The Miracle Has Happened!

January 29, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 8]

Re: Good Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 11:50 AM

> Good report. Since you’re having a second Rudi’s, so will I!

Glob bless Rudi’s muffins…they’re a saving grace in an unappetizing world. Meanwhile:

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT JUST OCCURED between my last post and your reply…and it’s WONDERFUL! I’m in the middle of composing that missive, which you will receive shortly. It will bring tears of joy to your eyes, guaranteed.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

Subject: THE MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 12:58 PM

Around 11:15 AM homeless outreach picked up Deek and pups in a taxi to deliver them to indoor housing at 33 Gough Street. Here’s what led up to it:

I heard him talking with someone outside, so I peered out the window to see a man and a woman from HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) speaking with him. The woman said something about 33 Gough Street, just a few blocks up. I decided then to take a snapshot (see attachment #1) and stay inside until Deek called me down. A few minutes later she handed him her phone so he could converse with, I guess, someone who helps run a long-term shelter at that address.

Finally, Deek called me down where he and doggies were standing at the corner by the bus stop, accompanied by the HOT couple. I heard the woman say to him, “This is where the taxi will pick you up.” Deek asked me to watch his stuff, which meant I’d have to stash all his junk upstairs till god knows when (see attachment #2).

Fortunately, it’s just a baby buggy stuffed with a small, fluffy black rug (like something you’d throw on a couch) and a bunch of clothing including two jackets. All the contents were dry, so I tossed them into a large trash bag. There’s also two bags crammed with crushed soda cans and plastic bottles. I will have to rearrange my loft to store his useless detritus, but since the carriage doesn’t fold it’ll have to stay down here to occupy an inconvenient amount of floor space. But the way I look at it, Wattson:

What a small price I’ll gladly pay for Deek and pups to finally get a roof over their noggins. And, I’m sure he’ll soon tell me I can toss all that crap, since he really doesn’t need any of it.

Deek gestured he didn’t want me involved, not even just to give the poochies a hug, so I kept my distance and tended to cleaning up his campsite. Soon, the taxi cab arrived, mutts and master hopped in, and off they went to the races! I didn’t even bother to wave goodbye with a happy, thumbs-up cheer, out of respect for his desire to go through this all on his own. It was a sweetly poignant scenario seeing them take off like that, for THIS tattered old pilgrim. As if I were saying goodbye to My Brindlekin forever.

But hasn’t it always been like that, every time they depart, for the last three-plus years? And haven’t they always returned? And isn’t this how chapter 1, book 1, began these awesome tales of friendship and canine love…that I feared I’d never see Flaco & Lucky again? And haven’t my bodhisattva guardians done a GREAT job of creating all these amazing scenarios that have led to this best-of-all-worlds conclusion?

I had almost completed cleaning up Deek’s ragtag possessions when the taxi departed, leaving behind just that woman. As she walked in my direction I addressed her, said hello, then exclaimed:

“Thanks for the good work you do. Deek and I have been friends for almost fifteen years. And when you live on the streets for so long, it’s hard to trust. If it’s appropriate I’ll be glad to give you my name and phone number for a reference.”

She smiled then, and replied, “Oh, that’s not necessary, but thanks. I’m sure he’ll be visiting you soon, he just needs some time setting up his new digs.”

“I’m SO pleased to see that finally happening for him,” I expressed with much gratitude. “Again, thanks for the good work you do, I know it ain’t easy!”

I still had a bit more cleanup to do, once she moved on. Lo and behold, the “artiste” from last night suddenly appeared…this time quite amenable. He even helped me finish cleaning up the sidewalk. There was a sealed packet of two, thin cigars in that stroller, which Deek left behind…something he often purchases from the Hohokum smoke and gift shop. So I offered it to “Artiste:”

“Here, would you like this?”

“Oh, sure,” he replied with a grin. “Funny, because I bought that for Po’ Boy last night!”

“Well, he just got a roof over his head,” I explained. “I’m sure he won’t miss it. I’ll buy him another if need be. Enjoy!”

With that, I returned hovel and looked up “33 Gough Street” on the web, to discover it’s another TINY HOME PROJECT! Upon which discovery my heart leapt with joy. For over the past few months I kept advising Deek to hold off until he can get a “cabin” (that’s what HE calls ’em). After all, it’s unreasonable to expect him to share a small space with another person, considering he’s already got two pups for company. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!

Those orange sleeping bags–which composed the top half of my bedding–are a skosh worse off from last night’s wear by doggies and Deek, but you bet I’ll sleep atop them as usual, regardless, with immense gratitude in my heart…for THE FATES HAVE HONORED ME! I will have the best dreams ever, with the sweet, joyful scent of two little hounds wafting about my nostrils.

Now it’s time for me to get back to preparing another Brindlekin Tale for Marshall’s next Memo of the Weird show this Friday. Which I started before this miracle took off. I will never forget this day for as long as I live…and it’s only just begun!

Oh, and here’s an article about the tiny house village at 33 Gough Street.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: THE MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 1:51 PM

> ASTOUNDING!!!!! In every way. Too wonderful. And is it “for keeps?” No time limit on it?

Not for keeps, it’s transitional until a better housing situation opens up, gov’t subsidized. But no real time limit AFAIK.

> I hope you’re able to get some pics of 33 Gough St., discreet ones, from a distance, so I can get an idea of what it looks like.

I just sent you another article, with pics.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: THE MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 2:01 PM

> Okay, I just saw the link and read up. Semi-temporary, until the lot gets used for something else.

Right. It’s still a great first step…the doggies now have their own little abode! If Deek doesn’t drop by within a week, I’ll try to visit him there. He doesn’t know my phone number. It’s only about a three or four block walk from here, so I’m pretty sure he’ll show up with the pooches soon, beaming with pride about his “home.” He is much more likely to stick with the program over the long haul, than had he moved in to a single room shared by one or two others. The fact he has two dogs sort of made HOT push for a tiny house. Just another example of how lucky he is to have such sweet hounds, and that one of them is actually NAMED “Lucky!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: THE MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 2:37 PM

> Great, great outcome. My heart is with the dogs first, but I’m glad for Deek, too. Though he’s nowhere near as cute, sweet and lovable as L&F…

Yes indeed it’s a remarkable outcome! I just took a closer look at the 33 Gough Street article and it turns out it’s only a 1-3 month stay…during which time they supposedly will help you find a permanent residency. Hopefully he’ll hang in there, as a taste of indoors may be the perfect motivation.

I will of course still push for an out of court settlement to be allowed to have the dogs stay with me whenever. You never know if Deek will wind up on the streets again. Beside which, even when he has a little cabin or room to live in, he could then drop them off with me a day or two now and then. Also, should anything happen to him, such as going to the ER (or Glob forbid, dying) I want to be able to take the pups under my wing.

So I’m gonna give ’em my name and phone number one way or another…they don’t seem to provide an email on their site, so I can do it in person, or perhaps via snail mail. I’ll tell them he doesn’t own a cell phone, and has never memorized my phone number, so in case he wants to call me they can give him my number.

He may freak out over some of their policies, such as seeing a counselor, attending group meetings or mandatory psychiatric drugs if he wants to be classified as mentally disabled and be eligible for SSI. I really have no idea how they “stabilize” their homeless clients, how strict or permissive they actually are. There may also be the matter of a flurry of paperwork he’ll object to. Keeping my fingers crossed!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Outdoor Seating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 4:47 PM

Another pic of 33 Gough mini-housing showing outdoor seating. I guess they have communal meals there, as well as plain-ol’ schmoozing among the lucky residents. I hope Flaco & Lucky steal everyone’s hearts! I have a hunch they’ll be delirious with glee to be there! Their particular kind of puppy love is more contagious than anything Covid could throw at us.


Re: Outdoor Seating
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 9:42 PM

> Jeez, it looks really civilized!!! Pups will be fantastic ambassadors of goodwill.

Jeez, what a nice thing to think about. But guess what:

HE JUST DROPPED BY A HALF HOUR AGO…

…to pick up his buggy and everything else. Then left. Gave me barely two minutes with the pups. Said he won’t be back till next payday.

“When is that again?” he asked.

“Not till the third of next month,” I replied.

“Oh that’s a long time,” he snarked.

“But you already KNOW that, Deek,” I retorted.

He also requested a double supply of dog food…strange, I thought, don’t they provide meals for both humans and pets? But I didn’t bother to vocalize, as he was in another snotty mood and would likely snap at me. He said things like I’m gonna be in big trouble soon, he’s sending his gang after me, and it won’t be safe for me to step out.

“Oh stop talking like Mr. Big Shot,” I reprimanded. “You don’t HAVE a gang, except the devils screeching around in your skull. But you do you, Deek, you do you!”

“Cut out that you-do-you gay crap, I mean it,” he grouched. “You’re not a REAL friend, calling the cops on me and threatening to cut me out of your life if I get rid of the dogs, pretending you’re in a lawsuit just because you don’t wanna have ’em over anymore.”

Further nasty accusations ensued (as usual), but I was not the least bit worried as I knew it was all an act. He said they put him up way at the other end of town.

“33 Gough Street isn’t way at the other end of town, Deek,” I replied. “It’s just four blocks from here.”

“33 Gough? Where did you get THAT idea?” he queried with a snarl.

“The woman from HOT you were talking to this morning,” I explained. “I heard her say 33 Gough on the phone.”

“Who are you talking about?” he exclaimed. “I didn’t speak to any woman!”

“Yes you did, a woman and a man showed up to get you settled in,” I replied. “Then you took off with the guy in a taxi.”

“No I didn’t, that’s bullshit,” he persisted in the ruse. “I didn’t talk to anyone and I didn’t get into a cab. You’re crazy, I’m gettin’ the hell outta here!”

“Okay, Deek, you do you,” I replied as he took off towards Castro Street with an overburdened baby carriage that wobbled from the weight, and pups in tow. “Glad you got a roof over your head and god bless!”

Assuming he IS now residing in North Beach, I presume he was headed for the MUNI Metro, to take the underground back towards downtown where he’d either walk from there to North Beach, or hop on a bus.

BTW he was dressed nice, with a red cape falling from the shoulders, and a pair of shades beneath his brow. Typical NOLO midnight punk.

Are there tiny houses for the homeless in North Beach, Wattson? I don’t know, but San Francisco plans to build a lot of them and North Beach is one good location for that. And BTW, they ARE called “cabins” as well; see this article:

S.F. is finally building tiny cabins for homeless people. One reason: it may be cheaper than tents.

What a relief he’s got a place! (Though I’m not sure now if he got a cabin or just a room.) When he showed up again below my window, my heart sunk and I assumed he rejected their offer and we were back to square one. The dogs look great, even calmer than usual, as if they had a good rest indoors somewhere. So of course, being the trickster he is, he’s not about to gush with gratitude and thank me profusely…instead he did quite the opposite. For he is an “opposite shaman:” one who says things contrary to what he really means.

I don’t know how freed up I am now, to be away from hovel for a couple of hours or more. I’d like to check out the eerie downtown district and some other locales. Maybe I’ll take one-hour jaunts now and then, see how it goes. Not that I really have much interest anymore these days to go ANYwhere, and I am the furthest thing from a mall queen one can be! Shopping has NEVER been on my list of things to do to cheer me up. In fact it dePRESSES me. My coffeehouse life has ended, too, thanks to the pandemic. TIRED of wherever I hang out I have no one to chew the fat with, while everyone around seems to have that in spades. And I can’t relate to their pampered, self-obsessed world…nauseating! I’ve been that way all my life.

But isn’t it interesting the timing of the building manager’s demise, and Deek’s new digs? I guess my quasi-fascist-neighbor-down-the-hallway’s OWN death some weeks back was but a prelude.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Amazon’s grocery delivery fees just shot through the roof!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 11:22 AM

Few minutes ago I received this horrid email from Amazon, see attachment. No way can I afford such absurd increases! They say nothing about those on food stamps, such as “this does not apply to EBT customers.” There’s a new Reddit sub on this, including posts by others who are disabled and collecting food stamps. One comment says Amazon just shot themselves in the foot…I agree. It’s now considerably cheaper to shop locally, when you account for the exorbitant delivery fees and restrictions.

I was so pleased with the prices, I could even afford frozen blueberries, cherries, etc. at just $3.99 per pound…yummy right outta the bag! They’d cost me $8-12 locally, so I just didn’t purchase them. Cheeses were also quite affordable, and so on. Another poster said:

“I don’t think they realize how badly this is going to backfire. I looked up Amazon Fresh alternatives immediately after I saw the email this morning. Their greed is actually impressive.”

Hopefully it WILL backfire, and they’ll go back to the lower $35 minimum for waiving a delivery fee. Here’s the Reddit sub.


Re: Amazon’s grocery delivery fees just shot through the roof!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 6:14 PM

> Gotta punish the poor for being poor!

Wouldn’t be AmeriKKKa if they didn’t. But my $220/mo. EBT bonus runs out by March, just a day after the new Amazon Fresh fees go up, anyway. Nonetheless, I was looking forward to continuing to purchase those delightful frozen berries for only $3.99/lb. with my debit card…and cheeses, etc.

I did a little research on how to possibly eliminate delivery fees, and you CAN get away with it by having them drop off your packages at an Amazon hub locker (it’s free with Prime). Nearest one is just a half block from me, at a gas station catty-corner from the Chevron station. As you can see by the attached image.

Next closest is at Whole Foods three long blocks up Market Street, directly across from Safeway. But these lockers have certain limitations, such as package size. The info on them doesn’t mention anything about storing perishables, which frozen foods definitely are. I’m guessing Amazon prohibits such items from locker storage…and I’m sure they’ll warn you the moment you click on “purchase,” and have to redo your orders.

I need to walk over to the closest one, 376 Castro Street, and look for a large, orange locker…’cause I don’t see one when I bring it up on Google Maps:

Click here for a larger view.

But maybe it’s back of the store. Notice I got “349” when I searched for “376,” so that’s a tad confusing. There’s a liquor store on that corner, too, and maybe they’re connected. I’ll know soon enough. The lockers are self-service, so I can easily rush to it soon as I get a text that my items have been delivered. But what about the hot weather, or even just warm?

This is turning out to be a big PITA (and I don’t mean flatbread). So I guess I’ll soon be dropping Amazon Fresh…as well as Prime, since I no longer need quick deliveries, as they were only for assisting Deek and his pups, prior to my perishable orders, that is. (Besides providing fast delivery, Prime is required to use Amazon Fresh.) I can always resume my Prime subscription should he ever wind up on the streets again…a very REAL possibility. Which I HOPE won’t happen, even if it means I’ll get to see the angels more often, or at all. Their well-being comes above my selfish desires…and HOUSING them is at the top of that list.

There IS the possibility that consumer backlash may make Amazon think twice, in order to accommodate the low income. But if the reasonable delivery fee is limited to EBT recipients (and not just the poor in general) I’m still screwed since my food stamps will soon drop to around $22/month.

[20 minute pause.]

I just returned from checking out 349 Castro, and THERE IS NO AMAZON LOCKER there, or anywhere else nearby (including all the way up the hill to 376 which are nothing but houses). Maybe it’s been removed…gee, I can’t imagine why: VANDALISM? THEFT? UFO ABDUCTION? After all, they are freestanding, outdoor depositories with digitally secured cubby holes you open with a temporary PIN texted to your smartphone. They are large and square, painted a bright, deep orange with the words “Amazon Locker” on it in thick, bold white font…so you can’t miss ’em. Like so:

Click here for a larger view.

Now I ask you, Wattson: who living on the streets WOULDN’T be tempted to break ’em open and snatch the contents therein? Hardly a one I’d say. Not to mention HOUSED thieves with vehicles and a crowbar…who I presume would be the major offenders, way above and beyond the indigent. Have such robberies already occurred? Here ya go (out of Portland):

Amazon Hub broken into and lockers emptied at Gresham apartment complex

I’ve also found articles about Amazon delivery drivers being robbed at gunpoint. And don’t forget about the porch pirates! At any rate, looks like my freezer ain’t up to snuff for storing more than a few products, ’cause everything’s more a semi-freeze now, rather than solid. Don’t know why because all food I put in there is already frozen! Looks like I may have to gobble up the goodies stored there sooner than I had planned. So much for my ordering-frozen-food-online adventure!

So, on my way to 349 Castro Street I approached a small homeless encampment,

Click here for a larger view.

and my heart leapt into my throat: “Oh jeez, I hope Deek and pups aren’t there!” But the occupant was obviously inside (or had walked away for a moment) as this dome tent was fully enclosed by a tarp. Items left outside included a bicycle, shopping cart loaded with possessions and a red umbrella set upside down on the sidewalk. Nothing, though, that particularly screamed “Deek’s stuff,” but nothing that screamed “NOT Deek’s stuff,” either.

As I passed by I heard voices: two men were inside, and neither sounded at all like my Cajun pest. “Surely,” I thought, “if Flaco & Lucky are there they’d’ve already sensed my approach and come running out.” To my relief, that didn’t happen.

Since the day Deek and doggies took off in a taxi I find myself peering out the window quite often, as if expecting to see them walking in my direction, from across the street or up or down the block. Sometimes I think I hear his “Yo!” or one of the mutts barking…but so far it always turns out to be another dude’s “Yo!” or some other little doggy’s bark. A habit sure is hard to break!

So I muse now, that if I never see them again I’ll become the picture of an aging old man peering out the window several times a day, month after month and year after year until the time comes when I, too, will go the way everyone else has gone, or will go, and my window vacant. But I’m already a ghost of myself in many ways, so it won’t really be that much of a change. For my loving spirit is stronger than most, and I know My Darling Furry Angels think of me all the time, as I do them. Dare I say their master does, too?

For, if you take the concept of “Opposite Shaman” to heart, Deek’s vile threats and accusations when he briefly dropped by two nights ago were HIS way of telling me he’s gobsmackingly happy to have found a home. Because the way he carried himself in that red cape and appeared to glow with pride–as well as the pups’ well-rested demeanor–indicated that the folks who run the shelter are giving him back his dignity.

As for my building manager’s likely termination: there still has not been posted anything about Kevin’s status: neither in the lobby nor anywhere else. No death announcement, nothing. I wait now for affirmation of his passing before I email another letter to my attorney. The clock is ticking!

So it’s Friday night once more, when Memo of the Weird Nighttime Radio broadcasts its latest show, and with it Marshall’s narration of another Brindlekin tale.

Life is a bowl of frozen cherries…so more people can enjoy them out of season.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: And…more good news!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 27, 2023 at 6:44 PM

Barely moments after sending you that last missive I heard a familiar, scratchy voice outside, so leapt from my chair and looked out the window:

It was Scampy! She seemed to be in good cheer as she crossed the street towards my building, then turned left up Market and towards Castro Street. I know Deek was concerned for her well-being since she disappeared just a few days after occupying a room she and her boyfriend had acquired from a homeless service.

He’ll be glad to hear the good news, and I’ll make sure he gets it, in case he didn’t hear about it before he next shows up. Which should be next week, February 3rd, at the latest.

I just can’t keep up with this stuff!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He dropped by last night, around 10 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 28, 2023 at 11:11 PM

…with that baby carriage containing whatever, and the pups of course. Invited me to sit with ’em by the curb while he sat by himself, cross-legged against the ATM plywood. He didn’t talk, just watched people walk by and seemed to be caught up in his own thoughts. Fine with me, as I could enjoy the hounds’ company in peace. It was a cold evening, the dogs were without sweaters, and the sidewalk was uncomfortably chill…my own butt didn’t like it.

There wasn’t even cardboard for the doggies to sit upon, and I couldn’t manage BOTH in my lap at the same time, so one or the other had to sit or stand beside me with my arm wrapped about. I therefore switched their places every five minutes or so and, the third or fourth time I had Lucky rest upon my thighs, Flaco left my side and started tugging on her leash (tethered to the buggy) in her desire to cuddle with her master, for warmth.

But she also loves him, too, so there’s that. Sometimes if she’s leashed a short distance from him, she’ll eventually decide this isn’t right and bark incessantly until he brings her close to him. So it’s not always just because she wants shelter from the cold; she wants his heart. She senses his sad or angry moods and longs to ease his pangs. And shows great PRIDE in playing that role as guardian…my little bodhisattva brindlekin!

I remember one day about a year ago, the pups were lying down on my cot while I was working on my laptop. Whatever it was (maybe a browser glitch) I grew frustrated and banged a fist upon the desk. Flaco immediately sat up, approached me and lay a dainty paw on my hip. I instantly grabbed her up in my arms with hugs and kisses…and realized then to never display anger, no matter how slight, in either doggy’s presence again. They are just too damned sweet for that!

Flaco is a stong-willed little doggy and, before either Deek or I could stand up to bring her back to my side (she resisted my tugs on her leash), she managed to free herself from the collar and leap into her master’s lap. Her remarkable persistence was a sight to see, how she struggled against the collar with all her might…her head became a fat ball of fur until she finally escaped!

Instead of griping at me for letting her do this (as I expected), he kindly accepted her into his arms and asked me to toss him the collar. So there was Flaco contentedly curled up in her master’s lap, and Lucky resting on his back in my arms, in a shower of neck and belly scritches from my free hand.

Almost a half hour had passed before I grew uncomfortable sitting on the frigid concrete…and I also wanted to provide the pooches with a cozy, warm nest, seeing as Deek was still here even though he said he’s only dropping by for a few minutes. But I hesitated to do that since he often puts up a stink whenever I lay out cardboard and a comforter for the pups. I finally decided to risk it, and said to him (as an excuse to run upstairs and bring that stuff down):

“Would you like a cup of tea?”

To my dismay he said no thanks.

“Well then,” I said after some deliberation, “I’m gonna bring out some cardboard for ME to sit on, my butt’s too cold!”

When I stood up and made for the gate, I added: “I have another pair of those gray doggy sweaters you like, they just arrived this morning. Can I put them on the dogs?”

To my surprise he said okay…nor did he explode into a tantrum when I stepped back out and laid down a large sheet of cardboard and my orange sleeping bag for the quadrupeds. Even Flaco returned to my side for that! So I put their sweaters on with gentle hands and kind words, and they curled up together as I pet them and enjoyed my visit with them even more. Especially since their master conveyed a most restful spirit this time around. But it didn’t last.

I had maybe a full hour of peace before Deek started mumbling to himself: “Sucks! This Sucks! Suck, suck, suck!”

This went on for a few minutes, but of course I pretended not to hear. wondering if this was going to lead to something worse. It did:

“I’ve been feeling SICK since I got that room,” he declared. “Are you listening? The room’s makin’ me sick, my bones ache, I don’t feel like eating. I don’t even wanna smoke my crystal!”

I was tempted to say “Well that’s a good thing, isn’t it?” Meaning the meth of course. But I held my tongue.

Then he leaned forward a bit, and scowled: “Are you listening?”

Dammit, I thought, he’s sucking me into another round of bullshit.

“Yes, Deek, I’m listening,” I begrudgingly answered. “I just don’t know what to say. Maybe your body’s recovering from all those stormy wet days, one after another for WEEKS, and you need to rest up. You’re no youngster anymore, you’re forty-three.”

“I KNEW you’d say that!” he exclaimed, jabbing a finger in my direction. “Nobody listens to me, nobody believes me, they don’t wanna hear it! And you say you’re my friend? Ha!”

He then went off on a lengthy diatribe about the shelter where he’s staying…wherever that is, as he refuses to tell me. “You’ll never know!” he exclaimed. “Well is it a room or a cabin?” I queried. “You’ll never know!” he repeated. HIS side of the story:

Everyone there smokes fentanyl and the smoke is choking him, the couple next door are noisy all night, the air conditioning is spreading covid, the meals are shitty, he’s gonna die there, the dogs are gonna die there, five people have already died there since he’s shown up, no police are allowed inside, they just let residents drop dead like flies, no doctor, no nurse, they do covid checks every day, they jot down in a notebook whenever he takes a shit…why would he lie about this, he has never lied to me even ONCE in all the time we’ve known each other, blah blah blah.

“So you’re surrounded by drug addicts, just like on the streets!” I quipped. “You’re an addict yourself, Deek. This should not be an issue for you. These people who run the shelter deal with very disturbed folks coming in off the streets. You are an exception, but they need to handle everyone the same. It’s a first step in the right direction to more stable housing. Count your blessings they finally took you in! I bet the dogs love their new little home, sheltered from the cold, wet nights. Besides, what’s this about covid spreading? According to you it’s fake, so why all the worry now?”

Please note, Wattson, I didn’t say all that in one fell swoop…I sprinkled a statement here and there in his stream of rants as it floated by, one lotus petal at a time. At one point he lowered his head with trembling shoulders, about to burst into faux tears.

“Oh, he’s gonna cry now!” I emoted. “Here comes the sobbing, the drama, the unadulterated bullshit!”

Well THAT put a damper on his game REAL fast, lemme tell YOU! For I showed him what a doomed tactic that would be, by my caustic outburst. But what really impressed me was when he said:

“They’re FORCing me to stay there! They say I shouldn’t talk about leaving, I shouldn’t even THINK about leaving, they’re counting on me to go through the whole process, and I can’t let them down. So I’m stuck!”

Music to my ears, good doctor: he’s staying! Even though he proclaimed he may not return, but resume roughing it on the streets…more to scare me than anything else, I presume. Towards the end of our one-sided argument he asked if I could “loan” him a few dollars. I said sure and ran back upstairs to pull a fiver from my wallet. But before I opened the gate to retrieve his five-spot, I turned to him and said: “It’s very BRAVE of you to check out that shelter and place your trust in them…you’re doing great!”

Once I returned, a homeless woman I’ve seen a few times before was helping Deek pack up. She’s the stable type, friendly and always nicely dressed in a street-punk kinda way. Around thirty-two years old.

Upon her arrival Deek snapped back into a pleasant mood, thanked me for the moolah and wished me a good night. The lady smiled at me and I smiled back, and then they were gone. So I placed the cardboard I had set down for the pups by the trash bin, picked up and emptied the water bowl, retrieved my sleeping bag and returned hovel.

