The Joys and Woes of Quitting Smoking

There is a bench outside the back of our house. One day, a lady walked by and sat down. She didn’t smoke, look at her phone, eat, or drink anything for 10 solid minutes…

Isn’t that mad?

Give me 10 minutes alone like that and I will chain-smoke myself into oblivion.

I quit smoking a while ago. I tried everything, like not smoking… and other failed attempts of that nature.

What eventually happened was I got a concussion, after I fell out of bed reaching for a pack of cigarettes. I was informed by the doctor that I couldn’t smoke for a week, for it would worsen my condition, and possibly cause a repeat of the outstretched armed antics of my initial incident.

Taking his advice as a bonafide, clinically approved method of successful smoking cessation, I took up smoking again at the drop of a hat (a large-tobacco filled hat, if you may so perversely ask). I then approached my boss with the eloquently intelligible proposal of:

“Hey, y’know the way I take a little cigarette break now and then during work?”

“You smoke?”

“Precisely! Well, I got a doctor’s note that states if I stay at home with a headache for a whole week, I will be guaranteed not to contain the ability to inhale any combustible particles in the form of the delightful items provided by noted tobacconists: Centra. This means you will get two more hours of productivity a day from me!”

“…you spend two hours a day here smoking?!”

I was thus excused from the work premises on the promise that I take the week off.

However, due to the unknowingly powerful addictive effects of “Marlboro”, I spent the whole week smoking like a chimney that caught fire, only to return to work, faux-weeping at the heels of my employer. “It’s harder than I thought!”, I coughed.

Fortunately, I tapped my noggin on the underside of the desk on the journey up from the floor, thus compounding the effects of my concussion into an elixir-inducing coma.

The warnings on cigarette packets never affected me.

“Cigarettes can cause cancer… Smoking can give you heart disease”

“Yes, but later!”, I would exclaim.

If they blatantly lied and aimed for the throats of our egos, these warnings would be more successful:

“Smoke these and your dick will fall off!”

(Gulp.) “Okay.”

“Smoke these and your vagina will turn into cottage cheese!”

(Double gulp.) “I don’t have a vagina… but okay!”

I remember my smoking days fondly. The sensation of the nicotine would fill the centre of my brain, much like a bucket of water would fill an equally bucket-like container of water (a bathtub, if your imagination will allow you to visualize such an enticing ornament). However, the payoff would be a lack of sensation in my teeth, an increased curdling of my blood into black gelatin, and the inability to describe a bathtub without the metaphorical use of buckets.

My addiction grew to a state of pure ignorance towards daylight and the weather. I would often carry my scalding hot coffee onto the balcony (for gentle warmth mind you), while perching myself on the window sill, oblivious to the -3 degree fog and blinding half-moon, croaking at the playing children to “get off my car!”, while I neither owned a car, nor noticing that the children were three-week old binbags that I forgot to move 12 feet westwards towards the estate’s communal skip.

6 months later and I’m none the wiser; given the mass funeral of my brain cells that I attended at the time. Each one of them evaporated over the days like a puff of smoke (HAHA! HAHA! BAHAHAHAHAHAH! … Sigh). The emptiness in my brain is now alternated by feelings of envy towards current smokers and irrelevant thoughts such as “Why did that dog yawn at me? … Maybe he’s bored by my inactive non-smoking hands?”

The upside is that I shall live mildly longer. And if life was like a hot sauce, people the world over will concur that the mildly spicy sauce is more enjoyable, enduring and delightful… and certainly does not taste like cigarettes.

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