Monday, January 10, 2005

Balcony Man III - Attack! Attack!

Today, I am there on the balcony.

The ghost of Bukowski appears. He has a cigarette and a beer.

"I've been down to the lobby, I've seen something interesting."
"The old man who sits there reading?"
"Yup. He there every day? He always reading?"
"Yes and yes. I was thinking of writing something for him, something appropriate."
"I had the same idea myself. Hey, you ever read my novel, Hollywood?"
"No."
"Doesn't matter anyway. Well, it does matter, but it's too late now to be worrying. Wanna tell me your idea?"

I took a seat and considered the request. I knew the ghost of Bukowski was telepathic and was also able to read my mind. I figured that simply thinking through his request would constitute some kind of education.

"Hey, you have read some of my work! Here's some thoughts on Ham on Rye and here are some on Post Office. I hope you didn't speed read... that's for them with the soul of a salesman, think they can clip a coupon, send it away, and learn the secrets of the universe for $19.95... Okay, I sense you are ready to divulge your story idea, not that it matters, I read your mind anyway, but perhaps you'll formulate it better when you vocalise or whatever it is you plan to do."
Bukowski's ghost took a drag on his cigarette, leaned back, eyes closed. The eyes flicked open again.

"That was just my little joke, I don't favour adopting a high-flown pose. I like to hear your stuff with smoke in my lungs."
He lit up again.

"Okay, as you've already divined with your telepathic gifts, the novel I propose writing for the Old Man in the Lobby would be titled The Old Man in the Lobby. It's a simple story of an old man who sat in a lobby reading. There would be some reflection on the America of his youth, births, marriages, deaths, the advent of the Roland 303 drum machine and its impact on popular song..."
Bukowski's ghost wailed briefly.
"Okay, maybe I cut the last part. The last pages would concern the eventual demise of the Old Man in the Lobby. After reading the last sentence and closing the book, the old man would die."
"How?"
"I'm not sure. Maybe a heart attack. Or maybe he pokes out his eyes."


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