The FINAL Final Chapter (part 7)

January 7, 2022

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18g]

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

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

“Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!” Deek’s call up my window awakened me from a cozy sleep: 5:30 AM. He wants the pups to stay with me over New Year’s Eve, because fireworks scare them. Filipino Jay 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. Jay 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 Jay 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 Jay 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 Jay 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 Jay 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


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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 Jay 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). Jay 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 Jay 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 Jay 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 Jay. 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 “Bodhisaatva 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 Jay, 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



Police Activity Below My Window

February 8, 2020

February 6, 2020: Flurry of cops around my building here in the Castro. Don’t know what it was about, but there was a surprising number of skateboarders all dressed in black pants and hoodies, racing down the sidewalk a few minutes earlier, when I was outside. I had to jump away to keep from getting hit. When I returned to my apartment, I heard a continuous stream of skateboarders, then two young ladies screeching in the middle of the street, around the streetcar island. I saw a man filming them with his smartphone, and they kept moving away from him, threatening him all the while, sometimes punching him. Upon one punch, his smartphone was knocked out of his hand, but he quickly retrieved it. As I watched from my window, he called the cops and very quickly, they showed up…then a whole passel of ’em showed up. The two ladies ran down the street, but they got arrested anyway. And that’s all I know.


Welcome to Hoboville

February 7, 2018

Jebediah and Ebeneezer were hangin’ out by the ol’ Penjulep pool hall one chill foggy Frisco mornin’, when Neezer started a-thinkin:

“Jeb, them darkie folks acrost the bay say Hoboville warn’t always the name fer this here redneck ‘hood of our’n.” Before he continued, Neezer spat a wad of Uncle Queerbasher’s Selekt Chewin Tobaccee into a hefty, open, black-leather bound book with a crimson ribbon for a marker that touched to the very ground, and rubbed for a moment against some hot, wet Rottweiler feces.

“They say this here parts wunst was called ‘The Caaastro’…soddymites all over the place, far as the eye kin see. Fornicatin’, vi-o-lay-tin’ tourist’s chilluns, and sometahms even the dawgs! ‘Twere a cryin’ shame it was, surely.”

Jeb stopped leaning on the side of the saloon, to stand his full 6-foot-7-inch height. Above, flapped a yellow, weathered poster that proclaimed: “No shooz, no shirts, no fagguts.” There was no point in keeping that sign up anymore, as the queers were long gone, relegated to a concentration camp on Treasure Island. But the owner, a refugee from the nuked state of Idaho, was too lazy to remove it. Come to think of it, there were no longer any coons, either, in this neck of the woods. Nor slant eyes, nor anyone with too dark, or too yellow, or too red a skin. He yanked the straw of hay from his mouth; some spittle dripped down his long, scraggly beard:

“Ye swear to that on the Holy Buy-bull, Neezer?” he questioned with a curl of the lip, and pointed to the book in Ebeneezer’s hand.

“Yes Sir, Jebediah,” boasted Neezer (who also displayed a beard dank with saliva, though shorter and wider, like a Mennonite). “I do believe I just marked the partikeelar secshun smack dab in the lower right page.” He paused, to heckle Jeb with silence.

“Read it Neezer!” Jeb finally ordered. “Ye knows ah cayn’t read. Tell me whut thu Good Book sez!”

“Okay, Jeb now simmer down y’all, jest simmer down. Let me clear my throat.” Ebeneezer hocked up a musty gob of phlegm, aimed once again at the Good Book…then read:

“The Prophet Hoosier from The Book of Heehaw 5:20-22:

“Any dood whar-in dee-klares dee-vine marruj to another dood, should immeed-jut-ly be put to death by command of our Chief Demon Overlord.

“A woe-man, however, may freely dee-klare marriage with another woe-man…under con-di-shun they willfully join in wedded bliss with an Unmarried Son of an Overlord, or with a Widowed Overlord Hisself. Fust choice is always The Father’s.

“But should one or t’other of the woe-men rebel, they should both be tied in nekked shame to a post in the center of the village, whar-in whoever is known to have cast the fust sin in The More-Men Clan, shall be offered the sacred privy-lij of stoning to death, the rebel-yus fee-male and her day-spik-ubul kunt sukker.”

Having read this passage, Neezer lowered the tome in holy silence… and Jebediah, too, remained quiet, chewing on the straw. After long, hushed moments, Jeb opined:

“Why bruthuh Neezer-dee-doo-dah. Thank the Good Overlord are Gran-pappies cum here in the fust place, be it they be homeless with not a cent in their pockets! They knew they wuz on a misshun to dee-klare rite-chuss shame on them sod’mites, and drive the divils outta here-un; peaceable like, or war like…whichever wuz best for the partik-ee-lar sit-choo-ay-shun.”

Neezer nodded as he chawed: “Yep, brothuh Jebe-dee-doo-dah. We done made for our-self-un and our chill-uns, gran-chill-uns, and evun great-great-gran-chill-uns, Juh-hoe-va’s land out of serpent’s soil.”

After further moments in silence (a harmonica played in the distance, some hillbilly tune), they decided it was time for another High-neekins, and stepped back into the dark cavern that was the Penjulep saloon. The clouds were hunkerin’ down into another neon jumble of plutonium madness, soon to unleash a deluge of flesh-melting rain.

So it was just as well the two patriots stepped inside.

Dark as it had suddenly become outside, the quaint establishment was even gloomier within…lit by a few candles, and a tin-can chandelier overhead. A doorless restroom to one side showed off a trough to pee in, and a seatless toilet spotted with caked feces along the rim and overhang. Privacy could be gained by pulling a thick, leather curtain acoss the doorway. It was made of homosexual skin, and sported the gravure of a suffering Christ on a cross, in pastel pink with bits of glitter. It bragged an enormous penis.

Beside the entrance to the lavatory was pasted another old, worn out sign that read: “Hetero patriots only. Keep it safe.” For while gay patrons had been banished more than a decade ago, customers could, if they so desired, fuck and suck to their heart’s content…so long as they praised Jesus in the process at least three times. Sort of a ritual in honor of The Trinity. But Jeb and Neezer were too wasted at the moment, for recreational debauchery. Instead, they were eager to play a round or two of Breeder Darts.

This game was once a regular dart board, with the face of former president Donald Trump pinned to it, back when it was a gay hangout. Indeed, it was the only African American gay bar in the city…and it was called “The Pendulum.” But that was a long time ago. Now, the face was replaced by a small man made of straw, with big, bright, red faggoty lips grinning back at you. Googly black eyes and yellow hair made of cheap yarn and a sailor costume completed the ensemble.

Neezer flung the first dart, but missed by more than a yard.

“Aw, shucks,” he pouted, then took a swig of High-neekins. “Your turn, Jeb.”

Jebediah missed, too…so far off the mark in fact, that the dart propelled through the open doorway and melted in less than ten seconds, in a searing puddle of rain right there on the concrete. But it was all in good fun; they were not the competitive type, living off their monthly stipend as they did, so generously provided by the slave labor from Treasure Island. For in this time, and in this world, heterosexuals ruled. God fearing heterosexuals, that is. God fearing, patriotic redneck heterosexuals.

But soon they grew tired of sport, though could not leave the saloon until the toxic waters ceased their cascade from the rabid heavens. So they stared with blank eyes out the grimy picture window, daydreaming about eviscerating dummy faggots you can purchase at Cliff’s Variety for just a dollar each, until the rains subsided, the clouds parted, and the lifeless brown sun shone once more, in all its befouled glory. There isn’t much to do in a post-holocaust world, now that the real faggots have all vanished.

