Friday was Charles Bukowski's birthday
even though he's dead but you probably knew that. It's important, I think, to remember stuff like that anyway. People who move you should always be remembered. Bukowski moves me.
I started reading Ham on Rye over Christmas break and it was the first Bukowski novel I've owned and read which is embarrassing to say out loud.
A few months earlier I was getting my hair done and my amazing baber at Hunter & Gunn, Mason, told me about when he lived in an awful, dingy, dark apartment. It was in the basement of a sketchy building with old, yellowed plastic venetian blinds in the windows and he talked to me about reading Bukowski at night.
"You have to read Bukowski" he said "you'll fall in love". So I did.
The feeling of love I get when I read Bukowski is the sickening kind. It's heavy like when you lock eyes with someone across the room and your stomach sinks into your toes. It's good but in a way that makes you feel not yourself.
Bukowski is harsh truths. It's the side of people we don't want to read about or would rather pretend isn't there at all. Reading Bukowski isn't like reading about serial killers and bloodbaths and people we can distance ourselves from. Pretend like we're different.
The personalities in his books are us in all our filth. Our hate. Our depravity. The disgusting things we think about each other. The fucked up and awful things that we do to each other for no reason.
Reading Bukowski leaves you feeling hollow afterward. Like someone came and scooped out your humanity while you were turning the pages.
Even though I'm a few days late, today I'm going to have a stiff drink and read Post Office.
It feels appropriate.