“They used to call me Superman”,
he told me, sometime after midnight.
“They still do.”
I told him I could see that, not letting him know I saw his blue tee shirt, with the red ‘S’ on the chest, showing from inside his jacket.
He spoke no more intelligible sentences. He only looked at me, his eyes into my eyes, with an expression that made me think of Dave Chappelle, if Dave Chappelle was crazy.
Yeah, take that for what it’s worth.
And then, he put out his hand. Not to ask for money, but to ask for my hand in return. One man to another, like in the old days. Then he said,
“I’m an addict.”
I did not look away. Not to the security guard off to the side of me, too far away to have done anything, if anything needed doing. Not to the hospital in front of me, and the ER he was visiting. And not to God, who at that moment seemed to leave me to make up my own mind about what to do with the drug-addled superhero standing in front of me.
So, with my eyes never leaving his, I shook his hand, in the way men shook hands in the old days of superheroes in America. Strong. Resolute. With the understanding of what we were to everyone else in that moment.
© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday