I’ve just returned from viewing the movie “Black Swan,” and suffice it to say, I am more than a little disturbed. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I do think that we should establish some ground rules that will serve as alerts in case we ever stumble, unwittingly, into the plot of a Darren Aronofsky movie.

Here are a few suggestions. If you have experience any combination of these, try to make haste for the nearest exit, or at least have someone kick over the chair you’re sitting in:

  1. You look in the mirror, and mirror-you isn’t doing what you-you is doing.
  2. Suddenly you are privy to an up-close view of a hideous wound — and you willingly look at it.
  3. For the past decade or two, you’ve been doing incredibly self-destructive things, like heroin, or steroids, or heroin and steroids.
  4. Hallucinations slowly become more prevalent than reality.
  5. You find yourself with a body part missing: for instance, an arm, or part of your skull.