I finally did it. I watched The Man Trap yesterday after pretty much taking a month off from Star Trek and blogging. And you know what's strange? It didn't occur to me until much later, as I was making dinner, that Leonard Nimoy is dead.
I watched The Cage last month, of course, and didn't even think about it. I watched the whole of The Man Trap, where we get our first real glimpse of what Trek would be, and I thought about Spock's character, I thought about the sets, the costumes, the way it's so rich that Kirk tells McCoy not to be ruled by his "glands." I didn't think about the fact that this is my first re-watch of The Original Series since Nimoy died.
For a moment I felt guilty. I should've spent several seconds in silent solemnity as the credits rolled for the first time and Nimoy's name appeared. But I didn't. I was finishing up a painting and drinking coffee and worried about nine million other things and it didn't even occur to me that I should feel anything other than the same familiar nostalgia I've always felt when watching Trek.
Maybe it's because we lost DeForest Kelley and James Doohan a long time ago. Maybe it's because I already felt Nimoy's death so keenly and let it go. Maybe it's because the actors are never their characters--as much as we might want them to be--and even if Nimoy did die, Spock is still right here on my TV. It's his familiar voice that lets me know everything will probably still be ok. It's his skinny build in his blue velour uniform that makes me smile. It's still his way of infuriating the more outwardly emotional people around him that I identify with.
In January I had my birthday--it was lovely. I saw Star Wars for the 8th and 9th times--and loved it more with each viewing. I kept having weird heart palpitations and (after ten years of not-very-well-explained fainting spells) finally made an appointment with a cardiologist. I painted very little. I wrote even less. I turned down multiple commissions and ended up cancelling one that was going too slowly. I worried about my health and then worried some more. What if there's something very wrong with me? What if I don't wake up one morning? What if I never finish my work? Why do I think my work is so important? I spent some (likely ill-advised) time on Web MD. I played so many hours of Fallout 4. I worked on the query for a book I'm dying to send out but anxious about its prospects. I actually picked up the phone and called my mom because her mom is going into hospice care. I felt annoyed with myself for not being more torn up about it.
Then, yesterday, I watched The Man Trap. And I didn't think about losing Leonard Nimoy. And that's ok. Leonard Nimoy was amazing. He brought life to a character that has been and will continue to be beloved by millions. And that character is still alive and well in marvelous technicolor. He's part of a greater family, a greater story, a greater home. It's a home that I can always go back to, after a month of strange ups and downs, and it won't mind how long I've been away. Like any home, it's flawed. It's getting on a bit. Its ideas, while forward for its time, are more dated now. Its music, clothes, and style are a little old fashioned. But I still love it. I know everything it's done for me over the years. Everything it will continue to do. It's still comforting, still comfortable, still safe to sit with Star Trek and know that, whatever has happened in my day, it's there.