by Maniza Naqvi

MagicIt's 5.00 am in Frankfurt. Still a couple of hours before the flight is called. The Business lounge is beginning to fill up. The staff is busy replenishing breakfast food on the counters. I keep nodding off.

“What's she called?” The man seated behind her asks someone.

The guy replies: “Soho.”

“Shih Tzu?”


“Hey—puppy— baby you're so pretty…yes you are…yes you are.”.

The two guys talk. About dog poop. Soho's owner has spread out a newspaper for her to poop on but Soho won't oblige. “C'mon darling—come on baby—”

The other guy says:” Maybe I can make her go ” I'm a magician.”

Soho's owner laughs “Oh yeah? What kind of magician?”


“Emotional? Like you cry?”

“Well, no. I read minds.”

“Uh huh. Okay.”

“Really?” I join in.

“Yeah,” Says the magician turning in his seat half way to look at me.

“Okay read mine. Tell me what I'm thinking.” I say.

“Well two minutes ago you were thinking about the rain.”

The guy with Soho looks at me: “Well were you?”

“Yes! I was! I am amazed! I was absolutely thinking about the rain. I was thinking about the Queen's jubilee and about how the duke was sick…and how it rained and rained….and how he may have had a hand in Diana's death, maybe. No really! See, look here– I was reading the IHT, this article about the rain at the jubilee. And I was thinking about how over there they need to have all that pageantry and uniforms, and colors and the pomp and you know the tiara…they have to cheer themselves up because they have rain….All the time. Rain and they have reign…get it the other kind–Reign?”

The magician smiles.

“Really you ARE a magician!” I say.

“Thank you for playing along.” He says with a boyish grin.

“No. Really! That was what I was thinking.”

Soho's owner's phone rings. While we listen in, he reports in detail about when last Soho peed and pooped. What she ate and how much water she drank. Yes, he's tried the newspaper trick and the soft animal—and used all the signal words.

His flight has just been called. He gathers up Soho's stuff—the toy, the biscuits, the blanket, the water bowl, the newspapers. He tells the magician he's going to a wedding in Tel Aviv…He has flown all the way from NYC back to LA to pick up his stuff then car service to Airport and now waiting at Frankfurt for his flight to be called.

Then, Soho poops.

“It's okay baby” says her owner as he cleans the mess hurriedly “We've got time! Good girl! Good girl! What do you do when you are not a magician?” Soho's owner asks.
“I'm in health care.”

“That's vague!”


“Okay? No clearer. Then again, I'm in investment funds so pretty vague too.”

I'm about to chime in when he says: “But really we are all spies!”

We laugh and then he and Soho depart.