LIFE IN COMICS FORM
Like all children, my toddler years were devoted to hero worshipping on the superhero types. Marvel comics, that which were created by American artists in the early 50s, preoccupied my youthful imagination. One day, I was flying like Superman. Another day, I was watching over from our residential roof top the entire stretch of our neighborhood believing I was Batman. Like Superman, I could melt steel, break bones and destroy buildings just by mere staring. I was also Batman who can smack dead any villain who would cross my path. Like these two superheroes, I grew up believing that I could defend my loved ones from anything unfortunate and coddle them to a successful life with a happy ending.
Today, we have an almost endless list of heroes coming as it were from different cultures. The likes of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, American, British, whatever. There seems to be more heroes than the people they ought to defend. That is one advantage of the youth today. They have varied means of heroes to choose from. They can be anyone on a daily basis until retirement beckons them.
Years have gone by and literature, the classic kind, has overtaken much of youthful fixation. I became Gulliver. Sometimes, I would emote like Crisostomo Ibarra. Or, the jaded protagonist in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. It was a mixture of fantasy and reality, with reality more appreciated than fantasy. One day, I could be an adventurer; another day, a scientist and scholar and in another situation, a gangster. Nowhere would I imagine myself flying with a blanket like cape with briefs overlapping my tights. I look human and less amusing as anyone else and enjoying every fleeting challenge piled on top of my consciousness, one after another.
In my adulthood, I was an ordinary kid beside my protective parents. I was a carefree lad beside my doting relatives. I was an ordinary chaperone beside a loving sister. I was for sometime a hyper juvenile beside an affectionate group of friends. Entering the family years, I was an audacious father, kinda strange and distant but nonetheless responsible and caring. I may not be around anytime because of my profession, but when push become shove, I am there for the taking.
Life’s constant challenges would always knock at our door. In some instances, it would barge through as if trying to overwhelm us. There are crimes, calamities, penury and bad luck hovering above as each would land on the very spot where we tried to hide. Unless one is a hero, a challenge is something to evade. But for heroes, challenges are the spice that makes life exciting. It creates color and stimulation. Confronting every challenge, confronting every problem is a defined mission. It is not only a form of work, it is also another expression for love. Heroes love a lot and it includes every task and every trial, the harder the better.
I may not exactly fit as a hero whether the stereotyped one or the event making kind. I may have failed my dreams of becoming one because of weaknesses and intrigues. I may not have the audacity, the intelligence or the proverbial luck that makes a person on the right spot at the right time. I may not have the genes nor the pedigree, the resources nor the courage to stand up and be recognized. I may have been too ordinary to be reckoned but for those around me, I still feel that I am counted.
I may have been very distant. I may have been too aloof. I may have been too shy. But that is because I only try to be myself.
In this period whence twilight years beckon, I start to regress back to where I am comfortable. Once in a while I am Superman to my loved ones, Batman to my friends and The Godfather to my fellowmen.