It was the copyright.  That’s why David returned to New Orleans as Bethany was full-term.  Piety wanted the copyright.  Otherwise it would be shelved.  His record would be shelved.  The songs archived.  The only way they’d spend the money to produce more copies was David relinquishing the copyright.  Making the songs public domain.  Piety, of course, getting a fair number of the profits—ownership.

And as David Threnody was crossing the Sabine River over into Texas, his signature in New Orleans all that was needed, he was thinking about the dream.  The dream of the night before—the day his sons were born.  A dream he had on that extra day of the year, after receiving word Bethany had birthed twins, but one was sick…  Funny thing about dreams is when you wake up from them you think you dreamed them alone.  The meaning you find in them only your meaning.  And the first thing you do, if the dream was powerful enough—the meaning of it—you preach.  Because like a gospel to your day you saw something, some answer, some sign, and you must convince others of what you saw.  You want to tell it on the mountain that you’ve seen.  Never considering that maybe you weren’t the only one, that other people too find meaning in those little things of a day, a dream,  the seeming connections that make it all important—special—like you’re in touch with something, some incomparable harmony to the universe.  And so we become choirs preaching to each other.  Some even isolating themselves with their dreams, becoming sick with them.  We become choirs of earth telling others our dreams without hearing theirs—the mysterious fact that maybe we’re all having the same dream.  Just the details maybe a little different in that diversity of givens, that same story told in a variety of backgrounds.

You know David’s background—you’ve read that already—and he was thirty years old now.  The father of sons, but one sick like it had been foretold.  The foretold that he’d been looking for as only his answer.  The answer to all his questions.  And what’s funny about David’s dream was he wasn’t dreaming about himself.  It was another’s shadow he saw.  The story told in his sleep going back, back to the story of Papa Frenchie and Bridgette, Bethany’s grandmother, maybe even inspired by that candle being lit and that candle going out, that selling away of his copyright, but it wasn’t until he returned to Hemphill, holding his newborn twin sons in his arms, did he get the news that confirmed his dreams, that his dreams of the night before meant something.  It seemed like confirmation, but he had no one to convince.  He was an artist, and he had to convince himself first, about the origins.   And the news that Papa Frenchie got beat up by his own sons and jailed for carrying a concealed weapon, this after violating an order of protection placed by his second wife—well, it just seemed to David that his dream had come true.  He heard it—the music of that incomparable harmony.  But he told no one.  Not even his wife.  He would wait.  Wait to see…

Advertisements