David Kenan (1930-1997). Novelist and essayist. His books include The Intercessor, Stroke of Twelve, Meditational Deities and No Longer Expecting an Answer.
Excerpt from Stroke of Twelve: “The place had a river view, the kind you pay big money for. The night had taken on yet another nature. Gray mist rising and moving off the water. There was no particular shape to the shore, just a high black wall. I cracked open a window to the damp. Sounds poured in, tangled in the mist. No highway sounds (you pay good money for that too), but distant tugs, low motor-rumble slicing the water, and wind in wet trees.
“I came here busted a year ago: a petrified heart, a closed oyster-can. Then she came along and suddenly I could feel a melodic note rising, a note that seemed to reveal the ultimate clarity of some thought — the real thing, the first utterance of a truth, not a worn-out ragged echo dying in the air. A dangerous thing, a dangerous thing to be in such a state. At the mercy of someone else’s secret heart. At the mercy of your own. But this has got to be learned; there isn’t any getting around it.”