The FINAL Final Chapter (part 17)

May 23, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18q]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[pause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[pause]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

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


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

> Noticed that first thing!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> Splendid report!!!! Many thanks!!

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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


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

> Drat.

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


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

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

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

“You got the dog food?” I queried.

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

“I lost it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> I’m danglin’ here!

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


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

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

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

“Here, give ’em some treats,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Definitely,” I assured.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 15)

May 14, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18o]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> WOOF!!!!!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh? What country is that?” he asked.

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

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

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

Enjoy these two videos:

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

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

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

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

> Great that the other fellow stood up for you!

A small victory in my favor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why were you yelling?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HE DIDN’T DISAPPEAR WITH THE PUPS

and

THEY GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Gentleman Jack

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

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

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

“I’m really thirsty.”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

- Zeke

--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You really love the man,” Kai noted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Uh, no I don’t,” he replied.

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

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

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

“Strangle him?” he interjected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

BODHISATTVA PREMISE:

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 14)

May 6, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18n]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WALGREENS SCREWED ME OVER!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADDENDUM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JEEZ! I live in Nutsville.


Texting with Wattson: 4/10/22

Pic 1

Pic2


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

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

> This is truly great progress.

Definitely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

Catching up (April 7th-10):

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

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

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

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

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

“So what’s your name?” I asked.

“Danny,” he replied.

“Mine’s Zeke,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Do they like it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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


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

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

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

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

THE DOGGIES GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> VERY glad they’re with you…

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

Air Force Offers To Airlift LGBT People From Red States

Let’s talk about the Air Force sending a message


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Everything’s gonna be fine!”

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

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

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

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

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

Final paragraph:

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


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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, forewarned is forearmed,” I replied.

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Cylinder Sally web site


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s it for now.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, you know him?” Deek queried.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Half hour pause.]

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

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

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

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

“Do they need to eat now?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

The interplay between them is priceless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 13)

April 6, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18m]

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--end

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, I know you love them both!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s an honor!”

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> Thanks for the great report,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BODHISATTVA INTRIGUE!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Another no-drama meetup…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 23, 2022 at 11:58 PM

> Between the scribblings and the splotch, I sense a sad story….

Yes, and the previous owner’s account was still active on the system, along with a second account. So I did a factory reset (what Chromebook calls a “power wash”) and both accounts were permanently erased. I’d hate to run into the owner, ’cause he’d recognize his graffiti right off the bat. I don’t think I can actually clean all that off without harming the plastic casing. So I’m thinking of using a self-adhesive skin over the whole shebang, maybe this one.

> But such a deal!!!!

It sure is. Boulevard Joe is an honest hawker…a lot of bang for the buck. I got an excellent smartphone from him about five years ago, for just $20, brand new, with the manual that included instructions to register it with Tracfone. But back then, I didn’t use cell service, so it was just a pocket size tablet for me. I lost it, though, about a year later: must’ve fallen out of a loose coat pocket on the Metro light rail.

Well, Deek showed up this evening with the dogs free-roaming; he lost their leashes but thank god not the collars with the rabies tags. I have NO spare leashes or even rope or cord I could use in a pinch. But I DO have a couple of extra extension cords that will just have to do.

“It’s kinda cold and damp tonight,” he said through the gate as the dogs restlessly waited for me to open the inner door so they could dash upstairs. “So I’m sure they’d love to stay over this evening.”

“Yes, that’s great, thanks!” I replied, then handed him an envelope containing his $50 allowance for this Sunday. He acted surprised, like he forgot what day it was. Usually he’d’ve asked for it by now, if not a day earlier. We didn’t talk long, as I wanted to get the pups into my room pronto, before someone came down the stairs or tried to enter.

Once back hovel, I realized I forgot to tell Deek something important, so I hurried back outside, but didn’t see him anywhere. Another bedbug treatment is scheduled for this Monday, per my conversation with Kevin today, He said my neighbor in 206 found a bug this morning. But I’m sure Deek will return by Saturday at the latest, though MAYBE Sunday.

Actually, his dropping the pooches off tonight is perfect timing re. the upcoming treatment, since their master rarely has them stay with me more than two nights in a row. I can do this.

Ironically, I discovered just a week ago (by checking the names on the lobby mailboxes) that the resident who complained about Kevin’s poor management via a sealed letter taped to everyone’s door, is the one in 206, RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO ME!

