this drunk on the next barstool by Bukowski

forgive me, sir, but I must talk to
somebody…

yeh?

forgive me, but there are times when I am caught in crowds,
at street fairs, in any plentiful gathering of
the tribe…

yeh?

yes, well… those eyes… those noses… those elbows… their
manner of walking… how they
speak…

uh?

forgive me, but I often feel as if I were walking within the
very bowels of hell
viewing joke-faces of cardboard, hearing laughter that does
not sound like laughter…

you talk funny.

you see, it’s like the murder of my very sanity…
men and women
whose fearlessness is only their
incomprehension…

I don’t
understand.

forgive me, I only want to get out and as far away from
them as possible…

yeh?

there is no way to say any of this without being labelled a
pitiful heretic…

everybody’s got
problems.

perhaps I am sick…

yeh, I think you’re a sick
motherfucker.

for instance, when I enter an elevator and that door
slides shut and I am closely locked in with
5 or 6
of my own kind
I feel that everything is
irredeemable, that I am trapped in an
airless cavern of
madness – a dull, indecent
madness.

you gotta use the stairways
then.

forgive me, but I understand certain animals,
animals that burrow into holes in the earth, I
understand things that fly, or that bound away
at the first sight and sound of
anything.

yeh? I like dogs and
cats.

maybe I am an animal, a thing caught in a
man’s body?

yeh, you drink like an
elephant.

whatever it is, forgive me this
indecency.

listen, buddy, how do you
make it?

make it?

yeh. whatta you
do?

I exist within the minute, for that
minute.

I think you’re a sick
motherfucker.

thank you.

he finished his drink, walked
out.

I ordered another.

caught a glance from the doll
at the end of the
bar.

might be a good night, after
all.