"Entertainment encourages suicide." 

Saw the trailer for “A Million Little Pieces” last night and the main character is played by actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Maybe because the main character of NOT YET is also named Aaron, I dreamt of a film version of my novel. And since I introduced all the dream sequences in the book by switching into the present tense and dropping an ellipsis . . .

    Aaron Clifton is played by Keanu Reeves, but not the clean-cut Neo or dorky Ted or wicked Wick, but rather the real-life sad Keanu sitting on a park bench with long hair and ripped jeans. The movie opens with him working as a crisis worker in a mass-shooting incident, just like in the book. Occasionally, the film pauses and a female narrator appears (voice of Kristen Bell from “Gossip Girl” but the demeanor of Kristen Stewart, simultaneously peppy-and-lethargic known as "the Kristen") and explains one of the 120 FOOTNOTES. During the pause, the bottom half of a split-screen shows the Kristen offering a link to click for more information while viewing on a computer.  

    In the dream film-version, Aaron snorts a line of GHB (I don’t remember writing this, maybe I was thinking Ketamine), a footnote pops up on the screen as the Kristen dunks a strip of paper into a pineapple filled with Pina Colada and explains, “GHB, used as a date-rape drug, easily tested for by inserting these test-strips. Click here to buy!"

    In one of the footnote pop-ups/pauses, the Kristen breaks through the split-screen black line that separates the film from the footnotes.  She tries to strangle Aaron for being a misogynist, yelling something like, “Women aren’t like that at all!”    

Perhaps it's morbid that I like the idea of the film as educational entertainment, probably because of the opening line of my Press Release: “Entertainment encourages suicide.” 

After I woke from this dream, about 30 minutes ago, I realized there are several slices of NOT YET that read like a dream sequence, especially The Wedding of Death & Despair.  This chapter would be an amazing cinematic experience, but nearly impossible to film with its massive historical cast (but Tupac could be played by that dude Demetrius in “All Eyez on Me” because he looks just like him!).   

The Red Backpack/Dreams of a White Savior chapter would also be a vivid and powerful period-piece set in the 1960s.  Throw in Michael B. Jordan (who was spotted here in Pueblo just a few weeks ago!) as the character Marcus, and it would certainly crush. Maybe even the ABCs of Suicide episode although I never envisioned that chapter visually, too complex with the abundance of historical/fictional suicides, but maybe it could serve as a mirror to The Wedding sequence. 

In the past, an author might be pleased when their novel was made into a film, but now to be picked up by HBO or Netflix as a series is a far greater compliment. Books-as-movies are so 20th century.

Either way, as a film or a limited series, all passive entertainment is merely a distraction from the thoughts that follow after clicking the power button off.

Encouragement for the inevitable. But not yet.