Recently, I saw a preview for The Avengers, so I’ve been rewatching the superhero movies that have already come out in preparation. And reflecting on my unfulfilled desire to fly or shoot ray beams out of my eyes or... something.
When I was probably around eight, I started telling my sister I had X-Ray Vision. We’d be sitting in the back seat, on the way to Grandma’s and I’d lean over and say, “There’s Grandma’s house!” She’d squirm around trying to see it and I’d say regretfully, “Oh, that’s right. I have X-Ray Vision. You don’t. Well, we’ll be there soon.” I had no idea if this was true, no concept of distance. Most of the time, my X-Ray Vision must have come with some sort of magnification quality, because I always said this when we were on the highway, not in the residential area that was actually around her house. Regardless, the effect was the same. For a short period of time, I was able to convince my sister that I had superpowers and if she believed it, then maybe it was true. I so wanted it to be true. And thus began my lifelong yen to become a superhero.
I had my brother tell me all the comic book stories. I watched all the movies. Read a few of the books. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the X-Men, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Buffy, the Incredibles, the Phantom, the Green Lantern, the students of Sky High….I loved them all. But each time I walked out of the theater, or turned off the TV, I thought, Why not me?
I’d be a great superhero. I enjoy costuming, so that wouldn’t be an issue. I think I’d opt for a full face covering mask. I’ve tried parting my hair different ways and people always know it’s me. And while a partial mask would be fine with strangers, if I ever had to help out anyone that I knew, I don’t think they’d be fooled just because they couldn’t see the skin around my eyes.
I also wouldn’t wait around until some big personal tragedy struck. As soon I found out I could do super things, I’d be out there doing them. And I think here is the main reason why I have not had epic powers bestowed upon me.
I want it too badly. It would be too much fun for me and, let’s face it, I’d probably tell my family, friends and anyone else who would listen, thus rendering that mask I would so painstakingly construct fairly useless. I don’t have the right sense of gravity for the superhero trade.
My understanding of this, of course, does not lessen the yen. I continue to look for ways to gain superpowers and have no plans of stopping. In the meantime though, I trust that somewhere out there is a reluctant individual with a radioactive arachnid collection or a gamma radiation experiment or an alien baby or just some good, old fashion, multi-million dollar gadgets who is paving the way for me.
Until then, I’ll be content with trying to convince my sister I can move things with my mind.