Loneliness is a disease. It crawls up on you slowly, tearing you up and making you go insane. It is a weird thing, loneliness, havin’ a friend is a blessin’ but worst of all, once this disease infects you, there is nothin’ you can do about it. Well, nothin’ if you’re black. As a Negro people stay well away from me an’ don’t want to know a thing ‘bout me. I jus’ have to stay in my room, my private room, where I would have my privacy but nobody to talk to. I had it all though, a nice family, education and our own piece of lan’. We didn’t have to do this tedious job of tendin’ the horses.
I’m sick of it now. Back then there would be a new job ev’ry day. But best of all, I’d play with children. They were white kids though, so my father didn’t want me to play with them. I didn’t get it then, but it all makes sense now. Those white people kicked us of the lan’. They said my father ‘ad killed somebody. So what do they do? They kill ‘im. No fair trial like these whites would get. It jus’ made me hate ev’ry white. One day all of this changed – a worker by the name of Lennie comes into my room. He ain’t the brightest of guys but there was jus’ someone around me.
I might as well have just talked to myself as he did not take in a word, he just kept talking ‘bout these rabbits. He an’ ‘is frien’ George gonna get their own piece of lan’. They are jus’ dreamin’ though. American Dream, there ain’t no such thin’. I seen many come to the ranch sayin’, “All I gotta do is work for another week” or some other high talk but how many of them actually get a piece of lan’. There is no dream, jus’ hard work with no reward. Anyway what I did next I regret. I just needed to release my anger on this guy an’ I could cause he wasn’t clever.
Most of my life I’ve been bullied by white people an’ I got my chance to finally bully a white person. I said that his friend George wouldn’t come back. What happened next I deserved, the crazy bastard approaches me an’ I heard what he’s done to Curley’s han’ so I jus’ tell him quickly that George is comin’ back. He then sits down an’ is fine an’ continues ‘bout his rabbits. Then his friend George comes in an’ he’s gone. The time when he came in until he went felt so short. It was nice bein’ with a guy even if he is as dumb as hell. That Lennie may not be as smart but he sure is kind.
He not once referred to be as most of those other whites do. Bein’ a cripple does not help too. It makes the work harder. An’ ev’ry day jus’ to relieve some pain I’m forced to rub medicines on to my back. Candy knows how I feel as he has no hand. Least Candy’s white so they give him money. But my disability is how I got my name, Crooks, after being kicked by a horse. I can’t even play cards with other men, least I can play horseshoes. Bein’ black makes you isolated; it has crippled me my whole life. I wonder if blacks will ever be treated as whites.