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 Shorty 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 Shorty’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, Shorty! The dogs know her very well.

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

“Shorty, 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 Shorty 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 Shorty 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 Shorty 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, Shorty 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 Shorty, 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 Shorty 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 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 “Shorty.” 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 Shorty 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, Shorty, and was in a more placable mood. He thanked me for the beverage and smoke, and I left them to their reveries.

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He turns 43 this Saturday.

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

“I heard them barking!” he called out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for a larger view.

Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hop up, Flaco, it’s all yours!”

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


The FINAL Final Chapter (part 7)

January 7, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18g]

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

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

Pic 5

Pic 6


Click here for a larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> Superb dream!

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s all in the mind!’ – John Lennon

or

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> Great, great story.

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

> Will he be leaving the pups all night?

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

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

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

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

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

“Where did that chicken go?”

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> Probably.

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

NOW GET THIS, WATTSON:

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

> That’s a BIG relief!

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

> Oh, man, that’s outrageous!!

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You broke it!” he accused.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

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

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

“We’ll just be here a short while.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Zeke K-Holmes


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

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

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

“Everything’s fine, no worries.”

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

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

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

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

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

Just before I proceeded down the stairs Paolo stopped me to point out that my smoke alarm doesn’t seem to be working.

I shrugged my shoulders in reply: “Maybe because there hasn’t been any smoke?”

“Well,” he answered, “my fogging gear tends to activate the alarm, except yours.”

I told him thanks, I’ll check it out when I return tonight. Jeez, what a nuisance.

That’s all for now, good doctor. I composed this missive from Tart to Tart coffeehouse, my favorite hangout in the Inner Sunset. Though the adjective “favorite” leaves much room for improvement, in light of my trying circumstances.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 5:59 PM

…with just an hour to go this time. 7:00 p.m. is when I can slip back into my hermit cave. I must add that Deek was calm and pleasant this morning, and didn’t bother me with recharging any of his gizmos.

After he and pups departed from the ATM alcove, I decided to see if he left the dog food bowls behind, in which case I’d dispose of them properly. Neither was hungry when I left the food with them, so I wanted to find out whether they eventually ate, or not.

To my surprise, no bowls were there nor anything else of Deek’s. I checked the trash bin, too, but no sign of the bowls there, either! I concluded he took them with him, which is good…waste not, want not.

I now wish I had left the sealed bag of throw rugs in the side hall, that I could wash them while waiting to reenter my room…seeing as the laundromat is now open until 10:00 p.m. instead of just 3. Unlikely anyone would steal them, as they’d be hidden in that alcove right outside my room. But who would want that stuff anyway? When I packed them away this afternoon, I discovered dried doggy vomit on one of the rugs! How could I have missed that, unless Lucky (or his sister, though I presume Lucky, as she rarely upchucks) flipped a corner of the partly overlapping rug, puked his heart out, then flipped that second rug back upon the first? I sniffed the yellow-brown residue, to find absolutely no odor!

So how did YOUR day go, Wattson?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 5, 2022 10:15 PM

> My brother sent me a text today with a photo of a message written inside a New Year’s card he got in the mail, purportedly from our younger half-brother, the poor hapless semi-autistic PhD in organic chemistry who fell into the clutches of a bona fide madwoman, a ranting, paranoid, spittle-and-hate-spewing Q-Anon Trumpster “Christian.” I could see (and my bro agrees) that it’s not his handwriting, it’s hers–and the letter was all about the Trumpwoman’s adult daughter being kidnapped and possibly murdered, also about how they (Trumpwoman and half-bro) might have to leave the country because soon Biden will be throwing non-vaxed “Christians” into concentration camps, and on and on and on. Trulyexhausting madness.
>
> Other than that, not a bad day at all!!

Multiply that Trumpwoman by dozens of millions, and you have today’s Amerikkka. Your poor half-brother, he’s the one who needs to be kidnapped…to save him from being destroyed by that insane, Christo-Fascist harpy!

Glad you had a nice day, otherwise. 0_0


Re: Back home, sitting in the side hallway…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 6, 2022 2:44 PM

> He’s really hapless and helpless. My stepmother, his mother, was the classic “controller,” ruling my father’s life, and then her son’s, who was born when she and my father were 40. One of the reasons my mother divorced my father, she said, was because he wanted a woman to tell him what to do in every aspect of his life, and my mother didn’t want to be that woman. So they divorced, and my father found Charlotte, whom I renamed “Violet” in DEATH IN SLOW MOTION in the section where I describe the scandalous Peyton Place tangle of affairs and liaisons. Charlotte was a raving beauty, black hair and blue eyes, highly intelligent, and bossy as hell. My father fell for her. Michael (my half-bro) was born late in 1960. He was a little strange from the git-go–physically slow and awkward, but genius IQ, Asbergery but with a sharp sense of humor. PhD from Princeton and all that. My father died in 1996. Under his mother’s iron rule all his life, Michael capitulated when she demanded that he move into the NY apt. with her and take care of her until her death, which, she promised would happen in a few months. He obeyed, turned down a job at the Mayo Clinic in order to keep his promise. Well, it took her five years to die, in 2008 or so. In the meantime, he’d been out of the organic chemistry job market for too long, to the point that he was unemployable after his mother’s death, his PhD useless. He stayed in the NY apt. for a few years until he couldn’t afford it any more, drifted to New Jersey, and that’s where he met the Trumpette. She’s so much like my stepmother it’s eerie: utterly controlling, overbearing, vicious. And get this: her name is Violet, the pseudonym I’d bestowed on my stepmother in the book years and years before! Two major differences, though: my stepmother was a staunch liberal Democrat, and she had been a real beauty in her day. Violet is anything but a beauty, and is a hideous rightie Xtian fundie. He’s completely, totally in her thrall. There’s a really sad novel in there somewhere.

Well THAT’S a tragic story if I ever heard one…the Mayo Clinic part being the worst. Eerily ironic about the name “Violet!” Who writes this shit?


Subject: Dogs are back, Deek feels tired…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 6, 2022 2:51 PM

…and so it goes. He didn’t have anything for me to recharge. I asked how he is, and he just said “tired.” So I told him I’d be tired every DAY if I lived on the streets. He still has his bike, so I asked if he’s gonna ride it around, which he loves to do whenever the pups are with me. “Yeah, probably,” he replied.

The brindlekin are now enjoying the lush comfort and warmth of my sanctuary, and Deek is till resting downstairs by the ATMs. This is non-drama at its best!

So I ran into Boulevard Joe last night, on my way back from the laundromat. He greeted me in his usual, friendly manner, asked how I was, so I said fantastic, then told him the tale of Deek’s phony gripe about a supposedly non-functioning USB cord. I ended with: “He just makes stuff up to find something to complain about.”

Then I added how the Exmass holiday was always the worst time of year for me, including unexpected costs that empty my bank account. “It never fails, even though I keep to myself and do my best to ignore this time of year.”

“Me, too,” he agreed. “But I’m about to recoup my money drain shortly.” Whatever he meant by that; I suspect something of a vendetta, which I chose not to question. Then he said “I have a gift for you!”

“Oh, no,” I exclaimed with a perplexed grin, then saw him pull some black object partly from a pocket, which I thought was some kind of computer device…it appeared to be round, though hard to tell in the dark. “Is it a gun?” I joked.

Sure enough it was, which I did NOT expect at all. A plastic BB gun. What is it with Joe and guns and knives? He’s only gonna screw himself over, Wattson…just like his previous weapon-wielding escapades. The latest example being almost two years ago when he was carrying an unsheathed sword and loudly declaring his right to bear arms, while walking along Market Street. Long story short:

He wound up with a wounded hand, thanks to a cop who shot it with a rubber bullet, thus forcing him to drop the sword. He was thusly rewarded with a free hotel room gratis The City, by virtue of the injury and being homeless.

I didn’t care to be seen standing around with someone wielding a gun, so I just babbled a bit of jocular small talk as my prelude to departure. Fortunately, a young woman who knows Joe stepped in at that moment, and began to chat him up. She was polite, said excuse me for barging in…I said that’s fine, I have to go anyway. Perfect! I excused myself and vanished posthaste.

I hate it when the holiday bullshit drags on into the new year, for a time…like the proverbial albatross. It always does. May Hephaestus strike Santa Claus dead with his mighty hammer the moment he pops up from his first chimney, next season!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: New Smoke Alarm, Then Deek
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 7, 2022 6:57 PM

I texted the building manager yesterday that the exterminator said my smoke alarm might not be working. I really had no choice, as Paolo would probably inform him anyway, and I wouldn’t look very good if I didn’t chirp up. So our maintenance fellow, Victor, dropped by to replace my alarm. Took only a few minutes, the dogs barked but calmed down shortly, as I sat with them on the cot. Flaco plunked herself on my lap to assure my protection against all harm, while Lucky was curled up beside me, though with his head raised in constant vigil of the intruder…and a few low growls for good measure.

“They have their eyes on you!” I proclaimed to Victor, who was on the ladder mounting the new alarm. THAT gave him a chuckle, Wattson. So glad things went smoothly, as I’m pretty exhausted from all I’ve been through over the holiday season. So much invasion of my privacy over a short span of time!

Then Deek showed up barely a minute after Victor departed. He said keep the dogs, but can he get his Sunday allowance today. I said fine, came downstairs and gave it to him in an envelope. He just had a bicycle laden down with three bags chock full of god only knows. I suggested if he’s carrying around the dog food, to let me store it upstairs, make his journey lighter. He was, so handed over that bag, which contained four cans of wet food, two 1-gallon Ziplocs of kibble (one unsealed with half its original contents) and those two plastic bowls of dog food I gave him yesterday, sitting there like dark brown glop because the pups hadn’t touched it!

Of course I threw away the bowls and their contents, and the open bag of kibble. I’ve told him several times before, to throw away any food they don’t eat, after three or four hours, to prevent food poisoning. Dammit, I’ll have to remind him again, and he’ll probably tell me to shut up, don’t tell him about raising dogs, he’s done it all his life…blah blah blah.

Though it’s possible he might follow through on my reminder next time around, as he was quite friendly and reasonable when he showed up today.

“I might pick up the dogs later, if I wind up staying in a friend’s hotel room tonight,” he said to me with an impressive level of respect.

“Fine with me,” I replied, “so long as they have shelter from the cold…even if it’s just a tent!”

He also mentioned the rain, how much longer is this gonna go on? I told him another two days, on-and-off light showers. He was amenable to my keeping them for the duration. What a trying holiday season this has been for us both…though he’s handled it much better than I expected.

He was impeccably dressed in a brightly patterned shirt and a clean pair of jeans. Not looking homeless at all! I DO hope he’s telling the truth about having occasional access to a roof over his head. That would be great if he did.

