Waiting for Clark Kent
An Existential Cartoon
An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero, and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak, he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race. – Bill from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 2.
Clark Kent was drunk. Not actually drop dead incoherent. Then again, not actually drunk at all. At least he didn’t feel like he was drunk. There was nothing in him that would prevent him from driving flawlessly or perhaps incite him to riot. Nevertheless, on it went, drink after drink, waiting for some feeling he had been waiting for his entire life, comparing himself with the other drunks, wishing to God to be just like everyone else, and yet not knowing how.
Of course, this was all perfectly absurd, these attempts to identify with the common man, the tortured pleadings to a God he knew couldn’t exist. For how could a god believe in God? What Clark Kent needed to do was to stop feeling sorry for himself and accept the ramifications of his existence. He was perfect. Faster, stronger, invulnerable. Not even the most outlandish opinion dreamed up by the most zealous cardinal could come close to the reality of Clark Kent.
But then, just maybe, this would be the one. The one that would slow down his mind or at least speed up the infernally slow world around him. God, please! Every man has his threshold, his limits, his inalienable human rights.
At least he was alive, although Kent would dispute the point. He could breathe in the air around him, appreciate the handiwork of the Almighty he didn’t believe in, the birds, the trees, the longing faces all around him searching for what Kent alone knew they really didn’t want, which was more than Lois Lane could say for herself. Silly reporters shouldn’t get themselves into messes they can’t get out of. Why should he care? Just another one of the throng he could never hope to relate to. Why should he feel sad for someone he had never met? And what if he had known her? Was he here to save the world? He couldn’t even save himself. She was lucky. Why, he’d give everything he had for such an opportunity. Why should he be sad when maybe one more drink might do the trick?