the stupidest thing I ever did

was one day in New Orleans I was walking
along the sidewalk
and suddenly I began walking very
as if I had an important
I had nowhere to go, really, but I just
rushed along.
leaping off of curbings
into the streets, crossing and rushing
then I was seen by somebody who
knew me, a waitress, she was walking
across the street and she laughed and
said, “hurry! ¬†hurry!”
I waved and rushed on…

after a few more blocks I slowed and
went back to my normal pace
which was leisurely.
I tried to analyse why I had done what
I had done.
I had attempted to act as if I had a
connection somewhere, a need for
I had none, I was a drifter, a bum,
an alky,
for that moment, I had weakened, I
had felt the need to be one of
my brain, my spirit had weakened.
I had become a traitor to

I saw the waitress a couple days
later at this cafe.
“you were in a big hurry the other
day,” she smiled.

“yeah,” I answered, “I had a little
something to take care of…”

what could I tell her?
that I had lost my mind?

I figured the town was getting
to me
and about a week later I
took the Greyhound to

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript