Thursday, December 14, 2006

Against the Blog: 2-12

Deuce Kindred and Sloat Fresno roll into Telluride. Deuce happens to visit the restaurant where Mayva and Lake Traverse are working, and he and Lake instantly fall into amour fou. Looking at her, he either knows or is reasonably certain that she is the daughter of the man he recently offed, but he doesn't care. She has a big fight with her mother, who tells her the story that's going 'round--that he is indeed this man--but this just makes her mad. She is going to marry him, goddamnit. At which news, Mayva packs her bags and leaves, to parts unknown, by train. And "she didn't ever see her mother again" (265).

So, they get married, and Sloat sort of moves in with them more and more, until ultimately, she's having really degrading sex with the two of them. Which she evidently takes some sort of masochistic pleasure in, but which was nonetheless distressing to read about. "Why don't you boys just leave me out of it and do each other for a change?" (269), she asks at one point, which does indeed seem to me to be the subtext of most such arrangements. Ever read Updike's second Rabbit novel, Rabbit Redux? Harry was obviously having sex with Skeeter with Jill as a proxy. Very strange stuff, and pretty surreal, given that the other books in the sequence all adhered to a more or less realistic worldview. Why did I bring that up? Because I felt like it, dammit!

Even though Webb is dead, stuff is still getting blowed up real good. Deuce's erstwhile employers call him in to ask him whether he's sure he killed the man. Deuce insists he did, but they remain skeptical. And it becomes more and more clear that someone is now trying to off him. He is scared and paranoid. Did Sloat betray him?

In the end, Sloat leaves town, and the two of them--Lake and Deuce--are alone again.



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