Watching reruns of the 1960s Batman defined my early childhood. I lived on the edge of our family sofa. My eyes transfixed on Adam West, the face of my hero, the Batman.
I was no couch potato, I was a fan. Fully garbed with my plastic mask and hand made cape.
I suppose this is what you would call a boyish sight. I can only speculate what my parent’s thought of it. Nonetheless I was Batman.
Old years passed and new capes came. My father made one for my birthday once. All the while my dedication to Batman was unshaken. He was a part of me.
I wanted to be the unsung hero. The one who saved the day. Adventure. Risk. I wanted it all as any boy that could dream.
But, dreams are sometimes lost. Often by our own hands, as I did the day I denied Batman.
During a children’s play I denied Batman. The kind parents put their innocent children through for free babysitting.
I was Bashful or one of those Dwarfs that Snow White slaved.
Backstage we dwarfs mingled. Trying to be tough I put on a show acting cool. Then out of absolutely no place the topic sparked, “What do you think of Batman?”
A slight pause.
“I think he is silly”, my tongue pressed tightly against my cheek. I was lying. I couldn’t let Batman bring me down. Fear of acceptance towered over me.
I needed to be liked.
“Dude, Batman is cool. I love him!” piped one dwarf the rest following shortly after.
How could I! Why did I? I denied Batman. Worst of all I couldn’t go back on what I said. Not with pride around. I had to stick with guns. I played my cards… even though they were not mine at all.
On that day I denied my dream. I should have been me. I should have kicked pride to the curb. I could have been a star that day. I was not. I was foolish and the only person I fooled was me.
Today, I try not to make the same mistake. I try to live my life and not the one I think someone else wants me to.