The FINAL Final Chapter (part 3)

November 25, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18c]

Texting with Wattson: 11/18/21

Video (morning corner greets)

Pic 1 (wattson’s cat)

Pic 2 (flaco & lucky)

Pic 3 (flaco & lucky closeup)

Pic 4 (snack boxes)

Pic 5 (doggy sanctuary)

Video (where’s flaco 2)


Subject: I almost bumped into Arwyn this evening…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 19, 2021 11:55 PM

…as I stepped out the front gate. Pajama party crowds filled the sidewalk, so I didn’t see him, but heard his voice from about twenty feet away to my right. I turned left on my way to 17th & Noe to pick up a frozen ravioli dinner. Rather than stand on the corner and wait for him to meander by, I crossed the street and didn’t turn around to look at him until I reached the other side. Though I heard his boisterous talk all along, just like he was walking beside me.

He was clowning around with another person, but did look my way as he joked, allowing me to acknowledge him with a wave of my hand on outstretched arm across the broad distance of Market Street. It was as if he were speaking in two worlds simultaneously: on the surface, to his present company, but on a deeper level greeting me with joy.

He did not wave back, but clearly made a point of noticing me in return. For when they paused on the far corner to wait for the light to turn green, he turned his head in my direction in such a manner as to not alert the other. (Being such a tall fellow, that’s an easy trick to pull off!)

Please note I do not remember anything he was saying as he passed behind me and while I traversed the four lanes of traffic until I reached the southwest corner. Yet his volume did not diminish one iota as I grew more distant from his physical presence, until I finally turned around to look back. Then, and only then, did his vocalizations reduce their resonance to the expected level for the distance now between us…IOW barely a whisper.

Perhaps I cannot remember any words from the jumble he flung my way, because he may have spoken them in such a manner as to be intentionally indecipherable. Like how extras in a movie actually mumble nonsense to simulate a crowd of many voices. Something told me not to stop, but to cross the street and not look back until I reached the other side. Could that something have been his telepathic instructions? And could those puzzling utterances have been contrived to reveal themselves later on tonight, perhaps in a dream…or upon abruptly awakening at a wee hour, in startled realization that I should quickly get dressed and meet him outside? And bring the pups. (Yes, they’re here; second night in a row…will tell you more about it in my next missive.)

So here we have yet one more sudden appearance by my Wily Wyvern, in what is becoming a string of recent encounters…albeit a surreptitious collection of an increasing number of beads.

But what an almost CLOSE encounter it was: I almost walked right into him by accident! At least, it would’ve been an accident on MY part, had it actually occurred.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The view out my front gate last night…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 20, 2021 3:04 PM

…around 1:30 AM. Party atmosphere late into the morning. Doggies wanted to go outside later than usual (little Lucky has had diarrhea since yesterday morning, so had to poop more frequently). Quite a hassle threading our way through the throngs of pajama-clad revelers, before maneuvering to a quiet side street off Noe. Upon returning hovel, there was a homeless guy sound asleep and in a wheelchair, right outside my building. What a charming city!

So after tucking the pups back into bed, I returned downstairs with my Moto E, to take these five delightful snapshots.

Pic 4: He looks to be an artist, judging by the yellow pen in his hand, and the colorful images he’s already drawn on a stiff sheet of paper. You’ll probably have to enlarge that image in order to make it out. Not sure what he’s clutching in his left hand, but I hope he doesn’t drop it out of somnolence, or drug-induced stupor.

Notice the “Whole Foods” bag hanging from the back of his wheelchair in pic 5.

Click here for a larger view.
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Subject: Yo, I got myself a fairy pouch!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 20, 2021 9:28 PM

An unknown resident on my floor discarded a slew of items on the back porch shelf, most of which held no interest for me. But I found this:

Click here for a larger view.

I didn’t know what to call it (other than a pouch) until I opened it to discover a silver fairy medallion attached with string! I like it because it ties in with my love for Celtic mythology…and they ARE the ones who gave the world our fairytales!

Don’t know what I’d use it for, but I’m sure that part of the puzzle will come together in due time. I also found a deck of Tarot cards which, I guess, would be a perfect fit for the pouch:

Click here for a larger view.

However, I’m not actually into Tarot, except for my appreciation of archetypes a la Carl Jung. Who actually had much good to say about applying them to unlock secrets of one’s psyche. Well, I’ll take the cards, too, as they MIGHT serve as a relaxing tool for meditation.

I’m wondering if these be yet two MORE gifts from my bodhisattva guardians! Not that they expect me to go all woo on them, but that they stand as symbols of spiritual achievement…with the fairy being a corny reference to my devotion to LGBT liberation. And the cards may represent humanity’s archetypes, which Carl Jung’s teaching of helped to liberate my OWN soul.

And to think understanding my Hero’s Journey all started when the first psychiatrist I ever saw, turned me on to Carl Jung, starting with the book, “Man and His Symbols.” That was when? Way way back in 1975 or thereabouts. Amazing!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The view out my front gate last night…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 20, 2021 10:12 PM

> Poor guy. Ever seen him before?

Nope. I suspect we San Francishitscans may soon be overwhelmed by a tremendous influx of homeless from other states. Soon followed by LGBTs seeking refuge from those same states. After all, Kyle Rittenhouse’s “innocence” from all charges has cast a bold green light upon open hunting season against all who do not abide by Christo-Fascist values. Get ready for the Exmass Massacre! Queers will be a main target, and Redneck Santa’s ready to lock and load.


Re: Yo, I got myself a fairy pouch!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 21, 2021 1:54 PM

> That’s seriously cool, that you found such a potently symbolic little bag of goodies.

Just more little gifts from the Deities of Good Fortune.

> And yes, potent for the reasons you describe. Jung is the antidote to Freud.

Sigmund laid down the concept, and the foundation, of the subconscious. But for whatever reason saw it as simply a rather dark and scary realm, with little relief to be had. A great money mill for therapists of his ilk!

Jung explored it in greater depth, to discover a much more complex and wondrous dimension containing great promise and many adventurous therein. All potential fodder for the Hero’s Journey, for anyone who cared (or dared) to accept the challenge and learn about the varied archetypal deities who populate that world.

> Sometimes the artwork on a deck of Tarot cards is the point, the whole point and nothing but the point.

That’s it right there, Wattson! I shall enjoy each card as a tool for meditation, gazing upon one each night to see where it takes me.

If you notice, that wee fairy trinket flashes a teensy diamond right at the tip of one foot! And the pouch itself sports the embroidered image of a dragonfly in a luminous, light shade of blue. This particular insect symbolizes transformation and rebirth. Not to mention the obvious “dragon” part. This site re. spiritual meaning of the dragonfly, says:

“By affinity with the dragonfly aerial lightness, those who have this animal as totem can develop the ability to take things lightly even in the darkest moments. Lightness in feelings, lightness in thoughts. The dragonfly spirit animal invites people to keep a light, positive outlook no matter what.”

https://www.spiritanimal.info/dragonfly-spirit-animal/

A most apt strategy for my present circumstances around Deek and pooches. The dragonfly also symbolizes the Fairy Kingdom. Of course.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: This happened four nights ago (Nov. 17):
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 21, 2021 2:58 PM

Deek crashed outside by the bus stop, with the pups. Just yards away from my hovel, yet he wouldn’t let them sleep indoors. Infuriating. Barking ensued, on and off, though it was just Flaco, whose barks are not robust like her brother’s, and really not disturbing. Except what disturbed ME is that when I stepped out to check on them, Flaco was walking about, sniffing here and there, and sometimes barking at passersby…right there on the corner.

Just an hour before this incident, I had already brought the pups a box and two, jumbo-size terrycloth towels I had found on the back porch days earlier…clean and neatly folded. By then, Deek was already sound asleep; nothing could wake him at this point, not even Armageddon. They had nothing cushy to sleep on, just Deek’s body, so I figured the towels would help, for both warmth and comfort. Lucky was already curled up in the box, but when he arose to greet me, I placed one towel partly inside the box, and he began to rearrange it to his liking. Meanwhile, Flaco was sitting up on Deek’s hips, attentive to any potential intruder into their space. She was very glad to see me, and I draped the second towel over her, which she graciously accepted. But soon as I did that, Lucky grabbed onto one edge and began to pull it inside the box, with the other towel already formed into a nest. I told him no, that’s for Flaco, and gingerly pulled the second towel back upon her. He seemed to understand, and returned to the cozy seclusion of the box, which was set right beside his master, and Flaco.

Deek’s custom when sleeping, is to secure the leash loop to his wrist, for both dogs. However, Flaco’s slipped off, thus she was free to roam. Her barking had alerted me, and when I peered out the window, I saw her standing around, freed from her owner’s hand and warning strollers to keep their distance. I could not wake him up even if my life depended on it, so lifted his hand to secure the leash once more. I comforted both pups for a few minutes, then returned hovel. But a little while later, I heard her barking again, so stuck my head out the window to see, this time, LUCKY had untethered himself from Deek’s loose grip, and was walking about, sniffing here and there!

So I stepped outside again (it was around 12:30 AM) and summoned Lucky back to the box. Just before I reached him close to the crosswalk, and picked up his leash, someone said to a friend while waiting for the light to change, “Where’s the owner?”. I escorted Lucky back to the box, and slipped the leash’s loop back over Deek’s wrist. It was a bit of a fuss to accomplish that, since his available hand was partly closed into a fist, and I had to first uncurl it. Flaco was still tethered and sitting atop her comatose master, barking at those who came too near (which distance seemed to be less than three feet).

I decided at this point to bring both pooches upstairs, for their safety. Flaco was eager to go, but Lucky wouldn’t budge, refused to leave his master, and even made a point of that by firmly resisting my tugs. The best I could do, was nudge him out from the box, whereby he immediately plunked himself in the crook of his master’s legs, intent on remaining there, come hell or high water. He looked up at me as if to say, “How dare you…WTF are you doing?”

I saw then he’d be perfectly fine remaining beside his shepherd, and wasn’t the one barking. So I covered him with both towels (lending Deek some warmth as well), and attempted to remove the end of Flaco’s leash from Deek’s other hand. Impossible! For it was tucked under his torso, and I’d have to turn him over to get at it. So I rushed back hovel to retrieve a spare leash, then returned to unhook Flaco’s collar and replace one leash with the other. Then off we went!

I knew that once Deek awoke, he’d probably be screaming his lungs out right up at my window, “Where’s my dog? Did you take my dog?” Thus creating yet MORE needless drama and disturbing the residents…building manager and my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway, in particular. But that is a price I’d gladly pay, so long as Flaco was safe and allowed to get some solid rest. I decided not to worry about it (que será será), and returned to my cozy cot plump with comforters, with Flaco totally blissed out as I held her in my arms and gave her those cherished belly rubs. She went out like a lamp in less than one minute flat. By now it was almost 2 AM, and I remained awake, though restfully so, hoping that Deek would stay zonked out until some time after sunrise. But that was not to be.

3:35 AM to the second, he called up to my window in a blustery timbre, “Is Flaco with you?” I quickly leapt out of bed and went to the window, nodded at him with a smile. “Bring her down right now! What the hell is wrong with you?” He rattled on with a few more choice retorts (including something about taking just ONE dog inside) but, to my surprise, was not particularly loud or angry. He gets a gold star for that.

I brought Flaco back downstairs in quick order, and attempted to explain WHY I brought her inside, struggling uphill all the way to squeeze my words between his nonstop lambastes:

“Flaco kept barking, she needs her rest, and so do I and everyone else in the building…

“She’s a very cute little pooch, someone could’ve stolen her, or reported a stray dog to animal control…

“Both her and Lucky were roaming free, and I couldn’t wake you up to tell you I’m taking them inside…

“Lucky wasn’t the one barking, and I saw he’d be fine staying outside with you…

“If you crashed behind my building, none of this would happen, there’d be no distraction from noisy clubbers and drunks, they could even roam around a bit to poop and pee…

“You did NOT provide them with a comfy spot to sleep on, forcing them to lay on the concrete, in the cold night air…

“NOTHING wakes you up, even if they were barking furiously to stop someone from stealing them…”

I ended my sharp admonishments with: “I didn’t know what else to do, Deek.”

He calmed down then, held up a hand palm-out and responded: “Okay, okay. You’ve done too much already. I’m awake now, everything will be fine. But I’m pissed right now, because it looks like my pot stash was stolen, and some other stuff.”

Everyone on the street knows how nothing can wake up Deek, once he’s off to slumberland…so absurdly EASY to steal anything around him, even on his own person, including pilfering his pockets. Much earlier that night, as I was returning from my pre-bed stroll up and down Noe Street, a homeless black dude, portly and of middle age, was attempting to wake him up, in order to purchase some weed.

I approached and told him he needs his sleep, best not to wake him. Flaco had begun to emit some low growls, so I comforted her with caresses and told her it’s okay. But the fellow persisted, so I managed to wake him up (to my surprise) and tell him this guy wants to buy some pot. Whereupon he sluggishly sat up, procured a pile of shake (about four handfuls) that he poured onto an open sheet of newspaper, folded it up and handed it over…receiving in exchange, four one-dollar bills.

“Oh, I know it’s good,” the black dude replied before taking off. “You always have good leaf.”

Good leaf? I thought. That stuff is crap, but who am I to thwart a transaction?

Deek immediately lied back down and fell asleep once more, while I managed to tuck the pups back in: Lucky in his box and Flaco atop his chest. I placed a towel back upon her little, brindle form and gave Lucky a few pats as he settled down upon his own towel. But this was some time before Flaco’s barking ensued, and her and her brother’s roaming-free escapades began…and my night turned out to be a sleepless one.

So I’m guessing it was this “customer” who later stole his remaining stash. Seeing as he could easily see where he kept it, as Deek grabbed some from a plastic bag…and returned later on to abscond with it, knowing what an extraordinarily SOLID sleeper he is. Whatever else Deek found missing, may have likewise been stolen by that same fellow.

I returned to bed by 4 AM, after wishing him a good remainder-of-the-night…though I got a good rest, I don’t think I actually fell asleep. But the late-night gaggles had finally dispersed, the street quieted down…so no more barking and Flaco finally got to sleep, relieved as she was from her watchdog duties. Later that morning, well after sunrise, was when I shot that video of the pups I call “Morning Corner Greets.” That was three days ago, as I now compose this missive.

I thought about what if Deek refuses to crash behind the building, or allow Flaco to sleep upstairs with me, and came up with only ONE, last-resort solution: that I join them outside, on the sidewalk, to keep Flaco calm and watch over them all, for the entire night. An unfair situation for yours truly, but I’ll do ANYthing to keep the pups safe…including from Deek’s own foolishness.

THIS is precisely why I’ve requested time and time again, for him to NOT hang out around my building. Because to do so puts me smack dab in the eyes of residents, making my situation with him and the dogs an open book, causing possible alarm and antagonism on their part. For SOME resent my sitting a couple of HOMELESS dogs. Had they not seen them with Deek, they’d logically assume I’m the owner, and there’d be no problem. But no, Deek insists on FORCING upon me, additional and needless conflict that threatens my ability to help take care of his dogs. Doesn’t he realize that fucking me over also fucks HIM over, too? And, by extension, the doggies?

I obviously have NO choice in the matter, Wattson, due to Deek’s thoughtless persistence in doing the WRONG thing that dumps a pointless cross upon THIS exhausted pilgrim’s shoulders! Thus, applying my Bodhisattva Premise, I accept it as an intrinsic part of my Hero’s Journey, and must find whatever strategy works to lighten my burden, and leads me toward a joyful outcome…not just for myself, but for all parties involved. Which at this point includes ALL the residents of 9666 Market Street! And, I suppose, the entire Castro district as well.

You will not be surprised to learn that, just Friday morning, Deek decided to tear into me again, for taking Flaco upstairs against his wishes. But I made it VERY CLEAR to him that I did the right thing, repeating some of the reasons for doing so. And that, should it happen again, I won’t hesitate to repeat my actions. INCLUDING taking them BOTH upstairs, should I deem that necessary.

He gave me ADDITIONAL grief later that day, in the eventide, accusing me of lavishing all my attention on Flaco, and ignoring Lucky. Which is bullshit, of course, but it is in his devious, trickster nature to constantly find SOMEthing to gripe about, and dump it all on me! He KNOWS Flaco squooshes herself between me and Lucky (just as she does with Deek), to soak up ALL the affection raining down. But he ALSO knows I find a way to reach out to Lucky in equal measure…if not at the exact same moment, then shortly afterwards, to balance things out.

Deek never ceases coming up with one NEW problem after another! He’ll even MANUFACTURE a problem where none exists, just to keep the angst rolling along. Ruining for me, what could’ve been a wonderful interlude with the brindlekin. For I gently placed Flaco on the sidewalk so I could stand up and get real close to Deek, whereby I took a swing at his hat to show him he’s behaving like a punk. I then crouched down to where he sat, and stared at him with fury:

“I do all these good things for you and the dogs, and you still talk shit to me?”

I remained glaring at him, while he rattled on about how he’s just calling things as he sees them, shrugging his shoulders like the smartass he is, saying if I hit him, I won’t see him and the dogs for a LONG time. Upon which mealy-mouthed declaration I stood up again and gave the bag of dog food lying before him, a wallop of a kick. But because it was all stashed in a tough, plastic grocery bag, no damage was done, and it was heavy enough that it only moved a few inches forward to touch one of his legs.

Right then and there, Flaco approached and tapped on my leg with a dainty paw, looking up at me with those darling brown eyes. So I returned to my seated position and returned her onto my lap. Rather than curling up, she stood with front paws planted firmly on my chest, and gazed sweetly into my own eyes. My heart melted, and I demanded of Deek:

“Now just shut up and let me enjoy the rest of my minutes here with BOTH dogs.”

He continued to spew nasty accusations at me, but this time in mumbling undertones. So I once more ordered:

“I said shut up, I can still hear you! Let’s have some peace around here, please.”

He then quieted down as I pulled Lucky closer to me, where he lay down upon a towel Deek had provided earlier. That way I could give them BOTH my attention, just to appease their master’s irrational charges against me. Which I KNEW have no grounding in reality, but were simply his latest guilt-trip poppycock.

Several minutes later he softly called Flaco over, but she couldn’t get there because her leash was tethered to a bicycle pedal some feet away. No danger of the bike falling over, because he had set it down on its side…it was just too far removed for either dog to sit by Deek. So I asked:

“Did you want Flaco to sit by you? I’ll have to remove the leash from your bike, first.”

He said yeah, so I stretched backward in a half twist to reach the peddle with a fully extended arm, and raise the loop free from its bondage. It took some struggle, because my fingertips could barely touch it, but I didn’t want to stand up again, since then I’d force Flaco back onto the concrete. Once accomplished, I nudged her to go ahead and sit by Deek. She wouldn’t budge, so I told him to call her over again. With that, she quickly switched laps, and I was now free to give Lucky ALL my hugs, pats and scritches. Which little doggy moans of pleasure expressed eternal gratitude for my small kindness.

After ten minutes or so, I stood up and wished them all a lovely night, about to head on hovel. But just before I did, he pulled another one of his nasty tricks out of his hat: he suddenly draped two, large gauze curtains that appeared out of nowhere, over himself and the dogs (who were nuzzled up to him on either side). Then he lit up his meth pipe, waving the flame beneath the bowl to warm it up properly.

“Wait a minute, Deek,” I abruptly warned. “Those curtains are gauze, they can ignite real easy. PLEASE remove them when you do that!”

He didn’t look up at me, but DID snuff out the flame. “Leave me alone, these are not gauze, I know what I’m doing! Get outta my face!”

“Yes they ARE gauze,” I corrected, but thought better of defining just what “gauze” IS at this alarming juncture, in order to get to the point. “But even THAT doesn’t matter because ANY thin cloth so close to a flame can flare up in an instant. And both you AND the dogs are wrapped up in it! PLEASE listen to me and remove those curtains first, before smokin’ whatever!”

He still told me to fuck off, and I did because I made my point and didn’t see any sense in repeating myself. So I put my trust in the Fates to protect them, and simply departed hovel without uttering another word. But I looked out my window soon as I got inside, and saw he had removed the offending cloth, while puffing away on his pipe.

See what I mean about his cooking up one new problem after another? Almost every time I turn my head around! For which reason I believe he does these things intentionally, while NEVER planning to carry out the offense…just does it to press my buttons. Soon as I’m gone he reverts to non-POS mode.

An hour later I stepped out again, this time for my nighttime stroll. I saw the doggies still in that spot, leashed to the bike and quietly resting. Deek was nowhere to be seen, so I crouched down beside them, to give reassuring comfort with my words and caresses. A couple of minutes later their guardian showed up, said: “I’m watching them, don’t worry.”

I eased myself back up to a standing position (while my achy knees objected from so much kneeling and crouching out of love for the mutts) and replied, “I know, I just stepped out for a short stroll.”

For Deek had been just across the street, stuffing recyclables into a large garbage bag from the several bins scattered along that block. I then wished him an excellent night, but the moment I turned away to proceed upstairs, he said what has now become music to my ears:

“I guess you can have them over tonight.”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: This happened four nights ago (Nov. 17):
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 22, 2021 10:39 PM

> Nerve-wracking and harrowing! Especially the part where Flaco was wandering around loose. She could have been stolen or run over. Terrible!

On a good note: neither she nor Lucky wander more than ten feet from Deek…they just sniff around, quite comfortably among the foot traffic. I think they only get up to relieve themselves, explore a bit, then return to their spots. They NEVER walk off the curb, but stay on the sidewalk. It is just that, until the number of pedestrians diminishes later in the night, Flaco feels she must protect her family, thus barks at anyone who gets too close, which is within three or four feet…or if they’re acting crazy. So she doesn’t get any sleep the first half of the night. Lucky, however, remains pretty mellow through it all.

Deek said they won’t allow anyone to touch them, and will begin to bark furiously if they try. He’s correct about that. However, since NOTHING wakes him up, they COULD be absconded and he wouldn’t even know about it till way too late. That is why I told him it would be better to sleep behind my building, so there’d be no distractions to keep Flaco on the alert. And they could even sniff around, and no one would be there to possibly bother them. But he’s stubborn and will most likely not follow up on my suggestion, and remain crashing by the bus stop now and then. They could just stay with me, for cripe’s sake!

Or if he gave them a cushy, semi-sheltered arrangement in which to rest, I think Flaco would be less prone to play guard dog.

> You totally did the right thing. So sorry you lost a night’s sleep.

Well, it looks like there may be more sleepless nights ahead for me. This is a new development, as it’s the first time he’s done this. Before that he’d hang out there with the pups, waiting for his devices to charge up for two or three hours. He’d remain wide awake, with the company of one or two others who show up. Deek used to hang out a block or two away as his gizmos were recharging, but now he’s determined to camp out right in front of my building…something which I’ve told him over and over again to please NOT do. The antagonism from the smoke shop is no longer, due to an employee changeover several months back, and that’s why he’s resumed parking his ass almost below my window.

He doesn’t care to realize that not only is this not safe for the pups, but I CAN’T GET ANY SLEEP WHEN HE DOES THAT! Because I’m always checking up on them, every time I hear one or the other barking. But on another good note: at least he’s no longer noisy with his rap music, or his visitors when he IS nearby at night. They’re all quiet.

It is infuriating because there are three EASY solutions to keep the doggies both quiet and safe, yet he stubbornly refuses to respect my suggestions. Those are: (1) sleep behind the building, (2) let Flaco or even both dogs stay inside with me, and (3) set up a little doggy tent or shelter with a cushy spot where they can sleep and stay warm.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek was planning to let the pups stay over, but…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2021 12:08 AM

..it was under the condition I let him drop by, too, for just a few minutes: “I wanna see how you’ve fixed up your room, and watch the dogs hop onto your bed, then I’ll leave!”

I told him no, I don’t have ANY human visit me any more, not since the pandemic started. Only the pooches can visit.

“But I got my shots,” he persisted. “And I’ll keep my mask on.”

I told him again, “No, because I’m an old man and not interested in doing that with anyone anymore.”

“Doing what?” he played dumb. “I just wanna see your room and do a quick wash-up.”

“You can do that outside, Deek,” I replied. “I’ll bring you a razor, and some sanitizer.”

“Oh c’mon, I won’t ask you ever again,” he persisted, feigning like he was about ready to shed tears, “My nuts are aching, it’s Thanksgiving, I let you have the dogs visit. I’ll even do it myself, you don’t have to touch me.”

“Nope, I’m sorry,” I remained firm. “Let me bring these devices upstairs, and i”ll come right down to pick up the dogs, if you allow that, without YOU coming inside, too.”

All this while I was giving Flaco belly rubs as she lay supine in my lap, while petting Lucky who was curled up on a small towel right beside me. Deek continue pestering me, it went on for more than ten minutes while I ignored him and gave Flaco & Lucky my complete attention. I DID make it clear that I can NOT have the pups over, under the terms he set, because that’s using them for selfish purposes. Like if he demanded another twenty dollars from me, or I can’t have them visit. I wouldn’t agree to that, either.

“Okay,” I finally said, and stood up, after gently rolling Flaco off my legs. As I proceeded to take the speaker and smartphone upstairs, he escorted me towards the gate, with doggies in tow.

“No, Deek, you can’t come in!” I repeated, and waved at him to move back so I can enter alone. I glared at him until he did just that, and I could step inside sans him and the mutts. I then returned downstairs to sit with the brindlekin awhile longer, seeing as Deek continued whining about letting him visit.

“No, Deek, I’m not gonna break down, no matter how much you beg,” I repeated myself. “You are not respecting my wishes…that is OVER, you can easily find someone else closer to your age, to play around. I’m too old to care to do that stuff anymore, and I’m glad to be done with it. But you know that already, so stop it, please.”

After several more minutes of enjoying the pups’ company while Deek ceaselessly begged, acting like i’m being mean to him on Thanksgiving, and other BS. Crocodile tears.

“I’ll never ask you again, I promise,” he whined on. “Let me bring the dogs upstairs with you, I’ll even carry the speaker.”

“No, I can do all that myself,” I asserted. Flaco was again in my lap and, as I rubbed her belly, saw her hind legs tremble. “She’s shivering, Deek. Let me bring them inside.”

But he said once more, only if I let him drop over for a short while, too. So, with a sigh, I stood up again and said to the doggies, “I’m sorry, but it looks like your master isn’t gonna let you stay with me tonight.”

As I began to return hovel, I told him: “If you change your mind later, about letting the pups visit, just call up to my window.”

I also offered to come downstairs once more, with my smartphone, to show him pictures and videos of the dogs in my room…to see how happy they are, and how nice I’ve done up my place just for them. But when I returned downstairs with my phone, I saw they were gone. So I went back hovel.

About twenty minutes later I decided to step out for a stroll…to find that artist, Alex, seated on the sidewalk with his lovely art.

He smiled, said, “Am I on your blog, yet?”

“Oh, hello Alex,” I grinned back. “Yes you are. You’re in my latest chapter I released just yesterday. Give me a moment to load that page on my tablet, and I’ll bring it down to show you!”

So I did, with the page set right in the middle where he is featured, including two photos of him. He was most appreciative, and wished me a happy Thanksgiving. I did likewise, and went back upstairs to drop off the tablet before stepping outside again.

Deek and pups are presently sleeping behind my building, though much further up the hill than usual. It’s dark up there, so I didn’t get too close where I’d alert the pooches, but just close enough to discern it was him, by the silhouette of the shopping cart, and two dogs resting upon his legs and chest.

My grave concern, Wattson, is that this is an ego thing, a power play, on his part. And so long as I refuse to let him “visit” me, he’ll act offended, and refuse to let Flaco & Lucky come over anymore. For if he did that, it would be conceding to me, in acceptance that he’ll never be able to enter my room again. Like I’m being mean to him, as if he’s been castrated.

But I can NOT cave in to his urgings, as that would be damaging to our friendship. The two things just won’t mix. He would come to think I’m paying him for his “services,” which would corrode my association with him AND the doggies. He is also unpredictable, in that sometimes when he DID visit, he’d start an argument…under my own roof! Nor can I afford to have the building manager see him come and go, not to mention what Moe Fleisher would say. Hard enough dealing with the dog issue, I don’t need Deek’s difficult presence to make things worse.

I tell ya, he’s always coming up with some NEW grief to dump on me, it never seems to end. He loves to create problems when there are none in the first place. Though one good thing about tonight, is this:

At least they’re crashed out behind the building, and quiet as church mice. I just hope he doesn’t drag this latest conflict out…for the sake of the pups, more than for myself.

At any rate, when I returned from my stroll, a whacked-out black dude blocked my entry and wouldn’t step inside. Kept muttering about the resistance, are you with the resistance, do you have two dollars? I dared not try to get around him to insert the key, so just moved on, down the block then across the street and up the opposite block, where I could watch him from a distance. He finally moved about ten feet to the left, and sat down in the ATM alcove. I managed to slip inside behind another pedestrian, who I used to block the idiot from spotting me.

He’s still out there an hour later, spewing scary nonsense! So glad Deek didn’t decide to sleep at the bus stop tonight, since Flaco would have none of that…she’d keep barking furiously at the disheveled miscreant, and get no sleep. I would’ve had to stay out there with them, to calm her down.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Oh, and another good thing…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2021 12:36 AM

…besides seeing Alex again, and that Deek slept behind the building:

I got my booster shot this afternoon. Took awhile to find a place that had the Moderna vaccine, but I was determined, as the CDC claims it gives you the best protection over Pfizer or J&J. Safeway three blocks up Market Street has it, so I logged onto their site to schedule an appointment. After going through all the crap with filling out their form, they tell me there are no openings for the rest of November…and all of December is booked up as well!

But I found another place, a medical center called “Mission Wellness,” which is about an eight block walk from hovel. Not a walk-in, I had to make an appointment online, and it turned out they were available today…or tomorrow, or the next day, etc.! So I got my shot this afternoon, at 2:30 PM. Relieved and feeling GREAT about getting that done, here comes Deek to suck all the joy outta me.

