Every Little Endorphin Boost Counts!

April 23, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 22]

Subject: Well THAT was a relief!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2023 at 12:59 PM

I finally got around replying to the ABA attorney who asked for details re. my case. No need to share my reply with you, as you already know my questions, except for this backstory I appended to my reply:


And here’s where the building manager comes in, as he has been hostile towards me long before this present debacle, and I suspect he’s been coaching the Plaintiff with misinformation of a malicious sort. Maybe he even told the Plaintiff he does not have proof of the dogs’ vaccination (even though he does) to get the ball rolling. Manager has accused me of letting the dogs roam freely in the building, several times, in spite of that being untrue. So that’s probably where the Plaintiff got the idea of making that one of his complaints against me.

The manager is rather old, and has been showing signs of senility for at least a few years by now. Numerous tenants have grievances against poor management for various reasons. IOW I am not the only resident being subjected to his erratic behavior. One resident attempted last year to start a tenants union because of this, but it went nowhere.

Back in February 2021, manager taped a signed letter in an envelope to my door, declaring outrageous things about myself and the dogs, including prejudiced accusations against my homeless friend, who owns the dogs. He also was allowing teenage friends of a resident’s son (who shared the same apartment on my floor) to linger in my hallway for one, two, sometimes three, hours once or twice a week…and this went on for approximately three months. They hanged out just ten feet from my door, and almost right in front of the door of my neighbor across the hallway. They were very intimidating and refused to wear masks, thus possibly exposing all residents to COVID. I confronted the manager about allowing nonresident strangers to loiter in our building. He retorted, “They’re teenagers, what else would you expect from them?” I told them to get the police involved, this just has to stop.

Turned out he had arranged with the mother of this son, to allow her son and friends to linger in the hallway rather than gather in her apartment, due to the COVID rule of keeping a social distance. Thereby disregarding the safety of all other residents who had to walk by the teenagers, especially since they refused to wear masks! I continued dog sitting because I knew the dog bite accusation was false (see below).

Because of the manager’s refusal to rectify this situation I sent a letter of complaint to the landlord, including my concern that he may be going senile, due to his poor judgment on this and other issues. The mother’s son also threatened to beat me up, for which I called the police who had a talk with mother and son, and I filed the incident with the SFPD. I also mailed a copy of my complaint to the landlord, to both the manager and the son’s mother. They retaliated two days after receiving that letter, by making a false complaint about one of my dog’s biting her son. Which did not happen, they could not prove it, I’m with the dogs all the time when I’m sitting them. That accusation went nowhere, and mother and son suddenly upped and moved from my building without any threat of eviction, because they probably had something to hide. My hunch is the son got involved with the wrong group who were using hard drugs and/or selling them.

So, as a result of my reporting to the landlord the manager’s erratic behavior and possible senility, I suspect he is trying to get back at me by coaching the Plaintiff to start a lawsuit against me. For some of the complaints match perfectly, what the manager has accused me of, and finally slapped me with an eviction notice back in May 2022. Which the landlord’s attorney has dismissed just two days ago, after the landlord sat on the case for almost ten months, against both the wishes of his own attorney, and mine (an eviction attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid).

These are the dogs in question, if you are curious (videos on my playlist).

Thank you immensely.


Also, Wattson:

Someone on thelaw.com today said I SHOULD respond with an Answer. So here’s the discussion so far:


Someone said:
I don’t know what you expect the attorney to do with this information.

My reply:
I don’t know either, and no resource in the law library I went to, nor any online legal site, gives any instructions regarding declaring yourself Judgment Proof AND filing an Answer. One attorney (who is not handling my case, but offered some advice) said that, since I’m Judgment Proof I really don’t have to reply, or do anything else. And that’s why I’m here, with my question, to get other opinions.

Someone said:
If you do not file an answer to the complaint, it costs him very little to get a default judgment against you. Don’t wait for him to respond, file your answer.

My reply:
I am going to a free legal counsel clinic tomorrow, where you have a 20 minute session to get questions answered, and help with filling out the proper form(s). This is cutting it close, since after tomorrow, I have only five days before the deadline to reply. This free counseling service is only on the third Friday of every month, so I couldn’t see them any earlier. I will use the weekend to make two copies of all papers required, so I’ll be ready to move fast on Monday.

If I understand the rules, the next step after filing my Answer is both attorneys discussing mediation (over the phone probably), I think two or more weeks in advance of the mediation (scheduled for August 23rd). But since I’m representing myself I guess Plaintiff’s Attorney will be speaking with me…which I find rather weird and downright awkward.

The Answer form PLD-PI-003 only wants me to list the numbers of the complaints that I am denying, but no explanations for why I’m denying (if I understand correctly). Will mediation allow me to present why I’m denying certain complaints, or will that still be on hold?

And, can I DENY Plaintiff’s claim for supposedly needing rabies shots, on the grounds that it was not necessary, and that the building manager should have shown him proof, as he requested evidence of rabies shots for both dogs via texting me. Which I sent him a few minutes later (via texting) as snapshots of the papers AND the tags. Not that I believe the Plaintiff was bitten, but because the manager (or anyone else for that matter) has the right to ask for proof of updated rabies shots at any time. So, would the rabies shot complaint go under the heading “DENIES , ON INFORMATION AND BELIEF?”

And can I likewise deny his claim for trauma under that same heading, based on it being an exaggerated claim?

Thanks for your helpful reply, BTW. Oh, one more thing:

My landlord’s attorney dismissed the eviction case against me, as of two days ago. Which ties in with the dog issue. The complaints were either trivial or frivolous, which my own attorney told me. Landlord’s attorney agreed with her, and wished for the Landlord to just drop it, rather than sit upon it after failing to reply on time. I had to wait almost ten months for this predictable outcome, but it may help in my defense regarding another Plaintiff’s attempt to sue me.


Re: Well THAT was a relief!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2023 at 2:39 PM

> Very good work. You’d have made a hell of a lawyer yourself. As would I, but I can scarcely think of a job I’d want less. Except maybe airline pilot. Or dentist.

Only now am I beginning to figure out which careers would best suit me…at the ripe old age of 72! Such as: legal counsel (for the poor, especially LGBTs): social worker (for the poor, especially LGBTs), Jungian therapist (for the poor, especially LGBTs), high priest (of the First Church of Dog), adopter of abandoned doggies (with acres of fenced-in property), ghost writer (for real ghosts only…who are poor, especially LGBTs), paranormal investigator (for the poor living in rundown slums, especially LGBTs), gourmet vegetarian chef (for the poor, especially LGBTs), private detective (for the poor, especially LGBTs) and compassionate owner of a house of ill repute for LGBTs (whereby they get the best health care and the largest share of the profits)…for examples.

I feel like Grandma Moses who picked up the paintbrush when she was 78. Though I found my “calling” years ago, as an activist for the LGBT houseless. And I’m fine with that. BTW:

Deek dropped by this morning, was most amicable. I gave him his final $80 for the month, even though it’s four days ahead of schedule. Still has $40 remaining, which I’ll give him around a week from now. He thought today’s allowance was his third payment for the month, but I corrected him:

“No, this is your fourth, and last, until next month. I’ll be glad to show you my calendar so you can see you’ve already received the first three payments before the middle of the month, if you’d like.”

He said no, that’s okay, he’s just confused, then added:

“I appreciate all the things you do for me and the doggies.”

He asked me to bring them a meal and water, didn’t even want me to dog sit or charge any of his devices, or change the music on his speaker chip. I took this meetup to tell him the landlord dismissed my eviction case, and I should soon be dismissed from the more recent attempt to sue me. He politely demanded I explain to him what these cases are about, so I told him:

“False accusations, they just hate the homeless and anyone like me, who reaches out to them. They see me out here with you all the time, they couldn’t wrap their heads around my sitting a couple of homeless dogs, they made up claims that I’m smoking meth and running drugs on the side. Another accused me of threatening him with violence, stupid stuff like that. Basically, anything they could come up with to fuck with me.”

I explained to him they had not a shred of evidence for such accusations, which led to the manager slapping an eviction notice on me. So I needed an attorney to clear this all up, and she did. One of my enemies keeled over some months back, my main gossiper in fact, who was also good friends with the manager:

“Who, as you can see with your own eyes, wound up in the hospital for almost two months and is now so decrepit he’s not long for this world. So these idiots are paying their dues for such childish hostility.”

I also explained to him I have no interest in vengeance, but deal with this crisis with compassion and forgiveness…appealing to their hearts by example. Which will result in a lot of goodwill in the long run.

“And that is the best way to deal with ANY crisis, Deek,” I declared in summation. “The Chinese like to say crisis is opportunity, and the Buddha said we have no enemies, only teachers. Jesus said the same thing, though in different words: love your enemy. Because you never know if your so-called enemies are actually angels in disguise presenting you with a challenge they know will strengthen your soul by figuring out how to best deal with it. In short, DON’T WORRY about anything, just have faith you’ll get through whatever crisis befalls you, and be a better person once you come out of it. Do NOT allow misery to take over and start lashing out at others because you’re in a bad mood.”

Frankly, Wattson, I was amazed how attentively Deek listened to me, without a single interruption. I finished with:

“Besides, I’ve also met some incredible people in the legal field, which may benefit me somewhere down the line.”

He then asked why I can’t resume letting the dogs visit me now and then. So I explained to him it’s technically illegal for anyone with a single room to have a pet. But because the manager allowed that, regardless, for well over a year and a half, and I was sitting them, they weren’t really living with me. Though because of these stupid lawsuits that put the kibosh on the doggies’ visits.

“However,” I explained, “using my compassionate approach, instead of being angry and vengeful, it is my hope the landlord and my enemies will have a change of heart in the long run. Such that I can resume sitting the pups. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I throw all my faith into The Great Spirit’s hands that this will, indeed, come to pass.”

This morning’s meetup was barely thirty minutes, but he showed up around two hours later (after taking the pups to Golden Gate Park), and asked for another bungee cord and more water for his wee charges. And again he thanked me with sincere regard. I also noticed how kind he was to the mutts, lavishing upon them more affection and kindness than I’ve ever seen him do before.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Law.com just gave me 7 trophies!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2023 at 5:04 PM

See pic: one trophy for posting a new topic, two because I got two “likes,” and five because I keep coming back and have posted thirty messages in just four days.

Every little endorphin boost counts, eh, Wattson?

Re: Well THAT was a relief!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2023 at 6:21 PM

> I believe exactly that will happen.

Going by My Bodhisattva Premise, that is EXACTLY how things will turn out. Plaintiffs, building manager et al were putting me through my paces (as bodhisattva guardians themselves) knowing I’d become a better person by dealing with the challenge in as compassionate and worry-free as is humanly possible. The veritable HOKINESS of their accusations–including failure to provide not even a stitch of evidence–was their clue that all is not what it seems. And:

They’ve certainly WITNESSED many times over how much I adore Flaco & Lucky!

Had I succumbed to the demons of fear, anger, worry or any other negative manifestation, I would’ve STILL won, though not before going through agonizing and prolonged travail. Just as it says in the Tibetan Book of the Dead (and I paraphrase):

“Upon each level you ascend to, demons will be waiting at the gate to try to scare you away. They will wield terrible weapons before you: scimitars, spiked clubs, fiery arrows and the like. Do not collapse in fear, but be steadfast and calm, and don’t attempt to fight back. Upon which they will drop their weapons, and along with that, their hideous masks to reveal themselves as loving angels…and they will then let you pass through. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on your present level for another lifetime or longer.”

I have always thought that the lessons taught in this sacred Buddhist text apply to the living as well as to the dead, because after all:

Is not THIS life we now know but one of these levels, with further levels beyond? And, as the Buddha once said: “Heaven and hell are a state of mind.” IOW:

One can ascend to higher levels without waiting to die. For every major challenge is a death of sorts, anyway, for the NEW you to emerge to the next level of consciousness.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: So kudos to Kevin for playing a most honorable role as one grown senile and decrepit, and appears ready to kick the bucket. Superb acting, I say there, good physician! Likewise for my former quasi-fascist neighbor who supposedly died some months back…though I suspect he simply moved elsewhere and allowed Kevin to fake his death. As part of the script to provide me with yet another good tale to tell, as well as guide me along on my path to Nirvana. And haven’t these two lawsuits made for even MORE great stories to weave?

Subject: As an author I found a good use for ChatGPT
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2023 at 9:55 PM

I know little about car models, or various types of clothing, plus what you call a certain part of this or that machine or other object. For example:

Some fire engines have two square ledges on both sides of the back, where a fireman can stand on.  What are they called?

The square ledges on both sides of the back of a fire engine are called tailboard steps or tailboard ladders. They provide a stable platform for firefighters to stand on while accessing equipment or fighting fires from the rear of the vehicle.

I asked that question when I wanted to describe Scooter seated at the back of a fire engine.

So I’ll be using ChatGPT for this kind of help. Quicker than using your standard search engine, which can’t always find the answer you need. (It didn’t when looking up “parts of a fire engine” or even the same query I put to ChatGPT in the example above.) This will also include certain terms in the fields of, say, science, technology, surgery, astronomy, and so forth. So if I want to write a believable sci-fi tale, knowing certain terms and tools in science will help. As will, say, composing a detective story with some forensics involved. Or describing some distinctive clothing I have a character wear, or a particular vehicle he or she drives.

Kewl, eh?

Subject: Law.com closed my thread!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 10:00 AM

The next to last reply was: “Frankly, the questions you are asking go beyond the scope of what an online forum can provide for you. If you can’t figure it out, you need an attorney.”

And the last one was by the supermoderator: “And with that, I’m locking the thread. We’ve done all we can for you, Denizen.”

So I posted the following reply directly to the supermoderator: “I see you’ve closed this thread I started…so I couldn’t thank everyone for their help. If at all possible, could you do that for me? I greatly appreciate such useful advice given me by all participants.”

What next, Wattson? I will attend the LARC workshop this afternoon, between 4 and 6 PM. I only get a twenty minute consultation, so I now have to prepare my questions as succinctly as possible. And they DO handle personal injury cases, according to a page on their website that I found some moments ago, which eluded me previously. Their policy is to pair up a client with one of their attorneys who has at least five years in the practice. So that’s good.

LARC is sponsored by the SF Bar, and they’ll probably advise me to get a lawyer pro bono from them. In which case I’ll inform them I’ve already tried that with no luck, and how that happened. MAYBE (just maybe) the attorney I speak with will rectify that for me, by contacting the SF Bar themself.

I COULD receive consultation over the phone (or Zoom), but I think it’s best to show up in person. Of course, you’ll be the first (’cause ONLY) person to know how things went, once I return hovel. Now, I gotta march on down to the UPS store up the block and have them print out my General Denial, Court Fee Waiver and Proof of Service forms. Seven pages total, should cost less than $1, unless inflation has raised their fees…in which case it’ll cost around $2, I guess.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Least expensive process server is…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 1:09 PM

…the sheriff’s office, just $40. Located in City Hall, right around the corner from the court where I register my reply and two other documents. And LARC is just a block away from there. Splendiferously convenient! BTW:

UPS printout of seven pages (double sided) plus one manila envelope came to $6.59…so yeah, inflation.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: More good news!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 1:45 PM

“The Sheriff’s Office will serve papers for you. The Sheriff’s Office charges money unless the court waived the fee.”

In addition:

“The Sheriff’s office will file the Proof of Service for you and give you a copy of the form.”

Click here for source.

Re: Least expensive process server is…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 2:15 PM

>  Excellent!!!

It just keeps getting better, Wattson. I am fully prepared for my LARC consultation, including THIS question:

“SF Bar accepted my request for an attorney, based on my low income. But the attorney they referred me to does not do pro bono, and his sliding scale fees still go into the thousands. I contacted SF Bar, said I think they made an error, and can they rectify this by referring me to an attorney who does pro bono? The woman on the phone said they don’t do pro bono for anyone, and they have no idea just how much any attorney’s fees will be. Can you possibly straighten this out for me?”

The point there is: I REALLY don’t want to represent myself at trial, or any other matter related to the lawsuit.

I will bring the Plaintiff’s complaint and summons with me of course…along with forms I need to fill out. All my questions are now copied to a text file on my smartphone, so I can have them right before me when I speak with an attorney. In fact, here they are, minus the question above:


I am judgment proof.

Is mailing a summons with complaint and two copies of Acknowledgment of Receipt legit, in lieu of serving by hand?

I have never been shown any evidence of harm to the plaintiff by these dogs, which are small, 25 pounds each, and are half dachshund with the same small, weak jaws.’

