The following is my novel, reduced to 500 words and given line breaks. Thanks, Autosummarize, for this literary masterpiece. (P.S. I had no idea I used this many exclamation points. I think it got every single one.) Enjoy….
No Lake Ever Loved Us (the poem)
Etta! Etta. If you had only had children, said Matilda. Really Etta, said Matilda. Well! Our little houses. Harvey with his long, thin hands.
Well if you must know, Harvey is Caucasian. Father, Harvey is a professor…. Especially if my father is against it.
Ah well, never mind. Never mind, Etta. Take Harvey’s love for America. Harvey stood behind my chair. Caucasians, said Harvey. Etta. Harvey’s kind. Harvey was the only Hindu. Thirsty, said Harvey. Harvey blushed. Harvey was craning his neck. To Harvey?
Mother says if you could come…. Mother says if you could come.
Matilda! Matilda cried.
Etta – Etta Chakrabarti. My father. Father! If it isn’t Henry! Harvey and I – I paused. Matilda? Well! Matilda? Not a word from Harvey.
Love. Etta Chakrabarti. Harvey wasn’t coming home. Harvey.
If sex works, that is. Well if it ain’t Etta herself. Men will be men, she was saying. Etta! Etta – said Harvey, looking pained.
Harvey laughed. Harvey was in California. Well!
Harvey – I mean, Arabinda. Matilda!
Colman’s eyes. What if you fell in?
Love? Well! Harvey’s eyebrows flickered. The man’s eyebrows jumped. Bloody hell yourself, Harvey. Harvey began backing away.
Etta. I had loved Harvey. It was Harvey. Harvey, what a surprise.
Why it’s Harvey! Right, right. Harvey smiled a weary smile. Etta. Etta.
If I loved you? I asked Harvey. Hello, Etta, said Harvey.
Harvey put his hand on my knee. Harvey held open the door.
Right! Harvey winced at the sound.
I won’t sign, Harvey. Harvey. Harvey folded his hands on the tablecloth. Mother! Mother! I’m – excuse me, Harvey. Harvey did not follow.
Harvey is so cultured. Etta! Etta.
Hello Harvey. California, Mose said to Harvey. Harvey smiled, squinting his eyes. Harvey smiled, a real one this time. Ah yes, said Harvey.
Ah, said Harvey, shaking his head as if to sober himself. Harvey laughed. Harvey watched without a word. Harvey – my voice was hoarse. Harvey I want you.
Etta, my Etta. Harvey, I said. Etta? Why Harvey! See if he smiled.
No Harvey on the street. My father. Oh, Matilda.
Matilda sniffled. Your poor father. Father –
Harvey lost his citizenship. Matilda prickled.
Harvey! Harvey shrugged. Walking.
Harvey shrugged. Never mind.
Etta – Let me go, Harvey.
When my arms tired, Harvey carried Maurice and when Maurice squirmed, Harvey let him walk, Harvey’s finger in Maurice’s firm little fist. Come now, Etta, Harvey said uncomfortably.
Harvey froze. Fish? hooted the man. Etta. Hurry, Harvey!
Whatever for? asked Harvey. Hush, said Harvey. Are you all right, Harvey?
Harvey was right – Maurice was fine.
Harvey? Harvey was gone.
Harvey! Ah, Etta. Yes, yes, said Harvey, shaking his hand.
Look, Harvey, I turned to him. In Ravenna? asked Harvey.
Harvey watched me with his deep water eyes. Harvey had ahold of my hand.
Harvey held my hand. Matilda –
Harvey, good grief! Harvey was not talking.
If you wish. I’m not divorcing Harvey.
To leave Harvey? Mother is.
Father! Be serious, man! Like mother?