And he can talk.  He can talk all he wants.  But it’s like beating a dead horse…  It was simple and it was complicated.  The problem was simple enough.  Simple enough to fix.  It was in the doing of it that it was complicated.  He loved music because he was a musician.  But he married me and now a child was on the way.  You can’t be an artist and a family man.  You may think you can have both, but you’re really either one or the other.  The passion goes into either one or the other, and when you try to be one or the other in intervals, if you try to share the passion, there is always a lack.  Something needed doesn’t get met.  That’s why the fix was easy enough.  Be either one or the other.  What gets complicated is what you want, for questions are asked, of what you want and what you are.  You be what you want to be.  You want what you are.  And so David had a tough choice to make.  In what world was his.  As his wife I knew this.  We couldn’t travel.  Not anymore.  We couldn’t go from town to town playing gigs.  And the nights he spent on stage around town in St. Louis weren’t enough to support a family.  He began working in his father’s pawn shop out of his choice and mine.  He knew I needed him even if I wasn’t going to tell him that.  What was growing in me needed him.  He knew in that living room where we sat listening to music, as he stroked the gnawed wood of the yellow chair where he sat…  An artist is a child.  Dependent on the hand that feeds them.  As a man David knew his days as a child were over and that now a child would need him.  But there was something, something from his past, some meeting at a crossroads in Mississippi he told me about that put the fear in him.  Like a splinter in his mind.  And I can’t say I was without the same problem.  I thought of Denny and that old mid-wife, Marie Toussaint.  We already were something before we met, and we had become something in the death of my first husband that led to our marriage.  There was a price to paid.  A price for our childhood that comes to collect once we try to be adults.  When we assume the responsibility of no longer being dependent, but having someone be dependent on us.  It’s the price my parents paid and now we were going to be parents.  And it was our last rebellion.  The final rebellion.  That place where you choose your world and live in it…  David thought he was somebody in that old world.  That world he knew before he met me and I became with child.  It wasn’t the world he came from.  In fact that was the world he returned to being with me.  No—it’s that world you become wise too.  At first embarrassed of your naïveté.  Maybe even blaming your parents for sheltering you.  Growing up in that pawn shop in East St. Louis under the care of his father and mother (Cleota accepting me—accepting me as a daughter—the daughter she never had) David was raised in a Christian world.  A world of church and prayers.  And then he went to Mississippi.  Maybe to escape hypocrisy.  His own and others. And wounded by the faults he found in the world of his upbringing he turned to it, he turned to that ride at a crossroads where he first went electric.  That guitar now in the window of his father’s store.  He became wise.  Wise to the nuances in speech.  The effectiveness of gestures and expressions.  He became wise to a hard life.  Living paycheck to paycheck.  Bumming around from stage to stage to have those moments up there with his guitar and the songs he played on it.  He hadn’t lived safe since taking that ride, and he’d seen war.  Coming home to find me in New Orleans—a known place of underworlds, underground life.  And once you lose it, lose that naïveté, aware now of what you were ignorant to, there comes a time where you wonder if you should have lost it.  Learning the wisdom of wolves doesn’t really help you if you want to be a sheep.  And that’s what David came to—that choice—the chose of what world you want to live in.  His associations of friends in low places did him no good as a clerk in his father’s pawn shop, as a husband and soon to be father.  But he couldn’t pretend.  He couldn’t pretend like it never happened.  Just like I couldn’t pretend in my memories of Denny and my dead husband.  What we had become is what we would be.  And we were afraid.  I know David was afraid, but even in this there was something with him.  Maybe remnants of that first world that now he was trying to return to after becoming wise to the other—maybe that’s what guided him.  For it had never left him even if he had tried to leave it.  We were afraid because we knew we were wrong.  We knew we were sinners.  We were afraid because we still believed in justice.  Still believed in faith and man.  And justice—that’s the simple part.  It’s the meting out of justice that’s complicated…

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