Charles Bukowski


My grandmother had a serious gas problem. we only saw her on Sunday. she'd sit down to dinner and she'd have gas. she was very heavy, 80 years old. wore this large glass brooch, that's what you noticed most in addition to the gas. she'd let it go just as food was being served. she'd let it go in bursts spaced about a minute apart. she'd let it go 4 or 5 times as we reached for the potatoes poured the gravy cut into the meat. Nobody ever said anything, especially me. I was 6 years old. only my grandmother spoke. after 4 or 5 blasts she would say in an offhand way, "I'll bury you all!" I didn't much like that: first farting then saying that. It happened every Sunday. she was my father's mother. Every Sunday it was death and gas and mashed potatoes and gravy and that big glass brooch. Those Sunday dinners would always end with apple pie and ice cream and a big argument about something or other, my grandmother finally running out the door and taking the red train back to Pasadena the place stinking for an hour and my father walking about fanning a newspaper in the air and saying, "it's all that damned sauerkraut she eats!"

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