Maddie hears a train whistle blow.  The sound coming from the river.  And then you see her before.  Before the posturing of her cigarette the outside air of the balcony you see her sitting in the middle of her bed cross-legged the sleeves of her robe pulled up a piece of torn paper in her hands and she reading the torn page a piece of David’s journal the one kept from 1955 to 1966 the one Dulcinea gave to Aaron what Benjy burned along with the tree house other pages about her pages of sheet music also scrawled in the same hand—David’s hand—she is in bed surrounded by his writing.  She lets the page drop from her hands and without looking she reaches out for the guitar also on the bed the guitar David bought his son from his father’s pawn shop when Benjy was seven years old the year his father died.  Without ever looking at it her fingers find a chord and she begins strumming with little force pauses in between:

I cannot go back to the past but it comes to me like a room I’ve stayed in too long.  I see the other guests there and their past makes think of my own and maybe what I ruined what I didn’t see while it was happening baffled by the reaction—angered—but now I see as they make me in what haunts them the living that I am dead if I believe I ruined it that I killed something good something that gave life and it never stops the past never stops compelling you to look at it and some rooms make you love it while others turn your bliss into nightmares.  No, I must live for my art and find the economic freedom to do so and this is ruthless.  It is ruthless to my children who are still at play and they too one day will decide what they will be ruthless for what they dream that nobody else seems to dream what you make your God and you don’t see you can’t see how others maybe have a different God something they see that answers life for what your God is that you will be.  I am an artist a singer of songs and I must doggedly defend my pride in it as a language a talking to God and what it makes you feel and how you may feel my job is to entertain you and there are other things more important.  I am owned by the fact that what I do you see I do for you and how can this be so great if you only look to it in your leisure the narrative urgency to tell you a story how you select me to make you happy or sad a voice in your room and what haunts you there how you remember when you were seven and you weren’t looking praying as I was then for something to hold in your hands and when Jonathan Bonnor brought me his guitar it was like answered prayers and I could play I could stay a child and play and my imagination was always more than the knowledge I picked up along the way a tool for what I could imagine and yes I dreamed I hoped I believed that other people would understand me my family would understand my father and my lover how I picked the greatest profession of all—I was a musician who had the ear of God I was a man after His own heart and all the blessings and honor would follow…  Yes, you bet.  If I could only still play like that.  If only the knowledge stayed a tool.  For what is it?  Of all the things of this world and what you would call the greatest in it what in your heart of hearts are you willing to sell your soul to the devil for—what do you love the most?  What will you let hurt you the most?  And my heart broke when I saw that everyone has their own answer.  That maybe my music only accompanies it.  The score to the action.  For you tell a man by his actions and not by his memories and no one remembers God…  My children are still at play and what they decide from it will be their own answer.  They will know God in what their willing to sell.  What I’ve ruined what haunts me in rooms where I stay too long is that I cannot buy it for them.  I cannot purchase what they wish to play I cannot pay the price for them what happens today the intricate ruin of tomorrow.  I am their past.  And..

And it ends there.  The torn page ends there and there is no more to be read and why Maddie tore it out—this page—perhaps random no reason the cerebral melancholy of a woman trying to understand what a man loves.  It is a selection.  Whether it is early or late a postmark to her own soul staring into another and all that really happens as she reads it reads it again the sound of a train blowing its whistle.  Far away but coming to her like the past.  The sound coming from the river…

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