He was even mocking me, saying he’s not gonna get no fuckin’ booster, he’s sorry he even got a shot in the first place (J&J)…the vaccines are killin’ people. I advised him to not be a fool, that everyone who’s died from COVID-19 was not vaccinated, and that NO ONE has ever died from taking the jab. It’s saved untold millions of lives.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek was planning to let the pups stay over, but…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 25, 2021 2:01 PM

> Oh, that’s just despicable. “My nuts are aching. It’s Thanksgiving.” As if it’s YOUR problem that his nuts are aching, and your responsibility to “relieve” him. And to introduce that into the already-complicated mix, and use it to try to blackmail you! Fucking, fucking asshole.

I despise white-trash behavior, and have always avoided those kind of people…believing once upon a time, foolishly, that moving to San Franshitsco would spare me from that. Now, I’m all wrapped up with such antics, thanks to Deek, and am coerced to figure out ways to counter his BS, like walking on egg shells or through a field of landmines…actually both!

> Glad you stood your ground. Giving in even once would open the door to further abuse and exploitation.

Exactly, Wattson…even if it meant never having the dogs over again, ever. Which was a TOUGH call for yours truly. But he seems to have cooled down by this morning, as he was amenable to my visiting him outside, where he was by then camped out on my block, though much further up towards Castro Street. (Another crazy, loud dude was hanging around in front of my building, so I guess he figured it’s better to keep his distance, so the dogs could have a peaceful morning, lying in the warm light of the sun.) He had blankets set out in a comfy pile for the doggies, and was sitting with one of his friendly allies, Kurt. The whole arrangement was neat, colorful, and quite inviting. They wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, as I did in return.

Seeing such a cozy layout for the pups assured me that most likely, the pooches slept well last night behind my building, in warmth and security.

> And the other whack-job blocking your way later!! Awful!

Yes, right when I was in the middle of dealing with a grievous conflict that was flung in my face by surprise, THIS had to get thrown into the mix, as well. *sigh*

As for Deek’s attempt to blackmail me for sex (using the pups as collateral): who knows, Wattson, but maybe he was testing me? Conjecturing on the bodhisattva level, he wanted to see how strong was my will…and had I caved in, he’d’ve seen that as a failure on my part. And report it to his bosses, who’d then conclude I need to go through further painful episodes until I learned my lesson fully by growing stronger in spirit. All I know is: many of the homeless here in Eureka Valley are now well aware of me, more from an angle of respect and appreciation, than from any hostile intent.

I did buy him a pack of cigarettes for Thanksgiving (not the pricey kind, but a brand that only set me back $10), which he and his company much appreciated. And tomorrow, when he picks up his Sunday allowance of $60 I’m gonna toss in an extra twenty, just because it’s Thanksgiving. I’m actually doing very well with my finances, and it looks like I’ll have $100 left in the bank by the time my next payment from Uncle Sam shows up.

So it’s all good, and I have Moderna’s benevolent protection on my side…she’s a goddess! Though her name sounds more Roman than Greek.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 2)

November 20, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18b]

The Civic Center Hotel

Subject: The dragon has arrived!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 12, 2021 11:51 PM

[Note: while I express dismay over Deek’s request at the start of this missive, you’ll learn later how pleased I am with him overall, thanks to last night’s extraordinary outcome.]

Well, good physician, to my delight the dragon pendant appeared in my mailbox yesterday afternoon. Nothing fancy, no little gift box, or ribbon tied around. Just a 3.5 by 5 inch padded mailer with the trinket and company card enclosed within, sheathed and sealed in a narrow, zip-lock pouch. Cast from pewter and hand polished to a silver sheen, the wee Welsh wyvern had a nice heft to it, and cast a friendly light. I decided to present it to him exactly as it arrived in the post. Except now the packet was neatly slit open along the top edge.

Deek returned that evening to collect his gizmos, and more dog food. The weather’s been fair and warm since the last rain, even the nights are balmy-cool…so no sense of urgency to shelter the pups again, so soon. I was disappointed, though, that he requested his full Sunday allowance TWO days in advance, rather then his usual ONE. I gave him a hard time about it, reminding him that I recently increased his weekly allowance by $40 (paid Thursdays) just so he WOULDN’T ask for advances any more.

“But I REALLY need it,” he begged while seated on the sidewalk beside the bus stop, a shopping cart and, of course, the two brindlekin. “And I know you can afford it.”

“That’s just not true, Deek,” I countered, “I can NOT afford to cough up an extra forty to a hundred dollars each month, and that is what you keep setting me up for, by pushing up your payment dates to squeeze an extra week outta me.”

“NO, I don’t do that,” he objected (though in a soft tone),”I only ask you for payments twice a week, and no more.”

“That’s a lie, Deek,” I exclaimed. “You sometimes wind up asking me THREE times a week, and you started doing that a few months back. You’re SCAMMING me, a friend who’s already helping you with tons of money and in many other ways. I doubt you’re gonna wait all the way to Wednesday, for your next payment.”

“Oh yes I will, I promise,” was his anticipated defense, as it’s rote by now.

“That’s what you ALWAYS say,” I rebutted, “but you never do! It’ll be Tuesday or even Monday, and you’ll ask earlier and earlier until the well is dry seven to ten days before the next month begins. By which time you’ll expect me to give you even MORE money, in advance of the NEXT month. WHICH I DON’T HAVE AND YOU WON’T GET!”

The point here, Wattson, is he keeps forcing me into a struggle to stretch his allowance over the entire month, so that he doesn’t wind up living through end-of-the-month misery, so common among the poor. I suspect these advance-payment requests are one of many little scams he’s learned while serving jail time, or from ex-cons on the streets. You mix up the payment dates by someone who’s already being generous, in hopes of causing confusion so that, towards the end of each month, they wind up giving you EXTRA moolah. Especially if the benefactor is elderly, like myself.

ANOTHER scam he pulls on me now and then, is to deny he ever said something, accusing me of making it up (that I’M the liar), and why bring it up after so long (even if “so long” means just a day or two…god forbid I should dredge up something he CLEARLY stated months ago…”I’ve moved on, why can’t you”). I predict he’ll use that when he asks for his next payment too early, claiming he never said he’ll wait till Wednesday (or Saturday, depending on his timing).

He was doing well withOUT the additional $40 per week, and now he does THIS? Is that cheeky or what? At any rate, I eventually said okay, and brought him the $60…stuffed in the same packet with the pewter token of our friendship. (I should mention that, throughout this entire meetup, the pups were of course all over me, showering me with their usual, boundless affection…so I was crouched down for most of our conversation, with Deek seated just a few feet away.)

“Here’s the dog food AND your money, Deek,” I plunked the weighty bag down beside the cart, and handed him the yellow padded envelope. “It’s in there, plus a little gift.”

The medallion dangled from a tough, black cord of good thickness, which I suggested may not be the right length for his taste, but he can do what he wants with it, maybe put it on Lucky. I also pointed out that’s the same dragon depicted on the Welsh flag, which I showed him a few days back on my smartphone.

“Though that one was red, and this one is silver,” I added.

“I don’t even know what a welsh is,” he deliberated while swinging the lavaliere from its cord, like a hypnotist his disk.

I then played with the doggies for a few minutes and, before I knew it, Deek had removed the original cord and attempted to pass a flashy, thin chain through the pendant’s loop. Alas, it was not quite slim enough, so he plunked the elegant gewgaw back into its mailer, pocketed THAT, and arose from his cross-legged position to gather everything up, in a rush to move along and convert his newfound cash into product. Thus I bid a loving adieu to the pups before returning hovel.

Upon ruminating over our latest meetup from the comfort of my SRO, and his premature request for moolah, I realized I’m not too bothered over this, seeing as Deek is doing SO much better anymore, and the brindlekin are SUCH a glorious blessing in my life, that it all really comes down to Alfred E. Neuman’s sage words: “What, Me Worry?”

Hardly two hours later he returned, bearing a bundle of spanking new Air Jordan sneakers and shoes, eight pair in all! I was already outside, returning home and just turned the corner when we intersected, with Deek pushing his cart onto the sidewalk by the bus stop, Flaco & Lucky untethered but close to heel, and so happy to see me again! He quickly laid out his wares on a clean, blue blanket, then threw down four, large plush jackets that served as comforters for the pooches, which they immediately clambered onto and curled themselves up for a cozy interlude. Lucky promptly entered snoozeville, while Flaco very much enjoyed my company, and wanted me to stay beside her, to receive my gentle words, hugs, pats and scritches…even though she could barely keep her eyelids open.

It was a most impressive display of items for sale, fenced off on one side between curb and bus shelter by a shopping cart neatly stuffed with contents unknown, but possibly additional goods for purchase. Deek had created a warm, inviting spot in no time flat! And the dogs were already sound asleep: not a peep, woof or bark out of them! He also had some sweet style rap music playing, but the volume so low even my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway couldn’t complain. Nor the building manager who lived right above him.

Now, good doctor, know that I did NOT ask Deek ANY questions as to where he acquired these pricey sundries, for surely my $60 allotment could not possibly have pulled that off! As you, as EVERYONE, knows, shoplifting is off the chart these days in Baghdad by the Bay. So I surmise maybe THAT is the source of Deek’s vendibles, probably not that he, himself, lifted them from the shelves, but acquired them on the cheap through third party “distributors.”

Though some days back when he handed me a new micro SD card that I presume he purchased from Walgreens out of the $40 I just gave him earlier, I looked it over and told him he shouldn’t waste his money, as the card is 64 gigabytes, more than twice the storage he needs to copy over his ENTIRE music collection.

“You could’ve spent less for a 32 gig chip,” I told him.

“Doesn’t matter,” he replied, “I just tore if off the hook and walked out with it.”

How far some of the street people are going, to obtain goods for free…I have no idea. Guess I need to ask Boulevard Joe about this interesting development, as I’m sure he has his finger in THAT pie, too!

I do not know how well Deek’s Black Friday hawking went, as I remained hovel most of the night, and didn’t give that aspect any attention. Every time I peered out the window, there’d be a gaggle of strollers crowding that corner, looking over the sneakers, shoes and whatever else he may have placed out there for a price.

They were quiet, too…the doggies slept the whole time, and Deek kept the music way down. He also had friends come and go,  peaceably seated around him and the pups, speaking low and lighting up their glass pipes: bright orange embers that bobbed in the dark, like Chinese paper lanterns from afar. Around 3 AM I woke up (as I did throughout the night, thanks to old-man-itchy-skin syndrome, which happens sometimes). So I decided to poke my head outside one more time, to see if Deek and mutts were still there. Nope, vanished! Best of all, the place he occupied for several hours was IMMACULATE! You’d never guess anyone had even camped out there.

I’m sure my quasi-fascist neighbor (Moe) and the building manager (Kevin) were impressed by that, though Glaucus forbid they’d ever admit it! I’m sure, however, they ARE bothered by small groups stopping there right below their windows, igniting meth pipes and lingering for a considerable while! Tough noogies, the city decided to leave the addicts alone, as bolstered by the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014.

Moe and Kevin are living in the past, they need to catch up with the times! Their little spot in the Castro is no island unto itself, and MUST share in the city’s overall, newly established policies. They’ll probably blame ME, though, for bringing them here because I’m Deek’s friend. Though once they realize how quiet they remain, and how much SAFER they’ll make the area around our building, they’ll sing a different, and happier, tune. For Deek and friends are a better crowd than those truly crazy, disturbing types that strew garbage everywhere and terrorize our fair burg.

One of Moe’s concerns is that such gatherings will invite further break-ins and nuisance to our residence. But I think quite the OPPOSITE will occur. For one, Deek and company know all about me, and are much more interested in watching over yours truly, that harm will not come my way. And since I LIVE in the same building Moe does, he will benefit from their protection as well. They will be like free security guards on this end of the block. Their very presence will discourage the dangerously unstable vagrants from disturbing the peace, or worse.

Deek et al have a VESTED INTEREST in maintaining their spot right outside as their OWN safe space. In exchange, they provide us with protection, and a peaceful ambience. Win/win all the way around! Boulevard Joe’s own little community enjoys hanging out and sleeping overnight behind my building, sometimes. They are ALSO quiet and pick up after themselves. So we could wind up having WRAPAROUND security, between these two groups! Do you think I’m being too optimistic or unrealistic on this matter, Wattson?

Before leaving Deek to his latest entreprenuerial venture I DID spend twenty minutes or so with him, outdoors. Mostly for the sake of Flaco’s wish for my comforting touch, but also because someone I like very much, but whom I hadn’t seen for quite some time, showed up! That would be Jared, who’s always been excellent company the rare times we’ve gotten together. He’s been busy straightening out his life, including finally getting a roof over his head. He now resides at the Civic Center Hotel, just six blocks down Market Street from my own building. It’s been overhauled to accommodate the homeless, and I hear it’s very well maintained. It’s now part of the Navigation Center, a service specifically for the homeless. Here’s the hotel’s web site.

They allow pets, too, I just found out. Now THAT looks like the right place for Deek! It’s not in EITHER sketchy neighborhood: the Tenderloin OR the Inner Mission. I’ll bring it up next time he drops by, and suggest he visit Jared there, to check it out. Though there may be prerequisite conditions before one can get into the hotel, such as residing for at least several months in one of their warehouse arrangements. And THAT is something Deek refuses to do. They might also require him to go through a drug rehab program or partake in some kind or social or vocational training. Who knows? Deek will turn 43 come January 22nd, BTW.

Jared told me a few years back, he wants to be a trucker. I didn’t know if he really planned to pursue it, so was surprised to hear he’s going to trucking school in Arizona very soon.

“Really?” I replied. “That’s great. For how long?”

“Three weeks,” he answered.

“Oh, is that all?” I exclaimed. “So you’ll be coming right back to SF?”

“Yes, I will,” he answered. “I thought about moving to some trailer park in Arizona, but I’d be bored outta my skull!”

“You made the right decision, Jared,” I commended him with a pat on his back. “Stay here for now, this city’s gonna be poppin’ soon, starting some time next year.”

He asked what I meant by that, so I went into how this city, and the state at large, is soon gonna be way ahead of all the other states, as new increased funding and innovation kick in. And that–even though this city treats its homeless like shit–it’s even worse everywhere else…but things will quickly improve for those living on the streets of Saint Francis.

“It was really great to see you again,” I said to Jared before we departed. We gave each other a warm, long hug…the third one that night. Unlike Deek, he’s not the least bit reserved about showing his affection. And he’s VERY pleasing on the eyes, to boot! Skinny and nicely put together, he’s 5-foot-10 with thick shocks of dark-gold hair cut short, and quite a handsome mug which I’d rather not describe in any detail, because I’m tired right now and need to crash out.

He gave me three cell numbers: “None of them are active yet, but one of them, my Obama phone, should be in a few days from now. The first number I gave you, well, I can activate soon as I get home tonight. The second number, I’m not sure HOW soon it will be working, maybe in two or three weeks.”

So far, NONE of the phone numbers function, but I’ll keep on trying, once every day. I have this fantasy that, once I become a global celebrity I’ll hire a handsome chauffeur to drive me around. That could be Jared! We’d have oodles of fun exploring the small towns and backwoods along the coast, and inland! Deek and the pups would join us, too.

And then, once the civil war breaks out and LGBTs flee in droves to Athenia as refugees from other states and nations, me and my buds are gonna rock this world…we’ll go underground as guerilla warriors and shag the daylights out of each other, in between slaughtering homophobes. We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them in their homes, we shall fight them in their churches, and at Trump rallies, Nazi marches and wherever else these vermin roam.

Woo-hoo!

Frosting on the cake: before I returned upstairs and to bed, I spotted Samuel (“chihuahua man”) step out with his pooches. I quickly greeted him with a smile as he held the gate open. Instead of stepping completely inside, I held the gate ajar to watch him pass by Deek’s open-air department store. I was very pleased to see the brindlekin (who were NOT asleep at that moment) didn’t bark at all, even though they kept a keen eye on everyone who strolled nearby.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I have no idea what he did with that dragon medallion, as he was neither wearing it about his neck, nor anywhere else on his person (or on Lucky) when he returned to set up his Friday night corner boutique. But I certainly hope his pop-up venue did stupendously well. I doubt he’ll bother to tell me if it did, as I’m sure he doesn’t want me to know he made a killing, as that could impact how much allowance I give him every week…like, zilch. But I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough, through the homeless grapevine…which IS comprised of just one solitary fellow, who is of course Boulevard Joe.


Re: The dragon has arrived!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 14, 2021 5:56 PM

> I don’t like the way he wheedles extra $$ out of you

It’s called “pressing my buttons”…I’m not SUPPOSED to like it. Deek playing the bodhisattva role as antagonist, in order that any remaining negativety gets flushed from my psyche. But I handled it well, did not withhold my dragonly gift as a result, and quickly recovered from any angst that came of pressing that particular button. The “Advance Payment” button. I gotta relegate it to the trash bin; it shouldn’t even be connected to my circuitry anymore, hardwired or soft.

> but I like your attitude toward it.

Too much is at stake to behave otherwise…the doggies’ lives are in the balance.

> He’s taking advantage of your generous nature

Or just APPEARING to take advantage, in order to provide me the opportunity to find a non-angst-evoking reaction.

> but NOT because you’re a doddering, confused old man

Well yes, that’s part of it, ageism and all that rot. To project that prejudice in my direction, that I find a way to deflect ALL of it, rather than allow even a single DROP of negativity to slip into my brain pan. It did, but not for long. Next time around, even THAT little bit will not get through…if there IS a next time, since I seem to have completed that particular mental Kung-Fu exercise, after many impromptu sessions…including hours spent in detention for poor performance.

> and you rightly see it as building a nest of safety around the doggies. And you are firm with him when he pushes you to the limit.

With the goal to learn how to be TOTALLY RELAXED AND JOYFUL in repulsing whatever wrong-thinking comes my way. Deek KNEW he’d press my button by requesting another advance payment, this time for the FULL AMOUNT. He did the right thing, and I quickly overcame the Demon Of Resentment, who extinguished his flaming sword the moment I released the ego egg sac of anger that began to stir in my bosom like a voracious clot of parasitic worms threatening to devour my liver and demolish the remainder of whatever happiness the day still held for yours truly. (Ha-ha, that last sentence was a joy to compose…shades of Bulwer Lytton!)

Support from homeless allies seems to be coming at me from every direction these past several weeks, as I’ve already documented in my most recent tales. And just this morning I came across Filipino Jay again, this time resting in the alcove of a shuttered grocery store on Church Street. I greeted him with a great heart, thanked him profusely for all his incredible support when I was going through crises with Deek…which lifted my spirit and gave me the strength to forge ahead. Until by now, Deek is growing in leaps and bounds, his life coming together in amazing ways.

He said he’s glad to have helped, and feel free to talk to him anytime I need. After a few minutes of chewing the fat, joking about Deek selling shoplifted goods and such, he excused himself (“I have a meeting to get to”) and took off on his pilfered, battery-stripped bicycle courtesy of Ford’s GoBikes.

> His open-air “market” is intriguing! He must have shoplifted those shoes. Where else would he get them? Such an entrepreneur!

Assuming he was ACTIVELY involved, instead of purchasing the items off the streets for cheap, and reselling them: I’d love to see the business establishment’s camera footage…PRICELESS! He did seem a tad nervous about me sitting down beside his wares for awhile, so I could be close to the pups.

“Okay, be cool!” he stated with a touch of alarm.

“Deek, I’m ALWAYS cool,” I retorted. “Cooler than YOU could ever be.”

“Okay, okay,” he dismissed my words with a wave of the hand, but I persisted:

“In fact, I may very well be the coolest person on the planet! Aren’t you aware of that yet?”

“Alright, never mind, I’m too busy to argue,” he declared, before turning to a potential customer who just showed up, somewhat drunk but curious about a ruby-sparkle pair of hi-tops.

So I’m thinkin’ maybe this wasn’t Deek’s usual anxiety about being seen with me for more than brief moments, but his fear I might press him over how he acquired all that primo footwear. I’m sure those fluffy, large jackets he got for the dogs’ comfort are also part of the contraband. Along with the lush blanket he used to display his wares. Or maybe he didn’t want me to see all the lucre flow into his hands, that I might reduce (or even eliminate) his allowance. But what do I know; maybe all his stock was totally aboveboard, no shady acquisition involved. (Hmm, perhaps I WILL buy that bridge in Brooklyn some pock-faced vagrant with rotten teeth and halitosis that could kill a herd of bison from a hundred yards afar, offered to sell me this morning.) Be that as it may, I only languished outside for twenty minutes or so, showering all my attention on the pups, not paying Deek ANY mind whatsoever. IOW: I utterly ignored the hooman.

> Do I think you’re being overly optimistic about Deek & Co. “guarding” the building? Maybe a little, but your reasoning is sound. Savvy street people who are not insane have sharp survival skills, and a peaceful zone in front of your building works to their advantage and yours. And they know better than anybody who’s “crazy” and who’s not.

That IS the scenario I envision, so long as turf wars don’t erupt in the long run, as increasing numbers of citizens are evicted from their homes and brutally dumped onto the streets. Maybe we’ll need to build a moat, or a crenelated barrier, to ward off the barbarians. Or both. With a drawbridge. At that point, I guess I’ll become Lord of Mini-Fiefdom #4 in the Castro, and go to battle with the neighboring parcels until I eventually rule the entire valley of Eureka. Emperor Zeke, here we come!

> Checked out the Civic Center Hotel. Looks pretty darned good. And they allow pets?? Extraordinary! I hope they don’t impose the usual strictures, like you have to be drug-rehabbed and have a job before you can move in. Seems to me the better order of things would be to get people off the street, get some rest and a hot shower or two, relieved of the stress of living life in public 24 hours a day, THEN let them kick the meth or whatever dope they’re using, THEN get a job. The other way around seems impossible.

The new policy in San Francisco is to provide housing withOUT mandating rehab or employment first. I’m not so concerned about that, as I am about a probable very long waiting list, and possibly a preliminary requirement to reside in one of their warehouses for at least several months, before taking the step towards occupying your own room. That doesn’t work for Deek.

> And good for Jared! Truckers are in huge demand at the moment. Think he’ll do it???

Your guess is as good as mine, though he seems to be pretty damn stable these days, so I’m confident he’ll figure his way through all the bullshit, and land himself in a decent situation, whether or not trucks are involved. But it WOULD be nice to have a friend, finally, who is licensed to drive…and maybe even OWNS a car.

> And the vision of slaughtering homophobes at Trump rallies sounds like great fun. Hope you’ll let me join in!

Oh but you’re already there, good physician, as the Osmium Empress and My Most Trusted Military Advisor, which I spelled out in my revelatory tale, “Misfortune is a Cookie Named Zeke!” You will set up SCADS of fake Trump rallies, Nazi marches and Christian dating events in order to lure them in for the culling.

> I think we should capture a few and perform “experiments” on them.

Let them eat cake while we dust off the guillotines and iron maidens! Are mercury colonics a thing?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: This is Roberto
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 14, 2021 7:46 PM

He’s a street artist (obviously) who showed up in front of my building just two evenings ago. Since ANOTHER artist also has been parking himself at this very same spot for more than three weeks now, I decided to start introducing myself, and take their pics, if they so wish. Just a short while ago, I came downstairs to compliment him on his excellent drawings, and asked:

“If I give you five dollars, can I take two or three pics of you?”

“Sure, go ahead!” he cheerfully replied. And here they are:

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

“You’ll be in my blog later tonight,” I explained. “Can I use your real name?”

He agreed to that, but was not interested in a video interview, even though I offered him another Lincoln.

“That’s fine,” I replied. “And since I teased you with a little more money, it’s only fair I give it to you anyway. But is there anything you’d like to tell me, to include with your photo, a story for example?”

“Ahh, no thanks!”

I then handed him the second bill and said: “I’ve been a gay activist and homeless advocate for decades now. I take pics and videos of scenes and people on the streets, and write true stories about them. Or sometimes fairytales.” He laughed when I told him the title of my series: “True Tales from the Castro: Eat Your Heart Out, Armistead.”

“My latest in this collection are my Brindlekin Tales,” I bragged, “and they’re all about my homeless friend of more than twelve years, and the two dogs he adopted almost 23 months back.”

As I handed him my card, three burly queers guffawing and punching each other like rowdy sailors, suddenly stopped right before us. One fell hard on the sidewalk. They were obviously soused, and roughhousing in good sport. Yet their wealthy queer privilege was evident in their so crudely disrupting my visit with Roberto, who quickly packed up his items to get away from them…and I did likewise by returning hovel poste-haste.

At any rate, Roberto appears to be most congenial, and I look forward to seeing him again, in the very near future. And I hope that OTHER artist shows up as well, some time soon, so I can also take his pic, and hold a likely enjoyable conversation.

Who knows, maybe this is a new trend, where LGBTQ artists start materializing below my window, day after day, week after week, until it turns into a full-blown outdoor exhibit!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson – 11/14/21

Larger pic of tent & towels


Subject: O. Henry/Runyon Fairytales CAN Come True…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 16, 2021 8:50 PM

…they can happen to you, when you’re old and in the Castro where you’ve been a dedicated gay activist and homeless advocate for decades!

Just reflecting upon the extraordinary events now spicing up my world. My wish to portray the LGBT underbelly with both an O. Henry and Damon Runyon spin, appears to be manifesting in spades. The humble lives of the poor (with their own dreams and struggles) echo the former author, and the presence of kindhearted thieves and drug lords, the latter. I’m sure, however, that my sporadic glimpses of this homeless underworld–as fascinating and inspiring they may be–are but the tip of the nipple of the belly of this beast!

This coming together of sweet encounters, these new realizations of hope, friendship and puppy devotion have placed me solid in the center of Athena’s bold spirit (or Buddha’s benevolence, or Christ’s heart, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s savory sauce, whatever works for you). This morning when I stepped into Rosenberg’s for my usual cup o’ java, Charlie gave me his usual greeting, “How are you today, boss?” I responded with one of my rote replies, “Oh, hangin’ in there, thanks.”

Then grabbed the small, open carton of Half-N-Half from the fridge, poured some into a paper cup I plucked from an upside-down stack that tilted precariously towards the coffee pot, added two packets of Sweet’N Low that I brought with me, and finally submerged it all in that steaming, golden brown elixir so many of us just can’t do without…almost all the way to the lip, but not quite. For I had to leave room for a half teaspoon of raw honey from my own pantry, once I returned hovel.

As I approached the counter to pay up, Charlie asked me once again, that same question. With that, I broke out of my post-dawn haziness, looked directly into his dark-gray eyes and declared:

“Amazing! Things are going full blast INCREDIBLE for me anymore!” To which I appended this afterthought only seconds later before exiting into the foggy, chill morn:

“I don’t think I’ll ever have a bad day again!”

But now that I think about it with a touch of hindsight, I wonder if that was NOT the best thing to say, as maybe it came off as snarky, or sarcastic. After all, Wattson, who on earth would say such a thing, except perhaps a serial killer just before his next bloody rampage?

Be that as it may, the deed has been done, I can’t take it back. I hope Charlie will forgive me, and allow me to continue patronizing what’s been my fine little shop around the corner since before the Stone Age.

I should note here that yesterday morning, I humorously replied to Charlie’s usual greeting with something similar, though a tad toned down:

“Oh just great. Everything’s going my way!”

So maybe he got a kick out of that, and was nudging for another clever repartee. I doubt I disappointed him.

[Here I have paused my writing, to stroll about outside, it’s such a lovely and peaceful day. Will resume in a half hour.]

Okay, I’m back. A group from Boulevard Joe’s little community was enjoying the afternoon right behind my building. Here’s a pic:

Click here for a larger view.

The only person standing up is Roberto, the artist I met two nights ago. The woman in that pic, with the orange color along her shoulder, has been living on our streets for well over a decade. Don’t know her name (actually, I forgot) but I DO know she’s an authentic Inuit from Alaska. Her skin has that smoky-brown hue typical of her people.

I also shot a quick, 2-part video of them, first from right below the hallway window, then outside where I stood on the corner. In the first segment you’ll see a medium-size dog that I suspect is Lucky & Flaco’s mother, based on her rich, brindle coat. She’s very sweet, but NOT pretty. It was mating her with a dachshund that made my brindlekin so superbly cute. Though Lucky’s butch physique, especially that generous rump, suggests a THIRD dog in the lineage…so maybe that mongrel out there is another offspring, rather than my brindlekin’s bearer. The music in the video comes off MUCH louder than it actually was in real life:

After shooting the pic and videos, I looped around a two-block portion of the Castro and, on my way to pick up a half-gallon of milk from 17th & Noe, I came across a box filled with junk, but with two items worth snatching up:

First, a box of Dutch chocolates. Don’t know if they’re REALLY from The Netherlands, but that is what the pictures on the wrappings suggest. They could be from Holland, New York for all I know.

Click here for a larger view.

The label on the back is too faded to reveal their source. All that I can make out are the last ten characters of the heading: “PEN & MOLENS.”

Click here for a larger view.

I am, right now, nibbling on a rectangle: tastes and looks fresh, even though it’s obviously not. A pleasant, twilight repast with a small glass of milk while composing this missive.

Second, amid the junk I also found a batch of about sixty plain, white card-size envelopes that I really don’t need, but thought they’d be nice to hold Deek’s biweekly allowance. Something to present him with, that’s a bit formal…like a REAL paycheck.

In retrospect, I think Jeddi’s promise to talk to Deek and get him straightened out regarding the pups, is too good to be true. Not that he wouldn’t follow up in one or two ways, but he was just too slick for credibility. Boulevard Joe warned me about his devious nature. However, how did he know to push all the right buttons, even though I’ve never met him before…well at least not CONVERSED before? A likely answer is that HE knew about ME in some depth, before this encounter. But how could THAT be? I conjecture further:

MANY among the homeless know myriad details about me, because they are SHAMANS for whom their duties include watching over yours truly. But part of the fun is not letting me in on the secret, rather, to let me discover this myself, a revelation of sorts. So it is not that Jeddi was trying to deceive me for selfish gain, but tossed me a CLUE as to his bodhisattva nature…knowing I’d figure that out a little further down the line. Boulevard Joe’s negative assessment could just as easily have been a ploy at my expense. For as I told you in a previous email, shamans have strange ways, and one of them is to lie about someone, as a way of testing my integrity, as well as my level of consciousness.

There is definitely more interaction between myself and the local street people, in these past weeks. And not because I’ve gone out of my way, but because increasing numbers of them have approached me, or shown up when Deek is visiting me, or begun to loiter below my window in greater numbers and more often. The pups have ALSO drawn them to me, in my poopy walks…but that is a recent thing, even though I’ve been strolling around the ‘hood with them for MONTHS now, a whole YEAR in fact. And now Jared, a homeless friend from the past, has also begun showing up in my world once more.

