Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Quick One (While He's Away)

I wanted to thank you all for expressing your concerns. Today I'm feeling a little bit better. I hardly ever use this blog to share my personality in an anecdotal fashion, but now is as good a time as any.

Smoking was something that, like many young teenagers, that I picked up out of a desire to want to fit in with my peers. Back then, I was very naive, very sheltered, far more introverted than I am now, and extremely shy. My purity factor was at its highest apex when I was fifteen. Nowadays, it's not so much. Hardly anyone who knows me now can easily comprehend how different I was then. I myself have a hard time reconciling the way I am now versus the way I was back then.

My first job involved sacking groceries and following the examples of the wilder, more worldly, more risk-taking boys, I had a friend steal a pack of cigarettes for me. They were, as I recall, Marlboro Lights. This was back in the day when cigarettes were under $3 a pack. Now they are as much as $4.50, even in this state of relatively low taxes and tobacco-friendly lobbies. Upon a visit to NYC a few years back, I paid $8 a pack, which is enough to make anyone want to quit.

I remember the first time I took a puff on a cigarette. It was like sucking on a burning rope. Still, I was hellbent on figuring out how to perfect this habit. Around midnight, one memorable night, I sneaked out of the house through the downstairs bathroom window. I managed around half a cigarette before I felt so woozy and out of sorts that I found standing upright difficult. I climbed back in the window but in a moment of clumsiness, I lost my balance and in doing so, fell back inside the house, hitting my head on the toilet seat in the process.

If I had the opportunity to address a group of people younger than myself, I would tell them emphatically to not take that first drag on a cigarette. It's like opening Pandora's Box. I shall probably crave cigarettes the rest of my days to some degree or another. Once you start and begin any sort of habit, you seem to be doomed to a lifetime of picking up and setting down the habit. Indeed, I can't say that my days of smoking are over. I often wish they were illegal, cause that would probably be the only means by which I would never be tempted to start again. That, and I'm too lazy to want to go to the trouble to grow my own tobacco.

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

What a great post. It should be all over the internet. That said, we know a lot of kids will still start to smoke.

I send you so many good thoughts and wishes regarding quitting.

When I was 15 I decided to give it a try, for similar reasons. You and I seem to have our own odd doppleganger-ish things despite the vast difference in age and our gender!

Now I decided to try this even though I had grown up in a house of smokers and detested smoking. What does that tell you?!

Thus it began. I started in 1972 at age 15. In college, when I was dating Mr He Is circa 1978, I was smoking my fool head off at 33 cents a pack! He hated it so I actually did stop.

Around the time we broke up in 1980 I started up again. This went on until about 1984 or 85, when I quit for good and quite by accident.

Can I tell you what a tragic shock and surprise it was to re-meet Mr He Is in 2004 and find out that he started smoking when we broke up and that he still did! Ugh, it is the one bad thing between us.

And it was my one dating non-negotiable. Love throws non-negotiables out the feckin' window.

Back to matters at hand, I am an extremely addictive type person... food is my worst demon I can tell you.

However dear CK let me tell you this... Once I was broken of it, I have oddly never, ever wanted to go back to it.

May this happen to you. Smoking sucks. I wish Mr He Is would figure that out.