Delightful collection of short stories that left me giggling at bits of each one. Reminded me of Thomas McGuane at the beginning then got super-weird but good until the final story which seemed unreadable, thus skipped. I admit my shortcomings.
The Brown Coast: Bob is separated from his wife, goes to fix up his uncle’s Florida house, pulls buckets of sea life out of the ocean to fill the fish tank, is tempted by the neighbor’s wife, demolishes the tank one morning after her donation of a sea slug kills all of his fish; waves of sea life crash over the wife & her hubby who are sleeping on his floor.
Retreat: Older brother summons his younger brother to join him on a mountain retreat. They go hunting, shoot a moose whose meat starts to turn immediately before they begin to eat it.
I found him living above a candle store in a dingy apartment that he shared with a dying collie. The animal had lost the ability to urinate, so Stephen was always having to lug her downstairs to the grassy verge beside the sidewalk. There, he’d stand astride the poor animal and manually void its bladder via a Heimlich technique horrible to witness. you hated to see your last blood relation engaged in something like that. I told Stephen that from a business standpoint, the smart thing would be to put the dog down. This caused an ugly argument, but really, it seemed to me that someone regularly seen by the roadside hand-juicing a half-dead dog was not the man you’d flock to for lessons on how to be less-out-of-your-mind.
Executors of Important Energies: poignant story of adult man struggling with his father’s dementia, ultimately returning to a peaceable state with him in the car of a hustler, trying to find his hotel.
Down through the Valley: A husband picks up his daughter and wife’s lover from a mountain retreat after he busts his ankle and cannot drive. At a pit stop, the hubby saves the wife’s lover from an altercation and gets knocked out.
Leopard: Kid has an anomaly on his lip (hamburger shaped defect) and wants to stay home from school, feigns sickness. Stepfather smells bullshit, sends him on the mile walk down the driveway to fetch the mail, kid pretends to faint, gets checked out by a cop, who drives him back home, stepfather orders him inside and he ignores.
Door in Your Eye: 80 year old man goes to live with daughter, is home-bound, observes a neighbor whom he suspects of being a whore. When a man attempts to set fire to her house, he ambles over to tell her he got a complete description, ends up finding out she sells drugs, not her body.
Wild America: pretty cousin steals semi-desirable boyfriend away from chubby cousin, who hooks up with an older man on the river but is saved by the presence of her father come for his biweekly visit.
On the Show: 7 year old son whose father is on a blind date at the county fair has a dirty encounter in a portapotty.
Reco’d by Glenn C.