A Review - "Proud Pants" by Greg Allen
Caring, insightful tale of addition and loss
Johnny is dying of a brain tumor after years of abusing his body with drugs and anger. As he lay dying, surrounded by those who love him when he wasn't able to love himself, he flashes back and forth across the years, on a life spent on anger and violence and waste.
His mama - actually his stepmother - who loved him when his birth mother left him, features prominently. As do all the members of his crazy, loving bunch of characters who never quite managed to give up on him even when he gave up on himself.
His one decent act, calling his mama to get his young son away from the drugs and indifference, justifies his life as nothing else will.
And then he dies. And then you read the author's afterward, and you know this is his attempt to get inside his real half brother's life and head and soul, and you know this man was loved. No life is ever totally wasted.
Thank you, Mr. Allen. This is beautiful.