My first is my oldest, and I tend to fall back on it the most. That is when I am Solitary Man, who has the power to be alone any time, anywhere, no matter how big the crowd.
The other is Substitute Boyfriend. In that costume, I am much more powerful, but conversely also more tragic. Substitute Boyfriend is the male friend who takes women out on the town when their regular beau cannot. His version of the Bat Signal is stories that begin with “My boyfriend said he was going to...” and once this anecdote begins, you can be sure he will be there with his utility belt before it gets to “...but he never did.” Substitute Boyfriend’s battles are extremely difficult to win, however, because the guy he is standing in for invariably shows up at the end of the night; still, if you were to compare the powers of excellence when it comes to being the better date, Substitute Boyfriend wins hands down.
Unfortunately, the girl rarely sees that the cape is greener on the other side, and this is Substitute Boyfriend’s Kryptonite: the failure to make his awesomeness known. He is like Bill Bixby at the end of every episode of the “Incredible Hulk” TV show, walking out of town with a sullen expression, knowing he saved grandma’s farm but unable to admit that he did because it would reveal he was the big emerald monster.
That’s why I invariably stop being Substitute Boyfriend and return to being Solitary Man. Yet, my story today is about how Substitute Boyfriend flew too close to the sun, and you know what happens when you do that.