Every now and then, you are called upon to do some kind of super-heroics that leave you wondering what would have happened if you hadn’t been there. Or maybe, that’s just me.
Twice this week, I have had to jump to the rescue of ordinary people going about their ordinary business. Or, extra-ordinary people involved in out-of-place situations.
The first event was during one of my hospital visits this week. The ward was quiet, with the exception of hushed laughter, and the occasional ping of a monitoring machine. Nurses chattering in their observation booths, and checking on patients, taking blood samples, dishing out medication and answering the most random of questions thrown at them.
The relative calm of the ward was shattered when a stack of chairs suddenly collapsed as an unsuspecting nurse was walking by, carrying a cup of steaming hot coffee. The chairs clattered to the floor, causing patients, visitors and nurses to look over to see what the commotion was about.
I leapt up out of my seat, to try to help to pick up the chairs and restore the order of the day. I only managed to move one chair, as unseen by me, another nurse had stacked the chairs again; it was her fault that the stack had collapsed in the first place, as she had somehow managed to cause them to become unbalanced.
I returned to my seat with the slogan “Every Little Helps” going through my mind. My moving of the chair made it easier for the nurse to stack them all again, so it wasn’t exactly a pointless exercise on my part. I tell myself, anyway…
The second incident was more serious.
I walked into the Co-op to be faced with a crowd of customers and staff standing around in a circle, away from the counter. Something was amiss, but I had to obtain my shopping first and foremost before I found out what.
I arrived at the checkout, goods in hand, and one of the shop assistants asked me if I was any good with spiders. By the counter, actually in the exact centre of the checkout to be exact, was an arachnid the size of which probably hasn’t been seen since pre-historic times. It was obvious why all of these people were standing away from the counter; and the spider scuttled away from, and back to, its comfortable corner, with each of its muscular legs twitching nervously.
I was asked if I could get the spider out of the shop. The assistant said that she wasn’t afraid of spiders, but there were some customers who were.
I had to pay for my shopping fist of all (another assistant had ran behind the counter to serve me, and popped everything into a carrier bag for when my task was done.)
I crouched down in front of the intimidating beast before me. I could see its eyes looking back at me. I think it could sense that I had no intention of hurting it, as it didn’t scurry away. I tapped its back legs to encourage it to walk onto my other hand, which, at first, it didn’t want to do. Eventually, it did, and I had to carry it out of the shop rotating my hands to allow the spider to walk ever forwards on its own journey to freedom.
In my hands, the spider’s size and demeanour had seemingly reduced, and I remember thinking to myself that it actually looked cute as it tickled my hands with each of its long legs. I was also quietly asking that the spider didn’t bite me.
I released the spider outside the shop, and went back in to collect my shopping. The assistant who had asked me to remove the spider said that I would forever be their hero. I must admit that I enjoyed hearing those words, but I didn’t do it for the fame or the glory… I did it because I was asked to, and the spider needed saving.
OK, in the grand scheme of things, helping someone with a fallen chair or freeing a creature that was probably more terrified than the people standing away from it, aren’t exactly the kind of super hero activities that tend to get reported on on a regular basis, but I’m glad that I did what I did anyway. I do like to help people every now and then. Helping people helps me to feel good, and I like to feel good.
I had to do both of these in my secret identity. Super heroes don’t go hospital visiting or shopping, do they? Besides, I didn’t have time to change.
I looked down on the lights of the streets and buildings below. Car headlights and taillights mixing with the yellows, oranges and whites of the streetlights seemed to create a multi-coloured maze of straight lines criss-crossing each other. The rain caused the edges of these lines to blur, and the side streets were considerably darker than the main roads.
I do not know how I long I hovered there. The rain was as refreshing as the wind, and as I needed to find some space of my own, the elements helped me to stay aware of where I actually was. Being so high up certainly gave me the space I wanted, but if I forgot I was so high, even for a split second, I would have plummeted, and I certainly didn’t want to do that.
It takes a lot to be able to lift myself off the ground ever so slightly, so to be able to soar so high requires a lot of concentration. To hover, that concentration is multiplied ten, possibly one hundred times.
I love the feeling when I am floating. I especially love the feeling when I am flying, my body literally becomes ‘one’ with the air around me. I’m not exactly weightless, as I can feel the forces of gravity wanting to keep me on the ground, but I somehow manage to counter balance the gravity, push against it, although pushing makes it sound as though I am exerting energy, which I most definitely am not. I’m just there. Just ‘being’ in the air.
I can’t explain the physics behind it. How can a man fly? I don’t have wings, yet there I am, quite regularly making my way above town.
I make sure I always do it at night. I can’t afford to be seen in the daytime, can you imagine people’s reaction if I was to be spotted? It’s a pity really, as I feel I could do so much more if I could allow myself to be seen in the daylight hours, but it is just too risky. I’d be classed a freak, and I don’t think that I am. I have a different ability, that’s all.
The odd thing about being different is the reaction of others. Some differences are OK, and accepted. Other differences are shunned, and special abilities never get to be used to their full potential. Therefore, most people who are different reject their differences and become one of the normal crowd. They blend in. They dress the same, walk the same, talk the same. They lose their individuality.
That’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve blended in so much, I’m not noticed anymore. I can dress differently yet still not be seen.
So, that’s why I needed my space; to think. To weigh things up. Flying takes me away from everything and gives me all the space I need. Which is odd when you think that I can feel as alone in a crowded room as I feel when I’m above town hovering. The thing is, I like the feeling of solitude when I’m in flight as opposed to the feeling of solitude in a full room.
What else can I do, though? Maybe everyone is right and I am a freak. Maybe it is best that I keep my flying to myself.
I like the view from up there. I can see for miles even in the darkness, yet I never get what I am actually looking for. Answers. One answer to one question, really. Why me?