filling an order

working as a shipping clerk in an auto parts
warehouse
my packing table faced the street
and as I worked I could see
an old roominghouse across the way.
there was a big young fellow there
who just dressed in pants and undershirt
and now and then he’d come out on the porch
usually holding a pint of whiskey.
the front door of that roominghouse was
always slamming
and this fellow always seemed to be having
violent arguments with this
woman.
it went on day after day
and sometimes the woman would run
off
and the fellow would take a hit of his
whiskey
and walk back into the
roominghouse.

as I checked the orders, selecting the
proper sized carton, addressing the
label, getting it all
together
I would think, I ought to be that
fellow.

and then I
was
only I did it a little bit
better.

anything to get away from that
tape machine.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1985
Source
Original manuscript