Plaintiff claims he had to get rabies shots, suffered much trauma, had to quit his job.

Complaints are either questionable, blatantly incorrect or grossly exaggerated.

Should I just ignore the summons or reply with a general denial? Or perhaps a motion to strike?

The other defendant is my landlord. If I don’t respond with a general denial, will the complaints against me be directed at the landlord?

I believe the building manager coached the Plaintiff with hostile intent against me, thus the false claims and exaggerations.

I can’t afford an attorney, so if it goes to court I’ll have to represent myself. Can I continue to waive all court fees for this?


– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Hang in there, good doctor!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 7:52 PM

Composing my report about LARC right now. Barring Deek’s possible visit, it will take up to an hour to complete. But rest assured: you will LOVE it!

Re: As an author I found a good use for ChatGPT
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 9:10 PM

> Best use of Chat GPT I’ve heard of yet!!

You don’t get out much, do you? :P

Subject: Still working on my LARC report, but…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 21, 2023 at 10:12 PM

…this just came in from thelaw.com, where supermoderator posted back to me:

“You are welcome. I have made sure that our folks see this message.”

–so I replied:

Thank you immensely. Also tell them that I now have access to Personal Injury attorneys at LARC (Legal Assistance & Referral Clinic) to guide me every step of the way, representing myself. I can just come to the clinic whenever I’m ready to go the next level.

The attorney I spoke with this afternoon said it looks like I’m good to go with the General Denial, which is the best way to proceed. And that once I deliver that reply, Plaintiff’s Attorney will very likely just drop the case, because the complaints are so hokey and subjective (non-factual) in the first place. He said (looking at Plaintiff Attorney’s bar number) that he’s barely outta the gate, he ranks lowest in the field, only had his license since 2021, that is: an ambulance chaser. This attorney I spoke with says he’s been in this line of work over 40 years, and he knows a shoddy lawsuit when he sees one.

He was impressed I had both forms ready, and filled out properly (General Denial and Fee Waiver). I will go to the sheriff’s office on Monday, after registering my denial and waiver with the appropriate court clerk. Someone from the sheriff’s office will hand deliver my denial and send me proof of delivery, and register it with the court…all free of charge thanks to my waiver.

So I told this attorney, after he was so impressed how ready I am to proceed: “Wanna know which people helped me out the most, to get me to this point ASAP? They’re members of an online forum at THE LAW DOT COM.”

So, I have much gratitude to everyone who participated in my thread, patiently guiding me out of the woods of my own ignorance, to a bright place of understanding how the law works in my case. May each of you who have done this for me, know what a good thing you’ve achieved in this person’s life, and be cheered whenever you think of me, how I showed up out of the blue and disappeared almost as quickly, like a butterfly that landed on your hand.

Oh, now THAT was sappy, but I said it that way to give you all a hearty chuckle. In sum:

I have met some incredibly intelligent, dedicated and compassionate souls in the legal field, on this journey that began with much angst but has since morphed into quite a splendid adventure.

Thank you again, and pleasant dreams. And good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.


Now, back to my LARC report. While listening to Marshall’s live-streaming radio show…and knowing I have a true friend up there in Mendoland who has been such an unbelievable anchor of wisdom and humor for me, for so MANY years! It can’t POSSIBLY get any better than this! Wait, yes it can: having the pups back in my sanctuary would be the cherry on the frosting on the cake. And it WILL happen, in Glob’s own good time.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: Gettin’ there…maybe another hour to go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 22, 2023 at 5:57 PM

Meanwhile, check this out (7-second video I uploaded today):

So many sad scenes below my window, and not always to do with the homeless. This fellow just returned a week ago, after more than two months in the hospital where he came close to death! Well, he’s STILL close to death and I wouldn’t call his present state of health “living.” The truth of the matter is: the longer we live, the closer we are to death. I raise my plastic skull mug filled with bubbling mead to the mystery of it all! Join me, won’t you please?

Subject: BRILLIANT…so glad I went!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 22, 2023 at 7:20 PM

[Boy howdy did this piece take gobs longer to compose than I anticipated! I relived many times over, every precious little scene in this fast-paced act, before placing fingers to keyboard. Then I cautiously reworked each sentence like a wire sculptor struggling with complicated twists and turns on a diminutive piece nonetheless intended to convey a labyrinth of ideas. OH WHAT A GLORIOUS TRAVAIL! I know this sounds plebeian, but I rose up from my chair and danced to Santana’s “Maria Maria” in sporadic bursts of ecstasy before returning to my station. Often, just PART of a sentence, a phrase, would stop me dead in my tracks and I’d have to mull it over for quite some time. So please enjoy the copious revelations I now fling unto your world, good physician, like gold-leaf origami cranes swirling down to you from way on high:]


LARC consultation was spectacular. But before I get to that part, let me tell you, Wattson: it was quite a lovely day, weather-wise. But also people-wise, as the line of folks waiting for the doors to open were a multicultural rainbow of soft spoken, genial human beings. I think I found my spiritual family, felt right at home, like some kind of coffee klatch among dear friends. I should hang out there more often! While that WOULD be weird, it just might work, especially if I brought ’em a few pink boxes of glazed treats from the donut shop on the opposite corner. I hear that shop gets rough at night, sometimes…but what should one expect? After all, this IS part of the Tenderloin, albeit right on the edge abutting Market Street. Here’s a quick video I shot while standing outside:

Beautiful day while waiting in line for free legal counsel by one of the many superb attorneys at LARC (Legal Advice & Referral Clinic) at the UC Hastings Cotchett Law Center, 333 Golden Gate Avenue, which is close to the Civic Center here in San Francisco. The voice you hear is the fellow in line right behind me. Seems to have his act REALLY together, I’d love to know why he’s here… alas I doubt I ever will.

The uniformed guard, a short Filipino dude with a pearly grin, guided today’s clients inside, in batches of three or four. As I entered through the gate I raised a black COVID mask that hung from my neck, to cover the span from nose to chin…so it now hugged my face like a space alien neonate. Though optional–and hardly anyone else wore one–I thought it best in my case, thanks to geriatric horse hockey. I had to walk up a wide, concrete ramp about thirty feet in length, where a plump, sweet lady in the last of her middle years awaited each visitor at the top. She sat by herself behind a long, folding table with a matt-brown surface, and appeared much like that fairy godmother in Disney’s “Cinderella:” awash in radiance. For the sun had managed to squeeze a juicy beam of light through the gap between buildings, from way overhead.

She greeted me with a smile and handed me a card (which she called a “ticket”) that was a thin, flexible square of white plastic wider than my palm. It had a large, black number on it: mine was “20.” She also handed me three sheets of paper, two of which were stapled together and tinted green. That was the intake form. The single sheet was white, a simple questionnaire for the client to describe how satisfied they were with their service…and if not, in what ways they could improve.

Godmother then brandished her pencil like a magic wand, directing me to enter the building and turn immediately right and down the stairs. As I descended to the lower level, I observed and appreciated the clean, modern interior of chrome and concrete, and how invigorating the air felt in my lungs. (HEPA filters, perhaps?) A disturbingly elongated fellow of tender age, gaunt as a praying mantis, stood on the landing between the upper and lower flights. He smiled and waved me on, sharp left down the lower flight of stairs and into a conference room.

Folding tables were aligned in five rows of six each, with ample space between. The place was abuzz with intake workers, attorneys and clients…a soft, amiable murmur thanks to superb acoustics rendered by a thick carpet stretching wall to wall. It was a blend of nubby material in orange, brown and pitch, and felt somewhat plush underfoot. The colors reminded me of Halloween, or Thanksgiving…when leaves are falling in bright, postmortem hues to embed themselves in storm-drenched loam.


Another lanky, auburn-haired usher taller than Arwyn escorted me to a cushioned metal chair right beside that fellow who stood behind me in the queue outside. He was a dark-skinned POC with a rugged build. His thickly matted hair sported dreadlocks plastered together in a fat braid that sprung from the center of his scalp and lay pressed upon his left side, down to the jawline. I have absolutely NO idea the fashion statement behind that, but I’m sure it’s packed with Reggae lore…along with wads of moistened clay. Nonetheless, it looked good on him.

Looking about the room I noticed an intake agent or attorney here and there sitting alone at a table, talking to themself! But upon a more prolonged observation I realized they were conversing with a client or applicant via Zoom interface on a laptop…or on a smartphone, hidden by a cupped hand or long, draping locks of hair. But I also noticed something ELSE going on that was far more curious:

Everyone was smiling, laughing, holding mini-powwows across the conference room. Not a single tear, frown or rage-filled tantrum from any of the walk-ins! More like a jubilant family reunion than folks besieged by rapacious landlords, violent spouses, crippling medical fees beyond the stratosphere, missing, abused or deathly ill children, homes destroyed by fire, or whatever OTHER horror American life cooks up for the poor and the destitute.

I watched the assistants and attorneys move about from one table to another, sitting down to discuss their client’s troubles, then summoning the next postulant twenty or so minutes later. Busy but not flustered, they radiated a humble joy in doing so much good for so many. Their compassion, mutual respect for those less fortunate, and stunning dedication was contagious, infecting each applicant with newfound inspiration, pride, and the spirit of victory preordained. Truly one, big, happy family spontaneously brought together, once each month for two hours…strangers only on the surface! And then, an amazing realization rippled through every fiber of my soul: they know something I don’t! Or didn’t. Until now:


And with that epiphany, the tiny ghost of Pterry Pterodactyl appeared on my shoulder and whispered: “Well, it certainly looks like you’ve come to the right place THIS time around, Mr. Zeke!”

Upon hearing that I took a deep, relaxing breath, expelling the last of my anxieties from the lawsuit, that had been lingering for some days now. Begone, ye divils! Knowing that indeed I WAS in the right place, for this was all a staged scenario by bodhisattva guardians for the benefit of yours truly! Each actor–whether walk-in, agent or attorney–knew their place, their role, and their lines to a T before appearing onstage. In fact, most were simply extras (or “NPCs” as they are called in the digital world): background filler creating the illusion of conversational hum and an air of “getting things accomplished” with noble efficiency.

“So this is Nirvana,” I thought to myself. “Made to order for yours truly!”

I’m telling you, Wattson, I was MOST eager to tread the boards myself, and impress them with my OWN thespian precocity! So by the time someone called out “20!” and I was seated before my assigned agent, when she said, “Now let’s look into your case and see how we can help,” I replied:

“It’s an honor!” and slapped card #20 face-up on the table for the win…along with that two-page intake form. For if I believe in anything, it’s my own bedraggled self.


My agent was all of 4-foot-9 and appeared VERY young, like a 14-year-old. But get this: she was the spitting image of my eviction attorney, blonde hair and all…just a smaller version, who even spoke with the same Dutch accent!

After asking all the standard questions (preferred language, ethnic identity, pronoun preference, etc.) she asked me to sign and date it. As I wrote my name down she exclaimed:

“Ezekiel, what a nice name you have!”

“Flattery will get you nowhere with me, dear,” I replied with a grin (though not apparent through the mask).

“You hardly hear that name anymore,” she softly mused.

“Well it DOES roll off the tongue nicely,” I agreed. “But it’s not my birth name, I changed it way back in ninety-six, to divorce myself from my family.”

“I suppose such things are necessary, sometimes,” she sighed, then said: “Now tell me, why are you here today so I can expedite your case?”

I then presented a quick rundown of the lawsuit, why the charges are so egregious ’cause false, grossly exaggerated and/or opinionated rather than factual. And, even though I am Judgment Proof, I don’t want to have such baseless accusations go on record that COULD lead to a second attempt by the landlord to evict me. And I need help figuring out WHICH forms to use, how to fill them out and deliver them, because I could NOT find an attorney who’d take my case. Which latter point got me on a roll about my disappointing outcome with the SF Bar Association.

Well it was certainly a lot to take in, I admit, so I can’t blame her when she twisted her brow in confusion and queried: “So you want ME to help you sue the SF Bar Association?”

[SIDEBAR: Now mind you, Wattson, this is a theatrical performance, not a real-life scenario, so I doubt she thought that really WAS the case, but merely spoke her words according to script. And I, likewise:]

“Heavens to Mergatroyd, no!” I exclaimed in startled reflex, tilting back in my chair with hands raised in objection. “I’d NEVER do that. I’m just saying I’m ready to march over there to the president’s office, get down on my knees and BEG them to take my case! This is wrong what they did, and it needs to be rectified somehow. Say, with an attorney who’d at least COUNSEL me on representing myself through the entire process, including the trial if it comes to that!” And I finished with:

“To put it succinctly: I really, really, really DON’T want to be my own lawyer, if at all possible!”

She then reached out to a thick binder obese with countless pages sealed in plastic, and about eight tabs sticking out to identify the categories. As she opened it she declared:

“Surely there’s SOME organization out there that will be glad to take your case!”

I explained to her all the ones I’ve looked up that DO pro bono for the poor don’t include personal injury:

“Except the SF Bar. For example, I contacted Legal Assistance for the Elderly last week, over the phone. They asked me my case number, looked it up and replied we’re sorry but we don’t handle personal injury lawsuits.”

“Hmm, I see,” she replied. “Are you disabled?”

I knew where this would lead, so told her:

“Yes, schizophrenia. But the legal services for the disabled ALSO don’t deal with personal injury cases, I’ve already checked that out! And besides, they usually focus on the PHYSICALLY handicapped, and ignore mental nut jobs like me!”

Upon hearing that she looked up from her beastly tome and quipped: “Speaking of mental health, Ezekiel, you certainly have a HEALTHY sense of humor!”

“I like to think so, yes, thank you very much,” I quipped back. “I have learned to tame my schizophrenia and channel it into creative outlets, and humor played a major role in getting me there. All without taking soul-sucking psychotropic medication of any kind.”

Then I held up both arms like a bodybuilder showing off his biceps, and declared: “Brain now strong like bull!”

I explained further I seem to have exhausted all POSSIBLE resources out there to find a legal organization that will handle my case pro bono:

“The only one I found is the SF Bar. I’m perfectly eligible for pro bono, and they DO advertise their dedication to serving the poor and disadvantaged at no cost. And OTHER legal outfits promote them as such. Even my eviction attorney recommended them to me and said they’ll take my case pro bono. So it makes SENSE for the SF Bar to take me on board, but I don’t know HOW I can persuade them to do just that, after what they put me through. I can’t AFFORD to keep shelling out thirty-five bucks a pop to speak with one lawyer after another, only to wind up being turned down by each one anyway.”

I then paused for a moment, sighed and added: “So that’s why I’m here.”

Upon listening to my heartfelt spiel, she finally closed that cumbersome volume of legal schlock and shoved it aside.

“Besides which,” I resumed, “It’s too LATE for me to keep looking, the deadline to reply is only five days from now. I’m ALREADY prepared to register and deliver my General Denial this Monday, come hell or high water. Then, and only then, after THAT’S been accomplished, I’ll CONTINUE seeking out an attorney, at least one who will counsel me if not outright represent! Showing up in person at SF Bar headquarters and BEGGING them is definitely on my agenda.”

[SIDEBAR: At this point I should remind you, Wattson, as I’ve already stated in a previous missive, that LARC is an extension OF the SF Bar. Which makes my dilemma that much more interesting, eh?]

“We can do this, Ezekiel!” she proclaimed. “I think the best solution at the moment is have you speak with a personal injury attorney right now!”

“Yes! That would be a great start,” I exclaimed.

“His name is Prentiss,” she replied. “But he’s counseling another client, so it will be ten minutes or so before you can speak with him. Does that work for you?”

“It sure does,” I replied in gratitude.

As I stood up to return to a waiting chair along the wall, she said “I’m sorry you’re going through this, it must be painful.”

“No, not at all,” I reassured her. “I take the Buddhist stance–though such an approach is taught in other philosophies as well–that one must never allow anger or any other negative emotion to rule your world. Another way of saying that is we have no enemies, only teachers. So I will be fine no matter what, no matter HOW I beat this lawsuit, and beat it I shall. It’s all good, and just an adventure for me where I get to meet incredible folks along the way, such as yourself.”

And with that, she nodded and walked away to confer with Prentiss, while I returned to my seat near the corner.


An elderly Mexican or Central American woman sat beside me as I waited to talk to a Personal Injury attorney. She was thin in a healthy way, and dressed in a long, gray coat with large buttons, and a colorful scarf upon her head. Of cheerful disposition, she made me feel glad to have her beside me. After chirping away with a fellow seated on her right (her son perhaps), she turned to address me in English. Her accent was strong, thus difficult to comprehend, but it went something like this:

“They weren’t much help at that other place, they didn’t know what to do with me, then after wasting my time with too many frustrating visits, they finally sent me here! Now I hope things will go better. It looks like they will.”

