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Go To: The Masses - Luck - Half Way There

The Masses and Luck by Charles Bukowski


Copyright © 1990. Published by Black Sparrow Press, 24 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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Half Way There

Old surfer's party at the Big Yellow House in Summerland, CA - April 10, 1999

sitting at the table after eating a 20 dollar dinner

downing 2 tequilas neat

next to the guy next to me is this guy named larry.

ya larry

I haven't seen this guy larry for a long time

and here he is with long hair talking to this guy I've known for years

like ray kunze who happens to 'work' at the ranch

ya the hollister ranch

so me being bright (an all)

reaches over ray with my hand out saying

"larry?.... bill's friend? I'm bill's friend, tom"

he looks at me and takes my hand

and says, "ya, ya, like tom, ah....?"

he's tryin to put the whole thing together

not believing I'm the same guy who knows bill

and here I sit next to a guy who knows me

and who he knows really well and we're all just sitting there

throwin the bull and shovlin the shit

and we all know each other and have some cross links in there too.

so later I'm sitting on this couch next to ray's girlfriend

and I ask her to dance with me

and she says sure and gives me her hand

and we dance.

it ain't great and I'm tryin to show off

hey, this 60 year old can still move

but I forget to breath and pass out.

believe it

I pass out on the dance floor!

so the next thing I know I'm waking up on the couch

my face all wet and someone asks, "you OK?"

well duh. I'm here aren't I?

of course I'm OK so let's dance

and away we go

then the band stops playing

I say goodnight to those I know

the party's over

I drive home

the end


I see her get out of the shiny car and cross the street with a strange walk.

a long slit runs from ankle to thigh up her long green dress. She walks as though her back hurts.

Her companion is a huge brown man.

His head shaved except for a center strip which terminates in a long braid hanging down his broad back.

She's petite and blond.

In the lobby we stand with others waiting for the elevator in the hotel.

The giant man has a gentle childlike voice. She turns. I catch her looking at me.

We ride together silently.

I get out, they ride on

Now in my room I wonder;

is this the woman in the hair salon who wanted to cut my hair and who seemed to have a problem with her back?

I sat waiting for my haircut

attracted to her.

She kept looking at me.

I wanted her hands on my head.

I wanted her to cut my hair

but when my turn came, she didn't have the clippers to buzz it and the "first come, first served" policy didn't allow us to meet.

Now here she is

dressed up, looking beautiful, going to the roof for dinner at the Marriott with her body-building boy friend.

Alone now

thinking of her.

I admire her features - like looking at a new car in a showroom window

and me

the mechanic


looking in.

TMcB @ Marriott Hotel, Monterey, California October 25, 1997

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Half Way There - tmcb



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Photographs by John S. Kiewit: - "Gone to Sanctuary - From the Sins of Confusion"

"The Senior Citizens' Survival Guide - Beyond The New Millennium" by Robert Feigel and Malcolm Walker

"The Soul of Surfing" by Fred Hemmings

"Surfing Guide to Southern California" by Bill Cleary and David H. Stern

Anoai Press publishes literature of all types -- novels, short stories, oral history, poetry and children's books.

Hawaiian-Pacific and East-West themes. Topics of interest to senior surfers are also a specialty.

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