Oh, and that homeless dude I don’t care to see anymore and who slipped into the building and knocked on my door some days ago, showed up AGAIN this afternoon, even though I told him LAST time I no longer allow visits. But this time when he knocked and I opened the door, there was the bedbug exterminator, the maintenance man AND the manager standing about in the hallway, watching. All with stern faces.

Turns out they were suspicious about his presence, as he sneaked through the front gate behind one of them, and was asked who he’s visiting. Of course he said “Zeke.” But the moment I opened my door and saw him, I reiterated that he should NOT try to visit me, I do NOT have any visitors over any more.

I didn’t see the manager and the other two at that moment, until I looked beyond the unwelcome intruder. They heard what I said, and so Kevin told him he has to leave, NOW. He acted a bit resentful when they followed him closely down the stairs, and said “I know the way out, you don’t need to breathe on my back!”

Later, when Kevin called me about arranging a day for bedbug treatment, I informed him the guy’s harmless, but I hadn’t seen him for more than three years, and I told him back THEN “no more visits, please.” And that I’m pissed he’s entered this building without permission.

That’s all I need, right, Wattson? Some clueless A-hole to stir up shit in my life, when I’m already dealing with Deek and the dogs!

As it turns out I can’t order heart worm medication withOUT a vet’s prescription! And unless Flaco gets spayed, neither Vet SOS nor the SPCA will help me. But heart worms are not really a problem here in SF (because no mosquitoes) and besides, the active ingredient is Ivermectin…and that strikes me as somewhat toxic, as even certain breeds should not touch it.

But Deek is needlessly worried over this, so I figured a safe spray for dogs that repels mosquitoes will do the trick. I just have to choose a product that stays effective the longest…and I found one. You need only apply it twice a week. It ALSO repels ticks and fleas…kill three birds with one stone, eh? Such as this.

But again, they are not a problem, because short haired canines do NOT get afflicted with those pests…with rare exception I suppose.

Nonetheless, I have to humor Deek one way or another.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Trashing the Trash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 24, 2022 at 2:28 AM

Shortly after 2 AM I heard someone screeching expletives outside, so I looked out the window to see this homeless idiot punk knocking over everything along the way. He was across the street at first, but then came storming over to MY side and knocked over our the trash bins out front, taking special care to spew it around while continuing to scream like the psycho bitch he is. By the time I picked up the smartphone to take a quick video, he was already barreling further up towards Noe and beyond. So I took this pic instead.

The goons at the Hohokum smoke shop have been getting rowdy and loud late into the night again, these past several months. I can’t believe residents haven’t set their foot down and complained to the manager. Well, they probably have, but he looks the other way…which may be ONE of several reasons my neighbor in 206 has gotten fed up enough to rally the troops and form a tenants union. I have no idea if he’s actually gotten that off the ground, though. ‘Cause I’m not interested in joining the union if they’re gonna turn on me because of my ultra-cheap rent, like what happened in that lawsuit many years back!

At least I got the pups and my new chromebook for cheap, thanks to Blvd. Joe…and Deek’s incredible progress. The world may be crumbling before our eyes, but I’m doing just great! Thanks in large part to YOUR kind friendship, good physician.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click hear for a larger view.

Subject: Homemade Leash
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 25, 2022 at 3:13 PM

This morning I just used the clothesline I already had for hanging my shirts and underwear after running them through my R2D2 washing machine. Because I decided against using the spare extension cords. Well, they were not the most convenient leashes, just a double line for each dog, with not much to grip, unless I wrap one end around my hand…but it did the trick.

I came up with a better solution, as you can see by the pic. Since the nylon cord I ordered from Amazon would not arrive for another few days, I hopped on down to Cliff’s Variety and purchased a skein in dark moss. Knotted loops along the entire length should add more tensile strength to the leash, and the end is easier to grip. At any rate, for now on I’ll be sure to keep a supply of cord for any further leash-loss emergencies.

Also enclosed are five other pics I took on my coffee run to Rosenberg’s, featuring the mini-tent village set up on Noe Street last night. The last shot shows a collapsed, dark green tent on the left, that is Boulevard Joe’s little spot. More of a large tarp than a real tent. He was setting it up as we chatted a bit before I continued my walk to Golden Produce on Church Street, where I get my raisin bread and raw honey. I told him how pleased I am with my new Chromebook, after diddling with it all day long.

Click here for a larger view.
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Texting with Wattson: 3/25/22

Pic 1

Pic 2


Subject: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM

…and the bedbug treatment is scheduled for tomorrow some time after 2 PM. I didn’t have a chance to tell him when he delivered the pups two evenings ago, since again he feigned being in a hurry to get somewhere. Hopefully he’ll show up sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning!

