Monday, March 19, 2012

Dreaming About Superman

One of the things I love about life is when I have a crazy or wild dream, AND REMEMBER IT.

So, in this dream (that I woke up from AN HOUR AGO) I suddenly discover that I am Superman/Clark Kent.  As in most dreams, I am suddenly thrust in medias res (check your Homer if you don't know what that is), walking down the streets of a very 1940s Metropolis, as if I'm inside the a Fleischer cartoon.

I'm wealking East, towards the river ahead, which has a drawbridge almost up, because steaming down southwards in the river is a absolutely HUGE passenger steamer.

As I pause a hundred yards away to look at it, I see on its black-painted side its name, which doesn't make any sense to the waking me.  It's a weird name that seems Hawaiian now that I think about it.  It was something like, ILLELLELEIA, in a nice cursive script.  (Wish I could remember if there were a HMS or USS or something in front of the name.)

I stand and look around at this big, golden, sunwashed city.  Big civic sculptures abound; on top of a nearby church I see a twenty-foot golden-gilt angel with a mesh banner emblazened WELCOME POPE.

Past that I can see not one but TWO cartoon-generic variations on the Statue of Liberty.  One of them features not only a Lady Liberty figure, but also a man and two children standing next to her on her pedestal (which is at the top of a Space-Needle-looking thing), as if to say, :"Families are welcome too."

So, knowing I'm Superman under my Clark Kent clothes, I stand there and look around, thinking that this bright, shining city seems to be doing all right by itself, without me.
Then, suddenly, there is an explosion about forty feet up in the side of a building to my right, accross the city square that I seem to be on the edge of.

Just behind me and to my right, at the edge of an alley, is a small structure the size of a dumpster.  Maybe it was a newsstand in my dream.  I duck down behind that and then make a sharp left back into the street out of the alley.  I am running and looking ahead towards the building on fire, while in the meantime:  I can feel my fingers touch my waist, and an ankle (lifted up as I run), and the back of my neck.  All my attention is focused straight ahead at the fire and on moving FAST.  Even so, some backseat part of my consciousness knows that the brief touchings that I felt were when I was reflexively REMOVING my Kent clothes, in superspeed, to reveal my Superman outfit below.

And in my dream I simply fly into the fire, give a hard breath into it once, and swoop around in circles outside the bulding (as if to siphon the smoke away), and it's over.

Very quickly I am walking down the street away from the scene (this would be going west), back in my Clark clothes, on the lefthand sidewalk.  Only now a very Fleischerean Lois Lane is walking (on the inside, of course) down the sidewalk next to me.

And here is the interesting part of that dream.  For some reason, in character as Clark, and knowing I am Superman, I verbally start really ripping into Lois.

We sit down on a bench and I am very conscious that my "Clark voice" is several steps higher than my "Superman voice."  I start berating Lois on her obsession with Superman and on her conviction that I (Clark) am him (Superman).

"What is it with you?" I say.  "You act like you think Superman is dreamy, yet you won't give me the time of day.  It's as if it's some psychological need to idolize somebody you can never have."

I smack the back of the park bench and start walking in circles around it.  (No, I didn't hit the bench hard enough to show super-strength.)

"Is it some passive-aggressive thing?" I asked her.  She just sits there, watching me.

I go on, "Clark is available, he's right here.  You could have him if you wanted.  But that's too easy.  If you were with Clark you'd have to be in a 'relationship.' " (Maybe in my dream I did the quotation-mark-thing with my fingers.)

"But no," I tell her.  "A relationship would compromise your oh-so-tough image.  Lois Lane, who can outscoop the men, who's tough as nails, who doesn't need anyone."

Then I make a standing 360-degree turn, like a TAHH-DAHH! -- a quick spin on my toes, and am facing her again.  I go on with my rant.

"And then there's Superman," I say, stretching out the name and making fun of it.  "He's safe to have unrequited dreams about.  He's so much the ideal, the PERFECT MAN.  He would be good enough for Lois Lane the perfect one.  But since he's Superman, he's unattainable.  He belongs to the whole world.  Nobody can have him.

"So it's safe for you to go all mooney-eyed over HIM.  Because he's like some otherwordly God.  You can hero-worship him and dream about him and sigh about HIM.  Because you're never going to have him.

"He's always going to be the great SUPERMAN--" and here I swung my arms wide over my head, like waving at a plane overhead-- "and there's no real danger that he would ever take you up on yur puppy eyed devotion."

I stop and take a breath.  Lois is not talking back,  Her black eyes are simply looking at me.

"As I said, maybe it's a subtle passive-aggressive thing," I say in summation.  "It's easy to spurn the guyu who's right here--" banging myself on the chest-- "and swoon over The Big Guy," waving a hand in the air.

"Clark isn't good enough for you BECAUSE YOU CAN HAVE HIM.  Superman is wonderful and grand.  And he's safe to swoon over, because YOU CAN NEVER HAVE HIM."

I drop my hands to my sides.  "So maybe you should just keep going on in your little world.  It is safe there.  Superman will always be there to swoop in and save the day.  And Clark will always be there looking at you with devotion and being spurned.  You can HAVE hero-worship and you can GIVE hero-worship.

"And you won't have to get your hands dirty by coping with real feelings or forgiveness or disappointment."

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I thought it was a pretty interesting analysis of the early Clark-Lois-Superman relationship.  I bet (if they were real of course) Clark certainly would feel like saying something like this to Lois after being blown off for the hundredth time.  (Think of Superman: The Movie, when Lois says, "That's Clark, nice.")

But as I sat down to type this up and share with you, my waking self started analyzing the scene.  I thought, "Boy, WHAT A JERK."  Because if Clark really said these insightful things to Lois, knowing that he was Superman and that he was keeping this from Lois, WHAT A JERK he must be.

And since Superman's not a jerk, I guess such a rant would never take place.

But still, on waking, the whole passive-aggressive, safe-Superman/ignore-Clark thing sounded pretty spot-on.

What do you think?

See you next week.


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© by Mark Alfred