Thursday, August 20, 2009

Star Trek made me cry

I finally got around to seeing Star Trek. Much as I'd wanted to, I was too busy to see it when it came out, and after a couple of weeks any sense of urgency faded away, so I decided I'd just wait until it was in the dollar theater. That took a little longer than I expected, but I finally went to see it today.

And it made me cry.

Not because it was so sad or so elevating or anything -- it wasn't, it was just a good, enjoyable movie -- but because it made me miss my mother so much. See, Mom was a Trekker. She never went to a con or anything, but she loved Star Trek from the time the original series first aired. We used to watch it together. I was just a little kid, but I loved it too.

My favorite episode when I was a kid was the one where Captain Kirk fought the Gorn -- the big lizard dude. I have to admit it looks pretty cheesy now, but when I was four years old, that was about the most exciting thing I'd ever seen. I don't actually remember her doing it, but Mom loved to tell how she'd imitated the Gorn's voice right after the show and I'd thought it was so cool.

Later, Mom bought most of the episodes on VHS. She had this big drawer full of 50 or 60 videos. She used to buy all the novels when they came out and then pass them along to me when she was done. She must have gotten at least 20 of them before we finally got tired of them. And we went to the first four movies together.

So the whole time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking how much Mom would've enjoyed it. She would have trashed the whole thing, but she would have loved it. It would have been like when The Next Generation was on. Every time, she'd say, "Oh, it's just not as good as the original," but then she'd watch every episode.

And I knew exactly what Mom would have said when she watched this one. She'd have said how old Nimoy is. Then she would have added "Just like me." She'd have said that Pine and Sylar are nowhere near as good as Shatner and Nimoy were, especially Sylar. She'd have said he's not as good an actor, nor as good-looking as the young Nimoy.

Mom would've preferred most of the rest of the old cast too. She'd have liked George Takei over Harold, old Chekov over new Chekov (much cuter and more vulnerable, she'd have said), and old Scottie over Shaun of the Dead. She might not have minded the new McCoy. She never much liked DeForest Kelley. She always said he looked like he drinks too much.

And Mom would have been very annoyed at Spock and Uhura making out all the time. (But I think we can all agree on that. Making out is Kirk's job, not Spock's.) But deep down inside, she would have loved the movie.

So the whole time I was watching it, I kept thinking things like that. Mom would've liked this part. Mom would've said this. Mom would've said that. I wish I could watch it with her. But I can't. She's gone. I can never watch Star Trek with her again. This is so much a part of who I am -- someone who loves things like Star Trek -- and she gave me that. It's a gift that she gave me. But I can't share it with her anymore.

And every time I'd think something like that, I'd start to lose it. I came close to breaking down so many times. But I didn't want to start sobbing in the middle of a theater. It would have been too weird, completely inappropriate -- it was Star Trek, not Schindler's List, for goshsakes. So I sucked it up and forced myself to concentrate on the movie, and I got through it.

I almost lost it in my car in the parking lot, but it was about 100 degrees out, so I figured if I let go now I'll probably die of heatstroke or something before I'm done crying. So I just wiped my eyes and drove.

And since I've been home, I've been busy. Going shopping, cooking dinner, reading, doing this and that. I've kept it together. Until now.

God, I miss her.


  1. This is the sweetest post about the new Star Trek I've read so far.

    And you mom was soooo right. DeForest Kelley does look like he drinks too much.

  2. HUG.

    Funny you should be talking about that today. It's my mom's 2nd aniversary. It's going to be hard for you for a while. Everything will remind you of her. But it'll get better. Like you said, see it as a gift. She IS still sharing this with you because you think of her when you watch it. :)

  3. Thanks Oakley. I never thought of it that way before.

  4. Val formerly of San Diego8/30/2009 1:56 PM

    What a great thing to share with your mom. I haven't been by for a while - so I didn't know. I'm so sorry.

  5. Beautiful tribute to your mother. I watched it with my Dad as a child over bowls of chocolate icecream and I know someday I will relate. Peace and hugs

  6. Thanks Valerie. I'm glad to know it touches people.


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