I do not have the mental or emotional capacity to deal with his loss. But sometimes I sit in a chair, late at night, and quietly feel very bad. When the night is at its most quite, I can hear death. I am very proud of my sadness, because it means I am more alive. I no longer fall in love with rocks.
Like so many other elements of this film, you can take that line in some many ways. “I no longer fall in love with rocks.” Is it because she grown past falling in love with inanimate objects? Is it because she realizes that in order for love to have any kind of meaning we have to love something that can love us back? Is it because all her excursions into romance have left her even more sad and lonely and so she won’t even try again? I am reminded of one of the best movies of the current century, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The simple message of the film (although nothing in a Charlie Kaufman film is truly simple) is that love is unavoidable, and worth whatever sorrow and trials it brings. We need other people. We need to love other people and to have them love us. Emily Clone’s statement here recalls the last scene that we talked about, the rainbow. It’s interesting that the memory that will bring her comfort during her last days is of Emily Prime and her mother. It was a moment of unconditional love. Maybe what Emily C. really wants is to be loved, but nothing that she had ever loved could give her that, so she has given up love altogether.
Matt’s Commentary –
A rock. A fuel pump. An alien creature with an unknown tongue. A clone with no brain. Emily easily falls in love but she falls in love with things/creatures/people that do not require anything from her. There is no self-giving, no self-sacrifice on her part. She takes from those relationship what she needs and then leaves either due to circumstance or because she desires and seeks more. But in her own words, she doesn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to think about these things, to have true connection with a human being. It is the years of travel from the alien planet where she is alone in a small spacecraft tube that she calls the best of her life, while the impetus for her leaving was to have person to person contact again. Here I believe she is envious of David and it is little wonder that she establishes a relationship with a clone of him when she arrives back at earth. It is in David’s death, where she doesn’t have control of the situation, that she faces her sadness and owns it but then comes to the conclusion that her emotional and mental capacity was poorly developed for love. Her love for others in this moment is no longer self-serving but undergirds her desire for real human connection, desire that requires she give of herself.
Jackie’s Commentary –
“I do not have the mental or emotional capacity to deal with his loss. But sometimes I sit in a chair, late at night, and quietly feel very bad.” As a very slow processor and a deep thinker of shallow thoughts, I feel this a lot. It’s very easy for me to shut down the emotions. I spent most of my life with a don’t-feel-just-do, don’t-feel-just-think mentality and it got me through a lot of difficult times. It really wasn’t until I came to faith that I realized dealing with, wrestling with, displaying transparently an emotional vulnerability can strengthen and bind a relational connection in much deeper ways. “I am very proud of my sadness, because it means I am more alive.” I’ve heard this spoken out loud and written down on letters to no one in particular from self-harmers. Specifically high schoolers. Kids who feel numb and zombie-like. Kids who cut just to feel, just to know they’re human, they’re real. Emily Clone’s sadness is intense enough to make her feel like she’s more than just a clone, more than a lesser version of herself. “I no longer fall in love with rocks.” I love the long, dramatic pause after she says this before the next scene. It hangs in the air waiting for someone to grasp it and claim it. Or maybe it’s a pause for a slow clap. I no longer fall in love with rocks.