As my Loyal Readers will recall, I have made a point the last few years of observing the birthdays of two men whose work on a 1960s television series has had an enormous impact on my life, namely the actors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. By some cosmic coincidence, they were born within days of each other, which has always seemed weirdly appropriate given the way their legacies became intertwined with each other’s. But this time, of course, something is different.
Five years ago, I wrote the following:
Strange to think that they’re so close to the same age, and even stranger to think of how advanced that age is getting to be.
This is a morbid notion, but I find myself wondering how long one will outlast the other when time inevitably catches up to them. They’ve spent so much of their lives seemingly in parallel. When one of them finally passes away, will the survivor go on for years more, or will they be like a long-married couple who die within days of one another, unable to continue without their beloved?
I still wonder about that. And I wonder as well if Bill Shatner, the older of the two by four days, is thinking about Leonard tonight. Shatner has a pretty bad reputation for being a self-centered douchebag — consider the bile that was spilled over his inability to attend Nimoy’s funeral — but I can’t help but think that this, his 84th birthday, has been a somber one for him. If I could, I’d buy him a drink. And I would be honored to raise a glass with him…
To absent friends.
To life going on.
May you have many more happy returns, Bill.