The Green Dog
"He loved making the effort. He loved trying."
I know I first published this story (in Null Immortalis: Nemonymous Ten, with my original review of it here), but, having just re-read it, in the context of this book, I genuinely believe it is (so far) the most poignant and the most central to the 'old man process', as I have begun to call it in this review. Also relevant to another theme of this book: 'identity'. There is nothing sexist intended by me about the 'old man process' (semi-colon) it's just a frame of mind that only 'old men' of any age can have (but, of course, not all old men). A combination of anal-retentive, curmudgeonliness, a paradoxical spirituality and creativity deriving from that otherwise negativity-strewn oldmanness, often with a Ligottian cathricity, sporadically peppered with good intentions and, dare I say, love (often unrecognised). Well, who knows, that may just be me trying to make me into a class of many mes, to make me feel better!
This story has the 'miscegenation of souls' I mentioned about 'The Multiples of Sorrow' and seen, too, in 'Merry-Go-Round' via, here, a symbiosis between an old man and a green dog, the refraction and incidence of the lights in 'The Glare and the Glow', the state of human 'existence' represented by Charles in 'Charles', the 'inventing of holidays' from that earlier holiday in foreign UK, an aspirational love of one's family as well as the isolation beyond family and the irritation of the negative channels between family members, and much more, both negative and arguably positive.
'The Green Dog' has to be read at least once in your life.
An Excerpt from my real-time review of ONION SONGS by Steve Rasnic Tem (Chomu Press): HERE