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Diary of a teenage superhero

9th October 2003


And its not just the concussion from my fall two weeks ago(although i have been getting frequent headaches since then) its....well.... its K to be honest. She knows. Everything.

She knows everything about me, about what i do, and what i have been doing, and that was before she was decent enough to rescue my sorry arse two weeks ago.

I woke up in her bed two weeks ago to find her crying. Not just crying, but sobbing and sniffling as if i'd died. When i woke up, i was, frankly, stunned to see her. I remember when i used to go out and get drunk. Not just drunk, but absolutely ****-faced, rat-arsed, i'm talking two bottles of buckfast, five pints of stella, and three or four irish mists to top things off nicely,paralytically drunk here. The state of drunkenness that most people don't even come close to being aware of (unless you live in Ireland where it seems to be a national sport). The kind of drunk where, having been able to pull an absolute stunner (somehow) you wake up the next morning to find that the mystery taxi has replaced her with a swamp donkey. I remember being that drunk, and looking upon said donkey the next morning with a bemused expression upon your face. Bemusement which turns to horror as you realise that, in all liklihood, one or more of your mates will have seen you go home with the donkey.

I'm rambling, i told you i was confused. The point i'm failing to arrive at is that when i woke up in K's bed, i felt something akin to this type of horror. The kind of horror you feel when when you know deep down that you've ****ed up good and proper. However, it took one look at her for my horror to fade. She was crying. When i sat up, and she looked at me, she rushed over to me, hugged me and cried even harder. Ignoring the throbbing of my head, i hugged her back and started to cry as well. I couldn't help it. Then, all of a sudden, i just... started to tell her. Everything. Who i really was, what i did, how long i'd been doing it, everything. Heh, i'm thinking of that scene in the Goonies, where Chunk is told to spill his guts, tell the guys everything. So he does. Thats pretty much what i did. Everything. The Milkybar Man, what he had done. And my guilt. As i continued, both of us absolutely dripping with tears, i became aware that she was shaking her head and shushing me. I wound to a halt, and looked at her expectantly. Through more tears, she haltingly (and i do mean haltingly - it took her about five minutes to get out two words) told me 'I know'.

She told me that she had, perhaps not known, but had suspected ever since she fell against me outside the lift and i had recoiled. She told me that later that same week when she had watched me save a kid downtown that she knew i wasn't everything i made myself out to be. I wasn't the person i pretended to be in front of others. Or in front of her.

Although we had become friends of a sort since then, she had more than a suspicion about me, and had begun to follow me at night. I wasn't even aware of this, but K told me that, no matter where i go during the night, no matter where i patrol, i always start off from almost the same point. She told me how she began following me, each night, keeping well behind and out of sight; of how she stumbled across me during one of my patrols by accident and had followed me all that night, keeping tabs on where i went, what times etc. until she had a practically complete dossier on me.

As she explained all this to me, i felt...incredulous would be an understatement, but its the only adjective that comes even remotely close to approaching the right ball park. I began to ask 'How...?'

'Did i follow you?' She finished my question. 'How could i have kept up with the Man in Black each night?...' I nodded dumbly, still in a state of utter shellshock.

Suddenly she jumped back from the bed, back-flipping in mid-air and landed with precison on the chair she had been sitting on. She bent down, gripped the sides of the chair and with incredible grace, elevated herself into a perfectly balanced vertical handstand. Then she flipped forward and landed right in front of me. I say me, but what i really mean is my tongue, because my slack jaw had allowed it to unfurl along the floor. I gaped, speechless.

'...fifteen years of gymnastics and athletics training is how.' She finished, panting slightly.

If it was possible, my jaw dropped a little lower. She gave a shy smile and looked away. After a short silence (not awkward or uncomfortable, just... a silence) she came over and sat beside me.

'So....what now?'

I sat up, my headache returning with a vengeance and turned to get my clothes.
'Now, i go home, and explain to my parents where i was last night.'

'And where were you?' she asked quietly.

'I.....' I trailed off. I didn't know what i was going to say to my folks. Imagine, teenage superhero, and i still get hassle for coming in late.

'I lie to them' I replied softly. 'I lie to them constantly. I lie to everyone. My whole life is one big fake.'

