The Friendly Ghost Detective Agency - Part 5


I live at 2306 Market Street (room 205) San Francisco, CA (94114: most infamous area code on the planet)...and have since 1983! Never dreamed I'd be stuck in this skank-hole of a slum box for so many years. But scat happens.

Poorly maintained and poorly managed, yet charges skyrocket rents where you'd expect much better conditions and service for the price. How does the slumlord, Arikat Realty, get away with this? Simple: they allow pets...including large, unruly Pit Bulls and Rottweilers (and occasional Dobermans and assorted RARE but scary breeds such as assorted Mastiffs and Baskerville Hounds) owned by GROSSLY irresponsible dungeon masters and crypt keepers. Plus: the location (in the heart of The Castro) is highly desirable to some. I don't see WHY, but then again I can, seeing as I have this uncanny grasp of the criminal mind. The building is a shambles, and can easily be accessed by any stinker with half a brain. For years it was overrun by speed freaks and small-time dealers...hence the nickname "Crystal Palace".

Once, our previous manager Mark Epstein, allowed a young Korean lady renting an SRO like me, to keep her boyfriend's THREE PIT BULLS stashed in her tiny room. (209, Maxie's old room; see below.) We shared the same hallway bathroom, and walking by her door as I must several times daily, was no treat let me tell you! Snapping and growling and barking whenever they heard my footsteps. MY concern is how easy it would be for an enemy to set up a fatal attack. They have easy access to my building, 'cause SOME of them also reside at 2306, who then bring additional troglodytes inside, as guests.

I've lived there many years (since 1983), and survived an 8-year reign of terror, where I had to carry a baseball bat down the hallway just to use the shared bathroom. Those were the "Maxie Days" (you remember that, John H.). Maxie was a long-haired Native Amerikan of diminutive stature who shared the common WC with me and one other. He was also an addict. He was friendly enough all by his lone some...but Maxie's "friends" OTOH! They were pushy, belligerent, loud, filthy and DANGEROUS. Needless to say, the community bathroom was a MESS during Maxie's reign: vomit, needles, broken bottles, blood.


Before anyone takes offense, allow me this redeeming (and LIKELY) hypothesis:

Such a unique destiny as mine demands an equally unique challenge, most important: a TOUGHENING of one's mettle. The usual nurturing friendships would surely NOT fulfill This Mandate From Up Above. I therefore extend my utmost gratitude to both my enemies and seemingly clueless friends alike, for having the GUTS to play this out: a most difficult role, albeit sacred and massively grievous.

"We have no enemies, only teachers" (Buddha).

"Love thine enemies" (Jesus).


NO ONE liked Maxie. But since management itself was corrupt, nothing was done. (Maxie COULD have been promptly evicted, in those Pre-Rent-Control-Days.) I had to put up with this "UNneighborliness" (to put it nicely) for six years, until one day a NASTY odor emanated through the door cracks of his room. And no one had seen Maxi for a week; his SRO totally silent. Discovered dead of a heroin overdose. I'm just glad I was out of town for THAT fiasco! I couldn't even imagine what a rotting Maxie smells like...and don't want to. (It would have likely haunted my olfactory nerves for the rest of my life...even unto my next dozen reincarnations.) Some believe he was murdered, since Maxie had inherited thousands from a deceased uncle, shortly prior to his own fortunate demise. I actually CELEBREATED his permanent departure with a Dead Max Party.

Who's in 209 now? A leather dufus name of Rod. Hangs out at The Eagle Tavern for their Sunday beer bust. This is not good, as that's where so much evil against me is centered, and Rod despises me (thanks to gossip by a previous occupant of 209; I think Maxie's death cursed that unit). And he could easily be manipulated by Gypsy et al to gain access into my building.

This is the back porch on my floor. Recently, the new manager Jim hung a wooden pole on the wall, so residents could push garbage down the chute, that got stuck. Is this Hoboville or what? I need say no more: one picture's worth a thousand words. Here are THREE thousand! Or maybe just one, like "Ewwww," "Yuck," "Wow," or "JFMUTB" (ask my friend John H. what THAT acronym stands for; I'm not telling)!

This is 2306's front gate left wide open (unguarded) ONCE AGAIN for anyone and her army to enter. Secured by a cord for the "convenience" of residents either moving in or moving out; or hired help. Can you say "illegal Mexican immigrant day laborers" (most of whom are homophobic)? Can you ALSO say "street bullies, scallywags, crack-heads, smack-deads, speed queens and gun-toting freaks" (liars and tyrants who scare, oh my")? Who are these people, really? Strangers for sure...but what else? Oh, it's okay, I tend to forget: EVERYONE on Planet Earth is a good guy; I'm just paranoid. There IS no cult.


"We have no enemies, only teachers and preachers.
Remember, Zeke?" Thus Buddha speaks. 

SCREW YOU, Friggin Lotus Head! 
Enough's enough of your malnourished bread! 

"What happened to this 'love thine enemy' thang, 
Brother Zeke?" So says Jesus the weak.