It isn’t so bad, though, once you get over the dearth of electricity, health care, firemen, uncanned meat, clean water (the kind that doesn’t make your skin rupture into painful bubbles like wasp stings), soap, storebought clothes, police, vegetables and fruit, television, street lamps, automobiles, radio, antibiotics, dogs, cats and birds, clean air (the kind that doesn’t make you choke and cough up blood every two minutes) and online porn. You could always tell stories, though…but they seem to be in waning supply these days, too, as folk’s strontium tainted memories tend to fade into carefree oblivion with the passage of time. Yet time is all we have anymore.

“Hey!” Jebediah’s eyes lit up. “Did ye hear the one about…” but then his recollection drifted off into a funk, and he stroked his beard absentmindedly. Cockroaches skittered about the wiry, gray hairs and through his fingers, like an abundant sprinkle of jumbo-sized fairy dust.

“No, tell me, Jeb!” begged Neezer, always one to embrace a new story like a dollar-store jezebel.

He eagerly snatched up a few of those roaches, like movie theater popcorn, as he anticipated a hellacious tale to brighten up this weary life.

But Jebediah looked mortally crushed. “Nah!” he growled. “Twaren’t such a good joke after all. Jes ye ferget it.”

“No, no, I insist!” demanded Neezer with a friendly thump on Jeb’s arm.

Jebediah then glared at Neezer and whopped him off the stool with a loud “crack” on the splintery, cold floor. Some blood pooled about his companion’s knee, and the homo-jerky gunk surrounding it, discarded by other patrons over the years. Jeb is known for his short fuse. But he helped Ebeneezer back up and onto his seat, where they both resumed gawking at the gray, wet scene outside, and the occasional army tank rumbling up and down Eighteenth Street.

The barkeep plunked down two shots of Kissin Kuzzins Pansy Bourbon beside the elbows of Jeb and Neezer, arousing them from their vacuous revery. As tender of a booze joint, he sports the requisite two-foot-long beard that sweeps across the bartop with every drink he summons, collecting peanut shells, cracker bits, fag rinds and other debris in the process. No one could ever accuse him of maintaining his station with less than immaculate devotion. Even the saloon rats that feed on the droppings of lemon rinds and vomit are squeaky clean!

“Hey, boys, cheer up!” he said with a grin. “Annual Ass Lickin Day is almost here, and I think ye two are in for a treat!”

He was referring to a celebration wherein redneck patriots can get their rectums chewed out by select queer inmates, for just a dollar. By now, it is the biggest holiday in the nation, drawing more than a thousand tourists from all corners of the republic. In fact, that event alone keeps Frisco Town in the black, all year long. And the faggot who is voted Most Outstanding Ass Licker of the Year, gains his freedom equal to that of any redblooded, Amerikan breeder! Prizes for the two runners up are nothing to sneeze at, either:

Second place winner is assigned the coveted duty as Personal Ass Crack Tongue Washer for the Republic of Gilead’s Chief Demon Overlord, himself: Donald J. Trump the Fourth. And third place wins the lucky boon of an all expenses paid, two week vacation at the Gerbil Whirl Amusement Park and Sodomite Detention Center.

All remaining dozen or so queer anus kissers are required to strip down to their ankle weights and get violated, bashed, tortured or whatever those who pay a dollar choose to do with these unrepentant rump hogs. So long as not a single one of them survives this highest of holy days with the Hetero Lord’s crimson river of life still pumping through his arteries.

“Lordy, Lordy, how I miss the good ol’ days, Cletus,” Neezer addressed the barkeep in a far-off, nostalgic haze, chin resting in his palm.

“The good old days?” queried the barkeep as he snatched up several wolf spiders and tossed them into the snack jar.

“Ye know, when faggots wuz free to roam, and we wuz free to hunt ’em down!” Neezer sighed. “Now-days, ya have to wait fer but oncet-a-year befoh ye can have ainy fun with ’em. It’s all controlled, planned and advertized ta death…and thu awl-mightee dollar rules.” He then spat onto the floor, striking a large, black creepy-crawly that scuttled away with a clatter. “Gawd damn capital-izm!”

“I know, right?” Cletus sympathized. “Gummint’s got its filthy paws in ever-thang, anymore! Ye just cain’t get out there and shoot down a sissy boy whenever the mood strikes! Ye have to wait a whole god darn year ta gitcher ass licked at gunpoint…and wait in a long line be-foe ye kin do even that! Whut’s this country comin’ to, any-wize?”

“And that was some goo-oood ass lickin’, let me tell ya!” Jebediah piped up, as if startled from a deep slumber.

Finger lickin’ good, ha-ha!” quipped Neezer.

They all cackled like flustered hens over that joke, which surprised even Ebeneezer, who invented it in the first place. A lot of guffaws, knee slapping and back pounding ensued for several sparkling minutes. During that brief span of time, they forgot their worries, the encroaching doom of their world, and a sad longing for the love of another man they can never have…at least not in this life. Though a girl can dream, can’t she?

When they finally caught their breaths, Jebediah pointed a knobby index finger at his forever-to-be-unrequited enamorado:

“Neezey, God blessed ye mighty bigly, with that-thar orsome gift of the spoken pun! I should PUNish ye fer that!”

Cletus the barkeep nodded in vigorous agreement before turning his back on them, to polish the artillery shells he finds in the gutter now and then, waxing them up to be used as dildoes, that he presents to this or that favored patron.

That is: one who either leaves a big tip, or displays an impressive bulge that whispers a promise to engorge something sweet, huge and rock hard, up the bartender’s poop chute before the shift ends.

Well, the torpid mercury rains finally came to an end, and the sun bulged out from behind the clouds like a throbbing abcess. With that, a priest, a rabbi and an imam entered the establishment…grinning like they just told each other the grandest joke in the world. Jeb and Neezer looked up at the holy trio quizzically, grateful for the relief of something novel about to enter their otherwise necrotic lives. But the barkeep glared at them in severe displeasure. He yanked out a nook-you-ler shotgun from beneath the counter and bellowed:

“No! None of that here! We won’t have none of that here! The Lord is my witness!”

He blew them into a zillion bloody pieces of meat and bone; the rats feasted.

“Time to go, I guess,” Jebediah moaned in a hollow timbre…for neither he nor Neezer had any idea how they’d spend the rest of their sorry little afternoon, to relieve this ghastly boredom that haunted their every waking moment since the day they were ejected from a fat lady’s womb. But one thing they knew for sure, that kept their hopes buoyed even just a little:

They could always come back to jack off, suck off or fuck off at the old Penjulep Honkey-Tonk Pool Hall and Dancing Saloon. Though dancing is something you do by yourself, until you drop dead. Like Saint Vitus. What on earth do they put in the water these days? Lordy!


Rays of Emerald

July 7, 2017

Since Larkin’s incredible scenario of June 11th (the last time our auras clashed) I’ve been carrying around a folded printout of my email to Twin Peaks Tavern, asking them to welcome him back. (See my blog entry previous to this, called “Hug of the Century,” linked above…the email is at the very end.) It’s a great letter, and optimizes the odds in Larkin’s favor. Though since I am convinced this is a joke being played upon me by many members of the Castro scene, Twin Peaks will soon have him back, anywayz…with “moi,” The Most Welcome Guest Of All. I do suspect they’ve already made copies of my email, and are passing it around the bar, having a good guffaw, as they no doubt did with my postcard flurry two years back. And I’m sure Larkin is there, too, tickled pink (or whatever color a Reptilian Starship Commander’s scales turn to, when he’s highly amused).

