on superpowers

Sometimes the stories I create in my head truly amaze me. And beyond that, that I can convince myself that each story is Real. And beyond that, that as a result, I want to just slit my wrists so I donít even have to remotely deal with what merely begins as a daydream.

I have the superhuman power to become fat, make everyone I love hate me, kill my family, and turn the sky green. All in the matter of an instant.

And then I cry.

Because once I use my superpowers to make these things True, I realize that I must be crazy to allow these things to happen. Iím not a Superhero Ė Iím a Supervillian. And Villains must all die in the end.

So I look at this To-Do List on my Superhero Dry-Erase board, and I shake my head, and I wipe it clean with a Dry-Erase board eraser and it returns to its clean, blank white surface. And I look at myself in the mirror and Iím not fat. The phone rings twice. Once itís Stephen, once itís my mother. He still loves me, and sheís still alive. I look out the window and see with my own eyes that the sky is, and always will be blue.

But I missed something.

At the bottom of the board, where the list ended, is something that I didnít wipe away. So I pick up my Super Eraser, and I start to rub.

It wonít go away.

I rub harder.


Then I realize the culprit.

It was like that time in my Anatomy and Physiology class on the day we were learning about the female reproductive system. Some evil prankster thought it would be funny to replace the professorís erasable marker with a permanent one, and it wasnít until after he had drawn an in-depth diagram of a womanís genitalia, complete with the words "vulva" and "labia" and "clitoris" written in large capital letters, that we all understood why someone was snickering in the back of the room. High school.

I notice that someone switched my Dry-Erase Marker with a Sharpie during the pause between making my To-Do List and the statement I added as a result of my To-Do List. Itís only two words. Two syllables, at that. Ones that I will have to read and understand for the rest of my life:

"I Suck."

What will it take for me to learn to check my pen before I write? Not that it matters now. Because those words are permanent. Itís just too late.