Would you erase me?

My favorite movie ever is the Charlie Kaufman-penned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where Joel (played by Jim Carrey) attempts to have his girlfriend erased from his memories, but then realizes halfway through that he doesn't want to forget her. This film appeals to me on a lot of different levels, and the main question that it posits is one that I ask myself frequently - Is it better to live with the memory of someone I love, no matter how painful, or would I be better off living as if the other person had never existed in my life?

In general I lean towards the former, but that doesn't mean that I don't occasionally consider the latter. There are certain people in my life, the very thoughts of whom trigger extremely strong emotions in me, sometimes to the point of being unbearable, and I'm left wondering whether or not it would be such a bad idea to erase them completely from my life.

I'm a very emotional person. You wouldn't think it to look at me, because mostly I'm just quiet and serious and I don't talk much, but truly, my emotions run deep and it's very easy to make me happy or sad or angry. And I may not be good at remembering facts and information, but I remember exchanges that I have with people who are important to me.

Lately I've been thinking about one person in particular, whom I used to be really close to. We had a falling out, and while we're speaking to each other again (even in a friendly way!), our friendship just isn't really the same anymore. With me being the sort of person who remembers conversations and saves emails and spends a lot of time overanalyzing everything, I've been thinking to myself a LOT lately, "What the hell happened?" What went wrong? Were we ever really that close, that connected, or did I just imagine the whole thing? Am I just totally crazy?

And all I have to go on are my own memories, wrapped up in my emotions, and it makes me question my side of things and my interpretation of my exchanges with this person. Objectivity is out of the question, because I am too emotional when it comes to this person - ever since our falling out, either I completely hate his guts or I completely think that he's the greatest ever; there is no lukewarm middle ground. There was a time when I pretty much thought this person hung the moon, and I still feel this way, except that I now vacillate between feeling that, and feeling a bitter, betrayed sort of rage, and totally resenting the fact that it doesn't take much for this person to send my emotions flying in one direction or the other. I know I shouldn't allow myself to be so affected by just one person, but I can't help it. (And I also feel like there's no way that this person could possibly be as affected by ME, so then I resent the fact that he gets to walk away from this unscathed and perfectly fine, while I'm still painfully grappling with my own feelings well after the fact.)

So I really question what I remember about our friendship, because what if I was just totally and completely in all ways utterly wrong? And it's not like I can just, you know, ask. "Hey, did you actually care about me, or was I just a delusional idiot?"

So there are times when it hurts a little too much to think of this person, and I wonder if I'd be better off if I could just completely erase this person from my life, so that it doesn't hurt anymore. But I know I would never do it. As much as thinking about this person sometimes makes me sad, the thought of never thinking about this person again actually makes me sadder.

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