we were all nineteen,
Angel, the little dark guy,
Robert the stubby muscled guy and
me, of the sunken cheeks and belly.
we all lived in tiny rooms and
getting each meal was
rather a miracle and
the week’s rent
more so
and this Sunday we met
and decided to go to a movie
which was a real crazy
none of us had seen a movie since
our parents had
kicked us out.

“which one?” asked Robert.
“I don’t care,” I said, “they all
seem equally bad.”

Angel was in love with this
rather fat actress with big
eyes, eyes always near
weeping, so
we drove down Pico
in the car
Robert had borrowed from
his older brother
and we found the movie
with Angel’s actress and
we paid and
went in
and her movie was
on first–
it had to do
with bastards
and since our parents had
treated us as such we
paid some interest
it was mostly her
weeping eyes and big
thighs:   I’m sure we
all imagined ourselves
in bed with her
getting healed.

and her big line came
as she said
in fury:   “There is no
such thing as illegitimate
children!   There are only
illegitimate parents!”

the second movie was about
Love in the South
the old plantation days.
it was just before the
Civil War
most of the gentlemen were
gentlemen and most of the
it was a semi-musical
and the plot was confusing:
there seemed to be some
problem but
it was so subtle that
I couldn’t get it:
probably the up-coming

anyhow, the scene arrived
where the
two lovers (he and her)
went out to the overhanging
and began singing a
love duet to
each other.

“now,” I told Robert, “if
the slaves come in from the
fields and start singing with
the lovers
I’m leaving.”

it didn’t take long.
the blacks came in, yes, a
black sea of them, soon over a
hundred faces, maybe two hundred,
male and female
young, medium and very old, even
some tiny children
looking up to the veranda
and singing to the two lovers as
the two lovers sang
to each other.

“let’s go,” said Robert.

“o.k.,” I said.

“hey,” said Angel, “where the hell
you guys going?”

“we’ll wait for you in the car,”
Robert told him….

Robert and I chipped together and
bought a large loaf of French bread
and sat in the car
eating it.
it was fresh and very good
it filled the vacant spaces.
when you’re hungry and broke
one of the best things to do is
to fill up on French bread.
we ate away at the French bread
we didn’t talk very much
just now and then we
as we chewed out a big chunk
from each half we had

then we were finished.

not much later
Angel came out.
he got into the car:
“hey, you guys are crazy! you
wasted your money! you only got
to see one movie!”

Robert started the car and
we drove back down Pico as the
sun was just going down (haha) on
Los Angeles.

Angel was in the back

“you guys are crazy,” he
said again.

“shut up, bastard,” I told

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript