Hungry like the wolf

Reel Life

I used to think I had X-ray vision.

One morning while I was lying on my parents’ bed, I realized that I could see through certain things that normal people couldn’t. I could see past the the blanket that hung over my eyes to what was on the TV screen a few feet away. The image wasn’t very clear, and it was almost like I was seeing double, but a superpower is a superpower. Put that together with deja vu, and there you have it — super-vision.

So for the longest time, I toyed with the idea of telling my parents, but I never did. “With great power comes great responsibility,” and even in the ’90s era of superhero youth — with the Powerpuff Girls, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sailor Moon — the responsibility of having to suit-up every time I was called upon to save the day wasn’t all that appealing. There I was, at age 6, under the belief that I was this quasi-clairvoyant wonder-child whose secret could never be revealed.

In reality, my so-called X-ray vision was the subtler equivalent of covering one eye while still being able to look out the other. My supernatural power was my brain putting together sensory input from each eye to create a single image. It was something any average human brain could do.

Now more than ever, I lust after that quiet confidence of knowing that there was one thing, one talent, that set me apart from everyone else. People didn’t have to know — at least not yet. It was enough to know that there would be a place for me in the world, if I ever decided to take it.

Here and now, it is different. As we find ourselves waist-deep into the semester, it’s hard not to panic. Midterms have been taken and papers have been written, and the spring 2013 Tele-BEARS festivities have just begun. When you’re at a place like Berkeley, where sometimes you can’t even waitlist yourself for a class because the waitlist is also full, it’s hard to feel wanted. We’re conditioned to take what we can get and fight – peacefully — if we must. We’re all just contestants in one chaotic game of musical chairs. It’s draining to wait to pounce at the very instant that the music stops.

But there’s no rush to leave the madhouse. In fact, a lot of us just want just little more time — a little more time to bring up our grades, a little more time to appreciate the Campanile, a little more time to cushion our bottoms before we’re thrown out into the real world. Because for as long as we’re still here, as long as we haven’t decided the next step, it’s still possible. There’s still that multipronged fork in the road and that dash of hope. It doesn’t necessarily go away after college. When life is just one application after another, it’s nice to wallow in space that you’ve acquired — in the school you’ve been admitted to, in the apartment that you’ve nested in or in the crowds that know your name and face.

Still, when it does come time to move on, we will have to leave. For each step that we take, we’ll assume that the ground below us will hold our weight and push back. And just like that, we’ll push and propel ourselves forward a couple feet and catch ourselves with the other foot. We’ll inch on. What’s a little stumble or a grand fall? Each step involves a bit of falling anyway.

Image Source: Elysia in Wonderland via Creative Commons

Contact Casie Lee at [email protected]