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


Click here for a larger view.

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 Anastasia, but could be Kelly.

– 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

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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



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 10)

March 6, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18j]

Subject: Deek FINALLY showed up, picked up the pups…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 21, 2022 at 6:26 PM

…but when I asked him how did things go, he queried: “What are you talking about?”

“That housing opportunity of course,” I replied.

“Oh, they didn’t show up, so I’ll have to just wait till they do,” he explained.

So it looks like possible housing is on hold for now. He had the nerve to ask me for Thursday’s payment TODAY, so I marched on down to my Chase branch, only to discover the doors were locked because President’s Day. So I slogged on back to tell Deek he’ll have to wait until tomorrow, because it’s a holiday. And I added:

“But I have twenty dollars in my wallet, so take that now and swing by tomorrow for the remaining thirty.”

He groaned a bit, head in hands like he was mourning. I told him it’s not the end of the world, and wished them all a lovely night with God’s blessing. He said thanks, catch ya tomorrow. I was impressed with his calm demeanor. Now I’m back hovel by my lone some, while they’re still camped out below my window. It feels weird. He never wants to hang out with me for any length of time, yet they’re right downstairs.

Interesting that he left the doggies with me for four nights in a row. Perhaps he’s concerned about the cold nights, as he mentioned it during this present meetup:

“I know it’s another cold night, but I’ll keep my dogs warm, don’t worry.”

Before departing, I showed him the two space blanket packets I tossed into the bag of dog vittles I brought him: one regular blanket, the other a poncho. He also had another bicycle, which, glad to say, was set on its side.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Pups are back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 22, 2022 at 1:53 PM

After four nights of pup visits in a row, then one night on the streets, Deek showed up around noon, said it was a cold night, so he’d appreciate my taking them in for the day, maybe longer. He gave me a baseball hat with built-in speakers on the bill, a new smartphone, a small battery pack and that crappy wooden speaker to recharge. He was rather edgy, told me to make it snappy re. the phone, as it’s on zero charge and he just bought if off someone, so wants to be sure he wasn’t ripped off.

I told him I don’t work well under pressure, don’t appreciate him being so rude to me…and he’s gotta wait at least ten minutes for the phone to be juiced up enough before I can get it up and running. As it turned out, it was factory reset and required me to input either the owner’s original pattern or gmail account. IOW: he DID get ripped off, and I had to put up with his screeching, drama queen behavior once I returned and told him the bad news.

I doubt though he actually paid for the smartphone; more like he’s putting on a show to come off as “important.” He has a bossy streak in him. Said he wanted to see if it works and has cell service ASAP, ’cause if it doesn’t he’s gotta catch up with the dude who sold it to him, and get his money back. But it’s been almost a half hour since I returned it, and he’s hangin’ out there on the corner, chewing the fat with another drifter.

However, his behavior was nowhere near as extreme as in the past…I told him why act like a child, you always take a risk when you buy some device without first checking it out. He calmed down then, said thanks, and returned the bag of dog food. So I guess he’s gonna linger there for a coupla hours, then pick up the charged devices and depart while the dogs remain here.

Glad to see that the bag of pooch vittles did not contain any damp kibble this time around, nor were any of the cans smeared with gravy from a container he already opened.

Last night after collecting the pups, and twenty or so minutes later, I saw him parked across the street in a shop’s recessed doorway. Flaco & Lucky were comfortably settled on a pile of cushy jackets and covered with a space blanket. They moved on an hour later, after a string of visits by friendly vagrants. The pups rarely barked, but when they did, it was brief and not so boisterous.

Today when he returned the furry angels, I waited by the gate until the mailman departed. And only Lucky barked at that, a short “Woof!” and nothing more. Yet Deek hollered, “Lucky, stop that!”

I told him it’s okay, it was just one little bark, and Flaco remained still. Deek then retorted “No it’s not okay,” which is ridiculous. Doesn’t he realize how that solitary bark is a clear indication how much better socialized they are, as a result of my calm, loving guidance over the months? At any rate:

A FedEx delivery person stepped in right after the mailman exited, so I still kept the dogs outside until HE stepped back out, too. Ten seconds later he did, and held the gate open for us. To my delight, neither dog barked at him as we entered.

Attached is a pic of three devices I’m presently recharging: the clunky wooden speaker, small battery pack (with orange trim) and the baseball cap. I just looked outside to see that Deek is no longer parked at the corner, nor behind my building on 16th Street. Once he returns, I’m sure he’ll have another smartphone to charge up…presumably in working order.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek picked up the pups yesterday afternoon…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 24, 2022 at 11:26 AM

…and collected the devices I charged for him overnight, including that crappy wooden speaker. This time, the speaker and screen weren’t even screwed down, as the screws were missing, and the screwdriver I loaned him was gone. So those components could easily fall out were it not for the frayed black shoe strings he tied around it. The USB-C cord was sticking out, so all I had to do was plug it in without removing anything.

When I lifted the speaker a tad, to see if the battery light turned on to show it was charging, to my surprise the C-cord was no longer plugged into the battery, and the wires once more were disconnected from the speaker’s terminals and, even more surprising: all the tape was stripped away so thoroughly, there was no sign he had ever taped the wires into the terminals in the first place! An amazing feat in itself, as he did such a thorough job with the tape, it must’ve been quite a chore to remove every last shred. Maybe he was tweaking his ass off.

I was not about to rejoin the wires, as that would leave the door open to his blaming me if the speaker no longer worked…besides, it was rude of him to place this burden on me, rather than take care of it himself. Especially since these thin, short bundles of wire are excrutiatingly difficult to shove back into the miniscule terminal slots, then tape it all down again. I should have taken a pic of these wires and terminals to show what I’m up against, good doctor. Maybe there’ll be another chance, though I hope not, as I’ll be greatly relieved when he replaces this speaker with something better.

So when I discovered the battery was no longer connected (this was two days ago) I stepped back outside with the complete speaker under my arm, and approached him where he was still seated at the bus stop, chatting with another street ally.

“The battery’s not connected, Deek,” I informed him.

He turned his face up to me and, dismissing me with a wave of his hand, replied, “So just tape it up again!”

“No I won’t do that,” I retorted. “I’ll leave that up to you.”

“Alright, so just charge the battery,” he answered with some annoyance over my interrupting his conversation.

“Of course I will, that goes without saying,” I said and promptly returned hovel.

When he picked it up yesterday, I also handed him an old roll of tape that’s been sitting around since the Stone Age. He seemed not the least bit perturbed over this, and got right to work with Flaco & Lucky patiently resting nearby, enjoying our company and the sunlight. Before departing, I asked him the obvious question:

“Why did you remove all the tape in the first place?”

A twisted scowl then appeared on his mug: “What are you talking about, they were never taped down!”

“That’s not true, Deek,” I exclaimed. “You had the wires totally secured to the speaker with wads of Scotch tape so they’d never fall out again!”

“You talk too much,” he griped. “Get outta here, leave me alone.”

I shrugged my shoulders: “Whatever.” I saw NO point in arguing, as he’d just perpetuate the lie, and there was not a single snippet of tape remaining on wires or terminal to prove him wrong. In conclusion:

This is just the latest example of how he often makes things more difficult than need be. I had assisted him in jury-rigging the speaker to make recharging it a simple process. But no, he had to turn it into an idiotic charade. Kinda makes me feel like an aide in a psychiatric ward.

About “loaning” him tools such as a screwdriver, Scotch tape, flash drive, electric cord or whatever: I never see them again unless I stand around while he’s repairing a device, which he’ll pocket when done, forcing me to ask for it back with him hemming and hawing and taking his sweet time before handing it over. Loaning him something rarely happens, but when it does I know what to expect: pulling his teeth to regain the item…or never seeing it again.

And since I don’t care to stand around waiting for him to get the job done (as it usually goes on for a half hour or longer and bores me out of my skull watching him), I just go back upstairs for awhile, then return to ask if he’s done. If he isn’t, I’ll return hovel once more, and wait twenty minutes or so. But the outcome is always the same: he’ll say he doesn’t know where he put it, and I’ll insist he rummage through his piles of possessions scattered about, as I’m sure it’s somewhere nearby, and with a little effort he’ll find it. And he always does, albeit begrudgingly. One time he had disappeared when I came back downstairs to retrieve an item, thus lost to me for good. Next time he dropped by I asked if he still had it…and of course he said no.

Even more exasperating is when he asks for a tool I already loaned him, but he never handed back. “No I don’t Deek, you already borrowed it and never returned it,” I’d remind him, then add: “I can’t afford to keep buying the same item over and over again, because you fail to return it. I’m not a dollar store, and I don’t have money to throw around.”

I actually tried very HARD to not loan him that screwdriver. When he was securing the speaker and grill by slowly twisting the screws one by one, I stood over Deek, waiting for him to finish. (The screws fit awkwardly in the holes, which make it a tedious and bungling process.) But I got bored and told him I’ll be back down in ten minutes to pick it up. Two other vagrant friends of his were seated alongside him in the ATM alcove, so I burdened my captive audience with a little speech, hands out and shoulders shrugged:

“Whenever I loan him a tool, I never get it back unless I nag him. And if he walks off with it, it’s lost to me. Then he asks for it again some days or weeks later, and I remind him I don’t have it anymore because he never returned it.”

But after the second time I recharged that Speaker From Hell, he said he needs the screwdriver so he can charge it himself. (He sometimes juices up a device via a PG&E utility easy to get at, as many of the higher functioning homeless do. Such as Boulevard Joe who I believe taught Deek this nifty little trick. You have to lift and slide back the concrete cover first, then plug a grounded power strip into the company’s power box, and you’re good to go. But there are OTHER illicit electricity sources as well, scattered about the city…such as by those bus stops with animated posters, certain small shops and single homes.)

So I wound up surrendering my screwdriver anyway, knowing he’ll lose it soon enough. His returning the speaker two days ago for a recharge MINUS the screws proved me right, once again. I didn’t even bother to ask if he still had the screwdriver, ’cause I know the game.

Regarding his baseball cap with speakers: he gave me the USB cord that came with it, as if it were important. That is because I recently told him that some smartphones won’t charge as fast with a generic cord, since some are made to work best with the one they came with. And may explain why the previous phone he gave me took six hours to fully charge. So with a sigh I explained to him:

“It’s only the more expensive devices you need to worry about, such as smartphones, battery packs and speakers. These cheaper products charge just fine with any old cord.”

The world is confusing enough even for well educated people…I can’t imagine how dropouts like Deek maneuver their way around in this high tech reality. Meanwhile, back to the crappy speaker:

When I returned it to him yesterday I said I’ll be glad when he gets a different speaker. To which he replied:

“No, this one has great sound!”

“Well, whatever,” I replied, then stepped back inside to leave him and the pups to their own world on the streets, and Deek fussing up the contacts with unbelievable focus and tape. He didn’t even see me leave, though Flaco intently gazed upon me with loving eyes and a strong desire to return upstairs, until I disappeared behind the gate. I looked back at her once, with heartbreaking regret and a sense of guilt. Well, at least I gave them another space blanket as their master, of course, had already lost the two I gave him.

Around ten minutes later I was disturbed from my Internet activities by some loud rap music blaring outside. At first I thought it was coming from a car parked below with doors open, as that is a frequent scenario (though mostly late-night). However, a few minutes later it occurred to me it might be Deek’s speaker! So I left my work station to peer out the window and, sure enough, it was.

“Wow, that really DOES sound good; excellent bass!” I noted to my impressed self.

As I observed Deek pack up his stuff and start pushing his cart westward with little doggies in tow and speaker gangsta-rapping to the max, I also mused:

“Gee, he must think he’s some hot-shot audio technician right now…that’ll teach me!”

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I should note that, in spite of his continued nuisances, his behavior has VASTLY improved these past several months, in every way. When he DOES get upset, it is less frequent and far less explosive. His trusting me with the dogs so much more often (mainly to spare them from a long string of cold nights) is also impressive. As is his no longer lashing the pooches to his bike, unless it’s laid down on the sidewalk first. He was pleased to hear I gave the dogs a thorough shampooing, which turned out to be not much of a fuss. While they didn’t enjoy being forced under the shower, they were patient little angels…and real happy once rinsed and dried off. What mess remained in the washroom was minimal and easy to clean up. And they didn’t even bark, growl or whine through the entire ordeal. They didn’t seem dirty at all, though, as no gray water flowed from their fur. Looks like their short-haired coats do a great job of repelling dust and dirt! Not to mention how studiously they clean themselves and each other.


Subject: Deek pisses me off…but not how you think!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 24, 2022 at 11:56 AM

I find myself getting pissed off at Deek not so much for his OWN aggravating behavior, but for dumping another difficult challenge over how I’m gonna unravel the latest scenario into a well written piece of prose! It is FAR FROM EASY putting it all down in a way that duplicates (as best as possible) the latest incident (which I like to call “Deekcident”), as well as conveying how it impacts me, in such a way that it touches my readers in a similar fashion. IOW:

Whenever Deek presents me with yet aNOTHER dramatic episode, it pisses me off because DAMMIT, HOW’M I GONNA WRITE THIS ALL DOWN, IT’S COMPLICATED…THANKS FOR NOTHING, DEEK! And the frequency of such picaresque tales with which he burdens me these days, barely gives me space to breathe before the next one occurs. Artemis help me if I put off taking to keyboard for TOO many days, or even hours…it piles up rather fast, and then I REALLY got a Herculean chore tossed at my feet! With no way around to continue on my Odyssean path until it’s all put down on e-paper.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek picked up the pups yesterday afternoon…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 24, 2022 at 12:33 PM

> Well, in a sense, you are!!

At least he provides for his own medication. After all, Wattson, I’m only a nurse’s aide and do not have the authority to prescribe!

> And so am I…

This reminds me of a sci-fi tale I read years ago and which title and author I’ve long forgotten. It was about a world run by idiots (’cause inherited wealth or corporate profit proved more powerful than intelligence, on the government level; sound familiar?). So in order to deter the planet from self annihilation, a small population of scientists and other very smart people constantly busied themselves to exhaustion, averting these stupid leaders’ plots one way or another. And they had to accomplish this in utter secrecy, for were their clandestine efforts exposed, they’d be sentenced to death. Which DID happen from time to time. And this cabal of uber-intelligent devotees grew smaller and smaller over time, as a result…since acquiring NEW and younger allies grew more difficult with each passing year. Those never caught and thus not executed died from exhaustion long before old age ever crept up on them, decreasing their numbers further.

> Why can’t somebody steal that accursed speaker??

I’d PAY someone to do it, if it wouldn’t trigger yet another, maybe more horrific, scenario. Can you imagine my actually doing that, only to have my accomplice spill the beans later on? Or try to blackmail me, that he remain silent?

> Just keep saying to yourself: “For the love of the pups.”

I do! I do!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek pisses me off…but not how you think!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 24, 2022 at 1:03 PM

> Oh, I get it. Believe me. Make notes to yourself of the “high” points of a day’s events, so that when you go to give it the full writerly treatment no details are lost.

That’s exactly what I do. But for the love of Glob I STILL wind up with tons of notes stretching back into foggy years, that I will probably never get around to, though ya never know. Like an old fisherman:

“You should see the one that got away!”


Subject: Pups are here again, Deek was mellow!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 25, 2022 at 8:54 PM

He brought them by this afternoon, plus three gadgets to charge, including the Speaker From Hell (which I gladly saw was taped up and a cinch to recharge). When I approached the gate he was by the curb rifling through a hefty sack while the pooches stretched their leashes to reach the front gate, thus blocking passage for any pedestrian in either direction. So before I opened the gate, I called to Deek to lure Flaco & Lucky away, since I didn’t want them inside until I collected his electronics.

He did just that, gently pulled them toward him…but suddenly Flaco had disappeared…the harness she wore lay empty on the ground! I looked around me and Deek, then up and down the sidewalk: “Where’d she go?”

“Right there,” he replied, pointing at the gate, “between the gate and the doors!”

Yep, there she was, happily scratching at the double doors for entry. I began to urge her back outside, but Deek stopped me, said to just bring them upstairs and come back for the stuff he was still searching for.

Nothing else to report, really, as he was no-drama. Pups are sound asleep now, delighted to be here, as I am to have them back once more after their enduring two chill nights in a row. I gave him his Sunday allowance two days early, per his request. Fair enough since he’s so generous with the darling canines, so why quibble.

Doing well with my budget…even after paying $79 today to cover another three years for VPN service. And I still have $271 in the bank, which means I’ll have saved at least $180 by the time my next month’s Social Security check arrives.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Pups are here again, Deek was mellow!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 26, 2022 at 12:04 PM

> Great news!

Yes it sure is. Yesterday afternoon when I stepped out to return Deek’s devices and he took off, I discovered I left my keys upstairs. That happened because I just took a shower and neglected to hang the lanyard back over my neck and in the shirt pocket. So I had to wait by the gate for a resident to exit or enter. Who of all people do you think showed up? My quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe! As he approached the gate I said: “So glad to see you, I locked myself out!”

He didn’t say a word, but DID hold the gate open for me, and I said thanks. But the weird thing was, his head was shaved except for some long strands sprouting from the top of his skull and down the back of his neck: THE EXACT SAME HAIRCUT AS DEEK, who only acquired this new look less than a week ago!

> You’re an excellent money manager. Plus, you have the right attitude about money: it serves you, you don’t serve it.

And thanks to rent control I can use my stipend to benefit not just myself, but a homeless friend and his lovely pups.

BODHISATTVA PREMISE:

I have previously conjectured that those who play my antagonist are merely bodhisattvas testing my mettle, and going along with a script to shape me into the hero of these Brindlekin Tales. And as I’ve also conjectured, such “enemies” toss me a clue now and then, that they are actually on my side. In this case, Moe’s duplicating Deek’s haircut is one such clue.

So both Moe and the building manager (who are friends and often discuss matters in the hallway or right outside) act in opposition to my caring for the pups, to challenge me to be brave (while remaining peaceful through it all) and not cave in to their heartless declarations. IOW: they are actually ROOTING FOR ME in their hearts, and love the doggies.

Assuming my premise is correct, then Deek is in cahoots with those two. BECAUSE IT’S ALL A FUCKIN’ SCRIPT, and they play their roles like a boss. Just as Myrtle Haversak and her dysfunctional teenage offspring have done in an earlier chapter.

FYI, Morey at the corner shop on Noe Street continues to support my puppy-love mission with praise and wise advice. In this little drama unfolding among a handful of people here in the Castro, he plays one of the good guys. I owe him much gratitude.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Some Youtube Silliness
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 26, 2022 at 12:43 PM

This is a recent conversation I had on a Youtube video entitled “How to Beat THE BACKROOMS (Level 0 to 2).” Doesn’t really matter WHAT game, though, as my frivolous comment applies to ANY computer game. Enjoy!

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek picked up the dogs yesterday morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 28, 2022 at 1:38 PM

…not without spewing a few insults and false accusations my way, but they were brief and quickly deflected on my part. In recent days he’s shown shame (with lowered head and red face; how unexpected) whenever I tell him to stop the bullshit…and ceases immediately. Overall, it was another excellent meetup.

He also is being more patient and kind towards the pups, rather than yanking on their leashes, he talks to them gently, and lo and behold they comply.

But there’s still the upcoming Vet SOS appointment on the 14th, for checkup and booster shots. I HOPE Deek doesn’t back out of it…or worse yet, insists he’ll go there by himself, then when he next sees me claims they got all their shots. But if no rabies tags on their collars, I’ll know better. And I can always call them to find out if he showed up.

Though I want very MUCH to go with him, so I can get a printout of the appointment, clearly showing they got their booster shots, and take home anything they might give for the pups, such as deworming medicine. ‘Cause otherwise I’m afraid he’ll lose all these things by the time he gets back to me.

With this month’s leftover money, I purchased two doggy sweaters ($9 each, camouflage style), two leashes for backup ($6 each), two more kids sleeping bags ($19 each), three more cartons of canned dog food ($45 for 36 cans), a large bag of duck breast treats ($45 for 2.5 lbs.) and a few other helpful items for my own needs. And I STILL have $114 remaining with just three days to go before my next Soc. Sec. deposit. So I’ll hold onto that and just use my food stamps.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Received a voicemail a few hours ago from the building manager that my neighbors found a bedbug this morning, so the exterminator wants to check my room later today around 3 PM…and possibly treat it then. Attached is a screenshot of my reply back, via text.


Re: Deek picked up the dogs yesterday morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 28, 2022 at 2:46 PM

> Oh, I hope you can go to the appt. with him and the doggies!

I’d do it myself, except Vet SOS doesn’t know me (or even Deek), and they’d probably think I’m making up a story to get free shots. And if I set up an appointment with the SPCA, they might be weirded out that I’m not the registered owner (and Lucky is registered, while Flaco is not, because Deek said they refuse to assist him unless he gets her spayed…but I suspect he’s fibbing). I could explain my situation to them, and say I’d like them to get their shots, in spite of Deek’s unreliability. And I’ll be glad to pay the reduced fee for those on food stamps.

> Surely is recovering from surgery on his belly to remove an ugly red shiny growth that suddenly got very big and nasty. It was expensive, about $600, but 90% of the cost was covered by a local fund for animals, whose original mission was to spay and neuter cats and dogs, but who have expanded to helping the un-rich pay big emergency vet bills. When I made my appeal, I told them about my many years trapping, neutering and releasing wild kitties, and I estimated, via exponential figuring, how many wild unwanted doomed kittens I’d prevented from coming into this lousy world, at least 1000. They were impressed, and I know it had something to do with them deciding to help as much as they did!

Wow, sorry to hear that about the little feller, but SO glad you got financial help, and he’s okay now. I think you benefited, also, by living in a low populated area, where people CAN more readily help in the manner they did. A disappointing discovery re. the SPCA, is they do NOT do any surgery for homeless pets…other than neuter them.

> Such a fucking bummer about the bedbugs. Still have to set up with Tomato!

It’s a HUGE monkey wrench in everything else going on in my life…like a demon occupying my closet and refusing to leave, EVER. A giant, evil Tomato that will likely outlive yours truly. Bedbugs until the day I die. UnLESS some brilliant inventor comes up with a safe way to eradicate them, like cockroach disks. Boy wouldn’t THAT be great!

But who knows what OTHER pest will come along to disrupt our lives, as a result of rapid climate change? One that is DANGEROUS as well as prolific. Coming out of the tropics, where MANY poisonous insects dwell. Not to mention microbes and viruses.

Do you know about the chinch bug? Not dangerous per se, but a real nightmare nonetheless, even more teeming than bedbugs.


Re: Deek picked up the dogs yesterday morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 28, 2022 at 4:51 PM

> No question. I also know that I benefit from other unfair advantages, like being able to speak and express myself well. Most people don’t/can’t. I’ve reaped all sorts of goodies throughout my life because of it, and I know it. It’s a form of inherited wealth. I’ve used it for myself, yes, but I also use it on other people’s behalf whenever I can, my way of paying back the universe. In this case, it was all for Surely, who has cost us just about zero in vet bills over the ten years we’ve had him, but who is a beautiful little soul who suddenly needed help in a big way.

His master’s voice has golden tones. Using your gifts for the sake of goodness is admirable.

> The thing about insects and certain microbes is that on some level, we KNOW that our very existence would not be possible without them. We need them; they don’t need us.

We deal with ’em like a bludgeon, instead of learning their nature and how to better live with them as cohabitants rather than enemies. Rachel Carson must be turning over in her grave. And Loren Eiseley, et al.

> Revolting!!!!!!

They’re the least of our worries, as repulsive as they may be. Worse invasions are marching north. At any rate:

Deek dropped the pups off, asked for an advance on Thursday’s allowance, but I told him I only have $23 to my name, so he can have 20 now; he must wait till Thursday for the remainder. He was fine with that. I told him another bedbug treatment is soon due, but I don’t know which day that will be, yet. Probably Thursday or Friday.

Shortly after I left him and brought the doggies inside, Kevin called and asked if Thursday’s fine. I said yes, perfect. Deek will come back this evening to collect his gadgets, so I can update him on this.

I noticed that a pile of kibble was spilled around his bags set on the sidewalk. But he was in a scramble to go somewhere (“Hurry up, I gotta go!”) and it spaced me out, so I just grabbed the leashes and took the mutts upstairs. I think his rushing off is a sham to distract me from returning what dog vittles remain, that I can take it upstairs and use it to feed them, before diving into my own supply. His waste of this food is costing me dearly, though I appreciate he’s followed up on returning any unused amount the past few meetups. If I forget to ASK him about it, he doesn’t offer to return any, just scoots off. And of course by the time I realize I forgot to mention it, he’s long gone.

I suspect he’s giving a portion (maybe ALL) of that food I buy for him to someone else…maybe a lady he likes, who has a pooch of her own. And he feeds Flaco & Lucky with donations from the SPCA, perhaps. Deek is quite the scammer, Wattson, though not without redeeming qualities!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Fwd: [MCN-Announce]- SpaceX launching now from Vandenberg
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: Lenora Rausch
Date: June 28, 2022 at 7:32 PM

On 2022-02-28 14:18, Lenora Rausch wrote:

> You are popular, eh?

With the right-wing crowd I am! Mr. Cooper is one of the more notorious Elon Muskmelonhead butt kissers, and a white supremacist, anti-left dunderhead on the discussion list. He hides that aspect of himself from the announcement list, but his nasty attitude has begun leaking through there, bit by bit these past few months. He gets a thorough lambasting and mockery from me on a frequent basis…but I’m not the only one, just the most prolific.

-------- Forwarded Message --------

Subject: Re: [MCN-Announce]- SpaceX launching now from Vandenberg
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2022 14:16:43 -0800
From: Arron Cooper
To: Lenora Rausch

Hi Lenora. I wish you would stop talking to this jackass. I can only assume that you are not on the discussion list to know just how big of a jackass he is. Thanks for considering doing that. 

- Arron

Subject: And…latest Arwyn spotting!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 28, 2022 at 8:27 PM

Less than an hour ago, so it was already dark when I returned from my Chase branch to withdraw a couple of Jacksons for the laundry and stuff. He didn’t see me, as I remained more than half-a-block distant, but there was no mistaking him. He was standing on the corner of Moe’s shop, with two large dogs, one white and one black. Both were poodles, that obviously he’d been hired to walk.

I didn’t enter Moe’s until Arwyn moved on towards Market Street. I purchased a box of lawn-sized garbage bags and exited in the same direction. He turned the corner at Noe and proceeded up Market, towards Castro Street. Quite predictable. Soon as he was far enough ahead, I finally returned hovel where the pups were blissfully aslumber. However, my nostrils sensed a faint stink in the room, but I thought perhaps it was from outside. But when I advanced toward the window I stepped in something gushy and wet, in my stocking feet.

One of the mutts had either vomited or pooped, I couldn’t tell which, as it was not super-rank like the usual dog feces, nor was it scent-free as their vomit always has been (and was dark brown instead of the usual straw yellow). I suspect Lucky did it, as he’s the only one who’s ever puked indoors thus far. And he left behind that telltale signature of his: the corner of the violated throw rug partly turned over to hide the evidence. But since the cardboard box was set on the same end of the rug, he couldn’t fully conceal his little accident.

Cleanup, again, was simple and expedient, thanks to the pup being so thoughtful as to keep this expulsion limited to a tiny spot in the room and near the window. But I take it as a sign that the rugs are definitely due for another stint at the laundromat…perfect timing in light of Thursday’s bug treatment! I won’t wash all nine of them tomorrow; I’ll leave a few so my brindlekin can still have some spots to rest on other then newspaper atop a filthy, splintery wooden floor.

The doggies slept through it all, and remain so…innocent as cherubs! So glorious to have them back here with me, once more.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Puke AND Poop!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 10:20 AM

An hour or so after I cleaned up the mystery blob, around 10:30 PM, Lucky began to puke…four times within a half hour he hurled what appeared to be his entire breakfast. (Neither doggy touched their dinner, so that’s how I know it was from when Deek fed them earlier that day). The last two upchucks had a strong red tint to them…though not like blood, more like food coloring from the kibble.

Then, some minutes after he was done vomiting, he hunched over some newspaper near the window and took a dump. It was the same dark color and makeup of that original deposit. He was not the least bit perturbed through it all…no indication of being in pain or misery. No worse for the wear, he finally slurped up some water and returned to bed.

Both brindlekin were frisky and happy in the morning, to my relief. Flaco’s poop was solid, though Lucky’s was still on the sludgy side, but getting back to normal.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Puke AND Poop!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 11:23 AM

> Sounds as if something Deek fed him disagreed with him!! Probably some cheap, lousy dog food!

Maybe. Or something Lucky picked off the street. So many potential hazards for little homeless doggies. The most horrific thing is that I can’t even discuss Lucky’s puking or other serious doggy issues because he’ll just blame me for any misfortune. And he doesn’t bother to take them to a free vet service for regular checkups…at least once a year if not every six months. These dogs deserve EVERY kindness possible; they are SO sweet and attentive.

Deek is improving in every way, including his attitude towards me AND the pooches. So I hope the brindlekin’s situation will further improve very soon. The big test is coming up, re. that Vet SOS appointment.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Puke AND Poop!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 12:48 PM

> Well, sounds to me as if Lucky isn’t actually sick–more like he ate something nasty, puked and pooped it out, and is back to his healthy self. So probably no point in mentioning it to Deek. And their basic health is robust, thanks in great part to your attentiveness and care.