Because if he doesn’t, I really can’t go anywhere, as he’ll wonder where I am when he calls up to my window, and I don’t answer. I’ll have to hang out nearby with the dogs, in case he shows up. And if he doesn’t I’ll be forced to keep them outdoors for five or six hours. And if I have to step inside to use the restroom, the dogs’ll be confused and disappointed when I don’t bring them back into our sanctuary…but to the WC, then back outside again!

I can’t sit with the dogs in the side hall beside my room, because Flaco will make a big stink about that. I know, because I did a test run some months back. Lucky was fine with nesting down on a small comforter, but his sister acted hurt that she couldn’t go back onto the cot, instead of being stuck right outside. Regardless: both dogs will bark up a tempest every time someone walks up or down the stairs, or down the hall. And one of them is bound to be Kevin!

I’ll have to stash dog food and water in my backpack, along with two disposable bowls, if we’re forced outdoors for so many hours! And I won’t be able to take the N Judah to Tart to Tart, to relax for a few hours, playing with my new Chromebook. I’d bring the doggies with me, except that Deek would freak out, should he drop by to pick them up, and I’m not there…and won’t be for an hour or two or three! I’ve always told him if I’m not home when he show up, just be patient, ’cause I will be in ten or twenty minutes.

I also won’t be able to find out what time I can return to my hovel, because that requires I enter the building and read the notice on my door. Which means I’d ALSO have to bring the mutts with me, as leaving them outside leashed to a post is a no-no…especially since they’ll be upset to see me step inside withOUT them.

I USED to be able to text the exterminator about what time I can return, but he no longer will respond…I think because Kevin instructed him NOT to, anymore. Well, let’s hope for the best, that things won’t turn out like that, and Deek shows up soon.

BTW I’ve been having problems texting to you the last several days. The latest is one I tried to send you two days ago, and it’s been stuck on “sending” ever since. See attached pic.

Two previous, recent texts were also delayed, with error statement that the recipient is not connected, or something like that. I was offered the option of switching to SMS/MMS, so I did and they finally got through. But this latest glitch is not giving me that choice. So being new to cell service, I’m not sure WHERE this problem is coming from. I just restarted the phone to see if that would clear things up, but no, it didn’t…the text is still in “sending” mode!

Well, it’s 6:30 PM now, Wattson…keeping my fingers crossed that Deek will soon arrive to pick up the brindlekin. I think I’ll step out and see if Boulevard Joe is around, in hopes he can track down my difficult bodhisattva guardian, and convey the message.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 7:28 PM

So I luckily ran across Boulvard Joe, only a minute after stepping out, and conveyed my message to him, in case he comes across Deek. I walked with him to the Chevron station and back again, had a nice talk about the Chromebook he sold me, including that it has TWICE as much internal storage as he claimed: 32GB instead of a paltry 16! Then it started to RAIN.

Looking up the weather report on my Moto E, I discovered HEAVY DOWNPOUR PREDICTED TONIGHT! So, it’s UNlikely Deek will show up this evening, even if he had planned to. Fine by me, as the storm should clear up in the wee hours, and the pups shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of weather, anyway.

It would be PERFECT if he came by tomorrow morning, but I don’t have a crystal ball…just two lovely, homeless doggies who’ve broken my heart with infinite affection. Welp, time to feed them their din-din!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up… ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM

> So glad they’re with you tonight!

Yes. Had Deek shown up earlier, when there was no sign of rain comin’ up, he would’ve taken Flaco & Lucky, and then they’d be stuck out there on the cold, damp streets…or he’d just bring them right back.

> It’s raining a little here, nothing to write home about, but hoping for more.

That’s what I’m here for, Wattson: you are free to write anything you want to me, since my place is NOT your home! Is that impeccable logic or what?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek has yet to show up…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 12:19 AM

> Another bedbug treatment??

Yep, it’s averaging every six weeks now. Insane. According to Boulevard Joe, he has some other friends who live in these large apartment buildings constructed well before the fifties…and they are ALL averaging extermination visits at a rate similar to mine. San Franchitsco’s dirty little secret is that they’re EVERYWHERE, but no one dare talk of it.

> That chicken looks absolutely delicious. I would have happily gobbled it up.

I would’ve done so myself, but eating that in front of the pups without sharing would be unspeakably cruel. As it turned out, when I returned with the roast bird sealed in a large, plastic container within a larger paper bag, the pups didn’t even twitch. They just remained in their cozy, sleepy spots. Which surprised me ’cause their noses would’ve smelled it anyway. I even opened the container in order to cool it down, setting it beside the window with an electric fan turned on and pointing down to it.

