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Light and Shadow
by GL Roberts
Release Date: 11/11/12
Genre: GLBT
Pages: 142
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
Format ISBN Price
E-Book 978-0-9882310-5-4 3.99
Author Page: GL Roberts
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Summary Excerpt Comments

 

Award winning architect Cody Andrews was in a relationship moving out of control. Although his partner loved the fast life in LA, Cody wanted to slow it down and try to enjoy life with his partner. After two years of fighting, Cody found that all he could do was leave the relationship to save his sanity and self respect. Moving out of LA seemed to be his best bet, so he bought an abandoned lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest and left his high powered life behind. Fixing up the lighthouse is enough to keep Cody’s mind occupied enough to forget everything he’d left behind, then he meets Nick Stanton.

 

Up-and-coming Chicago artist Nick Stanton and his partner Ray leave Chicago for a relaxed vacation on the Oregon coast. For Nick, it’s a time to reconnect with his partner and mend their ailing relationship; for Ray, it’s a tiresome getaway with little-to-no excitement. While Nick tries to enjoy the coastal surroundings, Ray begs to go someplace with a hopping club or a cirIt’s never easy taking that first step; moving to a new home, a new town, a new life. For Cody Andrews, that first step felt like a free fall, and he had no idea where he was going to land. It began when, nearing his fortieth birthday, he forced him- self to take a hard look at where he was in his life, and to question where he was headed. He came to the painful realization that he was standing still, feeling empty and alone. He’d left his partner, his penthouse apartment, and his job as an architect in Southern California to buy, move into, and renovate a long since abandoned lighthouse situ- ated on the rugged coast of the Pacific Northwest. His need for change was not just sparked by his approaching milestone birthday, but by a desire to find something that needed him. Something he could nurture and tend. What he sought was a change in climate, a change in atmosphere, and

Light and Shadow

more importantly, a change in attitude.
Cody had labored long and hard over whether he should leave Steve, his partner of two years. He’d told Steve that he was tired of living in a community of continuous parties, partner swap- ping, and Steve’s general disdain for a quiet life. Cody wanted a home, not a place to change clothes; he wanted a life full of meaning and sub- stance, not full of meanness and substance abuse. He wanted to ply his trade as an architect and de- sign, build, and renovate things that had history, not redesign some overpaid actor’s bathroom. He was tired of life with windows that did not open and doors with too many locks. Steve was loath to leave Los Angeles and the glimmer and glamour it represented, so he informed Cody that he would not follow him, and that Cody was free to go. After strapping on the metaphorical para- chute, Cody stepped out of the apartment and did

not look back.
Standing at the door to the small light keep-

er’s house attached to the main lighthouse tow- er, Cody looked out toward the sea, his hand in his pocket as he fingered the keys that had been placed there a scant three months prior. He took a deep breath. The rich, heavy scent of the sea air filled his lungs, and the taste of salt sat on his

6

GL Roberts

lips. He had taken possession of the lighthouse at the end of May, when the weather was just turn- ing warm, and spent the first month clearing out bird nests and boarding up broken windows that needed to be replaced. He also needed a place to sleep, so he bought a small travel trailer and parked it on the lee side of the lighthouse so that he could work as late as he wanted and wake as early as he needed. He spent the second month coordinating with a multitude of lighthouse reno- vation experts, and joining lighthouse restoration chatrooms seeking advice and enlisting the help of former lighthouse keepers, builders and glass makers in locating specialty items for the light- house. Items that would restore the lighthouse to its original look; he was not interested in turning it into a bed and breakfast or other such enter- prise. Cody wanted a place by the sea for himself. A place where he could live quietly and ply his trade. A place that had history — something un- known and unfamiliar to Cody.

Orphaned at the age of ten months, the only survivor of a car crash that took the lives of his parents, Cody grew up in a large school for boys. He never knew his family or whether he had any ghosts lurking in the shadows, and he re- ally didn’t care. He was well adjusted, relatively

7

Light and Shadow

happy, intelligent, and handsome — or so he was told by many of the teachers at the orphanage — with wavy brown hair and soft brown eyes. He was six-two, and by his own admission, a skinny guy weighing in at one hundred eighty pounds. He earned a college degree in architecture from Cal Poly; owned a successful and growing archi- tectural firm in Huntington Beach; was a charter member of the Dana Point Yacht Club; a rower with an Adonis physique, all of which made him quite a catch for any man. He had hoped to have a family long before now, but the opportunity never presented itself. As time slipped by, Cody felt increasingly frustrated with where his life was headed.

