Thursday, October 06, 2005

Who's Going To Save The Day?

September 12th, 2005
03:42 pm:

You have to understand a quirky dimension of my personality...I am a little traumatized, a little incredulous by the fact I never uncovered my superhero identity or superpower. Its true. For as long as I can remember, I was certain I just had to figure it out and then, with great fanfare and perhaps celestial cheering, it would be revealed to me in all its glory. Really. Because you see, its just latent, waiting, wanting to be discovered. Eager for that moment when you turn that inner key and unleash your special ability to protect the world, as we know it. You just had to practice enough to uncover it. I was SO sure.And believe me, I practiced. On the 150-acre farm in Southern Maryland where I spent big chunks of summer I had plenty of time and privacy to practice. I would find a respectable towel and a large safety pin and stand proud in my terry cloth cape. I would painstakingly tape the longest, palest, pliable pine needles to my sweaty face with tape. I was convinced I could channel Cat Woman and use her skills for Good. Then I would run as fast as I could! (without ruining my whiskers) and imagine myself either streaking insanely fast like Flash Gordon or melting into another dimension or gaining momentum and leaping into the air to soar effortlessly.Each time, each sticky, determined time it didn't happen I was dismayed. I just couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. What I was leaving out. What I was overdoing. So I would reconsider. Try another angle. Okay maybe I didn't have a physical, like, athletic superpower. Maybe it was something subtle, but really cool like telepathy or seeing through solid objects. So just in case that was my superpower I would spend hours trying to telepathically pick the order of playing cards. Boy that was boring but it felt like important work. Even when I concentrated extra hard I never scored much beyond like 50/50. That didn't even impress me.So each summer I came back to my little corner of Fells Point, still a regular mortal, my heart sank. It felt like I had failed somehow. Not only myself, but all the Superheroes who were cheering me on. Crossing their fingers that I would unleash my slumbering force.After careful consideration and review of the facts I decided I just hadn't awakened some critical percentage of my unused brain. That was the ONLY plausibility. I knew in my bones, in the molecules of my being, that I was going to fly or something.I craved that Eureka moment so badly I could feel my superhero outfit, feel my cape billowing in the wind. With that image firmly resting in my minds’ eye, I would try test leaps off my front steps and meet unforgiving cement. My body bears the scars as testament.And to this day, umpteen years into my adult life, every Halloween resurrects those painful certainties. I get helpless with the yearning to apply some sequins or spandex, leather or feathers and magically slip into my superhero identity.

No comments: