Charles Bukowski poem and story database

Notes of a Dirty Old Man

Story written in 1972

I'd had a breakup with Jane and she was the first woman I had ever loved and my guts were hanging out by a string, and I started drinking, but it was the same, it was worse, drinking only shot the pain upwards, but I was angry too because she'd slept with another man, and a real idiot sort too, as if to punish me, and it killed some of the love but not all of it, and to make sure I wouldn't find her in one of the bars in town and start the agony all over again, I took a bus (I'd had my driver's license revoked for drunk driving) to Inglewood that afternoon and started drinking in a bar full of rednecks, a bar decked out to look like Hawaii, and since Hawaii seemed the falsest place in the world to me I walked into the bar and started drinking, hoping for a good fight with some redneck, hoping for a good fight with anybody, but they didn't bother me and Jane kept lighting up in front of me, scenes of her walking across the floor or putting on her stockings or laughing, and I drank faster, played songs and conversed wildly with people, completely out of reason, but they laughed and the more they laughed the worse I felt.
Finally, late that night, I was 86'd and I walked along the sidewalk wondering how in the hell you could get a woman out of your blood and your gut, and I found another bar and drank quietly until closing time; it was Saturday night, well, it was Sunday morning and I walked along outside not quite knowing where I was going.
Then I saw this large mortuary, one of those colonial structures with long rows of steps very well lit by all these lights and I walked up to the next to the top step, stretched out and went to sleep.
I awakened to what seemed a traffic jam on the street below...


The Bell Tolls for No One - pg. 97 - 2015

Magazines and periodicals

Los Angeles Free Press - No. 419 - July 28-August 3 - 1972

External links

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