Blue Will Never Be Satisfied

In which I shamelessly pastiche my favourite Hamilton song

I was writing something completely different, something heartfelt about having unexpectedly gotten to see Anaïs Mitchell perform in Edinburgh last night, but my present environment is slightly inimical to deep thought and I had so much other work to do, and then I suffered focus-collapse and all I wanted was to pastiche Hamilton with bits from Max and my book. Like this:

(“Apophenic as a haruspex” is a line from the book, one of Max’, that I love, and that has hilariously prompted the most bifurcated reactions depending on whether or not you enjoy learning new words.)

Anyway I’ve been a bit punchy this evening and ended up rewriting portions of “Satisfied” — my favourite song from Hamilton — from the perspective of Blue, the character I wrote in This Is How You Lose the Time War.

I don’t … think this is spoilery? But it probably won’t be something you can make sense of without having read the book.

Ahem! Here goes. Enjoy!

Satisfied
by Blue

I remember that night, I just might
Beset that knight for the rest of her days
I remember those soldier boys
slaughtered on the field from the hell she raised
I remember that dreamlike bloody light
Like a scream that you can't quite place
But my cochineal—I'll never forget the first time I saw her face

I have never been the same
Intelligent eyes in a hunger-pang frame
And beneath the dead sky I gave her my code name
Set my words aflame, ev'ry part aflame
This is such a game

Red: you strike me
as someone who has never been satisfied

Blue: I know exactly what you mean, work to forget yourself

Red: you're like me
I'm never satisfied

Blue: yes, that's right

Red: I have never been satisfied

I'm a girl in a world in which my only job is to bait & switch
my Garden has no sun so I'm the one who has to time-braid climb for one
& I'm the boldest & the grittiest & the gossip in our root system's insidious
& the Agency's perilous
Ha that doesn't make me want her any less

She's after me coz I'm Garden's A-lister, that elevates her status, I'd
have to be naive to set that aside, maybe that is why
I introduce her to hand-writing, wait for reply
nice going Hydrangea, she was right--you will never be satisfied

I know my Garden like I know my own mind
You will never find anyone as rusting of Red's kind
If I tell them that I love her they would strangle me in vines
She'd be fine
They would say "you're mine"
They'd be lying

But when I fantasize at night it's my cardinal's eyes
As I romanticize what might have been if our respective sides
weren't so damn prickly
At least my dear Garden's in strife
At least I keep Red's lines in my life