saturday morning, 6:58 a.m., no coffee yet

We went to go see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night. I won't give too much away except to say it's ten kinds of brilliant in a popcorn box, huge emotional head-screw all the way, which is classic of course; wonderful performances from everybody, evil fun camera trickeration with a purpose this time, no last-second OH MY GAWD twists (which I'm not opposed to philosophically or anything, just a little weary of that's all), some emotional heft that I didn't think they were going for or could pull off, all that. It was braver and more of a gamble than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and sexier too.

Here's what I'm talking about, though: Memory is a fucked thing. I mean, the memories I have with Liza--are they the same memories she has? We've been together ever since--well, since when? I know we first hooked up by making out on the floor of my common room in Leverett House in college, at the cast party of the first play I ever had produced on stage. Then, a few months off while I acted kinda weird ("I better pursue all my options here", tryin' to pimp it out a little) and while she hooked up with someone else who liked her but didn't love her the way I realized that I did all of a sudden. I remember a lot of walks home from lectures, a lot of lunches and way too much coffee, my visiting her in the language lab while she tried to read Tintin in French and writing her corny notes consisting of Velvet Underground lyrics; I remember finding out about the other guy and getting pissed off and then deciding that I didn't care, because I knew she was the coolest girl in the whole world; I remember trying to court her in that apartment in Medford Massachusetts and how she baked me rigatoni and garlic bread...what does she remember?

And what if we wanted it all erased? So then I'm sitting there in the theater almost crying at this idea, that our whole lives could somehow be deprived of each other, when I realized that they already kind of have been. I am missing the exact moment when we both realized that we were gonna be a thing. I am missing most of the night we went dancing and drinking with all her h.s. friends at the Essen Haus that next Christmas when we did the "let's meet both families in the next two weeks" tour. I am missing what happened most of the day we waited at the hospital for Sammy to be born...although I remember the blind heart-searing panic once the monitors started beeping and the nurses all turned pale and the bed was wheeled out and I was following behind asking what was happening like some pathetic guy on "E.R.", "what's going on? where are you taking her?"--THAT I remember. And the pacing in the room outside where the emergency C-section was happening, and the look on Emma's face when she met her brother for the first time but we wouldn't let her hold him and she was sad and mad but happy and not wanting to show her disappointment but already knowing that she was going to get a smaller slice of the attention pie....

Okay so I guess maybe I remember some of the important things. In fact that's all I have, that's all any of us ever have, the memories, even if they're wrong or slanted or twisted or over- or under-dramatized or embittered or sometimes just plain wrong. Even the memories we don't want to have, they're in there, they're important, they're building blocks of the people we've become. Don't let time or disease or slackening take that from me, don't let me slowly come undone.

Clearly my hippie bullshit has run its course. But this is a good movie yo yo and you should see it if but just to knock that Mel Gibson shite out of its freaky niche-market top spot.

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