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Short Stories 365/346 | N.S. Beranek

“The Vision” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

It makes sense that this story brought to mind “The End of Our Broadcast Day” by Thomas Kearnes and “Trunk” by Trebor Healey. All three stories concern guys who’ve gone off the rails, who’ve developed drug dependencies and lost the ability to modulate their sexual impulses. All three stories are set in treatment facilities or rehab programs, and in two cases a questionable authority figure acts as a foil.

This story has the greatest scope of the three. The events play out over a long period of time and what the main character, Buddy, wants isn’t entirely clear. We’re told that he was not abused as a child; that his trouble is largely of his own making and is owed to “laziness” and “ennui”, but it’s also true that his psychiatrist, Dr. Kuttar, is close to overstepping the boundaries of the doctor/patient relationship. With Buddy, he gets much more than he bargained for. Anyone looking for a clearly defined villain and victim won’t find them here.

It’s possible to make the case that there is an element of the supernatural at work, because Buddy has what seems to be a premonition near the beginning. You could also, though, see it as a warning from his subconscious. I think it all depends on your personal point of view.