I hesitate to write this post, because it will fully reveal my geekiness (as if my trip to Gencon didn't already do it). This is for all you comic book fans out there still waiting to develop your mutant powers. I grew up reading comics. I couldn't get enough of them. I had a standing hold on several titles, and would regularly beg my mom to drive me to the comic shop. I spent every bit of money I could scrounge up on them (this was the days when most titles were less than a buck). From a very early age my friends and I would sit around and pick which stars would best fit our idea of the character in a comic movie (I still want to see Arnie as Colossus).
It was in this comic fueled stage of life when I saw one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. We were taking a white water rafting trip down the Colorado River as a church youth group. We left for our 3 day trip from Moab, Utah. Very early in the trip, I took it upon myself to throw anyone in our group not tied down into the water at least once and most people multiple times. I was successful in my task except for my friend Glenn's mom. She had this icy cold stare of death, that would freeze the water around you and nearly choke the life out of you if you couldn't avert your gaze fast enough. I wisely left her alone after my first attempt to pull her in ended in me slinking away from the above mentioned stare.
I spent most of my time in the water just in my life jacket swimming up Rambo style and bursting up out of the water and yanking people in. After awhile people began to get skittish and were looking for me, so I had to resort to sneakier tactics. Sometimes this involved slipping out of my vest and swimming up under water (not the brightest thing to do). Other times I would get out of the water entirely and make a kamikaze leap from the shore into a boat to spread my form of destruction.
It was during one of these shore excursions that I saw evidence that comic book heroes are real. I should preface this part of the story with the fact that we had spent nearly two days on the water under the blazing sun of Southern Utah. I had also been subsisting on a diet of mostly beef jerky, Soda, and gummi bears. So it is possible my mind was playing tricks on me, but I swear that this account is true as far as I am concerned. I was a few hundred yard ahead of the boats trying to find a place to hide out and ambush them when I came to a small sandy area that had been recently disturbed. I knew I was the furthest ahead in my group, and there weren't any other groups around us for many miles. This spot was in the middle of nowhere, even if you were looking for it you would have a hard time finding it. When I came into the clearing I couldn't see the river and I am sure they couldn't see me, but I did see some carving in the sand and a cigar butt with the ash still intact. The carving and cigar layout looked like this.
Now for most people this wouldn't mean anything but for a diehard X-men fan this was big. The first thought that came to me for those unfamiliar with the book was Wolverine. His name is Logan he has three claws on each hand, and smoked cigars. It all pointed to him.
The cuts in the sand were smooth and were cut into an X (much smoother than my poor artist rendition). They were also all evenly spaced apart as if claws created them. The cigar was almost gone but about 2 inches remained with about 1/2 an inch of ash still on it. I searched the area for a stick or something that could have been used to do it but I couldn't find anything. I also couldn't find any footprints besides my own, which was weird considering the softness of the soil in the area. I know this doesn't necessarily prove anything, other than a young teenager with an active imagination can see some weird stuff in the desert.
Maybe, it was some sort of sugar and sun fueled vision quest, or maybe, that stare of death had a more powerful affect than I realized. I do know that for a brief second in the desert, I really thought Wolverine might be real, and maybe, if I was lucky, my mutant powers might come in someday.