Monday, April 10, 2006

The Knight After 2: Brotherhood of the Bat

As if by magic, the moment I posted the first entry in this potential new series about my fantasy adventures, those exploits pretty much came to an end. Or at least they're on hold; most of my new bat-buddies have dropped out of sight, though they've almost all explained they've just been busy in the daylight world, so maybe I shouldn't take it too personally. (Late-breaking update: after I wrote the first draft of this entry, that all changed with a daylong marathon of online roleplay, but let's save that for another time and wallow in oh-lonesome-me self-pity instead, shall we?)

On the other hand, I've subsequently discovered a whole new world of potential batpals. I originally got a (free) membership in just so I could view some photos of one of my new costumed friends, but I soon realized the site is an entire wonderland of delights. Just about any kind of clothing-related kink you might imagine is represented here: superhero, cop uniforms, lycra, latex, leather, vinyl, sports, probably FedEx, you name it. Most members post pictures of themselves and include IM contact info; there are special-interest groups, photo galleries, and much more. If you are one of the many readers of this blog who have expressed despair at how hard it is to meet like-minded men for virtual or real-world roleplay, you should check the place out, right away. (Note to hetero friends: it's pretty gay-specific, but I've noticed at least one woman among the new members, and depending on what you're looking for, odds are good you'll find someone who's open to exploring it with you.) My own profile is located here, in case you're interested. (Those of you interested in uncovering the true identity of my most fabled nemesis should take note: the Monk has visited the page at least once in recent days under his other name. Can you find him among the "recent visitors" section of my profile?)

In one of my first conversations with the aforementioned new bat-friend (whose wardrobe is truly stunning, and puts my own to shame), we discussed the familiar question of how more than one Batman can exist. It's vexing to some, but not to either of us. As I've written here before, my own take on the matter is that Batman is analogous to Santa Claus, a mythical figure who takes multiple forms all over the world, often simultaneously. My friend's version is somewhat different: he envisions suiting up as "the Dark Knight" as taking part in a true knighthood--all of us wearing similar armor, serving a common mission on our own fronts. I really like that idea; it makes a beautiful metaphor for my own use of the character/fantasy in my daily life, and suggests a way that I am connected to fellow superheroes.

Which is not to suggest that everyone who dons the cape and cowl is a member of the Brotherhood--lord knows I've met more than a few self-styled batmen whose intentions strike me as highly questionable. On the other hand, I have encountered some true fellow travelers, and it's interesting to think of them as forming a knighthood with me, all of us doing what we can in our shared fantasies (and sometimes in our civilian lives) to uphold the principles of our mutual hero. "Same struggle, same fight," as the old lefty chant goes.

Works for me.

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