And what of mothers?  What of fathers?  The unconditional love in the opposite sex of parentage?  For does a mother always love a son?  A father his daughter?  How does it come to pervert your views?  Your perspective?  This what comes next.  What comes next in the story.  David’s return to Mississippi—to Biloxi, in the summer of 1941.  Not as a guitar player, but as a recruit for the Army Air Corps, to be trained in aircraft maintenance.  And the friend he met there—Johnny Tribout, a mean mouth-harp player in his own right.  His story, relating to David.  And how it led to what happened in the war…

            And I don’t really know what to say about friends.  I’ve had some.  Maybe not a lot of them, but I’ve had some.  Some would call it the measure of your life.  Friendships—and what you’ve gleaned from them.  But maybe it’s really more a measure of how you made it—made it through.  The good times.  The bad times.  A use.  A given…  And I guess it comes and goes.  Friends walk into your life.  And they walk out.  And I’ve taken trips down memory lane with this.  Usually when I’m driving—old familiar roads.  Landmarks.  Maybe a restaurant where I shared food with someone.  Conversations over empty plates where maybe I shared a few laughs.  A movie theater—a picture show—where I was with someone in an audience.  Places that I’ve shopped in the company of some other—bought things…  Sometimes my mind is haunted with it.  Places that I’m in now flooded with memories of that place before, in memories of shared experiences.  Shared with someone I loved once—what hurts not that I loved them, but that they once loved me—and they’re gone now.  Ghosts of what once was, and me now—alone—alone and only with these memories…  And it’s all like a girl you once knew—you know.  A girl maybe you made love too—that place that it happened.  And it was just you, and her.  In that moment.  In secret—that communication.  That communication that comes between two people, a man and a woman, alone together, after making love.  Alone and seemingly outside the world—those moments in time—that’s what I’m talking about.  Those moments in time, shared with a girl, alone, that you remember later, after the girl is gone—her friendship, gone…  Because that’s the best kind of friendship, when like a dog you are befriended.  No longer a lone stray—you know—but taken in.  Taken into someone else’s body—a woman’s body—that warm feeling… and it’s more than just physical.  And you feel like your soul has a home…  Yeah, I’ve had some friends.  Not a lot, but some.  And sometimes I wonder if it was worth it.  The memories you have of it after.  Because no friendship lasts forever.  It ends just as it starts—in a recognition, a momentary recognition…  And as for other friendships, friendships I’ve had with other men—well, that has something unspoken to it as well.  It isn’t the same kind of love.  There’s another measurement involved.  A measurement of where you stand.  A fluctuation.  Between either being gracious, or deprecating.  Depending on your level of need.  Depending on if you need that friend more or less than that friend needs you.  The same as a woman I guess, but with a woman sex is involved.  And sex is a whole other need…  Maybe this sounds selfish.  Severe.  But in a way it’s the truth.  Because when you remember, when you take that trip down memory lane, thinking about a friend you once had—what do you think about?  Do you think about what you gave out of it, or what you got?

            –David Threnody, on playing with other musicians—from his journals 1948 to 1955

 

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