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 used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY ONE: My Bat Cave…
Just after midnight, the moon, that appeared off and on during the night, fell behind the clouds for the last time and all was dark. The snow fell in more heavy waves and blanketed the city below. Every car and truck that sat on the side of the streets were covered. And there was no sound, other than the quiet ambient noise of the snow falling to meet their ancestors on the awaiting ground, vehicles, and rooftops and the occasional sound of the wind.
The glow of the street lights was almost physical in the falling frozen precipitation. They caused huge curtains of moving yellow to be placed here and there along the streets. It was almost as if you could get inside one and pull it around you.
As I said, it was quiet.
Even the caped figure that looked down from a high rooftop was completely silent. His long black cloak would flutter in the cold breeze. His cold eyes slowly scanned below for the slightest bit of crime but due to the weather, most evildoers were somewhere in the warmth of a heater or a hot embrace.
No. No crime tonight.
And he was grateful. His frozen face not encased in his mask was thankful. Though he had a heating apparatus built into his suit, it was too cold for him to stay for long. One last look around and he would call it a night.
Tonight he would go home almost happy.
He would never be completely happy. Not ever.
Another day would come where the weather didn’t keep the evil inside. And he would be needed. He would be ready.
Tonight, Gotham was silent.
And the Batman went home…
It’s taken me many years to come to a realization.
Batman is my favorite superhero.
I have always been a Marvel guy. Spider-man was my childhood favorite. I watched him on the Electric Company, I watched his syndicated cartoon, and I read his comic books. But there was always Batman, even then. I loved the campy Batman TV series.
Then as I became more aware of the world and fought what puberty was doing to me (I didn’t fight too hard), I became a little angrier. That’s when Wolverine became my favorite. I read his comic books endlessly.
But there was always Batman. I dove into his comic books and as time went on, here came the Tim Burton Batman movies. I loved to see a more ‘serious’ rendition of the Dark Knight.
And as I got older and even more pissed off at the world, Deadpool was my guy. The comics were my favorite. He spoke to my feeling of wanting to give up on society and not worry about the outcome.
But…there was Batman. I became a huge fan of the Nolan films and saw how serious Batman could be. THIS was my Batman. The dark, brooding, serious character is what I craved. The hero in the dark. The avenger of the weak and innocent.
And he was always there. And I can narrow it down the one moment where he found a permanent in my brain, in my organic supercomputer bat cave.
I was a kid. And I loved comic books. During the early winter, I went to a local bookstore and spotted a DC comics digest. These were smaller than the actual comic books and held six or seven stories. This one happened to be Christmas related. I haven’t seen the actual digest in many, many years (I’m not sure I still have it) but it seemed like the cover had a Christmas wreath on it and surrounding it was the main staples of the DC universe, including Batman.
So, I got it home but waited to read it that night, under the covers of my bed. I remember it being cold in my room so getting under the covers was nice. It would fill with my body heat and would get cozy. With flashlight in hand, I started to read. I don’t remember anything about most of the stories. But there was one about Batman. Again, I don’t remember too much about it but I remember a drawing of him, at night, walking in the snow. Even though the story didn’t stay with me, that image did. It may have morphed into a different image over time, but the idea of Batman in the snow has always been a cherished thought. Ever Christmas since, I have thought about that image. Every time I’m outside at night and the snow is falling, I think about Batman. When it’s hot in the summer and I start to look forward to the fall and winter, there are times that image will pop into my head.
Batman has always been there, in some way or another.
I have always been partial to Gotham than other places in comic book locale. Sure, it’s crime-ridden and dangerous in the underbelly and there are supervillains running around but I like the dark and the rain and the gloom. Minus the crime, I think I would get along there. Maybe a few vacations to Metropolis from time to time to reset but between the two, I’m making Gotham my home.
Plus I prefer Batman to Superman any day.
Recently, the caped crusader has been on my mind a lot. I’m not sure if it’s what I said before about fall and winter is coming (not GoT) and I associate that time of year with him or what but I have even started taking a Batman Arkham action figure with me to work just so he can be there to ‘protect’ me. He stands on the corner of my desk in his dark grey and black costume and watches me. Maybe I needed a protector in the seedy underbelly of the place called ‘my job’. Occasionally I’ll pick him up and look into his unflinching eyes and I see him in a different costume walking in the snow from a comic from so long ago. I think about how much life was simpler than when using my imagination took up most of my day.
Maybe Batman helps me remember that. And maybe he helps me believe there could be somebody out there watching over me and will stand by me when the time comes.
There have been nine people to have played Batman on TV and in the movies. From the first person to play Batman, Lewis G. Wilson in 1943 to Ben Affleck most recently. None of those guys will play him as well as I have in my head. When I read the comics, my Batman has always been the best.
I bet that goes for you, too.
So, there’s a signal shining in the wintry sky that overlooks my city. The snow falls through the light being projected and makes me feel the night is alive. With that comes the evil that finds its way into the streets and sometimes in our hearts.
We need someone to watch over us in our weakest moments. A protector. A crusader for those that need help.
We all need our own Batman.
November 16th, 2018
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.