Sunday, April 10, 2011

by Charles Bukowski

Not much chance,
completely cut loose from purpose,
he was a young man riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the way to somewhere.
And it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe in the hills
and the passengers entered.

He sat at the counter with the others and he ordered,
and the food arrived.
the meal was particularly good,
and the coffee.
The waitress was unlike the women he had known.
She was unaffected.
There was a natural humor which came from her.
The fry cook said crazy things,
and the dishwasher in back laughed, a good clean pleasant laugh.
the young man watched the snow through the windows.
He wanted to stay in that cafe forever.
The curious feeling swam through him
that everything was beautiful there,
that it would always stay beautiful there.

Then the bus driver told the passengers
that it was time to board.
And the young man thought,
I'll just sit here,
I'll just stay here.
But then he rose and followed
the others into the bus.

He found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus window.
Then the bus moved off down a curve,
downward, out of the hills.
The young man looked straight forward.
And he heard the other passengers speaking of other things,
or they were reading or attempting to sleep.
They had not noticed the magic.
The young man put his head to one side,
closed his eyes and pretended to sleep.
there was nothing else to do,
just to listen to the sound of the engine,
the sound of the tires in the snow.