I agree, Wattson, thank you! Just stepped out to pick up a half-gal of milk and more bananas. When I reached into the closet for a jacket, Lucky jumped off the bed, stretched, yawned and wagged his curly tail. That’s his signal he needs to poop again. If he didn’t he would’ve remained curled up and resting when I grabbed my jacket off the hanger.

Flaco stayed behind, as she already took a good poop earlier, and isn’t the one with loose stools. Doggies are well behaved and quiet when I leave both, or just one, in my hovel. They don’t mind when left alone for awhile…no sign of distress or sadness. Flaco LOVES to greet me upon my return, while Lucky just lays there with his sweet eyes gazing up at me.

So he DID defecate after a few minutes’ stroll, but it was gooey and almost pitch black. Hopefully he will get back to normal next time we go out for a walk. Neither ate dinner last night, and this morning Lucky skipped breakfast as well, though Flaco ate 2/3 of her dish. Wish I could afford to buy them roast chicken every week!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Here are the little angels right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 1:10 PM

<3

Click here for a larger view.

Re: Here are the little angels right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 4:51 PM

> Good babies!!

Pure furry benevolence in spades. Lucky’s appetite is back. I’m tempted to order a half roast chicken for the pups later this eve. $12. Or a whole roast for $20…half tonight, half tomorrow. The restaurant is just across 16th Street, behind my building. I still have $110 in the bank, so I can easily afford it.


Re: Here are the little angels right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 9:15 PM

> What’s stoppin’ ya?

My Scottish frugality is always at the helm. However, I ordered the roast chicken two hours ago, and the moment I returned and opened the door, their schnozzolas perked up right away, and they danced around me all the time it took to peel off the skin and separate meat from bone into bite-size chunks to fill their doggy dishes. I fed them about a third, then made them wait a half hour for the second round…and I’m about to polish it all off in the third and final feeding.

They went nuts, loved it so much! Kept staring at me after the first go, while I sat down to a slice of toasted raisin bread with whipped cream cheese spread over it. Washed down with a cup of Lady Grey tea. Their eyes followed me with great anticipation as I moved about the room. The brindlekin were hoping with all their heart for more. I told them to wait until I finish my snack, it’s coming. And so it did, much to everyone’s delight.

They seem pretty satiated now, comfortably resting w/o expecting yet one final, generous and savory portion.

Deek showed up in the middle of all this, and asked for the folding cart that I stored for him a couple of days. It’s made of dense khaki canvas with a steel frame and has four, big fat wheels…and is rather heavy. Said he’ll return tomorrow by 2 PM for the pups. Just as I had requested. He also gave me a smartphone and that Speaker from Hell to charge, but I guess he’ll wait until the next day to get them, too, as he has some other device to play his music.

I watched him from my window unfold the cart, dump a passel of items into it (to my surprise, neatly arranged in colorful bundles), secure it to his bicycle with cord…and then take off into the deliciously cool night kissed by ocean breezes.

Time for a third serving of roasted chicken! So ending this missive now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Here are the little angels right now.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 1, 2022 at 10:04 PM

They just ate their third and final portion with gusto! You should have seen the expression on their darling faces as I stood up and prepared the remaining feast. Like two little kids who snuck out of their bedroom on Christmas Eve to see Santa place their gifts under the tree!

Though Flaco decided she was full by the time she consumed half her share. Lucky didn’t mind eating the rest of that, too…but he patiently waited by her bowl, gazing up at me with hopeful dachshund eyes for permission to dive right in. I gave it, and he did! Flaco wasn’t the least bit perturbed; she remained curled up in my chair with puppy sighs of satisfaction, and eyes half closed.

Welp, good physician, time to take them for their nighttime stroll before yours truly kicks back to watch the last twenty minutes of that great, classic horror film from the ’90s, “The Faculty,” over a late-night supper of lemon-cilantro infused brown rice and quinoa. It comes in a microwavable packet and takes just 90 seconds to cook. With some mild salsa and grated extra sharp cheddar chess mixed into it, it’s a taste bud frolic! Quaffed down by a foaming mug of A&W Diet Root Beer. Life is good.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: This may be the culprit…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 2, 2022 at 10:58 AM

…for Lucky’s digestive troubles. The leash has rubbery guards that I don’t think are okay for dogs to chew on. And you can clearly see in the top image, some chewing took place. He had dark, loose movements at a previous time (maybe a year ago) after massive gnawing at those rubber sleeves. And that’s when I started cutting them off soon as the leashes arrived from Amazon. I just got lazy and neglected to do that, this time around…though I did check regularly, to see whether or not chewing had occurred, deciding to remove the rubber parts once that happened. Must be the black dye that turned his poop so dark.

The leashes are a great deal, Wattson, just $12 for the pair, and are quite durable and long-lasting even with the rubber shields removed.

Deek just arrived to collect the pups, and griped at me over not bringing down the food at the same time. He’s done this many times before, even though I explained to him just as often, that I don’t carry anything when I’m bringing the dogs up or down the stairs. An accident could happen, I could trip or drop something on the dogs…it’s just not doable. The pooches often start to play as I traverse the stairway, and the two leashes sometimes get entangled with my legs.

“But I’m in a hurry, I got into trouble!” he shot back, though with no sign of distress…in fact, he smiled.

“You’re ALWAYS in a rush when you drop by, it’s getting old,” I retorted, then returned hovel to grab the bag of five cans of wet food and two 1-gallon Ziplocs bulging with kibble. I didn’t ask him WHAT trouble, as I presume it’s just another drama-queen canard to make him look important, or work my nerves. The boy who cried wolf.

Which kibble BTW is specifically for small doggies, in hopes they’ll find it preferable over the larger bits I’ve been feeding them. I even had filled their bowls with it for the first time this morning (mixed with wet), to see how they’d take to it. But they weren’t hungry when I set it down, and their master showed up ten minutes later, so I never had a chance. Deek is very good at sabotaging my efforts to improve the dogs’ lives every step of the way. It’s like I have to wade through waist-high molasses to get anything done.

Before they departed, I reminded him that the earliest he can bring them back is tomorrow at 9 PM.

“What, nine in the morning?” he asked.

“No, PM is night, and AM is morning. So tomorrow night at nine.” I almost added, “That’s what you get for not staying in school, you illiterate rube,” but decided to bite my tongue instead.

“Oh, okay,” he replied, then asked, “Can’t you give me the money today?”

“Of course not,” I rebutted. “Take it up with the government, tell them to send my check earlier.”

Really annoying how he sticks his nose in my financial affairs, and can’t take no for an answer the first two times around…let alone stop prying.

But then he changed his tune and thanked me for everything I do, and said a number of other gracious things as he and pups meandered towards the intersection of Market & 16th. Of course he’ll return tomorrow morning like a bee to its hive, to pick up his Thursday allowance…on THURSDAY, of all days! I’ll give him the full $50 rather than deduct the twenty I advanced on Monday.

I forgot to mention in an earlier post, that another day when he showed up to deliver the pups, Flaco’s harness was surprisingly dirty…because it was being dragged across the sidewalk from her leash hanging from the handlebar! I guess he does the same with Lucky’s $18 collar, when he’s free-roaming. This is atrocious, like so many OTHER things about him.

But rather than end this missive on a sour note, I should point out that his cooperation in taking the dogs (and that heavy folding cart) so I can finish prepping my room, was both seamless and drama free. Makes my bedbug chores so much easier! Now I can launder the throw rugs today, instead of bagging them to do that a day after treatment.

And it was really nice to know their bellies were content with copious portions of chicken last night. I shall have to reconfigure my budget to allow me to feed them roast fowl once every week. I can do this.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

To add a new complication to bedbug treatment, is the smoke alarm debacle. As you already know, Wattson, I have disabled it because it kept going off of its own accord with not a wisp of smoke. The question is: will the exterminator become distraught tomorrow, over its not going off when he bombs my humble monk’s cell, and report it to the manager? Or will he just keep mum? But here’s something weird that happened last week:

The alarm suddenly went off around 7:15 AM when the doggies were here! Two things I learned from this:

1) Neither Lucky nor Flaco were the least bit disturbed by this; in fact they remained sound asleep, even when I pulled out the ladder to climb up and turn it off. I removed it from its base, as it continued to go off every ten seconds, then disabled it once more with a switch in the back, and set it on a storage bin. BUT IT WAS ALREADY DISABLED, so should NEVER have beeped again!

2) Disabling the alarm is supposed to be PERMANENT, thus needs to be replaced. Before securing it back into its base up there above the sink and close to the ceiling, I switched the tiny lever back to “on,” so as to appear that I never messed with it, and that the alarm was simply dysfunctional…in the event the exterminator DID bring it up to the building manager who then would check it out. And yet it raucously shrieked ANYway some days later, while the pups were here! So maybe disabling it is NOT permanent, in spite of the label’s claim? But you CAN’T turn it off in any way exCEPT to disable it, since pressing that button in the front which is SUPPOSED to stop the beeping, does NOT work.

Now, I don’t know yet whether to RE-enable it before the exterminator arrives, and see what goes down. Or just LEAVE it disabled and hope he doesn’t bother to report the failure. This exterminator has become a PEST in his own right!


Re: This may be the culprit…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 2, 2022 at 1:37 PM

> I’d reenable it, in case he looks.

I suppose that’s the best answer. Though if it goes off, it will NOT stop, causing a likely brouhaha where the manager checks it out, then replaces it…and the problem persists through the endless tunnel of time, forcing me to live with a shrieking alarm going off on a frequent basis, replacement after replacement after replacement…like living out my own Groundhog Day.

It may even start squawking before the exterminator shows up, and I’ve already departed for the day.

These things don’t work right, at least not in MY room. But what’s so special about this particular unit? I can understand if it goes off when I burn toast, or hot water vapors from the sink float up to where the alarm is directly above. But it doesn’t. It ALWAYS happens when NOTHING is apparently setting it off! So why don’t these same alarms prove flaky in all the other units?

This is essentially targeting me for more needless nuisance by management, or at best further invasion of my privacy on top of the bedbugs. After all, I can’t PROVE it went off for no reason, as that would require me to be up all night as it screeches every half minute, until the morning when I walk upstairs with it beeping in my hand as I bring it to Kevin’s apartment. And if he’s not present, I’ll have to try later that day; meanwhile the alarm continues its shrill cacophony!

My life seems to be an ongoing series of impossible scenarios for which I’m blameless, yet scapegoated nonetheless. Been this way since childhood…maybe since I morphed into an embryo in my mother’s womb, though I can’t imagine what kind of scenarios THAT would entail when I still HAD a tail.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The other nice thing about Deek…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 2, 2022 at 2:50 PM

…helping to make my bug prep smooth sailing, is that even though I told him to pick up the pups no later than 2 PM, as that will give me plenty of time to do laundry…he said yesterday he’d drop by at 10 AM. Which he did. Even though I told him it doesn’t need to be so soon, but still okay by me.

That was considerate, as it shows me he indeed realizes bug prep is a hellish chore for me, so figured to make things easier by retrieving the pups much earlier. I now have two loads washed and dried, including all the throw rugs. One more load to go, and I’m done! But first, a lunch break.

Another plus is the local laundromat has resumed staying open until 10 PM as of New Year’s Day, instead of the pandemic closing time of 3. Another stress factor eliminated.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: This may be the culprit…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 2, 2022 at 5:01 PM

> We have a techno-demon in this household. Inanimate objects conspire with one another to drive us to the brink. If we fix a plumbing problem, the car tires hear about it, and one of them goes mysteriously flat. We get the tire fixed, and the water heater gets the message, and springs a leak. They know exactly how much money there might be for such contingencies, and exceed it. They whisper together on a malevolent wavelength, planning, scheming, chortling.

Looks like a job for the Friendly Ghost Detective Agency!


Subject: My Social Security deposit hasn’t arrived!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 3, 2022 at 12:38 AM

It’s supposed to show up in my account just after midnight on the third of each month, but no deposit has arrived! I also miscalculated my expenses: I now only have $18. Gee, just one headache after another!


Re: My Social Security deposit hasn’t arrived! IT’S OKAY NOW.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 3, 2022 at 6:03 AM

Woke up 6 AM, checked again, and my soc. sec. deposit is now showing. WHEW!


Subject: Can you believe this?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 3, 2022 at 11:42 AM

See attached screenshot of Kevin’s text that was sent a few minutes ago. I’m still waiting on his affirmation. This is absurd. This is exactly what happened LAST time around: I got all prepped, then I get a call from Kevin that the exterminator was in a car accident, so the treatment date got postponed. That was during the Exmass season, which proved to be a miserable time all around. Except for Deek’s magnanimous patience and cooperation around this. He dropped by this morning, BTW, an hour earlier than arranged.

I saw him crossing the street with pups in tow while I had just sat down around the corner, to enjoy a few java-sipping minutes by the parklet. The tables and chairs are already set up by the time I step out to Rosenberg’s, even though they don’t open for business for another two hours. But instead of being able to relax into my day, I had to jump up and catch him before he starts calling up to my window.

“Yo! Yo!” I hollered, and he turned around to see me from across 16th, waiting for the traffic to pass.

“You’re an hour early,” I remarked once I caught up with him. Soon as I got within ten feet of the doggies, they both tugged on the bicycle handlebars in the opposite direction, in their urgent desire to enter the building. But I was already crouched down to summon them back for happy greets, so the bike landed on my shoulders instead of the sidewalk or, perhaps, upon their little bodies.

“Dammit Deek,” I exclaimed. “Stop leashing them to the bike like that. Or at least hold onto it when you see me arrive!”

He was somewhat apologetic, grabbed the bike and held onto it, and told me to hurry up, he’s gotta get somewhere.

“They love you, they’ll be back soon,” he addressed me as I spent a half minute giving them pats and neck scritches. Then I stood back up:

“I didn’t expect you to show up so early, Deek.”

“You said nine o’clock!” he replied.

“That’s true,” I agreed, “I said you can come by after 9…however, you told me you’ll show up at 10.” (Which I appreciated, as he was clearly being sensitive to my morning schedule.)

“Well, you were walking by here anyway,” he asserted.

“Only because I saw you cross the street from where I was sitting,” I explained.

I then handed him the cash in a Chase envelope and told him I’m not deducting the twenty I gave him in advance…and he thanked me.

“Okay, I’m going back to my spot before you showed up,” I declared, and promptly walked away so the dogs wouldn’t resist their departure from my hovel.

Well, as I was typing the paragraph above, Kevin finally got back to me. See second attachment. Looks like I gotta disconnect now, so I can move really fast and get outta here! I’ve never met Summer, I just hope she or he won’t be a problem with the smoke alarm or anything else.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: My Social Security deposit hasn’t arrived! IT’S OKAY NOW.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 3, 2022 at 4:21 PM

> Double WHEW. Those of us who were already on thin ice before the pandemic and the war are way too vulnerable.

You can say that again. I’m at Tart to Tart cafe now, using my Android tablet…after a relaxing ride on the N Judah all the way from one end to the other (bay to ocean). I decided to replace the smoke alarm with a new one (same exact model purchased last month from Amazon at two for $27). Fit perfectly, ran the test beep successfully, so they’ll never know it’s a replacement should something go wrong during the bug treatment.

Very glad the room’s getting fumigated today instead of postponing it…for Deek and the pups’ sake. He really did a great job of helping my prep go as smoothly as possible; didn’t even give me anything to charge last night or this morning. I’m very impressed, especially since it’s a good sign he’ll follow through on other vital issues re. Flaco and brother.

I was hoping to kill some time at the cafe, two hours or so…but their toilet is not working. I didn’t notice the sign on the register that said, “Restroom out of order, sorry!” So right after I made my menu selection, I noticed that the key to the loo was not hanging from its hook. “Oh, is someone using the washroom right now?” I queried. When he said no, it’s out of order, I stood a few seconds in chagrin and muttered “how awful.” Though I did not cancel my order, figuring my situation was not yet urgent.

So I’ll have to leave after finishing my sandwich and coffee, and find a hidden spot in GG Park two blocks away, to relieve myself. Maybe their public commode at the Strybing Arboretum is open, as I get in for free because I reside here in San Franshitsco. Then come back here or go to another place for some tea and a cookie.

Because of my semi-toothless condition, I have to only order dishes on the soft side. I got an egg salad sandwich on toasted wheat, skip the pickles and onion. Since some of the contents spill onto my dish, I went to the counter where they provide plastic utensils, but only found a handful of spoons. So I asked the worker who was presently adding more soda cans on the shelves of the help-yourself fridge with a stupid Coca-Cola emblem on one side (see boring pic). Asked if he had a fork, he replied “no, just spoons, they’re over there” and pointed to where I had just been standing.

I told him I know, that’s why I asked. He said sorry, but then said wait a minute, stepped up to a sink and quickly rinsed a metal fork under cold water. No soap either, and he didn’t even dry it off before handing it to me; he just gave it a quick couple of shakes. I said thanks in a less than appreciative tone. He’s Chinese if that makes any difference, but does flesh out the tale.

Just now I received an alert from Amazon that my latest delivery has arrived…but from where I now sit, it’s impossible to simply run downstairs to pick it up, so no one can steal it. So I guess I’ll just head back in ten minutes or so…wait, more like 20 minutes because I’ll first need to evacuate both bladder and bowels. Even so, all I can do is hide the package in the short side hall next to my room. Then where do I go to kill more time, or should I linger comatose in that side hall for two or three more hours, to guard my package(s)?

Jesus fuckin’ christ. Let the bombs drop already.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: 2 more hours to go!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 3, 2022 at 6:30 PM

I can enter my hovel at 7:30 PM…yippee! Gives me oodles of time to make it all comfy again before Deek abd pups show up, if at all. No sign of any mishap over the smoke alarm, which is nice. I didn’t allow the disturbing non-deposit of my SS check intrude upon my dream time, as I already realize worry is a self-curse, and why wouldI want to do that to myself? And sure enough, when I logged into my Chase account at 6 AM I saw that Aunt Samantha made everything right. Thus I went happily back to bed and fell back to sleep promptly. Another tale of horror was spookily playing from my Blu smartphone that lay beside my pillow. And you, Morticia, know better than most anyone else, how soothing that can be!

All I remember is something about a couple of long-time buddies who love camping out together as often as possible, but this time while walking down the side of a mountain just after dusk to return to their tent, a bear had suddenly leapt from the bushes and tore part of his companion’s face off as well as ripped flesh from his shoulder, both thighs and an arm before the other guy temporarily drove the beast away with a heavy wash of anti-bear pepper spray, which gave them dear time to clamber the rest of the distance beyond their campsite to the parking lot where they got into their vehicle and drove like two Chiroptera out of Gehenna to the nearest emergency room 19 miles away through twisty, unpaved roads. I slept like a babe through the rest of the story, and didn’t awaken until nature called. I should have never given her my cell number.

So now I’m cozily ensconced in the side hall, beside my Amazon box. Which contains a large bag of duck breast wedges, two cartons of canned doggy food, and two camouflage sweaters that I know will look adorable on my brindlekin. See pic.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 2 more hours to go! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 4, 2022 at 9:56 AM

I was too busy straightening out the room and tending to the pups, to give you more than a brief summary about last night’s meetup with Deek. I said he was like a whirlwind but left out his pointless screaming for several minutes, as I was laying down the rugs and ignoring him. I thought he was in an argument with another vagrant, and didn’t make out his words, but I finally poked my head out the window and said: “Are you hollering at me?”

“Yes!” he looked up. “I told you to come right down, and I’m soaking wet waiting for you!”

So I rushed down and told him I thought he said he’ll come back later to bring me some devices.

“NO, I told you to come right back down to get THESE!” he then handed me his gizmos and I took them back upstairs and plugged them all in. All he needed to do, was just call up “Yo!” again, and I’d know he was addressing me. His hotheaded antics are NOT appreciated, to say the least. And the way he mumbled his words of anger were not particularly coherent. But the good thing is:

Before I departed with his electronics, he stopped me and said, “Oh, take this, too,” and handed me the sack of dog food that contained the remainder of what I gave him two days before. I was pleased that I didn’t have to ask him about it, as I’ve had to do every time before. But the funny thing is:

The bag still held the full amount I gave him (my usual 5 cans and 2 Ziplocs). What’s he been feeding them, if not this, I wondered. At any rate, glad to see so much food not wasted, and I hope this keeps up.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 9)

February 20, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18i]

Subject: Dogs are back, Deek is kewl.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 2, 2022 11:07 AM

Delivered the pups to me an hour ago, along with a smartphone and small speaker to charge. Said he’ll be back in a couple of hours to pick up his electronics. He’s been surprisingly calm and stable of late, much to my relief…more for the sake of Flaco & Lucky than my own peace. His mood has been mostly UPBEAT for the past several weeks. He was even HILARIOUS three days back, when I returned his furry charges:

“I’m gonna be a millionaire!” he called to me from twenty feet away (I had just turned about, on my way to Rosenberg’s). “Me and my people are gonna release a rap album this year!”

He then pointed at his sternum, above which hung a heavy, gold and silver medallion from a chain necklace. Like an albatross, I thought. “See this? It’s very expensive!”

“Uh, okay,” I said, still half asleep, for he had gotten me out of bed with his early arrival. “Can I get my coffee now?”

“And this! It’s very expensive, too!” This time he had pulled up his shirt and jacket to expose his skinny waist and belly button, revealing a chunky belt buckle studded with rhinestones in the shape of a human skull.

I’m sure BOTH items didn’t cost him more than ten dollars each (if that; maybe he got them in trade, or found them while rummaging for recyclables)…but why argue? Instead, I just rolled my eyes and raised my arms in desperate appeal:

“Can I get my coffee NOW, please?” I repeated.

“Okay, you can go!” he called back, and so I did. Just wish I still had a working pair of spyglasses to capture that exuberant, picaresque display on video. He was colorfully attired with a bandana bound about his head, and a multicolored, puffy jacket.

The pooches are totally zonked out now, after enjoying half their breakfast, and the rude interruption of a fire engine screaming by. Two new videos:


Subject: Dogs gone then back, same day.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 5, 2022 1:49 PM

This was yesterday. Six fukkin AM he called up to me, to pick up the pups…claiming he told me the other day he’s gonna retrieve ’em early. He most certainly did NOT. But I remained calm, brought them downstairs, and returned with his latest Bluetooth speaker, which was narrow and vertical, and lighter in weight than it appears…thus a cheap battery. He also gave me a 32GB SD card so I could copy his entire rap collection to it. He made up some excuse that his “people” wanted to see the dogs, as they haven’t for quite awhile. The truth is probably more like he wants to panhandle, and the cute pooches rake in da moolah.

I then went back to bed for awhile longer, thinking I wouldn’t be further disturbed but, a bit later jackhammers went off across the street. So I gave up and stepped out for my morning java. As I returned hovel, glad that the construction work nearby had ceased…here came Deek again:

“Can you do me a REALLY big favor?”

I cut him off: “No, it’s about money, ya gotta wait till Sunday, Deek.”

This was a repeat of two days ago when he griped about “just” getting $40 last Thursday, instead of collecting a whopping $100 in one lump sum. Our arrangement has ALWAYS been $40 on Thursday, $60 Sunday. He whined about not being able to buy nice things (like a hundred-dollar speaker he’ll lose in less than ten days) because the weekly allowance is split in two. I told him sorry, but that’s how it is, stop trying to scam me. He was not particularly drama-queenish about it, but accepted my rebuttal without putting up a fuss.

But this was another day.

“I need ten dollah right now, I owe someone, and he’s right over there!” he persisted.

I looked down the block to see about twenty feet away and crouched on the curb, a homeless dude with close-cropped black hair and neatly dressed. A regular in the Castro, as I’ve spotted him many times, over the past few years. And most likely harmless, as I’ve never seen him act out in anger or any other bizarre way. He nodded at me. I concluded that Deek wants to purchase a dime bag, IOW has nothing to do with clearing a debt…unless he already accepted a packet of crystal moments earlier. Jeez, I just wanted a quiet start to the day, but no. Now I had to march on down to my bank and withdraw two Lincolns, while my coffee was turning cold upstairs!

“Okay, Deek,” I replied in exasperation, “but fuck you. And get the dogs away from the entrance, please, so I can close the gate.”

Deek had brought the poor doggies to the front gate, where they restlessly scratched the inside doors to gain entry. I don’t like when their master does that, as it’s a tease, since he has no intention of letting them visit me. And I’ve told him numerous times to keep them away from that area, if he doesn’t want them over…just wait for me at the corner.

So off I went, pissed, to squeeze a coupla bills from the mechanical Moloch three blocks away. Upon returning, I saw he had the pups’ leashes flung over a bicycle handlebar by their loops. So of course when I approached, they pulled forward and the bike flopped over…almost smashing down upon the brindlekin but for their quick reflexes. I had hollered at Deek to stop the bike from falling, as he was just two feet away from it…but he didn’t respond, as if he were deaf, fussing instead with something in his hands…and I couldn’t rush there fast enough to allay a possible tragedy.

I reprimanded him, and advised him to lay the bike down on the sidewalk first, before lashing the pups to it. He simply mumbled “okay,” which lackluster reply indicated he was unlikely to keep that in mind. (Infuriating and frightening!) The moment I handed him the cash, he passed it on to his pop-up vendor, who then arose from where he was seated and walked towards Noe Street, wishing us both a lovely rest of the day.

After all his pointless disturbances that woke me from a restful sleep and played out for almost an hour, I was TRULY ready to return upstairs. But first I stared directly at Deek for a few moments until he said:

“What?”

“IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO FOR YOU,” I hollered with no holding back. “IS EVERYTHING TO YOUR SATISFACTION, CAN I GO BACK HOME NOW WITH YOUR PROMISE TO LEAVE ME IN PEACE FOR A FEW HOURS?”

A quivery grin crossed his face, as if he were about to burst forth in a paroxism of guffaws. In fact, that grin was there since he showed up at my window. “The dude’s been playing with me,” I concluded to no one but my own distraught self. “All along!”

Meanwhile, the pooches just sat there by the bike, calm and poised as can be, no worries in the world. They were used to Deek’s outbursts, so I guess they can handle mine, too, with equally gracious panache.

“Yeah, I’m good,” he replied, followed by an even wider grin and a repressed guffaw as he turned to sort some stuff in a bag and tie it to the bike.

I then bent down to give the dogs a few more pats, hugs and loving words, before advancing towards the front gate.

“Wait a minute!” Deek called out. “Ya got that lighter?”

I forgot he had also requested that, and I had placed a Bic in my pocket before returning downstairs with a fresh supply of doggy vittles.

“Oh, yeah, here ya go,” I said, and tossed it to him. I knew he wouldn’t settle for a book of matches, as they are a highly ineffective way to heat up the bowl of a glass pipe. Which I’m sure he was eager to do, once he found a cozy spot somewhere nearby, where he could park himself and dogs in relative comfort, and dream his hazy dreams.

I then returned to my hovel where I could FINALLY relax in quiet to enjoy my coffee and listen to another true tale of horror I downloaded from Killer Orange Cat’s channel last night. And SO glad I have a microwave at hand to reheat that golden brown elixir from Rosenberg’s!

He returned the evening of that same day, handed the pups over to my care, said thanks for everything, and off he went. I called back to him as he bicycled into the dark beyond: “Thank you too, Deek!” And off we three scurried upstairs for another puppilicious pajama party and a blissful night’s slumber. I am more dog than man. Arf!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Dogs gone then back, same day.
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 5, 2022 3:38 PM

> What a story! Woof!

All my writing, my creative output, has gone TOTALLY to the dogs. And I see everything GOOD in that.

> If there’s one thing in this world I DO NOT TOLERATE, it’s people rudely/carelessly interrupting my precious sleep. I wake with a sword in my hand!

Deek is the kind of person who nods off easily, wherever, whenever. And has NO understanding for those whose sleep is often problematic. Before he departed yesterday morning, after collecting ten dollars, he said, “Now you can go back to bed.” After rousting me out of a deep sleep and being a nuisance for almost an hour, I am NOT the kind of person who can just crash back out! But since HE can, he thinks EVERYONE can, so what’s my problem? Even if I KNEW he was gonna drop by around 6 AM, that ALONE would make it difficult for me to get a good night’s rest. I tried explaining this to him, once (about not everyone can sleep as well as he does) but, like most everything else I tell him: in one auricle and out the other! So all I said to him this time around, was:

“No I can’t.”

His illiteracy about good health is not just infuriating, but DANGEROUS for the pups! He has no concept regarding their need for regular, uninterrupted sleep every single day, traipsing about the city all night long, with Flaco & Lucky wide awake, in tow. They crash out only when HE crashes out, which is often during parts of the afternoon. Granted, whenever he parks somewhere to just hang out, he gives the pooches SOME refuge for sleep.

He also has ZILCH concept about healthy eating…has no idea about nutrition, what vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. are! Food is all the same to him, most of which he procures from cheap marts like 7-11 or gas stations with a convenience section…or from free meal services that usually slap together two slices of white bread with some baloney in the middle. So long as his tummy isn’t grumbling for sustenance, he’s good to go. He doesn’t know ALL the food items dogs shouldn’t eat, some of which can make them VERY sick, and even KILL them. He does have a brief list in his mind, of CERTAIN foods they can’t eat, such as chocolate, onions and bread…but there are dangerous HOLES in his knowledge of a safe and healthy canine diet. And trying to educate him on this matter (like every OTHER matter I bring up) is like trying to pull a tusk out of an elephant’s jaw!

