SO, ALICE, WHERE SHALL we be off to today? The train game, again? Then the train game it shall be. Pick a platform, any platform! I know: I’ll close my eyes and let you sniff it out. What do you smell, Alice, ol’ pup? The sweat of Buenos Aires playboys in the midnight heat? Fruit rotting in the dirt at the bazaar in Istanbul and the musky perfume of the stall-keeper’s son, humming a movie tune, just barely seventeen? The tinny scent of blood at the old butcher shop in Rome and the butcher’s hands, each as big as your four paws put together? What do you smell, Alice, my friend? Where in the world shall we go next?
It started in Athens. Alice and I had been together four years. The vet said Alice was dying, said she should be put down before it got any worse. I listened, and nodded, and all the while plotted how we’d make our escape. Athens was getting old, anyway. Hell, it was old. Everything was musty and crumbling and years over-baked. It couldn’t help but go bad and take you right along with it. You and your little dog, too. Time to move along. Alice was ready.