Ask Doctor Sinisterion: Is my boyfriend faithful?
(Because of the holidays and odd weather causing travel delays, I’m a bit behind in my work. That cuts into my blogging. Luckily, my brilliant and infinitely talented guest blogger (whose culpability in producing the recent “Snowmageddon” is suspected but unproven) has once again come to the rescue. Here is his latest dose of insights about the world from a decidedly and distinctly unique point of view. Please join me in welcoming Doctor Sinisterion.—Mike Stackpole)
Doctor Sinisterion (D. D.), is the author of the recent book If I Was A Supervillain. Having retired after a long career as a spiritual consultant and entrepreneur, he took time to study many of the great criminal enterprises of our time, and offers his critique of them in his book. Critics have suggested the book is merely an exercise in revisionist history. He scoffs at his critics and delights in their still being snowed-in. He has recently undertaken a new line of work: he is now a life coach for those in the costumed trade.
Dear Doctor Sinisterion,
I fear my boyfriend is having an affair behind my back. He never seems to be where he says he’ll be. He says he has a job as a “personal assistant” to a variety of clients, but I’ve never seen any of them, and he doesn’t work out of an office. Then, at his apartment, there is a room he won’t let me go into. He calls it his “man cave” but I have my doubts. I’ve peeked, and it’s neat as a pin. I would go in, but he has a small robot in there which he says he built as a project in college. It hisses at me and glares with that single eye.
I love him dearly, but things don’t add up. He’s mild-mannered, and looks ever so sexy with those slightly nerdy glasses he wears, and the way that dark forelock curls down over his forehead. But wouldn’t someone who could build a robot find better work than bringing coffee and doughnuts to invisible clients? For all I know he’s a boytoy-for-hire; and his evasiveness about his work has me worried.
What should I do?
Lost in Love
I fear you must brace yourself. I have bad news. Your boyfriend is something worse than a gigolo, of lower status than even an errand boy.
The signs are clear: your boyfriend is a superhero.
Buck up. I know you are sobbing inconsolably at the moment. You seek to deny what I have said. You’d point out that there is no evidence whatsoever that he’s a superhero. He’s just a quiet man who can be very kind and gracious, but is afraid to swat a fly and couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag—a wet one at that. He chews his food at least twenty times before swallowing, is kind to stray animals, always has a dollar for mendicants and you suspect he’d don a suit of bubble-wrap to keep himself safe would that not open him to derisive laughter.
You must remember, however, that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. The fact that there is no proof that he is a superhero is, in fact, proof itself that he is! His genteel nature, for example, is merely to blind you to his super-strength. I can imagine that you dream of the day that he will crush you in his arms and kiss you madly—I tell you now this would splinter ribs, crack your spine and propel your internal organs out in a bloody gout reminiscent of toothpaste gushing from a squeezed tube. Yes, love hurts, but usually not in that way.
You ask what you should do. People in your position have three options:
1) Secretly go into training, design a costume, and join him in his crimefighting exploits. The shared experience will certainly add a new level to your relationship. You can even torment him by flirting with him in costume, while fending him off when he’s in civvies. Force him to reconcile his attraction for you with his attraction for your alter-ego; and then let him realize that he can have both women of his dreams.
2) Remain his silent ally; keeping his secret and providing an alibi when needed. He will love you for it. You will be able to tend his wounds, saying things like, “Oh, my poor clumsy Clark, you got yourself banged up again. When will you stop running into walls?” You’ll have to play a bit dumb, but what woman hasn’t used that tactic to trap a man? You’ll lead a fulfilling life—up until that point where you’re pregnant and his arch-enemy traps him, or he’s seduced by a superheroine who understands him in a way that his poor, stupid mortal wifey never could.
The problem with these first two options is that they always end badly. You see, secret identities seldom remain secret. An enemy who can’t defeat your man will target you, or your children (and imagine a life of chasing after half-mutant toddlers)! You’ll be slain or, worse, reduced to a persistent vegetative state, which will torture him forever, making him yet more tragic than he is. It will also cause your children to vow revenge, guaranteeing they start down the path that destroyed you, making them into predators who will destroy other unsuspecting mortals. Worse yet, they’ll be torn over wanting to avenge you and hating Daddy because he couldn’t save you; so they might even go over to the dark side—naming themselves after airborne rodents and living in a cave with an aged nanny.
3) Your third, and really only option, is to expose him. You’d be doing him a favor, actually. Secrets destroy relationships—even Dr. Phil knows that. His secret means your relationship is doomed. This, in turn, means that he will never know happiness because his hero self and normal self will be forever at war with each other. And, trust me, these heroes are very egocentric. It’s all about them. So anything that’s a crisis in your life will become part of their drama. You’ll become a vestigial appendage on his life and, when he’s remembered for being a hero, you will never be in the picture “for your own safety.” He’ll go to the White House—you’ll go to White Castle.
Exposure will be rather simple. Just show up at his place with cupcakes and invite yourself in. Borrow his cell phone, dump his SIM chip, and later pull the GPS data. You’ll get his patrol routes and times. Let him know your schedule, then continue to “surprise him.” Bring him bottled water and escape with the backwash. Swab blood from a crime scene and get them DNA typed. You’ll have him. And if you don’t want to expose him yourself, just send the evidence to Wikileaks.
After all, Ms. Lost, you deserve to be happy. Better to let criminals break some laws, than to let him break your heart.
￼In Hero Years… I’m Dead comes in two editions. The basic edition costs $5 and contains just the novel. the Deluxe Edition includes a long essay about the process of the writing and the genesis of the ideas. These two links will take you to my store where you can buy the epub format which works on Sony readers, the iPad and the Nook.