1,047 Best Charles Bukowski Quotes That Are Thought-provoking

Charles Bukowski

As Charles Bukowski would say, ‘If you are going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.' A German-American born on 16, August 1920, Charles was a prolific poet, novelist, and short story writer.

He had a way with words. His writing was mostly influenced by the social, cultural, and economic structure of Los Angeles. He centered his work on the lives of poor Americans, alcohol, work, women, and writing itself.

A great supporter of small publications, Charles submitted a lot of his work to small literary magazines and presses from the 1940s to the 1990s. He wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, and six novels, amounting to more than 60 books in his career.

Charles wrote based on his experiences, emotions, and imagination. His way of writing was direct, with violent language and sexual imagery. While some critics found his tone offensive, others praised it, seeing it as satirical.

Some of his most famous works are Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, Post Office, Women, and Ham on Rye. He wrote the screenplay for the film Barfly. There have also been films based on his work like Crazy Love, Tales of Ordinary Madness, and Factotum.

He didn't get as much attention in the USA from academic critics as he did in Europe, especially the UK, and in Germany, his birthplace. However, after he died in 1994, he became the subject of various critical articles and books on his life and works.

Here is a collection of quotes from Charles Bukowski that are not only enlightening but also inspiring. Read on.

Charles Bukowski Quotes

If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way.

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.

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and when love came to us twice and lied to us twice we decided to never love again that was fair fair to us and fair to love itself. we ask for no mercy or no miracles; we are strong enough to live and to die and to kill flies, attend the boxing matches, go to the racetrack, live on luck and skill, get alone, get alone often, and if you can't sleep alone be careful of the words you speak in your sleep; and ask for no mercy no miracles; and don't forget: time is meant to be wasted, love fails and death is useless.

and when love came to us twice
and lied to us twice
we decided to never love again
that was fair
fair to us
and fair to love itself.

we ask

she's half-insane, looking for an out; she's hard, she's scared, she's been fooled, taken, abused, used, over-used . . . but, under all that, to me she's the flower, I see her as she was before she was ruined by the lies: theirs and hers.

she’s half-insane, looking for an out; she’s hard, she’s scared, she’s been fooled, taken, abused, used, over-used . . .
but, under all that, to me she’s the flower, I see her as she was before she was ruined by the lies: theirs and hers.

If you persisted long enough, the good luck usually came. Most people couldn't wait on the luck, though, so they quit.

If you persisted long enough, the good luck usually came. Most people couldn’t wait on the luck, though, so they quit.

There's nothing to stop a man from writing unless that man stops himself. If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam. There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it.

There’s nothing to stop a man from writing unless that man stops himself. If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam. There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it.

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.

I knew that I was dying. Something in me said, Go ahead, die, sleep, become as them, accept. Then something else in me said, no, save the tiniest bit. It needn't be much, just a spark. A spark can set a whole forest on fire. Just a spark. Save it.

I knew that I was dying.
Something in me said,
Go ahead, die, sleep, become as them, accept.
Then something else in me said, no,
save the tiniest bit.
It needn’t be much, just a spark.
A spark can set a whole forest on fire.
Just a spark.
Save it.

it’s moments like this - you can feel it happening - that you grow transformed partly into something else strange and unimaginable— so when death comes it can only take part of you.

it’s moments like
this – you can feel it
happening – that you grow
transformed
partly into something
else strange and
unimaginable—
so when death comes
it can only take
part of
you.

mainly thinking, well, I'm still alive and have the ability to expel wastes from my body and poems. and as long as that's happening I have the ability to handle betrayal loneliness hangnail clap and the economic reports in the financial section.

mainly thinking, well,
I’m still alive
and have the ability to expel wastes from my body
and poems.
and as long as that’s happening
I have the ability to handle
betrayal
loneliness
hangnail
clap
and the economic reports in the
financial section.

I suppose like others I have come through fire and sword, love gone wrong, head-on crashes, drunk at sea, and I have listened to the simple sound of water running in tubs and wished to drown.

I suppose like others
I have come through fire and sword,
love gone wrong,
head-on crashes, drunk at sea,
and I have listened to the simple sound of water running
in tubs
and wished to drown.

Well, I don't know about you but I'm going to try everything! War, women, travel, marriage, children, the works. [...]. I want to know about things, what makes them work!

Well, I don’t know about you but I’m going to try everything! War, women, travel, marriage, children, the works. […]. I want to know about things, what makes them work!

