the horses of Mexico

in the old days before they had Sunday
racing,
I’d drive down to Tijuana in one of my
old cars
to the Auga Caliente racetrack.
little did I realize that in Mexico the
take was 25%,
no wonder the prices were so
short.
and you had to pay the bandits
in parking a dollar for
“protection” or else there would be
something wrong with your car when
you came out.
I had fair luck with the betting down
there
but the service at the stands for food
and drink was slow and lousy.
the bar was efficient so I went to the
bar.
but I never should have driven all those
old cars down there.
a breakdown and I would have been
stranded.
I had little money, no friends, no
parents.
but the cars held up, the old dears.
and on my good winning days, I’d
stay a few hours that night in one of
the local bars.
that always seemed to make the drive
back shorter.
then Sunday racing began in the
states,
so why drive all that way?
a horse is a horse and a jock is a jock
and a race is a race.
but I miss Auga Caliente, that long long
stretch which gave the jocks in a fixed
race plenty of time to pull
them.
and those hills behind the track.
just getting out of the U.S.A. for a
day.
it cured a lot of what was driving me
crazy.
now I drive 20 miles to a local track
in a new car,
sit in the clubhouse with the safe,
fat Americans
and am going crazy all over
again.
without a cure.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript