I had given her a story I had written in which I, as the main character, had gone down to the beach at night on the sand and began meditating on the meaning in Christ, on the meaning in death, on the meaning and fullness and rhythm in all things. Then in the middle of my meditations, along walks a bleary-eyed tramp kicking sand in my face. I talk to him, buy him a bottle and we drink. We get sick. Afterward we go to a house of ill-fame. After the dinner, she opened her purse and brought forth the story of the beach. She opened it up about halfway down, to the entrance of the bleary-eyed tramp and the exit of meaning in Christ. “Up to here,” she said, “up to here, this was very good, in fact, beautiful.” Then she glared up at me with that glare that only the artistically intelligent who have somehow fallen into money and position can have. “But pardon me, pardon me very much,” she tapped at the bottom half of my story, “just what the hell is this stuff doing in here?”
— Bukowski, Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip