Two Garricks


                                                                                                                          June 20, 1982


 Two Garricks lived in the Passaic complex when Stella and Chet went away. The Rocky who lived with Jimmy, and the other was a matted dog owned by the super, Lolo -- a dog beaten so often that even chained outside the door he did his best to escape or would cower whenever a stranger's shadow fell across his path.

Susan took to both Garricks right away, somehow sensing that they both needed affection, Jimmy grubbed money and living space from one Rocky and did his best to ignore the other.

Pauly and that Garrick fought often and generally over nothing. It was the only thing they seemed to have in common, their voices battling up and down the staircase to the attic, voices Stella and Chet said they could hear clear through to the wall. Garrick grumbled frequently about kicking Pauly out, but never did. Stella used to laugh about the arguments.

 A night, after Stella moved, I could hear the dog howling in pain as Lolo and his wife beat him. No one laughed. No one much acknowledged it's going on, even when in the morning the dog sat on the doorstep looking half dead. You just didn't talk to people about how they treated their dog.

 Pauly and Hank used to tell me about Garrick's ex-lover, how she used to scream at him at night, saying how useless he was. No one said anything about that either normally. You don't talk much about what goes on between husband and wife.

 Sometimes, when I got sick of hearing the dog howl, and thought about the years of Garrick's low spirits, I would shout out the window at Lolo, his wife, Pauly and Garrick, telling them all to shut up. The only one I never yelled at was the dog.

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