For over 33 years, a seemingly random phrase has ricocheted around in my head over and over and over (and over) again:
“But there is the Mutara Nebula at one five three mark four.”
Sometimes, I accidentally say it out loud, and my wife, Angela, asks me what I’m mumbling about. Of course, I’m too embarrassed to tell her the truth. I’m a closet geek, and I’m afraid if she learns of it, she might finally leave me.
Sometimes, those fictional stellar coordinates might only cross my mind a few times a day. It’s even possible that there have been a few days over these many years when they haven’t entered into my thoughts at all. But on many days — and I mean this quite literally — that phrase has echoed through my mind dozens if not hundreds of times. Like a scratched record, a damaged hard drive, or a mind-meld gone terribly wrong, that single random line from an increasingly ancient sci-fi flick has somehow become irrevocably seared into my subconsciousness.