I laid on my bed and dreamed of her that October day in 1990. For over a year I called her, with the number she gave me in her letters. I fell in love with a fan. God, I couldn’t get this woman out of my mind. Of course, I never talked to her, just called her number and heard her say, “Hello?”. She hung up on me, because I said nothing. I just loved to hear her voice. Despite millions of letters from fans, her photo stood out. I fell in love with her. Something about her face, something in her eyes. When she finally heard from me (August 1990), she made a tape for me. She sang Christian hymns and played piano with a fire and passion that reached into depths that had long slumbered in me. Oh my God, what a soul this woman had. The fire and passion in her voice, stirred me to the heights. I knew I loved her. But, what should I do? My nerves rattled me. Would she return my feelings? Her letters showed she cared, but no romance for me emanated from her letters. She told me flat out she was married and had a kid.
Sixteen hours on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation drained my energy, after all the awful make-up came off, I rushed to my bed to make love to her in my dreams. I did this for a year. Her voice resonated through my mind. The words in her letters roamed through my consciousness. Those words swam through my heart and brain and colored all my hours. I got her first letters in 1989, her words and photos colored my life then and again and again. She soared in my dreams, my heart reached for pinnacles. Now in October 1990, I heard her voice in my mind, that voice that answered the phone, while I said nothing. That voice followed me into Paramount studios, to my home, inside my car, on the hillsides. This sublimity, this infusion of wholeness and passion and courage she brought to me, so infused me that it flowed into the music I created for her. Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back flowed with my love for her. I caressed her with my voice, with the songs I chose to nurture her beauty and the tranquility and sweetness she brought the crannies in my heart. With my music, I caressed her. I sang words to make love to her, while I imagined her skin on mine. That she’d transformed my life seemed to escape her. She thought me the big star, who tolerated her letters with token friendship, and not the actor who longed to experience all her crevices. How my feelings for her surged, how they dammed themselves inside my heart, seeping out for expression.
They seeped, they leaked out onto my bed, through my fingers, through my dreams, into whispers of longings, groanings, she never heard. They exploded onto my consciousness, they surged to the surface, they longed for expression. In May of 1991 she moved near me, to Seattle, only a one hour jet flight from Los Angeles. Her new phone number glared at me, my fingers longed to caress her, my lips longed to kiss her, my skin yearned to touch her.
May, the month of spring, the month of new beginnings. So close to me, so close to my lips, to my body, to all I longed for her. Nothing about the music I created for her came in any of her letters to me. She did not plan to buy my music. My heart fell. I dialed her number, my heart jumped to my throat. “Hi, this is Brent Spiner. I’m in love with you.” No, that’s not what I felt; it reached higher, to the skies, to sanctuaries. My heart had climbed pinnacles. But she still wrote, she still cared. No, to bare my heart to her, to risk banishment, would send my heart to dungeons. But how I yearned for her skin to caress mine, to surge our passions together into sublimity and beauty. My Bible belt upbringing haunted me, she went to church, and now attended revival meetings. But so near to me now, I could reach out and touch her. But she wouldn’t hear my love for her, if my music never reached her ears. I jumped into bed and dreamed about her again, I kissed my pillow and surged my passion into her. I reached for the phone. Did my hands quiver? I dialed her number.
“Hello?” she answered.
Oh my God, I could touch her now, I could hold her against me. . . the thrill of her, the yearnings I had for her. My heart seeped out in yearnings and whispers. “I want to rape you.”
She hung up on me. My heart fell.
I rushed to call her. Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I only wanted to kiss you. . . She wouldn’t answer the phone, thought me a rapist or a criminal. After three rings, I stopped. I loved her. No more. I left her alone for now. Gave her some space. Then jumped into bed and loved her in my dreams.
Weeks later, Richard Arnold, Gene Roddenberry’s assistant visited my office at Paramount studios. Why was he here? “Brent, you need to know about one of your letter writers. I got a disturbing letter from her. I think she feels threatened by us, she seems to hint that she’s getting inappropriate phone calls. Our studio may be implicated. Throw out all her letters. We can always say that we never got them.”
“Really, what did she say?”
“I don’t know. She won’t say. But I’m going to write her and totally cut off my letters to her. This could be bad for our studio.”
