5 Thoughts: How I Spent My College Intuition

1. THEY SAY THAT IF YOU can remember certain events or associated places, it means you were never there; space-time knots whose experience is colored by the hazy circumstances of the experiencer. Case in point: the Neo-Pagan Society of Diablo Valley College, c. 1980-83ish.

2. NPS-DVC was the singular creation of “Chief Druid Zoro X.R. Troll” (who knows who he is but may not want you to): a seriously amiable poet attending Pleasant Hill’s then tuition-free community college with an eye toward finding kindred spirits. He also had access to both the school’s mimeograph machine and the room used by official campus clubs, and employed the former to fill the latter with a rough dozen amiably serious souls holding convergently eclectic interests. These included tarot, the I Ching, and similar arts; the works of Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley, Ken Kesey, James Frazer, Jack Kerouac, Firesign Theater, and the Grateful Dead; ancient myths and epic legends; paganism in all its tasty flavors; subversive literatures; alluring concoctions; and high-level, good-natured goofery.

3. The school’s administration took occasional issue with some of our club’s recruitment posters, such as the one which promised the secrets of the Illuminati to anyone who attended our Wednesday noon-to-1 p.m. gab-fests. (Or maybe it was the one proclaiming “JOIN OR DIE” beneath a cartoon of the Grim Reaper.) Due to the posters and to our rambling, more-or-less-weekly newsletter, we often entertained (and were entertained by) visits from the random and the curious; these included a couple of well-meaning missionaries whom we treated with warm cordiality while declining an invitation to enjoy their particularistic product.

4. One day found Zoro and I standing on a small rise in the quad outside the clubroom, giving vent to spontaneous, catch-phrase prophecies while garbed in a plastic Viking helmet (he) and magisterial robes (me). We drew suspicious stares and surreptitious giggles from the passersby, one of whom was a good friend of Zoro’s. “Whatcha doing?” the friend asked. “Just being weird,” Zoro replied. “Oh,” said his friend. “Carry on.”

5. So it came and went, and thanks to cybersociality, so it still goes. Here’s to absent friends and absent times — whether we remember them or not.

2 comments for “5 Thoughts: How I Spent My College Intuition

  1. Alan K. Lipton
    2021.05.24 at 1103

    Thank you for your concise encapsulation of this bizarre experience.

    • 2021.05.24 at 1159

      Thank you. I pride myself on being The Concisifier. But there was so much more to tell, if only I could remember it all …

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