To Stop Smoking

September 1, 2019

Smoking is seasonal. On summer nights with a drink in hand, it is simply a perfect way to spend time and to think. Something about the smoke makes the moon seem nearer and the twilight deeper, a night lightness near the horizon allowing the soul to skip along around toward the day. It allows you to stay right next to your anxieties instead of being pulled along by them, and at a moment of boredom, the outdoors awaits.

Sleep is difficult after a summer cigarette. Inflammation causes tiredness to rise early in the cells but after a few hours of dreams one usually wakes in a panic with thoughts of death, remembrances of badly expressed sentiment, and an intense mucousy thirst. In winter, to be outside is unwarranted. Icy winds extinguish ciggos and force the “cherry” deep inside a layer of ash, hard to draw on. It’s frankly not worth it.

So one smokes in the summer and quits sometime in fall. To stop smoking certainly feels like fall.

Stopping smoking feels like there will be nothing good ever in the world again. It feels like a cold wind is blowing and you will never escape from it. It feels like taking a red-hot frying pan and dousing it in ice until the metal cracks apart with screams and pops. It feels like looking into the sky to see the black of space beyond the blue of the day, peering out into the infinite distance to the big bang and understanding that it is all for nothing, that there is no reason for you to continue existing. It is to be a mote of dust dancing on a sunbeam in a room where the window has never been opened. It is to have no hope for anything interesting to happen ever again. To be so restless that walking continuously for days is the only thing to do. To moan with longing for something, anything to happen someday.

Luckily it only lasts for one to three days.


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