The Stuff of Legends, Myths, or Drunken Nonsense

I’ve had a tab to this article open in my iPad’s browser for more than three months. It’s about the razing of Ray Bradbury’s house.

I can’t bring myself to close it.

Ray died almost three years ago, but knowing his house still stood was a sort of balm. I posted about the house back in July, just after was it sold. If I’d known the buyer was going to tear it down, I would’ve tried to organize a public fit of hysteria or something.

Of course no building can stand forever. But I hoped this one might have been the exception. A grand, eternal Second Empire, not a slowly slackening clockwork.

It’s weird to feel so connected to a place I’ve never been, and to feel so sad when it’s gone. Kind of like the emotional unrest we all experienced at the loss of our local Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Ray’s house was such an integral part of his work, and his work is such an integral part of me. And if I can manage to never grow up, I wanna be just like Ray. He helped me believe in immortality, and helped me to understand that death is often a part of living forever.

What I wouldn’t give to spend an afternoon with him in his perfectly chaotic basement office, talking about dinosaurs, and séances, and the Egyptian sands of Illinois, and the weather on Phobos .

large-Ray Bradbury at the typewriter

But I guess, in truth, I’ve spent more than my fair share of warm, print-scented afternoons with Ray—and rocket fire–bright mornings, and sinister midnights, and weary-souled 3:00 AMs, too—so I shouldn’t really have much room for melancholy. I still miss him, though, this man and friend I never met but have known so well since I was 12. I wish he were still sitting at that desk.

Of course no one can live forever. But I hoped Ray might have been the exception.

And a small part of me will never give up the idea that maybe he is.

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