It is as if they are preparing for some remarkable event, of which I am the focus. A surprise party so to speak, though one with far more IMPORT and DESTINY than something so mundane as a birthday party. With the playwright of these scenarios still standing in the wings, but ALSO making brief appearances in my life with some frequency, after having vanished for months. Who, of course, is Arwyn.

No need for me to describe the particulars of this conjectured event, seeing as I’ve already DONE that so many times in my prophetic ponderings. At this point were I to do so, it would be like bludgeoning a defunct Equidae! And you KNOW how much I love animals to ever consider doing THAT.

The brindlekin’s popularity is also on the rise: yet another of my dreams, that they become the mascots of the Castro. The glorious result of which would be to form a wider circle of protection and care for them, that goes well beyond my quite limited reach.

Judging by the way things are coming together, I’d say this stupendous event is soon due to blossom. And the timing appears to be aimed at the upcoming Exmass season. Which, BTW, can still be a brindlekin holiday, in spite of Brindlefest now established a day before Halloween. We can call this OTHER doggy celebration BrindleMASS, and come up with distinctively different ways to honor Canis familiaris, than we would for Brindlefest. But I’ll leave the logistics up to my admirers, rather than exhaust myself musing over the technicalities.

I expect Deek will show up tomorrow as it’s payday again. Hopefully, the pups will stay with me at least overnight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: This is Alex…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 17, 2021 12:47 AM

…the other street artist who started showing up below my window about two weeks ago. Here is a pic of him as viewed from two flights up:

Click here for a larger view.

And here he is at ground level:

Click here for a larger view.

I hardly got a chance to speak with him, due to sudden disruptions, just like with Roberto. What is it with these jerks who show up out of the blue and break up my conversation? This has been going on for decades, here in the Castro. It’s as if some nasty queens say, “Oh, there’s Zeke, let’s fuck with him.” Deek was in the mix this time, showing up just when I stepped downstairs to photograph Alex. So that cut everything even shorter.

At any rate, he’s another friendly guy, like Roberto, and is open to a video interview some time soon. All the art on display is his own. I think he’s on the streets because he lost his job seven months ago.

Good news: the pups are with me tonight. Deek collected his $40 Thursday stipend, so I hope this means he won’t show up again for two days….that he’ll go partying with the money and will zone out for awhile. I also asked him about the shoplifting scene:

“So, what are the homeless doing, now that shoplifting is all the rage, and no one gets arrested?”

He acted surprised: “What are you talking about?”

“What I mean is, do some of the street people swipe stuff off the shelves and resell them on the streets?”

“Uh, yeah, but it’s mostly tweekers and crack heads who do that,” he answered. Then queried: “Why are you asking me this?”

“Because Boulevard Joe is not here right now, and you are,” I retorted.

“Oh,” was his brief reply.

“Another question, Deek,” I prodded further: “Isn’t it also possible to buy the shoplifted goods for cheap from someone ELSE who stole them…then resell them on the streets? Not as profitable, but another person did all the grunt work for you.”

“Yeah, that’ll work, too,” he answered.

“Hmm, I guess I could do my OWN in-store looting if I want, right?” I mused aloud. “After all they’re not gonna stop me just because I’m NOT an addict.”

“I suppose you could,” he replied in a slightly perturbed fashion, as if wondering what I’m driving at.

“Well that’s quite interesting, Deek,” I acknowledged. “Thanks for filling me in.”

I then returned hovel with the doggies who were absolutely DEEEE-lighted to visit me once more. Deek, meanwhile, remained right outside for ten or so minutes more, sorting through his huge pile of recent possessions, figuring out how he should arrange it all to make everything FIT. He had MORE than enough to fill THREE carts. Some time during the sorting, he called up and asked for a large trash bag, which I summarily tossed out the window.

After I got the pups settled in, and they fell asleep in short order, I peered out the window one more time, to see if their master were still around. Nope, he had vanished to parts unknown by then. And here’s a pic I just took of my angels; Lucky had returned to bed just a second ago, after slurping from the water bowl:

Click here for a larger view.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: While I was still outside and petting the mutts, Deek mumbled on for a minute or two about how he knows how to raise dogs, he’s been doing that all his life, etc. I have no idea where THAT came from, so I just ignored him, not wanting to start an argument when I was THAT close to bringing the pooches inside. Though I would’ve LOVED to tell him that the very idea ALONE of planning to make Flaco pregnant while still on the streets blows away ANY claim he may have about properly caring for man’s best friend. I have a hunch that this mumbly outburst was due to a certain someone who may have confronted him recently about taking better care of the dogs. Jeddi, perhaps? No matter what, I sense we’re finally out of the danger zone when it comes to Flaco & Lucky’s safety.


Subject: Deek’s Temporary Storage Lot
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 17, 2021 10:34 AM

Apparently, Deek had accumulated so many NEW possessions last night, he left a third of it parked behind my building…a convenient holding zone until he returns to pick it up. I couldn’t help but notice them on my way to Rosenberg’s…who wouldn’t? Two pics…first one side, then the other:

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

Why so many blankets/bedcovers, jackets and other cloth items, Wattson? Perhaps he plans to hand them out to his street-wise compatriots? They certainly don’t look salable. This arrangement doesn’t always work, because if he shows up too late, it will all be vanquished by our efficient city scavengers, San Francisco Public Works, who are quite familiar with these mounds of clutter appearing out of the blue…dumped by both housed and unhoused alike. One can forgive the latter, but the former?

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 1)

November 11, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18a]

Subject: Boulevard Joe’s feedback, disappointing but no surprise!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 3, 2021 6:02 PM

Regarding Jeddi, Freddy-Tom and Joy.

I came across him during yesterday’s afternoon stroll, right by the Harvey Milk Library. Again, he was all spiffed out, and you wouldn’t even THINK the dude’s living rough. As a matter of fact he ALWAYS appears clean and sober these days; it’s been a steady run over the past several months…MOST impressive.

He spotted me first: how ya doin’ Zeke? I told him oh, really well, and yourself? Pretty good, thanks, he replied. Then I asked him about the three new acquaintances in my life listed above. He said Jeddi’s trouble, you really don’t want anything to do with him. He’s a smooth talker and will impress you, but better to keep your distance. He owes someone a butt load of cash that he’s never paid back, and the guy’s lookin’ to beat him up right now.

Freddy-Tom got Boulevard Joe’s thumbs up (no details though), and Joy is “very needy.” Nice lady, just keeps hitting up everyone she knows for one thing after another; the list never ends.

I didn’t get a chance to ask him about Luba…she’s someone I haven’t mentioned to you before (except ambiguously a couple of times, back in November last year I think). But she knows Deek, actually lives indoors in what I think is Section 8 housing less than two blocks away, and is often seen strolling around with her two little chihuahuas in a double-deck baby stroller. I’ve spoken with her twice in the past week, as part of my continued outreach for the sake of the doggies.

–open sidebar:

She’s quite the booze hound, but a good woman nonetheless. She knows the local homeless crowd, some of them personally (including Deek)…and you can tell Luba’s been around the block more than once. She’s 74 years old, 5-foot-2, of Mexican heritage (though speaks perfect English, as well as Spanish, Portugese, Italian), sharp as a tack and just as funny…definitely the gregarious sort, a local character. She has a pretty face with a pointy little nose, though caved in a bit here and there, due to the ravages of age…embellished with that typically Latina custom of lining one’s eyes and eyebrows with thick layers of black pencil and mascara. She was dressed in a thick, black coat, fluffy white blouse, dark slacks, and a pair of old, green sneakers that have seen better days.

She went on about how she spent over $900 last month on food, because her pooches won’t eat that canned or kibbled stuff. (“It’s not real food!”) As a result, she is wildly popular with the merchants at a produce and butcher shop in the Mission District called “La Tierra” (which means in that context “the soil”), because she always orders “el pollo grandote” (the largest chicken). Upon hearing that, I immediately thanked Boudica that Flaco & Lucky aren’t such gourmet fussbudgets. Though I feel bad that I can’t afford to feed them a better quality of vittles, due to their occasional tummy issues.

She brought up Deek who, I know, visits her from time to time, and quickly mentioned under her breath that they sometimes smoke together, “but I DON’T let him get into my stash.” Nice to know she’s in control, I guess…as I can’t imagine just what havoc would be wreaked the other way around! Especially if she was talking about METH and not ganja! (Doesn’t the word “stash” imply just marijuana, or can it mean hard drugs, as well?)

“I tried to take one of his dogs away from him,” she admitted. “But not really.”

I remember Deek talking about that early last year; and of course I raked him over the coals for the very IDEA of giving up either one! He was considering letting Flaco go, since Lucky has been with him longer, “through thick and thin, all my ups and downs” as he phrased it. Right, he’s only had Lucky five months before adopting his sister. So please, stop this sentimental BS…BOTH pups are remarkable, and should NEVER be separated at this point! I almost had a heart attack. Why not just pass her on to me? Or both, for that matter! Why look elsewhere if he really wants to give them away?

“This little chi is preparing to go to heaven soon,” she said, indicating the one still in the carriage, not the other who was standing beside me on the sidewalk, plying for hugs and strokes from her newest amigo, which I gladly gave. You could tell the resting pup was quite old, all gnarly faced and dim eyed…ready to kick the proverbial bucket, if only it were thimble sized. Though still a sweet, cute princess all the same.

“We thought she was gonna pass on two years ago, me and the vet, and I wanted to replace her. But look…she’s still here!”

Luba asked about me, so I told her I’m an author, and a gay and homeless activist, and I’m presently writing true tales inspired by Deek and his pups. She took out a small, spiral bound notebook and a pen, and asked me to write down the URL. “I’m always prepared,” she proudly declared upon handing them over. As I began scrawling out my name and web page, the ink stopped flowing, because it ran into a nearly invisible spot of grease that stained the page. “Sure, you’re prepared,” I thought to myself, “but you still can’t plan for disruptions like these!” I flipped through the pages (there weren’t many) only to discover that the oily substance ran through the entire book! (What did she do, drop it in the pot with the pollo grandote?) At any rate, I managed to force the writing instrument to stubbornly spell everything out, with considerable pressure and repetition of the ball point over the same characters, two or three times, that they finally be visible to the naked eye. If only I had a brindlekin prayer card on me!

“Oh, you’re left-handed, do you know what that means?” she exclaimed.

I told her I think so, but it may just be superstition. That lefties are spiritually and creatively gifted, psychic abilities and all that rot. “I’ve met plenty of right-handed artists in my life, so there ya have it.” (Actually that isn’t true, only because I’ve never paid attention to such DEXTEROUS details. I think somehow, it’s a bit SINISTER to judge people that way, like many also do, based on astrological claptrap.)

“Aha! So you DO know!” she emoted. I simply shrugged my shoulders, so the conversation could quickly move to another topic less riddled with woo. Hard enough hiding all my paranormal powers under a basket, when it’s made of clear lucite these days! She’ll learn soon enough, if she ever gets around to reading my tales. My point being: one must be respectful of such gifts and not let them go to your head (or that thing dangling between one’s thighs). Humility IS key to such abilities, which can frighten the shit out of you if you’re not careful. Or sometimes, even if you are! Why, I once almost destroyed the MOON by meditating upon my navel o’erlong, Wattson!

Other things she talked about was she’s gonna be in the news soon…not sure about what, but maybe has to do with a pit bull that bit her in that same apartment building she resides in, or other difficulties at present. Sure sounds like a Section 8 fiasco to me! A little alarm then went off in my cranium, to never accept an invitation to visit.

“Oh I get into trouble all the time,” she remarked, “sticking my nose into other people’s business when they say I shouldn’t. But that’s only because they’re making trouble for everyone else. Someone’s gotta speak out!”

“Ha, I can relate, Luba!” I coughed in empathy. “I’m the same way!”

I mentioned Boulevard Joe, but she didn’t seem to have a good opinion of the man: “He gets into all kinds of nasty stuff.” Whatever that means; maybe it’s a compliment from her pespective. Like some folks say “bad” or “sick” to mean “really really cool.” But at least now you see why I’m interested in his take on that lady.

–close sidebar

At any rate, one of Joe’s “minions” interrupted our conversation barely moments after it began. Which abruptly cut off the flow of information I was soaking up like a dry Maxi Pad, and thus could not acquire any insight he may have on Luba. He was a comely fellow with a noble forehead and exquisitely arched eyebrows (which for some reason aroused my base chakra into full and sudden attention in spite of my age), kissed above by locks of chestnut hair that glinted amber in the sunlight. Eyes like mercury peered through his otherwise scarf-wrapped visage topped by a 5-dollar Walgreens watch cap, as he bowed his head before Mr. Boulevard, hands raised in prayerful respect like a Buddhist monk. More humorous than sincere, I take it. While I couldn’t see the grin beneath that scarf, I saw the sparkle in his eye.

Two other minions quickly followed (one a female, the other in a rusty wheelchair), and thus I was surrounded and silenced, at which time Joe excused himself, so I stepped aside (they had crowded that close around me) and bid him an excellent day as they all wandered off to God only knows where, and for what reason. I felt snubbed, excluded from a big secret, not invited to the party. Story of my life.

I don’t know, Wattson, but I think they’re all bodhisattvas, having fun at my expense. I suspect that Boulevard Joe’s description of those three is not necessarily correct…in that he may have intentionally lied about Jeddi (and perhaps Joy), to see how I handle it. Which he’ll learn once his scouts report back to him, after speaking with me once or twice. But I’m onto them, so I’ll keep my whistle clean (so to speak)…as if that hasn’t been my style all along!

I stepped outside again for another short stroll, to deliberate upon what I shall further report to you in this, my latest missive (or should I say “missal”). Before exiting, I glanced out my window to see that by now the dreary, overcast sky had dissolved into a sun drenched, Rembrandt masterpiece. The day was warming up; vapor rose from the asphalt like phantoms from last night’s debaucheries (whatever they were, I am not privy to such knowledge, nor care to know).

I had to squeeze my way between a very tall ladder and the front gate, as two workers kept busy repairing or replacing that electric sign for the Hohokum smoke shop…which now featured a variety of embarrassing dildos in the left-side display window, as of three months ago. Much to my disgust. They were absurdly bloated, ginormous and utterly immodest. Straight shopkeepers really have twisted ideas of what actually flies off the shelves in the Castro! We’re all just tacky queens, godless perverts, dontcha know!

As I passed the Mediterranean restaurant (where Dieter often appears, except for the last week or so, as he’s bedridden with sciatica right now), I heard a favorite Beatles tune waft from its doorway: “All You Need is Love.” So I decided to pause nearby, to enjoy those lyrics before proceeding up Noe street any further. As I stood there in quiet reverie, a skinny, homeless dude with a shaggy mop of hair and decked out in Salvation Army duds came up to me and asked if I had a light. I did, so handed him my Bic.

“Best do it yourself, I’m not good at lighting up for other people.” I noticed as he attempted to ignite the snipe (street slang for a discarded butt found on the sidewalk), his loosely acrylic-gloved hand was too close to the flame. “Careful, don’t burn yourself!”

He then handed back the lighter after achieving his goal, thanked me and moved on. And I did as well, since the song had just ended.

An elderly fellow approached and passed by from the other direction, with a charming little, wiry, gray-haired and bearded dachshund in tow. All joy and curiosity at the end of a leash! I notice little doggies a lot these days, now that I have two of my own to watch over. As I approached Morey’s corner shop, I saw that no one who works there had stepped outside for me to greet, so decided to cross over and walk down the other side of Noe Street on my return hovel. As I did, a dark green Mazda SUV waited for me to pass.

Another fuzzy, diminutive canine watched me from the passenger side with keen interest. The driver was a 40-something woman who smiled and waved at me. I returned the gesture and added, “Hey, little doggy!” He didn’t bark, didn’t jump about, but remained still and continued to stare at me from his erect posture with paws on the open window’s ledge. So close, I could’ve extended an arm and touched him as I crossed that corner. Maybe he was just a very realistic stuffed toy, but I thought better about finding out. Even his eyes didn’t move.

In the middle of my return walk I espied from a distance, a gray-bearded, scraggly old dude in a long purple trench coat saluting a thumbs up and a hello to those walking by in his direction. No one bothered to respond, but moved along as if he were invisible and unheard. Until it was MY turn:

“Yo! Good morning!” he declared with an extended arm and a thumb pointed upward.

“And a good morning to you,” I smiled in kind, with my own thumb erect to the sky. “Thank you!”

I did not, however, pause in amicable badinage, nor did he seem to care about that, anyway. Just wanted to spread a little good cheer. Fine with me, ’cause I certainly have MORE than my share of actual bums in my life, these days. Even the Castro’s own underground, Patron Saint of the LGBTQIA+ Homeless has his limits!

After my short morning stroll, I purchased my usual cup of Rosenberg coffee, then sat just around the corner on a low ledge sheltered from last night’s inconsequential rainfall. Here’s a pic of my view from that spot:

Click here for a larger view.

I would’ve preferred to linger on the other round of the corner, by the two adjacent parklets, but some street dude had made a big mess, setting up a passel of rain drenched clothing for sale, right there on the asphalt beside the curb. I didn’t want his crazy disturbance within view or earshot, as it would ruin my morning pause. Here’s a pic of the unwelcome hawker, setting up what little protection an umbrella could provide. At least it’s a pretty shade of blue, unlike the slushy gray troposphere cowering over the East Bay:

Click here for a larger view.

Finally, here are two shots of the signage workers right below my window, plus a quick video to show you how noisy they were, for such an otherwise peaceful day’s start:

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

Once again, good physician, I paused from completing this email, to take another quick stroll…this time to Morey’s shop for a box of large trash bags (though really just an excuse to drop by and say hello, for I already have plenty of these bags at home). On the way there, I came across this booklet someone left out for free on their doorstep, which I find MOST appropriate for my own, doggy rescue mission:

Click here for a larger view.

Dedication:

Click here for a larger view.

Introduction (first paragraph):

Click here for a larger view.

Upon entering Morey’s shop there was some music playing from their ceiling speakers, most unusual because they NEVER do that! Instead, they often have a TV turned on to the news, or some tacky cop or crime drama. Guess what the song was, as it reached my ears upon stepping inside?

Almost Paradise.” That figures. My bodhisattva guardians are no longer dropping little HINTS here and there, like rose petals or bread crumbs. First, this morning there was “All You Need is Love,” now later today, this. Yeah, I get it, “we’re knocking on heaven’s door” (as it says in the lyrics). THEY’RE ALMOST LITERALLY HITTING ME OVER THE HEAD AT THIS POINT! So now what…MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT wherever I go, for now on? Angels surrounding me with their golden voices? Like in my essay “The Birth of the Final Testament” so lovingly illustrated years ago by a perfectly gay stranger?

Click here to read the essay.

Subject: Joe Boulevard’s feedback, disappointing but no surprise! (cont’d)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 3, 2021 10:59 PM

Deek & doggies dropped by…no sleepover or visit for the mutts, he just wanted me to charge his latest Bluetooth speaker. It’s got built-in wheels and a telescope handle, but is reasonably light-weight this time around. VERY easy to carry up and down the stairs. Maybe twelve pounds? I think it’s lithium powered, so the battery won’t last as long as those cumbersome lead-acid ones. Maybe three or four hours at high volume, instead of six or more.

He said he purchased it NEW for $125, and I believe him because it LOOKS spanking new, though no price tag (he probably removed it, or it was on the box). Looks like he’s changed his stopover habits to camping out right at the bus stop for around two hours while waiting for his devices to be juiced up at least halfway. He used to park himself further up the block, or on an adjacent block across the street. I find it infuriating that the pups are right outside, barely yards away…yet forced to remain outdoors where they’ll bark more and sleep less. ALSO infuriating how he wastes his money, when he LOSES his current speaker in less than a week, and could spend far LESS for something STILL of good quality…thus have more money for other stuff, such as JACKETS for the dogs.

Giving them a box to curl up in usually quiets them down…Lucky especially, but Flaco prefers to be on the alert regardless, as Deek’s guardian. Ready to jump out and bark aggressively at this or that person walking by. Usually, that’s someone who’s edgy (such as a tweeker or rowdy clubber), or if they’re accompanied by a dog of their own. Lucky, however, couldn’t be bothered, preferring instead to slumber on. These stopovers start around 9:30 PM and last until just before, or right at, midnight.

He first showed up by his lone self last night, and asked for his Thursday allowance of $40. “No, it’s too soon, Deek, wait till Thursday.” Though Wednesday is fine, too, if it comes to that. “But it’s already Wednesday,” he replied. “Really?” I answered, a tad confused. Well, Wattson, turns out I thought it was still Monday, and when I realized my error, I had less than fifteen minutes to rush down to my bank before they lock up ATM access, which is 10 PM. So I apologized, rushed upstairs for my wallet, then boogied on down to the local Chase branch, and withdrew $60 (one Jackson for myself).

By the time I returned, another vagrant had joined him outside: an older dude with long, gray hair and trim mustache about six-foot-one, and stretched on his side upon the sidewalk. He seems to be a somewhat new acquaintance, as I’ve never seen him before with Deek, except for a few times in the past couple of weeks, out there on the corner. He appears to be a very healthy, trim 48 years old…good looking, too, in a narrow-face, Appalachian kind of way. NOT gregarious in the least, never says hi to me, keeps to himself but at least is pretty damn quiet, even speaks softly. I AM a bit wary of him, but we’ll see.

Around a half hour after I returned with the moolah and headed back upstairs, I heard Flaco barking. Time to bring down the box! Lucky scooted right inside and curled up, but Flaco preferred to sit on the edge and look out. So I added a sheet of cardboard I procured from beside the trash bin, right outside the box…that she also have a clean spot to rest upon. (Dammit, why doesn’t Deek take care of these things himself?)

Just before I was about to return hovel, who shows up out of the blue, but Filipino Jay! Don’t know if you remember him from my December tales, but that was the last month I saw him until last night. He’s ALWAYS been immensely supportive of my befriending Deek and his charges, but very alarmed at his frequently shitty treatment towards me. “You need to respect that man,” he’s told Deek more than once. “You need to keep a good person like that in your life!” Not that he’s spoken these words in my presence, but informed me of such. And I believe him.

We gave each other fist bumps and side hugs, glad to see each other again. We talked awhile about this and that, as Deek pulled out a glass pipe to smoke some meth. As he held a lighter below it to heat the contents, Flaco broke out into demonstrative barks aimed directly AT him.

“See that, Deek?” I called out in jest, “She don’t want you smokin’ that crap no more!”

I then seated myself beside Flaco to quiet her down. She immediately climbed onto my lap with her customary sweetness and joy to be close to me again, and ceased her barks. We were right beside the box, so I reached in to give Lucky some petting as well. I explained to Deek that he needs to keep them quiet when hanging out here, or my neighbors will complain. And that’s easy enough to do, either with a box for them to hide in, or let Flaco sit right beside him. ‘Cause that’s all she wants is your attention now and then, and that’s why she was barking.

He ignored me, so I gently placed Flaco down and grabbed another sheet of cardboard and placed it beside Deek, so she could rest alongside her master. With that, he exploded in anger:

“Get outta my face, don’t tell me what to do with the dogs, leave me alone!”

“But Deek,” I spoke calmly from barely two feet away, while caressing Flaco who stood by my feet. “She loves you, and only wants to rest beside you. Why so mean?”

“YOU do that, then, I’m busy here!” he spit back.

“But I gotta go upstairs and finish my dinner,” I replied. “Here, Flaco, come sit by your master.”

I pointed at the cardboard I had just set down, and beckoned her over. Just as she was about to curl up there, Deek hollered again:

“Get outta my face, I’m claustrophobic, gimme some space, your dick is right in my face!” which scared Flaco, so she slipped into the box to sit by her sibling.

“Well I’m on the short side, so what do you expect,” I quipped. (Not really, but I wish I had. Another good line would’ve been: “These are workout pants, Deek, they don’t even HAVE a fly.”) What I REALLY said was:

“Look, you’ve upset Flaco, you need to calm down.”

“I SAID, get outta my face!” he repeated.

“No way Jose,” I taunted back. “You need to chill out first, and THEN I’ll step back.”

With that, he leapt up and moved to the other end of the bus shelter to finish smoking his pipe. “You wanna see me scream and upset your neighbors? Better get outta my face then, or I will!”

“No I won’t, and no YOU won’t,” I gently answered. “Come back here, sit down and let Flaco lie beside you, Deek. THEN I’ll leave.”

The older fellow who was still reclined upon the sidewalk said not a word, and seemed nonplussed. Jay looked up at me from where he crouched and softly said with a grin: “So that’s your relationship, eh?”

I shrugged my shoulders and replied: “I’m not gonna take this crap. I hate drama queens, and I hate it when Deek acts like one.”

Deek finally returned to his spot where he called Flaco over. She immediately curled her little brave body upon his crossed legs with happy wags, soon closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. Before departing, I proposed he keep the dogs with me while camped out here…or at least Flaco, as she’s the one who keeps barking. Upstairs she’ll get some needed rest, instead of feeling like she has to be on constant sentry on high alert. He said no, they’re fine, so I let it slide…seeing as this is his usual pattern before abiding by my latest suggestion. If it comes down to it, I’ll sit out there with Flaco until it’s time for Deek to move on, so she’ll get the affection she craves and so WELL deserves, and thus enjoy a good two hours of rest. Though I suspect this will crimp his style when it comes to jawing with his street pals in my presence. Which may prove effective in that he’ll tell me to take the dog upstairs. Or he’ll move to another spot, away from my building. I’d prefer the first outcome, for the sake of Flaco’s well-being.

Now that Deek had finally mellowed out, with Flaco secure in his care, I returned hovel to finish my dinner and watch some videos. Flaco barked on and off a couple more times, but not so loud or long as to be a nuisance. Another homeless person had shown up with his German Shepherd…a very friendly and calm dog, not a single bark, yelp or whimper out of her. But in spite of that, Flaco wouldn’t cease her cacophony until they departed around the corner, on 16th Street. By 11:45 PM Deek was packing up and ready to depart. I came back downstairs to wish him a good night.

The gray-haired “Appalachian” excused himself and disappeared to parts east, while Jay remained awhile longer. He kindly remarked about what an excellent arrangement Deek has with me, and how I work so hard to watch over them. I said thank you, then somehow the conversation came around to my age.

“Do you wanna guess how old I am?”

Jay hesitated to supply an answer to this awkward question, as is the polite thing to do. Then I told him:

“Seventy-one, can you believe it?”

He remarked how much younger and healthy I look. “You’re always full of energy!”

“Yes I am. And that’s because Deek and his doggies keep me on my toes,” I proudly confessed, which admission I knew would warm Deek’s heart.

We watched him quietly leave with pups, cart and bicycle down Market Street and towards Castro. At that point, I picked up the box to return upstairs with it. Just then, “chihuahua man” showed up with his two little angels, while I suddenly made myself busy cleaning up the debris that remained from Deek’s visit. I was really sort of avoiding him, but he came right up to me and said:

“Well THAT get together didn’t last very long!”

I almost cracked up, and replied while fussing with some discarded cans and paper wraps, rather than look up at him:

“Yep, that’s just how I want it.”

He gave a quick snort of hilarity, before he and pooches returned inside. I figure he stepped out just ten or so minutes ago, saw the small congregation of three street folks, and the two brindlekin…then upon returning from his walk, saw them pack things up and leave. Not realizing they were actually camped out there for almost two hours! I gather his apartment faces 16th Street, rather than Market.

Once Deek was far enough down the street, I took a few more minutes to speak with Jay.

“You know, I’ve recently established a network of street people to make sure he takes good care of those doggies,” I explained. “It’s taken me OVER A YEAR to get this going!” To my surprise, he then said something amazing:

“Oh, we all know about you, Zeke, how kind you are and do whatever you can for the homeless!” To which I interjected:

“Some have even come up to me just a couple days ago, to reassure me they watch over Deek and the pups, and appreciate my efforts and concern!”

“You bet,” he continued. “You are well known for your good works. And Deek truly respects you, though he doesn’t show it around you. Some dudes are just like that, but I assure you he has nothing but admiration for what a good friend you are.”

I was SO glad to hear that, coming out of the blue from a person I trust, thanks to his consistent praise of my outreach. Before departing, I thanked him once more and said:

“We met again at a VERY opportune moment!”

He agreed with a smile, then departed and I returned to my humble sanctuary, pleased as punch. Now, for a bit more Bodhisattva Premise conjecturing:

Remember when Deek wore my Buddha necklace with great pride? That was back in April. It seems to me that someone so Christian influenced (as he clearly was, growing up in the deep south), would NOT readily jump into Buddhism, as Deek has done. He even REQUESTED I return the medallion so HE could wear it. And that was barely two weeks after gifting me with it! It’s a great video BTW, so here it is again in case you’d like to view it once more (or maybe for the first time…or not at all, as I know you are quite busy tending to your own life challenges):

This, I believe, is but one of MANY clues of a bodhisattva presence…through Deek and numerous others living on the streets. And that they already KNOW my destiny, my role IN it, and their devotion and support in getting me there. I DID NOT ACCOMPLISH ALL THIS ON MY OWN; I HAVE MANY ALLIES. All of whom are as much a hero as I am, if not more so.

Well, good doctor, it looks like my Brindlekin Trilogy is not yet done. Actually, it’s a quaternity at this point, and soon to morph into a QUINternity! Though I’ll leave it to my literary admirers to sort out the breakdown of Book 3 into one or two more books. It would just be TOO exhausting for me to do that myself, what with all my ongoing busy-ness composing further tales, tending to the dogs and Deek, and so on.

I have run through all twenty-six letters of the alphabet for chapter 17 (or “The Final Chapter (parts 1-26)”. So now I’ve established the first episode of chapter 18, entitled “The FINAL Final Chapter (part 1)” or “Chapter 18a.” Though I’m sure that, even once I complete this series, which I believe will encompass five books in all:

I’ll be writing about Deek & pups for many years to come…for as long as I live, in fact. And THAT may be an eternity, seeing as the Grim Reaper herself couldn’t snatch me away.