Oh yeah, soon as Deek showed up last night I DID remember to tell him I saw Scampy the other night.

“Oh, what’d she say?” he pressed.

“Well, I only saw her through my window, crossing the street,” I replied. “But she seemed to be in good spirits.”

But here’s the neatest thing I got out of last night’s meetup:

Again, the shaman’s oblique kind of gift giving. This time the gift was to drop by for awhile, that I may enjoy the pups’ gracious company. HE’S NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE: welcome me to join him and the pups outside, that is. Prior to this, it’s always been to ask me to sit the mutts while he GOES somewhere. For until last night he’s always wanted to be left alone with the doggies, so he’d be available for whatever vagrant comes along to join him for friendly conversatin’ or purchase a bit of his product (whether weed or meth, though I wish he’d include shrooms)…and I, of course, would be in the way.

But being the trickster he is, he had to cover up his latest gift with a wrapping of crazy rants, bound together by a cord of dubious friendship all tied up in a bow.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He dropped by last night, around 10 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 29, 2023 at 3:47 PM

> If he’s still wheeling all his stuff around with him, it makes me wonder if the place he’s staying is a unit that’s all “his,” or if it’s one of those situations where they must clear out every morning with all their stuff and then come back at such-and-such an hour.

No I don’t think that’s the case…I believe he has his own room or cabin 24/7. But they don’t allow you to bring in stuff off the streets, as it would surely cause bedbug invasions. Perhaps they’re allowed a little storage in a separate bin, but you definitely can NOT drag stuff off the streets and into the shelter. Maybe he stashes the buggy on a side street or some other hidden spot. I think he uses it just for the doggies, when they need a break from so much walking around. All it contains is a thick, furry throw rug and a couple of warm jackets. When he took off in a taxi, all he brought with him were the dogs and his bluetooth speaker and smartphone. He wasn’t even wearing a jacket, just a T-shirt!

> Or maybe it’s just his longstanding habit to have his stuff with him.

I think so, old habits die hard. In this transition into housing, it’s like a security blanket.

> His litany of complaints are exactly what I’d expect. Also, it must be damned difficult to “adjust” to secure shelter after so many years of living on the street. Happy ending, though, for now…

I believe that’s an accurate assessment. I was just about to post to you my latest Deek report, when I saw this email. It will show up in less than a minute from now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The Shaman’s Way

January 25, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 7]

Subject: No More Cowfish!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 3:33 PM

I just received a call from an unknown number, so passed it through Google Screener, which requested whomever to describe the purpose of this rude disruption (my words, not theirs). Instead of the mystery caller hanging up at that point (the usual scenario), it spit out a stream of text, which I guess is the gov’t’s way of getting the info through:

The translation leaves much to be desired, but I got the gist of it: no more cowfish for Zeke after March of this year! Well, just a little, maybe $22 worth each month instead of $220. Don’t know how I’ll live without my cowfish!


Re: No More Cowfish!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 7:41 PM

> Ha! This is hilarious, right up there with the garbled directions that come with Chinese implements!

I imagine the Google Screener bot did its very best to transcribe the voice of a Chinese accented American English speaker.

> Do cowfish swim with gefilte fish??

Only if it doesn’t mind contracting “regular calf rashes.” Which mangled phrase I guess means “regular cash raises.”

I didn’t notice the “Rate transcription quality” option at the top until it was too late ’cause I deleted the chat session. Dammit.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: You’re not acquainted with the food stamp subsidy, so you may not have figured out that “cowfish” and “cow finish” actually stand for “CalFresh.”


Subject: The JBL beast is dead, long live the Flintstones!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 20, 2023 at 11:56 PM

No more purgatory drama lugging the hefty, gangsta-rap pig of Satan up and down the stairs. “Free at last, free at last, thank Dagon almighty I am free at last!” What’d I say, Wattson? That he wouldn’t be able to hold onto it by his birthday, which is two days from now. Of course he claimed it was stolen, though I suspect otherwise. This time around he gave me a pair of matching speakers to charge. They look just like large rocks, so naturally I call them the Flintstone speakers. I’m sure you would too, Wattson, they just BEG the name! See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

They are actually BOTH the same, dark tone as the one in back. It’s just the sunlight only cast its rays on the one in front, so that’s how the camera saw it.

I bet he bartered them for the JBL Partybox 300. Imagine that: trading a $500 speaker spectaculaire for a pair that couldn’t have cost more than $55 new. Though at this point his JBL was so badly banged up, its value was greatly reduced to just about zilch.

Now, with such an expensive month due to my having to purchase a passel of sleeping bags and doggy sweaters, I did NOT appreciate the zipper breaking on my only winter coat two days ago! I had it for over three years and it still looks good, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. However, I can’t afford to buy a new one at this time…I’ll TRY to repair the zipper. It’s called a Sherpa jacket, which has a nice, white fluffy inner lining and an attractive, plaid-type, fuzzy and thick outer shell with a hood. I decided my next winter coat will fasten with buttons instead of a zipper, but such an option was scant in my price range ($30-40). In fact, what few button-downs WERE available, had lousy customer ratings.

Of course I can get by just fine, wearing two sweaters instead of one, covered with one of two hoodies I recently purchased. But thanks to Deek, I need not have worried. For when he moved on, he left behind a few discarded items including a sweater jacket that (get this, good doctor) had BUTTONS instead of a zipper. See pic:

Click here for a larger view.

Isn’t that a lovely jacket? In pristine condition, looks brand new. I imagine Deek dumped it because it ain’t his style…too “gay” (in his dimwitted appraisal). Nothing but gangsta rap style for my NOLA bitch! And, since he’s held onto BOTH sleeping bags so far (the new one he got that’s ultra warm and fluffy, and the last one I gave him that barely suffices for these icy-chill nights), I guess to add that sweater jacket for the doggies’ warmth would be redundant.

So his trashing it in front of me is as if he read my mind: that I needed a new winter coat…one with buttons instead of a zipper! This is the way of the shaman, when presenting you with a gift: they do so in an offhand manner, often making it look like they just happened to throw it on the ground in your presence. Without ever first saying “Do you need this, I don’t want it.”

ALSO intriguing is that I had fantasized yesterday, asking Deek to find a winter coat for me because the zipper broke on my present one. But then I said to myself nah, he’ll just make a big complication over it, get the wrong size or there’ll be something else about it that will put me off…or even try to squeeze more moolah from me for doing this favor.

It is HEAVY, and toasty warm! At first I thought to hold onto it, for a time when the pups had nothing for comfort like they do now. And as the weeks pass, hopefully I’ll have a growing collection of similar items that will serve in place of sleeping bags that I usually can’t afford. But then I realized it’s a PERFECT replacement for my Sherpa jacket, which will serve the pups quite well, never mind the zipper! And I don’t REALLY need a hood, as I wear a knitted watch cap when it’s cold outside.

Deek showed up this afternoon in a snit, I won’t go into any details ’cause it’s the same old baggage of false accusations and insults. Don’t know how he lost the cover for his smartphone, but it’s a shame since here come the broken screen and glitches from dropping it a dozen times a day…blaming me, of course, for the shoddy outcome. Unless he has enough sense in his noggin to invest in a new cover.

The rest of the meetup was calm (until towards the end), and he laid down that excellent sleeping bag right off the bat, so the mutts could be comfy and warm. I fed the little angels a meal and water, and got to recline beside them for a good ten minutes before returning hovel. At first, Lucky was seated along one edge of the bag, while his sister was sprawled out in the middle.

“Move Flaco further up, so Lucky can have some room; he wants to lie down!” said their master.

I thought Lucky had ample space to do that, but realized that’s why he’s still sitting up by my feet, instead of lying down: patiently waiting for someone to notice. He’s SO polite and respectful towards his sister, he’d never dream of demanding she move! If worse came to worse, he’d just remain sitting there without so much as a yelp. That’s how kind he is to her. He doesn’t mind at all if she tries to push him away from my affections…instead, he’ll start massaging her shoulder with his teeth, which stills her immediately in doggy bliss while I scratch his back. Or he’ll approach me from a different angle so as not to be in her way, yet still receive my caresses.

So I gently grabbed Flaco and slid her a foot further up, then patted on the newly vacant spot and said to her brother: “Here ya go, Lucky, get cozy!” He then gazed down at my hand in hesitation, as if wondering whether or not Flaco would mind. “It’s okay, Lucky, c’mon over!” I assured the sweet love muffin. And so he did, and curled up between myself and his sibling as the warm rays of the sun bathed us all.

Deek smiled down at us while this was going on, which revealed a kinder nature than he usually conveys. I don’t think he knew I noticed that, as my face was turned away from him and focused on his charges.

Later in the day a chill breeze kicked in and, when I stepped out again, asked Deek if I could throw the other sleeping bag over them, not knowing if he’d bite my head off in another burst of faux rage. To my surprise he did not, and just said okay. But had he defied me, I would’ve simply returned upstairs, grabbed a child size sleeping bag and brought it outside and tossed it over the doggies, whether their master liked it or not.

Then when it came time to leave a couple hours later, he went into another hissy fit, declared no real friend would ever call the cops on him, and why do I keep accusing him of lying ’cause all the time we’ve known each other he’s never lied to me even once. My response, Wattson?

“That’s the biggest lie you’ve said yet, on top of all the others, Deek!”

I then wished him and the little quadrupeds a wonderful night and, as I walked towards the front gate, he hissed and fumed words that didn’t quite reach my ears. But just before I entered Hotel California North, I turned back to him and called: “God bless!”

So I’d say it was another excellent visit with my Cajun trickster, overall. I’ve noticed for the past few months, he rarely keeps me up late (that is, past ten o’clock), but usually departs around 7, 8, maybe 9 PM. Allowing me to get a truly good rest, easing into my nocturnal hours watching a movie or some scary Youtube videos, listening to a podcast or browsing the Interwebs. Then it’s off to sleep I go, with low-volume scary tales wafting into my ears.

I think perhaps the short days have shifted him into departing earlier…or maybe he’s just being thoughtful by giving me that time for myself. While composing this missive I’ve also been listening to Memo of the Weird streaming live. Friday night has become my favorite time of the week, thanks to Marshall. And once more I must say:

GOOD RIDDANCE, JBL PARTYBOX 300! MAY YOU NEVER SULLY MY DOORSTEP AGAIN!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I left something out from yesterday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 20, 2023 at 9:15 AM

…nothing to do with Deek, but with lowlife Scooter. When I stepped out to use the restroom some time in the early afternoon, there he was, dressed in white pajamas and walking up the stairs. I involuntarily nodded my head in greeting as I always do whenever I see another person in the hallway, not realizing till a split second later who it is.

“Dammit,” I thought as I proceeded down the side hallway, with no further communication. A few minutes later upon returning hovel, there he was in my hallway about ten feet from where I turned the corner, and he raised his arm in what I assumed was a gesture to get my attention. I didn’t look at him but just vocalized a stern “Nope!” and entered my room. I was busy tending to Deek and pups, and didn’t care for this disturbance, nor did I care to assist a vagrant stranger roaming the halls.

If he had to relieve himself, too bad, I’m not here to unlock bathroom doors for whichever homeless person appears, and should NOT be living here. Too bad, he can poop in a plastic bag if need be. Fortunately, he didn’t call to me or (god forbid) knock on my door, so that was that.

No point in complaining to the building manager, who’s probably still in the hospital or dead by now, anyway. ‘Cause I haven’t crossed his path since I-don’t-know-who-but-think-it-was-Kevin was carried off to the ambulance out front eight days ago. May Karlsen soon join him in the afterworld, so Scooter be driven away.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Discussion]- Tanya Merang: did you get my email in response to yours?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Tanya Merang
Date: January 23, 2023 at 1:20 PM

On 2023-01-23 11:31, Tanya Merang wrote:

> The dachshunds are on page 2 and 3 of the dog breeds:

They are all lovely, two are out of stock, and the other two don’t show the larger pic when I click on the image in the menu. At any rate, I love ’em all, so any dachshund pendant I’d treasure. Out of fear of losing it if I wear it (I have bad luck wearing any jewelry), I’ll hang it by my laptop, as a decoration where I can see it every day. I already checked out her Instagram page, to see more of your SIL Daisie’s jewelry. Absolutely incredible.

> She has a fair number more not on the site (she keeps a bunch for shows…) but if you have a favorite color, let me know, and I’ll send you an email with a picture.

Just send pics of the dachshund ones, if no trouble, thanks! But I don’t need to see any more, as every piece is exquisite. Daisie is a remarkable woman, going by that Corgi Town video I watched.

She does a lot of charity work, including for the LGBT community. Obviously not from your Christian fundamentalist branch of the family.

> The logo at the top of the site was hand painted by yours truly…

Absolutely Delightful!

Click here for a larger view.

> The blond corgi is Zoey, and she’s crossed the rainbow bridge… miss her tons.

I’m sure you do! Dogs are so radiant with loving kindness.

> If there’s a picture of your pups that you’re particularly fond of and would like to see them in the imaginary world of your choice, describe the world and send me the pic of yer Liebehunde, and I’ll be happy to paint a background for your favorite electronic device.

I have so many pics I don’t know where to begin, Tanya! I’ll have to go through them to come up with a favorite. Have you actually seen any of my plethora of doggy videos, to see just how darling they are? If you haven’t, here are four (well under 1 min. each):

At a children’s playground shut down during the pandemic

The Howling (fire engine siren just blew by)

Box Play

Greeting the pups with their homeless master (heartbreaking)

You can view more (tons more) on my doggies playlist, if you are so inclined.

Glad we got the email connection going!

– Zeke (the quasi-dachshund whisperer)


Subject: Birthday Drama Bullshit
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 23, 2023 at 9:44 PM

Woke me up out of a deep sleep yesterday around 8 AM. Annoying, but I let it slide ’cause I can’t have the pups stay with me, and I know how difficult it must be to watch over them 24/7 when you live on the streets…especially with one so emotionally stunted. Okay, off to a good start I suppose, he didn’t seem upset when he called up to me, and it was a quiet morning. But just when I got to the gate, a street cleaner started up his pressure hose right out front, spraying the sidewalk with a chill cloud of mist enveloping me with a horrid cacophony of noise! If it ain’t Deek’s screams, it’s someone else blowing off my eardrums!

They were at the bus stop and as I approached, Deek exploded in a fury and dashed his drink across the sidewalk where it smashed against Super Duper’s window. Hollering how he’s ready to give up the dogs, he can’t take it anymore, someone offered him a “hunner dollah” for them, and Flaco wouldn’t let him fuck his girlfriend because she kept barking until they let her scramble between them, etc., etc. Fortunately, the gasoline motor of that pressure hose drowned out his voice to the point where it couldn’t float up to my neighbors’ windows. I had brought with me a bowl of water for the dogs and just when I moved to set it down, he whacked it outta my hands.

What a way to start the morning, eh, Wattson?

The grating noise of the pressure hose went on for almost ten more minutes while Deek played his stupid, angry drama and I crouched down to pet the doggies. Of course I didn’t buy any of his bull crap and, soon as he took a pause, I stood up, stretched out my arms and sang (in my tone deaf, flat voice):

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!”

Which really ticked him off. Nonetheless, in spite of his attempts to screech even louder, I completed that popular tune:

“Happy birthday dear Dee-eek, happy birthday to you!”

The street cleaner finally shut down his equipment and drove away, and all was reasonably quiet once more…including Deek who had toned things down to a grumble.

“Let me bring down another bowl of water,” I said. “And how ’bout I fix ’em breakfast?”

But he’d have none of it, so just packed everything back into the cart and took off with the mutts. I returned hovel, glad for some peace and quiet at last. Twenty minutes later he returned, called up to me and asked for a bowl of water and a meal for the hounds.

“Sure!” I said, relieved to see he had calmed down.

“How much do I have left for the month?” he queried as I laid down the bowls and the doggies eagerly partook.

“A hundred dollars.” I replied.

“Can I have this Thursday’s in advance?”

“Well, I suppose, but I’ll have to go to the bank,” I answered.

“How about the whole hunner dollah?” he blurted. “It’s my birthday, and I promise I won’t bother you again for the rest of the month.”

“Sure,” I shrugged my shoulders. “Just so you know, you won’t get paid again for twelve long days from now.”

He was fine with that (yeah right, we’ll see), so off I went to collect his final buckazoids for January. By the time I returned he was ready to depart again. I gave the pooches a few more sweet hugs and off they went.

Deek returned in the evening to pick up his devices, including just ONE of his pair of Flinstone speakers, because he broke the other when it dropped from his shopping cart some time last night. But it was still in his cart that morning, all smashed up; that’s how I know.

Again, he started insulting me with a variety of accusations that you have already heard about many times over. I simply ignored him and fixed the pups another meal, laid some sheets of cardboard down for them, and a spare sleeping blanket that’s part of my bedding. Since Deek is too heartless to set up a comfy nest for the dogs himself, with his own comforter.

But since he kept up his expletives I finally dished it back: “Oh, little baby Deek is upset? Does baby Deek need his diapers changed? Poor little baby Deek, he’s always crying and screaming ’cause he dropped his lollipop!” I also admonished him: “I don’t wanna hear you talk in anger about the dogs, ever again…that’s disgusting! They’re a BLESSING!”

I wouldn’t let up, so he finally packed his stuff and departed. Upon which I collected my sleeping bag and placed the cardboard by the nearby trash bin before returning upstairs. I think he just went up the block, thus denying Flaco & Lucky their cozy nest. About two hours later he returned, called to me and said to bring his gizmos down, they’ll be at the bus stop and he’s already laid down some cardboard and a blanket for the hounds. Glad to see he was contrite once more, I did as he requested, hugged and kissed the quadrupeds for a few minutes, then returned back upstairs. They left about an hour later.

He didn’t show up again until this evening, and seemed to be in a good mood. Didn’t mind at all when I brought down some cardboard and a sleeping bag for the dogs. But about an hour later, when he had a couple of other vagrants for company (including his friend also named Deek, whom I haven’t seen for over a year), he started to insult me when I stepped back outside to pick up the empty food bowls. The dogs had moved about and were no longer covered, so I went back upstairs to get a second child-size sleeping bag to lay over them…and that’s when their master got vicious.

So again I played the “baby” game on him, told him it’ll be a miracle the day he finally grows up. He kept yanking part of the second bag off them, even though both dogs were comfortably curled up and glad for the extra warmth. I kept placing the bag back over them, he kept pulling it off, but gave up and finally let them remain covered. ‘Cause he knew I wouldn’t give in.

Then, just before I rose to return hovel, he stood up and said: “I got a book to show you, it’ll prove I’m right!” Then rummaged through his shopping cart until he found it. It was a lovely coffee table book about dragons with many colorful illustrations. “See?” he said while pointing at the cover depicting a ferocious dragon spewing flames.

His point in all this was that book justified his accusation that I’m evil, because I’m a dragon myself. This goes way back to older conversations last year, if you recall.

“Doesn’t prove a thing, Deek,” I clarified. “There are good dragons as well as bad dragons, good angels and bad angels, and good people and bad people. That’s just ONE book, there are thousands of books about dragons. You’re just too stupid and uneducated to know better.”

The other Deek was grinning, holding back a guffaw. By then there was yet aNOTHER vagrant parked along the ATM plywood. So that makes THREE visitors. The third fellow was blond, skinny, attractive, well dressed and of a pleasant demeanor. Some time later I looked outside again, to see the pups still covered, though Flaco was halfway emerged, thus exposed to the cold breezes. I could see Deek nodding forward in his sleepy meth stupor, so knew it was safe for me to step back outside and arrange the comforter to cover Flaco back up.

As I exited the front gate, Deek #2 looked up at me and smiled, as I raised a finger to my lips to tell him to stay quiet. I crouched down and pet Flaco a few times, then folded a corner of the bag over her exposed half, and she hunkered back down again in happy repose.

Now I’m back upstairs, good doctor, composing this very sentence. I think I’ll stop here for now. If I have anything further to report about tonight’s meetup, you’ll be the first to know.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Birthday Drama Bullshit [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 23, 2023 at 11:28 PM

Deek left about an hour ago, so when I returned his electronics I asked if I could borrow that dragon book. “No, you can have it,” he replied. So here’s the front cover:

Click here for a larger view.

Turns out to be a gamebook for “Dungeons and Dragons.” And here is a lovely illustration somewhere in the middle:

Click here for a larger view.

Before he woke up and got ready to leave, I noticed only one homeless visitor remained, and he was tidying up Deek’s cart and stuff around it. Here’s a quick video (10 secs.):

I went back outside to cover up Flaco again, then spoke with the fellow: “I see you’re straightening out Deek’s cart, well done.”

“Yeah, thanks,” he replied. “Do you really think I did a good job?”

“I’d say so, since Deek’s so sloppy it takes a lot of focus to tidy up his cart.”

And finally, here’s Deek with some lady two afternoons ago. I forgot to include that entire little episode in my tales, but not really much to say about it. Except that he gave me a hard time when I stepped back outside to provide some cardboard and a sleeping bag for the pups. She’s on the right, in a brown coat. Deek and Flaco are in the center, and Lucky’s on the left atop the sleeping bag:

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: The dragon book was a gift…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:32 AM

…of course! He knows how much I love dragons. Didn’t I just talk about how shamans (or “bodhisattva guardians,” same thing) are most obscure and sneaky when they bless you with a gift? Previous to this book, that would be the lovely sweater jacket, which he tossed to the ground like trash. But this time around he staged a hissy fit while waving the dragon book in my face. The hilarious thing about this is it didn’t hit me that it was another offertory till some time AFTER I asked to borrow it. When I was flipping through the book after taking those two photos, it struck me like running blind into a brick wall: “Duh! It’s a another gift! Of course!” Keep in mind here, Wattson, that shamans are almost always tricksters to boot. Thus, his unseemly behavior was most appropriate.

Yesterday evening I overheard a tenant speaking with his guest as they climbed up the stairs (I had just stepped outside my room to bring Deek his gadgets):

“Our building manager’s a really old man, he’s in the hospital now and may never come back.” [Side note: they were laughing boisterously at that, nothing mournful about it. Who can blame them?]

But when I told Deek what I just heard from another resident, he insisted it isn’t Kevin…he definitely saw him exit the building just minutes before the EMTs arrived.

“And that wasn’t him being carried out to the ambulance!” he added.

Now as we both know, good physician, Deek is hardly the most reliable source of information on anything, even as a witness. Who can tell whether what he saw was real or a meth induced phantasmagoria? But I did not press him on that touchy subject; I simply declared with a chuckle:

“Maybe you saw his ghost!”

As for what yours truly thinks about all this: I’m sure it was our building manager shunted off to S.F. General, no matter my Cajun monkey’s claim otherwise. After all he IS a trickster, who may indeed know it was Kevin…so what’s REALLY going on? Here’s my conjecture:

Yet another silly plot cooked up by my bodhisattva overseers…perhaps with even Kevin himself playing his role by feigning a dying man, all for my entertainment. If so, he’s probably having a good laugh right now, along with Deek, Arwyn and any other members of the pro-Zeke cabal that get together on a frequent basis to hatch their next scheme at THIS sitting-duck pilgrim’s expense! And ya know what, Wattson? I’m laughing, too, at the very idea…’cause it’s wonderful, if true. Besides which: I love ducks!

BTW Scooter was hangin’ around outside last night for a time while Deek and pups were there, leaning his butt against the hoop shaped bicycle rack and smokin’ a ciggie…RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE. So that put a damper on my stepping outside until, thank god, he finally disappeared after twenty minutes or so. I hate these fuckin’ nosy twerps who impose themselves in the middle of my own world, unwelcome and unbidden! Like they dropped from some hellish wormhole in the sky and landed right before me. Scooter’s just the most recent.

Now let’s go back to January of last year, when a tenant named “Atom” posted to my door a notice of complaint against the building manager, and that we, the residents, should form a tenants union. You remember that, I’m sure, but just in case you need a refresher, here’s a link to that document.

As you also know, Atom’s worthy proposal never went anywhere, but it wasn’t till quite recently that I realized this person is the one I’ve been calling “chihuahua man” in my tales! Who introduced himself to me some late month in 2021 as “Adam.” At least, that’s what I heard, and no one can blame me for the mistake, as he never said “Atom, as in A-T-O-M,” which I think he should do for ANYone he meets. FYI:

The ONLY reason it dawned on me his name is Atom (not Adam) was because whenever I checked the delivery packages in the lobby I kept coming across ones addressed to “Atom.” Many of which were from the online pet store “Chewy”…and he DOES own two, delightful chihuahuas. Which repetition of seeing doggy packages delivered to one “Atom,” eventually led me to this astounding breakthrough: that Adam is “Atom,” and he’s the one who tried to start a tenants union, thanks to lousy management!

I suppose Kevin’s likely demise is a victory of sorts, and that Atom may be pleased as punch about that, as I am likewise. And remember, also: he IS the person who blew up in my face, once, for Flaco & Lucky’s wild barking at him in the hallway…but who, some days later, apologized for that and has been very nice to me ever since. Not that he shows any interest in getting to know me beyond a neighborly rapport. So it’s unlikely we’ll ever discuss Kevin’s welcome disappearance, and share a few chuckles over that. However, I have this amusing theory about him:

In light of the tenants union proposal falling flat on its face, perhaps Atom came up with a NEW strategy: befriending the building manager and inviting him over for a tall glass of beer (or liquor or wine or bubbly…or a cup of tea or java) once or twice a week…slowly poisoning him a la “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

And with that delightful reverie of dark speculation, I leave you for the nonce, dear comrade Morticia, and wish you a most loverly day!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The dragon book was a gift… [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:55 AM

Atom is chihuahua man’s real name, for which I’ve been using the pseudonym “Samuel” in my tales. The mixup of Adam and Atom is so perfect, I have no idea what pseudonyms may be out there to convey the same level of an almost identical matchup. I just duckduckgo’d the phrase “two boys names that sound identical,” with unsatisfying results. I am SO tempted to leave his true name be, but that may pose a legal problem in the future. So, the hunt is on…wish me luck!


Re: Birthday Drama Bullshit [ADDENDUM]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 2:42 PM

> Great illustrations.

