Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dreams, Peril, Clark Kent

In Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the main character awakens in a great wasteland from a nice dream. A vision of his wife or some significant lady figure, decked out in strange trappings of erotic beauty. It is the only break from the horror of his life but still he doesn't dig it. The text reads:

"He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and death."

On the threshold of my moto adventure, I wonder if one can ever have a dream or an expectation that isn't ultimately the shipwrecking song of a Siren.

There are many styles that I need to uncover here in town. Calls that should have been made a long time ago. Errands. Life. But I am already gone, discovering new roads, checking into motels, filling my tank. I am already in a place where things are good. It is a fantasy that commits two sins, really. First, it makes an enemy out of my present. It draws my time down into boredom, which is probably the only evil in this postmodern age. Second, the peaceful vision of my adventure covers the challenge and purpose of the ride.

If I was driving somewhere, there would be no seriousness to report. I would hop in a car, turn on the radio, and rock the exit. But there is no safety from cold wind and road debris on the moto. There is no cabin in which I can stretch out, no passenger seat on which to clumsily spill french fries. Rain fall can fog my visor and put my visibility down to fuck nothing. I can be tossed onto the road by sand or dripped fluid from a lemontastic car. And let's not think about the cops. The excitement that I have for the roll out should be shrouded in a halo of dread. Perhaps I am having the wrong dreams, but I just can't help it. I want the road in just the way that McCarthy's protagonist did not.

There is an old argument that says Clark Kent is what Superman thinks about humanity. We are awkward and dim. And If we took to the skies, we wouldn't even have to wear a mask to hide our identities. We are so insignificant among our peers that they can't even see us, much less see us as capable of saving the planet. Yeah, Kent is not a mask that the man of steel wears, he is a cruel judgment reminding us just how much better than us he is. Days away from the exit, I am thinking that all there is in me is the rider and average everyday life is a mask that I long to fully remove. Yet another manifestation of the dream, I guess. 'Cause the rider can't save the world, life is only a mask for death and I can get faded by much more than kryptonite.

But whatever, now is life. Then the Atlas. Then, perhaps the revelation of a new life.

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