Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The boy who is the neighborhood hero

I was walking home from the supermarket one evening last week, when all of a sudden I saw blinking blue lights in my peripheral vision. My body tightened instinctively, probably not so much that anyone else could notice, but enough that I could feel it. It was not that I believed the police had finally found me (my disguise is rather remarkable), just that blinking neon lights (especially blue and red ones) have been sewn into my brain, right alongside, "Shit! Something is wrong!"

I turned around and saw a young boy swinging a blue light saber. I wish I could give a better description of him, but I was distracted by the absurdity of the scene; I laughed, realizing I had totally misjudged the situation, and looked to see who was escorting the kid, but there was no one. Even though I had seen him (or because I had seen him? or regardless whether anyone had seen him?), the ninja continued along the sidewalk, swinging his light saber and punctuating his movements with sound effects. After a hundred meters or so he sashayed into an open doorway, superman style.

In those few moments, I felt a sense of lightness and possibility upon witnessing the boy be completely himself. I wish we could all carry the picture of the boy and his light saber within us, particularly on days that are especially monotonous and soul-sucking. For at least a few moments we would let the boy remind us of the little piece of superhero inside of each of us, if only we were ready to be powerful.