There must be hundreds of names for boys. They could have called me George for the actor who played The Man of Steel on TV. But my adoptive parents, the Kents, were big fans of comic book heroes. So: they couldn’t resist naming me Clark. My oh-so-clever older brother lobbed taunts: Superman can but Clark Kent. When I was late for dinner, my mother reminded me I was supposed to be faster than a speeding bullet. In all my life, I never flew in and rescued anyone. I was just a lowly civil servant for thirty years. I made things happen within a tedious bureaucracy, and as soon as I could, I leaped into retirement in, you could say, a single bound. Now I’m seventy. Ten dog-years. Sometimes I hear a voice like kryptonite taunting that the sum of my life will never be success. But no one needs X-ray vision to see that ordinary is the common experience, and never regrettable. So: I listen to my friends complain about their many health problems. I carry packages upstairs to a neighbor who’s been quarantined. I read. Swim laps at the community pool. Who cares if you won’t find any of it mentioned in your Daily Planet?
Copyright 2021 by Brian Dean Powers
Photo by the author