getting ready for a summer tan as suicides mount in Delaware….

you met her, he said.
                                       who? I asked.
Rita, he said.
                       yeah, I said, looks. class.
                       style.   nice mentality.
(I poured him another drink.)
that was when you met her the first time,
he said, do you
remember when you saw her the last time?
                       yeah, I said.
he said, she changed, didn’t she?
                       well, I suggested, she might
                       have gained a little weight.
25 pounds in 6 weeks, he said.
                       oh, I answered.
did you notice anything else? he continued.
                       her hair wasn’t combed, I
and her mind? he asked.   uncombed also?
                       altered, I responded.
she suddenly   got dull, he said, crass.
one person left and was replaced by
                       she did seem different,
                       I agreed.
this is good wine, he said, it goes down
                       I drink a lot of it, I
                       told him.
I’m staying at a place with friends
now, he said.
                       you left her? I asked.
she locked me out of the house, he went
on, she burned my clothing, my belongings.
she stole my films, all my work.
                       holy shit, I said.
she said that I was Satan, he told me.
(I poured us both another drink.)
you buy this stuff by the case? he asked.
                       yes, I said, I get ten percent
Rita is now a born-again Christian, he said,
I’m divorcing her.
                       it happened so fast,
                       I said.
very fast, he said, and it’s probably all
my fault, I failed her somehow.
                       when they change personalities
                       on me, I told him, I always believe
                       that they are going back to where
                       they belong.
have they done that to you often? he asked.
                       more often than not, I answered,
                       what are you going to do now?
(he laughed): make another film…
                       about what? I asked.
about somebody, he said:   Lucifer.
                       luck, I said.
(we clicked our drinking glasses as everywhere
the unhappy people became more

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript