Some days even the smallest thing can lift my mood. Walking to my Marta station in Atlanta is usually uplifting and energizing, even in the worst weather, but the ride on the train—arguably one of the ugliest subway systems in the world—is always a downer. If you want to find the highest per capita incidence of frowns, look no further than Marta at 5:30 a.m. Mirth has taken a vacation down here in the bedrock tubes.
So it was great, although a bit surreal, this morning when a woman, a security guard judging by her uniform, approached me, beaming, as I stood waiting for the elevator that would take me—us—from the subterranean station up 100 feet to street level.
"Oh, my god," she said, "what are YOU doing here?"
I just blinked at her, finally coming up with , "Um?"
The woman elbowed her companion, an elderly man with a steady, rock-solid frown that had taken a lifetime to create. "Look, Charles, it's Batman!"
I took a step back as the woman beamed and the old man squinted, the corner of his frown twitching involuntarily.
"You must—" I began.
"No, oh god, wait, excuse me, you look SO MUCH like him, doesn't he, Charles?"
Charles just continued to frown and twitch.
The elevator arrived, we got on, the door closed, and the elevator ascended, everyone silent, staring straight ahead until the elevator doors opened. Then she turned to me and said, "You really do look JUST like him."
I thanked her, not knowing which Batman she had in mind, and not really caring much. It had made me smile, and I had had a glimpse of what actors must go through every day when people recognize them.
Of course, now that I think about it, perhaps I shouldn't be wearing my Batman costume on a Marta train.