So Strange.

So you’re convinced that Dr. Strange is a prophecy for…you?

The parallels are painfully obvious.

Well don’t expect me to see so clearly. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Explain.

Let’s start with the obvious.

You’re delusional.

Maybe, but stick with me. Who else has nerve damaged hands?

That’s your first claim? And this is supposed to be in favor of you being Dr. Strange?

I’m not saying I am Dr. Strange, just that our paths are similar.

Right, because you’re definitely on a path in a world where the Avengers are a thing.

Go ahead. Doubt.

I will.

So not only do I have nerve damaged hands, but I’m also fixated on them as a fatal flaw.

You do draw attention to them unnecessarily. As if they’re a defining feature.

Aren’t they?

Nope. Why would they be? Who cares if your hands aren’t “normal?” Do they really limit you?

Only in terms of – oh, I don’t know – anything that requires hand strength or dexterity.

And you think this makes people love you less?

Love?

Let’s cut right to the core of it. You anticipate some deficiency in how others will perceive you if they “find out” about your hand weakness, so you cut off their judgment before they can have any by announcing it – what you’ve decided is a pathetic problem – as part of your introduction to them.

Aren’t my hands part of me?

Sure. But they’re not you. Do you wish you didn’t have your hands?

No, of course not. I love my hands.

And how do you live out that love? Do your hands know that?

Do my hands know that? My hands can’t know.

You know what I mean.

Of course they don’t know that. I treat them like nuisances. Social barriers. Cursed. Crippled.

Is any of that true?

No.

So?

That’s what I’m saying. I’m learning like Dr. Strange that I’m way more than my hands.

Which means realizing that you have nothing to surrender to regarding how they are.

I guess so.

Believe it. They aren’t limitations.

So you’re starting to see how I’m Dr. Strange then, yes?

Sure. What else ya got?

He was arrogant, self-indulgent, self-centered, doing everything with service primarily to himself and his ego (I feign humility more), and he behaved as if his intellect was everything. He felt as little as possible, deliberately pushing away his emotional and spiritual realities and displacing their presence with a devastatingly grandiose “It” world of materials, which meant his strongest relationship was the toxic one he had with his own ego. The people in his life were as much objects (feeding his inflated sense of his own significance) as the things in his lavish apartment.

You’re not the material type – not to his extent – but you have been similarly trapped by your intellect and ego. As with Strange, they took you far.

And they’ll continue to guide me. Just not so exclusively.

As with Strange. He hasn’t lost his ego; he’s simply learned how not to be ruled by it.

I mean, I’m clearly being arrogant, self-indulgent, and self-centered right now. It’s my ego that wants to identify with a damn Marvel superhero.

You are your ego. Own it.

Fine. I want to identify with a Marvel superhero.

And so you are. But you’re also identifying with his movement away from those paralyzing qualities. There’s a difference between introspection and reflection and self-centered behavior. If you metabolize this analysis as a catalyst for personal evolution, then we’re good here.

And if it ends up being another self-indulgent writing exercise?

Then you have more work to do. Strange advanced with comical ease. He didn’t even get a montage really. You don’t have the luxury of being in an edited movie. Your growth will take TIME. That blandly labeled enemy of us all. Our true nemesis. 

Time to keep the comparison going.

Hit me.

Okay, so what he did in Nepal with Tilda Swinton, that’ll be me in Ecuador. By the way, is Tilda Swinton ever not Tilda Swinton in her roles? Also, she might actually be the Ancient One.

That’s pretty ambitious. Let’s temper those expectations, man.

Fine. But I’m just saying…it’d be cool.

If you learned how to manipulate time? You already have that power. What happens when you write?

I forget about time. I create. I transcend time.

What happens when you’re with people – I mean like really with people – and totally caring for/about them?

Likewise. Time doesn’t mean anything.

Strange, isn’t it?

Exactly!

You don’t need to be a superhero to be more than you think you are.

I have no interest in being a superhero. But I do want to serve people more fully.

And you think journeying to some foreign land to drink some tea will let you experience what Dr. Strange went through?

Nah. That’s just surrendering to the world whispering direction to me. Like I did with comedy.

Really?

Kind of, right?

Fair point. These whispers sure are flighty.

Letting go of control…I mean, it makes sense, right?

Or we’re just completely lost.

Probably.

So we’re right where we should be.

Where we already are.

I can live with that.

Good. We don’t really have a choice.

 

 

[And then Thor showed up.]

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