Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's not exactly leaping tall buildings in a single bound or spinning straw into gold, but my superpower, such as it is, is to see the world through the prism of metaphor. Everything reminds me of something else, everything means something else. Steve always used to say it is what it is. And I hated him for saying that because, for me, nothing ever is what it is.

Yesterday, even before I stepped through the glass doors and out onto the sidewalk, I saw the dark circle of suits blocking the way. I knew, and it felt like the twist of a garotte, that one of them was Steve. I knew that he wouldn't look at me, but he did anyway and I closed my eyes for a second and walked towards the parking lot and wished that I were prettier or nicer or smarter or braver.

And then my car failed inspection because of a problem with, yes, the rear view mirror.

So what's you special knack, gift, talent? Does the perfect parking space always open up for you or can you effortlessly memorize the lyrics of any song you hear?

What's your superpower?


Patti said...

I can feel other people's emotional badly that sometimes I can't breathe.

Oh, and I can curl my tongue into a 3-leaf clover.

Beruriah said...

I can turn any child into a wild acrobat/gorilla simply by sitting on the floor.

niobe said...

Oooh Patti. That reminds me of my other superpower. How could I possibly forget to tell everyone that I can touch my nose with my (very long and pointy) tongue?? Also.

Karen said...

I think I like yours, niobe. And Mercury is in retrograde, so we are all supposed to be looking backwards right now.
I do have a special gift of missing cross town connections. I have never once made the connection that I should. That was is more negative, like my parents ability to walk into the only inappropriate scene of a movie my sisters and I were watching as teenagers.
On the more positive side, I like Patti, empathy & the third eye, but it has taken me a long time to enjoy these gifts - or rather to take care how I use them & when to stick them in a cupboard with the doors locked (like when taking a bus downtown).
The other day Henry busted out with "Isaac has a third eye," pointing to that spot. My in-laws looked aghast at their grandson & Matt said calmly to me, "he gets it from your side." Too true, too true.

Trish said...

I'm not sure if I'm just slow, or maybe I missed something, but who is "Steve"? Is he real, or metaphorical?

It sucks that your car failed. Does that mean that you have to get it fixed and go back? I hope it is something cheap to fix.

I, unfortunately, do not seem to have any superpowers. If I think of one, I will re-comment.

niobe said...

Trish: Well, technically, Steve (not his actual name) is real. He's an ex-boyfriend from many years ago who ditched me for my best friend. They're married and have two little girls and are really perfectly suited to each other.

I haven't spoken to Steve in years, but I occasionally (like once or twice a year) run into him because we're in the same line of work.

But, as your comment suggests, "Steve" is also a metaphor for love and loss, for nostalgia and seeing the past through a kind of golden haze, even if, at the time, it really was pretty miserable.

And, yes, I've gotten the car fixed. But, sadly, it wasn't cheap. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Kori said...

I, too, can touch my nose with my tongue; not so great amongst the adults in my life, but my kids sure like it.

Otherwise, the only "superpower" I have is the ability to keep getting up every morning and walking through what life hands me. That's it, but for me, it is enough.

areyoukiddingme said...

My superpower? Apparently I'm in charge of the world, because I get blamed for everything! :)

Actually, my superpower is the ability to (pretty) accurately predict the consequences of decisions. My kryptonite is that no one ever believes me when I tell them what will happen. It's kind of useless.

Lavender Luz said...
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Aunt Becky said...

I can make anybody laugh. seriously. Anybody. Even you, niobe. Even you.

Wabi said...

My superpower is the ability to hyperextend my double-jointed elbows. It ekes my husband out in a single flex!

Chris said...

My gift is actually rather an annoying obsession (at least if you ask the husband):
I love to theorize and speculate. Give me scraps and pieces of information and I start to put together the puzzle and try to reconstruct a possible scenario. Drives people who prefer to have all facts before they say anything crazy. And even more annoying: I am really good at it. I am almost always right (in hindsight).
(In my defense: I do not sell my speculations as facts.)

christina(apronstrings) said...

I feel way to much for people. It's tiring. I am good at playing devil's advocate. I can see past the worst thing people have ever done. (well, before three weeks ago, possibly).
You are, indeed, good at metaphors. And writting.

Kami said...

I am pretty good at reading people. It was really handy in college because I would just know which questions would be on the test. I would often do better than the people in the class who actually had a better grasp of the subject - and would spend less time studying - because I could focus on what the professor thought was important.

