March 10, 2003

Helmet

– If a superpower is granted, the implication is that you must give up what you already have as a mortal. I’ve gone back and forth on this, but generally, yes, I would give up what I have to be able to fly.

– Where would you go?

– To India. I’d fly between India and the rest of the world.

– How fast do you think you’d have to go?

– As fast as a supersonic jet.

– That’s fast. You may need a special hairdo at that speed.

– Or wear a helmet. I’d buy a helmet before I’d change my hairdo.

– What would you do in India?

– There are certain people I want to see. Some of us want to observe the people we love, or once loved, the way angels may observe them. So that’s what I’d do; I wouldn’t necessarily interfere with their lives. It depends. There’s certainly a desire to make myself known, but for some I wouldn’t do that.

– Think of a particular person. If you didn’t want to make yourself known to this person, how would you observe him or her?

– From above. I assume I have pretty great eyesight as well. Or I would land and follow him here and there and peak into his work or home. That way you indulge your interest in a person without letting the person know. We all do that.

– What happens if you meet someone you want to be with? Would you tell him about your superpower or would you keep it a secret?

– I’d keep it a secret.

– Why?

– I assume that if I make the decision to accept a superpower, it may mean forever, it may mean that I can’t ever give up the superpower and return to normal life. So if I do meet someone, I wouldn’t tell him about my superpower, because how you can have a normal relationship in that circumstance?

– You appear to be screwed either way. If you don’t tell this person what you’re doing and what you’re able to do, there’s going to be distance between you. On the other hand, if you share the truth, how can a person who can’t fly…

– Right, that distance, that difference, can never be bridged.

– It would seem that you need to find another person who can fly.

– Or remain alone.

– Or remain alone.

Several days later she surprised me with a new haiku:

My superpower
Fly into oblivion
With no fucking trace