Notes: So, this is the prologue to a long, long, long Spones epic, with humour and plot and character development and all that nice stuff. For those of you who like my mixture of sarcasm, angst, hurt/comfort and gritty love, this is the thing.
PS: When I say long, I freakin' mean it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.
So there's this guy.
He's not that interesting. He's a little older than the fashion, and he's starting to get a line or two that weren't there before, and sometimes he wakes up in the morning and his back aches. He's just like every other man who thought he was invincible on the football field at fifteen. He's nothing special.
His life isn't anything special either. He turned right one too many times, and made some decisions that maybe he'd take back and maybe he wouldn't. He turned right to look at the posters in the dentist's office, and figured at the grand old age of nine that the white coat looked better than the suit any day. He turned right when he was thirteen, figuring football was a better way to impress Sandy Meyer than ice hockey, and look where that got his knees. He turned right when he was eighteen again, and danced with the redhead instead of the blonde, and then he turned right at the clinic and said, "I've never believed in shirking my responsibilities."
Maybe he should have turned left once or twice, and maybe he shouldn't, but here he is: the cold, wet smog of a San Francisco evening – early April, and cooler than April has any right to be this far south of Canada, but California's never had nothing on Mississippi and summers on the quadrangle outside the teaching hospitals, with the redhead from the school dance. And Mississippi didn't ever have anything on Georgia either, not on the homeland with her rolling heat and the bask and slide of country personalities like snakes on the road.
He turned right all the way outta Georgia, and somehow ended up California. A right turn is subjective.
And he's more ordinary here than California would like to admit. The prom dance redhead is gone, living in some white house with a white fence and by now, probably seeing some other man from someone else's school dance in some other year. He's still got a wedding ring, but it's been remoulded and it hugs the wrong finger. There's still a white stripe where it used to go.
He's still turning right. He drives a hybrid car, and he tries to cut down on his drinking now and then, and he nods to his neighbours without really talking to most of them. He doesn't smile much, but he's got a laugh that all his patients love him for. He's good with children, and he's good with the elderly, and he snaps and snarls at everyone between except pregnant ladies and the pretty nurse in radiology with the big dark eyes.
And this guy, he's just one guy in a million other guys just like him. So maybe he's a bit smarter – he's a doctor – and maybe he's a bit richer – he's a doctor – and maybe he has a momma back home in Georgia who cares even if she can't remember his middle name half the time, which is more than most people, and maybe he had a poppa that taught him how to punch the other kid in the playground and defend to the death your right to give daisies to Lucy Breckwood in the spring, 'cause that's more than most people too, but...he's just a guy. He's just this guy.
Only this guy is – not the right place at the right time, but he knows people. He knows a person, specifically, and he knows the right person, even though he doesn't know that that other guy is the right guy.
So there's this theory.
Every person on Earth is connected to every other person on Earth by six steps. And that makes everyone sound all interconnected and pieced together only that's not how it works because even with those steps, how many billions of people do you never meet? How many will you never meet? Even if you're best buddies with that guy that did that year in Borneo, you're never going to know any people from Borneo just from that guy.
And you never think about the missed ones – or most people don't, and this guy is turning right, and he's most people. He never thinks about it, and he doesn't have to. You don't have to think about it.
Only there was this one bridge between them – the Georgian guy knew an Iowan guy. And that Iowan guy...
That Iowan guy is just a guy. He's good with his hands, and he fixes things for people, and he can spend all evening charming an old lady while fixing her boiler then go out and kick her six foot grandson's ass in a downtown bar. He's fucked and fought and fled, and he wears bad jeans, and he's got these eyes like the sky in northern California, away from the city lights. He's kind of handsome in that rough, masculine way, but his skin's not too good and his eyebrows are too big and he has this arrogance about him that pisses most people off. He's just a guy too.
Only the guy from Iowa turns left. He had this great job, and he ditched it to fix boilers. He had this great girl, and he jumped state. He had this Mom and this brother, and he hasn't heard from them in years, and he had this bike that would be worth a fortune, only he tossed the keys to another turning-right guy in the ass-end of a dustbowl nowhere and walked away.
And sometimes this Iowan guy turns right, goes right with the Georgian guy. Sometimes he rolls those California-blue eyes and pays someone else to fix his guttering instead of breaking his neck. Sometimes he calls before coming over. Sometimes he goes places in a car instead of a bike, or walking through dodgy areas at five in the morning.
And sometimes this Iowan guy takes the Georgian guy left with him. Sometimes he takes him to mountain tops to scream at God and drink beer. Sometimes he shows him engine oil and the inside of a Kawasaki and they emerge grinning like the schoolchildren they haven't been for years. Sometimes, he gets him to admit things, and sometimes he laughs and keeps secrets, and sometimes he doesn't.
And then one day, this Iowan guy forced this Georgian guy on a left-turn, and the Georgian guy collided with this other guy – a foreign guy, who doesn't say a whole lot and has these hands like he should play the piano and this grace like he's maybe not just a guy but something different after all...and when you crash into people, you can back up and go around and forget, and then you never really met at all – or you can take notice. And when you crash because someone made you crash, you're gonna – most people – you're gonna take more notice.
So the Georgian took notice, and the Iowan guy didn't even realise what he'd done, and nobody knew what the foreign guy thought at all.
So there's this guy.
And he turned left and crashed into this other guy turning right.
And then there were these two guys. Together.