So I dreamt I was at work last night. Turns out I was mumbling thoughout my sleep, partially because I knocked out with headphones on. Rookie mistake, trust me I know. Anyway this is the fourth time this has happened this month. Am I working too much? Hmmmm. I guess we’ll have to find out.
“You’re so beautiful.”
That’s how it always started. A thought. Simple, precise, never uttered by word-o’-mouth but conveyed via thought and somehow understood. I remember one dream I had, when I was around 14, quite vividly. I believe at that age I had already reached the height of my creativity. It was perhaps the best time to write down plots to future books because the ideas bouncing around in my head back then were, I believe, phenomenal. Of course writing them down would be considered a wise decision… so of course I never did follow through. Today I’ll recount as much as of the dream in this post as is enjoyable.
Stunning. That’s is how she appeared to me. A being of pure energy. Dazzled as I was somehow I wasn’t too overawed. I was caught between two states, of both wonder and serenity. Seeing her made me realise my concept of beauty previously had a fixed volume in my head, a virtual box that contained all the amazing things in the universe. She shred this box to pieces, expanding outwards to unfathomable depths, gorgeous beyond even the scope of words in a thousand dictionaries. I could not describe to you how she appeared. She never looked the same for longer than a second as her appearance seemed to be in a constant state of flux. Her hair would grow long and hug her temple. It would caress her neck – it would disappear altogether – yet her appeal never diminished. She must have been slight for even though she exuded power and elegance there was a vulnerability that drew me towards her like bees are drawn to symmetry. Something within me yelled, “Protect her!” But I don’t think she ever needed it, or ever would – after all, she wasn’t human.
The moment flowed for an immeasurably. It could have been an instant – maybe I spent hours gazing at her – either way there was not a hint of discomfort between us. She gave off a powerful glow at the start, radiant like the sun at midday. It was bright out yet you the blue light emanating from her skin was blinding. I should not have been able to see her without shielding my eyes but I did, clearly I was pulling the strings to this dream. I immediately knew something was wrong when her radiance began to ebb. She was dying. How I came up with this conclusion only God knows but I knew she was and I instantly picked up the reason why.
Behind her falling towards us like a comet was an orange streak, a violent fireball with malicious intent. I could feel the loathing seething off it’s dark red flames. The closer this comet grew towards her the dimmer she shone. I saw fear in those beautiful pale eyes though if you asked me what colour they were today I’d say “none and every”. It pierced my heart, that. I could not come to appreciate that look of fear, wouldn’t. I knew deep down that if I could shelter her from danger I would even if it cost me my life. Obviously I, being just a man, could not do so. In what rational world would a being of flesh and blood be the protector of one of pure energy? My mind saw the flawed logic and reconciled the impossibility by shedding off my skin and revealing a cool body beneath. There was a sizzling as my true form came into contact with the air for the first time. Ice. Ice colder than anything you can ever imagine; as tough as diamond, as fluid as honey – that is what hid beneath.
The rage from the comet intensified. Arms and legs extended out of the ball of fire that hurtled towards us. I could hear abusive yelling although I couldn’t perceive a mouth on the figure of flames as it tried to take me down. We hit. The collision was spectacular! A blast of steam and sound radiated out as we tumbled across an empty parking lot leaving dark streaks along the tarmac. Once on our feet rapid blows were exchanged. The fight was on.
The being of fire was kinetic. He flew, rapidly, then swooped down like an eagle and swept flames like massive whips towards me. A “broad” range of emotions swirled across his face – namely ranging from rage to fury. He hurled fireballs towards me from all angles. He was fast… but I was cool. I slid across the surface, a coating of ice preceding me, staying on the ground the whole time. In my mind a being of ice cannot fly. Ice is dense, fire is not. Thick shields of ice rose up from the ground beneath me and the fire man pounded them with fireball after fireball until he realised he could not burst through. There was no way he was getting a scratch on her. Not on my watch, so he came for me instead, I – her protector. Like a peregrine falcon in for the kill he dived, gaining speed at an alarming rate. I stood my ground and increased the ice around my feet, encasing them, making myself immovable. No matter the consequence this would be the final action.
