I've known several someones who seemed to be legit, up-and-comers who knew a lot of the rituals associated with veteran debauchery. They were felled by their overeagerness to indulge. Real badasses don't ask to join the party; they let it come to them. One poseur I knew would still be in the circle of mayhem but for one fateful night, when he asked me to set him up with a guy who knew a guy who could make a large transaction happen. He wound up on the side of a county highway, begging for a ride back to civilization. Last I heard he was doing quite well in law school, where I'm sure his friends make clucking noises of disapproval when he discusses his wayward, wasted days — you know, the ones he now publicly dismisses as a stupid mistake. His real error was trying too hard to be a badass.
Truth: I've only met one person who was born into the life — a misfit of a human, quirky and probably too weird to survive in the real world, where normal people roam the usual places and engage in the usual conversations, all of them talking and filling the air with the same tired bullshit, week after week. They're all Coke bottles, those people. They look the same and act the same and once you've met them you know the type, you can spot them in 10 seconds, and anyone with a lick of libertine will flee before they fall into the dullness of so-called sanity. I mean, Christ, how many times can people actually pretend they enjoy golf? Fuck, it's enough to make me want to take a 5-wood and inflict real damage to someone's tender parts (I prefer a 5-wood because you get more control that way; a driver is just overkill, and when you're aiming at someone's dangly bits it's best not to slice or hook).
This natural-born badass is out of the game, sadly. A true talent like that should never walk away from the weirdness — the world is a worse place for it. But meh, whatever. You can't beg a badass to stay. Their independent oddness is what makes them authentic. You just divvy up their share of the nutty goodness, raise a solemn scotch to them and wish them well, wherever they may roam. They know where to find you. That's why they're cool.