I saw Phil Dick for the last time, he was beside
himself with glee, having recently received a
fat check from his agent for film options on a
long shopping list of novels and short stories,
in every case for a figure in excess of what he
had gotten for their original publications. In
addition, the first in the series of optioned
stories, Blade Runner, was nearing completion
and Phil had seen the rushes and heartily approved
of how it had turned out.
glanced around at the small, dim, shabby apartment
he occupied and said "I suppose now you'll
move out of here and get yourself a mansion with
a swimming pool and hot and cold running starlets".
loomed over me where I sat on a threadbare
sofa, and slowly shook his head.
have responsibilities," he intoned.
surely you have some of the money left, enough
to at least rent a place more in keeping with
your material success".
gazed down at me with cocker spaniel eyes.
Ray, I also have my priorities. There are things
more important than worldly show. In point of
fact, I have already spent most of the money."
to your favorite charities?"
nothing like that."
to the wives of all your friends?"
little you know me."
shipment of little pills to make you sick?"
again, Ray. I know you are the soul of discretion,
but if I tell you the last of my many secrets
you must swear on a Bible or at least on your
copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that
you will not reveal what I tell you until after
right, I swear."
slightly slanted catlike eyes darted about the
room, as if seeking some hidden eavesdropper.
know when we were kids at Hillside School in Berkeley,
I believed without question that Walt Disney personally
drew all those talking ducks and mice".
so did I. I took it for granted. Of course we
both know now that he didn't even draw his signature.
He probably didn't himself actually invent Mickey
Mouse. He fooled everyone."
everyone Ray. Can you imagine Larry Niven being
Ray, Larry would have laughed at us. I can just
imagine his scornful, hurtful laughter if he had
found us out."
that was a long time ago Phil. We've changed."
Larry hasn't changed. He still has no room in
his universe for talking mice. Today, if anything,
he'd be more scornful, more sarcastic than he
must have been as a child."
to the point Phil."
He glanced around. He paused, gathered his courage.
still believe" Phil whispered.
burst out laughing.
too, Ray? Yes, you and Larry have changed all
right. Only I have remained faithful."
that's it? The big secret?"
have to say, I don't believe you. You had me going
there for a second, but I don't believe you really
still believe in Disney."
went on a pilgrimage", He said, rising out
of his usual slouch to stand like an indignant
christian martyr before a Roman persecutor.
dignity send me into another fit of laughter.
He said defiantly.
I walked the whole way."
made it sound as if Disneyland. was on some other
continent when in fact it was only a few blocks
don't believe you , Phil."
took out his wallet and extracted a laminated
card. "It's a pass to Disneyland, good for
one whole year."
must have paid a fortune for it". I took
it in my hand and stared at it. It appeared to
be exactly what He said it was. "To pay so
much for one visit".
one visit, yes. But it's a bargain for several
day at first. Now only two or three times a week."
a little cafe in Disneyland. They have outdoor
tables. I've gone there so often the waiters greet
me by my first name".
Mickey. Mickey greets me by my first name. You
know what a tulpa is Ray?"
Tibet they believe that if you imagine someone,
set a place for them at the table, talk to someone
as if He was really there, talk to other people
about him as if He was real, after a while you'll
glimpse that someone out of the corner of your
eye. The food on that someone's plate will start
to disappear. You'll hear someone breathing at
night when you're all alone. Finally one night,
out of the shadows a someone will step into the
light from the campfire and sit down, and perhaps,
speak. Come with me tomorrow. You'll see. Yesterday
he was there at the next table. I didn't dare
look at him directly."