will lead to, I don’t know…but I’m hoping it will nip this crap in the bud, and that he’ll continue to bring the pups over. Though he just might walk away for good. But I can NOT smother my conscience in this serious matter.

I can NOT let fear of the pups disappearing from my life, block me from saying what he NEEDS to hear. He promised me around five months ago, that so long as he was homeless, he would not get Flaco pregnant.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another Showdown with Deek Coming Up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 1:52 PM

> He’s canny, devious and slippery.

In a rather amateurish way. We’ve had serious confrontations before, and he’s always backed off and followed through with my suggestions…eventually.

> You’re right to be firm, but it’s a nerve-wracking balancing act on a high, high tightrope.

It’s terrible, Wattson. He sucks the happiness from anyone around him. Soon as you overcome his latest BS, he tosses you another left curve. I love the little angels with all my heart, yet the Sword of Damocles dangles over my head on a thin string.

> Your own well being is top priority, for obvious reasons, plus you are the doggies’ only advocate in this world.

I’m well aware of that, I will not let his devious nature get the better of me, health-wise or in any other way. From the bodhisattva perspective, he is challenging me not to allow fear to rule my roost. I would LOSE if I kept my mouth shut about the pregnancy issue, along with forcing them to lie down on concrete, and not lashing down his bike. I have already spoken out on all three, so the Dragon of Fear has been slain.

I will continue to emphasize these points, whenever it seems necessary…withOUT anger. For one, I will remind him that starting a puppy mill on the streets is a serious crime, someone will report him, and the dogs will be taken away…he’ll go to jail for quite a long time. Or if he DOES get away with it, he’ll be stuck with the pups, no one will purchase them, he can’t afford to feed them all, they’ll most likely die, and so might Flaco.

Before I give him the extra $40/week, he’ll need to promise (again) that he won’t get Flaco pregnant, so long as he’s living on the streets…as well as provide them cushioning from the sidewalks, and lash that damn bike down.

Jesus fukkin christ!

Anyway, I used my EBT card for the first time, at a local health food store…all went well. Morey’s shop does NOT take food stamps, and I feel awful having to take my business elsewhere, for the most part. I’ll still buy dry goods there.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 8:31 PM

He was hanging with two other vagrants behind my building. So I told him my concerns about Deek’s intention to turn Flaco into a puppy mill. He agreed that it’s a crime, and it could easily turn into a tragedy. But he added that Deek has never brought this up to him.

I also told him about the pups being forced to sleep on the concrete, and putting their lives in harm’s way by not lashing down his bike. Joe did NOT offer to talk to Deek about this, however I pointed out that others need to address the issue besides myself. It’s called peer pressure.

At any rate, he listened well, though I don’t know if it will go anywhere that would give Deek serious thought. And, dammit, I FORGOT to tell him the most important thing of all: that if anything should happen to Deek where he’s separated from the pups (such as a sudden arrest or hospitalization), the doggies should not be left stranded or adopted by anyone on the streets, but be brought to me ASAP…they have safe haven with me. Artemis only knows when I’ll have that chance again! It’s been several months since I last spoke with him.

Ironically, Deek’s cousin Dominic was there, crouched against a wall and wrapped in a blanket. His bare feet stuck out, and one toe looked badly infected. I just nodded at him, as I didn’t want to get sucked into HIS drama, which he does all the time, even worse than Deek!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 23, 2021 10:03 PM

> I think you’ll get another chance to talk to Hollywood.

I sure hope so, but he said some disappointing things today, such as “the dogs seem to be happy with Deek.” As if that means it’s okay to allow his bike to keep slipping off the cart, or sleep on the dirty, cold sidewalk, or turn a sweet little doggy into a puppy mill.

> Deek has a cousin on the scene??? Oy!

I’ve mentioned him many times in past posts…though that was mostly in my earlier tales, including pre-Brindlekin. He also has some OTHER relation (which I didn’t know about) whom I ran into last year, and asked what I’m doing with his dogs. I mentioned that to you, also…said he’s Deek’s brother…the resemblance was uncanny. Never saw him again, except for that one time. San Frinshitsco is the kind of place where creepy people will suddenly show up out of nowhere, and get right up in your face. Scumbags you’ve never SEEN before, let alone even heard about.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I just realized I miscalculated when I told Deek I’m gonna give him an extra $40/week, in the same breath I told him I can give him another $100/month. It should be $25/week. So I inadvertently set myself up for him to snarl at me for aNOTHER foolish reason.


Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 12:04 AM

During my meetup with Boulevard Joe, I glimpsed atop a scattered pile of possessions by his feet, a rather LARGE knife, the blade multi-notched on one side. It was slightly curved like a machete, of burnished silver, shiny new in appearance, and with a thick, short handle of lacquered wood or dense plastic. And then it struck me: that blade would fit perfectly into the scabbard Deek had with him last night, which he claimed was empty. I did NOT ask Joe about it, nor even let him think I noticed the pretentious shank. It looked very much like this:

Click here for a larger view.

Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 12:52 PM

> Kinda ominous, nyet?

Oh I’m sure he just uses it to pick his teeth and shave his balls.


Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 1:30 PM

> In that order, j’espaire…

Votre espoir est écrasé…judging by his breath, I think not.


Re: I finally got to speak with Boulevard Joe, w/o Deek present! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 24, 2021 11:04 PM

Boulevard Joe seems to have an idiotic penchant for large blades. A couple years back, a cop shot a rubber bullet into his hand, for brandishing a sword while galumphing down Market Street, and being ordered by said cop to put it down (though he didn’t, hence bravely suffered the predictable consequence). But the resultant wound made him eligible to get a hotel room for an indefinite period of time…so that worked out nicely. Joe seems to believe it’s his constitutional right to bear a knife…but I don’t think he quite grasps that waving it around and causing alarm in his vicinity is NOT part of that right. But the length of the blade IS not legal if beyond two inches in length or so, here in the city. Quote:

“California Fixed Blade Knife Laws Pocket knives under 2 inches are generally legal without any restrictions. Other types of fixed blade knives like Dirks and Daggers are heavily restricted with regards to where and how they can be carried, but both types are still legal to own.”

And to address the question of carrying a sheathed knife in public:

“It is an offense to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place, with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is 7.62 cm (3 inches) or less. However, possession of a lock knife in a public place without good reason is an offense.”

I tried to tell Joe these things, several years back, but he’d have none of it. So, yeah, he’s kinda nuts…and scary.

Anyway, THE DOGGIES ARE BACK, and snoozing away to their little hearts’ content. Before Deek departed, I emphasized that running a puppy mill is a crime, and you can go to jail a long time for it. And I DON’T want that to happen to him, he’d lose Flaco & Lucky forever. He didn’t care to hear me out, so just snarled a bit and took off. But I will persist, with periodic admonishments…and NO increase in his allowance until he affirms the promise he originally made seven months ago, about not getting Flaco pregnant so long as he remains living on the streets.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The Final Chapter (part 20)

September 3, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17t]

Texting with Wattson – 8/20/21 to 8/21/21

Pic: flaco sleeping

Pic: lucky sleeping

Pic: chicken-salmon entree


Subject: The shroud of dachshund actually DID come to me unbidden!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 1:45 PM

I was neither searching for some image to use, nor even participating in a forum that had anything to DO with dogs, shrouds, or anything else in a vein related TO this pic. It just popped up five days ago, in the midst of a thread discussing the pandemic. Unfortunately, I can’t track down that particular Reddit sub, much to my frustration, because I now realize the value of documenting how I stumbled upon it.

At any rate, someone uploaded the image without indicating why it was even relevant to the topic at hand. Then someone else wise-cracked, “Isn’t that the Shroud of Turin?” As if to make SURE I didn’t miss it…as if I had a bodhisattva guide IN that discussion, to present me with the perfect visage that I HAD been wishing to find, though kept it in the back of my mind for a future search. (Recall that I originally came up with the concept of a wiener cerement in February…and figured I’d get around to it some months later, to include in my upcoming Sherlockian spoof, “The Hounds of Basketville.”)

It could EASILY have been any other breed, but no, it’s definitely a dachshund, and a LONG-HAIRED one at that. It never even occurred to me, in trying to locate a suitable shroud-like image depicting a dachshund (if such a peculiar find is even out there), that a long-haired version would make the perfect doggy Jebus! But there it suddenly was, staring right back at me in the most surprising moment!

A classic example of what Carl Jung calls “synchronicity,” or actual, supermundane communiqué? I hesitate to conclude the former, as it strikes me as just way TOO synchronistic for its own good. FYI, initial reverse image searches coughed up ZILCH to help me discover its source, or any reference TO it. Curses! However, today I tried such searches outside of Google and Tineye, and came up with curiously inexplicable and vague results, mostly to do with one Eduardo Nieves from Mexico, who uses the image for an avatar. Also, references to “Eduardo Cachorro Meme” show up, such as this video with spooky background music:

“Cachorro” means “puppy” in Spanish. “Eduardo” seems to be a popular meme in Mexico, but I can’t learn anything more about it. Makes me wonder if I’m barking up the wrong tree [badda-bing badda-boom].

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: And, guess what…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 7:35 PM

…doggies are back again! Deek mumbled something about how sometimes Flaco gets annoyed with Lucky one moment, then the next, she’s all happy with him…then about how he’d like to go bike riding, maybe into the night. So perhaps he’ll ask me to sit them till sunrise. I believe he will, but I’ll know for sure later this eve, when he picks up his resurrected devices.

I suspect those were just excuses for a further act of kindness, that I spend even more time with the pups. Seeing as Flaco and Lucky are typical brother and sister, getting on each others’ nerves now and then…but otherwise a very loving relationship. May also be the nonstop chaos of the streets–especially since Deek is in the middle of it all, by necessity and preference–which could make the pups irritable at times. And are they getting enough sleep out there? I doubt it.

At any rate, they certainly earned their keep yesterday! There’s this filthy, angry vagrant been hanging out in front of my building for the last few days…often sitting down RIGHT BESIDE THE FRONT GATE! Screeching obscenities at the top of his lungs for HOURS, whether seated or marching up and down the street. Epithets like “f*ggots” and “n*ggers,” threatening to injure people if they don’t give him food money, and so on. Imagine having to put up with this, right below my window…and having to STEP OUT with the pups when he’s there! Well, for the most part when I emerge with them, he’s not right beside the gate, but further down the block. Until yesterday afternoon, that is.

As I approached the entryway, I saw his back was pushed up against the stationary half of the gate. And he was howling his usual threats to anyone strolling by, as well as to customers already seated outdoors. So I shortened my grip on their leashes to keep the pups close by my side, knowing of course they’re gonna go full-throttle manic on him. Sure enough, soon as I pushed my way out, they got right in his face with the most insane snarls, baring of teeth and feral barks you can imagine! Everything short of actually biting him…they put on a really spectacular show of raw ferocity!

The crazy dude freaked out immediately, snarled at me and the brindlekin (for which I scowled right back) while snatching up his meager possessions…then ran off to parts unknown, shrieking like the Furies themselves were about to rip him a new one! Within seconds, the sidewalk outside was pacific once more, while grateful customers applauded the doggies as we commenced our afternoon stroll.

Now contrast THAT with another vagrant I met one day prior: fifty-four or so, a bit portly, of jovial spirit and neatly clothed, including tightly lashed bedroll and knapsack without a stain or speck of dirt to show. He saw me with the pups, and greeted them kindly:

“Hey, little doggies, how-ya doin’ today?”

Of course they barked up a minor squall until he held out his hand, whence they grew quiet and sniffed away. Well THAT lasted but a moment or two, before they backed off and resumed their strident barks. Which is their usual wont with ANY stranger no matter HOW gentle, or even with someone they know, but don’t often see. I suspect their behavior in such scenarios would be uneventful, were just ONE of the mutts in my company. For I surmise their protective instinct towards each other (as brother and sister) kicks in, when together. At any rate, he got a good laugh out of it.

I DON’T know the fellow’s name, but I imagine he’s seen Deek with the dogs more than once, and enjoys their company now and then. It’s really NICE to meet a homeless person who is NOT scary, crazy or filthy, and whose company I could actually APPRECIATE. So if I see him again, I will make a point of asking his name, and engaging him in conversation.

Chihuahua man’s name is Samuel, BTW.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 9:38 PM

…that Deek wanted the pups back, instead of letting them stay overnight. He also said he needs a fresh supply of dog food, even though I already gave him that just two days ago. This is the THIRD time in a month he said it was stolen! I told him he’s been asking for more dog food TWICE as often than ever before, and I can’t afford to keep this up. Until recently, I’ve been allotting him 5 cans of wet food, and two gallon-sized bags of kibble, once a week. But he’s DOUBLED that, over the past five weeks! The idea here is that I SUPPLEMENT his dog food expenses, not cover them totally! Very frustrating.

Regardless, he was mellow through it all, apologized and promised to not lean on me so much for the puppy vittles. I’m still PO’d at him for yelling at Flaco yesterday, and yanking on her leash. This was in response to her pulling forcefully in the other direction, towards my home…rather than go back outside with him. He was ANGRY at her for that! Unbelievable!

I told him in no soft terms: “DON’T yell at her, it’s not necessary. And NEVER yank on their leashes!” He immediately said, “Okay.” No resistance to my reprimand, but still: WHY do I have to keep chastising him for abusing those sweet little pups? What the FUCK is wrong with him? I HATE the idea that I’m gonna have to get harsh with him again, but his THICK skull is hurting Flaco & Lucky! I refuse to believe he’s that stupid. Doesn’t he realize that repeated yanking on their necks could cause serious damage?

I’m STUCK in a situation where everything between us is a public spectacle, where I can’t just lash out at him for his abuse, THOUGH IT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDS AT THIS POINT. But I can’t catch him alone, especially when he always seems to be in a rush to go elsewhere, whenever he stops by.

I’m at wit’s end.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: And, guess what…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 22, 2021 11:02 PM

> Yay to the pups for chasing off the obnoxious lunatic!

Indeed. They took care of the problem with impressive expedience.

> Dachshunds are fierce little things when they need to be!

And I got to see it firsthand. Inches from his face, sharp little razor teeth exposed and ready to shred up that snarling, spittle-spewing mug. Grrrrr!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 23, 2021 12:02 AM

> I suspect he was jealous when Flaco spontaneously demonstrated that she’d rather be with you. People who live on the street often have a fragile sense of worth, and lording it over their animals, whom they see as lower on the totem pole than themselves, gives them a temporary ego-boost.

I understand, but he should know better…and not just for the doggies’ sake, but for his own conscience in the long run. Should he lose them by his own hand of ignorance, he’ll burn to death in his own, personal hell. And I WON’T be there to assuage his guilt; the friendship would be OVER. For at that point, if I remained by his side, he’d eventually adopt aNOTHER dog or two, and put me through the same, horrid, slow disaster.

So he HAS to know better. I just can’t do this on my own; OTHER people need to join in and call him to the carpet. Not a single one of his homeless friends seems to be any help in this matter. I was hoping that Boulevard Joe would listen to me, and see to it that Deek take better care of his pooches, but he’s kinda fizzled out on me over the last two years, to become an acquaintance from the past, rather than a regular friend in the present. Yet I’m perturbed that he hasn’t bothered to take it upon his OWN shoulders, of his own accord! HE should know better, as well.

> And it’s unconscionable that he should ever use you as any sort of figurative punching-bag. No good deed, etc….

He knows I like tea, and gave me a box of loose black tea he found tonight, still sealed in the pouch. Nice of him to think of me, but honestly I’d MUCH rather do without ANY thoughtful gifts from him, in exchange for treating the pups with love and patience ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the time.

Lucky & Flaco are the most emotionally stable, kind dogs I’ve ever met…they are SO EASY to care for, not the least bit neurotic, moody or short tempered. It was VERY SAD to see Flaco look back at me with longing, after Deek’s burst of anger and pulling her forcefully onward. No wonder she’d prefer to stay with me!

As Deek prepared to leave, instead of returning hovel promptly, I held the dogs’ leashes until he was ready to go. This way, Flaco wouldn’t start tugging on her leash to return to me (because I was still with her). And, once he was ready, both dogs happily pranced alongside, and Flaco didn’t even look back once.

THEY parted ways before I did: a happy solution. So I showed Deek a loving strategy, using kindness in contrast to his short-tempered burst. Previously, he was always in such a rush to leave, he didn’t give me time to assist their departure, but preferred I return home promptly. Thus my abrupt breakaway from Flaco caused her some dismay.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Disappointed…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 23, 2021 1:12 PM

> Oh, I’m not excusing him. Just an observation. I see it all the time with homeless people here.

Some with roofs over their heads aren’t any better, as you well know, good doctor. They want a vulnerable, innocent creature to kick around. It’s sick as fuck. I will find a way to drive home to Deek, how massively ugly it is to express anger at the pups for ANY reason, and to yank on their leashes is even MORE deplorable. I just DON’T understand why this remains a problem, since he’s pretty much improved in all other ways.

> And I agree–if anything happens to them under his watch, cut him loose forever.

I would not tolerate his presence anywhere near me, I’d drive him out of the Castro. But I pray it will never come to that.

> Sweet, sweet little doggy angels…

I consider their care a sacred calling. If God is love, then dogs have it in spades. As for Samuel a.k.a. “chihuahua man,” I learned his name just last night when I stepped out for some air. I saw him returning with his own barkies; he smiled and I addressed him:

“So you know my name, what’s yours?”

“Samuel,” he answered while kneeling down to scoop a dollop of chihuahua plop off the sidewalk.

“Oh, well that’s a good name” I replied, for lack of something better to say.

I then wished him a good evening and went on my way. So that was a nice exchange, if somewhat brief. I was careful not to impose upon him…and I guess he’s ashamed for his screechy behavior previously, so I’m also cautious not to hold that over his head. Or even mention it.

Now, Flaco still tends to pick up food off the ground, while Lucky seems to have gotten over it. Three incidents in the past week:

I caught her with a flat, dried out wedge of luncheon meat between her jaws…about the size of two credit cards, though triangular and twice as thick. She resisted as I held firmly onto her prize, but waving a ducky treat over her nose quickly resolved the matter. Couple days later, I suddenly found her with a large hunk of baguette in her mouth. She was looking up at me, as if awaiting my approval, that is: she did not gobble it right down. The moment I grabbed onto the bread, she let go…no doggy snack required. That was a nice surprise!

Then just yesterday she proudly wielded a drumstick that appeared out of nowhere, but again gazed up at me for a yea or nay. Of course it was “nay,” though for a moment I considered letting her enjoy the roasted flesh, as it was all in one, intact piece. The moment I grabbed it between forefinger and thumb, she let go. I tossed it into a nearby bin, so other dogs may not be tempted.

All these times I’ve had to remove found morsels from her mouth, Lucky paid no mind. As if he knows not to interfere, that I always act on what’s best for them. They BOTH know I’ve got their back, as I know they have mine.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek dropped by with the pups for several minutes, then…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 12:20 AM

…they all left. After he collected his $60 weekly allowance, of course. And after the doggies smothered me with their boundless affection…Lucky nipping away at my jacket’s right sleeve, up and down and up and down, like a barber’s electric razor, his little white teeth creating a temporary pleat in the process. I’ve never seen a dog do that before; he’s so silly! And all this time I cradled Flaco in the crook of my left arm, with my face pressed against hers. She radiated happiness to be with me again!

“Oh, I can’t have the dogs over tonight?” I coyly begged. He said maybe tomorrow, he’s got to get going, some business to tend to. (I can’t imagine what kind of mission that would be, if the pooches need to be with him. He’s just making it up…asserting his “ownership” over them.)

He said the doggies are okay, and they now have a little tent. All this is fine, and he was polite, mellow, clean appearance. It’s a delicate, cool night anyway, perfect doggy weather…and Flaco & Lucky appeared to be in great health and spirits, as usual. I did remind him that the dogs LOVE to visit, and I love having them, and they deserve their little breaks from the street.

But he didn’t cave in, and I didn’t care to force the issue, as he nonetheless came off serene and collected. And I’m sure Flaco & Lucky adore their new tent!

He also asked me to break a twenty, which was a nuisance because I don’t have the bills for that upstairs…so marched on over to Rosenberg’s, whence the clerk gave me two fivers twice. I hate putting shopkeepers out like this, it’s just not my style. It may be Deek’s, but it’s not mine. Just as it’s not my habit to hold conversations out my window, where every Tom, Dick, Jane and Harry knows my business. Deek sometimes starts talking to me at length while I’m at the window to signal that I’m home…which annoys me no end. So I have to gesture “hold on, I’ll be right down,” then when I step out I remind him NOT to start a dialog while I’m still upstairs.

No one looks out their window any more, so sometimes passersby glare up at me, like it’s the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen. And to this day I wonder WHY looking out one’s window no longer seems to be the proper thing to do, unless you’re some crippled, aging shut-in staring out a grimy porthole. Whatever happened to the public commons?

Once I handed the bills over, he and dogs and shopping cart rambled back up Market Street, towards downtown. Though their final destination may only be a couple of overlong blocks further up, where many homeless gather at night on that corner. Seated, slumped, camped out,  twitching, snoozing, unconscious or OD’d atop the tiered, concrete steps that open to a tundra-scale parking lot scattered with Safeway shopping carts and the vehicles of revenent patrons. Or perhaps Deek was traversing a few blocks further bay-wards, by the Civic Center, another late-night hot spot for the ungrateful undead.

