Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

His Mossy Boy

Saturday, November 21, 2020

His Mossy Boy (2017) R. Cooper (Beings in Love)

His Mossy BoyThis story has problems, most of which are editing related.

But I was also unable to put it down.

Martin Dyer is a mess. He drinks too much and smokes too much weed in an attempt to escape from his brain and the pressure his mother places on him to be something he is not. What he is, is a barista who enjoys his job and loves working with this hands, making and fixing things.

Martin sighed. “Look, I don’t just want to bake bread. I want to know how to bake all the kinds of bread. I want to, I don’t know, do it in my own kitchen, which I have decorated how I want it— and I know you don’t care how gay that sounds, but I can hear it.”

“Martin, I don’t—” Joe tried to interrupt.

“I can make my own oven mitts, Joe. I can crochet. The only thing keeping me from growing my own vegetables is the fact that I don’t have a yard. I can sand and stain wood, fix locks, do basic plumbing, and I think vinegar can be used to clean almost anything. I would consider murdering someone for a decent mixer or a sewing machine. I collect recipes as if I have anyone to cook for, and the other day, I bought patterns for Halloween costumes for kids. Kids, Joe! You can say it. I’m strange.”

He is sweet and kind and loyal, but completely unable to deal with the thoughts and ideas that ricochet around his mind, crashing into one another and the ideal person his mother built up, which he will never be.

Martin bit his lip, hard, and breathed through his nose, trying to slow down the panicky beat of his heart. The sensation wasn’t unfamiliar. He’d just never realized what this was before, that a person could have tiny little bursts of terror from only a few words.

The strongest, most compelling part of the story for me, is Martin’s struggle with his anxiety. He keeps trying to escape who he is, but of course he can’t, and that leads him to make many terrible choices.

But he also has good friends who, although trying to deal with their own problems, step up when they need to.

“I thought you’d be mad at me.” Martin was quiet.

“I am, kind of.” Joe kept his gaze on the door. “But you seem mad at yourself already, so, how about I just… be here, right now?”

Also, there is Deputy Ian Forrester, who comes into the coffee shop every day, and who Martin is trying very hard not to notice. Or pay attention to. Or stare at.

The story switches between Martin and Ian, but (obviously) I liked Martin’s story best.

This is a wrenching story if you’ve struggled with mental health, but seeing Martin be accepted for who is, despite all the failings he keeps cataloging, is just lovely.

Rating: 7.5/10


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