Jul 16, 2005

Good afternoon, 'mam. I'm Sgt. Friday, this is my partner, Frank Smith, we'd like to ask you a few questions

Woman comes to the door. After 9 p.m. It's what's her name. She's got that look. And she gets right into it. It's the dog again. But wait a minute, what's your name? I ask. She won't answer; she just goes right on. I ask again, to nothing and so I keep asking and she keeps going. Finally, I say, I can't have a conversation with someone who won't tell me their name. She finally tells me. I can't remember it as soon as I hear it. Three names. Zs in the middle. She's the head of Housing. She's representing the community. She's got a problem with Lucy.

I said, did you get my letter? "Four pages," she says. "I read every one." "That's good," I say. "Well, what did you think?" She doesn't want to have a conversation. She wants to tell me that enough is enough. And here, it's Saturday, I've just gotten back from taking Lucy on a long walk and having tea with Gh who's told me wicked stories about monarchial mischief and the drug trade, and because it's after 9 p.m. I let the damn dog jump in and out of the window while I make dinner. There's no one outside. Yes, but then it turns out while my back was turned Lucy jumped in Cheri's window — Cheri is the resident psychologist and counselor, and boy has she got a list — Lucy jumped in her apartment and ate a bowel of spaghetti that had been left on the floor.

"You see what I mean?" said Z. I said, Look Cheri's cat jumped in our apartment and scared us half to death, Lucy particularly. And it was true. All of a sudden there's this large grey piece of dust floating by my desk, Lucy sees it and jumps straight, just like she was a cat, herself.

"What country are you from?" I asked. The next day I found out my bio-rhythms were all on the bottom line, and the prognosis is for things to get worse. She didn't answer; I kept asking. Finally, I said, "you from the Soviet Union." I thought she was. No, she said, I'm from Morocco. I got the wrong red flag, I said. I was seeing red. Do you have any family in the Red Army?

She doesn't want to talk to me, she wants to tell me about the poop. I said, 'let's talk poop.' It's not funny, she said. I said, did you not see me picking up poop the other night? Yes, you did. Admit, you saw me picking up Lucy poop the other night. She had to admit it.

Yes, she said, you did, but people have seen poop around.

Well, let's compare poops, I said. Let's line 'em all up and see who's whos. 'Cause you never know, it could be from that other dog.... And there is another dog. Little, but Lucy and that dog go to the same bar down next to the old fish market street. I seen 'em.

"I know that other dog," said Z. "But you're missing the point."

I'm telling you this quick but this was 45 minutes. Meanwhile, her son is throwing rocks at the window. I should go get him, she says, but the truth is she likes this argument. She's pregnant, frustrated and she wants to stand head to head and go at it. Every chance to leave, she stays. After a while, I'm thinking, because I've insulted her in every way I can think of, are you coming on to me...

I get her back to poops. No one has seen Lucy do it but it's the idea. And here's the worst of it, people are afraid. There are 20 people afraid. Last time she said there were 4. I said what's the inflation here. People are afraid to tell you, she said. I said, this country is still les annees noires. Is fear all you can do? Are there any other tricks you can do? Anything at all. Jump rope. Make a dime disappear. No, she said, people are really afraid. I said, are you afraid?


Okay, is your son afraid? No, he loves Lucy, and he's no bigger than Lucy.

So, if you don't have fear, why don't you convey that to your commrades and maybe we can all get together, talk poop, talk fear, talk dog. And by the way when are we going to have internet service.

That set her off.

And you know my son has been a target here. Let's talk about. She goes gooey. I know, she said, and I know who did it.

Great, I say, let's worry about that and poop and blather.

No, she won't go that far. You have to keep the dog on the leash at all times. What does that mean? I ask. Because we get up every day at 6:15 a.m. and first thing I let her out, not for a poop, which I've kind of trained her to hold 'til she gets out of the residence, but just to pee and see. Then I have my sneaks on and we're off. But you're saying every moment and she goes off on how that's the law in communities around the world.

Have you ever lived in the U.S?

She won't answer. I press. She finally says she has a brother that once lived in Utah. I've looked into the laws all over America. You did? How, I ask. On the internet, she says. But there's no internet service, I say. She nods. Yes, that's true we don't have that.

I say, listen those laws were created after severe problems. Too many. We just have one hear.

One is too much, she says.

I say you got that right.

We're still standing out there and her child must be half way to Fez by now, if he's a walker.

What do you want me to do? I ask finally.

I never want to see or hear about that dog bieng off leash.

I said you're nuts. It's impossible. She'll get out. She's steal away. Why don't we sit down and address the fear issue.

I'm not afriad she said, looking at me with these wild eyes.

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