K took my hand. 'You don't have to lie to me. Not anymore.' She started to cry again. I leaned over and hugged her trying not to cry myself, then got my clothes and began to get dressed. While doing so it dawned on me.....'You took my clothes off!?'

She gave a small, sad smile and looked away again, 'I thought you were going to die. I....brought you here...and I thought... I thought you were going to die.....' She buried her head in her hands and began crying in earnest. I went over to her and sat beside her on the bed and put my arm around her, hugging her close. As sobs wracked her body, she began to shake, and i tried to make light of things 'You know, if you wanted to get me into bed, you just had to ask.'

She laughed at that. A small laugh granted, but a laugh nonetheless, and gradually the tears stopped.

I finished getting dressed and got ready to go. Before i left, she put a hand on my arm. 'Are you going out tonight?' I looked around her room, noticing the small things. A winnie-the-pooh bear occupied the other side of the bed i'd been lying on. CD's were scattered on the floor, some dance, some classical, pop, rock, an eclectic mix; clothes were strewn all over the room, as though taken off and discarded randomly. I looked at the her dressing caninet and in the mirror. I looked like ****. Even more so than usual.

I shook my head, 'I don't think so. I need time to heal.'

She nodded. 'Good.' And again quieter (yet more defiantly) 'Good'

That was two weeks ago, and like i said, i'm confused. I thought i was doing a real good job keeping the secret part of my life a ...well...secret, but i've begun to think, if K was able to put two and two together, if she was able to tail me at nights undetected, how difficult would it be for someone else to do the same?

Now i'm not just confused, i'm.....worried.
19th October 2003

My head hurts.

Its been hurting constantly on and off for the past three weeks. Sometimes, at work, i'd be working at my computer - (i got a new job, i'd forgotten to mention that the last time, then again, i have been.... preoccupied) - and all of a sudden i'd just.... my head would burst with pain. And not a localised sort of pain either, i mean a real, paralysing migraine. And i've never gotten migraines before. Even now, i can feel the dull, constant ache at the base of my skull. An ache which swells every now and again, consuming my entire cranium until i almost feel like crying out. I've never felt this sort of pain before. And thats saying something.

Regardless, i've been going out as usual, still looking for the MM. Or to be more precise, making sure i'm not ambushed again. To be honest, i'm afraid.

I don't want to meet this person. Ever. He/she got one over on me so easily, i feel as though they're simply playing a game with me, biding their time. I remembered something else too, from when i was pushed. I remembered hearing talking just before i blacked out. It was K, but before she arrived, i also heard a vioce whispering down from the rooftop, 'I see you got my message. I'll be seeing you...'

Funny, i didn't remember that at all, wasn't even aware that i'd forgotten it til i woke up the other night, drenched in sweat. I'd been having a nightmare. I don't recall what about, but it was.... intense, and scary as hell, and when i woke up, i remembered the whisper.

If there is one bright aspect of all this, its that the MM, having gotten his/her message across, has stopped attacking innocent people. There's an almost...personal aspect to this now. When we meet again (and, Christ, i know it's only a matter of time, regardless of how afraid i am, or how much i don't want it to happen) i imagine it to be something akin to a final showdown of sorts. A deserted, windswept street, thunderstorm, rain etc. It'll start off like that scene in Heat, where they talk to each other in the cafe, polite, civil, but when the fighting starts, its gonna be an almighty ****storm.

And i don't know if i can win. Psychologically, i'm half beaten. I'm scared, panicky, and at my wits end. Most of my patrolling these nights consists of me looking over my shoulder every three steps. I was beaten the other night. Beaten by three low-life street thugs. Scum that i can take out with one punch between them, and they beat me. Because i couldn't concentrate. Because i was afraid. The couple i was trying to rescue escaped anyway, then i beat a hasty retreat to jeers and catcalls.

I have to find the MM. And beat him.
27th October 2003

It ends tonight.

I was patrolling last night. Again, not really focussed on what i was doing, i've been so wrapped up in what passes for my life. If you could call what i do a 'life'. I call it a nightmare.

K told me that whenever i start patrolling, i start off from the same point, and on reflection i have to concede that for the majority of times, she is correct. I might not start in the exact same spot each night, but its near enough as to make no odds. I start at the corner of Park Street and Sandy Avenue.

Where i began. Where i was created.

