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“Rico is farting like a German,” said Giovanni as we walked together along the beach. “The stink of it. Even with the windows open.”


“Can’t you just put him outside?”


Giovanni became instantly horrified. It was as if I had told him to pull out Rico’s paw nails one by one.


“He has always been in the office with me. Now that he is old and farting, you are saying I am throwing him out?”


“No,” I backtracked quickly.


Giovanni’s eyes twinkled. “His hearing loss, it is making it worse. Now, he likes lying on my feet to make sure I am not leaving him.” He paused dramatically. “And they’re silent. Ssssst,” he hissed. “Like gas in the trenches. Yesterday I am wearing my grandpa’s WWI gas mask on my head like a hat. When he is letting one go, I am pulling down the mask until the air clears.”


The image was too much. I was wiping away tears.


“What else can a man do?” Giovanni plaintively asked.

[Excerpt Landslide, Page 342]

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