Portrait of a Disappointment (Pandemic Sessions #2)

by Marjorie Halloran

Once upon a time (but fairly recently), there lived a man and woman who wanted a family, one day they found a little raccoon abandoned by his mommy, The Jeffersons, they loved him, kept him warm and safe and clean, he was the cutest little woodland creature you had ever seen, They adopted him and named him Tommy. Eventually all good things must come to an end, one dark and stormy night, a knock came at the door, "Sorry, ma'am," the ranger said, "I'm here to apprehend, you're keeping a wild animal ille gally, and we can't allow it anymore," "Please don't take him!" MrsJefferson cried, "This can't be real! Where is he going to live? How will he find his next meal?" The enclosure at the wildlife center wasn't too secure, and time was of the esscence, his stomach couldn't wait, There might be a better world out there, but how could he be sure? Clever Tommy had to escape, and when he was out, he ate: Snails and worms and lady bugs, apples nice and round, a half eaten slice of pizza someone left on the ground, Remnants of a casserole from a trash can up the road, Tommy, if you're not careful, you'll explode, It turns out when you're living on the streets, you gotta make your own way, sneak in through the pet doors, help yourself to tuna pâté, Tommy quickly realized lots of food is wasted and thrown away, A neighborhood of picky eaters becomes a wild raccoon buffet Oranges and avocadoes, grilled cheese with fries, marshmallows with chocolate silk and coconut cream pies, Taco shells and egg salad and a bit of liverwurst, Tommy, if you're not careful, you might burst The neighbors began calling him "Obese Raccoon He grew too large for pet doors, people chased him with brooms, He didn't really notice, and just kept on moving on, going house to house 'til all the leftovers were gone, When all the cans on elm street were empty, it was time to move along, street by street to a better place Up the social garbage bin ladder he climbed, and fancy homes have the fanciest trash, so Obese Raccoon stuffed his face Lobster and fois gras and ratatouille stew, truffle risotto, lemon gelato, and a pot of cheese fondue, Pinot noir and caviar, escargot nonstop, And one sad day, our Obese Raccoon, he wasn't careful, and he went *pop*!
You always have the best intentions You make a place for everything Force it in, let there be room for the Puzzle piece that doesn’t fit Thinking double, writing in triple Trying to process the impossible task And you talk to yourself like a second person, like a friend you never quite liked enough And you want the world to simply stop turning Vertigo break, a chance for clean air The faster it changes, the harder it gets To remember who you are Stuck in the patterns, the car automatic, Get where you’re going without knowing how Open your daydream, float out the window Remember the spark a lifetime ago Capture the essence but can’t find the stopper Maybe it’s broken, maybe it’s you When each diagnosis dictates your journey Internalize all and never forget And you want to stop growing in gray, for the Wrinkles to soften and roll back the time Permission to rest is unacceptable While the hourglass turns All of these words are never sufficient, all the Fragments collected are simply too small They crumble through fingers, scatter like dust The flames glow and grow stronger They consume, the way they always do When all that’s left is the shell of you Death in a bottle, a tempting solution A get out of jail card that’s not really free And you can never let down your guard, or it hurts too much Just like the rest of you as long as you’re stuck While you are choosing the path that you’re taking It never feels right How to be sad: a guide for the amateur Count every piece your heart breaks into Hate it and shun it and call it by name A portrait of a disappointment, and the Scar is a talisman, it means it was real Wallow and wander and wash it away You can forgive if you never forget Everyone leaves if you don’t get there first
Mediocrity 03:45
I want to say I’m sorry, and I want to say I miss you But I won’t, ‘cuz I’m not I want to tell you everything that’s happened in the past ten years But I won’t, ‘cuz you don’t care When you left I thought it was over, forever and ever lonely But now I find all wounds heal with time Just like you said I wish you fortune, but only enough to keep you off the streets I wish you love, but only until you get divorced at forty-three I wish you joy, but only if it’s fleeting And I guess I wish you peace I sure as hell don’t wish you well, I wish you mediocrity Nostalgia can be dangerous, the deepest painful memories I still can’t look at the photographs But perspective is a funny thing, to navigate the obstacles One must try to move beyond And now I’ve taught myself not to wonder— go ruin your life without me Curiosity is gone for me I’ll never look you up I wish you fortune, but only enough to keep you off the streets I wish you love, but only until you get divorced at forty-three I wish you joy, but only if it’s fleeting And I guess I wish you peace I sure as hell don’t wish you well, I wish you mediocrity I watched your metamorphosis I used to know your heart and head The nice guy that you used to be Is now completely dead I’ve accidentally thought of you on more than one occasion But now I’ve learned to shrug it off I wish you fortune, but only enough to keep you off the streets I wish you love, but only until you get divorced at forty-three I wish you joy, but only if it’s fleeting And I guess I wish you peace I sure as hell don’t wish you well, I wish you mediocrity I sure as hell don’t wish you well, I wish you mediocrity
Hard to Love 04:54
I alternate between broken glass and eggshell Carefully shifting my weight so I don’t break the spell You’re a tornado, I used to be part of the din I would do anything to avoid getting sucked in I practice cutting the wires to diffuse the bomb I can never exactly predict how it will go off Once I had loved you, and possibly once you were mine I’m tired of drama consuming so much of my time I’ll never be tall enough to reach my own pedestal I’ll never be true enough to be your best friend I’ll never be able to tick every one of your boxes You’re so hard to love, and I’m at my wit’s end I simply can’t be the soulmate you think you are lacking All your traditions are just too damn demanding You’ll jump down my throat, accuse me of being too distant And never forgive me if I forget any specifics I know you just want to simmer in yesterday While life goes on, people change, memories fade You want to live in the good old days when we were young you’ll be the only remainder when we’ve all moved on Let me be my own whole person Let me break your gravity Let me live outside your orbit Let me just be free Yes, there were times we clung to each other while drowning There were moments when we were divinely inspired There were so many more filled with paranoia and worry You’re so hard to love, and I’m so tired.


Halloran's second installment in her Pandemic Sessions series deals with some of the more difficult parts of battling mental health issues, delving into what it means to overthink everything and love someone with borderline personality disorder. Combined with a look at a breakup from ten years prior and a cautionary tale about a raccoon who eats too much, "Portrait of a Disappointment" is the perfect blend of her trademark quirky psychoanalytical style.


released May 7, 2021

Written, performed, and produced by Marjorie Halloran
Additional production by Sarah LeMieux

Music and lyrics ©2017-2021 Marjorie Halloran Music

Original photo by T.Q. on Unsplash:
Graphic design by Steven Moore



all rights reserved



Marjorie Halloran Austin, Texas

Marjorie Halloran is a San Francisco Bay Area-based composer, singer, and songwriter.

She is the co-founder of the chorus at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, VT, where she received her MFA in composition with an emphasis in songwriting.
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