It has been hypothesized that people need a healthy ratio of dreams to memories to avoid big black holes of depression and inactivity, that it’s better to skew close to 2:1 (or at least, 1.5:1 or – well, you get the idea…) One of the sad things about getting old is realizing that you maybe spend a lot of time telling the exact same stories. This happens to me, at least; like any young moron, I have unfailingly noticed other people doing it, and silently promised myself I wouldn’t make the same mistake. And yet, here we are.
Anyway, dateline, Seattle, summer 2006: a throng of young cineastes, wiseasses, and wiseass cineastes is snaking down an entire city block near the University of Washington, outside the now-defunct-as-we-knew-it Neptune Theater. The Seattle International Film Festival is hosting a midnight “secret screening” of a mystery film, and around 11:20 or so word has begun to spread that it could be Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.
I have the keys to my parents’ car and fuck-all to do with myself. I had bought a ticket long before anybody had any inkling that this was the movie, but being a consummate Dickhead I’m especially excited. “What’s this gonna be about?”, a friend asks. I wasn’t yet a smoker, but this is where I would’ve blown a huge cloud out of my mouth and especially savored my position of expertise. “Oh, well, the book is about a government conspiracy to get people hooked on drugs so it can, then, get them hooked on privatized treatment drugs….”
A few minutes later, a van with loudspeakers rolls up and a “street crew” flops out, handing out free t-shirts and 20-ounce cans of Monster energy drinks. If I had gotten over myself enough to take one for free then, perhaps I wouldn’t be purchasing them now.