This is the tale of my one and only meeting with Robert Anton
, in my opinion one of the most intelligent men in the
galaxy. He is the author of the infamous Illuminatus! Trilogy
the witty Schrödinger's Cat
and the semi-biographical Cosmic
series. All of these books changed my life in some way, or at
least changed the way I percieve my life.
Anyway, Wilson was scheduled to appear at the Stockholm Spoken
Word Festival, and me and a friend had secured tickets to the
event. I really, really looked forward to seeing one of my greatest
idols in the flesh (and yes I know that Wilson himself would
probably object to being idolized but that's the way things
are). On the day of the event my friend called and told me that the
bookstore where he worked had somehow managed to get Wilson to come
and sign books for a few hours in the afternoon and if I hurried I
could just make it. Needless to say, I grabbed my copy of Illuminatus!
and rushed off.
When I got there the signing event was almost over. During the trip to
to the store I had thought about various witty, intelligent or
insightful things to say, but when I stood there in front of the
little table with all the people around I was nervous as hell and
mumbled something incoherently while Wilson scribbled his
autograph. And then it was over. Or at least that's what I thought.
I stayed and talked with my friend for a while and then it was time to
get Wilson a cab so he could go back to his hotel and rest a bit
before the show. I followed as they walked out in the street and
suddenly, while my friend was away hailing a cab, I found myself alone
with Robert Anton Wilson. Alone with the most intelligent man in the
galaxy. He looked frail and old, not like I'd have imagined. This was
because was approaching 70 years of age, partly because he'd had a
long plane trip and was severely jet lagged. Later I was also
informed that his wife had died the same year and I imagine that must
have taken its toll as well.
This is it, I thought, This is it. My whole life has been
building towards this moment.
"Er," I stuttered, "I should propbably way something wise, but I'm too
"It's okay," he replied, "I should probably say something wise too,
but I'm too damn tired."
And those were the only words we spoke to each other.