Bukowski’s Ghost, A Murder, A Lawyer, A 2-bit Whore

View from Castle Hills
View from Castle Hills

Bukowski’s Ghost

I’m renting a room that’s big enough for my bed, books, desk and an electronic music studio. The house sits on a hill with a view of the Pacific. There’s a swimming pool and a neurotic husky. My housemates are four men, whose lives are shaped by modest but weird ambitions: a specialist in running shoes, whose room is like a shoestore, a Brit expat slumlord who flies in from Asia from time to time to evict tenants, a younger man from El Cajon with a Charger tattoo on his arm and Norma our landlady, a Wagnerian soprano in her 60s, who obviously was hot in an earlier time.

I’m moving as soon as I finish writing this fucking novel. I want to live where I feel inspired. Panama, maybe, Thailand or Brazil, someplace warm where women are less demanding and I don’t have to deal with a lot of white people. I returned to this city from a hermitage in the Northwest (speaking of white people), but reluctantly. The constant presence of the military here seems strange. A third of the population are living on money from military budgets, and other kinds of government employees: cops, postal workers, hookers…

I’m doing a brain research project. My brain in particular, trying to understand how it is that the pianist that lives next door can’t recall his own name, but sight reads Beethoven sonatas with perfectly nuanced interpretation. Understanding this may reveal how the idiots in uniform running around the harbor manage to avoid blowing everything up with their nuclear toys, which they guard like upset marmosets, while their spouses are fucking civilians or sublimating by shopping, doing yoga and driving silver SUVs. But I digress (they have a right to shop and fuck whomever they please as it’s a free country, in part thanks to the efforts of their husbands.)

Music and writing is my way of sublimating sexual energy. I didn’t intend to abstain from sex, I’m an involuntary celibate;  20 to 50 years older than the typical stimulator of my limbic response and living on Social Security. Panama is the answer. In the meantime, I’m kayaking 50 miles a week, trying to stay in shape. How long can that go on? Besides this motivation to keep my blood pressure in a habitable range, I’m addicted to the feeling of freedom, as I pass Pt. Guijarros, beyond the dogs of war, parked in their aquatic stables.

People here call San Diego paradise because of its mild climate and (compared to LA) clean air. Native Americans had another name for the place; the vag. I can see why when I’m offshore in the kayak. The two hills that enclose the town lie on either side of a steep canyon and extend like the legs of a huge reclining woman opened at an angle of 137°, with the cove forming a vulva where the legs join.

Now that Orgasmic Meditation has put me in touch with the infinite feminine, I can’t avoid the absence of sexual intimacy in my life that compels me sometimes to push past my antipathy for the so often disappointing nature of human beings, to produce something useful for paid publication. But this isn’t why I’m writing about the murders in Del Mar, where I lived before I left to become a hermit in Mendocino. I didn’t know about these murders until a year after I returned to San Diego–quite recently. The murders happened while I was away. I knew both victims; one was a vet I’d brought my cat to and the other a radiologist and exotic car collector, who had trained his cat to jump through hoops. I gave my Alfa Spider to him in exchange for his 325is that my ex-girlfiend used to dog with. The  two murders happened several months apart; they were both bludgeoned at their homes and their corpses were left along a road within a mile of each other and yet it appears the murders weren’t connected in press or police reports, which seemed more strange because the radiologist was found on Squaw Valley Road and the vet’s body was found about a half mile away on Luna de Miel, although his home in Del Mar was a good 6 miles distant.

I happened upon the reports of their deaths accidentally, while researching the more recent demise of a lady lawyer that owed me money. It was more upsetting that she died without paying me since she was related to an “unfaithful” former lover. It was double jeopardy. Is fate entitled to both cuts? I came across the notices of the vet and the radiologist in a list of unsolved murders published in the Tribune at the time when my former legal counselor met her end coincident with an election  in which the paper was  pushing a stable of Republican candidates, names are irrelevant, called slime balls because nothing ever stuck to them despite they demonstrated together the morality of a pair of hungry rodents.

With the money gone, as if in the wind with the ashes of the dead woman, I began looking into these deaths, to see what connection they might have, aside from their connection with me.

The radiologist was unmarried, a sexually active bachelor. In my experience, his interest in human relationship was purely transactional. But he was interesting. His family were white collar New England Jews. He was small and athletic and training for the Olympics, a gymnast, and he left school and joined the circus. I knew this about him from our conversations, when trading cars, and also that his only family was a sister in New Hampshire and a housecat named, Tom, that he’d trained to jump through hoops of fire like a circus act. The odds are good my ex had fucked him, too.

The vet on the other hand had a reputation for misanthropy but was excellent with other species and respected for his expertise by wealthy denizens of Del Mar who brought their dogs, cats, birds and reptiles to him but loved by none. My own experience with him convinced me that an ounce of prevention was well worth more than a cure yet I commiserated with him for his misanthropic attitude, given his clientele, the residents of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe, expensive communities that had initially coalesced around people with liberal environmental values escaping from Los Angeles but gradually decayed into a stagnant pond of bourgeoisie and Republicans jealous of each others homes and fearful about dropping a rung on the ladder of net worth as the waves of Chinese and Saudi immigrants bought their way into the United States.

I  learned about the dead woman and began by contacting her daughter. She literally ran, when she saw me coming toward her. I felt there was some undelivered communication.

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