Merry Viqueque Christmas

Sitting at Cafetaria Enigma at twilight Chrisitmas light blinking listening to Elvis’ gospel-honky tonk album alone with Shaggy the dog looking on. A vegetarian eating the best fried chicken in East Timor watching the clouds turn puffy purple and the kids throw rocks at ripe mangoes hanging over the restaurant wall. A grand UNHCR-flag-bearing window-tinted-black new Toyota Landcruiser passes slowly by. If only they knew how good Café Enigma was they might have stopped.

Shaggy, as I have began to call that polite dog who sits back and waits for her due, was jittery, moving back and forth on her haunches. At one point, as I was peeling off the last greasy skin and meat from the bone, she emitted something close to a whine. I was worred she might spoil it for herself, as I cannot give to beggars at the dinner table, children with pouty lips and crocodile-tearing eyes included. Luckily she piped down and I tossed her the enormous half-chicken bone, not picked up, so with plenty of meat on the bone. She had that ‘Thank you Santee Claus’ look on her face. Merry Christmas Shaggy!

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