the new woman

you are sitting with the new
you’ve worked out the sex thing
all right
it’s the 3rd or 4th night
now you’re becoming friends
talking about this and that

she has a nice place
plenty to drink…
also books, magazines, drapes,
dried figs, oranges and the
she smokes and laughs

so you’ve had done with one
and here’s another
maybe she likes somebody
who lays around and doesn’t
do much.

all right,
more to drink
more to say.

she gets into her x-

oh, that one beat you?

this one took drugs?

that one couldn’t get it
up anymore?

I understand…

the last was who?   Billy
Thong?   why did you name

you mean you really lived
with Billy Thong?

listen, I went to jail one
night with that swine.

a matter of busted door glass
at my x-girl friend’s place.
I busted out eight panes
he got one.

they put us in the same

he was so disgusting the others
in the same tank
wanted to kill him
they should have.

I saved his ass by
explaining him

oh fuck Billy Thong,
she says, let’s get on
with us.

yeah, I say.

I like you, she says,
you admire Carson McCullers
and James Thurber and you’re the
first man I’ve found who has admired
both of them.

I’ll be right back,
I tell her,
and I go into one of her
bathrooms and

it’s strange about her
one bathroom has extra rolls
of toilet paper
and the other has none.
I found out about the bathrooms
after the first beershit morning
I was in the wrong one
staring at the little empty grey
cardboard roll.

I finish pissing and walk out to
see her again.

she crosses her legs and lights a
cigarette:   I’m sorry about Billy
Thong, let’s forget him.

all right, I say,
I will drink all the booze in this
place, I will smoke the cigarettes
and drink the booze and then I’ll
sleep with her but I won’t fuck her
and when she’s still asleep in the
morning I will sneak out of bed and
get down there to my car parked in
back out there
maybe taking a few cans of beer
from the fridge

and then I’ll go South on
take a right
go west to my place
get in there
take the phone off the
get into my own bed
pull the covers
up to my throat
and start
all over again
feeling cheated because
Billy Thong had killed it
before I could.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript