Title: Coleslaw Au Go-Go
Fandom: Ghost World
Character: Enid Coleslaw
Author’s Notes: Set nine years after the movie. Created for the lj community 100_women. Prompt: 001: Beginnings
Disclaimer: I did not create and I do not own this character.
Word Count: 800
Beta Reader: Nzomniac
Coleslaw Au Go-Go
Enid was twenty-seven. She had been living in Chicago for two years.
There were a lot of things she liked about Chicago. You couldn’t pay her to do any of the usual Chicago stuff like going to the House of Blues (no desire to have beer spilled on her by Jim Belushi/Dan Aykroyd-worshipping-and-probably-quoting frat boys) or a Cubs game. Still, there were a lot of things and places in Chicago she liked that she thought of as just hers.
For example, there were the bakery girls. Every bakery she went to seemed to have at least one super cool, ultra funky girl working there. The woman who ran Bleeding Heart, the organic bakery at Chicago Avenue and Damen, had a head full of long, pink braids and a baby. At a place called Sweet Mandy B’s in Lincoln Park, there was a plump girl whose dark, bobbed hair was streaked purple and blue. The kitchen was open so you could watch her as she mixed up bins of candy-colored frosting and deftly decorated cakes on a turning plate with a two-foot long spatula. There were several others as well in different bakeries and coffee shops. Enid pretended they knew each other, that they were a girl-group or a girl gang or super heroes all together. Enid wanted to be a bakery girl.
One of her favorite places to go was the Indian neighborhood around Devon Avenue. It was a whole area where all the shops sold Indian stuff. Mannequins wearing saris in the windows, women walking by wearing them too. Enid bought an orange and red sari that she liked to wear around her apartment on weekends. She didn’t wear it out because she couldn’t quite get it to drape right and it had a tendency to fall off. There were a lot of shops that sold videos and music from India. She spent a lot of time looking at the jackets of the movies and CD’s, but she never bought anything because there was just too much; she had no idea what any of it was about or what it would sound like. She worked as a dog walker, which was fun but she didn’t make enough money to really go crazy experimenting with untranslated Bollywood hits and Indian pop music.
There were craft shows where cool girls crocheted giant sushi rolls and made their own stuffed animals. And old movies in the park downtown or at the 1920’s movie palace on Southport. There were crazy, vegan soul food restaurants and singers who sounded like 1930’s hillbillies. There were gay parts of the city and Polish parts and Ukrainian parts and Puerto Rican parts where you could get ice cream in flavors like avocado, tamarind, guava, pumpkin, tomato, banana rum and honeydew.
There was stuff she saw that was really strange or disturbing or funny. When she took the dogs to the dog park, sometimes small groups of kids would gather wide-eyed to watch the animals hump. One day she saw a black man riding a bicycle in nothing but a pair of white cotton briefs. Later that day, she saw two Mormon missionaries on bicycles. One day she saw a whole box of fruit loops dumped on the sidewalk.
When she was in her apartment, Enid would write about all the places she had been and the things she’d seen on her website, Coleslaw Au Go-Go. Enid liked writing a lot. She was thinking of maybe, maybe finally going to college for it. She hadn’t told her father about that yet, though; it would have made him too happy. Since he’d married Maxine, Enid tended to be a little cruel towards him but it was mainly out of habit. The inclination to punish him had pretty much waned when she moved away.
Sometimes she thought about the past, about growing up and how much she’d hated school and living in the dead ugly sprawl of the suburbs. Sometimes she missed Rebecca. They’d been best friends for so long--since they were little girls. There had been times she didn’t think she would go a day without seeing or talking to Rebecca, but now it had been five years since they’d seen each other, three years since they’d spoken. The last time Enid was home, Maxine had told her she’d heard Rebecca was married. Enid wondered how someone could be so important to you for so long and then not be.
Maybe that was the way things worked.
Enid remembered being eighteen, the whole mess with Seymour and the art show and Rebecca betraying her or really just being different from her. She remembered waiting for the bus that night. She had thought her life was over…when really, it hadn’t even begun.