Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Body of Work

[With apologies to the justly-famous author of the seminal work entitled “I Am Not Spock”. -Ed.]

 

 

SPOCK: Please state your name and business.

NOT-NIMOY: A pleasure to meet you, sir. My name is … [think I’ll go for formality; the man is a Vulcan] … Robert. I’m a great admirer of your work– well, your portrayer’s work… no, yours as well, even though you’re a fictional… (deep breath) … character that I am nonetheless talking to. A pleasure to meet you, and I hope this conversation goes much better from here.

SPOCK: You have contacted me for some … reason?

NOT-NIMOY: Yes, sir. I have become aware that an acquaintance of yours is not well.

SPOCK: I have many acquaintances.

NOT-NIMOY: Understood, sir. This one is closer to you than most.

SPOCK: Ah. The Nimoy.

NOT-NIMOY: Yes, sir. The … Nimoy. Had you heard?

SPOCK: I had, although not in great detail. It is said that the only thing that travels faster than a starship at warp is news.

NOT-NIMOY: (a long, stammering pause; not sure what to do with the idea that the great and logical Spock just tossed out an aphorism)

SPOCK: Have you gone?

NOT-NIMOY: Only deep in thought, sir. And that’s not a good idea, considering the distance this call is traveling, and the rates I’m being charged. –Sorry, sir. Let me get myself together. So, you had heard that the man who portrayed you, as part of our entertainment industry, was rushed to a hospital yesterday. He was suffering severe chest pains.

SPOCK: Is it known what caused these symptoms?

NOT-NIMOY: The news reports I read didn’t say. He was diagnosed some time ago with C.O.P.D.

SPOCK: C.O. …

NOT-NIMOY: Sorry; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His lungs…

SPOCK: …were obstructed, yes.

NOT-NIMOY: You’re a scientist. I forgot.

SPOCK: I appreciate your attempt to provide further explanation, regardless of whether I required it. Is there a history of this disease in his ancestry?

NOT-NIMOY: Not that I’m aware. Not that I would know first-hand. I’m not even sure whether C.O.P.D. “runs in the family”. He did smoke cigarettes for three decades though.

SPOCK: Ah. Tobacco products. In that case, correlation is conceivable, at the very least.

NOT-NIMOY: He did quit smoking some time ago, although he Tweeted that he wishes he had quit long before.

SPOCK: … Tweeted. … Made avian noises? Knowing him, it seems unlikely.

NOT-NIMOY: You mean our Internet doesn’t make it out to Vulcan? … Might be for the best.

SPOCK: It does not; information is always preferable to a lack of same.

NOT-NIMOY: In this case, I wouldn’t count on that. No, “Tweeting” is using a social-media device called “Twitter” — you can post messages of up to a hundred and forty characters. It’s a communication device, I guess.

SPOCK: So, he Tweeted.

NOT-NIMOY: Yes. Put out a brief message to his fans when he was diagnosed.

SPOCK: For what purpose? Communication, you said.

NOT-NIMOY: Yes – he wanted to keep his fans updated about his health. He is 82, after all.

SPOCK: That seems a personal matter.

NOT-NIMOY: It is, to be sure. But I imagine he wanted to publicize his own health situation in order to help others avoid the same predicament.

SPOCK: A … “public service”?

NOT-NIMOY: I suppose.

SPOCK: Logical.

NOT-NIMOY: Thank you. –For him, I mean.

SPOCK: Quite. You speak for him?

NOT-NIMOY: No! … I mean, no, I’ve not ever met him in person. His publicity people sent me an autographed picture of him in his Spock outfit, after I wrote him a fan letter when I was ten.

SPOCK: Indeed.

NOT-NIMOY: I’ve said too much.

SPOCK: Not at all. I understand that the producers of the “Star Trek” television program endeavored to reproduce my likeness by applying prosthetics and other coverings to a human. They very nearly got it right. I did take issue with the eyebrows…

NOT-NIMOY: (hazarding a knowing joke) Well, nobody’s perfect.

SPOCK: That much is certain.

NOT-NIMOY: But his portrayal of you gained him a huge following. And after awhile, all those people who admired his portrayal came to realize that as a performer, he was capable of many other things as well. That, and his positive and sincere public persona, came to be admired.

