Every once in a while someone will ask you, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
My answer is usually the ability to fly. Flying seems awesome. Also, convenient.
I believe I would wear high heels considerably more often if I could fly around instead of walk. I’d probably never be late for anything again. I’d save a hell of a lot of money.
When I was little I used to love the swings because it was the closest thing I knew to flying. I loved the wind in my hair and that moment where you hang in suspension – when you can no longer feel the swing beneath you, only freedom, weightlessness, adrenaline…
All in all, flying is a solid option.
However, if you had asked me when I was a teenager, my answer might have been different. Actually, my outward response might have still been the ability to fly. But I walked around with a secret desire for a completely different superpower.
I wanted to be able to read minds.
Not in the standard hearing-everyone-near-me-think way – I saw “Earshot”; that almost drove Buffy batshit crazy. I had very specific things I wanted my power to be able to do.
I didn’t want to be able to hear anyone’s thoughts whenever I wanted. That’s an absurd invasion of privacy and, quite frankly, there were some things I just didn’t want to know.
No, all I wanted was to be able to hear what other people were thinking about me. Good and bad. Especially bad. I wanted every thought that anyone ever thought about me to be sent to my brain like an email. I wanted to be able to replay conversations that other people had about me when I wasn’t around.
I was paranoid and self-conscious and I hated not knowing if people liked me or not. It almost consumed me.
When I was little, my parents (as I’m sure many parents have) told me that when you hear a ringing in your ear it means someone is talking about you. If it was in your right ear, the talk was positive. If it was in your left, it was negative.
I nearly had a panic attack every time my left ear was ringing.
I no longer obsess over what other people think of me. I no longer doubt the intentions or feelings of my friends.
I now realize that this would be an incredible waste of a superpower.
So I think I’ll keep ‘flying’ as my answer.