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Peanuts by Bukowski

Just happens I’ve been reading a bit of Bukowski lately. This made me chuckle.

When I was about halfway through the bottle, Schroeder came by and leaned with me. We sat there for a few minutes, not talking. I gave him a pull from the bottle. We passed it back and forth and watched the morning together.
“You’re a piece of work, Charlie Branaski,” Schroeder said.
“How do you mean?”
“Well, it’s always the same with you. You try to fly your kite, you play baseball, you drink all night and you’re lousy at all of it.”
I thought about it and took another swallow. “I guess someone needs to be lousy at everything. Otherwise you’d get no perspective.”
Schroeder laughed and sucked at the bottle. “I guess you’re right. I guess we need you after all.”
“We won’t be eight years old forever, you know. Good grief, these are the best years we’ve got.”
We went on drinking, celebrating the day. In a little while I’d go out again, try to fly that kite. Try to strike out the other team. Just keep trying, that’s all I can do.


Patty barged her way into the apartment. Charlie shut the door behind her and they sat down on a couple of chairs in the living room.
“Got anything to drink? I’m dying of thirst here, Chuck.”
“I’ve got whiskey.”
“Sure, Chuck. Whatever you’re drinking.”
Charlie poured a couple of tall drinks of whiskey. Patty knocked hers back in a single, prolonged swallow. “Jesus, but that hits the spot! You got any beer, Chuck? Nothing like a good cold beer. God o mighty, I’m thirsty!”
Charlie had some beer in the icebox. Patty pulled one out and started sucking at it. They went ahead and drank, it was as good a night as any. She was a real piece of work, all right. Everyone said she made it with the ladies, but Charlie didn’t care. She had this one dyke piece down at the factory named Marcie. Marcie and Charlie didn’t get along okay because Patty was sweet on Charlie as well.
Pretty soon Patty was drunk, and she was letting Charlie know she wanted it. “Look here, Chuck, I know you want to give me that thing.”
“Listen, Patty. It’s getting pretty late. I’ve got too much work to do.”
“Work! Work! You’re real dull, Chuck! Let’s screw!”
“Sorry, babe, but tonight’s not the best. Listen, I’m sick. I think you’d better go.”
Charlie stood up and went to the door and opened it.
“You’re an asshole, Chuck,” she said.

That’s about the best of it – but hey, here’s the rest.

Posted by enderzero at 11:15pm on Jul. 18, 2008