The FINAL Final Chapter (part 17)

May 23, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18q]

Re: The Clueless Moron doesn’t like the new collars!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 20, 2022 at 3:20 PM

> Cripes. I know you’ve taken the precaution of photographing the rabies tags, because he’s quite capable of losing them. Can a lost tag be replaced? Is there some sort of absurd bureaucratic rigmarole?

Since he refuses to spay Flaco, no free vet service for homeless dogs will touch it. Vet SOS was willing to do ONE checkup and vaccination w/tags and papers, but any further service by them requires Flaco to be fixed…AND for their owner to PROVE he’s homeless. Which means a signed paper by a social worker or similar authority. Deek, of course, won’t do either. His stubbornness and childish mentality are tragic. Had he failed to vaccinate the dogs before the building manager asked for proof, I would’ve wound up evicted, fined and jailed. Be that as it may:

There is no online venue to order replacement tags…unless you’re a licensed vet. So ya gotta go through a veterinarian, no matter what. But the good thing is: I didn’t just photograph the tags, but also the papers that go with them. The pups don’t bite anyway, so THAT’S not a worry. But what IS a worry are the mean people out there who get their sadistic rocks off by falsely ACCUSING someone’s dog just bit them. There’s no shortage of that kind in “dog friendly” San Franshitsco.

For the nonce I have REMOVED the tags from the Martingale collars, and set them aside in a box where I keep other doggy items, like snacks, spare leashes, shampoo, etc. He’ll probably LOSE the old collars he prefers, because he neglected to return them to me. But if he DOES still have the collars, and puts them back on the hounds, I won’t even MENTION the tags. But of course if he REQUESTS the tags I’ll tell him to give me those collars so I can go upstairs to put them on, and meanwhile place the choke collars on the brindlekin, temporarily. They are very DIFFICULT to attach to the slippery, fat metal ring…takes about a full 20 minutes to do them both, with a seriously aching thumb as a result of prying (and holding) open one end of the looped tag ring.

But if Deek refuses to do that and insists he’ll take care of it himself, I’ll just hand over the tags and STAY BY HIM to see he actually accomplishes the difficult, and somewhat painful, task. Rather then him giving up in frustration and pocketing them with a plan to place the tags on later…but loses them instead, in all his wandering and careless demeanor.

> What’s he on when he’s out of it like that??

I don’t necessarily blame any drugs, but meth DOES make one very irritable between highs…and paranoid. However, Deek’s rough upbringing and learning how to survive in a wicked world surely contributes to his short temper and lack of trust no matter how good a friend or friends one may have. There’s also lack of regular sleep, typical for homeless people; Deek goes for days before burning out. Not to mention the chaos, noise, and dealing with crazy people out there on the streets.

But getting infuriated over such matters avoids the entire point of my Bodhisattva Premise. For remaining calm through ANY AND ALL tribulations, setbacks and fears means exactly that: ANY AND ALL. And OBVIOUSLY, the rabies tag issue is no exception.

He is also fighting my wish to take each dog inside separately, by handing them over right by the front gate, and whizzing off! Because he claims to be in a hurry, which is bullshit. As well as dumping in my arms, his latest devices to be charged, while I’m holding onto the leashes as the canines tug eagerly towards the front gate. So from now on I’ll bring a choke collar with me when I step out to pick up the dogs, and put it on Flaco, so she can’t slip from the collar when I bring them inside. And any items he gives me, I’ll carry in a tough plastic bag hanging from my forearm. Or, in the event of a device being of a large size, I’ll place in a corner of the lobby, to recoup AFTER the pups are safely ensconced in their sanctuary.

Whew! What a pain in the ass he can be, eh, Wattson? Attempting to SABOTAGE the fuzzy angels’ sole access to sanctuary, and my ONLY source of a safe roof over my head, to boot. One IS tempted to blow up in has face, knock him to the ground and kick the shit out of him. So thank Siddhartha that my Bodhisattva Premise swoops in to save the day!

Deek is simply offering up further challenges for me to resolve, as one of my bodhisattva guardians (just as the building manager does). And best of all: he’s having the dogs stay with me FAR more often, almost DAILY now! Which is exactly how I’d hoped things would turn out. So if, god forbid, he should suddenly die, wind up in the hospital or get arrested, chances are high the pooches will be safe with me.

One (such as myself) would think though, that, possibly, this is Deek’s eccentric way of gifting me with the hounds. Tricksters are most oblique when it comes to expressing gratitude and offering up rewards for one’s kindness, courage and forbearance.

Walking Lucky this morning, a woman with her own dog approached us in a friendly manner, and allowed both dogs to touch noses, sniff buts, and dance a little. Not a single bark or lunge from my brindlekin! Flaco is just as amiable when I take her out for a walk. As I further train them with the choke collar, and solo walks, I’m sure they’ll EVENTUALLY be just as manageable when taking them out together.

Last night, when I brought the first dog, Flaco, down to Deek, another resident appeared several feet behind me, descending the stairs. I wasn’t carrying Flaco, but had her on the leash and the choke collar. No problem, she did NOT look back even once, and start barking. Upon reaching the landing I saw no one in the lobby, so said “Go!” and released her to dash to the front gate as I quickly caught up to escort her outside. She DID make a few charming “Woofs!” going down the stairs, which was a nice touch.

Two days ago, Morey of the corner grocery/liquor store on Noe Street and 14th, paid me a great compliment while I sat outside a few moments with Flaco, and showed him the choke collar and described my latest training techniques.

“Boy they sure do love you!” he exclaimed. “I remember when you first got them, they seemed unsure if staying with you would work out, they had their doubts…but now they’re happier than a clam with you!”

Okay, gotta take the pups out now for their afternoon poopy stroll. Talk to ya later, good doctor.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Collar Makes the Dog!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 21, 2022 at 11:50 AM

Deek picked up the dogs this morning super early, just before 8 AM. I was returning from my walk with Lucky, when I saw him outside the building, spouting a few “Yo!s” up to my window. Not too loudly, pleased to say. So I called back as I approached the corner of my block; after two of my own “Yo!s” he turned around. It was a wonderfully quiet morning, BTW, as was yesterday: no jackhammers, no leaf blowers, no traffic rumble. Sunny, too, with a light, cool breeze.

“You’re way too early!” I remarked as I handed Lucky over.

“Yeah, I gotta go somewhere. Just bring Flaco down, and some dog food,” he replied, “and not the weak-ass amount like last time.”

I calmly objected: “No, Deek, three cans and one bag work out fine, since you wind up returning almost ALL of it, anyway. I can’t afford the waste of giving you extra dog food, then claiming the next day you lost it. Prices have gone up on everything, in case you didn’t notice.”

He didn’t push the issue, but found something ELSE to whine about: the new, blue and yellow buckle collar that Lucky was wearing, since he didn’t like the choke collars. It’s made of leather and well padded. I got a matching collar for Flaco, and adjusting it so she cannot slip out was a cinch. Even though these collars are  quite attractive on them, Deek claimed they’re ugly, and too tight on Lucky.

“So just loosen it a notch,” I advised. “I asked you the other night to return the old collars I gave you so I could put the tags back on them, but you didn’t listen and rushed off. Do you still have them?”

“I don’t know, I’m not sure,” was his predictable reply.

“Right,” I said. “I figured that would happen, so I got these new collars and the tags are already on them. I think they look lovely against their brindle coat.” I paused to see if he had anything else to say on the matter. He did not.

“Okay, let me bring Flaco down, now,” I said. “AND the dog food.”

But right when I turned towards the gate he stopped me with yet aNOTHER issue to gripe about:

“I don’t like you walking them alone,” he declared. “The other dog will feel lonely sitting there in your room.”

“No, Deek,” I replied, “they’re perfectly happy with the new arrangement, and it’s easier to train them separately. Besides, I DON’T walk them alone every time, I take them out together at night, just before bedtime, and let them run and play on a side street. It’s quiet, and no one’s around to distract them.”

He had nothing more to say, so I rushed back upstairs with the three small devices he had just handed me, packed a few cans of dog food and one large Ziploc of kibble, leashed up Flaco, and stepped back out.

He didn’t make any further complaint about the reduced amount of doggy vittles in the sack, nor spew any other snarky comeback. He simply thanked me, said he’ll return later to pick up his electronics. I wished them all an excellent day and returned hovel.

What is so notable in this latest meetup, Wattson, is he did NOT rant on about ANY of his THREE grievances.

[pause]

Well whaddya know, Deek just called up to my window again, much sooner than I expected…asked what charge level the smartphone was at. So I checked, then poked my head out the window once more and told him “eighty percent.”

“Okay,” he replied, “I’ll check back a little later.” I was pleased and somewhat impressed that Deek conveyed not a single whit of angst.

Of course the two doggies were by his side, along with a vertical, half-filled cart (the kind old ladies use when out and about to shop). They made a charming little tableau in the morning sunlight, standing on the sidewalk below and looking up at me. The street was still mostly quiet, and a starling warbled somewhere nearby, possibly in one of the palm trees gracing this section of Market Street.

Anyway, the point I want to make is based on the theory that my Bodhisattva Premise is correct:

That Deek numbers among my spiritual guides, and part of his role is to keep fabricating as many grievances as possible to press my buttons. The challenge for ME being to find ways to NOT grow angered or haughty in return, but to rise above his unwarranted accusations in a calm and gracious manner. IOW: he’ll keep ON pressing my buttons till there are no more to press.

And THAT is why, after witnessing all my replies to his gripes this morning were answered by yours truly with peaceful and kind words (albeit firm), he did NOT press further in rude opposition.

I was delighted to see when looking down upon the waifish trio from my window above, the hounds still wore those lovely blue and yellow collars, and the metallic tags dangling from them, like tinkly fairy bells.

[pause]

Just as I completed the paragraph above, hoping to end my latest brindlekin tale on a happy note, Deek returned once again, to pick up his gizmos…RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE (though by the curb). The moment I appeared, Lucky escaped his collar (because Deek apparently loosened it a notch) and ran to the gate. Deek got a bit angry, told Lucky, “C’MON, YOU’RE NOT GOING INSIDE!”

He bent down to place the collar back over Lucky, then attempted to pull him away, but the little angel slipped out again, whereby Deek admonished “C’MON!” once more. Finally, Lucky returned with him to the cart, where Flaco patiently awaited. (Interesting that it was LUCKY this time, and not his sister, who escaped the collar; it’s always been the other way around till now.) So I told Deek:

“Best not to stop with them right in front of the gate, especially when I’m stepping out. Just lash them to that pole over there.” I pointed at the general vicinity of the bus stop.

He didn’t say a word, but moved on towards the corner where, to my surprise, he didn’t cross the street but turned left and parked himself right behind the building.

“So he’s not REALLY in a hurry to go anywhere, just likes to play the big shot, gotta connect with ‘his people,’ no time to waste, etc.” I thought.

But I was wrong in my assumption, since a few minutes later all three had disappeared. Guess he was just gathering together his possessions in a more organized pile.

Well, I’d still say this little doggy/Deek vignette DID end on a happy note, regardless. Just not the happiEST.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Speaking of the bicolored dog collar: it just struck me that blue and yellow are also the sole two shades of the Ukranian flag! A most timely collar indeed.


Re: The Collar Makes the Dog! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 21, 2022 at 5:33 PM

> Noticed that first thing!!!

Didn’t occur to me until AFTER I posted you the collar tale. But once I DID realize it, and sent you my addendum, I thought: “Wouldn’t it be funny if Wattson says she noticed that right off the bat.” [Think Twilight Zone theme music now playing in the background.]

My Chromebook screen died out two weeks ago, BTW. It started presenting flicker problems for many days before that, forcing me to reboot, which didn’t always work. Finally, it didn’t work at all. I won’t bother telling Boulevard Joe about it…in fact I’ll let him think it’s still going strong and I continue to be delighted using it.

So it’s back to using my Android tablet to watch my videos while doing other stuff on my laptop. Just glad to have helped Joe out with some moolah. There are some excellent refurbished Chromebooks out there for cheap: under $150, some as low as $70. I’ll get one next month, perhaps. Whatever model I wind up purchasing, it’s definitely gotta have a 14″ screen.

Unfortunately, the tablet is ALSO giving me problems these days! The battery doesn’t hold its charge for very long, even when plugged into AC. So it acts as if it’s not plugged in at all, and shuts down after about two hours. The only way to fully charge it now, is turn it off. But once it’s replenished, it still only lasts for two hours…even when I keep it plugged in.

I just got 95 emails dumped into my inbox…all claiming to be FROM me, as well as TO, mostly from the discussion list, with two from announcement. They are all copies of emails I sent to either list. Upon perusing the source contents of several of these spam posts, the built-in “Spam Assassin” shows they originate from one Pickle Head Willsin:

X-MagicMail-Authenticated: pwillsin@mcn.org
X-MagicMail-SourceIP: 8.39.134.162

The source IP number indicates these emails originated out of Pt. Arena. Though both email address and IP number could have been faked, in order to deflect from the REAL offender. I suspect, of course, Mike Sewers. Not that he’s bright enough to do this himself, but it’s easy enough to pay a nominal fee to someone, or some group, that can.

Though it COULD be Pickle Head Willsin, as he’s the one that did a 7-minute hit piece about me on KZYX, back in March of last year. I’ve saved it for posterity, spliced from the podcast version:

Spam Assassin doesn’t really function on my gay-bible mail, all it does is show you the source data…it doesn’t actually move any spam to my junk folder. That’s because Online Policy Group’s free email (and web hosting and mailing lists) has never upgraded its services for decades, so it’s like they’re still living in the ’90s. No worries, though, as it’s simple enough to batch delete them myself. Whoever it was, it’s the work of an amateur.

A few other noodle heads (all from the announcement list) have been reposting some of my emails to that list, back at me. MOST come from Carol Stinkburger. Total number of such emails reposted to me number less than 20 over the span of one week. Ho-hum. Childish minds actually believe they’re “flooding” my mailbox, when nothing could be further from the truth.

There seems to be a whole PASSEL of childish minds on these MCN lists! Where do they crawl out from, the woodwork? Considering how DAMP it is up there, I suspect that’s the case.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: The Clueless Moron doesn’t like the new collars!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 21, 2022 at 5:44 PM

> Splendid report!!!! Many thanks!!

My pleasure. I have some minor anxiety twitches after Deek’s visit this morning re. his three latest gripes, but nothing I can’t handle and overcome tout suite. Steady as she goes, I’m doing great through it all!


Re: The Collar Makes the Dog! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 21, 2022 at 6:35 PM

> [Regarding the passel of childish minds:] Ha! You kicked over the rock is all….

Ooo, naughty widdle me…the devil made me do it! I cannot leave a stone unturned, thanks to my borderline OCD. “I tawt I taw a puddy tat under dat wock!”


Re: The Collar Makes the Dog! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 21, 2022 at 7:34 PM

> I’m thinking of getting a refurbished Chromebook, too. Let me know what you see out there.

They’re very handy away-from-home ’cause they’re cheap and versatile. So if it gets stolen or you drop it on a hard surface, it’s not a major financial loss. Heck, they’re handy for MOST things at home, too. As writers, we don’t NEED high powered systems to crunch numbers, as required for video editing and other advanced needs of a high-tech nature.

Amazon has a lot. Just search “used chromebook.” Or “used 14 inch chromebook” if you want a large screen. Then check it’s expiration date, to be sure it’ll be good for at LEAST three years before Google will no longer support it. Tricky to find that out, though, as sellers don’t include that in the description. But it’s easy to figure out when the model was released, by looking at the date of the earliest customer review. Assume the model will remain viable for six years after that date. OR:

Visit Google’s own Chromebook list of expiration dates for every model under the sun.

Storage capacity should be at least 32 GB, as 16 is just too small to install Linux. If you do install Linux, the Chromebook will run just fine beyond the expiration date, with that OS. 64 GB storage is even better, but then the price jumps up.

It should have an Intel processor, which is required to run Linux.

You also want 4GB RAM, which most models have..not 2 GB. You should also read reviews on the models you’re interested in, outside of Amazon.com.

Last but not least, CHECK OUT THE SELLER’S RATINGS. I wouldn’t dream of purchasing from any whose ratings dip below 90 percent.

Here’s a used HP 14″ Chromebook, same model as the one I got from Joe.

It’s only $120. and it’s from the Amazon Used Store, so, trustworthy. WORD OF CAUTION: it expires in 2024 (not 2026, like I first thought). So you may not want it. For my own purposes, however, that’s okay by me as I’d just switch to Linux. I JUST might get that.

Here is another HP 14-incher that expires in 2026, for $162, and it has double the storage capacity.

Many more excellent used Chromebooks out there, just follow the guidelines above. There’s a REASON so many used ones are cheap…because they’re close to their expiration date. Touchscreen costs a little more, but I see no point in getting that feature, unless you can fold it like a tablet. After all, it gets exhausting raising one’s arm so much, to tap or glide a finger on a perpendicular display! Just use the built-in touchpad, or get a mouse fer cripe’s sake!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: So now the Chromebook is working again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 11:25 AM

…but don’t know how long that will endure. Last night I was setting up my smartphone to play videos as a temporary solution, when I abstractedly opened the Chromebook after not touching it for almost a week…and to my surprise it booted up like a boss! The screen flaked out twice within a few hours, but I could start it up again pronto. I’m wondering if the problem was more a glitch in a previous update, than, say, a partial burnout in the graphics chip, or in the ribbon cable that connects the display to the motherboard.

Because just a few minutes after starting it up, a small window appeared, telling me to reboot for the next update. At first I thought, “Dammit, I just got to use my Chromebook again, and now this!” I was afraid the device would flake out again, but no, the update went smooth as buttah.

I was SO happy to get the Chromebook up and running again…like a dope addict jonesing for his next hit, who finally slammed another dose up his veins after a long, dry spell of demonic cravings. Working just fine this morning, too…the screen has yet to crash. So let’s see how it holds out for the rest of this month before any money is spent to replace it. The Android tablet, however, remains problematic, looks like the battery is dying. Well, I’ve had it for what…five or six years of heavy use? I’m ready to toss it, don’t need it so long as I have a functioning Chromebook.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: So now the Chromebook is working again… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 11:38 AM

Forget all the hopeful words in my previous missive. The Chromebook screen just screwed up again, and I can’t get the system to reboot!


Re: So now the Chromebook is working again… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 1:31 PM

> Drat.

I’d kiss a rat’s ass if that would help.


Subject: Neighbor questioned me about the pups this morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 6:11 PM

Before I get to that, let me catch up starting with last night. Deek had picked up the mutts yesterday morning, then returned later that evening, around 9 PM, to hang out by my building while his electronics were charging upstairs…keeping Flaco & Lucky outside. I assumed, of course, they were NOT gonna spend the night with me, but two hours later when I returned his gizmos, he told me to take the dogs. Glad to inform you their new collars remained around their necks, and Deek had them notched so that neither dog could slip out of them.

Once I got them safely indoors, I realized he forgot to return any remaining dog food, which fresh supply I gave him just that morning. So I rushed back outside, where he sat by the curb smack-dab in front of the building’s gate. Annoying, but: he was quiet, and a small gathering of OTHER vagrants had camped out just fifteen feet further up the block towards Castro Street, and two inside the ATM alcove. Don’t know why he didn’t just park his skinny butt in the other direction, by the bus stop,

“You got the dog food?” I queried.

“Nope,” he replied while (what he calls) “nigga rigging” a pair of used sneakers, decorating them with a black marker I’d given him earlier, per his request. (I keep a supply of cheap ones on hand, just for this purpose, as I do with other items such as Bic lighters, 16 GB micro SD chips, disposable razors and flimsy plastic bowls for doggy food to-go, and water.)

“I lost it.”

There ya go, Wattson: another one of my buttons pressed! But I know the game, so remained calm while I screwed my lips, gazed at him for a few seconds, then replied:

“Guess they’re hungry then, I’ll feed them right now.”

And hungry they were! Usually, the pups don’t jump off the cot until I place the filled dishes on the floor (or they may not be hungry at all, in which case they languish on the comforters in canine bliss…perhaps an hour or two later to dine). Though sometimes they’ll get up and hop around me once I pick up the dog bowls from the prep table and carry them to their dining spots. But THIS time around, soon as they heard me drop the first handful of kibble in one of the metal bowls, they both leapt from their bedding and danced around me. Lucky even jumped on and off my chair in joy, with little “Woofs!” He’s never done THAT before.

Obviously, Deek did NOT feed them at all. They didn’t even have any breakfast because he picked them up early, before I had a chance to feed them…they were STARVING. So I decided to add an extra, THIRD, handful of kibble to their meals, mixed in with their usual half-a-can each of wet food. They licked their plates clean in minutes.

Deek is SUPPOSED to pick up his devices no later than midnight, but when it rolled around he did NOT show up. I thought perhaps he’d fallen asleep somewhere nearby, so I stepped out to see if he were parked by the ATMs, or behind the building, or anywhere else close. Nope.

“Dammit,” I cursed to myself, “He’s gonna drop by when he pleases, wake me up when: one AM? Two? Three?”

I sighed upon accepting the situation as it is, for he had indeed given the hounds sanctuary with me, from another chilly night. Small price to pay.

“Maybe he decided to wait till tomorrow after 10 AM,” I hopefully concluded as I opened the gate to return hovel and fix a late supper, while the pups snoozed away in Doggy Dreamland. About five minutes later and no sooner had I started grating some cheese for my brown rice and quinoa repast, than I heard a “Yo!” out my window. Of course it was Deek, god bless him.

I didn’t even MENTION how ravished they were, upon handing him three recharged devices and wishing him a good night, and to stay out of trouble. He was in a pleasant mood, and said “Bam!” for each gizmo I delivered unto his hand.

The next morning, Deek didn’t arrive until shortly after 10 AM, which afforded me ample time for the dogs’ poopy walk, more sleepy time, and breakfast around 9:30.

I decided to take them BOTH outside this morning, to see if they mellowed out any, after my solo strolls with them over the past several days. As I opened the gate, there was my immediately-next-door neighbor, Asher, standing by the curb and puffing on a cancer stick. He’s a young fellow, good looking in sort of a non-macho way (IOW “gay”), around 5-foot-10 and 32 years old. If you recall, he is the resident so displeased with the building manager, he’s attempting to start a tenant’s union. Don’t know if it’s ever gotten off the ground, nor have I ever discussed this with him…in fact, we’ve never talked to each other before today.

[To be cont’d in my next missive…stay tuned, Wattson!]

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Neighbor questioned me about the pups this morning!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 6:44 PM

> I’m danglin’ here!

Ha ha, I knew you would be. As I got to describing my neighbor, I realized I need the encounter to season more in my brain pan before typing it out. Have some hot cocoa while you’re dangling; it’ll help.


Subject: Neighbor questioned me about the pups this morning! (Cont’d)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 22, 2022 at 11:01 PM

Asher said hi as I escorted the hounds to a nearby tree, where they sniffed around the trunk before choosing the perfect spot to urinate. I smiled (with my lips still sealed, so as not to shock him with the horrid state of my crumbling few teeth) and said hello back. He took another long puff on his American Spirit, then made some wisecrack about my homeless friend who screams, and the dogs. That’s when they began to bark.

He pointed at the pups with the lit cigarette and raised his eyebrows as if to say, “See? That’s what I’m talking about.” Their barks were nowhere near as boisterous as they were before I began their solo walks…but how could I expect him to appreciate that? Instead, I reached in my pocket for a wedge of chicken jerky, at which point the mutts immediately grew silent and stared at me with eager expectation. I broke off two small pieces and offered them to Asher.

“Here, give ’em some treats,” I said.

The wee canines shifted their focus on Asher, who reached out a nummy to first Flaco, then Lucky…each of whom daintily snatched a tasty bit from his fingers. Flaco then raised herself up and plunked her forepaws on his leg, hoping for more. Lucky sat calmly beside her. Who can resist these darling pups when they look up at you with those pleading, aureate dachshund eyes?

So I broke off two more pieces, handed them to Asher so he could feed them once again. Soon as the dogs realized no more treats forthcoming, they backed off and resumed their barks. He reached out a hand, which silenced them for a few seconds to sniff it, then withdrew and started to bark again…though in a friendlier and less strident tone. A few moments later, they calmed down and sat by my feet as we began our conversation.

“That’s my friend Zach,” I replied. “And yes, he screams, but a lot less these days…he’s bipolar. We’ve known each other for more than twelve years.”

I then gave him a nutshell rundown about his acquiring first one dog, then another, against my firm discouragement both times.

“I don’t approve of any dog being forced to live on the streets,” I told him. “And I almost had a heart attack when he adopted the female seven months later.”

I further explained how I realized I had to accept the situation, and saw that the doggies need frequent sanctuary from the streets or they’d die, so I now dog sit for him a couple days a week…and when it’s raining or the night is very cold.

“He’s taking much better care of  them these days,” I said. “And his own behavior has vastly improved. So I’m helping raise not just two dogs, but a homo sapiens as well.”

“I see,” he said as he stubbed out the cigarette butt with his shoe. “And have they had their rabies shots?”

“Yes!” I immediately answered, pointing to the dogs’ necks. “That’s what those blue tags on their collars are about.”

Asher also owns a dog, on the large size with an unusual blend of wiry and shaggy fur. A very quiet, reserved mutt whom I’ve never heard bark. I don’t think he lets it socialize with any other person (except his roommate) or canine. He just takes it out for a walk two or three times a day, then brings it back home. Never seen it wag its tail, either.

Two times so far (about seven weeks apart), I and the brindlekin crossed paths with him and his dog, once in the hallway and another time in the lobby. My pups barked up a storm each time, but Asher patiently waited till I directed the dogs away from them, and down the stairs or out the front gate. Easy peasy. He actually chuckled during the lobby encounter. However, during the hallway incident, Flaco escaped from her collar and stood a foot away, barking at him, with his dog standing peacefully behind his legs. She immediately returned to me when I called to her with collar in hand, slipped it over her head, and quickly escorted the silly hounds down the stairs.

Asher expressed concern over such encounters, as he claims it scares his dog. I wonder about that, as it seemed totally placid both times. He also suggested I don’t let my doggies run up and down the hallway unleashed…which I really do NOT do. Except for several times months ago, as I let them do that while unlocking my door, upon which they immediately entered.

“I don’t do that, though,” I addressed him. “Maybe you hear them tumbling and playing in the hallway, as I walk them to my room, and it sounds like they’re running around unleashed.”

He didn’t respond, so I added: “Soon as we’re halfway down the stairs, I can see whether or not the lobby’s empty. If no one’s there, I release them and they run to the front gate, waiting for me to catch up.”

I then pointed at the black collars they wore beside the blue and white ones:

“Those are painless choke collars I just bought a few days ago, so they can’t slip off their leashes. and I’ve begun walking the dogs solo more often, as it’s easier to train them.”

I also described that with just one dog to escort in or out the building, I can pick it up if it begins to bark, and they immediately quiet down…even when someone gets real close and walks by.”

“So you’re working on it!” he commended.

“Definitely,” I assured.

Asher seemed satisfied with my answers, and thanked me for the talk. As I began to walk the dogs toward Noe Street, Lucky glanced back at him and evoked a solid “Woof!” as if to assert his authority over this land.

I looked down at Lucky and said: “Oh, please!”

Asher then called to me: “What did you say?”

I turned to him and said: “Oh, please!”

He then chuckled, as he realized at that moment I was addressing one of the pooches and not him.

I want to mention here, Wattson, that Asher was somewhat nervous and dry-mouthed when discussing the dogs with me…indicating he had no intention to be rude or confrontational, and that he was worried I might snap at him, since he had no idea what kind of person I am. And there may be difficult issues in his life that have nothing to do with the brindlekin or my “screaming” houseless friend of 12 years. God only knows the news these days is MORE than enough to perturb any decent person, especially one who is part of an attacked minority, in this case, queers. Though I suspect at least SOME of his angst is due to his brave opposition to Kevin’s poor management of this building. He really stuck his neck out on that one!

I’m thinking we may have further discussions, including as regards management. I can help him with building his case if need be, because of all the dirt I already have on him…with evidence. Meanwhile, I’ll work with him on my dogs not barking at his, such as avoid taking them out when he’s stepping out or returning with his wooly companion. I’ll ask if he has a strict dog walking schedule, so I can avoid any further confrontations. He has NO idea of my Brindlekin Tales blog…I need to order more cards.

So what REALLY was this encounter about, you may ask. My Bodhisattva Premise suggests I was being TESTED once again, on my emotional stability, and how well or poorly I deal with this latest challenge. Seeing as I didn’t act the least bit rude, angry or self-righteous, I conclude I handled the situation with great aplomb, and consideration for the other person’s concern.

In fact, I believe it was another SETUP, in that Asher placed himself right outside the gate minutes before he knew I’d show up with the dogs. HE’S MY NEWEST BODHISATTVA GUARDIAN! At least to me he is…but who knows how much LONGER he’s been that all the while? I’m sure some glorious day I’ll find out.

Oh yeah, he said something that REALLY impressed me, right before he brought up the pups’ barking in the hallway:

“Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dogs!” And he said it while his body made a slight bow of reverence. Meanwhile, back to Deek:

Not much to report but that I saw him approaching catty-corner from the opposite side of Market Street, as I was about to cross 16th Street to purchase my morning brew. I decided then to wait on the corner for his arrival. It was several minutes after 10 AM, so the brindlekin had already been walked and well fed. He didn’t even have a cart of any kind, just a couple of bags stuffed with whatever, I have no idea.

“Good morning!” I greeted him. He didn’t have much to say, just asked for the mutts and more doggy vittles…plus two sandwich bags (which he uses to divvy up his weed for later sale). I was tempted to exclaim:

“More dog food? I just gave you a fresh supply yesterday, but you lost it. So whatta you gonna do, lose it again? I may as well throw it away!”

But I bit my lip, since I knew the foolhardiness of reacting to a pressed button. I just said okay, and brought everything he requested down to him, where he waited by the ATMs below my window. I then wished him God’s blessings, and to have a lovely day, and returned hovel. He didn’t stay long, just 20 minutes or so, before taking off.

It’s now almost 11 PM, so I doubt the dogs will be sleeping with me tonight. Hope you enjoyed my latest tale…sorry to keep you on tenterhooks for so many hours!

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 16)

May 20, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18p]

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Subject: Vagrants at the Gate
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 15, 2022 at 12:52 PM

Originally, I was gonna call it singular (“vagrant”) because there was only ONE person there when I reentered the building with the pups. That would be the elderly black dude, on the left. But by the time I rushed back downstairs to take a snapshot, a SECOND person appeared! At any rate, the African American fellow parked his carcass by the gate last night, and remained there until 10 AM this morning.

This made it tricky (and annoying) for the several times I had to take the dogs outside and back in, between last night and this morning. NOT appreciated. SO close to the exit, I had to grip their leashes barely a foot from their necks. Awkward and, of course, they barked up a cyclone. Pulling them away was a chore.

The black vagrant seemed oblivious to the pups, as he was in semi-coma, with his head drooped down and some bags and open, plastic to-go containers strewn about. But he’s been around my building before, and is actually a pleasant sort. Don’t know his name though, but for the moment let’s call him “George.”

Once the pooches were safely returned to their cozy lair, I stepped outside again to purchase my customary Rosenberg java. Upon exiting the gate, I saw that George was sitting up and picking through some food. So I addressed him:

“Sorry about the dogs barking, but you’re so close to the gate they can’t help themselves.”

He grinned and with a wave of his hand, said: “It’s all cool, I know they’re Deek’s dogs.”

I was hoping he’d get the hint, and not camp out so close to the gate next time…or even move a few feet further left right now. I kinda already knew my wish would be futile, but that wasn’t the real point of my talking to him. Which was just to be nice, as I was to Scampy the other evening. After all, Wattson, a little kindness towards a houseless person can go a long way. I’ve seen it many times in my own outreach.

“Well thanks for understanding, and I hope you have a lovely day,” I said while closing the gate. To which George replied with a smile:

“Yes, you too, have a good day.”

It was when I returned with coffee in hand and proceeded upstairs, that it occurred to me to take his pic. And a few minutes later when I did just that, there were now TWO vagrants for the price of one. Imagine trying to get the hounds through THAT gauntlet!

Deek brought the mutts back two evenings ago, and last night when he dropped by to get his phone recharged, said some big event downtown will keep him busy collecting recyclables into the next day. Flaco had the gloopies last night, so I had to take her out again around 1:30 AM. I also took Lucky with me, just in case. Upon my return, I spotted Deek on the 16th Street side of the building, fussing with his cart. Surprised to see him so soon, I released the hounds once we reached the corner. They danced around him, jumping on his legs with boundless glee.

He smiled to see them, but it was clear he wasn’t ready to take them back. I guess because he needed to go on his bottle and can collecting run soon. After I brought them back hovel, I figured he’d like to have his smartphone returned, which was fully charged hours ago (instead of making him drop by in the daytime, to pick it up). Indeed he did.

“Well, I gotta crash out now, Deek. See you tomorrow!” I said, then off I went back home. Slept very well, but around 4 AM Flaco had to poop again! She woke me up with a few “woofs” as she restlessy paced the floor. So I quickly donned shoes and jacket, and we stepped back outside…this time without Lucky, who was quite content to remain snoozing on the cot.

I spoke to Deek two nights ago, about not waiting with the dogs in front of the gate, and expecting me to lug his gizmos under one arm at the same time. For I neither want to have another confrontation with a resident exiting the gate with the dogs barking right there, nor do I want to be burdened with carrying stuff while at the same time guiding the dogs home.

“Just wait over there or there,” I said, and pointed at spots left and right, about twenty feet away. “Like you’ve BEEN doing until recently. I’ll take the dogs upstairs first, them come right back for your electronics.”

He gave me no grief over that, just said “okay” in a calm demeanor. That same night I was pleased to see my new acquaintance, “Quest,” hanging out with Deek in the ATM alcove. (Whom I first called “Griswold” in a recent missive to you, but in light of the anti-abortion/birth control fiasco, I figured that’s a distracting pseudonym. I might change his name again; we’ll see).

He (Quest) flashed me a smile as I stepped out to talk with Deek. I grinned back, said I have to rush off to the corner grocery store before they close, so can’t talk right now. Once I got back, I looked for him to chat a bit, but by then he was gone. He strikes me as a nice fellow, and I’m glad he found Deek so soon after I mentioned him and his two pups. I think he’ll make a fine addition to Deek’s circle.

Oh, yeah, when I opened my door to take the pups for their morning walk, they heard someone going down the last stretch of stairs and into the lobby. Definitely out of my sight, but not their hearing. Next thing I knew, Flaco escaped her collar and dashed downstairs and into the lobby, where she barked furiously. I didn’t have time to lock my door, and rushed to catch up, with Lucky leashed. Once I turned into the lobby, I saw a resident exiting the gate. He didn’t yell at them or make any other sound, just walked by and out. Thank god it wasn’t that Chinese guy! Or the building manager. I need to figure out how to keep Flaco from slipping out of her collar. I tighten it, but it seems to loosen up regardless.

I’m gonna have to leave my room unlocked, in order to get the pooches outside fast…since it’s when I turn to lock the door, they pull on their leashes and start barking. (They didn’t used to do this; it’s something new. I think they like to announce their presence soon as they step out; a territorial thing.) And sometimes I insert the wrong key, and have to fumble with the right one, which compounds the situation. Or maybe I’ll just walk the dogs separately, as it’s easier to manage. Which means they won’t get to play together, which I let them do on one of the side streets each night. I’ll figure this out.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Discussion]- The obsession of a raving Nazi lunatic, Mike Sewers
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN Discussion List
Date: May 16, 2022 at 6:37 PM

On Mon, 16 May 2022 11:57:54 -0700 Tanya NAZI ENABLER Merang squoinked:

> 1. Your site reports "not secure"... if you need your site secured, please let me know, it's a simple process and will make your site's visibility much better (and a lot of people won't visit a non-secure site.)

It's a simple, old-timey http site, not https. Security alerts are often over the top, and they shouldn't frighten people away fron http sites that do NOT use interactive forms or ask for personal info. The host I use to sponsor my site is a free service for activists or activist organizations that lack the funds for paid hosts. They're called "Online Policy Group," and do NOT offer a secure layer, thus nothing I can do about it.

But they're perfectly fine to put your writing out there...and images/ audios/videos. Since my works are gay themed in large part, I have experienced my site getting shut down within a few months, by this or that paid host service. And I'm talking about the ones that promise they won't allow bigotry to influence whom they host. Unfortunately, homophobia is a stronger prejuduce than any other.  So I'm very glad to have discovered Online Policy Group, after trying five paid hosts in the span of two years. But they all wound up banning me, and did NOT even return the remainder of my yearly fee. Whereas Online Policy Group is primarily here to give LGBTs a voice. They will NEVER shut down a queer site, just because a flurry of Christian zealots complain.

So, no, I do NOT need anyone to help me set up a secure site. I KNOW how to do that, but it's not possible on my present host. I've been with them for more than 20 years, and will remain one of their grateful users so long as they last.

