Charles Bukowski has been one of the most controversial American writers of the twentieth century, regarded by some as an absolute genius while dismissed by others as totally overrated. Best remembered by his detractors for his habit of crashing parties after heavily drinking, he left among his friends memories of a kind gentleman, making no compromise with celebrity lifestyle, despite his late global success.
In short he was a “love him or hate him” type of person. What follows is an extract of The most beautiful woman in town & other stories.
“Baby, roll me another smoke.”
we were on the top floor, the 4th, floor, high up on a hill, but you can lookout on Los Angeles and get nothing, nothing at all. all those people down there sleeping, waiting to get up and go to work. it was stupid. stupid, stupid and horrible. we had it right; eye, say, blue or green staring deeply through shreds of beanfields, into each other, come.
Baby brought me the cigarette. I inhaled and watched the sleeping city. we sat and waited on the sun and whatever there was to be. I did not like the world, but at cautious and easy times you could almost understand it.
I don’t know where Tito and Baby are now, if they are dead or what, but those nights were good, pinching those high-heeled legs, kissing nylon knees. all that colors of dresses and panties, and making the L.A. Police Force earn the green.
Spring or flowers or Summer will never be like that again.”
I remember how I felt when a very long time ago reading the paragraph above, when the be-bop rhythm of narration slows down and the guy looks down at sleeping Los Angeles. I felt good, as if at times I could really understand the world 😉
You will be missed Henri Chinanski