Admirers tout Charles Bukowski as the world's greatest drunk poet. He had to stay drunk, because he hated everything, including himself. That's why he was such a powerful poet; his only love was words, though even that infatuation clung obscenely to a love-hate dichotomy.
Bukowski did it all, so he knew it all with a hate-breeding intimacy. If only he had known anything but his ill-conceived excesses. If only he had know anything outside of his alcohol-fogged cynicism. If only—
I will officially join Bukowski in his futility if my fingers continue spewing judgment onto my computer screen. Sitting in judgment is as easy as sitting in alcoholic stupor, and perhaps less useful. To give Bukowski the benefit of doubt, I must assume his miserable temperament was well-earned. Betrayal is an awful motivator--more like an exceptional demotivator, and the alcoholic poet earned more than his share.
My alcoholic father gave me a running start down that slippery path. What kept me from washing my life in grain alcohol? I fell in with a group of young followers of a Jewish teacher who claimed to be God. His revolutionary teachings compelled me to dig deeper into his way of living, and I found no controdiction there. Joshua, though he lived centuries ago, gave me a deep desire to love without self interest. He is still teaching me to pursue that humanly impossible quality, and will, until I get it right.