Hank's Place
Life as a Sitcom

by charles bukowski

Stepped into the wrong end of the jacuzzi and twisted my right leg which was bad anyhow, then that night got drunk with a tv writer and an actor, something about putting my life into a sitcom and luckily that fell through and the next day at the track I get a box seat in the dining area, get a menu and a glass of water, my leg is really paining me, I can barely walk to the betting windows and back, then about the 3rd race the waiter rushes by, asks "can I borrow your menu?" but he doesn't wait for an answer, he just grabs it and runs off.

A couple of races go by, I fight through the pain to make my bets, get back, sit down just as the waiter rushes by, he grabs all my silverware and my napkin and runs off.

"HEY!" I yell but he's gone.

All about me people are eating, drinking and laughing. I check my watch after the 6th race and it is 4:30 p.m. and I haven't been served yet and I'm 72 years old with a hangover and a leg from hell.

I pull myself to my feet by the edge of the table and hobble about looking for the maitr'd. I see him down a far aisle and wave him in.

"Can I speak to you?" I ask.

"Sure, sure, sir!"

"Look, it's the 7th race, they took my menu and my silverware and I haven't been served yet."

"We'll take care of it right away, sir."

Well, the 7th race went off, the 8th race went off and still no service. I purchased my ticket for the 9th race and took the escalator down. On the first floor, grandstand, I purchased a sandwich. I ate it going down the escalator to the parking lot. The valet laughed as I slowly worked my leg into the car, making a vast face of pain as I did so.

"Got a gimpy leg there, huh, Hank?" he asked.

I pulled out, made it to the boulevard and onto the freeway which immediately began to slow because of a 3 car crash ahead. I snapped on the radio in time to find that my horse had run out in the 9th. A flash of pain shot up my right leg. And I decided to tell my wife about what had happened at the track even though I knew she would put an entirely different interpretation upon it than I had but when a man is in pain he doesn't think right, he only asks for more.

Life as a Sitcom was originally Published in Half-Truth Magazine