flying through space

in Jr. Highschool I was
coming out of the
sissy stage
and developing into
something
else.

I could feel it
happening.
I had no control
over it.

I was beginning to
walk differently
talk
differently.

somewhere within
me
a strange
confidence
was building.

other people just didn’t
seem to be
very much
to me.

I went about
with this
faint sneer
upon my
face…

one day in gym
glass
the coach had
the boys
doing the
running broad
jump.

the lengths of
the jumps
were being
measured and
recorded.

the coached turned
to me:
“all right, Chinaski…”

“shit, I don’t
wanna.”

“what’s wrong?”

“I’ve got a
hangover.”

“don’t give me
that!
go ahead and
jump!
it’s a
requirement!”

“fuck,” I said.

I backed off,
took my run,
hit the board
and took
off.

once I got up
there
I decided to
stay up
there
just for the
hell of
it.

then I came
down and
hit the
sawdust.

they ran the
tape measure
out.

“I can’t believe
this!” said the
coach.   “Chinaski,
you ever jumped
before?”

“no.”

“you’re half an inch
short
of the school
record!”

“yeah?   mind if I
shower now?”

“oh sure, go
ahead.”

I walked off
slowly,
like I had
more important
things
on my mind.

I could sense the
whole gym class
and the coach
watching me.

so
I stopped
reached round
and dug my
hand into my
ass and
scratched.

finishing that,
I walked off toward
the shower
room, feeling the
wonder
and confusion
behind
me.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript