Modern Vulcan Philosophy
Although I was never a big “Star Trek” fan growing up, moment after moment in my short twenty-six years on this planet has been connected to it in some odd, connecting-of-universes fashion. Or I should say my eyebrows have been connected to it all along.
See, I've always been self-conscious about the tips of my eyebrows because they come to a point, and it makes me different from everyone else. And in a perfect world at five years old, I would have looked just like everyone else, and I also would have been the Green Power Ranger because he won the heart of the Pink Ranger.
Nonetheless, in a moment of life-defining brilliance, my mother told me that if anyone commented on them to give them the Vulcan salute and say, "I am an alien, and so is my mom." Of course being young and impressionable, when I was in the cash-out aisle at the supermarket and the older woman told me, "Your eyebrows are so interesting," I immediately went into my spiel until she turned and walked out of the store.
It wasn’t just mere coincidence that the five-year-old version of me was beginning a journey that connected him to the first officer of the Starship Enterprise for all of eternity.
This all continued on a bus ride home from middle school where my neighbor Wes and I were talking about plans to play video games after school and discuss our various romantic plans that were never going to happen, based on episodes of “The Wonder Years” we never really understood.
One offhand joke by me led to Wes saying, “Whatever. At least I don’t look like Spock.”
Now, there is an argument to be made that I look nothing at all like Spock. For instance, the Vulcan’s most popular features are clearly his pointy ears, and mine were my pointy eyebrows. One was made of flesh and bone, the other hair above my eyes. Those arguments didn’t deter Wes though, as, in his world, something pointy on someone’s face is all the same (no comment from Wes when reached on whether or not someone with a pointy top of their head would, in fact, lead them to be compared to Spock).
I argued and poked, but he was unflappable. Wes and everyone in our neighborhood would refer to me as Spock from now until forever.
I didn’t think it was cool. I didn’t try to live vicariously through the nickname like some kids I went to school with. I'm looking at you Hungry, Hungry Harry—we both know that half-eaten, another half rotten, apple was not as delicious as you made it out to be.
I detested the name and fought against it, which only made things much worse. Not worse in the sense I was getting swirlys, and the “Star Trek” symbol graffitied on the front of my house, just the name was starting to spread and stick like gum in Melissa's hair.
Melissa, of course, was a testament to the belief that Lord of the Flies was right all along.
Eventually, the name calling got to a point where Wes and I were walking down the road, and he gleeked on me. (Gleeking is like spitting only a small amount on someone in order to be 1. annoying; 2. really annoying.) He made some reference to my teenage crush never loving Spock.
Clearly, above anything else, that set me over the edge because who was he to say that she would never love Spock? That’s what made Spock so great: he was a Vulcan who could love...
Wait for no; that’s not why I was upset. I remember now; it’s because I wasn’t Spock. So I cleared my throat and spat the grossest loogie on him ever.
Yes, yes I know. It is disgusting and ranks up there as one my finest moments to date. But that’s ok because while he was wiping my saliva out of his jacket, we agreed that he wouldn’t call me Spock, and I would no longer spit on him.
And that’s where I thought it ended.
But the universe had other things in mind for me.
I was dating this girl for awhile who became obsessed with the show “Heroes.” It was a television program about normal people with superpowers, a show that couldn’t seem to hold onto any worthwhile plot points after twelve episodes. Even so, I went over to her house, and while watching it, she mentioned to me, “Hey, you look like this guy on the show…that one right there, Gabriel Grey.”
For those who have not seen the show, the character was more commonly known as Sylar, the villain with an unlimited amount of superpowers and world domination aspirations. He was on TV and a pretty handsome man to boot, so I went with it.
A quick search on IMDB revealed the actor’s name to be Zachary Quinto. He wasn’t in much, but that didn’t matter to me. There was enough of a resemblance that I could take pride in. I mean, the dude was on TV.
When the topic of celebrity doppelgangers got brought up, Mr. Quinto would always be the first words out of my mouth. He had big eyebrows too! I wasn’t alone in the world anymore.
A friend’s text caught my attention. She said, “Guess who’s playing Spock in the new ‘Star Trek’ movie?”
Not knowing they were even making a new “Star Trek” movie, I asked, “Who?”
It couldn’t have been mere coincidence. It was right there—the universe was telling me that my life was to be forever connected to Spock.
Years have passed since the film’s release, Mr. Quinto has gone on to be a bigger star in Hollywood, and I’ve continued to try and piggyback off our mutual good looks. In some ways, it was a win-win for me.
Live long and prosper.