Wednesday, November 30, 2005

219. Bruce

It has not been easy to return to my old regimen. In fact, it seems absurd--and that is why I have worked to create a new one with G's help, making use of his fields of expertise and the rather gaping deficiencies in my current physical and mental state. It might have been wise to ease my way back into training, but instead I have devoted most of my waking hours to it for the last five days. My body aches as I exercise muscles which have not been attended to in close to a year. And yet I continue, well aware that my days are as numbered as any other man's--surely more so.

I approach the work at hand with a sense of sadness and sacrifice. When I first assumed this role many years ago, I felt I had no other options: no family, no private life, nothing to put on hold. I had money, I had drive, I had the clearness of vision that can only come with youth and privilege. My life revolved around my mission.

That is no longer the case, for better and for worse. Things have changed, and changed significantly. As I reintroduce myself to strength training, combat technique, and all the other dimensions of my new routine, mindful of the uses to which I will soon be putting this preparation, I cannot help thinking about all that I will be leaving behind when I don the uniform once more. Every moment with G at my side--every rest break, every night of sleep--now seems precious, for I know that it is all coming to an end. I am thankful that I had a few short weeks of uninterrupted happiness with him. There are times, I confess, when I doubt whether I am up to the task--or even whether I want to do what I am about to do.

... and yet I realize I can no longer turn my back on the work I was born to do. It was never my lot in life to be an ordinary man with ordinary concerns and ordinary joy. Fate has given me a calling, and I am compelled to pursue it. Hugo Strange may have broken my spirit, and Gustavus may have opened my heart, but at the very core of my being one inescapable fact stares me in the face each time I look in the mirror:

I am Batman. That is who I was, who I am, and who I will continue to be until the end of my days--come what may.