What is the deal with forgetting? Is that totally damnable, or a despicable state? Because while remembering is usually cherished, just like, “I remember better days,” forgetting is almost absolutely nothing. Sometimes, we do not actually know that we have forgotten. “I have forgotten” is almost the same with “I don’t know.” Is that the bliss of ignorance? Is that the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind – the only certain (though ironically, this certainty is still arguable) blissful spot that can be offered by our minds which have thought of destructing using atomic bombs, a struggle for the people, quantum physics, the beauty of poetry, astronomical data and compassion and beyond — forgetting? Forgetting eases us of worries, because we do not know, because we have forgotten. “I have forgotten” takes into its meaning the idea that Once, I have known it but not anymore now.
But it can be good at times, actually, in a lot of times, forgetting; especially if we are talking about ugliness. A broken relationship, a mistake that lead to the former, a loss of your favorite NBA team in a Finals Game 7 or a miserable semester in school. These are the times when we’d rather forget than remember.
But both Clementine and Joel did not actually like what they do, forget each other, banish each other from their respective consciousnesses and go on with their lives without the haunting memories the other person offers. This is evinced by both, not only Joel’s efforts to foil the memory procedure. And although it went through, Mary’s effort helped in making it known to them – that they have underwent that procedure, but not exactly making known to them once again everything that the procedure has wiped out of their memories, most especially, the fact that they know each other in the past. As it becomes known to them, that they have chosen to forget each other (cute, knowing that they have forgotten and what has been forgotten), they seem to be confronted again by their little hypocrisies, forcing oneself to forget someone who is truly desired, or at least, not wanted to be forgotten.
Ultimately, they worked together for themselves, at last, staying true to what they consciously desire, or aspire for. Clementine going back to Joel’s apartment even after he has yelled at her. Joel going after Clementine even when she has decided to leave, although still hesitantly. And that, “hesitantly” applies to both acts – Joel’s going after her and Clementine’s leaving him. There is some delicate beauty in that, how we hesitate in doing things, only to end up doing them at last, how we are overshadowed by our presumptions and fears, only to realize in the end that nothing can be clarified if we allow ourselves to be eaten by them. And the other case is not exactly beautiful – how we consciously try to banish from our consciousness what we truly desire or yearn for, consciously try to relegate them into our sub/unconsciousness, mostly because of external pressures that come along with that we desire and which we are afraid to brave. Good thing, Clementine and Joel only hesitated, and not turn their hypocrisies and cowardice on and let what they truly desire fly away.
When all memories have been erased, they can only go after what has been left. And they go after each other – perhaps the last thing left from the effaced world, but the ones that matter the most.