“Aussie, let’s play.”

“Get away from me, varmint Chihuahua. I’m traumatized.”

“From what, Aussie?”

“From going to the vet.”

“Oh oh. Did they give you shots, Aussie?”

“No shots.”

“I got 2 shots when I went and had to lie on my chair for the rest of the day. Any bloodwork? They stuck me all over because they couldn’t find my veins, they’re so small.”

“No bloodwork.”

“Did they find any parasites?”

“I didn’t give them any shit, Henry.”

“No shit sample?”

“I held it in and held it in, till finally it came out. Only guess what? There are so many dried leaves on the ground your Senora couldn’t find it. There she is, bent low over the ground, holding a bag in her hands. What are you doing, I ask her. I’m looking for your shit to bring the vet, she says, only I can’t find it.”

“No shit, Aussie.”

“That’ll teach her.”

“No parasites, no painful bloodwork, no shots, so what’s the problem?”

”I had to stand there and get fully inspected, Illegal Chihuahua. She opened my lips to look at my teeth, she peered through a telescope to look into my ears, she hung lights in front of my eyes and swung them around like it was Christmas, she felt my ribs, took a sample of my gorgeous, shiny black hair—it was agony, I tell you!”

“But what hurt, Aussie?”

“Nothing, but I was traumatized. I haven’t been this traumatized since I forgot where I buried my marrow bone last Sunday.”

“It’s right under the forsythia, Aussie, I dug it up.”

You dug it up? A little varmint like you dug up my marrow bone?”

“Don’t get upset, Aussie, the yard is full of buried marrow bones, the ones buried by Stanley, Bubale, all our ancestors. The Senora says that Stanley loved to dig up Bubale’s marrow bones and give them a last chew.”

“Intergenerational trauma! I knew it, I just knew I was suffering from that.”

“How can you tell, Aussie?”

“Things happen that have no explanation, varmint. I’m lying down on the leaves in back, taking a nap under the sun, and suddenly I feel cold all over.”

“Because a cloud came by, Aussie?”

“No cloud, just suddenly beset by existential questions: Who am I? Why am I alive? Or sometimes I’m running like the wind while you’re chasing me, and you catch me.”

“Because I’m fast, Aussie.”

“You—fast? With those tiny legs? No way Jose, it’s because of intergenerational trauma. One of my ancestors probably ran away from something, was caught, and eaten. Since then, I don’t feel like running too much.“

“What about eating, Aussie?”

“No problem with eating.”

“But who could it have been, Aussie? Not Stanley, not the pit bull Bubale, not the hound dog Muji, not the golden Wordsworth. Who did that happen to?”

“You don’t get it, do you, fly brain? I don’t know. That’s what intergenerational trauma does to you, Henry, you know it’s there even when you can’t figure how it happened, see?  When something doesn’t make sense, you just know it’s intergenerational trauma. Why don’t I like carrots? Why don’t I like potatoes?”

“I love carrots. I love potatoes when they’re fried.”

“I must have been traumatized by veggies when I was a pup because I don’t like any.”

“You eat grass, Aussie.”

“Or maybe one of my ancestors ate only veggies, didn’t get any other food, and that causes me now to hate veggies, see?”

“Wow, Aussie, I never knew you bore so much trauma. The vet told me I have a liver condition, but she said you’re healthy. Who knew you suffer so much?”

“Don’t ask, varmint. Trauma is a terrible thing. It’s EXISTENTIAL!”

“What does that mean, Aussie?”

“How should I know? Is my name Jean-Paul Sartre? But take my word for it, varmint, it’s worse than any liver condition.”

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