Posts Tagged ‘unrequited love’

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind – Would *You*?!

December 20, 2008
There comes a moment when watching Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, the surreal comedy-fantasy from writer Charlie Kaufman (ok, fine, and director Michel Gondry) when the wonderment ends (or at least pauses) and the wondering begins. Wondering, if such a controversial procedure was available (and safe, and legal, and affordable, and didn’t void one’s health insurance policies, etc), would you sign up for it?

The procedure in question involves erasing certain painful memories, in this case, a subdued Jim Carrey’s memories of his tumultuous relationship with a feisty Kate Winslet. Not just the bad parts – everything. Forgetting the good parts, the quiet parts, the sexy parts (who’d want to forget sex with Kate Winslet?), or that she even existed. It’s a big ask.

We’ve all had that one relationship that seared its way into the very fabric of our being, so that when it ended (badly, as it must) you can’t wash the feel or smell or memory of your person, no matter how many bars of Lux you go through. (Or, if you’re one of the hypothetical lucky bastards out there not reading my blog, you married her. And I hate you for it.)

Well I’ve been there (sorta, just without the feel or smell part), and while it seemed an interesting idea at the time, I was just too ridiculously fond of this person to want to erase her entire existence. But that was 3 years ago, and I still feel as strongly or more so, and the desperation’s making me see the merit in such a solution – for everyone. My cloying neediness has made me a liability, and I worry about my ability to function when around her as what she sees me as: one of her best friends. This closeness – yet so distant from where we were, where I think we could have and maybe even should have been – makes it all the more difficult (it doesn’t help that she fleeting reminds me of Mrs. Winslet).

So after years of hoping and seeing signs and developments that simply weren’t there (hey, I’m not exactly a seasoned pro) driving myself batshit crazy in vain, the straw that broke the camel’s back arrived on July 8th 2008 and culminated with my much-maligned and talked about End-Of-Life-Decision (as would put it). After which I did my darnedest to sever all ties with her – for all of 1month. And it was a good month – I cared about nothing, was crass and carefree, the stress and depression lifted somewhat.

But my resolve broke, and we reconnected, albeit now on separate coasts, and I’m back at square one. I awoke late yesterday morning persisted by dreams convincing me that there actually could be a future for us, which buoyed me considerably.

Until I got a surprise phone call from her in the early hours of this morning telling me she’d shelved her long-held dreams to run off to Scotland because she’s found love here, and it seems he could (finally finally finally) be the real thing. Which is superb – as my best friend, I’m beyond delighted for her. But there’s where the schizophrenia comes in, as a part of me is dying a wickedly gruesome and embarrassing death, complete with petulant mewls and involuntary bowel movements. When is enough enough? Has fate not shown me enough times the writing on the wall to turn me into a well-versed scholar? And how can this whiny pining shit coexist with the pillar that’s supposed to be her best friend?

It would be tough – she’s been a critical component of my life for the last 7years, and if nothing else I value her friendship extremely. But, barring a precise lobotomy that would rid me of my pestersome ‘feelings’ for her, would I take the Eternal Sunshine treatment to be rid of it all – and her of me – once and for all? I’m leaning heavily towards a ‘yes’, more so than ever before, because it would be a welcome release (but then who’ll be my muse??) and she won’t have to worry about me going batshit and hurting or embarrassing her again with my ‘feelings’. It’s almost certainly a ‘yes’, but to be responsible, I’d really have to get back to you on it.

Or not, since it’s just a fucking movie. Fuck you very much Messrs. Kaufman and Gondry.


Pain Is So Close To Pleasure: aka Don’t Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve in Love, Life and Movies; It Could Get Sunburned

July 23, 2008

I fall in love too easily. That can be misconstrued though, since I’m incredibly picky – I’m highly critical of all the films I see, am really interested in only one sport, and have been hopelessly smitten by only one woman in all my life. The point is that when I do fall, I don’t do it in half measures. I fall in love with something – anything – and it’s an obsessive fascination that borders on unhealthy.

The last film I fell in love with was Million Dollar Baby (2004, still my top choice of the decade), and while Batman Begins (2005) was excellent, it didn’t take me to those heady heights of euphoria. But something told me to prepare for a much different experience in 2008 when its sequel, The Dark Knight, was set to unspool.

2008 had already been noteworthy thus far. Decent films, great football (real football, i.e. the one where you use your feet) even if my three favorite teams all collapsed under the burden of expectation. And of course I irrevocably destroyed my relationship with my best friend and love of my life.

I met Valerie in 2001, within a month of my coming to Canada, and we got on well. She was nice but unassuming, and I expected – and wanted – no more. But through a series of contrivances that would require their own dedicated blog, she ended up spilling the beans that she wanted ‘more’ out of our relationship, and frankly I was, well, flattered, but – worse – curious. But as an 18-year-old freshman in a foreign country and a tough program (Computer Engineering); I wasn’t keen on distractions. Still, I was curious (1st year was a bit of a breeze, anyway) and I acquiesced.

But soon I found myself smitten and in uncharted waters. I was eager to spend as much time with her as I could to nurture our gently flowering relationship, so I did what any enamored boyfriend would: I accepted an invitation from her to go to a weekend Catholic retreat organized by the Youth Group where we first met (oh I didn’t mention we’re both Catholic? Yes, this was a chaste relationship – anyone looking for the smuttiness should wait for the blog post “How I Spend My Weekends In Toronto”).

What happened there will require an epic movie trilogy to do it any justice, so I’ll just summarize as thus: she ran into an old flame (and I don’t mean the Holy Ghost) and the next week said we should just be friends because she had “prayed about it” (ok, maybe it was the Holy Ghost).

So we spent the next 3 years in a curious limbo while our friendship flourished and my life perished. I’d give her advice and a shoulder to cry on, and in some of those vulnerable moments she’d give a good hard thought about the whole ‘friendship’ thing before sticking to her guns. In fact, she majorly flip-flopped at least 3 times, the last – and most earnest – being put off by my reluctance to try that again and get burned. By the time I realized I wanted nothing more than to take that risk, that ship had sailed halfway across the Atlantic, struck an iceberg, and sunk its way to 11 Academy Awards (sorry, wrong movie).

So how does this pertain to The Dark Knight? That will be resolved in the sequel to my maiden Two-Parter (not that I’d expect anyone to have made it this far…)