Last night I dreamt I was on some kind of land-bound steamboat going in circles. I was at a table and there was a guy sitting across from me with his head down on his folded arms, on the table. A red faced, middle aged man with a big moustache was pacing and I told him I thought Ray Bradbury's message to the people of the world was not to be afraid of self-examination (though I don't, in waking life, necessarily think that's the main message Bradbury had for the world). As I said this, the man at the table lifted his head and I saw that he was either Larry David or Ray Bradbury. Or some combination of the two.
I received from Amazon last week the copy of Bradbury's Yestermorrow which I bought for one cent, apparently from a Salt Lake County library. It's a collection of essays and I'd been wanting to read for fifteen years or so the essay contained in called "The Aesthetics of Lostness". Bradbury, who hated electronic publication, managed to keep this three or four page essay offline and it's still not something you can just google. It's about his design for Horton Plaza mall here in San Diego and it discusses the thrill involved in being lost, "safely lost", as an adult. The joy of attention sharpened by unexpectedly unfamiliar surroundings. Which is why Horton Plaza has disjointed floors, floors you can reach from the floor below but you can't go back the same way, and there are strange little pockets. In the essay, Bradbury describes the wonder of stumbling upon an area that exclusively holds magic and toy shops. In light of that, it's rather a shame nearly all the stores at Horton Plaza now, like in all shopping malls, are clothing stores.