It also helps with interviews and probably helps in my current job of technical support.

Interestingly, I can't seem to figure myself out at all. Why do I feel unfulfilled even after getting all (I thought) I wanted?

I haven't visited in a month and so much has happened. I am sorry about your sister, but happy to hear she is doing so much better. I am sorry about baby B, but very happy about Baby A - the baby now, I suppose.

Nice to hear from you, as always.

OH! I would also LOVE to share my annoying family stories!

GeekByMarriage said...

I am Insomnia Woman! Every so often I get a day of Super Sleep!
Also I can touch people and suck all their heat out and still remain freezing myself. My husband calls me Ice Princess and for once it's not because I have a headache...again.

Wishing 4 One said...

My supapower is falling or tripping as much as possible. CLumsy as hell I tell you. If I ever do get and stay pregnant, its a power I will have to try to get rid of, fast man.

Furrow said...

I can turn any aisle in a grocery store into the slowest one just by joining it.

Paz said...

Ooh, I have a few good ones:
1. I can parallel park anything in any space.
2. I can always find a parking space in the city almost directly in front of where I am going.
3. It is always perfect weather when I go on vaca. Snowboarding? 3 feet of powda! Beach? Sunny and hot every day.

Good ones. eh?

But here is the bad one, much like Patti at 10:05am, I can sense other people's pain. Even in an airport or on the metro it is like waves smacking me. And I can tell where it is coming from. Sometimes I think I am insane because they are also accompanied by an understanding of what the issue is. Maybe I just have a vivid imagination.

angie said...

My superpower is a Fonzi-like instinct for fixing things, like where to hit the tv to make the signal repair itself, which fake screw to tweak to make a car start...I have no idea what I am doing, but I fix things.

Incidentally, my kryptonite is Neil Young. I actually suspected at one point he was trying to harm me, because I have been in two car accidents and found out an ex was cheating on me while his music was playing in the background. When I moved to the West Coast from the East Coast, I received a postcard from someone that said, "Angie, You can run, but you cannot hide. Love, Neil Young."

Christine said...
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Hennifer said...

I have a list but Patti's took my breath away, it happens to me too and I wish that someone would believe me that it transports me to another place

Kristin said...

My superpowers...
1) I can back HUGE vehicles into or through itty-bitty spaces.
2) I haven't met a craft that I can't teach myself how to do.

erica said...

I have the opposite of a sense of direction. Does this count as a super power?

And I'm skeptical of everything, even when I don't want to be, even when I pretend I'm not.

Julie said...

It seems that nobody else in this house can do these things, so I believe these may be superpowers.

I can make a meal out of just about nothing.
I can also ignore the world when I have a great book.

I need areyoukiddingme's phone number. Do you think she has a complaints line?

Christa said...

I can remember song lyrics easily, but not the names of the bands.

I have a knack for figuring out actor's voices whether in an animated movie or doing voice-over for commercials or documentaries. I am nearly always right, even if its an obscure actor you haven't seen in a while.

Also, denial. I am really good at denial.

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

My intuition, when I choose to listen to it. I always know who's calling me when the phone rings. My intuition warns me of what I can prepare for. It's pretty amazing. I think we all have it, but listening to it, really paying attention is the trick to mastering it.

Alexicographer said...

God, I loved Trish's question. I did know (already) who Steve was, but that was excellent. Metaphorical, indeed.

Mine? I can remember virtually useless strings of numbers almost effortlessly. I can sleep anywhere. And I am a little bit of a horse-whisperer, though only with horses I work with over time.

Anonymous said...

I do OBE and no I am not nuts lol

painted maypole said...

just this week I've been wanting to write a post,and haven't been able to quite figure out how, and many times have thought "Niobe would know just the right metaphor for this"

so yes, you do have that superpower.

My superpower? ummm..... no idea. I'll have to think on it.

excavator said...

My gift is like yours, Niobe. I see connections, metaphors.

My second gift is that I sense undercurrents. I feel presences beneath what's apparent. This one's kind of a two-edged sword.

And third, sometimes I can put my apprehension of connections, and undercurrents, into words. It's a fickle gift, and sometimes leaves me feeling rather foolish.

jana said...

Niobe, your superpower would be ever so useful for writing fiction. Have you thought of writing a book? I would buy it.

My superpower is never being able to communicate what I really mean. And it sucks.