BETHANY

Your daughter needs new shoes…

DAVID

I gotta show on Friday.  I can have you some money then…

BETHANY

You just don’t get it.  My daddy just don’t get it.  He worked 16 hour days days in a row and provided for my momma my sister and two brothers.  You live wherever will take you—whether it be your momma, friends, or section 8 housing cuz you’re a veteran.  You got your hand out and look where it got you…

DAVID

Don’t talk about me in front of the children!  You don’t get it.  I’m a guitar picker.  Always have been.  There was a time when you once supported it even if you wasn’t workin’…  You think only about what affects you and you say it’s the children.  Never once thinkin’ how it affects me…

BETHANY

No you just don’t give a fuck.  You can you just don’t want to.  I’m here right now.  Your children are here right now.  No one’s gonna care when you’re dead least of all you.  Your music’s not gonna love you back.

DAVID

It’s just time, Angel.  And we give it away.  We answer alarms clocks and make money for somebody else and are asked to be grateful for the opportunity.  It’s not harmony.  Time is all we got and money beats soul every time—I know that—but without ambition a man is nothin’.  I don’t have no ambitions.  All I have is my time and what helps to pass it and even that depends…

BETHANY

Depends on the woman you’re lovin’…

DAVID

Is that why you changed your name?  Changed it back to your maiden name?  Who do you love the most?

BETHANY

I ain’t your wife no more.  I’m doin’ what I have to do to love myself now and if anyone don’t like it—too bad…

DAVID

And you just do what you gotta do to survive…

BETHANY

Always gotta get the last word…  You’re such a woman.

DAVID

No…  I’m a man.

And suddenly you see a previous fight.  You see a whole tableau of them.  In a progression from when Bethany’s belly is swollen to the children at the age for school. You hear David’s music in the background.  His first recordings.  Always the same old ground covered the same fears.  Some happening at night.  Some at day.  In different rooms with different shades of light.   In cars.  Curses thrown at each other as David’s driving, the children in the back.  Bethany back-handing him.  David threatening to do the same.

CHORUS

It could be some brilliant scheme or someone’s fuck up. The role is how you play it as you take what you learn from coincidence.  The effects that make you happy what you feel when a lover’s gone. And without a voice you begin to hear the other voices the chorus to the children.  What follows in what was asked of them to be born and see love.  David no longer mattered to himself in what he came from and the songs he wrote for posterity— this how strangely men act.  As though we grieve those that lived before us for not knowing us and we forget those of our own time to be praised by someone we haven’t seen or ever will see.  All we have is a tree.  A tree not far from Bethany’s home this house that is not David’s.  In it a house a tree house in which the children played as it was told to Marcus some fifty years later in the bible in which he replaces the pages—the story his grandmother told him.  It is the Indian summer of 1954 and school is about to start.  Dulcinea needs shoes for kindergarten.  She hears her father and mother fight and before she can even write her name she knows how simple it really is when you draw as her brother Benjy draws his picture the perfection from your imperfections.  How even under the strictures of a form in rhyme and reason some of your greatest lines can be said.  She’s seen her daddy’s guitar the one with a hole in it in fact it’s in a case beside the door for when he leaves.  She’s heard his songs he’s played his songs for her and Benjy and she wants to tell him tell her mother why she wants to play in the rain why she’s putting on her shoes even if on the wrong foot as they ignore her in the argument they can’t let go.  She wants to tell them what happened that night before the rain started before they came inside and became forms behind a curtain.  She wants to tell them about Aaron and his sister Gabby—Bethany’s brother’s kids—that story relayed to Marcus an unhappy descendent of all this sadness.  She wants to sleep with her daddy and tell him about the boy she kissed. How it couldn’t be all just a mistake a mere coincidence of the role in how she played it.

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