Flaco looked back a couple of times while I stood there and watched them vanish into the sultry-cool night.

I expelled a sigh of disappointment (though not so much, because my three angels are doing VERY well), then returned hovel. Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson, but guess who was back at the front gate, sitting right beside it? That disgusting, stinky cussing vagrant! It’s like he just popped out of nowhere; he wasn’t there when I stepped out! At least he was sitting quietly for the nonce, but he always asks me–and anyone else who enters and exits–for spare change. He’s barely two feet away, and I can only turn that key so fast in my haste to distance myself. I always ignore him totally, but ready to spritz him with capsaicin, should he try something.

The REAL problem, is that at least TWO residents of this building actually hand him a blanket and some cash now and then, while he’s slouched right by the gate! Don’t they give a flying fuck about how that will just EMBED him there? Doesn’t his screaming anti-gay and racist slurs bother them at all? Well, I know at least ONE of them lives at the back of the edifice, facing 16th Street, so isn’t subjected to the idiot’s foul screeching. But I am, as are many others!

I KNOW the building manager would not appreciate any residents coddling these fuck-ups right outside the front gate. They COULD be violent, or cause other havoc in the vicinity, not to mention all those bigoted expletives!

[pause]

Well, sixteen minutes or so have passed since I completed that previous paragraph. (Note I said “sixteen,” rather than “fifteen” or some other number divisible by five or ten, as is customary in literature…so I just decided to break with that convention for one solitary moment.) I took a short break to stroll a few blocks up and down Noe Street, and meditate upon my latest meetup with Deek. Oh, and that putrescent derelict was no longer by the gate, or anywhere else nearby…thank the enslaved Shoggoths who rose up against their cruel masters, the Elder Things.

I am so pleased with Deek’s newfound good manners and spirit these days, that my letdown at not having the pups visit tonight is a mere blip on my astral radar. For in my overwhelming efforts of many months, to protect the doggies as best I can, I have also achieved a remarkable transformation in Deek’s behavior and attitude! For which I am ALSO transformed…and it’s all been through my devoted efforts to move this situation towards a benevolent outcome!

All credit DOES go, however, not to yours truly, but to Lucky & Flaco: two astoundingly sweet-natured, kind and joyful little darlings who’ve ignited the spark of love in my heart like a blazing lanthorn! I look forward to the next time the mutts camp out with me; I’m sure it will be soon, perhaps tomorrow. However, I am just as jubilant over Deek’s progress, so much so that I know I can trust him implicitly with the mutts…that I need never worry about their happiness and well-being, ever again.

This has been the GREATEST lesson in my entire life, and my hope that sharing these Brindlekin Tales with the world will also put that same spark in my readers’ hearts, that the bowwows have in mine.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: They’re back! <3 <3 <3
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 12:01 PM

9:30 AM Deek showed up with the pups, he said they’ve been up all night, so will probably crash out right away. He gave me three items to recharge…will pick them up in a couple of hours, but the dogs can stay. He looked great, smiling and effervescent. So this affirms my last post, where I concluded he’s finally on an even keel, no choppy waters, and sailing in a positive direction. I thanked him profusely, and off he went on his bike.

Click here for a larger view.

As you can see, Lucky & Flaco are resting like a boss, after having enjoyed a full meal and lots of belly rubs, neck scritches and group hugs. Couldn’t have a better morning, with my brindlekin for company (knowing Deek is glowing with confidence), and a refreshing mug o’ java from Rosenberg’s…and listening to Randi Rhodes’ latest podcast. That gal rocks! If you haven’t heard of her before, I highly recommend you check her out.

I discovered her back in the early two thousands on the now-defunct Air America progressive radio network. I keep myself in the best company, every day…among whom YOU stand out like the north star!

Flaco has a small splotch of gum stuck to her side, which I will carefully remove in a short time from now. My little angels!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: They’re back! <3 <3 <3
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 27, 2021 1:58 PM

> Oh, yeah! Randi rocks, for sure!!!

Air America Radio Network also featured Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy, Al Franken, Nicole Sandler and Ron Reagan. I loved that show, and was SO sad when it ended…it aired on “Green 960,” just a short dial turn up from KGO’s 810 AM. Especially since they were a perfect replacement for the old, local KGO channel whose fantastic hosts got peremptorily kicked off once Cumulus took over. That was back in 2011. I’d fall asleep listening to Ray Taliaferro and his callers, some of whom became celebrities in their own right. Here’s an article about that tragic event, with interesting reader comments.

Well, now I’m confused because Wikipedia says the original KGO died in 2011, and Air America went off the air in 2010! I distinctly remember discovering Randi Rhodes et al, some months after Ray Taliaferro et al were wiped out! Maybe they were all reruns, and I didn’t know it? Hmm, I’ve gotta look into this some more.

I just finished removing the gum from Flaco’s golden coat…rubbed in a dot of margarine, let it sit for several minutes, then picked it all out with my fingernails. Here she is now, lookin’ pretty for the camera.

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

Re: Another article on lack of dental care in this country!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 29, 2021 1:57 PM

> Great quote from the article:
>
> “We say in America there is no such thing as class; when mouths open it will dispose of that myth. Full human dignity includes dental care.”

Yes, excellent wording. Though it’s devastating that we remain in the grip of medieval, Catholic notions of poverty and wealth. The idea that God frowns on the poor and exalts the wealthy, and other BS like that. We still use the words “landlord” and “tenant” for cripes sake! My prediction: the bogeyman of communism will turn out to be Santa Claus in our time.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I just gave Deek the remainder of his allowance…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 31, 2021 9:35 AM

…instead of withholding. He asked for a $20 advance three days ago. When I handed him the rest this morning, I told him I’m out of dog food. He said people are always offering him dog food, but it’s not the same brand I use, and they wind up pooping all over the place. He didn’t give me a chance to suggest he give me back $20 so I can buy more cans of canine vittles…he just said thanks and zipped off on his bike, leaving the pups with me again.

He did ask if having them stay with me so often were okay, no problems with other residents. I told him no, it’s fine, they love the doggies. Which is quite true. Then he rattled on about how he’s looking for housing, food stamps, whatever he is eligible for, but remarked how they keep turning him down because he’s not a total derelict, alcoholic, crippled and in a wheelchair, over 60 years old, etc., etc. That sounds about right to me! But he’s persistent, and that’s what really counts. I gave him such a positive boost by expressing what a remarkable act of kindness his sharing the pups with me is…and reinforcing that point now and then!

So I’m not gonna get him wrapped up in my budget woes, or get upset that he didn’t allow me to use part of his allowance to purchase more doggy chow. He’s actually doing fantastic, and I DO have four cans of food left, plus $43 in my bank account. So, just four days of marginal misery, and I’ll come out at the other end all shiny and new! I’m gonna hate shoving a twenty into the laundromat’s change machine, but I at LEAST gotta run the two large sleeping bags through the drier, so the pups will have SOME comfort before I can afford to do the rest of my laundry. Which will be on the third, when my next Social Security payment arrives.

It’ll cost me less than three dollars to process those sleeping bags…the rest of the change ($16) will go to more dog food. Wait a minute, I’m not thinking: I may as well purchase the dog chow first, and use a smaller bill to get my laundry quarters. I’ll still have $20 to “play” with…either for food for yours truly, or more food for the pups. The cans are $1.79 each (plus tax) whereas via Amazon, they’re less than $1 each, when purchased in lots of 10. So Amazon screwed me over twice this month…first by package theft, then by an unexpectedly SLOW delivery of canned dog food.

I almost canceled that order, but then remembered a few other times, when the estimated arrival seemed excessively distant…but the items wound up at my address in just three or four days, anyway. I hate the stress of this budget bullshit, and the utter stupidity of how society puts low income people into such pointless, often horrific, scenarios. We’re just a joke to the powers that be!

Oh, yeah, and the OTHER problem is, though Morey’s has the same brand of canned dog food, most of the cans are the mushy meat, instead of chunky…they may not even have any of the latter remaining, after my 3-can purchase yesterday. Infuriating!

I’m sure I could run up credit at that shop, but I refuse to go that direction, if only because I went out on a limb recently in order to squelch potential violence at their shop. So I don’t want to make them feel put out in any way, by asking that favor. That would create an awkward association well into the future.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Just how TRUE Deek’s story is, about him going hither and yon to procure whatever assistance he can, is another kit and caboodle. He may be up to something else. However, his excellent attitude these days, mostly neat appearance, and taking such good care of the doggies (obviously) is quite impressive, nonetheless. IOW:

What, me worry?


Subject: Every time I turn my head around…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: August 31, 2021 8:32 PM

…the pups are back again! Deek dropped them off about three hours ago. He was with this little guy yapping away in a friendly manner about SOMEthing, I don’t know what. Deek had his mini-bike with him, so I guess he wanted to scoot around awhile, ride with the wind and all that.

A couple weeks back, when I was sound asleep with Flaco & Lucky curled up beside me, Deek’s “Yo!” repeated several times woke me up. (But not the dogs, they were in deep snooze mode.) It was half-past five!

But I was not so bothered, considering all the good energy between us these days. Upon opening the front gate he said, “I’ll try not to make a habit of this.” I just laughed, glad that we now have this amicable relationship established for once and for all (no backsliding any more). Don’t remember what he needed at that time, did not want the dogs back.

Didn’t want any of his charged devices back, or money. Maybe he gave me another device to recharge; but still, that wouldn’t motivate him to disturb my sleep. I just can’t remember. Whatever it was, it must’ve been important to him…and I was back in dreamland a minute later.

Perhaps I dreamt it?

-Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: UPDATE: Elevator – Dennis – Building Mgr.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 1, 2021 8:32 PM

Elevator is ready to go, just waiting on PG&E to hook it all up. However, they won’t budge from moving their appointment any earlier than some day in October. Jeez!

Early last night I saw Dennis sitting on the stairway, just a few steps up from the lobby floor. Obviously, his fall was not serious enough to warrant overnight care…or maybe it did, but COVID patients got in the way! I said hello, don’t move I can get around you, have a lovely night. He had just finished speaking with someone on his smartphone, when I stepped in…guessing it’s his nurse’s aide. An hour later I stepped out to go to the back porch, and saw him now sitting on the stairs just off my floor. That means he moved barely 15 steps since I encountered him in the lobby!

Another resident came up the stairs, asked if he’s okay, if he needs any help. Dennis just said he’s alright, but thanks. I don’t know what happened since, though by this morning he wasn’t anywhere on the stairs, though one of his hospital shoes was lying there in the hallway.

I took the doggies out for their walk about an hour ago, and the building manager was stepping inside as I came down the stairs. The pups were hesitant in proceeding down each step…not because someone was in the lobby, but because they sometimes do that, in order to heel themselves. Which is a nuisance when they keep close while using the stairs; their polite manners sometimes don’t work as intended. They proceed a couple of steps, then pause until I “catch up” by squeezing my feet between them on the same step. They they repeat. I’d prefer they just go on ahead and remain several steps in advance of my own presence, which sometimes they do, especially when I say, “Mush! Mush!”

So I tapped each one on the butt: “C’mon, you can do this!” They didn’t bark once as we reached the lobby and walked right up to Kevin. They just stood around, patiently waiting for me to open the gate. We had a very nice talk, he informed me about the elevator’s readiness (which I shared with you above), and wished me and the mutts a pleasant stroll. But the most important aspect of this encounter was how QUIET the dogs were…and right in front of the manager, and in the lobby, a spot where they are most likely to bark up a storm.

They have also crossed paths TWICE in the past week, with residents and their dogs…and neither Flaco nor Lucky barked very much, or loudly. Closer to woofs than barks, and just a few seconds’ outburst. And all this without my having to distract them with a doggy treat, including today’s encounter with Kevin!

I also told him how well Deek is doing these days, growing in leaps and bounds. And that it looks like my getting the police involved was the necessary shock to make these changes for the better. I don’t think he cared for me to update him in this matter…though I DO think he’s impressed. But if not, so be it, for I am nonetheless:

In awe of myself, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 10:51 AM

This gives me all day and tomorrow morning to strip down my room, and get most heat treatment done at the laundromat. He apologized for taking so long to return, I said that’s fine and I’m glad he had such a nice adventure. Which was crazy stuff about getting lost across the bridge, up there in Marin County, and a whole lotta BS about drug dealers, girlfriends and ex-cons from some secret gov’t prison, and other nonsense that I’ve already forgotten.

Otherwise, he appears to be perfectly stable and in great spirits. The pups were happy to be with him again, totally mellow about departing my sanctuary. He’ll be back later today, to pick up two gizmos that are now plugged in for the usual recharge.

Earlier, as I returned hovel from walking the pooches, there was Kevin standing outside as if waiting for someone to pick him up (maybe a cab). The dogs were perfectly quiet as we approached, I told them to say hello, and Lucky stood up on his hind legs, with upper paws pressing upon his knee. He smiled and pet them.

A good start to my day, and I have managed to enjoy my two cups of java daily, keep the doggies well fed, provide for my own victuals, get all my clothing and bedding heat treated…and STILL have seven dollars remaining! Gee, what will I spend it on, my cup already runneth over.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 1:29 PM

> All quiet on the western front!

With a friendly “quack” echoing across the pond.


Re: Deek came back for the dogs, perfect timing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 2:06 PM

> What a thoughtful, intelligent-looking duck!

He stood right out of the flock (of images) when searching for “duck”…maybe duckduckgo.com had something to do with it. Then, when he suddenly spoke upon my first glimpse of his friendly face, “Say hi to Wattson for me!” I knew he was the right duck for the job.


Subject: Laundry’s done, but I’m ready to drop!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 5:40 PM

Back and forth, back and forth, four blocks each way, running one load after another on high heat for 40 minutes a pop. I usually stretch it out AFTER the bug treatment is done, as I don’t NEED so many fluffy blankets, and would rather NOT put that much stress on me. But I did it for the doggies’ sake…I want them to have as much cushy comfort as possible, and as soon as possible, once they return.

In order to accomplish this, I went without breakfast until after the laundromat closed, which was 3:30 PM. Just now I finished dining on two slices of Alvarado Street Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Never tasted so good! And generously slathered with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, to boot! Plus, a piping hot cup of Barry’s Afternoon Irish Tea. That’s the tea Deek gave me several evenings back…and it’s quite delish! Speaking of Deek:

After handing me the devices to be recharged, he bandied about what time he’ll show up to get them. I told him if I don’t answer at the window, he can find me at the laundromat. But then I added: after three-thirty is great, ’cause I’ll definitely be done with the laundry by then, that’s when they close.

So off he goes with the pooches, and off I go to bring my first load to the laundromat. No sooner had I gotten there and cashed in my five-spot for twenty quarters, than I heard a voice call out to me: “Zeke! What are you doing here?”

I turned around and saw Deek poking his head through the door. “I’m in a rush, don’t wanna wait any longer, I wanna get my stuff!”

I hollered back to just wait a minute, let me put my things in the dryer.

“C’mon, I gotta hurry. No one’s gonna steal your laundry!”

I then reminded him from across three rows of washing machines (no one else was there, thank Hera), that I’m not about to dance for him every time he snaps a finger. Having said that, I ignored the rest of his blabber and shoved eight, mismatched skinny throw rugs into the drier, along with the duffel bag used to carry them here. Which took all of twenty-two seconds. Jeez! I wasn’t about to do yet aNOTHER back-and-forth run just for one of his whims.

I bet he didn’t imagine I was gonna do more than that one load today…it’s all about his gangsta rap music. Nothing else matters.

He and the pups escorted me back hovel, whereby I ran upstairs to get the smartphone and Bluetooth speaker. Once more they departed, and I returned upstairs. Figures he’d pull that on me, knowing how busy I am today! I DID spot a mischievous gleam in his eye. Lucky playfully grabbed onto my pant cuff numerous times along the way, as Flaco and Deek happily tagged along.

Now, all that remains is getting rid of the tarps, and moving my workstation laptop, external monitor, two peripheral hard drives, a keyboard and a mouse to the closet area, so the exterminator has easy access to that section of the room. I can do all that tomorrow, with plenty of time to spare before he arrives, suited up like an astronaut.

BTW, Deek thanked me again, profusely, for all the good things I do, especially for helping with the pups. I told him their company is ALWAYS a blessing and an honor. He’s really happy as a clam these days! This is a wonderful outcome, n’est-ce pas? Maybe my trilogy should end here, or do you think, perhaps, I should wait until I’m crowned emperor of earth, which should take just a few more chapters, anyway.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Do you think this pepper is hot?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 8:27 PM

Found it by the curb on Noe Street last night, while walking the pups. No doubt a stray, left behind by our weekly Castro Farmers Market. I haven’t cut it open yet, to sample a piece, but wondering if you are familiar with this particular variety. I’m thinking of dicing it up and tossing it into my lentil stew tonight. Since I’m out of moolah to buy veggies for this evening’s dish, which I’m about to prepare.

SAVING THE PLANET HAS ITS LIMITS

Those white, crumply-plastic grocery bags are just the right size and durability for packing the dog food I give to Deek once or twice a week: five cans of wet chow, and two 1-gallon Ziploc bags of kibble. But I never need to bag my groceries since I always carry a backpack for that. I used to NOT wear my pack on those times I need another bag for Deek’s dog vittles, as an excuse to get one. But recently it occurred to me to just pick a clean one off the sidewalk, as such a find is often at my toe-tips.

Yesterday afternoon while returning from Morey’s I found just such a bag, checked it for cleanliness, saw it was good to go, so folded and stuffed it into a pocket. Almost back home after crossing 16th Street, a kind fellow walking towards me called out:

“Your bag just flew out of your pocket!”

I turned to him and said, “Oh, thanks…uh, where did it go?”

He pointed to the intersection of Market, 16th & Noe, with traffic whooshing by. And yep, there it was, fluttering along the curb of the MUNI island, stationary for the moment. It was then I decided that risking my life for the sake of a lousy plastic bag that I can easily replace in a dragonfly’s heartbeat is not worth it.

So I turned back around towards my building, leaving the renegade sack to its own, likely sorry, fate.

MY CARD, SIR!

Two days ago as I stepped out with the pooches, I spotted Dieter seated alone at the outdoor dining parklet around the corner: a small restaurant that serves Mediterranean style food. I often see him there, almost every day it seems, sometimes alone, but usually with a friend or two (or three). This is a great spot for him, as it’s just around the corner, and his bad knees make it difficult to walk very far. For which reason he’s always seen outdoors with a portable, folding wheelchair that he uses more as a walker than a seat.

Whenever he’s by himself, and the dogs are with me, I bring them over so he can pet and admire them, which he greatly enjoys. After a solid ten minutes of badinage, I wished him a good meal, and began to depart. But I was halted by the obstruction of a handsome fellow holding a chihuahua in his arms, and a homeless person with a shopping cart right beside. Not that they knew each other, it’s just how the stars aligned at that moment. So I remained close to Dieter to assess the situation, and decided to wait until one or the other passed by, rather than squeezing myself and the pups between them. For surely they would bark at the rattling of the cart’s wheels, as they are wont to do, when accompanied by an obvious vagrant. That particular combination really gets the brindlekin all snarled up.

But they remained in that one spot, so I figured I could walk around them, on the right side, furthest from the street bum. Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson: the moment I proceeded forward, the vagrant became animated and started pushing the cart in our direction…and the mutts vocalized their wrath in HIS direction!

I turned to Dieter and said: “See that? This goes on all the time, some homeless person in a nasty mood SEES an opportunity to cause a ruckus and WAITS until everything falls into place, then does his thing.”

Dieter nodded in agreement and, just at that moment, the strapping young fellow with the chihuahua addresses me (we are now within several feet of each other):

“See? It’s okay for a dog to be a dog now and then!”

I saw then, he was accompanied by a young woman, also carrying a chihuahua in her arms. I smiled back and replied:

“Oh, I don’t think my dogs are barking at yours, it’s the shopping cart rattling by.”

“Yes, I think so! Your dogs are very cute, what are their names?”

I very much enjoyed his gregarious spirit, and we had a delightful conversation. Turns out his/their chihuahuas were rescued from a meth lab! I told him a bit of my own story about Lucky & Flaco (that a meth dealer still owns them but he’s a nice guy, blah blah blah). They both were amazed, and wished me a happy outcome in the long run.

Before they departed, I told them these pups are so inspiring, I’m writing about our adventures on my blog, they are always free to read, just google “brindlekin tales,” brindle and kin are one word.

“But watch out,” I warned, “it’s already turned into a trilogy!”

Then off they went, and I, likewise. A few seconds later I realized I had my wallet on me, and in it are several of my brindlekin cards. So I turned about, rushed up to them and said:

“Excuse me, I have something for you!”

I extracted my card and held it out to them. The moment they saw the image and title, they were charmed, and thanked me for the card.

Who knows where this could lead to? These doggies have given me SUCH incredible aspiration!


Re: Do you think this pepper is hot?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: September 2, 2021 10:40 PM

> I’d be careful. The littler they are, the more lethally hot they tend to be!!

