A POST-ELECTION PRACTICE

“Why does Harry run sideways like that?”

“You’re right, Aussie. He seems to be running left when he runs straight.”

“I knew it! Another left-wing socialist in the house!”

“Aussie, he can’t help it. Maybe his left legs are stronger than the right.”

“I don’t care, it’s the last thing we need here. I told you we should deport him. He’s a Chihuahua, what do you expect? He doesn’t have our values, doesn’t care about our history, probably eats tacos on Thanksgiving—”

“Oh, Auss.”

“He’s an illegal immigrant! We have to deport him, otherwise you foreigners are going to take over my home.”

“You know, Aussie, I can’t believe how many folks voted for Donald Trump. I was sure he and everything he stands for were going to go down bigly. Instead, he got millions more votes this time than he did four years ago.”

“Just shows you how much more intelligent the world has become.”

“This really stretches my practice, Aussie.”

“I haven’t seen you working out much lately.”

“I don’t mean those stretches, Auss. My Zen practice is to bear witness. I have to let go of the idea that I understand what’s going on, that I know what’s good for everybody, and instead try to listen deeply to the folks who voted for him. To tell you the truth, Aussie, I didn’t think I’d be doing this again.”

“Doing what?”

“Taking to folks who voted for him. That’s what I did four years ago because I couldn’t understand what happened, so whenever I met people who voted for Trump I’d ask them to explain where they were coming from.”

“So that’s why you adopted me! And I thought it was because I was cute.”

“Now I have to do it all over again.”

“Poor you!”

“I don’t get it, Aussie. All of us want to be safe, all of us want to be secure. At the same time, if you ask Trump supporters what they think of his tweets, how he talks about women, Mexicans, about Blacks and Africans, not to mention Anthony Fauci, they shrug and say: That’s just how he talks, no big deal. So something else is more important to them if they can live with all those things, and I’d like to understand what that is.”

“You’re not smart enough, girlfriend.”

“Aussie, I’m not talking about white supremacists or those anti-government militias practicing their shooting in the Idaho hills, I’m talking about lots of other people who’re not like that at all but still vote for him. What is it that Donald Trump gives them which helps them feel, well, safer and more secure? What does he give them that strengthens their sense of purpose and identity?”

“He gives them lots of tenderness.”

“A friend suggested I tune into Fox News as a starting practice. Now, that’s going to stretch me a bit.”

“What do you mean, a starting practice?”

“Part of my spiritual practice is to listen to things that I disagree with without changing the channel, without telling the person talking this way that he’s full of you know what.”

“Could we put on Sean Hannity?”

“Don’t get me wrong, Aussie, just because I do that doesn’t mean I stop working for what I believe in. Only it’s so easy to get stuck into thinking that you’re always right.”

“I’m always right.”

“It’s listening to dumb things like that Aussie, that makes my practice difficult. It makes me stretch and stretch and stretch.”

“Does it hurt? I want to make you Libs cry.”

“That’s a terrible thing to say, Aussie. But you’re lucky, I’m a veteran. I can hold anything you throw my way.”

“Oh yeah? Let me tell you something. We’re going to teach you Libs a lesson. We’re going to deport Henry and 10,000,000 more Chihuahuas, not to mention all the African Basenjis, the Dogos Argentinos, and the Chinese Chow Chows, Shih Tzus and Shar-Peis, fuckin’ spies.”

“You won’t have many dogs left here, Aussie.”

“Don’t worry, Norwegian Elkhounds will come here begging for refuge.”

“This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard, Auss.”

“You’re still listening, oh great spiritual practitioner?”

“Still listening, Aussie.”

“Good. We’re going to force all kids to go  back to school for rifle practice after we make all covid masks illegal—”

“Aussie, do you know how many people will get sick?”

“Tough it out, bedwetters. When Donald trump finishes his second term—”

“I don’t see him starting a second term, Auss—”

“He will if we kick Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia out of the country. Isn’t that what you do with traitors? Or else send in the Proud Boys. Still listening?”

“You’re making it hard for me, Aussie.”

“After Donald finishes his second term we’re going to have Donald, Jr. in the White House—”

“The one who looks like a coke fiend?”

“—and when he’s had his 8 years we’ll have my favorite, Ivanka, though she’s not as pretty as Melania, but we can’t have Melania be President because she wasn’t born here. Unless we change the Constitution.”

“Fuggedaboudit, Aussie.”

“And after that Jared Kushner will become President.”

“Jared Kushner!”

“What’s the matter, you anti-Semitic or something?”

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU, AUSSIE!”

“Hey, I thought you could listen to everything. You could hold everything. You could stretch and stretch—

“DRY KIBBLE FROM NOW ON! NO WATER!”

“Can I still go on walks with Leeann?”

“NO LEEANN!”

“What happened to 35 years of practice?”

“First I kill you, then I start practicing again.”

 

Thank you to all of you who sent money for Ancelmo. Last night I brought food cards and $400 in cash. It’ll keep things going. What a wonderful thing you enabled me to do, not just helping him and his two kids but cheering me up when I was down! Thank you.