Bukowski hated the public, but he loved people. That's why I like him. He hated the spectator aspect of human beings, that strange fascination that we have in watching a tortured soul destroy themselves. He wrote about it often. It's littered throughout his work, the disdain for the gawking public. But people just cheered when they read it. They stared at him more. They wanted more, hoping that it would kill him. I don't know if it did or not, but he managed to remain loyal to the ones that mattered. The ones that stuck around. You can see in the way he wrote about them.
He still cared in the end, so in my eyes, he won.
It's a bit like boxing, in that regard. The spectacle attraction of watching two tortured souls dismember one another. That is essentially what boxing is. But hearing just a handful of the backstories will make you think differently about the whole thing. You might even begin to understand the violence.
Boxing draws in the twisted souls that are trying to untangle themselves. Not many people will understand the sport without having lived through it, but that is what a boxer is trying to do. They are trying to save themselves, out there in that ring, to salvage a piece of their humanity by the end of the fight. All the while the public is watching. Cheering, jeering, hoping for satisfaction, enamored by their entertainment.