I was out walking this morning, down the empty sidewalks of Broadway, empty because it was early morning and the shoppers have not yet descended, letting gloomy thoughts of the little that I’ve accomplished so far in this life settle over me. I couldn’t help it. The sky was blue but I didn’t dare see it. I stopped short at the light, Don’t Walk blazing red. Of course I didn’t make it across the street in time. A man on a bicycle came speeding in my direction; he almost ran over my toes. A tour bus turned the corner and I could see the tourists looking down on me in my messy clothes. The light had turned to Walk but I stood there. I berated myself for not doing enough in this life. I don’t know where the time went. I don’t know what I was thinking, really. My daily life is not much to talk about. I work a job. I pay bills, though I don’t know how much longer I can keep up. I buy things, some things I shouldn’t. I eat too much. I write too little. I have no time. I can’t find anything in my apartment. I have to clean the bathroom. I have two novels in boxes. I have a new rejection letter from yesterday. I have few friends, and the ones I do have won’t be mine for much longer because I am too overwhelmed with these feelings to make plans to see them. I have no plans or desire to start a family, so perhaps something is wrong with me there. I am not even really drowning. Things are not terrible, but they are not good. I like to make them worse with the storm clouds and the constant rumbles of impending disaster. What if I were hit by a bus? I stood on the corner contemplating this. If it had happened this morning, my mood hot and thick around my shoulders… what poetic justice.

“Negato” is my super-villain name, by the way. I’ve had it now for a while. Obviously my power is my utterly depressing negativity. I forget all good and focus only on bad. What talent. I can fill a room with doom just by walking into it. I can ruin a day with one swift word. Believe me, you do not want to invite Negato out to lunch. If I were an artist I’d draw my super-villain a thick steel-gray cape, heavy as lead, and around her in the sky lots of ominous thunderbolts. My super-villain has been taking me over more and more often. She followed me here this morning. I must defeat her!

So, who’s yours?

5 responses to “Negato”

  1. My supervillian is a lot like yours–a self-hater, a cynic, hangs over my shoulder when I write and says “that’s stupid,” etc.
    I love your sentence: “The sky was blue but I didn’t dare see it.”


  2. Oh lady, I’m hearing you loud and clear. I’ve been trying to shrug off my negativity; sometimes am successful and many times not. Something has been working lately, but it’s too abstract for me even to attempt to describe (though I can say that you were a part of it), so I’ll say here that Negato is in fact a tiny creature. She’s like a crazy dog—she’ll run amok, sprinting this way and that while you desperately hold on to the leash for control, but if you can find that command word or words to have her stand at attention and see you as the alpha chick, whether tiring her out by attaching her to your bike while you zoom up and down the Hudson Parkway or trying out a different kind of collar and a shorter leash, then something will change, click, heel, etc. I think; I hope.

    (Er… perhaps I’ve watched way too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer.)


  3. Like Annika, I am here to say that our Super Villains might be related. Or at least gone to Villain School together.


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