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Words Get in the Way

Thu, Aug 30, 2001 02:39PM -0600

A few quotes from the stuff I've been reading lately.

The following is from The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson

She laughed. "It won't last. Nothing lasts. But I'm happy now."

"Happy," I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words, like Love, that I have never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don't have much faith in them and I am no exception--especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they're scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest or a fool to use them with any confidence.

Here's another one:

I sat there a long time, and thought about a lot of things. Foremost among was the suspicion that my strange and ungovernable instincts might do me in before I had a chance to get rich. No matter how much I wanted all those things that I needed money to buy, there was some devilish current pushing me off in another direction--toward anarchy and poverty and craziness. That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas Goat.

I feel like I'm invoking Charles Bukowski's name in vain. I finally gave in and bought a couple of his short story collections, and I've started on Tales of Ordinary Madness. This is what I've got so far:

"Writing chooses you. You don't choose it."
-- from "Would You Suggest Writing As A Career?"

Christ, there were women everywhere and over 1/2 of them looked good enough to fuck, and there was nothing you could do -- just look at them. Who'd ever devised such an awful trick? -- from "Would You Suggest Writing As A Career?"

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