I’ve seen him feed his dogs by dumping a can of food, or a small pile of kibble, right on the dirty sidewalk. Though I hope he doesn’t do that any more, as I’ve advised him many moons ago, to use something clean for a bowl, such as a paper bag flattened out, thick sheets of newspaper, or a clean piece of corrugated cardboard. Or maybe just a plastic bag or two, laid on the ground. The several times I’ve seen him feed them, when he’s by my building, he’s done just that.

Imagine if you had a housemate as clueless about nutrition as Deek, and you had a severe peanut allergy, but he thought it was all in your head, didn’t believe a word of it. (“How could delicious FOOD ever be poisonous?”) So one day he cooks up a sumptuous gourmet meal for ya, with finely ground up peanuts in the sauce, gravy or dressing…intending to show just how deluded you were, by declaring with utter confirmation that there is NO peanut product in this meal, anywhere. He was SURE he’d have the last laugh, but instead winds up dialing 911 for an ambulance.

I worry more about the dogs getting sick or dying, than I do about him. Though THAT would be a tragic outcome as well, as the pups might be absconded to an unknown destination before I could get to them first. I’d never see them again!

I live with this hanging over my head every single friggin day…except when they’re with me! These two dogs are my BEST FRIENDS OF ALL TIME, INTERSPECIES SOULMATES as I like to say…they’re not “just dogs” as some heartless pinheads would moronically declare.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Kevin’s Odious Behavior
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 8, 2022 2:41 PM

Yesterday afternoon as I bumbled down the stairs with the pups frolicking before me (first Lucky attacked the cuff of my denims with a firm, sharp-toothed grip, then tumbled with his sister, twisting the leashes together which I hastily unraveled), Lucky began to bark soon as we turned the corner on the final landing. Indicating that someone was in the lobby, though it appeared empty. Whoever it was, was therefore lingering by the elevator: the blind-spot wedge of the lobby that can’t be viewed until you almost reach the tiled floor…see pic.

Click here for a larger view.

So instead of releasing the pups, I kept them on a short leash as I proceeded down the last few steps. It was the building manager, Kevin, standing by the Simplex fire alarm panel, perhaps checking its status, or maybe just standing in a corner absentmindedly wondering how he got there, or even where he was.

“SHUUUT UP!” he addressed the mutts in a harsh tone while I guided them by the opposite wall. They completely ignored his rude demand, and stopped barking soon as they reached the heavy, glass paneled doors. He spoke those two words with shocking hostility, then added: “I don’t appreciate it, Zeke, this is my home!”

As I scooted them through the lobby and outside, I quickly retorted in a cheerful manner: “They hardly EVER bark indoors, they’re sweet doggies, and it’s only five seconds of noise up or down the stairs, once in awhile. Otherwise they’re quiet as a church mouse, they’re just excited to get to the park.” And having said that, I disappeared out the door, not caring to suffer his abusive words any further. You’d think he would’ve learned a thing or two, after that drawn out debacle last year with former neighbors Myrtle and her punk-shit son. After all, I WON that conflict hands down (in which Kevin willfully participated against me) and The Two suddenly moved out like they’d seen a ghost.

You’d THINK he’d show some kindness to the dogs…after all, they are NO problem other than what Kevin chooses to turn INTO one. And any resident who directs hostility towards them, could make them feel less welcome. Though I think Deek’s notorious temper tantrums to which they appear emotionally IMMUNE, benefits them in regards to anyone ELSE who projects hostility. They are truly happy little souls…and with a thick skin, thank Artemis.

As for his declaration that this is his home…what a loaded remark! For one, it’s MY home, too, and far longer than it’s been his, by decades. Though the good part I get out of this, is he only said he doesn’t “appreciate” it, indicating he knows there’s nothing he can really do to thwart my doggy visits. I would think not, considering I have ironclad PROOF of his unwarranted harassment against me, both via video and a hostile letter he taped to my door and SIGNED. Not to mention my letter of complaint to Ablahblah Realty.

There is also that recent notice I and other residents have received, about grievances against Kevin’s management, written by another who’s lived here for some time…coupled with certain long-term prejudices he’s held for most of his life. Such as against low-income lefties like myself, and the homeless. So I KNOW it’s not just a personal conflict between THIS monk-like recluse and the manager, but more likely encroaching senility due to his advanced age. I just don’t care to be one of his collateral damages as he continues to decline, thus GLAD others are witnessing his disturbing behavior as well. Certainly, my battle with Myrtle and son has exacerbated his antagonism towards me. In sum, Wattson:

I don’t think this is going to end well…for HIM that is. And I wonder how that will bear down upon my quasi-fascist neighbor Moe, who’s chosen to be Kevin’s ally in all things “Zeke.” Not well for him, either, I presume. I just hope the NEXT manager is better than previous ones. I do NOT need any further hostility extended upon me in my “golden” years, please!

[My Deek Update coming up, later today…hard to keep up with all the challenges and changes coming in fast and thick, while turning it into worthy prose at the same time.]

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: I'd like to make an appointment for a homeless friend.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Pop-Up Clinic for Homeless Pets
Date: February 6, 2022 11:37 AM

He doesn't own a cell phone, and has two little doggies in his care, who often stay with me during the bad weather. I told him I'd contact your service, and set up an appointment. It's been a struggle to convince him to get his pups regular veterinarian checkups. He said he'd prefer an afternoon appointment, if at all possible. Do you also provide booster rabies and other shots? If you schedule him in any time for a few days from now, to a few weeks, I can make sure he doesn't forget to show up. I also need to know your location. His name is Deek, and his dogs are Lucky and La Flaca. Thank you!

--

Re: Subject: I'd like to make an appointment for a homeless friend.
From: Pop-Up Clinic for Homeless Pets
To: Zeke Krahlin
Date: Tue, Feb 8, 2022 12:36 PM

Hello,

I can save him a slot for our next clinic on March 14th. The latest slot available on that day is 1:35. Does that day and time work for him? This appointment guarantees him a visit but there will likely still be a wait once he gets there. We can give vaccines as well as do physical exams during the appointment. The clinic is held at the SF SPCA parking lot.

--

Re: I'd like to make an appointment for a homeless friend.
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Pop-Up Clinic for Homeless Pets
Date: February 8, 2022 8:44 PM

March 14th at 1:35 PM sounds fantastic! I will do my best to make sure he shows up. Thanks immensely.

Subject: Latest Deek Update (tons of good news)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 9, 2022 at 12:22 PM

Let’s see, this update covers the last several days. Most important point is that he’s been having the pups stay with me far more often than ever, due to his admission (at last) that the nights are rather cold. “Of course,” I replied, “we’re still in the middle of winter!”

The next evening he brought up the pregnancy issue again:

“I don’t believe in spaying,” he absurdly stated. “I still plan to make her pregnant. I know someone who made a thousand dollars on each dog.”

Well, Wattson, as you can imagine I bubbled over with outrage…however, kept THAT emotion to myself and calmly reiterated what I have previously, at least two times over the past year. How he’s being selfish, not caring about Flaco’s well-being, that it’s cruel to turn her into a puppy mill, that he probably couldn’t sell the puppies anyway, and that they’d most likely die, as could Flaco…how’s he gonna pay for their shots, the SPCA would most likely charge him with animal abuse and take ALL his dogs away, etc. etc. etc.

What is remarkable about this latest pregnancy talk, is he actually LISTENED instead of screaming me down. He DID walk away from me, back and forth with hands pressed against his ears, saying “I don’t wanna hear this!” But he was much more SEDATE in his opposition, and I spoke firmly without raising my voice. He backed off from his puppy-mill plan by claiming he’d KEEP four puppies for himself…so of course I strongly countered with how could he handle the responsibility and expense, it would just be a miserable life for them all, and he could easily be reported to Animal Control and go to jail for breeding dogs on the street. Again, he didn’t explode in a temper tantrum like he did in past arguments.

Another evening when the doggies had stayed with me yesterday and overnight, Deek came by to pick up his electronics and said he might come back later to pick up the dogs, though he wasn’t sure. An hour later I decided to take them for their late-night walk earlier than usual, in order to avoid Deek seeing them outside as I returned, which could make him decide to take them back sooner than I’d like. Yet sure enough, soon as I returned from our stroll, there was Deek waiting by the bus stop. I released the dogs to run up to him with happy, wagging tails, and he said (just as I feared):

“Now that I see them, I’ll take them off your hands. I love these dogs.”

I decided then to reprimand him, claiming that if he loves them so much, he wouldn’t put them in harm’s way by risking a bicycle crashing upon them. What he then said shocked me: “Well, they’d better get out of the way!”

“No, YOU better get the BIKE out of the way!” I shot back. “Just lay it on its side before you lash them to it. It’s almost as if you set them up by tying them to a standing bike, so you’d have the perfect excuse to yell at them when they tug on their leashes and bring it down.”

He didn’t respond, just listened with lowered head, so I elaborated: “It is SHAMEFUL and disgusting that you would INTENTIONALLY place these innocent little doggies who give you so much joy, in a dangerous situation that you can EASILY prevent! That’s not love, that’s just plain SICK! And HEARTBREAKING!”

He then muttered: “Don’t tell ME how to raise dogs, I’ve done it all my life!”

“If that’s true then why do you NOT lay the bike down first, to protect them,” I countered. “I’ve also witnessed you yell at them MANY times, for no reason. And also force them to lie down on the dirty sidewalk, or freeze through very cold nights. That’s not RAISING dogs, that’s abusing them!”

Again, he remained silent and just listened. And again, I elaborated:

“If you truly love them, you’d already be taking them to a vet twice a year, for checkups and booster shots. I’ll be MORE than glad to make an appointment to do just that.”

To my delight he said okay, so I asked if he’d prefer the morning or afternoon…he chose the latter. I have since contacted Vet SOS via email, and have set him up for 1:35 PM, March 14th. I’ve already forwarded that info to you, via my Gmail account. I’ve programmed both my laptop and smartphone to remind me two weeks, one week, three days and one day in advance. And I will GO WITH Deek to the clinic, for both support and to make sure I get documented proof of their rabies shots, and the tags are on their collars.

Another day I discovered how to successfully keep Lucky from barking at a passerby or their dog, since shoving a treat under his nose doesn’t work. Most of the time he gives fair warning by suddenly stopping and staring at whomever is approaching. At which moment I crouch down, lightly hold onto the collar while scratching his neck and saying in a calm but firm voice, several times: “No barking now, be nice!” And I only stand up again once the target has passed by, and reward him with a “good dog” seal of approval for not going commando. Flaco is not the one who predatorily barks, so no need to train her, too. She simply joins in if Lucky keeps it up.

But Lucky doesn’t ALWAYS bark at an approaching pedestrian or dog, and there’s no predicting which ones he’ll choose to confront, and which ones he won’t. Sometimes he WON’T give any warning, but just suddenly lash out…though fortunately, that’s infrequent. Though I’m sure if I keep up my neck-scritching method, he’ll eventually lose interest in being so aggressive.

Since Deek keeps griping how Lucky barks and lunges too much, I told him yesterday morning that I finally discovered a method that really works. After explaining how I do that, I pointed out that yelling does no good because dogs will just get more excited, thinking you’re barking WITH them. And you’re just adding to the cacophony while accomplishing nothing.

“Besides which,” I added, “Using fear or anger in training a dog is both needless and cruel.”

Again, he bristled with his “don’t tell ME how to raise a dog” spiel, and, again, I reiterated my counterargument that I made two days before. To my happy surprise, once more he didn’t go into drama-queen mode over my stolid opposition. Though I DID state that so long as they’re living on the streets, Lucky’s likely to play Tasmanian devil more often in his presence, than when they’re with me.

“They’re just trying to protect you, Deek, as best they know how,” I said. “Furthermore, you have to watch him closely in order to catch him before he starts to bark, but you’re often busy pushing the cart with them right behind and out of sight. But at least you know what works.”

Deek seems to have listened to my arguments with respect, and he even said to me when I returned the pups yesterday (and in a kind voice) that he promises to treat them with loving care from now on. Not that he used those exact words, but that’s what it came down to.

Well that’s it for now, good physician. Glad to report so much happy news in my latest Brindlekin exploits.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: My Noisy Mornings (2 brief videos)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 11, 2022 at 9:40 AM

First video (49 secs.):

Imagine waking up to THIS every morning! Been going on for more than two weeks, so far. This is right in front of my building.

Second video (11 secs.):

Noisy street construction extends across the street from my building. I already walked the dogs through this cloud of noise pollution (that was no fun), and now I’m stepping out for my morning cup of java to-go. Don’t know how many more days I’m gonna have to put up with this!

Re: My Noisy Mornings (2 brief videos)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 11, 2022 at 1:54 PM

> Hellish.

Not really…one thing Satan won’t tolerate is noise pollution, due to her hypersensitive ear canals typical of that species, Diabolicus angelicus. She has therefore acoustically constructed each circle of hell to absorb all sounds except her own voice and that of her assistants, when so commanded to speak.

In hell, just as in outer space, no one can hear you scream. Which explains why Hieronymous Bosch’s infamous painting of that accursed realm remains utterly silent, though many subjects’ mouths are wide open in agonizing postures. Place an ear close to the canvas (if you ever have the rare good fortune to be allowed to do so, which first requires you to sign your soul over to the devil, among numerous OTHER abominable prerequisites), and you’ll hear not a peep coming out of it. They may have mouths, but they can’t scream…maybe it’s the vocal cords that are missing? Harlan Ellison had it ALMOST right.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I thought it would make a funny touch to throw Deek into the mix, as he WAS right downstairs and sound asleep. Told you he can snooze through ANYthing! Obviously, he was parked down there as it was still early, around 8:30 AM, and I told him I prefer to be left alone until 10 or so. As I like to get up in peace and quiet, take the pups for a walk, enjoy my coffee and then feed ’em. And I never know whenever Deek shows up, if he’s gonna implode into yet another pointless tantrum…which is NOT how I care to start the day. Such disruption gives me anxiety attacks, as do loud noises waking me out of a deep, comfy sleep. Yet the jackhammers and concrete grinders have blown all that angst-free peace right outta the water, commencing as they do, shortly after 7 AM.

I have read years ago in Men’s Health Magazine, that NYC and SF vie for first place every year, in the top-10 list of America’s most noise-polluted cities. I believe it! But can you imagine, a much SMALLER city as this is, right up there with a megalopolis in the noise category? Three Bronx cheers for San FranSHITSco…Bag-Dad by the Bay (as in hobo daddy types, scruffy beard and all)!


Subject: Deek just called me from his phone, for the first time!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 11, 2022 at 7:50 PM

He recently acquired a smartphone with cell service, so when I charged it for him, I also put my own number on it, along with Vet SOS…without telling him. To my surprise, he actually called me tonight, just a moment ago. Can you figure what the call was about? Hint: it’s quite predictable.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek just called me from his phone, for the first time!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 11, 2022 at 9:33 PM

> Golly, let me think….um, uh….oh, yeah! Can he have his allowance early?

You should start your own psychic network, Wattson…you’re a mindreader!

This is what I get for putting my number on his device! I could kick myself.

He called to ask for $50 tonight, to purchase another Bluetooth speaker, since it turned out the one he just got ain’t functioning. I calmly said, no, it’s not life or death, you can pick up your Sunday allowance tomorrow, a day early. To my surprise he gently replied, “Well, okay. I just won’t be able to buy it tommorrow, it’ll be gone by then.”

I reflected on his polite handling of my rejection, and how he agreed a few days ago to take the pups to Vet SOS for a checkup and rabies booster shot, and thought, oh, it’s only two days till Sunday, and he’s making great strides…and I’d rather see him waste half a hundred on a speaker, than a full hundred like he did for his birthday. So I called him back and said sure, just drop on by. “Did you check the speaker to be sure it’s working?” I asked. He said “Yeah, it’s good. I’ll drop by in a bit.” But guess what?

Well over two hours have passed, and he has yet to show up! I COULD call him back, but I don’t see the point in doing so.

> Maybe from now on (or as long as he has that phone) he can call you instead of yelling up at your window!

Why bother? He’ll lose the phone in another day or two, like he always does. BTW I’ve adjusted his allowance to $50 twice a week, instead of $60/40. His request some days back for a hundred dollars once a week is ridiculous, because after the first payment he’ll be asking for an advance every mid-week, and it’ll be just like paying him in two parts, anyway! So he can get, what: a hundred dollar speaker every week, and spend nothing on the pups? I don’t think he spends anything on them, as it is.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: mini UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 12, 2022 at 9:50 PM

So much going on, I can’t keep up! Will fill you on over the next two or three days. Meanwhile, some high points:

– Elderly straight couple moving into this building admired the pups, laughed as they barked up a storm while I guided them into my hovel. They’re not on my floor, so either on the 3rd or 4th.

– Another new resident, Aaron (says he moved in last month) very friendly, introduced himself and in our hallway conversation, revealed he’s quite progressive and pro-homeless, interested in being friends. He’s a gay refugee from a Christo-fascist family back in Ohio.

– Deek now sets his bike on the side, before lashing Flaco and Lucky to it…I’m VERY pleased over this, as I would’ve continued to burn his soul with the flames of my tongue, otherwise.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: mini UPDATE
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 13, 2022 at 11:03 AM

> I guess his flare-ups subside pretty quickly.

Yes, thank god…and they occur with far less frequency than in the past. I hate it when my hand is forced to confront him about his behavior, because that’s guaranteed to make him explode…and the pups are in the middle of this. To my chagrin, you sometimes can’t get him to change a dangerous habit without raking him over the coals (and several times at that). IOW, he pushes you right to the edge, and soft words get no results, or even firm words if they are not with fury. So this time around, this bicycle leashing where the dogs could get injured, was the straw that broke my camel’s back. I have brought this up to him NUMEROUS times, but in one ear and out the other, until I showed my fangs.

> Plus he’s not about to give up his weekly allowance. Which I know you do for the sake of the little angels.

Exactly.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Another sleepover with the pups so soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 13, 2022 at 8:29 PM

Deek dropped by a coupla hours ago, handed over the doggies to my tender care. When I stepped out I was delighted to see the bicycle set down on its side, with Flaco & Lucky tethered to it. Lucky gave me a robust “Woof!” in greeting. And, of course, Flaco was SO happy to see me again, so soon. Deek released them from their leashes and let them tumble about on the sidewalk, charming everyone who passed by.

Very pleased to see Deek so nicely dressed in a red parka, black jeans and a comfortable pair of chunky hiking shoes. Didn’t look the least bit houseless. His bike (this time around) was a sleek, brushed aluminum “Mamhattan Bullet.” Very sexy and art-deco-ish. He had very good manners, I can’t believe it’s the same Deek.

I must’ve burnt the hell out of him the other night, with my excoriation. The little darlins are now sound asleep, and I’m thrilled to have them here once more.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another sleepover with the pups so soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 13, 2022 at 10:01 PM

> Yay!!!!!

Dogs make life worth living…greatest lesson of my life…you need look no further. Deek brought these pups into my world, because he knew how happy they’d make me…the Cajun rapscallion! That’s why he’s been bringing them over so frequently these past few weeks.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek So Mellow!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 15, 2022 at 10:01 PM

He just picked up the pups and collected Sunday’s allowance today. Still has that Manhattan Bullet bike, and still nicely dressed in that red parka and black jeans and hiking shoes. He made a point of thanking me, TWICE, to which I answered each time: “It’a a pleasure and an honor.” Deek seems to be in a more stable frame of mind these past few days…behaves respectfully and actually listens to my suggestions. I think my tearing into him four days ago–about tying the dogs to the bike in a dangerous manner–put him through some changes.

Plump, bright, pale full moon ascending in the twilit sky. See attached pic, shot from my window, right above where Deek and brindlekin are kicking back for now.

Click here fir a larger view.

Subject: Space Blankets: why didn’t I think of that?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 15, 2022 at 10:38 PM

One of Deek’s friends is also named Deek, who was downstairs with Deek #1 when I stepped out to bring a box to keep the doggies warm. Well, whaddya know, Wattson, but Deek #1 had them on a nest of old-but-clean jackets and sweaters, and covered with a space blanket! They looked really happy in their tiny haven, making crinkling noises as they poked their schnozzes out to greet me. (They’re so cute, no matter what they do!)

“Deek brought me this space blanket!” said my Deek.

That’s a perfect solution for keeping the pups warm through cold nights, as they’re cheap, highly portable and disposable, unlike conventional blankets, sleeping bags and comforters. I can get a pack of 4 for $11:

Click here for Amazon link.

They’re also waterproof. I can also get THIS for Deek:

Click here for Amazon link.

Not only can he sleep in it, but walk around in it, too! Ordering tomorrow.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Didn’t know if Deek would throw a fit when I decided bring a box for the pups, as he’s done before. However, he was quite amenable this time around, said he doesn’t need it right now, just leave it with him, he’ll use it later. NO DRAMA, HUZZAH!


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Boy did I sleep well last night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 16, 2022 at 1:32 PM

And that was because I knew the pups would be kept warm, and there’d be no more lashing them to an upright, wobbly bike. After so many, many months (over two years, in fact) of excruciating worry, I have reached the point of a sane and caring resolution.

Enclosed pic shows the scruffy condition of my floor after so many frequent visits of the brindlekin, when Deek didn’t give me enough time between, to shake out the rugs and replace the newspaper. Not that I couldn’t do that while the pups were here, but I don’t like the stress of getting everything in order ASAP, like a robot. I’m not a Roomba, I’m a goombah. Also, the disarray is a lingering sign of all the doggy joy that caused it, so I prefer to let it remain for a day or two.

There were several other street folks hanging out with Deek in that ATM nook last night…all were peaceful, and so quiet I couldn’t hear them through my window only 12 feet above. Besides gifting the pooches with a space blanket, Deek #2 also brought two large bags of frozen meals from Open Hands, and suggested I take some. Good quality vittles, BTW. Sadly, I had to turn him down, as my pantry and fridge are already well stocked. And they were partially thawed out by then, so I couldn’t just pop ’em in the freezer. But it was a sweet gesture! BTW Deek #2 is no longer without a roof, but has a room at the Civic Center Hotel, which is a well-run residency specifically for getting vagrants off the street. It’s even pet friendly!

Not that Flaco & Lucky being forced to live on the streets isn’t still a worry, but the odds for their safety are now stacked in their favor, thanks to Deek’s newfound cooperation.

I was planning to email you just the portion above, but three intriguing incidents occurred before its completion:

1) Shortly after I arose from my cot after sleeping in till 9:30 AM, I heard a man’s voice speaking with some distress just below my window. So I peered out to see him talking on a smartphone and looking up in my direction. Of course he spotted me and asked:

“Excuse me, but do you know someone who lives here by name of Ken Mattachek? I haven’t heard from him for a few days, and I’m worried!”

I shook my head: “No, sorry, but I can let you in!”

Upon entering the lobby he showed me a pic of Ken, who I DID recognize:

“Yes, he’s on my floor. Moved in a few months back, dresses Bohemian, and walks with slightly bowed legs.”

“That’s him!” he replied, and I guided him to his unit which door, ironically enough, faces directly across from that of Myrtle-Haversak-and-son’s former digs. Before he knocked, I told him an ambulance came by around five days ago, to do a wellness check on someone, maybe it was Ken…but I saw him the next day; he looked fine to me.

“Well, I’ll leave you be now,” I told him, then turned away. He thanked me and began to knock:

“Kenny? Kenny?”

Just before turning the corner, I faced him again: “If you need to speak with the manager, his name is Kevin, and he lives on the top floor, at the other far end of the hall.” I then extended my arm to point eastward, before disappearing back into my own private Idaho.

Don’t know if Ken answered, as I didn’t eavesdrop, but returned hovel to sit down and compose the first part of this missive. But a few minutes later I peered out my window once more, and witnessed the concerned visitor wander off towards Castro Street, smartphone pressed to one ear.

2) As I approached the corner of 16th & Market on my way to Rosenberg’s a shiny black four-door pulled up, and a young woman with raven hair bound in a flowery white scarf beckoned to me:

“Do you speak Spanish?”

I turned to look at her, and got gypsy vibes while the driver, a swarthy 30-something, also waved me over. “Is this an abduction attempt?” I thought. “But I’m an old fellow with absolutely ZILCH sex traffic appeal!”

I cautiously approached by a few steps, keeping enough distance so I could make a dash for the hills if need be, and replied:

“Un poquito.”

She then held out a hefty finger ring colored in a dark rich amber, like brushed gold, and said in PERFECT ENGLISH: “This is pure gold, and I’m trying to sell it; we need the money.”

“Sorry,” I replied, “I’m poor, can’t afford it.” Then scurried off across 16th Street.

I did look back, to see them now talking with a Mexican laborer who also turned down their generous offer with upraised, flat palms. I decided to memorize their license plate number in case he was summarily yanked into their vehicle and whooshed away to parts unknown. Though his being the beefy sort, I concluded that such a dramatic scenario was greatly against all odds. Especially since there was only that woman in the back seat, and the driver remained at the wheel. Even though the laborer had, for a few brief moments, both hands gripping the edge of the passenger-side door, which I thought was too close for comfort.

Hence I concluded no unseemly crime was about to occur, and finally meandered off to purchase my morning dose of elixir so carefully conjured up by the loving hands of a Rosenberg minion and a drip-coffee maker of questionable pedigree.

3) As I sat on a bench right outside the long-closed-except-for-special-events Cafe Flore, to enjoy a few sips of my java before returning hovel, a former resident of 9666 Market Street strolled by and said “Hi!” He and his lover used to live right across the hallway from me…and they adored the pups, thus I was sad to see them go. That was also the time I had to suffer the drawn out Myrtle-&-Son fiasco, so I was sad to see them go for that reason as well, because loss of a reliable witness in the event of legal repercussions.

During that unhappy cycle, they kept to themselves so quietly you could never tell whether they were home or not. And they never brought it up to me, nor I to them, so I’m not really sure whether or not they’d be on my side if push ever came to shove. And I DON’T know where they live now, so it would be most difficult, if not impossible, to contact them if there arose a future need to address the matter. Such as the current upsets over the building manager by certain residents attempting to form a tenants union, where my own sordid history with Kevin could be an aid to their cause. Be that as it may:

As you possibly recall, these two residents from across me for almost five years, hail from one of those Middle Eastern nations with a “-stan” suffix…I think it was Kazakhstan, though it may have been Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, or Kyrgystan. Though it was DEFINITELY one of those countries, I’m sure of that. It wasn’t any OTHER “-stan” region such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or whatever-stan. Were it not for their clearly ethnic faces, you wouldn’t know they’re foreigners because their English is impeccably American. I’ve never even heard them speak their native tongue, even though I’ve passed by their door countless times. At any rate:

His was a casual hello, as he didn’t pause to ask how I was doing…though I DID ask him, as he stopped at the corner, waiting for the light to turn green before crossing Market Street. As he turned around to face me, I told him the pups are dong fine, and shared with him some of my hardships dealing with their bipolar owner.

“It’s both a heartbreak and a joy,” I concluded. But I soundly emphasized how much better Deek is treating the dogs, though admitted it’s still a worry, as someone who witnesses his less-than-kind treatment of them just might report him.

He pointed out that once Animal Control has them it will be very difficult to get them back. I agreed, to which he anxiously replied:

“Well I gotta go now.” And off he went, with THIS pro-Canis-familiaris pilgrim fully aware that this “-stan” fellow isn’t the least bit interested in my efforts to care for two of the sweetest little mutts you could ever know, who are subjected to the many dangers of living on the streets, in the charge of a mentally unstable meth addict. And he KNOWS who Deek is, BTW, even speaks with him sometimes…though maybe not anymore, since he moved on.

Funny how so many dramatic scenarios play out right by my building, Wattson, or very close TO it. No wonder I prefer to remain ensconced in my hermit’s cave! Though trouble sometimes comes knockin’ right at my door, or when I pass through the hallway, no matter my wish to keep to myself.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Space Blankets: why didn’t I think of that?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 16, 2022 at 1:50 PM

> That’s great news!! I love the image of them under their space blanket, all cozy and comfy.

And those little crinkly sounds as they poked their heads out to say hello! Flaco was about to dash beyond Deek for my hugs and kisses, but he told her to stay where she was: behind him and secured in the right-end corner of the ATM alcove. That was okay by me, as I was already pleased to see them so well protected. Flaco seemed fine with that too; she didn’t complain, while Lucky saw fit to remain settled inside the folds of the blanket…it was enough for him to greet me from that spot with a friendly “Woof!”

Damn, how I wish I had a working pair of spyglasses again, but I just can’t afford them, especially when they fall apart so soon. MANY great little scenarios I have missed, because of that.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Boy did I sleep well last night! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 16, 2022 at 2:25 PM

As I gazed up at the lovely full moon at twilight, while standing on the corner of Market & Noe last night, a peaceful cloak of kindness settled on my shoulders and in my heart. And I thought:

“This is a good omen, things are gonna turn around for me, the pups and Deek.”