{{ By now you’ve concluded that I’m pissing-in-my-pants eager to get that copy of the email to Larkin ASAP, even though I haven’t spoken such in this report you’re now reading. Until this, my eighth sentence. Yes, My Excrescent Reader, I’m securing the letter to my person or backpack (or, occasionally, a tote bag) every time I step out, awaiting the moment My Perplexing Plesiosaur appears before me once again, like a vision from Triassic Eden. And that moment just occurred short minutes ago: 9:05 PM, as precisely as I can guess. After running upstairs then bumping into my neighbor Michael and chatting him up about Larkin for a spell, and finally entering my room and looking at the Sony clock radio’s digital display: 9:14. }}

It has been almost three weeks since I emailed that request, just four or five days longer than the time I’ve been carrying that printout! But this evening, This Frabjous Evening, no sooner had I exited through the front gate, than here he comes barreling down the sidewalk. Hunched up and all slinky like and kinda shabbily clothed, tonight…I guess he was in one of those “incognito” (or “shadow chameleon”) moods. Especially as regards yours truly, for whom he desires not to notice his presence, quite often. Yet, frankly: deep within that widdle heart, I’m sure he craves the opposite. I’ve never seen him with a ruddy face before…though I’ve certainly seem him hostile more than just this one time! It honestly isn’t part of the look I’ve come to adore in all his varied expressions. Don’t know why, but it jars me.

So there he was, looming large in my reality, then passing by as swiftly as possible…though the partying throngs scattered about as they lingered between bars and clubs, made for a slow passage. I was momentarily stunned by his ghostly tentacles (like some deceased cephalopod come to haunt me), but I was by now immune to his venomous discharge. Thus I speedily recovered with more than enough split seconds to call loudly from behind:

“That was quite a spectacular roasting you gave me the other night!” Sucking in my breath to exhale the second part like a demon exorcised, I embellished: “You deserve an Oscar!”

Larkin had barely progressed more than twenty feet beyond where I first sighted him, the clots of revelers were that thick. Yet (with hindsight) I can’t help but believe he intentionally slowed down to grant me just enough time to blurt out my prepared bon mot, before drifting beyond my orbit.

I still had yet to hand him the copy of My Papal Dispensation, and he was about to cross 16th Street!

I managed to encroach amid the dense throng another few steps, then bellow these words towards Larkin who now stood balancing his feet on the curb, eager to distance himself as soon as the light changed. Or perhaps waiting patiently for me to speak my last three lines:

“Hey, I got a gift for you! It’s a printout of the email I sent to…”

It was a brief scene he had scripted this time around, and my dialogue a mere five sentences. In fact, I was the only character with any spoken words at all, if you don’t count the outdoor revelers whose voices were blurred background ambience, anyway. I knelt down halfway to retrieve the baggie-sealed envelope from my tote, while I arched my neck upwards to project my voice over and beyond the fluctuating wall of flesh:

“…I sent to Twin Peaks Tavern…”

I stopped, realizing that the light had just turned green, and the crowd was now surging forward, along with Larkin. So I quickly stood erect once more, this time with The Exculpatory Missive in hand, waving it at a receding Larkin who refused to glance back. I boomed forcefully above the din of traffic and laughter:

“…asking them to welcome you back!”

By now Larkin was more than halfway across to Noe Street, and I had barely progressed another yard. But my lungs are strong, my words carry far, and surely he heard:

“I hope it works!”

I stood watching as he reached the corner where Noe, 16th and Market intersect on the northwest point, expecting him to vanish in another moment. Suddenly he paused, turned around to look directly back to where I was standing by the bus shelter, still waving. I smiled with unbridled joy while he stared back, either poker faced or peeved…it was too far to tell. Though his button eyes ran a straight target to my own. Just as suddenly, after maybe three seconds of unabashed glaring, he turned away and took several steps before (guess what?)…

He did an about face and ogled me again! (Is “ogle” the right word here? I sure hope so!) Though he still was not too distant to hear me speak if I belted out my words like a platoon sergeant, I simply waved once more, and smiled. Finally, he turned away and disappered around the corner, and I rushed home to write it all down. That’s when I bumped into my neighbor Michael, on the carpeted stairway.

{{ FYI, My Drupaceous Reader, I write down every encounter with Larkin, as a matter of record. For his spirit is momentous, as is our association…at least in my universe. Everything’s an adventure of the highest order with My Brassy Brachiosaurus, and I just can’t keep my quill resting in the well, thanks to his inspiration. Imagine having someone in your life who always makes you feel like the luckiest sentient being in all possible universes. I rest my case. }}

“Michael! Michael! I just saw Larkin!”

Standing midstairs, Michael turned back towards me and grinned, waiting for me to share new information that he could take to Starship Central next time they beam him up (which is in a day or two, so, really really really soon). So I emit data…that is: I blabber on.

“Larkin did this and I did that, then I did this and Larkin didn’t do that, then he did both this and that simultaneously, so I was stuck holding the Old Maid card as usual, because I, in non-response, did neither this nor that…I did other! What choice did I have?”

Though I took all of several minutes just to tell Michael what it took me only those two sentences above to write down, and he had to go to work. Even though I had him in stitches. Well, at least I kick-started his night with a burst of sunshine and positivity…in my own, weird, gay-gothic cyberpunk sci-fi way.

I finally ascended hovel (that’s what I lovingly call my SRO, the SRO I’ve been living in since January first, 1983: “hovel” instead of “home”), and the first thing I do is check the time. Nine fourteen. I then seat myself before my Lenovo 100-S notebook, which found a new home barely two months back, perched upon my octagonal cabinet. Which is maybe 25, 26, 27 inches high, with just enough room atop to include a mouse and a dinner plate or bowl. As I began to type out a report of the preceding ten minutes (that is: “my latest Larkin encounter”), the visage of Larkin’s two rosy cheeks floated into my thoughts.

“He’s never had rag-doll cheeks before,” I mused. “It is so not Larkin!”

An icy shudder gripped my spine, then ran up and down in sickening waves, as realization struck me like a horse!

“That may not have been Larkin!”

What with being stoned out of my cranium on some quality strain I just purchased from mask-vendor Billy two mornings ago, and how this encounter was more like a blur, it went so fast. Did I really mistake another dude of the same, general morphology and facial cues, for Larkin? Was it actually wishful thinking so potent, I stepped into a parallel world of my own making, for a scant 48 seconds?

And if it wasn’t him, what the fuk was he thinking, glaring back at me–not once, but twice–glaring back at me from across a pedestrian-packed crosswalk?

Those damned apple cheeks! I get it: he’s throwing me off the track by putting some makeup on his face, like a drag queen. Rouge! Setting me up to begin doubting that was him, as memory of the episode sinks deeper into my twin hemispheres. After further pondering, I began to feel relieved as I reminded myself that Larkin glancing back at me–not once, but twice mind you–was his signal to reassure me that, yes, this is, indeed, My Larkin. For he has done this before, in previous adventures. He wouldn’t have stopped and gazed back at me two times (the second, to drive the message home), unless he already surmised that doubts would come to surface.

My relief was, alas, short lived. For a new doubt arose in my psyche, in the image of an irate stranger looking back at me, wondering if he should return to smack me around. An angel must’ve been watching over me (if my conjecture that he’s not Larkin, is true), for he thought strongly of assaulting me, twice, before something turned him away.

Or perhaps it’s all Larkin, for his shamanic sorcery is stupendously powerful, and infinitely clever. Surely more than up to the challenge of shifting his appearance in subtle ways, and controlling his behavior in a certain manner, as to make me think of the “stranger” theory in the first place! I’d know his voice anywhere, which makes it crystal clear as to why he didn’t utter so much as a syllable. Yet a stranger probably would…so this is a second clue that this rogue is, indeed, Mr. Kelsey. Then again, on the other hand…?

Thus, I’m stuck in some sort of temporal purgatory, still wondering if that really was He Who Lights My Path With Rays of Emerald, or not.


