Nick Hornby gets me

High Fidelity is on Netflix now. It’s been a few years (okay, nearly two decades) since I’ve seen it, so I gave it a rewatch. And was pleasantly surprised that it holds up. The movie, the story, John Cusack…all of it. It’s every bit as charming as it was in the theater.

I was also surprised at the revelations I had while rewatching the movie. Rob Gordon is my ex-husband — I figured that out a long time ago, after rereading the book. But what I missed until now is how sad a person Rob Gordon is. Self-absorbed. Helpless. Childish. I love him because Nick Hornby’s brilliant words are coming out of John Cusack’s mouth, but would I like him if he were played by, say, Nic Cage? Not so much. He’s too whiny. Too irritating.

Too much like how I used to be.

Guess that explains how a girl like me ended up with a guy like my wasband.

“Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being alone for the rest of their lives at the age of 26,” Rob says, “and we were of that disposition.” That’s me in a nutshell. Or was.

I was afraid to date for a long time after I got divorced. My ex was the culmination of every mistake I’d made thus far, and I’d made my fair share. I was, I said, too stupid to date. And I was not wrong.

I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Blaming my current misery on events, people, whatever. Running from issues rather than dealing with them. I spent way too many nights staring at the ceiling in a sea of angst. Too many gorgeous days looking out the window, wishing I had a life.

Somewhere along the way, I changed. I am not Rob Gordon anymore. I’m not sure who or what I am, exactly. It’s possible that I’m every bit as self-absorbed as I ever was, just busier. But I at least do things now. I have goals. Sometimes it feels like I have more goals than I can accomplish in one lifetime. I’m not sure that is a bad thing, though; it means I will never run out of things to do and see and learn.

Watching High Fidelity was like looking at a photo from my childhood; I remember being that person, but have grown so much that the person I was then would not recognize the person I am now. But, y’know, with an abundance of quotable lines. And John Cusack.


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