Perhaps it was because his parents called him Darius. Bearing the name of an ancient conqueror carries its own risks. At all events, Darry played a long game only he understood.
“Who does it harm?” he’d say when we questioned his project. For 25 years he quarried and shaped, assembled and carved. In secret, he overwrote the landscape of his extensive estates with temples and amphitheatres, statuary and canals.
“Darry,” I said to him one day, “this is a Disneyworld, a fantasy.”
“Now.” He nodded. “Sure. But in a thousand years, who’ll be certain?”
Darius was inventing a legend.