Synopsis: The revenge thriller gets an unforgettable new twist with Memento, an intricate crime story about a man with a damaged memory chasing a murderer whose identity he cannot possibly ever know for sure.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento has blown the minds of audiences around the world – by deftly forging a reality in which neither the lead character nor the audience knows who is pulling the strings… until everything that seemed true flips upside down.
eyelights: the cast. the performances. the structure. the enigma.
eyesores: its discrepant takes.
“I can’t remember to forget you.”
You really do need a system if you’re gonna make it work. These days, when I’m watching a movie, I have my scrap paper and pencil on hand to take down a few notes as I go along.
It makes things easier for me to follow: when I get lost, I pause the movie, review my notes and carry on. So, when I’m not watching movies I’ve already seen, I’ve been watching shorter ones.
Otherwise my hand cramps up. And then I’d wonder why.
Anyway, it certainly keeps me busy.
Thankfully, I don’t need to do that whenever I’m listening to music – though I can’t appreciate concept albums (or the likes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ or ‘Tubular Bells’, …etc.) like I once did.
The future isn’t all bad, I guess.
I’ve stopped looking to the past; I’ve decided to expunge it from my self. I’ve burned my bridges. I can no longer cling to memories, much like memories no longer cling to me. I’ve set my sights on the horizon. The road behind me doesn’t exist except in annotated instructions on scraps of paper.
The future is filled with surprise destinations that I’ve carefully chosen in advance and will only reveal to myself as I follow the clues, connecting the dots step by step. My life is like one continuous treasure hunt, with no endgame. It’s the only way forward that could provide me with peace of mind.
Though lonely, it’ll be an adventure.
Elle popped by after work to say “hi”. It was so nice to see her. I’m grateful for these regular visits because it provides me with a sense of continuity and it peppers my daily existence. Thankfully, before my accident, we had been on a good streak, which wasn’t always the case, so my feelings for her remain deep, warm – something I can’t say about everyone. It makes our visits more pleasant. Usually, if we’re not running errands, she tells me about her day at work as we have dinner together.
She now has the liberty of telling me anything she wants because she knows that patient confidentiality is guaranteed with me. It always was, but it’s especially true these days. Haha. I wonder how she feels about my condition. I’m sure I’ve asked her, but I don’t remember the answer. I really wish I did. But I’ve stopped taking notes while visiting with friends; it was sort of rude, certainly off-putting and it prevented me from being in the moment. So I can only guess at what we’ve talked about.
(Note to self: Maybe I should video everything. But then I’d have to get everyone to sign release forms. Awkward…)
Sometimes I get the impression that my friends find my current state of being tedious, that I’m frozen in time while they’re not. It’s not like I was ever the most exciting or adventurous person in the first place, but at least we were building new memories together from time to time. Now we’re at a standstill by no fault of their own. It must frustrating. Gosh… I hope that they don’t get disillusioned. I would hate to lose them; they’re not just continuity for me, they’re my lifeline.
I’m exhausted. I’m done.
My methodical, meticulous approach has reaped benefits, sustaining some semblance of normalcy and order, but it’s been grueling. People are deeply skeptical when I let on how I feel, wondering what I do all day that’s so tiring given that I’m off work, living “la dolce vita”.
Answer: It’s extensive mental fatigue. And it’s sapping all my strength.
Between the frayed friendships, the hurt I’ve inadvertently inflicted, my growing distrust, and the sheer amount of work involved to even keep all of this going, I can’t help but wonder how much I can bear, how long I can continue. I have a lot of fight in me, but it’s killing me.
And I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for me when I wake up every day older, with my body and mind degenerating steadily. How can I possibly cope with the seemingly stark changes in me and the world around me since I can no longer adjust to it over time?
Every new day is more alien to me.
I’m left with only one choice: I’m packing my bags.
I went to the library today, while I was running errands. The familiar is so comforting these days. In fact, if the libraries of my childhood were still around, I would go to those just to relive experiences – for lack of being able to remember new ones.
Nostalgia is always more powerful because it roots me in time – whereas I mostly feel uprooted.
Based on my notes, I picked up a few movies and some comics; forget graphic novels because I can’t get to the end of them quickly enough. Interesting note: I got the impression that the library clerk recognized me, but he was unfamiliar to me.
It’s probably not the first time.
The rest of my errands consisted of getting some food, except somehow I got confused and I bought milk again. Now I’ve got something like six litres of milk to get through. Thank goodness I’m not lactose intolerant. Yet. Hmmm… did I get any ice cream?
Anyway, I gotta make sure I keep the expiry dates in plain sight. Or else… yuck! And there’s no one else to blame: it’s not like I can bring any of this back, claiming that the store sold expired product. Not that I would necessarily remember where I put my receipt.
(Note to self: start piling up your receipts in a small box on your desk instead of tossing/shredding them.)
With respect to the library and shops I visit, the day they change location will be a terrible ordeal for me. At least now I can situate myself based on prior memories. If they move, I’ll have to depend on all sorts of notes to get anywhere and to find what I need.
It’ll be that much more challenging as I try to find my way around.