Sounds weird as hell saying that, but its true. I was nothing before that first night. My life was going to waste, i was just another one of thousands of generation X'ers (or am i generation 'Y'?') who do little or nothing to contribute to society.

I suppose on some level of conciousness i'd always known that I started off at the same point ( i have to consider that perhaps this habit was bourne out of a concious decision on my part at one stage) however, since K told me what would have been immediately obvious to any external observer, i'd been avoiding the place like the plague. I'd gone out of my way to start at differing and varying points each night, (although i always wound up patrolling the same part of town anyway).

I went there last night.... i don't know why exactly, it just felt like the thing to do. I walked to the corner of the two streets and stood there, lost in memory. This was where it all started. I stood there, just......staring at the hedge, the lamp-post, the wall..... I closed my eyes, envisioning the events of the previous year. Then i heard him.

'The prodigal son returns at last, eh?'

I turned round, slowly. I should have been surprised, shocked, even. But all i felt was cold. As I turned to face the voice, my eyes still closed, he spoke again, and as he did, i noticed everything about the voice. It was deep. Deep and throaty, like a person whos been smoking cigarettes for x amount of years. It was not unlike the voice of the architect from the Matrix. Deep, precise; almost pleasant in it's quiet, studied, authoritative pronunciation of each word, 'You haven't been here in a while. I thought i was going to have to start sending you messages again.' There was a hint of a veiled threat in his tone. I bunched my fists, and, my eyes still closed, stepped forward.

'Stop' he said. 'This isn't the right time.' If it was possible, his voice lowered. 'This isn't your time. 'Same time. Here. Tomorrow night.' Cautiously, I opened my eyes, but there was no-one there.

So, tonight this comes to an end. Some part of me is aware that i could very well end up being killed, while another part refuses point blank to accept that any of this is happening. Heh, even thinking about this, i'm amazingly calm. I should be terrified (and a part of me is) but for all intents and purposes, i'm totally, utterly calm. Almost zen-like. Perhaps because i know that, one way or another, this will end tonight. And, either way, i'm glad.
2nd November 2003

Heh..... I'm having a rare moment of lucidity at the moment, so i'll keep this brief. Currently, i'm in hospital using one of the internet phone booths in the foyer. My injuries are thus:

Broken wrist: Check.

Dislocated ankle: Check

Broken Clavical: Check

Three cracked ribs: Check

Fractured metacarpels (both hands): Check

Surprisingly, my head got of quite lightly with only a mild concussion. The reason i'm having so much difficulty string two words together at the minute is a result of the drugs they have me on. Painkillers, antibiotics, etc.(and i'm pretty sure they have me on laughing gas or morphine, cause at the minute, everything is hilarious to me. Christ, i'm giggling my head off here, and i can't help it.)

I'll be caught any minute now and sent back to bed. A far as the doctors are concerned, i shouldn't even be sitting up in bed, much less walking around (albeit with crutches) but i have to write this down while its still (relatively) fresh in my head.

I won. I think.

Heh, i'm really having difficulty getting things straight here. I have these.... images in my head. Images, flashbacks, of what happened last Monday, and to be honest, i'm not sure if they're correct or if i'm just imagining them. I remember going to the meeting place and confronting the MM. He was just standing there, leaning (if you can beleive it) on a white walking cane, not a care in the world. He turned as i approached and raised his hand, almost by way of greeting. I looked at his face for the first time. It could have been anybody. It was an older man, about mid-thirties with tall, yet slight build, making him appear quite thin. I stared at the face, memorising every wrinkle, every freckle. There was nothing to mark this man out as a killer. Nothing to distinguish him from every other thirty five year old man in Belfast. It struck me then just how... how ordinary he appeared. This was someone's father; someones brother. Was he married? More than likely i suspected.

We stood there, sizing each other up. I glowering at him. Him with a look of almost apologetic politeness on his face. He feigned a look of hurt, then grinned evilly. Tom Cruise has nothing on this guy when it comes to ear to ear grins. 'Surprised?' he cocked an eyebrow. 'You must have thought i'd be a real evil looking sonofa*****.' If possible, his grin widened as his calculating eyes searched my face. His face bore an expression of deep satisfaction. 'You did. I'm so glad. Don't know why i am really, but then, there you have it.'

