sal’s review published on Letterboxd:
i stopped talking or texting people. i stopped getting out of bed. i stopped eating. my younger sister told me how she noticed i stopped journaling and making art, after a day of her moving in and out of our shared bedroom while i lay in bed the whole time, watching something on my phone. my mom stopped talking to me too.
last night, i had a lengthy conversation with my older sister about how i stopped, how my depression has made me cease, and we volleyed back and forth about the dynamics in our family, and our parents, and us. this viewing of lady bird had me catch the line, "she doesnt know how to help you" by the nape of it's neck, and i felt my brain move back into the space of my convo with my sister. somehow this film is still finding ways to explain to me something else im not understanding about my own life.
on the drive home from the theater, i was talking to my friend about how things have changed for us, and i heard her cry while keeping my eyes on the highway. i only knew to hold her hand for a while. after she withdrew, the song we both know as a battle cry for survival (shake it out by florence + the machine) came on and she quietly asked me to turn it up and we both sang it out. it didnt need to be said that we felt around the shape of a certain scene in the movie we just saw.
before she got out of the car to go into her house and to talk to her own mom about the movie, i read out to her this excerpt from an essay by akwaeke emezi, from the book rookie on love (this collection is amazing and very comforting):
"you cant control it. you can bend yourself into unthought-of contortions, you can flail and cry and beg, you can love so hard that you reek of desperation, and it does nothing. it does nothing. rejection still happens, and after a while, even manipulating people feels pointless. i had always been the perpretrator or the victim or, sometimes, marvelously, both, and i was tired. i found myself wanting love where i was safe, where no one had to suffer because everyone was always tender, always careful, where hurts were accidental and not malicious, where we (lovers or friends) were soft with one another because, to be quite honest, the rest of the world is wicked enough for all our lifetimes."
and i didnt want to say it, but the space we were in, the bubble of just us in my hand me down car, with florence playing, it felt like we could have that together. we made it safe. i hold that moment really close to my heart, and know that while things stop, i can keep them going if i remember that it's just possible.
when i got home, after a spacey drive listening to the soundtrack, i felt the urge to lay on my younger sister's bed, and i just started righting my wrongs with her. ive been subconsciously preparing to have this conversation with her for a while, and i felt that little piece of safety creep in, even if some things were frustrating. the last thing she asked me before she fell asleep mid-convo was, "is the end of lady bird something you want?" i didnt have the chance to answer her.
yes. yes, i want it.