Thursday, July 22, 2004

37. Robin

Batman's given me a new homework assignment: He wants me to start finding "the voice of Robin." When he's Batman, he adopts an entirely different way of speaking, a deeper tone, even a different way of phrasing things. It's all part of the camoflage, he says--another kind of mask.

So I figured I'd start this new journal to try it out. Maybe if I start with writing in some new style, I can start adjusting my speaking voice later. But what does a hero sound like?

It's weird--when we're growing up, we don't really consciously decide, "I'm going to talk like a surfer dude," or "I'm going to sound like a young Republican." It just happens; we pick up things from our environment. Or at least I guess we do--I didn't really study any of that in college. This is more like an acting exercise than linguistics, though, so maybe I can draw on those plays I was in back when I was a freshman. (Typical queerboy choice, I know. And I only did it because I had the hots for the director. Thinking back, though, maybe the tights he kept having me wear were part of the attraction, too...)

So far I don't think it's going too well. I mean, I just feel like the same old person writing under a different name. I have to keep reminding myself that in this identity I have no past, only a future. No acting class, Mom and Dad, no Bill, no Janice, no Peter. A clean slate.

To tell the truth, I'm a little distracted. I've only had three hours of sleep since last night's training, during which I had this incredibly hot dream. I don't remember too much about it, but I know I was in the Cave trying on my brand new costume (which in real life won't be finished for several more days, Al says). I left the changing room and walked in on Batman and Alfred. Bruce (okay, he had his mask off, but the rest of the suit was on) was on his knees sucking off Alfred, who was sitting in Batman's command chair. Al noticed me watching them and beckoned me over, and pretty soon I was the meat in a Batburger sandwich... Tell me, Dr. T, whatever can it mean? (As if I need to ask--and as if I'd ever bring it up.)

Shit, this is definitely not what Batman had in mind when he gave me this assignment. Maybe I'm just not up to the task. I didn't ask to be a crimefighter, and so far I'm the farthest thing from one: just a guy with a daddy fixation sitting at his keyboard wanting to jerk. I should be out there catching bad guys, shouldn't I? Or at least getting ready to go to the office. Yesterday there was a memo on my chair scolding me for my poor attendance record. I'd love to march into the HR office and say, "Look, I'm sorry but I'm up half the night toning my body and perfecting my mind so that I can help Batman rid the world of master criminals." But something tells me that wouldn't go over too well.

So instead it's off to CubicleLand and the rest of my somewhat peculiar new daily routine.