Friday, July 16, 2004

30. Dick

I swear I'll never understand that man. I called him just now on the secure line he gave me last night to tell him I'd made my decision to join him, and he almost seemed pissed off. Says I didn't take long enough to think it over, that I don't know what I'm getting into, etc., etc.

Shit, I think I have a pretty good idea. I mean, I've been reading comic books since I was old enough to read. I know what a hero does, and chances to become one in real life don't come along every day.

He says I'm way off base, that what he does is nothing like what happens in the comics and the movies. The "hero" comment seemed to really set him off--"I've never, EVER seen myself as a hero, and I don't suggest you start your career that way, either," he insisted. All that was missing was a "...young man!" tacked on at the end. Scolding me, like I was his kid or something. Sometimes you'd think I was ten years old, the way he talks to me. Sorry, but if he thinks I'm gonna be his Boy Wonder, he's got another think comin'.

Okay, Dick, calm down. All things considered, maybe Dr T's solution isn't such a bad one after all. A few hours ago I picked up the meds he prescribed and started the daily dosage. Wasn't paying much attention to what the guy at the counter was telling me about whether or not to drink water with them, empty stomach or full, all of that. Something about alcohol, too, but I've already forgotten what it was. (Hey, maybe THAT's how you know you need an anti-anxiety medication--when you're too distracted to listen to the pharmacist when he's telling you about your new anti-anxiety medication.) I'll just try not to get smashed when I'm on them. Shouldn't be too hard.

Tanhoger says the effects are really subtle--so subtle that you don't notice a thing, "and then one day you notice that life doesn't have its old edge anymore." I just have to remember to keep taking them every day. After a few weeks, he says, we may have to start meeting twice a week to monitor their effects.

Anyway, after a long back-and-forth with Batman, in which he reminded me of the scars all over his back and bombarded me with horror stories about life-and-death situations for half an hour, I reminded him that he's already told me I won't even be going out in public with him, at least until I know my shit. Maybe never.

My first "homework assignment," if you will, is to come up with a name and a disguise. (He calls it a uniform, not a costume or a disguise.) And that took me all of 10 seconds. I'm going with "Robin." I don't think I'm gonna tell him that it's always been my pet name for my little -- okay, Robby, not-so-little -- pocket pal. (Cock Robin--get it?) I think that's just going to remain my own little private joke. Anyway, "Batman and Robin" has a nice ring to it. Who knows--maybe "Robin and Batman"... We'll see.

As for the outfit, the red-and-green cycling getup I've been using on my night rides--especially that one where I "saved" him in the woods (yeah, right) -- seems like a great start. Guess that means I'll need something else for biking, but then I've got a hunch I won't have much time for leisurely rides through the park any more.

Speaking of which, I've got to wrap this up and get out of here. I'm only working a half day today (Susan wasn't too happy about that, but what the hell--it's Friday), and then it's home for a short nap before my first night of training in the Cave. Batman says I'll need my rest for the workout he's got planned for me later tonight.

The one thing I still need to come up with is a mask. I've got an older pair of black lycra shorts in the closet somewhere; I'm thinking I'll cut one of the legs and turn that into something. It's not perfect, but it's a beginning.