I bought a sleeveless workout sweatshirt from Goodwill. When I worked out in it for the first time, I sweated through it at the base of my sternum in the shape of a pair of lips. Not just any lips; huge, come on, Marilyn Monroe lips.
In previous workouts, I’ve sweated through other t-shirts and moisture-wicking shirts, always in the same spot, but always in the shape of the Batman symbol.
Marilyn Monroe’s lips and Batman. I think I have the makings of a comely movie star and a badass vigilante living inside me, and it only takes working out to bring them out.
I can use this!
* * *
What’s that over there I see? A car thief? Let me just dead lift a few of these parked cabs. There, I’ve got a sweat going and, yes, I feel my caped crusader powers coming through.
The utility belt is snapping on. The cape is unfurling. The spandex is drawing tight underneath me like a suspension bridge cable.
I feel my normal human powers amplifying tenfold. The spandex is constricting my balls. It feels like I have bench vices clamping down from north-south and east-west. Strangely, though, my voice still sounds like I’m gargling with gravel.
Batarangs in my hands. I loose them. They curve through the air, slicing through the streams, swiveling through the swirls, surfing through the squall, and strike the car thief in the back of the head, wounding him grievously, but not killing him because that’s, like, not cool for my image, Bro.
Oh, crap. My sweat stains are drying up. My balls are releasing. My organs are expanding. My skin is sagging. My utility belt is being replaced with … Huh, well, my actual belt didn’t come back, and now my pants are on the ground.
But while I was Batman, I did my job, stopped crime, and did NOT kill anyone.
* * *
You know, Mr. Politician, from an aerial view this park looks like the gingerbread man got his head caved in and fell in a heap and is awaiting—correction: his spectral essence of molasses and dough is awaiting—a chalk outline.
The shape of the park used to be of da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (complete with dong. It’s the building we used as a cooling tower. Also complete with woo-woo. It’s the reflecting pool that went dry). But given all the looting, rioting, and criminal mischief, things aren’t shaped the way they used to be.
We need a leader from another time, a bombshell, someone who will turn heads and keep them turned, and not just because she’s got the junk of a much larger 1960s trunk.
We need Marilyn Monroe.
Let me just go stand atop this grate that’s running over a pool of molten steel. Whoo! It’s getting hot. My clothes are—Yes, yes, they are—they’re melting. Is it going to? Come on!
I know they say women don’t sweat; they glow, but I’m not a woman. I’m a— Oh. Oh, that’s different. Yes. Yes, I think I like that. I’m Marilyn.
Now, what was I going to do? Oh, yes, that’s right. I was going to lobby for less looting, rioting, and criminal mischief.
I’ve been dead for a long time, so you’ll have to tell me: are airplanes still a thing, or do you just imagine where you want to go, and you appear? … Airplanes? Shit. Well, at least I can smoke. … I can’t do that, either. Hmpf.
I put myself through this transformation by getting sweaty the only way I know how, the only way that makes sense: standing over molten metal. So I’ll go through with the whole lobbying thing, but as soon as it’s over, I’m changing back and then only changing into Batman, at least he can kill horrible criminals.
I’m thinking of the wrong superhero? Oh, my word. The 60s really were better.
* * *
I’ve only ever noticed the Batman symbol and Marilyn’s lips as sweat stains on my workout shirts, but I’m a creature of habit, wearing the same shirts for years. I wonder what would happen if I changed things up, bought different brands, different materials.
Body-jumping to assume the bio digs and personas of long-dead and/or fictional characters.
You’ll never look at a jump rope the same.