But even with the container’s lid removed and breezes wafting the savory scent throughout the room, the doggies remained lazily oblivious to the smell of chicken, everydog’s favorite dish. I was perplexed over their complete lack of gustatory enthusiasm, though I was also quite pleased. Because I felt so much less like a sadist than I would otherwise, bringing the yummy feast inside, then taking it back out again without allowing either so much as a taste.

> I wish I could be a vegetarian, but for a lot of complicated reasons, can’t…

You’re a cat woman. Say no more.

-Zeke K-Nolmes


Subject: Great! I CAN play w/my Chromebook at Tart 2 Tart!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 10:01 AM

Deek showed up a half hour ago, picked up the dogs and puppy chow.

“Perfect timing, Deek,” I greeted, “They’re gonna do another treatment on my room today. I missed telling you that, last time you dropped over, because you were in such a rush and you lost the dogs’ leashes. I ran back downstairs to tell you, but you had already disappeared.”

He said he was gonna drop by last night anyway, but the rain stopped him, and he was glad they were inside. (That’s why I said his timing was perfect.)

He had a nice little tent on wheels hooked up to his bike, and took off with Lucky & Flaco riding inside, quiet and happy as two bugs in a rug. Unexpected re. the female, as she normally does NOT care to sit in the shopping cart at all, or any OTHER moving vehicle, as far as we knew. Mesh webbing on both sides allowed them to view the world roll by.

He also asked if I had a wrench, as he needed to tighten the wheels on his bike. I said yes, you left one in the bag of dog food you returned to me a few weeks ago, so I held onto it. So I went upstairs to get it, along with a new pair doggy sweaters, and a fresh supply of kibbles and cans (of course). Then wished him a good day and returned hovel.

So now I can finish off the room prep, and take the N Judah. to Tart to Tart, with my new Chromebook. This is all good. Except I only have $22 left for the next four days. But the Chromebook is worth it.

Of course, Deek had to complain about SOMEthing. He actually screamed up at my window several times, right when I was coming down the stairs to get my Rosenberg java fix. The moment I stepped out the gate, I admonished:

“STOP screaming, you’ve been doing it a LOT these days!”

“You didn’t come to the window,” was his lame excuse.

“I heard you the first time, but I was already walking down the stairs,” I rebutted. “I wasn’t about to rush back to my room just to poke my head out the window and let you know I heard you.”

“These leashes won’t do!” he griped.

“I made them myself,” I replied. “They’re stronger than they look, you’ll be fine.”

“I thought you said you had a couple of spare leashes!” He persisted. “I would have BOUGHT some if you didn’t.” This, after just handing him another $50 in advance of Thursday, per his request…so he could BUY a pair at the dollar store, anyway.

Which moolah BTW, he slipped into a coat pocket that was slanted and shallow…a setup just BEGGING him to lose another wad of cash! I didn’t say a thing, though perhaps I should’ve.

“I did, but I was wrong,” I explained. “A reminder: I won’t be back home till after 9 PM. You’ve just gotten your complete allowance for the month. And I will be penniless for eight days.”

He said that’s okay, but what do you wanna bet he’ll start whining in a few days, Wattson? Actually, I’ll probably get this month’s gov’t deposit on the first, since the third of April falls on the weekend. But I didn’t want to get Deek’s hopes up, so didn’t mention it…for fear of suffering the wrath of his childish angst, if it turns out we’ll have to wait all the way to the third. Which is SIX days from now, not eight.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Pups didn’t get their chicken, but I sure did!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 28, 2022 at 6:26 PM

How ironic, good doctor! Someone must’ve left this tasty grub out on the sidewalk for the homeless. Looks like they’re from Project Open Hands. The pic makes the meal look gray and mushy, guess that’s due to moisure collecting inside the plastic containers. Anyway, I helped myself to one: delicious! Juicy drumstick and seasoned rice with a little bok choy, celery and a chunk of roasted potato.

I wasn’t planning to buy anything to eat, that is, skipping lunch, due to my thin wallet. So I was delighted to come across THIS little windfall! Though vegetarian, I certainly never look a gift chicken in the face.

