22 May 2007
but it's SPIDERMAN
slowly, he approached the group. brimming with confidence, spiderman doll in hand. four little girls, just a year or two older than him, stood in a secret place just beneath the yellow slide. surely, spiderman would be enough to get his foot in the door. he held the doll up high for the whole group to see. he held it casually, as if this act were but a mere formality, a secret sort of offering that would surely guarantee immediate acceptance. instead, his gesture was met with nothing but blank stares.
their lack of interest was terribly disconcerting to him, I could see that. but he was not so easily detoured. he approached the oldest, tallest girl (clearly the leader) and held spiderman about two inches from her face. still, nothing. she looked to me for some sort of explanation, some way out but I did nothing but smile. she looked back at ezra with an expression that said yeah I don't know what to do with you and this doll you keep holding up. his back was to me but I could see he was losing confidence. he began to gesture wildy, emphatically. but it's spiderman, he seemed to be saying. spiderman. can you not see that? it's SPIDERMAN. still, nothing. nothing.
offically stumped by the rejection, he walked away. his little shoulders slumped in the saddest way and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. he continued on with the business of playing, dodging swings and climbing ladders but his heart was not in it. he was still trying to wrap his brain around the whole thing when the day took a miraculous turn. there, on the opposite edge of the playground, dangling precariously from the rings, was batman. well, close enough-- a three year-old wearing a batman swimming mask. their eyes met and I swear I heard the swelling of superhero music in the background. ezra took off running and that was that.
never have batman and spiderman been so happy to see each other. never have the two combined forces so effortlessly. I assure you, powers were used for good that day, girls were promptly forgotten. the delicate balance of the playground dynamic, rightfully restored.