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Quitter: 12.16.05

Aieee, I was supposed to fill this space with a burst of good cheer, like, two weeks ago. I was all ready to pen a little happy-feel-good list of all the things that I like and love and cherish, perhaps adding little blurbs about why/how they make me happy and bubble over with the joy.

But then I decided to quit smoking.

Well, really, it was more decided for me--which is actually much easier. When your live-together (I hate the term live-in! It should be used for nannies and maids and old-people-asisstants, but not boyfriends!) boyfriend ups and quits just one day driving home from a totally fun weekend in NYC...you kind of have to too. Sure, you can persist in puffing away, but all of a sudden you realize how ridiculous you look, rifling through your bag for a lighter, tapping your ashes every couple of seconds, and also: you stink.

It will never cease to amaze me why cigarette smoke can smell so divinely enticing as it snakes out of your lit cigarette and hangs in the air, and then the minute it settles on your clothes, hair, skin, teeth, you name it, it smells like ass. Just awful. It is a great mystery of life, and also a great sadness. Much like the sadness and mystery of smoking itself. Why does it have to seem like such a good idea, but in reality be such a bad one?

Think of Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn and Lou Reed and the bad teenagers you used to sort of idolize when you were awkward and pre-adolescent. Think of a cup of coffee, or a cold beer, or a lazy hot afternoon on a porch swing, or a long car ride alone with bittersweet mixtapes. Think of the one really horrible fight you had with your best friend or the concrete sense that things in your life are really at a crossroads and you just took the big step into embracing change. Think of all these things, because this is what makes smoking make sense.

But, of course, you can also think of hacking coughs, and grey, tight skin, and yellowed teeth. You can think of oxygen tanks and hospital hallways and just the idea of cancer of the tongue makes mine curl. This is what makes smoking the dumbest thing ever.

So, the fact that S. took the plunge and I more or less tagged along for the ride turned out well. Who knows when I would've gotten up the gumption to do it myself. All I know is I am only doing it once.

Quitting smoking after 10 years (on and off, but more on) is stressful, annoying, exhilirating, and hard. And it is a litle like the "Mission Accomplished" haziness of Iraq. When does it actually end? When can I declare myself officially free of the addiction? Two weeks? Two months? Two years? S. makes it sound a little like a lifelong disease, like alcoholism. He says you never know when you'll be tempted to pick it back up--and then there you are: No longer a quit smoker.

No way, I say. No way. I am only going to quit once. And I think I just did.

reflect - reinvent ....rayclaire@gmail.com... what i used to think... what i hear... what i see... where i'd like to be...

the black apple... the girl who... sarah brown... thunderpie... evany... jenny b harris... posie... claude le monde... artsy... fartsy... jeff... random person in texas... another rachel... smitten kitchen... more of me... still more of me... even more of me...and yet still more of me...more of me but not for free...

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