Expiration Dates

One of the things that I learned about myself from the kind of books I love reading is that it's usually the tragically flawed heroes/protagonists that I'm drawn to. These books include This Side of Paradise*, David Copperfield, The World According to Garp*, and The Irresistible Henry House, which all have a fictional, biographical touch to them. The male protagonists in these books are so raw and human that you cannot help but love them - not because you want to fix them but because after reading so much extensive information about their background and why they are the way they are, you understand them (Why do you think so many people love watching Dexter? No one really wants him to be a serial killer, but you can't help but feel for him somehow. I can't really say the same about Don Draper from Mad Men. He may be a pretty man but there is no end to his douchebaggery. He continues to piss me off.) Perfection is not the end goal here, it's the ability to survive in spite of bad happenstances in life (or at least that's what I keep on telling myself). If someone does not seem to have any flaws at all, my guess is that there is probably something seriously wrong with that person; we just don't know about it, that's all.

Dead Like Me

I notice that serial narrative is one of the things that help me move on and cope with things in life. Lately I've been watching Dead Like Me, and the point that comes across over and over while watching this series is that everything has an expiration date, everything is ephemeral. Although this is probably really crudely phrased, life is freakishly short and time doesn't stand still - a piano might fall on your head or there might be a slipping accident at a supermarket that may end you so do the things you can do before you regret not doing them.

There was a Dead Like Me episode about how the undead (grim reapers) had to input all of their records of people's last thoughts before they died. One of the saddest last thoughts that was highlighted in that episode was "Why has no one loved me?" - which has got to be the most depressing thing someone can think of right before they die.

last thoughts on an Excel sheet in Dead Like Me Season 1, Episode 13 "Vacation"

"We're all temps" in life (Daisy, Dead Like Me Season 1, Episode 13 "Vacation"). Nothing is forever as phases in your life can be periods of adjustment, some lasting longer than others unfortunately. I try to soak in upbeat tunes and gorgeous images people take/create. Those are the little kicks in life that spices up the monotony behind our daily routines as trivial as those things may be.

When people come and go in your life, the two things that you usually remember in regards to these people are the firsts and lasts that you've had in your encounters with them - i.e. how you met someone, how things started out, whether things ended on good or bad terms, the last kiss, the last set of words exchanged. Basically you remember the bookends of your significant or insignificant relationship/encounter with another person. Not that the things in between don't matter, but the bookends keep all those little memories and events in sequential order. It's like how archives keep loose materials in order but in plastic or acid-free paper boxes. A collection of memories should be kept together, housed and shelved in the same part of your brain, a kind of metaphorical Memex I suppose.

I've always loved this poster, but this is such a crap movie.

Maybe the writers of the original Sweet November (1968) movie had the right idea: set a month long limit to a relationship as to propel the kind of intimacy that takes forever for people to get to, but end a relationship before it could even start to grow sour. There's something poetic yet bittersweet to that idea. Beauty fades, puppy love (aka the honeymoon period) goes away as well.

Sweet November (1968)

Sweet November (2001) = crappy remake

I'm done with men for now. I give up. The aftermath after the storm of sadness kills me every time; it's always a mission to forget. It's not like every time a relationship ends, I can dip my head in some sort of River Lethe, or brain wipe myself like they do in Dollhouse or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind just to selectively forget people. Presto, chango, bad feelings begone! No, it's not that easy and it doesn't work that way. I don't know how people stay in happy long term relationships - but if they're able to do that, more power to them. They've got the staying power and I don't.

Dollhouse treatment

brain damaging memory erasure procedure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

This one thing Charlotte said in Sex and the City resonates with me: "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?" The normal and more optimistic me would probably tell her to stop looking because once she stops looking, "he'll" pop up, but right now, I'm thinking, who the fuck cares? Stop investing your time and energy in this invisible, mythical "he" when you could be making yourself an awesome and real, legendary "you." Be a super lady. Just don't wear your cape in public. Live while you can.

P.S. Random fact: The Greek word for "eclipse" means "cease to exist."

* = books that changed my life / made an impact on me

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