Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

I’ve tried to quit smoking. I really have. There have been several times I’ve torn up a mostly-full pack and thrown away the lighter. Other times I’ve woken up with pain in my ribs, vowing never to light up again. Yet, here I sit this morning after being outside with another menthol.

It’s hard, at times, to accept the root causes for me to do something so dangerous. Other times, I just don’t care. Why am I “saving” myself? After decades of bad timing or poor fits that I’ll find someone I can share this pent-up love? I’ll be wealthy enough to travel the world and not give a flip about paying the bills? I can go anywhere and feel like a friend? As society sits right now, I doubt it. I’m being trampled by other people’s ambition and their human nature.  A nature of all the vices and judgment they swear not to do, yet commit all the same. They call them “rights”.

Smoking is my seppuku. I’ve dishonored my master, America, and not bought into the aggressiveness that wins her favor. It’s a savage thought that is considered “healthy” by her. It’s a ruthlessness that she smiles upon. “Grab her! Take her! She doesn’t understand anything else!” Lady Liberty chides with rusted teeth. “You are animal! She is animal! She demands assertion!” …and so she rewards.

Reserved in nature. Virtuous in spirit. Prudence in money. Controlled in temper. These are all Holy wafers that burn upon the skull of the red, white, and blue madam. They are all treated in suspect and shied away as a Nosferatu would garlic.

I would like to remain positive. I would like to give the people of this world a false sense of hope, as movies and books do. It makes them feel less guilty, less culpable, and they can go back to their business as usual. However, I’m not sure that can happen. Bad things happen to good people.

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24 thoughts on “Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

  1. nicjor79 says:

    I’m sure you remember how much I used to smoke. I used the same excuses as you not to quit, and little has changed since I finally did. I mean, nobody wants me neither. I haven’t accomplished anything important. I’m not sure if I even remember what happiness feels like. But being alone in this world, which cannot be avoided, while also having outright contempt for yourself, which can be, is a true path to being miserable. And no one goes out of their way to harm their body without holding this contempt.

  2. nicjor79 says:

    “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

  3. kerbey says:

    I’ve never played sudoku but I see the books at the store all the time. Levity! Another word you’ve taught me, and now I take issue with the Japanese culture (but please continue making solid Toyota products for me to drive past 110,000 miles–I’m loyal). We’re all doing things to slowly cause our deaths, but you really really don’t want cancer. It will suck.

    I couldn’t get my ex to stop smoking for me or for him–or when we had a child–for his son, either. Even when my son said it was all he wanted for Christmas and his birthday. It just wasn’t the time for him. Suddenly, last year, he started the vapor/e-cigs and (as far as I know) does that instead, although it’s quite expensive. I doubt it was so he could see his kid graduate or travel the world. He has no grand plans in his future. Just work and dying. If you ever did stop, what vice would you use to replace it? You could make balloon animals. You seem like the jovial, high-spirited type for that.

  4. Laura Lynn says:

    I loved smoking. Really. If all this shitstorm hadn’t happened I’d still be doing it. Now, though, it’s tempting fate. And really, it was easy for me to quit. I was too sick to smoke. My disease wasn’t brought on by smoking, it was brought on by a bad gene-Braca 1. (That bitch is up for a fight, though.)
    On the other hand, take it from me Nate. If you can get cancer from smoking, and it seems as if you can, you DON’T want to do it! Now, I don’t smoke. If I didn’t have this bad ol’ bitch, who knows? Maybe I’d still smoke.
    But if you’re going to smoke Nate, roll yer own. Seriously. Get American Spirit pouches if your’e going to smoke, they even have organic tobacco that isn’t sprayed with chemicals, and roll yer own. It’s harder to smoke a lot when you have to take the time to do it. And it kind of feels good. Like I’m a cowboy. Or F. Scott Fitzgerald or Hemingway. That’s how I smoked. God how I miss it.

    America isn’t sick and Ms. Liberty isn’t a bitch. It’s the complacent ones who let corporate suck holes tear at her that are to blame. I like a nice book that lets me sit back and fantasize. I love musicals and silliness. But it never makes me forget to speak up and take some hits for her. Ms Liberty is worth it.

    • I’ll be frank. Cancer is not my primary concern with smoking. It’s arteriosclerosis and emphysema, much like my grandfather on my mother’s side. I look a great deal like him, similar structure, and have similar mannerisms even though he died 18 months prior to my birth. Lucky Strikes got him at the age of 64.

      Unfortunately, I’ve lived long enough to have a different experience of America. Just because I can’t expatriate doesn’t mean I have to approve or like the land I live in, or the people that cause me harm. I’m not under any obligation to do so. What I see goes far beyond the layers of big business, and big government for that matter, which considers itself the very intangible fabric of a nation. It’s not good, Laura. I’ve put in far too much energy into doing the right thing to be treated as the sucker.