I glared at him, 'Lets just finish this.'

He looked momentarily surprised, then, again faked a look of hurt. 'Don't you want to know why?'

Truth be told, although the question had crossed my mind; at that very moment, i didn't care how or why he had done the things he did. I just wanted this over with. So I said nothing.

He continued ' Of course you do. Don't they all?' He rocked to and fro, balancing himself with the cane, the way kids do, 'There's no big mystery really, i just.... felt like it, you know?' I looked at him carefully, and something in my expression must have struck him as funny. He giggled madly 'You were expecting some grandiose reason? My father abused me as a child? I hate young people? I'm so sick of this world and its wicked ways, perhaps?' He shook his head. 'Absolutely not! I killed those young men because, honestly, i got pleasure - a lot of pleasure out of doing so. It gave me even more pleasure to be able to set myself up as an opposite to you...' He nodded in thanks, ' so for that i thank you.' He giggled again, 'That really must have frustrated you.'

I said nothing, but all the while, a growing sense of panic was beginning to grow upon me. In truth, i had expected some sort of bizzare reason for his deeds. I had thought perhaps something had driven him off the edge, a la the killing joke, but his words, and the calm, rational manner in which he stated them scared seven shades of ****e out of me.

'All in all, its been a good year, but now, i feel its time for me to try something else, hence...this. Our meeting.' He stopped rocking and bent over slightly. 'I'm offering you a deal. You can fight me now, and if you win, you can cart me off to the police where i'll confess to everything. Or....' He raised an eyebrow, 'You can turn around, walk away, and let me go. In any event, i'm finished with the killing, so, either way, you win.' He cocked his head, considered, 'If you win against me of course.'

He looked at me expectantly, 'Well?' His voice became overly friendly 'Whatd'ya say?'

Heh, funny how people always talk about those moments that seem to stretch on forever, well, thats the way those few seconds seemed to me as i considered his offer. Either way, he was finished killing, so i could let him walk away. It was his slight chuckle that sold the deal for me. There was something so...so inherently evil about it that i decided no way was i going to let him walk away from what he'd done. I launched myself furiously at him, trying to take him out quickly, but, in one fluid motion, he stepped out of the way and gave me a gentle nudge, sending me tripping over the cane. 'You've decided to fight?' He inclined his head slightly, 'I'm so glad.'

Its right about now that things are a bit of a muddle. All i remember properly is getting my wrist broken, and that was a result of his can being made of solid steel and being wielded like a sword. That's actually one of the things i do remember with any degree of clarity. The sudden, sharp pain, and the crack as the bone snapped. In fact, now that i think about it, i suspect that most of my injuries are a result of his expertise with the cane. I remember how quick he was with it, as though he'd been training as a swordsman. After a few sharp knocks, i realised that i might well, in all probability, lose the fight. I didn't care, i just wanted it finished.

The end, when it happened, was incredibly quick (not to mention incredibly lucky, and technically very simple). He lunged for me with his cane, trying to ( I think) impale me on it, and i was able (despite my injuries) lock my right foot behind his, then stepping into his stance and bringing him down hard. His head cracked off the ground, and he stopped moving altogether.

I sank to the ground beside him, panting heavily. When i recollected my wits, i searched his pockets for i.d. , but there was nothing. After an eternity, i climbed to my feet and slowly began to hobble away. As i did, the full extent of my injuries became apparent, and, with some reluctance, i decided to go to K's as her house was pretty much round the corner. Just before i got there, i called the police from a phone booth, 'Police' I told the operator, 'Corner of Park Street and Sandy Avenue.' Then i hung up and crawled (literally) the last few hundred metres to K's house. I collapsed at the front door, and it was only then that i began to shake with relief. It was over. Tears came out of my eyes, thank God it was over! I allowed myself a few minutes of respite, letting myself get used to the idea that my nightmare was over. I closed my eyes and lowered my head in relief, hardly daring to beleive it. I rapped the door, then, sank on the ground, completely and utterly exhausted. Next thing i knew, i was in hospital.

Speaking of which, i see the doctor coming to get me, so i'll have to go. But my nightmare is over. The MM has been arrested and has confessed to the murders. His defeat has been hailed as the Man in Blacks' greatest victory so far, and at the moment, i haven't a care in the world, except of course the fact that my folks have decided to - once i'm better - kick me out of the house. My increasingly volatile behaviour has them convinced that i'm a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off. I can handle it though, a small, domestic problem like this i can handle with no worries at all and a smile on my face.