> 2. I noticed your link to your WordPress Blog, You should consider making your site a "WordPress Site", because of the huge amount of free
plugin software and the ease of Content Management.

That's overkill for my needs. Besides, the apps are not "free" if you already have to pay a fee to be able to use them.

> That means when people search on keywords in your meta-tags, you come up
near the top, and not at the bottom of a list of 20 million sites... It's
nice to be seen, especially if you choose to sell something on your site. 

It's a bunch of hooey, will not improve quantity of readers. Most people do NOT go out of their way to track down queer themed online venues. Also, I am NOT selling anything there. Well, there's a link to my self-published book, but all the major online bookstores (and many other second-tier ones) already show it listed in their LGBT section). In short, the whole concept of SEO methods is a crock; you'll just be throwing money away. May have worked well when the Internet was spanking new, say, from the late 90s to 2008 or so. Believe me, Ms. 2-Biased, I've done my homework on this. You actually need considerable moolah to get your site noticed, including buying ads. I don't HAVE that kind of cash.

> Increasing your readership and making a little folding money could turn out to be a nice thing.

I'm not a child.

> 3. So Zeke, when I was doing homeless outreach and working with local
support organizations to help the homeless, there were networks of support
organizations and a community of people I worked with to help those
homeless.

They are NOT doing what I am doing, IOW lacking in many vital ways. Hobbled by both legal limitations of non-profit ventures, and by the elitism that goes with such groups. I have tried, numerous times, working WITH one group or another that was already well established. Never worked out for me. Getting personal with the homeless, actually befriending them and hanging out with them is SO important for what it does to boost their sense of self worth...yet NONE of these organizations really do that, except in very restricted ways.

One such group, while cutting me out of their activities, STOLE one of my gay-themed images when they were looking for a T-shirt logo. You can read about it here:

My Dispute with Queer Nation

Rather than apologize and acknowledge the design is mine, they ceased printing out those T-shirts.

The lack of true, personal relationships with the homeless, and legal restrictions with what non-profits are allowed to do, has created homeless services that are hobbled, and exclude a lot of people who NEED help. For example, if you're homless and have a pet, you can't use free vet care unless you first PROVE you're houseless. Meaning you need a signed form from a social worker. But TONS of folks living on the streets do not HAVE a social worker.

Same for getting a longterm roof over your head...PLUS you need to fulfill certain requirements to prove how desperate you are. If you don't have drug addiction, serious physical disability or severe mental issues, they keep dropping you to the bottom of the list, or exclude you outright from eligibility. But I ask you: isn't being homeless enough to qualify you, considering what a horrific situation that alone, is? So they rake in the moolah, but spend very little of it on the actul homeless, via a brutal filtering system. See:

San Francisco Rations Housing by Scoring Homeless People’s Trauma. By Design, Most Fail to Qualify.

Most people can't wrap their heads around my activism, especially homeless outreach, simply because I'm not plugged into this or that organization. You even bragged to me about all the queer friends you have, and queer organizations you've worked with...as a hostile contrast to my OWN activism. I also experience tons of hostility by others, including LGBTs, for associating with homeless folks. They don't really know me, and have no idea what I do, and what I've already accomplished. Instead, they have this kneejerk opinion that I'm just bumming around, having a lark while THEY work so hard at their assigned profession.

After several years of doing activism my own way, I became surprised and disappointed that the non-profits out there, were not incorporating projects similar to my own. But I forged ahead over the decades in my own, unconventional manner, because I KNOW what I'm doing is right. IOW: my activism is only regarded as "unconventional" due to the failure of the official channels set up to "help" the homeless.

A kind word here and there to a houseless person goes a long way...especially when no one ever talks to them for MONTHS. Giving them back their dignity by listening to their history and dreams is MOST healing for them. It's also quite Jungian, in that he believed respecting his clients for where they are NOW, was primary. I also apply the Jungian concept of archetypes when figuring out what particular demons haunt them. Many demons of which are caused--or exacerbated by--the cruel fate of being homeless itself!

I give them psychological tools in helping them deal better with their internal battles. Not through Jungian lectures, but indirectly via befriending them, and eventually offering a grander view of their challenges that elevate them above battle mode. They often mistake their frequent anxiety attacks as attacks by others, or imaginary foes. Making them highly susceptible to conspiracy theories, much to my chagrin... largely because a homophobic mindset is often part of these ugly theories.

But I am only one person, so I focus on one person sometimes, but do have a circle of homeless allies. My friend of well over 12 years, whose two little doggies I help take care of, does much good work for other homeless people. Such as bringing them food, clothing, friendly company and a kind word. Many of his street friends are African American BTW. He's a cajun white person who grew up in a New Orleans ghetto...so having black friends is important to him.

Now, my helping him out in many ways spills over into helping many OTHER houseless denizens, by extension. For in giving him a big boosts] towards his own sense of self-worth, he can better assist others on the streets.

In closing, here's one of my projects I carried out back in 1992, that was NOT homeless oriented, but veteran and military focused:

The Somalian Affair

And here are three of my handful of Youtube online recipe satires, that have NOTHING to do with the queer issue:

Zeke’s EZ Toasted Raisin Bread Breakfast

Zeke’s EZ Wholesome Nut & Seed Oatmeal Breakfast

Doggy Meal Prep

For making people LAUGH is a powerful healing force, along with kindness and non-profit elbow grease.

Re: This made my day as well!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 17, 2022 at 7:39 AM

> So, so sweet…

Nothing but love to give. Deek brought the pups over two nights ago, picked ’em up the next morning around 11, then brought them back again yesterday evening…so they’re here, now. His nights are busy collecting tons of recyclables, and mine are busy snoozing with the brindlekin.

No phone call, email or text from a lawyer yet…but it’s too soon to say I’m outta the woods. I wonder if that Chinese guy is blabbing to other residents that one of my dogs bit him. That should be interesting, as a lot of people here LOVE them. And if Kevin is going around claiming how vicious they are, I’d say he’s in for a rude awakening.

I thought about the hounds’ loving impact on many homeless here in the Castro, thanks to Deek’s wide circle of friends. If I spread the word about the manager’s hostility towards his dogs, I don’t think he’ll find strolling through the neighborhood a pleasant experience any more. But I DON’T plan to do that, as then Deek would know the situation and be freakin’ out, making my life so much harder than he’s already done. Because he’ll blame it on me.

This current drama may be what triggers the doggies’ rise in popularity to become the mascots of The Castro. And, of course, the unofficial guard dogs of 9666 Market Street. Maybe I should write a letter to the editor of some local gay rag, about a wicked manager and two lovely homeless pups. And how they need a real home where they are loved instead of hated, preferably with a backyard. I wouldn’t name names, but compose it so the locals will have a good idea of which building I’m talking about. Well, those who already live at 9666 will have no doubt…especially since I’ll include a pic of the mutts.

I suspect that Kevin did NOT really send a carbon copy to Ablahblah Realty, and that his threat to contact the building’s lawyer was just an attempt to frighten me into submission. But if I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter because I’ll win anyway. I laid down all my cards: a royal flush!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

Subject: Latest Encampment by My Building
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 17, 2022 at 10:30 AM

This micro-village popped up four days ago. The occupants there don’t appear to number among Deek’s extended family. Imagine living on that side of the building on the 2nd floor, with your window just three feet above them! At least they’re quiet.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: MY GOOSE MAY BE COOKED, AND I’M FRIGHTENED
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 10:56 AM

Two mornings ago a young lady was standing in the far corner of the lobby diddling with her phone as I stepped inside with the pups. They began to vociferously bark (as they always do whenever they see someone there, on the stairs or in the hallway). So I tugged the dogs close to me and we proceeded upstairs…but after the first two steps Flaco slipped out of her collar and ran up to the lady, barking her ass off.

The woman yelled “Hey!” and held one foot up to kick her, if need be. I immediately stepped back down and attempted to put the collar back on, but Flaco was too elusive. Meanwhile, I held Lucky’s leash firm who, BTW, was perfectly calm and quiet by then; no problem. When I saw that trying to place the collar back on with one hand was a lost cause, and I dare not let go of Lucky, I climbed back up the stairs and called out: “Flaco, come here!”

The little doggy look up at me, turned to the lady and barked a bit more, then ran up the stairs to where I stood. The Woman was screaming bloody murder through it all. Then, the moment I continued to climb the steps, Flaco dashed back down to the lobby where by now the woman was about to exit. She held one leg up again in that defensive kick pose.

“Are you kidding me?” she screeched.

“Flaco, up! Up here!” I called, and she suddenly turned away and joined me again.

“Are these your dogs?” she hollered back.

I nodded my head yes.

“Put a fuckin’ leash on her!” she scolded, then disappeard outside. I don’t think she heard me over Flaco’s barking, when I answered back:

“I’m putting a choke collar on her!”

Never mind I HAD a leash on her, it’s just that she slipped out of her collar. She’s done this twice before, for which reason I ordered a painless choke collar from Amazon, which arrived yesterday. Turns out the collar I was using doesn’t maintain a tighter adjustment; it’s a slide-through collar rather then the buckle type, and expands to its widest point after a few tugs. Works perfectly fine on Lucky, but Flaco’s neck is a half inch thinner in circumference. I also ordered a standard buckle collar, that should also work to keep Flaco from slipping free.

Since this fiasco occurred entirely in the lobby, it’s all on camera. The only GOOD thing about this is further proof the dogs don’t bite. I am hoping against all hope that she did NOT complain to the building manager. But how likely is that, Wattson?

Meanwhile, the choke collar works great, so no more Flaco escaping its grip. Furthermore, I realized that just picking up either dog in my arms when it begins to bark silences it completely. But that means I’ll have to take them for walks seperately. Which I’ve begun doing, and it works out just fine. Actually, I can take them BOTH out first thing in the morning, ’cause it’s so early and no one’s about (usually), and again late at night. But the two times I walk them during the day, I leave one hovel while the other’s outside. Should they begin to bark–indicating they hear someone approaching, or standing in the lobby–all I need to is pick the hound up in my arms, and all is suddenly quiet again. Or, seeing as I now have a better collar, I can just guide the dog close to me with no problem…as has been the case all along, with a few exceptions, thanks to the previous collar that wouldn’t hold its adjustment.

At any rate, I’ve tried picking up each dog soon as I exit my room, and kept Flaco or Lucky cuddled in my arms all the way down to the front gate. Both remained totally quiet, unlike their barking with excitement the first few seconds they step out my door. So the experiment is successful, and now anyone can pass by with ease, instead of my having to finagle with their leashes, or require the passerby to stand and wait in the lobby or on the stair’s landing, for me and the mutts to get through. Please realize, though, residents don’t have a problem with that, for the most part.

Nonetheless, I PREFER this new strategy, as it keeps the few screechy drama queens at bay, and gives them NO excuse to complain at the drop of a hat. Though my solution may have come too late, which would be tragic. Ablahblah Realty DOES have grounds to ban them from the building, based solely on having them over so much, which can be considered MORE than just dog sitting. All Kevin has to do is check the lobby camera data to see how often I bring the pups inside. After all, having a dog live with you DOES require permission from the building manager. But the one point in my favor is my dog sitting HAS been going on for almost two years now. Pretty much problem free.

I presume Kevin is questioning residents about the dogs, with some form he cooked up and printed out. And jotting down any further complaints, whether true or no, to build his case against me. Though SOME of the residents adore the brindlekin, which is another point in my favor. They SMILE even while being barked at, as I maneuver the pups along.

There is also the matter of god-knows-how-many tenants who are FURIOUS with the manager, as you well know. In which case, it is possible that Kevin may NOT be moving ahead to get the doggies outta here, due to that situation. Plus my OWN warning to him, about his willful harassment of me via proxy (Adisa & mom), that I WILL act upon, should he go through with his own nasty plan to get rid of the hounds.

I figure if nothing happens regarding legal action against me between today and two weeks from now, I may indeed be out of the woods. In which case: may time fly on winged feet! Though I risk eviction and possible jail time for standing up to the bastard, these dogs ARE my sacred priority. It’s downright SPOOKY wondering when the next letter from Kevin will appear, taped to my door. I think I’d have a heart attack if I saw another one. Hopefully, there will BE no more of that.

Though what do I tell Deek? I’m sure he’ll explode the moment I tell him ANYthing about this dilemma. I would like for him to keep the pooches by his side for a week…actually, TWO, but that might be a bit much for him. I’d also have to tell him if worse comes to worse, I may NEVER be allowed to have the dogs visit anymore, or I’ll be evicted. But for the time being, it’s best to keep the brindlekin out of my building, until things blow over…if they do at all. I WILL remind him about the false accusation of a dog bite that occurred late last year, which fizzled into nothing in the long run.

So of course I must remain calm through THIS latest ordeal, as well. But it sure is a whopping soul crusher this time around, good physician!

I will NOT tell him about the dog’s cornering and barking at two different residents, two different days, as he’ll just blame me for not training them properly, with red-faced screeching and epithets throughout. Instead, I’ll tell him the manager despises me, despises the homeless, and is paying some residents to wrongly accuse the dogs of biting, in order to get them outta here, and evict me as well. And that people who make false accusations like that often wind up landing themselves in jail, or worse. But Kevin’s also senile, and has angered MANY occupants.

In short, I’ll tell Deek that the manager is going bonkers, and taking it out on me, and other residents. He should’ve been fired MONTHS ago. So it’s not a good idea right now to have the doggies visit, until things right themselves in my favor, just as they did last time around. I will ALSO remind him that he’s talked about the assholes he has to deal with from time to time…and, we’ll, I’ve got some of them in my life, too.

I woke up suddenly around 4:30 AM with dry lips and shaky nerves, imagining myself telling Deek I can’t have the dogs over anymore. So I got out of bed for a few minutes, drank a half cup of soda, then laid down again, alongside my kind and joyful companions…whose days with them, I fear, are now quite limited. I otherwise slept well, which is suprising given the circumstances. Took the canines out an hour earlier than usual: 6:30 AM. Fed them at 10…Flaco ate most of her breakfast, but Lucky didn’t touch his. Which was to be expected, as he woke me up puking shortly after 6. So his tummy may be out of sorts for a few more hours.

As I walked the hounds up Noe Street, I figured it’s time to catch you up with the latest. Though I’ve been hesitant to even TELL you about it, let alone write it all down…it’s just a shattering crisis! But I finally concluded it would be a healthy, cathartic thing to do at this time. Thank Boudicca I have such a heart-warming confidant in you!

This missive will NOT appear in my Brindlekin Tales saga, until said time it’s safe to do so…that is, when things completely blow over and covered with a fresh layer of soil and wildflowers.

Of course, my Bodhisattva Premise kicks in, to reassure me this is JUST another test (we have no enemies, only teachers) and I actually have NOTHING to worry about so long as I continue to do my best under grueling circumstances. And I am. I will come out of this smelling like a rose. But if I MUST worry myself to a useless mound of flesh, go right ahead, though I DO have the inner resources to rise above ANY negative thought process…and that’s a more pleasant way go. Things will work out fine no matter what.

Sometimes life is like whistling through a graveyard. What, me worry?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: MY GOOSE MAY BE COOKED, AND I’M FRIGHTENED
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 2:46 PM

> Terrible, terrible!!! And infuriating!!!

Indeed it sucks. But I remind myself of other people throughout history who’ve gone through much WORSE ordeals, and came up the winner.

> Taking the dogs out one by one, in your arms, is an excellent idea.

The perfect solution.

> Not having them visit you for two weeks is dreadful to contemplate. You’d be in an acute state of worry, Deek would make more trouble for you, or disappear with the dogs, or some fucking thing.

No, I wouldn’t be in an acute state of worry, as I know by now that when push comes to shove, Deek is very mature in a crisis. I doubt he’d disappear, and I doubt he’d give me much grief. For whenever the bedbug treatment comes around, he’s right on top of it, and makes things as easy as possible for me. It may even be a good thing for him to keep the pups for a week or two, as he may have gotten too dependent on me for watching over them, and the challenge just might strengthen his mettle. Even if he rebels in a rage at first, I’m sure he’ll come around and be cooperative. That’s been his pattern before, when I’ve confronted him over other issues.

I will at LEAST tell him not to have the pooches over quite so much, due to the legal difference between dog sitting and permanent residency. But if I go the whole enchilada, I’ll make up a story how the manager has gone bonkers and is threatening numerous residents, not just me. That he’s paid a couple of people to harass me by banging on my door some nights, hollering, “Get rid of the dogs or you’re dead!” Don’t know who they are, but I’ve called the police for the two times it’s happened so far, and have recorded the incidents on my smartphone. That MANY residents are infuriated at Kevin, and have come together to form a tenants’ union. But at this time, I think it’s wise to keep the dogs away from my building. And, strangely enough, the dogs did not bark or even wake up when my door was being pounded on.

> But I certainly understand why you’re considering it.

Either that, or don’t tell Deek anything. It’s a painful decision either way. Hoping for a miracle sounds foolish, but look what happened with the Adisa & Mom fiasco: they suddenly upped and left, and that’s all she wrote!

Maybe an ally who lives in my building will approach me and say Kevin won’t get away with this, do not worry. Maybe Kevin will suddenly drop dead. Maybe a kind someone with a home and a backyard will open a door for Deek, where his pups can visit like they do with me. I would be MORE than glad to help out with dog food expenses and treats…and offer to walk the dogs whenever.

In previous crises in my life, I HAVE had kind souls appear out of nowhere, to recharge my batteries. Surprising, and wonderful.

> And for both of us, we’re snared because we were sincerely trying to help. Deeply, deeply fucked up.

Yet there may be a way through a horrid dilemma, using one’s wits and words…as you have done in order to save your home from your bank almost screwing you over. As you have done so many times, As I have done likewise. I’ve persisted through it all, and have a sweet setup, albeit humble, with more than sufficient money and other resources to do my activist thing.

> Your dilemma is a lot like mine,

Yes, that already occurred to me…and both our crises began on the very same day.

> we’re both boxed in, and all because of a lack of a sufficiency of a certain chemical: Money. If I had plenty of this chemical, I could solve the Dana problem just about overnight. If you suddenly had a ton of money, you could move, or bribe the building manager, whatever it took to protect yourself and the dogs. As it is, when we’re broke, we are nakedly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of this life, and problems divide and multiply exponentially.

Nonetheless, I prefer to remind myself of that Chinese saying “crisis is opportunity,” and build on that.

> And for both of us, we’re snared because we were sincerely trying to help. Deeply, deeply fucked up.

As I see it, EVERYone is snared by their existence, and it is what we do with it, how we handle our struggles, that is key. The wealthy may think they’ve escaped that, but they’re only fooling themselves. The Buddha had much good advice on dealing with life’s inequities…and they work!

Bodhisattva Premise:

Remaining calm and trusting in the good is THE foundation on which you progress towards a happy outcome. All that’s REALLY required of you is simple: stay calm. Even if you see no solution at the moment. DO NOT PANIC. Sometimes I don’t even wanna be in my own skin, it is that stressful. But I take a deep breath and make a point of taking time out several times each day, just lying down beside the pups and listening to a good podcast, or watching a video.

Thanks for your thoughtful and honest take on the doggy/Deek matter…it has helped me develop my thoughts further, and given me solace. Rather than assure me things will work out for the best, you’ve allowed me to think this through on my own. And I did. I’m ready to scream, but I’ll focus on the dream.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here to see the sign on my door.

Subject: Every day w/o an envelope taped to my door is a good day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 8:59 PM

And it HAS been a good day! Walking each pooch individually was a surprising revelation, and it wasn’t just due to the choke collar, though that certainly helped. Neither dog got needlessly excited when other mutts walked by, hardly a bark…maybe a woof or two, but mostly just stopping to stare at them. A couple of times Lucky made a half lunge and a rather milquetoast “arf!”

And today was the first time someone actually walked by me in the building while I carried a pup in my arms. Not a single bark, not a single stare, nada. It was my great luck that this person who approached and walked by, was none other than Victor, our building’s maintenance man! I said hi, and he looked up from some papers in his hand, saw Lucky cradled against my chest, chuckled and said, “Hello, good afternoon!”

I ordered a second Martingale collar yesterday (what this particular choke collar is called) and it just arrived an hour ago. So I transferred the rabies tags from the old collars onto the new ones and voila, they are ready for Deek when he picks up the hounds. While each dog is much more mellow when being walked alone, still, though more feisty when together, the new collars should have the desired effect of putting an end to their pulling on their leashes, and lunging. It will just take a bit longer. It was really nice today, walking each dog and not having to worry about anyone or their own canine getting too close!

So the collar is already having excellent results, starting from day 1, yesterday! I imagine it won’t take more than a few weeks (or even just a week) for them to temper their aggression (as harmless as it is, and cute) to the point where even screeching drama queens will find no fault. And by that time the dogs will be able to go back to wearing a standard collar.

This will also have the added perk of impressing and pleasing Deek no end!

AND THAT’S THE SCRIPT MY BODHISATTVA GUARDIANS CONJURED UP FOR ME! Getting the dogs properly trained in the nick of time…putting me on tenterhooks almost to the very last moment. Then, a progression upwards into Nirvana, that comes with having accomplished a great deed, after much excruciating and prolonged travail. And that’s their gift to me, that I will feel mighty proud for what I’ve accomplished!

Last night, as I awoke at a wee hour with a minor anxiety attack, I reminded myself that this desire to leave one’s skin, to escape my dilemma posthaste, this burdensome grief and despair that feels like death itself…is the EXACT description of one who is about to make a major transition in one’s spiritual life. First, death; then, rebirth.

Of course, I have to admit that the building manager IS one of my bodhisattvas…just playing the role of tough taskmaster. Like he also did regarding the Adisa/mom affair. Brilliant!

And those two young people in the lobby who were “attacked” by my furry elves on different days, were ALSO part of the script. THEY FUKKIN SET ME UP! Of course, the challenge is to figure out how to turn it all around into a positive result. If the Buddha hands you limes, make lime soda!

I even suspect my glorious brindlekin were in on the plot…which causes me now to look at them in a new, and wary, light! Ha ha, just kiddin’ about the “wary” part. Recall now, what I said about Flaco on that night of October 30th 2020, the eve of Halloween, when I feared I may not see her or her brother again:

She looked at me with the sweetest little face and a bright spark in her eyes as if to say: “You have nothing to worry about! Lucky and I will always be here for you, we are your friends.”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Clueless Moron doesn’t like the new collars!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 10:23 PM

He showed up just before 9 PM, handed me several small devices to recharge, then said:

“Bring the dogs down, I’m not sure yet if I wanna take them with me tonight, but I wanna see them.”

I told him okay, but from now on I’m bringing each pooch downstairs one by one.

“It works out much better that way, Deek.” I explained. And went on about how well behaved they are when I walk them individually, they’re a lot less aggressive.

“And if someone’s at the gate when I return, I just pick up the dog and carry it inside, and it’s totally quiet, no barking at all.”

He then looked at the Martingale collars: “What are these, they’re ugly.”

“They’re just training collars,” I replied, “painless choke collars that discourage them from lunging. They work very well, you’ll be amazed how effective they are, so give it a try.”

“YOU’RE the one who has problems with them lunging,” he retorted. “They never do that with me!”

“Not true, Deek,” I admonished. “They lunge at other dogs walking by when you’re sitting there, and I hear you hollering from my window, ‘Flaco, come here!’ ‘Lucky come here!'” I took a deep breath and finished with:

“You’re ALWAYS complaining about how they lunge and tug on their leashes.”

He denied that, and blamed the problem on me: “I trained them to behave well, but it’s like you untrain them after they visit you, every time.”

“Jeez,” I snapped back. “That’s totally NOT true, stop acting like an idiot.”

He then demanded the old collars back: “I don’t like these, they look stupid!” he griped. “I never asked you to get me new collars.”

“Sure, I’ll bring them downstairs, but please give these choke collars a try. They’re just for training, which’ll take only three weeks or less.”

He seemed kinda out of it, only half listening and nodding his head down close to his lap. He then started to fiddle with the snap-on part. “Please don’t remove them, Deek. And DON’T LOSE THEM either, because the rabies tags are now on them!”

Which were a bitch to install on the new collars; so I guess now I’ll have to put them back on the old collars next time the mutts stay over (he decided to keep the dogs with him tonight)…IF HE DOESN’T LOSE THE TAGS FIRST. Jesus fukkin christ! Almost half the time he drops over it’s like I get hit by a hurricane…chaos and devastation everywhere. He’s like Schulz’s Pig-Pen, only from hell.

SO glad I ordered a second pair of Martingale collars for backup just this evening…never dreaming I might need them so soon! And good thing I’m back on Amazon Prime, as they’ll arrive tomorrow. And thank god they’re only $6 each. Purchasing items for Deek is often like getting them and, soon as I unwrap the packages, throwing them away. ABSOLUTE FRUSTRATION AND NEEDLESS WASTE OF MY MONEY!

I tried to tell him of my manager going berzerk, and I’d prefer the dogs not stay with me for a week, which by then I hope will blow over. But as I said, he doesn’t seem to be very together tonight, and he waved me away: “I don’t wanna hear it, that’s YOUR problem!”

Anyway, if he doesn’t keep the choke collars, that won’t stop me from continuing to train them…it just will take a bit longer than if he used them, too.

[pause]

I stepped out to purchase groceries, and peeked back at the ATM alcove to see if he and pups were still parked there. At first glance, it looked like they were gone, but then Lucky poked his head out with his fond eyes aimed at me. I turned immediately about and proceeded towards the corner. Just before I crossed, I looked back once more, and there was FLACO now gazing at me from the distance!

Upon returning, here came Deek and dogs with his small cart, intercepting me at the bus stop.

“It’s only been an hour your devices have been charging.”

“Hours?” he twisted his face as he said that.

“No, an HOUR!” I replied.

“Hour? What’s that?”

“An HOUR, Deek, as in 60 minutes! I just thought you’d like to know.”

“Uh, okay,” he said, and moved on towards Castro Street as I reached the front gate. He paused for a few moments, whereby Flaco stood facing me from about 15 feet away, looking quite concerned with her furrowed brow as if to say, “Hey! Why can’t I be with you now? I miss you already.” Lucky stood right beside her with a more stoic, though likewise endearing, demeanor. I thought “I love those dogs” while looking directly at them, and threw them both a kiss before disappearing inside.

Of course he’d give me a hard time about the collars, Wattson…that’s the role he plays, so why should I expect anything else. And after all is said and done, with all his whining about the “ugly” collars, they’re still around the doggies’ necks…not the old ones.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek decided to bring the pups back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 19, 2022 at 11:48 PM

There was some hideous black dude roaming around this part of Market Street, screaming, threatening to beat people up, sprinkled with epithets like “faggot” and “nigger.” So about 10 minutes ago, Deek decided to get outta here to distance himself from the crazy vagrant. As I carried his devices in a large Ziploc down the stairs, a handsome young fellow just entered through the gate and addressed me:

“Someone outside has your dogs!”

I mulled this over for a second, then replied, “Oh, they belong to him, but I help them out. Thanks for for telling me, though.”

“Oh I see,” he remarked with an “aha!” smile. “Sorry to have bothered you.”

“No bother at all,” I said while descending the carpeted steps. “Have a good night now.”

Deek handed the dogs over to me, plus the dog food…he was flustered and eager to move on.

“I got into a fight with that dude,” he muttered. “Did you see it?”

“No, I heard it, but didn’t know YOU were involved,” I answered. Though I heard him earlier holler out to the jerk from across Market Street:

“You walk around with a big stick like that and YOU’RE gonna get bashed!”

This really upset me, because such a direct confrontation could endanger the brindlekin.

Then he began pawing through his gizmos and, as I took the hounds away, he called out to me that he doesn’t like the collars, he’ll use the old ones. I told him to give them to me, and I’ll put the tags back on them. But he seemed to be caught up in something else, fussing with one of the two smartphones in the bag, did not hear me I guess, so I hurried the hounds upstairs, planning to run back outside to procure the collars. But when I looked out my window to see if he were still by the bus stop, I saw he was already too far up 16th Street towards the Mission, to be worth skedaddling back out and catching up with him.

And so it goes.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Every day w/o an envelope taped to my door is a good day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 20, 2022 at 12:06 AM

> Excellent!!!!

Thank you. I always do my best to rise up above whatever muck is dumped on me ASAP. I surprised myself with this one, though, because such a fast turnaround. This funny scenario played out in my head a few minutes ago:

Kevin came up to me and said: “Did you enjoy composing those two emails to me?”

“Yes,” I replied, “quite cathartic. Made me feel like a true alpha.”

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 15)

May 14, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18o]

Subject: Deek’s Delivery Service?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 1, 2022 at 10:20 PM

He dropped by with the pups this morning around 8:30 (after picking them up yesterday afternoon), asked me to take them off his hands so he can do a delivery of groceries. His bike was burdened with several bags loaded with produce, dried goods and a case of soda. He seemed really proud of this chore, so I told him “Excellent!” as I snatched up the leashes and brought the doggies inside.

So I’m wondering if he’s gotten a hook into becoming a delivery person for various people, at a lower rate than they’d normally pay. I DO hope I’m correct about this, as it’s right up Deek’s alley, considering he’s always lugging around weighty burdens and riding a bicycle. Great exercise, too! Sweats out all that toxic meth.

The hounds are back again, so very soon. Their master showed up again later in the day, to pick up his electronics but not Lucky & Flaco. Another blissful doggy night awaits me!

I reduced the stash of dog food I give him to three cans and one large Ziploc bag, told him I can’t afford so much of it wasted, and besides him losing it now and then, when he DOES return what’s left, there’s so much remaining, often the FULL AMOUNT I gave him. He gave me no argument, and accepted the lesser quantity.

“Are you feeding someone else’s dog?” I asked him yesterday. He just lowered his head and said no. “So you space out and forget it, now and then?” He didn’t bother to answer, but this morning explained that his girlfriend Scampy steals it, and other stuff from his cart when he’s asleep.

He mentioned this before, though not regarding the “lost” dog food, but yes, it’s quite believable she does that. I’ve seen her freely rummage through his possessions a few times, when Deek was elsewhere, such as going to the Chevron gas station to purchase snacks and drinks. Or Walgreens. I just never connected her with the disappearing dog food till he finally brought it up. She just steals for the sake of stealing, there’s nothing in his cart she wants. She’ll grab whatever and dump it later on, and he has no idea where to find it. That includes his electronics.

But he DOES feed the pups other food than what I provide, as he also explained. Glad to hear it, and glad to know I can reduce what I give him, without remorse. Less waste, less expense. I think he held off telling me about Scampy’s theft of the doggy vittles, as he’s protective and kind to her. Which is admirable, considering what a lost soul she is.

He profusely thanked me TWICE over caring for his dogs and helping him in other ways: two days ago and this morning right before he zipped off to deliver those groceries. There were also a couple MORE tantrums (one three days ago, the other yesterday)…both of which were brief.

Admiration of my brindlekin has been copious these past few weeks, by passersby. It just keeps getting better! Can I hear a “Woof!” for victory, Wattson?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek’s Delivery Service?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 2, 2022 at 3:13 PM

> WOOF!!!!!

There we go…THANK YOU! If you save the life of even just one dog, you save the world. I’ve saved two.


Subject: “Don’t yell at him!”…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 5, 2022 at 10:03 PM

…said a young homeless fellow to Deek when he erupted in tantrum and insulted me. He immediately ceased, but I was especially pleased that, finally, one of his amigos (other than Filipino Kai) defended me. This occurred two nights ago.

“He always does that!” I addressed the fellow, a strapping, handsome lad in punk garb and haircut. Then I turned to Deek to collect his electronics. It was after 1 AM, to my annoyance, because I thought his only reason for waking me up was to recharge his devices.

But then he said, “Here, take the dogs.” My choler immediately dissolved, for I had told him the ONLY time he could drop by after midnight was to bring the pups over. I didn’t think it was in the cards that night, so curtly addressed him once I stepped out: “Gee, it’s well after midnight, thanks for nothing, Deek!”

“Oh, I didn’t realize how late it was,” he replied.

“There’s a clock right over there,” I countered, pointing at the bus stop’s LED screen barely twenty feet away. But I figured he just said that as a lame excuse, as he has before…knowing full well there are MANY transit stops that tell the time if you bother to look up.

“You certainly came to the window quick,” he retorted.

“Oh, I’ll keep that in mind,” I snapped back, “and be sure to take a LOT longer getting out of bed when you call up to me!”

That is when he raised his voice, and his companion admonished him.

But it was another chill night, and he did the right thing by returning the pooches. My impression is that he’s taken my suggestion to heart: that he spend each day with the hounds, and have them sleep nights with me…until the wee hour temps warm up a bit. He’s been fitting this pattern for two weeks now, skipping a night here and there.

After bringing the pups inside (and boy were they happy to do so), I realized he still has the dog food I gave him this morning! At least, I hoped he did, so I rushed back downstairs where the two were softly chatting and smoking meth from a shared pipe.

“Do you have the dog food?” I queried.

“Yes, it’s in there somewhere,” he replied with a finger pointing to his cart. So I had to rummage through a modest pile of crap to get to it. Seeing that the sack contained the full amount I gave him earlier (three cans and one Ziploc) I asked if he fed them anything today.

“Yes, just not what you provided,” he explained. Meaning he had other food donated, perhaps some KFC chicken or other yummy snack that a kind person bought him.

“Okay then, I’ll feed them in the morning, thanks,” I replied, then noticed another portion of kibble, about two pounds, in a separate plastic bag. “Oh, extra dog food!”

“Yeah, when I visited the old man today,” he replied (more on the old man shortly).

I then wished them a good night and returned hovel, gripping the loops of the weighty sack as I climbed upstairs, eager to enjoy the sweet company of my furry angels once more.

He picked up the hounds and his gizmos the following morning, freeing me up to tidy my hovel, take a nap, get on the ‘net and so on. To my delight, he returned around 11:30 PM to take the pups back in. Glad to note he made sure to arrive before midnight. That was last night. It’s now the next day, 5 PM, and he took his furry charges back for the day, several hours ago. Let’s see if he returns back again, tonight.

He made not a single squawk when I handed him a fresh supply of doggy vittles with THREE cans instead of five, and ONE Ziploc gallon bag instead of two. Had he done so I would have refused, anyway, and tell him too much food gets wasted.

But he DID create another mini-drama when he dropped by: “Hurry, someone’s out to beat me up, I can’t stay here.”

“No I’m NOT gonna hurry up, Deek,” I indignantly shot back. “I don’t work like that. Besides, I’m already prompt with your requests, so just calm down.”

“What? You don’t think I’m telling the truth, even though I’ve been battered?” he griped. “You have no idea what it’s like out here!”

Someone who was at an ATM several feet away glanced at us with a touch of alarm, so I realized I’d better not reprimand him at that moment. Instead, I just poo-pooed him with a wave of my hand as I opened the gate. His heckling followed me halfway up the stairs, though I paid no attention to it. Had no third party been present, I would’ve told him he looks perfectly fine, and perhaps he’s just jonesing his ass off…and besides, if he were REALLY threatened, he wouldn’t put the dogs in harm’s way by having them with him. Or I’d just say, “Well, then, you’d better let ME keep the dogs until the problem blows over.”

Once I delivered everything to him in three trips up and down the stairs, I wished him a lovely day, and that no one beats him up. I looked out my window a few minutes later, assuming he was still there…in which case I’d come back downstairs and tell him I guess I didn’t need to rush after all. But when I looked below I saw that he and canines had already departed. Now about this “old man:”

That’s what Deek calls the guy who runs a puppy mill that gave birth to Flaco & Lucky. He’s never told me his name or where he actually resides. But two mornings ago he said he’s gonna pay him a visit, because he says the old man worries about the dogs, if he doesn’t see them every few months.

“I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know you got them their booster shots,” I remarked. Deek said he already told him, just the day before, and he WAS happy to hear it. I didn’t bother to ask him if the old man realizes Flaco can’t even get basic vet care, unless she’s been spayed. Nor did I ask if he’s even mentioned me, and how much I help with the dogs’ well-being. Heck, Wattson, I’m not even sure how much of what he said about the old man is true! Does he even exist? That part I think is true.

“He’s getting a larger van to raise the puppies,” Deek added, “and he said I could help him with it, I’ll get paid.”

That threw me for a loop: “What he’s doing is against the law, Deek. He could go to prison for running a puppy mill, and so could you. Be careful. He may have the know-how to get away with it, but you don’t. Nor do I. Even so, he STILL could wind up behind bars. PLEASE take care. I don’t wanna lose you OR the doggies.”

He didn’t react in rage, but remained silent after that, packed up his things, lashed the dogs to a cart, wished me a good day and departed.

Something else he brought up during that visit…something which he brings up now and then, ever since I addressed him about getting Flaco pregnant, over a year ago. It was about what I said, if Flaco gives birth in my room:

“I’ll just flush the pups down the toilet.”

