On the F Train with Superman

Goodbye, Superman

When you live in New York long enough, you get to run into just about everybody.

I remember in the mid 80’s, I was on the F Train heading uptown to meet some friends, and this guy got on at West 4th Street. Thought nothing of it… except two girls sitting next to me were going ga-ga over him. Sure he was a good-looking guy and really tall, but he was dressed like a regular guy with jeans, a baseball jacket and a backpack.

Like a typical New Yorker, he put one foot on the door, grabbed the strap and watched the lights out the door window.

One of the girls whispered to the other in a half-giggle “Superman”, and I gave him a double take.

Holy shit! It really WAS Christopher Reeve.

He smiled at the girls (as he heard it too) and gave me a nod “hello” as I’m staring at him with my head askew like a confused puppy.

And after what I’m sure was an uncomfortable eternity for him waiting for his stop, he got off at 34th Street.

A memory that played over and over in my head as I heard the sad news of his passing today. When I was picked up from work today, my son had the saddest look on his face and said “Daddy, did you hear Superman died today?”

Then I told him the story about meeting him on the train.

All day long I couldn’t put a word on how I felt today.
I finally figured it out an hour or so ago:

Relief.

I admit I haven’t given Christopher Reeve a lot of thought over the years. But I do know that if it were me who broke his neck nine years ago and were condemned to live trapped in a body that didn’t work…

… I would have wished I had died right there on the spot.

He accomplished a lot in the last few years, fighting for causes, directing, writing a book; But I bet he would have given anything to just run free in a meadow with his arms wide open. Just once. Probably dreamed about it all the time. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Rest in peace, Chris.

P.S. A full-sized wallpaper version of “Goodbye Superman” is available in my Gallery over at Animotions

Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.

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About Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.
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  • Dr. D.

    He is better off now…free.

  • Witchy

    Amen, Erox. May he rest in peace. He was a much better person than I could’ve ever been. God love em. I hate my life NOW, forget if I were paralyzed.

  • Jeanna

    Agreed. I was in Hollywood when I heard the news and I was so moving to see the candles and flowers on his star on the Walk of Fame.

  • rfsciarrone

    Christopher Reeve was a Superman by all aspects of the word, and still is. I value your Contribution to humanity while you were visiting us here on earth. May you reign in Heaven Brother! You certainly will be missed. Bob