The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Enzo spends the day in the garage, feeling anxious in what he deems a very human way. He says that dogs, unlike humans, can slow down their anticipatory metabolism and sit still for hours with no effort, but figures that his inability to do so today is a result of his soul evolving to be more human. He tries to embrace it despite the discomfort.
Enzo gives the reader another way to consider humans and how they differ from dogs. He sees humans as being less in control of their emotions, and the reader is then encouraged to consider the truth of this assessment.
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As the day drags on, a Seattle police car pulls up outside the open garage doors and two officers get out. An employee offers them a car wash, which they refuse. The officers go into the lobby and Enzo goes through the doors into the lobby as well. Mike is at the counter and the officers ask for Denny, telling Mike they have a warrant for his arrest. Mike, very uncomfortable, tells them Denny may have left, but goes into the back to check. Denny is on a computer in the back room, and Mike tells him about the police. Denny heads to the lobby.
We see that Enzo's anxiety is not completely unfounded, as it's obvious that something bad is about to happen once the police arrive asking for Denny. Mike's loyalty to Denny is obvious as he tries to protect Denny from the police. Further, we see how confident Denny is in his innocence, given how nonchalant he seems (or tries to seem) about the situation.
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Denny introduces himself and politely asks the officers what they want and asks to see the warrant. After he's read it, the officers ask him to step out from behind the counter so they can pat him down, and Denny complies. His boss, Craig, approaches and tells the officers that what they're doing isn't necessary and can be conducted outside, but they refuse. When the officers move to cuff Denny, Craig angrily says they don't need to, and the officers tell him to hold. The police read Denny his rights and Denny asks when they'll be done so he can pick up Zoë. They tell him to make other arrangements, and Denny instructs Mike to call Mark Fein.
The police's story is apparently more powerful than anything else in this situation. Remember Enzo's love of the dramatic, and note the drama created by only Denny and the police officers knowing the story at this point. The reader, as well as the rest of the characters present, are forced to wonder what Denny could possibly need to be arrested for.
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Mike asks what Denny is being arrested for, and the officers wait for Denny to answer. Denny finally says rape of a child in the third degree, and then says he didn't rape anyone and asks what child. The officers pause, dragging out the drama. They finally answer, "the one you raped," and lead Denny away. Enzo remarks to the reader that he despised the cop for what he was doing, but he had to admire his dramatic flair.
Enzo's love of dramatic storytelling doesn't stop him from hating the story itself, but he's instead able to separate the style from the story and appreciate the style. This ties back to how Enzo described how dogs and women feel pain, as being able to appreciate the beauty of it while taking it straight on.
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