Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

February 09, 2004 - 5:29 p.m.

A Farewell to Marlboros

You've been my dear friends for years. I would start and end my day with you. When I was not with you, I was thinking of you. I went out in the rain and snow for you. I would buy one hundred of you in a carton so you would always be here for me. And you were always there, one match away from that satisfying hit at the back of my throat.

But you're killing me, and you have to go.

I started smoking when I was fifteen. All the cool kids smoked, the ones I wanted to be like. My parents did too, cigarettes smelled just like home. I had a full on pack-a-day habit within a year, and smoked a steady supply of them, right up to age 30. I had quit a few times but that never lasted for more than six months. When Son1 started having respiratory problems, that was the motivation I needed to end it. And end it I did, for over ten years. It was effortless that time, I just stopped smoking them.

When the shit hit the fan in 1995, I started again. But it didn't last long, only about five months. Son1 and 2 put up with it (out of loyalty to their dad I think), but I couldn't live with myself. I also felt stupid, firing one off first thing in the morning, in the attached garage in the middle of winter. I would light one up before anyone else was awake. I quit again that time, effortlessly.

I started again recently, almost a year ago. I had been flirting with them off and on since my layoff in 2002, but I always maintained control over them. Finally in a fit of Self Loathing and What The Hell, I started a regular habit last May. I stunk up the house and my car with them, the ashtrays were out, I was buying cartons of 'em baby. Who cares? I sure didn't.

I've had clean lungs for a greater period of my life than polluted ones. When I quit the first time I re-discovered taste and smell, and a much simpler lifestyle. I wasn't a Born Again Non-Smoker either; that holier-than-thou crap pisses me off in any form it takes, whether it's smoke, drink or God. I didn't mind if people smoked around me, I could relate to the desire for one. Sometimes though, my distaste for the smell was in direct proportion to how I felt about the person behind the cigarette.

But I'm like an alcoholic. One cigarette and I'm on the "road to ruin." Not exactly, cigarettes are still a socially acceptable form of addiction. Sure they kill you, but the death is at a more leisurely pace. I've realized over my lifetime that I just cannot smoke at all. Not even one, to "see what it's like." Now I know what it's like.

I don't like the way they make me stink, it just gets to me. I have never liked the way they make me and my surroundings smell, I'm a scent-driven critter. Even when I was firing off a pack a day I could smell the ashtray three feet away. I was always aware of the fact that I stunk like cigarettes, because I could smell it on other people. Sometimes when smokers talk to me, their breath smells just a little bit like vomit. I always imagined people thinking that about me. It's not a pleasant thought.

When I met the Gardenangel in person last August, I had just quit for two weeks. When we met through M@tch dot com, I discovered she was a smoker. She started at about the same age I did, the difference was, she's never really quit them. So naturally, I started again. She felt responsible, but I assured her it was all my idea. Besides, you know the old expression about "licking ashtrays?" It's not as bad if your mouth is an ashtray too. We made promises to quit together, but it never happened.

So now I'm back on my own again, and I have no more excuses to continue. It's time to get back to the more comfortable smoke-free way of life. I bought a Family Size Box of Nicoderm CQ clear patches at Sam's Club yesterday, and slapped the first one on yesterday afternoon. Those things seem to work the best for me, it erases my desire for one completely. I'm not making deals with myself about delaying it for just one more day. I'm not raiding butts out of trash cans and ashtrays. (C'mon fellow smokers, you know you've done this!) Every once in a while I'll think about having one and then I'll remember that I quit. I feel a bit forlorn because I miss the action of smoking, but the feeling soon passes. I had my first vivid dream last night too, due to the non-stop dose of nicotine I was enjoying. It was a little disturbing; it was sexual like I hoped it would be, but the outcome wasn't what I had in mind! I guess I'm working through several issues right now, not the least of which is quitting the cigarette habit.

It's only been 24 hours since I smoked one, but I feel like I'm finally ready to quit again. I was never really happy with myself about starting again, it's a weakness I have that I must confront. I feel better already about myself because I'm making an effort to end my slavery.

Hmmm, look at the clock! Time to slap on a fresh patch!

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

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