I just sampled it…not so much as a blush of heat. Though, immediately after thoroughly masticating a pinky-nail-sized piece and swallowing it, it occurred to me that it might be a fruit from an ornamental kind of pepper plant, containing some toxic substance that could put me in the box and six feet under. Upon that realization, my last thought, I keeled over and ordered one of my infinite doppelgangers to compose this missive, and all future ones. Hopefully, he learned his lesson by observing my sudden dismissal from this plane of existence, and tossed it away.

> A sensible decision, old chap. You can be sure the plastic bag would not risk its life for you!

I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath, Wattson!

> Serendippity-doo!!!!

Reminds me of the time, years and years ago, I came across an arrangement of doggy poo that was an exact replica of Stonehenge. I quickly ran home (just another SRO like this one) to obtain an old shoebox filled with assorted weird trinkets I absconded from the Archeology Department’s trash bin (including a collection of counterfeit scarabs and not-so-Native-American beadwork), emptied the contents onto my desk, then ran back to the miraculous discovery and gingerly slid it into the box. I had no idea how to preserve it, as it was rather moist and stunk to high heaven!

After considerable deliberation as it sat on my bed smelling up not just my own room, but the entire floor and the one above, I decided to dehydrate it in one of the ovens located in an area of the basement that served for a communal kitchen. So again, I carefully moved the extraordinary canine diorama, this time onto a cookie sheet…and inserted it into the gas oven set at approximately 165 degrees.

I kept close watch as the minutes passed into, well, more minutes…and it seemed to be drying out like you’d expect proper hound turds would. Then, after around 25 minutes, the house mom stepped in through the alleyway door that opened right into the basement, and its kitchen quarters. He was a burly, tall Swede…accent and all, and a handsome brute of a blond, who was the boyfriend of (and later impregnated) my college campus friend, Kate Krahling, whose name I adopted as my own, decades later…minus the G.

“Jesus Mary & Joseph, what is that STINK in here?”

I looked up at him from the large, communal table, like an uninvited guest to The Last Supper, whose sudden appearance caused everyone else to flee in great haste, including the guest of honor.

“Umm,” I drew out my reply in order to come up with some credible excuse. “It’s a science experiment?”

He glared at me: “Whatever you’re doing, STOP IT NOW, it’s stinking up the whole house! Take it to a lab, do your experiments there!”

And with that, he spun around and departed with a loud slam of the door. At that moment, my Stonehenge replica collapsed like a soufflé, and my heart was crushed. I never had a chance to photograph it before its unexpected fall from grace, so of course no one believed my story. As I’m sure you don’t either!



The Final Chapter (part 17)

August 1, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17q]

Subject: What a stupid day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 5:51 PM

First, the horrible threat from Spike Dewars arrives in the email, then, just a moment ago, I bump into the building manager outside, who told me someone’s complained about the pups again, and that the exterminator wants to treat my room EVERY TWO WEEKS! Triple whammy, and the day’s not over yet.

Re. the dogs’ “noise complaint,” it’s most likely the fellow with the two chihuahuas, whom I rarely see when I’m with the pups. Unfortunately, I saw him twice in the past few weeks, and the doggies barked up a storm the first time, but not so much the second. If Flaco & Lucky meet the chihuahuas several more times, I’m sure they wouldn’t bark anymore. But no, the asshole’s gotta be a drama queen, because prejudiced.

But I didn’t bring that up, I just told Kevin I’m not sure why the complaint, though they do howl when an ambulance or fire engine goes by, but not often, maybe once or twice a month, and only when the sirens linger.

As for the bed bug problem: I can’t possibly live like that, packing everything up every other week, laundering it all, then unpacking it again. It’ll drive me nuts. I’ll have to buy new tarps twice a month, because I’ll have to throw them away before each treatment. That will cost me $50 each month! Plus laundry costs. Or I’ll have to go back to the dirty, wooden floor, which wouldn’t be good for the pooches, let alone my own peace of mind.

At any rate, Kevin seemed rather reluctant to tell me about the complaint, so I doubt it will go anywhere. I’m so sick of nasty people.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: What a stupid day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 9:22 PM

> The threat from Dewars isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Ignore!

No problem. I just don’t appreciate another cycle of hostility to go through…not just from him.

> God, people who complain to the “authorities” oughtta be shot and put in a mass grave. Why can’t the fuckwad complain directly to you? Jeeziz.

He won’t because his hostility is actually against my having a homeless friend. Typical of elitist queers. I already tried talking to him several weeks back, about letting the pups meet…and he just screamed and walked away. All he’s doing is coming up with an excuse to target me, he’d rather try to make me miserable, even if it means the pups’ death. Most people find it hilarious, when the doggies act up; they put on quite a show! But it’s rare now. I can’t stand how some folks in this building set me up to feel fearful every time I exit or enter the building with these two, sweet dogs.

> The extermination business is outrageous. Can you refuse it??

No I can’t. I will be labeled as uncooperative regarding a health hazard for all residents, which can lead to my eviction. Besides, a refusal would require a lawyer’s backing, which seems impossible to get. Kevin DID politely ask if every two weeks is okay by me. I told him prepping for treatment is NEVER something I look forward to, because it’s a big hassle…but it needs to be done, so, yes, go ahead. You know, I always live in such a way as to never draw attention upon myself, but it persistently turns out opposite! The spotlight boldly glares down upon me, in spite of my quiet life.

> Every two weeks for how long? Indefinitely?

I don’t know, but I presume so. Had I an attorney on my side, things would go much better for me, in all these recent crises. But they are not amenable to individual cases that are pro bono, as I’ve since learned. Ya gotta have at least several other residents standing with you, before they’ll consider taking on the case. NO ONE is on my side in this building, because I am not of their bourgeois ilk. I’ve had to suffer ongoing gossip for decades here, and each and every time whoever was manager participated in it, if not outright provoked the enmity.

You’d think they’d have learned their lesson by now, after the recent Myrtle & son debacle…especially since the manager was part of it, and they all eventually collapsed, leaving behind BLATANT evidence of their illegal behavior. Chihuahua man knows nothing about this, so I guess that makes him think I’m a pushover. But I DID expect Kevin to cover for me, seeing as I have the goods on him, so to speak. Not only did I trigger Myrtle’s eviction, but also straightened out the disturbance coming from the Hohokum smoke shop!

Well, he’s doddering now in his old age, and may not last much longer. I see him every day with head bowed and shuffling along like a 90-year-old, though I think he’s around 74. And, as I’ve recently come to realize, all I need do is just walk the peaceful path, don’t answer hostility with same, but stand my ground in a soft-spoken manner, and trust that the Fates are on my side. They’ve never failed me before, so I doubt they will this time around.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 5:03 PM

Don’t know WHY this hadn’t occurred to me before now:

Wave a treat over their noses as we exit and enter the building. They LOVE their duck-jerkey snacks, so this just might be the ticket to get these nasty schmucks off my back. The idea just struck me a moment ago.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 5:51 PM

> So they don’t bark? Great idea!!

I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have a hunch it’ll do the trick. And as more time passes, they’ll get accustomed to encountering other dogs in the hallway…it’s just so infrequent, it’ll take more time. I think it was good ol’ Pterry Pterodactyl who whispered the suggestion in my ear. She always comes to the rescue at the last moment!

It was devastating to dwell upon being ordered to keep the dogs away, my heart was breaking. They would lose their only sanctuary, and my company; and I, theirs. An end to any happiness whatsoever until my death…I’d feel so sad for the doggies. I’d fight till the bitter end if necessary, even unto becoming homeless. But I managed to shove that worst-case scenario to the back of my mind, and relax somewhat…reminding myself to stay kind to my enemies, that SOMEthing would come up to resolve the matter. AND THANK PTERRY IT DID!

Another bodhisattva challenge flung at my feet, and resolved. Remaining calm, and free of worry as best you can, is always key. This juggling between Deek’s provocations and those within my building has been quite a reckless ride! But it looks to have come to an end. I’ve always hated roller coasters, even as a kid. I only got on once, and that was enough. I NEVER BOUGHT A TICKET, I WAS SHOVED ON!

One issue resolved; one more to go. Pterry’s in her Triassic heaven, all’s right with the planet.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I could kick myself!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 23, 2021 7:27 PM

> I think it’ll work.

Of course it will. And it’s only a few brief moments up or down the stairs. Better yet, when the new elevator is finally running, there’ll be considerably LESS surprise encounters to deal with. Especially from a certain, fucked up drama queen with two chihuahuas. I’m sure he’ll miss the opportunities to go running off to the manager to gripe about me.

> Truly inspired.

Thank you, but I feel pretty dumb for taking so long to come up with the OBVIOUS solution. After all, I’ve already read some online dog sites, one of which said to carry some treats with you, to distract them from barking at other pups. I just didn’t think of it as an indoor thing to do, as well.

> Back in the 70s, I took LSD with my queer (he insisted on that word) friend Michael, he of REQUIEM FOR A PASHA, which I’m pretty sure you’ve read.

Yes, I remember the tale well…and I just took a few moments to read it again. A sweet memorial so colorful and poignantly writ! Your friendship with him shines clearly through. 1990: not really so long ago. That was still my BBS and DOS game era, with my Philly friend Chuck directly over me, two flights up. Gee, I was only 40.

> We went to a big sprawling amusement park In Denver, hot summer night, LSD kicking in, surging crowds, rode the giant creaky dangerous old wooden roller coaster, our screams echoing through the universe, disembarked with faces and legs rubbery with hysteria and adrenaline, rode on the merry-go-round for about an hour to calm ourselves down.

OMG, I got nauseous just reading it! I can’t imagine being on LSD in Denver of all places! Surely you had OTHER adventures while visiting the mile-high city…when you were both MORE than a mile high!

There is a pretty tame roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, less than two blocks from the cottage I rented, while working as a teaching assistant for special needs kids at Aptos High. Every night I’d fall asleep to the distant rattle of the coaster, folks screaming with delight, the thunder of the waves crashing, and seals barking.

Chuck even visited me a few times when I lived there, usually for the weekend, from San Francisco which I had left for three years, to settled in Santa Cruz County. Even my parents visited me then, when they decided to tour a bit of the West Coast. Chuck showed up when they were there; a very nice visit was had by all. I finally got fed up with the social dullness of SC, and returned to SF…and a year later, Chuck got me a room in the same building he occupied, and in which I remain to this day.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: New Mendo listserv has a separate “zeke” category!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 24, 2021 9:56 PM

I just started listening to Marshall’s “Memo of the Weird” latest podcast, when I learned about this new mailing list, hosted at Mendo.org, and that the creator has set up a folder in my name. According to his email to Marshall, it’s because I post so much stuff. Apparently, this new service extracts messages from the MCN announce list. So, whatever you post to the announcement list, also goes to Mendo.org, and vice versa. But you also can set your account to exclude your contributions to Announce.

This Mendo list excludes all fake news, conspiracy crap and hostile comments. So already an improvement, as certain egregious folks have been banned. And I have my own special folder! I imagine when I post TO Mendo.org, it will not be moved to “Zeke,” but stay in whatever category I designated. So I think a good strategy is to post all my original messages (mostly political) to Mendo.org, knowing they’ll also go to MCN. And I’ll just reserve my Announce participation to rebutting the hostile comments directed at me, or those posts spewing anti-vax, conspiracies or right-wing or religious drivel.

I’m sure SOME idiots will be upset over having a whole “Zeke” category at the other service…but most (if not all) of them will be banned, anyway.

Mendo.org archives all posts for five years, which makes it a nice resource. You can even download all of your own messages. It’s really a message board, which I prefer…but so does Mr. Titslaffer. Too bad, because I presume he’s one of the banned damned, as well.

You’ll need to subscribe in order to view anything there, but I’ve attached the categories list, to show you my name right at the bottom (because it starts with Z).

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: PUPS ARE BACK…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 24, 2021 10:15 PM

…and holding the treats over them like fish bait works like a charm! All they wanted were those goodies, didn’t care about rushing up the stairs and into my hovel. But that’s not the final test, as we encountered no one along the way. But I’m confident the duck-jerky snacks will do their trick in those cases, too.

Deek dropped by with the doggies a half hour ago, asked for a $20 advance, and gave me a smartphone and small Bluetooth speaker for recharge. He told me they’ve been having the runs today, in an apologetic tone of voice…but I assured him that’s alright. One or the other has had diarrhea several times before over the past year, and they always let me know when they need to step outside, and give me ample time to put on my shoes, coat, their leashes, etc.

I wished him an excellent night, and off he went to wherever. Didn’t tell me whether he’ll let the dogs stay overnight, or take them back when he returns to pick up his gadgets. For some reason he prefers to keep me guessing. But the pooches are now totally zonked out, they really need this respite…so I’d hate to wake them up and drag them back outside later on tonight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek “in a hurry” to…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 11:21 AM

… go around the corner, as it turned out. I woke up at 7:30 AM, and the pups remained in their dreamworld as I refreshed my pits with deodorant, brushed my ragged non-pearly off whites, and shaved my face (I never use a mirror to do that, BTW). Looked like the doggies didn’t need to go out yet, but I went ahead and prepared another sack full of dog food, because I was pretty sure Deek would ask for it upon his return. Which he said would be around 8 AM or shortly after, once he got breakfast at a church by Dolores Park, four blocks away.

“They still don’t let you inside,” he said last night, “but you can pick up the food and eat it wherever.”

Eight o’clock rolled around, which is when Rosenberg’s opens, and where I go for coffee. So I shoved six quarters in my pocket, put on my sandals, and reach for a jacket. But the moment I did, the pups suddenly popped out of bed, stretched on the floor and wagged their tails. And that is how I know, “Yep, they need to poopy.”

As we exited my room I showed them the duck treat pieces in my hand, to distract them from any possible encounter where they might bark. But again, there was nobody coming in or out. I gave them their treats anyway, once we stepped outside. Getting them into this habit is good training, anyway.

Good news: their sidewalk “gifts” were firm and otherwise normal…no runniness whatsoever. As I walked them back hovel, I heard someone call to me from a distance. Of course it was Deek; who else could it be, as pretty much no one knows me except for a small cabal of hateful people who would never DREAM of greeting me in any friendly way. He was crossing Market Street catty corner, burdened with a few items, including a coat flung over one shoulder, a small backpack, and a black, oblong Bluetooth speaker the size of a small boombox that looked brand new.

He said he’s in a hurry, just charge these items and he’ll return around noon. So he took the dogs and I returned home. But just when I opened the front gate, I looked back to see him turn the corner and disappear by the back of my building! Once I plugged in the devices he gave me, I checked to see if he really DID park himself nearby. I poked my head out the hallway window and, sure enough, there he was a third-block up, seated against the wall and chatting with another vagrant. And the dogs were lying down right on the hard concrete, dammit! He even had one of those cheap, felt blankets in a paper bag, that the churches give out. But what did he do with it? Dumped it right there on the corner, by the lamppost.

“I could’ve fed Flaco & Lucky first,” I thought, “but now they’re not gonna eat anything for hours!” Well, that’s not quite true, as he also showed up with two very LARGE, thick bones sealed in cellophane. Hopefully they’d enjoy that for the while. So he’s in a hurry for WHAT…to sit around the corner for three hours, then return to pick up his items?

Well, at least these days when he DOES hang out around my building, he remains respectfully quiet for the most part. (And that one time he WAS “noisy,” it wasn’t so bad, and it was daytime.) BTW I gave him some great compliments last night. Told him I’m so amazed by all these good changes in him, it’s almost scary. He asked what do I mean, so I first reminded him what a kind thing he’s done by bringing these pooches into my life. But he’s also growing spiritually in leaps and bounds. Rather than give him any particulars on this (which I knew would put him off, as it might remind him of his previous horrid behavior) I said:

“It’s hard to describe in words, so let me put it this way. I can just sense when someone is going through good changes, and you just shine these days.” His response?

“Thank you, I do try.”

I just stepped out to see if I could take a camera shot of Deek and pups from across the street. But his companion was awake, and I did not want to catch their attention, so put my smartphone back in my pocket and meandered back hovel. Stupidly enough, upon entering the building, Kevin the manager came walking down the stairs. I said good morning, and he responded with:

“What was all that yelling going on for a half hour outside?”

I said, “Huh?”

“It was about an hour ago, and I heard your voice.”

I had nothing to say, as I was confused over the accusation, so just shrugged my shoulders. Then, with a disgusted look on his face, he said, “Oh, never mind,” and exited, with coffee in one hand, and a small shopping bag in the other. But just before he passed through the doors, I replied in a quizzical tone, “Okay?”

I really didn’t know WHAT he was talking about, but realized some seconds later exactly what he was addressing. And that his gripe is bogus.

The thing here is that, yes, I was speaking with Deek, the meetup lasted less than five minutes, and no yelling ensued. (Kevin lives in the turret apartment, two flights up from my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher. And those two are friends, or should I say “partners in crime.”)

I had raised my voice a little, in exasperation over his request to change the songs on his phone. “I can’t do that, Deek, there are hundreds of albums now, and it would be a headache for me to figure out what songs are not on it already!”

It’s very quiet these mornings, thanks to the pandemic, and voices carry in the cool air. But Kevin’s accusation is totally unjustified. There was NO yelling going on. Should everyone just whisper outdoors now, to please his majesty? With all the screeching going on by our building late into the night, by drunks and tweekers, he’s really got his gall!

Kevin is harassing me. But I’ll just continue to wish him well whenever our paths cross, say “hello,” “good morning,” stuff like that. I suspect he’s setting me up for eviction, or some other horrible, fake grievance. It’ll backfire. Here’s what I think is really going on:

My confrontation with Myrtle & son, and Kevin’s own participation in their antagonism towards me, has caused him much animosity against THIS perplexed pilgrim. Too bad for him. I’m dealing with a child here, perhaps someone with progressive dementia. I was thinking of texting him, “We need to talk,” but I figured that would not go over well, as he persists in talking down to me, and never allowing us any REAL conversation.

I still wonder what the heck his collusion with Myrtle & son was REALLY all about…but I suspect he doesn’t want me, or anyone else, to know. He might even be afraid, and see my not keeping to myself regarding stuff that goes on in this building, as a threat to his own scurrilous activities.

But what do I know? I’m just an SRO occupant, and, as you know, single-room residents like myself are supposed to be invisible, since our kind don’t really count in their eyes.

Now, just when I was about to end this missive, Deek called up for his things, and the dog food. I didn’t bother to tell him anything about my difficulties with the manager, and chihuahua man. Seeing as HE is no longer any sort of problem, as well as not a very good listener. Nor do I want to put more stress or worry in his life. He gave me a hearty thanks, I said sure, any time, and have an excellent day. I really hope he does.

Oh: nor did I mention his being “in a hurry” to park himself around the corner was kinda silly. I could’ve fed the dogs then brought them out to him…or even let them rest a few hours more, inside. I think it’s best to leave things be, and just see how they develop. Overall, he’s doing remarkably well these days. Thus, it is NOT the time any more for criticism, as that would be “micro-managing.” And I abhor people who do that.

I just checked again: he is no longer parked behind my building, nor is his momentary comrade…whoever the heck he was, I’ve never seen him before. And that means nothing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek “in a hurry” to…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 1:10 PM

> What a morning!!

I know, okay? And right when Deek showed up this morning, I had some treats in my hand, ready to enter the gate. The pups were MOST eager to receive them, but I held back because for whatever reason, Deek is paranoid about giving them any treats. Poor Flaco kept looking up at me, craving her goody, as I walked the pups over to Deek, and comisserated with him for several minutes. She even stood up with paws on my thigh, sniffing at my coat pocket. I felt terrible, having to ignore her like that. But they DID have those huge bones to gnaw on. Or lick, because tiny jaws…but I have a hunch they didn’t care for them at all. They don’t like ANY snacks that are hard; they only go for the chewy stuff.

BTW, Kevin has yet to schedule me for that next bedbug treatment, as part of the new “every two weeks” plan. He’s actually done something like this before, late last year, that is:

Set up another treatment two or three weeks after the first one, and I said I’ll be ready. But it never happened, and the next “gassing” wasn’t till three months later. I conjecture he’s making some stuff up to try to make me break. Won’t work. Though I ALSO conjecture this is further tweaking of my emotional quotient a la my Bodhisattva Premise. Because it looks like the moment I get myself centered and calm once again, some other nuisance erupts. I can deal with it, though; I’m fine. The fact that Deek has gotten vaccinated, and is behaving so much more reasonable and friendly–and the pups continue their visits–all certainly keep my spirits aloft. Now, a little more about my complimenting him yesterday:

I also told him that I’m a pretty tough guy, but I don’t play it that way…and my physical appearance and gentle demeanor make most think I’m a chump.

“But you know better, Deek,” I noted. “I haven’t exactly gone easy on you. Nor have you gone easy on ME, for that matter!” Of course I left out the part where, had I gone easy on him, he’d stomp all over me, wreck my life and get me evicted, thus become homeless like him!

I added that he DESERVES praise at this time in his life, because he’s doing amazingly well these days. And I have grown mightily, too, thanks to all the challenges he’s tossed my way. At that point, he was eager to leave because, I think, my flattering words heaped upon him so copiously was a bit much for him to take. Or, assuming he IS my bodhisattva guardian, it is only proper to respond to such kudos with humility, and not make a fuss of it.

