MY FATHER'S MASK

Joe's first collection.

Postby Betsy_Boo on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:53 pm

Thanks Charlie...I didn't think of it that way. That maybe knowing what Joe was thinking when he wrote this could actually ruin the story for me...I guess sometimes I get too curious for my own good. When I think about this story now, especially the ending, I get a sense that the dad is sacrificing himself in order for his family to move forward or to save them from some awful fate. The mom is in on it by her assertion to her son of their family's new history...that he never really knew his dad...etc. "The Amnesia Highway." Her relief is tangible...her happiness appalling. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the boy is so comfortable in his father's mask that he doesn't want to take it off. At first I thought he wanted to keep it as a memento of his dad, but then he says "It's me." And was the dad's fate decided by that earlier game of cards from when he was a kid?
"We'll always have Paris."

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Postby grasking on Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:24 pm

I just reread this and it still feels like a Kelly Link story; like I've just been observing some one's dream. I know Joe Hill said when he wrote "20th Century Ghost" he was trying to write a story similar to Link's "The Specialist's Hat"(If you haven't read it, I strongly recommend doing so). And this story feels even more so.

The kid on the bike could be his grandfather or great grandfather. Or a young Mr. Burns.

Also, the part about the organs being highlighted on the father's chest reminded me of the kidney thieves.
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Postby sybil on Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:04 pm

I get a sense that the dad is sacrificing himself


i did, too. but mom was way too at ease with it, so detached. and i didn't like the "it's me" part, either.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:06 pm

Yeah syb...I really hated that mother.
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Postby grasking on Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:06 pm

A passing of the torch.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:22 pm

grasking wrote:A passing of the torch.


Wow...didn't think of that. Creepy!
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Postby sybil on Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:42 pm

yeah, grasking...i didn't think of quite that way, but kind of like the kid was going to become (to himself) his father, so same difference, i guess. you put it better tho.
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Postby supreme on Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:04 pm

LoganRaider wrote:Weren't the father and mother the two kids the boy was playing cards with? They said they used to go to that place when they were younger, and the boy ends up recognizing who he is playing with. So, the father got his bad hand dealt to him there. At least, that is how I took it.

Anyone have any idea about the boy on the old fashioned bicycle. I found that part creepy as hell.


ya i caught that in the story also but i didnt occur to me about the
fathers bad hand....thanks for that reminder....its as good an
interpretation as any for this crazy story!
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Postby LoganRaider on Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:37 am

Really looking forward to Joe's "three things" reply with this story. He needs to hurry and finish up with those. :wink:
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Postby supreme on Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:16 pm

where is it that you all find his info on these stories?? :)
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Postby LoganRaider on Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:58 pm

Ah, gotta love Donny Darko quotes.
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Postby KingoftheHill on Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:31 pm

Yeah, this was a weird story all around. Just the "feel" of it was depressing and mystical. I felt uncomfortable when he woke up to his naked dad in the mask. LOL, that was some great writing.

I missed the fact that the two kids in the woods were his parents too, but it make sense.

I will have to read this one again. The ending was somehow satisfying to me.

I love to hear everyone's perspective on this. Interesting. I'm halfway through Commital now and then I'm done! Woo Hoo!!! 8)
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Postby Snooky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:57 pm

This was a very creepy, bizarre story. At first, I thought the mom was just fun loving and liked creating games to entertain her son. It wasn't until she sank her finger nails into the back of Dad's neck and the zipper was pulled on his mouth that I had to re-think her motives. Flash forward to when the son was on his way to get fire wood and it seemed Dad wasn't allowed to talk to him and then putting his palm on the window as the son left...almost like a sign...or a goodbye.

What no one else has brought up is the fact that the son looked into the veiled mirror and actually saw a playing card person (the appraiser) next to his father! They we're real!

The possible meanings of this story are endless; but what really bothered me was how easy (almost like she expected it or it was planned) the mother was willing to leave her husband and then make it all seem quite normal to her son. I kept waiting for the mystery to be solved, but alas it will not.

P.S. The fat angel kid with narrow bloody teeth....creeepy
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Postby grasking on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:28 pm

KingoftheHill wrote: I felt uncomfortable when he woke up to his naked dad in the mask. LOL, that was some great writing.



I wonder if that was based on a true story.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:33 pm

You know...I can't help it...I still want to hear what Joe has to say about this story. I miss his "three things about..."
"We'll always have Paris."

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