thinkers. Just get a few drinks in us and wešll prove it to you!
chases 'life' with a capital L
some Charles Bukowski stories recently. I felt somewhat obligated,
since hed written here in Vancouver for a time, and some friends
of mine work in a bar named after him.
Thats the word necessary to describe Bukowskis booze-streaked
lens on the world. But bleak in a good way.
Bleak in the sense that "Resevoir Dogs" was considered
Bleak in that ultra-cool, "none of this matters a shit, I can
cope with whatever the f
life throws at me and still crack
a good one-liner" kind of bleak.
In other words, I liked it.
Its the ideal, you might say, that I, and many of my compatriots
of a certain age and literary bent, kind of aspired to. Not that most
of us would admit to aspiring to anything.
That would be far too un-bleak.
Im forty three now. And still wondering whats happened to
my capital L Life? You know, the one where some rich socialite widow decides
that Im just a misunderstood artist and takes me in, wines, dines,
and screws the daylights out of me; then leaves me in her million dollar
mansion while she jets off to Ibiza so that I can "nurture my creative
Or the one where I move to the slums of Mexico City and write the next
great Booker Prize winning novel, and am feted through the capitals of
South America while Tango dancers teach me previously unimaginable erotic
What happened to that Life?
The upside of the downside of bleak?
The one where, having read "Grapes of Wrath" I might just as
well have lived it, and therefor have paid my dues, and deserve the commensurate
It seems to me that this is a particularly white,
male, middle class affliction, this expectation that
life is one day going to show us to be the Stienbecks
or Hemingways or Bukowskis of our generation.
Except we dont write much. Television and video games and bars and
sex and sports and summer have all got in the way of actually writing.
But we have the thoughts! Oh yes. Were thinkers. Just get a few
drinks in us and well prove it to you! Got any coke?
Maybe Im being a bit too hard on myself, and my
friends, and my socio-economic demographic. But what
the hell, Ive been reading Bukowski. You understand.
Im feeling bleak.
In a good way.
© Allen R. Gibson
Aspiring writer and actor.
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