Ilsa: I wasn't sure you were the same. Let's see, the last time we met...
Rick: Was La Belle Aurore.
Ilsa: How nice, you remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris.
Rick: Not an easy day to forget.
Rick: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.
Rick: Tell me, who was it you left me for? Was it Laszlo, or were there others in between? Or - aren't you the kind that tells?
Rick: It's funny about your voice, how it hasn't changed. I can still hear it. "Richard, dear, I'll go with you anyplace. We'll get on a train together and never stop - "
Ilsa: Don't, Rick! I can understand how you feel.
Rick: [scoffs] You understand how I feel. How long was it we had, honey?
Ilsa: [on the verge of tears] I didn't count the days.
Rick: Well, I did. Every one of 'em. Mostly I remember the last one. The wild finish. A guy standing on a station platform in the rain with a comical look in his face because his insides have been kicked out.
Oh my god, have you ever stood with a comical look on your face as your insides were kicked out?
I did once. Only I was sitting, in a thirty-year-old car. When he said "I'm so glad I met you" and then threw us away in the gutter. You'll see it in THE COMMUNE.
That's the thing about the one without the power. They remember that day, every detail, for the rest of their lives. Replaying over and over again what they should have done to get a positive result, looking in their beloved for ANY shred of a proof of love...a hand on the knee, a kind smile, a hesitation...
And the beloved goes on with their life with all the power and no need to ever remember. You think Ilsa knows she wore blue that day? Or knows how many days were together?
No. It was over for her the moment she walked away. The guilt might have stung every once in a while, but no compulsion to burn the details into the worn grooves of their brain. Her guts weren't spilled in the streets, begging to be sloppily shoved back inside and stitched with answers that will never come; never be understood.
She might feel bad about being perceived as a bad person and spout platitudes and apologies never backed by actions over the years...but anyone who feels love isn't the one who makes the choice to piss on it. No. The Ilsas never think of coming back to you, and they certainly never think of you with any sense of connection or belonging. You're just another fellow traveller.
Ah, romantic love. How we Europeans and Americans idolize it so as the only thing worth living for, when the suffering over it is a pain beyond bearing.