On being a Superhero
"Do you think this happens every day?" - The Princess Bride
So I read mauler's daylog about superheroes, and being the geek nincompoop that I am, I went and completed the daft survey he mentioned. It got me thinking about heroes, and superheroes, and all that nonsense, and it's associated with the date, so here goes.
This is the Phoenix. Despite wearing his underwear on the wrong side of his trousers, he is an intelligent and well-motivated young man. In daily life, he is a badly-made-up goth bank clerk in some dreadful megalopolis. In his superhero persona, he fights well despite his foam-rubber muscle suit and boots that look like they'd belonged to Springheeled Jack. Superpower? Fighting crime all night then rising from the ashes, so to speak, and serving bank customers all day and still balance his till. When does this guy sleep? From the dark circles around his eyes, I'd say never. Is frequently in a bad mood as a result.
Superheroes do exist. They wear firefighter uniforms, police uniforms, nurse uniforms, drive ambulances...I don't need a world peopled with comic-book superheroes. For one thing it would be too noisy with all that THWAAAAAACK KERPOW KLAAAAANGGG.
Turns out that I am a superhero to my wife. Four years ago, as I write this, I was flying over from England to the US to nurse her through breast cancer. Given that I was totally in love with her, had already gotten engaged and had a handfasting, it seemed the right thing to do. Of course, it wasn't easy to up and leave my homeland at three days' notice, but you know what, this is how you know that you have true love. I've determined to stand at her side through thick and thin, better or worse, sicknes and in health, and to be as good a Dad to her daughter as I can be. Apparently that qualifies as rescuing damsels in distress makes me stand out from the crowd. So I'm a superhero in her eyes.
The rest is history, of course. We got married, I have my green card and will be staying here in a new land to make a new life with Christine and Tess.
Speaking of which, these two are, in their own way, superheroines. Christine is suitably modest about this, of course, but I'm sure she'd not be unhappy telling you that she completed her Master's degree in Landscape Architechture whilst bring Tess up as a single mother. Not just that, but she brought her up for six years on her own, and did a marvellous job of it.
Tess is a well-balanced, bright, communicative and talented ten-year-old who has weathered the storms of seeing her Mum go through cancer treatment not once, but twice. Now obviously we're hoping that we're done with that, but you know, if we aren't, then we'll continue to fight. Not against bad guys or supervillains, but for a happy family life.
So it goes. Heroes and superheroes surround us. Peek beneath that crusty exterior of the alter ego, the secret identity, and you see beyond Clark Kent and Diana Prince to the powerhouse that fights every day for what is right. For each of us that transcends the day-to-day life of librarian, produce clerk or landscape architect, there's another superhero with ordinary powers, doing extraordinary things. Just without the tights.