The New Woman

you’ve had done with one woman
gotten away from a quite painful
and you are sitting with the new
you’ve worked out the sex thing
all right
now you’re becoming friends
talking about this and that
she has a nice place
plenty to drink about…
books, magazines, drapes, dried
figs, oranges and the like;
she smokes and laughs much.

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

then we get into her x-men.
oh, that one beat you?
the other was unfaithful?
this one took drugs?
that one couldn’t get it up
anymore?
I understand…

the last was who?
Billy Thong? 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-girlfriend’s place.
they put us in the same tank.   he was
so disgusting the others in the tank
wanted to kill him, they should have,
I saved his ass by explaining him
away.

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

I don’t say anything.

but you’ve fucked Billy Thong,
I think, and now we’ve done it…
twice, or is it four times?

I like you, she says, you like
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 to
piss,
it’s strange about her bathrooms.
one bathroom
one has extra rolls of toilet paper
and the other has none,
one bathtub is clean and the other
seems blackened with a tar-like
substance.

I finish pissing in the awful
bathroom and walk out to see her
again.

she says, crossing her legs and
lighting a cigarette,
I’m sorry about Billy Thong,
let’s forget him.

all right, I say, thinking,
I will drink all the booze in this
place that I can, I will smoke cigarettes
and drink booze, as much as I can,
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 in the back there, of course, I’ll dress
first, then I’ll go to the car in back there,
maybe taking a few cans of beer from the fridge
and then I’ll go south on Vermont, take a right,
go west to my place, take the phone off the hook,
undress, get into my own bed, pull the covers up
to my throat and start all over again.

which is what I did.

Billy Thong
killed it before I could
and I felt cheated.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1980
Source
Original manuscript