RANDOM: Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
I’ve never been interested in superhero characters like Batman, Spiderman, or Wonder Woman. The only reason I watched “The Incredible Hulk” was because Eric Bana played the title character (dreadful movie, but, hey, Eric). Frankly, the superpowers seem ridiculous. Who the heck needs to leap a tall building in a single bound? And don’t get me started on the absurd costumes. If invisibility counted as a superpower though, I’d be intrigued.
I read H. G. Wells’s novel “Invisible Man” when I was a kid. I don’t remember much of what happened in the story. One lasting impression is that it seemed to send the same cautionary message about the perils of science and technology of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” I was fascinated by the idea of going through my day without anyone seeing me. I’d be careful not to leave an impression on a chair or have any of my movements be detected—unless I wanted to spook someone, mischief-making being one of the thrills of invisibility. Best of all, if I was having a bad hair/skin/attitude day, I could spare the world my unattractive appearance or mood until I was feeling okay again.
Most of all, I wanted to watch people when they didn’t know they were being watched. As a writer, this has been an invaluable skill. While I appear to be absorbed in a book, examining a melon in a grocery store, or staring out a bus window, I’m also sensing and absorbing the people around me. Their smells, motions, speech, expressions. What they choose to show, what they hide. To see the person they keep invisible.