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Johnny died alone choked on wine in 2010. The last three years had been a blur. Since She had departed with seething “Fuck You”s and turned everything on its head, things had steadily improved on paper. Finally comfortable in his own skin. Professional and creative output at all-time highs. Comfortable spaces in which to reside. Moments of complete, pure clarity. Threads intersecting, monkeys-of-the-mind swinging on them, trapeze artists performing for the entertainment of neurons.

But that quiet night in July a cheap Pinot Noir would work its random, deadly deed, starting a positive feedback loop of liquid and spit and general desperation and acquiescence to fate. His last retinal stimulation a beautiful quilt hung in three dimensions, its gradients and shapes a perfect representation of what would meet him on the other side. It was titled “A New Song” and referenced Psalm 40. Little did its creator and bearer know when she presented it just how many new songs would have to be sung.

She (She, not the quilt bearer) would find out weeks later and will a single tear from her eye, even though she was busy.

So many beautiful folk singers in the player, so few beautiful folk singers in real life.