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My Superman

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 at 02:13 ET

My mom is in town for Thanksgiving (as well as my sister and her boyfriend.) When she comes to Florida we always try to make some time to get together with some old family friends, Helene & Charlie. If I remember the story right, Helene and mom were old buddies in college and they’ve stayed in reasonably close touch ever since. Helene and Charlie live near Ft. Lauderdale (kind of) so we try to meet in Vero Beach, which is approximately halfway in between. We also took my grandmother, who knows Helene and Charlie and has been part of this new tradition in the past :)

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I mentioned Five for Fighting. My sister’s boyfriend, Kevin picked-up on it somehow and mentioned the song “Superman.” It was important enough in our conversation that I went into my room to make my computer play the song for us. Today something strange and wonderful happened — I was reminded of what Superman used to mean to me before 2000.

Back when I was a kid, and I have no idea how this started, someone told me, my brother, and my sister, that Charlie was really Superman. It went so far that one time I remember going to see the “new” Superman movie with Helene & Charlie once and talking to Charlie about “his” movie. It was crazy — when we went to New Jersey to visit them mom used to say “we’re going to go visit Superman.”

Superman and His Wife

Today in our walk, I was reminded of this once again, and the words of the Five for Fighting song came into my head from the night before. I was also remembering that it wasn’t so much the thought that Charlie really was Superman, I was probably too old for that. Instead it was more about liking the idea that he had a great secret and we (the kids) were included in it. I think we really liked that feeling. He may have been only a man, but he’s always been a super friend to my mom and her kids (as has his awesome wife!)

I can’t stand to fly, I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find the better part of me
I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry, fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie about a home I’ll never see
It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away, away from me
Well it’s alright
You can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy or anything

I can’t stand to fly, I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride with clouds between their knees
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
And it’s not easy to be me.

“Superman”
Five for Fighting
America Town
©2000 Sony

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