Maybe I should get a smartphone.
I’ve stopped answering the phone.
In fact, I may disconnect it altogether. I simply can’t sustain a full-length conversation – and those were the kind that I enjoyed having. Five-minute superficial connections are of no use to me, especially since I can’t retain anything from them anyway.
I’d gotten into the habit of taking meticulous notes, which I’d turn to whenever someone called so that I could give them the semblance of continuity, as though I remembered what they’d shared with me the last time we’d talked. It seems to have worked.
But it’s not foolproof.
And I started to find calling people daunting because I’d have to memorize my notes beforehand and keep them by my side in case I blank out mid-convo. Plus I had to take additional notes and check off the things that had been brought up to avoid repetition.
It’s a real hassle.
It’s no fun.
I still check my email because it gives me the time to process everything and go back to previous emails and notes to cross-reference the data. Because it’s all data now, not memories. It’s a damn good thing that I’m the analytical type; I can do this.
The problem is that, the more I analyze, the more I find gaps in what people tell me. It leads me to wonder. It leads me to second-guess. It leads me to distrust. What am I not being told? And why? Is it merely communication breakdown? Or is it purposeful?
How could I possibly know anymore?
I went on another date today. Obviously, I meet them online; it gives me time to review profiles and take down the notes I need to make it work. I save a copy on my new tablet (along with our written exchanges) so that I have a reference point, and make sure I’m there early so that I have time enough to study it – so that I have the right person and recall enough to start the conversation.
Then it’s usually simple keeping it going, so long as I show interest in what she’s saying; “How do you feel about that?” goes a long way. At least that was the plan. I really wish I remembered how it went with Blacklight1369; she stood out from the pack with her mix of edge and softness, and (on digital paper, at least) we have a lot of common interests. And I really like her style; she’s my type.
Anyway, I like to think that I felt special and new, as though the future were brightly filled with potential.
If only it were true.
Post scriptum: I’ve since received another email from her. It sounds like it went well. Good. But I wonder how long I can keep this up. I’ll probably have to reveal my condition, which likely means being ditched. It’s a no-win scenario, because I can’t build a long-term relationship by faking it, no matter how organized I am; cracks will show. But the sooner I make the truth known the sooner it’s over.
Damn. I may have to content myself with very short-term or even one-night stands.
I dislike the superficial intensely.
I don’t know if it’s a question of boredom or paranoia, but I started to write my memoirs. I’ve actually always wanted to do it. As with most people, I believe that I have a story to tell, that my uniqueness could be of interest to someone else.
That’s a laugh.
Really, it’s just pure narcissism; it’s only of interest to myself. Who else could possibly care about my trivial childhood experiences? Sure, they all add up to make the person that I am now (or was), but they are otherwise mundane and irrelevant.
Does anyone want to know that the reason “13” became my favourite number is not just because of my birthday, but primarily because I played soccer: the other kids were too superstitious to take jersey #13 – so I took it, to show them it didn’t matter.
It eventually became a way of life: “13 ’til I die!”
Insipid, I know. Utterly insipid.
I guess, at this juncture, it serves the extra purpose of cementing what remains of who I am before I’m left with nothing to rely on. Whether it’s the fading of memory over time, another accident, or the consequence of aging, this may all disappear someday…
Thankfully, so far, time hasn’t erased much since I’m not making room for new memories. In fact, if anything, it seems as though I’m reconnecting with past experiences more; some of them are more vivid than ever, more poignant, and more detailed than before.
Though I wonder if I’m not embellishing them.
If there’s something that I’ve discovered in more recent years, it’s that we process the same events so differently sometimes that we experience them uniquely, though together. Our recollections are completely biased by context, emotion, values and intentions.
As the man says, “Memories can be distorted.”
Blogging is more difficult these days, especially if I want to write about a new item. If it’s something I’ve watched, heard, or read in the past, I can always tap into the feelings and impressions I once had – so long as I keep good notes to go along with that. If it’s new media, then I have to be even more meticulous in my note-taking so that it makes sense to me later. I hope that I can still fashion blurbs that are coherent and have some sort of value. Not that they ever were, haha, but I hope I can sustain a modicum of quality.
So far, the readership is steady.
The writing comes naturally, though I need to re-read a lot of it so it’s more time-consuming than it was before. Getting the summaries and pictures is easy-peasy because I know where to get them and I have a simple system in place. It just requires time, is all. And the mise-en-page its straight-forward; those are skills I accumulated years ago – so long as WP doesn’t significantly alter their format in the future, I’ll be good. The one thing is that, unless I double-check the blog to see what I’ve written already, I could repeat myself a lot.
The one thing is that, unless I double-check the blog to see what I’ve written already, I could repeat myself a lot.
Seriously, what’s the point? I’ve been trying so damned hard to maintain a general sense of normalcy, by continuing as much of my routine as possible. Though my ability to work is impeded, I figured I could pretend that every day was Sunday and watch movies, blog about them, …etc.
But… what’s the point?
