I just want originality, I want to be different from the people around me. The conventional life – go to school, go to college, be a nurse like the other cousins, get married, be a good Catholic wife with three children and be completely conformative – never once appealed to me. The ability to become superhuman, to be able to go down in history for making a difference, that’s the kind of life I want. Whether it be by musical impact or donating six billion Euro to charities, I want to be different, I want to be me – but in superhuman form, I’d have all my little quirks and mannerisms but with another side, a side that inspires people, that would make people want to be better.
Lately I’ve been pondering the subject of superheroes. Everyone has their favourite – mine is caught between Batman and Thor – and I think everyone at some time has fantasized about being one. I know I have, and so often do.
Of course, unlike Batman, who uses cunning, strength, battle experience and a strangely cool mental make-up to his advantage, or uses his ‘mind over matter attitude’, if you prefer. I’m thinking that having superpowers might be one of the requirements of the job. Unfortunately, most of the powers that are of interest to me, especially the ability to bend space, stop time and invisibility, have been taken. What’s a fledging superhero to do?
I flirted with shape shifting or the ability to manipulate the weather. I thought about being able to communicate with animals, but other than being very Dr. Doolittle-ish, how would that come in handy when trying to save the world? It wouldn’t. No, it would have to something formidable, something to strike fear through the veins of my enemies.
So, after much thought, I’ve decided that I want to be able to transform myself into any element, wind, rain, fire, the Periodic Table, whatever, which I think would really come in handy as a superhero. It could also cause some problems, which is perfectly fine, because most superheroes are flawed in some way and their powers can often be a curse to them. I don’t want to be any exception, a perfect life would be too boring for me.
Being able to change into any element would not only be a cool power to show off, but it would be extremely practical too. If someone is shooting at me, I can turn myself to iron and not only dodge the bullets being shot my way, but bounce them back. If I’m being chased I can quite conveniently turn to steam and drift away.
The same practicality applies if I want to sneak into a room. I’d just turn to smoke and go through the keyhole. And if I need to escape a sticky situation I can stand above a sewer grate and turn to water, reconstituting when I hit the pool below. There are no limits to how useful a tool this could be. Being able to transform myself like this makes me almost invincible…
…Which could be a problem. It may be too perfect. My powers would have to have a flaw. For instance, maybe I can only retain my transformation for a certain amount of time, say five minutes. Maybe I frequently find that messy circumstances only get messier because she can’t retain her powers, who knows, I could probably end up utterly unable to use them at all!
I would eventually learn that, like the Force of Star Wars fame, my powers could grow through time, practice and training. Like any dedicated student, I would constantly be working at skills she doesn’t quite understand. Maybe I would find a Yoda-like mentor to help me control and strengthen my powers.
I also need to take into consideration just how many elements I could transform into. It may be interesting to be able to run the Gambit (The most epic X-Man there is!) of the metals; it could be fun to turn into titanium, although the consequence could easily be that I only live a half-life or something like that, which sounds problematic. But it would certainly add to the fabric of my life. I may never have to turn to anything but myself, but I could change if I wanted to.
Practicality states that it would have to be a solid element and nothing colourless, odourless or tasteless; what good is it to become hydrogen? At first glance you might also think there would be no practical reason to transform into halogens or any of the Noble Gasses. But, come to think of it, if I wanted to light up a dark alleyway I could just turn to neon. Of course, I don’t actually turn to neon. Maybe my body just starts to glow brightly.
Of course, I would have to have a back story. I would have to explain how I discover my powers. You just don’t wake up one day made of superhero-material. Perhaps I’m a physicist. Maybe it’s night and I’m working in the lab alone. Maybe there’s an accident and an explosion sends a white-hot fireball right towards me. Unable to move in time I instinctively turn to iron, saving me from the flames rushing harmlessly by.
In the aftermath I lie on the floor, gazing in amazement and disbelief at my metallic body. This is interesting, I think before I quickly return to my human form. But I’m shook at what just happened, not comprehending whether it actually really happened.
Later, when realizing that I actually had turned to metal, I decide to test my newfound powers, perhaps by thinking of helium. Curiously, my body doesn’t inflate like a balloon, but begins to levitate, gently lifting me excitingly skyward until I am level with the ceiling. Then the powers suddenly vanish and I crash to the floor below.
Hmmm, maybe I’m on to something here…
My mam and I have discussed this theory at length, coming up with stupid names like ‘Elementary’ and such but we never really came to a final decision, I suppose I’d have to just let the people decide what to call me. Honestly, I can’t help but fantasise over this topic all day long but in the end I always come back to the same statement:
“If it’s meant to be, wait. It will happen.”
So I suppose I’ll just keep on waiting!