Bukowski, Charles, is the man on the badge that was pinned to my old, worn-out bag. It’s his black and white portrait with his kind intelligent eyes and rugged face.
I bought it in my old country in August, in a rather ugly posh resort where he wouldn’t be caught dead. It was the only thing worth buying there, upon which I pinned it to my bag immediately. With months it has done my bag more damage than good, including an ugly tear underneath it. The pin got all crooked and twisted but still, I refused to take it off. I loved having him about me at all times: he’s a symbol for me, the way he wrote, in self-defence, is close to my spirit.
Until a few months ago. I went around town (which now got to mean around Roma) and bought a new bag, sales would do that to you. When I got home, I noticed that the pin was gone and only the ugly tear remained. Even though my new bag was very anxious to replace the old one, I still mourned the loss greatly. I felt that it had happened very recently and even thought to retrace my steps of the last few minutes, but then slowly let it go.
Go, Bukowski, you brought me much peace and joy.
Hours later we were leaving the apartment on the ground floor of a Roma apartment building to return home. The dog was leading the way, as always. My eyes were on him, as often. I watched him stick his nose in a fern for a brief moment, turn slightly towards me and continue. It was rather unusual so I looked into his pineal gland (chick pea gland for friends) and what I got was him telling me: “Oh, okay, it’s yours.” I looked at the fern more closely… and there it was, my Bukowski, placed on the earth of the fern, as if to grow, by a passer-by.
What Bukowski was looking at out of the fern (depending on whether he was drunk or not), with and without flash. Photo: MM
I got a bit teary-eyed (but it could have been the cold) and hugged him and told him he did great and he looked at me as if wanting to say What did I do? And I remembered lovely GG and her story about her puppy who protected her from harm in her dreams and chased the nightmare away for good, and even though this story is far away from mine on the scale of things, I felt proud and happy.
And now I’ve got a twisted Bukowski pin and a Desigual bag (I prefer to call it Bilingual or at least Nagual), and now the questions: are these two worlds combinable, and do I dare? The time answered for me: rather than on the bag, Bukowski has ended up on the mantelpiece above the fireplace in front of our smiling family portrait, as a long lost son. He adds something to the house. (Last sentence proudly nicked from Sexing the Cherry. Jeanette goes into your blood like that.)
≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