The Dark Knight Dreams

Friday, April 3, 2009

She waved a goodbye borne of countless goodbyes as I got into the car. Inside the vehicle, and I shit you not, was Batman. Or at least, someone who dressed a little like him. He wore dark clothing, a mask obscuring most of his face. Where his nose, mouth and chin should’ve been was simply smeared with a chocolate-coloured compound.

I flipped down the passenger-side mirror and looked at myself. I was Robin.

Only, we weren’t exactly the dynamic duo. Our clothes seemed to be almost tattered, like they were nearly shredded by the pecks of a thousand angry crows. I had the same compound on my face, where my mask did not cover. Batman and Robin. What dumb-ass names we had. We looked closer to that ragtag Joker than anything else. Our car pulled itself away from my house.

For a while, it seemed our job was to mainly watch people live. We were in Pleasantville, where everyone was happy just greeting their friendly neighbours. We watched them do this from the car, as though to ensure nothing untoward would happen during such exchanges. It was a sharp contrast: everyone else seemed to be wearing such gaudy colours, while we were in faded hues. The place seemed so damn bright and cheery I thought I’d go blind. Perhaps we were the guardians of their happiness.

And then we arrived in a busy market-like section of the city. Our city was interesting because instead of tarmac roads connecting the different blocks of shops together, we had man-made streams that were deep enough to swim in. It was like one of those indoor streams rich friends would have built to flow through their living room.

We stopped outside a church, made with stylized columns like an ancient Greek building. This is where my mom goes. “Do we really have to go in?”, my eyes asked nervously. A stony, solemn nod was my answer. We got out and strode inside.

Batman was supposed to look for someone, and he quickly disappeared into the crowd. It wasn’t too large. About ten to twenty people milling around the plastic foldable chairs, neatly arranged in rows. I noticed my mom at the front of the church talking with someone. I slowly turned around and made my way to sit at the back, hoping she wouldn’t notice. But somehow she did and called to me.

I began to pick up the pace of my steps out of the church.

She followed me, asking loudly what I was doing here and why I wasn’t where I was supposed to be and so forth. I got the feeling she didn’t know I did this. My quickened step turned into a run into a dive as I leapt into one of the nearby man-made streams. I swam across different sections and different blocks, and since the shops facing the streams had their walkways on the other end, she shortly disappeared from sight, trying to second-guess where I’d swim to. After a while zig-zagging and having her catch up, I doubled back when I saw her go ahead into a walkway.

Getting out of the water, I put my hands in my pockets quietly and continued walking. A woman in a blue and white top was in front of me as I made my way through the market crowd. Mom. I turned again to face my back towards her and walked away at a perpendicular angle. Again, she somehow had eyes at the back of her head and started following me.

Our chase led me to the edge of the city, and I descended the marble steps that led to a rocky, short cliffside: we were facing a sea. Raging waves hurled their mighty forms against the rocks, on which I was perched on. It was a precarious situation, but one that was necessary. I shouted to her:

“Another step and I’m going to jump!”

But why did I want to escape from her so badly, to the point of risking death? Did I have a secret no one should know?

I woke up to the sound of a crow in my backyard doing an imitation of Frank Sinatra. It was a terrible impressionist.

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