The Big Goodbye

The time has come.
I’ve been putting it off over the weekend, attending my best friend’s wedding, going geocaching with my step-son.
But it is time. Money has changed hands, and I have an obligation to fulfill.
I pick him up from my desk, and avoid eye contact as I carry him into the dining room.
I gingerly put him down on my dining room table, and he looks like a patient about to undergo some sort of surgery. Strangely, I feel more like Doctor Giggles than Doctor Green.
He looks up at me and says, “Hey, Wheaton. What do you say you let me out of this box, and take me for a spin in your landspeeder?”
“Can’t do it, Wesley. First, you’re the wrong scale, and second, you don’t belong to me anymore.”
He doesn’t reply. He knows that I’m right.
I uncap a gold paint pen, and get ready. The familiar burn of acetone and paint hits me in the face, and a series of convention memories blurs through my mind, in hyper-real Hunter S. Thompson-o-vision: I sign a plate, a photo, a poster, field a question that I don’t know the answer to, politely decline the offer of a hug from a large woman in a “Spock Lives!” T-shirt. The memories race past, and I watch them with a certain amount of detachment, a spectator to my own life.
Although the places and people changed, there was little difference from one hotel convention hall to the next: The same questions, the same jokes, the same inescapable smell…the memories engulf me with a frightening and surprising lucidity. I think that I’ve allowed these events to drift into the distance of memory, but they come back, immediate and insisent, as if no time has passed.
He looks at me, daring me to give voice to these thoughts.
I realize that we are very interwoven, whether we like it or not, and as I open my mouth to speak, something I’d never thought of before comes into my mind: I can exist without him, but he could not, would not, does not exist without me.
Suddenly, I feel free.
I lift the pen up, and touch it to the plastic, and write what I’ve been asked to write:
“Vincent –
“I am sick of
following rules and regulations!
-Wil Wheaton”
It’s done.
I sit back, and regard him. He’s obscured by my writing, which casts a lattice-work of shadows across his face and body. The symbolism of this moment is not lost on me.
“You know, that was a cool line,” he says. “Remember how cool it was to stand up to Picard?”
“Yeah. It was fun being you back then,” I tell him. “I watched Code of Honor last night though. Jesus, you were a dork, man.”
“That wasn’t me, dude. That was Wesley Crusher, the doctor’s son. I’m Cadet Crusher, the bad ass. Wesley was a dork. Cadet Crusher was cool. Need I remind you who waxed Robin Lefler’s ass?”
“Why do you have to talk that way? People have a certain image of you, you know.”
“Hey, they can kiss my shiny plastic ass. I have never been responsible for the things I say. I can only say what someone tells me to say. As a matter of fact, I’m not even talking now. You’re putting all these words in my mouth.”
“So my Tyler Durden is a 5 inch action figure? That’s just perfect. At least you can’t force me into some sort of Project Mayhem.”
“Oh, I can’t?”
I can’t tell through the gold paint pen, but I think he’s sizing me up.
“You’re such a pussy, Wheaton. We were cool when we wore this spacesuit, and you know it. Fucking own that, boyo. If anyone has a problem with that, they can fuck all the way off. ”
I’m a bit shocked to hear this come out of us.
“Uh, Wesley, you really can’t talk like that.”
“I just told you, it’s not me. It’s you, cock-knocker. Now put me in the box, and find some other cool thing to auction. I think I saw a plate in the closet.”
“Why didn’t we ever talk like this before? I never realized that you were cool. Really. I mean, I hated you, man.”
“Yeah, you and every other insecure teenage boy. Listen, and listen good, because I’m not saying this again.
“You have always cared too fucking much what other people thought of us. Go read your stupid website, and listen to your own advice. You’ll be much happier. Now put me in the box and let’s get this over with.”
I look at him, and a touch of sadness passes over me.
“Wesley, I have always been, and I always will be –”
“Oh Jesus H. Christ! I can’t believe you were going to quote Star Trek. I am so embarrassed for you right now. Just close the fucking box and send me on my way.”
I do it. I put him in the box, drop in some packing stuff and a few stickers.
We drive to the post office in silence.
I walk to the mailbox, and open it.
I think to say goodbye, but I know that Wesley won’t be talking to me anymore.
I place the box on the edge, and lift it up. The box falls into darkness.
I am Wil’s freedom.

225 thoughts on “The Big Goodbye”

  1. I believe Colin said it best…….
    Very cool, Wil. Very cool.
    Posted by ColinMochrie at May 28, 2002 11:17 AM

  2. Hey Wil,
    I wish you would seriously think about writing a novel. They way you write…wow. You simply picked a topic and went with it. Not a lot of people can do that. It’s a gift.
    You made me cry, you know? And laugh. Wow, what a man!

  3. You should definately be writing an autobiography!
    Just wanted to remind you not to forget to leave feedback for the buyer! I see you haven’t done so yet.
    You’re the man Wil. Being a couple of years younger than you/him, I always thought Wesley was kinda cool, in a naive sorta way.