ADDENDUM

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 00:16:47
Subject:
A Peek Preview: RAYS OF EMERALD!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

I started to type an email to you, but then decided to make it into a
story first. So, know this is to you, though it’s already a completed
tale. So you get to read it first! (It’s brief, just 3-1/3
pages…but I’m so PROUD of it, you’ll see why.) It’s in a temporary
folder for now. I still need to find some cute images for it, before
uploading it to my blog account.

http://gay-bible.org/temp/RAYS-OF-EMERALD.htm

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 22:47:01
Subject:
Re: A Peek Preview: RAYS OF EMERALD!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:12 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ Quite a story! }}

Thank you…lotsa fun comin’ up with unique metaphors. A bit of Lewis Carrol in there, and Lovecraft, and Jurassic Park: I’m sure you got ’em all. I had planned to lay out the whole dialogue I had with Michael while on the stairs: many interesting ideas were expressed. But the story came together without that, I knew it was perfect at a certain point…and I just had to let go.

{{ So, in retrospect, what do you think? Was it Larkin, or a doppelganger? Or both? }}

Oh, I’m sure it was Larkin. Just like him to suddenly appear so I could tell him about that email, if I couldn’t actually hand him the printout. He had kept me waiting o’erlong (almost two weeks). But when he really busts his gonads to evoke an extra-extra-special encounter, he then allows more than the usual time to pass, before we meet once more. That is so I can spend sufficient days to savor the delicious scenario, like sampling a fine chocolate truffle that you swirl about on your tongue in such a way as to delay its mournful dissolution.

And so like him to put that mysterious twist into the encounter, making me seriously ponder if it was someone else…whom I weirded out as a consequence. And that is why he did not speak…his voice would’ve blown his cover right off the lid. I’m wondering if some, or much, of the crowd that night were hired actors who followed Larkin’s script to create this latest mini-adventure. I suspect so, seeing as there’s way too much synchronicity /not/ to be contrived by human intent. Ergo I also wonder about all our previous magical encounters…were there actors helping shape the scenario?

Larkin /playing/ his doppelganger. Clever.

Speaking of the idea that Larkin may work with actors to create some of these adventures:

Back in the days of the ol’ Hole in the Wall Saloon, Larkin had his own following, “groupies.” They’d either show up with him leading the pack, or show up on their own and wait for him to make his appearance a short while later. Well, one afternoon I experienced a multi-doppelganger right out of one of the most popular episodes in that old sitcom, “Cheers.”

This is the one where the episode opens with lookalikes of all the regular actors…who looked kinda like them, but you could tell they were fakes. Norm was replaced by another, as were all the main stars. It was very funny. Instead of “Hi, Norm” when his doppelganger stepped in, they said, “Hi, Fred” (or whatever name they used; I forgot).

Well the same thing happened to me at The Hole! In steps this tall, handsome lanky dude the same height as Larkin, and looking like his brother! All the groupies were also doppelgangers of Larkin’s own followers. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Even the bartender, Gary, was replaced by a replica.

This lasted about 45 minutes, then they all swarmed on outta there. I had no one to share this bizarre event with, to ask about. Nor did anyone approach me that same day or any day after, to reveal the hilarious scheme.

Now, Eleanor, how could something like that just happen outta the blue? Of course it didn’t, it was scripted and rehearsed by those hired to perform. Which also suggests that the LGBT community (or a significant portion thereof) regards me highly…or they wouldn’t go through such an amazing dupe.

– Zeke


Hug of the Century

June 14, 2017

[ Exculpatory Reader: finally, Larkin asked me for a hug…the first time he’s ever done that, actually! Previously, he’d just come up and hug me, or say, “gimme a hug, Zeke!” or I would ask him. But as you know, the hugs became rare, once he resurfaced in the Castro…and I always had to ask…sometimes beg him, even. The last time we hugged was more than two years ago. Until late last night. ]

The point is this: he never asked before. It was an extraordinary encounter, around 1:15am. But let me describe the events earlier that evening (Sunday, June 11th), which led up to it.

Really hurting to see him again, even a glimpse, these past few days. In fact, I was speaking to him in my mind, with words like: “Listen buddy, I’m begging you…so much time has passed and I still reach out to you. My life ain’t so great, and my soul is utterly crushed at this point. Can’t you please, please, please, stop this game and start being the awesome friend I know you truly are?”

I think that a lot of my grief comes not from this Trump era, my bad teeth, or any other trial…that it actually is the lovesickness I’ve carried in my heart for him these many, many years. So I heard My Wily Wyvern’s booming voice from across the street, around 9:30pm…looked out the window, and saw his huge, incredible self joking around with some ladies on their way to whatever Castro venue. He showed off by a powerful karate kick on the traffic sign opposite the one by my edifice.

I thought to holler out, “I heard that, Larkin!” or something, but decided to keep quiet and just watch. He did some funny dance, twirled around, and the girls guffawed. Then he waved them goodbye and continued towards Castro Street, his lanky arms waving in the air as he marched on into the stygian veil. I then looked at my unprepared meal, and decided to eat later on. For I was itching to glimpse him once more.

I put my sneakers on, a warm jacket, and a black knitted cap with a ring of large snowflakes atop (which I found left behind on a Metro seat three weeks back…old Chinese ladies seem to love these hats), and meandered down Market to Castro, then left on 18th. He suddenly popped out of The Mix, same direction as yours truly…who was now barely 20 feet behind his strapping presence. I don’t think he saw me; I almost called out but chose to remain incognito…as I watched him cut diagonally across 18th Street and onwards to Moby Dick, which is almost catty-corner from the Mix.

Some folks seemed to be arguing further down the sidewalk on my side of 18th, and Larkin heard them. So he paused before entering the other bar, and hollered to them:

“Don’t be mad, be glad!”

“Humph,” I thought, “what a hypocrite.” So I then bolted my voice in his direction:

“You should follow your own advice!” He seemed to not hear (though I’m sure he did), so I repeated my declaration before he disappeared through the doorway.

I walked by Moby Dick several times, but his back was facing the street, so I don’t really know if he saw me. Though I suspect he did; I finally returned hovel.

I prepared my simple supper of packaged brown and red rice w/herbs and veggies that only takes 90 seconds in the microwave. After my first few bites, I started itching once more to get out there, and see if maybe I could get another glimpse of my inamorato (as Marco so aptly calls him). To my disappointment, he was no longer hanging at Moby Dick…nor the Mix, nor Beaux. So I stepped back inside for some minutes, but grew restless again, and decided to have a smoke or two from my small collection of today’s snipes…outside, by the bus shelter.

“Is that Larkin?” I thought, reacting to a boisterous holler further down the street, probably outside Beaux. I squinted to see if I could find his silhouette among the crowd of shadows gathered there, out front. After a minute or so, I made him out, and saw his form begin to saunter in my direction.

He didn’t spot me, as I made sure to hide behind the inner wall of the shelter. Once he kicked the signpost, I called out my usual “I heard that!”

He paused then, and peered up at my window, which now has that lovely, scent diffusing lamp placed on the ledge and glowing its spectrum of juicy colors, slowly and one by one. At the moment, it shone a radiant lavender. He tilted his head, waiting for me to poke my face out the window, I guess, then said:

“Where are you?”

“Ha!” I chuckled to myself, “He thinks I’m upstairs.”

So I called to him once more: “I’m right here, Larkin!”

Yet he still gazed up, thinking my voice came from above. So I clarified to his booze addled sensibilities:

“I’m right here, dawg, by the bus stop!”

He looked his beautiful self upon approaching; I noticed some thin streaks of silver in those thick, close-cut waves of dark auburn. He came up really close, his face barely three inches from mine, and declared:

“You need to get out of my life!”

I just looked into those glorious, aureate eyes and that Blarney-kissed mug which never fails to astound me. Then he spit a big wad of saliva, right on my left cheek and nose. I stood my ground in utter calm and remarked:

“Good to see you again, Larkin.”

