Monday, February 12, 2007

Quitting smoking

Today is February 12th. A not-so-signficant day that's two days before Valentine's Day, but this particular Feb 12th is worthy of being noted.

30 years ago today, I stopped smoking.

It was something I needed to work up to. I certainly needed to get rid of the collection of pipes, which were pretty darned cool (I was into meerschaum). But the big thing was just to stop smoking.

Every junkie knows his drug. Tobacco is my drug.

Every junkie can tell you everything there is to know about his drug: how it felt, which varieties they liked, what it was like the first time that day, times when it had felt really good, and so forth and so on. Me, too.

Every junkie can tell you how hard it was to give it up. Me, too.

And every junkie will tell you that they didn't give it up because they wanted to; they gave it up because they knew they had to... but if they had their druthers and it wasn't going to kill them, they'd all still be doing their drug regularly.

Oh, yeah, me, too.

I made the mistake of lighting someone's cigarette five years after I'd quit. The smoke curled around in my mouth. I didn't inhale (I'd probably have coughed my head off), but nicotine soaked in through my mucus membranes. I was jonesing for a cigarette for a week thereafter. I ain't done that since.

I have dreams periodically, usually in August for some reason, where I'm at a party and someone is saying to me, "Oh, it's safe now! You can smoke all you like and it's no big deal." And someone's hand holds a pack out to me and I take one of these newfangled cigarettes.

I had a dream last night, on the eve of this anniversary, about smoking. I smoke a lot in my dreams. It feels great.

God, I miss smoking. But I know better than to start again.


Anonymous said...

Smoking. I wish the hell I'd never started - back in 8th grade. I did actually manage to go several years without smoking - almost 10 -and then I went to work for DSHS, and within 2 years I was up to a pack a day. It's now been 10 years since I last worked there, but still I smoke, dammit.

congratulations on the anniversary.

Marianne said...

Oh, John, I've quit so many times, so far I've not been a 'real quitter' in that I always go back to Mr. Nic.....but what's this you say? You smoke a lot in your dreams? Dude. If I thought I'd smoke all night in my dreams...
Well, obviously I'm going to have to rethink this...but really, I am so impressed!