A Horse Named Sorrow

By Trebor Healey

Award-winning novelist Trebor Healey depicts San Francisco within the Nineteen Eighties and '90s in poetic prose that's either ribald and poignant, and a crossing into the yankee West that's dreamy, mythic, and visionary.

When stricken twenty-one-year-old Seamus Blake meets the robust and self-possessed Jimmy (just arrived in San Francisco by way of bicycle from his fatherland in Buffalo, New York), he feels his lifestyles may well eventually be taking a flip for the higher. however the resulting romance proves short-lived as Jimmy dies of an AIDS-related disease. The grieving Seamus is obliged to maintain a promise to Jimmy: "Take me again the best way I came."

And so Seamus units out by way of bicycle on a picaresque trip with the ashes, hoping to deliver them again to Buffalo. He meets truck drivers, waitresses, university young children, farmers, ranchers, Marines, and different travelers--each one giving him a brand new standpoint on his personal existence and on Jimmy's loss of life. whilst he meets and turns into concerned with a tender local American guy whose mom has lately died, Seamus's grief and his tale turn into common and redemptive.

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Jimmy inspiration to do what somebody in Buffalo could do when it comes to getting a brand new commence. He went to California. “But I didn’t simply pass; I couldn’t simply move, like I used to—I don’t be aware of. I needed to pass in a undeniable approach. The railroads and airplanes and cars—they all go back and forth in circles, and I’d prove again the place i began. No might I set out for St. Louis than I’d prove in New Jersey. as soon as I went to Texas, and by the point 3 months had handed, i used to be in Florida. i really headed for California two times ahead of, yet by no means made it prior Denver. after which i used to be in Minneapolis. It used to be bizarre; it used to be like i used to be hooked up to a couple type of tether. possibly I slept mistaken, within the form of a boomerang or anything. ” “Maybe you liked your mother. ” The query that was once my face. He rolled his eyes. “Maybe…well, after all… yet i feel it’s extra the circle of items. ” “A closed loop. i do know all approximately it, Jimmy,” I acknowledged with my nods of assent. “I received proven in that medical institution. I’d walked via the signal for it 3 or 4 instances and the day she died, I bit the bullet due to the fact that I’d been heading off it for years. After that…well, anything was once over, you recognize? I needed to go away and not glance again. first and foremost i presumed I may still stroll, yet I knew I’d by no means make it. I’d turn out hitching a journey or a teach, after which I’d be correct again within the previous trend, looping all around the continent like a few pinball. i assumed of jogging simply because I knew I needed to make it challenging. I needed to earn my passage someway. I needed to climb the following. Climb out of whatever, get born, you recognize? ” i do know now. I referred to as info, looking for his father, who he’d stated had left all of them years in the past, yet was once nonetheless lurking round city someplace. I didn’t dare name the born-agains. “Keane. Jack Keane. ” there have been 3 J. Keanes indexed in Buffalo. “Hi, I’m a chum of your son’s. ” however the first one had no son. Or used to be he simply announcing that, because it was once the typical reaction of such a lot of fathers of homosexual sons? the second one quantity was once disconnected. I breathed deep for the 3rd, yet acquired an answering desktop. “This is Jack, depart a message. ” That’s while it happened to me that Jimmy’s voice was once nonetheless on our laptop. That appeared cheesy, having a useless guy’s voice taking messages from those that didn’t even comprehend he used to be lifeless but. cheesy, macabre, merciless even. yet there has been no approach i might erase it, since it was once Jimmy’s voice. That being the case, i made a decision opposed to leaving our quantity for the ultimate Jack. as an alternative, i began taking place to the nook liquor shop and calling Jimmy. “Hi, this is often Jimmy and Seamus. We’re now not the following. ” Beep. track to my ears. In a Buffalo twang. Mr. Understatement. Jimmy. The twins begun staring at me, thinking about, pointing. after they came visiting. “You don’t acquired any mobile anymore? ” “No, it’s now not that. pay attention. ” and that i passed Michael the telephone. Arched brows. At which Marcus grew to become overexcited, leaping up and down for his flip, so I needed to dig for extra quarters and dial back so they’d either get it. They bought it. huge smiles and nods—they knew who it used to be. “Diarrhea boy! ” “He died,” I advised them. yet i feel they knew; they’d noticeable him fading for months.

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