After dinner or lunch or whatever it was -- with my crazy 12-hour night I was no longer sure what was what -- I said, "Look, baby, I'm sorry, but don't you realize that this job is driving me crazy? Look, let's give it up. Let's just lay around and make love and take walks and talk a little. Let's go to the zoo. Let's look at animals. Let's drive down and look at the ocean. It's only 45 minutes. Let's play games in the arcades. Let's go to the races, the Art Museum, the boxing matches. Let's have friends. Let's laugh. This kind of life like everybody else's kind of life: it's killing us."

After dinner or lunch or whatever it was — with my crazy 12-hour night I was no longer sure what was what — I said, “Look, baby, I’m sorry, but don’t you realize that this job is driving me crazy? Look, let’s give it up. Let’s just lay around and make love and take walks and talk a little. Let’s go to the zoo. Let’s look at animals. Let’s drive down and look at the ocean. It’s only 45 minutes. Let’s play games in the arcades. Let’s go to the races, the Art Museum, the boxing matches. Let’s have friends. Let’s laugh. This kind of life like everybody else’s kind of life: it’s killing us.”

"God," prayed my grandmother, "purge the devil from this poor boy's body! Just look at all those sores! They make me sick, God! Look at them! It's the devil, God, dwelling in this boy's body. Purge the devil from his body, Lord!" "God," said my grandmother, "why do you allow the devil to dwell inside this body's body? Don't you see how the devil is enjoying this? Look at these sores, 0 Lord, I am about to vomit just looking at them! They are red and big and full!"

“God,” prayed my grandmother, “purge the devil from this poor boy’s body! Just look at all those sores! They make me sick, God! Look at

Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you’ve suddenly become an idiot. There’s no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help.

Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s

Those faces you see every day on the streets were not created entirely without hope: be kind to them: like you they have not escaped.

Those faces you see every day on the streets were not created entirely without hope: be kind to them: like you they have not escaped.

The Florida State Department of Employment was a pleasant place. It wasn’t as crowded as the Los Angeles office which was always full. It was my turn for a little good luck, not much, but a little. It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?

The Florida State Department of Employment was a pleasant place. It wasn’t as crowded as the Los Angeles office which was always full. It was my turn for a little good luck, not much, but a little. It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?

Sometimes things are just what they seem to be and that's all there is to it. The best interpreter of the dream is the dreamer.

Sometimes things are just what they seem to be and that’s all there is to it. The best interpreter of the dream is the dreamer.

we are the sickest of the breed--as fine museums--great art-- generations of knowledge--are all forgotten as we find profundity in being an asshole.

we are the sickest of the breed–as fine museums–great art–
generations of knowledge–are all forgotten
as we find profundity in being an
asshole.

Complaint is often the result of an insufficient ability to live within the obvious restrictions of this god damned cage.

Complaint is often the result of an insufficient ability to live within the obvious restrictions of this god damned cage.

when you're young a pair of female high-heeled shoes just sitting alone in the closet can fire your bones; when you're old it's just a pair of shoes without anybody in them and just as well.

when you’re young
a pair of
female
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
alone
in the closet
can fire your
bones;
when you’re old
it’s just
a pair of shoes
without
anybody
in them
and
just as
well.

I believe that to be the world's greatest living writer there must be something terribly wrong with you. I don't even want to be the world's greatest dead writer. just being dead would be fair enough.

I believe that to be the world’s greatest living
writer
there must be something
terribly wrong with you.
I don’t even want to be the world’s greatest
dead writer.
just being dead would be fair
enough.

the best part was pulling down the shades stuffing the doorbell with rags putting the phone in the refrigerator and going to bed for 3 or 4 days. and the next best part was nobody ever missed me.

the best part was
pulling down the
shades
stuffing the doorbell
with rags
putting the phone
in the
refrigerator
and going to bed
for 3 or 4
days.
and the next best
part
was
nobody ever
missed
me.

as the shadows assume shapes I fight the slow retreat now my once-promise dwindling dwindling now lighting new cigarettes pouring more drinks it has been a beautiful fight still is.

as the shadows assume
shapes
I fight the slow
retreat

now
my once-promise
dwindling
dwindling

now
lighting new cigarettes
pouring more
drinks

it has been a beautiful
fight

still
is.

Most of the world was mad. And the part that wasn’t mad was angry. And the part that wasn’t mad or angry was just stupid.

Most of the world was mad. And the part that wasn’t mad was angry. And the part that wasn’t mad or angry was just stupid.

Love is not a candle burning down. Life is. And love and life are not the same or else Love, having choice, nobody would ever die.

Love is not a candle burning down. Life is. And love and life are not the same or else Love, having choice, nobody would ever die.

You've got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her, and if you don't want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it's always a process of letting go, one way or the other.

