Just Like a Slug
"This is very important—to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you're gonna lose everything. Whether you're an actor, anything, a housewife . . . there has to be great pauses between highs, where you do nothing at all. You just lay on a bed and stare at the ceiling. This is very, very important . . . just do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That's why they're all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful. In the old days, before I was married, or knew a lot of women, I would just pull down all the shades and go to bed for three or four days. I'd get up to shit. I'd eat a can of beans, go back to bed, just stay there for three or four days. Then I'd put on my clothes and I'd walk outside, and the sunlight was brilliant, and the sounds were great. I felt powerful, like a recharged battery. But you know the first bring-down? The first human face I saw on the sidewalk, I lost half my charge right there. This monstrous, blank, dumb, unfeeling face, charged up with capitalism—the 'grind.' And you went, 'Oooh! That took half away.' But it was still worth it, I had half left. So, yeah, leisure. And I don't mean having profound thoughts. I mean having no thoughts at all. Without thoughts of progress, without any self-thoughts of trying to further yourself. Just . . . like a slug. It's beautiful."
–Charles Bukowski, Interview , Vol. XVII, No. 19, Sept. 1987