I’ve always had a thing for superheroes. I always thought it was only a matter of time until I discovered my superpower. (other than never throwing up when I’m drinking)
During a dark period in my young life I found myself in a Ponte Vedra, Florida Publix. The Publix itself wasn’t that sad part, even though every woman in there made me look like a rejected early draft sketch of “woman.”
Standing in the checkout line surrounded by super models, their babies and their 75 year-old husbands, my eyes fell on a comic book display. It was filled with Marvel comics. And if I remember right, the character Rogue was on the cover, kicking ass and looking fantastic in Spandex, as comic book girls do. I grabbed the comic and threw it on the belt.
That evening, after the super villain who was making me so sad went to bed, I took my comic out to the porch and read it. I don’t remember the story line, but I remember feeling like maybe I could take back control of my life. I felt like maybe I could be a superhero in my own life. Call it silly, but this was one of those situations where it is good to be a nerd. It simply wasn’t a huge leap for me to read a fantasy and accept it as possibility.
It’s also good to be a nerd if you invent Windows or Facebook, but sadly, I didn’t find that inspiration in Publix.
I collected X-Men comic books for years after that. And, I defeated my boyfriend-villain not long after buying that first comic. Well, I used the last of my savings to buy him a ticket to Hawaii and then didn’t return his calls.
I’m more of a passive aggressive super hero.
But I’ve always wondered when I would realize my super power. If I had my choice, I’d take Jean Grey’s powers: telekinesis and telepathy. I person could do a lot in real life with the ability to move things with their mind and read the minds of others. It’s less useful in every day life to pop bone/Adamantium claws out of your knuckles unless the hedges need trimming. Sorry, Wolverine. Love ya, bub.
But the other day I was trying to get to sleep by watching the swirly darkness behind my closed eyelids when something weird happened. It wasn’t that I saw faces in the swirls; that happens all the time. Instead, a porthole appeared in that darkness, and the vision inside the porthole wasn’t a dark shadow-shape. What I saw through that hole was in full color and sharp as HD.
I saw a young man, from the shoulders to the waist, wearing a long-sleeve flannel over a t-shirt, buying something in a convenience store checkout line. He was fumbling to find the right change.
And then it was gone.
I concentrated, and the porthole opened again. This time I saw a face of an older woman I didn’t recognize, animatedly chatting. I could tell she didn’t believe a word of what she was saying, but I can’t tell you why I knew that.
Then it was gone.
This happened maybe three more times. Little glimpses of life, people I didn’t recognize doing stunningly mundane things.
When I could no longer summon the porthole, I opened my eyes to see if I was dreaming, but I was still awake.
Was I somehow connected to everyone? Seeing things as they happened through the eyes of others? Were these things happening now? In the past? In the future? Was this my superpower? Finally?
I’d really been hoping for the power of flight. Airfare is so expensive.
But nope. Flight denied. Me? I got portholes that let me see people buying Slurpees. Gotcha.
So the next time you’re tapping on a melon to see if it is fresh, or looking through your desk drawer for a pen that works, remember. I might be watching you.
Me, and my lousy super power.
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