Thursday, September 22, 2016

"An Alien in Alien-nation"

I could see the road ahead of me. I was poor and I was going to stay poor. But I didn't particularly want money. I didn't know what I wanted. Yes, I did. I wanted someplace to hide out, someplace where one didn't have to do anything. The thought of being something didn't only appall me, it sickened me. The thought of being a lawyer or a councilman or an engineer, anything like that, seemed impossible to me. To get married, to have children, to get trapped in the family structure. To go someplace to work every day and to return. It was impossible. To do things, simple things, to be part of family picnics, Christmas, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Mother's Day...was a man born just to endure those things and then die? I would rather be a dishwasher, return alone to a tiny room and drink myself to sleep."
~ Charles Bukowski

I wish he didn't drink himself to death, but one wonders what degree of trauma Bukowski faced. I'd lay down money that he was at the very least a fellow ACON. In his case, one can see some real toxic behaviors that came out with the alcoholism and more. I always thought Bukowski was an ACON.

Normal life feels impossible to me. I do have thoughts how did I end up an "out-liner"? How did it happen to my husband who once had the title "assistant newspaper editor"? Normal life even for me, seems so far away. There's no family picnics or Mother's Day for me. It makes you wonder. Some of us seem to have the very door of life closed on us. Bukowski kind of more had more choice about it, but the guy was definitely messed up at some early stage. It made for good poetry, but he ended up outside civilization's walls too.


  1. Actually, he didn't drink himself to death -- as much as he probably wanted to, at times -- but died at 73, of leukemia.

    He also spent 10 years as file clerk with the Post Office, which probably didn't pay overwhelmingly, but certainly earned him a decent living, and gave him the space he needed to write stuff like "Post Office."

    In short, be careful of taking the persona too literally -- as Lou Reed once informed an unsuspecting interviewer. Questioned about a line in his song, "Standing On Ceremony" ("Your mother's dying/And I goddamn well hope you're satisfied"), he said, "Well, actually, my mother isn't dead." He further clarified that his dad never beat his mom, as the song states. I'm sure he ruined the guy's day completely...but, you see my point, I trust. --Mr. Peep

    1. That's right, near the end he had some peace and was living in house with final wife right? So did he stop drinking near the end? Maybe Bukoswki played up some of the street life, most post office people were at least lower middle class. I consider the post man a strata above me or two. He was like a rapper, who came from the suburbs instead of the hood, maybe :p

      Even going to all those horse races he was always writing about takes money the poorest of the poor aren't going to have. I've never been to any race track.

  2. I can really understand where he's coming from. I never had any desire to be part of the rat race. I didn't want to be part of the popular crowd at school. The only good part of high school was the drama dept.
    I still don't want to play the game of know, the high paying job, networking, fancy car and house and all that. I guess that could have something to do with being somewhat of a hippie .
    I don't mind being an outsider from the mainstream. I like being around people who are different in some way.

    1. I can understand it too. The whole rat race to me looked exhausting even when I had some health. Glad you enjoyed drama department, I enjoyed the art department though I never got in with the "cool art" kids, it was a sanctuary of sorts. Even if I had money, I would not spend it on snooty real estate, fancy car or anything like that. I find that stuff boring. I would want a car that works well but I could see me easily driving around the rust bombs if they still run. I am kind of a hippie too. We would probably get on great. When I can find people who are different, I am happy about it. We are definitely outside the mainstream.