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I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go

November 13, 2006

The opening sequence displays the seriously slashed wrists of an unknown actor. He lays faceless but can be identified by the long red nails adjusting his belt and the cuffs pulled down over the stitched wounds. He looks sharp for his funeral. The mourners wander in while one of them plays the organ,  a Rolling Stones tune. As the movie wears on and these friends smoke pot, drink, try to have sex with one another for various legitimate and frivolous reasons, eat, dance, laugh and cry I recognize my mother and her friends in the group of actors up on the screen. I don’t have many friends at this point and envy her close knit group that parties together every weekend it seems. I think that is what grown up life must be like–teenagers with money and experience. I think for the first time that maybe grown up is not something bigger and different and maybe you stay the same inside but just change on the outside. I loved The Big Chill and we owned that movie for our VHS, thankyouverymuch, and I watched it in rotation with St. Elmos Fire and Repo Man.

I wanted to think I was punk rock and hard core but I was just dorky with strange taste in music and attempted to dressed like a pop star. I was not hard core living in the County, really in the sticks, I mean come on , the closest McDonalds was like 4 miles away and there was pretty much nothing else until the Chi-Chi’s opened up a few years later. I loved Repo Man because I wanted to go and eat sushi and not pay. I wanted to rob and steal and have a mohawk and be able to punch someone out. I liked my hair to much to cut it all off  like that and I was also too busy trying to fit in and wear pale pink lipstick and hair spray my hair so my bangs would stand up straight. Watching it made me feel like I was in some sort of special club of cool kids somewhere. I just had to be patient and eventually I would find them and they would see my inner punk rock girl and l would be at home.

St. Elmos Fire was the first movie I went to see with my first serious boyfriend Dennis. He was 17 and had red hair and went to a boys private school. I was 14 and in 9th grade. He was so rich and cool and completely a masochist pig. He drove a hot red BMW, the first I had ever seen and liked Depche Mode, Tears for Fears and the Smiths. I liked Depeche Mode but the others just sounded so fucking whiny…I still don’t get it. St. Elmos Fire was the kind of life I imagined I would have if I went to college or just knew people who did. I thought I was like Demi’s character but was terrified I was really more like Mare’s. I had already done some hard drugs and had smoked pot and of course cigarettes. I loved outrageous clothes and in theory thought I could sleep with men because they were rich and they could get me to where I wanted to be without actually working. Luckily it turned out I would only sleep with losers with no money and some terrific guys who also had no money. I wouldn’t be fabulous, I would just be me no matter how my nose piercing changed my appearance, my dyed red hair or my extensive closet of clothes attempted to fool the eye.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2006 2:38 am

    Oh deary I miss the eighties. I remember progressing from Duran Duran to Depeche Mode and the Smiths, and in 89 stumbled across this odd band called Janes Addiction. Though I must say there was a lot of bad movies in and around the good. I liked the ’90s more for film, and the ’80s more for innovative music.

  2. November 13, 2006 5:13 pm

    You had a nose piercing?

  3. November 13, 2006 9:21 pm

    I’m with Keith. You had a nose piercing (not that I’ve had a visual frame of reference or anything)?

  4. November 14, 2006 3:20 am

    Ah, The Big Chill has been much on my mind of late. It’s so odd to me that those folks were supposed to be in their mid-30s, right? But they seemed so sophisticated. And now…I’M OLDER THAN THEY WERE! And I’m not sophisticated at all.


    But I love the movie. And I often sing You Can’t Always Get What You Want to my kids, and that always brings lots of Big Chill quotes to mind.

    Such as…

    “Sometimes you have to let art flow over you.”

  5. December 25, 2009 1:29 pm

    This machine is controlled by the microcomputer

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