The pups had to go poop last night just before 3 AM! So off we went into the byways and side streets of this edge of the Castro! Then, shortly after our return, Lucky suddenly threw up his entire dinner right on my new sleeping bag…didn’t have time to jump down onto the floor first. I quickly lifted him off the bedding once he was done, so he wouldn’t start nudging the comforter around to hide his output.

No big deal, I wiped it all up in record time. And Lucky seems no worse for it…that’s just what some doggies do from time to time! When he returned to bed, he chose the other end. But later on he moved up to lie beside my face, because all evidence was so cleanly removed, even his nose wasn’t offended. I just wish I could afford a diverse choice of vittles for them, so they’d get a break now and then from the same old. I’d buy ’em roast chicken very week, for starters…they go nuts over that.

– Zeke K-Holmes

ADDENDUM

Deek volunteered to tell me how he is; I didn’t even need to ask. “Oh I’m doing alright,” he said.

“You’ve ALWAYS been doing alright, Deek,” I replied. “You just don’t realize it yet. God puts us ALL through a ton of crap, to shape us into being better than we are. Once someone realizes that, their worries and stress fly away. You’ll even stop smoking meth one day, without even a struggle…no withdrawal symptoms at all.”

He smiled at that, and remarked: “Yeah, like I gave up crack.”

That threw me for a loop, but I quickly recovered to finish with: “You’re a difficult friend to know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, for you’ve taught me a lot in the process, and I’m a better man for that.”

He thanked me profusely, then took off on his bike like he had wings.



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 6)

December 31, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18f]

Subject: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 9:09 AM

…having the pups stay with me overnight, though it wasn’t until 1 AM he brought them over. He had slept by the bus stop all day long yesterday, and didn’t arise until around 6 PM! He wanted the dogs back, and dog food. I hated to bring them out in the cold, but I did, and he summoned them under the thin, dirty bedspread and bedsheet he had with him. Told me all his stuff was stolen, and the comforter I gave him was “stink ass filthy.”

Of course I told him that’s not true, I washed and dried it, and it was an excellent comforter that would’ve kept both him and the dogs warm. But I did not pursue it any further, as I’m accustomed to his crabby remarks and insults, and always “losing” stuff, and Flaco & Lucky are in the middle of it. He laid down on the sidewalk awhile longer, with the doggies curled up beside him for warmth, and beneath the shabby spread.

He finally got up and a couple of vagrants kept him company in a friendly circle. I was home during all this time, poking my head out the window now and then, to see whether or not Deek was still there. Before returning hovel, I reminded him that it’s deadly cold outside for little mutts, and if he can’t promise to keep them warm, just bring them over. He scoffed at me, said they’ll be fine, and I returned hovel in a less than cheerful mood…knowing I have a warm, cozy place to return to, but the doggies don’t.

I hit the hay a bit earlier than usual, around midnight…but was awakened an hour later by Deek’s call of “Yo!” beneath my window. So I rushed downstairs, where he told me he’s got his bike back, and wants to ride around…and gave me his charges to stay with me the rest of the night. “I’ll be back in the morning,” he said as he took off on his Cervelo P3.

The dogs of course were SO happy to be here again, and got right to the business of sleeping, after first showering me with affectionate licks and greets. So here we are, this icy cold morning, almost ready to step out for the first poop stroll of the day. But before we did, I decided to play the first twenty minutes of Marshall’s most recent “Memo of the Weird” podcast…and was delighted to hear your short piece on Stan Barr. I cracked up over your line:

“Stan Barr, a few hours before he died, he and I spoke on the phone. I was going to go over to this house that morning and get a little baggie of dope he had arranged for me to buy.”

It got even funnier when you rushed over there to pick up the, er, “dope” plus a tad more, just minutes ahead of the sheriff.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 10:22 AM

> So glad about the pups. The Stan story is 100% true, no writerly embellishments!

You procured the “dope,” that’s all that counts. Deek would be proud of you. :D


Re: Deek did the right thing, again…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:25 PM

> I was proud of me!

I can see you now, driving like a bat out of hell to obtain the goods before law enforcement arrived. There’s a touch of Damon Runyon in that tale. BTW, when I took the pups out for their late afternoon stroll yesterday, and winter’s stygian curtain had already dropped, I was still wondering when Deek would finally stir…fantasizing my approaching his motionless form sprawled out there on the sidewalk to check his pulse, only to discover he bought the farm.

Fortunately, I did NOT have to go through such a creepy scenario, as upon my return he was standing up draped in a bedsheet and hollering at my window: “HELLO-O? HELLO-O?”

Can a joy also be an embarrassment?

– Zeke K-Holmes


Stan Barr

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 1:53 PM

> He was an odd-looking fellow, but sweet and kind, smart and funny. Real charisma. Homely though he was, women were mad for him. He had a rep for being a wonderful lover, and they could sense it.

Nice to put a face on the fellow. Charisma is everything…he was an authentic local character of the best sort. ANOTHER local character recently passed away, charismatic as well, though a real right-wing nut job whose letters to the Anderson Valley Advertiser provided MUCH amusement: Jerry Philbrick.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Jerry Philbrick

Re: Here’s Stan
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 3:51 PM

> Philbrick was the personification of a redneck Trumpster, long before Trump ascended.

His only saving grace was his colorful use of words and turn of phrase…albeit for all the wrong reasons, but highly entertaining nonetheless. He often came off as the PERFECT satirist of right-wing idiocy. SNL would’ve loved him! In fact, when I discovered him I was convinced he was mocking Republicans…to brilliant effect. Took me awhile to believe he’s actually one of THEM.

Pups are still with me, BTW. Healthy and in great spirits with an excellent appetite…they lick their dishes clean. Just wish I could lay down the rugs, and get them another box to chillax in…AND add the remaining three sleeping bags (two kid-size and one adult). But they’re happy, anyway. I can no longer procure a box from the basement, as the smoke shop has changed its disposal methods. And I haven’t had time yet to stroll about the ‘hood and find one.

I hear tell a series of storms are soon due, starting Tuesday, and will last for three or four days. So I’m gonna try to schedule bedbug treatment AFTER the storms all pass. Bad enough that I’D be stuck outside in the rain, I can handle that…but I can’t bear the idea of the pups without shelter, too.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 19, 2021 11:15 PM

It’s now post-11 PM and Deek has not shown up. I am hoping because he realizes this weather is just too damned cold for little mutts to be outside. Which means he’s overcome his jealousy of them staying with me so often…and that their well-being always comes first.


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Dogs Still Here for Another Night!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 20, 2021 12:56 AM

> So glad! Get cozy and have a snuggly night! Arf!

Lucky just fluffed up a comforter and made a little cave out of it…see pic. And Flaco’s sprawled across the further end of the cot. So we’re good to go…doggy dreamland here we come!


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: This is Hekate
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 21, 2021 8:25 PM

A homeless dude’s been parking himself around the corner these past several nights…accompanied by another vagrant, and a smooth-furred dog that appears to be a pitbull/lab mix. Her name is Hekate…dark as night and sweet as honey.

“Aha…the Greek goddess of the underworld!” I exclaimed once he told me her name, as I scratched her belly while she coyly squirmed upon the sidewalk. “And what’s YOUR name?”

“Stormy,” he replied with a smile that revealed a full set of ivories, albeit crooked and stained dark yellow: his upper left incisor hung noticeably lower than its neighbors. Considering the decrepit condition of my OWN pearly grays, I felt quite at home visiting with him. He had a curly, disheveled mop of blond hair, and appeared to be in his mid-20s. His partner was still asleep, thickly wrapped and hidden in layers of bedding. I couldn’t even see his face.

Stormy coughed a jag, then joked about coronavirus, how he doesn’t have it, it’s just a death rattle from sixty years in the future. “Hmm, the guy’s smart AND witty,” I silently noted, then spoke aloud:

“Whenever a crisis occurs, the jokes soon follow!”

He knew this dog while it was still in its mother’s womb: “I’d rub her belly every day and talk to the little puppy inside her. She’s eight months old now, where does the time fly?”

As he spoke, Hekate sniffed my hand, catching my own scent mingled with that of the brindlekin…upon which she begged for my affection, so stood up on hind legs to receive my pats and strokes. Then, before long, I was crouched on one knee, hugging the darling canine.

Stormy further elaborated that Hekate was born right on the corner of Haight & Ashbury, and he chose her name by picking a card from his oracle deck. He then pulled out the deck from a fairly large, rusty tin, to show me the card. It was lovely, as you’d expect such a card to be. But more interesting was the tiny vial about the size of half your pinky, also stashed within that tin.

“That’s my grandma’s ashes,” he explained with verve while waving it under my nose. “It’s NOT cocaine, like some would think. Can you imagine snorting my granny’s ashes? Never!”

By then, Hekate was all over me with playful, soft bites and friendly moans. She kept pushing her nose around my jacket’s right-side pocket, attempting to force it inside but for my hand.

“That’s where I keep the doggy treats for our walks,” I exclaimed. “But it’s empty now, she just smells the scent.”

“Oh you have a dog, too?” asked Stormy.

“TWO pups, actually,” I replied. “You saw them last night, barking as we passed by.”

We talked a minute or two more while I semi-wrestled with Hekate before departing for Rosenberg’s and my morning coffee. But when I was barely a few yards away I placed my hand in that pocket to discover one doggy snack remaining! So I turned around to address Stormy and his partner (who by then had awakened and was sitting up):

“Hekate knew all along; I DO have a treat in my pocket. Can I give it to her?”

“Of course,” he said, and so I did. Hekate was pleased to receive it, and then returned to curl up beside her master, as if she knew there was only that single piece, a chicken-applesauce disc.

When I stepped back out with java in hand, I decided to cross the street and skirt around Stormy and friends, so as not to disturb them or spill the coffee. But once I returned hovel, I decided to return with two wedges of duck breast treats for Hekate. I also brought my smartphone to take a snapshot.

That was when I told them the brindlekin were not mine, but that of a street friend I’ve known for more than twelve years. The doggies stay with me when the weather is bad, or if he needs a break.

“I also keep a blog where I upload pics of the homeless and tell their stories, give them a voice to the world,” I said, then whipped out my Moto E. “Do you mind if I take your picture?”

Well, Wattson, he was not comfortable with that (“I don’t look my best right now; I prefer you don’t”), so I immediately assured him that’s perfectly fine.

“But can I take a shot of just your dog?”

He was fine with that, eager even (“she’s very photogenic”). And, as it turns out, indeed she is! You’ve seen her lovely image already, on your own phone.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 12/18/21 – 12/20/21

Pic


Subject: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 10:48 PM

Deek dropped by earlier this evening, but just to give me a new speaker to charge, and an SD card to put new music on and insert into the speaker. He had no qualms about the doggies staying with me longer. This is a brief missive, as I have yet to write about our excellent meetup two nights back. I’ll do that tomorrow. As well as tell you what ensued with him today.


