Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Never Special," Costume Concerns, pt. 10, 403 words

He lets me take it and try it on. It’s not really a coat in style, more like a sweatshirt, since it doesn’t open down the front. I pull the top on over my dress shirt, and it fits pretty comfortably around my belly and breasts. The shoulders are too loose, though, and the sleeves hang down past my wrists. Probably made for another heavily-built, barrel-chested guy, one several inches taller than me.

Alter Ego comes around the counter and checks the fit of the top. He plucks seemingly at random at the shoulders, and tugs at the sleeves. “Well,” he says, “the arms can be taken in to fit you better, but there’s not much I can do about the shoulders. Why don’t you try on the pants?”

I glance around the store. He’s the only other person in here, but I don’t feel comfortable hiding behind the racks of costumes to change. “Uh, do you have a changing room?”

Pointing towards the back, he says, “The bathroom has a full-length mirror on the door. Take your time.”

The bathroom is cleaner than I really expected, given the cramped and untidy feel of the rest of the store. True to his word, a tall mirror has been hung on the inside door, and I turn my back to it while changing. I don’t really hate my body, no… but I’m a little embarrassed. There are days where it doesn’t feel like it’s mine, where I just can’t connect the fleshy puppet dangling below my neck with who I am. And other days where all I can see is how out of shape I am.

Given that I can now bench-press hundreds of pounds with ease, and keep pace with a car on the interstate without breaking a sweat, I wonder what I would actually have to do to work off the extra pounds. I did a lot of reading on the nature of powers in the first few days after getting mine, and the science currently says that most of what makes my kind of powers work is that my body is orders of magnitude more efficient when it comes to the energy released by burning calories. Not a faster metabolism, just… a better one. Of course, that doesn’t explain away why I can fly, but it does explain where I get the energy to fly without going into serious calorie debt.

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