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Memories of Superman

I spent the evening watching movies. The last one for the night is Superman, the Christopher Reeve version from 1978. I love the movie, and I get the urge to watch it every few years. Chris Reeve was wonderful in that movie, and I always feel nostalgic and sort of sad, thinking what happened to him.

But tonight, I was thinking of different things, different memories, only sparing a stray thought or two for the real life Superman Chris became, and the sad end of his life. Tonight, I sat here remembering how my ex-husband and I saw this movie together back when it was first in the theaters. There we were, young and silly, barely scraping by, but taking a few dollars to go to the theater and smile, laugh and thrill to the story of Superman. I snuck my old cassette recorder in my purse and got a shaky, sometimes unclear audio recording of the movie. We’d listen to it again and again, till we could quote it, he quoting all the guys’ lines, I quoting the girls. Oh, it was fun.

“Swell? You know, Clark, there are very few people left in the world it feel comfortable saying that word.”

“What word?”

“Swell.”

“Oh really? I always kinda liked it.”

I haven’t heard from or heard of my ex in about thirty years. I never had any hard feelings toward him, and I hope he’s happy and well, wherever he is. I rarely think of him after all this time, but I remember fondly all the things he brought into my life, great music, great movies, great fun quoting those old movies! If he still watches Superman, does he remember those days? I hope he remembers them as fondly as I do.

But I had other thoughts while watching Superman tonight. Superman must be terribly lonely. This version of the movie has a lot of deleted scenes incorporated into the movie itself, not separate tracks on the DVD. While watching a scene in which Superman goes to his Fortress of Solitude to confer with his father, after the evening when he first revealed himself. Daddy tells him that he shouldn’t beat himself up over the fact that he enjoyed being superman, warns him to watch out for vanity, and then solemnly tells him that though he can enjoy being who and what he is, he can never reveal himself to anyone on earth. My heart kinda broke at that moment. His father talks again about the danger of vanity, stating that if not for the vanity of the leaders of Krypton the planet and its people would have survived, and he would be able to hold his son in his arms.

It made me think, how would it feel never to be able to tell anyone who you are, where you’re from, why you do what you do, not even your real name? Yeah, lonely.

And you know that scene when Superman takes Lois for a little flight around New York City at night? Okay, fun I’m sure, romantic and lovely. But damn, he takes her up into the clouds. Not only would it be flipping cold, but seriously, how the hell did she breathe up there? Ah, well, so much for romance.

If I had the power, would I want to spin the world backward to undo whatever has gone before? No, I guess not. But it sure is a blast watching Superman do it!

So, a few random thoughts and memories. Memories of a fun time in life. Thoughts of a super hero who must have had a sad life amidst all the adulation. Who knew I could get so philosophical over superman? Not me. Just some of the weird things passing through my mind on a quiet Friday night.

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