Thursday, June 02, 2005

And it was on this day in 1977 that the writer Raymond Carver quit drinking. . . .He died of lung cancer 11 years later, but he once described those last 11 years of his life as "gravy, pure gravy." (Writer's Almanac)

THE PARTY

Last night, alone, 3000 miles from the one
I love, I turned the radio on to some jazz
and made a huge bowl of popcorn
with lots of salt on it. Poured butter over it.
Turned out the lights and sat in a chair
in front of the window with the popcorn and
a can of Coke. Forgot everything important
in the world while I ate popcorn and looked out
at a heavy sea, and the lights of town.
The popcorn runny with butter, covered with
salt. I ate it up until there was nothing
left except a few Old Maids. Then
washed my hands. Smoked a couple more cigarettes
while I listened to the beat of the little
music that was left. Things had quieted way down,
though the sea was still running. Wind gave
the house a last shake when I rose
and took three steps, turned, took three more steps, turned.
Then I went to bed and slept wonderfully,
as always. My God, what a life!
But I thought I should explain, leave a note anyhow,
about this mess in the living room
and what went on here last night. Just in case
my lights went out, and I keeled over.
Yes, there was a party here last night.
And the radio's still on. Okay.
But if I die today, I die happy--thinking
of my sweetheart, and of that last popcorn.

--Raymond Carver

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