Spiderman scanning the room after he settles on the pancakes. He locks into the round table in the corner and starts pulling on Dad’s sleeve. At the table, four young members of Chicago’s Finest, fresh faced young guys fueling up for a day that could include literally anything. You wonder how many years since these officers were Spiderman’s age. And it’s not all that many.
Dad finally relents; Spiderman pulls his facemask over his head. Now in full dress Spiderman uniform. Sharp like the creases in the young cops blue short sleeve shirts.
Approaching the table, the four cops all put down their forks and coffee cups. Smiles beaming like summer morning suns.
“We’re glad you’re here Spiderman! You gonna help us today?” Which draws a vigorous nod from Spiderman. Each of the cops reaches out to fist bump Spiderman.
At that table, unlocked if only for a moment, what it’s gonna take to get through the shift, through the danger, the temptations, through cleaning up what the rest of can do when we are at our absolute worst. Through running towards the horror when the rest of us pause or run the other way. At that table is the moment that starts the wisdom of the streets.
Spiderman talks to heroes.
The cops, and anyone who cares to listen, hear the start of a summer day, like Springsteen sang, they hear “The fireworks are hailing over Little Eden tonight” and of course nod with someday weary smiles when Springsteen sings,
“The cops finally busted Madame Marie
For telling fortunes better than they do.”
Spiderman takes Dad’s hand, walking back to the table, looks over his shoulder.
His heroes are still there.