Ramon De Ocampo deftly switches between the 13 perspectives vividly captured by Suzette Mayr's study of the self-centered responses of the people who hovered at the periphery of "the dead boy's" life in tragicomic Monoceros. As his death ripples through suburban Catholic school St. Aloysius, its students and staff are shown to all be friendless and helpless in their own way, trapped in personas by their fear of being found out and judged.
From closeted guidance counselor Walter, weathering work days by overeating alone in his office to tightly-wound, mid-divorce English teacher Mrs. Mochinski, who needs yoga breaths to keep her from flying into a rage in her classroom, De Ocampo captures the unique rhythms of Mayr's characters.
A seventeen-year-old boy, bullied and heartbroken, hangs himself. And although he felt terribly alone, his suicide changes everyone around him.
His parents are devastated. His secret boyfriend's girlfriend is relieved. His unicorn - and virginity-obsessed classmate, Faraday, is shattered; she wishes she had made friends with him that time she sold him an Iced Cappuccino at Tim Horton's. His English teacher, mid divorce and mid menopause, wishes she could remember the dead student's name, that she could care more about her students than her ex's new girlfriend. Who happens to be her cousin.
The school guidance counselor, Walter, feels guilty - maybe he should have made an effort when the kid asked for help. Max, the principal, is worried about how it will reflect on the school. And Walter, who's secretly been in a relationship with Max for years, thinks that's a little callous. He's also tired of Max's obsession with some sci-fi show on TV. And Max wishes Walter would lose some weight and remember to use a coaster.
And then Max meets a drag queen named Crepe Suzette. And everything changes.