A Scanner Darkly (2006)



Fear and Loathing? The good kind of insane paranoid cinematic adventure. A Scanner Darkly? Much more tedious. Druggies do love spastically talking until they fall asleep or fall into their next drug induced stupor, and while it can be entertaining for a while to watch someone unhinged from reality, it does get to be a bit grating. These people need too much care and attention and constant babying – which I thoroughly detest. I don’t want to have to baby a person who isn’t a baby or an invalid or elderly or having any good reason for needing to be babied.

We’re not necessarily even talking about just drug users who find themselves in the midst of a bad trip or partiers who find themselves retching up their dinner into a back alleyway corner or, if they’re lucky, a toilet. Let’s also throw those perennial “needy” people into the mix. The people who just can’t seem to function without your help.

And, of course, they’re nowhere to be found when the time has come when you need assistance. We won’t go into names and dates and situations too specifically so we’ll just assume I’m talking about my last ex-girlfriend who, yes, I won’t name, except for saying I dated her in Vietnam and her name begins with an ‘R’ and ends with a ‘hine.’ Not that we’re naming names or anything.

I have no doubt she will soon become a very successful artist and possibly even “famous” or at least famous in the circles she spins within. This is because she is an excellent manipulator. She has the tools and the ability to use and reuse people to accomplish what she needs to accomplish (Of course it was always a CRISIS. I’ve never met someone who had so many crises.) and for the great honor of aiding her in her quest for artistic supremacy we should be grateful.

But no matter about that. Because what is life but a series of mistakes? We hope we learn something from our past missteps that will aid us to trip less frequently or less violently in the future, but you never know. Perhaps that particular problem we have yet to face at that particular time will be the one to destroy us – no matter the amount of experience or remembrance of prior mistakes we have to draw upon and choose a better decision.

So, it was simply a lesson. Maybe don’t get so invested in a woman that you lose all sight of yourself. That’s a good lesson. And I’m not really angry at her, I just don’t care about her at all. She flits through my memories because she played a part in my life for a period of perhaps four to six months. Surely, six months is not something one can easily turn a cold shoulder to and dismiss entirely.

But do I wish her well? I don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe I wish she would get some sort of golden beam shot from the heavens into her skull that would enable her to realize how her actions have affected the people she meets. A crowning moment of realization. That would be nice, but perhaps unlikely, and it certainly won’t come from me. Ex-boyfriends aren’t exactly allowed to point out the flaws in their ex-girlfriends’ entire existence no matter how true they are. She would never accept it from me. In fact, she’ll laugh to herself if she ever sees this. She’ll say I’m obsessed and I’m stupid and I don’t understand her and I don’t understand myself. And I’ll say “I don’t care. It doesn’t really matter too me much if you don’t know this. It’s simply my perspective, and, of course, I could be wrong.”

She’ll say some words and bring back some old memories and attack and attack and attack and make sure I know I’m wrong and she’s right. And it won’t matter at all. Because I’ll be sitting there seeing her, understanding her shame and her ignorance and knowing I have no power to help her. And knowing I don’t really care to even try.

I am not the most empathetic of people, but I do contain more than enough empathy for those I care about. There are few, and much fewer than those who know me would even imagine. I can be cold and uncaring, but it’s because I don’t see the point in wasting an iota of energy on something that holds no importance for me.

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