Monday, November 21, 2005

A few years ago I was strong and I was fit and I had someone who controlled what substances I could and could not consume. One day they stuck us in a van and took us to a lab. There, we were taken one by one into a room where they stuck a needle down our arms and a tube in our mouth and a plug on our noses. "We're going to find out if you're Superman today" one of the lab assistant told me as he helped me up onto the stationary bike. "When I say go, you are going to pedal hard enough to keep this green dial above the red line and keep going until that red light goes off. We are going to increase and decrease the resistance but just keep peddling. " Green? Red? Lines and lights and dials and tubes. Where was I?
"Alright, are you ready?"
I tried to smile as best I could with the tube jammed halfway down my throat.
"Go!" he shouted as I watched the first stream of blood leave my arm and travel down the tube. Every thirty or so seconds I could feel a little more of my blood draining. My life. They were controlling the amount of oxygen I was breathing. They were controlling the pace. They wanted to know how well my blood cells could grab onto those tiny oxygen molecules as they squeezed through the cappilaries in my lungs. They wanted to know if there was something special coursing through my veins that made me better then the rest of them.

I strained, I panted. We were used to stress. We were used to pushing our bodies to the limit. Used to running up hills and mountains until we would vomit. But I couldn't stay focused. The room. The lights. The tubes. The two-way mirror. All I could think was what if they discovered my secret. That I wasn't Superman. What if they realized I was just a goofy bow-legged kid who had gotten lucky but hadn't done anything that anyone else in the room couldn't do if they wanted? I wondered how Superman managed day to day anyhow. Did he have to make his own kryptonite-coated razorblades when he needed to shave? Could he even feel the gentle breeze of a butterfly or a feather or the soft touch of a woman's hand?

"pedal harder!!" he screamed in my ear when they realized I was daydreaming. Drifting off in my own mind where there is no tube and no bike. Just black. Just space and darkness and rest.

Apparently when the red light had gone off I hadn't even notices. My eyes were closed and my teeth clenched tight around the oxygen tube. When the results came I wasn't surprised. I was below average. My blood held less oxygen then most of the rest of the team. I wasn't surprised. I always knew I was working twice as hard just to keep up. Superman wouldn't understand. For him, it's just too easy.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey Tayden,
Your blog is awesome. I came across it a little while ago and have been devouring my way through the archives. I love your writing style and it's quite fascinating reading about various issues from a guy's perspective. Blog on!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Six said...

Tayden darlin do you post anymore?

10:52 PM  

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