“Aargh!” he raised his arms in exasperation and moved a few feet away from me. I cannot really capture in words, the brilliant scenario he obviously prepared in advance, he is such an excellent trickster! So I’ll just attempt to list his various antics, which took up a generous 15 or 20 minutes in total…the longest time we’ve spent together in almost three, difficult years!

Fidgeting with his cell phone as he leaned against the bus shelter, he cursed and confided that he’s a mess, and needs help. I watched as he kept pressing different parts of the cell phone’s screen, which displayed a handsome, naked blonde fellow in the background. He seemed to have trouble finding a number or app, as he kept tapping away in frustration.

“I hate cell phones,” I interjected.

Then he muttered how he hates computers, and something about failing a computer test. Seeing as I’m a PC hobbyist, well versed in this field of technology, I offered to help him, at no cost.

“Fuck that,” he spoke with scorn, “I don’t want your help.” He grumbled further: “Life sucks and then you die.”

“But I’m here for you, Larkin, you don’t need to feel so bad.”

Then he started ranting once more how I need to extricate myself from his world, put his face quite close to mine (again) and spat on me (again). I was not phased in the least, as I know his mischief, and had no reason to respond with anger. In fact, I greatly appreciated this scripted scenario of an outrageously handsome, superbly talented dude so cray-cray in love with me, he’s stupefied. Very cute.

He raised his arms to the sky, then turned away and began to walk off, as I stood there in silence, allowing the saliva to drip down my cheek, some of which touched my lips. It was a gorgeous night, BTW, cool ocean breezes kissed the balmy air, and the bold, gibbous moon a wan yellow. I decided to praise him:

“You’re a good man, Larkin.”

Upon those words, he looked down at his feet and muttered: “Oh I know I’m a good man, it’s you I wonder about.”

(“Jeez, he’s really rubbing the shit in my face tonight,” I mused with a repressed chuckle.)

“In fact,” he looked directly into my eyes from 10 feet away, “you’re a royal fuck up. A big, fat, royal son of a bitch fuck up.”

I said nothing, because I knew this is a game and I love him very much…so just enjoy the ride. He then stepped up and double-finger tapped me firmly on the chest:

“Oh, you are such a fuck up, I’m sorry you’ve ever been in my life, even for a minute!”

“So he wants to play angry daddy to my bad boy,” I thought. “Okay, I’ll go along with it, it’s kinda fun.”

“You know, Zeke,” he confided, bent down with our noses almost touching, his ember-smoky eyes zoomed into mine, “I really thought you were the one for me. Really! For quite a while, I truly believed you were my Mr. Right, my best buddy of all time…my SOULMATE!”

He suddenly withdrew, stood erect with that crestfallen visage looming down on me like a thundercloud:

“But you had to go and fuck everything up. Didn’t you.”

“Oh, right,” I mused, “I’m a baaaad boy, it’s all my fault, and nothing will ever make up for that. I was soooo close to having him, now I must roast in Gehenna for the rest of my sorry life. Ha-ha.” But I was touched by him even admitting he felt that way for me. I relished the heck out of his sweet, silly reprimands that were his unique way of professing great admiration towards this trembling Pilgrim Of Love’s Long Journey.

Larkin twisted his lips in scorn: “You ruined my life!” He spoke those accusatory words with arms extended and hands cupped like a medieval mendicant. His forehead squiggled like a whimpering Shar-Pei.

“No I didn’t,” I replied matter-of-factly.

“Yes you did!”

Then came a pregnant pause, as if he were expecting yours truly to pick up the next line in a script. I felt like I was playing into some kind of riddle, like a knock-knock joke. So I exhaled, then spoke the following words, right on cue:

“Okay, I’ll bite: how did I ruin your life, Larkin?”

His reply was prompt…no doubt because he wrote the damned script in the first place!

“You got me kicked out of Twin Peaks!”

I pondered a few moments as he stood there, frozen in that tableau of utter destitution. Then I shrugged my shoulders and held out my hands in equal hopelessness, to echo:

“I’m…sorry?”

He then vigorously waved his Samsung in my direction:

“DON’T say you’re sorry!”

[ I guess the point there was (Concupiscent Reader): had I not stood up to him (and defended myself with pepper spray, to stop his shoving me), he would not respect me. I believe he intended me to do just that, by setting up the scenario in the first place…waiting to see how much pushing me around it would take, before I got fed up. Just two, FYI. ]

Larkin stepped up his whining over all the friends he made there, and what a POS I am. While I just stood there, lips sealed, picturing his cornucopia of new-found “friends” (mostly elderly, some ready to topple over with their final breath…there’s a reason locals call that place “the glass coffin”). Whose fat wallets inspired him to cozy up and charm them to pieces with all his witty tales and words of affection. Accompanied, of course, with equally affectionate touches. They’d gratefully return his ministrations by showering him with free drinks, 10 and 20 spots, and god only knows whatever additional services he offered, such as escort, companion, errand boy, housekeeper and so forth.

[ I doubt, however, he provided any sexual favors. But so handsome and talented a hustler he is! I do not begrudge one smidgeon, his adept ability to thrive, financially, in this difficult world. I only am laughing at his keen wit and robust presentation through whatever challenges that would make most independent rogues eventually wither away in despair, by the time they hit middle age. And Larkin is now 54! So please, Embryonic Reader, be clear about one thing, at the very least: my laughter is born of joyful admiration. ]

He finally paused to relieve his lungs, thus providing me with the rare opportunity to interject a retort in my defense:

“Well, you ruined my life, too!”

Then he came up close once more, with a lowered head and a hand upon my shoulder:

“Look, Zeke, you can spit on me as much as you want, I don’t care. Go ahead, hock a loogie on me!”

“He’s my lovebird, though, so why would I spit back?” I thought…and I know he heard, even though I kept my mouth shut.

As he pulled away, he emphasized once more:

“But you really need to get out of my life!”

I then released these words bottled up inside my yearning corazón:

“Some years back, you said the nicest thing to me, nicer than anyone else has ever said, or ever will!”

Of course, I meant that day back in May of 2014, when he lowered his frame, placed his hands on both my shoulders, looked right into my eyes and confided:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is an incredible godsend!”

I wanted to further state that I’m answering to that, and have been, ever since he made such a divine revelation…but of course he interrupted with pomp and circumcision, drowning any further words of mine in the process. But I refused to get frustrated at this, as I realize he’s been testing me, so to speak, testing my fidelity and will…over a span of ten-plus years! Maybe not a test so much as a kind of shamanic initiation.

He then came up to me again, glaring down at my black ski cap encircled with a halo of large, white snowflakes :

“Are you stupid?”

I said nothing.

“Are you stupid?”

I still kept mum.

“ARE you stupid?”

“No,” I finally ejaculated.

Then he demanded I lean against the shelter’s back wall, beside him where he resumed tapping at the cell phone. So I did. He insisted I place my back against that wall, and put my hands in my pockets, as he moved to lean against the plate glass window of the Super Duper hot dog bistro, and light a cigarette. He fumbled in his pockets, but could not find them.

“Fuck, where’s my cancer? I can’t find my cancer, now!”

With that, he came forward and started to punch my chest with his fist. Not too hard, mind you. But I flinched each time, a natural reflex.

“C’mon, you can take it!” He tried to shame me. “Nah, run back to your little cave now, like a pussy!”

I ignored him by staying put, whereby he delivered a few more, semi-tough punches, and reiterated that I’m free to run back into the building like a wuss. I did no such thing, of course…I was drooling over all this attention! Throughout these little dramas, folks walked by, pausing a bit to discern whether or not they should intervene on my behalf. Including a Mexican worker who was toting a wheely garbage bin to the curb. But they moved on, seeing this was more play than danger.

