Thursday, May 25, 2006

Developing the Gift

Since I often reference my super powers in my various posts, I though it might be prudent to give you a few examples of how these began to manifest in my childhood. I now have full control of my gifts and have honed them such that invincibility is without question. But as my skills were developing, I was often prone to mistake and weakness. In fact, I did not fully realize that I was different or powerful until becoming a young adult. The signs were all there…I just didn’t see it at the time.

Bike Stealers – Being creative kids, we came up with the name “Bike Stealers” to describe a gang of kids that went around our neighborhood…you guessed it, stealing bikes. I had fallen prey to their efforts shortly after getting a bright orange, Team Murray bicycle, outfitted with pegs, gel grips, and MAG wheels. I had only enjoyed this beautiful steed for a week or two before this gang of hoodlums stole it off our lawn. We were terrified of these kids as they were older, gruff, and street smart. We were just suburbanite children who were victim to their tortures and legend.

On one particular day in the summer, my brother and I were at a local park about five miles from our home. We rode bikes as was the normal transportation of two youngsters and settled in on the swing set. We began pumping our little legs and having a contest to see who could swing the highest. Before long we were both sailing into the sky, testing the very limit of the chains holding us in place. Then it happened. Just over the horizon, the Bike Stealers approached. There were at least 6 guys but in my mind it looked like 60. I immediately took inventory and scanned the ground for our bikes. Mine was right next to the swings but my brother had left his 100 yards away for some reason. MB and I overheard one of the gang yell, “hey, lets get that kids bike!” MB immediately knew they were targeting his vehicle and began crying with horror.

Something in me clicked. Time stopped while I was on an upstroke of the swing. I let loose of the chains and sailed through the air, defying gravity. I landed, rolled and took off into an immediate sprint toward MB’s bike. Like a cowboy mounting his horse, I jumped into the saddle and started pedaling like there was no tomorrow. The Bike Steelers chased me for a bit but were so overwhelmed by my efforts to keep them at bay, they gave up. It must have been quite the sight to see me on MB’s bike since it was meant for someone half my size. I made it back to the swing set where MB and I decided we had enough adventure for the day and returned home. To this day MB recounts that story in amazement over my feat. At the time I didn’t think much of it but my powers were obviously beginning to emerge.

Saving a Life – The childhood events where my gifts were used somehow gravitated toward the involvement of my brother. Not all of them mind you but a decent majority. I guess that makes sense because we palled around together all of the time and as the big brother, it was my duty to be his protector. This particular event still haunts me to this day but I will recount it for you all the same.

On one of many family road trips, we stopped off at MacDonalds for a Happy Meal. MB and I finished our Nuggets and were busy sucking down our cokes. MB’s straw made that gurgling sound signifying the end of his delicious treat, so he popped the lid off and began crunching on the ice. This particular ice was very large and round…resembling a flying saucer. In a matter of minutes MB turned his head toward me and had widened his eyes like I had never seen before. Using my powers of mind reading, I immediately knew he was choking. You laugh at this claim but need to understand, he was not making a peep. None of the normal coughing sounds, no gestures toward his neck, nothing. Just a wide-eyed stare. Time always stops when my powers activate and this was no different. I ripped my seat belt off and dove for his belt release. Clicking him out, I then used my super human strength and pulled him up and into my lap. Having only seen a video once about the Heimlich maneuver, my mind used its ability for instant recall and my body followed suit with several double fisted heaves into MB’s stomach. My folks were completely baffled as to what the commotion was about and just thought one of us had gotten car sick. Dad, in classic dad-style, pulled over slamming on his brakes. He then opened MB’s door having assessed the problem was with him, not me. Thinking MB was puking, he took him off of my lap and put him outside (presumably to save the interior from the mess). Once dad realized nothing of the sort was happening, I yelled, “Heimlich dad, Heimlich.” My dad gave MB a couple good heaves and the ice cleared. Not having complete control of my powers yet…my body, mind, and emotions became overwhelmed. Even though I knew the tragedy had been averted, I bawled uncontrollably for the next hour.

Southfield – I reference this school in an earlier post. If you read it, you know that I spent a horrifying two years of Elementary with very mean-spirited rich kids. All that aside, I had one thing going for me and that was my athletic prowess. The very children who loved torturing me, befriended me for those few precious moments of recess each day as teams were being picked. Once per year we had something called Field Day. It was like a track and field event where all the children participate in High Jump, Races, Dodge Ball, Long Jump, Tug of War, etc. Grades 1 through 5 were divided onto either team blue or team red. For each blue ribbon that was won 5 points were allotted to that persons team. For 2nd place 3 points and 3rd place 1 point. The goal was to not only earn as many ribbons for yourself as possible but to also help your team win.

All events were over and the tally showed an even tie for team blue and red. It all came down to one event…Dodge-ball. The last man standing would win the extra point needed for their team to be dubbed Field Day Champs. As is customary the rubber balls were placed in the middle of the field and on the whistle we sprinted for our weapons and began hurling them. This entire game was like the battlefield in Braveheart. Soldiers down to your left and right. Screams of courage and of pain. Projectiles whizzing by your head, just missing their intended target. Absolute chaos. Child after child were eliminated and asked to leave the field until two were left standing. It reminded me of the old western shootouts as I stood there eyeing my athletic equal, Clint Madison. I swore I heard a whistle and saw a tumble weed blow by. I had three red dodge-balls surrounding me but none in hand. Clint had a smirk and determined look on his face, taking a moment to catch his breath and plan out his next move. I stood still, not daring to reach for a ball as Clint had one ready to launch. Any shift of my focus onto something other than him and he would surely strike me with deadly aim.

We were at an impasse, a standstill. I was not going to make a move and he knew it. The pressure of the surrounding crowd must have been too much for Clint because he finally gave in and made his mistake. He sprinted toward the midline in order to get as close to me as possible and hurled his rubber bullet with as much strength and velocity possible. His aim was off and the bullet started to stray to my left. I could have just taken this opportunity to grab a weapon and return fire while he was running for safety but no. My powers clicked into gear, time slowed, and I lurched into the air toward the ball. I sailed several feet, again defying the laws of gravity and reached out as far as I could, stretching my fingertips to their limit. Contact. The ball was in my grasp but in danger of slipping through my grip having been hurled so fast. But no, my super strength and sticky grip allowed for a clean catch and acrobatic roll. I was back on my feet with red ball in hand. The Blue Team surrounded me and began cheering wildly. We had won Field Day!

I really try to be humble about all of this whether you believe it or not. I have now come to realize that these powers are unique and come with great responsibility. I use them to fight crime, pursue justice, and make life a bit better for mankind. I only hope my efforts make a difference, small though they may be.


Flashman said...

you have failed to mention that you and MB can communicate through the Force.

TheEdge said...

Well...I hate to brag but you speak the truth.