I smiled in response (having already lowered my mask while conferring with my intake worker), tapped her shoulder and said, “That happens sometimes, I know because it did to me, too, recently. But for the most part these are excellent people who work hard on our behalf. Ya just gotta stick with it, and you’ll be fine.”

“Oh thank you for saying that,” she replied with a nudge. “I know you’re right, I feel very optimistic today!”

At that point in our conversation an intake agent (yet aNOTHER tall, skinny young fellow) holding a clipboard came up to her and said the attorney is ready to discuss her case, he’s right over there…and pointed at a table where a friendly old codger in a blue-gray shirt and black tie with shiny pink dots waved at her. She then stood up, brushed some crumbs off her coat, smiled at me and addressed the agent:

“This is a good man, be sure he gets all the legal help he needs!”

The gangly assistant grinned at that and took her by the arm.

“Muchas gracias, y buena suerte pa’ ti!” I replied, as off they went.


“Okay, I get what’s happening,” said Prentiss after hearing my speedy outline of the lawsuit and my opposition to it. “You’re poor, you’re broke, you don’t have a pot to piss in!”

“Well…” (I was about to say “Yes I do, and it’s right beside the cupboard beneath my sink,” but he rumbled on:)

“You’re IMMUNE to their wicked schemes, they can’t touch you. And THAT, my friend, is what Judgment Proof is all about!”

I almost slid off my chair in hilarity, but managed a clever bon mot of my own: “God bless the unrepentant flower children of this world!”

“Right, nicely said,” he replied. “Looks to me like the Plaintiff is trying to go through YOU to get to the pot of gold at the end of Ablablah’s rainbow!”

“I’m stunned you saw through their plot so quickly,” I exclaimed.

“Oh, I’ve been at this Personal Injury business for over thirty-five years,” he boasted. “I certainly DO know a thing or two about scoundrels.”

So that was just a TASTE of Prentiss for your delectation, Wattson. The guy’s off the chart! He’s a heavyset fellow around 68 years old, six feet tall with spiky patches of yellow-gray hair, clumps of which pointed left, some right, and one upward. Lucky him, not a bald spot anywhere!

He only spent fifteen minutes with me, but boy what a wallop that was, nonetheless. Pleased to see how determined I am to right this wrong, and that I was already prepared to register and deliver the appropriate forms, he assured me:

“Yes, General Denial is the right way to handle this. It will trigger a long delay in the lawsuit, they’ll have to prove every one of their complaints TO the judge and, since as you say, they’re either grossly exaggerated, childishly subjective or outright lies…most likely Plaintiff’s Attorney will drop the case like a hot potato once he reads your Denial.”

You already know what little he thinks about the Plaintiff’s Attorney, from an earlier missive, so I’ll skip repeating that here. He recommended LARC’s other clinic, located in the Bayview District, because most of the Personal Injury Attorneys gather there, instead of this location.

“I’m actually there myself, more often than here,” he noted.

“So I should just ask for Prentiss?” I queried.

“Yes, you can do that,” he declared, “but ALL the attorneys are excellent, and will serve you well.”

[SIDEBAR: I have since learned the Bayview clinic is open on the fourth Friday of every month, while the one on Golden Gate Avenue is held the THIRD Friday each month. So, hopefully, the roughly three-week gap in each month will NOT thwart any urgent need for counseling.]

Before departing he said it must be grueling what they’re putting me though. I told him not at all, I take it as just another adventure, an opportunity to meet people of good merit who I would’ve never encountered otherwise. And I get to check out one of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco I have yet to visit. He then commended me for such a great attitude, pat me on the shoulder and rushed off.


Upon leaving the conference room I decided to use the commode, so turned left and then right, whereupon I noticed a triangular blue sign on each of three doors (or was it four) that announced in a bold, white font:

“Please choose a restroom that best matches your gender identity.”

So of course THIS old-school pilgrim unabashedly chose door #1: “Men.” The world has changed, Wattson, but not yours truly…’cause I was already way ahead of the game the moment I slid through that gloppy birth canal like a cannon ball down an abandoned water slide!

And Glob bess San Franshitsco! Like a phoenix zhe shall rise again. Once the dragon from my Randolph/Arwyn tales topples the Transamerica Pyramid. Unless that pretentious pinhead of an edifice opens its doors to the houseless, first. See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

Re: BRILLIANT…so glad I went!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 23, 2023 at 7:53 PM

> You’re firin’ on all seventeen cylinders! Masterful and evocative! I was THERE!

THANK YOU! I’m STILL reeling from the incredible ENERGY and INSPIRATION of my LARC adventure. Or should I say “Larkin” adventure, ’cause somehow I believe he’s behind it, as I suspect he has been for all my PREVIOUS adventures since we first met back in 2005. And don’t forget Larkin Street, just a half block from 333 Golden Gate, where it intersects. Not to mention Disneyland’s animated dragon going up in flames the very same day I felt inspired to append my illustrator S. Rohan’s exquisite drawing of a dragon from my book, “Free Me From This Bond.”

Though that stuff is MINOR (and perhaps coincidental) compared to the stunning implications of this latest episode! For it was the good people at LARC who GAVE me this remarkable story to take to keyboard and share with the world!


And there may be a very good REASON why my intake angel was a diminutive clone of my eviction attorney (which thought struck me like a thunderbolt earlier today):

SHE COULD VERY WELL BE HER FRIGGIN DAUGHTER following in her mother’s footsteps, career-wise! So maybe she really IS fourteen years old, ’cause probably an honor student who skipped some years.

Wouldn’t THAT be somethin’, Wattson! And it certainly gives more credence that they were all actors at LARC, for my own benefit, and no one else’s. It was all a SETUP, Wattson, and that’s why my eviction attorney led me to the SF Bar, which intentionally screwed me over BECAUSE IT’S IN THE DAMNED SCRIPT, and finally led me to the LARC “festival” where I got to meet her daughter, among other excellent folks. They also wanted me to figure things out all by my lone some, in order to prepare me for bigger things of a legal nature, which I will now reveal.

So where is this gonna take me, good doctor, what direction am I most likely headed, after shutting down the lawsuit? Here is the vision that showed me the way, this morning:

Quite possibly I made ripples about SF Bar’s failure to assist me in finding an attorney…through my intake angel, who might discuss this with my eviction attorney, Magdalena Elvensborn (if indeed she IS her mother), or another attorney there at LARC. I ALSO brought this up to Prentiss, so we’ll see. In which case I hope SF Bar will see the light and rectify this frightening situation, since false complaints of personal injury against the poor and other vulnerables are quite common, I’m sure. So this is a MAJOR flaw, a HUGE gap, in those legal services dedicated TO the very low income, and homeless. NO EXCUSE FOR THIS!

The other solution would be for me to play the aggressive whistle-blower, to make the legal community fully aware, though they may already be aware, and prefer to keep this ugly mess swept under the carpet as they have for decades. So of course I’ll make the public fully aware as well. I will contact various legal outfits that provide pro bono to the needy (such as Legal Assistance for the Elderly) and ASK them just why they don’t handle personal injury cases. In addition, I’ll get in touch with the SF Bar to ask further questions in this matter, with the goal to track down the right person or station within their hierarchy.

I could possibly be my own attorney, assuming that, as one who is judgment proof, I could trigger a non-frivolous lawsuit with all court fees waived, while enjoying the free guidance of LARC advisors. Not that I’d want to sue (’cause that’s the hostile approach), but find some compassionate way to appeal to their sense of humanity. With such an approach, it would be more likely that LARC attorneys would be willing to assist and train me to become a surrogate lawyer for just that purpose. Or, assuming I drum up enough interest via the media, this or that charity group (or groups) will take on the cause themselves!

Of course, right now I have no idea if court fee waivers are only for defendants, not plaintiffs.

Personally, I find it rather HOKEY and disillusioning, that legal counsel through LARC (and other places I presume) seem NOT to be aware that most (if not all) pro bono services do NOT take on personal injury cases. You’d think they’d know this right off the bat, instead of rifling through pages and referring them to this or that group and telling the applicant to contact them and ask if they’ll take their case…which only serves to send them off on a wild goose chase. “Passing the buck,” “brushing them off” if you will.

So THAT’S what I’m thinking where I may be headed. Or that my LARC adventure will catapult my activist reputation just by the OTHER ripples I’ve created by expressing my peaceful philosophy overall and with clever badinage to charm their hearts. In a very REAL way, attending that LARC event served very well as a tool for self promotion!

Now this is funny: just a few minutes ago when I was working on the third paragraph above, I heard Larkin’s voice from across the street. He was hollering some funny stuff which words I couldn’t make out. He’s been doing that a lot these past few weeks, though I didn’t realize it was actually Larkin till moments ago when I looked out the window and discovered, yep, that was him! So I shot this 15-second video.

I’m not gonna upload it to my Youtube channel, and I hope your device can handle the format. For some reason the sound got lost during transfer, but that’s not important because all you’d hear is the din of traffic anyway.

And isn’t it curious that Deek has NOT shown up since the day of my LARC appointment…as if he KNEW I needed all this time alone to gird my mental loins and prepare for battle. ‘CAUSE HE’S PART OF THE ACTING CREW HIMSELF, that is: one of my bodhisattva protectors! I mean: who IS this guy, really, to have brought such stupendous doggies into my life that have changed my world in such astonishing ways it makes our heads spin!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: You missed a great opportunity to toss a pun into the ring, like so: “Zeke, your description of the carpet absolutely FLOORED me!”

The Muffin Chapter

January 14, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 5]

Re: “I’ve never been that happy in my entire life!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 10, 2023 at 1:35 PM

> English muffins give me reason to live…

It’s the crunch with the munch that I love a bunch, for breakfast, supper or even lunch!

Re: 2 Quick Visits, Then Gone
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 10, 2023 at 1:59 PM

[Referring to my saccharine greeting to Kevin:]

> This is good. Kill ’em with kindness.

Two down, one to go.

[Referring to my club footed serial killer vignette:]

> Now THAT’S inspired!!!!!!

I had fun conjuring up THAT one. The stormy gray sky made for a perfect backdrop. Not to mention the creaky old turn-of-the-last-century building itself, with cheaply carpeted floors and a fading blood stain on the stairway wall.

> I know. People are SO willing and eager to jump on the Fauci-the-Villain bandwagon. We should be putting up statues of him and heaping on him medals of honor and Nobel prizes and brass figligees.

That’s right. But such is the way true heroes are treated…almost like a mark of courage.

[Referring to the impact I’ve had on the MCN mailing list:]

> There’s a small but howling lynchmob faction who would drag me out of my house and tar and feather me if they knew you’re on the list because of me! I just sit back like the Empress Wu and watch the tiny mortals scurry about.

What fun! Always at your service, My Osmium Empress of the Netherworlds.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 12:25 PM

Deek just didn’t bother to seek protection from the storm. However, a HOT agent did try to get him into a shelter, and said they’re all booked up. And according to the article, it’s just a 24 hour reprieve, so I guess the unhoused must stand outside in a long line, out there in the rain, each and every time through this string of storms. So how can I really blame Deek under such a Kafkaesque scenario?

Heavy unabating drizzle (“light rain?”) since 9:30 AM. Deek has not dropped by since yesterday afternoon, to pick up his JBL Partybox. I forgot to return the sweater, which I hung to dry; it was only slightly damp in the first place. So right when he began to walk away I said:

“Hold on, Deek, let me rush upstairs to get you that sweater, it’s dry now!”

“No thanks,” he replied. “I might come back for it tonight.”

I didn’t believe he would, and he didn’t. So there’s only one doggy sweater, if any, back at his campsite. Regardless, I DO hope he’s keeping the pups warm and dry in that tent which he may or may not really be using, with those two sleeping bags that he may or may not have anymore, that may or may not be soaking wet at this point. Meanwhile:

Yesterday morning I had another run-in with Scooter, this time in the lobby where he was about to exit. He thanked me again for allowing him to use the shared commode. So I said:

“Doesn’t Karlsen have his own bathroom?”

He replied that yes he does, but the toilet’s clogged. That figures. So now what, Wattson, is he gonna start knocking on my door whenever he needs to take a dump? Or will Karlsen bother to inform the manager to get that toilet repaired? I’d rather not complain to Kevin about a homeless guy who appears to have moved in thanks to Karlsen’s stupidity. Even though Scooter may be dangerous due to his local history of walking around out front, screaming and cussing like the meth freak he is. IOW I am not the least bit assuaged by his polite demeanor of recent vintage. And Kevin is just too untrustworthy a manager to take any complaint I have seriously. But if Scooter DOES start knocking on my door I will surely complain, nonetheless.

I don’t think he knows exactly where I reside, and I hope it stays that way. Though not knowing whether or not I’ll encounter him whenever I step out of my room is NOT a pleasant way to live, nor do I deserve this new stress factor in my world. I also am concerned he may start asking me to let him inside the building, should he see me enter or leave. Or even start calling up to my window for that! In which case I’ll probably go over Kevin’s head and call the SFPD.

Last night around 11 PM I heard his shrill, repeated whistle and hollering up to Karlsen. Whether eventually he got inside or not I have no idea. But this shit’s gotta end! Here’s another gruesome thought for ya, Wattson:

Imagine if Scooter remains residing there for weeks until a gag-inducing rotten smell from that unit overwhelms the hallway, and the homeless intruder gets arrested for illegally occupying a studio apartment paid for by a resident who is now a corpse? Cue appropriate theme music here:

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 2:21 PM

> Not even remotely farfetched.

I’m putting it all on record via my tales, regarding further incidents of lousy management that may further empower my oncoming lawsuit. Surely a rotting corpse will help my case immensely. Or even just what’s going on now. But a decomposing occupant is preferable, so keep your fingers crossed.

Karlsen lives right across Adisa and mom’s old apartment, which I think is now occupied again, though I don’t know who it is. But I wonder if the new resident has complained about any disturbances coming from that unit. Considering all the scary stuff that goes on in Hotel California North, I’m surprised most tenants haven’t fled in a panic! Well, maybe that explains the high turnover?

All we need now is for Adisa to break into the building in a bad-batch-of-meth frenzy, wreaking havoc till he’s carted off to jail or an institution. Wouldn’t THAT be dandy. Jeez, this gloomy weather is giving me a deluge of Gothic musings…but it’s all grist for the blog mill AFAIC. Continuously watching catastrophic climate change doomer videos doesn’t help matters any. I feel like the Grim Reaper kicking back with popcorn and Pepsi, witnessing the fruits of his labor ripen.

Worse yet: my supply of English muffins ran out yesterday. I only eat the whole wheat variety, but since the supply line for many items has become sporadic thanks to this ongoing pandemic, local corner stores sometimes take weeks to get a fresh replacement. Which supply is usually limited to two or three packages of six muffins each (not counting the sickly white flour equivalent)…so I usually snatch ’em all up, probably to the disappointment of other customers. So whenever I suffer a dearth of muffins, I make my own halvah out of three rectangular whole wheat Ak-mak crackers ground to a meal with my blender, two dashes of Ceylon cinnamon powder, three tablespoons of tahini, and two teaspoons of raw honey. Mix it all up and eat with a spoon, washing it down with Rosenberg’s golden elixir. In conclusion:

Were it not for two, sweet little hounds I’d have morphed into a basket case long ago! If only they could have sanctuary with me now…I owe them so much.

> “Good evening.”

See attachment.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 3:47 PM

> My absolute favorite English Muffins are “Rudi’s.” Can only get them in the little old health food store in Ft. Bragg, and they get snatched off the shelf almost instantly. Whole wheat, organic, fantastic flavor and crunchy texture. The best! When I can’t get those, the next best are (believe it or not) Safeway’s own brand. Also whole wheat, very fresh and flavorful.

I just checked Amazon for Rudi’s and was delighted to see they sell ’em, too…and accept my EBT card. Unfortunately, there’s a $4.99 delivery fee for orders less than $35. A package of Rudi’s costs $5.79 each, thus I’d have to order SEVEN to avoid delivery fee! So it’s off to Safeway I go, once the rains stop for awhile, probably some time tomorrow. But with my luck they most likely won’t be in stock. In which case I’ll order three packages of Rudi’s English muffins from Amazon, plus whatever else I need, that I normally buy around the corner.

