The Superman set. Things are sometimes what they seem
I’ve been trying to write about the trip Brett Cummings and I took to Plano last week, but I’m having a bit of trouble getting my head around it. I kind’a figured this would be a simple story about driving to Plano and pulling the curtain back–to get a glimpse through the smoke and mirrors.
There is that.
We turned off of Route 34 onto West Street and as we crossed the tracks we could see the shipping containers that were the skeleton of the set. We drove past Main and parked. As it turns out, we could have driven down Main or parked on it. Even though I’ve been to Plano plenty of time, I don’t recall ever being on Main Street. I really wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Neither was Brett. We were speculating on how much was real and how much was Hollywood. The guy working security at that end of the street was very friendly and informative.
The tractor supply company we were in front of is, in reality, a furniture store. Behind the displays of hardware and the sign that read “open from sunrise,” the business of selling furniture continued.
The building across the street–on the South side of Main– had been a parking lot for the train station up until the beginning of the summer. Our new friend pointed out that if you look really carefully, you can see there is a tree in the middle of the building. To the East of the train station is a brand new 7-Eleven that will never sell a slurpee or a single gallon of gas.heading back West, on the North side of the street is the Sears. Before all this started, there was a street going through where the Sears is now.
As we headed back to West street, Brett decided to get a picture of the Smallville Hotel sign. I aimed my camera at it but as the sun was falling in the sky in the West behind the sign, it was too back-lit. My photography skills are a bit rusty so I didn’t even think about using a fill-flash until I got home.
I said to Brett, “I need to shoot this from the back.” as I rolled under the sign. Brett was already ahead of me.
And maybe that is were the story ends?
There is something else.
Something honest in this deception.
This is what won’t let go.
This thing–this movie set–is pure fiction. Just around the corner you can see the wires and cables that will make the magic happen. There will be lights and noise and then, eventually, a movie.
But it is honest to a degree because it really isn’t pretending to be real. It isn’t trying to sell me anything (except maybe Sears and 7-Eleven).
It is honest because the facade is just that–it is a facade. It isn’t trying to hide something ugly. It isn’t trying to convince me I’m on the wrong side of the argument or that everything is somebody else’s fault.
We see darker deceptions everywhere–in the news, politics, religion. We do it ourselves. We wear masks to hide who we really are. Sometimes we do it to for greed and manipulation. More often it is simply to mask the darkness that hides in the shadows of our hearts.