Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed Spock died yesterday.
And my heart is broken. And my throat hurts. And my eyes are wet. And it’s all highly illogical.
I never met the guy. He meant nothing to me. I hear he was a wise, kind, charitable person who had grown into the shoes that fiction had him wear, but I never met him, or talked to him, or shook his hand. I therefore shouldn’t be this sad,
But I am.
Spock died today. In an awful way that is so diminishing to the actor who was Spock, and in which the Catholic in me feels so guilty, Spock died today. And my heart is broken.
I modelled the best part of my life after Spock. When I was a small, four-eyed skinny kid whom other kids would abuse because they could – and because I was clever – I stuck it out because, in that twisted, convoluted and basically mistaken thing that is a child’s mind, there was Mr. Spock. He was the odd kid too, the one nobody understood, the one who ran circles around all the rest and the one on whom nobody picked – because he was so above them they couldn’t reach him. Spock was a beacon on hope during my beating years. If there was such an adult as him, imprevious to harm and ridicule, watching the puny mortals crawl around their business as harmless clockwork pieces while saving their lives all the time, even of they were nothing to him, then there was a chance for me, a chance that life would be bearable at some point, a chance that I would be able to live just by myself, and my thoughts, and reason. Logic was there to save me. Whenever pain and loneliness would become too hard, I could just run into Spock mode and shrug them away. He taught me the difference between alone and lonely, and he made me love logic, reason, in the end, science.
Then I grew up, of course, and I realized Spock was not just about that. He had friends, even loves, and he deeply cared about them. He was not a marble statue against which life would bounce, he craved for life, and knowledge, and experience, and feelings. Even if they hurt. It was not about how he deflected life, it was about how he managed life. And I fell in love with him again, and I saw how wise that approach was, and I followed him again as a young adult. He was one of the best role models a man can have, one that will grow with you and not simply teach you, but demand and urge of you that you become all that you are capable of, despite the circumstances. You must do your best, always; all other alternatives are illogical. And you can do it, look at me, I did it and succeeded; I am doing it, if I can do it, so can you. So pick up your soul from the floor and move along, moaning won’t help and you know it. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt, it’s about how you handle hurt: harness it, turn it into logic, ride on that pain to go further than those who inflict it, ride it to go where no man has gone before.
Spock was -is- one of the best role models anyone can have. He made me believe I was invincible, he made me believe in me when nobody else would, he made me carry on. In ways that I don’t care to explain, he saved my lefe many times. And now Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played him so elloquently, is dead. And with him, in my puny, little, illogical human mind, dies Spock. And in that death I am reminded that we are finite, that even an idol like Spock, the imprevious, the ever-reliable eyebrow-cocked imaginary friend, can cease to exist; that we walk a path all our lives towards ideas and models that, in the end, are as fallible, breakable… as human as we are.
And, although I already knew that, being reminded in such a way hurts. My heart hurts. And my mind hurts, because I shouldn’t be hurting just because someone I never knew, somebody I never met or shook hands with, someone who just played a fictional character who appeared in a series I liked, died yesterday. And -I guess- it’s diminishing to the man he was that I just mourn a part of him, and a fictional part at that. Just the symbol. His friends and family, who knew and loved him for what he was, must be having an awful time. And my heart and thoughts go with them.
But, I’m sorry, I can’t help feeling the way I do. Spock died yesterday. And that, in my world, is an unspeakabgle tragedy. A beacon of light, logic and charity has gone off forever and I’m not sure where will I run to next time that darkness surrounds me.
Farewell, Mr. Nimoy. You don’t know it but, through your acting, you shaped my life. As epitaphs go, I don’t think many actors get one like that.
And, for the rest of you, live long and prosper.