After all, i'm a superhero.
I know I may be ******ed but is this for real? It's awesome either way...good job. But did you really do that? :confused:
wow :eek:
I dont really think he did. Its just the way he went about writing it that gave it such a personal feel to it. Putting addittions and marking them the same day that he added them, made it feel like it was actually happening.
12 August 2004

About three quarters of a year ago, I fought a battle against a madman. A person whom (for reasons known only to himself) decided to set himself up as an antithesis to me. An opposite.

I fought him, and beat him, but at a substantial cost to myself. I had broken bones, and a shattered will. My search to find and beat this person wore me down both physically and mentally.

During my stay in the hospital, I began to have recurring nightmares, panic attacks and fits of unstoppable trembling on occasion. In addition to this, I spent a lot of my time in hospital alone - i'd successfully alienated most of my friends and family (apart from K) - and I sank deeper into lethargy, irritability, and anger.

For a time I hated everything and everyone. The slightest noise or disturbance enraged me and I became even more reclusive, snappish and troublesome. I was also afraid. And it was a deathly, irrational, unfounded fear. I was afraid of the neighbours dog, of the kids playing on the street, I was afraid to talk to people, so I masked the fear with an outward attitude of contempt and yet more anger. Everything scared me. And everything angered me. I spent most of my time training and patrolling, then this gradually shifted until I just trained constantly, seeking an outlet for my hatred. But it just got worse.

It wasn't until the end of January that I decided needed help. I went to my local GP who then referred me to a specialist who diagnosed me with clinical depression. If anything, the diagnosis only increased my downward spiral and, for a time, my life was a living hell. I had no inclination to do anything apart from train. I worked out with a constantness and an insane singlemindedness that surprised even me, and I interacted with others as little as possible and, although my parents and family tried to help me through the depression, I resented them for it. At the time, I didn't know where all this anger and hatred had been coming from, but in retrospect, its clear that it had been building for a long time.

The worst thing about depression is a persistent feeling of emptiness. As though you're just an empty shell with no real feelings or emotions. The only real feelings I had were those of anger and fear. I would lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling and become afraid for no rational reason. I felt worthless, guilty and terrified. I also experienced night-terrors with an alarming frequency, which only exacerbated my delicate state.

Then one night (quite recently) something happened. I'd just had a panic attack and was crouched on the bed, wishing that everything would just end, that I could die so that the misery, the constant anger and fear would just cease. I was at my lowest ebb mentally, when a voice inside me said

''This is it. This is as low as you can go, there isn't anything left. You can't sink any lower, you can't feel any worse than you do now.''

I listened to the voice, and realised it was right. I couldn't go any lower. I'd plumbed the depths of my own being, my own ego, and at the bottom, I found myself asking ''Whats the worst that can happen? You've come down this far, at least now the only way to go is up.''

With that revelation, I fell into a deep slumber and awoke the next morning feeling refreshed and, amazingly, not as bad. That was the turning point.

I began to accept others' help and I began to fight against the depression. It's been an uphill struggle, but it turned out to be easier once i'd started and gotten some momentum of recovery going.

I still have bouts of melancholy, but I suspect that i am, by nature, quite a melancholic person anyway, so it doesn't bother me too much. I've looked into my soul and seen my inner demons. I haven't beaten them, but rather, i've accepted them for what they are - a part of me.

I'm going patrolling tonight. It's been so long, I hardly know what to do, but i'm eager to teach myself, and to learn.
dude i just read all the pages there now, and i dont want it to end, keep it up , cant wait to see what happens next :up:
Awesome. And very realistic. I could actually see myself or another real person doing that kind of thing. I like that it's set in Ireland too, because it's small-town, and I'm predominantly Irish (Though I've never been to Ireland).
Yeah! It returns!

This was seriously some of the best fiction I remember reading around here. It's the only reason I'm coming back now...
I just finished reading this thread and I have to say that this is possibly the best original superhero story I have ever read!