Yes, lovely book to pore over. Here’s another pic:

Click here for a larger view.

> Deek can often be counted on to turn nasty with you when his pals are around, alas. Putting on a show for them. F**kinga**hole.

MOST of the time whenever a friend of his appears he turns on the charm so they won’t witness his horrendous treatment towards me. But not always, and he foolishly thinks that won’t work against him in the long run. Sets off an alarm in their OWN heads that blares: “DON’T TRUST THIS FELLOW! BE CAUTIOUS!”

Because they witness how kind I am to BOTH the pups and his own idiot self. One of his “guests” might very well up and give him what for, if he continues this charade. AFAIC I’ve already won this battle. And he DID keep the doggies covered in spite of his faux opposition. Which is a clue right there when you interpret the scenario as another bodhisattva challenge. Which is not to cave in while maintaining my cool.

> I’ll bet you can leave the name be and not have to worry about it.

That’s what I’m concluding, too. Great minds think alike.

– Zeke K-Holmes

FURTHERMORE

Deek’s “friends” may also be shamans themselves, thus are players in these scenarios of his outrageous temper tantrums. They probably enjoy watching how well I handle such conflicts…like seeing their (spiritual) child grow right and strong into young adulthood. I always do my best to not assume that all is what it appears to be, and thus avoid pitfalls that come from a simpleminded perception. Either that or I’m just a jaded, wackadoodle disillusioned flower child thanks in part to (my taking to heart) the Buddha’s claim that we have no enemies, only teachers.

Uh-oh, just checked my calendar: looks like my annual membership to the Church of the Subgenius has lapsed again!


Subject: Touching Beyond These Words
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 3:58 PM

Again, this occurred during last night’s meetup. When I returned outside a second time to replace a corner of the sleeping bag over Flaco, she first looked up at me with beaming gratitude in her eyes, then turned her head towards her master with a concerned gaze. He was seated with his lower back pressed against the plywood, his head gently bobbing in a deep slumber. Then she looked back at me, as if to convey the following kind words:

“I worry about him so much, Uncle Zeke…I burst with pride to be his guardian!”

Then she lowered her little noggin between her precious forelegs as I returned a portion of the sleeping bag over her exposed front half:

“Thanks for keeping me warm, Uncle Zeke, so it’s off to sleep I go now, to stay healthy and strong for my master.”

She loves him with a thousand hearts. They both do.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: What It’s Like Tonight
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2023 at 11:30 PM

Here’s what it’s like right now, below my window:

Click here for a larger view.

The homeless “artiste” there in the background owns the junk in the foreground. He set up shop in less than one minute after Deek crashed out and I started getting the pups settled in. He sometimes goes into small spurts of rage as he scrapes and scratches and paints on that canvas…ah, the temperamental dauber, how fantastique! He sometimes even takes a flame to parts of the canvas with a cheap Bic lighter. I have not a whiff of doubt that some wealthy benefactor shall discover him soon while strolling the Castro, and adopt as his own talented son.

The black bundle in the center-right is Deek sound asleep…I threw a black jacket over him, from that baby stroller he has tonight in lieu of a shopping cart. Lucky was riding in it: really cute to see him so happy in his own buggy. The orange lump is the two child-size sleeping bags I laid down on some cardboard sheets, with the pups warmly burrowed within.

So I guess he no longer has that green sleeping bag I bought him, nor a couple of other comforters he acquired a few days back, seeing as the shopping cart is gone. That pic was taken an hour ago…since then, Deek wrapped the top sleeping bag around him, with Flaco hidden beneath, in his arms. Unfortunately, Lucky was not cuddled up with them, but laid atop the bag, in the crook of his master’s legs. Now how difficult would it have been for him to get Lucky under there with him and Flaco? So a few minutes ago I went downstairs with a blue jacket he left behind last week, that I had tossed in my laundry basket…and placed it over Lucky. I could tell he appreciated that!

When Deek first showed up this evening, I asked if I should bring the pups a meal. “I don’t care!” he snapped at me. “Well I care, Deek,” I replied before lugging his electronics upstairs. “And you should too.”

By the time I returned with their food and water, he was already sound asleep, sprawled right there upon the concrete and up against the plywood…while the pups were just standing about, unleashed and with only the sidewalk to sit upon. Well, I took care of their situation and made them comfy and secure posthaste. I also brought them some jerky treats, which they love, and sat down with them for a short while. Once returned hovel, I’d look out the window now and then, to see if either dog needed to be covered up again. One or the other did, a few times over the past four hours, and I stepped out each time to secure their comfort once more.

So, whether or not he wakes up before midnight remains to be seen. He just might saw wood until a wee hour, then wake me from my sleep to collect the gizmos. Or he might remain zonked out until after the sun rises. I have no control over that, but I’d actually prefer the last scenario, as then I’ll know the hounds got a solid rest, cozy and warm. And I can feed them breakfast.

It’s almost 11:30 PM now, I guess you’ve already hit the sack, and I’m about to do the same. Hopefully, my sleep won’t be disturbed by Deek calling “Yo! Yo!” at my window. But if he does, I’ll just go through the motions of bringing his toys back downstairs, give the pups some hugs and wish them all a bless-ed night. Then return to my cushy cot and thank the Fates for keeping my brindlekin alive, happy and in good health.

I sure miss having those little quadrupeds share my bed! And I’m equally sure they feel the same way.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Good Morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2023 at 10:27 AM

Obviously, they crashed below my window for the entire night. Totally peaceful except for the grungy “artiste” flipping out around 1:30 AM, screeching nonsense about how he’s saving our souls from the machinations of City Hall, so we’d all better damned well respect him or else. Which aroused the pups into barking mode, so I stepped out to watch over them (Deek remained sound asleep through it all) while a Hohokum worker tried to reason with him in hopes he’ll calm down.

But he didn’t, just got crazier…thus the worker drove him away without calling the cops, though he was about to. Did it all with his words and body gestures, did not push the vagrant or touch him in any other way. Good job, I’d say! The Hohukum employees we now have seem to be a nicer group of folks, no disturbances from them for months these days. And they have adapted to the presence of vagrants in a sensible but firm manner. They certainly never give Deek and doggies a hard time; in fact they’re downright friendly.

I’m glad I brought those orange child-size sleeping bags out for the pooches, even though their master griped about it. I’m sure HE wound up appreciating the comfort as well, though he’ll never admit it. Just look at him languishing upon the fluff! Dogs have already been fed about a half hour ago, and Deek awoke to ask for a soda and his electronics.

Maybe, just maybe, he won’t explode into a snit this morning, and will depart in peace when he’s ready to start the day. Which is wonderfully sunny and on the warm side already! I’m on my second Rudi’s muffin right now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Reconciliation with Tanya Merang

January 19, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 6]

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

Subject: Some dog sitting, then the rain returns!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 5:16 PM

Deek dropped by around 2 PM, asked me to watch the pups for a half hour, maybe as long as an hour, after I lugged the speaker upstairs. I said fine, and he was gone in a flash, leaving me to feed the angels, and set up a comfy nest. See attached pics. Dogs ain’t wearin’ the new sweaters I gave them yesterday…the idiot wastes my money like a vacuum cleaner on an open wallet! But worse than that: he neglects the pups.

He returned just forty minutes later with a large cup of iced coffee. “Here, put some sugar in it!”

“I don’t use sugar, Deek,” I replied. “I have honey, but stirring it up will take a while, ’cause it’s an iced drink.”

“Okay, just do it,” he replied.

When I returned downstairs I asked him: “They didn’t have any sugar where you bought it?”

“They do, but I didn’t have the time,” was his dumb excuse. Unbelievable!

So he’s now camped outside, waiting for his speaker to reach full charge…and it started to rain almost an hour ago. See video:

Don’t know where he got that huge tarp, but I’m glad he did. Though I imagine the cardboard sheets are soaked up like a sponge by now, which I had originally covered with that tarp. If only I had used a few trash bags instead!

The rain didn’t last long, it’s already stopped, and I hope he departs before the next deluge. Our entire meetup (so far) has been amicable, nonetheless…not an angry chirp out of the Cajun fuck-up. And while I was sitting the pups, a gentleman who parked nearby called me over to hand me a Jackson. I said thanks so much, I’m not homeless myself, but my friend is who owns these dogs, and I help out. But guess what, Wattson:

HE’S NEVER GONNA SEE THAT TWENTY! ‘Cause he keeps wasting my money over sweaters and sleeping bags, so I’ll use that bill to purchase another bag. For now on any cash some kind person offers me while I’m watching the mutts will never reach Deek’s grubby hands.

So the JBL Partybox 300 is now blinking on the fifth, and final, row of lights, which means it’ll be fully charged within the hour.

I ordered another supply of groceries from Amazon, around $42 this time…so long as I order over $35 I pay no delivery fee. I saved a lot of money over what I’d spend at corner stores, on canned/wrapped items such as pinto beans, roasted bell pepper, sliced black olives, cheese, etc. Compare $3.29 for a can of pintos from around the corner, to $1.79 from Amazon. I stocked up on canned and bottled goods to last me the rest of the month.

A half-pound bag of shredded mozzarrella is almost half the price from Amazon…so I ordered two. And I got my absolute favorite brand of raisin bread: Ezekiel’s, which bakes with sprouted grains only, and their bread is multi-grain. Haven’t enjoyed that brand in years! BETTER than Alvarado Street, though more expensive. I also purchased a 1-pound bag of frozen, mixed berries for just $3.99! Now I can afford berries again, which are so good for a person…and frozen, they’ll make a great smoothie.

I can’t stock up on perishables, of course, and since the minimum order to avoid delivery fee is $35, I’m outta luck when it comes to ordering milk and such. Besides, customer ratings show that delivery of fresh food often leaves much to be desired: mushy or hard-as-rock avocados, overripe bananas and so on. I hardly touch fresh produce anyway, except bananas…and potatoes, onion and garlic, to make my veggie stews. Canned and frozen are more nutritional as it turns out, as crops are picked at the peak of ripeness…whereas so-called “fresh” produce takes time to get to the stores, and then sits for days in the bins and shelves.

I even got a 1-pound bag of red lentils for a dollar less than my local health food store sells in bulk. For some reason I couldn’t order two bags, which I wanted. There was only an option to order one in the drop-down list. Regardless, the savings on groceries are much appreciated.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I’ll be looking into what dental services are out there for me, after February 17th, which is when my new Medi-Cal option kicks in. I had to choose between the San Francisco Health Plan and Anthem Blue Cross. I went for the former, as this city has been good to me. The services are pretty identical, though there are SOME advantages for the SF plan over Anthem. But I guess many clients don’t care to be limited to their home county for their health insurance needs.


Re: New Post: The Muffin Chapter
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 8:12 PM

> Love the muffin pic. Were those your actual muffins??

No, I ripped it from a search. You’ll never see me eat off a black dish.

> I’m SO jealous. The place in FB is out of them. Struggling along with substitutes.

Good thing Safeway has an acceptable muffin backup!

> Wish I could order food from Amazon. Doubt there’s delivery up here in the wilderness.

Pluses and minuses whether you live the urban or rural life.

> Did the Rudi’s muffins arrive frozen?

Yes.

> From the post:

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

> This seems sort of like a dead giveaway, though, nyet? I don’t think we should tip our hand.

People on the lists already know that someone who lives in your county is “My Dear Wattson,” if they bothered to read that post. And I informed them I have SEVERAL friends up there, who’ve invited me to join the MCN list server, just to keep them off the track. As far as they’re concerned, it could be Marshall. Or Alvin. Or Mel Porter, or Timothy Dipalma, or one of three women on the announcement list who’ve expressed their enjoyment of my posts, including Lisa Harwood. Also, no one on either list has expressed any kind of vengeance towards anyone promoting me, including Marshall. So I don’t think that passage is anything to worry about. It never occurred to me that would be a problem for you. My apologies, Wattson!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 9:48 PM

The sleeping bag was sopping wet, so I took that upstairs to hang dry, told him I’d come back down with a dry one…the last I had still in its plastic wrapper. But I forgot to bring it back down, and in his hurry to pack up and leave, he didn’t ask where it is, but wished me a good night and took off towards Castro Street. I was very pleased with this meetup, as he was patient and friendly all the way through, in spite of him sitting out the downpour. When I went back hovel to replace the soggy newspaper I had already laid down, I saw that new sleeping bag on my cot, and realized then I forgot about it.

So I quickly donned my jacket, grabbed the bag and rushed up Market Street, hoping to find them. And I did: they were crossing the intersection where I had several seconds to dash across before the light would change.

“Deek! Deek!” I called to him so he’d stop and turn around, then handed him the bag. “Glad I found you!”

He smiled and said, “You didn’t need to do that!”

“Ah, but I wanted to,” I replied then marched on back home. But barely a half hour later I hear his angry hollers right outside, as I’m sure did everyone else on this side of the building. So I looked out the window, he glared up at me and demanded I get down there NOW. As I descended down the stairs I heard him yelling: “WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LO-ONG?”

As I stepped out the front gate I said, “Yeah, what’s the problem now?” I suspected (and feared) his expensive speaker stopped functioning and, despite how badly he’s banged it around over the days, and walked with it through nasty downpours, he was about to blame me. But as it turned out, it had to do with his smartphone:

“ALL MY MUSIC’S GONE, WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“Here, let me look at it, I did nothing but charge it.”

He handed it to me and as I walked up the stairs I turned the screen back on to find a white window that popped up, telling me I need to update my phone. I couldn’t swipe it away, but there was a “clear” button on the bottom right which I tapped and voila! the home screen appeared. So I then tapped on the music icon and up came all his songs, upon which unexpected success I turned around and stepped outside to where Deek was sitting at the bus stop.

“Nothing wrong with it, Deek,” I declared while handing it back to him. “All your music is there, so enjoy.”

Nonetheless he persisted in blaming me, although I tried to make it clear the REAL problem is he’s never bothered to learn the basics of using a smartphone.

“I WALKED ALL THE WAY BACK FROM THE CIVIC CENTER BECAUSE IT COULDN’T FIND THE MUSIC! WHAT SHOULD I DO IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN? I’M ALL UPSET!”

“Just press on the ‘clear’ button on that window that blocks access to your music,” I told him.

He didn’t understand what I was talking about, so I added: “Sometimes the phone doesn’t recognize the extra storage chip, which is a glitch. Just restart the phone and it should clear up.”

“HOW’D YOU FIX IT SO FAST, WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“There was nothing to fix, Deek,” I replied. “I didn’t even get halfway up the stairs before I got your music back up. You just don’t understand how to use a smartphone, and refuse to let me teach you. You’d rather come back with another excuse to scream at me.”

“YOU CAN GO NOW, I’M STILL PISSED AT YOU!”

“Well, you shouldn’t be, I did nothing wrong,” I calmly replied while petting the doggies. “Okay, I’m going now, hope you have a good night. And next time something like that happens, try restarting your phone before you start screaming in front of my building, please.”

Then he stood up and walked towards the boarded up ATM nook and exclaimed that he left a bag of pot around there, and now it’s gone. I didn’t bother to respond as I figured he’s just cooking up another pretext to berate me. That is when I decided to leave, thinking to myself:

“What’d I say: he rarely allows a meetup to go peacefully from start to finish…he’s just gotta ruin it one way or another! And make those poor hounds sad and scared.” But that’s only the half of it, Wattson:

About ten minutes later I looked out the window to see he was still there, now with two other vagrants visiting, one of whom I thought was Boulevard Joe, because of the similar body type and bald head with a circle of frizzy blond hair…though I couldn’t see his face. So I decided to step out and greet him. But it wasn’t Joe, and Deek turned to me, upset about something else:

“They’re doing a sweep of the homeless throughout the Mission tonight! They’re telling us they got rooms for everyone now, and it’s illegal to refuse the offer…no one can live on the streets anymore! Look it up on your computer!”

Now I don’t know how much of what he was griping about was bullshit…probably all, I presume, as a cover-up for his outrageous “you-broke-my-smartphone” drama. Maybe a cop told him that, just to fuck with him, I just don’t know. However, I told him these homeless sweeps are illegal and unconstitutional, and City Hall is facing a big lawsuit as a result because they’re not backing off. One of the indigents visiting with Deek nodded his head in agreement.

But Deek fumed on in feigned anger as I pet the pooches to give them solace from their master’s scary behavior. Then I stood up, said to him:

“So you do realize now, don’t you, that sometimes a smartphone won’t recognize the extra chip, and you just need to restart it?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, GET OUTTA MY FACE!”

I then crouched down again to caress Flaco & Lucky once more, and calmly replied: “You need to stop acting like a shit-head, Deek. Stop the drama, please.”

He ignored me and resumed his conversation with his temporary guests, and I lingered another minute or so, then took off. Now, it’s been over an hour and he’s still out there, blasting his gansta rap…not THAT loud, but enough to be a disturbance. If only he went back to the Civic Center or wherever, anywhere except on my block!

The dogs are just sitting there on the cold, damp concrete, as patient and loyal as can be. Guess I’ll bring down some cardboard for them to sit on. [Pause.] Okay, I just got back, asked him to tone it down, and he said okay and lowered the volume. Flaco was curled up on his lap and her brother was sitting on a comfy dry jacket. So I set the cardboard beneath the bus stop seats and said this is so they won’t have to sit on the cold sidewalk, should they move from their spots.

He said thank you, I pet the dogs and returned hovel. Jeez! Force them all into housing, San Franshitsco, please, please, please! The brindlekin would have a safe, warm place to stay, and I wouldn’t be wiping out my bank account over sleeping bags and sweaters!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2023 at 11:40 PM

> This is a HUGE chronic strain on you.

Not really, it’s a strain but neither huge nor chronic. Other folks go through much worse, and I certainly have it easy compared to your devoted care for Dan’s widow, and what she puts you through. Others deal with cancer, long covid, severe disabiliy, violence, rape and so on.

> Is there any truth to the rumor that they’re going to force people off the streets? For the pups’ sake, and yours, I hope it’s so. God damn!!!

I think that is possible, thanks to the lawsuit against city hall’s homeless sweeps. For the law states if there are not enough beds for the unhoused, they canNOT force them to move along or take and destroy their possessions. But if they DO have enough spaces, that’s a different story. So city officials just might be moving fast to avoid a huge, costly judgment against them.

The problem with Deek, though, is he PREFERS his vagrant lifestyle but that era is coming to a close, and he senses it. Enough of his bull crap about how he comes from a hardworking family that NEVER accepted handouts. He certainly doesn’t mind taking handouts from yours truly, even though I am subsidized by the gummint. SO glad I didn’t hand over that $20 a kind stranger gave me today, when he saw me sitting those lovely pups.

Too many houseless people play out horrendous dramas and leave huge, filthy messes that deteriorate the quality of life in whatever neighborhood they make their stage. Granted, they are a minority among their crowd, but it only takes one screamer to destroy the peace for blocks around. They give the REST of the vagrants a bad name, and that includes Deek. I am ONLY here for him, because of the brindlekin. He is one of THE most obnoxious people I’ve ever met…thus is why I cut him outta my life a few years back, when he didn’t HAVE Flaco & Lucky.

He was also upset that Scampy and her “boyfriend” (whoever that is) just got a room, yet he still keeps getting turned down. But here I go, taking him seriously…this is all just bullshit he’s spewing to be the drama queen he is. But he doesn’t get the BIG picture, that being homeless is not his fault, and there is a better way to live on the streets, as well as work the system to his advantage where he’ll finally get a roof over his head.

I’ve attempted to explain these things to him many times, but he usually shuts me up before I get more than a few words out. In fact the ONLY time we’ve had a good long talk about these things was ONCE, and that was just a week ago! And now we have another homeless meth head living on and off in our building…one who seems potentially dangerous, unlike my Cajun pain-in-the-ass…AND I HAVE TO SHARE THE BATHROOM WITH HIM! Disgusting fellow, this Karlsen, this vodka guzzling, Bohemian imposter who brought Scooter into my world.

As for our building manager: haven’t seen hide nor hair of the doddering prick, but that’s not unusual if I don’t see him for three or four days. So I STILL don’t know if that was him carted into the ambulance last night. BTW I met a very attractive, friendly young guy coming down the stairs this morning, as I walked up. Never saw him before. He smiled and asked in passing, “Is it wet out there?”

“Well, it’s plenty wet but not raining right now, if that’s what you mean,” I replied as he turned the corner landing.

“Good to hear,” he called back from the lobby.

But what charmed me was his seemingly unpretentious demeanor, so unlike most good-looking, young gay guys I meet, who are usually arrogant, argumentative and full of themselves. After he passed by me and exited the building, he left an invisible cloud of grace floating around that I luxuriated in. (Maybe it was the cologne, but if so, it was one of those brands based more on pheromones than scent!) He’s around 32 years old, richly brown haired, my height, a visage terribly pleasing on the eyes, and was nicely dressed in a non-assuming fashion. I actually had a lovely roll in the hay with someone just like that, six or seven years ago…quite personable, sweet natured, great sense of humor and a body like Adonis.

Don’t get me wrong, Wattson, I have ZILCH interest in scoring another notch on my bedpost to add as my “latest conquest.” But I AM interested in befriending someone good natured and attractive, on a strictly platonic level. I sense another bodhisattva angel entering my world! I hope I hope I hope! I hop I hop I hop!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Tanya Spike Kozlowski nuptials
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 15, 2023 at 10:34 AM

On Fri, 13 Jan 2023 18:15:58 -0800 Tanya Merang posted:

> The behavior you’re describing is called generalization… It’s very common, but knowing that, you should consider the fact that it’s also irrational.

Outstanding reply, the entire post. Just wondering what took you so long, Tanya! Given the context of Mr. Kozlowski’s reprehensibly false accusations against me, when you defend my integrity, you defend the integrity of LGBTs everywhere. This is true for ANY queer person online, when attacked by homophobes, just for saying they’re a sexual minority and/or including LGBT oriented news and topics. But I suspect something else is going on:

My activist mettle is being tested by one who is actually an ally to gays, but playing the devil’s advocate. Such that, should I cave in by no longer speaking out, I have failed the challenge. And you, Tanya, are playing a similar role though from a different slant, that is: a more subtle form of homophobia to find any weak spots in my stance. We have no enemies, only teachers, as my Bodhisattva Premise claims, and explains in much detail and with many examples via my Brindlekin Tales. Which you SHOULD read, as I think you’ll be impressed…and they are written in an entertaining fashion. Even Mr. Sewers is in several of my tales, just under a pseudonym. In fact, one entire chapter is dedicated to the Nazi ass wipe:

Checkmate, Mr. Kozlowski

-----

Re: Tanya Spike Kozlowski nuptials
From: Tanya Merang
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 13, 2023 at 1:20 PM

In fact it's pretty well known in behavioral circles, a perv who goes after children doesn't see their sex, and is instead attracted to an appearance or aspect of the child independent of sex and will assault boys or girls with equal likelihood as long as they have that trait. Most pedophiles identify as heterosexual (like 95%), but may molest children of either sex. The man that attacked you wasn't gay, he was just a pedophile. Don't blame queer people for sick buggers like that. Blame sick buggers like that.

I have no idea what part of your description of Zeke comes from personal facts he may have shared and what parts you extrapolated into some glorious swamp of human unfitness. That all happened way before I came on the scene, but I can't imagine any of that was how Zeke described himself. So I'm going to make an assertion, and you can tell me if I'm completely off base. You despised Zeke, well before you defined him as this being, and in fact, you defined him as this being that precisely because you already had a rolling head of steam flying you down the track titled "I despise Zeke." Am I completely off base here?

Separating fact from story:

- Zeke came to the community list from outside of the community, and as far as you're concerned was never welcome...
- As far as you're concerned Zeke has exactly zero positive traits as a human being...
- He dominated the list with his opinions, politics, and social beliefs and you agreed with none of it, and wanting him gone in the worst possible way...
- You found solid reasons to hate every atom of him... And without too much work, you came up with plenty more...
- And now verbally beating him like a bass-fiddle is one of your favorite pastimes.

Have I pretty well captured the essence of that... minus the justifications and the stories.

So just a small observation... None of this is about Zeke. None of it. It's all about how you think, feel, and react to Zeke... This is all about you, and your response to your interpretation of Zeke. You could actually confront your own interpretation. You might not want to, or even believe you should have to. But you could. Because Zeke is just being Zeke. He doesn't "Zeke" because of you, though I will admit, he "Zekes" more just to spite you. He Zekes, because he's Zeke.

Spike, there's nothing wrong with having thoughts and feelings, political and social beliefs and certainly there's nothing wrong in pursuing what you believe is important. Isn't there a way to do that without Zeke being your backstop? Why bounce off him to make your point? Why let him use you to make his? Just cut the guy a huge berth and let him play on his side of the road.You don't like it over there anyway. What he thinks is none of your business and certainly none of your interest. There is a country mile between not giving Zeke an inch, and celebrating every inch of your own space. A little more time having a little more fun, and a little less bludgeoning might be a good change. Just thoughts to roll around.

Click here for a larger view.

Re: He left in peace, but came back hollering a half hour later!
From: My Dear Wattson
To: MCN discussion
Date: January 15, 2023 at 5:27 PM

> Oh, I’m aware that my “troubles” are trifling compared to so many people’s. I’m aware of it every moment of every day. But “trouble,” and the misery it causes, will, like an expanding gas, take up whatever space is available to it. Deek reminds me of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s (or similar dementia): His ability to self-reflect comes and goes. His words and deeds are alternately pleasant and hideous. He appears to have fits of short-term memory loss, no impulse control, and prone to infuriatingly repetitive behaviors. And aggressive paranoia.

That’s it in a nutshell!

> You are in the position of involuntary “caregiver” (because of your absolutely laudable devotion to the doggies), and are the one who must endure the infuriating behaviors.

Yep. The agony and the ecstasy.

> You are WAY better equipped than most, with your finely-tuned philosophy, to handle it,

Works for me amazingly well.

> but I do believe it “gets” to you from time to time.

Of course it does…makes me wanna hit the bottle several times a day. The bottle of kefir, that is.

