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I Feel Better When They're Not Around

Bukowski.pngReading a lot lately. I like reading. Using it to fill up any dead space in my life. Been a lot of that recently. Dead space. Is that the right way to put it? Probably not. I spend a lot of time waiting for stuff--bus, train, people. Waiting. When I'm reading I'm no longer waiting.

[As I'm writing this I'm having breakfast in a McDonald's in downtown Los Angeles. An old woman is yelling at one of the customers: "I thought you said you were going to eat that?" She's mad cause someone else got the leftovers.]

Just finished Charles Bukowski's: "The Captain Is Out To Lunch And The Sailors Have Taken Over The Ship". The book was assembled from a journal that he kept before bed. It's a collection of observations about his approaching death, adventures at the horse racing track, drinking, writing, his computer. Stuff like that. Most of it pretty funny. Some parts I thought were interesting:

"It was better when I was young. I was still looking. I prowled the streets of night looking, looking... mixing, fighting, searching... I found nothing. I never really found a friend. With women, there was hope with each new one but that was in the beginning. Even early on, I got it, I stopped looking for the Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasnīt a nightmare."

"I wasnīt looking for justice and logic. I never have. Maybe thatīs why I never wrote any social protest stuff. To me, the whole structure would never make sense no matter what they did with it. You really canīt make something good out of something that isnīt there."

"Simplicity is the key. In writing you must slide along. The words can be crippled and choppy but if they slide along then a certain delight lights up everything. Careful writing is deathly writing."

"I consulted some computer experts about the 'blue flash' but none of them could tell me anything. Iīve found out that most computer experts arenīt very expert."

[Oh man! I just got a look at that old woman's face--the screamer (she left, came back, now she's digging in the trash.) Something from "Night of The Living Dead. Honestly, the things you see downtown sometimes, it can make it hard to be down here.]

There are lots of things that I like about Bukowski's writing. Honesty, vulgarity, simplicity, elegance. My favorite though is how he ends his short stories. He always seems to be able to wrap a bow around them. How does he do that?

Time to go. Done here at McDonald's.



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