Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Cigarette When You Don't Want One

Smoking's a crutch in so many ways. It's an excuse, an abuse, and a reason to drink more coffee. People trying to quit, like myself, look for anything negative or otherwise not ideal to serve as motivation to light up a smoke. I had a bad day, for instance, which is why there's a pack of fresh Camel Turkish Silvers on my desk. And, yeah, I hate myself for it. There's nothing worse than a hypocrite. Other than a liar, of course, but I guess hypocrisy is nothing more than lying to oneself.

It's strange, though, the first cigarette smoked after an extended period of not smoking tends to flood both the mind and the body with strange and enlightening memories. I can't explain it in words, really, but I'm fairly certain any smoker reading this will know what I'm talking about. There's that flash of innocence from the way ash overwhelms the taste buds. Maybe it's a reminder of innocence lost... a fleeting glimpse into a personal history before an initial cigarette was ever smoked.

Not sure I've ever written about it, but I started smoking for the most retarded of reasons: a girl. Yep. I'm an idiot. Now that I'm older I feel qualified to throw this piece of advice out there: don't ever do anything just to impress a girl. Or, if you are a girl, don't ever do anything just to impress a guy. It's just going to backfire anyway. In my case, it's led to damn near 10 years of lungs that should be a lot cleaner.

Actually, come to think of it, I didn't actually start smoking around this particular specimen of the female gender. That honor goes to a few soldiers I served with, and a few days of hedonism in Las Vegas. I mean, shit, what else are you going to do in Vegas other than be hedonistic? Then again, one can argue that the first few cigarettes one smokes are most certainly not pleasurable, so I guess there's that hypocrisy thing again.

I did mention that cigarettes make people justify the most inane of actions, no?

Adding to the ridiculousness of it all, I would tell people that I learned how to smoke while researching a role for a script I had written. Keep in mind that this was years before I was even peripherally introduced to the film industry. A young shit-talker full of shit. And, obviously, attempting to hide the real reason for the suicidal slow burn.

But, I've had a bad day. And it's too late to clear up the smoke in the room. So I guess I'll just have another cigarette I don't even really want.


  1. Nice. Honest and straightforward. Now, stop smoking.

  2. I know, I know. I feel like I want to puke.

  3. Great. I just read that after smoking my last smoke three hours ago. i decided to quit today but something came up, so i'm quitting tommorrow.

    the indians believed that the tobacco smoke rose up the gods and helped clear their minds. i don't know about all that, but i definately understand that flood of memories and times yet to come, and some enlightenment as well. then the addiction kicks in, and self control loses out. i wish i could smoke only one cigarette a day, but i can't.
    -Johnny O

  4. Jennifer Collister at 6:16am July 14
    I thought you quit smoking?

  5. Bill Golden at 7:30am July 14
    Just read the whole thing. I like your writing style. You should consider taking p blogging as an occupation.

    Don't take this wrong -- because it is meant to be a complement -- but you've got a certain sense of Andy Rooney orJack Cafferty in your style. An acidiness at times that draws the reader in: irreverent irrelevance.

  6. I smoked for 14 years straight... then off and on for another three. I would still give anything for a cigarette most nights. The only way I quit was I memorized my driver's license number (so I can tell the road block police that I'm legally allowed to drive) and threw away my ID. I look like I'm 12 so no one would sell them to me.

    Crap. Now I want one.

  7. Adia Songs at 3:04pm July 14
    Haha.Love the article.I am so passing that on to my husband. Me and the kids just about nag him to death on a regular basis to quit.

  8. What Wings said. Plus remember to be nice to other people struggling with different addictions. Like Carb addicts. :)

  9. The last line is the one that gets me.