So was he on the right path?  Prison gives you time to think.  And maybe David’s time as a prison guard in Biloxi, Mississippi, meeting Schultz, gave him time to question it.  Not the morality.  Not morality issues or thoughts of repentance.  Not in habits lost and how new habits form.  But in feeling good.  Feeling good in where you are based on where you’ve been, and that hint, that hint in it of the future you imagine.  When you keep doing the things you’re doing.  Of course he never had to join the Army.  He never had to go down to Mississippi the first time.  And the love triangle between Nina, Johnny, and Popovitch’s past, his friendship with the German POW, Schultz, didn’t necessarily lead to what happened after the war, but it limited the choices, of a curse maybe—a curse cast and then lifted, only to fall upon him again—passed on, from one history to the next.  Popovitch wasn’t just another listener in the crowd when he came to New Orleans after retirement, and he really didn’t get David busted for growing reefer (five plants in all—not to sell, just his own homegrown), and he really wasn’t trying to get Johnny killed.  That was more David’s fault than Popovitch.  Because of another love triangle and a drug deal gone bad partly due to Popovitch’s interference, partly because David wanted it to happen, almost getting Johnny killed in the process, and killing another man, a husband.  But that’s for the next part, the next part of the story, after the war.  On Bethany—David’s wife…  But was he?  Was he on the right path?  Faith is a feeling, and in a way you can inspire it.  You can make yourself feel it—a matter of focus, really, like looking through pictures, maybe taken years ago, and remembering, remembering how you looked then and what things looked like then, and you feel—you feel what you felt then—but like a surrogate, watching yourself watch yourself.  This what you have to do.  When the other thoughts come—bad memories, secret doubts.  You have to stop thinking that and think something else.  Sort of curing an obsession—hard sometimes, depending on your circumstances, the responders you’re fed.  But you can feel good again.  You find ways to feel good again, in the forming of new habits maybe, new routines—a distracting change.  This an external solution where you ask the same question on installments.  The trick catching yourself.  Catching yourself before you even ask and become muddled and confused in reflections.  The trick is to never ask the question, any question that makes you stop loving yourself…  That’s why David didn’t live by them.  He didn’t live by laws, though he was aware of them, even frozen by them sometimes, but he lived when he didn’t live by them, and he had some sort of curious faith unverified by the world that allowed him to do that, or at least he felt that way when he found a way to see a world that tolerated it, and he made it—he made it tolerable in his music.  And though he never became a big star after the war, partly because of choices he made before running into Popovitch again, before meeting Bethany, his wife—despite never being on the hit parade, he wasn’t a failure.  He had to stop when he thought this way, when there was no money—no money from his music—when his records didn’t sell and he had to find other ways to make a living.  And maybe he thought of his prison days, when he was just beginning, just beginning to hit his prime, and the songs he wrote then, before the war.  And that’s the story, the strange story of where Schultz comes in–how it made David feel, how it made him feel about being black…

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