the two toughest apes in the South Bay area (for K.P.)

there’s this great big guy comes to see me, he sits in
this big chair and starts smoking his cigars
and I bring out the wine bottles
and we pour it down.
the big guy just gulps them down and I gulp
right along with him.
he doesn’t say much, he’s a stoic.

when other people are around they say, “Jesus, Hank,
what do you see in this guy?”
and I say, “hey, he’s my hero, every man has to have a
hero.”

the big guy just keeps lighting cigars and drinking.
he never even gets up to piss, he doesn’t have
to.
he doesn’t bother.

he smokes ten cigars a night and matches me
drink for drink.
he doesn’t blink.
I don’t either.

even when we talk about women we
agree.

it’s best when we’re alone because he doesn’t
talk to the other people.

but when we’re alone I never remember him
leaving.
in the morning his chair is still there
and all the cigar stubbs and
all the empty   bottles but he’s
gone.

what I like best is he never disturbs the
image I have of him.
he’s a tough son of a bitch and I’m a
tough son of a bitch.
and we meet about once
every 3 months and put on our
performance.
anything closer than that would
wipe us
out.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1983
Source
Original manuscript