The whole wheat muffins I get are Orowheat brand, and they’re inferior. It’s just that they’re the only brand of muffins I can buy within walking distance (except Safeway, which I mostly avoid, but I didn’t know about their muffins till today). Years ago I used to buy multi-grain English muffins from a health food store in Cole Valley: INCREDIBLE! Forgot which brand they were, but they’ve long since stopped carrying them (and that shop shut down over a decade ago)…I’ve never tasted such a delicious English muffin since. Orowheat’s the bottom of the whole wheat muffin barrel…were there such a thing in the first place.

> Damn, that sounds good.

Homemade halvah: scrumptious and easy to fix…and pretty nutritional.

> One of these days….

I’m sure my darling brindlekin will be living with me again, one way or another. Perhaps after the apocalypse when there will be hardly anyone else around, and I can have my pick of housing, including a residence with a big ol’ backyard where the pups can play in safety. I’ll keep Deek tied to a chain in one corner of the yard.

> I love it!!!!!!! Such memories! Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Max Fleischer cartoons, Mad Magazine: all helped shape my young brain.

I knew you’d like it…just the tersest of greetings that have become the trademark words of a classic voice from the horror genre of our formative years. Now, I have a question for you:

It’s about a word you used at the end of this following sentence from a message you posted me yesterday. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the ‘net, including Meriam-Webster. So I’d like to know if it’s a REAL word or a typo:

“We should be putting up statues of him and heaping on him medals of honor and Nobel prizes and brass figligees.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: What the heck, I just ordered 6!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 4:27 PM

Six packages of Rudi’s whole wheat English muffins comin’ up! I tried to purchase 7, but the limit is one less, so I also ordered an 8 ounce tub of Amazon Kitchen garlic hummus for $2.49, which gave me a grand total of $37.23 via EBT. So no delivery fee, but if you’re not careful you’ll miss the suggested $5 tip way at the bottom…which I didn’t, so turned THAT to zero. Delivery will occur between 7 and 9 PM tonight. I have a freezer to store all those muffins. But screw it, I’ll eat TWO per day for now on! Perfect for a healthy boy still growing.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I sent my latest tale to Marshall this morning (as I do every Wednesday), and he posted back a bit later to say he got it. He always lets me know, since those two times in a row he slipped up. What a boost this is in my life…weekly installments of Brindlekin Tales up there in Mendoland. How the unicorns must be dancing! I don’t think the rain bothers them one bit.

Re: What the heck, I just ordered 6!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:04 PM

> Wow! Where did you order the muffins from??

Amazon of course. But I think they’re out of stock for a short while, because they don’t show up anymore since I ordered six packages. So maybe my attempt to purchase seven was because six was all they had left. But I just found a store that sells Rudi’s muffins within a short walking distance:

Mollie Stones.

Where Arwyn works.

Is that funny or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:44 PM

> It’s a real-ish word. I heard it in a comedic context, someone spoofing military honors: “Yeah, we’re gonna give you a brass figligee and a bronze oak-leaf cluster.”

Love it, thanks! I’m keeping it in my tales then, including your explanation so readers may enjoy the intentional malapropism, or “mispronuncication.” I got that word by looking up the question: “what do you call a word intentionally mispronounced for humor,” which spat out this article.

Re: 2 dogs are okay for emergency shelter, according to this article.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 7:51 PM

> Definitely inferior, but far better than no muffin at all…

Any muffin in a storm.

> With a piece of cardboard for him to sleep on, of course!

Certainement! I’d never deny him that small comfort, like he does the pups. I’m a better man than that.

Subject: Muffins arrived a few minutes ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 9:19 PM

I was on the alert for a text from Amazon that the delivery person would soon arrive, or was waiting by the front gate…so I could go downstairs to pick up the items pronto. The delivery window was scheduled between 7 and 9 PM, and it was around 8:40 when I received a text that my items were just delivered! So I opened my door to head downstairs to the lobby, but:

[Lo and behold, like the oysters in Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” the muffins were standing around right by my door, eager to step inside.]

To my surprise, the groceries were right beside the door in two paper bags. No knock on the door, no “Hello, is anybody home?” At any rate:

36 Rudi’s muffins have a new home in my freezer, and 6 others are thawing out in the balmy comfort of the fridge. And tomorrow morning I will take my first bite of a brand of English muffin I have never tasted before, but which I’m sure will delight both my palate and tongue! Because they come highly recommended by an outstanding human being who has never steered me wrong, never will (except when it comes to pumpkin pie which I find disgusting), and has always been the most benevolent, stalwart confidante I or anyone else will ever have the good fortune to know.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Rudi’s English muffins are back on the Amazon shelves, though only as an 8-pack, $48.24.

But there is also “Dave’s Killer Bread Rockin’ Grains English Muffins,” which are mostly whole wheat, at $7.49 a pack.

And finally, “Food For Life, Sprout 7 Grain English Muffins, Organic” that I would’ve bought instead, if I knew about it, $7.29 a pack.

Re: Muffins arrived a few minutes ago!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2023 at 10:48 PM

> Oh, gawrsh. I sure hope you like them. I realized after I recommended them to you that the variety I get in FB are Rudi’s Multigrain with Flax English muffins. But I suspect the whole wheat will be delish, too. And those other brands look good, too. The search for the perfect muffin!

I’m sure they will be quite tasty. But that IS funny. Have an excellent night and pleasant muffin dreams! Deek has NOT shown up this evening and I’m wondering if he actually got some temporary indoor shelter. I sure hope so!

Subject: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 9:44 AM

…whatever morose feelings that may haunt me in my morning resurrection, right outta the park. Delightfully crunchy toasted, umami yeast tang thrills the tongue…satisfies my English muffin cravings like Orowheat never could. Huzzah!

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

Re: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 2:01 PM

> Had me goin’ for a second there!

The Muffin Devil made me do it.

> I’m eating my surprisingly adequate Safeway muffin now, with butter and honey and a cup of black tea.

Tahini and honey is also good, which is how I’m having my second muffin in a moment. Anyway, Deek and pups are back, and it’s sunny and dry today. They’re relaxing out front right now, see pics. I asked if he still has his campsite with tent and sleeping bags. He just sat there nodding his head about to drift off to sleep, mumbled “I dunno.” He has few possessions with him now (not even a shopping cart), just the JBL monster, smartphone and that large blue drop cloth Flaco is lying down on like the Queen of Sheba. Lucky’s on the right, where I laid down cardboard and another new sleeping bag for the handsome lad.

Some hissy-fit disruption when he showed up, but nothing to write home about. He left me with the pups for about a half hour, so I fed and watered them, enjoyed their company till their master returned. Neck scritches, belly rubs and affectionate reverie all around.

Another storm comin’ up tonight and all the way into Sunday, heavy rains and thunder Friday and Saturday. Then the worst is over, I hope. I can’t afford any more sleeping bags, he needs to recycle the ones I gave him. but I don’t see it happening.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: Rudi’s whole wheat muffins suck…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2023 at 3:01 PM

> That’s a prize-winning photo. content, angle, composition, color.

Thank you. But as i’ve said before, this is destiny: the prose, the photos, the videos, the audio pieces create themselves, unbidden. Some of which have just been sitting there for years in a dusty corner, waiting to appear onstage in my Brindlekin saga…like an old illustration from the 19th century or a voice from early television. Others that come to me unbidden are either recent or appear right before me at the moment, such as an image from a search engine, a post from the MCN discussion list, a spontaneous remark from a stranger that lights up my tales, and so forth.

This is why my stories are so astounding, for I am merely the recording secretary, and inspiration is my pen. And Marshall’s narration of passages from these tales becomes part of the story itself, expanding upon it. IOW my creation is self aware, and will some day change many lives for the better, drawing them into my opus as new, and welcome, characters. You and Marshall, along with some others, are the vanguards. My story becomes everyone’s story over the long, long run.

My tales are a multimedia feast. As time passes and my books get published, my WordPress site will remain the only place to enjoy the full impact…along with other sites that serve to replicate it. Rough edges and all. BTW, this chapter in progress I have already entitled “The Muffin Chapter,” for obvious reasons. Sometimes the simple things in life (such as the crunchy delight of a morning repast) become far more important than “big” things, like the war in Ukraine, a global pandemic, etc. In fact, they may even liberate humanity and heal the planet. It all comes down to perspective…and maybe the marvelous humor and cleverness of Kismet.

> I can see that Deek is a handsome fellow….

Good thing he’s so obnoxious or I might be tempted. Nah, not really…I only have eyes for the demi-dachshund miracles. They fill my heart with more joy than I ever dreamed of.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting w/Wattson: 1/13/23

Subject: EMTs showed up in my building again, last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 13, 2023 at 4:30 PM

I heard the ambulance come howling up Market Street, and wondered if it was going to stop here. Sure enough it did, and I assumed it was another emergency call for my Bohemian trash neighbor, Karlsen. But when I stepped out my door a few minutes later, I heard voices from the floor above instead of around the corner, asking the usual medical questions to whoever was the patient.

I’m guessing it was our building manager, Kevin, who maybe collapsed in the hallway above, or leaned against the wall to keep from falling, or something like that. Because I’m sure it was his voice answering their queries as an EMT instructed the patient to sit down and not move. Or PERHAPS he was a helpful bystander and the patient could not speak at the moment.

Of course I didn’t pry by walking upstairs to take a gander, or standing around on my floor to watch whomever being spirited away. Deek and pups were camped outside for the evening, so I came downstairs to check on them, as an excuse to witness who would be exiting the front gate on that gurney presently parked in the lobby, unoccupied.

“Who’s THAT for?” queried Deek pointing at the ambulance the moment I stepped out.

“The building manager,” I replied. “Told you he wasn’t long for this world!”

“It couldn’t be!” he exclaimed. “I just saw him leave the building and cross the street a few minutes ago. Isn’t he that old man who walks with a stoop and never talks to anyone?”

I was amused by Deek’s apt description, but figured his sense of time and place may be awry, considering what prolonged meth use does to a person. Since the hounds were fast asleep and tucked in their sleeping bag, I did not want to rouse them…and since Deek was preoccupied in conversating with another vagrant, I only waited five minutes before returning hovel, though the gurney remained vacant and I walked up the stairs unobstructed.

Though just before stepping inside, I told Deek I have only one sleeping bag left, so return this one before you leave, and bring back any that get wet so I can dry them, as I can’t afford to buy any more for the rest of the month. His response, Wattson?


A little while later I heard voices outside my door, so opened it a crack only to see no one pass by. “Oh, they’re exiting the building right now!” I concluded and quickly went to the window and looked out:

SOMEone was definitely being rolled out on the gurney, but from my angle and the darkness of night, I could NOT make out the face before he was gently lifted into the ambulance. I didn’t bother to run downstairs and ask Deek if he saw who it was, because I doubt from his seated position fifteen-and-more feet away, that would be possible.

It’s now the next day, and I have yet to find out who that person was, rushed to the ER. But I’m pretty sure it’s Kevin. And if so, no doubt there’ll be a notice to that effect in the lobby, in a day or two. Or I’ll hear about it one way or another. Or I’ll just cross paths with Kevin himself, if it wasn’t him. In which case I hope he doesn’t see the disappointment on my face!

As for last night’s meetup with Deek, it was pleasantly uneventful. He DID call me down to watch the quadrupeds for twenty minutes or so while he rushed off to Safeway. My Raggedy Trio departed around 10 PM, and I wished them a warm, dry and safe night, crouching down to give the mutts a hug goodbye. Flaco stood on her hind legs to kiss me on the face, while her brother squeezed himself through the narrow space between my calves, in a repetitious little circle while emoting groans of endearment. Once they took off I cleaned up what scant debris remained in their little spot out front. They have not returned today, yet; maybe they won’t. He kept the sleeping bag BTW.

– Zeke K-Holmes

This is My Room, God Help Me!

January 28, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 2: Chapter 10]

[A deep dive into Zeke’s psyche, through the SRO (single room occupancy) he’s inhabited for over thirty-six years, which has naturally evolved into a projection of his innermost ponderings! 15 startling photographs and two stupendous videos that will change everything you think about the world, and how it functions! The reading and viewing of this blog entry will result in either a nervous breakdown or a nervous breakTHROUGH…but for anyone who proceeds without trepidation or a mind closed to the consideration of multiple realities, the rewards will be copious. All glory to the hypnotoad!]

I’ve been living in this single room since January 1st, 1984 here in the Castro District, San Francisco. Thanks to my Philly friend, Chuck, who moved in four years before I did, and got me in here, thanks to his benevolent reference. My residence is not in an SRO hotel, but in a bona-fide apartment building with mostly studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments…and is pet friendly. With three single rooms on each of three floors (first level being for businesses), and a shared restroom down one hallway just FOR those “bachelor,” one-room digs. It’s a very OLD building, erected in 1903 I believe. My “hovel” has deteriorated over the years, and seems ready to fall apart and cave in on me. Though there WAS a time (for around six years) when my dwelling was actually quite clean, attractive and comfortable. You can see that in my Skellington videos, as well as on my “Zeke’s Personal Hobbit Hole” page on my Gay Bible website.

I want to note here, patient reader, that I never DREAMED I’d be living in this dwelling (that I jokingly call “hovel sweet hovel”) for so, so long…I thought I’d reside here for around two, three, four years, or five at most! There were TWO building managers at the time: a couple of roly-poly, friendly bull dykes, Terry and Charlie. Who offered me a $25 monthly deduction from the advertised $250, if I moved in “as is,” in lieu of their spiffing it up for the next tenant. I certainly agreed, as I was eager to look for work without delay. As a result, the room was already deteriorating when I began my occupancy there, and so, after all these decades, it is now “The Monk’s Cell of Doom,” or in other words: in desperate need of an industrial overhaul. As for the dyke managers: they eventually absconded with all the renters’ payments about two years later, and were never seen or heard from again. And quickly replaced by their drug-dealing son and girlfriend, for a time. They were actually pretty good people, I might add…if you didn’t mind them running a meth lab in their apartment, or nailing the hallway windows shut during the cold, wintry weather (which, for San Franshitsco, is almost all year ’round).

Unfortunately, living on a disability stipend most of my life, I still can NOT afford to move elsewhere. But thank God for rent control, which has kept me off the streets and allowed me to develop my author skills! And now I share this tiny space with two, sweet little doggies…imagine that! But I believe it’s in the cards that I will very soon gain fame and moolah for my stories, which will finally enable me to rent a much larger space, fully equipped with not just a kitchen and bathroom, but a fine and private backyard, where the pooches can romp to their heart’s content. But before I get into descriptions and history of each part of this room (and certain items within it) allow me to point out that:

The inequities of this society against the poor and low income, regarding living spaces, are well documented, and this blog entry in no way addresses that, nor is it intended to reflect upon the building’s manager, Kevin Bond. For he is the BEST manager ever, and is not to blame for the egregious prejudices against our poor or disenfranchised citizens. Now, onto picture #1.

Click here for a larger view.

So here is my bed, actually a cot because it saves some space, which is good. Furthermore, the sporadic invasion of bedbugs has made a regular bed unfeasible, due to how difficult it is to treat. My building is of such an old-timey type as to be the most susceptible kind of structure for bedbug invasions. Myriad cracks and crevasses between walls and ceilings and floors, are nigh impossible to fully seal up without tearing half the building apart! Not having laundry facilities on the premises, also does not help…since they have proven to be a significant part of the arsenal in resisting these bugs in apartment buildings. It’s a super-wide camping cot that is collapsible, and supported by sturdy metal, jointed rods. There is a self-inflating camping mattress to add that special touch of comfort. And a self-inflating camping pillow, to boot…it’s that dark green puffy rectangle you can hardly notice. There is a little room beneath the cot for storage, including two plastic, blue milk crates, one of which is handy for setting a small, electric heater on, or, in summer, a sizeable standing electric fan. Also handy as a raised support for my portable washing machine (more about that later). Notice the black plastic drop cloth draped over the cot, with that mattress resting atop. And above the mattress are one or two children’s sleeping bags fully unzipped, and serve two purposes: doggie bedding for the pups, and human bedding for myself! Ah, such luxury, fit for a prince!

Click here for a larger view.

So here’s a corner of the room that my cot fits into, just to the right of the doorway. Those dripping, dark brown streaks are the detritus of bedbug feces, over many years’ repeated infestations. No point in scrubbing it off and repainting over it, ’cause I’ll just have to do it over and over and over again, two or three times a year. Besides, the walls are covered with ancient, buckling wallpaper that I’ve already covered with paint some time in the nineties. It may flake and fall off like autumn leaves if any more wet latex paint is applied to it. I suddenly feel sick; we should move on to the next pic.