And I’ve felt very much at peace since then. For the first time in a long, long while, I woke up this morning without the usual petite mal string of anxiety attacks I need to first quell before starting a new day.

It was, I now realize, a premonition of good tidings later that same eve. But I also suspect that, my being a part of everything else a la quantum entanglement, it is also a good omen for the world. That’s my stringed-out theory, and I’m stickin’ to it!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek says he may have a place within a month!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 18, 2022 at 7:19 PM

He just dropped by, told me to hold onto the dogs for another night (third in a row), said some park ranger who’s known him for years can cut through some red tape for him, and get him a place, dogs and all. He is supposed to meet him and he’ll take him to the housing, so Deek can decide if he likes the place or not. The ranger mentioned the corruption of the new funding being pumped into the homeless cause, but it’s being addressed and many more homeless have been successfully moved off the streets.

This sounds believable, the way he talked. I’ve heard of new spots being set aside for the houseless these past few months. It’s just not in the news so much, except for generalized updates. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Deek looks great, got a new haircut where most of his head is shaved, except for some scant strands in the middle and falling down the back…think “Hare Krisna”. It actually looks good on him. He had nothing for me to charge, said all his electronics were stolen again. I was preparing an update covering the last few days, when he showed up. I will get around to that later tonight. But I couldn’t hold off telling you this good news. Hope it’s all true, and that it works out for him. I should know some time tomorrow, probably afternoon or evening.

I’ll be giving the pups their first shampoo tonight, one at a time…as they’re ghastly afraid of water except when it’s quietly resting in a bowl. Even sloshing it makes them jump with alarm. Hopefully in the long run, they’ll grow accustomed to running water and standing under it after giving them a shower once a month. I certainly don’t want tonight’s first bath to be traumatic for them!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek says he may have a place within a month!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 18, 2022 at 10:51 PM

> But…but…if Deek gets a place, you’ll never get to spend the night with the pups!

Still better than their living on the streets…besides, he can let me have the pups over now and then, I can walk them, visit HIS domain, etc.


Subject: Wednesday night was a disaster…though all was made right the next day!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 19, 2022 at 11:24 AM

Deek brought me this crummy speaker that was just a wooden box with a loosely connected power supply that uses a C charger. You have to first remove the screen and the actual speaker to get to the battery, contained in a plastic cylinder with a USB slot for charging it. Four standard screws keep it intact. A piece of junk, and he told me to be real careful when removing the speaker and battery, because the contacts are loosely fit. I told him to wait a few minutes while I look at it, in case I have any questions. Four screws hold the speaker to the box, with the battery also inside. So I started to remove the screws, when he suddenly hollered from where he and pups were parked by the bus stop:

“C’mon, I gotta go, I’m not gonna wait all night!”

I had only returned to my room for three minutes, mind you. I dropped what I was doing, put my shoes back on and stepped out again to see him already departing up the street with the dogs…even though he said I could have them stay over that night. I called to him:

“What’s the rush, you can’t wait a couple more minutes?”

He turned around and handed the doggies over to me, then walked away in a huff, pushing the small cart before him. I took the pooches upstairs and returned to check out the speaker. I raised it gingerly from its box, to discover the battery was NOT connected. I guess the ends were so loose, they slipped from the terminals of their own accord. The battery, OTOH, I was able to remove and charge. The wires are tricky to reconnect, they’re old-school, and I doubted I could perform the operation. So I returned the box unscrewed, and handed him some Scotch tape and a screwdriver, so he can reconnect the wires himself.

Of course I feared Deek would throw a hissy fit and start screaming right in front of my building. And that’s exactly what happened, upon his return two hours later. He also had given me a “new” smartphone to fill with mp3’s and charge up. That, too, was a problem, taking me almost an hour to get the device to finally connect via USB to my laptop, so I could upload a chunk of his rap collection. And it turned out to be the slowest charging phone he’s given me yet, so by the time he returned, it was only at 19 percent. This, too, ignited another temper tantrum on his part. He made up some story about missing out on a jam session that night, because he had to hang out for another couple of hours, to get the smartphone up to 50 percent. Naturally, it was all my fault, I don’t know what I’m doing, and I have “slow electricity.”

I, however, remained calm through it all, reminding him how he has so many GOOD things going on in his life, and he should count his blessings…shit happens to everyone now and then, so why allow setbacks to fuck with your head. My gazing up at the full moon just the evening before, accompanied by an unexpected wave of peace washing over me, certainly helped me deal with Deek’s latest stupidity.

During this crappy meetup, I kindly asked for the dog food back, so I can store it rather than his probably losing it, and then asking for a fresh supply only two days after I already GAVE him more kibble and cans. The dogs, you see, were upstairs gettin’ some Z’s, and I feared he might demand them back, due to this emotional explosion. But he did not. He seemed annoyed I asked to take the food inside, so I said never mind if you lost it already, I just thought to ask. But he somehow managed to dig it out of one of two large sacks while grumbling incoherently, and hand it over in spite of his surly mood. I told him, “Thanks, that’s a big help!”

I figure that was a good sign, Wattson…as he didn’t retaliate either by taking the pups back, or refusing to return the doggy vittles. I had told him last week he needs to stop asking for dog food so frequently, as it’s killing my budget. And he’s been doing just that, now, much to my relief. However, this last batch he returned, had a wad of moist kibble at the bottom of the bag, and equivalent gunk smeared across the cans. So I cleaned it all up, throwing away the wasted kibble, though he still had two mostly-full Ziplocs of dry chow, with which I fed them the last two days. I obviously need to talk to Deek about preventing food poisoning by keeping everything dried and sealed. Every time I turn my head, I find he’s done something ELSE that puts his own life, or that of the mutts, in harms way…it never ends!

When he returned the next day, I saw he had taped the battery contacts down, which made it easy for me to get in there and plug in the C cord. In fact, I left the cord connected, for even easier recharges. It was curled up in the box, three feet long and easy to reach, so I no longer have to remove both speaker and battery. He also finally got another AC cord for his hefty, 20-pound speaker he had me stash for him a few days back. And he was most contrite, this time around. I’m sure he appreciated that I didn’t bring up the previous night’s fiasco…though I knew better anyway, as you gotta give someone with bipolar mood swings decent wiggle room, rather than be a nag. He returned several hours later to pick up his devices, and told me to keep the brindlekin for yet another night.

The sense of full-moon serenity that had descended upon THIS wobbly pilgrim’s psyche still remains, strong as ever. As I said in a recent missive, it was a premonition of better times ahead. First, this happy resolution post-hissy-fit, and now, the possibility of him getting a roof over his head in a month’s time! Keeping my fingers crossed that continued good fortune comes his way…more for the sake of Flaco & Lucky, than anything else.

My Bodhisattva Premise reminds me this is all acting out a script for my own benefit, and to make me the hero of this saga. Which means Deek is simply playing his role…and superbly, I might add. So many tough challenges he’s flung at my feet, yet I keep coming up smelling like a rose! What, me worry?

Let’s see what Deek has to say about this housing opportunity, once he returns to pick up the doggies. Will of course update you.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek has not yet returned, and I’m nervous about this!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 20, 2022 at 2:19 PM

He was supposed to be given a tour yesterday, of the new digs he might occupy per his approval…but he hasn’t reported back to me since I last saw him two nights ago. Now I have this horrid fantasy of him being lured into some scurrilous scenario, such as when homeless men are kidnapped and forced to fight each other to the death, with bets placed. Jeez, the scary things the mind comes up with now and then! Obviously, this is a reminder to NOT allow worry to ruin my day.

He’s fine, and should this housing opportunity fall through, I already have rehearsed exactly what to say to keep his spirits up. Dogs are doing great…they’re so polite regarding my chair, as they kindly jump to the bed when they sense I’d like to sit down by my work station. Though half the time I don’t, so I ease their mind by telling them it’s okay, and place a reassuring hand on them. In which case they happily remain in restful bliss, either curled up on the seat, or stretched out a bit with their head drooped over the edge.

Several days back when I returned hovel with the pups, there was Kevin on the other side of the front gate. He kindly opened the door for us, even though they barked at him until we reached the stairs a second or two later, whence they quieted down. I was pleased that Kevin didn’t tell them to shut up this time, or demand I get rid of the dogs.

Then next day as I exited my room with the mutts, here came my quasi-fascist neighbor Moe, strolling down the hallway from his own apartment. Naturally, the dogs barked up a tempest, but I was already at the top of the stairs and rushing them down before Moe was halfway there. Funny that Flaco turned back on her leash, poked her head around the corner to give one more “Woof!” of warning at him, before she resumed our descent. Very cute little moment, I hope he enjoyed it.

And just last night as I was returning hovel with the pups, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a boisterous, small crowd that just exited the Lookout: a second-story gay bar right on the corner of 16th & Noe. So I held the brindlekin on a short leash as they barked away, when one exiting patron, tall, handsome and young, stopped to admire them and declare how cute they are.

“Do they bite?” he asked.

“No they don’t, just stick out your hand,” I replied.

They would NOT let him pet them, and continued to bark until I handed him a couple of treats, whereby they immediately quieted down as he fed them.

“Oh, thank you, that’s very nice of you!” he exclaimed.

“Here, another for the road,” I said and handed him two MORE treats.

The dogs, of course, eagerly accepted a second round of nummies. He then thanked me once more, profusely, wished me a great evening, and off he and the rest of the gaggle departed up Market Street.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has not yet returned, and I’m nervous about this!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 20, 2022 at 5:43 PM

> So the dogs are with you now??

Oh yes, fourth day in a row! Some of my other fears when he finally gets a roof over his head, are that he’ll leave the pups stuck inside for hours, yell at them or worse when he’s in a bad mood, or decide to get Flaco pregnant. Which would get him kicked out of the place, the brindlekin handed over to Animal Control…and possibly his going to jail for animal abuse and trying to run a puppy mill.

But since he’d be living in an organized community environment, there would likely be responsible employees to guide him in a better direction. However, Deek may walk out on the housing opportunity, if he feels his wings are being clipped. For them to arrange a monthly income, they’d need to know his Social Security number, and assist him with getting proper ID…which may cause him fear of Louisiana’s child services tracking him down.

Also, they’ll possibly require him to attend weekly therapy sessions and/or group meetings. I wonder, since they allow pets, if they’ll have veterinarian care in situ, which would be great. So I plan to tell him, if he wants to get out of that situation, at least wait until the doggies get a checkup and all their booster shots. I also need to tell him it’s none of their business, my giving him a hundred dollars every week…so he should just make them think he gets NO moolah whatsoever except from collecting bottles and cans, and panhandling.

He also might rebel against being categorized as mentally disabled in order to collect disability payments, thus turn down a reliable source of funding. If such be the case, I’ll inform him he can always get off it, but in the meantime he can use it to build a better life, both for himself and the pooches. I’ll remind him that I was on a disability stipend most of my life, until I turned 66.

So many pitfalls to deal with, thanks to his shocking lack of basic knowledge on many issues, and right-wing brainwash! I just hope he’ll take the time to sit down and let us talk things out, whenever he goes through this or that hurdle. But enough of my fantasizing worst-case scenarios. I want to bring up something else, that I meant to include in my previous missive, Wattson. Which is:

Among all the vagrants in Deek’s social circle, not a one seems to be the least bit ageist, homophobic, racist or prejudiced in any other way. None of them act alarmed over my bad teeth either! IOW I’ve experienced far more acceptance and friendliness among the local homeless, than among the housed!

Listening to Marshall McGee’s latest “Memo of the Weird” podcast right now. It keeps me sane.

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Another concern re. subsidized housing, is they may require Deek to get the complete series of COVID-19 shots.


Re: Deek has not yet returned, and I’m nervous about this!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: February 20, 2022 at 7:25 PM

> Oh, Jeeziz. That better not happen.

It would be an unthinkable tragedy. But if I tell Deek NOT to get Flaco pregnant while living in community housing, and why it’s a HORRIFIC idea, he’d likely rebel by rejecting the opportunity.

> They do NOT need to know about that.

It’s time for him to grow up and learn FAST how to work the system for his own survival, and that of the pups.

> A crucial observation!!!

For which reason I’ve concluded that the poor and the homeless are the true heart of San Francisco, and any other city.

> He’s a caution….

I will never cease to hold much gratitude for reading so many of my tales on his show, as well as all those call-ins. Even though, for whatever reason, he shook me off like a flea later on.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 8)

January 30, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18h]

Subject: Best New Year’s Eve Ever!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 7, 2022 10:06 PM

> Oh, man, I so hope things quiet down for you. That’s another bummer aspect of being poor–privacy always threatened.

It’s like living in an anthill. Thank Merlin I don’t celebrate Exmass, ’cause it would’ve been a disaster.

> Dogs and cats can pretty much throw up at will. They don’t even have to be sick; they just want to rearrange things.

Easy to clean up, and he’s obviously not sick or suffering. I give him hugs whenever he goes through this…WHILE it’s happening.

> I do love the image of you and the doggies sleeping in a peaceful heap. Safe and warm for the nonce.

They’re my best friends; they are so happy to be here! I call our nights together My Doggy Pajama Party. Before hitting the sack, I usually watch a spooky film while sipping on some hot cocoa, with the pups snuggled up beside me, or at my feet. Or maybe one’s hiding in the box while the other’s on my lap. Or maybe they’re BOTH on the floor, because I also have a comforter piled there. Just nice to have ’em around.

Coupla nights ago Lucky slept stretched along my partly bent legs, with little space between myself and the wall…snuggled right up and tight, head pressed against my butt! He’s never done that before, as he prefers roomier accommodations where he can stretch out in all directions. Needless to say, I hated to get out of bed that morning, and break the spell.

> I have a problem I’m going to have to solve before I can sleep: Ernie (male cat, ferocious hunter) brought in a live critter, either a mouse or a chipmunk, took it into my room and it got away. It’s now hiding somewhere in the vast pile of books. Gotta catch it and set it free. This won’t be the first time I’ve done this; I once set up a ramp leading from the bed to an open window to help a poor little terrified chipmunk escape. It did, though it took hours.

Can’t wait to read all about it in the AVA: “Celebrated Cat Woman Last Seen Chasing a Chipmunk in the Chilly Mendo Fog.” And I thought MY holiday season was rough! Why do I have an image of a chipmunk in reading glasses poring over “The Court of the Lion” pop up in my mind right now? This is getting treacly, Wattson, so I’ll stop.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: New Smoke Alarm, Then Deek
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 8, 2022 1:34 PM

> Three out of four chipmunks say about COURT OF THE LION: “Couldn’t lift it up!”

Very funny. I’m not even gonna TRY to top that, except to say “That’s acorny as heck!”


Re: Chipmunk update
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 8, 2022 7:46 PM

> Confirmed sighting, proof of life: Hear a rustling; hold very still, see a chipmunk venturing across the floor. “Where the hell am I? Chipmunk purgatory? Valhalla?” I reach for the big heavy glass bowl I brought in for exactly this, try and almost succeed in capturing it under the bowl, but Alvin gets away. I could see, though, that he’s very much alive and uninjured. But he (or she) has gotta be hungry. He/she disappears. I go and arrange a little chipmunk smorgasbord on a plate: oats, pecan chunks, grains of rice, peanut butter, plus a little dish of water, place it strategically. I go away for a couple of hours (careful to keep the door shut so Ernie the Serial Killer does not come in and finish the job). Return later, am thrilled to see Alvin sitting next to the dish of food, chomping away. I had a chipmunk in my room for several days a few years ago, handled it just like this. It gradually relaxed, got used to me, and I was able to trap it and escort it out to the woods.

Glad to hear of such a happy outcome!

> Will keep you posted.

Please. Alvin might decide he’s found a sweet bounty there, and return.

BTW Deek showed up this afternoon to pick up the pups, now that these miserable rains are over for awhile. Said he’ll return later for his electronics I’m charging…one of ’em a somewhat bulky Bluetooth speaker that appears to be ready to fall apart. In short: no drama. Speaking of Alvins:

I’m concerned about Alvin Hock, as he’s disappeared from both lists for at least two weeks now. He’s 80 with certain medical conditions, though didn’t tell me what they were. Being anti-vax, he may be in the hospital now, or dead.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Chipmunk Chronicles!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 9, 2022 10:14 AM

> Went to plump up my pillows pre-bedtime, was startled to find Alvin snoozing between them, blinking and sleepy.

OMG, that’s cute. Shame you didn’t take a pic, but you had to move fast.

> Hastened to cover him with the glass bowl, slid a piece of cardboard under him (had to tuck his little tail in and take care not to hurt his tiny paws), carried him right past Ernie the Killer, out the door and through the wet grass to the dark woods, set him free. He couldn’t quite believe it. Whew!!!

All’s well that ends well. I would’ve been tempted to sleep with him, and even adopt him. He took so quickly to trusting you! I bet he’ll be back.


Subject: Life in Hell
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2022 8:56 AM

The new smoke alarm just went off, for no good reason: 7:30 AM, woke me out of my restful sleep. So I had to pull out the ladder squeezed between fridge and wall, climb up, and press the “off” button on the accursed device. Which then made me realize:

It could go off again and again and again at any time, including when the pups are here, and/or when I’m not in my hovel. This won’t do, yet I have a snoopy exterminator to deal with, who’ll report it not working or missing should I remove it and stash it elsewhere. Which I’m gonna have to do.

I also don’t need the manager or maintenance man stepping into my room should they hear the alarm and I’m not there. For one, there goes my no-shoes policy, and for anther, the pups might be inside! The solution?

Remove the smoke alarm (the front, working part detaches easily) and hide it under my sink…remembering to put it back just before the exterminator arrives. Though it COULD screech again when I cannot reenter my room while the fog treatment is doing its thing!

It hasn’t even been 24 hours since the new alarm has been installed. Well, I’ll leave it up for now and see how it goes. But I’ll DEFINITELY disable it whenever Flaco & Lucky visit.

I don’t HAVE nightmares, I wake up to them!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Life in Hell
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2022 10:38 AM

> Oh, crap. I don’t respond well at all when my precious sleep is interrupted. If it had been me, that cursed thing would have been ripped from the wall and hurled out the window.

That’s kinda what I did with the previous alarm. After it went off with no provocation several times within a month, I detached it from the plate and disabled it, permanently it seems. Because you need to pull down a tiny lever in the back, which label warns you that the alarm cannot be restored once you do that. This was maybe three years ago. During which time the exterminator NEVER brought up its “failure” to go off.

If I bring this up to the building manager, he’ll have to take my word for it, and do what…replace it once more with yet aNOTHER faulty device? And what happens next, should the alarm NOT go off next time my hovel is treated, and the exterminator reports this? It might be perfectly fine, and not beeping when he fogs the unit in not necessarily PROOF of failure. I think the reason he never brought this up before (in the 10-plus years he’s been coming here) is because the smoke alarms rarely went off during treatment, until recently…possibly because with newer tenants come smoke alarm replacements.

My new alarm is the exact same model as the old one: a cheap, $8 device that is totally unreliable. Reading the 1-star reviews includes many for whom the test button indicates everything’s fine, no problem. But it DOESN’T go off when customers try it with real smoke, such as a lit cigarette. Others complain that it alerts when just boiling water, which was MY situation: steaming veggies would sometimes make it beep, even though my hot plate is at the opposite end of the room, right by the open window! (It’s a magnetic induction plate, so VERY safe.)

Other customer gripes include the “turn off” button won’t work during a false alarm unless they permanently disable it…or the “10 year” sealed-in battery only lasts four years, two years, 10 months or just several weeks. We’re talking the popular “First Alert” brand, which used to be highly reliable. But it looks like ALL the better brands have deteriorated in quality over recent years.

So now I’m stuck in this little “smoke alarm hell,” a new addition to my retinue of stress factors.

> Your restraint is admirable!

Well, breaking it and tossing it out was not an option, as I’d have to ask the manger for another alarm…and the insanity would continue.

> And your plan is a good one!

Unless the alarm continues to beep false alerts too frequently. Or if it fails to beep when the exterminator treats my room again. The only reason he informed me in the first place, was because I was still home when he showed up. I usually step out a half hour before he arrives, but this last time around I did not. Avoiding him in person seems to be a priority at this point…though sometimes we cross paths in the building, when he’s there to work on other units. Well, at least he no longer responds to any of my calls or texts, so hopefully he won’t decide to contact me one of THOSE ways to tell me the smoke alarm didn’t go off. Or will he just take it directly to the manager?

Can you imagine hundreds, maybe thousands, of other units in large apartment buildings with faulty smoke alarms? That seems quite likely. Landlords are legally required to install smoke alarms, but their reliability is dubious…so they turn their heads the other way, rather than do the right thing. Here’s California’s smoke detector law, FWIW.


Subject: Smoke alarm went off again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 11, 2022 11:55 PM

…just 20 minutes ago. So I broke out the ladder once more, climbed it and pressed the “off” button. Three minutes later, went back on again. So I once more pressed “off,” but this time removed it from the plate and set it on my side table. But it went back on again. NOTHING I could do to turn it off, even though it’s SUPPOSED to stop after you press “off.” So guess what, Wattson:

I pulled that tiny lever down in the back, which disables it permanently. I HAD NO CHOICE! So now I gotta shell out $30 to get one that MIGHT work right. Fuckin’ busybody exterminator. Costing me money and stress. And the bedbugs are back again, crawling on me and the cot. ALREADY!

Will the manager even believe me if I tell him the alarm kept going off? If he does, he’ll give me another one (SAME BRAND), and I’ll have to go through all that bullshit again. I’m FORCED to purchase a better one myself…it’s $27 plus tax, matches the California code, and more customers are pleased with it.

But now I have to worry about whether or not it goes off each time the exterminator treats my room…which has become MORE FREQUENT THAN EVER. No wonder some people just give up and go homeless. Paolo needs to get his nose outta my ass crack. I didn’t even WANT the pups over when the maintenance man dropped by to install the fuckin’ alarm…but I was stuck.

Dogs should be back tomorrow, as they’ve been gone four nights in a row, including tonight. And Deek’s next payment is due. It was SO sad when he showed up with the pups last Friday night, as it was COLD, and they weren’t staying over, and Flaco’s sweet, inquisitive expression broke my heart (again) as I waved at her before shutting the gate and returning upstairs. She was shivering.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Smoke alarm went off again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 12, 2022 2:52 PM

> Oh, Jesus, true hell–shrieking smoke alarm and crawling bedbugs!

On top of the recent stress of a miserable holiday season…it was the last straw! After each treatment the bugs come out of the woodwork, and may continue for as long as two weeks. I’ve only found two today, as opposed to a dozen or more up till yesterday evening. I pick them off the wall with duct tape wrapped sticky side out, around the end of an old broomstick. Stay classy!

> Does the new smoke alarm run on batteries, or house current? I know there are both kinds, plus combos.

Like the previous one, it runs solely on an internal lithium battery that can’t be replaced, though it supposedly lasts for 10 years. Which is a lie. I just ordered a (hopefully) better alarm, which I will keep unopened until needed, that is: should the time come to deflect the exterminator’s unwelcome prying. The building’s own alarms are hardwired w/backup battery, along the hallways, the basement and the lobby.

> Hope the doggies are getting some sun today. It’s warm and sweet here…

I hope so, too…I’m sure they are. I’ve pretty much recovered from last night’s sudden eruption of the alarm fiasco…will find a way through this latest crap while further cultivating a compassionate mien. My brother’s birthday was two days ago, but fuck him…I don’t even know if he’s still alive. I could care less.

Deek’s birthday is coming up: January 22nd. I’ll give him another $20, plus another Welsh dragon medallion, since he lost the first one. It had a cheap clasp that was impossible to join…I’ll replace the necklace with strong, waxed cord before I present it to him. With a secure knot in the back, and long enough so he only has to drop it over his head.

In spite of how crummy Yuletide was for me, there were indeed bright spots: I had the pups over many times, and Deek gave me three, lovely gifts. So, count my blessings! I tend to forget that, whenever a shaman gifts you, get ready for the nasty backlash comin’ out of the ether! Which is actually being honored through the back door.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Dogs are back, all’s right with the world!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 13, 2022 10:10 AM

Deek FINALLY showed up, after five long days and nights. They’re in good health and spirits, as usual…now zonked out on the cot, while their master is likewise, outside and by the ATMs with a flatbed cart piled with “stuff” and parked curbside. Closer examination reveals bedding in the debris (or what can be USED for bedding), dry and more than enough to keep both him AND the pups warm at night. See pic.

Deek was friendly, not the least bit crabby…and this was the first time he waited until his actual pay day to collect his allowance. Soon as I handed him the moolah, he scooted off to the Chevron station to purchase breakfast. Though our meetup was brief, it was drama free.

Nice to have the little darlin’s back, they are so joyful and kind. And supremely huggable! NOW my new year begins.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Dogs are back, all’s right with the world!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 13, 2022 7:40 PM

> Excellent!

He gave me EIGHT devices to charge, this time around! Two battery packs, two smartphones, an Android tablet (very nice, by Alcatel) and three portable speakers. He returned for them two hours ago, said he’ll be back for the pups, not indicating whether that means later on tonight, tomorrow or whenever. How he usually plays it. Still, NO DRAMA. Except for a brief and pointless outburst not worth my time to write down.

> I like the long shadows in the pic.

Yes, a nice touch, and I didn’t think about that when I shot it. Something poignant always comes through these Brindlekin pics, no matter how plain or drab they first appear. I got the mojo!

Just took the pups for a walk, fed them dinner, and now they’re snuggled together on the cot, like the sweet angels they are. They had a good romp and tussle on the cot with me in the middle of it all, before they decided to settle down. They fill my humble sanctuary with grace and joy!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He blew it right outta the water!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2022 2:50 PM

His finally keeping his payment days according to the schedule I established some months back, that is. THAT DIDN’T LAST LONG, like just ONCE. Deek showed up this morning blabbing about doing me a BIG favor, what with his birthday coming up, and a fantastic sale on a Bluetooth speaker: $100 marked down from I-have-no-idea, and he won’t ever ask me again.

“So that would be my allowance for this coming Sunday, and Thursday,” he said. “I won’t expect another payment until next Sunday.”

I told him that’s a foolish investment, as he always loses anything he buys within a short time, even just a couple of days later…that he could get an excellent speaker for under fifty dollars…that I’m giving him an extra forty dollars a week so he could spend some of it on the dogs, like jackets now and then, but he hasn’t done anything like that at all. He politely heard me out, but didn’t budge at all, so I caved in:

“Okay, I have to go to my bank first,” I told him. “I won’t lecture you further on this, you’re actually doing great, it’s just that sometimes you still make poor decisions…at least that’s how I see it.”

Once I returned and handed him the cash, he said thanks, “I’ll be gone in a few minutes,” as he gathered up his things to leave. “The restaurant here doesn’t want me hangin’ out front.”

“Seriously?” I remarked. “Sorry to hear that…they actually don’t have any right to tell you where you should and shouldn’t be.” But this explains why he’s been camping out by the ATM alcove lately, as it’s squeezed between two establishments that don’t want him out front: Super Duper Burgers and the Hohokum Smoke Shop.

He then took off and I returned upstairs to tend to the dogs and my online activities. It was then it hit me:

What about sales tax?

Though by now, some two hours later, he’s probably already run into that wall. Well, Wattson, let’s see what went down once Deek returns later to pick up his recharged doohickeys. And let’s see if he really DOES follow through and holds off asking for any MORE money before that fateful Sunday arrives.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Doggies Stay Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 14, 2022 8:53 PM

Attached pic shows the Bluetooth speaker he just wasted a hundred dollars on, MY hundred dollars. He used his upcoming birthday, Jan. 22nd, to justify the expense…but I bet he’ll lose it before then. He showed up again a couple hours ago, so I could charge it for him, along with two smartphones. It weighs around 22 pounds, a hefty load indicating a powerful battery, lithium I presume. Can’t find anything about that brand, EM3, and he neglected to save the user manual for me to pore over. That figures.

The dogs are still with me, he didn’t ask for them yet, and I hope they can stay another night. While Flaco’s in heat, it’s easier to manage the pups when they’re indoors, and I’m guessing Deek knows that. Here’s that video I attempted to send via phone, but came out poorly:

As you can see, they’re a lot more feisty when the female’s going through estrus.

Deek was with a young vagrant by the bus stop out front, who owns a lovely German shepherd. He said hello, and I replied in kind, then picked up the new speaker and lugged it upstairs. “Glad to see someone friendly hanging out with him,” I thought. I was about to take the pooches for a walk when Deek showed up, as it was 6 o’clock, their usual time for an evening poop. Their leashes were already on, but they had to wait a few minutes longer, till I returned and plugged in the speaker and two phones. Just as I summoned the dogs off my cot, a ruckus broke out below, with many loud barks. I peered out the window to see that itinerant’s dog “attack” Deek, who kept hollering, “He bit me, get him off!”

The canine was actually muzzled, and I didn’t see how it was being particularly mean to the point where Deek couldn’t have just hugged it in his arms till it calmed down. The young vagrant was screaming something at Deek that I couldn’t make out. Twice he pulled his dog away by the collar (the leash was not attached, though at hand), and twice the dog broke free and “attacked” Deek. Then a worker from Super Duper stepped out, waved her hands, ordered them to vamoose, as customers were dining outside, trying to enjoy their grub. Deek promptly grabbed his shopping cart and proceeded up the sidewalk towards Castro Street.

