Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Former Super Hero

La 姐妮 asked me what it means to be a "former superhero."

Once apon a time, in grad school, we were dirt poor, due to the university's policy of keeping us dirt poor. Internet was poorly understood at the time, so entertain ourselves we would rollerblade slowly, eat ice cubes, and try to improve our belches by mouthing something inspiring. We usually tried to belch the word "freedom," which ended up sounding like "Rita" or "Frida."

One of several insane things we did was to create a mythology, the Super Brown Friends.

(All of my friends were brown people, except for Christine. And I would say, oh Christine, you're our one white friend! And she would say, yah, because I have a car. Ha ha it was only half true.)

Anyway, in the Super Brown Friends, we were grad students by day, but with secret super powers, which we cultivated into superhero identities. D was "Superchic" which was appropriate, because she was really into her super-look. I'm not sure what her super powers were, but I seem to remember she had an A-line dress. Whatever that means. Of course, to bug her, we called her "Super Chick" instead of "Superchic." Ha ha.

Me, I was the Knight Of Brownness. For my super powers, I had super hearing, I could speak everybody's languages, and I knew certain ancient power words which I could speak that would break windows or knock down bad guys with. Superchick, to annoy me, would abbreviate my name to KnOB, which I would correct immediately, "KNIGHT of BROWNness!

Then there was JWolf, who had an escapist fantasy of transforming into a wolf and running away. She was dating SpiderM, who earned his super identity by climbing out of my second story window, scaled the building around to J's apartment, crawled into her window and unlocked her front door.

As superheros, were were always being called to battle the evil General Blanco of the Great Hegemony. We were always too baffled to kill him. And, invariably, on our way to the battle, we would always run into That White Guy, a character who was always wearing shorts, in the dead of winter. We would say, Aren't you freezing? And That White Guy would happily respond, Actually, it's not that bad....


Anonymous said...

One of my professor friends at LMU (Amir, he's brown) said that so many of his friends were scarred for life by their PhD experiences...i ought to get you two together...He went on scholarship to the Univ. of Toronto where there are other brown people, apparantly. Now he's at quite white LMU.
Jane, MTS

Chadwick said...

You still have those powers, so I call bullshit on 'former!' ;)

ding said...

secret identities, JP. SECRET. shhh!

(remember that time we'd to to the museums during the summer just so we could put or nearly bare asses on cold marble?)

john patrick said...

Man, I remember nothing from that museum. NOTHING. Was it an art museum? History? Ha. I remember visiting museums in grade school. I remember the minutia of a Provencal history museum in Arles 15 years ago.

I have ZERO memory of that museum in Ann Arbor. Was there anything.... memorable?