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. Man, I gotta tell you; we all hated Ensign Crusher (the BBC just showed “The Dauphin” and I’m sorry but I had to switch off), but since coming across your site I have completely changed my opinion. It’s terrible when we associate actors so much with the parts they play taht we forget that they may not actually be like that.
    I say keep up the good work Wil and sell it if you got it.
    Cheers
    Wolfie

  2. wil,
    i don’t know if you’re going to read this, but if you do: you are my hero. i don’t know that i’ve ever read more intelligent, funny, provocative and insightful introspection than in your last three posts.
    i’m sure commendations from a total stranger aren’t worth much, but for what it is worth: you freaking rule.
    yours truly,
    simon

  3. i’ve passed through this site with fleeting fancy for the past couple weeks but only felt the need to comment on today’s post. …i must commend you on your journalistic prowess, mr. wheaton – i daresay an excellent entry. your description of the conventions make me absolutely grateful about not having been a star trek fan. phew.

  4. You tell ‘im, Plastic!Wesley. Cadet Crusher was a badass, and some teenagers wished they were him (only a girl, in my case). Own it, Wil. ;)

  5. wil! youre insane! and i love it!
    i love you talking to your action figures! i just ignore mine! except for she-ra, coz shes the best! “FOR THE HONOR…OF GREYSKULL!!!”
    poor wesley…hes so full of angst right now…i hope whoever won the bid on him is very pleased with their wesley…and i hope they can handle his bad manners!
    honestly wil…how did he get that way?
    oh well
    i still love him

  6. i was just listening to this song:
    the chills that you spill up my back
    satisfaction of what is done
    the satisfaction yet to come
    i couldn’t ask for another
    no no i couldn’t ask for another!
    groove is in the heart
    do any of you remember?
    it brought back so many memories i haven’t heard that song in years!

  7. Spudnuts wrote:
    “Think I’ll satisfy myself with this little RENT-FREE corner of WWDN comments, thank you very much.”
    Spudnuts, Dear, NOTHING in this world is free. Oh, you pay alright.
    You almost make my heart bleed for Wil. *snicker*
    [Wil IS great guy and I don't dispute the significance of selling Plastic Wesley for $305 on ebay.]
    Wheaton does indeed, spread the love and is a giving human being. He feeds my Soapbox addiction.
    $500 / month is more than I spend in rent.
    I still want to be Spudnuts when I grow up.
    (or Rob. Or Wil.)

  8. De La Soul…I did that song Karaoke style the night of my bachellorette party….thats really funny and you’d know that if you had ever heard me sing!
    Grooove is in the Heeeeeaaaarrrrrrrrttttttt

  9. PUBLISH THIS POST!!!!!!!
    I don’t know where or why, but it’s flawless and needs to be seen. There’s great advice in there, and it’s funny too.
    From a wannabe-writer to someone who knows how to do the real thing, excellent job.
    Love the Fight Club references too. That movie just works on so many levels.
    Katie

  10. speaking of jessie’s and groove is in the heart!
    todays Jessie’s birthday and thats her favorite song!

  11. I was thinking. One could read this blog entry and go…”I think Wil needs to stop talking to the toys he comes across cause well it kinda is a bit scary especially when the toy starts being nasty to it’s owner.”
    We all knew Wesley had a bad side. Hell with being made into an annoying brat like character he was bound to come out with an attitude.

  12. Hey, guys… I just happened to catch Wil in Tales From The Crypt! God, I love cable sometimes… oh, and speaking of appearances on tv… who saw Iron Chef USA tonight?

  13. If I was spud I would do two chicks at once. I mean if I was as cool as spud I would have no problem getting two chicks at once. To get two chicks to double up on a guy like me I would need to be spud. Yet I have to be hops *sigh*.
    Noone ever answered me about the enterprise finale :( did anyone watch it? anyone care?
    *hops goes back to his dunce corner crying*

  14. hops said:
    >> I mean if I was as cool as spud I would have no problem getting two chicks at once.
    (rests Xbox controller on gut, wipes coffee milkshake and fig newton crumbs off Reboot boxer shorts)
    You mean I could get two chicks just for Photoshopping action figures on WWDN?
    Brave new world!
    Imo do some sit-ups…
    And maybe shave.

  15. Sometimes I get girls by showing them my pentium 4 1.8ghz system :(
    then they email their boyfriends on it and tell me I like being your friend hops. I say hey thanks wanna watch my DVD of Star wars episode 1? . They say no I have to go blow my boyfriend :(
    Spud how do you do it? If I could be like spud be like spud. how often do you hit refresh spud? I do it like once every 2 minutes cuz my life isnt complete unless i see one of your neato posts.

  16. I flat out cannot bring myself to respect a person who does not refresh AT LEAST every 45-50 seconds.
    Sometimes I’ll refresh every 40 seconds just to see if I posted something funny when I wasn’t paying attention.

