I think every creator has that work of art that they made that they just kind of hate. Like, they know it’s beneath them, that it doesn’t reflect who they are or what they believe, what they’re feeling.
And, I’m not talking about stuff that years down the road, they no longer recognize the work in themselves, because they’ve changed as people and they no longer relate to the idea or feelings behind a piece of art that once meant everything to them.
Like Pearl Jam stating they wanted to do something more positive rather than saying, “everything sucks” all the time (around the time of Yield). Ten is still a brilliant album, but I get why once you’re past the angst of youth, why Jeremy or Black might not reflect who you are anymore (although Black will remain one of the greatest songs ever written).
Or someone who was ultra liberal, filling their works with peace and love, sex positivity and anarchistic tendencies finding that in their later works, they condemn sex outside of marriage and promote hateful, fascistic views, having been beaten down by life and rendered bitter by cocaine addition or friendships with Donald Trump.
I’m not sure that Get Back Again is that work for me, but it’s there. I understand the intent behind it, the idea inspired by a song that I’m absolutely certain was not considered one of the Hip’s favourites (attested to by the fact that it never made it onto any albums). It’s a meditation on regret, on wanting to go back to a previous time when things seemed better, and understanding that maybe the person you want to go back to is actually better off without you.
Still, we lie to ourselves and make excuses, deriding the reality of the thing you wish you had, denigrating it so it no longer considered appears quite so sweet. Regret for the past turning to bitterness, anger and self-deceit.
Sounded like a perfect replication of the regressive conservative mindset, which was an oddity in the Hip catalogue. That made me think about the other person, the good one that moved on without them. The one who realized it was okay to be “lost in the light”.
That inspired my story, which then perverted to be told from the viewpoint I don’t take and don’t endorse. It made me ask, what if the lefties actually held the right wingers accountable? That’s clearly not happening these days and it’s emboldened these fucks. What would they do? Would we even miss them if they were suddenly gone?
What would they think?
Hence, the ghost and his point of view. The woman got rid of him, and moved on, happily. He has no way back to her. What does he do? What does he think? Is there accountability in the void? Introspection? Does it work? How far does the ability to self-deceive extend?
These are important questions for our time.
And still. It’s not my best work. I know it. I had difficulty feeling it. There’s a dissonance there that unsettles me, like the thing is unfinished and maybe the totally wrong idea. But still. There it is.
I pray every time I review it that it doesn’t read as a right wing manifesto. God knows these assholes need no more encouragement.
And I sure as hell don’t want to be the one giving it to them.
Target: 400 words
Written: 146 words, novella: The Mungk