When two very different lives intersect, all is illumined in blazing light.
This penetrating novel is an intimate look at the lives of two men, one straight, one gay, and no, this is not a coming-out story. The Marine veteran is straight and remains straight throughout. But this poignant and lyrical novel is a rhapsody to love of the highest kind, the kind that can ask for sacrifice and grant sacrifice.
Set in the 1980s, the gritty opening scene has Robert Newell - straight and with head-turning good looks - facing the reality of Carmen. In actuality, he confronts the reality about himself - how, in order to escape his homelessness, he has pandered himself to her lusts. He speaks to her about wanting children and driving home after work to play with them in the backyard. She speaks of sex toys.
His beatified mother visits him in his sleep, and in the morning, he decides to make his move. In order to reclaim his dignity of being a man, he will again make his home in his rusting pickup truck. He hopes that one day he might obtain his dream. He acknowledges that it is a humble dream, the common dream of every man - the dream of wife and family.
In Atlanta, a Marine he had served with in Vietnam pummels him in a beer joint and tosses him out onto the sidewalk. Blaine Shirer, a homely gay guy, has been prowling a nearby park for tricks. He stops to help Bob home.
Over weeks a sort of friendship develops on again, off again. But eventually they manage to make a home together and celebrate the negligible milestones of one life; of the other’s and of the life they
share together. But then come bullets and judgment by the righteous.
In this novel of heart and grit, Vann Turner bears witness to the dreams we seek, the love we crave, and the courage we must summon to defend it.