I grew up with the slogan "Calgon, take me away!" and although it's been ages since I've taken a bubble bath and even longer since I used Calgon to do so, I find myself repeating this phrase more and more often of late. I usually relax in the shower, and at times will visualize all the stress and negative energy going away down the drain with the physical debris. Unfortunately, lately, even with that, I'm plagued by nightmares, even when I am allowed to rest and sleep. Often these nightmares involve my job. Those of you following me regularly know that I am an 11-7 RN in a geriatric and hospice setting. While I cannot give you the specifics of what stresses me out at my job, due to confidentiality, I can tell you that my job would be easier if my patients actually slept at night. Unfortunately, also, it doesn't seem to matter where you work in nursing as there will always be politics involved and not the voting/running for office kind either. The one bit of solace I have is that the nightmares I've been having involve highly unlikely occurrences, ones I am all too happy to awaken from. I've tried many tricks to wind down and relax when I get home, so that not only will I be able to sleep but also, when I do sleep, that my dreams will be pleasant or at the very least interesting. Wearing out my 1st (of 2) copies of Heroes Season 1 discs 4 & 5, while relaxing and entertaining is not , however, a guarantee that Claude Rains will appear in my dreams.
I will tell you of the most recent dream-that I am willing to share- I had involving Claude. It was complicated and I'm sure symbolic, but I have yet to work out what all of it is supposed to mean:
I was leaving work in the morning and there was this display in our facility's main dining room of Native American art including several Zuni Items. I didn't have time to look at everything as I was tired. On the way home I had to stop for gas and when I got to the gas station it was 8am. I go in to pay and suddenly it's 10:30PM. The other 12.5 hours are just gone and rather than worry about that, I went home to my apartment with this overwhelming sense of needing to be there. When I get there, my ex-roommate, who moved out over a year ago, was there. Claude was there too, but not only was he invisible but also ethereal- not a ghost as he was very much alive but he was certainly an astral being in this dream. I could sense his presence in this dream, see him with my mind's eye and occasionally see him out of the corner of my eye. These other astral beings showed up, trying to invade my apartment via my spare bedroom. The others looked very much like the soldiers Building 26 was sending out or as my friend Eric calls them "Dankoids." Claude had a staff with him and was fighting them off and doing a really bang up job, despite being outnumbered. My ex-roommate had the power to blast the intruders away but decided to stand around complaining rather than help, even saying things like I should move rather than fight and he even went so far as to tell me Claude was saying negative things about me. Claude, who was still fighting off the flood of intruders and not missing a swing, heard what my ex-roommate had said and, in addition to calling my ex-roommate's timing inappropriate, Claude also said that it was basically a load of jealous nonsense. The ghosts of 2 former pets showed up, Rocky a Pug and Teddy a Yorkshire Terrier. They tried to help by showing where the intruders were getting in but my ex-roommate was still being useless and talking trash. There was a large array of light bulbs in my spare bedroom, and somehow the light would drive the intruders out. It tried to turn it on, to help Claude, but some of the bulbs wouldn't light. I couldn't reach all the bulbs to replace or tighten them and get the array up to full brightness. My ex-roommate could reach all the bulbs with ease but refused to help. I then did the only other thing I could think to do in the dream and I invoked the Army of Anubis (see The Mummy Returns). The Anubis Warriors showed up and expelled the remaining intruders. Claude was happy for the break and impressed but my ex-roommate was annoyed. I woke up.