So whaddya think of Hell Freezer (assuming you’ve gotten around to hearing one of his brilliant narrations of human idiocy). I really CAN’T imagine you going other than ape-shit over his videos.

And I am so delighted to stumble upon yet a THIRD season of “What We Do in the Shadows”…that superb modern-vampire parody. I binge watched all ten episodes over the last few days, and was FAR from disappointed. OUTSTANDING comedy, still fresh and original as the first two seasons! I DO hope you find some way to watch all three seasons yourself. They are officially on Hulu. Plenty of great excerpts from that show on Youtube, to give you a taste of what a fantastic series it is.

That’s it for now, thank Bridget! I spent the ENTIRE day composing this 2-part missive. And ignored all my usual daily amusements and online activities. NOTHING else is as important as my tales, not even close.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: “Take the dogs, I gotta get to work!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 4, 2021 11:27 AM

About as domestic a scene as you can expect, in a homeless world. The man of the house, the lord and master, king of the castle, he who brings home the bacon, MUST be off to work and he can’t bring the mutts along. So it is MY duty as stay-at-home doggy dad, to bring the pups inside and tend to their simple needs. 8:16 AM, his string of “yo’s” got me out of bed. Not that they actually woke me up, as I drank my second coffee far too late in the evening, and I could NOT fall asleep.

“Take the dogs, I gotta get to work!” he called up to me the moment I appeared in the window.

So I slipped on my zories and rushed downstairs. As I emerged from the gate, the pups spotted me right off, from where they were still tied to the cart at the corner of 16th & Market. They happily summoned me with barks and dancing on their hind legs, tugging at their leashes with great joy. Deek untied the woofies and handed them over, whereupon they pulled me forward like wild horses till we reached the gate…pawing at it like there’s no tomorrow, barking and yapping with gleeful anticipation. I looked back at Deek to say thank you; he wished me a nice day, mounted his bike and off he went.

Soon as we reached the first few steps and were out of range of the lobby camera, I released the hounds who scurried with merry barks up to the second floor, and into my hovel. Which door I intentionally left ajar for their quick entry. I reached my floor ten seconds later, and Lucky popped back into the hallway to welcome me to their abode, playfully tugging at my pant cuffs as I staggered slowly onward. At that moment, Flaco suddenly scooted from my hovel as well, and dashed up and down the hallway a couple of times, with Lucky in chase, their ears pinned back in frenzied delight. Soon as I entered the room myself, they followed and hopped right onto the cot, cushioned by four layers of plush comforters.

I do want to point out that Deek never said before, that he’s off to work. But his saying just that this morning indicates a new stability in his life, a positive energy that’s gonna take him places as he builds on that foundation.

And what does “going to work” mean for him? Rummaging across the city for recyclable cans and bottles, of course. (And maybe “selling product” as I like to call it.) Reminds me of my father’s occupation, which was what we then called “garbage man.” Deek is VERY industrious…like a cyclone swooshing down streets and alleyways and sucking up any bottles and cans within miles in every direction. I’m sure he’s at his best when the pups aren’t around to distract him.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually landed a part-time job in some restaurant or other service outlet, under the counter. Seeing as employers are hungry for workers these days, and are willing to pay better wages (for the most part).

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson – 11/07/21

Venus & Moon pic 1

Venus & Moon pic 2


Subject: No Venus & Crescent Moon Tonight! :(
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 10, 2021 1:50 PM

[Please note I started this missive two days ago.]

NOVEMBER 8:

Drat! I wanted to take a twilight shot…maybe tomorrow. It’s raining again now, not too bad but more than enough to get the pups soaking wet for hours. Deek dropped by earlier to pick up his large speaker, and a garbage bag to keep it dry. So he knew we were due for another nighttime shower. I guess he cares more about his electronics and rap music, than about his wee charges!

“What about the dogs?” I asked as he readied to leave. “Shouldn’t they shelter here tonight?”

“No, I gotta go somewhere!” he obliquely answered while giving the cart a shove.

“Does that mean you’re gonna keep them warm and dry?”

“Yes!” he said, denying me another moment to question him further as he crossed the street with the little angels in tow. They flashed a couple of forlorn glances back at my diminishing figure. I returned hovel with a sad heart, soon as they reached the opposite corner.

Earlier that day, I bumped into Boulevard Joe. He asked how I was and I broke into an imromptu speech, as if I were channeling a message from the deity:

“Halloween REALLY starts once they discard the costumes onto the streets…San Francisco better wake up, and acknowledge that the heart of this city IS the homeless. It used to include not just street people, but the low income as well: artists, writers, dancers, innovators…what some call the Bohemian lifestyle! What you said some years back is SO true: today’s middle class are tomorrow’s homeless! I have always suspected there are at least SOME shamans living on the streets, if not MANY, perhaps ALL of them. How could they NOT reach a higher state of consciousness with such tremendous burdens placed upon their shoulders, day in day out, year after year? INTOLERABLE! CRUEL! HEARTLESS! I’m teaching Deek about Celtic mythology, so I ordered a Welsh dragon medallion that should arrive in a week or so. But he’s also taught ME many things, not by lecture but by action, including pressing my buttons to the point of exhaustion, many times over. Sweet and sour, yin and yang, the teacher becomes the student, and vice versa.”

To all of which Joe nodded in hearty agreement, especially about the shamans. I suppose my loquacious outburst was also my stream-of-consciousness way of letting him know I’m there, I grok what’s REALLY going on. Later that day I realized my stalwart praise of the homeless will likely be broadcast among many other asphalt jungle denizens, through his voice.

And I finally had the chance to ask Joe what he thinks about Luba. He praised her to the heavens: “Oh, she loves me! I fixed her heater, her television, her door lock, all sorts of stuff. I’m her on-call handyman.”

“Cool,” I replied. “She drinks too much, but still, Luba strikes me as a good person, and quite the character.” Of course I bit my tongue over her not-so-kind opinion of HIM. These are shamans, they have peculiar ways about them…one of which is LYING about someone to test my reaction, and behavior down the timeline. If I repeat what gossip they project, it could foment further angst, and I will be judged poorly. But THAT shall never happen, as I obviously know better.

CROSSING THE CROSSOVER

In the context of Buddha’s declaration that heaven and hell are a state of mind, I believe I have recently crossed over, as good things keep happening to me anymore, including Deek’s more consistent cooperation and mild manners regarding ANY confrontation I present. His refusal to let the dogs stay with me tonight notwithstanding, because he did so peaceably…that is, without a smidgen of angst. Cultivating a worry-free perception of life (whether on a personal or a more general, species level) has certainly contributed to this auspicious transition.

For one, I am frequently complimented more often than ever, by passersby charmed by the doggies. Even when they’re barking for no apparent reason except to show off their pride in guarding THIS Moirai-kissed pilgrim, people still say things like:

“Oh, such cute little doggies!” or “I love those pups!” or “What gorgeous coats they have!” or “Look at those darling mutts!” and so on.

And, just three mornings ago, a sweet elderly woman working the register at the corner store on 17th & Noe said “I like your mask.” So I told her the tale of the young clerk at that same store, who first expressed admiration for my Palestinian face cover last month.

“That’s my grandson!” she lit up the moment I mentioned him.

Once I finished the delightful anecdote, she remarked: “God brought that to you!”

I nodded my head and replied: “It’ll be a sad day in my life when this mask gets too worn out to wear any more!”

‘Oh, no,” she declared with verve, “it will NEVER wear out!”

I neglected to tell her how I was drawn to their store only several days after acquiring the mask (without yet knowing its message, or that the shop is run by a Palestinian family)…which sort of clinches the “god” thing. Next time she’s present when I drop by, I’ll be sure to fill her in. At any rate, she spoke with pride about her Palestinian heritage, that her people are hard workers, enduring and inventive, through all their unbelievable struggles. Our conversation ended with the kind lady expressing her appreciation for this talk. And thus I departed, walking on a cloud. I’m sure I made her day, too.

Seeing as we’ve been discussing dragons again, I decided to purchase a Welsh dragon medallion for Deek:

Click here for a larger view.

Only $10, so when he inevitably loses it a short time later, no big deal…I’ll get him another one the following month. It’s due to arrive any day between the 12th and 18th. I’ll present it to him as a friendship gift, and welcome him into the Clan of Dragons:

“Because you have the strength, courage and street wisdom of a dragon, yourself!”

NOVEMBER 9:

Good news! Shortly after the rain began to pour down last night, Deek showed up with the pups: “They told me they wanted to spend the night with Uncle Zeke.”

The pups were NOT shivering; in fact they appeared in good spirit despite their soppy condition. I pet them both, and felt their body warmth emanate through the fur. Once back hovel I dried them off immediately, then gave them treats. In no time flat they were sound asleep, burrowed beneath the blankets. I DID wake them up an hour later to feed them, and they dined with vigor.

He also handed me a “new” smartphone and, to my amazement, once I plugged it in and turned it on, discovered it had a dragon-themed background!

Well shucks, no Muslim light show tonight, either, thanks to an overcast sky. Guess it just wasn’t in the stars. Earlier today I spoke with Sami, one of Morey’s two coworkers. He’s around his mid-seventies, tall and lanky, looks Middle Eastern (perhaps Lebanon) and has a quick wit. Though it was MY turn to be clever this time around.

“Did you see that sky show the other night?” I asked with enthusiasm.

“Yes I did, it was beautiful,” he answered back.

“Venus was so dazzling, the crescent moon so sharp and brilliant,” I gushed, “and the alignment so perfect, I almost surrendered to Islam!”

Four nights ago, Lucky puked several times…caught me off guard, but I promptly cleaned up the various spots, dispersed among several throw rugs. No stink, no stain remained…though neither his nor Flaco’s vomit ever smells foul in the first place. I then covered the entire floor with double-layered sheets of the Bay Area Reporter, just to play it safe. But he was fine after that, and they both had good appetites.

Deek wore another creepy mask two days after Halloween. Also rubbery like the evil rabbit mask, but one that fits just the face, not the entire head. It made him look like a derelict 30-something high school dropout with a really bad case of cystic acne, the kind cruel kids would call “pizza face.” Splotches of fake blood and dirt completed the gruesome visage. I couldn’t Duckduckgo a mask that even comes CLOSE to what Deek wore, to show it to you. So you’ll have to trust me when I say it was frightfully realistic.

“Wow, you really look different, Deek,” I exclaimed, with one arm slightly raised across my face in revulsion. “I don’t even feel like talking to you, some scary stranger.”

“GRR-ROWR!” he replied in character.

“It reminds me of my first boyfriend,” I cracked.

“Your FIRST boyfriend?” he queried in a wobbly, eerie tone of voice…then raised his hands like claws about to tear my face apart: “Well I’M gonna be your LAST boyfriend!”

He then turned around to fuss with his bicycle, and I opined with a chuckle: “That was very funny, Deek!”

NOVEMBER 10 (today):

Well, yesterday evening the building manager came down the stairs as I stepped outside my hovel with the pups, who commenced barking. As I crouched down and told the pups to quiet down (though they didn’t), Kevin addressed me from the main hallway:

“You NEED to stop bringing those dogs into the building!”

I ignored him, though really had no choice in the matter, as attempting to holler over their barks would only excite them further and cause even MORE noise. I simply remained hunkered down, urging the doggies to chill out.

“Do you hear me?” Kevin demanded. But seeing that he was NOT gonna get ANY reply from yours truly, he finally doddered off to parts unknown.

With that, Flaco & Lucky’s barks diminished into thin air as I escorted them downstairs and outside. I really don’t see ANY point in talking to Kevin, as he’s making a mountain out of a molehill…everyone loves the pups, and they are absolutely NO problem at all. I am dogsitting for a friend in a PET-FRIENDLY building, they are not living with me, and that’s that. Instead of being antagonistic, he could EASILY approach the dogs in kindness, pet them and make them feel welcome (which he HAS done a few times in the past, FYI). His overly authoritarian behavior as building manager does NOT impress me in the least. Nor do his mood swings, which I suspect are early-onset-dementia inspired.

I DID expect to find another one of his spooky letters taped to my door in an envelope, upon returning hovel with the pooches, but nothing yet. Let’s see how this latest scenario plays out, Wattson (if it even does). All previous confrontations in This Beleaguered Mansion Of The Dysfunctional have shown me that standing my ground, while remaining calm and friendly through it all, is the winning ticket. I’ll simply take this as the latest challenge presented by one of my bodhisattva guardians, to disregard animosity flung in my direction, and maintain a joyful demeanor. And not obsess in my mind’s eye over worst case scenarios such as “I might wind up homeless because I refuse to deny the doggies shelter!” Besides: Kevin appears to be on his last legs, as I’ve mentioned before, and more than once.

Oh, I also passed by Moe Fleisher (my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall) last night. I said hello as I descended the stairs while he ascended. And believe me, that was no easy task, as he’s morbidly obese, and the stairs are narrow! Had he slipped just then he would’ve crushed me like a sea elephant. Not so much as a hello back. The nerve! Well, he’s friends with Kevin, so I guess that has something to do with it. Along with Deek’s more frequent campouts by the bus stop. Though Deek and pups have been MOSTLY quiet all along, to a suprising degree. So I can only conclude he just resents them being there at all. Even though such peaceful gatherings BENEFIT the residents, as a kind of building security, and safe space right outside.

It seems that Deek has a couple of girlfriends, but that may simply be braggadocio. Last night he was talking about one of them, and how she loves the brindlekin…though sometimes cannot have them over, which is one reason he brings them to me. I have no idea if any of this is true, though he did put on a display of boinking her ghostly form by ramming his hips forward and back, while doing the same with fisted arms, in opposite motion:

“When I brings her da pups I gets me da fuks!”

He was supposedly setting off to see her last night, said he was in a hurry. But after I returned hovel, I saw him still out there ten minutes later. I decided then, to step back outside and show him the image of the Welsh flag with the red dragon on it, that I had downloaded to my phone. He’s never seen it before, and I thought he should, considering he’ll soon recieve a medallion of that same image. How much better he’ll appreciate it, as a result!

So I approached again, this time with my phone, and said: “I thought you were in a rush, but you’re still here! You asked me to hurry, bringing stuff down, but I really could’ve taken all my sweet time!”

“I’ll be leaving in a moment, sorry,” he thoughfully replied.

“Naw, that’s okay,” I said, then showed him the Welsh flag on my Moto screen. I explained how Wales is one of four nations that compose the British Isles, the other three are Ireland, England and Scotland. (I forgot about Northern Ireland, but that’s just as well for the nonce.) Unfortunately, he blathered over me (about god knows what; I sure don’t), so I repeated myself two more times while he chattered aimlessly, to be sure it all sank in.

He finally said it was time to go, and wished me a good night. I responded with: “You, too, Deek, have a great night. But before you leave, tell me: what are the four nations of the British Isles?”

He didn’t bother to answer, just wandered off towards Castro Street, as I stood there waving at the doggies whenever they looked back. Didn’t appear to ME like he was rushing off to meet this girlfriend…more like just another night with him and the mutts, rummaging for recyclables and perhaps stumbling upon some choice items that will serve as gifts or trade-worthy goods. Maybe he’ll show up next time with another outstanding Halloween mask!

So now it’s the next day, early afternoon, and I’m about to send you this email. Deek dropped by two hours ago to pick up the usual crap, plus $40. Though he did NOT request dog food this time around (to my surprise, as he didn’t last night). I took time out to give him my latest pep talk: “You’re doing stupendously well, Deek!”

“What do you mean?” he replied, lips in a twist while lashing down the speaker with a bungee cord, atop the shopping cart already porcine with a mound of newfound clutter.

“Just the way you handle your life these days, very impressive,” I explained. “And I don’t mean this as someone who thinks he’s holier-than-thou, for I have learned much from you, as well. You’ve made me a better person.”

He seemed quite pleased to hear that, but with a satirical, eye-rolling facade: “Thank you kindly, but I wouldn’t take things so far.”

Before returning hovel, I wished my three darling charges a lovely day, and to spend the money wisely. Well, Wattson, I certainly look forward to all our future encounters, as what’s been happening between us these past few months is a definite sea change. For the better. His behavior in general, and attitude towards me, has softened considerably, with a wry sense of humor that reflects just that. Why, only the day before he reassured me that he really IS looking for a place to live, but he’s not gonna accept a bug-and-rat-infested hotel room populated by crackheads and ex-cons in the Tenderloin, or stay for months on end in a large, crowded tent, quonset hut or warehouse by the bay, with all sorts of chaos and stupidity going on. For which declaration on his part, I can only conclude:

He’s got all his ducks in a row!



The Final Chapter (part 26)

November 4, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17z]

Re: Deek brought me another superlative gift last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 27, 2021 11:53 PM

> Wonderful letter,

Yes indeed. The extraordinary thing about that, and most of my other Brindlekin Tales, is I didn’t make any of them up…they CAME to me. I thank whoever is the TRUE author, whom I suspect is Arwyn.

> wonderful gift.

Beyond superb: profound. Entirely black, like tempered out of the void, creation itself. In my own mythos, God IS a dragon. As I wrote in “Free Me From This Bond,” chapter 8 (the online version) entitled “Dragon Prophecy.” But get this, Wattson: I just duckduckgo’d “god is a dragon” and found THIS:

Absolute Proof That The God of The Bible (Yahweh-Jehovah) is a DRAGON! (outside and IN The Bible!)

> Do you think the Welsh coal dragon is very old??

I kinda think not, considering it has a label on it that looks new. I’m guessing someone purchased it from a tourist shop in Wales (or maybe ordered one online; eBay has ’em), took it home and eventually discarded it. Hence, Deek’s discovery, probably at a thrift store because he said when he saw it, he just had to get it. Which is how someone shopping speaks.

> I’d love to know if it’s part of some established tradition!

Well, I just searched “coal dragon figurine” and came up with several sites that feature Welsh themed objects carved from coal, such as this page for dragons, and this for mining figures:

I’m under the impression it’s not from any real tradition, but something conjured up for tourism. Though now that I’ve thought some more about this, there may have been born a tradition of coal miners carving figures out of hard coal nuggets. Which eventually carried over into OTHERS doing the same thing, for the tourist trade. I DID find this:

The Art of Anthracite Coal Carving

However, it’s all about coal miners in Wyoming, not in Wales or anywhere else…except for this lone passage:

–quote:

Hard coal had now and then been carved in China and in Europe through the millennia. In 1960, an amateur archaeologist working near Williamsport, Pennsylvania, some 70 miles from the anthracite region, found a small bit of coal that had been carefully shaped and polished by a Native American perhaps three thousand years ago. This find represents one of the first known uses of coal in the New World.

–end

BTW, my Randolph’s father was a coal miner in West Virginia, who died prematurely of black lung disease.

> And good for you for giving Deek a little education.

He never gave me any chance before, to talk with him more than one or two minutes…always had to be running off elsewhere, once he got his allowance, or delivered or picked up the pups. He’s maturing, slowing down, taking more time to speak with me. After all these years. Another breakthrough!

> I, too, am a Celtophile, having spent a summer in Ireland when I was not quite 11. Ancient ruins, haunted atmosphere; it got into me and stayed. Since then I’ve been to Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Stonehenge, Tintagel Castle, Penzance…

Incredible! Something about the Celtic spirit that gets into your bones in a comfortably spooky way. Like they’re reaching out to us in the future! Where do you think all those amazing fairy tales came from?

I would LOVE to explore the British Isles for a long, long, long, long, time…like the rest of my life. And learn to be fluent in Gaelic. You are SO fortunate to have done a bit of that yourself.

> I also dug the rabbit letter.

Truly ear-y! I suspect that Deek is much more conscious of the symbolic implications of the rabbit and the dragon (and other objects he brings me, and antics he performs) than he lets on. And isn’t that what you’d expect from a street shaman? Not hitting you over the head with any message or lesson, but playfully acting it out. Knowing I’m smart enough to grasp the implications with a little hindsight.

Deek showed up tonight to pick up the brindlekin, and handed me a REALLY heavy speaker (around 60 pounds), with sturdy wheels that made it less of a chore to lug it up the stairs and into my abode. But it was STILL a royal pain in the ass. Another lead-acid battery powered monstrosity! He should pick it up some time tomorrow after letting it fully charge, which takes ten hours.

Those lead-acid battery devices are dangerous being left out in the damp weather 24/7, so I hope he doesn’t have it for very long. It could blow up or ignite, or both! I really don’t care to have this in my room.

He was hot-headed later on tonight, while hanging with a couple of other vagrants on the corner. I don’t see any point in describing the details, as they’re basically the same-old, same-old. But he finally mellowed when he saw I was NOT gonna get out of his face, but stand close to him until he calmed down. Again, this is typical of a shaman after presenting you with a thoughtful gift: next time he shows up he’ll act like a jerk. As if there were some balance to achieve…though not really, as that pattern is more of a tradition among shamans. A way of humbling himself by covering up what a really NICE person he is. They are a fraternity, and have their rules, rituals and habits.

It felt like FOREVER, getting this missive done…thanks to the little whirlwind of chaos created by Deek’s bipolar shenanigans. I had just settled down to sup and answer your email, when it all erupted in my face. A waste of almost two hours, AFAIC. But for some unknown reason, I needed to go through it, even accidentally locking myself outside because I left the keys hanging on the door during one of the numerous times I stepped out to throw sand on the flaming drama queen who calls himself Deek! So I couldn’t even get back to my meal while still warm, after the cuckoo storm blew over. Took almost twenty minutes hanging out by the front gate, before another resident stepped out, and I slipped back inside.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Homemade Doggy Raincoat!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 28, 2021 4:57 PM

Made from three plastic grocery bags, for two dogs. On the left is the coat itself. You just slide the front legs through the loops, and secure them from slipping off with a string, ribbon or even two rubber bands linked together. See how I cut a rectangle out of the bottom part, so Lucky can pee.

On the right is the head cover, made from the loop off the third bag. I just cut a half-inch wider than the width of the loop, and five inches back, to cover the neck. The loop is the perfect size for their heads. Secure it with a plain rubber band, to keep it from slipping off.

They’re a perfect fit for the size of these pups, including the head cover’s loop, which slides easily over their heads and covers their ears. The rubber band will be placed right around their ears and back of the jaws.

I already tried them out a few days ago, but they kept slipping off because tying the leg loops together with a string or ribbon, and using a rubber band over the head cover did not occur to me till a day later. But I’m sure they’ll be perfect, now that I’ve figured that out. Will try it on them very soon, and send you the pics.

Materials required: three plastic grocery bags, two feet of cord or ribbon (or four, quarter-inch wide rubbers bands), and two standard (thin) rubber bands. Cost: $0.00 minus the rubber bands, which are really cheap anyway. The cord or ribbon can be made by cutting two strips from the third bag, which also gives me two head covers.

It did NOT occur to me till yesterday, that these homemade raincoats offer a superb bonus (in addition to virtually no expense): they will fit over ANY doggy jacket or sweater!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Homemade Doggy Raincoat!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 28, 2021 6:22 PM

> This is great!! I’m gonna make one for Surely!!

Can’t wait to see the pic. I don’t know yet, if the crinkly version of those bags will work as well…as they might cause some annoyance, relative to the slippery bags. They’ll certainly be noisier! I think it’s obvious, but I should’ve spelled it out: slit open the bottom edge of the bag so his tail, butt and hind legs will pass through. This is so cute, just talking about it!


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: New Bowl & Dracula
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 29, 2021 2:33 PM

I found this lovely bowl on the back porch last week. Actually, two bowls and two plates of the same motif. They replaced the plain white plates and bowls (one chipped along the edge) I’ve had for almost two years. So happy to finally trash them! Above the bowl is my tablet displaying an image of Dracula, for it is currently playing a narration of that classic horror novel. Hey, Halloween is only two days away!

This particular narrator, “Hellfreezer,” is outstanding! You can sample his distinctly British inflections by listening to any one of his unique tales, even if just for a minute or less. Here’s chapter one of Dracula.

MOST of his narrations feature stupid, embarrassing or annoying people in restaurant, hotel, office and public scenarios: true tales written by workers, customers or public witnesses/victims who send them to him. Or perhaps also acquired from Reddit storytelling subs, and related sites. A sampling of his playlists:

– COAHW (Confessions of a Hotel Worker)
– Terrific Tales of Technology
– Parables from the Pizza Oven
– Idiots in the Wild
– Neckbeards in the Wild
– Spinning Plates
– True Embarrassing Stories
– Please Hold Call Centre Stories

His anthology is extensive, and since I discovered him several months back, have become hopelessly addicted. He also has five short works by H.P. Lovecraft in this 10-tale playlist. And Edgar Allan Poe is featured here.

Halloween may be just two days away, but the first anniversary of “Brindlefest” is tomorrow! My own personal holiday this time around, but I hope it expands worldwide by same time next year. As for Deek & pups:

They’re taking advantage of this fair, warm weather since Sunday night’s “bomb cyclone” downpour, so I sit without my darling brindlekin for now. (Though they did stay over Wednesday night, so their master could enjoy another bicycle romp.) Yesterday afternoon they dropped by to say hi, and pick up a few minor things like a couple of large trash bags, a cup of soda and whatever (I forget). He had parked his charges a half block up, tethered to the telescoping handle of that ponderous Bluetooth speaker. So I sat down on the sidewalk beside them to keep them company while Deek rummaged for recyclables at the trash bins near my building.

That lasted for about fifteen minutes, during which time an employee stepped out of the adjacent office (which door was partly open, and Flaco & Lucky had poked their noses therein, summoning his attention) and offered to bring them a bowl of water.

“We usually keep a bowl out all the time!” He was handsome, young and friendly. But I told him thanks, but no, I just gave them water, and the dogs never drink from shared bowls.

“Really?” he asked in surprise. “Why not?”

“They just don’t, they turn their noses up instead,” I explained. “I guess they smell the scent of other dogs, and that puts them off. But thanks for the offer, very kind of you.”

“No problem,” he smiled. Then I explained a bit about my homeless friend just yards away, and that I’m not unhoused myself, but help him take care of the doggies. He didn’t blink an eye at that, but was most understanding. I wish I had a Brindlekin Tales card to present, as that could’ve further expanded the awareness of my plight, and desire to increase their safety when not under my watch.

Glad to report that Deek was very mellow all three times he met up with me, yesterday. He even manifested a funny little scenario, which went like so:

“Can I get two garbage bags?” he asked while I crouched down to embrace the pooches.

“Sure, I’ll be right back!” I joyfully replied, and dashed up to my room to retrieve them. And as I did so, thought:

“Now why didn’t he ask for them just a moment ago, when he requested I bring down his recharged speaker?” (Referring to a portable speaker, much smaller than his most recent acquisition, which was more like a ball and chain, than a source of musical delight.) 

The moment I returned, I handed him two, white grocery bags and said, “Now why didn’t you ask for these along with your speaker, so I wouldn’t have to make two trips?”

But he ignored that and pointed at the bags in my hand: “Those aren’t garbage bags.” I then looked down at them and declared:

“Oh for cripes sake, you’re right!” So now I had to make yet a THIRD trip to correct this faux pas!

Upon returning hovel to drop off the grocery bags and grab the CORRECT bags, I thought:

“That STILL doesn’t excuse his thoughtless disregard, it’s all about him and nobody else, not even a good friend who busts his balls for the sake of the pups and his OWN well-being. As far as DEEK is concerned, it’s all me, me, me!”

As I marched back downstairs with the edges of two, large green bags crumpled in my fist, I was determined he hear me out this time, and not just ignore. FYI, Wattson: I DID see the humor in this comic episode by then, thus I already perceived myself as playing the dupe.

Once I scurried back to Deek & mutts, I held out the trash bags and declared with righteous pomp:

“My point still stands, Deek: WHY didn’t you ask for these at the same time you asked for the speaker?”

He responded by squinting his eyes and staring up at the sky: “What? What?”

So I regurgitated my words, which only got me another two “whats” in return. I saw he was having a little fun at my expense, so I bemusedly shrugged my shoulders:

“That’s okay, Deek. I suppose I need the exercise, anyway.”

Deek then turned away to pack up his few possessions. Other than that cumbersome speaker (which DIDN’T work when not plugged in, as it turned out), he only had two bags to carry. Because he still had his bicycle, but no cart. This was earlier in the day, before I sat with the doggies down the block…by which time he had acquired a NEW cart for collecting recyclables.

A minute later, while I was petting the pups and Deek was about ready to go, a fire engine came careening down Market Street, siren at full blast. The pups sat up in alert, Lucky watching to see if Flaco would start howling. She did, and then (and only then) did her loving brother join in, as second trumpet.

I was very pleased to see Deek comfort them with a smile, while knotting up a bag: “It’s okay, babies, it’s okay!”

As for why he’s still hanging on to that derelict speaker, I figure he’s waiting to meet up again with whoever sold it to him, in hopes of a refund. Deek DID say the guy’s a trustworthy friend, and if that is true, I expect he WILL be reimbursed. I just hope he doesn’t show up again with that accursed device and demand I break it open to see if the battery is properly seated and connected! God only knows WHAT I’ll find inside the black box: gunk and corrosion no doubt.

If you never hear from me again, Wattson, you’ll know my demise was instigated by an electrical mishap…Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta be damned!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Merry Brindlefest, everyone!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Zeke’s Mailing List
Date: October 30, 2021 9:18 AM

Today is the first year anniversary of when I started to write my Brindlekin Tales. I have decided to make it my own holiday. On this day last year, I composed Chapter 1 of Book 1 of my doggy parables, and released it to the world. And now it encompasses the equivalent of FOUR wonderful books. Though I still call it a trilogy, it’s really a quaternity at this point. And a fifth book is in the making. Here is the world’s FIRST Brindlefest greeting card.

WHAT IS BRINDLEFEST?

Brindlefest (or Brindlekin Fest) is a holiday to celebrate one’s furry pet(s). Though inspired by two lovely pups in my life who have stunning brindle coats, your pet does NOT need to have any such coloring to join the festivities. And it doesn’t even need to be a dog…it can be a cat, or any other creature. Heck, it doesn’t REALLY need to be furry! Like a bird, an iguana, a turtle or even a boa constrictor!

Though if feasible, I suggest they wear something of a brindle hue on them: a sweater or jacket, a hat, whatever.  Or the OWNER does, instead!