Re: Pups still with me, including overnight again!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 22, 2021 11:19 PM

> All ears. It’s pouring here.

It rained last night and into the morning, not heavily but steady. But no more rain since, and not quite as cold, a few degrees warmer. Forecast said rain through tonight and part of tomorrow, but it just may not do that here in SF.

Bedbug treatment scheduled for Wednesday the 29th, which is perfect…out of the rain zone.

Nighty-night!


Subject: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 12:58 PM

Last Sunday, the 19th, was when Deek slept all day until around 6 PM, by the bus stop…while I kept the pups with me. Though a cold and bitter night, he insisted on taking them back. Along with the mutts, I brought down another supply of dog vittles, plus that antler headdress sticking out of the sack. To which he replied with a sour visage when I pulled it out, expected him to place it on Flaco or Lucky:

“That’s not for dogs, I don’t want it!”

“Actually, it fits both of them quite well, Deek,” I replied. “I thought you’d like it, but never mind.” So I just took it back upstairs with me, knowing full well he’s always looking for an excuse to gripe, even though he loves to dress them up in festive head gear, appropriate to the season.

A couple hours later he returned with some kind of large, thick bag lined in some shiny material, to use for a doggy tent. Big enough for them both. Lucky was already secured within, curled up and warm, while Flaco sat contentedly on his lap.

We talked awhile longer before I departed, taking this time to tell him how well he’s doing, and that I’m not trying to trick him into letting me have the dogs stay with me more often.

“It’s this nasty weather, Deek,” I explained. “Winter is the worst time for little dogs, and they need to be indoors a lot more.”

To my heartwarming surprise, he calmly assured me that he realizes I’m not tricking him…and he’ll bring them over if they start to shiver, or the moment it begins to rain again. I was impressed by his sincere, non-drama disposition. Not like the old, bipolar Deek of yore!

Once I got up to leave him with the brindlekin, Deek held up Flaco’s dainty paw to wave goodbye: “Say bye-bye, Flaco!” I thought that was a nice expression of affection.

Well, Wattson, by afternoon of the next day, the rain came down. And much to my delight, he brought the pups over so I could shelter them. He dropped by for a few minutes, each of the past two days…not to collect the dogs, but to pick up his devices, or have me recharge them. I thanked him profusely for being so responsible re. the pooches, even though it may be difficult for him not to have their company.

“Oh, that doesn’t bother me so much,” he thoughtfully replied, “It’s Christmas and I miss my old family and friends. You’re the only friend I have, Zeke.”

“I understand,” I kindly replied. “I don’t have any family to be with either, but I sure as hell don’t miss them! Why do you think I don’t celebrate the holidays? It’s never been a good time of year for me, and so many are in a bad mood, so what’s the point?”

He then asked me how the dogs are doing…which he’s never done before! I told him very well, great appetite and all that. He suggested I give them a good washing, he’ll pick up some flea and tick shampoo for that. I’m sure that would be a relief for him, instead of dealing with the difficulty of bathing them outdoors.

Overall, I have to admit that Deek has been more thoughtful and responsible and considerate than ever, good doctor. And the pups remained with me for yet a third night of rain. Though it should clear up by tomorrow morning, and no doubt Deek will want them back. It will also be a few degrees warmer, just above that bone-biting chill that has me so worried for the doggies’ sake.

Neither was the least bit hungry this morning, but I’ll keep the dishes out for another few hours, just in case. They are otherwise in excellent spirits. Both had a good poop this morning, as did yours truly.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:07 PM

> Three dog-nights!! Wonderful!!

It’ll be a four dog-night, assuming they stay over till tomorrow. It’s been raining some today, and we’re supposed to have even MORE showers late into the night. Things will clear up after that.

> I’ve kept Surely’s PJ’s on him during the day, and put an extra jacket on him at night even though his little bedroom is snug. He is, after all 10 years old now, and I want to pamper him. He’s been a wonderful guard dog, very protective of the cats, which I really appreciate. And he never, ever barks unless it’s for good reason.

Sweetest doggy ever! And what a kind, wonderful life you provide for him, Wattson.

> So glad Deek is showing some sense. All thanks to you.

Thanks! He’s also taught me much in his own way, and I’ve done a lot of growing myself, as well. I forgot to mention the check he showed me last night…see the three attached pics. It’s a $277 refund from Louisiana’s State Treasury. But look at the date: June 10, 2021. Why did he only show me this now? I’ll have to ask him next time he drops by.

Of course he expected me to cash it for him, after signing it to me. I told him the bank will probably refuse, as ANYONE could sign the back. At best, they’ll probably require him to cash it himself, in person, with proper ID. Well, Wattson, telling him that unnerved him, as I guess he’s afraid of being caught in the legal net over child support, by acquiring an official ID that is traceable.

It was delivered to 100 Diamond Street, which is the address of the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, here in the Castro. They said he needs to show ID, too.

“But you said you’ll help me out with stuff like this!” he replied with a tone of resentment.

“No I did not,” I shot back. “I already explained why cashing checks and helping you with gov’t money in other ways is beyond my legal ability.”

“Okay, then, just get me a baggie and I’ll keep it with me,” he answered in frustration.

“You’ll LOSE it, Deek,” I exclaimed. “At least let me hold onto it, and maybe some time later you’ll get your ID, and can cash it then. There’s no way around this, you know. But I’ll take it to the bank tomorrow, anyway, and ask if your just making it payable to me will suffice. But I strongly doubt it.”

Of course I WON’T do that, but what he doesn’t know, won’t hurt him. I’ll just tell him he needs to show up himself, with an official ID card.

He was nowhere near as perturbed as he was the two previous times on similar money issues. At least I can say THAT’S an improvement. So I folded the check into an envelope, then placed it in a Ziploc for any future time he MIGHT get ID…or should he accuse me of cashing it myself. In which case I’ll bring it back downstairs to show him the check’s still here.

There are places that assist homeless people with getting either a San Francisco or state picture ID. Which he really needs to do. It’s just that he’s afraid to plug into the system, even in a small way. And I don’t blame him. I’d hate to get him all motivated to procure some official ID, only to be apprehended by some Louisiana child support regulation. Or something else that might be pending on his records.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek Update #whatever
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 23, 2021 3:30 PM

> Those official checks usually have a six-month “shelf life.” Hope it’s not too late for this one.

Yeah, that would be aNOTHER rotten deal, if he DOES go for his ID, only to discover (once he has it) that the check is no longer viable. Here’s the page showing the requirements for getting a San Francisco ID:

https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/sf-city-id-card-how-get-card

For the homeless it says:

“Written verification issued by a homeless shelter that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days of residency within the last 30 days.”

Well, he doesn’t GO to shelters, so I don’t know if other homeless services count, such as the church that serves food to vagrants here in the Castro…and lets you use their location for a mailing address. But the REAL problem is Deek’s fear of legal retaliation by his home state.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: Extended Rain Forecast Through Tuesday…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 24, 2021 8:22 PM

…drat! Wednesday will be the first rain-free day, same day as my next bedbug treatment. As if things weren’t difficult enough already! Deek showed up (4:30 PM) right after I typed in the subject line above, asked for the pups back, and gave me a small speaker to charge. He was bummed about so much wet weather, that he’s lonely without the dogs for company. I told him I understand, but the dogs come first no matter what, so bring ’em over if he can’t keep them warm and dry.

Then he pulled a sob story over some of his friends accusing him of selling the dogs for drugs, because they’re not with him, blah blah blah. I told him ONCE MORE they’re just testing him, and surely there are others on the streets who praise my helping him care for the dogs…such as Filipino Kai. Though personally, I’m sure it’s another one of his cock and bull stories.

I handed him an envelope, told him there’s an extra $20 in it, as a Christmas bonus…so he got a whopping $80 this time around. Then he gave me some very NICE gifts: a pair of cozy slippers (“They’re new, I bought them, I hope size 10 fits, they’re just a little damp from carrying them around.”), a dainty box of “Delight Patisserie” cookies with the words “TRUST IS BUILT IN TINY MOMENTS” stamped on them, and a teensy-weensy, walking Christmas tree, which I just adore (“Here’s your Christmas tree,” he said in good humor, when he opened his palm for me to take it). I profusely thanked him for these gifts. See three pics and one video here:

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

Deek also apologized for his mood swings, for giving me a hard time now and then…which pleased me to hear. I told him he can be a most DIFFICULT friend, but learning how to deal with his bouts without anger has been an important lesson for my OWN growth. It’s made me a better person.

He then departed with mutts in tow, to purchase a meal at, I guess, the Chevron gas station at Market & Castro…or perhaps a sandwich from Walgreens a block further down. And I was back hovel, taking snapshots of his gifts, and trying on the slippers before setting them aside to dry off. Wouldn’t you know it, good physician, but rain started to pour down from the muddy sky twenty minutes later! So I figured (hoped, actually, with all my heart) he’d be back shortly, and sure enough he was.

He called his usual “Yo!” up to my window…I peered out, and he gestured to me: “Come down, just bring the speaker.”

I was so glad he decided to have the brindlekin stay with me for at least another night, and I was about to thank him for the gifts again, when he cut me off:

“I hate to bring this up,” he began while looking up to the sky while holding the pups’ leashes, “but I hope you aren’t doing anything funny with the dogs when they stay with you.”

“Oh c’mon, Deek,” I bristled. “You know better, please stop with the drama.”

But he didn’t, and ranted on with terrible insults and crude implications hurled at me. As he did so, I gently took the leashes into my own hand, and finally broke in:

“You say you have those awful thoughts, Deek,” I reprimanded. “But they’re not real. The devil hates friendship, so puts bad thoughts in your head to turn you against me. Stop giving them any attention, you’re an adult.”

“Sometimes I think you’re treating them really well,” he labored on, “but other times I have nasty ideas you’re not.”

“Oh, stop being a drama queen, Deek,” I cut in, “I take excellent care of the dogs, and you know it. I was just about to thank you for the gifts, tell you how much I like them, and here you suddenly fling insults at me. So STOP IT and let me talk.”

He did, finally, so I told him it’s the best Christmas tree ever, how it walks about in circles on my desk…that the slippers are a perfect fit, not loose or tight even though my shoe size is 9…and I’ll enjoy the cookies tonight with a cup of tea, and say a prayer for him while I’m at it. And be grateful for our friendship.

You’d think that would’ve calmed him down, Wattson, but no. Instead, he lashed into me further:

“I have friends all over the STREETS watching you,” he scowled with surprising ferocity. “If you do anything bad to my pups, they’ll have your neck. They’re all I have, they’re my children!”

