Sci-fi author Ray Nelson recounts the last time he saw Philip K. Dick.

“You 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”.

“Well, 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.”

“Not everyone Ray. Can you imagine Larry Niven being taken in?”

“I guess not.”

“No Ray, Larry would have laughed at us. I can just imagine his scornful, hurtful laughter if he had found us out.”

“But that was a long time ago Phil. We’ve changed.”

“Oh? 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.”

“Get to the point Phil.”

Again He glanced around. He paused, gathered his courage.

“I still believe” Phil whispered.

I burst out laughing.

“You too, Ray? Yes, you and Larry have changed all right. Only I have remained faithful.”

“So that’s it? The big secret?”

“That’s it.”

“I 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.”

He looked hurt.

Ray Nelson: The Last Days of Philip K. Dick.