My roommates

These are my roommates, Linus Pawling and Buddha. Both of them live outside, for the most part. Buddha has an old hitching post, and Linus has a centuries old live oak tree, with branches wide enough to stretch out on. He shares it with generation after generation of families of squirrels, raccoons, possums, and Inca doves. He used to have a brother named Albert Einstein, but when they "improved" Robert E. Lee Drive several years ago and re-routed the traffic through our neighborhood, a speeding car took him out early one Saturday morning.

Linus grieved for a solid month, visiting each place Albert had been, crying at the doors and windows of our neighbors, asking where he was, sitting in the exact spots Albert had sat, taking over his place in my lap...one had sat on my chest, the other in my lap. By the end of the month I was at my wits' end, frantically searching for some way to pull him out of his depression. In desperation, I finally cracked open a can of tuna, and he perked up after that.

My next door neighbor dug a grave, and we lit incense and invited all the neighborhood cats and dogs to a small, brief ceremony. We placed a limestone brick to mark the spot, and Albert has now been joined by Lulu LaRue, aka Fluffy on a Stick.

To my knowledge, the Gautama Buddha had no siblings, or conversely, we are all his brothers and sisters...