“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the size of his heart.”
Friends, I apologize in advance if this week's column is a bit of a downer, but I'm a big enough man to admit when things aren't going so great, and this is one of those times.
What got me in the moody blues over the past few days is the fact that I'll never be a superhero. Phew, feels good to finally put it out there and not have to carry this burden any longer. Before you start squinting your eyes and scratching your head, allow me to explain. Ever since I was a little boy, I imagined that one day, when the moment was right, my abilities would manifest themselves and I'd either be able to fly, have super strength or — even better — both!
I know we all fantasize when we're young about being not just special but “super-special” and those ideas tend to fade over time, but I'll admit that in some small way part of me still carried that thought around like a secret known only to me. True, with great power comes great responsibility, and I'd do my best to champion the downtrodden, but hey, heroes have to eat, too, you know. So while I'd certainly fly into a convenience store to stop a robbery (did I mention I'm also bullet-proof?) I would also use my x-ray vision (which I'd also have) to see which scratch-off had a payout.
What can I say? I'm only human. Unlike the comic book Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, I wasn't born a billionaire, so I actually have to work for a living in my not-so-secret-identity, and I've been told on more than one occasion that if I wore a cape and/or tights to the office again I'd be in serious trouble. So why be so glum, you might be wondering.
Well, the reason for my sadness isn't just the fact that I'll never leap tall buildings in a single bound. It's the reality that I don't even possess a cool weakness like kryptonite. No, instead, it's the porch steps. Allow me to explain.
Last Wednesday I somehow sprained my ankle. Not while stopping a runaway train or saving the world from an alien invasion but by simply descending my three front stairs. I wasn't pushed. I didn't fall. I wasn't attacked by an arch nemesis. I just placed one foot in front of the other and snap! Down goes Frazier!
I'm not sure which hurt more, the feeling running up my leg, or the knowledge that something like this would never happen to a caped crusader. Ironically, x-ray vision was used that morning, only it was by a technician. The nurses were gentle, and in a moment of sadness and pain managed to get a smile out of me which, looking back, is a super power in and of itself. I'm glad those heroes are among us. Even if they don't wear capes.
Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at email@example.com