So I was stuck inside, waiting for the shepherd’s owner to pick up his bike that had fallen to the ground during the brouhaha, and move along as well. Flaco & Lucky were very patient, and surprisingly quiet: she jumped back on the bed to lie down, while he sat calmly on a throw rug. Finally, the young drifter and dog had departed (in the same direction as Deek!), and things were calm once again, or as calm as one could expect for such a busy street teeming with dysfunctional types, including the housed…and I could take the mutts for a walk.

I had to put down this missive for about a half hour, as Deek came by once more, to pick up all his electronics, including the new speaker. Not ONCE did he mention the pups…as if he forgot all about them! Well, Wattson, don’t count on THIS reluctant pilgrim to bring them up, not even a whisper! So long as they’re with me through another cold night, I’m glad to zip these lips.

So now he’s wandered off to god only knows where, and the brindlekin are safe with me for another splendid night. I hate street drama…living smack dab in the middle of it doesn’t help much.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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Subject: Another day in hell…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 15, 2022 9:57 AM

…more for him than for me. Moaning, groaning, rocking and rolling on and off throughout the night. I hardly heard him, so my sleep was not disturbed, though I’d think my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hallway was, seeing as the troubled vagrant is directly below his bedroom window.

The homeless are a constant reminder of our country’s brutality. People should be alarmed, but way too many are not. Deek is high functioning, thank Glaucus…he’ll pull through somehow, some way. I just wish he had the good sense to get a booster shot, but he won’t budge. And the good sense to take the pups to a pop-up vet clinic at LEAST once a year. He keeps putting it off, I believe because he fears getting plugged into the system, and being tracked down by his home state’s legal tentacles.

Meanwhile, the doggies had their morning stroll, and are now curled up in fluffy comfort. Time for their breakfast in a few minutes. They both slept cuddled up against me and each other, for a part of the night. They’ve never done that before, but it was lovely hearing their little sighs and grumbles so close to my ear, and their occasional somnolent twitches chasing pigeons, other dogs or whatever in their dreamscape.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another day in hell…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 15, 2022 6:40 PM

> Oh, jeeziz. That’s Deek lying there on the cold concrete??

No, it’s some black dude in very bad shape who, through my good fortune, chose to park his ass right outside my building and act out the drama. Deek is not the type to moan and groan or rock around through the night.


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

Re: Another day in hell…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 15, 2022 8:27 PM

> I didn’t think so. But thought maybe he’d ingested something bad.

Yeah, like a Hostess Twinkie.

> Glad it’s not Deek, but sad for the poor man on the sidewalk…and sad for you who must witness it.

If not him, someone else. Walk one block in any direction and there’ll be another. Anyway, Deek showed up just moments ago, and is now parked below across from the ATMs (see pic). Needless to say, he gave me his new, bulky speaker along with several small devices, for the customary recharge. The speaker is now gloriously pimped out (see pic). I commended him on how artful it looks.

“That’s how I can prove it’s mine if someone steals it,” he replied.

I didn’t think of that, but it DOES make perfect sense. Life among the houseless!

He was in a pleasant mood, though ready to nod out, he could hardly keep his eyes open. My wayward bodhisattva also asked how the dogs are doing (finally). I told him fantastic…they just ate, played around a bit and are now crashed out.

“Jeez, you don’t have to write a book about it,” he replied in his customary snark.

So I quipped back: “Oh, is anything longer than four syllables a book to you?”

He didn’t say a word about bringing them down to him, nor did he indicate that the pups can stay with me for a third night in a row. So I’ll just have to play it by dog ear. (I don’t think he knows what syllables are BTW.)

I then offered to brew up some tea, which he accepted: “Give me a few minutes to plug everything in, and I’ll bring it down.” It’s always blueberry, and always sweetened with two tablespoons of raw honey. He loves it.

So I’m now returned hovel, digital electronics are juicing up, the doggies are wallowing in restful luxury, and I’m about to prepare my dinner. But first I took those two pics I’ve enclosed, and this video.


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Another day in hell…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 16, 2022 12:25 AM

This photo was taken AFTER I gave back all his fully charged devices. I made sure to awaken him, that he knows his speaker has been returned…though I also offered to lug it back upstairs to keep it from being stolen, if he’s planning to just sleep awhile longer. He brushed me off with kind regard and, from his slumped position, leaned against the speaker with one arm wrapped around it, then fell promptly back into a poor man’s coma.

In this pic he is stretched out and sound asleep on the sidewalk, his head and left shoulder pressing against the speaker now turned on its side. In one hand is a white, plastic shopping bag containing two small USB battery packs, two smartphones and the Alcatel tablet. To his left is his latest bicycle. ANYONE CAN STEAL THIS STUFF, he sleeps like a log, nothing can startle him from hebetude!

There’s his shopping cart of course, by his feet. And by his head and to his right is a skinny homeless woman nicknamed “Scampy.” She’s around 41 years old, has barely any teeth remaining except several thin, crooked spikes, and sometimes screeches up and down the streets late at night. She and another, older, fellow were visiting with Deek for a couple of hours. They had just departed when I shot this image…and Scampy is seen returning to procure some unknown item I guess she left behind (maybe a can of soda or a juice box). Now get this, Wattson:

Deek told me some months back, that she used to be his girlfriend! And that she presently enjoys rummaging through his cart while he’s dead to the world, and taking whatever pleases her fancy. She sometimes returns the pilfered items if he tracks her down soon enough.

So my latest day in hell now comes to a predictable close, as Deek snoozes on below (god only knows if he’ll remain there all night, or move on before cock’s crow)…while I kick back with the slumbering pups to watch some spooky, animated videos downloaded from Youtube earlier this evening. Surely this is the life of Riley!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: “Calm and balanced”…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 17, 2022 10:20 AM

…is how I’d describe Deek’s behavior this morning when he arrived to retrieve the pups and have me charge the bulky speaker. He said he’s taking the dogs to the park, and will return an hour or so later to pick up the EM3. I’m delighted at this no-drama scenario, and I’m sure Lucky & Flaco will have a joyful and exhausting romp on the grassy knoll. My latest 3-dog night is over, but wonderful while it lasted. Very nice of him to give me that. His improved attitude has been a painfully slow drag over many months, but it’s definitely on an uphill trajectory.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another day in hell…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 16, 2022 2:33 PM

> Jesus. That’s a hell of a photo.

Thanks, good physician! But remember: I’m just the recording secretary, as Deek and other homeless souls create these hellacious scenarios, not yours truly. A ton of GOOD is gonna come out of all this, and most of the credit should go to these street thespians for gifting me with such incredible pics and tales.

> I’m amazed someone hasn’t stolen the bicycle. Such an easy steal–hop on, ride away.

Oh it DOES happen with disappointing frequency. I am amazed at how Deek transcends these difficulties with incredible aplomb! With LITTLE anger and much patience and forgiveness. He stands heads above the vagrant crowd in many ways.

When he handed me his birthday speaker this morning, I asked if he has anything else for me to charge. He just said nope, that’s it. I suspect they’ve already been stolen (two smartphones, two battery packs and one Android tablet). He was also without that bicycle. Nonetheless, he was of good cheer.

He returned for his speaker (now fully charged) an hour ago. I pet and hugged the happy brindlekin and told him I’m sure they loved their park adventure. I also thanked him for letting them shelter with me three nights in a row, that their company is always a joy and a blessing, and they’re never any trouble at all.

“Yeah, yeah, thanks!” he replied between sips of Canada Dry Ginger Ale I served him from a recycled coffee cup. It was another brief meetup, albeit amicable. My three angels soon departed, as I returned hovel to my Internet intrigue while listening to Marshall’s latest “Memo of the Weird” podcast.

So later this afternoon I’ll shake out my nine throw rugs and replace the worn out newspaper sheets covering the floor with a fresh supply. Lucky has recently discovered the fun of gripping the edge of a rug with his sharp little teeth, and bunching it up into a nest, rather than simply going for the comforter I already have tossed down. Which, I should add, is much more ample and cushy than a tiny, thin rug! But that explains why he always winds up frustrated over just how skimpy it is…yet he sticks to it, and spends many silly minutes till it suits him just so. But that’s more due to surrendering in frustration, than a satisfying outcome…as noted by his disappointed sigh once he settles down. Previously, he’s always enjoyed fussing with the comforter, but for some reason now prefers a less-than-adequate rug. I keep nudging him back onto the sensible option, but my effort remains futile thus far.

So I’ll just have to live with a constant disturbance of my rugs now, as he also enjoys grabbing one now and then, messing with it like a rabbit caught. I’m wondering how soon it will be before Flaco joins in the melee. She, who has decided my only chair should be HER throne.

He’s also suddenly taken a liking to the slippers Deek gave me for Exmass. Two nights ago he poked his nose beneath my legs, grabbed the vacant left slipper and marched around with a hunter’s pride, holding it up in the air and waving it about like a flag before eventually hunkering down for a good gnaw. So much for keeping my feet warm!

THE DOGGIES HAVE TAKEN OVER MY HOVEL, AND I AM THEIR DELIGHTED CAPTIVE!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: [MCN-Announce]- The Military & Police Are Full of Extremists, What’s Being Done?
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: MCN announce, Kind Warlock
Date: January 18, 2022 11:31 AM

On Mon, 17 Jan 2022 19:01:53 -0800 Kind Warlock posted:

> Ya have to admit folks, no one says it quite like Zeke. This is as it should be. Zeke is a unique tool. He is a servant on the path of “selfless service”. Personal gain and recognition are not motivating factors. Zeke serves a conditioned heart. Recognition and belief are as exclusive as logic and intuition. Zeke is to be recognized. Belief is the ultimate booby prize.

It’s always a tremendous honor whenever the rare recognition of my TRUE self is acknowledged, Mr. Warlock. It makes slogging uphill through the NEXT thousand lobs of hatred hurled at me much easier to deal with. Until the next surprise compliment comes along. I have said this before, but it seems appropriate to repeat it again, due to the nature of your post:

I take the Buddha’s statement to heart, that we have no enemies, only teachers. Meditate on that concept awhile, and you’ll come up with some rather astounding revelations. I therefore regard those who choose to play my enemy (including on the MCN lists) as simply tough taskmasters providing me with opportunities to stand up for goodness. Which stance makes it MUCH easier to not get caught up in the drama…and even have a little fun with it. Come to think of it, had we not enemies to deal with in our lives, our mettle would NEVER be tested, and thus spiritual growth would stagnate.

But beyond the personal, what does having no enemies only teachers, imply for humanity at large, and how does that revamp our perception of history? And what does it imply for our future, especially the near future when it comes to this pandemic, brutal conflicts, climate catastrophe, and so on? I DO have the answers, which I’ve discussed on and off throughout my Brindlekin Tales, and essays outside of that opus. I will not elaborate at this moment, but prefer you listers meditate on these questions to see what YOU come up with. Some of you, I presume, are already there. Just for fun, I will leave you with a clue: all the world’s a stage.

> The Sikh term for people like Zeke is Sewadar. I’m guilty of engaging in similar behavior. Sewa is very important in the Sikh faith and it means ‘*selfless service’ – work or service performed* without any thought of reward or personal benefit. In Punjabi, the person performing such service is called a Sewadar. … Pupils, parents and staff do sewa as often as they can.

Yes, I guess I am a “Sewadar,” however each religion has its own term for such people who devote themselves to a noble and loving cause. I see myself as practicing what the Hindus call “Bhakti Yoga,” which Wikipedia describes in this way:

“The tradition has ancient roots. Bhakti is mentioned in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad where it simply means participation, devotion and love for any endeavor. Bhakti yoga as one of three spiritual paths for salvation is discussed in depth by the Bhagavad Gita.”

My latest MAIN devotion is towards a homeless friend and his two lovely pups…but in general, and over the decades, my calling has been on behalf of the homeless LGBT family. Though I have reached out from time to time, towards other worthy causes. Great risks are occasionally demanded, with much anxiety and dark, horrific challenges that come WITH it. But accepting risk and challenge is what forges our souls to shape us into better people than we already are.

I am not stuck in one religious viewpoint, but encompass the best parts of them all. IOW I am not committed to the term “Bhakti Yoga,” thus “Sewadar” is just as appropriate. I’ll never forget the one time I talked with a Sikh in an impromptu crossing of paths during one of my strolls through San Francisco’s business district. She was a middle-aged woman of bright demeanor and vivacious spirit, who wore a necklace with a tiny, curved sword dangling from it. She explained it was the Sikh symbol of standing with God…and that it’s an ancient tradition of Sikhs to carry a sword with them at all times. As affirmed by the following site.

“The symbol or emblem of Sikhism is known as the Khanda. It is made up of: The Khanda – a double edged sword. This represents the belief in one God. The Chakkar, like the Kara it is a circle representing God without beginning or end and reminding Sikhs to remain within the rule of God.”

Here are some images of the khanda.

Overall, I incorporate in my psyche, the wisdom of Native Americans, Celts, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, shamans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and whatever else comes along that I find worth my attention. I was also an atheist for over a decade, and have gone deep into efilism for a couple of years. Such explorations have sometimes thrust me into some very dark realms which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. However, sampling such frightening perspectives as part of the human experience can finely season your spirit…so long as you find a way to rise above them. But you are much stronger in heart and will, once you come out the other end. Buddhism calls such explorers “bodhisattvas.”

> Who are Sewadars and what is sewa.

I think you meant to include a link, but inadvertently left it out. So here’s one.

Thank you immensely for blowing my cover as a surly old coot, Mr. Warlock! I did my best to play that role, but I knew that, eventually, someone would tear apart the veil. I certainly didn’t expect YOU to be that person, however that is only because I keep forgetting that most of the time when someone celebrates my TRUE nature, it comes from an outcast of one sort or another. Long live the eccentrics!


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Lucky got a jacket!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2022 7:14 PM

A coat, actually. With a hood. And a wide Velcro belt that wraps around a doggy’s lower torso. See pic. Deek showed up with his charges less than an hour ago. I commended him on how nice it looks on Lucky. He said Flaco had a jacket, too, but [mumble, mumble] somehow it disappeared, he wasn’t clear about it.

“That’s okay,” I replied, “I still have that nice Christmas sweater you gave me a few months ago. I’ll put it on Flaco.”

The dogs were elated to see me again, of course, and in her hurry to greet me, Flaco knocked over his bulky speaker he just placed by my feet to take upstairs for a recharge. The way he set it down, it was not stable, thus prone to fall over, even by a little doggie’s gentle bump.

I instantly set it aright, this time squarely upon the sidewalk instead of partly resting on a flattened soda can. But Deek got irate and yelled at the little darling, twice.

“Please don’t be angry at her,” I appealed to him, also twice. Obviously he was not in a great mood, but he promptly ceased as I stroked both pups with warm affection. The speaker DID land with an impressive “thump,” but it’s built sturdy, and no real harm was done.

I then stood up to hand him a 5-by-7 bubble envelope, open at the top. It contained a second Welsh dragon pendant (he lost the first some weeks back) and $40:

“It’s not your birthday yet for three more days, but I thought you’d like to get it right now!”

He took it from me, but didn’t say anything in response, or even look inside the parcel. I then rushed upstairs with the speaker and two smartphones, eager to get them out of the way and bring the pooches hovel.

Upon returning downstairs to the ATM nook where they were parked, he handed me the leashes. Since he didn’t even thank me for the gift, and by now he held the bills folded in one hand, I said:

“Don’t spend it all in one place!” then thanked him for surrendering the doggies to my charge once more, and disappeared through the front gate.

I’m guessing he got Lucky’s coat from the Community Thrift Store on Valencia Street. He must go there now and then to see if they have anything wearable for little dogs…though it’s rare, more hit or miss than anything reliable, as I well know after checking it out myself late last year. Which explains why he only had a T-shirt for Lucky last week (which was actually made for infants), and otherwise has them go without ANY warm clothing. His LOSING things so quickly after acquiring them, doesn’t help much either.

Once the mutts were settled in, I decided to make Deek a hot cup of blueberry tea, and bring it downstairs, along with a cigarette. He now had company, his former girlfriend, Scampy, and was in a more placable mood. He thanked me for the beverage and smoke, and I left them to their reveries.

He also brought me a hand powered Cuisinart food chopper (see pic)…god only knows why. Maybe he got it for cheap at the thrift store. Well, the thought counts and I’ll just have to stash away my OTHER chopper in the loft. I haven’t used it in years, but it’s not as good quality as this one. Probably won’t use it either, as I have an electric clone. Though I haven’t used THAT in years, as well!

“Here, I have something for you,” he said as he pulled that chopper from a bulging cloth sack. It was still sealed in its original box.

“A food chopper,” I exclaimed while turning it my hands. “Thanks, but I already have one.”

Well I blew THAT, Wattson, as it wasn’t the right thing to say. So I’ll tell him a bit later down the line, that it’s much better than the one I had, and I’m putting it to good use.

Receiving a gift is so much more awkward than giving one! Especially when the benefactor is dirt poor and living on the streets.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Lucky got a jacket!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 19, 2022 8:35 PM

> That’s a beautiful jacket! Looks really cozy, too!!

Lucky loves the fluffy! If he bought it at the thrift store, it cost $7.50.

> Seems as though Deek is giving you more and more time with the pups.

I think he’s more aware of how too much exposure to the cold weather is not good for them. Thanks to my nagging. I also noticed he still has that disposable plastic bowl that I gave him four days ago after filling with wet dog food and kibble. He probably held onto it to for convenience. But it is encrusted with older food, and that’s not good. So now I need to make him aware of potential food poisoning. Every time I turn around, he does something potentially harmful to the dogs, so I have no choice but to speak up, and then he gets angry and threatens to run off with the pups to another town. He makes EVERYTHING so needlessly difficult.

> And though his gifts aren’t practical, he’s at least trying to reciprocate, and that’s good!

Yes, true enough. His attitude and trust overall have greatly improved, compared to just a half year ago.

> His birthday, huh? Just out of curiosity, how old is he?

He turns 43 this Saturday.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: 4-Dog Night Breakthrough!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2022 7:40 PM

The pups and I enjoyed four straight days and nights together, this time around. Deek appeared like a genie popping out of nowhere, the moment I stepped out for their morning walk…crossing the street with a new bike, from which hung several bags partly stuffed with crushed cans and empty bottles.

“I heard them barking!” he called out.

That was because another resident with a dog had just stepped inside, and the brindlekin started to bark up a tempest halfway down the stairs, before I even knew anyone was in the lobby. It was my neighbor who resides between quasi-fascist Moe Fleisher and yours truly. (Is he even still alive, I wonder, after seeing him so exhausted and gasping for breath the last time I saw him, which was almost five weeks ago.) He was very kind, smiled at us as he hugged his wire-haired, medium sized terrier who remained placid, not a single bark, yelp or yip at all, while I maneuvered Lucky and Flaco alongside the further wall and out the gate. They put on such a show of menace and fury, as to be comical…wouldn’t hurt a flea when push comes to shove.

Just wish I still had a working pair of spyglasses to show you their macho side…it would crack you up! I’ve missed out on SO many incredible little scenes since those spectacles crapped out. Carrying a smartphone in one hand while holding two leashes in the other–just in case a priceless moment presents itself–is cumbersome. Turning on the screen, selecting the camera app, then choosing video or still: what a hassle! The event would’ve come and gone by then, and dropping the phone on the sidewalk as I fumbled to do all that with one hand, is just too likely.

At first I assumed Deek was about to squawk at me like he sometimes does (though less often these days), right off the bat…always looking for something to complain about, stir up the shit, create problems where there really aren’t any, etc. (“Why are they barking, what did you do to them?”) Instead he simply smiled: a cheerful spirit, thank Avalon. His comment about the mutts was simply a friendly greet.

He went on about what a lousy birthday he had, with his girlfriend and some others. I didn’t say a word, but just listened, pleased to see he was a bit jocular in reporting these unfortunate scenarios. As if he were showing me he’s taken to heart my advice to count his blessings when in the midst of a shit storm. And keep a sense of humor.

Deek gave me his hefty speaker and one smartphone to recharge. “I already lost my tablet,” he remarked. Which is a shame because it had more than ample storage to hold his ENTIRE collection of rap songs that now total a whopping 23 gigabytes (or 254 albums)! He also made a requested that I wasn’t pleased to hear, though not the least bit surprised:

“I was hoping to get my forty dollars today.”

“Uh, no, Deek,” I answered, “that’s WAY too soon.”

For it’s only Monday, and his next pay day is Thursday…so he’ll need to wait till Wednesday at the earliest. Besides which, yesterday was his most recent pay day, which he received SIX DAYS IN ADVANCE, because he wanted to purchased that $100 speaker for his birthday, and it was a very good deal, on sale for considerably less than usual.

Not to mention I ADDITIONALLY gave him an extra $40 for his upcoming birthday, last Wednesday! I was, however, impressed by his spontaneous acceptance of my rebuff, with a single word: “Okay.”

THAT, dear Wattson, is what I’d call a milestone!

I asked if he wanted the doggy jackets now, or maybe pick them up this evening. He wanted them immediately, even though the day is warming up. I only hope he can hold onto them for more than a few hours.

So it was a favorable meetup, I am overall very pleased with his progress. Unfortunately, he returned as Mr. Hyde a half hour later, with two additional smartphones to charge. Everything went fine, except he called up to my window five times within forty minutes, for trivial requests, including that I toss him two pennies so he could purchase some candy down the block, and he didn’t have quite enough change.

I told him to stop hollering up my window so much, I can’t concentrate on setting up his phones, he doesn’t realize what a pain in the ass the process can be when the gadgets he finds are often on their last legs and may not function properly, but he’ll blame me anyway if they don’t work right…and I have to focus. I also don’t need anyone to know my business, or have the neighbors complain about noise disturbance.

And he always wants everything done FAST, that I drop whatever else I’m doing, like a hot potato…or he’ll gripe and whine until I cave in. Typical meth freak; everything has to be accomplished in a desperate flurry. Like a surprise hurricane just hit, and I am forced into a momentous struggle to keep my head above water. That is NOT the way I care to live, and is one important reason I dropped out of the workaday world. Yet here it comes anyway, in the form of one Deek, who imposes just such a nightmare onto my shoulders. Beyond that: shameful of him to act like a 10-year-old jackanapes, especially when he’s got two, sweet little doggies to watch over.

WHEN DID HE DROP OUT OF SCHOOL…THE 4TH GRADE?

I also wanted to take a shower but couldn’t, because it’s down the hallway where I won’t hear him call up to me. Whenever he’s hanging around the building I never know when he’ll decide to summon me, so I’m a virtual prisoner in my hovel, until he departs. That’s ONE reason why I prefer he go elsewhere once he picks up the pups…so I can get things done that have nothing to do with serving his every little need, or calling me back outside so he can complain about something he just made up, but which has no ground in truth.

Further complicating his devilment is he doesn’t KNOW how to use a smartphone (except as an mp3 player), so relies on me to make the simplest adjustment, or blames ME when something stops working because he messed with the settings, which can sometimes be HELLACIOUS to figure out what be botched up. Deek doesn’t even know how to open the apps drawer, when he can’t find the music or volume booster because it’s no longer on the home screen where I put it before returning the phone to him. Obviously, he removed one or both of the only two apps he uses, from the screen with an accidental slip of the finger.

One time he fussed with the settings (for which copious choices he’s utterly clueless) and activated the talk app, which he couldn’t figure out to use, and didn’t know how to turn off. So he couldn’t play any music until he came back the next day and asked me to fix it. Took me a tedious half hour to figure out how to undo the mess-up, as I’ve never used the speak setup before.

It took him more than two years to finally understand the difference between wifi and cell service, even though I’ve done my best to explain both features, numerous times. One day it finally clicked in, but boy what a painful crawl getting him there! Until he understood, he frequently yelled at me because he couldn’t get on the Internet, even though everyone else with a smartphone can. When I described how he COULD connect via wifi, he rejected the very idea of staying in one place near a free wifi outlet, such as by a library or coffeehouse.

“Everyone else who connects is walking all over the place, so why can’t I do that, too?” he’d often remark.

“That’s different,” I’d always reply. “They’re using cell service, not wifi. And you have to pay through the nose for that.”

Anyway, he was impatient for the hefty speaker to fully charge, called up to me twice to ask if the light’s green yet. Both times I had to tell him no, it’s orange. Which means it’s on the way to a full charge; otherwise it would still be red. He finally had me bring it down, got tired of waiting. I also returned one of the smartphones, because it was fully charged. I also changed the music collection, as it only had 4GB storage, and I figured he’d like to hear a chunk of the other rap albums I’ve saved in my /Deek folder.

However, the music player wouldn’t load; instead, a window would pop up and insist I need to remove some files to allow more space, so the player would run. It worked fine when I checked it out before returning the phone, but just my rotten luck the problem appeared in Deek’s hand. So of course he exploded, kept tapping on the screen and said I must’ve broken it.

I told him to stop yelling, and just let me take a look. Well, he wanted to whine awhile longer, keeping me standing there by the bus stop, when I really wanted to return hovel. He finally handed it over whereby I stepped back inside but worked on it in the lobby, where the bright sunlight did not cast a blinding glare on the screen. I deleted two albums (out of 49), and sure enough the player was good to go. I figured it was a simple fix, and told him so once I gave the phone back.

“Yelling does no good for anyone, Deek,” I said, then added, “Are we okay now, can I go back inside, I have other stuff to work on.”

He said yeah, see ya later alligator, and thanked me. Though I DID linger a few minutes behind the gate, figuring he MIGHT call me back downstairs for some other reason…just to be a nuisance if nothing else. But he did not, though he’s done so before, more times that I care to recite. It is infuriating moments like these that I remind myself:

I’M PUTTING UP WITH ALL THIS CRAP FOR THE SAKE OF TWO, DELIGHTFUL AND AMAZING DOGGIES, FLACO & LUCKY!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The pups are back, so soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2022 11:45 AM

Wearing their jackets, much to my delight…but Deek said they were freezing last night, so I can take them inside to warm up. They didn’t seem the least bit cold, and were their usual, happy and healthy selves. Glad to have them return so soon, but his comment makes me wonder: if they were so chilled last night, then what about that horrid cold snap that went on for weeks, when he kept them outside so often, withOUT any warm clothing? I didn’t bother to voice my question, as at least he’s kept their jackets on. At any rate, he only had them for one night, before bringing them back hovel. Not his usual behavior, though I’d say an improvement.

And of course he asked for his $40 again, only one day after his first request when I told him no, it’s way too soon. I anticipated he’d do that, so I told him I need to rush off to the bank to make a withdrawal, I’ll be back in ten minutes. And so I did.

He was nonetheless in cheerful spirits, and that counts for a lot. The pups just ate their breakfast, licked their dishes clean…and are now blissfully crashed out on the cushy bedding. You can’t even tell Flaco is here, as she’s burrowed under a comforter. She enjoys the warmth and seclusion that provides, knowing she’s safe and loved in my humble room.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: 4-Dog Night Breakthrough!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 26, 2022 1:43 PM

> God, what an ordeal. I have a whole crowd of people whining for my time and attention, but all of them put together don’t equal one Deek!

Actually, it’s more ME griping from residual problems with Deek that have mostly vanished…wounds still healing and all that rot. Remember how bad things were this time LAST year, when I attempted to take ownership of the pups? For he HAS made impressive leaps and bounds re. his behavior. I’d rather him continue to be an occasional pest, than behave like he did a year and more ago. I should be celebrating, not remonstrating.

> But yes, it’s for the doggies, and SO worth it…

Indeed they are. We had a lovely sleepover, as usual. The doggies’ sighs of contentment on and off throughout the night, snuggling up close to me again after trying out the box or the chair for a time, this peaceful camaraderie, is the only heaven I want! And I got it. They are here with me right now, after Deek dropped them off yesterday morning. Meanwhile, a new development, which may or may not be a good thing, as only time will tell:

This letter was folded and taped to my door about an hour ago…discovered it when I stepped out to the bathroom. NOT from the manager. See enclosed pic.

Click here for a larger view.

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Elevator Notice…and THE MUTTS ARE BACK so soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 28, 2022 10:10 PM

See pic. The disruption and noise pollution in and around this building never ends! For several days now we’ve been suffering jackhammers right by the corner where Noe Street intersects, and starting today, RIGHT BELOW ME! But it only went on for half an hour, thank the gorgons. And now, yet MORE jackhammers soon due on the 16th Street side. And today I woke up to THIS just below my window:

When I woke up this morning, I peered out my window, and this is what I saw, just below. So many people discarded onto the streets, neglected and without any hope! This is a typical scenario I see almost every day outside my window. VERY sad that the richest nation in the world continues to allow ANYone to be homeless.

I had to walk by him, and by the jackhammering, to get my morning java…and to get back hovel of course. This is NO way to start the day, but there ya go, Wattson.

At least I finally got around to laying down fresh newspaper and shaking out the rugs this afternoon, in preparation for the doggies’ next visit…and I feel better for that. As I do Deek’s VERY thoughtful remarks yesterday, when he came to pick them up:

“Thank you for all your hard work and good things you do,” was but one of several compliments that TRULY made my day. He DID leave without their jackets, because I forgot to bring them downstairs along with the dog food. A few minutes after I returned hovel, I realized the jackets were still here, so snatched them up and ran back outside…but he was already gone! He usually kicks back by the ATMs for a half hour or longer, after we conclude our latest meetup…but not this time around.

