Revisiting a favorite film, 20 years later.
My husband picked the DVD out of my collection — Ghost World. Each Saturday we take turns picking a movie to watch. Sometimes we pick one from a streaming service that we’ve never seen before and sometimes we dig one out of our DVD cabinet, revisiting an old favorite. My husband had never seen Ghost World. I remembered loving it when I first saw it, watching it multiple times thereafter. That was back in my Tumblr/LiveJournal days — lots of screencaps and quoting. I remember a set of Ghost World 1-inch buttons bought off of eBay and pinned to my jacket. I may have been briefly obsessed with Steve Buscemi. But I hadn’t watched the movie since then.
Seeing it again last night, I can’t help but notice how I relate to the character of Enid more now than I did 20 years ago. And I shouldn’t. I’m a middle aged woman now.
Enid is a girl fresh out of high school. She spends her time drawing, avoiding work. She searches out unusual movies, books and zines. She is mesmerized by the perceived oddities of the strangers she encounters. And she is stuck — trapped by a series of poor decisions and the lack of motivation to change her situation. Except for the fresh out of high school part, this describes me!
I have far too much in common with a whiny, self-absorbed teen.
But the worst part of it is the part I don’t have in common with Enid. Although I felt she was speaking my thoughts in the scene where she confessed,
“You know what my number one fantasy used to be? I used to think about one day just not telling anyone and going off to some random place. And I’d just disappear. And they’d never see me again.”
“You know what we should do? We should just get in your car right now and just drive off. Just find some totally new place and start a whole new life. Fuck everybody.”
I never followed through like Enid did. I stayed stuck. Stuck in the same crappy job, the same crappy house. Stuck with the same lack of motivation to change my situation. Too scared to pack a bag and step onto that bus into the unknown. I’m just a old brat with a lousy job.
Next Saturday when it’s my turn to pick the movie I’ll be sure to pick one that doesn’t send me into an existential crisis.