Victoria sat outside on the deck under an umbrella at Slappy’s Bar waiting for Derek to return with their drinks. They had lost touch for a while now and she was glad they had an opportunity to catch up.
Derek returned with a beer for himself and wine for Victoria. He handed her the drink and she thanked him as he sat down. Suddenly, she jumped in her seat to check the fly of her jeans. She settled back in her chair with a sense of relief.
“What was that?” Derek asked Victoria.
“All of a sudden I felt a swift breeze.” She replied.
“A swift breeze?”
“Yeah, I thought my fly was open. I guess I could have checked more discretely, but I got surprised.”
“Shut up! So what brought this on? It’s so out of the blue.”
“Well, I was reading Bukowski a few weeks ago and you popped in my head.”
“Really? I’m so flattered. You read Charles Bukowski and thought of me, which book?”
“Ham on Rye.”
“Was that his first one? I forget. It’s been awhile since I’ve read his work.”
“It’s the first one chronologically in the Chinaski series.”
“Right, right. So what did you think?”
“I liked it, kind of reminded me of Holden Caulfied in Catcher in the Rye.”
“I’m going to read Factotum next. Then continue on as Chinaski ages. I’m going to wind it all up with Hollywood.”
“Be careful of what?”
“Too much Bukowski could fry your brain.”
“I’m not following.”
“You’ll need to break in between books. I find that there is a deep-rooted sense of cynicism in his writing.”
“As you read his work, a part of you might say, ‘Fuck it.’ and simply not care anymore.”
“I can see that.”
“That could be good and bad. Bad because, well, you just stop giving a shit about everything, becoming anti-social in the process. Good, for the fact that you’re released from a self-inflicted prison of fear. Liberated.”
“And don’t forget about the drinking Victoria. My god. The drinking.”
“Yes, that too. It’s funny and then sad and then funny again.”
“I’ll keep your advice in mind whilst reading.”
“Maybe something a little cheery in between. Like a comic book or something.”
“Or I could just develop the ideal of write, drink fuck.”
“Oh no. It’s starting already. Time to put down Hank and pick up something else in the meantime.”
“Hank? Henry is the alter ego though.”
“His real name was Heinrich… I like to call him Hank or ‘The Buk’. Whichever you prefer, but you’re better off with Batman for the time being.”
To Be Continued…