By Charles Bukowski
“After a bad marriage I decided, well, hell, I might as well be a writer, that seems easiest, you say anything you want to and they say, hey, that’s good, you’re a genius. Why not be a genius? There are so many half-assed geniuses. So I became another half-assed genius.
My first thought was to stay away from writers, artists, creators, feeling that they could take one off the path with the misdirection of their ambitions. After all, a good writer need only do two things well: Live and write, and the job is done. In Los Angeles it is possible to live in total isolation until they find you, and they will find you. And drink with you for days and nights, and talk for days and nights. And when they are gone, others will come along. One doesn’t mind the women, of course, but the others are definitely consumers of the soul….”
“Los Angeles is full of very odd people, believe me. There are many out there who have never been on a 7:30 a.m. freeway or punched a timeclock or even had a job and don’t intend to, can’t, won’t, will die first rather than live the common way. In a sense, each of them is a genius in his or her way, fighting against the obvious, swimming upstream, going mad, getting on pot, wine, whiskey, art, suicide, anything but the common equation. It will be sometime before they even us out and make us say quits.
When you see that city hall downtown and all of the proper precious people, don’t get melancholy. There is a whole tide, a whole race of mad people, starving, drunk, goofy, and miraculous. I have seem many of them. I am one of them. There will be more. This city has not yet been taken. Death before death is sickening.
The strange ones will hold, the war will continue. Thank you. ”
(Trailer for the film “Factotum”)