He reacted in disgust, accused me of not being a real dog lover. “Sometimes doing that is the kindest thing to do, Deek.” I simply replied. Ever since that initial conversation, he brings up drowning the dogs issue now and then. This time around, he said:

“I asked a whole bunch of people if that goes on, and they said no, nobody does that! You’re just making that up.”

“No I’m not Deek,” I replied. “Poor folks in the country who can’t pay a vet to spay them drown the pups because they can’t afford to feed and care for more dogs.”

“Oh? What country is that?” he asked.

“I mean the countryside, small towns and rural areas where a lot of the poor live,” I further explained. “But it happens in cities, too. It goes on EVERYwhere, it’s a sad fact of life, but drowning pups is the kindest thing they can do, given the circumstances.” I took a breath and ended with:

“These people who told you no one kills puppies are ignorant.” Of course, I knew he just made that up, he didn’t ask ANYone about it…but I figured no point in calling him a liar.

Well, that’s it for my latest Deek update. Overall, vast improvement re. Deek, though rough edges still exist. As to be expected.

Enjoy these two videos:

The view from my hovel these days. Four shops in a row shut down. Weaver’s Coffee Shop has been closed for a long time now, maybe two years. It’s on the corner, but you can’t see it thanks to the tree leaves. Below the “Fitness SF” sign was a juice and snack bar, now covered over by white shades…they shut down about a year ago. But the next two shops to the right shut down quite recently. Not sure exactly when, but I believe less than two weeks ago. I only noticed their disappearance last Sunday. Skip one shop over further right and you’ll see a colorful, abstract mural boarding up another establishment that went defunct early on in the pandemic. What a dreary view from my window! But at least I can look up and see the sky; sometimes with a spectacular sunrise. This video was taken on a gray evening around 7:30 PM, yesterday.
Flaco loves to sit up in my chair and enjoy a good belly rub.

Re: “Don’t yell at him!”…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 6, 2022 at 3:15 PM

> Oh, God, a puppy mill in a van. Cruelty on wheels. And Deek being “paid” to be a part of it. Tragic all around.

He’s a walking bag of horrific declarations. No sooner do I get ONE problem resolved, than he conjures up two more. It’s exhausting…like playing Whac-A-Mole with the Sword of Damocles over one’s head.

> Great that the other fellow stood up for you!

A small victory in my favor.

> And I’m so glad that you’re getting more and more time with the pups.

It’s wonderful! He didn’t bring the pups back last night, though I’m not so concerned these days, due to the slightly warmer temps. But he did show up just a few moments ago. Again, he told me to hurry, he’s in a rush, acting bitchy, then ran off after handing me a few gizmos to charge and, of course, the hounds. They’re now happily snoozing on the cot, after Flaco first scratched around in the box with great verve.

> More tantrums and insults for you to put up with, but such a worthy cause–the lives of these little beauties.

Actually NOT more, but less. And his outbursts are quite brief anymore.

> I love the video of you stroking Flaco. I can feel the sleekness of her coat, and the total love in her eyes is overwhelming.

She is SUCH a darling. They both are, and I’m a lucky fellow to have the sweetest two pups on the planet for my best friends. It’s all working out so unexpectedly well!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek picked up the pups Sunday around 7 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 10, 2022 at 2:14 PM

…and expressed a sincere gratitude for my friendship, on behalf of himself and the dogs. He even apologized for his scary outbursts, explaining he deals with some very difficult people.

“I can imagine you do,” I told him. “People who are homeless or poor are burdened with many crosses most can’t deal with, and take it out on others, especially friends.”

He still had the doggy sweaters, which suprised me ’cause I gave them to him almost two weeks ago. I pointed out that Flaco is already shivering, sitting there so patiently.

“You can put their sweaters on,” he replied. “They’ll be moving around soon, so they’ll warm up.” Though I would’ve MUCH preferred to bring them back inside, I bit my tongue and gently clothed them.

He appeared nicely dressed and together (in the mental sense), so that’s a good thing. He gave me a sincere hug (VERY unexpected), with a few tears mixed in. We spoke awhile longer, me mostly giving him a pep talk…reminding him that trusting me with the dogs is an AMAZING thing to do. He clearly appreciated that, and we departed on a peaceful note.

Less and less drama, more and more kindness seems to be the new trajectory in our meetups. It’s been two nights in a row the brindlekin have been outdoors; hopefully he’ll bring them back today, before dark.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek picked up the pups Sunday around 7 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 10, 2022 at 8:38 PM

> My fear is that he’ll disappear when the pups are in his possession.

Mine too. When I saw him last time, a shudder ran down my spine that he’s splitting for other parts. Would explain his hug and tears, like he’s saying goodbye between the lines. But I’ve been through this before. And he’s still around. However, I choose to not obsess over ANY tragic scenario…just take a deep breath and trust the Moirai.

> It was COLD here last night, probably no warmer down there!!

Yes, and the days are on the chilly side, too. 8:30 PM now, no sign of ’em. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. EVERY time he departs with the dogs is a cross on my shoulders.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: No sooner did I post my last missive, than…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 10, 2022 at 10:10 PM

…he showed up with the pups! But he went off the rails and made a big scene screaming right in front of the gate when a resident stepped out. Here’s what went down:

He was parked about 20 feet from the front gate, which is good. Gave me three gizmos to charge, but let Flaco run loose, so she stood by the gate, and Lucky started barking at her, because he was still tethered. Deek was fussing with the knot he tied the leashes together around the cart’s handlebar. Got frustrated and started cussing, told me to step back when all I was doing was petting Lucky so he wouldn’t bark.

Then when he got the leashes apart, instead of handing them to me, he let Lucky run free right when a skateboarder whizzed by. So Lucky ran up to him, barking and nipping at his sneakers, which, thank god, amusing the skateboarder rather than angered him.

Meanwhile, Flaco was still patiently waiting by the gate when a tenant was about to step out, by which time Deek handed me Lucky’s leash, and the one Flaco had escaped. They were both barking at the resident, so I had to guide them around him and rush them up the stairs. He didn’t seem pleased, judging by the scowl on his mug.

But during that moment, Deek was screaming his lungs out at the pooches, “Shut up! Shut up!” even when I was halfway up the stairs. So he was also yelling in that occupant’s face as he exited!

Flaco had escaped her collar once more, but she ran right to my room…so I released Lucky, who did likewise. They gleefully ran up and down the hallway a couple of times before they finally dashed into my room, where Flaco smashed into the box and began to scratch like mad, and Lucky just hopped onto the bedding.

After a few minutes of hugs and licks and puppy joy, I decided to go back downstairs and ask Deek if he had any dog food left, and the other sweater (because Flaco wasn’t wearing one, while her brother was). Soon as I stepped out the gate, this large, friendly and homeless black dude whom I’ve seen numerous times, and who always greets me kindly, was talking to Deek:

“Why were you yelling?”

Deek tore into me immediately: “Why were they barking so much, why do you keep fucking up my training them? They NEVER act like that when they’re with me, except after they visit you!”

I told him that’s not true, and he interfered with me getting the dogs inside, making things pointlessly difficult and angering a tenant.

“I apologized to him,” he said, then added: “He told me I’d better get a handle on them.”

I also told him they behave differently on the streets, dealing with all the tweaked out, crazy people roaming around. But when they’re with me, they’re much calmer, because they’re away from all that. Besides which I would’ve had everything under control but for his drama queen explosion right at the gate.

Then he squawked about how I could wind up homeless and the dogs won’t have a place to go to, and a bunch of other shit.

“Oh, you think that’s funny, my becoming homeless?” I retorted.

Meanwhile, the black homeless dude just stood there, observing it all. I APPRECIATE that he was there to witness Deek’s childish behavior, as he just MIGHT give him what-for after I return hovel.

He’ll be back later tonight, to pick up his electronics. During which time I’ll insist he be prepared before dropping by and bringing the dogs inside. And NOT to let them run free while he’s still fussing with rummaging for the devices to be charged, the remaining dog food, etc….while I’m standing there between him and the pups unleashed. He’s BEEN pretty good about it until the last two weeks. I’d bring the devices upstairs, then return for the dogs. Now, he’s gotten sloppy and making things difficult; he wants me to do it all at once, my arms full while the brindlekin pull on their leashes, eager to step inside.

It’s like he loves to come up with new shit to fuck me over, and blame it all on me. And finding a NEW excuse to scream in front of the building. He had quite a load of junk in his cart, and either had no more dog food or couldn’t find it…and the sweater, if not stolen, is probably buried deep in that rubbish. So I told him forget it…just be prepared for now on. But the good thing is:

HE DIDN’T DISAPPEAR WITH THE PUPS

and

THEY GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Gentleman Jack

Deek just came by to pick up his gizmos…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 11, 2022 at 12:06 AM

…and was very polite. As he took the devices from my hand he said: “Thank you, Zeke. And have a bless-ed night.”

“Thanks, you too, Deek,” I replied. Then, as I closed the gate he asked if he could have a soda:

“I’m really thirsty.”

So I went back upstairs, poured some ginger ale into a cup, and brought it back down. It was all I could do to keep from splashing that soda in his face, but I remained stoic.

He seemed bedraggled, as if someone had just given him a scathing lecture. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I suspect that large, friendly black vagrant had a few choice words to give him…along with, perhaps, some impressive body language that made him look pale as a ghost as he stood by my gate to collect his electronics and a cold beverage.

BTW, have you watched episode 3 yet, of Gentleman Jack? I won’t spoil it for you, Wattson, but would like to get your reaction over the unexpected turn of events in Miss Lister’s romantic life.


Subject: No, the dogs did not bite him.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Kevin Bond, bldg. mgr.
Date: May 12, 2022 at 9:10 PM

I left my door too wide ajar when putting on my jacket, and the dogs ran downstairs...they've never done that before, with the door partly open. They barked around the resident, but did NOT bite him. I've seen their behavior many times on the streets, and they just stand around and bark until you pull them away. You've witnessed that yourself, more than once. The resident was needlessly hysterical. Anyone can see they are completely harmless. I will for now on, keep the door fully closed before I'm ready to take them out.

Enclosed are the records of their vaccine booster shots. They also wear their blue rabies tags on their collars.

They sometimes make a lot of noise going down the stairs, because excited to go out. That lasts, at the most, 10 seconds. Otherwise, they're amazingly quiet. Most people find their rowdy antics hilarious, and do not go off into a fit of hysteria.

Once again: they did NOT bite the fellow. Some people are just drama queens. Barely a week ago when I entered the building, Flaco slipped out of her leash and ran up to you, barking, on the first landing. When I called her back down, instead she ran to the next floor, stopped barking, and waited for me to show up. She did NOT bite you. And when you greeted them in the lobby some months back, they started barking at you from a foot away, but NEITHER attempted to bite you. They are NOT biters, never have been, never will.

They are delightful company, if you ever took the time to get to know them.

- Zeke

--

Re: No, the dogs did not bite him.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Kevin Bond, bldg. mgr.
Date: May 12, 2022 at 10:25 PM

On 2022-05-12 21:16, Kevin Bond wrote:

> They are vicious animals Zeke you just are blind to that fact. The tenant says he was bitten. You were not present for a bit when they ran downstairs off leash. And out of control.  I will take it that you’re refusing to remove the dogs from the building and I’ll contact the buildings lawyer.

Wrong. The resident was in shorts, his legs were bare; there was NO sign of any bite. He would've said so right there that they bit him. I told him "Sorry, they slipped out my door, they don't bite," and took them promptly outside. The dogs were nipping at his shoes from about a foot away, and nothing more.

Some weeks back, I had to squeeze between you and Moe Fleisher, with the dogs. They barked a little, but neither attempted to bite. Cedric in 210 and the resident in 207, two or three times in the past four months came up or down the stairs as I passed by them with the dogs. VERY close proximity, and they only barked, no bites at all. Neither was upset in the least, as they saw how harmless the doggies are, and they give Cedric a chuckle whenever he sees them.

And a couple months back, an elderly straight couple were coming up the stairs, rather soused out of their minds, when I stepped out with the dogs. I told them they don't bite, just bark. They tried to pet them, but they backed off, and then we departed for Duboce Park. But they DID have a good laugh.

I reiterate: they are NOT "vicious" in the least. I think your hostility and false accusations go back to the "Adisa and mother" fiasco, where I was being harassed by her son and friends, and you did nothing about it, just let the harassment continue on and off for months, causing me MUCH stress and anxiety, as they hanged out in front of my door many evenings. Then suddenly, one day they left. (I'm guessing their shocking behavior had to do with hard drugs, dealing or otherwise.)

I have all this on record, including that video and your hostile letter. Adisa and his mom falsely accused that one of my dogs bit him...but this is NOT true, and a retaliation for my reporting his threatening behavior to the police the day before. His mother said she was there, and witnessed the dog bite herself...another lie. Because whenever the dogs were with me, I saw one or the other, but not both at the same time.

And I eventually filed a complaint against you, to Ablahblah Realty. So I think your false accusation that the dogs are vicious comes with unwarranted resentment on your part.

In that letter you taped to my door, not only did you call the dogs "vicious," but ranted on with horrible remarks about my homeless friend who owns them...reflecting a severe and unjustified prejudice against those without a roof over their heads. I dog sit for him, that he may go to his job...or when the weather is rainy or very cold.

Adisa had NO evidence of a bite, nor does the resident who made that claim today. Nipping at his shoes from a foot away does NOT equal a bite. The dogs wouldn't harm a fly.

You should know that other residents have grievances against you, as I discovered when a neighbor left a note on my door, as no doubt he did for other units. He wants to start a tenants union for this building, and invited occupants to join his private Facebook page. I don't do Facebook, but that's beside the point, as I follow the Buddhist practice of resolving issues with compassion, not anger. Just as I have with the Adisa/mother case, by remaining patient and noncombative.

But if pushed into a corner I WILL take whatever action necessary to protect myself from any further hostility on your part. Which I'd MUCH prefer not to do, as I understand the sometimes immense difficulties that come with running a large apartment building, and all the different (and sometimes difficult) characters who live there.

In sum: you are making a mountain out of a molehill. My watching over the dogs to give my friend a break is essentially a non-issue. Flaco and Lucky are good medicine for me, and for anyone else who takes the time to know them. I'm sure your lawyer will agree, should he or she ever have the opportunity to meet them. So please, have a good sleep and reconsider.

Sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Here is the letter building manager taped to my door today.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 11, 2022 at 10:34 PM

See attachment. I also mailed you copies of my two emails to the building manager. What have I gotten into? Well, remaining calm throughout the ordeal has always been a winning strategy in my life…so I remain calm. Your input would be GREATLY appreciated, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: What does the lobby camera show?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 13, 2022 at 2:21 AM

Most likely the pups dancing around the hysterical resident, and barking…and that’s it. I’m sure Kevin has already checked out the video, and saw they didn’t bite anyone. And THAT’S why he didn’t mention ANYthing about the recording. He’s calling my bluff. Though I have to say:

I really threw all my cards on the table, with those two emails to him! And isn’t it a good thing they got their shots? As I was able to IMMEDIATELY send him a copy of those certificates. Thank Artemis Deek did not reneg on going to the vet clinic two months ago!

So before all this came down, I took the dogs for a walk; it was around 9:40 PM. I saw the envelope taped to my door as I exited, and decided to read it upon my return…for I was pretty sure what it was all about: the run-in this morning between the frisky brindlekin and that nasty drama queen. A plump Chinese fellow around 30 years old with thick eyeglasses. Standing in a corner with one leg raised, shivering in fear. His feet were clad in zories, one of which lay two yards away from him. I guess he was afraid to retrieve it. I’m surprised Lucky didn’t snatch it up for his latest conquest, waving it proudly about between his sharp little teeth.

It was a pleasantly cool evening, and we walked a couple blocks up tree-lined, quiet Noe Street, when the hounds started to bark at someone on the other side, talking to herself and swinging her arms. It was Deek’s ex-girlfriend, Scampy! The dogs know her very well.

As I crossed the street to sit on the curved concrete benches, I called out to her:

“Scampy, come visit Flaco and Lucky, we’ll be right here for the next few minutes!”

She looked back from thirty or so feet through the nighttime dark and said, “Okay! Hi Flaco, Hi Lucky, I love you!” But continued walking towards the next corner, so I figured she had something urgent to tend to. However, she returned a couple minutes later, dragging a heavy carpet along the sidewalk, which she plunked down then crossed Noe to visit with the pooches.

They wouldn’t let her touch them, especially Lucky who kept a wary distance. They both barked a while more until I gave Scampy some treats to feed them. Only Flaco accepted them, as Lucky continued to keep away from her. Not that he tugged on the leash with any force, but stood just a few feet behind me, staring up at her with caution. I tried to move away to give Scampy a clear path to him, but he adjusted his position to remain concealed behind my legs.

“Sorry he’s acting like that, I know they’re you’re friends.”

“That’s alright,” she replied in her typically raspy voice. “I have days like that, too!”

So she kept her distance while proclaiming her love to them, then wandered off towards the dirty old carpet, heaved it partly over her head, and proceeded towards Market Street like an old hag from a fairy tale, mimicking a queen in her weighty, richly hued cape.

I thought it was a nice thing to do, making Scampy feel welcome and offering her the canines’ company for awhile. Sick and tired of roofed folks treating the homeless like plague-infested vermin. I refuse to play such a wicked game.

At any rate, as I crossed 16th Street to reach my block, here came Deek from the other direction. He was in a friendly mood:

“I’ll take the dogs off your hands now, it’s not cold tonight.”

I handed him the leashes, and we had a mellow conversation. In fact, the whole rest of the evening turned out mellow! For there was Filipino Kai standing by the ATMs as we four approached. He had a big grin on his face and gave me a warm hug in greeting. Another vagrant was crouched a few feet away, in the alcove…young, redheaded and clothed in a muted brown and white serape.

Once Deek and pups settled down nearby, he withdrew a smartphone from a pocket and asked me to charge it.

“Until you’re ready to get some shuteye,” he said. “I’ll be right here.”

“Well that’s about an hour and a half from now,” I replied. “Don’t bother yourself with checking the time by the bus stop, or calling up to me. I’ll know when it’s midnight, and bring it down to you then.”

I was a bit spaced out, deliberating whether or not to tell him about the manager’s letter, which I had yet to open. I decided not to.

“So this is my only mission tonight: charge this one gizmo?”

He said yeah, that’s all…and before I departed to my room in the clouds, I had a friendly chit-chat with Kai. He was pleased to see how superbly Deek and I are getting along these days. (“Took a long time to get there, didn’t it?” Kai proclaimed with a wink.) Deek was well within earshot, so I made sure he heard this:

“Well, he puts me through a lotta shit, but I’m a better man for it.” Kay nodded, whence I continued:

“But I know he’s a good man underneath it all. And who else has done for me the nicest thing anyone has done, by trusting me with his wonderful little doggies?”

“You really love the man,” Kai noted.

“Yes I do,” I agreed. “We have a great friendship going.”

Meanwhile, Deek was fussing with a metallic gold necklace the other vagrant had handed him, and attached some colorful glass bauble to it, the size of a robin’s egg, but round. I should’ve taken a closer look at at, for it glinted ruby and purple from the corner of my eye. But I was focused on Kai. Maybe I’ll get to check it out in a day or two. I then said to Kai in a low whisper:

“I’m going through some nasty shit in my building right now, but I don’t want to worry Deek, so he doesn’t know about it.”

“Right,” he replied, “he doesn’t need to, and you can deal with it yourself, right?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” I replied. “I’ve actually been through the same thing before, last year…and Deek doesn’t know the details about that, either.” I then concluded, before returning hovel:

“One thing I’ve learned about life, and it’s simple, but sometimes difficult to practice, is to remain calm no matter what.”

“Tell me about it, bro,” he exclaimed.

“Yeah, people will test you and try to make you go bonkers or in a rage,” I elaborated. “The best way to handle it is to remain at peace with yourself, take a deep breath, and even walk away if you have to.”

I know Deek heard those words, too. And that is why I spoke them: that he listen and take heed. I then told Kai it’s always good to see him, then bid them all adieu. I also gave Lucky & Flaco one last pet for the night, and said to the young transient seated near the dogs, who had just stroked them kindly:

“Aren’t they the sweetest little mutts you’ve ever met?”

When I got back upstairs, something stinky offended my nostrils: canine feces! I had forgotten to toss one bag of poop left over from our walk! It was still in my coat pocket. By the time I stepped back outside to throw it in the trash bin, Deek, dogs and company had already departed. But another homeless dude whom I’ve never seen before, greeted me.

His name is Quest, I told him mine and we fist bumped. We had a delightful talk. He was dressed nicely in semi-ragged, dark, rumpled denim jacket and pants, with a wrap of cloth in a riot of colors around his skull. He even offered me one of two unopened cans of 7-Up he held in his hands. I said no thank you, I’m not thirsty, and asked him:

“Do you know a homeless dude with two little dogs named Zach?”

“Uh, no I don’t,” he replied.

“Well, he’s a good friend of mine, and I help him take care of the dogs. A lot of folks call him Po-Boy and he’s from New Orleans, but that’s a long time ago.”

“Oh, I’ll keep an eye out for him and say hello.”

“Just be aware he’s bipolar and can get in some bitchy moods, sometimes I wanna…”

“Strangle him?” he interjected.

“Yeah,” I chuckled. “But instead I figure out how to work with him and snap him out of it. Actually, his mood swings are a lot less extreme these days. In fact, he’s been growing in leaps and bounds, so perhaps I shouldn’t have bothered to bring that up. He’s a really nice guy overall, helps out a lot of other folks on the streets.”

I then told him I’m really sleepy and gotta go back inside.

“I’ll see you again soon, I hope,” I waved goodbye as I neared the gate. He smiled and said, “Kewl!”

I finally read the manager’s letter, and it’s exactly what I thought it would be. You now have a copy of it, to read yourself. I sighed and just reminded myself what I had told Kai barely twenty minutes previous: just remain calm.

And it looks like such a mellow evening otherwise, was an affirmation that everything will be just fine. I had fun composing my two emails to him, as well! What will tomorrow bring?

Maybe WWIII and Kevin will forget all about his foolish accusations towards yours truly! I’d consider THAT another bullet dodged.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Here is the letter building manager taped to my door today.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: May 13, 2022 at 1:33 PM

> I feel you. I was accused, yesterday, by poor Van’s crazy widow, in a phone call, of various heinous acts and betrayals. All I’ve done since Van’s death is strive to support her and keep a roof over her head. I make myself stay calm, reminding myself that it isn’t personal, she’s mentally ill. It’s the usual syndrome: No good deed goes unpunished. Details to follow, later today or tomorrow. The encounter left me feeling heartsick and hopeless.

OMG, so SORRY to hear that, good doctor. We are BOTH going through a nasty crisis…and it happened to each of us ON THE SAME DAY!

> The idiot who accused the dogs of biting him sounds like a screamy little dweeb. And your building manager is beyond reprehensible for playing the game.

So many drama queens here in the Castro, more than anyone can shake a stick at! Vicious homonculi!

BODHISATTVA PREMISE:

Again I am being tested, or fine tuned, for remaining calm through it all. I have GREAT concern for how Deek would take this; he just might disappear for good, fearing that they’ll take away the pups. It would be cruel to put this burden of worry on him, so I will keep this to myself. I can easily imagine all sorts of worst-case scenarios, including being evicted, going to jail, etc. And the very IDEA of those lovely pooches being banned from ever visiting me again, is unfathomable heartbreak. They SO love spending time with me, and to take that away would be abominably sad. Conclusion:

I must brush away such self-destructive thoughts, and remain calm through this latest storm…trust the Fates that be. What is so intriguing about last night, was how sweet the evening was, with Deek and other homeless people. It felt as if the Great Spirit her/himself were embracing me with love, showing me I don’t have a thing to worry about. Deek was awfully nice to me, as was everyone else, as if:

Good angels rallied around me last night to console me, as if they knew EXACTLY what I was going through, including Deek himself. (Which actually weirded me out, but in a good way.) If such be true, then the building manager and complainant are also in on it. I will NOT fall for such a ruse, and wallow in despair for I conclude it is obviously necessary for my own spiritual growth: this latest challenge in my hero’s journey. They are ALL my bodhisattva guides. “We have no enemies, only teachers.” – the magnanimous Siddhartha

Not to be didactic or proselytizing, I firmly believe the fact that we BOTH fell into crisis mode on the very same day, suggests my approach regarding the dog-bite accusation may be the best one for your own, difficult scenario. But I’m sure you already know that, and are moving ahead in your uniquely gifted way. Hatred, anger, grief are all the wrong paths to take. Stiff upper lip and all that rot, don’t worry, be happy, and so on. Take JOY in your own kind nature…which has certainly be a great blessing in my own life.

But thank god I have some cretins on the MCN lists I can tear into…it sure is a great stress reliever! :D

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 14)

May 6, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18n]

Subject: Deek brought the dogs back on Saturday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 6, 2022 at 11:19 PM

…after only having them for less than 24 hours. Which is unusual, but who am I to ask any questions. I wound up enjoying FOUR exquisite nights and days in a row with their sweet company. He collected them this morning, quite early, just a few minutes after I got up. So I didn’t have a chance to take them for their first poopy walk or feed them breakfast.

Flaco was resting in my chair as I approached to place the collar on. She quickly stood up and plunked her forepaws on my stomach. She loves it when I then take her in my arms and slowly tilt her backward till she’s pressed upon the seat’s back and remains in that upright position, paws dangling over her stomach and looking up at me with loving eyes. VERY cute. Soon as I step away a few inches, she repeats the move, and I repeat mine. We do this several times: our good morning ritual, whether from my chair or the cot. When it’s the cot, I lower her all the way onto it, like she’s falling backwards in slow motion. Then, the moment she’s totally supine, I say “Boom!” And then raise her back UP in my arms and do it all over again, two or three more times. She can’t get enough of it and (to be honest, Wattson) neither can I. Lucky’s still sound asleep through it all, but soon enough I shower him with morning affection, as well.

She’s also acquired a new habit. Flaco loves to burrow under the pile of sleeping bags right after jumping onto the cot, but doesn’t always accomplish a complete disappearance, with as much as half her body sticking out. So I began holding up an edge of the topmost comforter to facilitate her leap beneath it. Now, sometimes when she returns to the cot, she’ll just stand on the floor right beside it, looking at me until I turn my face away from the computer screens and notice her silent plea. She NEVER makes a sound–not a peep, woof or growl out of her–but patiently abides. Don’t know HOW many minutes she sometimes waits, though I think no more than one or two. Soon as our eyes meet, she starts wagging her tail, and I raise the blanket up so she can jump right in.

That Saturday evening Deek had another one of his repulsive temper tantrums. I forgot to ask for any dog food he has left, so ran back downstairs to retrieve it. Which I’m sure he had, since I gave him a fresh supply just the day before. He was strutting around in front of the building, peering here and peering there (by the trash can, under parked cars, etc.) looking for yet one MORE thing he supposedly “lost” (I’m guessing a dime bag of meth or maybe some bud, this time around). So when I asked for the food, he snapped at me:

“I don’t wanna TALK right now, get outta here!”

I did not, but remained close to him and softly replied: “I never talk to YOU like that, stop your drama queen BS please.”

His reaction was to screech further, “I don’t KNOW if I have it, I’ll look later, leave me alone!”

“Okay, no problem, I’ll just see for myself,” I answered, and approached the doggy cart half filled with whatever. Sure enough, there was the sack of dog food sitting right there plain as day, so I reached in through the unzippered screen to retrieve it.

Then Deek ranted on how I shouldn’t go through his private things without permission, blah blah blah.

“Oh the drama!” I called back while turning the key in the gate’s lock. “Drama, drama, drama!” By then his rants were down to a mutter, which of course I ignored and proceeded upstairs with the vittles. The bag STILL contained five cans and two full Ziploc bags of kibble. He didn’t feed them any of it! Makes me wonder if he fed them at ALL the day previous, or the next morning. HOPEfully he did, from another source such as SPCA donations. The dogs were NOT hungry in the least…though perhaps because they were so exhausted all they cared to do was sleep, as they zonked out in less then two minutes after entering my hovel. They even turned down their ducky treats! I replenished their bowls and left them out for several hours, but neither touched it. Both Flaco & Lucky DID eat well the next morning, dishes licked clean. And, glad to say, their appetites were robust all four days.

I should point out here that Deek’s latest tantrum was NOT so boisterous and drawn out as previous ones. Barely loud enough for even my quasi-fascist neighbor to hear…but if he did, I’m sure he was taking notes. Several other vagrants were camped out by the ATMs who witnessed it but remained calm amidst the tempest…a friendly gathering, or maybe just weary from the day’s troubles.

He also gave me that night, a hefty, 30-pound speaker that could NOT be charged (in spite of TWO 3-prong electric cords enclosed in an attached storage unit), because no socket…and had NO control knobs or buttons on it anywhere!

“Take it upstairs, get on the Internet and find everything you can about it!” he ordered. Never having been on the web for his entire life so far, he holds the naive notion that you can find out EVERYthing on the ‘net…and if I can’t come across info on whatever he throws at me, it’s MY fault, I’m an idiot. He gets especially surly whenever I can’t find a rap musician’s songs to download…which happens about one time in twenty. (Well, he USED to be like that, but is more accepting these days. One of his many changes for the better, though he still has a way to go.)

Turned out it’s some kind of auxiliary speaker that needs the main speaker to hook up to through a cable port, and which has all the requisite dials, switches etc. In other words: USELESS for his needs. But he wants me to hold onto the monstrosity awhile, anyway, to figure out what to do with it. So now it’s sitting there in a dark corner of my room like some Pacific island totem in a Twilight Zone episode.

When I made one last trip downstairs to the ATM alcove before calling it a night, returning his charged items, a friendly, clean-cut Hispanic dude on a bike was talking with Deek about the speaker.

“Does it have any switches or knobs on it?” he asked.

“Nope,” Deek replied. “No way to plug in the cord either.”

“Oh, I see,” said the Latino. “That’s an auxiliary speaker, it won’t work without the main one. May as well dump it somewhere.”

I was glad to discover I had someone to back me up on my own findings, that Deek would know my analysis was spot on. That’s when he told me to hold onto it anyway. I said okay, have a lovely night.

The Latino answered back as I returned through the front gate: “You, too, have a great night!”

I told him thanks before disappearing into the bowels of Hotel California North.

Sunday night, a black dude on a bike was blocking the front gate, so I waited with the pups by the bus stop until he move forward by ten feet. Bit seeing him there, the dogs were already barking at him. In another minute or so, he move forward by several yards, giving enough clearance for me and the dogs to approach and enter.

Of course, the pups barked like WILD once we got to the gate, seeing as the dude was but four feet away. And he looked down on them with a grin on his face:

“Oh you’re gonna bitch slap me, are ya? Then you’re gonna slam me to the ground, beat me to a bloody pulp, then bitch slap me all over again?”

Well, not those words exactly, but more colorful, ghetto expressions you’d expect from a black dude playing the comic. I tried to cajole both pooches through the gate, but Flaco slipped out of her collar and ran right up to him, barking vociferously from barely a foot distant! I finally got the collar back on, while the dude continued his banter, and somehow convinced Flaco to step inside.

The next night a similar encounter went down with a black person…this time a petite woman of advanced age, and no taller than five-foot-one. She was hilarious. Again, the gate was blocked as she stood around, maybe waiting for the bus to arrive, or just soaking up the nighttime revelry. I politely asked her to move a few feet, so I can get the pups back inside…told her they’ll bark at ANYone standing by the gate, nothing personal. And let’s see, what else happened around the dogs within the last few days? Oh, yeah:

Two afternoons ago, Scampy came up to us by Morey’s corner store where I was sitting on a concrete stool with the mutts at my feet. Another homeless person and, surprisingly enough, Deek’s ex-girlfriend. She’s sporting a shaved head these days, and it looks good. Her usual raspy voice that’s just one notch under a screech, evoked:

“I love you Flaca, I love you Lucky!” and reached out a hand. The dogs just stood there, leaned forward and took a few sniffs, then barked up a hurricane. They always do that with Scampy, even though they know her very well. I think it’s due to her hyper behavior and clashy vocal chords. But I’ve seen my brindlekin with her and Deek at times, perfectly calm and happy.

“So where’s your master Deek right now?” she adressed the canines, but I responded on their behalf:

“Oh, probably rapping on some corner in the Mission right now.”

She then told the dogs she loves them again, and departed. I wished her a good day.

I bought a USB-C-to-VGA adapter for my Chromebook, not really knowing if it would work, or just mirror the displays instead of extending them. Delighted to report my doubts were scattered to the four winds soon as I plugged it in! A bargain at $10. I also got the official charger, works fine too. I’d LIKE to get a matching, full-size Chromebook bluetooth keyboard, because of its special function keys and key-combo commands, but the only one I could find includes a number pad…which makes it inconveniently large. And NO touchpad, which is a deal breaker for me. So I’ll just stick with my present wireless keyboard WITH touchpad, thank you very much.

WALGREENS SCREWED ME OVER!

Four days ago I set up an appointment online to get my second covid booster, and a flu shot. Scheduled for April 6th which is today, at 7:45 PM. The clerk asked to see my vaccine card, so I handed it to him and he typed in the numbers…only to claim I’m not set up for an appointment, and I’m nowhere in their database.

“Are you kidding me?” I replied with some outrage. He then said they don’t take walk-ins, and they don’t have enough shots to give to just anyone.

“Why are you talking to me like that? That’s not my problem, I filled out the form online, clicked send, and they said I’m good to go. I’m NOT a walk-in and you’re not making any sense!”

Nothing got resolved, I was pissed and told him go screw yourself, and stormed on outta there. Fuckin’ Walgreens, I should’ve expected this. When I looked for a place to get my FIRST shot, I tried to schedule a day and time on their site, and IT WAS ALWAYS DOWN, please try again! So now I’m going through the same shit I went through when this pandemic started…pulling teeth just to FIND a vaccine station!

And here I was, SO glad to get this done and outta the way, striding up Castro Street to Walmeans on the corner by 18th Street with a bounce in my step, whistling a tune in my head (because I can’t really whistle at all)!

I have NO idea where to go now, so I’ll probably blow it off. I JUST loaded CVS Pharmacy’s “schedule a vaccine” page and, after inputting some basic information and clicking the “next” button, a new page came up to declare:

“We’re sorry! This information is currently unavailable. Please try again.”

No WONDER Deek doesn’t wanna deal with the system in any way, shape or form! As bad as health care is for the poor, how much TOUGHER it is for a homeless person to get ANY aid, including for a beloved pet.

Oh, and this morning when I brought the dog food down and was about to return upstairs to fetch the dogs, he leaned into my ear and whispered:

“Can I, uh, you know, visit you for a few minutes?”

Infuriating that we can’t have a single meetup (but rarely) without him throwing some wrench into the works! I was hoping he’d never ask again, after the last time he did, almost six months back. Since I’ve explained to him a zillion times already, the numerous reasons why it’s a bad idea, I didn’t bother to regurgitate the entire list. In fact, I didn’t even bother to utter one word, “No.” Instead, I just said I’ll be right back with the dogs, and shut the gate behind me soon as I saw he was far enough away not to try to force his way inside.

And of course, when he brought the pups over last Saturday, he requested advance payment for Thursday’s allowance, FIVE DAYS AHEAD! Well, his next money day is Sunday, so I presume he’ll show up tomorrow to ask for it, or Friday if I’m lucky.

Here’s a link to a brief video of Scampy and Deek outside, by my building. He’s on the sidewalk, and she’s by the curb. Two days ago:

ADDENDUM

He JUST showed up moments ago, right after I completed all of the above! Handed me what looks like a spanking new phone, that is: most likely STOLEN. He told me to plug it in, let it charge up a bit then start it up. I said if it’s at zero it will take at least ten minutes before I can take a look-see. He then exploded, yelled at me, how even at one percent it should work. I told him for most phones, no, and he already knows that, after all the phones he’s been through. He appeared to be rather NERVOUS, like someone who STOLE something…beads of sweat dripped down his forehead.

Well, he hollered further, said he wished one of his thug friends were around to beat me up, etc. I told him talking shit to me, screaming in front of my building won’t get him anywhere…I’ll just bring the phone back down NOW and order him to leave. He then threatened to disappear for six months, and I won’t get to see the dogs, etc.

More of his ranting ensued, as I refused to return upstairs yet, while crouched down hugging the doggies. I said he needs to calm down, take a deep breath before I leave to check the phone.

“It’s been twenty minutes already!” he screeched. “I’ve been keeping time!”

“No you haven’t Deek, I’VE been watching the time,” I shot back while pointing at the bus stop’s animated sign. “See? 10:54, it’s only been six minutes.”

So I remained outside with the pups, until four more minutes passed, while Deek sat there fuming. Then I returned upstairs to see if the phone would load. And it did, but demanded a password. I brought it back downstairs and showed him. He had calmed down by then, thank

“I was afraid you were gonna say that,” He replied, while diddling with the number pad to see if he got lucky. He didn’t, of course. I then requested he take the dogs up or down the block a bit, so they won’t have to watch me enter the front gate right before their eyes.

