The ultra-hero scene…well, it was never perfect, but it was good, you know? It was home. You fit there. You weren’t famous or targeted; you were just the kid of the friend who, by association, got adopted by all his parents’ friend.
It’s Luis! Hey Luis! Whatcha been working on, buddy? Been helping mom in the shop? Still no fire, huh? Haha, tough break. That’s okay. Maybe when he’s older. Right, Lu?
One by one, that family got smaller until it was just the three of you.
Then the two of you.
Then just you.
The worst part is that all your parents’ friends weren’t hunted down or captured by some all-seeing evil organization. No, they took each other down. Got messed up in fights and territory disputes or greed, obsessive, ridiculous and self-destructive goals.
Like fireworks, it only took one spark of hatred or dissent and then one shot off, catching until you are all on fire.
Feel free to say you didn’t. That you all stayed true to the dream until the end.
There are some things that hurt too much to feel. Your brain wasn’t designed to process that much agony; it isn’t in the boxed reality you’ve lived in. If you try to accept it, you’ll explode.
So you deny it. And after a while, the thing threatening your world fades away and you wonder why you were so upset before.
You cut out of your reality that which can’t exist, and then it doesn’t. Your godmother’s house burnt down by your godfather. Snip. Your dog shot in a drive by. Snip. Your dad killing his best friend then going after you.
Snip. Your mom shooting him in the head after a shot to the leg didn’t stop him. Snip.
Fold the rest over to cover the holes and tape it into place.
You forget. Eventually, you can talk again. Feed yourself. Eventually you stop seeing their faces. Eventually you stop crying. You stop thinking.
But you’ve cut too many holes and in covering them, you’ve made your reality too small. In cutting out the bad, you’ve cut out the good too. You know this, but uncovering the holes will cost too much.
So you don’t. And you try to snip out all knowledge of the holes.