How a universe full of superheroes totally ruined my life
This is not a typical piece you'd read here at Motion/Captured, but when it was smuggled out of a mental health facility in the UK and then sent to me, I thought it was important to share. I wasn't sure what I was reading at first, but once I understood, it seemed urgent that I help this man get his story out to the world.
Besides... I always wondered how this worked.
- Drew McWeeny
You have to listen to me. You have to help me.
They say I'm crazy.
It's not just inaccurate; it's rude. I'm not crazy. Or if I am crazy, I'm crazy because I've earned that right. You have no idea how strange my life has been. You have no idea the things I've seen. I've watched the world go crazy, little by little, and I think my reaction has been exceedingly sane, all things considered. If I tell you my story, you have to tell me what you think. You tell me what you would do if you saw and did and heard all of the things I have.
Has it really only been a little over a decade? Can the whole world change in just that amount of time?
At this point, so much has happened, and I've been so close to the center of all of it, that I am starting to suspect that I have a role in all of this that I did not even suspect at first. It may sound arrogant or even delusional, but there is a part of me that believes that none of this is even real, or that I may be some sort of God.
Hear me out. I lived a normal life for many years, for most of my time so far, and it was only in the year 2000 that things got strange. I know they got strange for everyone, but somehow, I've found myself tangled up in the way the world's been changing and I just want to explain it all and see if you agree with me or not.
Retirement was supposed to be relaxing. I bought a little hot dog cart and thought I'd make some extra fun money selling hot dogs on hot summer days by the beach. It was a good excuse to get out of the house and look at some ladies in very little clothing, and I enjoyed doing it for a few months. Then that guy came walking up out of the water, the one we later learned was a Senator, and he did that disgusting jellyfish trick thing, and I pretty much decided I was done going to the beach.
I was in Times Square for that parade in 2002 when Spider-Man fought the Green Goblin. I say that like I had any idea what I was seeing when it happened. It's not like they had nametags on or anything. What I saw was a parade with a big crowd on the sidewalks, some weird-looking guy on a glider-thing, some other weird-looking guy swinging on a rope or something, and a balcony from a skyscraper that almost fell on me. It happened so fast that it was only later, reading about it in the newspaper, that I realized how they were both trying to kill us.
And speaking of reading newspapers, don't do it while you walk. It was a year later, in 2003, that I almost ate it in traffic. I had my face in the paper and thought the light had changed and took a step. A blind guy somehow knew what was happening, and he pushed me back to the curb, and again… at the time I thought it was odd but not over-the-top strange. I'm sure it was just a coincidence that there was a blind superhero working that exact neighborhood within six months of that happening. Right? Right?
I had to start doing part-time work again to help make ends meet, and that same year, I got a job as a security guard. I wouldn't want to be the one someone relied on if things got physical, but when I saw the guy they were putting me with at work, I was pretty sure that wouldn't be an issue. He looked like a gorilla wearing a baby t-shirt. It was ridiculous. That was a pretty great job until, you know, that whole gamma accident which eventually resulted in the creation of The Hulk. I'm sure that was just another coincidence, right?
You see what I mean? I am not just pretending to be connected to these events. Every time, I find myself somehow connected, somehow witnessing things, somehow participating. It's not madness, and it has to be more than some random series of accidents.
In 2004, I was on another New York street, minding my own business, when I saw Spider-Man again. I've learned at this point that if I see him, it's time to get to safety. The problem is figuring out where it might be safe when he's in the mix, because things get destroyed. Sure enough, he was wrapped up with a crazy-looking guy with giant mechanical arms, smashing the crap out of each other and the buildings around them, and once again, I had to pull someone out of the way when a huge piece of debris almost fell on us. Thanks, Spider-Man. Thanks a lot.
It took me several years of trying before I managed to get my job as a mail carrier back. That's what I did for almost 40 years before I retired, and once you're out of the system, it's a pain in the ass to get back into it. I got a great Manhattan route, though, and I spent pretty much every day in 2005 delivering mail to the Baxter Building and Reed Richards. This was before he was fantastic, too, so there's no way you can claim I'm trying to chase these things around. I'm the magnet. I'm the one they're drawn to. I'm sure of it… I am the reason that Reed Richards ended up becoming a superhero. I'm not sure how the mechanics worked or why it didn't happen to anyone else whose mail I delivered, but you can't argue with the timing.