“But you’ve already done that TWICE,” he snapped.

“Yes, and I hated doing it,” I replied.

He finally said okay, and moved down towards the corner, and I wished them all an excellent night before departing. In all that nasty hyperbole, he was also pissed I wouldn’t let him inside that morning.

“I don’t let ANYONE visit me, it’s not just you!” I answered. He’s like a vampire in those tales where you shouldn’t ever let one in or all hell breaks loose. I was hoping he wouldn’t bring it up anymore, since the last time he did was more than six months ago.

I looked out my window several minutes after returning hovel, and saw his cart on the corner, stuffed with junk, and the pups leashed to it, resting peacefully on this balmy, sweet night. A little time later I looked out again to see they were gone. But I thought to check the hallway window by quasi-fascist Moe’s apartment, to see if he just moved around the corner.

But right when I stepped into the hallway, here came Moe himself, plodding his way up the stairs. He didn’t see me, so I promptly backed away into the side hall leading to my hovel until I heard his door close. Finally, I approached that window, raised it slowly so as not to be overheard by you-know-who, and peered out. Nope, Deek and dogs were NOT anywhere around. But a group of eight homeless WERE parked there, as they have been for the last two days and nights.

JEEZ! I live in Nutsville.


Texting with Wattson: 4/10/22

Pic 1

Pic2


Subject: Deek’s Amazing Gesture
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 11, 2022 at 9:38 PM

Happened just moments ago. After picking up the dogs earlier, he came back two hours later and said they were shivering (even in their sweaters)…it’s too cold for them out here, so just take them inside, he’ll pick them up tomorrow once the day warms up.

How’s THAT for a change in attitude, Wattson?

I was flummoxed with delight, but knew not to make a big deal of it, so plainly said, “You’re right and god bless you.”

Before departing with the happy pups through the front gate, he mumbled something about maybe just having them out during daytime for now on, and staying with me overnight.

“After all, they’re my babies!” he called back as the gate closed behind me.

“Yes they are, and I’m proud to be their godfather!” I replied before rushing the mutts upstairs and into my humble spot of Avalon on earth.

After they settled in (Flaco soon burrowed herself beneath all four layers of comforters, no doubt for warmth), I brought Deek’s two recharged smartphones and speaker downstairs, and he handed me the sack of doggy vittles I had given him earlier…without my first requesting it!

Deek said he’ll return some time between 10 AM and noon. I reminded him that, should he decide to show up earlier and I don’t answer at the window, it means I’m walking the dogs and will be back shortly.

“Okay. I promise just to wait and not yell,” was his reassuring comeback.

I have more to report since my last update five days ago, which I was about to compose when he returned with the furry angels. But his considerate, loving regard for their well-being is something worth mulling over without the intrusion of any additional reportage. Let the kindness of his gesture sink in, as you bed down for the night with your OWN quadrupedal companions!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Deek’s Amazing Gesture
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 12, 2022 at 10:04 PM

> This is truly great progress.

Definitely.

> It IS too cold for doggies, same up here. Surely has spent the day in his extra-warm padded jacket, in bliss!

The camouflage sweaters I bought for my brindlekin do a good job of keeping them warm…but only up to a point. The chill factor these nights makes the temperature feel almost ten degrees colder…just a few degrees above freezing! And Deek felt it last night before I did, probably because he’s more sensitive to the temps from living outdoors so many years.

[20 minutes pause…Deek just dropped by right after the paragraph above.]

I was going to say (before he showed up around 7:30 PM) that tonight looks like aNOTHER cold one, and I hope he has the sense to bring the mutts back inside. He never DID show up in the morning to pick them up…but waited till late afternoon!

I had just finished cleaning up the floor from worn out newspaper, replacing it with new, then shaking out all nine throw rugs over the back porch railing before laying them down again, neatly. Something told me the pups would be back this eve for another pajama party, though of course I wasn’t sure. He’s been bringing the dogs by to stay with me even MORE often than before, these past few weeks…I hardly have time to straighten out my room before they’re back again! In fact, I often don’t. But that’s okay: a happy home is often a messy home.

When I stepped out, I realized I forgot to bring the keys, so stopped with my body keeping the gate ajar, and asked him to take the smartphones and speaker from where I stood. He was seated at the far end of the ATM nook, with the pups by his side and looking up at me with a bright expression and floppy ears perked up. The dogs were NOT tied down, so Lucky slipped by me and behind the gate before I had a chance to stop him. “Oh no!” I exclaimed while tugging on his leash.

He reFUSED to budge, but stubbornly kept his back pushed against the heavy wooden door that he got to open barely an inch, despite his mighty efforts. Guess that’s his canine way of telling me “It’s too fukkin’ cold outside!”

Right at that moment, some young fellow I’ve never seen before bounded down the stairs and opened the inner door to pass through.

“Woof!” he kindly addressed Lucky, who immediately started to bark and attempted a lunge that I thwarted with my hand on his leash. By then, Deek had stood up and Flaco ran inside, too. So at this point BOTH pooches danced behind the gate, pushing and scratching at the door.

“Oh, you want them to stay over again?” I queried.

“Yes, it’s too cold outside,” he replied, then handed me the sack of dog food I gave him that morning. The SAME sack he returned the PREVIOUS night that I had given him YESTERDAY morning! So it’s been changing hands while remaining unused…but that speaks well of Deek being more responsible these days to NOT waste the doggy vittles, claiming he “lost” it. Of course I make sure they have their dinner, regardless, once they’re back upstairs.

“It sure is, thank you!” I said, then rushed upstairs with the doggies in the lead. While cleaning my hovel, I had placed their box in the side hall, on its side and flaps partly open. It was still there when the pups returned, and Flaco leapt into it with gusto, then Lucky. The box moved about as if alive and angry, as I turned the key in the lock. Soon as I opened the door, they dashed right out of the box and onto my bed…tumbling and play-fighting on the welcome comfort of my cushy cot piled on with four, unzipped sleeping bags. I took that moment to put the box back in its place, by the kitchen nook.

I saw the sack contained all five cans and unopened Ziplocs bulging with kibble…he hadn’t fed them at all! They soon chowed down, licked their bowls clean, then hopped back onto my bed for another restful night of doggy dream-joy.

This IS unusual for him to show concern for the dogs, over such a cold night. So much so, he brought them back TWO DAYS IN A ROW, that they be kept warm. His love for them appears to have conquered his selfish wish to have their company even if the frigid air made them shiver. It would be different if he had a blanket or used clothing to keep them warm, and a covered wagon for shelter. But he did not.

What DOES make sense is when I apply my Bodhisattva Premise to the situation. As my guardian and teacher, Deek’s been fine tuning my capacity to not worry so much, to have more FAITH in the pups’ well-being. And the only way THROUGH that challenge was to put complete faith in him! What a convoluted, dark, upsetting and PAINFUL path it’s been, for quite some time..but I’m there, at last!

And, as I’ve said many times before, bodhisattva guardians always leave some sort of CLUE as to their REAL intent. In this case, he gave me just enough TIME to prepare my room for their next visit. IT WAS BARELY MINUTES after I completed the chore before he showed up…I even still had that box in the side hall. Returning it to its spot was the last step in my cleanup. HE MADE SURE NOT TO ARRIVE TOO SOON, even though I had NOT informed him earlier that day, of my intent to tidy up! Had he shown up 15 minutes or more later, I would not have taken that as a clue.

Assuming I am correct in my premise, then these darling angels are his GIFT to me, and his drama over being their REAL owner, and doing things to raise my hackles and make me worry myself almost to death, was part of the plot he devised all along. A CHALLENGE of great import from my perspective, that I learned to overcome…and thus acquired a more balanced, sane and JOYFUL view on life in general.

I had left my Bluetooth keyboard on the bed when I stepped out to see Deek. So when the mutts jumped onto the cot, Flaco had seated herself partly upon that keyboard. With the following result:

]=\`owever,;,./mo 90i

Make of it what you will, but there’s definitely a “however” hiding in there…ARF! She just switched from the bed to the box, see pic.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The pups are with Deek now…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 13, 2022 at 10:47 PM

…in spite of another chilly evening coming up. Perhaps he’ll return to keep them inside for a third night in a row, but I doubt it. They have their sweaters and a space blanket, so that will help. All he had with him were a bike and some bags stuffed with whatever…including the sack of dog food I returned to him. I don’t see HOW he gets around with all that, plus the dogs, without any covered cart for their shelter, and lugging his stuff around. I have to trust, however, he’ll come up with something that will work for their protection from the cold. Even a large cardboard box with some old clothes tossed in will do the trick.

He picked them up this afternoon, and was in a friendly, stable mood…as he has been for the past several meetups. (Except for yet another tantrum some days back, but it was brief, and I’ve forgotten by now what it was about.) An EXCELLENT sign that he will continue to grow in the right direction. Asked me if I could pop for five dollars, but I said no, I don’t have any cash at hand. Instead of whining, he took it with grace and a smile. I actually had twenty dollars upstairs, but that’s none of his business.

Catching up (April 7th-10):

I DID manage to get my second covid booster, just a day after Walgreens fucked me over by claiming I’m not in their database, even though I scheduled an appointment online. Turns out Safeway pharmacy accepts walk-ins on certain days of the week, so I got my shot there last Thursday.

My only concern going there, was Deek might show up at my building while I was at Safeway…and I didn’t know how long it would take. About a 20 minute walk to get there, but luck was on my side, as a streetcar came barreling up Market Street from Castro, soon as I stepped out. Perfect timing, and I only had to cross the street to hop on, green traffic light in my favor. As I exited Safeway a half hour later, I began to speed walk towards home, thinking he just might be patiently waiting for me to appear (or, god forbid, screaming up at my window again).

Wouldn’t you know it, Wattson, but there he was on the other side of Market, directly parallel to me as I crossed Church Street a half block from Safeway! Pushing his shopping cart forward with the dogs lashed to it in happy escort. I didn’t bother to call out to him, but kept pace until I reached the corner of Noe and Market three long blocks later, where I awaited their swift arrival.

Again, I say the timing is suspect. In that, as my bodhisattva angel, he knew exactly when I’d be away from hovel, and when I’d return. Even though I never TOLD him I was going to get my second booster today…in fact, I didn’t even know I was until some time after he left, that morning.

There’s this old Chinese man clearly well into his 80s, that sometimes visits Deek and the pups. He’s soft spoken and friendly, walks with a bent back, dresses in faded, baggy clothes…and just adores Lucky & Flaco. Well, four nights ago as I’m walking the pups up Noe Street, there he is standing about. I say hello, and he thought I didn’t remember him, but I said yes I do, you visit my homeless friend now and then, who owns these dogs.

“So what’s your name?” I asked.

“Danny,” he replied.

“Mine’s Zeke,” I said.

He then offered me food to give them, nestled in a square, styrofoam container.

“So long as there’s no garlic or onion,” I said, knowing there’s a lot of that in Chinese plates.

“No there isn’t,” he replied, “I have a little dog of my own.”

“Then go right ahead,” I told him. “What is it by the way…chicken?”

“No, it’s duck,” he answered, then set it down on the sidewalk for the mutts to enjoy. And they sure did! I watched how carefully they ate, allowing each other an equal amount as they daintily consumed their tasty share.

I raised my head and noticed that Danny had disappeared into the dark night. But then he called me from beside a parked car:

“Do they like it?”

“They sure do,” I replied, “Licked the plates clean. Thank you!”

I was surprised to see someone so old still driving. But it’s good to know Danny’s not homeless.

On a sunny, cool morning two days ago a young, handsome Latino exiting the Mediterranean restaurant two doors down from Rosenberg’s greeted me in passing. He carried a folded, wooden menu sign under one arm.

“Ah! Going solo today?” he queried with a smile as he unfolded the sign and propped it on the sidewalk.

I had no idea what he meant, so replied with a shrug: “I suppose so!”

“This is the first time I’ve seen you without those cute little dogs,” he clarified.

“Oh, I just took them out for a walk,” I explained. “They’re home resting now, and I just stepped out for some coffee. I never leave them alone more than twenty minutes.”

“Well, get right back to them and have a lovely day!” were his parting words of amity.

“Yes, thank you, you too!” I called back as I crossed 16th Street with steaming java in hand.

I’ve never noticed him before, so I KNOW we’ve never talked till now. But it shows me one important thing: more and more folks in the Castro (at least, THIS small section of the Castro) are aware of my brindlekin, and enjoy their presence.

I have certainly become well known among the local homeless as well, for being Deek’s friend and dog sitter!

Shortly after Deek and canines departed today, I decided to take the Metro to the Embarcadero station, to see if Julia were back at her old spot, where she sells her miniature paintings. Sadly, I did not find her. Haven’t seen her for more than two years, due to the pandemic. I looked for her three months ago, too, but no luck. I sure hope she’s alright!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Chill and drizzly since 2 AM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 14, 2022 at 2:56 PM

…and continuing until 8 tonight! Yet Deek has not returned with the pups. I fear his stubborn desire to have their company after staying with me so many days, has won out over his concern for the dogs. Though I could be wrong (and I hope so) in that he might have mustered up the provisions necessary to keep them warm and dry. But I have this haunting image of them being cold, wet and shivering the whole time.


Subject: Pups are back, safe and sound!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 15, 2022 at 1:30 PM

Deek just dropped by, gave me the dogs and SEVEN devices to charge! Flaco & Lucky appear to be in excellent health and spirits. He acted bitchy toward me for a few minutes, but that’s par for the course. He was in the company of a younger, homeless person who seemed friendly enough, waiting by the curb to depart with Deek elsewhere, once I gathered everything up. I remember now, his tantrum of several days ago. Wasn’t really a tantrum, but a dupe:

He arrived just moments after I woke up, around 7:10 AM. The dogs were already with me, BTW. He made up some cock and bull tale about getting beaten up, and he needed to skedaddle to another neighborhood for safety. He looked perfectly fine to me…no bruise marks, not even a black eye. I concluded it was simply a made-up excuse to justify handing me several items to be recharged, so they’d be ready to suit his schedule. Rather than abide by my wishes to NOT come over before 10 in the morning.

I let him get away with it, this time around. “Sorry that happened to you,” I remarked in feigned sympathy, then returned upstairs and plugged in his gizmos. Because the IMPORTANT thing that rises above all his trickster moves is this:

THE DOGGIES GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups are back, safe and sound!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 15, 2022 at 3:48 PM

> VERY glad they’re with you…

So are they! Flaco’s newest habit (starting about three months ago) is scratching like mad upon the self-inflating camping mat that I use to help cushion the cot’s steel frame pressed against the canvas. She slips under ALL the comforters and has at it, just like she does with a cardboard box. Needless to say, she’s finally got it torn open, with the airy foam oozing out. Well, I’ve had it for several years, and can easily replace it with some other cushioning I already have stashed in a bin. A yoga mat, I think. Which I’ll cover with that plush comforter I found on the back porch…maybe slip a heavy-duty plastic tarp between the two. I just don’t want her scratching up the cot’s canvas cover itself, tough as it is!

> It’s dank and cold here, probably no better there.

Nope, I woke up to a sunny day…a bit of warmth in the air, too. Not a cloud in the sky.

I watched the latest episode of Gentleman Jack a few nights ago…delightful! There’s also a new cartoon series called The Cuphead Show. Excellent animation a la Max Fleischer, and good plots.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: This is Amazing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 15, 2022 at 9:13 PM

Two videos that I posted to the MCN lists, but I want to make sure you don’t miss ’em!

Air Force Offers To Airlift LGBT People From Red States

Let’s talk about the Air Force sending a message


Re: This is Amazing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 16, 2022 at 2:39 PM

> I’m crazy about Beau. His ferocious intelligence, his demeanor, his unassailable humanity and clear thinking.

No two ways about it! I added my own comment to his video:

“This is fantastic, but why doesn’t the Air Force do the same for their female members and their families for women and girls who need an abortion? The persecution is just as extreme.”

My amazement is over how our own military has risen to become the most powerful ally in defending LGBTs…via the Air Force and its auxiliary Space Force! This marks the beginning of a schism in our country, based on sexual minorities. Imagine: AIRLIFTING them to a friendlier state, if need be!

My prophecy of a Lavender Velvet Revolution was premature, as all my predictions tend to be…but it looks like full steam ahead at this point in history! I predicted that nations and institutions will collapse over one single issue: Queer Rights…and that NEW nations and institutions shall arise like a phoenix. A very pro-GAY phoenix, I should add. And that there will be a breakdown of the United States into seven or more new nations, including one dedicated to the freedom and equality of LGBTs. And WOMEN, thanks to the strong overlap of lesbian rights.

I also predicted a nationwide pogrom against queers, where many will flee to safe zones within this country, such as the West Coast, a large chunk of the northeast, and perhaps a northern midwestern state or two, such as Illinois and Wisconsin. Neighboring Quebec will also provide sanctuary.

All these predictions I’ve written out and posted online in the nineties and aughts (including Usenet), though I’m too lazy at the moment to look ’em up. But you’re aware of them already, as you’ve READ those pieces some years ago.

Honestly, Wattson, I don’t see HOW homophile rights will overcome the ginormous obstacles of rapid climate devastation, Christo-Fascist domination of America and war with Russia, among OTHER monstrous crises likely to loom over the horizon in the near future. However, my visions show they will sort themselves out, and destiny will pave our way…and planet earth will be transformed into a MUCH better world. IOW, as the 8-ball says: “Reply hazy, try again.” Meanwhile:

Pups remain with me, many admiring passersby doting over their beauty and charm each day, as I take them for their poopy walks. I’m guessing Deek will return tomorrow or the next day to pick them up. He FORGOT to return the sweaters, so I presume they’re long gone by now. *sigh*

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: A Horrendously Itchy Few Days
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 18, 2022 at 10:12 PM

Dogs are back with me, after just one night outdoors. Deek dropped by this morning, neglected to return the dog food, which fresh supply I gave him just the day before. Said he was in a hurry…but I think that’s his scam to keep me from asking for the food, as his being in such a rush distracts me.

When I picked up the large speaker to lug upstairs, he griped “Can’t you take the dogs inside at the same time? They’ll just run right to your room!”

I told him no, just wait a minute, no one’s in THAT much of a rush. The house rule is no dog should be allowed to run free anywhere in the building, and the manager will get angry if he catches me doing that. Which I’ve told Deek a kazillion times over, but he never lets up.

Once I brought the pups and electronics upstairs, I realized I forgot to ask for the doggy vittles, and he was gone by the time I ran back outside. I’ll have to nip that scenario in the bud.

He woke me up at 1:10 AM two nights ago! Just so I could charge his gizmos. “Oh, it’s Easter, was his flimsy excuse.” Then he whined again about my refusing to let him visit, even on a holiday. “I don’t celebrate holidays,” I replied, “that doesn’t mean anything to me.” He continued to whine as I entered the building, so I added, “NOT gonna happen,” and made sure the gate locked behind me.

Then he camped out for a couple hours RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GATE, instead of a few yards to either side. Here he is right outside (in the blue hat), parlaying with another street person:

Click here for a larger view.

A short while later, he removed all his possessions from the cart and scattered them in a circle of what most people would regard as trash. Anyone exiting my building would almost walk right into the mess…good thing it was so late.

I woke about around 3:30 AM, so instead of just rolling over in my cot, I decided to check if he were still out front. He wasn’t, but the other dude was, stretched out in semi-coma, right next to the front gate. Here’s a pic of that:

Click here for a larger view.

Just as I returned to bed, Lucky hopped off and began to puke. So I got back up to comfort him, and clean up the wee mess. But then he plunked himself right by the door, which meant he has to relieve himself. I decided to take them BOTH for a walk, just to play it safe. Glad they didn’t bark as we descended the steps (which they sometimes do, in gleeful anticipation), I was sabotaged by the proximity of this vagrant, as I opened the gate and the mutts barked profusely. His head was barely six inches from where the gate swung open, and I had to keep the leashes REALLY short, almost right down to the collar, in guiding the dogs away.

To my dismay, he then looked up and addressed me: “Aren’t those Deek’s dogs?” Not meaning to be rude, I told him yes, we’re friends and share the pups, but I can’t talk now because I don’t want all this barking in front of my building. Don’t know if he caught all that, but my civility was strained and I moved on in spite of his continued attempt to engage me in unwelcome conversation while the pooches yelped up a storm.

Lucky took an impressive dump and vomited two more times, but Flaco only cared to pee on a bush or two before returning hovel. I still had to deal with the intrusion by the front gate, and of course the dogs started to bark once we got there and I had to hold their leashes tight with one hand, while inserting and turning the key with the other. Fortunately, they were softer “woofs” than barks this time around.

The vagrant mumbled something about watching Deek’s cart, which stood just two feet away in front of the ATM alcove. I first thought it was his, but then noticed it contained a can of dog food, same brand I feed the doggies with, and other items identical to what I saw in his cart earlier. So now I’m pissed that Deek didn’t have the good sense to make sure the transient weren’t parked so close to the entryway. Once I got the gate open, I nudged the dogs quickly inside and wished him a good night.

When I got up around 9:10 and readied Lucky and Flaco for their morning walk, I looked out the window to see that homeless fellow still out there, lying in the same spot. So I’d have to go through TWO more difficult encounters, that is: both going and coming. He’s actually a friendly guy, but I just CAN’T afford to keep the pups in front of the building while they bark like the brave guard dogs they are.

As I exited, he asked if I could watch the cart now, as he needs to go to some church for breakfast. I said no I can’t, but don’t worry about it. He than asked if I could call Deek for him, and I replied nope, he doesn’t have a phone, as I hurried the pups toward Noe Street. “He’ll be back in an hour anyway,” I called to him before crossing, figuring the cart will still be there when Deek returns, shortly after 10.

He was still there, sprawled on the sidewalk as usual, upon my return. The dogs made a few “woofs,” as I wished him a nice day, opened the gate and stepped inside. Two hours later, around 11 AM, I saw he had finally departed, and left the cart behind. So I came back downstairs to take this pic:

Click here for a larger view.

The can of dog food is flush on the right side of the cart, just above the middle. And the two one-gallon bags of kibble are bulging out by their corners on the bottom.

Deek didn’t show up till 1 PM, but by then the cart was gone. So all that dog food wasted. I could’ve removed it, but didn’t want to bother lugging everything out first, then placing it all back in.

He collected the dogs, asked for more doggy vittles and handed me four devices to charge. Didn’t say a WORD about the vanished cart, so I didn’t bring it up. But he DID gripe about the Bluetooth speaker only lasting a half hour, and blamed me. He also claimed the two phones were way less than 100 percent when he got them back. I told him I made sure the speaker was plugged in and charging, that the red light remained on all night long, and the phones were DEFINITELY 100 percent when I handed them over.

“I don’t know what else to tell you, Deek,” I concluded. He knows very well that speaker is lightweight, thus the battery a cheap one. And as for the phones, Wattson: well, all this nonsense was just another excuse to complain. These are mostly used gizmos, and if they’re not already banged up with a cracked screen or whatever, he’s sure to knock them around himself, drop them on the concrete, expose them to the damp Pacific air and rain…and STILL expect them to run perfectly. And if they don’t, it’s my fault.

He asked for his Thursday allowance three days in advance, which I already had in my pocket, as I’m two steps ahead of him.

Let’s see, two or three evenings ago he paid me another incredible compliment, which compliments are more frequent these days while his insults and gripes are diminishing. Thanked me profusely for all the good things I do, especially on behalf of Lucky & Flaco: “I couldn’t have done it without you! I hope you have a very bless-ed rest of the day.”

“That’s a really nice thing to say, Deek,” I replied. “I appreciate it. You’re doing great, you’ve raised these dogs well, they have such nice manners and are the most loving, sweet pups I ever met.” Then added:

“But sometimes you are a very DIFFICULT kind of friend who sucks the joy outta me. You need to stop that.”

He then brought up some girlfriend he claims runs hot one day, then cold the next…and that’s why he sometimes acts pesky. Rather than lecture him over how that’s no excuse (and this girlfriend doesn’t exist; god forbid I should ever say THAT). I just replied kindly and wished him a good day. But right when I opened the gate I turned around and jumped a few feet back to where he was seated in the ATM nook. Raised my arms with palms facing him, waving them from side to side, and declared:

“Everything’s gonna be fine!”

He smiled, said he knows that, and thanked me. With that, I returned upstairs to enjoy the company of my two, sweet brindlekin. Funny thing when he showed up later to pick up his electronics:

He had that SAME cart with him, that had disappeared earlier, filled with the same contents! But this time I pressed him to bring the dog food back upstairs, if he still has it. He said okay, it’s in there, and pointed to the cart. When I realized it’s still on the bottom, buried by a heap of junk, I told him never mind, just promise me you won’t lose it.

“Okay, I’ll try,” he answered. Nice of him not to remove it from the cart himself, eh? I suspect he’s come up with this NEW way to make it difficult for me to procure the vittles, because he’s possibly feeding someone ELSE’s dog, or selling it for extra coinage. Okay, so next time he pulls that trick, I WILL take the trouble to empty the cart and procure the food.

As I’ve said many times before, Deek is always inventing new ways to make my life difficult. At least that’s ONE thing he excels in!

As you well know, good physician, I put up with all sorts of noise distubances on this part of Market Street. And this video is but a more recent example, occurred about a week ago, late at night…on the streetcar island RIGHT ACROSS MY WINDOW!

Final paragraph:

MODERNA’S SECOND BOOSTER SHOT GAVE ME A SHINGLES FLARE-UP! Three days ago I suddenly became itchy as fuck all across the left side of my torso and on my shoulder, same side. At first I thought it was from bedbugs, as there was a CARPET of little, itchy bumps across a wide area. But I thought about it, and bedbug bites aren’t THAT numerous unless the room is infested with dozens crawling on the wall and in your bed. Which is NOT the case. Nor are their welts so round and miniscule. Then I thought it might be scabies, but I couldn’t imagine how I could’ve contracted them, because I’ve had NO intimate contact with another person for years, nor did I wear discarded clothing that could harbor the mites. Then this morning, I recalled my shingles outbreak from years ago, and the pattern on my body fit its behavior. So I looked it up on the web to discover that, yes, in some older people, the COVID-19 vaccine DOES cause a shingles flare-up. But thank god the itchiness has greatly dimished starting today…it was UNBEARABLE. The flare-up is not anywhere near as severe as the first one, either: no open, weeping sores…just those tiny, prickly hard bumps. Here’s the article.


Subject: May as well be living in the midwest or deep south…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2022 at 11:41 AM

…with ads like this right outside my building here in “progressive” San Franshitsco (this one on the side of a delivery truck):

Click here for a larger view.

Objectification of females as sex objects to sell stuff…can’t even look out my window without such crass abasement shoved right in my face, right here in the Castro! Imagine waking up to that: “Cylinder Sally” riding a phallus! Yet so many people still wonder what’s wrong with this country?

And poring over a list of old, “classic” horror films last night only served to remind me that countless movies where women and girls are brutalized are part of Hollywood history. Horrific and unforgivable! And not only does it still rage on, but is reaching an apex of REAL terror, thanks to the rise of Christo-fascism in this sorry nation.

Deek dropped by an hour ago to pick up the pooches. I was returning from Rosenberg’s with a fresh coffee in hand, when I saw him and his cart in front of my building. He wasn’t hollering up at my window, but patiently awaited my arrival…good for him! I asked if he still had the dog food, he said yes. Good for him again!

“Do you have enough though?” I asked. “Maybe you could use an extra can or two?”

He said he could, so I climbed back upstairs with four gizmos to recharge…then a couple minutes later stepped back outside with the pups and two more cans of dog food.

“Weather report says more rain today, starting around 7 PM,” I informed him, “continuing through tomorrow until the next morning.”

He turned away from me, said, “I don’t need to hear that!”

“Well, forewarned is forearmed,” I replied.

He then departed with an overstuffed shopping cart, two happy dogs, and many thanks for watching over them. Appreciating this no-drama meetup, I said god bless you all, and see you soon. And that was that, for now. Hopefully, he’ll bring the mutts back tonight, or find a way to keep them warm and dry.

Anyway, the doggies’ love of my swivel chair grows with each visit (can’t get enough of these chair pics, they’re so endearing):

Click here for a larger view.

My chair wobbles a bit when they jump on it, and move about to change position. Late at night I sometimes hear it creak as Lucky or Flaco rearranges themself to one or another awkward pose that nonetheless is comfy enough to suit their sleep. I chuckle when I watch either pup gingerly climb onto the chair from my cot, as it tends to rotate left or right if they apply a bit of force to it…so they’ll hesitate until I extend an arm to hold the chair firm. Same goes for when they decide to return to the cot.

And if one is sleeping in the chair, but I have to sit down, all I need do is turn it until the front faces my cot. They know then it’s time to disembark, and they do without a single complaint. They are so polite! Besides, the bed is just as cozy, if not more so.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Cylinder Sally web site


Subject: He just brought the pups back before the rain!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 20, 2022 at 8:14 PM

I am SO relieved and grateful (and impressed) that he did. “It’s gonna rain soon, so take them inside,” is all he said. Short but sweet, eh, Wattson?

So I asked if he still had dog food to return.

“No, all my stuff was stolen,” he replied matter-of-factly. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Okay, I’ll feed and water them right now,” and took the brindlekin inside.

But a few moments later he called up to me: “I DO have the dog food, come and get it, Zeke!” I peered out the window to see him bent over his cart with his hands rummaging through it.

Don’t know WHY he thought he didn’t have any, as it was in a large garbage bag hanging from his cart’s handle bars like a ginormous, 15-pound fig. There was a long tear in it, which I peered inside to see the tough white sack of cans and kibble. There were two MORE cans right in the cart itself, so I took them as well. Then told him “Thanks!” and returned hovel with the goods.

I was surprised to discover a total of SIX cans and THREE bags of unopened kibble (see pic). As if he’s just collecting the grub, but not feeding it to them! Perplexing, but I was nonetheless glad it’s back in my hands so it won’t go to waste.

Click here for a larger view.

The doggies just ate…excellent appetite. They are now snoozing away in cozy bliss, and I, of course, am delighted that Deek had the good sense to bring them over to spare them from a wet, cold night. I am ALSO pleased that he kept the kibble dry and sealed, and the cans undented. In sum:

Deek’s care for Lucky & Flaco has GREATLY improved over the past few months! And he has NOT lost those collars with the rabies tags on them.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Nothing But Good News
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 25, 2022 at 10:30 PM

Deek just picked up the pups after staying with me for three days and two nights. The ONLY time he was difficult, was when he nagged me over why I can’t take his other stuff upstairs, along with the dogs…all at the same time, instead of two trips. (“C’mon, Zeke, I’m in a hurry!”) So he shoved his electronics into my arms while I held their leashes with one hand and turned the key in the front gate lock in the other. I barely got the gate open to set the gizmos in the partition between gate and door, when to my surprise Flaco DID manage to shove that heavy wooden door just enough to slip through and her escape collar.

So SHE was already on the second level, dashing up and down the hallway in wild doggy abandon, while I left the gadgets downstairs to retrieve in a few minutes, and escorted Lucky up the carpeted steps. Glad the building manager didn’t come across her running free, nor did anyone else descend the stairs at that time! I already explained to Deek many times over, why I can’t carry stuff AND take the mutts at the same time. For one, it’s the house rules to not allow your pet to roam freely…and for another, it’s awkward and dangerous having to deal with the brindlekin pulling me upstairs on their leashes. I could fall or drop something heavy on them…and if a resident were descending the stairway, I wouldn’t have full control of their leashes. He knows better; he just loves to invent new ways to pester me.

When Deek dropped by yesterday afternoon to pick up his electronics, he gave me a large back of Walgreens Chicken Jerky, which I appreciated. But the wedges are large, and can’t be broken apart with your bare hands, they’re so leathery tough! So I used a special shears designed to cut through gnarly packaging, and cut a few pieces into smaller bits that the dogs could handle (see pic). They love their new treats, don’t mind all the chewing, which is great because it cleans their teeth.

Click here for a larger view.

Remember how adamant he was two years ago, about NOT giving them any treats…how it turns dogs violent, they’re made of raw meat, and other absurd claims? That’s why I never told him about my giving them nummies. Thank Artemis THAT pointless conflict is over, but I still won’t admit I buy them goodies, because then he’ll expect me to give HIM some too, every week, and that would be an additional drain on my wallet. He can get treats from SPCA and other pet donation outlets. In fact, the last time he returned what dog vittles he had left, the sack also contained two small bags of treats for little dogs: “Chicken Crackers” and “Turkey Time” (see pic). He’s never done THAT before!

Click here for a larger view.

Even better: he didn’t ask for a share of those treats back, when he picked up the dogs…so I have them here at home, for when my furry angels visit. I’m hoping he’ll be bringing me more treats from now on. This marks yet aNOTHER improvement in his attitude: less punk, more cowbell. MAYBE he’s actually purchasing these canine snacks, seeing as that chicken jerky is from Walgreens. (Or did he LIFT it from the shelf, then skedaddle on outta there? Guess I’ll never know. I don’t wanna know…do you, Wattson?)

What’s intriguing about his handing me a generous quanity of dog treats, is the timing. For I was about to run out of their favorite nummies, Cadet Premium Gourmet Duck Jerky, and the order I made to replace them with a similar product (because they’re not presently available), Amazon either delayed or screwed up. Well, FedEx actually, which ALWAYS fails to arrive on time, if at all. I hate it when Amazon uses them, because you don’t KNOW if whatever you’ve bought will be handed over to FedEx for delivery. All the other times I’ve ordered Cadet brand, Amazon dropped it off.

So I was rather PO’d to get an email from FedEx that their first delivery attempt failed! And the link they offer to have you package drop off at Walgreens or other chain store DOESN’T FUCKIN’ WORK! I had signed up with FedEx some years back, because of their failed delivery of my X230 Thinkpad. So I logged onto their site, found the option to have them drop it off at the Walgreens on Castro & 18th. A notice then popped up, stating that delivery may take two or three days longer, because of this change.

Well, by this time I was ALMOST ALL OUT of the only doggy treat I have, so I panicked because I couldn’t BEAR to disappoint the doggies who have come to expect their nummies whenever we go for a walk…and ordered three OTHER treats from Amazon I figured the pooches would like, after FIRST resubscribing to Amazon Prime, so it would arrive in two days instead of four or five. They had sent me an offer earlier that day, to try out Prime for one month, free. I had done that once before, but decided to cancel after several months, because you are expected to TIP for food delivery, and that’s something my budget can’t handle. And the free movies and TV shows offered with the package are mostly CRAP (I found out), and when you browse the selections, they try to trick you into clicking on a video you have to pay for…or only offer you the first season of whatever TV series for free, but after that ya gotta cough up da moolah.

These other treats I purchased in smaller bags to keep the cost down. Normally, I get my favorite Cadet tasties in 2.5 pound bags. They arrived yesterday, but guess what: Lucky didn’t like any of them, but Flaco loved ’em all! Fortunately, I had enough of the duck breast treats to last until Deek showed up with the Walgreens chicken jerky, which they BOTH enjoy! Lucky is fussier with his snacks, and sometimes he decides he likes something he didn’t like the day before, and vice versa. But he almost ALWAYS goes for those Cadet ducky treats.

As it turned out, the day after I changed my FedEx delivery address, they sent me an email around 8 PM to tell me the package had arrived at the Walgreens on Market Street, two blocks in the other direction from the Walgreens I had requested! What makes this stink, is THAT’S the Walgreens outlet where two security guards had accused me out of the blue of shoplifting a D-cell battery a few weeks prior. That was maybe eight years ago, and I’ve never entered their store since. So they didn’t even get the location right. Nonetheless, I rushed off to pick it up…never dreaming that Deek would bring me a large bag of treats two days later, else I wouldn’t have spent the money.

Oh, what REALLY made me decide to sign up for Amazon Prime again, was the result of a web search for “i hate it when amazon uses fedex,” and discovered that, yes, FedEx has been problematic for them, so much so they never use their service for their Prime members. Regardless, I’ll just unsubscribe from Prime, once my free month is over.

Curious how the timing of an Amazon Prime offer, then Deek’s showing up with doggy snacks worked out perfectly. As if someone’s listening to me…perhaps Google is using my Chromebook’s microphone to listen in? If so, I implore them to cease and desist, and let the gods do it, as they have since time immemorial. Looks like high tech is eliminating many jobs up there in Mount Olympus, too! Final thought on this matter:

But how did they get to Deek…perhaps a COLLABORATION between high tech and the gods? He DOES have a smartphone, but it’s not connected, either through wifi or cell. So I don’t think Google has him in their claws yet. LOVING my bargain Chromebook BTW, don’t know how I ever managed to live without it!

