Above: Linda Levy in 1972. Photo by Philip K Dick
2008 is shaping up to be pretty good for me. First I get invited to speak at Harvard, then I end up having coffee this afternoon with the most famous of Dick's dark haired girls, Linda Levy. I started wondering today if perhaps I've died and gone to Dick-head heaven, but I was on my way to the CHP to take care of a fix-it ticket, so I decided I'm still here in the Black Iron Prison.
I know you're asking yourself, 'How the HELL did he get to meet the dark haired girl?'.
Well let me tell you: A few weeks ago Linda emailed me after she stumbled onto my blog and learned that we lived near each other. Linda's interested in selling the absolutely amazing letters she received during PKD's infatuation with her along with several signed PKD books personally inscribed to her. So if you have some serious scratch and are interested in a one-of-a-kind collection of personal correspondence, email me. Even better for those of us in the higher numbered con-apts, I think Linda's going to let me post some of these amazing letters here on the blog in the coming weeks!
Don't know who Linda Levy is? Check out PKD's story "Goodbye Vincent" in The Dark Haired Girl.
So what's she like? Instantly likeable, funny, smart, and warm. She's got a million amazing stories, everything from sitting next to some guy at a SF convention who's wearing a name tag that reads 'Beowulf' (turns out it was Larry Niven), to seeing Clockwork Orange with Tim Powers. Like close friends who have somehow never met, we had lots of catching up to do: Linda hadn't heard about PKD's Library of America editions; I learned she and PKD used to joke about "Do It Yourself Lobotomy Kits"; she never knew the "Linda" doll in PKD's story "Goodbye Vincent" is also an allusion to Perky Pat; I didn't know she liked to bring PKD to class with her on days when she wasn't prepared because she could always count on him to expound at length on whatever subject they happened to be discussing.
In short, it was a blast to get to talk to someone who had that kind of connection with PKD (but perhaps it is more accurate to say talk to someone who PKD felt such an intense connection with).
Linda sent me another picture from 1972. In this one she's in Europe. PKD characterized her departure as "dropping acid and wandering off to Paris." Here it is:
One thing I've discovered in studying PKD is that he had a lot of amazing people in his life. I am honored to have met another one.