Keep Art Alive :: Film screenshot from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind :: A film by Michel Gondry
This is it, Joel. it’s going to be gone soon.” ~ Clementine
“I know.” ~ Joel
“What do we do?” ~ Clementine
“Enjoy it.” ~ Joel
At the start of something between two people, the kind of start that may, or may not, turn into something more, there is a bit of undefined magic around. It is all chemistry and emotions, the air thick with possibility, curiosity, and desire. There are all these unanswered questions, this clean slate between, and the buzz of tension dancing across the surfaces of skin, the flutter of each blink, and the flow of words shared. All you want is to know more.
It always seems so much easier at the start.
Later there will be arguments over everything, and nothing, in particular. There will be un-returned phone conversations, misunderstandings, and the near inevitable realization that not two people are ever really perfect for each other – that that was just a dream created to end movies with, and to delight (or warn) little girls in the form of bedtime stories, and costumed princess marketing ploys.
The end, when it comes, it may seem so much easier than anything that came before.
We will find ourselves in living rooms, crowded bars, and in the passenger seat of our friends’ cars wondering how we got here. Our friends will tell us all that rehearsed script of comfort, we all do it. We knot it is meant to heal each other and repair the shards of a battered self-esteem, don’t we? We will take this assurance, even if we don’t quite believe it, and decide we deserved better. We will order another drink, light another cigarette, dye our hair some adolescent shade, and we will go on.
They say to never look back, to never regret, to never wish for a second chance.
So, we do our best to erase, to fast-forward, to look to the next chapter – and towards the next start. We tell each other that we are fine. We smile pretty and try to work ourselves into another introduction, and beginning, with somebody new.
Are we all just some kind of science experiment? Is it all just a treadmill of sorts that we run on? An out of the lab rat maze that we find ourselves traversing, time and time again? Do we just close our eyes and jump in, not noticing the same pitfalls, the repeated turns, and the eventual exit sign?
What would happen if we took the backdoor first, and started from the end? What if we walked in reverse sometimes? What if we kicked a few walls down on our way, navigating a few new paths, together? What if we took the time to look again at something, or someone, we thought we already knew? Or, what if we did not follow the story at all, and just wrote our own?
What would that start look like? And that end? Or would there be an end, at all?
The Scientist (live) :: Aimee Mann
The Scientist :: Johnette Napolitano and Danny Lohner
The Scientist (live) :: Coldplay