So yesterday afternoon when I returned with the dogs and we stepped into the lobby, they started barking because someone was standing on the first landing. It was Kevin! I stopped to wait to see if he were ascending or descending, but he remained there in that spot. Suddenly, Flaco slipped from her collar and ran up the stairs and continued barking at him from barely a foot away. I attempted to lure her back downstairs by moving back towards the front gate with Lucky, and called to her:

“C’mon, Flaco, we’re going back outside!”

She then hushed, turned around to look at me with ears perked up…then, after a few seconds of deliberation, returned to barking at Kevin, then ran further up the stairs to the second floor, disappearing from my site. Her way of saying no she does NOT want to go back out again, when so close to our doggy sanctuary.

She had stopped barking, and I heard her little paws running back and forth on the second floor in unbridled joy. I had no choice then, but to proceed up the stairway. Lucky was no longer barking BTW, and as we passed by Kevin, not a single woof did he impart! And Kevin did not spew nasty cuss words at the dogs, as he has so many times before. Instead, he simply said she needs to calm down. I didn’t bother to reply, as I was focused on getting the mutts into my hovel.

I am, however, pleased to see that he witnessed how my dogs do NOT bite, and that their barking was impressively subdued. It was actually a charming little scenario, and I hope it gave him a chuckle or two. Really, I ask you good doctor: how can anyone NOT fall in love with these darling quadrupeds?

I get sleepy much earlier in the night these days, thanks to the brindlekin turning me into a morning person…when ya gotta poop, ya gotta poop! I was watching a fun sci-fi movie last night, but wound up falling asleep in the middle of it, arms and head on desk. It wasn’t until 2:30 AM I woke up and proceeded to get into bed. But right then, Lucky, who I discoverd resting on the floor and waiting for me to stir, stretched and nudged me against one leg. He had to go out!

I had neglected their usual late-night walk, around 10:30 PM…but since they ate little of their supper, and already went for a walk around 7, I figured we could wait till morning. Nope. At least not in Lucky’s case, as Flaco seemed not the least bit eager, but remained curled up and hidden beneath the sleeping bags. Be that as it may, I took them both ouside. It was a lovely, quiet chill night, and I let them run about and chase each other on one of the side streets off Noe. Twenty minutes later we returned hovel; Lucky had pooped shortly after exiting the building, but Flaco didn’t have to go at all, except for pissing on a shrub or tree here and there. We did stop for several minutes at the concrete benches on Noe and 15th. Surrounded by trees and flowers, at the quietest hour of night, just me and the pups and the dark sky above.

Wonderful climbing back into bed with Flaco in my arms, and Lucky settling into my swivel chair with creaks and wobbles, and after that a little dog’s sigh of contentment. I watched him watch me with those kind, brown eyes until he finally closed them and fell asleep. And I soon followed.

It has been a mostly delightful week, thanks to Deek’s being on more of an even keel than ever before…plus a delightful 3 days in the sweet company of two of the most gracious, kind pooches on the planet. More folks than ever have been enjoying the dog’s presence here in the Castro. A lot of smiles.

Thank god Macron won a second term! And I’m SO glad the LGBT issue is smack dab in every person’s face these days. Serves the bastards right. They want us to just STFU and creep back into our closets so they can continue to get away with terrorizing and bashing us. NOT gonna happen, idiots…you’re in for a rude awakening! Racism and misogyny also out of control, but it’s all gonna explode in their faces rather soon.

That’s it for now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Surprisingly Smooth Sailing These Days…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 28, 2022 at 9:53 PM

…when it comes to dealing with Deek’s bipolar swings. They have not been so extreme in the past several months, or as frequent…and in the last few weeks whenever I’ve confronted him he backs off quickly and doesn’t bother to turn it into a war.

He’s been bringing the dogs over whenever he feels the night will be too cold for them…which is often, anymore. I suggested he spend the daytime with the doggies, and bring them to me after sunset; that way he gets to enjoy their sweet company every day, while not subjecting them to the chilly night air. I know it means changing his usual habits somewhat, but he said he’ll think about it.

Click here for a larger view.

The attached pic called “good-morning” is what I attempted to send you via my smartphone, that never got through.

Click here for a larger view.

The other pic shows Deek and canines parked outside in front of my building for a couple of hours this morning. I keep telling him to stop hanging out with the dogs so close to the front gate. Same goes for using the Wells Fargo ATM alcove as frequent shelter…because that, too, is right by the gate.

Not just because I think it’s mean to have the dogs so close, getting their expectations up about visiting me, but it doesn’t happen…especially when they see me exit and enter without them. I hate the whole setup, I feel bad for my brindlekin.

It’s also a busy street, with more than its share of rude, angry people. And since he’s trying to sleep, Flaco takes on the role of guard dog and barks a warning to some as they walk by, especially when accompanied by another dog. Sure enough, today she lunged at a largish pug on a leash, and the owner screamed at Deek, who mumbled an apology. But about ten yards down, the angry fellow turned back to glare at him, whipped out his cell and hollered:

“I’m calling Animal Control, they’ll be here in a few minutes!”

I saw all this from my window, BTW…soon as I heard Flaco bark, and the man screaming bloody murder. I want to point out here, that even had Flaco slipped from her collar, she’d never bite but just stand a foot or two away and bark some more. IOW, she’s HARMLESS. Deek remained quiet, ignoring his bellows.

Deek had also moved himself and the pups to the ATM nook before this incident occurred. I came downstairs to ask if he’s alright, told him that guy’s an asshole…who by this time had disappeared, much to my relief. I had planned to talk with him, were he still around and fuming. I will do ANYTHING to protect these lovely pooches.

“Oh, you know him?” Deek queried.

“No, but I saw what happened,” I replied. “His behavior told me everything.”

Then he nearly bit my head off, accusing me of not discouraging her from barking, that I need to place my hand around her snout and tell her to stop it. That it’s all my fault she barked at him.

“But that’s exactly what I do, Deek!” Which is true when I have the chance, though with TWO dogs barking at once I can’t muzzle them both while holding them back with the leashes at the same time. I didn’t bother to explain all this to him, as he would just scream me down.

“You didn’t do that when that guy came out of the building with his dog!” he accused.

He was referring to a brief incident twenty minutes earlier, when Flaco dashed to the gate and starting barking. I ran up to her and pulled her back, so the resident and his charge could depart without fuss.

“That’s because she stopped barking soon as I grabbed her leash and moved her away,” I countered.

“Well, I have some friends who told me they’ve seen you many times when the dogs were barking, and you did nothing about it, and just laughed,” he rebutted.

“That’s not true,” I replied. I knew Deek just made that up to guilt-trip me.

“Are you saying they’re lying?” he challenged.

“Why yes I am,” I answered, for I knew if I accused HIM of lying, that these “friends” don’t even exist, it would trigger further screeching on his part.

[Half hour pause.]

Deek and pups arrived right after I finished the paragraph above. Brought them here to stay warm for the night… wonderful.

“And the dog food?” I asked, for I had just given him a fresh supply this afternoon.

“Er, no, I left that at a friend’s place.”

Deek turned away towards Castro Street; I called to him:

“Do they need to eat now?”

“Probably,” he answered back, then he scooted off and I ran upstairs with the canines way ahead of me. I left my door ajar as usual, so they could bound right into my room and onto the cot…or into the box, or just chase each other around in a tumble. Deek didn’t give me a chance to ask about the sweaters. Fuck it.

Strangely enough, the dogs were NOT hungry for the meal I laid out a few minutes later. I’ll just leave it for them till my bedtime. Anyway, back to before the pause:

He calmed down almost immediately after this outburst. Then he asked for advance payment for his Sunday allowance.

“It’s Friday, so it’s only two days from now,” he pleaded.

I said okay, went back upstairs to collect the moolah, then looked at my tablet which showed the date and time.

“It’s not Friday, Deek,” I said as I handed him the envelope with Chase Banking stamped on it. “It’s Thursday. So it’s gonna be five whole days before my next month’s check arrivea. That would be Tuesday; I’m penniless till then.”

I wasn’t really, but it’s none of his business…I actually still have $21 in the bank, and one Jackson and two Hamiltons here at home.

There were two other Deek outbursts previous to today’s, since Monday. But like this one, they barely lasted a minute or two, and he gave me no grief beyond that. In a nutshell:

His behavior and attitude continues to improve, and I’m enjoying more frequent company with these enchanting, lovely little golden hounds. Four or five days a week, on average! I hardly have enough time now to gussy up my room between visits…this is keeping me on my toes now, more than ever.

So funny last night, when Lucky insisted on playing with Flaco, who was curled up in my swivel chair. He woofed at her a few times, but she ignored him. So then he hopped onto the chair from my cot, squeezed right alongside her (much to her annoyance), and began to tug on her tail and hind leg. Well, she’d have none of that, so clambered atop him and began humping her brother…all while both remained in snug proximity between the chair’s arms! The action went on in various, silly doggy feints for several minutes: a delight to witness. Neither was about to surrender the chair to the other!

Nobody “won,” and soon enough they were both nestled beside each other on the plush comforters, deep in snoozeville, twitching in their little doggie dreams. And I eventually lay down beside them. A blissful night was had by all! Tonight promises the same.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Surprisingly Smooth Sailing These Days…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 29, 2022 at 8:52 PM

> That’s great that you’re getting the doggies more and more frequently.

It certainly is, and they’re still here, probably for another full night. I just took this delightful video of them at play:

> And great that he’s being a little more reasonable.

More than a little…DRAMATIC compared to a year ago.

> That pic of him asleep on the street with them is sad.

Yes, and he insists on putting himself on full display right in front of my building, no matter how many times I’ve told him not to. Which only makes my situation with the residents more difficult, especially regarding the manager. They probably think I’ve arranged to have him camp right outside.

I’ve explained this to him, yet he stupidly replies that whatever someone does on the streets has nothing to DO with me. That of course is NOT true, when that someone is a friend whom I see frequently and help out in many ways.

To my annoyance, he’s done a good job of broadcasting to EVERYone our personal business, both housed and houseless, including the allowance I give him. Beyond my own relationship with Deek:

He does so MANY things to potentially fuck up his own life, as if he’s determined to go down in ruin. Were it not for Flaco & Lucky in the middle of all this, I would NOT be so concerned and often heartbroken. I have definitely grown in strength under such a yoke, in order to deal with this stressful, drawn-out scenario as best I can, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Surprisingly Smooth Sailing These Days…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 29, 2022 at 10:05 PM

> Love the way they stop, then start up again, then stop.

The interplay between them is priceless.

> They’re luxuriating in the comfort and safety you provide them with.

They are the light of my life…I never imagined such a wonderful situation would enter my world. That is Deek’s Saving Grace, for he is the one who made this happen.

> That’s a serious bummer. People know you give him an allowance? They’d never understand why.

Well, that’s not my worry, good physician…it’s potential jealousy and harassment by other homeless people. All it takes is one. They could fuck with Deek and the dogs, as well as myself.

> You’ve done, and are still doing, a magnificent job for two beautiful, perfect little souls in this lousy world.

It is a sacred obligation I am proud to live up to. I’ve never felt so close to Dog in my life!

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 13)

April 6, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18m]

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 3:20 PM

…they keep piling up! You’ll see in the attached jpeg, three vagrants parked below my window; the one on the left is Deek. He is very orange-y today…shirt matching the wheeled storage bin alongside! Reminds me of the rich, saffron-hued robes of Siddartha’s devotees. I believe this is no accident, that he knows what he’s doing and thus, I have grossly underestimated his wisdom by a long shot. But that was the plan all along: to play the role of a know-nothing Cajun cracker from the bayou, that I can then step in as his liberator, with all the challenges that entails and with it, my own spiritual growth.

Remember when he so proudly wore that Buddha medallion he gifted to me, but later asked to wear it himself? That was last year in April, and here’s a pic from a video I shot around that time, to refresh your memory (see 2nd attachment). Notice that his facial expression conveys a prescience that hints of a newfound awareness on my part, almost a year later (meaning TODAY). Furthermore, the past two months or so he’s been sporting a shaved head with either a sparsely stranded ponytail or a thick stump of hair in the back: the common fashion of a Krishna disciple.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, good doctor, but countless other events in our association (meaning Deek and myself) that have occurred over the past two years suggest I’m not. Good thing I am documenting all this, for if I AM correct, an astounding story will be told for all the world to ponder, and cherish! That would make you my Prince Arjuna, I suppose. But only because you PLAY that role, as Deek does his…and as THIS bipolar pilgrim does with hilarious ineptitude.

And, just to temper my ego, I consider my OWN self-proclaimed destiny as simply one that ANYONE can achieve when on the 8-fold path, and sticks to it. IOW: we are ALL Krishna (or Buddha, or Jesus, or Muhamet, or the female equivalent thereof) in the long run. Which implies that NO ONE shall fall short of this final transformation when all is said and done…though may be hard to imagine with people like Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and my building manager in this world! Speaking of whom:

Kevin suddenly appeared on the second floor as Flaco & Lucky bounded out the door for our afternoon stroll. They barked up a storm while he hollered “Shut the fuck up!” at them, several times. Lucky escaped his collar, but did NOT move from his spot right beside me (about ten feet from Kevin) and allowed me to place the collar back on. As I knelt to pet both dogs in hopes of calming them down, I raised my voice above the din:

“You’re blocking the stairs! If you move back a foot I can rush them outside and all will be quiet again.”

He ignored my request, which was clearly intentional…and thus, the pups continued to bark until he slowly doddered down the steps and disappeared ’round the corner. I waited until I heard the front gate slam shut before taking the pups downstairs themselves.

He hollered something else at me before vanishing, which I only partly heard above the canine cacophony, which was:

“You need to…[indecipherable blurts]…or I’m gonna have to…[indecipherable blurts]…!”

I need to what, Wattson…get rid of the pooches? Or he’s gonna have to what…evict me? Call animal control? So easy for him to be kind to the brindlekin, but instead he continues to harasss, ever since Myrtle Haversak and son triggered Kevin’s spiteful abuse many moons ago. Not that he’s been particularly amenable to me before then, as he’s been far less tolerant of my presence all the years he’s been manager, than to other residents who pay through the nose to live here in Nosferatu’s Second Castle. Yet I must, as one who practices compassion, regard him with patience, and as an equal. For I presume he’s merely continuing to play his role as antagonist, that I have additional opportunities to remain gracious, even to my perceived enemies. Nothing horrible will come of this, and he’s likely to keel over soon, anyway. Wow, then who will we have for our NEXT innkeeper…Olga the Terrible? In case you don’t know about her:

I didn’t either, until one eerie night in 1964 playing on a ouija board with a boyhood neighbor (who lived directly behind my house, separated by a fence between mutual backyards). I asked which spirit was here, and the board spelled out “Olga the Terrible.” Then the overhead light in his bedroom abruptly went out, and we were left in the dark. That was the last time I ever messed with a ouija board, FYI. Or visited Donny in his house.

I have since learned about this Olga, and now you will, too, a bit (if you haven’t already on your own), via Wikipedia. Note she ruled over Kiev, a.k.a. “Kiev Rus” back in the day. So this is part of UKRAINIAN history:

--quote:

After Igor's death in 945, Olga ruled Kievan Rus' as regent on behalf of their son Sviatoslav. She was the first woman to rule Kievan Rus'. Little is known about Olga's tenure as ruler of Kiev, but the Primary Chronicle does give an account of her accession to the throne and her bloody revenge on the Drevlians for the murder of her husband as well as some insight into her role as civil leader of the Kievan people....

After Igor's death at the hands of the Drevlians, Olga assumed the throne because her three-year-old son Sviatoslav was too young to rule. The Drevlians, emboldened by their success in ambushing and killing the king, sent a messenger to Olga proposing that she marry his murderer, Prince Mal. Twenty Drevlian negotiators boated to Kiev to pass along their king's message and to ensure Olga's compliance. They arrived in her court and told the queen why they were in Kiev: "to report that they had slain her husband...and that Olga should come and marry their Prince Mal." Olga responded:

"Your proposal is pleasing to me, indeed, my husband cannot rise again from the dead. But I desire to honor you tomorrow in the presence of my people. Return now to your boat, and remain there with an aspect of arrogance. I shall send for you on the morrow, and you shall say, "We will not ride on horses nor go on foot, carry us in our boat." And you shall be carried in your boat."

When the Drevlians returned the next day, they waited outside Olga's court to receive the honor she had promised. When they repeated the words she had told them to say, the people of Kiev rose up, carrying the Drevlians in their boat. The ambassadors believed this was a great honor as if they were being carried by palanquin. The people brought them into the court where they were dropped into a trench that had been dug the day before under Olga's orders where the ambassadors were buried alive. It is written that Olga bent down to watch them as they were buried and "inquired whether they found the honor to their taste."

Olga then sent a message to the Drevlians that they should send "their distinguished men to her in Kiev, so that she might go to their Prince with due honor." The Drevlians, unaware of the fate of the first diplomatic party, gathered another party of men to send "the best men who governed the land of Dereva." When they arrived, Olga commanded her people to draw them a bath and invited the men to appear before her after they had bathed. When the Drevlians entered the bathhouse, Olga had it set on fire from the doors, so that all the Drevlians within burned to death.

Olga sent another message to the Drevlians, this time ordering them to "prepare great quantities of mead in the city where you killed my husband, that I may weep over his grave and hold a funeral feast for him." When Olga and a small group of attendants arrived at Igor's tomb, she did indeed weep and hold a funeral feast. The Drevlians sat down to join them and began to drink heavily. When the Drevlians were drunk, she ordered her followers to kill them, "and went about herself egging on her retinue to the massacre of the Drevlians." According to the Primary Chronicle, five thousand Drevlians were killed on this night, but Olga returned to Kiev to prepare an army to finish off the survivors.

The initial conflict between the armies of the two nations went very well for the forces of Kievan Rus', who won the battle handily and drove the survivors back into their cities. Olga then led her army to Iskorosten (what is today Korosten), the city where her husband had been slain, and laid siege to the city. The siege lasted for a year without success when Olga thought of a plan to trick the Drevlians. She sent them a message: "Why do you persist in holding out? All your cities have surrendered to me and submitted to tribute, so that the inhabitants now cultivate their fields and their lands in peace. But you had rather die of hunger, without submitting to tribute." The Drevlians responded that they would submit to tribute, but that they were afraid she was still intent on avenging her husband. Olga answered that the murder of the messengers sent to Kiev, as well as the events of the feast night, had been enough for her. She then asked them for a small request: "Give me three pigeons...and three sparrows from each house." The Drevlians rejoiced at the prospect of the siege ending for so small a price, and did as she asked.

Olga then instructed her army to attach a piece of sulphur bound with small pieces of cloth to each bird. At nightfall, Olga told her soldiers to set the pieces aflame and release the birds. They returned to their nests within the city, which subsequently set the city ablaze. As the Primary Chronicle tells it: "There was not a house that was not consumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught fire at once." As the people fled the burning city, Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them, killing some of them and giving the others as slaves to her followers. She left the remnant to pay tribute.

--end

Sounds like a woman after the Iron Empress’s own heart! But I severely (and unforgivably) digress, so let’s get back to Deek, who has NOTHING to do with Olga the Terrible, to the best of my knowledge:

After rising from my cot to start a new day, I glimpsed out my window, looked down to see three vagrants camped out by the ATM nook. As you know, one of them was Deek. Another was some scruffy dude who’s been around for maybe a decade, and is friendly enough. Never been a problem. The other was a female, Deek’s “ex” in fact, who they call “Scampy.” She’s really out there, often screeching up and down the sidewalks, mostly nonsensical diatribes. Though from time to time, what she blurts out DOES make sense, in that it comes off as a rather pithy wisecrack that makes me laugh. But this morning she was mostly quiet, and thus not a nuisance to myself or other residents who frequently suffer her nerve-racking shrieks.

It was almost 8:30 AM, I was about to take the golden mutts out for their morning poopies, so I was chagrined that he’s right by my gate, even though he knows not to drop by before 10 AM. But something told me “be kewl,” even though I could NOT avoid him once I stepped out, because the pups wouldn’t allow it. Since I assumed he’d collect the dogs at this time, I decided to don their sweaters, rather than stuff them into a bag along with a fresh supply of doggy vittles he’d no doubt request. The air was certainly chill enough to justify it, though not by much.

Once I opened the gate, Lucky & Flaco immediately pounced upon Deek with waggy-tail joy, knocking over or pushing aside the debris that surrounded him…including a large, empty steel dog bowl and a dark-gray backpack in like-new condition which I found on the street two days ago. A warm smile blossomed on his face as he kissed and hugged them with much fondness, then looked up at me:

“Sorry if we disturbed you so early in the day,” he spoke contritely. This told me he was cognizant of his pre-10 AM arrival, which I much appreciated.

“No you didn’t,” I replied. “But I knew you were here when I looked out the window.”

“You might as well take them for their walk, I’ll be here when you return,” he kindly offered, which again I appreciated.

“Okay, sounds good,” I declared, then gently tugged the pups off his lap to proceed towards Noe Street.

“Just don’t take a whole twenty minutes,” he called to me. “If they don’t poop before then, they don’t need to go, anyway.”

“Okay, will do,” I answered back, though tempted to argue the point. But as it turned out, Flaco relieved herself a few minutes later, and Lucky did likewise, a short time after that. So it must’ve been less than all of fifteen minutes before I returned to surrender them to their master. (Used to break my heart every time I did so, but now not so much, as I’ve gained greater trust in kismet, and in Deek.)

He was standing up by now, sorting through his stuff in that orange and white storage bin (think Good Humor ice cream’s signature orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream “humorette;” that color combo ALWAYS reminds me of it).

I released the dogs from my hand, and Deek guided them to sit on a voluminous, bulky comforter he had tossed in a corner of the ATM alcove. It was white with some ancient dirt streaks on it…and (glad to see) dry as a bone.

Lucky immediately took to it like bird-to-nest, while Flaco preferred to stand alongside, delighted to bask in the company of us both. Her brown eyes sparkled in that sweet, little canine visage of pure innocence, as she glanced back and forth at our faces, as if following our conversation with keen interest. (Who knows, perhaps she was!)

“So, did you have some good rap sessions?” I queried.

He raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders, saying something like yeah though some dumb stuff went on, too, but I had a pretty good time overall. At least, that’s the gist of what I got out of his mumbly persiflage. That damn, soft-spoken Loo-siana accent confounds my ear, sometimes! Not to mention the ever-present rumble of traffic just yards away. But the REAL point in telling you this, is: he seemed to appreciate my asking.

Several times during this latest meetup, Deek thanked me for all the good things I do for the dogs, in a genuinely grateful tone of voice! After returning downstairs with a fresh sack of chow,  I pet the doggies one more time.

“Thank you, angels, for another wonderful visit!” I told them as they joyfully beamed right back at me. Deek was, at that moment, standing before an ATM machine and using its glossy black housing for a mirror as he ran a disposable razor across his jawline. He is basically hairless below the scalp (he is part Choctaw, I think), so a little touchup here and there and now and then serves him well.

Soon as I pulled back from the dogs, Flaco stood up to plunk her dainty front paws on my thigh: an extra “thank you” straight from the heart! So I began to scratch behind her ears, when Deek  lowered his razor and turned around.

“See? You’re favoring her over Lucky again!” he declared.

“Right, Deek,” I replied with a touch of frustration. “I was petting them BOTH when your back was turned…leave it to you not to see THAT part of it.”

He has made such a charge against me several times before…only because he loves to taunt me with false accusations, and not because he actually believes them himself. He fabricates insults on the spot, at moments I least expect…right outta left field! My favoring Flaco is just one of his more RECENT brickbats. But THIS time around he kindly backed off:

“Oh, I know you love them both!”

“Yep, I sure do, Deek,” I asserted my high regard for these lovely brindlekin: “They are medicine for the soul.”

I then told him I’m gonna go get my coffee now, and wished them all an excellent day. And Deek did same, in a manner that reflects true comity, while two other houseless people witnessed (I should note). But right when I turned away, he added: “Don’t know if it’s gonna rain today, looks like it might. If it does I’ll bring ’em right back!”

“Of course,” I affirmed, “They’re ALWAYS welcome here, for any reason under the sun, Deek…or when there IS no sun!” And off I went, walking on a cloud for such a superb meetup, and that those rabies tags continue to clink like fairy bells, blessing all within their merry circle. But wait, there’s more:

Upon returning with Rosenberg’s java in hand, I was hoping to avoid Deek if he was still there by my building. Assuming he and mutts would be seated withIN the alcove, I could possibly enter through the gate without being heard or seen, if I kept close to the wall once I crossed 16th Street. This was out of respect for allowing Deek his OWN precious time with the furry angels, instead of my hogging things up by expecting yet one MORE interlude with them.

I could NOT tell if they were still there as I neared the gate. But right when I turned the key in the lock, Deek popped just outside the ATM niche to thank me again. The pups, however, did not, so I guess they were comfortably resting now, within the comforter’s plush, warm folds…and I’m glad for that.

“My pleasure, Deek!” I answered softly while passing through the gate, so as not to distract the pooches. Just before it shut, I added:

“It’s an honor!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 3:20 PM

> Thanks for the great report,

Yes, it was a STUPENDOUS report. I’d say that getting the dogs their shots marked a MAJOR milestone in my friendship with Deek, kicking everything up a notch or two…or three or four or five or…

> and thank you for introducing me to Olga the Terrible!

Oh, you’re quite welcome, Wattson. I knew you’d enjoy learning about this amazing lady of dark, medieval, bloody intrigue!

> Perhaps the Iron Empress will invite her to post a guest entry on her blog!

That would be fantastic. But maybe you should first invite her to your virtual soiree via a ouija board chat. Just have a candle nearby in case the lights go out in your place, too!

THIS MORNING’S UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE: MY “NEW” $75 CHROMEBOOK!

Got it from Boulevard Joe, who I ran into several hours ago. We had a delightful conversation when I asked him about Chromebooks, and he positively  GUSHED with technical expertise. Turned out he had TWO used ones in his backpack. The smaller had cracks all over the screen, but the larger, 14″ HP did not.

At first I told him I’m not yet ready yet purchase another device, but I promise I’ll check in with him first, should I decide on a Chromebook, or another Android tablet. But a little bit later after departing, I double-checked my bank account to realize I COULD afford that Chromebook, so stepped back out to tell him I want it, just wait till I return from the bank with da moolah. Which barely took all of ten minutes, since the Chase branch was just two blocks away!

IT WORKS GREAT! Seeing as the book only has one USB port, I decided to try connecting it to an old USB hub I thought I’d never use again. But VOILA it works! Now I can add up to SIX peripherals. Delighted to discover the Chromebook handled ALL these external devices like a boss: DVD player, wireless keyboard, backup hard drive that also contains movies and TV shows I download, and a 64 GB mini flash drive that barely sticks out, which I now use to expand the Chromebook’s paltry 16 GB main drive. See the 4 pics enclosed:

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

I’ll have to do some cleanup of the lid and bottom, obviously…but maybe not. Plus the keyboard has an awful smudge on it that DEFINITELY needs removal.

“You can clean that all off,” said Joe regarding the sloppy scribbles on both sides of the clamshell notebook.

“Actually, I don’t mind that at all,” I chirped in response. “People in coffeehouses will think I’m some tough old hacker who’s come to scan all their personal information and steal their souls! Or, on a better note, maybe setting up a DDOS attack on high-security Russian networks, to dismantle their nuclear arsenal!”

The system itself works flawlessly, and the screen quality is superb! Here’s a video of it playing a Youtube clip, to see what I mean. The sound comes from a small Bluetooth speaker I was using on the tablet (which I guess is now obsolete in my world).Joe didn’t know what the EOL date is for this model, but I took my chances anyway. Once I opened the settings and entered the “advanced” section and scrolled down a bit, I happily discovered its expiration date to be 2027!

Another plus AFIC, is it has neither a camera, nor a touch screen. How copacetic that just when I was seriously considering investing in a low-end Chromebook, Boulevard Joe should show up at the PERFECT time. Coincidence, or:

BODHISATTVA INTRIGUE!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 11:58 PM

> Between the scribblings and the splotch, I sense a sad story….

Yes, and the previous owner’s account was still active on the system, along with a second account. So I did a factory reset (what Chromebook calls a “power wash”) and both accounts were permanently erased. I’d hate to run into the owner, ’cause he’d recognize his graffiti right off the bat. I don’t think I can actually clean all that off without harming the plastic casing. So I’m thinking of using a self-adhesive skin over the whole shebang, maybe this one.

> But such a deal!!!!

It sure is. Boulevard Joe is an honest hawker…a lot of bang for the buck. I got an excellent smartphone from him about five years ago, for just $20, brand new, with the manual that included instructions to register it with Tracfone. But back then, I didn’t use cell service, so it was just a pocket size tablet for me. I lost it, though, about a year later: must’ve fallen out of a loose coat pocket on the Metro light rail.

Well, Deek showed up this evening with the dogs free-roaming; he lost their leashes but thank god not the collars with the rabies tags. I have NO spare leashes or even rope or cord I could use in a pinch. But I DO have a couple of extra extension cords that will just have to do.

“It’s kinda cold and damp tonight,” he said through the gate as the dogs restlessly waited for me to open the inner door so they could dash upstairs. “So I’m sure they’d love to stay over this evening.”

“Yes, that’s great, thanks!” I replied, then handed him an envelope containing his $50 allowance for this Sunday. He acted surprised, like he forgot what day it was. Usually he’d’ve asked for it by now, if not a day earlier. We didn’t talk long, as I wanted to get the pups into my room pronto, before someone came down the stairs or tried to enter.

Once back hovel, I realized I forgot to tell Deek something important, so I hurried back outside, but didn’t see him anywhere. Another bedbug treatment is scheduled for this Monday, per my conversation with Kevin today, He said my neighbor in 206 found a bug this morning. But I’m sure Deek will return by Saturday at the latest, though MAYBE Sunday.

Actually, his dropping the pooches off tonight is perfect timing re. the upcoming treatment, since their master rarely has them stay with me more than two nights in a row. I can do this.

Ironically, I discovered just a week ago (by checking the names on the lobby mailboxes) that the resident who complained about Kevin’s poor management via a sealed letter taped to everyone’s door, is the one in 206, RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO ME!

Oh, and that homeless dude I don’t care to see anymore and who slipped into the building and knocked on my door some days ago, showed up AGAIN this afternoon, even though I told him LAST time I no longer allow visits. But this time when he knocked and I opened the door, there was the bedbug exterminator, the maintenance man AND the manager standing about in the hallway, watching. All with stern faces.

Turns out they were suspicious about his presence, as he sneaked through the front gate behind one of them, and was asked who he’s visiting. Of course he said “Zeke.” But the moment I opened my door and saw him, I reiterated that he should NOT try to visit me, I do NOT have any visitors over any more.

I didn’t see the manager and the other two at that moment, until I looked beyond the unwelcome intruder. They heard what I said, and so Kevin told him he has to leave, NOW. He acted a bit resentful when they followed him closely down the stairs, and said “I know the way out, you don’t need to breathe on my back!”

Later, when Kevin called me about arranging a day for bedbug treatment, I informed him the guy’s harmless, but I hadn’t seen him for more than three years, and I told him back THEN “no more visits, please.” And that I’m pissed he’s entered this building without permission.

That’s all I need, right, Wattson? Some clueless A-hole to stir up shit in my life, when I’m already dealing with Deek and the dogs!

As it turns out I can’t order heart worm medication withOUT a vet’s prescription! And unless Flaco gets spayed, neither Vet SOS nor the SPCA will help me. But heart worms are not really a problem here in SF (because no mosquitoes) and besides, the active ingredient is Ivermectin…and that strikes me as somewhat toxic, as even certain breeds should not touch it.

But Deek is needlessly worried over this, so I figured a safe spray for dogs that repels mosquitoes will do the trick. I just have to choose a product that stays effective the longest…and I found one. You need only apply it twice a week. It ALSO repels ticks and fleas…kill three birds with one stone, eh? Such as this.

But again, they are not a problem, because short haired canines do NOT get afflicted with those pests…with rare exception I suppose.

Nonetheless, I have to humor Deek one way or another.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Trashing the Trash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 24, 2022 at 2:28 AM

Shortly after 2 AM I heard someone screeching expletives outside, so I looked out the window to see this homeless idiot punk knocking over everything along the way. He was across the street at first, but then came storming over to MY side and knocked over our the trash bins out front, taking special care to spew it around while continuing to scream like the psycho bitch he is. By the time I picked up the smartphone to take a quick video, he was already barreling further up towards Noe and beyond. So I took this pic instead.

The goons at the Hohokum smoke shop have been getting rowdy and loud late into the night again, these past several months. I can’t believe residents haven’t set their foot down and complained to the manager. Well, they probably have, but he looks the other way…which may be ONE of several reasons my neighbor in 206 has gotten fed up enough to rally the troops and form a tenants union. I have no idea if he’s actually gotten that off the ground, though. ‘Cause I’m not interested in joining the union if they’re gonna turn on me because of my ultra-cheap rent, like what happened in that lawsuit many years back!

At least I got the pups and my new chromebook for cheap, thanks to Blvd. Joe…and Deek’s incredible progress. The world may be crumbling before our eyes, but I’m doing just great! Thanks in large part to YOUR kind friendship, good physician.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Homemade Leash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 25, 2022 at 3:13 PM

This morning I just used the clothesline I already had for hanging my shirts and underwear after running them through my R2D2 washing machine. Because I decided against using the spare extension cords. Well, they were not the most convenient leashes, just a double line for each dog, with not much to grip, unless I wrap one end around my hand…but it did the trick.

I came up with a better solution, as you can see by the pic. Since the nylon cord I ordered from Amazon would not arrive for another few days, I hopped on down to Cliff’s Variety and purchased a skein in dark moss. Knotted loops along the entire length should add more tensile strength to the leash, and the end is easier to grip. At any rate, for now on I’ll be sure to keep a supply of cord for any further leash-loss emergencies.

Also enclosed are five other pics I took on my coffee run to Rosenberg’s, featuring the mini-tent village set up on Noe Street last night. The last shot shows a collapsed, dark green tent on the left, that is Boulevard Joe’s little spot. More of a large tarp than a real tent. He was setting it up as we chatted a bit before I continued my walk to Golden Produce on Church Street, where I get my raisin bread and raw honey. I told him how pleased I am with my new Chromebook, after diddling with it all day long.

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Texting with Wattson: 3/25/22

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Subject: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM

…and the bedbug treatment is scheduled for tomorrow some time after 2 PM. I didn’t have a chance to tell him when he delivered the pups two evenings ago, since again he feigned being in a hurry to get somewhere. Hopefully he’ll show up sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning!

Because if he doesn’t, I really can’t go anywhere, as he’ll wonder where I am when he calls up to my window, and I don’t answer. I’ll have to hang out nearby with the dogs, in case he shows up. And if he doesn’t I’ll be forced to keep them outdoors for five or six hours. And if I have to step inside to use the restroom, the dogs’ll be confused and disappointed when I don’t bring them back into our sanctuary…but to the WC, then back outside again!

I can’t sit with the dogs in the side hall beside my room, because Flaco will make a big stink about that. I know, because I did a test run some months back. Lucky was fine with nesting down on a small comforter, but his sister acted hurt that she couldn’t go back onto the cot, instead of being stuck right outside. Regardless: both dogs will bark up a tempest every time someone walks up or down the stairs, or down the hall. And one of them is bound to be Kevin!

I’ll have to stash dog food and water in my backpack, along with two disposable bowls, if we’re forced outdoors for so many hours! And I won’t be able to take the N Judah to Tart to Tart, to relax for a few hours, playing with my new Chromebook. I’d bring the doggies with me, except that Deek would freak out, should he drop by to pick them up, and I’m not there…and won’t be for an hour or two or three! I’ve always told him if I’m not home when he show up, just be patient, ’cause I will be in ten or twenty minutes.

I also won’t be able to find out what time I can return to my hovel, because that requires I enter the building and read the notice on my door. Which means I’d ALSO have to bring the mutts with me, as leaving them outside leashed to a post is a no-no…especially since they’ll be upset to see me step inside withOUT them.

I USED to be able to text the exterminator about what time I can return, but he no longer will respond…I think because Kevin instructed him NOT to, anymore. Well, let’s hope for the best, that things won’t turn out like that, and Deek shows up soon.

BTW I’ve been having problems texting to you the last several days. The latest is one I tried to send you two days ago, and it’s been stuck on “sending” ever since. See attached pic.

Two previous, recent texts were also delayed, with error statement that the recipient is not connected, or something like that. I was offered the option of switching to SMS/MMS, so I did and they finally got through. But this latest glitch is not giving me that choice. So being new to cell service, I’m not sure WHERE this problem is coming from. I just restarted the phone to see if that would clear things up, but no, it didn’t…the text is still in “sending” mode!

Well, it’s 6:30 PM now, Wattson…keeping my fingers crossed that Deek will soon arrive to pick up the brindlekin. I think I’ll step out and see if Boulevard Joe is around, in hopes he can track down my difficult bodhisattva guardian, and convey the message.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 7:28 PM

So I luckily ran across Boulvard Joe, only a minute after stepping out, and conveyed my message to him, in case he comes across Deek. I walked with him to the Chevron station and back again, had a nice talk about the Chromebook he sold me, including that it has TWICE as much internal storage as he claimed: 32GB instead of a paltry 16! Then it started to RAIN.

