Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who saves Superman?

  When I was little, all I ever wanted to do was fix things or make them better. It was pretty simple then:  if my friends were upset, I tried to make them smile or laugh.  If someone made them angry, I'd see what I could do to fix it for them.  I mean...what else was I supposed to do when a situation was intense...I always thought the quickest way to make things less awkward was to try to fix them.  Fast forward a few decades, and here I am...still a fixer.  My insane desire to please everyone has been tempered...but not by much.  So...there it is...

My name is Jordan, and I am a fixer.

  If you're not quite sure what  fixer is, let me see if I can paint a picture for you.  A fixer is a lot like Superman...or at least that's what he sees when he closes his eyes.  He walks around all day like Clark Kent, pretending to be an ordinary person.  But, as hard as he might try, he just can't avoid the things that need to be fixed...the people who need to be saved.  They're everywhere.  They can be as simple as computers that need to be configured (Who has time to wait for IT to come over?), and they can be as difficult as a friend's marriage falling apart.  In either case, he dons his cape (I do not, however, imagine myself in tights.) and tries to save the day.  Most of the time, he's successful; crises are averted; and the world keeps turning.
  Here's the part of that little fantasy that no one ever shows us in the movies:  If Superman is always off saving everyone else, then who saves Superman?  Who fixes his problems?  Wait...that's right...he's not supposed to have problems.  He's Superman, so he ignores his own needs and just keeps saying, "Sure, I can help."  If he's lucky, though, he's married to a woman (and not Lois...she was always more trouble than she was worth in my opinion.) who will force him to face reality, and he's made enough good friends in his life who will do the same.  Maybe, just maybe, he gets to the point to where he can be honest with himself and write about it.  It can't be easy saving Superman.  If he really is the Man of Steel...you know, faster than a speeding bullet and all...he's bound to be a real pain in the rear and hard headed to the nth degree!
  One day, though, his health will get just a little questionable...nothing too serious...just enough to make him worry. First his blood pressure will be just a little too high...And maybe his eye will feel like it's going to fall out of his head, or maybe he'll want to scoop it out with a spoon because it hurts so bad!  In the middle of all of the crap surrounding him, he'll look at his wife one night, and she'll ask, "Did you ever think getting older would be this hard?"  At first it will seem like a comical question because, obviously, he is not old! But the longer he thinks about it, the more agitated he'll get.  He...Superman...will feel betrayed.  No one, and I mean no one, ever told him that life would be like this.
  No one told Superman that when he got older, his kids would drive him nuts and it would be harder to find a minute alone with his wife than it would be to get an auto insurance quote.  No one told him that he'd have to watch friends lose spouses and parents to terminal illnesses...watch his friends lose jobs...watch his friends' marriages spiral out of control.  No one told him that he might let his job consume him from time to time...that his desire to "do the right thing" would seem counter intuitive to some of his coworkers. No one told him that a large majority of the adult population refuses to play by the rules and expects to be treated better than they treat others.
  And...maybe that's a good thing.  If someone had told him all of those things, he might have said, "To hell with it all," and become an alcoholic stoner by age 10.  Instead, he just grows up doing his Superman thing...then one day, he realizes that he is utterly exhausted.  He admits that he's tired, and he realizes two very important things:  Just like no one told him about all the crappy things that were going to happen to him,  no one ever told him that he'd grow up and have friends who would feel like family, and no one certainly ever told him that he'd have a wife who would love him so deeply.
  So, who saves Superman?  My guess is whoever he lets do the job.

2 comments:

  1. I'd have imploded a long time ago without Andy to temper me. At least you realized the love and support around you at this young age. Some don't even see the need for it and grow old and bitter, driving everyone away because of their own perceived failure to save the world.

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  2. I Google searched for "But who saves Superman" and this was the first link. Sure, there were others to choose, but after scrolling for a bit I was intrigued so I scrolled back to the top and, well, here I am.

    Decision well made, in my opinion.

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