UP YOUR CRUCIFIX, Masochist On A Stick! 
I am called to ACTION, not simpering prick! 

You'd have me partner in crime
Doing time,
By keeping SILENT, appearing

You might fool the world
But you can't fool me.
On Buddha's Tantra
And Jesus's Cross
I pee!

Get behind me Shat-On,
It is Krishna who calls:

"Zeke: gird your loins for an
You must have courage
Like never before!"

Just as He did so MIGHTILY for
Valiant Arjuna
(Hero Soldier, Rama Spooner)
In a fabled time of distant yore.

The Gita's The Key, The Light, And The Score!

WORLD WAR THREE is knocking, knocking


At my chamber door. 

The Horse of the Apocalypse
Numbered Four
Is the omen to bring us
That Dreaded Last War.

On the heads of the evil
Acid rains shall pour.

By the beasts of the wild
They'll be rended and torn,
And a pox on their children
By germ-laden corn
(And perverted adults
Via AIDS-tainted porn,
Homophobic retards of their lives
Shall be shorn)

Till not a ONE remains!

Quoth The Maven:


Even if EVERY occupant abided good security (which they do not), by denying strangers access while going or coming, 2306 would STILL be an easy mark for ANYONE without a key! Strangers often grab the door just before it closes after a resident's entry. Just pretend you're walking by, then quietly grab the door's edge to keep it open...waiting for the clueless occupant to depart upstairs (never looking back to check the front gate). You may have to wait a couple minutes for said occupant to check her mail or wait for the elevator. Remain discreet, pretending to select a resident's call button while your hand or foot subtly keeps the gate open a crack. Test it out yourself, next time you visit our fair 'hood! I guarantee success on your very first or second attempt.

While the Medeco lock itself is pretty secure, it can still be jimmied by anyone with some locksmith savvy. In fact, this webpage gives you all the dirt: How to thwart a medeco. There is also the occassional JAMMING of the lock itself (with, say, a plastic coffee swizzler or large paper clip), or GUMMING UP the latch. Either method keeps the gate freely passable, no key required.

Then there's the back door facing 16th street, which many residents use to walk their dog. Leaving the back door AJAR for when they return. How convenient! Quick and easy access to our bedraggled, poorly maintained and highly UNsecured apartment complex! And 2306 sticks out like a syphilitic hard-on (in its last stages before dropping off like a leprous appendage), being so grandiose in size and appearance, in the heart of the Castro. No wonder 2306 has been a FAVORITE playground for our local speed freaks these many years! Especially the rooftop until cell phone antennae were installed seven years ago, REGARDLESS of possible harm to upper-floor residents' health. More profit for the slumlord, less amenity for residents who used to sun bathe up there, and/or enjoy the view (such as myself).

Two pictures. Two thousand words. 'Nuff said.

@@@ pics of shared bathroom. Hot/cold switch w/o warning thanks to Pasta Pomadoro...which also subjected us to jackhammers for six weeks, started a fire in their trashbin that almost went out of control...removed the central beam that helps support our building.

Take this time now, to notice again the PHOTOGRAPH of 2306. Notice the paint job. Can you say "putrid"? Caucasian flesh-tone surface and muddy-brown trim! Stucco window ledges recently replaced by thin-metal sheets wrapped over STYROFOAM planks. And equally chintzy five-and-dime PIGEON WIRES that snap apart in three months or less. Yet how APT for a badly maintained complex once CRAWLING with addicts (for YEARS), and to this very day (and BEYOND no doubt) plagued with sick-building syndrome. Due to the accumulation of dried dog feces and dander, half-assed vacuum and dust job by underpaid stooges, and usually debris-strewn back porches and basement. Oh, the basement, that horrid devil's pit of air-laden bacteria and rotting garbage ambience! Not to mention it's open-air (no roof: an oversized light well), so whenever it rains it POURS onto the concrete floor, where all things rubbish float around and you need high-top boots to wade through!

Why would anyone go down there in the rain, if it gets like that? You probably ask. Well, one day I dropped a vibrating dildo some thoughful resident left as a freebee on the third floor porch, in my eager attempt to slide it up the RECTUM while braced against that rickety fence. (I was so HORNY, I didn't even care if it first needed a good isopropyl washup!) Slipped from my hands and landed with a SPLASH, scattered the astonished rats enjoying their afternoon swim. (Two died from electrocution due to the battery powered prostate tickler's proximity; so it wasn't ALL bad. The surviving rodents doggie-paddled outta there like a Triple Fudge Butterscotch w/Walnuts Ice Cream Sundae Royale from an anorexic esophagus!)

(If you BELIEVE all I just said, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya! Price can't be beat: one measly, insignificant, pointless old soul. YOURS.)

The porches ALSO open to the airy outside, so that rain splashes onto the wooden steps and floor, making this a slippery proposition for any resident to navigate. Look at the condition of those back stairs! Lawsuits up the wazoo, just waiting to happen!

In fact, we DID have a lawsuit two years ago. I was part of it and WE WON (though hobbled by greatly reduced recompense at the last moment).

