I have a confession to make: I’m the Incredible Hulk.
Well, I’m the guy who transforms into the Incredible Hulk. I wouldn’t be able to tell such an eloquent story if I was currently in my angered form. That and my giant, green hands make typing pretty difficult. You can test the theory, if you don’t believe me. Just let me know in advance. I certainly wouldn’t want to be wearing my favorite shirt when I prove you wrong.
I’ve been this way for years—twenty, to be exact. It was 1997. I was a young man looking for an edge in my life. I wanted to stand out. The gym seemed like too much work, and college was sort of unfulfilling.
I won’t get into the specifics of how I came to be this way. Let’s just say you throw in a little biology, some chemistry, and a pinch of solar radiation, and there you have it. I don’t want to give away my trade secrets. And let’s be honest, no one wants a bunch of Hulks running around. That would be chaotic.
In truth, transforming from a skinny, suburban father of two into a massive, green giant doesn’t really feel good.
In the early days, I found myself getting angry for the silliest of reasons. If the commercial break of a football game was too long, I’d transform. If summer beer was on the shelves in autumn, I’d transform. If I was raking my lawn but leaves were still falling, I’d transform. Heck, one time at work, the vending machine gave me a Milky Way instead of a Snickers, despite me being 100% sure I selected F4. The next morning, the custodian found the mangled vending machine 450 yards away.
I never desired to be the Hulk at all times. But it’s nice knowing I have it as an option in extreme circumstances, such as being robbed at gunpoint. That has never happened to me, but my boss once asked me to run a report I didn’t feel like running. You should’ve seen her face as I ran by her office, all muscular and green and growling. It was classic.
Nowadays, I don’t anger easily, but sometimes it’s fun to transform so I can see people’s expressions. Then, I destroy their furniture and lamps, make a giant hole in the wall, and run away. It’s a great party trick, even though it kills the entertainment for the evening, as well as the potential for long-term friendships. People don’t react the same way to me once they’ve seen me transform. It’s as if they don’t want to poke the bear. It’s pretty hurtful, if I’m being honest.
Admittedly, this feels good to get off my chest. I’ve wanted to come clean for years but never quite mustered the courage. I almost did a few times. Most recently was last summer. I attended an anger-management class, where I told everyone I had a recurring dream that I was the Incredible Hulk. I waxed poetic about how my transformations would save me from trouble, how I’d subdue the bad guys, and then break a wall and run down a dark alley to a new town. It was wonderful. As I looked up at everyone in the group, I simply couldn’t bring myself to tell them that it wasn’t a dream. In fact, for me, it was a regular Thursday.
The main reason for remaining coy was quite simple, actually. In these settings, there is always one jerk willing to push me to the point of transformation. It’s happened before. It’s usually the guy who shows up at these meetings for the free donuts. In my travels across this great country as the Hulk, I’ve discovered that I can get right up to the point of uttering the phrase “Don’t make me angry” without any real issue. However, if the individual I say this to decides to take me up on my threat, it’s trouble for him and a dilemma for me. On the one hand, I don’t want to cause trouble; on the other hand, it’s frustrating when people don’t take me seriously.
But it’s become rather tiresome over the years. I’ve gotten older and tired of my own anger shenanigans. The technology of modern clothing, with its stretchy synthetic fibers, makes it less of a financial burden when I do transform. Clothes are expensive! The downside, though, is being a massive, green monster running down the street while wearing what appears to be yoga pants. Nothing counteracts fear generation more than yoga pants. I’ve seen photos, and it’s disturbing.
In truth, transforming from a skinny, suburban father of two into a massive, green giant doesn’t really feel good—physically or emotionally. It’s biology or chemistry, I guess. Lately, it’s hard to tell if my sore back is a result of sleeping incorrectly or lifting four-ton boulders and throwing them 300 yards just for the hell of it. Also, I’m starting to go bald, and an aging Hulk doesn’t seem right. Weirdly, instead of growling, I’ve been making “meh” sounds lately, and that isn’t terrifying anyone. Besides, I’m not setting a good example for my kids.
So, I’m thinking about curing myself. Again, I won’t get into specifics on how to do this. I’ve come to realize that getting angry doesn’t solve anything. In my case, it forces me to buy new clothes and apologize profusely for breaking people’s walls. I’m more of a credible Hulk these days, capable of rational discourse and intelligent rebukes.
I’ll let you know. Cue the sad piano music just in case.