fat boy

we’d run out of drinks and I’d have to
phone out for more and the liquor store
knew me:   I   was their best
customer.

and so
this fat delivery boy would arrive
with his large box of booze, rapping
at the door.

“COME IN, FUCKER!” I’d
yell.

and there he’d be.
he’d set the box down, take out a little
piece of paper and stare at
it.

“WHAT’S THE RAPE, FUCKER?”

“$43.83.”

I’d stand up, take a 50 from my wallet,
bundle it into a ball and toss it to
him.

“KEEP THE CHANGE, SCHOOLBOY!”

he’d pick it up, unfold
it.

“thanks…”

then he’d just stand there, he thought he
was seeing something and he was:   3 women
with runners in their stockings, legs crossed
high, too much mascara, and drooling at their
mouths and talking, every other word a
cuss-word, the most worn, tired cuss-words
of our time.

and there I was, a vicious old fuck in wine-
stained undershirt–no education, no brains, no
chance…. hair in eyes, haemorrhoids and
spiritual lacerations.

“YOU CAN GO NOW, SON…”

the women didn’t even know he was there–
except for one who leaped up, grabbed a
bottle of scotch and ran into the
kitchen with it.

“son, you’ve completed your delivery, please
exit.”

“I’ll betcha phone in again before
closing…”

“don’t conjecture, please, my
boy…”

“I betcha do…”

he remained standing there.

“son, none of these ladies are going to
blow you.”

“huh?”

I turned to the first
lady.

“Keekee, you gonna suck this guy’s
string?”

“WHAT?”

“Margo, you gonna blow this jelly
blob?”

“who?   hey!–fuck you!”

“Nana?”

“I might…”

“good, good…”

“no, on second thought, I
can’t…”

“well, son,” I stood up, “it’s time to
go…”

“all right…”

“well, go one…”

he just stood there, that horrible sub-loneliness
spilling out of his blank
eyes.

I grabbed him by the belt buckle, gave him a
little spin, grabbed him by the back of the
pants and moved him toward the door, opened
it, guided him out.

“god bless you, fart-sucker,” I said, then
I closed the door.

I sat down and drained a half a bottle of
beer.

all the ladies were glaring at
me.

“you treated him horribly,” said
Keekee.

“he can’t help it if he’s a fat hunk of
shit,” said Margo.

“you’re a fat hunk of shit too,” said
Nana.

“you always treat him horribly,”
Keekee reminded
me.

“well, he was waiting and none of you
girls would blow him.”

blow him! is that all you think of:
blow!”

“he was waiting for it, he thought I
would share.”

“SHARE!” yelled Keekee, “I NEVER BLEW
YOU!”

“well, you tried,
remember?”

“all you think of is blow, blow, blow!”
snarled Margo.

“maybe he liked us for what we are, I mean
maybe he found us…well,
attractive…” said Keekee.

“you are…”

“what?” asked Nana.

it was true, I found them attractive, especially
later into the night when I got ghoulishly sentimental,
I thought of them all as little girls skipping
rope, playing jacks, all that crap.
somewhere along the way
the world had chopped them up a bit
as it had me.

“I like you all very much in a special
way…”

“you’ve got some line of
shit…”

“no, I mean it…”

they brightened then, poured more drinks and
began talking again about this and that, mostly
that.

and I had a good hit of scotch and I saw it all:
they were nice, maybe even beautiful…
after all, they came to see me, we sat through the
long nights, lost and found…. drinking, complaining,
laughing at and with the gods, hoping the sun would
never come up…
and they all had nice ankles, nice knees, and
below all that cussing and seeming worldliness they
were petrified, they were human and lonely and lost
just like the fat boy, that dismal blimp of agony,
he was great too, as great as breathing would
allow.

and we got to talking more and drinking heavily
and this particular night
when Keekee fell down in the bathroom and
cracked her head against the toilet
lid

I had to phone out for more booze

and we had to go through the whole scene
more or less

all over again.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript