Realism and Unicorns
Once Hannah and I went to Baycon, where she had a fangirl moment. We went to the Dealer’s Room, her in Zorro outfit, me in an Escher T-shirt. Since her tag read “Queen Gwink” - an old in-joke - I pretended that Her Majesty was going incognito, and I her loyal retainer. But as her knight or her jester? (I asked. Hah, hah, her majesty replied.)
At the entrance was Peter S Beagle, signing books. Hannah was halfway through “The Last Unicorn”, and a fan. We didn’t have her copy of the book with us, so we retreated to our hotel room to retrieve it; thus armed, we returned.
At the sight of the author, she shied. Fangirl moment; speechless, wanting to stay, wanting to flee. I introduced her. Peter Beagle calmed her by telling a tale of his fanboy moment in front of one of his favorite writers. Then he signed her copy of “The Last Unicorn”.
I bought two other books of his. I gave money to his business partner, and a $0 bill to him. I quoted a Zen master; if you meet a warrior on the road, give him your sword; if you meet a poet, give him your poem. “This is my poem for you,” I told Beagle.
Then I told him about when I met Lancelot, the one-horned goat. I was visiting Marion Zimmer Bradley’s house; I stepped into her backyard; it was night; there was a moon; and there was the unicorn, and it was eating Marion Zimmer Bradley’s rosebushes.
“That’s just like in a Thurber story,” said Beagle.
“That’s exactly what I thought at the time,” I said. “And that was the danger of visiting Marion Zimmer Bradley’s house; you might find yourself in the middle of a Thurber story.”
I also told him that unicorn droppings are about so long (holding my fingers about 3/4 inch apart) and so wide (holding my fingers 1/2 inch apart).
It was my way of making a stand for my style of literature.