Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S” — that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears — the glasses, the business suit — that’s the costume.
- Bill’s “Superman Speech” from Kill Bill
Fact + Fiction = Faction. H.H. and Lola are fictional characters I’ve created in order to write about my sex life with Lola in a way that keeps our true identities hidden. But is it our true identities that are hidden or are H.H. and Lo who we really are, and the faces we show to the world — the faces we keep hidden behind our fictional masks here — actually the disguise?
The underlying and continual tension with all superheroes is the constant struggle to keep their true identities (or, shall I say, their “civilian identities”) secret. There is the perennial threat that the public will learn who is hidden behind the mask. The superheroes continually wrestle with the question of who, if anyone, will be made privy to their conceit. Lately, in a number of situations, I have found this to be a real quandary.
I live in an apartment building and the walls, floors, and ceilings are not designed for sound insulation. I can hear the adjacent neighbors’ televisions so clearly that I usually can tell what program they’re watching. That being the case, I’m sure that all the neighbors can hear, clear as a bell, Lo’s cries of passion and her screams as she squirts and squirms with delight each morning and each night. Add to that the fact that, in order to keep the bathroom from accumulating mold and mildew, we keep the window open in the bathroom for ventilation. This has the unintended effect of sharing with the outside world all the private pleasuring activities Lo engages in while showering. Lo’s being an exhibitionist causes me to question whether the word “unintended” in the previous sentence is really appropriate.
Not long ago three roommates moved into the three bedroom apartment above mine. The two women — Jenn and Linda — and the one guy — Ted — claim they’re only friends. But, this cozy little “Three’s Company” arrangement is a bit more complicated than they would have it appear. Not long ago, during the holiday season, a number of cards intended for Jenn and Linda, arrived in my box. Apparently someone accidentally gave out the wrong apartment number and so all the holiday greetings for upstairs were delivered to me. Curiously enough, most of them were addressed to Jenn & Linda, giving one the impression that they are a couple and not just friends.
When they first moved in, in the spirit of good neighborliness, Lo and I helped them with some of their furniture items. We introduced ourselves and were cordial enough to them, but they seemed to keep to themselves and though we invited them over to some of our soirées, they never showed, nor did they return the favor.
Ted’s bedroom happens to be directly over mine and so it is fairly certain that he has been woken at all hours of the night and morning by Lo’s unbridled operatic orgasms. Occasionally, after a particularly violent outburst, Lo will sheepishly say to me, “Do you think Ted could hear me?” I just throw her a sardonic smile, knowing full well that she revels in the idea of his hearing her, and she replies with, “Do you think I got him off?”
One night, after dinner, when Lo and I were sitting on the couch and we were surfing through the internet (hooked up to our flat-screen TV in the living room) for some porn to watch together, the doorbell rang. We shut off the porn and I answered the door. To my surprise it was Jenn and Linda. They had stopped by, ostensibly to inquire about some issue with the plumbing in the building, but I don’t think that was their real intent. They were surprisingly friendly, even giddy. I invited them in and we stood for a while talking. They then invited us upstairs to their apartment, again with the excuse of the plumbing, and while up there they were even more schoolgirlish: laughing and giggling at what seemed to be some inside joke. They showed us around their apartment and told us a little about themselves. At one point it grew awkward, since Lo and I had no reason to be up there any longer, but it didn’t seem as if they wanted us to go.
Eventually Lo and I made excuses to leave (since they weren’t making overtures to us for anything more) and when we returned to my apartment Lo said to me, “That was weird.”
“Yeah,” I said, “What do you think that was all about?”
“I have no idea,” she said, and we returned to the couch to watch some steamy homemade sex clips.
After we had some earth-rattling sex and we were lying quietly together for a while, Lo asked me what I was thinking about.
“I was just wondering,” I said, “if Jenn and Linda. . . . Nahhhh,” I said, interrupting myself.
“What?” asked Lo.
“It’s ridiculous,” I said.
“What were you going to say?” demanded Lo.
“Well, I was wondering if they might have possibly come across the blog.”
“You think that’s possible?!” asked Lo, both excited and fearful.
“No, I don’t really think so, but they were acting so strangely, as if they were bursting with a secret they just wanted to tell. I mean, what if they had come across the blog and all your pictures on there and they came down here on the pretense of the plumbing just to get another, closer look at you to confirm or disconfirm their suspicions? I mean, maybe that’s what that was all about, but I doubt it.”
As much as this possibility filled me with dread — for who knows how the knowledge of our boudoir activities could be used against us if in the wrong hands — I privately longed for it to be the case. Oh, how much joy it would bring me to know that someone I know is using my writings for their own personal pleasure. To know that right above us, Jenn and Linda retire at night and, in their bed they open their computer with anticipation and excitement, hoping for a new post from their downstairs neighbor _____________________, a.k.a. H.H.! Oh how, if my suspicions turned out to be false, I would like to surreptitiously lead them to this source of sexual scandal. But this is unthinkable — as unthinkable as Clark Kent allowing Jimmy Olsen to know he’s Superman. It could be a fatal error of judgment!
My “superpower” is my writing. Lo’s, on the other hand, is her nymphomaniacal tendencies. For both of us the power of the superpower is in its cache value. That is, so long as it is our secret it provides us with our power. She presents herself as an angel by day to her friends, family, and colleagues. But like the proverbial halo on the bedpost, she hangs it up when she walks in the door of the house, or when out at the bars. Then she dons her devil horns and pointed tail! I present myself as a mild-mannered academic and professional man-about-town by day, but I hold in reserve my literotic-life of lust and licentiousness.
For both of us there is an irresistible urge to be found out, to be caught, to be exposed. With Lo, her exhibitionism often leads her to literally and figuratively expose herself. Already there have been more than one occasion when Lo, while out with her girlfriends, has let on that I write a blog about her and her “sexploits.” This piques people’s interest, but then Lo coyly recoils from her initial assertion and steadfastly refuses to reveal the name or location of this virtual treasure-trove of true-to-life tawdriness.
[Excerpt from the story, “Superheroes, Fairies, & Piexie-lust,” from the blog: mysexlifewithlola.com]