Maybe where Reader can fall asleep anywhere. On the coffee table? Out like a light. In a kitchen cabinet? Out like a light. On the stairs? Out like a light. Hanging upside down? Better check to make sure they’re alive. And maybe with Bart and/or Jaime constantly finding the Reader asleep in these uncomfortable and weird places?
After years of being a superhero, you’ve developed a bit of a special talent; you know, in addition to fighting crime and being able to fly. You have the ability to fall asleep anywhere and at the drop of a hat.
You blame it on those three months back when you were ten, when you barely got any sleep. You’d learned that you had to take it where you could get it. In the cargo bay, in a team meeting, under a cabinet, riding in Sphere, on the floor, hanging upside down from the rafters. Any place, any time is your motto.
The fact that it drives your brother and father crazy is just a perk. It makes your mother laugh. The fact that neither one can wake you up frustrates them even more, and it makes your mother bust a gut.
“It’s not normal, Shayera.”
You mother just smiles, “And what about our family is normal, John? You and our son are intergalactic cops, I’m an alien with wings. Wings our daughter happened to inherit.”
“She’s hanging upside down while she sleeps!”
“She’s lived most of her life on a space station.” You can hear the laugh in your mother’s voice.
“I don’t understand that girl.”
“And yet, she has you wrapped around her little finger.”
No one could argue that. Despite his general displeasure at your choice of sleeping venues, you were a daddy’s girl. Your father had a harder time saying no to you, than he did your mother. That was how you’d ended up with your mother’s mace in a practice session for your tenth birthday.
“You can stop faking now, they’re gone.” You peer one eye open and stare at your brother.
“How’d you know?”
“You had that little smile on your lips. Like an imp.”
You shrug before releasing your legs and gliding down from the rafters. Rex just smiles at you, “And where are you going?”
“To catch some real sleep.”
You make your way to the only place you’re guaranteed to get some uninterrupted sleep. The mountain is quiet, which tells you that everyone is either on a mission or at school. You make your way to the library and towards your favorite couch. It’s deep enough that your wings never feel pinned. You’re out within seconds.
You’re not sure how long you sleep for, but when those two bodies slam themselves down on you, you’re awake. You groan under the pressure, and glare at your best friends. Bart and Jaime just grin at you.
Bart laughs, “Time for training, Wings.”
You open up your wings and throw the both of them off, before getting up. The three of you race down the hallway, and into the training room. Three hours later, you’re more than a little exhausted when you land on a beam at the top of the room and lay down. You’re out in seconds and all you can hear is Bart complaining about it not being fair.
The pettiest of revenges on a stranger on the train.
I was riding on the BART Train from the East Bay area (CA) to San Francisco this morning and it got decently crowded, as it tends to do. I was standing, as were a handful of other people, and some youngish guy was taking up two seats. He must have been heading to SFO, because he had a traveling backpack on his lap and a pretty big luggage bag on the seat closest to the window. He notices people coming in and avoids eye contact, keeps his nose buried in his book, keeps his white earbuds in, and ignores people who ask him to move his bag.
Finally, an elderly lady gets on the train and she asks him (very nicely) if he’ll move his stuff. He looks up at her, takes out his headphones, tells her to “piss off,” and then looks back down at his book. She looked shocked, but a businesswoman stood up and gave her her seat on the train.
The book the guy was reading is a very popular novel from an extremely popular fantasy series that has to do with thrones and games and ice and fire. When I got off the train at my stop, I tapped him on the shoulder and when he took of his headphones, I spoiled the single biggest event in the book for him. I could tell by how far the pages were turned that he hadn’t gotten there yet and the look on his face was priceless. Nobody on the train noticed what I did and I kept walking with a smile on my face.
You go to safeway late at night, the florescent lights hum in the otherwise quiet grocery store. The CocaCola tower by the door is made to look like a face. The eyes follow you as you leave.
Yesterday it was 85° F. Today it is 50° F, and it might rain. It’s not raining on the boulevard, but it’s raining at the highschool. Tomorrow it will be 76° everyone is wearing a coat regardless.
A cat stares at you from the end of a long driveway. And another from the steps. And one from the porch. There are cats everywhere. Watching. Waiting. They know.
