I’ve spoken more than once about my games while growing up. The cape on my shoulders: the flight, the jumping of buildings in a single bound. The vines: the jungles, the swinging and leaping through dense trees galore. The battle(s) with evil foes: the multiple times each one had to be beaten into submission. To the extent, the next time they returned I even had to show how the villains had came back. Detail was important. Swords, guns, bows/arrows, super-strength, death-defying stunts – they were enacted elaborately in my head.
Until someone entered the room.
Today I read comics. I follow multiple adventures at once: I resent the alien invasion of Earth, I remain on tenterhooks as Spidey figures out the dire plans of the next super-villain, I applaud the triumph of Batman over Darkseid (after a fashion anyway). I can live out my childhood fantasies in this world; I can hold onto ever-fading memories of a childhood game that always seem golden.
Until I close the book.
The struggle of a man to believe he matters, to believe he has super-powers and is therefore Special seems almost too real to be a movie. How many times must I have wished for one power? Forget the 40 that Superman has, or even the multitude of talent in Batman. I wanted one ability to mark me as Special. Super-speed, agility, brilliance, super-strength.. something. Funnily enough, that dream still remains. Deep, deep down inside. I want to believe I am amazingly different, amazingly gifted, unique in a way never seen before. We all probably do.
The truth is, with so many billions and billions of people on the planet, most of us can’t be unique or important in any meaningful way...We don’t have any magical powers, we don’t have any great battles to fight…We just have reality. – Les, Special (2006)
I still dream that I will do a crap-load of things that will make me really Special. They have less to do with super-strength and more to do with possibly achievable things – learn languages galore, learn martial arts, magic tricks, mastering esoteric subjects and so on. Some of these are mere approximations to what I have seen my “heroes” do in my own head, others motivated by more practical reasons, or even just because they are ‘cool’. Is that really what I should be aiming for?
Or should I ground myself in hard reality?
Maybe the ability to face reality is the only super-power we need.
It certainly seems to be the most difficult to acquire.
Based on watching ‘Special‘