Click here for a larger view.

This is the opposite end of the cot, right beside what I call my “work station” for want of a better term (such as “Duck Dodgers’ Star Ship Commander Console”). Atop the riser atop the colorful hexagonal cabinet, you’ll see my laptop (a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad X230 that I’ve enjoyed for almost four years now, with 8 GB RAM, and a 128 MB solid state drive), along with a rockin’ cup o’ java I got from Rosenberg’s just around the corner, and a folded paper towel right behind it. Out of sight are two external, USB connected hard drives: 500 GB and 1 TB. Which peripherals I use to back up all my data, as well as store scads of old-time movies and TV shows, podcasts and Youtube videos I have yet to watch. To the left is a very solid, heavyweight external LCD monitor, connected to the laptop for an extended experience. I snatched it from the back porch on my floor about two years ago. Very high quality, a gamer’s delight! (I’m not a gamer, though.) Residents often leave nice things there, for others to enjoy…or maybe they only do it for yours truly, which I kinda suspect. Beneath the monitor you’ll see a file cabinet that I painted over in dark blue, and which stores a second, older laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad X60s), some small digital gadgets I use from time to time, a couple of bags of USB cords, a roll of paper towels and toilet paper, scotch tape, scissors, small bag of rubber bands, duct tape, and a scad of other little but useful things too trivial to mention, such as paper clips.

Along the edge of the hexagonal cabinet is my Logitech cordless keyboard with touchpad. Very handy, especially for use like a remote control whenever I sit up in cot at night, to watch a movie or some videos, including original horror stories narrated by a soothing but spooky voice that may be male (sometimes with an Aussie accent that gives me a boner), may be female, or any gender noun in between or outside of that. Behind the keyboard and beneath the riser, is a camouflage bandanna used as a cover for the keyboard at night, if I’m not using it. Also serves to wipe up anything sticky or wet that may have been on my fingertips while typing. Out of sight because hidden by the crumpled bandanna are two righteous, old-school Logitech wired stereo speakers. And to the right but outside the picture, yet still beneath the riser, is my Chronic.net gateway box that glitters with tiny green squares of such a pleasant hue, they help me sleep at night. And finally: the cushioned, swivel office chair which needs no explanation; it speaks for itself. I just wish it would stop yapping it up once I hit the sack.

The hexagonal cabinet itself stores a spare, USB keyboard, a couple of still-sealed printer ink cartridges, two boxes of AA and AAA batteries, two spare USB mouses, a box of DVD discs, a computer toolkit, two folding bluetooth mini-keyboards for my android tablet, a zippered and cushioned sleeve for that same tablet, and a combination cable lock for when I’d take my laptop to a coffeehouse or library. There’s quite a lovely story about how I acquired that hand painted cabinet. Click here if you’re curious.

Click here for a larger view.

Here is a complete view of my entire work station…woo-hoo! Behind that and flush with my left window, is a dark gray Rubbermaid-like vertical cabinet, with two more on the left, one atop another. Which two cabinets house underwear; T-shirts; black crew socks (not the shortened kind that don’t even touch the ankle bone; I hate that) three straight-legged jeans dyed in dark coffee or black; a few Amazon Warehouse long-sleeved sweatshirts (one dark green, two maroon but one’s medium, the other large); a flat box of important papers and a few frivolous ones; some of Deek’s stuff he’s asked me to hold onto (just small items, but useful or nostalgic), divvied up between two, rectangular plastic bins purchased at a Chinese variety store in the Inner Sunset many years ago; a bag of various sized bungee cords (for when an ex might show up, I’ll be ready to strangle him); a couple of extra bath towels, folded and still unwrapped from their clear plastic shell provided by the sorely abused employees of Amazon.com; a colorful, mostly bright orange, partly crumpled thick plastic and sealed bag of Tide laundry soap pods; a pair of overly thick socks intended to keep your feet toasty warm at night, but too risky to walk around in due to the absence of protective soles; a long roll of thinnish-but-tough nylon cord with blue and white barber-pole-like stripes, that I use for various needs such as an emergency dog leash or temporary clothesline to hang my shirts, jackets, pants, underwear or what-not (just not heavy, dense or big things like thick coats, comforters, sleeping bags and mastodons) that just came out of the portable washing machine (which can’t HANDLE heavy items like those just mentioned); a small can of WD-40; several spare and empty plastic containers; and God only knows what the fuck else is in those two modular cabinets, I don’t wanna check right now.

Atop the single verticle cabinet by the window, you’ll see a turquoise plastic basket with a black handle that intentionally resembles a shopping basket only cuter, filled with things like: a large Ziploc baggie stuffed with clean bandannas of assorted design and color (originally purchased for robbing banks and holding up stagecoaches, but now come in quite handy for the pandemic), a smallish red cloth bag with floppy handles I found with 34 others left discarded on a sidewalk in a large, crisp Safeway paper bag, and which I use to carry my bathroom items such as soap (though I use liquid dish detergent because cheaper and well, soap is just soap and I have no hair on my head to fuss over), five-blade disposable razors that I make last till the bloody cows come home riddled with nicks (because any fewer blades just won’t do for a clean shave of my cranium while in the shower, not to mention manscaping), one fresh T-shirt and a pair of boxer briefs, and sometimes but not always, my SONY pocket transistor radio to make my morning ablution so much more fun than it already is…though it’s not really every morning, as I shower but two or three times a week. Also in the turquoise basket are a bunch of thick, white plastic reusable grocery bags that come in handy for collecting and returning Deek’s electronic devices, or delivering his next three-day supply of kibble and canned dog food…and a few other items that are essentially irrelevant.

Alongside the basket is a coffee mill I actually use to grind down seeds or nuts and mix them into my whole oatmeal breakfast after it’s been boiled to perfection (about eight minutes) because I hardly have any teeth left, thanks to Medi-Cal’s drastic cutbacks under Gov. Schwarzenegger’s watch, and which lasted until this year; behind that mill (and which you can’t see) is a delightful electric candle that glows a gentle, orange light and makes you think it’s Halloween every day, and which I move to my food prep area after dark (when the embedded chip turns the candle on at exactly 8:12 PM every day), which is the top of two storage bins on wheels to the immediate right. And just to the right of the coffee mill is a cheap, large, light-green bowl I use in the sink to wash dishes, utensils, and my bandannas.

Notice the elongated, transparent plastic case set across the cabinet top, upon which rest the basket, coffee mill, electric candle and bowl. It contains five Hawaiian style, warm-weather short-sleeved shirts which I rarely don because SF is usually so frickin’ cold, and a few other thin-cloth items which I doubt you’d care to hear about.

The vertical cabinet itself (the one right in front of the window) stores dry goods such as brown basmati rice; lentils; a large sack of commercially popped popcorn; boxes of bagged teas of various strains; a small, metallic lined bag of unsweetend dried pineapple slices that are now tough as nails between your teeth, and should have been tossed out four years ago; two plastic cereal containers, one harboring actual, real cereal (puffed whole grains without any sugar), and the other containing Akmak Crackers removed from their box, but still with the cellophane pouch they came in to keep things fresh (but no longer does that of course, because the top edge has been rent asunder).

Click here for a larger view.

In the foreground is my work station, again (already discussed above). To the window’s left is a vertical cabinet seated atop an identical one. That is the one that houses my underwear, etc. as described above. Atop that is a cheap, flexible plastic bowl that is used for compostible waste that I empty twice a week or so, into the compost bin in the basement. It is lined with a newspaper sheet, for easier cleaning of the bowl…and since paper is compostible, too, it’s all good. Right in front of the window is another vertical cabinet, which contents I’ve also described above, along with the items resting on top. To the right of that is storage bin #1, seated atop bin #2. More on that in a later image. This part of my hovel is also where the “bad” corner is located:

Click here for a larger view. Though God knows why you’d want to.

Notice I keep a basin beneath the radiator valve, because of a leak that’s been going on since, oh, five or so months ago. Which was SUPPOSED to be fixed a year earlier, but obviously was not. And, due to the pandemic’s safety protocols, I refuse to allow anyone to enter my room…especially since they already TRIED that a couple weeks AFTER the virus hit, but couldn’t get their act together enough to even FIND the plumber they were seeking. (By “they” I mean the building manager and our key maintenance worker, who’s been serving our apartment building’s needs for at LEAST twenty years…a really nice guy, by the way.) I prefer to hang out elsewhere, such as a coffeehouse, whenever a repair person (or people) or exterminator needs to access my dump of a unit. (Which I HATE to go through, as I’m ashamed of my room’s condition, along with the massive inconvenience it is for me, an activist author who RELIES on constant access to cyberspace…not to mention invasion of my privacy.)

But due to this pandemic, there is no longer a coffeehouse or other public place to go to for free Internet, so I hanged out OUTDOORS for almost two hours, not being able to get any work done. So you can imagine how PISSED I was, upon my return, only to discover they were STILL trying to track down this special plumber (who, I guess, was an “expert” on leaky radiator valves, or maybe offers very low, contractual rates, i.e. “under the counter.”) At that point, I admitted to myself I don’t TRUST sketchy workers to keep their masks on while lingering in my hovel for an hour or more…their breath totally permeating the entire space by that time; indeed, many times over. So I refuse to allow another attempt to repair the leak, until AFTER everyone’s vaccinated or whatever. Thus, I need to keep a receptacle in that corner, to catch the overspill…which I must empty THREE times each night! For if I don’t, it will leak through my floor and down to the entrance to the lobby. Which means a growing puddle of water smack-dab in the path of the front gate, where residents and delivery people come and go. And sometimes I DO forget, but the manager has never mentioned those occassional slip-ups (pun intended), nor has he ever pressured me to allow another attempt at repairs.

To make matters worse, hot steam is spewing from the valve, and it’s a VERY awkward, cramped space to access. For I must first pull the two, heavy, stacked storage bins rightward, then the cabinet…then I must carefully crouch down or get on one knee, to begin coaxing the basin from its tight space, careful not to spill any water, or get singed by the hot, spitting stream of droplets! While ALSO temporarily replacing the basin with a large, plastic bowl, to continue to catch the overspill. Then I must gingerly lift the weighty, sloshy container up from my crouched position while jammed between two cabinets–which do NOT allow me to hold the basin horizontally–and slowly turn around and proceed to carry it over to the sink, at the opposite end of the room. And, once I’m turned about, the basin is quite close to the back of my work station, from which hang a tangle of electric cords. So God help me if I ever slip and spill the basin, or even slightly slosh the water over! Furthermore, the pipes leading to the radiator were fitted with foam sleeves back in the early 90s, to reduce the excessive heat radiating from them (which I have painted over to match the walls). At this late date, those sleeves are ready to fall apart, and one of the basin’s top edges rubs up against the foam roll that is wrapped around a shorter, thinner lengthwise pipe…thus causing it to crumble with each passing day. This, in turn, causes extra heat to radiate and warm my room to uncomfortable levels. I don’t appreciate it, because I’m a cold weather person who prefers a chilly abode, especially at night because I sleep better. And I’m sure my new, canine roommates don’t appreciate it either, thanks to their furry coats.They sleep and rest on the softwood floor more often these days, as the worst of the winter cold begins to subside, while the unwelcome heat from the radiators lingers on, like an uninvited, drunken guest.

Click here for a larger view.

Almost smack-dab in the center are storage bins #1 and #2. Like the cabinets, they are also made of a heavy-duty, slightly rubberized plastic. They also have two orange wheels on the left side, and a large handle on the right, same color. Inside the bottom bin are spare laptop batteries, and other computer-related paraphernalia that have outserved their purpose, but may still come in useful for unexpected reasons. Maybe also some old, electronic gizmos and parts; I haven’t checked lately, and don’t care to now. The top bin stores extra clothing in large, sealed plastic bags: watch caps, shirts, sweaters, pants, underwear, jackets and so on.

Right below the lower left corner of that window, you can barely discern the Comcast cable outlet, which they NEVER HAD MY PERMISSION to install. Some time in the early 90s, residents received a flurry of offers by Comcast, to install their cable in our unit. I REFUSED to let them do that, yet they persisted over the weeks, with flyers hanging from our doorknobs, and even knocks on our doors by their representatives! You’d think Jehovah’s Witnesses were taking over! I made it clear to the building manager, Moishe Rosenberg, that in NO WAY should he allow them in my room…I do NOT want cable TV…and that solicitors are not ALLOWED to legally enter apartment buildings to leave flyers at our doors, let alone KNOCK on them! Nonetheless, I came home one day to discover the cable had been installed against my will. Fuck you, Mr. Rosenberg!

In the corner on the right is another file cabinet: it’s white, and you can only glimpse its topmost corner almost flush against the window sill. Inside the cabinet are kitchen appliances such as a an electric food chopper, blending wand, Belgian waffle maker, small muffin pans, baking sheets and several other sundry, cooking related items. In the top shelf I also keep my coins divided into two containers: one for just quarters (laundry money), the other for all the lower denominations. I let the latter container add up until I decide it’s time to spend it all down, and use them each day for my morning coffee purchase until I run out. I got into the habit of spending down small change over 23 years ago, thanks to a tip from a waitron who worked at a now-defunct coffeehouse in the Castro, called “Without Reservation.” His name was Chuck, and I remarked to him one day, how my change is piling up, and it’s hard to get rid of. So he told me what he does, and so it’s what I also do, ever since he passed on from a horrid fungus in his brain as a result of AIDS. It’s my way of remembering and honoring him, even though we were NOT close friends, or even friends at all, other than seeing him, and schmoozing with him, across the counter.

You can’t see it, but seated atop that white file cabinet is a magnetic induction stovetop cooker that I purchased from Amazon. They are much safer to use than a standard hotplate, because no real fire hazard, and they cook cooler and better, taking only two-thirds of the time to fully cook something, compared to old-school hotplates. So safe, you can even place a paper towel between pan and cooker, and it won’t even be singed. I cook whole oatmeal with it, as well as a vegan style vegetable stew with lentils and brown rice…enough for three days of wholesome dinners. One stipulation, though: you can only cook with magnetized stainless steel pots and pans. But you don’t need to buy pricey, magnetic versions that are offered by shops just for these kinds of stovetop cookers. You can just go to a thrift store with a little magnet in your pocket, and test whether or not a stainless steel pot or pan is magnetic, with it. In case you don’t know: some stainless steel pots and pans are NOT magnetic, and some are. (Upon writing this paragraph I grew curious as to exactly WHY some stainless steels are magnetic, and others not. And discovered this page, that explains it perfectly clearly for those with an IQ over 200. Surely, that includes YOU, sweet reader!)

To the right of that file cabinet, and higher up, are my microwave oven and an elegant, oversized toaster oven that also bakes, grills and broils quite well. They are seated atop another file cabinet, also painted blue like the one beside my work station. It contains rolls of aluminum foil, wax paper, bags of clean rags, an assortment of boxes of plastic bags of all sizes: from large, 30-gallon black garbage bags and smaller, white kitchen trash bags, to Ziploc freezer and sandwich bags. In the foreground on the right side, is a corner of storage bin #3, to be discussed in the next image. Please note the condition of the floor: despicable! You’ll see a close-up of it in the video tour at the end of this blog entry.

And to the right of THAT blue file cabinet is yet another identically painted cabinet that you CAN’T see, which houses my sneakers, boots, slippers, and floppies footwear (for when I go to the shower, or just laze around in my hovel, when the weather’s not cold). Set atop this cabinet is a triple-tiered, mesh wire stand with sliding shelves. They store boxes of different teas on the bottom, a large jar of raw honey and assorted condiments in the middle, and a hand of bananas, a bulb of garlic, and a small, wire tray with packets of Sweet N’ Low and a handful of unopened tea bags, right on the very top.

Click here for a larger view.

Here’s bin #3, seated upon #4. On the left side is my android tablet, which I use mostly for a clock, radio and podcast player. However, before the pandemic hit, it was my go-to for public wi-fi use at this or that coffeehouse. A couple of open desktop containers, one orange, one blue, that hold small items such as sunglasses, wallet, pocket transistor radio, a roll of doggie poop bags, foldable reading glasses, some recent letters from Medi-Cal and occassionally, Medicare and/or Social Security, a hardcover book titled “Midnight in Samarra” (coauthored by my cyber muse, ally and confidante, Eleanor Cooney, a most brilliant author in her own right), an LED gooseneck lamp that I got from a bargain Chinese-run variety store, DSL land line phone behind the tablet, and several other irrelevant items not discernible in this photo. Above these bins and hanging from the wall are (from left to right); a stained glass Hindu peace manadala, an elegant dream catcher (both of which I discovered at the same Goodwill in the Inner Sunset, some years back) and a set of bluetooth ear buds, which for some reason I don’t use any more.

