Mike Doughty @ The Social, reading from his new book The Book of Drugs

Sometimes I go to concerts with Lisa just because she likes people.  That’s why I went to see Mike Doughty the first time, way back when.  I like him, but I don’t listen to him a lot, so she periodically has to remind me that ‘he’s the guy from Soul Coughing’ and then the pieces will click together again.  Before tonight it never occurred to me that he might not want to be seen that way.

I cannot wait to read The Book of Drugs.  I’m just going to go ahead and rec it to you, even though all I know of it are the passages he read to us this evening and his general unease with the period of time in his life that the book portrays.  He talks about his checkered and sometimes painful past honestly and candidly, and more than that, he seems to have learned from it.  He doesn’t regret the drugs or the hurtful relationships or the twists and turns in the road that brought him to where he is.  He accepts them as parts of a whole life.  I try to do this, but sometimes it doesn’t work.  Sometimes I remember a thing that I did in the past and just shudder, because Christ, I used to be so stupid.  But, to paraphrase Sirius Black, we’re all idiots at some point.

Standing there tonight I felt a bit like some sort of future deja vu was echoing back at me.  I thought, when you’re in your thirties you’re going to think back on your twenties and conclude that they were hard, but when you’re in your forties you’re going to realize that it’s just life that is hard.  Not groundbreaking stuff, but stuff that I need to remind myself of from time to time.

It’s comforting somehow, to grow older and reasonably more functional with the musicians of your youth.