  17. Hey Wil,
    Did you see that? I just saw Cupid’s arrow fly past me. It headed up there, towards the direction of hops and Spud. tee! hee!
    Aaw I feel the love, saying that! I agree with hops, Spudnuts you are too funny, and yet you still manage to make us think about important stuff too, like Wil paying $500 a month deym that’s half the mortgage I pay for this crummy house I live in, here in the U.K. I wonder if I pay half of that $500, Wil could I moved in here instead? Cherish the thought.
    oh and hops I refresh every 30 seconds in the hope that something will wake me up while here at work. (hope my boss doesn’t read this comments thingy)
    *sigh* Oh! well guess I got to get back to work, deng it!

  18. OMFG, you make it hard for me to even accept this. i think when it comes im never going to open the box. i cant bear to little the little fella in the eyes.
    *sniff*
    good-bye, Wesley,
    hello, Wesley.
    Vini

  19. LMAO guess now we know why you spent $305 on Wesley.
    It’s coz you love him so , why else? DUH
    You could always LOOK him in the eye and let him know.
    still no post I can feel withdrawaaaaaaaaaal symptoms creeping up on me, or is that your hand Spud?

  20. If you want to leave Wesley behind, quit doing conventions and appearing with other Star Trek cast members. If you don’t want to be famous abandon the field of acting and anonymous-um-fy your website. You have what most people would give their right arms for. Ought to embrace it and quit whining. My opinion.

  21. “if you want to leave Wesley behind”–I think this is more coming to terms with Wesley, which is not the same as leaving him behind.
    “if you don’t want to be famous”–says who?
    just my opinion.
    theGirl

  22. Spudnuts and Wil should write a book TOGETHOR!!
    And yes Spuddy you are getting laid..right now!
    Oh how quickly we forget!

  23. Jenn(inLubbock)’s back! Wheee.
    Hops-we’re discussing the Enterprise finale in soapbox.

  24. Hey Spudnuts, are those Reboot boxer shorts like the costumes on that animated Reboot programs? You know, the ones that you tap twice in that special spot in order to rock your own world?
    Tee hee.

  25. Hey wolfie, did you REALLY hate wesley, or could it maybe have actually been CRUSHER-ENVY?
    Or, now that I think of it, would it be Wheaton-envy, because you’d wish you were Wil, playing Wesley?

  26. Miss Kitty said:”Rob- if he’s your Tyler than I’m ready to be Marla.”
    There’s nothing I can say to that that won’t get me in dutch with the wife. ;)

  27. Yo dude. Hey dont stress. Life’s to short. I was Watching TNG episode ‘The Dauphin’ yesterday and was very impressed by your acting. It must have been a really heavey responsibility and hard work for such a young guy actor. ANyway, you keep doin’ good. Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals. Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!!!!! :-)

  28. Yo dude. Hey dont stress. Life’s to short. I was Watching TNG episode ‘The Dauphin’ yesterday and was very impressed by your acting. It must have been a really heavey responsibility and hard work for such a young guy actor. ANyway, you keep doin’ good. Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals. Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!!!!! :-) By the way, Happy birthday to Colm Meaney (Chief Miles O’Brien) today (30th May)Thankyou!!!

  29. Rob,
    Damn!! You didn’t tell me among other things that you were a frikkin’ web stud!
    One of these days, I’m hoping to meet the wife, and I’m gonna tell her all about your cadre of groupies…
    Long as you don’t tell my wife about mine…
    =o)
    WWDN Rawks!

  30. Spudnuts spewed:
    “Sometimes I’ll refresh every 40 seconds just to see if I posted something funny when I wasn’t paying attention.”
    Gotta love a guy who responds to a troll this way. I have my own ways of sending them back to their little bridges but I’m more intimidating than funny. :-)

  31. Dude, can I just say THANK YOU for putting Mr. Show up on your “Watch” promo? Had NO IDEA the fools at HBO would spring for a DVD set. I’ve been contemplating for ages buying some godawful-pirated VCD set since I can never catch it anymore on HBO Comedy cos they figgered that farking “Arliss” deserved more air-time. I loooove the “Lie Detector” skit as the ultimate offer-acceptance exercise– culminating in:
    “Did you ever… eat an entire train piece by piece after derailing it… with your penis?”
    “Yes. [beat, while others look at him incredulously] It was for charity!!”
    And oh, yes, write a goddam book already, would you? Yes. You’re talented. Own THAT. Thanks.

  32. to whoever posted way up in the thread about watching that Takes From the Crypt …I caught that too. That was some hair cut Wil :)

  33. I dunno, I woulda thought Wil would have prefered having Wesley in Crusher/Troi sandwich (yes but lets face it, crusher was not really Wil’s mom, and she was hot. Hey Wil, could you auction off nudes of either Maria Sirtis or Gates McFadden? I gurantee that you would never have to work again with the amount of money you could bring in. You know some trekkie out there would give you millions!

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