SPOCK: I would remind you that the man is an actor. Logic dictates that this “public persona” might be different from his actual personality. It is not unknown.

NOT-NIMOY: In his case, somehow I doubt it. I’ve seen enough interviews, video clips of his interactions with other people … yes, those are public moments, and if he’s a good enough actor, he could convince people he’s a good guy when he actually might not be … but there’s such a thing as a “body of work”. It’s hard to live more than half a century in the public eye and maintain that kind of facade. In short, I buy his act; and I don’t even think it’s an act. Even Shatner copped to admiring his integrity.

SPOCK: Forgive me. I am playing “devil’s advocate”.

NOT-NIMOY: You. Are. Not.

SPOCK: You doubt me?

NOT-NIMOY: I’m just kinda thrilled that you’d make that pun, considering how NBC network executives reacted to you at first.

SPOCK: I am well aware.

NOT-NIMOY: They underestimate you, then and now.

SPOCK: You honor me. By extension, you honor my doppelganger.

NOT-NIMOY: Yes, I think ultimately that’s right. I do. I’m hoping it’s not the last time I’ll have a chance to do so.

SPOCK: His condition is that serious?

NOT-NIMOY: No! Well, I don’t know, honestly. When I read the news report, the phrasing that the writers used gave me the horrible suspicion that … well, the prognosis might not be good.

SPOCK: Have there been further updates?

NOT-NIMOY: Not that I’ve seen. I wonder … no. Never mind.

SPOCK: Speak your mind. It is, as the saying goes, “your nickel”.

NOT-NIMOY: I’m trying not to be morbid here. But with all due recognition of your particular journey from life to death … and back! … there’s a phrase here on Earth that goes something like: “none of us is getting out alive”.

SPOCK: You are preparing to deal with the death of a person you have never met, but whose work you have observed and admired – to the extent that you worry for him in any case.

NOT-NIMOY: For heaven’s sake! I feel weird even talking about the Death of Leonard Nimoy when it hasn’t happened yet, and may not for awhile.

SPOCK: And yet you are indeed speaking of it.

NOT-NIMOY: That’s what we illogical humans excel at. We obsess over things we can’t do anything about. Like moths to a flame…

SPOCK: Your question is, what will happen to me after my portrayer has … departed? … is it not?

NOT-NIMOY: It is.

SPOCK: Loathe as I am to invoke the trappings of religion …

NOT-NIMOY: I can imagine. And yet, the fal-tor-pan …

SPOCK: Be that as it may. You will perhaps recall the scene in the third film, after the completion of that fal-tor-pan ritual, the reuniting of my physical self and my katra. Doctor McCoy looked at me, and instead of saying something acerbic – which, even in my relatively hazy condition, I somehow expected – he merely tapped a finger to his temple.

NOT-NIMOY: “Remember.” Oh, no, wait, you’d said that to him as you were transferring your katra to his mind … and he was reminding you that you had, in a sense, lived in his head for, well, for a whole movie.

SPOCK: And continued to do so afterward, to some small degree. Katra transferral, and the more routine mild melds, for that matter, have that faint residual effect. No, I prefer to consider my portrayer’s “body of work”. If someone’s works are sufficiently comprehensive …

NOT-NIMOY: … and effective, and affecting

SPOCK: … as to remain in his admirers’ memories long after his life span is complete – and indeed, if his contributions to his world have a lasting effect on that world – then one might conjecture that the physical presence is truly but a part of the story.

NOT-NIMOY: That only partly answered my question.

SPOCK: I did not intend otherwise. Even I cannot know the remainder of the answer, until such time as it becomes obvious.

NOT-NIMOY: Does that bother your scientist’s mind?

SPOCK: At one time, it might have done. However: things, as they say, happen.

NOT-NIMOY: Sir, I don’t wish to take up more of your time. As seems so often to be the case, you’ve been helpful. I’ll go now.

SPOCK: That is acceptable. Peace and long life to you.

NOT-NIMOY: Likewise. Live long, and prosper, Spock.

 

 

I think that likely, indeed.

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February 24, 2015 - Posted by | celebrity, entertainment, Famous Persons, science fiction, television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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