I did have something close to what might be considered results this month. It happened at the very end, but near-results occurred. I dressed as the Childlike Empress for a Halloween party because it was obvious I needed to be someone from The NeverEnding Story. I initially thought that my costume might be too obscure for the people at this shin-dig. I was pleasantly surprised when 80% of people knew who the hell I was.
The attendees, however, were mostly movie or fantasy nerds. I was still impressed. I just assumed, based on 10 months of data, that most people only have a passing acquaintance with The NeverEnding Story. Being recognized gave me a little confidence boost. I was also proud that I could recite key lines from the climax scene for people.
I did refrain from a few things since I wasn’t sure how much anyone knew about the film. For example, a group of people were taking about cooking and someone mentioned liking coriander. I wanted to say something in character, but refrained. I’m still gun-shy about revealing the depths of my knowledge. Most people revel in reciting movie quotes or acting out popular scenes with friends.
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
I think I can assert that nobody else knows The NeverEnding Story like I do. I can’t start a line and have a friend finish it. I can’t make sly references to amuse others. I can’t share trivia. It’s disheartening. It’s disheartening mostly because The NeverEnding Story is a good film. It has complex themes, layered characters, reasonable special effects, and a tight plot. But nobody cares. When you watch a meta film that’s about saving the world through imagination, you feel like you might not be doing your part when you clam up about Fantasia.
Stop looking at me like that!
I still love my film. And I am still embarrassed to talk about it with others. It’s hard enough being a nerd, but being a nerd this specialized is a recipe for crazy introverted loneliness. When I do start talking about my film with others, I keep myself in check. I do a lot of self-talk like “Talk about the Empress being a strong female character, leave out how she’s a replacement for Bastian’s dead mother.” Or, “Don’t correct their description of Falkor as a ‘flying dog,’ just chuckle even though it’s killing you inside.”
While I still lack any other results, like dreams or random quoting, Halloween was a nice time to really think about a character and about the relevance of my film. Sure, The NeverEnding Story is underappreciated, but being a nerd means loving something despite what others think and reveling in the awesome.
Nobody else gets to have this feeling every week.