How this holiday is otherwise celebrated, is up to each pet owner. I’m sure it will evolve naturally into a glorious, furry (or not) jubilee over the years…and hopefully, become a worldwide event. October 30th every year, back-to-back with Halloween.


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Merry Brindlefest, Alvin!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Alvin Hock
Date: October 30, 2021 6:06 PM

> Great photo!

Thanks. I almost deleted it, but at the last moment realized just how poignant a story it tells. He doesn’t even know I took it. In fact, Deek doesn’t know that I’ve been writing my Brindlekin Tales. Assuming locals here in the Castro start reading them, they’ll reach out to him and the pups, and help create a more expanded, safe habitat for all three of them. That is my goal. To make the doggies mascots of the Castro.

> Illustrates how entirely different our daily lives are today.

Very different indeed!

> I live in a forest outside a small town, seldom am involved with sidewalks and all the city stuff that surrounds you. It’s a plus and minus world.

My world is, too. I think they balance out, in that one isn’t preferable over another.

> I live in pure nature but…there are things I miss so much about SF, the social places like coffee houses and the better intellectual atmosphere with great conversations.

What you miss is a time, as well as a place! I miss that time as well, because while there are still plenty of coffehouses, they lack the vibrancy of politically/socially/artistically conscious folks. They stare into their cell phones, and their careers occupy all their time. Very RARE any more, that you actually meet an interesting person, and hold a meaningful conversation with her or him.

Bad enough we have more than our share of right-wingers even in a liberal, urban region…I can’t imagine how much worse it is in more rural areas of California. I’d definitely keep to myself at any coffeehouse I visit, and keep my mouth shut. What a shame. I imagine there’s plenty of Trump signs and hats wherever you look…like living in one of hell’s circles.

> The walks and the views and the atmosphere. It’s so backward here, there is one place to go to for decent food (the others have SF prices and Sonora quality)!

I can’t afford to eat out, beCAUSE of the SF prices. However, it’s also because I funnel my excess moolah to the dogs and their master…and it isn’t that much, anyway. If I did not, I could enjoy eating out twice a week, but not really in any spectacular dining spot. It would be more like The Crepe Place and coffeehouses that have a limited menu of empanadas, burritos and other tasty items prepared elsewhere.

> and no coffeehouses that aren’t right-wing hot spots.

We’ve got ’em here, too, including bible thumpers who like to hang out at this or that coffeehouse and commiserate loudly about how the Good Lord delivered them into righteousness, and you can’t hear yourself think. Or conservative Muslim women who are totally covered, so you can’t even see their face…and they OOZE a superior air at everyone around them. Fundamentalists of any stripe suck. We also get trashy types (often homeless) who are mentally disturbed and scare the fuck out of everyone, sometimes wrecking the place before they leave.

> Still, around the house is fantastically unspoiled, like forever. I have that and my two cats who are the center of my world.

That is wonderful, Alvin. I have my own humble room where I enjoy the sweet company of Deek’s pups one, two or three times a week. And they usually stay overnight.

> We have been visited for several months by a new cat out of the forest who I am feeding, much to the distress of my Boots boy, who is in charge of everything here. I am explaining that there is enough food and we can afford one more little darling. This is the best thing going on in my life, lonely but truthfully.

Sounds like a magical little circle of friendship between two species! Loneliness can even be worse in a city, with flocks of people everywhere, yet no one to talk to. Thank god for Lucky and Flaco…and Deek who so generously trusts me with them. Otherwise, I’m all alone in this world, as what other friendly people I DO know are just regular acquintances, not anyone I actually do things with. Such as take walks or shmooze at coffeehouses.

> We all sit in the sun and all these wonderful wild animal semi-tame beings run around doing cool stuff. Baby Girl has cat magic and can appear and disappear. She’s done a couple of things that are impossible but there she is!

Yep, magical! That same sweet spirit emanates from my two, darling brindlekin. Their joy and kindness are boundless. I have incredible respect for them.

> One last story. The new cat sent me a message through the air that I got, as if he were speaking it in my ear, “Can I stay here?” It still brings me to tears. I said, in total amazement, “Of course, you have a home here now.” That’s my promise and I keep it. It feels good. I’ll admit that I could probably adopt every cat in the world.

That is a powerful love, though way too many people trivialize the extraordinary kindness of our animal brothers and sisters. And their potential to be that for all humanity. Flaco & Lucky have absolutely TRANSFORMED my life, and all for the better.

– Zeke


Subject: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 11:45 AM

These are two friends of Deek I met just this morning, while walking the pups. Not their real names FYI. I’ve actually met Jeddi several times before, and he loves the doggies. You could see that, as the brindlekin wagged their tails while they barked up a storm as we approached. Both dudes are tall, youngish, skinny, dirty-blonde and a bit scraggly in appearance, though nicely attired. Jeddi has a beard and mustache, Freddy-Tom does not. They both came off as peaceful and in good spirits.

An interesting talk about Deek then ensued:

After introducing me to Freddy-Tom, Jeddi gushed over how BLESSED Deek is, to have these pups. I agreed; he said I am too, and I again agreed. Then I brought up Deek’s shortcoming about not keeping them warm, forcing them to sleep on the sidewalk, and letting them get soaked in the rain. Even though he can always bring them to my hovel, for shelter…any time, day or night. They stay with me quite often, and just love visiting. Though I AM concerned about Deek’s neglectful treatment.

“They’re house dogs, they shouldn’t even BE living on the streets,” I exclaimed. “They’re not gonna make it through this winter if he doesn’t take better care of them!”

Jeddi concurred: “I’m always bringing them blankets, but I don’t know where they go, ’cause next time I see him, even just two days later, the blankets are gone! Jackets, too..and they’re expensive!”

I told him a bit of my own problems with him over that, then described how I took charge of them for a few months early this year, to save them from Deek’s own bipolar craziness. That he agreed to my holding on to them, and I even have his verbal acknowledgement recorded on my phone. But then what does he do: goes around telling everyone I stole the pups!

“Yeah, I heard him say that myself,” Freddy-Tom interjected.

“We’ve been friends for years, and he’s a really nice guy, I consider him my BEST bud,” Jeddi pointed out, “but boy does he go WAY off the handle, sometimes. Which USUALLY happens when he’s super-toked on meth!”

“Doesn’t everyone?” I quipped. He laughed at that. “I think the important thing here, is that others on the are watching out for his dogs, including YOU. GOD BLESS YOU for telling me that, Jeddi! Deek tells me NOTHING about his friends or anything else, claims he doesn’t HAVE any friends.”

Jeddi glowed with appreciation when I said god bless you, and reassured me the homeless around here know my situation with Deek, understand what’s REALLY going on, and in no way do they believe I stole his pooches…and are VERY aware of Deek’s mood swings.

(So much for Umbrella Man’s claim that Deek ALWAYS treats the pups well, eh, Wattson?)

I told him if anything happens to Deek, if he’s separated from the dogs, such as a sudden arrest or medical emergency, to bring them to me.

“They always have a home with me,” I emphasized, “where they are loved and well taken care of.”

“Where do you live?” he queried, “That building with the Super Duper hot dogs?”

“Yes,” I affirmed, “My window is right above the front gate. Just call for Zeke.”

Again, I thanked them profusely before departing. This is yet ANOTHER excellent breakthrough! Now, much to my joy, I can work with some of Deek’s street friends, regarding Flaco & Lucky’s protection. I haven’t decided yet, though, whether or not to inform Deek I know he has good friends out there, who are JUST as concerned about the doggies as I am…and that I just spoken with two of them. We’ll see. For now, I’ll play it by ear.

And whenever I talk to Jeddi et al, I’ll emphasize to always treat Deek with patience and kindness…no threats or harsh demands, though they be tempted. The dogs’ lives are at stake.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 12:48 PM

> This is a great development. My first reaction to the question of whether or not to mention to Deek that you spoke to his friends is don’t. Keep that under your hat. I fear he’ll find some way to twist it all around (“You’re spying on me!”) and use it against you. Yes, when he’s good, he’s very, very good, but when Mr. Hyde is at the controls, he’s a terror. And they now know to bring the dogs to you if anything happens to Deek. Very reassuring.

Excellent advice, good doctor. Thank you!

ADDENDUM

It was a superb conversation I had with Jeddi, who made many OTHER astute remarks that blew the lid off my hat. Such as:

“I told Deek those dogs are a GREAT motivation to get off the streets!”

“He used to get arrested a lot, but since he’s had the dogs he hasn’t been to jail one single time.”

“Don’t worry, a LOT of us out here are concerned for the dogs.”

“I think I should have another long talk with Deek.”

He appears to be fully cognizant of Deek’s mental aberrations that put the dogs in harm’s way. And regards Flaco & Lucky every BIT as sacred and deserving of utmost respect and care, as I do. I was gobsmacked at his TOTAL agreement with every criticism I expressed! And most PLEASED to discover he shares the same concerns withOUT one iota of anger or hatred. That is: he KNOWS the best way to inspire Deek to make the necessary changes. It’s like I met my spiritual doppelganger…and because he actually LIVES on the streets, can get to Deek in many ways that I just can NOT! Deek may be able to run away from THIS distressed pilgrim whenever I have some life-saving advice or criticism to impart, but not my spirit!

The loss of these pups (whether through absconsion or death or his foolishly selling them) would dump an unbearable cross upon MANY people on the streets, as well as myself! And DEEK would be so vilified and shamed, as to be DRIVEN out of the Castro, and beyond. NONE OF US INVOLVED NEITHER WANT THIS WORST CASE SCENARIO TO OCCUR, NOR COULD BEAR IT IF IT DID.

His bipolar antics are frightening more folks than just yours truly…so we must ALL be diligent and find some way to secure the doggies’ safety and well-being ASAP. I am glad to now learn that I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS, and the odds of our success are greatly increased. The loving spirit of Lucky & Flaco are bringing many people together, in a common cause of mercy. For we SEE the potential tragedy staring us in the face if we do not get through this ordeal in anything less than complete victory!

My “Bohisattva Premise” does, however, put a totally optimistic spin on things:

Jeddi and Freddy-Tom are NEW spiritual guides in my world, playing a role in setting up this next act, whereby all conflicts over Deek & pups are worked through amicably, and resolved to the complete happiness and satisfaction of all parties involved. No more absurd drama to get there, either. Which means the dogs are ALREADY perfectly fine, as Deek’s antics are likewise part of the script, and not the least bit real or threatening.

They are all here to shape me into a hero…though god only knows I’d rather NOT be anyone’s hero, when two sweet doggies’ lives are in the mix. Couldn’t The Playwright have come up with some LESS soul-searing scenario? But that was NOT my decision to make, thus I must accept things as they are, and soldier onward in strength, courage and, most critically of all, FAITH.

I wonder when I’ll next meet Jeddi, for we have much MORE to talk about! Or perhaps I should not worry, as the wheels of resolution are most likely turning this plot into a happier direction. For my Bodhisattva Premise assures me it is, and I don’t even have very long to wait.


Re: Jeddi & Freddy-Tom ADDENDUM 2
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 31, 2021 3:41 PM

I just came from a short walk while the pups were resting hovel, and spotted Jeddi, now hanging with a small group of other street people, across Noe Street and by the old Cafe Flore. Seven in all, I think. So I approached him:

“Thank you again, Jeddi, for talking with me. I was very impressed by all you said, it blew the lid off my hat!’

“I’d like to shake your hand,” he stood up from where he sat on the concrete beside a porta-potty (where another fellow was seated) and extended a hand. I gripped his hand in mine, without hesitation.

We came to an agreement that Deek can be a real shithead at times, trying to scam me even though I give him a hefty allowance, and other stuff like that.

“Let me put it this way,” he confided, “Deek’s not so much of a friend, but a good acquaintance I’ve known for years. I can count on one hand how many REAL friends I know.” He then stated:

“I don’t talk about my life much, but I spent years in prison, and saw with my own eyes how the company of a dog can transform someone’s life. I’m sure Flaco & Lucky have done the same for you!”

“Yes they have,” I readily affirmed. “I’ve even begun writing true tales about them and Deek, starting a year ago, and I call them Brindlekin Tales. Not that I’m making any money on it, but these pups are a GREAT inspiration in my life.”

I described further about Deek needing to take the pooches to one of those veterinarian pop-up clinics every few months, but he needs access to a cell phone to make the appointment first. So he keeps putting it off. And how he scares the shit out of me whenever he talks about turning Flaco into a puppy mill…which could easily kill her AND the puppies because he’d be doing it all out here on the streets! He promised he wouldn’t do that to her, so long as he doesn’t have a roof over his head…so I think he still brings it up now and then, just to fuck with my head.

I brought up how he tries to scam me from time to time, even though I help him out with money, dog food, etc. And I’m only on Social Security, and he’s draining my wallet…but the only reason I put up with his crap is for the sake of the pups.

I also described how my situation with Deek & doggies is like a fairy tale, where I’m the knight in shining armor, the kidnapped maiden is the dogs, and the dragon is Deek’s bipolar craziness. And that the key to victory is NOT to slay the dragon, but to win him over. So any effort to get Deek to treat the dogs better, is to do so with patience and kindness. If only because projecting anger or hatred towards him will also hurt the doggies, who’d witness all that.

Jeddi enjoyed my fairy tale metaphor. He then reassured me I have NOTHING to worry about, regarding the dogs…whether it’s about the pregnancy issue, vet care, sweaters, the dogs shivering from the cold and wet, or any of the other incidents I brought up. Because HE will have a good, long “talk” with Deek. I can only imagine what THAT really means. But a kindhearted, tough ex-con on the streets can be MOST helpful in rectifying ANY botheration caused by a smart-ass vagrant breaking the Golden Doggy Rule.

“I’ve seen how much the dogs love you,” he noted. “They’re a lot happier with you, than with Deek.”

In Deek’s defense I said they’re ALWAYS glad to return to him, but I think dealing with all the craziness on the streets, and being on guard-dog alert all the time with him, is exhausting. So of course they love visiting me, where they can totally relax in a quiet, friendly spot, and no chaos will suddenly erupt in the middle of their sleep.

“I’ll make SURE he get his dogs to a vet,” he reassured me, with a spark of fire in his eye. And that he treat the pups better, and so on. In short, he covered all bases.

“I don’t think he EVER says anything good about me, to anyone,” I further remarked. “I thought I was all alone in this, but you’ve shown me otherwise. Good to know that people like you are out here. You’ve lifted my cross considerably!”

We then shook hands once more, and I proceeded further up Noe Street. Just moments later and after crossing to the other side, I looked back and saw, from barely a half block away, a cop had arrived and broke up the powwow. Which vagrants were all well mannered and neat looking, BTW. And several of them within earshot of our parley, had nodded their heads in agreement over Deek’s scurrilous nature, and my efforts to spare the dogs. I have NO idea why they were forced to scatter; it was a lovely day, and an attractive spot for the penniless to congregate.

Wish I had VIDEO RECORDED my conversation with Jeddi, along with the entire circle of friendly transients camped out there. It was AWESOME!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: The dogs are still with me, in restful bliss upon the cot. They had a hearty appetite this morning; so glad they did. Last night, as well. Deek should show up shortly, to collect them…said he’d be back in a few hours, and it’s now four. I wonder what will go down, once Jeddi has a good “talk” with the clown.


Subject: Joy in the Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 1:28 PM

It was a cool, misty morning as I escorted the brindlekin outside for their first poop of the day. Across the street where Market & Noe & 16th all intersect, I saw at the far corner a large, rectangular box painted gray. It was almost the same size and shape of a coffin, and the lid was partly open. A guitar was secured atop with cord, and as I approached, discovered it was missing two strings. Not that it was unusual to see discarded items of value scattered about the city, but I DID find it strange that such an organized and sizeable bundle were not accompanied by an owner anywhere nearby. Especially since it partly rested on some sort of elongated dolly.

“Never mind,” I thought, banished the urge to look inside the box to explore its contents, and turned the corner as the pups sniffed everything along the way. Abruptly, they exploded in a whirlwind of barks.

“Oh, I know those doggies,” a raspy voice chirped from the covered parklet that served by day as a dog training class for Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods, and by night as an impromptu shelter for God’s children.

She was a black woman of indefinite age with a round, smiling face, shrouded in a hooded, black coat that touched almost to the ground, but stopped right above her dirty white sneakers. It was more a robe than a coat, though fastened with several ebony buttons the size of silver dollars. She was poised outside the parklet upon which ledge she was in the middle of rolling what I presumed was tobacco. Two robust trees thick with dark, green leaves spread across the entire width of the stall, and cast her in a second shadow.

She looked down kindly at the pups who continued to bark, and said: “Those are Deek’s dogs, right?”

“Yes they are,” I replied. “I’m his friend who helps take care of them. My name is Zeke by the way, what’s yours?”

“Joy,” she answered. “Does Deek have your number?”

I guess she was checking me out, making sure what I just said is true. Rather than elaborate about his lack of a smartphone, I simply answered:

“Yes he does.” Then I slid my hand into my jacket’s right pocket and offered to give her some nummies that she could feed the dogs, and maybe calm them down.

“Oh, not right now. Maybe later, my hands are full,” she politely stated, then greeted the mutts. “Hello there, Lucky, hi Flaco!”

She bowed partly down while holding the half-open rolling paper in both hands, as Flaco and Lucky wagged their tails in response, though did NOT cease their cacophony. Joy then stood back up and asked:

“Care for a spliff?” she gestured with one hand.

“No thanks,” I replied. “We should move along now, time for their poopies! Nice meeting you Joy, I’ll see you again, soon.”

“Yes, you too, thank you!” she concluded before turning her attention once more, to rolling the tobacco/marijuana blend into a smokable product. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could enjoy a spliff, as you have to inhale more deeply than you normally would, tobacco. Really does a harsh number on the lungs! Furthermore, my pot days are long over.

Some while later we turned back hovel and came across Joy once more, in that very same spot. Predictably, the dogs resumed barking.

“Hello again, Joy!” I called to her while she faced the other direction, gazing up Market Street while puffing on her spliff, forearms athwart the wooden divider. So I walked a few feet further and greeted her again. She then turned towards us:

“Oh, hello there!” she beamed another gracious smile.

“Would you like to give them some treats, now?” I asked.

“Yes,” she extended a hand. “That would be nice!”

I told her that Lucky doesn’t appear interested in treats today, or at least one kind. “I have two different snacks for them, so when they get tired of one, I’ll try another. Today, Lucky doesn’t seem to like these chicken-apple disks, but you can give it a try.”

Sure enough, Lucky turned it down; Flaco however snatched up all four pieces, but did not allow Joy to pet her. Thankfully, they grew quiet, though stood from a safe distance, as they do with ANYone they don’t know really well. Joy was not bothered by that, just happy to see them again, and enjoy a little puppy synergy.

“Well, Joy, I hope I see you again soon, and I wish you an excellent day!” I said before departing.

“You too, and thanks!” she answered sweetly, then turned away to continue smoking her hippie tobacco.

A half hour later, after checking my email and Youtube subscriptions, and feeding the angels (Lucky wasn’t hungry, though Flaco ate well), I stepped out again, this time for my Rosenberg java. I expected to see Joy once more, but she had vanished…as had that guitar and “coffin.”

I looked about to see if perhaps she were elsewhere nearby, and that’s when I spotted her: cater-corner and across Market Street, wheeling that hefty bundle to find some shelter in a storefront alcove. For a gentle rainfall had commenced.

So yesterday was Halloween, and the day before, Brindlefest. And I had indeed received a most splendid holiday gift in the form of one man who calls himself “Jeddi.” As well as by the homeless gathering at large…all of whom heard my woes and gave me their kind (and unexpected) aegis! And I ponder:

With so many friendly encounters with vagrants in the past few days, and their synchronous affirmation that I am on the right track regarding Deek and pups, it seems to me this most recent episode in this drama called “Zeke’s Life” (a.k.a. “Brindlekin Tales”) once more affirms my Bodhisattva Premise.

Followed by Joy this morning!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Joy in the Morning ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 1:34 PM

You probably figured this out already, but to avoid any confusion, I’m informing you that I changed the pseudonym “Jester” to “Jeddi.” I wanted to come up with a dignified name, and “Jester” falls short, I came to realize. Then the Star Wars name “Jedi” popped into my head. Though I thought that was a bit much, so inserted that extra D.


Re: Joy in the Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 8:38 PM

> All great news today! Something is definitely happening!!!!

I am in the Brindlekin Zone.


Re: Joy in the Morning A REVELATION
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 1, 2021 11:36 PM

I immensely relished portraying Joy as a kind, female version of the Grim Reaper. Her black skin, black robe, black buttons the size of silver dollars (hinting at Judas’s 20 pieces), the “coffin,” her judging me with a single, short question, “Does Deek have your number?” The trees veiled her in a second shadow, because she was the FIRST shadow. She came from the dark, she IS the dark.

It was not my initial intent to depict her as such…it just flowed naturally through my pen, and only with hindsight did I realize the stunning implication. Even after describing the box as almost coffin shape and size, I did not make the connection until hours later.

IOW: I blew my own mind. Which is the best way to write. And, as it turned out, she departed with an empty coffin in her keep. I was not hers to take, though the possibility was there…before she posted her only question, and I gave my answer. Which, lucky for me, was the right one.

Death is Joy.

Though I wonder, still, about the significance of the guitar, and its two broken strings. I’m sure there is import to its presence, tied as it was TO the coffin. What make YOU of this, Wattson? I must sleep on it, myself.

As for that most excellent word, “aegis,” I was elated to find that synonym for “support,” upon looking it up. How much better that word conveys the true spirit of that congregation of outcasts in my sentence: “As well as by the homeless gathering at large…all of whom heard my woes and gave me their kind (and unexpected) aegis!”

Though the second definition of “aegis” is “protection; support,” its first is “the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its center the head of the Gorgon!”

What gods be these men who appear to me as vagrants…bodhisattva warriors?

There yet remains the guitar with its two broken strings: how does THAT fit in?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Joy in the Morning A REVELATION
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2021 12:39 PM

> Well…a hundred possible interpretations come to mind…but the simplest one seems to me to be the pithiest one: with invention, resourcefulness and flexibility, we can coax a fine tune out of a seemingly damaged/incomplete instrument. Maybe an even better tune than we’d get with all six strings.

I hesitate to assume that’s the message, only because it does not snap into place like the right piece of a jigsaw puzzle…as the other symbols do. But yes, death need not mean complete annihilation, but a replacement or tuning up of a part: the death of a certain aspect of oneself, that a new one may arise. Needs more cowbell, IMO.

So I’ll put this on the back burner, as I have a hunch it’s a delayed revelation that will NOT show itself until the right time. The image of a broken-string guitar on a coffin is a haunting one.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: It may be important to note that the box is definitely deep enough to fit an adult body.


Texting with Wattson – 10/27/21 to 11/2/21

Cabinet pic

Coffee & halvah pic

Doggy pic 1

Doggy pic 2

Doggy pic 3

Doggy pic 4


Subject: A couple of cute scenarios…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 2, 2021 6:00 PM

…that occurred recently, which really should be written down for posterity. So here they are:

1.

Several days back I stepped out to purchase more milk and another block of halvah, and left the doggies inside. As I usually do, since they are well behaved all the time, and never mess up my room or chew on anything they shouldn’t, and are totally quiet even without my company.

Upon my return, they were both on the bed (as expected), with Lucky sound asleep and Flaco stretched out across the comforters, wagging her tail and looking up at me with a happy sparkle in her eyes, and a small baggie of something between her little paws.

I looked closer to discover it was one of those Ziplocs I place a handful of yummies in, for when we step out. My custom is to give them half the treats (broken down into smaller pieces) while taking our walk, then divvy out the rest upon our return hovel.

This one contained half the amount it should normally have when first filled. Apparently, it was a forgotten bag I returned home with, but neglected to feed them the rest. Flaco must’ve found it stuffed in the pocket of a jacket I left on the cot, rolled up like a pillow as a prop for my head. I could see it now unfurled, with a pocket pulled halfway inside-out.

She could have EASILY tore open the baggie and dived right in, whence they’d disappear down her tummy in a flash. But no, she waited patiently for my return, the bag neatly placed just below her schnoz, her dainty paws on each side…guarding it like a precious jewel.

“Well, what do we have here?” I said to Flaco, as I picked up the bag and opened it. Her jet-flash eyes glinted with happy anticipation, that sweet little face with those Yoda ears impossible to resist. Of course I gave her the treats right then and there, then held her in my arms and rubbed her sated belly for a good five minutes. Lucky slept through the whole thing, but I would’ve treated him too, had he not.

2.

Just two early nights ago, another resident entered the building right behind me and the brindlekin…so of course they barked and danced around his feet, making it difficult for him to step forward. Especially with the large plate and a few to-go cartons atop that, all balanced in his hands. He started to laugh:

“Oh god, I’m under attack!”

I held the dogs back a bit, told him sorry go ahead of us. But right at that moment, Flaco slipped from her collar and rushed to the foot of the stairs, barking and blocking his access. So then I concluded I need to take them upstairs first.

I snatched Flaco’s leash from the lobby’s tile floor while nudging both pups to move their fluffy asses, with the resident right behind me, and the doggies ahead by one or two steps. They persisted in facing back down at the gift-bearing intruder, with me wedged between their barks and his guffaws! In short:

It was a drawn-out struggle getting the pups up the first flight of stairs and onto the second level, where I lived. Seeing as this tenant was enjoying the encounter with my “hounds of terror” so much, I released Lucky as well, while fussing to insert the key in my door to finally get it open.

Meanwhile, the jocular fellow stood in the hallway with plate raised high as he inched his way to the next set of stairs, and both pups danced and barked around him, nipping sometimes at his pant cuffs, with a toothy tug here, a toothy tug there. He was in such a state of hilarity at this point, I’m surprised he didn’t just crumple to the floor in spasms, scattering the snacks and cartons all over.

At last, I got the door open and rounded up the mutts posthaste, and their entranced victim proceeded upwards, unscathed but for a major giggle fit.

Imagine if the building manager were there, Wattson! So glad he wasn’t. He could sour an entire sweet creamery with just a 3-second stare!

– Zeke K-Holmes



The Final Chapter (part 25)

October 27, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17y]

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Last night he picked up the pups… GREAT PICS INCLUDED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2021 4:41 PM

> God, their little faces looking at you pleadingly…

It’s a real heartbreak. They’re so close to my sanctuary, but I am powerless to bring them inside. I couldn’t even get close enough to them in that alcove, for comforting pats and hugs…they were crowded in by so much STUFF! But that’s good because it gives them some protection, like a fortress, and keeps them from wandering about.

> Is the trunk something new for Deek?

No more than anything else he digs up. Nothing unique, just something he found. May be good to keep some items dry, but who knows WHAT he’s gonna do with it? No matter what, though, it’ll be gone in a day or two.

> The way he sleeps sitting up…so poignant.

Perhaps. That’s a pretty typical position for meth heads at rest.

They’re still out there, Deek sound asleep, Lucky too. But Flaco has just awoke, and is barking at people walking by. I hear it from my window, as do, of course, all tenants on that end of the building. However, Flaco’s barks are much less strident than Lucky’s, thus no real nuisance thank god. It’s at night when her barks come off as loud, due to the cold air acoustics and less daytime noises to muffle those barks. If only she’d want to rest inside a box, where she’d not see the foot traffic, she wouldn’t be barking at all. She couldn’t care less about the box this morning, though Lucky was happy to curl up in that humble cardboard shelter.

Well, she just stopped her canine alerts this moment. It is now 3:45 PM and the air is turning cold once more. She could use that jacket, but I’m not about to rummage through his shopping cart, to find it. It’s probably soaking wet from last night’s rain, anyway.

Oh, I forget to mention about Deek’s remark that Lucky is choking because I supposedly put their collars on too tight. I do NOT, they are just the right circumference. HE has started adjusting them way too LOOSE. But it makes me wonder: did he widen the collars beCAUSE he’s noticed one or both dogs choking or coughing a lot more? They don’t do that when they’re with me, except, sometimes, Flaco suddenly starts breathing heavy, like she can’t get air through her lungs…but it stops after a few seconds, nor does it occur but rarely. Frightening, though, like she’s trying to catch her breath! I just sit by her, speak gently, and caress her head and back, until the bout ends…which is in ten seconds or so.

I’m wondering if what choking Deek is referring to, is due to his OWN frequent yanking on their leashes…which I’ve warned him about, on and off for months! So now he’s blaming me?

Or perhaps breathing in so much traffic fumes which are thickest close to the ground. They are little doggies with little lungs! I think that’s more likely (or his yanking their leashes) because there’s no SIGN of them choking when they’re with me…with the exception of Flaco’s occasional breathing bouts. Maybe once a month at most. But who knows how often when she’s with Deek? When they’re with me, my sanctuary is well above ground level, thus fumes are less dense…and, of course, I NEVER tug on their leashes, except gently.

I really hope he takes them to that Mobile Pet Clinic, or Vet SOS (or whatever) that provide free dog checkups once or twice a month! He said he plans to take them for a health exam soon. But you have to make an appointment first, at the places I’VE looked up. I’ll gladly do that for him, but reminding him and actually getting him to GO there at the appointed time and date is a challenge. There MIGHT be a service out there that’s just walk-in, however. I hope so. Absurdly, most of the homeless outreach these days expect ALL people living on the streets to own a smartphone! And have it always charged up. And not lose it. Or have it stolen. Or break. Or get soaked by the rain. Jeez Louise.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

Subject: 2 Closeups from This Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2021 4:53 PM

One picture’s worth a thousand barks. Deek and pups finally departed from their spot right outside. I pray for their good fortune in this world, and always die a little inside, whenever they leave my humble sanctuary. Never knowing, each time, if I’ll ever see them again.

I die and am reborn each and every day, because of them. Wherever their little paws have touched the earth (whether sidewalk, asphalt or soil) is sacred ground to me.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 2 Closeups from This Morning
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2021 10:00 PM

> Lovely. Beautiful shiny coats, noble little souls.

They are the light of my life. Here’s a 2-second video I took along with the pics, that I didn’t plan to keep, because Flaco wasn’t facing me. That is why the video is so short. But at the last moment I decided NOT to trash it, because of Lucky’s yawn.


