i am superman
i am superman
People react to grief in different ways. Some dress in black for weeks on end, some spend their days and nights in their bedroom, crying, and some...well one...dresses up like Superman and heads for the mall.
Four years ago, [Mark] Wyzenbeek's estranged wife died in a car accident. The longtime pop-culture collector decided then that it was time to stop putting off his life's fantasy: Now, when the urge strikes, he hits the town as his favorite superhero. So bring on the bad stuff. He can take it.
Mark wears a Superman costume and walks around town and the mall, bringing smiles and joy to Auburn residents.
Of course, those smiles and that joy may be of the "laughing at you, not with you" variety.
A high-school-age girl flies at him, shrieking, "Superman, can I have your autograph?" He complies; she runs back to amused friends: "I got Superman's autograph!"
See that? That's why a 46-year-old man dares subject himself to ridicule. "It's fun for me, but it's all about them," Wyzenbeek says. "She was really excited. It meant a lot to her. She'll have something to tell her friends about for weeks now."
Well call me cynical, but I think that when she talks about the incident to her friends, it will not be in reverent tones.
Mark refers to his home as the "Fortress of Solitude" and he plans on fixing his car up like the Batmobile.
Now before you accuse me of stomping on this guy's dream and making fun of someone's coping skills, rest assured I am not making fun of him. I am fearing him. No, no. Fearing becoming him.
Can't you see me years from now, made slightly crazed by too much coffee and demanding children, walking around town dressed like Chun-Li or a Death? Justin will be next to me, made up like Madman and we will stomp around the streets of Long Island, teaching children about alternative superheroes and villians that will give them nightmares forever.
Our home will be much as it is now, but worse. You know those old ladies that are a bit batty and when a neighbor doesn't hear from them for days, she sends the cops over to check on the old woman and she's laying on the floor, surrounded by stacks and stacks of old newspapers and magazines? That will be us, except it will be stacks of graphic novels and comic books and back issues of Wizard.
The rare visitors we have will be introduced to our toys and action figures as if they were real. "Oh, Gracie, how nice of you to stop by. Have you met Filler Bunny?" or "Officer, please sit down while I have He-Man get you a cup of tea."
Eventually we will have submerged ourselves so deeply in our comic book world that reality will cease to exist for us. We will be two old people, sitting in our rockers, making plans to root out evil and go off on adventures with our comic friends. We will stop accepting social invitations because they will interfere with our plans for world domination. We will stop taking calls from our children and friends because they refuse to acknowledge that we have super powers.
We will don our super outfits and walk amongst the mortal humans in town. Perhaps they will ask for our autograph, perhaps they will run in fear. It doesn't matter. As long as I am living out my golden, yet slightly deranged years in the fantasy world I have spent a good portion of my life building, I'll be happy.
I think I'll look up Mark and see if I can get some helpful hints from him.
(this will possibly be included in my soon to be made category of worst.post.ever)