Peanuts by Charles Bukowski

Posted on August 5, 2009
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From Peanuts, by Charles Bukowski

I awoke at 9 a.m. and was sick, just like every morning.  My head pounded and I was sweating when I’d finished vomiting.  I washed up and put on a clean shirt and checked the refrigerator.  I pulled out a beer but what I really needed was whiskey.  Enough to drown a Mississippi River of pain.

I sat at the table and looked at the mess from the day before.  Broken kites, a battered baseball mitt, a rock.  I thought about calling someone up, then decided I didn’t need the company.

I looked out the window and saw my dog just coming home.  He clambered up his doghouse and flopped down on the roof, belly up, dreaming.  A yellow bird flew down and perched nearby, appraising the fat beagle.  I took another swallow of beer and decided to head down to the store for a bottle of wine and a cigar.

I pulled my cap down low and squinted against the morning sun.  As I passed the ball field, some fellows called out to me.

“Hey, Charlie Branaski!  Hey, come pitch for us!  We need a pitcher!”

I waved them away.  “Go to hell, Shermie.  Get lost, Franklin.  I’m sick.  I’m in no mood to spend the morning looking for my socks and shoes after every pitch.”

I got to the liquor store and bought the cheapest bottle of wine I could and decided against the cigar.  I leaned against the low brick wall outside the store and drank the wine out of a paper bag.  It tasted sweet but I knew it would turn my guts in a few hours.  Pig Pen wandered over to try to bum a quarter.  I told him to get lost before I kicked his ass.

When I was about halfway through the bottle, Schroeder came by and leaned with me.  We sat there for a few minutes, not talking.  I gave him a pull from the bottle.  We passed it back and forth and watched the morning together.

“You’re a piece of work, Charlie Branaski,” Schroeder said.

“How do you mean?”

“Well, it’s always the same with you.  You try to fly your kite, you play baseball, you drink all night and you’re lousy at all of it.”

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