Larkin then ordered me to stay put for five minutes against the shelter’s wall, and not speak a word.

“Can you do that? Can you just shut up for five minutes? I bet you can’t!”

Keeping my lips sealed, I nodded.

“Really, can you do that? Just keep quiet for five fuckin’ minutes?”

I knew he was trying to get me to speak, but I remained steadfast and silent. He then discovered his cigarette pack, of which two tobacco sticks remained…but he had trouble getting one lit. I held out my own lighter, but he rejected the offer. Several minutes passed, with my standing in one spot, and him mumbling all sorts of silly things, trying to look as outraged as a firehose drenched cat.

[ Before he lit the “cancer,” he came right up to me with the cigarette dangling from those yummy lips. Then, with his mug real close to mine, he started “gurning” them, which displaced the ciggie, moving it around at ridiculous angles and positions, sometimes even between the nose and upper lip. The cigarette appeared to move about with a life of its own, sometimes twirling in one direction, then the next! Crossing his eyes and rolling them awkwardly only served to enhance the absurd spectacle. I swear, Avuncular Reader, I do not see how he did that, without assistance from at least a finger or two! (The ciggie I mean, not the eyes…hardy har har.) Truly hilarious…it was all I could do to keep from busting out in guffaws and collapsing, helpless, onto the concrete. But I somehow managed to keep a poker face through it all. ]

Once he discarded the smoldering butt, he came up and grabbed my coat to pull me forward. He semi dragged me from the shelter, to the front gate of 2306…I resisted only slightly. All the while saying things like:

“I am not your savior any more, Zeke, hear me? I am not your savior!”

Once we got to the gate, he tried to make me promise I’d stay out of his life, for once and for all. My reply?

“But Larkin, I already am out of your life, and have been for at least two years. It’s only when our paths cross that I say hi and speak kind words to you!”

Of course, it’s always been him showing up in my life, often by whacking with a powerful karate kick, the street sign below my window, to alert me. Though of course he feigns otherwise, as if that were the only metallic signpost in the city. Nonetheless, I always poke my noggin out the window and holler: “I heard that!” To which he usually never reacts (except for this latest episode when he halted to look up at my room and speak to me). Though once in a while he flips me the bird without looking back, and I bellow this or that nonsense, something playful such as “Is that a cock in your pocket or are you gonna shoot me?” or “Help me Larkin, I’m made of mostly water!” or “I lost my mojo, sweetheart, have you seen it anywhere?” Silly stuff like that.

But I’ve already reported all those events of our encounters in previous posts, that apparently he planned all by his lone some, while pawning it all off on me…being the brilliant jokester that he is.

Then he held up a fist so I could bump it…as some sort of agreement that I’d do just that: remove myself from his world, for good. But I don’t do fist bumps…certainly not with one I love so much! For they strike me as an insult, ’cause we should be hugging each other, instead. I refuse to be demoted to just a trivial acquaintance! So I ignored the extended fist, and remarked:

“We live in the same neighborhood, Larkin. Our paths will keep crossing!”

He then lowered his fist, dropped his arms to his sides, stood up tall as he could (and at 6-foot-4, that’s quite a length) and sighed:

“Hug me, please?”

I looked up at that glorious Celtic mug and said: “Yes, I’d love to hug you, Larkin.”

But he didn’t put his arms out to encircle me, so I knew it would be a one-way hug. Fine with me; I raised myself up, wrapped my arms about those noble shoulders, and laid my head upon his chest for about half a minute. I was in Umpteenth Heaven!

My hug ended way too soon, but I respect him too much to force him to linger in my arms…a subtle way, I guess, to display my sincerest affections. So as soon as I regretfully withdrew, he resumed his rants about how screwed up I am, and I absolutely must banish my pathetic self from his kingdom. Meanwhile I’m standing patiently by the front gate, Larkin obstructing my ability to step inside. So I interjected while he kept babbling away:

“If you move aside a skosh so I can insert this key into the lock, that would be awesome.”

But he ignored me and rattled on while I happily remained in sweet proximity, wishing this to endure till the bovines return.


[ Before I forget, Zooflagellate Reader: I left out some parts that I will now include, then complete the tale:

While stating how miserable his life is, I told him mine is pretty bad, too. Then he mumbled something about leaving San Francisco, the people are so mean.

“They’re mean to me, too, Larkin,” I agreed. “It’s a cruel city.” Then I added: “If you move, Larkin, I will miss you so much!”

Which was an understatement…I’d probably fall flat on my face and die in a few months, or sooner, after his departure. Until that fatal moment, I’ll probably be looking for him everywhere I go, poking my head out the window several times each day, in hopes of seeing him come striding down Market Street. Keeping my ears alert for his boisterous hollers through the chill night air: a glorious timbre like cathedral bells to my eardrums.

I’d refuse to believe he’s really gone, that he’s just testing my mettle…which scenario I’ve already written down in my tale, “But It Won’t Make Me Happy.” Upon which you, Eleanor, remarked:

“Inspired! It’s as if you’re channeling a parallel dream-world, which is striving to become the real world! The more detailed your vision, the more you create a portal for that dream world to find its way into this world and become as real as the rocks and trees!”

Marco McClean read that piece, BTW, on April 18th, though he excluded the addendum, and thus, your comment therein.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/but-it-wont-make-me-happy/

Now, during Larkin’s chest punching antics, he suddenly slammed the bus shelter’s thermoplastic wall right beside my head. Gave me a start, but again that was a normal reflex, had nothing to do with fear. In fact, I was totally at peace–overjoyed, even–at the mischievous attentions he bestowed upon me last night. He knows I carry pepper spray (all too well, as I actually sprayed him once, that night I got him 86’d from Twin Peaks Tavern two Christmas Eves ago), even though he insisted I place my hands in my pockets. I could’ve whipped it out to defend myself from his blows, or grabbing onto my jacket and pulling me to the front gate. But this was an act of trust on both our parts, and, quite probably, a test on my emotional status: to see whether or not I allowed any fear or hatred to seep into my psyche during these little challenges. He did look deep into my eyes several times, I guess to discern any negative content.

During one of his rants against me, he strode back and forth along the length of the shelter, waving his arms and cussing me out with some of the most colorful language I’ve ever heard…like that foul mouthed cockatoo on Youtube!

I interrupted him at this point, in a steady though bemused tone of voice:

“You really want me out of your life…then why are you still here, why didn’t you just dismiss me and keep on truckin’?” I swept my hands, palms up, towards Noe Street, as if to nudge him on his way, express delivery. Larkin scowled: I swear I could see fumes wafting from those darling Irish ears.

At least four times, he must’ve repeated that I should not intrude myself into his life any more. And upon the second or third time, I spoke the following observation:

“How can I promise not to do something that I’ve never done in the first place?”

He almost blew up at that, playing the enraged daddy to his disobedient brat of a son, to a T.

I had come up with a new pet title for him, “Captain Galaxy,” and I finally had the chance to use it last night. In one of those moments he turned to head for parts unknown, I called out:

“Captain Galaxy!”

He acted quite annoyed, which caused him to turn heel and come back…but he bumped into a gaggle of bar goers while screaming expletives at me, the same time. He stopped abruptly, and gave them a profuse apology…they laughed, “oh it’s okay, you have a good night, sir.” While catching his breath, I took that moment to express the remainder of my rehearsed bon mot:

“Oh, Captain Galaxy, you have made my world so wonderful, I can’t thank you enough!”

Well, that really ticked him off, so he decided to linger and rage at me a while longer. Much to my delicious elation. ]


After our one-way hug I watched him depart while holding the gate half open. Almost at the corner, he turned and called to me:

“So we’re good now, you stay out of my life, promise?”