Subject: The Rabbit’s Message
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 23, 2021 10:22 PM

Deek dropped by twice today, first time to collect his Sunday allowance a day early. I was prepared for that, in fact I expected it. But I gave him a bit of a hard time, first:

“One more day, you can’t just wait one more day, huh?” I admonished with feigned disbelief. Though I think he saw right through that.

“Well, some things I need to do with the money, that I can’t get done on Sunday, because a lot of shops close…” he began to explain. And went on how he does his best to wait until the actual pay day (which now are TWO days of the week: Sunday and Thursday, one for $60, the other, $40). He really didn’t need to justify the expenses, but I let him go on a bit, before interrupting.

“Sure, no problem. Even with a hefty boost in your income, it’s STILL difficult, I get it,” was my comforting reply before I rushed upstairs to snatch up da moolah and hand it over.

Upon my return, I took some quality minutes to crouch down on one knee and lavish both pups with some loving attention. Once fulfilled, I stood up and remarked:

“Between you and me, they’re the most loved doggies on the planet!”

Deek then went on about reincarnation, that he believes the souls of some friends are in their canine bodies. I told him I don’t think reincarnation works like that, though their spirit of love came to him through these two, incredible pups. To this I added:

“And that is why, for all the joy and kindness they bring you, they deserve infinite respect and love back. They are the heart of your life…and mine, too! They are GOODNESS above all else.”

With that, Deek said some of the nicest things to me, and how great I’ve been for the dogs, and as a friend overall. Ending with: “I couldn’t do any of this without you.”

That REALLY made my day, if not my entire life.

Deek thought of giving me the pooches at that moment, but I suggested maybe he keep them for awhile longer, as it’s perfect doggy weather, and the rains are not due till tonight. He agreed, so I said see you again soon, pet the dogs one more time, then returned hovel.

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

Deek came back several hours later, and showed me that cute sweater he just bought for the doggies, the one I featured in two pics I sent you via smartphone. I was MOST pleased and impressed, that he spent some of his moolah on the brindlekin. I didn’t ask him where he got it, and how much it cost…though I will, next time around. For in our first meetup today, he mentioned a thrift shop in the Mission, which is where I suspected he purchased it. If so, getting doggy sweaters and jackets there could save me a bundle. So I told him:

“Look, Deek, I could shop at thrift stores too, and get doggy jackets or children’s sweaters to convert, on the cheap. It’s just that I prefer to stay near home base, so you won’t panic if you drop by, and I don’t return very soon. I could be gone one, two, three hours!”

“Nah,” he replied, “Don’t worry about that, I’ll just find something else to do, and come back.” Then remarked in an off-the-cuff manner:

“I only need you to charge my electronics, or watch the dogs for awhile, not a life and death thing.”

THAT’S certainly not true, I thought to myself. He’d go into paroxysms if I were gone more than ten or fifteen minutes. Deek just doesn’t wanna admit how much he appreciates my friendship, and is so glad I’m here for him.

“Well, how about this,” I suggested, “I’ll wait until AFTER you pick up Flaco & Lucky…then I’ll tell you if I’m gonna go thrift shopping that day or tomorrow, so you’ll know not to show up til later that evening, or the next.”

He also returned with three AC chargers that matched the voltage of the speaker he dropped off two days back. Said they cost him just $2 each, and maybe at least ONE of them will work with that boombox. Back hovel I tried each one out, was really careful they were plugged in right, and so on…but no luck, even though the plug on each was a perfect fit. I expected Deek to be at least a LITTLE miffed about the bad news, and give me grief…but when I returned with the chargers, he remained calm in spite of the outcome.

“Did you buy that speaker at a thrift store?” I queried.

He didn’t answer, just mumbled something about maybe Boulevard Joe could figure out what’s wrong.

“Yes,” I said, “He’s very good with electronics.”

I’m guessing he DID purchase the speaker at a thrift store, without testing it first. And those cheap chargers, as well. I’ll talk to him about it, next time. I HATE to see him waste what little money he has. At any rate, he took the speaker back, in hopes he could figure out a solution, perhaps with Joe’s help. Before departing, I asked if he could give me that doggy jacket he found last week. Because then I’d have one for each dog. But his shopping cart was so stuffed and intertwined like a nest of snakes, he gave up after a few minutes of rummaging through. I told him okay, not to worry. But it’s ridiculous how I’m STILL stuck with a single jacket, though I have two dogs!

In his cart exploration, while he couldn’t locate the doggy jacket, he pulled out this magnificent Halloween mask of an evil rabbit. It was a dark rubbery gray, with a pair of very long ears that would wobble about on their own, with the slightest movement or breeze…they weren’t floppy at all. It was the kind of mask you pull over your entire head, not just something to slap on your face. Deek also extracted a wooden rod three feet long from his cart: with a handle at one end that you clench and unclench to close and open the elongated tongs at the other. He somehow managed to slide the gripping end into the rabbit’s ears, one tong in each.

Then he pulled out a puffy, silver-gray jacket from the cart and slipped it on. With that, he guided the rod down his back and beneath the jacket, so that he appeared to have TWO heads…one being that of the evil rabbit, of course. And with his left hand hidden beneath the jacket, he made the ears twitch and bend in a most alarming manner! Hilarious because bizarre, the perfect Samhain spoof!

–sidebar:

Now get this, Wattson: he pulled this antic while I was STILL waiting for him to dig up that other doggy jacket, but siderailed me with this rabbit mask stunt. And the dogs were SO patient sitting calmly through it all, though absolutely DYING to get indoors. As was I. But I now wonder if Deek, as my bodhisattva guardian, was also evoking a message to me, via some kind of rabbit symbolism. So I’ve just started looking up references to the rabbit as a spiritual force. Which is how I’ll be spending the rest of this evening. For starters, here’s a quote from Native American lore, about the rabbit totem:

“People who have Rabbit working with them must stop talking about the horrible things happening. They must let it go so that more bad things do not happen. They must remove the ‘what if’ in their vocabulary and look at the ‘what is’ in their lives. The positive medicine is to turn your fearful attitude into one of courage. Do not let yourself become paralyzed over the things that are beyond your control. If you allow it, you will become your fears.”

So in this context, the rabbit is about living in fear. And the challenge is to learn some way to SHED this fear. Which truly addresses my sporadic fear of the pups’ well-being when they’re on the streets with Deek…especially now that the rainy, cold season has set in. And, as I’ve discussed many times before, I must better learn how to QUELL these fears. Interesting that, right at the beginning of my Brindlekin Tales, right there in Chapter 1 of Book 1, Flaco in her own little doggy way, told me to have no worry, that she and Lucky will ALWAYS be here for me, and NO harm shall ever come to them.

Deek is a shaman, a trickster, who earlier today performed a clever skit as Rabbit…to make me pause and meditate upon what message may be coming through his leporidic ploy! I have long surmised that at least SOME folks who live on the streets are actually shamans who CHOOSE to be there, for purposes unknown to the average Joe, but nonetheless a key weft in the human tapestry.

–end of sidebar

Then he handed me the doggies’ leashes, we wished each other a good night, and off we went our own ways. Of course the pups were ECSTATIC to be indoors with yours truly once more, and raced up the stairs like they were chasing pigeons. Once I caught up, they clambered all over me in boundless affection and joy for several minutes before settling down. They fell fast asleep atop the four children’s sleeping bags that serve as comforters. Lucky had already burrowed his way beneath one, while Flaco was sprawled out close by, her front legs draped over the lump on the cot that was her brother.

An hour or so later, I prepared their dinner and, to my happiness, they both enjoyed a full meal. Their appetites are back in force! Now, they’re snoozing away in doggy dreamland, as I type this missive to you. Warm, cozy and happy, all three or us…while outside it’s rainy, chill and bleak.

The first anniversary of Brindlekin Tales is coming up…October 30th! And “The Final Chapter” is up to Part 24, based on the letters of the alphabet, as in “17a, 17b, 17c” and so on. I am presently starting on Part 25 (“17y”), So just two  parts to go. What’ll I do after “17z?” I don’t know, but I want to make the curious observation that the last part of “The Final Chapter” is likely to bump heads with Anniversary Day! I certainly didn’t mastermind this fortuitous conjunction (at least not consciously), thus I am INTRIGUED.

Will my Brindlekin Tales REALLY come to an end soon? If so, that can mean only one thing: a GOBSMACKINGLY GLORIOUS CONCLUSION. But if not…oh, well, I shall soldier on with the NEXT chapter that will probably be called “The Absolutely Final Chapter,” and start with “Chapter 18a (Part 1) and see how far into the alphabet it goes. Which makes me wonder:

How far into the alphabet do ANY of us go, before we stumble upon our own Holy Grail? But one thing I DO know, is that this thorny, bumpy road we call our lives is considerably eased by the company of a sweet doggy companion or two. Or some OTHER darling creature such as a cat…or something a little on the exotic side, such as a ferret, a fox, a raccoon, or even a bearded dragon.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Rabbit’s Message ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 23, 2021 10:27 PM

This is not the exact same mask that Deek wore, but I found one on a web search that comes very close. For it also covers the head in full, and is equally repulsive, rubbery, and with those long, twitchy ears.


Re: The Rabbit’s Message
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 24, 2021 12:46 PM

Another site regarding the spiritual meaning of the rabbit, says this:

–quote:

The bringer of good luck – rabbits bring good luck, fortune and abundance. Therefore, their appearance in your life might be a sign that good luck and fortune are coming your way. It is the messenger of future blessing and surprises….

A rabbit often symbolizes esoteric knowledge. So, if you are interested in esoteric wisdom, then the rabbit is a sign that you are on the right path.

–end

There are OTHER meanings of the rabbit totem listed on that page, but the two above seem to be the most relevant in my present circumstances.

Here is another page describing the rabbit as shown on a Tarot card:

–quote:

It is a popular European superstition that rabbits are good luck (especially their feet). Rabbits are especially associated with financial windfalls. In some ways, the Queen of Pentacles is very fortunate and lives a rather privileged life, so no wonder there is a rabbit drawn on her card.

–end

I’ve recently been experiencing financial windfalls of a minor sort, via Comcast’s free Internet service, the $995 food stamp boon, and the upcoming hefty increase in Social Security. Maybe this is just the beginning of further, and greater, such windfalls!

Though the rabbit did not appear to me in a dream or vision, or on a card. It came to me via a street shaman, who knew I’d realize his goofy skit was a message for me to ponder upon. Or perhaps his way of celebrating my friendship, and calling as a type of shaman, myself. A “brother of the clan,” so to speak. Or all of the above?

One more rabbit-spirit site says the following:

–quote:

Most of the basic books about totem will tell you that rabbit is related to fear. There are numerous ways to interpret fear, every one of us experiences being frightened. But the rabbit ends victorious and lives with it. It only means that the rabbit has the heart of a champion.

–end

Well, besides purchasing two, waterproof jackets ($39 total) for the dogs, yesterday I ordered two raincoats, which set me back another $33. Jackets will arrive Tuesday, and the raincoats on Friday. Can’t wait, Wattson!

I’m also waiting on Friesen Press to deduct my annual renewal fee to keep my book on the cyber shelves, which fee is $69. Even with all that, plus two more payments to Deek totaling $100, I still have $128 remaining for yours truly, until my next Social Security deposit on Nov. 3rd!

This, after purchasing tons more dog food this month, too. Don’t know how I do it, but things are working out extremely well, financially! The food stamps have certainly been a blessing! Good to see I CAN afford to pay Deek that extra $40 per week with NO hardship. And even purchase two jackets and two raincoats each month, without deducting from his allowance. Hopefully, though, I can get even better prices on doggy-wear via thrift shops. Or better yet: Deek might find them on his nightly rummage walks, thus costing us NOTHING!

My plan is to have at least FOUR doggy jackets or sweaters, so I’ll always have an extra pair on hand, for when the other pair gets lost or frazzled beyond mending.

Even withOUT the food stamps I can STILL afford his Thursday payments and save at least $50/month (minus any dog clothing purchases via Amazon). As it now stands, looks like I can save $150 each month. Or maybe even as much as $200.

So I’m sitting pretty…even without having to rub on a rabbit’s foot! No one need maim a gentle creature for MY sake.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Lesson learned…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 25, 2021 2:22 PM

…to lay down double-sheet newspaper across the entire floor, whenever it’s raining and the doggies are here. They REFUSED to step out for their walks yesterday, because of the copious showers. But, after five hours of staying indoors, I nudged them through the gate, even though they’d be soaking wet within ten minutes (it was a lull from the heaviest of downpours, but still a soppy affair). NEITHER BOTHERED TO POOP OR EVEN PEE for the twenty or so minutes we were out there…they were THAT distraught from the downpour! So back hovel we went, whence I gave them a good drying off, and supper. I figured they’d indicate when they REALLY need to do their business.

Sure enough, Flaco was the first. She leapt off the cot and walked about the room, sometimes just standing there and looking at me. Which she NEVER does at any other time…same goes for Lucky. But to make it ABSOLUTELY clear she needed to relieve her bowels, she approached the window, stood on her hind legs and looked out for several seconds. On that signal, I speedily escorted her outside. My fear in such a situation, is this intestinal urgency may result in them dumping in the hallway or on the stairs, or in the lobby, before we get through the front gate. Diarrhea would be the worst case scenario.

Once outside, she led me quickly around the building and onto 16th Street, staying close to the front and back walls in order to avert the worst of the drenching. Interesting, since our habit is NOT to go up 16th, but to cross that street and stroll up Noe…which, as it turns out, would NOT provide any cover from the deluge, as keeping close by my building does.

After barely two minutes since we stepped out, and halfway up the hill near some trash bins and two trees, she pooped and peed to her satisfaction…then led me swiftly back to the front gate. She would’ve scampered all the way, had I not held her back with the leash.

About twenty minutes after our return, Lucky began pacing the floor and gazing up at me. I knew what THAT meant, so quickly donned boots and poncho once more, and stuffed a roll of poopy bags in my pocket. But Lucky had the runs, so the bags were of no use. The best I could do was cover it up with leaves…of which there were plenty, considering the season.

Both brindlekin had by now, released an impressive load, and urinated copiously, so I foolishly assumed the crisis was over. Yet barely a half hour after I had returned hovel with Lucky, his sister started pacing the floor once again. So I left my meal half eaten, and rushed her back outside. This time she had the trots, so I lingered outside with her, longer than usual, to be sure of a complete evacuation. It was also barely a drizzle outside by then, around 11:30 PM.

I was finally able to finish my humble repast, as the pups dreamt their little doggy adventures beside THIS solitary pilgrim seated at his star ship console of the imagination. After watching the second half of a thriller that I had begun the previous night, I joined the mutts in slumber. Yet barely an hour later, I heard Lucky pacing the floor…though being half asleep, I thought it was his usual switch to the box, or the spare comforter I keep on my floor. No sooner had that thought entered my mind, than I suddenly heard a strange sound I’ve never heard before in my room, or anywhere else.

It was a strident “ploof-blaaht” in the curt span of less than half a second. Like when some unsuspecting dupe sits on a whoopee cushion at the same moment a goat bleats. It was then I optimistically concluded that Lucky had just settled into the box, but then I noticed him circling the room in a bit of a frenzy, with little grunts of dismay. An inner voice then raised the alert:

“Okay, Lucky just pooped on the floor. Get up!”

I walked the pups separately this morning, since the prolonged rainfall knocked their synchronous poop routine out of whack. Flaco went first, because she made it OBVIOUS she had to go, while Lucky blithely remained languishing upon the comforters, not the least bit curious to explore the great outdoors. The expression on his face said it all: “I’M not going anywhere, so put the leash down!” He may as well have been a maharajah, and I his loyal lackey, feeding him grapes and figs, and pouring wine over his feet before licking them, while obsequiously declaring his majesty’s awesome benevolence, wisdom and good looks.

When all was said and done and I tucked myself and the pups back into bed (the room still dark though it was daybreak by then) with Flaco curled up in my arms and her brother at my feet…within a few moments, Lucky decided he wanted to be in my arms, too, so crawled on over to the opposite side from his sister, and plunked his head on my shoulder. By then, I lay on my back in a blissful state of rest, with a sweet little pooch asleep in each arm.

I guess both cuddling up to me, rather than their usual arrangement of their dozing by my feet, or one or the other reclining in the box, or on a floor-tossed comforter…was their way of saying: “Thanks for your kind patience tonight. We love you. Arf arf!” Actually, I didn’t mind their late night disruptions, as it was quite pleasant stepping outside so late (and so early), once the rain ceased: refreshingly cool and peaceful.

Then, when I stepped out with Lucky awhile later, just before 7 AM (once he made it clear it was now HIS turn), there was Deek right at the corner, as if suddenly materialized out of thin air…surrounded by six enormous, 30-gallon garbage bags bulging with god only knows what. (I’m guessing one or two contained recyclable cans and bottles, and the rest were stuffed with clothing, blankets etc. to keep dry from last night’s monsoon.) The bags looked like six black boulders obstructing the pedestrian thoroughfare…or at least, a straight passage towards the other side. IOW:

It was a godawful, shocking travesty of a MESS that made Schulz’s Pigpen look saintly. He apologized for the disarray, and assured me that he’ll have all this sorted out before departing. I told him I’m not worried, since he’s been cleaning up after himself with impressive results for many months now.  He then asked for a razor and a cup of soda, so I returned hovel to fulfill his request. Upon stepping outside a bare three minutes later, I saw all those “boulders” balanced atop his shopping cart, or tied to it on the sides. Neat as a pin. “Boy THAT was fast!” I remarked.

Click here for a larger view.

The jackets arrived today, good doctor (see pic)! Looks like they’ll be a splendid fit on both dogs. I like how this model grips with Velcro…no zipper, no snaps, no buttons. It also looks and feels very well made, warm and durable. Bonus feature: it’s waterproof. Never mind that, though, since Deek will most likely lose them in the shuffle of his shopping cart tango, in less than a week. That’s why I need to start going to thrift stores.

BTW, I also enclosed a pic of a sales tag I found in the bag containing that doggy sweater he purchased a few days ago. $7.50 is an excellent deal. It’s from “Community Thrift” which has been around for years, and is a GREAT place to shop for used items. It’s a huge, warehouse type space. I used to go there all the time, back in the ’80s and ’90s. I’m surprised and delighted to see they’re still going strong. Their profits go to AIDS and other charity causes. Here’s their web site.

Click here for a larger view.

And finally, I thought to include another pic of Flaco sporting the sweater…which I was about to delete, when I realized that, even minus the hood pulled up (which kept slipping off, and Flaco got restless), she’s still darn cute!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Lesson learned…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 25, 2021 4:25 PM

> Whoa! What a saga!!

A soggy saga. But I didn’t realize I’d sent it out, because I just got home to finish composing it. I guess what happened is, right before I stepped out, I clicked on “send” instead of “save.” So I’ll deliver a second email with the same subject title, plus “CONTINUED” at the end of it.

> It absolutely POURED here, wind howling (which completely freaks out Ernie, the male cat, who goes and hides and can’t be found until it abates) but then quieted down abruptly, and this morning the sun was shining. Still is. Moisture rising, warm sun, swarms of happy bugs. You can hear the green grass growing.

Lovely day now here, too. Though I’m wondering if that’s really the grass growing you hear, or the snakes being driven inside. But if that’s the case, I’m sure Ernie and Calamity Jane will sort things out.

> I had a fun encounter with a fellow in the parking lot of the grocery store yesterday. He was at the back door of a fairly beat-up, ramshackle camper (I’m guessing it’s his home). I had taken my mask off, since I was outside, and we smiled at each other. He said: “Hi, Darlin’!” Some women might get huffy about being called “Darlin’,” but I liked it–his intent was entirely friendly, and that’s what counts. I said “Hi!” as if we were the oldest of friends.

> He opened the camper door, made some little whistling and clucking noises, and out popped two tiny dogs–one fluffy and white, the other smooth and black with a dachshund build. We commiserated for a few minutes about the wonder of dogs. I noted that the inside of the camper was jumbled and messy, confirming my impression that it’s his only home. I didn’t have my phone handy, or I would have asked if I could take a pic of the dogs, which I would have sent to you. He offered his hand to shake, which I did, and then he said “God bless you.” Crusty old atheist though I am, I smiled back and said “God bless you, too!” I mean, why not? A most satisfactory little moment. Though once I was in my car, I discreetly sanitized my hand…

What a wonderful encounter…inspiring! I DO hope you see him again, get to chat some more, and take photos.

IIRC, I thought you said you were agnostic. But that was in an email years and years ago, and perhaps I’m wrong. At any rate, “god bless you” is the ultimate well-wishing, assuming it comes from someone who is truly kind, and not a zealot. Otherwise, they use that expression to pressure you into abiding by their own belief, or worse: they use that phrase like a curse.

> Flaco’s a real sweater-girl, n’est-ce pas?

She’s a doll! So full of charm and sincere kindness.

Deek just dropped by, and a couple of other neat things have happened since I took a break from writing my last email. I will include them in my “continued” missive.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Lesson learned… CONTINUED
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 25, 2021 10:26 PM

I had not completed the telling of last night’s canine foibles before inadvertently dispatching that missive through the void of cyberspace and unto your lap(top), so here now is the REST of the story, continuing where I left off with:

“Okay, Lucky just pooped on the floor. Get up!”

That was shortly after 2 in the morning, when I arose, turned on the lamp, and saw a wide splotch of diarrhea deposited on one of my throw rugs near the window. I immediately wiped it up with a couple of industrial paper towels that I purchased from Amazon about a year ago, for just such doggy emergencies. Then grabbed a large Ziploc with my free hand, and sealed the defiled towels therein. Next, I took two more towels, moistened them under the faucet, and rubbed on the spot with vigor, until all the remaining gunk dissolved and disappeared. My final step was to squirt a generous amount of hand sanitizer onto yet another towel, and rub awhile longer. Nothing remained but a faint stain, and no stench at all.

From a couple of past incidents of a similar nature, I knew that Lucky would not TOLERATE the presence of anything foul in his nest, and kept pacing nervously until the job was done with impeccable finesse. I’m sure he felt totally distressed and humiliated, to realize the source of that putrescence erupted from his own bowels. As for yours truly, I remained patient and kind throughout this ordeal, petting, hugging and reassuring my lovely brindlekin that everything’s okay, and I got his back. As one who regards the spirit of Canis familiaris to be sacred, I consider it my DUTY to never express so much as even a tad of anger, frustration or any other negative emotion, towards this creature so dear. For the dog truly IS man’s best friend, and I believe it’s no coincidence that dog spelled backwards is god.

Funny thing, though, the poopy deposit didn’t have much of an odor, in the first place! Perhaps it was vomit, but the sound that woke me up struck me as far more sphincteral than stomachic. Be that as it may, I shoved the remaining used towels into that Ziploc, and rushed the dog down the stairs and outside ASAP. (Flaco was nonplussed, and happily remained indoors, supine on the plump comforter with forelegs raised, paws a-droop, and a subtle smile on her dachshund face that lay sidewise.) The rain by then had ceased, thank god, and I had a lovely, late-night stroll along Noe Street, while Lucky sniffed about until he found the perfect spot to memorialize with a copious wad of mustard hued diarrhea. It looked just like what he deposited on my floor, minutes earlier. Nor did I find much stink to it, either, when I crouched down to take a few good sniffs. Curiouser and curiouser!

It was by then almost 3 AM, when we all settled back down for what remained of the night. But I first covered the entire floor with double sheets of newspaper to protect the rugs, and make cleanup easier. After which I climbed back into bed, with the dogs already tucked in and happily a-slumber. I, too, looked forward to a good sleep but, alas, that was not in the cards. For an hour and a half later, I awoke to Lucky’s retching.

Most of his puke was on the newspaper by the sink, though Flaco alerted me to a single small spot on the rug adjacent, by sniffing at it. Needless to say, I quickly arose once more, and made a prompt and thorough elimination of the fallout, then proceeded to don coat and shoes. But before I could even grab the leash, Lucky had hurled again. Cleanup was swift and simple, thanks to the newspaper. Fearing yet a third expulsion, I scurried back outside with Lucky in tow, to allow him any further evacuation from either end, in a more welcoming milieu.

No more vomiting ensued, but he did take another dump…still runny, but of little measure. As we strolled up and down Noe Street, Lucky paused a few times to hunker down as if he had to poop again. But nothing came of it. I just wanted to make sure we’d not return hovel too soon, that the ordeal was finally over…thus we remained outdoors a good fifteen minutes more.

By the time we returned, it was close to 4 AM, and I looked forward to a deep, satisfying sleep as the pups cuddled up to either side of me, and I laid on my back with an arm around each, and promptly zoned out. But around 5:30 AM I awoke with a strong urge to pee. Lucky & Flaco remained in slumber as I got up and pissed in my bottle atop the sink’s ledge (as opposed to stumbling down the brightly lit hallway to the shared restroom, which luminescence is particularly aggravating so late at night).

No sooner had I turned about and faced the bed, than I saw Flaco standing beside me, wagging her tail and gazing up at my face. She needed to poop again! How could I say no to such a darling? By this time a sanitation truck was rumbling up and down Market Street, and a handful of early birds were either walking their own dogs, or marching off to work.

Within five minutes of hitting the pavement Flaco took a small dump (still runny), but we walked around for another ten minutes before heading on home, to what I now call “Doggy Sanctuary.” It was lovely crawling back into bed with them, but by 8:15 AM I was ready to start the day. I naively assumed the mutts would remain sound asleep for another hour or two, since they so thoroughly cleaned out their bowels last night. But Lucky hopped onto the floor, soon as I returned from the bathroom…eager to perform his next excretion. And that is when Deek appeared, the moment we stepped onto the damp sidewalk, awash in the subdued rays of a mellow sun.

I conjecture that the doggies refrained from defecating for hours, due to the rain’s intrusion. And, as a result, caused this bout of diarrhea and vomit. It made them sick for holding back so long! Hopefully, once the raincoats arrive to keep them dry, they’ll be less resistant to relieving themselves when they’re with me again, and the clouds convene to shed their watery blessings.

Deek returned with the pups in the mid-afternoon, to pick up his recharged devices. Waiting for me at the bus stop, and chewing the fat with two other friendly rogues…seeing as I was not home. I stepped up and greeted him.

“You didn’t tell me you wouldn’t be around,” he remarked.

“I was out shopping,” I explained, then added: “for groceries.” For he seemed to have concluded that my being away from home base longer than is customary, meant I had been exploring thrift stores for doggy jackets, without telling him beforehand like I promised. When actually, I had only gone to a health food store five blocks away, to pick up another loaf of raisin bread, a pound of brown rice, some fresh vegetables and a small block of extra sharp cheddar cheese. I imagine I had taken longer than usual, only because I dawdled here and there along the way and back again, because it was such a nice day, cleansed by last night’s downpour and followed by warmth and a golden light.

I was pleased to see him in the company of what appeared to be peaceful hobos, neatly clothed and engaged in friendly conversation. After saying hi to them and petting the dogs for a few moments, I returned hovel to bring down his gadgets. There were just two this time: a used smartphone and a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker. Before exiting with these items, I looked at the two doggy jackets tossed atop my bed, and debated to myself whether or not I should bring them as well, or keep them here awhile longer. But the day was already growing cold, and I realized that’s what the jackets are for!

Deek was most appreciative as it turned out, and he happily adorned Flaco in it first…seeing as her brother was curled up on a pillow, sleeping. I pointed out the snap-down pocket:

“See, it even has a pocket to keep whatever!” As if a dog would have any use for one. Ha ha. Maybe he could store some poopy bags in it. Or ducky treats…no, that would drive them nuts!

“Yeah, I can stash drugs in it,” he quipped. “And the dogs will be real mean so no one can even get close!”

“Ha, that’ll work!” I quipped right back.

His street companions chortled over my retort. Then I told Deek, “Do your best to hold onto them as long as possible, they’re twenty dollars each, and I can’t afford to keep replacing them.”

“No, I have every intention of keeping them till they wear out. Thanks!” he replied.

“Oh, and they’re waterproof!” I proudly pointed out, then thanked him for making me aware that I could purchase doggy jackets and sweaters on the cheap, at secondhand stores. “So we can always have a backup supply on hand.”

At some point in our conversation, he caressed Lucky laying there between us, and remarked:

“He seems kinda sad today.”

Before I could say anything, one of the amicable drifters said with a smile: “Oh, he just wants to rest up while the sun’s still warm.”

I said nothing, just left it at that because I’d rather NOT get into last night’s poop and puke adventure, noting that the deluge discouraged them from relieving themselves for hours. Causing Lucky to perhaps still feel out of sorts from retaining his bowels so long. It would take way too many words to correctly explain, in light of Deek’s short attention span. And he probably wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about, anyway, due to his limited grasp of most any issue in this world, let alone how the digestive system works.

I then wished them all an excellent rest of the day, and returned to my monk’s cell/doggy sanctuary…feeling really good, knowing that Flaco & Lucky would be wearing warm, quilted jackets tonight, to keep the chills at bay. They look stupendous on them, too…I’ll send you the pics soon as I can.

Where has the old, paranoid, nasty Deek gone? I don’t know, and I don’t care. A bit more about this morning’s meetup:

Upon seeing him, he remarked how rotten he feels: soaking wet and freezing. And he looked it, too. I just let it slide, because that is how he prefers to live on the streets…always moving about, never hunkering down in a tent, alcove or other shelter to sit and keep warm while waiting out the storm. He could at least get a free poncho at whatever homeless service, but he won’t even do that! He’s a courageous, tough-as-nails shaman…IOW he’s BRAGGING, not complaining!

Just don’t put those darling brindlekin through it, too, is my REAL concern.

Before I departed, he asked if I could loan him two dollars. I said okay, but I’ll deduct it from his upcoming allowance.

“Sure. Fine by me, Zeke.”

So he’s got a whopping $38 coming to him this Thursday. Unbelievable. Unless he requests an additional “loan” before then. This dude doesn’t know how to handle money. But he has street skills and knowledge and wisdom that puts the rest of us “housed” to shame.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: No GGS for me!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 25, 2021 12:58 PM

That stands for “golden state stimulus.” Here’s why I’m not eligible, and it stinks because barbaric:

–quote:

You may be wondering whether or not you qualify for GSS II if you receive Social Security income. Social Security income is not included in CA AGI [adjustible gross income]….If Social Security is your only form of income, you will not receive a payment.

