Jazz and blues music critic? That could be a cool job. Getting comp’d to go hear a new dynamic trio or catch an old pro like Mose Allison or Marcus Miller? But I’d feel bad if I had to give one of these cats or kitties a bad revue though of course would feel obligated to be honest and hopefully not snarky but offer constructive criticism. Maybe what I’d really want to be is a jazz photographer on the scene like William Claxton was all those years. Staying out until the wee hours – at this age I would have to take a nap prior to the set – being part of the backdrop yet being able to capture the intimate shot like he did with Ella, Miles, Prez and so many others.
How about writing my secret memoirs as a masked adventurer called the Phantom Raider, a sort of Batman crossed with Tony Stark? Rich, gadget inventor, brainy chicks dig you, obsessive, dedicated, in tip-top shape, and master of various fighting forms. But honestly, could you imagine each day donning your armor – and finally after all these years it’s been established Bats’ costume is made of Kevlar material ‘cause you know, gangsters aren’t that great as shootists but they aren’t that bad in their aim – getting punched, kicked in the groin, socked in your head and having your teeth rattled constantly? Talk about PTSD. Let alone no matter how much body protection you have, all those bruises and trauma to the body takes its toll. You’d be a physical wreck. But my deterioration would make a swell book.
Comic book artist and writer. That would be the best. As I’ve often noted on panels, I became a prose writer because I can’t draw. But when I was a kid, I desperately wanted to write and draw my own comics and spent many hours at the draft table, composing panels on Strathmore paper, dipping various nibs of various widths attached to my Speedball pen into India ink and inking my pencils and letters. Turns out I stunk, but damned if I didn’t feel fulfilled when I got a page done. What I wouldn’t give to be a able draftsman, sought after by comics editors hungry for the look I brought to the project. Having so much clout I could pick and choose my assignments.
Of course I’d write and draw the comic book, The Astounding Phantom Raider, Scourge of the Underworld.