Something I wrote when I was 21
Take a back seat to no one By: S.William Breaston
A long long, long, long long time ago when school desk supposedly protected students from the explosion of a atom bomb, but couldn’t protect you from a spit ball launched from Adam’s straw, there was a couple with the last name Coleman. The Colemans had two daughters, don’t know their first names, but I’m guessing their last names are Coleman. So the Colemans already had two younger Colemans and with the Mother Coleman getting bigger in the stomach they were expecting another Coleman. The day was February 6, 1950 when mother Coleman gave birth to two more Colemans; twins that is, but the Colemans only decided to keep one of the babies which was the girl. I’m guessing so that the mother and the three girls could form a small Motown group and be like Diana Ross and the Supremes, who knows; but what I do know is that you would like to know what happen to the other baby Coleman. The baby boy was given up to the Breastons, who were close family friends. They named the baby Michael Thomas Breaston; and that is the origin of my father. Second greatest origin ever, just behind Superman.
If you were to meet my father you would think that sliced bread wasn’t so great. Even though my dad is not 6’6, or muscular, and doesn’t have a face that resembles Denzel Washington, he still is a sight to see. He is not tall, but not short; he is around 5’8-5’9. He has a medium frame and he is a little pudgy in the stomach, but that’s what eating Texas sheet cake for late night snacks will do to you. His legs are short but his calves look as if someone rubbed them with the steroid cream. My father has a short, even hair cut and a baby face with a trimmed up mustache. Truthfully, he reminds me of the character off the Pringles can; but let’s keep that as our little secret. Maybe this is the reason my Pops doesn’t have his own autobiography yet and isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Muhammad Ali or Martin Luther King, because he didn’t have that physical presence or glamour. But hey, Gandi didn’t have it either. Well, maybe I am reaching, but there at least should be a comic book or a film made about him.
Put it like this, take Flash, Batman, and Superman, combine them and you we would probably have the making of one phenomenal person; and phenomenal is probably an understatement. These dudes, sorry, these heroes are whom most little boys love and emulate. Who doesn’t want to be or see a guy that is faster than a locomotive, or some one able to leap a tall building in a single bound. I bet you half of my meal credit that there are at least 10 kids a day that get bumps and bruises from jumping off the steps or some object in the house trying to fly. Kids wish to be like their heroes, and even sometimes later in life are hoping that the things they read about in their comic books will happen in their lives, making their lives easier and better. As they hope, I have seen it in my dad’s life. Yeah, I know my dad is no Flash, Batman, or Superman, but you know what, he is better. How can you deny it when he has no super powers and has done something equal to all them spandex wearing Chippendales, sorry, super heroes.
I know Pops isn’t as fast as Flash and he didn’t have that cool red outfit to wear in his track meets, but if flash were a real person he would be shining and carrying my father’s cleats if he saw the way my father ran. My father is a very humble and quiet person but he would sometimes take out his newspaper clippings and medals; then talk to my brother and me about them. He had medals for the 200, 100, relays, and medleys. He had enough silver and gold to purchase a small island; I mean; that’s what it looked like when I was younger. Until the age of 13 I couldn’t beat my father in a race. I had come close several times before but I realized later in life parents have to let their kids think they are doing something special, it’s like a rule in one of those “How to be a good parent book,” or in the Bible or something.
I know pops is not Batman. I could tell at a very young age he was neither rich nor white. He also didn’t have a bitter or vengeful attitude, which his attitude could have very well been if you think about how he was put up for adoption when he was born. Everybody and their 80-year-old, 10 teeth having grandpa know how Batman took care of Robin like his own child when Robin’s family was murdered. This is a cupcake compared to my father marrying my mother Charlene, there’s your name mom, and helping her raise two kids that she had before they met each other. He loved and cared for my two older brothers and they were still treated equally when my brother and I came along. He was not rich, but he did not bitch either. He made sure we all ate and we all enjoyed them fried bologna sandwiches at night. He and my mom did such a good job raising my other three brothers; that I have basically four father figures in my life. Most of the kids in my neighborhood have difficulty finding one. My pops showed us love and how to love each other.
So yeah I’m putting my father in the same category as Superman. You may say, “But Superman saves lives,” yeah, what’s the big deal about that; priests save hundreds of lives every day, so you don’t have to be a superhero for that. You know what? My Pops saved my life one time. When I was younger I went fishing along with my dad and my brothers. Pops told me to stay back away from the river or I would fall in; and that day I found out my father was all-knowing because I sure the hell fell in. It was, skip a rock, get closer, skip another rock, get closer, Steven? Steven? I was not under water that long but I felt the hand of the lord grab me by my leg and pull me towards heaven. I eventually realized it was my father because he started hitting me on the backside as if he was trying to regain a signal on an old T.V. That was the only time my dad ever beat me and I cried my own river as I sat there; but then he hugged me. As I got older I realize why my dad beat me that day, and it was not to add insult to injury. He made me realize what a poor decision I had made and him beating me prevented me from making poor choices throughout life. Poor decisions where I’m from can lead you to losing your life. My Pops saved his sons cause he disciplined us to make the right decisions.
I am 21 years old now and I will not be ashamed to tell my peers I’ve seen a superhero and am still trying to be one. The superhero I am trying to be wears a costume that consists of brown pants and a tan, short sleeved shirt with a brown patch that has the name “Mike” on it. He has two jobs, three if you include cooking and cleaning up around the house. He is still humble and quiet.. He still creates the best meals in the family, mom a close second, and they receive praise from the guardians of all that is edible, The tons of fun; which are my three, 250lb plus brothers. He still takes them long naps during the day and comes out revived ready to cut the lawn, wash dishes, clean up the living room, or any job I complain and fall out over. So yeah, I guess I was spoiled mom. And I am still spoiled to this day, but it is not by candy, videogames, or being cleaned up after. I am spoiled by his love. Yeah, my pops finds time to love my brothers and me through his busy days. He still finds time to hug me and watch tv in the morning when I am home. He still finds a way to go fishing with my brothers and rebounds to go out to dinner with my mother. My Pops loves me and I love him, and even though I am a grown man, I still smile when he calls me “boogers.” And he is still no Flash, no Batman, no Superman, and you know the answer why, because he is just better; and boy is he real. And when people laugh and ask me, “Why do you think your dad’s a superhero? I mean, does he move mountains or skyscrapers?” I say nah, but he moves my soul.