Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The October Country

Ray Bradbury has gone back to Greentown, IL. In that idealized small town, there's now one more child running wild through the streets, shops, clapboard houses, and fields with a brand new pair of sneakers that will last all Summer long. A Summer eternal. He'll listen as the wind brings him snippets of radio shows, walls glow from the hearth-fires of black and white TVs, none of which he'll really pay attention to. He'll sneak out of the window and run through the night, watch the carnival set up in abandoned fields outside of town, smell the corn ripening, and chew sweet grass as clouds scuttle past making fantastical shapes in the sky. He'll listen to distant rocket thunder. He'll watch his world turn green and play the game, and he knows the secrets all boys know. Never trust adults and you're only alive for a short while, be alive now.

RIP, Ray Bradbury. Yes, I know all about how your politics near the end disturbed people. But you're a great writer, and I'll miss not seeing new stories from you.

I picture him now, on Mars with all the other great writers of history, living with their creations. "Live forever," Mr. Electro, the living lightning-rod, told him. As long as we remember and keep reading him, and as long as our dreams are filled with the stars and a small town the USA could have been, he will.

Thanks, Ray, for everything.