Tidbits Part XXIV: Superman Isn’t Superman Without a Cape

March 28, 1997  Friday

Yesterday Colin and I took the half hour, easterly drive into Peoria to pick out our tuxes.  Mine sort of looks unique, similar to a Catholic priest’s garb, with a high neck and white only really showing around the collar.  Colin picked out something of a more classic look, but opted for a silver bow tie.  We both spent more than I thought we would (he spent $73, and I spent $81).  Then we went to eat and to Northwoods Mall to pick out clothes for the alumni banquet tomorrow night at school.

Last night we played Stark County.  We had a lead in the first inning, but Stark came back in the bottom of the seventh (high school only plays seven innings) to win 6-5 (Note: we actually won our first game 7-5).

I have forgotten to record this several times with everything going on, but I finally won a bet with Mr. Mavetz.  I won the NCAA tournament bracket, and they haven’t even played the Final Four yet.  I have been getting my prize of a week of shakes, but I don’t particularly like the taste of them.  I have asked several times to have something else, because Mr. Mavetz had wanted the shakes as a prize, but he says the shakes are it (those lunch lady shakes will kill you).

I finally got my hands on the Superman comic where he changes costume and powers.  For some reason the people at DC Comics decided a while back the Man of Steel should now be made of pure energy, and that when he is Clark Kent he is completely powerless.  Good going guys…  For some reason I have a hard time seeing Christopher Reeve with white racing stripes and a blue face.  Maybe it’s just be.

When I was little I would draw Superman constantly, always starting with his red boots and working my way up.  On the first day of kindergarten, the meet-and-greet day with parents, Mrs. Simmonds kept her new students busy by having us draw.  I remember drawing a generic scene of a house, tree, and sun, but the sky was littered with floating Superman “S’s.”  I would pin towels of various off-reds onto my shoulders with safety pins and run around the yard, feeling the makeshift cape flow behind me.  I would draw my own “S” on paper, color it, cut it out, and also pin it to my chest.  I enacted numerous scenes of Richard Donner’s films throughout the house.  I went through numerous worn VHS home recordings of the films, over time distorted at various scenes where they had been replayed too many times.

When I was six my mom made me a Superman costume for Halloween that looked pretty close, for a kid, to the real thing.  I liked what Superman stood for, his goodness, and his willingness to help other people.

They might say I should just get out of the way of change.  And, after all, isn’t this a very small thing to be concerned with, with the world as it is?  I know how this conversation would go with my younger self, if he were here.  He would exclaim, with a big, excited smile, bare of the irony and sarcasm that paints the present model of me, that Superman is his hero.  In fact he wants to be Superman, swooping through the skies to save the day, with a red cape, not held by mere safety pins, flapping in the wind. And at that same time the younger me is dreaming of being the real fictional hero, my own thoughts  take me elsewhere, returning instead to this young Will with the towel in the backyard.

They will sell a lot of comics at first, but it won’t be the same,
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