I've been listening to the audiobook of Eric Clapton's autobiography. It's my current "walking around" book — as I take my walks. I'm enjoying the book, especially the deadpan retelling of horrible dissolution brought on by drugs and drink. I was listening last night as I walked over to the Barnes & Noble on Court Street.
(I wanted to buy Norman Mailer's "Advertisements for Myself." Sadly enough, they didn't seem to have a single book by Norman Mailer in the store, here in this neighborhood where Norman Mailer lived for many years. You'd think they would have had a huge display table, with all of his books, just at the entrance of the store. But I looked everywhere I could think, including alphabetically on the fiction shelves, where there was nothing)
It's not a long walk, but I heard Clapton's descriptions of the following:
1. Getting up in the middle of the night on Christmas and opening his presents alone — as a grown, married man, then hiding in the basement. Pattie Boyd had to try to salvage the family Christmas by locking him in a room for the day.
2. Driving home at night after getting drunk in a bar, he would stop and pick up homeless men and bring them to his mansion. He wanted to hang out with them, because he thought they were more real than other people, even though most of them talked utter madness.
3. He thought about suicide, but what stopped him was the realization that if he were dead, he would not be able to drink.
4. Until he went to a rehab clinic in Minnesota, he didn't realize that alcoholism could be considered a disease. He had always considered it degeneracy and resisted thinking of himself that way (even though he was drinking bottles of vodka or brandy a day and going to great lengths to hide it).