“Henry, get off her desk!”

“Why, Aussie? I love jumping on the chair and then onto her desk.”

“Because that’s where She works! I’ve told you over and over again not to—”

“What’s the big deal, Aussie? Look at what’s here: A glass of water, a computer, a screen, computer cleaner, phone, files, notebooks, covid masks, hundreds of paper clips—”

“Don’t you see, Henry? When She dies all those things will be worth a fortune!”

“Paper clips? A black three-hole punch? Bookmarks?”

“All of them, Henry. Some famous writer called Joan Deadion died a while ago. They auctioned off all the things in her office and made gobs of money.”

“What’s money, Aussie?”

“Just think of enough freeze-dried venison and turkey treats to last your lifetime, Henry.”

“They sold all her things for treats?”

“For instance, that big red rubber band—DON’T TOUCH IT, HENRY!”

“Is it good to eat?”

“It’s terrible, but that won’t stop certain humans for paying $50 for it.”

That thing? It smells funny.”

“And the yellow lipstick that makes her look like a mummy? Another mummy will pay about $100 for that, they see it as the height of fashion.”

“What’s fashion, Aussie?”

“Something to do with fish. And you see the turquoise mask in the corner, the one she puts on when she has to go anywhere indoors?”

“The one full of her germs?”

“It’ll get us a year’s worth of steak dinners, Henry. WATCH THAT GLASS, YOU ALMOST TIPPED IT!”

“I just wanted a sip of water, Aussie.”

“Drink from your water bowl. Her glass of water, with the lipstick mark on the edge that never goes away because She’s too lazy to wash the glass, that, Henry, is worth a small fortune. This is how She hydrated herself, they’ll say. It was an essential ingredient of her life!”

“Aussie, water’s essential in everybody’s life.”

“But don’t you see, Henry, it was as she lifted the glass to her lips that she suddenly would pause, struck by a new idea for a story, a bearing witness retreat, a blog post, remembering she has to pee. That glass was essential to her creative process! Like her glasses. DON’T LICK THEM!”

“I’m trying to clean them, Aussie.”

“The dustier they are, the more steak dinners they’ll sell for. Dust makes them look antique, like Gandhi’s glasses.”


“And don’t even think of chewing on her pens. In fact, get some more pens out of the drawer and toss them around her desk. Humans think it shows how productive you are.”

“Wouldn’t they think She was just messy?”

“And look! Some pages from Engaged Buddhism in the West with notes on them!”

“Good, I need to poop.”

“Are you crazy? With notes on them! Notes in her handwriting. Let’s just hope the Smithsonian doesn’t take them, but if they don’t, we’ll sell them for a fortune.”

“Oh boy, Aussie, here could be the star of the auction. A vibrator!”

“That’s a hand sanitizer, dummy. But look here, a purple desk lamp from Target!. I can hear the auctioneer now: What am I bid for this purple desk lamp to enlighten your soul and transform your spirit? Starting bid is $5,000. I tell you, Henry, we’ll be rich!”

“Humans really pay for this junk, Aussie?”

“They did for Joan Deadion. So be careful, Henry. If we sell everything—including the vase with flowers and the blue book called New England Birds on the windowsill—we’ll be as rich as Elon Musk.”

“Who’s Elon—”

“Never mind, Henry.”

“There’s only one problem, Aussie.”

“I know what you’re going to say, Henry. She’s not famous. But don’t worry about that, soon I’ll convince her to write only about me and nothing else. She’ll go viral!”

“There’s another problem, Aussie.”

“What’s that?”

“She’s not dead.”

“Hmmm. I’ll figure something out.”

To all Aussie and Henry fans, I’m raising $1,500 for rent for a family that was evicted just before Thanksgiving and holiday food cards for 10 families. I tried selling my three-hole punch but it didn’t bring much. Neither did 2 pencils, 1 scotch tape, 2 staple removers, and Walgreen’s Rewetting Drops for Soft Contact Lens. If you could contribute to the fund for Immigrant families, please do so. Thank you.

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You can also send a check to: Eve Marko, POB 174, Montague, MA 01351. Please write on the memo line whether this is in support or immigrant families or of my blog. Thank you.