I found out that Bukowski had died
on a blind date at the Blue Danube
this girl, with her grilfreind and her boyfriend
none of them liking me much, too straight laced for them
having just seen Mazzy Star @ Stache's and me not knowing during our phone conversation who Mazzy Star was, it wasn't going to work she must have thought on the phone, but she agreed to meet me anyways and brought her friends.
I was exhausted that night. It was twenty-two fucking degrees out that night, my car dead in an icy parking lot and my roomate giving me a lift. He dropped me off and I walked in and they were there and I said "Hi." and sat down next to her, ordered a Rolling Rock and searching for those first swkward words for speech, my stammering and synaptic drops in full-force that night, unable to speak well, if at all and I was still so cold.
She was a pretty woman and I'll give her credit, she tried somewhat to find out who I was, even though my staccatto thoughts and inability to not get stuck on my "N's" and "R's" brought muffled giggles from the trio which was fair enough, I too would have thought "what a sorry fucking asshole."
But she asked me about my poetry and since I can't remember them by wrote nor can I explain what it is that makes me write or what my writing is like, she finally asked who my favorite poets were.
and she stopped me there
mentioning what a loss it was that he had died.
My heart and brain froze
and the stupid look on my face mirrored in their own stupid faces and I said something like "He's d-d-d-dead??? Wh-wh-whe-e-n?"
"A few months ago, a heart attack."
and racing through my mind, the first thought, my synapses back for a moment was that I'd never get drunk with him or have him tell me what a shitty fucking poet I was nor see him hanging on Linda Lee's shoulders stumbling out of Rudy's or the Blue Marlin or some other fuck-hole of a dive and then it struck me that there were to be no more words. No more stories of violent alleys or stupid college girls he fucked and ignored, no more cancerous puke on the page, no more plain/fantastic Miserable, no more knowing humour and laughter; nothing to be again, Hank was gone.
I poured half my Rock down my throat raising eyebrows and wanted to punch her in her stupid fucking face, I wanted to remain ignorant and un-informed and I wanted to cry or laugh; the dumb ugly fucking alcoholic poet that drew truth in harsh yellow foyer lights is dead and I'm sitting here unimpressing a twenty-four old freak with nice tits and piercings who'd probably be a crazy lay with just four more dollars in my pocket and no way to get home in the middle of fucking Columbus Ohio.
I don't know what I said next or when they or I left and I don't remember how I got home or what I did the next day or the day after that.
All my heroes die, except for Kurt, and he keeps trying to kill himself, and right now I remember being with Sheila driving the back roads years ago in my '71 red campmobile to have dinner at my parents house when we came across a dead cat laying in the middle of the road, Shelia making me pull over so that we could move the flattened, maggot infested carcass to the side of the berm and wanting to puke and forcing myself to look into the cat's dead eyes, his head about three inches wide, yet amazingly his eyes in tact and seeing his last look of total indifference.