I’ll be fine without you. O RLY?
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.
- Alexander Pope, From Eloisa To Abelard
In the Michel Gondry film, “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”, we are introduced to the concept of a machine that erases memories selectively in order for one to forget about something significant in their lives…
Sometimes, the pain just hits you too hard, and you find yourself unable to move, unable to function, unable to live. You feel so empty, and you feel that everything in your life is going awry.
The Lacuna machine isn’t perfect. There’s a gaping hole where something or someone important used to be, and it’s possible you’d repeat the exact same mistakes if you’re not careful, as one would find out if they watched the movie that starred the indefatigable Jim Carrey and the brilliantly sassy Kate Winslet. It wasn’t going to be a feel good movie. It was a movie meant to make you cry… a movie meant to make you think.
Despite the risks, if this process existed, on the surface, I’d want to erase so many things, so many people from my memories.
I’d want to forget about My Favorite Mistake, my Red Kryptonite, every single person who has hurt me in ways I can’t even begin to describe.
But mostly, I’d want to erase you.
I don’t want to remember you. I don’t want to remember the things we used to do, all the things that remind me of you. I don’t want to feel this pain in my heart. I want to eradicate you completely, to obfuscate whatever you mean to me, just so I could pretend that I’m okay and I can move on, even if it’s all a lie. I admit: I’m not strong enough to live with the pain. I’m not strong enough to soldier on and be cool with being without you. It’s far too much for me to deal with.
Maybe the process has begun… my phone recently got formatted, pretty much deleting most of my memories of you. I don’t have any of your letters. You made sure of that by taking them back. It’s a slow and painful process, seeing you being eradicated from my life, piece by agonizing piece.
And I learn to loathe myself a little more each day when I wake up. Because I know if I did things differently, it would never have come to this. Things would’ve been so much better, and I would have still been with you had I made better choices about us along the way…
Every single day, I think of you a hundred times, from morning ‘til I go to sleep. But as time passes by, perhaps there would come a time that I’d think of you only ninety-nine times, then ninety-eight, then ninety-seven.
Then maybe I’d begin to forget how your smile looks like… or how that look in your eyes was just a look of love that I will never see again… or how sweet your kisses are… or how your hugs would make me feel like I’m something special when I’m not. They say time heals all wounds. Maybe it will, as my memories fade away.
And as the memories slowly get hazier and hazier, I think back to what it would mean to have someone like you in my life… and realize that no matter how hard I try, I can’t quite remember what it was. I know something in my life is missing, but I have no idea what it is.
For despite somehow being able to completely eradicate all memory from you in my life, I know there will still be a void in my life that can never be filled up… not by anyone else, for as long as I live. And that space will forever remain empty as each and every memory of you is eaten away.
Not even a spotless mind would find an eternal sunshine. Not when it means that I would never have you again, even if I no longer quite remember what I’m missing.
It’s because I love you. Far more than I ever loved anyone, far more than I’m willing to love anyone ever again. And if you do leave me, if you do walk away, I can’t survive if I don’t eradicate you from my life, though I know it would never make me happy, and though some would rather that I’d simply let the pain remain.
Nobody will replace you. Nobody can replace you. And that is why I don’t want to let go, because I know you’re my once in a lifetime, and letting you go would mean that I’d let the most wonderful person in my life walk away.
I guess this is the point where I really ask myself once more… do I really want to erase you from my life? On the surface, it would seem my life would be easier without any memories of you whatsoever, but in reality, it’s just my mind ignoring the gaping hole in my heart that will forever be there once you’re gone…
For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve made me feel worth far more than I ever believed myself to be. For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve made me feel special and treasured and cherished… something I didn’t believe I deserved in my life.
I can’t thank you enough for that.
Yet now that all that is gone, I can’t bring myself to look at you and realize that everything we once shared is gone now. And I have only myself to blame for that.
By some act of God, I may forget you in time. But I’ll never forget the love I have for you.