Well that did it, so I scowled right back at him with even GREATER hostility, and told him I have my OWN friends watching over him, including the POLICE…and if he does any harm to these pups, guess whose NECK it’s gonna be!”

Deek then turned away and proceeded towards the corner, muttering and griping like a jilted banshee. I opened the gate to get back to the doggies, but before shutting it, called to him quite forcibly: “Jesus K-rist…and a merry Christmas to you, too!”

I think he hollered merry Christmas back, but he was too distant to be heard clearly over the traffic whooshing by on the wet asphalt. It wasn’t until I returned hovel that I realized he walked off with a fresh supply of doggy chow I had given him per his request, barely a half hour ago. “What’s he gonna do with it, when the pups are with me?” I thought. So I quickly put my slider sandals back on my stockinged feet and rushed downstairs, where I saw him cross the street, earbuds stuffed in his head so he couldn’t hear me yell “Deek! Deek!” I began to trot in the cold drizzle, but a sandal slipped off, and my foot landed in a small puddle.

As I placed it back into the sandal, I saw that Deek was ambling along at a snail’s pace, snapping his fingers to the music as he dragged the small cart along. So I slowed down myself, and caught up with him in less than a minute.

“Deek!” I waved at him to catch his attention. “Give me the dog food, I’ll hold onto it.”

He removed the buds from his ears and looked at me with some chagrin. I repeated myself, adding: “You’ll just lose it or have it stolen. You can pick it up when you take the dogs back.”

So he bent down over the cart to return the two large baggies of kibble and the five cans, half of which had already spilled out of the larger bag I used to contain them all. So he placed everything back in the bag, except two cans, claiming he can use it to feed someone else’s dog.

I demanded he give me the ENTIRE supply, as I can’t afford to be feeding everyone else’s dogs, too. He immediately complied, with a demeanor of mixed guilt and gratitude…thanking me once more for watching the dogs, and have a merry Christmas.

“Okay, fine,” I said, and off I went back hovel. Now I’m wondering how much of the doggy vittles I give him go to other canines? Is he perhaps running a scam, whereby he sells or trades it…while collecting MORE than enough dog food from charity outlets? Is this why his requests for more kibble and cans have almost doubled as of six months ago?

There have been numerous times I give him a fresh supply, when he returns a day or two later, asking for more because someone supposedly walked off with his cart while he was sleeping. Guess I’ll never know the REAL story, eh?

I find it interesting that, despite his blowing up at me–and my blowing up in response, with greater verve–he has NOT demanded the pups back. So he actually TRUSTS me with the pooches, completely.

And his apology for his mood swings followed soon after by yet aNOTHER vile outburst! Time for my “Bodhisattva Premise” take on the matter:

Sometimes when a shaman gives you a very nice gift or gifts (as Deek just did today), they turn around and treat you like trash. Or when you’ve been outstandingly generous to one such, they sometimes ALSO spout vulgarities in return. It seems to be a tradition among their kind. This behavior is akin to that of the “opposite” shaman who says the exact ANTITHESIS of what he or she means. For example:

When you’ve overcome an extremely difficult challenge, possibly risking life and limb in doing so, an opposite shaman will approach you, and say: “You’ve failed miserably, and brought shame to the Great Spirit.” An opposite shaman will not let you KNOW he is one; you have to figure that out yourself.

His unexpected tantrum was also another test, or fine tuning, of my emotional balance. I think next time I’ll just start laughing and tell him how ridiculous he is. Maybe that’s what he’s waiting for me to do, rather than show ANY anger in the least, or defend myself over such an outrageously false accusation. We’ll see, soon enough.

But the IMPORTANT thing in all of this, is:

Deek had the good sense and compassion to return the pooches to my care, to protect them from another cold and rainy night…possibly for two more days, as the weather is not supposed to clear up until Wednesday.

And he gave me three, very thoughtful gifts. It’s up to me to decide which face is the real one.

Now, regarding the building manager:

I’m wondering if the exterminator, Paolo, didn’t HAVE a car accident, but that Kevin made it up, and changed the treatment date for some time later, just to fuck with me. Knowing what a grievous process prepping my room can be! Since the date’s been postponed to the 29th, I texted Paolo yesterday morning to verify the new day and time. Yet he has NOT texted back. Which is unlike him, as he’s always promptly replied. That is, until recently, when he failed to affirm the ORIGINAL date, before he supposedly had an accident some days later.

Are they in cahoots? Or has Kevin admonished Paolo to not go over his head any more, so stop communicating with me directly. Never mind he really hasn’t overstepped his bounds, but that for some reason, Kevin thinks he did.

Though I don’t see how Kevin can get away with a ruse like this, as it’s vital to eradicate each infestation ASAP, and screwing me over will only wreak further havoc on other residents, because the bugs have more time to spread. And cause Ablahblah Realty greater expense. If it IS a scam, it’s poorly planned, though one thing MIGHT explain the manager’s harassing me that way, if indeed that’s what’s going on:

Alzheimer’s.

No matter. Like everything else I’ve learned in life, is to never obsess over any unpleasant scenario, but remain calm and cheerful as possible.

I will now fix me a cup of black cherry tea, break out the cookies Deek gave me, and wish him well as I enjoy the treat and the sweet company of Flaco, Lucky and the dancing Christmas tree. If I could wear the slippers tonight I’d do that, too. But they’ll take another day or so to dry.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 1:26 PM

Guess he couldn’t handle my keeping the pups for such a long span of time, so he dropped over just minutes ago, to take them with him. I saw this possibility, because of the extended rain and cold forecast, so decided to give him two of the kids’ sleeping blankets to help keep them warm. I already ordered two more, plus another adult sleeping bag…as I want to have a backup of extra comforters to make post-bedbug prep a simpler process. I’ll soon have a fresh set ready to go, clean, bagged and sealed…instead of being under pressure to heat treat pronto, the ones already laid out.

He was in a crabby mood, but I made sure he heard me say it’s VERY cold outside, and it’s therefore IMPORTANT to keep the dogs warm…that this kind of biting cold can KILL little doggies in one day. And he can always bring them back at any time.

“Don’t tell me how to raise my dogs,” he grouched back, “I’ve been raising dogs for years!”

Whatever. So I’m now back hovel, knowing he’ll take good care of Flaco & Lucky in spite of his cantankerous behavior. He heard me loud and clear. At any rate:

I still have to write down what has passed between us in the last several days…very interesting and mostly hopeful. I just hate it when he flings so much crap at me, and/or moves so quickly in positive ways in a short period of time…I can barely keep up with documenting it all.

More coming up about Filipino Kai, as well. What an ally!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 2:25 PM

On top of everything else, temperature will dip down to 38 degrees tonight…and rain will continue on and off into the New Year. Between the twice-postponed bedbug treatment (which I scheduled in hopes of AVOIDing the rain and cold for the sake of the pups), this prolonged deep cold and sporadic rainfall, and Deek’s frighteningly bipolar mood swings…it’s the PERFECT STORM threatening Flaco & Lucky.

When I emphasized that it is dangerously cold outside, especially nights, Deek snarled: “This is nothing, I’m perfectly warm, I’m sweating in fact,” I reminded him that’s because he’s dressed in warm clothes and a thick jacket, and the meth makes him feel a lot less cold than it really is. He added that the mutts aren’t shivering, they’ll be fine, to which I replied:

“Yeah, they’ve only been out here a few minutes.”

At that point he threatened to never bring the dogs over again if I “keep this up.” So I told him, “I’m only being honest, Deek.”

Not knowing what else to say, I thanked him again for the yummy cookies, the snug slippers, and that silly dancing Exmass tree, then departed back hovel with considerable heartbreak and anger.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 4:23 PM

> Mr. Hyde emerges.

Yep.

> So, so sorry.

The coldest part of the season has just begun. If the dogs survive this round, he’ll be smug about it. And if they don’t survive, it’ll be all my fault in his deranged world. So I’ll have a madman on my hands who’ll then try everything possible to make me homeless, until he gets arrested or dies on the streets. Good times!


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 27, 2021 11:18 PM

> They’ll survive.

Yes, of course. I’m just venting. Steady as she goes! Another gauntlet for me to run through, is all. Keep the eye on the prize, with faith and optimism for my aegis. Absurd drama: my being driven out into the cold on Wednesday with nowhere to go, the little dogs also stuck outside, and jackass Deek with his juvenile behavior. All coming together in one foul pile of crap in two days.

Hokiest script ever; I’m not falling for it. Soap operas are stupid.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He took the dogs back, too soon! ADDENDUM
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 1:34 PM

> And now for a word from our sponsor.

Krampus himself.


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: He brought the pups back this morning…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 28, 2021 3:12 PM

…around 11 AM. He was waiting by the ATMs, because I didn’t answer out the window. I was crossing Market street with a tall, plastic hamper on wheels, when I spotted him…or at least what appeared to be the same cart he had last night, there in the alcove. Though I wasn’t sure until I approached my building to discover indeed it was him, and the pups right beside. So I parked my laundry (last load to be prepped for tomorrow’s treatment) by the front gate, and stepped inside the Wells Fargo recess.

He was slumped in exhausted stupor against the wall in a corner of the alcove, while Lucky was curled up in a large baby stroller, atop one of the comforters stuffed inside. The other was draped over his master, with Flaco seated atop. She immediately leapt off his lap to greet me with bright eyes and waggy tail. Her brother, however, just looked up at me in a happy greet, preferring instead to remain in his comfy, warm nest. I certainly can’t blame him!

I was pleased to see that both were dry and warm as I pet them. Deek looked quite bedraggled, and I had to call his name loud and clear several times to awaken him.

“Where were you?” he queried with droopy eyelids and head half raised.

“At the laundromat,” I replied.

“Here, bring them back inside,” he said, and handed me the leashes. “It’s colder now than it was last night!”

“Well, that’s how the weather works,” I said. “It went down to 43 degrees by 7 AM!”

I thanked him profusely for bringing them back, said “god bless you a hundred times over,” told him to hang onto those blankets, and reminded him he’ll need to pick up the doggies tomorrow morning by 11 AM. He said okay, he’ll return this evening to check up on them, maybe take them back for the night. I told him either way works for me, then escorted the pups and my laundry inside, leaving the hamper in the lobby to recoup some minutes later.

I filled the water bowl and the two dog dishes; Flaco ate half her meal, but Lucky showed no interest, preferring to drift off into a happy sleep posthaste. His sister joined him in doggy dreamland soon enough. After I bagged and sealed my final load of laundry, broke out the ladder and placed it on the loft with the other bags, I decided it would be nice to bring a piping hot cup of honey-sweetened, blueberry tea and a cigarette down to Deek. Ignoring my resentment over yesterday’s bad behavior on his part, I admitted to myself it’s worth the extra little effort because it was TRULY good of him to bring his charges back indoors.

