Charles Bukowski – Girl on the esculator

as I go toward the escalator
a young fellow and girl get on ahead of me.
her dress, her stockings are skin-tight.
she places one foot above the other
upon the steps and her behind
assumes its position.
the young man looks all about.
he appears worried.
He looks at me.
I look away.

no, you see, I am looking away,
I am not looking at your girl’s behind,
don’t worry, I respect everything,
the flowers that grow, the birds, the sky, the universe.

I sense that the young man feels better and I am glad for him.
I know his problems: the girl has a mother and a father and maybe a brother,
and undoubtedly a bunch of relatives and
she like to dance and flirt and she likes to go to movies and
sometimes she chews gun and talks at the same time and
she enjoys the dumbest TV shows and
she thinks she’s an actress and
she doesn’t always look good and
she has a terrible temper and
sometimes she goes crazy and
she can talk for hours on the telephone and she wants to go to Europe every summer
and she wants you to own a Mercedes and she’s in love with
Mel Gibson and her mother is a sneak
drunk and her father secretly hates blacks, browns and yellows
and she snores and is also cold in bed and
she has a guru, a guy who met Christ
in the desert in 1978, and she wants to be a sky-diver and she’s unemployed and
gets migraine headaches everytime she
eats sugar or cheese.

I watch him take her up the further escalator,
his arm protectively about her waist, thinking he’s
thinking he’s macho,
thinking that nobody in the world has
what he has.

and he’s right, terribly
terribly right, holding on to
that batch of
flagellate protazoa,
carbon dioxide,
phlegm and


Source: Charles Bukowski manuscript

Charles Bukowski – Girl on the esculator.

What does making it to the top mean?

Years ago, I cold-called a candidate about a new opportunity. It was a big step up from his current role, and he had all the right skills and qualifications.

“Sorry but I’m not interested,” he politely said.

I pressed him on it until he said something that really confused me. He told me that he “already made it to the top”.

I was familiar with his current company and looked at his resume again.

He wasn’t anywhere near the top. He would have needed a telescope to see the top. He wasn’t even a manager yet.

He explained to me that “making it to the top” for him meant he loved the exact work he did each day, he loved his company, he was treated fairly and with respect, he made enough money to be comfortable, he had excellent benefits, he had flexibility, and most importantly to him, he’s never missed a single Little League game, dance recital, parent-teacher conference, anniversary, birthday, or any family event.

He knew what taking the next step in his career meant. More time, travel, and sacrifice. “Not worth it,” he said.

Your definition of “making it to the top” doesn’t have to be society’s or anyone else’s definition.

Source: (dead link – Pankaj Suryawanshi’s answer to What are some great motivational short stories? – Quora

कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं

मैं यादों का किस्सा खोलूँ तो, कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं,

मैं गुजरे पल को सोचूँ तो, कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं।

अब जाने कौन सी नगरी में, आबाद हैं जाकर मुद्दत से,

मैं देर रात तक जागूँ तो, कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं।

कुछ बातें थीं फूलों जैसी, कुछ लहजे खुशबू जैसे थे,

मैं शहर-ए-चमन में टहलूँ तो, कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं।

सबकी जिंदगी बदल गयी, एक नए सिरे में ढल गयी,

किसी को नौकरी से फुरसत नहीं, किसी को दोस्तों की जरुरत नहीं,

कोई पढने में डूबा है किसी की दो दो महबूबा हैं,

सारे यार गुम हो गये हैं तू से आप और तुम हो गये हैं,

मैं गुजरे पल को सोचूँ तो, कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं।

कुछ दोस्त बहुत याद आते हैं.