I therefore can NOT hold enmity towards Kevin and chihuahua man, either…for the same reason. IOW: we have no enemies, only teachers.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: New Mendo listserv has a separate “zeke” category!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 2:06 PM

> Holy cow!! What a development!!

I suspected all along there was a cow behind all this…in light of Mendoland’s rural nature. I’ve certainly made a splash up there! “Memo of the Weird” Marshall not only talked about this new board, but mentioned there’s a special section just for Zeke! I would NOT have known about this at all, had he not brought it up on his latest show. I still listen to every single one of his episodes, via podcast, in spite of his unwarranted antagonism towards me. And it sure has paid off THIS time around, like I hit the jackpot!

This Mendo.org message board is very well laid out, with excellent options. We should have a much better online community, without all those right-wing and conspiracy assholes…especially that Nazi lunatic (and his several admiring followers…even gyork is banned. He’s the one who spread wild gossip about me supposedly making money from my posts, and accused my puppy rescue project of being a scam).

By having my own category, folks are free to read or NOT read anything I post. Turns out that whatever I contribute to the board, goes directly to the “zeke” folder, no matter the topic. And that’s okay by me…it still gets sent to the Announcement list, so long as I don’t turn off that feature. There seems to be no automatic sorting by category, however. So I guess the administrator does it all by hand. Which takes a bit of concentrated work, I’d say.

My way of saying thank you to Mendo.org, was to post the following message, my very first:

Subject: God Only Knows – BBC Music
From: ezekielk
Date: Sun July 25 2021 2:54 AM

One of the loveliest songs by the Beach Boys, in a special rendering by the BBC. Let this sweet song remind us all that things of this world will reach a crescendo of seemingly insurmountable and disastrous odds before the clouds break up and the sun shines through. (Or the sunlight fades and the dark clouds come tumbling down, for us stormy weather lovers.) We’re almost there, just a few more steps!


Subject: Marshall read an excerpt from my latest tale!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 25, 2021 7:21 PM

Listening a fifth hour in to his podcast from last Friday night’s show, I was delighted to hear him read this excerpt I call “The Box & The Fluff.” So he’ll read excerpts I post to the Announce list, and that’s how I grab his interest for now on. I’ll just have to remember to make each one juicy, with a reading time of 4-5 minutes. No more just a paragraph or two (or three or four) whenever I announce my latest chapter!

I guess I could just post excerpts from my earlier tales once a week, between new chapter announcements. That way, Marshall’s Brindlekin narrations will accumulate into a tasty repast for the Youtube crowd. And I’ll also post links to them via my WordPress blog’s KNYO section.

BTW, I lost another “Zeke’s Mailing List” member, Millie Lasser. I know her through her homeless son I befriended over a decade ago. Her email’s bounced back twice, so far. My list never took off, though…at the most there were only four: you, Carlyle Lambourne, Chuck Kapinski and Millie. I dropped you from it, once I joined the MCN lists, ’cause you’d get the same stuff I post there, that I include on my own mailing list. So now I’m down to just ONE! But then a NEW “zeke” list has cropped up, thanks to Mendo.org…and it COULD turn into something interesting.


Subject: Doggy Dining with the Stars IV
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 27, 2021 6:52 PM

I just uploaded this video, which I took while feeding the pups a short while ago (4 mins.):

Watch Flaco & Lucky enjoy a hearty meal while an old ’30s, ’40s or ’50s movie plays in the background. Today I bring you “Woman on the Run,” a 1950 noir film directed by Norman Foster. Starring Ann Sheridan, Ross Elliot, Dennis O’Keefe, John Qualen, Frank Jenks and Robert Keith. Distributed by Fidelity Pictures Corporation, whoever the heck THEY were.

I love the gentle absurdity of playing an old, noir movie in the background while filming the pups noshing away.

Deek showed up around 5:40. I gave him a full $60 even though I already advanced him $20 three days prior. Told him that’s it for the month, no more money for a week, my budget’s really tight till then. Again, he said he’s in a hurry, and obviously the pups were, as well…to dash upstairs to their little sanctuary. As I turned to go, Deek hollered out: “Hey, look at this!” So I turned around halfway to the gate to see a HUGE speaker on a dolly, tethered to his latest bicycle.

“It’s just as big as the last one!” he declared with excitement.

“Wow,” I replied, “somethin’ else!” But then rushed to open the gate because I saw Kevin fast approaching, carrying a small duffel bag with those thick, round leather handles. “What the heck is in THAT,” I wondered, as I hurriedly fumbled with the keys in the same hand I clutched a Bluetooth speaker, while holding both leashes with the other hand, which was also prodding my right pocket for a couple of duck jerky treats. Deek hopped onto his bicycle, said “Thank you Zeke,” and I called back, “Thank you, too!”

And up the stairs we dashed, the doggies arf-arf-arfing with joy, all the way hovel.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson – 7/28/21

Pic 1 (large version)

Pic 2 (large version)

Pic 3 (large version)

Pic 4 (large version)

Video


Subject: And off they go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 29, 2021 11:41 AM

Well, Wattson, another sweet Canis familiaris visit has come to an end. When I brought the doggies down to him this morning, he apologized for not showing up yesterday. Something about things may or may not be working out with “my girl,” how she either can’t or doesn’t want the pups over…not sure which, as he didn’t elaborate, and I didn’t prod. (My immediate thought was: “How could anyone NOT love those pooches? Maybe he should drop her.”) But I assured him:

“That’s fine, you know I always take good care of them, you never need to worry.”

He had a bike with a huge garbage sack bursting with recyclables tottering over the handlebars, and a trailer to lug that ginormous speaker. The moment he thanked me and said god bless you, the bag slid open and spilled cans and bottles all over the sidewalk. The dogs stood around, patiently watching him clean up the mess, as I blessed him back and told Flaco & Lucky “stay with your master now!” They understood, and neither attempted to follow me back to the gate. Though of course their loving eyes watched me until I vanished.

I was pleased with not just how calm the doggies were, but Deek, too. Not a single flash of anger when the bag disgorged its contents. He simply began putting the escaped items back into their bag, as I left them to their concrete jumble world once again, wishing them only the best.

It was a colorful, O. Henry-esque scene I wish I had bothered to record with my spy pen. However, once returned hovel, I caught two brief scenes of them departing, as I aimed my Moto E out the window. Nervous about him possibly looking up and seeing me film them, both shots were quite brief. But I stuck them together, and uploaded the result here (22 seconds):

As for continuing my test of using treats to distract them from foot traffic up and down the stairs, it has passed with flying colors twice so far: once, yesterday, and once, this morning. The first time, not a peep out of them…the second time, a couple of woofs but no more. I have yet to encounter someone with their own pet, but I think it’s all under control now.

Though it’s been pretty much of a non-issue all along, I have to deal with a few mofos residing here, including the manager. They are anti-happiness personified! They seem to have their panties up in a bunch that I DARE sit for two homeless doggies…emphasis on “homeless.” What do they think I’m planning to do, run a street dog service? I can’t imagine the horrible things being said about me through the toxic grapevine! A little kindness goes a long way, but Glaucus forbid they should ever show any of THAT.

Whatever happened to the San Francisco I once loved, and was so accepting of eccentric folks like yours truly? It’s gone the way of the REST of America, culminating with our Demon President Trump. Hopefully, this surging Delta Strain will wipe out a large sum of them. But I’m not holding my breath; just wearing a mask again. What an appropriate symbol for this vile, corrupt nation: a mask!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: And off they go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 29, 2021 12:55 PM

> So glad you got extra time with them.

Always wonderful when that happens. The pups LOVE visiting me…all that cushy comfort where they know they are safe, loved, and in a peaceful, quiet setting. Their trust in me is absolute.

Woke up this morning around 7:05 AM with my left foot being anointed. Flaco was licking my heel, then moved on to the rest of my foot, doing such a prolonged, thorough job of it, including getting between the toes! Sometimes she’d grip a toe or two lightly with her sharp little teeth, for a deeper clean. While performing this sacred ritual, I pulled Lucky close to me…he sighed dreamily as I held his buff little bod between my arms.

Several minutes later, and to my surprise, she then moved on to the OTHER foot! I consider the word “anoint” preferable to “lick,” in light of my spiritual awakening to the divine spirit of the dog. And, just as the early Christians washed each other’s feet to show humility and respect for the divine in each of us, so did Flaco, the dachshund/terrier pilgrim, on our shared journey.

> I looked closely at the video, I see he has the two of them leashed together. They seem to be trotting along, just following him, but it didn’t look as though there was a lead connected to him and his bicycle…maybe there was and I just couldn’t see it. How does this rig work??

While tethered to each other, they’re otherwise off-leash. The pups have become very good at keeping to the sidewalk, and close to their master. Deek’s joining the two leashes together is a rather new thing, which he began around four months back. He fashioned the knot so well, it’s difficult for me to unravel (so I don’t bother). Which makes walking them a bit of a chore, since they often switch from one side to the other, and I have to either quickly step over the extended leash, or just drop it to the ground, step back and pick it up again. Which happens every couple of minutes or so, on each walk.

Also, with these leashes joined, I can no longer tether them to the sign post outside Morey’s corner store. At least, not in the usual manner. I have to bring a separate cord or one of the spare collars, as a workaround. Speaking of knots:

A few weeks ago I laughed at myself when I thought of what an excellent knot he used to link the pups’ leashes, recalling my discussion about knots earlier this year. I had handed him a new sack of kibble, after tying a double knot sideways instead of vertically.

“Why did you tie it like that?” he queried with a touch of annoyance.

“Because while this knot is still strong and keeps food fresh, it’s easy to untie. That way you can open and close it with little fuss.”

“Hmm,” he skeptically mused. So I elaborated:

“I know my knots, Deek. Thanks to the Boy Scouts.” Not bothering to tell him I never made it beyond Tenderfoot by the time I finally dropped out when I turned seventeen. (My right-wing, military-college-educated, Trumpturd brother had become an Eagle Scout by the time he reached that same age.) And this particular knot I didn’t learn about till many years later. IOW: mine was a hollow brag.

So after dealing with this new leash arrangement, I finally realized that’s a damn righteous knot he’s got there! Perhaps, I conjectured, in his own, unique bodhisattva style, it is his way of saying:

“See? I know knots too, Zeke!”

And he set up the joke so that it wouldn’t hit me till some weeks later.

Does that answer your question, good physician? You often ask most difficult ones without even realizing it. Or do you?

Next time the pooches visit, I will be sure to take a snapshot of Deek’s fabulous knot, and send it to you.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: This Month’s Outrageous Xfinity Bill.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 30, 2021 5:58 PM

Read it and weep.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: This Month’s Outrageous Xfinity Bill.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 12:42 AM

> Haw!

It’s highway robbery…in reverse.

The pups are back. Deek showed up just after midnight, wanted to leave them with me so he could do his night riding with a large speaker in tow. Fine with me. Now, back to watching another episode or two of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, then it’s time to hit the sack. Flaco’s stretched out in the box, and Lucky’s curled up at my feet. He loves his neck scratches BTW, often pushes his head against my leg for more.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 4:51 PM

Also, Morey’s brother was jumped, but he managed to defend himself quite well and shove off the attack, and even took a video of them further down the block. Here’s how I found out about it:

Around 2:30 PM I walked the pups up Noe Street, and noticed a commotion happening a block-and-a-half up. Saw four black teenagers, and I automatically assumed Adisa was among them, though I could not tell, visually, as I quickly scooted to the other side of the street and stood for a minute, hidden by a couple of leafy trees. Could not hear what they were saying, but tone of voices indicated intimidation and threats. There was a fellow standing by the door who looked like Morey, but I later learned that’s his brother. He was holding up his smartphone to take a video of the punks who stood further down the block, hollering back.

I then continued my walk, looking left to see if I could spot Adisa. Yep, he was definitely one of ’em, and I think he saw me, too. Anyway, I moved swiftly on and rounded the corner to get to my bank’s branch and withdraw $40. I figured not to intervene in the fracas, due to the pups’ presence, deciding instead to visit Morey’s shop upon my return, assuming the confrontation would have ended by then. It had, and there were three cops taking stock of the situation; their car was parked nearby.

Morey was not there, though his brother was…along with another clerk by name of Jack: a tall, Lebanese fellow of advanced years. Very nice man, as is his wife. They filled me in with what happened and, since Morey already knows my difficulties with Adisa and his mom (AND the building manager), I let him fill Jack in with my side of the equation.

I then offered to send them a link to my video of Adisa harassing me, via texting or email. Jack gave me his cell phone number, and some minutes later upon arriving hovel, I sent him that link, plus a copy of my complaint to Ablablah Realty, which includes their full names and other useful details.

Fortunately, I did not cross paths with the delinquents on my way home, though I feared I might, ’cause that’s the direction they headed off to, after the altercation. God forbid they should ever enter my building again! Which is quite possible, since easy to do. In fact, the front gate was held ajar for a couple of hours today, as a resident was moving out with a U-Haul truck parked nearby. AROUND THE SAME TIME Adisa et al were harassing Morey’s friends and strolling the neighborhood.

Not knowing what kind of association our building manager Kevin may still have with Myrtle & son, I’m hesitant to inform him of this horrid event. I could text him a brief alert and be done with it. At any rate, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Adisa, and the moment I see him again, will call 911.

Can you believe this, Wattson? Why is my life so frequently filled with crisis after crisis on a most local level? This is out of the ordinary. Hmm, I think I’ll march back to Morey’s corner store right now, to see if they got my video and letter, and whether or not the punks showed up again. Jack said they threatened to. As far as I know, no weapon was involved. And hopefully, that will never come to pass. Where is Myrtle in all this?

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Okay, I just texted Kevin this: “Adisa and punk friends robbed Morey’s shop this afternoon, and jumped his brother. You may want to talk to them, yourself, for the record.”


Subject: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon! UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 7:05 PM

FOOT IN MOUTH!

I have yet to receive acknowledgment from Jack that he got my texted video and letter. But I thought I did, when someone texted back “Jesus!” about a half hour ago. Foolish me, I had not noticed the reply was from Kevin, not Jack. I was so eager to hear back from Morey’s coworker, that I jumped the gate. With the following sorry result:

Maybe it’s for the best, could smooth things over, as Kevin now sees I speak reasonably of him, regardless of my justified outrages against the prick. That is: I don’t gossip or spread hate. Be that as it may, I’m still waiting on Jack’s ACK. I decided NOT to walk back there so soon to get updated, as I’m afraid I might come off as a wannabe private investigator, treating their crisis like some kind of staged adventure (though I suspect it IS just that).

However, should I NOT hear from him by 7:30, THEN I’ll pay a visit, as it’s also a good time to walk the pups again. Morey’s shop closes nightly at eight.

Well, the doggies are STILL with me (hurray!), and I remembered to take a pic of Deek’s “super knot” that joins the leashes like they were fused together. Actually, two pics to show both sides.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 8:38 PM

> Be careful!!!

In light of my very low income and limited resources, no real friends nearby, easy access to this building, the manager’s (and at least two other residents’) hostility, Deek’s frighteningly incautious behavior at times, and caring for the pups against all odds…there’s little I can do as regards being careful. I’m absurdly vulnerable, and that’s just the way it is. Besides, I’ve always been careful all my life, as best to my abilities…this is nothing new.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Adisa and Punk Friends Robbed Morey’s Shop This Afternoon! UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 31, 2021 8:38 PM

> Oh, drat! A further complication!!

But wait, there’s more:

As I stepped out to check on Morey’s shop, I almost fell down the stairs and broke my pinky! Deek’s damn tethered leashes got caught up in my right ankle at just the moment I released the pups to go dashing down the stairs and into the lobby. Which made me fall on my keister while clutching for stability on the banister in such a way as to come close to snapping my little finger off its socket. Fortunately, I was spared, got up and started to open the doors to let the doggies out.

But they were staring back at someone coming down the steps and were about to bark up a storm. I managed to quell that with a treat held above their noses, but they resisted my nudging them to get through the gate before that person reached the lobby. I succeeded at the very last second when lo and behold, up comes a huge pit bull leashed (thank god) to its owner, and all three dogs started barking. Forcing me just to stand there until they passed, because a small crowd approaching from the left obstructed my egress. Which meant that I was probably blocking the tenant who by now wanted to step out, too.

I glanced back to discover he was NOT right behind me…then, finally, stepped further out on the sidewalk, urging the pooches to come this way, never mind the big dog looking back at them. Fifteen more steps or so, I turned around to see if that resident had exited yet, but no, he had not. I guess he just came downstairs to check the mail or pick up one or more of several packages dumped off by this or that delivery service.

We were almost at the corner when some skinny-and-tall-as-Ichobod-Crane tweeker who had just crossed the street stepped onto the curb and snarled:

“Hey, what are you doing with Deek’s dogs?”

The last thing I ever want with these types is discuss ANYthing with them, let alone have them in my presence. But some get in your face no matter what, so I bit my tongue and replied:

“I’m watching them for him, so he can go ride his bike.”

“Oh,” he said, still with suspicion written all over his meth-saturated aura.

“Deek and I have been friends for more than ten years,” I qualified, only to appease the goon. But he pushed further:

“What is your name?”

“Zeke.” I was so impatient at this point, I almost exploded in a fury of expletives.

“I think I’ve heard of you,” he mused aloud. “Well, I was just looking out for Deek.”

“That’s nice of you,” I quipped.

“No, it’s not nice,” he asserted, “it’s responsible.”

At that point I really had enough, so turned away, desperate to distance myself tout de suite from this gritty pissant. Soon as the light turned green, I did.

This is what it’s like stepping out with Flaco & Lucky sometimes: a long, drawn out drama with threatening bit actors emerging from the wings! Earlier that morning, I held the dogs back in the lobby, because some homeless lady had just stopped with her baggage RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE, and started begging! She wasn’t there a moment ago, just popped out of the blue one second before I grabbed the door handle. To the brindlekin’s credit, no barking ensued as they patiently stood by my side.

Much to my relief, she lingered no more than two minutes, and no other resident came downstairs during that time. This is the tense situation I’m in, due in no small measure to the manager’s hostility, chihuahua man and, of course, my quasi-fascist neighbor Moe. What other pin-headed doink who resides here may be in the mix? I have no idea. But I’m sure I’ll find out one way or another; gossip spreads like the Delta strain around here. Speaking of pin-heads:

There IS a new occupant who bears a remarkable resemblance to Myrtle Haversak (Adisa’s mom): 5-foot-4, petite, pale, straw-color bowl-cut hair, and often seen stepping out to jog in black spandex yoga pants and a gray pullover. Also, not a single ray of a smile ever beams from that blank-eyed countenance of hers. I’ve said hi to her now and then, and she barely acknowledges.

I came upstairs with the pups a few nights back, and there was Myrtle ver. 2.0 standing on my floor, waiting for us to pass. As we did, Flaco barked twice, but I quickly stifled that with the lure of a treat. The lady was stoic, couldn’t tell whether annoyed or pleased. God forbid she would ever say, “Cute dogs!” I know nothing about her, except she moved in about two months ago, and lives on either the third or fourth floor. But I suspect she’s just another “Nombie” (Nazi zombie). Will she go crying to the manager about “those awful dogs” barking at her? I would NOT be surprised.

Well, after all that drama simply for stepping outside, I finally arrived at the corner store. Morey was the only one there. I was saddened to hear that the cops did nothing, not even tracked them down to have a serious talk with them. Jack returned home because the old fellow’s nerves were completely shot. He suffered a stroke three years ago, and was gone for almost seven months; I thought I’d never see him again, that it was all over for him. But as it turned out, he bounced back into glowing health and cheerful spirit…he even looks HEARTIER than before!

But this assault on their shop may wind up being his demise! How can he ever show up again, and not be in constant fear of these punks making further appearances? In light of the SFPD’s failure to take any action against these reprobates, they’ll know they can get away with their crimes. They could even terrorize the entire neighborhood before any legal force comes into play!

And why the fuck is Adisa continuing to be an unwelcome presence? Where does he live now, which school does he attend, is it nearby? Morey said there’s no point in my calling 911 when I see the skunk again, as Jack has not even decided whether or not to press charges, because he fears retaliation. Which is quite possible, as they know they can get away with even more harassment. So the police will do NOTHING as it now stands. They told Morey to call 911 if they show up again. Gee, what a washed out piece of advice. And frightening.

Likewise (Morey elaborated) would posting warning notices with their mugs exposed lead to justice, and may cause further attacks upon their little shop. It could even go out of business over this hellish scenario. What a dark shadow has been cast upon this loveliest corner of The Castro…my only relatively-safe haven in the entire district.

Until now.

Who would ever have imagined, good physician, that 9666 Market Street would give birth to such a demonic manifestation? Time for another deep consultation with my loyal advisor in all things mysterious, Pterry Pterodactyl!

Upon returning hovel with the pups, someone came right up behind me and held the door open: another resident. The dogs started to bark, though not so vociferously, and I was able to quiet them down quickly, with my snack trick. Once he ascended the stairs to the second floor, I attempted to follow, but another resident came prancing DOWN and into the lobby.

