The devil is in the details.  That’s where you find it—wisdom. What you read in what isn’t written on faces.  That mysterious handwriting on walls.  An ancient language.  Deciphered not by keys, but by a heart’s knowledge.  A heart in darkness which responds to this language.  Collective memories, seen in dreams, heard in codes…  And as soon as you know—you don’t.  As soon as you have an answer—another question.  The question of where the answer came from.  For as soon as you know you have to ask how you know.  The answer to this what makes wise men fools, following stars in the East, asking dumb questions of shepherds…  The devil is in the details, enriching layers.  The surface reality drowning you in hints of what’s below.  Your pride in not being foolish what makes you foolishly go deeper—to frozen cores.  The fat of what you’ve eaten making you better to eat.  The game what it always was.  The game up when you acknowledge it.  The winner the next loser.  Because to win you must show your cards, and acknowledge what you’re trying to win.  And unless you have something else up your sleeve, what you have to reveal is now your weakness in the next deal.  The deal always continuing, and once you put in your first bet you can’t stop playing.  The compulsion of evil.  You must play to win at all costs now, and now you must entice others to play.  Souls the bargaining chips.  And why, why you know you are a fool now the nagging knowledge that you should have never played, never played this game of tic-tac-toe.  You should’ve stuck to chess, and made peace with your check-mate…  I knew now.  And I thought this gave me power.  What I knew about others what I now knew about myself.  And I fell in love with it.  It became my lover—my dark lover.  What I talked to in my bed when I searched for sleep.  What I awoke to each morning as my reality.  The tests I made others pass that I had passed.  To become what I was now—a woman knowing a man—this knowledge not our union, but a separateness.  I saw him and he saw me, and what we saw made us alone.  The curse of a fool this finality—the final knowledge of knowing what you are with no one to share it with you can trust…

 

And how it ended was the mother.  Jeremy  Bloodwood’s mother ended it.  How she found out about their rendezvous in the cornfield, their chasings of each other along the dry creek bed that fed into the Sabine, simple enough.  It was make-up.  Make-up on Jeremy’s face, un-washed away by Bethany’s coy kisses.  That’s what ended it.  Her first love—the first lover she revealed her breasts too.  Her first sight of a boy’s erection.  And it’s fitting it ended in jealousy.  A woman’s jealousy.  A mother’s jealousy.  A mother’s protection.  A mother’s fear.  Archetypal remnants of how the earth’s knowledge is a protector.  And a destroyer when crossed.  How it ends in the talk she had with her father, feeding the pigs…  He came home with make-up on his face.  Mascara on his eye-lashes.  Rouge on his cheeks.  Evidence of a girl’s game to a boy’s willingness, his willingness to emasculate his sex in his desire for sex.

It was the summer, 1936.   Bethany was thirteen, beginning her period.  It was the summer she learned about Bloodwood, her grandmother’s second husband and some of the reasons why she woke up every morning cursing, and the story of Wishbone and Sissy Walker—their past in the summer she was born.  It was the summer she first started smoking weed.  And she knew now.  She knew more now than what she knew before.  And so started the game she’d be playing the rest of her life.  That game we all play to out chase our foolishness.  A game she grew good at, no longer an amateur by the time she met him—David Threnody—for she had ten more years to learn of it.  Their meeting, and the deaths surrounding it, destined to happen in the summer of 1946, shortly after his first recordings, those first recordings we have of him at the age of twenty-seven—his first album playing the Blues.  That voice I heard over forty years later, waiting at a crossroads for a train, a crossroads in the American Bottom listening to KDHX community radio, which led me to write this.  This account of his life.  What I’ve shared so far just some of the details, the first details, the first sketches of his wife.  What’s drawn here just a faint showing, vague revelations into a woman’s strength, and her weakness.  Time being the only thing that tells, hinted in her as a muse of it—a hint of a man’s strength, and his weakness.  And that legacy.  The legacy of a fool.  The legacy of gaining wisdom.  For all that you are, all that you have made—becomes your legacy…  It becomes all that’s left in what slips away.

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