I wasn’t going to blog tonight, but I just finished watching (500) Days Of Summer, and I knew I had to write a few words. Maybe it’s because I’m in physical pain–I played tennis yesterday and tweaked my back–maybe it’s because I was already moved by seeing my mother walk today for the first time in a month, or maybe it’s simply the soju talking–I had a couple of shots tonight at my cousin’s dinner where we gathered to celebrate my uncle’s birthday, but the film left me–there’s no other way I can put it–shaken to the core.
I suppose I’m being melodramatic; after all, the film isn’t meant to be THAT serious; it’s not exactly “Goodfellas.” But in its depiction of a relationship’s demise, it punches in a whole lot of emotional truths and packs quite a wallop in its 95 minutes. I felt something rouse within me while I was watching–lying on the floor of my apartment so the heat from the floor would ease my back–and it continued to swell until it became both bewildering and frankly, rather troubling. The film’s one major misstep is the ending, which is the only part of the movie that rings completely “Hollywood” in the hollowest sense of the word. Still, my disgust and frustration with the resolution only added to my emotional state, which is why I’m writing this now.
Somehow, this is all a timely lead-in to the #68 song on our Top 101 Countdown: Ryan Adams’ “Harder Now That It’s Over.” It’s one of the most painful songs on the Countdown, and I have to admit, it’s one of the songs I listened to over and over after the major break-up of my own life. Yes, even I have experienced the nebulous phenomenon known as L-O-V-E, and like most people who have, I have also suffered the devastating heartbreak that accompanies the loss of that love. I’ll spare you the details and just say that we were together about three and a half years, the break-up was the hardest thing I ever had to overcome, and that I have come to accept that I have already experienced the love of my life, one that will not be exceeeded in power nor in the utter completeness of the faith I was willing to put into it. One of my previous adult female students said this about her take on marriage, and I’ll quote it here now, because it equally applies to the love that I had just as well: “It is heaven. It is hell.”
Do I miss my ex (whom I’ll refer to as D.)? No. Of course, I did for a long, long time. But now that much time–years–have passed, I can honestly say that I am over D. That being said, there IS a part of me that desperately misses the person that I was when I was in love, the me that was so capable of giving love and receiving love, because I don’t think I can–at least not without an element of doubt and cynicism creeping in–like I could back then… The reason is simple, of course: how can you love without fear when you know how much pain you’ll be left with when it’s all over? Do you know the answer, because I sure don’t. And if Ryan knows, he sure isn’t telling.