Once more, Tart to Tart’s restroom was out of order. I told the cashier it was that way last time I came here two months ago. He blurted that the cafe is gonna shut down soon, so they never bothered to repair the toilet. Jezus fukkin kryste! So I had to get up and leave sooner than planned, because nature called…and moseyed on over to the Stribing Aboretum three blocks away, where they provide a public restroom. No TP though, so thank Hermes there were those tissue-thin seat covers to use instead!

I found the chicken dinners on my walk back to Irving Street and the N Judah stop. Ate it with my fingers, as I had no other choice. Wiped them off on the edge of a large wooden border enclosing a small garden, then used a dollop of hand sanitizer to complete the job.

I’m now at Peet’s Coffee enjoying a large hot chocolate with whipped cream, as I type this email on the Chromebook. Strangely, the building manager stepped in to pick up some roasted beans. My back was to him; I’m sure he saw me here, but didn’t bother to say hi. Glad he didn’t, he’s an arse of the highest caliber.

The extermination notice on my door said I can return inside at 6:30 PM, which is only 15 minutes away! Hope your day went well…mine sure did, considering all the BS I deal with each and every day. The pups make it all so much easier.

I very much enjoyed watching John Oliver’s latest “Last Week Tonight” episode, while lingering at Tart to Tart. This Chromebook’s a delight…even has the option to install and run Linxu from a menu option! I tried it, very nice, then got rid of it because that only left me with 6 GB internal storage. But good to know this model can run Linux (’cause it has an Intel CPU), should the time come when I decide to entirely replace Chrome OS with Linux Mint or some other distro.

-Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 3/30/22

Pic 1

Pic 2


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 30, 2022 at 12:47 AM

After gifting Deek with an extra $50 for vaccinating the pups, and buying that Chromebook off Blvd. Joe for a bargain $75, you can see why I only have $2.80 remaining! But BOTH decisions were a hundred-thousand percent worth it! And get this, Wattson…I STILL have cash in my wallet, $10 to be exact, plus $13 in quarters and another $3.21 in dimes, nickels and pennies. I’m sittin’ pretty!

Been spending the past several days souping up my Chromebook, and once I get my next Soc. Sec. deposit in two days, I’ll purchase a USB-C-to-VGA converter, so I can connect it to a second monitor, just like my Thinkpad X230 is now. The idea is to duplicate my main system as best as possible, should I need backup for when it might go down (temporarily or for good). I always feel restless without a second system at hand for just such emergencies. Besides, I NEVER take my main laptop outdoors, it’s just WAY too valuable to risk theft, loss or dropping it on the sidewalk or a hard floor.

I enjoy speaking to the Chromebook, like asking search questions into the browser, or dictating my emails or stories (at least the rough drafts). Saves me the hassle of so much typing…great for alleviating repetitive stress issues. Just like the smartphone, but a much larger screen and keyboard. I find these small devices frustrating on both the hands and eyes, so I rarely use the Moto E for browsing…or games, etc.

This speaking to the system is not something one can do in Linux yet, thus I can easily see how I’ll be using the Chromebook for more than just playing videos and podcasts, or away-from-home use.

So, Xfinity is now offering its low income users DOUBLE the bandwitdh (from 50 Mbps to 100) for FREE. That’s because the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) covers $30 of your ISP expenses, and the next tier up is a penny under that. The lowest tier (which I’m on) costs $9.99/month. But it’s already quite FAST for my needs, and doubling the DL speed seems superfluous. I’m sure, though, others with a household of more than one will be tickled pink.

Along with that upgrade you also get, FREE, a TV box and a slew of channels. But what you DON’T get with that excellent deal, is an actual television. My monitor is strictly for computers, so I’d need to BUY a smart TV…which I don’t care to do. It’s just more clutter. I’m already flush with free video sources including Youtube, Internet Archives, free TV sites, and so on. Besides which, I just discovered that Linux Mint (the distro I favor) now has an app called “Hypnotix,” which streams free TV and movies as well! I haven’t explored all that’s on it, yet, but a cursory examination was impressive.

Click here for a larger view.

This world, via the ginormous media octopus, appears to be caught up in a web of war porn these days. Vladimir Putin plays a second rate Mini-Me…and equally uninspiring is Volodymyr Zelensky’s impersonation of Mighty Mouse. Millions of Ukranian women and children and elderly scattering to the four corners of the globe, another Great Diaspora in the making. The ghost of Cecil B. DeMille must be directing this grand fiasco! Nice touch sending all these extras south of the border to join the swarms of cockroach Latinos trying to get through! Of COURSE Prez Biden would make an exception for Eastern Europeans, because they’re WHITE! So GLAD I could change the channel, and I have many excellent shows to choose from. I’ve never been much for war movies and other macho-oriented flicks.