The village is crowded as always. The shops filled. The empty buildings stand as usual, empty. Dark. From inside the building where the see’s candy once was, you see someone standing. No one else sees them.
The same old Disney painting stare down at you from the window of the shop in the village. You wonder if anyone will ever buy them. They wonder if they will ever be bought. You do not go inside.
You go to the ice creamery. a waitress shows you to your table. You wait for her to come back. She never does. you don’t know how long you’ve been there. time has stopped existing.
The big empty building stands untouched, somehow unvandalized. It no longer houses the spirit store. It no longer houses anything. The chandeliers inside swing on their own. It haunts you.
You go to a nail salon, it smells of varnish. They do not take walk ins. You go to another nail salon across the street. They smile at you. You do not smile back. they are busy. It’s alright. there are more. There are always more. You cannot count them. There are too many nail salons. Who is linda?
You want yo go out for dinner. Where, your friend asks. There is no where. You drive past 6 different fast food places on your way out of town. You refuse to eat here. You cannot bare the sight of another burger.
There us Another paint store. You do not know where it came from, but it is there.
Your friend says he is going to the pool. You’ve never seen a pool in town. You’re pretty sure there are no pools in town. All the pools are hidden. you have to perform a sacrifice to join one. It is hot and windy. you are willing.
You swing your club. The golf ball bounces off a dragon and into the ACE parking lot. the dragons laugh at you for sucking at mini golf. You write a 6 on your card. You do not go after the ball.
Cloud9 beacons you. It’s small homey feel and boba tea draws you in. You hand over your ID for a wii remote. It’s dark out. You have not left. you buy another drink. Your photo appears on the wall.
There are teenagers in the skatepark. You didn’t see them arrive. It seems like they’ve always been there. The playground is made of metal, and burns your hands in the hot sun. your friend spins you until you fall off the playground. You see god. He’s smiling at you from the swings.
You go to the lake. The geese are there. You go to the elementary school. The geese are there. You go to the park. The geese are there. Where did they come from?
You drive past the morgue. You drive past the rehab center. And the hospital. You drive past the fire department. You drive past the juvenile hall. You drive past the mental hospital. You keep driving. you aren’t sure if you’re in castro valley anymore.
The bart train is late. The time transfer still goes through, because the other train is also late. You begin to wonder if you are early. The Pigeons seem to agree with you.
Traveling back home on a packed BART train from a long day/night of drinking and conversation with friends. Matt and I, along with a friend Bobby head back home to our suburban life. Being Pride Weekend in San Francisco, there was quite a few people dressed in various outfits with colors from the LGBT+ flag on their person. Others had smears of glitter or fake stones glued to their face in some fashion to represent their ally ship or gayness to the world. Those were easily spotted among the theater goers who had just let out of Hamilton at our BART station and various people just heading home from long work shifts or hard lives.
Though I noticed something as the train cleared and you could see the faces of those sitting in seats next to their friends, strangers, etc. I stared at two sets of couples on either side of each other. A black lesbian couple with one young lady laying her head on the shoulder of her girlfriend, being rocked asleep by the train. Her girlfriend had draped her with her jacket and laid her head on hers. The other a young gay white couple folded into each other, both exhausted from where they came, most likely being the long days Pride festivities. It is in this moment I noticed that these couples felt safe. Not only in each other, but in the fact they could show such shows of physical intimacy that years ago would have met with public disdain or worse yet violence. It was a comforting sight. It made me feel we have come a long way and maybe the world wasn’t so bad.
I turned to Matt and told him about the couples. He looked and smiled at me and laid his head on my shoulder. At that moment I noticed a man in front of us balk at the sight of this. His face grimacing in a manner that the action had offended him in some manner. I noticed this and in that instant, i laid my head on Matt’s and stared that man in the face and dared him to say anything. He turned his gaze and went back to his phone. Nothing more was said. I felt braver for this.
I thank those who came before, who are present now, and who are still to come who have helped us to have these moments. I know in other parts of the world, country, etc are not were we need to be, but I hope one day that a young LGBT+ couple can sit on a train at midnight and doze off with no harm to body or soul.