The top and bottom bins contain computer and electronic related items, such as two different printers (one is also a scanner and fax machine), a few bags of USB cords, regular extension and printer cords, and God only knows what else; I’m too lazy to check. That wall, BTW, is actually a reclaimed door that’s part of a small loft my friend, Dean Montgomery, put together with his excellent carpentry skills. There’s another door facing the window, that has a frosted glass pane to allow light to pass through beneath the loft (which section is sort of an open closet that stores the refrigerator on the window-facing side, plus has a wall-mounted, long shelf that is almost seven feet in length, which Dean also installed). The loft itself is made of a sturdy, thick sheet of plywood, and is quite solid and stable…IOW, made to last. It was built years ago, around 1984 (with permission of the building manager) shortly after I moved in. Dean has since died agonizingly from AIDS about two years later. But the loft is here to stay, along with his spirit. I originally intended the loft to be my sleeping pad, which would allow more floor space for this 12-by-12 foot cubicle. But as it turned out, it got too warm up there to be practical, so it’s now a handy storage area.

Click here for a larger view.

You can see part of the loft, now, how it extends beyond the reclaimed door by around ten inches. There is nothing of interest stored up there, but for one thing: a box load of papers having to do with Randolph Louis Taylor…for whom I published a book about him, called “Free Me From This Bond.” (Actually, it’s about TWO heroes in my life, but that’s not pertinent in the context of this blog entry.) He was this incredible and handsome fellow I met in the Castro, way way back in 1984. Turns out he was a Vietnam Veteran, anti-war activist, former SFPD cop, and a gay activist, all rolled into one! And recently famous for fasting for forty days earlier that year, on behalf of Nam Vets, that they have representation at the 1984 SF Democratic Convention. None of this I knew until he informed me by playing a videotape of some of the news footage around his fast, in his flat on Castro Street, halfway up the hill towards Noe Valley. (I always get the weirdest dates!) At that time in my life, I had intentionally stopped watching or listening to the news, in order to deal with personal matters and interests…thus, my ignorance about who he was.

I only knew him for a few months before he departed for the east coast in late December of that same year. Then, on January 16, 1985, it was on the front pages of the mainstream news, and the top story of major news networks everywhere: he had shot himself in front of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and survived! Eventually, I was able to fly out to the veterans hospital there, and visit with him every day for three amazing but painful weeks. Upon my return to San Francisco, I drummed up renewed interest for his cause, which resulted in my receiving over thirty-five personal letters of support, which I have saved to this very day. Many of them were military people themselves, but some were just decent folks who really care about our veterans, and were deeply moved by his astounding fast. That’s what’s in the box, as well as correspondence with Senator Alan Cranston and other high-up politicians, plus a letter from then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell. Plus, of course, dozens of letters between myself and Randolph. And many newspaper articles relating to his fast, and his suicide attempt. Click here to view a web page within my Gay Bible site, that is dedicated to this sterling warrior for peace and justice.

To the right of that door is the recessed area created by the loft’s installation. You can see a bit of the top part of the refrigerator, and one of the doggies’ jackets hanging from a clothesline. I had just washed their jackets with my portable washing machine, and hanged them to dry. Behind that jacket is the long shelf Dean had also built for me.

Click here for a larger view.

Now you can see the right side of the loft, with storage boxes and containers stashed therein. Below that are the doggie’s jackets hung out to dry, the original closet on the right, and the dish rack set on a smaller shelf extending from the closet’s own shelf that was there before I moved in. On the rightmost part of the photo is the medicine cabinet…big whoop. Half the bottles contain very old vitamin and herbal supplements, which I haven’t touched for at least two years. Same for the bottles of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, tea tree oil, clove oil, and cans of shaving cream, anti-fungus spray, Biofreeze joint and muscle pain releiver. But on the topmost, right edge sits a very new addition: a box containing a bottle of “Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa – herbal dietary supplement with honey and locust” that my gay activist ally, Carlyle Lambourne, insisted on sending me (even against my wishes; I discouraged him as much as is humanly possible) two weeks ago, because he claims it might be beneficial for staving off “the COVID.” I don’t see how, though…just looks like a HUGE sugar rush to me! So I looked it up, to learn most people in China use it for sore throats, coughs, and as a yummy syrup over ice cream, or as a sweetener for tea and other drinks, including alcoholic beverages. Some have also used it for fake blood on Halloween. “Well,” I’m now thinking, “THAT bottle’s gonna be sitting on that shelf gathering dust for a LONG, long time…way beyond the end phase of this pandemic, and maybe even into the next Ice Age!”

But I know what you’re thinking about all those outdated bottles and cans: “Why doesn’t he just get rid of them?” But this is neither the place nor the time to delve into such an esoteric mystery; so you’ll just have to let it go for now.

Click here for a larger view.

This is the lower part of the open closet created by the loft installation. Refrigerator, dish tray, laundry hamper, large backpack. Zzzz-zzzzzz.

Click here for a larger view.

This is my portable washing machine, and a plastic tarp set up to catch any slosh or spills. You can learn more about this amazing invention if you click here…includes not one, but TWO action packed, nifty little videos!

Click here for a larger view.

The sink and wastebasket. Not very inspiring, so let’s move on. Wait a minute: see that round container on the leftmost corner of the sink? That’s my pee jar. Who wants to get up late at night to wander down a brightly lit hallway in order to use the restroom? That really kills your sleep mode! Also useful whenever someone ELSE is using the loo, and ya just can’t wait. What about pooping, you may ask? When it’s urgent and the water closet is currently occupied, I remove the contents of the wastebasket, and replace it with a fresh plastic bag, line it with a large sheet of newspaper, then take a dump! I have a small, water-filled bowl close by, and dip a wad of toilet paper in it for my second wipe. First and third wipes are dry. Then I seal up the bag and dispose of it outside, in a city trash bin nearby. Easy peasy. But ask me this: what do the OTHER residents who share the toilet, do, under the same circumstance? I shudder to conjecture. Maybe one of them will post his answer in the comment section below. Be that as it may, I feel sorry for any vagrant who rummages through that bin! TMI? Sorry!

Click here for a larger view.

Just can’t get enough of that medicine cabinet, can we?

Click here for a larger view.

The door. Smaller backpack. Keys on a pink shoelace that I loop from my belt…pink, so that everyone will know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I’m one hundred percent gay, no two ways about it.

Click here for a larger view.

One day I decided I’m sick of that ugly, nailed-shut transom of dark, grimy yellow glass, so I bought a T-shirt with a horse on it, some tubes of acrylic artist’s paint (and a small skein of white yarn for the mane and tail)…then cut the horse part out of the T-shirt, glued it to the transom, and began the transformation! I created the circle for the sun by drawing with a felt-tip pen around a dinner plate. Once I finished the painting, but still had to attach cut-up pieces of yarn to it, to achieve a 3-D, tactile effect for the tail and mane…the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. Ah, the power of true artistry! Even painting by numbers will do it, if ya gots da mojo!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the silver unicorn below the horse. That was carefully hand painted on an old, white T-shirt by yours truly (no cheating with pasting on an image first). It eventually became the logo for my Gay Bible website.

My unit has two windows facing south over Market Street, near the corner of 16th Street, here in the Castro. This is the view across the way. Drab I know, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but it is what it is. Just not very GAY if you ask me!

Click here for a larger view.

And finally, a video tour of my less-than-elegant-but-home-is-where-the-dogs-are domicile. Brace yourself, darlin’…it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

BONUS VIDEO: radiator leak during the pandemic

Zeke-Response Bot: an Algorithm Whose Time has Come

January 24, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 2: Chapter 8]

[Something from back in November that I almost forgot to post to my WordPress blog. Note: the person I called “Tara Roosevelt” for several months, is the same person I now call “My Dear Wattson.” Who IS this woman? That may not be revealed until Brindlekin Tales becomes the all-time bestseller in the whole of anthropoid history, and brings the world to its knees! Which I predict will occur some time later this year.]

Subject: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 7, 2021 11:13 AM

I’m serious about this (or not)…as the type of AI I’m talking about is a rather low-IQ version, so to speak. IOW, it’s a very basic form of artificial intelligence (thus, much smarter than Donald Trump; goes without saying). And its sole purpose would be to respond to each and every one of my plethora of emails that I’m streaming to you these days, like a gushing fire hose out of control…which you really have NO time to read, except one here and there. All this Zeke-Response Bot needs is a small database of stock replies. Which one of those replies it chooses will be based on key words and phrases in my latest missive. Determined by a simple algorithm that already has access to a collection of my key words and phrases harvested from all my blog entries containing either the word “[your real first name],” “[your most common real nickname],” “[your real surname]” or “Tara Roosevelt.” Examples of stock replies would be:

  • “Wowee!”
  • “You’re on a roll!”
  • “Ha! Good one.”
  • “I hope he comes around.”
  • “I hope he comes around for your sake.”
  • “I hope he comes around for the doggies’ sake.”
  • “I hope he comes around for your sake AND the doggies’.”
  • “I hope he comes around for his own sake, as well as yours and the doggies’.”
  • “I’m sorry you’re going through that.”
  • “Wise decision, though heartbreaking.”
  • “I trust you know what you’re doing.”
  • “No, I don’t mind if you use my real name.”
  • “No, I’d rather you use a pseudonym.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be executed.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be drawn and quartered.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should have their skin flayed and fed to that same dog.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be pierced with sewing needles from head to foot, then locked in a cage and fed to army ants live on Zoom.”
  • “Ouch!”
  • “I admire Eleanor Roosevelt.”
  • “I worship the cat.”
  • “Surely is the best little doggy he could possibly be.”
  • “I’m swamped in work right now, but I’ll get around to it.”
  • “I’m really busy these days, but I moved your latest post into my ‘don’t forget to read this’ folder.
  • “I don’t have time to read it now.”
  • “I don’t have time to read it now, but will when I have a moment.”
  • “I don’t have time to read it now, but will when I have a moment or three.”
  • “What a ditz! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
  • “What a ditz! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
  • “What a bunch of ditzes! They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary, and based on historical events.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary, and based on historical events around Ed Gein.”
  • “I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”
  • “I consider myself agnostic.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold laws of physics.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold, impersonal and ruthless laws of physics.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold, impersonal and ruthless laws of physics, and time engulfs us all into eternity’s mindless abyss.”
  • “I have to drive him there myself.”
  • “I hope they publish it.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author who deserves much recognition.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author who deserves much recognition and worldwide kudos.”
  • “I never get on airplanes or jets; I dread the very idea of it.”
  • “Don’t worry, that maniac serial killer is way over in another part of our huge county.”
  • “You’re right.”
  • “Keep up the good work.”
  • “Keep up the good work. He’ll come around eventually.”
  • “Keep up the good work. They’ll come around eventually.”
  • “Keep up the good work. I believe in you.”
  • “Keep up the good work. I believe in you, even if no one else does.”
  • “He’s my hero.”
  • “She’s my hero.”
  • “You’re my hero.”
  • “I hardly ever see Anthony any more.”
  • “I hardly ever see Anthony any more, but last time I did, he looked awful.”
  • “That’s very sad.”
  • “I couldn’t be happier for you.”
  • “I can send you some money.”

And so on. The idea is that you would be freed up from any sense of obligation to respond to me in a timely manner. Yet having your kind attention in support of my writing–and you yourself already quite an accomplished author–inspires me to compose my incredible tales, essays and (sometimes) poetry…by first sending a draft to you. And all it takes on YOUR part, is no more than the briefest of nods, and I’m off to the races! Thus an AI could handle such replies posthaste and, BEST OF ALL, I wouldn’t know the difference.

Hmm, wait-a-minute…maybe you’ve BEEN using such a bot all along, at least soon after I began my flurry of urgent missives in early November! Which explains the sharp increase of terse comebacks from your end of the line. Ha-ha, very good, ya got me there. In sum:

Never mind. :)

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 7, 2021 1:03 PM

I’m doing the best I can. The truth is that I’m under huge pressure on several different fronts. My survival is at stake, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m no Lady of Leisure up here, serene, cloistered and financially secure. The details are unimportant. You just gotta take my word for it. When you get a short answer from me, you can be assured that I’ve actually read the message…

Oh, I was just playing with ya, Tara…didn’t at all expect a serious reply back. I was hoping for some kind of hilarious retort. SO sorry to hear about your present, and horrid, crisis! Obviously, I cannot provide you with a monetary boost, though I wish I could. Unless some financial kickback soon arrives by some unexpected miracle, such as a publishing company crawling all over me, to make a lucrative contract for my Brindlekin Tales. Then again, maybe cash is not what is needed for your present demise. No details asked, just my prayers of a benevolent outcome in your direction. ASAP

I’m actually having a serious emergency myself, right now…and will post it to you within minutes. The heading will include “URGENT” in all caps.

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 10:41 AM

Money is a component, but not the sole one. My only way out of this situation is through hard, inspired work. No hope of that unless I get plenty of good sleep. Sort of a Catch-22.

Hard, inspired work is right up your alley, Tara…so that’s not the real problem, I’m guessing. Which leaves us with the sleep issue. Which I find unusual, as you seem to be fine with listening to those “Sleep With Me” videos, and then you’re off to dreamland. Something else is disrupting your sleep, which I hope you can discover and resolve…or if you already know its source, that you can resolve ASAP. I don’t think there’s anything I can do for you, except stop posting for awhile, so you may focus on your writing. But if there IS something that you think I can do, just say the word!

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 10:49 AM

No need to stop posting. My sleep has improved hugely, thanks to SWM; I’d have been a jibbering basket case without him. But it’s still a struggle. If I’m even slightly sleep-deprived–and I need a solid nine hours at the very least–then I’m defeated, weary, ill, disgusted and useless.

I don’t envy such a level of sensitivity to one’s sleep needs! That truly sucks. I have no idea who SWM is, except “single white male.” :D

Oh, wait, you mean the “Sleep with Me” podcasts…great stuff! Great fluffy stuff, that is!

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 12:16 PM

Yes, it’s a curse. I know people who can roll out of bed after six hours and be all chipper and bushy-tailed. Not me, alas. So sleep is, for me, the foundation of anything and everything I hope to be or accomplish. Only oxygen is more important.

I’ve suffered decades of harsh insomnia, but it wasn’t anywhere as near as much of a problem for someone who needed to work for a living. Having these doggies around has made my mornings chipper; I have no choice but to hop out of bed by 7:30 AM so they can go poop! And they are always such joyful little angels to wake up to. However, I do not have the usual comfort of sleeping in my cot which, though wider than standard (for cots), it’s narrower than even a twin-size bed…plus I gotta share it now with two pups! Surprisingly, I’m adapting well, despite having only a slice of the cot for myself.

I’m sure you’ve tried everything under the sun, including Sominex, so I won’t bother to try to play the helping angel. May this bizarre power that has only recently come to me, grant you a most excellent sleep each and every day, from now on!

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 12:51 PM

My goal has been to sleep drug-free, which I’ve accomplished (about 98% of the time), thanks to the podcast and CBD. So sometimes I wind up underslept because I don’t want to take a pill. But your powers may already be coming through on my behalf: Slept a solid nine-plus hours last night. Raveled sleeve of care knit up, etc.

Many good folks have informed me that they just love curling up in bed with my novel, “Free Me From This Bond,” because it puts them to sleep in the shake of a lamb’s tail! Have you tried that yet? I’m here for you, no matter what! No doubt as I rise to fame, my archrivals shall erect large billboards, and purchase whole newspaper and magazine pages, radio and TV blurbs, and computer virus versions of Internet pop-ups and memes that declare:


  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 3:35 PM

Your writing is the opposite of sleep-inducing! It’s verbal No-Doz!

Aha, so I have something in common with one of my favorite comic book characters:


Well, you’ll be excited to know that my next chapter (21) of Brindlekin Tales will be about where I live, and called “This is My Room, God Help Me.” I’ve already uploaded a brief video tour, which you can watch here:

Be sure to read the accompanying blurb below it.

The chapter itself will include 15 pics, along with the video, with lengthy descriptions of select items shown in each photo, and the history behind some of them. I will structure my SRO tale such that it will be perfectly readable withOUT having to actually view the pictures or the video. (Keeping Marshall in mind, here.) Barring any unforeseen drama (a.k.a. “Deek”) I should complete this chapter later in the day, or perhaps tomorrow. I think it will be a valuable aspect of my history as a struggling author and philosopher…that admirers may see my humble living/workspace before I conquer the planet, along with the solar system and our galaxy plus 18 neighboring ones, as well as a plethora of yet undiscovered, wandering, vagrant black holes.

