(This post is long overdue but I started writing it before the internet was invented so cut me some slack.)
A nine year old girl goes into a packed bookstore. Her 29 year old self stumbles upon the book her mom bought her that day, Zen in the Art of Writing, and appreciates the irony that Ray Bradbury, author of the Martian Chronicles, spoke in the Earthling Bookstore. That nine year old girl didn’t even know what irony meant but she felt it, like an inside joke between her and the universe. It tickled her bones, made the hair on her arms stand up, and put a smile on her face.
This 29 year old has been thinking a lot about that 9 year old lately—in some ways she let her down but it’s not too late, and the day that her mom took her to hear Ray Bradbury speak. She didn’t know who he was then, but reading the book he signed for her 20 years ago she can tell his words sunk in, especially in the way he describes how images sink into his subconscious and resurface in the most mysterious of ways years later. The memory of that day, 20 years ago is seeping out of my imagination right now. Granted I got a little prodding from fate when I found the book on my mom’s shelf.
Holding a piece of that day in my hands, the memories started popping up randomly like shinny pennies laying with Lincoln’s bust up in the street. Sitting on the floor in the old Earthling, next to stacks of books and the smell of them wrapped around me like a blanket, a baby blanket—like one you could buy at Chicken Little, the family run local baby store in the space that used to be the Earthling. A blanket that is still wrapped around me now, a blanket of memories and words as I sit at my computer working on my baby of a story.