“That’s the stupidest mask I’ve ever seen.”

“Someone gave it to me as a gift, Aussie. It’s quite pretty, reminds me of Hawaii.”

“On top it’s pressing into your eyes while the sides are wide open. Anyone can catch anything. Don’t come any closer! I have to protect my health. In fact, why don’t you go work upstairs?”

“Aussie, I’ve noticed lately how territorial you’ve become. You fight Henry every morning so that he doesn’t dare come downstairs.”

“Only when I get my breakfast. I have to protect my food!”

“Aussie, you eat in the small laundry room, so if you think you want to protect that, be my guest. But you end up patrolling the entire first floor!”

“I used to just guard the laundry room. Henry would sneak into the hallway, and as soon as my back was turned he’d make a break for my bowl, steal some food, and rush upstairs. So, I started patrolling the hallway, too. Then he’d sit and wait in the kitchen, and as soon as I turned my back he’d rush to get a bit of food, then escape upstairs. I started patrolling the kitchen, too, so he’d sit and wait in the living room—”

“Basically, Auss, you widened your territory to include the entire ground floor of the house.”

“Then he sat on the bottom-most step of the stairway, and as soon as my back was turned he’d run into the laundry room to steal—”

“So, you widened your territory into the staircase, too, Aussie, so that now poor Henry finds himself imprisoned in an upstairs room till you’re finished eating—which, I remind you, is taking longer and longer since you’ve gotten so picky with your food!”

“I’ve expanded my area of concern. Once all I cared about was what happened in a small laundry room, see? Now I’m concerned about the entire ground floor—”

“And staircase, Aussie.”

“And staircase. That’s what I call enlightenment!”


“You start caring only about your little corner of the world, and then you realize you’re not just a little corner, you’re everything!”

“But Aussie—”

“You’re not just a little laundry room, you’re a kitchen, a living room, a hallway, a bathroom, even your office!”

“You’re not my office, Aussie.”

“If I’m everything, I’m your office, too! Everything is me! I like this enlightenment business.”

“You’ve got it wrong, Aussie, and you got it dangerous. It’s true, we’re as infinite as stars. Our basic nature is life itself, that’s why we take care of the whole, because we are the whole.”

“I don’t want to be the whole, I don’t want to be life or stars. I just want to be the downstairs. Is that too much to ask?“

“It sounds like you want to own it all, Aussie—”

“Just the ground floor and the staircase—”

“That’s not enlightenment, Aussie. We don’t own life, we serve life.”

“Can I own my food bowl?”

“You’ve extended your area of concern to be the entire ground floor, Aussie, that’s very dangerous. It’s what every narcissist does. Narcissists think they’re everything, and therefore it’s all about them. Enlightened people think they’re everything, and therefore nothing’s about them. See?”


“Nothing is yours, Aussie. When you are the world, you don’t need to own the world, get it?”

“I don’t want the world, I just want the—”

“And when you’re fully the ground floor, you’re everything, see? And that includes Henry, who’s right there by the lamp.”

“I don’t want to be a Chihuahua.”

“Aussie, the Way is not about picking and choosing.”

“I know the Way: living room, hallway, bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and the staircase. I patrol the Way every single morning. There’s no Chihuahua in my Way, no way.”

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