  • Zeke

New Form Entry: Contact Form

January 3, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 1: Chapter 15]

The following email exchange is the result of my posting to various local media outlets and organizations, about my Brindlekin Tales, like so:

I invite the good folks of San Francisco to enjoy my free to read, and growing work-in-progress true stories I call “Brindlekin Tales.” They are all about my amazing adventures with my homeless friend of over nine years, and his two adopted doggies. And it all happens here, right in the Castro. There will be at least one new tale per week. I have just completed chapter 10. Here is the abbreviated link:


Sincerely, Ezekiel J. Krahlin, LGBT Activist & Resident of SF since 1983]

The next day, this letter shows up in my mailbox, and some confusion on my part ensues because I have no idea who this person is. Nor does the email address itself, or heading within the message, give a clue! I could have spared myself all this trouble had I only scrolled below the post, which then reveals its true source. But I did not. I assumed (wrongly, as you shall see) that it arrived from a subscriber to the Mendocino Community Network’s announcement mailing list, in which I participate. And from which I occasionally receive an unexpected email from some lady or another whom I don’t even know…and her presentation comes off a bit dingbatty. My other conjecture was that it came from a business person trying to drum up more clients, which types also populate that list.

Re: New Form Entry: Contact Form
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: December 29 2020 3:34 PM

Thank you Ezekiel. Really appreciate you reaching out and definitely enjoyed reading a few of the chapters. How would you like us to share the word? Are you looking to post on social media or some other platform?

Of course. I’m doing that already. I don’t need any offers of help to set up social media accounts, especially if expecting remuneration in return…if that’s your intent; and I think it is. I only accept gratis assistance because it comes from their heart, not their bank account. This is a tremendous labor of love. All will get full credit and recognition for participating in such a compassionate mission.

Re: New Form Entry: Contact Form
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: December 29 2020 4:33 PM

I was only suggesting putting on social media to help get the word out. Truthfully, the only social media I do is facebook and I don’t even do that very well, but I thought I could post there for you. I’m sure other neighbors would enjoy reading your adventures in the ‘hood. I’m just a volunteer with a local neighborhood association so anything I do is out of love for my neighborhood and community.

Sorry if I misinterpreted you. You are certainly welcome to post any of my writings or sites to your FB wall. No one ever need ask my permission…everything I write and put out there is public domain. I don’t believe in holding back on important messages or ways to heal people and make their lives so much better, for the sake of profit. I leave all money matters to my angels…who take very good care of me. Anyone is also welcome to share my creations via email.

Merry Winter Crossing, Kayla! And a Happy Nude Ear!

Re: New Form Entry: Contact Form
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: December 29 2020 5:18 PM

I was only suggesting putting on social media to help get the word out.

FYI my signature below that’s in every post already shows I’m on social media outlets (Youtube and Worpress for starters, but also Reddit). In fact, I’ve been a very active citizen of cyberspace since 1985, and have also founded a white-hat hacker’s group in Berkeley, in 2000. So no need to make that suggestion in the first place. I have just begun to set up my Brindlekin FB page and Twitter accounts.

I also have a website, which was started in 1997:


I’ve been writing stories and books on my website and WordPress blog for years. This Brindlekin Tales project is just the latest. I think the best thing you can do to spread the word is to read a tale of mine now and then, and see if any of them inspires you to tell others. You can subscribe to my WordPress blog if you like, or my FB account.

Re: New Form Entry: Contact Form
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: December 29 2020 7:18 PM

Thank you Ezekiel. Really appreciate you reaching out and definitely enjoyed reading a few of the chapters. How would you like us to share the word? Are you looking to post on social media or some other platform?

Aha, I just realized your email is via the Duboce Quadrangle Neighborhood Association. I shoulda scrolled down below your reply, to see that’s so. As I said in my previous email, just read and enjoy. Maybe post a small announcement in your next newsletter. I am, BTW, a resident of this area since 1983, and I live right on the edge of the two neighborhoods: Duboce Quadrangle and the Castro. Besides reaching out to social media, which is rather impersonal and nebulous, I think it may even be MORE productive to reach out to the folks around me. After all, “community” IS the original social media! And I also think it would be much more fun to make a local splash first, then watch things expand like a bud into gradual blossom…don’t you?

I have also announced my tales to local newspapers, radio and television, including LGBT media. That was all on one single day, yesterday. So any kickback will probably come rolling in a little later down the line. Seeing as my tales are inspired by those around me, and my history here in the Castro and SF is extensive (though not part of the usual cliques), I can’t think of a more relevant way to share my stories back to the same community that has nurtured in me, the inspiration to come up with such extraordinary writings, if I say so myself.

Otherwise, just continue reading if you like. Or not. If my tales don’t inspire you to share with other community members, then I have failed in my mission this time around, and will try harder. Nonetheless, you said you enjoyed what you’ve read, and I consider that an achievement in and of itself, and suffices my goal. Thank you SO much for reading some of these tales…can’t tell you how much I appreciate that! More on the way…much more!

PS: “Sussington” is a cool surname. It hints of British intrigue of the WWI type, a romance perhaps between a shellshocked soldier who returns to Liverpool with a missing leg, to find his one true love he’s been writing to every day while on the front, has married another while he was gone. But she gradually comes to realize her mistake, and finds a way to dump her betrothed, by starting to act goofy and mad as a hatter until he storms out on her one day, declaring he should’ve never married such a silly crumpet, and the divorce papers will be in the mail tomorrow. And once the papers are signed and finalized, she elopes with her soulmate and they live happily ever after as Mr. & Mrs. Sussington. (You should also know that her former spouse and she become the best of friends, once he realizes how much she loves another…to the point where he gets in on the plot with others in her circle, to assist with bringing her and the soldier she truly loves, back together again. What a jolly old romp, eh, Watson?) Of course, one could readily turn the tale into one between two gay lovers, or lesbian, or transgender, or asexual, or aromantic or pansexual…or god only knows how many other possible variations on the relationship there could be. All I know is: whomever composes the script should have a large bottle of aspirin at hand, for the headaches that are bound to ensue for quite a bloody while. Cheers, mate!

Re: New Form Entry: Contact Form
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: December 30 2020 11:18 AM

Hello again, Ms. Sussington!

With some reflection on our conversation yesterday, I must apologize, because I didn’t know where your email was coming from, at first, because neither your address nor text body indicated the source from whence it arose. As well as my failure to scroll below your message, to discover it for myself. At first, I thought it came from an individual from a mailing list up in the Mendocino hinterlands, to which I am subscribed because I have friends there. But this list is unmoderated, as well as free for anyone to join…hence liable to opportunists of all sorts, from anywhere on the planet! So I sometimes get offers to buy stuff, or pay for services that I neither need, nor am the least bit interested in, nor care to become a victim of hacking exploits, including identity theft.

So for a short while I suspected this was one such post, Either that, or just another ditzy person giving me advice on things Internet…in such a way as to indicate a lack of knowledge on that person’s behalf, while I, myself, am expert in that medium. You know: the kind of generally irritating advice that some couch potatoes love to give to another who happens to be an expert in the particular field said potato is addressing, while said potato him or herself is not.

I hardly know anyone on that mailing list and, as a result, I regularly receive a lame comment or suggestion by private missive. By someone whose name I usually do not recognize, and often by a person who has never even commented to the list, ever! And I really don’t know what the bejesus-flying-hell-bat to do with it, as it is often exasperatingly impossible to answer back with any semblance of sanity!

Thus, my initial impression of your unexpected arrival to my mailbox, was of one or the other: an opportunist or a ditz! This, then, explains my first, second and third replies to you. By the second reply, it seemed to me your were NOT someone trying to snag another client for her business as a social media consultant. Instead, I concluded at that point, you were just a member of the list who thought she was giving me good advice, albeit useless and naive. But I was also frustrated, and started to compose a somewhat rude response…one much worse than the one I sent, bragging about my cyber-expertise. But a little birdie intercepted my ear and chirped:

“Hold on there! Before you send that horrid message out, do another check as to the reason you received her email in the first place!”

And that is when I finally scrolled down beneath your post, to discover it came from the DQNA! So I promptly cancelled that reply, and composed the last one you received, before the letter I am now writing, and which I will deliver a few moments from now. Thank god for that little birdie, eh? I hope you enjoyed my fanciful escapade into British WWI romantic comedy! Which is my way of apologizing, but also arises from a profound sense of responsibility to spread compassion and humor as best I can, in a time when the expression of a good heart is so sorely needed in these tragic times!

In my project to promote my tales on the local level, I looked up what was out there for San Francisco, and the Bay Area at large. During this perusal, an image of the DQNA newsletter popped into mind. Which usually includes a feature article about this or that community member, who contributes something of value to the neighborhood. So of course I figured: “That’s a good option!” in light of the fact my Brindlekin Tales are uniquely Castro oriented, as well as a fine example of charitable contribution close to home. It is not my fault that I am so unknown, seeing as I have already contributed much to the betterment of the LGBT community, and to San Francisco at large. Which evidence can easily be discovered by slogging through that section of my Gay Bible website called “True Tales from the Castro (Eat your heart out, Armistead!) at:


As well as documentation of my incredible support for a gay activist and Vietnam veteran, Randolph Louis Taylor…who lived in the Castro at the time he fasted forty days on behalf of Nam vets, that they have representation at the 1984 National Democratic convention. Who wound up attempting to commit suicide at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. in 1985, but failed, and lived on until 1992. After he shot himself, and I learned about it in the news, I arranged to fly out to D.C. and stand by his side for a time (turned out to be three agonizing but astoundingly inspiring three weeks). See:


Furthermore, I self-published a book dedicated to his memory (as well as to another hero of mine who is quite alive), called “Free Me From This Bond.” Published in November of 2013, with less than ten purchases to date. Oh, well, I’m hoping it will eventually take off, as an increasing number of readers become captivated by my second book, “Brindlekin Tales.”


Nonetheless, I realize my particular avocation and lack of conventional integration with the community may be a valid reason for not featuring me in your newsletter, in spite of the timely import of my current project. After all, who wants to read about an old queer living in a crumbling single room and on Social Security disability for decades, composing one failed story after another, daydreaming at the senile age of seventy that he’s still “gonna make it after all” (to quote from the Mary Tyler Moore Show’s theme song)…and his vagrant friend’s two silly dogs?

You should know that this is no disappointment to me, as I am fully cognizant of my upcoming success, no matter HOW it takes off. And I just want to thank you for handling my request so professionally and with kindness. For in a way, I put you on the spot, which was NOT my intent. So in closing, I present to you a little Yuletide gift in the form of you being the FIRST to read a truly hilarious short kinda-sci-fi tale that I just wrote this morning, called “2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!”


Most sincerely (and a delight meeting you, albeit just online),

Ezekiel Joseph Krahlin

Re: My apologies for putting you on the spot!
Date: 2021-01-05 04:13
From: Zeke Krahlin
To:Kayla Sussington

I apologize that I am only able to message you back now. Thank you for the clarification but it wasn’t necessary. I understood that there was a misunderstanding after our exchange and didn’t think twice about it. I started the following draft in response but didn’t get a chance to finish the email as things have been crazy in my house for the last couple of weeks.

No problem but I AM glad you finally got back to me. I really didn’t expect things to go any further, so this is a rather delightful and welcome surpries.

Yes, my last name is fun. My sister’s name is Roxanne Sussington and we’ve always thought that with that name she should be writing romance novels. But no one has ever created a story for the name yet, that I know of. There are a few towns and a rose variety named Sussington.

Excellent. It’s never too late for a Sussington author of bawdy romantic novels that will rip the bodice off the bosom of literary pretense! If not this generation, then the next…keep a stiff upper lift and all that rot! (Ha-ha, I really meant to type “lip” instead of “lift,” but I like the result better.)

Would you be interested in submitting one of your stories for our newsletter? The newsletter is an all volunteer operation and goes out to 3000+ homes and businesses in the quadrangle. Many other neighborhoods have transitioned to online newsletters but we’re still sticking with the old fashioned paper kind and find that many people in the neighborhood tell us how much they appreciate reading it. It’s the best at social media that DQNA is doing right now.

OH MY GOD, YES! How about my rather short but hilarious New Year’s piece:


There’s a nifty image at the bottom, which you are free to include or not. The story carries its own weight just the same. You might introduce me like so:

Ezekiel Krahlin is a veteran LGBT activist and author living in Eureka Valley since 1983. His “Gay Bible” (or “Final Testament”) website has been up since 1997, and covers an extraordinarily diverse number of issues around sexual minorities:


It’s a bit dated, but still chock full of inspiring works that are timeless. Mr. Krahlin is presently embroiled in a work in progress, about his homeless friend and his two doggies right here in the Castro, which you may read for free online at:


But for this issue, he is delighted to share an outrageous tale that is his unique and exuberant way of welcoming in the New Year. And wants to thank the community at large for so much inspiration and kindness for more than thirty years, while residing mostly along the border of the Castro and the Duboce Quadrangle neighborhood.

Just an idea as this is a labor of love for you.

And that’s as far as I got.

I’m glad we both thought of you contributing something to the newsletter. The deadline for articles is this Friday so please let me know if you’d be interested.

I feel the love, I’m awash in it! Thank you SO much, Kayla. That’s quite a unique name, BTW…lovely, too. Is it Celtic?

Anyway, I can easily convert the whole piece into text and send it off to you, if you’d like. I prefer to capitalize words for emphasis, instead of use italics…and I’d like them published just that way. Actually, I already have the text link for that story, because it’s going to be narrated soon on a radio station up in Mendocino County. So I prepare each tale by converting it to text, and providing a link to it, for the radio host. So here it is now, for you, too:

2021 is Going to be a FANTASTIC Year!

Happy New Year!

Indeed. 2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC Year! <3 <3 <3

  • Zeke

Re: Fwd: Re: My apologies for putting you on the spot!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: January 5, 2021 5:55 PM


We’re off to the races, Tara! My fame is gonna start locally, then spiral outward like a blossoming flower. Exactly the way I imagined it. In TWO spots, though: down here in SF, and up there in Mendoland, thanks to the most excellent Marshall McGee! And Deek will soon become VERY well known and loved, too. Hopefully. At least, there will be many people soon, watching over the two brindlekin, should he decide to hold onto them for awhile longer. This is how I’ll gather protective forces around myself and the doggies! Wowee is right! I am become a living example of the miraculous.

  • Zeke

Re: My apologies for putting you on the spot!
From: Kayla Sussington
To: Zeke Krahlin
Date: January 7, 2021 4:09 PM

Hey Zeke,

I forwarded your message to Cheri and Carlton, our newsletter editors, and they will contact you directly about a submission for the newsletter. I will bow out of any further newsletter discussions because I almost never get my articles in on time and therefore leave all the newsletter work in their capable hands.

I look forward to reading a story of yours in the next edition!!



PS: I forgot to mention that normally when I respond to messages sent to DQNA via our website I include in my signature my full name and that I am the President of DQNA. For some reason, I totally forgot to do that with you thus leading to some confusion. Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that I added to the confusion albeit absentmindedly.

Re: My apologies for putting you on the spot!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Kayla Sussington
Date: January 7, 2021 6:55 PM

I forwarded your message to Cheri and Carlton

How wonderful, thank you! I hope contacting me directly means via email because my DSL land line suddenly went dead yesterday. Also ironic, ’cause I had to run home to call 911 because some meth freak in the Castro had just assaulted someone, then started to attack me when I stepped in to stop it. So I had to resort to asking a neighbor to use his smartphone. The miscreant HAS been arrested, thank God. No one was seriously harmed, either…just a few bruises and scratches.

BTW, you are now the star of one of my Brindlekin chapters…and of course I changed your name to something else, as well as your sister’s:


My Year of the Wig

January 2, 2021

I should tell you about the year I actually wore a wig that I bought from, and got shaped and cut by, a professional hairdresser, when I lived in Santa Cruz. I balded prematurely, and decided to do something about it at the advanced age of 32. (After all, the schizophrenic part of me that still thought I was Jesus Christ figured I’d be dead in another year…so I should do something special, right now.) I thought it looked really good on me, “tote” realistic, and such a nice shade of dark auburn. It was simple to put on every morning: just three bits of double-sided tape, and voilà, I was good to go. There was hairspray, but I never needed it: the modacrylic fibers always stayed in place, even on the most blustery of days. It was a point of jealousy by certain old ladies I’d meet on the bus or at a cafe, along with motorcycle buffs who were keen observers of head gear.

