I think that Dennis Johnson took a different approach to this story than he did a lot of the others in the collection. The first and most obvious is it’s longer. There seems to be more character development here in that the author lets us in on more of his life and shows us more than one anecdote in the characters sad and pathetic, confusing life. This time it’s a recovering substance abuser, so we have the focus shifted from the mind being clouded and confusing to the mind being crazy and the narrator unreliable. I didn’t feel like the characters who we knew for a fact were under the influence were nearly as frustratingly unreliable as this narrator was. But then the question is asked, is the narrator crazy? Or does he just identify with the people in the home? There were some great lines I liked, particularly, “”They made God look like a senseless maniac…His head was like a fifty-pound Brazil nut with a face. You and I don’t know about these diseases until we get them, in which case we also will be put out of sight.” and the closing “All these weirdos, and me getting a little better every day right in the midst of them. I had never known, never even imagined for a heartbeat, that there might be a place for people like us.”
Random thing I noticed that kept me curious: He always referred to the midgets daughter as her “little girl” or “little daughter”, always little, yet he didn’t really focus much on the fact that the woman was a little person.