> Revolting.

A totally inexcusable and despicable situation. But so far, so good…I haven’t run into Scooter since that day I let him use our restroom.

> I like the sound of that!!!!!!

Yes, he seems to be a rather genial chap that I’d enjoy spending some quality time with, now and then. But we’ll see how it goes, haven’t run into him again though it’s only been a day. Speaking of who ELSE I haven’t run into yet: the building manager. This makes day 3 since the EMTs carried someone away. Anyway, My Cajun Burden showed up two hours ago, and is now outside while the JBL speaker and his smartphone are charging. Looks like he dumped the granny cart, dammit. So now I have to lug the speaker up and down the stairs by hand, again.

The pups are warm and dry, ensconced in a large plastic box I brought downstairs, stuffed with a child-size sleeping bag. Their master is curled up beside them, and all are sheltered beneath that large blue tarp. Fortunately the rain has been barely a drizzle since they arrived. And the speaker and smartphone were only at half capacity when I plugged them in, so both will be good to go in another hour.

Also, the sleeping bag I gave him last night was only kinda wet when he showed up today, but I took it upstairs anyway to dry, and brought down the other one I hung up last night, as it’s totally dry now, and sealed in a trash bag.

When I first stepped out, there was Flaco unleashed, sitting patiently by the front gate. Deek had to call her over so I could open it. When I did, she came right up to me, stood on her hind legs all dripping wet, with so much love in her eyes as she looked up to me and I began drying her off with a clean rag. Then I did her sweet brother. After which I set up the box and they immediately curled up inside it. I know they’d love to rush upstairs and enter my sanctuary right now, more than anything else in their doggy world…yet they never complain or grow sad when it doesn’t happen. Amazing little troopers!

It was funny when I set down the box and lifted the lid with the blanket in it, ’cause Flaco promptly tried to jump into it. I gently pushed her away, but as I was doing that, her brother DID leap inside! I still had to turn the box on its side and move it below the pitched canvas. So instead of coaxing Lucky back out, I carried the box with him in it, set it beside the shopping cart, and carefully turned it over and voila! Flaco scrambled in there, too.

I am presently imbibing in a homemade smoothie with a handful of mixed frozen berries that I purchased from Amazon. I still added a banana, but instead of peanut butter I used tahini ’cause it goes better with berries. I have also started adding raw walnuts to the mix, which I first have to grind down into a paste with a small food processor before adding it to the blender. Wonderful flavor blend!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting w/Wattson: 1/17/23


Re: Reconciliation with Tanya Merang
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 17, 2023 at 4:01 PM

> Whoa! Extraordinaire!!! You-know-who must be smarting!

It’s all an act anyway, which I suspected all along, as discussed in my chapter, “Checkmate, Mr. Kuzlowski.” The script that keeps on scripting. So, yeah, he’s gonna play the crab awhile longer, ’cause it’s in the script.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Last night’s meetup was spectacular…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 17, 2023 at 11:39 PM

…even though he didn’t show up until 11:30 PM. First thing I noticed was the fabulously plump, dark green sleeping bag upon which the pups rested…much better than the ones I could afford. So I’d say its value was around $60 or more. Didn’t say where he got it, nor did I ask; I was just very pleased (as were Lucky & Flaco, of course). Soon as she saw me step out, Flaco flipped on her back and started squirming in silly delight, tongue hangin’ out. So I scritched her tummy while Lucky pressed himself against my thigh as I pet and scritched him too.

After feeding/watering the hounds, Deek said he’s gonna take a five or seven minute walk, so stay with them. So I likewise enjoyed the comfy padding of the bag while lying partly down to embrace and kiss the pups. I also brought them some doggy snacks stashed upstairs, which they enjoyed immensely, but I never do that when their master is around.

Deek returned within fifteen minutes and began talking about Scampy who was recently given a room several days ago, and shares with her boyfriend.

“She’s missing!” he exclaimed. “She doesn’t wanna stay there, so now they’re looking for her. It’s been two days now, but I’m sure she’s alright.”

“I’m sure she is too,” I replied. “But it must be hard on her boyfriend.”

“Well, he’s KIND of her boyfriend,” Deek reflected. “Scampy always keeps her options open for anyone better to come along.”

Now mind you, Wattson, Scampy is a homeless woman in her mid forties with half her teeth missing, and the other half rotting and broken! And she often babbles incoherently, and regularly bursts into screeching paroxysms against imaginary protagonists (though may indeed have been real in a more tumultuous past, which I believe is the case.) But I guess she keeps her standards up in her own convoluted way. I can’t imagine who this “boyfriend” is, what he looks like and how he behaves…and perhaps that’s for the best, speaking for my own sanity.

“She just wants to be left alone, they’re FORCING her to live indoors!” he blurted.

“I don’t think so, Deek,” I calmly disagreed. “Sounds to me like they’re doing their best to help her out. If they were forcing her, they’d put her in handcuffs and take her back. Searching for her is not FORCING her to do anything!”

“They’re driving through neighborhoods, looking for homeless people and offering them fitty or a hunner dollah to get them off the streets if they just come with them and leave all their stuff behind!” Deek continued. “I know some dudes who got a room that way, and they’re now on GA and work three days a week, three hours a day, cleaning up the streets. Some of them like it, some don’t.”

“Sounds like a good deal if you ask me!” I replied.

“I don’t wanna work, I CAN’T work!”

“They won’t PUT you on GA, Deek,” I attempted to explain, “You’ll probably get SSI instead, and be deemed UNemployable…like me!”

“But they’ll still force me to go to appointments and do other stuff I don’t wanna do!” he bristled.

“No, Deek,” I replied. “The appointments will come to YOU, and they won’t be that frequent at all. You act like they’d throw you into prison, instead of giving you a safe, warm place to live, where you’re free to come and go. You’re just afraid of change, but I bet you’ll wind up LIKing the new situation more than you think right now. You might even make FRIENDS with some others there. I know the DOGS will be crazy-happy in their new digs, and that should be important to you. Get ’em offa these cold, nasty streets, they may not survive another winter like this!”

Anyway, this went on a few more minutes before a black and skinny forty-ish dude pulled up to Deek on a bicycle, and they had their own conversation while I resumed attending to the pups cuddled by my side. And I snapped out of worry mode, reminding myself he’s gonna be just fine, things will fall into place for him soon enough. No need to feel aggravated over his notorious little dramas. They were standing just eight feet away on the other side of the shopping cart, so I could listen in if I wanted.

At one point the black fellow (let’s call him Booker) went off on a rant about the word “friend,” how it’s meaningless when so many people who play your friend turn around and stab you in the back:

“The word’s useless, there’s gotta be a better word than ‘friend’!”

“Comrade!” Deek offered up.

Booker laughed at that, said yeah, that’ll work, then proclaimed: “I’m not out here in the Castro lookin’ to make comrades, I’m lookin’ to make money!” I guess by that he meant selling drugs, maybe just pot, I don’t know…possibly pills or tabs of acid. Or that old standby, crystal.

But I liked his demeanor and his way with words, so stood up, approached him and added my own two cents:

“You’re right! First thing an evil person does is call you a friend. Then he’ll start using your name a lot to lasso you in: ‘Hey John’ this and ‘Hey John’ that. They have ruined the very essence of what friendship is.”

Our chitchat quickly turned into his stating that a lotta people think this world’s goin’ to hell in a hand basket, but he thinks things are actually improving. And I said, well, things have gotten pretty bad for many these days, but I think we’ll finally hit bottom a bit later this year…and then things will start moving fast in a better direction. But your words are right on, and I agree. There’ll be somethin’ like a rising up, an awakening.

He smiled and a gold tooth glinted under the streetlamp: “Yeah, that’s how I see it, too!”

Somewhere in our brief conversation I used the adjective “extraordinary,” to which he astutely replied:

“That’s another word that bothers me: ‘extraordinary.'”

“Well,” I replied. “It’s just two words put together, but not pronounced the way it’s spelled.”

“Yeah, but what does it really mean when you break it down…EXTRA mediocre?”

I cracked up over that witty remark, then returned to sit by the pups and thanked him for his encouraging words, for they affirmed my own visions, unbidden. Booker took off around ten minutes later and, when he did, I told Deek:

“That guy who was just here? He’s very smart! Anyone who can talk about the English language like that has gotta be.”

Though I suppose Deek is smarter than he lets on, considering his evoking the word “comrade” on the fly, as an alternative to “friend.” I suspect he intentionally dumbs it down when he’s around me, in his role as my bodhisattva trickster…to hurl one challenge at me, after another. The main one being to rise above anger and frustration which he attempts to trigger. And I think I’m doing very well these days, in that department.

It was a great meetup all in all, as he did NOT raise his voice in anger at any time, expressing his (probably fake) fears and frustrations without flying off the handle. And he listened to my input with consideration instead of cutting me off. So that is why I call last night’s visit “spectacular.”

He picked up his speaker much later today than usual, and I delivered it to him for the first time in weeks withOUT being cloaked in a trash bag. Here’s a pic of its top, where you can see the tape I placed on the upper and lower left corners, to cover those cracks from when he dropped it:

Click here for a larger view.

He left very quickly, claiming once more to be in a hurry to get somewhere…tried to get me to run up and down the stairs as I brought the pups food and water, then a fresh supply of vittles. But I took my time anyway, told him:

“Cut it out, you’re not in a rush to go anywhere. You’re not the big shot you pretend to be!”

This did NOT set him off in a tantrum, as such a retort surely would have up until the recent past. But he gave me bare SECONDS to greet the pups and give ’em hugs before they scampered off to wherever. Probably three or four blocks away where he settled down to relax awhile and deny me the brindlekin’s company. As for “Spike Kuzlowski:”

I forgot to mention he sent me two private emails within the same week, recently. He RARELY posts directly to me, but when he does it’s always some hateful, anti-gay threats and insults…until these last two, which were downright innocuous. The last one said:

“Why don’t you find a mailing list in Portland or Seattle and leave us alone?”

I forgot what his words were in the previous email, but it was equally, and surprisingly, gentle. A bodhisattva clue that soon the antagonism is coming to a close? And an implication that he and Tanya were in on this overlong harassment together…not out of genuine hostility, but to challenge and test my mettle? Needless to say, I nonetheless did NOT reply to him, but simply deleted the unwelcome mail. And just days after that, Tanya posted her clear reprimand against his constant rants and bullying.

Interesting timing, as it occurred parallel to Deek’s increasingly quiescent behavior…less and less rough bumps and more smooth sailing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Another good meetup with craziness at the end!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2023 at 11:54 SM

Yesterday: a mellow afternoon, pleasantly cool with burnished sunlight streaming down. I sat outside with the pups on their cushy sleeping bag for about an hour and a half while Deek took off to parts wherever. After I gave him $50 in advance of this Sunday’s allowance, mind you. He left his shopping cart behind, too, which made a nice backrest as I listened to some scary tales on my BLU smartphone. Which connected to my Xfinity service just fine, but I didn’t really need it as the stories were already downloaded.

So I got to enjoy their darling company again, and feed them some tasty treats. Only Flaco ate them, though, as Lucky was more interested in sleeping while snuggled deep in the folded bag. But for most of the time, brother and sister both hunkered down in comfort, with the addition of a child’s sleeping bag I brought down from my room to toss over them. Not that they needed it for the cold, as the weather was mild…but they rest better in the warm darkness of a makeshift little cave. No distractions to disturb their peace, and I guess they feel safer with a top cover to hide beneath. I know I do!

Deek returned with a bicycle and a jacket he said he purchased in Chinatown. He also said: “See? I wasn’t gone that long!”

“No you weren’t, thanks.” I replied. “You could’ve taken another hour and it still would’ve been fine with me.”

Now that he was back, my sitting was done and I returned hovel, knowing Deek would be annoyed if I remained with the dogs, since he uses the time out front to hook up with some of his street friends and/or “customers.” Sure enough, in less than a half hour two other vagrants appeared and parked close by, one stretched out across the sidewalk on Deek’s right, his upper back slanted against the cart…the other sitting cross-legged towards Deek’s left, and painting on a square, thin board set flat on the sidewalk. Nothing interesting, though, just muddy blotches of color with some burrito contents spread across it, for texture and a 3-D effect.

The pups remained curled up in the folds of the blanket through their master’s entire visit, and I was glad to see that. Some time after 7 PM Deek called to me to bring down his JBL Partybox 300 and his smartphone. Knowing it was gonna rain later that night, I covered the monster speaker with two trash bags: one from the bottom up, the other from the top down…and lugged it downstairs and out the front gate.

When he stepped forward to pick up the speaker and place it atop the shopping cart, I told him:

“It’s gonna rain tonight, so I put…”

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT!” he exploded in a fury. “YOU ALWAYS RUIN MY DAY WHEN I SEE YOU!”

Those two visiting vagrants were still around, but they were too far out of it to show any reaction to his outburst, which went on for an impressive several minutes. Said things like:

“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE WEATHER!”

“YOU SISSY FAGS GIMME A HEADACHE!”

“GET OUTTA MY FACE, DRAMA QUEEN, GO BACK UPSTAIRS!”

He really piled on the insults, mocking me with a lisp while saying he’s so sorry to have bothered “your highness,” etc. Meanwhile, through it all I remained calm while telling him HE’S the drama queen, all I did was tell him it’s gonna rain tonight, so figured I’d protect his speaker.

“Alright, I don’t care anymore about you’re fukkin speaker,” declared THIS befuddled pilgrim, and removed the trash bags.”I hope they DO get soaked.”

He demanded them back a few minutes later, but I resisted, clenching them crushed up in my hand while proceeding to enter through the front gate. But then I noticed Flaco & Lucky just standing around, looking up at me with concern, so I came up to them and gave them attentive hugs and scritches while Deek prepared to depart.

“GET OUTTA MY WAY, YOU’RE BLOCKING THE SHOPPING CART!” he ordered, so I stood back up and waved the trash bags close to his face:

“Here, take them!”

For I observed him grinning with a wry smile during his yet-another-wacky outburst, thus realized he’s just having a bit of fun at my expense. After pushing his cart a few yards forward, he stopped to finish cleaning up what debris remained.

“I’ll take care of that,” I said. “I don’t mind, just get outta here please, I don’t want a creep like YOU hangin’ out front!”

After picking up what little mess there was (including the painted canvas w/burrito guts), I saw that Deek had paused for awhile just around the corner, and Lucky was writhing on his back with glee. So I approached the dogs, sat down on the sidewalk and they clambered all over my legs and lap with delightful abandon. Their master spoke not a word to me, but continued his conversation with another indigent standing nearby.

After several minutes of this puppy tryst, I wished them all an excellent evening, upon which Deek resumed his lisping mockery. “Good night, creep,” I replied, then returned back hovel where I breathed a sigh of relief and finally got to sit down and enjoy my dinner, which by then had grown cold. About an hour later the rain commenced, at first a sprinkle but then a gully washer for twenty minutes or so before it stopped.

Merciful heaven, what an ordeal the holiday season has been, cursed as it was by a string of nine atmospheric rivers, last night’s being a final, brief gasp. SO glad it’s all over, at last. Conclusion:

Our latest meetup was again superb, overall. Or perhaps I’ve lowered my standards out of sheer exhaustion. Is this what Stockholm syndrome looks like?

– Zeke K-Holmes


The Muffin Chapter

January 14, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 5]

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

> English muffins give me reason to live…

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


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

[Referring to my saccharine greeting to Kevin:]

> This is good. Kill ’em with kindness.

Two down, one to go.

[Referring to my club footed serial killer vignette:]

> Now THAT’S inspired!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Doesn’t Karlsen have his own bathroom?”

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

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

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

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


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

> Not even remotely farfetched.

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

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

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

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

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

> “Good evening.”

See attachment.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

> Damn, that sounds good.

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

> One of these days….

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes

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


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

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

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

Mollie Stones.

Where Arwyn works.

Is that funny or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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


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

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

Any muffin in a storm.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

> Had me goin’ for a second there!

The Muffin Devil made me do it.

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting w/Wattson: 1/13/23


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT!”

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes



Lots & Lotsa Rain

January 10, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 4]

Subject: The Castro may soon be repopulated by the homeless…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2023 at 10:59 PM

…much to the outrage of local business owners, I surmise:

Federal Judge Temporarily Halts All SF Homeless Sweeps Amid Major Lawsuit Against City


Texting w/Wattson: 1/5/23


Re: Federal Judge Temporarily Halts All SF Homeless Sweeps Amid Major Lawsuit Against City
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion list
Date: January 7, 2023 at 12:12 AM

On Fri, 6 Jan 2023 07:09:10 +0000 Alvin Hope posted:

> Frankly, it only makes common sense that, if a city doesn’t have a place to put them inside safely in a building, it should not be allowed to destroy what little shelter homeless people are able to construct for themselves.

Barbaric sadism overrides common sense here in the land of the “free.” The day America cares for its poor, feeds the starving and houses the indigents is the day Cthulhu the Omipotent One returns to empower all LGBTs to lead the world to Oz. And I shall be the first president of Athenia, world’s first queer nation. And the moon will turn into tofu bacon so everyone can be fed. Only problem is bringing it home.

Wait a minute, no prob ’cause pigs will be able to fly by then.


Subject: Last night’s meetup: loverly! (part 1)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 7, 2023 at 10:14 PM

It was a pleasant night, mildly cool and dry, and when I came downstairs saw that Lucky & Flaco still had their sweaters on. Their master was already seated against the ATM plywood with the pups right beside. Before lugging the JBL speaker upstairs–or performing any other “Deek” chore–I of course crouched down to embrace the hounds in happy reunion. They clambered onto me in competition for my attention, but I made sure they both got an equal, and copious, share of my affection. No greater love than puppy love!

“Alright, alright!” Deek interrupted. “Do that later and bring my speaker upstairs!”

I ignored his typically thoughtless demand and continued to shower the hounds with ardor for another two minutes, so glad they fared through the storm unharmed. Honestly, though, I was surprised that Deek didn’t gripe further, but respected my precious, brief time with his charges.

The huge speaker was still seated in the cart, so I tried to find the handle in order to get a good grip on it before lifting it onto the ground. Which was difficult, thanks to the double layer of trash bags that concealed the handle and were slippery to boot. I finally found it and gave a lackluster attempt at raising it from the cart, before giving up.

“You do this, Deek,” I said. “You should’ve already set it down by the front gate so I could take it inside.”

But he refused to get up and chose instead to hurl crabby accusations at me. “C’mon it’s not that heavy!” he chided.

I finally managed to remove the speaker by wrapping both arms around it diagonally and carefully placing it down by my feet…then firmly grabbed the handle through the plastic wrapping.

“I’m really thirsty, bring me a soda,” he requested as I opened the front gate with some difficulty. “No, bring me a soda AND tea.”

So I ponderously lugged it up the stairs with assistance from my left thigh pushing the speaker forward as I mounted each step…as well as pausing every few paces to relieve my hand or switch them. Yes, you got it, Wattson: the fuckin’ elevator is STILL out of order…more than two years by now!

Once I plugged in the electronic beast (which took some frustrating moments because I had to tear open part of the plastic wrapping to get to the charging port), I poured a cup of ginger ale and brought it back down. Seeing as Flaco & Lucky were sitting on concrete, I extricated a couple of cardboard sheets from a nearby bin and laid them down by Deek. The pups instantly climbed aboard: a clear indication they prefer NOT to rest directly on the sidewalk, even when dry…except, I guess, during heat waves where a shady spot offers them relief. But they are SO patient and kind, they never complain even though their master often denies them that little comfort.

“Tea coming up!” I chirped, then rushed back upstairs. I’ll soon run out of his favorite tea BTW (cherry) and switch him to blueberry ’cause I have five unopened boxes of it I purchased over a year ago. All berry teas are equally yummy as cherry, but I won’t bother to tell him when I change over; he probably won’t even notice ’cause I think it’s the generous two tablespoons of raw honey that really whet his palate.

Upon delivering the tea I decided to sit down beside the brindlekin for a friendly tussle, because they love that so much. Deek didn’t seem to mind, which I did NOT expect, though appreciated sitting outside with him and the dogs for awhile: a sweet interlude so rare in my world, as he usually forbids that ever since the hounds have been banned from my tree house sanctuary. Better yet:

He actually engaged me in conversation instead of his usual demand I return hovel and be left alone, so his vagrant friends can visit minus my intrusion. Deek kicked off the topic:

“I don’t know where you get the notion that housing is a right by birth. Where I grew up if you don’t have a job and can’t pay rent you’re dumped on the streets! In fact, it’s like that everywhere else exCEPT this city…it’s like living in fairyland here!”

How do I unravel all that, Wattson? Well, somehow I managed, and, miracle of miracles, he listened! Told him that Jesus says to feed the hungry, love your neighbor and yes, house the homeless. But phony Christianity has taken over this country, with the aid of corrupt billionaires and powerful corporations, to do exactly the opposite. So while OTHER democracies like ours are fulfilling the prophet’s words to some extent, this nation is sliding backwards…as these rich punks in power are running around like clones of Michael Savage (King of Hate Talk Radio), spewing his hateful rhetoric across the airwaves.

And believe it or not, Deek did NOT blurt out in opposition towards my mockery of Mr. Savage, but remained silent with open ears! Makes me wonder if I’ve suddenly been transported through Alice’s looking glass…heavens to Mergatroyd.

I also brought up FDR, a president so popular he was returned to the Oval Office three times…he bailed America out of the Great Depression, gave us Social Security, the Workers Progress Administration and so many other good things for the common man. And he even struggled as best he could to pass the Second Bill of Rights which included an adequate income for food, shelter, and recreation. But that these other idiots in power obstructed its passage, while our companion democracies strove forward to achieve at least SOME of those goals they now have.

Several times during my explications, Deek interrupted with the same old argument:

“I never saw THAT in Louisiana. No job, no rent, and you’re on the streets or in jail!”

After he iterated that a third or fourth time I objected:

“You keep saying the same thing, Deek, stop occupying your mind with such a limited outlook, you’re dwelling on unhappy thoughts. The world is changing very fast, and most of what you think is going on, including much of what you see happening around you, is an illusion, it’s fake. Look deeper, give yourself time to think things through with your OWN mind, not the mind of anyone else, like Michael Savage’s words that have poisoned millions of souls across the world.”

I went on to describe how life is a kind of game…one with traps set here and there, and you need to figure out how not to get stuck in them. Traps of fear, anger, sadness, despair and other negative mindsets. But anything you can’t figure out, just use the following shortcut, which is: don’t let anyone or anything ruin your day. You don’t NEED to understand a horrible situation before you can step out of it. And the BEST thing to do when you’re REALLY knocked down is to go out of your way and put a smile on someone else’s face withOUT telling them your OWN troubles. No matter HOW bad you, yourself, may feel. That is a necessary first step to climb out of whatever sad rut you’re in!

Everything that happens to you that you DON’T like is just part of the game. It is a clue that you may be going in the wrong direction, or that you need to do something else first, or even that the stress of an obstruction or setback may be exactly what the doctor ordered to help you ACHIEVE your goal, though it seems contradictory. Therefore, harboring hateful resentment is pointless and even self destructive, for you don’t REALLY know why this unpleasant thing has popped up like a ghoul in a haunted house ride. Much better to trust it’s for your own benefit in the long run, and move on from there, instead of simmering in your own angry juices.

This includes, for example, his own setbacks in finding a roof over his head despite how long he’s been trying and going through the proper channels. Things WILL pan out in his favor, just hang in there, take a deep breath and count what blessings you DO have.

“Consider yourself damned lucky to be here in San Francisco,” I exclaimed. “instead of back in Louisiana or anywhere else. As crappy as some things are here, you’re still in a much better location for a homeless person. Besides which, your life is MUCH better than you realize, you are doing SO well, and I’ve never met anyone like you who not just survives on the streets, but THRIVES! So I’m not worried about you, just about these dogs.”

I then pet them both, and continued: “For they are a tremendous responsibility you’ve added to your burdens. They are a GREAT blessing in your life, and just appreciating and loving them more than you already do will work wonders you can’t even imagine right now! They are never a burden, they never WILL be a burden, yet sometimes you treat them that way. It is YOU who needs to snap out of that attitude, and always regard them as the best thing that’s ever happened to you, ’cause it’s flat-out true. They give you SO much love and kindness, and burst with pride 24/7 to be your very best friends forever…heck, they’d DIE for you in the blink of an eye, if that was necessary.”

Now, please keep in mind I didn’t speak in the organized, run-on fashion like above, but made my points in chunks between his thoughtful interjections…and in less fancy words so he could better comprehend. Though I suspect MOST of what I told him went over his head, but at least he actually gave me the space and time to speak at length, on important matters that would benefit him. For most of our conversation I also pet and held the doggies, scritched their bellies, and tucked them into the sleeping bag.

Deek also brought up the difficulties of trying to get a roof over his head, while other vagrants didn’t have it so hard. He said that homeless outreach asked him questions like is he a drug addict, or has he ever had to resort to prostitution while living on the streets, for food, a place to crash or whatever.

“Why should I lie to be eligible for housing?” he queried. “If I can’t be honest I’d rather stay on the streets.”

I explained to him that sometimes you have to lie, whether it’s to get off the streets, or even find employment…it’s part of the game. For an example, I told him when I was being reevaluated for SSI I had to take an ink blot test. But I already knew what things to claim to see in the blots that would qualify me to keep receiving my stipend.

“If you see monsters, aliens or creepy insects,” I explained “instead of houses, butterflies and other nice things they’ll label you mentally disturbed. So that’s all I told them I saw in each ink blot: something horrific or icky.”

“So it would be best,” I continued “if you told them, yes, you have had sex against your wishes, for food, drugs, etc. None of their business you never did that, and it will put you higher up on their list. Look, Deek, sometimes you even have to lie to get the job you want.”

He shrugged his shoulders: “Nah, I don’t wanna lie.”

“So does that mean you told them you smoke meth?” I asked, “because that’s the truth and it would also make you more eligible.”

“Uh, no I didn’t,” he replied.