      • Laura Lynn says:

        I hope you find a way to be less bitter about our gov’t. Sometimes there are great and good things about it that we don’t see. And to all those you are treating you as a sucker? I cast a hex on them.

      • Ah, you don’t need to hex them. Thanks, though.

        I’m not sure I can meet anyone’s request regarding my feelings toward governments, be it Federal, state, or local. I’m pretty confident in saying that I’m in touch with more public departments than the average citizen, from the Department of ED and IRS to the Ohio House/Senate, to the city with their ditch petitions, and the township trustees dragging their feet on giving me curbs and more. I deal with a lot from that sector.

      • Laura Lynn says:

        Yoicks! That’s a LOT of Gov’t! I bow to your superior knowledge of how irritating and dispiriting they can be.

      • I had the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services hang up on me once. We were trying to settle a quarterly filing dispute and the employee hung up rather than giving me her name. It’s amusing and irritating all at the same time. 😉

      • Laura Lynn says:

        They must hire the same people at debt collection services. Last week I asked the man to send me a copy of the disputed invoice-I didn’t owe them anything, I have receipts- and he hung up on me.

      • Yeah, those debt collection agencies are the worst. I had one mistake me for one of their debtors and thought I was lying to them. “Well, his mother gave us this phone number,” is what the told me point blank. I told them she lied. Ha!

        After the third time they called, I lost my cool. He said, “I’ll check on that.” Before he hung up I screamed, “YOU BETTER!” They never called me again. I was going to take matters up with the Ohio attorney general’s office. That was my starting point. I’ve dealt with the government so long that I knew they would play “pass the buck” on this until I reached the right office.

  5. Rob says:

    Let me first say that it grieves me to see you suffer, and that is my primary emotion in reading this.

    My secondary emotion is this: Your pain gives your words a power and life that cannot be emulated through vicarious existence or approximation. It’s been said in better words by more intelligent people than myself, but; If pain can be channeled into a purpose, then pain is a servant, and is not wasted nor is it strictly detrimental.

  6. Joseph Nebus says:

    Are you still doing all right over there?

  7. calipatti says:

    My phone froze today and once it defrosted I went through deleting saved sites on my screen.
    Now here I am wishing you luck in quitting smoking.

    My life had been tough for awhile. I get it. Smoking was my friend for 4o years, it’s been there for me when no one else was.
    Last September I quit for about 2 1/2 months, white knuckling it the entire time. So I began smoking again but I had learned a lot about quitting and myself.
    I never bought a carton again, went to lights, skipped a day or two, and discovered my REAL motivation for quitting.
    Originally I quit for the reasons we all quit, family pressure and death/health. Those reasons did not work for me after a few weeks, I did not gave a hoot about health or death. I gave more than I should to my sons. I wanted to smoke.

    I’ve no debt, home and cars paid for, however I own nothing pretty, nothing new. I want nice hiking shoes, a pretty new hiking jacket and get my hair done a few times a year. That is my motivation now and it’s working. I have my cigarette money.

    The store brand lozenges handle the addiction, bad moods and I handle the rest. After a few minutes it passes.
    Laura gave you good advice about spirit tobacco, do your smoking different. Go to NON menthol, that will help a lot.

    I’m into my 3rd week now and doing ok. I will make it this time. I have nice new hiking shoes and a bladder pack.
    I’m also happy sometimes, mostly when I’m out on a trail.
    Sending you strength, quitting will be your biggest battle but you can do it.
    Only hurts for a few days, ha.
    If you fail, just do it again and stop beating yourself up.
    Nicotine is formidable opponent.

    • Thank you for the response. I wish you success in your endeavor. The mind is extremely powerful and can make you act on blatantly harmful things. I’m not completely convinced it’s 100% under a person’s control.

      It’s a matter of quitting for the right reasons. I know I’m not smoking for enjoyment. I’m smoking as a crutch. It’s a Hell of world out there, and fortune is a fickle being. Some people can view it otherwise, but for me it’s a boxing ring with a dose of dirty pool. Often you’re fighting someone with a roll of quarters in their glove. Nothing in life is fair.

      I find that if I can exercise that I don’t think about it. This is much like your hiking. I’ll mow the lawn and be OK for a few hours. By far, cold turkey has brought me better results than anything else.

      Stick and move. Stick and move. Stick and move.

      • calipatti says:

        Hmm, who told you life was suppose to be fair? It’s the unfairness that makes your life have meaning.
        I like smoking, I like most things about smoking. It’s the money and the pretty girl things I want to have that has given me the extra motivation. I’ve never felt I had the right to want the prettier things if they cost more money. I had everything I needed in life.
        Your right, you need to find a reason to quit that matters to you.

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