The Metropolitan Museum of Art would be more awe-striking if it weren’t for the erratic masses always crowding its hallways, as if it were some sort of theme park. I never feel bad not paying the suggested donation. C’mon, I’m living in New York on less-than-stellar magazine summer internship wages. Besides, you can’t put a price on art.
That Saturday, I go to the Met to see some surrealism but stay to catch the superheroes. It’s a rare exhibit: superhero fashion. Left and right, well-built mannequins with colorful capes, metallic breastplates and leather masks make the connection between fantasy and fashion apparent. Catwoman via Cavalli, DC Comics as if published by Conde Nast.
And then, right as I’m day dreaming and staring at Spiderman’s package, I notice a blond boy standing next to me, wearing a light blue polo and crossing his arms.
“You know, it’s weird ’cause the tighter the outfit, the more uncomfortable usually. Don’t you think Spidey would’ve figured it out and just worn some sweats” he asks openly but with an incredulous expression.
“Well, I think the material is pretty malleable. Just think of it as if he’s swinging around Manhattan naked,” I reply.
“Haha, great visual,” he says, then turns to me and flashes a smile, perhaps surprised by my amusing response.
We spend the rest of the afternoon together criticizing the costumes and commenting on comic books. Turns out, he has a big crush on Batman. It’s unadulterated and endearing, part of him wants to grow up to be the cape crusader, the other part just wants to go down the bat cave.
Right when the museum is about to close, we exchange numbers and AIM screen names and head our separate ways, but the communication doesn’t stop. If anything, the flirting becomes more intensified online and in texts. After a lively online conversation that evening, he convinces me it would be a great idea if I ask him to dinner sometime. But I don’t need any convincing. By this point, I’m super crushing on the kid.
The next night, I show up to his rent-controlled apartment in the Upper West Side. When he opens the door, my heart sink a little, but I recover quickly with a big smile. He is way cuter than I remember. I start getting a bit nervous—fumbling my words while trying to give off a collected outward stance. But inside, I’m all mushy.
Super Crush lives with two girls he met while in college in D.C. but the girls weren’t home, so we proceed to go to dinner. He has made reservations at this Thai place a few blocks away. The place is small with wood panels and candles on each table. We talk about videogames; he is a Super Nintendo fanatic and still plays almost every night before bed. We talk about college; he graduated two years before and still keeps in touch with a multitude of his peers. Overall, he seems universally well-liked and proper. He pays the check, and I’m surprise. Even after dinner, I’m not quite sure what vibe he’s projecting. I play it cool, too, though.
Afterward, he suggest taking a stroll in Central Park. It’s twilight so when we get to the pond, I spot quite a few fireflies circling around us. We walk all the way back to his apartment, and on his doorstep after a brief silence, he asks me if I want to come upstairs and play Super Mario Kart.
His room has an All-American, collegiate feel to it, and it’s immaculate, too, as if his mom had come by earlier that day and done a massive cleaning. We take off our shoes, lie on the bed and start to play. He picks Luigi; I choose Yoshi. Super Crush beats me 7 times before he finds it in his heart to let me win the last race. After he turns off the game and we put down the controllers, he turns to me and gives me the “Now what?” look. So I reach over, grab his neck and kiss him.