Quote 5

So Gen should have said something more, and Carmen should have listened more, but instead she kissed him, because the important thing was to forget. That kiss was like a lake, deep and clear, and they swam into it forgetting.

In Chapter Ten, Watanabe translates a conversation in which Messner explains that soon the government will stop allowing him to come to the mansion. This indicates that the government is about to take some action that will likely lead to the deaths or imprisonment of the terrorists, including Carmen. Watanabe tells Carmen what Messner said. Instead of thinking about the impending tragedy, or making plans to flee together, Watanabe and Carmen ignore what is happening and kiss. Their willful forgetfulness can be interpreted as frustratingly reckless, but it can also be interpreted as a sensible response to fate. Throughout the novel, Patchett has suggested that the terrorists will certainly die. Perhaps forgetting is, for Watanabe and Carmen, a way of accepting fate.