Friday, January 29, 2010

An Anniversary of Sorts

By my reckoning, I quit smoking a year ago today. I haven't had a single cigarette since then. It's kind of amazing, considering that my previous 11 or 12 attempts failed. I'd always planned to cheat, but I never got around to it. Things were particularly bad when I was traveling around the South last February. Cigarettes were cheap and you could smoke just about everywhere. Somehow, I always forgot to buy a pack. I don't know how that happened, but it did. And it took months for me to feel normal again. Even in August, I was vowing to start smoking again, because I was feeling so incredibly creepy. I got distracted and forgot about that, too. Things would be just dandy if I didn't play cards with a bunch of smokers. Spending a couple hours several times a week is giving me the fits again. I guess the only solution is to not play cards until the fits retreat. At this point, I can't imagine going back. I like breathing. I don't wheeze or constantly feel like I'm gonna hurl at the gym. And I save money. That's the main reason why I quit. I also didn't want to feel like I was slowly dying.

You know, there are all kinds of people wandering around Belltown asking for smokes, regardless of whether they see one in your hand or not. They just assume that the entire world is a smoker. At first, I would just dispense with the basic, "Sorry, man" refusal. But by May or June, I started saying, "I quit in January, so I can't help you there." That's about the time when things began getting slightly better. They improved from then on, but I certainly wasn't out of the woods. Somebody told me that I'd be back to normal after a year. Funny thing, though, I played cards last Tuesday and breathed that smoky air for around two hours, and today I've got a very strong Jones going on. It seems a fitting way to celebrate one year of being liberated from cigarettes.

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