I told him about not reusing the disposable, plastic bowls unless he cleans them thoroughly with hot water and soap, first. Or they could get food poisoning; so just toss them out after three hours, whether or not they’ve eaten their entire meal. He gave me no argument, just listened politely. Certainly a far cry from his previous reactions whenever I advised him about caring for the pups: “Don’t tell ME how to raise my dogs, I know all about raising dogs!”

Looks like his hundred dollar birthday speaker is gone, as he presented me with a new one to charge for a couple of hours. Much smaller, about the size of half a breadbox. Oh, well, at least he was able to hold onto it for his birthday, and a few days beyond!

Lucky threw up again, on his last night here. And again, it happened while I was sound asleep, and didn’t discover it till I arose. It was conveniently deposited right on some newspaper, an opening between two of my throw rugs about a foot apart. And located away from the bed, and the center of the room, making it unlikely I’d step on it by accident. So all I had to do was lift and fold up the double layered newspaper, then toss it out! No cleanup required.

Flaco had a touch of the runs on her last night over. Only two hours after I took them on their late-night stroll, she got off the cot and walked to the window, rose up to look out, then sat on the floor near me, wagging her tail and looking up at my face. I thought she just wanted attention, maybe take over the chair…so I stood up and patted the seat:

“Hop up, Flaco, it’s all yours!”

But she remained on her spot, still looking up at me as I sat back down on the chair and resumed my Internet activities. No more than a half minute passed before she cast an assertive little “Woof!” in my direction. Of course, I thought, she has diarrhea and needs to go again…why didn’t I realize that right on? It was just after midnight, and she did her business promptly, so we were only outside for no more than ten minutes.

We finally drifted off to sleep, one dog at my feet, another in my arms. But around 5:20 AM another sharp yelp woke me up, and there was Flaco standing about, waiting for me to don my coat and shoes once more, and take her outside. Fine with me, she’s a delight no matter what. Lucky hopped off the cot this time, too, anticipating a walk for him, as well. But it was more like a courtesy than an urge, ’cause when I told him “Stay!” he promptly leapt back onto the bedding and curled up once more. These are the two best mutts on the planet!

Well whaddya know, Deek just showed up (as I was in the middle of composing this email) to grant me another sleepover with the dogs tonight! No electronics to charge, no money requested…which is a GREAT sign, as it shows me he won’t keep them away simply because it’s not an allowance day. He had a bicycle with three huge garbage bags stuffed with recyclable bottles and cans. I guess he’s gotten even MORE diligent with his busy routine rummaging through trash bins, and finds it much speedier and more lucrative when he’s doing that on his own. And, what with the winter time, it’s better to have the doggies sheltered more often. They zonked out almost immediately, except for a brief aside to chow down.

They only ate half their grub, then went right back to the cot and crashed out. They are likely to crave the rest of their kibble an hour or two later; so their dishes remain on the floor. Though of course, Lucky may disapprove if he deems too much time has passed, and start nudging the dishes around, until I get the hint and remove them.

Deek was in an excellent mood, and appeared clean and nicely clothed. He politely thanked me for watching the brindlekin, and then took off. I think things have finally clicked in, that he really DOES have a good friend in me, and the dogs are much better off with frequent indoor sheltering.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: They’re back with Deek!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 29, 2022 4:23 PM

He picked the doggies up a few minutes ago. Jeddi was there, too (also houseless), and he loves Flaco & Lucky. If you recall, he’s the person I spoke with back in November, about Deek needing to take better care of the dogs…and he was most vociferous about having a heart-to-heart talk with him. So I take that as a good sign they’re on friendly terms. Not sure if he actually called Deek to the carpet, but I suspect he’s at LEAST nudging him in the right direction. He was all over the dogs with hugs and pats, the moment I brought them over.

Again, Deek had nothing for me to charge, and did NOT ask for any moolah…but simply said thank you, and asked how I’m doing. This is the second time he’s ever checked in about my well-being, and the first time was only a few days ago. Of course I told him I’m doing well (just as I did the last time) and added:

“The doggies’ company is always a happy time for me!”

It was a brief but friendly meetup, and I wished all four God’s blessings before returning hovel.

FYI several more regulars in the neighborhood know that the brindlekin are actually homeless…as I bring that up if I’ve spoken with someone numerous times before, as I can only maintain the charade for so long. Usually, I break it to them when they remark: “Hey, I saw your dogs with a homeless man the other day!”

Felix at Rosenberg’s now knows, as does one of the women who stands outside as a greeter for the new marijuana shop a block up…along with a young gay fellow who saw me walking the pups and asked if I adopted them from that homeless dude.

So, awareness of my situation with the dogs is finally fanning out! Hopefully, it will grow into a community outreach that will give the pups additional protection, and they become the unofficial, beloved mascots of the Castro.

Time for me to order a new batch of Brindlekin prayer cards, and start handing them out to those who admire the pooches! I ran out MONTHS ago.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: They’re back already!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 29, 2022 10:38 PM

Deek dropped by a half hour ago, said he’d like to ride his bike around tonight, and do I mind having the pups sleep over again? I said of course it’s okay, they’re always welcome here any time. Flaco was wearing the sweater, and Lucky the coat. See pic.

He also gave me a new smartphone to charge and put music on it. However, it was already factory reset, and it would not let me do anything without first typing in the gmail addie and password that was already used on this device. Of course, I couldn’t do that, thus the phone is NOT usable, and I had to go back downstairs to tell Deek it’s a no-go.

But what pleases me, is he didn’t put up a fuss. Whereas in the past, he’d go ballistic and accuse me of breaking it. I guess because he understands more about how these devices work…but it took almost THREE YEARS to get him there! Also pleased that he’s holding onto their jackets and putting them on by nightfall…and that the pooches are staying over much more often. And we’re in the middle of winter, so that’s very good.

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 7)

January 7, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18g]

Texting with Wattson: 12/31/21 – 1/1/22

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

Pic 5

Pic 6


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Best New Year’s Eve Ever!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2021 12:27 PM

“Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!” Deek’s call up my window awakened me from a cozy sleep: 5:30 AM. He wants the pups to stay with me over New Year’s Eve, because fireworks scare them. Filipino Kai was there, too; he greeted me with a broad, jocular smile as I opened the front gate to grab onto the leashes and bring the dogs inside. They wished me a happy new year, as I did in return…then rushed back upstairs with Flaco & Lucky racing ahead up the steps and into my hovel. Flaco ran right into the new box I procured off Noe Street last night, and began scratching away like mad before settling down inside it. The carton is larger than any previous one, like a little dacha all their own (see pic). Lucky, however, ran back out of the room to await my arrival a few seconds later.

I’m glad to see F. Kai hanging out with Deek these days, after disappearing from the Castro for almost a year. He’s an excellent ally on my behalf, who really tore into Deek last week, for talking smartass to yours truly in front of him…gave him QUITE a scare! Which he WELL deserved, and I thanked Kai for that a few minutes later (around the corner away from Deek’s ear.) He had given me a sly wink as he raked Deek over the coals, that I much appreciated.

The brindlekin were warm to my touch, and showed no sign at all of overexposure to the cold…indicating that Deek, one way or another, took good care of them. I was SO happy to have them in my arms last night, Wattson! And they seemed EQUALLY glad to be here, as they wagged their tails with delight and showered me with kisses. They then burrowed under the blankets and went right off to doggy dreamland…and I soon followed.

It is now 11:40 AM next day, they’ve already been fed (their appetite is superb) and I enjoyed my Rosenberg java, as usual. During which time I pondered over the events of the last few days, and concluded:

What an amazing script Arwyn has composed (again)! Filipino Kai arriving on the scene once more, only this time to play a VITAL role in this present act, rather than a minor character in a previous one. And leave it to my quasi-fascist neighbor to insert himself amid the drama for that cheesy soap opera embellishment: coughing a death rattle right there in the lobby, slumped against the mailboxes for support as I quickly scampered by to bring a hot cup of blueberry tea for Deek, huddled outside by the ATMS while the mutts hunkered down in the folds of the sleeping bag I gave them moments ago. And on top of all this: dealing with bedbug prep along with cold, nasty rain pouring down for that extra sting of melodrama. Through all of Exmass and beyond!

I told you the holiday season is ALWAYS my worst time of the year, good physician! And so it proves to be, once again.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I think your mother would’ve loved this article:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2021 2:37 PM

> I do own the rights. But that doesn’t stop anyone from selling individual books. What they can’t do, but which I could, is get the books reissued or made into movies, etc.

I hope that happens…somehow, some way. I had my first dream ever with you in it, last night. You were accompanied by a female companion, though I don’t knew who she was, because kind of hazy, though warm and amiable as you were too. As I now dwell upon it fully awake, I like to think that was your mother.

I was introducing you to my literally “underground” community, that occupied a spacious, basement level of a towering highrise. Composed of many large rooms filled with artwork, books and all kinds of things you’d expect to find in a shared residence of talented, free-thinking people. In the first room I brought you to, there were around fifteen folks busy with their projects, or amicably chatting away about this or that fascinating topic. They turned their heads to greet me, and eagerly shook your hand, and that of your colleague.

There were at least several doorways in this secret complex, through which one could enter or exit unbeknownst to the “normals,” a.k.a. “outsiders”…including those who either work or live in the above-ground levels, or were passing through for whatever purpose (including tourists for the magnificent view from the topmost height). Some exits allow you to enter the ground level of this building, without anyone suspecting you arose from the subterranean realm.

You could then take a special elevator directly to the 40th floor, and enjoy the view outside all the way up, because it was made of glass, as were the walls of each floor. It was quite a thrilling uplift thanks to impressive speed and non-stop lift from bottom to top, and back again. Of course, there were OTHER elevators that stopped at each level, but they were not for the thrill-seekers among us. There were also restaurants, coffeehouses and shops contained in this astounding edifice, that we hypogean denizens were free to visit, in the guise of normals.

Nothing else happened in this dream, as I woke up feeling most pleased to recall it, and noticed the time was 1:42 AM. I soon returned to slumberland, hoping this particular dream would continue, but it did not. Maybe tonight, or another night soon.

What intrigues me about this sleeping fantasy, is that I’ve dreamt of this skyscraper a few times before, some years back. I was not part of some underground collaboration, though…I’d just go there by myself and ride the elevator a bunch of times, as well as explore hidden areas via the always-empty emergency corridors and stairways. I’d never see anything interesting, or meet anyone…it was just exploring vacant spaces. Well, one enormous room contained a myriad of pipes, blinking lights, humming engines and machinery which, I presume, were the organs and brains of this behemoth of concrete, steel, wires and glass. This dream that occurred about three times across a year or two, always gave me a privileged sense of freedom that I alone was privy to. Those around me in the elevator or anywhere else (such as the grand lobby on the second floor) seemed to not be aware of my presence. Which didn’t bother me in the least. Maybe I was a ghost.

In the midst of writing this missive, Deek showed up to collect a small speaker and smartphone. I couldn’t find a way to charge the speaker, since the only slot I found did not match either the standard USB plug, or the C. Turned out there was a little rubber flap that I missed WITH a C port, and that other slot was for something else. Deek of course got rather upset, but I reminded him I was half asleep when he brought it to me (along with the pups) and I’m an old man, so give me a break.

He griped about how my electricity was “slow,” and it’ll take HOURS to charge…and that now his day was RUINED. I told him that’s not true at all (re. the charge time AND his day), that’s it’s all in his mind, and he could flip that around in an instant, instead of acting like a brat.

He finally calmed down and asked me to bring the pups to him for the day…he’ll return with them towards evening, to keep them sheltered while New Year fireworks go off around the bay. I did just that, after first plugging in the speaker to see its little red light glow. I also charged a pair of bluetooth earbuds that I don’t use anymore, and thought it would be a nice gesture to make up for my faux pas.

With the doggies, I brought him a cup of blueberry tea and two cigarettes. He was by then very much calmed down, camped out by the lamppost on the corner. He opened a suitcase into which he placed each pup to curl up in.

“It’s a small speaker, Deek,” I told him, “so two hours’ charge should be more than enough. And I’m also gonna give you some Bluetooth earbuds that I forgot all about, but found just last night. I’m charging them right now, too…so they can be a backup once your speaker runs down.”

Having arrived at this amicable result, I then told him how WELL he handled this rainy, cold Exmass and my need to prep my room and keep the dogs away in spite of this despicable weather:

“I’m VERY impressed, Deek. Most street people are in a bad mood during the holidays, especially when the weather sucks…and I don’t blame them one bit.”

He smiled then, shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Well, I self medicate. That helps a bit.”

“Whatever it takes,” I chuckled at his quip. “I usually prefer to keep to myself during Christmas time, but I don’t anymore, for the sake of you AND the dogs.”

So now I’m back hovel and completing this, my latest missive. I just peered outside to see that Flaco is now in the shade, while Lucky remains resting in the sunlight. Why doesn’t he just slide the suitcase over a few inches? I think it would be better to have kept them here, to continue their sorely needed rest in warmth and comfort. He hasn’t even thrown some cover on them, to reduce the impact of the outdoor chill. Deek is a constant challenge.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Best New Year’s Eve Ever!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2021 3:02 PM

> That’s great!! You have them for the next 24 hours or so!! And you can protect them from noise, commotion, drunken revelers and the like.

Well, he has them back outside again, there by the bus stop. I just sent you an email about it. I will add this, though:

When he got PO’d that I neglected to charge the speaker, he demanded the dogs back. Had the speaker been properly juiced, this wouldn’t have happened. Just a moment ago, he collected the finally-charged speaker, the earbuds, along with a disposable razor and a large garbage bag. I was hoping he’d return the pooches, but no.

I’m pretty sure he’ll bring them back this evening. However, he indicated he may have another place to take them, where they’ll be inside and warm. Okay by me, I just hope he’s not making this up.

> That pic of the little paws happily ensconced in the box warms my heart.

Yes, it is a charming little pic. Something about those paws…

> I hate the “holidays,” too. Wistful memories, reminder of losses and all of that rubbish, plus everyone acting like morons.

That’s because they ARE morons…this Exmass hypocrisy just makes their idiocy stand out in sharper contrast. If only we really DID have that subterranean collective of my dreams to slink off to! Deek and pups would have to join us, as well.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Best New Year’s Eve Ever!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2021 5:20 PM

> Superb dream!

Thank you…dreaming is my greatest asset, whether by day or by night. That was my fourth skyscraper dream, and my very first dream with YOU in it. Let’s get Jungian all over it:

The subterranean region is, of course, the hidden part of the mind: the subconscious. And the skyscraper represents the ever increasing levels of consciousness all the way to the absolute top. I can freely transport myself from its very depths to its ultimate height…in complete safety and pleasure.

You are my most powerful ally, so it makes sense that I welcome you into my amazing universe, at last. And I presume your mother is YOUR most powerful ally, so of course she’d be there with you. These different levels of awareness are also akin to Buddhist theology. I have no enemies on ANY level, other than those who play such a role for the sake of adventure, and nothing more. This all suggests an achieved mind, where every compartment is “enlightened,” or at least, free of dark influences of any kind.

> I have a similar one from time to time, where I discover a wing of vast rooms attached to my house that I just never realized were there. The rooms are packed with arcane, beautiful treasures, which I wander among and examine in minute detail…the feeling is always: Damn! This was here the whole time, and I’m only now discovering it!!

Again, the Jungian spin: your house is your mind, as the skyscraper is in MY dream. So of COURSE it would include other rooms, other dimensions beyond these immediate walls. According to Jung, everything and everyone in your dreams is an aspect of your own mind. SYMBOLS of various aspects of your thoughts and makeup. Though sometimes someone or someTHING can stand outside of that, and actually be a psychic projection, connection or message. If an item or person or scenario stands out within a dream, you should meditate upon that, ask what it means to you, as a symbol can be entirely PERSONAL, as well as culturally, or even universally, shared.

That’s just a summary description, though I am now reminded of Timothy Dipalma’s curious telling of many years back when he still lived here in SF, that there is a teleportation tunnel leading from somewhere in my building, to somewhere in Mendocino, and vice versa. Perhaps there is just such a door to that tunnel in my skyscraper, and in your ethereal house. Or IOW:

“It’s all in the mind!’ – John Lennon

or

“Thinking is the best way to travel.” – The Moody Blues

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Aaaaaand…he just showed up a few moments ago…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 31, 2021 8:19 PM

…not just with the pups to bring hovel, but with a BUTT LOAD of groceries from some free pantry. “I had to wait in line a long while to get you this,” he bragged. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I don’t care for their crappy produce donations, including that quart of Mazola oil and large bag of white rice! Instead, I thanked him profusely, that I’ll be doing a lot of cooking tomorrow, to make veggie stew and freeze most of it for later consumption. How could I tell him otherwise, it was such a thoughtful deed!

Honestly, Wattson, I just dumped all the “fresh” produce into the compost bin downstairs, along with the rice. Broccoli, carrots, tiny apples, two hard-as-a-rock pears, and a large head of white cabbage…all of which have seen better days. The ONLY thing I kept is a 2-pound bag of “Pappy’s Pantry” lentils…though I’ll probably discard them as well. He also had a whole, plucked chicken to offer me, but I definitely turned that down…he knows I don’t eat any meat.

“Guess I’ll just leave it here,” he said, and deposited the raw carcass in its plastic bag right there by the curb, and took off. It’s now oozing all over the sidewalk, so I’ll go downstairs in a minute to dump it into the trashcan out front. And wash my hands THOROUGHLY once upstairs again.

I hope, Wattson, my faux-grateful acceptance of these items doesn’t start a trend! That would be un petit cauchemar! Can you imagine my dumping loads of inferior produce into the basement bin, filling up half its capacity each month? I’ll have to find SOME kindhearted way to discourage him from ever doing that again! The bag was a hefty 20+ pounds, which he lugged all the way from somewhere in the Mission, to my home. It was a WONDERFUL gesture, nonetheless. So if you have any ideas on how to politely put the kibosh on this, I’m all ears! He also offered me two tins of tuna fish, which I likewise turned down ’cause, you know, I’m a vegetarian.

The point here is: I HAVE FOOD STAMPS. So my stomachic needs are already well satiated. WithOUT having to resort to shoddy, tough produce and crappy stuff in bottles, bags or cans that I wouldn’t feed to a hyena!

What a remarkable New Years’ Eve this has turned out to be, what with the doggies back hovel, and Deek’s outstanding gift of food that he went WAY out of his way to bring me! Goes without saying, but:

He also returned the small speaker, the smartphone and the earbuds for me to charge, until later tonight when he returns to collect them. Meanwhile, time to step out and dispose of that dead chicken…give it a proper burial, so to speak. Then, time to feed the brindlekin, already zonked out on the bedding!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Aaaaaand…he just showed up a few moments ago…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 1, 2022 12:02 AM

> Great, great story.

Yes indeed! It’s a rather MEATY tale, albeit a tad FISHY.

> Will he be leaving the pups all night?

Yes! He even put a camouflage T-shirt on Lucky, said that Flaco had one, too, but she kept yanking it off. As if such a thin fabric suffices in this deathly chill weather! Flaco never had a problem wearing a REAL jacket or sweater, nor did Lucky. I don’t get it, but I just bit my lip instead of saying they need jackets, not T-shirts.

> You did the right thing, accepting the “food” graciously. If he does it again, just tell him you don’t have a proper refrigerator and that you can’t have that much food around all at once, because it’ll spoil and go to waste.

I already took care of it with kindly finesse, when he returned for his gizmos:

“That was a VERY nice thing you did for me, Deek…lugging such a heavy load of produce so far, for my sake. But I have food stamps, so hunger is not an issue in my world. And I hate to see you go through all that trouble for something I don’t really need. But it’s the thought that counts, and God smiles upon you for this one!”

That was it; he departed on his bike, and I returned hovel, glad he didn’t ask the obvious question:

“Where did that chicken go?”

Had he done so, I would’ve spouted the obvious bon mot:

“It crossed the road to get to the other side.”

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Horrific!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 1, 2022 8:19 PM

Deek collected the canines three hours ago, then just returned to pick up the recharged devices. Before proceeding downstairs I left the door ajar, assuming he’s come to his senses, and wants me to shelter the dogs over this deadly cold night. But no, he just wanted his gizmos, then took off.

But before he did that, he pulled yet another mind fuck. Flaco had slipped out of her collar in her eagerness to get to the front gate, from where we stood ten yards away. So I called to her with collar in hand, “Come here, La Flaca!”

I call her that in Deek’s presence these days, because he blew up in my face several months back: “Her name’s LA FLACA, not Flaco!” Even though he’s been calling her Flaco for almost a year since adopting her. But when he told me her name stands for “skinny girl,” I explained the correct term in Spanish is “la flaca” for a female, and “el flaco” for a male. Then, some weeks later he demanded I call her La Flaca…though he still called her Flaco most of the time (and still does). And that he got the “la flaca” idea from me in the first place!

So tonight, after calling to the sweetie, he snarled at me: “Her name’s La Flaca, not Flaco!”

I told him I DID call her that, even though HE still calls her Flaco most of the time…and HAS called her that from day one until the recent past.

“Never mind,” he said, then took off with the pups towards Noe Street.

Now you watch, good physician, he’s still gonna call her Flaco in front of me. And if I remind him it’s “La Flaca” he’ll come up with some other bullshit.

Anyway, I hope he keeps the pups warm through the night, though I have my misgivings. For damned good reason. I already told him this afternoon that the temperature’s gonna plummet to 38 degrees later tonight! But I think his frustration over my keeping the dogs for a solid week recently, has caused his juvenile mind to upwell with resentment. I’m just trying to protect the pups during this prolonged, horrific cold snap!

Which I’ve already explained to him quite clearly, TWICE. Those poor, darling doggies!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Horrific!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2022 12:16 PM

> As my mother would have said: Isn’t that the limit…
>
> Surly jerk.

And he STILL hasn’t returned…38 degrees outside at 8 AM! He’ll probably wait until tomorrow morning, because he knows that’s when he’ll get his next payment. I’m thinking he’ll only bring them over when it rains, and not take into consideration the dangerously cold temps. Idiot. They are BOTH emergency conditions.

I now have two spare sleeping bags, still sealed in their factory wrapping. Which makes me wonder: when I give him one in such pristine condition, will he sell it instead of keeping the pups warm each night?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Horrific!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2022 1:59 PM

> Probably.

The two kids’ sleeping bags he kept, but they were soaking wet two days later, then gone. The adult sleeping bag he did use to keep himself and the pups warm overnight…I know because he slept by the ATMs below me. Did he sell that rainbow comforter, claiming he got rid of it because it was bug infested (which it was not)? Maybe Filipino Kai knows what’s really going on…he’s been hangin’ out with Deek quite often these past weeks, and declared some days ago he’ll remain an ally with me, even if he falls out with Deek. AND he doesn’t touch meth or other hard drugs, just tobacco and pot.

At any rate, I checked out a website re. dogs and chilly weather…and this cold snap is borderline safe for pups of Flaco & Lucky’s type. THAT was good to hear.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Doggies Arrived Post-Midnight!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2022 10:35 AM

I was nodding off beneath my comforters around 12:20 AM, in the middle of a flick called “Red Rocket,” when I heard Deek softly call “Yo!” up to my window, several times. So I got up, donned the slippers he bought me for Exmass, and rushed on down…leaving my door ajar for the pups.

He was nicely dressed in warm clothes, including a jacket and watch cap…and the pooches stood on their hind legs and barked away at me with joyful spirits, the moment they saw me. Deek was accompanied by two others; they were in a jovial mood. Soon as he dropped the leashes to the ground and I opened the gate, the mutts crashed into the heavy doors that blocked their further entrance, desperately trying to force their way through, but to no avail.

Upon swinging the doors open, another resident needed in, so I flung the gate behind me while the brindlekin dashed upstairs without a moment’s pause…because Flaco had pulled herself free of the collar and, since she did that, I released her brother. Normally, I*d hold onto their leashes until arriving halfway up the first level of stairs, out of sight of the lobby camera. But things were happening so fast, and I didn’t want them to confront the other person entering with their excited barks.

But the dogs were surprisingly quiet as they rushed inside; they paid no attention to anyone or anything, in their zeal to enter their little sanctuary. And the resident stepping in behind me is a good guy anyway, who loves the pups and is amused when they bark at him. He’s a large black dude around 35, a bouncer at the gay bar up the block. His good manners and sweet disposition seem at odds with his present occupation.

The dogs were NOT shivering, and they were warm to the touch, so it looks like Deek took good care of them. We three had a lovely time in slumberland, and they ate a hearty breakfast just an hour ago.

NOW GET THIS, WATTSON:

I JUST received a voicemail from Kevin, that my neighbor reported bedbugs in his apartment…so he’d like to treat my room this Wednesday! I left HIM a voicemail to remind him my room was treated only five days ago, so isn’t that premature, or redundant? Some of the bugs probably scattered to THEIR unit as a result of treating my room. So isn’t it more sensible to just treat THEIR place? Perhaps he should talk to the exterminator about this.

I finished by telling him I assume he wants to go through with it, so I’m prepared to heat treat all my stuff again, tomorrow, and I’ll be ready by 2 PM Wednesday. Now, I’m waiting for his response. Jeez! And we’re gonna have MORE rain today and tomorrow.

So now I have to bag and seal all my throw rugs once more, along with the comforters. I won’t heat treat EVERYTHING tomorrow, but keep the excess items bagged until I treat them some day AFTER this next (pointless) extermination. Good thing I have those two EXTRA sleeping bags to ease the labor.

I’M NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A NEAT, COZY ROOM IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Doggies Arrived Post-Midnight!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 2, 2022 2:02 PM

> That’s a BIG relief!

Indeed. Especially to see he kept the pups warm and dry. I will make SURE to commend him.

> Oh, man, that’s outrageous!!

I can handle it, and the nearest laundromat now stays open until 7 PM, as of New Years’ Day. Instead of 3 PM due to pandemic crisis. And Kevin was VERY apologetic about putting me through this again, so soon. He called back, said this was the exterminator’s call, not his. Not one whit of griping came from my end, I just said,”Well then, my room will be ready by 2 PM Wednesday.”

But I’m worried if this will make Deek go over the deep end, and be afraid to have the pups stay with me any more. He might think I’m making this up, just to fuck with him, for all the difficulties he’s tossed my way. He doesn’t understand, or appreciate, the hardships I go through in this building, which have been MORE extreme because of the doggies…innocent as they are.

I HATE putting Deek through this a second time, just seven days later. He’s been a champ through the miserable ordeal over the holiday season. Though I’m surprised he hasn’t shown up yet, as he knows $60 is waiting for him as of today!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I repeat: Exmass time has ALWAYS been the most miserable time of year for THIS bedraggled pilgrim!


Subject: Deek finally showed up around 4 PM…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 4, 2022 10:44 PM

…but didn’t pick up the pups. It’s now after 10, so I presume they’ll be staying the entire night. I gave him his $60 Sunday allowance, which was delayed because it fell on the 2nd this month, and my Social Security deposit doesn’t happen until the 3rd. When I handed him the moolah, I told him I’m surprised he didn’t show up yesterday (Monday), because he knew there was cash waiting for him. He had the nerve to respond:

“I was hoping for Thursday’s payment, too, since I usually ask for it on Wednesday, and that’s tomorrow.”

“No, you’re not getting a hundred dollars,” I replied, “I don’t work that way. You can pick up your $40 on Thursday, it’s only two days from now…you don’t need any advance payment by tomorrow.”

I’m trying to get him back into the Sunday-Thursday pattern, to keep him from trying to squeeze extra money from me towards the end of the month. But I’m sure THAT won’t last for more than another week…he’ll be back asking for his Sunday payment on Saturday, and his Thursday sum on Wednesday or earlier. Then, as the end of the month draws near, he’ll have to wait an entire week for his next payday, because I refuse to cross over any advance payment into the next month.

I told him to show up tomorrow by 11 AM, so I can finish prepping my room. Again, I go through the stress of worrying the asshole may NOT follow through. Once the cold weather ceases, he’d better not make that a habit, as it’s best to not have the doggies with me the day before treatment occurs, so I can get everything prepped without needless pressure. But he doesn’t give a flying fuck about how traumatic bedbug prep is for me, he thinks because I remain calm about it, that it’s really no big deal.

He showed up again, three hours later to pick up his gizmos. Some crazy dude was seated on the curb across from the ATM nook, where Deek was hanging out. I hate when he camps around my building, because he keeps hollering up to me for this and that, and I have to go up and down the stairs for his trivial needs several times or more before it finally hits midnight. And he does this in front of other street people, who see him call up to me, and my peeking out the window to find out what he wants next.

So I told Deek tonight to stop doing that when others are around. I don’t need some nut job parroting him, and calling up my window as well. Deek said okay, but the reality is, he’s been doing this more frequently the past few months, though I’ve told him repeatedly to cease. So I know it’s just gonna go on, and get worse, as he doesn’t listen, or respect my own limits. I think he has a sadistic streak, which doesn’t help.

He needed a USB cord to connect his smart phone to a battery pack. But he hollered up to me a minute after I brought it down, claiming it doesn’t work. Sure enough it didn’t, so I ran back upstairs to get a different one…which didn’t work, either. Again, I ran upstairs with the entire package of spare cord I’ve stored, and we tried four more. Nothing.

