Some scraggly looking man came in with a few friends just before closing and she suggested I flirt with him. I looked at the man again. He was moderately good looking, but wearing a ridiculous hunting cap—you know, the kind with ear flaps that models were wearing in ads for about five minutes but otherwise have been off the scene since your ancestors really did shoot their dinner. Remembering her gullibility and forgetting her lack of a reference point, I decided it would be funny to pretend that I couldn’t flirt with the guy because he was Paul Rudd. “Who?” Well, he’s kind of a movie star. “So?” And he’s married. “I don’t buy it. Look at that hat.” Okay, I’ll prove it.
I was watching Bukowski: Born Into This the other night and in some special feature the filmmaker commented that he thought Hank wouldn’t have wanted him to make the film he did because it got too close—it showed the duker as vulnerable and often afraid. I thought, ‘Were you reading the same poetry I was?’ To my mind, vulnerability was the force behind every hard line that man ever wrote. If you were looking, you got close a long time ago.