Monday, January 30, 2006

228. Dick

Baton Rouge, LA

I think I"m at a crossroads here: in some ways, I feel like I've completed the task I came to do. And yet, there is still so much work to be done--for these people, for this region--that if I leave, I will be abandoning them, passing them by as the rest of the world is on the verge of doing. Our national attention span is so short; we can only handle one crisis--AIDS, a brutal dictator, a terrorist attack, a tsunami, a hurricane--at a time, and we can only "handle" it until it begins to bore us or we grow distracted by another one. I don't want to be one of those people who gets behind the Crisis du Jour for as long as it's fashionable and then moves on.

And yet...

And yet, it's so clear to me that this is not my home, that this way of life, constantly moving from one town to another (using Baton Rouge as our current base of operations), is not for me, any more than dressing up in a costume and fighting bad guys all night long. Though I must say that line of work is not looking so bad at the moment.

Oliver doesn't have the same problem. He's a nomad at heart; he's been doing this for years. Decades, even. I've noticed that when people ask him where he's from, he usually changes the subject. "Somewhere else," or "I don't remember" are his two favorite vague responses. Lots of times people don't even ask; they just assume--in larger cities, like this one or New Orleans--that he's a resident.

He's a man of mystery, all right. That business of getting up in the middle of the night and disappearing until sometime a day or two later is getting old. I've tried to talk to him about it, but he's just as evasive as ever.

So, I don't know what I'm going to do, or where I'm going to go, next. I just feel like "next" is here, or will be, soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

227. Gustavus

More than a week has passed since Batman's return.

So far, so good: B. has not gone out every single night; closer to every other one. The times he stays in, he works just as hard--and I am right by his side, uncomfortable with this shift in my role but willing to assume it in the service of a greater good.

And I do believe there is a higher purpose in all of this, one that involves not just him now but me as well.

Alfred assures me I have been lucky so far, that the worst is yet to come. B. has focused his attention on smalltime crooks, muggers, street trash. Nothing major, and no major battle wounds yet. But the moment he faces a truly powerful adversary, all of that will change. I try to brace myself for the inevitable.

I look at him in that suit and I wish to hell he never had to leave the Cave.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

226. Gustavus

I was not prepared for this part.

The waiting, that is.

In all our endless discussions about Bruce returning to face his true calling, it never once occured to me that I would be stuck here in his goddammed house all night long while he goes out with the specific purpose of nearly getting himself killed.

I can't sleep, I can't work, I can't do a fucking thing.

All my life I have been the man in charge. I feel comfortable in that role. It suits me. But now, for the first time, I am not in control of a goddammed thing.

He says it won't be long tonight, that this is merely a test run, and he'll be home soon. But it's been four hours, and I keep thinking: What if it's too soon? What if he's not ready? We've both had dreams--nightmares, really--that the big day comes and something happens to him. Hugo Strange returns, or something triggers a flashback, or just some maniac with a gun shows up and blows him away. Unlikely, I know--and in Strange's case, impossible--but the fear is still there.

And it won't always be four hours. Alfred has already tried to warn me about that. Sometimes it will be twelve hours. Four days. Sometimes he's been captured and held for four weeks. I don't know how the fuck I'm supposed to handle this.

All I have for now is the memory of him putting on that suit last night, one piece at a time. The way it clung so tightly to his body--a body which has never looked better, at least in my experience. I watched him slip into the bodysuit, pull the boots up around his calves, snap the belt around his waist, fasten the clasps of the cape. Then came the cowl, and the gloves, and suddenly it was not Bruce Wayne but Batman standing before me. I'd seen him suit up in the last days of training, but this was different. This was the real thing.

I wanted to kiss him, but I held back. It felt wrong--it felt like affection, even in fhe privacy of the cave, would soften him in a way he cannot afford. As long as he's in that suit, he's not a man, he's the Batman. He's invulnerable. Or so it must seem.

And what about me? What kind of man am I, waiting up for his goddammed hubby to return from a day at the office?

Fuck. I hate this already, and it's only just beginning.

Monday, January 16, 2006

225. Batman

It has been almost two months since I rededicated myself to my career as Batman. I have worked quickly but unceasingly to prepare myself once again, and it is comforting to realize that it generally takes me only a few days now to pick up skills that first took me years to develop. Strange had me convinced that I had lost everything, but it has become clear to me that this was just another of his lies.

My training is almost complete. My weapons are ready. My uniform fits me well. My mind is sharp. My will is firm.

The time has come to resume the work I was meant to do.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

224. Anonymous

Although I am still but a child in the world of evil, just beginning my journey through crime and villainy, I continue to grow in strength and force. Soon all of Gotham shall be mine.

On this day on which mere mortals amuse themselves by making trivial little resolutions and promising in vain to improve themselves, I have a vow of my own:

I hereby devote every fiber of my being to the destruction of reason, the annhiliation of safety, and the eternal reign of despair. I shall spread fear and hatred throughout the land.

Gotham is a city on the brink.

I shall provide the push that sends it over the edge.