The Old Days

by Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver

You'd dozed in front of the TV
but you hadn't been to bed yet
when you called. I was asleep,
or nearly, when the phone rang
You wanted to tell me you'd thrown
a party. And I was missed.
It was like the old days, you
said, and laughed.
Dinner was a disaster
Everybody dead drunk by the time
food hit the table. People
were having a good time, a great
time, a hell of a time, until
somebody took somebody
else's fiancée upstairs. Then
somebody pulled a knife.

But you got in front of the guy
as he was going upstairs
and talked him down.
Disaster narrowly averted,
you said, and laughed again.
You didn't remember much else
of what happened after that.
People got into their coats
and began to leave. You
must have dropped off for a few
minutes in front of the TV
because it was screaming at you
to get it a drink when you woke up.
Anyway, you're in Pittsburgh,
and I'm in here in this
little town on the other side
of the country. Most everyone
has cleared out of our lives now.

Last updated March 18, 2023