Again, the pups barked, and again I squelched it. He chuckled, didn’t seem upset at all. In fact, he was pretty nice. Though I don’t really know if that’s any guarantee he won’t complain to the manager, anyway. Some of these nasty queens will smile as they stab you in the back. I would like very much for all this bullshit to end!

– Zeke K-Holmes


The Final Chapter (part 16)

July 22, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17p]

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Here’s a tear-jerker…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 11, 2021 11:20 AM

> …with a very happy ending.

Animal rescuers are the BEST! But a shame that we even NEED them in the first place. Great video, touched my heart. Poor thing had to go through even MORE trauma before comprehending she was finally in loving hands. How could ANYone neglect such a lovely darling? The owner “left the dog behind;” that’s atrocious. But she’s deliriously happy now, and that’s a victory!

THE BOX & THE FLUFF

When they last came over, Flaco didn’t seem to mind the box having vanished…just glad to hop onto that fluffy bedding and zonk out. After first expressing her usual sweet gratitude, and my belly rubs in return. But it has become her habit late at night, to suddenly awaken and jump off the cot to spend a private fifteen minutes or so in the box, before returning by my side. Sometimes scratching loudly on the cardboard floor before settling in. But that night there WAS no box, so she stood around wondering what to do, as she wasn’t ready to return to bed, nor lie down directly on the floor…until I tossed one of the sleeping bags down. She happily accepted, and curled up on it till early morn. Meanwhile, Lucky remained in a deep sleep, his head and upper torso pressed upon my calves in friendly comfort.

She loved the larger box, but I don’t know when I’ll find another that size. So I taped two small boxes together as a temporary solution; see attachment. I imagine she’ll appreciate the extra depth: like a burrow that will give her a sense of seclusion, while peering out at the world.

That recent stayover, I had told Deek to pick them up no later than 1 PM the next day. Not sure if he’d follow through, I was wondering how I’d finish my room prep with the pups present. Because I needed to bag all the bedding as the final step, and they’d have to stay on the floor without anything fluffy to rest upon, before we all stepped out. That’s when I learned how important that fluffy respite is to them. Because the moment Lucky jumped off the cot for a drink of water (Flaco was already on the floor, atop one of the kid’s sleeping bags), I snatched the remaining three comforters away, leaving only the two adult sleeping bags that were laid out flat. I figured they’re cushy enough, and I could now seal up those smaller comforters. But when Lucky jumped back onto the cot, he sniffed around with disapproval, then leapt back onto the floor and attempted to join Flaco…but there wasn’t quite enough room for him to enjoy a piece of the fluff she laid upon. So I tossed a second sleeping bag down, and he went right to it.

Fortunately, I needed not go through the actual difficulty of dealing with the doggies’ presence up to the last moment, since Deek showed up around 11:30 AM. Which allowed me ample time to complete preparing my hovel, with ease. I was very pleased with him, for that.

Ironically, those two smaller boxes were the final remnant of neighbor Todd’s passing. They came from a stack of cardboard flats left by his door, for packing away his material possessions: a veritable cornucopia of movie DVDs and music CDs, plus paperback and hardcover books, intriguing board games, an amazing assortment of tarot card decks, and enough sex toys for a platoon. They could fill a small warehouse; I don’t know how he fit all that junk in one, tiny room smaller than mine. They clogged up half the back porch all the way to the ceiling for several weeks. Now, nothing of his remains, no evidence that he ever existed in the first place.

I must say, Wattson, that I’ve benefited from his death far more than I ever have from his living presence. No more of his nasty glances and gossip against me, no more of his hogging up the WC, and no more having to set one’s bare feet on the restroom’s icy linoleum floor!

Yes, that last part, which annoyance I have told you about previously, though it was some time ago, and you may have forgotten. Some years back, the building manager had gifted us who share that bathroom, with a fluffy throw rug. A small but welcome comfort, that gave a homey touch to the space. However, someone had smeared a bit of human feces onto it, so the manager promptly removed the rug. Could’ve been some homeless person who sneaked into our building. But I suspected Todd had thought it was MY contribution, thus resented the rug by committing that heinous act. A few months later, the manager tried again with another rug…but the same disgusting result put an end to having ANY throw rug in our humble toilet!

Now just over a week ago, a new rug has appeared in the communal lavatory. I chuckled to myself about that: another benefit of Todd’s welcome extinction.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: A Couple of Quick Meetups
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 12, 2021 12:50 AM

9 PM Deek and pups dropped by, he asked for more doggy food, and gave me the usual electronic items to recharge. He granted me a good amount of time to sit with the doggies, eager for my hugs and attention. He was a bit edgy, but calmed down in a few minutes, after hurling a couple of insulting accusations my way. I just told him to stop picking at me, and I’m sorry he’s in a bad mood.

Flaco stood up on my lap, facing me, and gazed into my eyes with love. And I looked back at her with equal kindness. She’s amazing like that! She doesn’t move or do anything else while in that pose, and it can go on for a minute or longer…just an adoring, prolonged gaze: no licks, kisses or any other actions. While at the same time Lucky’s sharp little teeth nibbled up and down my right arm from shoulder to elbow and back again, then repeat…like a jokester who mimics gnawing upon an ear of corn. His friendliness is both passionate and silly…but always sincere.

I took this sweet visit to compliment Deek on how incredible he’s doing these days, and in the past several months.

“I guess a bit more aging under the belt has done you good,” I noted. “Experiences pile up over the years, and have their way of coming together in wisdom, further down the line.” He actually listened attentively to me, so I embellished:

“One thing life has taught me, is that everyone is testing everyone else. No matter how shitty someone behaves, they are testing you in ways that make your life better, even if you don’t realize at the time. Angels work through people, sometimes consciously, but also without that person realizing it. If an angel decides he needs to be tough with you, to lead you down a better path, then that’s what he will do. Otherwise, they are always as kind and generous as they can possibly be. As more testing goes on, and more lessons are learned, kindness will increase in your life, and harshness will decrease.”

Well, I used my words better than that, but I can’t recall verbatim, so I’m paraphrasing myself. Outside of that brief anxiety attack, Deek was calm and in good spirits…as I’ve noticed he’s been for many weeks now. He is now totally receptive to my positive reinforcement, much to my amazement and pride. And that sense of pride is for both of us.

[pause]

He just dropped by again (a quarter after midnight), to ask for a cigarette lighter…which he does from time to time. But he had the dogs with him, too (instead of leaving them tied to the cart 20 feet away), and they wanted SO badly to visit! Flaco got partway through the open gate, with Lucky right behind, nudging her on. Then Deek pulled them back, said “thanks” and took off once more. The pups, of course, kept looking back at me, so I smiled and waved at them. Though I REALLY wanted to sweep them up in my arms and take them home.

BTW I’ve noticed Deek now has a healthier glow about him these days. Tonight was no exception. And he’s not been hounding me for an “advancement” on his allowance, as he used to do all the time. It’s very important he pay me visits withOUT cash in mind; our friendship is too important to be monetized, nor should my paying him for the pooches’ visits ever be a thing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 14, 2021 9:39 PM

> Great reports, both of them. Love the description of Flaco looking into your eyes. Their complete sentience is so obvious in those moments, it makes you wonder how anyone could doubt it for a second.

She’s an AWESOME pup; they both are. Sometimes when I’m hugging Lucky, she looks really sad, like I just rejected her: ears pinned back and staring intently. So I immediately draw her into my arms, too. Or she’ll come right over and plunk herself smack-dab on top of him to intercept my affections. It’s as if she’s expressing her pride in protecting me…even if it’s from her brother’s little love nips. She shows incredible gratitude for my kindness, I’m floored! It seems to make Lucky happy, that I care for her so much.

Yes, their sentience is remarkable. Not ALL dogs are that expressive; those two knock my socks off, totally opened my heart. This is a real FRIENDSHIP thing we’ve got going. And STUNNING when you think that it is Deek who’s brought such wonderful pooches into my life. There is more to this fellow than meets the eye.

> And the solution to the box problem!

It will do for now. She hasn’t explored it yet; would rather crash out on the bedding for now. It occurred to me yesterday that I could probably purchase a large box from UPS down the block (a single one, rather than a batch of ’em like what Amazon offers). So I’ll look into it tomorrow.

> Eew, the soiled rug. Ghastly. Maybe have a small rug of your own; carry it with you into the W.C., then take it with you when you leave. Keep those tootsies warm.

Well, that’s no longer a problem, since the source of the mischief is now dead.

> And I agree that Deek is making progress, even if it’s two steps forward, one step back.

Oh I’m sure of it…and so PROUD for that. For both of us, I should note. Been agonizing, I readily admit. Still is, but not so extreme any more.

Click here for a larger view.

THE PUPS ARE BACK AGAIN, BTW! As you already know via my text.

About an hour ago Deek came by to collect his weekly allowance, and said I can have them stay over, but he hasn’t decided yet whether for a few hours, or overnight. He’ll possibly be back later this evening to pick up his recharged devices. Every time previously, when he says he’s undecided, he winds up letting them stay for the night. So most likely, he’ll either just pick up his items around midnight, and leave the pups with me…or just not return until tomorrow.

I think his reducing the pups’ number of visits is his way of showing me he CAN take care of them on his own, and does a good job of it. Presumably because I gave him the challenge, and he’s following through. IOW my own interactions with him are pushing him to grow up.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 14, 2021 10:56 PM

Deek just returned to pick up his devices…said to keep the pups overnight. Hooray! Another good sign: he wasn’t the least bit upset when I told him that one of the smartphones wouldn’t let me transfer new songs over. It’s a strange model with limitations. And the other smartphone is slow to charge, only reached 55 percent after two hours. He wasn’t upset over that, either. What a great night THIS has turned out to be!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 2 emails: did you miss them?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 15, 2021 12:47 PM

> Pretty magical. Are they part dachshund?

Yes, they appear to be half dachshund and half terrier…perhaps American pit bull terrier.

Flaco at rest. Click here for a larger view.

I’ve referred to their dachshund nature in previous posts, especially in my earlier Brindlekin tales. Their eyes give it away.

> Because I remember an encounter I had years ago with a dachshund. He’d come down my driveway where I was living way out in the woods. I stepped out the front door, and our eyes met. He looked at me, cautious and reserved, fifteen feet away, waiting for a sign that would let him know if I was friend or foe. I greeted him and patted my knees, and he instantly put his ears down, wagged his tail furiously and sausaged toward me. He wasn’t homeless, it turned out; he lived nearby and was just out roving around. But I’ll never forget those fully sentient eyes, looking into mine, waiting, “reading” me.

What a charming encounter! I’ve never paid much attention to that breed, but Flaco & Lucky have changed all that for me.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subjecting: Disheartening, but Not Surprised
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 15, 2021 3:54 PM

So Deek came by to pick up the pups, no drama. Gave me several devices to charge, said he’d be back later, and that was that. But before I entered the gate I looked right to see him turning the corner. Which means he’s gonna park behind my building again. Now, why wouldn’t he let the doggies stay with me longer, instead of just have them resting on the cold concrete beside him?

An hour later I looked out the hallway window to see he was still there, with a couple of other homeless folks. And the dogs sitting on the sidewalk, not even a sheet of cardboard. How many times have I told him they’re gonna develop arthritis if he keeps this up? What the hell’s wrong with him?

And there’s no point in my bringing it up again ’cause he won’t change, and he’ll just keep Flaco & Lucky away from me even longer.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Pups are back again, for the night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 12:09 AM

Deek came by, said he wants to ride his bike, so I can have the doggies again. So here we are again! It’s a cold and windy night, and I suspect he doesn’t want to admit they should be inside where it’s warm and dry. Though I may be giving him more credit than he deserves. Or not. Anyway, they were elated to drop by again, and enjoy this little sanctuary of mine. I love my 2-dog nights!

– Zeke K-Homes


Subject: He’s turned over a new leaf…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 9:33 AM

…and I’m impressed, and grateful. Deek came by earlier than I hoped (8 AM on the dot), to pick up the pooches and his gizmos. He was polite and of good cheer, said he’s gonna spend the day in the park, give ’em lots of exercise. Putting my complete trust in him is working…but boy has it been a tough haul getting there, good doctor! The dogs have changed everything between us, and for the better.

Waking up with the doggies is always amazing; their constant good cheer touches me like nothing else. The American pit bull terrier is very sweet natured (great with families and children), though often doesn’t get along with other dogs. Blend that with the dachshund, and you’ve got a winning mix! More of the pit bull is evident in Lucky’s stocky frame, while Flaco shows more of the dachshund. However, besides those glorious eyes, Lucky’s bowed, chunky legs also reveal those dachshund genes.

That first pic of Lucky, and of Deek nodding off with him (dated May 2020)–both taken well before Flaco came into our lives–reminds me of what a long way we’ve come since then!

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

Re: He’s turned over a new leaf….
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 2:18 PM

> I was gonna ask how it went, and now I know! Splendid portrait of Lucky. A truly noble creature.

I can’t praise enough, what a stupendous pooch he is! BOTH are utterly remarkable. Despite my remonstrations that Deek NOT get a second dog, I now must admit: I WAS WRONG, AND HE WAS RIGHT. They are constantly cheerful and affectionate, and have a real blast visiting me. Their enthusiasm is boundless as they wait for me to open the gate and let them dash upstairs to my hovel. Sometimes they’ll politely pause at the first landing, for me to catch up…they’re THAT thoughtful.

My impression of Deek’s strategy to temporarily reduce the frequency of the pups’ visits, is as if he were guiding me to a better path: one where I learn to worry less and enjoy more. Now, he’s resumed their more frequent stay-overs, as if to acknowledge “lesson learned.” As I said in an earlier email: there’s more to him than meets the eye. This fits in like hand to glove, regarding my Bodhisattva Premise!

Since the eruption with police intervention back in February, instead of his completely walking out on me, he stuck it through to work things out, just as I have with him. Seeing as I love those brindlekin so much, I HAD NO CHOICE but to maintain our friendship as best as possible. It was a most painful passage of several months, exacerbated by OTHER unexpected crises…yet we both made it through all the hurdles, and came out the other end intact, and much better off for the wear.

The past several times he’s hung around my building, he’s been quiet and drama free. And mostly garbage-free, too. Things can only continue to get better, and I see a happy ending to my Brindlekin Tales on the horizon. A win-win outcome for all parties involved. In the past few months, many of his street friends have witnessed my caring for the dogs, and being a strong ally to Deek. This is all VERY good.

> I went the other day to visit my former neighbor, who has severe progressive MS and has lived for the past 5 years in the nursing home in Fort Bragg. She was bedridden even before the pandemic, and during the worst of it, was even more trapped than usual. No visitors allowed, no outings, no nothing, just bed and TV and the constant madhouse noises of the inmates, most of whom have some form of dementia, which my friend does not. Now they let you in with an appointment. She’s very goddamned stoic, I’ve gotta say. Way more than I would be if I were in her figurative shoes.

She sounds like an incredible person, but a shame she is forced to live in such surroundings. I can’t imagine her having a better friend than you, to visit her and cheer her on. My tales are writ precisely FOR such long-suffering good angels…that it gives them inspiration, delight, and a smile on their face. A lot of cliffhangers in my trilogy as well, to keep them turning the pages.

You do so much good work for people in crisis, or left out in the cold. I don’t see how you have all that stamina for more than ONE person. But you do, Wattson, and for that I am most grateful and inspired, myself.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 7:56 PM

…with delight. Deek came by a half hour ago, handed me two smartphones and a portable speaker (about 12 lbs, on a small dolly), and told me to take the dogs, too. He’ll be back later.

Once arriving hovel, I discovered he forgot to give me the cord that goes with the speaker. But he was already gone. So I backtracked to see if it had fallen onto the floor, stairs, or the sidewalk. Nothing.

“Well, this puts a cramp in things,” I thought. “Hopefully, he’ll see the cord in his cart and rush back to deliver it.”

I reflected upon the collection of cords I have, and seriously doubted that the type needed (a double-pronged, flat female end) was in my possession. But I finally decided to look anyway, so lifted the heavy storage bin that rested atop another, placed it down and opened the second one, where all the cords are stashed. Went through the entire collection and, just as I predicted, did not find the right one. Just when I was about to put the lid back on the bin I thought “wait a minute, may as well empty this bag and see for sure.” I had already examined the contents of that sack w/o opening it, as it was clear plastic…and did not see any that would fit. But upon emptying the bag, voila! There WAS the right cord after all! Much relieved, I plugged it in to the speaker, and tended to the pups.

[pause]

Deek just returned, much sooner than I expected (barely an hour had passed). Told me to keep the dogs, and bring down the gizmos. He asked where the cord is, when I handed him the speaker. Told him what happened, that I found a replacement, so it’s been charged. He rummaged through his cart (now a sidecar attached to his bike with an aluminum swivel bar), and found the forgotten cord. He’s in remarkably good spirits, as he has been for weeks now. Took off for God only knows where; he never tells me. Said he’ll be back later. I’m sure he will, though hopefully it won’t be till the sun next rises.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 8:58 PM

> Hope he stays away all night.

That would be nice, as I hate disturbing the pups from their blissful rest, and taking them outside into the cold, damp air. I feel like such a heel. But I am bound to his dictates. It’s a frightening game I’m forced to play.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Greek goddess “Nemesis”

Re: Pups are with me again, my head is spinning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 16, 2021 12:17 AM

> “It’s a frightening game I’m forced to play.”
I think so.

Classic Jungian “hero’s journey” as delineated via Jung’s greatest disciple, Joseph Campbell. According to my Bodhisattva Premise, your guardian will set up the game board with many difficult challenges, some quite scary. A roll of the dice could change everything for or against you. But the trick behind this is:

It is always YOU, not the dice, that turns the outcome in your favor. Action and attitude are equally important…and when placed judiciously after much thought, give you the edge. Your thinking skills improve with each successful move.

This game I call “Battle of the Bodhisattvas” is a mind-power game. It is not a game designed to be fun, but a game of life lessons for the more evolved among us. You don’t get to play until other, more basic, lessons have been learned first. Including being totally resolved to always do good as you see it, no matter the personal risk. You are challenged to become a hero, so that is the playing piece you are given: the knight in shining armor. There is a life, or lives, to be saved…in my case, that of two dogs. Your opponent IS your guardian, whose piece is called Nemesis (or in some circles, “The Devil”).

Somewhere along the game’s path, if you’ve played your moves well thus far, it is revealed to you that Nemesis is actually your guardian angel, who creates each challenge for the sole purpose of testing your mettle, that your soul be advanced one square at a time. Until you, hopefully, reach the Gates of Avalon, and be crowned the victor.

With this realization, your win is almost guaranteed, and the end part of the game commences. Do not be so smug over your likely conquest of the board at this point…for it is a trap well concealed by the cards. Know that, at this stage of the game, you have conquered all fears but one: worry. So it is YOUR final challenge to unfetter yourself of that last curse, by feeling joy take wing in your heart while remaining vigilant on the game board, unto the very end.

Obviously, Deek plays Nemesis. Well, ’tis now midnight and the pups are still with me, so…hallelujah, I’ve played my last few moves like a pro! I shall sleep with the pups again, third night in a row.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 1:55 PM

It’s actually dark in there, but I used flashlight mode. A favorite position is with her forelegs fully extended, paws pressed against the side, and the rest of her stretched out as far as the container permits. Sometimes when she’s resting on the cot, she’ll lie close to the wall, again with forelegs thrust forward and paws pressed. Like she’s holding up the wall. And she’ll stay that way for hours.


Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 6:40 PM

> They LOVE cozy, enclosed spaces. A legacy of their evolutionary past, no doubt.

Dachshunds especially; they love to burrow. Maybe it goes all the way back to the deep past, when the first mammals had to hide from the dinosaurs, many of whom were diminutive themselves. But I love cozy, enclosed spaces, too! In fact, I live in one. Well, we humans have the same mammalian roots!

I imagine, though, that Flaco prefers to remove herself from the cacophony and chaos around her; and is why she seeks to dig a snug little hole right beside a shrub with broad leaves that hang over her in semi-seclusion. Lucky is not so hidey-hole loving, as he is an aficionado of all things fluffy.

They never complain about anything, or beg for food. They never bother me when I’m snacking, nor do they even let me know when they’re hungry! So it’s hard to tell, thus sometimes food is wasted because they won’t touch it. Usually it’s one pup or the other, rarely both. One will eat and the other couldn’t be bothered. The ONLY way I know if they’re hungry, is AFTER I set down the bowls.

If they have to go poopy, all I need do is yank a jacket from the closet. In which case they’ll either leap onto the floor, rarin’ to go, or remain on the cot if not interested.

They don’t mess up my room, or bark or whine when I’m gone. Nothing’s out of order when I return! Except, sometimes, the trash bin which Flaco gets into now and then. So I just move that to a high spot before exiting. Though I do forget from time to time, but no big deal. I never leave anything in it that would cause them harm. It’s always been Flaco who knocks over the basket, and she goes for an empty plastic soda or milk container. Whenever that occurs (and sometimes I hear the “thunk” of the bin toppling over barely seconds after I shut the door), I make no fuss, as Flaco is too sweet a girl to deserve any guilt trip.

