Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yet Another Fantastic Thing About Getting Older

This failing memory thing is proving to be great: since the bulk of my thoughts are aversive, every time I forget about one, there’s an uptick in happiness.

It is possible I forgot I got a letter saying I won the lottery, but it’s more likely that I forgot I sent so-and-so an email (hence, I’m not peeved I haven’t received an answer), I forgot I was going to ask Tom to do or not do something (hence, Tom continues to have peace of mind, though he really has entirely too much of that already), I forgot my coworker did something intolerable yesterday, I forgot I don’t like that person, and so forth.

My mother claims that as you age, your worry center rots away. I don’t like the word “rots,” but if it’s really true, it sounds wonderful. (I do like the word “goiter,” but she hasn’t said anything about age and goiters or the lack thereof.)

Over the weekend, I went to see Little Children and then to see Candy. I’d forgotten, speaking of forgetting, to bring the piece of paper that had the movie times on it, so in case there wasn’t going to be time to take the bus, I got in a cab to go from one theater to the next.

Then I found I couldn’t remember the cross street for the theater, so I told the driver I needed to go posthaste to the Lumiere. As we proceeded through the streets, I realized that if I had been able to remember the cross street, I would have caused us to arrive at the wrong theater, as I was trying to picture the cross street for Opera Plaza, though the movie really was at the Lumiere, so there is another example of how handy it can be not to be able to remember anything. I feel increasingly free.

The part about winning the lottery was merely a conventional example of something good. I’ve always thought that if I won an enormous sum of money, it would wreck my life completely. To be on the safe side, I never play the lottery.

In sum, it may be that James Hetfield sent me an email inviting me to dinner and I forgot, but you know what? If he really wants to go, he’ll try again.

I’m starting to rely on the fact that if I can just not think about something actively for an increasingly short period of time, I will forget about it entirely, which is, more often than not, good.

It’s like the “Wally period” in Dilbert cartoons. I guess this technically is the amount of time you wait to begin a project in case it ends up getting canceled, but I think of it as being the amount of time that it takes for a given thing to become completely moot. Absolutely everything has a Wally period.

Little Children, by the way, was in some ways enjoyable—much of it was pretty to look at—but it made my stomach clench up an awful lot, and there was one hideous and somewhat ambiguous image I will probably never be able to forget, so I’m not sure I’d recommend this to anyone who hasn’t already determined to see it.

In Candy, Heath Ledger plays a heroin addict. Alas, I missed one of his final lines, in which he explains the reason for a major decision. This movie could be filed with Requiem for a Dream, but the latter is better; it’s positively harrowing.

The two most harrowing movies I’ve ever seen: Requiem for a Dream and—aargh! I’ve forgotten the name of the other one, plus forgotten the name of the actress who was in it. I was thinking Emily Mortimer, but it’s not her. It’s someone you might tend to think of when you think of Emily Mortimer, and it’s about a young woman who allows herself to be used sexually by a brutal bunch of men on a ship to please her husband or get back at him; I forget which.

The men on the ship are violent and abusive, and in the final scene of the movie, she is heading out to the ship once again, where you know something terrible is going to happen to her.

Ah! Found it via Google: Breaking the Waves. Emily Watson.

The next two most harrowing movies: Boys Don’t Cry and Dead Ringers.

Most harrowing movie scene: The rape scene in Monster.

There were two young ladies talking all the way through Candy, though that isn’t why I missed the crucial line of dialogue. I just missed it because I’m going deaf as well as losing my memory.

I said “Shh” to the inconsiderate movie patrons once, and turned around and gave them my best look of unbearable suffering once, and then I tried to ignore them. Not so the person behind them, who yelled, “Jesus!” and then later, “Shut up!”

Hammett is doing well in that his diarrhea has not come back (at least in the five or so days since he finished his medication), so I have canceled the appointment I had made with Dr. Press for tomorrow.

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