Upon exiting with the tea and smoke, there was someone I preferred to avoid, standing in the hallway by the stairs, breathing heavily as if he needed to catch his breath. It was my quasi-fascist neighbor, Moe Fleisher. He didn’t see me as he was turned away and facing the wall…so I stepped back in hiding until he finally descended down the carpeted steps and into the lobby. With labored wheezing all the way, and two long pauses during his descent.

In light of his morbid obesity and this ongoing pandemic, a delicious shiver of schadenfreude tingled down my spine. Even my arm hairs stood on end, though perhaps it was just the chill air wafting through these Lovecraftian corridors. I was hoping to hear the gate slam shut, but no, he was probably just checking his mail or procuring a delivery.

“Should I remain out of sight until he returns to his apartment, or should I just march on down and walk by?” pondered THIS reluctant pilgrim.

I opted for the latter, and as I stepped onto the lobby’s porcelain tiles, saw him raise a box under one arm, then lean against the double row of mailboxes protruding from the wall…huffing and puffing for air once again.

“Good morning!” I greeted in passing, with steaming cup and cancer stick in hand, then opened the gate and stepped outside. As you can imagine, Wattson, no friendly comeback was forthcoming from his heavily masked cake hole. Not even a nod. Maybe, though, he was in the midst of aspirational paroxysm, and thus was incapable of responding in kind…so I shouldn’t take it personally. Since he didn’t collapse to the floor, I saw no reason to linger.

“DEEK!” I called to him five times, loudly, while crouched over his slumped form. He drowsily accepted my little gifts of tea and tobacco, whereupon I said “Need a light?”

He smiled, set down the cup while inserting the Fortuna 100 between two fingers, and muttered: “No, thanks, I’m good.” Having spoken those soft words of appreciation, he promptly went back to sleep…and I, to my doggy sanctuary. Oh, I did express my immense gratitude once more (before he fully nodded off), for bringing the pups back to me, and remarked that I’m sure it was no easy task keeping them warm overnight…sending him off to slumberville with these last three words: “You’re my hero!”

If Deek allows the mutts to stay overnight the day before bedbug treatment, this will be the third time he’s done that. While it’s a worry that he might not show up to collect them, he’s arrived right on time, on the two previous occasions. Which gave an ample two hours to wrap things up before I, myself, was cast out on the streets for several hours. So I don’t expect any mishap this time around, either. The only inconvenience will be not being able to run the sleeping bags through a dryer, then bag them up, before the exterminator arrives. I’ll just have to do that the next day.

It’s now almost four hours since Deek came by, and he’s still snoozing away below my window. Alright by me. At least he and the stroller and blankets are protected from any rain that may fall, and he’s warmly bundled up for now.

We are having yet another lack-of-toilet-paper issue going on in my shared restroom. This seems to occur about once every other month. Someone is unraveling the rolls and placing the paper into the waste basket, as well as pilfering three or four other rolls set on the rack. Now, since Todd in 209 died about one year ago, I only share the toilet with ONE resident. While he frequently has guests, I find it hard to believe the problem is coming from there, as he’s been a friendly neighbor for the two-plus years he’s been living here.

Yet there is NO indication that some roving schlemiel is sneaking in and messing with the TP. So what on earth is going on? I placed two of my own rolls there on Sunday, hoping that would help, but they were gone later that same day! I can’t imagine what the building manager thinks of all this. I may be suspect, as I usually am the Castro’s favorite scapegoat.

This has turned out to NOT be such a merry Exmass…which is fine with me, as a lot more people need to care about others, than they pretend. Though I firmly believe that somewhere along the line–and very soon–this country will hit bottom, and new, truly progressive movements will erupt to save the day. Looks like I have the optimism of Ann Frank.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: 11:50 AM and Deek has yet to show up!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 11:54 AM

And it’s fukkin RAINING! Where will I take the dogs if he doesn’t show up? The exterminator will have to bag the bedding himself, because the pups will be dismayed, not having a comfy place to curl up…only the dirty floor. I did a test run for just this situation a couple of months ago…Flaco REFUSED to let me bag the bedding; she kept jumping on it. Also, placing them in the side hall also causes them dismay, for they are perturbed they can’t enter my hovel.

But what am I gonna do if Deek doesn’t show up…stand in the ATM alcove until 9 PM, while the doggies shiver? If I keep them in the side hall by my room, will they be calm, or bark whenever they hear someone walk by or talk?

Hopefully, he’ll show up in time, but I wonder if the comforters I gave him will still be dry. Replacing them cost me $40. When he departed last night, the blankets were stuffed in his stroller with some other things, but he didn’t have it covered to keep the rain out. Even though I gave him extra garbage bags earlier that day, just for that purpose.

Newspaper has all been removed, so now the floor is bare. Now I have to rummage through the sealed bags to find fresh clothing. I also have to take a shower before putting them on, but I can’t do that until Deek shows up…otherwise, he could be calling up to me, and I will be in the washroom out of earshot.

This is fucked up.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 12:14 PM

And with a full size shopping cart, including those two comforters which ARE dry. But now he wants me to charge three devices until the exterminator shows up! I prefer to leave around a half hour before the scheduled time…so it’s good I told Deek the treatment is at 1 pm, when it’s really an hour later. He is someone who will either drive you bat-shit insane, or turn you into a saint.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 1:35 PM

> He’ll turn you into a bat-shit insane saint.

Yes, that makes sense. I was wrong about the comforters: they are SOPPING WET even though I gave him two 39-gallon garbage bags to keep them dry. So he just slumped off to sleep in the ATM alcove, with the doggies on the cold concrete, or sometimes on top of him. So I brought down an adult sleeping bag and said here, this’ll keep all three of you warm…but I don’t see why you couldn’t keep the blankets dry.

So there’s another $40 out the window, and I have hardly any bedding remaining. Deek’s inexcusable negligence is costing me too much! But he won’t listen, he’ll do his stupidity just the same.

I couldn’t have a complete breakfast, because how busy I am. Can’t afford to eat out, so I’ll starve till tonight. Clothes I wore today are wet, including the jacket, but I’ll have to bag them anyway. I’ll have to dry them off ASAP, meaning tomorrow morning, or the mold will take over. I have just enough moolah for the laundromat, if I don’t eat out.

And it looks like one of the two smartphones he gave me to charge is kaput…he’ll yell at me for that, no doubt, once I bring it back to him in a short while. I have NO time to take a shower, but change into fresh clothes and scram on outta here.

Wouldn’t it be frosting on the cake if the exterminator fails to show up, once more?

Well, I have to unplug my laptop and such, and stash THAT in the closet, so it’s ta-ta for now, Wattson. This is madness.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 29, 2021 5:20 PM

5:00 p.m., I just returned to my building, to discover my room has at last been treated, and I can step back in by 7:45 p.m. You can imagine my underlying anxiety all day, wondering whether or not the exterminator will drop by. That perhaps I’m being screwed over by the building manager, in retaliation for our clashes earlier this year, as well as sheltering the pups on a frequent basis.

Meanwhile, Deek was outside by the ATMs with the pups, getting everything packed away. He said he doesn’t need to bring them over tonight, he has other plans, and not to worry, he will keep the dogs warm and dry.

I suggested that during the dry days, he lookel for comforters, blankets even thick jackets to bring to me for later emergencies regarding cold or rainy weather. He rejected that idea because, quote: “This is bug city.” I then made it clear to him I will bag anything he brings, and launder it the next day. But he still refused.

I told him I can’t afford to keep handing out comforters, and my suggestion is a very good one. Of course he then said he never asked for that and he can keep the dogs warm and dry without my help. And that I shouldn’t give him something, then make him feel guilty about it later. In conclusion:

I can’t win for trying. Not to mention double standards!

Though I have to say Deek was calm and softly spoken this time around. I am exhausted, sitting in the alcove beside my room as I type this email. Yet I still have almost 3 hours remaining before I can enter my hovel once again.

Deek has probably departed by now, and I’m going to step outside for another stroll, for lack of anything else to do. I will post you again later tonight, once I’m back inside my hermit cave.


Texting with Wattson: 12/25/21 – 12/30/21

Pic 1

Pic 2

Video


Click here for a larger view.

Re: He just showed up, thank deity!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 30, 2021 2:39 PM

> My deepest sympathies. Being poor is to experience a cascade of contingent catastrophes.

It’s horrendous, but that’s the price I willingly pay to be a subversive flower child. I could not live with my conscience any other way.

The adult sleeping bag just arrived (see pic)…I’m not even gonna open it, but keep it sealed in its plastic wrap. Under $30 including tax. Deek may have a phobia about bugs, and would explain why he rejects scavenged bedding and such, even though it will keep the pups warm. Or he’s just being an asshole. I know he also has an aversion to hugs. Or, again, he’s being an asshole. At any rate, I will try to stash a backup of two or more new sleeping bags, unopened, for those cold nights when the doggies are forced to remain outdoors. Since they’ll still be sealed straight from the seller, he can’t whine about bugs of any sort. (“Factory bugs?” I can see him saying that.)

I didn’t foresee this extra expense through the winter months because LAST year the brindlekin stayed with ME for almost all of January and February. And I ALSO presumed he’d be responsible enough to find some bedding on his own. OTHER houseless folks manage to, as well as find some way to keep their possessions dry. But no, not Deek, ’cause he’s oh-so-special! I’ll also give him a large garbage bag each time, hoping he’ll bother to use it to keep the comforter dry. My god, he’s such an ornery cuss!

The two KIDS’ sleeping bags will arrive Tuesday (under $20 each), and they’ll be just for the doggies when they stay over. I’ll actually have FOUR kids’ bags, with those two new ones. On top of one adult sleeping bag. I’d like TWO adult bags for more plush, so I’ll see if I can budget these new expenses in January’s finances. But if need be, I’ll stretch them over into February. I only hope and pray these cold snaps will be few and far between, or that Deek changes his tune about collecting comforters off the streets (or from charities), that I can store for him.

– Zeke K-Holmes



The FINAL Final Chapter (part 5)

December 18, 2021

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18e]

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: The Adventure of the Skanky Halvah
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 6, 2021 2:42 PM

The Palestinian corner shop ran out of that yummy halvah from Syria over a month ago. They tried to get more, but that supplier is no longer viable. (Maybe a scud missile or a drone attack from Israel, Russia or America wiped them out; who knows what’s going on halfway across the world in the REAL bible belt? All I know is: that was damn good halvah.)

