Posted by: martinworster | October 5, 2011

128. KICK THE HABIT

So I’ve more or less given up smoking now. After over twenty years I’ve finally kicked the habit. Except when I have a good drink up – which isn’t that often nowdays either. I guess it’s good news. Although I do feel a nostalgic lament for my old smoking self. Smokers are definitely more interesting people. There’s something about being addicted to a habit that is likely to kill you that definitely adds a quirky, interesting kink to any individuals personality. It’s the ultimate in nihilistic fatalism. And that’s kinda hip. I will miss the comraderie of other smokers. The little moments when cigarettes taste so good – with an alcoholic drink, coffee, after a meal, walking to work in the morning (when I lived in London), enjoying a nice view with a romantic (in the 1800s poetic movement sense of the word) cigarette that somehow enhanced the view.

It’s interesting (and inevitable) how over the last 10 years smokers have gradually been ostracised and banned from public spaces. This reached it’s apotheosis in California, the original home of the anti-smoking movment. Now, here in some quarter’s you get less angry looks if you started to smoke a crack pipe in public. Even to think that you used to be able to smoke in bars and clubs now feels strange and alien. I remember smoking at work in an office, in restaurants, on aeroplanes, on buses, in cinemas – all places now where it’s a definite ‘no no’. Even old habits in my own personal day now seem almost unbelievable – the first thing I used to do when waking up was smoke. Eeeuuggh. There used to be an over flowing ashtray next to my bed with a half smoked fag ready to be resuciated in the morning. Double eeeeuugggh.

I do look at other addicted smokers and feel a kind of pity for them. A slave to the weed. They have to smoke through addiction. I’m glad it doesn’t have that hold over me. Raspy coughs and bad breath. I never thought I’d get to this stage. It’s just through a gradual process of being turned off by it. Even though I did enjoy smoking, this pleasure was gradually eroded by the anxiety of what it was doing to my lungs. Now the thought of smoking actually doesn’t seem good. Although I’m not one of those dreadful ex-smokers who becomes an anti-smoking Nazi. Light up near me and I’ll still being sniffing the smoke, with a knowing look and a strangely mixed up feeling of jealousy and revulsion.

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