My Mysterious Superhero of the Night
A little while ago, I got a snack urge. There isn't much open in my neighborhood at this hour, so I walked to a local BP gas station. I could have driven, but the night is lovely and the place is basically around the corner so it would be a waste of gas. The neighborhood is generally safe enough to walk at night.
On my way there, as I was cutting through an office-condo complex parking lot, I noticed a man ahead of me on the main road. He was an amputee, walking gracefully on a pair of gleaming silvery crutches. If that was the only notable detail, i.e. his handicap, he wouldn't be my mysterious hero of the night.
As I began to cut across to the main road, I heard someone coming up fast behind me. Not directly behind me, and not running or anything, but my spidey sense tingled. I looked back and saw a young man, and while I can't say he was looking at me or moving straight at me, something felt menacing about him
In retrospect, I think he was moving towards the man on crutches. Then again, maybe he was just a young man portraying a young male aura of being menacing at a late hour. For all I know, admittedly, he may have been as concerned as me. The street we were on was close to a main road and some family neighborhoods, but just far enough away that any person might feel extra vigilant.
Either way, I sensed a motion ahead of us. I looked up at the road (I was basically on it by then myself) and the amputee on the crutches was turning. In a fluid, uninterrupted motion he turned a 180 and began to walk backwards on his crutches... every bit as fast and gracefully as he had when moving forwards.
The whole sight of it caught me so off-guard at that moment that the man on the crutches seemed actually more menacing than the young man behind me. It was as if he had suddenly started spiderwalking across the ceiling, and there was an intensity about him, as if his own spidey sense had been tingling as well.
I looked back at the young man, who was no longer the least bit menacing (not compared to that amazing creature ahead of us in the road, who at that moment might as well have been a barking pitbull, though apart from the sound of his crutches in stride he never made the slightest sound), and he had clearly felt the same thing I did. Any sense of menace was gone. He slowed down only slightly, but he suddenly angled for the middle space between myself and that mysterious amputee ahead of us. When he passed him, he was all the way on the other side of the road.
Even after he had turned back around (in that same fluid motion), I gave that man plenty of space ahead of me, until I turned behind him. I wasn't afraid of him, you understand, I just knew that if I came too close to such awesomeness, without time to adjust, my system might go into shock. I don't know that the young man meant either of us harm, but I know I felt a whole lot safer not having been alone on that street. He was my personal Batman.
And that is why you, Mister Mysterious-Backwards-Walking-Amputee-On-Crutches-Man, are my #MysteriousSuperherooftheNight
! Wherever you are, keep blowing minds and inspiring people like me.