[Originally published October 26, 2006.]

- -

Where is it? I could’ve sworn I took it off in the living room. Goddamn it, you don’t need the top hat. The top hat doesn’t define you. You can go places without it. God forbid you lose it one day. Who do you need to impress, anyway? The 7-Eleven guy? The 30-year-old chubby guy with a brow ring who always has to say “Welcome to the jungle!” every time you walk in, as if it were funny the first time. I fucking hate that guy. Did I leave it in the car maybe?

I really need to quit smoking. I should at least cut back. No smoking after 11 p.m., while playing guitar, or during photo shoots. Starting now. After this next pack. It shouldn’t be all that hard. I can do that. Where the hell are my sunglasses?

It’s getting cold, I really should wear a shirt. Every year you say, “Oh, a leather jacket is enough,” and every year you end up sick for a week. He’s going to ask about a reunion again. No, I haven’t talked to Axl since you asked last Wednesday; I have no idea what Duff is up to; yes, “Mr. Brownstone” is about blow. Now just ring up my cigarettes and let me get the hell out of here. I should just drive to Circle K so I don’t have to deal with that guy.

I should just buy cartons. It would be so much easier. And cheaper. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s like admitting that I can’t quit. Pack to pack, at least you can promise yourself … Who the hell am I kidding? I’ll never quit.

I wonder if Axl still has the number to that hypnotist that helped him. Maybe I should give him a call. It’s been long enough. Time heals all wounds, right? Just be an adult about it. Call him up, say, “Hey, I’m sorry I walked out of your wedding, I just didn’t really approve at the time, I should’ve kept it to myself, but I was young and all I could think to do was to rip a solo in a sandstorm.” He’d understand. They’re divorced now, anyway. But what if he’s with that guy with the bucket on his head? I’d look like a total loser calling him then.

It’s got to be around here somewhere. You would think I’d have picked up more than one top hat by now. Let’s see—I walked in, took off the scarf, checked my messages, went to the kitchen, poured some Jack. I can distinctly remember wearing it then. Or was I? Did I leave it at Cindy’s?

Get it together, Slash. Think. Maybe I left it in the—oh, man, the bathroom! I’m such an idiot. I spend 20 minutes walking all over the house and I don’t even look in the bathroom once! From now on, it goes on the hook first thing, as soon as I walk in the door. All right, top hat, nose ring, sunglasses … now, where are my keys?