Charles Bukowski rails against 9 to 5 jobs in a brutally honest letter, sees it as "slavery"

(Justin Brown) #1

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Charles Bukowski cultivated a heroic image as a literary icon who was also a perennial drunken deadbeat. His image was deserved. Not only did he produce works of art that have profoundly shaped the literary landscape and the minds of millions, he was also an alcoholic. Yet something that is not so well known is…

(Justin Brown) #2

Nice to see you share this on Facebook, @eleprocon. I saw you post an interesting story in the comments. Perhaps you want to share it here?

(Mark's Myth) #3

It was one of those nights…

So the story starts with breaking the solitude at Bukowski’s house.

I was invited along for an interview my friend was doing for a German publication. Bukowski was popular there and was going again soon for a tour. The magazine wanted to get an insight to him and his life.

He asked me to help get photos and record the interview. Yes, this was back in the day before smartphones…we used actual tape recorders. “Chuck” as we called him, didn’t live to far away from where I was living at the time. His house was in San Pedro near the Los Angeles shipping harbor.

When the day came we drove up in my rusty 1976 Honda Civic. Along the way we stopped at a liquor store to pick up some booze. Since we weren’t sure whether he preferred wine or beer we returned to the car with armfuls of both.

Upon arrival at this house Linda greeted us at the door. She and Bukowski had been together for a while. We were led into the dankly lit living room where Chuck pushed himself up from his chair to say hello.

He quickly reached for the bags then trundled off to the kitchen with them. Linda offered us a seat and a few words about Charles. The evening unfolded as an adventure I was cluelessly in anticipation of. I had no idea what I was in for.

Needless to say it was filled with words, ideas, every bottle of booze we brought with and then some like the joints he surprised us with. It seemed like the night went on forever. At one point my buddy disappeared into the bathroom. There I was alone with “the man” himself.

We got into a conversation where he was trying to suggest that I would take the recordings I was doing of the interview and make a fortune off them. His disdain for how he may be of value to others was obvious. Or maybe it was just his inflated ego chirping.

Eventually to get him off the subject I told him I only had one tape cassette suggesting that during the interview I was turning it over each time I got to the end of one side only to then re-recorded over the other side. That worked. We had a good laugh.

Bukowski looked at his watch and noted it was after 2am and welcomed us to spend the night. When my friend finally emerged from the bathroom, his face pale, I could tell it was time to leave and get home. It was a long night of imbuing to keep up with Chuck.

I was charged with transcribing the tape recording of the interview and getting the photos developed. The next week was horrifying… Something had happened to the microphone connection making the recording very garbled and a really slow process to transcribe.

And the photos… shit, they were all blurred with crazy arty attempts at capturing the moments in our indulgences with Bukowski. And there weren’t very many to choose from. I had become so engaged in the conversations and had too much to drink proving useless as the official photographer.

Upon sharing this information I felt so bad that I offered to call Chuck back and ask if he minded that I come shoot some new pictures. Which he graciously and begrudgingly accepted considering the reason I blew it the first time.

I was invited to come a few weeks later. Little did I realize he invited me when he had another guest over. I arrived to meet Barbet Schroeder sitting with Bukowski as they were discussing the idea for a film that was to become know as “Barfly” starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.

And that’s my Bukowski story. For reals.

(Chris Lagos) #4

:movie_camera: Jordan Peterson - Do What is Meaningful, Not What … - YouTube

I suspect it is important to do what offers a Seratonin payoff continually.