I mean, I can’t truly appreciate new movies, no matter how many notes I take. At best, when I’m blogging now, I’m synthesizing notes that someone familiar has put down. But I have no recollection of the movie itself. And, when it’s a movie that I’ve seen before, the enjoyment is different.
But what would I do with my vast collection? Parting with it would leave a gaping hole in the only life I know. And I couldn’t fill it with anything – unless I want a shocking surprise every time I go to my media room, fully expecting to find the trophies and memories of years gone by.
At least there’s music. I’m still in love with music, though I can’t enjoy it like I once did: exploring, making new connections, expanding my knowledge base. I’m at a standstill. Thankfully, I’ve soaked up so much music through the years that nostalgia alone can keep me going for years.
But is it worth anything? Is it enough?
And, if it isn’t, then… what’s next?
What have I got left?
Best as I can figure, tonight’s date was not a roaring success.
Though it seems that I’ve been enjoying… um… flings, of late, for lack of better options, it looks like I’ve gotten sloppy in tying up loose ends: I was working up an appetite with Sadalicious when we were interrupted by MRTCDDMS, who also happened to be at Zaphod’s tonight.
Ouch. That’ll teach me to go back to familiar places.
I usually break it up fairly soon, just so that I don’t lead anyone on, but I guess that MRTCDDMS slipped my mind. I obviously never meant to be insensitive. But I was so inexperienced at this, and I’m hobbled to boot, so it’s probably never going to get better unless I’m more organized.
Mind you… that’s hard to imagine.
Anyway, the specifics are lost on me right now, but my Inbox makes it clear that I’ve got two people upset with me now – even though, technically, haven’t done anything wrong. I suppose it comes down to their illusions being abruptly dispelled – and that the wake-up wasn’t appreciated.
I may have to forget about this whole dating thing.
I already have.
Well, this is corker: I apparently had a one-night stand with (my friend)’s girlfriend. It seems that I met her online but hadn’t recognized her from a previous introduction. Hardly surprising. Though I wonder why she didn’t recognize me.
Maybe she did.
If I understand the situation correctly, we went back to her place and, during our playtime, my cards fell out of my back pocket (I don’t carry a wallet). I obviously picked up most of them (they’re with me), but my ID card fell under the bed.
When (my friend) came over, she found it.
This really puts a strain on our friendship. Plus (my friend) didn’t know that her girlfriend was bi – and wasn’t planning on sharing her, anyway. That I can’t remember doesn’t really soothe her because that’s merely an intellectual concept.
Love is of the heart, not the mind.
Naturally, I don’t have all the details about how the truth came out. But it leads me to the fact that (my friend) hasn’t officially come out of the closet yet. In light of this, she can’t easily turn to others to talk about her heartbreak.
Except for me.
What a mess. I don’t know how this will all end, or if it can ever blow over. But let’s just say that I’m deeply troubled to have been a wedge in a friend’s relationship like this. I wouldn’t be under normal circumstances; it’s just not me.
You know, I’m starting to wonder if some people aren’t just using my condition to their advantage. Is it possible that this girl wanted to have an affair, and felt that it was less risky with someone who wouldn’t remember her afterwards?
I’ve just been told that my father’s passed away. Apparently, this is not news; this happened months ago. And I’ve been told before – so my stepbrother says. But I don’t remember that; I guess I never had the presence of mind to write it down before, for some reason.
I certainly did this time.
I was routinely calling them up to get the latest and greatest (which usually not much, truth be told). And I got a sharp sense of irritation from my stepmother as I asked how things were. I didn’t really make much of it because this seems to have become commonplace.
But when I asked to speak with my dad, what passed for strained civility suddenly exploded in my face: I heard the phone crash, then some cursing and wailing in the background. That’s when I started to take notes, thinking that an emergency situation was unfolding.
Eventually, my stepbrother got on the line and told me his mom was too upset to speak to me. I was stumped: “What have I done wrong?”, I asked. He also lost his patience and blurted out: “I just wish that you could remember that dad’s dead! You’re a strain on everyone!”
My heart sank – not just at the loss of my father, but also at the harm I had apparently been doing to everyone. Unwittingly. Based on the dryness of my cheeks and my shirt collar, I didn’t shed any tears; by the time I revisit my notes and absorb what’s going on, I’ve reset.
I can’t cry.
I can’t mourn the loss of my father.
Though, on the flipside, I could willfully expunge myself of this misery by destroying my notes; I would then have no reminder of his passing. But then I’d be putting everyone through the ringer again, as I keep up the friendly-but-misguided inquiries on a semi-regular basis.
It’s a no-win situation.
But this leads me to a more disturbing thought: If I never wrote that down, something as significant as my own father’s death, then… what else am I forgetting? What bridges am I burning? Who am I hurting? What traps have I unknowingly set for myself and the people I love?
Now… where was I…?
Oh yeah… if I were to be assailed with anterograde amnesia, which makes it impossible to forge new memories after the event that caused my condition, which would I be: Sammy Jankis, or Leonard Shelby?
Who’d ever want to have to make that decision? And would I even have a choice in the matter?
Hang on, let me write this down…
Date of viewing: October 13, 2016