Many years ago I was Super Hero. If I were to
mention it, you would probably recognize the name I
used back then. I had one big gun that shot out lime
green gamma rays and another that spewed red and
yellow fingers of flame. My heroic deeds were mass
produced in scarlet and cobalt and canary. All lined
neatly with India ink.
Contrary to popular belief Super Heroes are not altogether altruistic. I was paid thick piles of green
for my time and efforts. My grandmother was my
publicist. She followed me wherever I went with a
heavy Rolleiflex camera. It was the kind that you had
to flip up the top and look down into the viewfinder.
I always appeared upside down. Grandma’s energy
sometimes was greater than my own as we sped from one
far flung corner of the world to the next. In the life
of a Super Hero there is never a moment of rest.
Eventually we could no longer hide from the
audience the fact that the Super Hero costume did not
fit quite the same. Even Grandma’s talent with a
camera (this was before computer enhanced photos)
could not disguise the sags and the paunches and the
wrinkles. Her bunions had filled out over time making
it nearly impossible for her to find comfortable
shoes. Together we decided it was time to retire.
Now my life is colored in sepia. I rarely leave
the comfort of my little house. Grandma passed on last
spring. I spent the first few years writing letters to
my fans until they faded away and became pale and
brittle. Now I am writing this to you. In hopes that
you will understand.
CJ Wiley is a graduate of the University of Washington
certificate program in Literary Fiction. CJ's work has
been published by Byline, Bogg and Chiron Review. CJ teaches Creative Writing in Seattle,