… but before we get to what happened in 1975 I should let Bethany speak. Let her speak from 1975 on what happened in 1966 and before that. What little she thought of David Threnody’s return to that crossroads. The act he performed there of setting fire to his first electric guitar. After all she was a woman into her fifties now. Beyond having children of her own, but still raising them–Solomon turning nine. She was a woman in the world. Just not of the world. It being nearly twenty years since she gave her heart to Jesus and she hadn’t looked back. She hadn’t backslid. To use church vernacular. It colors the words she has to say about her son about how she felt about the death of her firstborn twin at childbirth her divorce from David how she felt about Benjy’s death later. Dulcinea’s child out of wed lock. And I suppose the best way to let her speak is not from her journals (though they will be recorded here)–no, it’s two conversations. And not two conversations she had (only one specifically involves her) but a conversation Benjy also had. What’s interesting about it is who they talked to for they both talked to the same person the same woman the woman who gave birth to them both the one who cut the cord the one voice out of all these accounts all that’s been said about David Threnody and the people in his life which truly sounds black–the voice of Marie Toussaint–the voodoo woman a blind woman and very old the same year folks thereabouts near Hemphill said she died in a fire. And there are discrepancies. Some accounts have her demise back in the mid-fifties about when Bethany got saved when David Threnody’s father died the year he lived with his mother and recorded his third album. But some say (and this is where we take Bethany’s journal into account) the fire happened much later in fact after Bethany’s grandmother Bridgette died and after Papa Frenchie died. The truth is no one knows for sure when that old voodoo woman died and if she burned up in a fire if that fire really happened if that shack she had back in the bayou really burned down and if she burned with it. By all accounts Benjy shouldn’t have been more than ten years old if what folks say is true, but to my reckoning and what I take from Bethany’s journals is in fact that Benjy was much older perhaps fifteen when he paid a visit to Marie Toussaint to discuss what happened back in 1955 when he was seven years old when David’s father died and David brought him a guitar. As a gift.

–What you is black boy?
–He wants to get to know me. He wants to get to know his son.
–And is you afraid? Lord! Lord! What is it with your family and fear? I can hear it in your voice.

… and I looked at her now. How you look at someone when you think they can’t see you. Almost like they’ve become a mirror and you look closely. Just like you look closely for your own faults…

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