Monday, July 21, 2003


Sometimes, people raised on comic books have weird conversations. This is no shock, I know. But besides the standard who-could-beat-who debate or the which-super-(female)-hero-would-you-sleep-with, there is one in specific that provides some serious psychological probing. The topic I'm referring to is; if you could pick one super power in specific, which one would it be?

I have thought about this many times, believe it or not. I have taken many long uptown subways alone when there was nothing else to do than to crawl inside the deep reserves of my mind. Where I consider the location I would buy my first brownstone (94th, between Columbus and CPW), what I wish I was better at (playing basketball) and what it would be like to be an astronaut (scary). Sometimes, though, I would consider that if I had actually come from a far away planet (like Staten Island), landing on this planet in an astroid or had been victim to a radiation experiment, what kind of secret power I would possess.

The answer to me is always obvious. I would have the ability to read minds.

While some powers are more attractive, none is more practical than telepathy. Sure, being bulletproof is cool but if I'm getting shot at, then I've got other things to worry about than whether bullets are penetrating my skin. Like, I've got to start re-evaluating my life. And walking through walls is also quite the ice breaker at parties but other than getting into subway cars (post door slamming), what else is it good for?

Telepathy. Do you understand the greatness of this? Being able to intrude, unbeknownst to the victim, another person's mind. Besides using privy information for blackmail purposes or for impressing random attractive girls, one could determine the sincerity of others. If someone actually says, it's not you, it's me, for once you'll know if it's a line or not. I tried to make it to your party, he'll say and you'll be hearing, I was too lazy to make it to your party. A-HA! Caught in your web of lies!

Imagine walking into a job interview and being able to determine all the favorite things of the person sitting across the desk from you. You also like eating cookie dough raw, they'll ask in disbelief? And you love Mozart? This is uncanny. You're hired.

Reading the minds of others could also save a great deal of guesswork. Like why is this person in such a bad mood? Should I avoid her? Is it that time of the month....ahhh, I see it is. I best come back tomorrow.

At lunch today, a co-worker of mine and I discussed mean people and the over-whelming presence of them in our world. Are people inherently rude and we have to fight our inner-programming to act otherwise? I responded that if I was a telepath, I would see if their attitude was unwarranted or actually the outcome of being previously mistreated, much like lawyers defend murderers because they were abused as children. Only then would I know who to tolerate and who to give the finger to.

Of course, flying helps you avoid traffic but let's say you're afraid of heights. Not that I am, per se, just throwing a hypothetical out there. And lasers out of your arms is pretty wicked but then no one wants to hold your hand. Instead, telepathy is safe. It's fun and could be done right in the comfort of your very home (read your roommates minds!).

As a child, my father would every once in awhile bring home a Slurpee or a strawberry milkshake. With great happiness and joy, I would ask him how he knew I was in the mood for one. He would smile and respond, I could read your mind.
To this day, I'm not sure if he was joking or not.

And also, if he wasn't, then why couldn't I have inherited that gene instead of the one that makes me crappy at basketball?


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