Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Same Side

I had a conversation with a busser at work the other day.  We were talking about movies, and comic books and comic book movies and he told me that there would be, in the very near future, a movie about the epic battle between Batman and Superman.

Now, please be aware, that I know very very little about comic books, comic book movies, multiverses, superheros, super villains, or any of the other things that go along with that huge and expansive culture.  But I do know, or thought I knew, that Batman and Superman were essentially on the same side.  They had the same goals, same motivations, and same gravely-voiced disdain for those that "just want to watch the world burn," right?

I was shocked after learning I was wrong, and asked this eager-eyed 21-year-old busser what Superman and Batman could possibly fight over - a fight so epic that it would warrant a feature-length film?  He shrugged his shoulders and simply said that maybe they disagreed about how best to handle a situation.  Or maybe Batman killed one of the bad guys and Superman would have preferred he hadn't and just imprisoned him.  This sweet and informative busser told me that he was certain Superman would win and that they would each learn a lesson and the film would only be a setup for another movie where they would join forces having settled their grievances towards each other.  Justice League, maybe?

I had always considered my sister and I to be on the same side.  We are on the side of having grown up in a house, an environment, in different states, in a totally different family model than anyone else we had ever known.  We are linked and connected in ways that no one else would ever understand.  We sat for hours in my car trading stories about the hilarity of our childhood, our parents, our friends, the world.  We would laugh until our throats ached and our eyes streamed black from tear-pulled mascara.  

And we fought, don't get me wrong.  We used to fight so hard and cut each other so deep and would so profoundly strike with the force of our tongues that we would each be left shaking with disbelief that those secrets, those hushed and whispered confessions would ever be used as ammunition.

But we were always on the same side.

Nothing was ever so epic, or would ever count so much against each other that it was worth anything more than a disgruntled few days without talking.  We marked our bodies, our wrists with black ink, one of the most visible part of one's body in tribute to our constant connection and ability to carry each other's heart.

Because Batman shouldn't fight Superman.  Sure, they live in different cities.  Yes, they have different jobs and strengths and skills and demons and struggles and hardships.  But their quarrel is not with each other.  Their ability to rule the world is only possible if they are a team, if they can agree, if they can set aside their differences and just be on the same fucking side.  I'd like to be on the same side, again.

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