You’ve got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her, and if you don’t want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it’s always a process of letting go, one way or the other.

(the whole world is at the throat of the world, everybody feels angry, short-changed, cheated, everybody is despondent, disillusioned.) I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness.

(the whole world is at the
throat of the world,
everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated,
everybody is despondent,
disillusioned.)

I welcomed shots of
peace, tattered shards of
happiness.

then sit down and write or stand up and write but write no matter what the other people are doing, no matter what they will do to you.

then sit down and write
or stand up and
write
but write
no matter what
the other people are
doing,
no matter what
they will do to
you.

We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting.

We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting.

Who ever heard of an infected back, anyhow? You either lived or died. The back was something the assholes had never figured out how to amputate.

Who ever heard of an infected back, anyhow? You either lived or died. The back was something the assholes had never figured out how to amputate.

They experimented on the poor and if that worked they used the treatment on the rich. And if it didn't work, there would still be more poor people left over to experiment upon.

They experimented on the poor and if that worked they used the treatment on the rich. And if it didn’t work, there would still be more poor people left over to experiment upon.

Not only did the grown-ups get mean, the kids got mean, and even the animals got mean. It was like they took their cue from the people.

Not only did the grown-ups get mean, the kids got mean, and even the animals got mean. It was like they took their cue from the people.

You can forgive a fool because he only runs in one direction and doesn’t deceive anybody. It’s the deceivers who make you feel bad.

You can forgive a fool because he only runs in one direction and doesn’t deceive anybody. It’s the deceivers who make you feel bad.

The moonlight came in with the sounds of the city: juke boxes, automobiles, curses, dogs barking, radios … We were all in it together.

The moonlight came in with the sounds of the city: juke boxes, automobiles, curses, dogs barking, radios … We were all in it together.

I carry death in my left pocket. Sometimes I take it out and talk to it: "Hello, baby, how you doing? When you coming for me? I'll be ready."

I carry death in my left pocket. Sometimes I take it out and talk to it: “Hello, baby, how you doing? When you coming for me? I’ll be ready.”

I don't think I was insane but many of the insane think that but I think now if anything saved me it was the avoidance of the crowd.

I don’t think I was insane but many of the insane think that but I think now if anything saved me it was the avoidance of the crowd.

he still couldn't write or what he wrote didn't work because that tremendous brave optimism that buoyed everybody up so well during the depression just turned to sugar water during good times.

he still couldn’t write or
what he wrote didn’t
work
because that tremendous
brave optimism
that buoyed everybody up
so well
during the depression
just turned to
sugar water
during
good times.

there is hardly anything as beautiful as a woman in a long dress not even the sunrise not even the geese flying south in the long V formation in the bright freshness of early morning.

there is hardly anything as beautiful as
a woman in a long dress
not even the sunrise
not even the geese flying south
in the long V formation
in the bright freshness
of early morning.

you chippy hunk of shit, don't bad mouth me! I'm the toughest guy in town, you don't know who the hell you're in this room with!

you chippy hunk of shit,
don’t bad mouth me! I’m
the toughest guy in town, you don’t know
who the hell you’re in this room
with!

As the junkies junk as the alkies drink as the whores whore as the killers kill the albatross blinks its eyes the weather stays mostly the same.

As the junkies junk as the alkies drink as the whores whore as the killers kill the albatross blinks its eyes the weather stays mostly the same.

It got so bad that Al thought maybe it was him so he went to a shrink and asked and the shrink said, "you're one of the sanest men I've ever met." poor Al. that made him feel worse than ever.

It got so bad that Al thought
maybe it was
him
so he went to a shrink
and asked
and the shrink said,
“you’re one of the sanest men
I’ve ever met.”
poor Al.
that made him feel
worse
than ever.

I realized that her life her feelings for things had been ruined along the way and that I was no more than a temporary companion.

I realized that her life
her feelings for things
had been ruined
along the way
and that I was no more than a
temporary
companion.

I walk over and fill her drink: “you got class, doll, you’re not like the others…” She likes that and I like it too because to make a thing true all you’ve got to do is believe.

I walk over and fill her drink: “you got class, doll, you’re not like the others…” She likes that and I like it too because to make a thing true all you’ve got to do is believe.

Miracle I have just listened to this symphony which Mozart dashed off in one day and it had enough wild and crazy joy to last forever, whatever forever is Mozart came as close as possible to that.

Miracle I have just listened to this symphony which Mozart dashed off in one day and it had enough wild and crazy joy to last forever, whatever forever is Mozart came as close as possible to that.

one of Lorca’s best lines is, “agony, always agony…” think of this when you kill a cockroach or pick up a razor to shave or awaken in the morning to face the sun.

one of Lorca’s best lines is, “agony, always agony…” think of this when you kill a cockroach or pick up a razor to shave or awaken in the morning to face the sun.

