when I consider

when I consider all the women I have lived with
I now realize that I over-evaluated the
lot.

the trait I disliked most about them–
besides the petty critical
remarks–
was their attempted use of other men
against me.

the signal was
that to avoid this situation I should
marry them.

as if they would hold to
that.

but I didn’t want to marry these
dollies.

I was a Romantic.

I wanted those tiny unexpected knocks on the door
at 3:30 a.m.
the entrance of a mad long-haired creature.

then a bit of smoking, drinking, talking
just before
dawn.

love-making maybe but not necessarily a
must.

and afterwards,
sleep.

then
to have them vanish before
10:30 a.m.

selfish?
of course.

I am selfish for the betterment of my feelings.
I was the only keeper of them.
(never use present and past tense together)
(avoid tenseness).

they wanted my balls in a paper sack, I wanted to
stare at walls and listen to, say, Brahms at
one a.m.

that’s my selfishness: ¬† ¬†feeling good, if possible,
about the little that there
is.

feeling bad comes easy, anybody can do
that.

I expected more out of women than there was and
more out of myself.

anybody can settle for the other and most
do.

when I consider all the women that I have lived with
I figure that I wasted their time as much as they
wasted mine
only I had more to waste–time and other
things.

still I have gentle memories of those tiny early a.m.
knocks
or the pebbles thrown against the window,
it always made me think, ah!
this might be the one
the time
the final glory

to open the door to that moment of not quite
knowing

so nice
so nice
that moment

the best of them all.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript