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“You were born with powers due to your mom being exposed to an unusual chemical while doing menial tasks around the house.”

– How Did You Get Your Superpower Online Generator

Until 7 months ago, I never believed in superpowers. The day I watched Captain America: The First Avenger changed all that. Recently, someone told me that being able to write is a superpower. I am hesitant to believe.

Learning about superpowers has taught me several things:

“… good becomes great; bad becomes worse.”
“Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t.”
“Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky.”

Growing up as a pathological liar, I spun yarns about how I wished things really were because being happy seemed like an impossibility. I told my friends fanciful stories under the guise of sharing my “dreams”. My stories made the walk to school less boring. Admitting they were “dreams” was easier than being caught in a lie. Again.

I built a nest with blankets and pillows in the space under the stairs next to the water heater. It was warm and humid and dark down there and I would scribble lists of people who had wronged me, song lyrics, terrible poetry, and bits of stories I wanted to remember from my “dreams”. Trying to get better at this “story” thing. In time, my father stopped me from using my hiding spot because being around the hot water was dangerous. So I built a dark and private space in my closet. I would not give up my flashlight illuminated musings.

No one in my sphere of influence gave a rat’s ass if I was good at writing. They were only interested if I was athletic or well-behaved and I was neither. There’s no future in writing. No job. No pension. No hope at all. Best not encourage that. I read voraciously, at least that’s one that was not discouraged too much. I didn’t share what I was writing often, but every time I did someone would tell me to keep going even when I knew it was pointless.

When I stopped writing it was because I had a story I was afraid to tell. I stopped writing because I had other people’s lives and endeavours to support. I stopped because there’s no future, no job, no pension, no hope in these stories.

Then I met Steve Rogers.

“You start running they’ll never let you stop. You stand up, push back… Can’t say no forever, right?”

While I thought what I had been doing was writing, then quitting, and then getting the “fuckits’,

“What’s the point? No one cares about this shit but you.

“Why bother? All of this is meaningless anyway.”

what I was actually doing was manufacturing the raw materials for the things I most want to complete. The Things I Want To Say. That’s my power, right there; the words that tell the story I want to tell.

Captain America does what’s right, not what’s easy. I have *issues* I can’t keep running from.

“That little guy from Brooklyn who was too dumb not to run away from a fight, I’m following him.”

I was born this way and no one knows what that chemical was.

Cap salute

This post is the first writing prompt for the DIY MFA Book Club

One Reply to “Superpowers – My Origin Story”

  1. I’ve often thought it was something ingrained in me, too. Something I was born with, like brown eyes and a sweet tooth. (and I’m a Cap fan, too . . .though Wolverine had my heart first). @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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