As I said, I'm not sure what all of it is supposed to mean. I do know that Sparrow Redhouse is Zuni. I was happy to see Claude, even if he was ethereal. I can tell you that Rocky was my brother's dog and we lost him back in June 2008. Teddy was my family's dog and he died back in 1998. As I said, my ex-roommate moved out some time ago, early May 2008, and it wasn't a pleasant parting. Most of the last year we argued. There was a lot I felt he could and should do but didn't. About the one thing thing I can glean from this dream and my other recent and less pleasant nightmares is that I really need a break. While I very much know what reality is, I do like to "escape" into the Heroesverse when I can. I am also aware that there are other people with problems and a good deal of them worse than what I deal with, but I have learned that if I don't speak up about things bothering me or "let it out" all that stress and resentment will turn inwards and destroy me. I refuse to go that route ever again. So, I'm speaking up, even if no one is listening or reading. Putting it all down into words helps. And that brings me to my rant.
The rant is bout the fact that I keep running across people in fandom both in RP and fanfic not characterizing Claude correctly, and I'm not referring to the parody stuff either. Granted, while none of this stuff I've found is canon, and the actual canon writers have thus far done a smashing job (and hats of to Oliver Grigsby for his recent contribution), the fan created tripe I seem to keep finding really bothers me.
The least offensive wrongness wound up being basically an invisible Dr. Greg House that looked like Claude, and the worst a shameless totally out of character "pr0nfest," or smut for those of you unfamiliar with the term. While the het vs slash is an entirely separate matter which I've discussed elsewhere, I do find it ludicrously out of character that some keep pairing up Claude with Bennet post betrayal. Suspending for a moment whether or not Claude and HRG may have been friends or something else prior to HRG shooting Claude, I'd like to put forth the concept that at present Claude is broken and paranoid and has an empathy towards other specials. That said, it doesn't matter what the canonical pre-betrayal relationship was, for Claude to even trust Bennet now or worse yet get "cozy" with him is preposterous. I myself was betrayed by a former boyfriend (and this was not the one in the recent dream). I almost died as a result of that. I never want to have to deal with that man again and I really don't believe, based on all that we've seen canonically, that Claude would be any more forgiving than I, not to mention that HRG is not a special, nor has he shown Claude any reason that he would protect any specials other than Claire. And when HRG shot Claude, Claude had every reason to suspect that HRG would betray Claire as well. As I said, it's all fan created stuff that is out of character and upsetting. Lately I've even found this junk on Twitter!
Granted there is a lot we don't know about Claude but as he's my favorite character in any setting, I can tell when he is being written or played properly and it really bothers me when people get him so very wrong. So I had to sound off about it. Not to mention that this nonsense is giving me nightmares. I challenge these fans to do a better and a proper job or at least a competent one. One fan writer I wrote to, told me she's never watched Heroes! How can one expect to write properly if one has not even watched the characters he or she is writing about?!? Writing and playing Claude requires far more than pretty graphics and snark. I know it can be done, and I'm not referring to what I have done. Some of that is pure AU mental floss and I freely admit that. What I'm talking about is sdlaw (Eric) on HeroesARG and died_in_odessa on Live Journal just to name a few of the stellar examples in fandom.
As I said it's the fan created bad stuff that bothers me. The only errors regarding Claude that I've seen in canon were amusing and minor rather than anything else. The first being Flint saying that an invisible man had captured him in Texas when Claude was hiding in NYC at the time. I'd chalked that up to Flint not being terribly bright and someone else bagging him possibly with TK. As for the graphic novels, the problems are fairly minor; one colorist made Claude's hair too dark and another gave him brown rather than blue eyes, and one artist didn't draw him terribly well. This is another place where I have seen things done right and I will give due credit: I liked Michael Gaydos' work, Annette Kwok's coloring is awesome, and Jason Badower is just absolutely fantastic. I don't think I can do Jason's work justice in words. So while I do have canon stuff to both watch and read, some of you may wonder why the fan generated stuff bothers me so. As I said, some of it gives me nightmares, ones bad enough that I wish the Haitian was a real guy and aound erase them, but beyond that I'd like a few reliable sources for good fic and RP until Claude reappears in canon. I'm hoping that if he doesn't do so onscreen that he is at least featured in a multi-part graphic novel. As I said, when something really bothers me, I have to do or say something, and now I have.