shojo no jisatsu
“I didn’t understand.” The lament of Mrs Lisbon, mother of five dead daughters, from the film The Virgin Suicides. She didn’t understand how her over-protectiveness deprived her five daughters of the little liberties that made their lives their own.
It resonates with how I felt at that age; the need to have something that is yours, something that says something unique about who you were. You may dress the same as others, and listen to the same music, but the way you hear it is your own. Teenage rebellion as a search for identity. How else can a teenager find out who he or she is? Deprive someone of that opportunity, and what is left, but a seemingly endless grind of study and chores?
Such was the fate that befell the fictional Lisbon sisters. A window of opportunity was opened, but after one of them made an understandable mistake, the window was slammed on all of them, with nothing left to do but plan a memorable exit.
I think that’s what they mean by an “existential” sadness, a sadness that may not be open or obvious to others, but nevertheless runs through your life like a discoloured thread of wool through a sweater. Pick at it for too long, and it all comes apart on you.