“You broke it!” he accused.

I told him no, those cords are perfectly good, and the smartphone charged perfectly fine at my place. He then demanded maybe a longer cord will work (the ones he tried were two to six inches in length). I told him that’s ridiculous, then he told me to bring down the cord I used to charge his smartphone, which happened to be two feet in length. Again, I ran upstairs to retrieve it. Soon as I handed it to him, he exclaimed:

“Aha! This is a long cord, it’ll work now,” he prematurely concluded.

I told him I doubt it and, sure enough, I was correct. And that I have no idea what the problem is, but he needs to stop blaming me whenever things don’t go his way. I did NOT break it.

“Boy, I’d be in a mental institution if I blew my cork every time shit happened to me!” I elaborated. “I get dealt tons of crap each month, but you never see ME exploding like a time bomb whenever things turn sour.”

He calmed down after that, and decided to take off, not telling me whether or not he’ll be back for the dogs later tonight.

I saw Filipino Kai again, last night, and discussed with him how Deek is a very DIFFICULT friend to have. He said he’ll have a talk with him, about things like putting tags on the pups with my phone number, and ceasing his temper tantrums in public, as they could easily bring harm to his dogs, if he fucks with the wrong person.

That’s it for now, Wattson…time to hit the hay. Tomorrow, once more I will be cast onto the streets for half the day. But this time around I’ll have money to eat out, and not be stuck outside in the cold rain.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

Subject: This is Disappointing!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 10:57 AM

I’m glad Deek showed up early, around 10 AM, to pick up the doggies, so I can proceed with prepping my room for the exterminator. But here he is with them now: nothing to rest on except the concrete surface (see the enclosed pics). There is also this 6-second video:

He has NO cart, just his bicycle and a large bag containing whatever. I was about to feed them when he arrived, and he didn’t want to wait the five minutes or so for me to do that upstairs. So instead I brought the food outside in two, disposable plastic bowls…plus water. I didn’t want them to go hungry, because even though I brought him a supply of dog vittles, his nodding off like this may mean HOURS before they get to eat anything.

Of course, Deek also asked for his Thursday allowance, so I had to march on down to the bank to get THAT, as well. I’d rather not argue with him to wait one more day; he can be a real pest, as you know. And he DID show up, not just on time, but well before that…so kudos!

I just heard someone talking outside, so peeked out my window to see Filipino Kai with his own bike and baggage, talking with him. He was holding one of the lids I used to seal the plastic bowl containing water. Atop it was obviously some bud…meaning he just bought some pot from Deek (or traded). Kai then disappeared into the alcove, so I’ll leave well enough alone, though I HAD thought to bring down another sleeping bag. I’m just glad Kai is with them for now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: This is Disappointing:
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 12:56 PM

> I can see a jacket on one of the pups, can’t see if the other is also wearing one.

That’s not a jacket, it’s a thin, baby T-shirt. He hasn’t bothered to buy (or get) a jacket for the pups for almost a year, now. He even denies he’s ever done that, I’m just fucking with him.

> But their poor little butts and bellies must rest on the cold concrete.

Right. But on a good note, Deek left shortly after Filipino Kai showed up. So they were only sitting on concrete for ten minutes or so. I have pointed out to him now and then, that they shouldn’t be sitting directly on the sidewalk ’cause it’s dirty and cold, and it WILL give them arthritis in the long run. Not that he has any concept of arthritis and what causes it (or what “in the long run” implies, as he is not particularly forward-thinking). IOW he’s basically illiterate. So it really had no impact on him. He either starts screaming at me, or calmly replies like so:

“We’ll just be here a short while.”

As if it weren’t easy enough for him to dig up something comfy for them to rest on, even just a cardboard sheet…ANY time he parks himself and the dogs, no matter how short a time.

> He sure has you running up and down the stairs lately…

I think he likes to show off to his street buddies that he has some old man (an “uncle”) at his beck and call. Or even when they’re NOT around, as he likes to play “boss.” Like I’m his Stepin Fetchit. He knows he has me around his little finger because of the pooches.

I’ve told him numerous times to stop calling up to my window when any of his street buddies are around. He’s says okay each time, but then continues the same old habit, and more often. Which is tragic because he doesn’t realize what a negative impact his childish behavior may have on Flaco & Lucky. If some crazy vagrant starts mimicking Deek’s calls to my window, this will further stress me out, and perhaps create enmity by other residents. Then there are his notorious temper tantrums, which ALSO could put the dogs at risk.

> Just watched the video–I see no jacket on lap doggy.

No, why would you, as he’s stopped getting them jackets for quite awhile now. When I mention jackets these days in my emails, I’m talking about using the HUMAN ones for something cushy to sit on in lieu of a blanket or comforter. People discard old jackets all the time, and they’ll do in a pinch, especially for small doggies. They even work for humans: find a few jackets and ya got yer bedding!

As for last night’s fiasco over Deek’s claim that none of the USB cords will charge his smartphone:

It didn’t occur to me later that he doesn’t know HOW to identify whether the phone is being charged or not, as he doesn’t know how to load the settings and get into the “battery” page. I was standing just a couple of feet away from where he sat, and I saw the screen brighten the moment he plugged it in, so I said:

“Looks like it works to me; here, let ME take a look.” But he refused to hand it over. My conclusion:

The phone was charging fine with BOTH of his battery packs…he just made it up that the cords were not working, to have something to gripe about, and put me down. Sort of a power trip for small egos like his.

The stupidest thing about this surprise second bedbug treatment is: IT WON’T WORK, THE PROBLEM WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED, AS USUAL. It only serves to exhaust me, and utterly disrupt my world. As well as drain my wallet, between the frequent laundering and eating-out expenses.

Well, time for me to eat the rest of my breakfast, then strip down my room and disconnect all my electronic devices. Thanks to Deek’s early arrival, I was able to run two kids’ sleeping bags and my two backpacks through the dryer…but the rest I’ll have to take care of mañana. Talk to you later in the day, Wattson.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: What Paolo Said
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 4:51 PM

That’s the exterminator. He showed up shortly before 2:00 p.m., as I was wrapping up the room prep. I told him I was not informed of this second treatment until just 2 days ago, but if I did know about it I wouldn’t have unbagged more than half my heat treated clothing, throw rugs and bed stuff. So I’m pretty exhausted right now.

Turns out the manager knew of this second treatment that was to be scheduled a week or so later, but failed to inform me until almost the last minute. I did not bother to question Paolo as to why he no longer affirms the next treatment by sending me a text, or answers my occasional question. I have a hunch Kevin admonished him to NOT communicate with me anymore. After I informed Paolo that the manager and I are not on the best terms, he ended the conversation abruptly:

“Everything’s fine, no worries.”

I came THAT close to telling him about Adidas and his mom’s harassment, facilitated by Kevin himself. But I thought better of it, and held my tongue.

He did not volunteer to explain why he stopped responding to my texts, which only numbered three in the past month. It’s not like I’m being a nuisance, and it’s more reliable to affirm treatment dates with him, than wait for the manager to make arrangements, and then forget to inform me until rather late in the game. Now I’m thinking maybe it’s not forgetfulness, but intentional.

Once I completed my prep and stepped out to tell him the room’s ready, Paulo remarked: “I saw your dogs on Mission Street the other day, with someone else.”

Jeez, Wattson, why am I so frequently put in awkward situations? People tend to freak out when I tell them the pups aren’t really mine, but belong to a homeless person. And that’s precisely what I told Paolo today, who met Flaco and Lucky several weeks back; they charmed him, though he was in a full-face respirator which aroused much barking. At that time I told him a friend owns them, and I help him out with dog sitting. But now he knows better, and whether this works for or against me (in relationship to the manager) remains to be seen.

“They are a joy and a heartbreak,” I told him. “We’ve been friends for over 12 years, and when I discovered he adopted a dog, I almost had a heart attack. Then he goes ahead 5 months later and gets another dog. My friend has problems, he’s bipolar, so that makes things difficult and somewhat scary.”

Just before I proceeded down the stairs Paolo stopped me to point out that my smoke alarm doesn’t seem to be working.

I shrugged my shoulders in reply: “Maybe because there hasn’t been any smoke?”

“Well,” he answered, “my fogging gear tends to activate the alarm, except yours.”

I told him thanks, I’ll check it out when I return tonight. Jeez, what a nuisance.

That’s all for now, good doctor. I composed this missive from Tart to Tart coffeehouse, my favorite hangout in the Inner Sunset. Though the adjective “favorite” leaves much room for improvement, in light of my trying circumstances.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 5:59 PM

…with just an hour to go this time. 7:00 p.m. is when I can slip back into my hermit cave. I must add that Deek was calm and pleasant this morning, and didn’t bother me with recharging any of his gizmos.

After he and pups departed from the ATM alcove, I decided to see if he left the dog food bowls behind, in which case I’d dispose of them properly. Neither was hungry when I left the food with them, so I wanted to find out whether they eventually ate, or not.

To my surprise, no bowls were there nor anything else of Deek’s. I checked the trash bin, too, but no sign of the bowls there, either! I concluded he took them with him, which is good…waste not, want not.

I now wish I had left the sealed bag of throw rugs in the side hall, that I could wash them while waiting to reenter my room…seeing as the laundromat is now open until 10:00 p.m. instead of just 3. Unlikely anyone would steal them, as they’d be hidden in that alcove right outside my room. But who would want that stuff anyway? When I packed them away this afternoon, I discovered dried doggy vomit on one of the rugs! How could I have missed that, unless Lucky (or his sister, though I presume Lucky, as she rarely upchucks) flipped a corner of the partly overlapping rug, puked his heart out, then flipped that second rug back upon the first? I sniffed the yellow-brown residue, to find absolutely no odor!

So how did YOUR day go, Wattson?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 10:15 PM

> My brother sent me a text today with a photo of a message written inside a New Year’s card he got in the mail, purportedly from our younger half-brother, the poor hapless semi-autistic PhD in organic chemistry who fell into the clutches of a bona fide madwoman, a ranting, paranoid, spittle-and-hate-spewing Q-Anon Trumpster “Christian.” I could see (and my bro agrees) that it’s not his handwriting, it’s hers–and the letter was all about the Trumpwoman’s adult daughter being kidnapped and possibly murdered, also about how they (Trumpwoman and half-bro) might have to leave the country because soon Biden will be throwing non-vaxed “Christians” into concentration camps, and on and on and on. Trulyexhausting madness.
>
> Other than that, not a bad day at all!!

Multiply that Trumpwoman by dozens of millions, and you have today’s Amerikkka. Your poor half-brother, he’s the one who needs to be kidnapped…to save him from being destroyed by that insane, Christo-Fascist harpy!

Glad you had a nice day, otherwise. 0_0


Re: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 6, 2022 2:44 PM

> He’s really hapless and helpless. My stepmother, his mother, was the classic “controller,” ruling my father’s life, and then her son’s, who was born when she and my father were 40. One of the reasons my mother divorced my father, she said, was because he wanted a woman to tell him what to do in every aspect of his life, and my mother didn’t want to be that woman. So they divorced, and my father found Charlotte, whom I renamed “Violet” in DEATH IN SLOW MOTION in the section where I describe the scandalous Peyton Place tangle of affairs and liaisons. Charlotte was a raving beauty, black hair and blue eyes, highly intelligent, and bossy as hell. My father fell for her. Michael (my half-bro) was born late in 1960. He was a little strange from the git-go–physically slow and awkward, but genius IQ, Asbergery but with a sharp sense of humor. PhD from Princeton and all that. My father died in 1996. Under his mother’s iron rule all his life, Michael capitulated when she demanded that he move into the NY apt. with her and take care of her until her death, which, she promised would happen in a few months. He obeyed, turned down a job at the Mayo Clinic in order to keep his promise. Well, it took her five years to die, in 2008 or so. In the meantime, he’d been out of the organic chemistry job market for too long, to the point that he was unemployable after his mother’s death, his PhD useless. He stayed in the NY apt. for a few years until he couldn’t afford it any more, drifted to New Jersey, and that’s where he met the Trumpette. She’s so much like my stepmother it’s eerie: utterly controlling, overbearing, vicious. And get this: her name is Violet, the pseudonym I’d bestowed on my stepmother in the book years and years before! Two major differences, though: my stepmother was a staunch liberal Democrat, and she had been a real beauty in her day. Violet is anything but a beauty, and is a hideous rightie Xtian fundie. He’s completely, totally in her thrall. There’s a really sad novel in there somewhere.

Well THAT’S a tragic story if I ever heard one…the Mayo Clinic part being the worst. Eerily ironic about the name “Violet!” Who writes this shit?


Subject: Dogs are back, Deek feels tired…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 6, 2022 2:51 PM

…and so it goes. He didn’t have anything for me to recharge. I asked how he is, and he just said “tired.” So I told him I’d be tired every DAY if I lived on the streets. He still has his bike, so I asked if he’s gonna ride it around, which he loves to do whenever the pups are with me. “Yeah, probably,” he replied.

The brindlekin are now enjoying the lush comfort and warmth of my sanctuary, and Deek is till resting downstairs by the ATMs. This is non-drama at its best!

So I ran into Boulevard Joe last night, on my way back from the laundromat. He greeted me in his usual, friendly manner, asked how I was, so I said fantastic, then told him the tale of Deek’s phony gripe about a supposedly non-functioning USB cord. I ended with: “He just makes stuff up to find something to complain about.”

Then I added how the Exmass holiday was always the worst time of year for me, including unexpected costs that empty my bank account. “It never fails, even though I keep to myself and do my best to ignore this time of year.”

“Me, too,” he agreed. “But I’m about to recoup my money drain shortly.” Whatever he meant by that; I suspect something of a vendetta, which I chose not to question. Then he said “I have a gift for you!”

“Oh, no,” I exclaimed with a perplexed grin, then saw him pull some black object partly from a pocket, which I thought was some kind of computer device…it appeared to be round, though hard to tell in the dark. “Is it a gun?” I joked.

Sure enough it was, which I did NOT expect at all. A plastic BB gun. What is it with Joe and guns and knives? He’s only gonna screw himself over, Wattson…just like his previous weapon-wielding escapades. The latest example being almost two years ago when he was carrying an unsheathed sword and loudly declaring his right to bear arms, while walking along Market Street. Long story short:

He wound up with a wounded hand, thanks to a cop who shot it with a rubber bullet, thus forcing him to drop the sword. He was thusly rewarded with a free hotel room gratis The City, by virtue of the injury and being homeless.

I didn’t care to be seen standing around with someone wielding a gun, so I just babbled a bit of jocular small talk as my prelude to departure. Fortunately, a young woman who knows Joe stepped in at that moment, and began to chat him up. She was polite, said excuse me for barging in…I said that’s fine, I have to go anyway. Perfect! I excused myself and vanished posthaste.

I hate it when the holiday bullshit drags on into the new year, for a time…like the proverbial albatross. It always does. May Hephaestus strike Santa Claus dead with his mighty hammer the moment he pops up from his first chimney, next season!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: New Smoke Alarm, Then Deek
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 7, 2022 6:57 PM

I texted the building manager yesterday that the exterminator said my smoke alarm might not be working. I really had no choice, as Paolo would probably inform him anyway, and I wouldn’t look very good if I didn’t chirp up. So our maintenance fellow, Victor, dropped by to replace my alarm. Took only a few minutes, the dogs barked but calmed down shortly, as I sat with them on the cot. Flaco plunked herself on my lap to assure my protection against all harm, while Lucky was curled up beside me, though with his head raised in constant vigil of the intruder…and a few low growls for good measure.

“They have their eyes on you!” I proclaimed to Victor, who was on the ladder mounting the new alarm. THAT gave him a chuckle, Wattson. So glad things went smoothly, as I’m pretty exhausted from all I’ve been through over the holiday season. So much invasion of my privacy over a short span of time!

Then Deek showed up barely a minute after Victor departed. He said keep the dogs, but can he get his Sunday allowance today. I said fine, came downstairs and gave it to him in an envelope. He just had a bicycle laden down with three bags chock full of god only knows. I suggested if he’s carrying around the dog food, to let me store it upstairs, make his journey lighter. He was, so handed over that bag, which contained four cans of wet food, two 1-gallon Ziplocs of kibble (one unsealed with half its original contents) and those two plastic bowls of dog food I gave him yesterday, sitting there like dark brown glop because the pups hadn’t touched it!

Of course I threw away the bowls and their contents, and the open bag of kibble. I’ve told him several times before, to throw away any food they don’t eat, after three or four hours, to prevent food poisoning. Dammit, I’ll have to remind him again, and he’ll probably tell me to shut up, don’t tell him about raising dogs, he’s done it all his life…blah blah blah.

Though it’s possible he might follow through on my reminder next time around, as he was quite friendly and reasonable when he showed up today.

“I might pick up the dogs later, if I wind up staying in a friend’s hotel room tonight,” he said to me with an impressive level of respect.

“Fine with me,” I replied, “so long as they have shelter from the cold…even if it’s just a tent!”

He also mentioned the rain, how much longer is this gonna go on? I told him another two days, on-and-off light showers. He was amenable to my keeping them for the duration. What a trying holiday season this has been for us both…though he’s handled it much better than I expected.

He was impeccably dressed in a brightly patterned shirt and a clean pair of jeans. Not looking homeless at all! I DO hope he’s telling the truth about having occasional access to a roof over his head. That would be great if he did.

The pups had to go poop last night just before 3 AM! So off we went into the byways and side streets of this edge of the Castro! Then, shortly after our return, Lucky suddenly threw up his entire dinner right on my new sleeping bag…didn’t have time to jump down onto the floor first. I quickly lifted him off the bedding once he was done, so he wouldn’t start nudging the comforter around to hide his output.

No big deal, I wiped it all up in record time. And Lucky seems no worse for it…that’s just what some doggies do from time to time! When he returned to bed, he chose the other end. But later on he moved up to lie beside my face, because all evidence was so cleanly removed, even his nose wasn’t offended. I just wish I could afford a diverse choice of vittles for them, so they’d get a break now and then from the same old. I’d buy ’em roast chicken very week, for starters…they go nuts over that.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Deek volunteered to tell me how he is; I didn’t even need to ask. “Oh I’m doing alright,” he said.

“You’ve ALWAYS been doing alright, Deek,” I replied. “You just don’t realize it yet. God puts us ALL through a ton of crap, to shape us into being better than we are. Once someone realizes that, their worries and stress fly away. You’ll even stop smoking meth one day, without even a struggle…no withdrawal symptoms at all.”

He smiled at that, and remarked: “Yeah, like I gave up crack.”

That threw me for a loop, but I quickly recovered to finish with: “You’re a difficult friend to know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, for you’ve taught me a lot in the process, and I’m a better man for that.”

He thanked me profusely, then took off on his bike like he had wings.



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 6)

December 31, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18f]

Subject: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 9:09 AM

…having the pups stay with me overnight, though it wasn’t until 1 AM he brought them over. He had slept by the bus stop all day long yesterday, and didn’t arise until around 6 PM! He wanted the dogs back, and dog food. I hated to bring them out in the cold, but I did, and he summoned them under the thin, dirty bedspread and bedsheet he had with him. Told me all his stuff was stolen, and the comforter I gave him was “stink ass filthy.”

Of course I told him that’s not true, I washed and dried it, and it was an excellent comforter that would’ve kept both him and the dogs warm. But I did not pursue it any further, as I’m accustomed to his crabby remarks and insults, and always “losing” stuff, and Flaco & Lucky are in the middle of it. He laid down on the sidewalk awhile longer, with the doggies curled up beside him for warmth, and beneath the shabby spread.

He finally got up and a couple of vagrants kept him company in a friendly circle. I was home during all this time, poking my head out the window now and then, to see whether or not Deek was still there. Before returning hovel, I reminded him that it’s deadly cold outside for little mutts, and if he can’t promise to keep them warm, just bring them over. He scoffed at me, said they’ll be fine, and I returned hovel in a less than cheerful mood…knowing I have a warm, cozy place to return to, but the doggies don’t.

I hit the hay a bit earlier than usual, around midnight…but was awakened an hour later by Deek’s call of “Yo!” beneath my window. So I rushed downstairs, where he told me he’s got his bike back, and wants to ride around…and gave me his charges to stay with me the rest of the night. “I’ll be back in the morning,” he said as he took off on his Cervelo P3.

The dogs of course were SO happy to be here again, and got right to the business of sleeping, after first showering me with affectionate licks and greets. So here we are, this icy cold morning, almost ready to step out for the first poop stroll of the day. But before we did, I decided to play the first twenty minutes of Marshall’s most recent “Memo of the Weird” podcast…and was delighted to hear your short piece on Stan Barr. I cracked up over your line:

“Stan Barr, a few hours before he died, he and I spoke on the phone. I was going to go over to this house that morning and get a little baggie of dope he had arranged for me to buy.”

It got even funnier when you rushed over there to pick up the, er, “dope” plus a tad more, just minutes ahead of the sheriff.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 10:22 AM

> So glad about the pups. The Stan story is 100% true, no writerly embellishments!

You procured the “dope,” that’s all that counts. Deek would be proud of you. :D


Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:25 PM

> I was proud of me!

I can see you now, driving like a bat out of hell to obtain the goods before law enforcement arrived. There’s a touch of Damon Runyon in that tale. BTW, when I took the pups out for their late afternoon stroll yesterday, and winter’s stygian curtain had already dropped, I was still wondering when Deek would finally stir…fantasizing my approaching his motionless form sprawled out there on the sidewalk to check his pulse, only to discover he bought the farm.

Fortunately, I did NOT have to go through such a creepy scenario, as upon my return he was standing up draped in a bedsheet and hollering at my window: “HELLO-O? HELLO-O?”

Can a joy also be an embarrassment?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Stan Barr

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:53 PM

> He was an odd-looking fellow, but sweet and kind, smart and funny. Real charisma. Homely though he was, women were mad for him. He had a rep for being a wonderful lover, and they could sense it.

Nice to put a face on the fellow. Charisma is everything…he was an authentic local character of the best sort. ANOTHER local character recently passed away, charismatic as well, though a real right-wing nut job whose letters to the Anderson Valley Advertiser provided MUCH amusement: Jerry Philbrick.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Jerry Philbrick

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 3:51 PM

> Philbrick was the personification of a redneck Trumpster, long before Trump ascended.

His only saving grace was his colorful use of words and turn of phrase…albeit for all the wrong reasons, but highly entertaining nonetheless. He often came off as the PERFECT satirist of right-wing idiocy. SNL would’ve loved him! In fact, when I discovered him I was convinced he was mocking Republicans…to brilliant effect. Took me awhile to believe he’s actually one of THEM.

Pups are still with me, BTW. Healthy and in great spirits with an excellent appetite…they lick their dishes clean. Just wish I could lay down the rugs, and get them another box to chillax in…AND add the remaining three sleeping bags (two kid-size and one adult). But they’re happy, anyway. I can no longer procure a box from the basement, as the smoke shop has changed its disposal methods. And I haven’t had time yet to stroll about the ‘hood and find one.

I hear tell a series of storms are soon due, starting Tuesday, and will last for three or four days. So I’m gonna try to schedule bedbug treatment AFTER the storms all pass. Bad enough that I’D be stuck outside in the rain, I can handle that…but I can’t bear the idea of the pups without shelter, too.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 11:15 PM

It’s now post-11 PM and Deek has not shown up. I am hoping because he realizes this weather is just too damned cold for little mutts to be outside. Which means he’s overcome his jealousy of them staying with me so often…and that their well-being always comes first.


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 20, 2021 12:56 AM

> So glad! Get cozy and have a snuggly night! Arf!

Lucky just fluffed up a comforter and made a little cave out of it…see pic. And Flaco’s sprawled across the further end of the cot. So we’re good to go…doggy dreamland here we come!


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: This is Hekate
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2021 8:25 PM

A homeless dude’s been parking himself around the corner these past several nights…accompanied by another vagrant, and a smooth-furred dog that appears to be a pitbull/lab mix. Her name is Hekate…dark as night and sweet as honey.

“Aha…the Greek goddess of the underworld!” I exclaimed once he told me her name, as I scratched her belly while she coyly squirmed upon the sidewalk. “And what’s YOUR name?”

“Stormy,” he replied with a smile that revealed a full set of ivories, albeit crooked and stained dark yellow: his upper left incisor hung noticeably lower than its neighbors. Considering the decrepit condition of my OWN pearly grays, I felt quite at home visiting with him. He had a curly, disheveled mop of blond hair, and appeared to be in his mid-20s. His partner was still asleep, thickly wrapped and hidden in layers of bedding. I couldn’t even see his face.

Stormy coughed a jag, then joked about coronavirus, how he doesn’t have it, it’s just a death rattle from sixty years in the future. “Hmm, the guy’s smart AND witty,” I silently noted, then spoke aloud:

“Whenever a crisis occurs, the jokes soon follow!”

He knew this dog while it was still in its mother’s womb: “I’d rub her belly every day and talk to the little puppy inside her. She’s eight months old now, where does the time fly?”

As he spoke, Hekate sniffed my hand, catching my own scent mingled with that of the brindlekin…upon which she begged for my affection, so stood up on hind legs to receive my pats and strokes. Then, before long, I was crouched on one knee, hugging the darling canine.

Stormy further elaborated that Hekate was born right on the corner of Haight & Ashbury, and he chose her name by picking a card from his oracle deck. He then pulled out the deck from a fairly large, rusty tin, to show me the card. It was lovely, as you’d expect such a card to be. But more interesting was the tiny vial about the size of half your pinky, also stashed within that tin.

“That’s my grandma’s ashes,” he explained with verve while waving it under my nose. “It’s NOT cocaine, like some would think. Can you imagine snorting my granny’s ashes? Never!”

By then, Hekate was all over me with playful, soft bites and friendly moans. She kept pushing her nose around my jacket’s right-side pocket, attempting to force it inside but for my hand.

“That’s where I keep the doggy treats for our walks,” I exclaimed. “But it’s empty now, she just smells the scent.”

“Oh you have a dog, too?” asked Stormy.

“TWO pups, actually,” I replied. “You saw them last night, barking as we passed by.”

We talked a minute or two more while I semi-wrestled with Hekate before departing for Rosenberg’s and my morning coffee. But when I was barely a few yards away I placed my hand in that pocket to discover one doggy snack remaining! So I turned around to address Stormy and his partner (who by then had awakened and was sitting up):

“Hekate knew all along; I DO have a treat in my pocket. Can I give it to her?”

“Of course,” he said, and so I did. Hekate was pleased to receive it, and then returned to curl up beside her master, as if she knew there was only that single piece, a chicken-applesauce disc.

When I stepped back out with java in hand, I decided to cross the street and skirt around Stormy and friends, so as not to disturb them or spill the coffee. But once I returned hovel, I decided to return with two wedges of duck breast treats for Hekate. I also brought my smartphone to take a snapshot.

That was when I told them the brindlekin were not mine, but that of a street friend I’ve known for more than twelve years. The doggies stay with me when the weather is bad, or if he needs a break.

“I also keep a blog where I upload pics of the homeless and tell their stories, give them a voice to the world,” I said, then whipped out my Moto E. “Do you mind if I take your picture?”

Well, Wattson, he was not comfortable with that (“I don’t look my best right now; I prefer you don’t”), so I immediately assured him that’s perfectly fine.

“But can I take a shot of just your dog?”

He was fine with that, eager even (“she’s very photogenic”). And, as it turns out, indeed she is! You’ve seen her lovely image already, on your own phone.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 12/18/21 – 12/20/21

Pic


Subject: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 10:48 PM

Deek dropped by earlier this evening, but just to give me a new speaker to charge, and an SD card to put new music on and insert into the speaker. He had no qualms about the doggies staying with me longer. This is a brief missive, as I have yet to write about our excellent meetup two nights back. I’ll do that tomorrow. As well as tell you what ensued with him today.


Re: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 11:19 PM

> All ears. It’s pouring here.

It rained last night and into the morning, not heavily but steady. But no more rain since, and not quite as cold, a few degrees warmer. Forecast said rain through tonight and part of tomorrow, but it just may not do that here in SF.

Bedbug treatment scheduled for Wednesday the 29th, which is perfect…out of the rain zone.

Nighty-night!


Subject: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 12:58 PM

Last Sunday, the 19th, was when Deek slept all day until around 6 PM, by the bus stop…while I kept the pups with me. Though a cold and bitter night, he insisted on taking them back. Along with the mutts, I brought down another supply of dog vittles, plus that antler headdress sticking out of the sack. To which he replied with a sour visage when I pulled it out, expected him to place it on Flaco or Lucky:

“That’s not for dogs, I don’t want it!”

“Actually, it fits both of them quite well, Deek,” I replied. “I thought you’d like it, but never mind.” So I just took it back upstairs with me, knowing full well he’s always looking for an excuse to gripe, even though he loves to dress them up in festive head gear, appropriate to the season.

A couple hours later he returned with some kind of large, thick bag lined in some shiny material, to use for a doggy tent. Big enough for them both. Lucky was already secured within, curled up and warm, while Flaco sat contentedly on his lap.

We talked awhile longer before I departed, taking this time to tell him how well he’s doing, and that I’m not trying to trick him into letting me have the dogs stay with me more often.

