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01/16/2004 Entry: "Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk."

Did you know it's been four and half years since I last had a cigarette? It's true. I didn't realize so much time had passed. I've been reading of other people who quit for the New Year, going through the rough first few weeks. I feel for them. I don't ever want to go through that again.

Last week I picked up a pack of Marlboros for Vince while on my way over for dinner. It felt strange saying the words to the cashier, handling the box, sliding it into a coat pocket. Oddly familiar, this ritual, even after all these years. I wanted to "pack" the box too, hitting them twenty times on each corner just like I used to, but since they weren't mine, I didn't feel like I ought to.

Later that night, after saying goodnight to the Boyfriend and chatting a while longer with Vince, I walked home. I took a different route than usual and passed the apartment where I first really fell in love with a boy. I was visiting from Santa Barbara for Pride weekend, but ended up staying for a month or more, infatuated with him. I remember he hated the cigarette smell; I tried to pick out the window I had leaned out years ago for an early morning smoke.

He was the man I first tried to quit smoking for. Didn't work, of course. Once the long-distance relationship withered, so did my resolve. No, I thought, you have to fall completely in love with someone in order to quit. And while The Boyfriend may have helped, he wasn't the man I quit for either. You have to really love yourself to change like that. Sure, I'll take all the love and help I can get, but in the end I'm the only person who's always there to watch me.

This might be a good year to look into that relationship, to bridge the distance with that man who quit smoking for me all those years ago. We've been a little removed these past few years; I think it's time to figure out which windows he's been leaning out of lately.

Replies: 3 comments

it's been four and half years since I last had a cigarette

Go you!

I picked up a box of cloves about a month ago, I guess, and I've smoked maybe three of them. I'm glad, because it's not really a habit I want to start again (I quit 4 years ago), but I can't bring myself to throw them away either.

Posted by Katrina @ 01/16/2004 05:25 PM PST

I never pegged you as a Rufus boy.

Posted by -J. @ 01/19/2004 08:26 PM PST

After reading this, I'd say you quit for a beautiful writer.

Posted by Panchesco @ 01/20/2004 03:40 PM PST

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