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Pocket Full of Kryptonite

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Damned antique stereo. Seems like it won't play anything recorded after 1989. Press play and pray.

I worship at the altar of the radio gods.

So far they've rewarded me by mangling my bootleg tape of a Duran Duran concert and seriously wounding a borrowed Police album.

I forget about our past grievances as I turn the stereo on, letting the power run into its every niche. Its red lights blink awake. Squatting there on my bookshelf, it purrs with the juice.

This is such stuff....

There are no grudges when it comes to music.

And there is music:

Well, I don't think I can handle this.

Tonight may be the night. Time will only tell.

I think I'll talk to my analyst.

Dinner first.

I've got it so bad for this little journalist.

The kitchen is ugly, as only a single man's kitchen can be. Two pot holders my mother gave me hang from their magnetic hooks on the fridge. I would never have thought to buy them on my own. Same thing goes for the dish drainer.

It drives me up the wall and through the roof, Lois and Clark in a telephone booth.

I've lived here three years. Looks like I moved in just yesterday. Still only get about three pieces of mail a day. If I'm lucky, one will have my name on it, although spelled incorrectly.

An omelet tonight. I could cook more, but it's hot in this puny apartment. My bare feet stick to the kitchen floor.

One omelet: I crack three eggs in a bowl, pepper, Tabasco, Worcestershire. Beating the eggs with a fork, I glance across the room to the bookshelves where the stereo sits. No fire. No smoke.

Looks like we are going to survive another night.

I got a pocket full of kryptonite.

My cat is sleeping on top of the stereo. Poor beautiful deaf thing. Long white fur, blue eyes like cold water. She never says a word.

Casey says she sleeps up there because it's warm.

I think she sleeps up there because there she feels the music she can't hear. I don't say this to Casey. He'll think I'm touched.

She forgives the stereo as well. I can tell.

I got a pocket full of kryptonite.

We are slaves to its music.

Almost as if she can feel me watching her, Katherine looks up, waving her fluffy boa of a tail. Her name was Katherine long before I met her.

Her red hair, like her mind, brilliant, and the same blue eyes as my cat. She reminds me of Katherine. The way they both watch without speaking. One mute, the other muted.

Would tonight be the night?

I got a pocket full of kryptonite.

The margarine in the pan is hissing and spitting. I return to the stove. Sticky floor. Time to buy a mop. I stand with my right foot on top of my left.

I think I should open the window above the sink, but the fire escape is right there. It's not safe.

I turn the omelet out onto a plate and leave the hot pan in the middle of the stove.

Sitting down on the couch, I put my feet up on the nicked and comfortably dented coffee table. The omelet burns the tip of my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I eat it anyway.

Lois Lane please put me in your plan. Yeah, Lois Lane you don't need no Superman.

I search the room for the phone.

Cordless, it wanders, losing power and signal the longer it is away from home. I spy it perched on the ledge next to the television set.

Tonight? Would I call her tonight?

Come on downtown and stay with me tonight. I got a pocket full of Kryptonite.

He might be there.

He's leaping buildings in a single bound. I'm reading Shakespeare at my place downtown.

Having found the phone, I stare at it. Its stumpy antenna points at me like a lopsided insect, destined to go in circles for the rest of its life.

I know her phone number all too well. Sometimes I accidentally offer it instead of my own. Those numbers hold possibility.

Come on downtown and make love to me.

Would tonight be the night?

He's faster than a bullet, stronger than a train. He's the one who got lucky, got his cape around Miss Lois Lane.

If I could just get her alone. Away from him....

My omelet is missing from my plate, although I cannot remember eating it.

I can't believe my dilemma is real. I'm competing with the man of steel.

I'm tired suddenly. Too tired to reach for the phone. Life had not played fair today. I am only too willing to bury this day with the rest.

I turn off the stereo. Its red eyes fade. It will remember this. There will be more casualties. The war will be continued tomorrow.

I tuck Katherine under my arm for the short trip to the bedroom, turning off lights as I go, double-checking the door. Locked.

Music still thrums in the air, and, I believe, in Katherine.

I got a pocket full of kryptonite.

Tonight would not be the night.