In third grade, I learned that I couldn’t choose “superhero” as a career path.
At the time, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man had been out for a couple years. It was my favorite movie. I watched it more than thirty times.
I wanted to be Peter Parker, so I emulated his nerdy persona and touted acrobatic badassery. I dried my hands and feet and propped myself on top of a doorframe at home, pretending I had his climbing abilities. Come Halloween, I knew exactly what costume I wanted to wear.
The spidey suit I chose was abysmal. It had fake pecs and abs that made me look like a satanic version of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. The colors had that neon glow-in-the-dark piss quality. And worst of all, it was a size too small.
Due to the costume’s no-refund status, I had to wear it on Halloween at school. The embarrassment tore me up inside. The costume also tore during class, so my mom (who was a parent volunteer for the day’s festivities) had to sew it up while I sobbed like a baby in front of my classmates.
My mission to become spider-man was crushed. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fight the fact that I was just an ordinary kid with a spoon-fed life purpose.