I’ll usually say, “Oh no, someone’s gotten into the trash again!” And Flaco will be standing there in the middle of the floor, wagging her tail furiously and looking up at me with delight, brown eyes sparkling. And maybe Lucky will be busy gnawing on the bottle, the small screw-top cap removed and chewed to a pulp by the time I return. Easy to clean that stuff up; no harm, no foul.

They’re both tucked in now, close to each other. See attachment. Their evening meal will soon be ready. 6:40 PM and no Deek yet.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 17, 2021 8:00 PM

> So you haven’t seen Deek since last night?

Nope.

> They’re making the most of their vacation from the streets!

Indeed they are. I couldn’t be happier, myself. Their company is a blessing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Governor Newsom signs $100 Billion state budget: Here’s what’s in it for you
From: Zeke Krahlin’s Mailing List
To: Chuck Kapinski
Date: July 17, 2021 8:37 PM

You sound totally bonkers, Chuck. Certainly, you’re not the Chuck Kapinski I used to know. Whatever you’re smokin’ (or drinkin’) I don’t want any. Trump has done GREAT damage to our nation, he now owns the GOP, and Trumpism is a great danger in our world. IOW Trump is far from harmless. Your misogyny is outrageous and disgusting. Do you talk like this to your female friends? You sound like a standup comedian mimicking a Boogaloo white supremacist. You are flat wrong about COVID-19 and everything else you’ve ranted. I see no good purpose in us continuing communication on any level, as you are beyond reason.

——- Original Message ——-

On Saturday, July 17th, 2021 at 11:36 PM, Chuck Kapinski wrote:

This has nothing to do with Newsom, it’s probably more about a response about Biden’s shortcomings.

“you haven’t criticized Trump” (or words to that effect)

So what? What’s the point of the obvious? Duh.

I have no respect for the largely female Trump bashing club. He poses no threat to anyone. He cut his own throat with the latinos when he called beautiful Puerto Rico a shit hole. And drug his feet on FEMA fire funds for California.

At least I’ve never heard him making any pius Xian claims. That’s something you get from dirty lyin’ Joe. I don’t remember Trump lying. He may have stated untruths, but he actually believed them. There’s a difference. I see no connection between the church crazies and Trump. He ran technically on the Republican ticket, but many long established Republicans actually voted against him. In truth he’s more of an Independent. His corporate business approach to presidential matters left many bases uncovered.

We have seen from numerous objective news sources that over 90% of covid deaths were from co-factors of already terminal patients, mostly aged. The lying Democrats allege that Trump let the pandemic get out of hand – NONSENSE. He DELEGATED management to the state level, and many a Democratic governor managed the CDC recommendations. He also initiated working on the antidotes long before Biden’s chicken little charges.

Dirty lyin’ eyes Joe USED the covid scare to pointlessly bash a man who had already cut his own throat. I am not fooled by his nonsense.

Amy Kubluchar (or whatever her name is) is desperately trying to bar Trump from a re-run. What the dumb [C-word] is missing is the fact that she is ACTUALLY promoting the belief and fear that Trump would win by a landslide if he ran again. That’s counter productive paranoia. Not to mention, she might get her fat ass shot. Wimmin are STILL stupid, and always will be. (what’s new?) To give you an idea of how retarded wimmin really are, I went to a Biden kiss ass site forum, where some woman was praising Joe’s smile. Well, I told her that she was just a menopausal bag of gas, Hitler had smiling manners to his support, and that Joe will grin as he ushers her fat ugly ass into the oven. I’m PROUD of how quickly I got banned from the site – less than twelve hours.


Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:18 AM

> Hope he doesn’t show up in the middle of the goddamned night.

I doubt he’ll do that, because he’s been respectful of my “new” schedule for over a year now. Which is: I hit the sack by midnight, instead of 1 AM. And he’s also been a lot more considerate towards me in other ways, recently. But we’ll see.

Listening to Memo of the Weird’s latest podcast right now, while enjoying Flaco & Lucky’s fluffing the hell out of the comforters. Lucky takes fluff very seriously, arranging the sleeping bags just so, by pulling on one part with his teeth, then another part…snorts of dissatisfaction until it’s all perfect in his eye. I thought he’d never settle down, it went on for well over five minutes…but then he suddenly plunked himself down with a grumbly sigh. Flaco, meanwhile, got out of her brother’s way, while plumping up her own portion, then burrowed beneath the fluff for the rest of the night, like she had just disappeared down a rabbit hole. They live for fluff! And boxes. As usual, I’ll have to slowly worm my way onto the cot, unless Flaco switches to the double-box before I hunker down. We are family!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek Woke Me Up Twice!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 10:55 AM

First time, over my smartphone. I know, I know, if he doesn’t have cell service, how did he manage to do that (you’re wondering): through another person’s phone? Well, that’s a good guess, but you forget that he doesn’t KNOW my new number, nor did he ever know my old one for that matter, because he’s never bothered to memorize it, or tattoo it somewhere on his body (such as his ass).

At 6:05 AM I was awakened by his raspy hobo impersonation coming through my LG backup phone (that I use to listen to scary tales as I nod off), screeching and making all sorts of baseless accusations! As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I realized his voice was NOT coming from the window, but from my LG. And it was that recording of our verbal contract back in January, that I now own the dogs in exchange for $300. That would be this video here, if you care to refresh your memory:

But how did this amazing invention of high technology come to play that particular video of its own accord (you are probably asking yourself this very moment)? Here’s the answer to your sensible query, Wattson (hewn over the years by your impressive perspicacity):

I have my media app set to play the next downloaded Youtube video in my “bedtime” folder until all have been played through. Which files amount to no more than three or four, usually. With each taking anywhere from a half hour to an hour to play through. Sometimes I only have one or two. In which case–and if I’m still awake by then, which is rare–I’ll switch to my “Pocket Cast” podcast app and play some more scary tales directly via wifi.

Apparently, I was wrong about the media app limiting “play next file” to just one directory. After completing those, it must’ve jumped to its own list of ALL media files stored on that phone. On which are located several videos of the pups, and that one of Deek.

Annoyed at being disturbed at such a ghastly hour, I reached for the phone on the black metal file cabinet (upon which my second LCD monitor also rests), but it slipped and fell between that cabinet, and the artfully painted hexagonal table (upon which my desk riser and X230 laptop sit). So I actually had to squirm my way around the sleeping pups in order to stand up to fetch that smartphone and silence it.

[You may be wondering at this moment, how I could simply “reach out” for my phone, when I usually sleep with my head at the end of the cot by the door, instead of at the end by my work station. Well, Wattson, something I have yet to tell you, is that I switch ends some nights, depending on whether I want to cuddle up with Lucky or Flaco. They tend to sleep at opposite ends, and are already tucked in for the night before I, myself, do the same. Furthermore, when I lie down with my head door-ward, there is no need to reach out for my phone, as it is somewhere close by, near my head or torso. But often has drifted somewhere beneath the blankets, thus sometimes a puzzle to recover. Now that your curiosity in this matter has been satisfied, do permit me to continue:]

Two hours later our flesh-and-blood Deek called to me at the window:

“Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!” Soon as I poked my cranium out the window (which took awhile, ’cause groggy), he told me to bring the pooches down, along with another supply of dog food, since all his stuff was stolen. There was no cart, stroller, or even a bag in his presence. He wasn’t even wearing a shirt. Somewhat perturbed that everyone ELSE on that side of the building could hear our business, I packed away five more cans of dog food and two large Ziploc bags of kibble, leashed up the pups, donned my sneakers, a jacket, a hat and my small backpack, and stepped outside in the bright morning sun. The air was ocean-fresh. Deek sat on the sidewalk at the far end of the bus stop.

“Another lovely visit with the pups, thank you!” I exclaimed while releasing them to their master, whom they gleefully rejoined.

He apologized for taking so long to return. Rather than tell him I prefer that–in fact, the longer the better–I just replied: “No worries, I love their company.”

He then remarked he lost another friend to opioids, that it kills far more people than COVID, and it’s been an epidemic for over a decade. I agreed, and said I’m sorry for his loss. I’m guessing he went to look some people up he hasn’t seen for some time, only to discover one had passed on from Oxycontin overdose. Though more likely, he’s just playing out another little drama for his amusement. That is: none of this really happened.

“That’s why I stay away from other drugs, just stick to crystal. Though that is sometimes laced with opioid, too.” He shook his lowered head. “I got nothing now, just me and the dogs, starting from scratch once more.”

“You always prevail,” I reminded him.

“Thanks for watching Flaco & Lucky. I’ll be gone in a minute, not gonna hang out.”

“Okay,” I said, not knowing what else to add, and walked off to Rosenberg’s. Upon returning some minutes later, I realized I should’ve spent a little more time with him, give more encouragement than I had. But when I turned the corner with java in hand on my way back, I saw they had already departed to the other end of the block, about to cross…just two little doggies and shirtless Deek. They’ll be fine, I thought, and returned hovel.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek Woke Me Up Twice!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:07 PM

> He’s been ripped off like this before, hasn’t he??

Yes, countless times. He always rebounds like a boss.

> Funny (in a grim sort of way) about the Deek video waking you up. And that it happened to be THAT video.

And the TIMING, that it should only have ever happened on this particular morning, when Deek DID show up, after being gone for a considerable while. A mark of bodhisattva mischief. They have a very TOUGH, warrior sense of humor. From THEIR side of the veil–and in their eyes–our tragedies and crises are but momentary and trivial.

> Will the loss of his stuff mean more, or fewer visits from the doggies?

Neither, it won’t make a diff. He will fully replenish his possessions within a day’s time.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Flaco Sleeping in the Double-Box
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 12:19 PM

> “Grumbly sigh!” Exactly! It’s amazing how vocally expressive some dogs are. Ours has a range of noises he makes; there’s one that sounds like the creak of a rusty gate, that he makes when he’s happily anticipating something–a walk in the woods or on the beach–and he wants you to hurry up. It’s his polite way of saying: “C’mon, let’s get going, now!”

Some little doggies have a way of stealing your heart many times over, each day.


Re: Governor Newsom signs $100 Billion state budget: Here’s what’s in it for you
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 8:24 PM

> Woo! That’s some ugly weird shit he be spewin’!

He’s bonkers in his old age.

> Guess he missed the pic of Trump holding up the bible in front of the church in DC.

No, I don’t think so. He’s bonkers. I have a lot of good memories of my friendship with him, when he lived in SF. What a sad outcome.


Subject: He’s looking good, and in good spirits!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 9:15 PM

Deek just dropped by, asked me to charge up a smartphone, a small speaker and a battery backup pack. He had a city garbage bin (blue and on wheels) loaded with empty cans and bottles, plus a sack of his own possessions…whatever they are; I think I saw a sweater in it. Dressed nicely: long T-shirt that draped almost down to his knees, with abstract black splotches and ragged stripes on it, and a rugged looking, lightweight black leather jacket over that. Dark baggy jeans, black and white sneakers and a black baseball cap completed the ensemble.

Told him I like the look, the whole thing. He was in a cheerful mood, not hyper at all, and definitely no drama or belligerence. When he took the cup of root beer from my hand, Lucky suddenly tugged on his leash, causing the drink to spill a bit. He turned to the pup, said “Whoa!” and patted him kindly…not a pinch of anger.

Of course I hugged the pups, held them in my arms for a minute or so. But that goes without saying, as that ALWAYS comes with our meetups. Deek said he’ll be back tonight to pick up the devices, so I guess that’ll be some time shortly before midnight. And as usual, sad to leave the pups behind. So much love in their eyes, as they watch me depart until the moment I disappear through the gate.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He’s looking good, and in good spirits!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 9:38 PM

> Sigh…

Sword of Damocles.


Subject: “C’mon, enough of that, she’s in heat!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 18, 2021 11:47 PM

Is what Deek blurted out to me as I held Flaco in my arms, rubbed her belly and held her sweet face close to mine. He had returned to pick up his items, so I sat with him on the sidewalk for a few minutes, enjoying the pups’ company.

I felt like smacking him hard, knocking him senseless, for talking to me like that. Instead, I retorted:

“By the way, I’ll be busy the next two days, taking a class on meanness.”

“What?” he said with an annoyed grimace.

So I repeated myself, and added: “Being too nice is bad, it’s evil, isn’t that true? I get your point, I really need to stop being such a nice guy, it’s not good for my health.”

He then said “C’mon, I gotta go, I’m just waiting for you to leave.” Nice guy, eh?

So I gave Flaco a few more hugs, Lucky a few more pats, then got up and told Deek: “I hope you’re in a better mood next time.” And walked away.

But I looked back as I reached the gate, and there was Flaco away from the two, as far as her leash would allow, looking up at me. Who can resist such innocence? So I returned for a few more hugs, told her I’m sorry, but she’s gotta go with her master.

What a let-down. Like you said: “Two steps forward, one step back.”

– Zeke K-Holmes


RE: Republicans Suddenly Care About “Discrimination”
From: Zeke’s Mailing List
To: Carlyle Lambourne
Date: July 19, 2021 09:35 AM

On 2021-07-19 05:19, Carlyle Lambourne wrote:

> The only qualm that I would have is that in another time, another place, if raised under a different set of circumstances, exposed to different influences, I could imagine myself being just like them, and vice-versa. It would astonish most of humanity if they could peer into alternate universes and see how easily and fluidly they could morph back and forth to opposite side of the spectrum, and become their own worst enemy.

Well of course. If we grew up in a Christian fundamentalist family, we’d most likely be pinheaded troglodytes. That shouldn’t be cause for “qualms” though. We are who we are now, and everything else is conjecture and mind games. Neville Chamberlain took the same “qualms” about the Nazis, and that certainly turned out to be a big fail. Have we learned nothing from that?

> Does that mean we need to tolerate their outrages patiently, forever?

I can’t remember a time when I’ve EVER tolerated them. It is the facade of religious piety that causes many to hesitate. It’s akin to being superstitious. And that is a major weakness that the Religious Reich takes full advantage of. Christianity is above the law, and that should never have been allowed.

> No, I don’t think so. Maybe we should be more patient than we otherwise might be, if we did not have that perspective. But somehow, also when we realize that we are making war on images of ourselves, as they would do in our shoes, it seems to be a justification. The fact that both sides think they are right in their grievances does not really mean there is an equivalence.

Were they not so blatant with their hostility and lust for violence, death and mayhem, you might have a case for more patience. But you do not.

> Symmetry of sentence structure is not equality of content. There can indeed be a situation where both sides think they are right about an objective matter, but really only one of them is. On subjective matters, there is no underlying reality that need compel anyone who does not share the subjective opinion.

They are intellectually incapable of considering the complexity of subjective vs. objective matters, and for that reason alone, are an imminent danger to our well-being and survival as a species. It is time for them to go. Hip, hip hooray for the Delta strain.

> The poor, poor Christians. There are so many things that they are not even being allowed to do, anymore.

They are not even being allowed to tell those homosexuals
that homosexuals are not allowed to get marrried,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be foster parents,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be serve the military,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be in the Boy Scouts,
that homosexuals are not allowed to be in the St. Patricks Day parade,
that homosexuals are not allowed to have a Gay Pride parade,
that homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood,
that homosexual are not allowed to be teachers,
that homosexuals are not allowed to have sex between consenting adults.

Well, it’s a start, but at the same time they’ve gained tremendous power and influence, thanks in no small part to DJ Trump. As a result, we are under threat of having ALL our rights stripped away…and it’s already begun in the red states.

> When we have been beaten, murdered, fired from jobs, blackballed, to see Christians getting coddled and pampered over the injustice of having to bake a wedding cake is a blood-curdling provocation at the profound lack of perspective.

Many gays said it’s no big deal, fussing over wedding cakes. I told them otherwise, as it’s their tactic to start with a seemingly trivial issue. Nonetheless, that supposedly insignificant victory against LGBTs shoves a wedge through a door where more serious matters of our freedom become vulnerable and under attack. The “no big deal” queers were wrong, and I was right.

If they can’t win their way outright, they’ll dig in their heels and chip away, chip away, chip away over the years, no matter how long it takes…removing one part of our rights here, another part there. The abortion issue proves that very well, it is a textbook example of how persistently devious they truly are.

Having said all of the above, my Bodhisattva Premise gives every reason to look forward to our victory, no matter the odds against us. As the Buddha said, “We have no enemies, only teachers.” And that statement holds a most profound, and joyful, promise. No need for me to explain further in this email, as I have laid it all out many times over, in my numerous tales and essays, over the years.

– Ezekiel


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Another Night of Doggie Bliss!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 20, 2021 11:38 PM

So Deek showed up accompanied by one of his street buddies…a rather nice fellow, around 75 years old. I was only there with them for a minute, when he gave me several devices to be charged. He then handed me the joined leashes and said, “Here, they can stay over!” I said “Wonderful!” and then he and his elderly friend took off for parts unknown.

Flaco & Lucky crashed out almost immediately, though first gave me their kind hellos and acted silly and playful for a little while before conking out. Though they did jump out of bed the moment I laid their filled dishes down 20 minutes later. Glad to see such a hearty appetite! Then they drank some more water and hopped back onto the blankets and zoned right back into doggy dreamland.

Deek returned two hours later, told me just to leave the pups hovel, and bring down the gizmos. He also wanted a razor and a cup of root beer to quench his thirst. Then off he went again, on his bike.

So, it was a non-eventful, friendly meetup, and the pooches are in seventh heaven to be here once more. I love the new, no-drama Deek! In spite of the occasional glitch in the updated app.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another Night of Doggie Bliss!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 21, 2021 1:08 PM

> Dreamy!

I couldn’t be more pleased…things are mellowing out with him. More of his friends who are mentally stable and actually FRIENDLY, have seen me with him, and exactly where I live. This is good insurance, for they’ll know to bring the pups to me, should Deek vanish, be rushed to the ER or jail, or die. They all appear to be very kind to Flaco & Lucky. Hopefully, I’ll bump into one of them soon, when Deek isn’t around; whereby I’ll make it clear they should be brought to me, should he be taken from them for whatever reason. As well as helping Deek with keeping the pups in blankets and sweaters.

The brindlekin are still here right now, ate a hearty breakfast, dumped some good poops, and are resting well. I guess I could say the same for myself.

My Xfinity service has been flawless; same with Tracfone. So many legal and free TV and Movie sites out there, i now have bookmarks to: Tubi, Roku, Crackle, IMDB, Peacock, Pluto, Adult Swim and Plex. Amazon Prime, too, but the other services make their free videos unnecessary because redundant. So I think I’ll unsubscribe from Prime once more, as they really don’t do much else for me, that a plain subscription doesn’t already. IOW: I’m not a rich, spoiled twit who needs everything NOW, and I don’t shop Whole Foods.

Adult Swim has free streaming shows, including Rick & Morty! Right now, I’m binge watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents via Roku. I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all, just because I’m not a paying subscriber to such services…I’m more than saturated with quality entertainment. Youtube also provides tons of excellent videos at no cost, of course! And I’m paying NOTHING for Internet access, for god knows how long. But once that deal ends, I’ll STILL only be paying just $10/month!

All’s been quiet EVERY NIGHT outside my window, as regards the Hohokum smoke shop…since that night they set off roman candles. And NO sign of Myrtle & son for almost a month now, though her name is still on the lobby mailbox. Morey at the corner store two blocks up, told me others have said they’ve seen him still hanging out with those punks, and that “Adisa’s a nice kid, but he’s hanging out with a bad bunch, and he’s headed in a bad direction. Just be glad he’s left your building.” I thanked him for the update. He said he feels sorry for the mom, but I sure don’t! I would love to know what kind of arrangement the building manager had with her, to inspire him to be so hostile towards THIS harmless pilgrim. Though I guess it was me who triggered their eviction, by standing up to them. I’ve even entertained the thought that she was involved with dealing drugs through her son, and maybe the manager, too. Does that sound far fetched to you?

Hope your day goes loverly: you and your cats and the pup, and your male hominid!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek picked up the pups last night.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 22, 2021 10:25 AM

Around 10 PM. No muss, no fuss, no drama. I found a complete pack of American Spirit cigarettes (minus 1) on my walk that morning: an excellent brand that I knew he’d enjoy. So I presented it to him upon returning the dogs. Actually, I withdrew it from a pocket and held it in my hand, waving it around while updating him re. the pooches’ visit, till he could take it no more and said, “I’ll take that!”

Doggies were happy to be with him again. Two other homeless folks approached and struck up a friendly conversation with him, when I returned to bring down more doggy food, a cup of soda and a spare lighter. I pet the dogs one more time, thanked them for their company, then returned hovel. They all departed a few minutes later, when I heard Lucky’s bark right across the street, and rattling of cans as Deek resumed his nightly round of collecting recyclables. Here’s another video of them howling:


The Final Chapter (part 15)

July 10, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17o]

Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce list
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 9:56 AM

On Sat, 26 Jun 2021 12:35 My Dear Wattson posted:

> …who responded with such generosity last month to the rent plight of a new widow. I believe I contacted each of you individually, but if I missed anyone, please consider yourself lavishly thanked!

