This is a repost from a Tumblr series that I called “My perfect dad.” I’m preserving these older stories and continuing to write new ones available on this site first.

I look stupid, and I feel ridiculous. But I have no one to blame but myself. 

I was newly single after 15 years, on the rebound and vulnerable. Jack was young, handsome, and interesting. He took an interest in me and made me feel wanted. Aside from the physical attraction, we had almost nothing in common. I was an executive VP, and he was a college dropout. I liked hiking and antiquing and he played video games.  I enjoyed dragging my tux out of the closet once a year to go to the symphony and he… well, he liked cosplay

“Try it on,” he said one night, holding a tiny square of stretchy lycra fabric in his right hand. “Come on, daddy, I know you’ll like it if you just give it a try.” 

I shook my head and finished the last mouthful of wine left in my glass. “Please don’t call me ‘daddy,'” I grimaced for what felt like the thousandth time in our still-new relationship. “I don’t need a reminder that I’m old enough to be your father.” 

“You know I like that about you,” Jack said. He placed a hand on my chest and traced a circle around my nipple. God, he was so hot. Why on earth was he so interested in a guy like me, twice his age and full of single-again hangups? “Just try it once, and you never have to put it on again.” 

He was right. Once the superhero suit slid over my body and I zipped it closed, that was it. It’s hard to explain, but every time I reach up to lower the zipper I—forget how. It’s like my hands won’t do what my brain is telling them. I used to struggle and sweat and get mad, but after being trapped in the suit for a while, I learned to accept it. 

At first, my Son let me wear my old clothes over the suit when W/we left the house. But eventually that was no longer allowed. Now, I go everywhere dressed like some middle-aged superhero. I’ve started to gain a reputation in O/our town, too. Ex-colleagues and acquaintances point and whisper when they see me at the grocery store and Starbucks, and people from all over the world interact with “Cosplay Dad” on the social media channels my Son set up for me. 

Lately, I’ve been even starting to forget that I’m just an ordinary guy from the suburbs.  It’s like the suit has started taking over my mind, making me think that I’m some kind of superhero dad. 

Superhero dad. Dad Man. 

Dad Man. 

I am Dad Man. 

Citizen, be careful crossing that busy street. 

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