I got a letter in the mail. It was addressed from Hollywood. Dear Chinaski:

I’ve just read almost all your books. I work as a typist in a place on Cherokee Ave. I’ve hung your picture in the place where I work. It’s a poster from one of your readings. People ask me, “Who’s that?” and I say, “That’s my boy friend” and they say. “My God!”

I gave my boss your book of stories, The Beast with Three Legs and he said he didn’t like it. He said you didn’t know how to write. He said it was cheap shit. He got quite angry about it.

Anyhow, I like your things and I’d like to meet you. They say I’m pretty well stacked. Care to check me out? luv,

She left two phone numbers, one at work, one at home. It was
about 2:30 pm. I dialed the work number. “Yes? a female answered. ”Is Valencia there?”

“This is Valencia.”

“This is Chinaski. I got your letter.”

“I thought you’d phone.”

“You have a sexy voice,” I said.

“You have too,” she answered.

“When can I see you?” I asked.

“Well, I’m not doing anything tonight.” “O.K. How about tonight?”

“All right,” she said, “I’ll see you after work. You can meet me at this bar on Cahuenga Boulevard, The Foxhole. You know where it is?”


“I’ll see you around six then. . . .”
I drove up and parked outside The Foxhole. I lit a cigarette and sat there awhile. Then I got out and walked into the bar. Which one was Valencia? I stood there and nobody said anything. I walked up to the bar and ordered a double vodka-7. Then I heard my name, “Henry?”

I looked around and there was a blonde alone in a booth. I took my drink over and sat down. She was about 38, and not stacked. She had gone to seed, was a bit too fat. Her breasts were very large but they sagged wearily. She had short clipped blond hair. She was heavily made up and she looked tired. She was in pants, blouse and boots. Pale blue eyes. Many bracelets on each arm. Her face revealed nothing, although once she might have been beautiful.

“It was really a fucking miserable day,” she said. “I typed my ass off.” “Let’s make it some other night then when you’re feeling better,” I said. “Ah, shit, it’s all right. Another drink and I’ll spring back.”

Valencia motioned to the waitress. “Another wine.”

She was drinking a white wine.

“How’s the writing going?” she asked. “Any new books out?”

“No, but I’m working on a novel.”

“What’s it called?”

“No title yet.”

“Is it going to be a good one?”

“I don’t know.”

Neither of us said anything for a while. I finished my vodka and had another. Valencia just wasn’t my type in any sense of the word. I disliked her. There are people like that—immediately upon meeting them you despise them.

“There’s a Japanese girl down where I work. She does everything possible to get me fired. I’m in tight with the boss, but this bitch makes the day unpleasant for me. Someday I’m going to stick my foot up her ass.”

“Where are you from?”


“I didn’t like Chicago,” I said.

“I like Chicago.”

I finished my drink, she finished hers. Valencia pushed her bill toward me. “You mind paying for this? I had a shrimp salad too.”
I took out my key to unlock the door. “This your car?”


“You expect me to ride in an old car like that?” “Look, if you don’t want to get in, don’t get in.”

Valencia got in. She took out her mirror and began making up her face as we drove along. It wasn’t far to my place. I parked.

Inside she said, “This place is filthy. You need somebody to fix it up.”
I got out the vodka and the 7-UP and poured two drinks. Valencia pulled her boots off. “Where’s your typewriter?”

“On the kitchen table.”

“You don’t have a desk? I thought writers had desks.”

“Some don’t even have kitchen tables.”

“You been married?” Valencia asked.


“What went wrong?”

“We began to hate each other.”

“I’ve been married four times. I still see my ex-husbands. We’re friends.”

“Drink up.”

“You seem nervous,” said Valencia.

“I’m all right.”

Valencia finished her drink, then stretched out on the couch. She put her head in my lap. I began to stroke her hair. I poured her another drink, and went back to stroking her hair. I could look into her blouse and see her breasts. I leaned over and gave her a long kiss. Her tongue darted in and out of my mouth. I hated her. My cock began to rise. We kissed again and I reached down into her blouse.

“I knew I’d meet you some day,” she said.

I kissed her again, this time with some savagery. She felt my cock against her head. “Hey!” she said.

“It’s nothing,” I said.

“Like hell,” she said. “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know. ...”

“I know.”

Valencia got up and went to the bathroom. When she came out she was naked. She got under the bedsheet. I had another drink. Then I undressed and got into bed. I pulled the sheet back. What huge breasts. She was one-half breast. I firmed one up with my hand as best I could and sucked at the nipple. It didn’t harden. I went to the other breast and sucked at the nipple. No response. I sloshed her breasts about. I stuck my cock in between them. The nipples remained soft. I shoved my cock at her mouth and she turned her head away. I thought of burning her ass with a cigarette. What a mass of flesh she was. A worn out busted down streetwalker. Whores usually made me hot. My cock was hard but my spirit wasn’t in it.

“Are you Jewish?” I asked her. “No.”

“You look Jewish.”

“I’m not.”

“You live in the Fairfax district, don’t you?” “Yes.”

“Are your parents Jewish?”

“Listen, what’s all this Jewish shit?”

“Don’t feel bad. Some of my best friends are Jewish.”

I sloshed her breasts around again.

“You seem frightened,” Valencia said. “You seem uptight.” I waved my cock in her face.

“Does that look frightened?”

“It looks horrible. Where’d you get all those big veins?”

“I like them.”

I grabbed her by the hair and pressed her head up against the wall and sucked at her teeth while looking into her eyes. Then I began playing with her cunt. She was a long time coming around. Then she began to open and I stuck my finger in. I got to the clit and worked it. Then I mounted. My cock was inside of her. We were actually fucking. I had no desire to please her. Valencia had a fair grip. I was into her pretty good but she didn’t seem to be responding. I didn’t care. I pumped and pumped. One more fuck. Research. There was no sense of violation involved. Poverty and ignorance bred their own truth. She was mine. We were two animals in the forest and I was murdering her. She was coming around. I kissed her and her lips were finally open. I dug it in. The blue walls watched us. Valencia began making little sounds. That spurred me on.

When she came out of the bathroom I was dressed. There were two drinks on the table. We sipped our drinks. “How come you live in the Fairfax district?” I asked.

“I like it there.”

“Should I drive you home?”

“If you don’t mind.”

She lived two blocks east of Fairfax. “That’s my place there,” she said, “with the screen door.” “Looks like a nice place.”

“It is. Want to come in for a while?”

“Got anything to drink?”

“Can you drink sherry?”

“Sure . . .”

We went in. There were towels on the floor. She kicked them under the couch as she walked past. Then she came out with the sherry. It was very cheap stuff.

“Where’s your bathroom?” I asked.

I flushed the toilet to cover the sound, then puked the sherry back up. I flushed again and came out.

“Another drink?” she asked.


“The kids came by,” she said, “that’s why the place is such a mess.”

“You’ve got kids?”

“Yes but Sam is taking care of them.”

I finished my drink. “Well, look, thanks for the drinks. I’ve got to get going.”

“All right, you’ve got my phone number.”


Valencia walked me to the screen door. We kissed there. Then I walked out to the
Volks. I got in and drove off. I circled around the corner, double-parked, opened the door and puked up the other drink.

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