night on a Visa card

I finished my wine
poured another
took a hit of that
lit a cigarette.

the motel room was
paid for until eleven
a.m.
nice tiny little white
towels
in the bathroom and
the paper-wrapped
soap bars
the celluloid glasses
and the
paper-wrapping over
the toilet seat.

I switched on the
tv
an old black and
white

I left the sound
off and
watched the
faces.
one man and
one woman.
there seemed to
be trouble.
they looked
unhappy although
to most people
their faces would
seem beautiful.

I kept watching
them while I smoked
and drank more
wine.

then I shut the
tv off
got out of my
shorts
walked over to
the bed
pulled the cover
and sheet
back
crawled in.

outside on Sunset Boulevard
I could see all the
neon through the
blinds.

I got up
cut the blinds
got back in.
it was good and
dark.
perfect.

there was a tap
on the door.
I opened it with
the chain
on and
looked out.

she was back
I let her
in.

“it was awful,”
she said
getting un-
dressed.
“some son of a
bitched tried to
rape me and take
my purse in the
parking lot!
I kicked him in
the balls!
compared to him
you look
good!”

“thank you
Sherrie, I feel
blessed…”

she climbed into
bed next to
me.

“I just want to
get off the fucking
streets!”

“yeah.  I know what
you mean.”

“anything on tv?”
she asked
splashing wine into
her glass.

“just one station,”
I said
getting up and
turning the set on
again
with sound
and returned to the
bed.

the woman on tv
said to the man
on tv, “you’ve got
to choose between your
wife and me!   I’m
tired of hiding what
we are doing!
I want our love to be out
front
like a marching band
like a flag of
glory!

the man bowed his
head and
didn’t answer.

the one
next to me
in bed:
I refilled her
glass.

by eleven a.m. we’d
both be gone
somewhere
else
and the motel maid
would come in and
clean up
after us.

she’d go back to
the streets and I’d
go back to
sometimes
writing about
them.

but meanwhile
we sat up on our
butts
pillows to our
backs
the ashtray
between us on
the bed

we drank our wine
from
plastic glasses.
it was a
terrible movie
but it was
nice
sitting there in
the dark
watching it
while
smoking and
drinking
without having
to say
anything.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1982