Currency Exchange

Luke Viera

My mother is a musician but she can’t help me now; money is scarce and she isn’t around. A dog has been following me for about fifteen minutes. He’s whistled for his friends and I can sense them approaching. I’ve been in Athens for maybe a month but my Greek is less than sufficient and the dog speaks no English. I lie. Since discovering I am American he has been uttering more curse words than I care to count, and I’m quite sure that a few of them are related to biscuits.

My backpack is heavy and my sandaled feet are groaning. The first devil responds, wanders onto the path, sniffing the air with a green-tinted nose. I might cry. Behind him sprout a good dozen or so of the mangy, the mongrel, the hungry-eyed pets. I trip, someone snarls, and before I can pray, a score of rabid canines chase me over a fence and down a freeway and through a tollbooth. I’m lucky, I know, that I had one-euro-ten or I’d be stuck at the toll with those flea-ridden fiends.

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