“Right, ’cause it’s none of their business,” I retorted with a chuckle.

The incredible aspect of my philosophy is that this ALSO makes the person I’m currently explaining this to, one of my opposing forces…for Deek is certainly THAT, if nothing else. So I’d better practice what I preach since I just told HIM to not get caught up in anger or any other sour emotion, whenever things don’t go his way. For his frequent defiance challenges me to find a path towards a winning outcome for all parties involved, and that includes the pups.

Though as I’ve conjectured before: if he is indeed a bodhisattva guardian, then ALL the challenges he presents are precisely planned, timed and calculated. From losing the money I might’ve just given him, to his absurd hissy fits and fabrications, and all the way up to his less-than-full loving care of the brindlekin. IOW it’s all an act, carefully scripted to put me through my paces…for MY benefit (not his), and to make me into a hero.

(Part 2 of last night’s meetup continued tomorrow; I need my rest.)

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Last night’s meetup: loverly! (part 2)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 8, 2023 at 6:13 PM

Our conversation wasn’t just about housing rights, as Deek grumped about all the “lazy” Arabs and Mexicans here. For example:

“I see Mexicans standing around their homes laughing and guzzling beer,” he remarked. “They don’t work but they still get a place to live!”

“That’s not true, Deek,” I replied. “So what’s wrong with them kicking back now and then after spending all day as restaurant cooks, crop pickers, maintenance men and house cleaners? They work very hard, and live in crowded conditions because rent is astronomically high. So you see them hangin’ out after work, no big deal. Did it ever occur to you they put food on America’s table, because THEY’RE the ones who work on the farms to gather our crops, and cut and package all our meat? That’s backbreaking labor most Americans refuse to do!”

Around that time this young fellow came along and offered us some food in a white cardboard container…turned out to be two large slices of cheese pizza with anchovies! Deek offered me a slice but I said no thanks, not hungry.

A short time later Deek told me to bring him another sleeping bag.

“What happened to the one I gave you yesterday?” I asked.

“I left it in my tent!” he replied.

Well that’s good to know, Wattson…if true: that he may have actually gotten my popup tent properly set up. Maybe he’s camping with other vagrants and one of ’em is familiar with the Teton brand, and helped. Nonetheless, I told him I can’t be giving him a sleeping bag every time I turn around:

“I get a good deal on them, $20 a pop,” I remarked. “But still, it adds up.”

“Never mind then,” he scowled. “Forget I even mentioned it. Sorry I asked!”

“No, that’s okay, I’ll bring another one down,” I replied. “Just bring back the one you already have, don’t dump it when it gets soggy.”

“But I already do that!” he whined.

“For the most part, yes,” I agreed. “But you didn’t bother to return the one I gave you several days back. But I gave you a new one anyway.”

So I trudged on upstairs once more, brought down yet another sleeping bag still tightly rolled in its packaging, and tossed it into the cart. But since he didn’t suggest I let the pooches lie down on it, I did it myself: took the bag from the cart and walked over to him, on the opposite side where the dogs sat. As I crouched down and began to open the package, Flaco clambered over his legs, and began sniffing at the bag, eager to enjoy the comfort she knew was coming her way. So as not to disturb her master, I moved to the other side where the cardboard was already set down, and finished unrolling the sleeping bag.

Tricky to accomplish that, as both doggies were already attempting to plunk themselves on it. So I placed it down still unzipped, and Flaco immediately flopped on her back and began to madly writhe all over it, sliding the bag off the cardboard with her and towards the curb, flipping her head back and forth with tongue hangin’ out and forelegs waving in the air.

“Whoa, girl!” I exclaimed, and pulled the bag back into place upon the cardboard sheet while Flaco continued to wiggle in doggy bliss like there’s no tomorrow.

“She didn’t used to do that,” I said to Deek while scritching her belly. “That was always Lucky’s schtick. She only started squirming on her back several months ago, after realizing how much attention Lucky gets for doing that, so she decided she wants some of that action too! Now she doesn’t even wait for Lucky to do it first, she just dives right in.”

“Lucky’s a good brother,” I continued. “He taught her how to play-fight, too. At first she was offended whenever he grabbed her tail and pulled on it, but after some months she began to do the same to him. Nowadays, she’s just as likely to start a tussle as her brother! And do you notice when she pushes him aside to hog up all the hugs, Lucky starts massaging her shoulders with his teeth, which makes her stand still in pleasure so I can then hug and pet them both? And how he’ll step aside if she goes for his own food bowl, rather than put up a fight?”

Instead of Deek’s usual cutting me off and making snarky remarks to my praise of the pups, he spoke not a word. Before returning hovel I managed to fully unzip the sleeping bag with the mutts atop, after which I was able to toss a generous part of it over them to keep them snug and warm.

I later observed that another vagrant had joined Deek and sat a few feet from him, and they began to engage in whatever badinage suits their kind. He was clothed in a black knit watch cap, a double layer of sweatshirts, baggy old jeans, frayed sneakers and a heavy jacket sporting the image of a football helmet and the logo “SF 49ERs” in its trademark colors of red, black and ruddy gold. I’ve always found those ubiquitous Bay Area jackets gaudy and cheap looking. Well, football is a stupid sport, anyway.

At another point when I poked my head out the window, Flaco looked right up at me. She sat immediately below, beside her master. I didn’t even make a sound, so how did she know: doggy telepathy? We certainly have a connection! Funny thing is that Deek also noticed her looking straight up, stuck in that position: an unusual pose for most dogs…so he did the same (as in “WTF?”) to see me smiling down. He waved me away with an annoyed look, but I ignored him and continued to gaze down at Flaco until she finally looked away, around a half minute later.

Some time after that another homeless dude showed up: tall, lanky, dishwater blond and carrying a Japanese folding bed in a black cover. He set the JFB, still folded, against the lamppost to make a comfy back rest, then gathered up two sheets of cardboard from the bin nearby, and sat down. He seemed the friendly type, but Deek didn’t engage him in small talk.

Scampy also showed up, as well as Hjelmar with his own latest speaker. It was his jazz music floating up to my window that caught my curiosity, wondering if it was him. I thought to come downstairs to greet the indigent Viking, but decided to remain inside and enjoy the fact that Deek had company through most of his visit.

Shortly before returning Deek’s smartphone and speaker I found a large, folding shopping cart, extra wide, on the back porch. “Perfect for the JBL Partybox 300!” I thought. A nice fit with room to spare, and much easier to port down the stairs (I later learned, ’cause I brought it down to him separately, this first time). Just when I was figuring out how to secure the speaker to the small aluminum dolly stored on my loft, here comes the perfect carrier to save the day!

He was very pleased with the folding cart…a rare moment when he didn’t invent another reason to complain. But he nonetheless told me to just set the speaker on the sidewalk instead of placing it in that cart. I wished him and hounds a good night but at the last moment, Deek asked if I could fix a meal for the dogs.

“Why didn’t you ask me earlier?” I queried, for I was growing tired and eager to hit the sack, since it was approaching midnight.

“It didn’t occur to me,” he said. “It’s okay, don’t bother.”

“No, no,” I replied. “Glad to feed ’em, just gimme a minute.”

After bringing the dogs their late meal, Deek suddenly griped about a hairline crack in his smartphone: “It wasn’t there before I handed it to you!”

I approached him then, bent over his shoulder where he sat, squinted a few seconds and said: “I don’t see any crack.”

“You’re old, your sight’s bad, that’s why,” he snarked.

By then, Flaco & Lucky had finished eating, so I pick up the empty bowls and, before stepping inside, took a closer look at his smartphone:

“Oh, I see it now,” I exclaimed. “I assure you I didn’t drop it, bang it or do anything but be real gentle with your phone, Zach. Besides, you love to come up with one excuse after another to guilt-trip me. You just can’t allow me a friendly visit from start to end…there’s always SOMEthing to complain about, eh?”

I stood back up then, walked toward the gate, then paused, turned towards him and added: “Those phones are delicate when it comes to the screen, hairline cracks just happen after awhile, not much you can do about it. Otherwise it’s in great condition thanks to the case you bought for it, and the screen protector I provided. You’ve probably dropped it a whole buncha times over the weeks, and without that case and protector it’d be an absolute wreck by now, full of cracks. Yet here you gripe about ONE hairline fracture!”

He didn’t argue back, but stood up, went to his cart and pulled out an empty, half-gallon jug of Arizona Tea:

“Could you fill this with water for me?”

“Sure,” I replied, took it and returned upstairs. When I brought it down a minute later and handed it to him, he said:

“I love you and thanks for everything you do!”

“You scare me when you talk like that,” I japed, then fondly pet the brindlekin for the last time that night, and returned hovel.

I figured when he prepared to leave, he’d place the speaker in that granny cart I found, which had wheels of course, and could be pulled alongside. Then he could place the sleeping bag inside the shopping cart, with the doggies atop. Nope. As I watched him depart from my window, the JBL Partybox 300 was once more stashed aslope within the cart, with the smaller cart folded up and stuck between that and a pile of indecipherable junk. So the canines had to walk beside their master, as always. But it was a nice evening without a drop of rain for the nonce, so I wasn’t TOO perturbed.

A few minutes later I stepped out to clean up whatever mess remained: not much at all, just two sheets of cardboard and an empty flat box that held the pizza. The lanky blond was still around, but in the process of moving on, too. I saw him pushing around his own cardboard sheets till they reached the curb, upon which he picked up his JFB and walked over towards the trash bin.

I decided to pick up his cardboard, too, and deposit it by that same bin. He noticed and said, “Oh, thanks!” And I replied:

“No problem, glad to help. BTW, is that your jacket?” I then pointed to the base of the lamppost, where lay a crumpled, large fleece jacket in a snazzy shade of blue. And impeccably clean!

“No,” he replied, “You can have it!”

“Well, I had my friend’s dogs in mind,” I explained. “Anything to keep them warm through the cold nights, and that jacket will help.”

But I really like that jacket, good physician, so decided to keep it for myself. One pocket has a large hole in it, but since it has a zipper I’ll just keep it closed. Here’s a pic:

Overall, Deek was highly amicable compared to previous meetups, and what gripes he had were minimal. Therefore, on a scale from 1 to 10 (with “1” being the worst ever), I’d rate this visit a 9. Well, maybe an 8 as we need some wiggle room to allow for improvement. But in light of these horrid storms and having to care for the pups through the deluge (with more on the way), his behavior was IMPECCABLE…so I’ll raise him all the way up to 10.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Today I got to walk the pups again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 8, 2023 at 10:45 PM

And it was VERY nice, as I brought treats with me and shared them with the hounds while I sat on a concrete stump by Morey’s shop. I love to watch them chew and see their eyes a-sparkle with delightful expectation for the next nummy. No wonder some people overfeed their pets!

Flaco didn’t forget her snack spots, as she hopped on each one along the way. And as usual, she watched her brother closely, in hopes she can snatch a treat that he might drop from his jaws. But he’s too smart for that now, as he no longer takes a snack then places it on the ground to sniff in savory anticipation, before ingesting it. Nor do I allow Flaco to get that close to him anyway, when I’m delivering the goodies.

I feed them at the same moment, keeping them on either side of me, so Flaco won’t be able to pull her stunt because I can quickly block her. What she does, once she’s gobbled her share, is look over at Lucky to see if he dropped his. And, were I not around to thwart her theft, she’d’ve scarfed up her brother’s treat in no time. But that’s only because he’s kind to her, so allows his sister to get away with it. But as I said, he no longer places his tidbit on the ground, but keeps it in his mouth from start to finish.

On our return hovel, Flaco once more leapt onto her treat spots, upon which each time–instead of feeding her more nummies–I bent down to give her hugs and kisses and tell her how much I love her. But in so doing I did not deny Lucky my affections, as I made sure he got oodles of hugs and scritches, too, along the way.

But there erupted a bit of a Deek tempest before this divine interlude with my beloved brindlekin. Not too bad, though, and I believe it was all an act for my benefit, anyway. Here’s what went down:

When he showed up around 10:30 AM, WITHOUT HIS SHOPPING CART, his JBL Partybox was resting in that granny cart I gave him yesterday. He pointed out two large cracks on the top because he dropped it last night. Did we not see that coming, Wattson? So when I lugged it upstairs I placed two wide layers of clear shipping tape over the cracks to protect them from any rain that might splash onto the speaker.

How much do ya wanna bet he won’t be able to hold onto it by his birthday, the 22nd, even though it was a gift to himself, in advance? Or if he still has it, it might be dead in the water by then, literally. The good thing about this, is I won’t much longer be burdened with lugging such a cumbersome device up and down the stairs. And I will NEVER let him do that to me again!

[Sidebar: he certainly burns through speakers like he’s in the middle of a war zone. Come to think of it, he is, when you consider the very REAL social war against the unhoused!]

After plugging in his speaker and smartphone, I returned outside with a bowl of water for the dogs.

“I didn’t ask you to do that!” he griped.

“Well, you never know when they need to drink,” I replied, then set the bowl down, whereupon his furry charges eagerly lapped it up.

He then said he’s starving and asked if I can give him the remaining $25 for this Thursday’s allowance, still days away. I said sure, but I might have to go to the bank to withdraw that amount, ’cause I’m not sure if I have that much upstairs. Turns out I did and, after handing it to him, he went off on a rant about why I refuse to sit his dogs anymore, now and then.

“Not even for two hours?” he said. “It’s a lovely day and you can take them to the park.”

I told him no, I don’t trust him to NOT disappear for the rest of the day. He then brought up that I used to pitch a tent and watch them for half a day or longer…and now I no longer do that. Besides the obvious fact I no longer HAVE a tent, I reminded him that the neighbors would complain, and the police would order me to take it down.

“And you know that, Deek,” I exclaimed, “so stop playing dumb.”

But did he stop, Wattson? No, he did not, but rattled on with the usual nonsense, telling me I could take the dogs on the bus and go to that private library I used to visit almost every day.

“I no longer go there, Deek, now that I have my own Internet.” I explained with a huff of exasperation. “You have to be a paying member anyway which I no longer am, and besides, you can’t bring dogs with you.”

But he persisted with additional, and equally dumb, suggestions, even though I interrupted him TWICE to say: “Well, you got your money, so why are you standing around? Go get something to eat, I’ll watch the dogs.”

He babbled on a tad longer, much of which I ignored while showering attention on the hounds. But when he griped about the dogs sleeping on top of him all night (as if THAT were a burden!) I looked up at him and said:

“Oh, how sweet…you’re a lucky man, Deek!”

Naturally, he squawked in outrage at that, and blathered on further before getting up to leave. Once he departed I leashed them to a post and returned upstairs to fix them a meal. They were almost done when their master returned. I expected him to complain that he didn’t ask me to feed them, but he did not. So I said:

“Okay, you’re right, it IS a beautiful day. So if you really mean two hours and no longer, and you’re not sticking me with the shopping cart, I’ll be glad to spend that time with your dogs. But I won’t take them on the bus, I’ll just walk them around the neighborhood, bring them to a park where they can run around. It’s not gonna start raining again for hours.”

“No, I don’t need you to sit the dogs,” he replied. “Just take them for a ten minute walk.”

“Sure, I can do that, Deek. Let me go upstairs for a minute, and I’ll be ready.”

Once back hovel I shoved a small bag of doggy snacks in my backpack, along with two Martingale collars and a roll of poopy bags. Then came back downstairs wearing the pack, untied the leashes from the post, and proceeded to take the pups for a walk. Flaco, though, hesitated and kept pulling on her leash because she didn’t want to leave her master’s side. So he pet her with much affection and said:

“It’s okay, baby, I’ll be right here and you love Uncle Zeke, too, you’ll have a nice time, so go on now!”

She finally acceded to my gentle tugs on the leash and I told Deek “back in 15 minutes.” Once we turned the corner I put on their Martingale collars and our Deekless walk commenced for real.

The rest of his visit went fine, except for one additional outburst…which made absolutely NO sense whatsoever. About two hours after I walked the pooches, he asked me to bring down his devices, and so I did. Soon as I opened the gate he looked at the speaker and exclaimed in rage:

“I DIDN’T TELL YOU TO REMOVE MY TAPE AND REPLACE IT WITH YOURS!”

He then began to pull the cart away, but I firmly grasped the handle so he couldn’t.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? LET ME HAVE MY SPEAKER!”

“Because you’re acting like an asshole!” I replied, then released the handle.

As he moved the granny cart towards the lamppost where the pups were seated, I let the gate shut behind me and approached him (by this time another vagrant was in his company, but he remained mum):

“I did NOT remove your tape, I just put some more over those cracks! Stop accusing me of bullshit I never do!”

His own tape, BTW, were two short strips of electrical tape that did nothing to repair the damage. And here I foolishly thought he’d THANK me for the good deed. Well, I suspect it was just another silly drama, a trickster game to keep me on my toes. I was nonetheless greatly pleased to see how well he’s pulling through this stormy weather, especially as regards his care of the doggies. Thus, his little temper tantrums barely phased me.

“Okay, okay!” he calmed down immediately, thanked me again for all I do, and wished me a good day.

So it’s been raining for a few hours now, but I have little worry about the pups, and their master’s ability to keep them safe, warm and dry. So long as he keeps that up he can squawk and deride me all he wants.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: “I’ve never been that happy in my entire life!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 9, 2023 at 10:35 AM

This is an addendum to my last missive, which I left out but shouldn’t have. It occurred when I was walking the pups. We had just turned the corner up Noe Street and, at the far end of the Mediterranean restaurant’s parklet, Lucky started rubbing his back and sides against a large, round concrete pot from which grew a small tree. First he circled in one direction, then the other, then back again and so on, pressing firmly against the rough surface in long, satisfying stretches with neck curved up in a joyful epiphany of pleasure. Add to that his little growls of contentment and the loose-fitting maroon sweater that dangled below his torso, and it’s the cutest thing you’ll ever see!

Suddenly, the female half of a straight couple dining close by (who had obviously been watching) exclaimed: “I’ve never been that happy in my entire life!”

“Yes,” I replied, “they are a joy!”

I can’t count the myriad times these lovely pups have lit up the lives of strangers, simply by their presence.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: 2 Quick Visits, Then Gone
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 9, 2023 at 11:20 PM

I started my day as always, by stepping out around 8:30 to purchase my morning coffee around the corner. The sky weighed down on the city with an ominous layer of dark, steely clouds, after hours of heavy rainfall last night. As I returned with java in hand, there was our building manager standing on the corner, waiting to cross the street…head tilted awkwardly to one side and drooping from a neck on a bent back like it was ready to drop to the ground. He’s a very old man these days…a likely falling-down-the-stairs candidate for the Grim Reaper, some time soon.

But I decided to impart a little good will to the fellow (no hard feelings about turning meth-enraged Adisa and mom against me, hating the pups and calling them “vicious and dangerous” in a signed letter, posting an eviction notice on my door and all that rot…water under the bridge as they say), so approached him and chirped: “Good morning, Kevin!”

He slowly turned his face up towards mine, and once he accomplished that feat, I continued: “Looks like all of January will be gloomy and wet!”

He grinned and replied: “Yep, not a spot of sunlight anywhere.”

“Sure looks that way,” I agreed with a sunny disposition. “Well, you keep warm and stay safe now!”

And as I took off I heard him reply: “You too, keep dry!”

So I had time to enjoy my Rosenberg elixir with a toasted English muffin (both halves), and check my email and the news and weather reports on my smartphone before Deek yelled up to my window around 10 AM:

“ZEKE! HURRY! I GOTTA GO, JUST TAKE THE SPEAKER, I DON’T NEED YOU TO BRING WATER DOWN FOR THE DOGS OR ANYTHING ELSE! HURRY UP!”

But I was relaxing on the cot, watching some spooky videos in drowsy repose (what ELSE does one do on a darkly gray day between biblical downpours?), so didn’t hear his exact words and thought he asked me to just bring down a bowl of water, and make it quick. So I got up, filled a bowl, popped a wobbly lid on it (always somewhat of a struggle before it snaps into place), put on my sneakers and jacket, and proceeded down the stairs.

He was standing right by the front gate with the JBL Partybox at his side (and in the granny cart), while the dogs and his shopping cart were over by the lamppost.

I opened the gate with bowl in hand to hear him exclaim as he stepped away and towards the pups: “I told you NOT to bring any water down!”

“Oh!” I replied, “I thought you said the opposite. Sorry.”

“There, take the speaker, I gotta rush off,” he called back while pushing the cart towards Castro Street. “My phone and battery charger are on top of it!”

He didn’t even spare me a moment to greet the pups; they were already halfway down the block as I opened the gate, set the bowl off to the side and jimmied the clumsy speaker into the lobby. Then spent a harrowing two minutes pulling on the granny cart’s handlebar one laborious step after another…like a serial killer with a club foot transporting the sawed off body parts of a morbidly obese dowager up the stairs and into the attic. Shades of Alfred Hitchcock!

The two trash bags I used to seal the speaker yesterday were already torn and frayed, partly exposing one of its sides to the diluvian elements. Deek is NOT a gentle man with his electronics! So before plugging it in I released the muddy bungee cord he must’ve found in the gutter, carefully raised it from the cart, set it down on the floor, replaced the trash bags with new ones, heaved it back into its cage on wheels and re-hooked the cord to the cart’s coat-hanger-like black wires. Whew! Then I remembered the bowl of water and went back downstairs to retrieve it.

It was otherwise a leisurely, no-drama day, some of which I spent excoriating that raving Nazi lunatic and his Asian female cohort on the MCN discussion list. I also reprimanded Alvin Hope once again for his latest anti-vax outburst that vilified poor old Anthony Fauci who’s done so much to save lives, including during the AIDS crisis…and this is the gratitude he gets? For good measure I also accused “Pickle Head” Willsen for being computer illiterate on the MCN announcement list, because he refuses to switch his email to text only so digest users like me can read them, but instead posted a message offering to create his own list for those who’d like to receive his posts directly from him, so they CAN read them! Azothoth on a cracker; what an idiot!

I decided to cc my reply to his personal email, which only resulted in a spam response, like so:

[TROLL ALERT PRO]

YOUR MESSAGE HAS BEEN FLAGGED AS ANONYMOUS TROLL SPAM

IT HAS BEEN QUARANTINED WITHOUT READING

KINDLY DELETE THIS ADDRESS FROM YOUR MAILING LIST

Humph, the nerve of him! So I decided to resend my message via another email address of mine which he DOESN’T have blocked, because it explains all about why text only is used in mailing lists, and all he need do is change one setting in his email app, and he’ll be good to go. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that, hardy har har.

Mr. Willsen is determined to write me off as some scurrilous spammer. He even vilified me extensively on KZYX back in March of 2021. Remember that? Hilarious! I guess I HAVE made quite an impact on the denizens of Mendoland, over the years.

Anyway: Deek didn’t return until 5 PM, and he told me he’s camping out with a group who watch his tent and stuff.

“They’re okay, but I can’t be gone TOO long, they’re always high on crap and they sometimes space out.”

I was delighted to hear he’s got others to help him besides THIS burnt out pilgrim! He asked me to feed the pups, so I did, but also replaced their sweaters with new ones: beige and brown plaid knit garments which fit the pups in snug comfort, because stretchable. They fit Lucky & Flaco better than any other sweaters or jackets we’ve tried before, and their master was most pleased. Better yet: they only cost me $9 each.

Deek thanked me IMMENSELY, then took off for his new outdoor digs. He even said he doesn’t need another supply of dog food which I just offered, as another person recently gave him a huge bag of kibble. So I guess he really IS in a hurry these days, seeing as he needs to get back to base camp ASAP, to make sure all his junk is still there, waiting for him like a whore.

It’s turned out to be a pretty cold night, so I’m glad Deek has TWO sleeping bags instead of just one. And that, assuming his tent really IS set up, they should not wind up soggy as fuk like all the previous times. It is nice that he is less disruptive these days, and actually engaging me in REAL conversation for a change. Conclusion:

Sometimes calling the po-po on a homeless friend will set him in a better direction. And that’s why I called my last chapter “Thank You SFPD.” I hope some cops get to read it some day!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: “I’ve never been that happy in my entire life!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 10, 2023 at 11:14 AM

> Great letters the last couple of days! Deek said “I love you?” I’m gabberflasted!!

He’s said that before, twice, in the past two years. Usually, after telling me he loves me I can expect a screaming fit next time he shows up. But I think this time will be different.

> The doggie reports are MOST encouraging. He really does seem to be doing an excellent job taking care of them, with your help, of course. And you straightening him out when he needs it.

Well, I was hoping so, but when I stepped out a half hour ago, here he comes walking in my direction, the doggies sweater-less and sopping wet. They were in good cheer anyway, and not shivering. He begged me for another allowance advance of a full $50: “I really need it.” I told him “No you don’t, but I’ll give it to you anyway, I gotta go to the bank first.”

This is what happens sometimes when I step out for coffee: I get punished for the sin of trying to have a calm morning. He gave me the JBL speaker and smartphone to recharge, of course. But this time there was an old pair of sneakers and one of the plaid doggy sweaters lodged inside the granny bin.

“Where’s the other sweater?” I asked.

“Back in my tent. The dogs didn’t like ’em and kept pulling them off,” he replied.

“No they didn’t,” I retorted. “They love their sweaters, and you should’ve kept them on because even when they’re wet, the sweaters will keep them warm. You need to stop lying, you took those sweaters off yourself.”

Anyway, I slogged off to the Chase branch, withdrew the money, then stopped by Rosenberg’s for my morning brew on the way back. He said he’ll return in a half hour, so I figured I have a little time to myself. But when I turned the corner to sit a few minutes on some sheltered steps, there he was at the bus stop in front of my building, waving and calling at me.

He got his money, thanked me, then they took off towards downtown. But all of a sudden he turned around in my direction, where I was about to open the gate and lug the electronic beast inside. So I just stood there as they approached, and the pups started barking with joy, hoping to come inside.

“I’m not gonna open the gate till you walk by,” I addressed him, “‘Cause I don’t wanna disappoint them by not taking them upstairs.”