We collided once more. There was a resounding, bone-chilling whoosh as a thin film of chipped ice spread in all directions. In my hands was the being of fire, immobilised and slowly dying down, the cold stifling the heat… until he disintegrated with a sigh, one of relief. It seems like the being of fire didn’t like his role in my story, perhaps he was acting outside of his will. Either way it felt good. But that shallow feeling of victory was dwarfed by the sheer elation upon seeing the look of pure joy on her face. She was safe, bright and beautiful and that is all that mattered.
Girl: Uhm… Hello.
Boy: You’re really pretty.
Girl: Well you’re really straightforward!
Boy: I was told honesty is the best policy.
Girl: That’s rather cliché of you, don’t you think?
Boy: Cliché? Maybe it is… my source of advice isn’t very… young shall I say.
Girl: Next you’re going to tell me your source of advice is your Grandma.
Boy: *feigns it but it looks like genuine surprise* Wait… you know her? How did you know? Have you met her before?
Girl: What? No. *laughs*
Boy: Ah. There we go. Mission complete. *Stands up to leave*
Girl: Wait… So that’s it? *raises eyebrow* That’s all you’ve got?
Boy: What? I think you may have mistaken my intentions, miss.
Girl: Oh I see. Well that was rather uninspiring. I’m disappointed.
Boy: I guess I failed my mission *moves to sit down*
Girl: No, no, it’s fine. No need to sit down again. I’m actually waiting for a friend so you might as well head on your way.
Boy: I seem to have offended you. Might I ask how?
Girl: *scoffs* I’m not offended. I’m just surprised.
Boy: By what exactly?
Girl: I expected more than just a “mission complete”. That came off as rather lame don’t you think?
Boy: You want to hear something awesome about that?
Boy: … to be honest I wasn’t expecting you to respond so I didn’t have an answer ready.
Girl: *laughs* Oh my God, you’re hopeless!
Boy: See? That’s it! Right there! That’s what I was trying to do.
Girl: *wipes away tears* to prove how hopeless you are?
Boy: Well there’s that, but more importantly to make you laugh. That was my mission.
Girl: *sarcastically* That’s rather gallant of you.
Boy: I wouldn’t say that to be honest but it’s something I’ve always believed in. Making people happier than they were before I met them. I saw you sitting there with God knows what on your mind and I just had to try and make you laugh. You did, hence mission accomplished! *flashes her a toothy grin*
Girl: Maybe you aren’t so hopeless after all. I guess I should say thank you?
Boy: No need. But so as not to be impolite, you’re welcome… in actual fact I should be the one to thank you!
Girl: *quizzical look* Now why is that?
Boy: I don’t always accomplish my mission. Some people just won’t have a stranger chat with them no matter their intent.
Girl: Maybe it’s because we mustn’t talk to strangers?
Boy: Who’s being cliché now? *pointed look, gentle smile*
Girl: *smiles back* Touché.
Boy: You want to hear something astounding?
Girl: Surprise me.
Boy: You’ve done a great job cheering me up by talking to me. I really appreciate it. Thank you. *rises*
Girl: Wait… you’re joking right? Really? You looked you’re doing the same thing as before.
Boy: Ah yes but this time I’m leaving you with a smile on your face. Have a good night…?
Girl: *raises eyebrow* I’m guessing I’m supposed to fill in my name? *laughs*
Boy: I guess I’ll call you Aida.
Girl: What an odd name… why Aida?
Boy: It means happy and judging by the look on your face it’s accurate and it suits you… It’s been a pleasure meeting you Aida.
Girl: Hmmm. At least I’ve learned something new today. May I ask? What’s your name?
Boy: Call me Joe.
Girl: Joe… you’re not so regular are you?
Joe: I’d like to think so. Thanks. Hopefully I’ll see you around, Aida?
Girl: Vanessa… It’s Vanessa. And yes. I hope I’ll see you around too.
The idea of human beings with supernatural abilities has fascinated me from as early as I can remember. I guess it doesn’t help that I was born during the golden age of animation. Because of my exposure to animated characters with ‘abilities’ and what I believe is the natural human behaviour of seeking out things “beyond normal”, I spent a considerable period of time wishing I had superpowers… and I still do.
I guess it really took hold of me when I watched the movie, Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire. A regular (perhaps even sub-regular) high school kid developed spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider. He transformed totally and became someone even remotely worthy of emulation. I chased spiders down, alright! They never bit me, thank God, but that certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.
