The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE TWENTY FIVE: Cloaked and Cowled.
A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended. – Batman
As a young kid and I’m talking about five to ten, there was two super heroes I loved above all others, Spider-man and Batman.
With Spider-man, I watched the cartoon and would hope I would catch him on the Electric Company that aired on PBS. I had some of the comics, one action figure and a Spidey watch.
With Batman, all I had was the old TV show (even at that young age, for some reason I understood Batgirl was HOT) and some comic books.
As much as Spider-man was my favorite (he was a kid, I was a kid), it would take some time for me to understand how much Batman made an impact on me, more than any other superhero. Even today.
I would pretend to be on the show with Batman and Robin, fighting off the bad guys. POW!!! BAM!!! BIF!!! I would punch out the Penguin and Joker and Mr. Freeze. I would think the Riddler could be rehabilitated and join the good guys because I always thought he was the coolest.
And, yes, Batgirl would fall in love with me. Over and over and over.
I liked the show, but I knew it was hokey. I really loved the comic books. They were dark and scary but since Batman was in it, I would hang onto every word, every panel. My favorite time to read them was at night, under the covers. And my favorite, favorite time to read them was at night, under the covers and when it was cold. I always picture Batman at night with the snow falling.
So……..Batman. Why do I want to talk about Batman? What does he have to do with my depression?
I’ll tell you.
He helps me.
Let me explain. Think about Bruce Wayne. Parents killed in front of him. His whole world is shattered. He goes through a troubled childhood because of dealing with no parents, no parents love to get him through.
But, he finds himself. He finds his true self, his true calling, in the caped crusader.
Here’s a guy that has to deal with this horrible memory his whole life but instead of succumbing to the pain and giving in to it, he uses it. He turns that pain into a positive and fights for those that can’t. He becomes the world’s greatest detective and turns his mind into a deadly weapon.
He becomes the world’s greatest superhero.
What? How can you say that? He isn’t the world’s greatest superhero? He has no superpowers???
THAT is my point.
Superpowers are great…..but who has superpowers? Nobody.
Batman/Bruce Wayne is just human. He is as human as you and me.
You’re thinking..sure. But he’s a billionaire. That’s how he is Batman.
Wrong. Money gets you the gadgets. It doesn’t get you the intelligence, the strength, the honor and morality.
Inside of us all, lies the potential to be him. And the potential to be the opposite. Let’s call that the Joker side. For me, the good wins most of the time. It’s not just in actions but also in thoughts and feelings. Then there are times when the Joker side creeps in like mist under a door. Horrible thoughts enter in and I do my best to swipe them away.
We all have those thoughts. We see an injustice or something that makes our life harder and want to find those responsible and deal with them in a deadly way.
You have to allow yourself to take a step back and think of all possible reasons why this thing happened. You may find the main reason this crisis happened is staring at you in the mirror.
As I have got older, I have become more patient and understanding. I think about things clearer without jumping into action first. My Batman side.
Then…. when I see horrible things happen in our world and how mean and ugly people can be, I want to take up arms, find those unsympathetic wastes of flesh and lay waste. My Joker side.
When it comes to the individual, it’s easier to see why they do things, for good or for ill. When it comes to people as a group, I wonder how we have survived this whole time without destroying the human race.
Is that right? No.
Is it human? Yes.
When you see these things as a whole, as hard as it is to be a lot of the time, be Batman.
I have seen a lot of versions of Batman. From the TV to the movies and the comic books. Some do things that the others didn’t. Some changes are good, some are not what I picture Batman doing.
Here’s where the true image of Batman is. It’s inside of me. It’s inside of you.
MY Batman is smart, strong, tough, caring, noble and believes that the best thing to cure all of it is kindness.
MY Batman also isn’t afraid to stand up to those that bully. He doesn’t back down from protecting the ones he loves and cares deeply for. He fights for right and justice.
MY Batman knows that there are bigger things than him that must be believed in and trusted in.
And since I want to be those things and fight the battles inside myself to make sure I am, then….I am Batman.
I am Batman. I will fight for those that can’t fight for themselves. I will believe that there is good in this world and do my best to keep scraping away at the moss and muck that sometimes covers it. I will sometimes lose a battle but will overcome that, adapt and learn how to win the next time.
I AM BATMAN!!!
And you are, too…..
Aug. 30th 2016
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.