The shit side of superpowers
If only you had a superpower, your life would be so much cooler. Imagine all the awesome shit you could do: travel, fight crime, become the perfect boyfriend. Hold on there buddy, there are always two sides to every story, and for every kick ass superpower there’s a shit side nobody ever told you about.
You’re a bird! You’re a plane! You’re constantly having a bad hair day. Flying seems like the go-to superpower: You never wait in traffic or use your legs. After years of soaring to every activity, you start to resemble the Goodyear blimp with atrophied twig legs instead of the svelte Superman you had in mind. In between your morning MickyDs and Starbucks fly-bys, you need to be on the lookout for helicopters, planes and birds that would constantly interrupt your flight pattern, stealing your French fries and pushing you further and further into the atmosphere.
Thanks to centuries of the industrial complex, the higher you go, the denser the air pollution becomes. Now you’ve got stage-four lung cancer because you’ve been inhaling the equivalent of 10 packs of cigarettes a day just by going about your daily business. Then, when you’re wheezing, coughing and bobbing up and down because gravity doesn’t care about your superpower anymore, you’re classified as a UFO and threat to the American people. Sorry, but you’re now a target for drones. As you lay on the ground Swiss-cheesed from .50-caliber bullets, flying suddenly feels like a shitty superpower.
Look at you sneaking around in the girl’s locker room, or rather, don’t look at you because nobody can see you. It’s all fun and games until Becky starts talking about what a bad lay you were. You’re ashamed and embarrassed, but you’ll stick around to catch a glimpse of her naked booty. Alas, she rips ass, then proceeds to pick her nose and smell her armpits while going on and on about your tiny dick. You find people are really gross and mean when they think nobody is around, and because you’re invisible, you get to see the side of human nature normally hidden from the world.
While you’re crying in the shower, recounting all the horrible things she called you and all of the sub-human things she did, you realize everyone is like that, and you’re about to know way too much about the people around you. Perhaps you should embrace yourvisibility and live in ignorant bliss.
You bench press cars and curl 50-gallon drums of industrial waste. You’re a boss, and you have super strength. For the first month and a half, this is really awesome. You impress everyone with your tremendous feats, and then the phone calls start coming in. Your friend is moving again, your mom wants to tear down her deck, and all of the sudden, every pickle jar in Colorado needs your assistance. It’s a never-ending cycle of people who want your super muscles for their stupid projects.
Sorry hulk, your problems don’t end with other people; you have a whole set of issues you would never tell anyone about. For instance, every time you masturbate you run the risk of ripping your dick off. You live in constant fear of shattering every beer bottle you open. And driving. You can forget about driving. When you have to slam on your breaks, your foot goes right through the floor and now you’re Flinstone-ing it all over town. In the end, your moving business will never take off because you keep breaking antique armoires and family heirlooms. You should have just kept lifting bro.
There you are, sitting in traffic as construction crawls around you, but you don’t care because you’re feasting your eyes on the rock-hard abs of some 20-year-old with a sledgehammer. As your gaze drops lower to see what he’s really packing, the frumpy, dumpy stop-sign-holder lady steps into your line of sight. The vulgar sight of stained cotton panties desperately trying to contain the FUPA half-covering an ill-placed, “Sexy thang” tattoo overwhelms your virgin eyes. You now need to decide if you should gouge them out now or just accept that that’s the first of many traumatizing sights available to you and only you in your sad, super-powered life.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but less than one-third of Americans look good naked, so the chances of you actually seeing something enjoyable are much slimmer than the people you’ll see naked. You’ll find your eyes darting to everything and anything but the people you’re talking to, and you’ll eventually come to the realization that most things are better left to the imagination.
You say, “Make my day,” more than Clint Eastwood. You live your life past the edge because you can never ever die. That’s great and all, until your entire family and all of your friends keel over. You can never have real friends again because you don’t age. You have to disappear from people’s lives every 10 or so years so they don’t find out your secret, lest you be captured by billionaires and scientists who want immortality for themselves. You now have to live your life looking over your shoulder, awaiting your imminent capture. Once that happens, and eventually it will, you’re forced watch the decline of human civilization whilst strapped to a gurney, shot, stabbed and prodded in attempts to copy your DNA.
Then when human existence finally ends, you have to hang around in an endless, toxic wasteland until evolution decides to rear its beautiful head again. Who knows how long you’ll be here just waiting for something, anything to talk to. And in the billions of years it takes amino acids to line up, you’ll be cursing the day you ever asked for immortality.
Congratulations, you never ever have to wonder what your girlfriend is mad about; you can read her mind. You can tell all she wants is a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates, and bam, you’re the best boyfriend ever. But wait, you hear her every thought. It’s not long before you find out the only reason you’re together is because she has a thing for your sister and is planning to poison you to get you out of the picture. It doesn’t stop there though; you’re also privy to all of the disgusting and crazy thoughts everyone around you has. You’re at Chipotle, and the person wrapping your burrito thinks, “Did I wash my hands after I used the bathroom?” You’ll never be able to eat anywhere ever again, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Every day you’re barraged with the innermost thoughts of every person you encounter, learning who’s hiding STDs and who’s got a grandma fetish. You end your life curled up in a mental institution, clutching your ears wishing you just stuck to Facebook to find out what everyone was thinking.
Paris for lunch, sure why not? Mount Everest for the sunrise? Of course, you can teleport, so the world is at your freaky, mutant fingertips. You can go anywhere whenever you want, but you’ll always be alone. Sure you can go to Barcelona for a siesta, but normal people’s bodies aren’t made for teleportation. They’ll get spliced. You won’t make many friends when you leave your girlfriend’s legs on Pearl Street while the other half of her joins you in Johannesburg.
Shit can get really messy. You soon find yourself blocked by everyone on every social media because they’re sick of your constant updates and bragging instagrams. You come off as an attention whore, and everyone is pretty much just jealous. You’ll find yourself lonely on the beaches of New Zealand, taking selfies with kiwis, longing for TSA frisks just like everyone else.
Feeling No Pain
For anyone else, stepping on a Lego is an excruciating experience followed by expletives and damnation of all children everywhere. Not you, you’ll walk across a bed of molten-hot Legos, stub all of your toes and win every single hot wing challenge this side of the Divide because you feel no pain. Then the day will come when you feel nothing because you have no basis of comparison. Without feeling pain, you can never appreciate pleasure. Any sex you attempt to have will be boring because those nipple clamps never work right. You become a sideshow attraction for your friends. “Look, I can kick her in the head and nothing happens. I can burn all her hair off, and she doesn’t feel a thing.” You’re mocked and chastised, but you can’t even feel that pain. You end up emotionless, wandering aimlessly into painful situations for other’s pleasure, although you will never fully understand what’s so damned funny. While you sit stoically on your sofa, you’ll wonder what life would be like if you could only feel again.