Author: Shannon O’Connor
We met at a Star Trek convention in New York. I was dressed as Worf; she wasn’t dressed up, but she was wearing a Quark T-shirt, and she looked out of place.
“Have you ever been to a convention before?” I asked her.
“No English,” she said.
“What do you speak?”
I didn’t know any German.
“Vjljathl!” I said.
She smiled. “Vjljatlh!”
We continued speaking in Klingon. It was the best day of my life.
Her name was Greta and she was a study abroad student. She looked up words in her English dictionary, but we liked speaking Klingon better because it’s a powerful language. She told me it’s a lot like German, people speak vehemently, emphasizing what they want to say. We decided English lacks strength that Klingon has.
We moved in together after six months. We watched Star Trek every night before we went to bed. She liked sex the Klingon way, and it was difficult to keep up with her, but I did my best.
There were some strange things about Greta. She didn’t like to eat American food all the time, sometimes she liked to eat worms that she dug up in Central Park. I asked her if that’s what they did in Germany, and she said in Germany things were different, and they ate live animals. I had never heard of that custom in Germany, I thought they ate sausages and drank beer. She said she and her Klingon-loving boyfriend ate live worms and bugs back home. She didn’t tell me if everyone else did such a thing.
And she could fight! One day a woman gave her strange looks when we were out at a bar, and she took out a bat she carried in her backpack and hit her with it over the head. I had to pull her away, but the woman screamed that she was going to sue her, so we ran out of the bar.
“Those pussies know nothing of honor!” Greta screamed in Klingon. “She would sue me because she cannot defend herself. Coward!”
“I agree.” I thought Greta might take the Klingon culture a little too seriously. I wanted to explain to her that we didn’t live in the Star Trek universe, but I wasn’t sure how she would react. I didn’t want her to think I didn’t have any honor.
Greta, with all her strange habits, was irresistible, but I had a feeling something terrible was going to happen.
“This is it,” she said. “I’m going home.”
“Are you going back to Germany?”
“No, stupid, I’m going to Kronos, the Klingon homeworld.”
“But that’s not real, Greta.”
“Why don’t you think it’s real? This is our culture, our passion. Don’t you have any honor?”
“Of course, I have honor, but sweetie, it’s only a TV show.”
“That’s what you think. It’s time for me to leave.”
“But how are you going to get there?”
“I will be energized, and then I’ll get to the ship! Do you think the ship is actually going to land here?”
“Greta, I think you need help.”
“I don’t need your help anymore. I’ve learned all there is to learn. Thank you for everything.”
She stood straight up. A light beamed on her, and she disappeared.
“But how could this be true?”
I thought it was a joke. She couldn’t be gone.
Was she Klingon, or was she crazy? Greta disappeared in a beam of light, and I knew I would never forget her.