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April 28, 2014

Moyra

“April is the cruelest month.” - T. S. Eliot. Used to love him in my intellectual youth. Now, in my anti-intellectual middle age, I only remember this one verse. Instead of growing, I feel as if I'm shrinking. Shrinking, shrinking, shrunk. Soon, there will be nothing left. And that's ok.

A distant friend of mine has recently given me a task: that my next blog should be a happy and cheerful. Sorry, Remi, no can do. In fact, I couldn't write for this web site for months. I felt paralyzed. I felt abandoned. I felt as if writing these blogs no longer makes any sense. As if the site itself makes any sense. Can I continue at all?

This site belonged to me and my main fan, my main supporter, my assistant, my webmaster, my technological master of operations, my FRIEND Moyra. Four months have passed since I got the most disturbing, the most incomprehensible phone call about her death. Death? Wait, is this some kind of cruel joke? Death??

Moyra was the most “alive” human being I knew. Bursting with energy, laughter, joy and a youthful adventurous spirit, she would light every room she stepped into. And although we used to see each other only at conventions (she would drive her golden car with the license plate spelling “Zlatna” - - “golden” in Serbocroatian, in my honor - to all the conventions I've ever done, all the way from her native Toronto), I feel her absence intensely and continuously. I would call her out of the blue with a technological question and she would always find time and patience to teach me, never letting me feel like a technologically challenged idiot that I am. She understood me. She knew me. She came to the island of Brioni where I played Euripides' Medea, she flew all the way from Toronto to the beautiful Istrian peninsula and saw the show 11 times that summer. She had all my photos, all my press, all my films, all my albums. She created our web site with love, in the spirit of our friendship.

The first time I met Moyra was in Dallas, at a convention, almost twenty years ago. I noticed her golden hair and her infectious smile. Somehow we started a conversation. She told me she drove all the way from Toronto. My caution button started blinking immediately. Is she a crazy fan? Should I stay reserved and detached? Should I protect myself?

It's tricky with fans. You know they love you because of their own projections, not because of you. And you know that when a new “hot” show appears, they will abandon you in a second. You know they don't really care. You know they constantly shift their affection and their interest, according to the degree of your marketing savvy (which, in my case, is zero) and to the ever changing level of your so called fame. In that particular respect I became especially cautious. Life has shown me that I can be loved and adored one day and be hated and despised the next, following the whims of politics, public opinion, fashion of the moment...

But Moyra was different. She did her extensive research on me, on my work, on the complex political background of my story. She truly understood. There was nothing superficial in her affection for me. She took me to see the Niagara Falls. She showed me all the unexpected, hidden places in Toronto. We went wine tasting. She loved Pinot Noir. I found myself looking forward to conventions, just so I can have a glass of something good and smooth and red with her in the hotel bar after the endless signing.

But it was more than that. Her presence made me feel I have someone who really cares and is always here to help in whatever capacity, in whatever way she can. We had an agreement that she would be my English language consultant on the book I'm writing. I couldn't wait for her to read it. I always imagined her as my first reader. She was the one who nudged me and encouraged me to write. I needed her. I needed her badly. I still do. Did she know how much she meant to me? Have I ever told her that I loved her?

And now she's gone. Without a trace. She just left. Out of the blue. Inexplicable. Inconceivable. Unbearable. But we go on. What can we do, we humans? We do go on.

I thank Tara for taking over this site. What a gift to me, the incurably anti-technological, deeply analog product of another era!

Life goes on. We shot 3 days on Marc Zicree's “Space Command”. I got to work with Marc and Elaine who gave me the gift of their talents and their open hearts, a rarity in the city I live in. I got to work with some exquisite people: my dear old friend Bill Mumy, the brilliant actor and sweet man Robert Picardo and the absolutely magical Doug Jones. I also had a lovely daughter played by the talented Jelena Mrdja from the old country. How thrilling it was to be reminded of the fun one can (sometimes) have shooting a science fiction movie. It brought back memories from another show twenty years ago. “It's like a time warp”, I thought entering the stage. But then I realized: “We're all twenty years older!” Not a cheerful thought. But not a tragic one either. To be alive is a victory against entropy that will take us over, sooner or later. It took Moyra. But not from my heart. Not from my life.

We carry our fallen friends with us. They make us who we are. I would be a poorer person without Moyra. Andreas. Rick. Tim. And a whole small city of others.

Ultimately, we're all together in this. Alive today, dead tomorrow. As in a children's counting book, it's just a matter of luck and randomness who the next one will be.

So, as I'm typing this (with painful realization that Moyra won't be able to proof read my text), I'm giving my deepest thanks to all those people in my life who have loved me, who have helped me, who have supported me. Yes, they're rare. But that makes them even more precious.

Thank you for caring about me, Moyra. There's no bigger gift one can get from another human being.

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