Keep it up!
Magnificent story!!!! :D Well done and please keep writing and adding to the story!!!!!:D
More! or if it's done, at least make a sequel/prequel.
27th August 2004

I've said it before, and I know i'll say it again, but i'd forgotten how much I love doing this.

I'm a little busy right now, so i'll not get into specifics, but i've been averaging about 6 or 7 'assists' per night. They've generally involved very little more than me bringing down those who would attempt to harm others, quickly, efficiently and anonymously.

Unfortunately, my return has sparked a bit of interest in the media again with news stories of my 'return from retirement' and my 'war on crime' (I **** you not - that's the headline they used).

Its strange how i've become something of a celebrity without no-one knowing who i am. I've seen it before, but i've never appreciated just how much the media will take advantage of any situation to sell papers or airtime or whatever.

The Irish News now run a daily column on my exploits. This in itself doesn't bother me. What does is the whole myth they (and the media at large) have created around me. This icon, this idol - this 'Man in Black'. I don't know who they're talking about.

Man in Black - Type 1:

According to the media, I must be in my mid thirties with no responsibilities and no ties. I'm rich as well. Apparently. I drive around in my car at night and stop at the scene of a crime and save whoever's in trouble before carrying on my merry way. I sleep during the day in my large studio apartment, (only partly true - if i'm lucky, I may catch a few z's in the morning before work) and at night I wine and dine a string of models attracted to my charismatic charm and dashing good looks before changing into my uniform and battling the 'forces of evil that run rampant and wallow in the social malaise that pervades our society' (again, their words, not mine).

Man in Black - Type 2: (Some smaller papers also try to drag me through the mill. Think Daily Bugle, only without the influence and coverage)

I'm actually a sad, lonely loser with no life - (Again only partly true) - who only rescues damsels in distress for the sole purpose of having them fall for my brave heroic deeds so that i might have my wicked way with them. In fact, a source close to the paper reliably informs them that many, if not all of the incidents are set ups, and that, after the Man in Black saves the day, the would be victims are invited back to his house whereupon the would be assailants arrive soon after.

All in all, I think I prefer scenario 1, but the truth is, neither of these types are me. I'm just a normal guy. With an abnormal life. But I like it. And I think i'm finally starting to accept it. i still have... certain issues....with what i do - and how it affects my life - but for the moment, i'm content.
Yes!!! Keep adding to this my friend its a fantastic story so keep it up!!!!!!!!:D
31st August 2004

'So what else is different with me' ? I hear you cry. Well, true to their word, my folks gave me the old heave ho shortly after I got out of hospital. Of course - once they heard I'd been diagnosed with depression, they asked me to come back, all is forgiven, that sort of thing. But I didn't. As I said, I was too full of resentment at the time to go back. Even though i'm getting better now, I've decided to stay where I am at the moment, which is in a small two bedroom flat with my brother on the Lisburn Road. This is handy for me for two reasons. Firstly, i'm closer to my main patrol routes, and secondly, I no longer have to cover my ass with excuses about where i've been and with whom. Its common for us not to see each other at all for a few days, if not a week, at a stretch. No questions, and no hassle.

As for K. Well, thats a bit more complicated. I don't know what happened exactly, nor when exactly it happened, but somehow we just ended up....drifting apart, I guess. We were never an item - although that looked to be on the cards at one point.

During my illness, she was pretty much the only person I could stand to be around for any length of time. But then.... I dunno....we just began talking less and for some reason I refused to confide in her as much. After a while, we stopped calling each other and now, we speak about once a month, if that. She's actually from Norway, and at the minute, she's over there visiting relatives. Last time I spoke to her, she said she wasn't sure if she was coming back or not and I didn't feel....anything. Do I love her? I suspect on some level, yes, but not romantic love, not real love. But her announcement that she might not be returning didn't really affect me at all. I did receive a text message from her the other day though. It said 'I'm drunk! I really miss everything back home. I miss...' And then it just cut off.

I should call her.
5th November 2004

What is a good person?

That is, what is it about a person that makes another person think to themselves ‘That is good person.’ Or a bad person for that matter. Lately, I’ve had cause to wonder - while I do good things and help other people, I have a belief that, despite these things, I am not an inherently good person.

Consider – A good person doesn’t stop to think or act before helping others, they just do what they do. It’s their nature.

