Live The Dream

Entry by: maxieslim

24th February 2017

“You didn't do it, did you? Not with him!”

Rita closes the dorm door, and looks over at her roommate. She throws her purse on the floor and crashes down on the bed. Her roommate sighs.

“Oh my God, you did do it! You've got that look. Fuck! Jesus, I could you? He's so...” She throws her hands up in the air in a dramatic gesture that is lost on her companion. “old, and gross.” She emphasises the last word and returns to cutting her toenails.

Rita stares up at the ceiling and observes a small brown moth flying round and round the light shade. She wonders if she'll ever get the chance to fly? If she did she decides that she’d soar like a bird and crap on everyone that'd ever crapped on her.

Her roomie continues. “You're asking for trouble you know. He's not that famous, I mean Bobby Cole's never heard of him and neither has Billy Lee...”

Rita laughs out loud as she tries to picture the two jocks reading anything more than a comic book. Her roommate stands up and walks over to Rita's bed.

“I read some of his stuff. It's so obscene, so...dirty!“

Rita ignores her and watches the moth fly round and round and realises that for twenty or so minutes, whatever it had taken, she has flown with giants. She leans over, picks up her bag and pulls out a book. She lies back, opens it and begins to read. Rita will tell everyone that he'd given it to her in gratitude for one night of sex. She'll tell everyone that he never gave any of his other women anything, but that he was so blown away by her that he gave the book. She won't tell anyone that she's stolen it from his briefcase while he was taking a piss, that wouldn't do at all.

Harry the barkeep at the Alexander Hotel has never heard of Bukowski. He never reads books, at least not the ones without pictures, but Zinovski, the manager warns him about this guy.

“A poet” he said, “a bastard who likes a drink. And sex. Watch out for the girls. Don't serve them if they're under age.”

Harry recalls telling Mr Zinovski that he'd never seen or heard of the guy so how would he know him. Zinovski shows Harry a small flyer that advertises the reading at the college. It shows an old guy with a pock marked face and a pot belly. “No girl's going to sleep with him.” Harry says. The manager laughs.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover, Harry. The guy’s a stud.” Zinovski laughs as he walks away.

When Bukowski walks in eventually, Harry takes an instant dislike to him. He's loud, obnoxious and drunk. He swears at other customers and he has this great looking chick with him. Guys like him aren't supposed to have girls like that, Harry thinks. She couldn't have been more than nineteen but she clings onto his arm like a limpet. He tries to get the girl a drink but Harry refuses. He starts quoting poetry at Harry and orders himself a beer. He buys the girl a Coke. Harry the barkeep hates poetry. Harry does his job. Harry’s one of the best.

Bukowski starts smoking and blows smoke rings towards the girl. She coughs, then laughs and tells the old guy that it was great. Harry thinks it's a cheap trick and wants to tell the poet that he once served Babe Ruth, but the opportunity to talk baseball doesn't arise. Babe Ruth was a real man, Harry thinks, not a drunk poet. The guy orders a bottle of wine and asks for it to be sent to his room. Harry watches as they leave the bar, the old guy's hand on the young girl's ass. Harry thinks that poetry could never be that good.
Cathy, Rita's roomie lights up a smoke and watches as her boyfriend puts on his pants. Since talking with Rita she's had time to get laid herself and smoke three cigarettes. She's not happy with life and is pissed off as hell with Rita for fucking that poet. She knows Rita'll make the most of that, probably for the rest of her life. Sometimes she wishes she could be as wayward as Rita, but her Catholic upbringing holds her back from anything remotely dangerous. Her boyfriend pours himself a beer. This is as dangerous as it's going to get for her and she begins to cry.

“What's the matter?” he asks.

“I wish I was a Baptist.” she replies. He shrugs and decides not to date her again.

Charles Bukowski's sitting on the john and feeling ill. He doesn't think the reading was one of his better ones and even the little student girl he'd taken back to his room had screwed him over literally as well as physically and stolen his only copy of “Burning in Water”.

He wipes his ass, pulls up his shorts and goes back to the bedroom. He calls Linda, but there's no reply. He wonders what she does while he's away and decides that it’s best not to go down that road.

He thinks about that girl again although he can't recall her name. His pecker's sore and he thinks that maybe he shouldn't have screwed her but if he hadn't then she'd have nothing to tell her children.

Finishing off the bottle he starts to write, then gives it up. It's too late to think about words. He turns on the tv and watches a re-run of an old ballgame. Babe Ruth hits a home run. Charles lights up and wonders if Babe Ruth ever got as much pussy as he did.

He guesses not.