Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ghost of Charles Bukowski II

It was two o'clock in the morning and I was asleep under a pair of loose blankets with my bedroom door slightly ajar. Strange sounds awakened me. Perturbed, I bolted my bed like a harried horse to search the origin of the noises and who did I see? My old friend The Ghost of Charles Bukowski sitting slouched style on my couch eating potato chips out of a cellophane bag and drinking whiskey out of a bottle of Jim Beam. There was his worrisome look: tired, sick, and worn down. His sleepy eyes were hardly following Shopping Channel lingerie models parading their derrieres in faux silk panties. I knew something was ethereally odd.

"Charles," I asked. "It's after midnight. What are you doing here?"

He took a deep swig from his whiskey bottle and said: "I got this sleepless turmoil and tumult going on."

"Shouldn't you be in heaven?"

"There is this new roommate of mine up there. He's a soldier who died in a jeep accident. Only problem is, he was a straight-laced bugler in the army. So every morning at 5am he's up playing revelry until I can't help but jump out of bed. The whole thing is putting a damper on my eternity experience, if you know what I mean."

He filled his mouth with more chips and talked of his great plan of Godly escape: "You can go AWOL for a few days from that big distillery plant in the sky before they send a couple of spirit bounty hunters and ship you to that eternal furnace down below. See, that's an elevator I can ride. They must have some pretty wild composers running around there like Mozart. And Mahler was a bit of a prick, so he's gotta be hangin' with the devil crowd himself. My kinda people, I'd say."

I could tell crazy booze braggadocio in a ghost as much as in a regular man. So I told Bukowski he could crash on my couch and we'd talk after he slept it off.

Late the next morning I took from my fridge a pot of Irish Stew simmered in a Guinness stock and scooped some into a giant Zip Lock bag. I sent off Bukowski with the food package on his trip back to heaven. As much as he was a giant pain in the neck, I expected I'd be seeing him again soon, and I'd a been disappointed if I didn't.

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