Ten

In the fall of 1994, I met someone*. We dated, but that didn’t work out in the long run. Life got in the way. Eventually, after some work and some time, we became friends again.  

Six years later, we enjoyed a very long weekend together, but that didn’t work out in the long run. Life got in the way. Eventually, after some work and some time, we became friends again. 

Four years after that, we enjoyed another long weekend together. Life, as it does, threatened to get in the way, but this time, we told it to go fuck itself. We became more than just friends, and we were going to keep it that way.  

Less than a year later, on April 30, 2005, we said “I do.” 

A full decade later, we have fought tooth and nail, through better and through worse, through sickness and through health, through thick and through thin. We have supported, excited, impressed, entertained, and loved. We’ve traveled so far, learned so much, and have come home to each other. We’ve been friends and lovers on-and-off for over twenty years, and husband and wife for ten.  

It’s our anniversary, and a damned happy one. 

_____ 

* Spoiler Alert! It’s my spouse. 

Superman’s Pal

When comes down to the whole Superman versus Batman debate (or Batman v. Superman if we’re talking about a legal dispute), I come down firmly Team Superman*. This puts me in the minority, I know. 

Why do people love Batman so much? They typically give three reasons for this: 1) He is way cool; 2) He’s the serious hero; 3) He has no superpowers, and that makes him relatable.  

To that, I say: 1) He is totally cool. Most of his comics, movies, and even the 1966 show are hip and slick and often compelling; 2) He’s the serious hero. As serious and hardcore as someone who wears pajamas and throws expensive toys at clowns and drives a car that goes vroom can be, I guess; 3) No powers? More relatable? This is where I get off the boat, laughing.  

Bruce Wayne is obscenely wealthy, and he’s spent most of his life traveling the world, learning the way of the ninja, which are kind of superpowers in themselves. In the end, though, he wants the best for his ailing city, so he invests in local businesses to drive up employment, funds infrastructure projects, donates his time and money into charities, and supports politicians who are socially conscious. 

Ha! Just kidding! He buys pajamas and toys he can throw at clowns and a car that goes vroom, because he’s a serious hero, and uses these things to go beat up on the other 99 percent. 

Clark Kent, by contrast, was raised in middle-class, small-town America by loving parents, and he uses the talents he was born with to rescue people from disasters, save kittens from trees, beat up bullies, and overall to look out for the little guy. 

“But … but …” detractors often say. “Superman has godlike powers! Where’s the challenge? How are you supposed to defeat a guy with godlike powers?” To me, this speaks to the level of imagination in these detractors. Is this all Superman is? The hardest puncher in the world? What about his morality? His honesty (not counting that whole secret-identity thing, of course)? His loyalty? His friendships? His sense of hope? A villain doesn’t have to be strong to oppose these. Hell, his greatest foe is a regular human being with an intellect and some cash, and that guy has Superman on the ropes all the time. 

Therefore, if I want a story where Superman battles an unmarried, genius, obsessive billionaire with lots of gadgets and suits of armor and an iron will, I think I’ll stick with Lex Luthor.  

But, to quote a pre-bonkers Dennis Miller, that’s just my personal opinion, and I could be wrong. 

* But not the one from Man of Steel. I hated that movie. 

A Frightening Thing Happened

I’ve talked about my mental health before. 

But it’s been a while. 

I haven’t really used my journal lately, so it hasn’t come up that the age of thirty-eight has been Mental Health Awareness year for me. I’ve been reading and studying the topic and all of its treatments, mostly because late summer of 2014 was one of the darkest periods of my life.  

I’m going to go more into this later, but the short version is that I went into a deep depression that took months to shake. It left me suicidal for the first time in about five years. This was different, though. Back in 2009, I was ambivalent about living and dying—an emotional state sometimes called “passively suicidal.” Last summer, though, I was ready to actually do the work. I didn’t, because reasons. 

But it passed, and I haven’t thought about killing myself since … until three days ago. It came out of nowhere, and it’s really rattled my shit. 

I’m not depressed. To be honest, I’m feeling a little ennui, which is really not that bad. But one afternoon, while cleaning the dishes, I considered my future, and at the time, it looked pretty bleak. I thought about my miniscule contributions to society. I thought about all the crap I’ve accumulated through my life, whether they be toys or notebooks full of drawings and writings I can’t get published—or even acknowledged by my family or Facebook friends. I thought about retirement and all the work that was going to take. The logical solution, my brain said for a split second, would be to die, and to do it soon. Just get it over with. Let someone else sort it out.  

And then it was gone. I was startled and upset, but I noted my overall okay mood, and I put it behind me as a weird little fluke. 

Until it happened again yesterday. Again, only for a moment. So now I’m worried. I should probably talk to my doctor about this …