Category Archives: creative writing

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.

Turnabout Intruder

When I come home late at night from E3, I toss my keys on the table, and say hello to Ferris.
I drop my fully-loaded “X-Box” bag-o-schwag on the floor, and sit down at my computer to check emails and make sure the website is running okay.
It’s late at night, and the rest of my house is asleep. The only sound other than my typing is that soft comforting hum of the fan in my computer. The room is dark, except for the light falling off of my monitor.
He’s sitting on my desk, just outside the monitor’s soft glow, staring at me.
“Hey, Wesley, I’ve got some good news.”
“You’ve had a change of heart, and you’re going to put me in a Jello mold with Counselor Troi and Princess Leah?”
“No. First of all, Princess Leah isn’t even the right scale for you –”
“Who said anything about scale? I’m articulated!”
“Do you want to hear the good news, or not?”
He sighs the perturbed yet insecure sigh of an 18 year-old. He strains his little plastic body against the twisty-tie which is holding him to his cardboard backing.
“Yes.”
“You’re way more popular that I thought. People have bid nearly 300 dollars for you on eBay! You’re a hit, Crusher! They love you!”
He stops straining and looks at me, incredulous.
“What?”
“Yeah! Take a look.”
I pick him up and turn him to face the monitor.
“Hey, slow down, jackass. You’re going to give me motion sickness.”
I wonder if this is the correct doll. I wonder if I’ve picked up the Evil Wesley Crusher, instead. I spin him around again, and look for the tell tale goatee, but it’s not there. I guess he’s just cranky.
“Dude! Take it easy!”
“Sorry.”
I slowly turn him back around, and point him at the monitor. I click the URL, and show him the bidding.
“See? Isn’t that cool? All this time we thought people hated us, but they like us, Wesley! They really like us!”
He is silent for a moment, and when he finally speaks, his voice is thick with emotion.
“Yeah. That’s….well….that’s really cool,” he says, and I swear I can feel the cardboard shudder a little bit in my hands.
“Hey, Wheaton,”
“Yeah?”
“Can you just put me down on the desk for awhile? I’ve…uh…I think I have something in my eye.”
“Are you crying, Wesley?”
“Shut up, Wheaton.”

Mirror, Mirror

I’m in my garage, digging through a box of stuff, trying to find my Awful Green Things From Outer Space game.
I’m on the cold concrete floor, looking through the open box. I move aside some books and find my game. As I lift it out of the box, it reveals this Cadet Wesley Crusher action figure, just sitting there in the bottom of the box.
I look at him, wondering whether I should just look away and pretend that I didn’t see him, or take him out and say hello.
After an awkward silence, I pick him up and say, “Hey, how you doin’?”
He just stares back at me, silent and stoic from within his plastic cell.
I consider him for a moment and tell him, “you know, you look sort of cool in this uniform. You should have stuck around a bit longer, so you could have worn it more.”
He gives no response, and I pause a moment to admire his perfect hair. I run my hand through my own unwashed hair, and my fingers get thick with yesterday’s water wax. I wonder if his perfect hair still smells like Sebastian Shaper hairspray.
His eyes burn into mine, his blank stare mocking me, and I can’t take it any longer.
I put him back into the box, and as I’m about to put an unopened box of 1990 Topps NHL trading cards on him he says, “Wait!”
I lift up the box of cards, and he’s looking up at me, his smug confidence replaced with sadness.
“Hey, I don’t want to stay in this box any more. You gotta let me out.” His green eyes implore me to release him.
“Sorry, Wesley, but if I take you off of that card, you’re worthless.”
“Well, at least let me come sit on a shelf in your house! This box is cold and dark, and since you took out the Ren and Stimpy plush toys in December, there isn’t even anyone to talk to!”
I think of the years he and I spent together. I think back to our falling out, and I can’t believe that someone I was so close to has become such a stranger, and I know what I must do.
“You’re right, Wesley. You can’t stay in this box any longer. It’s just not right. I’m going to find you a new home. Someplace where you will have lots of other action figures to talk to, and maybe even a collectible plate or two.”
“You mean…you’re going to put me on eBay?”
“Yep.”
“No! You suck, Wheaton!”
“Shut up, Wesley.”