Johanna or Louisa?

What about the miscarriage? Nah, can’t figure out what to say. I can see a hospital room and a view over the east river. Maybe it was Doctor’s? Maybe it was Cornell? I don’t think it was NYU or Bellevue.

Johanna was there for four days. It would have been longer but she walked out. As miscarriages go it wasn’t so bad physically. The horror to Jo and Grace was that she was seven months pregnant and it was a still birth and the embryo fetus thing (as Jo called it) had died almost a month earlier. It had been a boy. And Jo couldn’t conceive again and Grace couldn’t conceive at all. And really when Jo was raped a month later they were glad she didn’t and couldn’t.

And both of them decided that they hadn’t been made for kids, and then heart attacks.

And then no more Jo. And then a kitten who died. And then an old dog: a brindle bully bitch Grace found. She had a tag that said “lulu” but there was no phone number. And then she died.

And that’s when Grace decided that she’d find a pup. And she picked the breed at random, but never regretted it. Loulou was perfection. Asleep next to her. Eating what she offered, nuzzling her. Clearly speaking in his doggish incomprehensible way. Really each moment with him reminded her more and more of Jo. To hell with the land lords.

One morning she woke up knowing that the dog needed more exercise. She took him over the Tri borough bridge this time, and for he first time unclipped the leash. Off he went, and ten minutes later he reappeared, with a duck in his mouth. A still warm dead duck. Grace had a knife and very little idea what to do. [this is where I might come up with a description of plucking a duck?]

How about descriptions of summer and winter on Randall’s. Pity they will never be in the same league as the cold in soldier’s joy and the crispness of the air and the smoke from the cigarette under the banjo strings.

Well at least I can see Loulou showing up with the duck, and Grace’s dismay. Great that he caught it. How had he managed? Is that when she realized how wet and filthy the dog was – remnant of his chase into the water. Guess he could swim. What else that day? Did she hear anything from the duck or dog telling her what he was up to? What could she hear? A splash?

Or had he disappeared then reappeared silently almost unmissed?

The next time he was off lead he padded along by her side, occasionally his nose picked up a scent and his body would quiver. He’d be standing perfectly still. Sometimes the quiver was so subtle she could only feel it and not see it at all.

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