Well, they finally found another brand, that one of the clerks promised would be “just as good.” But it’s not…it tastes waxy and fake; I couldn’t eat more than a few bites before I gagged. When I first saw it on the shelf, I noticed the cheap looking label and the drab, white hue of the contents, but ignored my first impression and purchased it anyway (just $5.99…a dollar less and twice the amount than the Syrian product…this one’s from Lebanon). Problem is:

That particular clerk seems to be the patriarch of the family, and he’s VERY proud of his corner-shop enterprise. He’s also annoyingly LOUD with his compliments to customers, as if he actually hates them. Like when I say “thank you,” he responds in a thunderous tone: “NO, THANK *YOU*!!!” His strident voice is like a strong gust of wind that’ll knock you down if you don’t grab onto something. He’s a large fellow, too, built like a gorilla…whose robust demeanor makes me think maybe there’s a Palestinian type mafia in the city.

So I hesitate to return, as I KNOW he’ll proclaim with much bluster: “WE HAVE MORE HALVAH NOW, I’M SURE YOU’LL LIKE IT!”

I’ve asked him twice over a few weeks, when the halvah will show up again, as it’s quite delicious. He finally told me several days back that it will arrive tomorrow, and be just as tasty as the previous lot. “Thank you, I can hardly wait!” I replied.

“NO, THANK *YOU*!!”

The day I purchased it he wasn’t there; his son was. But can you imagine now, how he’ll react if I tell him that brand is lousy? In fact, I’ve never tasted such awful halvah before, in my life!

This is a sticky wicket, don’t you think? I’d LIKE to continue to shop there, as it is truly convenient: only a block away and they take food stamps. I COULD show up and not mention the halvah, but I doubt HE won’t bring it up. And THEN what? Should I tell him I already bought a tub, and it IS delicious, just to avoid possible enmity on his part? Or will he be reasonable enough to appreciate my frank appraisal? Because in all honesty, Wattson, he should reMOVE that crap from the shelves posthaste…it’s THAT foul!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: I trust he doesn’t read my blog. Or anyone else in the “family.” I should have never told him I wrote about the Palestinian pandemic mask tête-à-tête with his handsome son, and given him my Brindlekin card. They could be pounding on my door any moment after I publish this piece!


Re: The Adventure of the Skanky Halvah
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 6, 2021 5:59 PM

> Was the good stuff on display when they had it?

Of course. It was on the shelves, like everything else; that’s how I discovered it. Where else would it be?

> If they get more, could you just saunter (or mosey, or maybe even amble) in and see if it’s there?

I doubt they’ll get more of that Syrian halvah…that would be unusual. My favorite halvah is rose flavored, though I’ve only had it once, and that was decades ago. I COULD order quality halvah online, but it’s pricey ($7.80 for 4 ounces):

https://halvah-heaven.myshopify.com/collections/all

They have rose and maple flavor, and other delightful blends!

I just did some searching online to discover Samiramis Imports in San Francisco, that sells halvah in various flavors for just $9/pound. On 24th & Mission, a half hour walk from here. Go to this page and search for “halva:”

https://www.samiramisimports.com/shop?page=3

No rose flavor, though. But they DO take food stamps!

> Big Daddy sounds a little crazy!

That’s why I called him “patriarchal.” I smell something gangsterish about him. Family-run shops are not always just that. Scads of criminal activity go on in cities that we know nothing about…what we read in the news is but the tip of the iceberg.

> I know what you mean about halvah. When it’s good, it’s divine! That delicate crunch when you bite into it…then the flavor blooms and spreads.

I’ve actually never had bad tasting halvah before. Even the popular Joyvah brand is good. This one was really yuck.

So, the pups are back with me. Their appetite is also back. Deek wanted Thursday’s allowance toDAY…three days in advance! I told him this is getting out of hand, but in one ear and out the other. Told him he ALWAYS has the perfect excuse. He said something about a girlfriend moving to another part of the city (so she’s drifting out of his life), how the weather is lousy today, and other nonsense. Sob story city, life in the concrete jungle, singin’ the blues, jonesin’ for the next rush. Then I joked: “Oh, you’re a meth addict, I forgot. Silly me.”

He said he’s doing a LOT to better his life, he’s not just some druggie looking for a fix, if that’s what I think. I told him no, that’s not what I think, he’s doing great, and thanks for the doggies’ company again. So I ran back upstairs to fetch $40, handed him the filthy lucre, then grabbed the pups’ leashes and off we went. Of course they were crazy-happy to visit once more, scrabbling and yelping at the gate as I fumbled with the key, and they’re now blissfully snoozing atop the plush cot.

Halvah nice evening, good physician!

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Adventure of the Padded Swivel Armchair
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 9, 2021 2:35 PM

This was two nights ago. It was late, just after 1 AM, and the dogs were sound asleep. Or so I thought. I was watching a lighthearted movie (The Mitchells vs. the Machines), while the pups were tucked away in bed. But then I saw, to my surprise, Flaco sitting on the floor just to my right, looking up at me and wagging her curly tail. I keep my room dimly lit at night, and I was captivated by the action playing out on the LCD display…so of course I didn’t see her emerge from beneath the blankets and jump down. Lucky, OTOH, remained totally zonked out at the foot of the cot, oblivious to anything but his dreams. His little snores were barely audible, as he lay on his back with paws bent and belly exposed. How long she’d been sitting there, I had no idea. But I doubt it was more than a minute or two.

This was nonetheless unusual, as she never just sits on the floor, but either goes for the water bowl, or noshes from the dog food dish (if there’s anything remaining), or paces back and forth when she needs to poop, or scurries right into the cardboard box where she scratches away like crazy before plopping down to rest.

Flaco made no noise or touched me with her paw, to get my attention. She simply watched me with quiet poise until I noticed. “Does she need to go out again?” I thought while smiling down at her. Though that was unlikely, as she and Lucky relieved themselves less than an hour ago. Not having any idea WHAT she was up to, I left my comfy swivel chair to sit beside her and give some hugs. Whereupon she immediately leapt into the chair, curled up on the seat and looked back at me with a sweet, happy “thank you” face! Her eyes sparkled.

Click here for a larger view.

That’s all she wanted…to hop into that chair! Only in the past two weeks has Flaco shown ANY interest in my padded armchair. The first time, she just suddenly jumped onto it when my back was turned. Another time, while lying on the cot late at night, she stuck out a paw to give it a turn so the seat would face her, then scrambled on!

Well, it was late enough anyway, for THIS drowsy pilgrim to click “pause” on the show, and join the dogs in blissful slumber. Before climbing under the covers, I rolled the chair to the head of the cot, that I may reach out and pet her awhile. She seemed to love watching over me as I closed my eyes with one hand on her shoulders. An hour or so later, she awakened me as I lay on my back…she plunked herself right atop my chest, and was gazing into my eyes. She’s a spooky little Ninja, but in a most endearing way! As I gently caressed her sausage-y form, she licked my face clean…taking all of five, studied minutes to accomplish that, including a thorough washing of both ears.

Don’t know WHEN she returned to the chair, but when I awoke at sunrise there she was, curled up and sound asleep. Guess I need to get a second chair for myself, at this point. It will be a folding, metal one that can easily be stashed away and not take up much room when in use.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Subject: The Adventure of the Discombobulated Milk Run
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 10, 2021 2:26 PM

So I stepped out for some milk last night, around 10:30 PM. As I turned the corner on my way to Rosenberg’s, I noticed Flaco & Lucky a half block up Market Street, lashed to a shopping cart piled with whatever, but no owner! I stood there at the corner, debating whether or not I should approach, and see what’s up. Just at the moment I decided not to, and turned away, Deek suddenly was in my face and queried, “Have you seen a black jacket?”

I told him no, then he squawked about how it had a hundred dollars in it and he needs to track it down. With that (and before I had a chance to respond), off he went up Noe Street to disappear into the dark. After purchasing a half gallon of two percent, I decided to visit the pups if their master were still elsewhere. As I neared I saw he wasn’t there, and the doggies began to bark in eager tones to call me over. So I sat myself down whence they crowded onto my lap for warmth and cuddles. It was a very chill night (upper 40s), and I had already suggested he let them stay with me, earlier that evening. “No, they’ll be fine,” he curtly replied. As I pet them, I saw they were NOT shivering, thank Hera…though they clearly sought my warmth.

Deek returned barely a minute later. He said hello, then went right to rummaging through his shopping cart, including a hardside polypro suitcase about the size of two breadboxes, which he laid on the ground and opened. Lucky instantly climbed onto it and began to fluff up the meager square of cloth stored therein among random items made of plastic and metal. Not much comfort for a little doggy, but he gave it his best shot!

“Who opened that suitcase?” boomed Deek.

“YOU did,” I replied while watching Lucky continue his futile attempts to turn the textile into a nest. By then, two other vagrants had magically appeared by the cart, one young and clean shaven, the other old and bearded with a hefty walking stick to lean on. Don’t know why they showed up right at that moment, but the older one started asking questions about the dogs that miffed me no end:

“Is she fixed, or can she have puppies?”

“No she’s not, but the male is,” Deek answered while going through some items in a search for his lost bills, I presume. Though I question the veracity of his claim of “losing” a hundred smackaroonies in the first place…he’s a conniving drama queen half the time.

The grizzled transient then emoted how sad he’s neutered, how did that happen, and wouldn’t it be nice to make the female pregnant with another dog, anyway. I really wanted to punch him out and tell him to shut the hell up. But I bit my lip and ignored him while bent over to pet the mutts. I decided then not to leave until those two idiots departed first…I just didn’t like their demeanor, so my protect-the-pups instinct kicked in. Deek then looked down at Lucky and hollered, “HEY, GET OUTTA THERE!” But the brindlekin paid him no mind and continued to spin around and disturb the contents, none of which were of value, anyway.

“Don’t yell at him, Deek!” I admonished, while reaching out to Lucky with comforting strokes. “He’s doing nothing wrong.”

The gnarly old cretin then interjected: “The dog’s disobedient!”

“No, that’s not what’s going on,” I replied in an even tone, in spite of my anger. “He just wants a comfy spot to sit on, instead of the cold concrete. He’s a lovely, sweet little pup…they both are. Screaming at them is just mean.”

The two vagrants then stared quizically at Deek, as if to say: “Who is this guy? Why’s he talking to you like that?” To which Deek summarily explained, “He’s my uncle, it’s okay.” Well, Wattson, good thing he said that, as I KNOW how to defend myself in short order, I know WHERE to kick to immediately disable an attacker, AND I carry pepper spray. Everyone assumes I can’t fight, but one clown learned the hard way I CAN…but that was years ago.

Then I witnessed the reason for those two transients showing up: Deek handed them each a line of crystal, and off they scattered. Upon completing the transaction he turned to me and told me to get the fuck out of his face. I told him I’m not IN his face, and that his hollering at Lucky is shameful.

“I’m in a bad mood right now,” he scowled. “I’m REALLY pissed, I just lost a hunner dollah. It happened fast, I was high and the jacket disappeared.”

