It’s guesswork as to how many times I’ve tried to kick the nicotine habit- excluding a nightmarish furlough at the Miami Airport. However many times I’ve tried, the habit has kicked me back every single one of those times.
My last smoke was over the Thanksgiving holiday. I don’t know how many days ago that was and I don’t care. Numbers don’t mean shit except on those commercials with the nicotine nazis. There is no last day of school when it comes to smoking. No graduation from the habit. No certificate or diploma or degree.
There are so many things I miss about smoking, which is why it is so impossibly tough to quit.
I miss smoking breaks. I miss that first smoke in the morning with a piping hot cup of coffee. I miss that smoke after a couple of martinis and a bloody steak. Dark chocolate followed by a smoke is a most enjoyable thing, too. Eating and smoking is the most enjoyable combination of activities since Adam and Eve put the Do Not Disturb sign on their treehouse.
I miss the smoke before I grab a flight and I miss the smoke after I land. I miss an evening walk with a trusty pack of smokes in tow. I miss that tug of nicotine at one o’clock in the morning as I am sitting in a bar and swinging through the music of my drink. I miss pulling out a smoke while reading on the porch. I miss writing with a beer on one side of the keyboard and an ashtray on the other.
Yep, lots to miss. But as with any dysfunctional romance, there’s much more sense to staying away than to going back. Because here’s the thing. I’m not married to the smokes any longer. Now, the habit is tawdry and dirty- no longer a wife and more like a mistress.
The things I loved with the smokes? I love them just as much without the smokes. Probably more so without the brilliant disguise that always grabbed attention away from whatever it was I happened to be doing. My martini dances with the same liquid fever, sans the pretension of a sidekick.
Of course, this is nothing more than fine sounding bullshit I’m selling myself. Still, it’s nice to own my habits rather than having the habits own me. The last time I quit, I went more than a year. And then one night the craving for one talked me into trying out a one night stand and the next thing I knew I was scrumming for loose change to follow that pack up with another.
Quitting is not an achievement. Staying away, that’s the bitch of the matter.
Drink of the Day- Grey Goose on the rocks. It stands before me naked. A beautiful thrust of trespass.