Although I am always interested in the short fiction which Biblioasis publishes (thanks to the likes of K.D. Miller and Kathy Page), it was Naomi’s review of this collection which urged me to fetch a copy of this from the Yorkville library downtown.
This is not my usual branch, but in extreme weather the libraries operate as “cooling centres” and without air conditioning in the house, I spend more time than usual in libraries and am eager for a change of scene. So, in the thick of summer, I was pleased for the excuse to explore.
I was less pleased when, travelling back, the subway was so crowded that I could not find a seat and, so, was both standing and crying through the first story.
The most frustrating part of this was that I couldn’t even properly blame Naomi at this point because I knew, from the first few paragraphs of this story that it was going to be painful, but I chose to read on.
Flipping forward in the collection, I could see that the story was also only a few pages long, and this is a debut collection; I thought perhaps it would be over quickly, too quickly to land on my heart.
I was wrong.
Much of the time that I was reading this collection, I was all-a-rage but even tapping into another intense emotion didn’t save me from sorrow. And even the stories that were about two-legged struggles (not the furred and feathered four-legged kind) made me weep.
I sobbed my way through this collection and, when I messaged Naomi she said that she thought it would get easier if I kept reading.
That things turned out okay for one of the dogs. (One of them. Do not be reassured. Do not let down your guard.)
And the worst of it is that – even knowing all of this now – I will have to read every single story that David Huebert writes.
Contents: Enigma, Maxi, Sitzpinkler, Limousines, Drift, How Your Life, Horse People, Peninsula Sinking