BENJY

I can’t be—I won’t…  I don’t know a thing about music.

MADDIE

Neither does he really.  He just feels it.

Maddie gets up from the bed.  You see her from Benjy’s point of view as she dons a silk robe.  She walks to the open door that leads to the balcony and lights a cigarette.

MADDIE

Do you know why I left my husband?  Why I stay above this bar?  A girlfriend’s a bartender and your daddy plays here sometimes—that explains how I have this room.  But do you know why?  Why I let you come up here that first time?  There a many that feign the truth and still believe it…  I was sick.  I lost our second child, and to stop the bleeding they had to take my womb—a hysterectomy.  Afterward, when I was recovering, when I laughed—he didn’t laugh with me.  That’s why I left him.  I left him with our daughter back in San Antonio.  I left him because he had no sense of humor.  He thought I did it because I was in love with myself…  And that’s why I let you come up here that first time.  Because you didn’t laugh.  You didn’t laugh when I laughed.  You didn’t laugh when I mentioned your father…  The truth is what you surround yourself with, and when you find yourself surrounded by things you don’t want to believe you have to rebel.  Thing is most don’t know why they rebel.  They don’t know they were surrounded and they’re unhappy and hate themselves—they hate their guilt.  The guilt that follows any bravery.  Some people are born so they don’t have to rebel.  They’re the lucky ones.  The rest of us have to either accept it or change our surroundings…  I guess I just like it.  I like being around people who don’t laugh with me.

BENJY

I can’t laugh at this.  Maybe because I don’t know what you’re laughing at.  I don’t think it’s yourself…

Maddie turns from the door.  She’s holding up her cigarette poised.  Her other arm across her robe her hand under her elbow.

MADDIE

Don’t you have a sister?  Maybe she can tell you.  You never laugh at a woman.  It can only lead to regret.  It’s the price of being a man if you want to be surrounded by women.  You have to believe in things you don’t want to believe.  You have to give yourself up if you want to have us at all…  Your father has his music.  What do you have?

And you go over Maddie’s shoulder out the door and over the  balcony of Sunset Inn Again.  You fly like a bird into the Sabine forest and along the river.  To the tree house that Texas Mountain Laurel near Bethany’s home and that of her brother—the home of their parents and the cabin where Bridgette once lived where she heard a rooster crow and a dog howl.  Down the dirt road to where Sissy Walker once lived, and the shack back in the swamp, the big thickets, the abode of the old mid-wife—Marie Toussaint.  In fact you see her crooked on a cane and blind in one eye with a toothless cackle beckoning you as a bird to fly on.  And then you see that lone tree at a crossroads again.  Not Texas but Mississippi.  That old Highway 61 road sign.  You see that it’s you making a nest.  It’s you landing on one of its branches.

CHORUS

Tomorrow is not time.  Now is not later.  Someday your children will ask you.  They will ask you what you wanted.  It was asked of David Threnody’s father and his father before him.  Just as his son Benjy asks him of it now in the arms of his mistress, and why Dulcinea goes to Aaron’s window.  Why forty years later Marcus the grandson of Bethany’s niece finds himself at a window with a girl.  Money taken for not what they wanted…  Someday we will all be asked.  What brought us to laughter or tears.  What met our indifference.  Let us hope that by then it’s not too late to answer.  That you don’t have to repeat yourself.  For that’s only good in a song.  That’s what we are for…

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