Exposé by Clark Kent
ACK HOW MANY FALSE STARTS DOES IT TAKE??? I keep trying and trying and trying and trying to start telling this story and I just can't seem to get it started! Maybe because I'm not ready to talk about who I really am? Too bad, because I'm going to do just that. You see, I've never told anyone who I *really* am. A lot of people think they know exactly who I am, because they've seen my face on television and in the papers and all that. But that's not me - that's not even remotely me. And I'm also not the person the folks I deal with on a daily basis think they're seeing. What the hell, that didn't even make sense. I mean I put on an act for them just like I do for the papers - they don't know the real me. So who is the real me?
Hell if I know.
Let's see. I know my favorite color is a color that has no name in any language on this planet. If I were to give it a name, I'd probably be really unimaginative and call it ultra-violet, because I'm pretty sure that's what it is. But if I were to pick a color I love that the people around me can actually identify, I'd go with blue. Or red. I'm not so fond of yellow, but that's okay, nobody's perfect. Despite what the press thinks.
Heh. The press. Let me tell you about the press. They think they know exactly what I'm all about - especially that Lane woman. She thinks she's got me pegged on both sides of the coin, but she doesn't know a damn thing about me. She doesn't know that I hate the taste of cinnamon, or the smell of fabric softeners, or that I like the way room temperature butter feels in my fist, or that I even know what to do with room temperature butter. She thinks that I'm a dip, and she thinks that I'm an unattainable demi-god, but I'm neither. She doesn't know that I can read her mind - or, rather, the cues her body gives me when she's declaring me the world's biggest imbecile, or the heartless jackass who stole the world's - but mostly her - heart.
And I suppose the rest of the world I encounter isn't any different. If I'm plucking kittens out of trees and reuniting lost little girls with their harried daddies, I'm a Hero With a Capital H and thusly far too aware of my own awesomeness. If I'm trying to get my *paid* work done, I'm a Klutz With a Capital K and thusly far too aware of my own loserness. The man in the blue suit is an Icon, but the man in the brown suit is an Idiot.
So who is the real man, and what the hell does he wear?
At first, I thought maybe he was a farmboy from Kansas who wore bluejeans and flannels, but I don't fit in that world any more than I fit anywhere else. I grew up on a farm, sure, but that place was just Providence smiling down on me. Then I thought maybe he was an alien in a crystal ship that wore a silvery suit of equally alien materials, but if I were, I'd have been long dead, before I was a blink in the universe's eye. I was created in another galaxy, sure, but my father knew even before I was born that when I could stand, the soil under my feet would be just that - soil, not sunstone.
And none of that tells me who the hell I really am.
I am strong. Duh.
I am smart. Sure.
I am sad. Oh.
I am lonely.
I am hurt.
I am tired.
I am angry.
I am vunerable.
I am *human*.
Sticks and stones can't break my bones, but words will always hurt me.