Cody had known all along that he was not suited for the fast life of the friends he’d made while living in Southern California. Coming from a strict and structured upbringing at the boy’s home, Cody careened into the fast lane when he met Steve. Steve, with his sweet smile and little- boy charm, was easy to get to know and for Cody, a newcomer to West Hollywood, that easy friend- ship soon blossomed into a passionate love affair. Steve introduced Cody to L.A. and all the glitter he could handle. Steve’s friends included many faces Cody recognized from magazine covers and

8

GL Roberts

television ads, and at once Cody was swept away into something unaccustomed and unfamiliar. He tried to fit in, but in the end it was all too much for him. He was a quiet, hopeful romantic, and when he first read about the auction of the lighthouse, his mind soared with possibilities. Fed up with the ostentatious lifestyle, he sold his stocks, sold his boat and pooled every last cent he had to make a respectable bid when the auction took place. He flew up to Salem, Oregon and was surprised to see how few people were interested in the lighthouse. Although he had not seen it in person, he had re- searched this particular lighthouse and knew the task of renovation would not be an easy one. The tower, which was built of reinforced brick and mortar and covered with a stucco-mortar com- pound painted white, was in good condition. It was a forty foot tower built on a solid concrete foundation six feet thick, with a twelve foot tall lantern room that once housed a seven foot ten inch tall, six foot wide, first order Fresnel lens — thus named for the inventor — and boasted a three foot wide parapet, also known as a gal- lery, that circled the exterior of the lantern room. There were three windows in the tower spaced equidistance apart, and faced east, south, and west, to bring in as much light into the tower as

9

Light and Shadow

possible. The exterior height of the tower, includ- ing vent ball and lightening rod, reached sixty- seven and a half feet. The interior of the lantern room was large enough to house the large first order lens, had a twelve foot ceiling and just over one hundred square feet of now empty space. The light keeper’s house was attached to the tower, and was also made of brick and mortar. Windows needed to be replaced, plumbing updated, and the hole in the floor of the lantern room left by the removal of the lens needed to be repaired. Much work lie ahead for the lucky owner.

Cody’s bid was accepted, and he took posses- sion of a cosmetically rundown, but sturdily built lighthouse with attached light keeper’s small one bedroom, one bath abode. On his fortieth birth- day, he spent the day picking up parts for the bathroom in the light keeper’s house. That night he opened a bottle of wine, sat on the steps of the travel trailer, and toasted himself and his new life. It was not a mid-life crisis that brought him to this point, it was a mid-life wake up call.

The lighthouse station was situated on a small peninsula between two coastal towns, Gold Beach to the north and Brookings to the south. The view from the lantern room took in nearly fifty miles of coast to the south, taking in the abandoned Point

10

GL Roberts

Saint George Reef Lighthouse and over forty miles north to Humbug Mountain. Cody pre- ferred the town to the north of the lighthouse, a tiny burg called Hunter Pointe that lay just south of the city of Gold Beach, with its cozy fishing village feel, and its quaint atmosphere for lovers of coastal living. He would have to travel south to Brookings if he needed a hospital or other big town convenience.

Hunter Pointe had a library with internet access that he used to order supplies online. The light keeper’s house was not yet wired for anything more than an incandescent light bulb in the bath- room and kitchen, and Cody planned to update all the wiring in the coming months to bring both structures up to code. The once beautiful lantern at the top of the lighthouse had long since been dismantled and carted away, leaving the room be- reft of any indication that it had once housed a beacon of prismatic majesty.

Cody spent every Tuesday traveling between the lighthouse and Hunter Pointe. He soon got into a regular routine and began to feel at home with the local residents, who were warming up to him. The librarian took to reserving Tuesday mornings for Cody’s use of a computer, and Linda, the owner of the town’s main coffee shop,

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Light and Shadow

was already discussing his love life. He had yet to meet any of the other gay men in the town; but he wasn’t looking for them, and therefore not known to them. For the moment, he was just the new guy in town, and that was how Cody wanted to remain while he worked on the lighthouse. No unnecessary distractions. cuit party. And then they meet Cody.

 

When they meet, Cody finds Nick and Ray to be a reminder of his own failed relationship. But Cody misses interacting with gay men, and  finds Nick enjoyable and Ray to be tolerable. But the more time he spends with them, the more volatile Ray becomes. For Ray sees that Cody has everything Nick longs for, and everything Ray does not want. On a rain soaked and windswept highway a decision is made, and the lives of three men are tossed about like a tiny boat on an angry sea.

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