Please Stay in Your Lois Lane

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Susan Dromey Heeter photo

Masks, costumes and how to measure 6 feet.


Years ago I met a little boy wearing his Halloween costume. In August. As he was dressed as Superman, I remarked, “Hey there, Superman, how’s it going?”  He looked at me and remarked, “I’m not really Superman.” 

 I muse joyfully on that moment, I bask in the glow of innocence and celebrate today as I continue to wear my mask, continue to stay socially distant in public places. I may not be Superman, but I sure can look like him.  I celebrate and borrow the power from those children who wear their Halloween costumes long after October, knowing it’s fun, knowing they can LOOK like Superman, knowing it’s always good to have some protection from Lex Luther, the Penguin, the Joker.

My mask and six feet are my superpowers.

Yesterday I was driving and planned to go into a store. At a stop light, I put on my mask, ready to open my door and run in for a quick trip.  As I waited at the light, a gentleman, let’s call him Lex Luther, pulled up next to me in his truck the size of a small planet and remarked, “You do know, you’re the only one in that car.”  I put on my invisibility cloak, looked straight ahead, smiled beneath my mask and thought, “I’m not really Superman.”  

Last week in Hannaford, a gentleman, let’s call him the Penguin, came up behind me at the check-out, put his items on the belt about two inches from my items.  I took a large step back, he remarked, “I’m safe, I’ve had my shot.”  I remarked, “Thank you, I’ve not had mine.” He cackled in that Penguin way and I moved farther away, grateful to be using my superpowers. As he spoke to me of his COPD, his being 75 years old, I smiled beneath my mask and thought, “I’m not really Superman.”

As I move forward, anticipating my second shot, I’ll continue to utilize my superpowers, continue to behave as that little boy in August, sporting his Superman costume, knowing he looked the part.

And as for the Lex Luthers, the Penguins, the Jokers? I muse joyfully and smile beneath my mask, I may not really be Superman, but I sure can look the part.

Stay safe, musers, wear your masks, keep up the distancing and know, do know, that wearing that Halloween costume works all year. You may not really be Superman, but you sure can look like him.

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

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