and the People said: I am my own God… the question is not an intellectual one not of some intelligent design that something comes from Nothing–No the issue that I am my own God is a moral one for out of the many One… and this is the Illumination how one mind creates one mind imagines. It is not a collaboration nor a collective and while our unconscious speaks its moral truth I say better a man finds his illumination than the truth Better a man speak his own understanding and say as all of us: Do as I say not as I do… than make love a commandment faith a must

“Why you eyeing me, girl?”
“I guess I was just curious to what you’re drinking.”
“Taste it for yourself then.”

So it is Bethany knows she can’t remember. She can’t remember what it feels like. Pleasure pain just-joy the conviction of being wronged. It is the anticipation she remembers–that feeling. But not the actual feeling of the pleasure itself. The hurt… and how easy is it to remember what justifies us?

Call her Deborah. Bethany would call her a different name. Debbie or Deb for short. But while waiting for her man (this she remembers dying some forty years later) the old woman speaks:

“What do you aim to create?”
“Why child–it’s written all over your face. Even someone blind can see you’re in love.”
“Is it obvious?”
“Why sure… it’s what separates you from all others–seems like a lonely thing but it relates you to the world. In a way it’s a measure of your importance. It’s a debt you owe and a debt owed to you…”

Don’t you know that ye are gods? This precious gift lies as a seed in the lonely mind of man. The free mind of the individual–this is our most valuable thing–to take any direction it wishes and an idea, religion, or government which limits or tries to destroy this why we must stand up and be counted for any system built on a pattern tries to destroy the individual the free mind for that is the one thing which can complicate the ease the immediate gratification of our mass production the collective method inherent in all facets of a society built on this. And if we don’t fight this inuring power we are lost. The illumination is lost…

“Yes but it scares me. I’m scared of what I must do. For how many times? How many times shall I forgive one who sins against me? How many times can I be forgiven?”
“Well that’s easy… it don’t depend on no amount now does it? What you can’t repay is a gift–isn’t it?”

And the old woman leans in closer now (Bethany has moved to her table) her face in detail to the name Bethany remembers the name of the woman who gave her birth the people around them blurred like some back story the confluence of locals and tourists circumventing about in the after-storm quality of Jackson Square the old voodoo woman leans so close Bethany can smell the whiskey on her breath her eyes looming large as she begins the story she must tell:

A thing happened when I was a little girl, not to me mind you, but another little girl I knew–poor like me. Her father found her a puppy and how she loved it so…