For this one, you must salvage your image as an uncaring, hypocritical superhero.
TAKING A BREAK (any gender, mid twenties through late life)
I don't know how to answer that question. That's a pretty intense question. "Do I still deserve Superhero status." That's a difficult question for to answer to the mirror, much less to the viewers of this talk show... about three quarters of the world.
Maggie, here's what I know. Am I sorry the family died in the fire? Yes. Of course. Could I have saved them? Yes, of course. It's all true. It is. My apartment is two blocks away from the house. I could see the smoke from my window, even before I got the phone call from the fire department. It would have taken me about thirty minutes total to get suited up, to remove the family from the top floor and let the fire department do the rest.
Why then? I can see that in your eyes, Maggie. You're probably mimicking the question of the world. "Why, why, why"?
Because Goddam-- gosh darnit. I need a BREAK sometimes! I had just saved an entire city in Canada, I TOLD the press, I TOLD them that I was getting tired. That I needed to take time to myself. To have boundaries. Boundaries so I can be an even BETTER hero for everyone, when I'm back on duty. And staying off duty WHEN I'm off duty? That requires discipline. I don't think anyone knows just how much discipline it took for me to sit in my apartment and let that family burn.
But I had made a promise to myself. On Tuesday, April 5th, no matter WHAT, I would stay home treat myself to the entire second season of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. And that's what I did. And I allowed myself to enjoy it and I think that makes me a decent role model. I TOOK CARE OF MYSELF.
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes.
If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"