In the event of a Zombiegeddon, I’m going with three musts haves for the ‘ole backpack- A Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum, a bottle of Knob Creek and a carton of Marlboro Reds. The first two are negotiable, the smokes ain’t. Not at the end of the world.
Okay, please indulge me as I throw down my take on the Walking Dead season finale. It’s been a while . . .
Walking Dead Season Finale Review
Who DIDN’T think Terminus was gonna be a bad idea? I liken season 4 to blue cheese crumbles; fragments of intense flavor but really more tease than please. That’s why I liked how the finale sets up next season. Now that we’re done with the personal vignettes which helped to ease our separation anxiety from the group dynamic, the band is (mostly) back together, with a few interesting additions.
Now things go darker. No more sixteen candles, no more gardening, no more playing around.
The almost rape/murder scene was a sobering reminder that these peeps are far removed from the age of PTO and Dairy Queen. Rick acted quite reasonably when he went all Jack Bauer on ring leader Joe and then gutted his henchman. This is the Rick I want to see, this is the Rick the group needs. Hell, this is the Rick the show needs.
Absent the Governor,- who received short shrift as far as I’m concerned- I’m hopeful Gareth ups the ante as the group’s arch-nemesis. I’m thankful the writers created this unique character, free of any shackles created by the comic book story. What madness will he mete (or meat?) out? I’m thinking that it’s time to advance from the bad ass with a cause- Shane to the Governor (two of my favorite characters)- and unleash true evil on the group. If only to see whether Rick will cook his black heart or eat it raw. Okay, enough cannibal references.
All I know for certain is that Rick was right. They screwed with the wrong group. I hope the prize fight goes fifteen rounds this time.
Okay, back to the smoking post . . .
As a former smoker, I can tell you that you’re only as good as your last smoke. Smoking will always have a part of me- the part of me that is less simple . . . that stands on the ledge and spits . . . that curses the fates and its threatening wreck of siblings . . the part of me that is adrift in the muck of human weakness and is not looking for a life preserver.
Yanno, the fun part.
One of the negatives of smoking is that it takes time away from other activities- like eating, drinking and having sex. So you should learn to multi-task.
This isn’t to say that my battle with nicotine is an effort in futility. To the contrary. It’s a worthwhile lesson in perseverance, assembled across the unraveling and the tight of my waking hours. It’s my daily allowance of contrition. While getting better at something requires effort, getting stronger at something requires an intimate knowledge of abject failure. I appreciate the Zen of missed targets.
Quitting isn’t hard, In fact, it’s one of the easiest things about smoking. Staying quit? That there’s the unabridged, uncensored version of what I’m trying to say.
I’ve quit the habit for days, weeks, months and years. In my late teens I smoked frequently. In my twenties, barely at all. When thirty happened, I became contemplative and stressed. Smoking helped repair the moments with vicious intimacy. My forties have proven a mixed bag.
Smoking is like organized crime; once you’re in, it’s really difficult to extricate yourself from the involvement. Separation brings pain, denial, anger, hopelessness, depression and lots of shit you shouldn’t be eating. That’s a pretty good day, actually. The bad days are radioactive enchiladas served up by the Manson clan.
My latest sabbatical might have been going on two years but for a momentary lapse back in August when I bought a pack. The special occasion which brought me back into the fold was neither special nor an occasion. It was just a late summer day when the need went stupid and the idea of matchmaking my Sam Adams with a smoke seemed like the best idea in the history of best ideas. Inside this moment of weakness, I literally torched over a year’s worth of equity. And to make matters worse, it was fan-fucking-tastic.
One cigarette can get you hooked. So don’t stop there.
With smoking, sometimes it’s stress that calls you back. Sometimes it’s a celebratory mood. And sometimes it’s just a late summer afternoon when a harmless thought becomes your habit again. So on April 22nd, I’ll celebrate two years of mostly smoke-free living. Except for the August thing . . . and the smoke I had at a birthday party back in February . . and last Friday night I had one that I really didn’t enjoy . . . and you know what? That’s okay, because it keeps me humble and when it comes to breaking habits, humility is a resourceful guide.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse, forget everything I said and stay out of my way. Unless you’re hauling Twinkies.