Chapter 7 Summary

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John did not share Lorraine’s trepidations about their relationship with the Pigman. He thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the zoo and thought that it was “sort of nice” that a baboon had a friend like Mr. Pignati. John also liked the fact that the old man treated him and Lorraine as if he genuinely liked them too. John concluded that the Pigman was “a little crazy” but harmless.

Lorraine and John did not get to the Pigman’s the next day until around seven o’clock in the evening. Dennis and Norton had accosted them after school, wanting to know where they were going. Because John and Lorraine did not want the boys to find out about Mr. Pignati, they pretended that they did not have anything to do and ended up going to the cemetery to have a drink with them. John thinks that cemeteries “are one of the loveliest places to be—if you’re not dead, of course.” Cemeteries make him think about his own mortality, and they make him sad because he knows that he is not really concerned about the dead people around him; he is only searching for “anything to prove” to himself that there is something after death to look forward to besides decaying.

To get out of the house that night, Lorraine lied to her mother, telling her that she needed to go to the library. John, on the other hand, had no trouble getting away. He and his father got into an argument again, this time about John’s plans for his future. John’s father wants him to get a lucrative job working on the Stock Exchange like his brother Kenny, but John wants to be an actor. The argument between John and his father became heated and unpleasant, and when it was over, John’s mother suggested that he go over to a friend’s house so as not to further aggravate his father. John was very glad to comply.

When John and Lorraine arrived at the Pigman’s house, the old man was clearly glad to see them, and the two young people basked in his appreciation of them, which was so different from the reception they were used to getting in their own homes. The Pigman excitedly offered to show John and Lorraine around the house, encouraging them to explore and to make themselves at home. Lorraine went upstairs and brought back a picture of a young girl in a confirmation dress; she asked the Pigman who the girl was. The smile faded off the Pigman’s face as he told her that the girl was his wife, Conchetta.

After a brief moment of uncomfortable silence, the Pigman forced a smile and suggested that John and Lorraine look around some more while he went into the kitchen for some wine. John went upstairs and discovered a “plain old bathroom” and a workroom with a lot of electrical equipment. He then found a bedroom, which was much neater than any of the other rooms in the house. The bed was decorated with a woman’s touch, and the closet was filled with clothes; John reflected idly that Mrs. Pignati had taken very little with her to California. Rummaging through a drawer in the dresser bureau, John discovered a lot of papers. One in particular captured his interest—it was a bill from Silver Lake Mortuary for the funeral of Conchetta Pignati.

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