Maybe it comforts you that the high seas and the romantic past are the only places you'll run into us, as if we're no more than pages in a book. Think again. We're no dream. I, Morales, am king of the pirates. I am at your doorstep.
Languid summer days and nights develop unpredictably in Sea Dogs, John Bensko's imaginative debut collection. He takes us from the remote interior of Mexico to the streets of New York, and lingers in the harbors and beaches of the coastal South. In the least likely places, the absurd and mysterious mingle with the ordinary, and Bensko's emotionally adrift, quirkily obsessive characters find the connections they never knew they needed.
A mother discovers her distant, retiring young son's secret collection of eerily beautiful insect corpses. A blind man proves himself a preternaturally talented fisherman, humiliating a guide who doubts his skill. And in the title story, a security officer at the Statue of Liberty who spends his days rescuing panicky visitors halfway up the stairs considers himself a swashbuckling pirate.
With charm and subtle wit, Bensko's stories seamlessly shift from the real into the fantastic and reveal the magic and mystery that simmer just beneath the surface of our lives.