Looking up the weather report on my Moto E, I discovered HEAVY DOWNPOUR PREDICTED TONIGHT! So, it’s UNlikely Deek will show up this evening, even if he had planned to. Fine by me, as the storm should clear up in the wee hours, and the pups shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of weather, anyway.

It would be PERFECT if he came by tomorrow morning, but I don’t have a crystal ball…just two lovely, homeless doggies who’ve broken my heart with infinite affection. Welp, time to feed them their din-din!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM

> So glad they’re with you tonight!

Yes. Had Deek shown up earlier, when there was no sign of rain comin’ up, he would’ve taken Flaco & Lucky, and then they’d be stuck out there on the cold, damp streets…or he’d just bring them right back.

> It’s raining a little here, nothing to write home about, but hoping for more.

That’s what I’m here for, Wattson: you are free to write anything you want to me, since my place is NOT your home! Is that impeccable logic or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 12:19 AM

> Another bedbug treatment??

Yep, it’s averaging every six weeks now. Insane. According to Boulevard Joe, he has some other friends who live in these large apartment buildings constructed well before the fifties…and they are ALL averaging extermination visits at a rate similar to mine. San Franchitsco’s dirty little secret is that they’re EVERYWHERE, but no one dare talk of it.

> That chicken looks absolutely delicious. I would have happily gobbled it up.

I would’ve done so myself, but eating that in front of the pups without sharing would be unspeakably cruel. As it turned out, when I returned with the roast bird sealed in a large, plastic container within a larger paper bag, the pups didn’t even twitch. They just remained in their cozy, sleepy spots. Which surprised me ’cause their noses would’ve smelled it anyway. I even opened the container in order to cool it down, setting it beside the window with an electric fan turned on and pointing down to it.

But even with the container’s lid removed and breezes wafting the savory scent throughout the room, the doggies remained lazily oblivious to the smell of chicken, everydog’s favorite dish. I was perplexed over their complete lack of gustatory enthusiasm, though I was also quite pleased. Because I felt so much less like a sadist than I would otherwise, bringing the yummy feast inside, then taking it back out again without allowing either so much as a taste.

> I wish I could be a vegetarian, but for a lot of complicated reasons, can’t…

You’re a cat woman. Say no more.

-Zeke K-Nolmes


Subject: Great! I CAN play w/my Chromebook at Tart 2 Tart!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 10:01 AM

Deek showed up a half hour ago, picked up the dogs and puppy chow.

“Perfect timing, Deek,” I greeted, “They’re gonna do another treatment on my room today. I missed telling you that, last time you dropped over, because you were in such a rush and you lost the dogs’ leashes. I ran back downstairs to tell you, but you had already disappeared.”

He said he was gonna drop by last night anyway, but the rain stopped him, and he was glad they were inside. (That’s why I said his timing was perfect.)

He had a nice little tent on wheels hooked up to his bike, and took off with Lucky & Flaco riding inside, quiet and happy as two bugs in a rug. Unexpected re. the female, as she normally does NOT care to sit in the shopping cart at all, or any OTHER moving vehicle, as far as we knew. Mesh webbing on both sides allowed them to view the world roll by.

He also asked if I had a wrench, as he needed to tighten the wheels on his bike. I said yes, you left one in the bag of dog food you returned to me a few weeks ago, so I held onto it. So I went upstairs to get it, along with a new pair doggy sweaters, and a fresh supply of kibbles and cans (of course). Then wished him a good day and returned hovel.

So now I can finish off the room prep, and take the N Judah. to Tart to Tart, with my new Chromebook. This is all good. Except I only have $22 left for the next four days. But the Chromebook is worth it.

Of course, Deek had to complain about SOMEthing. He actually screamed up at my window several times, right when I was coming down the stairs to get my Rosenberg java fix. The moment I stepped out the gate, I admonished:

“STOP screaming, you’ve been doing it a LOT these days!”

“You didn’t come to the window,” was his lame excuse.

“I heard you the first time, but I was already walking down the stairs,” I rebutted. “I wasn’t about to rush back to my room just to poke my head out the window and let you know I heard you.”

“These leashes won’t do!” he griped.

“I made them myself,” I replied. “They’re stronger than they look, you’ll be fine.”

“I thought you said you had a couple of spare leashes!” He persisted. “I would have BOUGHT some if you didn’t.” This, after just handing him another $50 in advance of Thursday, per his request…so he could BUY a pair at the dollar store, anyway.

Which moolah BTW, he slipped into a coat pocket that was slanted and shallow…a setup just BEGGING him to lose another wad of cash! I didn’t say a thing, though perhaps I should’ve.

“I did, but I was wrong,” I explained. “A reminder: I won’t be back home till after 9 PM. You’ve just gotten your complete allowance for the month. And I will be penniless for eight days.”

He said that’s okay, but what do you wanna bet he’ll start whining in a few days, Wattson? Actually, I’ll probably get this month’s gov’t deposit on the first, since the third of April falls on the weekend. But I didn’t want to get Deek’s hopes up, so didn’t mention it…for fear of suffering the wrath of his childish angst, if it turns out we’ll have to wait all the way to the third. Which is SIX days from now, not eight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Pups didn’t get their chicken, but I sure did!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 6:26 PM

How ironic, good doctor! Someone must’ve left this tasty grub out on the sidewalk for the homeless. Looks like they’re from Project Open Hands. The pic makes the meal look gray and mushy, guess that’s due to moisure collecting inside the plastic containers. Anyway, I helped myself to one: delicious! Juicy drumstick and seasoned rice with a little bok choy, celery and a chunk of roasted potato.

I wasn’t planning to buy anything to eat, that is, skipping lunch, due to my thin wallet. So I was delighted to come across THIS little windfall! Though vegetarian, I certainly never look a gift chicken in the face.

Once more, Tart to Tart’s restroom was out of order. I told the cashier it was that way last time I came here two months ago. He blurted that the cafe is gonna shut down soon, so they never bothered to repair the toilet. Jezus fukkin kryste! So I had to get up and leave sooner than planned, because nature called…and moseyed on over to the Stribing Aboretum three blocks away, where they provide a public restroom. No TP though, so thank Hermes there were those tissue-thin seat covers to use instead!

I found the chicken dinners on my walk back to Irving Street and the N Judah stop. Ate it with my fingers, as I had no other choice. Wiped them off on the edge of a large wooden border enclosing a small garden, then used a dollop of hand sanitizer to complete the job.

I’m now at Peet’s Coffee enjoying a large hot chocolate with whipped cream, as I type this email on the Chromebook. Strangely, the building manager stepped in to pick up some roasted beans. My back was to him; I’m sure he saw me here, but didn’t bother to say hi. Glad he didn’t, he’s an arse of the highest caliber.

The extermination notice on my door said I can return inside at 6:30 PM, which is only 15 minutes away! Hope your day went well…mine sure did, considering all the BS I deal with each and every day. The pups make it all so much easier.

I very much enjoyed watching John Oliver’s latest “Last Week Tonight” episode, while lingering at Tart to Tart. This Chromebook’s a delight…even has the option to install and run Linxu from a menu option! I tried it, very nice, then got rid of it because that only left me with 6 GB internal storage. But good to know this model can run Linux (’cause it has an Intel CPU), should the time come when I decide to entirely replace Chrome OS with Linux Mint or some other distro.

-Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 3/30/22

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Subject: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2022 at 12:47 AM

After gifting Deek with an extra $50 for vaccinating the pups, and buying that Chromebook off Blvd. Joe for a bargain $75, you can see why I only have $2.80 remaining! But BOTH decisions were a hundred-thousand percent worth it! And get this, Wattson…I STILL have cash in my wallet, $10 to be exact, plus $13 in quarters and another $3.21 in dimes, nickels and pennies. I’m sittin’ pretty!

Been spending the past several days souping up my Chromebook, and once I get my next Soc. Sec. deposit in two days, I’ll purchase a USB-C-to-VGA converter, so I can connect it to a second monitor, just like my Thinkpad X230 is now. The idea is to duplicate my main system as best as possible, should I need backup for when it might go down (temporarily or for good). I always feel restless without a second system at hand for just such emergencies. Besides, I NEVER take my main laptop outdoors, it’s just WAY too valuable to risk theft, loss or dropping it on the sidewalk or a hard floor.

I enjoy speaking to the Chromebook, like asking search questions into the browser, or dictating my emails or stories (at least the rough drafts). Saves me the hassle of so much typing…great for alleviating repetitive stress issues. Just like the smartphone, but a much larger screen and keyboard. I find these small devices frustrating on both the hands and eyes, so I rarely use the Moto E for browsing…or games, etc.

This speaking to the system is not something one can do in Linux yet, thus I can easily see how I’ll be using the Chromebook for more than just playing videos and podcasts, or away-from-home use.

So, Xfinity is now offering its low income users DOUBLE the bandwitdh (from 50 Mbps to 100) for FREE. That’s because the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) covers $30 of your ISP expenses, and the next tier up is a penny under that. The lowest tier (which I’m on) costs $9.99/month. But it’s already quite FAST for my needs, and doubling the DL speed seems superfluous. I’m sure, though, others with a household of more than one will be tickled pink.

Along with that upgrade you also get, FREE, a TV box and a slew of channels. But what you DON’T get with that excellent deal, is an actual television. My monitor is strictly for computers, so I’d need to BUY a smart TV…which I don’t care to do. It’s just more clutter. I’m already flush with free video sources including Youtube, Internet Archives, free TV sites, and so on. Besides which, I just discovered that Linux Mint (the distro I favor) now has an app called “Hypnotix,” which streams free TV and movies as well! I haven’t explored all that’s on it, yet, but a cursory examination was impressive.

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This world, via the ginormous media octopus, appears to be caught up in a web of war porn these days. Vladimir Putin plays a second rate Mini-Me…and equally uninspiring is Volodymyr Zelensky’s impersonation of Mighty Mouse. Millions of Ukranian women and children and elderly scattering to the four corners of the globe, another Great Diaspora in the making. The ghost of Cecil B. DeMille must be directing this grand fiasco! Nice touch sending all these extras south of the border to join the swarms of cockroach Latinos trying to get through! Of COURSE Prez Biden would make an exception for Eastern Europeans, because they’re WHITE! So GLAD I could change the channel, and I have many excellent shows to choose from. I’ve never been much for war movies and other macho-oriented flicks.

In fact, I’m enjoying right now, season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And last night I watched the latest movie adaptation of Death on the Nile…after binge watching all 10 episodes of season 1’s “Sister Boniface’s Mysteries” last week!

Deek dropped by this eve with a new smartphone and a headset for me to charge, but no doggy company. He was in a snarly mood at first, hurling absurd accusations at me…details of which serve no sane purpose to get into. Suffice it to say I remained calm and polite, pointing out to him there is NO good excuse to project anger, ever…but especially when the pups are sitting right beside him in all their sweet patience and camaraderie. He eventually mellowed down.

Their sweaters seem to be lost already, but I saw no point in mentioning that. At least he still has that little tent cart hooked up to the bike. BOTH pooches love it; they look quite cozy nestled within its dome-like structure. I found a large, plush comforter tonight, on the third-floor porch, so bagged it for laundering a few days from now. That’ll keep all THREE of ’em warm on cold nights! Though it IS a hefty bulk, so perhaps I’ll spare Deek the burden of lugging it around, and just keep it hovel, maybe tossed in a pile on the floor for the mutts to romp around in. They sure love their secret little hidey spots to burrow and sleep in!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM

> This is some might fine writin’, son!! And highly perceptive.

Thanks! I just posted that passage to the MCN lists…just for a lark(in). My perception is thanks to my “Bodhisattva Premise,” that gives me a grander view of the world than, say, Fox News…or even John Oliver. “All the world’s a stage,” the Great Bard once wrote…though perhaps I take it a tad more literally than your average mouldy rogue.

> Gentleman Jack returns soon. Looking forward to it.

Wonderful series, I forgot all about it since their first and only season thus far, aired in 2019. Can’t WAIT for season 2! I remember gushing about that show to you.

> Asshole.

Yes ma’mm, Wattson, he can play that role to perfection from time to time. But the fact is that HE’S the one who brought such sweet little doggies into my world, and TRUSTS me with them, and allows me so much TIME to enjoy their company…I conclude there’s much more to him than meets the eye. Lucky & Flaco have changed my life so much for the better, in so many ways. And you, more than anyone else, have witnessed that transformation…my humble room’s improvement being but ONE outward and tangible example.

I forgot to mention that about a week ago Deek proclaimed I’m the ONLY person he trusts to watch over his dogs…heaping additional praise on that subject to the point where my ears almost dropped off from the melting warmth of his profuse gratitude.

[pause]

Well whaddya know, he just showed up only seconds after I composed the paragraph above! I texted you about it. Nothing to report, it was a quickie meetup, dropped off the pups and handed me a smartphone and speaker to charge…then took off on his bike with the doggy caboose, now vacant. ‘Tis a good day in Purgatory.

C;lick here and here for larger views.

Subject: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 11:46 AM

…when yesterday afternoon (shortly after Deek picked up the mutts) I saw Lucky untethered and sniffing about on the sidewalk while Deek was packing up his meager possessions, most of which he stuffed in that doggy wagon attached to his bike. Looking directly down from my window, I couldn’t see Flaco who was no doubt inside the ATM alcove…but I DEFINITELY saw a beefy pit bull approaching on a leash with its owner. Lucky just stood near the curb, watching them walk by WITHIN A FEW INCHES OF HIM, while Deek remained oblivious to the potential disaster, as his bent back was turned to the street while tending to his bike and cart. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have a split second to warn him!

The fearsome canine of massive muscle and weight walked by Lucky in all of three seconds, while my little brindlekin remained calm, though with a curious eye on the passing quadruped. Neither dog acknowledged the other, and it was all over soon as it began. NOTHING HAPPENED, THANK GOD…NOT EVEN A SINGLE WOOF!

The doggies were out of sync with their poopies two days and nights ago. Which wound up with me taking Lucky for a stroll around 1:30 AM, then Flaco two hours later! As I escorted her back to my building, there was Kevin entering the gate. I espied him far enough away as to be able to slip around the corner on 16th Street without him spotting me back, and hung out there a few minutes before returning hovel. Now what on earth was he doing out so late, Wattson? I’m tempted one day to come right up to him by surprise, and ask that very question. I’m sure that’d warm his cockles.

I’m used to seeing him return around 12:30 AM now and then, late enough to arouse my suspicion, but THIS time was a true quandary. As was that night almost three weeks past, when I witnessed his departure OUT the front gate around 2 AM…aNOTHER first! Where does he go at such an ungodly hour, and return 90 minutes later?

BTW Deek did NOT lose the sweaters, they were simply packed deep into his load of clothing and junk stuffed into the wagon. For two days back when I collected his gizmos for a recharge, it was empty but for several items, including those two sweaters. So I took them upstairs and washed them in my sink, with a squirt of lime-scented dish detergent. The water remained clear right from the start, however, so I suspect he didn’t actually put the sweaters on them during those chilly-damp nights.

This latest smartphone he gave me to put new music on, refused to let me do exactly that, even though the last time around I had no problem. Turned out the USB options were all grayed out! They weren’t before, but Deek’s habit of fidgeting with apps and settings he knew nothing about, sometimes creates issues that I usually CAN resolve, after much headache-inducing effort.

To be fair, the problem may have been MY doing…or, more accurately, a glitch in Android’s “Developer Options” that I turned on, in order to make file transfer the default once plugged into my X230 (instead of “charge only”), as well as my adjusting the settings to minimize battery drain, which he complained about (“It only runs for two hours!”).

However, after turning OFF developer options, the USB fly in the ointment remained! Perusing the Android support sites was NO help whatsoever, and this graying out of the USB options seems to be quite common, and often unresolveable. Deek would be back in less than an hour at that point, so I did not have time to try more desperate solutions, such as factory reset or disabling installed apps one by one, to see if the problem was due to a particular app recently applied.

The smartphone was only at 16 percent charge, as well…and it’s been plugged in to my USB hub for just over an hour. I guess this USB glitch also slowed down the charge rate. This was not good, and I’ll probably have to suffer the Wrath of Deek, as a result. I figured at this point I should insert a micro SD card into the phone, after first copying his music to it. So I removed the one in my tablet and, to my delight, its storage capacity was a humongous 64 gigabytes…WAY more than enough to transfer his entire collection! (The phone itself only had a 10 GB internal storage capacity, after what the system took up.)

THAT took almost 30 minutes to complete, but I got it done and inserted it into his phone with a sigh of relief. All the mp3 files on the external storage were recognized by the music app, so the phone was good to go, though charge rate was still sluggish.

“I have some good news and some bad news,” I told Deek upon his return. “I inserted a 64 gigabyte card into your phone, so ALL your music is now on it.”

“And the bad news?” he asked in reply.

“Well, for some reason the USB transfer no longer works, and your phone is only charged to 24 percent,” I explained. “I have no idea why.”

“So I’ll have to wait another hour?” he queried.

“I recommend TWO, if you can handle it,” I suggested.

To my unexpected succor, he griped about that, albeit softly, and CALMLY accepted the situation:

“Just bring the dogs down, and the dog food. I’ll wait. And a cup of soda.”

I did just that, and when I handed him the soda, said: “Here ya go: ginger ale!”

He let out a friendly “Whoop!” and gladly took it from my hand.

It was about ten minutes later as I sat upstairs at my work station doing my Internet thing while his smartphone continued to charge, when I decided to peer outside and almost had a heart attack over what I saw.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 1:45 PM

> Oh, man, that encounter with the pit bull could have gone SO badly. Good for Lucky for staying calm.

He appears better behaved when OFF the leash, than when on it. Deek pointed that out to me, some weeks back. I think when you’re pulling him on a leash, he takes that as a sign to be more on guard. Regardless, I don’t even wanna THINK of all the close encounters the dogs may have while they’re with Deek and out of my sight. Kudos to Deek for training them so well…in this matter, at least!

> You’re a goddamned saint with all that charging and fixing of Deek’s gizmos and the running up and down the stairs.

Since he had the decency to get them vaccinated, I have tremendous respect for him at this point. And that makes all his nuisances a trivial issue at this point, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, for the most part they are far less frequent and dramatic than previously.

> But I know why you do it, and I’m with you all the way.

It is a labor of love, and may very well be my greatest act of devotion that I have ever done in service to humanity since I escaped my family’s clutches way back in 1973. (And explains why I switched from journalism to cultural anthropology once I began my college adventure.)

I TRIED joining a new-age Catholic organization called “The Holy Order of Mans,” once I arrived in San Francisco, homeless but happy. But THAT didn’t work out, as they were oblivious when it came to the LGBT homeless. They had NO outreach project for that class of people, and NO intention to include it among their other good works, any time soon.

I was introduced to this group by two of their brothers while residing in Columbia, Missouri. They had an outpost there, and were aware of my presence months before I was of them. They sort of followed me around, though from a polite distance, waiting for me to approach and begin a dialogue. A couple of VERY nice fellows, I should note. Their headquarters were located in San Francisco. I’m sure that, had the Holy Order of Mans survived into the ’80s and beyond, they would’ve turned out to provide excellent aid and resources for houseless queers…and I would’ve become an active participant.

I was just about to post an addendum to my previous email, when I saw your reply already in my mailbox. So I’ll just add it here:

=====

I almost had a heart attack… ADDENDUM

The phone reached 70 percent battery charge when he decided to take it back, along with the two battery packs and two Bluetooth speakers…all of which were at full capacity by then. I quickly handed them to him, while the pups sat quietly nearby. I ignored them, wishing to NOT get their hopes up about returning hovel so soon. But as I turned to leave, he said “Flaco’s wondering why you don’t pet her goodbye before you go!” Sure enough, her ears were perked up in a touch of alarm over my departure without first acknowledging her and Lucky. So I stepped into the alcove and pet them both, wishing them a lovely day.

This was NOT Deek’s usual demeanor, thus his showing such consideration is a marked improvement. Only four evenings ago he raked me over the coals for supposedly blowing his chance to get $20 from someone who just departed from the Wells Fargo ATM two feet away, after diddling with the buttons followed by the whir of small rubber wheels that spun the bills into his hand. Accompanied by a friend, they gleefully bantered the whole time, continuing to do so as they walked off into the night, and probably to a gay bar nearby.

I had no idea WHAT they were talking about, as my attention was focused on greeting the pups, and untangling Flaco’s leash wound up in the bike that lay on its side. She wanted so badly to be held and caressed, but only had a foot of length to do so, that she tugged at with all her might. She didn’t even have enough slack to raise herself and plunk her paws on my leg, though I stood right beside. As I crouched down to free the collar and quickly make the adjustment, Deek barked at me to stop, she’s fine as she is. I went ahead anyway, said no she isn’t, and it’s easy to correct. Soon enough the collar was snapped back on, and she was in my arms with ample leash length to move around. During the short time it took to unwind the leash, the two ATM recipients had completed their transaction and, as they strolled away Deek reprimanded:

“See? They were gonna give me twenny dollah, but saw you and said never mind, he already gives me plenty of money, that’s his uncle!” Of course this was highly unlikey, and just Deek’s latest guilt-tripping prank.

“Oh stop it Deek, they did no such thing,” I shot back. “Besides, you CALLED me down here and the dogs were happy to see me again. What was I supposed to do: just stand there ten feet away and frustrate them?”

I also made it clear he has NO reason to be angry, it’s his meth induced anxiety and god only knows what else. Just as I’ve done countless times before, whenever he pulls the drama queen card out of his ass. I also reminded him:

“You’ve made everyone around here know our business, because you don’t know the meaning of DISCREET!”

At any rate, I think his calling me back to pet Lucky & Flaco before returning hovel was his way of making up for that rude outburst several days previously.

On one of those recent days he dropped by, when I arrived downstairs to meet up, he wasn’t around while the pooches patiently awaited his return in the ATM alcove, untethered. In less than a minute he popped out of the Hohokum smoke shop, griping:

“I just lost five dollah!” he exclaimed while pacing back and forth on the sidewalk. It was a sunny, lovely day and all the passersby were mellow. Except Deek, of course.

“You’re ALWAYS losing money, Deek,” I declared with some exasperation and annoyance over my having to hear his sorry tale once more…me, someone who GIVES him generous sums every week!

“No, I’m NOT making this up!” he shot back.

“Oh, I know you’re not,” I agreed. “The last time I gave you fifty dollars I saw you slip it into your coat pocket that was wide open and easy to lose anything you put in it.”

“Stop! I don’t wanna hear this!” he countered. But I went on anyway:

“The BEST place to put your money is in the front pocket of your pants. Or in any OTHER pocket that has a zipper or a button! This is just common sense, Deek.”

He placed his hands over his ears to resist my lecture, but I know he heard me when I finished with:

“You need to change your habit by paying attention to exactly WHERE you stash your bills. Losing money like this is your own fault, YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME!”

And that was that, good doctor. It is nonetheless my enormous gratitude to see how incredibly well he’s improving upon his attitudes and responsibilities at a fast pace compared to his history since adopting the dogs almost three years back. In sum:

THE PUPS GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 12)

March 21, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18l]

Texting with Wattson: 3/14/22


Texting with Wattson: 3/15/22 – 3/16/22

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Subject: My Rabid Treatise
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 16, 2022 at 8:52 PM

Deek was absolutely terrible this morning, but let me describe the events these past few days first, and I’ll get back to that towards the final part of this missive.

THIS WAS SUNDAY NIGHT (day before the Vet SOS appointment):

Deek showed up around 11:30 PM, handed me a new smartphone (“new” only because he just acquired it, but was most likely a stolen or lost device) and said he really needs it fully charged with music tonight, as he has nothing else.

“But you KNOW I hit the sack by midnight, Deek!” I objected. He is well aware that when the clock strikes twelve, he is not to bother me until any time AFTER ten the next morning. So if I’m charging anything and the hour hand reaches full erection, he MUST pick it up by then, or retrieve it the following day.

“Oh it won’t hurt you to stay up an extra hour, just once,” he mumbled. Deek has NO grasp of how important a good sleep is for some, and NEVER takes my wish to have just THAT every night, one whit seriously. He actually thinks it’s funny. Just ONE good reason I don’t allow ANY speed queens into my life, but for one exception! Can you imagine having TWO of ’em for friends?

No sooner would you get one to leave, and it’s already past midnight, than the OTHER would appear, calling up to your window or, worse yet, tossing pebbles at it. You just could NOT ignore him in hopes he’d give up and depart in a few minutes, for he would not. Forcing you to get back out of bed, just to call down from your second floor hovel, and tell him you’re trying to get some shuteye. Then instead of saying “okay, sorry” and departing, he’d engage you in conversation that awakened all the occupants on this side of the building, gazing up at you with glassy-eyed fervor, and pleading:

“C’mon, Zeke, let me in, it’s not THAT late.” Then he’d make an obscene gesture with two fingers pumping fast and furious between his teeth, indicating a really nice blow job awaits in return for your troubles. Though you knew better: his gobbies were NEVER that great (except just TWICE in all the years he was comin’ around, and boy howdy were they spectacular). Such scant pressure with the lips you hardly feel it, and parchment dry to boot! What good is a hummer, Wattson, if you wind up having to use your own, spit-moistened hand to finally achieve Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria’s Most Divine Epiphany? You grow angry when you think of all the penile pleasures he’s denied you by his lacklustre performances that comprised the overwhelming majority of his wee-night visits! And losing sleep on top of that? No way, Jose! But I digress.

“Yes it will,” I insisted. “Besides, that’s only an hour and a half from now, and your phone is at zero charge. So you’ll have maybe thiry percent by then, especially since it will be on slow charge while I’m copying the songs over, and that will take around twenty minutes.”

“That’s alright, Zeke,” said the persistant little cuss. “Thirty percent is thirty percent, it’ll do.”

I finally caved in and said okay, keeping in mind the dogs are to (hopefully) be vaccinated tomorrow, and I don’t want any argument to crop up that may sabotage my exhaustive efforts over the span of many months.

So I climbed back upstairs with eyes already drooping in nocturnal habitude, plugged in the phone to my multi-USB charger, and kicked back to watch several scary, animated Youtube videos and a couple of Hellfreezer’s hilarious narrations of human foibles writ by his fans. The doggies lay beside me on the cot, already deep in dreamland for at least three hours. With the occasional leap to the floor to either lap up water from the bowl, or change their sleeping spot from bed to box. And later on, back to the bed and into my arms or nestled in the crook of my legs.

I guess I should count my blessings that insomnia no longer curses my world, and I actually enjoy the luxury of feeling DROWSY every night, that so many others take for granted. Still a relatively new experience for me, as my almost-constantly wakeful state of decades came to a liberating close barely three years ago. And the pups’ angelic descent into my world several months later only serves to enHANCE my somnifacient respite.

Around 12:45 AM, during which preceding time I occasionally nodded off in my cushioned swivel chair for a minute or two, Deek called up to me and gestured I step back outside and leave the phone charging.

“You’re right, thirty percent’s not much of a charge,” he insightfully declared. “I’ll just pick it up in the morning. You have a good night now.”

Gee, thanks for nothing, Deek, I thought. As it turns out, I stayed up for another hour and a half. I heard the front gate slam shut, shortly after 2 AM…so out of curiosity poked my head out to see who it was. The building manger! Heading towards god knows where as I watched him cross Market Street and disappear around the corner. I often see him RETURNING to our dilapidated castle around 12:30 AM…always that same time! I have no idea what he’s up to, but it’s been going on for years. Though I DO make a point of walking the dogs well before then, for their last poop run of the day. So as to not have a run-in with Kevin because I never know whether he’ll harass me about the pups, or be civil. But his 2 AM departure is new to me, as this was the first time I’ve seen him do that.

I find it amusing to discover this novel twist in my tales, right in the middle of my latest Deek report. He’s old and doddering at this point in his life, and walks with a hunched back and head drooping like an overly mature mango still on the branch. Which makes his mysterious late-night activities of noteworthy intrigue to anyone with gummy shoes. After all, why would someone of such advanced years NOT be long settled in bed before that late hour? Alas, it’s a separate story-within-a-story that I must set aside until a future time. The Startling Case of the Nocturnal Innkeeper must be shelved for the nonce. Just as well, because there scarcely exists more than one piece of a puzzle that may turn out to be quite elaborate. Or just provide comedic filler, a spotty appearance now and then as my tales progress.

THIS WAS MONDAY MORNING (day of the Vet SOS appointment)

I brought the dogs down to him, where he waited in that ATM alcove right below. Plus dog food and a blank card with the address “24 Florida Street” I had handprinted with a black marker just minutes before.

“Do you know where Best Buy is?” I asked, because it’s a prominent landmark in that neighborhood, sticking out like a huge, square thumb you could see from blocks away. He nodded yes. “Well, the pop-up clinic is just a few blocks further up. It’s in the SPCA parking lot.”

“Which parking lot…is that where they walk their dogs?” he queried.

“I don’t know, Deek, probably,” I replied. “Just go up 14th Street to Harrison, and you’re almost there.”

He KNOWS where the SPCA is located, as he’s gone there many times to pick up dog food and whatever else they hand out for homeless pets. I just wanted to be absolutely sure he’ll find the pop-up clinic, and after the directions I presented, I was confident he would. IF he decided to show up at all. That STILL remained up in the air, especially since he then exploded in a string of ear-aching rants:

“Yeah, I’ll show up but they’ll turn me down because Flaco isn’t fixed!”

(I assured him that won’t happen, as I double-checked with them this morning, and they said no problem, she’ll get her shots. I did NOT mention they’ll refuse their services any further, so long as Flaco remains intact. Because THAT would give him the perfect excuse to skip out.)

“I HATE these ‘free’ services because they always have strings attached, they suck you into their world with unfair demands that turn you into a puppet. YOU CAN’T LIVE YOUR LIFE!”

(He declared this with impressive fury, and I really can’t blame him because from HIS perspective, he’s correct! Like giving you a free room, but it’s infested with cockroaches and bedbugs, and houses some rather dangerous clients in the mix. Vast improvements HAVE been made for free housing in the past few years, but under the condition of being assigned to a social worker and going through whatever therapy and interviews they require. Even Vet SOS wants verification that one really IS houseless, before they do anything beyond a single visit to get one’s pet vaccinated. It’s a form they handed Deek, entitled “Vet SOS Eligibility Letter” that needs to be filled out by a service provider or case manager. Which Deek doesn’t have, nor do a considerable number of OTHER street folks, I imagine. So I kinda fibbed, told him they are NOT like that, Vet SOS is NOT part of the SPCA, they are very kind and really CARE about homeless pets…so just go there, you’ll be surprised and happy you did…PLEASE.”

“How do you KNOW they’re nice people, you’ve never met them!”

(I told him I’ve talked to them over the phone and via email several times, and they were very helpful. The dogs WILL get their shots, and that is one of the most impportant things to get done in your life, at this time. That is, if you really love these sweet little doggies that have brought so much joy and friendship into your world. “If you’re saying you’re not gonna show up,” I said, “I’ll just go upstairs now and cancel the appointment.” I then turned towards the gate to do just that, when he stopped me, and said he didn’t say he wasn’t gonna go. “Oh, I see,” I replied, “You still haven’t made your mind up yet. Okay, I won’t cancel.”)

“So when I go there, it’s just for their rabies shots and nothing else? Seems like a lot of trouble for nothing!”

(Even though at this point I was ready to go ballistic into the exosphere, I calmly replied “Getting their rabies booster is NOT nothing, Deek. It’s a terrible infection and they’ll have to be put down if they catch it. But they’ll also give them one or two OTHER shots that protect them from several deadly diseases besides rabies, that they can also catch, especially since they live on the streets and are more exposed than house dogs.”)

I’ll leave out the rest of his pathetic rants for the sake of sanity; suffice it to say this crap went on for almost a half hour befofe he mellowed out a bit and asked for some ginger ale. As I returned with the soda and bent down to hand it to him, suddenly the cup slipped from my hand and the liquid splashed all over.

“Goddamit Zeke,” he hollered, “You did that on purpose!”

I observed with relief that none of his devices were impacted by the splash, they remained perfectly dry. Strange, because they were right in the circle where the spill occurred, but no part of the soda splash touched them.

“Look, Deek, no harm was done,” I exclaimed, “your electronics are fine. And no, I did NOT do it on purpose, I have no idea how that happened. What else can I say but the devil hates friendship?”

I then took the now-empty cup back hovel for a refill. As I climbed the stairs I thought what a stupid thing to happen just before the dog’s appointment; it could turn Deek against showing up!

Returning with the replehished cup, plus a disposable plastic bowl filled with water for the brindlekin, I asked if he’d like me to come back downstairs when it’s twelve o’clock, in case he fell asleep and could miss the appointment. Which by then was just two hours away. He said yes, thank you, and I finally left him and the dogs alone to tend to my own morning routine, including breakfast.

The clock struck twelve and I returned outside to discover Deek was now in the company of three other homeless dudes chatting away. Pleased to see Filipino Kai was one of them, we greeted each other with a “Hey!” then I turned to Deek who looked up at me with some impatience.

“Beep beep, it’s twelve o’clock!” I crowed.

He immediately brushed me off with a wave of the hand: “Yeah, yeah, I know what time it is,” followed by insulting words I didn’t bother to address, but simply told him “You ASKED me to come back downstairs to tell you it’s twelve o’clock,” then declared before them all:

“I love how Deek disses me after I do him another favor, instead of just saying thanks!”

Deek retorted that he never agreed to the appointment, I just went ahead and set it up, so he may not go there after all.

“That’s not true, Deek,” I replied. “I asked you every step of the way, and you agreed to EVERYthing. Stop making me look bad before your friends!” Then added for extra drama: “I’ve had enough of your little temper tantrums for one morning. You guys can take over now, I’m done with it.”

And with that, I turned around and opened the gate, but looked back at him with a parting shot before I completely vanished: “You either do the right thing, Deek, or fuck yourself up big time!”

Deek hollered back god only knows what, so I drowned him out with “Blah blah blah, waah waah waah,” then shut the gate and returned to my room, now dogless.

About ten minutes later he called me down again and asked me to charge a small battery pack he held in his hand. Deek seemed quite stable and friendly, as if no commotion had ever occurred a short while before. By then his company had departed, and I wondered if Kai had given him a few choice words before he, himself, had left. I dropped the gizmo into my pocket and wished him and the pooches a lovely day and, once more, returned upstairs.

Hours passed, then he finally returned with the pups, bag of doggy medication, and the rabies tags and papers! As you already know via my texts, I praised him to the heavens for his courage to keep his appointment, and get the doggies their shots.

THIS WAS TUESDAY (day after the Vet SOS appointment)

He requested his $50 reward I promised, for getting the pups vaccinated. I said sure, so rushed off to my Chase branch to collect the money and bring it right TO him. He also wanted the bike I had stored for him upstairs. But he told me wait five minutes, which confused me for a moment until he broke out in tears over the horrible night he had, falling asleep while riding BART towards Daly City. He overshot his stop into unfamiliar territory. Something about two dudes with a gun, and he was with a friend, and he managed to escape but his friend did not, so maybe he’s dead now. Ran and ran and ran till he reached a gas station where they refused to let him in for protection, and call the cops. Few minutes later saw a police car coming in his direction, so he waved them down, told them his situation but they said they can’t help him because of Covid-19, and drove off to leave him stranded.

Of course I didn’t believe ANY of it, but just played along, told him I’m so sorry that happened, and I’m glad he came out of it unharmed.

“I’m glad the dogs weren’t with me!” he exclaimed.

“No kidding,” I replied, though so annoyed over his latest drama queen ploy ruining the good vibes of yesterday’s glorious achievement, I could literally scream to the depths of dark eternity. But I held my tongue and even my facial expression with which I feigned a deep concern for his well-being. In truth, I could barely keep from punching him out into a bloody pulp.

“This is the worst year of my life!” he proclaimed with tears aflow, but quickly wiped them away with a sleeve.

“Maybe the worst WEEK, but not the whole year, Deek,” I rejoined. “Maybe not even a week, but a single day, because you did something absolutely WONderful for your dogs just yesterday afternoon. You’ve also had many great things happen to you this year.”

“Oh, that,” he said, meaning the Vet SOS appointment. “I was gonna get around to taking them to a vet soon, anyway.” (Oh sure you were, Deek, and the moon is made of green cheese, I thought.)

Growing tired of his BS tale, the crocodile tears and the insults, I asked him if he wants the bike now. He said okay, but he’s gotta go to the Chevron station first, to pick up a snack. Now why can’t he just take the bike now, and ride it there, I thought. But I knew better than to state the obvious, as he’d probably spew another shower of nonsense and insults over a non-issue. So I climbed back upstairs and spent a few minutes hugging and playing with the pooches before maneuvering the bike from its makeshift nook, and carefully guiding the unwieldy beast down the stairs, one ginger step after another.

