Mom said she met my dad in a bar here in New York City when she was still in her early twenties, and still partying a lot. She said they drank a lot that night, as well as danced a lot, and then came back to her place. In the morning, he was gone without leaving behind the memory of a name or number. She never saw him again, at least not in person, but I think I know who he is and how to find him, especially after what began happening to me last year.
It started on a sunny Saturday morning in April. I had taken the subway down to Fourteenth Street. I wanted to see what new comics had come into the comic book store there. As usual, mom stayed home. She was busy trying to make sure she made her deadline for the fantasy novel she was writing.
Just as I stepped off the subway and onto the platform, a teenager on a skateboard came whizzing by. After jumping off his board, he tried to snatch the purse from an old lady, but she wouldn’t give it up.
“Come on, lady, let go,” he snarled, while still trying to yank the purse strap out of her hands. You had to give it to that old broad. She must have been somewhere in her sixties or seventies, yet she held on to that strap like she was holding onto the leashes of twenty dogs at once.
As I watched them struggle, I found myself becoming madder by the second. Frantically, I looked around for something I could throw, and that’s when I spotted the empty soda can. Picking it up, I shouted at the kid, “Hey!” then flung the can at him. I knew it wouldn’t hurt him, but I thought it might distract him long enough for the old lady to maybe snatch her purse away. But what happened next startled me, and everyone around me.
The can flew so fast you couldn’t see it. All you saw and heard was the can hitting the kid in the forehead, and then him going down as if he’d been run over by a truck. The few people on the platform stood still for a moment. A couple even turned to stare in my direction. Meanwhile, the kid lay on the platform holding his head and moaning. At that moment, I felt both fear and embarrassment prickle across my cheeks and up over my shoulders; which was why, instead of hanging around to try and explain what happened, I took off running for the nearest exit.
Once I got back upstairs and onto the sidewalk again, I stopped to catch my breath . . . except I wasn’t out of breath! What the hell was going on? I looked around at all the people passing by. Was there something different about me? Could they see it? But no one seemed to notice anything unusual. That’s when I began to ask questions of myself and the universe. Had something changed inside of me? Did I suddenly have super strength? But that was silly! I was only ten years old! How could I suddenly have gained enough strength to hurl an empty soda can faster than a baseball?
I thought about it a moment. I could try testing it out to see if I was suddenly super strong, but how? And then I got an idea. Turning down a side street where some cars and pickups were parked, I squatted down between a car and a really heavy-looking truck. Then grabbing the metal fender of the truck, I tried to lift it. There was some minor resistance at first, but then the front end came off the ground by at least a couple of feet.
Holy crap! Holy crap!
Gently, I put the truck back down, then stood up and looked around. As far as I could tell, no one had seen what I had done, so going back to Fourteenth Street, I continued to head for the comic book store. Once inside, I grabbed a comic off the rack, and stood there casually flipping through it, while letting the thoughts inside my head swirl around like debris in a tornado.
The only way I could have gotten super strength like that was, either by being hit with some kind of super, high-intensity energy ray, or being born with it. Since I was pretty sure I hadn’t been hit with any energy type rays lately, then I must have gotten my strength from my parents, but mom could barely unscrew the cap off a jar? That meant the only other person who could have given me a super power was my father!
While standing there still thinking about what had happened, I was suddenly startled by someone beside me saying, “That was some trick you pulled with that truck. How’d you do it?”
Looking sideways, I found myself staring into the dark menacing eyes of a skinny, Hispanic-looking kid, maybe around twelve or thirteen. He was looking at me, waiting to hear my explanation. Instead, I said to him, “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Don’t give me that crap! I saw you lift that truck!” Fear bounced around inside of me like a pinball.
Trying to stay calm, I reached over and slipped the comic back into the rack. “Excuse me,” I mumbled, “I have to go. My mom is waiting for me.”
Stepping passed him, I started to head for the store’s entrance, but got only a few feet before he grabbed my arm and demanded, “I asked you a question! How’d you do it?”
Looking down at his hand, I replied, “Spinach,” then yanked my arm away from his grip. Next, I made a beeline for the door.
Once outside, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That was close, I thought, as I began to walk up the sidewalk. I couldn’t help but wonder where the heck had he been hiding that he saw me lift the truck? I wasn’t going to go back into the store and ask him. Instead, I just kept on walking, until I heard someone behind me whistle two short bursts.
That’s when I saw three other Hispanic-looking kids step from somewhere onto the sidewalk. They were all facing me. Two of them looked to be even older than the one in the store. The third looked like someone’s little brother. Either way, I became extremely nervous until I remembered my new strength, and continued walking, but much faster this time. I didn’t even stop when I reached them. Instead, I plowed through their line like I was a seven foot tall football player, and they were mere four foot opponents.
It worked better than I thought. The two older boys went sprawling into the street, while the younger one bounced off a store window. Although I was pretty sure the glass hadn’t broken, I didn’t stop to look. I just kept my eyes focused on the sidewalk ahead of me, and continued walking until I got to the next subway entrance. From there, I took one train downtown and then another uptown. It dropped me off several blocks away from my house, but that didn’t make any difference; it seemed that, besides having increased strength, I could now run a lot faster than before. What a rush!
Like I said, this happened to me last year. Since then, a couple more powers joined my speed and strength. I tried not to let mom know, but it’s been hard keeping my secret. Even so, I managed to do it while also taking on the role of late night protector of our neighborhood. For obvious reasons, I could only do it after dark, and after mom went to sleep. In the process, I managed to stop three robberies, five muggings, two rapes, and one attempted murder.
Meanwhile, I’ve been waiting for the rest of my powers to kick in. I’ve decided that once I’m fully loaded, I might try flying out to meet my dad. He’s been in the news a lot lately. I just hope he doesn’t freak out too much when he discovers he has a son with super powers just like his.