In fact, I’m enjoying right now, season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And last night I watched the latest movie adaptation of Death on the Nile…after binge watching all 10 episodes of season 1’s “Sister Boniface’s Mysteries” last week!

Deek dropped by this eve with a new smartphone and a headset for me to charge, but no doggy company. He was in a snarly mood at first, hurling absurd accusations at me…details of which serve no sane purpose to get into. Suffice it to say I remained calm and polite, pointing out to him there is NO good excuse to project anger, ever…but especially when the pups are sitting right beside him in all their sweet patience and camaraderie. He eventually mellowed down.

Their sweaters seem to be lost already, but I saw no point in mentioning that. At least he still has that little tent cart hooked up to the bike. BOTH pooches love it; they look quite cozy nestled within its dome-like structure. I found a large, plush comforter tonight, on the third-floor porch, so bagged it for laundering a few days from now. That’ll keep all THREE of ’em warm on cold nights! Though it IS a hefty bulk, so perhaps I’ll spare Deek the burden of lugging it around, and just keep it hovel, maybe tossed in a pile on the floor for the mutts to romp around in. They sure love their secret little hidey spots to burrow and sleep in!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: My Anorexic Bank Account
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: March 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM

> This is some might fine writin’, son!! And highly perceptive.

Thanks! I just posted that passage to the MCN lists…just for a lark(in). My perception is thanks to my “Bodhisattva Premise,” that gives me a grander view of the world than, say, Fox News…or even John Oliver. “All the world’s a stage,” the Great Bard once wrote…though perhaps I take it a tad more literally than your average mouldy rogue.

> Gentleman Jack returns soon. Looking forward to it.

Wonderful series, I forgot all about it since their first and only season thus far, aired in 2019. Can’t WAIT for season 2! I remember gushing about that show to you.

> Asshole.

Yes ma’mm, Wattson, he can play that role to perfection from time to time. But the fact is that HE’S the one who brought such sweet little doggies into my world, and TRUSTS me with them, and allows me so much TIME to enjoy their company…I conclude there’s much more to him than meets the eye. Lucky & Flaco have changed my life so much for the better, in so many ways. And you, more than anyone else, have witnessed that transformation…my humble room’s improvement being but ONE outward and tangible example.

I forgot to mention that about a week ago Deek proclaimed I’m the ONLY person he trusts to watch over his dogs…heaping additional praise on that subject to the point where my ears almost dropped off from the melting warmth of his profuse gratitude.

[pause]

Well whaddya know, he just showed up only seconds after I composed the paragraph above! I texted you about it. Nothing to report, it was a quickie meetup, dropped off the pups and handed me a smartphone and speaker to charge…then took off on his bike with the doggy caboose, now vacant. ‘Tis a good day in Purgatory.

C;lick here and here for larger views.

Subject: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 11:46 AM

…when yesterday afternoon (shortly after Deek picked up the mutts) I saw Lucky untethered and sniffing about on the sidewalk while Deek was packing up his meager possessions, most of which he stuffed in that doggy wagon attached to his bike. Looking directly down from my window, I couldn’t see Flaco who was no doubt inside the ATM alcove…but I DEFINITELY saw a beefy pit bull approaching on a leash with its owner. Lucky just stood near the curb, watching them walk by WITHIN A FEW INCHES OF HIM, while Deek remained oblivious to the potential disaster, as his bent back was turned to the street while tending to his bike and cart. It happened so fast, I didn’t even have a split second to warn him!

The fearsome canine of massive muscle and weight walked by Lucky in all of three seconds, while my little brindlekin remained calm, though with a curious eye on the passing quadruped. Neither dog acknowledged the other, and it was all over soon as it began. NOTHING HAPPENED, THANK GOD…NOT EVEN A SINGLE WOOF!

The doggies were out of sync with their poopies two days and nights ago. Which wound up with me taking Lucky for a stroll around 1:30 AM, then Flaco two hours later! As I escorted her back to my building, there was Kevin entering the gate. I espied him far enough away as to be able to slip around the corner on 16th Street without him spotting me back, and hung out there a few minutes before returning hovel. Now what on earth was he doing out so late, Wattson? I’m tempted one day to come right up to him by surprise, and ask that very question. I’m sure that’d warm his cockles.

I’m used to seeing him return around 12:30 AM now and then, late enough to arouse my suspicion, but THIS time was a true quandary. As was that night almost three weeks past, when I witnessed his departure OUT the front gate around 2 AM…aNOTHER first! Where does he go at such an ungodly hour, and return 90 minutes later?

