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Sunday, 13 April 2014

I see you


Old Diner (Barclay Hotel, Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 2 April 2014

Frank walked down the steps. He didn't like elevators. He didn't like many things. He disliked steps less than he disliked elevators. The desk clerk called to him: "Mr. Evans! Would you step over here, please?" The desk clerk's face looked like cornmeal mush. It was all Frank could do to keep from hitting him. The desk clerk looked about the lobby, then leaned very close. "Mr. Evans, we've been watching you." The desk clerk again looked about the lobby, saw that there wasn't anybody near, then leaned forward again. "Mr. Evans, we've been watching you and we believe that you're losing your mind."
Charles Bukowski: from An Evil Town, in Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness, 1972

Checking In (Barclay Hotel, Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 2 April 2014

I see you (Barclay Hotel, Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 2 April 2014

Free (Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 2 April 2014


Jonathan Chant said...

Weird coincidence: I found and bought Tales of Ordinary Madness at a flea market this Friday. The stall belonged to a very absent minded old lady. Got a feeling she had no idea what she was selling.

TC said...

Aha. Another clue. Absent minded she may have seemed... but, like everything and everyone else in this city of ten million disguises, the cunningly concealed CCTV camera in her stall, mounted above the pigeonholes just below the striking artistic reproduction ("Poppies", by one A. Hitler), never sleeps.

There are no coincidences.

Mose23 said...

I don't think there's anyone who's written as well about the experience of work.

Bloody funny too.

The photos are great.

Nin Andrews said...

Oh, I love this. And the desk clerk with the face like cornmeal mush --I know that man.

TC said...

In the City of Illusions, what could be more fitting than an edge-of-Skid Row hotel, used largely by transients, with an "authentic period" diner that's not actually a diner but a movie set?

But what about overall customer satisfaction, you ask?

Fabiola D. of Las Vegas shares on Yelp:

"I was scared, there was two homeless guys to greet us once we got to the entrance, front desk was nice but the bldg itself looked old & dirty & it seemed it attracted many not to so safe people I didn't have the guts to stay in here I felt as the minute I left the room someone would come in and steal." (28 February 2014)

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

As you say, there are no coincidences but in remembrance of things past, may I offer up this little memento?

TC said...

I think there are probably close resemblances, Vassilis. Skid Row hotels don't differ much from depressing burg to depressing burg, though naturally the cost of a night off the always mean, often cold and wet streets for a homeless person is always going up everywhere. The downtown fleabag joints on Shattuck here were up to eighty bucks a night a little while back, the last time I was able to hobble past (and this, along with the fact that the "shelters" are known to be places where your stuff gets routinely swiped by the "attendants", while you nestle up with the fleas, goes a long way toward explaining why so very many people do attempt to sleep rough, on the streets... which is "permitted" between 11 pm and 7 am.).

However, and without a doubt, a Skid Row hotel with a "vintage" diner designed to serve as a set in period films about New York -- nowhere but in La-La Land.

TC said...

And talking of La-La Land...

Lust for Life

Hazen said...

I love that Virgin of Graffiti. Let us spray. Few writers do actuality as well as Bukowski. His writing is pitch perfect.