Bourbon, the Lady, Buk, and the Birth of Cool

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Bukowski drinkin' Muller-Thurgau

Last night, I was drinking with a friend at Slow Bar. We weren't drinkin' German wine. He was drinkin' well-whiskey on the rocks and I was drinkin' Rebel Yell Manhattans.

It worked well. We didn't talk about Buroughs, but fellow poets and writers, and our book. We've never talked about Burroughs. Not that I can remember anyways. It always seems that when I'm at a bar, talking about books, Burroughs ends the conversation. As if everyone's whose ever read and hangs out in bars has read Burroughs, which seems odd, you'd think they'd read Bukowski. I haven't read much Bukowski. As a present, recently, I got the first book my friend, who gave me the book, stole when he came to Portland. It's Buk's South of No North. I've been reading it lately and at first, it hurt me everytime I picked it up. Now, it sits right with me, 'cause I love the hemmoroid story. Sometimes, in the book, he's writing stories from my life, even though I've never referred to a girlfriend as a whore. Alright, not in public and only when we're alone together and gettin' kinky. I can't go to a horse track, either. A race horse's life is too sad to watch. I do like drinkin, though.

And here's something to wonder about: drinkin' and the love of drink. Why do we drink and fuck and snore? Ok, the fuckin' and the snoring part are easy. Drinkin' though? That's hard. I can pour it down my throat and love it, but I can't explain what's so great about it. We embrace life and forget about it at the same time, I suppose.

"Then I went to bed with the feeling that all drunks know: that I had been a fool but to hell with it." All the Assholes in the World and Mine, Section 2.

I've never been able to say 'to hell with it.' The times I've been a fool, an utter fool, I've regretted it every time I've sobered up enough to remember what a fool I'd been. Recently, I told a very sad story about a hooker friend and I in Crete and what happend one night when I was completely drunk. I left out about 3/4 of the story and changed the ending, because I realized I still feel like a fool 20 years after that night.

"Sad am I," Billie sings in "Yesterdays."

I am alone at my desk with Basil Hayden neat, Billie, and then Davis' "The Birth of Cool", a picture of Bukowski, Coca-Cola and smokes. I'm sad, because the bottle of Basil's almost gone. I love the sound of the cork popping and listening to the pour in the glass, just like in those old Western movies that I used to watch growing up in my teens, stoned and bored, watching black and white movies on a color tv.

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