I spoke no word, just smiled at My Demented Diplodocus with immense gratitude, wondering if he’s gonna come back for one more drama-queen bout. But he did not, and, instead of shutting the gate and returning upstairs to my SRO, I decided to follow him from a safe distance, after he turned left up Noe Street, heading for Duboce Park. I heard his voice boom at someone from around the corner…or maybe he was just exclaiming his usual nonsense to the invisible spirits of the air. I waited until his sonorous echoes diminished a bit, before turning that corner and proceeding in such a way that the parked cars would hide my view from his eagle vision, should he turn to look back. Judging by his nonstop, public ranting (like some comical werewolf or rhinoceros in heat), he must’ve been almost two blocks ahead.

After traversing almost another block and a half, he suddenly ceased; and I trembled at the thought that he spotted me, or suspected my whereabouts, and was about to run back to give me a quasi-thrashing. But that did not occur, to my relief. Figuring he was still not so far gone, that he couldn’t hear me if I yelled, I decided to do just that. Though I hesitated:

“Now, what words can I say to be sure he’d know it was my voice calling out, and no one else’s?” I thought in desperation, fearing he may be too distant already. Then it hit me: “Use the Mr. Ed voice!”

[ Bituminous Reader: the Mr. Ed. voice, BTW, is something Larkin came up with back in 2007, as a subtle acknowledgement that he read a tale I delivered to him via the post. Which story, “The Exalted Land of Andor,” included a humorous reference to Mr. Ed. ]

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-exalted-land-of-andor/

So I neighed like an old horse, echoing dramatically through the crisp, night air, like hollering down a canyon, the famous moniker from that old sitcom:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

Did Larkin respond? Yes he did, and with not a hint or note of anger. Just pure exhilaration:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Five seconds later, I did it again:

“Wiiilbuu-ur!”

And, once more, he responded:

“Aaaarrrgh!”

Elated that I found some way to cap our latest episode with a sterling finale, I turned about and marched home.

Some reflections on last night’s adventure:

After Larkin smashed the signpost and I called out, “I heard that,” he paused below my window to look up and call back. He’s never done that before; he’s always just walked on by without paying any attention.

I’m glad he looked up to my windows, to see the new curtains, and the elegant lamp now resting on the sill. For a couple years back he visited me in my abode, and remarked on the crummy condition of my habitat…out of concern for my health. I wanted him to see that I have finally begun overhauling the SRO, and that the lamp in the window symbolizes my burning ardor for He Who Is The Glorious Flame Of My Own Puzzled Life.

Assuming he’s telepathic, he knew I wanted badly to see him, even though I convinced myself to be satisfied with glimpsing him two times that night. But he wanted to surprise me by showing up in person and putting on an amazing, and hilarious, show! I suspect he planned this days in advance. It’s like he writes these scripts for me, then acts them out…and that has been true now, for more than 11 years and many, many adventures. I also suspect that he knew I was standing outside all along, and that his thinking I was stationed at the window was just part of the act.

His calling out to me with a friendly “aargh” in response to my “wilbur,” was his sweet way of assuring me that our friendship is solid, and his appreciation and love quite true. I swear on a stack of gay bibles, Ellie, if angels do exist, Larkin is the perfect vision of one! And how he creates these incredible scenarios, as if he prepared them all ahead of time, only grants validity to my heavenly conjecture. If nothing else, Larkin is closer to any angel I could ever imagine…which makes me an incredibly lucky fellow.

Interesting side note: on Friday night, just two days before our latest encounter, I was listening to Marco Angelo McClean’s radio show via KNYO’s streaming web page. (Fortunately, my wifi connection picked up again, after wimping out on me for almost three weeks.) Since he usually reads my tales later in the show, I tend to doze off and either miss my piece entirely, or suddenly wake up when he states my name. This time around, I had nodded off just before the reading, but heard my name. Still half asleep, I sensed someone else in the room, lying down on a cot: it was Larkin, enjoying my company and listening to Marco. FYI, there is no cot in my room: that was part of the dream (nor any Larkin of course, inflated or real.) So when I finally awoke in full a few moments later, I felt refreshed and comforted by the presence of Larkin’s ghost, and Marco’s intelligent voice coming through the speakers.

[ Vexatious Reader: other than correcting any typos, and possibly changing or rearranging a few words here and there, I’m not going to “improve” upon this story, to make it more “eloquent.” This, out of humility for the amazing spirit that is Larkin Kelsey, a most talented, beautiful, exuberant, witty, brave and rare specimen of a man! My own writings pale in comparison to the unbelievable adventures he concocts in real life 3-D. Considerable credit must go to Larkin, for such inspiration! Can’t wait to see how things ensue these next few days and weeks. His amazing antics of last night give every indication that he has many more tricks up his sleeve…of a rewarding nature, finally (as opposed to a decade of tribulations). I have every expectation they may start as soon as later today. I feel like a kid in a candy store…or perhaps more succulently: like a dragon in a monastery. ]


AFTERGLOW

I did nothing else on the Internet today, except to write down my
latest Larkin tale. Once completed, I packed things up and departed
from Uncle Benny’s Donuts & Bagels (located in SF’s second largest Chinese community) and decided, at first, to skip my usual stopover at a nearby Goodwill thrift store, on my way to the N Judah. But a little birdie told me:

“No, Zeke, you must go to Goodwill, there’s something very special
for you, to celebrate last night’s grace-filled encounter! You will
recognize the item that’s intended just for you…there’ll be no doubt, once you lay peepers on it!”

So off I sped to Goodwill three blocks west, as I’ve done each and every day so far, since I’ve made Uncle Benny’s my afternoon hangout. I strolled to the back of the store, in the far left corner, where all the electronic devices are, and other interesting geegaws. And there it was, shining like a beacon! See attached photo.

It’s a stained glass objet d’arte. Real glass and lead, in other words: not a plastic knockoff. Kinda big, too, diameter of, oh, fourteen inches or thereabout. And that it depicts the Hindu symbol for peace, “om shanti,” makes it very special, indeed.

Best of all, guess what it cost: just $2.99!

FYI: I believe that this little bird who told me to go to Goodwill this afternoon, was Larkin’s telepathy. As I believe it has been in other, previous and amazing episodes since we first met in 2006.



Another Larkin Update

November 17, 2016

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2016 23:00:47
Subject:
Another Larkin Update
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Andromedan Cohort

I now know that Larkin hangs out at the booze den down the street, same side as my building, every Tuesday evening from around 6 PM to 9:20 or so. As luck would have it, that dive, too, has a large picture window facing the street. Just like Twin Peaks Tavern across the way. So it is now my habit to walk by there once I arrive hovel, walk slowly enough by the plate glass, to be sure he sees me…maybe even throw him a glance. Or a kiss, just to add a little spice to the grade B scenario.

So around 6:30 I approach “Beaux” (I know, stupid name for a bar); side door is open and I hear his stentorian, playful voice. But alas, his back is to the window and my mission fails. Returning on the same side of the street around ten minutes later, I do not see him anywhere; perhaps he is in the restroom. I light up a cig and hang out front several minutes, but no Larkin. Funny, though:

As I near the gate of 2306, lo and behold there’s his housemate Zachary, sitting at a taqueria table out front, perusing a magazine. He looks up as I pass within two feet: I look back and throw him a “your pathetic” chuckle. Other than a brief grimace, he does nothing. Now in front of my domicile, I lean against the bus stop shelter fifteen feet catty-corner. I watch to see if maybe Larkin will show up, but after three minutes or so, decide to enter Hotel California North, and watch some Youtube videos I downloaded this afternoon.

