Superpowers and Their Opposites

My friend Lacy was visiting this week, and we discovered that we have very similar skill sets.  Or maybe skill set is the wrong word–I like tokey think of them as superpowers.

For instance, Lacy and I share the ability to catch pretty much anything that’s thrown at us, from basically any distance–apples, chapsticks, cell phones, whatever.  The exception, for me, is keys.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.

We also share the superheroic ability to drive pretty much any vehicle.  I have not pushed this to the limits–experimented with Jake brakes or anything with more than five gears–but I can drive pretty much anything that doesn’t require a special license.  Lacy, on the other hand, has driven a dump truck before.  She’s pretty proud of that.

I’ve got other friends who have superpowers. My friend Amy has a sixth sense that leads her to the best parking spots, and no matter what she’s going into the Goodwill for, she’ll walk out of there with it in the right size.  My friend Chris is good at looking for things–he’s particularly good at finding lost arrows, which is harder than it sounds.

But lately I’ve been noticing the things I have a complete disinclination and ineptitude for–the opposite of a superpower.  And one thing I’ve discovered is that I have terrible luck with keys.  Anything having to do with keys.

It’s not like I don’t know how to use a key, and my daily relationship with keys is basically fine.  But here’s an example: For the past week, I haven’t been able to start Bryan’s car, which is unusual because I’m usually pretty good at starting cars.  It’s just a regular Subaru Outback–nothing fancy. But I drive Odessa to school in it every morning, and Bryan has been starting it for me to warm it up.  I get to school, turn it off, and when I get back, I put the key in the ignition and try to turn it, but I can’t.  It’s stuck. It’s my understanding that this is something that happens sometimes–keys wear down, or the tumblers in the lock cylinder get sticky.  People have suggested getting new keys made at the dealership, and also something about graphite.

But here’s the thing: when somebody else tries it, the key turns just fine–the car starts right up.  Yesterday a hulking landscape architect named Josh started my car for me.  Today it was a teensy tiny little photographer named Rinne.  When, as she was crossing the parking lot, I asked her to start my car for me she laughed–but it started right up, first try.  “Didn’t you have this problem yesterday?” she asked. “It must just be your fingerprints.”

Yeah, maybe.  I also have a hard time with other locks: the door at work sticks for me, the door of my studio is a constant nuisance.  Most of my keys bend, and some of them eventually break off.  And never throw me a set of keys.  I mean, they’re sharp!  But I’ll never catch them–they pass right through my hands and land on my face.

So, I’m interested.  Do you have any superpowers or opposite of superpowers?



  1. mountainflyon

    I never knew about your catching superpower. I have that too. Or used to have it. Haven’t tested it lately. A friend once tried to turn the lights out on me and throw something my way as a test. No problem.

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