So now I was standing outside with the bike tilted upon the ATM alcove’s rail, not knowing how long he’d take to return, and he’s already kept me away from the brindlekin too many times today, for no fair reason. Fortunately, only four or five minutes passed before he reappeared with a tall drink in his hand (what, no sandwich, burrito or tacos?).

“You removed the tinsel!” he remarked, admiring the now pristine gears as I handed him the bike.

“Yeah, took a whole hour pick pick picking away at it, but I got it done,” I proudly declared. But then I noticed the right pedal, which still had tinsel raveled around its crank arm. So I crouched down to start working out the strands, but after removing maybe half, Deek said that’s okay, he’ll do the rest.

I was relieved to think he’s about to depart, and I could return hovel to get back to the mutts and my work station…but that was not to be. Instead, he exploded in aNOTHER rant about the Chevron cashier charging him seven dollars when it was supposed to be three, because of the deal on their poster. She refused to reimburse him, then threw his snack on the floor and told him to never come back. Now, did this really happen? I strongly doubt it, but held my anger in reserve and simply replied:

“Wow, what a bitch!”

Now, let’s see next time he collects his allowance, whether or not he says he’s gonna pick up a bite to eat at the Chevron station. He probably will, but make up some story first about a different cashier before taking off to buy whatever junk his stomach craves that day.

The rest of the day was a pleasant interlude of my usual walking, feeding and loving the pups, and doing my thing on the Internet. 10:30 came around, and I decided it’s time to take the canines out for their late-night poopies. As we approached Noe and Market on the way home, here came Deek on his bike to greet us. The doggies were glad to see him of course, and they stood up and danced around his legs as he pet them and said how healthy they look. To my astonishment, he expressed GREAT appreciation for my tending to the pups (“I couldn’t have done all this without you”), and thanked me profusely. “Looks like the shots have done them a lot of good,” he noted before wishing us a good night and peddling up Noe Street towards Duboce Park and the Haight.

Just when I was settling down for the night, about to lie down, Lucky suddenly leapt from the cot and started to pace around like Speedy Gonzalez, with little moans and woofs that clearly expressed a desperate urge to defecate. It was almost 1 AM. Needless to say, I moved posthaste to get him outside. Flaco was just fine with remaining indoors, as I told her “stay” and she perfectly understood. I feared he might lose control and foul up the carpeting before we got to the gate, but that did not happen, thank Ganesha.

Soon as we exited, Lucky pulled me forward on the leash with reckless force, quickly leading me up 16th Street behind the building, in search of a tree, a plot of dirt. I was surprised that he just didn’t poop anywhere on the sidewalk, ASAP…but I guess his meticulous nature remained in full command despite the urgency. I must admit it was very cute watching his chunky-butt hind legs propel him onward in a kind of macho wiggle, like he really means business, outta my way! I had to trot to keep pace with him, and not tug back and slow him down…no casual strolling or pausing to sniff the grass and flowers for US tonight, we’re on a mission!

He suddenly veered right and took me across the street to a tree outside the Bonita Taqueria Rotisseria where I order that roast chicken. A couple of workers were busy spraying down mats and wiping tables and chairs while Lucky expelled an impressively generous glob of mustard yellow feces onto a square of cardboard that lay by the tree. Seeing as that was NOT amenable to scooping up into a poop bag, I just flipped the cardboard over and moved on. I figured he may not be quite done yet, so we walked uphill on that side of 16th Street.

Only to have Lucky suddenly bark at two dudes standing inside a recess that led to someone’s shed through a short alleyway (if you had the key to the door, that is). They were hidden behind some tall shrubs, so easy to miss for a hooman. I tried coarcing Lucky forward, but he was frozen to the spot, barking away like a guard dog in a drug cartel compound.

“Hey there, Lucky!” spoke the shorter fellow with black, shaggy hair. To my surprise, it was Filipino Kai once again. We exchanged our usual, friendly greetings, followed by his praise of how well I care for Deek and the mutts.

“I keep telling him, that’s ONE man you always need to respect!” he said, meaning yours truly.

“Thank you,” I replied. “See that blue tag on Lucky’s collar? That’s his rabies tag!”

I proudly pointed at it, so Kai could see for himself that Deek did, indeed, get them their shots yesterday afternoon. “I’ve been after him for MONTHS to get this done and he finally followed through.”

“Incredible!” he emoted with a broad smile that exposed some missing teeth. “But where’s Flaco?”

“Oh, she’s back home sleeping,” I answered. “This is an emergency run. Lucky suddenly had to take a big dump, and he just did, so here we are!”

He guffawed at that, then pet Lucky who had quieted down as we parlayed. “Well, you have an excellent night, Zeke.”

“Surely I will, and the same to you, Kai!”

I then continued walking Lucky up 16th Street, then down the other side. By the time we reached Market Street, it appeared the emergency had passed, so we returned hovel and all three of us had a most pleasant rest-of-the-night in Doggy Dreamland.

THIS IS TODAY (2 days after the Vet SOS appointment)

Got up an hour later than usual, thanks to DST, so the brindlekin didn’t go for their morning walk until 9:50 AM, and they seemed fine with that. Though as it turned out, Deek wasn’t. As he showed up right at 10 (the earliest he could see me per my request a few weeks back) and I wasn’t home. Instead of correctly assuming I was taking the pooches for their morning stroll, he panicked and kept hollering up to my window, on and off for a good fifteen minutes until I arrived back home.

I didn’t KNOW that was him screeching, as I was too far away to make out who it was. I heard SOMEone hollering from three blocks away, but could not recognize the voice as belonging to Deek. For it sounded to me like your typical crazy person disturbing the peace, which happens quite often in this bedraggled neck of the woods. The pups DID stop to look back with perky ears, but they’d do that with anyone screaming. So I assumed it wasn’t their master, and continued our meandering about for ten or so minutes longer, before guiding them back towards Market Street.

We were still a block and a half away from Market when I saw Deek hollering at us while walking his bike in our direction. He was spittin’ and fumin’, said he thought I ran off with the dogs.

“That’s ridiculous, Deek,” I admonished. “You know I’d NEVER do that, and I don’t appreciate your screaming like a madman in front of my building. You know if I’m not home I ALWAYS show up a short time later.”

“Short time? More like a half hour,” he exclaimed. “I almost threw a brick in your window.”

“Now why would you do that?” I countered. “You ruin my living situation and you ruin your own. Where would the dogs go for sanctuary, if I’m no longer there? Who would give you a weekly allowance, if I disappear? Who would you lean on like a good friend when no one else puts up with your crap? Get a grip, asshole.”

He suddenly calmed down and said all he needs right now is a razor and dog food. Okay, I said, give me a minute, and closed the gate behind me as he and the brindlekin stood outside.

“Oh, and the jackets!” he added while I was still within earshot. He actually meant “sweaters,” but I wasn’t about to give him an excuse to conjure up yet one more of his notorious rants, by correcting him. I handwashed them two nights before, and another pair arrived from Amazon yesterday, so let’s see if he holds onto each pair for a sensibly long time. I don’t expect him to, but the little furry angels come first no matter what.

He did ask if I gave them their meds yet, so I lied and said yes. “I bought two chicken breasts and broiled them, then mixed the meds in. They gobbled it all up.” I also told him the flea and tick treatment is NOT necessary, as they never catch them…ALL short haired dogs are like that. “If they DO get fleas, I assure you I’d know about it the moment they visit. And I’ve never found a tick on either, nor have you.” But he refused to admit that, asking why then do they scratch themselves so much?

“But they DON’T,” I replied. “They only scratch on their collar because it itches, and Lucky loves to scratch his own sides by pressing into a rough wall like stucco or bricks, then walk in one direction and then the other, until he’s satisfied. That ain’t fleas, that just FEELS good!”

But he persisted in keeping up the flea and tick meds, so I just dropped it. I don’t see any point in putting needless chemicals into a pet’s system. I’ll just order the heartworm medication and skip the flea and tick stuff, but tell him otherwise.

The bag of food was ready to go, as I had prepared it last night. So I tossed in another space blanket and the sweaters, and came back outside. He was caressing both dogs and snarled at me with some accusation that Lucky’s too skinny and his sister’s too fat, what am I doing, favoring Flaco over Lucky?

“I’ve seen you reach out to Flaco many times, and ignore Lucky!” he spewed.

“That’s not true, Deek, please stop inventing false charges against me, it’s childish,” I retorted. “They both look fine, I make sure they get an equal share of their meals, and my attention. I love them both, equally and infinitely.”

But he continued to gripe his foolish accusations, so in disgust I ran back to the front gate and flipped him the bird before disappearing into the bowels of Hotel California North (as I like to call it).

So now you’re up to date, good physician. It’s been an exhausting ordeal trying to reason with Deek, as well as composing my latest report, thanks to so much that has happened in a few, short days. But the truly important thing to remember is:

THEY GOT THEIR VACCINATIONS!

Allow me now to muse a bit, upon the Bodhisattva Premise interpretation, which puts an entirely different and POSITIVE spin on my report:

In the world of shamans, whenever one shaman achieves some remarkable accomplishment, instead of being praised and feted, his brother shamans deride and insult him with tremendous hostility that goes on for days, weeks, or even months. Sort of like an initiation. The spirit of their harassment being that this shaman’s achievement is SO wonderful and graced with god’s love, that it puts the rest of them to shame, making them look SUBhuman by comparison. So they ACT subhuman in recognition of this shaman’s outstanding work. They dare NOT approach him as an equal for a considerable time to come. Just how LONG the initiation lasts is based on how extraordinary this shaman’s achievement actually was, and the tradition of their particular tribe.

Deek, as my main bodhisattva guardian these days, is carrying OUT that particular ritual of what might be called “backdoor honor” or “reverse celebration.” And since my victory has been such a grand one, the hostility is comparably intense.

And I’ve also conjectured in the past, that there may be MANY shamans (or bodhisattvas) among the homeless. Certainly, Filipino Kai showing up more frequently at just the right moments, as witness and friend, lends credibility to this idea. He plays the role of helping hand and confidante…and he does that quite well, I should note. There have been OTHER houseless people congregating around Deek these past several months whenever we have our meetups…so they, too, serve as friendly witnesses.

I’d say that Deek’s horrific antics are nothing more than aiding me to keep moving in the right direction, as well as having some fun at my expense. And the less anger or worry I feel over his latest rants leads me closer to the final resolution that one might call “enlightenment,” “self-realization,” “spiritual epiphany” or some other equivalent term. His showing up one day with a bicycle and its gears jammed up with gold tinsel was a BRILLIANT retort to my declaration just a short time before, that “I spin all mine enemies’ toxic dross into strands of pure gold.”

So, just as I ultimately refused to fret over whether or not Deek shows up for his vet appointment, but joyfully put my trust in the hands of the Great Spirit, likewise I do NOT grow upset over this morning’s outrageously nasty attack. In fact, I should rest in faith, that this, too, shall have a POSITIVE result in due time.

Sorry about such a LENGTHY missive, but I DO hope you’ve enjoyed the ride immensely!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: They’re back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 17, 2022 at 9:15 AM

8:45 AM, Deek woke me up to take the pups inside. Asked if I’m alright once I got up and peered out the window…I nodded yes. Then he said:

“Take your time. They were up all night walkin’ around, so they really need to sleep right now!”

I took a quick piss, donned my slippers and rushed downstairs to collect the angels. When he handed the leashes over, Flaco slipped out of her collar in a flash and ran to the gate, dancing and wagging her tail in delighted expectation. Lucky gave a little “woof” at her as I held him back, waiting for Deek to extract two smartphones and a small battery pack from his pockets.

So here’s a pic of them now, getting some serious shuteye. And I’m about to step out for my Rosenberg java and thank my Lucky stars. Or is it my Flaco stars? I’m guessing it’s both!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: They’re back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 17, 2022 at 1:50 PM

> All tuckered out!!

Flaco has since transported herself to the box, while Lucky remains in his cushy nest on the cot. I set down their breakfast an hour ago, and they both awoke and dined with gusto…than back to sleep.

Deek stopped by again a few moments ago to pick up two recharged smartphones and a small battery pack. He was on his bike out front, so just collected his devices and zipped away. But before he departed, he asked how the dogs are doing, and I told him “Excellent, they had a hearty meal and are now resting.” Then he said the nicest thing to me that he’s never said before:

“Thanks, and have a blessed day!”

Let THAT sink in, like honey on spongecake.

> Scanned last night’s rabid rant, enjoyed it a lot! More soon when I have a break.

Another labor of love, written with a sad end because the superb resolution that followed came later next day…that is, this morning. I’m sailing on a cloud.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: But of course SOMEthing had to throw a monkey wrench into the happy outcome, though this time it was NOT Deek’s doing. It arrived in the mail, just after his quick visit. See pics. I have concluded the devil runs San Franshitsco…no wonder there are so many Satan worshipers in this accursed backwater burg! Why, urban legend has it that Aleister Crowley himself occupied the turret apartment on the top floor of this building in the early sixties!

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

Subject: Rain later today, so pups may be back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 18, 2022 at 2:47 PM

Light rain predicted for this afternoon, from around 1-3 PM. Deek may return as a result, to shelter the doggies…I hope so! Though his desire to have their company may win out, regardless of Flaco & Lucky’s well-being, since he just let them stay with me for two days. There is hope, though, in light of his many positive changes of recent mint. When he picked up the brindlekin yesterday morning, he was nicely dressed and clean looking, and quite amicable. No drama queen antics whatsoever!

Interesting encounter at Rosenberg’s this morning. As I began to pour some half-n-half into my coffee cup some friendly fellow of around 55-58 stepped in, squeezed past me and stopped inches away from my elbow:

“Oh, they have cream here, I didn’t know that!” he remarked.

“Ha! That’s what I thought too, for the first few weeks,” I replied. “So I just added milk when I got home. Then one blissful morning I discovered the half-n-half right beside this coffee pot, and said the same thing myself!”

I then extracted two pink packets of Sweet ‘N Low from my coat pocket and poured the powdery contents over the half-n-half, then filled the cup with steaming hot, golden-brown elixir and sealed it with a lid I procured from a stack leaning against another stack, this one comprised of paper cups that tilted in a disturbingly precarious manner, like out of a Max Fleisher reel. (How’s THAT for a sentence?)

Observing that he continued to engage me in conversation, I stepped aside by a foot or so, rather than walk immediately to the cashier.

“So, Dieter’s no longer here,” he continued, “but he HAD to move, considering his medical condition,”

Oh, he lives in my building, I thought…but I’ve never noticed him before.

“Yes,” I agreed, “but I hear the Veterans Home in Yountville is a pretty sweet arrangement.”

“It is in most ways,” he reflected, “but he can’t come out there!”

“What? He hasn’t moved IN there yet?” My mind was boggled; I couldn’t imagine where he was living now, during the interim.

“NO,” he shot back, “I mean ‘come out’ as in GAY!”

“Wow,” I exclaimed, “sorry to hear that. I had no idea.”

“Well, what choice did he have?” he elaborated. “He needs the care they provide, and he had no other option. But he’s queer as a three-dollar bill.”

“I knew two other gay veterans who stayed there for awhile,” I replied, “but they never mentioned anything about homophobia in the ranks. And they seemed happy while there.”

“Dieter’s been living in that room for years!” he exclaimed. “His rent was dirt cheap, under $300 I think, he should’ve KEPT it.”

I shrugged my shoulders and raised a hand palm up in a “well whaddya gonna do” kind of gesture. Now that I think about it, his keeping that unit would probably work against his veterans benefits, including his move to Yountville. I was about to tell him I’ve lived here even LONGER than Dieter, so MY rent’s quite low, too…but I thought better of it and bit my tongue. I wonder, though, how his rent could be lower than $300, as mine is eleven dollars more…so you’d think his moving in years later after me, it would be closer to four hundred. My new acquaintance suddenly changed topic:

“They still haven’t fixed the damn elevator. We should’ve proceeded with a lawsuit over this.”

I nodded my head in agreement: “Ridiculous how it’s gone on for so long. They shoulda replaced it fifty years ago.”

Again I bit my tongue rather than tell him about the actual lawsuit I and twelve others went through and WON, around fourteen years ago. And how we each got $14,000 instead of the proposed $44,000 by the time it was all over. Mainly because they resented that yours truly, the black sheep of Hotel California North, would collect that much money, when the REST of them held down jobs and I didn’t. So they settled for the lower amount, cutting their noses off as it were, to spite their surly faces.

We finally paid for our mud and stepped outside to continue the badinage a bit longer. I told him I enjoyed my talking with Dieter whenever I’d go upstairs to visit with my old friend, Sean, who lived in the room right next door for 24 years. And that I remember when Dieter moved in. Then I reflected further on the topic of vets:

“Whenever someone brings up veterans issues, I always think of one gay vet I supported after he shot himself by The Wall and survived,” I rattled on for another minute or two about Randolph, but concluded that some of his activism was a needless drama that I got sucked into…thus I question his motives now that so many years have passed. I ended my abbreviated tale with:

“Human beings are drama queens! What can I say?”

He chuckled at that and said, “Well I gotta get back to work now,” then turned away to walk up Noe Street. I presume he’s employed at the new cannabis shop several doors up, where I stop by outside every time I walk the dogs so the greeter can say hi to the furry angels, and pet them.

“So what is your name?” I called to him. He looked back at me, said “Ryan,” and I told him mine. I watched to see which doorway he’d enter, but for some reason I turned my head away for no reason I can recall. It was only for a second, but when I returned to look in his direction he had already vanished.

So, I have a newfound association with another resident of 9666 Market Street. But I have no idea how much he knows about me, especially regarding my caring for two homeless pups. We’ll just have to wait and see, Wattson.

Click here for a larger view.

Last night I straightened out my floor with a fresh edition of The Bay Area Reporter (the most popular and widely circulated LGBT news media of all time), and found the perfect box to replace the one that was on its last legs after the doggies’ working it over with their repeated, frantic scratching in their fruitless attempts to “fluff it up a bit.” Like Lucky has started doing with my cushioned swivel chair. Attached is a pic of my hovel from just outside the door, after I laid down the throw rugs atop fresh paper. I like the comfy ambience and sunlight pouring through the blue curtains.

Click here for a larger view.

Also enclosed is a pic of the new box, with “Chewy (where pet lovers shop)” printed on one side. That’s an online pet store, in case you didn’t know. How appropriate for the purpose it now serves! I found it on the back porch, all flattened out. Instead of resurrecting it with box tape, I decided to just close one end by overlapping each flap upon the other. Sturdy enough with less fuss, and no waste of expensive tape! A tad larger than the previous box, I’m sure the pooches will go nuts over it.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: It just occurred to me that Ryan may have been one of the people seated with Dieter from time to time, at the Mediterranean restaurant parklet around the corner…where he often hanged out starting around six months ago, until his transition to Yountville. If so, he most likely has seen the brindlekin, and knows some other things about me that Dieter might have shared.


Re: Rain later today, so pups may be back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 18, 2022 at 5:50 PM

> I took a tour of the Vets’ Home in Yountville about 25 years ago, with the idea of bringing my father here from NYC. It didn’t happen, but I got a good look at the place. And went there again a few years later with some friends who were visiting a guy in his 90s, a friend of theirs. The grounds and the buildings are kind of wonderful–a long, long tree-shaded drive leads to the place. It’s a sprawling complex; the buildings are big, graceful, with some really attractive old-style California architecture. There are gardens, lawns, old trees, rose bushes, vineyards, courtyards. The interior is less attractive–institutional linoleum floors, fluorescent lighting, the usual. But the residents I talked to said they loved the place, the care was superb, the food fine. There was a mass shooting there a few years ago (you doubtless heard about it), and they said they were going to close the place down permanently, but later changed their minds.

Even in a homophobic environment, there CAN be beauty! A shaky reassurance, as I know how anti-gay the military culture remains, especially when it comes to older veterans. I went through this while visiting Randolph in the nation’s capitol and in general, speaking for him now and then on the media, and in meetings with, or letters to, certain mucky-mucks (like the director of the V.A. hospital there).

> Wise of you to resist saying too much to your new acquaintance.

I think so! I certainly don’t want to wind up being a target once more, of elitist, wealthy queers. Though he DOES know now, I moved in here well before Dieter. At that point he probably put two and two together and figures I’m paying dirt cheap rent, also.

Well, it’s damp and chill outside, and Deek has NOT returned. Good thing the pups have their sweaters! I saw the three of them last night, about an hour after the dogs left my sanctuary. Deek was pushing his cart up the sidewalk at a rapid clip, while the doggies trotted alongside, looking up at him quite often with attentive and loving regard. Their constant sweetness humbles me, especially when they have a master who should treat them better.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Trickster Deek at it Again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 2:42 PM

He woke me up at 2:40 this morning! For what reason, you ask? To hand me two micro SD cards still in their bubble-wrap packages…something he could’ve EASILY waited till after 10 AM to give me. I told him in the past, the only time it’s okay to disturb my sleep, is to bring the dogs inside. So THAT’S what I thought he was gonna do, considering the chill, damp night air, and that he “lost” the doggy sweaters already.

However, once I reached the lobby, a homeless black person was there, standing about with his backpack and bedroll, not a peep out of him. Since he was silent and appeared to be harmless (though a big fellow) I ignored him for the moment and went right to the front gate without opening it.

“You know it’s almost three AM, don’t you?” I groused. Actually, I was still up, though just about to crash when Deek appeared…but he doesn’t need to know that. I CHERISH my quiet time, as I’m sure you do as well, Wattson.

You should know I sleep in my day clothes, so perhaps Deek has concluded I’m still up and about at such a wee hour…thus no big deal to drop by then, no matter my claim otherwise. I need to correct him on this, and will do so next time around: that I DON’T change into pajamas.

“Oh, sorry,” he contritely meowed, “I didn’t realize how late it was.”

SURE he didn’t, I thought to myself, while noticing the brindlekin were nowhere to be seen or heard. He then passed two thin packets to me through the gate’s bars, and queried:

“Are these the right size for my music?”

One card was 32GB, the other 128. Since I know his total rap collection now comes to just less than 23 gigabytes, I affirmed they are. I presume the cards were filched from Walgreens just two blocks from here only moments ago, either by Deek himself or one of his errant errand boys tweaking his ass off on Scooby snax.

Deek then just stood there looking at me, and after 20 seconds of dead air, I spoke up:

“I’d LIKE to go back to bed now.”

He then pointed at the intruder just feet behind me:

“Who is he? Does he live here?”

“Shhh, Deek,” I softly reprimanded, “Don’t talk about him while he’s standing right there!”

I then turned to the mystery fellow who finally spoke up: “Can’t I stay here tonight, it’s cold outside.”

He spoke in a feminine tone, which told me not only is he gay, but quite pacifist and friendly. So I felt bad when I had to say:

“No, there’s a camera over there,” and directed a finger to a spot just above the derelict elevator. I certainly did NOT care to be reprimanded by the building manager for allowing a stranger to linger all night long in the lobby, which could readily be proven by the camera’s digital evidence.

He offered no objection, and politely grabbed his possessions and exited out the gate while I held the inner door ajar for an easy passage. But during the short time he moved to leave, Deek whispered to me with a dismissive sweep of the hand:

“Go to bed, goodnight now!”

I peered directly at him, but did not move a muscle nor even speak as I waited for the kindly pilgrim to depart. But Deek persisted, this time with a slight scowl on his face:

“Everything’s fine, go back to sleep, okay?”

Again, I did not respond to his off-putting demand (how dare he, I’M the one who lives here, not him), but remained mum. For I was not about to simply return upstairs without first seeing to it that the lobby be vacated.

The exit accomplished, I wished him a good night, and saw to it that the gate would shut in full, with my own force if need be, instead of halting with the latch poised in front of the plate instead of securing itself with a resounding “click.” Sure enough, the gate did NOT close, but remained resting upon the plate until I yanked it shut with my hand!

This latest problem with the gate not locking properly (which happens about twice a year) started barely two weeks ago, but still, the manager usually gets it fixed within a few days. In fact, he only added the plate back in 2018, to keep potential break-ins at bay. Imagine that! Our castle so vulnerable for decades, before something was done about it. But this “something” is more a band-aid than a real solution, for the lock is NOT a deadbolt! The cheapness of semi-slumlord Ablahblah Realty is legendary.

This explains why someone else I know (but whose name I have long forgotten) who is living on the streets but don’t want over anymore, suddenly came knocking at my door several nights back. I had no idea who it was until I opened the door. Haven’t seen him for almost three years, and hoped never to see again. Not that he’s a problem, but nothing he talks about is of interest to me…and most of it is just babbling conspiracy nonsense or wacky fantasies. Besides, since this pandemic began I refuse to let most ANYone step inside my hovel. Fortunately, he gave me no grief when I told him I stopped having visitors years ago, that I’ll see him outside, but right now I’m busy. I espied him through my window later that evening, across the street and chatting with Deek. Go figure.

But even without a malfunctioning lock, it’s still easy for anyone to sneak inside, by piggybacking on a resident, delivery person or repairman (such as a plumber or electrician) who just entered, since the gate is slow to swing shut, and some people don’t bother to see if anyone is right behind them. Not to mention that SOME deliveries of a major sort, or residents moving in or out, or contracted building workers (such as the elevator crew) usually leave the gate wide open for an hour or longer.

LIVING ON ONE OF THE BUSIEST STREETS IN THE ENTIRE CITY DOESN’T HELP MUCH, EITHER!

Upon returning hovel and finally hitting the sack, I realized Deek’s encouraging me to rush back upstairs was his attempt to keep the front gate unlocked. For what purpose? I suspect he actually KNOWS the polite intruder but pretended otherwise, to throw me off. What was he planning to do…invite OTHERS on the streets to sleep in the lobby? THAT would be a disaster, and I’d have the wrath of the manager and all residents come down on me.

I guess word is out on the streets by now, regarding the wonky gate lock (thanks to my trickster friend with the two doggies). To add a further complication, aNOTHER homeless person (who I don’t know and appears rather sketchy to say the least) was sitting right out front by the curb, wrapped in a dirty blanket and watching the entire scenario unfold. Now HE knows about the gate, too!

So unless the manager gets this fixed pronto we MAY have a problem on our hands. I think I’ll mention it to Deek, next time he shows up, say something like:

“Nice attempt trying to keep the gate open, buddy! Wanna give it another shot?”

Before all this happened, Deek dropped by much earlier, to give me two “new” speakers to charge, said he’ll pick them up the next morning. That’s when I saw the pups weren’t wearing their sweaters, in spite of the chilly air.

“Where are their sweaters, Deek,” I asked, “Did you lose them already?”

“Nah,” he replied. “They kept pulling them off because it makes them itchy.”

“That’s weird,” I remarked, “They don’t seem to mind the sweaters when I put them on.”

He had a shopping cart with him, though sparsely filled. I asked if he still has the sweaters, he said yes, just look in the cart. But I could see they were NOT there without moving any of his several items around. So I just said never mind, wished them all a lovely night, and returned upstairs with the two speakers.

I have a hunch he lost them, but doesn’t want to admit it. I should’ve come back downstairs with the second pair I bought, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. GLAD to see, however, their rabies tags still clinking on the collars, good physician. What do ya wanna bet he’s so PROUD of those tags, he’ll NEVER lose them! Maybe I’m a tad too optimistic.

Funny thing about that 128GB SD card:

I’m planning to purchase a refurbished Chromebook to replace my old x60s Thinkpad that has finally kicked the trash bin a few months ago. This would be for taking outside to coffeehouses, and for emergency computer backup if it ever comes to that. I can get a decent Chromebook, used, for cheap: anywhere between $79 and $150. I can even replace the system with Linux or one of a few Chrome-style OS’s that are free, and designed to work beyond the device’s expiration date…which is when Google decides to cease updates. And my VPN service works great with Chrome devices!

But since these low-end notebooks have very little storage built in, I figured to buy a 128GB card to increase capacity via a media slot that comes with many of the newer Chromebooks. Now, Deek doesn’t know anything about this, yet here he shows up with EXACTLY what I need! Seeing as he does not require that many gigabytes for his OWN music, I’ll just replace it with a 32GB card that I already have, lying around.

So was his late-night intrusion worth it, for the card? Umm, not really.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Trickster Deek at it Again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 7:50 PM

> Jesus, I would KILL anybody who woke me up at that hour!

Not if there were a sweet doggy or two hanging in the balance.

> But you handled it perfectly.

The pups bring it out in me.

> And those extra gigabytes are better than a sharp stick in the eye.

That reminds me of Futurama’s “eyePhone” episode.

The scene I’m thinking of starts at 1:55, in case that link doesn’t take you right to it…you might have to skip a commercial before you get there, if you don’t use a Youtube ad blocker. There should be a “skip” link in the lower right of the video, after the first five seconds. At any rate:

Deek showed up this afternoon to pick up his gadgets. We had an interesting, and rather fun, conversation…part of which revealed I was WRONG about some things that went on last night re. the mystery visitor in the lobby, the gate’s flaky lock, and the doggy sweaters. I’m working on that email right now, have been for over two hours…will be ready in 30 minutes or so. You’ll love it!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I WAS WRONG (I guess)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 20, 2022 at 10:31 PM

Deek FINALLY came by to pick up his gizmos, just twenty minutes ago. The pups were there, too. Soon as I brought down the Bluetooth speakers he said:

“And the chips?” Meaning those two SD cards. I decided to give him a bit of a worry, just to get back at him for last night’s thoughtless interruption:

“I didn’t think you’d wanna USE them on speakers, Deek. In fact you specifically said wait till you get another smartphone.”

“What?” he exploded, knowing it takes almost an hour and a half to copy his ENTIRE collection, for each card. “You had all night long to copy them over, you could’ve got it going before you went back to sleep!”

“You didn’t say ANYthing about using them for the speakers, Deek.” Which was true, he didn’t.

So I reminded him that with thousands of songs on each chip, and no visual menu like on a smartphone, it was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to pick the songs you want. He’s been through this before, and I thought he understood how frustrating such a setup can be. BECAUSE HE’S BEEN THROUGH IT MORE THAN ONCE!

“I told you before, Deek, that playing music from a card in a speaker is only intended for a SMALL number of files like a hundred or less; otherwise it’ll drive you crazy.”

Well, Wattson, a couple of hours after I woke up this morning, it occurred to me he just might WANT to use those chips on the speakers, regardless of the frustration involved. Or he just forgot about that part, which is more likely. (He might not be blonde, but he sure can be dumb as one, sometimes; I blame Louisiana more than the meth.) So I went ahead and copied all his music while puttering about in cyberspace and listening to Marshall McCoy’s latest “Memo of the Weird” podcast…hoping the Cajun dimwit wouldn’t show up before all songs were transferred.

“Are you kidding?” he proclaimed in horrendous disbelief, like I had just told him World War Three is on, and we gotta get to shelter in the underground Metro in less than ten minutes or we’ll be nuclear dust.

[Come to think of it, I don’t believe he has a CLUE what’s going on these days between The Russia and Ukraine (intended reversal of “the”). All he has to do is look at the headlines in passing, while rummaging through the bins for gawd sake! I have yet to bring it up, just like I haven’t all the tales, videos and pics of him and the pups that are out there in cyberspace. Which do you think will come first, Wattson: the bombs or the bestseller of all time and space? I’m betting on the latter.]

“You mean I’m STILL gonna have to wait THREE FUKKIN HOURS before I can play my songs…after all the time I already gave you between this morning and now, to get it done?” He was fuming at this point, couldn’t even look at me, but stood facing the wall of the ATM alcove. Meanwhile, I knelt down to belly-rub and cuddle the darling pooches, who were SO elated as always, to see me. And I, them. Their glittery blue rabies tags jangled a merry tune: elvin bells and fairy chimes!

“Oh calm down, Deek,” I stood up then and stretched. “I transferred ALL your music to both chips this morning, figuring to get that job out of the way. But I really had no idea you planned to use them on the speakers.”

He turned around and faced me upon hearing the good news. “Hurry up and get them, I don’t have all day!” he snapped.

“Now, now, not until I see you chill out,” I advised him like a wise brother. “Take a deep breath.”

He did just that, while mumbling something about thinking I might have refused to copy his songs to those chips, out of anger for his disrupting my sleep. I certainly led him on to consider that, for an unhappy minute or two! Just before I departed to procure the objects of his rap-musical lust, I added:

“I’m NOT gonna hurry up, for your information. I’m gonna take my sweet fukkin time. Maybe dump a log first, then wipe my ass with a whole roll of TP, tissue square by tissue square, and relish every moment. So just grin and bear it, I’m NOT your Stepin Fetchit!”

Before I vanished back into the building, he requested I also bring down a bowl of H2O for the pups. “I’ll get there when I get there!” I called back, and the gate slammed shut.

I quickly filled a plastic dispsoable bowl with water, then carefully placed the micro cards that were already inserted into their larger SD sleeves, into a clean envelope, folded it then ran back downstairs.

“Here you are,” I declared. Next I set the bowl down and carried Flaco’s sweet little quadripedal soul away from the gate and beside Lucky, who was already lapping away.

He opened the envelope and extracted one of the SD cards, examining it with some confusion: “Where’s the tiny chip, this is too big!” (There’s that dumb blonde coming out again.)

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I answered with patient exasperation. “You’ve been through this several times already, you should KNOW where it is by now…just work it out with your fingernails from that slot along the top edge.”

But before he did that, he posed another question: “Which is the 128 gig?”

“It’ll say on the chip once you extract it,” I replied. “But what does it matter? Same exact songs on each one, same number of songs.” Jeez Louise!

“That one-two-eight gig cost sixty dollah,” he bragged. “Not that I paid that much for it myself.”

“I didn’t think you paid for them at all, Deek,” I exclaimed. “I figure you swiped them off the shelf, ran out in a flash and didn’t want to be caught with them on you, so passed them on to ME!”

Deek then looked up at me with a twisty grin, from where he sat with the SD cards in one hand.

“You need to be careful what you THINK I do!” he retorted.

Interesting response, as he didn’t actually DENY the petty crime. I had also brought the second pair of doggy sweaters downstairs, and offered them up.

“No thank you Zeke,” he replied and pointed at the original pair lying at the bottom of his cart, beneath a blurry pile of plastic and metal parts, and clothing of some kind. So he DOES still have the sweaters after all, I thought…my bad!

“They just don’t wanna wear ’em,” he explained.

“I find that hard to believe, Deek,” I countered, “as they always act quite comfortable when I put their sweaters on. And they never take them off unless I do it FOR them.”

He didn’t respond further, so I just said okay, I’ll take this pair back upstairs. I then confronted him in an offhanded manner:

“By the way, what was that with you shooing me back upstairs so you could keep the gate unlocked? Very funny, care to give it another shot?”

“NO!” he rebounded like a snarling Super Ball. “I don’t know WHO that dude was, I wanted you to return to your room ’cause he’s homeless and might think I snitched on him!”

“Snitched on him?” I asked with genuine curiosity. “For what?”

“For getting him kicked out of your building!” was the suprising answer. “Now he could cause me trouble later on!”

Yes I suppose he could, were he not such a peaceful soul. He possibly thought I was the building manager, and Deek another resident. But this conclusion only came to me with hindsight, well AFTER our latest meetup ended. At the moment, though, I did not reflect, but blurted out like a cheesy off-off-Las-Vegas-Strip Steve Martin impersonator:

“Well excuuuuuse me for NOT running up the stairs like a frightened little bunny-rabbit, and allowing a STRANGER to lurk about the building all night long! You have my most proFUSE apologies!”

At this point our verbal swordplay seemed to have petered out, while all Flaco and Lucky wanted was to scamper back upstairs with THIS canine-worshipping pilgrim. But that was not in the stars, or at least ONE star named Deek. Before departing for good, I pet the little angels once more, told them how much I love them, then turned to Deek:

“Just a reminder: the only time it’s okay to drop by so late is to bring the dogs inside. My sleep is FAR more important than your music or anything else that does not involve them.”

He nodded at me with a cordial grumble, and I then explained that I sleep with my clothes on, and have done so for many years.

“So don’t think I’m actually up and about just because you see me dressed like this when you rudely summon me downstairs at such a late hour, and against my wishes! In other words, don’t think ‘oh he’s lying, he’s not sleepy at all.'”

So that was that, and my final words were this, before turning around to return hovel:

“You all have a lovely rest of the day, and enjoy the music!”

Thus I found myself upstairs once more, dogless…and a short while later began the arduous task of composing this, my latest missive, to you, Dear Wattson. Conclusion:

I was wrong about SOME assumptions I made, regarding Deek’s behavior last night. But that’s STILL a drop in the bucket compared to Deek’s OCEAN of wrongs that almost drown me from time to time. Yet that is NOT what’s important in all these silly street fiascos. You know what’s REALLY important, above and beyond anything else in our relationship, Wattson? This:

!!! THE POOCHES GOT THEIR SHOTS…HUZZAH !!!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I WAS WRONG (I guess)!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 21, 2022 at 2:55 PM

> Yes!!! A triumph, a victory, a grand achievement!