@@@ Include a scanned pic of lawsuit page.

2306 has quite a history of numerous colorful--though hideous--characters, including ones living here now, such as Rob and Randy (Apt. 307):

Ooops! One of 'em just died two days ago (Nov. 17). THAT'S a relief! And here's why:

In the past year or so, they took up the methamphetamine habit. How do I know? Well, live in this neighborhood long enough, and it's a snap to know by one's behavior, if you're riding any one of The Three Demons Of Rue--Scag, Blow and Yaba--and which one it is. Rob even affirmed my suspicion by walking up to me some weeks back and voluntarily admitting his use of crystal! (I didn't ask; not my style.) People tend to do that with me: confess their sins whether or not I ever wanted to know them in the first place.

Which druggie paranoia inspired them to terrorize certain residents, including yours truly. (Predictably, they also drew unsavory types to the building: shades of the Crystal Palace days...let's not go through THAT again!) Two and three months ago Randy acted belligerant towards me several times in passing, suggested I'm causing trouble. Vague in his accusations, I resented his little terrorist spiels and destroying my day's peace. But he could be dangerous, so I just replied, "I have nothing to do with that, you are misguided." And walked swifly away, hand in my right pocket, gripping the pepper spray.

Apparantly the harpies who nest at 2306 have been gossiping wicked untruths about me, into Randy's floppy ears. In hopes that, in his drug-induced paranoia, he'd attack. So don't think for a moment that when I enter my building, I put away the capsicum! I am NOT secure even in my own home (as humble as that may be).

One day (about three weeks ago), I was on the back porch when I noticed two suited men clutching papers whiz by the window and rap on Peggy C.'s door. (She's my lovely-&-petite lesbian neighbor down the hallway's west wing: a fighting Irishwoman all the way, and a loyal comrade.)

"We're here to serve you with a restraining order!" Barked one.

Peggy chuckled: "No, wrong apartment number." They looked at the numerals on her front door and grew embarassedly silent. "I'M the one who filed for that restraining order. Their apartment is right above mine."

The two goons apologized, turned tail and marched rapidly upstairs.

Peggy didn't know I was within earshot, so approaching her on this took awhile. But I needed to know, for it is the notorious duo, Randy and Rob, who occupy the apartment above Peggy! The opportunity to broach the subject came several days later, as I greeted her coming up the ratty-carpeted stairs, hefting a bag of groceries. Turns out that Rob has THREATENED her young and wonderful, lovely daughter Julia!

Peggy shrugged her shoulders: "Rob threatened my daughter, I had to retaliate." Agreed. And before moving on to the next character in this sordid taradiddle, I'd like to present this perfect example of Julia's sweet nature:

Since writing this chapter a NEW development has occurred re. Randy's troublemaking. Two nights ago (Feb. 3 '08) after the bars closed, a man started barking "Randy! Randy! Muthafucka open the door!" right in front our building. No answer from Randy's apartment, so the dude kept hollering and cussing for almost an hour, waking EVERYONE up, whose windows face Market Street. I didn't dare poke my head out to identify him. Sounded black. Sounded whack. Fortunately, those assaulted informed the manager, who posted this notice on all three floors:

I think if anyone's guest assaults a resident, not only should that guest be prohibited, the resident HIMSELF should be evicted promptly. I wouldn't wait for the resident himself to be violent!

Good time to mention the sad-sack LOSER in 404 (where my friend John once resided for 22 years!) He has two, maybe THREE wetbacks staying with him...been going on for four-five years now. NOT very friendly, most likely homophobic, one can't help but wonder why a caucasion bag of shit is allowing illegal immigrants to SACK OUT at his place. And WHY management lets him get away with this for so long! Is it for the pesos?

Next day, THIS poster appeared on our elevator doors:

Manager Jim happened to be coming up the stairs as I stood there viewing it, said, "Good notice, Jim!" He smiled, "Oh, I thought YOU posted it!" And I can see why he thought that, as in previous years I DID post important notices when I felt the managers were being negligent about certain serious issues. But THIS one, I did not put up. Eventually, I discovered it was Peggy C. Excellent!

Ooops, another update! I just learned this eve (Feb. 5, '07) that as neighbor Mark F. stepped out for work, the SAME crazy dude tried to enter the gate. Mark stopped him, at risk to his own well being.

@@@ Explain how $40,000 lawsuit reduced to $8,000, only because the other plaintiffs couldn't stand the idea of me getting that much money!

@@@ Clinton Waggoner, another monster (and, fortunately, FORMER resident of 2306). Made EVERYONE'S life a living hell by his threats, intimidations, and all-around INSANE behavior (standing naked at the window over Market Street, masturbating, etc.).

@@@ Mark F. is certainly no angel.

@@@ Use my complaint to Medium-Rare Records (medium-rare records.txt) as an example of how badly gay men treat each other.

@@@ So many people use implied threats every day, thinking they're perfectly sane! All this malicious way of living has become a gigantic web of deceit.

S.F. Examiner, 2/26/08

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