Benjy is at the tree house.  Morning hours.  He awoke before the sun with no reason.  No school.  No work.  It’s the day his father is taking Dulcinea to Sunset.  They packed the day before.  Bethany and the children staying with family.  David staying in a motel on a weekly rate—a gig lined up at a local Friday night fish fry.  You know this because Benjy is talking to himself.  He’s going over the past at the tree.  Standing where he etched the heart with Aaron’s and Dulcinea’s names in it.  He’s tweaked for lack of a better word.  He awoke already awake.  No need for an alarm.  And instead of eating breakfast he walked from Bethany’s house—cartons and boxes not yet taped to hold items—the refrigerator, or icebox, cleared out.  He walked past the trash heaped for the Wednesday pick up—old toys not played with anymore since he and Dulcinea were children, clothes, pieces of furniture nobody no longer sits in.  He walks the dirt road that once led to Sissy Walker’s place, the road Bethany once walked—to the land owned by her brother, inherited, to the tree where he once played in the house that was built in it, but this time there’s no one cheering him on.  No fans of loved ones that love him—more like a permanent detour—a way taken like it’s never been taken before.  The move has given Bethany a chance to clean house.  They are staying with a cousin in Louisiana across the Sabine.  Until it is Dulcinea’s time.


(talking to himself)

I don’t care when I hear my own voice.  You can’t care if you’re really going to listen.  I don’t hear Maddie’s or my father—my mother.  I don’t hear the sadness of my past in theirs, or my sister in what she’s expecting.  Something clicks.  It’s clicked here in a place I’ve been, but I’m here now…  I don’t love Maddie and now I know I don’t need to though I thought I did—to love me.  Why do I have to love what my father has loved?  Something must click so I don’t care and have peace.  And what is this?  What drug is this in my mind?  Where is my faith if it’s not in my own voice? I am hungry but I don’t want to eat.  I want to remember.  Not being in her bed but what led me there. For who is the father?  Who is the father to her father?  The truth of science is you needn’t prove anything.  The truth that the privacy of your own head is enough if you believe it.  What has been etched there has been etched long ago and going over it only makes you think there are new grooves.  That same laugh at yourself in the mirror when you know you’re full of shit.  When you know what’s on your brain—what’s on your mind—what’s insured by greed.  Not the love of money, but a happy ending…