Booze, Cigarettes, and a Jazz Pianist

I am a jazz pianist, but I cannot drink alcohol. The same goes for cigarettes. When it comes to coffee, I can only drink a little after eating meat because it raises my heart rate.

This may seem unthink able now, but when I was young ... 50 years ago in Japan, it was difficult to be accepted in adult society if you could neither drink nor smoke.

It was no problem for close friends, but the more you met new people, superiors, or people you felt distant from, alcohol and cigarettes were the lubricants of communication.

Especially in the jazz world, if you couldn't drink, you often had to turn down favors from business partners, and it didn't make a good impression on them either." I felt very bad when he told me, "You can drink whatever alcohol we have here.

It must have been a heavenly place for a drinker. But even if I could drink, I didn't.

I am not a very dexterous pianist, and I feel that drinking dulls my senses and prevents me from practicing and deeply appreciating the piano; even if I am only 3% numb, after 10 days it becomes 30%, after 100 days it becomes 300%, and I feel like I am playing a piano that is not my true self, which is a waste.

Maybe that is being stingy.

But my wife says I am too unique like that and don't need alcohol.