And I’m halfway through the fiction now.  Or maybe more than half way.  My prose different.  Diffuse.  Because I’ve entered in.  This never a history lesson to begin with, but still a history.  Of how I came to this story and how it came to me.  Of how it was written before I even thought of it.  And so I know this is not just a story of David Threnody, a black blues musician who lived from 1918 to 1988, not just a compilation of journal entries and conversations.  My voice has become his voice and the people that knew and loved him.  I have written as if I was him, and I’ve become the voice of Bethany Lebeau—his first wife.  I’ve written of his childhood and his youth, his time in the war—his first love, Bethany’s first love—and I’ve led up to his life by living my life, how I heard those first recordings of him in the American Bottom and what began for me in 2008—the inspiration to write this…  The research was the easy part—David’s journals a treasure—and online the facts simple enough to transpose.  What’s strange is as I wrote of these facts how I became the thoughts that supported them, how easy it was to imagine living them.  And now I’m halfway through—more than halfway through—my distance from the story in question.  Because I know what happens already.  The structure, the narrative arc—in place.  David Threnody’s life had already happened long before I heard those first recordings of him waiting on a train.  But even though I have his life to go by, the story itself is in question.  The story that supports the facts.  And I’ve already let the cat out of the bag.  Bethany Lebeau was David’s first wife—a memory of Rosie Soledad—this I have a hard time relating because I’ve only been married once.  Their firstborn dying a few days after his birth despite David taking that job in his father’s pawn shop, despite his attempts becoming a provider and not a full-time musician.  Their firstborn died—true—but that’s not all—and David had a vision of it meeting Franklin Meeks in that same American Bottom where I first heard his voice.  That old Indian told him.  He told him there would be twins…

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