EXT. SUNSET, LOUISIANA—TWILIGHT 1966

You can’t tell it’s winter.  Maybe by some of the trees.  The wind is blowing, and you don’t hear it.  You don’t hear the wind through the leaves.  It’s not the same—the wind through the pines.  David notes the difference in the sound as he walks with his daughter along a path that cuts beneath many of these barren trees and leads from Bethany’s cousin’s house to the crawfish pond where they harvested earlier in the day.  You hear the wind and not their footsteps.  Dulcinea walks with one hand cradled under her belly.  There are storm clouds to the south, but the last of the sun still cast shadows where they walk.  The shadows moving with the wind and the passing clouds. David pauses to light a cigarette.  He watches his daughter walk ahead.  She is in a shadow and then she’s not.  She’s walking barefoot like her mother.

DAVID

I try to have one only after dinner now.

Dulcinea turns to look back at her father.

DULCINEA

You’re such a liar…  I’ve already seen you smoke three today…  There’s beer on you breath too, but I don’t mind that.  Reminds me when I was little girl and you’d hold me on your lap.  You’d say my breath tasted of chocolate and peanut butter and you’d ask me what your breath tasted like and I’d say beer and whiskey because I knew the smell even before I was six and you’d laugh and tickle me and I didn’t mind so much though momma always complained but you paid it no mind and you were never mean to me and still did your tricks to me like spinning me around so I paid it no mind too and just thought all daddies smelled like that, or at least my daddy did, and every time you left I’d sit in the window and wave and you waved back ‘til you were gone ‘til I couldn’t see you no more and I knew you had your guitar with you and was gonna play it for others like you did for me and Benjy and that made me happy even though I missed you when you were gone…

DAVID

Yeah I remember…  Sometimes you’d hold onto my leg and block the door and I had a hell of a time getting out the door and your momma would have to threaten no Santa Claus for you to let go…  I guess I can’t do tricks to you no more.  You’re too big and even if you was a little girl again I’m getting to be a an old man pushin’ fifty and I don’t think my back can take it…  Goddamn—youth.  Sweet Dulcy…  You don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone, before the depth comes in.  ‘Spose that’s why we have children.  So we see how you see it all new again.  I can act like I’m a guide or somethin’, but hell if that ain’t it.  I just get to see it all again through your eyes now and I can’t say I even remember how I saw it with my own.  Guess we’re ‘sposed to forget that if we’re goin’ to be any help at all.  If it’s gonna be your youth and not mine again…

DULCINEA

You said momma had help…

DAVID

Yeah…  your momma had help.  I just didn’t want to talk about it earlier in front of Benjy.  He’s older than you but younger somehow.  Guess because he ain’t a father yet like you’re gonna be a mother.  He don’t need to know.  And folks back in Hemphill can do their talkin’ during church meetings, but they don’t need to know neither.  They don’t need to know who the father is.  I’m the father as far as they’re concerned.  That’s the way your momma Bethany wants it.  ‘Spose that’s the way I want it too.  Bethany already done talked to her brother.  Let your uncle handle Aaron.  And Benjy don’t need to know…  Yeah your momma had help, but she’s dead now.  She died in a fire.  She didn’t want to be buried—went against her religion someway—crazy old woman.  She burned herself up in that old shack she lived in down in the swamp.  This in the same year your Papa Frenchie died.  The year after your great-grandma Bridgette died.  But not before settin’ her chickens free—crazy old woman.  Her name was Marie Toussaint and she gave birth to your momma.  She gave birth to you and Benjy…

DULCINEA

Is it true, Daddy?  Is it true Benjy had a twin?

DAVID

Don’t you worry your head ‘bout that none.  You got your own child to worry ‘bout.  It was an accident—that’s all.  Benjy didn’t mean to kill his brother.  Ain’t no newborn know nothin’ ‘bout love and hate.  That’s somethin’ you’re born with but it’s latent.  It don’t come ‘til later ‘til Nature intends it…  How do you feel?  How do you feel about Aaron?

DULCINEA

I don’t love him if that’s what you mean.  He’s my cousin.  I ‘spose I don’t hate him neither…

Dulcinea is still cradling her belly.  She looks down to it as she and her father walk.  The path has led to the dock to the boat Benjy pushed in his waders earlier in the day when they harvested the crawfish.  The sun is setting.  Its colors rest in pink and purple upon the shallow waters of the pond.

DAVID

It ain’t ever even.  Love nor hate.  The balance of both ain’t ever equal in both nor when in the feeling of one or the other when it comes to two people.  No two people love each other the same at any given time.  Someone always loves more and someone less.  Same with hate too.  You don’t never look into another’s eyes with a feeling that’s equal.  That’s why someone always looks away…  That’s why there’s always the pursuit and the pursuer.  But don’t think you lose if you love more, if you hate less.  Don’t be afraid of that.  You don’t die when it happens though it feels that way sometimes.  No… lookin’ back it’s when you’re livin’ most.  You live the most when you lose.  When you lose that game.  Don’t ever be deceived by it.  How cruel it seems…

DULCINEA

Daddy why you seein’ that woman?

DAVID

What woman?

DULCINEA

That white woman…  I heard at church her name’s Maddie…  And Benjy…

DAVID

You never mind ‘bout that.  I know ‘bout Benjy.  Like I said he’s younger than you even though he’s older.  You let me deal with that…  Rain’s comin’.

They stand at the dock looking to the south.  The sun is below the horizon and though it is gone some of its colors still remain in the sky in stark contrast to the dark clouds gathering.  Dulcinea lets her hand fall that was cradling her belly.  She reaches for her father’s hand.  He looks down and takes it.  Then they both stare up at the gathering clouds

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