While being dressed down, told off and insulted I was informed by my colleague that I was certainly more self-aware than most. In the context, I can hardly consider it a compliment.
Trying to figure out just exactly what I've done to disrupt this friendship, I will say that I spend a lot of time studying who I am. I'm not going to tell you that I always like what I find but I do tend to tell myself the truth about it.
Failure will cause you to examine yourself under a higher powered microscope. Stumble once and maybe it's bad luck. Fall again and you have to question yourself. Bumble wildly through the course of a lifetime and there's only one suspect to haul in for questioning.
Now, I can't help but notice that when people shed me it usually comes with a flare. No, an inferno. I'm not talking wild-eyed fights. Once when I mentioned that I had thought that she was in love with me because she had told me she was, I was hit with, "Yeah, I can't believe you were that stupid for that long," in a very calm, matter of fact tone.
One long time friend called once to tell me what a bad person I was and kept me on the phone for what seemed like hours. It was probably minutes. I said pretty much nothing. I couldn't get a word in and really didn't know how to defend any idea of decency that I had ever attributed to myself. That one ended with, "Have a nice life!" and the slamming of the phone. I didn't hear from him for years. We had never had a fight. Not that I was aware of.
Rock'n'roll is where I spill my beans. Oh, I write about hurt and I write about disappointment and some of my subjects are on the dark side. The joy of the music, though, gets me through. It doesn't just get me through. It reminds me of all of the love and all of the joy and all of the light. There is no net for my kind of show and there are no masks.
Tonight at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa I'm celebrating fifty years of this stuff. You would think that a grown man would have better sense. You might guess that fellow would push that old heart a little further up his sleeve. Sometimes I think that I break my own heart to have something to write about.