Every hero has an origin story. A beginning of sorts. Something to tell the masses so that they can get comfortable with the fact that you’re a regular human being with even more insecurities than they have. Mine started out innocent enough. I mean, God, look at that picture! Those cheeks! Anyway, here we go:
I grew up in East St. Louis. That’s been well-established. Poor? Check. Demeaned/bullied? Check. Pushed around and not fitting in? Check and check. Exposed to radioactive poisoning and growing fur, teeth, and an unknown superpower that isn’t released until after the start of puberty? Maybe… I think I’m still going through it. When does it end? 40? Then I still have one more year.
I was a smart kid. I advanced some grades… well a little, if you count skipping preschool and going straight to kindergarten. Anyway, I was ahead of my class, smarter than most, quicker to get things and concepts, yada yada yada. What I really loved was spaceships and space, in general. So, imagine my sadness when most of my “science” lessons consisted of “science exists, it’s real, here it is, okay now on to social studies”. Damn it! Can’t we just ruminate on the moon landings for a bit? And how awesome it is that the computing power of my little desk calculator got us there?! No? We need to talk about how people like and don’t like people because of the made-up societal structures that they live in. Oh, okay… I can see how that’s going to forward humanity as a whole when we’ve got awesome freaking spaceships that I could be in. Yeah. REEEALLL important.
Needless to say, I was a bit bored in class. And by a bit, I mean I tried not to fall asleep until something exciting was mentioned. It wasn’t the teacher’s fault, just that schools were arranged to teach you to be a factory worker, not an independent thinker. So, you can imagine how hard it was for me to stay awake for that kind of mess.
Fast-forward 30 years later. Nothing has changed. I still want to learn about spaceships and people still think that their small-minded worldness is WAY more important than the future and science. I understand being locked in to a mentality that you just can’t get away from. I have depression, I know that feeling all too well. But I can’t get why people are jumping in the way and stopping people like me from going forward and bringing a better world to us all. What is it about doom and gloom that makes people want to steal someone else’s thunder and joy?
I would think that the best way to get someone to ever think about the future is to immerse them in it. Let them feel all the woes of losing, and the cheers of winning. Let them experience how it feels to walk through the dark of frustration and the light of awareness. For without those things, you never learn to learn anything. People don’t know how to learn, and science teaches you how to do that, everyday. There’s nothing I hate more than keeping a person from learning, and then hindering their growth, and following that by asking them why they haven’t done anything with their life.
In my origin story, I’m learning the character-building techniques to make me a superhero. I’m still in the middle of mine. I don’t know when or where or how I will reveal my powers, I don’t know what time they will appear, but I’m here, waiting… for the perfect moment to arrive.