I just got floored by something I wasn't at all expecting.

I picked up the Deep Space Nine season 1 box set (used and on the cheap, by the way - Paramount's insane if they think anyone's going to spend $150 for the damn things new). I sat down, popped in the first disc and sat back to watch.

A little background: I was a addicted to Next Gen when I was a kid; I had the technical manual, the encyclopedia and most of the novels (which I see now, from my vastly more literate perspective, were uniformly horrible). I had built and painted the models. I got into debates over the ideal shape the perfect spacecraft would be; the guy I was arguing with favored a sphere; I countered with a dodecahedron because of the extra structual stability and resilience to torpedo attacks.

Sitting in a movie theatre watching Star Trek: Generations, I watched the Enterprise D's saucer section belly flop onto the surface of some alien planet with tears streaking down my face. It was like watching a portion of my childhood implode.

But at the same time I didn't think it was real: I've only ever been to one convention and the other people's fandom there scared me. I can't quote episodes line by line. I don't speak Klingon. What interested me was the ship design, the pseudo-science (back when it was more scence than pseudo) and the histories, the feeling of being immersed in an alternate universe.

And then I got to middle school, discovered girls and music and forgot that I knew this stuff (though every once in awhile I'd get into a trek conversation and realize how much of my brain this stuff still eats up). I held only a passing interest in Deep Space Nine and pretty much ignored Voyager.

I picked up this Deep Space Nine box set because my girlfriend had just left New York City for a ten week internship at Stanford. I felt I needed something to fill the now much emptier evenings, something new but comfortable, familiar but unexpected.

So I'm sitting on the futon watching episode one. It opens with Sisko's perspective of Wolf 359, the battle against the Borg led by the recently assimilated Captain Picard. It doesn't really matter what the episode was about, the point is that I start to cry. I don't cry, ever, but for whatever reason my eyes gush and I sob like a three-year-old. Maybe it's because I've returned to a place so familiar I cannot possibly believe I've been away from it for all these years. Maybe it's because I had tried so fucking hard not to be a geek until I met my girlfriend, the epitome of physics nerd with a passion for Russian fiction, the girl I love so much because she sees right through me and likes what she sees, that I forgot how much fun it was to just buckle down, forget about what the rest of the world thinks about what you're doing and enjoy yourself.