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20
Nov
08

The new world of non-smokerhood (it sucks)

What I feel like doing right now

What I feel like doing right now

So I decided to quit smoking. Again.

Fuck.

I went into Wallgreens to arm myself with the necessary materials: patches and lozenges, all chock full of glorious nicotine.

The lady rang me up, “that will be $83.45” she said, annoyingly cheerful.

“83 DOLLARS???” I thought. “What the fuck?!”

I was so close to telling her to forget it and just getting in my car and heading to Low-Bob’s Discount Tobacco for a carton of Marlboro lights, which would have been roughly half of what I was paying for these fake cigarettes. Instead I just reached into my purse and cringed as she swiped my credit card.

“Are these for you?” she asked me with an earnest smile. “Yeah,” I replied, not wanting to get into it with her; the transaction was painful enough as it was. “Well it’s good that you’re quitting. Smoking is so bad for you.” I fought back the “Fuck off” that was making its way up my vocal cords and said something along the lines of “Yeah, I know.”

I sauntered out of the drug store and into the freezing cold air of Northern Indiana. Once the engine turned over and the heat was pelting me in the face, I reached into the bag and pulled out a patch. I didn’t have any scissors in my car so I rabidly gnawed on the ridiculous packaging for a minute. I finally got the fucking thing open and slapped the flesh-colored circle on my shoulder-blade. As I drove off I passed that same woman who rang me up, lighting up a cigarette in the parking lot.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

It’s only been a few days, so I know that things will “only get easier” in the coming weeks, but ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS SMOKING. How did I get to this point? How is it possible that I have allowed myself to become so completely addicted to any type of substance?

The first cigarette I ever had I was in 10th grade riding around in some senior’s car. He pulled out a pack of Marlboro reds and offered me one with one of those looks that said, “Can you hang or not?” I took a couple of hesitant puffs on it, and coughing sophomorically said, “This is disgusting!” He laughed one of those jaded, experienced, smokers laughs, as if to say “Didn’t think so”.

I didn’t smoke again until senior year with my new “rebellious” boyfriend. I was the school goody two-shoes: overachieving to the max in classes and in as many extra-curriculars as I could fit into my schedule. He was the school slacker: smart, but lacking in direction. He had detention every other day and slept through class — when he actually showed up. I was looking to rebel, he was looking to reform. I remember having a complete aversion to everything cigarette-related (a total product of Truth adds), but for some reason he looked so sexy when he smoked. We started dating, and he quit smoking, much to my reluctance.

Later on I started smoking clove cigarettes with some friends at a pub in Canada. It became a ritual. We’d order a few pints and smoke a few cloves. Soon I began to look forward to going there just to have an excuse to smoke. Then I started buying my own cloves, but only to smoke while I was drinking. Then it turned into smoking when I was stressed, or smoking at the end of a long day, or smoking on a long walk by myself, or or or…

I felt guilty about smoking at this point in my life, but I told myself that I wasn’t really a smoker; I was a “social smoker”, and I smoked cloves, not cigarettes. They’re different.

It really got to be bad when I started dating another smoker. I would jokingly chastise him, “You shouldn’t smoke so much because you make me want to smoke with you”. In reality, now I had an excuse to smoke, because he would smoke.

Then I worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire. Stress, talking to voters, (AKA morons) all day- you get the picture. I bought my first pack of non-clove cigarettes, for the pure convenience. I wanted something to smoke and I realized that, hey- real cigarettes are awesome!

Then I went to France for a semester and my hush-hush smoking habit came bursting out of the closet with colors flying. In France you don’t have to be ashamed to be a smoker, since most people smoke, or at least aren’t bothered by it.

Bad, bad, bad, all of it bad. Now I’m quitting, and I guess that I should be rejoicing and saying things like “Hurrah! Now I will no longer be a slave to an addiction,” and “Yippee! My clothes don’t reek of smoke anymore!” But when I think about my life and my future without cigarettes, I can’t help but feel depressed. It’s so pathetic to think that my life can be controlled by a cancer-causing stick, but it is.

Ugh, I want a cigarette.

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