When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
It's long been a joke in pop culture that television star Dick Clark never, ever ages. Louisa makes a similar observation while sitting in the studio audience of $20,00 Pyramid: "Isn't it amazing, she asks, how he never seems to age?" (50.16)
In the following chapter, Dick Clark's seeming agelessness becomes a trigger for Miranda. Her veil is lifted for a moment and she realizes that most people do, in fact, age, and that the Laughing Man is really just an older version of Marcus (51.6-20). Dick Clark serves as the catalyst for this revelation and a marker of timelessness.