Fuck Clark Kent
I might be wrong, but there seems to be an understanding at the museum that things “come easily to me,” that I am “relatively unaffected by trauma,” that I have had a “straightforward” or even “uninteresting” or “sheltered” existence. They have a nickname for me, “Clark Kent”, which I don’t resent, because I have been told before that I bear the resemblance, with my glasses anyway, but I think the persistance of the nickname, that particular nickname, gives the above hypothesis weight.
Their conclusion is obviously wrong, but thinking about it now, it does seem as if I’ve done everything in my power to give that impression. I don’t feel comfortable, I am happy there but not yet comfortable. Because I’m not comfortable, I deflect everything, without even realizing it (to my consternation, later), so that I give the impression of being perfectly smooth, without friction, crag, or hold (a “neuter”, sexless, image; an abstract person).
I know that to hold anything back (in the way that I have explained) might be an “immoral” act, a means of control, even though I’m so anxious it feels like I can’t do anything else.
It’s ironic that now I should give this impression, or maybe not ironic but logical, considering what I’ve been through. A traumatic experience followed by a year in fairy land (“fairy land” in the Nabokovian sense, land of dreams and fantasy, quixotic and destructive).
It occurs to me, now, that Clark Kent has a secret past, a double-identity, an anima, and I wonder if that has occurred to anyone who has called me “Clark”. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the nickname seems, without effort, to “fit” (more important than any other aspect is its unconscious resonance). Here’s another weird thing—I am not a clumsy person, but in the past two weeks, I’ve knocked over a cup of tiny beads and a mug of tea, and bumped into countless other things, and only in front of other people. Clark Kent is always doing the same, we are meant to understand as part of his disguise, but what if it were incidental, from the intensity of his effort to deflect suspicion or attention, from his desire to literally “act natural” (ie, unlike Superman), to fit in?