He said okay and moved along, though stopped just fifteen feet away and lashed the mutts to a post, whereby he entered the Hohokum smoke shop. “Jeez,” I thought, “so he ‘really’ needs the money for what…a cigar?” Then I stepped inside, bracing the heavy wooden door against my shoulder as I wheeled the granny cart into the lobby.

And there was Kevin, sitting on the lowest step and diddling with his smartphone. So I had to wait for him to stand up and move aside, but he did that surprisingly fast in spite of his geriatric wobbliness. I thought he might scorn me for helping Deek store such a heavy item, but he spoke not a word. Well, he’s not all there anymore, Wattson, so perhaps he thought I was returning from the laundromat.

As I set the JBL near an outlet, I discovered something else lodged in the cart: a small propane canister. Oh brother!

So now I’m back inside, typing this missive. But I still need to tell you what happened shortly beFORE I stepped out and ran into Deek and the brindlekin:

I exited my hovel to use the restroom down the side hallway, when who should I almost bump into but Scooter! He was dressed in casual clothing and a pair of slippers, as if he lived here. I continued on to the restroom, and he walked straight ahead. So now what (I thought while seated on the throne), will he be waiting outside to use the toilet? And guess what:

He was right there, about five feet away when I exited and closed the door shut, which locks it as well. Scooter then politely spoke with hands flattened together in prayer:

“Please, please let me in there!”

I sighed and said, “Well okay,” and unlocked the door, then rushed back to my room.

At least it stopped raining for the moment, and the sun is actually shining through. Oops, I spoke too soon, the clouds just spread across the sky, like it’s gonna rain again, very soon. I think I’ll reheat the coffee which by now is room temp, and toast me an English muffin.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Thank You, SFPD

January 5, 2023

[Brindlekin Tales – Book 7: Chapter 3]

Butterball

Re: New Years Eve sucked as usual! When doesn’t it?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 1, 2023 at 4:33 PM

> What’s disturbing is how fast he goes from reasonable and calm to bellowing and abusive to weeping and regretful and back again. Talk about rinse and repeat! He goes through an entire manic cycle, that would usually take a few months, in mere minutes.

I don’t dwell on it; he is what he is. I consider it as simply another opportunity to turn a horrible situation into a winning one for both parties…a la My Bodhisaatva Premise. What’s MORE disturbing is the vulgar pettiness of certain occupants in my building: ready to snap at me because they despise the homeless, and anyone who reaches out to them. Who do not take so much as a moment to see the kindness of my actions, and the two lovely doggies who are SO sweet and joyful. And Deek’s nuisances are a drop in the bucket compared to all the other disturbances going on in this neighborhood, more like a battleground at times than a pleasant locale. But that, too, is just another challenge for me to morph into a celebratory outcome.

> I have felt my own inner optimism-to-pessimism meter vacillate wildly within the space of a few breaths, so I know what it’s like; the difference, of course, is that I have self-control.

We all have that in us, some more than others, some less.

> I certainly don’t fault Deek, I know his life has been anything but easy and privileged, but man,

Exactly. He grew up in a poverty stricken area with crude family and community.

> I get hot under the collar when I read about him being a loudmouthed bully, screaming insults at you.

I’m tempted to as well, but it is MY responsibility to be better than that, since my behavior in response to Deek’s outbursts determines his fate, as well as the pups’. So I dare not stoop down to his level. And as my bodhisaatva teacher, he certainly puts me through my paces! Things WILL get better.

His mocking my difficultly lugging the JBL speaker downstairs is most likely a coverup for his own hesitancy to carry it outside himself. Because, after the first time he brought it downstairs from my room, he never offered to do it again…he just said “you can bring it down now” or “here, take it inside” ever since. I was surprised at that, but his reason why didn’t occur to me until this morning: it’s too heavy for him as well! I suspect he may trade it for two excellent speakers of lesser weight. If that beast ever slips off the cart and onto the sidewalk, it will smash to pieces like Humpty Dumpty!

> The appearance of the walk-on characters in last night’s drama–the Japanese lady offering to knit and the gay guy offering you the beer–was really marvelous.

Again, the Bodhisaatva Premise: there will always be angels to step in now and then, to give you succor through whatever ordeals one goes through. You may not realize this in the heat of the moment, but hindsight and self reflection usually raise the veil.

> In other news: Having a hard time teaching the puppy to not chase Butterball the cat when they are both outside. Indoors, there’s zero problem. They touch noses, all is peaceful. But it’s a different story outdoors; if he sees her, he gets excited, barks and races after her. I doubt he’d hurt her if he caught up to her (which he can’t, because she’s up a tree or up on the railing instantly), but it makes her wary and reluctant to go out at all.

Perhaps training with a leash and a painless choke collar will do the trick. It’s called a Martingale collar, and worked very well on Flaco & Lucky when I took them for walks. I have NO idea otherwise, how to resolve this issue, and I’m sorry you’re going through that. Poor Butterball, this is not good!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Three more angels!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2023 at 3:59 PM

Deek & pups came by yesterday evening and slept there overnight. They’re still outside, and it’s now the next day, 11 AM. But so far, so good. He was barely a pest, and I sat with the hounds after feeding them, laying down cardboard and making them cozy with a fluffy sleeping bag. Small flurries of New Years Day revelers strolled by in both directions, often emitting “oos” and “aws” over the pups, with their little heads poking out. Deek allowed me some quality time with them, though he remained nearby, schmoozing with his usual vagrant visitors. So it’s not like he wandered off, leaving me stranded.

The First Angel

One young woman stopped to crouch down and admire them, lingering for almost twenty minutes while her two friends stood nearby, chatting merrily among themselves. She saw me feed and settle them in before approaching us. “They’re so adorable!” she exclaimed while petting Lucky as I held Flaco supine on my lap and scritching her belly. “Aren’t you a handsome fellow!” she addressed Lucky, who kindly drank in her many compliments. Then she reached out to his sister and emoted: “Don’t YOU have the sweetest little face!” We had an excellent conversation and I made it clear they’re not MY dogs (though most beloved), but belong to a homeless friend whom I help out. “That’s awfully kind of you to do that,” she replied. Upon departing she wished me a very happy new year; I said thanks for those good words and wished her the same.

The Second Angel

About forty minutes later a burly Latina with her girlfriend suddenly appeared before me as I was rifling through Deek’s cart for any spare sweaters. The moment I looked up, she gazed back with a stern but friendly demeanor and said: “You better use this to take care of my babies!” She held out a 20-dollar bill, which I took and replied: “Definitely, thanks so much!” And off they went before I had a chance to engage them in amiable parley. I guess she had spent a minute petting the brindlemutts on the other side of the cart, and I didn’t notice.

The Third Angel

This was much later; in fact I had already hit the sack by 1:30 AM, after checking on the pups’ comfort while their master was also in slumber. Almost an hour passed before I suddenly heard Flaco’s barks, so got up and looked out the window. She was up the block a bit, perhaps warding off some crazy tweeker or someone else’s dog. “Flaco, c’mere!” hollered Deek. He called her a couple of times before she returned to his side after casually sniffing about. He swept her into his arms and beneath the thick coat under which he rested. Lucky was not snuggled with them, but remained by the lamppost hidden within that sleeping bag like a big ol’ lump. I decided anyway, to step back out to be sure he was fully covered and warm, and to top off the water bowl.

Upon opening the gate I noticed an Asian fellow of short stature and clothed in a thick brown overcoat, standing to my immediate left and munching on a burrito. I ignored him, a bit irritated to have yet another stranger standing so close to the entryway. I crouched down over Lucky and lifted part of the sleeping bag upon which he raised his head partway to see it was me, thus laid his noggin back down while I gave a few pats and a kiss. He was toasty warm to the touch, but I gathered up one end of the bag that stuck out and folded it over him anyway, so he’d have a double layer on top. With that, I picked up the bowl that had barely any water remaining, then walked over to Deek to observe everything was A-okay, with Flaco completely sheltered from the cold.

I flashed a brief smile towards the Asian guy (and he did likewise) as I opened the gate and marched back upstairs. A minute later I came back down to set the replenished bowl beside the shopping cart and, as I returned to the gate, he said to me: “That’s a good thing you’re doing!” I replied, “Well thank you, we’ve known each other for years.”

“Those dogs are very cute,” he noted while pointing at them with the half-eaten burrito.

“Well, I never know when he’s gonna park out here for the night,” I replied in sweet resignation. “So I never know when I’ll get a good sleep or not!” He chortled at that.

I then opened the gate and, just before it shut, he added: “I live in this building too!”

“Aha!” I replied. “See you around then. And happy new year!”

Wouldn’t it be funny, Wattson, if this were the same fellow who complained that one of those dogs bit him, and triggered that eviction notice? I’m not sure though, but he WAS Asian as well. And since I only got a single short glimpse of him on that eventful day, I can’t really tell. But if it IS the same guy, it may affirm My Bodhisattva Premise, in that this is all a scripted scenario designed to put me through my paces and help me grow in spirit. Which would be incredible, because it also implies the dogs shall be welcome back inside with open arms, eventually.

And didn’t I say in a recent missive there will always be angels who step in to give succor through whatever trials you suffer? So look what happened: three more angels last night, on top of the two just last Friday!

And didn’t I ALSO say no one in my building takes “a moment to see the kindness of my actions?” Guess I was wrong about that.

Here’s a pic of Deek & hounds from last night:

Click here for a larger view.

Lucky is huddled under that blue sleeping bag on the right. Flaco is curled up in the top center area, but it’s too dark to see her there. She’s resting on a layer of clothing Deek laid down; a bit later I tossed a large, black jacket on her, for additional warmth. I found it on the third floor back porch minutes earlier. Now, another pic from this morning:

Click here for a larger view.

Some time in the wee hours Deek obviously brought Lucky to join him and Flaco, along with the sleeping bag. Which is something I wished him to do, so was glad to see it…I just didn’t like the idea of Lucky sleeping that far apart from them.

Around 12:30 PM he called me downstairs to watch the pups while he could spend some of that $20 on a small burrito or two at the Chevron station. I said okay, put on my coat and, just when I reached for the door knob he hollered up: “C’MON! WHERE ARE YOU?”

So I stepped back to the window and replied: “I just put on my coat and was about to step out when you called me back to the window.” (“Jeez,” I thought. “I’m not a magical genie where he can snap his fingers and have me appear in a flash!”)

When I approached the canines bursting with joy to see me as usual (Lucky squirming on his back and Flaco standing up against my leg for caresses), their master was already many yards up the block. Around fifteen minutes later he returned with Wes…which is good, as the company of a street friend always mellows him out.

“It’s almost 1 o’clock, Deek,” I said. “Let me feed the dogs.”

So I did while Wes and Deek talked about whatever…I didn’t eavesdrop, but I assume some sort of weed exchange, as that seems the main reason Wes associates with him. Not like he cares to speak with yours truly, it’s always just a curt “Hi Zeke” and nothing more. At any rate, he soon departed to leave Deek and pups huddled beneath the sleeping bag their master tossed over them to resist the steady drizzle that’s been falling from the sky the past two hours. See this pic:

Click here for a larger view.

He DID have a massive waterproof canvas (don’t know how he acquired it) and when I looked out my window I wondered why he didn’t use that to keep the sleeping bag from getting soaked. It had only begun to drizzle, so there was still time to keep the bag mostly dry.

So I stepped outside to see if I could find it and, lo and behold, there it was folded and dumped beside the trash bin: smeared in several spots with runny doggy poo and/or vomit, though I doubt it came from the brindlekin. Or, perhaps, being tethered to the cart all night long, maybe they relieved themselves on it? Wait-a-minute, I think he had them off leash after he brought Lucky over from the opposite side of the cart, so that really doesn’t make sense. I actually have NO idea how that canvas got so fouled up! Someone else’s dog? A drunk celebrant puked? Be that as it may:

Shaman trickster Deek is a vortex of endless complications, difficulties and mishaps…much of which he seems to bring upon himself. A spiritual cousin to Charles Schulz’s Pig-Pen!

I also found one of the doggy’s sweaters lying by the shopping cart’s left-front wheel. So he must’ve removed it, and I can’t fathom why. It was only slightly damp at that point, so I brought it upstairs to hang dry. Don’t know if he’ll let me remove the other sweater and put two dry ones on the pups, but I certainly don’t think I can do it NOW, while he’s hunkered beneath the sleeping bag, as I’m sure he’ll yell at me for the disturbance and refuse my help.

It’s now 2:40 PM and they’re STILL out there! But it looks like the rain is finally letting up, at least for awhile. And maybe he’ll take that window of opportunity to migrate to a sheltered spot. I sure hope so! He told me a few days back, he knows several such locales to park at during a rainy spell. Regardless: no matter WHEN Deek decides to take off, I’ll provide him with another dry sleeping bag and take the soggy one upstairs.

Dammit, the steady drizzle has just resumed.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Had to call the cops again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2023 at 5:49 PM

About an hour and a half ago he started screaming at me from beneath that soggy sleeping bag:

“THE DOGS ARE GONNA DIE OUT HERE!”

“I’M SICK, I NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL, YA GOTTA WATCH THE DOGS!”

“FUCK YOU, ZEKE, YOU’RE NO FRIEND!”

I stepped out twice, about twenty minutes apart, and calmly told him he’s not sick, he’s just a drama queen and being a nuisance. He said he’d like a drink, so I went back upstairs and got him his ginger ale…along with two trash bags to put over the dogs to keep them warm. Lucky wasn’t even on his lap, but resting upon the shopping cart’s bottom rack, protected from the rain. I placed an unfolded,large trash bag over him, and handed the other to Deek, said:

“Put this over Flaco, it’ll help keep her warm.” He accepted it and, to my surprise, also took the sweater he discarded earlier, too, that by now was dry. Then he began ranting at me again, so I went upstairs.

Thanks to the traffic din through the rain, his bellows were muted. However, he kept it up so I stepped outside once more, whereby he asked me to accompany him to the hospital; I could watch the dogs while he went inside. I told him no, you’re not sick and I’m not gonna let you drag me through this stupid drama.

“YOU’RE NOT GONNA HELP ME? I THOUGHT YOU WERE A FRIEND, YOU’RE JUST GONNA LET THE DOGS DIE?”

I told him that’s bullshit, in this case he needs to help himself:

“You could’ve kept the cart dry by covering it, then you’d have a cozy nest for the dogs, instead of exposing them to the rain. You know very well how to survive on the streets, as well as take better care of the hounds. You’re NOT sick, you’re just a jackass trickster.”

“I’M REALLY SICK, BEEN SICK FOR DAYS NOW, I JUST CAN’T GO TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE I CAN’T BRING THE DOGS! WHO KNOWS BETTER WHEN I’M SICK BUT ME? HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I’M NOT!”

“Well then, you leave me no option but to call 911. They’ll take the dogs and keep them sheltered while you’re being treated. Does that work for you?”

“NO, NO, DON’T DO THAT, I’LL LOSE THE DOGS!”

“Okay, that does it then,” I replied. “I’m calling the cops and they can handle this. If you leave before they show up I’ll cancel my complaint.”

“BRING ME MY SPEAKER AND SMARTPHONE…NOW!!!”

“I’d rather keep your speaker outta the rain, Deek,” I appealed. “And you can pick it up once the storm is over.”

“NO, I WANT IT NOW, AND YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME OR THE DOGS AGAIN!!!”

So I returned hovel, called SFPD non-emergency, and they picked up the phone immediately. Told them the situation just like last time, then I doubled-bagged the speaker, and lugged it downstairs, along with the phone.

By then, Flaco & Lucky were standing around, but the sister stood against the ATM plywood, afraid to approach her master because of his yelling. She wanted to go home with me. He then picked up her leash and tugged her forward with no regard for that darling creature. I ran back upstairs to fetch another dry sleeping bag, brought it down and handed it to him. Amid his braying, he said thank you for everything I HAVE done.

“You’re welcome,” I replied. “But you’re disturbing the peace and I won’t tolerate that. NO excuse for such awful behavior, Deek.”

As he started to take off in the direction of downtown, a police car pulled up and a female cop stepped out and walked right by me to speak directly to Deek there by the corner, waiting to cross. I approached within twenty feet and listened.

She asked if he was banging on the gate, he said no he didn’t. So I spoke out: “That was three days ago, he’s just being a nuisance today, screaming at the top of his lungs nonstop.”

“Okay,” she addressed me, “I don’t want you two to get into an argument, I just want to know if you’re satisfied that he move elsewhere?”

“Yes, that’s fine,” I replied. “I’m not interested in pressing charges, I just need him to go.”

I then walked back towards Deek’s spot where he camped all last night and today, and started cleaning up the pile of old clothing he left behind. I picked up one black trash bag to discover three unopened cans of dog food inside…so approached the officer once more and said:

“You left this dog food, Deek, please take it.” And he did, promptly, and I returned to finish the cleanup while the cop finished speaking with him. One thing I overheard was she asked: “Do you need to go to the hospital?”

He shook his head: “No, I don’t.” (What’d I tell ya, Wattson?)

Deek then took off, and the peace keeper came up to me, and I said thank you, explained he’s a friend of many years, I care very much about him and his dogs…but he takes meth and is kinda bipolar, and he’s also a drama queen. He’s not sick at all, just being a public nuisance and a pest. And that having a cop show up may do the trick in getting him to quell this nonsense. Because last time I called, no police arrived by the time he left, and he might’ve concluded I faked a call-in. She made the most amazing reply:

“Sometimes that’s all it takes,” she grinned with a flash of pearly whites. “We’re here for that, too, and if he acts up again, feel free to call us!”

I told her thank you immensely, and wished her a happy new year, which she did in return. She then zipped away in her vehicle, and I finished cleaning up his mess. Including the soggy sleeping bag he left behind, which I took upstairs to hang overnight, above many copies of the Bay Area Reporter spread across the center of my dirty old floor, like my room is actually a large parrot cage. Chirp, chirp, squawk! May Glob grant me a peaceful night.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: There went my tent, too!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2023 at 7:34 PM

In the midst of Deek’s bullshit, he requested my pop-up tent; this was right after I told him I called the fuzz.

“But you don’t know how to set it up!” I exclaimed. “You’ll just throw it away!”

“Don’t give me that,” he retorted. “I’ve set up all kinds of tents, I’m sure I can handle it.”

“But you told me a few months ago you put up a tent and the police ordered you to take it down, it’s too big. This is a big tent, too!” I countered.

“I never said that, you’re lying!” he scowled. “You love to make shit up just to have your way.” (Exactly what HE does, Wattson, but never admits to that. He’s a table-turner par excellence.)

Rather than argue further, I dragged my tent down from the loft and brought it to him, placing it in the cart. After all, it’s not like I’m gonna get any more use from it; it was gathering dust. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll actually figure it out and provide himself and the pups decent shelter for at least ONE night.

That would be really nice, as would him showing up next time with a cozy, warm nest in his cart, just for the mutts, and a waterproof cover over the whole shebang. Instead of a monster sized speaker hogging up all the room and forcing Flaco & Lucky to walk in the rain. Oh, interesting tidbit I forgot to mention:

When the officer approached me after speaking with Deek, and I began to describe my friendship with him and said: “I even help him…”

“Take care of the pups?” she interrupted.

I said yes, but wondered how she knew that right off the bat? Good guess, perhaps…or they already know my story. Not that I believe some of the cops (and others in the LGBT family) literally read my Brindlekin Tales, but word may have gotten around over the months. Or perhaps longer, maybe years and years longer, before I even MET Deek, and this is just my latest mission. So once again I surmise a scripted scenario by Bodhisattva guardians, in which Deek is playing HIS role (as a pest) and the peace makers theirs!

Besides the superb officer giving me a clue by interrupting with such an insightful remark, Deek’s OWN clue was to accuse me of exactly what HE does all the time: making shit up. I just don’t think this was accidental, but part of the Bodhisattva challenge to quell all negative emotions. And it didn’t phase me one iota, since I know the game very well at this point in my evolution. And the challenge is also not to cave in to despair no matter how numerous the demonic visions tossed my way by The Cajun Trickster. Thus I am neither worried nor grief stricken over this latest fake crisis. But most importantly:

In my stable centeredness, I did not express any anger or frustration and made it absolutely clear I don’t want to press charges. I felt very much like the star actor onstage who recited his lines with perfect execution. I’m a hero in my own play, not just my own mind…for the play is writ by others, mainly Arwyn I suspect.

And that makes the policewoman who came to the rescue Angel #6 of the holiday season. Or #7 if I include that amazing appearance of a homeless black dude dressed like a cosmic Santa in quiet meditation and seated upon a shimmering carpet!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: San Francisco is about to be hit with a ‘brutal’ storm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 3, 2023 at 11:44 AM

San Francisco is about to be hit with a ‘brutal’ storm so severe that a meteorologist says is ‘one of the most impactful’ he’s ever seen

Deek had better be prepared, instead of playing his drama game. The dogs need protection, and I can’t provide that.


Re: San Francisco is about to be hit with a ‘brutal’ storm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 3, 2023 at 12:19 PM

> So worrisome. Poor little angel babies…

Deek knows plenty of homeless people who can advise him where to seek emergency shelter, and should be busting his ass right now, for the sake of the dogs. But he probably doesn’t know a bad storm is coming up shortly. If he drops by this evening and refuses to leave to hustle up shelter, I’ll have to contact some homeless organization to bring him to wherever he can ride out the storm. I’ll suggest he leave the speaker with me, so the pups can at least be protected in a covered shopping cart, with a pile of clothing and a sleeping bag. I’m not counting on him to follow through on this, though.

He’s a fool for just sitting there in the rain yesterday, bellowing how he’s shivering and wet, and needs to go to the hospital. Most of the homeless found shelter, he has no excuse.

We might have no electricity for awhile, either, but I hope the Castro and my building do not suffer damage. Sewers will probably back up, water system may not be potable.

Looks like walloping rains soon due in your neck of the woods, too, probably worse than here, though I’m not sure. But nonstop rain is forecast for your area till at LEAST the 17th. Jeez!


Subject: Well that was disheartening!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 3, 2023 at 3:40 PM

A short while ago I went to Golden Produce on Church Street to pick up another loaf of my favorite raisin bread. Returning home, I stopped at the corner of Church and 14th, waiting for the light to turn green. I looked both ways to see if I could jaywalk, and saw to my immediate left, standing barely three feet away (with another pedestrian between us): Arwyn!

So I looked away, towards my right again, then my left for one more glance at him. He of course acted like I wasn’t there, so I did the same. He crossed a few seconds later, but I decided to wait a bit, to see which of the two intersecting streets he’d choose: Market or 14th. Once I saw he was going up Market, I finally crossed and walked up the other…my usual route anyway.

He looks his age now, perhaps older: jowls forming on a face with lotsa gray stubble, and his previously golden auburn hair frostier than ever. He sported a baggy brown jacket and slacks, and a thick pair of gloves which may be what he wears at work for unloading heavy boxes from delivery trucks to their shelves one level up.

He walked with a pronounced stoop, reducing his real height to like six inches less. He’s twelve years younger than me, so is 60 years old now…but I swear he looks 70. Though as a trickster himself, he may have created an illusory appearance of morbid aging just to fuck with me. For he’s done stuff like that before, many times: appearing shabbily dressed, homely and worn down one day, then his usual, stunningly radiant self the next!

San Franshitsco: if you’re looking for a place bubbling over with pointless drama, you’ve found your home!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Well that was disheartening!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 3, 2023 at 5:58 PM

> Holy Toledo!!!!!!

One way of putting it. Let’s see if he begins to appear in my world again, more often. Meanwhile:

Karlsen was carried off to an ambulance once more, about an hour ago:

Click here for a larger view.

That’s Scooter in the bottom center, wearing a black cap and hoodie. I heard voices in the hallway from Karlsen and the emergency crew, and made out two words: “hernia” and “diarrhea.” Now, moving along to around 40 minutes later, just before 5 PM when Sedge is supposed to show up to collect his $150. So I stepped outside to see if he’d appear…Deek didn’t, even though he should’ve been there, too. I only had to wait two minutes before the seller showed up, and I learned his real name is Hjelmar (pronounced “yell-mar”). He said it’s a Viking name.

So we talked mostly about Deek, that he promised Hjelmar some barter items in addition to the money I just gave him. Which items have yet to manifest. Long story short: he realizes now Deek is a jackass and not a good person to make deals with. Not that he was angry in the least, even said it’s his own fault. He admitted Deek is pretty much a nice dude, just don’t do any wheeling and dealing with him. I informed him I had to call the cops on him yesterday ’cause he was screaming and soaking wet in the rain, and refused to leave…so maybe that’s why he didn’t show up.

“Or perhaps he didn’t want you to accuse him in front of me, that he ripped you off,” I added.

At any rate, it was a most friendly conversation. He said that JBL cost him $400, and I informed him I looked it up on Amazon, and it usually sells new for $500.

“I later resented giving it to him for such a cheap price,” he admitted. “But he said he’ll cherish it forever.”

“Unlikely,” I replied. “He’ll probably sell it off or damage it before long, maybe wind up getting it waterlogged. He’s careless with his electronics.”

I described to him how sometimes he’ll bring a smartphone or speaker he knows doesn’t work, ask me to bring it upstairs and charge it. Then a short while later I’ll come back down and tell him it’s dead, or the charging port is shot…then he’ll accuse me of breaking it and I now owe him a bunch of money. But I never fall for it, his little schemes never work with me; don’t see why by now he doesn’t just drop the BS, he should know better at this point.

We also talked about the doggies, how sweet they are, and my grave concern over their well-being because of Deek’s poor treatment of them.

“He cares more about his gadgets than his dogs,” I exclaimed. “He’d rather place a big speaker in his cart and cover it up from the rain, and let the pups walk wet and chilly instead of keeping them warm and dry in that cart.”

Anyway we chatted barely ten minutes before he took off. But I was most impressed by his stable, calm demeanor. He ALSO remembers when I adopted the doggies for almost three months two years ago, to get them outta the rain and away from Deek’s bipolar explosion. I was surprised he knew about that at all!

