“Mr. Lonely” by Greg Herren, Saints & Sinners 2010: New Fiction from the Festival (Queer Mojo).
It took David almost two years to re-adjust to living alone after his partner Matt broke things off and moved out. Jeffrey is a younger man who walks past David’s French Quarter home one day and strikes up a conversation with him through the open door.
I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that this story stops on a down note. Because it feels like part of a novel, I’m choosing to believe the main character’s fortunes rise after this.
Now, I will admit I was overly sensitive to this subject with this author because the ending of the first novel of his that I read shocked me – shocked me – and not in any way that could be construed as pleasant or good. I wanted to leap up and throw the book across the room, or maybe throw it at him (this was pre-ebooks). But after I calmed down I had to admit that I admired him for sticking to the decision to do what he did, as I assume most people who got to the end of that particular novel felt the same way I did, and he’s probably taken a lot of flak for it.
One aspect of his work that I adore is his depiction of New Orleans. When I did finally get to visit the city last year, it was great fun to see all the places he’d described, and see how accurate he was. Or how honest. I guess that’s it. He’s just really, really honest in what he puts on the page.
Which reminds me – you can experience more of his honesty for yourself by reading his blog. In particular I’m thinking of a post he did a couple of weeks back where he came clean about not much liking some of the classics and not much liking Hemmingway the man. I appreciated the first sentiment, but when I read the second one I once again wanted to leap up from my desk and shout – only this time with joy. I suspect there are many folks who share his view but are afraid to say so. So thank you, sir. Thank you.