I knew what it was.  I knew it was adultery.  I was taking something that wasn’t mine, which made me fear what would be taken from me.  Like a sound, a faint sound, heard from far off, but you know what the sound is.  You identify its source, and even with it being far away and not right before you, it exists and is very real.  I knew my music would be threatened, that a new sound would come into it from that faint sound I heard far off.  I was aware of having something when she was in my arms, and I knew I’d lost something when she was gone.  My life on hold between her visits to my door, for that’s how our affair began.  It began with singing a song and a night shared, and then for a year or more it went on painstakingly slow.  Knocks on my door in the West Bank as she crossed the river, stealing away from her family, her husband in the 9th Ward—that door opening up to her, a world we shared together for a few hours that seemed like all my existence, and then that door closing as she left to return to him.  My bed empty, but full of her memory, full of mirrors where we saw each other, sometimes the smell of her lingering, those images of myself looking in her eyes as she straddled me, both before and after making love, as I looked up to her, my hands caressing her naked shoulders, that smooth soft curve of skin, my hands touching it, and the wordlessness of pain she must have saw in my want, my desire, to own it as only my own, with no other hands touching it before me and none after.  How I reached out to her, somewhere up above me, and felt I loved a ghost, an angel haunting me with brief stays—I under reprieve of guilt between those visits that made her real, and coveted…  I don’t know of a love that ends because I’m not sure how it begins.  And days and nights—the idea of their change and becoming each other—only makes me wonder what I have become and what changed me into it.  All I know is I don’t want it to end.  Whatever it is that began.  In first sin and the price of it after.   I sinned to have her and I would sin to keep her.  And if this was the price for love, how it begins and ends, I was willing to pay.  I would search for the virtue in my selfishness.  My cruel jealousy of how she had a life, a whole life not built around me.  So that she would be mine and no others—not in memory nor in imaginations of what was to come—stronger than death and as inevitable as the grave.  And my being in one was my nothingness in the other.  My consciousness split in their existence by her presence and absence in my life…  And I know now.  I know my past was what brought her into my future.  How my future relied on her past.  And a sound, far away, would give us our evolved identities.  Everything she was before me was what I was before her, and what we became together each time she knocked on my door was that sound far off dying so that we could be what we were to each other in how we remembered it.  My guitar, where it came from—the clue, the missing piece in the puzzle that would shatter everything from our pasts that we feared, and what would bring us together as man and wife.  How she became my best friend in the guilt we voiced between us.  Maybe God’s grace helping us.  Because you can’t help anyone when you can’t help yourself—when you know it’s a sin you need help with.  And what God brings together no man can tear asunder, even if a woman will…

–David, on committing adultery with Bethany—from his journals 1941 to 1948

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