fooling Marie

he met here at the quarterhorse races, a strawberry
blonde with thin hips, yet well-bosomed; long legs,
pointed nose, flower mouth, dressed in a pink dress,
wearing white high-heeled shoes.
she began asking him various questions about the
horses while looking at him with her pale blue
eyes… as if he were a god.

he suggested the bar and they had a drink, then
watched the next race together.
he hit twenty win on a six to one shot and she
jumped up and down gleefully.
then she stopped jumping and whispered in his ear:
“You’re magic, I want to fuck you!”
he grinned and said, “I’d like to, but when?
Marie…my wife…has me timed down to the
she laughed:   “We’ll go to a motel, you fool!”

so they cashed the ticket, went out to parking,
got into her car…  “I’ll drive you back when
we’re finished,” she smiled.

they found a motel about a mile and one half
west, she parked, they got out, went in, signed in
for room 302.
they had stopped for a bottle of Jack Daniels
on the way and he took the glasses out of the
celophane as she undressed, poured two.

she had a marvelous body and sat on the edge of
the bed sipping at the Jack Daniels as he
undressed feeling awkward and fat and old
but also feeling lucky:   his best day at the
he too sat on the edge of the bed with his
Jack Daniels and then she reached over
and grabbed him between the legs, got it, bent over
and kissed it.

he pulled her under the covers and they played.
finally, he mounted her and it was great, it was the
miracle of the universe but it ended, and when she
went to the bathroom he poured two more Jack Daniels,
thinking, I’ll shower real good, Marie will never
I’ll finish the day off at the track, just like

she came out and they sat in bed drinking the Jack
Daniels and making small talk.
“I’m going to shower now,” he told her, getting up.
“I’ll be out soon.”

“O.k., cutie,” she told him.

he soaped up good in the shower washing all the perfume-
smell, the woman-smell, the sperm-smell away.

“Hurry up, Daddy!” he heard her say.

“I won’t be long, baby!” he yelled from under the

he got out, towled off good, then opened the bathroom
door and stepped out.

the motel room was empty.
she was gone.

on some impulse he ran to the closet, pulled the door
open:   nothing but coat hangers.

then he noticed that his clothes were gone:   his under-
wear, his shirt, his pants with car keys and wallet, his
shoes, his stockings, everything.

on another impulse he looked under the bed:

then he noticed the bottle of Jack Daniels, half full,
on the dresser.
he walked over and poured a drink.
as he did he noticed a word scrawled on the dresser
mirror in pink lipstick:    SUCKER!

he drank the drink, put the glass down and saw himself
in the mirror, very fat, very old.
he had no idea of what to do.

he carried the Jack Daniels back to the bed, sat down,
lifted the bottle and sucked at it as the light from
the boulevard came in through the blinds.
he looked out and watched the cars, passing back and

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript