I believe in human superheroes, primarily because it took me all of my twenty-five years on earth until I realized that human beings in our own nature are more unbelievable than fictional comic façade. I grew up without a spate of reminiscence of any one figure heroically influencing me: Not a parent or relative sharing a soupcon of personal wisdom for me to admire. I vaguely remember the nimbus of fog that covered the back yard as I splashed my sunshine yellow galoshes in deep puddles while my mother robbed me of innocence, explaining that she was a lesbian and leaving my father, because he had accumulated multiple affairs with other women. I would not see him again for several years, until he took custody of my brother, leaving us both virtually as only children in our households. This was the first web of my inner suffering that not even Spider-man could untangle.
I believe my father was just another face among the fiefdom of fools, who wasted their superpowers. One crisp Halloween evening, he decided that the real treat for his young child, who he hadn’t seen in several years, would be to overdose on muscle relaxers-. I remember sitting in the emergency room looking upon my grandmother’s vacuous face, wondering how her great superhero, Jesus Christ, could allow this to happen. Seeing my father shackled to a cream bedding just after getting his stomach pumped and listen to him deliriously whisper to me, “I’m sorry my baby, for not being a good father, but things will be different if I make it out alive.” As he deeply clutched my tiny swollen palm, I realized that this could be a fate that not even the incredible Hulk could muscle over. Somehow I always seemed to persevere.
I believe in my adolescent years I was treated to splendid and reeking Falsifications of people who could be my true heroes. My Uncle was a bi-sexual mentally disturbed man, who had contracted HIV in the 80s. My mother’s wife, my true mentor, topped his tragic life. Judy was a wonderful woman who served Vietnam, overcame a heroine addiction, as well as being molested by a relative in her early childhood. She taught me to believe in the human spirit through error. I believe in the immutability that we all have our own forms of kryptonite. Over a year ago Judy contracted MARSA (Staph infection) and left me without any warning. I believe that she couldn’t bear the pain of leaving me behind in a world where super villains still thrive. Albeit, I believe that Superman’s destiny is to always save the day, as our kindness does in everyday walks of life.
I believe we can all be resilient. As long as we believe in our hearts, there’s nothing a human being cannot do. My father never did keep his word, Judy left me, and I continued to search the clouds for the bat signal or any other indication that a hero was evident in my life: Until early last year.
I believe that accepting a position as a Falmouth high school English teacher gave me the uncanny ability to face my foes head on through sedulously attempting to change my students’ lives. The éclat manner of each unhampered with personae, the innocent dreams they have for their futures: these are my heroes. There are no devoid expressions, but rather lives being lived through mistakes, haplologies, and error. It’s a symposium of curiosity and learning life lessons from the tribulations I modestly share.
I believe the absent superheroes in my childhood helped stiffened my soul into oblivion, but slowly my students have peeled back the onions of my soul and made me my face my fears. I believe the panacea to who we really are is through honesty and support. If we can be lift up our neighbors’ souls, we can fly higher than Superman ever dreamed of. There’s no super villain in this galaxy that can surmount the power of all of the goodness within us all, if we’re willing to work toward the common goal: love and be loved. I tried to exemplify these core beliefs to my students. In turn that is what they give me. As a result, we are each other’s heroes. No “S” on our chests, just hearts who endure pain through error and goodness through self-reflection. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
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