Then came one of my favourite songs after having featured on “Space Jam”‘s soundtrack titled, “I Believe I Can Fly”. Thank the Lord our house was a single storey building or I wouldn’t be able to share this story at all (because I’d be dead or lame). I then grew up (if only physically) and moved on to immerse myself in books, movies, tv shows and animation centred around superhuman individuals. I immersed myself so much so that I would spend any spare moment in bed creating worlds and stories with me (or a character I called “myself”) as the protagonist; imbued with supernatural powers often on a quest to save humanity in as aesthetically pleasing a manner as possible.
When I pranced into adolescence the focus shifted from looking cool and enjoying myself to looking cool and enjoying myself while winning some girl’s (or girls’) heart(s) over. Those were good times. Unfortunately I don’t do that anymore. Perhaps because when I’m in bed all I want to do is sleep. Maybe I should try start again? It did keep my imagination active. Leave your suggestions in the comments.
“What powers would I give myself ?” you ask. Said powers would range from controlling the weather to just ice or any one of the elements. Super-speed and control over lightning were among my favourites. Mind-reading and mind-manipulation (don’t judge me). Super-strength, invisibility, you name it, I day-dreamt it! How I would acquire these powers would vary. Sometimes I would be in a very difficult spot and they’d naturally manifest due to extreme distress. Other times I had to BELIEVE. And often I would have an encounter with a supernatural being, perhaps saving them in an act of selflessness. I would then be granted a wish or given powers as a reward for my bravery. It goes without saying that the supernatural being would be a girl oftentimes because puberty dictated it so. Over time I singled out the one superpower I loved more than all the rest. The power of super-speed.
“Why super-speed?” you ask. Well super-speed catered for each and every stage of my growing up. In the very early stage it would allow me to show off. Athletics was probably the most exciting of the sports in school and with super-speed I’d be a guaranteed winner in every race. There was also the fact that I could steal anything without being noticed, play a prank on anyone without being caught, read answers from my textbook during the exam and more so fast that I would never have to worry about anything. As I got older, *ahem… puberty*, I came to the realisation that although invisibility would allow me to peek and do some of the naughtier things in life, it would not allow me to get away if somehow caught in the act. This is my blog (LOL) so I’m going to elaborate whether you like it or not. If you want to save yourself you might want to skip to the next paragraph. So it came across me that invisibility would allow me to peek at girls in the shower. That was an attractive prospect, unfortunately I’d still be tangible. I would also still be audible and just as fast as I am normally. On top of that I wouldn’t be able to reach places I normally wouldn’t be able to reach etc. In that frame of mind, peeking would become a whole lot more difficult to do without being found out. Embarrassing as it may be, these thoughts plagued the early adolescent version of myself. If I was unable to move out of the way when some unexpected development occurred my presence would be noted, albeit anonymous. Now that I say it it does sound quite exciting but the danger would be too great. With super speed I could be behind said person all day without being found out. I’d move too fast for sound to pick up and if they turned around I’d move at the same speed as their head turned to not be noticed. (Yes a younger me thought about all of this. I’m as shocked as you are to find this out now that I’m writing it all down). Along with many other fine points which I will discuss at another point, super-speed is an ability you can find useful throughout the day at any point in time. Wherein something like flying, invisibility or mind-reading, although wonderful, can only be used at certain times.
Now that I’m in my early twenties I realise that time is of essence. No other super power, except perhaps one that manipulates time allows you to have “more time”. Super-speed does. With super-speed I would be able to complete my tasks rapidly. As time is a relative quantity, the very fact that I could move faster than everything else would make life “slow down” in relation to me, allowing me to have more time than others on this glorious earth. Of that time, more would be allotted to the things I care about as all the annoying but necessary tasks would be completed as quickly as possible (and that would be very quick with these powers). Imagine finishing every assignment in a day… studying for your whole degree in an hour. That would be possible with the super-speed ability. Exams wouldn’t need to last that long and one could find out what they’re best at since they have all the time in the world to try out everything… if not they have all the time in the world to master what they are not good at. If I had super-speed it wouldn’t have taken me this long to finish typing this blog. If you had super-speed you would have finished reading it much sooner and would have gone on to do what mattered most to you… and possibly finished that too.
Here’s to super speed! If I get a new body after death I pray I have it.