Out of all of the fantasies of having super powers that I’ve had over the years – super-strength, invisibility, telepathy, stretchiness, super-speed, x-ray vision, prescience, being green, ninja killing techniques, invulnerability – I’ve never thought about being able to fly. It just didn’t sound that interesting, or “super”, I figured you could always use a plane. Really, if I’m going to have a transportation power, why not fantasize about having Star Trek style transporters? Or Flash Gordon/Ex Machina jet packs? It seemed like a theoretically useful skill for real life, but not terribly exciting for fighting crime. I imagined that it’d be handy for getting away from criminals, but I never fantasized about it, or even considered it much of a power.
My brother says that he read a facebook quiz result which stated that the majority of women want to be able to fly, while more men want to be invisible. I say bollocks to that, I think most people probably fantasize about being able to move things with their minds. Whether via telekinesis or “the force”, it sounds like it’s easily the most useful power to have (and I’m absolutely guessing here, so feel free to correct me if you disagree.)
Then last week I came to the realization that I needed to fly 6,000 miles to go back “home” to London, for the first time in 2 or 3 years. It’s not that I miss it that much, and my loved ones have visited me… but getting on a plane for 11 hours is going to give me a much needed change of perspective, a change of scenery, culture, people. Now that I’m forced to get off my arse and take an stupidly long flight to visit London, I see that flying might be the one power that could immediately offer that change of perspective. Being able to get a dramatically different look at my world could really transform my life in an instant.
Somehow, without even meaning to, I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t left America in at least a couple of years. As a bit of a naturally nomadic European, this came as a bit of a shock. Until I moved to San Francisco, I used to visit other countries all the time, and it wasn’t a big deal because it was all so close. You can get to Germany, Holland, or France in less than an hour, for less money than it costs me now to fly to Los Angeles. There’s even a bloody train which goes straight from central London to Paris now, it’s stupidly easy. Now I live here and I let myself get stuck.
Putting useful and practical reasons aside for a moment, I think it’s a power that would not only give me new travel options, but an entirely different outlook on life. Flying to get the overview, to be in an entirely open space, with no ceilings weighing down on you… this might be the only power to have that can allow a person this freedom. Being able to get up high, above the tall buildings, lumbering automobiles, and filthy pavements would definitely change the way I felt about cities. I could get far above the smelly man in the park, (the one who inexplicably changed his socks in the rain yesterday.) I could get high up in the rarefied air, and feel the wind moving around me. It sounds pretty appealing.