This will be the opening image to a larger piece that is currently in the works. The whole piece teases out the threads of “being a hero,” an ambition in my life that I have slowly been letting go of, or rather is slowly being pried from my hands, and sometimes in the cold. In this first piece the ideology of being a hero is upheld, but it is embedded in youth and innocence. Nothing wrong with that. The important line however is, “In those years the landings were soft and welcoming” a foreshadowing that being a hero is not all it’s cracked up to be, if it is even possible at all. I think we all need someone to save us. It’s not ourselves. We cannot both be the person at a disadvantage and therefore be in need whilst at the same time require a person or a something who has an advantage over us and thereby be able to offer us any help. I’m human, helping other humans with problems that only a non-human can help with is not something I can do. I have no super strength. No webs, No eye-beams, No way to fly or way to breathe underwater. That is what super humans do. The whole piece will explore the ways I had tried and failed, felt helpless and hoped, and also how I wondered about who or what might save the day.
Portrait of the Hero
When I was little, still small enough to jump on beds without them breaking, Sunday was the day we woke up Dad. My brother and I charged down the hall in pajamas and socks, building static electricity in our bodies from the carpet and zapping each other and struggling for first place by the time we reached my parents door. We burst in, a cartoon cloud of chaos, feet and arms and blonde heads flailing until triumphing over each other to the foot of the bed. With a surge of energy my legs rocketed me upward and with a boost of otherworldly power, which was actually the bed frame I palmed and pushed off of, I propelled forward, atmospheres above any termite hiding in the walls. To them I would have looked like a UFO filling the heavens, casting my shadow over the puffy landscape of comforter that peaked and valleyed across the King size mattress my parents slept on. I became among those who could fly. Finally, I would come crashing down. In those years the landings were soft and welcoming; the warm pillows, Bounty dried sheets, refreshing like diving into damp leaves in autumn. Superman could fly and I could too. Sunday was my day to don my cape and rescue dad from nightmares. Or, if he had pleasant dreams, to be his hero when he woke up anyway.