“Do me a favor and let me see the letters she writes you. I want to see for myself what she’s saying.”
Oh my God, I read her letters and, because I love her, it really upset her that Richard cut her off. It was my fault, just because my heart slipped to my tongue when I called her. I sensed the pain I brought her, now that Richard had cut her off. I couldn’t bear to be the cause of that pain, not when I worshiped the ground she walked on. I dialed her number.
“Hello?” She seemed down. I longed to kiss her lips.
“Hi, how are you?” I whispered to her.
I hung up on her, with a gentle click, like a kiss. I was so in love with her. She soared in my dreams, in fantasies on my bed. I reached for the phone to call her, to make love to her. No, she didn’t know it was me when I called her. I couldn’t stop dreaming about her. I wanted to marry her. Did I say that? Yes, I wanted to marry her. Yeah, I know she was already married, but she seemed lonely, like a spar in a vast sea, searching and searching for happiness. She had confided to me of her depression and the medications she was on. Not happy, but so beautiful, who deserved happiness, who deserved . . .me. So she wrote me. I could bring beauty and fulfillment to her, I understood what she longed for, sensed it in her words, in the transparency she brought to the pages and pages I read, of her soul, that reached into mine. I understood her, because her longings she bared into her voice as she sang, as she confided to me her secret longings, between words on the page, that I surmised through the spirit that we both shared, the spirit that longed for freedom from encumberments, from prisons, and from controllers and dictators. Yes, she longed to be free, to express her longings, to flow her passions. I sensed it, I knew her better than she knew herself. Not happy in her marriage, that marriage suffocated her. I could break her free into longings and abandonments, could love her with fire and sublimity. How she soared as she sang, how she’d soar in my arms. Brilliance, beauty, charm–she had it all. She sang through my mind and my soul. She consumed my days and my life.
She never left my heart. But I had no idea in the early 1990s that an empire would devastate my heart. . . and my love for her. You see, I’d fallen in love with the soul of king David in a woman, no–with Catherine the Great, no–the great niece of Howard Hughes. Yes–she was all of this–it was in her genes. She really did have the genes of king David, Catherine the Great and Howard Hughes. Perhaps genes really did determine destinies. Yes, I’d fallen in love with king David, Catherine the Great and Howard Hughes. For this reason, to have this woman for my wife would become the challenge of my life. Yes, I’d have to climb Mount Everest and scale with treachery the pinnacles to approach her. My love for her would require me to go through the fires and scourges of hell. Because of my love for her, the United States went through 9-11-01.
So here I was Brent Spiner. But for me, Brent Spiner, to marry Gabrielle Chana, meant I must overcome the most powerful man on earth, the Black pope, the Jesuit General.
Yeah, didn't you know? I was the big shot Hollywood celebrity. I should have no problems marrying a nobody fan, even though, to me, she was the greatest somebody on planet earth.
Oh yeah, I’d find it easier to swim across the Atlantic than to marry the great niece of Howard Hughes. Though I got fifty marriage proposals a month through my fan mail, she’d turn out to be the hardest woman to marry in the world. No, the hardest woman to even say “hello” to. But would I ever stop loving her? That’s the worst or the best part, my love for her would never die. My love for her would ruin my career, ruin my sex life (no sex with any other woman after I fell in love with Gabrielle–but then, I only wanted sex with Gabrielle any ways). She’d ruin my chances for happiness with any other woman but her, and would force me to have the showgirl from hell as my girlfriend (while I dreamed every day about making love to Gabrielle). Do I regret that I fell in love with Gabrielle?
Well, let’s see, I still lay on my pillow at night and dream about her and fantasize about our bodies melding together in glorious consummation, like I have for the past twenty or more years. . .
Oh my God, I couldn’t believe what I read in this letter I just got from her. Melody Rondeau, her friend, mailed her my music. She figured it out. My voice on the phone matched the voice in the music.
She adored me. . . but couldn’t go to bed with me, because she was married. I leaped for the phone, and let it ring and ring and ring.
“Hello?” Oh, her voice.
I longed for her. I whispered my heart to her. “Can I come over?”
“No. . .I don’t think so. . .”