“There is no disappointment so numbing…as someone no better than you achieving more.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
I make no pretense that this series is anything but light fiction, but that does not mean that I am not laying in deeper messages that are near and dear to my darkest thoughts when there is no one around to distract me from thinking them.
I personally hate the high road and I avoid it myself as much as possible but in fiction? Sometimes it’s necessary to take a character crawling up to the high road, scraping every inch of skin from their body along the way. Unless they are wired to recognize reward on lofty plains, however, it’s ultimately a wasted effort. Taking personal satisfaction for being the better person is not in Tara’s DNA.
But it is in Howard’s DNA and thus he is, in the upside down world of Revenge Gifts, a very bad influence.
And here is where I lay in the hate of self-loathing, of wanting to be a better person only because she’s recently become aware that she is not “good” enough for the man who loves her. She had never second guessed the decisions she’d made in life, quitting her job, starting Revenge Gifts, bartending and generally making it known that she is not the person you call when you want a supportive friend who will listen to you bitch about your boyfriend.
With this second guessing and self-loathing comes regrets and nothing good follows that step off into the self-pity death spiral. But you really can’t rub salt in that wound unless there are people who chose to stay at that office, now wildly successful, married with perfect kids and the perfect life by which to measure your own life. This is where Derrick becomes an important character because he opens a window into the world that could have been as he reconnects with their former co-workers and reinstates them into Tara’s sphere.
As I go there in the plot, ultimately I know that Tara will fail in her experiments with donning the trappings of traditional success and happiness and living a philosophy that is completely alien to the way her mind works. But at what point will she reject the program and in what spectacular ways will her world rearrange itself. And will she bring Howard down with her and teach him to breath in the dense, misty air that hangs in dark, dank places? Will she make him feel that silken caress of delving depths where the atmospheric pressures hold you there in dreadful wonder, hovering above an abyss of nothing. Or will Howard hold her up in crisp, thin air where she can see forever and movement is effortless because there is no baggage to drag around holding onto bad things she’s done and the guilt of someone else’s morality superimposed on her world view.
I’m honestly not sure.
And that’s where I am at, arcing envy into inevitable hate and trying to decide where this ends up.
Anyone interested in what music goes with such musings can go to this link. Jude Christodal – Madonna