For Buk. The Horsetrack Pays Double on Mondays

My mother had found a job. She was to start the next day. This left the house to me. After breakfast and after my parents had left for their jobs I took off my clothes and went back to bed. I masturbated and then made a time study in an old school notebook of the airplanes passing overhead. I decorated the time study with some pleasantly obscene drawings. I knew that my father would charge me atrocious prices for room, board and laundry and that he would also be careful to list me as a dependent on his income tax return, but the desire to find a job did not seem to be with me. As I relaxed in bed I had this strange feeling in my head. It was as if my skull was made of cotton, or was a small balloon filled with air. I could feel space in my skull. I couldn’t comprehend it. Soon I stopped wondering about it. I was comfortable, it wasn’t agonizing. I listened to symphony music, smoking my father’s cigarettes. I got up and walked into the front room. In the house across the street was a young wife. She had on a short tight brown dress. She sat on the steps of her house which was directly across the street. I could look well up her dress. I watched from behind the drapes of the front window, looking up her dress. I became excited. Finally I masturbated again. I bathed and dressed and sat about smoking more cigarettes. About 5 p.m. I left the house and went for a long walk, walking for almost an hour. When I returned, both of my parents were home. Dinner was about ready. I went to my bedroom and waited to be called. I was called. I went in. “Well,” said my father, “did you find a job?” “No.” “Listen, any man who wants work can find work.” “Maybe so.” “I can hardly believe you’re my son. You don’t have any ambition, you don’t have any get-up-and-go. How the hell are you going to make it in this world?” He put a number of peas into his mouth and spoke again: “What’s this cigarette smoke in here? Pooh! I had to open all the windows! The air was blue! “
– Charles Bukowski [Factotum]

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