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  • Writer's pictureWJ King


Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Life is a relatively simple matter. biological equations and water regularly. Living life is a bit more complex a proposition. Some have lived through life, on it’s terms while others have taken control and lived the experience the way they saw fit. “Love is what you make it,” a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, supports the latter and capsulizes the manner in which I engaged life from the beginning.

Very early in life, in beautiful Cleveland Ohio, I understood a calling in life if you will. There were the strong and the weak, the good and the evil. At that point I became Batman and patrolled Gotham City, swinging building to building. To the untrained eye, these buildings may have appeared to be dining room chairs, but you get the gist. As spectacular a hero Batman was, there were times super powers were necessary and voila, I became Superman flying high above the neighborhood houses, keeping a wary eye out for ne'er do wells. Not only those in plain sight but using my x-ray vision I was able to spy their nefarious deeds behind walls.

As I grew older, I was admonished, jumping on dining room chairs was unseemly for a twenty year old man. I stripped myself of the Ortley Beach, New Jersey beach towel I had donned fifteen years prior. How does a superhero transition from a boyhood marvel to a more mature champion of righteousness? After a few test runs, I found the Cleveland Police were not in the market for caped crusaders and was cautioned to lose the cape. Two years later, “perhaps, a move out of town where you won’t be recognized.” My dad’s suggestion came while explaining why my bag and baggage was on the porch with a cab waiting.

Armed only with a high school diploma and a firm dedication to right, wrong, I was off. Discussing my pending adventure with a man on the bus, he advised me to embellish my resume, as I would almost be expected to. I reached the grounds of the Michigan Reformatory and marched confidently into my interview. No longer a mere high school graduate, but first in my class of the graduating class of Harvard Law School. I was hired as a prison guard and soon found myself as a correction officer. “Ain’t no stoppin’ me nowwww, I’m on the move.”

Fightin’ crime here entailed, hand to hand combat with the bad guys from 2-10pm. And you’re not gonna believe this but they paid me for it. $4.38 an hour. I told ya, ya wouldn’t believe it. Had to count convicts too and ya had to be able to go upto 104, of course that washed out a few candidates. Worked with a bunch of good ol’ boys and they later went on to hire females. We knew that wouldn’t work but, turns out we were way off on that one.

A few years later I was promoted to Sgt. That meant I had to tell the others when to belt’em a good one. Never had to tell’em twice. Makin’ sure count was correct was easy enough and truth be told I couldn’t count all the way to 104, til I was on the job awhile.

Years later, I’m retired and enjoyin’ life but still have one lingerin’ thought. I wonder if Ma ever knew I busted my lip on a dining room chair takin’ down the Joker.


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