“That’s NO excuse to be angry at your dogs, Deek,” I countered. He shrieked some more in response as he began to push the cart towards my building: “Get outta my face, bitch, get outta my face!”

I followed him from ten feet behind as he crossed Noe street, then turned left to cross Market, bellowing “Shame! Shame on you!” as he did so. “It’s very cold tonight, you better keep those doggies warm!”

He continued spewing expletives as he diminished south towards 17th Street, with the tethered pooches doing their best to keep up, their little paws clicking at a rapid pace while gazing up at him with sweet regard. I then returned hovel to place the milk in my fridge and watch another video. But I was still restless minutes later, so decided to step out again for some air, and a brisk walk to temper my temper. Wouldn’t ya know it, Wattson, but here comes Deek again, back across Market Street and marching in my direction! Pups, cart and all.

“We keep bumping into each other tonight!” I blurted in a friendly manner as they drew near. Deek parked himself by the bus stop, so I decided to sit down on the other side of the cart, where the dogs were leashed. They scrambled onto my lap before I could completely settle down with legs stretched out to provide enough room to raise them from the cold, hard sidewalk. But I managed with some difficulty to accommodate them both, once my butt was set firmly on the ground, and my back against a tree. Long story short:

Again, I advised Deek to never yell in front of the dogs, it hurts them…and besides, no one EVER has an excuse to scream and rant in anger, and start harassing friends who care. Naturally, he exploded and screeched some more, told me to shut up, and if I don’t he’ll yell even louder, and keep it up, and I’ll get evicted. Please note he wasn’t THAT loud, so did show SOME self control. He also threatened to keep the dogs away from me forever, he has a girlfriend with a backyard and the dogs love it, so he might have them stay there for now on. I accused him of intentionally returning just so he COULD scream and rant by my building…that he’s being mean to both myself and the mutts, and he’s full of crap.

I also suggested (once more) he leave the pups with me tonight, as it’s awfully cold outside, and he’s in a bad mood…and when he is, I’m concerned how this affects Lucky & Flaco. Sadly, he turned me down for the second time that evening. To which I responded, after eyeballing the contents of his cart: “I see you have a thick jacket and some blankies to keep them warm, so that’s good.” He finally regained his composure (if that’s what you want to call it), and I offered him Sunday’s allowance right then and there. He said, “Really? After all my screeching?” I replied yes of course, my pleasure. So I ran upstairs to fetch the cash, after which we spoke awhile longer, this time in peace. Then off they went, and I returned hovel. He DID give me a kind thank-you before departing. And to think, before this unexpected, unwarranted and uncouthly foolish drama went down:

All I did was step outside to purchase milk!

Oh, yeah: next bedbug treatment this Wednesday. Meanwhile, I have some electrical tape wrapped about the end of a broomstick, sticky side out, to pick off any bugs I spot on the wall. The bullshit never ends! Only the dogs keep me going.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 12/7/21-12/12/21

Pic 1

Pic 2


Subject: This is Worrisome
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 12, 2021 2:40 PM

Two cold nights in a row, and it’s been raining nonstop since well before dusk…and Deek has yet to bring the pups over, for shelter and warmth. His petty nature could spell their death.


Re: This is Worrisome
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 12, 2021 3:36 PM

> I was wondering about that. Damn!!!!!

I made it clear to him several times in the past few weeks (including two nights ago when he threw another temper tantrum), that if it’s cold outside and they start to shiver, and he has no way to keep them warm, bring them over immediately…I don’t care how late it is, I consider it an emergency. Infuriating and heartbreaking he’s not following up. I anticipated he WOULD drop them off last night when the rain began…but nope. I’m STILL hoping he shows up soon.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: This is Worrisome
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 12, 2021 6:27 PM

> Dreadful. Keep me posted. It was BITTER cold here, and rainy and windy; I hate to think of the pups out there in that.

I’d like to report they’re back with me now, safe and sound…but that’s just not the case.


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: I just found this lovely comforter…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 13, 2021 3:31 PM

…right when I stepped out of the laundromat with my own fresh laundry. No one around to claim it, and it was already pretty clean, though left in a pile two doors up, with some other discarded items that were of no use to anyone. So I went right back inside the laundromat and washed and dried it…just too delightful a coverlet to resist, what with those vibrant rainbow stripes and fluffy innards! I will probably present it to Deek once he shows up, or when he’s ready to collect the pups again, after their next visit. Or just keep it; I’ll play it by ear. Seeing as anything I give him is lost within a day or two, including any jackets or blanket for the doggies…so what’s the point?

I bumped into Boulevard Joe, on my return to the laundromat before I found that comforter. He was going there, too, to dry out his own, rather dense bedding. Which wasn’t particularly wet, because he and several others camped out beneath the overhang of the local library roof. Where there used to be grass and flowers, but are now just small, jagged, man-made boulders embedded into a concrete surface dappled with smooth, round stones. Imagine trying to sleep on that…squeezing yourself between boulders in an awkward pose, with (hopefully) sufficient padding upon the stones!

We had our usual, friendly badinage…nothing vital to report, except I DID express my worries about Deek not bringing the pooches over during this latest squall. He always has before, and these little dogs shouldn’t be subjected to such harsh weather, especially when their guardian does little to protect them. Joe said nothing in return, just listened and nodded his head. So I guess he didn’t see Deek in the past few days, or he would’ve said something.

It’s not like we hanged out or anything, as Joe left shortly after he packed a dryer with his bed stuff. But I did walk by him twice on my back-and-forth treks between hovel and laundromat…the second time encountering a homeless person I haven’t seen for years: Legion. He didn’t recognize me at first, and I didn’t recall who he was at all, until after I resumed my walk, with that newfound comforter in a duffel bag heft over one shoulder. It was a brief hello, glad to see you after all this time, and so on. Guess our paths will cross again sometime soon, and we’ll chew the fat for sure. He’s a nice enough guy, certainly not one to avoid…and it may benefit me to have one more ally out there in the asphalt realm.

It’s now just after 3 PM and still no Deek and brindlekin. But if I’ve learned ANYthing through this, my Hero’s Journey, it’s NOT to drown myself in worry, but even more: be of good cheer no matter what, put smiles on other peoples’ faces, for they may be going through something even worse. Especially if they’re unhoused.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: I just found this lovely comforter…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 13, 2021 8:19 PM

> That comforter’s a beauty!

It was meant to happen…a gift from Artemis, who loves Canis familiaris, and anyone who loves them, too.

> I’m glad you have the attitude that you do. I sure as hell don’t.

Oh, I don’t think so. You would show the SAME forbearance and compassion as I do, towards someone with bipolar affliction, were you involved with their sweet little doggies. Just as you’ve been incredibly kind and patient to your mother, and other long-suffering good people in your life. You can’t fool ME, Wattson!

> I’m pissed at Deek for letting you twist in the wind like this; he KNOWS what those pups mean to you. If he doesn’t show up for his next allowance, then we can assume he’s had some sort of change of fortune, for good or for ill.

Now with a touch of hindsight, it is OBVIOUS to me, that this was just another bodhisattva challenge. Look how everything fell into place: Boulevard Joe (and my telling him my concern for the pups), then the rainbow comforter, then my conclusion in my previous email, that anger is not the way, but shedding worry and being of good cheer no matter what, is the answer. And then, and ONLY then, does Deek finally show up…and he was SPECTACULAR:

I came running down ASAP as soon as he called up to my window. He looked superb: clean and well dressed in warm clothing. The dogs looked great, too, and THEY WERE DRY AND HAPPY, not shivering in the least. Well, almost dry…they WERE a tad wet because he uncovered them to rush across the street and to the ATM alcove below my window.

He quickly explained how he couldn’t bring them over last night, as he was stuck in a distant part of the city, and had to remain there in order to keep Flaco & Lucky safe, dry and warm. And I believe him, because they’d otherwise be DRENCHED, but they were not. I didn’t even have to dry them off once they got upstairs, because their burrowing under the blankets took care of that in a jiff. IOW: minimally wet.

Deek was of good cheer; in fact, he looked robust. He DID ask for his Thursday allowance in advance…which I knew he would, so had already slipped the bills in my pocket before stepping out. But first, I gave him a hard time about it:

“Are you kidding, Deek, it’s only Monday!” I exclaimed with feigned exasperation.

“But payday’s Wednesday, just two days from now,” he cajoled.

“No, it’s THURSDAY,” I corrected him. “I’ve just been letting you get your allowance a day ahead.”

He then rattled on why it’s no big deal to hand over the moolah now, why he deserves it, blah blah blah…I don’t know, I didn’t really pay attention, but right in the middle of his petition, I yanked out the envelope.

“Oh, you already had it on you,” he noted with an amused grin.

“Of course, Deek,” I barked back, “I KNOW you!”

He gave me (another) new Bluetooth speaker to charge; this one on the larger size, but easy to port upstairs. Along with that, he handed me a fairly nice headset, and his present smartphone that he’s managed to hold onto for almost two weeks now. That’s a record!

“Can you put Christmas music on it?” he queried.

I rolled my eyes, wondering why on earth this gansta rap junkie wanted something so sappy. He explained further:

“Not that stupid stuff like reindeers running over old ladies…just the regular, traditional songs.”

I don’t think he realizes that “traditional” goes deep into ’40s and ’50s territory, as well as the ’70s. ’80s and ’90s, and none of it is rap. But I said okay.

So here we are, good doctor: looks like Deek took damned good care of the pooches…and I believe he wanted to show me that…prove to me he can do it, that I never need worry. As well as a kind of apology for his fucked up behavior a few nights back. But I don’t even thinks it’s that.

I am convinced it was all another bodhisattva script played out for my benefit…all planned that way, to crescendo into seeing Joe Boulevard, stumbling upon the rainbow comforter, and Deek’s excellent demeanor, with Flaco & Lucky healthy and in good spirit.

It was a real treat to watch them dash up the stairs with boundless delight, then dig themselves beneath the bedding before I even stepped inside. Group hugs, joy and friendship lit up the room, as I curled up alongside, so happy they’re back in my arms. I then got up to give them some chicken-applesauce snacks, which they so enjoyed…as I did, too, watching their little jaws chew on their nummies and make wee smacking sounds.

A little while later I set down their meals, and they went right to it, licked the bowls mirror clean! Now they’ve hidden themselves once more, beneath the rainbow coverlet. You can’t even tell they’re here, they’re so quiet…deep in doggy dreamland. Impossible to discern which lumps are air pockets, and which two are the mutts, unless you prod with a hand to discover a snout, a paw, a floppy ear or a tail! Or maybe a surprise lick of the tongue.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Texting with Wattson: 12/13/21 – 12/18/21

Video 1

Video 2

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3


Re: Well This Sucks (cont’d from smartphone message)
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 17, 2021 11:30 PM

> So you were out of your place and walking around, thinking the treatment was proceeding, when you were notified that Paolo was in a car crash and wouldn’t be showing up?? And now you have to keep things ready so that they can give you same-day notice to get out??