–end


Re: No GGS for me!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 26, 2021 1:34 PM

> In other words, if you really, really need it, then go fuck yourself!

Of course!

> I doubt I’ll get one, either.

Adopt a child.


World’s very first Brindlefest greeting card!
Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Flaco & Lucky wish Ernie, Calamity Jane and Surely…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 26, 2021 3:09 PM

…a most lovely 1st anniversary of Brindlefest, this coming October 30th!

Yes, Wattson, I know that my original date for Brindlefest was December 30th (Randolph Taylor’s birthday), but it just occurred to me that, since Brindlekin Tales was born on the eve of Halloween, it makes more sense to establish October 30th as the official holiday. I’m thinking, rather than replacing Halloween, we could have TWO holidays back-to-back!


Subject: Deek brought me another superlative gift last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 27, 2021 2:11 PM

To my delight, he dropped off the pups again last night, ’cause he wanted to ride his bike around the city. (It’s now the next day, they’re still here, and they both enjoyed a hearty meal and some righteous poops on Noe Street, earlier today.)

It was just before 10 PM of a pleasantly cool and pacific eve. Took him awhile to undo the leashes from his cart, thanks to the convoluted knot by which he bound them together. (Don’t know why he makes so many chores in his life more difficult than need be, but that’s just his shamanic/bipolar way.) He cussed and fumed under his breath while the doggies were desperate to get indoors, sometimes tugging on their tethers. “Sit still, dammit!” he castigated them.

“DON’T yell at the dogs, Deek,” I castigated back, “You parked them right in front of the gate, so of course they’re dying to visit. Grow up, act like a man, take a deep breath and be patient!” (For some peculiar reason, knots seem to play an important role in our association. Maybe I’ll come to understand why, in a future epiphany.)

I held the pooches back in such a way that their yanking on the leash would not disrupt Deek’s unraveling. Flaco managed to escape her collar twice during this time, and stood right before the gate, wagging her curly tail with joyful anticipation. The first time she escaped, I called her to me and placed the collar back on. But the second time, Deek told me to just leave her be, “she’s not going anywhere.” True enough, but I don’t think he gave any consideration to my situation with other residents in the building, some with their own dogs. Both Flaco & Lucky would bark up a typhoon, and block their egress, if I allowed either one to linger at the gate unchaperoned.

Finally, after almost five exasperating minutes, Deek freed the leashes from the cart and the pups dashed gleefully up the stairs and right into my sanctuary, which door I had left ajar, just for them. They DID run up and down the hallway a couple of times in joyful abandon, though, before settling in. It was frabjous.

Deek remained nearby for some time, changing his outer garments under the street lamp, in preparation for his nightlong bicycle jaunt. Topping things off with a bulky hoodie of a camouflage design in one shade of muddy green, and two of gray. I have NO idea where he goes, his favorite routes and stop-off points, nor whom he visits (if anyone). But I’m GLAD I can give him a break from watching over the dogs, that he enjoy such adventures. Win/win arrangement for us both.

Ten minutes later I peered out the window again, to see he had gone. Yet twenty or so minutes later he returned, called up to my window:

“C’mon down, don’t bring anything with you!”

I thought perhaps he had a cigarette for me, which he did a few weeks back when he asked me to step out with nothing in hand, including the dogs. But that wasn’t the case, this time around. Instead he held out a smartphone battery pack four inches long and half-an-inch wide, square in circumference. There was another fellow standing nearby, not looking towards the gate, but nonchalantly loitering as if waiting for Deek to complete his delivery.

I saw it was thin enough to slip through the vertical, steel rods of the gate, so gestured to hand it to me, my fingers poking out and wiggling. “Nah, just open the gate,” he objected for whatever strange reason I could NOT figure. I did not fear that he and sidekick might attempt to bully their way inside; I just saw no point in opening the gate. “Oh c’mon, just hand it over,” I groused. And so he did, whence I scurried back to my monk’s cell and connected it to my USB charging hub.

I then prepared the doggies’ supper. Lucky licked his dish clean, but Flaco preferred to continue snoozing, and left her portion untouched. She did, however, watch with some dismay, her brother noshing on her share. I was hoping that would motivate her to jump off the cot and claim her vittles, but that did not occur; she didn’t even gently growl like she sometimes does, when he goes for her meal. I only allowed him five or so nibbles before removing Flaco’s dish, hoping sometime later she’ll grow hungry. But she never did, so I tossed it post-midnight.

To my surprise, Deek showed up again, some forty minutes later! And again, he told me to leave the dogs and just come down. He was alone this time, his bike tilted against a trash bin.

“I have something for you that I KNOW you’ll like!” he exclaimed with pride and a broad grin, one hand deep in the hoodie’s left pocket, that contained a bulging something or other I assumed was the gift in question.

I just stood there in mellow curiosity, not speaking a word…allowing him the freedom to elaborate if need be, before presenting me with whatever that treasure was. And he DID go on:

“The moment I saw it, I KNEW I gotta have it, ’cause it’s made to order, just for you!”

“Really?” I finally spoke, “Let’s see it already, Deek!”

He then extracted the mystery object from his pocket, and held it out before my startled eyes. It was the carving of a seated dragon, velvet black in tone (though hard as a rock), and hefty as a paperweight! ‘Cause that’s what it is, I observed.

Click here for a larger view.

“A dragon! I love it!” I declared while turning it over in my hand. There was a golden label on the bottom, so I squinted in an attempt to discern the words.

“Read it,” he demanded in no small enthusiasm. “It’s from Wales!”

“I can’t,” I replied. “It’s too dark out here, and I need my glasses anyway.”

So he grasped it from my hand, and read it himself:

“Hand made in Wales with real Welsh Go-la.”

“Go-la?” I queried.

“Yes, G-O-A-L, go-la. What is that?”

“I have no idea, Deek. It’s a Welsh word I suppose, I’ll look it up on the Internet and let you know.” (Though I wonder why he didn’t pronounce it “goal,” maybe he has dyslexia…which could be one contributing factor to his dropping out of school and winding up homeless. Or perhaps the word was “gaol,” a British spelling for “jail.” But THAT didn’t make sense either, in the label’s context.)

“Where is Wales,” he wanted to know.

“Right next to England,” I told him.

“Oh.” He replied, though I doubt he knows where England is, either. So I elaborated:

“Wales is part of the British Isles, that also includes England, Scotland and Ireland. I’m a big celtophile, myself.”

“You mean like pedophile?” he quipped.

“God, no, Deek, I retorted. “Phile is a part of many words, like audiophile and anglophile. Phile just means ‘love of,’ so audiophile means love of music, and Anglophile means love of England. Thus, pedophile means love of children.” I doubt he really understood any of this, even though I simplified the definitions for his sake. I continued:

“The ancient history of that region goes back to when a people called the Celts lived there, but they died off a long time ago. So a Celtophile is someone who loves the old history of the British Isles. They spoke a language called Gaelic, which is STILL spoken here and there, and even taught in some of their schools.” I doubt Deek grasped any of this, but at least I conveyed some new ideas to him, which is what REALLY matters…expanding the mind.

“You don’t know this, Deek,” I resumed, “but I wrote a story about a dragon in Wales many years ago, and it’s called The Elf of Gwynedd Cavern.”

His eyes lit up: “Seriously?”

“Yes,” I affirmed, “As a matter of fact Wales CONSIDERS itself the home of dragons. It’s even on their national flag.”

“But I thought there are dragons in China, too!”

“Yes, that’s true, Deek,” I acknowledged. “Dragons are popular characters of mankind’s storytelling in many parts of the world. But in the ancient days, countries too far apart didn’t know those other people existed. So each of them thought THEY were the only home of dragons…as Wales did. In general, though, dragons are a big deal all across the British Isles, and appear in MANY of their fairy tales and legends.”

“How did you come up with YOUR story about a dragon?” he interjected.

“In a vision,” I answered. “Some of my best tales come to me in a dream, a daydream or a vision.”

Deek was delightfully flummoxed upon hearing all these new concepts, and thanked me profusely as he mounted his bike, ready to sail off into the breezy, chill dark. But just before he disappeared, I thanked him again for this thoughtful gift:

“You know how important the dragon is in my world, but now you know more reasons why!”

He nodded amicably, but the moment he set foot on the pedal, I told him to stand down another minute, while I looked up the meaning of the Celtic word, “goal.” So I dashed upstairs and held the paperweight under a lamp. The word was NOT “goal,” but “coal!”

Click here for a larger view.

I hurried back downstairs to tell him how important coal mining was to the Welsh, with many tragic true stories around that.

“Coal was how they kept warm at night, because they didn’t have electricity back then. And cooked their meals in coal stoves. It also ran their steam locomotives, ships and factories! Wales was a HUGE coal distributor for the entire British Isles for more than a century.” I caught my breath, then continued:

“So it’s really significant this dragon figure comes from Wales, and is made of pure coal, right from one of their own mines! And dragons, as you know, breathe fire!”

Well, what a meetup that was last night, eh, Wattson? The dragon in my tale of Gwynedd Cavern came to me many years later, through Deek’s generous hand. As did a friendly hello from Arwyn, my sauropodian trickster and playwright. And to think this all goes back to 2005 at the Hole in The Wall Saloon where I first met him, along with the dragon motif hanging from the ceiling in artful wings of wire and light.

At least, that’s how I like to think of it. And so NEAR The Anniversary (just three days from now), I can barely keep from flying off my seat. Or dare I call it my dragon’s throne?

– Zeke K-Holmes


20 Latest Doggy Pics

October 24, 2021

Taken over the last few months, twenty more pics of two of the most wonderful little doggies on the planet, Lucky and Flaco. Click on any image for a larger view. Use your browser’s back-arrow to return to this page.


The Final Chapter (part 24)

October 22, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 17x]

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek returned for the pups last night.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 15, 2021 10:15 AM

The attached pic shows him camped by the bus stop, his shopping cart and the two pups sitting on some cardboard sheets I brought them. You can’t see it, but behind that cart are ornamental vases, lamps, and large plates (both ceramic and metal) that he’s set up by the curb, for sale. All quality items; I was impressed. Everything was neatly arranged, an inviting ambience that is a new thing with him, and which I hope he keeps up. I have NO idea where he found the items, but I imagine they were set along the curb of someoene’s home, to be picked up by a junk removal service.

When I brought the doggies downstairs, I told him how Flaco has pretty much recovered, though not with a full appetite yet. I also explained (again) that he needs to lay down cardboard for them to sit and rest on, because the sidewalk is always filthy, even when you can’t tell. All sorts of nasty stuff can get on their fur, which they’ll lick and get in their system. So it’s not just gum ya gotta watch out for, which is always dangerous for them to swallow, as it can cause obstruction in their intestines and require surgery to remove.

He mumbled in response, “I know how to raise dogs.”

“Well, you certainly don’t act like it sometimes,” I replied, “Because if you really love them, you’d already be doing what I’ve been suggesting for months. In fact, I’m shocked I even have to bring these things up!”

“Well, I don’t have any cardboard right now,” was his only excuse. Which is good, because that’s not a rejection, but an admission, of my pitch. A little while later I ran back hovel to bring down a couple of sheets of corrugated cardboard I tore off the box in my room. The pups immediately sat on it the moment I set it down.

“See, Deek?” I pointed out. “They’re very clean, and WANT to stay clean. So they’ll hop onto a piece of cardboard or sheet of newspaper the moment they get the chance!” It was then I made another point, regarding the dogs’ well-being:

“I hope you spend some of the money you get from sales or from my allowance, on jackets for them, now that the weather’s turning cold!”

He then rattled on how he never puts jackets on them, which is absurd, and I said so. I said he used to get them jackets, but hasn’t for over a year now.

“Well buy some, Zeke.” he countered.

“I can’t afford to do that anymore, now that I’m giving you an extra forty dollars a week. So YOU need to do that,” I replied, then paused and added: “Or I can subtract forty dollars from your allowance one time, and purchase them.”

Then I brought up how we could MAKE the jackets with old sweatshirts.

“Or children’s clothing,” Deek embellished.

“Yes, that’s good, too. I can take the clothing, sweatshirts or whatever upstairs, and adjust them to fit.”

This is all good news, as he’s basically complying with my suggestions, rather than putting on a show of adamant resistance. Better yet, he said how he’s gonna take the pooches to the pop-up monthly clinic for homeless dogs…get them checked out, booster shots, etc. I think Flaco’s recent tummy upset put a bit of a shock into him. And I could tell he was serious, not just saying that to assuage my concerns.

In the middle of this all, I took the time to grab an empty box from the basement, and bring it to him, as I knew Flaco & Lucky would love it. And that’s exactly what they did, made it their instant tiny-home sanctuary! Once inside, they never stepped back out.

“Look, Deek! They love their box, and it gives them warmth. And they’ll bark less, ’cause they won’t see other dogs and crazy people walking by. It’s free shelter for them, you can set it up in a pinch. Toss an old coat or blanket over it, and they have extra protection from the cold.”

After bringing them the box, I stepped outside a couple more times to check in on Deek and pups. Lucky was curled up in the back (it’s a deep box) while Flaco stuck her little head out to greet me and receive more petting. What a gracious host! She was THANKING me for the box! Deek saw all that, and appeared pleased (as opposed to petulantly hostile, which has been the norm until recently).

He remained on that spot for about two hours before moving on. At one point, I heard him hollering at the top of his lungs: “Zeke! Zeke! Zeke! Zeke!” I was walking down the stairs with that box, when this happened. So I had to admonish him NOT to do that, my neighbor will complain about the noise, plus calling my name (instead of just “Yo!”) puts the spotlight directly on ME, and I really don’t want everyone and their uncle to know our business.

“So PLEASE stop that, I am not your little slave running in and out of the building at your every command. You’re just gonna have to stand up and go below my window, and call up to me with a “Yo!” one or two times…as you usually do. And you DON’T need to be noisy about it.”

Can you believe this BS, Wattson? I keep having to remind him to not holler out my name, or start yelling from a distance because he’s too lazy to get up. I think he has a sadistic streak in him, where he gets his jollies by disrupting my world in a way that causes enmity from others living here. What a piece of shit! Doesn’t he realize this could also damage HIS benefits of my friendship and, by sad extension, my providing the dogs with sanctuary?

I also think he enjoys showing off to his street allies that he’s got someone running errands for him, who is housed. And that all he has to do is snap his fingers, and I’ll show up. Like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp. He needs to stop that, as all kinds of trouble could well up from such white-trash antics. At any rate, my quasi-fascist neighbor no longer can reach me via email with his latest gripe, since I never gave him my new addie once I switched providers. Same goes for my updated phone number. I live just two doors down the hall from him, anyway, fer cripe’s sake!

Nonetheless it was, overall, an excellent meetup last night. Other then his screeching my name, he was quiet throughout his latest visit. When I poked my head out the window some hours after he showed up, I saw he had already departed, and, best of all, had left the area spotless…you’d’ve never known he was there in the first place.

He even took the box!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek returned for the pups last night.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 15, 2021 1:24 PM

> The box idea, and covering it sometimes, is a great idea.

Soon as you set down the box, they scramble right into it…they love boxes! Their delight is incredible, lots of woofs and tail action. And you can pretty much throw anything made of cloth over the opening, for a more secure shelter. Even a large, plastic garbage bag would work.

> Yelling your name in the night is a terrible idea. Hope he gets that under control toot-sweet!

Right. Not only will it annoy the building manager and a neighbor or two, I could wind up with some vagrant (who heard Deek holler and saw me poke my head out the window), screaming “Zeke! Zeke!” out front at all times of the night. Once I resolve one issue with Deek, he pulls something ELSE disturbing from his bag of tricks, to cause yet MORE stress in my world. His arsenal seems bottomless. But he often lacks originality, thus repeats a previous offense some months down the line, as if I never confronted him about it in the first place.

Last night he also handed me a flip phone, that he just purchased, asking me to put music on it. I told him flip phones don’t work that way, you can’t transfer files via the charge cord…which only charges the phone, and nothing else. And there’s very little extra storage space on flip phones, and to get music on it, you need to first upload your files on the ‘net, then use an FTP client to download them. In short, those types of phone are used mainly by folks who just want to make phone calls or text messages. They have really tiny screens, and Internet use is limited. He didn’t understand most of what I said.

And I just reminded him less than a week ago, he could purchase such items from Boulevard Joe on the cheap: USB cords, SD cards and even smartphones. I GOT a smartphone from him several years ago, for just twenty dollars! But what does Deek go and do instead? Wastes a chunk of my money on a phone he’ll hardly use. He even went back to Walgreens to purchase a headset, so he could at least listen to radio stations via that flip phone. So there went MOST of the forty dollars I gave him just two days before, that he could’ve spent on two nice doggy jackets!

> And making doggie jackets out of children’s clothing is also an excellent idea. Inexpensive thrift-store items, which, if they get lost, are easy to replace.

Thrift stores are still an expense. I was thinking only about Deek’s rummaging for the stuff, and children’s clothes are discarded aplenty…including clean ones. I’m coming up with new ways to trim back on my spending, and have been surprised at what I’ve come up with. For one, I no longer purchase new coffee cups from Amazon, to serve him his tea or soda. I just reuse the ones I get every morning from Rosenberg’s. Lid and all. I pour the java into a mug, then rinse out the paper cup and lid, and quickly dry them off with tissue paper. Another example:

I never PURCHASE pandemic masks, I just pick up some of the many ones left stranded on sidewalks. Once home, I sterilize and wash them thoroughly, then hang till dry.

I also don’t buy AAA or AA (or any other disposable) batteries any more, that Deek can get some whenever he wants. I ONLY keep a small supply of AAs for my Bluetooth keyboard. All those little extra things I’ve been providing Deek are no more. Besides batteries there were black markers, disposable razors, USB cords and micro-SD cards. He can get all that himself now, considering my generous raise in his allowance. One more thing to report about last night’s meetup:

HE BROUGHT ME A GIFT! A brand new, white T-shirt with a rainbow-embellished image of a dragon! He knows that dragons are an important aspect of my personal mythos, so it was an especially thoughtful gift.

Click here for a larger view.

> It’s flabbergasting what people throw away. My refrigerator, which I’ve had for twenty years, was about to be thrown out by its rich owners because it didn’t keep their ice cream quite hard enough. A friend of mine who was doing some work for them alerted me, we went and got it free for nothing, virtually brand new. It’s been humming away ever since.

Ha! I acquired my present fridge in a similar fashion. Someone discarded it on the back porch. So I carefully wobbled it down the hallway to my hovel…placing two cardboard sheets (one after another) to make it a rather easy transport, as well as not damage the carpet. Then plugged it in to see if it works…it did! Kept it turned on and empty for almost two days, to be sure.

I’ve had that fridge for over twelve years so far! Freezer works great, though I don’t even use it to make ice cubes, as that seems to build up frost more quickly. I just use it to freeze ripe bananas for my smoothies. So I can buy a large hand of them, and not worry that some will become overripe before I can eat them. I just peel those bananas, seal ’em all in a large Ziploc, then pop them into the freezer.

You’ll never read THIS kind of stuff in “Hints from Heloise!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: A good meetup last night, until the final part.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 16, 2021 11:28 AM

Deek dropped by yesterday evening, so I could charge a new Bluetooth speaker (and his flip phone and battery backup). He camped out behind my building, with the pups sleeping on some comfy old jackets. It was a pleasant visit overall, with my bringing back a sack of pastries that I found on my nighttime stroll. I spent some time with the doggies out there, which was very nice. So sweet, seeing them both snoozing away, with Lucky’s head plunked upon Flaco’s cute little butt. She was so happy to have me sit beside her and caressing neck and back.

I made a point of wearing the dragon shirt, and how much I like it, because it’s a lovely, artful design. He replied that he knows how important dragons are to me, so figured I’d appreciate it.

Once it struck midnight, I returned his devices, wished them all a great night, and returned hovel. But a few minutes later, he was suddenly SCREAMING “Zeke! Zeke! Zeke!” at the top of his lungs. So I ran back out and gave him what for, he said stop it, he has PTSD. I told him I don’t give a fuck about that, he needs to STOP hollering my name, it’s gonna get me in trouble, and can screw up my living situation here. Which would mean I couldn’t have the pooches over any more, so that would screw HIM over, as well.

He walked away from me, back to his spot where the dogs were resting…but I followed him and continued to admonish him harshly. He finally said he gets it, he’ll stop. But before that, he also made some stupid remarks, as if he did nothing wrong. I told him he needs to STOP being a little shit, he’s screaming at my window two nights in a row, now.

Anyway, I hope my scouring him so thoroughly will knock some sense into him. He packed everything up and walked away with his bike (no cart this time), bags and pups, shortly after the argument. (Though it DID end with my taking a deep breath and saying God bless you all. That’s important.) Now, just this morning about an hour ago, I was crossing the street with a fresh cup of java in hand, when I spotted him coming my way from the other direction. So I stood on the corner by my building, waiting for them to approach.

With a respectful demeanor, he said I could have the dogs over, if it’s okay by me. I said sure, it’s always okay, and did you have a good night. He replied he did, but no details. He also gave me the speaker to recharge for a few hours. I brought that upstairs first (as my hands were full with coffee in one and speaker in the other), then came back down to collect the doggies, who of course were jubilant to return to their sanctuary so soon. They crashed out like nobody’s business, after a couple of minutes of happy greets with hugs and belly rubs. Both dogs are in good spirits, glad to see Flaco has recovered in full. But I think that tummy incident put a good scare in Deek, to treat them more responsibly, including taking them to a vet for checkups and booster shots.

Got ’em a new box from the basement, so they can enjoy that when they will. There are large boxes there, stacked up by the smoke shop, which shares our basement…so a few days ago I though “how convenient,” as intact boxes are not always easy to track down on the streets. But I don’t think it’s gonna work out, because they are all stuffed with thin, bubble-wrap packing that took up FOUR 30-gallon garbage bags. Which, if I toss them into the building’s trash bin, will hog up more than half it’s content! So, dammit, no more boxes from downstairs after this, as I’m sure I’ll get a complaint from the manager if I keep it up. There’s even a spy cam down there, so he’ll know who’s been taking the boxes.

Guess I’ll have to step out with the bloated-but-featherweight garbage bags, two at a time, and deposit them a block or so away, by someone else’s residence. I feel like a deadbeat miscreant, a moocher or parasite. Or a cheapskate Santa Claus who abhors children.

So, Deek just showed up again, to collect his speaker. When I handed it to him through the open gate, I told him the pups are totally zonked out right now, so I’m not even thinking about feeding them for another hour, as I’d rather they get some rest first. He said sounds good, with a grateful smile on that bedraggled mug of his. There was love in that.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: This is a 22-second clip of Deek from across Market Street, pushing a burdened bicycle with doggies in tow. I was alerted to his possible presence, by the rap music playing from his speaker…though I must note it was NOT loud at all, just barely audible from this distance. You can’t even hear it on the video. He was chewing the fat with a friendly black dude for a few minutes, then moved on. I grabbed my smartphone to capture the scene. This occurred just moments after I awoke, well before I even stepped out for coffee. He didn’t look up at my window as he passed, nor did I call out.


Subject: More box action!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 16, 2021 1:05 PM

I could kick myself, because right after I stopped recording, Flaco came prancing out of the box and looked up at me with a sparkly joy.


Re: More box action!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 16, 2021 10:19 PM

> Never fails when I’m videoing kitty action. The instant I stop, they do something extraordinary.

Ha ha, the little stinkers!

> But this one of Flaco is HIGHLY adorable as it is!

Those little haunches splayed out across the floor, curly tail tucked in as she scratches away with a frenzied vigor…then abruptly stops to sit down and show a flash of her pink tongue flicked at the edge of the overhanging cardboard flap: too adorable for words. I just wanna hug her all the time.

So, they both ate but half their breakfast, jumping off the cot to take a few nibbles, hopping back onto the cot…repeating that a few more times over two hours. Gives the Slow Food Movement a new spin: it now includes dogs in the mix! Come dinner time, Lucky ate with gusto, but Flaco didn’t even touch her dish, and still hasn’t. I don’t think she’s gonna bother with it at all, before I toss it out.

However, she’s in great spirits, as is Lucky. Very content to be here and just relax in comfort and safety, cooled by the wafts of my fan on high, and surrounded by my love. Guess they’re staying overnight again, as it’s now almost 10 PM and no Deek. Sleeping with angels again!

Tomorrow is another Sunday, and you know what that means, Wattson: the Noe Street artists will be back again. Hopefully, I’ll still have the pups with me, so I can show them off and charm the pants off a lot of friendly folks. I’ll bring snacks for them to share with Flaco & Lucky.

Oops, just now Flaco jumped off the cot and began eating! Took maybe five nibbles, then returned to her cozy spot and burrowed beneath the blankets. She was watching Lucky with a hawk’s eye as he stood beside her dish. He didn’t touch the food, but looked up at her until she got aggravated enough to claim the vittles her own. Mission accomplished, Lucky settled down on a throw rug and watched her nosh. What a sweet brother he is!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Their Handiwork, Thus Far
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17, 2021 10:04 AM

Referring to the enclosed photo. Lucky ALSO enters the box and scratches it up, though most of the flaky results are Flaco’s. Artemis only knows why they do this, though I figure it satisfies their Dachshund urge to dig away. Fine with me, easy to clean up. Good news:

Their appetites are in full swing…both pups ate a hearty breakfast just a half hour ago. And their solid, brown poops earlier this morning are just frosting on the cake. Stepping out now, to visit the Noe Art Mart while the pups rest indoors. I expect Deek to show up very soon; after all, it’s an allowance day.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek & Pups at the ATM Alcove (4 lovely pics)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17, 2021 12:20 PM

Deek collected his furry charges around ten this morning, awaiting their delivery in the ATM alcove right below my window. After escorting them downstairs, along with a fresh reserve of dog food, I took my morning stroll. Oh, I should point out that just before I departed, Samuel had stepped out with his two chihuahuas, and they walked slowly by, within feet. Yet neither Flaco nor Lucky made so much as a single bark or even a woof, as they watched the mini-pooches pass by. One of the chihuahuas even paused to take a pee right in front of us! I was very proud of my brindlekins’ calm demeanor, and that Samuel witnessed it.

Noe Street artists were busy setting up their tables and displays. Miriam utterly ignored me as she arranged her table, paintings and such, gabbing away with associates…it was a boring pass-through. Which I find typical of ANY street event. I always feel like a ghost roaming among the living, at such gatherings.

So I continued my stroll to other parts Castro, and didn’t return hovel for another forty minutes. At which time I saw that Deek & doggies were still there, all snoozing away, temporarily unbound from the world’s worries and demands. Of course, the pups sensed my presence once I neared the front gate, but I gestured for them to stay put. They understood, and I was able to pet them while snuggled up with their master, without stirring him awake. It was at that moment I realized what an excellent opportunity to capture this on film. So I rushed upstairs, grabbed my smartphone, returned outside and shot away.

The photos are too large to attach via my poor man’s email service, so here are the links. I think you’ll be impressed, good doctor:

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

Re: Deek & Pups at the ATM Alcove (4 lovely pics)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17, 2021 1:57 PM

> Such smart dogs, understanding that they should stay quiet, looking you right in the eye, telling you: “We understand!”

IMPRESSIVELY smart! Just a moment ago I heard Flaco’s barks, so poked my head out the window, looked down where she was standing, and made a few “click” sounds with my tongue. She looked left and right, then up, and knew that was me smiling down at her, and waving a hand. She gazed up at me, wagging her tail for ten seconds or so (not a single bark out of her) before returning to ground-level attention. She wasn’t barking vociferously, BTW, just letting folks know (as they passed by) she is watching over her master. They were rather gentle barks.

I made a few more clicks two minutes later, and this time she immediately gazed straight up at me, instead of elsewhere. And not the least bit distraught that I was way up here, and not there with her. And again, she emanated love at me for a few moments WITHOUT A SINGLE BARK, YELP OR WHINE, before resuming her eye-level focus.

Another sign of their intelligence, is when I take just one pup out for a walk, and leave the other in my room. Maybe the one to be left hovel will attempt to slip through the door, but soon as I say, “No, you stay!” either pup will immediately understand, and promptly sit on the floor, or hop onto the cot, ready to relax some more, knowing I’ll be back soon enough. Neither makes any noise, or shows dismay at having to stay inside…no howling, no yips, nada. Upon my return, the pup is delighted to see me again, and ready to step out, while the other is quite happy to remain home.

And how Lucky pulls his little trick to motivate Flaco to eat, is awesome…he stands by her bowl with lowered head (as if he were about to nosh, but really doesn’t) until she is aggravated enough to step down and take command of her own dish. Lucky then steps away, happy to see her eating again, even if just a few bites.

Of course, there are many MORE examples I can give of their intelligence, but I’ll stop for now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Sleepy Lucky
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17 2021 3:41 PM

This is a blowup from the alcove-2 pic. His drowsy expression is not that evident unless enlarged. I love it! Meanwhile, a horrid incident just occurred out front…no one harmed, just some real nastiness.

Deek and pups were still out front around 3:15 PM, sound asleep, when I suddenly heard someone scream bloody murder right below my window. Poked my head out to see him pointing at Deek, hollering: “Those dogs attacked my dog TWICE!” He was a raving lunatic, and continued screeching as the marched on down the sidewalk. A lovely dog was with him, on a leash, maybe a cocker spaniel.

Now, I didn’t hear Deek’s pups bark at all, both before the incident, during the incident, and after. So I went downstairs to see if Deek and dogs were alright. But they were no longer at the ATM alcove; I looked about to find them now by the bus stop. After speaking with him, it turns out the guy IS nuts, and has done this once before, a couple of months back. Deek says he lives just up Market Street, my block. Isn’t that grand…that’s just what I need: more idiotic drama.

During our conversation, Deek turned on me, said Flaco probably attacked his dog on MY watch! I told him no way, the pups are always manageable, they never attack anyone. There are just mean people in this world, who go out of their way to fuck with whoever they can…and picking on the homeless is popular with these types, because they’re so vulnerable.

During this meetup, a fire truck drove by with siren blaring away…so I got down on one knee to press my hands over Flaco’s ears. Deek snarled, “What are you doing?”

“The sirens hurt her ears,” I replied, “so covering them sometimes helps, and she won’t start howling.”

“Cut it out,” Deek retorted and shoved my hands away, leaving Flaco to suffer the cacophany.

