I was wondering if you have any bad habits or vices. I have a couple, drinking and smoking, mostly, and I feel like they're holding me back. Any advice?
DRINKING TOO MUCH
Sure, I have bad habits. I wait too long to file income taxes. I haven’t made my bed since nineteen hundred and twenty. I avoid confrontation. And according to my doc: I eat too much barbecued pork.
I also apologize too much—which is an embarrassing habit. I don’t know why I do it.
My friend, Davey, was king of bad habits. Davey was an alcoholic for most of his life. And when I say “alcoholic,” I mean: face-down-in-his-own-vomit-for-six-hours alcoholic.
We painted houses together. At night, we played music at various bars and beer-joints.
He was an upright bassist. An ex-professor of music at Auburn University. A fanatic for Ray Charles, Beethoven, Nat King Cole, Strauss, and Hank Williams.
He was in his seventies, but years of hard living made him
look two hundred years old. He had white hair, pale skin, stubbly face.
His one-bedroom apartment was on Campbell Street. His walls were lined with books—floor to ceiling. A feral cat lived on his porch. Dirty dishes sat in his sink.
Davey puffed Winstons all day. His emphysema was so bad he barely had the diaphragm-strength to smoke.
One night, we played in a Pensacola joint. He sat on a barstool during the break. The bartender asked what he wanted.
Davey buried his head and said, “Whatever you do, DON’T give me what I ask for.”
She looked at him and blinked. He ordered a stiff drink. She told him to get lost.
“Thank you, ma’am,”…