There are two points to this story.
(And no, they’re not Spock's ears. Although apparently my creative genius* likes poetic solutions, because it is giving me this particular beginning after I couldn’t figure out how to neatly wrap up the story myself.)
This story has two points, and they are at the end. So if you’re at all short on time, I totally recommend scrolling there right now.
Because this story is long, and
possibly probably not interesting to anyone but me. And my creative genius, of course. Who, for days, has been bugging me to write it.
*Definition of creative genius: The real place all my stories come from. You might call it God, or my muse, or my subconscious. All I know is, it’s not “Michelle Lynne Goodfellow.” It just lets her take the credit.
I prefer to think of my creative genius as a frisky lover who can’t leave me alone when I’m doing something else. Like washing dishes. Or sleeping. The experience is ultimately good for me every time, even if a little inconvenient.
I had three weeks of vacation at the end of the year. My life was busy – D—– was still sick, and I visited him pretty much every day. Plus I had lots of holiday errands to tie up before Christmas and leaving for Jamaica.
I was tired at night, and not in the mood for anything heavy. Netflix was calling, and the “Top 10 for Michelle Lynne” list featured a Star Trek movie.
I watched it.
I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw the original series. More than seven, less than 10. I didn’t really like it – there was too much fighting, too much guy stuff. The only episode I remember with any confidence is The Trouble with Tribbles, probably because I thought tribbles were cute.
Spock was my favorite. He was a mystery to my pre-pubescent self – concerned as I was with grown-ups, love, and happily ever after candidates. A cipher to be unraveled.
It was Generations – the first Star Trek movie I watched on Netflix. And yes, that means there were more.
I got this great idea – what if I watched them all? From beginning to end?
(The only ones I’d previously seen were the Next Generation ones.)
After all, what else was I going to do with my nights in dark December?
I was a huge fan of ST:TNG* when the show was still being made. I came to it late, though – my brother was the true Trekker. I’m trying to remember how old I was when I started watching. 25? 26?
Picard was my favorite. Every word he pronounced, with that measured, Shakespearean delivery, had so much gravitas. I trusted him.
*Star Trek: The Next Generation
Memory: I am lying in bed. It’s Sunday morning. I’m maybe 10 years old, and there’s a pink chenille bedspread on top of me.
I am on the right side of the double bed, and in my head I am having a conversation with Spock. He is beside me, in this scene I am imagining.
I don’t remember what we are saying, but I remember how I feel.
I am yearning.
The first Star Trek movie was a disappointment. It looked absolutely gorgeous – lots of long, slow pans of space and the Enterprise. But I’m not sure there was even a story.
The second one (Wrath of Khan) was a lot more exciting. Especially the scenes with Ricardo Montalban’s chest.
And then that scene. The one near the end, that took my breath away. The one where Spock dies.
I’ve been analyzing my dreams since forever, and recently they have been filled with themes of union. Two opposites, finding a common ground. Masculinity and femininity, thinking and feeling, logic and intuition.
Discussing one such dream this month with a friend, Spock popped into my mind.
Deep down I knew Spock would probably come back. There was a film called Search for Spock. Why else would they search for him, if there was absolutely no chance he could be found?
When they did find him, I wished that I was that female Vulcan, Saavik. I wanted to reassure him. To protect him.
Without a doubt, The Voyage Home was my favorite. So funny. And of course I noticed (and stored away in the back of my mind) that Leonard Nimoy was the director.
That scene on the bus, where he gives the obnoxious boom box guy the Vulcan nerve pinch? Spock FTW*!
*for the win
I watched most of the rest of the films in one huge blur after I got back from Jamaica. All the Next Generation ones (although Netflix Canada doesn’t have Nemesis, and I don’t think I’ve seen that one, worse luck), and suddenly my Star Trek binge was over.
Except… there was one more. The new/old one. The prequel.
I was ambivalent. I didn’t want to have to learn a whole new cast by heart.
I watched it anyhow.
And Spock… suddenly there again. The real one. The Nimoy Spock.
My heart leapt. I had followed the arc of his character through all these movies, and finally in this iteration he seemed so… human.
After watching it, and a few interviews of Nimoy on YouTube, I went looking for his autobiographies – curious for the first time about the man behind the character. Walking past the Central library one night after work, I stopped in my tracks – they probably had at least one of his books inside.
I Am Spock is mine until February third.
I read it in three days.
I had no idea what to expect, but Nimoy surprised and entertained me with his storytelling. Plus I was fascinated by the descriptions of his creative process – especially his relationship with Spock.
I dearly hope he shows up in other projects.
Point 1: I like characters who touch my heart. When I feel that familiar pull in the centre of my chest, I know it’s a sign to sit up and pay attention. There’s soul nourishment going on.
Point 2: Leonard Nimoy is someone I’d love to interview. Because he has a lot to say about the work, and that interests me. I’m fascinated by the ways and means that others procreate with their creative genii.
Point 3 (kind of like a bonus track on an album, if you will): I am Spock.
No, really. I am. Maybe we all are.
Two (or more) opposing impulses inside one brain, both of them necessary, both of them valuable.
It does us well to reconcile them.
Live long and prosper.