Host: Tennis shoes, to remind me of what? The first nights of summer when, as a boy, I ran in the cool grass. Or later, walking at night, being stopped by police who were suspicious of the only one walking for miles and miles. Upset with this encounter with the law, what else could I do but write about shoes and night, and walking, as a criminal in some future year, in a story called "The Pedestrian."
Leonard: The streets look like a chessboard, just waiting for us to make our move.
Leonard: (describing his friend's TV) The head of the Medusa. Lies in my parlor and stares. My friends, frozen statues, numbed by the Medusa's glare. Radiant fuzz collects in our ears while this new god paints life on our eyes. Incredible song, new dwelling of the Keystone Cop. Cathedral of the demi-divine, pint-sized.
Stockwell: Len! What's it like out there at night?
Leonard: Well, the air is sweet. it's deep autumn, you know. Good wind. Leaves run along the sidewalk, nibble at your feet like a pack of mice. There's a hill not far from here where you can stand and look down at the little stars of light in the city, and then look up at the light of stars in the sky. And you feel rich. Sad. Alive.
Stockwell: That's how it is?
Leonard: Give or take a metaphor.
Stockwell: People once used these sidewalks a lot.
Leonard: Yes. People strolled along on Sunday afternoons. Or beyond the hills in timeless time on paths, boardwalks, or cement. But once, oh yes, people idled by rivers and said things that later made easy lazing books and chewed grass.
Leonard: Life's a rocket today. So far, so fast, we've no time to see the dust from which we sprang.
Stockwell: Wait, you're drunk.
Leonard: The more I walk, the drunker I get.
Leonard: See, the houses are dark. Our cities are haunted.
Leonard: By the ghost machines. Think. Ninety percent of the actors we see on our TV screens have been dead 40 years.
Leonard: Our telephone are haunted, too.
Stockwell: Yes, yes. Why you can't get ahold of a real person if you want one.
Stockwell: They're all old tape voices that...
Leonard: Give out the weather, the time.
Leonard: Immortal, now. Giving out wrong numbers forever.
Patrol Helicopter Voice: Mead. Profession?
Leonard: I guess you'd say a writer.
Patrol Helicopter Voice: No guesses accepted. Profession?
Patrol Helicopter Voice: No profession.
Patrol Helicopter Voice: What are you doing out?
Patrol Helicopter Voice: Walking?
Leonard: Just... walking.
Patrol Helicopter Voice: Walking where?
Patrol Helicopter Voice: No such destination.
Leonard: Nowhere is a very fine destination.
Patrol Helicopter Voice: Mr. Mead, are you married?
Leonard: Nobody wanted me.
This episode is based on the short story "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (February, 1952).
A Medicine For Melancholy
The title of a paperback or hardcover collection of Ray Bradbury stories originally released in 1959. Some of the more famous stories featured in this collection that were adapted for this series were, "The Town Where No One Got Off" and "The Day It Rained Forever".
In this episode, there is a paperback copy of this collection seen on the floor next to a tennis shoe during the opening narration sequence.