I am a hero.
I tell this to myself every time I stand in front of the mirror. I can see my invisible cape and the skin colored mask covering my face.
I am strong.
I tell this to myself every time I find my thoughts slipping away into an empty abyss.
You’re a lethargic weakling.
You aren’t worth anything.
That’s what the villain in me says. He’s evil and he has this way with words that I find myself attracted to him even more. It’s easier being pessimistic, but it’s not worth it. The evil villain in me isn’t like the Joker in Batman or the weird lizard in Spider-Man or even the cyborgs in Avengers. My villain looks exactly like me and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the vigilante and the villain. The villain sometimes gets stronger and I find myself surrounded by monsters who want to tear me apart. I can’t fight those monsters because they’re in my head and I can’t see them through the mirror. No one can. Those monsters scream at me. Yell at me, and I can’t explain this to anyone without sounding like a monster myself. How do I fight what doesn’t exist? How do I defend myself with the same sword that wants to stab me?
Unlike Superman and Wonder woman I don’t have superpowers. Like Batman I don’t have money, like Black-widow I don’t have slick moves. Like Daredevil, I don’t have a guru who can teach me the art of saving an entire city because right now I am incapable of saving myself.
I’m just plain ordinary.
I’m a vigilante in my own unique way.
I sometimes have to fight the toughest wars because the bloodiest battles take place within me. I’m like the Yin and Yang, but I’m not black nor am I white. I am grey.
The hero in me doesn’t always win. Sometimes I’m engulfed by the villain. He has this seductive tone that lures me in and I lose all sense of right and wrong. He has the ability to make me tear my insides and I find myself listening to him. I destroy myself in such a beautiful way that the vigilante in me gets confused. The vigilante willingly surrenders, and I end up slicing my own throat.
What’s the point of anything?
You’re a failure.
Just stop wasting people’s time.
Sometimes I yell at the villain and we fight, and sometimes I give in to his threats and lock myself up in that tiny compartment in my brain.
Either way, I always come back wounded, but no one believes me because I have no scars to show or no blood to wipe away. I just have tales to tell and stories to share.
But the greatest victory, I guess, is to keep on fighting. To keep on trying. We all have monsters living in us, but so do we have heroes.
Sometimes these heroes don’t save the world because they’re too busy saving the chaos going on inside of us, and maybe that’s okay.
We all have that piece in us that wants to be Superman or Wonder Woman, but why do we fail to realize that we are our own superheroes. We are our own vigilantes. Making it through another day when you have nothing to look forward to is progress on its own. Getting out of bed, forcing a smile, helping someone in need, even when you yourself are in desperate need of help, is a form of victory. This is what heroes do.
They keep trying.
They keep pushing.
They keep fighting.
And they don’t give up.
They never give up.