Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Written Through A Fug Of My Own Self-Pity

Here's a startling thing that may say something about my mind, or memory, or something. I can remember vividly my first cigarette - betwixt full time and penalties, England-Germany World Cup semis 1996, Leigh-on-Sea, outside the house of the esteemable n-la - but I can't remember losing my virginity. Before you dismiss me as a resident of the seventh circle of slut, this was not because it was a ridiculous number of years or partners ago; I consider myself to be completely bog-standard average in the whole cherry-popping age and subsequent shenanigans area, and I'd thank you to stop sniggering at the back there. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can remember vaguely when it happened and who the culprit was and all of that, but no specific memories of the deed itself. Which, you would think, would be a pretty momentous, nay memorable, occasion for a blushing 26-year-old (Ha! Joke. Or is it? Yes, it is. OR IS IT? Yes.)

My point will eventually be this: I never really thought of myself as a proper SMOKER smoker. I never had 20 a day, I very rarely smoked in the morning and never woke up fag-craving, I couldn't even face them when I was slightly ill or hungover. I always thought that it was more habit than addiction that kept me on 'em. But the fact that I remember my first fag over...ach, I have to say it, please scrunch your eyes closed, shove your pinkies in your ears and hum a happy tune if you actually know first fag over my first fuck - surely this means that they have a bigger significance in my life than I ever possibly dreamed.

And now they're gone. Yes, as if you hadn't guessed by the sudden obsession, I have given up the chuffsticks. And by God, I feel like... Well, I could sum it up in a handy Simpsons image if I could find one and knew how to blu-tac it into your computer screen, but I can't and I don't. So remember, if you will, an occasion where Krusty the Klown has either been broadcasting for ten days continuously or has been on a massive bender or something, and he crawls onto the set with a trademark "wuhhhhhhhhhhhh...", slumps on the ground and his tongue rolls out like a long, luxurious carpet of filth. That is how I feel. Like, medically unwell. How unfair! How unfair that I wake up of a morning, every morning, and my lungs feel like I have spent the previous evening constantly huffing on the highest-tar non-filtered Marlboro red cancer-rods in human existence! All I have inhaled in the past week is good, clean, disgusting London air. And NOW I get the smoker's cough? # Irony! #

According to my overly-flashy friends at the NHS, I should by now have a vastly improved sense of taste and smell (never gonna happen, due to my hayfever's extremist tendencies) and my breathing should have improved (11 years of smoking, absolutely fine. One week without, and my chest sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies, where each Krispie has been filled with space dust, and the whole thing is doused in Coke. And placed inside some kind of acoustically perfect chamber. And beamed into space) It's not like I even wanted to give up, it just kind of happened. One day, I didn't have a fag, then the next day, I didn't, and by the third day I was involved in a permanent raging internal argument over whether it would be weak to give up on giving up, which continues to this moment. There is no other reason to put myself through this. I don't care about getting lung disease in 40 years' time. We'll all be long bombed to death by then. (At least I'm retaining my upbeat positivity, eh?)

Oh, I miss it, though... Smoking is cool, and it rocks, and I don't care what anyone says. It gets me away from my desk every couple of hours. It gives me quality time with my perma-puffin' significant other. It can get you away from awkward conversation or even more awkward lack of conversation in pubs and at parties (ha! Like I go to parties). Plus, it makes me feel safer when I'm prowling around the back streets of London late at night, as I have a ready-made fiery weapon to stick in the eyes of the evil-doers. Short of somehow fashioning a makeshift human-sized flytrap out of Nicorette patches, I'm not sure I have the same defensive powers as a non-smoker. God, I'm a non-smoker. How fantastically boring.

So, there's that. Day 5 sans smokeroo, and all is well. If by "all" I mean "nothing."

A small and insignificant addendum! I've just received some rather pleasant news, and I suddenly want a cigarette more than at any point over the last week. Seinfeld-style, what's THAT all about? Answers on a Rizla. Which is filled with tobacco, and alight, and sending fumes into my lungs. Thanks.

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