When I was a kid in New York City, my mother would take me to get the absolutely amazing bagels at the H&H at Broadway and 80th. It was not a rare occurrence to walk to or stand in line with celebrities at H&H—those bagels are famous for a reason, and few seemed above waiting in line for them at fresh o’clock in the morning. But the celebrity we used to see most often on our walk for bagels was Christopher Reeve. Well, he’s the one my mom used to see.
“Look!” She would stage-whisper. “It’s Superman!” But for the longest time, I never saw him.
She used to tease me about it, because of course, Christopher Reeve was right there in front of my eyes. But I possessed the combination of a literal mind and a vivid imagination. My mother said she could see Superman, so I looked up. Never once doubting that my mother had been truthful about her sighting, I always assumed that he was just out of sight, and if I had been just a bit faster, I might have seen him.
Had my mother said, “There’s Clark Kent,” it would have been a different story. Clark Kent doesn’t fly.
I put Superman: The Movie on last night for the first time in at least a decade, maybe two. And it’s melodramatic and silly and over the top and so much fun. And I just can’t help but smile when I hear the theme, because it brings me back nearly three decades, to when it was within the realm of possibility that Superman might actually be flying above us; to a time when an occasionally caped hero walked the city streets with me and my mother; to my favorite bagel shop, now heartbreakingly closed; to the first time I finally realized he was right there in the room with me, ordering a dozen bagels.
Seems only right I should meet Kal-El in a bagel shop.