And she (Bethany) said And she made me see. More than I can write more than the run-on words put into the mouths of others there set aside words and set apart thoughts as if not mine for which no style or format can set aside or set apart and I saw I saw him (Benjy) through the eyes of that old woman through the volcanic glass which shielded her eyes blind on that day not when he was perhaps fifteen and wanted to know about a girl but in 1966 April Fool’s Day when he knew what the girl wanted in this case Maddie but he’d reached that age in which he bemoaned the injustice of it and he just couldn’t wait any longer wait and find out he didn’t want anything from her at all not justice even and whether he gave of himself or not it still was a delicate and precious thing and you really shouldn’t want anything from a woman who’s given that to too many men the old woman saying Yes keep on speculating on that symptom of your mind because what do you want from the man his (Benjy’s) father for it’s easy to say now We ain’t married but you still want him to be a father and you want him as a husband still because you want him to listen and he wants… I don’t! I don’t! I ain’t gonna hurt again I love him yes as a father and I love him yes as a friend but I won’t let him in in it is my journey now not his’n and how can he want what I want (the Devil owns that man) and for another piece of my heart it goes on and on it never ends and he always there and I can say Thank you but to act with thanks to say to Grace humbled any live man is better than a dead man but he ain’t no better than me live or dead and it ain’t so much sin as it is morality for unto Grace I say I am ashamed and I will have not my pride his songs his life but not that thine is mine and I don’t hate them! I don’t! I don’t… the old woman saying So what is so tenuous? The power to say you must be nice to me but I don’t is this love love like you want to be loved yourself? Foolish woman! Here your daughter marrying a white man and he (David) and your son in bed with a white woman this all just a reflection of what used to be and what is the impervious let them alone let them think what they are black or white nigger or white trash that’s not so much a person so much as a behavior a reflection of who you live among and is you jealous jealous of them songs so much that you call it beauty in not even hearing them not even reading his words as if this indifference shows how much you think of it? And so I saw him standing there Benjy by the side of the river his shadow his head where his belly was over the water moving to what was standing still with the admiration the noble have for anyone who beats them in a fair contest what a man attests and a woman scorns and he speaking to the river the Sabine saying Well Old Man I’ve learned from your affliction… and opening his hand a wooden cross a sort of Christ in his pocket which he lets drop into the muddy current watching as it just floats away… and whether it be sin or not it does not occur to me found not in death how he went up to that woman after knowing he would have to flee knowing she didn’t love him love anything without that streak of self-love which tainted all of it the doubt of the intelligent and the confidence of stupidity he died it died there by the river. In an American prayer… And she said No… no that’s not subtle enough for me…

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