“Garret” is not the prettiest word that ever caught my eyes. There are words that sound similar which are more mellifluous, such as gannet (a beautiful oceangoing bird), and garotte (a lovely word for a method of execution by strangulation; you may have also heard the term “garrote wire”).

In the fine words of

noun: an attic, usually a small, wretched one.

My love of this word is its specificity. It isn’t just an attic, but a specific kind of attic, with dry floorboards, a pitched roof, probably one tiny round window, a shitty mattress on the floor, an old crumbling desk and chair to the side, possibly covered in candlewax because the place has no electric. It’s the place you live in when you’re abysmally poor and want to write poetry and go slowly insane. It’s also the best place, as a friend points out, to stash your crazy wife. That’s her shouting at you on the lawn from that tiny window, pulling her hair out one fistful at a time. You might even stuff your deformed or unpresentable child up there, pushing him table scraps under the door, until he one day escapes and eats your neighbors. He

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might go by the name “Mungo”.

It’s as if the garret were the subconscious of your house, storing memories and repressed family members waiting to explode in a nightmare of embarrassments, and vomiting, vengeful stabbings.

Comments 3

  1. lentil wrote:

    brilliant! my cousin’s name is garret, actually, although he looks more like a mungo.

    Posted 06 Apr 2011 at 5:12 pm
  2. Annabelle wrote:

    A great place to hide your wife, or french soldiers during the second world war like in this song:
    This is the image I associate with “garret”.

    Posted 26 Jun 2011 at 1:54 am
  3. Margaret wrote:

    Just discovered your blog & as I read your post on ‘garret’ my mind was filled with the imagery of Edward Gorey-pretty darn perfect writing…

    Posted 10 Feb 2013 at 11:57 am

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