I wore it everywhere: at bars, coffeehouses, on the bus to work or a pleasing journey through forest, farm and Pacific shoreline all the way up to Davenport (where I regularly stopped for lunch and coffee at a windswept, funky family bistro atop a cliff), jogging, picking elderberries beneath the San Lorenzo bridge, movie theaters, Sunday meetings at the LGBT Center (where everyone was less attractive or interesting than myself; and I’m not a particularly good-looking guy, though very interesting indeed), lounging in the lobby of The St. George Hotel (where I rented a room w/bath for a time, that overlooked Pacific Avenue, the city’s main strip; it perished in the Loma Prieta earthquake six years later…but I was long gone by then, having returned to SF in ’83…I had a handsome ex-con live with me the last two months, who was half Portugese, half Cherokee, and VERY pleasant on the eyes and between my legs, but turned out to be a disaster and I had to flee for my life, so someone invited me to live on his land in the mountains, about three miles east of Boulder Creek and off Deer Creek Road about a half mile in, which included a dizzying climb along a narrow, dirt path where one time at dusk an opposum was approaching from the other direction who blocked my way, so I had to scurry all the way back down to the road IN THE DARK with a snarling little devil almost at my heels), and dining at one of the many tasty little vegan restaurants that were so popular back then, and in that county). I was a good-looking cuss, as far as I was concerned, and wanted to show off my drop-dead gorgeous locks of bronze hair-of-the-gods in all places and times possible…even when going to the dentist. Though the drill slipped from her hand once, and she fled to another room for awhile, shrieking in wild laughter. I took no offense. “She should stop dipping into the laughing gas,” I thought.

I wore it everywhere, that is: except in bed. I rested my fake mane on a styrofoam head labelled “17” and placed it on the dresser, right beside the glowing dragon lamp I purchased along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk some months before. The hairdresser (who I found in the Yellow Pages under “Haircuts, Wigs, Toupees & Hairpieces”) was a middle-aged fop, the queeny type, who had me sit in one of the barber chairs while fussing and cooing over a variety of wigs he tried on me.

It was a spacious, narrow shop about fifty feet deep and twenty feet wide; with eight barber chairs, a grand mirror that stretched the entire length of the wall and framed in golden filigree; maroon and cream tiled linoleum floor with assorted scuff marks; picture window that looked out on an empty parking lot, bus stop and dense clump of oak woods across the road; rows of wooden shelves stacked to the ceiling with mostly wig covered styrofoam heads (several tilted on their sides, and a couple of naked ones tossed in for good measure, whose purpose I guess was to remind customers of their ugly, former selves); four ginormous electric fans spinning slowly from high above; a back door at the far end which room it concealed probably housed duplicate myriad wigs in large cardboard boxes (though it could contain god knows anything, certainly a bathroom at least); and a lifesize figure of a sad, lonely little poodle that sat eternally in a distant, dusty corner, and was either a cheap statue, or the preserved body of a real dog stuffed by someone with taxidermy skills (perhaps the hairdresser himself, who looked rather dusty and old as well).

I settled on styrofoam head #17 and, after clipping a bit here and there, primping and spraying and touching me everywhere above the shoulders, he finally asked:

“Well whaddya think, Mr. Catalano?” (Yes, I still presented myself with my birth name back then; it wouldn’t be for another thirteen years before I’d change it.)

I was stunned: didn’t realize how good looking I actually was with a full head of hair! Or I had forgotten, as in my blossoming adolescence I had many a dreamy jackoff watching my naked self in the mirror while standing on the edge of the bathtub, while my brother was at football practice, and my parents were playing cribbage in the basement den with Aunt Jean and Uncle Pat.

“Wow, I like it very much!” I cooed back. With that, he escorted me out the door by the elbow, handed me a patchouli scented business card that made me almost gag, and said:

“Now, come back every two weeks for a fresh-up; I’ll keep you happy!”

Not many people stared at me, or made fun of me, or tried to steal my wig. But it’s the few who did, that disturbed my reverie of self adulation, and ruined my day. When I first adopted my new coiffure, I lived in a single room in a rambling old three-story house with a porch, directly across the street from a popular and unique variety store/gas station called “Rotten Robbie.” I loved shopping there; it was colorful, copious, and had everything under the sun. Until one day I entered with the clink of a bell, and overheard a cashier mutter to her coworker:

“Uh-oh, here comes the hair!”

I immediatly turned about with the last bell clink they’d ever hear from me.

I lived on the topmost floor that accomodated two other occupants…UC students like everyone else there, except for yours truly. Not only did we share the bathroom, but I shared a heating vent with my neighbor, Filmore, a lanky, short black fellow who sported thick lenses and an impressive afro haircut. And thanks to this vent, you could hear a pin drop from either room. Filmore loved listening to the blues on his funky record player that I suspect was purchased at a garage sale. Every evening I’d call to him through the vent:

“Turn that music down, please!”

And he did…he was a nice person of good humor. Though when it came to my hirsute crown of glory, his good humor went way beyond the bounds of decency. He’d never prod me about it at home, but the various times our paths crossed in public (often at the main transit stop downtown), he’d let out a howl:

“You look ridiculous in that wig! Hey look everyone, check out that dude’s crazy hair!”

Most of the time I’d pretend I didn’t hear him, hoping that bystanders would think he’s pointing someone ELSE out. I’d walk further up the street and wait for the next bus. Except once, I did not. Instead, I boarded the same bus that Filmore was on, even though he was hooting at me from the window beside his seat. He stopped soon as I embarked, but kept snickering as I found my spot…the only one available was right in front of him. Ironic, and much to my chagrin.

My stop came before his. As I rose to exit the bus, I turned to him just before setting foot on the concrete island, and hollered: “You wanna talk about bad hair? That mosquito trap you think passes for an afro is a disgrace to your people!”

“My people?” he retorted from the open window, craning his neck in my direction as the bus began to roll away. “You mean doctors? I’m a third-year med school student, you chalk-faced cootie!”

That evening when I returned home after a pleasant day picking elderberries and visiting my friend Helen, I passed Filmore going down the stairs as I climbed up. He said his usual friendly “hello,” as I did likewise, before entering my aerie, returning the wig to its styrofoam perch, and crashing out on the bed.

When summer came to an end, I resumed my job as teaching assistant for the special education program at Aptos High School…an experimental project for mainstreaming mentally disabled youth, including those with Down’s Syndrome. This would be my second year in this position, and at the same location. But it would be the first year for my wig, and things did not go smoothly.

Shirley, petite and vivacious with a strawberry bob cut, was the teacher I worked under. She didn’t bat an eye on the first day of my return, or any day thereafter…behaving as if nothing was out of the ordinary. She was a dignified woman, overall, and sweetly vivacious. However, with one student, Dennis, it was a horse of a different color. He was freckle faced, gaunt and quite tall, with nostrils so wide and round, it felt like I’d be sucked into them whenever I looked up. All the students except for him said I looked different somehow, but couldn’t put a finger on it. Dennis, however, did…many times. Whenever I was within his reach, he’d extend a lanky arm and cup a broad hand over my pelt, attempting to slide it around. Fortunately, the hidden strips of tape wouldn’t allow my wig to be so insulted. What damage was done was but slight: easily rectified with a quick readjustment in the faculty washroom.

Speaking of faculty: we had our own staff lunchroom. One day early into the fall semester, I was sitting there all by myself for a few minutes before one of the employees joined me, and sat across the table. She was around 43, stocky with a crewcut, and always wore a plaid shirt and blue jeans. Definitely a lesbian, so probably a gym or shop teacher. I never really knew WHAT she did; maybe she was just the janitor. At any rate, she seemed to eat with some difficulty, consuming her sandwich and pie…guffawing as she did in occasional, short bursts as if she were struggling with all her might to contain herself.

“Are you alright?” I asked, “Can I get you some water?”

“Um-hmm, no, uh, I’m fine. Just an…umm…itchy throat from…umm…” she stopped in midsentence, seeming to be on the verge of choking on her chicken salad sandwich, but quickly recovered. “on second thought, sure, I’d…umm…appreciate that.”

So I went to the sink and returned with a glass of water from the tap. I can’t recall the things we talked about…but she seemed to be struck with hilarity, so I assumed she might have inhaled a few tokes of ganja behind the bleachers, before arriving here. She isn’t hiding it very well, I thought. But I’m not a snitch, so feigned not to notice. I think I asked how her day was going, and she answered with something like:

“Oh…uh..ha-ha…uh…pretty good…ha-ha, thanks! And…and…umm…yourself?” With that, she collapsed in laughter, dropped her head into her arms that were resting on the table, then, after a moment or two, quickly exited. I don’t remember ever seeing her again, and hoped she wasn’t fired.

Swimming was another challenge, that I didn’t know I could meet. To be honest, I hadn’t thought of this when I purchased the wig. Would the tape hold? Not very well, I soon learned. One of my requirements as a teaching assitant, was to get into the gym pool with my students, so I couldn’t worm my way out of this. Dog paddling with my head above water was fine…as were breast and butterfly strokes. I was a good swimmer of many years; just never did it with fake hair before.

My troubles began with the back stroke. After several laps, the middle tape separated itself from the nape of my neck. Pressing on it with my hand did not work. But nobody noticed, because the rest of the wig held firm, while the back part, bloated by the weight of absorbed water, fell firmly into place when I turned over onto my stomach, or exited the pool. But the worst was yet to come: I had to teach the kids to hold their breath underwater.

So I gathered my eight intellectually impaired students (three with Down’s) around me in a circle, by the low end of the pool. Then held my nose and plunged myself below the surface. With that, the lower half of my wig floated outward to surround my head like wings. I used my free hand to tamp it down, but it was a partial success. Once I emerged above the surface again, the wig fell properly into place, and I told the kids to try it now, themselves. So each held their nose and plunged, then placed their other hand on the left side of the head while coming back up, releasing their nose at the last moment.

Good enough, I thought, but did the teacher see that? No, she was chatting with two other instructors by the locker room entrance. So we did this several more times: dunking under the water just below the surface and holding our breath for ten or so seconds, then popping back up. Each time I did this, my wig’s adhesive tape began to loosen further, until by the fith dunk, it became completely unglued all around my cranium, except for a small patch that stubbornly stuck in place (thank god): barely an inch above my right temple. But even MORE worst was yet to come, as now it was time to get them to submerge a bit deeper, like a foot below the surface instead of a few inches.

“Watch me closely,” I told my charges, as I pinched my nose and disappered beneath the surface with my left hand slapped firmly upon that side of my head, my fingers stretched to the top as far as they could go. Well, since this end of the pool was a shallow four feet, I had to crouch down pretty low. And as I did, my feet suddenly slipped, due to one of my student’s mischievous ideas to sabotage me from behind, like a ninja fish. He had slid a foot between my ankles, then yanked it away. And there went my wig, floating above me like a jellyfish for a brief but frightening moment before I yanked it back upon my pate in a jaunty angle that, upon my reemergence, made the kids burst out in great guffaws and snorts.

Shirley’s attention had then focused on my belly-laughing urchins and, with half a scowl and half a smile, she came up to the edge of the pool and asked, “Where’s the party?” By then I had roosted the wig back into its proper position, thinking that I had averted a disaster: that she almost realized it wasn’t a glorious mane of real hair on my head, after all, that it wasn’t the “excellent” haircut she said it was on my first day back for the semester. I gasped a sigh of relief and simply explained I had lost my footing, and everyone had a good laugh over that. But with years of hindsight now behind me, I figure she knew all along, but kept it to herself…unlike our students. Honestly, I don’t know how she kept a poker face for all those remaining months I worked there! The kids sure didn’t. But I’m not sure if they even THOUGHT I was wearing a postiche, but just figured something funny was going on around my cranial region, that made them laugh.

The wig even gave me the confidence to move from my SRO, to a one-bedroom cottage close to the boardwalk…where I faintly heard the surf crashing, seals barking, and people joyfully screaming on the roller coaster, the whirligig and the ferris wheel. I’d sometimes go there by my lone self, and watch others having the kind of fun that I scorned. But there I DID buy myself an ink-sprayed Jefferson Airplane dragon on a white T-shirt, created on the spot by a handsome surfer-dude artist with long blond hair down to his waist. He possessed a sparkling smile with one silver tooth, and a Celtic knot hammered in bronze, that dangled from a plain black cord about the neck. Whenever he adjusted himself over his work while seated on a stool, it sometimes nested in the sternum of a sculpted, smooth chest, barely concealed beneath a loose-fitting black-power tank top.

After all, I had to get myself SOMEthing special for my thirty-third birthday, the day I imagined I would die! Well, guess what: I didn’t, I’m still here at the ripe age of seventy. And proudly bald, though I always wear a hat when outside. I was still wearing “the wig” upon my permanent return to San Francisco in 1983, where my several closest friends couldn’t keep from cracking up in front of me, no matter how hard they tried not to. So I eventually disposed of the wig in a dumpster near the Stanyan Street Hotel where I lived thanks to the geneorosity of our welfare state, which has long since grown tired of helping folks down on their luck.

Another time, I’ll tell you about how I went for a job interview at a lawyer’s firm in North Beech, wearing a black velour dress jacket in a one-hundred-and-one degree heat wave. And, just like my Year of the Wig, it boosted my confidence, and I got the job.

2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!

December 29, 2020

Because you’re all gonna die hilariously and incurably HAPPY…almost all at once! That is: within a relatively short span of 24 hours, the time it takes this wobbly old orb to complete a single rotation on its axis! It will be the result of a fortuitous blending of certain greenhouse gases that scientists did NOT foresee because too busy fighting off angry hordes of bible thumpers breaking into their research labs. A particular blend of nitrogen and oxygen triggered by an experimental release of nanoparticles way up in the clouds and across most of the Arctic Circle–which formula the United States (in conjunction with Bayer/Monsanto and Dow/Dupont Chemicals) deemed top secret–had caused a sudden and impressive blanketing of all hemispheres (north, south, east and west) with nitrous oxide.

Needless to say, there was a MASSIVE migration at unprecedented speed to the Hawaiian archipelago, as that spot was the closest habitable land surface to the international dateline. Foolish humans, what do THEY know? For encroachment of this invisible and inescapable wall of laughing gas could not be bound to an arbitrarily determined longitudinal agreement as to when each day begins and ends! All THEY knew was that the final spot to be smothered would happen within 24 hours at the latest. But where that final spot would be, scientists were NOT able to determine, because there just won’t be enough time! Besides which, all their meteorological databases will have been sabotaged by Army of God, Promise Keepers and Westboro Baptist Church hackers before then! Who emphatically believe that the remaining oasis of all living creatures both great and small would be Jerusalem and its outlying environs…and that a platoon of angelic starships would be waiting to whisk them away to the promised land, somewhere around the vicinity of the dog star, Sirius. (Interesting side note: a biplane waving a banner from the rear with the words “God Hates Fags” was spotted for a brief moment by an Israeli tourist, who uploaded the video to Youtube, only moments before she perished in a cloud of laughter.) Meanwhile, back in Hawaii:

Being that the land area of the total surface of all islands in that archipelago is way too minuscule to accommodate the vast number of desperate-but-guffawing refugees mounting to upwards of half a billion, most were summarily pushed into the Pacific Ocean to drown, or shoved upwards along the steep slopes of all six active volcanoes in that region by vast, crushing herds of human cattle…and over the edge and into the fiery pits of bubbling magma, while laughing their asses off! Surely, the merciless goddesses Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Lo‘ihi and Haleakala, will enjoy the most stupendous feast of human sacrifice in the entire history of their inconceivably archaic lives.

Exactly WHO will have the last laugh is not yet known. Or perhaps such a factoid is verboten to your flabby, excrescent and ignorant species, by decree of the Great Old Ones (Chaugnar Faugn, Cthulhu, Zushakon, Sebek, Atlach-Nacha, Tsathoggua and a bunch of others whose names are unpronounceable by human tongue). Who are ruled by our eternal and profusely intolerable malodorous Outer Ones who exist out of time, before time, and all around time. NYARLATHOTEP BE PRAISED, ALL GLORY TO THE COSMIC HYPNOTOAD! But one thing is certain: he or she will go down in intergalactic history as earth’s final buffoon. Why intergalactic? Because history will no longer be a thing on planet earth.

In a nutshell: Homo sapiens ignoramus will all die of explosive mirth some time next year. And if you are laughing right now, be warned: the end times are imminent!

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