You’re only alone when you think you’re alone.  It becomes a self-generating reality.  David and Bethany left New Orleans together, but when they went back David felt alone.  This hard to put your finger on—what makes you feel alone.  Sometimes it’s the choices you make—the consequences—that self-generation of your world.  But what’s hard to put your finger on is how you view those consequences.  If it’s really you or someone else telling you.  Bethany didn’t feel sorry for him.  She didn’t feel sorry for David.  She had a child in her belly, in fact twins, and in the way she looked at it he’d made a choice, and now he had to take responsibility.  And maybe that’s it—when somebody tells you that, tells you to take responsibility—somebody else tells you, and not yourself.  In his journal, years later, David tells us how he took responsibility, but this was after, years later, and maybe then, in that fall of 1947, David felt alone because it was Bethany telling him.

She was no longer singing.  Bethany stopped singing in public a few a months after her pregnancy, when she started showing.  She no longer sang with David.  Maybe she thought she was giving it up for only a short while.  Giving it up to be a mother.  Maybe that’s what she told herself.  About a dream that never was her dream.  And that’s what’s funny—what we tell ourselves when no one else seems to agree…

July 4th, 1947—You’re alone when you’re free.  When you declare your freedom.  We declare it together all the time.  We even celebrate it.  But the consequences—the true consequences of facing it—are always felt alone.  I am alone even with this child in me.  Another life is inside me, growing, and for it to be free it must come out of me.  It must be born.  It must be born to be free…  No one is born with you.  And no one dies with you.  Those are two things you must face alone.  One your first taste of freedom in this world, and the other the first taste of the next.  Our togetherness, our equality, coming from this fact.  And all our revolutions, our rebellions—always something—some common goal, some common enemy, and this is why the goals, the enemies, always exist first, and your freedom from something is just your slavery to whatever gave it to you—what you want freed from giving you your idea of freedom…  I will be a mother.  David a father.  And this child will have no other, just as I had no other father and mother.  Just as I am an American.  This country born and asking for freedom just as we all ask it of what gives us birth.  We all ask it together.  I’ve asked it of David, and he’s asked it of me.  Love the question we all ask together, and sometimes—when we’re lucky—what we feel together.  But the answers, the answers we come up with when we don’t feel it, when we don’t feel the love—those answers we always face alone…  Maybe I just have to let him go.  I have to set him free—I have to set David free.  I have to let him love what he wants to love.  My fears—my fears for this child, the children to be born—answers he must face on his own.  With maybe his guitar helping him…  And it’s funny.  Love on the rocks—it ain’t no big surprise.  And freedom, our independence—maybe you only know it, really know it—when you set something else free.  And I know that now.  I know it being a mother.  A wife and a mother…

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