I’m so sorry to have to say goodbye to my Facebook, filmfan and writing friend Mark Bourne, who passed away on Saturday. We were planning to meet, and maybe see this PROMETHEUS thing together, on his next NYC trip, later this year. Not to be. What a great writer, on film and otherwise. A light just went out in the universe.
Mark was only my “pen-pal,” or whatever the equivalent is in this digital age, but we were both looking forward to getting together in person and having one of those conversations neither wife could pry us away from. I suspect he would have immediately advanced from “pen-pal” to one of my best friends, and I think Mark might have had that same suspicion about me. As I told the mutual friend who “introduced” us, this is the selfishness that wells up when someone passes: we who remain are deprived of his company, and that’s one of the reasons we mourn. We share and hurt with the immediate family and their closest friends, but for us others, it’s the main reason.
Fortunately, Mark was a gifted writer with an especial eye for the flicks, so hop back to that link up top, or just go here, if you’d like to meet him. Because thanks to his talent, you still can! I said something similar about Isaac Asimov when I accepted his posthumous Hugo for I. ASIMOV in 1995. It’s still very sad to think about Mark passing away so young, or Isaac finally being lost to us all, but wonderful that such expressive writers can still walk up to us and say hello, through their prose. Mark would probably recoil at being compared to Isaac, and I’m not doing that at all, but both writers had an affable, come-hither style that will continue to make them new friends for years to come.
3/19/12: In Mark’s memory, I’m adopting one of my favorite gags of his, for the section on the right formerly named Recent Posts. In the film world, we call this homage. In the real world, theft.