Saturday, May 03, 2008

True Serendipity Brightens My Mood.

I had a span of a few very rough days in the last week, and my head's been filled with a lot of unnecessary stress. It's probably not appropriate to post the details on the blog, but it's an instructive story about 'friendship' and dual relationships. Anyway, one of the ways I get through stuff like this is to tell myself that things come around and there's likely to be good moments coming soon. I don't know if I'd say I necessary believe in something as nebulous as 'karma', but it's certainly hard to deny the existence of luck. From a statistical perspective, I suppose you could just consider the law of averages. If you analyze the quality of your days, some of them are by necessity better than others.

So I felt like I had a good day (or at least part of one) coming. Lo and behold, I've had a great start today. When I was scanning the internet to find things to do this weekend, I expanded my search to a few areas of Craigslist that I don't normally frequent. I looked at the upcoming garage and estate sales in the area, and found a listing that seemed intriguing. The description seemed to suggest a more discriminating taste, and I marked it down as a must-see. M. woke me up early today and we decided to hit this address first. I made my way through the streets of the indicated neighborhood, and found myself ascending into a small subsection where I had never been before.

The house was modest, and I had moderate hopes that I'd find something I could use. There were a lot of family members hanging about, and they were very welcoming. I saw lots of jazz CDs and picture frames. There were plenty of pairs of shoes and leather jackets. But there wasn't anything I had to have. I wandered into the basement to have a look, and browsed through some book shelves. There were lots of volumes on theater and some on photography. I was impressed at the sophistication of the collection, and had an intuition of promise. My feeling was fulfilled dramatically when I found an early Charles Bukowski title that I didn't recognize. I knew I'd buy it immediately.

It was called It Catches My Heart in its Hands. I have a number of Bukowski's works in their Black Sparrow editions, but I had never seen this particular book around. I went upstairs to pay for it, and the lady who took my money couldn't figure out whether to consider it a paperback ($1) or an oversize ($2). She opened up the front cover and said, "How nice... it's even signed." My heart came up to my throat for a second as I feared that she would not want to sell it. She suggested $3, and I told her to take the entire five bucks that I held out to her. She was delighted- "How sweet of you!". I smiled and walked out of the house and started to shake a bit. It wasn't until I got to my car that I took a real close look at what I had.

My new treasure was handcrafted, signed, and part of an edition of 777. The signature (in silver ink) reads "Charles Bukowski 8-2-63". It was produced by Jon and "Gypsy Lou" Webb (Loujon Press), who published an avant-garde literary magazine out of New Orleans called The Outsider. Apparently Bukowski made their acquaintance while he lived briefly in Tucson, AZ. After Jon Webb made a particularly successful trip to Las Vegas, he used his winnings to produce this exquisite collection of poetry. It really is remarkable, and I had a feeling that it was quite valuable. When I got home I Googled it and had that feeling confirmed beyond my expectations. Now all of a sudden I'm in a good mood and feeing very fortunate.

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Blogger Brad said...

That's an incredible find. Congratulations!

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You economic exploiter!!!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

First, congratulations! I know you've been a fan for many, many years!

to "anonymous"...I find it interesting that the most insulting, vitriolic and ignorant comments come from those unwilling to take credit for their "convictions". C'mon, dude, if you have something to say "man up" and take credit for it.

If, however, your comments are supposed to be "sarcastic" you're missing the mark. Written comments don't translate the same way vocal comments translate.

7:39 PM  

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