Monday, December 3, 2012

Spidey Sense

Spidey-Dirge by Forrest

Spider-Man, leave me the hell alone. I don’t care that your Spidey-Sense is tingling. That any part of you is tingling. Because I bought all your action figures without the luxury of kung-fu grip. Because I lost my best friend in the third grade in an argument over not differentiating the Green Goblin from the Hobgoblin. Because I sang mercilessly that you were the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” during the 1970’s while my parents were considering divorce in another room. Because I never knew who Peter Parker really was until I grew up. Not the inconspicuous weenie who cared more about Aunt May and Uncle Ben than his All-American girlfriend. Not the good guy posing as a good guy who secretly wanted to be a good guy. A better guy.

So what of your bettering? You’ve probably already died in a dozen different ways with special limited edition covers and holographic authenticators of Marvel Comic quality assurance at five bucks a pop—only to be reincarnated later for another five. You donned a black outfit for awhile because that had to be soooo bad-ass. And some douchey-acting prick without a haircut played you in the latest sequel. I won’t be surprised if your next nemesis is yourself battling the bottle and the side-effects from Xanax abuse. Anything can be dressed up in scary colors for our entertainment now. They robbed the bank. You let them get away with it.

You can mope under my old bunk bed all you want, unitard-fucker. No one’s going to give you a parking ticket. No one sleeps there anymore. No radioactive spider under the pillow, either. You’ll see what kind of a childhood you can save when you don’t arrive just in time: something that resembled yours.


Hero Sandwich by William

The costume smelled like a pantry, like potatoes in a sack on the floor and celery seasoning but the smell didn’t matter. We’d tried this grift once before, setting up a tent and billing the chance to meet superman but it was just a short guy in Supe’s PJs. You were wrong when you said everything’s going to be alright.

The difference now was people could come in and sit on the little bench-bed we had set there and they could just stare at our guy in the costume and he’d just stare back, but if you waited five minutes, if you sat and stared at him for five minutes he’d tell you to take a picture cause it lasted longer.

Did you ever think about it he got sick? We took the idea from that Marina Abramovic thing where she sat in the chair and called it The Hero is Present (our thing was the hero, her’s was the artist) but he didn’t do anything heroic which we thought was the best gag about it all because he was actually really hungover and hated sitting there and would hug himself and rock with the shakes in between us letting people into the tent with him.


After the Storm by Alan

the subway tunnels were flooded with brackish water that sent everything underground up to the surface. What was once beneath and accustomed to great moans of night had its first glimpse of light. And the mingling, the slow getting used to, the initial shock.

I noticed the two rats climbing the stairs of the entrance at Union Square, how they squinted in the sun for a moment and sought for some downtrodden corner of familiarity/universe. Next to the well, wrapped in damp comforters and worn clothes, a man pulling red spots of alarm off his skin did not even flinch as they slipped in between the folds. I stopped to let him know. Offer a warning about what the darkness can release into the world. I urged that he be mindful, but did not acknowledge me either.


Spiderman's Mid-life Crisis by Johanna

Let's be honest, spiders creep people out with all those legs, crawling over furniture, hiding inside shoes. Spiders are generally disliked and no one wants to live with them. Anytime they see one, they wash them down the bathtub drain or suck them up with a vacuum. I can't blame them. Spiders bite and when they do, they're either tiny itchy annoyances or swollen painful bruises. Even a spider in the wild is a nuisance, leaving their webs suspended between two trees so someone can walk through them, squealing and thrashing to free themselves of dead bugs. Worse, I am a giant human-sized spider with a fancy costume. Everyone knows that the larger and more ornate the spider, the scarier they are. Why couldn't I embody something sexier like fire? I could have been shooting flames from my wrists instead of sticky webbing or had blades coming out of my knuckles. But, no. I had to be a giant fucking spider of a man.


Not quite a Sound by Lyle

Yeah, my Spidey senses were tingling but they were always tingling, y'know? Buzz buzz buzz. Hard to sleep at night, really. I suppose it was the sleep deprivation, now that I think of it. I was dog tired, actually. My bones hurt. Just a little rest. Just close my eyes for a minute, maybe? But then that tingling -- vaguely sexual in nature -- not quite a noise, not quite a feeling, would wake me back up. No REM. So I started putting on a costume, you know, in a sort of delirium and hopping from roof to roof.

The days are the worst. All the people everywhere with their not-very-savory thoughts that light me up like a Christmas tree (not quite a light, either). I tell you it's a curse, for sure. I remember one day I found myself on a school bus first thing in the morning. Now these are little kids mind you, but I was abuzz even then. No such thing as innocence. That's why I do parties now. No less exhausting but most people are cheery, or at least not thinking about the things they normally think about. The kids wear me out, but that sensation (I can't think of a better word for it) at least crawls to a stop. I'll take the noise any day. The noise and the constant battering from all those children. I still can't sleep at night, but there are those several hours of respite. There will have been, anyway I hope, before they drag off my corpse. And sometimes, if I think about it just right, even a moment to myself.