The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 27 — GEEK

Posted: August 18, 2013 in The NERVOUS STOMACH Series

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 27 — GEEK
Current mood: considering the needs of the many…
Category: considering the needs of the many… Life


Okay, I’m seventeen and working late at the used bookstore — the place with all the best Star Trek books by my fave comic book writers.  The kids at school call me a geek for doing it, but I just tune them out.  My own version of a modified universal translator. 

There’s only about 3 days left of school before summer break, so I am already feeling a little crazed, even before I had to work late.  It’s that summer-is-heating-up-and-all-the-guys-are-starting-to-go-shirtless kind of buzz in my head — and parts lower. 

I’m cataloging my favorite softcovers, the ones where Captain Picard makes the good speeches, Data locks out the Enterprise’s main computer, and Bev does some quick work in sickbay to save the day.  You get the picture. 

Just when I’m thinking that maybe I should move the episodes featuring Counselor Troi to a lower shelf, the window behind the counter explodes inward.  Pieces of glass shower the Sherlock Holmes and Stephen King shelves as I toppled off my three-step ladder.  Crashing hard on the Danielle Steel display, I ignore the searing pain and twist to look toward the counter area.  Two women with black clothes, black hats, and black crescents under their eyes (like football players) leap through the broken window frame. 

I stifle a scream — it’s Thelma and Lorraine, my city’s most notorious female cat burglar team!  They’re known on the street for stealing rare books; all of us on the used book circuit have read the flyer: “Do not approach! Consider this duo armed and dangerous. Call 911 immediately.”  Of course, there was that whole thing where people speculated whether they were lesbians or not — but I never really got involved with that. 

“We’ve got company,” Lorraine sneers, looking directly at me.  “Whattaya think, Thel?”

I scurry backwards toward the sci-fi section as Thelma approaches.  “I dunno, Lor,” she says in a throaty tone that lets me know she smokes at least a pack a day.  “He looks kinda flimsy,” she says, kicking out with a black sneaker at my crotch.  I throw myself sideways and her foot misses me entirely, landing instead on the rare Mister Spock cardboard cut-out our shop acquired last year.  The autographed cut-out.  Her blow takes off Mister Spocks cardboard hand, raised in Vulcan greeting.  

Now I’m known around the store for being a bit mousey — even if someone insults Levar Burton’s acting ability, or imitates William Shatner’s singing — but this is an entirely different matter.  This cut-out is signed by Leonard Nimoy himself.  I was the one who waited in line at the United Federation of Fans Convention for almost two hours to get it.  And now this unthinking bitch has ruined it in less than ten seconds.  

Something from deep within me erupts.  It’s my rage at the jocks on the playground who laughed when I wore my tricorder to school on Halloween.  It’s my rage at the girls who snapped the nacelles off my ninth-grade science fair exhibit: an independently assembled Enterprise model (with running lights and warp sound effects).  It’s my rage at the narrow-minded people who don’t want me and my boyfriend to think about a future where gay people can live in harmony with humanity — and the multiple races yet to be encountered.  And suddenly, without processing through it (like every other emotion in my life), my rage has found a focus. 

With a howl worth of a Klingon mating ritual, I leap off the floor at Thelma, cracking the ladder across her skull before she’s had a chance to hurl a smoke-breath curse in my direction. 

Lorraine pulls back behind a row of Nancy Drew books.  “What the fuck–” she yells as I spin to face her.  We stare at each other across the yellow spines for almost ten seconds.  Long enough for me to identify the cylindrical shape stuffed into her crotch.  Her trademark swiss blade; the flyer warned me about that as well.

It all happens at once: she reaches toward the buldge in her pants; I grab a hard-cover William Shatner novel (we’ve stacked them on the counter to try to get them to move); now I’m flinging it with frisbee-like precision; now it cracks her across the nose and blood showers the scene; now she’s down next to Thelma and I’m using duct tape to secure their arms behind their backs. 

Even after the police award me a medal for my bravery, even after America’s Most Wanted sets up the shooting schedule for my feature story in their “Apprehended” series,  it’s actually the call from Leonard Nimoy himself that I most treasure. 

“You know, back in the Sixties, people used to sometimes call Spock a geek,” he laughs over the line.  “But I never let it get me down.”

“I hear ya, Leonard,” I say, as a smile consumes the lower half of my face.      

For FUN, I put my stuff at
For SERIOUS, I put my stuff at 
I invite you to visit my stuff.

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