Longreads

Steven Church | I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part| May 2018 | 16 minutes (4,362 words)

1. How to Be a Superhero

My son came home one day from his progressive and politically correct Providence, Rhode Island, pre-school and informed me that he was not allowed to talk about superheroes.

“Why not?” I asked, flabbergasted. This couldn’t be true, I thought. There must be some kind of mistake.

“Because, Daddy,” he said patiently, “Superheroes solve their problems by fighting and not with their words.”

“Yeah, but…” I tried to respond but couldn’t. I was stumped, struck dumb and silent.

He was right. But for Chrissakes, they’re superheroes. They’re the fabric of childhood. I could barely imagine my own without superheroes. Their stories helped me believe I might actually survive the nuclear 1980’s. A superhero’s problems were not the kind you could just talk about, like parking tickets, traffic…

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