I didn't know who to believe but one thing I do know: when a man is living many claim relationships that are hardly so and after he dies, well, then it's everybody's party.

I didn’t know who to
believe
but
one thing I do
know: when a man is
living
many claim relationships
that are hardly
so
and after he dies, well,
then it’s everybody’s
party.

And I sit there alone with you and Dostoevsky as the real and the artificial heart continues to falter, famished… I love you but don’t know what to do.

And I sit there alone with you and Dostoevsky as the real and the artificial heart continues to falter, famished… I love you but don’t know what to do.

Yes, Wagner and the storm intermix with the wine as nights like this run up my wrists and up into my head and back down into the gut.

Yes, Wagner and the storm intermix with the wine as nights like this run up my wrists and up into my head and back down into the gut.

I see a bright portion under the overhead light that shades into darkness and then into darker darkness and I can't see beyond that.

I see a bright
portion
under the overhead light

that shades into
darkness
and then into darker
darkness
and I can’t see beyond that.

she slammed the door and was gone. I looked at the closed door and at the doorknob and strangely I didn't feel alone.

she slammed the door and
was gone.

I looked at the closed door
and at the doorknob
and strangely
I didn’t feel
alone.

I paid, got up, walked to the door, opened it. I heard the man say, "that guy's nuts." out on the street I walked north feeling curiously honored.

I paid, got up, walked
to the door, opened
it.

I heard the man
say, “that guy’s
nuts.”

out on the street I
walked north
feeling
curiously
honored.

it doesn't matter if Prince Charles falls off his horse or that the hummingbird is so seldom seen or that we are too senseless to go insane. coffee. give us more of that NOTHING coffee.

it doesn’t matter if Prince Charles falls off his horse
or that the hummingbird is so seldom
seen
or that we are too senseless to go
insane.

coffee. give us more of that NOTHING
coffee.

“I’m going to call the police!” Cindy said. “Hold it,” I said, “I can explain everything!” “It better be good,” said Cindy. “It better,” said Celine. I couldn’t think of anything. I just stood there.

“I’m going to call the police!” Cindy said.
“Hold it,” I said, “I can explain everything!”
“It better be good,” said Cindy.
“It better,” said Celine.
I couldn’t think of anything. I just stood there.

Sometimes I thought about my liver but my liver never spoke up, it never said, “Stop it, you’re killing me and I’m going to kill you!” If we had talking livers we wouldn’t need A.A.

Sometimes I thought about my liver but my liver never spoke up, it never said, “Stop it, you’re killing me and I’m going to kill you!” If we had talking livers we wouldn’t need A.A.

Sometimes a phone made me think of an elephant turd. You know, all the shit you hear. A phone is a phone but what comes through it is another matter.

Sometimes a phone made me think of an elephant turd. You know, all the shit you hear. A phone is a phone but what comes through it is another matter.

'In the old days,' he said, 'writers lives were more interesting than their writing. Now-a-days neither their lives nor the writing is interesting.'

‘In the old days,’ he said, ‘writers lives were more interesting than their writing. Now-a-days neither their lives nor the writing is interesting.’

“What kind of d*ck are you?” Celine asked. “The best in L.A.” “Yes? What's L.A. stand for?” “Lost as*holes.”

“What kind of d*ck are you?” Celine asked.
“The best in L.A.”
“Yes? What’s L.A. stand for?”
“Lost as*holes.”

I decided to stay in bed until noon. Maybe by then half the world would be dead and it would only be half as hard to take.

I decided to stay in bed until noon. Maybe by then half the world would be dead and it would only be half as hard to take.

the rent is a little higher here but so far I've been able to pay it and that's a miracle too like still maybe being sane while thinking of guns and sidewalks and old ladies in libraries.

the rent is a little higher here
but so far I’ve been able to
pay it
and that’s a miracle too
like still maybe being sane
while thinking of guns and sidewalks
and old ladies in libraries.

Truth changes as men change, and when truth becomes stable men will become dead, and the insect and the fire and the flood will become truth.

Truth changes as men change, and when truth becomes stable men will become dead, and the insect and the fire and the flood will become truth.

the jellyfish has a purpose, the hyena, the tick, the rat, the roach each filled with their swollen light. my light is out. who did this to me?

the jellyfish has a purpose,
the hyena,
the tick,
the rat,
the roach
each filled with their
swollen
light.

my light is
out.
who did this to
me?