No sweeter sound to my ears than the clinking of those tags. I have a hunch Deek feels the same way, even though he’ll never admit it. His blurting out the other day that he would’ve taken them to a vet himself without my aid, anyway, was his typical trickster comeback. In the tradition of an “opposite” shaman, who often speaks contrary to what he means, especially when addressing someone who recently triumphed over impossible odds.

Pups have returned to my sanctuary as of this morning…WITH THEIR SWEATERS ON! Deek is busy now jamming on some street corner, I guess. He introduced me to a member of his rap group, who was standing with him out front, by the bus stop…waiting, I suppose, for Deek to pack things up and start today’s rap session somewhere downtown or in the Mission. He’s a ginormous black dude, and friendly. Though I was only with them for less than a minute, loaning Deek my Scotch tape to decorate his bike with thick strands of colorful plastic beads that he first had draped over a speaker. So we really didn’t get to talk.

Deek WAS somewhat pesky in this latest meetup, but nothing to write home about. At THIS point in his incredible growth in leaps and bounds, it’s become almost an HONOR for him to tweak my nerves at least a skosh…in kind memory of a prior existence. Artemis only knows how SUSPICIOUS I’d be if he did NOT fuck with my head now and then, at THIS stage of our friendship.

Of course, he requested advance payment for his Thursday allowance (“I really need it!” as if that particular phrase were some sorcerer’s spell impossible to resist). Of course I acquiesced, but not immediately. I held off for two hours before approaching him with fresh java in my hands on my return from Rosenberg’s, where he was sorting through his items behind my building. I didn’t expect to see him still hangin’ out nearby, especially since after he handed over the pups and said he’ll be back around noon to pick up the speakers. Which was when I planned to cough up da moolah, after telling him earlier no way Jose, it’s too soon.

Once I crossed 16th Street I walked up to him and said, “Would you like the money now, or later at noon?”

Surprise, surprise, Wattson, he wanted it now…plus some ginger ale. He also handed me another device to charge that I guess he already had in his cart, but forgot. Turned out to be a Phillips DVD player. Sadly, upon returning home, I discovered it doesn’t work ’cause the battery’s dead, and even when I plug it in the disc cover refuses to open.

When he returned to pick up his electronics, I told him the DVD player’s no good, and explained why. “Give it to me anyway,” he said, “Maybe I can do something about that.” In the recent past he would’ve been all over me in a hissy fit, claiming I broke it. But no drama this time around.

Nothing untoward to report, which is GREAT! Two pics enclosed: one showing his main speaker pimped out with bright, big beads. A happy remnant of his Mardi Gras/New Orleans roots.

Click here for a larger view.

The other pic shows Lucky enjoying the cool breeze wafting from the box fan just I turned on, thanks to the warmer weather and the direct rays of the sun striking both windows.

Click here for a larger view.

Flaco’s in the box, loving the private darkness therein, and the coolness that provides. Oops! She just moved from the box to the cot, and vanished under the covers. I almost sat on her one day, because I didn’t realize she was there! She’s quite the stealth ninja.

I’ll let them rest for another two hours, before taking them on their afternoon poopies, and visiting with the cannabis shop’s greeter, whoever that will be today. Usually that’s Vanessa, but could be Koby.

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 11)

March 17, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18k]

Subject: Dust Mites to the Rescue!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 4, 2022 at 12:17 PM

I’m constantly concerned that someone working at the local laundromat may one day ask why I dump a load or two into the dryer, without first washing them. I don’t want to say “bedbugs,” because people are weird about the issue, and I just might be banned FROM whatever laundromat for telling the truth. “Oh no, we don’t want no bedbugs here!”

I suspect that close to a third of their patrons deal with these critters, but think they are required to first wash their items before drying…when the fact is, soapy water even at the highest temperature setting does NOT kill them. Only the more extreme heat from a dryer does. So it makes more sense to me, to run all clothes, bedding and towels through the dryers when not wet at all…especially if they’re actually still clean and DON’T need to be washed. Even so, if they’re SOMEWHAT dirty, it strikes me as a better strategy to use the dryer-first method, anyway.

For once they’re soaked through from a wash, it takes much longer to raise the temp of your load high enough, and long enough, to eradicate the insects. Say, an HOUR as opposed to as little as ten minutes if items are already dry. I’ve tested this out: ran a dry load for just ten minutes, to discover all bugs dead. There was a row of them along the seam of a duffel bag I use for a pillow by stuffing it with a few jackets. So they were easy to see. Nonetheless, I go the extra mile by running the dryer for a full twenty minutes.

At any rate, I figured if they ever question my skipping the wash, I’ll tell them I have a small washing machine at home, but no dryer. And I hang them out in my apartment for a day or two, then finish it off by using a laundromat dryer. “They’re still a bit damp,” I’d say. However, if the curious employee eyeballs my load more closely, he or she might exclaim: “But they look pretty dry to me, already!” God forbid the worker should actually TOUCH an item. Of course I’d say, “Well, I wanna be absolutely sure they’re completely dry.” But just this morning, as I wheeled a load of clothing to heat treat, a BETTER excuse suddenly occurred to me: DUST MITES!

“I’m allergic to dust mites,” I’d explain. “So even when my stuff is still clean, I run them through the dryers once a month. Heat kills them off.”

So I just searched Duckduckgo about dust mites and heat and, sure enough, that is ONE good solution!

The more you know.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 4/4/22-4/6/22

Pic 1

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Video 1

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Video 2

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Video 3

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Subject: Deek and the Unfortunate Case of the Vanishing Bills
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 7, 2022 at 6:38 PM

This happened last Friday:

He came by to pick up his electronics (pups still with me), then hollered up: “Can I get the money today? I really need it!” He blurted out his reasons, and what he’s gonna do with the moolah, but I paid no attention, just shook my head and said “No!” then started to gather up his freshly charged toys.

“But I need it, I really do!” he continued calling out to me, for all the residents living on the Market Street side to hear. “Sunday’s only two days from now!”

A little birdie then whispered in my ear: “Deek’s doing really great these days, in so many ways. He’s listening to you!”

I sighed then, and poked my head back out the window to holler: “OKAY!” But I had to go to the bank, so when I stepped out, I told him:

“I just gave you fifty dollars yesterday, Deek. This asking for money back-to-back is not good.”

“I promise I won’t do that again, I can wait, I promise,” he replied.

“But you always say that,” I retorted. “Okay, let me get to the bank…I’ll hurry but I won’t run.” I then turned around and departed in the direction of my Chase branch, three blocks northeast.

As I proceeded to cross Noe Street, Deek called to me, so I turned around to see him bicycling in my direction, with that Speaker from Hell in the crook of his left arm:

“I gotta run an errand, back in five minutes. You can wait for me over there by the benches,” he blurted as he careened past me, pointed towards Cafe Flore, then swerved right to cross Market Street. I called back to him in a loud timbre:

“In other words I won’t find you anywhere when I return!” Knowing Deek’s habits, I had good reason to assume he’d keep me lingering well beyond a handful of minutes, standing on that corner when I could simply await his return back hovel just a half block distant, and keep the pups company.

He blurted something else before he vanished around the corner, but it reached my ears in an incoherant jumble as traffic whizzed by. Upon returning with cash in pocket, I actually DID tarry by the benches abutting the cafe, but not for long. As I opened the front gate and climbed the stairs, I muttered to myself how he’s too bossy for his own good, and takes it as a sign of strength to keep a friend up in the air, never knowing what kind of mischief he’ll conjure up next…though surely he will, and with scant time to recover from his latest devilment.

It didn’t take long for him to return, though surely more than five minutes. He was in an excellent, stable mood and looked great: clean and nicely dressed…which seems to be more and more the case with him these days. So I wished Deek an excellent rest-of-the-day (“Don’t spend it all in one place, and don’t take any wooden nickels!”) and returned hovel where the pups await. Though before departing entirely I paused behind the gate and held it ajar to address him, where he sat by the curb:

“I hate saying no to you for any reason, Deek, but sometimes I have to. But I want you know I think you’re doing GREAT, your progress is MOST impressive!”

He raised his shaved head (now minus that anemic, Hare Krsna ponytail) and looked up towards me with a smile: “Well I DO try!”

“Yes, you certainly do!” I agreed, than added: “It’s a beautiful day, make the best of it!”

“Okay, will do,” he replied. But I wasn’t finished:

“Some days are shitty, other days are beautiful,” I blathered on. “But even nice days can turn out sucky…ya never know. And sucky days sometimes turn out wonderful! But you should always make the best of things, no matter what. And THAT’S the lesson!”

I then concluded NOW I’m done and can return hovel…but just as I was about to shut the gate, I decided to have a little fun with him, so blurted out this amusing one-liner that popped into my head unbidden:

“I saw my doctor yesterday, and it turns out I have a serious hemorrhoid flareup, so he sent me to a gay clinic for a therapeutic ass licking!”

Well, Wattson, THAT threw him for a loop, but the confusion on his mug promptly morphed into a face-splitting grin:

“You just made that up, didn’t you?”

“Yep, I sure did!” I shot back, then closed the gate with a ghoulish “MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!” and rushed back upstairs.

The pooches remained in happy slumber all the time I was outside, and upon my return I hugged and pet them both, thinking what a nice day this is turning out to be…in light of Deek’s greatly improved attitude over recent months, of which this latest meetup was yet one more affirmation. Around twenty minutes had passed, during which time I assumed he had already departed to spend today’s premature allowance…but then I heard someone explode outside with a barrage of “Fuck-fuck-fucks!” So I poked my head outside to discover it was Deek (of course). I watched him pace back and forth, sometimes swooshing his hands through a pool of filthy water that had gathered alongside the curb to almost five inches deep. As I watched and listened, it soon became clear he had somehow LOST the $50 I gave him just moments earlier!

I then deliberated over this unexpected twist that is bound to ruin his day, and perhaps extend days further. He is notoriously sloppy with pocketing his cash, such that it easily slips out and onto the sidewalk…or he sometimes falls asleep sitting up and holding a wad of greens in his hand, which anyone walking by could snatch. IOW: this is far from the FIRST incident of this nature that has occurred, in spite of my many admonitions that he take better care to secure what moolah he may have ON him at any given time. After several minutes thinking this over, I decided to cough up yet aNOTHER fifty dollars, as advance payment for Thursday, even though that was six days away, and the money he just lost was already a two-day advance on Sunday.

As I watched him walk about in circles of frustration, peering under and around parked cars and repeatedly dipping a hand in that greasy water, I figured to also bring down a bottle of hand sanitizer, and an old stick that once belonged to a broom which I was using to pick bedbugs off the wall by attaching wide sticky tape to one end. I should note here, that he did NOT keep up the expletives after that one, brief outburst…but WAS fuming to himself, muttering only God knows what. My point here being: he was NOT creating a noise disturbance around my building. Which was a good thing.

Nor did he bother to call up to me with a request for more cash during the time I watched him from above, like a curious, lesser god from Mt. Olympus who had nothing on his agenda that day. Likewise a good thing.

Soon as I exited the front gate I addressed him: “What’s going on, did you lose the money?”

He looked up from where he was gazing down at the pooled water, hoping to discern the two faces of Andrew Jackson and one of Alexander Hamilton floating up from the dark abyss. He was a bit startled, stared at me blankly for a second, then exclaimed: “How did you know?”

“I heard you cuss, so looked out for awhile and put two and two together,” I replied, then told him to hold out his grubby paws so I could squirt some sanitizer on them. Which he did. I then handed him the broomstick. “Here, use this instead of your hands, I don’t need it.”

He grabbed the wooden rod and waved one end of it in sweeping, horizontal motions through this microcosmic manifestation of the River Styx. It was barely ten feet in length and a foot at the widest, so he completed the job in less than a minute, then tossed it to the ground in disgust.

“Well, Deek, I don’t think you’re gonna find your money at this point, you’ve done a thorough search,” I said, and held up the bottle of hand sanitizer. “Let me bring this back upstairs and I’ll go to the bank to get you another fifty dollars.”

Before returning hovel to collect my wallet, I gave him a brief lecture once again, on placing his money in a pocket where he knows it won’t just fall out so easily…”You know, like one you can button down.” Or anywhere else on his person that is secure. “You’re always losing money because you’re sloppy about it. Pay more attention, please!”

It was to my pleasure he didn’t screech like a lunatic that whole time; instead, he kept his anger in check and listened. When I returned upstairs, the pups jumped off the cot and started to pace the floor while looking up at me with wagging tails. They needed to go poopies! So I leashed them up, grabbed some treats and a few poop bags, and stepped outside.

“We’ll be back in fifteen minutes, Deek!” I told him, then rushed off with the pups across 16th Street and up Noe. To his discredit he did NOT greet the dogs, but acted like they weren’t even around, in spite of their elation to see him again.

Long story short: he got his fifty dollars and promised he won’t ask for an advance, will wait six days, then thanked me and off he went on his bike.

Well, that was three days ago. Here’s the rest of the update:

He picked up his charges last night around 9 PM, and was happy to see I had put camouflage sweaters on them before bringing them back outside. “Got them on the Internet?” he asked. “Yep, Amazon, ten dollars each,” I replied. Filipino Kai was there with him, which I consider fortuitous, as he’s been MOST supportive of my helping Deek and the doggies, and thus is a stabilizing influence. I also brought him another sack of dog food, and a space blanket.

So the brindlekin stayed with me for three days and two nights this time around. This seems to be the new pattern Deek
has established: letting them enjoy my sanctuary more frequently. I thanked him for bringing the dogs over so often, especially since it’s still wintertime, and the nights are cold. He kindly agreed, showing that WAS his main concern, as well.

The doggie’s appetites have been fabulous, licking their bowls clean each and every meal. And Lucky’s poops are back to normal: firm, brown and copious! Hera’s in her heaven and all’s right with the world. I’ve decided to buy HALF a roast chicken once per week (instead of whole), as that’s STILL a generous amount for two little mutts, and won’t be such a hit on my wallet.

For some copacetic reason more folks in the neighborhood have been stopping to admire Lucky and his sister this past week, and I sometimes give them treats to feed them, which they really enjoy (both humans and canines). Though soon as the dogs see that’s it for the nummies, they resume barking at them while still wagging their tails in a joyful flurry. They DON’T let strangers pet them, but stand back from a safe distance…except, of course, to receive a treat or two. Then they’ll carefully but quickly snatch the treat from their hands, then gaze up at them with their adorable faces, hoping for more.

One local who admired the pups just two nights ago, was this ginormous black bouncer at the Lookout, who often sees me walk by with the pups as he greets patrons lining up to get inside. But this night he was taking a break, sitting on the corner steps several doors from the bar he watches over. I had just crossed 16th Street when the pups spotted him and started to bark away. The guy just laughed and went “woof, woof, woof” right back at them. I stopped right there and said, “They don’t bite, they just bark!” Then I pulled out several small treats and handed them to him. The pups suddenly quieted down as they accepted those morsels but, as expected, stepped back and resumed their boisterous barks soon as they realized there were no more tasty handouts coming from his direction. Well, Wattson, he very much enjoyed the encounter and wished me a lovely night before we three mongrels departed.

That same evening as we neared my hovel on the way back, Lucky looked up at two gay men seated on stools on the other side of Super Duper’s plate glass window, noshing on their burgers. Next thing I know, he’s standing on his hind legs with chunky paws pressed upon the glass and barking up a storm at them. Flaco quickly joined in, though remained on all fours. The bowsers were clearly addressing the two fellows for whatever reason, and they had a good laugh pointing back at the hounds and making silly gestures, charmed by the encounter. Once Lucky stood back down and stopped barking, I shrugged my shoulders at the two patrons, wished them a good night with a wave of the hand, and off we went home.

Just two examples of the many KIND encounters I’ve been having in recent days, with locals admiring these outstanding canines whose sweet company is a tremendous blessing in more ways than one. I guess my efforts to make my brindlekin become mascots of the Castro are finally paying off!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek just dropped by for a short while…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 7, 2022 at 9:51 PM

…asked for his folding wagon, so I lugged it down the stairs. He uses it to carry his growing heap of recyclables as he goes from one trash bin to another. Since he was starting with the bins out front, I spent that time with the pups. SO glad to see them in those sweaters I gave him yesterday, which still look spotless. The doggies appear to be in good health and spirits.

He had them lashed to the bike, which he had first set down sideways. Very glad to see that. The leashes were twisted up together, though, so I unraveled them and moved the bike closer to the bus stop seats, so me and the brindlekin could sit in comfort, instead of on the cold, hard concrete.

Took him all of five minutes to paw through the bins before taking off. I told him his Vet SOS appointment is next week, to which he replied, “Okay, but that’s a while yet.”

He didn’t convey the least bit resistance to my mentioning this upcoming responsibility. I am VERY impressed with the New Deek! Again, he was neatly dressed and clean looking, and he wasn’t pushing around a shopping cart full of junk this time. Everything about his appearance tonight reflected someone who runs an orderly, tight ship!

You’d think maybe he actually has a good home to return to, and is only preTENDing to be houseless! An ACTOR if you will, from divine origins. A conjecture of mine which you are already familiar with, good physician. Part of my Bodhisattva Premise.

I shall sleep most BLISSFULLY tonight!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Vet SOS this Monday at 1:35pm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Vet SOS
Date: Mar 11, 2022 at 2:53 AM

Yes, I am confirming on behalf of a homeless friend. He knows the location and the time to show up four days from now, and I will remind him again, a day before. I have a few questions: will he have proof of rabies vaccine via a document, and possibly a tag to put on his dogs' collar? I would like to go with him, but that may not be possible. I'm afraid he might lose the document by the time he visits me next, even if he makes a beeline directly to my home soon as the appointment is over. I'm guessing with the unique vaccine numbers I can register proof online. Is it possible for you to send me a copy of the document, so I can scan it for my records, and store it to a hard drive...and also go through any online process for a more permanent record? He has no idea how to get online himself, doesn't even have an email address, except one I set up for him. He doesn't use it. I rarely use it, except for when it might facilitate some appointment or registration or gov't assistance he might need or want to find out about. He doesn't have a cell phone, either.

If it's possible to send me the document via email, that would work fine. And any other information related to his visit. Just use this gmail address. You can also call or text me. Thank you again for your service to houseless peoples' lovely pets.

Fwd: Re: Vet SOS this Monday at 1:35pm
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 11:23 AM

> Oh, man, let’s hope he doesn’t flake…

I think he IS gonna chicken out, going by his hostile behavior this evening. When I stepped out to greet him and the pups, I saw they were tied to his folding wagon in such a manner I had to lure them over to one end, as they had only a few inches cleared where they stood on the side opposite Deek, Soon as I grasped the raveled leashes to make the adjustment, he yelled at me:

“Hey, what are you doing, DON’T grab my dogs!”

I was actually being very gentle, and I quickly freed them up for more wiggle room so I could easily hug and pet them.

“STOP it, Deek,” I snapped at him, “I just stepped out and already you’re talkin’ shit to me.” Now get this:

I had fifty dollars in my pocket to give him RIGHT NOW, seeing as I told him a few days back he could get Sunday’s allowance on Friday at the earliest. But since he showed up tonight, I figured that’s close enough. I thought he was going to ask me for it when he called up to my window, but he did not, to my astonishment.

So here I was about to extract the bills from my pocket, thinking it would be a nice surprise…but at that moment he screams and spews insults instead! Of course I held off, and flung a few choice words at him as well.

“Why are you cussing me out?” he shoved all the blame of his OWN stupidity on me. “I didn’t come here to be cussed out.”

“Well, you have it coming, Deek,” I flashed right back. “I didn’t even get a chance to say hello how are you doing tonight, before you flew off the handle like a crazy TWEAKER.”

He continued trying to make it look like he said nothing wrong, and I was the asshole, but I didn’t let him get away with such juvenile antics. He finally calmed down, told me the dogs could stay overnight (which usually turns out to be a two, or even three, day visit). I then declared he can have the fifty dollars tonight, and presented the stuffed envelope with outstretched arm.

But he didn’t look up and raise a paw to receive it; instead, he was rummaging around in a pile of crap he deposited from a lumpy old sack, grumbling under his breath as he did so. I stood there for almost a minute, waiting for him to accept the filthy lucre, yet he continued poking through the debris, searching for whatever.

“I’m trying to give you money, Deek. TAKE IT!” I exclaimed in a frustrated tone, tired of holding it out in the air. Once he took it, I admonished further:

“Now PLEASE put it in a pocket where it won’t fall out and get lost again, like last time!”

I watched like a hawk, to witness him stuff the envelope in his leather jacket’s right-side pocket. It was wide and slanted, and not very deep.

“Are you SURE you don’t have a pocket you can zip up or button?” I queried in self defeat. “Or maybe just put it in your shoe?”

He didn’t reply, but resumed busying himself over a heap of what-nots. “Now, where is it?” he muttered while flinging away gewgaws and cloth scraps in various directions. “Ah, found it.” It was a smartphone.

In addition to that phone, he wound up handing me an old set of headphones with the cushion missing from the left cup, and a black, cylindrical speaker you could carry in one hand, though hefty…which means it’s got a good, long lasting battery.

He also wanted me to store his folding wagon again, before I bring the pups inside; and bring him a large trash bag and a cup of ginger ale. So this took me two trips: first the wagon, then the pups. But before taking Flaco & Lucky upstairs, I brought up the Vet SOS appointment again, told him the time’s been moved back a bit, to 1:35 PM. Monday. He knows where the SPCA is located, so that’s good, because Vet SOS’s popup clinic will be smack dab in the SPCA parking lot.

But Deek flung a barrage of excuses at me, in machine gun staccato…to justify NOT showing up:

“They’ll turn me away because I refuse to get Flaco spayed!”

“I’m only going there because you went through all the trouble of setting this up!”

“They’re already healthy, so they don’t NEED a checkup or extra shots!”

“You KNOW I’m not good with appointments!”

“They’ll probably make me wait HOURS once I get there!”

And so on. He insisted he’ll show up at Vet SOS anyway, but doesn’t want my company, making further excuses over why not. I concluded he never planned to follow through, but would just see me later that day or the next, and claim he went there…and he’ll either say the dogs got their shots, or they turned him away. So my going WITH him blows his scam right outta the water! But doesn’t he realize they’ll surely contact me if he fails to keep his appointment? On a good note, though:

Despite his juvenile rants, he DID hand the doggies over, and even returned what dog food remained from the latest supply I gave him withOUT my asking first…and the kibble was dry and sealed in their bags. Strange, though, he obviously did NOT feed them any of what I provided, for the sack contained the full amount I regularly offer: two 1-gallon Ziploc bags of kibble, and five cans of wet vittles. There was also a small baggie of dried food that I presume was donated from a homeless pet charity (probably the SPCA). So I’m guessing he also feeds them with donated grub, in addition to my OWN provisions.

So he’s been cooperative with some issues from the recent past, that I confronted him about. And THAT’S a good sign I may be able to convince him to keep his appointment. I certainly can’t be angry over this, as that will just inspire further resistance on his part. I will remind him that Vet SOS is NOT the SPCA, they’re very kind, and will NOT turn him away for ANY reason. And that, once he shows up for the first time, he’ll see how friendly they are, and it will be a cinch for him to return every six months for checkups. No more anxiety attacks over this!

I even told him if he returns with PROOF he showed up, such as a printout of the services he received and/or rabies tags, I will GIVE him an extra $50:

“No, it’s only money, I don’t need a reward for going there,” he poo-pooed. Can you believe it, Wattson? I bet if he fakes it, claiming he DID show up, but they didn’t give him any document or tags, he’ll DEMAND I cough up the moolah as promised, anyway. Of course I’ll refuse.

Well, it’s the next day now, and I expect Deek will drop by to pick up his electronics around 10 AM…aNOTHER recent compliance with my request he let my morning start in peace, walking and feeding the pups, sipping the java and just relaxing overall. “So please,” I asked him some weeks ago, “don’t come around earlier than ten, if you can help it, as you often stress me out with pointless drama, and I do NOT want to start my day on a bad note.” So we’ll see how things go today, and I’ll report back to you ASAP. Now, onto some lighter notes:

Two more Arwyn sightings in the past week, from a distance: the latest being Wednesday morning when I peeked out the window as I always do once I arise, to see him walking on the other side of Market Street, toward the Castro. He wore a sapphire blue jacket and jet black trousers. Snazzy!

I FINALLY GOT MY LAPTOP SCREEN WORKING AGAIN, but not in Windoze. I pretty much gave up, and managed to do without for several months since the problem began, assuming it was a hardware issue, and I can’t afford to purchase a new screen. Just as well, because the screws in the bottom of the housing are imPOSSIBLE to remove, as I discovered three years ago…so was not able to insert an extra SSD chip to double my drive’s storage. But I WAS able to upgrade the RAM from 8 GB to 16…thanks to a separate slot which screws WERE easy to extract.

I also gave up on Linux for quite awhile (just over a year), because it had crashed and I couldn’t get it to run again, and for some weird reason I couldn’t do a fresh install no matter WHICH distro I tried. However, I decided to give it another go two days back, and guess what: it worked! The trick was to install it on a chunk of the main drive, alongside Windoze, instead of on one of two peripheral SSD drives I have lying around, that ALWAYS worked before!

Glad to be running Linux again, as unlike Microslut, they don’t spy on you and harvest/resell all your personal data and online activities…or force you to deal with constant updates and worries over malware and other intrusions for which the birdbrain Windoze system is notorious. Linux is MUCH more stable and outstandingly SECURE on all counts. The distro I am running now is Linux Mint, Cinnamon edition. Which edition has built-in screen enlargement that is simple to use. The other editions require you to install a bloated service called Compiz that has so many graphic tweaks, including display zooming, they make it confusing and difficult to set up any one feature. And all I want is their magnify option, but you have to go through a ridiculous number of hoops to get it working. I don’t see WHY all OTHER Linux editions and distros don’t come with screen-zoom built right in. I hate Compiz!

So it was an UNEXPECTED BONUS to find that Linux has no problem with my laptop display! Now I have dual monitors once again, and can set aside my Android tablet, though it has served admirably as a small screen to watch my Youtube videos while tending to other activities via my 24-inch Dell display. I am tempted to just replace Windoze ENTIRELY with Linux, but I think I’ll wait a month or two before giving it further consideration. For one, my backup cloud service’s Linux setup is NOT graphical; it relies instead on a collection of scripts that you must edit various commands therein, to match up with your file locations and other settings. A headache and a half!

All my data is on an external drive (instead of under the user folder, which is the default for both Windoze and Linux), formatted as FAT32, which makes it compatible with BOTH operating systems. Thus easy to switch from one OS to another, including online storage. I can edit the same documents and play videos from that USB drive with either system.

Lucky & Flaco continue to have robust appetites…and this evening they’ll get another roast chicken surprise.

The newer smoke alarm I installed to replace the flaky one has NOT been a problem whatsoever, thus far. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that it remain silent. But I AM relieved knowing that, should it start screeching haphazardly like the previous one, at least it won’t upset the doggies. In conclusion:

Dealing with life’s ongoing nuisances is like being FORCED to play Whac-A-Mole against your wishes.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: “You broke it!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 10:22 PM

Deek dropped by earlier tonight to pick up his gadgets. His first gripe:

“Was this blue light on all the time while you were charging it?” he asked in a stern voice, referring to the cylindrical speaker now in his hands.

“Um, yeah,” I replied. “Doesn’t that indicate it’s fully charged?”

“NO, it does not,” he squawked, “Thats the Bluetooth signal. You should’ve turn the speaker OFF when you plugged it in. It lost all its charge, and I can’t use it now!”

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I admonished, “It’s the volume that drains the battery, not the Bluelight signal. At most, it lost maybe five percent of its charge, if that.”

Well, he persisted in guilt tripping me up the wazoo, but I just yawned and commented:

“You’re ridiculous, acting like a snotty nine-year-old brat. I’m going back upstairs to feed the pups, have a good night.”

He had no idea he interrupted me in the middle of preparing a half roast chicken for the brindleking, who I guess were going out of their mind for me to come back and feed them, stuck upstairs by themselves with that yummy fragrance taunting their nostrils.

As I continued peeling off the dead bird’s skin and stripping meat from bone, Deek suddenly hollered up at me once more.

“Get down here!”

I sighed and poked my noggin out the window: “Now what?”

“The phone doesn’t work, either!” he yelled, waving the device in his hand like he just caught a slippery eel.

So I quickly washed the grease from my hands, donned shoes and coat and reluctantly ambled down the stairs and back outside once again.

Turns out the crappy phone died, but he insisted I broke it:

“It ws working fine when I gave it to you, but now it’s dead!”

I explained to him that it’s an old device, and the battery probably died. After all, I checked it after two hours’ charge to discover it was only at eleven percent. Which is a good indication it’s on its last legs.

“But it was at one hundred percent the next morning, so I unplugged it,” I added. “You know, Deek, you can’t always expect every worn out device to function well, and THAT’S not my fault.”

I then reminded him that I’ve gotten MOST of his gizmos working, even the ones that seemed hopeless. And that he treats them roughly, knocking them around, dropping them, exposing them to the damp air, and sometimes the rain.

But he ranted on just the same, at one point balling his hand into a fist and looking down it at as it turned red, as if he could barely contain his anger. What a drama queen!

I remained calm through it all, and advised him to count his blessings, he has so many GOOD things going on in his life these days. But if you wanna use this very temporary setback as an excuse to be pissed all night long, be my guest.

“You broke it, you’re always breaking my things!” he shrieked, as if that were going to make me bow before his highness and beg forgiveness. I somehow managed then, to bring up his Vet SOS appointment this Monday:

“They’re really nice people, and once you show up–IF you show up–you’ll be glad you did, and it will be an easy chore for you at that point, to bring the dogs back there for a checkup every six months.”

“Oh how would YOU know?” he snarked. “They chase me out when they see Flaco hasn’t been fixed.”

“No they won’t Deek,” I patiently explained, “They are NOT from the SPCA, they just use their parking lot to set up shop. Stop being so dramatic and just take them there! It’ll be a nice day, and you’ll have a nice visit with them.”

I further explained that I understand how difficult it as to follow up on an appointment, how the thought of getting there at the right time gives you anxiety attacks.

“I’m the same way, Deek, but sometimes ya gotta do it, for our own well-being. But in this case we’re talking about two lovely pups who deSERVE the best care possible. So do it for THEM, and stop playing mind games with yourself. That’s both SELFISH and CRUEL.”

Well, I consider this a win in spite of his feisty resistance, because he actually LISTENED instead instead of drowning me in a flood of juvenile screams.

“Now I’m going back upstairs where I’m TRYING to prepare dinner. It’s up to you whether or not your night will be miserable or fun; I did nothing to cause your tantrum, I did NOT break anything.”

I then wished him a good night with God’s blessings and returned hovel. And there were the poor doggies drooling and dancing around me, DYING to dive into that roasted chicken! At last they did, after a few more minutes of preparation. They totally enjoyed their special meal, which came to TWO dishes each, filled to the brim with juicy strips of avian flesh.

I decided to remain absolutely calm over this Vet SOS issue, even if he decides not to show up. I’ll even offer to cancel the appointment next time I see him. But I WILL let him know what a mean, heartbreaking thing he’s doing. Or perhaps he’ll let me go there myself, and see if they go ahead anyway, and give them their checkup and booster shots. I can show them a couple of videos that prove they’re his dogs, and not mine…and how difficult he can sometimes be. I might also give them the link to Brindlekin Tales.

Looks like my laptop screen is working again, even under Windows. Don’t know HOW my successfully installing Linux cleared it all up; maybe it was just a happy coincidence. Though I can’t wait till tomorrow morning, when my Friday night backup is done, and I can return to Linux.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: “You broke it!”
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 11, 2022 at 11:45 PM

> Gawd, you have such patience. I know it’s for the sake of the dogs, so I understand, but jayzuz, he’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

It’s not so bad now, I can deal with it, and Deek is nowhere NEAR as rancorous as he used to be! Actions speak louder than words, and he HAS been trusting me with the pups far more often, with longer stays. He’s also been making sure to return whatever doggy food I gave him that remains, without my asking. Furthermore, he still had the new sweaters I bought, which I hand washed this evening. And a second pair will arrive tomorrow, so I can wash one pair while they wear another.

Keeping my fingers crossed he actually WILL show up on time, at the clinic. He didn’t say he WON’T go, just griped a lot. Though I suspect he may be planning to lie…which is stupid, ’cause I’ll find out either way, soon enough. I think that hit home with him tonight, when I told him they’ll give each dog a rabies tag, and a certificate of proof. As for patience:

I spin all mine enemies’ toxic dross into strands of pure gold! It pays off, this patience thing.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek dropped by, good meetup!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 13, 2022 at 12:57 AM

I still have the pups, though he might collect them tonight…or not, he isn’t sure. He brought me more devices to charge (of course). When I started to tell him that now-dead phone’s battery was on its last legs, and I know that because it took over two hours just to get it to eleven percent…he interrupted me and said:

“I know it’s not your fault.”

Mulling over the Vet SOS issue, I decided to not even bring it up again, just let it go, trusting he’ll do the right thing. I was even mulling over sending another email to that clinic, conveying to them my difficult situation, that he might NOT show up, due to his erratic mood swings…but it’s possible he’ll allow ME to take the dogs instead; I’m just not sure HOW this will turn out. But I decided to let THAT go, as well.

He sure seems in an excellent, stable mood tonight, the kind of affable panache that reflects someone who WILL follow through with getting the mutts their booster shots, and a checkup. (Or maybe he got hold of a primo dime of meth, and I shouldn’t keep my hopes up because by Monday he could be in a rage.)

About an hour after he departed, Flaco let me know she needs to poop, by standing at the door, looking directly at me and wagging her tail. To be sure that was her message, I sat down by my work station to see if she’d return to the cot, or lie down in the box. She didn’t do either, but remained by the door directing ALL her attention at yours truly. Yep she REALLY had to go! Didn’t surprise me in the least, as I had just taken them for a walk  a short while ago, and neither pooch took their little dump.

Lucky gave NO indication he had to relieve himself, so I left him happily snoozing away on the comforters. As we were returning home, waiting for the light to turn green, I saw Deek cross the street in our direction with folding wagon in tow and empty cans and glass bottles clinking therein. He smiled at us as he approached, then stroked Flaco who stood up with front paws on his leg, and said: “You’re just walking the girl? Careful, they might get jealous!

“Well,” I replied, “neither pooped earlier, and only a minute ago Flaco made it clear she had to go for reals…and she did!” I then extracted the stinky green bag from a pocket to show him. “Lucky didn’t, so I left him curled up on the bed.”

“Well I’m off to Haight Street to check the trash bins there,” he replied, “but I’ll be back in a few hours to pick up my electronics, and maybe the dogs.”

I said fine, either way is good, see ya then, and off he marched up Noe Street while Flaco watched him depart so surprisingly soon, a bit confused and disappointed. But she quickly cheered up, thanks to my loving attention, and we soon stepped inside where Lucky greeted her with playful pouncing and tugs on her tail. His sister disapproved with a muted, prolonged growl, upon which Lucky changed his tactics and began grooming the fur along her neck and shoulders with his little sharp teeth, snorting like a pig as he did so. This, she enjoyed. Like  a deep-tissue massage, I suppose.

So this was a MOST impressive meetup, and I don’t think Deek will disappointment me re. rabies booster shots for the brindlekin. IT IS SO IMPORTANT!

Now, a couple hours have passed between the last paragraph and this. Deek returned some minutes ago, picked up his gadgets AND the pups. I made sure to put their sweaters on, which I notice do a great job of keeping their little bodies warm. When I told him I handwashed the garments, and, while they looked clean already, before I washed them, he shoulda SEEN how black the water turned from silt that those sweaters picked up! But instead of carrying on the conversation, even if just for a New York minute, he retorted:

“Thanks, that’s very nice of you but I’m in a hurry, gotta go somewhere.”

He’s always like this: never actually holds friendly dialogs with me, except rarely. And he’s always in a rush whenever he drops by? I call BULLSHIT. Nonetheless I maintained my cool, pet the doggies on their heads, and thanked Deek for their sweet company.

Is this a sign his crystal high is starting to wear off, and the edginess is, er, edging in again? Or is he ashamed of his neglecting the dog’s vet care these many months, now that the matter stares him in the face? Or is this the Bodhisattva Premise hinting he’s just putting me through my paces re. fine tuning my positive aspect? Such that I don’t obsess over worst case scenarios haunting my cranium, just because I have ZILCH assurance that he WILL take the pups for their shots this Monday? As a practicing Buddhist myself, the answer for THIS blithe pilgrim can only be:

Do NOT focus on bad outcomes in any way, shape or form, but simply keep in good spirits, enjoy each day and shower blessings upon Deek and his furry familiars, knowing that all shall turn out well. Happy Daylight Savings Time!

– Zeke K-Holmes



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