if you won’t trust
someone who won’t drink
then you’ll never trust me
if all your close friends
smoke up with you
we’ll never be close friends
if you only respect
someone who’ll do a line with you
shoot up with you
share a bowl with you
then I have no role in your life
we’ll never bond
if only self-destructive writers
are real writers
then I’ll always be a fake
a wanna be
who really doesn’t warrant
I’m just one of those shallow dilettantes
without the guts
the creative genius
to deal with life through
a haze of booze
you are clearly better off with me
I’ve heard variations of this more than once: ‘I’ll never trust someone who won’t drink’ or sometimes to the effect ‘someone who won’t take a drink with me.’ You can replace ‘drink’ with ‘toke’ ‘line’ or any other substance. There are men & women who will only party-and-play – if there’s no drug involved they aren’t interested.
The history of destructive addiction & creativity is deep. Considering Dostoyevsky’s alcoholism, gambling habits & writing by hand I’m amazed he got so much written 🙂 For many writer’s i.e Hemingway, Dylan Thomas their drinking is seen as an unfortunate flaw that somehow enhances their reputation. They didn’t have rehabs in those days.
I’ve been involved with workshops, readings etc where there has been a very clear division that occurs when I decline a drink of excellent triple malt scotch. It seems I say ‘no thanks’ without sufficient apology. Ditto for declining to slip out for a toke or do a line.
Then again that division may come from the fact that I’m not super-social in most situations to being with – by super-social I mean I don’t share stories about my medical condition, children, recent escapades – I’m just there to write, maybe read on the one mike. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose. This piece is more an observation than a complaint though. I am more amused by this equating of a drink with trust. Though I’d rather be judged by my work than the quality of the scotch I decline.