I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this weekend, and I liked it a lot but it had far too many parallels to my situation at the time for comfort. You see I went up to my country house in order to throw away the contents of my childhood room so that my mother and her boyfriend can remodel the abode and take my room over as part of theirs, shunting me off to a corner upstairs and getting rid of pretty much everything I had up there in the process. It was not a pleasant process and I spent most of Sunday morning in a state of lightheadedness with some interspersed crying. I saw old baseball gloves, comic books, and pieces of furniture shoved into garbage bags, broken apart with hammers, or carried downstairs outside the house to wait for a dumpster. I did quite a bit of the bagging and carrying myself, although I couldn't quite bring myself to smash up my childhood memories with a hammer.
I think I'm still in a little bit of emotional shock over what happened. It wasn't just the throwing out that bothers me but how quick and callous it was. Bill and his son came up to the house and eagerly started ripping stuff up. They started in the guest room and left me to handle quite a bit of the stuff in my room by myself. Then they moved to my room and waited somewhat impatiently for me to box up anything I didn't want swept away to rot in a dump or donated to the less fortunate. I saved a few things but ultimately caved and let the vast majority disappear into the void. I feel empty now, like I've thrown away the last vestiges of my previous life when I was young, in an intact family, and bursting with potential. I don't want to pretend those times were perfect but they were different, and now they are truly gone, my little museum to the past mere tatters waiting for the builders to come and knock down the walls. Now I'm JUST a fat, confused, underachiever with wilted dreams and eternal sadness.
There's more to say about what happened there. Feelings of exclusion and irrelevance in the whole process of transforming what used to be my house. The fact that Bill is running the renovations even though he's only been with my mother for under a year and has no financial investment in or longterm association with the house. The fact that I had only a few hours to decide what to keep or throw away. I'll probably say more later but it was not a fun weekend. At least I saved "The answer is baseball" which is one of my comfort books, things I have read a thousand times but can use to calm myself anyway.
Also relating to the movie was a fortune I got in my cookie, which said "Romance moves you in a new direction." I think those kinds of fortunes are rather mean as they serve no purpose but to shed light on the romantic failings of those who lack a significant other or a prospect. I guess they might reinforce someone who'se in love or on the fence about a potential partner, but screw those people they're the lucky ones. Also I note it says "NEW" direction. Not a good one. If it does come true I'm sure it will be ugly.
The third thing that related to the movie was the fact that I was reading a book of quotations before, and after, I went to see it. Books of quotations are always entertaining, light, reads. I was also reading a neat Nabokov story about the temptations of glimpsing pretty girls, but that's another story. Anyway this wasn't the most intellectual of quote books but it was funny. I read a lot of quotations about sex and got sort of depressed as those who aren't having any are apt to when they read quips lauding it. The thing is that I'm not really desperate or even all that interested in sex. I'd say it's like number 4 on the list of things I'd want from a woman. Sensual pleasures are limited and crass. They don't fill the real needs.
I wish I could make up some good quotable throwaway one liners. On the train back home I had a few that I thought were pretty good but I naturally didn't have a pen to write them down with. The only one I can remember right now is:
"An optimist thinks the glass is half full. A pessimist knows that one careless move will cover the floor in broken glass and water."
I had a better formulation of it in my head but like I said I can't remember it right now. I'll probably pepper my journal with attempts at one-liners for the next few days as some of them return to me.
As for the movie itself. It was good. It was absolutely STUFFED, I mean JAM FUCKING PACKED with subtext and the like so to really rate it I'll have to see it again multiple times, maybe on the DVD. Jim Carrey gives a great performance and the script is pretty great. Still it feels almost too serious and smart. It has very sparse humor to attempt to weigh against the heavy stuff and I'm not sure if I agree with its ultimate conclusion. A movie you MUST see though, and one that you'll probably appreciate more than you'll enjoy it, as Elvis Mitchell puts it. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
I'm too tired to be coherent right now. There's so much more I have to say, I'm almost bursting with desire to get it out but it will have to wait. Sleep beckons with a stiff unyielding hand.