Not sure how many of you guys know Robert Anton Wilson, aka RAW. Philosopher, author, genius guerrila ontologist, contemporary of Timothy Leary.
Back in the mid-eighties, I went to the Open Center in NYC to hear him give a lecture. I'd read his books. The Illuminati Trilogy. The Cosmic Trigger. There were less than a dozen people present, which blew all our minds, like showing up to the New Age version of a U2 concert to find that it was just you and seven other people.
After the talk, I brought up my copy of Cosmic Trigger for him to autograph. He just sat there, pen in one hand, book in the other, staring at me. Finally he said "You look like someone, I can't recall their name." He stared at me in silence, everyone in the room quiet, waiting for him to sign their books, too. He just stared and stared as I squirmed, long long minutes, then he shook his head, and signed my book, and asked if any of us would like to go to lunch. Our eyes all bugged and after he signed all the books, we set off. To have lunch. With Robert Anton Wilson.
He actually was very quiet at lunch. He drank a martini, straight up, and smoked these impossibly long cigarettes. His eyes were like luminous orbs, watching all of us chatter about yoga and meditation, space aliens and LSD, health food and government mind control. Keep in mind that this was the 80's, way back before it was hip to be New Age. We were all phreaks and spies and pioneers and fringe dwellers. And we were having lunch with RAW. But without the sense to shut our traps and just let the genius talk, though when he did talk at that lunch, the whole table went totally silent, not a fork to a plate, not a peep.
I still have my copy of Cosmic Trigger. It's tattered and held together with a silver hair band.