But glad I got that moolah to him.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Well that was disheartening!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 4, 2023 at 9:02 AM

> “Hernia” and “diarrhea,” two words that should stay as far away from each other as possible.

Unless they’re a vaudeville act.

> Poor fucker. That’s a sad picture.

The sooner he’s gone the better. Every time Karlsen is rushed to the hospital I pray he never returns.


Subject: A steady light rain over the night and into the day…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 4, 2023 at 1:37 PM

…and still going on. Wind only around 8 mph…so nowhere near as bad as predicted, thank Taranis. Hopefully that’s the worst it will get until Friday when we’re supposed to get a break. Then more rain predicted over the next ten days! However, I think they will be mild and sporadic.

Though for tonight, Accuweather says “Winds gusting past 45 mph; rain, heavy at times; flooding, mudslides, debris flows, damaging winds.”

Deek has NOT shown up yet, and that’s good because he needs to tend to the safety of those hounds, and there is no dry spot in my area. As for emergency homeless shelters that allow pets: they may turn anyone away with more than one dog.

I imagine his cumbersome Bluetooth speaker will not survive the weather. Small sacrifice to pay for the brindlekins’ protection, AFAIC. I sincerely hope he managed to set up that tent properly, but I have my doubts. More thoughts on Hjelmar, my new Viking friend:

My original vision that triggered the concept I first called “NeoChristianity,” then changed to “NeoPositivity,” which eventually evolved into “My Bodhisattva Premise” was given to me by the Viking god Odin, back in the year 2000. So I conjecture that Hjelmar may be a type of visitation, an affirmation, of my ongoing trial to keep the doggies safe against many odds.

For his spirit was most pacific in spite of dealing with Deek’s BS, as well as bursting with confidence about his own life, as indicated by his always impeccable attire and robust, positive attitude. I conclude he is homeless, too, as he mentioned he’s finally acquiring a studio apartment after a two-year struggle to get there with the aid of a kind social worker…though it may take two or three more months to finally seal the deal.

One would expect a person of Viking descent to be stereotypically tall, but Hjelmar is only 5-foot-6, an inch shorter than yours truly. Though certainly has the platinum hair and light blue eyes common among Scandinavians. I looked up the meaning of his name and got: “Swedish : probably a soldier’s name from hjälm ‘helmet’.” So fits in like a jigsaw piece with my vision of the warrior god Odin, and my reaching out to a Vietnam veteran years earlier, for whom Odin appeared in a dream to present me with a consoling, and most revelatory, vision.

So earlier today I prepared and sent off my latest Brindlekin episode for Marshall to read this Friday night, which I call “The SFPD Intervenes.” I’m glad he’s finally caught up to this scenario, which is almost a three-month lag behind my current tales. Since it marks the end of my dog tending (whether indoors or out) and the beginning of new struggles, in which the storm gods play an unwelcome role.

I just listened to Marshall’s narration from last Friday for the fourth time. As it gives me an objective ear whereby I learn more about myself and my situation with Deek & pups than I could otherwise. And I always wonder when I hear a tale read back: “Is the writing good enough to capture listeners’ attention?” I am, so far, satisfied that the answer is “yes.” I was amused over how he introduced that last piece, by declaring:

“And I have the latest installment of the dog-sitting–being abused and taken advantage of by a crack head–stories by Ezekiel Krahlin.”

For, technically speaking, Deek is NOT a “crack head”–he never touches the stuff–but is your quintessentially avid meth freak. Far be it for me, however, to pick a nit over this with Marshall, considering what a fine job he does of reading my tales, and that they are now out there floating around in the ether to Glob only knows WHAT other ears!

The rain has subsided now, for a time, as I complete this, my latest missive, to one Morticia/Tara Roosevelt/My Dear Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Shit sandwich headed my way!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 4, 2023 at 2:03 PM

Wind gusts may reach 70 mph!

San Francisco braces for potentially life-threatening bomb cyclone that could bring flooding, winds, mudslides


Re: A steady light rain over the night and into the day…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 4, 2023 at 3:07 PM

> Howling winds here. A tree came down during the night (though I didn’t hear it), fell on the roof of the “studio” (shack where I write), but amazingly, very little damage.

Thank Glob for that! Maybe you didn’t hear it because it gradually leaned over, gentle like. No winds howling down south yet, though storms usually hit Mendoland first before barreling down the coast.

> Seems to be letting up a bit right now, but I’m braced and ready. Power flickered, but came back on, a bloody miracle. Dogs curled up tightly asleep in their beds, dreaming doggy dreams.

Glad to hear the pups are so complacently cozy. But the cats? I remember you said one of ’em freaks out over a storm.

> Doesn’t seem far-fetched at all!

Steady at the Hjelm! May the gods of the far north protect Deek and his furry charges.

> When they made “The Vikings” back in 1957 or so, they built an exact replica of a Viking ship that had been preserved somewhere in Scandinavia. But….they had to scale everything up, because Kirk Douglas (who was not overly tall, maybe 6 ft.) and the rest of the actors couldn’t fit into the diminutive spaces where the Vikings of old once did. We think of Vikings as tall, and they probably were for their time, but by today’s standards, they were shortish!

You just popped my bubble with a troll-doll replica of Thor’s hammer! Like so:

> Thinking of that movie: Talking about it with my long-ago Jewish boyfriend, he laughed and said he called it “The Kikings,” because most of the cast was Jewish!

Oh jeez, funny! Maybe they were all gay, too, and had a lusty Viking party on opening night.

> Pithy, concise summary!

Marshall nailed it once again.

> Crack, Meth–they mess a person up similarly…

Ya think? Though alcohol ranks right there on the top of the list of most dangerous substances. I’d rather deal with a meth head any old day, than a booze hound. Though I’d prefer NOT to have anything to do with either type, if it weren’t for my beloved Flaco & Lucky.

Well, batten down the hatches, Wattson, it’s gonna be a bumpy sail tonight! And know that, should either or both of us lose electricity for a time, my thoughts are with you through this bound-to-be record shattering squall!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek showed up this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2023 at 5:56 PM

…around 8:30 AM, and the rain had stopped earlier. I had JUST gotten up and poked my head out the window, and there they were, crossing the street in my direction. First thing he asked when looking up at me, was: “Did he get the money?” He of course meant Hjelmar, who sold him the speaker. I told him yes, he got his $150 right on time.

To my surprise, the pups were still in their sweaters and DRY. Not only that, his JBL monster was dry, too, though unbagged. After I lugged the speaker upstairs and plugged it in (along with a pair of headphones and his smartphone) he told me he’s gotta go somewhere for 15-20 minutes, just feed the dogs and watch ’em and the cart. Fine with me, didn’t look like it was gonna start raining again any time soon. But wouldn’t ya know it, Wattson:

Another shower commenced a few minutes after I brought the hounds their vittles! So I quickly moved them to the sheltered bus stop, along with his cart. Tied them to the seat bar, ran upstairs to grab a sheet of cardboard and a trash bag, then set down the cardboard for them to sit upon and wrapped the bag over them both, with a little knot in front of their necks so it wouldn’t blow away. They sat very still and quiet, knowing this was the best spot at the moment, and they hate the rain.

FYI: the bus shelters are VERBOTEN for the houseless to gather in, but screw it (I thought) there IS no other protection nearby. Thanks to the fuckers sealing off the ATM alcove…and gating off the last two remaining recesses of the vacant shops across the street, to keep vagrants at bay (because they’d prefer to shove them IN the Bay if they could get away with it).

His cart, BTW, contained my Teton tent, half-sprawled over it, giving no indication whether or not he was able to set it up. I doubt it, and he wouldn’t admit it if I asked. I didn’t even bother to see if he managed to break one or two of the tent rods, ’cause what’s the point.

I sat there at the bus stop, petting and speaking kind to Flaco & Lucky, who I was glad to see were NOT shivering. Flaco gazed up at me with great fondness now and then, while her brother remained hunkered down beside her. I gave her little kisses which she returned, and comforting scritches behind the ears.

Their master finally returned a half hour later, so I returned hovel to fetch a large plastic storage bin, one of three I had stashed in my loft, along with its lid and a dry sleeping bag. (Unfortunately, Deek did not have the sleeping bag I gave him two days back, so I could take it upstairs to dry. Guess he just dumped it wherever once it got soaked, dammit.)

I placed the plastic bin on its side beside the cart and threw in the sleeping bag, whence the mutts promptly stepped into the plush refuge and snuggled up together like yin and yang. I set the lid upon the top side of the bin, extending it outward to form an overhang, and secured the trash bag between lid and top so it extended down to the concrete, providing further protection from the breezy cold air. It also kept the sleeping bag from getting wet, even around the edges that stuck outside the bin.

Deek was totally kewl for the entire meetup, gave me no grief whatsoever, no gripes, no insults, no nothing of a negative vibe. He did say he could use a few bucks, so I gave him $20, to which he exclaimed “Wow, thanks!” I reminded him that will be deducted from his next pay day which isn’t for another week.

The rain poured down for another hour or so, during which time I remained upstairs for the most part. Though I did step out twice, to check up on the doggies and see how Deek was doing. The first time I did, a friendly black woman from HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) had shown up to speak with him, then walked up Market Street as I approached. Deek said she’s gonna get him and the dogs shelter at 117 Polk Street, one of the spaces set aside for emergency housing.

The HOT agent said she’ll be back shortly, she’s gotta make some calls and talk to someone else a block and a half away, so just hang in there.

“But it’s three to a room,” he told me. “That’s where Boulevard Joe is staying.”

“Okay,” I replied, “it’ll do in a pinch, just to keep the dogs outta the rain. And you have a friend there already, so that’s nice.”

“Yeah, but I don’t wanna be stuck inside all day long just sitting around doing nothing,” he said with a shrug.

“But it’s a weather emergency, Deek,” I exclaimed. “You have the dogs to think about, not just your own needs. I’m sure they’d LOVE to be inside, warm and dry! Any port in a storm, as the saying goes.”

But the HOT lady didn’t “return shortly,” she took almost an hour, only to tell him she couldn’t get him in there, the place is totally booked right now.

“But hang in there,” she said upon departing once more. “We’ll get you a place soon.”

“Well, you didn’t wanna go there anyway,” I told him. “And it’s stopped raining for now. But the best deal is to push for a cabin [Deek’s word for a tiny home]. One-person limit, and great for the doggies. More freedom to come and go, too. But remember, everything you do in life is a trade-off one way or another, just different pluses and minuses.”

Scampy had shown up for awhile; I saw them there beneath the Super Duper awning when I stepped out a second time, checked on the dogs, then said “I’m gonna buy a new pack of trash bags, I only have two left!”

“You don’t have to do that now, I got enough,” he replied.

“No, it’s okay, the rain is letting up, so I’m taking advantage of the break,” I explained.

“Well, when you get back bring down the speaker, you don’t need to bag it, it’s waterproof.”

“No it isn’t!” I warned. “It’s the JBL Partybox 300, I looked it up. The label says ‘splash proof,’ not waterproof…big diff.”

I tried to persuade him to keep the humongous speaker with me while the rains last, but he said no. This is discouraging, as that means his furry friends will have to walk in the rain, instead of being sheltered in the cart, warm and cozy. If only that speaker had wheels! Well, I do have a small, aluminum dolly I don’t use anymore, that was for my vertical laundry bin, which I have replaced with a wider bin with wheels that I found on the back porch a few weeks back. I THINK I have a few bungee cords lying around somewhere that would lash the speaker to the dolly very well.

At any rate, Deek’s placid demeanor was most appreciated and impressive. But look what it took to get him there: a catastrophic storm front and the intervention of a cop!

I wished him well with God’s blessing and returned upstairs with that plastic bin in hand, after bagging the still-dry sleeping bag and tossing it into the cart…upon which he laid the Partybox 300, instead of those lovely canines.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: He lost Flaco’s rabies tag almost two months ago, I keep forgetting to mention that. Lucky still has his.


The Soggy Spirit of Exmass

January 1, 2023

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 7: Chapter 2]

Subject: The morning went well, but then Deek Monster showed up.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2022 at 12:12 AM

Quiet, peaceful morning ’cause Exmass weekend. Got up 7:30, and a half hour later stepped out for my morning coffee. Once back hovel I checked my Moto E 2020 to discover a text message waiting for my attention.

“Must be from Wattson,” I conjectured because I rarely receive a text from anyone else. But to my surprise it was a notice from Tracfone that I may be eligible for free cell service through the Affordable Connectivity Program:

Perhaps the ACP via Tracfone only recently kicked in, thanks to merging with Verizon. I’m not sure, though, but glad to partake in it. Applying was easy, via Tracfone’s site, and since I was already a customer with an active phone. And since I’m already registered with the Lifeline National Verifier which allowed Tracfone to approve my eligibility instantly! I presume then, starting mid-January my cell service will be free…unlimited calls and text, plus 2 GB data each month. Nice.

As you know, I’ve checked out all other gov’t sponsored, free cell services and they’re absolute crap. And that’s why I opted for Tracfone because inexpensive and has been working very well for me. Hopefully, it will stay that way under the ACP arrangement. Anyway, the morning went great but the afternoon was a hearse of a different body:

Shortly after noontime, Deek hollered up to my window. I waved at him to let him know I’ll be right out. I soon exited the building, wished him a good morning and crouched down to greet the wee hounds. He asked me to bring them a meal and water, then pick up the large speaker to charge it…the one he purchased two days ago with my $100 final allowance for the month. So when I returned downstairs and set down the doggies’ bowls, their master told me the speaker connection’s already a bit wobbly, so be real careful when I plug it in, or:

“IT’LL BE YOUR FAULT IF IT DOESN’T WORK ‘CAUSE IT WAS WORKIN’ FINE BEFORE I GAVE IT TO YOU!”

He spoke those words in harsh staccato, and literally was foaming at the mouth…a side effect of smoking crystal when you don’t stay hydrated. Uh-oh! (I thought.) The port’s already broken and he’s trying to set me up! Only one way to deal with it:

“In that case, Deek, I’d rather YOU plug it in, so let me bring a USB cord right down,” I replied.

And with that, Wattson, he exploded in a fury, screaming at the top of his lungs. So yeah, now he’s back to screaming:

“JUST TAKE IT INSIDE AND PLUG IT IN. CAREFULLY!”

“Nope, I’m gettin’ the cord,” I repeated and rushed upstairs against his demand. Now, there was a flurry of words between us for several minutes before I said that and turned back towards the gate: him hollering and myself, replying sotto voce with immense patience. A few people walked by, a bit cautiously until they saw I was in control.

In the midst of this one-way squabble, I noticed Lucky wasn’t wearing his sweater (though Flaco had hers) and asked if he still has it ’cause it’s cold outside.

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR YOUR FAKE SHIT!” he screeched. “YOU DON’T LOVE THESE DOGS, YOU’RE A PHONY!”

“Whatever, Deek,” I answered back. “I washed their jackets, they’re dry and clean now, so I can put one on Lucky.”

Well he’d have none of it and demanded once more I bring the speaker upstairs, picked it up and shoved it in my direction, but I stepped back. Said he doesn’t NEED to plug it in ’cause the cord needs to be plugged into the outlet first, so what’s the point. He knew very well what the point is, but I went ahead anyway and told him that’s not true. Then, seeing the pups had finished their meal, I picked up the empty bowls, said “I’ll be right back,” and returned hovel to retrieve a USB cord…with Deek screaming bloody murder because I didn’t take the speaker with me.

When I returned and held the cord up, telling him to please plug it in himself, he went ballistic again. At that point I handed his smartphone back that he just gave me, and made it clear to him there’s no way I’ll do him any favors when he acts cuckoo (with a twirl of my index finger around my ear, for emphasis).

So just when I made a move to step back inside, he marched off in a rabid huff. I stood there and watched them diminish up the block and called out: “Don’t come back till you calm down, please! You’re foamin’ at the mouth!”

I think he screamed back; “SHUT UP, SHUT THE FUCK UP!” But I’m not sure, though whatever he said had to be nasty one way or another…because that’s the mood he was in.

Foolish me, once I returned to the comfort of my dump and the Internet, I thought I was gonna have a peaceful afternoon. But nope, Deek returned barely ten minutes later…this time with a large drink in his hand and no more spittle drenched lips thank Glob. They were situated this time at the corner by the bus stop.

Soon as I stepped out and presented the cord to him and said, “Just plug it in, please, then I’ll take it upstairs,” he once more started wailing like a banshee with bronchitis. Two fellows were standing about fifteen feet away, in front of the Super Duper burger joint, laughing it up among themselves…though they did take a couple of glances at us, due to Deek’s boisterous harangues.

“See?” Deek blasted. “You made me act like an idiot in front of them!”

“Nope,” I replied, “You’re doing that all by yourself. Act like an idiot and you’ll be called an idiot. It’s just common sense, a quality you seem to have in short supply. Now, PLEASE, plug in the cord for me.”

He knocked it from my hand right then, so I picked it up and said, “Well then, I’m going back inside withOUT your speaker.” I pet the dogs first before departing, while Deek continued to fume a smokestack of vitriol while turning his cart in the direction of Noe Street, ready to take off.

Once upstairs again, I figured NOW I’ll have a peaceful afternoon. But no, once more Deek returned barely ten minutes later. So I came back downstairs with cord in hand, and as I approached within several feet of him, he began screaming again and tossed the now-empty soda cup at my torso with a light “Whack!” Flaco shivered in fear while Lucky just stood watching us a tad cautiously.

“Aw, you’re hurting the dogs, Deek!” I said and crouched down to reassure them with kind caresses.

But he persisted furiously with a barrage of absurd insults and horrible accusations, which I ignored and continued to comfort Lucky & Flaco.

“I’m NOT gonna take your speaker upstairs without first testing the port,” I told him. “So if YOU’RE not gonna do it, I will right now.”

The plug fit fine, but then Deek went hysterical, demanded I remove the cord before picking up the speaker. I refused and told him that’s nonsense, but when I started to lift it, he removed the cord and handed it to me. I noticed then he had set the missing sweater down on the sleeping bag before I stepped out, along with the one Flaco was wearing.

“Oh, okay,” I said and picked up the elfin garments. “I’ll bring down the clean jackets in a minute.”

Of course, part of his rants included how he loves the dogs but he can’t go to any parties with them, or get anything else done on his rounds, blah blah blah…he’s ready to get rid of them. Then he ragged on about how I fucked up dog-sitting in my hovel, that I’m shit for not caring for them outdoors for most of the day, maybe even overnight. I simply replied:

“Looks to me like they’re keeping you outta trouble. And as I’ve said the before, more than once, now I’ll say it again: love these dogs with all your heart and your world will get better day by day.”

That didn’t go over well, needless to say. At any rate, things calmed down and he camped out by the bus stop into the late evening. Even though he said he’s about to leave, once I took the speaker into my hands, he soon crashed out beneath the sleeping bag with the hounds tucked away inside, as this snapshot shows:

Click here for a larger view.

You can see his hand sticking out by the water bowl, and his Santa’s elf cap atop the shopping cart. Of course you can’t see the poochies without x-ray vision, but they’re there snoozing away in doggy dreamland. I gave that pic a title: “Post Xmas Exhaustion.” Now, here’s a shot of that controversial Bluetooth speaker he wasted my money on:

Click here for a larger view.

It looks heavier than it is, only around twelve pounds. Hefty enough though to indicate a decent sized lithium battery that should give him at least four hours of play at medium volume, which is STILL loud.

Some time after nightfall Sean appeared by Deek and pups…he’s that large, friendly black dude I’ve mentioned several times before. I said hi to him when I stepped out to return a fully charged speaker and smartphone. It had just started to rain a light drizzle, so I had placed the speaker in a large trash bag, and handed Deek four more bags to protect the contents of his cart, himself and the dogs. But he had already set up an overhead waterproof tarp of generous size, draped over the cart on one side, and a large umbrella on the other. Surprisingly spacious, and Flaco & Lucky were secure and dry within.

I also handed him a second sleeping bag, seeing as his cart no longer contained a mountain of clothing like it did two days ago. Another hour or so had passed before he called up to me again:

“Zeke, can you gimme that tent now?”

I looked down at him, frowned and shook my head side to side and said “No, of course not!”

He didn’t give me grief over that, but just returned to the corner where he was camped. We had this discussion earlier when he mentioned my popup Teton I used for awhile to sit the dogs behind my building:

“You said you’d give me that tent, could I have it now?”

“No, I never said that, Deek,” I replied. “It’s tricky to set up anyway, I’d have to show you step by step, otherwise you wouldn’t know what to do, probably break one of the rods and dump it on the streets in a day or two.”

Besides which, Wattson, every time he’s had a tent that he COULD set up, he dumped it somewhere on the streets after just one or two nights. So giving him my tent is the same as throwing it in the trash. Besides which no one in the Castro wants to ever SEE a tent again, especially a big one like mine! Neighbors would complain to the SFPD and they’d tell him to knock it down and move on. About three months ago Deek told me he had a nice tent, but a cop showed up, told him it’s too big, he’s gotta get rid of it, take it somewhere else. He can easily construct a makeshift tent from materials he picks up, or purchases on the cheap from that Goodwill bargain bin garage. Like he did this evening.

After an hour playing his speaker he decided to hand it back to me till he’s ready to leave. He was waiting at the front gate and once I arrived, instructed me to charge it a little more and when he wants it back, double bag and tie it up. The doggies were right there beside him, close to the gate, just dying with joyful expectation to step inside. Sad that their master would tease them like that…though I guess he thinks he’s teasing me. They weren’t on their leashes, so when Deek walked towards the bus stop, Flaco followed but her brother stubbornly stood by the gate, then sat down beside Scampy who, surprisingly, was sitting right next to the gate, having a smoke. I didn’t see her there until I heard her crackly voice:

“Hello, Lucky!” she said and began to pet him.

Just two nights ago when again the pups were off leash, and Deek was camped out by the lamppost close by, the pups followed me to the front gate. I had to gently block them from entering before Deek called to them. Upon closing the gate and reaching the stairs I looked back and saw them both standing there, peering into the lobby through the bottom of the glass pane (like little elves) and gazing at me with those sparkly eyes and high hopes filled with joy and amity. I wanted so badly right then and there to run back, sweep them in my arms and bring them home.

But I couldn’t. Fuck the holidays. Deek does a great job of ruining them…as do certain people who occupy Hotel California North, not the least of whom is the doddering old building manager. Well, at least I no longer have to contend with my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway, and THAT’S a blessing! Or that nasty old gossipy coot who died a year and a half earlier, with whom I had to share the restroom for seven grievous years, and lay eyes on his sour face almost every day. *shudder*

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: The Soggy Spirit of Exmass
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2022 at 11:49 AM

After Deek and pups had departed last night, about an hour later I stepped out to purchase two packets of chocolate M&Ms at Rosenberg’s. On my way back I noticed a sopping wet item draped over the back of the bus stop seats. At first I thought it was one of those puffy large jackets, but once I got closer, realized it was the sleeping bag I gave Deek last week! See pic.

I got pissed over that, because I just gave him a second sleeping bag for good measure…not so he could throw the other one away. So I picked it up and brought it home to hang dry, after first laying down two trash bags on the floor, with a thick cover of newspapers over that. Good ol’ Bay Area Reporter (the most widely circulated LGBT paper on the planet) saved the day once again!

But it’s now morning, the sleeping bag is almost completely dry (and CLEAN, since the rain gave it a thorough wash), and I thought about why he discarded it:

His canopy, though waterproof, wasn’t enough to keep the water from running beneath the sleeping bag he set down on the sidewalk. Had he placed a couple of trash bags beneath it (which I gave him), that might not have occurred, though maybe the circumference of the canopy was not sufficiently broad to keep the rain from invading his humble shelter. So the bag got wet, the dogs couldn’t remain there, and Deek stepped out to ask for that tent.

Not that I’m saying the tent would’ve helped one iota, due to the obstacles I previously stated, although I understand perfectly why he made that request. But of course should he bring it up and berate me for not providing him with a tent, he’d oppose my rationale for lack of comprehension and/or simply to guilt-trip me. A two-for-one bonus!

Not a ray of sunshine all day yesterday, and it looks to be more of the same today. I actually love this kind of weather, though my concern for the beloved hounds puts a “damper” on that (pun intended). Two days ago their master conjured up another ridiculous excuse NOT to accept any offer for a roof over his head, that a homeless service could provide…and it’s a doozy:

“They’ll probably give me a room where someone just died; I’d be sleeping in that same bed!”

I told him that’s ridiculous, it’s against the law, and anyway over half the housing in this country was built by people long dead. Furthermore, someone could’ve died in MY room before I rented it! And what about hotel/motel rooms that tourists stay in…people die in those places, too…that’s just life! Piece of advice, Wattson:

Never befriend a houseless person during the holiday season. Or if you already have such a friend, make arrangements to avoid them during Yuletide, if at all possible.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Ghosts of Exmass Past, Fleeing the Castro.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2022 at 12:29 PM

Pretty slick, eh?

Subject: A Busy Night [13 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2022 at 12:01 PM

This was last night. Shows Scampy cleaning off a large, plastic tarp which I think she is offering to Deek and doggies as a rain shelter. About five minutes later she was done, and neatly folded it up as this pic shows:

Click here for a larger view.

It’s quite dark right below my window, so you can’t really make out Deek and visitor (whoever that was), and the pups snuggled up beneath a comforter. I was glad to see they’re still in their jackets, though a bit damp earlier. Keeping them on anyway still preserves warmth, so their master did the right thing. They weren’t shivering in the least, and in good spirits to boot. I was ALSO pleased that Deek had set down a large sheet of cardboard, so the pups wouldn’t have to sit directly on the concrete. THAT’S a first, Wattson; he did it without any intervention on my part!

The second sleeping bag was on the damp side, so I lifted it from the cart and took it upstairs to dry out. Then I brought down the first one, now completely dry after hanging it from my clothesline overnight. Soon as I tossed it down, Flaco leapt onto it, began pushing it around and fluffing it up, then flipped over on her back to start squirming in unbridled glee. This caused her and the sleeping bag to start sliding off the cardboard towards the curb, so I gingerly slid her back towards the wall and moved the bowl of water to the left (because she almost knocked it over in her enthusiasm, which would’ve soaked the newly dried comforter).