  4. Rob- if he’s your Tyler than I’m ready to be Marla.
    After I negotiate with my muse I’m gonna try to work on another Spud pic.
    “Wow I haven’t been F’d like that since grade school”

  5. I followed a link to your page and am now hopelessly addicted to WWDN!! Now I’ve gone geocaching and am addicted to that as well. To echo all others… I never knew other Trekkers didn’t like Wesley! I never really had a problem with him. And I’m totally looking forward to ST:X to find out what he’s been up to since leaving w/the Traveler. Truth be told, I’ve been wondering what he’s been doing since the two of them left! Your posts rock!!

  6. Wow, Wow, Wow,
    Most of the praises have already been said, still that post was really the best one I have read so far.
    At first like Internal Audience I thought he was saying goodbye to this site. Thank God he isn’t but then when he said goodbye to Wil that was just as bad.
    You really are so talented Wil, the last post was like a rollercoaster for me I got scared, I cried and laughed, then I felt really sad but in the end I was content and happy, like a good book you can’t put it down. *hint *hint.
    Thanks Wil you make me smile everyday.

  7. Wil, dude, if you ever do put this stuff in a book I’ll buy a dozen copies and spread the Wheaton gospel. OK, that sounded disturbed… I’ll give them to friends, how about that?
    And Spudnuts, man, hi-friggin’-larious.

  8. Man I don’t know where you come up with this stuff, but keep it coming, I haven’t laughed or smiled like that since your last post, haha. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I had to work, but alas someone had too.

  9. Hey Wil,
    You’re not apologizing about being cast in a successful acting part which now has become blurred with a ‘Hasbro’ plastic image.
    Are you?
    The Wesley character was rather gifted, young and handsome. What’s wrong with that? We’re talking fiction/film here buddy.
    Wil. You definately have the writer’s gift. ‘The Great American Novel’ by Wil Wheaton. Or how about an entertaining book based on (topic) which will grab the readers interest
    and keep them amused and impressed or (Trek tell all), you know. The Muse.
    Writing for Conan O’Brien? Anyway, I’ve got ten Wesley dolls naked in my fish tank flashing the fish. Tsk tsk.

  10. yes wil, like sally field..
    we like you mr wheaton!, we realy like you!
    now it’s time to go hunting with the gps gadget..
    (to go at least where one other has been!)

  11. Delphine said:
    >> You deserve your OWN fan site.
    So I can experience the privelege of paying $500 a month like our not-so-wealthy Fearless Leader? No thanks. Think I’ll satisfy myself with this little RENT-FREE corner of WWDN comments, thank you very much.
    Since you mentioned it (sort of), I hope everyone here realizes that TVsWW sold WC:MIB just so his monkeys could enjoy another few weeks of unlimited Soapbox, comments, and other assorted WWDN.
    Wil sold his most treasured action figure just for you.
    Think about that.
    No man should have to sell a mint-in-box action figure of HIMSELF.
    That $305 goes right to the hosting service, kids.
    That’s love, brothers and sisters.

  12. Closure, lot to be said for it and a far, far underestimated thing. We are products of the past and really, like a pearl the future surrounds us strata by strata, but the layers are still there. Those layers shape what we are now, and are visible-know it or not.

  13. Wil,
    Amazing. You have a very profound way of writing. I admire it very much. This is the first time I have ever seen this site…I’m so glad I found it.
    Semper Fidelis.

  14. Dude, you are so friggin messed up. Hilarious as hell, but messed up. And seriously, I don’t wanna know what a plastic figurine was doing with Robin Lefler’s “plastic ass”.
    “So my Tyler Durden is a 5 inch action figure?” *snigger*

  15. Wil,
    I know you played Wesley and all, so I can can understand you waxing eloquent…..
    but dude, it’s a piece of frekin molded plastic in a box!!! get a grip would ya?
    sorry, had to be said.
    Fats (your arch nemesis )

  16. That was just beautiful Ensign Crusher. Glad you gave that Wil Wheaton a run for his money!
    Seriously, this is the first time I’ve found your website Wil. I must say, I’m impressed. It won’t be my last visit either!
    Bye for now
    Andy, Nottingham, UK, Sol 3.

  17. Great job Wil, I have to say that I agree with the others in saying that this post is among the best you’ve done.
    You might want to consider writing a book (kinda like Shatner’s ‘Star Trek Memories’ series, or Ninmoy’s ‘I am Spock’) about living with Wesley. Maybe turn the whole shtick on it’s ear and make it an illustrated children’s book or something, told from the perspective of the Wesley action figure.

  18. You have to love a 5 inch Tyler Durden….talk about locking up your closet before going to sleep. And I am pretty sure Cadet Wesley can take any Star Wars figure around…they can’t say cock-knocker !

