40,000

at the track today, 
Father’s Day, 
each paid admission was 
entitled to a wallet 
and each contained a 
little surprise. 
most of the men seemed 
between 30 and 55, 
going to fat, 
many of them in walking 
shorts, 
they had gone stale in 
life, 
flattened out…. 
in fact, damn it, they 
aren’t even worth writing 
about! 
why am I doing 
this? 
these don’t even 
deserve a death bed, 
these little walking 
whales, 
only there are so 
many of 
them, 
in the urinals, 
in the food lines, 
they have managed to 
survive 
in a most limited 
sense 
but when you see 
so many of them 
like that, 
there and not there, 
breathing, farting, 
commenting, 
waiting for a thunder 
that will not arrive, 
waiting for the charging 
white horse of 
Glory, 
waiting for the lovely 
female that is not 
there, 
waiting to WIN, 
waiting for the great 
dream to 
engulf them 
but they do nothing, 
they clomp in their 
sandals, 
gnaw at hot dogs 
dog style, 
gulping at the 
meat, 
they complain about 
losing, 
blame the jocks, 
drink green 
beer, 
the parking lot is 
jammed with their 
unpaid for 
cars, 
the jocks mount 
again for another 
race, 
the men press 
toward the betting 
windows 
mesmerized, 
fathers and non-fathers 
Monday is waiting 
for them, 
this is the last 
big lark. 
and the horses are 
totally 
beautiful. 
it is shocking how 
beautiful they 
are 
at that time, 
at that place, 
their life shines 
through; 
miracles happen, 
even in 
hell. 
I decide to stay for 
one more 
race
Charles Bukowski

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