Monday, May 22, 2006

Fuming Mad

I love Discardian, but I get the feeling that her aversion to ashtrays is a political one. And I say that as an of yesterday, two years.

Smoking has become the last vice that's politically correct to attack. Alcoholics and drug addicts have a "disease." Smokers are just inconsiderate schmucks who want to kill everybody and who probably voted for Bush. (Heck least not this ex-smoker.)

I started smoking when I was in my late teens, for some of the usual reasons: Something to do with my hands while I was hanging out after school, usually with other smokers. Then once I got hooked, I didn't quit because I was afraid to.

My friend Alene said in this comment a year ago that when she was a smoker as a very young woman, her friend's mother had told her, "You don't need that cigarette." I had been told that by several people, and I'm not even talking about the ones who acted morally superior about their lack of a smoking habit. I'm talking about people who were stating it as a fact. And I would always reply, "Yes I do. You don't know what I'd be like without it."

And the thing was, I wasn't being glib or trying to shrug them off so that I could suck away at my stick of chemicals. I was stating it as a fact, too! You don't know what I'd be like without this. If you think I'm difficult now, you would flee in terror from me without my fix. I would be the 50-Foot Woman, I would be Godzilla trampling Tokyo. An obese, screaming, red-faced and sweating bitch, I would be stomping down the street with a piece of Entenmann's in each hand, a colossus of inappropriate emotions.

But when I finally made the choice to quit, I did it cold turkey, and I had to reach the point where I told myself, "No matter what you feel, no matter how you act, even if you end up in a loony bin, even if you alienate everyone you've ever known, even if you God forbid gain weight, you will not light a cigarette."

Well, my weight's gone up and down since then. Ironically, it went down first, but I was very active at the time. Then up a bit around the holidays, but it always had even when I was smoking a pack a day. And I did alienate people, but I was alienating the same people before. They were alienated people. And since I couldn't suck back my anger at them, I had to learn how to deal with it. And I learned that they were wrong, and that I was somebody who could deal.

So smoking may be the last incorrect vice, but it was only through being willing to risk incorrectness that I came out the other side. And I'm still working at clearing up some of the fumes that hold nice girls back, especially when those restraints that keep us safe can have deadly consequences. I had CT scans last year and I'm having another one this week. Nothing life-threatening was picked up, thank God. But some damage cannot be picked up by any scan except the one within your mind.

"...some damage cannot be picked up by any scan except the one within your mind."
God bless you.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map