...although at the time I thought I was a Trekkie. Granted, I was twelve and it was long before Comic Conventions were mainstream...LONG before.
I wasn't very good at fitting in. I tried, really I did. But no matter how many times I watched the popular shows, I never really cared about Brenda or Donna or whatever other busty blond pined over her boyfriend. Instead, I pretended to watch. And I did it because, in addition to teaching me how to roll my jean cuffs correctly, my older sister tried her hardest to turn me into a sibling that wasn’t so prone to embarrassment. Not to mention I was subject to certain mental anguish should I refuse to accept.
Alright…I also did it because I couldn’t imagine how the world would treat me if they knew what I was really doing: Waiting.
I was waiting for my sister to retire to her room and for my parents to close themselves off from the world. I was waiting because, at precisely 7pm, I would feed my addiction.
I needed privacy. I couldn't let them see. They couldn't know.
As 6:55 approached, I fixated on the clock and glued my finger to the remote control. I couldn't change it early. In the off chance that one of them would walk in and find me, I had to look like I was watching something cool.
They couldn't know I watched Star Trek TNG.
In the era before the internet, in an age where geeks and nerds were plankton on the social feeding pyramid, I was addicted to science fiction.
There, I said it. I was a Trekker. Yeah, it's cool NOW, but I would have committed social suicide had I admitted it then. And I wasn't all that cool to begin with so I had to hang on to everything I had.
And I watched it religiously. Every. Single. Episode. I was an addict.
I sucked in every minute, relished every line and empathized with the characters in ways I seldom did with my friends. It was better than anything. It was home. And at time in my life where nothing fit and no one understood me, Star Trek TNG was sometimes the only thing keeping me sane.
I still hid my obsession through high school and when a senior girl decided to dress up as a Borg for Halloween, I may have been the only person who recognized her outfit. I never told her, but she did an amazing job. And I admired her courage to admit her obsession, to display her passion, and brave the consequences of being a Trekker long before the rest of the world thought it was acceptable. Long before it was trendy.
And I will always admire her courage for that. Live Long and Prosper, oh brave one.
Perhaps next time I’ll have the courage to step forth, dress up in wires and metal caps, and declare myself leader of an inferior race. Resistance is Futile.
In the meantime I can watch Star Trek on Netflix. On Demand. Whenever I want. Every. Single. Episode.