BTW Deek did NOT lose the sweaters, they were simply packed deep into his load of clothing and junk stuffed into the wagon. For two days back when I collected his gizmos for a recharge, it was empty but for several items, including those two sweaters. So I took them upstairs and washed them in my sink, with a squirt of lime-scented dish detergent. The water remained clear right from the start, however, so I suspect he didn’t actually put the sweaters on them during those chilly-damp nights.

This latest smartphone he gave me to put new music on, refused to let me do exactly that, even though the last time around I had no problem. Turned out the USB options were all grayed out! They weren’t before, but Deek’s habit of fidgeting with apps and settings he knew nothing about, sometimes creates issues that I usually CAN resolve, after much headache-inducing effort.

To be fair, the problem may have been MY doing…or, more accurately, a glitch in Android’s “Developer Options” that I turned on, in order to make file transfer the default once plugged into my X230 (instead of “charge only”), as well as my adjusting the settings to minimize battery drain, which he complained about (“It only runs for two hours!”).

However, after turning OFF developer options, the USB fly in the ointment remained! Perusing the Android support sites was NO help whatsoever, and this graying out of the USB options seems to be quite common, and often unresolveable. Deek would be back in less than an hour at that point, so I did not have time to try more desperate solutions, such as factory reset or disabling installed apps one by one, to see if the problem was due to a particular app recently applied.

The smartphone was only at 16 percent charge, as well…and it’s been plugged in to my USB hub for just over an hour. I guess this USB glitch also slowed down the charge rate. This was not good, and I’ll probably have to suffer the Wrath of Deek, as a result. I figured at this point I should insert a micro SD card into the phone, after first copying his music to it. So I removed the one in my tablet and, to my delight, its storage capacity was a humongous 64 gigabytes…WAY more than enough to transfer his entire collection! (The phone itself only had a 10 GB internal storage capacity, after what the system took up.)

THAT took almost 30 minutes to complete, but I got it done and inserted it into his phone with a sigh of relief. All the mp3 files on the external storage were recognized by the music app, so the phone was good to go, though charge rate was still sluggish.

“I have some good news and some bad news,” I told Deek upon his return. “I inserted a 64 gigabyte card into your phone, so ALL your music is now on it.”

“And the bad news?” he asked in reply.

“Well, for some reason the USB transfer no longer works, and your phone is only charged to 24 percent,” I explained. “I have no idea why.”

“So I’ll have to wait another hour?” he queried.

“I recommend TWO, if you can handle it,” I suggested.

To my unexpected succor, he griped about that, albeit softly, and CALMLY accepted the situation:

“Just bring the dogs down, and the dog food. I’ll wait. And a cup of soda.”

I did just that, and when I handed him the soda, said: “Here ya go: ginger ale!”

He let out a friendly “Whoop!” and gladly took it from my hand.

It was about ten minutes later as I sat upstairs at my work station doing my Internet thing while his smartphone continued to charge, when I decided to peer outside and almost had a heart attack over what I saw.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I almost had a heart attack…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: April 3, 2022 at 1:45 PM

> Oh, man, that encounter with the pit bull could have gone SO badly. Good for Lucky for staying calm.

He appears better behaved when OFF the leash, than when on it. Deek pointed that out to me, some weeks back. I think when you’re pulling him on a leash, he takes that as a sign to be more on guard. Regardless, I don’t even wanna THINK of all the close encounters the dogs may have while they’re with Deek and out of my sight. Kudos to Deek for training them so well…in this matter, at least!

> You’re a goddamned saint with all that charging and fixing of Deek’s gizmos and the running up and down the stairs.

Since he had the decency to get them vaccinated, I have tremendous respect for him at this point. And that makes all his nuisances a trivial issue at this point, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, for the most part they are far less frequent and dramatic than previously.

> But I know why you do it, and I’m with you all the way.

It is a labor of love, and may very well be my greatest act of devotion that I have ever done in service to humanity since I escaped my family’s clutches way back in 1973. (And explains why I switched from journalism to cultural anthropology once I began my college adventure.)

I TRIED joining a new-age Catholic organization called “The Holy Order of Mans,” once I arrived in San Francisco, homeless but happy. But THAT didn’t work out, as they were oblivious when it came to the LGBT homeless. They had NO outreach project for that class of people, and NO intention to include it among their other good works, any time soon.

