DISCLAIMER: WARNING – What you are about to read is fiction. It is a work of art, and therefore can encompass a persona, particularly not of me. These do not necessarily reflect the views of the author, and should be taken humorously, not seriously. Enjoy.
(P.S. My friends have told me to never apologize for my words, although I know they seem unruly and trite. Again, they do not reflect me, only a character or persona I am reflecting in my head. Thus, why my post is titled Bukowski. Also, I have been afraid to post this, due to the fact that most people will probably see me as a bitter drunk unhappy with life, which isn’t true. I am a happy drunk, and if you feel like I am disrespecting you and want to send me hate mail (which I receive), then do so. I’m not mad. All writing is good writing. Now, you can enjoy.)
Most of the nights blocked together. I’d drink a few whiskey shots, rallying the bartender to keep my tab open for one more drink, then I’d walk away. I walked down the street past the bars, alongside the fellow youths gambling about their prerogatives. I’d see a few friends and blabber on about after hours, wondering when someone would give me a smoke or offer a beer. They never did. I’d meet up with Audrey, or Fiona, and we’d fuck all night. It was always the same. In the mornings I’d thank them and offer to make breakfast.
One evening I sat alone in my room, done arguing with my roommate about fucking his girl. They’d been broken up for two weeks, I’d say, so all was fair. I never did sleep with her, didn’t find her too attractive actually, I just loved giving the old man some grief for the double standard he’d been living. So this one evening, drinking alone, writing, I received a text message from one of them broads. Let’s meet up, it said. It always said that, something about how my day was or how my studies were going, how the new job went, it was always the same. I’d say things were good but I was really tired. I wasn’t. I’d sit in my room and write and hope for nothing more than the sweetness of sleeping for a thousand years.
Audrey called me today and I helped her move. She insisted that I handle everything carefully, even the dumb luck cat who pissed and clawed my hands. She’d smoke a bowl with me and clamber on about her family, about when I was going to meet them, if I wanted to meet them, and so on. I’d nod my head and say “In due time”. But what did I know? She’d hug me then and press herself against my chest, tight up against my pants and unmentionables.
One day she wanted me to meet her best friend. His name was Toby. He walked up, and at first, I thought he was a unich. His pants were unusually tight and I didn’t see a bulge. He talked in high whispers, like a cat gasping for air, and it took all of me not to mention his undeniable tan and extremely tight clothes.
“How are you bitches doing?” he asked.
“Fine, how are you?”
“Doing just dandy, what’s the plan tonight bitches?”
I didn’t know who he was talking to so I didn’t say anything. Audrey answered that we might go get a few drinks at the bar, and he forced his way in.
“Well, I wanna go bitches.”
So we headed to the bar where me and Toby took on an ensemble of drinking. At first, I thought the little guy could keep up, but after about five shots of whiskey he soon, and flamboyantly, started to dance.
“I just want to dance” he screamed. The whole bar looked at me like I had something to do with him, and I just shook my head and headed out for a smoke. Audrey clung close behind.
After a few hours of this we decided to head home. Audrey latched onto my arms and persuaded me to stay over, although she had things to do in the morning. Another night on the ol’ Audrey train, her tight skirt and pale skin seemed to gleam in the moonlight, and my pants seemed to come off as fast as Toby did with his drinking.
On a particular morning I woke to a giant mess. I heard screaming downstairs, so I humbly zipped up my jeans and walked down, only to see unich and Audrey pulling at each other’s hair.
“Fuck you, bitch!”
“Fuck YOU, bitch!”
I didn’t know who was screaming what, so I broke them up. Toby stared at me indignantly.
“And you’re dating this bum?”
I looked around for the bum but didn’t see him. My shirt was off and I was sweating, patches of water molecules parading my chest hair and beard.
“YOU!” he screamed, pointing to my pants which had holes and dark, muddy stains on them.
“I’m not a bum,” I said, walking to the sink and drinking water from the faucet. “If I was a bum,” I continued, “then what the hell are you?”
His eyes shot fiercely at Audrey, who looked away. Toby looked back at me, and I almost thought he was going to walk over and smack my face, but he didn’t. He just stood there, heaving, his reddening face hiding behind the twenty five dollar tan he paid for on Court St. I wondered aloud if he got that deal because he brought in a girl, or if he just goes there all the time. His mouth opened, as if to say something, but closed. He gathered his things – a purse bag, 90 dollar shoes, and a model – t suit jacket, and left extravagantly. Audrey and I slept together all day.
