So what would your superpower be? The survey asks.
The choices are:
To take this entirely fanciful circumstance seriously for a moment, I first thought of flight. But without invulnerability (and the ability to breathe lower levels of oxygen AND some ice/cold resistance), flight would be all but useless through a major city. This also makes flight a skill much harder to hide than say, super strength or invulnerability. The idea of flight though is highly romantic, anyone who has seen Superman knows this troupe to be one that triggers wistful sighs.
So what of invisibility? Far too creepy and intrusive. It would make sense that this theoretical ability would have a literary history of accompanying insanity. Being able to be seen and unseen at will, but not to be unheard or unfelt would drive the unseen and the unseer insane. Could you imagine having to be stealthy yet not have to try to be visibly unseen? We humans don’t deal well with paradox as it is, but living such a paradox would make life incredibly difficult. God forbid you’d forget how to turn it off. And there is also the problem of nakedness, assuming the only control you’d have over your invisibility would be of your physical body. The Cold-intolerant and tender footed need not apply.
So what would be my other?
The ability to create a time bubble. Truly an esoteric skill in the pantheon of unrealistic superhero skills but one that is definitely within the realm of “other.”
So I’m a romantic, whatever meaning you assign to it, let me give you mine in general. I assign meaning to places, things and people that have a soothing emotional context. I love, loving.
When I see an old photograph of myself or another with someone they loved, romantically or otherwise, I get a swirling ball of emotional goop generated somewhere in my soul. Regardless of how I feel about the people now, I’m instantly transported emotionally to that moment. The spirit of that moment in time surrounds me and I well up. Same goes when I think about whomever I’m attached or attracted to at any given time, the photograph in my mind or the touch feel and smell of a moment lingers, and a swell rises in me.
The time bubble concept serves this romantic ideal well. It is a place to linger, to exist outside linear time to work on yourself or spend time outside of time with another. (this skill would be useless IMO unless you could share it with at least one other person at a time) Like Fry and Leela breaking the universe, you’d be able to live your life in a stasis state (unlike Fry and Leela, without growing older, that would have to be a stipulation).
Imagine the possibilities. You could take the time to nurture new relationships and mend old wounds; you could learn new skills and become stronger and faster. In a way its better than any other skill because it gives you more of the most precious commodity, time.
Time is a thief. It steals your soul. It takes from you what you love and eventually it takes you as well. But this superpower would extend time, in a moment, indefinitely. It would do so without the mess of living forever in linear time. You’d grow old, die as normal, but only along the timeline of everyone else. What could be the better mix of forever and today?