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. 

Dr. B

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8 Comments on “The Creative Mid-Life Crisis”

  1. Carmen Claypool Says:

    What no gold chains? And the sports car?

  2. drtombibey Says:


    It’s funny you say that. My staff always said if I showed up at the office with my shirt half unbuttoned and a gold chain around my neck, they were gonna call my wife and get a stat CT head scan.

    They are medical folks and they thought the change in mental status would be indicative of a brain tumor or perhaps just done gone crazy.

    Dr. B

  3. Kathy Says:

    A lot of rich people may be unhappy, but the rest of us can’t wait.

    (Kudos to your staff regarding their stand on gold chains. What is their view on piercing?)

    • drtombibey Says:


      I try to be a live and let live guy but if I came in to the office with any kind of piercing I am certain my people would have either a cardiac arrest or a seizure.

      I want ’em to live and be happy so I guess I better not change personas now.

      Dr. B

  4. newt221 Says:

    You go Dr. B. It strengthens my drive to see how determined you are to get your “story” out there. And, if those rich and famous people are upset…well let’em be upset. The truth will prevail….

    • drtombibey Says:


      Amen. You know, I believe one of our charges as humans is to understand ourselves well enough to admit our faults. My biggest one is I am stubborn and relentless.

      As my staff says, “The big wheel grinds slow, but grinds sure.” The ones who have been with me for years just shrug their shoulders and laugh. They know there’s no changing it now.

      I figured I could either channel all that energy into my story, or I could do the bad guys some bodily harm. I chose option number one. It seemed better for me and them both.

      I’ve often prayed I could not be so driven, and the answer was I couldn’t change what I am. I have to pour it into art and not let the drive take me in the wrong direction.

      So far, so good.

      Dr. B

  5. Writing a book is the best and most productive mid life crisis anyone could have. Instead of splurging your hard earned cash on booze or fancy cars or trashy girls, you’re going to give something beautiful and interesting to the world. You’re a star, without a doubt, Dr. B!

    • drtombibey Says:


      I ain’t kidding young’un, I’m just a regular old doctor with a dream.

      Just one time in this crazy celebrity driven world, I’d like for someone like me to show how to have some measure of “success” and still be a decent person.

      I’ve always said I want my books to be a road map for how to be decent and still not get trampled on. I didn’t have to finish first to be happy, but I want to refute the notion that nice guys finish last.

      I’m so far from perfect I gave up on that a long time ago, but I do believe we should try to do the best we can to be fair to people. (Some folks really do test me though!)

      I can’t wait for you to read it. We are close.

      Dr. B

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