I’ve found myself sometimes; say for example, while walking through town, or going to work, or on the bus, observing a person in some sort of difficulty. Maybe they’re having trouble wrestling the pram onto the bus, or through the door of Boots. Perhaps they’ve tripped and fallen over, mayhap the bottom of their grocery bag has fallen out and their shopping now adorns the pavement. These things happen all the time, and while I help, it takes me a moment to actually recognise that:

A: A person is in difficulty
B: They need help
C: I can help them with no cost to myself

Essentially, what I’m saying is that while I do help, it’s become more and more apparent to me that it’s not part of my inherent nature. There’s an actual thought process involved, a conscious decision. In saying all this, bear in mind; I’m not talking about my nocturnal activities. In that, there must always be thought and planning involved in any situation I involve myself in. No, here, I’m talking about the little day-to-day niceties that so many of us just ignore or deign to remember. I ask myself, if I really was a fundamentally good person, then shouldn’t there be no thought at all? Shouldn’t I just do what I do without needing to decide?

Maybe I’m overanalyzing, but, given the above, does that mean that my other life; my secret life; is a sham? A masquerade? Am I just kidding myself by becoming the Man in Black? Pretending to be a good person while in reality being selfish, self-absorbed, self-involved and otherwise too preoccupied with myself to give much of a **** about anyone else.

In thinking about it, I think this is an even more accurate description of myself than I’d thought. I help others at night, granted, but at the same time, I take pleasure in it. I don’t help purely for the sake of helping, at least, I don’t think I do. I always have something to gain by my involvement. Either an increase in positive public profile, taking out my (ever increasing) anger on a perp, or even just a simple ego boost, I always have some other motivation than a pure desire to help.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing what I do. I suspect I’m being over-maudlin; it just depresses me slightly that my own nature leans toward indifference rather than an unrelenting desire to do good. Does this make me a hypocrite? Christ, I hope not.

I suppose, (and this is purely to make myself feel slightly better) does it merely come down to choice? Is my choosing to help more indicative of my nature, rather than whatever thought processes are involved?

Not much else has been going on in my life, secret or otherwise. I’ve a new job with the City Council which, although not great, affords me an opportunity to actually influence those in a position to create a better city. During the course of my extra-curricular activities, I’ve grown fond of my city, and plan on doing right by it. Either by influencing those in postions of power or by my other guise. I've continued my patrols and - heh - actually pretty recently came across the same perp about three nights in a row. Poor bastard. Its little coincidences like that which give me hope that there is justice in the world.

My phone was stolen a while ago – from the PEC no less, and, although I memorised her Northern Ireland number, I failed to do so for her Norwegian number, so I’ve no way of getting in touch with K. We’d drifted apart, but were still friends to some degree, and in a way, I miss her.

In my new job, I work mainly with students out on placement year, so they’re constantly partying and drinking. I sit with them at tea time and lunch, but I think they’ve taken to giving me a bit of a cold shoulder as I never go out with them – despite numerous requests – I just have too much on my plate at the minute to even think about going out.

Jesus Christ – I’m like Peter Parker in his first year of college.
8th November 2004

Jaysis. Was that last entry depressing or what? Ugh, I just...I just wish I was as confident in my life and with myself as I appear to be externally to others. I wish I could be confident that i'm doing the right thing. I wish that I didn't have this constant, nervous feeling that it would only take one minor slip; one very bad day; for me to end up like those I fight. And thats all it is really. I could quite easily become like those I despise the most, all that keeps me on the side of good - or of the white, if you will - is a set of self taught morals and rules. Morals and rules which, given my own nature, aren't that great; aren't that noble; anyway. Morals, rules and values that; the more I consider them; the more they seem to be increasingly laughable in their fragility. Can a person actually change their own inner nature? Is it actually possible?

Its funny, but it was round about this time last year I fought the MM. And in retrospect, i have to concede that I have difficulty beleiving it actually happened. If not for the scars and this diary, I honestly would suspect that it ever happened at all.

Strange. So much of this past year is a blur. An enigma. As though it hasn't really happened at all.

I don't question what I do - at least, not as much as I used to, but more and more i'm beginning to question myself.
Rambo, i love this story and everything about it.

in fact, you've inspired me...

look out for a thread called 'Motive' appearing in a day or two which should interest you...


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