We can't be Superman everyday. Why Clark Kent exists.

October 25th, 2015, 3pm

It was 18.9°C with few clouds. There was moderate breeze.

Approaching the coming Veterans Day, I contemplate having heard a story about a soldier, Tom, who passed away last week: 2 tours of duty in the Vietnam war, three Purple Hearts later- returning home after stepping on a land mine. The story moved me, I hear men on the streets …and then, I don’t hear them on the streets. I see them, but then also I don’t see them. They sit with their coffee, dealing. Yet we all deal with something. I deal with paying rent, displacement, health insurance, the cost of a ride or a movie. But weekly visits to the VA hospital? Agent orange? Yeah, we all deal for some— more or less. When we were young our aspirations were growing and filling our cup of coffee with dreams. You see back then, we dreamed, but life got in the way. The war, sickness. Reaganomics, the recession. We dreamed, before dreams became fashionable. Only our dreams were pretty basic- not a threat to anyone else. They weren’t measured by rocket fuel or how our elliptical orbit would help. You wanted to be the best father…brother, son. But then life interrupts and pretends to be reality. We put these on hold. Obligation knocks, duty calls. Weren’t those dreams—pretty basic like just being the best. Basic goals that kept us in our routine of working the 8-5 job, making our house payments— a part of life. Yet, life interrupted. We extend the 5 year plan to a life time. We finally learn, the dream is about me; making our own due dates. Establishing the goal to achieve. Life lowered our expectations.

Once upon a time, we wanted to be a hero… to partner, daughter, son, husband, wife. Superwoman: hold career and motherhood- and yet- being Superman— all the time— had its cross. Yes, I recognized my generation of “super heroes” couldn’t be— “all the time”. I’m sure, just being Clark Kent was a respite, a relief. I am sure, at one moment, you were Superman/ Superwoman-to your comrade in the shared bunker, to your partner, wife, daughter or son… at one glorious moment— unexpected. It wasn’t on the schedule—like Superman was on TV every afternoon at 4pm. One glorious moment for someone—you are remembered- as vivid as blue, red with cape.

You sit there some days— in your suit, horn rimmed glasses- always being there. That thought, my friend is enough for me. I hope it is for you.

Hedaya and David Wade said thanks.

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Mike Ng

Somewhere in my mind. A snicker's bar wrapper, floating on a busy street on Market and 5th. A cloud floating at no speed... saying F__ You... I will take my time if it takes all day and night. A star in that massive galaxy you are gazing at... that just winked at you.

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