Batman And I
By Annie Chester
He said how grateful he was afterward. When I was crying. At the time I thought, how sweet of him to be so grateful. But it’s a gift, and we were strangers.
I can’t remember his name. When I try to conjure his face, all I see is Batman. He looked a little like Michael Keaton.
I had a burden I wanted to get rid of, and Fate put us together. Fate and a personal ad. I tried to lift the burden at school, with people I knew. But I picked the wrong people, which only heightened my insecurities, and the burden grew heavier. The only way, it seemed to me, was an ad in the classifieds.
The night we met I was a week away from my twentieth birthday. I was seeing my friends later that night, so I wanted it to go quick. But you can’t hurry Fate. It moves at its own pace.
Wear a red baseball cap , I told him on the phone. He did and I had only a moment’s pause to decide, Yes, I will choose you, Batman. You’ll be the one.
His apartment was simple and he was much older. He liked me, said how pretty I was and wondered why I would choose this way. I didn’t know how to explain. I’m just different from other girls, Batman. What can I say? He put on Loreena McKennitt to set the mood. He said it would be soothing. I didn’t know how to tell him it wasn’t so I kept quiet.
Thank you , he said, when I started crying. I’m so honored.
How funny. Batman honored by my burden. It’s not funny. Not in the ‘ha ha’ way. But I was glad. Glad it was over, glad no one had to know, glad to meet my friends downtown and never let on what I’d done. Only later did I think about the ad: "Young, tall, blond virgin seeks popper." The ad was funny. Funny in the ‘ha ha’ way I’m not really sure.
Annie Chester is an aspiring documentary filmmaker who graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2004 with a BA in Cinema Studies and has volunteered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for over three years. She has worked as a bartender and a marketing coordinator for an upscale art gallery, and heads for Africa in the Fall to work in a malaria clinic in Uganda. Currently, she resides in Brooklyn.
Photo "Don't Mess Series 3" courtesy of Miguel Ugalde, Mexico.
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