I was introduced to this group by two of their brothers while residing in Columbia, Missouri. They had an outpost there, and were aware of my presence months before I was of them. They sort of followed me around, though from a polite distance, waiting for me to approach and begin a dialogue. A couple of VERY nice fellows, I should note. Their headquarters were located in San Francisco. I’m sure that, had the Holy Order of Mans survived into the ’80s and beyond, they would’ve turned out to provide excellent aid and resources for houseless queers…and I would’ve become an active participant.

I was just about to post an addendum to my previous email, when I saw your reply already in my mailbox. So I’ll just add it here:

=====

I almost had a heart attack… ADDENDUM

The phone reached 70 percent battery charge when he decided to take it back, along with the two battery packs and two Bluetooth speakers…all of which were at full capacity by then. I quickly handed them to him, while the pups sat quietly nearby. I ignored them, wishing to NOT get their hopes up about returning hovel so soon. But as I turned to leave, he said “Flaco’s wondering why you don’t pet her goodbye before you go!” Sure enough, her ears were perked up in a touch of alarm over my departure without first acknowledging her and Lucky. So I stepped into the alcove and pet them both, wishing them a lovely day.

This was NOT Deek’s usual demeanor, thus his showing such consideration is a marked improvement. Only four evenings ago he raked me over the coals for supposedly blowing his chance to get $20 from someone who just departed from the Wells Fargo ATM two feet away, after diddling with the buttons followed by the whir of small rubber wheels that spun the bills into his hand. Accompanied by a friend, they gleefully bantered the whole time, continuing to do so as they walked off into the night, and probably to a gay bar nearby.

I had no idea WHAT they were talking about, as my attention was focused on greeting the pups, and untangling Flaco’s leash wound up in the bike that lay on its side. She wanted so badly to be held and caressed, but only had a foot of length to do so, that she tugged at with all her might. She didn’t even have enough slack to raise herself and plunk her paws on my leg, though I stood right beside. As I crouched down to free the collar and quickly make the adjustment, Deek barked at me to stop, she’s fine as she is. I went ahead anyway, said no she isn’t, and it’s easy to correct. Soon enough the collar was snapped back on, and she was in my arms with ample leash length to move around. During the short time it took to unwind the leash, the two ATM recipients had completed their transaction and, as they strolled away Deek reprimanded:

“See? They were gonna give me twenny dollah, but saw you and said never mind, he already gives me plenty of money, that’s his uncle!” Of course this was highly unlikey, and just Deek’s latest guilt-tripping prank.

“Oh stop it Deek, they did no such thing,” I shot back. “Besides, you CALLED me down here and the dogs were happy to see me again. What was I supposed to do: just stand there ten feet away and frustrate them?”

I also made it clear he has NO reason to be angry, it’s his meth induced anxiety and god only knows what else. Just as I’ve done countless times before, whenever he pulls the drama queen card out of his ass. I also reminded him:

“You’ve made everyone around here know our business, because you don’t know the meaning of DISCREET!”

At any rate, I think his calling me back to pet Lucky & Flaco before returning hovel was his way of making up for that rude outburst several days previously.

On one of those recent days he dropped by, when I arrived downstairs to meet up, he wasn’t around while the pooches patiently awaited his return in the ATM alcove, untethered. In less than a minute he popped out of the Hohokum smoke shop, griping:

“I just lost five dollah!” he exclaimed while pacing back and forth on the sidewalk. It was a sunny, lovely day and all the passersby were mellow. Except Deek, of course.

“You’re ALWAYS losing money, Deek,” I declared with some exasperation and annoyance over my having to hear his sorry tale once more…me, someone who GIVES him generous sums every week!

“No, I’m NOT making this up!” he shot back.

“Oh, I know you’re not,” I agreed. “The last time I gave you fifty dollars I saw you slip it into your coat pocket that was wide open and easy to lose anything you put in it.”

“Stop! I don’t wanna hear this!” he countered. But I went on anyway:

“The BEST place to put your money is in the front pocket of your pants. Or in any OTHER pocket that has a zipper or a button! This is just common sense, Deek.”

He placed his hands over his ears to resist my lecture, but I know he heard me when I finished with:

“You need to change your habit by paying attention to exactly WHERE you stash your bills. Losing money like this is your own fault, YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME!”

And that was that, good doctor. It is nonetheless my enormous gratitude to see how incredibly well he’s improving upon his attitudes and responsibilities at a fast pace compared to his history since adopting the dogs almost three years back. In sum:

THE PUPS GOT THEIR SHOTS!

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 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


Click here for a larger view.

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


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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.



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