Auctioning your Superpower

What if you could have *any* superpower. You’ve been asked that, right? You had a kid brother, or just one of those friends? What would it be?

Hold on. What if they were too smart to let you get away with, “I want to be all-powerful” or anything that even remotely smacked of cheating? OK, so just one, then.

Would you pick the ability to fly? Sure, it’s cool for a month or so, but I think it would get pretty f-ing boring, after a while. Especially since regret is a mother f-er (remember, it’s superpowers, there are kiddies present).

Would you decide to become the strongest person in the world? That’s great until you break your lover in half. We’ve all heard those Superman jokes. Yeah, yeah, property of DC. We know, DC, we know. How about the power to win any lawsuit? That’d be really popular in New York or Washington.

I chose invisibility at will. I know what you’re thinking, but I was depressed. First, it’s better than the ability to swim really fast and talk to dolphins combined (skirting that DC thing). I suppose if you lived on a tropical island, maybe that’d be great, but not in Queens – it just doesn’t help you.

I chose the power to become invisible, because I can be left alone when I want and I’m tired of not knowing who people really are, but only knowing what they pretend to be. With invisibility, they’ll say things in front of you that they just won’t the rest of the time.

So why didn’t I choose mind-reading? Well, assuming you can turn it off and on when you want, so you don’t go crazy, I figured that, by the time I wanted it on, the moment would pass and I’d miss what I wanted to learn. Instead of what i wish I’d said, it’s what I wish I’d heard.

Look, maybe it wasn’t the best choice in the world, but I didn’t have forever to think about it. You won’t believe me, anyway, no matter what I tell you. I could say space aliens gave me this ability, or I sent in $20 to Brother Bill’s Old Time Gospel Jamboree, but you’d still think I was crazy.

Speaking of which, I did think of something altruistic, like the ability to make one loaf of bread feed 5,000 people at a time, but apparently the point of some things is that they happen only once. So even though DC doesn’t hold the rights to Jesus too, it was disallowed.

Back to invisibility. I do get left alone. For anyone who ever wishes he could get enough work done without someone making a demand, being invisible really helps. Except, of course, there’s e-mail and texting, and so it’s not really that great.

My superpower does give whole new meaning to the “blind date” concept, though. I go on blind dates all the time. Sometimes the girl doesn’t even know we’re on one. You smirk, but I’ve been out with supermodels. You? I don’t even pay to get into shows.

You might think that’s un-ethical, but mainly I use my powers for good, like a good Jedi should. Sorry Lucasfilm. You can sue me, but you’ll have to find me to serve the papers.

No, the dark side is tempting, but it’s a can of worms. Once you become the ultimate bank robber, you end up living a romantic life full of travel, lazy mornings, eating whatever you want, but you don’t get what *I* want.

See, what I want is *her*. She doesn’t know I exist. She has a boyfriend. She has more than one boyfriend, but one main one, and none of them knows about the others. I wait until they’re not around to hang out with her. You know, it’s like porn films – I never get how you can like that someone else is banging the girl you’re fantasizing about. First, you can have that in real life, like me. Second, it’s like reliving every cheerleader fantasy from high school, and being the nerd that can’t have them.

No, I wait until she’s alone. I got news for you, though – being invisible does *not* grant you an invisible car. It’s not like being Wonder Woman with her cloaked jet (DC, we’ll just have to work this out). No, I have to drive my own sh*tty car.

I know what you’re thinking. Stalker, right? I’m not. She’s predictable. She goes to the same places often enough, I can even tell you where she likes to park. It’s more like me liking to go to those places too, because she’s there. Usually it’s just the library or the park. It’s not like I’m in the shower with her.

Of course, it *sounds* creepy, because that’s what invisibility makes you. It makes you creepy. They don’t tell you that. You don’t get a warning label. “WARNING: the one thing you can do better than anyone else is going to make you socially awkward.” Nope. I did say I wanted to be left alone, after all. It’s not technically true. I want to be left alone by everyone but *her* – the one person who left me more alone than anyone.

Oh, it’s not like we dated. We just sort of talked a few times, and she thought it was cute I had a crush on her. She was going through a rough time then, with one of the three or four guys she’s back together with now. But that’s beside the point. I can’t help myself. I like her, and she doesn’t like me, and doesn’t even consider me a candidate for her stable of lovers. So I’m reduced to watching her read in the park, while I lean against a tree, inches from her face, smelling her hair.

I know – pathetic, right? So the deal is this. There’s this thing called the superpower exchange program. You get online and you trade your unwanted superpower for someone else’s unwanted superpower. Neither of you is really trading up, but at least you get to try something different for a while. Yes, you can trade. That’s called an ancillary ability. Mostly, we just use Craigslist, sometimes Etsy. E-bay has gotten too expensive.

So here’s the point of telling you all this. I asked you what you’d pick if you could have any superpower. Now think about my predicament and help me out with a slight variant on the question. What would you pick if you could have any superpower that was lame and kind of sucks? We’re talking Green Arrow lame (again…). You’ve got a choice of any superpower someone would probably want to dispose of. What do you look for?

Help me out here. You can use the comment form below. Invisibility is depressing me far more than I was already, and I’m ready to settle even for the dolphins thing. I’m sure you can offer some creative guidance. Also, I can smell your hair.

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