Mind Full

by Jayne Leitch

MIND FULL by Jayne Leitch
Copyright 2002

The inside of Lex Luthor's head is not a nice place to be. For one thing, it's very busy. At any one time there are a million things ticking over in there--Robert's Rules, passages from classical tragedies, fencing positions, sex positions, formulas for the creation of various chemicals, prices some of those chemicals could fetch among the right clientele, addresses of clubs where such clientele can be found--and on and on. With the endless addition, every moment of every day, of new information and sense stimuli, and the endless access of the older information that tells him how to deal with it all, Lex's mind is rarely peaceful.

And that's just the conscious part. The subconscious, the unconscious, the parts that Freud liked to pick at and try to make all about sex--those are the parts that Lex thinks must be the worst places to be. Maybe just in his head, or maybe anywhere. He can't know for sure, of course, but having a long history with waking up shivering and sick--or crying out and coming--from the dreams that those parts invent, he's willing to believe that something is seriously fucked in there. Maybe it's him.

The thing that terrifies him is knowing that he can't know for sure. Lex has a thorough grasp--and instantaneous recollection--of every random bit of information stored in his conscious mind, no matter how long ago it was put there, no matter how trivial it is. If he wants it, he can have it; he knows his own mind.

So it scares him when he dreams of speaking Japanese, because he only knows three words of the language when he's awake. It frightens him to dream of his mother eating pie with Clark, because he doesn't have a conscious memory for that scene to be drawn from. It makes his skin crawl when he wakes up and realizes that he's hard because his unconscious mind found the dream-image of his father asphyxiating in his wrecked Porsche to be blisteringly erotic.

It's worse when those mysterious areas of his mind take control during his waking hours. With Cassandra, when he couldn't bring himself to believe any of the rational reasons for why she died right then because he was too busy feeling guilt and terror and a disquieting smugness at the totally irrational idea that what she had seen in his future had killed her. With Victoria, when he couldn't stop hoping that she *wasn't* betraying him, even when he knew she was passing the hours they weren't in bed together by hacking into his computer and snooping through his files.

With Clark. When he wants desperately to be in the boy's life, as a friend or enemy or lover or anything, just as long as he can be near Clark. When he finds himself ordering twice as much organic produce as he needs in anticipation of Clark making more frequent deliveries. When he instructs the guards who manage the gate to always let Clark through, no matter what time he visits. When he stands under the rain of the shower with his eyes closed, picturing Clark--watery saviour strung up on a cross, obvious liar left naked and begging his name--and comes so hard he ends up gasping and shaking and needing to lean against the wall.

There is weakness there that Lex can't overcome. Desire he doesn't understand. Cruelty he's scared he does.

Lex doesn't know how his subconscious works. He doesn't know what's in there, or why, or how he could get at it in a way he can understand. He doesn't trust the symbolism of dreams because he knows they've been coloured by the interpretations he's read about in books on psychology and philosophy and, yes, Freud. Besides which, he hates to think that something so thoroughly explored and supposedly conquered by conscious studies can nevertheless make him feel so utterly out of control.

The inside of Lex Luthor's head is not a nice place to be. For one thing, it's inhabited by Lex Luthor.

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