The Voluntary Man
If I was a superhero I would chose to be Clark Kent. I’d like to be normal, just normal, because you see I am the most special boy in the world. I am, in a word different, and, plainly put, I don’t like it. I am the Voluntary Man, and I am a super hero. I don’t fly, I don’t have super strength, I can’t shoot laser beams through my eyes. I am simply voluntary. If you remember your grade school biology, you’d know what I meant. There are two kinds of muscles or tissues, I’m not sure, I was never good at science. There are the involuntary kind, the parts of the body that function by themselves like the heart or the gut parts. All my parts are the other kind, the voluntary kind, the parts like feet and hands, and I can move everything like feet and hands. It’s a hassle, a big whopping hassle, you see, I just have to remember all the time. All the time, I have to put energy into the basic processes of life. What would happen if I forgot to digest or to pump the good blood from the heart and the bad blood to the heart? And it’s very confusing sometimes. What if I suddenly forgot what the kidney does? Imagine the consequences. It’s good that the doctors gave me a cheat sheet plastered as a thin layer of invisible plastic to my retinas. Oh that’s another thing the eyes. It’s effing painful when I forget to blink.
There are pros though to the condition, cheap tricks, you know like turning a patch of skin blue. It’s simple really; just divert the flow of blood away from the patch of skin in question and viola.
Last week I tried to be entirely blue, well entirely visibly blue, I put all the red gunk to my feet which was of course covered by shoes. Bragging doesn’t do any good the nurses said. I found myself in the ICU for days, big expensive machines doing the involuntary work for a change. Now, that was a ball for me, at last I could sleep, rest. Being the Voluntary Man takes a butt load of work as you can imagine, you can’t even sleep!
Now you see why I want to be Clark Kent, just plain old Kent. I mean, what about him? What if he forgot to check his laser eye beams or his super strength? What if he forgot how to stay on the ground and flew far far away more than a bird or a plane? That’s why I want to be the man behind the glasses and not the man with the cape but maybe it would just be easier if I just volunteered to die.
BJC l December 2013