I remember all the faces and the football heroes, and everything has meaning, and an editor writes me, you are good but you are too emotional.

I remember all the faces
and the football heroes, and
everything has meaning,
and an editor
writes me, you are good
but
you are too emotional.

I entered the world once more, drove down the hill past the houses full and empty of people, I saw the mailman, honked, he waved back at me.

I entered the world
once
more,
drove down the
hill
past the houses
full and empty
of
people,
I saw the mailman,
honked,
he waved
back
at me.

your best men are drunks and your worst men are locking them up, your best men are killers and your worst men are selling them bullets.

your best men are
drunks and your worst men are
locking them
up,
your best men are killers and
your worst men are
selling them
bullets.

I can see where creation often stops while the body still lives and often does not care to. the death of life before life dies.

I can see where
creation often
stops while the
body still lives
and often
does not care
to.

the death of life
before life
dies.

I could never accept life as it was, I could never gobble down all its poisons but there were parts, tenuous magic parts open for the asking.

I could never accept
life as it was,
I could never gobble
down all its
poisons
but there were parts,
tenuous magic parts
open for the
asking.

"Don't you want to be happy, Henry?" asked my mother. "You never smile. Smile and be happy." "Stop feeling sorry for yourself," said my father. "Be a man!" "Smile, Henry!"

“Don’t you want to be happy, Henry?” asked my mother. “You never smile. Smile and be happy.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” said my father. “Be a man!”
“Smile, Henry!”

He had been an army officer in Germany and had come to America when he heard that the streets were paved with gold. They weren't, so he became the head of a construction firm.

He had been an army officer in Germany and had come to America when he heard that the streets were paved with gold. They weren’t, so he became the head of a construction firm.

The lines on the page were pulled tight, like a man screaming, but not “Joe, where are you?” More like Joe, where is anything?

The lines on the page were pulled tight, like a man screaming, but not “Joe, where are you?” More like Joe, where is anything?

He was bursting with enthusiasms. He probably loved many things: the hawk in flight, the god-damned ocean, full moon, Balzac, bridges, stage plays, the Pulitzer Prize, the piano, the god-damned Bible.

He was bursting with enthusiasms. He probably loved many things: the hawk in flight, the god-damned ocean, full moon, Balzac, bridges, stage plays, the Pulitzer Prize, the piano, the god-damned Bible.

Curtis was just a chip off old Franky only she had much better legs. Poor Franky didn’t have any legs but he had a wonderful brain.

Curtis was just a chip off old Franky only she had much better legs. Poor Franky didn’t have any legs but he had a wonderful brain.

He just stares. He's so quiet. That's the way we want him. Still water runs deep. Not with this one. The only thing that runs deep with him are the holes in his ears.

He just stares. He’s so quiet. That’s the way we want him. Still water runs deep. Not with this one. The only thing that runs deep with him are the holes in his ears.

I could make it. I could win drinking contests, I could gamble. Maybe I could pull a few holdups. I didn’t ask much, just to be left alone.

I could make it. I could win drinking contests, I could gamble. Maybe I could pull a few holdups. I didn’t ask much, just to be left alone.

“I think I’m going to die,” the old man said. “I don’t want to die. I’m afraid to die …” “You’ve lived long enough, you old fart!” muttered my father.

“I think I’m going to die,” the old man said. “I don’t want to die. I’m afraid to die …”
“You’ve lived long enough, you old fart!” muttered my father.

I had also read somewhere that if a man didn't truly believe or understand what he was espousing, somehow he could do a more convincing job, which gave me a considerable advantage over the teachers.

I had also read somewhere that if a man didn’t truly believe or understand what he was espousing, somehow he could do a more convincing job, which gave me a considerable advantage over the teachers.

I could stay with Mears-Starbuck for forty-seven years, I thought. I could live with a crazy girlfriend, get my left ear sliced off and maybe inherit Ferris' job when he retired.

I could stay with Mears-Starbuck for forty-seven years, I thought. I could live with a crazy girlfriend, get my left ear sliced off and maybe inherit Ferris’ job when he retired.

"Henry Chinaski", the principal said over the microphone. And I walked forward. There was no applause. The one kindly soul in the audience gave two or three clasps.

“Henry Chinaski”, the principal said over the microphone. And I walked forward. There was no applause. The one kindly soul in the audience gave two or three clasps.

“What’s the easiest fucking thing to take?” I asked him. “Journalism. Those journalism majors don’t do anything.” “O.K., I’ll be a journalist.”

“What’s the easiest fucking thing to take?” I asked him.
“Journalism. Those journalism majors don’t do anything.”
“O.K., I’ll be a journalist.”