  19. I walked by a US Postal vehicle yesterday and the damdest thing happened. Stand By Me was playing on the radio, but from the rear, where the parcels were stacked, I could hear a tiny muffled voice uttering phrases between the song lyrics. If I had never visited WWDN, I would never have know what the hell was going on. It sounded, if I recall correctly, something like this: The tiny muffled voice is in parenthesis.
    Stand By Me (King – Leiber – Stoller)
    Parenthesis :(Crusher, the bad ass.)
    When the night has come
    (Hey, I don’t want to stay in this box any more.)
    And the land is dark
    (This box is cold and dark)
    And the moon is the only light we’ll see
    No I won’t be afraid
    Oh I won’t be afraid
    Just as long as you stand, stand by me
    (No! You suck, Wheaton!)
    So darlin’ darlin’ stand by me
    Oh stand by me
    Oh stand, stand by me, stand by me
    (put me in a Jello mold)
    If the sky that we look upon
    Should tumble and fall
    (Hey, slow down, jackass. You’re going to give me motion sickness.)
    Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
    I won’t cry, I won’t cry
    No I won’t shed a tear
    (I’ve…uh…I think I have something in my eye.)
    Just as long as you stand, stand by me
    (No! You suck, Wheaton!)
    And darlin’ darlin’ stand by me
    Oh stand by me
    Whoa stand now, stand by me, stand by me
    (Shut up, Wheaton.)
    Darlin’ darlin’ stand by me
    (I’m Cadet Crusher, the bad ass)
    Oh stand by me
    (Need I remind you who waxed Robin Lefler’s ass?)
    Oh stand now, stand by me, stand by me
    (You suck, Wheaton!)
    Whenever you’re in trouble just stand by me
    (Hey, they can kiss my shiny plastic ass.)
    Oh stand by me
    (You’re such a pussy, Wheaton.)
    Whoa stand now, oh stand, stand by me
    (Just close the fucking box and send me on my way.)
    (You suck, Wheaton!)

  20. Inescapable smell. You mean that overwhelming stench of unwashed geek that pervades ever con in existence? *grin* Horrible, isn’t it? :)

  21. I love this series of posts- hilfuckingarious! Just two things:
    1. You played with dolls? (Princess Leah? Sounds like one of those cartoon-show dolls they had comercials for every five minutes in the 80’s-though I suppose it could be one from he-man or something.)
    2. If you had a bobble-head of yourself, would that make you your own yes-man?
    btw, Cherish, what about the sarah mclaughlin song in toy story 2?

  22. My thought for today is from Maya Angelou. I’m not a big poetry reader but this is moving to me.I was watching tv the other day and saw something that moved me. I was watching c-span or book-tv or something like that and saw Maya Angelou at a festival of some sort. Now I have to say that I am generally not a big poetry buff. I have read some, mostly Poe, but I am being drawn to it more lately. I don’t know if it was just the poem or her reading it that moved me, but either way, here it is:
    By: Maya Angelou
    “Still I Rise”
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.
    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.
    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.
    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own back yard.
    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.
    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?
    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

  23. You haven’t mentioned the other Wesley action figures dismembered in various ways in your workshop….

  24. Wil,
    I don’t know how you do it, but your posts just keep getting better an better. I am in awe. I cannot even form the words to describe what you have just posted. I think what makes this so cool is that, in some small way, we can all relate to the struggle you have had with Wesley. There is all one thing in our lives that seems to define us, whether we like it our not. You are just the coolest Wil!!!

  25. Man thats a very touching moment, I was almost gonna cry. Then I saw that the BBC has a repeat of ‘The Dauphin’ on, and Wesley falls in love…now thats enough to warm the heart.
    Don’t you just find these episodes grow on ya?

  26. Wil –
    A strange thing happened to me today. I woke up early this morning to watch your powerhouse mouthwash-drinking, Sean-Astin-butt-kissing, Louis-Gossett-Junior-hating role in that classic teenage badasses against terror movie ironically called… Toy Soldiers.
    I’m beginning to think that young Ensign Crusher: Mint-In-Box is merely Jack, and YOU are his 6 foot Tyler Durden – pushing him… taunting him… forcing him to sell soap made from the waxed asses of all the little, plastic Robin Leflers of the world.
    You sick bastard! Shame on you.

  27. Wil, all three parts were great. The last one blew me away. You’re a fantastic writer.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  28. Awesome writing Wil. Great conversation with..uh..yerself. 😉
    “Need I remind you who waxed Robin Lefler’s ass?”
    Laugh? Thought I’d die. Then I thought, “wish that had been ME…” 😉

  29. Good for you Wil.
    Always remember.
    There is no place but here. There is no time but now.
    Let the past be part of you, but don’t let it control you.

  30. sniff, sniff (blows nose on shirt sleave). I too now know that I couldn’t be the man I am, if I were never the boy I once was.

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