There is a time for everything, and now is the time to speak of fathers—David’s father—in what he dreamed for his son.  In the wife that he would marry.  And the children they would conceive…  A time for everything.  You learn that as you grow old.  At first you’re in a rush.  Led by one passion to the next.  You can’t wait to grow up.  What you try just leading to the next try.  Like you’re at a buffet, and you pile on your plate. Like the food won’t be there when you go back.   And it’s funny—this contradiction.  When you’re young you live like you’re gonna die in the next moment, even though more than likely you’re not.  But you learn to wait as you grow older.  In that experience that you don’t die.  That there’s no rush, even though with each day your death draws closer.  You slow down as you come to the end.  And Duke Threnody knew he was coming to the end when his son paid him a visit with his young wife in the spring of 1947.  They’d been married nearly a year now.  That first year a rush.  A rush to get to know a person.  That exponential growth of knowledge that comes with living with someone.  Solving mysteries that lead to new ones.  When there’s more than just one thought for the day.  A hunger to try everything about a person.  Both old and new desires met.  There’s almost no time to reflect.  Only age and more age gives that.  It gives you that in what it takes away.  It’s when we have the impulse to reflect.  Not in what’s given, but in what’s been taken away.  You have time for times.  And what you learn is you’ve learned nothing.  More a conditioning.  An attrition.  If you become a father you learn this from your children.  For it’s in how time repeats that you know it.  You see yourself—as a stranger at a corner.  And when you make that turn at the next crossroads you know time.  All that it is.

Duke Threnody was an old man.  He’d seen that stranger at many a corner.  When David Threnody returned to East St. Louis with his wife it was like greeting a stranger.  A stranger with the same facial expressions.  A hint of what you remember in mirrors.  You remember what you’ve sold and what you’ve bought.  And in that time for times, in that time for everything you’ve learned what to trust and what to not.  For only fools rush in.  But in that time—that time where you reap and where you sow—you see it—Duke saw it in his son.  You see a fool’s wisdom, and Duke wondered—he wondered if his son was a fool.  A good-natured fool.  Someone that trusts in good intentions.  That when you give the benefit of the doubt people will rise to the occasion.  Always surprised when they don’t.  And maybe, just maybe (this is what Duke Threnody contemplated)—it’s the wise man that’s sold out.  They’ve sold their trustful souls for wisdom.  They’ve lost their belief in idiot saviors.  Those redeemers of our trust in their naïve faith that people do the right thing if given the chance.  Maybe love and wisdom don’t really mesh.  It’s one or the other.  In experiencing a time for everything you’re conditioned by one constant fact—always protect yourself.  You learn patience is a virtue, that when you reach another corner at the next crossroad you never hasten your actions.  You take your time.  Enjoying every nuance of it.  But this is a taking—a receiving—you receive what time gives you.  Love gives—it gives to time.  It gives its patience in the belief of the best of others, trusting it will be rewarded in kind.  And maybe that’s why the wise man meets strangers at every corner.  And the idiot, the fool, meets someone they’re ready to call a friend.  Duke wondered if his son was an idiot, whether he had foolishly rushed into this marriage.  David was happy now, but as a father Duke wondered if he’d be happy later.  In the different times that come with time.  But even with this—an old man’s doubt—he couldn’t deny it.  He couldn’t deny he was proud of his son.  From the fragments of the story he heard about his betrothal to Bethany, in the man he had become.  He was proud and he was afraid.  He was proud of his son’s foolish wisdom, and afraid of the wisdom time had taught him of fools…

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