goodbye

everybody thinks about dying now and then
and the older you get the more you tend to
think about it instead of thinking about
climbing into bed with some bunny you think
about climbing into the grave, oh boy, but
there’s almost a peaceful connotation to
it, sure, especially if you’ve lived a
number of hard years, but, of course, there’s
the inconvenience of it all, not so much to
you but to others–there’s the body, it does-
n’t move, you’ve got to do something with it,
it hardens up and stinks up pretty fast, no
offense, I’m not singling anybody out here,
it’s like we all wipe our asses, right? or
most of us do, but before dying some of us
get this itch to do something:   plant a gar-
den, lift weights, work with oil paints, buy
a bright yellow convertible sports car or so
forth and so on and etc, like some still
want to go to bed with a bunny, some of the
men and maybe even some of the women, but
actually talking about death gets to be rather
boring, although dying is finally the
only thing that finally gets some people
attention at last, the cochineal types, you
know, but they’ll never realize this auto-
matic herd-like homage because they won’t be
there as they weren’t there in life either,
and in a sense the living only honor the dead
because they will be next, it’s cheap really,
a kind of connecting chain of self-agony, and
my wife asks me, “would you rather be ashes or
buried?” and I say buried because even though
I won’t know it, I could know it ahead of time,
thinking about it now: somebody drinking me
down with their beer or sticking me with the
dog food, I am caught with this sick vanity:
I like myself living or dead, I am the best
thing I have ever met, so bury me sweet and
deep and don’t weep, realize that one of the
nicest things is leaving you, your cities, your
songs, your mewling laughter, your history, your
hell, your chess sets, your jams and your jellies,
your bunnies, your buttocks, the way you’ve
smeared the sun and pissed in your ears, I still
liked some of you, which beats the other, so
drop the lid–the darkness is yours and as
your feet hit the floor each morning, I wish
you luck.


attention at last, the cochineal types, you
know, but they’ll never realize this auto-
matic herd-like homage because they won’t be
there as they weren’t there in life either,
and in a sense the living only honor the dead
because they will be next, it’s cheap really,
a kind of connecting chain of self-agony, and
my wife asks me, “would you rather be ashes or
buried?” and I say buried because even though
I won’t know it, I could know it ahead of time,
thinking about it now: somebody drinking me
down with their beer or sticking me with the
dog food, I am caught with this sick vanity:
I like myself living or dead, I am the best
thing I have ever met, so bury me sweet and
deep and don’t weep, realize that one of the
nicest things is leaving you, your cities, your
songs, your mewling laughter, your history, your
hell, your chess sets, your jams and your jellies,
your bunnies, your buttocks, the way you’ve
smeared the sun and pissed in your ears, I still
liked some of you, which beats the other, so
drop the lid–the darkness is yours and as
your feet hit the floor each morning, I wish
you luck.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1986
Source
Original manuscript