Lauren Kelly, with amazing power and authority, explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story.
Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty was scarred by a childhood accident. She is jarred out of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zederick Dewe whom she seems somehow to know, as he in turn seems to know her.
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July 05, 2005
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Excerpt from Take Me, Take Me with You by Lauren Kelly
9 April 1971:
Lake Shaheen, New York
Are we going to see Daddy? Where is Daddy?
Momma? Where is Daddy?
This day at twilight when the sun appears soft as an egg yolk at the horizon a solitary car is observed descending route 39 into Lake Shaheen from the north. In this dense-wooded landscape in the foothills of the Chautauqua Mountains all horizons are foreshortened. Vehicles appear suddenly around curves, rapidly descending into town, though this car, driven by a woman with a blurred face and long streaming hair, is being driven at about thirty-five miles an hour-a careful speed, a calculated-seeming speed as the car approaches the railroad crossing at the foot of the hill.
A quarter-mile to the east, the 5:48 P.M. Chautauqua & Erie freight is also approaching the crossing, much more rapidly.
Say you're the proprietor of Texas Hots Cafe. Say there's no customer in the cafe at just this moment, so you've been smoking a cigarette and staring out the front window of the cafe at nothing you haven't seen a thousand thousand times before. Not noticing still less giving a damn that the window is greasy, should be washed. Not noticing still less giving a damn that the asphalt in front of your cafe is beginning to crack, bad as the asphalt parking lot of the old train depot across the road; that weeds are growing in the cracks, like unwanted thoughts. Thinking that life is emptiness mostly-you managed not to get killed, blown up, or shot up too bad in the war-now your reward is, this emptiness at twilight of a day in early spring so cold and so cheerless it's indistinguishable from late winter, and even if a few more customers straggle into the cafe before you shut down for the night there's still this emptiness at the core, an emptiness you'd associate with Lake Shaheen, population 760, except you know it's elsewhere too, and anywhere: a stillness like the stillness between a faucet's slow drips. Yet so crowded sometimes, so much commotion inside your head there are moments when you can scarcely breathe, and you yearn for sleep to fill your head like soft warm concrete. All this while not really watching the car descending the hill toward the railroad crossing except to think with mild reproach No headlights but then it isn't dark yet, only just almost-dark, the sky overhead is vivid with waning sun and roiling clouds blowing down from Lake Ontario twenty miles to the north. You aren't aware that the car you're seeing is Duncan Quade's beat-up 1968 Chevy sedan he left behind when he moved away from Lake Shaheen sometime last summer, nor that the driver is Duncan Quade's wife, Hedy, who grew up around here, one of those Lake Shaheen High girls so pretty, so small-town sexy-glamorous that guys are all over them from the age of thirteen onward and they wind up married before graduating from high school, next thing they're mothers, and there's no next thing after that. Or anyway, no next thing they can see for themselves. And if their marriages go wrong, what then. But you aren't thinking yet of Hedy Quade or the likelihood that the small tense figure you half-see in the passenger's seat beside Hedy is probably the Quades' little boy, and behind Hedy in the backseat is a smaller child, probably the little girl. You don't know the kids' names: Duncan might've told you, but you don't remember the names of kids not your own.