Looks like she’s mastered the art of happy squirming, and now gives Lucky a run for the money, as she no longer waits for her brother to kick off the wiggle fest.

Deek wasn’t any problem in our latest meetup. In fact, while Flaco was curled up in her master’s lap for almost two hours, he constantly stroked her ears, neck and back, and patted her little rump…with Lucky curled up nearby in cushy comfort.

Cyrus showed up, the brawny fellow from Michigan who I met years ago, and is now back in town. We had a nice talk, though nothing worth reporting. A couple of other vagrants stopped by to hang with Deek for a cordial, nighttime soiree. Then there’s THIS person who appeared out of nowhere, who I don’t even think knew Deek or anyone else attending. He just sat by himself along the curb in silent reverie, amid a glorious little setup of his own creation.

He wore a Santa cap and sat cross-legged with head bowed, upon a fine square of fabric that glinted a splendor of aureate sparks. A white blanket scattered with red and green stars was wrapped over his shoulders and around his upper arms and torso. And a pair of loose, baggy pants dyed in a medley of bold blocks of color, mostly dark green and red, graced his lower half. You can tell by the hands curled above his lap he’s most likely African-American. Be that as it may, no matter the skin color, it was like a scene from The Nativity, where one Wise Man among three thought honoring two darling little quasi-dachshunds far more worthy of his devotion. A sage decision indeed!

Click here for a larger view.

Re: California should not get in the way of fascist Dewar troll’s psychobabble.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion
Date: December 28, 2022 at 1:44 PM

On Mon, 26 Dec 2022 17:40:37 -0800 spike NAZI SCREWBALL kozlowski squoinked:

> I’ll bet his next mental disability check he is wrong. Let him put what little money he has where his MOUTH is.

Fuck nuclear energy, this planet can run all its power needs solely from the rabid anger you spew 24/7, Mr. Devolved! Animosity does no one any good, especially the one projecting it, no matter how justified he feels. What does one gain from it but ill health (including strokes, embolisms, ulcers, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, insomnia and so on)…not to mention an unhappy existence, a living hell? Not to mention, also, potential retaliation by law enforcement, should your temper go ballistic. News flash, Spike-Head: persisting in your caustic demeanor only serves to dig yourself deeper into that hellhole…and no one can stop you but yourself.

“Heaven and hell are a state of mind.” – Siddhartha Gautama

Words to the wise, though in your case I may as well be talking to a wall. Amirite, Ms. 2-Biased? Woo-hoo!


Re: Republicans Proposed 300+ Anti-Trans Bills in Two Years, Mostly Attacking Trans Youth
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN discussion
Date: December 28, 2022 at 2:03 PM

On Tue, 27 Dec 2022 04:03:11 +0000 Alvin Hope posted:

> Like cows, people’s herd mentality is threatened by deviation from the norm.

I can vouch for that from personal experience over many years!

> Herd animals require conformity–being the same as everyone else.

And as this christianized, corporatized conformity grows ever more narrow and excludes more and more “different” people from this demonic status quo, it eventually explodes into another holocaust. Unless enough concerned citizens rise up, fight back and blow it outta the water…and very soon.

> It’s not Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery but it’s in that ballpark. Americans are very much herd animals, as we learned in the sixties.

Yep, the Free Speech Movement taught me well. It was sad to see so many who joined the counterculture eventually drop back in to become white-collar fascists themselves! Every time /I/ tried to get back into the work force I wound up suffering nervous breakdowns, severe depression and horrific insomnia…to the point where I had to reapply for disability. Until I respected these crises as the Great Spirit directing me to a different path where I could fulfill my destiny. Of course, expressing such a conclusion easily got me labeled “insane” and thus eligible for gov’t funding. Win/win all the way around! But also:

Why should I serve the Moloch of capitalism when that system itself terrorizes, bashes and kills LGBTs like me? Who can adequately perform one’s job assignment day in, day out, under such an oppressive condition? Heteros have it easy, by comparison. Especially white CHRISTO-FASCIST male breeders who are part of the lemming herd.


Subject: A Busy Night [13 sec. video] [EDIT]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2022 at 2:32 PM

It’s a special–albeit welcome–challenge, knowing that relying on a photo for my storytelling doesn’t translate to narrating over the air, thus I must always include an adequate description in lieu of any snapshot. Describing that Exmassy visitor to my satisfaction was quite a mental workout for me, but I believe I got it down right. Except for that line:

“He wore a Santa cap and sat cross-legged with head bowed, upon a fine cloth square that sparkled rays of gold.”

Which I have since edited to read:

“He wore a Santa cap and sat cross-legged with head bowed, upon a fine square of fabric that glinted a splendor of aureate sparks.”


Re: A Busy Night [13 sec. video] [EDIT]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2022 at 2:56 PM

> Noted!

As an author, it pays to be OCD oriented.


Re: A Busy Night [13 sec. video]
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2022 at 12:26 AM

> Quite a pic! Amazing how he creates a little island of cheer in the dismal gloom…

He was very welcome, after so many dysfunctional lost souls wandering about the Castro. I regret now, not stepping out to have a friendly chat with him. No one spoke with him out there, not even Deek. He just sat by himself in semi-meditation, then disappeared. Don’t know how long he was out there, maybe two hours. I’ve met others like him, though few and far between…amazing human beings. Or, perhaps, bodhisattva guardians paying me a subtle visit. Be that as it may, he inspired me to write a new Exmass tale, which I will be working on for another day or two before I release this latest dove of inspiration. Maybe that’s why he showed up: to give me that story!

BTW those are the Ukranian colors he’s seated on, in a smaller circle of cloth atop the glittery spread.

> So glad Deek seems to be caring for the pups reasonably well. I think about them a lot, pure little souls out there in the rough world.

They are truly angels…so blessed to have them in my world, but so grief stricken that they don’t have a kinder master, and I still can’t offer them shelter through the storms. The ecstasy and the agony.

> Mine are getting extra pampering, blankets and jackets. The cats have their own fine thick luxuriant fur coats, of course, and are always just right.

They must feel very loved. You keep them so happy.

> INSANE wind and rain the other night, HOWLING through the trees like a thousand banshees. The power went out around 11; I expected it to be out for days, as it’s done in the past, but it popped back on within an hour. Whew!

Glad you got your power back so soon. Nothing like that down here, the rains have so far been on the mild side. Well, Deek just left after dropping by for the evening. More about that later.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek’s $500 Speaker
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2022 at 12:15 PM

Thursday evening he asked if I can give him $150 on Tuesday, when my next payment comes in. I said okay because it’s payment for Sunday the 1st, Thursday two days later, and then the next Sunday…so it won’t be too long from then to resume his allowance on the 12th (ten days). But he neglected to tell me it was for a Bluetooth speaker he was gonna get later that day, in advance! Nor did he tell me he was gonna put me in the middle by bringing the seller to my building, and calling up to my window so I could lug the damned thing upstairs!

After I agreed to this, he muttered something about how he’ll tell the seller I handle his finances for him, so he won’t think this is coming out of my own wallet. Something which he said a couple weeks ago he’ll do for now on, to deflect any jealous repercussions from homeless strangers he brags to, against my wishes. In fact, I really don’t want him to do THAT, either…he should just shut up about it, but the fool never obliges.

So about two hours later he called me back downstairs, introduced me to the seller…whom I already know a bit, and is actually a nice guy. Don’t know his name yet, so let’s call him “Sedge” for now. Deek then blurted to him: “So you’ll get two hunner dollah on Tuesday.”

“Whoa, hold on!” I exclaimed in fury, “You said one fifty, no way can I give you any more…outta the question!”

He and Sedge mumbled a quick exchange of words, and $150 was fine. I then admonished Deek:

“This ain’t gonna happen again! No more second party deals, putting me in the middle. And trying to squeeze even MORE money outta me!”

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR THIS RIGHT NOW!” he yelled in my face, then moved ten feet away from me, with back turned. He also called me a bitch.

So I upbraided him further: “Stop acting like a child, and look at your dogs, they’re out here on a dirty blanket and need better care than you’re giving them. They’re MORE IMPORTANT than your electronics!”

It was raining lightly and the pups only had a thin plastic sheet to cover them that conveyed more chill than warmth, and the blanket was too small for both of them to lay down upon without exposure to the wet sidewalk. So they patiently sat upright in order to share the tiny island of warmth and dryness. At least they were NOT shivering.

Deek calmed down quickly, seeing as Sedge was witnessing all this, and he didn’t want to blow the deal. To his credit, Sedge remained calm throughout the clash, just like the doggies. He simply stood against the ATM plywood with the large speaker by his side, and a vertical old-lady shopping cart containing another speaker, protected from the rain with a clear, thick plastic cover zipped up. From that location, however, the rain didn’t intrude upon the exposed speaker that would soon be Deek’s.

I should note here that Sedge is always neat as a pin, and loves his music. He’s middle aged, of short stature, and wears a thick pair of eyeglasses. And is always in an amiable mood. Every time I see him he has a new speaker of high quality, sometimes very large, other times portable enough to carry from a handle. Don’t know how he manages to stay so neat, even in the rain, but he does and I’m impressed. Perhaps he has somewhere indoors to stay at nights, though I’ve seen/heard him strolling by as late as 4 AM. At any rate, the speaker he offered Deek is 2.7 feet tall and 1.3 feet wide and deep, and weighs a fuckin’ THIRTY-FIVE POUNDS!

Deek suggested he bring it upstairs himself since it’s so heavy: “I promise, I’ll just place it by your door and leave immediately!”

“No, that’s okay, I can handle it,” I replied, then took the monster by the handle and hauled it up the stairs, one hefty step after another. He said just charge it for a half hour or so, then bring it back down when he next calls.

At any rate they are BOTH to drop by on Tuesday around 5 PM, when I give Sedge his money. Per my instructions, as no way am I gonna hand Deek the bills to pay Sedge on his own…he could show up later and claim he was mugged, or lose it before he could make the transaction.

When I returned downstairs, Sedge was fussing with his own speaker and Deek said watch the dogs a few minutes, he’ll be back shortly. I said fine, and once he left (perhaps to take a dump somewhere private; he uses plastic bags for that), I turned to Sedge and apologized:

“Sorry about that, he acts like a little shit when he’s around me! So thanks for being so patient.”

He just smiled and shrugged his shoulders, then went back to fussing with his speaker’s dials and buttons. So I then approached Flaco & Lucky, pet them under the plastic sheet before making them a bit more comfortable there beside the curb and leashed to their master’s cart…glad to see they were reasonably dry and warm. Everything in his cart (and there wasn’t much that night) was sopping wet because he rarely bothers to protect its contents from the rain…and I have no idea why not, since I can always provide him with trash bags for cover, if nothing else. Though he is quite capable of finding his own material to do that, considering just how resourceful he can be.

I also took his soaked sleeping bag upstairs to hang dry overnight, and brought down another one ready to go and sealed in a plastic wrap. Along with a fresh supply of dog food and a bowl of water. Deek returned less than ten minutes later, and moved cart and pups beneath the awning of Super Duper, now that it was closed. I found a large, folded box in the basement and brought it out for the pups, set it atop a trash bag to keep the cardboard bottom dry. Gave him a couple of clean rags to dry off the mutts, after which I tossed the new sleeping bag into the box. The wee hounds stepped inside immediately like a welcome Hobbit hole of comfort. They instantly snuggled together and drifted off into a contented slumber.

Sedge was still downstairs, his speaker blasting away some jazzy blues while I was back hovel, searching Amazon for “JBL 300,” to discover “the JBL Partybox 300” for a whopping $499.99!

I don’t know HOW Sedge could give anyone such a great deal, but I’m not gonna ask any questions. Nor do I think it’s a good idea to tell Deek its real value, though I WILL advise him to maintain a friendship with Sedge, seeing as he’s also an honest, stable person who would never rip him off. But I WILL suggest to Sedge, not to sell him anything so cumbersome again, and explain why. Or at least, not one without wheels (which THIS model lacks). Because then Deek has to load it into his cart and deny the pooches a cozy, warm spot with a waterproof cover during the stormy spells. For the idiot values his gadgets over the furry angels, forcing them to walk in the rain, unprotected, whenever a hefty speaker WITHOUT WHEELS is in his possession.

BTW: there are many variations of the JBL Partybox, some are rated highly waterproof, but unfortunately the 300 version is not. It IS splash proof, which is better than nothing. I have recently learned about the waterproof ratings, and IPX6 is best for rain protection. So I will inform Deek about this, so he can choose a new speaker more wisely.

Sedge finally moved on, about ten minutes after Deek returned and moved beneath the awning. I could hear the volume of his sonorous speaker diminish as he proceeded towards Noe Street and beyond. I always am alerted to his arrival on my block because he loves to blast his music, though he only lingers nearby a short while, such as at the bus stop or in front of the Hohokum smoke shop. And formerly, the ATM depot right below my window.

Forty minutes later Deek called up for his new speaker: “Double bag it, too!”

So I did just that, with two trash bags, then parked it in the alcove beside my room, locked the door and rushed back downstairs. Soon as Deek saw me approach without the speaker, he began to squawk about why I don’t have it. I opened the front gate and said okay, get it yourself, it’s by my door. As he stepped inside and was halfway up the first run of stairs, he paused in confusion, turned to me and muttered something about where he can find it.

“Don’t worry, it’s right beside my door where no one walking by can see it,” I assured.

He soon returned down the stairs, carrying the hefty beast in both arms and exclaimed, “This is my birthday gift!” His birthday’s January 22nd BTW, but I doubt he’ll be able to hold onto it that long…he might even “lose” it before payment is made! Rather than vocalize such a conclusion which would upset him, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said well then, happy birthday, as I held the gate open for him to depart.

This was two days ago. I still have to report on yesterday evening, which was so horrific I resorted to calling SFPD non-emergency once again. Coming up in a second missive later today.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: New Years Eve sucked as usual! When doesn’t it?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 1, 2023 at 1:14 AM

Any day but the last day of the year, I guess!

Friday evening, yesterday: Deek showed up angry and screaming as he wheeled his cart up to my window. “ZEKE! GET DOWN HERE NOW, HURRY! ZEKE!” I peered out the window and he finally looked up, a streak of anger across his mug:

“C’MON, GET DOWN NOW!”

It had started raining hours earlier, and didn’t look like it was gonna quit anytime soon. He thunderously pounded on the front gate as I walked down the stairs, with another resident preceding me. She’s a young woman but a sorry lush, and when I called out “Hey stop that!” she turned to me. “No, sorry, not you, I was telling my friend out there to simmer down.”

“Oh,” was all she said, then tottered through the gate and I followed a few seconds later.

The pups were sopping wet, as were Deek and his shopping cart.

“THIS RAIN IS DRIVING ME NUTS, YA GOTTA TAKE THE DOGS OFF MY HANDS TILL TOMORROW! THEY’RE GONNA DIE OUT HERE!”

I told him, calmly: “No way, and ya gotta stop screaming or I’ll call the cops.” Well, Wattson, he continued bellowing, strutting around while the pups looked up at me with joyful eyes and sought my hugs which I promptly answered by crouching down on one knee on the wet cement. They felt warm enough, didn’t seem to be bothered by the rain too much…though of COURSE they’d love more than anything else right then and there, to find warm, dry shelter.

Deek persisted hollering like a crazed banshee, said since he last dropped over, he lost another friend to Fentanyl, someone pointed a gun at his head, and Flaco almost got hit by a car on their way here.

“Bullshit,” I snapped back, “None of that happened, you’re always making up crises to get your way. You’re a big, fat phony. Now, let me bring the dogs water and food.”

“NO, I’M NOT INTERESTED IN THAT! YOU NEED TO WATCH THE DOGS, I’M GOING!”

“If you leave them here against my wishes, that’s abandonment. I’ll call Animal Control and you’ll never see them again, ” I replied. “I’d be more than HAPPY to get them off the streets into a loving home. So DON’T test me, I mean it.”

While still screaming, he handed me the cumbersome JBL speaker, which I then lugged upstairs with his bellowing in my ears all the way hovel, and through my window when I stepped inside. He quieted down by the time I brought the food and water down the stairs, but revved up again the moment I set down the bowls, which the mutts gratefully accepted.

“NO, I DIDN’T ASK YOU TO FEED THEM! I’M GONNA KICK THEIR FOOT INTO THE STREET!” I watched as he swung a foot right at the bowls without really touching any of them. He then turned to me:

“I TOLD YOU TO BRING ‘EM A BOX, AND SOME TRASH BAGS TO MAKE A SHELTER FOR THEM! ARE YOU FUCKED IN THE HEAD OR SOMETHING?”

I raised my hands palm out and said, “Okay, okay, I’ll do that right now.”

I returned with a large, folded corrugated box and three large trash bags, and set them down against the ATM plywood:

“Here ya go, you can set it up.”

“NO, I CAN’T, YOU DO IT. I’M HAVING A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, MY HANDS ARE TOO JITTERY!”

“You’re fulla crap, Deek,” I retorted. “Big drama queen. No, you’re not having a nervous breakdown.”

But I went ahead anyway and opened the folded cardboard into a box, overlapped the flaps at one end, then set it down atop a trash bag I had laid down flat. I then took a dry sleeping bag I had also brought with me, placed it in the box and with that, the hounds rushed inside to get cozy. Finally, I arranged the two remaining bags over the box, to fully enclose it, including over the open end. And since it was a bit breezy, I placed one of Deek’s sodden sweaters on top, to keep the cover bags from blowing off.

Deek had sat down once I completed this urgent task, and hollered: “WHERE’S A TOWEL TO DRY THE DOGS OFF?”

“They’re drying off right now, Deek, in the box. But let me bring down some clean rags anyway.” And off I went, back inside and up the stairs to retrieve them.

“Here,” I said and handed him four face-cloth squares of microfiber that would do the trick in no time.

“THAT’S IT?” he bellowed. “THEY’RE TOO SMALL!”

“No they’re not, Deek,” I replied. “You only really need two. Now please, between your screams, dry them off.”

He then stuck one hand inside the box, and began rubbing down the pups with one of those rags. Yet continued to holler at the top of his lungs, all sorts of foul accusations, so I interjected:

“Okay, that’s it, I’m calling the cops.” And promptly returned hovel.

It took awhile for them to pick up the phone and, during those minutes Deek continued hollering up at my window: “ZEKE GET BACK DOWN HERE. I’M LEAVING NOW, ZEKE KRAHLIN! ZEEEE-EEK! ZEEEE-EEK!”

With smartphone in hand I looked outside to see him pacing the sidewalk while the canines remained huddled in their makeshift cave, warm and happy at this point while the rain continued to pour down. It was a moderate rain, though, not a gully washer thank Yog.

“Hello, SFPD, what is your issue?”

I then explained how my homeless friend is disturbing the peace with nonstop screams and pounding on the front gate. He refuses to leave, so I had to call the police. I don’t want to press charges, I just want him to go away until he calms down. I help him with his two little dogs, and he’s now demanding I take them off his hands overnight, which I can’t possibly do, as I’m not allowed to bring them inside. He’s a drama queen and is quite capable of taking care of the dogs themselves, but he sometimes goes into a bipolar snit, and this is one of these times. He also smokes meth.

“Is that him yelling in the background?”

“Yep, it sure is,” I replied.

She then asked me to describe his appearance, which I did. As well as my location.

“Okay, we’ll send a car out soon as we can, but it may take awhile.”

“I understand, this is low priority. Thank you,” I replied, then we disconnected.

Before stepping back out I pocketed my phone and brought two new sweaters with me, to replace the damp ones. He had calmed down by then, but still spewed hatred and accusations in a loud enough tone for passersby to notice:

“So, ya called the cops?”

“Of course,” I replied. “No way I’m gonna let someone scream at me around my building.”

“But I’m not screaming now,” he snarked.

“Well, you’re still here just the same,” I said. “You need to go, or the police department will force you to leave. Screaming like a lunatic and banging on the front gate just doesn’t work for me.”

“I did NOT bang on the gate!” the lying, Cajun devil objected in feigned outrage. “You think they’re gonna believe you just because you called first?”

“No, because they KNOW you and your childish antics,” I clarified by stating the obvious.

“Just go check the lobby camera, it won’t show me banging the gate,” he declared while pointing in the lobby’s direction.

“Oh yes it will Deek, stop playing the asshole, please.”

“If you’re not gonna watch the dogs, then bring the speaker back down and I’ll go,” he demanded with a scowl.

“No need,” I replied. “You can pick it up later, I just want you to leave right now, you’re being a freaky pest.”

I then walked over to the curb and peered up Market Street to see if I could spot a cop car coming in this direction. No luck, dammit.

“Oh you’re waiting for the po-po to show up,” Deek remarked.

“Yep, and the sooner the better,” I said, then peered up the street again before walking back towards Deek who by now was standing beside his cart.

“Tell ya what, Zeke,” he spewed. “Once you pay Sedge, I’m through with you. You won’t see me again after that.”

“Look, you need to stop all this fake drama, it’s a crock of shit,” I warned him. “You are perfectly capable of taking better care of the dogs. I’ve seen many other homeless people with their pets who do, and they keep them dry and warm when it’s raining. So stop it, you don’t fool me for a moment. This is NOT the end of the world, it’s just some water falling from the sky.”

He then broke down in crocodile tears, exclaiming he never lied to me, he really lost a friend to Fentanyl, I’m breaking his heart by my coldness, blah blah.

“You’re a lousy actor, Deek,” I responded. “A pathetic drama queen. You have two lovely doggies to watch over, and you SHOULD be the happiest person on the planet for that reason alone! Your life is going MUCH better than you care to admit.”

Well, his belligerent rants continued, and some young gay fellow suddenly showed up and stopped near Deek’s shopping cart to assess the situation. Seeing that I was not arguing back, but offering good advice, he smiled. That’s when Deek noticed him and said:

“We’re okay.”

The momentary bystander then took off to parts east, and Deek resumed his absurd charges against me, saying how I’m supposed to be his best friend, but I’m not that at all, I’m PURE EVIL. But just seconds later that sweet, 40-something Japanese lady appeared…the one who shows up now and then to admire the brindlekin and speak kind words to their owner.

She was looking down at the box where the pups were resting, wondering if they’re okay.

“They’re warm and dry in there,” I assured her.

“Yes, they DO look comfortable,” she replied, then turned to address Deek while I returned upstairs to use the restroom. But before I shut the gate I heard her ask if she knitted a couple of sweaters for the dogs, would they wear them?

I don’t think she’d appreciate if Deek accepts them, and a few days later the sweaters are already gone…tossed onto a curb somewhere, as he often does with the ones I buy. But I certainly appreciated both the appearance of that fellow who paused by the cart for a few moments, and the Japanese woman who engaged Deek in kind communion. Like angels who suddenly manifested to bring a sense of peace to the scene. Better yet:

That fellow returned with a companion, and held out a beverage in a large plastic cup with a lid on: “Would you guys like some beer?”

At first I thought he said “root beer” and said my friend could go for that, but Deek turned him down. I looked at the cup a bit closer and realized it was brewski, so I told them:

“Oh, beer? Sorry, but both of us are teetotalers. Thank you for the kind offer, just the same!”

And off they went on their merry way with foaming booze to maybe share with someone else hangin’ on the streets.

About that time, Deek started to pack his things and summon the pooches from their box.

“Going so soon?” I queried. “Don’t you wanna meet some friendly guardians of the law?”

“No not really,” he replied. “I’ll come back around 7:30 to pick up the speaker.”

“Well then, see ya later alligator,” I chuckled, then gave the pups a few more hugs before returning hovel.

Once upstairs I called the SFPD to cancel my grievance. But I wish I hadn’t ’cause a half hour later when I stepped back outside to purchase milk and margarine, I saw Deek parked just six doors up.

Once Deek returned to retrieve the speaker, I first re-bagged the JBL Partybox 300 before lugging it down the stairs. When I reached the landing and turned the corner, he saw me through the gate and starting pounding on it again, though not so ferociously as earlier.

“You’re thumping it down the stairs,” he called. “That could damage it, let ME get it! You can’t do anything right!”

Another phony accusation hurled at me, good physician! I was lifting it up, carrying it two or three steps, then setting it down. Rinse and repeat. No thumps, bumps or grunts. But since Deek was so near, I left the speaker two steps below the landing and stepped into the lobby to let him enter and retrieve it himself.

“Oh, it’s not THAT heavy, Zeke,” he scorned. “You’re such a wuss.”

“Yes it is,” I replied, “especially since the double bag makes it difficult to grip the handle.” As I held the gate open and he passed, I added the following observation:

“You’re always making excuses to find fault with me, to hate me. I don’t really care, it’s tiresome, but you can say all the nasty things about me you want, so long as you stop screaming.”

He ignored that, and I stepped out with him, just to wish him and mutts a good night, once more. He thanked me for purchasing that speaker, and all the good things I do for him and the dogs. I said you’re welcome, glad to do it. But once he placed the speaker into his cart, he began his vitriolic rants again as he started pushing the shopping cart towards Noe Street:

“I’m gonna tell everyone I meet what an evil fuck you are. And you’re not gonna like it when they start throwing rocks in your window and screaming right outside.”

“You go right ahead, Deek,” I replied. “Your friends have already informed me you’re a thief and a liar, and they’re not gonna be your little Stepin Fetchits.”

I don’t think he has any idea who Stepin Fetchit is, but I think he got the gist of it.

Once upstairs again I listened to more of Marshall’s latest podcast until I heard him read my latest tale, upon which I spliced it out and uploaded it to my Youtube channel: delightful!

And that’s MY New Years Eve, Wattson. No wonder I stopped celebrating the holidays decades ago, they never work out for me like they do in the movies! Unless we’re talkin’ the horror versions thereof. At least seeing the doggies and hearing Marshall’s narration were truly BRIGHT spots amid this Stygian tomfoolery. Same goes for that amiable gay dude with beer, and the nice Japanese lady. I really can’t complain…that’s Deek’s department anyway.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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