(Personal note: this isn’t a post before I commit some self-harm. I like to end projects by eulogizing both the project and who I am at its finale before I move on. Sort of a “if this were the last thing he ever did, what kind of person would that make him? What kind of recognition would he receive?” kind of thing. The hope is each one is a better one than the last eulogy, but I suppose that remains to be seen.)
When Elliott first wrote about the Mungk, he was thinking of simpler times. Simpler things. Life was easy and limited and we didn’t have all these “extra” things demanding our time.
Bad things, mostly.
The Mungk symbolized his fear that life would eventually drag him down, event by event, little or big, catastrophe by catastrophe, in or out of his head.
He was worried fear would pick away him, piece by piece, and that in the end, he’d have nothing to show for having tried to live.
I don’t believe there’s nothing to show for it. Published or otherwise, Jeopardy and The Mungk represent very personal connections to his deepest inner desires and his darkest fears, respectively.
What it was that he felt so deeply, that caused him to try and capture the difficulty of obsession and passion in pursuit of a better life, and the fear that both events and his own mind might betray him, little by little, is captured thoroughly in the pieces at hand.
In that way, he very much felt the presence of the beast, creeping up on him in the dark, staring at him with a thousand eyes he could never quite see. He felt it chasing him.
It felt better in the light, when he could see things a little more clearly. It was better when he found connection to other people, a closeness that sometimes only required being there, in silence.
Allin Wallace’s character is abandoned by all three of his family members in the Mungk; one by circumstance, one by distance and one by hopelessness.
Connection and how to do it has been one of the fundamental themes of this work and Elliott’s life. How to put himself out there without being rejected or ridiculed. How to open up to others, so that they might confide in him, as they would a true friend.
His fear in doing either of these was one of the great hardships he had to endure.
He managed, at least, to do it in his writing, even if few ever read it. I hope, now, with The Mungk having taken its place in his life, that the next thing finds him someplace meaningful, with a bit more bombast.