He hides his superhero suit beneath his bed. He found an abandoned bandana at the side of the road, and that’s all the clothing he needs for the summer. The houses round here are short, square, squat, squashed under the sky, which is mostly long, flat clouds scudding off towards the horizon then breaking up – when he tries to imagine what it must be like to live in high-rise buildings he thinks that the people there must stack their belongings one on top of the other, all the way up until you can’t see all the things you’ve got. He locks up and goes to live in the woods, existing on a diet of milk, berries and ginger root, sits in the trees or lies flat in the grass. Tends to his soul. At night he runs back amongst the houses, clambering all over their outsides, practicing his moves.
At an autumn drinks reception in the city he wears smart clothes over his superhero suit. Stands apart from the group, wittily captivating a young lady made plush on a summer of penny sweets and velvet. They are not saddened by the fact that they are detached from the group, don’t give a second thought to the discussions they might be missing – instead, the members of the group are secretly envious of them and the fact that their attentions are only for each other, both of them so clearly, cleverly, adeptly synchronising plans. Their victory is sweet and unlikely. She leads him by the hand and they ascend the building, which goes up and up and up and is oddly empty, not at all the way he thought tall buildings would be inside. It seems like the kind of place that lends itself to heroic acts.