Funny, isn’t it, how the shows we watched as kids permanently mold some small part of us. How a few of the fantasies they concocted like witching spells in our kid brains never completely disappear. I assumed when I was a kid that the exciting story lines in TV shows and movies and books would vanish from my imagination with my arrival into adulthood. And sure enough, the years passed and when silly phenomena like Star Trek or Star Wars conventions appeared on the horizon I dismissed them as absurd. Men dressing up as Civil War re-enactors? Ridiculous. People buying James Bond cars and gadgets so they can pretend to live in his world? Oh please.
Then lo and behold here comes a Star Trek movie that harkens back to the original series, and I come away from it feeling like a kid all over again. The same thing when I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No apologies, either. It’s a damn fine feeling.
So this is the truth I must admit to: that shadowy threads of my childhood stories have wrapped themselves around my skin and through my emotions and have ever since been a part of me. It doesn’t matter that for most of my life I’ve forgotten about them or dismissed the longing they occasionally evoke as mere nostalgia. They’re a small part of me and what I wanted to be.
Some more facts: I’m now old enough to be on the downward slope of life. My 401k is in the tank. The economy stinks. Jobs are vanishing. Life is a risk and nothing is guaranteed. I wrote a novel with a great lead action woman named Layla Daltry. If I now want to live more like her or in truth let that part of me that is her become real, then why the hell not? It’s not like I have much to lose.
But no dressing up. I’m not into that at all, and even Layla wears normal (though really cool) clothes. Then again, when my own brother tells me that I need to get more of an edge to my wardrobe, it might be time for a makeover.
An embarrassing confession…
When I was a kid watching Star Trek I had unreasonably assumed — me with my braces and thick glasses and a jaw that wasn’t developing right — that when I grew up I’d be as lovely as the women Kirk was always chasing, which was his tough luck because my heart belonged to Spock.