I have also benefited immensely from the kind and generous donations from certain announce listers, for my rescue-2-homeless-doggies project. Which has triggered a profound change for the better in my life (regarding the pups’ well-being), and for which I will be eternally grateful. These compassionate donors have been honored and remembered in my Brindlekin Tales trilogy, though of course I’ve changed their names to fictional ones.


Re: NOT to let it get to me…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 1:51 PM

> Oh, Gawd. So rude and disgusting. And you, a vegetarian, having to smell the odor of cooking flesh. Ugh!

And to think San Franshitsco was once a leader in the vegetarian movement. Now, it’s just like everywhere else in America: meat-eaters constantly mocking us. My window sucks in the cooking odor like a vacuum. The grill’s location also attracts even MORE folks around my building…thus, more noise and being forced to hear their pointless babble and insane screeches. I HATE being surrounded by fools…and the fact that, even when home, I’m still subjected to this. My sanctuary is of minimal solace.

So far, I haven’t had to take the pups out for a walk while the crowds were gathered thick as thieves. I always worry about some crazy meth head popping up out of the blue the moment I exit. It’s already happened several times, even during daylight hours. At such moments I’m like a captive prisoner with the dogs’ safety at risk.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Incorporating part of our chat in my latest chapter.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:27 PM

Took a lot of work and thinking things through re. how to incorporate a texting conversation into my tales, when it includes images, a video and voice recordings! Wattson, I believe you’ll be duly impressed by how I’ve so aptly applied my deductive skills to this uniquely 21st century challenge, for which I believe even our nemesis Professor Morgueiarty himself would be flummoxed, had he and his 4-score-and-20 DNA copies not been banished from our lovely cyber-dimension Level 188, Planet Earth version 32.014. So do read on:

WordPress doesn’t allow you to include embedded links within an image (well it does if  you’re a paying member and  use the appropriate plugin). So that’s out, though it would be the most intuitive and user friendly approach. I certainly would’ve preferred to do that, since mapping an image allows you to include as many embedments as you like.

For viewers could then click on any link within the chat image, so a larger pic would show, or a video play. My solution was to add a list of media links BELOW the image-capture of the chat session itself. Except for the voice recordings, since I can’t find a way to extract them from the chat, so I just typed them out. I had to take four screenshots to save the chat in its full length, then stitch them back together with a simple paint program.

I also changed your image icon to something other than your noble visage, seeing as exactly WHO “My Dear Wattson” is, is a bit of a secret which I’d like to keep for the entire trilogy. So, in a spare moment I invite you to see how I worked out all the kinks, to present a facile solution when image mapping is verboten. Once the page loads, jump down to “chat session” and you’ll be good to go.

I think including the occasional texting dialog within my tales is a nice touch, that keeps things modern, as well as artful. (Or should I say “ARF-ful?”) The high tech version of “belles lettres.”

I’ve also suffered behind-the-scenes glitches trying to get this chapter out. First, my gay-bible.org site went down for nine, frustrating days. Which site I rely on for my image links (and the occasional video). I thought maybe Online Policy Group that hosts my website neglected to renew my domain name…but I checked to discover they hadn’t. Turns out that their web hosting servers were down, but they’re now back up as of yesterday.

Then, these past four days, WordPress’s home page from where I log in has gone bonkers, with no admission of any problem on their part. It was mostly text, missing images and a mess overall. I could still click on the login link, but once the dashboard loads, it’s missing the left-side bar, which includes all my menu options, including those to edit or create posts! So yesterday I described my problem on Reddit:

But they were (willfully) clueless, suggesting it’s all my own fault, and that their Reddit sub is focused on paying members, rather than us lowly freeloaders. For they are the ORGs, the privileged group, whereas I am but a useless-eater COM.

Nonetheless, I found a workaround (awkward and kludgy, but doable), whereby I can resume working on my latest chapter, and hopefully, start the next.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:40 PM

> A couple of these people blew my mind with their generosity. I have enough left over to cover half her rent for July.

Fantastic.

> I have to figure out what to do for her in the future; she’s stubborn and has a crazy streak, but I CANNOT just let her slide into ruin and homelessness.

The sad thing is you may have no choice in the long run. Same with Deek, when it comes to saving the pups from a possible, horrid fate. Very sorry to hear she is SUCH a difficult person. That is just not right, after all the sacrifices you’ve already made.


Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 3:56 PM

> Like you, I see it as a challenge. She can’t help being crazy. I’m mainly doing it for my poor Van. He fretted so much about what would happen to her if he died. And then he did….

I understand perfectly. Soldier on, Wattson, there is no room for doubt, or dwelling on worst-case scenarios. I hope my extraordinary tales grant you uplift and solace through this trial.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: NOT to let it get to me…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 4:02 PM

> Insane chattering chimps.

They fling poo with their words.


Re: 5 reasons to wear a mask even after you’re vaccinated
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chuck Kapinski
Date: June 27, 2021 7:46 PM

On Sunday, June 27th, 2021 at 7:42 PM, Chuck Kapinski wrote:

> I flatly refuse to wear a stupid mask. As do most of my friends in the bars. Many of us, me included, are holdouts NOT getting the toxic vaccine. The car has been in the shop for a week and it will take that long to catch up on my e-mails, videos, etc.

VERY sorry to hear you talk like that, Chuck. You took a wrong detour some time after returning to your home town. Peer pressure from old high school friends to turn towards the extreme right, along with getting caught up in conspiracy psychobabble, seems to be what happened. I was trying to avoid this outcome, but unless you have a change of heart, I am cutting off any further contact with you. You know how to reach me, if that happy change should ever occur. Bad enough I had to drive my brother out of my life for good, but then here you come, acting just as foolish. I’m sure Carl Betza is turning over in his grave right now…wherever that might be.

There is a WORSE strain of the virus coming down the pike, and you and all your misdirected friends are highly susceptible to both contracting it, and spreading it. That makes all of you angels of death. Same goes for my pathetic brother. My homeless friend, Deek (who brought those lovely pups to me, and changed my world) finally got the shots, after months of talking conspiracy shit about it. He even showed me his vaccine card, which I laminated and took a picture of, to save permanently on my laptop and backup services. I’m very proud of him. You, however, are a tragic disappointment. Talk about “friends in bars:” alcoholics almost always make poor life decisions. Drive safely! Though the direction you’re headed in looks to be a dead end with no way to back up or turn around.


Subject: “Moriarty” now “Morgueiarty”
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 10:02 PM

I’ve brought up Professor Moriarty more than once in my missives, including one I posted to you this very day, good physician. But just a moment ago, I realized I wasn’t being consistent with changing character names in a subtle but satirical manner. As I’ve already done with “Krahlin-Holmes” (or “K-Holmes”), “Dr. Wattson” and “Mrs. Hudnut.” So I deliberated for a short while on what Moriarty’s convoluted makeover ought to be, and finally deduced the obvious: “Morgueiarty.”

By good fortune (thank Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria’s specter), a quick search through my WordPress site came up with only TWO chapters wherein the name “Moriarty” is present, thus far. That would be “Letter to the Landlord (part 1)” and “Letter to the Landlord (part 2)”…a bemusing coincidence I might note, as regards the matching titles, but for one digit. It was therefore a painless update, took barely four minutes to accomplish, even with WordPress’s currently cumbersome interface faux pas.

Seeing as these characters are a premonition of my future novel, “Friendly Ghost Detective Agency”–destined to be a rollicking sci-fi spoof of the Sherlock Holmes canon–it’s best to set up whatever Doyle-ian names mentioned in my present tales, with their debased equivalent.

All in a day’s work, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Announce]- Thanks to all…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 27, 2021 11:52 PM

> They are, in fact, an inspiration.

The best is yet to come…and soon.


Subject: One of the Hohokum Punks Just Threatened Me
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 28, 2021 11:41 PM

Strange night overall. Electricity kept going out for a second, around every 10 minutes, starting around 9 PM. So my Xfinity gateway had to reboot itself, and that took around four minutes. I checked the hallway to discover the emergency lights were on for my hall, but not for the two connecting ones. After the fourth time that happened, I stepped back out into the hallway to notice that the utility room at the landing below was open.

I overheard the manager say to someone else who was down there with him, that the circuit breaker is screwed up. So now I knew they were turning the circuit on and off, that leads to my room and several other units. So I stepped back inside, to just grin and bear it. Then the Hohokum creeps started shooting off Roman candles below my window. I first heard a few loud pops one after the other, so stepped to my window with smartphone in hand, in order to record it for possible evidence against them.

That’s when I learned it wasn’t just firecrackers, but Roman candles…because I watched one go off by the parking sign, where they had rigged a small platform. Then I saw another shoot way up into the air and seconds later saw what I thought was a shower of sparks come raining down. “They could start a fire on our roof!” I thought.

Then, the punk who ignited the candles glared up at me; the skinny one who’s always yapping his brains out, there on the sidewalk till late into the night. I looked right back at him, and he finally blurted out that I threw water on him, and he’s gonna shoot those fireworks right at my window. I hollered back:

“That wasn’t me, it came from up there!” and pointed skyward. Two of his other fucked up friends were also grimacing at me.

Well, I stepped away and decided to call the manager. His voicemail picked up my complaint. I described what just happened. that they’re out of control, I was just threatened, and to PLEASE talk to them…I really DON’T want to get the police involved and go through yet more harassment, after all the crap I’ve been through in this building already.

After I hung up I decided to see if he was still putzing around downstairs, and sure enough he was. And PLAYING BACK on his speaker, the grievance I had just sent him! I was thinking of descending the stairs to talk face to face, but decided against that, and returned to my room.

So a new threat against me has arisen, also close to home. I’m worried not just about my own safety, but more for that of the doggies. What’s it gonna be like now, whenever I come and go with them? Are these punks gonna target me? Is the building manager even gonna bother to speak with them?

Attached is a screenshot of this evening’s phone history. I called him twice, because the first time I forgot to say what KIND of fireworks they had set off tonight. I didn’t want him to think they were just firecrackers. Unfortunately, I missed taking a video because I didn’t want the punks to see me aiming a smartphone in their direction.

So on my second call I told him they were Roman candles which sparks could ignite our building. He already knew about the water splashing down, and the accusation against me.

My initial call was at 10:07 PM. Then came a missed call at 10:12. My phone never rang, so can’t figure out the problem. No message was left. My second call was at 10:36, followed by “declined” two minutes later. So he’s blocked me?

Well, tomorrow’s another day, and I’ll find out soon enough what the manager has to say about this, as I won’t back off. And if any further hassles will be forthcoming from the smoke shop goons. The manager KNOWS I’d have no qualms about bringing my complaint to Ablahblah, if he doesn’t straighten things out. Because I’ve ALREADY DONE THAT over the “Myrtle & Son” fiasco, which made HIM look bad. So I’m hoping that incident will spur him on, to get the Hohokum scum to simmer down.

Now I have NO privacy, simply due to my committing the ultimate sin of looking out my window! I’m a sitting duck, a target of hostility by the punks below, for, I guess, as long as they continue to work there. Will this mean I can no longer have the pups visit, for their own safety?

And why do I keep getting harassed over and over again, from unexpected sources, though I’m minding my own business? Looks like I’ll be wearing my spypen all the time again, for awhile! But I don’t have a working printer any more, to mail a complaint to Ablablah Realty, should I deem that necessary. I have their email and phone number, but those options may not have the desired impact, compared to a certified letter.

Can you imagine? This punk getting outraged over a little water splashed on him, for illegally shooting off fireworks, that are also a FIRE HAZARD?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Re: One of the Hohokum Punks Just Threatened Me
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: June 29, 2021 1:46 PM

> Those rotten punks. They live for stupid, primitive conflict, enjoy every minute of it. Not happy unless they’re stirring up shit. It gives meaning and purpose to their stupid little lives.

Couldn’t agree with you more.

> And shame on Kevin for sidestepping.

Turns out he didn’t. His voicemail came through, I just had some difficulty accessing it. I had to first inactivate wifi, then activate mobile data. Which doesn’t make sense, but there you have it. Two voicemails:

1: He suggested I report the incident to the police.

2: He asked me to write a letter of complaint and bring it to him.

I had already called the SFPD before listening to his voicemail. They said I need to phone them when it’s happening. So I’ll do just that for now on.

> Do you have any idea who threw water on them?

Nope. Whomever it was, kept silent. But it HAD to come from someone living directly above me, on the 3rd or 4th floor, or perhaps the apartment window next over from mine, or the two just above.

> Obviously, you’re not the only one being disturbed by their obnoxious shenanigans.

Yes, though I shouldn’t be the only one reporting this to the manager. But he can now check things out by asking the five suspect residents “did you toss that water,” and if they’ve been disturbed by the Hohokum employees at any time previously. IOW: the H20 dump actually works in my favor.

So let’s see how things go from here. Hopefully, it will be nipped in the bud. Though ANY complaint brought to their attention, including a police visit, will likely inspire them to scapegoat me further.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Here’s a copy of my complaint:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Pups were over for a few hours last night.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 1, 2021 12:44 PM

[But first, allow me to update you regarding the Hohokum tobacco, weed (and Aphaea only knows what OTHER drugs they sell in secret) and paraphernalia shop, Wattson. Peaceful and hassle-free last night, not a squeak out of them, no gathering out front, no raucous behavior. I have NO details on how this came about, but DO hope it remains that way.]

Deek dropped by around 9 PM, offered me the dogs, then changed his mind, then offered them back. I didn’t even bother to ask, just was friendly and ready to accept whatever he decides. Before I left with the doggies, he reprimanded:

“They’re not for you to keep, they’re just to enjoy their visits. Remember that.”

“Oh c’mon, you don’t need to tell me that!” I replied as the pups patiently sat by my feet, though I knew they were DYING to get indoors.

“Yes I do,” he pressed, describing how his street friends tell him he’s a fool for trusting me, that he should be able to take care of the dogs all on his own, blah blah blah. And for emphasis, he added:

“They’ll kill me if they think I gave ’em away!”

“They sound like horrible people,” I retorted (rather than accusing him of making this all up, which I’m sure he did…his drama is tiresome). “Just tell them I’m a good friend, an old lonely fellow who gains much happiness having your pooches over. And they’re little dogs who shouldn’t be out in the cold, damp weather all the time, so you appreciate my providing sanctuary for them.”

“I already have,” he affirmed.

I shrugged my shoulders: “They should say how lucky you are to have a friend with a roof over his head, who helps you out. Maybe they’re jealous that you do, and their so-called advice is an attempt to fuck you up. It’s really none of their business, and I wish you wouldn’t blab about our affairs to every Tom, Dick and Harry on the streets. They’re not all nice people.”

He didn’t seem the least bit antagonized by my frank rebuttal…as if he was just reciting from a script. And this is where my Bodhisattva Premise kicks in, once more:

He was TESTING me, starting with declaring I could have the pups over till he returns, then abruptly changed his mind, then just as promptly declared I could, again. The test was all about how calmly I do, or do not, respond.

“Well, they really wanna hang out with you, I can see that…so you may as well keep ’em till I return, say, in two or three hours.” Then he elaborated how he might NOT come back till the next day, etc. So I interrupted:

“They’ll be perfectly fine either way, we’ve been through this before, I know the routine. We’re going inside now, they’ve been very forbearing sitting here so peacefully, and I hope you have a nice time wherever you’re going.”

He told me they might be hungry, I said okay I’ll feed them posthaste, then he departed as I turned around and we three entered the building. Like so many times before:

As I fiddled with the main key, Flaco & Lucky jumped up and down and scratched on the gate with fervor. Soon as I opened it, they pushed with as much force as their little bodies could muster, upon the heavy doors that remain the last obstacle. Sometimes one or the other manages to squeeze partway through, but I still have to push on it myself to get them both inside.

They pulled me forward on their leashes, yapping at each other to win the race to their beloved sanctuary…but that was of course impossible, until I unleashed them a few steps up, concealed from the lobby camera’s panopticon eye. Then off they scampered. Though this time the door was NOT ajar, as a strong breeze from my open window had forced it shut. Never mind, they instead frolicked up and down the bifurcate corridor until I finally turned the key and gave them entry.

Deek had also given me three small battery packs to recharge, and a “new” smartphone to charge and load with mp3 files. Which I did, soon as the pups were settled in. I was disappointed when he DID return just before midnight, and I had to disturb the mutts from their blissful rest. They didn’t seem to mind much, though…they are TROOPERS.

Today is my 71st birthday, and I was hoping I’d get my wish: to spend that day with the dogs. However, my wish only came partly true. Good enough as far as I’m concerned, since I hate birthdays for the most part, because of all the phony expectations and obligations they impose. Besides which, I’ll have the pups’ gracious company countless times down the road, anyway. Which already makes ME a very lucky fellow.

He called up to the window: “Bring everything down!” Which I found amusing, his choice of the word “everything” to mean the dogs as well. Soon as I came up to him with “everything,” I thanked him for making my birthday wish come true, by letting me spend some time with Lucky & Flaco.

“It’s your birthday?” he queried in amicable surprise.

“Not quite, that would be tomorrow.” I specified.

“Oh, well you should keep the dogs overnight.” But then he quickly changed his mind. “No, I got stuff to do.”

“No problem,” I replied. “I’m happy to have spent some hours with them, just the same.”

“Wait a sec,” he announced, then rummaged through his shopping cart to come up with a birthday card. (Right, as if he didn’t know all along that tomorrow’s my day…conveniently coughed up an appropriate card. As I said: this is all scripted.)

I eagerly snatched up the card, read it and declared with a grin: “This is a BELATED card, but my birthday’s tomorrow.”

Click here for a larger view.

He countered: “Wait a minute then, let me find another.”

“No, no, I like the card anyway, it’s very nice!”

But he ignored me and came up with a SECOND one. So I took that, too, slipped it between thumb and fingers alongside the first.

“Read it, see what it says,” he implored.

So I held it up and recited aloud: “No supermodels, no million dollars…but we can give you a big cock.”

Click here for a larger view.

Of course the “cock” was a rooster. I chuckled: “But it’s not even a real cock, it’s a picture of one!”

He insisted I keep them both, and I thanked him for the lovely cards.

“So you’re what, 70?”

“No,” I corrected, “I’m 71. I used to think it sucks growing old, but I’ve never felt healthier and happier in my entire life, these past several months! Flaco & Lucky have certainly played a big part in that!”

He didn’t respond, just smiled and turned his cart around, to depart with the pups. But I stopped him because it struck me right then and there, that I had something rather important he should hear, good doctor. And that was:

“You’ve done the nicest thing to me anyone has done in my entire life…you shared your dogs.”

Deek humbly replied, “alright,” as he resumed his departure…the cart rattled on, with the darling brindlekin tethered to it. They looked back at me twice, with sweet regret they had to leave. It was another chill, damp night and I sorely wished they didn’t have to, either. I waved back and smiled at them, before returning hovel.

The cards are now atop my cabinet, as you can see. And they’ll be there for quite awhile, maybe forever. I think my final words to him last night really made his day, perhaps his entire life.

Now, reflecting upon what I said about never feeling better at such an advanced age, I think of all my little victories since last October. And feel pretty damn amazing for having stood up to every single challenge that had been thrust at me…and which I have won, hands down! Applying my Bodhisattva Premise once again:

This is all scripted: crises fabricated by the building manager, Myrtle & son, and the Hohokum screwballs. And of course, by Deek himself. Each and every one of them has provided me with a golden opportunity, one after another, to play the hero.

And with the boundless love of two little pups cheering me on, how could I ever lose?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups were over for a few hours last night.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 2, 2021 1:16 PM

> Sounds as if your birthday was a pretty good one. The noisy neanderthals quiet for now,

Well, they were noisy and screechy last night, but nowhere near as bad as all the other times. But it went on until 4 AM! NO other shop is open for blocks, they’ve become a gathering spot for riffraff, including their own friends who double park along this side of the street. Almost like tailgate parties. So I’m afraid they’ll be reasonably quiet for a short time, then resume the BS.

> Deek behaving reasonably, doggie contact…

His volunteering to get vaccinated was THE turning point for everything else to fall into place on a MUCH better level. Including his upcoming decision (per my prediction) to have Flaco spayed, thus enabling him to finally get FREE vet care for BOTH doggies.

But the pups’ visits are far less frequent, as if he’s planning to cut me out of his life for good. Maybe in long-fuming reaction to our battle earlier this year, when I attempted to become Flaco & Lucky’s new guardian. Thus, being calm and friendly in order to make his exit as smooth as possible. This, of course, is one among other fears I entertain. Though I know by now that’s wrong thinking, so I keep such imagined scenarios at bay. One can NOT possibly blank them out entirely, of course. But one CAN give them scant attention. That is DEFinitly the lesson I’m learning. Well, not so much learning as applying a more disciplined mindset.

> I hate birthdays, too, and do my best to ignore them.

So glad we’re on the same page with that. Deek is my only exception, as his sparse income does not afford him to purchase a decent gift, and birthdays mean so much to him. So whenever he brings me something thoughtful–even though scored from rubbish–I show my appreciation right away. My father was a garbage man when I was a kid (we didn’t call them “sanitation workers” back then), and he’d often bring me something nice that he rescued from the trash…after cleaning it thoroughly and making it look shiny new as possible. But only one such item remains in my memory:

A lovely, spinning globe of the earth on a small, brass stand. It was around eight inches in diameter. Like a jigsaw puzzle, different regions were removable. They were made of hard celluloid and about a sixth-inch thick and slightly curved, with a different color for each region. Totally intact but for a tiny peninsula missing on just one of the pieces. I kept it for years.