No, they just need to reschedule. AFAIC the sooner the better, so I told Kevin I’d only need a day’s notice. The longer they take to schedule, the more items I’ll need to unseal and use, until I’m back at square 1 and will have to take EVERYTHING back to the laundromat for heat treatment. And I don’t really have the money to do that…or the temper.

I just find it strange that the exterminator never bothered to text back to me. I suspect Kevin of developing senility, and I just happen to be the lucky one to suffer his BS. I could be wrong about all this, but something’s going on that’s not kosher.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Coffee Spills & Other Ills
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 18, 2021 11:26 AM

Just stepped out to Rosenberg’s right at 7:30 to discover their gate still closed and locked. This happened once before, about three weeks back…but they opened shortly after 8. Hopefully, they will be ready for business just as quick, as I love to start my morning with a fresh cup of java and a little friendly badinage.

Meanwhile, the pups are warm and tucked in, not quite ready for their morning ablutions. I wish I had NOT told Kevin that I’ll only need a day’s notice for the rescheduled bedbug treatment. But that was before Deek brought the doggies by. If they schedule it for two or three days later, and the mutts are still here, I’ll have to say okay, not knowing whether Deek will return in time to retrieve them. For if the weather remains so cold, he may just not bother. Which is what I’d prefer anyway…it’s just this rescheduling is a monkey wrench in the works.

Because I DON’T want to tell the manager I can’t, since the pups are here until this cold snap ends. Maybe I’ll come up with some other excuse, should I find myself in such a difficult bind. Such as another sciatica attack…which I can easily fake by breaking out the walking stick.

[pause]

So I just returned from getting a SECOND cup o’ mud from Rosenberg’s, ’cause the FIRST one suddenly leaked from the bottom ALL OVER MY DESK AND ONTO THE KEYBOARD! Fortunately, the keyboard was not damaged, as the spill only dripped onto the flat, touchpad end. It’s days like these I feel like my life is the story of Sad Sack.

When I stepped out that second time, I noticed a homeless person wrapped in rags and asleep beside the wall of my building. I took a closer look and saw it was Deek! Upon my return with the java, I ran back downstairs to take a pic of him, which I attached to this missive. (Apparently, the rainbow coverlet is already gone. He got a new haircut, though, tinted with purple atop…money he should’ve spent on doggy jackets.) This explains why, as we returned hovel, the pups were tugging on the leash to get close to him, though I assumed they were just curious–maybe smelled food on the person–and coaxed them back inside.

Later I realized he was camped out there all night, I just didn’t pay attention. He was there the FIRST time I exited to purchase coffee…but I didn’t notice because his face was blocked by two OTHER street people schmoozing with him, including Filipino Kai who broadly smiled at me and said hi. I didn’t stop, because I didn’t want the dogs to start barking right below my neighbors’ windows…and neither Flaco nor Lucky seemed to be aware that their master was close by.

FINALLY, I now get to talk about our meetup Wednesday afternoon:

I parted with my newfound rainbow comforter that day, seeing as the night would be icy cold, and he wasn’t about to have the doggies stay for a FOURTH evening in a row. Kismet brought me that coverlet at just the right time, Wattson!

Deek played Mr. Crabby for some minutes: “I’ll throw that blanket away if I find any bugs in it!” I told him don’t be ridiculous, it’s large enough to keep all three of you warm, and I just washed and dried it two days ago; if there are any bugs, they’re harmless, and I’ve seen him many times pluck unwashed blankets and coats from the trash.

I then motioned as if to snatch up the bedding: “Okay, I’ll just take it back.” To which he promptly pleaded, “No! No! I’ll take it!” I could tell, though, he was bitching for fun, loves to see my hackles up.

He was actually in a very good mood, and within a few minutes after giving him the comforter he placed it on the sidewalk, and the pooches immediately made it their nest. I then departed for the laundromat, where I had to pick up those two adult sleeping bags waiting for me after an hour in the dryer, on the hottest setting.

Deek had requested advance payment for this Sunday, even though it was only Wednesday. I said okay, but remember once you run out of your month’s full allotment, you’ll have to wait maybe as long as eight days before your payments resume. I can NOT afford to dip into the next month for an advance…in fact, I couldn’t do that even if I wanted, because I’d have less than ten dollars to my name, until my next Social Security deposit on the third. He said he’s fine with that, but we’ll see.

So Wednesday’s meetup was superb and, as I said previously, I’m proud of Deek for bringing them back to me last night, that they be sheltered from the biting, chill dampness.

Oh, yeah, I had quite a scare six days ago. I had gone downstairs with the pups and, just as we got to the door, a resident was about to step in. So I crouched down and held them by the collar, expecting him to open the gate and let us through, first. But no, he barged right on in, not giving me a chance to pull the mutts back as they barked with gusto. He said “sorry” as he stepped into the lobby, but then Lucky escaped my clutches and snatched onto his pant cuff for a split second before I could pull him away.

The young fellow then pulled up his pant leg to see whether or not he was bitten…nothing but unbroken white skin showed. I quickly rushed them outside, concerned he might run to the manager and complain. I felt sick with worry all that day, pondering the scenario of how I’d deal with it. Fortunately, nothing seems to have come of it, and I wish the idiot had the good sense NOT to force himself in the middle of two dogs he’s never seen before. Anyone else would open the gate and step aside for us to exit.

My new food stamp card showed up almost a week ago, and I was delighted it arrived so soon after I called their office for a replacement. But upon reading the enclosed notice I learned that my PIN will arrive in a separate envelope. So I’ve been spending more of my own money on food, than expected… because I’m still waiting on the PIN. If it doesn’t show up in two weeks, I’m supposed to call them. No matter how I plan things, December has ALWAYS been my toughest month when it comes to finances. Laundry expenses to prep for treatment have hit my wallet hard this month. As I decided to not just run all sleeping bags through the dryers, but wash them, as well.

I don’t celebrate Exmass, so no money wasted on that. Yet, even when I decide to be extra frugal in December, unexpected costs pop up to ruin what holiday spirit I MIGHT have had. So now my bank account has been stripped, my room has been stripped, and the dogs have no throw rugs or even newspaper to cover the dirty, softwood floor. They don’t even have a cardboard box to slip into when they’d like, because I tore up the one I had, in preparation for the exterminator’s arrival. I should lay down fresh newspaper in a moment, it’s the least I could do for the nonce.

I just looked out the window to see that Deek has moved himself to the bus stop, where he’s prostrate on a sheet of cardboard and soaking up the sun’s rays (weak as they are today). He’s been parking himself by my building much more often these days…which is fine with me since he’s not making a ruckus anymore when he’s right outside. Though I kinda wish he wouldn’t, because then residents see him crashed out with the same dogs they see ME with. And this could cause me grief, in light of SOME folks’ antagonism towards the homeless. And my having two street dogs stay with me once or twice a week, on average. But Deek is too stubborn to hear me out, and comply by camping for the night elsewhere. At any rate:

These are truly O. Henry tales, my adventures with Deek and the pups, this latest chapter being my second Exmass parable! Guess I’m getting what I wished for, as an author.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek Asleep by the Bus Stop
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 18, 2021 12:30 PM

I just took this shot…he obviously needs his rest, so I didn’t bother to wake him up. Nor did I bring the pups down to join him, as they’d probably be barking up a storm now and then, as his protectors. Besides, it’s cold outside and they wouldn’t have much comfort there on the sidewalk. And I’d rather not have my building’s residents see the doggies right there, totally exposed. It happens anyway, but it’s better to minimize the frequency of such a disturbing scenario. Leave well enough alone, eh, good physician?

All of Deek’s latest possessions seem to be gone with the wind. He’s very resourceful, however, and quickly recoups his losses. I don’t see how he does it; his resilience is astounding. Still, I’d rather have Flaco & Lucky stay with me another night, due to this lingering cold front…if he allows it. I have no idea WHEN he’ll finally awaken, and call up to my window.

– Zeke K-Holmes


Re: Deek Asleep by the Bus Stop
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 18, 2021 2:55 PM

> I see that the pizza box he was using as a sort of wind/privacy screen in the earlier pic has moved. God almighty, to be sleeping on the cold hard dirty pavement in full view of the world…and yes, let him sleep as long as he needs to.

He has no qualms about sleeping/camping wherever, does NOT feel ANY shame or resentment being seen this way. Which is the best attitude to have, IMO, if you MUST live on the streets. This, however, tends to unnerve certain folks who are housed, and is why I’d prefer he park his ass elsewhere. But that is not to be, so I am forced to deal with it as best as possible.

Were THIS perplexed pilgrim homeless, I’d certainly handle it quite differently. For one, I would never APPEAR to be a vagrant. Though with the horrendous condition of my teeth, and being seen often, sitting on the concrete keeping the pups company (while Deek runs off to purchase a sandwich or whatever) some people think I AM unhoused. Worse yet, it always happens in FRONT of my building, ’cause that’s the only spot where Deek and I hook up. There goes the property value, plummeting like a stone thanks to little ol’ moi!

As I’m typing this, I’m watching Lucky fluff up the bedding into a tent so he can snuggle inside, in full comfort and warmth. Only the tip of his curly tail sticks out. Flaco, OTOH, is presently stretched athwart the cot, with her darling little head drooped partly over the side, Yoda ears pinned all the way back.

> It’s extremely fucking cold up here, too. Dressed Surely last night in new fleece doggy PJ’s underneath his regular doggy jacket. He sleeps at night in a cozy bed of quilts on a closed-in porch, with the door to the house open so he gets warmth from the wood stove. That plus the extra layers keep him warm and toasty. He doesn’t have much of a coat, and he’s almost 11 years old now, so I make sure he’s snug on these frigid nights. Right now he’s basking in a pool of sunlight in the doorway. As is The Kitten, aka HRH Princess Butterball, who has an extra-thick coat of deluxe fur. Peaceable kingdom, for now.

Sounds like heaven to me, but WHAT, NO PIC OF SURELY IN HIS PAJAMAS? Sometimes you are a cruel tease, Oh Osmium Empress!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Deek’s still outside by the bus stop, zonked out, and it’s now almost 3 PM. I soon will need to take the doggies for another walk…guess I’ll have them run all the way to the corner, in hopes they won’t spot him. I don’t want to wake him up to hear him say, “Leave the dogs with me.” Then return to sleep while they bark up a hurricane, forced to rest on cold stone.


Subject: My Convo w/Kevin
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 18, 2021 7:15 PM

I think I forgot to send this off to you:


%d bloggers like this: