Although I have admired Batman all my life, I am different from him in several ways.
Perhaps most importantly, I had a very good childhood and did not experience a life-defining personal tragedy. My family and friends are alive and well. As a result, I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky guy. For the most part, I’m very laid-back. Perhaps that is just another way to say that I am soft, that I lack ambition. Maybe I have not done more with my life because I lack the anger, guilt, or “x factor” to be sublimated into “purpose.”
Whatever the reason, becoming Batman was always a dream, a fantasy, but I never took it very seriously and I never really worked towards it. As Neal Stephenson said in Snow Crash,
“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”
Last year, I decided it was time to be bad. It probably has something to do with the fact that I had just turned 28, and 30 was rapidly approaching. I tend to be a late bloomer, even in the untapped “baddest motherfucker” department. I had taken a couple of steps in the direction of being a badass – on my 27th birthday, I went skydiving, and on my 28th birthday, I went bungee jumping. But these were single isolated experiences, and I wanted to move down the road of being a full-time badass. There is no better example of a full-time badass than Batman, and as I see it, there are three general areas I needed to improve in my own life if I was going to become Batman – mental training, physical training, and gear.
As far as mental training goes, I felt like I was off to a good start, thanks mostly to my family’s emphasis on education. I have a degree in psychology and would say that I am above-average in general knowledge. I could always stand to learn more, particularly about law and social engineering (both reading and manipulating people), but I felt it was best to focus on physical training.
Physically, I am way below average ability. As a kid, allergies and anti-social tendencies kept me away from physical activities and sports teams like most kids join. That lack of outdoor activity combined with my family’s emphasis on food means that I grew up big. Short and big, thanks to genetics. Well, I did take martial arts lessons for a while, and I was on my high school wrestling team for one season, but thanks to yo-yo dieting, what strength I gained from those activities has since been lost again. All of this compounded together gives you my largest hurdle on the way to becoming Batman, and thus my current focus.
In terms of gear, I pick up random stuff when I can, but it’s rather difficult, since I am a broke college graduate with loans to pay off. I try to make the best of what I have, and sometimes I surprise myself with my resourcefulness on camping trips and the like. On the plus side, I already have a wardrobe of mostly black, so I am set in that department.
I think that about covers the basics of my origin. More to be revealed and retconned as necessary.