“I’m bored! It’s raining, we’re not going out, nobody’s walking on the road whom I can bark at. I hate my life.”

“Llama Louie says to appreciate this life every moment, Aussie.”

“First, Illegal Chihuahua, don’t call me Aussie, call me Supreme Being. Second, who’s Llama Louie?”

“Lori gave me Llama Louie yesterday. Now I have a guru.”

“You’re an idiot, Illegal. It’s a stuffed animal.”

“Llama Louie gives me good advice, Supreme Being.”

“Put an Oh there, Illegal. It’s Oh Supreme Being. And please share with me one of Llama Louie’s nuggets of wisdom.”

“Llama Louie says that life is beautiful, no matter what. He says to always have fun.”

“I’m coming right into the conversation, Aussie. Lama Louie’s right. Remember my cataract surgery?”

“When they took out one of your eyes?”

“Not quite, Auss.”

“Call me Oh Supreme Being.”

“I’m calling you anything but Supreme Being.”

“Oh Supreme Being. Don’t forget Oh.”

John Frangie replaced the lens in one eye. After the surgery the nurse put a translucent bandage over the eye. The next day the surgeon took it off, I took one look, and said: ‘OMG, John, you’re so good-looking! Who knew?’”

“You flirted with your surgeon?”

“And you know what he said, Auss? He said: ‘I see you’re still under the influence of drugs.’”

“Ha ha ha ha. Llama Louie likes that.”

“Shut up, Illegal. You flirted with your surgeon?”

“Aussie, I was just having a good time. And John is good looking. Flirting is fun, Auss.”

“With your surgeon? The person operating on your vision?”

“Especially with my surgeon.”

“You’re too old for this!”

“Llama Louie says you’re never too old to have fun.”

“Shut up, Illegal.”

“Stop calling each other names, both of you! Aussie is not Supreme Being or Oh Supreme Being, and you, Henry, are not Illegal. You’re both dogs.”

“Oh Supreme Being threw Llama Louie behind the tree. I couldn’t find him for the entire day.”

“Why did you do that, Aussie?”

“Because I’m the devil’s spawn? An ambassador from the dark side?”

“Get real, Aussie.”

“There’s only one guru in this house, and it ain’t that stuffed llama.”

“I’m sick of these quarrels, you two, especially when there’s a war in the Middle East which is frazzling me. Henry, you have to stand up to Supreme—to Aussie. Don’t let her put you down like that.”

“Llama Louie says that Supreme Beings don’t put down anybody. Llama Louie says Supreme Beings love everybody.”

“You know what Oh Supreme Being says? Always, always show your teeth.”

“Llama Louie says to be kind, show compassion.”

“I thought he was stuffed with synthetic fibers. Now I know he’s stuffed with something else.”

“Aussie, you are the darkest, nastiest dog I’ve ever met.”

“Llama Louie says it’s important to be happy.”

“How can I be happy? I was torn from my family in Texas, left to be a stray. Abandoned by my people, abandoned by the world. What’s there to be happy about?”

“You’re here with us, Supreme Being—”

“Oh Supreme Being.”

“You’re here in beautiful western MA, Oh Supreme Being, with the Senora, Lori, Llama Louie, and—”

“Shut up, Illegal. If there’s one thing I’m not giving up, it’s my unhappiness.”

“Why don’t you want to give up your unhappiness, Oh Supreme Being?”

“Because I like my unhappiness. I like remembering in vivid detail everything that happened to me. First, they left me on the street. Then, scary strangers picked me up and put me in a cage, Illegal. They put me in a cage!”

“That’s terrible.”

“Damn tootin’, Illegal. Then they put me in the cage with lots of other cages on a big truck. They kept me there for days till they finally let me out so that I could do my business, and then they put me in another cage!”

“Worse and worse, Oh Supreme Being!”

“Then the Senor and the Senora picked me up and took me home—”

“So finally, you were happy!”

“No, Illegal, because you know what happened? The Senor died. Just when I got used to the heavy way he walked and the big stick he used on the ground, what does he do? He ups and dies. I’m telling you, Illegal, the tragedies in my life have never ended. There’s grief and misery all around—and I ain’t giving them up!”

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