If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now

“My favorite part is there’s a sign outside the telephone booth that will say “If you lived here, you’d be home by now.” and that’s why it’ll be great. Because I will be home.” is one of the last sentences Daisy Randone spoke before leaving Claymoore Psychiatric Hospital in the Girl Interrupted.

Shortly before being released from the psychiatric care facility Daisy was so seemingly excited to leave yet a short time later she (spoiler) split her wrists and hung herself in her bathroom. The irony of how she presented the “If you lived here…” phrase is part of what makes the discovery of Daisy’s suicide one of the most powerful scenes in any film I’ve watched.

When Daisy delivered the line about living somewhere and being home she was flaunting the fact that she would no longer be hospitalized and bonded by their rules. No one would control how she ate, whether she took her medications or keeping tabs on what she was doing. She felt she would finally be free after feeling controlled in many ways for so long.

Daisy would be able to distance herself from the past that was riddled with insecurities and abuse while focusing on the things that actually interested her. While that wasn’t much it provided her with a level of comfort she wasn’t able to get elsewhere. This is something Daisy told herself until she was pushed to realize that her beliefs were simply delusions and that she wasn’t actually happy at all.

Children playing in winters snow or teenagers taking a day-cation to a nearby beach are examples of youthful innocence and the innate urge to explore. Daisy Randone had that youthful innocence taken away from her at which is made evident from her stay at Claymore’s. She felt that by escaping the institution that forced her to confront traumatic events that caused destruction in the past she could escape the fire balls that the real world can throw.

By staying in her apartment and becoming agoraphobic she felt all of the danger would be locked out, simply because she was at home. While it’s true she was at home, her house symbolized how she felt within herself, but she wasn’t always in control of what happened to her. By excluding the external narratives she couldn’t control she could tailor her own personal fantasies about what lies within. She could determine personal worth and value, beauty, strength alongside security and stability.

For most people the phrase “If you lived here, you’d be home now.” means that if they belonged in that space they would not have to travel further. Daisy takes this into account but takes it literally and applies her sense of belonging or being home and meaning nothing else is needed to be done. I apply this in a sense to my own life by making sure to see the positive aspects of my situation and also as a motivational technique. My personal favorite rendition is “If you’re not poor, then you have money to spend.” This keeps me from being poor because I like to spend money.

In the film, Daisy lies to Susanna about there not being a bathroom upstairs and I feel on the basis of selective memory or an attempt to directly manipulate Susanna into thinking something that was not true. With Daisy’s character a reoccurring theme is bathrooms. In the few scenes she is in the bathroom is somehow always brought up. My theory is that it was in her childhood bathroom that her father first sexually abused her. Specifically the bathtub.

The fact that Daisy omits that a bathtub exists upstairs could be insight into things she may omit from herself and other people as well. If something had happened to Daisy in a bathroom, and she lied to other people so much she believed it herself. What would happen if a antisocial character such as Lisa Rowe burned her thin veil of fabrication that separated her reality from her fantasy. It would lead to the demise of her falsified worth, security and stability of both herself and her surroundings, hence: The End Of The World by Skeeter Davis being played during the discovery of her self-mutilated lifeless corpse swaying to the tune.

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