There was going to be a new STAR TREK movie. Written by Michael Piller of “The Best of Both Worlds” fame. Directed by Jonathan Frakes, who had hit a home run with FIRST CONTACT. How could this movie be anything but great?
It was 1998, two years after FIRST CONTACT. My life had changed DRAMATICALLY.
I was a Trekker who had a girlfriend.
Hoist the flag and call this turkey done, I was in love.
In late 1997, I had a crush on a woman named Tracy Wilkerson, one of my regulars at Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt. She thought I was cute. I thought she had a great smile. Oh, she was six years older than me.
Tip of the iceberg.
Did I mention she had three kids? And an ex-husband who was not yet her ex?
But she liked me and she drove. I was twenty-one and did not have a license. You can get around Lancaster pretty easily without a car. I had a bike, so whatever.
Tracy and I spent an obscene amount of time on the phone. We talked and talked. We spoke about life, her kids, the situation with her abusive husband and various things in between.
We went on one sort of awkward date and were due to have another seeing ALIEN: RESURRECTION.
The date was December 5, 1997. Russ was taking me to my date. And then we were hit by a car in front of Circuit City and I couldn’t’ make it. There were no injuries, but Russ’s faithful Dyhatsu was totaled. We missed that car, Russ had had so many accidents in that thing. But this one, against an old lady in a boat of a car, killed the teal colored warrior.
Not long after, racy and I broke up before we ever really were together.
Through January 1998, I was mourning the loss of a potential relationship.
I listened to Sheryl Crow’s self-titled album over and over. When I needed something harder, I bought “Jagged Little Pill” by Alanis and listened over and over, playing pinball for hours on my computer.
Every day is a winding road.
I oughta know.
Sigh, I missed Tracy.
One night, in my madness, I logged onto the internet via Prodigy and put myself on one of Yahoos dating boards. I found profiles from about three women who were in my area.
One woman, Allison Patricia Thomas, would change my life.
On February 1, 1998, she responded to my post. We shared some pics and then we emailed like crazy. We were burning up the internet.
Two weeks in, she wanted to meet me. I told her to drop by after Penguin’s closed one Saturday.
Riding my bike to Penguin’s every day, I drove past a Carrow’s and a Burger King, passing a teal colored Geo Metro. Little did I know that the Geo belonged to Allison. She worked at the Burger King that was oh so close to Penguin’s. We never crossed paths, at least not that either of us every remembered.
I can still remember that February night perfectly. We walked while I closed the yogurt shop. There was endless energy between us. We talked about everything. She even drove me and my bike back home. And then we talked in my parent’s garage for like two hours. She left, but called me once she got back home. It was at least another hour on the phone with her.
Within a few weeks, it became apparent that we were in love. She told me first, through a note she wrote while in her college class. She said it was inevitable we would be married and she would become Mrs. Chris Carlisle.
She was not a STAR TREK fan.
By the time I saw INSURRECTION in theatres, I had a wedding ring in my pocket. I proposed to Allison that Christmas day and she said “Yes”. I expected no less, but was still nervous as hell when I got down on one knee.
I do not remember commercials for INSURRECTION. I do know I saw the flick in theatres with my friend Russ.
I also know that, giving my status with Allison, I started to not care so much about STAR TREK.
I started skipping eps of DS9 and VOYAGER.
I can recall getting together with Russ to watch a DS9, and leaving the room to talk with Allison until the show was over. Russ was pissed, and I don’t blame him for that.
I did at the time. If he had been in a relationship, I would have hoped it would have taken precedence over TREK. As it turned out, he was in a relation with Edith, a girl we both knew from Penguin’s. I started hanging out less and less with Russell to be with Allison.
My newsletter, THE Q-CONTINUUM finished in 1996 when Bradford J. Baumann got married and moved away. I had no outlet for writing TREK, so I switched up to developing original ideas.
After I met Allison, I started to write heavily. I started to submit original stories to magazines. I got shot down, but I was trying.
I was even inspired to write a series of short stories, all with the same title: “All the Lights Are Yellow”. This came after Allison drove home and said, “A funny thing happened. When I was driving, all the lights were yellow.” And then we probably talked for another hour after.
So, I now started to see my friends less and less as I fell more and more in love. It was not long before Russ blew up at me.
Russ and I had, more or less, spent some time together every day for a few years. When he had errands, I’d cruise with him because I could. We’d pick up pizza at his Uncle Mike’s Round Table Pizza and talk TREK. During these conversations, I started to feel like I was getting hazy about TREK.
Of course I started spending more time with Allison. Never once did I ever get laid with STAR TREK.
When I wasn’t with her, I wanted to be. We became inseparable. Like when both sides of Kirk were rejoined in “The Enemy Within”.
Have I mentioned yet that Allison was not into STAR TREK? And I realized it was something she would never be into.
So, I started to distance myself from TREK as well.
I only vaguely remember seeing INSURRECTION with Russ. I liked the movie, but felt like it came up short.
I can recall Allison saying, “I haven’t seen a bald man in 300 years.” I was shocked she could quote a line from the new movie. She said it when we were spending the day at Knott’s Berry Farm. I probably smiled the rest of the day, believing she had heard the line and quoted it to make me happy. She told me she heard it in an interview
When INSURRECTION hit VHS in 1999, I bought it.
I still read the occasional TREK novel.
But I no longer had the compulsion to sit for hours and binge watch.
I had no idea what was happening on VOYAGER or DS9.
By the end of 1998, I had a wedding to finance and a future wife to think about.
This would be the first time that I believed that STAR TREK was well behind me and I was moving forward in another direction.
NEXT TIME: Shinzon!