Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-x

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Prologue

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pp. 1-4

A rancher and his six-year-old daughter, riding fence, found Kim's body. He'd taken off his clothes as he staggered along, strewn them behind him. In his discarded jeans, his wallet held plenty of cash. The temperature was over a hundred the day he died, with a hot wind blowing, but the body lay with knees drawn up, shrunk into a fetal...

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March 1996

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pp. 5-10

I follow my husband, Tom, up the crumbling side of a mesa. His long legs, in blue denim, rise in my view. We have just climbed out of a bowl: red rock above, the soil below us rusty between the dried grasses and cholla cacti. The sky is a silent shriek of blue bedazzled by thunderheads. Here dinosaurs lay down forever, yet...

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1969

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pp. 11-30

He was the Harvard bartender; I was the hot hors d'oeuvres girl. I'd been hired to carry canap├ęs at a cocktail party held before a gala at the synagogue my family fitfully attended. The hosts lived in a faux colonial in a woodsy development across town. "There's going to be two Harvard juniors," Mrs. Kaplan informed me with a...

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1970

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pp. 31-46

A week after Kim's return from Christmas break, I abruptly decided we should have "real" sex on my birthday. I didn't want to turn seventeen and still be a virgin. A year ago, only the slutty girls in my high school were sleeping with their boyfriends, but now sex was hip. The...

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Winter 1997

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pp. 47-52

Here in our house in Vermont, Tom ran a wire from a pine tree to our living room window, hung bird feeders. Squirrels were the first to find them. We had to slide the feeders farther along the wire so the squirrels couldn't jump from the tree. One just tried and fell, but then he...

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1970-1971

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pp. 53-66

The fall after our cross-country trip, Kim resolved to become a writer and switched his major to English. I still thought I wanted to be a child psychologist; at least that's what I wrote on my college applications. I didn't apply to Harvard; it was too close to...

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Fall 1971

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pp. 67-80

Before we left for Colorado, Kim's Malibu was stolen in Boston. I wanted to hitch, anyway. We'd learn more that way, I insisted. Though Kim wanted quiet time to write and an undemanding job, he let himself be pulled along by my enormous will, a will that had once been directed...

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1971-1972

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pp. 81-96

"You better keep that dog tied up," my father warned the evening Kim and I arrived from Colorado. "She'll get run over." His request wasn't unreasonable; our family dog had been run over in front of the house on busy Massachusetts Avenue. "I won't," I said. We faced off in the hall of the...

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1972-1973

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pp. 97-108

I called Kim from a pay phone in a stairwell at the college library. Leaning into the receiver, I tried to hear over the voices of kids laughing on the stairs above me. "How's the term paper biz?" I asked. "Better than slopping tar. There's one I'm doing for some cadet at the Air Force Academy on electromagnetic...

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1973-1980

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pp. 109-122

I slopped my cereal at the kitchen table of our communal dorm apartment, our "mod" in Hampshire College parlance, short for modular housing. My friend Joanna sprawled on the couch with a visiting boyfriend, a handsome vagabond who would soon lose a leg falling under a train he was hopping. She...

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1980-1984

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pp. 123-140

Kim skied in front of me, a tall figure in wool and down, weaving among trees on the edges of a Wisconsin college campus. I strained to catch up as he receded. The frigid air pinched my lungs, and my skis slid on the crusty snow. Then, around a thicket of pines, he stood waiting, puffing cold air, smiling with pinked...

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March 1997

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pp. 141-144

I went to the northern office of the educational firm that had employed Kim to talk to Syd Greene, who was running it now. Syd and Kim had worked together. The business is located in an ordinary two-story white house on a corner a block or two back from the strip development leading into a college...

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1984-1988

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pp. 145-152

Morrissey, June 4, 1984 ok. So you finally found a way to make me write . . . use Latin. Accuse me of quid pro quo (that's probably true); accuse me of mutatis mutandis (that's inevitable); but never, never accuse me of non sequitur. I have faced the tribunal before on this charge. The...

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1996-2000

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pp. 153-177

I learned about Kim's death by a fluke, and didn't learn much. On a trip to Colorado my mother had tried to look up Gloria and found no Janik listing. She called her former landlord, Kim's employer. All he knew was that Kim had died alone in a wilderness somewhere out west. Frantic for information, I sat in my University...