I got a job at a new wing place on Court St. All I did was bread the chicken wings, throw them down, and make sure they got cooked. The owner paid me nine bucks an hour so I couldn’t complain.
I’d been working a few weeks when they hired a new delivery driver. Her name was Tessa. We began hanging out frequently, driving to and from work, occasionally smoking a bowl in the alleyway behind the business. She was cute, in that old style sense. Her hair was long and dark, wavy, and the little makeup she did wear was unimpressive. She had an old face, kind of like mine, and I liked that.
The first night we screwed I had been hopped up on some uppers. Pentadrone, they called it. Whatever it was it stuck to my nostrils and brain and wired me to the point of no sleep. I didn’t sleep for 3 days after some of that shit. The burn was terrible. Tessa didn’t seem to mind.
Shook up on drone and walking around the streets I saw her get into her car the next evening, an 89 beamer, with a fellow co-worker. “What are ya doing,” I asked. They said they were headed to a party and I should come, so I followed. They belittled me the whole way, which I loved. I smacked Tess on the ass when we got out, and she mouthed to “Stop”, but I knew what she meant.
The party was a collaboration of bearded men and drunken jests, so I fit right in. I found myself entering a drinking contest with the biggest man there. He sat promptly, by himself, at a wooden table in the kitchen. People didn’t take notice until well after our fourteenth shot, at which point I stopped counting. People tell me later that I threw up on the big man, and that’s why I still have a shiner.
One of my co-workers asked if he could fuck Tess.
“You can do whatever you want, brother,” I said.
So him and Tess started to screw. I wasn’t upset, how could I be? Who’d want to be with an atheist, drunkard, like myself?
She moved away some months later. I hear her and that man are engaged. I knew they were out there, knew they were having the time of their lives, while I sat in my room and listened to blues and sipped on whiskey. I was only twenty five.
Twenty five man, when’s it going to end? A quarter century of lush, a quarter century of watching parades, watching gallons of gas go up and up until we exploded on this god forsaken planet. A quarter century of robbery, treachery, adultery, and sublime. A quarter century in the evolution of drugs and the parenthetical “I”. Man, a quarter century was a long time.
People have been asking at work about me. Apparently I’ve been coming in hungover, so the boss sat me down.
“What’s the problem Anthony?”
“No problem, sir.”
“Well, people have been talking, you on those drugs again?
Again? “No, sir, just had a rough few days, you know how it is,” I lied.
“Alright Jon, take the day off, and we’ll see you again on Wednesday.”
I almost said something but didn’t. My boss had a slight look on his face, almost mad, almost laughing, and I felt awkward. I stood up, shook his hand, and headed out.
Cat’s Eye has a special from four to seven. It’s called happy hour. There was nothing happy about it. I sat alone and drank a few beers, watching the television as it blared on and on about the next quarterback, or receiver, or coach that had screwed up. Most of those boys don’t even know what they’re doing, I thought. None of it matters: the game, the job, this beer in my hand as it slides coolly down my throat and into my stomach. Nothing matters. People on that television machine get paid millions of dollars to play a game, is that why we, as collegiate, play games with each other? Are playing games our only way of feeling like a million dollars?
After a while I got drunk. Brad was working again. He made a few monster bombs and we took them down. I told him about Loren, blabbed on about MJ, and kidded about Annie. He was amused. He shook my hand after a long time and then said something terrible.
“Hate to say this, Jon,” he began, “but I can’t serve you anymore.”
The thought was tragic. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you’re drunk, you’re going to have to go.”
“I’m always drunk. What does that matter?”
He looked down the bar, and that was when I first realized the owner was staring at me. He was a large man, balding, with a dark goatee and a cap on his head. He was wearing a windbreaker, and staring right at me. I squinted at him. I could barely make him out.
“Is that the owner?”
“Then I’ll leave.”
I motioned to the owner and left a five dollar tip on the table. I stumbled home, wrote ten pages, and fell asleep with a pen in my hand.
I woke up and checked my mail. A friend of mine had written, whom I had met online. She wrote “You sound like the worst kind of person, I’m so excited to meet you!”
I wrote her back telling her my address.