Interesting that the pooches were totally cool and collected all through the screaming incident, and when I was conversing with their master who, unlike them, was NOT. I’m sure his nasty reaction towards me is simple jealousy of the mutts’ fondness towards me. At any rate, before returning hovel I asked if he’d like some tea. He said sure, so I brewed some up, with a generous two dollops of raw honey, then brought it to him and wished them all many blessings. He at least said thank-you to THAT.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Sleepy Lucky
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17, 2021 5:21 PM

> So the guy who accused the pups of attacking his cocker spaniel was not a homeless guy? But a “housed” person just making trouble?

Exactly. Probably on meth. Sad to say, his type is common among the wealthy gays who’ve settled down in the Castro. Spoiled, bratty and mean as fuck. One stood in front of my gate two nights ago, blocking my entry. I said “Excuse me please” while holding out my key. He ignored me, but continued gazing down at his smartphone, diddling away on the screen, maybe texting, maybe busting bricks or bubbles. So I figured two can play this game, and got up REAL close, our faces barely three inches apart…and said not another word, just stood there. I’d be staring right into his eyes, had he raised his head. Only THEN did he grow nervous, and slip away into the dark.

> How obnoxious. And how obnoxious of Deek to then accuse you, when he knows this guy is a nut.

Well, he was just harassed by a screeching idiot, THREATENING THOSE SWEET DOGGIES, so he was still stressed from the encounter. I was a convenient target of his anxiety.

> So exhausting for you!

No kidding. He also threw THIS in: “You didn’t give me my allowance yet!”

“Yes I did, Deek,” I replied. “This morning…four 5 dollar bills and a 20.”

He then reached into his right-side pocket, and, whaddya know, there it was. But he could’ve lost it, it’s happened before (though I suspect it may have been a scam on his part…but if so, it didn’t work). Then I’d be in a stupid situation where he accuses me of lying and I, of course, refuse to cough up even MORE bills. But on a good note:

Passersby witnessed the screeching lunatic, and saw that neither Deek nor his pups were causing anyone ANY grief. IOW: it was OBVIOUS to anyone around, that the idiot was harassing Deek. In fact, a kind young man approached Deek some minutes later, to hand him a few items he left behind: one a baseball cap, the other items I have no idea, I wasn’t paying close attention ’cause focused on scritching the dogs’ bellies.

> Lovely pic of Lucky and his beautiful glossy coat. The sly “wink” is endearing!!!

He rocks my world; it’s an honor to clean up his poop!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Aaaaand…they’re back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 17, 2021 10:30 PM

Deek showed up around 9:30 PM, said he’d rather have the doggies stay with me, than out in the rain. So I dried them off pronto, then fed them supper…which they ingested with gusto! Now, I gotta find a good horror movie for the three of us to hunker down in the comforters, and watch. They usually go right to sleep, barely three minutes into the show…any show, doesn’t matter. They’re the LEAST fussy dogs I’ve ever met. For them, it’s all about love and friendship and nothing else.

Pleasant dreams, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Aaaaand…they’re back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 18, 2021 12:12 PM

> Just found this today. Hope the pajama party was divine.

Yes, their joyful company is nonpareil. The pups are still here, already walked and fed. However, though Lucky ate his entire breakfast, Flaco refused to take even one nibble. *sigh* Her dish shall remain on the floor for another hour before I toss it out. She seems perfectly fine, regardless…and she DID eat a full dinner last night.

I’ve been deliberating these past few days, on the nuisance and additional stress caused by Deek’s hanging around my building more frequently than ever. But is he really much of a nuisance, now that he’s quiet and very neat most of the time? And is this “additional” stress coming more from my own pointless fears, than from anything real? One problem I’ve conjured up, is residents here have become familiar with the pups…yet, now that Deek is more visible to them, they will also see those same dogs with HIM! They could be upset that I’m housing a couple of  “vagrant” mutts on a regular basis. But I have also thought:

Residents will become more acquainted with Deek and his brindlekin, and may become more amicable and helpful towards him, for the sake of these beautiful and charming pups. Seeing the dogs more often will show others just what wonderful creatures they are. After all, passersby witnessed that crazy man’s hateful screaming at Deek…and one of them was kind enough to return to him a few items he left behind by the ATMs. The doggies were quiet and well-mannered all along, even when being hollered at…they just sat there, nonplussed.

I should also mention that some of the folks who stepped up to actually USE the ATMs, remarked at how lovely and sweet are Flaco & brother.

-Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: You may have seen this before…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 18, 2021 12:57 PM

> We were talking the other day about taking pics of critters, and how they wait until you point the camera when they’re in a perfect pose, then move. This was an exception; she actually held the pose, waited while I rushed for the camera (this was before I had a camera phone) and this was the result (Grey, my beloved angel-fluff, May 2005-Nov. 2019).

INCREDIBLE, EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! The halo of light about her, the balance and color composition, the frosted windows behind…and that 3-headed dragon in the foreground, as if she were their queen: her pointy ears, and august visage aimed directly at the lens. It tells a story. She’s seated at the gate of her enchanted realm, her dragon guarding the entrance bordered by a pillar of flowers on each side.

And no, I haven’t seen this pic before…a handsome tableau that inspires meditation. What a memory to cherish.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: More Good News
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 18, 2021 7:15 PM

I stepped into the corner shop on 17th & Noe a short while ago, wearing my “Free Palestine” mask, and grabbed a package of frozen vegan pizza snacks (trusting it will not be TOO disappointing on the taste buds). The young man who complimented that mask was NOT present, nor was he two days ago when I also showed up wearing it. However, this evening I hit the jackpot!

The man behind the counter is around fifty years old, of sturdy build, a thick head of straight, silver-gray hair, around six feet tall, and with a gregarious nature. An older fellow was leaning against the shelves towards my right…I’m guessing he’s the father or grandfather in the family, but maybe he’s an uncle, older brother or whatever. As I approached the counter with my item, and the clerk took my EBT card, the older man addressed me:

“I like your mask!”

So I told them my true story about the mask, that happened right here in their store less than a week ago! “I thought he might have told you about it,” I remarked once I told the story. “Interesting how a charming little tale can suddenly come out of nowhere, to brighten your life!”

They immensely enjoyed my telling, and thanked me with broad smiles. I then mentioned it’s now on my blog.

“Oh, you have a blog?” the clerk remarked, and whipped out a pen and square of paper, to write down the URL. But I stopped him.

“Wait,” I declared, “just take this!” I eagerly extracted a dog-eared Brindlekin card from my wallet, and handed it over. Then added:

“That story is part of my latest chapter. Just search ‘Palestine’ and you’ll go right to it.”

I couldn’t wait to return hovel and share this with you, good physician. Well, the pups are still here, so now I’m gonna fix ’em din-din.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: A Little Morning Bodhisattva Magic!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2021 12:24 PM

Lovely pajama party last night; the pups huddled up close, Flaco with her head in the crook of my arm, while Lucky fondly plunked his own head upon my knee. Flaco’s little breaths–interrupted now and then with sighs of bliss–lulled me to sleep in the middle of a scary movie, “Halloween Kills.” (I already had the volume turned low for that…I just love Jamie Lee Curtis no matter how tacky the plot.) Later in the still dark, Lucky jumped off the cot to lap up some water from a bowl I had set by the door, then returned to my side…this time sprawled comfortably across my hips and snuggled up against his sister’s rump.

In the morning we took our usual stroll up and down Noe Street. Healthy poops were had by all. Then I deposited the brindlekin in my cozy hovel and dashed back out to get my early-bird cup of steaming hot java. I planned to feed them in about an hour, but before that time arrived, Deek called up to my window.

“Bring down the dogs and some more dog food,” he bid with a smile. He looked good.

Upon delivering the doggies to him, he couldn’t let things be without SOME sort of complaint:

“I don’t see why you take their collars off,” he griped.

“Because when they’re indoors, I want to them to be as comfortable as possible, Deek,” I explained the obvious. (FYI I put the collars back ON them before exiting…Deek was just coming up with something ELSE to whine about.)

Then he pointedly adjusted Lucky’s collar to be two more notches wide, and admonished: “You keep his collar too tight, that’s why he chokes.”

I saw no point in arguing with him, but assuaged his ego by examining the new placement of the buckle on Lucky’s collar, and just gave a whispered “okay.” For me, this means I’ll have to switch notches on Lucky’s collar just before returning him to Deek. I already do something similar with Flaco, as he now uses a pink collar on her, which is quite loose, even at the tightest notch: she easily slips out with the slightest tug. So, whenever I take her for a walk, I use the spare collar which is more secure. Then, right before Deek picks up the dogs, I put her pink collar back on…so he’s never the wiser.

When encountering another resident as I take the pups up or down the stairs, the looser notch makes our passage difficult, as one or both will slip from their collar and bark up a storm and block their way…so I have to quickly crouch down and pull them back with both hands, demand they quiet down at the same time fussing with their collars. Most folks are not bothered by this (in fact, they laugh), as the dogs don’t bite, just stand there and bark…but there’s always gonna be some drama queen now and then, who’ll go screeching off to the manager in alarm. Using these LOOSER notches will guarantee this will occur EVERY time someone else appears on the stairs or in the hallway, rather than once in awhile.

As for the choking issue: never happens on my watch. The collars on BOTH mutts are secured by the two-finger rule…just snug enough not to slip off at the slightest twitch of the leash or turn of the head. Nor do I EVER tug on their leashes with more than a helpful nudge.

I had an annoying encounter with a resident just last night, because he had forgotten his keys and was standing right out front when I stepped into the lobby with the pups. Of course, they immediately started barking at him from the other side of the gate, and he did not have the good sense to step back ten feet, so I could bring them outside and he could just jump forward to catch the gate before it closed. Nor could I suggest he do that, as the dog’s barks were way too loud for any conversation.

He was actually a friendly fellow, Chinese I think…who knows the dogs are harmless; he’s encountered them several times before. I just wish he didn’t insist on squeezing himself through the gate before it was wide open, and before Lucky & Flaco had fully exited. For they kept nipping at his heels until the gate finally shut of its own accord. Jeez, what a needless hassle! Now, back to Deek and why I call what I’m about to describe as a bit of “bodhisattva magic:”

After depositing the pups with him, I ran back upstairs to pack a fresh supply of dog food…which takes all of several minutes. (I never burden myself by carrying stuff when I’m also handling the doggies, whether stepping inside or out; and that is why I didn’t lug the dog food along with the pooches. I do the same thing with collecting or returning Deek’s gadgets; those speakers sometimes are quite hefty, up to 20 pounds.) Dog food prep:

First I open the large bag of kibble that I ordered from Amazon (which I additionally seal in a 30-gallon garbage bag to ensure freshness, using a horizontal double knot that is easy to undo) then scoop out seven cups each, into two 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bags. Next, I take out five cans of wet dog food from a supply of cartons I store in the closet. All items are then placed in one of those tough, “reusable” plastic grocery bags, and brought downstairs to Deek. I keep a generous stash of those bags handy, as they are easy to collect off the streets, or sticking out of trash bins, still empty and clean. Doesn’t cost me a cent, and barely some elbow grease. Now, getting to the “magic” part; thanks for your patience, Wattson:

Having delivered both dogs and their food, I wished them all an excellent day, with God’s blessing, and returned hovel to enjoy the rest of my coffee and kick back and read some news articles off the ‘net. Around fifteen minutes later, I poked my head out the window to see if Deek and charges were still there, by the bus stop. Yes they were! I was VERY pleased to see the dogs resting upon a clean and folded comforter, while Deek sat with his back towards me, maybe fiddling with a gadget, or just meditating. Whatever he WAS doing (or not doing), it was a quiet, peaceful scene. But I wanted to step out for my morning stroll without disturbing the pups, who were BOUND to see me walk by, no matter how silent my passage. I did NOT want to get their hopes up about visiting me again so soon, thus my appearance and sudden walking away would disappoint them. So I thought this through:

I could either exit via the back door, thus elude them altogether…or maybe just leave through the front gate and turn RIGHT towards Castro Street, rather than in their direction. But those brindlekin are sharp, and could spot me from that not-so-far distance anyway, especially when the gate closes with a loud “CLICK” and alerts them, should they not already be gazing down the block in my direction. No more than a minute passed before I decided to depart via the front gate. So in a jiff I donned my shoes, coat and hat and stepped out onto Market Street, and looked to my left to see if Flaco & Lucky had spotted me. But get this, Wattson:

THEY WEREN’T THERE! I looked further up and down and across Market Street, to see if I could spot them moving along, or parked elsewhere. Nope, no sign of them anywhere. I even came right up to where they were just seated: not a shred, not a scrap of evidence to indicate they were even there in the first place! MOST unusual because–even though Deek is very neat these days, cleaning up after himself and all–there is always SOMEthing he leaves behind. A crushed soda can, a torn, stained box or bag of some snack he just got from the Chevron gas station a block away (or Walgreens further down), some item or trinket made of cloth or plastic or metal (like a dirty rag he used to polish his shoes, bent Marvel figurine or a tarnished, broken belt buckle)…ANYthing you can imagine an industrious vagrant might leave behind from where he lingered awhile. But NOTHING.

How could this be? How could they have managed to disappear altogether in less then three minutes from the moment I saw them seated in comfort a few scant yards from the front gate? Perhaps they had simply scooted around the corner, and are now camped out behind my building? Yes, that must be it (I thought). But I decided not to approach the immediate corner and look back up 16th Street, as the pups would surely spot me in a pinch ’cause I’d be that close. So I decided to first cross Market Street, then walk east across Noe and to the other corner…where I could then view from a good distance, the sidewalk behind 9666 Market Street, and see the trio’s new location. But to my amazement:

THEY WEREN’T THERE, EITHER! Did I hallucinate? Had they already departed long before I peered out my window? Were these ghosts I saw? A hologram of some mysterious wizard’s contrivance? Is Deek that wizard? I’ve exhausted my repertoire of conjecture at this point, so choose to write it off as a sweet, morning kiss of bodhisattva magic, brought to you by the loving spirit of two doggies and their master.


Subject: Storms are on the way…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2021 7:51 PM

…and more worries, because I don’t want the pups to suffer all the rain and cold that come with October’s ascension and into the winter months. Will Deek man up and be the truly DECENT doggy dad, as they so well deserve? Or will he keep them away more often than not, in spite of frequent downpours and the chill, ocean-misted nights, because the Demon of Jealousy still has him in its grip? There’s only so much I can do, without causing him to rebel, and the darling brindlekin in the middle of this…their sweet, trusting lives in his unsteady, bipolar hands.

I only realized yesterday that my Brindlekin Tales are also my Pandemic Memoirs (or fables)…or, as you have suggested some months back: I could write my very own version of Daniel Defoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year.” I started to document my true tales of Flaco & Lucky on October 30th last year, several months before pandemic panic swept across the globe and, of course, this nation.

Our building manager is doddering more noticeably these days, his back bent forward as he slowly ambles along the sidewalk to whatever destination. So I’m thinking he’ll be out of commission soon, probably some time this year. A new manager is in the cards, and I’m worried how that will impact me, and everyone else who lives here. Guess we’ll know soon enough! Onto my budget:

Last week, after calculating in Deek’s weekly increase of $40, it turns out I have a meager $370 for the rest of the month…AFTER paying my rent and phone bill, and a major dog food purchase of a large bag of kibble, and three cases of canned meals (12 per case). Sounds scary, but all MY food expenses are now covered by EBT. Plus, I didn’t spend a dime of that $370 until yesterday, when I realized we’ll need a couple more cases of canned dog food in another week or so. Or not, because Deek’s request for more doggy vittles varies from week to week, and thus hard to predict the cost each month. Anyway, that was a $67 investment (for 3 cases of wet, and 33 pounds of dry), and I think that’ll be enough kibble to last me well into November.

Seeing as I’m a man of few material needs, it looks like I may even be able to save $50-100 each month. Even better is a hefty increase in Social Security payments that will start come January. Needless to say, Deek doesn’t need to know about THAT. As I MAY need to hide away some extra moolah to keep the pups jacketed, should Deek fail to do so himself.

Well, a blustery, light rain has begun to fall a short while ago. I hope Deek is keeping the doggies safe and warm, or will bring them back here very soon.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Storms are on the way… ERRATA
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 19, 2021 8:14 PM

I beg your forgiveness, oh Osmium Empress of a thousand galaxies and eighty-two black holes, 26 quasars and 11 red dwarf stars…for I have made the literary mortal sin of typing “elude” instead of the proper word, “allude,” in my sentence from my previous email:

“I only realized yesterday that my Brindlekin Tales are also my Pandemic Memoirs (or fables)…or, as you have eluded to some months back: I could write my very own version of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Journal of the Plague Year.'”

Even worse: you didn’t actually “allude” to it, you flat out “suggested” it…so THAT is the correct word I should have used in the first place! DO forgive me, if you can find it in your multiverse-chambered heart to do just that.

Otherwise, just toss me into the all-consuming flames of the Eternal Moleculizer that knows from whence all atoms come, and to where they go in their newly arranged manifestation.

Your most humble servant,

Ezekiel Joseph Krahlin-Holmes


Subject: New Resident, “Andy”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 20, 2021 2:22 PM

So this morning around 8:30 I stepped outside to get my usual coffee at Rosenberg’s. Nothing strange about that, good doctor…but when I looked back from the corner where I stood waiting for the light to turn green, I saw an Amazon Prime truck parked in front of my building, and its driver with two packages (one large, one small) standing by the gate, trying to figure out how to get in.

I deliberated a moment while standing in the light rain under the gray sky, whether or not to return to the gate, and let him in. I chose the latter, so approached him with keys in hand and said: “I can let you in.”

“Oh thank you!” he gently replied. He was a neatly dressed, handsome young black fellow wearing one of those ubiquitous, black masks.

As I twisted the key in the lock, I remarked: “This is an old building that has problems keeping up with modern times.” Referring, in this case, to its outdated intercom system that is inconvenient to operate…causing some delivery folks to just give up and walk away with the packages.

He thanked me again, “much appreciated,” as he entered the lobby, and I wished him a superlative day before resuming my trivial pilgrimage to the Font of the Coffee Gods just around the corner.

“What a lovely morning,” I thought, as a delicate drizzle speckled my face, and the hypnotic buzz of traffic wheels whooshed by on the wet asphalt.

Charlie was at the helm at Rosenberg’s, with his usual greeting: “Good morning, boss, how are you today?” And I gave my usual response, “Doing well, thanks, just waking up!” Before grabbing a pint of Half-&-Half from behind the refrigerator’s swinging glass door. The coffee there is always spectacular: Peet’s morning blend.

Upon returning hovel, another occupant with his bicycle had just opened the gate: the same person who forgot his key the other night, and I had to deal with the pups’ raucous antics as a result. I thanked him for holding the gate open, as he followed me inside, then proceeded up the stairs as I looked over the two boxes just delivered by Amazon. One of them was mine; it was large and heavy. Obviously (I thought) it’s that 33-pound bag of kibble I ordered just yesterday…wow, that was fast!

So I rushed up to my room, deposited the still-steaming cup of java on my sink’s ledge, then returned to the lobby to lug the bag of canine munchies back upstairs. The guy with the bike who just let me in, returned to the lobby as well, this time without his bicycle. I was fussing with the taped seams of the box, when he kindly spoke:

“Do you need help with that?” he said with a perceptible Chinese accent. He moved in here recently, I think maybe just a month or two ago. He’s of lanky build, on the tall side, with a friendly demeanor and obviously Chinese (possibly a recent immigrant from, perhaps, Hong Kong…though I’m guessing here).

“Oh, sure, thanks, I have a bad back, and that would be really nice of you,” I replied. “Just let me open it first, it’s a large bag of dog food that’s easier to carry without the box.”

I followed him back to my floor, with the empty box in my hand, that I would break down and discard later. He asked where he should put it, so I said in that little hallway right beside the elevator. Once he did that, he turned around and asked:

“Do you know when the elevator will be working?”

“Well, I spoke with the manager a few months ago,” I replied, with my mouth twisted up in dubious reflection. “And he said a certain date in October, which month is now, yet we’re still waiting. PG&E is scheduled to show up that day, though which day that is I forget. All the elevator needs at this point is to be hooked up to the power, so we’re waiting on them to come out and do just that. The manager couldn’t get them to arrange an earlier date.”

“Oh, I see,” he responded. “Thanks.”

“The problem I have is the new doors don’t have a window in them,” I added.

“Really? Should they?” he queried.

“I think they should,” I said with a shrug. “I’m a tad claustrophobic, and the old doors DID have windows. What if I get stuck, I can’t even look outside!”

I then asked his name, and told him mine. Andy also informed me he lives on the floor above, in 307.

“You encountered my dogs the other night,” I pointed out, to see if he was bothered by that puppy drama. “They’re sweet little pooches, they just make a big fuss when someone’s standing on the other side of the gate.”

“Oh no problem,” he chuckled, then cordially excused himself, as he was off to work.

“Well thank you again, Andy,” I concluded as he descended the stairs, “I hope you have a good day, now!”

Well that was a nice conversation, wasn’t it, Wattson? After which I returned to my SRO, elevated in spirit over such a friendly exchange with a new tenant, especially regarding my brindlekin.

Several minutes later, as I was sipping my coffee and watching some Youtube videos, Deek called up. To collect his $40 Thursday payment (even though it’s Wednesday; fine with me) and drop off the doggies. As I exited my hovel once more, I encountered four people standing around and chatting in the hallway. That was Kevin the building manager, another resident perhaps (an elderly gentleman whom I’ve never seen before) and (lo and behold) two PG&E workers, one with a clipboard in hand.

“Hallelujah,” I thought, “The elevator will soon be up and running!” Funny, though, that Andrew had JUST asked me about that, only moments ago.

Once outside, Deek immediately declared that the pups were cold and shivering all night long.

“Well THAT’S not good,” I replied, but decided it’s prudent at this moment to NOT lecture him.

“There are some people in the hallway right now,” I told him, “so it’s better to wait outside with the dogs a few more minutes until they’ve dispersed.”

So he kept the pooches while I marched back upstairs with his latest Bluetooth speaker (a cylindrical one this time, looked brand new, and about six pounds light thank god), and maneuvered my way through the small gaggle checking out the elevator. I took my time plugging it into the charger, and remained inside for another minute or so, by which time the manager et al departed elsewhere, leaving the stairs and hallway clear for the mutts’ arrival.

Before taking Flaco & Lucky inside, I reminded Deek to rummage the streets for childrens’ sweaters, sweatshirts and the like, so we can build up a supply of jackets for the dogs. He didn’t say okay, in fact he didn’t seem to be listening at all. Instead, he just looked at me and said he’ll be back in a short while, with a new chip to store his rap music on. Apparently, the speaker has a slot for that. And he was going to Walgreens two blocks away, to spend $18 on yet another 32 GB micro-SD card. The same amount he SHOULD spend on a second doggy jacket. I already have a very nice jacket he brought me several days ago. How he acquired it, I have no idea, not even sure if he paid for it, or just found it, or someone gifted him. But my point here, is:

We need TWO jackets or sweaters, not ONE, god dammit! And it’s CRUEL and HARMFUL to force the pups to be out there in the cold and rain without keeping them warm. Anyway, I fixed their breakfast but, sadly, Flaco wouldn’t touch her dish. Lucky, OTOH, feasted away. Neither seemed the least bit cold when he brought them to me: no sign of shivering at all.

Deek finally returned with the chip, then took off after saying he’ll return later. Don’t know if he meant later today, or what. But I DO hope when he shows up again, it will be with a second jacket, even if it’s just a kid’s sweater that I’ll have to jury-rig. (Though he COULD do that all himself, if he weren’t so thoughtless.) Otherwise, I’ll have to reiterate to him ONCE AGAIN, how the pup’s health and safety are more important than anything else in his world, including his rap music.

I went online to Amazon a little while ago, and ordered two waterproof, warm doggy jackets that set me back $37 total. But they won’t arrive till six days from now! I’ll probably tell Deek I’m gonna deduct his next Thursday’s allowance, to cover the expense. And to PLEASE not lose them, else I’ll have to purchase two more, and subtract from his allowance again. Hopefully, this will get him motivated to FIND child-sized sweaters in the free boxes, that will cost him NOTHING. Or anything ELSE that will work just as well.

I’m guessing he’ll whine and snarl and be an ass about it…and walk off with the pups, declaring they’re HIS dogs and he can do whatever he wants with them. Though I’m praying for a better outcome. He doesn’t realize yet, these sporadic rains will go on for a week, with Sunday and Monday predicted to be a two-day downpour.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Storms are on the way… ERRATA
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 20, 2021 11:26 PM

> I shall cancel the order for the sharpening of the special spike atop the temple gates. This time.

A million and one thanks, O Empress of All Time, Directions and Space. I hope I shall continue to elude your thinly veiled allusion for some time to come. For, like Scheherazade, I have infinite stories to tell…but should my life end, so shall the tales!


Re: New Resident, “Andy”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 20, 2021 11:53 PM

> Wonderful letter! Just able to read it now. Have been having “connection” problems on and off most of the day. More tomorrow!!!

Thanks! This chapter has really moved fast, it should be complete in a day or two. My latest missives have been revelatory, one great vignette after another. Can’t take credit for coming UP with these tales, as they are all coming TO me, in reality…thus I am merely the recording secretary. Though I’ve left out so many details in the telling, and though the telling pales in comparison to being there…they hold their own with compelling freshness and insight. Brindlekin Tales, my very own Journal of the Plague Year.

Deek has yet to return, after dropping the pups off yesterday, so…second night in a row sleepover! What sweet company they are.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Last night he picked up the pups… GREAT PICS INCLUDED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: October 22, 2021 2:28 PM

…and I asked if he’d like me to put that one jacket we have, on Flaco.

“No, just bring it down,” was all he said. Though I reminded him how important it is to keep the doggies warm in the cold weather, and if they should start to shiver, and he doesn’t have any way to warm them up and keep them dry, just bring them back.

“Remember I said you can drop by in a real emergency, no matter how late it might be?” I explained. “Well, THAT I consider an emergency. I don’t want them to suffer or get sick from the cold, damp weather. So, if you should get caught in a downpour, and aren’t prepared to protect the dogs…I don’t care how late it is, two AM, three, four, whatever…just bring ’em over. And please, you rummage through people’s discards all the time, and we need TWO jackets, not one. Small sweaters, sweatshirts, whatever works, I can cut down the sleeves and make other adjustments.”

At any rate (good doctor), he hanged out by my building towards the corner, while waiting for his devices to charge. That was about a three hour passage, during which early part Flaco barked like wild at passersby, while Deek slept (sitting up but hunched over). Her leash was wound by the handle end around his wrist, so when she leapt she couldn’t go far. Though I wonder how well that works since her collar is so loose.

Meanwhile, not even one yelp out of Lucky, who preferred to curl up in the box I brought downstairs, hoping they’d BOTH use it that way, like last time. But no, Flaco was much more interested in announcing her guardianship over her master! She refused to enter the box, though certainly enough room for both. This worried me, as it would obviously disturb some folks in my building, two in particular: the manager and my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall. And is why I BROUGHT a box to them in the first place. Fortunately, Flaco calmed down some minutes later…no more barking for the rest of the night. Which remainder I assumed he camped elsewhere. However:

Just this morning when I stepped out for my java, I saw a shopping cart with some “junk” stashed in it, parked at the corner end of my building, beside the recessed doorway to the burger joint, which almost always remains locked, as it’s not the main entrance.

“Surely this is someone else’s cart,” I thought for some stupid reason…forgetting that Deek WOULD most likely have remained there through the night, as it’s good shelter from the rain. And I believe it DID rain in the wee hours, albeit lightly. Here’s a pic of that cart, as I approached, and wondered whose it was:

Click here for a larger view.

Sure enough, there was Deek, covered by a thin, gray-white cover of some sort (a bedspread perhaps), and the two pups curled up in the back, Flaco closely nudged against Lucky (and partly on top), and Lucky snuggled up against their master. Though I was stealthy, the brindlekin were somehow alerted to my proximity, whereby Flaco sat up, shivering with a hopeful urge to be in my arms, and return to my sanctuary. Alas that recess was too cluttered for me to get any closer, without disturbing Deek from his slumber. Lucky remained huddled beneath Flaco, though DID have one eye open. Here’s the next pic (Flaco with her Yoda ears peering out from the recess):

Click here for a larger view.

Now, from another angle, you can barely make out Lucky’s darling visage in the center, peeking out at me from between travel trunk (god knows WHAT is in it, perhaps nothing) and shopping cart:

Click here for a larger view.

And here they are a short while later (shot from my window), now enjoying the sunlight:

Click here for a larger view.

A closeup from that same pic:

Click here for a larger view.

An hour or so later I took this shot from halfway across the street while standing on the divider separating the bidirectional traffic flow, and graced with palm trees (a great boon for the rat population, FYI):

Click here for a larger view.

I am glad to report that Lucky was resting on a large, old, gray throw pillow, while Flaco reclined on a thick, comfy jacket. Deek and I had the predictable conversation about the usual things that I’ve brought up before, some griping on his part, guilt-tripping me over a “new” speaker that doesn’t seem to work (“You broke it!”). I’ll spare you the details, as it would just be a rehash of the same old, same old. Overall, it was a good meetup.

I got to reiterate some important issues around the dogs, and remind him that he and Lucky and Flaco are ALWAYS in my prayers. And instead of being shitty to me so often, he ought to give me some credit for the MANY good things I do for him, AND the dogs. Well, this softened his harsh mood, and he mumbled something about the cops harassing him, and a couple of OTHER difficulties that come with living on the streets.

“Yes, I know, that DOES suck, and I understand.” I kindly replied.

Finally, the last pic for this set, which I took just a moment ago via the hallway window facing 16th Street. I had planned to end this missive with the paragraph above, but paused to look out my window to see if they were still there. Didn’t see them, so then checked the back of the building and, sure enough, there they were! You can see he’s moved partway around the corner, and now has another homeless person for company. Flaco is curled up on his lap, while Lucky is nestled upon a jacket (the pillow right beside; don’t know WHY he didn’t choose that more comfortable option). It’s a quiet tableau, no cacophony from either boombox or pups…a scenario that is far more common than not, with Deek these days.

Click here for a larger view.

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