It's difficult to work out who the hero actually is, but it is definitely a young man trying to work out his role in life in the remote Kootenay Valley of British Columbia. There is a lot of testosterone and manliness in these stories, and more than a whiff of Old Spice or Lynx Africa. These young men are testing themselves against their fathers and against their environments in stories that can be quite disturbing.
I stayed some time after my old man had pulled a Rough Rider tuque over his ears and ventured into the winter dark. Larry and Karen and Paul and the dog dispersed to the far corners of their house, and Mitch and I moved to the living room. There, he poked at a small fire, gave it a breath of life. A hot chocolate line moustached his lip, but I was a good friend, so I told him about it.
- I'm worried about my dad, I said.