CJ Wiley

Graphic Life

     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, Washington.


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