I saw The Last Unicorn tonight. On the big screen, with Peter S. Beagle in attendance and answering questions, and signing books afterwards (and taking pictures with people! I have a picture of myself with Peter S. Beagle now). And before I get any further I will note that tour dates are here and it would be lovely if you could pass that along to anyone you know of who’s interested.
I thought I might not cry this time, which is foolish. I never forget that I cry when I hear the theme song. But I always forget how sure it is, the tears coming up as smooth and sure as a stone drops down through water, and I thought that since I listened to the music last night as well the effect might be somewhat muted, and so I was sitting down to watch and thinking maybe this time I wouldn’t cry, and…
Yep. Tears. 🙂
(Did you know that the composition of your tears differs based on the emotion that evokes them?)
But yes. Peter S. Beagle was answering questions before the movie, and Connor Cochran was… was maître d‘-ing or toastmastering or whatever the term is, and interjecting little anecdotes. And one of them was that when he first met Peter thirteen years ago, Peter thought he was a failure.
I… just hearing that was like the split-second of freefall confusion when our dog once yanked me off our front steps. Not the moment where I landed on the edge of the step and bruised myself purple-black for weeks. But the sudden absence of ground where there’d been that solid unquestioned presence only a second before.
Peter S. Beagle ever thought he was a failure.
Peter S. Beagle.
I would expect that sentiment no more from him than I would expect it from Ursula K. LeGuin.
I came home with more books than I went out with, and they are signed. And I am happy, and teary, and a little giddy, and so very very glad I got to tell him thank you for everything he’d written. And I’m sitting here, doing a little reading and being glad that things seem to be going better for him, and trying to wrap my head around how he could ever have believed…
I hope things keep getting better for him. I truly do.
 I am 95% sure this is the man, but I checked with the light of my life, and he never gave his name, and I meant to ask. Actually I am 99.8% sure, and I would be surer except it takes me a while to learn people’s faces and I did not see him for long. But 99.8% sure is not bad, so I set it down.