Now let me get this straight Marcus said.  Your Aunt Bethany and her husband who she divorced and who didn’t remarry had two children Benjy (as his sister called him) and Dulcinea both born in 1948 Dulcinea just born late in the year Benjy a twin his brother dying at childbirth some seven days after a leap year on the calendar after he Benjy choked him with his own umbilical cord a voodoo woman the midwife present and then you (Grandma Gabby) and your brother Aaron grew up with these said children David the ex-husband and father a musician a Blues guitarist whereabouts unknown except that he was from East St. Louis as we are now and who addressed himself in Austin after said divorce to be close to his children and Bethany the mother who used to sing with him those antithetic parallelisms the trademark of his songs but who gave that up for said children your cousins so that you had a tree house to play in near the Sabine River near the town of Hemphill where Bethany and her brother your father were born and raised and that tree a Texas mountain laurel your father Bethany’s brother built in it by hammer and nail this house in among the laurels a tree house in which you (Gabby) and your brother Aaron and cousins Benjy and Dulcinea could play and you did you did play you played house Aaron and Dulcinea playing the roles of husband and wife and you and Benjy though older their children roles in which Aaron and Dulcinea planted together their first kiss on one August night at twilight before school before Dulcinea’s first day of kindergarten and you and Benjy’s first day in first grade Aaron but four and another year before he started school this play of house in that tree eschewing her Dulcinea’s own wish to see her parents reconcile get back together for Bethany your aunt lived there in Sabine County in a house afforded by a man known as Papa Frenchie a barber out of Bayou la Batre yours and hers grandfather who in fact reconciled with his first wife Bridgette yours and hers grandmother this at about the same time Bethany gave birth to Benjy and his twin divorcing David Threnody and after Papa Frenchie in a restraining order placed by his second wife a woman out of Port Arthur caused Frenchie to be beaten this at the hands of his own stepsons and a hound howling which led Bridgette to renew the tryst of a first marriage some fifty years back and then this then as you’ve told me this same tree house which marked kissing cousins Dulcinea and Aaron’s first touch of lips you all just children four five and six at the time this then in it you saw Benjy’s aversion after playing such said house cajoling your brother Aaron to chase you girls you and Dulcinea out with sticks perhaps an indication a foreshadow a play of shadows on the wall in front of a fire behind which later at sixteen seventeen eighteen extrapolated Aaron’s own errant proclivity who perhaps remembered that said first kiss pleading sickness and suicide to woo his cousin your cousin Dulcinea into his room to have his way with her and after this the same said aversion Benjy felt to playing house leading to his affirmation of manhood all when you were but children that not all as you (Grandma Gabby) have said for a child a son was conceived David and Bethany seeking not to ruin the reputation of their daughter taking their grandson as a son and naming him Solomon…  But I guess I don’t understand.  I can’t understand.  Perhaps because I am young and I don’t have the wisdom and the who what where and how of memory that recedes after the oblivion of a dream only to return in stable fixtures eyes and ears perceive when opening again as does the heart after slumber this my youth and inexperience do not understand—I don’t understand him—I don’t understand Benjy.  For his aversion as a child yes after playing house in that tree and wanting no girls there yes this I do understand as well as his affirmations to be a man that the universe is but transformation and life is opinion yes this I understand—but why?  Why did he burn it?  Why did he shoot Aaron hanging him from a branch of that tree where you all once played house and setting fire to it burn his father’s journals of that time period that period of 1955 to 1966 that time between Aaron and Dulcinea’s first kiss and the rape which conceived a child?  Why did he Benjy blame his father for it and taking his mistress David’s mistress a white woman predestine his own death in a fiery car crash?  Coming to his own hanging end a lynch mob of angry white men chasing him—a tree also his death—a mulberry?  Do I have it straight?  Do I have the story straight?

Yes Gabrielle grandma Gabby said.  But the story is in the father—David.  To understand the son you must know the father.  You must know of revenge…

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