so, lecram got me thinking about my smoking addiction, which has been at a pack a day for about 19 years (i've been smoking for 23). needless to say, this is not a record i am proud of. on the other hand, i'm not ashamed. it is what it is. i cannot remember the day i took my first drag. nor can i remember the day i bought my first pack. i can remember the reason and the rationalization. i lived in germany at the time and many kids my own age would ask me if i had tobacco. after a while, i realized that a good, simple way to meet people was to have tobacco on me (in germany, at that time, all the kids rolled their own tobacco). so, i would carry tobacco and papers and wait for someone to ask and i would produce the aromatic pouch. and-voila-a conversation would begin. in this way i met quite a few interesting teenagers (mostly counter-counter culture) and created friendships.
eventually, i just had to know what all the hip hubbub was with smoking. it certainly looked cool, but i had grown up in a strict nonsmoking, nondrinking house here in the states, so i had to overcome my fear of being a bad boy (back then i wasn't into spanking so much, maybe a light slap or two). defeating the fear took oh about two, maybe one long minute and i carefully placed the damp weed into a zig zag-like paper and rolled the most bulbous, bumpy and asymmetrical piece of crap cigarette this world has ever seen. too tight at one end and falling out at the other i had to huff and puff until i was blue in the face before i could begin coughing my lungs out. which i eventually did. but i didn't get the hipness of it. it made me feel a bit nauseous, light headed and i had to go crap. and i didn't get good high from it like all the pot i'd smoked my senior year in my american high school. it certainly wasn't going to make the arcades a better experience.
but it did smell good before being lit and it did allow me to meet people and it did make me feel oh so cool by carrying it. and i quickly realized that learning to roll this stuff would help me immeasurably in rolling the "other" stuff.
so, i kept with it, offering to roll for people (and thereby began the education of me in rolling the perfect joint for which i was properly lauded in my college years). but, as has been borne out in almost every smoker's history, it was my willingness to help others that led to my downfall. as i got better and quicker at rolling, i began rolling one for me as well. i knew it looked odd that i had tobacco, but never smoked with the person asking for a ciggie. so, i began rolling for me. after a while, the petit mort high was pretty cool. a smoke after 4 or 5 beers, then 3 or 4, then 2 or 3, then with every one was a good kicker. and we drank a lot in germany. i had good, solid teutonic school friends who went to the local pub (located on land owned by the Prince of Denmark) every weekend where the owner/bartender was a blues fanatic who'd owned a bar in hamburg and played host to every blues legend who ever toured europe (plus, folk like van morrison and bob dylan) and had a record collection so extensive i don't think i ever heard one album twice (the musician he like to talk about most when in his cups was muddy waters who he evidently was perrrrsonal friends with, though not sexually). Peachy, his name was. just like michael caine's in the Man Who Would Be king.
where was i? oh yes. so, i began a long relationship with tobacco, which is sustained to this day.
fast forward more than half of my life and we arrive at today. this morning, in fact, when i went to the doctor to have some mushrooms looked at on my elbow. well, a rash that the doc thinks is fungal ala crotch rot. when her very cute assistant jotted down my particulars and addictions, it was at that moment that i was asked if i'd like to quit smoking. i said i wasn't not interested and she told me of The Pill. Wellbutrin. Zyban. the doc said for me to look it up on the internet and decide if i wanted to try it. so, i did. and this is what i found. well, i found a lot of sites talking of the drug, but this is the one i enjoyed the most.
the problem with quitting is that i know i must take time to psych myself up to it. i can't just one day say "you know, i think this is the last one". i almost have to have a wake. so, i will think about it, maybe even discuss this with lecram. perhaps he and i can make a pact (like a suicide). though i doubt it. i'm as bad a quitter as i am a joiner (unless, of course, we're talking about romantic relationships).