Tuesday, September 10, 2002
"One night in early June of 1967, my Pynchon connection phoned me at my apartment on Shattuck Avenue. Pynchon was in town, staying with her and her boyfriend. He'd been living in L.A., flown up to Seattle to visit friends from Boeing, and on his way back to L.A. had stopped off for a day in Berkeley. She said, "Tom wants to meet you." This was like a command audience with the Pope. I kick-started my motorcycle and, I think, made it across town to her place near San Pablo Avenue before she had time to put down the phone. ....Pynchon was evidently a man of few words. I wanted very much to talk with him, to sound him out, at least to get him to laugh, but as we sat on the floor and passed around buzz bombers and grew progressively more zonked, he didn't say much, just listened intently as our hostess and host and I talked. The conversation was disjointed, grass talk consisting of little bits and revelations (Leslie Fiedler had just been busted for possession of marijuana) and silly stoned jokes, like the one about the woman who traded in her menstrual cycle for a Yamaha. I thought of Pynchon as a Van der Graaf machine, one of those generators that keeps building static electricity until a lightning bolt zaps between the terminals. All of a sudden, he pulled out of his pocket a string of firecrackers and asked, 'Where can we set these off?' "
Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon: A Sixties Memoir