Not Just Another Box


I’m not a believer in fate, don’t think that everything happens for a reason. I know that I’m a Scorpio but couldn’t tell you what that means. Some decisions I over think to the point of paralysis, others you’d be excused for thinking I made based on a die roll.

Every once in a while though, things just sort of fall into place, random puzzle pieces falling onto the floor and forming a pattern.

Las night I was up much later than I planned to be. I started by trying to catch up a bit on the Fox television series “The Gifted”, a show based on the X-Men comic books, and then by spending another hour on twitter reading reactions to the passing of the co-creator of not only those X-men but Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk and too many others to list here.

It sounds silly, the hyperbolic overreaction of a nerd to the death of his hero, but Stan Lee may have been one of the most influential pop culture creators of the past century. Unlike the heroes of film and pulp that had come before, his creations were flawed, multi dimensional and relatable. They were imperfect but trying to do the right thing and remain among the most recognizable and beloved characters ever imagined. One of the few highlights of 2017 for me was the opportunity I had to listen to him speak for a while at last year’s Hasbro toy and game convention.

I went to sleep too late, awoke later than I should have, and was surprised when my daughter wasn’t found downstairs sneaking in some early morning You-Tube time on her tablet. Instead she was found exactly how I would have been found, not only at her age but far beyond – lying across her bed reading a comic book. When later in the day my monthly shipment of new reading material arrived I knew that the day had come, that it was time to pass on to her “the box.”

“The box” really doesn’t deserve quotation marks. It’s an old battered thing that’s been sitting in her older sister’s room unopened for the past ten years, full of old, torn up comics that I had given to her when we all first moved in together as a way to keep her away from my dozen other similar boxes full of significantly more valuable issues. As she got older Kayla and I made it a tradition to see all the Marvel movies together but she never showed as much interest in the source material.

Alaina was excited, but truth be told was also very excited when her mother cleaned out a hall closet and made a new “pantry”, so whether that box becomes an entry way into other worlds and fantastic adventures like those pages did for me all those years ago or if it just moved from one closet to another remains to be seen. She loves to read, has a fantastic imagination.

It just kind of seemed like the perfect time to find out. Many of those pages were written by a guy that just left us to go on his final adventure. Chances are pretty good that I’m going to spend a fair amount of time tomorrow exactly as I found her this morning. Eyes wide, off in another world.

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