Charles Bukowski: The Most Beautiful Woman in Town

“Cass was the youngest and the most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful woman in town.1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and moved and whirled about as did her body. [..] Some said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull would never understand Cass. [..] Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. [..] She had a temper that came close to insanity; she had a temper that some called insanity. [..]

It was then Cass took off her high-neck dress and I saw it – the ugly jagged scar across her throat. It was large and thick.

“God damn you, woman,” I said from the bed, “god damn you, what have you done?”

“I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don’t you like me anymore? Am I still beautiful?” [..]

“Yes,” I said, “Cass, bitch, I love you.. stop destroying yourself; you’re the most alive woman I’ve ever met.” [..]

I sat and waited for Cass, Hours went by. After I was fairly drunk the bartender said to me, “I’m sorry about your girlfriend.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“I’m sorry. Didn’t you know?”


“Suicide. She was buried yesterday. She cut her throat.”

I drank until closing time. Cass the most beautiful girl in town was dead at 20.”

Window display: House of Fraser