EXT.  BETHANY’S HOUSE—DAY 1960

The front porch.  One of those that run along the entire length of the house and that even extend to the side.  White with rocking chairs and flower bins along the railings and hanging plants—a porch swing on one end hung from the ceiling.  You see Dulcinea, twelve now, sitting on the steps.  She’s drawing.   With pastels and charcoal—the view from the house—the view of the tree house and the Sabine beyond.  You hear music—David’s music.  A record player sits in the kitchen window.  Bethany sits on the porch swing listening to the music and watching Dulcinea draw.  She’s smoking.

Dulcinea is somewhat of an artist.  Her rendering isn’t that bad.  She’s working on the tree—the rendering of it—the Texas Mountain Laurel with tree house nestled in it more than six years old now—the wood dis-colored with age with the rain and dry seasons—some of the two-by-fours and nails loose and part of the railing disappeared.  And then you see what Dulcinea is focusing on—the portion of the portrait she’s outlining with the pastels and charcoal and you see the before this again—the twilight of when they were first at play in it as children and after Bethany called them in for their baths to ready for their first day of school.  When Benjy and Aaron lowered the rope ladder and descended to where the girls were and you see the pocket knife Benjy takes out—what he etches there in the tree trunk—the focus of Dulcinea’s drawing—a heart with Aaron and Dulcy’s name inside.  You see Benjy etch it quickly into the wood and then run with the others to answer Bethany’s call.  Then for a moment another flashback.  That lone tree at a crossroads in Mississippi along Highway 61.  You see a bird land on one of its branches.  It’s building a nest.

BETHANY

You know I used to do this as a girl.  When I was your age I used to sit on Sissy Walker’s porch and listen to music coming from her kitchen window—her old man’s music…  I used to listen to the birds.

DULCINEA

I like listening to Daddy.

BETHANY

Can you hear it?  The twelve bars and then the turnaround…  Guess this is his fourth—his fourth album now.  I think he recorded it this past summer.  Here in Texas.  At a studio in Austin…

DULCINEA

Do you think he’ll make any money from it?  Money for us?

BETHANY

Lord knows, child…  He hasn’t before.  Your father needs a benefactor.  I guess that’s how most artists make it.  How they become known or lost in obscurity—doesn’t matter how good they are…  ‘Bout the only benefactor your father’s had was some old man he met at a crossroads.  Down in Mississippi before he joined the Army.  Before the war.  Leastways that’s what he told me.  How he got that guitar.  That electric guitar you’re hearin’ now…

DULCINEA

Was that before you and he met?

BETHANY

Yes…  we met after the war—in New Orleans.  After his first recordings.  I was married to my first husband then…

DULCINEA

Do you think it’s good?  His music?

BETHANY

That’s hard to say because I know him.  Hard to say what you feel about somethin’ knowin’ the person who made it.  Hard to say about any art form really.  I don’t know what his music makes me feel.  All kinds of things I guess.  You can’t say whether that’s good or bad.  What his music makes me think about.  I ‘spose some people like it and some don’t.  Music’s hard to judge.  Guess what matters is what makes you listen.  Don’t seem like someone tellin’ you they think it’s good or bad matters, but it does.  Ain’t no cut and dry answers.  Put money into somethin’ and I guess people will listen though…

DULCINEA

Is that what Daddy needs?  Someone to tell others to listen?

BETHANY

Well I guess it’s just like what you’re drawing there.  If you like it that’s all that matters.  If you’re true to it it’ll be true to you…

DULCINEA

I think I’m finished.

BETHANY

You are?  Let me see it.

Dulcy stands up with her drawing.  That’s when you notice a trickle of blood running down her leg below her white gingham dress.

BETHANY

Land sakes, child!  You’re bleedin’!

DULCINEA

Momma what’s wrong!

BETHANY

Don’t you worry none.  There’s nothing wrong.  Let me get a wet rag and clean you up…  You’re just becoming a woman, Dulcy.

DULCINEA

Momma I want Daddy!

BETHANY

Hush now!  You’re alright.

Bethany runs into the house and comes back out with a rag.  She kneels where Dulcy is standing on the porch steps her drawing hanging from her hand the tears flowing and begins to wash away the blood.

BETHANY

(washing)

You hear that?  You hear the birds and your Daddy’s music.  You’ll be fine now.  Listen to the turnaround.  The turnaround in the song.  You hear it?  That’s how time goes forward and then comes back on itself.   Time’s just goin’ forward with you, child.  But you can go back on it and remember…  See that now?  You’ll be alright…  Let me see what you’ve drawn…  Now that’s mighty fine!  That’s a fine picture!

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