Charles Bukowski




over done

he had somehow located me again—he was on the
        telephone — talking
about the old days —
wonder whatever happened to Michael or Ken or
Julie Anne? —
and remember…?

—then
there were his present problems —

— he was a talker — he had always been a
talker —

and I had been a
listener

I had listened because I hadn’t wanted to
hurt him
by telling him to shut up
like the others
did
in the old
days

now
he was back

and
I held the phone out
at arm’s length
and could still hear the
sound —

I handed the phone to my girlfriend and
she listened for a
while —

finally
I took the phone and told him —

hey, man, we’ve got to stop, the meat’s burning
in the oven!

he said, o.k., man, I’ll call you
back —

(one thing I remembered about my
old buddy: he was good for his
word)

I put the phone back on the
receiver —

—we don’t have any meat in the
oven, said my
girlfriend—

—yes, we do, I told her,
it’s me.