> The cards are hilarious.

Yeah, aren’t they sweet? But they are also a remarkable memento in his new change of attitude. Thus, they are far MORE than just birthday cards.

> And it’s funny that Deek seems to have one of everything in his shopping cart, including birthday cards.

Arwyn writes the latest script, and Deek simply follows. I’m sure, though, that Deek adds the occasional line or action into these scripts, as a co-author himself in these bodhisattva scenarios. I have observed considerable maturity in his behavior towards me, in recent meetups…which DO suggest it’s all an act on his part. And has been, all along, solely for my benefit and no one else’s.

> Now, there’s a children’s story: Deek and the Magic Shopping Cart.

It’s a great story for adults AND children, already. Brindlekin Tales is destined to be the lotus blossom of humanity’s fulfillment. How pretentious of me to say so!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: And this…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 3, 2021 12:37 PM

> Killer, both of those! The otter, the doggies!

These videos refresh my spirit. I make a point of spending some time on Reddit’s r/aww sub every day. Also: r/AnimalsBeingBros.

I have a feeling Deek’s next visit will be amazing…after the nice things I told him in our previous meetup. Last night was very quiet re. Hohokum creeps. Oh, and another nice incident that occurred three days back:

That nasty drama queen with the two chihuahuas finally witnessed Flaco & Lucky NOT barking, as he exited the building just before I entered. He said nothing, but I know he observed. Financially privileged people are often the biggest schmucks around. They know nothing about me, other than from the gossipy grapevine…even though I’ve lived here for YEARS. I am watching over two of the kindest, sweetest doggies in the world, but they choose to harass me anyway.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Announce]- Cut me some meat, Hunca Munca!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce list
Date: July 4, 2021 8:55 PM

Zeke here. Your childishly biased regard towards me over the air is NOT appreciated. In last Friday’s show of “Memo of the Weird,” starting at 50:37 (and lasting 18 seconds), you declared:

“And poor benighted Ezekiel took being described as benighted as an insult, but I took his calling me a homophobe a year or two ago as an insult, lying down. So I’m gonna call that even, though poor means poor, and benighted means in the dark on many issues, which…aren’t we all?”

Anyone who’d like, is free to listen to the matching audio clip, here.

First of all: yes, you made a clearly homophobic remark on one of your shows while speaking over the air to Oggie Dunwich. When he said “I love you buddy,” you advised him to say “pal” instead of “buddy,” because the latter is just “kinda gay.” Here is a 39 second audio clip of that incident.

Besides noting that there is nothing more or less intrinsically gay with either word, and that your implying there is, is ABSURD. I also want to point out that Oggie has said many times prior to that night, “I love you buddy,” to which you’ve always responded, “I love you too, buddy.” So I wonder: what wild hair got up in YOUR ass that night, one or two years ago?

Some hetero folks who declare themselves “gay friendly” insist that homophobia is ONLY when someone speaks out with an anti-gay epithet, or condones violence against gays. That way, they slide by with using a term like “too gay” (or in your case, “kinda gay”) to imply something distasteful, unpleasant or just plain wrong. Which is exactly what YOU did that evening, with Oggie. I already posted my complaint about that incident, on this list, to which you never cared to respond. But obviously, it’s stuck in your craw. As well it should.

Secondly: I already addressed your snarky remark about my being “benighted,” on this announce list. (And adding the adjective “poor” to that word is underhanded.) But you went ahead and read it over the air…knowing I’ll probably hear it, which gives you the jollies. But on your most recent show, you came up with a juvenile cop-out that we ALL are benighted, so what’s my beef. Problem is: you SINGLED ME OUT as such, thus implying I am LESS knowledgeable than yourself, and many others. For the rather foolish reason that I am against space research being handed over to lunatic billionaires and private corporations.

Which I already made VERY CLEAR in my post to this list: that I am NOT against aerospace research and development, just against some of the ways we are going about it, in this country. Yet you painted me as if I were against any and all such projects, both in your response on the list, and on your radio show…in which show you deliberately excluded my distinction in this matter, including how I’d PREFER space-going ventures to be handled. Something only an Elon Muskmelonhead “fan boi” would do, which you seem to be.

But seeing that, in running your own radio show, you can paint anyone in an unfairly biased light according to your whim, there’s not much I (or anyone else you target) can do about it. It’s just a PETTY act, which only serves to diminish what quality may remain in your broadcasts.


Subject: This is SO depressing: 20 minutes w/the pups, and that’s all she wrote!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 7, 2021 8:14 PM

Deek showed up a half hour ago, the pups with hearty greets as always. I had just purchased my second cup of java, and as I crossed the intersection there he was coming in my direction with Flaco & Lucky delighted to see me. I asked how he was, and said it’s good to see you all again. He seemed fine, no drama and cleanly attired. And that’s REALLY great!

He asked for his allowance, I said of course. Wanted me to hurry in order to pay someone just around the corner. So I dashed upstairs, set my coffee down, snatched the three Jacksons I had set aside, and ran back out. Upon receiving the cash he said I could hang with the doggies for awhile, then he walked partway up the sidewalk on 16th Street (behind my building) to commiserate with some bald-headed dude seated by the curb.

So I sat down and immensely enjoyed having these lovely pooches on my lap and in my arms again. I figured they’d not be staying with me, else he’d have handed me the leash already, to take them inside. So I took what comfort I could, and in about 20 minutes he called to me, requesting I bring down dog food, a razor and a drink (which is always diet root beer). That other fellow had left some moments earlier, and Deek was fussing with rolling a joint…seemed to be in good spirits.

When I returned with the items I made a point of thanking him for the birthday cards:

“They’re on top of my cabinet now, both of them. One’s very funny, the other’s very sweet.”

As he began to shove the cart forward, I pet the pups one more time. Deek thanked me for everything I do, and added “God bless you!”

As I watched them cross the street, I blessed them back. Then he turned to me, said something about getting another phone. I think he meant one with actual cell service, like he had two months ago: whatever happened to it, I have no idea. I stood there another half minute or so, to wave to the pups each time they looked back.

Now, I’m not going to obsess over the many possible scenarios regarding his withholding the dogs from visiting me, these past almost-three weeks. For I have NO idea what he’s up to; he’s certainly keeping mum about it, as he did NOT volunteer ANYthing about his latest doings.

Does he want to wean the dogs from visiting me, out of jealousy, or perhaps seriously plans to move on (even back to Louisiana)? Is he caught up with some bad people who are manipulating him, including abolishing our friendship? Is he putting me through my paces re. his bodhisattva challenges, and will soon resume letting Lucky & Flaco stay over now and then? I hope it’s the latter, but here I go, conjecturing, and I just said I’m not gonna obsess.

But what can I do, as I love the pups so much I’m not gonna refuse to contribute any more food unless he allows me to enjoy their company once or twice a week. (I could NEVER deny the pups any generosity I can afford, no matter MY situation.) Nor am I gonna try whatever OTHER persuasive tactics I can come up with. He already KNOWS how important they are in my life, and how happy it makes them to visit. He’s ALWAYS putting me into these like-walking-on-eggshells scenarios. TEMPTING me to express frustration, anger or vengeance (or all three at once). Which would certainly be the WRONG way to go.

But I truly hate pining for them, waiting till I get to see them again next week…and just for a very short while! How long will THAT go on? Will they just not show up any more, leaving me in the dust? I like to think that his bringing up acquiring another smartphone is a clue that he has EVERY intention of remaining aligned with me…and that this agonizing chapter is but a short one, followed by one brimming with a happy resolution for all parties involved.

So many things are going my way any more: fast FREE Internet, inexpensive Tracfone, my COVID shots (and Deek’s, too; that’s just wonderful), beating back the ugly mother-and-son team, and successfully dealing with the building manager’s horrid abuse. After all those personal victories (which I handled very well, and according to Buddha’s tenets), I see no reason why my association with Deek & pups should not ALSO be favorable.

So I REFUSE to worry, and will be of good cheer, no matter WHAT demons may well up in my mind now and then, like Whack-a-Moles. ONE of those demons (a powerful one at that) is fear of being left alone, Deek and the pooches trotting off into the sunset, never to return. And I go through THAT anxiety EACH AND EVERY TIME we end our latest meetup! But especially so, now that he visits less often, and for just a few minutes at that, and without offering me the doggos for company. But I AM aware:

Deek is NOT the enemy; he never was. Just a rather DIFFICULT person to befriend, in light of his tragic background and consequent trust issues, fears and suspicions (AND superstitions). As the Buddha says, “we have no enemies, only teachers.” And as YOU even said: “Deek is also a victim of a harsh world, just as are the dogs.” I’m paraphrasing here, as it would be most tedious to dig up that particular quote, buried as it is, deeply somewhere in my earlier Brindlekin Tales (book 1 OR book 2 I think).

And that, dear Wattson, IS the lesson…albeit painful and MOST challenging, it is MOST important to learn to rise above such sad thoughts. No demon has ANY power over you, but what you yourself allow. Caveat:

Though, perhaps, he is NOT a victim in the least, but a bodhisattva PLAYING the victim, that I may learn some lessons as a result. Such a thought brings me solace…as opposed to the dark ones described above.

I hope you are having a lovely evening, that your writing is coming along splendidly, and those walking sticks are holding up like a boss.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: This is SO depressing: 20 minutes w/the pups, and that’s all she wrote!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 7, 2021 10:36 PM

> Was just going to mention the walking sticks, and thank you for them again! They’re light but very sturdy, and I feel a lot better about Mitch going off into the woods at age 82 (83 in September! Yikes!) with those sticks. A great, thoughtful gift.

So glad they’re working out so well!

> Oh, how I wish Deek wouldn’t toy with you like that. You have the best possible attitude, but I know the sadness creeps in from time to time.

He’ll come through for me…which means for the pups as well. But yes, doing good works sucks donkey butt. Isn’t it always like that, unless your “good works” are on a minor scale?

When I first laid eyes on Lucky, it was still during my separation from Deek. They were a moving silhouette across the street, for it was night, and all I could see was the black form of the cart, Deek, and Lucky. But the doggy’s sweet grace radiated through the dense veil of shadow anyway, and struck my heart:

Sitting upright in the cart, nose raised in the air and looking straight ahead, chest puffed with pride to be assigned the noble duty of guardian to this lone vagrant. Two nights later, Lucky and I finally met face to face: he was seated atop the cart once more, with a small blanket thrown over him like a nun’s habit. He took a cautious liking to me right then and there. Which surprised Deek, because I was wearing a hoodie, which garb usually aggravates the pup into wild barking. Not to mention Lucky’s hesitation with ANY stranger in the first place. But the little angel remained calm and welcomed my hugs. I fell in love for the first time in my life.

> I’m doing my “Buddha” work, too.

Indeed you are, Wattson. This is no small sacrifice.

> Yesterday, I took Darly (Van’s widow) up to the storage place in Fort Bragg, where she and Van have gone deep into the storage-rental boondoggle over the years, paying hundreds every month for TWO packed-full units, God knows how many thousands they’ve paid over the years. She desperately needs to empty those units, stop wasting hundred$ every month, but of course, she’s in the trap: no money, nowhere to put the stuff, terrible sentimental entanglement. I can’t tell you how sad it was to push those rumbling doors up and see all of those sad, sad possessions, books, furniture, boxes of manuscripts, poor Van’s handwriting everywhere, the fond hopes it all represented now just dusty old junk.

Absolutely heartbreaking. Every item must be dripping with sentimentality. Everything should go EXCEPT the manuscripts. Can they be moved ASAP to her domicile? I don’t know what else to say, but that she must ease the financial burden from your shoulders. Friendship and loyalty are immeasurably more important than possessions, no matter how sentimental.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He dropped by again, early!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 9:14 AM

7 AM, right on the dot…woke me up. Half asleep, I donned shoes, sweater, jacket, and stumbled on out to greet them all. I knelt down on the concrete to give the pups adoration, as Deek handed over a slightly battered Alcatel smartphone, two battery packs, and cylindrical speaker (NOT that heavy one any more, thank god). Said he’ll be back in two hours and outta my hair. Again, he didn’t offer me the pups. He should show up in a half hour or so…let’s see what happens next. And of course the bedbugs have returned. This is my life.


Subject: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 9:47 AM

One battery pack would NOT charge up, but he was not anxious about that in the least; and that’s good. I crouched down to pet the pups again; they looked at me with such longing in their eyes: “Can’t we come and visit you?” And then I returned hovel, after Deek saying once more, god bless you and thanks again.


Re: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 12:13 PM

> All good groundwork.

Thanks! Deek is no longer throwing hissy fits or making horrid accusations against me. I can say that with much confidence, now, since this improved, new Deek has been showing his face for at least three months w/o sliding back. I think that he has finally awakened to how poorly he’s treated me in the recent past (and for almost three years), and may be terribly embarrassed about that. Which ALSO could explain his distancing. He is my prodigal brother.


Re: Picked up his stuff, left with the dogs!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 2:35 PM

Interesting to note, is that whenever i DO require another bedbug treatment, Deek and pups conveniently disappear until two or three days later. And I NEVER inform him about bedbugs, because he’ll get all dramatic about it, and tell me to just get some pesticide, I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Or he’ll worry about the pups being exposed to chemicals. He knows NOTHING about bedbugs, that there IS no OTC solution…nor how very SAFE is the treatment used by professionals. So I just shut my trap about it. Yet somehow, some way, they all are gone on the day of treatment nonetheless, and don’t return till some days later. Well, maybe a day later at the earliest, but his timing works out perfecto for me.

Just one more reason why I think this is all scripted.


Subject: I HATE TEARING UP THAT BOX!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 8:40 PM

Flaco & Lucky have only gotten to play in it three times since I found it on the back porch. But now I have to dispose of it, in preparation for tomorrow’s bedbug treatment. It’s a LARGER box than the previous ones, and they love it so much more. It’s like a doghouse for them. And boxes that size are not easy to find.

You should have seen last time they were over. Flaco entered the box and settled down after a whole lot of furious scratching to make the floor “fluffy.” She was curled up in one corner when Lucky went to join her…but at that moment she abruptly sprung into full-stretch mode with paws plunked right across the edge, as if to declare: “Stay out, this is MY turf!” Very funny, as Lucky stepped back, barked a few times, then returned to the cot to let her enjoy that hidey-spot for herself. He doesn’t ALWAYS back off, but sometimes instigates a play-fight which they both enjoy, sometimes rumbling right there in the box. It wobbles like crazy, as if haunted by poltergeist!

Well, I could’ve put off the next bug eradication for a few days, to give me time to prepare. But I decided tomorrow is fine; I just had to hustle half-a-day getting things set up. I have it down to a science, adapted as I am to these insectoid invasions.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Of course Deek would show up tonight, and ask me to watch the pups!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 8, 2021 11:24 PM

Right in the middle of getting my room prepared…but how could I say no? (I swear Larkin wrote this script, and Deek and god only knows who else is in on it. Of COURSE they’d pick this time to finally resume the pups’ sweet stayovers!)

I just told him to pick them up by 1 PM tomorrow, as the plumber is coming over at 2, to fix a leak that sprung in my ceiling. He released the pups (still on their leashes but tied together as one), and off they ran STRAIGHT to the gate, and made a big fuss over wanting to get inside.

Without picking up the leash, I opened the front gate, assuming the inner doors would block them. But no, they pushed really hard, and I could not stay them, because the keys from my lanyard had just come undone and spilled onto the sidewalk! I have four keys, found three of them, but didn’t discover the fourth until someone who walked by kindly pointed out it out to me (behind my right foot).

So here I was, planning to run upstairs with the pups just ahead…instead, I had to leave them be wherever they were, as my own door was locked shut. When I finally arrived on my floor, they were having an utter ball, chasing each other up and down the hallway. With only a soft yelp here and there, so no problem. I was just worried that the manger would come across them, running free.

Now they are crashed out on the cot, and I’m so delighted with their return. And with Deek.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Attached pic shows him hanging by the bus stop just out front. He’s somewhere behind the shopping cart, piled high with a mound of clothing and whatever else beneath it. I really don’t want him parking around my building, but he’s a stubborn bastard, often against his own best interests. However, he IS being quiet…snoozing, I guess. Said he’d return in a couple of hours to pick up the devices, but the dogs stay overnight. How can he “return” if he’s still here? He’ll probably sleep like a log, and I’ll have to bring the stuff down to him, myself. But if he doesn’t awaken to receive them, I’ll just bring it all back upstairs.

Click here for a larger view.

Texting with Wattson – 7/9/21

Pic 1 (large version)

Pic 2 (large version)

Pic 3 (large version)

Video


Subject: What He Left Behind
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 9, 2021 10:10 PM

When he departed with the pups this morning, I never gave thought over how he emptied that shopping cart. Later when I stepped outside I came across THIS, to receive the answer to a question I hadn’t asked. Talk about dirtying a friend’s nest! (I even used that turn of phrase with him a year or two ago, and he rebutted: “Your nest is inside, not out here.”) However, he still deserves my kudos in spite of this, and for damn good reasons.

Click here for a larger view.

Great news…the N Judah light rail is running once more, finally! So I hopped on to hang around 9th & Irving, wishing Howard’s Cafe were still open. But I settled for Tart 2 Tart, an old fashioned, spacious coffeehouse that is good enough, but nothing like the sociable milieu of Howard’s. I lingered quite awhile, as the bedbug guy texted me that I can’t return to my hovel until 8:30 PM. So I guess he showed up closer to 4, than 2 (or maybe a bit later than planned).

I watched today’s PBS News on their Youtube channel with my Tracfone, while enjoying a fat slice of black forest cake and a cup of java. Eventually I left to stroll the promenade; this was once my favorite neighborhood in the entire city. (I guess it still is, but these days more like the LEAST grievous circle of hell among all the other circles that ring this sorry burg.) I felt cold, alienated, strolling down 9th Avenue…for it was nothing but shops and dead souls hopping from one spot to another. Howard’s was the last, true community gathering spot (other than the two bars a few blocks apart, I guess some locals would say)…so once it shut down, what fragment remained of the heart of the Inner Sunset was crushed under Moloch’s Heel.

Though I had time to kill, nothing appealed to me outdoors, not even the arboretum nearby, at the edge of Golden Gate Park. So I hopped back onto the N Judah and returned to the Castro. Almost three hours to go before I could claim my hovel as my own once again, by the time I reentered Hotel California North. So I hunkered down in the alcove right beside my room, and caught up on some of my favorite vloggers.

It actually feels good to have stripped down my monk’s cell, to clean out the cobwebs and start afresh. I just resent the drudgery it requires to get there. But why gripe? The doggies slept with me last night! I gave Deek a side hug this morning, to thank him for letting Flaco & Lucky visit me again, but he played the macho dude and brushed me away with a pseudo-grunt. So to make up for that, I told him they’re a joy and a blessing in my life, “and you are too, because of them.”

I’m sure it did his heart a lot of good, though he’d never admit it. Every time my three little angels depart, I think: I may never see them again.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: What He Left Behind
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: July 10, 2021 10:07 AM

> Did he just abandon all that stuff? Some of it looks useful.

Yes. Well, what is “useful” can often be a burden when you live the street life. Anything you can’t use immediately is of no worth. He has lost EVERYthing many times over, but Deek is nothing if not resilient. Had I more spacious quarters, I’d be cleaning and storing valued items for him…such as extra clothing, including what serves well for doggy comfort.

You may have noticed that tent in the background, where some homeless folks have set up camp behind my building as of several days ago. Which happens now and then…I think the steep rise of that street discourages such settlements from happening more often. When I stepped out for my morning coffee today, I decided to take a more focused shot of it; see attachment. They’ll be there for another week or even less, then move on. That’s the usual pattern.

Click here for a larger view.

> Coffee and Black Forest cake sounds divine!

They have both standard and specialty pastries, which are excellent, including key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, tiramisu, chocolate eclairs and cheesecake with thin, kiwi slices on top. Added bonus: they DON’T play loud, grating music like Starbucks and most other coffeehouses. In fact, they play NOTHING. So it’s always peaceful, easy to actually read, think and plain old relax. And very pleasant to hear and watch the N Judah cars rumble by. But since the pandemic started, I do not go there daily any more. In fact, I only visit Tart 2 Tart on my bedbug extermination days, which are maybe once every four months. I otherwise stick around my neighborhood for Deek and the pooches, more than anything else.

> I came across a great news story today: a black cat named Binx, who’d lived on the 9th floor of the collapsed tower in Florida, was found ALIVE and reunited with his people.

Wow, so happy to hear that. And Binx’s family also survived! A sweet pet is often the heart and soul of a person’s life. If it’s not, what the hell are they doing with one, in the first place?

> Here’s to more visits with the doggies, bless their pure little hearts.

MY heart and soul! In the coming days I will emphasize to Deek, just what an AMAZING fellow he is, for bringing them into my world. He’ll probably say something like he deserves more money for that. I’ll just tell him “Yes you do, but it’s beyond my financial capacity at this time.”

– Zeke K-Holmes



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