(Excerpt from Keeping Score, the precursor story to Capturing Captain America)
Journal Entry number 77:
Just got my mid-term exams. Not only was I on the right side of the bell curve but two standard deviations above the mean! I got an A+ and Professor O’Hare has selected me as one of the 8 candidates for a TA next year! If I get it I’ll get a tuition discount, free academic credit, and an increased probability of getting into Teach for America after graduation! That’s my positive number for the day. Now my negative number. I met Captain America. Yes, the Captain America I envisioned in the intuition workshop in Manhattan a year ago. And he turned out to be an anti-hero for me. Mr. Malibu ROTC is handsome like I envisioned but he looks at me as a pretender who doesn’t quite belong at the same school as him.
Last year when Zhara and I went to New York this is what I wrote. I guess logic should have been in charge instead of my intuition:
It was one of those events held at Barnes and Noble or one of those booksellers in mid-town. During the weekend event there was one meditation and writing exercise on the very age old oracle question: who will be my true love? The leader told us after our meditation to write whatever came to mind and be as detailed as possible in order to verify accuracy.
Here is what I wrote: High intelligence, good at finance, tall and lean but stocky, wavy brown hair and eyes, a foreigner to me, someone who came from a very different background, and has travelled. Originally from somewhere in the American southwest. He was in Los Angeles currently and I picked up the name Roland or something like that. I also picked up that he was in a uniform, was kind of James Bond like, and possibly in service to the flag. I would meet him in some kind of debate conference and we would be within 5 years age difference. He would be good at architecture, superstructures, and had a lot of diversity in his business life such as media, publishing, finance, etc. A versatile guy and one very bright with words himself. Someone who was into doing a lot of things behind the scene with the intention of good works. A philanthrophic type who didn’t need to broadcast his activities. Kind of like good works without glory kind of deal. Then the workshop leader said to give a name to this person after the 15 minute freestyle writing exchange. Although I had already picked up the name Roland I got an image in my eye of Captain America, the Marvel Comics character. This was utterly strange since I was planning to stay in the Bay Area for college with no intention of checking out Los Angeles. Nonetheless, that is what I came up with. My girlfriend’s cousin had a love wish she called Greek Knight so I was inspired by her to keep the name of my wish as Captain America. I also saw him riding a motorcycle like me.
Now, as for my favorite St. Anthony … my dear friend Marie mentioned how she prayed to him about her own wishes and dreams. So, since the Catholic “wonder worker” saint had granted my wish to come to California I decided to “test it out”. I prayed on his feast day last year to help me and Marie out on the dating scene. I also, jokingly asked if this wonderful match could look like Hugh Jackman. This was impossible because only Hugh Jackman can look like himself. Nonetheless, I put it out there as I donated to to St. Anthony’s Bread.
I forgot about it again.
Until today after statistics class. There he was. Captain America himself. His name was Ronan. He was born and raised in Malibu but spends lots of time in L.A. He is in the ROTC. He is at the top of our class. He’s handsome. And he thinks I’m a wannabe mathematician. I got so nervous when I saw this son of the establishment that I felt totally tense. My palms were sweating. I even got a tummy ache. This never happened in middle school or high school. I don’t think I can be around him too much or I’ll fall three standard deivations below the mean into the negative range. Love at first sight this is not. Tension over a bad crush is. I’m not going to let on that I had this reaction. I want to be O’Hare’s TA. Malibu Ronan doesn’t need any more breaks in life. Ronan rides a motocycle. His smile is even better than Hugh Jackman’s. What were the odds of meeting him? Maybe 20 percent but there he is. And he looks at me like the female version of Red Skull.