LX:121 | the artist

“look,” I say, “you shouldn’t have broken in here, it’s just not done…”

“why not? we waited out there for 2 hours.”

“you’re taking a chance of getting sliced
from gullet to asshole,” I tell him.
“I often lay here in the dark
and don’t want to be

“but I thought we were friends…”

“you shouldn’t think.  it’s harmful.”

“Hank, I haven’t painted a thing this year.
I’m hurting.”

“that’s your dirty laundry.  you’re living with your
she’ll powder your

“you don’t like me, do you?”

“you’re always talking about Art,”
I tell him.  “I don’t like Artists, I don’t like
you, I don’t like most
people, I don’t like door-knockers.
I never knock on any man’s door;
I expect the same.”

“do you want me to leave?”

“of course.”

“do you have a five?”

“I don’t carry fives.”

“do you have a one?”

“I don’t carry ones.”

“do you have any small change?”

“never carry it.  holes in my pockets.”

after he leaves I go into the kitchen and see where he
and his
girlfriend broke in.  she had sat though the whole
with a 15 cent Mona Lisa smile on her

I need two new hooks on
the screen.  then I go and check my hunting
knife.  might be better to gut him
the next time he crawls

better for him, better for me,
better for his mother,
better for Art.


Bukowski, Charles.  What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.  Ecco, 2002.  217-18.

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