Ray Bradbury died yesterday. Riley called me from work to tell me. After we hung up I cried into my bowl of Zany Froot Rings. (A grown woman crying into a bowl of off brand children's cereal. I know. Pathetic.) On the face of it my reaction was ridiculous. Mr. Bradbury was ninety-one years old, he had been sick for some time and the love of his life had been gone since 2003. I am sure that he was ready to move on. I am sure I will consider myself blessed beyond measure if I die having lived the life I wanted to live. I am sure there were ten things happening within 1000 feet of me that deserved my tears more than his passing.
Ray Bradbury was the first person that taught me worlds could be spun out of words. Places full of wonder and fear and courage. Foreign lands and strange people that felt familiar and true. I spent a summer with him in Green Town, Illinois, laid in bed wide eyed and haunted by Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Show, and learned that the human condition remains the same, even on far off Mars. I still visit his novels and short stories like old friends. We are comfortable together.
And now their creator is gone.
And all those worlds feel so much farther away.