So time passes gazing at the LCD monitor and the various scenes that capture my attention. But not so much that I don’t wrestle with stepping out once more, to fulfill my Tuesday mission.

“No don’t bother,” my lazy self commands. “He’ll be ambling up the sidewalk soon enough, and you can either step out to greet him as he wanders by, or call out to him from your window.”

“True enough,” I ponder, “especially since His Goofiness always makes a point of acting boisterous as he crosses beneath my window. No doubt in hopes I’ll holler out, and I receive in return, the expected ‘fuk off’ remark that is, by now, his trademark greeting.”

But after watching episode six of “The Young Pope,” (very good BTW, though I don’t think Jude Law is so handsome as to play captivatingly gorgeous men, though he often does), my pixie side gets the better of me. So I don my sneakers once more, and my hoodie, and with a little tingle in my gut, step outside and walk towards Castro Street.

Nope, he’s not there at all. So I shrug my shoulders and continue my stroll until I reach the corner. Then something tells me to stop, turn around, and march back…I might get lucky this time. But I must admit: that was more my lazy half speaking, than it was the pixie.

As I near the bar once more, I see a tall, skinny man leaning against the lamppost, dressed in baggy shirt and pants, and sporting a crewcut. His back is turned to me, hunched over and diddling with a cell phone. There’s a large van parked beside him, offering to test anyone for HIV, bright light emitting from its windows and open door.

“Is that Larkin?” I wonder, though I can’t be sure.

I approach and pass, then look back. Yep, that’s the devil, alright! He is angled in such a way as to not notice me…or, I should say, to “pretend” to not notice me. Since we both know by now, he’s quite the game player and loves to trip me up. I call to him:

“Hello, Larkin!”

He looks up with a ready smile, but then when he realizes it’s his better half, scowls a bit.

“Go away, don’t bother me!” he gestures with a wave of that gangly arm.

My ambulation is slowed almost to a halt, though I continue to drift away as I speak once more:

“Well have a nice night anyway,”

He keeps gesturing those “get outta here” swipes as he replies:

“Yes, you too, have a beautiful night, just don’t bother me…aargh!”

“Thank you,” are my final words as I turn forward and leave his aura. Though I decide to pause further up the block, to have a smoke and watch him for a bit. As I do that, I think:

“I bet he was standing there all along, just out of my sight, watching me pause by the bar’s door and peek in. And I bet it was he who summoned me back, that I have the satisfaction of a mission accomplished. Once again, he tricks me into thinking I missed my chance, but at the last moment…voila!”

And he wasn’t particularly harsh, just like the last time our paths crossed (at the Castro Metro stairs), and since I had that dream of reconciliation with him and Zachary. In fact, he was gentle this time, though abrupt. But I’m concerned about Zachary, for when I saw him tonight, he looked haggard: hollow, dark bags under his eyes and way too skinny. Very elongated, drooping face, too. Like he has AIDS or something else equally serious. Cancer? Emphysema? Meth or alcohol abuse? I decided that, if I ever get the chance to speak to him, I’ll ask him if he’s alright, break through the wall of hostility Larkin created.

For my continuous reaching out to Larkin is because of all the truly /kind/ things he’s done for me, especially when he spoke these words to me in May of 2014:

“Our friendship, our being brought together, is a Godsend!”

And he spoke those words while crouched down to my level, face close to mine and one hand on my shoulder. Words full of passion and love. So he’s been fluctuating between icy hatred and sweet compassion towards me, these past four years. Forcing me to choose between the /mean/ Larkin and the /kind/ Larkin. Of course, I settled on the latter after pondering the situation for a long, long time. And I think he’s doing this intentionally, as a sort of test, or initiation, or a kind of Kung-Fu spiritual trial.

Okay, I’m gonna pause here ’cause I just noticed it’s 9:26 and I wanna step out to see if Larkin comes by. I don’t think he did yet, as he bellows and does a high karate kick on the metal sign sticking out of the curb. Which is in front of the taqueria. I’ll be back in a few…

[pause]

Okay, I’m back. You won’t believe this, here’s what happened:

Outside by the bus stop, having my smoke while gazing off towards where Larkin may be approaching, when someone startles me with a tap on my shoulder.

“Oh, sorry!”

I notice he’s a handsome, red bearded man in a funky, thick knitted light brown sweater that flows to the upper thighs. His pants look like pajama pants, with some sort of flags or rectangles in blue and yellow, on a black background and scattered about.

“No, you didn’t scare me,” I smile into those cool, gray irises. “I was lost in thought.”

He wants a light, so I hand him my Bic. He say thanks, hands it back. and saunters away. I call to him:

“That’s a wicked sweater ya got!”

He turns and says, “Thanks!” Then: “Check this out!”

I watch as he pulls up the sweater to reveal a yummy, tight torso girded in a pair of hip hugging, black boxer briefs. Sparse, light orange hairs, sweetly arranged.

“Is this what he wants to show me?” I question to myself. “Where’s this going?”

Then he yanks down a dark shirt hidden beneath that sweater, to reveal that it matches those silly pants.

“Oh, you’re wearing PJs!” I exclaim.

He smiles back, says “yeah,” then turns away to continue his march up Market Street.

No Larkin though, so I return upstairs to enjoy my dinner of thick, lentil-potato-onion-tomato soup garnished with kimchee, tamari sauce and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled in. Well, no sooner had I consumed the sixth spoonful, than I hear a “whack” on that metal sign outside. Peering out the window, I see guess who?

Larkin.

Apparently, he had ordered a bite from the taqueria, as seems to be his wont these days, after exiting *cough* “Beaux” for the night…and is prancing some kind of terpsichore on the sidewalk, with complicated steps, waving of the arms, and a broad whirligig here and there. The arms of a large, fluffy off-white jacket are tied about his waist, giving the impression of a matador. He greets anyone who passes by and receptive to his handshakes, hugs and friendly greetings.

After he dances several more vigorous minutes, I call out to him:

“I’ve seen better dancing!” He doesn’t seem to hear me, so I repeat the line. He then looks up, hollers back:

“Leave me alone, stop bothering me!”

Then he loudly mutters other words which I can’t really hear, as he positions himself behind a lamppost so I can’t see his face. I retort:

“Yet you still speak to me!”

His public antics continue as he awaits his meal, chatting to other patrons. But then I hear his conversation with someone who is apparently an employee, laughing at Larkin’s humorous quips. As I listen, I realize he’s looking for a job there, questioning the employee about who to talk to, when to show up, stuff like that. Well, Eleanor, this is /most/ intriguing, for if he /does/ start working there, he’s even /closer/ to my residence than *hack* “Beaux” his newest watering hole!

I call out to him a coupla more times, something humorous. At one point he directs a finger at me, from the end of a lanky arm, and shouts:

“Stop stalking me!”

I just laugh back: “Ha! Whatever you say.”

Well, Larkin steps into the taqueria for maybe ten minutes, before stepping back out and walking towards, and beyond, my window. I call out:

“Thanks for the show, I really appreciate it. That was very nice.”

He says not a word, but continues down the sidewalk. So I bellow:

“I hope you get the job! God bless you, Larkin, God bless you!’

So here we have a new story, El, one that Larkin had already planned for me to write about, once the scenario ensued and played out. As My Dragon Guardian has been doing since…oh, I don’t know…since we first met, I suppose.

He /knew/ I wanted to see him tonight, so what does he do? He puts on a show!

And it makes perfect sense, his showing up more frequently in my world again…as the gay holocaust is close upon us, and my destiny about to be fulfilled as a global LGBT leader, with Larkin my guardian, advisor, teacher and BFF. Just like I’ve figured all along, and even described in my novel, published in July of 2013.

Guess I’m soon to be “freed from this bond.” Like releasing the bronco from its pen, kicking and snorting for victory.

– Zeke


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