The Creative Mid-Life Crisis
Indie used to say what was wrong was docs was they saw and heard too much. “We see all this crap and we can’t tell,” he’d say. “Doctors stuff it all deep down inside, and it has to come out. That’s why me and you play music.”
Indie said we played to keep from going crazy, and he always encouraged me to keep at it. “Bibey, you’re such a d@^# Boy Scout.” He’d flick a cigarette ash off to the side. “You don’t need to wind up like me; too much Jimmy Beam, boy.”
Indie was the most honest doc I ever knew, and I wanted to be just like him. But when someone came up and offered me a Mason jar of white liquor, he’d shoo them away. “That’s my doctor, I want him to keep his brain cells.”
Indie was right about what we see. It has to come out somehow. For him it was the fiddle, Camels, and Jimmy Beam, although he remained not only functional but wise to the end.
I’ve seen guys who got to my age and went plum crazy. Some decided they were an overnight expert in the restaurant business and got hosed good. I knew a few who got hooked on pills (we call it eating the mail, ie samples) and others ran off with some girl half their age. Now they have toddlers and an angry wife who can’t understand why they are so sluggish. (It’s ’cause they are old.)
I knew I had to be more innovative than just do the same old thing that had been done so many times before. My book is my creative mid-life crisis. I never forget Indie’s lessons. It did have to come out, but it had to be the right way. That’s why it had to be fiction. No names, no facts, all truth. If I wrote what I know in a factual way, I would have a swarm of lawyers at my door Monday morning. Indie taught me better, and that isn’t gonna happen. I’ve been a doc too long to have to go to work for a living now.
There’s a reason you don’t see too many doctor books. Indie is correct. We are taught to stuff it all deep inside, never let it out, and take it to the grave. I’ve always been one to go against the grain, so this is one time that ain’t gonna happen either. I didn’t think that was healthy, and besides I thought my non-doctor friends needed to know what really goes on. So, I’m gonna tell.
I know my story is gonna make a lot of rich people very unhappy, but I don’t care. I think it’s not a bad mid-life crisis and I’m gonna stick with it till the end. If I took up drinking now, Indie’ll be mad at me when I get to Heaven, and I don’t want to disappoint him or God either one.