We went around the room and shared with each other the superhero power we’d most want to possess.
Jimmy said he wished he could be invisible. He said he would use his power to work as a spy for the government. Imagine that! He’d go to Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or wherever the hell Osama and his mullah friends were hiding. He’d listen in on private conversations and provide valuable intel to the CIA. Osama wouldn’t get far before a drone picked his ass up. He’d go to North Korea and find out what the hell that old fucker Kim Jong Il was thinking. Could he be that paranoid? Was he sitting in front of a giant red button as the West has led us to believe? Basically, Jimmy wanted to go into public service.
Daren said he’d want to fly. Apart from the freedom he’d feel from flying through the air, just imagine how much money he could save on air travel. He could travel the world on a whim. Be in Brazil one morning and be in China the next. Never again would he have to take an elevator or even a car for that matter! He’d make money by putting on human air shows for Cirque du Soleil. Or MAYBE he could play for the NBA. At the end of the day, Daren was nothing but an exhibitionist.
Stephanie wanted superhuman strength. With it, she would defy every gender stereotype forced upon petite girls like herself. She’d open pickle jars and beat the shit out of any guy who might get a little too frisky. She rejected the notion that she needed anyone–anyone–to take care of her; she could take care of herself. Stephanie, the feminist.
I took some time before answering the question. Finally, I spoke: I would like the power of honesty.
My friends scoffed. What kind of superhero power is that? Why don’t you try using a bit more of your imagination?
Well, it depends. How would you define superhero power?
‘Superhero power’ means that you have the ability to do something normal humans can’t do.
Well if you put it that way, my superhero ability is just as valid as yours. As impossible as it is for me to fly, or be invisible, or to open a jar of pickles, it would be just as hard for me to be an honest person. I mean, we try our best don’t we? We invent aeroplanes and jet packs, skydive to mimic the sensation of flight. We do all we can to disappear, be invisible with our silence…the Irish saying “the tallest nail gets hammered hardest.” And who among us haven’t had that dream where we punch the bully in the mouth, slap the racist or beat the shit out of Adolf Hitler?
So it is with honest expression, I argue. Damn it if we don’t try our best to say what we really think, but it would take a super-man indeed to live out that honesty as far as it might go. Just imagine what that person could do over the course of a lifetime.
Hm. The group pondered this for a bit.
Then they decided not to play hypothetical games with me anymore.
Apparently, I’m a killjoy.