“It’s this nasty weather, Deek,” I explained. “Winter is the worst time for little dogs, and they need to be indoors a lot more.”

To my heartwarming surprise, he calmly assured me that he realizes I’m not tricking him…and he’ll bring them over if they start to shiver, or the moment it begins to rain again. I was impressed by his sincere, non-drama disposition. Not like the old, bipolar Deek of yore!

Once I got up to leave him with the brindlekin, Deek held up Flaco’s dainty paw to wave goodbye: “Say bye-bye, Flaco!” I thought that was a nice expression of affection.

Well, Wattson, by afternoon of the next day, the rain came down. And much to my delight, he brought the pups over so I could shelter them. He dropped by for a few minutes, each of the past two days…not to collect the dogs, but to pick up his devices, or have me recharge them. I thanked him profusely for being so responsible re. the pooches, even though it may be difficult for him not to have their company.

“Oh, that doesn’t bother me so much,” he thoughtfully replied, “It’s Christmas and I miss my old family and friends. You’re the only friend I have, Zeke.”

“I understand,” I kindly replied. “I don’t have any family to be with either, but I sure as hell don’t miss them! Why do you think I don’t celebrate the holidays? It’s never been a good time of year for me, and so many are in a bad mood, so what’s the point?”

He then asked me how the dogs are doing…which he’s never done before! I told him very well, great appetite and all that. He suggested I give them a good washing, he’ll pick up some flea and tick shampoo for that. I’m sure that would be a relief for him, instead of dealing with the difficulty of bathing them outdoors.

Overall, I have to admit that Deek has been more thoughtful and responsible and considerate than ever, good doctor. And the pups remained with me for yet a third night of rain. Though it should clear up by tomorrow morning, and no doubt Deek will want them back. It will also be a few degrees warmer, just above that bone-biting chill that has me so worried for the doggies’ sake.

Neither was the least bit hungry this morning, but I’ll keep the dishes out for another few hours, just in case. They are otherwise in excellent spirits. Both had a good poop this morning, as did yours truly.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:07 PM

> Three dog-nights!! Wonderful!!

It’ll be a four dog-night, assuming they stay over till tomorrow. It’s been raining some today, and we’re supposed to have even MORE showers late into the night. Things will clear up after that.

> I’ve kept Surely’s PJ’s on him during the day, and put an extra jacket on him at night even though his little bedroom is snug. He is, after all 10 years old now, and I want to pamper him. He’s been a wonderful guard dog, very protective of the cats, which I really appreciate. And he never, ever barks unless it’s for good reason.

Sweetest doggy ever! And what a kind, wonderful life you provide for him, Wattson.

> So glad Deek is showing some sense. All thanks to you.

Thanks! He’s also taught me much in his own way, and I’ve done a lot of growing myself, as well. I forgot to mention the check he showed me last night…see the three attached pics. It’s a $277 refund from Louisiana’s State Treasury. But look at the date: June 10, 2021. Why did he only show me this now? I’ll have to ask him next time he drops by.

Of course he expected me to cash it for him, after signing it to me. I told him the bank will probably refuse, as ANYONE could sign the back. At best, they’ll probably require him to cash it himself, in person, with proper ID. Well, Wattson, telling him that unnerved him, as I guess he’s afraid of being caught in the legal net over child support, by acquiring an official ID that is traceable.

It was delivered to 100 Diamond Street, which is the address of the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, here in the Castro. They said he needs to show ID, too.

“But you said you’ll help me out with stuff like this!” he replied with a tone of resentment.

“No I did not,” I shot back. “I already explained why cashing checks and helping you with gov’t money in other ways is beyond my legal ability.”

“Okay, then, just get me a baggie and I’ll keep it with me,” he answered in frustration.

“You’ll LOSE it, Deek,” I exclaimed. “At least let me hold onto it, and maybe some time later you’ll get your ID, and can cash it then. There’s no way around this, you know. But I’ll take it to the bank tomorrow, anyway, and ask if your just making it payable to me will suffice. But I strongly doubt it.”

Of course I WON’T do that, but what he doesn’t know, won’t hurt him. I’ll just tell him he needs to show up himself, with an official ID card.

He was nowhere near as perturbed as he was the two previous times on similar money issues. At least I can say THAT’S an improvement. So I folded the check into an envelope, then placed it in a Ziploc for any future time he MIGHT get ID…or should he accuse me of cashing it myself. In which case I’ll bring it back downstairs to show him the check’s still here.

There are places that assist homeless people with getting either a San Francisco or state picture ID. Which he really needs to do. It’s just that he’s afraid to plug into the system, even in a small way. And I don’t blame him. I’d hate to get him all motivated to procure some official ID, only to be apprehended by some Louisiana child support regulation. Or something else that might be pending on his records.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:30 PM

> Those official checks usually have a six-month “shelf life.” Hope it’s not too late for this one.

Yeah, that would be aNOTHER rotten deal, if he DOES go for his ID, only to discover (once he has it) that the check is no longer viable. Here’s the page showing the requirements for getting a San Francisco ID:

https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/sf-city-id-card-how-get-card

For the homeless it says:

“Written verification issued by a homeless shelter that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days of residency within the last 30 days.”

Well, he doesn’t GO to shelters, so I don’t know if other homeless services count, such as the church that serves food to vagrants here in the Castro…and lets you use their location for a mailing address. But the REAL problem is Deek’s fear of legal retaliation by his home state.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Extended Rain Forecast Through Tuesday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 24, 2021 8:22 PM

…drat! Wednesday will be the first rain-free day, same day as my next bedbug treatment. As if things weren’t difficult enough already! Deek showed up (4:30 PM) right after I typed in the subject line above, asked for the pups back, and gave me a small speaker to charge. He was bummed about so much wet weather, that he’s lonely without the dogs for company. I told him I understand, but the dogs come first no matter what, so bring ’em over if he can’t keep them warm and dry.

Then he pulled a sob story over some of his friends accusing him of selling the dogs for drugs, because they’re not with him, blah blah blah. I told him ONCE MORE they’re just testing him, and surely there are others on the streets who praise my helping him care for the dogs…such as Filipino Kai. Though personally, I’m sure it’s another one of his cock and bull stories.

I handed him an envelope, told him there’s an extra $20 in it, as a Christmas bonus…so he got a whopping $80 this time around. Then he gave me some very NICE gifts: a pair of cozy slippers (“They’re new, I bought them, I hope size 10 fits, they’re just a little damp from carrying them around.”), a dainty box of “Delight Patisserie” cookies with the words “TRUST IS BUILT IN TINY MOMENTS” stamped on them, and a teensy-weensy, walking Christmas tree, which I just adore (“Here’s your Christmas tree,” he said in good humor, when he opened his palm for me to take it). I profusely thanked him for these gifts. See three pics and one video here:

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

Deek also apologized for his mood swings, for giving me a hard time now and then…which pleased me to hear. I told him he can be a most DIFFICULT friend, but learning how to deal with his bouts without anger has been an important lesson for my OWN growth. It’s made me a better person.

He then departed with mutts in tow, to purchase a meal at, I guess, the Chevron gas station at Market & Castro…or perhaps a sandwich from Walgreens a block further down. And I was back hovel, taking snapshots of his gifts, and trying on the slippers before setting them aside to dry off. Wouldn’t you know it, good physician, but rain started to pour down from the muddy sky twenty minutes later! So I figured (hoped, actually, with all my heart) he’d be back shortly, and sure enough he was.

He called his usual “Yo!” up to my window…I peered out, and he gestured to me: “Come down, just bring the speaker.”

I was so glad he decided to have the brindlekin stay with me for at least another night, and I was about to thank him for the gifts again, when he cut me off:

“I hate to bring this up,” he began while looking up to the sky while holding the pups’ leashes, “but I hope you aren’t doing anything funny with the dogs when they stay with you.”

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I bristled. “You know better, please stop with the drama.”

But he didn’t, and ranted on with terrible insults and crude implications hurled at me. As he did so, I gently took the leashes into my own hand, and finally broke in:

“You say you have those awful thoughts, Deek,” I reprimanded. “But they’re not real. The devil hates friendship, so puts bad thoughts in your head to turn you against me. Stop giving them any attention, you’re an adult.”

“Sometimes I think you’re treating them really well,” he labored on, “but other times I have nasty ideas you’re not.”

“Oh, stop being a drama queen, Deek,” I cut in, “I take excellent care of the dogs, and you know it. I was just about to thank you for the gifts, tell you how much I like them, and here you suddenly fling insults at me. So STOP IT and let me talk.”

He did, finally, so I told him it’s the best Christmas tree ever, how it walks about in circles on my desk…that the slippers are a perfect fit, not loose or tight even though my shoe size is 9…and I’ll enjoy the cookies tonight with a cup of tea, and say a prayer for him while I’m at it. And be grateful for our friendship.

You’d think that would’ve calmed him down, Wattson, but no. Instead, he lashed into me further:

“I have friends all over the STREETS watching you,” he scowled with surprising ferocity. “If you do anything bad to my pups, they’ll have your neck. They’re all I have, they’re my children!”

Well that did it, so I scowled right back at him with even GREATER hostility, and told him I have my OWN friends watching over him, including the POLICE…and if he does any harm to these pups, guess whose NECK it’s gonna be!”

Deek then turned away and proceeded towards the corner, muttering and griping like a jilted banshee. I opened the gate to get back to the doggies, but before shutting it, called to him quite forcibly: “Jesus K-rist…and a merry Christmas to you, too!”

I think he hollered merry Christmas back, but he was too distant to be heard clearly over the traffic whooshing by on the wet asphalt. It wasn’t until I returned hovel that I realized he walked off with a fresh supply of doggy chow I had given him per his request, barely a half hour ago. “What’s he gonna do with it, when the pups are with me?” I thought. So I quickly put my slider sandals back on my stockinged feet and rushed downstairs, where I saw him cross the street, earbuds stuffed in his head so he couldn’t hear me yell “Deek! Deek!” I began to trot in the cold drizzle, but a sandal slipped off, and my foot landed in a small puddle.

As I placed it back into the sandal, I saw that Deek was ambling along at a snail’s pace, snapping his fingers to the music as he dragged the small cart along. So I slowed down myself, and caught up with him in less than a minute.

“Deek!” I waved at him to catch his attention. “Give me the dog food, I’ll hold onto it.”

He removed the buds from his ears and looked at me with some chagrin. I repeated myself, adding: “You’ll just lose it or have it stolen. You can pick it up when you take the dogs back.”

So he bent down over the cart to return the two large baggies of kibble and the five cans, half of which had already spilled out of the larger bag I used to contain them all. So he placed everything back in the bag, except two cans, claiming he can use it to feed someone else’s dog.

I demanded he give me the ENTIRE supply, as I can’t afford to be feeding everyone else’s dogs, too. He immediately complied, with a demeanor of mixed guilt and gratitude…thanking me once more for watching the dogs, and have a merry Christmas.

“Okay, fine,” I said, and off I went back hovel. Now I’m wondering how much of the doggy vittles I give him go to other canines? Is he perhaps running a scam, whereby he sells or trades it…while collecting MORE than enough dog food from charity outlets? Is this why his requests for more kibble and cans have almost doubled as of six months ago?

There have been numerous times I give him a fresh supply, when he returns a day or two later, asking for more because someone supposedly walked off with his cart while he was sleeping. Guess I’ll never know the REAL story, eh?

I find it interesting that, despite his blowing up at me–and my blowing up in response, with greater verve–he has NOT demanded the pups back. So he actually TRUSTS me with the pooches, completely.

And his apology for his mood swings followed soon after by yet aNOTHER vile outburst! Time for my “Bodhisattva Premise” take on the matter:

Sometimes when a shaman gives you a very nice gift or gifts (as Deek just did today), they turn around and treat you like trash. Or when you’ve been outstandingly generous to one such, they sometimes ALSO spout vulgarities in return. It seems to be a tradition among their kind. This behavior is akin to that of the “opposite” shaman who says the exact ANTITHESIS of what he or she means. For example:

When you’ve overcome an extremely difficult challenge, possibly risking life and limb in doing so, an opposite shaman will approach you, and say: “You’ve failed miserably, and brought shame to the Great Spirit.” An opposite shaman will not let you KNOW he is one; you have to figure that out yourself.

His unexpected tantrum was also another test, or fine tuning, of my emotional balance. I think next time I’ll just start laughing and tell him how ridiculous he is. Maybe that’s what he’s waiting for me to do, rather than show ANY anger in the least, or defend myself over such an outrageously false accusation. We’ll see, soon enough.

But the IMPORTANT thing in all of this, is:

Deek had the good sense and compassion to return the pooches to my care, to protect them from another cold and rainy night…possibly for two more days, as the weather is not supposed to clear up until Wednesday.

And he gave me three, very thoughtful gifts. It’s up to me to decide which face is the real one.

Now, regarding the building manager:

I’m wondering if the exterminator, Paolo, didn’t HAVE a car accident, but that Kevin made it up, and changed the treatment date for some time later, just to fuck with me. Knowing what a grievous process prepping my room can be! Since the date’s been postponed to the 29th, I texted Paolo yesterday morning to verify the new day and time. Yet he has NOT texted back. Which is unlike him, as he’s always promptly replied. That is, until recently, when he failed to affirm the ORIGINAL date, before he supposedly had an accident some days later.

Are they in cahoots? Or has Kevin admonished Paolo to not go over his head any more, so stop communicating with me directly. Never mind he really hasn’t overstepped his bounds, but that for some reason, Kevin thinks he did.

Though I don’t see how Kevin can get away with a ruse like this, as it’s vital to eradicate each infestation ASAP, and screwing me over will only wreak further havoc on other residents, because the bugs have more time to spread. And cause Ablahblah Realty greater expense. If it IS a scam, it’s poorly planned, though one thing MIGHT explain the manager’s harassing me that way, if indeed that’s what’s going on:

Alzheimer’s.

No matter. Like everything else I’ve learned in life, is to never obsess over any unpleasant scenario, but remain calm and cheerful as possible.

I will now fix me a cup of black cherry tea, break out the cookies Deek gave me, and wish him well as I enjoy the treat and the sweet company of Flaco, Lucky and the dancing Christmas tree. If I could wear the slippers tonight I’d do that, too. But they’ll take another day or so to dry.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 1:26 PM

Guess he couldn’t handle my keeping the pups for such a long span of time, so he dropped over just minutes ago, to take them with him. I saw this possibility, because of the extended rain and cold forecast, so decided to give him two of the kids’ sleeping blankets to help keep them warm. I already ordered two more, plus another adult sleeping bag…as I want to have a backup of extra comforters to make post-bedbug prep a simpler process. I’ll soon have a fresh set ready to go, clean, bagged and sealed…instead of being under pressure to heat treat pronto, the ones already laid out.

He was in a crabby mood, but I made sure he heard me say it’s VERY cold outside, and it’s therefore IMPORTANT to keep the dogs warm…that this kind of biting cold can KILL little doggies in one day. And he can always bring them back at any time.

“Don’t tell me how to raise my dogs,” he grouched back, “I’ve been raising dogs for years!”

Whatever. So I’m now back hovel, knowing he’ll take good care of Flaco & Lucky in spite of his cantankerous behavior. He heard me loud and clear. At any rate:

I still have to write down what has passed between us in the last several days…very interesting and mostly hopeful. I just hate it when he flings so much crap at me, and/or moves so quickly in positive ways in a short period of time…I can barely keep up with documenting it all.

More coming up about Filipino Kai, as well. What an ally!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 2:25 PM

On top of everything else, temperature will dip down to 38 degrees tonight…and rain will continue on and off into the New Year. Between the twice-postponed bedbug treatment (which I scheduled in hopes of AVOIDing the rain and cold for the sake of the pups), this prolonged deep cold and sporadic rainfall, and Deek’s frighteningly bipolar mood swings…it’s the PERFECT STORM threatening Flaco & Lucky.

When I emphasized that it is dangerously cold outside, especially nights, Deek snarled: “This is nothing, I’m perfectly warm, I’m sweating in fact,” I reminded him that’s because he’s dressed in warm clothes and a thick jacket, and the meth makes him feel a lot less cold than it really is. He added that the mutts aren’t shivering, they’ll be fine, to which I replied:

“Yeah, they’ve only been out here a few minutes.”

At that point he threatened to never bring the dogs over again if I “keep this up.” So I told him, “I’m only being honest, Deek.”

Not knowing what else to say, I thanked him again for the yummy cookies, the snug slippers, and that silly dancing Exmass tree, then departed back hovel with considerable heartbreak and anger.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 4:23 PM

> Mr. Hyde emerges.

Yep.

> So, so sorry.

The coldest part of the season has just begun. If the dogs survive this round, he’ll be smug about it. And if they don’t survive, it’ll be all my fault in his deranged world. So I’ll have a madman on my hands who’ll then try everything possible to make me homeless, until he gets arrested or dies on the streets. Good times!


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 11:18 PM

> They’ll survive.

Yes, of course. I’m just venting. Steady as she goes! Another gauntlet for me to run through, is all. Keep the eye on the prize, with faith and optimism for my aegis. Absurd drama: my being driven out into the cold on Wednesday with nowhere to go, the little dogs also stuck outside, and jackass Deek with his juvenile behavior. All coming together in one foul pile of crap in two days.

Hokiest script ever; I’m not falling for it. Soap operas are stupid.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 1:34 PM

> And now for a word from our sponsor.

Krampus himself.


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: He brought the pups back this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 3:12 PM

…around 11 AM. He was waiting by the ATMs, because I didn’t answer out the window. I was crossing Market street with a tall, plastic hamper on wheels, when I spotted him…or at least what appeared to be the same cart he had last night, there in the alcove. Though I wasn’t sure until I approached my building to discover indeed it was him, and the pups right beside. So I parked my laundry (last load to be prepped for tomorrow’s treatment) by the front gate, and stepped inside the Wells Fargo recess.

He was slumped in exhausted stupor against the wall in a corner of the alcove, while Lucky was curled up in a large baby stroller, atop one of the comforters stuffed inside. The other was draped over his master, with Flaco seated atop. She immediately leapt off his lap to greet me with bright eyes and waggy tail. Her brother, however, just looked up at me in a happy greet, preferring instead to remain in his comfy, warm nest. I certainly can’t blame him!

I was pleased to see that both were dry and warm as I pet them. Deek looked quite bedraggled, and I had to call his name loud and clear several times to awaken him.

“Where were you?” he queried with droopy eyelids and head half raised.

“At the laundromat,” I replied.

“Here, bring them back inside,” he said, and handed me the leashes. “It’s colder now than it was last night!”

“Well, that’s how the weather works,” I said. “It went down to 43 degrees by 7 AM!”

I thanked him profusely for bringing them back, said “god bless you a hundred times over,” told him to hang onto those blankets, and reminded him he’ll need to pick up the doggies tomorrow morning by 11 AM. He said okay, he’ll return this evening to check up on them, maybe take them back for the night. I told him either way works for me, then escorted the pups and my laundry inside, leaving the hamper in the lobby to recoup some minutes later.

I filled the water bowl and the two dog dishes; Flaco ate half her meal, but Lucky showed no interest, preferring to drift off into a happy sleep posthaste. His sister joined him in doggy dreamland soon enough. After I bagged and sealed my final load of laundry, broke out the ladder and placed it on the loft with the other bags, I decided it would be nice to bring a piping hot cup of honey-sweetened, blueberry tea and a cigarette down to Deek. Ignoring my resentment over yesterday’s bad behavior on his part, I admitted to myself it’s worth the extra little effort because it was TRULY good of him to bring his charges back indoors.

Upon exiting with the tea and smoke, there was someone I preferred to avoid, standing in the hallway by the stairs, breathing heavily as if he needed to catch his breath. It was my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher. He didn’t see me as he was turned away and facing the wall…so I stepped back in hiding until he finally descended down the carpeted steps and into the lobby. With labored wheezing all the way, and two long pauses during his descent.

In light of his morbid obesity and this ongoing pandemic, a delicious shiver of schadenfreude tingled down my spine. Even my arm hairs stood on end, though perhaps it was just the chill air wafting through these Lovecraftian corridors. I was hoping to hear the gate slam shut, but no, he was probably just checking his mail or procuring a delivery.

“Should I remain out of sight until he returns to his apartment, or should I just march on down and walk by?” pondered THIS reluctant pilgrim.

I opted for the latter, and as I stepped onto the lobby’s porcelain tiles, saw him raise a box under one arm, then lean against the double row of mailboxes protruding from the wall…huffing and puffing for air once again.

“Good morning!” I greeted in passing, with steaming cup and cancer stick in hand, then opened the gate and stepped outside. As you can imagine, Wattson, no friendly comeback was forthcoming from his heavily masked cake hole. Not even a nod. Maybe, though, he was in the midst of aspirational paroxysm, and thus was incapable of responding in kind…so I shouldn’t take it personally. Since he didn’t collapse to the floor, I saw no reason to linger.

“DEEK!” I called to him five times, loudly, while crouched over his slumped form. He drowsily accepted my little gifts of tea and tobacco, whereupon I said “Need a light?”

He smiled, set down the cup while inserting the Fortuna 100 between two fingers, and muttered: “No, thanks, I’m good.” Having spoken those soft words of appreciation, he promptly went back to sleep…and I, to my doggy sanctuary. Oh, I did express my immense gratitude once more (before he fully nodded off), for bringing the pups back to me, and remarked that I’m sure it was no easy task keeping them warm overnight…sending him off to slumberville with these last three words: “You’re my hero!”

If Deek allows the mutts to stay overnight the day before bedbug treatment, this will be the third time he’s done that. While it’s a worry that he might not show up to collect them, he’s arrived right on time, on the two previous occasions. Which gave an ample two hours to wrap things up before I, myself, was cast out on the streets for several hours. So I don’t expect any mishap this time around, either. The only inconvenience will be not being able to run the sleeping bags through a dryer, then bag them up, before the exterminator arrives. I’ll just have to do that the next day.

It’s now almost four hours since Deek came by, and he’s still snoozing away below my window. Alright by me. At least he and the stroller and blankets are protected from any rain that may fall, and he’s warmly bundled up for now.

We are having yet another lack-of-toilet-paper issue going on in my shared restroom. This seems to occur about once every other month. Someone is unraveling the rolls and placing the paper into the waste basket, as well as pilfering three or four other rolls set on the rack. Now, since Todd in 209 died about one year ago, I only share the toilet with ONE resident. While he frequently has guests, I find it hard to believe the problem is coming from there, as he’s been a friendly neighbor for the two-plus years he’s been living here.

Yet there is NO indication that some roving schlemiel is sneaking in and messing with the TP. So what on earth is going on? I placed two of my own rolls there on Sunday, hoping that would help, but they were gone later that same day! I can’t imagine what the building manager thinks of all this. I may be suspect, as I usually am the Castro’s favorite scapegoat.

This has turned out to NOT be such a merry Exmass…which is fine with me, as a lot more people need to care about others, than they pretend. Though I firmly believe that somewhere along the line–and very soon–this country will hit bottom, and new, truly progressive movements will erupt to save the day. Looks like I have the optimism of Ann Frank.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: 11:50 AM and Deek has yet to show up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 11:54 AM

And it’s fukkin RAINING! Where will I take the dogs if he doesn’t show up? The exterminator will have to bag the bedding himself, because the pups will be dismayed, not having a comfy place to curl up…only the dirty floor. I did a test run for just this situation a couple of months ago…Flaco REFUSED to let me bag the bedding; she kept jumping on it. Also, placing them in the side hall also causes them dismay, for they are perturbed they can’t enter my hovel.

But what am I gonna do if Deek doesn’t show up…stand in the ATM alcove until 9 PM, while the doggies shiver? If I keep them in the side hall by my room, will they be calm, or bark whenever they hear someone walk by or talk?

Hopefully, he’ll show up in time, but I wonder if the comforters I gave him will still be dry. Replacing them cost me $40. When he departed last night, the blankets were stuffed in his stroller with some other things, but he didn’t have it covered to keep the rain out. Even though I gave him extra garbage bags earlier that day, just for that purpose.

Newspaper has all been removed, so now the floor is bare. Now I have to rummage through the sealed bags to find fresh clothing. I also have to take a shower before putting them on, but I can’t do that until Deek shows up…otherwise, he could be calling up to me, and I will be in the washroom out of earshot.

This is fucked up.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 12:14 PM

And with a full size shopping cart, including those two comforters which ARE dry. But now he wants me to charge three devices until the exterminator shows up! I prefer to leave around a half hour before the scheduled time…so it’s good I told Deek the treatment is at 1 pm, when it’s really an hour later. He is someone who will either drive you bat-shit insane, or turn you into a saint.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 1:35 PM

> He’ll turn you into a bat-shit insane saint.

Yes, that makes sense. I was wrong about the comforters: they are SOPPING WET even though I gave him two 39-gallon garbage bags to keep them dry. So he just slumped off to sleep in the ATM alcove, with the doggies on the cold concrete, or sometimes on top of him. So I brought down an adult sleeping bag and said here, this’ll keep all three of you warm…but I don’t see why you couldn’t keep the blankets dry.

So there’s another $40 out the window, and I have hardly any bedding remaining. Deek’s inexcusable negligence is costing me too much! But he won’t listen, he’ll do his stupidity just the same.

I couldn’t have a complete breakfast, because how busy I am. Can’t afford to eat out, so I’ll starve till tonight. Clothes I wore today are wet, including the jacket, but I’ll have to bag them anyway. I’ll have to dry them off ASAP, meaning tomorrow morning, or the mold will take over. I have just enough moolah for the laundromat, if I don’t eat out.

And it looks like one of the two smartphones he gave me to charge is kaput…he’ll yell at me for that, no doubt, once I bring it back to him in a short while. I have NO time to take a shower, but change into fresh clothes and scram on outta here.

Wouldn’t it be frosting on the cake if the exterminator fails to show up, once more?

Well, I have to unplug my laptop and such, and stash THAT in the closet, so it’s ta-ta for now, Wattson. This is madness.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 5:20 PM

5:00 p.m., I just returned to my building, to discover my room has at last been treated, and I can step back in by 7:45 p.m. You can imagine my underlying anxiety all day, wondering whether or not the exterminator will drop by. That perhaps I’m being screwed over by the building manager, in retaliation for our clashes earlier this year, as well as sheltering the pups on a frequent basis.

Meanwhile, Deek was outside by the ATMs with the pups, getting everything packed away. He said he doesn’t need to bring them over tonight, he has other plans, and not to worry, he will keep the dogs warm and dry.

I suggested that during the dry days, he lookel for comforters, blankets even thick jackets to bring to me for later emergencies regarding cold or rainy weather. He rejected that idea because, quote: “This is bug city.” I then made it clear to him I will bag anything he brings, and launder it the next day. But he still refused.

I told him I can’t afford to keep handing out comforters, and my suggestion is a very good one. Of course he then said he never asked for that and he can keep the dogs warm and dry without my help. And that I shouldn’t give him something, then make him feel guilty about it later. In conclusion:

I can’t win for trying. Not to mention double standards!

Though I have to say Deek was calm and softly spoken this time around. I am exhausted, sitting in the alcove beside my room as I type this email. Yet I still have almost 3 hours remaining before I can enter my hovel once again.

Deek has probably departed by now, and I’m going to step outside for another stroll, for lack of anything else to do. I will post you again later tonight, once I’m back inside my hermit cave.


Texting with Wattson: 12/25/21 – 12/30/21

Pic 1

Pic 2

Video


Click here for a larger view.

Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 30, 2021 2:39 PM

> My deepest sympathies. Being poor is to experience a cascade of contingent catastrophes.

It’s horrendous, but that’s the price I willingly pay to be a subversive flower child. I could not live with my conscience any other way.

The adult sleeping bag just arrived (see pic)…I’m not even gonna open it, but keep it sealed in its plastic wrap. Under $30 including tax. Deek may have a phobia about bugs, and would explain why he rejects scavenged bedding and such, even though it will keep the pups warm. Or he’s just being an asshole. I know he also has an aversion to hugs. Or, again, he’s being an asshole. At any rate, I will try to stash a backup of two or more new sleeping bags, unopened, for those cold nights when the doggies are forced to remain outdoors. Since they’ll still be sealed straight from the seller, he can’t whine about bugs of any sort. (“Factory bugs?” I can see him saying that.)

I didn’t foresee this extra expense through the winter months because LAST year the brindlekin stayed with ME for almost all of January and February. And I ALSO presumed he’d be responsible enough to find some bedding on his own. OTHER houseless folks manage to, as well as find some way to keep their possessions dry. But no, not Deek, ’cause he’s oh-so-special! I’ll also give him a large garbage bag each time, hoping he’ll bother to use it to keep the comforter dry. My god, he’s such an ornery cuss!

The two KIDS’ sleeping bags will arrive Tuesday (under $20 each), and they’ll be just for the doggies when they stay over. I’ll actually have FOUR kids’ bags, with those two new ones. On top of one adult sleeping bag. I’d like TWO adult bags for more plush, so I’ll see if I can budget these new expenses in January’s finances. But if need be, I’ll stretch them over into February. I only hope and pray these cold snaps will be few and far between, or that Deek changes his tune about collecting comforters off the streets (or from charities), that I can store for him.

– Zeke K-Holmes



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