He told us of once showing up at some clinic, drunk and filthy and soiled with his own diarrhea, and throwing a fit because the doctor was ten minutes late. “If you’re a real alcoholic,” the guy said to us, “no matter how low you go, you will have an attitude.”
To limber your sensibility, stalk the aesthetic everywhere: cracks in a sidewalk, people’s ways of walking. The aesthetic isn’t bounded by art, which merely concentrates it for efficient consumption. If you can’t put a mental frame around, and relish, the accidental aspect of a street or a person, or really of anything, you will respond to art only sluggishly.
For about a dozen years, I hung out, drank, and slept with artists who didn’t take me seriously. I observed, heard, overheard, and absorbed a great deal.
Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz—a poet of my generation and fellow graduate of Manhattan’s P.S. 41—once told me that the age requirement for drinking on St. Marks Place was “confidence.” Maybe that’s the age requirement for everything