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There are two songs I never finished that periodically come back to mind. One was an awkward story about ecocatastrophe, extraterrestrial emigration and constructed aesthetics called "The Death Rose", which I was working on interminably in Cakewalk at the point a decade ago when I decided that my MIDI array was keeping me from ever finishing songs. Switching to analog instruments for a while did, in fact, radically improve my productivity, but it also orphaned that song, which sounded wrong to me whenever I tried to reinvent it outside of its programmed loops. Every once in a while, though, I still find myself arbitrarily humming "...merging our hyyyyyydrofarms into a terraformed commmmmmmpromiii-zeh-...", which probably in itself tells you enough to guess that nobody is really missing much. But we'll never know for sure. Only the me that still took the song seriously could have finished it.  

The other song was even more stilted, a weird poetic-justice revenge fantasy crossed with an insurance procedural, told as the suicide monologue of a protest-casualty activist's widow driving an explosives-laden Toyota Celica into Manhattan from New Jersey. I wrote the lyrics to this one in 1986 or 1987, and obviously it would come off very differently now. Writing-wise, its biggest problem was that I used more specific place-detail than I was actually familiar with, and never took the time to go find out whether that particular block of the Avenue of the Americas, or that particular inbound Holland Tunnel lane, had any of the properties the events of the song required. Also, it's not clear what I had against Celicas. Possibly these problems could be fixed.  

But I've never been able to think of another name for the character in the song. The widow never identifies herself, but she repeats her husband's name several times, quoting news stories and police reports and insurance forms. The name I invented, at random, entirely for the way the consonants and vowels of it fit the melody, was Randall Thierry. I am nearly certain that I had never heard the name of Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry before that, but I certainly have since, and Terry is not at all the kind of activist I meant. It seems like it should be incredibly trivial to switch out "Randall Thierry" for a name with a similar shape, like "Matthew Delaney" or "Carlo Fiori" or something, but I've never thought of one that doesn't sound wrong to me when I sing it. In my head, the character's name is Randall Thierry, and that means the small story of his accidental fictional martyrdom and has been pre-empted by a real man's sadly non-fictional idiocies.  

So next time you feel like self-censoring some pretentious, awkward, overwrought, underinformed thing you half-invented, just remember that you grow too quickly out of every precious delusion, and whatever the realities that supplant them offer us, it's almost never deeper comfort or higher inspiration. We should write down, every day, everything we can imagine we believe. Otherwise, how many of them will by tomorrow we already have lost?
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